Sunday, April 15, 2012

You Know My Name, But Not My Story

Everyone has a story and everyone's story includes times of darkness, struggle, joy, pain and growth.  Period.  As Plato stated: Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.  What is your story?   Some portions of our story are best forgotten, but the strength and growth from those portions are what have molded us into what we are today.  Celebrate the valleys as well as the mountaintops, for without them both, we wouldn't be who we are.  The important thing is that you should laugh when you can, appologize when you should and let go of what you can't change. 

Last night's Sparkles and Spurs Cowgirl Rodeo was held, for the first time in Vernon.  It really brought back a lot of memories/desires/passions  for me.  Now that I'm about twice the age of these gals who travel and rodeo together, I realize that if I hadn't been climbing peaks in Colorado, working cattle for local ranchers, leading backcountry trips for Adventure Experiences, parachuting and living in a tent while I taught at my first job out of college...I probably would have been doing what these girls are doing...if I knew that it even existed! Seems like the older you get the less adventurous your life gets... Zack and I spent the afternoon looking through old photo albums - look what we found!

Wind River Range  (outside of Lander, Wyoming) February 1984 - I traveled 40 miles on skis, carried an 80 pound pack and had to build igloos and quinzee huts along the way...12 days... -35 degrees and 10ft of snow. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
1st hunting experience 8:30am opening morning- Trinity, Texas 1987...biggest buck killed  in that area for many years! Dressed out at 130 lbs.

Technical mountaineering in Colorado - ice axes, crampons and ropes...Don't we look young?

1989 boning the elk out on tarps, early morning after the kill (Dyke's kill). Then packing the meat out (85lbs)...

 First antelope hunt October 1992 Rocker B Ranch, outside of San Angelo, Texas - shot 2 antelope (buck/doe) with 1 shot. (Dyke happened to be in the Game Warden Academy and word of my "citation" quickly made it down to's a good thing I was hunting with a former sheriff, who could vouch for my "story")...

Gathering cattle on Ace, at Star Mine - Upper Taylor River. 1989

1993 Fall Round up - Union Park, Colorado - sorting pairs on Elvira.
Sunrise in Union Park, Colorado - Fall Round up on Elvira 1993

Summer 1989 on Comanche - moving cattle down Taylor Canyon. It was a drought year and the dust was thick.

1993 Matagorda, Texas - moving cattle to fall grazing on the penninsula.  We had to swim the cattle across the lower Colorado River to the peninsula. The current wasn't too bad, but the calves sure had a hard time!

Rock climbing above the Potomac River in Maryland...1985
I suppose as we age, we continue to experience adventures of one sort or another.  For some, the caliber of adventure hangs from a variety of worrisome, risk, money, or knowing your new limitations...I think the adventures shift and sometimes fade as the afternoon of our lives approaches. It's something that just happens.  You don't really think about it... A new chapter. A new phase. A new awareness. 

Working cattle-shipping calves- in Bay City, Texas 1999
 I can easily say that I am not comfortable with this recent "new space" and yearn for the risktaker that I know is buried somewhere within. I once knew her well.

I guess you do what you can, with what you have, where you are and give thanks to God for everything.  I believe we were all given the life that we have because God knew we were strong enough to live it. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Our garden is in! Tomatoes, squash, peppers, onions, cukes, beans, spinach, lettuce and cilantro...

Big Kitty, loves to be the Garden Guard! Laying in the cool dirt is like catnip for him! He rolls in it ALL THE TIME!
 We went out to the garden last night after supper and watched the turtles.  Zack buried a cattle syrup tub to create a turtle habitat. 

Two of them (females) have surfaced from hibernating all winter. Yesterday, Dyke put a big male box turtle in to join the females. He said that only moments after putting him in, he had found one of the females and started mating instantly!

They have a little swimming area...

Zack even found a baby turtle that just recently hatched and surfaced. It's the only one we've found so far. His name is Franklin and we have put him in an aquarium until he gets bigger. He's about the size of a silver dollar!

