Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with a Bang... or a whimper?

It is the last day of the year, and the last day of the decade. Obviously a day of some importance. A time to reflect of the past year, and the past decade and maybe even the past fifty decades ( if you are me and prone to that sort of thing.)

The last year was really a train wreck, wasn't it? People losing their houses, their jobs and their savings- me included. But if you are reading this you made it through the toughest year and are probably looking forward to the new year. I know I am!
Ever an optimist, I have begun marking out horse show dates in my calender, taking my measurements to buy a new pair of chaps, brushing up on those pesky AQHA rules about trail penalties and watching and re watching the showing DVD's offering tips and encouragements.
This year I am going to call ~ drum roll please....

The DO IT Year!

If you can dream it, you can do it!

And here it is the last day of the last year and the last decade, and I'm starting a new and challenging job!


Last night I had to be rushed to the ER with kidney stones!


It makes me sound like an OLD LADY to even write the words!
I spent several hours lying in a cold bright room, with a paper mask hung between my ears,surrounded by crying people and whimpering babies and enhanced by a few shots of some really good 'stuff,' man- to make the pain go away. ( No wonder Keith Richards is the way he is!)

But there was no way I was going to make it to the new barn today. I'll go on Saturday instead.
Today I am flooding my system with water- kinda like a horse with colic. And of course, better living through chemistry is the order of today.

By Saturday I should be as right as rain...

....if the hay guys show up as they should...
and the shavings guy shows up on Monday...
and I'm able to talk the Partnership into getting a Kubota...
...and all the other equipment I need...

"But other than that, Mrs Lincoln- how did you enjoy the play? "

Better stp writing now- the morphine is ikcking in...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Am I there yet?

I'm not suppose to begin the new job until Jan 1, 2010- BUT- of course there is a lot to be done before that date rolls around,
And it will roll around all too soon I'm afraid.
I spent the whole day Saturday going over the property with the current tenants. Super nice guy!

Most of the conversation went like this...

Me: What is this?How does this work?Where does this go?What do I do about this?


Me: Oh good, you have a (insert item here).
Him: Nope- that's going with me.


Me: Is that working? (pointing to various items of equipment)
Him: Nope, but it could be repaired.


At this point there will be no hay,shavings or feed truck,gas or diesel, manure managing system,working tractor, drags, sump pump,utility trailer,garbage service,weed trimmers or any other type of equipment.

There will be :

78 hungry and thirsty horses
70 or so discombubulated and anxious horse owners
3 disgruntled partners and their attendant lawyers and realtors
2 anxious stall cleaners
2 anxious tenants (Living on site)
1 giant hog
1 large goat
1 flock of ducks

and me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

So this is Christmas...

And what have you done?

Another year older.

And a new one just begun.

And so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun.

The near and the dear ones,

The old and the young.

A Very Merry Christmas,

And a Happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one,

without any fear.

John Lennon

I always have this song running through my head this time of year.

I don't know why, I guess the melody or the simplicity of the lyrics appeal in some way to me.

It's not really a jolly song, is it?

But somehow the words , taken on the page, are hopeful.

The title of the song is Happy Christmas (War is Over).

We all wish that was the truth.

But it's not. Our young men and women are still there,fighting.

Please say a prayer, or light a candle or wish on a star or put a message in a bottle- what ever you do to make your hope and dreams come true-for the safety of those troops.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where the Poop meets the Shovel

... And everyone lived Happily ever after....

Whoops, wrong story!

Actually right story! I did get the job- I start on the first day of the new decade- but no pressure or anything!

I'll spend Sat with the current tenent learning where the water pipes are, who the suppliers are and all that stuff.

So as they say in the chinese cookie factory- be careful what you wish for- you may just get it!

Just think- this opens up a whole new box of tamales for this blog!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Interviews always make me cringe

I had the interview with the set of lawyers for the job of running a boarding stable here in Northern California. Interviews always make me cringe. I mean, what is an interview except you trying to tell everyone else how great you are?

Of course sometimes you are great, or great at what you do, but it still is uncomfortable.

I had a 5:00 PM interview in the downtown of Oakland, California. Have any of you ever been to Oakland, California- the murder capital of Northern California? Well, actually that title goes to Richmond, just a mile or two east, but it is the same type of people that live in Oakland.

