Friday, December 29, 2006

Lotus pose?

We picked up the two granddaughters today, and as soon as we got them here, they went directly to the trampoline. I started dinner (the noonday meal) and heard Cliff laughing out loud in the living room.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"The girls are sitting at opposite sides of the trampoline facing each other, in the lotus pose."

Looking out the window, I saw he was right.

Hmmm, I wondered what had prompted that. Who has been teaching my granddaughters about oriental religions and transcendental meditation?

I called them in to dinner, and asked, "Where did you guys learn about the lotus pose?"

"Don't you remember, Grandma? When we were at the hospital and Grandpa was visiting his cousin, you showed us?"

Oh. That.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Meet the Queen of our barn

Meet Snowbelle. If the barn cats are out of food, they send Snowbelle to the house to order their meals.

She's been accused of being stupid.

I beg to differ; this lady is no dummy.

By the way, isn't she lovely?

Ole Darryl

Here you see Cliff and Donna's Good-Eats Buffet. Dinner is served.

In a recent entry, I talked about my new cell phone, and mentioned the strange calls I've been receiving day and night from people asking for Darryl.

The calls have tapered off, but I still get about one a week. I have two standard answers for these callers: for the guys, I say, "Oh, they've put ole Darryl away for a long time."

To the women (usually giggling airhead-types), I say, "You're going to have to find yourself a new pimp, because old Darryl's been put out of business."

So today, my cell phone rang. Because it was an unfamiliar number, I knew the caller would ask for Darryl. Unfortunately, I fumbled the phone and lost the call. They called back immediately, and again, I muffed answering the phone (what can I say, I'm a new cell phone user).

Third time is charm. A pleasant-sounding lady's voice said, "Is DJ there?"

"Oh, you must be looking for Darryl," I told her. "I believe he's been put away for good."

"Oh really? This is the Cass County Sheriff's office."

Oops. I began backpedaling very quickly. I told her my name, and explained all the mysterious calls I'd been getting.

"Do you happen to know his last name?" she asked.

Of course I don't. But I do believe my hunches about ole Darryl were correct.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

coming soon....

I intend, before too long, to present a picture of my filly, Libby, wearing her new saddle. Trouble is, I have to get to Orscheln's or Feldman's first, to buy a girth.

And who knows, any day now you are likely to see me (or somebody else) astride Libby. Or underneath her, if things don't quite work out.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 25, 2006

To shoe, or not to shoe?

Mankind has been putting shoes on horses for longer than you would imagine. That's my farrier, Randy, shoeing Blue. That's me holding onto Blue's lead rope and peeking over his shoulder.

I've considered it a necessity, with all the horses I've owned, to keep them shod if they are being ridden on any un-natural surface such as gravel or asphalt. I've let them go bare-foot through the winter when they weren't being ridden as much. The times I'd take them out on gravel roads unshod, they'd limp with almost every step.

And then I've always remembered the time, years ago, when Cliff's sister rode a pony on gravel so much that his hooves were worn down to nubs.

Paying the farrier is one of the major expenses of horse-keeping... $80 every six to eight weeks. Some horses seem to have a knack for losing shoes, which makes it more costly. I don't blame the farrier for the fee he asks, because shoeing a horse is a back-breaking job. And lots of horses aren't so easy to deal with.

The past two summers, my Blue has had a problem with shoes. His feet don't seem to grow fast, and when it was time to re-set the shoes, the nails had to be driven so close to where the preceding ones had been, it made the wall of his hooves weak, and they chipped and broke until the farrier eventually had to patch them with a cement-like substance; finally, I asked him to remove the shoes entirely, and I began feeding my horse supplements and unflavored gelatin, hoping to strengthen his hooves.

More and more, I was finding articles like this one on the Internet. And this one. In fact, just type "barefoot horse" or "shod horses" into Google, and you come up with dozens of people advocating no shoes, and very few voices heard from the other side of the coin.

It sounded good, but what about the way the horses limp when taken onto gravel unshod? They're obviously in pain.

I have a blogging buddy who is quite knowledgeable about horses, and I asked her about this. She told me that a horse's hooves will "toughen up" in about two months, just like a person's feet will when they go barefoot for awhile.

So I decided to test the theory. At first Blue would limp every time he'd hit gravel, and I'd do my best to keep him in the grassy areas beside the road. I do a great deal of my riding on farm ground down on the Missouri River bottom, so once I got there, we were home free anyway.

