Wednesday, April 26, 2017


My Grandpa's ranch....
 I've mentioned it before, and we recently took a trip up to that beautiful place, so you may have heard all about it.
It's been a huge part in shaping me into what I am today, how I look at the world and life, and what a blessed gift family, friends, and love is.
 My mom was carrying me one of the trips there, so I guess you could say it was in my blood before I was even born. lol
 It was a great place for a kid, where you could do nothing but run wild and free, nose burned, freckles across your whole body (if you have skin like mine) and your hair bleached from the sun till nearly white.
 Dust got in your nose, in your mouth, and in your eyes, but you loved every single minute of it.
It was pure bliss.
 Grandpa would be there in his straw cowboy hat, with a large turkey feather tucked in the band, his dark mustache tickling your cheek when he gave you a hug.
 Grandma, with her wide, beautiful smile and great big bear hugs.
In the evenings, gathered around the fire, you'd burn your face and freeze your back while listening to the uncles and cousins play and sing, and in the background you could hear the sound of young cousins running and playing in the dark.
 The river, clear and sweet, was a place for happy play, swimming and dam building, and it was there, on the last trip when she was healthy, that Grandma taught me how skip rocks.
 Grand, beautiful days.
And then Grandma got sick, and soon, she was gone.
 My life was changed forever; turned upside down.

And things began to change, oh, did they change.

 Grandma was gone, her smiles no longer there, or her hugs, Grandpa's dark mustache turned white, and I began to change, too.
I began to grow up, and everything around me was confusing, frightening.
 Grandpa re-married, to a good woman, whom I have grown to love, but it was hard, very hard in those first days.
 I was emotional, alone and bewildered in an ever-changing world and nothing seemed solid; nothing on which I could hold to.
 But the ranch.
It stayed as beautiful, free and special as it had always been, the hills just as big, the trees strong and tall, and the river as musical as ever.
 Here I could come and forget for a while, with nothing but beautiful wilderness, the wind in my face and a song in my heart.
 It was my solid ground, unchanging and ever-true, and it became even more special to me.

And then my world came crashing down again.

It is being sold.
 Last weekend Grandpa, some of the grandsons, and my uncle w/his family went up there to empty it out, clean it up, and say goodbye.
 No, I didn't go with.
I have to admit I was pretty crushed when I was told that this was goodbye, for real.
 I hurt. but it was a kind of numb, empty sadness, and I didn't even feel like crying.
I tried to once, thinking it would help, but it didn't work, and I was bitter that this was happening.
 It didn't seem fair that I had to say goodbye so often in my life.
In saying goodbye, it was letting go of the last link to the old days.
 My childhood had officially ended, and little LaKaysha was forever gone.
I had hoped to have my honeymoon there, to bring my kids there and give them the childhood I had.
 Now that would never happen.
 Then the truth slowly came to me, and it was a hard lesson to learn, but God got through.

It's just a place.

A very special place, that will hold a place in my heart, and many blessed memories that I can tell my children about, even if I can't show them, but it's still just a place.
 My solid ground is no longer a piece of land or a memory-filled house, although I will never forget them, and will always love them deeply.
 My solid ground is the Rock of Ages, my blessed Redeemer, Who I have learned to cling to because of these goodbyes, these trials I have had in my life.
 I guess there will always be a small part of me there in those hills that I will never truly find again, but that's ok, and the way it should be.
 To me, in my heart, that house will always be filled with singing, Grandma's smiles and warm laughter.
 The river will always run clear and free, the trees will always be swaying in a musical breeze, and the flowers will always bloom each spring.
 No, in my memory, the land will never change, and Grandma will never leave it.
 The music, her smile and the peace will always be in my heart, and I will carry those precious gifts for the rest of my life.
 So, goodbye, blessed land of enchantment.
Goodbye, you beautiful days of old.
 It's time step out of the shadow of the past, holding the precious memories close, thanking God for all those blessings He allowed me, and to hold His hand as He leads me on to the unknown.

'Some trails are happy ones, others are blue. It's the way you ride that trail that counts...' Happy Trails by Roy Rogers


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Funeral, a Family, and a Legacy

