Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Not the Candy, although I like that a lot.
Not the lights, even though I enjoy driving around my neighborhood to see what everyone has done.
It's not the gifts either.
It is something small.
And very personal.
It is the Memories I make and recall each year.
It is Hubby (who looks a little like Jesus) stringing the lights because I wasn't tall enough and hate high places.
It's Lil Mama in her very most favorite Christmas dress being sweet for the camera.
It is the first puppy she ever owned by herself -Patsy the Amazing Doggie.
It is OD and Mac- he was young and black as night then.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Glaciers feet were not as bad as I'd feared! Her toes were long, but her heels weren't, her sole is soft, but her hoof is hard. Her legs are in good shape too- a few minor, and older, splints, low down on the inside. She's thin and she has no muscle, but her body score wouldn't be bad. All and all a very good report. Vet coming on Thursday to check her teeth.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
This is six (count 'em) 6 things that are little known about me.
1. I love Cartoon movies. My Favorite is The Incredibles, but I love them all from Shrek to Snow White.
2. I have been a professional driver. Not like a race car driver- although I have gone fast in a car or two. I mean I drove for a living- I was a Team-o bitch for 12 years, and I drove a Limo for two. I love to drive!
3. I wanted to be an actress or director when I grew up and actively studied to do so.
4.I've been without a horse in my life probably a total of two weeks.
5. I was on local TV last year and I never tuned in to watch the program.
6. I am a history buff-especially California History and local Native American History. But I have traced one line of my ancestors all the way back to the early 1700's when they came here from Ireland as indentured servents.
So now you know all about Vaquerogirl!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Me~ "Guess what I had for lunch?"
Lil Mama~ " A petrified frog?"
Me~ "Are you going to the store?"
Lil Mama~ "yes, to get a petrified frog."
Me~ " Where are your boots?"
Lil Mama~"Next to the petrified frog."
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I'm thankful that I have the age, ability and pocketbook not to ride those horses that are 'turkeys'. I've ridden all the broncs, orangutans and wild beasties to last me another lifetime.
I'm thankful that whipped creme and punkin pie don't actually have ANY calories! (uh-huh! My Granny told me so!)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
What I was recalling was the time I ran a full care boarding facility . I kept approx 15 horses, cleaned nine stalls, and 4 paddocks. Broke and trained and rode three or four horses, gave lessons and raised my two little girls. (HINT: The operative word in the last paragraph is LITTLE). My girls are BIG now- that golden time in my life was about Ten years ago. And Now I am TEN years OLDER! I hate to admit it, but hunnys'- I am finally feeling my age!
Oh Yeah- you heard it- I said it- AGE.
I got through the week- cleaning eight stalls,and doing various other physical things... and tonight I am sooooooooo glad it's friday! I feel like a trainwreck! ( Not that I feel like you TW- but I feel like a train has wrecked me!)
Man oh man what a differance a few measly years (and a few measly pounds) can make in a girl! Whew!
I should be glad that I was working so hard ( I am) so I don't have to sign up for the GYM ( I'm not), but all I can think about tonight is a large full glass of Vodka and OJ. Hear it? It's calling my name...
"YooHoo! Fat Girl! Ease on over here..."
Monday, November 10, 2008
Karen is married to what my friend Meg describes as a "City Kitty". Now there is nothing wrong with that- my very Own Best Husband thinks that 'outside' is where the car is parked. So when we were shopping via catalog- Cabela's to be exact-and he called- we just couldn't help but laugh at the following conversation. ..
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Girlfriends-I want you to remember those words during the next blog or two.
I spent the weekend at The Big D's Fabuloso Ranch with Girlfriend Karen in tow. We spent two days doing some of the funnest things a girl can do, like shopping (by catalog and in person)riding, drinking and gossiping. ( I'll let you all figure out which of the other fun stuff we didn't do) !
And athought I am under threat of DEATH by torture, I'll let you in on a little secret- we did virtual makeovers on the computer! I am not allowed to show you the pictures of the makeovers- but they were hysterical! We logged onto the Mary Kay website and downloaded our photos, and then added makeup and changed hairstyles, complete with a color change- right to our very own faces! Oh My MY! I turned into the Lunchlady, D was Mrs Doubtfire and Karen- well, she would have been right at home on the corner of Hollywoood and Vine ( if you get my drift!)
