Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why write if no one reads...

Ah well, cause I like to write I guess. Time passes, yes, quickly, though I've learned to downshift some and take it in more slowly.

Christmas was a quiet affair, spent mostly sleeping, cooking, eating breakfast and snacks in bed, watching Tolkien, cuddling, napping...did I mention not getting out of bed except for Christmas dinner at mom's? I took Derby Pie, a delicious chocolate chip, chopped walnuts, bourbon, eggs, creamy mixture that you can only eat a smidgeon of. I forgot it actually and had to drive 20 miles back to get it and will be reminded of how I ruined dinner by being late for years to come, I am certain. But it was all good...

I got enough money to pay off bills and get new tires which I needed badly, having trucked over off road terrain out west, literal boulders I ran over to get to the tippy top of the Big Horns, 11,000 feet and my place of bliss with my horses having picnics overlooking faraway places without inhabitants and wonders such as Solitude Lake way down there in the depths of a canyon.

Sunny here and bitter cold and I have ear problems but I'm inside, warm and happy enough.

My Cowboy, Hans Anderson

Rodeo beaching it in December
I have a new man in my life, for about 4 months now. He lives a few hours away so we see each other on weekends. He is a farmer's son, from generations back and works in a stockyard....and wonders how he'll find propane to fuel his heat and gas to visit his new love...me. He is kind hearted, hard working, and dirt poor living in his grandmother's trailer with a cat named Harold and a blind and deaf Aussie cowdog named Jack who still wags his tail and rolls in the snow while my pup dances around him....said pup Rodeo is growing up fast and is now 9 months old.

Got lots of cards from old students, some telling me they've now been married for 20 years and the kids are in college. Life....it's amazing and quick.

I enjoy it all, mostly anyways.

Cheers to anyone passing this way and Happy New Year with all blessings.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blog Bliss

I haven't been writing regularly. I think when I started noticing my posts not being so happy, I didn't want to spew.

And I get busy with life.

I had a musician friend I've known for 10 years come visit from Australia. Had a gathering and he played beautiful guitar and sang. He was JUST as I imagined him. Remarkable. Witty, talented, warm, easy to have around, giving, loving...a real friend. And we only connected online...for 10 years. He worked with some of my online students. I edited his dissertation. We exchanged and stayed connected. Through a marriage and divorce, children being born and learning to walk, moving and changing, and still connected through these wires and now in real time. Amazing. Nice. Bonus. Happy memories and more to come.

Now I am getting ready for my friend from England to come for Thanksgiving. She is the only "sister" I have ever had. Adopted. Friend sister. But family. Trust her with my life. Only see her once or twice a year if that.

Have been polishing silver, making placecards, setting the table, hanging shiny pretty lights as we will share our Christmas together so we don't have to mail international. It's gotten exorbitant...out of reach.

She makes the best cup of tea ever. Something about her making it...tastes totally different and gorgeous...ahh....

Anyways, spose to snow on Thanksgiving and I adore the FIRST snowfall. It makes me as excited as when I was a kid...still. "LOOK! It's SNOWING." And the world turns white and fresh and the air is cold and pure and my horses get fuzzy and warm to ride bareback. The woods go quiet.

I am happy.

I am alive.

I am blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving all, and happy every day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Autumn raking and riding

colors at sunset out my back door

My truck and trailer, 52' long and I can lock, load, drive and fix it!
Last week I rode my horses from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron on the Michigan Trail Rider's fall color tour.I am never happier than when I am a-horseback in the middle of nowhere especially in autumn when the stroke of nature's hand has painted the trees in flaming colors.

Avoided many potential train wrecks along the way. Took a girlfriend who is a girlie girl and of no help. First night I realized I had forgotten my down blanket and it was 14 degrees. B with a shitload of rrrr's. Donned most of my warmest clothes and slept with the pup, Rodeo, between us. Still more than cold. Bucket water frozen solid. Malfunctioning water heater on trailer which I managed to fix myself by reconnecting a wire in that tangled mess under the cabinet. I am, as an understatement, a mechanical moron, but necessity is the mother of invention and I had at it and actually fixed it, a true blessing, that warm water and heat.

Then in the middle of the night, I checked on horses on picket line. Chance had managed to wrap the lead line around his BACK hoof and had pulled quick release knot so tightly I had to cut it to release him. He was standing frozen in place, thankfully. I wonder if he wasn't going into shock from cold and fear or if he just knew he was hobbled. I always sleep with one eye open or some back of the mind thought to check horses in the middle of the night. They usually look at me like, "why are you shining that bright light in our faces? We're just standin here." But sometimes not and this was one of those times.


stopping for a drink
I'm good for a one dog night...

I can ride both horses bareback again and that's another real big thing to me. Gracie, she's just plain dependable, but Chance has been a challenge. Now, I'm comfortable and we've gained our trust in one another. Riding bareback allows me to connect in a completely different way with my horses. The motion of their muscles, their reactions, their warmth, their power, their stride...their reactions..it's a feeling of being more in tune and rhythm with them, and an ultimate trust and a learning of balance and motion.

After riding yesterday, followed by hot thai chicken pasta and hot chai tea, I went out to rake leaves. Yes, rake. Don't like noisy blowers and it's good exercise, a free gym and a meditative activity. The leaves were twirling down, swaying  like tiny colored boats on waves of air, covering the ground as fast as I could clear them. The raking is repetitive work, stroke, stroke, stroke into piles. Each leaf is different in pattern and color and I become a child wanting to collect and press and save them all. It is akin to chop wood, carry water. And i find it joyful, not a chore.

Today I am hacking as i have been ill and overdid yesterday as it was the first day in many i was well enough to have the energy to get out of the house...and so I rode and raked and loved the day.

Today I can rest...for awhile. Then I must live!

it's grand to be alive...and partially well at least.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Me Time..