As time went on, the gravel affected Blue's stride less and less. Yesterday I rode for almost three hours, mostly on gravel roads, and he didn't limp or give to the rocks even once.

His feet look nicely trimmed, thanks to the wear they get. I notice his front feet have a strange wear pattern that might need attention, but I think perhaps Cliff and I could take care of that ourselves.

We'll see. It would be nice if I never had to pay a farrier again.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I notice, as I grow older, enthusiasm has waned. I can go for days without getting excited over anything. That's why I so enjoy taking my dog, Sadie, on walks: She gets such a thrill over a good run in the pasture, and the adventure of chasing a stick, that I can experience her joy vicariously.
Could this be why many of us older people get so silly about our pets? Because rambunctious dogs and playful kittens remind us of the exuberance of our youth, and how we used to feel?

Lately, I do seem to have my own burst of enthusiasm, but it still has to do with an animal.

It's my filly, Libby. I only bought her because I thought it would be fun to have a young horse around. I go through spells where I miss babies of any variety.
And since horse prices are at an all-time low, and my grandson is lately breaking and training horses, I figured the most I had to lose was $150, and maybe I'd have some fun with this girl... and Arick, my grandson, could be the one to take any risks riding her, when the time comes.

Several years ago I bought a yearling filly I thought I could work with, and we ended up selling her at a sale barn, at a loss. She never really warmed up to me. I couldn't even catch her. I've learned a lot from Mark Rashid's books, and probably if I could go back and do things over, it would be different (I've learned the number one secret at working with horses is plenty of patience and lots of time).

A couple years ago my daughter kept an Arabian gelding here, and I tried my hand at straightening him out. He was a head-tosser with a tendency to rear. I took my last ride on him on Mother's Day, 2005, when he reared up and came over backwards on my leg. I was sore for weeks, but thank God no permanent damage was done. So you'd think I would have given up on young horses. (This was after my introduction to Mark Rashid's books, by the way.)

Libby responds to everything I do with her. You can see her trying to figure out how to please me. Working with her has been most rewarding. But I take no credit for this little lady's manners: She came to me with a good attitude, and a desire to befriend everyone.

I kiss my horses on that soft, velvet part of their noses. Cliff thinks that's just plain nasty, but I can't help it. It's what I do.

When I first got Libby and tried to kiss her nose, it seemed to scare her. She'd jump and pull her head back as though she thought I was going to bite her. So every time I brought her in to work with her, I'd get in her face and make kissing noises until she allowed me to kiss her. Now, when she sees me leaning my head down, she extends her nose toward me, meeting me halfway for the kiss.

When Cliff and I take our morning walk, Libby meets us. When the people who board horses here go out to get their steeds, Libby is the official greeter. This isn't a result of anything I've done, because the prior owners said that's how she was at their house.

Funny thing is, they said she was never handled until she was five months old, after they sold her mother. For her first training session, they had to corner her in a barn to catch her, and literally drag her around until she submitted to being led.


Libby has not refused to do anything I've asked of her.

She has given me back my enthusiasm. She is the best Christmas gift ever.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas will soon be over

I have written before about the fact that I'm pretty much ignoring Christmas this year: No tree, no cards, no Christmas letter (although I have a "Jesus is the reason for the season" sign out in the front yard). I had, at one point, decided to write a Christmas letter telling family and friends about Cliff's heart surgery, and expressing our gratitude to God for his full recovery... then my printer quit working. Perhaps when I get another printer, I'll send out a New Year's letter. Or not. At the request of two grandchildren, I agreed to cook a Christmas dinner for the family; that will be tomorrow, and I'm preparing what I can today. As I get older, cooking a big dinner wears me out. Who knows, maybe as I devil eggs and make pumpkin pie and Oreo Delight, a bit of Christmas spirit will creep into these old bones.

I've had people express concern at my holiday funk, and ask why. Gee, if I knew, I'd gladly tell them. It just happens, that's all.

Seasonal depression is not new for me, and I patiently wait it out, knowing it's temporary. Every year on New Year's Day, my attitude takes a turn for the better. New beginnings, taxes paid, propane-buying season half over.

