Saturday, December 18, 2010


I am so not ready for christmas. Barely aware of it's proximity until a couple of days ago. So much to do. The plan was to make home made presents this year. Now I ask myself......what was I thinking!!!!??

I am about half done with a number of projects. Completely done with nothing. Totally side tracked by fence repairs, escaping haflinger, building a small hay shed that's to be a greenhouse in the spring, trying to get some exterior lights installed, you know, the usual stuff.

My mind is everywhere. My muscles sore. Time doesn't seem to be so linear anymore. My days are marked only by the to-do list. So much time lost with hospitals and doctors... so much catching up to do. I can't seem to get all areas of my life back on track. I will... I will.

Sometime soon I will be done with the have to-dos and I'll move into the realm of joyful to do. Spring and renewal isn't so very far away, not really.


Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam.

I really don't know what that little ditty was going through my head the other day, but I couldn't seem to stop it. I tried to exorcise it from my mind.... no luck. Eventually I decided, "WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP!!!!" If Jesus really wanted me for a sunbeam then why did he make me... well, me! I'm not really the sunbeamy kind of person.

I like positive action better then positive attitude. Sometimes I do a fair amount of cussing while trying to achieve my positive actions.

No, spare me the role of the sunbeam. There's more important things to be concerned with.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hmmmm, how interesting.....

Linda Parelli teaches that with horses, instead of getting mad or frustrated, stop and think "Hmmm, how interesting" Then take the behavior and think of it as a puzzle and how do we solve it. That has been happening for me with Chloe "I dare ya' to cross this line" pony.

A couple of weeks ago I was wondering around the pasture. Pip was following right along at my shoulder. We stopped and I was rubbing Pip's ears. Chloe came up with her snarky face on and Pip was getting ready to clear out. I didn't want her to take out over the top of me so I leaned to the side and gave Chloe my best boss mare look. As I was leaning she spun around and offered her hind hoof to me.... and not in a nice way either. I got out of the way and then thought, "Hey! I'm not going to let her push me around!!"

So, I stepped back into place, noting that I was out of kicking range. Then I did my own kick in the air, kind of like that sketch on Saturday Night Live,,,you know, "I'm Fifty!!"

The first kick she just seemed kind of startled. I took another step closer and did another in the air "I'm fifty" kick. She moved. I kicked. She moved. I kicked again. She moved more. I kicked again. She moved about ten steps. Then I stopped. She blew. It seems we had come to an understanding.

A few days later and Pip and Chloe escaped. The neighbor got them corralled up. I think I mentioned this before. The interesting part was when I went to get them to bring them home. I took the halter into the small corral, no pretences, I never hide the equipment. And the pony that has refused to be haltered, came up to me, planted herself smack in front of me and stood stone still while I slid the halter on and led her through the very narrow gate. She stood quietly while I chained it closed. Then we started across the pasture.

We moseyed along. She was good.... until we dropped over the edge of a hill and Pip was out of site. Then it was time to get excited. Now I have always been concerned that my blocks and my ability to act was slow, but when in the moment, I surprised myself. Chloe wanted to come over me. I! She stopped. Blinked. Then moved forward more cautiously. We continued. She hollered for Pip and had to start moving. It was like Linda was in my head. I could hear her saying that a right brain horse has to move it's feet. So, I let Chloe move. Then she started to run in tight circles around me. In my head I heard Linda say that no matter what else was going on to protect my space. I flipped the end of the rope and popped her in the belly when ever she got too close. She stopped and gave me space each time. As long as she just moved her feet to move ahead or to get rid of adrenaline then we were okay. As soon as she started to get too much acceleration or started to get frantic, we went into a back up then I "put her into a box" until she could blink and think. Then we moved.

Mac was sitting in the truck and watching the event. He said I scared him half to death, but I wasn't scared. Through the whole thing I felt clear. I felt in control. I felt I was giving Chloe communication on how we were going to proceed. We all made it in one piece and after she was put into the pasture she acted like she was torn between running off and being frantic, or staying with me. Well, she had to go be frantic cause I had to go get Pip as well.

Pip stood and got her halter. It was the first she had been haltered without getting a reward after. We both seemed to have forgotten about it. Then we took off moseying. I had the 22 foot line so she was allowed to graze until I got to the end of the rope then she had to catch up to me. I would reel her in and then let the rope back out as she ate grass. After we got over the hill she didn't seem to want to graze so much and pretty well just stayed at my shoulder. During our whole adventure, her attention seemed to be focused on me. She paid no attention to frantic Chloe, and never once answered her calls.

I'm still pondering all of the little things I've done lately because of the ponies that seem to be adding up to something bigger. I'm still chasing the dream... and some days I think I might be gaining a bit of ground.


Sunday, November 28, 2010


I am not my grandson, Edgar's favorite person. Neither am I his second ... third ... fourth ....fifth favorite person. I think I might be in the twenties somewhere. But some of Edgar's favorite things in the world are "horsies".

I have decided that Edgar will have access to as much "horsy-ness" as I can get for him. When he gets a little bigger, I will be taking him to Parelli events and I will give him the very best tools and understanding that I can. After all, I'm just the grandma. I'm not the mom.. or the dad. I'm the person that's back a row. The support staff.

But who knows, with this mutual love, this indescribable draw we have to the magic of the equine species, we will get closer. We'll learn to see one another with fresher perspective. We'll see one another with "horsey" eyes.


Poor Relations

As I have stated before.... I hate electric fencing. It is, on the whole....crap!! My electric fencing that is approximately three weeks old for whatever reason, broke under the influence of a haflinger. So the ponies departed for greener pasture. The neighbor girl got them caught and put into their round pen. I went out to fix the thing but the evening over took me. The ponies had an overnight with the neighbors and the next day I continued my repairs. I decided that instead of just mending the break that it would be an okay spot for a gate. This it seemed would be a nice change as Chloe isn't quite ready for the four foot gate.

The reason I have electric fence is because it is suppose to be good enough. I've been told so. It's good enough for you. It's good enough for now. It's good enough for ponies. It's good enough because that is what you can afford. Good enough for poor relations....beggars can't be choosers. This despite the fact that I own wooded property that is loaded with natural resources suitable for fencing. But I can't get the help. Even when someone owes me money and offers to work it off, they dictate HOW they will work it off. I am thinking that I have a tatoo or marking on my forehead that indicates I am the poor relation. It is in some way an indicator that I will damn well take whatever someone is prepared to give me...PERIOD!!

Well, if I have to be a poor relation then I would just as soon be no relation. I want what I want for a reason. I really want to just stab somebody with my warrior woman sword today......nothing bad....just a small flesh wound. Just enough to relieve some pressure.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

People Watching

I'm sitting at the rest stop on I-35 and watching folks. People have started their coming and going for the Thanksgiving holiday. People stare at me while they walk by and others make a point of looking the other way.

Their seems to be a family group caravaning along. They stop and use the facilities and it seems diapers have gotten taken care of and babies handed back and forth.
Bigger kids bouncing around. They all load back up and leave.

Another couple stops. More sophisticated. One dog and no kids. The dog is walked and garbage taken out of the car and the particular process of feeding the dog also proceeds. Smooth and coiffed.

A truck driver comes by. Probably a career driver based on his mid section and billed cap. He opening watches us.

Mac goes into the vending kiosk and picks up a couple of candy bars and then everybody is gone. We sit in the dark. A stream of lights go down the interstate.

Almost time to go home...and then we'll have to wait another couple of days to get to internet. I just hope that you're still out there waiting for me. Out there in the dark.


Another day

Another day of fearing winter's arrival. Hoping that I won't have to try and dig post holes without equipment. That is a hard chore!!! and I really don't know if my back can take it either. Oh well, it's going to hurt no matter what. My decision is more about how much will I let it hurt. To achieve some goals, it is completely worth it!!

I made an easy day of it today. Today was all about compost. I burned last year's compost pile. I'm kind of reeking of eau d' moldy wet hay. I also stacked up a fresh compost bin. I did the magic layers of soil, manure and dried grass, then topped it off with a pumpkin that a mouse had started snacking on. The pumpkin will winter over, rot a bit, Then next spring it will grow out again. It is the perfect system. The pumpkins are more protected and seem to start out at the right time to miss the vine borers. It is easy and so far seems to be a fail safe system. Anyway, works for me and I know that my pumpkins are already planted for next year.

Now, if I could only find my perfect method for tomatoes..... and rosemary.... and lavender.....


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pre-Winter to-do list

This autumn I refined my to-do list for things that ABSOLUTELY had to be done before the snow flies. With no internet access, I decided that there was no excuse for not hitting the list as hard as I possibly could.

I started out with thirteen items on my list. Some were kind of involved. For instance... item no.9 is simply re-configure the horse pasture. Well, first we had to make another fenced in pasture for them (the ponies) so we could move them and THEN work on their existing pasture. Fences have been torn down. I've pulled soooo much wire. I've removed tee posts. Then measured and re-measured and to be sure measured again. Then laid out new perimeters and set the tee posts. I'm still not quite done. Need to see if my neighbor guy can come down and auger out some post holes for me and help me set some of the hedge posts. Then even if snow is on the ground I can go ahead and get new wire up. Once the wire is up , I can cross 9 off the list.

I was stupid and added five more items to the list. The good news is that over all I have crossed nine items off the list. I am close to crossing three more things off.

I am tired. I am a little frustrated. I am worried about the weather holding. I am feeling more than a little isolated. Mostly, I'm thankful. Because the worst, most frustrating, tiring day on the little farm is better then a day in a hospital.


P.S. I do wish someone could have seen me on the roof the other day. You would have been so proud of me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sometimes Life Sucks

There is just nothing you can do about it. Sometimes life just sucks. And when that happens the sissy, wuss bags lay down and give up. I'm not a sissy, wuss bag.

