Saturday, December 29, 2007


I took this picture in late November and I've been using it as my desktop for the month. I try to change my picture each month but might have trouble letting go of this one. The Fall/Winter sunrises are the most colorful and I watch each day for the next picture-worthy one.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2007


You know those oranges/tangelos/NOT Christmas balls from a post back in early December? Well, the game is on now to salvage at least a couple for our centerpiece for our Christmas dinner. The house that's being built right next door has some construction fellows who are brave enough to dart across our patio and snatch a few when they THINK we aren't looking.

Oh, and also, you should see the very white people walking along the shoreline in shorts and tank tops, dipping their toes as they go. I think they are visiting from Canada. Makes me shiver.

I'll go put on a heavy jacket and pick the remaining oranges. It's way down in the 60's today. I wouldn't want them or me to get frost bite!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Eau de Toilette

McCoy was out there, trotting away from some boys who were trying to catch him. Bella was equally interested in her bucket and her man's adventure. McCoy is an older black gelding who romances every mare in his domain.

Bucket, McCoy, Bucket, McCoy

Eventually she had to go to her poop corner and scent it with eau de young-mare-in-heat.

Monday, December 03, 2007

taken with my cell phone

No, Not Christmas Balls

This little orange tree has been working so hard for many months and only now do I take notice. It looks like there could be a couple more weeks of waiting for them to sweeten up. I call this tree a tangelo, but it may be some other lovely little Mexican orange. I'm not going to show you my navel orange tree because it is a "yearling" and only is producing about 10 oranges this year, and I'm not sharing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

El Rancho

We got to ride out on the lovely neighboring Rancho and we took the girls with us. Cita was the lone water-roller today, however they all love to get up to their bellies in the spring water. We went for miles and the girls played most of the way, or settled into showing us that they could lead and show us where we were going.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me

I'm starting Pilates classes today. After 12 lessons I expect to look like that.
What? You doubt it?

Sunday, November 11, 2007


How many miles have I driven through the desert? Alone?


I came up out of Mexico last week and drove another 700 miles through desert all the way to more desert. California desert, Arizona desert, Mexican desert. All pretty empty.

I made it all the way up here and then? Then my car thermometer went into the hot range. Across the street from the Nissan dealer.

The radiator has been replaced and, other than my now-empty wallet, there has been no stress.

I am a lucky old lady.

Oh, speaking of that old business, my very best friend from when we rode stick horses together mentioned in our little online chat today that we have been friends for 50 years now. Holy Moley.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This week went really well with Bella relaxing a lot on the lunge line and me studying some of the Parelli lessons. Overall she is ready for the next business I can throw at her which might be lunging under saddle. We'll see. Meanwhile, Diane got an invitation from a neighboring ranch to put her horses out on their wonderful pasture. She is leaving for a month and thought it would be a nice vacation for her mare, yearlings, and old Mochie to get to meander hundreds of acres while she was away. I raised my hand and asked if Bella could be included. Yep, that made 5 horses, with Mochie being their guardian, out to pasture for at least a month with nothing but nature to bother them. We rode them over last evening and unsaddled right at the gate. They hung around waiting for us to open the gate and take them back home until one by one they got the idea that we weren't making them go back. We had to wait for Joe to pick us up then we didn't have to lug the saddles the few miles, so we got to love on all of them and then watch them head back down to where there is a huge spring and tons of grass. What could be finer for muscle and brain development than swatting flies and grazing, walking for miles, and having no human stress. Sounds good to me. I'm going to be gone a little during November anyway, and thinking of Bella standing for days on end wasn't a good solution. We'll pick up the next phase of training when her vacation is over.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bella in her halter and bridle.

On the lunge line.

My heart bursts with pride at how hard she is trying for me.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I started Bella on the lunge line today. She was only slightly curious about the line and the whip until I insisted that she get going and not stand there. She figured it out so quickly that I keep wondering who else has been working with her. After about 10 minutes of walking and trotting in both directions I went and got her bridle. I slipped it in her mouth and over her ears with very little complaint from her. Then back on the circle to trot a little more. She started getting somewhat strong and a little opinionated about which direction she wanted to go, so after a few circles in the direction of my choice I thought it was time to quit. While standing, I asked her to bend her neck around by gently pulling the bit. She got that beautifully. We went back into the barn and had a nice grooming session. Actually it felt like she was more willing to stand and enjoy my attention than normal. So, my question is how do you get your lunging horse to stop and then reverse direction. I had to reel her in quite a bit before I could ever ask for a reverse, and the stop never happened without bringing her almost all the way in to me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Strip
Isn't it funny how it only takes 18-24 hours for money to have no value? I walked into the Bellagio clutching my little pennies like they were precious. By the next morning I was sitting in front of a slot machine slipping a hundred dollar bill in the Insert Here slot like it was a kleenex. Well, the Scotch in me does eventually come to the front and after a session of only a few cherries showing up I was feeling frustrated. Up came some odd combination of pictures that lead to many Credits being added to my total. I hit the button to retrieve my dubloons and ended up with slightly more than double my original investment. I considered it a win-win for me.

We had a lovely time but were quite anxious to get home. Now I've got the cash to pay for my Bella's board another month!
Oh, and her winter coat is coming in since it's down in the 70's overnight now! Yep. And she is getting lighter and lighter in creamy color. I owe a picture.

