Saturday, June 30, 2007

"The Photoshoot"

"Don't ask."

"Interestin'..." (She was being a punk.)

"...And then there's my horse."

"Just a Short Ride - No, Really, I Promise!"

MAGNUM - Arabian Gelding"Magnum Loves his Girl."


"All Eyes."

DAKOTA - Quarter Horse Gelding
"The Horse and his Girl."

"Pose - no, not like that! Just stop!"


FORD NOBLE - Mustang Gelding
"Just Cute."

"Black and White Satin."


"Truly Noble."


"A Study in Contrast."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Old Pictures I Found

Monday, June 04, 2007

Four-Mile Farm

“Chris! Here he comes! Ready – Grab him! Left, left... no, your other left!”
I pitched around on the deck, first right, then left, trying to catch the sorry little piece of fuzz they call a goat kid. As it dodged my hands and escaped my grip, my 14-year-old cousin was doubled over with laughter. This was entertainment! Not often did his “city-slicker” teen cousin come for a visit, and watching her slip around on the wet deck, especially doing something he would otherwise have to do, was great.

I would like to be a fritter-head and go off onto another tangent to tell you that I do not live in a city, nor do I take after the ways of a... city-slicker, as they get way too much fun out of calling me. In fact, we (rather, my grandparents) have our own 90 acres where my horse (along with a five or six other horses) abides, and a few mangy looking cows. We even have an orchard and a large garden, where the handful of skinny little chickens who haven't been eaten by the coyotes like to root up the vegetables and eat them for breakfast (unbeknownst to us).

The goat on the deck looked rather like a chocolate-dipped vanilla ice-cream cone, minus the cone and plus four legs. Actually, they called it a Boer Goat, and it really is cute, when it's not hungry. However, when it is, it turns piranha, and it's a terrible thing to behold. Thankfully, goats never grow top teeth, except at the back of their mouths, so you don't have to worry about learning to function with three less fingers any time in the near future.
Anyway, I finally managed to get the kid (the goat kid, not Chris) to settle down long enough to shove the bottle into his mouth, and soon, he was sucking along quite jovially. Needless to say, I was ready for a nap at 7:30am.

As I write this, I've only been here one day, and though I've been here many times before, each time there's one more adventure I've not yet had. Such as playing baseball with three people, not counting the fact that two of us can't bat worth talking about and only one of us can pitch worth mentioning. More on that later.

My cousins are curiously early risers. Perhaps it's because they're trying to get started early on a good habit, or I suppose it could have something to do with the fact that the cartoons they watch every morning air at 6 o'clock AM. In any case, I'm usually up before I like to be, and they are always rarin' to go before I am. For me, I have a tendency to be a bit like one of those mummies they talk about in the ancient Egyptian times, minus the white wrappings, plus the frizzled hair and two black eyes.
The normal day starts out with them completing their chores while I emerge from my mummy-stage, then us going out to have a good game of “Whatever-we-can-think-of”. You've probably heard of it.

The first morning, it was sword-fighting with those evil narrow poles you can cut by yourself from the many trees that surrounded their house. This was no regular sword fight. It was defined by the fact that there were no rules, that it was every man for himself, that you could stop the game at any time, even if your excuse was because your nose was itching.

Chris's eleven-year-old sister Erinn is very different from Chris. If she'd been out there with the goat kids that horrid morning that I went slipping around like a moron trying to catch a goat kid, she would have helped, instead of laughing herself helpless.
Just now, Erinn was yelling for me to move over because Chris was about to land a good one on my leg. Ouch. I didn't move fast enough.
I howled and overreacted, grabbing my leg and hopping around like a personless pogo-stick. Chris got a big kick out of my act and decided to hit me again, but I was ahead of him this time. I did one of those cool-looking twirls that you see awesome ninjas do sometimes and landed a hard thwack on his shield.
After the sword fight, during which there were no casualties, surprisingly, we headed inside for some school. After fifteen minutes of working on Science, I would rather have gone to get a root canal with no medication. I hate Science, Biology, whatever. The only fun part in school is spelling. Then I get words like dephlagisticate and absquatulate and others along that line.

Lunch next. That's usually uneventful: no food fights yet.

Ah, yes. Now for baseball! Forget rules. Who needs those, anyway? We used a bat that couldn't really be called a bat unless you had a really vivid imagination, a dead mitt, and a few little league baseballs.
As pitcher, I was constantly being lectured on how the goal was not to kill the batter, that I needed to throw more to my left, and no, not that far left! Throw lower!
Chris eventually became designated batter and I designated pitcher, as we both spent probably a good twenty minutes each on getting good at them. When we finally did switch, I ended up hitting the ball on accident and having it fly up in the air, and as I wondered where it had gone, it came down on my head.. That hurt. And Chris thought it was hilarious. I think my pride was injured worse than my head, though a slight bump was growing up there. Erinn simply stood behind whoever was unlucky enough to be the pitcher at the moment and caught any balls that the batter actually managed to hit.

On the second day, it was almost identical to the first, so I don't even have to tell you about that one, except that we played Nintendo 64. (When was the last time anyone play N 64?! That thing's old.) We bickered over what to play for a while, then decided on Bomberman. Raise your hand if you've heard of that, because I can assure you, not many people have.

