Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Sweet Sound of A Froggy Seranade

Oh happy day! After too many parched days and many petitions, our prayers have been answered! Yesterday we awoke to find this:

4" in one rain! That's not something you see every day around these parts and it's a huge cause for celebration! It seems the rain covered a good part of the country so be prepared for rain posts from many of us. When you ranch, rain is a big deal and every drop counts!

DD and I spent much of the morning splashing through the mud and the muck and wading in the newly replenished dirt tank. After more than a year, it's refreshing to see it holding water once again. DH couldn't even get around the ranch because the roads were too wet. We were also out of electricity until sometime about mid morning so he couldn't even work in the shop so he headed to town to run errands and fill a cart at the local Home Depot. None of us enjoy making trips into town, but if you have to go because you've had too much rain, that's a good problem to have. Actually though, there is no such thing as "too much" rain around here. We just don't want to tear up the roads too much. DH was able to check one more rain gauge at Antelope and he poured out 5.1" there. Needless to say, we are ecstatic! And so very thankful for this perfectly timed blessing!

It's always a good day when it is one spent with a good friend:

It was so nice and cool and crisp out - a welcome reprieve from the 100+ degrees we have been experiencing these past few weeks.

DD and I spent all morning outside, behind our cameras. It's been too long since we enjoyed a morning like that. It felt good to spend time enjoying the view from the lens again. DD has a wonderful eye and she captured some amazing shots and this one, which leads me to the 'frog' portion of my post, is one of my favorites.

Isn't he cute? I swear he's grinning! Yes, I know these are not frogs, but 'toad' seranade just didn't have the right ring to it so I am taking creative liberties.

When we receive a gully washer like we did yesterday, the peace and quiet disappears. It is instantaneously replaced by the sound of 1000's of toads croaking. It's another one of God's perfectly designed mysteries about how these critters can live underground in the desert for years on end, without nary a sign of their existence, and then suddenly pop up when the rains arrive. And they literally do pop up within an hour of the rain's arrival. The sound is defeaning and you literally have to yell to be heard above it, but it's a beautiful sound and last night I enjoyed being lulled to sleep by their symphany. They'll be around for a few days and then disappear as suddenly as they arrived.

I wanted to share a few more shots I took yesterday. The horses always make for fun photo subjects, as does DD, who takes after her mom when it comes to getting in position to capture that perfect shot:

The horses were feeling quite frisky after the rain. A good roll in the cool dirt always makes one's spirits soar:

As does a dunk:

This old tree is one of my favorite spots to snap shots.

Cooperative subjects. On the count of three...drink.

I think she got the shot:

But I'm thinking she should have pulled on waders instead of irrigation boots:

And I love this one:

The horses took their time and leisurly meandered across the expanse of water, towards the
pens to partake of a late breakfast:

I miss ya'll when I'm away. Hope all is well with y'all. Things have been crazy, busy around here, but I hope to check in more often. No promises though, the remaining days of summer seem to be slipping away all too quickly. I'd like to throw a rope around them and dig in my heels to slow them down, but if I did that today, I'd probably just end up being covered in mud...which come to think of it...that's not such a bad thing!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Missing Ingredient

Remember me? I apologize for being MIA lately. I've simply been swept away by summer. I've written dozens of posts in my head, but they never seem to make it to the keyboard. Haven't really taken part in anything earth shattering, just the normal, day-to-day running in circles. Cooking for a crew, tending to the garden and yard work, working on home improvement projects, making quilts, getting DS ready for college, and keeping up with DD's social calendar. But, things have been piling up and it's getting kind of crowded in my little, chaotic brain so I thought I had better take the time to sit with you a spell so here you go...

I'm a throw it together kind of cook. I love recipe books, but if I don't have all the ingredients, I have been known to substitute. That works pretty well with cooking. Baking...not so much. It's imperative that you have all of the ingredients. I mean, who wants to go through life without baked goods? Not this family!

So I was really looking forward to a garden this year. I figured we would have whatever was ready to pick for dinner that day. So I built and hauled and planted and watered. I lovingly tended my fledgling project each and every day. I tossed the tomato worms off with a vengeance. I fought a valiant battle with the cutter bees. I watered as the sun rose. I watered as the sun set. I heralded each and every new growth. No, I did not weed. There may actually be something to this square foot gardening thing! And it grew. Slowly. In the desert. The only green thing for miles around. Then we were blessed with this:

That beautiful green and yellow was the answer all along and you should have seen the lightening that accompanied this storm. What a show! All the fireworks this weekend couldn't hold a candle to the one last night. The missing ingredient was a blessing from above. Seems you can water until the cows come home and just keep things hanging on, but bring on the rain and watch everything take on a life of its own! I am harvesting my first 2 heads of lettuce today! Note to self: start earlier next year. Since I'm new at this, I'm still getting a feel for how long I should wait between replanting, but I do believe that the rainy season has arrived. There simply is no substitute for the water sent directly from heaven. It's not just a figment of my imagination that things are growing overnight.

Which leads me on a rabbit trail. It's all related, but it's a rabbit trail nonetheless. We are so spoiled. We want this and think we have to have that when in reality, the only thing we really, truly need is God. I'm guilty as charged. Just have to have that cute fabric I saw in that quilting magazine or I'll just toss that cookbook that caught my eye into the basket. But, if you don't have that personal relationship with Him, then life is empty and you are missing a very vital ingredient for which there is no substitute. Without it, you may as well be baking without flour. And unlike flour, you shouldn't stash that relationship in a dark corner or your freezer. Keep it on hand at all times. Your life will be richer and more fulfilling and... His. It's my fervent prayer that everyone have an endless supply of life with Him. When he breathes life into your soul, it's like a good, soaking rain with a rainbow on the horizon:
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