Monday, October 08, 2007


We are leaving in a little while and heading up across the border once again. Where? Vegas, Baby. It's our 40th anniversary this week and we don't have the time to go over to Germany so I picked Las Vegas instead. There's a new Hofbrau House restaurant there and we're licking our chops to order a schnitzel. We got married in Germany in October 1967. Such a long time ago, but only yesterday. One day we got married by the Burgermeister, the next by the American Army. He couldn't dump me if he tried.
It's our Ruby anniversary.

Monday, October 01, 2007

October 1 Sunrise

Sunrises thrill me so much more than sunsets. Like the pretty wrapping on a birthday present, it might represent the promise of something exciting inside.
Sunsets are more like a punctuation mark at the end of a busy day. Nothing unexpected, just reflective.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


This is an excerpt from a running email between my sister and me. Part of the fun of living out of the US of A is in learning different lifestyles and embracing what fits and realizing what doesn't.

"...A few more observations: Young Mexican women are SUPPOSED to arrive late. There may be something about making an "entrance", but I'm inclined to think it's more about the poor time management multiplied by the number of people in the car. I might be able to work out an equation, given the variables (number of women in the car and distance to the location), and find an answer to what time they will arrive. Another thing that we have learned is that Mexicans find
so much joy in partying late into the night. I liken it to the joy I find in my early morning coffee..."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Change Is In The Air

The full moon brought us a blissful change in our weather. The temperatures are changing, the percent humidity is changing, the water temperature is changing, the wind direction is changing, and my mind is changing.

By mid-September most of us who made it through the summer and hurricane were pretty bored with the overwhelming, sweat inducing, heat and humidity. A few days ago? Bingo, humidity is gone and temperatures are slightly lower. I guess it feels more like Phoenix or Las Vegas. Yippy.

I enjoyed a little grooming session with Bella yesterday evening. We still need to work on holding the hooves up nicely. She does very well with two of her feet, then the last two she starts pulling away. I patiently waited until she was still before letting them back down. She also doesn't appreciate her forelock being combed. So, we'll do that everyday now. I led her out to my car to get the bucket-of-love and take it back inside to the stall feeder. She handled that pretty darn well. We had to open and close the gate both ways and she wasn't allowed to even ask for a bite of her pellets. No pushing or pulling and she had to back up and wait until I poured it into the feeder. She has turned 2 and a half this month. I'll drag the saddle out and put it on her this weekend. She doesn't forget anything we've worked on, so I'm ready to move forward.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I love my iPod. Downloading podcasts and syncing them onto my lovely, black iPod makes me so happy. As I drive through the Mexican desert listening to Geek Speak from NPR in Santa Cruz I am not unaware of the irony.

We are heading across the border for 2 days tomorrow and I'm all 'N Sync.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A few monsoons and a windy hurricane and the desert just comes alive. The beautiful rocky mountains in the background are blooming as well. The horses are in heaven.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Back Again and Back Again

In between hurricanes and sisters I have had more than my fair share of trips up across the border this summer. My husband and I just made a quick up and back trip this last weekend, getting back home last evening just at nightfall. To say the least, my cupboards are well stocked. I've got a million gallons of wine and mayonnaise on hand now. What more could I need? Oh! Bread! duh. I got it.

Well, what I do need more of is time with my filly. I hate leaving her over and over. She seems to be ever more accepting of my absences but almost forgets her manners when I take her bucket into the stall. A strong word usually accompanied by a hand signal gets her to back off until the pellets are poured into the feeder. Funny how the rules get ignored or pushed when Mama isn't around. I'm anxious to start working her in bits and pieces but the weather is still miserable for more than a tiny bit of activity. I think we've got about a month to go until the cooler breezes come in. Then, this winter I have big plans of lunging and ground driving. I hope you blogger friends will offer some assistance in my starting. She'll be a worthy little mare if we do this right.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Life returned to normal, the hurricane almost forgotten.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hurricanes are windy.

It's not surprising news to us but we awoke to pounding surf and wind this morning. Tropical Storm Henriette could possibly make a direct hit on us today. We have our storm shutters down in-case the wind gets scary. I'll get pictures of my little bay later, when dawn breaks.

I didn't see Bella yesterday. As Diane was putting the mares away, one by one, Bella and Sonora made a break for it with McCoy, the big black gelding. If you ask me, he's a nice looking, older quarter horse with too big a head and a bit of a sway in his back. I guess it's his charisma. The little girls really believe his pick-up lines and follow him like a flock of geese. Maybe he sings Spanish love songs.

Cross your fingers that we don't lose our electricity.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sky Lights

Venus showed up yesterday morning. As I turned over and looked out over the slightest bit of breaking dawn it was unavoidable to miss a miniature moon gazing straight at me. After a five second brain delay I realized it was Venus rising in the eastern sky. My eyes kept wanting to close but Venus kept demanding attention. She was strutting her stuff as well as any celestial ball can and telling me I should look now for it would be awhile before she had this kind of time and energy to send my way. I lay there and worshipped her as she deserved for well over 15 more minutes before getting up for coffee. As daylight overtook, Venus disappeared.