This was the downtown, so it has plenty of high rise buildings, and I'll tell you the view from the 24th floor of the bay and the city was AWESOME ! I didn't whip out my cell phone camera to take a picture while in the interview- I thought that might be bad form, but I wanted to. You'll just have to take my word for it.

The two lawyers representing the two opposing partners were polite and asked questions like, how many horses have you cared for?

( You mean all at once or over time?)

What do you do with the manure?

(They were surprised that you have to PAY someone to come get it or have it hauled away unless you give it away to gardeners)

They were a little surprised to learn how much a pile of horse poop weighs (Really! I did enlighten them!)

Or how long it takes to clean a stall, or how much you have to pay someone to come and do that job.
There are about 80-90 horses on this ranch- so paid help (read Manuel Labor) is a must!

They didn't know about boarding agreements or insurance waivers and how important those things are, as are up to date medical records for boarded horses.

So they got a free education on the fly if nothing else!

By the time I left, even the partner that didn't want me probably wanted me (and NOT in the Biblical way, Thank you very much!)

So now I wait a day or two to see if they liked me. Or if they will decide to keep horses on the property, I guess the option is to sell the property empty.

In the mean time, Hubby took OD and I to the best Haufbrau in the area for dinner and drinks-
I sure needed that Irish Coffee!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Anyone have a pencil?...Anyone....a pen perhaps?

"Oh just bring that baby over here," I said to my daughter. " I don't care if he has a little cold."
Famous last words to be sure.
Now I have had a killer cold for the last four days- AND I have totally lost my voice.
LOST it...
Gone.. whoo hoo... bye bye.
Hardly can even squeek...
Hubby loves it....
Me...not so much!
Of course I got the phone call I have been waiting for on the first day... you know the PHONE call from a woman that might want me to manage her boarding stable...that phone call.
I tried making my voice deep...still no voice... I tried whispering loudly...nope- didn't work either.
She was very sweet- gave me her e-mail address so I could write to her and send my resume.
GREAT! This will work!
I log on...

........and nothing.
The cable company has gone all digital or some suchathing and in the process my modem has lost it's signal.

I try to re-boot. Everything goes on and off a bunch of times, to no avail.
No problem, I think, I'll just call the cable company and they can resend the signal and all will be well- I'll be able to write the nice lady a letter and send my resume.


I have NO VOICE! Can't talk to cable guys... or can I?

Not to be deterred, I dial up the 800 number, get the push button stuff that i usually hate, and beep boop beep- the modem flashes and all seems well.

Everyone with a working modem take two steps forword...Hey wait a minute- Not so fast Vaquerogirl!

Still no Internet- SHOOT!

It must be the wireless modem- oh no! Those people are a nightmare to work with.

Stew stew stew-light bulb goes on.
(Remember this is all with a wicked cold, no voice, a mild fever and on massive doses of cold medicine).

I unplug everything. And wait. Then replug everything. And wait.
Turn on the program- click click click!
Finally back on line!

Hurrah- I need a nap!

Sent the resume. Still waiting on word, but I expect a call on Monday, perhaps an interview on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I just hope my voice will have returned by then!

Monday, December 14, 2009

DANGER is my middle name!

Today there was a break in the rainy weather, so after coming in from feeding the horses, I rounded up OD and said- " Let's put up the Christmas lights".
Simple enough.
One string of lights across the front of the house... how long could it take?
She agrees, puts on her shoes and grabs the puppy.
Time:10 minutes
I climb the ladder and wait for Amy
Puppy can't be tied up so she brings out the playpen.
Time: 10 minutes
I'm still on the ladder waiting for Amy
Puppy doesn't like pen, but we stick her in it any way and begin to set up the ladder.
Puppy makes such weird gremlin noises we take her back into the house.
I climb down the ladder and wait for Amy.
She finally comes back out.
"Which lights?" I ask, "mini's, small ones or the retro big ones."
She chooses the big retro bulbs.
No matter how many times I untangle the big orange electric cord, and roll it up, it still is a big mess of wire when we need it.
Time spent un-tangling the cord-15 minutes
Pull out the box of lights, and plug them in. They seem to work.
Begin stapling the lights, but like the cord , it is a mess of tangled green wire. Could this be why I haven't put up these lights in five years?
Time spent unthreading lights-20 minutes.
Amy climbs the ladder, screams when a spider drops from the eves.
Time to get her back up on the ladder- 15 minutes.
There is one place where my garden slopes steeply.
"Just lean the ladder against the house" I say. Amy tries, but the ladder sways to the left, it doesn't reach.
Time trying to figure out the logistics of the short ladder to steep land ratio - 10 minutes
Amy finally leans the ladder left, climbs the right side of the structure, holding the lights in one hand,stapler in the other.
"Don't worry-danger is my middle name!" she says.
Time spent laughing our asses off- 20 minutes.
Finally the lights are strung, but half the lights don't work. We spend the next twenty changing out bulbs.
Total time spent hanging one string of lights across front of house- too long!
Time spent making another Christmas memory....just long enough!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas past... present and...future?

