Thursday, November 28, 2013

thanks giving

I am thankful this year for cold weather, sweet kit-meows, plenty of firewood, two amazing teens, a wonderful husband, November Hill, happy Corgis, and the best herd of equines in the world. 

The first thing I heard this morning were three in a row donkey brays, and if the saying is true, I could have made a wish and have it come true - but in this case it already has, in the form of November Hill and my very large November Hill family. I am thankful for every single one of them. 

I hope everyone has a lovely day!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's really November on November Hill

The leaves are falling daily, and those left on trees are either deep crimson or tobacco brown, very muted from peak color but still some of my favorite colors, especially set against a cloudy landscape like we have today.

My chores now include a bit of raking, which feels futile but I know from experience that if I keep going, little by little I'll get these leaves in areas where they can mulch down. I focus on the places I've planted winter rye, which surprisingly thrives even beneath a layer of leaves.

This week Keil Bay and I have had 3 nice rides. One of the days he seemed a bit stiff at the walk, but quite lovely at the trot, and I fretted, saying to daughter, he is almost 25! She said "that horse is not in pain," and I took great comfort in hearing that. Yesterday he was normal at the walk and even lovelier at the trot, so I feel better. My legs were so soft yesterday, long and relaxed even when I posted, and the posting was coming from Keil Bay's movement so it all circled and got better and better as we went.

Each of the days we've ridden this week I felt Salina near. As we passed her grave, I called out "Salina-bina" and Keil Bay turned his neck completely as we passed, as if she had nickered in response. It was a good decision to place her there, where she is with us when we ride. Even the clear-cut field beside us is transformed by her presence. I see it as her field now. Even though still covered in left-behind sweetgums and littered with stumps, it is perfect for a spirit horse, who can gallop just above the ground, never touching the earth.

Twice this week I have given myself the treat of playing with the painted pony, who is as furry as a teddy bear and so very responsive once I connect with him. After a bit of time together he allows some affection.

Cody is going well for my daughter and the donkeys are in high spirits, spending multiple times each day running and chasing one another and acting like younglings.

Cats cluster around the woodstove and Corgis trail dried leaves all over the house and into the bed.

I am doing a second big edit on (the girl who was) Never Not Broken, grateful that I made it to the end of writing another novel and that the timing worked out so that I can edit it through the winter season - there is something about seeing the bones of trees while studying the bones of a novel that is intensely satisfying.

My son is coming home for Thanksgiving and my daughter is tackling math with a vengeance, and my husband is renewing his love for photographing the landscape. It is a season of finding what you love and what you want to learn and doing it, held to that path by the leaves falling and the trees baring themselves, by the temperatures falling (and here in the south, rising again and diving, in crazy ways that will never quite make sense) and the angle of the sun shifting.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

home again, home again, jiggety jig

It's always wonderful getting time away to write, and it's equally wonderful to come home to November Hill at the end of it.

I brought a bag of apples and carrots for horses, pony, and donkeys, and one very ripe pear, so I bought my way back into the good graces of the herd. I have to say though, like always, Keil Bay turned his rear to me when I first came out to the barn. I think this is the longest I've ever been away since he came to live with me 10 years ago.

Unfortunately the afternoon was too busy to get in a ride, but next morning, in spite of gusting wind and cold I decided that I had to be back to our schedule. Dear daughter tacked up Cody and we rode together. Both Rafer and Redford climbed into the arena through the fence and joined us - Redford lay down on top of X and took a few rolls before watching, then the two marched side by side behind us.

Sometimes the best rides come after a break - this one was especially sweet.