Early this morning my eyes popped open again before dawn and I turned over excitedly to see if Venus was still my morning friend and was sorely disappointed to only find a small, slightly larger than a star, Venus. As I blinked away sleep, she rushed across the sky on her morning duties, much too busy to bother showing off for me.

We women have the prerogative of being productive and busy one day and languishing Goddesses another.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Our Guadalajara adventure went off without a hitch. It was lots of fun to go to the city and the shopping was wonderful. If anyone is planning a trip down there I can offer some good suggestions on where to go. The hurricane had blown itself out before it even got over the Sierra Madres so we got almost nothing out of it. Maybe a tiny mist and a breath of breeze.

So, Barbie didn't find her windows, but did find lots of other glass. We watched some glassblowers making bottles and Barbie had to have several of those. I bought some glass vegetables (I'm too practical) to put on my dining table as decoration. A large glass tomatoe! Red glass with a lovely stem. And two different peppers. One red, one green.

Bella was happy to have me back yesterday since me=bucket. I hosed her down to get some of the dust and sweat off. This is the time of year that is almost impossible to ride since the weather is so hot and humid. It's like deep winter in the northern states...reversed. So, just going out and spending time with the horses is nice for them. After I washed her down I let her loose to roll in the dirt. Then, she got to go back to her stall with the mudpack on. I also put Swat on any and all little spots on Pony to keep the flies away.

It's almost time to take Barbie across the border and say goodbye as she flys back up to Oregon. So, I'm off again but only for one night. I don't think my husband can take much more of my absence so I'd better not make any more plans for awhile.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I'm taking Barbie down to Guadalajara tomorrow for a week of shopping. She has some notion about what she can buy down there. She has seen some beautiful colored-glass windows that she simply must find. They look a little like the bottom of a wine bottle. ha. Wonder why that would interest her. So we are taking off early to catch a flight down and are scheduled to return on Friday. No big deal.


There is that bothersome big hurricane that will come ashore on Mexico's east coast around Wednesday and could impact our flight, or drive, home on Friday, over here on the west coast. I'm terribly worried about our countrymen all along the east coast and will be monitoring Dean's progress as closely as I can. You guys can help me beg Mother Nature to blow this bad boy out with little to no destruction.

I hope to see you Saturday.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My baby Bella, who thinks she is quite grown up and doesn't need a mother anymore, kind of ignored me when I arrived to visit her for the first time since arriving back in Mexico. That lasted all of 2 minutes until she realized I had the long lost bucket she so craves. She had to wait impatiently for me to clean out her feeder and then she buried her face in the fresh pellets. As I started brushing her in some of her favorite spots she stopped eating and put her head on my shoulder. I think that might have been a hug.
She's developed quite the Andalusian neck. I need to get and post some new pictures.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

That shiny Prius took us up and back to Oregon with few refill stops. It gets better gas milage than I do. I can't go as long as it does between pit stops. The best milage is best found in town, but I would not complain about that road milage vs. my Pathfinder milage. I believe we averaged around 43.8 miles per gallon.

Oh, Mt. Shasta has very little snow and the lake level is terribly low.

It was nice being cold in Oregon and Northern California. We stopped in the Tamales Bay region to sleep and visit an old friend. I'm sorry I haven't been there before now and have it in my mind to certainly return.

We hit 5 wineries total going and coming back. I was the designated driver but did buy a few bottles. Paso Robles seems to have tons of Zinfandel grapes and we learned that Pinot Noir grapes have gone way up in price since the movie Sideways. So the Pinos are more expensive than they used to be on the central coast. Hahn was my favorite and very well worth a few miles off the highway to visit.

Back to Mexico and my Bella after the weekend :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm up in the land of shiny cars and cold running water. I took my time and made it a two day trip, instead of that long, long 12 hour, butt-numbing, maniac ride.

Are you wondering why I speak of cold running water? In our little Mexican village the water pipes aren't buried very deep, AND we have a big water container on our roof (like a thousand liters) in case the town water goes off for awhile. Those two things combined make for warm cold water all summer. Many people just turn off their water heaters until October, when overnight temps cool down, and still shower comfortably in tepid water.
I foolishly filled my hot tub thinking I would be able to dip my feet and enjoy a cool bath. After I put the solar blanket on it for a day to keep out wind borne bougainvillea flowers the temp went all the way up to 110. I guess that wasn't a good idea. Nothing refreshing about that.

And, of course, there are plenty of shiny and fancy Mexican vehicles, but not like up here. Every other car up here seems to be less than a year old shiny BMW or Prius. You know that car you drove 15 years ago and traded in 10 years ago? It now lives a nice leisurely life in Mexico, puffing oil and forgetting it ever had a muffler. Oh, I was thinking that our old-car enthusiasts might consider going down into Mexico to find that certain cherry '55 Buick. There are plenty to pick from under swaying palms. And, they're probably still running.

