Monday, December 21, 2015

Swans And Christmas Gifts

The swans are back!   What a delight to see them once again.  They first appeared earlier this year in February and I wrote about them in this reference link:    Please check it out for the background story.
I hope to capture more swan photos for better clarity and composition as they get used to me creeping up on them for a photo shoot.  For the time being, I use my camera zoom to watch them and snap the shutter without disturbing my feathered friends.  I don't know how long the swans will stay this time.  As mentioned, these water-birds showed up with a flock of geese back in February and left after a months' visitation.  What a Christmas gift to have them return.  I'll enjoy the graceful presence of these swans until they decide to continue their journey elsewhere.

Christmas can be everyday - the gifts of God in His marvelous creations are all around us to enjoy.  They can be from the spectacular to the simple.  All we need to do is to become aware of the beauty in sight and sound around us and take it in, which is called receiving..........

Since we are created beings, we take after our heavenly Father in creativity that is built inside of us.  There is demonstration all around us.  One such sight this Christmas season is a home on Highway 26 in Mt. Vernon that delights residents and travelers alike.  Lights animate in sparkle to express Christmas themes from Angels on high to Santa's reindeer.   Words such as Joy and Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth, send out greetings to all those who pass by.   A beautiful piece of artwork, which began in heart and mind, becomes a physical expression for others to enjoy.

Mt. Vernon home with Christmas light display
Sight!  Sometimes called illumination....  I wrote a post in December, 2014 which spoke about the visible and the invisible and Christmas.  It is a message close to my heart and I pray the doors and windows of our spirit will continue to open for further illumination. The link below:

I wish you all a   MERRY CHRISTMAS!   And even more....  that the Christ within be your constant  illumination.   Wrap yourself within the robe of the Light of His Presence and exchange the Gift of Love.


You are invited to return to The Turn-Up Patch in the brand new year of 2016.  See you on Monday, January 4th....

Monday, December 7, 2015

Friendship and Jack Fisher, RIP

Friendships and memories!  A time to hold on to and a time to let go!....  but the memories will stay on in our hearts.  

Salute!....  to a friend who was and is the epitomy of friendship in the life of my husband, Jim and to us as family.  Part of the definition of epitomy is a "class act".  Our time with Jack in friendship was exactly that... a class act, which came to include our families as a blended experience in the ups and downs of life.  Jack lived his life in quiet courage. He wasn't one to bemoan his health issues but "pulled up his bootstraps" and determined to meet and conquer whatever ailments would try to befall his body.  He had a lung transplant 13 years ago and outlived the predictions of extended life of 5 to 6 years by seven more.  He saw his daughter, Kim and his son, John, marry their sweethearts and became a grandfather to four grandchildren, all within a span of the past four years.  Jack's daughter describes him as her best friend and hero.  That's quite a compliment and attests to the kind of father he was to his children throughout the years.  His love and partner in life is wife, Niki, who became his cheerleader and championed him on to live.  I can't imagine that Jack would have lived as long as he did without the loving care given under the watchful eye of Niki.  We are blessed to have witnessed the spirit of this family in their encouragement and enthusiastic support that would uplift Jack in attitude and strength.

Jack had compassion for animals and always had a pet dog following him around.  However, the photo below shows that cats were not completely excluded.  On one particular visit, our Turnup cat found a place to groom herself, which happened to be on top of Jack's head and included grooming his hair!  Jack, being good-natured, took it all in stride and this became a favorite photo.....

Jack and Jim had a unique friendship - they understood each other and knew where each other stood, if that makes any sense.  Jack told Jim that he was more like a brother to him then a friend. They respected each others' boundaries and enjoyed their 'bull-shit' sessions (guy talk for conversation) that covered a broad spectrum of current affairs, ranching, horses and life in general.  They occasionally would go on a 'walk-about', taking a break from routine and attend an event tailored for their interests, such as a farm auction or firearm show.  Before Jack had his own grandkids, he became a surrogate grandad to our own grandchild and spent some pleasant times helping and encouraging.  The photo below illustrates such a time when both men were showing off their skills in the instruction of the fine art of fishing....

