Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I'm Wonder Woman, not a mere mortal, subject to the conditions and limitations of such. So, how is it when I went outside this morning I was shuffling and weak? I had to say 'uncle' after turning out horses, that's not what Amazon women do. Perhaps removing my appendix is equal to Samson having his hair cut. Maybe my appendix was the source of my super powers. What a disgusting thought. Ah, but I did cut my hair..........
Friday, November 28, 2008
I am still sore, but I am losing the old lady shuffle, so I am better! I must confess that I am surprised at the time it has required to recover from this. I really thought 2 - 3 days and I'd be back at it, but my body wouldn't allow it. I guess it's a bigger deal than I gave it credit for being.
Tomorrow I plan to go out in the AM and water and also help in turnout, doing the same in the afternoon and help bring them in. Sunday I'll add some stall cleaning into it so I should be able to get back, with Deb's help, on Monday.
We have a lesson on Monday, so I need to get a little stamina going. Mark needs to get back to his own job if we are to have any income this coming month!
It's a beautiful day for late November. We have been granted a relatively mild fall, which is going into winter. I hope the next couple of days will remain mild as I reenter after a week of absence. In short order I will be lamenting the lack of time in my life and will have forgotten all about the week where I had nothing but time!
"When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it - a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my own hand - as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there's a clash between the two, it's bad art."
Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985) Russian Jewish Modern Artist
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I have been watching movies the last couple of days. Beautifully crafted movies about strange, wonderful people, mostly women. I have spent most of my life in my own company or the company of men, with brief forays into the world of women. I always felt I was more suited to this style of living, as I never seemed to fit well in the world inhabited by femininity.
It has seemed to me that I am different, but I could never think I'm eccentric, because if you think you are eccentric, then you can't possibly be. Quite a conundrum. So, this leads me back to the movies. I know it's film, not reality, but I believe there is truth in fiction. I think I have missed something, not having a world that is inhabited by wonderful women, strong strange women. I have come to the realization I'm not different. I'm willing to place a bet that we, as women, all think ourselves strange, nonconforming creatures placed in a spot we need to make fit. And the wonder is, we do, we make it fit. Art is important, for it makes you think, reflect about yourself and your place. Beautiful films with odd characters leaving me with a sense of wonder and a little unease.
Life as I see it while I am stuck in the house. It's a good thing it's nearly over.
Here we are again, Thursday. Time to remember the little things in life.
1. I'm thankful for Mark's doing my job while I recover.
2. I'm thankful for Deb being here to help him.
3. I'm thankful for the doctors and nurses that cared for me.
4. I'm thankful that my old dog, Bill, is still kicking.
5. I'm thankful for the food in the refrigerator and the dinner we will have today.
6. I'm thankful for my sweet dog , Howard, who just came to me with his spoiled little face demanding I look at him.
Happy Thanksgiving and Peace in Your Life.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
To date; 8.5 TRILLION is the current tab for the bailout of banks and Wall Street, 60% of the nation's GNP. 5.5 TRILLION has come through the Federal Reserve, which can act on its own without Congressional authority or oversight. China owns us.
2004 I was often found saying "We won't survive another 4 years of Bush." Was I prescient or aware? This is one time I am not pleased about being right. I have fought the urge to say "I told you so" but I am so overwhelmed by this it's sneaking out. Those of you who know me remember my lone voice on HMW and how I was mocked.
Looking backward does no good, but looking forward isn't so uplifting either. We are in for a whole world of trouble, I fear. I say hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride. You can quote me.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life."
My friend JeanRDH sent me this card and I found it to be such a striking image I wanted to share it online. The above quote is by Jean's great, great aunt. Not a bad family tree! I found this year that Jean has the heart of a lion.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I'm feeling much better this morning, still sore, but I physically 'feel' better. I'm restricted on what I can do, so Mark and Deb are doing my job. I need to get back to work so Mark can get back to work; the problem of the self-employed, no paid vacation or sick days. Can't lift over 15# for 3 weeks, but I should be able to get back to the basics in a couple of days.
