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

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.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Day (Or Two) In The Life

So I think I have been busy and absent. Absent from my own blog and from the pleasant business of visiting my favorite people every day.

I have been living the life of a working homeowner and as most people know, that is a time consuming venture indeed. In addition to the job of care and keep of twenty-six horses, I have been busily taking advantage of a few days of dry weather to start putting the place to rights before winter descends upon us.

I also took an afternoon to paint the hallway in my house. It badly needed it, even though I had painted it three years ago. Every time Howard shakes his head, stuff flies and he seems to shake his head in the hallway a lot. It was looking like a Jackson Pollack painting!

These lovely trees make for lots of leaves on the ground. Pretty to look at but much work to clean up. I have taken to chopping them instead of raking, which seems to work well. So yesterday, a damp and dreary day, I sat on the lawn tractor and mowed the lawn for the last time of the season, as well as chopped the leaves.

Howard B. Hound was checking out the leaves for me. He is my quality control and he does such a good job.

I think he told me it was OK to chop this section.

The horses don't understand all of the fuss. If I would only let them they would gladly eat the grass and the leaves for me.

My manager seems to approve the job. Whew!

Mr. Solo agrees with Howard.

I always have photos of Howard and none of Grace. I am not playing favorites. Howard is a shadow, whereas Grace is a free spirit and goes about her day independent from the two-leggers. Which is a polite way of saying Grace is always into some kind of mischief or another. It's easy to photograph Howard because he follows me everywhere I go. He's a mama's boy.

This is usually the day I ramble on about my deep (uh-huh) thoughts. I don't seem to have any thoughts right now, deep or otherwise. I think struggling through mud for a month has drained me of any thoughts, other than the thought of staying on my feet.

We are due for more of the wet stuff today. The wood fencing is turning green. In October it is turning green. I expect to see the horses develop webbing on their hooves. I have given up trying to keep the floors in the house clean, my dogs don't wipe their feet before they come in.

I do have one thought. Enough, already.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Robert Lowell


My Dolphin, you only guide me by surprise.
a captive as Racine, the man of craft,
drawn through his maze of iron composition
by the glassy bowing and scraping of my own will....
I have sat and listened to too many
words of the collaborating muse,
and plotted perhaps too freely with my life,
not avoiding injury to others,
not avoiding injury to myself....
to ask compassion.... this book, half fiction,
an eelnet made by man for the eel fighting

my eyes have seen what my hand did.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Things That Make Me Smile

Apple Pie
fresh from the oven

Apple Pie
with a big dollop of whipped cream

A sleeping Howard
Yes there is a dog under that ear

A Greyhound so fast she blurs when she beats up Howard

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bug On A Pin

My slightly off-skew brain brought forth this image. To speak to the www with reckless abandon places one in a position like a bug on a pin. Open to close examination. Unlike the hapless dragonfly, we place ourselves willingly on that pin. No need to become too introspective as to ask why. 

Intellectually I know that I am not sitting at a nice wine bar in the city, talking to a good friend when I sit at my desk, merrily typing whatever comes floating into my brain at that given time.

OK, I know this intellectually, but that's where the awareness stops. Because as I am sitting in my nice office with the goldenrod colored walls and shelves and shelves of books, horse show trophies and Margaret the Cat always perched in front of my keyboard, it is so easy to feel a sense of intimacy and felicity. It truly does feel like a nice little chat.

Since it's just between us, even though we're not in that nice St. Paul wine bar I sometimes do have a glass of wine while we talk. Margaret abstains, but she will, from time to time, indulge in a little catnip. As I often tell her, most things are good in moderation. Even a little internet chat.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Poem

      Elinor Wylie

      The Lost Path

        THE garden's full of scented wallflowers,
        And, save that these stir faintly, nothing stirs;
        Only a distant bell in hollow chime
        Cried out just now for far-forgoten time,
        And three reverberate words the great bell spoke.
        The knocker's made of brass, the door of oak,
        And such a clamor must be loosed on air
        By the knocker's blow that knock I do not dare.
        The silence is a spell, and if it break,
        What things, that now lie sleeping, will awake?
        Are simple creatures lying there in cool
        Sweet linen sheets, in slumber like the pool
        Of moonlight white as water on the floor?
        Will they come down laughing and unlock the door?
        And will they draw me in, and let me sit
        On the tall settle while the lamp is lit?
        And shall I see their innocent clean lives
        Shining as plainly as the plates and knives,
        The blue bowls, and the brass cage with its bird?
        But listen! listen! surely something stirred
        Within the house, and creeping down the halls
        Draws close to me with sinister footfalls.
        Will long pale fingers softly lift the latch,
        And lead me up, under the osier thatch,
        To a little room, a little secret room,
        Hung with green arras picturing the doom,
        The most disasterous death of some proud knight?
        And shall I search the room by candle-light
        And see, behind the curtains of my bed,
        A murdered man who sleeps as sleep the dead?
        Or will my clamorous knocking shake the trees
        With lonely thunder through the stillnesses,
        And then lie down--the coldest fear of all--
        To nothing, and deliberate silence fall
        On the house deep in the silence, and no one come
        To door or window, staring blind and dumb?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nature Really Needs To Eliminate The Stupid