There is a poem written by  Dale Wimbrow Sr. that befits these two men as it is the creed that Jack aspired to and Jim continues to do so.  Perhaps this is why they understood each other so well....
The Man in the Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for gain
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what the man has to say.
It isn't your mother or father or wife
Whose judgement upon you must pass
The one whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back in the glass.
You may be one who got a good break
Then think you're a wonderful guy
But the man in the glass says you're only a fake
If you can't look him straight in the eye.
He's the one you must satisfy above all the rest
For he's with you right up til the end
And you know you have passed your most difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down your pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

Jack Fisher -  Jan. 19, 1940 to Nov. 29, 2015
Jack, you didn't cheat the man in the glass.  We will miss you but the memories go on in our hearts for family and friends alike.   We are richer for knowing you and comforted that we will meet again on the other side of this veil into the realm of Light.

See you next time at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, December 21.....

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Essence of Time

Time is a word that we use to describe the minutes, hours, days, months, years and centuries that are contained within.  Throughout this framework of time, there is movement of life experiences and discoveries that create memories and the sum total of living both individually and collectively.  Without getting complicated, time allows the unfolding of human behavior, for good or for bad, and advancement in civilization itself.  Our technology steadily makes amazing increase yet human condition across the globe has not kept up the pace.  Peace and good will among humanity gets lost in the pockets of extremism, greed and power. Encased in the ions of time, history sorely repeats itself in horrific illustrations of what mankind can do to mankind.... all in the name of what!  The cause or ideology becomes smeared with blood, ashes and pain of violence in corrupted belief, leaving an abhorrence in the pages of time.  

There is a rather sobering thought in Genesis 4, which contains the narrative of Cain and Abel, describing the first blood spilled on the land as a result of one brother killing the other.   Scripture states that this very blood cried out to the Lord from the land.  This issue of life in the form of blood now fell into a soiled death.  Since that time and throughout the centuries, our earth must make a formidable cry unto the Universe.  How ironic that in the beginning of creation, God took this same dust of the earth and fashioned man calling him Adam.

A paradox exists in noble accounts showing the best of humanity deemed worthy to write about as a tribute to the betterment of mankind.  Those who have lived their lives quietly and those who are renowned define the transitions throughout time to constitute God's intention in the respect and honor of all of His creations.  They brought honor in their time and taken risks to bring change to improve a broken world.   As time marches on from the past to the present and into the futurethe 'hallelujah' cry resonates for the awakening of the secret chord in the search for harmony and peace among nations. 

I conclude this post with a reminder that within the context of time, a familiar scripture that is potent in its simplicity states...."Be still and know that I am God"  from Psalm 46:10.   Time can be transcended into the Eternal where no time exists.

Until we meet again on Monday, December 7th,  have a blessed Thanksgiving  and let us not take for granted the privileges in freedom that we enjoy in these United States of America.  God protect her, guide her and guard her, so that Lady Liberty continue to be the beacon of light to the world.

Check this link for the Hallelujah song by Leonard Cohen in reference to the secret chord.... a beautiful song with a reflective message....

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Marine Corps Birthday - 240 years old!

November 10 and 11 of this week recognizes two military events in celebration - the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day.  I wrote a post on Veterans Day giving tribute to all American veterans and includes an article written by Father Denis Edward O'Brien, whose words say it all in the description of "What is a Vet".  This is the link to read in entirety:

Today's post reflects on the Marine Corps Birthday, held on November 10th of each year.  This year celebrates the 240th birthday, from the founding of the Marine Corps in 1775.  The formal commemoration began in 1921 in birthday celebration.   There are some excellent websites to go to for more detailed facts regarding the formation, purpose and values that distinguishes this elite warrior known as a Marine.  One such link is listed at the bottom of this post for your information.

The following are symbols of the Marine Corps, which helps in part to explain their mission:

The Eagle, Globe and Anchor Emblem has been a part of the Marine Uniform since 1868 and became the official emblem of the Marine Corps in 1955.  The emblem symbolizes the following:
Eagle - represents the proud nation that the Marines defend.  It stands at the ready with coastlines in sight and the entire world within reach of its outstretched wings.
Globe - represents worldwide presence of the Marines
Anchor - points both to the Marine Corps' naval heritage and its ability to access any coastline in the world.
Together - the eagle, globe and anchor symbolize commitment to defend our nation - in the air, on land and at sea.

