Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas is almost here!

I'm having a little trouble getting in the Christmas spirit.
I think I need help.
Usually I can count on my grandkids to help me get excited, or at least
"wrapped up" in looking forward to the holidays, unfortunately, this year
two of the grandkids are going to need help. My four year old grandson
and ten year old granddaughter lost their paternal grandfather last Sunday
morning. The four year old really does not understand what is going on,
although he was upset that "Papaw" was going to be buried "in the ground",
he still does not understand. Our granddaughter is crushed. It is so hard to see
the pain on her beautiful little face and the tears, that is really tough. My heart
aches for the two of them as well as my son-in-law and the rest of his family.
There really is nothing one can say that will help at such a time. I've been
through the loss of loved ones and I know people mean well and want so
desperately to help, to somehow take a little bit of the pain away. Words can't
do it. Only time and the love of others will help lessen the pain. The only
thing I can tell my grandchildren when they ask me "WHY?" did Papaw have
to die, or when they say "I just can't believe I'll never see him again", is to
remind them that he is always with them and that they always carry him
in their hearts.



My beloved paternal grandfather passed over 25 years ago last Monday.
So I understand that Christmas will never again be quite the same for
those who lost their loved one(s) this season. We tell ourselves "life goes on",
and it does of course, as is God's will. Through love, and yes, loss of loved
ones, we grow and even gain strength. Life changes and it changes us, this
we can be sure of. We feel the pain of loss, our own and that of our loved ones.
Through this we can gain strength and sense of purpose, and maybe, if we
pay really close attention to the lessons God has for us, we learn something
new about ourselves and what we are made of. So, keep your eyes, ears, and
heart open to the lessons, even the ones that are at first a little painful!


So to sum up my Christmas post, because I probably won't get the chance to
post again till after Christmas, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, however
you celebrate the season I hope it's a good one. Even if you are having a little
trouble getting in the groove...just try to "LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH!!!". Things will
get better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pay MORE get LESS!!! (Sophie says...)

Today was a most beautiful day in Southern IL! It's November 17 and the high today was about 60 degrees, I'm not sure the deer hunters loved the warmth as much as I did. Speaking of deer hunters, today was the Pope County Deer Festival Parade in Golconda, IL. This is an annual event that my riding buddy Chester, along with my oldest grandchild Mariah and I attend, with our horses of course. This is about the only safe riding available during shotgun season so we take advantage of it. As usual it was a well attended parade with many high school bands, politicians, festival queens and of course the "Little Miss and Misters".
All in all a very enjoyable afternoon that includes a BBQ sandwich and then the short ride through the parade route.





What I would most like to mention about today is the handout given to me by "Sophie", a rather pleasant four legged with very long ears, a hat with flowers and an owner with a feed bucket full of information from Sophie. For those of you who are Farm Bureau members I'm sure you are already familiar with Sophie and her "Sophie Says" column. You see, dear old Sophie is responsible for keeping many Southern Illinoisans up to date on the goings on in the Shawnee Forest. So in an attempt to help Sophie out a little, I'm going to post her latest update. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The Forest Service LACKS FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY!

Why should YOU have to pay?

1. The Forest Service has lost MILLIONS in timber sales.
2. The Forest Service is spending $5 MILLION on a complex to replace the Vienna facility.
3. The Forest Service uses your tax dollars!
4. The Forest Service charges you for bridle tags!

The Forest Service has closed trails, and shut off water! Trailheads have not been mowed! Sanitation facilities have been eliminated or are non-existent!

...AND NOW the Forest Service wants to charge you $5 a day to ride the Shawnee Forest!

...AND NOW the Forest Service wants to charge you $50 a year to ride the Shawnee National Forest!

Sophie says, "We'll pay MORE and get LESS!
That's the U.S. Forest Service way!!!"
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SOPHIE SAYS: "Ask the right questions!"

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trail Rider: Please consider asking the following questions about the proposed fees for trail riders.

1. According to the Shawnee National Forest website, "By far the greatest year-round use on the Shawnee National Forest
is horseback riding." DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT?

