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

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Take the time to watch this, even if you don't know anything about horses or dressage. This is a thing of pure beauty.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Waning Days of Summer

Fall is creeping upon us. This morning I awoke to a lovely fog wrapping the landscape in its moist countenance

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Edward Kennedy ~ 1932-2009  

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.
Ted Kennedy

We knew it was coming, but somehow I thought it was not possible, that somehow he would beat the devil and pull through. 
Growing up in America in the 1950's and 1960's and being of Irish heritage put the Kennedy family front in center of our lives. Those of us old enough to know the significance of this family know a deep sense of loss. The country has lost its last strong advocate for the underdog. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dressage, Long Grass & Cobwebs

Brutality begins where knowledge ends. Ignorance and compulsion appear simultaneously.
Charles de Kunffy 

A good hand is the one that can resist and yield when necessary and receive with precision the action created by the legs. 
Salomon de la Broue

I have been crazy busy lately. Blame it on my wrist, it's a handy scapegoat for a life filled with activity, much of it catch-up.

Kristina and I went to the Northern Lights Dressage Show Sunday. It's been four years since I have watched a dressage show and I was overall pleased with what I saw. Although the majority of horses still are huge, there were many more smaller horses than once was the case. Even a couple of adult women on ponies!

I was also pleased to see a lighter hand and seat on some riders. Unfortunately it's not the norm. A beautiful Andalusian stallion showing at Prix St. Georges was ridden in the German style. Force is never attractive and I couldn't help but wonder how he would have moved if he were allowed softness.

We came away from the show realizing Zing is more advanced than we realized. When you live in a cocoon it is sometimes difficult to judge where you are. Both Kristina and I have a critical eye for gaits; a soft, round horse with fluidity of movement and we realize now that it's there more than it's not. We haven't been to Bill's for lessons for a long time, so as we have had no outside influence or comparison, it was a good time on several levels.

We have had a lot of rain this month. After a summer of drought it's really appreciated, but I suddenly have grass, lots of grass to mow. Yesterday was spent mowing the lawn and then getting on the little tractor and mowing thistle in a pasture. Silly horses won't graze where there are thistle, so I had half of the pasture overgrazed and half with long grass interspersed with thistle. Those three mares cannot risk touching some thistle to their lovely lips.

The farrier will be here this morning, so I will get all the news fit to pass on in the horse world. No one knows what's what like a farrier! Then I have barn cobweb removal. This is the season for those sticking things to sprout. You can actually see them redevelop as you take them down. My barn definitely shows my absence, but the basics have been done and that's the important part.

So kind readers, this is a glimpse into the exciting life that I call my own. Don't covet my glamorous existence too much!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Double The Fun

I have been doubly honored. Bonnie at Original Art Studio  has given me the Bella Sinclair Award. 
This Award was originally created by Ces of Ces And Her Dishes for Bella of Bella Sinclair Doodlespot

In her words... "I designed this award to celebrate art in the blogs and to honor the value of friendship, sisterhood, sharing and caring. It is to be awarded to the gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best. That I named it after Bella Sinclair is because she epitomizes all of these things. She is an inspiration to many of us." 

I feel a blush coming on, as this is a bit above my pay grade! I am honored to be considered worthy of the criteria and will try to live up to it. Thank you Bonnie.

My old friend Ganeida at Ganeida's Knots has kindly bestowed this award to me. I found Ganeida early into my blogging habit and have so enjoyed her wicked sense of humor, as well as her Celtic ability to spin a tale. Nobody tells a yarn like Ganeida! It's undoubtedly my Irish half that enjoys a good story. Thank you so much for the award. I'm pleased you enjoy my little effort in cyberspace.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I cannot for the life of me figure out why I am so overweight.

I believe I will have a little nosh and a nice cup of tea whilst I ponder the mystery a while longer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Absent, Horses & Confused People

So, you may not have noticed but I have been absent. Dare I say life got in the way of the blog? Well it did.

