Can You Imagine

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This book is a true story about the authors life after being accidentally shot by a family member.

I don’t usually do book reviews on this blog, but this read is definitely worth a mention.

Don’t be misled by the innocent title. This memoir is the inspiring story of a young girl who at nine years old was robbed of the youth most of us take for granted.

A children’s afternoon outing ends in a hospital miles from family and their farm with her spinal cord severed. She will never walk again. She may never see her thirties.

Her determination and bravery will inspire you as you follow her journey and dreams of owning dogs, horses, riding, and living on a farm again.

Partly from necessity, she discovers she has more than love for animals, she has a talent for training dogs to aid and enhance her way of life.

You’ll read about her special companions who also served a purpose and how they helped add meaning to her life.

 As tragic as this story is, this memoir doesn’t dwell on the negatives. It’s an enlightening and uplifting read. Although, I needed a tissue a time or two.

I can personally vouch for the great person this author became having known her now for forty some years.

The book “Dogs, Horses and Me” is available on Amazon in print and ebook versions.

Do You Holiday or Vacation?

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Which word would you be more apt to use when referring to a summer trip?

A) I’m looking forward to our summer holiday.

Or

B) I’m looking forward to our summer vacation.

I’ve never really thought about the correct definition of these two words. To me they both mean “fun, something to look forward to” so they have been interchangeable to me.

Recent curiosity had me doing some research.

Holiday– A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done. A day of national or religious celebration.

Vacation– An extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home. The action of vacating a space. A holiday period between terms in universities and law courts.

Sentence “A” has probably been my unconscious choice in the past. I’m sure I’ve used the word “holiday” more than “vacation” to describe a get-away.

Will I now think twice before using these words? When writing I will, but my daily conversations rarely involve proper grammar. I’m not a “whom” type of conversationalist, it’s always “who”. Being shy growing up meant I was too nervous specking out loud to worry about wording and sentence structure, and years of that habit is still with me.

I’m actually amazed when I think about how many words I use that I’ve never looked up their definition.

Thank goodness, we can learn by association.

Imagine what childhood would be like, or what it would be like even as an adult, if every new word we came across had to be researched.

If you come across an unknown word do you look it up, or guess it’s meaning by how it is used in the sentence? I use the, association method, the most.

Have you ever encountered that cute little toddler who spoke like a adult, and you thought, what a smart little person?

Maybe this is simply a result of what they are exposed to at a very young age, rather than say “genetics”

Back to my sentence question. Which option would you normally use, A) Going on a “Holiday” or B) Going on a “Vacation?”

A little Tidbit – Just above the word “holiday” in my hardcover Oxford Dictionary is “hole in the heart.”  I didn’t really think that one needed an explanation.

P.S. – So, parents, family, caregivers, teachers, friends, whoever, remember the words you say to a child and how you use them is writing their mental dictionaries and will influence their vocabulary and even knowledge.

A Taste From Heaven

The saying is, “a taste of heaven,” but these cookies are a taste, “from,” heaven.

Even with the trend being the 3 ingredient Peanut Butter cookies there’s only one recipe for me. It’s my Dad’s, hence the, “from,” heaven.

While growing up store bought desserts were rare in our house. Mom worked two jobs, raised five children, kept a spic and span house, sewed some of our clothes, and still every day there was homemade goodies to enjoy. How she did all this became even more a mystery once I became a mom. 

I definitely baked more when our kids were young and at home. These days if I make a homemade pie, it’s a ready to bake pie shell filled with Jello instant pudding, and topped with Dream Whip from a package. Tasty, but homemade might be an exaggeration?

My talent is more cookies or squares. Actually, I only recall making pie crusts a couple times, and breads, those are scary, I leave them to experts like mom.

Dad cooked meals on occasion, and not always one special dish, but when it came to baking, I only remember his “Peanut Butter Cookies.”

The history behind the recipe died with my parents years ago. Was it a cherished one from dad’s childhood? Was it just a stumbled upon one? Maybe it was really one from mom’s side and dad just enjoyed making them? I’ll never know the answer, but at least every time I make these cookies they bring on fond memories.

Dad would be thrilled that I’m sharing this recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Cream Together

• 1/2 Cup Margarine

• 2/3 Cup Brown sugar (not packed)

• 1/3 Cup White sugar

• 1 egg

Then Add

• 1 1/4 Cup Flour

• 1/2 teaspoon Baking soda

• 2/3 Cup Peanut butter

(This recipe also does well doubled.)

Roll into walnut size balls (I use a melon baller) press lightly with fork.

Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes.

A thought came to me while writing this post. I’m going push past the intimidation this winter and make a pie crust and a loaf of bread from scratch. I’ll let you know if they’re eatable.

