A Summer Ending

Saying goodbye …

Deborah watching the last sunset of summer 2017 (JN Ranch, Sep 21 2017)

Summer, we hardly knew thee.

Fall will begin later this afternoon at 14:02 MDT (20:02 UTC), just in time for a late fall/early winter kind of weekend.


Counting: Twenty Two

A special post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN.

To be blessed with another beautiful princess was priceless. And, you are that, my baby princess.

Elizabeth: eyes for dad (age 5)

Though you liked the finer things, you were dad’s shadow. You loved to follow wherever he went. In many ways, you continue to accompany him wherever he goes.

When you napped with us, you snuggled ever so close to listen to our hearts beat, to listen to each breath taken. When we hold you close, you continue to listen for our rhythm. Our hearts melt whenever you have left handwritten notes of love for either of us. It is pure sweetness.

There is so much lying ahead of you, with unlimited possibilities. An intelligent and beautiful woman you have become. A successful equestrian, a talented musician. Our perfect baby princess.

Happy 22, baby!

mom and dad

Tuxie: Too Suddenly, Too Soon

A year has passed. Much of the shock has faded, but a touch remains. Tuxie’s missing presence is very noticeable too, from watching the world wake in the morning to chasing around the house to snaking on the lap in the evening. His quiet, laid-back personality is missed the most.

Maxie has missed his littermate brother the most. They did a lot things together since their kitten days. Tuxie and Midnight, they took turns bossing each other around. The trio lived true to their Musketeer title, always keeping an eye on each other.

watching the world: flying birds and melting snow

tucked in on a cold winter day

with the optic yellow

Tuxie was a happy cat, friendly once he got to know you. The boy wore his smile everyday. Since Deborah and Elizabeth wear their hair long, Tuxie loved to play with their French braid or ponytail. The braid and ponytail were exotic. Whenever Tara had her hair cut and styled, Tuxie would try to rub against her hair. He loved the scent of the hair product that was used.

Tuxie left too suddenly, too soon.

We love and miss you much.


A Hurricane Note

They were bracing since mid-week with the essentials – water, canned goods, gasoline. It is the kind of weather one does not underestimate, especially in an area that is prone to extensive flooding. Ben had encouraged Cindy, and Tom and Alicia, to stay with him for the duration. His home sits on slightly higher ground. Laurie has stayed in touch with her family, since the initial forecast, making sure they are safe.

San Antonio: a Sunday afternoon downpour (Aug 27 2017)
photo credit: Cindy Westin

While hurricanes can be unpredictable, the forecast models did not anticipate Harvey to reach far north to San Antonio. After making landfall, he certainly did make a run before stopping south and west of Victoria, about 105 miles southeast of San Antonio. They have had their share of torrential rains, but nothing comparable to the rains seen in the Houston area overnight into today.

Harvey is expected to linger along the Texas gulf coast for the remainder of the week, bringing more rain. Hopefully, it is not the additional 25 inches that is in the forecast.


Happy Birthday Meezers!

Dino and Pebbles, our much loved Siamese kitties, while they are no longer with us, we remember their special day. Born on this August day in 1989, their story began.

office managers: Dino and Pebbles (Oct 1999)

Littermates, brother and sister, they were loyal to one another and loyal to their one. Though they could often be found together, they also did their individual activities.

fashion plate: Pebbles with her leopard-print leather handbag

quality control: Dino giving the laydown test to fresh laundry

They were both skilled in teaching the same lesson – they had first dibs on the furniture, always.

couch control: a stretched-out Pebbles

couch control: Dino in his spot

We are glad they both lived long lives, and allowed us to be part of their forever family.

Happy Birthday, babies!

mom, dad, & girls

A Birthday

A more important event is happening closer to home. It is my dad’s 87th birthday. Within our family, birthdays are among the important occasions we celebrate. A total solar eclipse occurring on the same day, a very nice coincidence.

Later tonight, it is the celebratory cookout and dessert. The girls have taken the day off from riding to watch the eclipse and string lights in the backyard. Laurie’s special dessert for tonight is a coconut cheesecake topped with walnuts, caramel and more coconut.

Making two cheesecakes on Sunday afternoon, Laurie saved one for dessert, Sunday night. Three slices remained, but disappeared early.

My dad, he is doing well and in very good health. Those are things that matters.

Riding: Iowa

It represents the halfway point of the back half of the 2017 season. Yet, plenty of riding remains. Practice for the two weeks away has been fairly straightforward. Much of it is staying sharp, staying crisp. Moreover, it is about staying with the technique that have brought them to this point. Consistency is valued at this point in the season. Trish is very pleased with how well the girls are riding. “They are riding better than ever before.”

Preparing on a short week has its advantages. It allows my daughters to have a steadier and narrower focus. The Iowa shows, though not CSI-rated*, are among the best on the AA circuit. They have the ability to draw some of the best riders from across the nation. My daughters know they must be on top of their game to be in a position to compete.

Tara and Cameron: deciding on the saddle pads (JN Ranch, Jul 30 2017)

Time to ride.

* CSI – Concours de Saut International, the rating system for show jumping events.