Dino: Rainbow Bridge Day

At times, the ten years seem like yesterday. Other days, it seems so long ago.

From his kitten days to his very last, Dino was the best of cats. He always understood. That made him special. Dino was a friendly and happy boy. Most of all, he was loyal – not only to his one but also to his littermate, Pebbles.

greenhouse scents: the container pot

outdoor scents: peach harvest

Dino loved his fresh scents, from fresh cut flowers to Kona coffee to babies. When the gardenias began to bloom, he was right there to inhale all of its scent. Similarly with babies. Dino loved sitting and sleeping with Deborah, Elizabeth and Kyle, taking in their baby freshness.

We were fortunate to have Dino for nearly 19 years, and to be blessed by his undying love and devotion. We love and miss you.

mom and dad

xoxo

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In Transition

They have traveled this road before – full-time students, full-time riders.

These were the first steps into the next part of their journeys. An excitement could be sensed. Making a good, first impression too. “No pressure here,” Elizabeth said with a smile. The girls, though, have found their transition between show ring and classroom to be very straightforward. They have noted, “the demands are roughly the same. It’s doing your best in both settings.”

For the girls, and the other new students, it was a week of pre-enrollment tasks at med school. The first two days consisted of completing administrative tasks. The first day included submitting the final collection of requested background materials and filling out more forms. The second day was each new student verifying the accuracy and completeness of their personal file. It may be a wired world, but much remains the same. Paper is the backbone of administrative files. The student files, primarily containing restricted, confidential information, a paper reference copy must be archived with its limited-use release. The high-point of the two days was having their photos taken for their IDs.

classroom notes: learning first aid

The third and fourth days was devoted to basic first aid training. While the new students all have a measure of first aid training, it is likely of varying degrees. The aim was to have them all on the same level. First, proficient at the basic level, then certified at the advanced level.

Next week, advanced first aid certification and a walking tour of the medical school complex.

Candles: Twenty Four

She has a way about her.

Very kind, very loving, very polite. A romantic, Tara says, “It is important not to become a hopeless one. True romance, true love arrives when it is least expected.” In the affairs of the heart, “it is finding the one, the one who will love you and bring you great happiness forever.”

favorite peony: paeonia lactiflora ‘Gardenia’

fallen: a giant rose fallen from a trellis bush (Jun 2018)

path of pink: a walk among the roses (Jun 2018)

Poised and confident, Tara is a beautiful young woman. She has taken the success in her equestrian pursuits in stride. Her greatest enjoyment is being with her horses. The simplicity Tara has found in life, much of the credit goes to her mom, Laurie.

Her songs of the moment is a collection from Peter Cetera. Naturally, “If You Leave Me Now”, “You Are The Inspiration” and “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” are part of the collection. It is his duet with Amy Grant on “Next Time I Fall” that has become Tara’s favorite for the moment.

Next time I fall in love, I’ll know better what to do
Next time I fall in love, Oh oh oh, the next time I fall in love
The next time I fall in love
It will be with you

We love you too.

Happy 24, Tara!

mom and dad

xoxo

Independence Day

“Freedom and liberty extracts a high price from their sons and daughters.”

John Adams said it is the time to celebrate who we are, joined together with our differences into a nation. Nowhere else had anyone imagined, or dared, to form a nation with a diverse people.

The founding fathers understood the risks they were taking asserting America’s independence from Great Britain. They also understood many more risks would ensue once independence was gained. It would fall to the following generations to become the guarantors of freedom.

In a letter to an acquaintance in 1797, Jefferson wrote the “tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” In closing the same letter, he also wrote America was the world’s “last, best hope.” To have freedom and liberty, Jefferson believed we must have the willingness to defend both, and to give our lives if need be. And, many have.

While we have been less than perfect as a nation, we continue to strive to become a more perfect Union by keeping fidelity to our core values – the rule of law, honesty and decency. Anything less would be a betrayal to those who have given their last full measure.

To our friends across America, and those defending her in far away lands, celebrate well.

Egypt: Marking Two Years

It has been two years since we said goodbye to our beloved Miss Egypt. Though she continues to remain in our hearts, her physical absence is noticed very much. Simply, our tabby girl gave much of herself. Playful, friendly and sociable, she was always ready to visit with anyone. Yet, she only had eyes for her “one”. Egypt knew her “one” would do anything for her.

Wood and carpet squares, her favorite toys. Lounging in a sunny window, her favorite activity. Egypt left her scratch marks on wood surfaces, nose prints on every window from which she watched her world, on a daily basis. A well-lived home, after all, needs all of these markings.

in motion: Egypt leaving her mark on the door jamb leading into the greenhouse

Without a doubt, Egypt was the cat-in-charge. The other kitties of the household understood the order of things. Her position as top cat remains unfilled, the title and role she made her own.

may be: Miss Susie trying to ignore Miss Egypt

Occasionally, we’ll catch a glimpse of Egypt from the corner of our eye. On rare occasions, we’ll see Egypt jump onto her favorite chair. And, yes, she made the trip to the ranch.

We love and miss you very much.

xoxo

Twenty Four

A special post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN.

In one moment, it is their first word. In another, it is their first step. Then, their very first day of school. Children grow so fast.

serious: Deborah after the first day of second grade (Aug 2002)

Our baby princess, Deborah, is twenty four. The years have slipped by much too quickly, especially the past few. Dad and I are so proud of who you have become. Beautiful, intelligent, talented easily come to mind.

Soon, you will begin a new chapter in your life. It will be the most challenging step you will take. Both dad and I know you will give your best effort. We know you will work hard to perfect your skills. In whatever you will do as your life’s work, you will be successful – whether as a physician, rancher or equestrian.

pure love: Deborah kissing her Comet (North Ranch, Mar 2018)

Always, you will be our first, beautiful princess. A princess who still quietly slips her hand into ours, and embraces ever so tightly.

My perfect princess, your dad’s perfect princess.

Happy 24, baby girl!

mom and dad
xoxo

Riding: In The Southland

It was a short turnaround. Four days to be precise. Time enough for laundry. To prepare for a new set of shows. Knowing and choosing which horses will compete the best.

dressage moves: Elizabeth and Secret Agent Man warming up (North Ranch, Mar 2018)

“It is keeping yourself and your horses in a daily routine,” is how my daughters describe the four weeks away from home. Their June calendar, at first glance, appears busy. Practice, events and times marked for every day of the four show weeks, and in between. Their notebooks are filled with notes and observations on every hoof beat taken in practice, and in the show ring, this season. And, making sure they and their horses are ready for travel. “Preparation and organization are key, attention to detail required. But, you need to be practical and resourceful.”

warm-up: Elizabeth and Brie before the $15,000 Grand Prix qualifier (San Juan Capistrano, April 2018)

The four show weeks in San Juan Capistrano are well attended with riders from every skill level. Around 350-400 riders and nearly 850-900 horses compete every week, with a few calling it home for the month. “Each day is taken as they come. keeping it simple and relaxed makes for a better experience.” The four weeks may seem long. Large shows, though, have a way of making the days pass rather quickly.

While the first show week ended Sunday afternoon (Jun 10) with the last rider finishing the final event, my daughters had a short workout with their horses in one of the practice rings. It is not too early to look ahead to the next show week, which begins on Wednesday (Jun 13).

It is the equestrian way of life.

Deborah and Comet: the late afternoon workout (San Juan Capistrano, June 2018)