Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Bella and I wish everyone a very prosperous New Year.

Her accent is diminishing along with her grey.

This picture compliments of Cheryl who came for a little visit and knows how to find the perfect shot.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I had Bella shipped to California from Mexico recently since it looks like we will be staying awhile. The trip up was slow only due to papers being produced and stamped and an 8 day quarantine at the border. It was nice that the 700 miles didn't have to be traveled all in one day.

I cannot adequately write the words to describe how hard this decision was to move the little horse from her native habitat. However, I finally decided this California desert isn't so different from her birthplace and that she could probably survive relocation especially at this tender age of 4. And with me to spoil the living daylights out of her for the rest of her life maybe she would some day forgive me.

Step One was to stress over her pick up. That was accomplished 3 days after the appointed date. I had found the very best horse shipper in Mexico who had a lovely 12-horse trailer and knew how to go about all the paperwork. My girlfriends met the trailer and stuffed Bella in without much more than some strong pushing. It took maybe 5 minutes. Step Two was to get her to the border and into quarantine. Blood tests drawn and sent off. Worry and wait, wait and worry. And worry some more. Finally the test results were in and she was free to go, so the next step was to haul her up to a farm in Tucson and prepare to be included in a group of 5 horses coming over to California. Another 7 hours in a trailer and she arrived safe and sound, coming off the trailer like the queen had arrived.

For a little Mexican horse who never left her birthplace this was a big trip with a lot of new stuff to see and encounter. I have found her a barn that appears to be so very perfect for her and me. Some very nice horses attached to some very nice women who would rather spend the day with their horses than just about anything else in the world.

Bella and I picked right up where I left off about 6 months ago when we left Mexico. She is already nickering at me when I arrive at the barn for my daily visit. Music to my ears.

A new phase for us has started.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I can't resist a pile of kitties.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
click on pic to view entirely.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monterey Bay Aquarium July

My Friend in Mexico yesterday

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good Buddies

Sunni and Cali are sharing their ration of psyllium and beet pulp just as my buddy, Cheryl, shares her experience of horse ownership with me.

I'm very fortunate to have met her.

Monday, September 14, 2009

More Hurricanes

Our cat, Floyd, turned 10 this weekend. The little feral Plain Jane has lived his extra lives to the fullest and can now live as a senior citizen with his senior citizen hosts.

10 years ago this week Hurricane Floyd wrecked havoc along the eastern seaboard, causing millions of dollars in damage with unrelenting rain and then flooding in Eastern North Carolina, our cat's birthplace. The island where he was born was evacuated when it looked like the approaching hurricane could be a problem.

When residents returned to the island after the worst of the storm passed, our good friend found this little rat in the middle of the road, abandoned by his mother before his eyes were even opened. Ray fed him from an eye-dropper, taught him to use a litter box properly, and turned him over to the other house cats for proper attitude adjustments.

Late in October of that year, my husband and I were back there having a little vacation in our beach house on the same street as Ray. We had lost one of our two rescue cats a few months before to a birth defect, and the surviving cat was still lost without his brother.

Ray was completely smitten with this little Floyd who would ride in the car right on his shoulder. Ray's wife was beside herself with an overabundance of cats they were already living with and gave Ray the ultimatum of culling the herd, or she would.

Lucky for us! We weren't really in the market but it seemed like Floyd might just be the perfect companion for our lonely Chester back in California. Floyd had whatever shots a 6 week old cat can have, and I purchased a soft-sided carrier so I could take him on the plane like a piece of carry-on luggage. The rule was something like the pet had to be 9 weeks old to fly so we lied and took him anyway.

Chester welcomed Floyd with open paws and started right in showing him the territory he would be responsible for in our housing development. Before we knew it, we had two roving bird and rodent and goldfish (or koi) murderers.

There is more to Floyd's story.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hurrican Hits Home

It was late last week. Nobody up here knew anything about it. It didn't impact Cabo so it wasn't a story anymore. My friends down in my town are still suffering without water but they have electricity, phone, and good attitudes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Another lovely day in Paradise with so many horses so little time. Cheryl Ann invited me up to visit her herd again right before school started. I felt very honored to be with her on her last day of summer vacation and share in her wonderful horseflesh. Everyone had their time out of the pens and got a little special attention.
Thank you, Cheryl. I hope your school year is wonderful. Those kids are lucky to have you for a teacher. I'm sure you change many little lives.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Cove

I had the pleasure of a few days over in Santa Monica with my sister this week. When she has free time and I have free time we like to go to the Farmer's Market or a good movie. We got to do both on Wednesday. If there is an opportunity in your world to see The Cove I highly recommend it. Dolphins in Japan. Dolphin slaughter in Japan. From a man who worked on the Flipper TV series. Your heart will ache for his deeply felt guilt over not understanding the dolphin's condition until he lost his best friend, and how he is dedicating the rest of his life to their safety. Please see it and spread the word.