That is me, fifth from the left, with the longer blonde hair. The place is the 'girls' locker room at UPS in Concord, the date- probably about 1980. What we are is 'Team-O Bitches, or lady Teamsters if you will. When I started, only the lady directly above me and one other were working as UPS drivers. We took a lot of flak! Men hated that we were there. I had packages thrown at me, I was cursed at, sexually harassed, and worked nigh to death! Luckily there were a few 'enlightened' men there that helped a girl out, and taught me a few things so I was able to last in the job for about 12 years.

During my time there I went through 12 Christmas's- all of them miserable. 12-16 hour days and nights and rain and cold the likes of which hasn't been seen since! I literally had to swim to a few houses to deliver the packages. I took several pairs of shoes and socks and shirts with me every day, letting the wet ones dry out over the motor case where it was the warmest. It was a pretty good paying job back then. I had Lil Mama to support and no hubby or child support forth coming. I was also a member of the Teamsters( thank gawd!) and though I was abused, at least it wasn't the worse-case senerio abuse! I got my paycheck every week, and I earned every nickle.

UPS makes it's money on time-management- each SECOND is managed when you are a UPS employee- from how you put your pen into your pocket and how fast you can multi-task putting on your seatbelt and starting the engine.

Now in todays paper I see that UPS has gone retro- they are using bicycle messengers with trailers in 'select ' neighborhooods.


On one day I did 400 stops. That is one or more packages per stop. It takes several hours to do that, and you'd be hustling! UPS wouldn't put more people on the road, cuz that would mean more money spent on employment, benefits and the like. Less people, more work, less time, means more money for UPS. They don't call it the Big Brown Machine for nothing.

These bike UPS'rs are making 25-30 stops on a friggin' bicycle! The company claims it is saving money by not using the gasoline or diesel for their trucks and the neighborhoods like it better. They have most people believing that I reckon...

I say horseshit!

UPS only pays those bike messengers HALF of what they pay the drivers, about $10 an hour. That is how they are saving money- they could care less about the 'green' aspect of the whole thing! No benefits, no medical, nuthin' and they are putting an actual Teamster out of a job- one with a mortgage and a family to feed, one that is being abused on a daily basis year round,paying dues and working hard,trying to keep their jobs.

UPS will not change its spots as far as time management- so I know they will be doing time studies on how quickly they can make these messengers haul those 200 pound trailers around with the bikes,how quickly they can load and unload them, how fast they can put down the kick stand, write on their diad boards and steer at the same time.

All I can think of is, " How tired are those people's legs going to be at the end of a long rainy Christmas week of delivering packages?"

Well, that's not true- I also wonder why the Teamsters is putting up with this stunt!

Since UPS is going retro- I thought of one more thing. I have lots of experience in delivering packages for them, and I can go even more retro-

What do you think?
Would they hire me?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas with Vaquero style

Is there something that you like to do to begin your holiday season? Do you get up early on Black Friday and shop? Or is your visit to Santa the beginning of your Christmas festivities? Here in Teeny Town California I actually like to cross the Big River of the Carquin's and visit B-Town. The first friday in December is their gala tree lighting parade and I've been taking OD and her friends for years now. It is OUR way of beginning the Season. At the end of B-Town is this beautiful line of Royal Palm trees- all lit up, and at the very end is the traditional Christmas Tree. Kinda festive wouldn't ya say?

The other thing that we do is get our very own Christmas tree on the first Saturday of December. Daddy Jesus was born on the first week,and his favorite thing in the world is Christmas and all the trimmin's.

