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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sometimes There Is Beauty, If You Look

Of course you need to be up early enough!

A beautiful start to a cold day. Clear skies mean cold temperatures in my part of the world. It's nice to see the sun, so I will stow the complaining until January, when the doldrums really set in.

We had a lot of snow fall over the Christmas holiday so we were literally snowed in. We finally became totally plowed yesterday. It's been a long time since I have seen such enormous piles of snow. Howard is beside himself with joy!

Because of all the snow our family lunch was postponed until tomorrow. We are a small group, five including my aged parents. My son, being a new homeowner, is preparing lunch at his home in Minneapolis, while we pick up grandma and very grumpy and infirm grandpa. Grandpa may not be making many more visits, so although he would rather stay home we are pushing him out the door, at least one more time. My mother should not be caring for him, but they will not listen. It took a long time, but I am now in the position of attempting to influence my parent's decisions. I can tell you it is not going well.

Although cold, the day is beautiful and the yard is plowed. Sometimes you have to take the good you get and call it good enough. 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

White Horses

The Lipizzans of the Spanish Riding School in Austria. I fell in love with these horses as a teenager and never thought I would ever have one. Well I don't, but I do have two cross-breds by Conversano II Aloha II, a stallion owned by my very accomplished former trainer who left us for Florida and a man! Lou earned a USDF Gold Medal at Grand Prix a few years ago. Ari would be a Grand Prix horse if I still had a trainer like Jean. But Ari and Ben are a source of wonder and pride for me, regardless.

Enjoy the dance.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Caritas, Gaudium, Pax

From the farm to the world, we wish you charity, hope and peace.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

...... are some of the ingredients in the stock I made this morning,

which became the soup we had for lunch. Mark was hungry, so the little bit of schmaltz in the stock was left, he didn't want to wait for the stock to cool. It adds flavor, so we will ignore what else it adds!

Soup seemed like a good idea because we had this,

and this overnight. More to come. At least the temperature is moderate and the snow is certainly pretty.

I had a glass of wine with lunch and a cookie for the finish. I think I must be feeling festive. Don't let it get around, I have a reputation to maintain.

Merry, Merry everyone.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Have a Cookie

........ you'll feel better. Nothing like a warm cookie and a nice cup of tea to make your troubles disappear for a time. I know because I tested the theory and it worked.

Monday, December 21, 2009

For Some There Is Peace.... There Is Plenty

An early, foggy winter morning in the mare's pasture.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Month In A Life

What I have been doing over the past month and a half. With an interruption for a couple of weeks to care for the stallions after their brain surgery. 

This stuff has been in my kitchen and bedroom for what seems to be forever. It's tough to run a farm and paint an interior of a house. And I can tell you without doubt now, I'm not what I used to be! I feel like I've been run over by a truck. I do believe I took on a bit too much, but it seemed reasonable when I decided to do it.

I realized by the time I got to this counter/cabinet space that I don't need to paint here. I've ordered tin tiles to place here. Another project! There is no holiday decorating or baking happening at my home this year.

I got my bedroom painted, but still don't have the curtains up. The kitchen got painted green by default because I had a full gallon left over from painting my bedroom. I used to say paint is cheap, but not anymore. So that full gallon went to paint another room. Not my first choice, but paint isn't cheap!

I am also dealing with a seriously lame mare. She has been on bute and stall rest for two weeks. I have not been able to make the call to end this. She is not showing pain when left in, but she has not been able to walk. The past two days have been marginally better, giving me a little burst of hope. I should have just put her down, but she is a kind old lady who gave me many foals over the years. She is the dam of my Lipizzan cross, Ari. She is also a very good patient, taking her confinement with patient grace.

She is old, but I have great affection for her and as long as she isn't suffering serious pain I will give her some time to heal, if she can. My vet thinks she may have fractured her right shoulder but he isn't sure. So I'll give her some time. Give Sun Spot a little positive thought if you can.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Dawn

A cold dawn in Minnesota. Winter fell upon us seemingly overnight. I went to bed on a nice fall day and awoke in the middle of winter. As I am not Rip Van Winkle I think we had a sharp change in weather.

So the struggle begins. There are many markers which tell me my body is aging and winter is one of them. It is becoming increasingly difficult trudging through the snow and facing the cutting wind. When winter decided to come, it came with arctic air. Yippee.

I have been absent from my computer for awhile. I have been in a bit of a funk and find I don't have much to say, so I think it best to say nothing, on my blog and others. The dawn moon and the frigid air seemed worthy of a moment of my time though.

Enjoy your day good people.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Seemingly Endless Cycle

It is well war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
Robert E. Lee

My entire life we have had one war or another. I'm weary. But our leaders are not, so here we go, escalating the conflict in Afghanistan.