One of the females, enjoying her first meal after a long hibernation!

Big Kitty, protecting the garden from the other cats...he's so selfish!

The 100 broilers (chickens) were butchered, cleaned, packaged and are now divided up between Dyke, his brother and friend... so we each have about 30 whole chickens in the freezer!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


If you are like me, we were raised knowing that Easter is a traditional American holiday celebrating the resurection of Jesus following his crucifixion; however, like most children, that understanding holds a fairly superficial place in their life, in terms of the depth of what all of that truly means.  What comes to mind at Easter time, most often in the minds of children (and some adults), is Easter egg hunts, baby chicks that have been chemically dyed in soft pastels, candy, Easter rabbits, ham dinners with our family and attending a morning church service in new dresses, fancy hats and 3-piece suits.

As we grow older, some of us have the amazing opportunity to be witnessed to about who Jesus truly is, what He can do in our lives and the extreme importance of knowing where your eternity will be spent. For others, that opportunity is never presented. For some, the witnessing and acceptance of Jesus in their heart does not occur until they're on their deathbed.  Which group are you a part of? Have you lost the true meaning of Easter? Have you made that all-important decision to accept Christ as Lord and Savior of your life?  As far as Easter eggs go, an egg can represent 'new life' because new life hatches from the egg. Jesus was resurrected on the third day - giving us 'new life' in Him - so that's the correlation. But just like Christmas, the real meaning seems to have been forgotten. For those of us who are believers, we understand what Easter is all about. But for those who haven't experienced this 'new life' in Jesus, I want to share with you an Easter story that I found on

In Old Testament times, the priest would bring bulls, goats or a spotless lamb without any blemishes to be sacrificed as a sin offering for himself and for the people. The blood would purify and make atonement (forgive, make amends) for their sins. This was the old order of atonement. When Jesus came, He was a representation of the sacrificial lamb to take away the sins of the world. He was the final sacrifice. We no longer have to sacrifice animals to make atonement for our sins. Jesus has done this once and for all. It's His blood that cleanses us from all sin. He was crucified on the cross. The sin of the world was upon Him, yet He was without sin and blameless. He bore it all. This is why Jesus is referred to as the 'Lamb of God'. He was bodily resurrected (came back to life) on the third day. He appeared to many - eating and drinking with them. He appeared to them for 40 days, then ascended (went up to) Heaven. Acts 1: 1-11 

During my childhood, my family attended church on Easter, Christmas and a slight handful of other celebrations.  Against "my will", I attended confirmation class as an early teen...but truly never lived my life with Jesus, church or my personal salvation as a vital focus for my future.  It wasn't until much later in my adult life when I accepted Jesus into my heart and was saved. The year was 1991 and I had only been married a mere 3 years. I was attending the Church of God in Trinity, Texas and it was the evening service.  Dyke was not with me, but I was with Tim and Linda - our very close friends and employers at the time.  They were so instrumental in witnessing to me and introducing me to life with Jesus, that I too, grew a strong desire for personal Salvation, and I will eternally love them for that.  It was an amazing evening, and the Holy Spirit filled the room.  I truly do not remember the actual message, but I will never forget the tugging at my heart to go forward and accept Christ.  I knew that my time had come and there was no denying it.  Kneeling at the alter, I remember the instant when I was touched by Jesus and from that night forward an excitement, a peace, a comfort and a grounded-ness filled me.  I knew my life would never be the same and now that Jesus was in control, I had nothing to worry about.  I journaled after the service and I keep the account of that night in my bible, so that I can reflect on it whenever I wish.  When you know that you know that you know that Christ is Lord of your life, and you feel the amazing love, peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit within you...there is no greater feeling! Receiving the faith and belief in the promises of His word and knowing that He will never leave or forsake you - well, it's most difficult to pen those emotions. It's unmistakable, undeniable, and oh so powerful!

