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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Of Buds and Posturing

This is an in between time. Between winter and spring is an ugly place in a a region that has harsh winters. While so much of the country is enjoying trees budding and flowers beginning to show their glory, we have brown. The landscape looks dirty, unwashed from its' winter exercise. Some rain to wash it clean would be welcome.

On the positive side, it is unseasonably warm. Somehow the plant life in the frozen land knows better than to be tricked by a warm March. They have their own timetable and will bud out when they are good and ready. I'm so ready.

Today I will spend some of my time cleaning up the gardens, admiring the little bits of green poking their noses out of the soil and enjoying 75 degrees. I believe I can risk leaving the long underwear in the drawer today! It seems so wrong, it's March.

The horses know. They are full of energy, which means they are causing trouble. Broken fence boards, squealing geldings getting tough in the paddock. Strutting Topper displaying the fact he was top stallion for twelve years, he has memory even if he no longer has parts. Solo and Ari arguing throughout the day, Ari using his dressage moves on the floopy-footed saddlebred. Everyone else minding their own business, until trouble finds them and chases one or another just because.

The signs are all there. One morning I will see fat buds on the trees. Swollen with the promise of leafy greenery changing the landscape. In the meantime I will watch geldings posture, prance and bully one another while they wait for pasture to ease the boredom of confinement on dirt. A squeal, a loud crack as hoof meets wood, another thing to fix.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sun & Smiles

We have had an unseasonable March. This looks to be the first March in recorded history to be without snowfall. This coming week we will have temperatures in the 70 degrees. Oh yeah!

So in the period of a few weeks we will be going from this..............

.......to this. How great is that! Really great, let me tell you. This has been a long winter and I think we have been given a great gift to have it leave a month early.

The horses were very destructive this winter so there is more repair to be done then usual. The next month will be filled with fence repair and general cleanup. If the unusual warmth continues maybe I can get a jump on the gardens. What a wonderful thing that would be. At the very least I can get out the fencing tools, grab a paint brush and fix what the beasties have destroyed.

Speaking of the beasts, they are full of vinegar. Handling them is a exercise in patience and agility. The warm weather coming early put them into paddocks early and the stir-crazy has set in. Nothing like having a thousand pounds of hoof and muscle dancing around on the end of a rope. There are days.......

That's all the news fit to print. The sun is out and it promises to be a pleasant day.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Uh Huh

While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.
Stephan R. Covey

The fresh-faced, dewey-eyed nurse practitioner solemnly informed me I have choices. I'm looking at her youth and realize she doesn't know. Granted, some people realize at an early age the myth of choice, but it is generally a lesson learned while living life.

Choice very often is a double edged blade, not easily handled and can hurt you when taken. Choice can be gut-wrenching and impossible. I worked hard to engage the little-used filter between my brain and mouth and said nothing to this child. Let her live life a little longer.

Ah well. A bad shoulder, a bunch of horses and a choice made a couple of decades ago. Whoever thought I'd get old. Not me. I do know choices narrow and life isn't as simple as eeny, meeny, miney, moe. There's that double-edged blade, glistening as it waits to be taken hold of. I think I will leave it alone.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Flight of White

As I went about my business turning out horses this morning I heard what sounded like geese, but didn't sound exactly like geese. When I stepped outside to view what I thought would be Canadian geese flying in their customary vee over my barn I was amazed and delighted to see hundreds of swan heading northwest, in the familiar vee pattern. Huge, brilliant white birds with enormous downy wings.


I have never witnessed swan migration before. So I wonder, did they veer off their usual course? Are they more plentiful in the wild? After all the years of watching bird migration this the first time for the swan.

I saw a wonder of the world today. Hundreds of them going somewhere. It gave me hope. It gave me awe. It made realize I must be more thoughtful in my decisions as a human on this planet I share with something as glorious as this. We need to see the glorious. Without an appreciation of magnificence and the concern which comes with it, the lowly, mundane and ugly in our world do not stand a chance. 

I have been momentarily humbled in my meagerness. This was absolutely a moment. A real moment.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little This, A Little That.....Or How The Week Swallowed Me Whole

I think if I were able to believe in a deity, it would exist in the rising and the setting of the sun.

