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!