The third day, we planted vegetables in their 2000 square foot garden (not really, but it felt like it) and dressed up Erinn's horse, Grand. We took her out to the roadside, where there was a lot of grass, and while she grazed, Erinn and I braided flowers into our hair. That was peaceful, until Chris came along and tried to ambush us. I saw him ahead of time.
“Your dwarf breathes so loud I could shoot him in the dark.” I hollered, faking an English accent and quoting from the Lord of the Rings.
He frowned and as his blonde head appeared over the rise, he called back, “What? I was just taking a walk.”

The last day there was pretty uneventful. We had clean-up in the morning, which usually results in listening to the Quebe Sisters Band and dancing with the broom. But hey! We had fun, and that's what matters, right? You can't let life pass you by. Dance with the broom. Have at it.
I got my violin out and Erinn and I played a duet with her on the piano. That was great. Then we played Heart & Soul, as I played the low part and she played the high part, occasionally switching out. I love that song! Smile
Anyway, my time at Four Mile Farm was great, and I can't wait to go back. (I'm still sore.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

MODESTY: A Matter of the Heart

As a writer, I always find it of utmost importance as to the way an article is started. However, I couldn’t discover a nifty way to start this particular subject, so I’m going to jump right in there.

Modesty is a matter of the heart. When you dress modestly, are meek and quiet on the outside, but on the inside, your heart is black with resentment or hate, the modesty is a put-on act, and avails to nothing.

If you’re like me, you hate reading really long articles that drag on and on about everything in general and nothing at all, so I’ll make this short and to the point.

The way you look at life is colored by how right you are with God. Modesty is colored by what’s in your heart, and what’s in your heart is colored by how right or wrong you are with God. It’s all one large circle – circular logic, as my uncle calls it. It just goes around and around, and if one thing is out of place or wrong, the rest crashes to an end very quickly.

You can be a girl in a skirt and be just as worldly as the girl next to you wearing spray-painted-on jeans that look like they’ve been rolled in the dirt once or twice before put on the sales rack and a too-revealing shirt. You can be just as foolish and dress just as loudly as that girl. You can be just as loud and attention-demanding as can that girl. And worst of all, you can be just as wrong with God as she could be.

What I’m emphasizing here is: It doesn’t matter what you wear if your heart isn’t in tune with God’s call and plan for your life.

Guarding the heart. What’s that mean? You hear it all the time and I’m sure you’ve read articles on it. I’ll boil it down to three things that we don’t do in our family so as to guard the heart: 1) we don’t date, 2) we don’t dress to attract attention and 3) keep every thought captive! That’s a bit ambiguous, so I’ll say it like this: Control your thoughts. It IS possible with God’s help! Really, if you think about it, you can stop yourself from singing that dreaded song, “This is the song that never ends-” or from singing “There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,” etc. But do you control those thoughts of the cute boy in class next to you? No! You say, “Why should I? It’s not like thinking of him is going to get me in trouble with him or anything.” And I say, “YES IT DOES. Basically, what you think about now is what you think about after you’re married. If you spend time fantasizing about cute guys you see, will you be loyal to your husband?”

“…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7 NKJV

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Summer Evenings

“Summer time… and the livin’ is easy….”
That is, unless you live in Texas . Somehow, I have a feeling that the person who originally wrote that lived in a Nothern state. :-)

Summer… that time when it’s smart to duct tape the screen door because the flies are pouring in like crazy. But it’s also the time of year when we females are quite happy to sit down at supper time and enjoy being with our family. We’re grateful to be able to rest! (That is, until someone asks you to pass the ketchup and you realize that there’s none on the table so you have to climb that Mt. Sinai stack of groceries in front of the pantry in order to get IN so you can come OUT with that darned bottle of ketchup!) :-)

We sweat all day in a hot kitchen, work outside in the garden, and by 6 o’clock pm , we look like we live in Egypt during the pyramid building era. In other words, sloppy. Our hair is falling down and we probably stink to high Heaven. But hey! We’re happy because we’re sitting down – the family is happy because we made supper – and we’re all one big sweaty, stinky family!
Hmm… Isn’t there something wrong with that picture? Aren’t we, as the women of the house, supposed to be clean and neat and ordlerly and all that stuff?

Now don’t recoil in horror, y’all. Come back. I’m simply suggesting that we clean ourselves up BEFORE supper, not BEFORE bed. Perhaps the whole mentality of your family will change, just because you decided to make yourself look good for them! Doesn’t THAT make them feel good? That they’re actually important enough to you that you want to look nice?

I said come back, please. Sit down, please. READ. (Please.) It’s just my two cents. You don’t HAVE to follow my really good advice. :-)

Perhaps it’s best if you change your outfit in the evenings – after all that work in the garden or whatever you do before supper, it may be stained. Re-apply your makeup. Fix your hair. For me, I just throw it up in a ponytail out of the way – but even re-doing my ponytail makes me feel more cheerful and ready to conquer… supper. Or something.
Try this! See if it works. For one thing, I’ve found that I’m more inclined to be happy and respond to others joyfully and cheerfully.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Working with George