This is how our tree shopping and decorating expedition usually goes.
First we decide on where to go. After very little debate ( we usually buy from the local swim team) we all pile into my truck and scoot on down there. Then we shake all the trees, and smell the needles. All of us- even Daddy Jesus smells needles. The debate usually lasts for half an hour or so, no longer cuz the 'Game' is usually about to start and Lord knows you don't want to miss ' A Game!"
The tree is paid for, hauled into the truck and I am yelled at all the way home- I drive too fast, or not fast enough or the truck smells like horses, or the back seat is too crowded. Once home, we unload 'treenormous', Daddy Jesus disappears to watch the aforementioned Game, and I am stuck with putting the lights on~ all by myself. This year, my sweet and TALL OD helped.
We plugged the lights in, all working.
Tree in stand,straight? Yes.
Vacuum dead needles off rug, put tree in corner by window and then decide to rearrange furniture.
Move couch to west wall, chair to south wall, loveseat to north wall.
Move couch to South wall, loveseat to east wall, chair to west wall...
Move couch opposite other couch, get rid of chair, add a table, and tilt everything 45 degrees at an angle like they do on the home channel.
Put all furniture and tables back.
Plug in lights again, just to make sure they are all working. Yep.
Pull ladder in from very dark scary side yard, wipe away any traces of spiders so OD won't freak out in the middle of hanging decorations, vaccumm dead needles and dirt from carpet and position small kitchen stool on the back side of tree so short little me can wrap lights around tree without jumping.
OD places Angel tree topper. We stand back, notice tree is no longer straight, spent 10 minutes trying to straighten tree and finally think the tree isn't so crooked after all.
Climb ladder with working lights, try to figure out how may strings we will need and do all of them have male and female ends? The answer of course, is No.
We get rid of a set that doesn't have the male and female end, just the male end, begin threading lights very carefully around the branches.
Around and around we go, until we have used up three or four strings of lights, the little twinkly ones...
We plug them in...
The very top set and the middle set don't work.
We wait for them to warm up.
They still don't work.
I climb down from the stepstool and pour a drink,also hand one to OD.
Re-climb ladder, unwind lights from the bottom UP, unplug the angel and take a 'moment'.
Find another string of lights, male and female ends, begin winding lights around tree from the TOP again. Plug in lights-
I climb down the ladder and OD pours us another drink.
Re vacuum rug.
Go to the garage, bring out 10 boxes of Christmas toys and ornaments, can't find the one with the ribbons
I decide ribbon is highly over-rated, climb the step stool at the back of the tree and start hanging ornaments.
OD puts on Christmas music, chases puppy away from tree skirt.
Hangs toys.
Chases puppy away from bottom of tree. Takes red and gold Christmas balls away from puppy.
Get pruner, makes sure puppy has nothing to chew on that she can reach.
Yell for Daddy Jesus to come get puppy.
DAddy Jesus gets puppy, lets her outside, but doesn't wait to see if she makes pee-pee. Lets her in, then hollers cuz puppy pees on the kitchen floor.
I finish hanging toys and ornaments. Clean up pee-pee, chase puppy away from tree.
Pour another drink for myself.
OD takes the puppy to bed.

Finally treenormus stands beautiful and glimmering in the corner, finished.


There are boxes still to be unpacked tomorrow, but in the immortal word of Scarlett O'Hara,
I can't think about that now. I'll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A weekend well spent is a joy forever

What did you do on your holiday vacation Vaquerogirl? 

I ate a lot! 

What else?

I enjoyed my family...
And my friends...
And,of course, my horses. 

Glacier update!

I moved Glacier once again- this time to five acres right next to my house. I hope it works out- the hillside is steep and soon will be muddy- but at least I can choose what and how much she is eating.

 As strange as it might seem- now Glacier is fat! 

So Lil Mama and I took Bob and Glacier to our local Horsemen's Arena to ride( since there is no riding area in her old situation or her new one). 
It is the first time we've really been able to ride her since we brought her into our lives a year ago. 

She was brushed and bridled with a cavesson, and a martingale, and my reining saddle. It didn't fit very well- I still need to find a 'bridge' pad for her. 

I lunged her both directions. Then climbed aboard. 

She was a little hesitant at first, but I just urged her a little and she went forward. She tossed her head, and her tail was  agoin', but as soon as she figured out I wasn't going to jerk and spur, she relaxed. 

Lil Mama climbed aboard next and in a few minutes she was jogging out and kinda enjoying it! 

As we were leaving some friends came and found us, so we were able to lead the children around for a few minutes. She was excellent! 

 We finished the afternoon by moving her to her new home with another 'oldster', Ginger.
No kicking or pawing or shrieking, just a few snuffled hellos and pinned ears, then nuthin'. 
Maybe things are going to be ok. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today I am Thankful for...