Oh my god. This horse is a saint. Who's the dumb beast here. I think the one with two legs. The embed capability was disabled due to request. Hmmm, why would that be? Click the link and you'll find out.


More About Me, Or Run.... Fast

Once again I have been graced with an award. Ganeida's Knots has decided everyone needs to know seven more things about me. Oh boy. Here goes.

1.  First I am going to say that although I appreciate from the bottom of my heart the sentiment behind awards, I am not going to participate in awards anymore. I will need to start making up seven things about myself if I do! There really is nothing more to tell. At least that is fit to print.

2.  I feel a great urge lately to be lazy. I yearn for free time to waste.

3.  When I was laid-up with a broken wrist and had free time to waste I could hardly wait to get back to work.

4.  I think I can't be pleased.

5.  I can swear like a dock worker, but I rarely do. But I can.

6.  I am loyal.

7.  I'm bored with myself by number seven.

I am on a limited time frame, got to get back to work.  I'm going to break the rules and not pass this on to anyone in particular. Some people love these and some people don't. Since I don't know who you are, I'll leave it to my dear readers to decide if they want to play along and claim the award.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh What A Day

Hard work spotlights the character of people:  some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.  ~Sam Ewing

Really, I must be getting too old for this. Mark and I spent a twelve hour day laboring in the barn. The very wet weather has kept horses in the barn too much, leaving me with a lot of extra work. Mark is busy right now and really could not spare the time, but like the good man he is, he did anyway.

My muscles have been on vacation due to the various physical problems I've experienced so I am out of working condition. I have to admit to being sore and tired by the end of the day. Really sore and tired.

Which led me to do something I never do; I soaked in a hot tub for about forty minutes. Now I wonder why I never do that, since it was so pleasant and soothing. Even though I don't use the tub, I do have essential oils. Wow, what a difference it made. I may be getting too old to work like I did, but I'm not too old to learn something new. Like a soak in a hot bath laced with essential oils is a really good thing!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Here Comes The Sun

Something we haven't seen this month. I feel better already.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What I Think About It

So I wonder. How can we have raised such barbarians who would set a child, a fellow classmate, on fire? Something has gone terribly wrong with our youth, somehow we have created a society which is producing mindlessly violent children. 

Which leads me to Wall Street. Where the predators end up, allowing them to legally commit financial violence upon us. Wall Street is back up over 10,000. One year later it's back where it was. Nothing has changed, not one, count it, one regulation has been put into place to control the behavior which caused the collapse of our economy in the first place. They have received 3 trillion or more of our dollars and they have had not one restraint placed upon them. As soon as taxpayer dollars flowed in, they went right back to the crazy risk taking. Goldman is paying out 20 billion in bonuses; Citi is at 25 billion in bonuses and Bank of America comes in at 30 billion. Another crash seems to be inevitable, why not, they have the treasure of the United States bankrolling them.

Michigan has an official unemployment figure of nearly 16%. Every 7.5 seconds a house is foreclosed in America. 14,000 people lose their health insurance every month. Small businesses are having their credit line pulled. 

Think of the head of a pin. We are approaching three quarters of the nation's wealth sitting in the hands of a number of people who could fit on the head of a pin. No society which has reached this imbalance has survived.

This brings me back to the barbarians we Americans are raising. When one considers what we value, how we have created a 'get it while you can' mentality, it isn't surprising we are raising generations of sociopaths.

