Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thinks on a Friday

Why is it you dig a hole, fill it in and have leftover dirt?


I find I have lost a day. Where it went, I do not know. I fear I will not find it. So I have my limited thoughts on Friday. At least I still have most of my mind intact, at least as far as I can tell. But if I've lost it, would I know?

Mostly my thoughts revolve around the edge of the eddy. Perhaps this will go away when the cast does. I am not used to being so useless. The worry is I may be getting accustomed to it.

I got my first bill for my wrist; I think Canada is becoming really appealing. Do you think they will notice two middle-aged Minnesotans, twenty-four horses, two dogs and three cats sneaking in? 

I think my vegetable garden was a great idea. Sometimes my schemes are productive, unlike the one that included eating machines, otherwise known as horses. But I digress. Lots of salads have been had and continue, tomato plants are loaded with blossoms and fruit, zucchini and lemon cukes are ready to produce massively. Sort of like my broodmares once did. Oh my.

Then there are the baby robins in a hanging basket on the veranda. This is year two for robins doing this. It makes me wonder why they are nesting so close in. Last year there was a nest in a hollowed portion of a fence post about eight feet from the gate, right in front of the barn, as well as in a flower basket. I have not seen this before last year. 

Enjoy the day.


A Dog Day Afternoon

Why own a dog? There's a danger you know,
You can't own just one, for the craving will grow.
There's no doubt they're addictive, wherein lies the danger.
While living with lots, you'll grow poorer and stranger.

Unknown



Poetry


Halfway up the hill

A giant hawk screams warning
I whistle back
then the dog barks
then the Volkswagen
lies dead in the woods
right there
It happens that way
on Sundays
out walking with God
Then the Volkswagen
lies smashed and dead
papers scattered across the straw
windshields blasted away
and I sit
where it sits
still as death
while my dog walks close
and sniffs and barks
and the sun warms my back
on an October Sunday
when leaves are crimson
more bright than the dead

My life is filled with symbols
and signs
like the dream of thumbs and fingers
Mimi says I need to be touched
Yes I say
Touch me
all you people
Touch me
and my heart will shatter open
like this broken windshield
so very still
so right with the world

And how in the hell did this
stolen heart of a Volkswagen
get up this hill halfway
to this place here
to be dumped lifeless
in the woods
And what's in it for me
where is the sign
what does it all mean
and where'd that hawk go?

Jeff Hartzer
1984

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is There Anyway Out Of Here, Said The Joker To The King

If so, can I get a ticket?

I'm beginning to worry. I think I am cursed. Bad luck follows me around like a faithful dog. Our sump pump has been running non-stop since spring, but we are in a drought, so this did not make sense. It has finally been determined to be a leak in the line from the well to the house. The well we needed to have put in in 2001 when the pump stopped working. The well that had to be drilled because the pump could not be removed from the other perfectly fine well because the installers used PVC piping for the shaft which wasn't strong enough to be pulled out of heavy clay. The well that had to have a pump replaced 3 years later because a plumber turned the water off but left the pump running. That well.

 Ah, 2001. A barn roof collapsed under heavy snow, trapping a pregnant mare under the debris. Diamond Rose died after foaling Zing. A filly died two days after the Twin Towers came down. Zing had pneumonia and nearly left me. We had a hail storm that ruined all of the roofs on the property. After 2001 if I didn't curl up in a ball and never come out of my hole I was never going to do so. The past twelve months are trying hard to vie with that year it seems.

So a pictorial of the events of the day.


Yep, it's a hole.


What an expensive mess.

I need to stand on a street corner with a sign "Will Work For Water".
It gets harder and harder to keep a game face on.





Kristina was out while this other activity is happening, so we had two different horse powered events going on in close proximity at the same time.





This is Zing, one of my 2001 events. I have no regret where this 2001-er is concerned. They make a lovely pair; both long of leg and lean of body. A back hoe digging up the yard was no concern of his. So much for Crazy Arabian.  He is coming into his own (finally!) this year. So much suspension and big gaits. I guess I knew what I was doing when I put his parents together. It's rewarding when you get it so right. Almost makes me forget the other thing that's going on fifty feet away. Almost.

The end of the story is; the leak is fixed, the sump pump is quiet and I am poor(er).


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

HA!

My friend Jean sent this out via email. It made me laugh out loud. I do believe I see my future!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Take The Time To Watch

I know another video, but watch it, it's worth the time.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Smile

I think this explains why I'm slightly off. I'm from this city, Saint Paul! This a Saint Paul couple's wedding. It will put a smile on your face.