I find I cannot live without my own time to myself to do whatever I please, without having to engage with anyone or deal with anyone else's issues or be obligated. Just time to be quiet or ride my horse through the woods and listen to nature. The wind speaks through the trees. The horses whinny back and forth. The birds have calls I can distinguish one from another. The fox are stealthy. The deer are day sleeping in to escape the heat. I ride and then shower and then read and then cook and then nap sometimes or garden or write or whatever I please. I like being on my own. I get irritable when I have company too often or for too long. I want them to go home and take their little dog too. My puppy needs her time right now without interference or other dogs around to distract. Bringing a dog over to visit and for a "play date" is one thing. Bringing a dog over for two days and nights and a dog who shits on the floor is another. Get out.

It's hot and I'm irritable and glad to be here on my own right now. I need to rethink some things. Why do relationships have to get so complicated? Why can't it just be fun and not so serious. I mean, really!

We're grown....and we have lives of our own and do NOT have to be attached at the hip all the time.

Phew. Glad I got that out.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Teaching and learning naturally

Rodeo continues to learn through every moment, ever present and intent. The teaching is playful, sometimes stern but only in tone of voice and well understood. I introduce her to new things. Fetch and drop can be distinguished between tug of war. Stay and "it's ok" are familiar and known words. "I see you" said in an uplifting tone gets a tail wagging bouncing pouncing come hither response...and laughter from me. She thrives on attention. She is learning her "house" is not such a bad place though not her favorite. She likes the cold dark of my long bathroom, the cool tile to stretch out on. Still have to crate her now and again though if gone riding or for an extended amount of time. Don't yet trust her with cords, though she's learning plants and cords and such are a definite "NO", to which she immediately responds with ears back and tail down and ok then!

She's a joy. She lays in the yard while I pull weeds though is still too timid to follow to mailbox at end of drive..which is a good thing. Cars and street.

Teaching to me is joyful, easy, and natural. It is the same with children. Set boundaries. Be consistent. Be loving and attentive,. Pay attention. Establish trust and relationship. Take the time. Learn and teach seamlessly.

Anyways, it's good fun.

Mostly she brings laughter and love every day...and who doesn't need that?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Puppies and summer storms

So, I finally got my puppy, Rodeo, an English Shepherd, named by 3 year old little girl, Adela Rose. She is the smartest dog I've ever owned and I've owned dogs since I left home at 16. They've all been great dogs, but this one is sooo bright....she's only been here 3 days and knows come, sit, stay, kennel up, more. And she has puppy breath and soft, soft fur and kisses.

I've also had the pleasure of teaching 3 little girls to ride in the last few weeks. They all can now steer and ride bareback on their own....at a trot. Their faces? Priceless. My joy, insurmountable. Never able to have my own children. Love children and animals most of all. The sheer essence of them is pure joy...and wide eyes.

It makes me so happy to be alive.

Tornadoes and storms have been ripping through the area. It's a crap shoot nearly every day. But so far, so good. Like storms if they don't turn to tornadoes. Afterall, who needs tornadoes???

Nothin else really matters..I've been getting things done around here and teaching my pup and just livin and loving. That's what matters.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Deleted last posting. Simply spillage over the edges and too raw and private. Things are good. As good as it gets I think. Get my new pup, Rodeo tomorrow. English Shepherd. Looking forward to training. Lots of work but rewarding and dogs are great companions. Smoking less...near to quitting. Time will come.

Summertime. Wish I could garden but hand won't allow.

Fun with kids and horses and this and that.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Like Living

So, went to Mayo Clinic and had a whole battery of tests done and they say I'm in EXCELLENT health exccept for smoking which will imminently and quickly lead to heart attack if I don't stop. No wiggle room, says the doc. So, I have on a patch and am quitting. I'm determined this time. I want to smoke but I don't want to die young, so there you go. Still, it's very annoying at the moment. Am sequestered until I get over the intial anger, frustration, denial, temptations, etc. Gack.

Otherwise, life is good. Mom and I have become The Bickersons. Staying with her in a hotel room for 4 days was well, a bit trying though we laughed about it at the end of the day. She has some major issues, which one does at 80. She's really pretty good but that's not her attitude nor perception of it. I just listen and take deep breaths. She gives me LOTS of advice...well intentioned but as if I was born a couple hours ago.

Went to go riding today and as soon as I got there it started pouring rain. 10 minutes after I got all the way back home, it stopped. Of course it did.

I'm irritable and am going to take a nap now.

It will pass.

Going to Arizona to meet with friends in the fall..to my favorite Apache Lake.

Something to look forward to.

Anybody out there??
Besides hackers?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Some summer fun..

I haven't been on in awhile. Somebody from China has been hacking in and posting flippin porn sites on my blog. Sorry, I have a REAL life and you should get one too. Stay outta my space....

Hot fun in the sum rtime. Been blue blazes here but flowers are in full bloom and birds and deer and bunnies are all havin their babies. New life everywhere and the cacophony of song and breezes playing through the leaves. Wake in the mornings to song and light.

Horses are happily swishing their tails and grazing and love riding out into the woods. I feel my body relax as I breathe and feel their muscles as they loosen. Then off to a canter with red tails and deer flying alongside down the fruit belt, speed increasing each time I make the kiss-kiss sound. I so adore the feeling of it.

Looking forward to going out in my horsey Hilton soon. Have to take my mother to Mayo Clinic first...hopefully all will turn out well there. I don't do doctors but while there will  have them do a thorough once over. Never done that. Guess I'm interested to see how my body is faring at 53. I feel grand. T'is why I don't do doctors. They tell you what's wrong. What you don't know I guess can hurt you but hasn't so far.

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy being happy and alive and off to ride.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Do you believe in MAGIC?