Resolutions form, and usually about a quarter of mine actually work out. One of them always has to do with weight loss, and this year is no exception: The only difference now is that I have five pounds to lose, instead of the usual 20 or 40 or whatever. Evening snacking and my new TV-watching habits (thanks a bunch, Joanna) have taken a toll, but not such a huge one after all.

God bless us, every one.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Looking at my own mortality

In 1944, my dad and three of his brothers became fathers to new baby daughters: My dad, Everett, sired me; Uncle Orville was father to Lela May; Uncle Cecil had Frances; and Uncle Clifford's baby girl was Alice. There are many family pictures of the four of us, the 1944 baby girls, seated on a blanket together. And in later years, of all of us standing together.

We've watched our daddies die; and two of us have seen our mommies go.

Sometimes things happen to make me realize that our turn isn't so far away.

I got a Christmas letter from my cousin Alice, saying she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and is now going through chemo. Her husband had five stints put in during the past year.

Cliff, my husband, has had a quad-bypass.

My blood pressure, which was always on the low side, is rising.

It's our turn to start shuffling off this mortal coil.

I can't believe how fast the time goes.

Just one of those days

OK, so I finally got up at 2 AM this morning. I have a cold, a pretty minor one actually. But when that tickle in the throat hits, you know you'll either lie in bed coughing and wake up your spouse, or just get up and feel lousy all day. I chose the latter: I got up, and dozed a little in the recliner until the granddaughters arrived.

It rained all day. I tend to have winter depression, and days like this are the pits.

The day went on, and on, and on. At my age I should be thankful, because I don't have all that many days left in my life, even if I live to be 90.

One bright note: I got the cheap-o saddle I ordered on Ebay, for my filly.

Thank God there is a tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hooray for Tuesdays

When Subway has their "Hooray for Tuesday" thing going, Cliff and I patronize them once a week. We split a foot-long meatball sub right there and have water for our drink; and we also get a cold-cut combo for our supper. Two meals for two people, $6 plus tax. It's lots more sodium than I'd like, but the calories aren't bad at all.

I do love bargains.

However, last Tuesday Cliff figured that, for that price, he could afford to buy foot-long subs for the twin boys next door. That brings the price up a lot, because they get chips and soda with theirs. They have helped him haul hay a lot in the past, though. So it's OK. Besides, Cliff just plain
likes them. And he has some extra pocket money since selling a tractor.

Yesterday I told Cliff, "I'll bet you see the twins tomorrow."

"Why do you say that?" he asked.

"Because tomorrow is Subway day."

Sure enough, at 11:30, about the time I was done working with my horses, here they came.

So much for saving money.

Mouse report

Yesterday Sadie found one expired mouse somewhere on the floor (I retrieved it so she wouldn't get poison in her system). This morning, there was a big, fat mouse dead in the mousetrap. And I thought we were rid of them all.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My printer quit today

I think the dust here is the cause of my printer's demise. You'd have to see it to believe it. In summer, I blame the open windows, because we don't have air conditioning. But the dust is just as prevalent in wintertime. Go figure.

Anyhow, this is the second Canon S330 I've owned. Because the last one only made it for some 18 months, I got Circuit City's extended warranty on this one. But I don't know how long I've had it. If it's been over three years, I'll just have to get a new printer.

I hate that, because printer ink is relatively cheap for this model, and I don't think they make it any more.

So much for the few Christmas letters I was going to send. So much for the poem I wrote that I was going to send Iris Dement (it would likely have made her mad, anyhow).

Maybe God is trying to tell me something, and I wasn't supposed to send any Christmas letter this year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The mice get their revenge

I recently did an entry about my war with mice. I do believe I've managed to eliminate all of them from my domain. All the live ones, that is.

So this morning I emptied out the lower cabinet where they seem to have been partying the most, and cleaned and bleached it. Since the mice had been all over down there, I washed every dish and container I had stored there.

This particular section of cabinet is awkward to reach, all the way to the back, because it was stuck in a corner of this old house as an afterthought, probably 50 years after the house was built. So it's where I keep lots of Tupperware and such that I seldom use.

When we left for Church this morning, I had washed dishes and stacked them everywhere to dry. I'll bet some little mousie angels were watching and laughing.

Oh, the other part of their revenge is the awful smell of decomposing rodents in my kitchen! Cliff and I have looked everywhere, but we can't locate the final resting place of the stinking carcass of a mouse (or two) that D-Con got the best of. Ewwww.