I Am Officially Inducted......

into the Oddball Society. Wednesday was my first day to be loosed on the public since I broke my wrist. I have been wanting my hair cut. Even before I broke my wrist I wanted my hair gone, but washing hair one-handed is difficult so it became more urgent. I decide to take myself into Mound for a cut. The salon has lovely, stylish young women working there. My pretty, young stylist had elaborate body art (tattoos), stylish hair and dress. I, inadvertently, arrived in my slippers. Add this to my current broken wrist look; big tee shirts, sans undergarment, and loose sweatpants. Not an eye was batted, I was, seemingly, perfectly normal. Perhaps the cast encased arm in a sling aided me in my crazy oddball look being seen as so ordinary. I did not know I was wearing slippers until I got home and took off my 'shoes'. Fortunately I didn't have my pajamas and robe on as well. 

Of course my current footware is not much better! But they do work for a one-handed person and are considered shoes, of a sort. It's good to be official.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thinks

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not enough to satisfy every man's greed.
Mahatma Gandhi


United Health, based right here in Minnesota, had a 155% increase in profit from one year ago. Do you need to have an IQ of 200 to get it? 

They obviously are feeling secure, as they are busily buying smaller HMO's across the country. It would seem they are confident the industry spending 1.4 million per day lobbying Congress will pay off for them. They are probably right.

I know I harp on this issue, but I have a personal stake in it. With the continuation of the historical premium increases we will not be able to afford health insurance much longer. I sit here with a broken wrist. I had my appendix removed last year. I would be in big trouble without insurance, but I'm not home free with it. There is the little matter of a high deductible, which starts all over again the next year. Year after year, we spend five figures on premiums and now for two years, the deductible on top of it. It's a fast track to being broke. Now consider that 155% increase in profit. 

This should make everyone mad. If we don't get a public option, hang on. This cannot be sustained and in the not-to-distant future there is going to be a massive crisis. We are already at critical mass. 

This leads me to something I often think about. What is wrong with Americans. Why are we so resistant to forward thinking? Why do we so smugly settle into the idea we are different, that what works for the rest of the world will never work for us. We, as a culture, are so caught up in the false idea of Rugged Individualism that we fail to see the forest for the trees.

I have concluded that as a culture we lack critical thinking. We are unable, or unwilling to extrapolate. We are very easily led by fear and simplistic language. Over the past forty-five years or so we have been conditioned to ignore our own best interests in exchange for a false premise; that if you put any restraints on business, the so-called free market, it will spell disaster for all. Allow business to operate without constraint and it will benefit everyone.

We have also been taught government is bad. Government is inefficient. Our teachers have been the anti-government conservatives in government. The people who don't believe the purpose of government is to guard the welfare of the people. The people who, when they have the power, gut federal agencies which are supposed to operate with the public welfare in mind. Remove the professionals and replace them with political hacks. De-fund the programs and agencies and then turn around to tell us, see government doesn't work. And for the most part, we believe them. Lack of critical thinking; unable to extrapolate. We don't bother to connect the dots.

The same thing is happening with the healthcare issue and it's starting to work. We aren't a stupid people, but I think our culture is mentally lazy. Therefore we always go with the easy route. Fear and simplistic language. This allows for a lazy, disengaged mind. After all, we think, this is America, the greatest nation in the world. Nothing can be wrong here. We don't want to know we have the highest infant mortality rate in all of the industrialized nations. That we have the highest mortality rate for women in childbirth. That we rank fiftieth in the world for healthiness. We pay more for our healthcare than any other country, but we receive less for it. Remember that 155% profit increase? Wonder why we are in this position? 155% increase in profit that is earned directly off our backs. During a time when people are losing their jobs, their homes and yes, their lives. Where is the outrage? 

We are lazy. I believe I can stop pondering the question in my mind now. Intellectually lazy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Poetry


Living in the modern age,
death for virtue is the wage.
So it seems in darker hours.
Evil wins and kindness cowers.

Ruled by violence and vice
We all stand upon thin ice.
Are we brave or are we mice,
here upon such thin, thin ice?

Dare we linger, dare we skate?
Dare we laugh or celebrate,
knowing we may strain the ice?
Preserve the ice at any price?

The Book of Counted Sorrows

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Little Whine With Lunch

Know that although in the eternal scheme of things you are small, you are also unique and irreplaceable, as are all your fellow humans everywhere in the world.
Margaret Laurence


My horses are being well cared for. This is a Half-Arabian mare, Iris. She is fed and tended to. She is wondering why I have this thing in front of my face that clicks, but otherwise she hasn't had a change in her life. I am more prone to detail than Mark, but the detail isn't what keeps them fed and cared for, it's what keeps things orderly. As long as they all behave and don't get sick or hurt all will be well.


