Monday, December 22, 2008

I never get sick of colorful awakenings. Every one has its own character.
Today starts the lengthening of days!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bella's Progression

We've had 3 lessons under saddle now with Bella progressing very well. I have changed her saddle to a lightweight synthetic black one that fits better and doesn't overwhelm her back.
Lesson #2 we walked out better and started figuring out turning and sometimes stopping at Whoa. Less time was spent on the lunge line.

Lesson #3 she really started listening to my requests to go, turn, stop. And we trotted. And we used the whole arena and moved through a cat fight right in front of us without being troubled more than stopping to look. I turned her in a few big circles and walked her over the poles I'd set on the ground.
We might try outside the arena next. I haven't had my camera since the first ride but will try to remember it next lesson.
I'm driving up to Tucson to pick up sister Barbie tomorrow and that means Bella's lessons will be limited for a week.

I never dreamed these lessons would go so quickly, but that's because I play these scenes out in my head and they always have unhappy endings. Reality is so much better than fantasy.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Bella Under Saddle

All of the right planets lined up on Wednesday in the proper order so that my confidence in Bella's attitude was perfect. Karen met us out at the barn to offer a friendly hand.

I saddled Bella over by her corral and then led her to the little arena. No complaints, all is well. 78 degrees and not a breeze to be seen. I asked her to lunge a little just to be sure there wasn't any hidden loose screws. Karen joined us and stood quietly by while I mounted and tried to sit deep and relaxed in the saddle. We petted a minute in that position. Then we asked Bella to follow Karen around the arena once to see if her balance was Ok with my weight on top. Still no feathers flew.

Back to the middle of our little lunging area and Karen asked Bella to go on out on the circle. Each of Bella's feet made their own deliberate step. There was no hurry. We went around in Pony-Ride circles both ways with me begging myself to relax and enjoy the moment.

Soon Karen thought we might try walking without the life-line lunge line. That stumped Bella. How to walk forward without a Mother's hand to hold. After we finally got a little movement we decided to dismount, pet and check saddle, and mount back up. This time we did more steps on our own and then dismounted on the opposite side.

She was a champ, my little girl.

I pulled the saddle while still standing there and she didn't have any dampness anywhere. Meanwhile, my bra was soaked.

I wish I had worn something a little more sparkly and photogenic, but it certainly wasn't about me. Bella takes good pictures under any condition.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I found these love-a-ly coconuts upon arrival in Mexico. The tree was busy all summer while I was gone. Now I'll need to open one and see if they are any good. It is the first real "crop" this 14 year old tree has produced. I'm so proud.

Bella has not forgotten her lessons from last Spring and seems ready to take on a passenger. As soon as I can pin down another horsey friend I will mount and have my friend on the end of the lunge line.
My little horse continues to lighten. I bought a yearling buckskin and now have a 3 1/2 year old light grey filly. Maybe I should ask for a refund.

We got down here before Thanksgiving but went right back up across the border to be in the US of A for the holiday. The weather is so perfect right now I don't want to go anywhere for awhile.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Joke for my girlfriends just to keep you entertained awhile longer until I return to Mexico:

Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Do you suffer from shyness? Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions.
Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live. Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:
- Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration - Erotic lustfulness - Loss of motor control - Loss of clothing - Loss of money - Loss of virginity - Attraction to the same sex - Table dancing - Headache - Dehydration - Dry mouth - And a desire to sing Karaoke

The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.
The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Day A Fascination Became A Passion

This is the exact moment that I was sunk for a lifetime. This old white mare was not the first horse I got to sit on, but she was the first one I got to ride. The first time I had hold of the reins and had the opportunity to turn, stop, go, move. Comet was a wise old mare who knew how to take care of me even when I had no sense of danger or urgency or possibility. I didn't even know how to ask but she understood what her job was.

It was Northern California probably around the fall of 1956. The cattle had to be moved down from the high hills to the low hills before winter rains made it difficult to check on them. It was a different time, a different era. We found the cattle by listening for the cowbells. As naive as I was then the cowgirl bug bit hard and forever after my best fantasies were of moving cattle aboard a reasonable cow horse.