I'm relieved that I got to the DR when I did. The surgeon said my appendix was ready to burst, it was real 'juicy' in his words and was ready to go at any time. I'm as sore as I am because he told Mark he had to beat me up a bit to get at it. This surgeon does laparoscopic appendix removal for the most part, but sometimes he can't get it and needs to open the person up. He couldn't get at my appendix as it was behind my colon, so they had to be rather hard on me to save me from an abdominal incision. I appreciate it. I am very grateful everything went as it did.
I need to cut my hair. Looking at myself in the mirror while in the hospital I saw an old crone looking back. I have a rather self-contained life where I rarely consider my appearance, but honestly, an old crone! As well as, all this long hair has begun to get on my nerves. It's not long because I am attached to my hair, it's long because my hair is a weed and grows fast. I don't take time to get it cut and before I know it I have long, gray hair. Sitting in the house with time on my hands, I think it's likely I'll put it into a ponytail and take a scissor to it. It's time is limited!
It seems I'm back.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sore, but on my feet. They kick you out of the hospital quickly. I want to thank Dianne and Ashley for making it clear I needed to act. And my friend Beth for sending me to a wonderful DR and clinic. I think I may need to change my mind about doctors. I had the nicest surgeon and the nurses were wonderful to me. It takes a special person to be a nurse. Thank you everyone for your concern and well-wishes. I may be silent for awhile, as I don't feel very communicative at this time, but I wanted to say I'm home, on the mend and thank you to all.
Friday, November 21, 2008
It seems the prez-elect has actually chosen Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. It seems an odd choice to me, I would have put my money on Bill Richardson who has the qualifications and became a strong supporter. I can't help but see problems waiting in the wings with this.
On the other hand, my husband came up with a Machiavellian explanation. Bring Senator Clinton into the fold, give her the opportunity to do the job or make mischief. If she choses the latter, she has been eliminated from any position of national prominence. I never knew Mark's mind could work in such a devious way, but I think this makes sense. Not only is Barack Obama smart, he is very politically astute.
I'm waiting to go to the DR, so I'm babbling while I wait.
It's avoided me all of my adult life and some of my childhood. Something that seems so natural is so elusive and skittish as it approaches. When it tentatively noses me, I approach with extended arms, palms up; hopeful. Sometimes I'm grateful, sometimes resigned. I also know I'm not alone, that many people endure sleeplessness.
In the past year there was a study released connecting sleep problems with weight gain. That made sense to me. Although I have had an issue most of my life, I became a confirmed non-sleeper at the same time I started to put on weight. Of course my love of all things delicious doesn't help, either.
I am not a night prowler though. I have learned to manage my insomnia to my best advantage. I stay in bed, I don't watch the clock, nor toss and turn. I have learned to lay quietly and rest. I know how to quiet my mind and simply be still. I believe rest is beneficial, so even if I don't sleep all night I am restful. I do sleep, just not the whole night, I'm a 2:00 AM waker.
So, now with all kinds of issues in the world that legitimately cause sleeplessness, I guess I have a head start.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I see it's Thursday once again.
1. I'm thankful for feeling better, but wishing I felt well!
2. I'm thankful Mark and Deb are here to help me.
Being ill is a very self-absorbed sensation. I can't seem to drum up any other thoughts than my own condition. But, I am truly thankful for the above and will let it rest at that.
Tuesday night I became more sick than I have recent memory of. I was unable to sleep at all and I scurried through the house like a scared little mouse trying to escape. By nine AM I was able to lay down and sleep for about four hours. When I got up I felt as if I had been hit by a bus and run over by a truck, but the gripping stomach pain and the endless waves of nausea had ceased.
So, this morning I feel better. I wouldn't say great, but I am back in the game of life. I have no idea what happened, but it was miserable. Thankfully Mark and Deb were able to care for the horses while I lay in my bed.