Try it for yourselves! It's much better with a little Fun- In A- Glass and a few open-minded girlfriends (since I can't be with you all in person).Great for a rainy day! And who knows, maybe you won't look like The Church Lady or a Drag Queen-but will actually find the perfect 'look' for the holidays!
Say tuned for the next blogs- As soon as my ribs heal from laughing so hard....
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
So I nominate
http://browneyedcowgirls.blogspot.com/ . She's a real cowgirl- and even more than that she's a HORSEMAN. And anyone who knows me, knows that as far as I am concerned that is the highest praise possible.
http://thehorseshoeinghousewife.blogspot.com/ What can I say about Mikey that any of you haven't already said? Except to double the praise! Mikey is her own women and like I say," Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity." Rock on Girl!
Lastly is a new blogger, http://mommyinspurs.blogspot.com/. For such a young women Ginny is incredibly grounded, she's a horseman, a cowgirl and my best friend. She's also my daughter! Stop by and tell her " Hi!"
And for the rest of you- You are all wonderful and special. I can't wait to read about each of you every day! And yes, I DO have another life ( if you must know!).Visit my website to see what it is!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I've been around horsess for most of my life- and I have learned over MANY years to 'listen to the voice'. You know the VOICE! The one that whispers into your ears as you turn your horse out into the pasture knowing that there is a loose panel or an undone staple or a unfastened bucket " Don't do it- he'll get hung up,cut,mangled..."
Yeah- THAT voice.
The last time I ignored that voice it turned out REAL BAD! I was about 16 (ages ago) my horse was kept in a 50 acre pasture that was located between a major Highway and a train track.
( STOP reading NOW if you are getting a real bad feeling).
We didn't own the pasture, but I used to ride the fence line occasionally because sometimes horses got out on the Highway and were struck by cars. (Another crazy story there- I gar-run-tee!) And there was a real bad spot on the fence next to the train track. I rewired it together the best I could, thinking it was in a small swale where the horses NEVER went, and I would get the landlord to fix it soon as I saw him. Well- that didn't happen, because I went to school the next morning only to be called out of class by my DAD. My horse had gotten out and gotten hit by the TRAIN! OMG! It was the worse feeling I've ever had! There is no fix for being hit by a train- she was dead, they had to bury her next to the tracks. And to make matters worse the Train Co was going to sue ME for letting my horse out on the track! Well, that didn't happen, they actually ended paying me more than what the horse was worth monetarily- but the TRAUMA .. need I say more?
So the moral of this story is if you hear The Voice- LISTEN!
Friday, October 17, 2008
WELL! I am that person, and I wrote that piece originally in the early 1990's for GMAC Quest magazine. I really liked that piece and so I sent in in to "Chicken Soup for the Pre Teen Aged Soul (2001). CSFTPTAS was a best selling book that year, so I felt kinda good about my small piece being in there. I've also read that piece myself in a few Author readings as it is very personal to me.
And then suddenly here is the story again- making me smile, helping a few more displaced and awkward kids to be winners. It makes me feel all goose-pimply again! And that, Dear Friends is why I continue writing against all odds. The fact that the power of a story does not diminish with time but goes on long after you have written it down. The knowledge that I have touched at least one child, somewhere. That they have felt " I know what that is like, she got through her trouble and so will I" .
Today I feel on top of the world!
If you have the book or go to the library you can find "A Run to Remember" on page 32( or so) Let me know what you think!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
The saddle to the left is Bob's Show saddle. It is very fancy- from the sterling silver on the corners to the fancy cut of the Jockey. It has an in -skirt rigging, which is the flattest rig you can get, it stays under your leg and you don't feel it. A back D ring is present, but since you don't use a back cinch in a WP show, it is also engraved. All the major stress points are sewn,and also screwed into the tree with silver conchos. All of the edges of the leather have been hand finished,and sewn. All of the stitches are even and tight, especially across the cantle. The horn is a separate piece, though the swell leather has been formed, not sewn and shrunk. This saddle runs about $3000.
Well made saddles are not cheap- but just like in the 'old days' when a saddle usually cost more than the horses a cowboy rode, a well made saddle will hold its' value for a long long time. They are certainly worth the investment.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Written by Jenny Oldfield, the book is written for middle grade readers 7-13 years. It is the continuation of the character Kirstie Scott and her life in Colorado. This time Kirstie is rescuing a wild stallion 'rodeo' horse, and trying to rehabilitate him for their Colorado Western Adventure Ranch.
