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Sunday, August 17, 2014

simple things.

Simple things...

French Onion Soup.
Wild Flower Bouquets

Making the most of what you have when you have it.

A mad craving as soon as my feet hit the cold hard floor. I put a cup of coffee into the microwave for one minute and in that sixty seconds I open every cabinet, freezer, fridge, and even stand at the pantry.  sour cream, butter, dried cranberries, and orange oil... (it will have to do in a pinch!  I normally use it for cleaning but it is food grade.)  eggs, vanilla, baking soda, milk and gluten free flour premix.  Crap!  I do have all I need, now do I make the effort?

My hot coffee in hand, I got out the eggs, sour cream, butter allowing them to sit at room temperature just in case I decide to take the plunge.   Another cup of coffee... my last! Ok... so I have got to make more coffee, so I may as well turn on the oven and make the kitchen a complete mess.

While my last cup of coffee warms in the micro again, I grab all the rest of the supplies for scones. Start a pot of water for the next french press... cinnamon and coffee in the craft ok now to organize the dry ingredients; turn on the oven, and premix all the wet stuff.

Wow that took no time.  Do I even have a baking sheet?  butter and corn meal the baking sheet dump the mixture, and cut!  DONE... only 18 or so minutes and ... I'll clean the dishes in the sink as I wait.  We all know I'll never hear the timer if I leave the room.  All the better, cleaning up this mess will take about that long.

At 15 minutes I was done and so were the scones.

The smell filled the house and even Jerry decided to have one for breakfast for going his normal egg and such.

Life is as simple as you make it.... Today the simple won and was a delight to my senses.  Smell, touch, taste, and the sound of my hubby being quite pleased with it as well.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In the light of day.


After looking around everywhere I can't seem to find the chain that was on the gate behind the barn.  I did after all I did find the hoof prints that ran up and down my walking path.  As with each other time my horses have gotten out; once they were free they were confused.  They ran up and down the path trying to figure out where to go next.

The back gate was open last night after they ran into the barn yard, not once did they want to go back out it.  I had fed them I looked around not finding my chain but went on to check the fence line just for backup on my theory.

This is the only gate where I do not use lock to keep it secure, but I always have the chain on it.  This morning I have looked all over and can not find my silly chain.  So to add on my to do list today... to get a new chain, I suppose a new KEY lock to go on it, and a gift certificate of some sort for the Mays...   Boy I hate to have to carry a hand full of keys each time I go to the barn but I suppose it has come to that point.

CRAP! more to do and little time to get it done.

They are out! She said...

After 1:30 am but something woke me up.  it's a sound I know I heard something!
I sat up!
There it is! What in the world?
I then saw the flashing lights.  White, not red, I nudge at Jerry.
I get out of bed.  Flashing, and a faint horn sound. I peek out of the shades... Jerry there is a car in our driveway honking a horn and flashing its light.

I backed away desperately trying to find clothing, hell, at that point a towel would do.  No sounds below in the house, the birds are not freaking out. What could be going on?  Everything rushing though my sleepy but shaken mind.  Oh they are backing out! he said.  Wait no they aren't

Forget it I was either saying to myself or him.  He turned on the light.  I 'm naked in the brightness, but thanks to his help I found my robe. I tied it around me as I walked down the stairs, turned on the porch light and a woman comes into light as I step out on the porch completely at the mercy of strangers.   They are out! she said as a man shows in the light, they are across the red fence grazing but we saw them and.... but we didn't want to knock on the door.    Sadly a well learned neighbor from the recently nationally known  IDIOT who shot a poor woman for asking for help in the middle of the night.  I half way understood in the fog of my brain being still more than 1/2 asleep.

Five minutes... I said... I'm asleep and I have nothing on.  Five I'll be right there!

It was the horses! I screamed to my almost deaf husband as I turned back on the bedroom light and rustled for anything to wear.  They are OUT! why didn't they call? Likely they did but my phone is down stairs, (he can't sleep with it in our room..) Pants, and a T not yet folded and put into the wardrobe!  Keys.... get a gate key as I rushed down the stairs.  What has he done now ... as I grabbed the keys and headed down the basement stairs.

In the car... going beyond limits... I start to wake up.  Oh you would grab a navy tee dark barn leggings and no socks or anything else for that matter.  I get behind a large SUV as I get near my last turn.  almost 2 am and it was fate he slowed me down.  I was after all driving like a mother to a dying child.  In my mind anytime they are out it is dangerous, but in the dark, on a curvy road where dogs are in the house this time of night someone would hit and kill Sweet Pea by accident.  She is the darker of the two.  Crap... will I ever made it to the barn?

