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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

OK, Ashley Tagged Me.

Ashley, I'm not going back to the beginning because it is too far back, but I'll start where you did, fifteen years ago.
15 years ago I had long dark hair and I was beginning my life as a horse breeder. I had hope and happiness rolled together, as well as a belief that a good horse is a good horse, no matter who owns it.
10 years ago I realized I was wrong 15 years ago, a good horse may be a good horse, but who owns it determines whether it is PERCEIVED as a good horse. The first stake planted in my heart.
5 years ago I decided, screw it, a good horse is a good horse and I'm going to pursue it, so 4 years ago I spent a lot of money, emotion and time to do that with WF Last Of Roses. Point made, now move on.
OK, this is horse related because horses are, for better or worse, my life. But not all of my life, I pay attention to the happenings of the world.
You had six random things about you so here goes.
1. I love my horses.
2. I love my dogs.
3. My son is so smart I don't know how to talk to him but I relish the opportunity he avails me to stretch my understanding.
4. My husband's absorption in sports baffles me.
5. American's lack of interest and perception in the matters concerning their lives makes me crazy.
6. I realize I can be a difficult and exacting person, but that explains why most everything makes me crazy!
Adding a 7th, Kristina's smart and intuitive brain makes me feel the world is NOT lost, she can actually THINK.
OK, my tags are limited to people I know look here from time to time. So, I tag: 
Jean L. 
dressage rider
 My blog is small and so I have to say exclusive!
And, my husband somehow missed recognition, but he is recognized, just not in any order!

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane."
Philip K. Dick (1928 - 1982) / Author

Monday, September 29, 2008

End Of A Not So Bountiful Season

The growing season is coming to an end in Minnesota. We had a poor year since it was so dry this year. My tomato plants NOW have lots of tomatoes on them and the pepper plants are loaded with buds, but frost is just around the corner. Oh well, maybe next year; I plan to put in a larger vegetable and herb garden next spring.
I was slow to get to the apple tree, so most of the apples are laying on the ground, but I got half a paper grocery bag full. I have some slicing and freezing to do.

Quote of the Day

"No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority."
 Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beautiful Shelley Paulson Photos

Shelley is a professional photographer who rode along with us to River Falls in August. There were several people who got together for an afternoon of riding and eating. It was a lot of fun and Shelley took many great photos. These are some of my Lipizzan/Arabian Ari, as well as a nice photo of Kristina on one of my mares, Isabella.
I have beautiful maple trees lining the driveway and Shelley would like to take some stock photos using my trees as a background when they turn color.                                                                                                  

Quote of the Day

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
Albert Einstein

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Today Show Provoking Thought, Who'da Guessed

I watched the Today Show yesterday morning while Matt Lauer was discussing the economy with a group of 'experts'. There was the usual inane prattle, but when he asked a marketplace observer about what the investment banking mess and eventual bail out of said fat-cats would mean for the holiday shopping season I actually had my brain poked by the Today Show!
I wonder, when did we turn into a hyper-consuming nation? At what point in our history did we move from a production based economy to a consumer/credit based economy? I know it''s been in fast-forward for at least ten years but when did the seed get planted that developed into the giant mall economy?
Remember after September 11, 2001 when we were all told to go shopping. These last few days I have thought about that. What a strange thing to say. 
Anyway, I don't know when it started to happen, but I am actively aware that it did because of a talking head on a entertainment program that masquerades as news! You know, I'm busy enough that one would think I wouldn't have so much time on my hands to allow me so many musings.

Quote of the Day

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity."
Frank Leahy

Lighter Note!

Since the last lesson Kristina has been working on suppling exercises with Zing. It has done him a lot of good. And his outfit of many colors is lovely, isn't it! Obviously I wasn't intending to photograph him. He really has released his back and is moving well, although he is still bracing at the canter going to the left, but it's better.

Look, Zing can FLY!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

"For most Americans the Constitution had become a hazy document, cited like the Bible on ceremonial occasions but forgotten in the daily transactions of life."
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1888 - 1965)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that The State has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied."
Arthur Miller / Playwright

I came across this and had to put a second quote of the day up. I wish I were this intelligent as to formulate and express such a thought.

Going to Hell In a Hand Basket?

