Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This beautiful turkey, in his full glory, is courtesy of Tamara Gooch, AMAZING photographer and person.  Click here: for more of her western horse and wildlife photography.

Dear Lord, here is just a small beginning of a list of things I want to thank You for today: 
  1. Your great Love for us
  2. Jesus
  3. Your Holy Spirit
  4. Your Living Word
  5. Your Salvation
  6. Your mercy and your grace
  7. giving us life and breath and Your Spirit
  8. Your faithfulness
  9. my Dad
  10. my stepmother/spiritual mother
  11. my children
  12. my grandchildren
  13. the perfect spouses for my kids
  14. my half sisters and their kids and spouses
  15. Your salvation and love and light You have given them all
  16. for using my children as vessels of Your glory
  17. allowing me to live long enough to see my kids grow up and to know my grandkids
  18. the good friends you have given me throughout my life
  19. the special friends I still have and their eternal salvations
  20. for the awesome (and weird) bodies You housed us in and the 5 senses You gave us
  21. the beautiful earth You put us on
  22. for the sky; the moon and stars and clouds; the warmth of the sun, and rainbows
  23. hearing and answering all of our prayers
  24. for keeping me and all of my family and friends safe, even through all of our mistakes
  25. giving me my heart's desire: allowing me to have and ride my beautiful horses
  26. giving me dogs, cats, bird, hamsters, bunnies, goats, chickens, horned toads, dragons, and all the domestic and wild animals we have had and touched and seen
  27. trees, flowers, saguaros, pines, and creatures and horses and butterflies
  28. oceans, streams, rivers, waterfalls, ponds, dew, rain, snow, icicles
  29. Your colors and gifts of creative expression
  30. for Your gift of music and dance and gifting my boys with musical talent
  31. my home and barn and car and refrigerator and water
  32. Your provision for our every need
  33. Your days and Your nights and allowing me to see them and feel them
  34. allowing me to have time off of work to enjoy your blessings
  35. the good medical care You have provided me
  36. red dirt, Your canyons, mountains, valleys, meadows, forests, rocks
  37. road trips and allowing us to go on them
  38. all Your treasures on this earth and giving us the joy of discovering them and experiencing them
  39. musical instruments
  40. fire and the smell of wood burning and camp fires
  41. phones, cameras, and all technology
  42. all of your beautiful wild creatures on and in and over the earth and in the waters

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4, 1776 - 2010 Independence Day!

ENJOY the holiday ... the fireworks ...
(The National Archives Building Washington DC)
(Inside the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom)

(Artist: John Trumbull - Commissioned 1817 - Purchased 1819; Placed 1826 in the Rotunda)
REMEMBER our forefathers ...

(Currier and Ives Lithograph - Color Slide - Between 1835 and 1856)
DEFYING tyranny ... STANDING courageously ...

THEY FOUGHT for our RIGHT to LIBERTY!!! (ABOVE) "The Declaration of Independence being fully adopted, John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress took up the pen and signed his name to it in a large bold hand; then rising he said, "There! John Bull can read my name without spectacles, and may double his reward for my head. That is my defiance!"

There is a wonderful pictoral history of the events leading up to July 4, 1776 here: from the Library of Congress

We would do well to look back and remember ... rekindle a desire and a passion to preserve our liberty and actively seek to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT ... while we still can!!!

If we, as citizens of these United States of America, remain mute and faceless ... we are very likely to lose the very freedoms that our forefathers fought so hard to obtain!

We cannot continue to take this precious document, and everything it stands for, for granted anymore! The Declaration of Independence is uniquely OURS ... we need to OWN it and PROTECT it!

Here is a very cool opportunity to literally stand in agreement with our forefathers:
Sign the Declaration of Independence: Choose a pen, add YOUR name and print it out! .
Click here: Visit the National Archives Interactive Signing of the Declaration of Independence

The Fourth of July is a wonderful time to consider our freedom—as Americans and as Christians. Our national freedom is precious, but our freedom in Christ is of infinite worth.

Gratitude without measure wells up in my heart, when I consider the brave men and women of the American military who, this Fourth of July, will be fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to combat the tyranny of terrorism.

These soldiers stand in the train of valiant warriors who fought in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and the first Gulf War. Each of these conflicts—while unique in themselves—shared the common goal of protecting American freedom. Today's battles are no different.

