From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Monday, April 28, 2014

I Am Organizing All My Wild Flower Photos By Color

I will post a page on my blog for each color... I have so many images!

I Did Not Even Know This Tiny Creature Was There!

These little daisy shaped flowers were so nice to photograph.

Then I noticed there was a little creature there blending in...

He's kind of scary at this big...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wow, What a Ride!!!

I am working on a house we are putting up for sale, and I stayed in the Candlewood Suites, Texas City, Texas for two days, please if you are looking for a pleasant stay with honest people, pick another of the fine IGH hotels. You will be treated much better.  May I recommend the League City Hampton Inn.  The rooms are just gorgeous, and the service is superb!  They are right off I45 as well, so much more convenient!

A Good Marriage

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Man and His Dogs

I had threatened Randy before he came home, I told him, "do not play with my new dog Chance, he will start to love you more than me."  Did he listen?  No, he didn't listen... he immediately started playing this absurd game with Chance with a squeaky toy pig, and Chance loved it...

Pretty soon Chance was sleeping on the floor by the bed on Randy's side... jostling with Ginger to be closest to Randy.  He was running with Randy every morning to feed the animals, chasing him on the lawn mower, and Randy was sneaking him table food... It is hard to make a former Colonel in the United States Army listen to admonitions and threats concerning messing with the affections of your dog.  I mean even if Randy got me the dog for Valentine's Day, the dog is still mine...

It wasn't long until Chance was riding to the feed store in the truck with Randy, laying literally under his feet while we played cards, and begging for his attentions constantly...  I have evidence of the alienation of my dog's affections... a photo clearly made by the offender!!! 

Now who do you think made this photo?

Best Rose Photos I've Ever Made, By the Way, I Raised Them Too!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why Do They Call Them Blue Bonnets

Every Spring Texas has blue bonnets!  They are our State flower, and thanks to the work of Lady Bird Johnson, they grow everywhere.  Some Springs have more rain than others, and in those years,  the Blue Bonnets are even more spectacular growing along the road sides.  This is one of those years!

There are banks of them on the side of every road, highway,
 and in every other corner and place in the State!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

There are Deep Dark Woods

At the ranch there are thirteen heavily wooded acres right up front.  One of my greatest pleasures is to take a good sharp shovel, (in case of encountering a snake,) and going to explore there. However, even though I have lived here almost seven years, I still get turned around, even momentarily lost in those woods in the summer when it is more difficult to see landmarks, because of the dense green foliage.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

God's Promises

Luke 12:27
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Got Up While it was Still Dark

I was so glad that I had, the moon was sinking down as the sun rose up.  The reflection was beautiful on the water of the pond.  The North Star was shining just above it.  Daylight of dark of night, the ranch is beautiful.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Beautiful Red Flowers

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Husband is Home and Getting So Many Things Done!

He's taking care of the mowing 

And taking care of the snake problem...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Some Soldiers Do Not Die on a Battlefield, but They Die in War None the Less

I have tried and tried to work on this blog post, but succeeded only in writing a sentence or so, and then I wind up crying these silent tears.  The tears begin flowing as I have never experienced crying, not a sound escapes me, just a river of tears, and I can't identify where they come from exactly.  Try as I may, I can't isolate the reason why I begin crying, or what I need to do to stop crying. I have reached the conclusion my heart and mind are both in mourning, mourning for too many reasons to clearly identify them all

Friday, April 4, 2014

Where You Can Reach Out to Help the Families Affected by the Shootings at Ft. Hood

 The media attention will die down, the camera crews will leave, and we will all quit talking about the shooter at Ft. Hood long before their pain fades.  Let the American people not forget the tragedy which struck twenty families early in April of 2014.  As God moves you, find out what the needs are, what you can do, and remember that what happened to them and their families, happened while they were in service for the defense of our country.

 Central Texas AUSA Ft Hood Chapter
P.O. Box 10700
Killeen, Texas 76547


I Lost It!

You know, when I heard that once again there was "a shooter on Ft. Hood," I lost it.  I had been shopping at Walmart, and as my daughter Meredith called to tell me of the situation, and that the young Soldier who was my son-in-law for many years was once again "sheltering in place" on that installation, the world around me grew surreal.  Everything went into slow motion, and as I observed those people gathering items and putting them in their carts, as though everything in the world was fine and dandy, I realized I was only about two hours away from Ft. Hood where the situation was occurring.  The men and women being wounded and killed were not in some foreign country somewhere far away, they were being wounded and dying two hours away from where I slowly pushed my cart through a Walmart, barely able to check out my purchases, as I realized that it was happening again.

