Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Reflection seems to be the order of the day. I  could recount all the past blog entries, or the sadnesses ( is that even a real word? doubt it.) that ran rife in 2010. I could recount the sickness and the scares.
I could remind you all about past New Years Eves- but that just seems to be asking for more trouble!

So I will not do any of that!

I will wish each one of you a better 2011.
I will predict good health and harmony and hopefully some prosperity in all that you endevor.
I will not make resolutions,( which I never keep anyway!) and I will just try my best to be behave and be happy this year.

Best Wishes Everyone! Bring on 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More about that '...creepy overpaid football player"

Tucker Carlson, a conservative commentator, was angry that Obama told Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie he believes people who have paid for their crimes should have the opportunity to contribute to society again. He was referring specifically to Michael Vick.
Carlson thinks that the President of the United States of America should NOT be getting behind a convicted Animal Abuser.  I agree.

You all know how I feel about Michael Vick. Hearing the general football media wax poetic about how great he is on the field just chaps my hiney.
Lo and behold on today's Comcast page an article about Fox commentator Tucker Carlson and his opinion about Vick. It matches my own.
Here are just a few quotes from the article.

"``But the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs (is) kind of beyond the pale,'' he said." (Tucker Carlson)

Carlson called Vick ``some creepy rich overpaid football player''

"He (Vick) made headlines recently when he said he genuinely cares about animals and would like to have a dog for a pet. Vick said his kids ask him every day for a dog and wants to adopt one for his family."

"It won't happen soon. Under the terms of his probation, which ends in May 2012, he cannot own dogs during that time."

Evidently Vick does charity work for the SPCA. As I said before, it is too little and way too late. 
 Kittens? Bunnies? Hamsters? Is it just dogs he can't own or any animal? The thought of this man or any of his family owning animals of ANY sort sends chills up my back. Could such a man teach his children compassion? In my opinion only if he had a Christmas Miracle of the Scrooge sort. I mean, serial killers often kill pets in cruel and inhumane ways before they start in on people- what makes this guy any different- except for the fact that he can throw or catch a football?
So after 2012- Just one year away- this monster will have the ability and the legal right to once again own dogs. Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth.
I think there are some crimes that are just so hideous that they should never be excused. Abusing children and animals are at the top of my list.
 I applaud Tucker Carlson for his frank comments, but it will not be enough. Too bad our President thinks more about football than he does about right and wrong.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I sure did!
This had to be one of my favorite Christmas's of all time- mostly because of the kids!
Here is a clip or two of Jr. singing Christjmas Carols. That is his Aunti Mimi helping, and you can hear Lil Mama in the back ground. What a hoot!

Now on to the New Year! I sure hope that 2011 holds more joy and more opportunity than the last one!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fun with Dick and Jane- er... I mean K and D

I don't have any pictures cuz I'm lame-o like that- but today my good friend Denesirita and the Stud Spud came to my house for some fun and games.
We went to the shooting range! D bought her hubby a super fantastic present- a large frame revolver and Crimson Trace grips! And my dear Hubby gave him a shooting lesson. It went very well- mostly because The Stud Spud is versed in firearms and weaponry. He just needed a few sharp pointers to make him really stand out.
Poor D though- everytime a gun went off ( which was about every half second) she would shy and jump right out of her skin! I told her she needed more' tarp' time, but she says there isn't enough time in the world to make her not jump.
Then the Stud Spud and D took Hubby and I out to a scumtious lunch!
It was a wonderful time to spend with my friends- just what I needed to get me away from the hustle and bustle of the Holidays!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time for Inspiration!

"When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a

sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it.

Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's work

is all I can permit myself to contemplate."

-- John Steinbeck

I really like this quote because I feel the same way. I know a lot of you do too. So instead of worrying about what you CAN'T accomplish- lets resolve now- before Jan 1 2011 - to be glad that we CAN accomplish something. Even one page a day. Some days even one good sentence.
And for you non writers out there- we can also apply this to our horse lives. We can't always ride for two hours, or sometimes even ONE hour- but we can brush our horses, comb their manes, clean their feet, teach them a trick or a modicum of respect from the ground. We can clean ONE piece of tack, read one helpful article or take one good picture.
Thank you John Steinbeck- you've helped us all much more than you could ever have guessed!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Casualty List

The tree is up! Finally! We usually put it up the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we waited.
I'll have to get a picture of it- we have it in the corner of the room, and it is surrounded with a coffee table and a foot hassock- just so the Big Dog won't try to get underneath it, then stand up. (That actually happened with one of my other Danes! )
And to make sure the two of them don't get into too much mischief with the Noble Fir we have the biggest squirt gun alive on top of the table. The pups are fearful of the dang thing and I don't blame them. It shoots a gallon or so of water in one pull! I could wash my car with he water it puts out! 

So the dogs MOSTLY stay away from the tree- because, as you know, just because an ornament is unbreakable doesn't make it Un- Chewable!
Case in point- one hard resin teddy bear. Now a blob of resin that once looked like a Christmas bear...
Ahhh ...the casualties of Christmas.

There should be a song about that!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In this Episode Vaquerogirl shows remarkable restraint and dicipline.

BUT IT WAS SO DIFFICULT! This a picture of the inside of the warehouse where I worked last week. It is only a fraction of the amount of stuff lined out in this airplane hanger that was for sale. Everything was sold within two days.

The round item in the forground was a mirror, the round object in the back was a huge four foot across Chinese Charger and stand. You can hardly see the end of this room! Over 1700 items were sold in two days.

These are over six feet, made of sheet metal and tin, painted white. They wern't as heavey as they looked, but they weren't light. They went for $800 for the pair.

This Oak Victorian cabinet needed a little love. Nuthin a little polish and some wax in the right places wouldn't fix. I wanted it to replace my 1950's china hutch, but the bid went to $250. My proxy bid was only $100. I'm not allowed to bid in real time, only by proxy. So I'll have to wait for the next one.
The weathervane I really liked went for 350.00. It was old and primitive looking. That picture didn't want to load for some reason!