While I don't have any problems with the actual writing style, I have a few problems with the subject. Reading any story is subjective, but Ms. Oldfield -from the UK- portrays Rodeo and all of its characters as cruel,heartless and abusive. Her depiction of the first owners of Rocky are cliche( from an old 60's movie) and not in any way correct to the way Rodeo is run today. That being said I know Ms. Oldfield needed a 'bad guy' for her story to work.
The second problem I have with the story line is twofold. First that the horse is a stallion. Did Ms. Oldfield not want to explain about gelding? I've been around Rodeo my whole life and I don't remember ever seeing too many stallions in the bucking horse string. And then Kirstie is allowed to purchase the stallion and begin to retrain him. I think that handling stallions is a touchy and often misunderstood activity. Contrary to some myth, handling most stallions is not an occupation for most thirteen year-olds.(no matter what they say on Craig's list posts!). A better story line might have been the activity of actually gelding the horse to make him a better member of horsey society. What better way to promote good horsemanship and breeding practices in the youngsters that will be growing up to take our places in the future horse world?
The last few things wrong with this story might be minor- but Kirstie turns this wild stallion out in a pasture of other horses, and one gets hurt. Instead of using that as a lesson, she just blythly goes about her business with an 'oh well". Then Kirstie tacks up and rides this former wild stallion out in the hills, no explanation about corrective training or ground work. She just hops aboard and rides.
Now y'all might be saying ' Now look Vaquero Girl, don't be so harsh on Ol' Ms. Oldfield!"
you might be right- I am being a little harsh, but as a writer and a horse owner and a former riding instructor, I take these little things very much to heart. A million girls ( and boys) read these words. Most kids take as gospel what they read- they haven't learned any better. I am sure Ms. Oldfield didn't mean to give wrong impressions- but in fact she has. As a writer one needs to be a bit more responsible about the facts.
So despite the engaging character, and the lovely setting, I would NOT recommend this book.
Next review- a really GREAT story for middle grade readers. Stay tuned!
Friday, October 3, 2008
The Canadas are flying in, the Pelicans have already gone. I heard they go to Nevada and the Pyramid Lake. I saw this snowy egret and he saw me. I love to come to this place anytime during the year. Seals bark from the shipping buoy, you can see both bridges and the cute town of Benicia across the bay.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
What I have found out is that I could start out small (no pun intended) and work into more ponies as the buisness made money.
But then I got to thinking further. .. I like my hobby. I've never wanted to make it anything more than that.(Not counting the few years when I was twelve and thought that being a jockey would be cool.)
If I decided to run the pony rides, I wouldn't have the time for my very own loveable boy- Desi. That would mean no horse shows! Gulp! I'm not setting the world on fire- but I do have a long term goal- to qualify for the Select Show. Next year will be my first attempt at qualifying.
Sooooo to make a long story short- I have decided not to bring the ponies back to Tilden. At least not yet. I'm going to continue to enjoy my very own personal pony ride. The job can wait.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The cover, unlike most other horse books is intriguing, and so I was drawn into the story of Kirstie Scott- a teen aged girl living in the mountains of Colorado.Her family owns and operated Half Moon Ranch- a Vacation Center. (I guess calling it a Dude Ranch is not PC). While leading a horse trek through their ridge a sudden storm causes a landslide. She ends up trapped alone in a canyon with a herd of wild horses whose leader- a beautiful stallion - has been injured by the falling rock. Cold, wet and alone, Kirstie must find a way out and find a way to help the stallion. As it turns out he is her salvation as well.
Kirstie is a feisty character, who won't take 'no' for an answer. She has a side kick- Lisa- who is sometimes the voice of reason. Together they make a dynamic duo.
The line drawings throughout the book are fresh and original, without being too sentimental.
I think that the author Jenny Oldfield 'gets' the horse thing- her descriptions of the horses and the terrain is beautifully written and spot on. Her English heritage comes through sometimes when she calls a halter a head collar, but other than that the story moves along quickly and has a satisfying resolution. If you have a horse crazy kid- aged 10-13 I think they would find this an enjoyable read.
