Thursday, February 26, 2009

SkyWatch Friday- SF Skyline

San Franicisco looking East toward Oakland. The tall building on the left is the Hyatt Union Square and the green Nike sign in the forefront faces Union Square.

Sunrise in San Francisco. Absolutely Beautiful!

It's Friday!!! And that means another SkyWatch! This is the view from the window of my room at The Drake Hotel in San Francisco. I was so blessed to get away for a few days after Christmas, although it seems like forever ago now! Did a lot of tourist stuff but my fave was the just being on the streets of San Francisco (hmmm??? sounds familiar. heheheh) at night with everyone else. There were full bands playing on the street corners and a puppet show/ balloon maker handing out balloons at 10 PM! It is crazy and I loved every minute of it! What I think is so great is that I can feed my horses on my rural hill in the morning when it's perfectly quiet except for the howl of coyotes and the cry of a hawk, then jump in my car and at lunchtime be standing on the corner of Market and Broadway in SF with hundreds of people, cars, buses, cable cars, taxis, restaurants, theatres, and all that makes SF so great! It's a grat place to visit. (Glad I don't live there!)
Another fave was finally getting to the Ferry Building. If you love to cook- you have to go there!!! It is like a Foodie's Disneyland! Hope you enjoy- to see more SkyWatch Friday from around the globe, click here.

Street band at Union Square. The guy in front is the bass player/ PR guy. He was trying to get the girls to dance with him.

Puppeteer / Balloon Maker. shes making Elmo Balloons! See the little kids in the chairs in front? It was 10 PM! At that age my kids were in bed!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Watery Wednesday

I have been complaining about all the rain we've had lately but one very nice benefit to all the rain is that our "seasonal" streams get going. I live in a very dry area. For nine or ten months out of the year it can look like the face of mars: hot, dry and brown. For a few months out of the year, like now in the wettest part of winter, it is as green here as Ireland. Creeks, streams and waterfalls run, trickle and fall from nearly every crevice. It's very beautiful and that's what inspired my Watery Wednesday photo this week. This is a small waterfall I found near my house. I played with the settings on my camera until I got a clear background and a wispy waterfall. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. For more Watery Wednesday photos, click here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Camera Critters- The Princess Sugar in Snow

Saturday I got to spend the day with my two favorite people, my son Raymond and the Princess Sugar. (SShhhh...Sugar has no idea she's not people so let's keep that to ourselves). I had to go to Mi Wuk Village and I asked the two to ride along. Raymond was willing and Sugar jumped right in the truck. It hasn't snowed in a few days and there was no threat of it that day so I was feeling pretty good about driving that high in elevation (approx. 4500 ft. elev.). Just to set things straight I don't drive in snow and if you see me driving in snow get out of the way 'cause I have no idea what I'm doing! I'm third generation Californian so I've never lived in snow or driven in snow and frankly, I don't even like to play in snow. Neither does the Princess Sugar, but she did get out of the truck long enough to pose for this photo in a snow bank in Mi Wuk Village, California. For more Camera Critters click here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Have to post this early- I'll be away from the computer Friday. I caught this sunset while driving to my son's basketball game a few days ago. Our skies have been clear for the last 24 hours and what-do-you-know? there is a sun! But more weather is on its way so it will probably be a wet weekend! For more Skywatch Friday photos click here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Watery Wednesday

This is not so much a body of water as the kind of water we've been experiencing for the last seven days. I took this shot this evening as I came home from a friend's house. The clouds are nearing and the rain is coming... again! We have had some wild weather! This morning a houseboat was partially submerged in the lake. The wind was blowing and the waves were cresting over the bow. The wind has been blowing night and day for the past four days, often gusting up to 80 mph. I know we need the rain and snow but I miss the sun! Click here for more Watery Wednesday photos.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stormy Sunday

