Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ah, those dog days of summer...

We went on lots of vacations when I was a child - but we stayed home a lot, too. Both were lots of fun. My sister and I spent endless hours playing in the yard, swimming, splashing in the irrigation (which used to be crystal clear!), romping with our dog, and pulling weeds.

Yes. Pulling weeds. Mom used to pay us by the weed until we found really tiny weeds and presented an armful to her. I remember seeing my fortune evaporate before my very eyes...

This year, my daughter and her family are traveling. Of course I have been keeping them in prayer as they romp across the country in "The Van of Closeness". I started doing a little mental math (scary thought, huh!) and realized that my daughter and her husband are about the age my parents were when we gallivanted all over the place and my oldest granddaughter is the age I was. Whoa!

Well, I still have a few summer events this year to revive memories of the past... Dogs and weeds.

I have the traveler's Greyhounds visiting me. I'm not quite sure what they think of my giant sheep weed.

Are we keeping you awake, Gotcha?

Don't worry, Cookie - Glory has got your back!

Looks like Lova has headed to the open ground.

Hmmmm.... Wonder how much Mom would have paid me to pull those weeds.

Happy summer dreams!

The idea for this blog post came from my fun blogging group - Blogging Business Artisans:

July- Sarah -- Magnolia Surprise -- Vacation Time! We are into vacation season in July -- create something that brings back a favorite vacation memory, something that represents a place you've visited or one you'd like to visit, colors or scents associated with a special place, or perhaps something funny that happened on a vacation. Make it fun!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ahhhhh! The quiet country life...

One thing for sure about living in the country - you can make your plans, but you had better accept the fact that they are subject to change at any given moment. Take today for example. I, like many of my neighbors, got up fed our critters, and then drove off to church. After a blessed time of worship, fellowship, and visiting, some drove to town and some drove home.

Well, and some of us tried to drive home only to find that our plans for the day had changed.

 My, my. That is a lot of water. It occurred to me that my pastor had mentioned that they got 3 inches of rain last night in Ashfork. Oh. Add a few hours, and voila. We have the runoff.  So, after texting a few friends and visiting with several people who dropped by the wash (including a funny guy from California who laughed about our Stupid Motorist law), I headed to Chino Valley to visit my sister. We had a nice visit and some lunch.

You may have noticed that is a LOT of water there... water that is not going to dry up quickly...

So, I started calling people to see if they were, as we say, "inside" or "outside". Just about everyone I knew was "outside" except one friend who knew a "dry way" to the "inside". Aha!

Following his directions (incorrectly) I found the road blocked. Nice. (no photo - I was busy turning the truck around.)

So, I went back to look at the wash - yeah, that's what we do around here - and visited some more.

We decided to move our visiting around the corner to a house on the edge of the wash. This is what their backyard looked like today.

 Nice and cool with the breeze coming off the water. They plan to move their garden to a new location... Their compost has already moved.

Then my neighbor called. They figured out the other way "inside" and were almost home. Yay! So our other neighbors and I decided to vacate this...

 ...and head for the dry back road.

I had to totally laugh! We were cracking up about this... No kidding - in all this rain, this is what greeted our eyes just past the first gate as we started down the winding backside dirt road.


My neighbors sent their granddaughter on a quad to guide us through the maze of twists and turns. I had been on this road a long time ago... lol - street signs might help me. Or a map. I had neither. Well, there were a few street signs. Even one I remembered from my ages ago travels.

Dry road, a little mud, some decent ruts, but both my truck and the following car made it safely home. Our Quad Guide made it safely home, too - but totally drenched... it poured rain on us part of the way home. Doh! I owe her some pizza!  (No photos either - I was busy yakking with my neighbor and bouncing over the deep ruts while her hubby followed me in their car.)

Home Sweet Home... with more rain in the forecast.

In spite of the inconvenience, many of us stopped today and took time to thank the Lord for the rain - and for the ability to get home. Our normally quiet roads are full of traffic now as people go to see how the wash looks, stand and visit for awhile, and then head home until the next "wash check". Some people will travel in and out the back road as long as it stays dry, and some people will just "hunker down" until the wash dries up and those roads get cleaned up.

It's all just a part of the quiet country life.

Enjoying being "inside",

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."
James 4:13-15

Friday, July 26, 2013

Funtry Friday Flyers, Floods, and Frogs... and Dogs... and...

