Sunday, August 31, 2008

we need your healing energy

I'm typing fast here, but this morning between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Rafer Johnson broke his leg. :/ Fortunately it is just beneath the hock and not in the long bones. Best guess is that he was running/playing and hit a soft spot or depression in the ground and torqued the leg right at the hock joint.

He is okay - the leg is stable and bandaged in a huge cast-like thing with two supports layered in to keep it straight, and radiographs are going to the vet school to see if surgery can help the outcome. There is a bone chip and a ragged area clearly visible - we are hoping for the best, and hoping surgery won't be needed b/c of the stress involved with that.

Meanwhile, recs per vet is keep leg wrapped with support, keep him contained in a 12x12 or less area for FOUR MONTHS. We'll re-do the radiographs in one month to monitor healing and decide if alternative support is better - i.e. perhaps a bi-valve (I think this was what he called it) cast, etc.

I would so appreciate any good energy anyone can send. He's such a brave boy and so good - but this is going to be tough. Four months is a long time.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

triple heater meridian

The pony's herb pack arrived today smelling like a yummy cookie before I even opened it. The cinnamon!

As if getting it wasn't excitement enough, Patsy enclosed a fact sheet about the blocked meridian. I think every issue this pony has ever had relates to this blocked meridian. This is some of what it says:

Triple Heater Meridian: Commander of all Energies


The Triple Heater is a function rather than a physical organ. It represents a group of energies and involves many organs. This meridian is the functional relationship between the energy-transforming organs. The Triple Heater transforms and transports Chi as it
flows unimpeded to all parts of the body. In this role, it helps transform and transport nourishment and to excrete waste as well as direct Chi to the organs. This meridian also enhances the functions of the lymphatic system. The Triple Heater is known as the "Official of Balance and Harmony."

Absolutely amazing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

new horizons

After nearly a year of mulling this over, I finally made the leap and bought beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, and along with the rest of my supplements, will be making the horses' feed from "scratch."

As usual, the impetus for this is Salina. After reading that the soy in horse feeds is causing some mares to develop swollen udders and metabolic horses (or those on the border) to have laminitic episodes, I decided it was time to make the changeover.

This is not the first time Salina has led me into new territory, nor will it be the last, I'm sure. One of her missions seems to be to teach me all the things I need to know about horses.

So, as I type, there is beet pulp soaking in the laundry room, and tomorrow I'll begin the gradual shift from processed feed to something different. I have to admit, I'm excited, now that I've set forth.

On other fronts, I got the pony's kinesiology test results this morning. He has:

low digestive enzymes

low insulin

high blood sugar

a blocked meridian that needs acupuncture

low seratonins

Patsy had nearly NO information about the pony, and when she described the blocked meridian and where it is in the body, I nearly fell over. I was not writing fast enough to get the exact name of this meridian, but it begins behind the eye, goes down each side of the neck, behind the scapula, and into his left leg - and that's where the block is.

I immediately realized that this must be why he has always had issues with taking the left canter lead, and why he counter-bends traveling left. She said it is likely he has had soreness in the shoulder - guess what part of his body the massage therapist always finds tight and tender?

His 4-week herbal regimen will arrive in two days, and I have a call into an equine acupuncturist/vet who came highly recommended. Now it's the pony leading me into new territory.

It's also fascinating to me that he has the blood sugar/insulin issue - this time of year has always been a difficult time for him, and I have suspected the grass of late summer/early fall is just too high in sugars for his system. Hopefully (and Patsy thinks we'll really see a change) this course of treatment will give my daughter a great year of riding before she has another growth spurt and we have to look at training him to drive. (and won't THAT be an exciting new horizon to explore!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

cloudy with a little flurry (of activity)

We're getting some welcome rain this week, and a nice break from the summer sun with these gray, rain cloud days. This morning I went out dressed to ride, but by the time I got the feeding done and some basic barn chores out of the way, it had started raining. I settled into a chair in the barn aisle with the white board, which was woefully out of date with reference to who is getting what feed-wise right now. I tend to carry all that info in my head, and I like to have it written down in a pretty obvious place so that everyone knows who's eating what in the barn.