WILD HORSES is printed by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. To order a copy for a child in your life you can e-mail Carrie Gellin at firstname.lastname@example.org . At $5.99 they would make a great gift.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Desi is a Cow bred gelding out of a son of Peppy San Badger. He followed the calf, stopped and started when it did, but he never really locked on. We did it two days in row and he was as good as gold, following and all, but I guess I made the right decision to pull him out of reining and cowhorse training and start him in Trail classes. Those he likes! Any way it was fun to do something different this weekend, it keeps ole' Desi on his toes- letting him know that just because we get into the trailer we won't necessarily get out at a horse show.
Thanks to Dolittle Acres Ranch and the Big D!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
So, now it's to the task of getting a new job- erk! I haattteee the process! I've written a new resume and have a line on a few things including being an official at the local race track. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I have all of the qualifications: I know horses, some spanish, I can look professional, I'm over 21, can pass a drug test and have no problem being in inclement weather. Whew! If any one knows what an Official at the track does, please clue me in, I havent actually sent the resume out yet!
Or I can go back to my old job- the one I had for seventeen years. They'd take me back I'm pretty sure. So things aren't so bleak after all. And in the meantime I'll finish the middle grade novel I'm working on and enjoy the pony, the grandson and my husband, in that order I might add!
Thanks gang! See I really AM better!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Don't tell me the God/ window thing, or that everything happens for a reason. I know all of that. I keep thinking that this is my opportunity to write full time. But the real self, the one that feeds the pony everyday, is going " HOLY SHIT! NOW WHAT!"
The Greatest Hubby in the World says not to worry, he'll help out. (((yikes))) he dosen't even know how much the horses cost! He's never had to know- I've always had a good job!
I'm a litttle freaked out! I'm a little bit anxious! It feels kind of like having a tooth pulled out with no novicain!
Thanks for listening dear friends. I'll be ok now. ... Really.....I will.
Monday, September 1, 2008
It was the Queen Mum's birthday today (thats my mom) and she loves to go to Bodega Bay. For you that may not know- that is where Hitchcock filmed The Birds WAAAAAAYYYY back in the fifties. Of course it is much different now, but there are lots of birds still there- seagulls mostly.
The day was 80 degrees and not too windy- perfect for a country drive. Lunch at The Tides was wonderful. A nice way to end the busy weekend I've had.
I hope you all spent time with your loved ones too!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The rest of the day was spent at my daughters BBQ celebrating her 30th birthday. At least there was no crisis there! At least for me! She seemed to be handling the age bump with aplomb, I might add. Only twenty more years before she can ride in the Select Classes!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
So the trainers all say- put a bad ride behind you. Move on! I beat myself up for about ten minutes, and went into the next class- We were great! No ticks or touches, until the last obstacle. He was suppose to stop between the poles, do a 180 and step over the pole to exit. He actually put his foot over the stop pole and then pulled it back! ERK! Three point! Enough to put us out of the placings in a class of thirty horses.
So the last day we caught a break- the heat had abated to a mild 80 degrees. The horse was still willing and listening. We entered the arena and did a great job- touched one trot over pole and bumped the gate slightly. Eh, is that enough to put us out of the placings? I don't know! And the worse part is I won't know for at least a month! The gal that puts the scores on the website is at the Select Show! So as of Sat night I was in sixth place overall- that is the total for all 8 shows ( not including Sunday)in a class of twenty to thirty horses .
If I placed high enough I may still place 5th- and acheive my goal for this year. If not- well I came pretty damn close- and that's okay too. I've learned a lot- had a hell of a good time and met some super people along the way!
And you know what? There is always next year!
I don't hate the heat- eau contraire- I like it. At least I like it better than the cold and the wet. I hate riding in the cold sleeety rain we get around here. And I know it's coming. It makes me wonder if the winter is going to be mild ( like last year) or wet ( like the year before) . In any case- I'll don my uniform (jeans and tank for summer, jeans and turtleneck for winter.) and head to the place I like best- the Barn.
Monday, August 18, 2008
This weekend at the horse show was an excellent example of that.