No this is not going to be one of the maudlin blogs about how I am sooo very thankful for everything.

And though it began as a rant on the movie makers asking the question, "What are you thankful for?" it is not going to be a rave either.

Instead it is with gratitude that I want to thank all of you.

Thank you ~ Mikey, for your continued reminder that good will triumph over evil and foolishness. You save dogs and horses and snakes and all manner of things that no one else would touch with, literally, a ten foot pole. You live as He would have us all live. I imagine you rescue souls as well, even though you may not post about it, or even realize it. Your deeds touch us very deeply.

Thank you~ Trainwreck, for your unabashed enthusiasms through the year. Your generous gifts have meant the world to so many people in all sorts of places. Your generous spirit takes our breath away daily.

Thank you~ Pony Girl, who has the unique and childlike gift of seeing the most mundane things in a fantastic way through the lens of her camera. Ethereal images reminding us how special the equine is in our lives.

Thank you~ Lil Mama, for your cynical and hilarious view of life as you know it. A wonderful reminder that there is something funny in even the most mundane and wretched occurances. You make laughter a daily thing.

Thank you~ The Wife,who makes dogs and calves, bulls and their naturally occuring detritus seem like a walk in the park. Honest and savvy, brave and beautiful, reminding us that life is for reaching out and grabbing your greatest dreams.

Thank you~ The W.O.W Factor, complete reality checks daily-thank you very much. If you want the truth and nothin' but...a godsend in a world that spins everything. Your feet solidly in the dirt helps keep us there too.

Thank You~ Brown -Eyed Cowgirl, Horses are best when taken slowly , but your daily doses of horse wisdom and humor are likely to make us want to gallop full tilt into the void- and live to tell about it!

Thank you Laughing Orca Ranch~ Your spirit and fortitude is inspiring to say the very least. Your daily updates on your animals, your daily struggles remind me that I am not alone, we all struggle and sometimes we suceed.

I could not name each and every blogger I follow- there are so many and they all touch a little bit of my life every day. People that I have never met, and yet know of (some) of their triumphs and sorrows, their rewards and their failures.If I was to have a giant party I would invite all of you to attend, gifting you with showers of flowers and love.
And to those of you who lurk- and you DO know who you are- I love you all as well. You have taken a minute to read of my day, my life, loves, hates...your presence is known and loved by me.

And FYI- I am extremely thankful for my husband, my healthy children, my wonderful friends, the fantastic country we live in and the freedoms that many have fought for through all the years so that tomorrow my family can eat a huge turkey, and pies and gravies and wine and well... everything.

Tomorrow I wish you all full bellies and happy hearts.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Starstruck and loving it!

Have you ever been Starstruck? I mean truly, mind-bendingly, unalterably ga-ga, screaming like the Beatles-are- in- town kind of starstruck? 
I am!
Hello, my name is Vaquero Girl and I am starstruck.  

What? Who?
Who would make the usually stoic and unflappable Vaquero Girl lose her nut?

Not Clint Eastwood? (A VERY fine figure of a man, undeniably, and a brilliant actor and director, but not him.)

John Wayne? (Nope!)

The Gus Robert Duval, not the Apocalypse Now Duval, surely?  (Close but no cigar!)

My Star of Choice is Daniel Day-Lewis. 

From The Last of the Mohican's ( which I will admit, because that is the fourth step or something, I saw fourteen times in the theatre.) I have been majorly enamored with the man. 
I've seen all of his movies-from STARS AND BARS ( very funny!) to THERE WILL BE BLOOD   ( gritty and touching), and I never get tired of just gazing upon that perfectly imperfect face.

And c'mon- who wouldn't just melt when in THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, he says into the phone " Take off your clothes."
Or the Eagle in his glass eye in GANGS OF NEW YORK?

 Here is the best part- he has a new movie coming out on the 25th! Do you know I will be camping out at the theatre waiting to buy tickets like those two goobers in the Sears commercial. You bet! 
                                                       cue screaming girls

The movie is called NINE. It has singing and dancing and lots of beautiful women 

and HIM! 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


As I mentioned before, ticks are bad this year! Even though it seems either a little early or a little late ( we have two 'tick' seasons here in the Bay Area), none-the less they are here in GREAT numbers!
I dusted all of the horses, but I don't think it is working all that well. The oldsters are still plagued, you can see where they have been biting at their sides and rubbing. Lumps on their otherwise shiny coats are telling me that the ticks are hanging in there. So I am going to dust them all again, but I have also been searching websites for other methods of tick control. 