Everyone in the barn is doing well. The biggest drama this week is the gigantic horse flies, but running into the barn seems to deter them. Cody seems to be their favorite target, and the pony not at all. I haven't seen any going after Rafer Johnson either.

Otherwise, after a weekend that really did get me rolling again, I've been working on adding somewhere in the vicinity of 20k words to the novel, with plans to exchange mss with my writing partner in a week and a half. She has buoyed me to think querying thoughts for September.

Funny how one thing moving tends to set other things in motion. I've had two magazine article queries answered positively this week, and some other things are rolling in that area.

The fall flurry of activity is beginning - and I've got two big crows right outside marching toward the window even as I type. Things always flow when the crows are near.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


(dream castles, courtesy of Matthew Cromer)

Through the years, a man peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, tools, stars, horses, and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his own face.

-Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a little salina update

The swelling has reduced by one-third as of this morning - and when I attempted to get an even closer look, she walked away. As in, "that no longer requires your attention, please give me more hay."

If I ever go back to school to study anything formally, it will be homeopathy. Powerful and effective.

tune of the cosmic dust

(title from an entry in Caitlin Matthews' The Celtic Spirit)

Human beings, vegetables, cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.

-Albert Einstein

(image courtesy of my husband)

This week the tune of the cosmic dust seems more apparent, as one thing happens and seems almost magically to link up to a next thing, in a sequence that fits perfectly but was not planned, nor could have been, by me.

Sunday I woke up to Salina's enlarged udder, and rolled through the day with that on my mind. Her quick response to the homeopathic remedy carried through to Monday, when talking with the vet, I was able to get validation and also offer some needed information to his office staff about bringing a horse down to the area to board.

Monday afternoon we arrived at my daughter's dressage lesson to find the trainer in the midst of many emergencies: the barn loft was literally falling, and being supported by steel support beams carried in by a construction team. A load of footing was being delivered into the arena, not at all on the schedule she had arranged. It was dumped in the wrong part of the arena and was the wrong kind of sand.

The Grand Prix schoolmistress horse my daughter rides was a pillar of grace. She stood quietly while being tacked up in a paddock, the sound of hay bales being dropped from the temporarily secured loft and landing on a metal trailer didn't bother her. The dump truck maneuvering didn't alarm her.

And when we walked out to the arena for the lesson, the trainer put on her ribboned hat and proceeded to teach, marking off a section of the arena where there were no mountains of orange sand blocking the way, so my daughter could ride.

I learned that there was more still going on: a family member diagnosed with a scary disease, three horses lame, a family pet in surgery.

Needless to say, I received a lesson on Monday, and it was seeing grace under pressure.

My husband announced the beach plans that evening, and wonderfully, a good friend and former writing partner was free on such short notice to come for an impromptu writing retreat this weekend. She told me when I emailed that she had been working on her book all day, and had been feeling the need to give it special time this week. And now we will pool our creative energies and move forward.

Tuesday we began preparing for the pizza/movie night tomorrow, when 11 pre/early teens will gather and plan some activities for their fall. They're all excited about meeting, and there was a last-minute rush of RSVPs that added to the excite.

I got in bed last night tired and realized my left breast was having an unusual sensation. (it's Salina's left udder that is swollen) It felt like something clearing. A pressure releasing. I breathed a sigh of relief. She is in no pain, nor would I let her be, and has no symptoms beyond the swelling. But of course I have been aware continuously that the swelling needs to reduce for things to be completely normal. I suspect I'll find today that that symptom too is resolving.

It's being one of those spans of time when I can almost see the bigger machination turning and spinning - where things fall into place and one thing sets up another.

It reminds me of my most favored Mark Helprin passage, from his novel The Winter's Tale:

Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishingly frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one can be certain.