So this is what I am doing now- digging and looking and thinking how to fit pieces into my already cluttered home! 
Some of this stuff went for killer prices- $15 for two 16 foot ladders!
$1.00 for a modern oil painting, but the frame was to die for!
More next month!


As a different side of Vaquerogirl I have to give you some good news!
I have sold an article!
Actually this particular article has been very good to me, I have sold the reprint rights several times after the initial publication in 1989. Most recently it was Chicken Soup for the Pre-Teen-aged Soul. The name of the article is " A Run to Remember'.
A Texas Institue bought reprint rights to put in into their STARR testing booklets. It should be there for ten years! How about that - ten years of Texan children reading about a Californina girl on her ugly horse beating the odds to win a big prize and much needed self esteem.
Funny- I have relatives in Texas, and some of them have children. I often thought I should have been born there myself- I am much more like them than my own family.
So pick up Chicken Soup for the Pre- Teen aged Soul and look up my story and tell me what you think. Or just wait about three years and your kids will bring it home in their schoolwork.
In any case I am still happy that I was asked to participate- and I get paid for doing it!
Take heart my girls out there writing! This could happen to you too!
And if you actually do look up the story ,e-mail be back, I still have pictures of that horse and of me. I'll post a few.
Really ugly! But beautiful now!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

OOooo Girl! I'm like a kid in a candy store!

I am an HGTV fanatic- I freely admit it. Not that it shows around the old homestead much, but I love ecclectic things and use them in my not so elegant home.

I finally have a wee little job- working at an auction house in Alameda. It happens to be full of ...
ecclectic stuff!

Actually there are two sites and the auctions usually happen once a month. I worked in the Gallery on Wed and Thursday. That is the high end stuff. Today I worked in the Annex- a lot more low end. In fact it was a lot like a flea market only the stuff is up for auction on Tuesday. My O-ficcial title- Preview Staff. It's kinda like being Vanna with out the letters.

I walk around the BIG Metal Building all day with my auction catalog and just circle the stuff that I would like to have. Some of it is not so 'wantable', but some of it is!
EXAMPLE:  two piece Oak Sideboard with carved detail and a huge mirror. Needs a little love- the starting bid will be about $5.00. Of course it won't go for that- but you can see where I am going with this- everything appears to be affordable!
Lots of tools, books, records, coats, dishes,ornaments paintings, photos... well everthing except the one thing I couldn't resist- tack.

Wait a minute! I take that back! In the Gallery they have a Visalia Parade Saddle made in the late 20s with loads of silver. The saddle was left in the shed when it's owner died ( it looks like it was there since 1939), Kinda rough, but still- a VISALIA!  That one should fetch about $3000 even in its rough condition.

So wish me luck in my newest endevor. It will look good on my resume no matter what happens.
And if I can keep my hand from going up to bid, things will be even better.

I'll just have to keep repeating, "Those ponies still have to be fed..."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tail Wars

We all love a little tail- HORSE tail that is!
A flowing and beautiful tail is important, no matter what breed we ride or what color we choose. Maybe it all stems from the Anna Sewell classic  BLACK BEAUTY, when Little Joe says that he spends hours on Beauty's tail so it is as fine as ladies hair. ( Or maybe that was Hoss?)


For show horses it is all about the tail.  So much so, that you can purchase fake tails to enhance your horses glory. Around the horse show ring ( at least in my neck o' the woods) you'll hear,  " Oh, it's almost time for my class. I have to go put in my tail and then get dressed." 
Bar Hoppin has a long and lush tail- naturally. NO enhancements needed. Just a lot of hard work, shampoo and elbow grease. But it is totally worth it! Just look at it!
I've even heard people in the stands comment on how beautiful it is.
But some of us have to work even harder to make a beautiful tail for our horses. Desi and I are in that group. Or at least I am, Desi could care less~ in fact he is on a one horse mission to destroy his tail in any way he can.  GRRRrrr! This is what he has done to his tail in the last month! And it is better than it was!
It is all my fault of course. I french braided his tail from the top, and then didn't put a blanket over him. ( It was pretty warm and I didn't want to give him heat stroke! HA! Next time- he suffers!)
So today I decided to get with the program- The Tail Program that is. I've declared War! Tail Wars!
Before the advent of mass produced tail growing formulas I used to have a whole formula of my own for growing long and lush tails. It involved baby oil, Sea Breeze and Mane and Tail. Some times Bactine was added instead of Sea Breeze-but the point is, I thought it worked. I haven't used that formula for a long time, but as I was working on Desi's tail I began wondering if maybe I didn't want to revisit that formula. Maybe it would work!  
What do I have to lose? His tail is already a raggedy mess! It can only get better ( or fall completly out!)
 So over the next few weeks I am going to work on Desi's tail, using that old formula and maybe some of the new ones. There are a few brands I am particulary fond of, as you know.
I've taken these before pictures, and I will continue taking photos to compare the results.
The program so far~
The tail was washed at the beginning of last week with Cowboy Magic Shampoo. The it was air dried and brushed out carefully, to get all of the dead and broken hair out of the tail. Then it was loosely braided so it wouldn't pull and bagged with my favorite type of tail bag.
My favorite bags are made by Tish Harris of Elegant Show Styles. They are fantastic for a bunch of reasons.
They are made of soft and strong fabrics. They have long ties so I can thread them through his tail and knot them securly. They never pull tight and you can always get the knot out when you want to! And she makes them in lots of colors and lengths.Plus they are only about $6 per bag ( they make great stocking stuffers!) BTW- she is a really nice woman that makes fantastic show clothes and NO she didn't pay me for this unsolicited review!
Today ~
I unbagged the tail, brushed it out and discovered that Desi had dandruff at the base of his tail bone. That means it is too dry, so I saturated his tail with Marigold Hydrating spray from EQyss. Brushed all of the dandruff from the tail, picking it out with my very cold fingers when needed ( it only reach 50 degrees today!) and then re braided and re bagged his tail. Of course I put a blanket on him, one with a tail flap which will keep the tail from fraying when he rubs against the corner of his barn ( which I know he will do, the brat!)
I have MTG that I can use if I need to, but because it is so greasy and stinks I am going to wait and see if the Marigold spray works before using it.
Do any of you have any secret formula's you'd like to share with Desi and me?  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Finally it is here- Turkey Day and Black Friday to follow. Sheesh, I've been hearing all the ads and the Christmas music for nearly a month now! So tomorrow is officially the day I can start celebrating Christmas.
But for TODAY I am going to cook slowly and carefully and enjoy spending the day here at home with Daddy Jesus, the Pups and hopefully my daughters and grand son.
No Big Game Hunter this year with Baboon heads, or Elephant Feet or Nile Crocodile hides. No extras either- although that is what I usually love best about Thanksgiving. All my singles have either moved away, died or 'hooked-up' with someone! My family- well that is another story entirely.