2. WHY SUCH A HIGH ANNUAL FEE ($50) when the Hoosier National Forest charges only $25 and the Land Between the
Lakes charges only $60 per TRAILER LOAD, not per person.

3. WHY IS THERE NO SENIOR DISCOUNT?

4. Current policy states that after a 1" rain in the Wilderness, trails are closed for a minimum of 24 hours. HOW DO YOU
PLAN TO REFUND PARTIAL FEES FOR DAYS LOST DUE TO THIS POLICY?

5. Many riders live on property that borders the Lusk Creek Wilderness Watershed. HOW WILL REDUCTION IN THEIR RIDING
FEES BE CALCULATED, SINCE SUPT. NICHOLAS CLOSES THIS WILDERNESS AT LEAST 1 OUT OF 3 DAYS PER YEAR?

6. Since fees are supposed to be used for trail maintenance, IS SUPT. NICHOLAS WILLING TO MAIL AN AUDIT OF EXPENSES
AND WORK DONE TO JUDGE GILBERT AND TO ANY CITIZEN WHO MAKES A REQUEST?

7. Since the Shawnee National Forest has so many chiefs, WOULDN'T IT BE WISE TO HIRE MORE INDIANS, REDUCE THE
NUMBER OF CHIEFS, AND THEN MAINTAIN THE TRAILS?

8. Other National Forests do not have a limit on un-ridden horses (pack/pony), so WHY ARE YOU USING THIS RESTRICTION
IN THE SHAWNEE NATIONAL FOREST?

9. Knowing that all monies for the U.S. Forest Service comes from the same pot, HOW CAN YOU JUSTIFY SUCH A POOR
TRAIL SYSTEM AND THE BUILDING OF A NEW MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR COMPLEX IN VIENNA?

10.Considering how unpopular the Forest Service is with, not only the trail riders, but environmentalists and hikers,
and how services leave much to be desired, HOW CAN YOU ASK THE PUBLIC TO PAY A USER FEE WITH A CLEAR
CONSCIENCE?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


ATTENTION


HIKERS! TRAIL RIDERS! ROCK CLIMBERS!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you are recreating in YOUR Shawnee Nation Forest, be prepared to pay as much as $50 annually to do so!

Even though the Shawnee National Forest has lost MILLIONS in timber sales and is spending MILLIONS on a new facility at Vienna, THE AGENCY WANTS TO CHARGE YOU MORE!

Even though the Forest Service uses your tax dollar and you still have to purchase bridle tags, THE AGENCY WANTS TO CHARGE YOU MORE!

The Forest Service has CLOSED trails, SHUT OFF water, REMOVED tables and trash cans, left trail heads UNMOWED and
ELIMINATED or not provided sanitation facilities! THE AGENCY WANTS TO CHARGE YOU MORE!
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

People, if you do not like what's going on...then you need to take a few minutes and express your thoughts
and feelings on the subject of FEES for the Shawnee National Forest.


For the price of one soda, you can potentially save yourself $50 per year.

Purchase two stamps!
Write down your thoughts and ideas about fees!


Send copy #1 to:
Recreation Advisory Committee
% Region 9
Regional Office
626 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Send Copy #2 to:
Congressman John Shimkus
110 E. Locust
Room 12
Harrisburg, IL 62946

Sophie says, "If you don't do this, no one is going to do it for you!"

=============================================================================

I THINK SOPHIE MAKES A LOT OF SENSE! IF YOU ENJOY RIDING OR CLIMBING OR HIKING IN THE SHAWNEE FOREST, IT'S TIME
TO TAKE A STAND!!! STOP WAITING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS PROBLEM AND WRITE THOSE LETTERS!

Make your voice heard, if we don't all speak up NOW, we stand to loose more and more. It doesn't matter if you live in Southern Illinois or not, if you enjoy spending time in the Shawnee, please take this opportunity to speak your mind on the subject of fees. Please don't wait, do it now, please.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November is Native American Month



There seems to be a lot going on in Southern IL this month! Saturday, November 3, one of our Sundance Chiefs came down from
Chicago to meet up with two singers/drummers and a female singer/Sundancer from Indiana, along with myself, for a presentation to a middle school class in Metropolis. It was a beautiful day, bright blue sky, warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. We all met up in Metropolis and we were joined by Larry Yazzie, Meskwaki/Dine' Pow Wow Dancer from Minnesota.