Here in the Gold Country Foothills of California it's a Stormy, Gusty morning. The wind blew all night, sounding like it was taking the roof off, tile by tile. The animals are all hunkered down in their sheds and didn't even want to come out for breakfast. Feeding this morning was a wet and windy event. I geared up with a muffler and coat and just as I reached the hay stack huge indiscriminate blobs of rain started to come down. I switched gears and headed to the barn to get the hay from the breezeway and fed my friend's paint gelding first. The rain stopped but Dani was running around like she was unsure what the skies were up to and I put her and Sandy in a stall to eat their breakfast out of the rain and wind. I headed back to the hay stack to get a flake of alfalfa for the sheep and the rain started up again. Humongous drops pelted me as I walked to the sheep pen. They were warm in their shed but came out with he promise of food. Sorry but they have to eat in the weather. Then over to Red, he's my other friend's gelding and a very picky eater. He hates his new grassy alfalfa and all I can get him to munch on regularly is the Senior feed she brought up for him. She found him in a heifer pen at a dairy in the valley up to his hocks in cow YKW. She was SO lucky- he hasn't been touched in 7 years but trained very well as a youngster and in just the few weeks he's been here she has discovered a diamond in the rough! The vet gave him a big thumbs up too so even though all he ate was corn silage and super high protein alfalfa, he's in great shape.
The picture above was taken a few days ago when the clouds were high. Theres a touch of snow on the mtns to the left but after last night there's probably a lot more. Have a great Sunday, stay dry and enjoy your day of rest.

Friday, February 13, 2009

H is for Happy-ness!

My Wonderful Friend Wanda gave me a fun assignment! I am to name 10 of my favorite things that start with the letter "H." She knows I adore horses so that's why she assigned me the "H." She is sooo sweet!

So here we go, ten of my absolute favorite things that start with "H":

1. Holy Ghost- He is part of the Trinity of God: Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Lord God is my Creator and Redeemer. He can be yours too.

2. Harry- He was my wonderful Grandfather whom I loved dearly. He has been gone over 20 years now but I can close my eyes and see him in his favorite spot: sitting in his rocker on the kitchen porch. Its a late summer day and the wind is just barely whispering through the leaves on the trees in the backyard and Gramps is listening his favorite baseball team losing the big game on the radio. I was blessed to be able to live with my Gram and Gramps for a short time- one of the best times I can remember. Gramps loved the Lord and I know when it's my turn to die I will be reunited with Him in heaven. You can be reunited with your loved ones in heaven too.

3. The other Harry- my son Raymond Harry. My husband and I named our son after our Grandfathers. His was Ray and mine was Harry. If you say it a bunch of times it actually starts to sound good together. Raymond Harry, Raymond Harry, Raymond Harry...
He's a great kid and one of the reason's I breathe.

4. Horses- I bet you thought this would be first! I do adore horses. All of them. I've been horse-crazy since I was old enough to crawl under the neighbor's sour old gelding and had everyone jumping around trying to figure out how to get me out of there without the horse stomping me. I got my first horse when I was 12. His name was Spooky and he taught me how to ride. He was an ancient paint pony with one bad eye that was so very patient with someone who didn't know a bridle from a crupper. I've had a lot of great horses over the years and now I am blessed with my little Gift From God, Dani and her mommy Sandy.

5. Herd Dogs- I love my dogs Max and Ariel (aka The Evil Twins). They are herding dogs, part Aussie and part Border Collie. My good friend Billie at Galaxy Farms raises and trains herd dogs and will help me with mine when the time comes to start them on sheep.

6. Harmony- As in music. I love music. I especially love praise and worship music and contemporary Christian music. My favorite group is Mercy Me. They have some awesome harmonies and every song they do is better than the last! I go to a church where the music just rocks! It's great! I am not a singer so really appreciate a good harmony.

7. Handbags- I LOVE purses! I don't have the money to collect them but I have a few that are very dear to me. I especially love western style purses!