And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined; it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given -- so we track it, in linear fashion, piece by piece. Time, however, can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is; everything that ever will be, is -- and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we imagine that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others.

I propose that today we all stand back and breathe, take it all in, and celebrate the vista. That's my plan for the day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

clearing small obstacles (in a single bound)

I spoke with our homeopathic vet yesterday and he felt my treatment plan was on the money, so we're continuing the remedy and watching things closely with Salina. She seems to be slightly perplexed by the fact that I'm using a tiny syringe to spray sweet water into her mouth. A far cry from paste dewormer or Probios or Banamine.

Meanwhile, it turns out the rest of the family will be beach-bound this weekend, so the end of summer Get Ready To Query writing weekend will be taking place here this Friday-Sunday. I have one RSVP thus far and am eager to get moving with edits again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

kick-start the week

I woke up yesterday to discover that Salina had a swollen udder and was off her feed, so I gave her a dose of Banamine, set her up in the barn aisle where she could have some hay, stand by Keil Bay's stall, or graze the barnyard, and she rested there with her trusty companion Rafer Johnson while we did barn chores.

Once the Banamine kicked in, she seemed a bit better, and I hosed the udder mainly to see if there was a wound there - nothing. She sighed and stretched her legs out though, so I think the hosing felt good.

I got out my books and came up with a homeopathic remedy to try. Within about 15 minutes she was alert and in her stall munching on hay. The swelling lessened a bit, and over the course of the day I monitored her to make sure she was eating (she lined up at the feed room door for lunch), drinking, and using the bathroom normally. Everything checked out well. The udder remained swollen so I decided to use a different remedy in the pm. She was back to her normal self in all ways, and I'll be keeping a chose check on that udder today and will put a call in to the vet as needed.

My daughter had ridden the pony in the morning, so she tacked up Cody and rode the Intro A dressage test with him in the evening. When I got Keil Bay in the arena and mounted, she talked me into riding the Intro A test on the Big Bay. This is what I wrote elsewhere about our ride:

I had done some warming up and Keil was forward and alert, but the moment we entered at A and trotted down center line, he was so in front of my leg and on the aids we basically overshot the entire test. Working trot became extended, the circles were me keeping him at a trot instead of canter, and he wanted to blast down center line at the end so that by the time we halted we were practically in the "judge's " lap!

It was a terrible test but I was laughing out loud through most of it. Imagine my delight at having this big powerful tank moving out with energy and excitement, instead of me trying to get the engine rolling!

I ended up *letting* him do the big giant trot work (this is when he looks the best, but normally we have to warm up and I have to push him into this gear) and then we hand-galloped some - he was so wanting to MOVE.

Keil is in week 4 of his herbal regime, and the results are astounding. It's like riding the "best of Keil Bay" all the time.

Heading into a new week with new things to learn - udders, getting a powerhouse to do a dressage test, hosting the first pre/early teen hs'ing movie night.

I'll leave you with two little videos my daughter made over the weekend to kick-start the week and get it rolling:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

funny little habit since owning horses

Last night I went with my husband to pick out a new dryer. I knew walking in to the store that we weren't getting the lovely green Duet steam washer and dryer I have ogled in catalogs and on random trips to Lowe's. I love the way the Duets look up on their stands, and the soft green against our terra cotta tile would be such a nice contrast of color in the laundry room.

And yet, standing there last night, calculating just how much it would cost for the Duet pair, plus stands, I kept thinking in my head:

Wow, that amount of money would buy a year's supply of hay.

Or two years of Adequan.

A shopping spree at Horsetech.

Saliva tests and accompanying herbs for every living creature in my family.

It would cover a County dressage saddle for Cody.

Make a good dent in the expense of getting the sink in my tack room hooked up, and putting in the wide plank wood floor I want in there.

It would buy new arena footing, pea gravel for my "hoof stimulation areas," or the gate for the front of our property.

Ever since owning horses, I have this little habit of calculating everything in terms of farm improvements, horse care, and riding tack/attire.