Our Chief, Dale "Bear" Copeland spoke to the crowd, of approximately 50, about our Dance, the spirituality aspect and a bit about the ceremony involved with Sundance. We attempted to build a sweat lodge but due to the recent dry weather the willows were a little difficult to work with and we certainly couldn't peel the bark as is the traditional and proper way to prepare the willows. So, due to un-peelable bark and time constraints, we only constructed the frame of the lodge and then described how it should be completed and the purpose for the lodge. The original plan was for me to talk about the Cherokee People and the Trail of Tears. Again, due to a lack of time, I did not have the opportunity to speak. Hopefully, next year we will again be invited to Metropolis and will be better prepared to make better use of out time allotment.

When we were told that Mr. Yazzie was ready (and waiting) in the gym for his performance, everyone moved inside and our part of the presentation was over. Mr. Yazzie is a very skilled and entertaining dancer/performer. While there was a huge difference in his performance and our presentation, I feel that the young people and adults in attendance learned something new about Native culture and spirituality. This was a very interesting experience and I was happy to be a part of it, even if my part was left out I still enjoyed the opportunity just to be a part of the presentation.


If any of you out there have the opportunity to participate in, either as a presenter or an attendee, of one or more of the many programs about Native Americans this month, please do it! This is the perfect time to learn more yourself or to help others learn more about the First People of America. Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

My FAVORITE Season

October is here!!! I love the month of October, I love autumn. The way the cool, crisp air smells, the coolness
in the air and the need to actually wear long sleeves. The way my horses smell and the quckness in their step.
(I have always thought I could bottle that aroma and sell it to every woman in love with horses at a resonable
price and still become wealthy!) Life is always good, but this time of year, life is even better, somehow more
beautiful. Of course a beautiful array of autumn leaves would add to the beauty of the season a great deal,
but we will have to leave that up to Mother Nature.

I find it very difficult to stay indoors to work. Let's see, retirement at 52? I could go for that. Of course as it
is now, having my studio in my home, being self employed and not having any employees, that's almost as
good as being retired, right? Take the jobs you want and leave the rest to the multitude of other photographers
in the area. Notice I didn't say "professional" photographers? Digital cameras are great but since they came
on the scene, everyone thinks they can "do it as good as the professionals". Life moves in cycles, changes
happen, things come and go and people tend to learn the hard way. When the event is over, such as a wedding
or reunion or anniversary, etc., events that can't be re-enacted, and the photos Aunt Mary or Uncle Joe took
are back from Walmart...you've heard of 20/20 hindsight, right? Enough said.

We have had many wonderful rides recently, even before the weather cooled. Last Monday, Columbus Day,
I took my 10 year old granddaughter on the 12 mile ride at Giant City State Park. We rode the trail backwards
in order to arrive at the lodge near lunch time. That chicken sure was good! It's always a little tough to get back
on your horse, with such a full belly, for the final 20 minute ride back to the horse camp. We made it though and
my granddaughter had a great time. It was wonderful to hear her laughing and giggling behind me as we "moved
on" down the trail. Mariah seems to be somewhat of a natural horseperson which of course makes grandma quite
proud.

The day before Giant City, Chester and I rode on the "E-Town Ride", Elizabethtown to Karbers Ridge/High Knob.
Now I'm not sure how many miles the ride is but I do know that we spent about six hours in the saddle - and
that's not counting the 45 minutes or so we spent on the ground for lunch. This is an annual ride, I have been
going on this one for about ten or eleven years. Chester on the other hand, at the ripe old age of 89 years and
9 months, has been on the ride at least twice as many times as I have. This is a beautiful ride, even though this
year we had a very warm day with temps in the 90's. One thing I can always count on concerning this ride, even
though I ride often and put a lot of time in the saddle, on the E-Town ride I will manage to aquire at least one
blister. And I'm not talking about a blister on my heel!