Of course being me- I began thinking about disasters in the kitchen. And I began wondering what kinds of disasters YOU all have had on Thanksgiving, cooking or non. Did your dog take the turkey? Did Grandma fall into the swimming pool? Did Baby boy #1 snort peas through his nose?

I- of course- have NEVER had a disaster on Thanksgiving... but I have had a few weird ones.
So I'll start with...
My crazy youngest sister ( as opposed to my crazy older sisters) came to my house for dinner- now I believe she must have been high- and during the dinner, in which I had thirty two people seated, she begins to give an unintelligible toast to love and forgiveness. And it went on and on and on. AND then she read a poem she had composed- that had nothing to do with her toast, and it went on and on and on.
What she had done, or we had done, to warrant that toast is still a mystery to ALL of us!

So tell me- what is your funniest or most disastrous Turkey Day! I promise I won't tell another soul!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cavalia and the best quote of the day

Cavalia: A Magical Encounter between Horse and Men  is a trick pony show of the Uber cool type. It has dancing horses of exquisite beauty and frothy young maidens dancing atop them in a blue lit big tent just outside San Fransicso. Thousands are flocking to the show- it is unreal.
They have been here twice before. I worked for them for a short while the first year- but that is another story ( Their horses all speak FRENCH!) Even working there I didn't get a chance to see the show, only exercise,  clean, feed and rub Le Petite belles and Un Grande Belle.

So in todays San Francisco Chronicle they interviewd five different people about the show, and what did they think of the horses, and what was their favorite memory of a horse or horsback riding.
  Strangley enough no one said 'being run away with'~ but I digress as usual.
The last question was~ What is your favorite horse in film?

Quoted by a middle aged man, (publisher) from Oakland who shall remain nameless.

" I loved The Black Stallion because of the pure beauty of that horse. She was beautiful."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A gift and a curse...

Talking about computers in general and E-bay in particular.
About five years ago I took the plunge and began selling on e-bay. It took a little time to set it all up, but the rewards were worth it. I had a great small buisneess selling things for myself as well as for a few friends. Before 40 Year Old Virgin came along, I was selling on e-bay and that scene in the movie where she has piles and stacks of things to sell and to ship really made me laugh- mostly because that is what my house was beginning to look like! Then I met Chuck and began selling for his store, and I made great money. A few more folks heard,and I started selling for them too. All out of my little back room.
But things being what they were I finally decided that e-bay was getting too complicted to sell on. They were making it harder and harder to list, charging more and more money for the fees, the shipping kept going up and so I stopped selling on e-bay.

Now I am back selling there again.

Things have changed, it still is a giant pain in the arse to sell something, but some things just need the venue of the internet- Craigs list, while good for small or large things that you want to sell right away works for a lot of stuff, still dosen't have the international power of e-bay.
So I have listed a tin wind up toy, made in Germany during WWII. Its in great condition, with the box and the original key.  I hope to get a couple of good dollers ( the ones with more than one zero on them).
And then I was scrounging around in my garage and came up with some more stuff...
This is where the gift and the curse enter in.
Once you start it is hard to stop! And once you are locked in- woe to you if the computer goes down for any reason! LIke mine did last night due to the thunderstorm we had. I actually think the cat scampered across the cord and unplugged it while in fearful flight!
So most of today was spent figuring out the computer, re loading, rebooting, adding pictures, resizing pictures, listing on the e-bay form and coming to stop after stop to make sure I was doing it right!
I spent almost all day at the computer, most of it staring at the screen and trying to understand...anything.
My brains are tired!
But hopefully the collectors toy will bring out a few bidders and they will battle it out to own this nice bright object.
And tomorrow I will sweep the cobwebs from my rooms and from the corners of my pore lil mind!

Wish me luck- I think...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do you remember learning to read?

This question was posed on a Kid Lit website, and I thought it worthy of a re-post.

Well, do you remember?

I read somewhere that things before the age of five years are often not remembered. I don't know if it is a chemical thing, or a 'I don't have enough cubby holes to compartmentalize' thing.

What I do know is that I remember when I was a year old. I remember things in pictures, like a snapshot in my mind- and it isn't because I was told a thing- I actually remember much.

I was told that my Grandfather read the dictionary to me often. That is probably true. I know an awful lot of words! I don't remember him reading the words, but I remember my ear against his chest and his deep rumbling voice. ( Do you think it is a coincidence that my hubby has a deep rumbling voice? I think not.)

I remember the first book I ever read, given to me by my Aunt ( Grandpas sister of course!) for a birthday. "Are you my Mother?" I remember looking at those words and they made sense! I remember being like Helen Keller at the well, words and more words just made sense!
The library at the Elementary school was heaven! All those books and they would let me HAVE them! I could READ them!  I wasn't but five.
Since then I read and read and read!! Two or three books a week, magazines, cereal cartons, toothpaste tubes- anything. I never go anywhere that I don't have a book in tow. Of course now I also have to have glasses in tow! Good thing I carry a big ol' purse!