In other news, today my good buddy back in North Carolina sent me a snapshot of a recent Leatherback hatch on the Outer Banks. When we lived back there in the 90's, I was on a Turtle Patrol team. That meant walking the beach very early in the morning to see if there were turtle tracks and possible nests. Once the nests are identified they are cordoned off with police tape and checked daily to be sure no crabs, birds, or humans have disturbed them. After 60-70 days the nest boils (hatches) and out (up) pour dozens and dozens of hatchlings. It is then the Turtle Patrols' responsibility to safely see that the children crawl toward the ocean. That 50 or 100 yard crawl is very important for the babies' lungs. Thereafter they will need those expanded lungs to take deep breaths for their sea lives.

I wonder when the whole world will understand how important our oceans are to our terrestrial lives.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cactus Blooms

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sunni has a good lesson.

I got to go up to enjoy Cheryl Ann's beautiful horses again and, boy, did we have a busy day. She boards them uphill from the extremely hot desert we live in, so they enjoy a more reasonable summer.

Cheryl Ann's cousin is an amazing woman who has had horses in her life since she was a kid and has learned how to train and work with them. She's that one in a million horse person who really reads a horse well and they respect her as soon as she enters their space.

The one horse that needs a good teacher is Sunni, a big gelding who worries about the gremlins under every blade of grass, and has a huge sensitivity to his behind. The farrier cannot even get to his back feet.

Cheryl Ann's cousin is taking her time and gaining his confidence in baby steps. In the above picture she is asking him to "stay" and then walking to either side of him and eventually behind him. He has to trust her and in the picture you can see how hard he is concentrating. I just love him. They make a wonderful team. By the end of the 30 minute lesson he was allowing her to walk directly behind without moving his rear away.
Here is Scout with Cheryl Ann. This mare is gorgeous, built like a real honest cow pony who could work all day, and has her own opinion about lessons.

I am so fortunate to have met such a wonderful friend with a stable full of horses, and with a cousin who can interpret a horse's thoughts, and who is willing to share the bounty with me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mexican Veranda

Lots of visits and lots of visitors. Some phone calls. Some drama, but not all. A grandson getting his driver's license and one starting high school at a college. Sisters returning.

My good buddy, Cheryl Ann, has been so kind and has invited me to visit her lovely herd again tomorrow. I think all will become clearer and my perspective better after smelling some horse flesh.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I had the delightful pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger on Monday. Cheryl Ann invited me to go to her barn and meet her herd which includes two mustangs, two thoroughbreds, a lovely quarter horse, and a big warm blooded gelding. I kept thinking how wonderful it is to have so many muzzles to kiss, so many pony nickers calling for attention, so much horse-flesh to squeeze. I was in awe of so many colors and personalities.

In the end though, I had to agree with what the horses were showing me. They are lucky to have such a warm, loving person to take such good care of them.

The picture above is of her alpha mare, and one of her mustangs, Scout. You can see by that expression that Scout loves having Cheryl touch her and talk to her.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mama Baby

This little mare was my #2 horse. She was my first horse's baby, probably # 6 foal or something. Her daddy was supposedly a son of Poco Bueno. That's a straight line to the big guy. She was born in August of '64, when I was gone. About 12 years later I repossessed her and enjoyed her spirit and willingness until I had to sell her 5 years later. She was your typical little bitchy mare and I loved every minute of her attitude.

She never had the chance to reach her potential, yet she was a fine, flashy ride. She turned heads when we rode along the roads. I still miss her.

I was up in Monterey last week and had the pleasure of visiting my friend who is riding a beautiful Hanoverian mare for a woman. This is one of those perfect examples of a very well trained horse with abilities that have been tapped beyond Dressage. She has not exactly reached her potential but has had every opportunity to with wonderful schooling. She is jumping and showing and enjoying life at a lovely barn. I watched her float through transitions.

Of course reaching potential is not what owning a horse is supposed to be. You should be able to enjoy your horse without keeping it in training, trying to find everything the horse is capable of doing. Sometimes just keeping them healthy and happy is enough.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


So a couple of posts ago I showed my little mare with a very full head of hair. A forelock that begs to be braided and removed from in front of her eyes. The look and the attitude reminds me so much of a pre-schooler with hair that needs tending but turns out to be too big a fight to accomplish. My little mare is good about grooming, scratching ears, soft brushing her face, but combing that forelock always produces a frown and her trying to move away. It's a good thing I once-upon-a-time had a little girl, human-type, so I understand the complex attitude that small females have.