As we now know Michael Phelps has won eight gold medals in Swimming- the most of any athlete ever. My friend Karen is a dedicated "Phelpshead"- she's been following his career for years! Well we are at our horse show, and it is blazing hot- 103 in the shade. So hot that your eyeballs are wanting to melt out of your head kind of hot. And we are scurrying around trying to set up for the show. We are sweating buckets, and we are drinking gallons of water, and we are reviewing the classes,and walking the arena, and discussing endlessly the patterns we are to run. We get to bed at midnight- right after we watch Phelps 7th win. Karen starts the show sitting in fourth place in the overall standing. There are three shows to go, 30 horses in the class- and she comes in fourth. The next day- thirty horses, she comes in third! Now she is in FIRST place in the overall standings. The last day- she's alone, memorizing the pattern- she has the look of eagles in her eyes. She enters the arena and nails the pattern. She rides her horse exactly as she planned! Her go was the best one she's ever done!
Now we don't know yet if she kept first place- we won't know that until next week sometime, but she did go from forth to first overall in two days! A woman that just began riding and showing two years ago- with no regular trainer! I asked her later what she was thinking and she saidshe was thinking about Phelps- about how he went from seventh place to first by .01 of a second, and how he must have focused on the win. She tried to do that too.
So you tell me- is it perspiration- all the hard work and hours of riding, or is it inspiration- the image of a great win- that makes us great? I like to think that it is both.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Now by worth it, I don't mean that I have to be Numero Uno in every class- no, I set smaller goals for myself, so at least I have a chance of making a few. I mean that I will remember to breathe, to lower my hands, to sit back, to watch were I'm going and especially - to learn something new and to have fun! That is what I mean by worth it.
Of course Desi will be good. Of course I won't fall off ( I might get thrown, but that happens sometimes),of course my outfits will be brilliant ( Thanks Tish!) And if I'm lucky and everything goes well, I may even place in my class! In any event, I won't give up- I'll keep setting goals, keep training and keep having fun!
Friday, July 25, 2008
Well, I'm as normal as anyone I guess, but just seeing theses kids love their horses, be excited by what they do and what a new day could hold, is pure inspiration to me. Even though I'm tired now, tomorrow I'll be back on the trail again, holding the pictures of those wonderful kids in my mind.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We were on a mini retreat- three glorius days of writing! Alpha Female #1 is a real taskmaster too. She fed us and laved us with attention before jumping to her tiny feet and declaring " Alright get to work!" Not really, but it sounds good huh? Actually she was extremely encouraging, and thus with that in mind we began to write.
I've been to her retreat before- and I always get the best writing done there. I wonder sometimes why. Could it be the wide open spaces? The broad clear vistas, the quiet? Or all of the above? I actually think that it may be because she expects us to be better than usual that we rise to the occasion. In any case, if I ever sell this book it will be because of her encouragement and belief in me.
This dosen't discount Alpha Female #2's role in this whole scenario- oh no! She is a MAJOR player in the world of Childrens lit-and I have been lucky enough to be mentored by her. After struggling and struggling and STRUGGLING, ( did I mention that I have struggled ?)with the book ,I heard Alpha Female #2 speak, and a light went off in my head. A bomb burst, bells rung.... I knew what I had to do. And I began to do it. And it is working! The book began to come together- it started making more sense, it seems like something that maybe a child would want to read! And AF#2 continues to be an example to me...every time I begin to write I hear her scratchy voice behind my ears saying "Raise the stakes, let it go, DO it!" Well, her voice isn't really scratchy- but I do hear it in my head.
So anyway- I am galloping headlong into the final strech of this whole project- and feeling good about it too. Am I lucky- or WHAT!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Well Gin had eight staples in her head and she is as right as rain now. A few months later she became pregant with her first child.
I told you that story to now tell you this one...
Gin gave birth to a beautiful baby boy- Jr. Three weeks old and healthy as can be, with a set of lungs that Pavorotti would envy. I went over to 'spell' her one evening. She was exhausted and hormonal, tears were flowing from her and Jr. "Mom, my husband dosen't understand that it physically hurts me when my baby cries. They've done tests on this! They know its a fact!"
I just smiled at her and kissed her forehead. " Yes, dear. I know!"
"Remember, don't tell my Mom, she freaks out?"
Gin got a stricken look on her face.
"Oh my God! It dosen't end!"
I shook my head, still smiling. " No Dear, it never does."
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Is there a time when the feed will come down in price? I don't think so- what is a girl to do?
Luckily ( or smartly) I now have only one horse to feed and house, but what about others? How are you all making ends meet?