Saint Valentine

Saint Valentine

Oh what a tangled web we weave……….cupid and psyche

Hi guys!!! You might have noticed this but the title, image and first line of this blog are all totally unrelated.  First off, let me say, Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤  Now for a bit of a history lesson.  Saint Valentine:  There were actually a couple of Catholic priests with the name of Valentine but it is believed that back in the mid 200’s AD there was  a Roman Emperor who felt he could not grow his army because men didn’t want to leave their wives and families.  Because of this, he outlawed marriage in order to, in his mind, increase the number of soldiers fighting for him.  Despite what the emperor wanted, Valentine (a romantic at heart) would still marry men and woman.  His actions did not go unnoticed and when he was found out, he was beaten and sentenced to death.  While he was in jail he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and before he was killed on February 14th 270 AD, he passed a note to her with the endearment “from your Valentine”.  Sound familiar? :*  Now, you might ask, what the heck does that have to do with the price of rice in China!?  Nothing…HA!  Buuuut, before Valentine’s death, Romans already used to celebrate a fertility festival succeeding a holiday directly tied to Juno, Goddess of Women and Marriage.  My guess would be that in Rome’s urge to convert everyone to Catholicism they merged the Holiday with the untimely death of the now “Saint Valentine”.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave” was a quote by Scottish author and novelist Sir Walter Scott.  The rest of the quote goes somberly like this: “when first we practise to deceive”.  Nope, practice is not spelled correctly via today’s English standards…it was bugging me too 😛 aaand not very uplifting, I admit, but I somehow felt like this spidery and seemingly hairy first portion of this quote seems to go hand in hand with love.  What do you think?  Share with me your favorite quotes that make you think of love?

That brings me to the image at the top of the screen.   The first person who can correctly comment who created this sculpture and where the prime version of it resides will win a $15 Smittysrancho gift card.  So let’s hear it people…give!

Now let me tell you a little bedtime story about this beautiful representation of love.  These lovers are Cupid [also know as Amor (french for love) or the God Eros] and Psyche.  Listen in for what some consider the most romantic story of all time.  There once lived 3 princesses, the youngest of which was Psyche.  She was so beautiful that she made the goddess Aphrodite jealous of her.  Because no man wanted to anger the goddess of love, Psyche remained single while her sisters married and moved away.  The king was distraught that no one wanted his youngest child, so he went to an oracle who told him to dress Psyche in her Death clothes and throw her from the highest mountain.  The king was aghast but did as the oracle suggested.  Unbeknownst to anyone else, Eros (Cupid) who was also the son of Aphrodite had fallen in love with Psyche and didn’t allow her to die in the fall.  He took her to his home and cared for her and told her stories and loved her every night.  His only rule for Psyche was that she could not look upon him to know who or what he was.  He allowed her sisters to visit and when they did they planted evil seeds in her mind that her lover might be a gruesome monster and she wouldn’t know better unless she tricked him and looked at him in the light.  Though she trusted Eros her curiosity got the better of her and when she saw he was the god of Love she was cast out and away from him.   She wandered, broken hearted, searching for Cupid.  She finally came to the house of Aphrodite and begged her forgiveness that she might see her lover.  Aphrodite was still so jealous she forbade Psyche to see her son, saying he was suffering from a broken heart and would only allow them to meet again if she could accomplish several nearly impossible tasks.  She completed the first 3 tasks by befriending beings sent to her by her smitten Eros.  Finally, Aphrodite sent Psyche to retrieve a box of the charms of beauty from Persephone (the goddess of the Underworld).  After passing through the many of levels of Hell to get the prized container she was warned not to look into the box on her travels back to Aphrodite.  She made it to just outside the gates of hell and again her curiosity was her down fall.  When she opened the box a deep sleep came upon her.  Eros could no longer stay away and flew to Psyche to wipe the sleep from her eyes and bid her arise with his kiss (this is the moment I believe the sculpture depicts).  As soon as she recuperated Eros took Psyche to Zeus to beg his favor.  Not only did Zeus allow Psyche and Eros to be wed, he also bestowed immortality on her.  Aphrodite had to except her new daughter in law and they forgave each other and everyone celebrated their joining.  That is the story, in my words, of Amor and Psyche (goddess of the Soul).

Now, I know this is unlike my other blogs but I was captured by these notions and thought you might enjoy a little, mythology and history about the Holiday that American’s spend almost 20 billion dollars (wowza) on every year.  Don’t forget that I’m giving away a $15 gift card so let’s hear those responses.  Also there are still some very sexy and adorable pieces of lingerie available for 40% off on Smittysrancho.com.

Again, Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! God Bless and good night!

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February is for Lovers! The Best Jewelry and Accessories for Valentine’s Day

If you’re anything like me, winter is always hard on the pocketbook.  Everything from holidays to higher heating bills can really put a drain on the funds.  Lucky for us Smittys Rancho has a clearance section that provides great stuff at reasonable prices…  And just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Let me show you a few great clearance items you could drop some hints to your honey about that won’t break the bank.

The folks at Montana West always have nice quality stuff and here are two belts (in pretty Valentine colors I might add) that will set off your outfit in style.

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In keeping with the Valentine theme, these two handbags, also from Montana West are so pretty you’ll love showing them off as a gift from your special man.

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Not into pink?  Brought to you by Lizzy J, this very cute shotshell charm is customizable with your choice of Swarvoski crystals.   Add it to your favorite necklace or charm bracelet for a fresh unique look.