There is no snow on the ground so I just keep going. I spent today putting up fence posts and taking down other fence posts. Rolling up and and taking down the old wire. Old wire on a cold blowy day doesn't do much for your hands. But I got a fair amount done none the less. Soon I'll be ready to have the neighbor down to auger out the holes for the wood corner posts. I still have plans for a round pen..... NEVER SAY DIE!!!

The other day when it rained I built my binding jig for my little books. I can't give up on that either. No matter what, I can't seem to quit. Things get harder but I can't quit. I seem to have the need to just keep beating my head against the wall. Bruised and bloody but still moving forward. The bruised and bloody is mostly emotional. Though I did raise a goose egg on my head today after hitting myself on the noggin with the post pounder. That's okay.... sometimes a bit of pain brings about clarity.

I know things will get better though... I know this. I have a dream to catch.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Just when you think.....

Yea, that's the way it goes... just when you think you are on an even keel, when things have found their bottom, when it's not going to get any worse.... guess again. It does get worse. In this particular case the getting worse was kicked off by losing internet access. The closest free wi-fi is ten miles away. So it's time to try and save up some bucks, find a new internet provider and start over.

That's bad enough. However it gets worse.... when the internet was lost, this led to a spirited conversation. The kind married people have on occasion. It was pointed out to me that what I envision, I am not capable of fulfilling. I lack the ability to make money so Mac doesn't want to hear about it. He is tired of my dreaming and scheming. I'm not to speak of it again.

I believe the gist of the discussion is that I am a failure. There is something in me.... something that's very angry, that just cannot accept that. So that which is deep inside me... which allows me to dream and scheme will live a life unto itself. I am separate from him. I cannot give up..... the warrior woman won't let me. Then there is that smoldering rage to contend with.

More then ever, I have to succeed. I'll succeed by myself, for myself. Alone does not mean weak. This sounds like divorce. No, it's not. It's just that the heart of me is alone.... it probably has been for a long time.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wacky Wafers

Well, as you all know, Mac had his scope last week and while everything went well, it seems my coping skills were not the best. Certain areas of the hospital gave me a bit of flash back response. There was some pacing and need to escape. I didn't think much of it, but a friend of mine says I was exhibiting signs of post traumatic stress.

Well, this is a head scratcher! I always knew that I thought a little differently then other people. Not that I am diminished in any way, actually I just thought I had gotten TOO MANY bricks stacked in certain areas. The results however are the same... I'm a little off plumb.

I remember when Mac was first diagnosed with leukemia. We had made plans to go to our first Parelli event just weeks before he was diagnosed. There was the seven week hospital stay... going septic.... the ICU experience... on and on. Then we went home. We were only home a week before the Parelli event and I was just not going to go. I was going to stay home and make sure Mac took his pills and ate and slept. All the stuff I knew I was suppose to do.

Mac urged me to go. Other people told me I had earned it. I needed the rest. Eventually I was talked in to it. I was terrified of leaving but I did it. I went to my first Parelli tour stop. At break I went looking for something to take home to Mac. I got him a baseball cap and stood in line to get it signed by Pat Parelli. After quite a wait, I made it to the front of the line. My intent had been to say, " Hi, Pat! I would like you to sign this hat for my husband. He has been in the hospital with leukemia and isn't able to make it himself." Perhaps every third word made it out. After weeks of holding it in... weeks of pretending that everything would be good.... weeks of exuding the confidence that all would return to normal... I had to have my breakdown, in line,
in front of Pat. Gushing tears, contorted face.... it was awful!

He was decent. He was kind. He just looked at me and asked, "Do you need a hug?"" He gave me a squeeze and told me his niece had had leukemia as a child and was a healthy grown woman now. During the rest of the tour stop I would feel like his eyes would on occasion fall on me and it made me feel better. I went home stronger, more rested and ready to cope.

This time though... after the transplant, after the liver complication, after the graft vs. host... I don't know what normal is anymore. I can't seem to have a break down. There are a few things that might tear me up a little, but that's about it. Maybe it is too much. Maybe I have gone a little touched in the brain. Perhaps I am a wacky wafer. I don't know.

Oh well, everybody has to be something.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Plans, plans, plans......

It has hit me that it is NOVEMBER!!! How did that happen!! As usual, I have gotten my back up against the end of the year and wondering how in the world will we get everything accomplished! So, I was making plans, trying to come up with some sort of a strategy. Little does it matter that most of my plans usually bite me in the ass. Oh well, they get me close enough.

Here it is November. I still have fence to put in. I've only crossed off two things from my list of stuff to get done for winter. I still need to pick up my hay and I have no place to put it. I need to build a shed.

Everybody is broke and the economy here is horrible, so we have decided to do a home made christmas. I love making things for christmas, but it requires another plan. Stuff to make and time to make it.

Darling Petra is helping me with my web site. I get closer to accomplishing that every day. When the web site is up and running then I'll offer a farm calendar as my first for sale item. I know exactly how I want it to be. It will be.... unconventional!! I know this because .... I have a plan!!!

After the calendar, I have two books simmering in my head. I inch closer on finding ways to make that work out too.

But in the meantime.. I don't know if all of my planning is what keeps me sane, keeps me from thinking about possibilities that I don't want to be possible, or maybe, all of my plans are slowly driving me mad. It's like having a tiger by the tail, isn't it? You don't want to be hanging on, but you sure as hell can't let go. Winter is coming and I will be locked away with my own thoughts then.

I think I'll slap together a small shed down by my ponies and make a little tiny wood burner stove for it. I'll spend the winter with them. My ponies will take care of me.... they always do.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I don't know....

I can't seem to make a decision regarding this.... my hedge row. I read an article in Mother Earth News. Not from the magazine but one of the old articles from the web site. It was about living fences, which is something I am very much into. A living fence doesn't use up a bunch of environmentally "expensive" materials, it provides habitat and protection from the elements in the form of windbreaks. So, what's not to love?

Well, the plant either takes too long to grow, or if it steps up to the job then you have to make sure it doesn't get away from you. The latter is the case with the hedgeball tree. They are also called hedge, hedge apples, or I believe, the official name is the Osage Orange. No matter what you call them. They make some of the toughest fence post you'd ever want to find. They are long lived and they have thorns that rip the hide right off of you. That is a plus if you want to keep in cattle. Doesn't thrill me to death when you have to clean up. Yes, you will have to clean up! Because hedge suckers new growth off the roots so one hedge tree becomes a grove of hedge trees.

The instructions for creating a hedge ball fence were kind of cool. Collect a big bucket of hedge balls. I can do that! I have a big bucket and I have hedge balls out the wazoo. (figuratively speaking) Take your big bucket of hedge balls and set it outside for the winter. That's easy, I can do easy! Next spring, clear away the grass where you want your fence to go and create a small furrow. Okay, it's still easy. Take your bucket of disgusting looking hedge balls that seem the worst for wear from their winter ordeal. Add water. Mash them into a slurry. Pour the slurry in a thin line in the prepared furrow. Now how easy is that!!!

At the years end, you thin and bend the young trees over. Tying them down like hoops. The following year do the same, making the hoops go the opposite direction. It will take annual attention. Eventually, you will be harvesting fence posts off the growth as well. It's just too good to be true. I really want to try it. I am just really worried about the sucker growth going onto my neighbor's property.

I don't know.... maybe I'll go ahead and get a bucket of hedge balls and think about it over winter. It could work..... maybe.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Yet More Doctors

So, at the last minute the referral to see yet another new Dr. was approved by the insurance company. We were up and out in the dark. Got there in time to have to do a run down to the oncology office for an extra set of labs. Because there is nothing like squeezing in one more thing to make somebody else happy. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.) Luckily, I ran into one of Dr. Silverman's assistants in the hallway out side the lab.

"Kim, I just wanted to point out that Mac has been NPO since midnight."

"Oh okay."

"Just wanted to point that out because it will more then likely affect the UA you ordered."

This was followed by a deer in the headlights moment so I gave her a moment to think and went on...."At the very least, things will look very concentrated, I don't know how much it will throw off any numbers." She blinked. Then she turned to a trainee she had with her and explained that Mac had been a transplant patient. Then I turned my gaze to the trainee and said, "I just wanted to make sure that you guys were aware that Mac has been NPO" I wanted to instill that thought with her, hoping that someone over there would have a memory. I was trying to send her some telepathic message... to shove some light into the darkness.

Kim said, "Why don't you come back over here when he's done with the scope?"

"Well, I don't know when he will wake up or how long this will take. There isn't any cell phone reception in this building, so how about you just call the digestive disease office if you find anything you want to see us about?" What I didn't say is that I saw no reason to drag Mac's limp, semi conscious body all over God's creation if there was no reason for it. If there is a reason then... Fine! But for God's sake have a REASON for making him sit another damn hour in yet another damn waiting room while falling asleep and drooling on himself! That's all I need... a REASON!

She countered with, " How about.. if you get done before three then come on over. If you get done after three o'clock then just go on home."

Well, we made it through the day. The endoscope was done. Mac has a smaller esophagus. He has some rings that they believe are the result of damage from radiation. He has a fibrous area that they stretched out. and an ulcer that they believe is the result of graft vs. host... no mention of reflux.

We started the trek out of the digestive disease office at twenty minutes to three. I rolled him out through the cross walk through the parking garage. Made sure he was okay to stand and move. Got him into the truck. Took the wheelchair back to the elevators. Got into the truck and turned the key. The clock lights came on with the ignition.....3:00.

"Look Hon, it's three... we're going home."

Now several days later, I wonder how in the world he ever developed a small esophagus. Was it the disease? the treatment? I remember we used to have an ongoing battle about his spoon usage. He would balk at using the regular, everyday, what everyone else was using teaspoon.

He'd whine, " I want to use this spoon"

"That's a serving spoon."