Semper Fidelis is latin for "Always Faithful".  You will find these words printed on the ribbon flowing from eagle's beak on the Marine Corps Flag that is scarlet and gold in color.  These are words commanding attention and characterizes the Marine Corps bond from any other.  Semper Fidelis became the motto in 1883.   It is inclusive as a brotherhood that can be counted on, guiding Marines to remain faithful to each other, to the Corps, to the mission at hand and to country.... no matter what.
The Marines' Hymn is the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps.  It is the oldest official song in the United States military and is typically sung at the position of attention as a gesture of respect.  The first part verse is as follows:
 From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our countrie's battles; In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom, And to keep our honor clean.
  We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.
To hear all three verses of the Hymn, click on this link:
If you want to get your adrenaline going, watch this YouTube video:

The above photos were taken 'once upon a time' of my favorite Marine.  He traded in his helmet for a cowboy hat and remains honorable to the Corps to this day.  I have witnessed the bond that Semper Fidelis has with fellow Marines, whether currently active or discharged from service.  As the saying goes.... 'once a Marine, always a Marine'.  There is a camaraderie from one to another - strangers shake hands once identified as having Marine Corps history.

In closing, there is one tradition that I'd like to mention - the "Ooh-rah" - a motivational cry that signifies Marines are ready and eager to accomplish the mission before them.  I've watched Jim ooh-rah in his life not only in the military but with his job, his ranch and his family.  So, I say thank you for your service in all that you have done throughout the years.... from your favorite camp-follower!

Marine Corps Information Link: 

See you next time at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, November 23....  Uphold our military in prayer as we remember the Marines and all branches of the armed forces in recognition of our Veterans this week.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Encouragement!   It has the force to lift-up, plump-up, square-up, man-up (or woman), buck-up and cheer-up... to name a few 'ups'  that can pep-up and break-up the spiral of depression and negative shadows that can plague our day.  Our God is gracious to know what we need in times of discouragement and often will send a messenger to bring a breath of fresh air to help renew our spirit.  These messengers may be a friend or a stranger - whether it be a two legged or four legged critter!  Our Father God knows that sometimes we need a touch "with skin on it" to soothe away anxieties and hope for a better tomorrow.
                                                        The dictionary definition of encouragement is:  
                                                          - to inspire with hope, courage or confidence...
                                                          - to give support to; foster... 
                                                          - to stimulate, spur...,. 
                                                        Other words defining encouragement is comfort, rally, reassure.

God is not restricted to human or animal to help make our day.  It can can in the form of an inspired word or music.  His creative nature is all around us in abundant beauty and we stand in awe of a God who is beyond limitation.  The below photo was taken by a friend of mine who captured this glorious  Grant County sunrise from the deck of her home.  What a beautiful way to start the day in God's promise of new beginnings.   

September Sunrise - Photo by Linda Watson
A quote by Helen Keller says...."The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart."    Here was a woman who was blind and deaf, yet left a legacy of infusing hope in encouragement for others.  She was not privileged to enjoy the sight of such an amazing sunrise or hear melodious sounds. But she had a higher sight and sound in her heart where encouragement became an active force in her life and made a difference not only for her  personally, but for others.

I wrote about Helen Keller in a prior post in March of 2013.  Click on the below link if you would like to read my message entitled, "Mountains, a Grain of Sand & Helen Keller"....

Since I mentioned in my last posting about iPhone Photography, I'd like to bring to your attention the photograph featured in today's illustration.  It was not taken by a 'big-gun camera' but rather Linda took this awesome sunrise image with her Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Until we meet again, see you next time at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, November 9th.....

Monday, October 12, 2015


As everyone is aware, we experienced a 'moon event' in September which graced our heavens.  I was able to capture a few photos of the blood moon and the eclipse with my simple Nikon Coolpix camera.  Since I did not use a tripod and trying to keep a steady finger on the shutter, the photos turned out with help from the built-in camera zoom.  I share a few of them with you in today's post although the media was saturated with outstanding moon photography taken in various parts of the world.  The below pictures were part of a camera shoot from a Mt. Vernon viewpoint - mainly, the patio deck of our house. 

September 27th, 2015
September 28th, 2015
This last shot of the moon was taken through a spider's cobweb that had been spun between two deck posts.  At the moment I noticed the web, the moon was situated at the center and I was able to capture an interesting effect.  If I had been five minutes later, the moon and cobweb would have been out of position with one another and I'd have missed a great photo opportunity.