I don't know about some of this advise... let me know what you think. 

Garlic in food.
Guinea hens or chickens.
Show sheen on the legs to make them slippery.
mowing the pasture ( it is 63 acres straight up!)
lavender oil
Avon Skin so Soft
Homemade tick sprays that include alcohol, glycerin's, tee tree oil and other ingredients.
Pymethrin and Pymethrin products. 

Of all that I think the Pymethrin products are my best bet, and they can be had fairly cheaply- $16.00 for a quart. 
Also Seven Dust- but that is pretty much what I've been using. 

We have mostly deer ticks around here, and they are known carriers of Lyme disease. Did you know horses can contract Lyme disease too? Most horses do not show symptoms, or light symptoms, but people can contract the disease from those same ticks and that can be life altering or even fatal. Horses will show lethargy, muscle soreness and intermittent lameness in different legs. 

Beside anemia, untended ticks can suck a horse nearly dry. Gruesome! But I have seen it happen!
For those of you that don't know, ( and I can't imagine that of any of you!), the best way to remove a tick is to take tweezers and grip the tick firmly at the head. Then pull it out, discard the body or bodies in a jar of alcohol. I don't think it matters if it is Gin or Whiskey- or rubbing! ( just checking to see if you are all still reading!) Don't just drop it on the ground, they are practically indestructible ( able to live through cold and even fire.)and it is a sure bet that little 'sucker' will climb right back up on your horse to get another free meal. 

 Crushing the tick while it is still attached to you or your horse ( or your dog or rat or monkey) will cause the tick to regurgitate the tick-tained blood BACK into the body ( is that yecchy or WHAT!) and that is where the bacteria will cause the harm. After the tick is removed wipe or douse the area with clean alcohol.

It takes from 12-24 hours for a tick to infect a horse with anything, but the sooner you can kill and remove the ticks the better. 
Of course with 14 horses, and about 100 ticks per horse ( I am NOT exaggerating!) I will be pulling and dousing and killing ticks for many hours. 

I guess I better keep a bottle of the alcohol ( the 100 proof stuff-vodka is my choice) for the after party. I'm gonna need a stiff drink after all that! 
If any of you have some good tick removing, killing strategies I'd LOVE to hear 'em! 
Now , where are my tweezers?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This is for my Friend Denise...

This is for my friend Denise- who misses me sooo much that she gets miffed when I don't post.

I guess I don't think I have that much going on- but in actuality , I do!

I am ranch manager for a place nearby- and I do a lot of gardening there, as well as taking care of the horses. Last Monday I was busy supervising the floating of seven horses. Which meant that I had to climb the hill at least fourteen times to fetch and return those horses to their pens.
My vet is an amazing guy- Dr Casselberry- he is truely one of the best equine dentists in this whole area- and that includes the teaching hospital of Davis.
Then I noticed that all the pasture horses ( there are seven of those also) were lousy with ticks! EWW!
These horses are old, ( did I mention this is a retirement facility and the youngest horse is Glacier and she is 19?) and some don't want to be handled. I had to dust them all over the course of a few days. I don't know how well it is working, they are still infested as of today. So this afternoon I spent a few hours researching better techniques to rid them of these harmful pests. I am open for suggestions!
I didn't ride today, but the other afternoon I took Jr on his first trail pattern! Desi was so good, and Jr was distracted by a tractor he could hear plowing up a nearby field. But it made ME happy!
Todays activities were mainly working in my very own garden- with the help of a very busy puppy.
Lola had a blast, helping me dig up the bulbs I had just planted and trying to carry off my shears any time I put them down. She romped in the sprinkler and chased the squirrels- all and all a very busy day for her!

Just look at that face!
And I just like this picture, so I threw it in for good measure!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Girl Power!!

Did you watch?

Did you see her?

She's a powerhouse!

From last to first!

I wasn't worried~ I've seen her run before.

It's that last kick, that long stride...

It's that savvy jockey, Mike Smith.

It's Zenyatta!

Zenyatta Mondatta- means Top of the World in Sanscrit.

She is!

Horse of the year? I agree with Mike Smith- Horse of the Decade!

1st Female to ever win the Breeders Cup!