Do you remember the 'AHA!"?
Do you remember the book?
Do you remember much before the age of five?

BTW- now that I am over 50 (ahem!) I find that I don't remember those odd middle years between 27 and 40! Weird! Wouldn't it be nice to download and reboot!!! Or add more memory!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I hate football-

It's not because of the hard hitting head banging. It's not because of the blatant ego boosting show casing. It's not because I don't appreciate the skill involved in hitting a moving target with a small pigskin ball shaped like a torpedo.

It is mostly because the players and the announcers have no actual idea that anyone else even exists in the whole Universe. I am particularly talking about Michael Vick, although there have been countless others that have ruined lives and disregarded not only laws, but morals.

Mr Vick is still playing football- having served a short amount of time for dog fighting. It would be easy enough to hate him for that alone. Add the cruelty and callousness he displayed in killing and maiming his dogs and he is right up there with Kim Jong Il if you ask me.

The announcers in tonight's show actually had the audacity to suggest that Mr Vick had repaid his debt to society- as if he had just run a red light, or accidentally stolen a candy bar from his local W-Mart. He scoffed at the teams that didn't want Vick to play on their team because of his 'mistake'.

Is there ever any redemption for cruelty to animals? Has Mr Vick ever really apologized? Has he given money ( not court ordered) to build shelters or feed homeless animals? Are his millions of dollars going to show how sorry he is? I think not.

Many people, sports minded people, will probably scoff at me  for the outrage I feel at Mr. Vick's actions, after all they are 'only dogs'. And Mr Vick is supposedly a 'talent'.

Does being a 'talent' mean you can ignore the laws of society in any form? Can he also abuse children, kill people, trash hotel rooms, slap whores around or any number of any other 'mistakes'?
Oh, I know that not just Football stars are doing this stuff. Hollywood is full of reprobates, and the movies are doing just fine.

Here is where I stand. I don't have to watch football.
I don't have to watch movies with people I don't like in them.

I have the choice, and if I could I would sway as many people as possible to join me in ignoring these 'talent's no matter the form they take.

But I am but one lonely voice, but at least I can sleep easy at night.

BTW- today I let Glacier go to the big pasture in the sky. It was hard, but it was time. Thank you all for your loving support in my hard decision.


Today I am thankful there are people in this world who won't let hungry animals starve, who will stop abuses they see or suspect. That there are some people that have the welfare of animals foremost in their hearts.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thank you Teachers!

Today I am thankful for Teachers! Those learned souls that endevor to teach others ANY thing!
Now that could strech to every one of you! You teach your kids to say "Please' and  'Thank you'. You teach them right from wrong, how to play and how to love.

Maybe you teach in a different kind of way- maybe you are a leader. You might be  responsible for a crew, a class, a posse or a team.   You are honest and brave and caring and tough. You teach by example.

Perhaps your method of teaching requires to to reach deep into a persons soul. You draw out the memories, help sort them into managable heaps to be examined at will. Or perhaps you teach by helping someone to  heal them self.

But I am especially thankful for those of you who actually proudly put the word TEACHER next to the line on any form that requires 'Occupation'. Those of you who I consider to be on the front lines of our society. You are asked to do much with very little. You are asked to do all of the above, but not to get too attached. You are asked to socialize our little darlings when we will not or can not. You are expected to bide by a strict set of rules- and woe to you if you cannot. You are disrespected and underpaid, overworked and ill used by the very people you are trying to teach!

But if I were to ask- I'll bet you would say it is rewarding to see someone 'get it'. That the smiles on the faces of those eager students makes the long hours and hard work totally worth it. I'll bet you wouldn't want to do anything else.

So if you can read this blog- I'll bet you are Thankful too!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ancestors- we love 'em.

I have several cousins across the United States, ( that I know of) but none save one shares my enthusiasm for my ancestry.
He and I are cousins on my fathers side, our Dads were brothers. Unfortunately his Dad has passed, mine is still with me. We were 'chatting' about our common ancestors the other day, and as usual it struck me what a strange and wonderful chain of events put me here on Earth.

I collect stories; mine as well as other peoples. Sometimes I make stories up. But I could never make up the stories that I know about my families past. I know that we came from Ireland before the Revolutionary War, from Prussia which predated Russia, from Canada, even from some obscure countries I never even heard from. What I don't know is more fascinating yet.  And I will never know...but I am grateful to them just the same.

I am thankful for my ancestors. The very first one that stood up straighter than the others, carried her young to another part of Africa and began the migration that sent my people up into the Continent, through Asia and Prussia and Ireland and England. The Brave Souls that looked to the distance and thought " I have to go there" and then did- for what ever reason they gave. More food, more land, more horses, better water, freer religion, less rules, less people, more people, more opportunities, Through famine and feast and flood and drought, each one procreating and procreating and moving and wanting more.

I  am thankful that you suffered and survived, that you prospered and created more generations. Thankful that you yearned and tried and succeeded. I only hope that I have done the same.

If you are thankful, you might want to check out this website . It will blow your mind!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I am Thankful for all of my wonderful, generous and fantastic women friends.

I am Thankful for all the wonderful and diverse women in my life. Some I have pictures of, which I cherish. But a few are camera shy and I have no pictures, only the memories in my minds eye and in the deepest recesses of my heart.

Here are just a few, but if you are reading this blog and have connected to me in any way- I want you to know that I am thankful and grateful for your friendships as well.

This is Janet R. She and I have been friends since Junior High. We were best friends through high school too, but she soon joined the service, was married and we lost touch somewhat. Luckily we were able to reconnect and we see each other a few times a month to catch up on kids and grand kids. She keeps me firmly rooted in my past.