I'm on the first leg of visiting my sisters. My daughter is here at my 'Merican house with me for the first part of the visit. It's so easy to spoil her, we just drop right back into our Mother/Daughter roles. Then, sister Susan is picking me up (in her shiny 2 month old Prius) and taking me to her home in LA. After a haircut and a visit to the Pilates studio (duh) we are heading up to Barbie's house in Oregon for less than a week. Think of all the cold running water up there! We are all coming right back down in the shiny car and then I am driving Barbie back to Mexico with me. It's a busy trip.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Horses are such quick learners. If they see the smallest bit of weakness in their riders they go for it relentlessly. We ended up on the lunge line going in circles so we could actually learn a few pieces of riding etiquette. This horse crazy girl was a quick learner, too. She understood the reason behind using only the ball of the foot in the stirrup. Then, she learned how to get off safely.

Then she had to go in and speak to Bella and give her a bit of a brushing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Horse Crazy

Once again I am lucky enough to meet another 10 year old girl who imagines horses in everything she does everyday all day long. She has memorized a few body parts on the horse and I gave her a little more information. We discussed the chestnut and the hock and how over thousands of years the leg developed like that, and then I gave her an assignment for our next trip out to the barn. On Sunday we took the time to measure several of the horses with my carpenter's measuring tape. Anyone who has never measured a horse might not be aware that horses don't particularly like having long, skinny, snake-looking things held up next to their body. Doing this exercise taught Brittany how to introduce an unsavory object to a horse with patience, where exactly a horse is supposed to be measured, and we reassured the horses that we could be trusted.
Bella is almost too easy because she tends to trust me with anything but the fly-spray bottle. She came out to 53 inches. Her mother is only an inch taller at 54 inches. Bella's sister, Sonora, is 51 inches. And the other yearling, Cita, is 52 inches. All little horses for sure. Billy measured out at 60 inches. Oh, and baby Paulina is 44 inches. Amazing, but she trusted us very soon after we introduced her to the tape. I figured she'd be the toughest to get, but it was Billy who just didn't have time in his busy schedule to fool with tapes and people without candy. I explained to Brittany that this wasn't a very scientific experiment because the dirt floors are uneven and a real measuring stick has that top part that rests on the withers to guarantee a level measurement. Her assignment is to write all the horses names and figure out the number of hands and the date. Next time she comes to visit her grandma we can do it again and see who has grown.
Meanwhile, I'm thinking that maybe tomorrow we should saddle someone up and take a short ride. I would love to get a picture of her on-board and see if her smile can get any bigger. I have an old black and white picture of myself, at around 9 or 10 years old, on an old flea-bitten white mare, Comet (who I thought was gorgeous!) and this look of cowgirl confidence under my hat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A new day dawns.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Baby's First Step

I got on Bella last night. She's been such a willing little lady all week and I had complete confidence in her last night, so I saddled her and then stepped up on top. Well, to be more exact, I had decided to put her saddle on as I was driving out to see her. She had been out all day in the desert with some of the others and so had whatever attitude already bucked out of her. As I led her out of her stall she just followed along sweetly so I took her all the way out to my car (no use schlepping my saddle into the barnyard.) I had her little bucket in the back of the car and she always knows that. I let her have her bucket and just started saddling her right there, next to the car, not tied up. That was fine, she hardly noticed. Then, Diane (the barn owner) came out of her house and laughingly asked what was I thinking, and then said she'd get on her. I just replied that if she had had enough to drink, she was welcome. She hadn't had a thing to drink but was certain that Bella would be wonderful. So, she came over and we got the cinch nicely snug. I took Bella's almost finished bucket away so she could focus, and Diane put some weight in the stirrup. Bella hardly blinked. Diane then put weight in the stirrup again and just swung on over. Bella stood still and thought about it and then asked for her bucket back. Diane got off and we hugged the baby and then I found myself back by the stirrup and I decided to do the same thing Diane had. I put my weight in the stirrup several times before going ahead and swinging on over. She stood like a statue. I talked to her and patted her all over and rubbed her neck and then got off. Maybe a 60 second first start. She was completely happy with herself and now wanted the rest of her bucket.
After a few more minutes of us fawning all over her being such a big girl we brought out the bridle and put that on her too. She took all of this like a little well-trained girl. I do need advice though, on what bit I should start her with. I have a nice big full-cheek snaffle that I've used for years, but I'd like to really protect her mouth while at the same time having that direct contact. Any choices you have started with and think works well?
So, Bella's been broke.

Friday, July 06, 2007

I just got a new phone (pink, razr, the one everyone bought ages ago) and I wanted Bella on it. I think my real camera does a better job. So, I've figured out how to send pictures back and forth via Bluetooth with my computer. The quality of the phone camera is different, of course, but one out of ten pictures turns out almost useable. It might help if I would put my glasses on so I could actually see what I'm taking.

I can't believe Bella has so much forelock. I suppose I should braid it, but whenever I do I get teased about these not being California horses. Mexican horses do not have a bridle path, so after I mentioned my clippers once to Diane and got a sniff in response, I put them back in the drawer. I will say however, that since I've been giving Bella suppliments and daily brushing since around last October, she is the one horse that has the softest coat and combed out tail. Some of it is her breeding, some from attention. I'm slipping Pony, her mother, a little grooming and tail combing, and putting Swat on her belly-sore from fly bites. Pony's tail is almost hopeless with such a mess of dreadlocks. Little by little, stroke by stroke, maybe I'll make some headway. Before we know it they'll all look like show ponies. Cowboy Magic anyone?