Well, look what's happening around here! Funtry Friday is Full of Fantastic Fun this week! We have Flyers - the baby swallows have hatched.

Aren't they cute? Their nests really fascinate me, too - love the extra outside feather on this one.

Well, we really don't have Floods... but rain, puddles, water, wet... none of them started with "F". See, I kind of have this "F" theme this week.  Kind of...

We did have a nice lake... which doesn't start with "F" either.

The horses found a dry place to huddle.

Either that, or they are waiting for me to get out there and feed them. Sorry guys - I'm going to wait until this rain gets to the drizzle stage.

One thing I love about the rain is that it brings out all our little Frogs and toads. I can hear them "singing" at night. Of course, I don't have any pictures of the frogs... but I do have one of the visiting Greyhounds. Yeah, I know - "dog" does not start with "F". Maybe it's time to give up this whole theme thing!

Glory and Gotcha have been having fun visiting with Lova and Cookie - racing around, eating snacks and goodies, sleeping, eating snacks and goodies, having breakfast, eating snacks and goodies, napping, eating snacks and goodies, having supper, eating snacks and goodies... If they ever slow down, maybe I can get a better picture of them. When all four dogs stretch out and nap, it is wall to wall dogs in here. Fun!

Well, since I am no longer having an "F" theme for this Funtry Friday blog post, how about another sunset photograph. Around here, I spell them "awesome" as we have some spectacular colors in our sunsets and sunrises.

This was the view to the south of me one evening recently. Sometimes there will be gorgeous colorful clouds all the way around us. God sure paints a magnificent sky!

Well, hope you had a good Funtry Friday in your neck of the woods. Thanks for dropping by and strolling around with me today!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Been praying for rain? I have.

So our monsoon rains have finally arrived... Praise the Lord!

Pretty much every afternoon, too.

After the showers yesterday, I got all the critters bedded down and climbed into bed. Then distant thunder started. I have prayed for rain, but not for scary storms. Then lightening... silence as I count (yes, I know - but my Mom always counted). Boom. When I only got to three, I stopped counting.

And, no, there are no pictures to show you why...

It is really hard to take a picture of four scaredy-cat dogs when one of them has you pinned and is giving you a cardiac massage. Fortunately, said dog was one of my 35 pounders... not one of our visiting Greyhounds. (Yes, I promise pictures of them - but on another day.)

Said dog, whose name begins with "C" and ends with "ookie", vacated my bed to parts unknown. Amazing how a room can be wall to wall dogs until they find invisible hiding places when they hear thunder.

The storm passed. "Ah", with relief, I think to myself, "now for some sleep." Right (four syllables, please).

Around 1:30 am, I was roused by a cold nose reminding me that I do not have a doggie door. A second cold nose propelled me to action. Fortunately, it was not pouring rain and all four dogs were propelled to action as well.

And, fortunately, once inside they all went back to sleep. By the way, I am one of those blessed people who can fall asleep easily - I simply recite Scripture verses that I have memorized. Peace and comfort = peaceful and comfortable sleep. I, too, went promptly back to sleep.

However, there is still that alarm to wake me up.

It was kind of wet out there and still raining, too - but just a little gentle drizzle. I had to change my shoes before church. Nice mud. Did you know you can walk on tumbleweed and keep about a third of the mud off of you?
And there was a promise of more rain, too.
But this day started the way many days start and end here. It started with glorious color spread as far as I could see.
It was a beautiful sunrise to remind me of Jesus Christ - and His Son-rise in my heart. A jump start to gratefulness for answered prayers for rain and for seeing us safely through the storm. And a reminder, as well, of the many ways that the Lord blesses me every day!
Thanking the Lord with a grateful heart,

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Friday, July 19, 2013

Funtry Friday Outtakes

Well, here is the first photo you won't see today...


Yep. Not there. But here is the conversation I had with myself while I wasn't taking this picture.

"What is that? Is that a jackrabbit? Those are enormous ears... what? wait? Oh my! That's no jackrabbit that's a young deer... bounding towards the road... Yikes! Oh... *thinks about camera* Wow! I wonder if... yep - that baby just cleared the fence on this side of the road! Whoa! They sure are fast!"

Yeah. Driving down the road at 65 miles per hour I'm not going to start fishing in The Bag for the camera. LOL - With as fast as that baby was moving, even if I had pulled over I doubt I would have gotten the camera out and focused before that little deer was out of site.