I caught up with Laurie( in green) at my last Class reunion. Though our correspondences are brief, I think she is such a wonderful woman. She brings grace to everything she does.
Patti and Jr.
Patti-my BFF from age 5. Not only does she know where the bodies are buried, she helped me get most of them there! A more honest, brilliant and fun person you will hardly find anywhere. She is one of my non riding friends, as is Janet and Laurie. Our conversations return to old times, old friends, new politics ( sometimes) and shared interests. She makes me want to be a better person.

These two fireballs keep me on my feet and in high gear. As a matter of fact I think their middle names are' FUN' and 'ADVENTURE'. Are you up for a bike ride, a horse back camping trip, a clinic in the middle of December, a horse show where we've never been? A new make-up scheme, a new furniture layout? Cattle roundup? Taking a lesson from someone you don't know on three different green broke horses, a midnight drive to Reno and back? These two gals will go anywhere and try just about anything. I have only to think of either of them and just smile!
KBG and Deniserita

 Miss Linda is the 'solid' one but don't ask the Stud Stud about that. Get Linda wound up and she won't come down for days. She is absolutely the very best horse mommy. Desi and Bar-Hoppin Bob live at her place and they have never been fatter or happier. I would do anything for this friend, but she never asks. Cool, calm and collected, she gives a dose of class to the rest of us! 
Teri on Sparky
I met Teri about 15 years ago when my girls were small. She and her partner took to the girls like a duck takes to water. The girls felt the same way and now Terri is a part of my extended family. She is the bravest women in the bunch,as a cop she has to be, but she is also the one that holds her heart on her sleeve. She is the one I call when I'm about to jump off the Carquinez bridge, or if I had to head into a fight. Undoubtedly one of the funniest women on the planet- our favorite thing to do- watch Kathy Griffin DVDs drink Tea and laugh our heads off!
World famous authoress' Ellen Hopkins and Susan Hart Lindquist
These last two and defiantly not the least two. Ellen is my mentor. She is a tough cookie when it comes to writing and has wild fantastic ideas that she makes you believe. She can be critical in a good way, and pretty soon you just have to catch her enthusiasm too.  That all these wonderful things could happen to you as they happened to her. She is the hardest working women of my friends. She writes constantly and her books have reached global markets. Though I have know her the lest time, she takes the time to make me feel like I am a part of her family, a part of the writing community and most importantly, her friend..
Next to her is my BFF Susan. We've known each other over Twenty years, through children bad patches of marriages, sickness and fantasies, obsessions and wars. She know ALL of my secrets and would never share with any one else. She is the one person that I have no problem climbing into a car with and I don't care how long we are gone, when we will get there or what we will do when we arrive. We have travelled together frequently and we NEVER have any trouble thinking up new topics or games to play. She is smarter than the average bear, but she doesn't want to believe that. I cherish her friendship for so many reasons. She is the one person that can cross between all the worlds of my life and understand how I feel about them all.

As for the rest of you, Devon,Jane, Lorene,Rusty, Jacqe,Vicki- you know I have  a soft spot in my heart for you as well.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day

For those of you who have served, or are serving still- I thank you!

Today I am grateful for all of our service men and women.

I am thankful that I live in the good ol' USA.

I may not like our current policies, I may not agree with our systems, but I think they are way better than anyone elses!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oldies but goodies!

Deniserita asked for some pictures from 'Way Before" so here are some I dug up.
This top one is Mimi and me. It was Goat Rock in Bodega. She was two.

Here is Lil Mama when she was two.

Mimi used to ride- a lot. That is what we did. This POA was given to us. His name was Peanut and he was about 25 when we got him. All the kids rode him and there was never a better pony anywhere! This was at a 4th of July Parade,circa 1994.

Lil Mama's first real horseshow. She was about eight and she is riding my good mare China. Lil Mama was showing against adults- she was the only kid in the class, and I have other photos of her with her little jaw  just set, trying so hard!  
 Here is Lil Mama with Princess Diana Raleigh, a mare that was by Sir Raleigh and out of a Smooth Town mare. She was owned by a friend of mine. I sponsored this mare until she was about 25- a good ten years. Again, all of the kids - mine and every 4-H'r within 50 miles, rode and showed or had lessons on this fantastic mare.

Daddy Jesus before the long hair and beard.Working at UPS kept him trim and tidy for 30 years!

This picture has a story- but we won't go into that! But the horse,Radar O'Reilly, isn't really a pony. He was 14'2hh. Daddy Jesus was meeting him for the first time. Love the shorts and socks!!

Me on the day I married D.J. in Lake Tahoe California.

Mimi and Peanut.

Me and Radar. I was just about to graduate High School. I was riding across the field ( I won't say where!) so the student photographer could take my picture for the Yearbook.

This is Radar O'Reilly. He was by a stallion called Little Brown Jug, and a grade mare. No papers, but I'll tell you- this horse was the best horse I ever owned. He would have climbed the side of a building for me.
I bought him after my other horse had been hit by a train ( yep I said train!) and the train gave me $500 to buy another horse. This was the horse. I was about 14 when I bought him, my mom had to drive me out to the country to do the deal. I saddled him up and jumped on. He threw me twice. My Mom said " Oh honey, lets go home." I said " Give the man the money and tell him to bring him to our house tomorrow."
The back of this photo is written in my childish hand ;
Radar O'Reilly, Show Horse, Future Grand National Champion winner.

China AKA-Somebodys Streak-was a grand daughter to Cutter Bill. I bought her as a long yearling, wanted to go to the Snaffle Bit in Reno with her and even had her entered. BUT I got married and pregnant ( in that order thank you very much!) and so those dreams were put on hold. She was a pistol, but the kids all rode her and I kept her until I had to put her down at age 26. Here she is at age 11.

So that is my walk through history. Hope you enjoyed it!