I probably did little more than a fast walk directly behind a real wisened old cowgirl. I don't remember if she had a lead rope on Comet, but I bet she just barked at me to stay behind her. That was how Sally dealt with children. They were to be seen...doing as told, not requesting but helping. I would never dream of asking a favor of Sally. I was there to do her bidding, to learn how to grow up to be just like her so I could go on cattle round-ups several times a year. She rolled her own cigarettes and fried a dozen eggs in a cast iron pan over an open fire without breaking a yolk.

I lived about 200 miles away from Sally and Comet and so did not get to be a cow girl often, but I did get to fall madly in love with horses forever and always.

I've got this one picture to remind me where it all started and how I have always wanted to achieve the common sense, no nonsense, approach to horsemanship.

How about you? Do you have memories of when and where it happened?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Alternative Energy

I was driving 80 miles per hour down highway 10 when I clicked my cell phone to try and capture a few of our windmills that make up an enormous windmill farm on the west side of Palm Springs.

I've had this on my mind quite a bit with the tide-charts of gas prices. I certainly hope within the next decade we can all be more confident that we aren't ruining the environment while at the same time we can move back and forth across our country affordably.

Just wanted to share with you.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Hear Music When I See This Picture: Flashing Lights by Kanye West

Nope. That's not me. I wish my neck was that thin. And no. I haven't been helping Sarah shop. Although, I do like the heels and the way the "spike" goes straight down from the heel. I also love Patent Leather. Especially red and purple.

I'm still up in California and will probably be here another few weeks. I understand Bella is fat and happy with all the green grass in the desert. I was about to buy a new, shorter cinch from Country Supply, but maybe I can save the $20.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reba and Kelly

The concert in Reno was so much fun. Quite the birthday party. I didn't think I would ever complain about cold weather again, but the climate changed in our honor and we felt what below freezing was like. It still didn't dampen our fun. Both artists were on the stage the whole concert and sang many duets.
I won big on the nickel slots. I think $76.
I skirted the LA fires on the flip flop by going east through Bakersfield and then over and down. My desert was a nice sight after realizing my blood has thinned to water and I can't survive below 50 without multi-layers. But the jeans fit!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Short Trips

I am always happy to wake up before daylight so I'm in position to watch the sunrise. This morning I sit here looking out at the dark backyard watching the garden art change colors and anxious to see the cactus flower that I just know has opened over night.
I am driving up to Monterey today for visits with good old friends and a new gelding. This friend has a wonderful older Arabian mare who is retired, and this youngster she bought two years ago. He has had every opportunity to become what he was bred to be, a little trail horse who is also talented at reining. His owner has had him in training and is committed to giving him a good foundation. I can't wait to finally meet him in person.
Then, I'm taking my daughter up to Reno for a Kelly Clarkson concert this weekend. She chose that as a birthday gift, so how could I say no.
I'm excited about all of the above and the fact that I get to wear jeans. Down in my deserts it has been too hot since April to wear anything tight, long, and heavy.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


For my good blogger buddy Snarkypants:

(I apologize to everyone else)


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Slacker Blogger of the Century

Thank you so much to our dear little Carolynn.
She is patient with me when the only blogs that I post are 4 words and, if you're lucky, a picture. I do so enjoy her prose and poetry, pictures and descriptions, her Bunny and her Bear. I accept this humbly and must try harder to be sweet and wordy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

These Blooming Idiots

No, no you guys! My cactus, not McCain and Palin.
For goodness sake.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And on a little different note:

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cell Phone Pictures of Napa

Since I forgot my camera...AGAIN...I am stuck with only a few snaps from my cell phone. Napa last weekend was about as perfect as it could be. Lovely weather, multiple thousands of people going wine tasting. I wasn't. I had business. But I long to go back.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

You Are Cowboy Boots

This doesn't mean you're country, just funky.

You've got a ton of attitude and confidence.