"You don't need to eat off a serving spoon. You NEED to eat off a normal teaspoon, like everybody else, so I have the serving spoon to serve with."

"I like this spoon, It's the right size."

"It's the right size if you're a pig. Use the same spoon as everybody else."

"I'm not a pig. I'm a manly man. I take manly man bites and I need a manly spoon!"

"No, you're a pig! and you need the same spoon as everybody else!"

Then I would shove the big spoon into the mashed potatoes. Then I would walk into the kitchen to get the rest of the meal and I'd hear the girls giggle. I'd come back in and his mouth would be stuffed and his hand would still be on the serving spoon.

"What????" he said, like it was a protest, but all he did was display the more then ample amount of mashed potatoes that he had in his mouth. This would send the girls off in giggles and shouting, "Dad's in trouble!!"

Well, if he wasn't in trouble then, I guess he is now. No more serving spoons for you, Manly Man.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

More DR. Shit

I will try to cram as much in today as I can, because tomorrow we go to Iowa City again. This is an extra visit. Mac has been referred to a gastro-intestinal specialist for a scope of his esophagus. It is hoped that the problem is a little graft vs. host that will just take, hopefully, an adjustment in medication. The scope would also show if it were acid damage from reflux. I really doubt that as it responds directly with his prednisone dosage. Of course, there is an out side chance that he could now have throat cancer as a result of the total body irradiation, which he received as a transplant prep. It is probably a slim chance and I don't speak of it out load....... but it hovers out there.

Dr. Silverman says she will just feel better about dealing with the throat situation after someone has had a look.

The insurance company has decided to not accept Dr. Silverman's referral. They want primary care DR. to make the referral. Mac went to the nurse practitioner from the primary care DR.'s office a couple of times but has never seen the DR. himself. So that Dr. won't make the referral. Insurance has decided they would take DR. Hiatt's referral as primary oncologist. It takes time for a referral to go through plus Dr. Hiatt was gone the day they were trying to get stuff organized.

Insurance company called to notify that they would not pay for the procedure if Mac went through with it. At least they wouldn't if the insurance company's ok to the referral wasn't in place before hand. We have not heard if the referral has been made.

So what do we do?

We can't afford the procedure. Maybe we will hear something at the last minute. We will plan and work as if we will go but be ready to not go as well.... I suppose.

On one hand DR.s try to scare you with health issues on the other hand the insurance company tries to scare you with money issues. Wish they would leave us out of it and just let us know when they have come to a decision.

I think I'll go and see my ponies for awhile. They won't have any answers either, but at least, they make me feel better.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Life in Movies

Yesterday, my mind went roving, as it wasn't required for the mundane tasks of rolling up old fence wire and pulling old posts. Amongst some of the odder thoughts I perused, I got to thinking about what kind of movie my story would make. Probably a real slow, boring one. Other then that it would kind of depend on who was making the movie. You know, the trademark styles... the treatment.

For instance, if it were anime', I would spend the whole movie in a grimace and making little growling noises with a black exclamation point hanging above me and bizarre sweat drips suspended around my head. That is until the final minutes of the movie where I would be blown into another dimension by some sort of martial arts/ wizard being.

Now if Disney did my movie, they would kill me off in the first ten minutes. Disney always kills off the mom. Then for some strange reason, Mac would have to trek across country with the dog and the ponies. All of whom would be able to speck english, when no one was looking, and would have bows in their hair and wear stylized team jerseys. Then their pictures would turn up on the fronts of lunch boxes and as mini collectibles.

If Hollywood got ahold of me, I would also be killed off, but they would kill me off because I'm boring. There would probably be some sort of light plane accident in my pasture so there could be an explosion. Hollywood has to have an explosion! This would, of course, rip a hole in the earth that would uncover?....... a deposit of alien babies that would spring out and wreck havoc on the world? ..... possibly a buried clue to a lost ancient civilization, thus leading Mac on the adventure of a life time where he would meet the woman of his dreams. Possibly played by Catherine Zeta-Jones....... a knight's templar?

God help me if the swedish film makers get ahold of me. My slow, dull life made to look even more slow and more dull. Then I would drop dead in the pasture puling fence posts. My life force would fade in a glow of cold, brilliant white light that would morph into the highlight in the eye of a child. Then you would hear a voice in Swedish ( english subtitles), "Inga, what are you doing? Go outside with the other children." The child would slowly blink, then get up from her white chair in the white kitchen and run outside as her mother instructed. Then leaning, and looking out the window at her daughter. the mother would murmur in Swedish (english subtitles), "My daughter... she has such an old soul". Roll credits. It would win some awards but it wouldn't sell much popcorn.

The movies all seem to require my demise. I think I'd rather just hang on. I'll keep working on the little farm with Pip and Chloe and Fiona, the dog, and possibly someday, we will have a story worth telling.... and without explosions. It could happen.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just thinking

I'm sitting here and thinking just how good the bed felt this morning. Thinking what folly it was to get up. Thinking I need more magic elixir (coffee).

I think the to-do list is somehow longer today. I did start the tear down of fencing for the winter pasture. Fingers crossed we will quickly get it back up to it's new shape, including a run in and a round pen so our winter won't be wasted time. As I look at the remains of the old fence, and all that it enclosed, I dream of owning my own manure spreader. Nothing difficult. A little something that I can manage on my own. That will pull behind my little lawn tractor.

Because I have thoughts like this, I think I'm a low maintenance woman. Mac thinks I'm just a weird form of high maintenance woman. He doesn't think about being the one that will have to just go ahead and shovel up all that horse residue and put it in five gallon buckets and put it in the little red wagon and pull it out into the hay field and rake it in. If he ever did perform those tasks... he would want a nice little manure spreader too.

I've been trying hard to get stuff ready for winter. Working at some tough stuff. As a result, I have gone down over a bra size. But I think it is unfair that my ass remains the same. Obviously I need more work. Perhaps I need less thinking as well.

Thinking leads to wishing... wish I had air in the wheelbarrow tire. That would be way easier then the red wagon. Oh well.

For now... I think I need more magic elixir.


Monday, November 1, 2010

What a weekend!

It feels like I just survived a whirlwind! Mac had parent/ teacher conferences last Wednesday and Thursday. Those were days that started around 7:30 in the morning and ended at 8:00 at night. Friday was a no school day, but he had blood tests in Des Moines. So Friday, off we go to Des Moines. Went to the Dr. office and then hit a couple of stores. There was nothing that appealed to me, which seems to be the case more and more often.

Saturday, the oldest daughter, Michal came down with her husband, Micah and we finished up the last of the bigger pasture for the ponies. It took twice as long as we had planned on. But once the fence was done, we went to get the ponies. Pip haltered right up like a champ. We didn't bother haltering Chloe. We counted on herd instincts and figured with the uproar that she would just stick with Pip and we'd walk them right down to the new pasture and she would go through the gate and life would be good.

She didn't do that.

We moseyed along. Chloe decided she liked having the big field to herself after being on dry lot for two months. We were not phased by this. After all, I am a Parelli student. I'm not great but I'm not useless either. We did a slow drive to the new pasture. Pip was already installed but Chloe when she got there, though she wanted to be with Pip was not going to go through the four foot gate. We drove her to the gate again. Everything was good and happy. The second gate approach was too much pressure. She didn't run away but she just couldn't do what she knew we wanted..... and there was all this GRASS! So once more a slow , mosey kind of drive and then my mom decided to call me.... twice.

Chloe the pony, does not like the Klingon drinking song that is my ring tone. As a matter of fact it makes her head go way up in the air and then she has to run to Pip as fast as she can. But there's a fence in the way. So, I circle around. Then I scratch her shoulders and tell her life is still okay. I holler at Mac and tell him to cut the wire. As soon as Chloe has an eight foot opening, she trots right in and settles down next to Pip. We mend the fence. My fault, I knew I was pushing my luck with the narrow gate, but there just wasn't the money to buy a big gate yet. Everybody just did the best that they could with what they brought to the table.

After the ponies were ensconced, we rushed to middle daughter, Kate's apartment where we celebrated the girls' Godfather's birthday. We made it home late and there were no ponies in the yard ... always a good sign!

Sunday I hauled water, walked fence line and pasture. All seemed well so went back to the house and collapsed.

Today, well, Took Mac to work so I could have the truck and do errands. Dropped him at the school. Went to the lumber yard and picked up a few supplies and priced some other stuff. Picked up postage stamps. Bought groceries. Went by the feed store and picked up a bag of feed. Home! (phew!) Groceries put away.... mostly. Grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down at the computer. Going over the to-do list. Three days of good weather and then the cold is suppose to start.

The clock is ticking. In three days there will probably be a fair amount of cussing. It's inevitable.


Friday, October 29, 2010

DEATH to the Law of Attraction!!!!

Yesterday I had a dear, sweet, kind, warm, generous person tell me that she tried to practice the Law of Attraction. That they had money problems and she hinted that it was her fault because her "attitude" wasn't always in line for attracting. BULLSHIT!!

Now I have heard that the Law of Attraction is supposedly based on theories of quantum physics and there are books that explain in some convoluted detail on how this wishful thinking process is all very scientific. Well, I'm not a scientist. I'd be willing to bet that the people who buy these books and swallow this hocum aren't either. How convenient!

I want to stand up and yell, "The emperor has no clothes!!!"

When I see entire regions devastated by floods, famines or military activity and sit on my butt in my safe, warm home and say,"Tsk, tsk, I guess they had that coming" That's just wrong! It's unkind and inhuman. Just like it is wrong for my friend to have to feel guilty for not maintaining this delusion. She is too good for this! Anybody is too good for this.