Nature teaches. Yesterday I was at a gathering to celebrate two friends' birthdays and the birth of a wee little girl who looks like a papoose and her mother shines as she looks at her. When I first met the little girl, Skylar, weeks old, she was sleeping on her side, tiny fist curled up to her face. I had her mother lean down next to her and took their picture. It was magic.

Later, I walked outside to get some air, and yeah, smoke, and I like going outside to smoke. It's a way to the quiet. As I sat there, my first sighting of a hummingbird occurred in the red petunia plant I had given the grandmother of this baby.

I announced this excitedly. Others looked at me like Ohhhh---kay. A hummingbird. Uh huh.

Well, I know it was a sign.

When the Skylar's grandmother first saw the infant be born she said, "She looks like a little papoose." Indeed she does. Black hair, soft as the velvet noses of my horses, smooth, soft chocolate skin..oh baby.

I looked in my Indian totem book tonight.
Here's a bit about Hummingbird and its messages..
Hummingbird, joyful little sister, nectar you crave! All the sweetness of the flowers, is the love you gave.
(Holding her brought joy to me immeasurable!)

Hummingbird feathers open the heart. Without an open and loving heart, you can never taste the nectar and pure bliss of life. Life is a wonderland of delight--darting from one flower to another, tasting the essences, and radiating the colors. Hummingbird's mission is to spread joy or be destroyed. Follow Sister Hummingbird and hyou will soon be filled with paraoxyms of joy and experience a renewal of the magic of living.

Skylar is the first born girl grandchild, the first SISTER. Oh my. And she is love.

Then today, I saw a fawn be birthed just outside my back door. Saw mama licking it clean and the fawn struggle up on wobbly legs. I stood in awe. I have many deer who sleep in my back woods. I have been here for 26 years. They know the property will stay natural, with their pathways created by them, and their sleeping spots left undisturbed. And occasionally a tasty apple appears along with other flora and fauna to their liking.

It was a first, seeing this moment of magic and as always, happenstance. I just happened to be downstairs and look out. I will always remember these moments. They are the elixir of my life.

I am blessed and awakened.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just me, that's all

Well, my friends write blogs for their kids or a real newspaper or their far away lovers and fans. Me? I just write cause it's how I've always cleared the thoughts that linger so I can sleep without them banging against my brain.

Mom's 80th birthday today. She looks great and I'm here to have the time with her and so excited to plan her birthday surprises. Friend, who is like a second daughter to her, flew in from England. Took three months to pay for a personally designed emerald ring, her birthstone and the ring she's always wanted, an emerald. Beautiful, changing colors, faceted stone from South America. Brushed gold setting. Tiny as her fingers are so very small.

Lunch at a private setting. Quiet and nice. Tomato plant, flowering plant, balloon, handmade custard filled chocolate cake...

Mom cannot help but say: "You eat too fast. You did waay too much. You shouldn't do that. The food is too expensive. Oh well, you'll have the ring when I die in a couple years." You get the picture.

She doesn't mean it. I love her so. It used to put me in tears. Now I end up laughing because I know who she is and what to expect and I do what I feel in my heart anyways...I want to give to her like she did me for all my life...when I was young and she was less critical and more naturally loving. I was small...afterall.

So, good day because I've grown and can take it for what it is.

And my friend is here from overseas. And that's nice.
And my new doggie bed came today and is in the bay window awaiting the arrival of my baby pup in a few weeks.

Life is. And I love it.

And I'm in it.

And I am blessed and appreciative.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Write Everyday

Well, it's a gloomy, overcast kind of day. Perfect for reflecting, reading, writing. Going to the opening of the keyboard fest tonight and looking forward to that. So miss having a piano. Would have to have a crane to get it upstairs in my house and cannot afford a baby grand right now.

Think I found a Border Collie to rescue named Sheah. Have applied and will know in a couple weeks. I soo miss having a dog to greet me when I come home, lick my face, take walks with, make me laugh, love me without conditions.

My flowering trees this year were so bright as to be called spectacular. Everything is sprouting life from the ground and seeing this rebirthing gives me life energy too.

My mare is fully recovered from her near death due to neglect while  I was away from Montana home to see my mom. It's hard not to be angry at the person who did this to her. But I am trying to learn how to better LET GO of anger. It's a hard thing. Meditation and lovingkindness help some but it is hard to forgive someone who mistreats and animal. He also did not care for my dog, resulting in her tearing a tendon, having to have surgery and ultimately resulting in her death. That too is hard to forgive. How do people live with themselves. Why are they cruel to a helpless animal, watch them suffer and do NOTHING? It's really inexcusable, like not treating a child right. Maybe that's where it comes from. He was abused as a child as well.  Sigh. Reap and sow...

I have been riding every day. That is so exhilerating to me, so peaceful at the same time. To combine those two feelings is unusual and pure gold.

So, that's it for today's random thoughts.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What Dreams May Come

I've been having vivid dreams. It's so strange how in dreams the strangest things seem perfectly normal, like a person who then changes to another person without a pause, like communication without verbal language but telepathic, like being in one place and suddenly another, or being in a familiar place you've never been.

Sometimes I wake in a sweat in the dark of the room. I listen to the sounds of my house, knowing them all by heart as I live alone and it's important if there's sound that isn't "normal", to pay attention. The refrigerator kicks on. The critter living in my walls shifts and I can hear his claws scrape as he turns or whatever he's doing in there. I don't want to know. The clock ticks. The neighbors' son just pulled in the drive. I smoke a cigarette and hope I don't return to the same dream, like a replayed movie or continuing from the moment I left off and woke myself in an attempt to escape the night terror.

They make sense then, in the night's darkness, but in the morning, I wonder, what was that all about? How strange!

I'd like to sleep without waking, just once. I'd like to sleep without dreaming, just once. I'd like to dream of being a dolphin or a horse flying or have happy dreams. I tire of nightmares, both when I'm sleeping and then when I wake, tired from the struggle of the dreams that come without the asking.

Can somebody turn off the subsconscious button?