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

That's my neighbor's tree as it was just starting to bloom. That was a couple of months ago, I think, and now it is full of leaves and few blooms left. It is one of our favorites since the fragrance is delightful.

June Monsoon is doing very well and is as active as a foal can be in a large pen. We let the mare and baby out into the yard everyday so the baby can explore and learn a little. We never let them out of our sight since there are always troubling things for a foal to get into. The Mexican owner is very happy with his new baby and is happily surprised that she lets us handle her. He has named her Paulina, which is lovely, and I think it's in honor of her being born on St. Paul's day. I suppose I'll always think of her as June, though. Thanks for the sweet comments.

Last evening Diane, the barn owner, led a group of City Slickers out into the desert to see the sunset and I got to go along on Pony, and bring up the rear. It was a lovely, warm (can you say HOT?) evening and the sunset was colorful. Pony has more and more confidence in me and we are becoming quite bonded. She's starting to do as I ask and not question my decisions. We had to move through the herd several times when someone dropped a rein, or needed to hand over a water bottle, and she only had to be told once what and where. I don't own her, but I do own her daughter, and I can only hope that Bella has such a logical head on her thick shoulders. It seems so now, but time will tell. Several nights ago we took another tour over to the beach and had a sunset over the water. People just seem to love horses on beaches, yet certainly not all horses love the waves. Splashing through the waves is not possible on many horses, but fancy side passes are well practiced as the horse tries to avoid that moving water. All was well with our group both coming and going, and I let out a deep breath as we get everyone back home safely after dark. No wrecks, no falls, no harm. Our little barn has some amazingly safe and sound horses.

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's certainly not getting any cooler these days and we had our first big thunder storm late last night. Lightening was slashing all over the bay, the waves were beating the shore and bouncing the surf miles high, and the wind had the palm trees bent over asking for forgiveness.

Seems like the perfect time for a long overdue mare to foal, huh? The Mexican owner said the mare was due at the end of May and we believed him since she was obviously carrying a load of watermelons or a nice foal. The baby didn't come at the full moon. The baby didn't come at the new moon. The mare acted like everything was fine just leave her alone and she would make the calendar choices. Finally last night with the heavenly fireworks and the people safely tucked in and not paying any more attention she said, ok, now is the time. I guess the owner forgot what month he bred her.

Can you imagine this baby is less than 12 hours old?!

Mama is a good 15.2 or 15.3 hands.

She's not mine to name, but I think June Monsoon is fitting.

And Bella thinks she's still a baby and should have all this attention too.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What I did yesterday with all that extra daylight in the day. I remembered to take a picture of my bright tree. I love that front yard tree at this time of year. It just blooms it's heart out and looks so lovely from far or near. Most of the year it drops those little leaves all over the patio but nevertheless it provides shady cover. I don't know what it is called because I've had several different names offered. Someone said it is a Red Jacaranda, and it probably is.

Then, Olivia (my friend's grand-daughter) and I took the girls out into the desert for a brief excursion. The sun was unrelenting and the whole group was ready to go back home within the hour. Olivia is a new horsewoman convert. Everyone welcome her into the club now. I put her on old Mochie because he would be the safest of our multi-safe horse family. Olivia is 10 and is about to sleep, eat, dream of horses. I have given her some of my most elementary and important lessons when working around horses, but haven't scared her off yet. Stuff like don't get down on your knees when cleaning hooves. (How many of you started sweating just then?) There does seem to be a very fine line in teaching respect for what the horse is capable of and the pure joy of being around them.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Solstice

My daughter and I look forward to this summer solstice for 6 months. It's like Christmas to us. But when it's over, it's over. Since we are so far south now our day/night length of times doesn't change nearly as much as it did when we lived in Washington. My sun rose down here this morning around 5:30 and will be set by 7:30 tonight. Now don't you northerners laugh at me. I know you have 43 hours of daylight per day.

So let's get the most out of our daylight today.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Little Sonora at her first birthday. That cute little white nose makes it hard to get a pretty picture of her. She is the sweetest little girl ever and has no bad manners. Diane halters her, ties her, picks up all of her feet. I predict she'll be very easy to train the rest of the way because she just doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

There. That's a little better view of her beauty. And you can see that white marking around her neck that I call her pearls.

And here's handsome Billie, waiting his turn for a tidbit of attention.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Since the weather has heated up considerably many of the northerners have fled back up across the border and left us to enjoy the town with vacationing Mexicans. A few of my horse owner friends left explicit instructions to spoil their babies like I do my little Paris-Hilton-Bella, Princess of the barn. I love them all (except one big red gelding who must have been abused because of his attitude) and it's easy to want to spend extra time on each one. Yesterday I got Pony out to brush and curry and then applied the bright pink Swat to her belly sore. I also took her around to the hose area and sprayed off all the unwanted pee splatter from her back legs. Next I got out Billie to brush off and have a little chat with. Poor guy. He has really missed his man and yet is too proud to show it very much. I did catch him standing in the corner looking at the wall. He is a handsome paint who thinks he is in charge of the mares...which I guess most of those geldings think. After that the barn owner came out and said we should just put all the horses out into the desert for an hour so they could roll the flies off and chew on a few bushes. They were all thrilled for the freedom and the babies kicked up, caused havoc, and acted like it was a jail break.