My last horse before Bella, Buck The Perfect, or Prince-The Horse Formally Known As Buck (after he moved into the barn with a stall all his own), was certainly as opposite to Bella as black is to white. While Bella was only a halter broke yearling when I bought her, Buck was a bomb-proof old man when he came into my life. I had no intention of paying good money for an old bag of bones, but Buck had other ideas. He turned on his charms, sweated that sweet horsey pheromone, and looked me square in the eye and said, "Lady, really you do need to have me to take care of you in payment for those buckets you'll supply everyday, always. K? It's a deal then. Go pay the woman."

All of my old grooming equipment dwindled down to a hoof pick, a couple of brushes that were like steel wool, and a sponge or two. I could take that hard mud remover brush you might use on legs and scratch it through his body and he loved it. Not much need for a mane and tail comb since he only had a couple of mane hairs which I loved each Spring when they grew long enough to bend over, and just a tuft of fuzz for a forelock. And his tail? Just enough to pretend to hunter braid, sort of.

In the summer I worried about him not being able to swat flies properly since his tail wouldn't really reach all the way around to much past his butt. I tried several types of fly sprays that worked a few minutes until those lovely pheromones found the pests again.

A couple of friends helped me come up with a perfect plan to attach a tail bag to his stubby hairs so he wouldn't be so handicapped in the fly removal area. We were all very thrilled with ourselves when we braided him and attached this nylon extension.Back out to the field he went, obliviously proud of himself. Problem solved.


The winds tend to whip up in the California valleys in the afternoon. Buck had now become a one man wind-sock, tail blowing straight sidways, letting us all see what direction the wind was blowing.

Before we gave up this hair-brained idea we tried stuffing straw down in the empty sock to weight it down. No go. Even that did no good. Anything heavier might have pulled his skinny little braid right out and he would have been worse off. We forgot the tail bag entirely.

He was a marvelous horse. My once in a lifetime push-button pony. He passed away in 2003.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What Cat?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bella as a Yearling.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Facebook Quiz

Don't you love those tests that prove who you are? The ones that validate what you know already? Facebook is loaded with them. Maybe it is for those who are still figuring it out.

You are water: Known as the smart element, you are a thinker known to consider things before delving into them. Still, if there are sudden unforeseen problems, you flow right past them, finding alternative solutions. In other words, you are resourceful, and your fantastic memory helps you stay that way. Inherently, water has two characters: moving, and still. There may be stages in your life where you become sense-driven, filled with wanderlust; and other times when you are simply... calm. Be careful of the first, since it can lead to a bad habit of easily discarding your goals for new ones just as easilly discard later.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mexican Bird of Paradise

Whew. It took me weeks to solve that puzzle.

Otherwise, the temperatures in our California desert are the best of the whole year. Open windows overnight, shirtsleeves and swimming during the middle of the day.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Fireworks Plant

I don't know the name of it even though I bought and planted it myself in my tiny California garden. We have these plants near our house in Mexico, too. The plant has exploded into bloom in the last two weeks since we drove up here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fashion Police

Thankfully the fashion police weren't out yesterday as we took our trail ride. My capri jeans are my favorite riding pants, and when coupled with my ropers are always an attractive statement, however now that I see it from this perspective it doesn't enhance my fabulous body or look as I imagined. The jeans are a size too large so sitting and moving are easier. The Fresh Produce shirt is short to the waist. Under the shirt is only a jog bra. Put that all together with a peek-a-boo leg and you've got no-no's galore.

Since I was a young rider I've never ever cared how I looked on my horse. I always put on what was comfortable for the season and trail. Luckily the horses never spoke up to either compliment or complain about the dress code I chose. But after always thinking I look OK, and now seeing with my own eyes I might be mistaken, I will be picking through my closet a little more...complimentary shall we say.

However, if this is all I see I'll fall right back into my old habits.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Trimming a Mini

One of Bella's best friends is Munchkin. They are neighbors most of the time unless another horse goes into Bella's normal paddock and she gets shuffled to another. Bella got her shoes done yesterday and naturally Munch had to have her toes filed, too.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Click to view the whole graph!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I rode Bella today in the arena and she wore out before I did. I've got to try to work her every few days since she has gained, oh, just a tiny bit of weight. Tonight, as she got her coffee cup of pellets, she had regained her energy because she ate it like a dog.
Easy Keeper!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Winos In Paradise

So no sooner did we get home from California but we had friends come down to help celebrate a rather inconsequential birthday. They brought 6 packs of wine...3 of them. And their 3 dogs.

Mugs of wine and shrimp tacos. Onion rings. Watermelon. Carnitas. Pineapple. Tamales.