Thanks much.
Ah, daybreak.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Keep on going?

Every time I get on the highway headed west, I cannot help but think, "I could just keep going and be in Colorado in 22 hours or Wyoming in a bit more. It's so damned tempting. I so adore the mountains and the West and feel so much more at home there. I remember the first time driving out at 17. Drove all night, arrived in Estes Park the next morning and climbed a mountain. Then I went to a pay phone (do those still exist?) and rang my mom and exclaimed, "MOM! I just climbed to the top of a mountain!" I'd never seen a mountain much less climbed one. I was ecstatic.

Of course, no matter where you go there you are, but some places just seem more "at home" than even your first home base. I love my mom and am here for her but yeah, I do wanna move out West again. Hopefully there will be time and I won't get dusted before that. What a happy thought...I amuse myself sometimes.

Been riding every day and oh, how I love the feeling. It is simply my bliss. Everything is right with the world and my mind quiets when I'm out there in the woods. Now if there were just mountains...

I spose I could be happy and stop wishing for what I don't have at the MOMENT.

I am glad to be alive and well. Right now. That's the only thing we have. I try to pay attention.

In other words, wake up! Pay attention. Be grateful for everyday blessings. Big girls don't cry...etc.

It's a good day...it hasn't started to rain, yet. Smile.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Feeling Connected

Just had friends drive 36 hours from Idaho to pick up stuff that I had stored for them when their mom died. Friends I've known since I was 16 but have only seen twice since then. Such a great uplifting, fun visit. We ate pecan encrusted trout, listened to some horn and guitar, drank some champagne, shared old stories and new, looked at pictures of their recent trip to South America, took a nap with doors and windows open, worked outside together, shared gifts, all kinds both material and non. Doesn't matter how often you see real friends. The connection immediately and without awkwardness or effort is present. So encouraging and special.

So then though, I said, "Let's call....so and so." Another friend from the old days. Got message on cell. Left message and had friend from Idaho leave message. Then get an angry call the next morning because friend's boyfriend freaked out because a guy left a message on her phone. WTF. We are not in HS anymore. And we have a past and friends and he's been married for 30 years, happily, and get over yourself and your insecurity. I would have said that but she hung up after asking what would possess me to have this mutual friend leave a message on her phone, blah, blah...oh, maybe cause we were thinking of you and wanted to surprise you and sorry about your stupid boyfriend's insecurity and immature controlling relationship. I forgot about that I guess. Jeeez. What is wrong with these people?  The energy is all negative and backwards. Gack.

Why would you live your life that way? I just could not. Part of why I'm on my own. More ease...
Course if I could meet an adult person who knows who they are and loves to love and not wallow in silly games, it might be different and lovely. And I'd have someone to do the heavy lifting. I'm hurting today from trying to use too much brawn...but I had to git her done! Trailer is clean, sub pump fixed, water sucked out of basement and dumped bucket by bucket up the stairs, and my ding back hurts. Wah, wah. Sometimes it'd be nice to have a man around the house....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Just Another Saturday Night and I ain't...

Got nothing to do, cept think about stuff. My trees are all blooming and it's so fleeting that it moves me everytime I drive in or out of the drive which is a couple times a day only, all the more amazing as a result.
My mom is turning 80in a few weeks and today I bought her an emerald ring, her birthstone. She's always, her whole life, wanted an emerald. My dad bought her a fake one for her 40th birthday that I have and love. But I wanted her to have her one wish. It cost too much, my mind said. But my heart said, your mom is gonna be 80. If not now, when then does she get her emerald. Fuck money. I'll pick it off my flowering trees, or quit smoking or something...One finds a way when one has to.

I've been struggling as is obvious from this blog which I don't want to be a blah, blah, blah blog, but oh well.
Lots of life and death struggles, not the usual annoying kinds of struggle stuff. Lost love, people dying by the dozens, little dog gone, fractured fairy tales, little kids people don't care about and that makes me near crazy, spending most of my time alone with too much thinking time, long, grey winter....yeah you read about it, or not. So it goes..

I just keep gettin up and moving forward and try to notice the good stuff and not deny the sadness of the what's real but accepting it and not letting it beat me up too much. Sleep and riding are both good healers. I haven't gotten sick so maybe I'm doing somethin right dealing with "stuff."

I am in a kind of limbo at the moment. Not good for a driven personality type like mine. I like to be doing, not just being, especially when the whirlpool catches me and won't let me move downstream...

But I'm still above water...and that's the most important thing. And I can see the sky and the flowering trees...

Monday, April 5, 2010

I don't always get it...

Ah, geesh. I am still friends with everyone I ever dated, except my one ex-husband and there was good reason for that clean cut. I am even God-mom to ex-boyfriends kids. Friends with all their wives. I figure if you loved someone once, that doesn't just stop just cause you're not together. I remember the fun and good times as a conscious choice. I figure life's too short for animosity and anger and stuff I deem energy draining creatures.

In my way of thinking, there's never blame to be laid for a broken relationship. There's usually hurt on both sides and a sense of some failure on many levels, but that's just one way of looking at it. I figure it just wasn't meant to be and didn't work. And that's all. So why harbor bad feelings when you shared good times and lovemaking and laughter and happy times along with the sad?
I just don't get it.
But there's lots I don't get. I keep trying though.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quiet your Mind and Pay Attention

Ok, so for the past few days, my horse, Chance, who yes,at times can be a bit hard headed, has been refusing to let me bridle him. He even did not want to be haltered. The other day he broke the cross ties, rearing as I tried like I had done a hundred times to put the one ear bridle on. It is however a new one as his old one had worn. Someone else put together the bridle. Mistake number one.

I was mad at Chance. Frustrated. I could not understand his refusal. I believed it was obstinence and alpha struggle. If so, it's not a good thing to let him get away with. But we haven't had that battle for awhile.