About a week ago, little Miss Bella was out with her mother and sisters in the desert. Mom and the girls all came home in a few hours without Bella. Luckily Joe had seen her hanging around McCoy, a big black quarter horse gelding who roams the desert most of the time within a mile radius of his owners' home. Diane knew where McCoy hangs out on hot days and so went out looking for Bella. There she was standing over him as he lay under a tree (smoking a cigerette no doubt.) Diane had taken a rope along and easily put it over her head and started dragging her back home. Bella called back to McCoy the whole way home. When I showed up that evening Bella was staring longingly out the gate at McCoy who was waiting for her. She had that I-love-Shaun-Cassidy look on her face that my daughter used to get when looking at her poster-filled room. Poor little girl. Next heat cycle she's grounded.

Today is Sonora's first birthday. I'm going to go and try hard to get a good picture of her. She just doesn't photograph as cute as she is. I'll share if I get any good ones.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dressage artistique/Artistic dressage

I guess Bella and I have quite a ways to go to achieve this.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Estados Unidos

We drove up and loaded up this weekend. The car was embarrassingly overfull on the trip back. A friend had requested 12 (twelve!) new bed pillows. Well that would have filled the whole back end so we only piled 6 in. It was a nice trip and, oh, we bought my husband the Sirius radio for his car. It's pretty wonderful to have live radio in English when we drive through the desert.
What did we buy besides pillows and a radio? Let's see. Tons of groceries. A new clock. Some blank DVD's. A new cheap phone. More groceries. A few bags full of Trader Joe's goodies. Some Asian food things. Soup. Celery salt. Of course, cheese, wine, mustard. BREAD.
I can buy some odd things down here that I prefer buying in the states. Maybe it's just because I'm used to my certain products. And, little by little we are finding more and more common products down here.
We lived in North Carolina way back in the mid 70's. At that time there weren't any Mexican food products there. So, I would haul refried beans and tortilla shells back from California so we could indulge. I guess my whole married life I've drug food from one location to another, so this isn't so completely different.
Oh AND I've got some new horse feed to introduce to Bella. I'm anxious to see how she responds to it. The old baby food I was supplimenting was so delicious that I'm sure she will be disappointed. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blue Moon

Tomorrow, when we get our full moon, we get to sing along:

"Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone..."

I sing it with a really smoky voice that sounds like I've had too many drinks.

When a season contains four full Moons, the third is called a Blue Moon.

Why is the third full Moon identified as the extra one in a season with four? Because only then will the names of the other full Moons, such as the Moon Before Yule and the Moon After Yule, fall at the proper times relative to the solstices and equinoxes.

Ok. Whatever. I just know it's the second full moon this month and I expect all mares to foal tonight or tomorrow night. Heads up MiKael!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sunday Ride

We went out in the desert for a short ride yesterday. I got to ride my filly's mother, Pony. She's normally a sweet little paint mare and yesterday, while she was sweet, she was also in heat. She was constantly trying to get as close to Billy as she could take me so she could flirt and enjoy his masculine presence. I was constantly legging her away. Anyway the little ride was fun because we took the yearlings and my filly.

They just come along with us and get to kick up their heels and frolic about.

And eat all these neat desert plants that look like dried grass or weeds, and all kinds of shrubs.
These girls aren't even sweaty but the temp is around 95 and they've just been running along with each other. That's my little grulla, Bella, back there that looks like a donkey. Sonora is the paint and Cita is the sorrel. They both will be a year old next month.