But even as I prize my freedom as an American, I am moved to consider a greater freedom—my freedom in Christ. It is the freedom that comes with being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

"If you abide in My Word," our Lord declares, "you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32).

The saving truth that Jesus speaks of in John 8:32 brings ultimate freedomfreedom from sin and death and the devil; freedom from a life of futility and an eternity of wrath. It is freedom from the tyranny of hate and bitterness and cruelty. It is the freedom to love God and neighbor.

May this "Declaration of Independence" be on my lips and in my heart this Fourth of July!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Travelin' Highway 10 - Day 1

Travelin' East on Hwy 10 ... blue skies ... fair weather!

Absolutely will NOT miss seeing BILLBOARDS everywhere!

This San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm is really quite beautiful. It sits near Palm Springs, atop the San Bernadino Mountains of California. There are more than 4000 of these Wind Turbine Generators, enough to power up all of Palm Springs and all of Coachella Valley! These make smart use of pure, natural, constantly replenishing, and FREE energy resources!
California's wildflowers decorated her dry desert floor.

Click on the pictures to enlarge and enjoy the flowers.
Bright yellow, pale yellow, white, greens, and greys.

Corals, touches of purple and lavender ...

Ocotillo blossoms were like graceful red flames...

First Stop: Chiriaco Summit, CA: Aproximately 1,700 feet elevation. This Post Office (above) is made of cactus skeletons. We made our obligatory tour of the restaurant's gift shop and visited the new "Chiriaco Summit Southwest Travel Information Center." "The center can provide comprehensive travel and tourist information for attractions in the Southwest." Well, maybe it could, but the person working that day, knew absolutely nothing about the Southwest nor traveling ... however, as always, it was a fun ... a kitchy, cool little stop. Gas, food, General Patton Museum, West Coast Viet Nam Veterans' Remembrance Wall.

The Chocolate Mountains ... close to the CA/AZ border. Yee haaw!
Finally ... ARIZONA!!!! We're home!!!! Have you missed us?

Photo Radar Enforcement, day and night, virtually everywhere, especially highways!
Buckle Up.
Pay close attention to Speed Limits.
Seriously ... Arizonians say that police will cut you no slack.
Read this important information: Arizona Driving: click here.

Signs in Quartzsite, AZ are unique - couldn't resist sharing this one.

We enjoyed a short, but sweet, time of fellowship with one of my BFFs. Then we proceeded West to Hwy 60 North.

We made our obligatory stop to pick up some lunch at the Brenda Country Store in Brenda, AZ. Always interesting locals around and a nice place to stretch, take a deep breath of AZ air and look around at the wide open spaces!

Then on to our favorite stop in Salome,AZ, the T Bar B Feed store. (Which, btw, is much more than just a feed store) A must stop, if you are passing through this cute rural little town. Besides feed, grain, tack, horse and pet supplies ... they have some quite nice silver jewelry, unique western gift and decor items ... some locally crafted. Down to earth, good ol' western hospitality, they always make a visitor feel welcome! My g'daughters' favorite attractions are the store kitties, always have a purr and a pet waiting there!
The T Bar B Arena, just North on Hwy 60 @ Hope St, hosts team sortings every Wednesday and the annual T Bar B Rodeo in October.
VERY sad to hear that the powers-that-be are trying to pass ordinances against horses in Salome ... under the guise of protecting the land or some such nonsense.
The truth is that the Mc Mullen Chamber of Commerce is promoting off road vehicle activity in place of equestrian activity. Talk about trashing the environment!!! They advertise: "Quads, Jeeps, Dirt Bikes, Buggies, Trucks - Off Roading at it's best!" Says a lot, doesn't it???!!
Oh my goodness ... the world is all backwards and upside down! Bob Dylan was right ... the times they are a changin' ...!
Bottom line: Locals: speak up and support the horse population in Salome! The rest of us need to see what's left of the old West, while it is still here!

Our next mandatory stop was at Double D Western World in Wickenburg. 24,000 square feet of Western delights. No kidding! Nothing I couldn't live without this time though ... which is a FIRST for me! It is always fun to go and drool, and get decor ideas, at the very least ... the folks there are super nice! A few years ago, I called my neighbor in CA to come out and take a my new couch and chair home for me! AWESOME! Never regretted it, not even for a minute!