We rode in the ring and in the woods last week. He was shaking his head. I figured it was just spring head tossing and glee. Wrong. Mistake 2.

 Finally today, after patienty trying again and again with varying methods and failing with Chance or believing so I realized what it was.

I had taken a leisurely ride on Gracie after working with Chance. Summer like sun warmth. Birds singing and swishing and first tree shoots showing lime.

Driving home aha moment. OMG. The side I was trying to loop the one ear bridle on, is Chance's left. He has lumps in that ear, always has, and it is extremely tender. Have had lumps removed and they came back. He will let me softly rub it, when he trusts me, but it is a serious issue for him. When I rode him the other day, it must have really hurt that ear. Horses remember things for a long time if something isn't right. And horses don't respond well to pain. Me either.

So what'd I learn? Shut up your head and observe and listen quietly. Don't assume. Don't force the issue. Always be gentle. Horses have no language but if you listen to who they are and watch what they do, you will eventually know what they are experiencing. And then there's no need for words..just an intuitive, complex way of knowing. And how frickin special is that?

I love my horses.

If you read this, you already knew that and were willing to tolerate yet another horse story.

I assume you must have an affinity as well, of some sort.

Life's lessons. They're good.

Glad to have the return of bird serenade and a breezy, warm spring day...topped off with some lessons in humility and sensibility.

Alrighty then. Think I got it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dead people don't look good..

Well, I've lost count of the number of funerals I've been to of late and that tells a story in itself cause I don't even go to funerals unless it's a matter of necessity to console a family who means a great deal to me...

And I'm sorry but dead people don't ever look good in their chosen clothes in a fancy box with the lid open. They always have a funny yellowish blue grey color and they just look dead. Dead. Why do people like to look at dead people? Is it a wondering of what it's like to die? Is it to look death in the face?

I just see the absence of life and would prefer to remember them alive and mowing the lawn and drinking a beer in my driveway or bringing their kids over in Halloween costumes and taking happy pictures.

I will be burned or sit atop a mountain till I die and never be in an open box when my spirit has already left. I will be in a garden or off a cliff or in a river or lake or ocean or anywhere but with people gawking at my dead self. I mean, really.

Dead is dead is dead. There's no "oh, she looks so peaceful" about it.

And that's all I got to say about that.

On another note the sunset tonight was most amazing and right over the said dead person's house across the street. So Linda, that was a grand finale, and I'll miss you watching over the neighborhood and your obsession with a perfect lawn and your caring self and sittin in the driveway in the summer sippin a beer and smoking and watching the sunset.

Sorry you didn't get much time, my friend.

Will miss you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Cloudy Morning

Cloudy and grey so I'm going to take my grandpa's scythe and hack down some brush. The vicious nature of the healthcare debate here makes me want to whack at things. So much hate in the world. So much fear. So much ignorance. So much intolerance of change and visionary thinking. So many so blinded by too much privilege and arrogance and lack of humility. Saddens me. Doesn't anger me. Too much of that going round. Us vs. Them mentalities. What about We the People? People? Polarities and fanaticism continue to divide. Divide and conquer...hmmm, wonder if they think about that one? Of course not. The chaos is swirling and the vortex will swallow...or not.
Hope I get a life vest soon.

Me, I just ride and look at the sky and take deep breaths.
And laugh, whenever I can.

And hope. I refuse to lose hope that we will overcome and survive without destroying ourselves and our planet and our children's futures.

And I hope to get back to the mountains soon where all this noise goes quiet.

So I can remember the peace harbored in my soul.
And fly with the hawks and eagles on my horses.

And maybe find someone to love as a partner someday, one day.
That would feel good, really good.
But I'm ok on my own too...

It's all good.

I refuse to accept it's all bad.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

SUN day?

Sunday morning with no sun. Robin beating his silly head against my window, bang, bang, bang. Hung streamers and ribbons and plastic bags, but it doesn't stop him. EVERY year now for oh, at least 5. One off robin.

I wonder why people lie when it would make things so much simpler to be truthful from the start? Easier I suppose but really not at the end of the day. I am like the robin, banging my head against the proverbial window reflection. It's a reflection, an illusion, not the real thing.

Would love to go ride but it's so gloomy and drizzly.

Am thinking I will fly out west instead of trailering out to ride. So many logistics to hauling my horses out and back. Don't like to do it alone because so much can happen.  And I can work at the cattle ranch and ride their horses..not really work, play to me.

I'm not sure what's gonna happen next, but I'm open to what comes and the mystery is a good thing I imagine.

Have thus far resisted getting another dog. I want one. But I don't need one, or maybe I do but will wait for a time. Pet every dog I see. People must think me strange.  I don't mind. I love. That's who I am.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ha! Who cares??

I do. The renewal of spring has powerful energy. I rode both my horses today. They felt it as much or more than I did, as did the deer leaping through the forest with bright white tails. First BLUEbird sighting and a spring blue sky, both breathtaking. Working my own body along with my horses..and feeling the pure bliss of a long winter's end. Life blooms, and oh, how hopeful it offers a soul broken...

I miss my dog more than the man I thought I loved...what's that say?

Time to sleep and nevermind, I reckon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

When you leave home you remember why it's home..

Went to Florida for 12 days. Record low temps and rainfall. Of course. Still had fun seeing a girlfriend I've known for 35 years for her birthday. Had an accident and fell backwards off my countertop trying to peel wallpaper and sprained my leg and knee. Was in a wheelchair on the way down to Florida. Worked it in the sand and water. Walking now with only slight gimp. eeeesh. Nice to go away but always nicer to return home. Went to my horses and both of them wrapped their heads around my neck and shoulders. Sooo nice. Will start riding tomorrow and see how leg works. Happy to be home but hope to be back out west in a month or so for a few months.

