Friday, July 31, 2009

Move Back Behind the Line

I couldn't help inching forward, and honestly, wasn't over the line. Still, I was shooed back by the uniformed security. Don't they know my baby is over there, taking off her shoes, ready to get on her first flight alone? Nor do they care.

I watched people in the line. Two Amish men and one woman seemed incongruous as they took off their shoes to go through a metal detector to fly through the air in modern technology. Somehow, I expect better of them, taking their buggies across the open plains for days, dodging all sorts of dangers. At least, their appearance suggests that would be the case.

Cursing my short stature, I stretched to see. Was she through? I suppose she was, and I resisted the urge to be the helicopter parent and call her with one last suggestion. It's not like she's not flown before - traveled to Europe twice and Japan once. She'll be gone for two weeks this time to another piano event. I'm getting used to letting go.

Still, she touches base, just landed her first leg of the trip, plane delayed for the second leg. I watch online for updated information - oh! now they are boarding. I now switch to watching the plane in flight for a few moments. But, the horses are hungry and chickens need to be watered and fed. My day is beginning, as so many do, and I haven't time to sit and lament that she is gone.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sleep Tight

William told dh he had the best dream. "I dreamed that the floor was made of pizza and I could eat all I want!"

I have been so busy, I hardly know what to write. Not much seems funny when you are dead tired. Maybe this week will be slower. (Right.)

Research on Etta continues. It amazes me that in her paternal lineages, there are some of the most highly regarded Arabian horses ever, yet she has been given away not once, but twice and was starving and had sores. I am going to start her on senior horse food today and see if the beet pulp in it will help bulk her up a bit.

The weather this summer has been just weird. Normally, we are sweltering in the heat of July. Yet, it is unlikely to get out of the 80's (F) this month. I'm enjoying it.

Picked green beans at a friend's house and put up four quarts. I hope I did it right - don't want to poison anyone.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


After a bit of research, I discovered that Etta Mae was raised in a town about an hour and a half from here. I reached a man by phone who had bred Etta's mom, Odette, to Bold Fortune, a very successful endurance horse in these parts. Because he thought this line of Arabians produced both smart and calm horses, he was breeding half-Arabians to sell. Etta was one of his broodmares, chosen because her gray color crossed with a cremello horse should produce a buckskin or palomino horse. Because of her genetics, however, Etta's babies started out the desired color but as they aged turned gray, which was not desired. After a divorce and a need to thin his herd, he decided to find a home for Etta and her mom, Odette. Etta had had eight babies by then. He still owns one mare which is for sale. He's going to help me get her papers.

He had called her "Effie" - using the "F" from Fortune and the "E" from Ette for F-E or Effie. I dislike the name in part because it sounds like one is cussing the creature, as in "that Eff-en" horse. She deserves better! Given that she spent most of her time a broodmare, she'll likely respond to "hey horse" or whatever. Her calm demeanor came from often being in the barn around children, chickens, dogs, tractors, you name it.

The story was interesting but he saved the best for last. He gave Effie, now Etta, to a man that wanted the horse for 4H kids. However, up until this time, the mare had never had a bit in her mouth or had been broke to ride. By my estimation and record of her last birth in April 2008, that means although she is sixteen, she's only been ridden for a year or less. Gulp!

Horses always provide the most interesting learning experiences.

I gripped the wheel when I left the fairgrounds last night, trying hard not to gun Eugene's (my van's) motor and ram into someone's car. The desire to do so was there. I had watched three heats with Wm and dh of the demolition derby. What a, uh, cultural, experience trumped only by the even preceeding it: grown men riding around on souped up lawn mowers trying to turn each other over or ruin each others machine.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Run Down

It would take me awhile to catch y'all up with this month's happenings. So many things that went through one brain cell and out the other that I thought to write but hadn't the time.

I'll try to do a quick run down. First, welcome to Etta Mae, my newest addition to the family (see right). Phantom, a horse obtained last November, continued to be scared of his own ghost. Little did I know how prophetic his name was! Luckily, the man from whom I got him was willing to trade with me for a choice of two Arabians, both 16 year old mares.

Now before you get worried about me getting my sorry old behind on an Arabian, let me tell you that right now, Etta Mae is the most docile horse I've owned since ol' Smokey, the pony that came with my house (that's a story for another day). I hold out the possibility that once she is returned to good condition, her personality could change.