I usually reserve this for the other blog, but I think this is something everyone should consider, so my thoughts on this Thursday are as you read them here. I think you should call your Senators and Representative, every week. If only half of our population became engaged, can you imagine?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ah, could I lay me down in this long grass
And close my eyes, and let the quiet wind
Blow over me—I am so tired, so tired
Of passing pleasant places! All my life,
Following Care along the dusty road,
Have I looked back at loveliness and sighed;
Yet at my hand an unrelenting hand
Tugged ever, and I passed. All my life long
Over my shoulder have I looked at peace;
And now I fain would lie in this long grass
And close my eyes.
       Yet onward!
             Cat birds call
Through the long afternoon, and creeks at dusk
Are guttural. Whip-poor-wills wake and cry,
Drawing the twilight close about their throats.
Only my heart makes answer. Eager vines
Go up the rocks and wait; flushed apple-trees
Pause in their dance and break the ring for me;
And bayberry, that through sweet bevies thread
Of round-faced roses, pink and petulant,
Look back and beckon ere they disappear.
Only my heart, only my heart responds.
Yet, ah, my path is sweet on either side
All through the dragging day,—sharp underfoot
And hot, and like dead mist the dry dust hangs—
But far, oh, far as passionate eye can reach,
And long, ah, long as rapturous eye can cling,
The world is mine: blue hill, still silver lake,
Broad field, bright flower, and the long white road
A gateless garden, and an open path:
My feet to follow, and my heart to hold.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Color Me Hooked

OK, it's already been established that I am a recent HGTV junkie. With that in mind, we can all understand my recent scanning of the kitchen and having it come up lacking. Since no one is going to come in to spice up my kitchen it's left to me to do. Or not.

I am considering painting my kitchen the color below. This is the powder room off the kitchen.

This is the current color in the kitchen. My kitchen is 15 x 30 with one long wall in field granite (mostly arched as appliance alcoves and walkthroughs). There is a double glass door on the north and a single glass door on the south, as well as one large window on the east. The room gets a lot of light.

So, should I do it? Because you know I don't have anything else to do with my time! I don't have much room for color in my house as the living area is entirely wood. I painted my office goldenrod a couple of years ago and still like it, but I keep painting the kitchen. Such an important dilemma.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Sorry Sight

If ever I saw one. 

Supposedly we are going to to warm up by the weekend. I'll believe it when I see it. The unseasonable cold weather has led me to the comfort of winter food. Like I need to eat this stuff. My seasonal clock is telling me to pack on the carbs in preparation for the cold, but it doesn't have an awareness of the fact that the pounds are already there. Big sigh.

Last evening's dinner was one of my favorites; eggplant soup and baking powder biscuits. Scumpdillyicious.

I forget that not everyone has read this blog all along, so I did not repost the recipe. You will love it!

As per request:

Roasted Eggplant Soup

3 tomatoes, halved
1 eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
4 c chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes, eggplant, onion & garlic on a baking sheet and brush with oil.

2. Roast in preheated oven until very tender and brown in spots, 45 minutes.

3. Scoop out eggplant pulp and discard skin. Place eggplant pulp, tomatoes, onion and garlic in a large heavy saucepan with thyme and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer until onion is very tender, 45 minutes.

4. Puree in batches in a food processor or blender, or using an immersion blender. Return to low heat and stir in cream. Bring to a simmer, thinning with more broth, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with goat cheese.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Say It Isn't Snow!

This is what we woke up to this morning.
We have been unseasonably cold this month, after a beautiful September. I'm taking it personally.

It has led to use of this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sara Teasdale, Neurotic & Analogous


I must have passed the crest a while ago
   And now am going down -
Strange to have crossed the crest and not to know,
   But the brambles were always catching the hem of my gown.

All the morning I thought how proud I should be
    To stand there straight as a queen,
Wrapped in the wind and the sun with the world under me -
    But the air was dull, there was little I could have seen.

It was nearly level along the beaten track
    And the brambles caught my gown -
But it's no use to think of going back.
   The rest of the way will be only going down.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Toot, Toot, Tootsie

I think it is a surprise to a lot of people that blacksmiths still exist. It brings forth the image of a smokey shed with bellows and an anvil. 

Now they travel in trucks pulling customized trailers filled with the tools of their trade. They are a most important part of the equation that keeps a horse sound and happy. If you've had a bad one, you know how important.

My farrier will be here this morning. I see my farrier often, but mostly I see his backside, as that is the anatomical part facing me. As he has gotten older, it has become smaller. Completely opposite of myself, sad to say.

He has been my farrier for nearly fifteen years. I have gone though, in his life, three home purchases, three boys growing up, a couple of dogs dying, the loss of hair and three trucks with him. Because of the concentration of time the farrier spends at one time with you, you really get to know one another. Before Mark started working at home I saw the farrier more than I saw Mark.