Boyfriend from Montana who proposed to me already has a new woman living with him. Of course he does. Which is why I didn't want to marry him. He just doesn't want to be alone and doesn't care who he's with. Silly boy. Glad I didn't go forward with him though it still yanks at heart of course. By the by. That's life for ya.

Spring is near and a rebirth as always when you live in snow country. Everything, including oneself, comes alive in spring. Snow already gone.

I am happy to be alive. That's the best it gets.

Another funeral today and I'm exhausted from travel and being injured and overdoing. But will cowgirl up and go to visitation for the family.

And so it goes.
I'm home and safe and glad.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mama's cookin

Well, first time I went out in two weeks to speak of was to my mom's house. She's 80. She gave me goulash and spiced pork and beans and chocolate cake and herb rolls. There's just something about mom's cooking that tastes better than anything else in the world. Doesn't matter what it is, finest restaurant in Europe cannot compare.

I find out Wednesday about my knee and will be glad to just know what to do or not do or what the ??? I'm not sure on my own. Sometimes I think it's just time that will heal it; other times I think, it's messed up.

So, we'll see.

Foot of snow last night, sticking to all the pines. Heavy snowman building snow. Wish I could play in it.

Time is passing. Miss my horses most of all. And struggling with sedentary, a lot.

so it goes..

Friday, February 19, 2010

Life lesson number...like the National Debt, unfathomable number

So, I was peeling wallpaper off the kitchen wall that was oh, 26 years old. Hadn't really planned to do it as didn't realize there was glue left from where I'd already pulled paper off. Went down to help painter. Warm sponge, wet, peel. Climbing on counters. Do it to change lightbulbs. Know to be careful and go slow. Straddling stove and peeling last six inches. Left foot slips on wet counter and propels me backwards to the parquet floor. Slam. Fast and hard. Drove myself to hospital as painter is in more shock than I am saying, "oh, oh, it's really bad, what should I do?" Paint, I told him after I finished writhing on the floor moaning for a bad reason and wondering if I had a compound fracture and afraid to look.

Nothing broken but knee not sure about. Called vet who I trust more than most doctors and he says go in and have tendons checked etc as it can get worse and unfixable even though I can bear weight on it after a week now and am hobbling about. So go next Wednesday and hope I don't hear the word "surgery" and weeks to heal and therapy and blah, blah. This week has nearly driven me round the bend being immobile. I'm not good at hurt. Oh, nor patience either.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in my head, I've gotten in touch with a guy who works several ranches near where I rode in Wyoming last summer. He's in Arizona near my favorite area now working as well. So my thought is maybe I'll have a place to go with my trailer in spring/summer to ride, ride and ride some more. That would be grand. And I may learn a bunch about wrangling and cattle ranching as well which pops my bubble and gets my heart racing and gives me hope past looking out the window and wanting to slit my throat if I have to sit here any longer.

There's so much I want to do and so many places to ride and see and so many adventures out there.

Is it spring yet?

Oh, and i dont know what the lesson is except Life Happens and then you get on with it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

So this one time...

Redecorating my kitchen as what else does one do when snowed in for weeks at a time, closeted in greyness and white until all color and vivacity fades into some kind of lethargic pause? So I go to Home Depot to get paint and new counter samples. I imagined it was time as the counters have come loose and are 26 years old and dingy, like the winter.

So, the story does get more exciting...

I'm looking around at samples with my purse in the front of the cart next to me. Some guy with bright red short hair and some sort of weird outfit comes up and says, "I couldn't help but notice what a beautiful woman you are." Now perhaps if this guy looked like Clooney, sad to say, I might have responded differently, i confess, but this guy made the hair on the back of my neck stand up immediately, no hesitation. He emitted a very eerie and strange presence, without mistake. I immediately positioned myself away from the counter where I could not have manuevered anywhere...with basket blocking me from him and space to react or flee, one or the other. I did this reflexively and seamlessly and within seconds. I didn't flinch or show fear but looked askance and simply said, "Thank you" in an unmistakably off-handed and get away from me posture and acted as though I was averting my eyes back to the samples.

He came closer and said, "I wondered if you might go to lunch or dinner with me sometime."

Now I'm not happy. I wear my grandmother's wedding ring on my left hand just for this reason, not to be approached by men I don't know...that's one reason. The other is it's sparkly and I like it and it reminds me of my grandmother...but I digress.

I say emphatically, "No, not possible." I put one foot back just in case I need to kick him in a way that will disable him long enough  for me to retreat and quickly take my cart and start moving away.
He moves quickly, stealthily away in the other direction.

I find the nearest employee and tell them some weird red headed man is soliciting women in the store.
"Uh, ok. We'll tell the manager." WHATEVER.

I go to the checkout and tell the woman there. She just says, "oh that's horrible. I'm sorry that happened."


I just look at her. She says, "I'll call a manager."
By this time I have my keys out of my purse and between my fingers and tell her, "If this man pursues me into the parking lot, I'm going to take his face off."
"Ok" she says, looking at me like I'm nuts or something.

Well, sorry folks but I do NOT like someone coming into my personal space and who knows if he wasn't someone double teaming with someone else...etc. etc. Bunch of weird and calculating and scary folks out there.

I made sure I wasn't followed into or out of the parking lot. Sad to say, but it's necessary to watch your own back sometimes in these times.

And I live alone, so.....

I may have to get a CW permit.

Or a cabin far, far away.

This world is off its center folks.

I got your back, got mine?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Mystery Key

It's all about the mystery really. No one knows what life will bring. I only know that I have hope of more. More what? More closeness to one special person. More love to share. More adventures and new stories to experience and tell, or not. Winter sequestering gives one time to wonder. Sometimes too much time. One can only read so many books, watch so many films, entertain neighborhood children so long, visit Mom, clean house, cook because it smells and tastes good and relaxes me. I would like to think I was a good enough writer to write a novel but I don't know about that one. I have started a few times but only get so far and then get distracted and if I'm the writer and get bored, well, what about the reader then? So, I stop.