My Great-Grandpa, Orville West, passed away recently.
 He was my grandma's father, and because he was sick a lot these past few years, I didn't see him often, therefore I didn't know him too well, personally. 
 But he will be missed by all of us, although we are all so glad he is finally home, away from pain, and no longer missing Grandma Betty, or 'Ma' as he called her.<3 
 My Grandpa Warnke had been very close to Grandpa Orville, after marrying into the family, and it was hard for him to say goodbye the last earthly 'father' he had on earth. 
 He loved 'Pa' very much, and it does hurt me to see him so lonely. 
But I know he is rejoicing to know that Grandpa Orville is in the arm's of our Savior. 
 We all are. 
Grandpa Orville was quite a man in his day. 
 I wish you could hear some of the stories that the West children pass around, laughing about 'Pa's antics as well as their own.  
 Nothing I can say will ever explain the musical talent he was gifted with. 
The way he played piano was unique and beautiful, filled with trills, his own little notes and chords, and he played completely by ear. 
 He could play practically anything, and he was the most gifted man I have ever known. 
That gift was passed on to his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren, and it's still going strong! <3
 When he passed away, it brought relatives from all corners of the nation here for his funeral, and I was so happy to see loved ones that I grew up with, but long since moved away. 
 The week was long, with plenty of late nights, but it was filled with singing, playing, and catching up with family. 
 Roger played guitar with Great-Uncle O'Neil, my cousin's husband, Jed, played his violin, while cousin 'Little' Darlene, Great-Aunt Darlene (or 'Big Darlene') and Great-Aunt Eunie sang along, bellowing out throughout the house beautiful songs of praise. 
 The harmony was absolutely amazing. <3 
Great-Great Uncle Marvin came from the Midwest to bid his brother goodbye till we meet again, and it was nice to see him, for I had always known of him through his Christmas letters but didn't remember him. 
 He was in WWII, you know, and was in the major Battle of the Bulge. 
He wears hearing aids because of the loud artillery he loaded, but when asked about the war, he avoids the subject. 
 'I can't really talk about it.' (may be misquoting a bit)  
When asked about the Bulge he says, yes, he was there, at the last, hard part of it, and it 'just went downhill from there'. 
 That's the most he's ever told us history buffs about it. 
My Great-Aunt and Uncle, Becka and Tim, drove all the way from down South, and it was so good to see them. 
 It was just a wonderfully sad weekend, with a lot of singing, some tears, and laughter. 
I just love gathering with family. 
 It warms my heart to see different generations together under the same roof, extending their hand's in God's peace and feeling His presence there in that crowded house. 
 Grandpa Orville had 280+ great-grandchildren! 
I am happy to say I am one them, and so blessed to have been born into such a large, wonderful family. 
 Grandpa Orville would have been so proud to know the legacy he left behind. 
The blessed songs of Zion, in each and every heart. 
 Rest in peace, Grandpa, until we meet again. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Modest Dresses

So many of us wish for pretty, modest dresses, right? 
 I personally love classy, retro cuts, below-knee length or mid-calf, fitted waists and pretty prints.
But with today's styles of off-shoulder, low-cut, short dresses, it's hard to find anything worth wearing. 
 Hello, internet! ;) 
I have found a few stores through the years that have nice products, some a little pricey,but I have found that dressing modest is pretty expensive in general.

Lately this site has been a little more boho or modern for my taste, but you can still find some nice ones. This is the more pricey company. 
 I actually haven't ordered anything from them, even though I've been a member for quite a while *blushes* but I never had the money. 
 I know other people who have, though, and their dresses seemed very pretty and of nice material.  

This site is pretty cool! 
 You can change the sleeve style, neckline, and length to your own taste, plus you have the choice of sending in your measurements and they will make the dress to fit your figure perfectly. 
 Swell, huh?  
I'm a little picky and some of the dresses are of too stiff material for me, but that's not a problem for some people, and they still have plenty of dresses of soft fabric. 

I wish they had this dress before I ordered.... *groans* 
 Felicity got the same dress, but a different print and I really liked the waistline. 
But I ordered a different style (crosses fingers) and it hasn't arrived yet. 
 These dresses aren't as classy as I usually prefer, but they are soft and dainty, and the price isn't too bad. :) 
 They are having an Easter sale right now! Hurry! 

This company is in England, but they have a USA site, so just make sure you click on the name I have up. 
 These are retro! <3 
Some of the prints are much too loud for me, but they have some nice soft colors, too, and most of the cuts stay true to us hard-core vintage lovers. 
 I prefer the Audrey style (above)

And that's it! 
 I hope you'll go check these sites out! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Living in the Love of the Common People