Or, are we already there. America currently has somewhere around 
-500 billion in its budget this year and is straddled with a mind-boggling 9 trillion in National Debt. We borrow from anyone who will loan us money, we see our long-standing institutions purchased by foreign companies, we have lost our ability to make anything. We have become a third world country.

Now we are going to bail out Wall Street. My head is spinning so fast I don't know which way is up. I really do believe I am Alice and I've gone through the looking glass. I have some understanding of how we got here, which probably makes it worse.

In 1953 the modern conservative movement was coalesced in a book by Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind. From this sprang Willian F. Buckley's publication, The National Review, giving the conservative movement within the country a nationally distributed voice. This in turn lead to the rise of Barry Goldwater, a Senator from Arizona. He was seen as a viable challenge to JFK in the 1964 election. JFK was assassinated in Nov. of 1963, ensuring that Goldwater did not have a chance at the presidency in 1964. But, he helped build a movement that became a tidal wave by the time Ronald Reagan emerged. Reagan gave a nationally televised speech in favor of Goldwater in the waning days of the 1964 election, which propelled him to national prominence overnight and eventually the governorship of California. It was during the start of his first term as governor that the plan was formulated to run him as president. The conservatives were not happy with Gerald Ford, nor any of the moderate Republicans and were waiting for the time, which came after Jimmy Carter's troubled presidency.
To digress, after the Goldwater defeat the conservatives devised a long-term plan to gain the support of the people who had traditionally voted Democratic, the working class or blue-collar worker. This is a group that had voted concerning their own financial well-being and they were slowly but consistently being turned. Irrelevant social issues began to be substituted for meat and potato issues. This early plan included the funding of conservative think tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation, to have a funding vehicle for the movement. For example, the Heritage Foundation bank rolled the Rush Limbaugh  radio show for several years until he had time to seep into the public conscious and then gain support from advertisers. Without this funding agent the show would have been off the air within a year.
So, 1980, Ronald Reagan wins by a landslide, with the help of the so-called 'Reagan Democrats'. Where am I going with this? From the very moment the New Deal came into place the conservatives have vowed to undo it. There should not be any involvement of government in peoples lives, there should not be any government funded social programs and the big one is Social Security. It has been on the radar screen from the start. Free marketeers, personal responsibility, absolutely they believe in government staying out of the way of business. Business knows what is best and will correct itself. Ronald Reagan put the ball into motion, G. H. W. Bush continued the course, and alas, so did Bill Clinton. So called free market policies went on steroids during the G. W. Bush administration, resulting in the mess we now face. The irony is, free marketeers are now wanting and will get, a massive amount of money, government money (our money) to bail out investment bankers who created convoluted schemes for the purpose of their incredible enrichment. So we have free market profits and socialized losses. And anti-government types keeping a straight face as they bludgeon us into submission with, once more, fear.
Bear Sterns is a done deal. We now own 80% of AIG and now there will be, minimally, another 700 billion for further bail outs. Anyone consider where all of this cash is coming from? Are we giving consideration the the ever-shrinking value of the dollar because of the wild use of capital which we don't have? Give any thought to the world market deciding to trade in Euros as opposed to dollars and what that will mean. As I said, we don't make anything here anymore, we import our goods, which will become ever more expensive as our dollar deteriorates. Commodities always rise in cost as the dollar devalues, i.e oil and corn, grains.
So, do you feel safe now?

Quote of the Day

"Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them."
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900 - 1965)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Family Tree

The beginning, Ferzon.

His grandson, GGS Topper+/

This is an old photo of WF Impressive (Topper) but it remains a really good one. He is by an old blood stallion, GGS Topper+/out of my deceased foundation mare, LF Diamond Rose. Topper is breathtakingly beautiful, as well as unbelievably athletic. He is also a really good boy, although you better know what you are doing, because he is very smart and will take advantage.
This is GDE Cassidy, owned by dressagerider who posts here. He is a GGS Topper+/ son and bred by someone I know. The GDE stands for 'Goddamned Expensive' and most of her horses carry this prefix. And horses really are that!
My mare Chaunceys Secret, a GGS Topper+/ granddaughter on the bottom (dam's line). The family resemblance is very striking between Secret and Cassidy, but they all carry the beauty gene of Ferzon. Topper has Gamaar in his pedigree, which gives him the eye that is different, but I want Ferzon in my breeding horses, as well as Gamaar. Guaranteed beauty, brains and personality. I'm kind of stuck in the past, so maybe it's best I have stopped breeding, but I really don't think so. Look at these horses, all of them. What's not to like!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rain On

It rained very hard this afternoon, so I decided to try to photograph rain. My skill as a photographer are like, none, but I enjoy doing it anyway. I think it looks very strange when caught as an image. I was going to say 'when caught on film'! I stood on the porch as closely against the house as I could. It was raining and blowing hard and I was getting wet. What I won't do for my art. : )
Tomorrow the rotten clay soil will be slippery and I will be crabby, but it was a welcome sight today.