Today I am Thankful that I live in a world where good horses are just as far away as the end of my arms and bound only by my dreams.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's true~

I am Thankful for my Hubby- Daddy Jesus.
I met him when I was young and way dumb(er). I had a two year old daughter and was getting out of a bad marriage.
He was getting out of a bad marriage too.
He took me, my kid,my horses, my dogs and the various critters that seem topopulate my life, not to mention my ex, my bills, my mortgage... well you get the picture.
Though he has sometimes tried to 'change me', he never did try too hard, and has allowed me to grow up to be the woman I was meant to be all along.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Turkey Time...Already!~

I went to the supermarket yesterday and I was actually surprised to see heaps of turkeys in the meat dept. I had forgotten that it is only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving!


Luckily I will only have Mimi and Daddy Jesus for dinner. Lil Mama and The Hunter and TLC usually go to his mama's house. So I only need a medium sized turkey this year- we will have to have some leftovers after all.
I usually serve Turkey and gravy and green beans with bacon, yams and marshmallows and ice tea and wine.  And of course punkin' pie- my favorite!

What fun or funky dishes do you like to serve?

AND just for fun I am going to post daily something to be Thankful for.

                                                              Starting today. Feel free to join me!

I am thankful for my two healthy children. They have been more than a blessing in my life, if that is possible. They continue to teach me new things every day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Perfect Pismo!

Deniserita and the Stud Spud were going down to Pismo Beach and asked my family to come along. Lil Mama couldn't go, but Mimi jumped at the chance. It is about a four hour drive from the SF Bay Area to Pismo, but the drive was beautiful.
I didn't have a chance to photo the Coastal Valley of California but it is one of the prettiest drives in the US as far as I'm concerned.
There are mountains on either side and crops of all types alongside Hwy 101. Grey green brussel sprouts, red cabbage,fragrant onions,butter lettuce,romaine lettuce and vast acres of sparkling yellow-green wine grapes.

Once we got to Pismo, we set up the RV, then ran down to the ocean. The day was glorious! Waves kept rolling up on the flat sandy beach, one on top of the other. There was a big storm in Alaska so it made the tide come up way farther than normal. In fact I heard it was a 6+ tide. That is big! But despite the wondrous waves there were no surfers out.
The reason?
A young man was killed by a Great White just a few weeks ago just 20 miles further south. And everyone knows the Great Whites like to roam- they don't know from 20 miles...
There are a lot of seals in these waters this time of year also, they come up on the rugged beaches a little north of Pismo to calve. I want to take a trip down there soon, but that will be a different story.
ANY way..
Pismo Beach is one of the only places in California where you can drive on the beach.

So we gave it a try. The Stud Spud and Deniserita were in front of us with The Best Neighbors in the World. But we tried to get out on the beach a little too soon with our two wheel drive dually. WE  got stuck! TBNITW came back and jerked us out of the sand, so we parked our truck and piled into theirs. Mimi sat in the back on top of the ATV and took this picture.That is TBNITW truck ahead of us. Ocean on the right. See all the tire tracks? There are a butt load of folks out there. They pay a big truck to haul RVs out there on the sand and they CAMP there! Amazing. I know if they left anything out on the ground it got wet or washed away because of the unusual high tide. They told me that people camp like this all of the time!

Here is my Hubby, Daddy Jesus and the Big Puppy in the back of the truck. One of them was enjoying the ride. Guess which one!

Stud Spud buckled Mimi into a helmet, gave her a lesson on breaking and off they went into the dunes.
These dunes are amazing. Right on the ocean, they change everyday. There are miles and miles of nothing but sand, just like the Gobi desert.
Even my Hubby gave it a try. Can we say ' Out of his comfort Zone'.
He had a great time!
I did not ride the ATV's. I figured if I can't ride my horse yet, then I shouldn't ride these things either.
The next day we went and saw the incredible Monarch butterfly sanctuary. For that story go to 
 Deniserita took some good pictures and I didn't!  
The weather stayed clear and warm, ( Have I mentioned how much I love living in California?)until the day we left. Suppose to rain this weekend so we slid in under the wire so to speak. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

They did it!

The last time the SFGiants were even close- it was the Bay Series. It was also 1989 and there was a major league earthquake here in the Bay Area.

So glad there wasn't an earthquake, but you could almost hear the cheering from San Francisco, even here in the suburbs!
Congratulations Giants! You deserved the win!

BTW- In love with Fired up Freddie Sanchez!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Do you believe?

Do you believe in things unseen?
Spooky noises on Halloween?
If you do, I dare you to
Go out and make some witchs brew.
 Fill your self up with guts of ghost,
eyes of frog, or maybe goat,
Dance all night in your stocking feet
while zombies keep a cajun beat!
Chase small children if you dare,
but if Wolfman's out I beg
Moonlight makes him grow sharp teeth,
  He'll rip your arms out for a treat,
He'll take your clothes
then steal your seat!
 Find a party,
drink some wine!
Enjoy the scare!
It's Halloween time!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Awesome night at the Cow Palace

This is Lil Mama and Her Big Daddy Sam! Cute huh!

The roping cattle sorted into some very eloborate pens and chutes.

Ok- ok~ I did go off on a rant about the Cow Palace a few weeks ago. And in truth the attendance was down this year and they cancelled the Sunday Rodeo and added a Mexican Fiesta instead- which in SF will probably bring in a LOT of folks. Geneva Street in SF has a big Mexican population.

But my 'crew'- the Martinez Horsemen- bit the bullet and trekked to the Cow Palace for Saturdays Rodeo.
True to form and keeping with tradition- the drive into the The City was fraught with adventure.( I love using the word fraught in a sentence!) It rained as it always does for Cow Palace. You can count on it. But after an hour and a half in traffic we made it there, got parked and into the building where we had four free tickets waiting for us. MHA had donated the High Point Team Sorting Buckle and we were suppose to present it during the Arena Performance, which my crew was excited about.