Although I still have a broken wrist and I'm wearing a brace and it hurts, I feel free after nearly six weeks in a knuckle to elbow cast. I've been busy with life, leaving me uninterested in the computer for a few days. Strange the almost intoxicating effect this illusion of freedom gave me. 

I spent two days at a Natural Horsemanship clinic. Unheard of for me to allow myself such a luxury of time, but being rid of the horrid cast but still not able to handle horses gave me permission to just do it!

My entire day on Tuesday was a process of mowing a long neglected lawn, interspersed with Kristina and a squirmy, slightly irritated Zing. Zing is like a professional athlete; a demanding personality that needs constant stroking as well as massage, acupuncture, poultice; you get the picture. Yesterday he didn't care for his girth. My job as his personal handmaiden has been neglected.

I had a fine time at the clinic, spending time with my friend Jean and watching the process involved in attempting to make people more comfortable with their horses. I walked away with one clear impression: it is very hard to be a horse. And they don't, by nature, want to hurt us. I think that's all I will say on that.

So I think I'm back.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good Morning For Me

I got a small gift today. I was to get the cast off on Monday. The Doc won't be in until later in the week, so it came off this morning! He told me it's not healed yet, but if I behave around the horses the brace will be adequate. 

I hurts like, well A LOT! It's muscle that really hurts, so I need to spend time with the brace off, using it a bit to strengthen it. I don't want to pay for therapy, so I will be proactive in my own treatment. Gotta keep government out of my right to go broke on my health care you know! Sorry, sarcasm comes too easily to me. 

Back to point, I'm almost free. YIPPEE!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I Dream'd I Lay Where Flowers Were Springing

By Robert Burns


I dream'd I lay where flowers were springing,
Gaily in the sunny beam;
List'ning to the wild birds singing,
By a falling, crystal stream:
Straight the sky grew black and daring;
Thro' the woods the whirlwinds rave;
Trees with aged arms were warring,
O'er the swelling, drumlie wave.


Such was my life's deceitful morning,
Such the pleasures I enjoy'd;
But lang or noon, loud tempests storming,
A' my flowery bliss destroy'd.
Tho' fickle fortune has deceiv'd me,
(She promis'd fair, and perform'd but ill;)
Of mony a joy and hope bereav'd me,
I bear a heart shall support me still.

Notes to the poem:

"These two stanzas," says the poet, "are amang the oldest of the printed pieces, I composed when I was seventeen."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Where Has All The Summer Gone

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.  
James Dent

It's the middle of August. What happened? But as I write we are headed toward a ninety degree day, with the entire week going in that direction. Summer making its last ditch effort to make me miserable. It is all about me you know! Or rather the cast. I have been in it for a month; a month of relatively mild weather. The heat and humidity causes my arm to swell, creating a stuffed sausage effect in my cast. This is not a happy-making experience. One more week.

So summer slid by as I languished in my cloud of self-pity. I find I do the sad invalid well. I would have never guessed I had it in me, but there it is. Schlepping around in my sweat pants and foam shoes, tousled and unkempt; k'vetching  because I can't do anything, all the while getting used to doing nothing! Oh, oh.

The summer that almost was. 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Soggy Saturday, Clumsy Cleaning

We had a rainy Friday and a humdinger of a thunderstorm last night. It rained in sheets and we had quite the light show. Today is overcast and drizzling.

This seems like a perfect day for me to attempt some one-handed cleaning. Since I broke the wrist not much has been done. I don't think I need to elaborate.

So I'll leave you with a lovely rose and a 'good day to you'.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Ate Lunch In Tel Aviv

Nice thought, but not this Tel Aviv, rather a small restaurant in Minneapolis! A person can dream though.