On Saturday, the day before the E-Town Ride, Chester, Mariah and I loaded up our animals and traveled to the
Enfield Mule Days Parade. Chester of course was on his mule, Jake, while Mariah and I rode Fancy and Lady,
our horses. Once again, for about the third year in a row, Chester took first place in the mule judging and came
home with a nice little check for his troubles. It was very warm, no, it was HOT! We did have a good time and
Mariah and Fancy did a great job, even though Mariah was a bit dissappointed the horses were not judged as
well as the mules. Well, after all it was the MULE Days Parade!

October is off to a great start, today is cool and the sun is shining. So why am I sitting here, indoors, typing
on this computer?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Time moves forward...

August in Southern Illinois. WHEW!
If it weren't for my family and some really good friends, I would be all for moving to some higher elevation where the temperature never climbs above 85˚. I said "if". If I had a million dollars I would ...
Oh, well. What does it matter anyway?

The grandkids are back in school and autumn is just around the corner. Another year of annual rides is just about over. We survived the Sikeston Ride yet again. Of course I did put my foot down and refuse to ride the full 26 miles of the first day. Just too darn hot for the horses, and why make myself and my horse miserable? I don't need to prove anything and my horse was much more comfortable in the barn with a full bucket of water and three fans to help keep her cool. So, Chester and I rode from the Williamson County Fairgrounds back to my house, about 3 miles or a little more. That was enough for such a hot day. Several others completed the 26 miles from Marion to Lick Creek School. They were very careful and kind with the horses. The ride leader carried a 250 gallon water tank in his trailer (he and his brother take turns riding and driving the truck and trailer) and about once per hour, or more often if needed, everyone would stop to rest the horses and offer them water. So all made it safely to the school and the end of the first day. The second and third days are a little shorter. Day two is about 17 miles and day three is approximately 18 miles. We all made it safely and the horses did great.

August 18 was another leg of the River to River Ride that several of us from the area are participating in. This ride was from Giant City Park to Fern Cliff State Park, about 22.5 miles. It was a very hot daybut we took our time and took care of our animals. August 25 was the annual Stonefort Reunion Ride, about 15 miles. We saw a little rain on this ride and we had a pretty good breeze going all day. I believe there were about five wagons and teams and maybe 7 or 8 horseback riders. All in all is was a pretty nice ride.

I am so looking forward to cool, crisp weather and the changing leaves, open windows and the smell fo autumn. I am also looking forward to this weekend when two of my friends from Chicago will come for a short visit. Too often we only get to see each other at Sundance and if we are lucky, maybe one other time throughout the year. This year I hope it will be different as I plan to make a couple of trips to Chicago before Christmas. I'm not a "city girl" but I can manage to tough it out for a few days now and then!




Remember, don't take yourself or life too seriously and ALWAYS remember to "Live, Love and Laugh"!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Are We Having Fun Yet???

OH MY GOODNESS!!! It IS HOT!!!

It's summer in Southern IL, hot, humid and getting hotter. I have just returned from the 9 Day Trail Ride, or as it
is to be known from now on, The 9 Day Encampment. Why the change? Ask the Forest Service. Enough said.



While at the "encampment" I once again visited the Story Cemetery. I walked the entire area of the one acre site,
attempting to find (count) graves. Since the only graves with "readable" markers are those of Ephraim and Caroline
STORY, it can be difficult to be certain where the others lie. There are still many, many sandstone markers at the
head and foot of the graves, no print, just rocks. The best I could tell there seems to be at least fifty graves within
the one acre cemetery.



Again, I am asking for anyone with any information about this cemetery or the placement of the marker for Caroline
Williford Story, to please contact me. This has become an obsession and I would really like to find out who knew
Caroline was Cherokee and went so far as to say so on her marker in both English and Cherokee.