We were anxious to see "our" town. But we had traveled quite a few miles and were pretty road-worn by now. We could hear a hot shower, hearty dinner and soft beds somewhere calling our names!
So, we headed straight to our usual resting stop at the Best Western Rancho Grande in Wickenburg; figured we would walk to dinner from there. Well, guess we had forgotten that we can make all the plans we want, but only God can direct our steps. Next time, we need to let Him confirm our itinerary before we go. Duh ....
"Bad" news: a very unusual and unpleasant experience with a very unpleasant clerk. Evidently, the rooms range from wonderful to ... well ... unacceptable. This clerk placed us in an outer wing of the motel in a dark corner room that was not, at all, acceptable. I have since read a few other negative reviews, thus ... our best advice: always check out your room before taking it, no matter how tired you are!

Disclaimer: The accomodations and staff have been great in the past. They are kid and pet friendly, even provide a couple of surprises for your pets! Located right in downtown Wickenburg; it is only a short walk to almost everything. As for special needs, ask for a ground floor. The ramps are quite steep and long for anyone with mobility issues.
Good news: the Lord led us to a an even more excellent new discovery!

The Wickenburg Inn (above); a delightful little hotel ... just a hop and a skip from town. Merv Griffin used to own it; it was then a fancy dude ranch on the West end of town. Our concierge told us that it was sold after Merv died and the same company aquired and renovated this hotel. Very nicely done!
Complimentary breakfasts are cooked up personally by a local gourmet chef! Beat that! Room service will deliver fresh meals to you right from the Cafe Azure in Wickenburg. The hotel is child and pet friendly and has a nice pool, spa, horse facilities, horseback riding in the Hassayampa River Preserve available from there. Clean room, comfy cozy beds, great shower, free wi-fi and high speed internet, nicely appointed.

Seeing double? Twins are SO much fun! Even more so with mirrors!

We drove into town for a hearty Mexican dinner at El Ranchero Restaurant: the hosts were quite friendly, but the food was not as much to our taste as our favorite:
Anita's Cocina (pictured below) in downtown Wickenburg. time ... back to Anita's!
Watched the sunset from our hotel window, as turkey vultures soared on the cool evening air currents. Beautiful ... relaxing ... ahhhhhh ... thank You Lord, for bringing us here ...
We have had a long day and are ready to snuggle in for the night.
More about our Wickenburg adventures soon!
Sayonara ... zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It started with 13 donuts and 3 smiles ....


Blue skies, wildflowers, and the open road ....

Our new friend, Ol' Joe....

Elevation 5000 feet!

Getting close to Navajo Country ... yipee!

See you on down the trail ...

Many more Arizona adventures to come!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

On the Road Again...!

In a few hours (very few), I will finish packing the Equinox ... my grandaughters will arrive ... we will arrange our gear, kiss mama (and Menifee) "GOOD Bye," hop into the car, buckle up, start the engine and pop in our favorite CD for road travel......

"Get your kicks on Route 66!" will blast loudly from the radio... and, with many excited giggles and a few "Woo Hoo's," we will head OUTTA HERE!!!!


First stop: Yum Yum Donuts on the Cali side: for some seriously delicious extreme chocolate bars!!!! That is what I am talkin' about! Oh yeah!!!

We'll check in with ya'll, every now and then.

Be good, be careful, and be here when we get back, ya' hear??


Sunday, April 4, 2010


The tomb is empty!!!!

... the very reason we live and move and have our being!!!

HIS Love for us is beyond our human comprehension.

May we remember how much Jesus suffered for us ... for the JOY that was set before Him!
That joy was ME and YOU!!!

Whoa!!! HALLELUJAH! And a heartfelt YEE HAW!!!

Click here for more ... get to go break bread with my family in a few minutes!

Bless GOD and thank HIM today and every day!!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines' Day!!

HAPPY ♥ Valentines' Day Everyone!

The GREATEST Valentine that I ever received: John 3:16

"For God SO loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him should NOT perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE."

Valentines' Day Challenge: Read 1 Corinthians 13 ... BUT ... read YOUR name everywhere the word "LOVE" appears ....

How did that work out for ya? Yah ... me neither ...

NOW, reread it with the name of Jesus ... ... AWESOME!!!!

Tell everyone you love, that you do love them today!!!!