The desert surprises us with so much color, even when we haven't seen a drop of rain since last September.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Somewhere in May
What day is today? Friday? Already? And the mini-splits are almost, allll most, done. Brother. And then there was the tanaka that is our own little water tank on our roof. It got messed up and one thing has led to another and now we're getting the shut-off valve replaced. At one point I had 3 men up on my roof, hanging their butts over the edge and making my knees weak.
I know we all hate waiting, but I'm pretty good at it. Because of all this waiting-for-workers business I was able to start a new book that I'm enjoying very much. The Soloist by Mark Salzman. I think it's about a 10 year old book. My husband, who eats books like potato chips, couldn't get into it but I'm taking it slow so it doesn't end too soon.
Today dawns bright and cool and I feel more energetic due to the low humidity. The women in town are holding a fishing tournament on this Memorial Day Weekend. They will be looking for Marlin and Dorado which I hear have migrated up the Sea of Cortez along with the warmer water. I don't participate in these sports since I get so darn sea sick. It's just not worth it for everyone and for me. I have taken pills and gone out on very smooth seas and thoroughly enjoyed myself but I prefer kayaking in the bay...when it's smooth. Or just flopping down and snorkeling along the shoreline. Although, I can get seasick doing that too.
I put my all purpose English saddle on Bella the other day. Since the girth was too long I didn't leave the saddle on for a walk, for fear it could slip and ruin the whole good experience. Oh, and the day before that we had a good lesson with being tied to a poll in a good rope halter and getting her tail washed. She is not in the least afraid of the hose but decided this tail washing business wasn't a good idea and so did some good pulling. She didn't go so far as to slip or scramble but the pulling was one of those sacking-out kind that can only be done with a good halter and pole. I just stayed quiet and let her settle down. It didn't last long and she got over it after two tries. She's pretty smart and figures stuff out pretty quickly. I'm going to put her western saddle on again for a little longer this weekend.
One more thing, a guy opened a little at-home car wash business down the street and around the corner. I was his first customer yesterday so I'll feel responsible for his success forever. He did a lovely job on my filthy, dusty car for only $8. I'll be visiting him often since Bella lives out a long dirt road that I travel daily.
Happy Friday.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Nothing went as planned yesterday. The material was backordered for my sofa. The mini-split guy couldn't come afterall and will be here tomorrow, or Manana, whichever comes first. And that lovely Street Sense was beat by a slight nostral.
Life goes on.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Lots of little and big appointments today. We are finally getting our couch recovered. Yes it's a sectional sofa and I realize it is very '80's in look and style but it fits our living room so well that it is the final decision on what to do, what to do. So I get to inspect the material this morning and decide if it is exactly what I chose. I'll try to take before and after pictures.
Also, we are going to have mini-splits installed in the remaining 2 bedrooms. When we bought this house it had a 10 ton unit that cooled and heated beautifully but was so inefficient that it was embarrassing. So, we had it dismantled and taken away and started replacing it with mini-splits in each room. I've seen these little units in Europe and Mexico but never in the US. They are wonderfully efficient and not so loud and ugly as the window air conditioners. We decided not to add heat to these last two units, just the AC. Our winters are so mild here that we almost never use heat except in the early morning in January occasionally. But AC is another story, and last summer when Barbie and Sybil came to visit they had to share a room since it was the only extra one with AC.
I am looking forward to the Preakness today even though I saw the fatal step last year. Street Sense is so gorgeous and so thoroughbred. I hope he has a good race.
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And, LA LA LA, I'm trying to get used to this new computer I lusted after. We're coming along as a team.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

It is nice to get to thank all of those nurturers who we admire as care-givers and hand-holders. I always get cards from both my daughter and daughter-in-law, but feel like I'm cheating since they have the "mother" jobs now and mine is long over. I always say that they deserve the special treatment.
My daughter has never had children but she teaches school and tends to her husband and pets. That's pretty busy mother things. My daughter-in-law has our two grandsons, who are 15 and 12. You know she gets the hugs and kisses and gold stars for her time-in-service. She's doing a great job in the motherhood department. I applaud both of these hard working women.
Mother's Day down here in Mexico was last Thursday. I think they have it on May 10th every year whatever day that happens to be. It seemed to be a holiday for the school kids so they could stay home and spend time with their mothers. Isn't that sweet? And everywhere we went we saw kids with their Moms.
Have a lovely Sunday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bella Under Saddle

Before I bought Bella last summer she had tried on a baby saddle a few times, but that was the last time, maybe a year ago. Here we are just past 2 years old making it look like a walk in the park. No hesitation other than a little side step to get a better smell. After the saddle was cinched up I walked her out the gate to my car and simply unsaddled her. She was a perfect lady the whole time.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I had my TV on all day yesterday, tuned into the Discovery Channel. Planet Earth was on from morning to night and it was a nice way to honor the diverse jewel we live on and share.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dixie Peach over in Germany had a thought provoking interview and offered to ask 5 interview questions to those bloggers that were interested in this meme. These are her questions and my answers.

1. I know you love horses. Is there one horse you owned or have ridden that stands out above the rest in your memory?
I've only owned a handful of horses but the one that still gives me a lump in my throat is my old Handsome Buck. He was Not the best looking horse in the stable. Matter of fact, when I met him as my daughter-in-law was looking for a horse for me to buy, she pointed out this pathetic bag of bones with not nearly enough tail and a couple of stray hairs in his mane and a tiny fuzzy forelock. He had been out in the middle of cow country and didn't have enough forage. There was no way I would consider buying him, but, oh ok, let's feed him some suppliments. As he was eating his bucket the second day he looked me square in the eye as if saying, "You're my lady now." I was sunk but still didn't consider buying him until several months later when he had started putting on weight due to my daily bucket. Once I saddled and bridled him all he wanted to do was please me. If I asked for a trot he just went right to it. If I asked for a canter, he went rocking-horse forward on the correct lead and would try to make a flying change if I could try to ask for it properly. We cut cattle one day and worked on our dressage another day. He was the ultimate pleasure horse and someone I had looked for and needed in my life without knowing it. He passed away a few years ago. A rare diamond in the rough.

2. How do you like to entertain - throw large parties or have intimate dinner parties with just a few people or something in between?
My very favorite thing is to have friends come for lunch. Bologna and/or grilled cheese sandwiches and peanut butter crackers, potato chips, root beer, Oreos. Evenings are best with a few friends, not the crowd. But if I have overnight guests then it’s a total par-tay like a rock star. Large parties are like endurance races.

3. "I really tried to fight it, but what the hell I like it..." is a favorite line of mine from a song. Do you have a bad habit that you probably should fight but you don't because you like it?
My bad habit is thinking about dieting, eating more sensibly, and not getting it done. I love ice cream too much. Oh! and cheese too.