More Of What I've Been Doing

This is the new color of the kitchen. We are having a stormy day, so I have a little time on my hands. Thus, lots of posts on the blog, although I certainly have plenty to do, but this is much more fun!

What I've Been Doing

Last week I got busy, outside of my job with the horses, I decided to paint the half bath off the kitchen and I picked a very dark color. It took two coats of paint and a lot of time to finish. It's dark, but I like it. I'm sure I will change my mind by next year, but I like it for now. 

I painted the kitchen over the weekend. Not sure what I think of it, but I know it didn't like it before, so it's an improvement. There is nothing like fresh paint to make a room new. It also forces some cleaning!

Quote of the Day

"Life is just one damn thing after another."
Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)

"It's not true that life is just one damn thing after another; it is one damn thing over and over."
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950)

That Was Then, This Is Now

This was me in Sept. 1991 with Shaka when we were at St. Croix Equestrian in Hudson WI. We both had color to our hair then, now we are both grey! We both have arthritis, but he didn't get fat. : ) The farrier was here today and Shaka was on the list. The old man needs bute to get his feet trimmed and his left leg still needs to be done like a pony, but he is a trooper who gives his best. He is and will always be my 'Prince of Horses' and the best and worst horse I have or ever will have!

This me in August 2008 with Ari at a fun day in River Falls WI. Seventeen years later and another grey horse and once again in WI! I also squeezed into breeches that are almost seventeen years old, and squeezed is an understatement! What I really miss when looking at the old photos is my dark hair. I don't like being grey, but I don't want to be blond and it is my only other choice. I tried having my hair colored dark as I was going grey and it is a maintenance nightmare. I would take my dark hair back over my thin body. I do love my grey horses though. So, of course most of my horses are bay. : )

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are."
Bertolt Brecht (1898 - 1956)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Once Upon A Time I Was A Fashionista

Now settle down and don't go rolling on the floor laughing anything off. I was a serious fashionista! I wore stylish clothes and I loved, LOVED Italian shoes. I owned more shoes than I now own horses, seriously. I had a bedroom in my house converted into a closet. I still own most of those shoes even though they would never fit my fat feet now and they are ancient, but I like them and I keep them. These are one of my favorite and they still have the original tag, which I have blurred because I don't want to display my extravagance.

This, on the other hand, is what I shove my feet into these days. Lovely, aren't they! How the mighty have fallen.

This is a little trip down my memory lane. This was 1983 and the darling dog is my Bulldog Tilly. She was so sweet. That was a favorite suit. I used to have a standing appointment every three weeks to have my hair cut. I obviously was a Vidal Sassoon fan.

Valentine's Day 1985 at First Atlanta Bank. My husband had made me mad one too many times, so I packed up and moved to Atlanta. Eventually I went home. I look like I've had one too many, but I was at work so I don't have that excuse.

Back home in 1988 on my father's birthday. My mother is toasting something. Honestly, give that woman a glass of wine or whatever it is and she becomes a regular party animal.

Alas, me last year, 2007, at a horse show. If anyone can tell me how this happened, let me know, because I'm confused. At least Solo and Jaime look good. Jaime better not look at this, she may get worried. 

I guess I traded one thing for another. I never have been a person of moderation.