Farriers are also the carrier of news. A farrier will know everything going on in the community. Sort of like the town crier.

So this morning I'll get my horse's tootsies trimmed and all of the news fit to tell. Sounds like a great way to spend a morning.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Delicious Ending

The last of the fresh produce.

It was a great run. Now it's over, the garden is completely spent. Thank you Mother Earth for the bounty you provided.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Twelve Steps, or Mahogany Risers Gently Sloping Into The Room

My name is Sandra and I am an HGTV addict. I have been watching David splash color, Constance make a divine room, Holmes tear down and redo other contractors messes. I've watched a house say 'Buy Me', and I've seen boring turned to fabulous by "our team of designers", all the while watching first time buyers leaping into the home market.

I can't turn it off. I need to see the vacation home in the Bahamas, the row house in San Francisco, the bungalow in Trenton. Bulging, tattooed biceps on pretty young men who get over-excited about lamps.

I've learned to stage a room and have contemplated trying it myself, but I would need to leave my chair and the TV to do so. I can put up a backsplash, but again I'll miss the latest design solution on 'Spice Up My Kitchen".

Do I need help or a new hammer?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thank You!

I have been given another award! Jo at Rainbow Up North has awarded me with the Kreativ Blogger Award. Now we all know there is a price to be paid with awards, so you will need to bear with me as I divulge seven more things about myself. Thank you Jo for thinking of me with this award.

So without further drama:

1.  I don't use my cell phone. 

2.  Based on the above, it's no surprise that I have never sent nor received a text message.

3.  I have been in the back of a paddy wagon.

4.  I found a spare thirty pounds laying around over the past year and thought I may as well claim them.

5.  I was named by accident. I was supposed to be Victoria, but my mother was not alert when she filled in the name on the birth certificate. My father had mentioned the name Sandra in passing at one time and my mother filled that in as my name. Later in the day she asked about naming me and was told she already had. So I was Sandra. 

6.  As you can see by #5, my father was absent during much of my life, including when I was named. It was his job.

7.  My first dog was a German Shepherd named Duchess. She and I were the same age and raised together. She felt like a sibling to me. I guess my mother didn't have enough to do with a new baby so she decided she needed a puppy as well. Duchess died when we were fourteen.

Now for the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.

2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog.

3. Link the person who nominated you.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.

5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers.'

6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

I have too many people I would like to nominate. I also know that lots of people don't like to do these awards. So, being the Kreativ Blogger I am, I am going to alter this a bit and say I would nominate all of you. I know, a copout, but I've been sick. : )

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I'm emerging from the self-involved world of the ill. 

It is a rare thing indeed when I don't turn my computer on in the morning, but there were days when I never pushed the button. The brain was entirely occupied with my condition.

Today, this blustery raining cold day, I feel better.

Which leads me to my Thursday's Thinks. Surprisingly, I am marginally able to think again.

I believe our health is our most valuable asset. We only realize this after coming out of a period of illness and we always quickly forget it once we are well. Not being entirely well yet, I am still in the vivid awareness mode.

Minnesota has gone head first into fall. Overnight. Because, well ...... this is Minnesota.

Our elected representatives are busily pushing us under the bus. If I can set aside my horror and anger, there is an interesting and very visible thing unrolling before our dazed eyes. Out in the open, without any pretense, we are seeing the effects of money in our political process. Our system of governance is so thoroughly corrupted by the influence of corporate money as to render it almost useless. This is the first time in my lifetime that the process has been so openly displayed to the public. I hope you are watching.

Since I have had no energy or interest I have been planted in a recliner watching HGTV. I reduced my satellite service to the basic level, so my choices are greatly limited and HGTV became my good friend. So I wonder, why are all of the home improvement shows filmed in Canada? And why are Canadians so nice? I mean really, one family had been so ripped off by their contractor that if the improvement show had not decided to help them, they would have faced bankruptcy. The husband, upon learning how bad it all was, sad in an even, measured tone I'm livid. In America the person would have had so many bleeps as to render the statement,.... a bleeping tirade. I want to live in Canada.

I think I will take advantage of the cold fall day and try to do some domestic deeds. It's been awhile and it would, I think, make me feel better. I may change my mind when I actually decide to start, but it seems like a great idea at this time.

This is all my still slightly addled brain has to offer up. It has not been exercised for sometime and needs some stretching and flexing before it's ready for more than a short sprint.

Enjoy the day and your health good people.