Next week I plan to go on the "Sikeston Ride", weather permitting. A group of horseback riders and a few teams and
wagons will leave the Williamson County Fairground Thursday morning for a three day adventure, an annual event.
On Saturday we (hope) plan to arrive in Sikeston, MO at the JC Bootheel Rodeo. It's going to be hot and if we have the typical
weather, it will storm at least one day of the ride. Right now my horses are resting up and eating plenty of salt and
in turn drinking plenty of water in an effort to get ready for three long, hot days. Why would anyone do this, you ask?
I'm not sure about the other riders, my excuse is multi-layered. My riding "buddy" is almost 90 years young and an
inspiration! I go on this ride because he wants to, because he feels like doing this. How could I possibly tell him
I think it's too hot or too long a ride? How could I tell him my knees hurt or I'm too tired to go? So, as of right now the only
thing that will prevent us going is if it's too hot for the horses. It is supposed to be really HOT! Time will tell.

Hope everyone is surviving the summer. Remember to Live, Love and Laugh!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

BACK AT LAST...Well, Sort Of

Oh my goodness!
For some time now I have not posted to my blog. First of all I just wasn't in a very jolly state of mind due to
the health condition of one of my in-laws. I know that to some that might sound as though I'm just looking
for something to be upset about. The rest of the story is that I have become very close to my in-laws and
it became apparent, as the disease progressed, that they needed someone they could depend on any time
they needed something or someone to get them where they needed to be. My husbands sister lives out west
and the other sibling is here but has his hands full already. My husband often must travel to work and often
works different shifts and therefore can't commit to making appointments, etc. I was the logical one to step
forward and do what needed to be done and was happy to do so. I want to help them now while they are still
with us because when they are gone it will be too late. In this situation, there are no "do overs"!

So, in the midst of appointments, sometimes two per week (on different days), grocery shopping, package
delivery, more shopping, preparing a house for sale, and of course trying to run my own business, SMACK!
Our eldest daughter has to be air-lifted out of state for emergency surgery to remove a hemorrhagic mass
from the left side of her brain! That was almost three weeks ago, and it was a day I will never forget. I have
given it some thought, since many people ask me what happened, how the day progressed. The best way
I know to describe the events of that nightmarish day is simply that it was like a long, slow, painful descent
into hell. Without a doubt, even considering the day my Father passed over, it was the absolute worst
day of my life!

The good news is that she is alive, which the doctors say might not have been the case if we had waited one day,
or even a few hours more to bring her in. The mass was not a tumor, it was a vascular malformation and it was
hemorrhaging and had done so previously as the surgeon found old blood stains on the brain tissue. The mass was
about the size of a hens egg, requiring an opening in her skull the size of a silver dollar. Long (very long) story
short, she is recovering, her eyesight is good, her memory is fine, she retained all motor skills and she will now
set off metal detectors when she passes through. Hopefully within the month she will once again be able to drive.

One week and one day after the eldest had her surgery our youngest had to have surgery to correct one ruptured
disc and one bulging disc in her neck. This surgery was at least not an unexpected emergency, it was planned
and I was a little more prepared. Worn out from the week before, but prepared. This daughter's surgery went
without a hitch and after one nights stay following the procedure, I was able to take her home. Like her older sister she will also now set off metal detectors. I spent a couple of days with her, trying to help in whatever way I could,
mostly making sure she didn't do too much too soon.

This past week I was able to return to my own house and to helping my in-laws. I'm still driving the eldest and
her children to ball games, shopping, etc., but my bags are unpacked and have been returned to the closet.
So, what have I learned from all this excitement? For one, I'm tougher than I thought I was. God certainly knows
how to test us, how to remind us who we really are, WHAT we really are and what is really important. I also learned
there are many, many friends, family, neighbors, Sundance family and some who are just acquaintances, who were
ready and willing to pray for my children, my grandchildren and us when we needed them.

To all of you out there who prayed for us, called, emailed, sent food and or flowers, THANK YOU, all of you.
The prayers were heard, they worked, God listens.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin

Sunday, March 25, 2007

SPRING!!!

I really believe that the grass has greened and the daffodils bloomed O_V_E_R_N_I_G_H_T!
My wisteria is about to pop, the redbud trees are ready to open and everything is about
to awaken once again. I have even noticed a couple of beautiful new foals in the neighborhood!
One other, slightly less exciting thing has also occured, the ticks are on the move. I really
dislike those little buggers more than I can express. I have already had two of them attached
to my skin after only one day working in the yard. Such is life. With the good there is also always
something a little less wonderful.