I bought Howard a new bed for the kitchen and Bill decided it's just right! My old Bill just keeps ticking and I'm so glad. He can't hear well, but he never listened anyway, so what's the difference. : ) His hips are bad, but he manages to propel himself along and he comes to the barn everyday now that the humidity has dropped. He has congestive heart failure, so the hot, humid weather is very hard on him. He is my barn manager and he is happy to be able to be back on the job of managing. He's sorely disappointed in me because he wanted an assistant to train in so he could be semi-retired and I went and got a useless Basset Hound instead of a Yellow Lab, WHAT WAS I THINKING? Totally disgusted, he carries on, and little does he know I knew all along Howard would be useless. But, I don't want my boy to retire, so I got a replacement that would cause him to stay with us a little longer. Howard lost his bed, though.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

"If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done." 
Peter Ustinov (1921 - 2004)


I have been so busy lately that I haven't had anything to say! Spring and fall are busy times on the farm and this year is no exception. I have lots of thoughts formulating in my mind, but not enough time to devote to them. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking."
H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

"A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) American Poet

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More Laundry Than the Law Should Allow

I spent this weekend in a flurry of cleaning. Saturday was a rainy day, but we had the horses out and cleaned the barn in the morning. Mark took care of them in the afternoon so I could try to work my way through THE MESS. Today it rained all day, so the equines were in and the long-suffering Mark took care of the feeding.
I spent TWO days doing laundry and clearing out 'stuff'. My friend of many years, a trainer of horses and people, told me a long time ago that she didn't trust anyone in the horse business who had a clean house. She can trust me implicitly! But, as time has gone on I have looked around, only occasionally to be sure, and have found myself seriously lacking in the home skills. I washed stuff all weekend long, okay some of it came from the barn, but all weekend. I have bags of items for the Goodwill and two large leaf bags for cloth recycling. How does anyone accumulate so much junk? 
After all of this, I still have a mess, but I have less clutter, or I will have when the multiple bags leave the house. But I seriously doubt my friend will ever need to worry about trusting me, for I am a hopelessly engrossed individual who has fleeting fancies about normalcy and order, but who will never be able to maintain such fantasies for more than a weekend! But it is fun to think otherwise for a brief, but lovely moment.

We Didn't Go

to the schooling show. I was so excited to go that I didn't consider the logistics. And after our experience on Monday, I think we were both a little spooked! Yes, Wonder Woman can be spooked. : ) 
But, back to the logistics. The show was 1 1/2 hours away, Kristina lives in St. Paul and worked until midnight on Saturday. Our first ride was at 8:15 and Zing needs time to settle in, as well as time to be worked. This in mind, we needed to leave my place at 5:00, so Kristina needed to leave home by 4:00AM. Kristina has no experience working with a stallion who acts like a stallion, Zing is well-behaved at home, and I worried about her and him especially considering she would be tired. I presented the facts to her and left it up to her. She made, I think, the wise choice.
I didn't like to scratch, but the main point was the benefit. I don't like to tempt the fates, but if all goes well we will have next year, no need to put undo stress on any of us. And, if I can tell the truth, I have, unbelievable to me, lost my competitive edge. I never would have thought I wouldn't care about showing horses, but I find I don't. 
On the comfort side, it rained all day here, so if it was the same there, I'm too old for that! Gone are the days I thought that was fun. Now I know I am lost to the world of competition, for I would have shown up during hurricane Ike a few years ago.

Quote of the Day

"A fanatic is one who won't change his mind and won't change the subject."
Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean if you are happy you will be good.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall is in the air & cooking is on my mind

The apple tree is full of beautiful red apples, the garden is bursting with tomatoes and herbs and I feel like cooking! Today I decided to put together a lasagna and the kitchen smells of garlic and fresh basil. That large bunch of beautiful, aromatic basil that Deb, my helper, brought to me is what got my mind on lasagna. So yesterday I bought some fresh mozzarella and a piece of Grana Padano and set about my task today. It is sitting covered on the stove allowing the flavors to blend so it can be our dinner for the evening. A bottle of Cabernet and a nice salad as an accompaniment, what more can I possibly want!

Maybe a fresh apple pie from the apples on the tree. Ah, well. I know I don't have the time for that.

Quote of the Day

"Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men."
Kin Hubbard (1868 - 1930)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Issues of the Day

As I was driving to the grocery store this morning I listened to the radio. So, in January of 2009 a new President will inherit a 500 billion budget deficit and a 9 trillion national debt. We are borrowing money to prop up our country from anyone we can get it from and we have become THE debtor nation of the world. I think very few citizens pay any attention to this, understand how it is devaluing the dollar and impacting our security. As we look to the outside forces in our concern for safety and security we are living on a ticking time bomb of ever-growing debt.

Rather than worry about 'lipstick on a pig' I think our time would be better spent on an issue such as this that has tremendous potential for disaster. We are, I believe, all living in a house of cards and we had better get a handle on it and not be distracted by non-issues.