The funny thing is that most anything I see and "want" for its aesthetic pleasure isn't, in the end, worth anywhere near the pleasure I get from living with the horses. It was kind of nice to be reminded of that last night. And when we got home, and my husband installed the modest dryer, I tossed the latest load of clean clothes into it and turned it on. When the buzzer sounded, they were dry. And that's the important thing.

Friday, August 15, 2008

end of a week

Today will be spent awaiting the dryer repairman, who is set to come "between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m." -- so said the computerized phone call we got last evening. A fairly huge window, imo, for me to be waiting. But since the dryer is now inoperable (it screeches and moans like a dying banshee) and there are mountains of dirty laundry needing to be washed, I guess I'd better do it.

I've been considering getting one of those clothes-lines that spin around on a pole, so that I could hang the clothes right from the deck outside the laundry room. I don't mind hanging clothes out, but no one here likes the stiffness. Isn't there something you can do to avoid that? Anyone know what it is?

Otherwise, Keil Bay is back to work after time off due to chiro. Cody is back tomorrow. And if I can juggle the dryer repairman, the predicted afternoon thunderstorms, and getting a move on this laundry, I'll be out riding sometime today.

Last night Rafer Johnson threw a little donkey fit when it was time for Salina to eat her dinner alone and he was confined to the barn aisle (with us). He generally takes this in stride, but for whatever reason, he had a bucking/kicking fit last night. It looked very much like what I would call "donkey adolescence." It was intense and rebellious, and we pretty much let him wear himself out but did not allow him to aim that intensity at us. And then suddenly it ended. When it was over, he got some hugs and rubs.

This morning, we are nearing another developmental milestone, with Mystic, the growing-at-the-speed-of-light kitten. Dickens E. Wickens is outside the cat/dog door quite literally peeling it back so that Mystic can learn to get out! I can almost hear Dickens whispering: Come on, push. You know you want to be a junior cowboy. Just one little push and you're free to roam the range!

I am gearing up to get back to my novel editing. My notes and solutions are patiently enduring my late summer doldrums with writing. Fall will pick that up - it's my most productive time of year and boy do I need it this year!

Right now the sun is shining and the sky is blue, and it's time for Pilates before I head out to feed.


The repairman arrived before I even had time for Pilates. New dryer is on the way this evening. Not the lovely color front-loader I want, but alas, it will dry the clothes and that's the important thing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a number of paths

It's being a nice week. Sunday evening Keil Bay and I shed years off our respective ages and jumped a trot pole three times. Leave it to the Big Bay to show me we can both soar.

Monday I had a lovely ride on Cody. He is such a different ride than Keil; it teaches me an entirely different set of skills and when he really relaxes and settles into his stride, he's wonderful.

Later that afternoon, my daughter had her dressage lesson and as usual, I learn almost as much as she does just sitting there watching.

Pilates update: I am not planning to turn this into my own personal training journal, but I'm excited to report that not only have I kept up my daily Pilates, I am already losing inches in the waistline. It happens fast with the mat work. I'd forgotten.

And a labyrinth update: the first circuit is nearly done. We started an external circle path that shoots off from the actual labyrinth and goes around the outside. While this isn't a "true" feature of a labyrinth, I decided that with horses and the potential of having two at a time down there, it would be nice to have a way for one horse to be able to walk the labyrinth while another simply takes the bigger circle around. Eventually, the outer circle will also have another path feeding off it that goes up the hill and through the woods.

Chiggers notwithstanding, this labyrinth is going to be fun. I need to dust the path with DE, keep the foliage cut well back, and between that and fall, hopefully we will be chigger free. I think I forgot to say that late last week I made a huge error in judgment and worked on the labyrinth one morning, then wore those *shorts* and socks for several hours after coming inside. It was afternoon before I realized that I was being bitten by chiggers. Aiyiyi - this batch is about 4x worse than the first one. But the homeopathic ointment, remedy, and baking soda baths got me through it yet again.