You're unique, expressive, and even a little bit wacky.

You wear whatever you feel like – and you have your own sense of style.

You are straight shooting and honest. You tell people how it is.

Low maintenance and free wheeling, you're always up for an adventure.

You should live: Where you can at least get to wide open spaces

You should work: In a job that allows you to take change

What Kind of Shoe Are You?

Thanks Twinville! That was eye opening and fun to do. Who'd a thunk I was a pair of boots? Seems likely nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Floyd's Been Out OvernightAnd to help you get that image out of your mind here is my cactus blooming it's heart out in September! How do the bees find these flowers that don't have any scent at all to us humans? And the bloom only lasts about 12 hours.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Moth Balls

I learned recently from my son-in-law that placing moth balls around the garage would either keep the black widows out or send the current residents on their way. We've had a few in a couple of areas of the garage that just won't move even when I demolish their homes and threaten their first born. They call congress and get low cost loans and rebuild right in the path of my wrath once again. So I liked the idea of making their environment less inviting and went on a hunt for the killer moth balls.

Home Depot employee didn't have any idea but sent us to the Home Defense section. No luck there.

Target Customer Service young women tried to stifle a case of giggles over my noun and had to call for help. They were sure I was teasing them, even though old people don't tend to use foul language in strange company. Yes indeed, they had what I was looking for over in the hanger section. After I snagged the box I took it back to the women so they could see that I wasn't really just sending them on a 'snip hunt.'

I got them home and sprinkled about 20 around the garage. It got quite ripe in there the first few days and almost brought tears to my eyes as I walked through to handle the garbage but have melted away now and I don't see any signs of rebuilding construction workers. I'll keep you updated on widow movement if I see any.

So, I learned that as we age we cannot assume normal everyday objects will carry over to the next generation.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Smack That

Kind of a smack dab in the middle kind of day. Just past the middle of my summer, just before the middle of August, and right in the middle of the week.

A nice little trip up to my daughter's house, whereupon she rescued a new dog. Cutest little Yorkie-poo kind of black dog. Sophie joined a three cat family and she's smaller than them and is already full grown. She now has been spayed and has a hair-cut and is learning to skirt hissing, claw-wielding felines. While I was up there I spoke up about their slow dial-up service and we ordered the DSL to be hooked up. I also gave my son-in-law my old Toshiba laptop that I took 3 days to clean-up. He's not much of a computer man, but with the faster connection and my snappy laptop he is checking out things he never thought he needed.

I'm really enjoying the Olympics, especially all of the equestrian events. Thank you Oxygen Network for giving us frustrated horse people some of the great sport. My friend's son is riding in Stadium Jumping.

I bought some new walking pants on sale and wear them almost to bed they are so comfortable. But now I see the next animal print I should own will be the python hoodie whenever it goes on sale.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Marking Time

We are not standing still. No. Not by a long shot. It may be hot but we are moving fast enough to not notice.

We got FiOS. Fiber Optic bla bla. When I got here a couple of weeks ago I couldn't even watch a great video download because it crawled along like I was on dial-up. I called into Verizon and asked what it would take to connect me to the zippy FiOS. Not bad, not much different, and if I discontinued a monthly fee for long distance I could save that on the monthly bill. Furthermore, I learned from the very pleasant woman on the other end that when we go back to Mexico we can put the whole phone, internet business on vacation and save 75%! Wow! Who knew? The deal now is that once I open iTunes the regular podcasts that I download are just moments from finishing. What a difference. I must really be careful to not get too quick to fall in love with some new music because I can own the album in moments. I bet I could even watch TV shows. Like Weeds if I missed an episode.