I have a dream to chase. I am shaping it into reality. REALITY being the key word here. I work hard for my dream. I walk on it everyday. I sweat on it. I dig in it. I shape it. I use all of the creativity I can muster to make it happen. I take all the help that gets offered. If there is an idea, I'll try it. But what I will not do is sit back on my ass and indulge in happy thoughts believing it will happen by itself.

I believe in work, generosity of the human spirit, and the spark of creativity. I believe in my friends. Every once in awhile some luck is pretty handy too. Law of attraction..... I don't think so.

So, my dear friend, no more beating yourself up.


Thursday, October 28, 2010


This last week we have been having some amazing winds! The gusts are sufficient to knock you down and to suck the air right out of your lungs. Most of the summer the wind has come straight out of the south. The recent winds have been coming out of the west. Today the wind is out of the north.... a reminder that I had better be getting a move on. Winter is coming.

The wind has been bringing to mind the story of Mary Poppins. The wind blew her into the Banks family's untidy lives and blew her back out again. If only that Poppins broad could put up fence, I would hope that she would blow onto the scene today.

Today, with luck, I'll finish the last of the back fence. I'll also, with luck, get the ponies moved onto the fresh grass.

It doesn't sound like a big deal when you write it out like that, but it embraces so much! Grass!!! so I don't have to start buying hay yet! The horses at a safe distance so I can start building some sort of winter structure. Having a decent cover for the hay so I don't lose a quarter of it to mold. A place to park the mower and to put the shovels and rakes away. A little order amidst my chaos. As I sit here, looking at electrical supplies and a stack of lumber in the dining area, I think some order would be wonderful!

Small happenings are catalysts for great change. Maybe, just maybe.... this could even be the beginning of the end of the to-do list. I can only hope.


P.S. Good morning Russia, Malta and the Netherlands!! So happy to see you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I miss my ponies....

I have been trying to streamline my lists and figure out the most important tasks. Those ominous things that absolutely must be done before winter. I have it down to ten items....... maybe eleven... if I'm not careful it could slip on up to twelve. But the point is that if I get these things done I should be set up to spend more time with the ponies over the course of the winter. But that leaves me missing them now.

I feel guilty.

But if I can just get done! I'll have more pasture, a run in shed... I hope, and a round pen where I hope we can play this winter. But the look in Pip's eye when I go by their lot causes me to cringe inside. She wants to play now. She wants some puzzles to solve. Chloe wants food. Pip wants more.

But winter is coming and there won't be much of a reprieve. It's a matter of ignore them now or suffer later. I don't want them to suffer later. But in the meantime.... I really miss my ponies!

I know I sound ridiculous to other people but if they just knew what it was like to think you'll be with your horse for twenty minutes and end up playing for two hours.... and not even realizing that the time had gone. To know what it's like when you leave your horse and instead of going off to graze, she follows you as far as the fence will allow. When your horse gazes at you with more longing then your husband has EVER been able to muster, THAT'S when you know what it's like to be with a horse.

So! I'll get my ten things done.... maybe eleven, and with luck we'll be set up to have a wonderful winter together. I think we've earned that. I really, really miss my ponies.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CRP Payment

Yesterday we received our last CRP payment. It wasn't for a great deal of money. But it is sorely needed and will go mostly towards insurance payments and taxes. A little will get squirreled away for christmas. It would be nice to be able to get another load of gravel. Then there are the hardware supplies!

The hardware supplies are exciting!!!! If I get another hundred foot of drain tile then all of my tiling projects will be done!! I need some hinges but other then that I think I have everything I need here to build a yard shed. Then I can clean out the house!! If I buy a little fresh lumber, I could get the shelves built and put into the kitchen. Maybe a remnant of carpet for the sleeping area of the loft. Then I could get the loft finished!! Maybe finish the windows......CURTAINS!!

It's as if suddenly there is a world of possibilities. I have to hold myself together though. First the bills then we see what's left. Then we have to prioritize.

It gives me a glimpse of what homesteaders must have felt like after they sold their crop and then received the Sears and Roebuck catalog. That emotional boost that you needed before contemplating a long winter.

You can't help thinking of all that you might be able to do!

Grass seed for the pasture so there is a better crop of hay next year! Some decent tarps to protect the hay. Much needed glasses.... a pair of jeans!

As I said the payment isn't that much. We'll have to see how it goes. Maybe I'd better buy a lotto ticket as well.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Unseen Hands

Many years ago, when there was nothing but crap on TV, we sat and watched a show about famous hauntings. Most of it it was odd and unsupportable but there was one that was interesting. A school bus, for some reason, had stalled on the railroad tracks and the students that hadn't got off the bus in time were hit by the train and died. So one of the favorite late night pastimes in the area is to go park your car on the tracks. After a bit the car slowly starts to move. The movement at first is almost imperceptible. But after a short time the car is off the tracks and it stops. It's important when you go do this little experiment, that your car is dirty. If you try this with a dusty, dirty car, after it is rolled off the tracks, you will find many little hand prints in the dust.

Seeing those little hands in the dust was kind of a creepy, goose bumps moment.

This is the way it is for me here, on the little farm. I check my stats and I find that someone has read my blog in Latvia and I am amazed! then another day there will be Vietnam and Australia, Canada. South Korea was a surprise. Austria is new today. (Hello!) Not forgetting Sweden, Germany and Poland. Though one of my favorites is Slovenia. My memory could be wrong but wasn't that the homeland of Boris Badenuff and Natasha? They traveled the world hunting "moose and squirrel" which would be Rocky and Bullwinkle to most of us.... forever trying to find there way back for college .... Whatsamatta U.

I digress.

You all and the thirty-three to forty-eight readers here in the states are my unseen hands, pushing me on when I bog down in a dangerous place. Encouraging me just by being there. Sometimes when I finally find my way clear of an especially difficult task, I could swear I have your dusty little fingerprints all over my back! I'm not so alone as I often feel.

And you guys don't give me goose bumps at all!! Thanks so much for taking this journey with me.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Pancakes, revisited

There are days when there is just no hope for control. With luck you can direct... a little. That kind of describes yesterday. Appointments were rescheduled. Calls were received from the Iowa City Dr. office. New labs were ordered. So off to Des Moines tonight for a new UA and then again next Friday for a new Blood count. Tiring. Tiring and scary.

So what does a warrior woman do?

Well, yesterday I tried to not think. I tried to stay physically busy and to shut down my brain. I cut brush and I burned until my back hurt so bad that I could barely function. I got rid of a fair amount of buck brush and one HUGE rose bush. It went pretty well. I didn't lose much blood.

Today, I'll try something different. Try to make myself be creative. Work on next year's farm calendar .... and make myself some pancakes.

Pancakes!... the elixar of life in solid form! Pancakes!... the breakfast food that doubles as dessert! Pancakes!.... the muscles behind the syrup, or sorghum, or strawberries and whipped cream, or pecans! PANCAKES! that which comforts when you don't know what the hell else will.

Pancakes.. because you have to start somewhere, and you don't know where else to start.


Thursday, October 21, 2010


Recently all of my news has been disappointing. It started with a computer class that was actually suggested by my vocational/ disabilities counselor. I got excited about it. It was a computer class that would take care of all of my loose ends. All the things that I have been having to wait for an opening in someone else's schedule so they could help me. It would have streamlined my existence. But they chose to not pay for a class and I was told to just spend my own money to go to a paid site that has support. What a freakin' novel idea!!! Pay someone! Gee, now I just need to make some money and become solvent again so I can pay someone! I know!!! The fastest way to make money these days is on the internet! I'll create a website and sell my stuff there so I can make enough money to pay someone to create a web site.

If I had money I'd just pay for the class myself which would still be far cheaper then paying out to a hosting site... even a cheap hosting site, for forever!

Yesterday was Mac's trip to Iowa City to the University Hospital. His Graft vs. Host has worsened a little. It is in his mouth and throat so they are ordering a scope of the esophagus. He has been on antibiotics for over a year and a half so there is some hope that the swallowing issue he is dealing with is just induced by some candida which is a fungal growth that occurs when the antibiotics kill off all the healthy flora in the body. Until they actually look, who knows. They went ahead and scheduled the scope but it got scheduled for the day before he puts in a couple of thirteen hour long days doing student conferences. We want to get the appointment changed so he doesn't fall into exhaustion. When dealing with a pack of sixth graders, becoming overly tired is a threat at the best of times.

Then we got home and there was a business card on the step. A business card from the banker. The banker from the bank that holds the mortgage to the old house. The old house that won't sell. The old house that we can't afford to make payments on anymore.

This morning the full moon was lighting my way, so I went out early to feed the ponies. Chloe came running down to meet me in the usual fashion. Pip came from a different way. She had gotten out. Gotten out through this piece of shit fence that other people say is good enough. If I hear one more person say that "a couple of strands of hot wire will keep a bull in so I shouldn't have any trouble", I will scream!! Apparently the bulls around here are far more fragile then a haflinger.

Today, I am too tired to even think about throwing a punch. But that's what I need to do. Get up and fight the hordes back. I don't need any more hoops to jump. Too tired for hoops. I hope that no one speaks to me today. I could use some good news but I don't feel that is possible, so I will be happy with silence. Dwell here for awhile and try to regain my strength. Find my warrior women.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Add Ons

Every once in awhile you see a picture on the internet or a magazine or you look out of the window of your car as your speeding along and you catch a glimpse of something. It's more about the feeling you get then the it is the scene, but you know that you have to recreate it. Then you know that the feeling... that look, has to be recreated at home.

There have been several such glimpses lately. Things that look like they would just melt right into the landscape here. Fences and arbors and hedge rows that crawl over the hills, undulating and green.

My brains go onto hyperdrive and start dissecting the best way to accomplish another project. The best location... the best view... could you put a toilet in it? Now don't tell me you haven't wondered that! We've all been to places where the "facilities" were a row of fly covered Kybos along a back fence. No, not here. Here, every purpose will add to the aesthetic. Everything here has to be beautiful. Every add on has to add to the vision.