I get to the barn ... the May's are beyond the arch of the curve, lights on facing up the mountain. I drive into my plot of land, back the car far enough away from the gate, leave the lights on and it running, unlock the gate and start with my silly but effective call.  Sure enough ONE verbal call and I could see Navarre in the light, walking his slow pace back to the property behind the Mays running car.  I call and get louder with each call, they are out of my light but I can hear his shoes on the pavement.  They come back home, run up to the barn as I call out again and again.  They Mays are so sweet they yell out to me I yell my thanks in return.  My calls my thanks are likely to have been heard all the way to main street from a top our little mountain, but I am SO thankful they took the time to sit patiently, honk timidly, and wait for someone to respond from their car.  I'll get your number next I see you out! she said just before they drove off.   I walked to the electric box and turned it off so I could run another line or find where it is broken.

I owe them! is all I can say.  Thank God for good neighbors! Thank goodness they listen when I tell them where I live off the mountain.

Now... finding how they got out before they leave the barn yard again.   Strangely enough that was VERY simple.  A gate I never use, A gate I do not keep a lock on was wide open.  NO chain? gone? no string at the bottom, for my second security.  I gave the horses their reward ... for breaking out or coming home only they know for which ... but I gave them extra hay all the same.  No feed!

I ran my fingers over each horse as they ate their hay.  I listened to their gut sounds.  Both are tight as a drum but Sweet Pea has all four gut sounds easily heard, so I hugged her and went on to him.  I could only hear three gut sounds but gave him hay anyway.   I'll have to check him again later... well in just a few hours... I'll be back at the barn my 7 am to check on him.  Then I HOPE to call a friend and meet them for breakfast as they are camping VERY near this crazy night!

Almost 3 am and I would love to go back to sleep? Like that will ever happen!

Laughing at life.
Appreciative of good neighbors.
Giving thanks for my silly calls.
Dying for sleep!

My love to the world.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Just before the sun comes up.

Each morning as I sit at my desk, supplying Pirates' Lair customers with toys they can't wait to arrive;  a steady but faint thump happens just before shadows can be cast onto my paperwork.  At first I dismissed the sounds, the visions of flutter, but I have always appreciated them.

My morning ritual is watching the bats fly back into the eaves of our house, not a foot above my office window, as I sip on my coffee in between each customs collection.  They have moved or simply more prolific;  upon our moving into the house they lived above the garage door and I would catch their droppings and sell them for a little spending money.   Now it would take effort to do so as they have moved to the other side of the house, or possibly just away from the constant moving of my going in and out early and later hours through the garage door.

Bats are an incredible animal that are good to have around, especially in wet weather as we are suppose to have in this area.  Life / Nature tends to be lending itself back to the norm of rain fall in the past two years.   Last year we had too much rain... this year we are barely above the norm but still... it rains at my house and the barn very frequently to say it nicely, north of town I hear it is not so much.  I suppose I can only say I have been lucky with water these past two years, prier to these recently a serious draught weighed heavily on me each day.  I have no running water for the horses, I am VERY dependent on rain for their survival.

More to come as my camping trip with the horses evoked memories, thoughts, and actions in my daily activities.

My love to the world!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Should I stay or should I go....

The heat of Saturday never cooled down.  The low for my sleep was 80 degrees, a southern hot sticky mess to sleep in.

I could only hope all the post that took me hours to put in Thursday would not take hours to get out.
Sleep was doing me no good, I had so much to do, and besides... I will loose an hour in my day as I cross the time zone again. 

I let the horses go free one last time as I took down my tarp, hammock, and fencing.  

As I took everything apart it was hard not to think of everyone I missed desperately.  It is funny how your mind talks to those whom are no longer with us, these conversations in my mind keep me attached to my ancestors.  Rolling in my mind was the day Paw Paw and I walked and marked off this tiny piece of land for me.  Swinging among the webs in my mind was yearning a breakfast with my grandparents, wreaking of horse smells (from a barn I cleaned each morning), especially if I had a lunch date with a man.  Yes I preferred lunch dates back then, so if I needed a good excuse to get away I could easily make up one to be excused and it sound viable.  I often met the man I married for lunch or drinks (coffee)  dirty like this.  With my cut off jeans, muck boots, and a dirty shirt from the morning chores; without makeup, or shower and free as a bird.  Even then I was what I was; and anyone who was to stick around had to know the truth, the whole ugly, smelly, ugly truth of who I was and am today! 

I found the land pulling on me as I cleared everything. 