Somehow I think the atmosphere of Washington D.C. stifles reasoned thought. No one has been successful in that region, going all the way back to Alexander. Believing additional soldiers will turn an area of rival tribes into a cohesive country we can have treaties and diplomacy with is as reasonable as believing reindeer really do fly.

More lives, more money and probably no way to pay other than borrowing (Americans have decided we don't believe in taxation for anything. The nation is on a very large Chinese credit card). I imagine we will be bogged down there for years to come.

Which means we will continue the battle domestically. We don't have money to care for our population or our infrastructure. We lack the political will to do something about it. We are in a decline, but don't know it. Because we have military might we become confused. We believe we are powerful. We are. We can blow up the earth a hundred times over. But we can't stop 45,000 people dying each year because they don't have insurance and therefore lack access to medical care.

We close schools, let go police, allow roads and bridges to crumble. Universities raise tuition to a level that keeps large segments of the population off their campuses. We have created a "Do you want fries with that" economy. But we can borrow money and fight wars. While we have 38 million people on food stamps.

So President Obama has just bought himself a war. The mess is now his to own. He will, I believe, regret it. I know I do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I am not able to follow any blogs. I get a message telling me following is forbidden with this server. Does anyone know what has happened?

Going to the help center is useless and contacting a real person impossible.

Thanks for any help I can get.

OK, I copied the message.


You don't have permission to access /friendconnect/settings/simpleSave on this server.

*An edit to clarify. I can follow blogs I already have on my list but I am unable to add any others. When I click on to follow a blog, the above is the error message.

I hate the lack of access to help.

Comes The Season

It's coming. Tomorrow. We don't want to believe it, but it's on its way. Winter.

It is December 1st and we will be 45 degrees today. Ah, bliss! Tomorrow the hammer drops and we enter winter. Seemingly for the duration. I've allowed myself the luxury of believing this is real. I feel somewhat betrayed by the weather guy. How dare he burst my well-tended bubble of delusion?

So on this last beautiful day I will once again repair the front of Sophie and Iris' shed (so they can tear it down again) and do the remaining final touches that have been put off while I dwelled in my bubble. And brace for the cold blustery day ahead. And ahead......

Some snow would be nice. In the beginning of winter it is nice to see snow. I have always felt a lift from the first snowfall. When you keep horses snow is actually your friend in a frozen climate. Their tootsies don't care for the frozen ground.

Yet as I look out my window I see a large field of corn awaiting the combine. The grass is still green. So there have been contributors to my delusion.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Moving Forward, Looking Backward

I think a sunset is appropriate to my life at this time. There have been many ends which have happened over the course of a year, that a sunset image is as fitting as any.

Time marches on and it does it at a fast clip when you are older. So you either keep up or you get run over. Sometimes keeping up seems like a lot of work and I want to just stop by the side of the road. Alas, it doesn't work that way. So I try to keep up.

It would be very easy for me to wallow in sadness. This would do me about as much good as wallowing in the mud. So today life picks up its pace once again.

My farrier will be here today. He will want to know where Shaka is. My only boarder was out last evening. I saw her walking around the property. She was looking for Shaka. So many horses here and his presence is so obviously missed.

Life moves forward and so shall I. There is a benefit to having so many lives depending upon you; there is no chance to sit overlong in sorrow. The horses need to be fed, turned out and the barn needs cleaning. No matter what other circumstances, they must eat. I think it is a good thing.

So I will look to the southeast, tip my cap and say "Happy Trails" then put one foot in front of the other as I step into the future.

Friday, November 27, 2009


DLKS Korithian
1988 - 2009

My heart is broken. My bad, wonderful, willful, arrogant, amazing Shaka has died.

He suffered a colic yesterday. Shaka never coliced, but the one he had was one he couldn't overcome. So last evening we put him to peace.

He was the one. A difficult, HOT, smart and extremely talented horse who could buzz-saw his way through trainers. When we finally found the right one, he showed how much it was worth, tolerating that so difficult personality. He proved a horse did not need to be 18 hands to move like the warmbloods.

When I first saw him something clicked. He immediately dumped me, hard. I wrote a check and I wrote many, many checks for years after. My husband would ask me "Isn't that horse trained yet?" Not when he had the sky's the limit talent. His last trainer wanted to take him to Florida with him over the winter to finish him at Grand Prix, but I wouldn't let him go. I was his guardian, the wall between people who could get so frustrated with him there was a real risk for abuse. So he never quite finished the quest, but not because he couldn't. He retired the following year because of arthritis in a knee.

He never actually retired though. Not in his mind. He maintained his position of honor in the barn as well as the pasture. He was the one and he knew it. Bossy, nosey, loved.