Opportunity  is defined as (a)...a favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances  (b)...a chance or prospect.  
Opportunity comes in all shapes, sizes and circumstances available to enhance a furthering of dreams, goals or skills.  Using photography as an example, technology has increased and continues to increase the power of digital camera capabilities as well as built in cameras on the iPhone and Androids.  For a photographer - whether he or she is a professional or amateur, being able to capture an expression of life becomes personal in satisfaction and delight.  

The photos taken below are with my iPhone.  I have become increasingly interested in the quality of photos that this camera takes.  I used to regard it as an inferior type of medium in the art of photography that was useful for spontaneous photos when not carrying my regular camera.  But now I appreciate the dimension that the iPhone camera can take you in photography.  Technology in the future will only increase the range in dynamics for taking smartphone photos to the next level, for both the iPhone and Android.

I discovered this website recently and was so impressed with the range of information regarding iPhone photography, I'd like to share it with you personally.  It is about iPhone Photography School, founded by Emil Pakarklis.  I ended up enrolling in the online Academy offered and have learned so much about photography techniques.  As the saying goes, a camera is only as good as the photographer.  It does not matter if the camera is in digital or smartphone form, photography elements are involved to create a great photo.  Some know this instinctively and some of us need help to make a good photo exceptional.  Check out Emil's link:

And this is my tip to pass on to you in this post....  many opportunities are missed through a variety of  reasons but many more await discovery.  A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson states...."Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting."  What better way of viewing God's handwriting by using photography to express His faceted creations.

Until next time at The Turn-Up Patch, join me on Monday, October 26....


Monday, September 28, 2015

Gift-Wrappings & Jewels

I discovered a wonderful 92 year old lady through a video clip and her poetry.  Her name is Wanda Goines.  She wrote a poem, profound in simplicity yet deep in meaning, called "The Gift Wrap and the Jewel".  Since I am a visual person,  I looked for images to try to depict an illustration to deepen meaning to her words. The first image signifies a wrapped gift box in full life and energy of the seasons of spring, summer and fall.  The second gift box is wrapped in burlap with plain ribbon in a representation of the winter season in our lives, as our bodies become aged and worn.  

The beautiful jeweled photo below is my attempt to find an image that remotely serves as an illustration of the essence that lives inside of our physical bodies.  We can all have our own interpretations of the energy in form that exists in spirit.... who has seen spirit? But who has felt the dynamics of spirit!   Both are alive - the human and the spirit, throughout all the seasons of our lives but spirit does one better.  When the body dies in its mortality,  the spirit lives on in its immortality.  

We come in variety of boxes in wrappings of color, pattern and style - shaped by the dynamics of human living and circumstance.  However, the jewel always was and placed within the setting of human by the breath of God.  Let Wanda's poem speak to you in the destiny we yearn for in the Master's hands as the gift-wrap fades and the jewel brightens.
                                                            "The Gift-Wrap & The Jewel" by Wanda B. Goines

                                                       "I looked in the mirror and what did I see?
                                                        But a little old lady peering back at me.
                                                        With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair
                                                        And I asked my reflection, how did you get there?
                                                                 You once were straight and vigorous
                                                        And now you're stooped and weak
                                                        When I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique.
                                                        My reflection's eyes twinkled and she solemnly replied
                                                        You're looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
                                                        A living gem and precious of unimagined worth
                                                        Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth.
                                                        The years that spoil your gift wrap with other things more cruel
                                                        Should purify and strengthen and polish up that jewel.
                                                        So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
                                                        On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
                                                        Then when your gift wrap's stripped away
                                                        Your jewel will be set free, to radiate God's glory throughout eternity!"      

You can also watch the video at this link and hear the poem in Wanda's words:

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hands..... and here is a reminder out of Malachi 3:17, "They shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, On that day I make them My jewels.  And I will spare them"

Join me in two weeks at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, October 12.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Fire Update, Petrolia and Doris

I begin this post by giving you a quick update on the Canyon Creek Complex fire we have had in this area that I reported about two weeks ago.  For family and friends who live in Eastern Oregon, this is not recent news as they live with it every day.  For the readers of my blog who are not familiar with the current fire news, as of today - Sunday, September 13 - the amount of acreage burned is 110,422 with 90% containment.  Cooler weather is on its way with rain helping to squelch the sections of fire that are still smoldering.   Hopefully, this monster fire will finally see its last!