There truly is nothing like feeling better after a bout of illness, for a brief moment you realize how wonderful good health is. Then we go back to taking it for granted.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ashley puts up a weekly menu for all three meals. I'm not organized enough to know what I will eat for the week, but I usually know what I will have for dinner each day, so I will periodically bore everyone to death with what I will make for dinner.
Tonight I am going to try a cracker-thin pizza crust recipe for a garlic, bacon and artichoke pizza. We'll see how it turns out.
Monday, November 17, 2008
We successfully got Zinger into the trailer and over to Brandywine. My friend Jeni met us there to watch Zing's lesson. The arena was busier than usual, so there was a lot of activity to distract Zing, but he managed it well. His only problem was some dropping after he was finished with lunging, but once put away and Kristina up, he was good.
There is so much small technique to riding and training; put your leg back a little, bring the inside leg forward a bit, elbows closed, tighten you stomach, use the outside muscle of your upper-leg, squeeze your butt-cheeks while using the outside upper-leg muscle, give rein, not too much rein, flex the neck, too much bend in the neck, turn your upper-body, keep your eyes between his ears, tighten your seat, release your seat, squeeze, not too much..... You get the idea!
It's a good thing Kristina loves this, because I love the results but I don't have the patience for the work. They did a little bit of work on Zing's tight left side and in minutes he straightened his tail. It's amazing. Kristina spent so much time the past three weeks getting him to stop throwing his head that she didn't work on his muscle lengthening. That will be her job over the next two weeks.
I do believe we finally have a 'dressage' horse on our hands!
Here we go again. The misery of loading Zing into a trailer for a lesson. I wish I could talk to him and ask what he thinks he's doing, but instead we go through trailer-loading issues with a horse who shouldn't have any issues. Think positive, OK. He'll walk right in!
He sure looked good yesterday. I walked by the arena door several times while Kristina was riding him and he LOOKED like a horse who has had a lot of training. Oh yes, that's right; HE HAS HAD!
Here's hoping for a good experience all around.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Shelley took some photos this fall and they are beautiful. Anyone in the general area who is considering using a photographer should consider Shelley. She does portrait, weddings. graduation, equine. Ari is such a HAM. The Pinto is my ASB stallion, Solo. Zing was supposed to have his photos done, but he was a real naughty fellow, so not a chance! Kristina is beautiful, as always.
Click on Worlds End Farm. The code word is sandra
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I decided to try my hand at bread again today, as it was rainy and I had some extra time. As I was starting the batter, my friend Jeni called about having lunch. I had to choose whether I would risk letting the bread rise too long or have lunch with my friend. I had the 'Northwoods Burger' : )
Letting it sit for an hour longer didn't seem to hurt it at all, it's very good. This is the same recipe as for the French bread, but I didn't make the rolled loaves. This time I used 4 cups of bread flour, 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of oat bran. The bread isn't as dense as the first loaves and I can taste the oat bran. Overall, I think it is a success!
The biggest problem with this bread making thing is, my already over-expanded waistline is expanding more as I type. The bread, along with a discovery of wonderful ice cream close by, I'm turning into a beach ball with legs! My new mantra is, you're getting old, you're not cute anymore, enjoy. I hear in my ear, my mother saying, "What, you don't eat? Are you sick? There are children starving in China, so you eat." Okay.
Oh my id is a strange thing, isn't it. How did I get from making bread, to the 'starving children in China'? If you lived in this head, you would understand. ; )
Back to the bread, I'm enjoying the process and the results. I can't say how long I will be enthralled with this, but I'm enjoying the moment. Nuff said.
This came to me in an email. It's supposed to be by Audrey Hepburn, in response to being asked her beauty tips. Whether this is true or not, the sentiment is worth repeating.
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.