I can't believe I won't see those small, alert ears perked forward as he hears the cellophane wrapper coming off his peppermint candy. He was a junkie for peppermint. His deep-throated uh uh as he anticipates something. He came like a dog when called, so I could always count on him to bring the herd up by calling "Shaka!"

Funny that a horse so many people did not like, I loved fiercely. He was my boy. My bad boy. All those years ago when I hit the ground and bought the horse neither one of us knew the adventure we would embark on. We didn't know at the time that I was the person he needed to have, the person who let it roll, no matter what. A perfect team. Now my heart breaks.

Shaka will lay in the pasture next to my other beloved, LF Diamond Rose.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Still Crazy (After All These Years)

Ever feel like this?

The way my life has been going lately. Have a happy and food-filled Thanksgiving my American friends. To everyone else, I wish you a great day!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Boy Talk

The Lipizzan and the Saddlebred met by the water cooler and decided to have a conversation, horse style.

The Lipizzan was not impressed by the Saddlebred. The Lipizzan knows the cold-hearted one got the Saddlebred, as she did the Lipizzan in the prime of his young horseness; a 3-1/2 year old beauty, done in by by the two-leggers.. Doesn't matter, oh spotted one, if you are a National Champion Stallion. You're a gelding now buddy!

Solo made another attempt to impress Ari with his lovely long neck. The Lipizzan scoffed. This is a neck.

The crowd watched on in rapt wonder.

After such a conversation, a drink was in order. Scamper stood at the waiting incase Ari needed him to intervene. Brothers in Arms and all that.

Solo thought Ari had better water, so he helped himself to a little. Very good.

Bounce was amazed. Alas, Bounce is always amazed.

The End.

* The management accepts no responsibility for the dirty bodies and tangled manes. The horses are solely responsible for making a mess of themselves.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Still Evolving

The horses have kept me busy. Gelding older stallions is a big deal and there has been a lot of care needed to keep them OK. 

The vet has had to be out once already and he will be here again at 7:00 AM. There is so much tissue on the older boys that no matter how hard I have worked at it, they have been swelling closed in the surgical area. This has to stay open to drain. Topper is doing well but poor Mr. Solo keeps closing up.

So much of my day is spend nursing the boys. I currently do not have much of a life. I am sure things will improve, but I am spending hours shagging horses and cold hosing the area where testicles once resided.

I know, too much information. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Evolving Life

Ego. It's a powerful motivator, a driving force behind so many actions. It's also a limiting agent, often trapping a person in an unproductive cycle when it doesn't allow you to let go.

My ego was giving me some trouble over the summer and into fall. I knew I had to do something, but my self was so wrapped into it that I was having difficulty. Last week I got out of my way and I did it. I castrated two of my stallions.

For those who don't know, I had three stallions, all of which have earned the right to be intact. A lot of money and emotion has been invested in them, but the economy is not in a place for people to be buying horses, much less breeding their mares. So the boys have been unused and unhappy.

WF Impressive

So on Thursday the deed was done. WF Impressive and The Denver Mint became geldings. It still doesn't seem real, not emotionally anyway. Visually there is no mistaking it. The equipment is gone. Now I wait to see how much of the attitude disappears. Will Topper lose his Tarzan call? Will he stop running his feet off? Will Solo smile? Not literally, but will I feel him become happy.

The Denver Mint

Our greed induced recession/depression has had an effect on most people. I know I am fortunate that all I needed to do was castrate stallions instead of euthanizing horses, but I feel a loss regardless. An end of an era. Topper was the last of his line. 

I still have Zing. Zing has a job, he has Kristina riding him several times a week. Zing is different. He is a clown, he has ADD and it is easy to forget he is an intact male. The other two told you they where stallions. No mistaking their position. Part of the ego; my stallions. 

I know anyone reading this who has not handled breeding stallions will not be able to understand the feeling of loss. You develop a deep relationship with them. Stallions are vulnerable. Handling stallions and handling them well is a skill, a skill that is limited to a narrow group of people. Somehow I became one of those people.

Life marches on. Eventually I will stop saying 'stallions', but I don't think I had better utter the word gelding in Topper's presence! 

Monday, November 16, 2009

They Are Among Us

My husband would contend that this has already happened here. The ponies have invaded and they won!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Poem

Old Man and Child
Gaspare Traversi
The Little Boy and the Old Man 
Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the old man, "I do that too."
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
"I do that too," laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded, "So do I."
"But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
"I know what you mean," said the little old man.

    Shel Silverstein

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wheel of Misfortune?

Round and round she goes. Where she stops, nobody knows.

Ever feel like you are moving but not getting anywhere? This is me lately. I know I'm accomplishing much of what I set myself to do, but somehow the finished deeds become lost in the myriad items still pending. As well as the things accomplished take so little time to be undone.