These were easier to photograph. They didn't try to jump the fence.

I love sunflowers! They always make me smile.

So do guineas...

Happy Morning to you all! haha - looks like the audience is sleeping in today.  Give them a while and they will be out and about all over the neighborhood!  Here they are across the road munching away in the open field.

Speaking of birds...

Yeah... I wondered where the other pair of Swallows decided to build their nest. Ahem. Persistent little critters, to say the least!

Well, there you have it. The out and about outside news for this Funtry Friday! To top the day off, I will leave you with another glorious country sunset.

Happy Funtry Friday!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stuff and such...

So much stuff has happened here lately... and such a lot of it is really hard.

The memorial for the 19 fallen Hotshot firefighters has grown.

Ironically this street is named Easy Street.

It has rained, hailed, been windy, dried up, been sunny, and rained some more. People keep coming and fixing the fallen, catch the drifting, cover the fading, and add a little bit of themselves.

The memorial turns a corner. And so do the lives of those affected by the Yarnell Hill fire. Families begin to put the pieces back together. Samaritans Purse is here with a disaster team to help the Yarnell families. Some will be able to clean up and go home. Some will sift through the debris and decide what turn to take next.

The memorial takes another turn and rides the fence behind the buildings. In spite of the narrow passage and slippery gravel, people walk all the way back to the end. And all the way back to the end new things appear, someone replaces something, another clip is added to keep a t-shirt on the fence.

Touches from all over the world as stuff is left to remind the families that someone was here and someone cared. Volunteers help those who have lost their homes. Others reach out to #20.

People being His hands and feet to a hurting world...

And that's the real stuff of Life.

Blessed to be a blessing. Don't wait for the disaster to bless someone - do it now!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Funtry Friday Craziness!

Yay! Our rains have finally arrived! Of course, so has the humidity and the flies. Flies, and more flies! Ugh!  This is just exactly what Hershey thinks about all the crazy flies.

That's probably what he thinks about having to wear his fly mask all the time, too.

And, did you hear about the crazy egg cooking frenzy I had? Yep! I cooked 5 1/2 dozen (that's 66 eggs) for our art guild brunch. We won't talk about the batch I burned... the chickens ate the incriminating evidence.

A random stroll through our mall (yes, we have one - just one!) surprised me with a fun kind of crazy - crazy quilts!

This local group donates a lot of their items, too - how neat is that?!

My Funtry Friday ended with another splash of craziness. I dragged the hose over to fill up Hershey's water. While the water is rising to the top, I see some movement. My mind says, "no, you are not seeing what you think you are seeing."

My mind lies. 

This crawled out of the water barrel, and perched on the side.  Excuse me?

So I did what any red-blooded-blogger would do. I ran to the house to grab my camera (because I had not taken my own blogging advice) and when I returned I was delighted to see that this arachnid was still posing - with sparkly water drops glistening.

But I am still clueless about why this hairy little dude crawled all the way up the side and into the water barrel. Who knows the mind of a tarantula...?

Crazy. Sometimes it's just a little crazier around here! Especially on Funtry Friday.

*wanders off to listen to the frogs sing*


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The day after...

I found myself visiting my Etsy blogging group - The Blogging Business Artisans - and leaving a long and rambling message in our ongoing chat thread. I realized that I had just written a (sort of) blog post right there...

So, with not much flourish and no links, no double checks to find out the actual numbers, and no searches for extra information, here are my thoughts about yesterday.

As for me out here... This is what was happening in my corner of the world.

The Memorial for the Prescott 19 was yesterday. It was a very moving service with people from all over the world coming to honor both those who died and #20.

#20 - the surviving Hotshot Firefighter - read the Hotshot Prayer at the Memorial. He got a standing ovation from the 6000 inside the Tim's Toyota arena - and a standing ovation from the upwards of 20,000 folks outside.

Some weird people who yell at funerals did show up. (BTW some of them call themselves Baptist, but they are NOT members of any national Baptist organizations or churches - they just dunk (given their policies I dislike to apply the term "baptize") people.) I will say that when 5 of them stand on a corner and yell across the street to where there are around 30,000 people (estimates went that high) they look ridiculous.

Seeing empty parking lots at Costco, Lowes, and other places was eerie. Firefighters came up from Phoenix to take over the Prescott station so that those folks could go to the memorial. Lowes did the same thing and I bet there were a lot of other businesses that did, too.