I took away trash I had not put there, leaving the place the best I could and better than someone else whom had been there earlier.  (plastic bottles) 

I was eager to get home to my husband, but I desperately wanted to stay, I had just gotten settled, I had just gotten into my camping groove, and I was just starting to really relax. The pull being almost equal had I not had my horses with me, I would have stayed till late in the day driving home with the sun behind me instead of in front of me as it is each time I leave from any visit. 

Text sent, calls made, horses in the trailer; I had to be on the go.... back to the reality of two or three jobs in a day. Animals, Pirates' Lair Motorcycle Accessories, and Ad-Lib Clothing store.   



While Friday was really more about getting all my business of life taken care of.  Putting my real name on my title, having the address put to my real address and getting a shot for my knee.  Saturday was a day I anticipated all week.

My day started with both horses standing as close to my sleeping quarters as was allowed by their fencing.

While I tried to get myself going the anticipation of the day was building ... and finally gave me the energy to get up out of my hammock.   We were able to get out of the farm by 8:30 allowing me just enough time to get ice for them and meet some of Paula's newest cat upon my arrival. 

Sure enough... almost 100 cats on the estate (Paradox Farms)  now, but be assured they are all neutered, spayed and READY for adoption.  So anyone in the Nashville / Pleasant View area please give this place a thought when searching for that perfect cat companion.  My girlfriend has the perfect one for you... one way or another!

One of the nicest farms in the county.  a European  Allee  flanks the drive, a 5 mph sign gets your attention.  A beautiful red horse barn to the right, an late 1800 white farm house to the left ;guest parking in between them so no one is in the way of tractor traffic.   

We started very late.  Then once we got into my horses my little girl was terrified of the industrial fan in the middle of the barn isle and refused to go much closer.  I finally got her into the wash stall a stall of dreams for the equine community.  the perfect set up with wash mats, over head temperature controlled water and even heat lamps over head... I walked Navarre into the grooming stall with ease.  Then there is Baby... Brian's horse a huge 17.3 retired jumping horse; still with good muscle tone for his advanced age.

I had once lived in one of these incredible stalls; converted into a New York style efficiency it was the best place I ever lived.  No matter horses or cats. there were no animal smells in this place, it is always kept beyond average standards. I could write a book on this farm but that would not tell you of my day. 

I knew with my horses being pasture horses the prep would require more than my horses are used to.  Sure enough, my girlfriend started on Navarre making him a dressage pony instead of a cart horse.  After her finishing, I caused issue after issue, having forgotten most of my English gear.  I forgot the nose band, the mouth guard, and best of all an English girth.  Lucky my girlfriend had everything we needed, but it took time; my little boy is big for some but TINY compared to any horses she had.    

As we moved out to the dressage ring, Sweet Pea and Baby went crazy for each other so we had to bring them out to the ring as well.  In doing so, something happened when I walked away; Navarre throwing my friend into the fence, Sweet Pea breaking a fence board in half and Baby squealing like a ... well a baby. 

Navarre got a coming to Jesus discussion from Paula (to say it nicely) and thus started my ride perfectly at odds in a new place.  When I got on Navarre he was shaking, I could feel the magma mount and knew at some point he would be Mount Saint Helen with me flying 20 feet into the air. This horse has so much power it can cause you fright going into a full canter, much less when he is upset as he was as we started.  Here I was at odds with a horse that normally does anything I ask, then the fight within myself started as well.  He was confused I was confused and I was loosing it fast! 

The jest of the story is I've been riding cowboy (free) style and now asking or using full control of my horse.  I find I am more of a leg rider than I thought. Having dropped my formal outside reign therefor not assisting Navarre with his front end and expecting him to move from the motions of my butt and legs only.  It's like driving a car backwards where each move is amplified, but not perfect.   We finally had a meeting of the minds, he calmed down, I calmed down and we finally completed our circles, figure eights and serpentine figures in this perfect dressage ring.   After he relaxed we floated on air, we started to move together as we normally do instead of fighting each other with each step as earlier. 

My only other appointment for the day was to meet with Mother and Bill.  Grant you I was in a navy t-shirt full seat riding pants, and it was almost 100 with heat index.  I had not washed my hair in 4 days, only taken a wash from the horses water bucket morning and nights, and I had just ridden Navarre for two hours.  But we met at the Mexican place in Joelton central.  While I looked like death, likely smelled like death, I fit in just fine.  Most everyone there I had gone to school with at some point, they stared, I stared back and waved.  

My Mother looked amazing! having lost several sizes, wearing newly fitted clothes she looked much healthier than when last I saw her.   We ate and talked for almost two hours, never holding a place someone else needed, so I enjoyed my time out of the heat, in the air conditioning, and thoughts of my husband as tennis was on the televisions at both ends of the place.