Of course, as humans, we are born sinners and there have been many in my path and it is through daily devotion to God's word that my daily sins are identified and repented of...but through the unconditional, unceasing love and goodness of my Jesus, there is full forgiveness and a desire to live my life the best way I can for Jesus.  Everyone has a story.  Those stories who include Jesus' touch or even a miracle straight from God are the ones that confirm, strengthen and excite me about what God can do in someone's life.  I know, because I am living proof.

Life with Christ is certainly not problem-free, don't get me wrong.  I have been through some very dark valleys and severe struggles, but when you know the touch of God, or you have heard that small still voice, and you know His promises are true...those are the things that you cling to in the dark depths, in order to get through the turbulent storms of  this life on Earth and God is always there holding your hand.  I TRULY don't know where I would be, what I would be like or how I could cope with what this world throws at me, if I didn't have my sweet Jesus by my side.

I hope and pray that this blog will be a catalyst for anyone out there reading my posts, that is tired of living the way they are in "the world".  You can't be a "luke-warm" believer - God's word states that if you are, He will spew you from His mouth, never knowing who you were...

Anyone seeking purpose in life and the peace and comfort that only God can give...answer the knock at your heart.  Don't ignore it, don't deny it and please don't wait until it's too late. Do you know where your spirit will spend eternity?  There is a reason you are reading this today-it is not a coincidence. Life is so precious and we have no control over what happens in this life on Earth.  Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven...The bible says so.  If you believe in God and the bible, but think that there are other ways to get to heaven... you are sorely mistaken!  John 14:6 - Jesus says," I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me."  

Go For It - it's free, it's the truth, it's the answer and it's not too late.  The happiest of Easters to you all...Praise His name and rejoice in the millions of blessings that God bestows on us each and every day! Make the move that will change your life forever!

May God Keep and Protect You Always!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This past weekend, I was one of the 40 artists showcased in the Cowboy True Western Art Show in Wichita Falls.  It was a wonderful & beautifully designed show with amazingly talented Texas and Oklahoma artists exhibiting everything from paintings to sculpture to handmade bits and spurs to bronzes, photographs and handmade boots! I met great people, enjoyed delicious food and fun entertainment!
What a weekend!

Here's my booth...

A view of some of the artwork around my booth area..

My friend, Beth, helped me set up and opened her home to me, so I didn't have to drive home each night!

The tables were beautifully decorated in western style!

The dining and entertainment opened up to the art show, so people could browse and shop during the entire evening's activities.

Every detail was well thought out and the western style decor was perfect!

One of my favorite artists was Carlos Mosely's rock art from Fredricksburg.  It was absolutely amazing! Miniscule slivers of rock are epoxied on a slab of slate by a steady tweasered' hand!  His wife, Carol, names all of his pieces and they can be found internationally! It was captivating and awe-inspiring! Here are a few of his pieces that I especially like...Google him - you'll LOVE his website! His company is called River Rustic Fine Rock Art!

Well-known sculptor, Ann Ayers, was there and won 2nd place with her bronze of 1920's cowgirl Bonnie McCarroll, which she sculpted from the famous photo of her rodeo wreck. It was fascinating to visit with Ann and learn that she had only been sculpting since 2005! Her talent is off the charts!

The sculptor, Jim McGrath, of these hilarious wooden sculptures is truly amazing in the detail and complexity of his art - most of them have very humorous titles!
The paintings, like this one, depicted cowboy life and many were so vibrant, realistic and truly honored the life of the American Cowboy!  This particular one, is of some Circle Bar (Truscott, TX) cowboys in the land of the Big Thicket where Susie, Luanne and I rode with ranch owners Eugenie and Jerry Bob Daniels - see my posting entitled BIG THICKET RIDE.

Patty Ferguson of Medicine Park, OK is a VERY creative potter - infusing a Native American "feel" into her pottery!  She and her husband, Jim, run a B&B and her company is called Patty's Handbuilt Pottery (You can Google her too!)

It was truly a relaxing weekend, coming home to Beth's wonderfully peaceful cottage on a fabulous tree-lined street! Everything was green and alive! The pulse of inspiration!