By the way, is it just me, or are dish drainers getting smaller? I suppose it has to do with the fact that most people use automatic dishwashers, but I wash my dishes by hand. I cook a lot, and I really need a big drainer!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My site meter.... WOW!

When I started this blog, I wanted some sort of hit counter, and went searching for a free one on the Internet; they're easy to come by, and I don't know how I ended up with the one on the right, which didn't show numbers at all, until I just found out I could choose a different style that does.

That thing amazes me.

Click on the site meter, and you can find out how many visitors this site has had in the last hour, or day. Not only that, but unless they're on AOL, it will tell you their approximate location, the time they visited, and how they got here. It will let you know if they clicked on any links here in my journal.


Friday, December 15, 2006

It's the strangest thing.....

I'm trying to train my twenty-month-old filly, Libby. I'm not a horse-trainer by any means.

So I go to Google in hopes I'll find out the proper ways to handle her.

On most horse websites, people are just trying to sell you their books and tapes; but Cherry Hill is an exception. Yes, she does have books for sale. But she also answers questions, and addresses lots of problems right on the Internet. Free.

So I found THIS LINK about ponying a young horse. I figured Blue and I could handle this job, and, indeed, we're managing quite well. Oh, the first couple of times Blue was confused; but now he knows what we're doing and just plods right along with his young charge beside us.

Funny thing is, he enjoys it. I told Cliff this, and he gave me that sort of look that says, "yeah, right". But it's true.

I've ridden Blue for three years, and believe me, I know when he is enjoying himself. All the time we are ponying Libby, his ears are straight up and he is totally interested. I think he likes being a teacher.

Maybe it makes him feel important.

If only he knew just how important he really is to me.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

childhood dreams come true

All of my childhood, I remember wanting a horse more than anything in the world. It was a longing so intense I could taste it. At the local and state fairs, all I wanted was to ride those ponies that do nothing but go round and round in a circle. The smell of them, and the squeak of the leather saddles, was heaven. My Uncle Leo had work horses, far back in my memory. I loved them. When we lived in Iowa, Ted Davies (a man my dad helped out on his farm) had riding horses. My mom was wallpapering Ted and Lucille's house one day, and I was outside playing with their kids. "Can we ride a horse?" I asked. Next thing I knew, those two urchins had a horse bridled and saddled, and the three of us rode up the half-mile-long driveway (all on one horse), and onto the gravel road. I was behind the saddle, ecstatic, when I felt myself slipping; I told the kids I was about to fall, but they seemed not to hear. About the same time I made contact with the gravel, my mom, from the house, yelled at the top of her lungs for me to "stay off that horse"! My parents were telephone operators in a small, north Missouri town, when I saw, in the Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogue, a Shetland pony colt . I don't recall the price, but at the time it didn't sound like much to me. Of course, we had no place to keep a pony, but I thought our yard was plenty big. I cried myself to sleep many a night after Mama told me there was no possibility of Santa bringing me a spotted Shetland like the one in the "wish book". Later, when Daddy was a hired hand at Glenn Wyant's farm outside Eagleville, Glenn had a lovely paint gelding that he sometimes rode out to our house. One day he allowed me on the horse, and explained neck-reining to me, and showed me how the horse would turn if I simply pressed a leg against him. The horse's name, I believe, was Sparky. The following summer I often sneaked out to the pasture that bordered the section of land we lived on, taking handfuls of sugar for Sparky to lick (I'd read that horses liked sugar cubes, and having no cubes, I had to settle for granulated). I was getting well acquainted with that horse; I actually somehow got myself up onto his back one day when Glenn's wife spotted me, and hollered from a distance for me to get away from him. It seemed like fate was conspiring against me ever getting to ride a horse. I couldn't imagine ever being happy without a pony. In my whole life, I've never wanted anything that badly. So nowadays, when I'm grooming or riding Blue, I remind myself that indeed, childhood dreams do come true. And when I kiss my filly, Libby, on that soft, velvety part of her nose, I know God does hear the prayers of children. Sometimes He just waits until the time is right to answer them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Peyton Place, revisited


I guess it's just a part of getting old, and being home all day as opposed to clocking in at a workplace, but when I look around the neighborhood it seems everybody's crazy except me and Cliff.