I am unsure of most things. The mystery keeps me wondering. What door opens, what window, what heart?
Where is the sun? Is there a sun? I haven't seen it for so long.

It all moves along so quickly. My students are grown and have kids of their own. My friends' children are really no longer babies but little people or even grown people. And the days just pass, blink, flash, gone.

I want more. I don't want to settle for less and know I won't. I want to feel my heart beat out of my chest again like when I was riding in the mountains or going somewhere I've never been before. I like the thrill of mystery and anticipation and I hang on tightly to hope.

Today mystery is the key.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The House of Sky

Just started a novel by Ivan Doig, Montanan, called This House of Sky. The writing makes the memories of my time there more vivid and real, instead of like a dream from which I have awakened abruptly in the cold of morning, and much as I try cannot go back to sleep to continue the bliss of the dreamstate.

End of Chapter One: "I have become six years old, my mother's llife drained out at 31 years. And in the first gray daylight, dully heading our horses around from that cabin of the past, my father and I rein away toward all that would come next."

I am making plans now to pack my horses and trailer to head out to New Mexico or northern Michigan even, and ride. Soon as the weather breaks and one can see past wind whipped snow tornadoes and sub zero temperatures that make my hands burn in the barn as I break the ice off the backs of my horses. They burn from frostbite, a day skipping school by jumping a city bus I saw pull up in a snowstorm out the classroom window. I just grabbed my stuff and ran out the door without so much as a word. I'd never done that before. And certainly did not think about how I was going to get home after I got downtown to the counter of the five and dime, eating a piece of cherry pie in the warm and feeling smart. Had to walk home in shoes not made for blizzards and far distances and no gloves. Now I cannot go into the cold without feeling like I've stuck my hands and feet into the blue blaze of a fire. It's a pain you cannot overrule with the mind. The kind that doubles you over with your hands clasped between your knees and face contorted into a "careful or you'll face will freeze" grimace.

I miss the not so distant days of summer riding out over the plains complaining "it's too hot!"

You always want what you don't got.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Little dog,
I have always mistyped "dog" and typed "god" first and then have to reverse it. ONLY word I have ever done that with.
 Just did it again. Not sure what's with that but it's consistent enough to notice.

Little dog,
I miss you when I'm eating a toasty cheese and egg sandwich on dry oat bread.
I don't like the crust and you love it so I bend over to hand it to you and you're
Not there.

I forget sometimes.

Little dog,
I miss seein your face in the bay window
When I'd drive up in the truck,
I could see your whole body wagging
You dog talking, not barking
     cause you knew
Nobody likes yappy
Little dogs.

Little dog,
I got your ashes
And opened the cheap metal lid
like a small old time potato chip can.
 There's just small pieces of you,
bone and ash,
in a platic baggy
with a twist tie.

I shouldn't have opened that box.

You're not in there. Not even your spirit.
But I will return you to the garden
And you can play with Duchess and Venice,
my other two dogs.
They're BIG dogs.

You're just a Little Dog,
Resembling a stuffed toy at times.
But tough.

Rippin coons down off trees or cornering them under the deck
making  me crawl under there as backup
and then getting even more brave..
And you always won, you tough little shit.
But you worried me with your Big Dog attitude.

You're a bit like me I guess.

Yeah, I surely do miss you,
Little Dog.

I put plants on the windowsill along with your tin.

Forever, Little Dog is a very long time.

From the person who loved you most.

Parents Teaching Children

Our local paper, The Kalamazoo Gazette, started a new column that will run every Tuesday. It's geared for parents to learn how to teach their children. So, of course, I hammered this out, first draft, and emailed it to the editor of the column.

Parents: Children's First and Forever Teacher

As a teacher and teacher-educator for 30 plus years from elementary to university and from South Jr. High and Vine Alternative To Western Michigan University here in Kalamazoo to an International Boarding school in London, I've learned a bit about kids and learning.

Those who teach do know, a little, and moreso, love to learn. Therein lies the key.

What do your children love doing? What are they best at doing? What excites them? Progressing from those interests and passions, you can teach them any subject matter. Knowledge is interrelated not compartmentalized.

Say, for example, they like playing soccer. Naturally you can provide them with magazines and books about soccer and soccer players or find articles online about teams, history, individual players, interactive computer games, and more. Talk with them about what they read and what interests them. Make a specified time for the WHOLE family to read TOGETHER once or twice a week at a minimum, for a half an hour without interruption.Turn off the computer, cell phone and T.V. Kids mirror what they see. Do you, as a parent, read? Do you read with and TO your children? Do you discuss what's going to happen next or what they like or dislike about a certain book or article or magazine or newspaper? Doing so helps them learn to predict outcomes, a key characteristic of "good readers".

Each of you can share a paragraph from what you read as an example of what you like or do not like about what you read and why. This can lead to all kinds of other discussions about varying subject matters. The world is an interesting place and anything that has ever been thought has been written about, in more ways than one. Talk about point of view. Children's books like The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, told by A. Wolf, is a great way to introduce POV and how perspective affects actions and thoughts.

Play games. Have your children find misspelled words in environmental print. Lunch or dinner special boards or store marquees are an easy place to begin. Quik Mart? Quiche? Children first learn through what they see out in the world. A two year old can pick out a MacDonald's sign from all the rest IMMEDIATELY and without hesitation.

While you're driving, ask the kids to look for misspelled words instead of hitting each other in the back seat. Misspellings are everywhere. I once saw a sign at an elementary school here in town (I won't mention which one) which stated: "Enrolling new kindergardners now!" I stopped and left the principal a note. Who would want to send their child to a school who misspells the word kindergarten? I attended that school and was frankly appalled. And the principal is your PAL and would want to know.