It has been a busy week. Kristina came back to ride Zing after a three month absence. I dragged myself into the doctor to deal with my pain issues and found I have very high cholesterol for my efforts. Getting older and fatter is a real kick in the pants. And the cherry on top was spending one and a half hours on a witness stand.

Zing was a real trooper, going back to work as if he had never stopped. Kristina seemed to forget what a stallion in the throes of breeding season is like, but she will become comfortable again, in a little time. He can be a big, bold boy!

I have been handling pain for a long time. If it is on my body, it hurts. When I started to experience rather substantial swelling under my right arm, as well as a very limited use of that arm, I decided I had to spend some of my limited time and money on the doctor. You know, I live in America where we have every right to die from lack of access to doctors if we don't have insurance or if we have deductibles that are so high we may as well not have insurance. But I am getting off topic. A cortisone shot in my shoulder has helped a lot. It's amazing how one area of the body affects the whole body. I'm not thirty again, or even forty, but I feel better than I have for about twelve years. It's not a permanent fix, but I'll take it.

Remember this? The butchering of my spruce trees by the godly born-again evangelical minister. He got his house moved and destroyed my trees in the process. This was January 2008. He finally pled guilty to a lessor charge, a misdemeanor public nuisance with restitution. Tuesday was the restitution hearing and I was the first witness. He had also completely cut down my neighbors deciduous trees, so they attached to my complaint.

I guess I was being punished for daring to challenge the man of god, as I was battered and badgered for ninety minutes, having my character, personality and motives questioned while both the prosecutor and the judge sat on their hands. The defense attorney was trying the already settled case instead of challenging the restitution amount. I am a strong personality and yet by the time this was over I was approaching a panic attack and shaking visibly. I have a very clear understanding as to why people who have been abused in the home or raped are reluctant to file charges, as this was a case about trees and I was treated badly. Now it rests in the hands of the judge. I simply want it over. Having this narcissistic personality in my community is unsettling.

So after the time I have had away and the added stimulation I have in my flesh and bone life, I have decided I can cease my internet obsession and resume comments. We will see if I am too optimistic about my recovery!

It's cold today, but the sun is out and my pain is lessoned. This is a good thing and a great way to start the day. So off I go to face the music of a life with too many horses. Enjoy your day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Linger a few minutes longer, forget about the time change for the day.

Another very foggy, dreary day. I believe I will take my own advice and have another cup. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Ah, March! we know thou art Kind-hearted, spite of ugly looks and threats, And, out of sight, art nursing April's violets! 

Helen Hunt-Jackson

Friday, March 12, 2010

What's This That Precedes Me....

into a room. aha...it's my stomach! Eating these lovely, buttery delights has nothing to do with it, I'm sure. Allegra's scones, very good.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So why did I close off comments. Because I had become a mainlining junkie. I woke up one morning and realized my addiction. When the first thing you do in the morning is turn on the computer to see comments to your blog, before coffee, you have an addiction as strong as any.

When I started to consider what I wrote and how it would impact my following, I knew I had a problem as well. I have never been considered, in my mind as well as by others, as a people pleaser. So imagine my surprise when I realized I was trying to please, not out of kindness, but for ego. This revelation left me a bit weak in the knees.

I may find that writing to silence is uninspiring, as I really enjoyed the interaction with the people I have met from all over the globe. I will probably put the comment feature back at some time. But for now, I need to resume a life in the here and now. Blogland has taken too much of my consciousness. It needs to be put where it belongs; one facet of many in my life.

I am an obsessive personality. I never have done anything by halves. So in this, I can't wean. But please don't think that I wouldn't enjoy an email now and then. I would. I just need to STOP checking the comment box.

Now I need to go finish making chicken soup. I hear it's good for the soul.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Going Silent

Hi all. I have decided to try something different. I have turned off the comments on the blog, as I would like to try doing this without the comment feature niggling at the back of my mind. I feel as if I am being unfair to those who read and comment faithfully and I want you to know how much I appreciate you all, but I would like to try writing a blog without wondering how it will be received.

I will continue to read and comment on my usual list and if anyone feels the urge to communicate with me, my email is available on my profile as well as on the sidebar.