I spend way too much time peering out windows. Honestly, speculating on other people's lives gives me more entertainment than watching television. To think that twenty years ago, I called people like me "nosy old biddies", and rightly so.

But you know, parents let their kids run wild. I mean, fifteen-year-old boys are sneaking out of their homes in the middle of the night and throwing drunken parties in a guy's barn. On a school night. And my husband has hay stored in that barn.

I see a family of four nearby renting a two-bedroom hovel, sharing it with a cat and two dogs (one of the afore-mentioned boys sneaks out of said hovel at night). They have the finest TV, and blue-tooth phones (whatever that is) and have bought a GPS system for the ten-year-old junker they drive... but they live in a total dump. Why wouldn't they want something better for themselves? Why wouldn't they choose to buy a decent house, rather than rent such a place?

Then I turn the spotlight on myself, and realize that others might view me the same way. This old house needs either remodeling or tearing down, and we remain satisfied with status quo. Yet I always have a nice computer or two, and my guitar is second to none. Not to mention the Honda Gold Wing we so enjoy, and two hay-burning horses. People around here probably wonder why I don't want something better for myself.

It's all in priorities, I suppose.

Anyhow, I have plenty to entertain me here in the boonies, in any direction I look. You folks in the city don't have a thing on me: I have the druggies, the boozers, delinquents and losers... and they're all outside my window, performing for my own personal entertainment. (It is all about me, isn't it?)

It isn't so bad, being old. I find cheap thrills in watching others misbehave; I only wish I could stay up a bit longer at night, because I think I'm missing the best parts.

I hope nobody thinks this entry is about my neighbors; because what it's about is me, admitting to some of my own flaws.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I hate mice!

We live in an eighty-some-year-old house in the country. This means that we are sometimes bothered by mice. The thing is, we'll go as long as two years without ever seeing a sign of the little vermin; then all of a sudden, they're all over my home-sweet-home.

During such an invasion, I feel I must wash every pan I use for cooking and keep all counters sponged often. Thank God they've never discovered the upper cabinets where plates, cups and glasses are kept. I'd never get much else done except wash and re-wash dishes.

We've had one of those six-month respites from rodents, until the cold snap last week. Upon opening one of the lower cabinets, I noticed what could only be mouse-poop, and plenty of it; it wasn't there a week ago. The same day, Cliff saw not one, but TWO of the despised critters scurry under the couch.

I had used all my mouse-poison back in the cabin, where the mice always seem to be winning the war... but as Cliff says, the woods is their home, and they were there first.

I was fortunate to find two mouse-traps, and baited them with peanut butter. Trouble is, mousetraps these days aren't made as well as they used to be, and often the peanut butter gets licked off again and again, with nary a mouse losing her life.

We had to do our weekly shopping, so I picked up a box of d-Con and placed it at strategic locations (where Sadie, my dog, couldn't get to it).

I checked my main mousetrap and found all traces of peanut butter gone, but decided to re-set it anyhow.

And, believe it or not, I caught a mouse! And then another, and another. All within a space of eight hours.

I see they have been partaking of my poison, too.

I'm feeling much better now.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

That picture across the top of my blog

I have to thank Mel for teaching me how to add a long, skinny picture at the top of this journal; I don't have it perfect, yet... but it works.

That's my Missouri Foxtrotting Horse, Blue, standing proud against the western sky in our pasture. If I didn't tell you, you'd never know that his tail is raised so proudly because he's pooping.

But I've told you. I'm sorry if this takes some of the mystique and glamor from my little home on the Internet here. But if you were to come visit me in Missouri and walk the pasture with me, you'd see horses pooping.

Watch where you step, both in my journal and in our pasture.

That's Just Me.

That's my cabin in the woods, as it looked yesterday. Cliff and I walk around it almost every day when we take our morning walk, but it gets little use this time of year. There's no way to heat it, after all.

When I first thought of having a cabin toward the back of our 43 acres, I pictured myself and the dog spending many nights there. And indeed, the first summer, I probably averaged one night a week.

I love to camp and cook out, and my original intentions were to fix many breakfasts back there, eating bacon and eggs before I headed back toward the house, and civilization.

However, I found myself impatient for my morning coffee, so I've used my kitchen utensils there very little. Not to mention that, since Cliff's surgery, both bacon and eggs are a rarity on our table.