8. Handicapping- I used to go to the horse races a lot when I lived in the bay area. I think they are closing or have recently closed Bay Meadows but it was a nice track to watch the horses race on. I had the opportunity to go to Santa Anita once with the Atascadero Wranglerettes. That was really fun! We stayed up all night in a bus driving to L.A. to go to the track and to Magic Mountain. Thanks to a great family friend Shirley! That may have started my love for horseracing. I also love to read about horse racing. My good friend Kay got me started on Dick Francis books years ago and I love the way he writes. I'm not a huge mystery fan but mysteries around a horsetrack! Yeah!

9. Hope- My hope is in the Lord. He has blessed me and Raymond so much in the last year that I am continually praising Him for all that He has done and continues to do. I have the hope that He will provide for us and meet all our needs as He has already done. I have the hope that He will bless my boys and their families as they grow in Him. I have the hope that He will provide a good Christian man for me when He knows the time is right. I have the Hope that I will be with Him in eternity. You can have this hope too.

10. Happy-ness! Don't we all just want to be happy???!!! I spelled it that way because I loved that movie with Will Smith. I am happy even though I am going through what no woman wants to go through, all the emotions and frustration and despair. I turn it into Happy-ness thanks to God who when I allow Him to take it off my shoulders, He bears it all on His. You can give your troubles to Him too and be Happy and full of Happy-ness!

Email me and I'll tell you how easy it is to have Jesus as your Savior and Redeemer, how you can find hope and happy-ness in times of despair and how you can be reunited with loved ones in heaven.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Loves; My Horses

This is my love, Sandy. We fell in love when I was feeding for friends. They had just bought her at a sale and she had an injury I had to clean and doctor. She was all by herself because the other horses picked on her. She was only about 1 year old and scared of people and all the changes she was going through. I asked my friends if I could buy her and because they were horse-poor at the time, they hauled her to my house.
We bonded nicely; she is very sweet and has a great heart and mind. I have no idea what breed she is but I was told she looked Mustang, which she does a bit but also Quarter Horse. The picture above was taken a little more than a year ago and I think she was about 1-1/2 years old. I named her after a horse a friend of mine had when I was young. My Sandy looks just like Linda's Sandy with a caramel coat, a flurry of blond mane and tail, a wide blaze and attitude!
I had to move my horses rather quickly last year and when I did the friend that helped asked me when Sandy was going to have her baby???!!!!
I took a good look at my horse and realized that he was right. The hay belly I thought she had was a lot larger than it should have been.
In March last year I went out on the boat with friends and when we came back I went by the pasture I had the horses in to feed and before I pulled up I told my friends that one day I was going to find another horse in the pasture when I came out to feed. You guessed, that very day I found I had another horse in the pasture! A perfect little filly.
The picture above was taken just one week after she was born. God told me to wait for this wonder and so I named her Nadan which in Hebrew means "Gift from God." I call her Dani and she is so awesome! Even more so than her lovely mommy!
This place I had her in right after she was born was on a busy road and people from all over would stop to pet her and feed the horses carrots and grass they picked. She got to be VERY friendly because of it and absolutely Loves people. The picture to the left was taken when she was about two months old. That is my son Raymond and the Princess Sugar who rules our home . She is now 13 hh tall and will be one year old soon. I believe she will be taller and wider than mom who is a little on the narrow chested side and only stands 14.3 hh. I love short horses (shorter distance to fall! hehehehe!) so that's good for me. But Dani will be taller and more Quarter-Horsey in conformation. Well, those are my two loves and I hope you enjoyed meeting them. I am currently working with Sandy on ground work. She wears a saddle and bridel and when I get my round pen up we;ll have a nice place to work on drills such as stopping (ohh so important to teach a young horse! hehehehe!) and other fun stuff that with her little attitude I am certain she will just LLLUUUVVVV!!!! Not.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Watery Wednesday

This photo was taken in Pismo Beach when my nephew Daniel married the lovely Jessie. This little fellow was one of hundreds of pelicans that were roosting on the cliffs along the resorts seaside edge. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you will see them all. It looks like he was protecting his mate- or was she protecing him???

Luckily the kids have forgiven me and Raymond for TPing their suite- now that was fun!!! So was cat-calling at midnight from below their balcony. Setting up- fun. Cleaning up- not so much.