This in turn brings up another fun way to learn to remember how words are spelled. Mnemonic aids. This is simply a fancy way of saying finding ways to help you remember something by using something else to trigger one's memory. ARITHMETIC. Acronymn for A Rat In The House Might Eat The Ice Cream. Or stationEry which is a letter that goes in an Envelope, spelled with an e, not an a, as in stationAry meaning "fixed" or "not moving". Or a most commonly misspelled word, de-FINITE-ly. Finite is the root word and the word is NOT spelled de-finate-ly, which is how the majority want to spell it.

Discuss what a root word is and then tackle prefixes and suffixes. It all makes sense after awhile, even when spelling English, which by the way is NOT a phonetic language, but one which is a combination of many languages. Otherwise, phonics would be spelled "fonix". Talk with your children about how weird words are and how they are NOT spelled the way they sound. Make it a game.

Have them pick words from a dictionary, if Mom or Dad are good spellers, and see if they can stump you. Have a family spelling bee. Just have fun with it. Remember when you had fun learning? It's still possible. Make it a contest. Whoever comes up with the most examples of misspelled words kept on a list with place, location and corrected spelling over a week's time, wins. Everybody likes a prize, including Mom and Dad.

Observe HOW your children learn best. Do they learn best by watching or doing? Do they like to touch things? Are they constantly active? If so, their learning style is tactile/kinesthetic True of many of us. Do they like you to SHOW them first? Visual learner. Also true of many of us. Do they like listening and learn best that way? Auditory. Weakest category of learning styles with the least percentage, yet we sit our children down and say "Listen to me!" and we sit them at desks all day while we "talk and teach". Not a great plan. Play the telephone game and see how acute the auditory skills of adults are, much less children.

Knowing how your child learns best is a good place to begin. Just knowing your child and spending time with them is the real foundation of teaching them you care about them and that you value and enjoy learning with and also through them. And don't think they can't teach YOU something. I sometimes learn more from 3 year olds than I do many adults. "Out of the mouths of babes...", as has been said.

Play. Grow.Teach. Explore. Learn. But most of all, have fun with your children. They will be adolescents and adults all too soon, but they will never forget the times you spent together as parent and child.

Virginia S. Little, Ph.D. Learning and Change in Human Systems


I've been reading a great book called Half Broke Horses. I cannot wait to start a new journey. As is said, "When a window closes, a door opens." I reckon sometimes you gotta give it a kick to get it open but I can do that. I will ride across Michigan up north again this year. I long for those days when there were few cars and lots of well worn horse trails from town to town, a day's ride between each. I look for the sun each day and when it appears, I get in my truck and head for the stable and jump on my horse and head for the woods. I missed the trees out west and the water. I'll never forget being stuck in a bog on my horse. Scariest thing ever. Horse just sunk into muck and mire that looked like firm ground. She began to struggle and almost went over on her side which would have perhaps been the end of things. I hung on, bareback. I talked quietly to her. "Easy girl, easy." My heart was coming out of my chest. I know she feels this so I take a purposeful deep breath. She powered up and out. I could see the whites of her eyes but my urging and insistence that I not panic so she would not brought us both out. Her name is Grace and there's a reason for that I believe. We were Graced that day. There's something to be said for surviving the unexpected pitfalls and bogs in this world that try to suck you under. Makes the world's colors so much brighter and the feeling of being alive so acute.

So on I go. I hope to ride the Kit Carson National Forest this season too. There are still places where horses and riders are the only ones out there, besides the song of the coyote and the sight of elk grazing in the wide open expanses.

And oh, how I long for the easy stride of my horse and the gallop on the wind of the plains.

Spring will come.

I'm ready for NEXT!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Funerals and Weddings

Well, seems funerals and weddings are the time for gathering with friends and family members. Cry, eat, drink, laugh some, share a lot of stories. The greyness continues. Have only seen the sun twice all winter. Once was yesterday and as soon as it came out, I went to the stable and rode my horse, Grace, for the first time since November. Deer running in herds. Never seen quite so many.

Lost my little dog of 12 and a half years last week. Very hard still. Keep looking round for her and no one to bring leftovers home to so I am eating more, or less. Run our last moments through my mind a lot inadvertently and then my eyes well with tears until I tell myself to stop. Sometimes I can. Sometimes not. Live alone. Quiet sort of echo here and lack of a cute little face and voice talking to me when I come home. Keep telling myself I'm not going to rescue another dog. Hard not to go right now and get one.

Been to four funerals in the last month.Three very close friends and one family friend. Don't think I want one now. Toss my ashes off the mountain. Say goodbye. Done.

Better yet, be with me now, in heart if not proximity.

Life is a blessing. I am glad I am not Haitian. What an unfathomable horror. As many lost as live in my whole city. the children, oh God, the children....who live...much less who died.

Happy, happy post. Oh yeah.

Certainly single again too. But that's ok. Less drama. Less hurt. Less to worry about. No more lies. Good. Next?

Moving forward now. Spring will come.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh me oh my oh..

Aye, yes, been a long time since I blogged. Cold winter here in Michigan. Very little sun and lots of grey. Lots of elders passing. There's a time for everything. Winter is good for reflection, watching films, reading books, lighting fires, cleaning closets, visiting with old friends, drinking too much on occasion, but not often. Who needs hangovers afterall? The film The Hangover makes me feel like an amateur. Cooked boiled dinner last night: corned beef, cabbage, pearl onions, little red potatoes. Shared plates with 3 other people already today. Can't cook for one. Been workin on editing a dissertation and so glad I'm out of academia. Good read, mainly because it's a work of love and music and by a virtual friend, so a work of heart. Passes time and one learns something when broadening one's views through another's work and words.

So there you go.

The sun made an appearance today so though it's only 22 degrees F. outside, I feel like getting out a bikini.
Would ride my horses if I weren't afraid of them slippin on the ice. Miss my horses, a LOT, A LOT.
Maybe tomorrow.
Naptime now. mmmmmmm....