I often forget how close I live to a diversity of cultures and the food that comes with it. I parked my ever-broadening behind in the cultural black hole known as The West Metro and have become as stuck as if I had sat in hardening cement. The bigger problem with this black hole is it's gentrifying. Suburbanites in SUV's and BMW's have overtaken farmers and small town dwellers. Enough to give any self-respecting urban-snob-turned-country-snob a case of the shakes. But then again, I guess it's the price you pay for living within a half hour's drive to the city. Looking at it this way, I think I should utilize my proximity a bit more!

Gentle Readers

I have started a new blog for my political opinions. I have decided that even though I named this blog to be able to write about anything on my mind, it has evolved into its own rhythm. So I will move the portion of my personality that focuses on the world of politics and my opinions about such to another space. Lively discourse is not only welcome but encouraged!

You will find a little piece of my mind at AS I SEE IT

Lighter Fare

For today. Zucchini, I have lots of zucchini, which I have sauteed, frozen and baked. This large fella was hidden amongst the grass and leaves. I got two loaves and two quart freezer bags from this!

I tried a recipe from the web. It's good, but I like my old standby better. If you never try anything different, how are you to know what you already have is superior?

We are having a beautiful rain this morning. We can use it. I love the sound and smell of a soft rain. It has been missing for a couple of years, so it's really appreciated at a whole different level of joy.

I believe I will have a slice of this bread with my coffee and listen to the rain.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's A Jungle Out There

Yesterday evening I got a chance to speak to the people in the polls. The people who want to see reform in our healthcare system, but are satisfied with what they have. People who believe that all of you with universal coverage do not get treated when you get sick. 

My neighbors. Nice people. He has a PhD in something or other. We were outside as they were walking down the road and the subject arose because of my broken wrist. In their opinion, something should be done to contain costs but a public system is too risky. They actually believe you who have government coverage are all dying or at least suffering really bad. I wonder why, if one is to take this belief and run with it, why the natural next step isn't taken. A couple of continents should be doing a very brisk headstone business.

Did I mention he is a PhD? I can only conclude this is willful low information gathering. There is an ideology lurking in there that precludes curiosity.

If you live in the US you would have to be living in a cave not to know about the 'Birthers'. I don't understand the argument. Or rather, I do. Ratings. I suppose I understand why the Obama administration doesn't touch it; bring up the info I have posted below and the crazies will take it as an admission that he's an African Muslim Extremist Terrorist, part of a sleeper cell to take over the good 'ol US of A. Never mind he was born in Hawaii. I suppose there probably are a lot of our citizens who don't know Hawaii is a state. Seriously. My helper Deb tells me the town locals call him a muslin, as in cloth. But they don't know they are calling him cloth. I guess they use a few other words as well. Maybe they think Hawaii is a country. I am a stranger in a strange land.

 Please read this. I learned this in grade school, so I sort of think everyone talking about it day after day knows this to. tsk, tsk.

I think I'll end on this. It's enough.

Natural-born citizen

Who is a natural-born citizen? Who, in other words, is a citizen at birth, such that that person can be a President someday?

The 14th Amendment defines citizenship this way: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." But even this does not get specific enough. As usual, the Constitution provides the framework for the law, but it is the law that fills in the gaps.

Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in those gaps. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"

  • Anyone born inside the United States *
  • Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
  • Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
  • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
  • Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
  • Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
  • Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
  • A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

* There is an exception in the law — the person must be "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. This would exempt the child of a diplomat, for example, from this provision.

Anyone falling into these categories is considered natural-born, and is eligible to run for President or Vice President. These provisions allow the children of military families to be considered natural-born, for example.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peace, Quiet & Relative Anonymity OR Anti-Social Grump?

Popularity is the one insult I have never suffered.
Oscar Wilde

The blogging question. I think everyone who sits down to their computer and starts sending thoughts, opinions, recipes, photos, memories out into cyberspace asks the question. Huh?

There are as many answers as there are bloggers. There are many, many, many bloggers. This isn't about why. This is about something I have pondered since I started all this typing. Something that was brought up on a blog I read yesterday, causing me to decide to ask the question. Or at least broach the subject. When is it too much?