4. You're out to dinner and seated at the table next to your is your favorite actor/actress/singer/sports figure/whatever. Would you approach that person and if you would, how would you do it?
I have seen, been close to, seated nearby some pretty famous people but I would never speak to them. The one exception was when I stood close to Doris Day and she spoke to me first. I babbled something incoherant and grinned at the floor.

5. What's your favorite cocktail?
Probably a Cosmopolitan but only maybe one per year and it has to have really smooth vodka. Or a nicely chilled California Chardonnay.

Plucked right from Dixie’s blog:
Now it's your turn to play if you wish:

Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” I will respond by asking you five questions in the comments here on this post so check back here. I get to pick the questions. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

(Thanks alot Dixie. This is a nice get-together)

Monday, April 16, 2007


You know how 60 is the new 40? So I turned 39 today.
Hip hip hurray!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Ok, I'm not going to talk about this Imus business. Everyone else seems to be and they are much more eloquent writers than me. Somebody somewhere is saying what I feel. I can give you a hint though by telling you that way back in 1993 I got so angry about censorship that it was unhealthy. I'm talking about a narrow-minded, local TV station that refused to show NYPD Blue due to the nudity. Outraged is not even close to how angry I was at the "deciders" who thought it was much too nasty for my gentle eyes.
No, I'd rather talk about my sister, Susan, and her ability to change. She is the sister that can eat the same thing everyday for 9 months. She is the sister that almost passed out in the L'Occitane store when she learned that the lovely, light green Linden soap was not going to be produced anymore. She is the sister that influenced me more than our mother since she is the one born just ahead of me. I probably have many of her same rigid traits.
Her laptop, which I influenced her to buy, left her high and dry last week when the hard drive decided to blow up. She came back to me anyway for advice on what she should look at now. I have been listening to geeks and genius' about what units are providing good service at reasonable prices. So I gave her a few choices with the small Mac Book at the top of the list. When her old laptop mechanic called to say the hard drive was kaput she drove straight to the Mac store and simply bought the very one I suggested. The poor Genius helping her tried to explain why it was a good machine and have you ever used a Mac before? She responded that she had used a Mac before he was born, which turned out to be true. She had taught at Reed College in Portland in the early '80s and they had Macs...way back then. But that was the last time so this was a very big step.
So, Susan has made the jump. It's all good. And I'm sitting in the corner, jealous as hell, sucking my thumb, wanting a new black Mac like hers.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Storm
Most days I wake up to a beautiful glow in the eastern sky that encourages me to get out of bed and go watch. Today started out with breezy wind, gray skies, and waves that look like we are on Monterey Bay. I don't think this is a named storm but it sure does remind me of last summer with all the hurricanes. Anyway, Happy Easter.
The thousands and thousands of Mexican campers came and played anyway, storm or no storm. They partied almost through the night until the cops came and shut them down. The music didn't wake me up but the sirens and the bip bipping of their sirens certainly did. 3am is a bad time to wake up thinking I'm in New York City.
Since the weather is so crumby I suppose the boaters and jet skiers will be heading back to their cities, leaving us to sweep the streets and get back to our seriously quiet little village. Tents will be folded and taco carts will be loaded on pick ups. I wonder if all that beer got drunk.
Since we 'Mericans are in general a religious bunch we understand and expect lots of church goers to make it to their chosen House of God on these holidays. Generally, Mexicans also consider this a family day with their barbecues and beer replacing our ham and Easter Eggs. And as far as I can tell the whole Easter Bunny and candy deal we have is only being adopted by a few Mexicans.
So, on this gray Easter morning I'm wishing you much beer, candy, eggs, baked ham, and barbecued steak.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Visitors Are Bye Bye
There went March. All gone and all used up and all appreciated. All of my visits and all of our visitors were so much fun.
I learned that our island in the bay has tons of sea shells, but a few less now that Barbie has had her dirty way with it. She tried to sink our kayak with her bounty.
I learned that I don't like to jet ski in windy, wavy water. I think a lake would be a gentler ride for me. I tried to take Barbie over to where the dolphins hang out which might be about a 5 mile ride one way, but I chickened out and turned around before we got there. We were soaked by the time we got back home since the jet ski bounced over the waves and the water sprayed us the whole way back. Good machine, bad driver.
The cooking frenzy was more fun than I ever remember with such a good sized group. One night we made chicken enchiladas which were wonderful. We started that whole day by roasting a chicken. Perfectly delicious. Another night was different kinds of shrimp on the barbeque.
This is the week that brings all of the Mexican college students into town for their Spring Break. I believe there were over a hundred thousand kids last year that camped on the beaches and partied all night. We old folks just tuck ourselves in and let them have their fun. But, I bet my husband will insist on us checking out the action on Friday night like we did last year. I felt so completely out of place that I begged him to just turn the quad around and get me home.
I'm turning 59 in the middle of this month. Ho Hum. I suppose that's why I don't feel excited about driving a quad through a mass of drunk college kids. I'm probably older than their grandparents! Maybe I should be wearing a hairnet (winking at Dixie).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bella Turned Two Yesterday

She's a great little filly and becoming more and more my girl. I think I'll keep her.

I get to go out to her barn everyday and give her a small bucket of Youth Equine along with a couple of carrots and horse cookies. It's all in the bucket so she never expects to be handed treats out of my pocket. So far that has been a successful rule.
I'm so lucky to have her.