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What is my earliest memory? and pics of a baby me~ #CalisaRhose #MFRWauthor #52weekchallenge2

Osiyo~

Marketing For Romance Writers (whom is not actually only for romance writers, but ALL writers) started a 52 week blog challenge last year. Cool, huh? So, you’ll be seeing a lot more posts from me this year with this challenge and, hopefully, in my writing as well.

I don’t know how I missed this challenge last year, or maybe I was aware and I just don’t remember it. Which, ironically, goes with this second week’s preset topic; My earliest memory. Considering here lately I don’t seem to have any memory whatsoever, or at least no short term memory, now I have to sink back 45+ years to an early one! Well, here I go…

This is me. Cute little bugger, huh? I was about 4-6 months old, I believe. No, I don’t remember this particular moment, or where it was taken. I’m guessing Alva, OK. where I was born, since we supposedly moved to California when I was about 6 months old (and that’s not our California house or dogs behind me).

I remember, once in California, living on the farm owned by Daddy’s Greek boss in Lancaster until I was just over six years old when, we moved to Texas (where I had to repeat kindergarten because of the age/date of birth thing).

I think I was three in the color pic (that’s me on Momma’s right, my older sister on her left, and our older brother behind sis. It seemed my parents took quite a few pics in those fields surrounding our house because there are a butt load of them. 😆 

I admit, the country around Lancaster was beautiful, so I can’t really blame them.

But I digress. So, what is my earliest memory?

Before she was school age my sister and I were wild little hellions, running all over the Mojave desert (within range of Momma’s voice, of course). My birthday is late December, and hers late November- and two years older than me- so she didn’t start school until I was almost four. Which meant, I was alone, a lot, in the two years after she started school.

See what I mean? Those fields were the backdrop of many memories. This is my adorable parents.

One day when I was probably five, and this might not even be my earliest memory–those years were about childhood and it was all one big fantasy time for me of interchangeable memories–I had my bff with me, aka sister’s walking doll she told me not to play with. (I have a pic of the doll somewhere.) I was playing in the barn, talking to the boss’s many horses in their stalls. My favorite horse was a deep red three year old sorrel named V-O. He was off limits to us kids because, being a stallion, he was quite mean, or so we were warned. I loved him anyway and spent many hours sitting on his gate petting and talking to him, while my older sibs were in school. Of course, the grown-ups didn’t know what I was doing!

That day I heard the stock trailer rumble into the barnyard and I got very excited at the sound. The trailer always meant NEW HORSES!

I remember running with that doll, who could not keep up and  I don’t remember whatever happened to the doll after that. lol I got to the trailer just as the 2000 pound cargo unloaded. To this day, I can remember my breath escaping as I got my first look at the black-as-pitch massive horse with long, flowing mane and a thick tail that dragged in the dirt when he moved. All I do remember is how the sun gleamed off the slick fall coat of the huge beast.

It was the first time I’d ever seen a Frisian, though I didn’t know what he was at the time. I can still remember the giddy feeling as Gus Elliopus swung me up onto a back wide enough to play on! I grabbed a handful of that silky, wavy mane, and held on for dear life because it seemed like I was a hundred feet off the ground! And I rode him as Gus lead us across the barnyard and inside the barn.

That memory stops there. I don’t remember getting off the horse and I don’t recall ever seeing him again. It’s like a mystical dream of a five year old little girl. It is also one of my more vivid memories.

Here’s a horse that looks exactly like my memory, http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-breeds/profiles/friesian-horse-horse-breed.aspx

Thank you for dropping by and I hope you enjoyed my little trip into the way back recesses of my mind. 😆 Join me and visit other authors earliest memories by clicking their links below.

Dodadagohvi~

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Calisa Rhose presents ~ Gambler’s Choice by Linda Nightingale #mfrwauthor #abouthorsepeopleforhorsepeople

Osiyo~

Today I have a special guest who is a new and very dear friend and fellow horsewoman who has been instrumental in helping me through an, at-times, unbearably intolerable week. Please welcome the multi-talented and lovely Linda Nightingale to the Ranch! She’s brought her new book to share. I absolutely LOVE this cover and can’t wait to read my copy of the book. Here’s Linda to share about the book.