These are photos of where it's all going wrong. I do all of the yard work; mowing, weeding, planting, etc.... The gardens are becoming overgrown, the grass is getting long and patchy. I don't think Mark has ever mowed the lawn! He does do trimming and he uses the brush cutter, but I don't think he's mowed the lawn.






I am the glue, I hold it all together. I see what happens when I'm down for the count. I was interrupted a few minutes ago by a vendor for bedding and I showed her the horses, who are in for the day. Amazing how fast cobwebs form! I really am needed. 

My husband works a lot and he does not like projects. He likes tennis and baseball! He helps with the big stuff or I get Patrick the handyman to do what he can't or won't. But the care of the farm is my job. I do like projects and not tennis and baseball. : ) I will find out today if I can sit on the mower. I'll find out a lot today. I am not a good idle person. I am crabby. I am tired of the internet and TV. If I could throw a tantrum via blog, I would!

On a positive note, it did rain and has just started to rain a bit again as I type. 

I know this will pass and I'll be complaining about how much work I have to do. I realize how fortunate I am to have my animals cared for. I'm still crabby though!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Sugar Bowl Of Berries, 'Cause Life Isn't A Bowl Of Cherries

Life is just a chance to grow a soul.
A. Powell Davies


I see the orthopedic doc tomorrow and I will find out what my short-term fate will be. My friend Jeni put it to words today; I am like a caged animal. Which means if I'm not let out soon, I will bite.

Another friend took pity on me today and picked me up to meet some friends for breakfast. I would have met enemies for breakfast at this point, but fortunately these are friends. I felt as if I had been let out on furlough! Climbing into her one-ton dually was not a sight for the timid.

I picked berries yesterday, something I can do one-handed. There are wild blackberries growing all over the place, so the only challenge is to get to the berries before the birds do. In doing so I made a discovery; we have a few current bushes that we didn't have before. Wild berry producing plants are a nice gift from Mother Nature.

We have rain in the forecast for overnight. The entire area is holding its breath. 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Worth Considering

My dear friend Heidi sent this in an email. I think it is worth reading and pondering.


George Carlin's Views on Aging 

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 

'How old are you?'
 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key. 

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.
 

'How old are you?' 'I'm
 gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life 
! You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!! 

But then you
 turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed? 

You
 BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.


But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would! 

So you
 BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you
 HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! 

You
 get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!'
 
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!
 


HOW TO STAY YOUNG 
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them.' 

2.
 
Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3.
 
Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever, even ham radio. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimer's. 

4. Enjoy the simple things. 

5.
 Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6.
 
The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. 

7.
 
Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8.
 
Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. 

9.
 
Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. 

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER :
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
 but by the moments that take our breath away.. 


Saturday, July 18, 2009

What Every Woman Wants

Now why didn't I think of this? I should have our very resourceful handyman make something like this for me! I'll think I'll keep the $4500 for something else, like feeding the horses.

No flies - No odor - No mess
 The Dirty Truth! A horse weighing 1000 lbs produces an average of 9 tons of manure every year!
 Pasture Vacuums are not a luxury to horse owners, they are a necessity! Whether you have three horses or thirty horses, a Pasture Vacuum will greatly reduce the risk of accumulative manure buildup in your pasture or paddock. Removing the manure cuts down on flies, parasites, worms etc. When you think about the toll 54,000 pounds of horse manure will take on your lush green pasture each year (figured for only three horses). 
 Easily towed behind golf cart, lawn tractor or utility vehicle. 

The Vac's can be used for Bulk shavings - vacuum them up and dump them in the stall - this saves money on bagged shavings and labor with the shovel and wheel barrow not to mention your back. Water Troughs out in your fields/pens - no more bailing or waiting until they are low enough to dump. Just vacuum them out, clean and refill. Acorns - worried about colic - just vacuum them up and dump them out. The uses of a Pasture Vacuum are countless! The vac's come in two sizes. Our Paddock Vac holds 3-4 wheel barrow loads and retails for $3,450.00 + shipping. The Maxi Vac holds 7-8 wheel barrow loads and retails for $4,450.00 + shipping.
Managing horse manure the easy way! 

Friday, July 17, 2009

My First, Or Zucchini....How I love Thee

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.  
Author Unknown

The very first zucchini I have ever grown. Ta-da! A strange thing, this. I have been scratching around in the dirt for a very long time, but I grew flowers, not food. Whatever in this world was wrong with me? I have developed this odd fascination for my little vegetable plot; I eye it daily, sometimes more than once. I'm proud of the thing, like I would be of a very fine foal. If I were able I would write a sonnet about my Zucchini, oh my! I believe I am addled. Or my life truly has become incredibly boring. Truth is, it's probably both.