I will benefit today from looking inward and remember I have many things to be thankful for. It's a dreary, wet day and my mood tends to go in the same direction. So, I am thankful for:
1. The food in my cupboards and refrigerator
2. The nicker of horses as I enter the barn in the morning
3. The sheer joy of running my greyhound shows me daily (pure joy is a beautiful thing)
4. A relatively pain-free shoulder for the past week (no pain meds for all that time!)
5. The perspective from a young, intelligent mind Kristina has brought to my life, as well as her ability to find humor in my naughty, busy Zing.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
god-awful MUD. Slogging through this stuff is going to be the end of me someday. I HATE CLAY! But, then it freezes and the horses are walking on painful hard divots of cement-like mud.
Leading me to think about what it must be like to live in climates that stay just above or around freezing during the winter. As the climate has warmed MN has had a shift in winter temperatures. We used to have winters that separated the players from the tourists. We were proud that we could actually survive such helacious weather, it was a badge of honor, we relished in our misery. Now, we hang our heads in shame, as we are becoming , gasp, mild. The entire state goes into spasms now when the temperature hits anything under minus. I remember when we thought 20 below was a heat-wave and now it's a tragedy. But, I am getting off topic. Ice and mud are the worst thing I, as an owner of many horses, can deal with. Ice is a cause for concern over broken bones and mud pulls or bows tendons, as well as wears me out. I don't want the weather of Missouri, I want winter to stay below freezing until it melts and stays melted in the spring.
Of course the climate doesn't ask for my or anyone's opinion, but kvetching is part of my life and I want to keep it that way. I can't control the climate, but I can indeed whine with the best of them. I HATE MUD.
My mother had a saying; "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride". So, I grew up not saying "I wish......." because she didn't want to hear it. This isn't all bad because it made me very pragmatic.
Lately though I have been wishing for something......time. I don't have enough of it, I want more of it and I don't think I'll get my wish. Seems my mother was right!
It's said you can't buy time, but that's not entirely true. Time can be bought by hiring someone else to do something you normally do, giving more time to do something else. Or, so I thought when I hired barn help a couple of years ago, but somehow that vacuum was instantly filled and I still don't have time, only less money!
Of course, here I sit typing as opposed to working, so I think I've learned to waste time in a way I never knew before, clickity-clack on a keyboard. So, I guess I do have time, I just don't use it very well. : )
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I have been out of Bill's special sauce for two days, so I intended to slow cook a chicken today. I ended up too busy and didn't get it done. Bill is not eating without his 'sauce', he doesn't like the canned stock! So, I'm going to have boiled chicken for dinner, so Bill can have homemade stock (and enough for me, too).
I have a whole chicken simmering in a pot with water, a medium onion, quartered, two carrots in large pieces, four garlic cloves and two stalks of celery in large pieces. A few bay leaves, fennel seeds, mustard seed, salt and coarse pepper to season. The chicken will absorb the flavors and the resulting broth will be full of flavor. Bill likes it that way!
Monday, November 10, 2008
I have been reading some blogs recently that have disturbed me, but also have caused me to ask, but why do you think this way? So, I have spent hours researching this topic and I still don't have the answer.
I have been immersed in a religious theology totally foreign, as well as offensive, to me; Dispensationalism/Premillenialism. Common name; Evangelical, Pentecostal, Baptist. I went further then what, but why and came to John Nelson Darby (1800 - 1882) an Irish Protestant clergyman who saw a second coming of Christ and he believed it would precede the time of 'tribulation', which he called the 'secret rapture'.
I have read pages on the foundation of this philosophy, as well as the fundamental belief; basically I will need to convert or forever swim in a lake of fire. You see, I am a Jew. I could spit out volumes of data, verses, etc., which means nothing more to me than the prior statement. I am a Jew. Israel and the Jews are needed to attain the ascension or rapture for the select group of believers, while everyone else is condemned to the horrors of hell. But I, I and my tribe, are essential to this plan. I don't know why, but I don't feel special.