She was starving along with her pasture mate when this man took her ownership from a neighbor. He says she looks good compared to a few weeks back. This makes me sad, for she is such a gentle soul and I can't understand mistreatment of animals. She had an open, oozing sore about 5 inches long, and what appears to be old cuts with fungus on them. On a scale to determine condition from 1 to 10, she rated a 3, pretty thin. I am looking forward to her recovery, but Lauren rides her bareback already. Her only vice appears to be a little pushiness to get out of her stall, something trainable.

Her show name is Bold Fortune Ette, and through the wonders of the Internet, we found that she's had at least two babies, named Creme Etta and CC Lilmiss Bolderblew. I am researching to see if I can put together her history.

Other things happening this month:
Lauren's big "project" has concluded. She was attending the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts for three weeks at Transylvania University. Given the choice, I know she'd still be there. Great friends were made and an amazing atmosphere for someone whose passion is the arts. Lauren was one of 225 students (10 pianists) chosen from over 1600 students who auditioned.
Durning the time she was gone, the horsey, chicken, and pet-sitting chores rested squarely on my shoulders, keeping me in prime manure.

These past two weeks, I have been shuttling Anna back and forth to a high school. What? you might say? My kid in public high school? In fact, I fought on the phone for her to attend this high school class to which she was given a scholarship. It is a two week, intensive art institute based on man's relationship with glass. Today is the last day, but not over until the reception and art show tonight. She got to blow glass and lots of other neat things.

The county fair is this week as well. We got entries together for both the open and 4H Divisions. Anna got 4 blue ribbons in the open (out of four entries) and won Grand Champion in the 4H Fine Art Division, 1st in Painting and 1st in Watercolor. I was also very proud of our 4H Club which, in it's first year, took 3 Grand Champions (in two fairs), and took eight class championships, not to mention blue ribbons! We also participated in the county parade, making our own banner. The float won 1st place and we had fun riding on it.

Lauren had her 18th birthday this month, and 41 people gathered at our house for a barbecue and to celebrate. It seems impossible that my baby is an adult.

William has been happy with swimming lessons, berry picking and playing with friends in his crushed limestone pile (better than sand).

Oh, and that isn't all that has been going on, but you get the gist of it. I'm pooped. And it isn't over yet. But all good, all good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lauren and William at the County Fair

Click here for photo

"Mom, I feel a little sick," said William in my cell phone. I'd left him with Lauren at the county fair. It seems he went around in a circle one too many times. The rides at the fair always make me a little nervous after I noticed a bolt missing from one last year. The "carnies" make me a little nervous too, itinerant workers with their cigarettes and tattoos, making this too sheltered country girl keeping her eyes always on her child. Still, at Wm's age, it is a memory in the making. He recovered from his sickness and begs to go again tonight. He won't be going, but I will - I will be working in the concession stand for 4H. That should produce a few blogs.

PS Mom and Rosie - there you go, now you don't have to look at the butterfly on the man's hat today!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Butterflies That are Not Free

William and I went to a butterfly exhibit while in Maryland. In the greenhouse, hundreds of butterflies flew around and humans marveled and photographed them. A couple of Asian tourists with very large camera lenses looked for the perfect shot. I was amused to see one on top of this man's hat as he looked all around for a butterfly to photograph. An analogy for life, I think. Sometimes, the very thing you are searching for in life is right where you are, if only you could see it. (I showed this man the photo, but he could not speak English, so that was the extent of our laugh together.) And anyone who says "butterflies are free" haven't paid the admission price to this exhibit.

William and I picked about a cup of blackberries today, but noticed that there are many, many red ones. Will we get to them before the birds? Also found some peppermint in the creek.

John, a young teen who has battled a brain tumor, comes over to help me train the miniature horses for pet therapy. I am so pleased to see his bubbly personality coming out as he is so much better on an experimental treatment. This made me happy today.

I am sometimes asked how I have time to blog. Well, I don't watch TV for the most part. I watch only "Bones" and "House" when there are new episodes and those are taped. And then, my housekeeping standards are not high and my husband is loving and understanding. My blogs often write themselves in my head as I go about my day, and when I have time, I mostly just type them out. As you see from my gaps, sometimes I don't have time.

I miss Lauren!


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