I think when my dog, Mandy, met her untimely death, that changed things somewhat, because she figured very prominently in my cabin experiences. Sadie, my present dog, loves going back there, but there's just something missing.

Now I've found that most of my cabin getaways are for two or three hours at a time. In good weather, I love to head back there, start a nice campfire in the evening, and listening to folk music until after dark. But I'll usually come back to the house to sleep.

The cabin is the only place on our property where this loner can go to get away from people for awhile, and that's what I treasure about it. Although we are in the country, if I stand on the porch, I can count seven houses, all in walking distance... some in
spitting distance, you might say. Teenage boys abound here: they gravitate to Cliff's shop (he loves it) collecting gossip, cursing, boasting, and riding noisy two- and four-wheel vehicles with no mufflers past the house and up our driveway.

There's none of that at my cabin. I can sit on the little deck Cliff made for me, look down over the Missouri River bottoms, and think about the native Americans who used to live here, and of Lewis and Clark navigating that River in the distance. Even in winter, as cold and colorless a view as it is, I like to stop and gaze to the north for a bit.

How many people have the chance to go on a two-hour vacation any time they choose?

Friday, December 08, 2006

No Christmas spirit this year

I've battled wintertime depression ever since I became an adult; not clinical, suicidal depression, just a vague feeling of sadness. And it always seems to peak around Christmas.

In the past, I have made efforts to mask the feeling. After all, I have grandchildren. There were years when I'd tell Cliff I didn't want to bother with a tree, and he'd talk me into putting it up "just for the grandkids".

This year we haven't even discussed it. I think the straw that broke the camel's back was the cheap-o fake tree we bought last year at Hobby Lobby. When Christmas was over, I hauled the whole thing upstairs still decorated and set it back in a corner. It was the first-ever phony Christmas tree I've had, and I hate it. Besides, one of the few things I liked about Christmas was decorating the tree, or watching kids do it. If the tree stays decorated from one year to the next, what's the point?

Because Cliff and I watch our weight now, and neither of us withstand temptation well, I haven't gotten into the baking frenzy (brown sugar fudge, Mother's fruitcake, sugar cookies) that used to lift my spirits a bit and bring back happy memories of childhood.

I haven't put a single candle in a window, nor bought one gift for anyone. I've told the grandchildren they're getting cash, and not all that much of that.

I'm not sending cards. I'm not writing a Christmas letter, although I should, since this past year was a momentous one... Cliff having had a quad-heart bypass in April. I have every reason in the world to be thankful, and I ought to be glad for an excuse to tell people about his remarkable recovery.

I haven't watched my favorite movie, "It's A Wonderful Life" at all. (Maybe I should; it might help.)

It was easier to get in the spirit when the children, and then the grandchildren, were babies: it takes so little to satisfy small children. Once they get past kindergarten age, though, kids become harder to please. Everything they want is expensive, and if you deviate at all from their list of space-age toys, they don't like what you buy for them. Let's not even talk about trying to buy clothes for them.

So, I've dropped out. I'm not playing any more.

I'm not mad at Jesus. I'm not mad at anybody.

It just isn't fun any more. So there's no Christmas at my house this year.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

a hit counter

I'm trying to figure out how to add a hit counter to this blog. I know I shouldn't care, but I do. Help, anyone?

My first cell phone

I don't like talking on the telephone. I do much better with the written, or typed, word. Emails, journals, postcards... I'm comfortable with those.

My husband, Cliff, has had a cell phone for two or three years. His first one was a Christmas gift from me, and he's enjoyed it thoroughly. He can talk to his brothers any time he so desires without running up any surprise charges.

I ride my horse down by the Missouri River quite often, and all along our country roads. He's a good horse, and I never take risks with him (like making him gallop or jump, anything like that).

And yet, I know if Blue were to step into a hornet's nest as we rode along, he'd buck. And there I'd be, with no way of calling for help, if I were hurt.

So finally, two months ago, I got myself a cell phone.

I'd carried it for a couple of days before it rang for the first time (I have Waylon Jennings singing "Good-hearted Woman" as my ring-tone), and I was so excited, you can't even imagine. It took me a little while to figure out how to answer the silly thing, but finally I did, and said, "Hello?"

"Is Darryl there?" some woman asked.