I survived cooking 5 1/2 dozen eggs for our art guild brunch fundraiser, but we all left earlier than usual. Most folks wanted to either go sit outside in the 100F+ temps to support the firefighters at Tim's, or go to watch the event at other areas, or listen to the radio (what I did). And, btw - the other ladies helping with the brunch did way more than I did - lol - cooking is not my forte so I just panicked way more than they did.

The 6000 seats inside Tim's were all reserved for the families, firefighters, first responders, police, dignitaries, etc.

I have never seen the entire Glassford Hill Rd. closed - from one end of Prescott Valley to the other end. I didn't even try to drive by, which is why I saw all the other empty places on my way home.

It was like everything else just stopped.

Remembering and praying,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Everybody can.

"Watching" original drawing
Everybody. You can. I can. Everybody can.

Can what?

Can encourage. Can encourage someone who is discouraged. hurt. disappointed. sad. grieved.

We have all been through "something". Some Things. Some not so fun things... In the middle of the "not so fun things", good things can happen. It takes a lot of hindsight to see the good things sometimes. But once we do get that hindsight, we can share what we know with others.

Even in the toughest of circumstances.

There was one survivor* of the Granite Mountain Hotshots fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. One. Today I found out that a veteran officer has asked to talk to him because, while serving in the Middle East, he was the only survivor of his military action. One speaking to one.

The next time you feel that nudge to say something to someone, give in and do it. I just did. I hope I have encouraged you to know that every experience you have is valuable - to you and to others.



Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies
and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction
so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
*There are no links in this post because the surviving Hotshot has requested to have his privacy. The investigations show that he was doing his job as lookout for the crew exactly as he should have. The changes in weather and fire direction were what caused the deaths of the other firefighters.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Funtry Friday with Thursday Fun

Happy Independence Day!

And what would it be without a parade? And what is a parade without horses?

I strolled - well, drove - over to Camp Verde to enjoy their local parade because I knew a few people who were going to be in the parade. Um... no, I don't know the guys on the horses.  But I do know these people.

It's the Camp Verde Library float!

Their theme was "I geek...." - See - "I geek the USA" and "I geek the freedom to geek". And, of course, you can find out everything you need to know about what you geek at the Library.

I love small towns. Nobody thinks your nuts if you point out your grandchildren in a parade. Mikayla geeks reading, Naomi geeks cooking, and Sophia (behind her big sign) geeks Candyland. Cynthia, behind the herd of geek-ers also geeks reading.

Timothy and Jubilee have their own little stroller float behind the big float. He geeks Greek. In fact he geeks it so much that he teaches it! I'm not sure, but I think Jubilee geeks naps. Or lunch. Or both.

So how did they all end up in the parade? Well, Timothy's mother is the manager of the Camp Verde library. She came up with this cool idea for the float and invited the family to come join the fun. Brilliant idea! Her name is Kathy, too. Her husband, Kent, was the chauffer for the gala event - and I'll stop the list of people at that point because one of us is going to get lost if I try to name all the names.

Needless to say, the kiddos stole the show!

You would think that was the only float in the parade, huh. Nope, there was more to be seen - including this cool vintage truck. I had to post this one for you, Karin =)


There were other floats, too - but not two hours like the Rose Bowl and none of us had to camp out all night for a good seat either. Yay!  We all had a good time, too - chatting and laughing about little town parades and how fun they are.  And we were all heading home before it got too hot to be fun.

There were a few good reminders, too, of what Independence Day is all about.

...and a reminder of the brave firefighters who lost their lives recently.  The flags are at half staff to honor them.

Back in Chino Valley, the Ace Hardware put up a sign.

Yep, that pretty much says it all.

Hope you had a great Independence Day.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day

John Adams' famous letter penned July 3, 1776, in which he wrote to his wife Abigail:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

 A portion of the Declaration of Independence:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in GENERAL CONGRESS assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the rectitude of our intentions, DO, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly PUBLISH and DECLARE, That these United Colonies are, and of Right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Bri tain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that, as FREE and INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. AND for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

AND for the support of this Declaration,
with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,
we mutually pledge to each other
our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure,
that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration,
and support and defend these States.
Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory.
Independence is not free. Independence and Freedom have a cost. A very high cost.
Celebrating Independence Day and remembering their sacrifice.

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