Do you have a recipe that triggers fond memories?

Do you make the three ingredient, Peanut Butter Cookies?

If you try this recipe let me know what you think.

Lego, and The Kid In Me

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No children were involved in the hands-on part of this post, LOL. That’s right just me and an afternoon of building Lego.

Interesting Facts, you may not know.

-A Danish carpenter, Ole Kirk Kristiansen founded Lego in 1932. He started by making toys and wooden blocks.

-In 1958 he patented and began manufacturing what we know as Lego today, and every block made since then can lock together.

-Lego is the largest manufacturer of wheels, out producing Bridgestone and Goodyear.

-If Lego figurines were real people, they would be the largest population in the world.

As a youngster, I loved playing with Lego. I often built a truck and livestock trailer for my farm-set animals. Oh wow, this might date me. Does anyone remember farm-sets? Maybe they’re still made, I haven’t been in a toy store in a long time. I had the tin barn kind with most species of plastic farm animals, choking hazard size or smaller. The figurines were poised and on platforms so they would stand. There was snap together fences, a tractor and field equipment. It even had rows of garden crops, tools, shovels, and tons of other tiny pieces.

Anyway, back to my main topic, Lego. What I had growing-up was about six sizes, in single or double row blocks, some platforms, and flat pieces. Most were red or white.

Using just these simple blocks meant projects other than buildings would resemble what you were trying for but they were rarely pretty.

In those days, Lego sets weren’t as specific, they simply came in different size sets.

You used your imagination to design things because building manuals didn’t come in sets until 1964.

I remember the excitement when black, yellow and blue colored pieces appeared and specialty pieces started showing up. Like curved corners, clear pieces, different doors and windows, and the little people.

Even back then Lego was a costly toy, so I had little of it, but my cousin often got the newer sets. During visits to his house, him and I would create and build for hours.

By the time, mine and Mister’s, kids were old enough and Lego returned into my life it had changed a lot. The son and daughter both enjoyed building things, and they started with what I had saved of mine and their collection grew from there.

They only got a few big fancy sets, special ones like, a large pirate boat, a castle, and a stable set, to name some favorites.

The kids and I, enjoyed great times together building for hours. It wasn’t Misters favorite thing to take part in because we usually sat on the floor surrounding a pile of pieces or laid on our stomachs propped on our elbows.

Why am I writing about Lego you may wonder?

Because, knowing how much I enjoy building Lego, the Son and his Girlfriend got me a unique set for Christmas.

I was waiting for a chance to build it with him during a visit, but that hasn’t worked out. So yesterday being a cold blustery day, I selfishly built one of the set’s options and enjoyed every minute.

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Have you ever built Lego?

P.S. – Dropped or forgotten pieces of Lego found by stepping barefoot on them is still as painful as it used to be.

Country Life

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What’s that noise?

Faint rustling followed by squeaks and gurgles of a baby fussing came from the feed and tack stall next to the booth where Mister and I sat at the horse event. Exchanging an knowing glance with my husband I went to investigate.

Pictured above is what I found. Our daughter with this sheepish look sprinkling hay on her little brother who was supposed to be asleep.

Our family often jokes about the saying, “Were you born in a barn.” Although not born in one, our kids spent a good portion of their childhoods in either a barn, an arena, or outside and nearby while we did our chores.

Four legs, manes, tails, and everything horse best describes our daughter’s likes.

For a few years, a spring horse took center-stage in our bay window. She spent endless hours in that saddle, her stare focused outside, and her eyes glazed with little girl daydreams.

The toys that entertained her while indoors were all horse related. My Little Pony’s, Lego stable sets, and the jeep, horse trailer and horses for her Barbie’s. Even the multi story, upright, Barbie house Mister made her, of course, had a floor level barn included.

She was happiest outside, even if just watching the horses eat or roam the pastures. As an adult, she still spends her spare time outside with her horse or in the barn.

She recently posted this picture and description on Instagram. (@candie214)

Pretty sure this is why I like watching people ride, I spent hours on those tires.

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If you look close, you’ll see the small child saddle I’m riding in so I could take the edge off “Dr. Pepper” before she rode.

In her I see the younger me. Doing barn or farm chores was, and is, rarely considered work and when given a choice they trump household chores.

To us horses aren’t a hobby, they are a lifestyle. Location has changed this for me since I live at a lake resort now, but it’s still her way of life.

This is “Nugget” Her current, young, Quarter Horse Gelding she’s training.

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We were blessed as parents to have children, especially teenagers, whose passions meant they were happy at home.

Our son’s interests changed from horses over time and if you haven’t already, check out my post, “Our Version of a Norman Rockwell” for a glimpse into what makes the male’s of our family tick.

Did you have a childhood passion?

Do you still enjoy it?