Friday, July 25, 2008


I have been working like a dog along with a dedicated crew of Horsemen and women to put on tomorrows Battle of the Barns- 2008. We've been putting on this Charity Fund raiser for about 12 years now, with great sucess. The money goes to Xenophon Theraputic Riding Center located in Orinda California. They usually bring a few kids and the therapy horses for a demonstration. Let me tell you- if you are blue, feeling sad about your miserable life or think that life isn't worth living, I wish you'd come and watch these kids. They are terriffic as well as inspirational! Some of them can't walk alone, dress themselves or communicate normally, but when they are on the back of their horses, they are all Ten feet tall Bulletproof! The smiles that cross their faces are better than the sunshine after a rainy day. Ask any one of them if they'd rather be somewhere else and you'd get a resounding " NO!"
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

Weekend in the Wilds

I spent the weekend in the company of some very smart women in the 'wilds' of California. Yep, California does have wilds, but you gotta go a bit and then some to find 'em.
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

Sometimes it takes awhile...

Last year my darling daughter the Rider- Gin- was thrown from her horse straight into a fence. It was during an event we were sponsoring, and I was on the scene across the arena. I heard the loud clang, and then someone say " Go get Barbara!" I dropped everything to sprint across the arena, just knowing it was my girl in trouble. As I approached, a few friends valiently tried to deflect me from where Gin was lying in the dirt. I just ached seeing her lying there unconcious! Luckily paramedics were on the scene and they knew what to do.Finally she came to and I heard her say," Don't tell my Mom, she'll freak out." Way too late for not freaking, I might add.
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

Feed prices

I went to the feed store today and boy was I shocked by the price of my feed. In the short course of a month my $15.00 sack of feed went to $27.00! WHAT! Almost double in four weeks? What the hell! I mean I don't mind paying a little more for feed, price of living and all that! But who is getting that giant bump! I'm sure that the folks in Middle America aren't paying what I pay for the same bag. AQHA published a USA map with hay prices across the country, and California and the Greater West coast is paying signifigantly more, even though a lot of what we consume is grown right here. Does the rest of America think that just because we live in California that our pocket books are deeper? I can tell you that they are not.
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?