Nothing much happening in my world, folks.
 Our computer went turbo on me and hasn't been working, so I haven't had much motivation to do any writing. 
 The laptop just doesn't have that pleasant 'clickety-clack' that our computer keyboard does. 
Hopefully sweet Uncle Clint can get it fixed, because I don't exactly like the thought of having lost ten years worth of pictures, plus four years work of my BOOK. 
 Yeah...let's not even think about THAT. 
I honestly can't think of much to write about, but the title is nice, isn't it? ;)
 Thought you'd all enjoy the pic of my delicious nacho, It was very good, thank you. *laughter*
Let's see....My Grandpa had open-heart surgery, and is doing much better, thankfully, but it gave us all a little scare just the same.
 My sisters, cousin(s) and I are considering flying out East to help out while he gets back on his feet, but it hasn't been decided yet.
 Money, money, money is always a problem.
Praying about it and seeing what God has in store.
 Spring is finally here!
The weather here has been typical spring for the Northwest.
 Rain, then sunny, then rain again, all in one afternoon, and I've been loving it. <3
Other than that, 'everything is the same old same..'
 Living the life, doing dishes, laundry, chores.
Split a little wood and stacked it. (Yes, with an ax. *flexes very small muscles*)
 I wore my cowboy boots, yes, it was raining, and no I did NOT slip and do a face plant again.
*grins with a sense of pride*
Every time wear my boots while working outside, my siblings look at me with raised brows and say, 'Don't slip!'
 But what are boots for if not working outside? Goodness, people.
I learned my lesson and watch where I step. LOL
 I even cleaned the gutters in the pouring rain, standing precariously on a rickety ladder, with my boots and didn't slip once. Let's have an applause all around. *thank you, thank you*
 Enough of my silliness.
The rain has turned out yellow grass green again, and the fields look so lush and inviting, I have to refrain from jumping the fence and frolicking through the grass.
 The cows would certainly give me an odd look, wouldn't they?
Not to mention what the neighbor's reaction would be to see a full-grown adult running through HIS cow pasture, her hair streaming behind her and her arms waving as she screeches, 'I feel so alive!'
 It would be interesting to hear his thoughts on the matter.
I once climbed our tree in the front yard, to see if I still could, just to have that very same neighbor stand under the very same tree to chat with my dad.
 I held my breathe and tried to remain perfectly still, not wanting to try and explain just why an eighteen-year-old girl is randomly sitting in a tree.
 I don't know if he saw me or not. *laughs out loud*  
Now that we had my random little chatter...

Just bought myself this CD. 
Have you heard him? It's amazing! <3  

I've been doing a little SMASH booking lately. 
This page is filled with ranches I drool over in LAND magazine. 

Wonderful memories with old friends... <3 

I am slowly mastering the art of a lattice crust! 
This one is a little crooked....*sighs*

Some humor for your day. 

And a little bit of wisdom before we part ways. 


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scribbling Through the Years

I've been drawing for as long as I can remember.
 When I was in grade school, I confess sketching along the borders of my math pages instead of working the problems, and any spare time in school was spent drawing whatever was on my mind. (Which was NEVER the lesson. *cough* I really was a straight 'A' student, somehow)
 It's really quite amusing to go through my old drawings every now and then, laughing at the strange looking figures on paper.
 I'm not quite ready to share my super old ones, (probably never will be. Some are literally eight years old) but I would like to share how my art has improved in just two years.
 These are taken with a phone's camera, and cameras seem to make my drawings look a little weird, so please excuse the terrible photos.

These are from my sketchbook, which I got two years ago. 

Her head is a little large, isn't it? 

Here I was practicing expressions

Another expression

You'll find that my favorite subject is the Old West. *chuckles*
This is from the Louis L'Amour book 'Shalako'

Another Louis L'Amour

Echo Sackett from 'Ride the River' by (any guesses?) Louis L'Amour

Now we are getting closer to this year

I really like this one *smiles* 
'Kilkenny' by Louis L'Amour

And now we are to the present time. 
I have started sketching my characters 
from my books, and this is one couple

This one looks much better in real life.... Oh, well

Some more characters

And another couple from my imagination. Lol

This is my latest. I'm pretty excited how it turned out! *wide grins*
This is Jim Rogers, son of the movie cowboy Will Rogers

What do you think? 
Have I improved? 
Which drawing is your favorite? 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What's Going On In You World?

Just thought I'd give ya'll a little update on my 'exciting' life.
 I've had a cold for about a week now, and my head is now slowly clearing up, thank goodness, so it's been much easier to sleep at night.
 To be perfectly honest, nothing much has been happening these days. lol
Both of my sisters already did posts on our trip to visit Kirsten and her family, so I won't bore ya'll by posting another long one about the same thing.
 Besides, I haven't a cool pictures like they do. *winks*
But it was an awesome weekend, full of fun, good food, and lots of snuggles with my sweet little cousin Kaaren. Just LOVE that girl.
 I always enjoy going to see those people, no matter how long a stay.
They seem to make you feel so at home, and well, liked. 
It's a nice feeling, to know people like you and actually want to be with you. haha
 The weather here has been pretty dull, too, along with the days, but I'm welcoming this time of quiet.
 I may have a new part-time job soon, (one I'm not too overly thrilled about. I never enjoy cleaning other people's messes, especially if they have a dog. Ugh) and it may keep me pretty busy.
 It isn't official yet, so we shall see.
I've been praying for God to open doors if He wants me to start work of some kind, but when he opened this one, I was kind of, 'Um, are You sure?'
 So now I've been praying that if this is truly what He wants me to do for a while, to show me for sure, and to give me strength, patience and cheerfulness to do the job.
 I mean, when He opens the door, I have to have the courage to step through it, don't I?
It's stepping way out of my comfort zone to drive to places I've never been, (I don't exactly enjoy driving) talk to people I've never met, and clean so thoroughly, you can run a white glove along the trim without getting a speck of dust or lint.
 It's almost like working for some rich millionaire, I guess, although I would rather clean up a huge mansion that was fairly clean before I started.
 Cleaning up dog hair and waste is just not my cup of tea.
I don't mind cleaning, but cleaning dirty houses. *sighs*
 We'll have to see how this goes.
I'm trying to keep an open mind and cheery outlook.
 Not doing a very good job, am I? *Looks a little ashamed. sorry*