Our friends have gone back up across the border and they replaced the wine with fresh squeezed orange juice and kilos of fresh shrimp.

Time to get back to basics.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


We drove back down into Mexico yesterday. It was a lovely trip if a little too windy. Our SUV was bumped by wind the whole way. And, we did not see any border trouble at all. It seems to be somewhere else that they are talking about.

Obama is in Mexico today discussing the drug/gun border problems. Do you think he might stop by for a piece of my birthday cake?

Monday, April 13, 2009

One of my favorite things in memory is sharing daily life with my big sisters. We played outside until after trying to be as big as them, while they made sure I could keep up. We three girls have been best friends forever, and we always introduce our new friends to our sisters.

Having the privilege of meeting, and being included into, a new form of family in the blog-world has simply been delicious to me. The more the merrier.

I love my real sisters, my real-life girlfriends, and now my blog friends. You are all my sisters.

Carolynn passed on this Sisterhood Award and I just want to say how much I appreciate it. I have a few women to pass it to that you may or may not know. Check them out and they may become your sister too.

Kristy who is a delight and a sister.

Stacey who owns the biggest horse.

Donna who was one of my first blog sisters and I think of daily.

Anne who turns a phrase so well and is raising a sister.

MiKael who is the ultimate sister with her stamina and determination.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Saturday at the College of the Desert Outdoor Market

Sunday at La Quinta's quaint Farmer's Market

It doesn't get more "California" than this. Designer dogs in backpacks, amazing fruit and vegetables picked very close by, everyone carrying home fresh eggs and local bread.

We've been eating strawberries everyday since then. Sliced strawberries with sugar and Meyer lemon juice. I can't quite get enough.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


That is our first crop of oranges from our little tree in our tiny yard up here in California. The next crop is already starting now that the deliciously fragrant blossoms have fallen off and left baby oranges the rest of the year to gestate on the tree.

The wine? Yes, well now that is just for my restful mind. I received the sweetest un-birthday present from Carolynn, the book Radiant Body, Restful Mind along with a fancy Lavender sachet from L'Occitane that is sitting right here next to my computer. Thank you a million times, my friend. I read through the first chapter yesterday and found myself breathing deeply and relaxing with a handful of raisins and my legs in the sun. Treating myself properly.

Since my birthday is marching up the lane this month I am going to do the same thing she did and offer this lovely book up to someone who just needs a reminder to treat yourself like the valuable human you are. If you would like to receive my own un-birthday gift being passed forward leave a comment and I'll do some random eeny meeny miny moe thing. All of my blogger buddies are valuable, you know.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Barn Puppies @ 9 Weeks

I got so lucky! Diane gave away all the puppies but these two little girls. Now she simply refuses to let these two go. Last year several of her old dogs passed away and she has been missing her pack that goes out in the desert with her when she rides or walks.

Do you see that one of them is my precious Dot? Diane tried to name her something else that didn't fit and is now back to Dotty. The other puppy is Guapa who seems loaded with personality. Dot tends to be a little shy, which is so endearing, but she knows me and comes running.

I will work at getting a real picture of them some other time. They are in perpetual motion. As this picture was snapped they were about to attack the cat. The cat loved it. I guess they are his puppies, too. They are about the size of the cat at this time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

We are going to be driving back north across the border in a few days and I don't have even one moment of doubt that we will be safe. It's really a shame that the drug problems have gotten so bad that people are worried about traveling down into Mexico. We see none of the trouble.

Maybe it is time to legalize marijuana.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The dreaded cell phone pictures again.

Gary and Bella went out in the desert for a ride with friendly Larry on Rubio. My girl was quite pooped after cantering in circles and then walking with her buddies. So much stimulation.
I didn't take another picture of how lovely she was after rolling in the poop pile after being unsaddled.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I've been up in California for 2 weeks and today was my first day back out to see Bella. Gary worked with her a few times while I was gone and showed me what they have been doing. He has her really understanding leg pressure and moving off the leg. Also, the canter is coming along.

Gary is a retired trainer. He got lonesome for horseflesh while down here for the winter. He'll be gone in a few weeks.

I couldn't have been more fortunate. He is soft and light with Bella. A perfectly wonderful man and
she is an amazing little horse.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Our Sundial

Our mountains can almost tell the time of day/time of year with their shadows on our bay.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Barn Puppies @ 4 Weeks

This beauty has already been chosen.

These two dolls are still up for grabs.

And then there's Dot.

You can see why we call her that.

I'm not taking a puppy. Nope. Really. Nada. But I wish my neighbor would decide she needs to take Dot home.
I'm going to take her out to the barn this week sometime and just put Dot in her hands. If she gets one whiff of that puppy smell I think she'll be a goner.