Gambler’s Choice

By Linda Nightingale

A novel about people who love horses…

From The Wild Rose Press

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Editor: Mary Harmony

Tagline:   An English aristocrat and a Virginia socialite go head-to-head—and feet-to-feet—in a battle over ownership of a very special horse.

Rating: Spicy

Digital Price: $4.99

Print Price: $16.99

Here’s a video trailer to enjoy in lieu of a blurb. 😀

Gambler’s Choice:

GamblersChoice_w9208_750

Rebecca McQuaid was in England for one reason.

To find the perfect match.

Size was important. Becca was a tall girl. Money was of no consequence whatsoever. Becca was a wealthy girl. Heart mattered most. He must have the heart to go the distance. She dreamed of a partnership that would last a lifetime. But looks did rank quite high on her list of priorities.

“I simply can’t ride an ugly horse. That would be like dating an ugly man.” Tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she laughed and winked at her friend.

Meg shot her a frown, her tone accusing Becca of being an uncivilized colonist. “Rebecca McQuaid, you say the damnedest things.”

An appreciative chuckle turned her around to squint into the sun. A tall, elegant, dark figure of a man on a magnificent horse caught her imagination mid-stride. She couldn’t see the rider’s face, but she knew he’d overheard the exchange with her friend. He saluted her with a tap of his whip to the brim of his hat as he rode past. Excitement capered over her, and she smiled. The horse’s muscled, blood bay rump glistened. The stallion was sixteen-two hands, fit and impeccably groomed.

“Nice buns. That one’s good-looking enough for me.” She elbowed her friend. “Who is it?”

Meg shaded her eyes. “Gambler’s Choice and Austen Heath. Both horse and rider satisfy your criteria, my dear girl.”

“The horse is handsome.” She wished she had gotten a better look at the bay, but he was a mahogany blaze in the morning sun. “Are you telling me the rider is?”

“That’s the general consensus, but Austen hides in that rambling, dark mansion of his.” Meg studied the pair picking up a trot along the arena. “Fierce competitors. Hard to beat at Intermediate. We’ll see how they handle Advanced.”

“An Advanced horse?” Becca wriggled her shoulders. “I’m in the market.”

“Look elsewhere.” Meg’s finger jutted at Becca’s nose. “Austen won’t sell Gambler for love or money. Guaranteed. Not even for the kind of money you’re willing to spend.”

“Meggie.” She linked arms with her friend. “Everything has a price.”

Meg balked like a donkey. “You’re in a different world, princess.”

“Well, not everything. Love doesn’t have a price.” Pain wrenched her heart as a memory of the breakup with Daniel flashed through her mind. The hurt was too fresh to even think of another man. “But I’m not in the market for love.”

Becca had found that the best way to protect her heart was to play spoiled little rich girl. She had that part down pat, and, as Winston Churchill had said, There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. She was looking for a horse to fall in love with and help mend her broken heart.

*****

Linda and Bonito perform a Musical Freestyle to Phantom of the Opera

Linda and Bonito perform a Musical Freestyle to Phantom of the Opera

From the time I was born, I was in love with horses. Every Christmas, I’d rush to the window to see if there was a pony tied to a tree. Sadly, there never was until my parents moved to a small farm near where we’d formerly lived. Then they bought me a black paint gelding I named First Fling. I was thirteen at the time. From that beginning, after I married, I went on to breed Egyptian Arabians and later the magnificent Andalusian horse. My stallion Bonito was three times National Champion.

So, it was predestined that at some time I would write a book about horses and the people who love them. I can testify that this love can be one to distraction! I had never participated in 3-Day Eventing, a very demanding and dangerous sport, but my friend in Florida was an eventer. If I ran into a problem with the technical information, I called Helen. She’d walk me through the event. I didn’t ramble off into too much detail because I didn’t want to bore the non-horsey reader. The techniques of the half-pass, the shoulder-in, and the canter pirouette are probably not familiar to most people outside the horse aficionado.

LindaNightingaleGambler’s Choice is the name of a jumping class in a horse show. I think that name and the excitement of that race against the clock inspired the book. In this class, each team (horse and rider) that makes a clean round goes on to the next. The fences are raised, and again they must beat the best time of other entries. A sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of experience.