That was only the first of many, many calls for Darryl. One guy even asked, last week, to talk to "Darryl, the licker". Ewwwwww.

So when a couple of ladies kept calling repeatedly, I decided to call them back at 4 A.M. That's about the time I usually get up in the morning, and I figured to teach them a lesson.

The first one of the two that I tried didn't answer; the phone just rang and rang.

The other one answered, chatting to someone who was with her, obviously wide awake and ready to talk to her friend Darryl... at 4 AM.

That wasn't the reaction I had hoped for, and I stopped the call by closing my phone.

It wasn't more than five minutes until I got two text messages for Darryl. "How U doin. My phone is F***** up. Sorry."

OK, on to plan B: Next call I get asking for Darryl, I say, "You're going to have to find yourself a new drug dealer, because ole Darryl has been put away for a few years."

Do you think that will work?


I had three links to other journals added; then I went to the new format, which appears to be almost as easy as AOL journals. Somehow, in the process, I lost my links. It's OK, I'll get them back, and then some.

While I was at it, I figured I'd add a picture of a November sunrise, just so your trip here wouldn't be totally wasted.

Whoa, I'm liking it over here better all the time. I can add pictures from my computer, and they are automatically re-sized in the entry... but if you click on the picture, there it is, full-sized. OK, maybe I do need to re-size pictures a bit before adding them.

This may turn out to be EASIER than AOL. Now, back to adding links to my favorite journals. Something tells me I won't be getting much housework done today (as if I ever do).

Be patient with me

AOL made it so easy for lazy folks like me to blog. If they hadn't stolen the pictures from my old journal, I wouldn't be here. But here I am, learning to use html (with a little help from my friends). I'll be adding more favorite blogs over there to the left, now that I know how it's done. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

To be sung at my funeral

Home Free Lyric

Wayne Watson

I'm trying hard not to think you unkind
But Heavenly Father
If you know my heart
Surely you can read my mind
Good people underneath the sea of grief
Some get up and walk away
Some will find ultimate relief

Home Free, eventually
At the ultimate healing we will be Home Free
Home Free, oh I’ve got a feeling
At the ultimate healing
We will be Home Free

Out in the corridors we pray for life
A mother for her baby, A husband for his wife
Sometimes the good die young
It's sad but true
And while we pray for one more heartbeat
The real comfort is with you

You know pain has little mercy
And suffering's no respecter of age, of race or position
I know every prayer gets answered
But the hardest one to pray is slow to come
Oh Lord, not mine, but Thy will be done

Let it be...

Home Free, eventually
At the ultimate healing we will be Home Free
Home Free, oh I’ve got a feeling
At the ultimate healing
We will be Home Free

Home Free, eventually
At the ultimate healing gonna be Home Free
Home Free, oh it’s more than a feeling
At the ultimate healing
Gonna be Home Free

My spoiled dog

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Before Sadie, I had a mongrel dog I'd raised from a puppy. Her name was Mandy, and I loved her more than you can imagine. She ran free, and as a result, she was hit and killed by a car on the highway not far from our house, just about the time she was maturing and becoming easy to get along with.

I couldn't stop crying, so my husband insisted we go to the animal shelter and find another dog.

I intended to find a cute little puppy, but an almost-one-year-old dog reached out to me. We brought her home, and named her Sadie.

The people at the shelter warned us that she was hyper; I thought I knew what that meant, but alas... Sadie gives new meaning to the word.

I can't turn Sadie loose, because if she sees another dog anywhere, she'll go chasing after them. It doesn't matter how much I call to her.

Sadie sheds fine hair all over the house; I find it in the most unlikely places, like on the stove and table. I might as well have gotten a cat.

But I love her. So I take her out on a leash to do her business, lest she run away and get hit by a car. I mop floors more than I ever did in my life, trying to keep the hair at a manageable level.

What is it about dogs, that we need them so?

AOL, I'm getting tired of you

I've kept a journal on AOL for three years or so. Now they're messing with it. They've taken all my picture albums out of it. It makes me sad.

I really don't mind leaving AOL behind, but I do hate to see my journal, with all its pictures, gone.

I know when I leave AOL J-Land, I will lose some readers I cherish. That's rough. But the time comes for self-preservation, and I do believe that time has come. From now on I'll post pictures here, not on my AOL blog.

Let me see if I can put a picture on this entry:

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