I wi
sh I could download Bella because I miss her.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mamma Mia

I drove up to my home in California late last week. I brought along my cat and a friend that needed a ride up to Arizona. The border was a snap for me and the cat, but we were delayed as we waited for my friend to walk across. I have a "fast pass" and zip across pretty easily but she had to stand in a long line and it took longer than we figured. One of the gates was closed to people walking since the recent rains caused a sink hole in front of it. The sink hole was actually a tunnel that caved in. Don't ask me. I guess it was a drug tunnel, but I don't know. So, the trip took 13 and a half hours, instead of the normal 11. By the time we got to Gila Bend I stopped and bought a double-shot espresso and sailed the rest of the way home.
Now I'm in the land of plenty with movies and groceries and convenience. I went to Mamma Mia today and really enjoyed it. And I went and got a library card. My husband will be along in a couple of days so the girly stuff will come to an end. I think we are going to stay up here until hurricane season is over this year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Taking pictures with my cell phone isn't always a planned event. So, I apologize.
I got to feed the herd last night and asked Bella to give me a hand, please. She thought that meant to taste each armload and be sure it was appropriate for our high society horses.
This is what you get when you try to take a picture of a moving target and don't have any idea what is centered.
Is Bella too plump? She'll grow into her baby-fat, right?
This was taken in Jan. '07. See the loose halter on this baby face? She was still a yearling.
Yesterday, at nearly 3.5 years old. Same halter, same hole. It's getting tight.
I guess I'll have to ride some of that fat off her.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quiet Sunrise

I was sitting here watching the sunrise unfold and preparing to take a little walk with my husband, when I remembered it is the start of Badwater today. Our son is once again out there proving he can push the endurance limit. He hopes to finish in under 30 hours. Meanwhile, we walked all of 30 minutes and came in sweaty and bitchy. Humpf.
Son called a few minutes ago and said he will start in a few hours. He explained that the Elite runners start later when the sun gets meaner. He's awfully tough.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Coconuts, Mangos, Iguanas, Bananas, Tequila, Cruise Ships, Lightening, Sunburn, Music, Food, Agave
Jet Skis, Jungle, Muddy Rivers, Parachutes, Silver, Snakes, Mountains, Opulence, Movie Sets, Buses
Statues, Bandares Bay, T-shirt Shops, Talavera Tile, Ice Cream, Multi-lingual, Lichi Nuts, Fruit Stands
Mexican Highway, Mountainous Road, Jungle Canopy, Tour Buses, Water, Water, Water, Water, Wet Socks, Toll Roads, 1600 Miles

Wha'd I miss?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Sunrise

These summer sunrises aren't nearly as dramatic as the colorful winter ones. And once the sun peaks over the hill I have to lean around my big lamp and hide from the eye-blinding rays. Sunrise down here is around 5:30, and sunset is close to 7:30.
We are driving down to Puerto Vallarta this weekend for a week of laziness and civilization. I'll try to capture interesting shots of stuff we don't see around here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hot Summer Swim

Since it's really summer now, here is what is going on in our neighborhood. Most Mexicans love their seashore as much as a Tarheel. Enjoy the swim.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Moving Along

My friend is having her 60th birthday today. She is not allowing celebration because today is also a sad day. It was her mother's birthday as well, and mother passed away last December. So it is the first birthday they don't get to have each other. I made a card that says, Happy Summer Day and got her this vase and cut flowers just to liven up the mood.

Meanwhile, Floyd wanted to help me set up the flowers and insisted he stick his nose right in the arrangement. A week ago today we had to put his best buddy, Chester, to sleep. It broke our hearts into a million pieces to lose our Staff Sargent who told us when to get up, eat lunch, serve dinner, and go to bed. Everyday for Chester was a strict schedule of ins and outs and ups and downs. Now we have to go about our days rather lost. But, the fact that Floyd thought he should help with the flowers made me feel better that someone would take up the organization of our little family.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Desk Space

Pony Girl in all her cuteness tagged whoever to post a picture of their spot where they read blogs and otherwise spend too many hours/day. I decided to be honest and not clean up the mess I live around. This picture shows my personality pretty much as you see it. Slightly tilted lampshade and lots of important objects surrounding my very beloved black MacBook. A favorite Lindt Stymeist Button Mug. A big bottle of water. An external hard-drive. Several books including "All The Pretty Horses" that I have in line to read, and a California map book. A pair of scissors. Les Choristes DVD. A telephone. My lovely pink cell phone attached to a charger. A pair of tweezers. A used piece of dental floss. Pens. You don't see the very large surge protector, that includes a voltage regulator so my computer is Protected, behind the chair.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Ami tagged me to tell these very interesting facts about me. There might be a quiz later so stay awake and take notes.