I have better things to do than spend my time on this and I will get back to those things and leave this behind, but I was looking for some definitive reason and I didn't find it, other than the usual. Dogma and need. But when I read a young woman saying that they won't need to worry about their 401K because we won't be around long enough to worry about it, as well as some other stuff I won't repeat, and this is seen as a good thing, I think dogma and need are enough to warp minds and make me sad, as well as cynical.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
said Topper to Ben. My horses had been in for two days, but they went out yesterday pretty well. Topper is always a little bit like walking nitro, but he wasn't any more to handle then usual. Ben was already out and he was crowding the gate and wouldn't move. Mark shooed him away and Tops got into the pasture, but still on the lead when Ben decided to come up and stick his face into Toppers. Ever see the arched, puffed up balloon look? Combine that with both front feet pounding the ground and a dumb gelding not taking the not-so-subtle hint, you have me hanging onto a rocket ready to launch. Mark's trying to get Ben to move and he does a little. Topper stood straight up on an incline (I'm marveling at how he isn't falling backward!). So, he adds the 'Fury" air paw just for effect as he stands there for what seemed forever, but was actually about 20 seconds. I got the halter off and washed my hands of it. Ben still was being too forward with Topper and turned and gave Tops a good kick, too much for a stallion to take, so Ben got his clock cleaned and then they were friends again.
Sometimes I think about cutting Topper, but moments like this make me think about his masculinity and how proud he is. I can't picture this one as a gelding, he is THE STALLION on the farm. I believe he would live out his life in a state of depression.
"I'm going to memorize your name and throw my head away."
Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972) American Pianist, Comedian, Actor
"There's absolutely nothing wrong with Oscar Levant that a miracle can't fix."
Alexander Woolcott (1887 - 1943) American Critic/Commentator - New Yorker Magazine, Member of the Algonquin Round Table
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Yesterday was the first time riding in the indoor arena since early spring. I got the calcium chloride down and watered in, so it's ready for winter.
Zing was full of energy due to bad weather and horsey confinement, but he worked through it and was the best I've seen him to date. He took the canter both directions and stayed cadenced and balanced. The work Kristina has put in since the last lesson has really helped teach him to stop throwing his head up. Hopefully that little trick will become a thing of the past.
It's a dreary, breezy day in MN and it will be a very busy day for me, as I have had horses inside for two day. The joys of my life are simply overwhelming! It's called one foot in front of the other gets the job done.
Friday, November 7, 2008
I have a seven year old Half-Arabian mare by my stallion WF Impressive that left here for a new home as a weanling. She was sold from that home this past winter and her new owners abandoned her at a boarding stable a couple of months later. I was informed about her fate and bailed her out and brought her back to live here.
Her feet had been done just prior to her coming here, so we didn't need to do her for a couple of months. When she was trimmed, she was very good for the front, but started to lay on the farrier when he picked up the back foot and as he persisted, she would start to sink to her haunches. She was very hot in heat and her hind feet were pretty good, so we let her be. We tried again on Tues. and she did the same thing and not in heat this time.
A little background on her. She is very sensitive and can be explosive if pushed. Her handling has been minimal, but she is agreeable for the most part. She is not fighting, kicking or being agitated. She simply sinks to her haunches. Normally a rasp to the gut would probably be enough to get her up where she belongs, but her tendency to explode when nervous makes this seem like a bad idea. This family of horses do not twitch well, it makes the worse, so that isn't an answer.
Anyone have any ideas?
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I am a cook, but I have never really taken to baking. I suppose it's because baking is a science and cooking is an art. I like 'a little of this, a little of that', which doesn't work with baking. But, I decided to make a couple of French loaves today and they look OK, but as is said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating!
I don't think I will get used to this as baking bread is an all day deal, but I had the time and the ingredients, so I gave it a go. If they are no good, I can always use bread crumbs. : )
I'm Thankful For:
1. The end of campaign ads.
2. Living in a country that can have a divide politically, but still have a peaceful transfer of power.
3. The rain we have had this fall after a very dry summer.
4. My friends, both those I know personally and those I have come to know through cyber-space.
Yesterday I was worn out and edgy. I found it difficult to work and almost impossible to concentrate. I called my friend Jean L. regarding a horse and ended up heatedly going on about a topic like a firebrand! All day I was on edge.