August did bring the fair and the fire as I had mentioned in my posts of last month.  There was one other significant happening that I'd like to mention and that is bringing Doris home to her beloved Petrolia.  I have mentioned my mother-in-law, Doris in some previous posts that many of you may be familiar with.  Links are printed below for you to check out if you have not already seen them.
At one time, when Doris was of full mind, she told me that upon her death she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes returned to her home in Northern California.  She passed away on May 24th of this year.  She spent the past ten years of her life at a living facility in John Day where we oversaw her care.  I grew close to Doris and admired her spunk and quick mouth, which was sure to correct you if something was out of line in her estimation.  That spunk served her well throughout her years of survival.  There was one thing left to do before I could experience completion and that was to return her ashes to Petrolia.  Jim and I had the chance to do this in August and she came home.

The drive into Petrolia is beautiful and unique in its rugged countryside as well as the road itself.  Part of the road is called the 'Wildcat' and it befits its name.  It is twisty, curvy.... often just room enough for one vehicle.  When that occurs, you have to wait for your turn as the other driver passes through. It can become more complicated if a dense fog rolls in from the ocean.  You can smell the ocean air, refreshing instead of the smoke filled air from fires in the Oregon to California drive.  I took a few camera shots along the way as the Wildcat took you through a terrain of trees and ferns which lined the road into hilly pastures, a stretch of ocean drive and then back into the hills leading to Petrolia.  You can even catch a glimpse of some wildlife along the way - in this case, turkeys!

I include a few photos that are a little unusual.  A tree was growing from inside the remains of a truck that had seen better days.  You can imagine how long this old truck had been there to have a seedling tree grow up and out of the empty mount that once held a motor.

There is a painting on the wall of our friends' home in Petrolia that was done by Carl Sammons.  He was an early California artist, born in 1886 and died in 1968.  He was a prolific artist and included in his many paintings were images of the Mattole Valley in Humboldt County.  This particular painting was done in the earlier years of the town of Petrolia.  With our friends' permission, I took a photo of the painting as a remembrance of how Petrolia looked within the time period when Doris lived there as a young woman.

We can bid farewell to Doris now but its not really good-by, but until we meet again.  Symbolically speaking, she has returned to her Petrolia home in urn and ashes, but her spirit is enjoying her true home of life with our beloved Father of Lights in the glory of heaven.

Until we meet again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, September 28, enjoy the fall days ahead....

Monday, August 31, 2015

"We Are Still Standing!"

August has been an eventful month... first the fair and then the fire!  The fire began on August 12, exploded on the 14th and fire crews have been battling this monster ever since.  At this writing, there have been 101,465 acres burned.  Weather wind conditions take the flames where they may and it is ongoing.  Below is a photo that I took of Canyon Mountain a few years ago towards the end of the winter season.  The mountain is blanketed in cool snow and bathed with sunlit clouds.  Recent photos show a different Canyon Mountain blanketed in smoke as timber trees and underbrush give way to flames licking up it's defining ridges.

The photos below shows smoke plumbs and clouds, which are the dramatic effect of a fire that is having its way in forested areas, dry and neglected through regulation and environmentalist stronghold - a perfect storm when introduced to the dry weather pattern in the Pacific Northwest.

Many lost their homes who lived in the Canyon Creek area lying at the base of the mountain on a road that winds down into Canyon City and John Day.  At this moment in time, 41 homes were burned - a tremendous loss in a small populated area... 39 to the Canyon Creek fire and 2 near Prairie City.  The fire has extended itself into the Strawberry Mountain area and with wind complications has advanced close to the community of Prairie City with a population of around 900 people.   Evacuation notices are in effect because of the fire danger. The firefighters are battling to save the town at this writing.