Today we had the chiropractor here, and minimal issues. I found a crow feather in the arena, which really made my morning. And to top it off, it's 68 degrees out and we're getting a very soft and steady rain that feels wonderful.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

one year ago this month

(I already had to add two new things!)

My daughter was having trouble with her pony, who was feeling pressured and starting to rebel. Tonight, she took him a snack in the front field while the older horses had their evening feed, and then vaulted up onto his back to sit with him while he ate. When he finished, she rode him in to the paddock, and I warned her that the horses' back doors were open and the pony was speeding up - he loves to sneak in on Cody so we normally close Cody's back door while he eats. Anyway, she sat back and said whoa and the pony did the nicest, squarest halt with nothing but the girl's request.


This one is a bit longer ago. Five years ago I started back riding and jumped a mounting block totally by accident on the black mare Annie... about 25 years before THAT I was jumping my horse regularly.

Tonight, while riding Keil Bay, he was in such wonderful spirits and condition (thank you Patsy and your amazing herbs) he sailed over a trot pole three different times. Trotted in, cantered out. The last time he sailed pretty high, and we were flying. What a thrill! Husband said "He wants to be an eventer." Um - NO. :)


I was getting down to the bones in my second novel. I suppose one could say that this year I am dealing with its muscle.


We were just starting the Joss Whedon series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now we're just starting The Sopranos.


We were living with 102 degree heat. Today it is 86.


We celebrated multiple birthdays at my parents' house, with steak on the grill, Blue Moons and Cokes, an impromptu pomegranate martini for me, and sips of coconut rum all around. And cake and ice cream, of course.

This year my father is bedridden, with Hospice coming every day, but he can still talk and smile and enjoy cake and ice cream.


There were hints of autumn and tons of butterflies.

Today I saw a tree completely changing color and the butterflies are swarming.


I had a writing breakthrough and a trip to Weymouth.

This year I had a trip to Weymouth and THEN the writing breakthrough.


And we met this little guy:

Friday, August 08, 2008

good friday

I had forgotten how invigorating the Pilates matwork is - I have decided to do it every morning, and it's been a great way to get my days rolling.

Today I finally deemed it cool enough to get Keil Bay back under saddle. He was alert but calm in the barn aisle, and this carried through to the ride itself. The first thing he did was drop manure at the mounting block, which is a sign that he's relaxed and ready to work.

His ears were forward and he was definitely checking things out - looking into the woods, beyond the back field, etc. But he wasn't distracted, and definitely not spooky. He was nicely forward and very responsive. So responsive to my seat and legs that initially we were zigzagging around a bit. I had to really get quiet and clear with my legs and seat and once I did that and focused on my self more, we got straighter.

I noticed that he was very accepting of the bit and seeking contact, and I practiced some new ways of holding the reins (thanks jme!!) which seemed to help both of us.

We did a lot of "correct" walking. Then did some extended walk and a long stretching walk. I followed his pattern from the free lunging and changed directions across the diagonals so we were basically doing a big figure-8 pattern. He was anticipating this, and that allowed me to focus on some fine-tuning instead of thinking about where we were going next.

We did some warm up trot and then did a nice pattern where we did working trot around the arena and extended trot across the diagonals. Amazing! He really went well and I felt like he was in front of my legs AND my legs were underneath ME.

We did just a bit of canter to stretch out at the end, and then walked a bit before ending.

I hosed him off and then cleaned my tack, half chaps, and boots while he grazed in the barnyard with Rafer Johnson and Dickens E. Wickens.

Really really nice day. I am hoping to ride Cody this evening and cap it off with another good ride.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Right this moment we're having a sudden onset thunderstorm with rain and lightning that just cracked so hard and so close it sounded like a tree splitting in half.

So what is inspiring about this?

