Last Ride

Mark, I think you must have been pleased today. God graced the day with beautiful weather and amazing friends. Hickota acted like a gentleman leading Goat as a riderless horse in your honor. We delivered you in style. Your friends … Continue reading

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Gone Fishing

I am fortunate to have had a backup set of parents. Don and Ruby embraced our little family with all of our quirks just as my parents absorbed the Walters’ into our fold.

While our mothers had more common interests, Don and Dan had personalities more varied. My dad was impulsive, gregarious, and more involved in the moment. Don planned for the future, was quiet in a crowd, and reserved.

What a blessing to have had Don’s influence in my life! He came to our rescue every time we had an emergency, needed a greenhouse covered, buildings wired for telephones, Sensaphones re-programmed. Don’s quiet support when my parents divorced was not unnoticed.

Don shared his family with ours. When Gail and Amy were not spending time at our farm, I was included in family camping weekends, Sunday trips home to Stanley, an infinite number of evenings and weekends with an extra seat at the table for me.

But I think that I’ve learned more from Don as an adult than I did when I was young. When he retired, Don shared a lot of time helping me extend telephone wiring, prepping greenhouses for covering (I wonder how many times he pulled plastic and nailed lathe in the 50+ years Judy has been in business). He insisted that the job get done right. Tails were cut off cable ties, cords tucked behind conduit. He reminded me that what isn’t seen is as important as what is visible.

But what I think impressed me most about Don’s life was his dedication to his family. Being a provider was a task he took very seriously. He loved his children and grandchildren immensely. But mostly, he loved his wife. He always had Ruby’s back, was patient, generous, and loyal.

Thank you, Don, for being a constant in my life. Thank you for sharing your family with ours. Thank you for the quiet, positive example we each need in a chaotic world. Enjoy the fishing. And give Ruby a pinch. I know she greeted you with open arms!

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1940 was a very good year!

Everyone says their mom is the best mom ever. Everyone else is wrong. Mine is.

She taught me how to cook and sew, how to grow (even though I didn’t think I was learning that). She taught me that the backside of embroidery should be as tidy as the front side (don’t use that one much these days).

She showed me that it was good to know a variety of things, from vaccinating piglets, to germinating seedlings, to baking a cake. She sorta dropped the ball on the housecleaning part, though.

She taught me to daydream on horseback when I was a child and how to get lost in a book. To never race your horse toward home or put him away wet.

To give others opportunities they may not otherwise have, such as taking city kids trail riding in the badlands, towing along my friends to horseshows, providing a summer camp for nephews from out of state.

Thanks for always being a shining example to me and your other ‘kids’. God knows I don’t deserve it, but I’m sure glad he picked you for my mom!

You’ve rocked the first 80. Can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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Long Winter’s Nap


A long winter’s nap is what Trouble does best. I got one in today, too. It’s been a busy winter, even after the holiday baking season was over. Bookwork that gets ignored screams for attention. Post-Christmas parties consume the weekends. 



And winter weather slows down our momentum. As it should. That’s one of the reasons we live in a four-season climate. We like our long-winter’s nap. It gives us time to recharge. Think about the season just past. And get excited about the season to come.


Or maybe just bury our heads in the curtains and nap a bit longer!




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Sunday River Blessing

I almost skipped by paddle today. It was late by the time I got on the river. I had other things I wanted to do. But…….

IMG_0236Two weeks ago I was out on the river and noticed this quiet bird sitting on a dead tree on the shore.


Last week she was sitting patiently on her nest.

Today I was blessed with getting to watch both parents catch dragonflies and feed them to two hungry chicks! I’m glad the river called.


Purple Cone Flower

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Slow Spring is Breaking


Spring has been slow in breaking this year. The surest sign it will truly come, to me, is a sunny daffodil bursting forth from the cold ground. This single intrepid blossom assures me spring is going to explode soon!

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‘Tis the season of waiting. Waiting for leaves to burst forth.

Waiting for for the daffodils and squills to brighten dreary spring days.



Waiting to meander up the river, away from cell phone service, questions, and answers.


Waiting for roads and fields to dry, foals to drop, hair to shed.


Waiting for answers. Waiting for Easter.

With all this waiting comes hope and the promise of something better.

To make it worth the wait is up to me!

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Writer’s Block

I love writing this blog. You wouldn’t know it. It has been more than six months since I last posted here. Not that I haven’t tried. But I haven’t taken good photographs (or any for that matter!) And without pictures, this isn’t much of a blog.


I’ve decided that in my 55th year I will do more of what I love, whether I do it well or not!


And here are 4 things I love most! My knight in shining armor (or camo coveralls đŸ™‚ ) , Elmo and Elroy, and my little mare, Bitsy.


I’ll spend a bit more time with my little mare.


I’ll let go of the need to be in charge all of the time and take time to smell the flowers. Even grow a few more for myself!



I will take more pictures, whether I do it well or not.

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When I am with those who are important to me, I will devote more attention to them.

And I’ll do my best to look on the sunny side!

So, this isn’t the best blog ever written. But it is a break in the writer’s block. The next one will be easier. And hopefully better. But it doesn’t really matter. Because I am doing what I love. And when you reach a ‘certain age’, that’s all that matters!

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Make Hay While the Sun Shines

It was a day of rest today. A day we should be sleeping in, going to church, spending time with family. But, like farmers, we make hay when the sun shines. Or in our case, cover greenhouses when there is no wind!

Which, in North Dakota, is a rare occurrence!

So faithful friends come to our rescue yet again and give up their day of rest. And they lift from me the weight of worry about if the snow will fly before we are covered.

My chosen professions leave me few weekends without work commitments. This was one of them. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Summer’s beauty was put to rest. While tossing the old I speculated on next year’s bounty. Like my farmer father I have faith next season will be better than the last.

And to top the weekend off my little mare treated me to a nice brisk walk across the freshly harvested fields.

How blessed am I!

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Two weekends in a row of fun, friends and family! How lucky am I?!?


It was a weekend of learning……


Learning to build a swing from rope and firewood.


Learning to build a fire.

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Fishing was good. If you like bullheads!

The girls giggled all the way down the river trying to catch minnows and splashing each other.

Giggling girls usually scare away wildlife but we saw a few feathery friends.

Corn on the cob, bonfires, fishing off the dock, home-made swings and digging for bones (a story for another day!). All things memories are made of!



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