Schooling Show

We are taking Zing to a benefit schooling show on Sunday. Other than going to Brandywine on Monday, Zing hasn't left home for three years. So, I feel a little apprehension. It will be a long day and I am reminded why I grew tired of showing. Kristina's first ride is 8:15 and the place is 1 1/2 hours away and we have a difficult horse to load. If it hadn't seemed like a good idea because it is a benefit show for a sick trainer, I wouldn't have considered it, but now I'm tired already! Maybe I'll substitute Ari for Zing. Ari doesn't like to load either, but we wouldn't have to handle the hormones. : ) 

I think I don't want to be Wonder Woman again for a little while!

Quote of the Day

"I appreciate people who are civil, whether they mean it or not. I think: be civil. Do not cherish your opinion over my feelings. There's a vanity to candor that really isn't worth it. Be kind."
Richard Greenberg, NY Times Magazine, 03 - 26 - 2006

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

"A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election."
Bill Vaughan (1915 - 1977) American author & columnist 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I think it would be a good idea." 
Mahatma Ghandi (1869 - 1948), when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Monday, September 8, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."
Thomas Jefferson

I think this quote is very appropriate considering the current circumstances in the lending industries.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


We are taking Zing for his first lesson with Bill tomorrow and he was in bad need of a bath. So, after Kristina rode him this late afternoon we decided to walk him to the wash bay and give him a scrubbing. My wash area is the old milk house of the dairy barn that is now my horse barn. There is a short, narrow aisle leading to the room with stalls on either side, both occupied by mares. As luck would have it, Zing and I had nearly entered the room when Ally noticed STALLION! Nose to the wall she called to him with tail up and the signal flashing. Zing lost all thought of a bath. So, he got a cold bath outside and it served him right. Of course the girls out there had to come to see him get a cold soaking, but it didn't take too long for the cold water to temper his ardor! 

Now, if only he will load into the trailer without trouble...........

Quote of the Day

"I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong."
Bertrand Russell  Philosopher 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Quote of the Day

"History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools."
Ambrose Bierce 1842 - 1914 American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist 


Yes, I have dogs! This is Grace, a five year-old Greyhound. She doesn't like the camera, so it's hard to get a good photo of her. She is quite the personality and a great trouble-maker! Life wouldn't be the same without her.

Nine year-old Atlas, the big dog. He also dislikes the camera, so he won't look at me. He is a very neurotic Afghan Hound/German Shepherd cross who has been a challenge, but also a comfort. He is big, which doesn't show in the photo, and I used to be alone a lot so it has been nice to have him around. 

The most wonderful dog in the world, our Yellow Lab Bill. Bill is a force of nature, still going strong at almost 15. He was known, not always affectionately, as 'Wild Bill' and he can still have his moments. He's my best dog, my barn manager and an old, faithful friend.

My 'Little Bundle of Cuteness' Howard. He was tired! Howard is a year old Basset Hound and our spoiled baby. We think everything he does is cute!

On alert

and on the scent. Scent hounds are a big challenge because they can't ignore their nose. When the nose is engaged, the ears don't work! And, the nose is always engaged.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hoary Allysum

My three-year-olds must have found some in the pasture, although I walked it and can't find any. The filly has swollen hind legs and the gelding is swollen all the way up on all four legs. I've not had this before, but I was pretty sure what was wrong. I had the vet out to be sure and she feels they got into it. It's also possible that they got it in the hay since I can't find any sign of it, but it would be odd it was only in their hay. I think it's more likely they were grazing together and came upon a patch and ate it.
There is never a dull moment when you have lots of horses. 

Quote of the Day

"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is." Francis Bacon

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quote of the Day

"You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets."
Nora Ephron

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!"
Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, September 1, 2008

Distinguished Gentleman

Tanzar and Emmit are the old men of the farm. Both were born in Feb., so they are approaching 27 & 31 respectively. Both horses are having difficulty keeping weight, Emmit has melanomas and Tanzar has really bad lower legs. He has foundered from lack of blood-flow and his rear fetlocks are the size of grapefruit and dragging the ground. With all their problems the old boys are still engaged and interested, which makes it hard to consider the coming of winter and the reality that brings. 

Quote of the Day

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
Thomas Jefferson