I am a fan of the zucchini. It is so versatile; cook with it, bake with it, it is delicious. Wouldn't you know, I have this very fine specimen of green tasty produce and I am unable to do anything with it because of my useless arm. My attempt at food preparation Tuesday evening was laughable, unless it's happening to you, so I'm not doing that again! Ah well, it should hold. My two plants are teeming with little green wonders, so I will be in zucchini heaven for the remainder of the summer. 

OK, I know it's plainly evident I am bored beyond distraction. But you never know, a zucchini could very well bring me joy even if my arm were not in a cast and sling and hurting. When I start writing about glorious lettuce or magnificent carrots it will be clear I have completely lost my mind to the effects of boredom, or that I miscounted the pain medicine!

You do have to admit, it is a lovely zucchini.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thinks

Sometimes you think life just hands you this. A pile of crap.

Then you realize that you get much more of this. The good stuff that comes from crap.


My profound thinks for today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Update On My Blunder

I guess I should update on my wrist. It's hard to type with one hand, so I'll make this short. I am in a cast. The ortho said this type of break can move and because my hand is badly swollen the cast will not remain snug as the swelling goes down. Therefore I need to keep my left hand quiet for the next week so as to not aggravate the break. I return to see him next week, he will x-ray again and re-cast if the break has not moved. If it has, I will need surgery to put pins in my wrist.

There isn't much I can do that doesn't require two hands, or at least some assistance from the other hand, but since it's vital that I don't use it (and it hurts really bad, so I don't want to anyway) I am being very careful. I believe I will be very cranky by my next doctor appointment.

I was thinking about dinner and realized I can't make what I had planned. Food is going to be a challenge for awhile.

Did I mention it REALLY HURTS?

Poetry


Let It Be Forgotten

Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold,
Let it be forgotten forever and ever,
Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.

If anyone asks, say it was forgotten
Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall
In a long-forgotten snow.

Sara Teasdale

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What I Did For Fun Last Night

I broke my wrist in two places. I spent three hours waiting in an exam room in the emergency room while I watched an under-staffed crew try to do their job. There was not an MD anywhere that I could see. A physician's assistant and two nurses, as well as a volunteer. It was an eye-opener, but not a pleasant experience, since this hurt a lot. I was finally given a generic  Vicodon  (?) the last thirty minutes I was there. A nurse stuck her head in to ask how I was doing and I told her I was beginning to feel abused. On a scale of 1 - 10, ten being the worst, I felt a 9.5 for pain. I had a plaster splint put on shortly afterward, which hurt a lot. So much so I nearly fainted. Me. Stoic, tough as nails me. 

I have to see an orthopedic surgeon today. I was told I will more than likely need surgery to put pins in my wrist. Oh goody. More out of pocket expense because of our healthcare system. It's rapidly becoming apparent to me how people with insurance can be bankrupted by medical costs.

OK. I got to this place by becoming distracted when handling the wrong horse distracted. I ended up being knocked to the ground with some force and then watching her jump over me. Thankfully she jumped me and didn't trample me. I landed on my left side with impact, causing a very broken wrist, but no other injury. I have been knocked around here and there over the years, but this is my first cast moment.

I've been unable to sleep, even though I'm taking the pain medication every four hours, as well as the maximum dose of ibuprofen for inflammation, which isn't working so well. I've had to unwrap the wrist because my fingers have become purple and I lost feeling in them.

So I think I'm done whining for now. 

The good thing is, we stopped to pick up dinner after leaving the hospital and we discovered a very good Chinese restaurant which recently opened. 

I'm tired and drugged so I am probably not completely coherent. I think I'll try to wrap myself back up and try to rest awhile.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Terrific Giveaway

If you like original, handmade jewelry you must checkout Judy's giveaway. 

Fruits Of Labor

Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.  
Author Unknown

A very tall hollyhock. The hollyhocks are courtesy of birds, since I never planted them, but they appeared several years ago. They are the old fashioned hollyhock and they can get quite tall.

It's been a dry year, on top of several dry years, so this is an often seen sight.






I am having success with my first attempt at growing vegetables. The zucchini are producing, I have one eggplant as well as several blossoms. The lettuce is bountiful and the lemon cucumber is going wild. My tomatoes have lots of blossoms and some fruit and I've harvested my first peppers over the weekend. The garlic and shallots are doing well, although an entire row of garlic did not come up. Strangely the thing I have experience with, herbs, are not doing as well as they should. My basil is lack-luster in its production. I water frequently, but perhaps it hasn't been enough. Overall, I would so far call this a success.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beautiful Original Art

Bonnie at Original Art Studio  is giving away an original piece of artwork for coming up with a nom de plume for her daughter. Since I have nothing worth giving away, my contribution to the giveaway thing is to tell you when someone else is giving something good away. This will be a new mission for me, kind of like re-gifting! Check out her blog and read her daughter's story.