The John Day Valley has town communities of Dayville, Mt. Vernon, John Day with Canyon City and Prairie City.  They are situated from west to east on Highway 26, spanning a distance of about 44 miles.   When one community is affected by such a catastrophic fire, it affects them all.  The communities have come together in a team spirit where there is no dividing lines - there is but one goal and one purpose and that is to come to the aid of the hurting, to those who have suffered loss and to support the firefighters on the front linesResponsive caring has reached beyond the highway 26 boundary of the John Day Valley into the north, south, east and west of Oregon.  Truckloads of supplies from businesses and individuals across Oregon have come to help in donating what they can to assist in the loss of this devastating fire.  The American Red Cross has been here since the beginning.  Residents are amazed by the outpouring of assistance by others.  Much gratitude is extended towards the firefighters who courageously, in heart and mind, dangerously labor to stay back the fire to save lives and property.  We hear so much about the bad in the world - it is heartfelt to see the goodness in people who far outweigh the bad in such demonstrations of compassion, generosity, and courage in the extension of good will.

With permission of a friend of mine, Jina Carniglia, I present her photo along with her quote, which exemplifies the spirit of the people of Grant County.... 

"Two weeks ago today our lives and our county were forever changed.  The hole in our hearts may never go away, but it is being patched by the love and support of a community that is resilient, strong and amazingly tough!  We may be sooty, dirty, and tired, but we are still standing!!!"

The following photo speaks a thousand words....  in essence, no matter what the circumstances in our life brings in charred loss, life can spring anew in God's message of hope.  My thanks to Vickie Bly who brought this photo to my attention.

This is a continuing story and my hope is that by the time my next post rolls around on Monday, September 14,  I'll have some good news to report about the containment of the Canyon Creek Complex fire.

These are just a few of various news links about the currently active 2 week fire:

Here is a video put together by Audra Clark entitled "Canyon Creek Complex 2015"

Video Link:

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Fair is an Affair

A celebration happened last week and that was the 106th Grant County Fair & Rodeo.  It is now the longest-running annual county fair in the State of Oregon held annually in August.  The fair comes complete with lots of entertainment for all ages - carnival rides, music, contests and events, livestock exhibits, vendors, a rodeo and of course, socializing with other fair attendees.  In a small community, that is pretty easy to do as you usually meet someone you know.   Children are always a delight to watch as they express themselves in fun.  I was able to take few photos of several children who were excited over their face paintings, artistically drawn in facial expression.

There are plenty of behind the scene activities at the County Fair, one being 4-H.  A short lesson on what 4-H stands for..... Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.  The colors are green and white - green stands for growing, living things and white for purity and cleanliness.
The 4-H Pledge is: my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world. The 4-H motto: "To Make the Best Better"... The 4-H Slogan: "Learn by Doing".  
4-H is for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 18, which is designed to develop and mentor youth through a variety of clubs, camps and programs.  One such program focuses on livestock animals, which includes sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, horses.... even to chickens and rabbits.  Youth involved in the 4-H program spend a great deal of their summer in taming, training, grooming and looking after their animal in preparation for competition for showmanship and quality of their animal.
The animals are usually sold at auction at the end of the fair, the climatic ending of a summer of hard work and responsibility for the final outcome of the worth of their animal.  Below are a few photos of some of the animals exhibited at the fair.  I captured a few in a comedic pose -  baby rabbits curled up in a feed pan - a pig eating that last bit of grain - goats have big ears! - a sheep who wanted out - cute  miniature horses with eye hiding forelocks.  These are just some of the 4-H animals and a few on exhibit for viewing pleasure.

There are some stories behind fair events - the scene of sadness and tears for some youngsters when it is time to let go of their animal for auction.  Mixed emotions are evident since they reap the reward for all their hard work in a monetary way as their animal goes to the highest bidder.  For some, heartstrings are attached but nonetheless, they prepare themselves to go through this same process for another year.

Which brings me to another story behind the rodeo scene.  The below photos show a horse and rider who carried the flag as part of the traditional 'grand entry' before rodeo action begins.  As horse and rider move throughout the arena, it gives a sense of pride and patriotism to have the flag displayed in this manner.  It was especially moving when you know that the rider is paralyzed from the waist down. If you look close enough in the picture, you will see a brace that stabilized him to the horse.  His determination and grit is apparent in riding horseback in the privilege of carrying the American flag.  Way to go Alec!

The theme for this year's Grant County Fair & Rodeo days was "Blue Jeans & County Dreams".  An affair indeed!... a love of community and tradition for folks of all ages to enjoy and onward to the 107th in 2016.   

Let's visit again at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, August 31....  Until then, God bless us all in the freedoms we enjoy and not take them for granted,  even a county fair.