I wish I could share it with you... the sun peeking over the hills, the trees outlined in the glow as black silhouettes. Descending down the road into a vale of trees. Rabbits on the road and deer jumping out of the ditches and bounding across the meadow. Then there is a break in the darkness of the trees and you look up. In the bright clearing is such a small cottage. It just draws you in. Every thing around it is rustic and timeless. The horses nicker and the red tailed hawks glide across the ever lightening skies. Sometimes you hear their screeching call.

So for a place like this only the best add ons will do... no steel sheds here. Only magic things belong in this magic place. And so, Happy Campers, that is the thought that will have to tied you over tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be up early and head out for Iowa City to see the secondary group of oncologists. With luck, Mac's scheduled visits will get moved out to eight weeks.

Fingers crossed.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday is for Rancor

Well, here it is ..... Monday... again. I am trying to scrape together a happy thought, or some notion about humanity. Even when trying to force a viewpoint of some jolly event (christmas) all I can see is the down side. At least for today that is all I can see. Obviously, Monday is for rancor.

There is great hope for Tuesday! Wednesday is yet another Dr. visit in Iowa City so that will be fear and loathing and nausea. Thursday will be the recovering from the emotional wringer of Wednesday. Friday, Mac likes for me to take him to work and pick him up in case we want to do something together. This cuts my day short. We can never think of anything "fun" to do anyway, which sets us up for a weekend where I want to get a bizillion things done cause I have that second set of hands that is suppose to be so helpful. For Mac, the weekend is about relaxing. He sits with the computer on, plays dvd's of the cartoons for grown ups, like Hellboy and Ultimate Avengers, and does crossword puzzles.... and I go nuts. By the time the weekend is over, I feel like I should be sitting in a corner humming and rocking myself in some sort of catatonic state.

Which brings us right back to .... Monday is for rancor.

It isn't good to sit still for too long. That's when all the fears come rushing at you. The adrenaline takes over. I want to fight and when I'm being forced to "relax" I feel like I have been bound with ropes and trussed up against a wall. Sitting isn't relaxing. Sitting is what you do in a hospital room. Sitting is what you do when waiting in a hallway for a test. Sitting is what you do when the circumstances of life have nailed your feet down to the floor in that one, f**king horrible place and you can't get up and run away. I*DON'T*WANT*TO*SIT*STILL*ANYMORE!!!

You have to get outside and pull the shrouds away and let the air touch your skin. You have to cut out bramble and get scratched up and bleed a little so you know you're alive. You have to.... or there's no great hope for Tuesday.


Friday, October 15, 2010


I admit that I have stress, and I have been worrying a lot about winter's approach. Since Mac has had the recurrence of the leukemia, I stress about his stress. I stress about the desire to be successful, not just so I can stay on the little farm, but so Mac can take early retirement. I think if he continues to teach that they will stress him into sickness and the leukemia will come back. There isn't much for treatment options if it comes back again.

I think Mac will always find a way to teach. It's what he was born to do. It's his calling. I think it is a shame that the current educational crisis is pushing programs not real education. But I don't know what to do to take away his stress. When I get in a real funk, I turn to the woods. I take my axe and a shovel and a rake and I start clearing out the buck brush. As I clear, I burn and there is something purifying to the spirit in a fire. By the time I have a good clearing made, my spirits are lighter. My mind is working more freely. Often times, I hurt everywhere. But there is a feeling of power from hurting and continuing, also.

I don't know how to give that to him. If I could take all the stress of the world away, I wonder what heights we could reach? How strong could we become? How much could we change the world?

All we have to do is to get rid of some stress.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Old Dogs

I am blessed with an old dog by the name of Fiona. This year she officially became an old dog. When it's time to take off and do something on the little farm, she's very game about going out. Then we walk around and I gather my tools together. Sometimes I also take the red wagon and by the time I'm ready to set out she says, "Okay! I pooped! Can I go back in now?"

This seems to be harder for me then for her. Not that long ago, it seems, she would have been game for the day. She would have chased the deer and the rabbits. She would have laid in the creek in order to drink, because that is her preferred method. She would have just ranged around me for the day. Circling and circling... an obvious herding ability that was never fulfilled.

Fiona has always had this great move. We always called it the "Did Grampa fall into the culvert again, Lassie" move. She starts out, tense and on the alert, head up. She looks at what's drawing her attention, then hops and runs a few feet. Then she stares back at me. She repeats the move until someone comes with her. Her move is used to fill the food or water dish... to be let outdoors... to take me to a stick and once, she showed me a box turtle that she found. Cool move. But now she just looks at me then looks toward the woods, then she turns to the door of the house as if to say, "The old man's done for this time".

For years now, this blue heeler/ border collie cross has been my shadow. She has been the most obedient, the most protective dog I have ever had. My compatriot, my partner in crime.

Yesterday, as I was headed back to a wooded corner of the property to check out a fence line, I called out to her. "Are you coming with?" A sentence that she knows. She ran ten feet and stopped. She stared at me in that intent Border Collie way that she has. Then she looked over her shoulder at the house. I answered, "Alright then, but I won't be back up for awhile." She took off for the house. I knew she would find her spot , laying in the shade of the hosta garden.

It's hard to see her aging away, but she is still a good dog. A good, old dog because she was such a good dog when she was young. My heroic dog.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Yesterday I had a couple of small miracles. One, I FINALLY got the arbor done!! WaaHoo!! Today, if I can find my outdoor grade wiring, I can install the lights. The lights were something I promised Mac I would have done before winter, so the arbor has been weighing heavy on my mind.

My second little miracle was that I went off past the tree line and mowed where I planted sugar maples last spring. I might have lost a couple but all in all, they are looking well. The elderberries and the hazelnuts also continue to thrive. I'm encouraged.

My next item may not be a miracle yet..... more of a miracle in training. A friend of mine was posting some items from youtube of a rather amazing horseback archer from Hungary. She found his web site and sent pictures. He has this amazing fence. It looks like it sits on the ground instead of being dependent on a lot of hole digging. Then I hauled out my copies of the Lord of the Rings last night and studied up on the building of Rohan. It has allowed me to see what is possible and I'm not drowning so much in the knowledge of what has to be accomplished.

I've heard that when a person lies dying their regrets aren't about what they did but rather what they didn't do. I hope I at least try to do whatever I can imagine. I hope I don't have regrets as I lay dying. I hope I can tell the people I love, "Here is this foundation I built for you. What are you going to put on it?!" I hope I can go out dreaming more dreams, fueling more hope.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Money is a total and complete pain in the ass. I don't mind not having much. I actually prefer not having much. But I want my income to cover what I do have and have enough extra that I can buy my grandkids a pair of shoes if they need them. I want to have a new bra on occasion. I hate having bras with safety pens holding them together!! We've only ever taken one real vacation, so I'd rather not have much and be able to afford to take a vacation.

Sometimes, well, actually often lately, the fear of the money situation has left me depressed and full of rage. It sucks all of the joy out of living. So definitely better to not have much and still have joy.

I stepped out side the door this morning to let Fiona, the dog out, and saw a shooting star. It was too fast and I didn't get my wish out. Thought that I should wish for money. That has never worked in the past. Not too much money though.... enough. Enough to not have bills. Enough to not need a credit card. Enough to not have a mortgage. Just enough.. that's all.

We had watched a show on space travel and astronauts recently. One of the NASA guys told how astronaut waste was put in a small pack and jettisoned into space. As it tore through the atmosphere, the package would incinerate and look like a falling star. So this morning, while looking into the sky, I wasted precious time wondering, "Is it really a falling star or just a bag of astronaut poo?"

That would certainly explain the financial situation.... me wishing away on astronaut poo! Yup! definitely a pain in the ass.


P.S. And this morning I finally get to say....GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I am having another bout of disappointment. It's raining. A last minute change to the weather forecast. I had hoped to get at least some painting done. Actually, I had hoped to get all of the painting done but I tend to over reach what I can do these days. Working in the heat has recreated some breathing difficulties.... dammit, dammit, dammit!!

I'm just going through one of those spells where nothing that is suppose to happen is happening. I'm needing some good news and fast. I need something to cheer me up and keep me going. I need money!! I've seen it from a distance! I know it's out there some where, but I really need some close quarters contact with the stuff for awhile. Access to the stuff through winter would be an absolutely amazing change in my life!! Imagine turning on the furnace without first having a tremor of fear!

I'm 52. I've spent my life trying to be decent and be nice and to do for other people and it's really pissing me off that I can't make anything happen for myself..... dammit, dammit, dammit!


Friday, October 8, 2010

Politics and Religion

With doing so much manual labor lately, it is easy to just go onto autopilot and let my mind wander off. So yesterday when edging a bit of sod,my mind took a poke at politics and religion. I was mostly trying to figure out why there is an "and" there. It has been proven time and again that they make poor bedfellows. As poor as politics and corporations. Yet we persist. Despite a supposed separation, as the midterm elections approach we are made aware which candidates God is backing.

It made me remember back when Pat Robertson , the tel-evangelist, ran for president. I remember his statement, "God told me that I would be the next president of the United States!" Well, I also remember Pat Robertson saying the only sexual position christians should use is "missionary", so all in all I'm glad that ol' Pat has a hearing problem when it comes to God.

I also imagined what it would be like if the christian faction of our nation was told to "get ye up and go forth to the land of Canaan". I don't know where that is anymore so I suppose we would just go to Canada. Can you imagine the conversation though!?

"Herb! Pack up the kids and the Mrs. and go ye up to the land of Canaan/Canada!"

"But God! We just re-fied the McMansion. I got 4.39 % interest! I'm on the gravy train !"

"Herb, take only what you can carry on your back. Take no provision. You will be provided for."