I just experienced another birthday. For some reason they just aren't as exciting as they were
when I was a teenager. I'll choose to keep having them however since celebrating yet another
year is much better than the alternative. Gray hair and wrinkles, no big deal! I have earned them.
(And I must have worked really hard for such a pay-off!)

Springtime is wonderful! The heat is turned off, don't need air conditioning yet and the birds are
so happy to sing all day long. The tree frogs are also very busy little guys, as are the owls, red-
tail hawks and coyotes. The awakening of Mother Earth is so beautiful!

Happy Springtime, Everyone!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Trail of Tears

For those of you who share an interest in the Cherokee People, Cherokee heritage and history, this link is the account of John G. Burnett's Story of the Removal of the Cherokees.

I have at different times talked to some people who believe the story of the Trail of Tears is bogus. There are those who think all the Cherokee People chose to leave their homes in the Mountains of the Blue Mist, Smokey Mountains, to be herded like cattle to Indian Territory in the west. I wish I could send this link to all those folks. Of course there are always doubters, like those who think the Nazi's never did horrible things to the Jews, the white folks here in this country never beat their slaves, etc.
Those stories are in the history books. We DID hear and read about those happenings in school. I bet you never saw John G. Burnett's story in a high school history book! Why is that do you suppose? Your input is welcome...

So please, take the time to click on the link (title, Trail of Tears) above to read Mr. Burnett's story. He was a man of compassion.

It's FEBRUARY!!!



We finally had our first real snow fall of the season. What a strange winter it has been! For the longest time the temperatures stayed quite warm, then it rained, and rained. Then it rained some more, enough rain! We've had way too much wind, especially with the soggy ground which means many trees have been uprooted and many limbs are found in and along side the roadways. But the snow was pretty, didn't last long due to the temperature bouncing back up into the upper 40's and 50's within a day or two. Now we've had more rain and another slight cooldown. Of course all this fun means that most everyone has, or has had, some sort of sinus/head cold, bronchitis, etc. for months now. Everytime I begin to believe my head is about to clear up the weather makes a drastic change and wouldn't you know it, I'm right back where I was a week ago! I am so ready for SPRING!



I haven't been on a horse since mid December. Everytime I think I will have the time to ride the weather decides not to permit it happening. When we do have the occasional warm, dry day, everyone needs something from me. So I imagine that by the time I do get in the saddle again it will be like starting all over. You know, saddle sores, stiff, sore muscles, etc., but it is always worth it. I can almost smell that clean, fresh Spring air now...
And, until it really is warm and sunny and the buds and blooms start to pop, keep your head up and remember to "LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH"!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

No Wonder He Didn't See His Shadow!

Hey folks, the groundhog didn't see his shadow!
NEWSFLASH: It was cloudy and drop-dead cold!!! I wouldn't stick my head out of my nice, warm burrow either if I
were a groundhog!
Oh well, like groundhogs can predict the weather anyway.

I can't believe it's already February. The last several weeks have kind of been a blur for me, and I'm sure several other family
members feel the same way. Some of our family has recently moved into assisted living, a really nice home but what a major
life change! There was the search for the "right place", then the weeks of preparing for the move - packing, etc. Then the
physical move, which I have learned can go on for weeks also. Articles are moved from the house to the home, then some
have to be taken back to the house or given away because there isn't enough room for everything at the home. Then there are
other items that were forgotten or overlooked and now need to be packed and moved, then probably "re-moved", again. Once
everyone is settled in it will be time to get the house cleared out, cleaned up and put up for sale. I'm thinking that maybe, if we're lucky, about this time next year our lives will return to some type of normalcy.

It has been so cold lately that I haven't had the inspiration to ride a horse in weeks, well actually I guess we could say months now. I haven't ridden since December and that's just not normal for me. I am so ready for Spring and warm weather, flowers and horseback riding!!! My "girls" (horses) are really looking shaggy and somewhat neglected. They get fed mid morning and turned out for the day. In the evening I clean their stalls, feed and water them and put them up for the night. By the time I'm finished getting them in their stalls my hands and toes are so cold they feel like they would shatter if I bumped them on anything! I just can't quite wrap my fingers around a curry comb long enough to do any sort of justice to their manes and tails right now.