I named the equine star after the class. Though the book is a romantic suspense, the story is really about two people who love one horse. Becca is willing to pay any amount for Gambler’s Choice. Austen is not going to sell his best friend for any price. Perhaps, a horse person is the only one who’d understand how dramatic this conflict is.

I love to chat with readers so come see me at these locations around cyberland.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LNightingale

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LindaNightingaleAuthor

Buy Link: print http://ow.ly/YaLsh or digital http://ow.ly/YaLFD

Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.

Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4839311.Linda_Nightingale

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lbnightingale1/

Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03972_A_5-Y

Thank you for visiting and sharing GC with my readers today, Linda. I can’t wait for news on future projects!

Dodadagohvi~

B ~ Blogging from A to Z ~ B is for #Birthdays #AtoZ #Blogging

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

Osiyo~

Welcome to the round pen where I’ll blog every day in April– except Sundays– through every letter in the alphabet. I’ll be talking about a variety of things all month long. Each day the post will be about something beginning with the corresponding alphabet letter.  It might be writing related, or you might learn something new about me. Don’t forget to click on the awesome banner the A to Z team gave us to find all the other bloggers who are filling your April with interesting and fun posts!

April 2 …

I’ve been so busy lately with BIRTHDAYS. In three weeks I helped two, of my five, beautiful little granddaughters celebrate another year. I thought it would be fun to share a little of these fun days.

IMG_20140315_163847Kia close-upFirst up- Nikkia ‘Kia’ turned 5 on my late daddy’s birthday, March 18th- unplanned. On an interesting aside, Kia’s momma (my daughter) was specifically planned for and born on my late momma’s birthday, May 10th.

Kia is 1/4 Japanese and 3/4 mix of other nationalities, including– but not limited to–British, Irish, French and Cherokee from her mother’s side. I love the facial expressions she makes and her little Japanese eyes crinkle so adorably. She takes after her mother in almost every way, except for her daddy’s eyes and light olive complexion. She will be a real man-killer when this one grows up.

Too bad for all those future hopefuls that she’s already ‘married’ to her Pre-K “husband” Chayton! LOL Just ask them and they will both tell you. He never left her side during her cake decorating and pizza-making birthday party at a local bakery. His parents, in the background, were expecting Chayton’s second baby brother any day then. The middle boy, Axton, was also at the party. Caius made his appearance a week later. The parents’ names? Bobbie IMG_20140315_163956and Elvis. 😆

Last week mommy and daughter went to get their hair cut alike. Yesterday Kia decided her bangs needed to be one inch long…on one side. Momma took her to get her hair ‘fixed’ today without taking pictures first. Dang it! 🙂 I dare you to say you’ve never cut your own hair, or a sibs, as a child! 😆

***

Andee's cake 3.29.14Next was Andee, who turns 9 tomorrow, April 3rd. Her grampa and I have legal guardianship of her right now and we decided to give her a skating party last Saturday. What fun everyone had!

Andee's giftsI’m still waiting for more pics of that party, but her best friend, Izaya and her best girlfriend, Jayden made it, among other friends and lots of family. Andee wanted horses on her cake, being our little horsewoman. 🙂 Our little cowgirl made out like a bandit in gifts!

Andee on Sonny 09-2013

Andee on Sonny 09-2013

She’s not the least afraid of my 1200 pound, 21 yo Quarterhorse, Sonny, whom Andee learned to ride on at age two! But after falling head-first off him the day this pic was taken (and getting right back on!), she decided it would be nice to have a horse her size to play on. One she could get on by herself and ride with minimal supervision–that is her vision, we watch her constantly still– which led to a six month hunt that concluded with her new 6 yo quarter-pony, Apple.

Apple 11-2013

Apple 11-2013

Apple is actually a combined Christmas gift for all five granddaughters, but primarily Andee’s since we board and she cares for her alone. 🙂 So it was no wonder Andee asked for horses on her birthday cake. Or that she requested I redo her (newly redecorated last summer) butterfly garden-themed room to horses this year. LOL

So, that’s it for the letter B

Happy birthday to my two little angels! Now I’ll have to do another post on the two youngest babies who had birthdays in January. 🙂 Fun!

Dodadagohvi~

Calisa Rhose and Friday Fanfare welcomes~ Gail MacMillan