 We bought several more tickets and in we went.
Of course some of us had to have an adult beverage right away. ( not me.) And then we went shopping. I didn't get any pictures of the shopping mall but it is a good one.
We were hungry so we went into the 'smorgy-board' grabbed a sandwich and another adult beverage and had dinner. That's Lil Mama pushing food into her mouth. KBG and KW just sitting down.

The Giants Baseball team was playing for the Championship and all of the bars ( which there are three or four) had the game on. The score was getting close. Need I remind you we were in San Francisco home of the Giants and they loves them some base-ball. Crazy doesn't even come close- however we are all also Rodeo  fans and we were there for the Grand National Finals. These Cowboys and Cowgirls would go to the NFR if they won here.

Walking into the Cow Palace arena is always a great feeling for me. I've been going since I was 15 and that is about forty years. I never get tired of the smell of it. Horses, damp dirt, cows...ummmm. They have added a big electronic screen over the chutes, and it has a tendency to distract the horses sometimes, but all in all it is a good thing. We get to watch the replay right away!

The San Francisco Mounted Patrol Color Guard opened the show and it was very moving, to be sure. An 11 year old girl on the brokest horse in the world took center stage and she sang the National Anthem.
I always tear up~

They began bucking broncs right away. They were world class horses! The Flying U Rodeo Contractors have been supplying the stock here for many many years. Cotton Rosser owns and operates it.

This is him- he must be close to eighty.

His grandson Reno was riding and also doing pick up duty.
Cotton actually officially retired last night and turned the Company over to his son at the end of the night.

There were several 'girls' riding rough stock! One of them was Kyla Stra, the lady jockey featured on Jockeys on Animal Planet last year. She rode that horse very well! I think she may have won the girls class even. It was kinda a nice thrill to recognize her and cheer her on.

In the meantime Announcer Bob Tallman kept giving the Giants score and the count. It was getting close!

I wanted to show you a photo of some of the stock and a bay mare that was also one of Cottons brood mares, but blogger is being difficult and not loading pictures very well, and it is getting hard to arrange them - So I'll just tell you- They loaded her big ol colt in the next chute and turned him out when she had finished off her cowboy. They said they wanted to give him the experience of being in the chute so he'll learn his job. Kinda like taking a two year old to a horse show and camping him around.

Then a man right in front of me unexpectedly jumped to his feet and started giving high fives to the people round him. I turned to my niece sitting next to me and said, " The Giants won". Not a minute later Bob Tallman announced it and the Arena erupted in pandemonium! Everyone jumped up and started cheering and whistling. The Bull Fighter 'clown" popped a cork on some champagne and ran around the arena! The Big TV started flashing
Go Giants!
It was wild!
The poor cowboy who won the bull riding was a little lost in the fracas-although he did his victory ride around to a wildly cheering crowd!

The evening ended without us being able to give our buckle to the High Point Rider. We were a little bummed. I received a phone message from the girl running the Sorting that they were still riding, in the rain outside, so they couldn't present the buckle as planned during the show. Bummer!

But all and all it was a good night, a great Rodeo and the Giants won!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When you are bored- do what I do...

Since I can't ride my own horse yet, I thought of something I could do to salve that horsey jones I get! of course.
I love that website anyway, and just browse on a regular basis....because you never know what you'll find. Kinda like the Goodwill Store.
But today I focused on the on line videos.
If you want to feel better about yourself or your horse- I recommend the online videos!

What a mixed bag!
The prices are outrageous I might add. I guess people think the economy has recovered! Or maybe they figure they and they alone have the very best horse in the whole world! And they have it priced that way. So what if Dobbin is sway backed and hasn't ever done anything except had a few babies or mowed down their back pasture all by herself- by god she's an own daughter of a grand daughter of a BIG Name Stallion!

I narrowed the search to Quarter Horses in California. Still a pretty big subject, but what the hey! I had nuthin better to do today! Just started at the top and worked my way down.

I saw what appeared to be a woman holding on for dear life to the gullet of an English saddle that was way to small for her, go around and around and around and around......What was the horse doing? suffering probably.
I saw young people over horsed, heavy people under horsed, jumpers maybe jumping, some WP horses that looked lame ...

I know that most of you already KNOW this stuff- BUT if you are thinking of doing a video PLEASE take these honest to gosh good intentioned TIPS to heart.

You are trying to $ell your horse- so fergawssake-bathe and clip and shine like you going to a show.

Invest in a tripod and set it up in the middle of your ring. Then ride your horse into the frame. So many shots of a little bitty horse way off in the distance doing something, but it is so far away I can't tell what....and I don't want to see the back of you jumping over some kind of obstacle- I want to see the front of the horse or at the least a side view~

Just because you are an English rider, don't just ride your horse English- take your saddle off, borrow a western saddle, ride a few laps around going western...and vice versa!

 If you are proud of a certain jumping video- don't just put that video up to sell your horse, the buyers might, just maybe, want to see what ELSE he might be able to do! Like say.... transitions, or roll backs, or for heaven sakes- stops.

Speaking of which- just because you think you are a reiner- I think NO. PLEASE don't jerk your horse into a stop, then look at the camera like you just won the lottery. 9 times out of ten your stop was horrible! Crooked, strung out, your horses mouth was gaped open and he was propping! ERK!

And the same goes for you barrel racers too. A grainy fast moving horse in poor light and lots of shadows does not show me that your horse is intended for gymkhanas. I don't want to see him charging out of the gate or doing a prop stop at the end of your run.

WP people- make sure your horse is on the right lead. PLEASE don't wear shorts and tenni-runners and then jerk and spur your horse like you might have seen some no name trainer do. If your two year old is just starting, fer heavensake- lose the spurs!

And for ALL of you- make sure you actually have someone else watch your video( Your mom doesn't count) to make sure your horse isn't lame, or sour, or aggravated at you for being a shmucky rider.