Her last race was her legacy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Philosophical Phriday

Ah Geez!- not another one of those huggy -feely type posts!


Today was a different kind of day~ it was cloudy this morning and the sunrise was spectacular. (Yes, I was up, but not because of Lola). 

Then we got what a friend calls Oregon mist- a rain so fine it was like dew on your skin, a prelude to a mind boggling  I- can- see- forever- and- then some kind of  an afternoon. Hills of dark green layered like petticoats clear to the horizon,with a pink sunset peeking from the edges. The hummingbirds in the garden thrummed overhead, scolding me as I swept paths, raked leaves and stopped often to glory at the scenes around me. 

Fall is a beautiful dying for most, but for California it seems more like a rebirth. After a hot summer that shriveled and burned the grasses, even a small bit of rain encourages it to grow quickly. Millions of birds fly in from parts unknown. Our famous San Francisco fogs lay off shore leaving the beaches swept clean and tourist free. Apples ripen,their strong pungent smell making me dream of apple pies and jellies. In my town the locals come out of their air conditioned houses to breathe the rarefied air,strolling the trails along the Strait with their camera's at the ready. 

 It often seems that Fall is just Halloween and then a mad counting of days until Thanksgiving and then Christmas. The SuperBox's (you know who they are) start touting Christmas and snow and icicles and fireside cuddling long before the days have even cooled to the mid 60's. 
How many times have I myself been swept into this vortex of Holiday Madness? Too many I am afraid.
But I am dragging my feet now. I am enjoying the colorful days and the sparkling nights of crisp clear air. I refuse to be pulled into Christmas any earlier than December 1. 
This Fall I am going to linger...

I hope you will too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heerree she is!

Well Ta-DAAAA! 
Here she is- Presenting...

Isn't she a cute lil thing? 
She has settled right in, eating, drinking, playing and all the other doggie things she is suppose to be a doin'. 

OD is in LOVE!  
We all are.

Who knew?

She has a brother still waiting to be adopted too! A handsome brindle coated boy...

Christmas may come early!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Rose is still a rose

We have decided to get a new puppy. Since Mac died the house is just too empty! Actually we are planning to get two, but we are getting the smallest one now and the Great Dane in the Spring.

I know! I know! Another Great Dane? Well-yes! I love the breed and it's sometimes nice to have a big dog at your back, and you don't have to bend over to pet them, and my house is still Great Dane proofed- so why not. I've even picked a breeder- in Texas! If I drive out from California to get him I'll have to make a few stops along the way to say hi to some of my blog buddies!

ANY-way... we are going to look at a Boston Terrier on Thursday. I've wanted one for a long time. It's a little girl and I've told OD that it can be her dog. She is so excited, she's never had her own dog before- they have always been my dogs.

OD is looking for the perfect name.
This is where things start to go south and get complicated.

"Who is going to name her!"
" You named the last one!"
" You'll pick a goofy name!"

Hubby doesn't want a frou-frou- ankle biter name. His pick is something from his favorite Band- The Greatful Dead. We have had Stella's and Begonia's and Sugar's and Sugar-rees. Jackstraws and so many more... I'm bored to death with Greatful Dead names!

Amy wants something very special. It's like she is naming her first child! Her picks are Alabama,Ivy,Cora, Fizzygig ( I don't know!) and Lola.

All this morning the debate raged.

This name is too frou-frou, that name is to long, too soft, too short, not enough consonants, been used before, too common.

Lil Mama told her she should wait to see what kind of temperament the dog has before naming her. (Good Advice)
Me- I really don't care- I seldom get to name our animals anyway.

Stay Tuned to see who wins!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween is a lot of fun at our house-especially this year with Jr helping!

OD carved this pumpkin- I swear she's like Edward Scissor-hands~ whacky- wack and voila! This beautiful pumpkin!

Then Lil Mama carved her pumpkin- it was HUGE! And thick too! Took awhile but she ended up with this-

Jr was helping clean the guts out with this long spoon- but soon decided that it was much more fun smearing them around the floor. So he did that for awhile! 

I finished my pumpkin and here it is-

Then Lil Mama got on her makeup- and put the Littlest Cowboy in his and we went a trick or treatin'.

All too soon it was dark and the Littlest Cowboy was rubbing his little eyes. Time to put him to bed. 
OD and I baked a cake and some cookies after he left and settled down with a nice cup of tea! 
HAppy Halloween my friends! I hope you all had as much fun as we all did!