"But God, have you checked out the 401k? It's stabilizing and I could be into some profit this year! And what about the pool?!"

"Herb, take a coat."

"But God......."

At this point Mrs. Herb sticks her head out... "Honey? Did I hear you talking to someone?"

"No, Sweety, it was just the radio."

I don't know... maybe I should keep my mind a little more restrained today. However, I'm REALLY glad that Pat Robertson didn't become president!



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Too Hard

Okay, I think I hit it too hard yesterday. I was going good and then felt myself wearing out. My reasoning was to work harder to get done before I wore out. I made myself get funky. I got too hot, forgot my water, trouble breathing, cramping and when I did make myself stop and drink, the water made me nauseous.

Oh well, that is nothing compared to digging out the house trench a couple of years ago. I managed to cut my hands up a bit, sometimes bled. Sandy soil pushed around the nails and under them, slowly separating the nail from the finger. I used duct tape on my fingers to help hold the nail down and to protect. Swollen, painful hands. Painful, back spasms. Sucking mud that came up to my knee and if you tried to walk or turn, it pulled so hard on your leg that it made the knee and hip joints pop. Got so cold and wet that some days I had to haul myself up and find a protected place and build a fire.

But we made it... we got it done. I'll get this done too.

I have to get it done.... the next project is waiting.

It isn't enough to have a house. I have to have it all. It isn't enough to have just a little piece of the dream and I will work until I fold up and die to get it. Hell! I've had employers that came damn close to killing me. What was that about? Them making more money! But this one...... this one's for me.

With that in mind, I'd have to say there is no such thing as "too hard".


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Today is......

Today is a big push day. When I get done here I need to get brave and go out and climb down into a hole and dig out the mud. The mud is so slimy with having gotten rained on so much that it is impossible to use shovels, post hole diggers.. anything! Once it gets attached to whatever tool you are using, it just sticks! It is much faster to just pull on a pair of mud gloves and dig it out by hand. Although it feels like some sort of torture or punishment, it is faster and I REALLY want to get done with this.

Once this last footing trench is dug out, I'll be filling it with gravel that has a lot of fines in it. Then it will be left over winter to settle down hard. Next spring it will be ready for building the hobbit house...FINALLY!! There have been ample opportunities to give up on this project. I don't know why I haven't.

I have to gear up mentally to get down there. I'm a little bit claustrophobic and you get in the trench and you just have straight walls of dirt around you. It's cold and damp and just plain depressing. The footing trenches caved in on the garage footings and the house footings as well. I dug both out by hand a second time. The house caved in again. Next time I had some help, supplied by my kids, to get it dug out. Again it had to be done by hand. When we got those footings poured for the house the heavens opened and the angels sang. The next day it rained.

With Mac's leukemia recurring last year, I was just never able to stay ahead of keeping the garage footings open. I had to give up on them. A neighbor came over with his tractor and pushed the dirt back in. It was the end of a long , hard fought battle.... that I lost. I don't want to lose the hobbit house too.

It has been dry a week and who knows when that will happen again. It might be my last chance to have this come out in my favor. So I will gather together my sick sense of humor and my warrior woman nerve and I will climb down into a footing trench one more time. It's always easier if you have someone with you. Even if they aren't working. Someone to just be around. But I don't have that so I'd better just get over it and get this done! I'll take pictures!

My last big push..... we're almost there.


Another PS. today GOOD MORNING, BRAZIL!! GOOD MORNING, INDIA!! GOOD MORNING, IRAQ!! I'm assuming the last one is a person in the armed services. Hope the adventures of a crazy lady in Iowa gives you a taste of home.... not that I think your family is crazy... or that you live in Iowa.... Well, anyway, HI!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chick Flicks

It's a shame that men don't understand the power of a chick flick. If they did, they would have their own copies. My husband and I watched "The Mirror Has Two Faces" last night. He laughed in the appropriate places. He got George Segal's great line..."I gave a copy of 'Farewell to Arms' to my girlfriend. She thought it was a diet book." But he didn't "get" the movie. He somehow came away thinking it was about teaching, and it was just that one person was a better teacher then the other.

I'm not sure if that is an indication of emotional damage or mental.

Anyway, I'd like to take a moment to explain chick flicks to guys....... The chick flick is a romantic contrivance to illicit an emotional response. Kind of like slap stick for the three Stooges, situational comedy is for Lucy, the seven words for George Carlin. It's the set up! But why a guy should like it is that it softens the frosty demeanor. It creates a mood. It's foreplay in a box!!

So just keep it in mind that "The Mirror has Two Faces " is NOT about teaching! "You've Got Mail" is NOT about the bookstore business. "When Harry Met Sally" is NOT about moving to New York and establishing a career. "The Matchmaker" is NOT an Irish travel journal. Yes, there will be a test of sorts'll probably fail.

But at least I tried.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Planting the little farm

I think we have no choice but to accept that it is fall. If I weren't so busy panicking about the approach of winter, I could probably enjoy it a little. One of the nice parts of fall is that I stop and assess just where I'm at and where I'm going. This kicks off one of my first to-do lists for next year, which will be the new plants that will need to be ordered. Last year I ordered two hundred trees and shrubs. The trees which were sugar maples, had some casualties. The shrubs which were hazelnuts and elderberries did very well. Next year I would like to kick it up a notch and go ahead and place a five hundred tree order. Another hundred hazelnuts, one hundred sugar maples and three hundred spruces. NO PINES!! The deer think you laid out a lovely well spaced luncheon for them if you plant pines. The spruces they have left alone so far.

The five hundred trees will be small ones from the Dept. of Natural Resources. I try to buy bigger trees when I can afford them. Right now I was fortunate to find a paper bark maple at Pamida. Only four feet tall but then I only spent twenty dollars. In fall there are some great plant bargains out there. It really just pisses me off that I'm broke.... still!! I have a plan though! The local Hy-Vee store, which is an Iowa based grocery store has their mums on sale for a dollar per pot. The plants are okay, but the blooms are spent so no one is buying them. I want a bunch of them. So noticed yesterday that they were out of hedge balls. I will call the manager today and ask if they want more hedge balls and see if I can manage a trade.

I could use about thirty mums out in the hobbit garden. Up at the top of the terraces, like a little mum type hedge. The second level of the terraces have been started with old fashioned hollyhocks and balloon flowers. I am still hoping to get the little hobbit house built next spring. I have not given up. I even have hopes of getting the hobbit yard sodded yet this fall. Vague, distant hope maybe, but hope none the less.

My other method of planting the farm is with nuts. I have been gathering shag bark hickories and I have about three varieties of oak, or I should say acorns. I am ridiculed for this method of planting. I've been told, somewhat unkindly, that I am of advancing years and when I plant nuts I have no guarantee that I will survive to see a mature tree. Well, I'm not just investing in my own pleasure and I'm not just investing in the little farm. I do things because they are the right things to do. And, anyone who doesn't do what is right because they think they won't see the results.... well, they're just sissy wuss bags.

Must go, my acorns are waiting.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Marital Advice

Whenever you hear of some soul starting out in a new marriage, the first thing most people want to do is ... give advice. On the whole this advice is not wanted. I got lots and lots of advice when Mac and I got married... probably because we didn't hardly know each other. so we did the pre-marital counseling thing. We took home tools to work with and that was important. There was some advice from that quarter. We were told there were three causes for divorce. Money, Family and Sex. Money.. make a budget and COMMUNICATE. We don't but there ya' go Family... let it go in one ear and out the other and if you have to, tell them to take a hike! Sex... marriage is the cake and sex is the frosting and don't get your confectionary components confused.

Probably the biggest advice we got was to "love on credit". There will be days when you are so mad or so tempted and you just have to believe, you have to know that tomorrow it'll be okay and you'll be in love again. Just believe in tomorrow. Of course, this really only works if you're in love in the first place, so there you go.... again.

That's all professional advice. My homespun advice has more to do with the frosting stuff. You see, I had been told that I couldn't get pregnant. Yes! it was a Dr. and everything. But they were wrong or there was a miracle or something, but any way, don't think you can't get pregnant just because somebody told you so. Let's see that was my first child and then I had my second cause I was told you can't get pregnant when breast feeding. This is wrong. I have proof! Let's see the third child was a result of a bad economy. Do not put a great deal of faith in generic, over the counter contraceptives that you get at K-Mart. So what all of this boils down to is this, if you don't want to have any more kids, my one word of advice is this......SURGERY!! It's a good thing!

Oh and Mac's mom's advice... "Don't marry her!" I was siting next to him when they were speaking on the phone. Just remember... in one ear and out the other.


A couple of PS's... first off, GOOD MORNING, ISRAEL!!! And secondly, Petra, I wish you were here cause my oldest daughter and I have been trying to work with Google site to create the farm web page, and I'm telling you, those people are on crack or something!!! Google site is the suckiest suck that ever sucked!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I have a young friend who is getting married this week. She recently posted, "Next week at this time I'll be Stacy Van Horn!!" Well, she is so happy that you have to be happy with her. But it got my mind to thinking. First thing I thought was... I wonder if they will have their first "married" fight while still on their honeymoon? Second thought was... I wonder if she'll be ready to hit him with a stick in a week or two? Third thought was... I wonder if she will get up in the middle of the night, go into the other room of a crummy two room basement apartment and sob until the new groom comes and retrieves her? (Okay!! I only did that for three nights!)

Finally I got around to thinking about names. Thinking about how a woman doesn't own her own name. Thinking about how sad that seems. Thought about my own names... my birth name, then my adoptive name and then my married name. How they don't feel so much like names as tags for me to be filed under. Makes me wonder what I would choose for a name, if I could choose my own.