Oh well, such is life. I guess warm sunny weather year round would get boreing, but I believe I could learn to live with it.
So, when I warm up enough that I don't have to worry about my face cracking apart, I'll have to remind myself to -
LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH!!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

RAIN, RAIN, RAIN...

Will the rain ever stop? Here in Southern IL we ended 2006 at 50+ inches of rain ABOVE normal! I always thought I might like to someday visit Ireland, where they say it rains every day, but why bother? I have rain here, almost every day and I don't have to risk the airplane ride to experience it. I don't do airplanes. I like my feet to be firmly on Mother Earth at all times, even if it is by extension of my horses hooves.

My pasture looks like a lake, my back yard looks like a lake and even the goose (McGoose) decided she'd had enough water today and went in the hen house! When it's too wet for McGoose you know we've had way too much rain. My husband had planned to hunt this weekend as it was going to be his last chance to deer hunt until next fall, but he decided to stay dry instead. Of course it could always be worse, right? I understand in St. Louis they are under an Ice Storm WARNING. The weather man says it's going to get cold next week, so I guess we'll have winter after all. Oh Joy! Can't wait! Haven't ridden a horse in weeks and I'm going to get way out of shape!!!

What a week this past one has been. On Monday I took my father-in-laws puppy to the vet to be spade, that was in the morning. Then in the afternoon I drove back to the vet's office (about a 40 min. drive) to pick her up. On Tuesday I got up, really early, to take my daughter to MO for carpal tunnel surgery on her hand. Thank goodness everything went well and she is healing as she should be. Then on Wednesday I took both my mother-in-law and father-in-law for doctors appointments, which took all afternoon. I felt like a bird out of a cage on Thursday! Friday means a trip to town and then, finally I managed to get some work done in the office. Time to get all the tax stuff ready to go, what fun!

Tomorrow the weather man says, "More rain", can't wait. Oh well, when it rains I get a lot accomplished in the house. As they say, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!". Yeah! PUCKER POWER!!!
Just gotta LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

2007

Happy New Year!

In about, oh, two or three weeks I will adjust to 2007 in print, my print that is. All of my checks for the next couple of weeks will be messy due to the scratching out of 2006 and correcting with 2007. I know a lot of us do that, with every new year, but I really wish that just this once I could get it right from the very first opportunity.

Change. Do we learn to adapt better as we grow older or does it become more difficult? The older we get the more practice we've had, right? Does "practice make perfect"? Apparently not in my case! I think I'm a little more patient now that I'm a little older, or maybe it's not patience but rather just the slower reflexes. Takes me a lot longer to respond, or to even realize a response is on it's way. Maybe that's a good thing...

So we've started another new year. Because my horses and cats are registered, they are all considered a year older as of January 1. It won't be too long before I (hopefully) will see another birthday roll around. I tried to stop having birthdays at the age of 35 but my family and friends just wouldn't go for that. One of my oldest and dearest friends gets a big kick out the fact that I reach that "another year older" mark about seven months before she does. Sure, it's funny now, but when I turned 16 and could drive while she had another seven months to be "hauled around", it wasn't so funny! My how things change! My kids are getting older too, doesn't seem possible they could both be over 30 now.

Regardless of age, mine or someone else's, patience, reflexes, or lack of, it's time to start a new year. Life does go on and I still believe it's best not to take ourselves or this life too seriously. So, please take the time to just kick back, relax, take a deep cleansing breath and always remember to LIVE, LOVE, and LAUGH!!!

My Cherokee Grandmother

My Cherokee Grandmother
Selva COX/Opal Nokomis SMITH Nolen

Enjoying the Ride

Enjoying the Ride
October 31, 2008

Daddy Cat, Jr.

Daddy Cat, Jr.
"You're blocking my light!"

Chester

Chester
Chester & Princess Out For a Ride