There's a quite handsome wasp sitting on the screen of my garret window. He has brilliant orange and gold legs and is waiting out the storm by grooming himself from antenna to wingtips. I just love it that he's taking a break with me while the rain washes down the world outside.

novel movement

I think the work with Keil Bay and going to the office last night loosened things up in relation to the novel and my recent logjam with edits. On my way home last night, once I got past the last "town" on the highway and entered the dead zone, ideas began to pop.

I had identified the "issues" out loud with my husband the night before, and I think that helped too - the editing issues that needed resolving were "out there" and yesterday's activity got me out of my head enough that the solutions could bubble up.

The first thing I did when I got in the house was write down the revelations in my little blue notebook. Then I went on to the rest of my evening, and when I got in bed, yet another revelation burst forth.

I struggled briefly - should I get up and write that one down as well? But it was a major one, and unlikely to be forgotten in the night, so I went to sleep.

Today I've done my Pilates and am hoping that the day's chores and time with horses keeps the lines open so I can work on some of these things this evening, on the page.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

wednesday work-outs

This morning Keil Bay was intent on standing at his stall door after breakfast, and since it is hot and I didn't really want to tack him up, I took him in the arena to play on the ground.

When he realized I was planning to do ground work, he resisted a little, but once in the arena he perked up and I did some free-lunging, with my primary goal being to get him landing really well up front, heel first, and to carry himself with some balance and lightness.

He initially used the entire arena, going in his own figure-8 pattern around and then changing directions across the diagonals. It was interesting to see him form this pattern on his own - if he gets bored or simply doesn't want to play, he will often get hung up in the corners. Today he didn't.

After about 15 minutes of walk/trot/canter, he decided he was done, but I wanted him to push a bit further and do more of his big trot. I realized today, not a total revelation, but more like a reiteration, that when he does his big beautiful trot he is landing heel first AND moving with balance, lightness, and ease. Duh! But it occurred to me that by not working him more at this gait/frame, which he does quite naturally on his own, I'm contributing to any problems. When he uses his back, lands correctly, and carries himself, it's better for every part of his body.

So I asked him to do more of that. The really fascinating part of this exercise was that when I asked him to push on and do more, he balked for just a moment but then he clicked into gear. Instead of using the entire arena in a big figure-8 pattern, he began to lunge around me using about 1/2 the arena, doing a darn good circle on his own volition. He even changed directions and did everything the other way. We got very crisp up-transitions and more big trot, and then I let him canter to stretch out some and then cooled off with turns on the forehand and haunches.

When I opened the gate to the paddock so he could head on out, he didn't leave! He just stood there licking and chewing. It was a really nice end to some work in the hot sun, which is admittedly not my favorite time to be in the arena.

Just as I convinced Keil Bay to leave the arena, Rafer Johnson squeezed his way in, and then Cody and Apache Moon came in too. They got some work with my daughter, who set up a few jumps and let them walk and trot for a bit before moving them into cantering these verticals.

Rafer Johnson is a jumping machine! I have never seen anything like it. He takes the jumps like a little eventer. And he will literally push his way through the gap in the gate and the post in order to do this.

Speaking of work-outs, it's time to get back on my own schedule and alternate between yoga, Pilates mat work, and the gym. I think today I'll do Pilates.

Monday, August 04, 2008


I'm finding it difficult to believe it's already August - the summer has gone by quickly for me. But the signs are here.

The deep blue skies that presage autumn.

Butterflies everywhere!

The huge horseflies that are like small birds.

The pony's annual grumpiness. (I'm hoping his saliva test yields some insight into this phenomenon)

Muscadines are on the way to being ripe. This year they're along our front porch and in the back field, where you can ride underneath the vines and pick them.

A manuscript that wants to be queried but isn't quite ready. (last night I actually closed the document and opened the doc for the THIRD novel - with some kind of desperate hope that perhaps it had magically edited itself and was ready to send out - no such luck)

Fleas (help is on the way)

A subtle but definite pull inside that is me longing for the change of season - changing colors, crisp nights, the call of geese.


Update on Keil Bay and his herbal regimen:

Keil Bay and I both had hot stone massage today and H. and I were astounded at the change in his demeanor.