I had an election season hangover. The past couple of months have been very intense for me and I have been tightly wound. I think it took a day to detox. : )
Maybe now I will go back to my usual sweet self. : ) : ) : )
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
As everyone knows by now, America came to the plate and played ball yesterday. We all know how historic this is, how almost unbelievable it is. I remember in 2004 listening to him speak at the Democratic National Convention. It was a Thursday, so Mark wasn't home (tennis night). When he came home I excitedly told him I heard the next President of the US speak that night. I can't believe it turned out to be the case. I knew when Obama reached 200 electoral votes and I saw CA, OR and WA sitting out there on the west coast that we had a NEW President! I danced through the house with my cat Margaret. She was not amused, but I was elated. I think I saw ten years come off Marks face last night. The past eight have taken their toll, but now it's all about moving forward, for us personally and the nation as a whole.
Now I look forward to a healing of the country.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
OK readers, I made a pasta dish Ashley has on her cooking website. Penne Pasta with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. I changed it slightly by adding garlic, but that was all. Mr. Meat Eater loved it, so it was a success!
Mark has had two dinners in a row without meat. Saturday's dinner had almost no meat, so it counts for him! Tomorrow's Election Night Dinner will be braised short ribs, polenta and gravy. The man needs his fortification to get through the nail-biter of an evening.
I think the future starts tomorrow.
There is a debate going on at an internet forum which I read but don't post on, but I wish I did. It's about third party candidates and whether voting for one is a wasted vote.
First, a little history. The framers set up a two party system for a reason; if the vote is split more then two ways there will be a leader elected by a less then 50% margin, which ultimately leads to divisiveness. Our system of governance is dependent upon the population accepting the results in the end.
As to whether a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote, I guess it comes down to opinion, although historically third parties have had little to no chance of winning, especially on the national level. So, looking at it that way, I would say it is a wasted vote. It comes down to being a protest vote and nothing else. Other than it makes the voter feel they have done their civic duty.
It would seem to me to be more effective if disgruntled citizens worked within the system to effect change in the party that more closely represents their philosophy rather than attempting to effect change through a candidate that won't be able to do anything to further the cause. I, for example, see much in the Green Party that I agree with, therefore I will work to get more people elected at the grassroots level that share that same agenda within the party I identify with. It starts from the local level and works its way up. But, it also starts with our applying pressure when we put someone in office, as with presidential elections, for them to do the right thing. FDR was not a liberal when he got into office, but the ground swell of suffering and the pressure placed upon him to do something transformed who he was.
Anyway, I have been reading the disagreement and needed to say something somewhere, so I said it here. Gotta love my self-indulgent blog!
November 3rd and a predicted high of 72 degrees, oh my. We have had a string of gorgeous days, which will sadly end by Friday, but this is November in MN, so we expect it to end and we will enjoy the good days while they last. I have been leaving the horses out longer then usual on these lovely days because they should enjoy it while they can as well!
Tomorrow will be nice as well, so there will no excuse to not get out and vote. One more day.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Last evening I made a pizza using Ashley's crust and sauce recipe. This is a very good crust and the sauce is wonderfully flavorful and light. I used pancetta, calamata olives, roma tomatoes and fresh basil for toppings. I sauteed some baby bellas and put those on half of the pizza (I don't like mushrooms, but Mark does) and I used fresh mozzarella. Ashley, this pizza was incredible and the sauce had a lot to do with it! I used a 50% mix of whole wheat and white flour for the crust and that was really good. This is well worth the little bit of time it took to make. Next time I would use regular bacon as opposed to pancetta. It was a waste of the pancetta, as the flavor was basically lost to the burst of flavor from the sauce.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
"I wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but a political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either."
Edward Zehr (1938 - 2001) Conservative Columnist/Washington Weekly