I paint the hallway and in a few days Howard has started up with his splattered slobber artwork again. I wash windows and Grace puts mud on the kitchen door because the only way to let us know she wants in is to jump, multiple times, leaving mud streaks on the glass.

I know, the world seems to be melting down around us and I am whining about dog slobber and mud. I believe I am finding refuge in the everyday in order not to focus so much on the vast problems around us that I cannot solve. So I focus on what I can; painting, cleaning, planning. A timeless coping mechanism, I think.

So in my desire to cope I find one project after another to tackle. The problem is, I am overwhelming myself! Which led to a strong talking to, me to myself. Slow down. Finish one thing before you plan another. Since this is Minnesota and it is November, get the outside work done first. There will be a very long, cold winter in which to clean and organize to my heart's content. Or, as is more likely, to forget all about it. This last is probably why I feel the sense of urgency. I know myself and it is best to strike while the iron is hot, otherwise there will be no striking at all. Which is why there is so much on my to-do list. I rarely 'do'.

So while I wonder when the next Wall Street bubble will burst, what piece of junk legislation will finally be passed as healthcare reform, how many more jobs will be lost to cheap labor elsewhere, how many more years corporate money will be sheltered offshore to avoid their duty to pay taxes; among just a few wonderings. I pick a paint color for my bedroom. I decide to save my pennies for a tin ceiling in my kitchen. I change my mind on a glass tile backsplash in favor of stainless steel tiles. My mind is sometimes drawn back to the problems of the world because I now need to plan for the money to pay for my schemes, which means waiting. Which is not the worst thing in the world. Instant gratification, I think a sad American trait many of us are unlearning.

Now to jump back onto the hamster wheel and spin myself crazy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Run Bambi, Run

Hunting is not a sport. In a sport both sides should know they are in the game.
Paul Rodriquez

Firearm deer hunting season starts in my fair state today. I live in the country, but not the wide open country. There are large wooded areas all around us and farmers leave a few rows of corn to attract deer. Gun fire becomes a daily bombardment to my ears and my nerves. 

I do not like hunting. There seems to be too much enjoyment received from some other creatures death. I know the deer population can become too large to sustain itself, leading to starvation. I know herds need to be thinned. I don't understand the gleeful joy people get from the actual act of killing. I have watched hunting shows in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep. I watched Babe Winkleman nearly have an orgasm over killing a large buck. Nice.

I really don't like hunting in my backyard. There is a strange tendency with people holding guns to shoot at movement. A few years ago some neighboring farmers lost dairy cows to hunters bullets. I worry so much during this season about the horses. I have a mare who was shot in the head a few years ago when she was at another farm. It didn't kill her, but there is a bullet lodged in her skull.

So now I will be on edge over the hunting season. My sentiments lie with the white tails. High tail it and run.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sunshine & Lollipops

My self portrait

Have a pleasant weekend good people.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Or simply hosed.

On my day of deep thinks, this is as deep as it's going to get. Hope and change. Where? I think down the toilet. Yes We Can. How about a little Yes We Will.

The End

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Of Seeds & Nuts & Lasagna

How do I make the mundane appear interesting, the everyday appealing? 

Life has been a flurry of activity. I lost most of the summer and into September due to my own lack of attention to the horse I was handling, so I have had much to catch up on. The northern tier dwellers know about approaching winter. We are like squirrels gathering and hiding their seeds and nuts. 

Putting away the last of summer's memories, we batten down the hatches in preparation for the onslaught of the unbearable. This is what I have been doing. In between the monsoons.

The horses, bless their hearts, have decided that layering themselves in all of that juicy mud is a wonderful thing to do in preparation for the frozen season. I cannot convey how it feels to look at a herd of mud-monsters, knowing the only person available to remove all of that is me. I feel so fortunate.

Nestled somewhere between the horses and the winter preparation has been the biological urge that draws us closer to hearth and home as the days become shorter and colder. Nature has its way of enforcing its order upon we people who live in the dark, cold lands. I become that odd mix of Annie Oakley and Martha Stewart; replacing the gun with a manure fork in one hand and a whisk in the other. I found myself yesterday taking care of the needs of the noble beasts as well as making sauce, assembling lasagna and baking French bread. In between I was washing windows and oiling the wood. All in a days work. Well, some days! Others, not so much.

Dawn is approaching, so I will be heading out to the barn now. Enjoy the day good people.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pop On Over

The lousy weather has given me some time to cook in the morning. So this morning I made popovers....

and eggs for a late breakfast. Being the good tender of animals that I am, the horses of course were fed before us. 

You know, I'm still trying to unravel the mystery of why I got fat. I think this will remain one of those unanswerable questions.