The blog I'm speaking of is a Blog of Note. Blogger chooses blogs to feature. When this happens the blog gets a great deal of exposure, people sign on in droves and the comment feature becomes over-filled. I bring this up because the owner of this blog brought up a new reader who emailed to say the blog is great, but the comments are so numerous as to be off-putting. So the question was asked, what's your opinion?

I actually replied, I was number 113 I believe. As expected, there was no replying comment. What is the value to nearly one thousand followers? Do they all follow, or is there a pack of people who hop from Blog of Note to Blog of Note joining because, well because?

Unless you have nothing else to do, reading and responding to everyone would be impossible. How do you decide? Of course these questions are my own, based on my rather reticent personality. I don't care for crowds and I find that characteristic translates itself to the virtual world as well. I enjoy commentary, both receiving and giving, but how ever could that be managed. That's not to say I don't read some of these, I do. But only as an observer and a casual one at that. 

This is a convoluted piece of writing to get to what I have felt since I first saw the Blog of Note thing. I would find it a curse. I think it would remove the personal connection from the process. I have an interest in my blogger friends. I check their blogs because I want to. I enjoy the comments and humor often contained in the comments. But when there are so many, doesn't it become rote? Frankly, I would not want to be that popular. I would either shut down entirely, or I would turn into a blogger created monster of ego. Since I have never been one of the popular people, a part of the cool group, I fear I could become the latter.

So Blogger, not me. Please.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Margaret's a Cheap Date, or Love The One You're With

I did some one-handed weeding in the rose garden today. We have catnip growing wild around the farm and there were some plants invading my garden that I pulled. I came in to check email, only to have Margaret crawling all over my hand. It took a minute for me to realize she smelled the catnip on my hand. I pulled my hand away, so she honed in on the mouse. Must be some powerful stuff for her to still get a high off the mouse.

I then did what any self-respecting supplier would do; I got her a dime bag of nip. Kitty is a happy girl right now.

During the night she had a close encounter with another mouse. That didn't turn out so well for the mouse. 

Monday, August 3, 2009

Whipping Cream....

instead of churning. I decided to make butter, the easy way. Not like this laborious backbreaking method.

But rather by Kitchenaid. Very, very messy and very easy. I made butter in grade school as a project with a glass jar that you shake until your arm wants to fall off, which was my last attempt. Until this past Saturday when I got the idea to try it with the mixer. Can you tell I'm bored into a stupor by my broken wrist? The best part is the buttermilk, absolutely nothing like that sour stuff you get in the grocery store. It's like comparing a five star French restaurant to Lean Cuisine. I used it to make baking powder biscuits for my lovely butter.  This is a recipe I got from my mother, one I have used so many times I can't count. These biscuits were nothing like the others. Not a thing. I will continue to make butter, to go through the messy process just for the buttermilk!

Voila! The finished product.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beauty & Dust

I started posting the flowers as I was watching the local morning news. As the photos posted the anchor started to talk about three Minnesota men who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. A week ago three others were laid to rest after being killed in Afghanistan. Six more promising lives turned to dust. 

It seems we have become so accustomed to our occupation of Iraq and our presence in Afghanistan that we hardly consider it any more. I have seen the faces of six young Minnesotan men who will never smile again. Never tell someone how much they love them. Never fulfill the promise of their lives. For what?

So I posted the flowers anyway. Beauty among the detritus of a morality gone wrong.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Now We Know

William James

I heard something funny on the radio the other day. I don't remember who I was listening to, but it was a man. A man who was talking about his Boxers (dog) and how he has acquired his dogs through a Boxer rescue, but the last dog he bought from a breeder. He wanted the dog, but was reluctant about the price. He had picked a male, so the breeder offered an incentive to buy, a $50.00 reduction in price to neuter the dog. In his droll voice he recounted his wife's comment. "Now we know what they're actually worth." Badda Bing!