A. Attached or Single-I'm married and have been forever

B. Best friend- Sue. She's been my friend since even before I met my husband!

C. Cake or Pie- YES. ok ok, cake I guess.

D. Day of Choice- Thursday, it's right before Friday!

E. Essential item- Tweezers

F. Flavor of Ice Cream- Butter Pecan

G. Gummy bears or Worms- Gummy bears, but I love sour worms

H. Hometown- Atherton

I. Indulgences- My horse

J. January or July- July

K. Kids- 2

L. Last movie I saw in a theatre- Made of Honor (not so bad)

M. This one was missing so let's make one up...Magic Kingdom or Sea
World- Sea World

N. Number of siblings- 2

O. Oranges or Apples- Apples

P. Phobias or Fears- Heights, or falling

Q. Quote- "...bite off the nose to spite the face"

R. Reasons to smile- A really nice deli sandwich

S. Season- Spring

T. Tag-(only if you want to) Pony Girl and Mud Ranch

U. Unknown fact about me- I have seen Milli Vanilli in concert

V. Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals- Meat Eater

W. Worst Habit- Leaving the dishes until morning

X. X-Rays or Ultrasounds- X-rays

Y. Your favorite food- Pasta

Z. Zodiac- Aries

Friday, June 06, 2008

Royal Poinciana

That's the tree that shades my front patio. I finally found the real name of it after several years of calling it just Beauty. Maybe that's the same species that is called a Flame Tree in Africa.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

More Monster Lessons

Yesterday we finally worked on walking across the dreaded tarp. I've been meaning to do this little task for, oh, about a year. I finally found the moon and stars in a row and remembered to take a tarp out to the barn along with the other important tool, the handy lunge line.

First I put the bundled up tarp in the arena with her loose so she had the opportunity to smell and taste it. Don't you love it when they cock their head to get a good look at any monster lurking under the object? Then, just holding the end of the lunge line loosely I drug the tarp to the position in which to work. Since it was breezy I needed to find a few small rocks to weigh it down on the corners. With all systems 'go' we petted and relaxed and discussed what I had on my mind. I stood next to the tarp and sent her off on a little circle. She locked her brakes as soon as she realized there was no place to go other than over the monster. Stop and think. Then, back the other way. Screeching brakes again. Slowly and softly we did this several times before I got her head and neck across in the left direction. A few more slow semi-circles and she gritted her teeth and barely stepped on the demon. We stood and contemplated whether she might lose that hoof or not and then she walked directly onto the middle of it and took a mouthful to be sure it was dead. Her very best human friend, Larry, had walked up to the rail in the middle of all this torture so after she bit the beast a few times and then let out her long held breath we walked over to receive a treat from him. A brief recess then we went back to work a little more on the right side but she was much more cautious that way. Her Ying and Yang weren't in agreement that this monster should be trusted. We went back to Ying and finished on a high note. Another day we will deal with Yang.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bella's Belly
That Felt So Good

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I loved him. I had hope that he would continue to show how talented ponies (or small horses) can be. He was a shining star.
He had to be put down due to an awful fall that tore tendons in a back leg. It happened on his way into the barn as he was rushing in. A simple slip and now this incredible pony is gone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The View

I got to go bye-bye in a plane this morning. It was quite lovely seeing the town from above.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Desert Blooms

Saguaro Cacti are blooming all over California and Arizona. They are so beautiful and dramatic. (I didn't take this picture but found it online to show you what I've been rubber-necking for all the way back down into Mexico.)

This little cactus in my California garden heard me say I was leaving and rushed it's blossom to open before I left. I woke up before dawn and looked right out at it.

And then I got home to Mexico and found the sun rising way far north over an energetic bay.