I like to think of myself as a tough old Army wife, veteran of multiple deployments, experienced and capable in managing the knowledge that people I love are often in countries where they are targets of raging enemies full of hatred.  I am aware too, that there is a monster among our troops, PTSD, which sometimes takes hostage their brothers and sisters.   This illness can in fact threaten their safety as well as the safety of those of their brothers and sisters in arms who suffer this debilitating illness.  I have educated myself, keep pamphlets in the desk, 800 numbers on the frig, and we open our home to the military and their families as a place to get away for a while from the stresses related to service in our Military.  I want to think I am strong enough and have made sure to take advantage of the training and information available through the Army to successfully manage having a loved on in service.  I like to think that because I have gone even much further than that, to study and research the stresses which our Military face, to advocate for their care and support, because I realize that not all is as it should be, or as our government promises that it will be, concerning concerning their care.  I felt that knowledge and experience had given me the needed skills to respond to most of the situations military families face, but as I trembled and fumbled with the items in my cart, I was completely unaware of my surroundings.  I was only two hours away from dying Soldiers, from a Soldier who would take his own life, no longer able to cope, a Soldier who was known to have mental health issues.

I was able to speak with William, who was sheltering in place, and learn that he was safe, but that did not quiet my trembling, or stop the silent tears which began and lasted the thirty minute drive home.  I could not quite identify what they were about, they seemed to be about everything since 911.  Certainly they were about "another shooter at Ft. Hood  My daughter went to Ft. Hood in 1999, where she served for six years, and there she met William, a young Soldier too, and they were married.  After 911, Beth left Active Duty to serve in the civilian sector at Ft. Hood, and she continues in that area of service with the Army Corp of Engineers.  Their marriage recently dissolved, in part due to the strain of four deployments to the Middle East, which were early on, fifteen months in duration.  

I have another son-in-law who while stationed at Ft. Hood and deployed to Iraq , was seriously wounded, and he can no longer serve.  He misses service in the military every day, he would have been a "lifer," but as it was, twelve years were proudly given.  As I considered all my loved ones, friends, and extended family who have at one time or another called Ft. Hood home, and remembered all the times I have visited the installation and observed the sons and daughters of this country busy at their professional and heart calling to service in our Military, I continued to tremble.

At some point on the drive home, I began trying to get hold of myself.  Phone calls were coming and going concerning the situation, and I began considering all the ramifications which this incident was going to produce.  I began to try and exercise my willpower to bring my emotions into control, so that I might be able to help and comfort those directly affected by this senseless tragedy.

I have regained my composure, began the thinking concerning what the needs are going to be, and how long those needs were going to continue, and to consider how this could have happened.  I fear that there are places where blame lies.  I fear that there were things that could have been done, and should have been done, and they were not.  One thing I am certain of, while I am not directly affected, I am an American citizen, protected everyday by Soldiers serving at Ft. Hood, Texas, and I owe them my support, and I am obligated to demand answers concerning any short comings which occurred.

I will be writing about "another shooter at Ft. Hood" until I am certain that those affected have recovered, and all that can be done to prevent this from ever occurring again has been implemented, and is faithfully being administered.  For now, their are wounds to be bound, and I am not speaking of physical, and visible wounds, I am speaking of those wounds of the soul, which are sometimes more difficult to treat than the physical kind.

Before all else, my first action was to go to prayer before the Father, whose heart is always toward Soldiers, those who are willing to lay down their lives for another.  Father God understands laying down a life for another, and holds that act as the highest example of love and honor.  The next thing I have done toward this sacred duty is to call in order to obtain the mailing addresses where funds and resources can be sent in order to meet the immediate needs of those families affected by this tragedy.  I am going to share those resources as soon as the correct information is confirmed.  I hope to be of service to these families in many ways, after all, I am only two hours away.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our Family is Having a Wedding, and We Are Developing a Wedding Venue!

Weddings should always be events of a lifetime, and they can and should last a lifetime.  My mother and father are going to be celebrating their sixty fifth wedding anniversary on August 13th, and I am already making plans for a celebration befitting this milestone so few of us are able to make.  Their love for one another is more evident every day, and it has been the cornerstone for the last three generations of my family.  What an example their lives have been to each of us.  Their devotion to one another inspires and assures us all that true love is attainable and can be lasting.  Be sure to keep checking the blog for the development of our wedding venue, and as with all our services, if you are Active Duty Military, or a Veteran of the War on Terror, this service will be free of charge for you!

Not only will we be celebrating this life time of love, but our youngest daughter Rebecca, has found such a wonderful young man and will become his bride just a few days after my parents celebration.  Of course the main cause of memorable should always be the significance of the words and pledges made, and the love which brought the two together to commit to the sharing of  their lives, no matter come what may.  Even though the celebration itself can involve only the couple, most of us who make such a commitment wish to have our family and friends  present to share in the joy of their finding love in this world.

Weddings can be expensive to make memorable, and gathering items from friends and family to add special touches and details can be the difference in the level of "making memorable," without adding cost.  So my non minimalist personality could come in very handy.  I love lace, linens, crystal sterling silver, and all the others objects which can make for memorable little touches.

Our Becky and Andrew live in Alabama, and we don't get to see them often enough, but that doesn't mean I can't offer her pictures of my treasures which she might wish to use for hers and Andrew celebration.  She is having an outdoor wedding, and it will be a rural setting so I have gathered both "country" and more formal accessories.  There are really many more I will be sending her pictures of, but these photos will give her some options for special details in every corner and nook of her celebration.


Here are some enlarged photos Becky, and I will be posting all kinds of things you can check out to see if you might want to use them.