Things that BUYERS with MONEY want to see-
Your horse, without a saddle of any kind, both sides, front and back. HOOVES to Forelock. Moving away from the camera in a straight line and then back again ( without running over the camera operator). We want to see how your horse tracks, how his legs lift off the ground, how his head and neck tie in and if he is athletic for our purposes.
THEN we want to see the same horse under saddle going left, at a walk, a jog and a lope,( or walk trot canter) then STOP quietly. Back up. Roll slowly over the hocks.(if you are able or just move to go the opposite direction) Then repeat. THEN if your horse jumps add a jump, if your horse is a rope horse, then rope a cow, or use a trail obstacle or do a little trick, or run a barrel pattern...
You can do all of this in three minutes! Really!!!!!

And if your horse is good at his job- let someone who can show him off do the riding.

Last but not least- Price him right! Not what you THINK he is worth, or what he was worth when YOU bought him- but what he is worth TODAY. Be Fair! If you don't want him anymore, maybe someone that can bring out his athleticism will-price your horse with that in mind. Other wise you are going to have a pasture pet for a very long time...

Log on and have fun...if you can.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stocking the stuffers

Is it too early to begin shopping for (whispering)  Christmas?
I sure hope not!
I used to make it a rule that I didn't even mention Christmas before Halloween.
But since I do most of my shopping on the internet now- I am breaking my own rule.
I'm going to share a few of my favorite things- things that will make great Stocking Stuffers or even a Secret Santa Gift for your horse loving friends.

Equyss Survivor is my favorite Detangler.
It smells great! Value wise,you only have to use a 'dab' (really) so a bottle lasts a longer time than my next favorite (Cowboy Magic). It works best on a clean tail, of course, but you can also put a tiny bit on burrs and the chaff that pasture hrses sometimes pick up, and the offending items will slide right out. Better than baby oil because it doesn't attract dirt. Better than WD-40 because it doesn't dry out the hair. Cost is usually between $15 and $20 depending on where you buy it.

Every horse needs salt. Most people buy a big white or red block at the feed store. It sits on the stall floor, soaking up noxious fluids and dirt. Does the horse use it? Does he like it?  Sometimes it is hard to tell.
But the Himalayan Pink Salt block is a wonderful alternative. It is 2 pounds, comes with a hole drilled through it and a small rope so you can tie it inside the stall. My horse LOVES it. As a matter of fact, every horse that has had the opportunity to eat one loves it. I think it is a good value because the horse actually eats the salt, it dosen't get wasted on the stall floor.  They cost from $8 -$15 dollers (depending on where you buy them and how many you purchase.

My very favorite treat to give Desi are these Nickerbait cookies. These have rock candy on the top, but they have some with peppermint too. They are made with carrots, sweet potato, brown sugar,molassas and lots of other things horse love. And how cute is this zebra gift box? Four or five cookies of different types already wrapped for you! Prices for a bag of cookies is around $8, this box is around $6. 
Just google Nickerbait and check out their website!
I hope this has made your Christmas shopping a little easier!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Now a Hyster-Sister

I've been quiet for a few days here in blog land and that is because I am now a Hyster- Sister. In other words I've had a sucessful hysterectomey! Hurrah and double hurrah!
Of course I won't be riding Desi for the next two months- but that is a trade off well worth taking.
I feel better already!
No details~ no hoopla~ I'm great and getting greater by the minute!

New posts very soon!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In this episode- the horse doesn't die...

I was a geeky kid- at least looking back now it might seem that way. But then- like now- I really didn't care.
You know I love racing. It is one of my guilty pleasures. Watching a horse run is breathtaking and frightening all at the same time. The heart of a horse is an awsome thing.

Disney makes horse movies. I love horse movies. Perfect. I went to see Secretariat last night.
I can't say it was the most wonderful horse movie ever made, I think Seabiscuit actually fit into that catagory- but I loved it just the same. It was pure Disney and if you have ever seen a Disney horse movie you'll know what I mean.
Run Appaloosa Run
The Horse with the Flying Tail
The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit
The Miracle of the White Stallions

Lots of meaningful dialog from the star power about how wonderful or brave or beautiful their horse is and why the fact of their being that way lifts them to a higher plain. Inter-cut with slow-mo shots of the horse running and the gratitudous 'soulful eye' shots.

Now you may think I am mocking the movie- I am not. I get chills along my arms just like everyone else.
As Lil Mama said to me last night- "When the horses are running, I can feel those horses," she laid her hand over her heart," it is just such a deep seated part of me, their breathing is like my own."
And I agree. We lucky few who have horses in our lives have the luxury of gazing into our own horses soulful eyes any time we want. I do it frequently without thinking about it- trying to discern his mood. Is he frightened today? Mad? Lazy? Does he 'get it' today? I'm not looking for the magic there- I'm looking for answers.
Our muscle memory feels those horses beneath us as we watch the film. I am there in the starting gate, the horses snorting breath ringing in my ears. My legs flex, my fingers tighten on the reins...the bell rings and I am off... 

But back to me being a geeky kid.
I remember watching Secretariat run, on TV of course. I wish I could have seen him in person. He had charisma,no doubt. I carried that Time magazine of him in his blue checked hood around with me, tucked in among my History text and Social Studies books. It was dog eared and tattered, but I took it out every chance I got just to reread that article, and look at his proud face. I think my Mom must have finally thrown it out because it is not in my things any more. I loved that horse as if he were my own. When I  moved out of my house I stabled my horse at the track in Santa Rosa. I had a chance to put my QH gelding into the starting gate and race him around the track. I pretended I was Secretariat then. Not Man o War,or Whirlaway or Bold Ruler,but Secretariat.

There have been a lot of horse races between then and now. I get a thrill watching any horse run. But for a few of you that weren't alive then ( I know you are out there!) here is a clip of the most amazing horse race ever recorded. And do yourself a favor and go see the movie. The horse dosen't die.