Overall I give the event a score of 9.5. If someone had kidnapped Jessie like Louise was kidnapped years ago out of the hotel parking lot by the best man, now that would have put it over the top. Wait, at Louise's there were stolen chairs, champagne glasses and who knows what else was stolen that day. Not to mention many of us underage kids helping ourselves to the drinks the adults left behind. All I can say is Dan and Jessie... it was a good attempt but I don't think anyone can ever top Louise and Mike.
That said, it was a beautiful wedding, you are a wonderful couple, and it was a great weekend in Pismo!

Enjoy the Watery Wednesday Photo!

Monday, February 9, 2009

How Different Two Boys Can Be

I have two boys, Jeremiah, who lives in Oklahoma with his family (see prior post for pics of Grandson Kody) and Raymond who lives with me here in California.

The picture above was taken several years ago before we moved to Don Pedro. It is so typical of these two only children that eventually lived togther and struggled to get along.

Jeremiah's dad, Sam, was born and raised in Oklahoma and then came to California as an adult. He had his own business and was very successful. Most of his family was still in Oklahoma. His brothers, Billy Jack and Glen, his stepmother Alene, his daughter, Susan, and her kids. His mother died of cancer when he was 18 and his father was gone by this time too. He had a step-brother (auugh! I can't remember his name) who lived in L.A. and we saw him rarely. Sam died when Jeremiah was 11 and it was terribly hard on him, as you would expect. They were very close and Jeremiah still grieves that loss. Before Sam died they took a trip to Oklahoma and I think that's what prompted Jeremiah, after graduating high school here, to move back there. He got a job in the oil fields, went through that awful ice storm and then came back to Ca for a little while. But his heart was not in San Fran it was in Oklahoma so he moved back there again. Then he met Lori and that sealed it. He lives on a large ranch and hunts and fishes a lot and works a little. He talks like an Okie, walks like an Okie, thinks like an Okie... He must be an Okie! I am so thankful to God that he is happy and well and is enjoying his life, however, if I want a relationship with my grandkids I have to move to Ok because he will never move back to Ca.

Raymond went through his cowboy/ redneck stage then grew out of that. Becasue of is dad and his brother he had to try the cowboy/ redneck thing for a little while. He decided he liked the surfer/skater dude image better. He loves the ocean and I'm sure he will eventually end up living close to the sea. He is totally into sports and loves basketball. He is a good player and will do well. He wants to go to college, which Jeremiah scoffed, preferably UC Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, San Diego, etc. He dreams of a life in sports either playing or managing or ??? He plays B-ball at high school and although they have only won a few games, they are a great group of boys with high hopes for future years. Raymond enjoys his coach and is learning a lot. The basketball season will be winding up soon and unfortunately they haven't been able to play one game in their soon-to-open gym. It was scheduled for completion in November but still has not opened.

They certainly are two very different boys, but they are good boys, they love God and they love their mother so what else matters, right?

This picture was taken in Oklahoma on the Canadian River when Jeremiah took us fishing. (What else would your redneck son do when company comes. We'd already done "the Wal-mart")

As you would expect I love these two more than life itself. I'm so glad they are different in some ways but the same in what matters most: strong, loving, kind-hearted, loyal, honest, hard working and they both love the Lord.

What more could you ask for?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Skywatch Friday

Happy Friday to everyone around the world!
This was taken from my back porch a few nights ago as the sun set. I get some awesome sunrises and sunsets from Lake Don Pedro! This AM it''s cloudy and rainy here and I hope I'm not breaking any rules by not giving you a pic from today. But here's why: I live in the beautiful Sierra Foothills and I work in an ugly city about 45 miles away. I have to leave LDP at 6 AM before the sun comes up and get to the city after sunrise and no one wants to see pics of smog and filth! I'm looking forward to going to the Skywatch site and seeing what your hometown is like! If you want to see Skywatch Friday pics from all over the world, you can click on the Skywatch Link on this page.