  My current favorite songs:
Volare by Dean Martin 
Return to Me by Dean Martin

Remember When by Alan Jackson 

One Woman Man by Josh Turner

Currently watched:

The Dick Van Dyke Show

Currently read:
With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin 

The Man Called Noon by Louis L'Amour 

I haven't been doing much reading, I'm afraid. *blushes* 
 The Louis L'Amour was lying around because my brother was reading it, and I always tend to read anything I find on the coffee table. (It bugs him to no end to find me reading his book. chuckles)
 My sweet aunt back East sent me a package of books in the mail, and the Sarah Sundin book was one of them. I enjoyed it, actually. :)
 Now I am working on another one she sent:

And that's basically all I've been up to! 
 Along with some sewing and the usual household chores (laundry, cleaning, dishes, ect.) 

How's your life been? 


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Songs, Movies, and Books Tag

Another tag, guys!
 Seems like that's all I do lately, but it's all right because I was running out of things to write about anyways. *wink*
 I hope it isn't boring you ppl.
1) A song that describes you in some way
 I'm gonna do two if that's ok... :)
That's Important to Me by Joey +Rory

Call Me Old-Fashioned by Bradley Walker
2) A movie that inspires you 
Amazing Grace

3) A book that the main character is like you 
So this one is really hard for me.... I mainly read Louis L'Amours, and well, the main characters are guys. Most girls I read about tend to annoy me with their vanity, attitude, and the way they fly off the handle at any little thing the guy (who they always hate in the beginning and end up marrying in the end) says.
 But I guess I could say I'm a mixture of some characters.
From Little Women, Jo March, with her spunky and sometimes fiery attitude, (which I think I hide more than she does) Beth March, with her quiet and shy nature,(Funny mixture, I know, but I'm a complex individual) Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables, with her imaginative, dreamy nature (I don't talk NEAR as much her, though) and Laura Ingalls from the Little House series.
  4) A song that you love 
Ok, so can I be a rebel and post two? (AGAIN)
Sing Me Back Home by Don Williams
It's About the Cross by The Ball Brothers
5) A movie that you love
ONE movie?
 Wow.... I guess The Man from Snowy River

6) A book you love 
Just one? ;)
 Shalako by Louis L'Amour
7) A song you do not like 
Sorry, Daminika.
 Girl by Davy Jones
8) A movie you do not like
The Pennsylvania Story
 Nothing against Jimmy Stewart. LOVE him.
But I thought the storyline behind this movie was pointless and weird, and although the acting was good, I DID NOT LIKE IT.
9) A book you do not like
 Emily of New Moon by L.M Montgomery
10) A song that makes you happy 
yeah.... so I'm just breaking the rules here and naming three songs.... *wink*
Live Until I Die by Clay Walker
Work Through My Hands, Lord by Dennis Weaver
Live in the Love of The Common People by Johnny Cash&
Ed Ames
11) A movie that freaked you out 
As a child, I was terrified of Thumbelina.

12) A book that made you cry 
Angel Unaware by Dale Evans Rogers
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13) A song you listened to a lot when you were younger
Wringle Wrangle by Fess Parker
14) A movie you watched a lot when you were younger 
I watched lots.... LOL
Across the Great Divide, The Adventures of the Wilderness Family and Challenge to be Free are just the three that I'll name. ;)
15) A book you read a lot when you were younger
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
Hardy Boys by F. Dixon
16) A song that irritates you
Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain.
 It's waayyy too catchy.
The girl in the song bugs me with her attitude, expecting the guy to worship the ground she walks on.
"I can be late for a date, that's fine, but he better on time..."
To put it bluntly, she can do what she wants, but boy, he better walk the line.
 It takes two, you know.
17) A movie that kept you on the edge of your seat
The Great Escape
18) A book that left you breathless 
Cassidy by Lori Wick.
 I'm not a fan of Lori Wick at all, but this one was nice, and I just loved the guy in it. *giggles*

And that's that. :D
I tag: Felicity @Poems, Prayers and Promises