Maybe it should be done like some American Indian tribes and your birth name just got you by until you hit puberty. Then I could be "Runs with Otter" or "Biting Otter" or something else with an otter. I like otters. Oh well, who am I kidding.... my Indian name would probably be "Runs with Scissors" I'll just count my blessings that my name isn't Slartybartfast or Hommakabula.

I'll just make up for not having my own name by getting something else! And when I decide what that should be...Well! It'll be good, that's what it'll be!!!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Unlike a lot of people these days..... I have a sense of humor. I have been told that it isn't a normal sense of humor. Actually, I have been called, sick, weird, convoluted, bizarre and ....Cornish. It's probably all true. My humor was forged amongst the neighborhood boys while on their way to boy scout meetings. This, of course, included fart humor. I remember one particular summer the fart joke of choice was the "one it". It was necessary to start off with someone "ripping one". ( Usually my brother) Then the entourage would chime in. First boy, "one it"... second boy "two it"... third boy "three it" and so on down the line to the eighth boy "eight it". When the group response was, " Oh man! you ate it! You're sick man!"

As the summer progressed it became ever more important to be the first to chime in "one it" because you didn't want to be the eighth man. So the joke morphed and when a person yelled out "one it" the response became. "you can have it!" From this very humble beginning I learned a lot of word play... and to stay away from my brother when he's farting.

I learned that when someone asks you, "What's your problem?!" The perfect response is, "Your face!!"

Being raised around a pack of boys I have to be careful to not fall into "Your momma" humor. It just doesn't work when a woman casts those kinds of accusations about weight, sexual prowess or lack thereof, at another woman. Even if you don't know her. Though I have to say I am very fond of "Your momma is so fat, that she sat on a quarter and a booger popped out of George Washington's nose!" That one has to be used with caution.... I'm getting to the age where I could be accused of being the booger popper.

Humor is my refuge. I've been known to tell jokes at funerals "Don't you think it's in poor taste to serve cold cuts after a funeral!" I tell jokes at birthdays. "It's not the years. It's the miles.... you've been speeding again haven't you?" And, in general, I live a life of socially unacceptable humor. But there are days when I listen to other people, so-called important people and I think, "Man! Somebody really needs to rip one off right now".


Another P.S. today..... checked my stats again and I just want to say....GOOD MORNING, CHINA!....GOOD MORNING, LATVIA!....GOOD MORNING GERMANY!....GOOD MORNING UNKNOWN PERSON AT THE AC REPAIR PLACE IN PHOENIX, WHOSE READING THIS INSTEAD OF WORKING! I'm really very fond of you all.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I miss Pat and Linda

The Parelli method of natural horsemanship is growing. As it goes world wide, Pat and Linda are doing more and more venues over seas...... and fewer in the states. It's understandable. But I do miss my pilgrimage to see them. It has been three years since my circumstances and their geographical location lined up sufficiently for me to go see one of their tour stops. It was at the Royal down in Kansas City.

The Royal is located down where any cowboy place would have been historically located, in the bottoms. It's squeezed in close to the river and the railroad tracks, surrounded by the industrial area. The slaughter houses were probably close by at one time. Not exactly a prime real estate location.

Now the trick with the Royal is catching the right turn off. If you miss it then there is no where to go but over the river. Over the river is the neighborhood that we ALWAYS seem to get lost in. The neighborhood that my nephew told me to never stop at a stop sign in. Moving targets are harder to hit! The neighborhood that we only saw six white people in... us, the three lost cowboys and the hooker. The hooker was the only person that seemed particularly chirpy about being there.

What struck me the most was that the neighborhood felt shrouded. It felt grey. Grey houses with grey boards nailed over window voids. Grey streets with broken glass in the gutters. Grey mood. Folks just looked solemn. Then we made a turn onto a wider street thinking we had finally found a through street, a way out. Well, it wasn't a way out. But we saw a group of kids laughing... on HORSEBACK!! There WAS some happiness in this dismal place! There they were, skinny kids on skinny horses, urging them across multiple lanes of traffic. Cars stopped to let the dull coated chestnuts walk across. As the cars started moving again the kids laughter disappeared down over a hill.

Even in this frightening place, horses and humanity meshed and made lives brighter. It's funny how, despite our circumstances, some of us just need horses to be a part of our lives... to be complete and happy. I think about those kids often. I wonder if they are alright. Worry about whether or not those skinny kids have enough food and whether the skinny horses have enough hay. Is there anyone there to help them with worming and grooming and picking out hooves? I'll never know.... but I'll always wonder.

And in the meantime.... I miss Pat and Linda. Miss their expertise in a horsemanship philosophy that is also a studies in the humanities I have a lot of dvds for home study, but miss them none the less. Don't miss the Royal.


Monday, September 27, 2010


You know how it is when you're trying to lose weight? You start off with great convictions. The weight comes off until you hit a plateau. Then you just feel stuck! Do you just give up and get fat! Lower your expectations?! What! Where do you go from here? What do you try?

Now before you suggest a colon cleanse, I want you to realize that I am using this as a metaphor on where I am at with the little farm. And where I am at is....STUCK!! I can't seem to get anything done! I go through these spells at regular intervals. Each more frustrating then the last. I beat myself up with to-do lists, the calendar and weather reports and yet I have just remained stuck. Self flagellation has not been a positive method of motivation.

I was going to try a new direction and only work on tasks that have a serious "cringe" factor. Then I realized that the jobs that were left were the jobs that made me cringe to think about doing them. Bugger! So no cajoling my way through the icky stuff and rewarding myself with the happy tasks. We're pretty much down to just "icky".

I guess the best I can hope for is to try and get one thing done per day and call that good. So for today? Well, we have had a week of cold, miserable rain. So, I will start by pumping water out of the outdoor fireplace footing and then finish digging it out and start filling it up with rock and getting it tamped in good. It will take all day to get the rock hauled a bucket at a time. The outdoor kitchen is something that I have looked forward to more then the house building, so I am probably just tripping over all the emotion that I have invested. Tripping over all of those visions of sitting out by the fire on a chilly night with friends and a bottle of wine. The fire snapping and jumping and turning cheeks rosy...... then I look out the window at a cold, wet mud hole.

Oh well, (sigh) I'll get off this plateau. Getting the fireplace footing done will be like losing five pounds! Finishing the arbor top, that'll be another five pounds! Setting the posts for the roof over the outdoor kitchen... another five pounds! Getting the footing done under the hobbit house? That puppy will be worth about fifty freakin' pounds!!!

By the time this place is done, I'm going to be one of those skinny mean broads.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Life Lesson #4

Life lesson number 4 is.... you can't make someone love you, so don't even go there! Inevitably, there will come a time when you lose your heart to someone who doesn't even know that you breath. It happens. It happens to everybody. Keep walking.

I know, I sound harsh. For whatever reason, people just seem to be hardwired to desire certain traits. If you try to become what that other person wants, you will lose yourself. Then you try even harder and you become a doormat. Then you become despised. I've never seen it work any other way. Sometimes it takes weeks. Sometimes it takes years, a marriage, a car payment and two children before it becomes painfully obvious. But that's the way it plays out.

So, what do you do? You go and be the best you that you can be!!! Develop your talents and strengths. BE HAPPY!! Enjoy the life you were given and keep your eyes peeled because you will attract the person that was hardwired for what you have to offer.

When I was young and met the person who didn't realize I had a beating heart, I was smart. I kept my mouth shut. I paid attention. I realized that he was attracted to girls that were wee slips of femininity. That was a strong clue that it was a bad direction to go. Me! Destined to be a Warrior Woman! I'm tellin' ya'. I've got some guns on me! I've been told that body builders would be jealous of the weight I can press with my inside thigh! I CAN'T do a wee slip of femininity! Shortly, after my realization, I met Mac. Who needed a strong woman. Who wouldn't have known what to do with a girly-girl.

This rule also extends to friendship. You just can't make someone love or even like you. Few will heed this particular life lesson, but it is true none the less. I know, it sucks.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

seeking advice

As I have been blogging away all summer, yesterday I read some articles to see if I was doing it correctly. I don't think I am, but what the hell! I suppose I just over think this stuff. For instance, I was reading an article called "forty tips to better blogging content". It only went to nine. Nine tips!! Yes! I had clicked the link for reading the entire article! yes! the little spinn-y thing had stopped spinning so it all should have been loaded! Nine Tips!! What! They didn't think we wouldn't notice that thirty-one were missing?! Oh well... free advice , you get what you pay for.

Oh! more free advice was that I should shoot photographs like a professional. That's it, right there!! That's the advice! Alrighty then... HOW do I shoot photographs like a professional!? Now I had taken a photography class in high school. You took photos on either a 35 mm or a press camera. You learned how to load your film in a dark room. How to develop the film, print it, film speeds, light conditions, backlighting... all that kind of stuff. So why am I having so much trouble with digital photography? I'll tell you why! It's suppose to be easy, that and the cameras on the whole are crap!! They are slow and they are crap! I have trouble with easy.. Give me detail... mind-numbing, irritating, drive you up the wall detail and I'm your girl! Easy isn't easy... IT'S HARD!! You know why it's hard?, because everybody thinks it's so easy that there aren't any instructions.... not even the instructions that are just in foreign languages that you have to figure out just by looking at the pictures. Stupid free advice.

But wait... there's more.

Don't appeal to everybody... just appeal to your market. Okay, this is the part where you guys have to participate. Everybody stand up! Alrighty! Those of you who have a spouse who has survived cancer... who feel you might have gone 'round the bend a bit.... who are trying to create a farm/small business... whose sanity is hinged to the back of a haflinger (any horse will do)... well, you guys can stay. The rest of you will just have to leave. Apparently, you're suppose to run your blog through It's easy, they say.