California Dreaming, On Such A Winter Day

It ain't easy living here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pretty in Pink

You know, I'm an acquired taste. I know it, everyone knows it. I've often wondered what it would be like to be soft around the edges. To be a person for whom pink is appropriate. To be this. A gentle English rose. A person for whom quiet passages of poetry is a favored read. A person who wouldn't say this is shit if they were standing knee deep in it.

Instead, if I were to be associated with pink it would be this! There are worse things and if you have to play with the cards you are dealt, you may as well play them to win. So this is me getting all philosophical. Sort of makes you all misty eyed, doesn't it?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Observations on a Dreary Morning

Is this the face of America? I'm in a mood, which means I'm thinking about stuff.

The harder a person thumps a bible the less likely they are to possess charity, compassion and empathy.

Crazy talk gets notice and credibility. Reason is dismissed like so much garbage.

Glen Beck is either insane or immoral. Or both. As well as the viewers who subscribe to his vitriolic rants.

One would think a tall man would have quite a length of spine. President Obama may have a spine, but he seems to lack a backbone.

I've learned, by listening to the Average American Who Knows So Much, that we are different so we don't need universal health care. Because we have a Constitution.

The Average American Who Knows So Much does not know that democracy is a system of governance and capitalism is an economic system, and that the two are not mutually exclusive. China is a dictatorship that practices capitalism very well. You, Average American, are not a capitalist. You're just a poor schmuck.

Free enterprise is not free market.  Free market means someone is getting screwed, like you. Or me.

Long-term unemployment in the US is inevitable. Job loss will subside in a couple of months, but job creation of any significance will not occur. We are still sending our jobs out of the country. We need to change our trade policies (remember free market) and put a financial cost to sending jobs out. Fat chance. Wall Street would not like it.

Carl Rove wrote a book. Carl Rove should have been booked.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cuddly & Cute

I believe I would be wise to take a page out of the Book of Howard.

When the going gets tough, the tough gets to bed!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Promises & Possibilities

Life goes forward, sometimes it feels as if in leaps and bounds. Spring is in the air. The temperate weather is softly speaking to me, promising a new beginning; a better time ahead. I normally never trust whispered promises, but I will make an exception and grasp the hint of spring with both of my hands. Yet, I know winter will have at least one more wallop, but I'll bob and weave and not let it touch me.

The true harbinger of spring would be the shedding of their thick winter coats. The horses know something, as the hair is coming out in big, fluffy clumps. At the end of the day my coat looks like a patchwork of multi-colors of fur as they brush against me on the way in and out of the barn. Although a messy time, the peeks of sleek, shiny bodies under the warm, thick hair is always something that gives me a tingle of glee. Spring cannot be far off. Several feet of snow on the ground says different, but the horses are my seers.

So I am slowly entering the land of the living, back to a normal routine, with bits of my mother's life tossed in. I don't know if she will come out the other side whole. We, her friends and family, can offer support, but she will need to put something into it as well. I'm not sure she believes she can, so I'm not sure she will try. I hope for her sake she does. Life under the mantle of persistent grief becomes a dreadful chore; for the wearer as well as the watcher.

But spring is in the air, with its promise of an awakening earth, so if this frozen bit of land can change its scape so dramatically in a month's time.... anything should be possible in the world.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


And in the end,
it is not the years in
your life that count.

It is the life in
your years.

Abraham Lincoln

He was a presence. Loud, booming voice; wise-cracking, playful personality. A kind man and an imposing man. My father. I thought him immortal. He proved to be human after all.

A life lived does not disappear. It was lived, so it exists. I like this. He lived his life big, so it still occupies a large bit of space in the continuum of time.

My father would be pleased. He had a large turnout for his final hurrah. The honor guard would have made him so proud. He spoke little of his time in the Pacific on an Aircraft Carrier, but he was proud of his service during WWII. The old gentlemen standing at attention would have brought tears to his eyes.

So we had a day of tears, memories and laughter. We went out and tipped a glass in his name. As my son said, grandpa loved a good whiskey, as long as someone else was paying. My son follows in his footsteps, as I paid for the fine whiskey he toasted his granddad with!

In my mind, my dad is rolling down the highway on his beloved Indian motorcycle, the sun shining eternally, the road smooth and clear into infinity.