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And finally here’s a real favorite, the Montana West Buckle Collection Wallet.  Big enough to carry your necessities, this stylish wallet comes in red, brown, turquoise, blue and black to match any outfit.

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Find these items and more items on sale here:  http://www.smittysrancho.com/stuff-on-sale/

Happy Valentine’s Day Shopping! 🙂

Ree 2014

Smitty’s Rancho Gift Guide

Smitty’s Rancho Gift Guide

Just wanted to get this out before the Holiday Rush is on! Stay at home and shop in your most comfortable clothes (or not) in front of the fire or on your porch @ http://www.SmittysRancho.com.

10% off ALL Wilderness Dreams, KNJ Rifle Cases and ALL Purses with Coupon Code 938747C3F467614 now through December 2013.

Wilderness Dreams Loungewear, Lingerie and Casual Wear
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KNJ Rifle, Gun Cases and Pistol Rugs
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Purses and Handbags
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Camouflage Fabric Designs: What Would You Name Them?

I took my walkabout early this morning before I went to the office. The air was crisp, the sun was just peeking over the horizon, and the leaves are just beginning to show the colors of Autumn. I got to thinking it would be great to see these patterns in camouflage fabric. What would you name them?

Sun-Kissed Grass
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Hydrangea Puddles
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Shades of Shade
camofern

Green Veins
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Water Lilies
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Looking Up
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What would you name these patterns? Tell me in the comments below! And be sure to visit our website at SmittysRancho.com for the latest in camo.

Having a “Blast” This Weekend

Our family (all 17 of us) has begun a tradition of gathering once a month for Family Night. This month it was at Smitty’s Rancho for a fun afternoon of shooting!

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With a few close friends invited, we had quite a collection of guns, bows, throwing axes and knives. We had up-close shooting practice with handguns, and long-range targets with rifles and shotguns for obliterating clay pigeons – and we had a blast! (Pun intended).

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Hay-bales were set up across the field for target practice with longbows (several handmade by our son), crossbows, compound bows, throwing axes and knives. Our son is really into archaic weaponry!).

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We (translation:  He) forgot the targets, so a hand-drawn deer that looked like a mix between a llama and a kangaroo was the primary target for the bows. Of course, we alerted the local Police Department first so the neighbors didn’t  think another war was imminent!

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All the “stations” were safely manned and maintained by at least one adult who was well-versed in safety – and everyone there had shot at least once before.

It was a beautiful early fall afternoon, so it was a bit chilly, but we’re used to that in this season. Pizza, chips and pop was devoured by the end of the day – I think I’ll make a big pot of chili for next year. We had a great time and all of us went home exhausted and happy!

MORE Amazing Mossy Oak Camo

MORE Amazing Mossy Oak Camo

Montana West Mossy Oak Stretch Belt with Winged Cross
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This sweet Montana West belt is perfectly suited for cinching in a billowy top or dress, or around your hips on your skinny jeans. Very flexible for adjustments up or down, and keeps its’ shape. My daughter loves hers!

Halter Camouflage Wedding Gown
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What true female camo lover wouldn’t want this gown? It’s sweet and demure, but with a stylish and sexy cut. Imagine the looks from the guys and other ladies if you wore THIS to your prom or formal dance! Camo and pearls!  Hmmm, I might just make one for our next cruise.

Weber’s Men’s Tri-Fold Wallet
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These Webers leather wallets are soft and versatile, with pockets and zippers for everything! Hubby was concerned because his didn’t fit in his back pocket the first few times he carried it, but within a few days it was perfectly shaped to fit his backside. Mine fits snugly inside all of my purses, carrying my drivers license, credit cards, checkbook, cash, change, etc.

Montana West Flip Flops w/ Crossed Guns
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This family loves our flip flops, guns and camouflage, so how could we go wrong with these soft and comfy wedge soles? Just under $30 makes them very affordable, too.  Add a bit of bling and we’re stylish anywhere we wear them. The perfect complement to the belt and purse!

Montana West Mossy Oak Buckle Collection Camo Handbag
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Oh yes, the purse. Camo is the newest rage, and the girls at my granddaughter’s high school drooled over this beauty on her first day of school! I’m still amazed at how roomy this design is without looking like you’re carrying a suitcase around with you. Fits just right in your hand or over your shoulder, tucked under your arm.

A Recurring Nightmare and Why I Carry a Weapon

A Recurring Nightmare and Why I Carry a Weapon

I’m driving along a long stretch of highway with my kids in the backseat, sometime in the middle of the night.

They’ve been asleep, but 1 stirs and tells me he has to go pee. I could use a break, too, so I stop the car at an overnight gas station to fill up the car and empty our bladders.

The kids are just tots so I have to take them both with me to the Ladies room. I have to get the key from the guy at the counter first, so I carry one of the kids, still groggy from sleep, and the other one is struggling to free his fingers from my hand.

I feel like an obnoxious bug as he hands the key over and grunts the directions to the toilets at the side of the building. Of course the lights are out on that side, leaving me to grope for the keyhole, but I finally find it and open the door.

After I shuffle the kids into the bathroom and I’m attempting to shut the door behind me a big foot inserts itself into the opening of the door, preventing me from shutting it. The foot quickly proves to be the Counter Guy, and he shuts the door behind him, leaving all 4 of us standing in a 5 foot cubicle, and no way out.

Fortunately, I wake up at this point… AND THAT’S WHY I CARRY A WEAPON!

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