I don't DO easy!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feeding time

I try to maintain a fairly tight schedule when it comes to feeding time. Amounts are dictated by weather and season. More heat producing foods in the winter. Extra hay put out when I see a storm blowing in. But that's just the chore of feeding time. It's not the watching the coming or the closing of the day. Stopping to watch the geese going from pasture to pond. It's not the low call of the horses. The call they give only to someone they really like.... or their food. the low, who, who , who, who.

This morning was far darker then it has been of late. It had rained a great deal yesterday and the heat has moved back in as well. The effect was as if by stepping outside I had been covered by a warm, damp blanket. The sky was offering me nothing this morning. No glow of the sun from the east. No stars sparkling. Dark enough I had to mind my step. Proceeding with caution as the wires of the electric fence were not visible. Just aimed for Pip's nose with the feed.

Then dipped out Chloe's ration and headed around to her lot. As I watched the ground, I noticed there were bits of glowing light. Mostly white, some with the tiniest hint of green, little stars tucked in among the grass. I have never seen foxfire before so cannot say that is what it was, but definitely some glowing fungi. It's luminescence peppered the ground around me. It left a person feeling as if fairies had been abroad during the night, forgetting their tiny lanterns after their nocturnal festivities. It wouldn't surprise me. It is part of the magic of my little farm, part of the peacefulness of feeding time. The darkness, the rumble of the ponies, the contented munching. Moments like this when all of your problems fall from your shoulders like drifting snow flakes.

There are a lot of people who just don't 'get' my battle to have this place, this life. Must be because they don't have feeding time.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yesterday was hope...

... and oddly enough so is today. Yesterday I had an idea and tried something new for a home based business. I have so many ideas! but one worked it's way out of the jumble and that is how I spent yesterday. Working on one idea that might make me some money. I know we aren't suppose to love money but I must confess there are days when I certainly love the language it speaks. Anyway, I worked on my artsy craftsy project and the day flew by. Things clicked. The best part was my brains stopped running a hundred miles an hour! I could just be in the moment. That timeless feeling usually only happens with the horses so it was a respite I was needing. It was good omen #1

Then it was time to go and pick Mac up from school. While I was waiting for him, I took my paper out of my purse, and I wrote half of my first fairy tale book. It was good omen #2.

Back about four and a half years ago, when Mac first was diagnosed with leukemia, a couple of things happened. One was that I KNEW that he wasn't going to die of leukemia. At least, not this go round. I had a certainty about it. The other thing that happened was a part of me turned to steel. I couldn't wear down. I had to be the one that made it happen. My effort was going to be what made it an absolute thing that Mac would survive. I worked hard at it. I worked hard when the leukemia recurred. I worked hard during the stem cell transplant and the Graft vs. Host (rejection) and also during the venal occlusion of the liver.

Now I try to turn my steel to making the little farm "happen". Despite all of the uncertainty of life, I KNOW I am suppose to be here. I KNOW that something is going to happen that will take care of us. I KNOW that in some way I will have the little farm paid off in a one to five year span. I just don't know how I know it. I don't know how it will happen. So I try lots of things and I wait to feel a click... to know that something dropped into place. The horses have been written upon my heart since I was two. They are a part of this. They need to be here. The house is very close to what we imagined building together before Mac and I were ever even married. It's a part of correcting our course. That's what living your dream is about.... it's about doing what you're suppose to be doing instead of trying to excel at normalcy .... excelling at mediocrity.

So, now I hope that I found a way to make it happen. I'm hoping it isn't just another blind alley. I'm hoping for another good omen.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Hope Floats

I like that thought. Whatever your circumstances, it seems that hope wants to wriggle out from underneath all of the crap and rise to the surface. It is my life raft.

The personal time that I had been spending with "hope" has been minimal lately. Then two things happened.... I cleaned house and I read some articles out of Martha Go ahead and scoff!! Oh nay sayer!! but she had a video of a gal from Minnesota showing her how to do a craft project. The gal was running a business out of her garage and out letting on the internet. The best part was that she was SUCCESSFUL!! So, hmmmm, successful and featured by Martha and she hadn't even been operating a year!!!

I have hope again.

I can do this. I can still get my ducks in a row. I can do enough odds and ends money makers to get my little book written and printed. Then I just have to sell that 14,583 copies and my life can change immeasurably. It's a plan. It's where my hope lies. Keep your eyes peeled. Changes are coming. I hope this is the year that the renaissance woman can really blossom.


things to watch for... If we maintain schedule we should have the farm web page running in the next couple of weeks. Also watch for an article written for Rado at Traditional Ovens. We are just waiting for the photos to go with the article. Soon "hope" will become "excitement"!

Friday, September 17, 2010


It seems that every time you hear about some amazing invention, you also hear about an accident that happened that turned out to be a great catalyst. I remember watching an old black and white movie with Edward G. Robinson. In the movie his character worked for years to develop a vaccination. (sorry I forget the disease.) His lab was an extension of his home and his wife had strict instructions to not start a fire in the stove in the lab. He felt he needed a constant cool temperature. So after years of frustration, one night working late in his lab, he fell asleep at his desk. His wife comes in. Feeling sorry for him, she starts a fire. He sleeps the night away. In the morning when he wakes he begins to unhinge on his wife. He picks up a petrie dish to say that she had ruined everything! Then he looked again. The heat was the catalyst he needed. Because of his lab accident lives were saved.

I work hard toward my goals. Sometimes I fall apart and can't seem to make things happen. Sometimes I lose my way in a morass of Drs. and personal responsibilities. I feel like that is happening to me now. Then I remind myself to try to keep at it. I'm only an accident away from finding my answers. A little change... a little application of heat and I'll be on my way. Just keep at it. The reward is waiting. That's what you have to keep telling yourself.


P.S. Checked my stats again, which leads me to say.... GOOD MORNING LUXEMBOURG!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I don't know..... I've been thinking too hard again. I'm going to make myself crazy doing that. It has become an issue for me to find a way to relax. If I could just think about what I had to do and keep it objective. Instead I make it into a source of pressure. I'm sure there are people around making big money teaching that skill... but I don't think they live around here.

It's a good thing I have Pip. She may not be a life saver, but she certainly does something for my sanity.

When I go out to the pasture to play, I start by setting up my "props". I have a couple of barrels, a stump, sometimes I take a five gallon bucket with me. And while I am arranging my stuff, Pip is right with me. Sometimes her nose rests on my shoulder or arm. Then we go to our starting place. We begin with what Pat calls the "friendly" game. This consists of lots of rubbing and tossing a rope over her back and pulling it off like a long stroke of a massage. By the third rope toss, my mind has taken up residence in a different place. It is about calm, and consistency.

Yesterday, it was exactly what I needed. It was a respite for my mind.

Pip has been an interesting puzzle. She is now four years old. When I got her, I was told that as a foal she was halter broke and trained to lead. That was the entirety of her skill set. We have played at liberty mostly and there are some things that she seems quite game about. I commented to a friend just yesterday that the two things I was told she could do, are the two things I'm having trouble with. I can get the halter on now, so that's improving... but she still casts a vote to the contrary. That's okay. She has a vote. I have a veto, and the two of us have no deadlines. We're both there for the long haul. Which is a good thing, since she seems to be the official holder of my sanity at this time.

People ask me what I want to do with horses. I have no desire to rope, barrel race, do dressage, eventing .... but I think someday, I'll get on Pip's back, and we'll head west. We'll see how far we go before we decide to stop.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Justice, kind of

We have been watching a series of shows on PBS recently about Jews in America. To be honest, it wouldn't have been my choice for television viewing, but television has been markedly thin in quality broadcasting. I did learn some new things though. One was that the KKK hadn't been around as long as I thought and that they started out as the "Knights of Mary Phagin". Also learned that "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" was written by a jewish guy, which surprised me. I had always heard that it was written by Gene Autry. Also found out that Henry Ford was an extreme anti-Semite, to the point that he went to Germany and received a citation and medal from Adolf Hitler himself. Then I learned something that kind of blew my socks off. There was a survey after the war and it asked if people felt that in any way did the jews do something to partly deserve what happened during the war. My memory is sketchy on this bit, but seems that the survey response was that 48% of the people responding felt there was partial justification. Wait there's more!! Then the survey asked if the jews had done anything to totally deserve what happened in the war and the affirmative response was 11%!!

I was shocked. How can anybody deserve genocide?... partially or totally deserve genocide?!! This got my mind to reeling about just what "deserves" means. There are times when I think I deserve a peanut buster parfait. My over all appearance would contradict that, so how does anybody "deserve" their lot in life? How exactly do you earn what you get? How do corporate CEOs get multimillion dollar bonus packages for running their business into bankruptcy? Do they DESERVE ten, twenty, forty million? Not in my book. Do thousands of people standing outside a hospital in New Orleans waiting for an evacuation from a hurricane DESERVE to just be told, "Sorry the buses aren't coming"? How does somebody deserve this?! Why?

There is a person in Mac's family who has told me that I deserve everything that has happened to me... that I brought it upon myself.... like my actions gave my husband cancer.

We had always lived a very small life, within our budget... very careful. Then Mac got leukemia. I decided to shoot the moon. If he was to die then by God, he was going to go feeling like he HAD something, that he DID something! If he were to die I would be willing to just lose everything afterwards. I would just pick up what pieces I could and go on. It was my gamble. It was OUR need to chase a dream. It was life or death and we were choosing life!

Mac is still healing and getting stronger, so it is the two of us dealing with the financial difficulties, the medical difficulties, but I am still angry about someone hovering on the fringe declaring whether or not we have the right, whether we DESERVE the right to chase our hopes and dreams. What kind of justice is that?! What kind of reward is that for trying to live a good, cautious life?

Well, that person from Mac's family doesn't play a part in our lives anymore, and whether we deserve it or not, we're going to continue doing our damndest to chase that dream down. We're going to live a long and fruitful and happy life here on the little farm. I may not deserve a peanut buster parfait, but I think I deserve this.