He loves the bodywork but tends to fidget and fuss until the "right" area gets addressed. This is an okay thing - but I have always wanted him to relax and enjoy the entire process. Today he did.

He was waiting at the barn door for H. when she arrived. He said hello and then planted himself. I sat in a chair and held the lead line, but he really didn't need one. With the first contact he was licking, chewing, rolling his eyes around, yawning, and doing incredible yoga stretches each time she stopped to get new stones.

He didn't have to smell them, taste them, or otherwise even see the stones - he just stood there and opened up to the massage.

At one point her hands were so deep behind his scapula I could only see the wrists. He's never allowed such deep work, and he didn't fuss once about flies or the heat or the hour standing still.

I'm convinced the herbs are having tremendous effects on the way he feels.

We have two hot days coming up and I may not ride until they pass - but later this week we will be back to regular work and I am so eager to see how it goes.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

quotes to self

Mamie reminded me that I have all these quotes and chinese fortune cookie fortunes and poems taped to the inside of my laptop.

It's a good time to read them and remind myself of what I've put there.

But I don't want to go among mad people! said Alice. Oh, you can't help it, said the Cat. We're all mad here. (Lewis Carroll)

Your hard efforts will bring you fame. (chinese fortune cookie from 3/25/2000)

Beauty will save the world. (F. Dostoyevsky)

You are on the verge of something big. (chinese fortune cookie from 2/23/2004)

It is time for all the heroes to go home
if they have any, time for all of us common ones
to locate ourselves by the real things
we live by.

Far to the north, or indeed in any direction,
strange mountains and creatures have always lurked-
elves, goblins, trolls, and spiders: -we
encounter them in dread and wonder,

But once we have tasted far streams, touched the gold,
found some limit beyond the waterfall,
a season changes, and we come back, changed
but safe, quiet, grateful.

Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler's ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.

-William Stafford

The object of your desire comes closer. (chinese fortune cookie from 11/8/2003)

A chance meeting opens new doors to success and friendship. (chinese fortune cookie not dated)

you are going to change your present line of work. (chinese fortune cookie from 5/2004)

Good things are coing to you in due course of time. (chinese fortune cookie from 5/2004)

All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together, the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible.

-Mark Helprin


You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or the silence after lightning before it says
its names - and then the clouds' wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles - you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rocks, and years. You turn your head
that's what the silence meant: you're not alone
The whole wide world pours down.

-William Stafford

Friday, August 01, 2008


Victoria at Teachings of the Horse recently presented camera-obscura, along with six other bloggers, this Brillante award. Thank you, Victoria - your blog is a favorite read of mine, as are the others you awarded. It's a very rich blogging world and I'm fortunate to have so many amazing blogging friends.

The award asks that each recipient pass on the award to 7 other bloggers. Many of my favorites have already been awarded, but the following are some of my favorite reads that haven't yet been tagged with this award, and so I get the chance to do the tagging:

Matthew's There's Not Two is a very minimal text but beautiful blog that never fails to lift my spirits when I visit.

Sheaffer's blog is a favorite and donkeys everywhere read it for his humor and wisdom.

Heidi at hickchic always inspires me and also makes me smile.

This is a new find and not exactly a blog, but the horsey set here at camera-obscura will enjoy it. An Otherwise Perfect Farm's expansive set of excerpts from a forthcoming book called Finding My Distance.

Kairos Calling is devoted to the process and craft of writing and she tackles some of the issues all writers face when working and trying to get their work "out there."

Mamie's Spot is a wonderful potpourri of daily life and writing and truly lovely photographs.

Peggy Payne's Boldness Blog makes me think and gives me the little nudge I need to be bold in both big and little ways.

Congratulations, all, and remember you can get the award here, put it on your blog, link back to camera-obscura, and then present it to 7 more bloggers. But there is no pressure - the main thing is to enjoy the award and pass it along if you have time and want to do that.

Thanks for the great reads!