Archive for January, 2010

Having a Ball with BO

January 30, 2010

LOOK! he’s multiple-tasking. Bo and I were rolling the exercise ball around the gym. He contentedly munched on a Graham cracker and chewed as we covered the distance between the walls. He is a boy who loves BALLS. I found a white hard rubber baseball sized ball on my morning walk. I gave it to Bo and he carries it everywhere. He bounces it, rolls it, chases and follows it! He even has a secret place where he hides it (under the couch cushion). He is so extraordinary and I am loving our time together this week.

One of the Herd

January 15, 2010

This is Artemisia, my 3 yr old mare in the pasture in front of our house at the Ranch.
Horses are herd animals. Most won’t want to stay and enjoy the beautiful sunshine or munching on sweet green grass if they have to be ALONE. It gets tricky when transferring them from stall to pasture and back again. The horses will crowd the gate looking to the groom with a “pick me” plea. As nice as it is to be outside, most would rather go back into the dungeon like barn than to be the last one left out
in the field. Artemisia is looking for her friends in this 2nd shot. She whinnied and paced at the fence. She practically rejected the carrots I had to give her —so frantic was she to go wherever the other mares went.
Do people feel a similar tug to be with the “herd”?
On many occasions I know I do.


January 7, 2010

I never get tired of seeing our baby horses doing cute things like lying down, wearing a blankey, eating and appreciating a neck rub or back scratch!

Love the Ones You’re With

January 2, 2010

What a difference a year makes. We are settled in at Rancho Palmira. But with visiting trainers, leased barns and (rental) horses in most stalls, the Ranch has a different feel to it. in previous years we would have had 18-25 pregnant mares warming up to go into the Maternity Barn. This year we have two recipients (Elsie & Debbie) plus Echstancia, Allure and Khrush (sale pending) carrying foals. That’s only 5 babies in 2010. And they may be less fortunate than the baby Jesus who was laid in a manger. All of our barns are full to overflowing with other people’s horses. These old gals may have to give birth in our dark, cold and lowly portable stalls out back.
I need far fewer carrots as I make my rounds with brushes and hugs. Our girl horses are out in the Mare Motel. They are a shaggy lot so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Some manes are so knotted that I’ll be giving some horse haircuts soon. I’m locating their blankets as night time temperatures are dipping into the 40’s. I’ll be advocating for them with our very busy grooms. These horses are never top priority.
EVERYBODY had a birthday yesterday on January 1st. All horses turn ONE or a year older. I was singing to them as I greeted who was left among our shrinking herd. Sadly no one wanted to wear a party hat!
We’re not in much of a party mood here lately. Glenn is selling and giving away our horses at an alarming rate. My stallion Farramond was gone without me getting to say good-bye. Lots of babies that I got to cuddle and name last year are trucking out of here.
So far my mare Artimissia is staying. Our grand stallion Star Ghazal has been kicked out of his place of honor in the Training Barn and exiled out back. Nothing much matters but the bottom line, I guess. Prime spots in the main barn go to PAYING customers or Melanie’s horses (long story).
We are still in a battle over evicting our former Ranch managers. Our attorneys fees are astronomical. Its all just terribly sad.
But as we go through this valley there are still some places where care and kindness will matter. There are horses displaced who will need the time and extra TLC I can give them. At least four foals will still be “little miracles” no matter where they end up being born.
AND in perspective:
It is better to have loved and lost these horses than to never have known them at all!
As the old song says, .”If you can’t be with the ones you love . . . love the ones you’re with!”

My usual bedfellows

January 1, 2010

Here are Oscar and Kit in bed with me at a hotel in San Diego in late October. With my nomad lifestyle — I haven’t stayed in one place more than 9 consecutive nights since before October 1st. I often wake up in the dark and can’t remember where I am!
I’ve been bouncing between Catalina, Disneyland, the Arizona Ranch, Henderson, New England, San Diego, and visiting Matt in North Hollywood —it’s a crazy life— but it’s my life!

Happy SLEEPY New Year

January 1, 2010

A new personal BEST Night’s Sleep for ME: the insomniac, severe sleep apnea sufferer (Nose Hose User) who still always wakes up after only 5 hours, sees all the 3’s, 4’s and 5’s on the alarm clock and spends a lot of time praying and prowling in the middle of the night, no- matter- what – person.
I settled into my comfortable canopy bed at the Ranch in Scottsdale with the usual LOW expectations and Voila’– Next thing I knew it was 9:30 in the morning! WTH?
Here’s the formula as best I can figure. It breaks down like this for my successful slumbering—- got your
Pencil and paper or calculators ready?

ADD soft flannel sheets (oooohhh!) that are on the bed here PLUS the super quiet country surroundings AND one beautiful little blue Tylenol PM pill–which I take routinely with less that real results! SUBTRACT 3400 sq ft of Christmas (aided by 4 little helpers, the Johnson kids ages 5-9) DIVIDED by a one hour loss in time (these crazy Snowbirds want their prime time shows on at 7 PM). PLUS a 5 hour afternoon car drive. ADD in the fact that I have nowhere to go, nobody to see. TAKE AWAY all of my volunteer activities and responsibilities. I’m adrift here in Arizona! Just the library and an occasional trip to Costco for outings!
LEAVE OUT any alcohol but INCLUDE a Weight Watcher frozen entree PLUS a quart of Chocolate Chip ice cream as I caught up on my stack of Avalon Bay News newspapers. ADD in the extra high bed that the dogs don’t jump up on unless coaxed and I found myself sleeping WITHOUT Glenn (sacked on couch watching sports) and minus TWO wiggling – collar jingling dogs! MULTIPLY the miracle of NOT having to get up to go to the bathroom. ADD about 3 pages of a new book that failed to interest me PLUS a nightstand lamp that turns out the light instead of the usual dash across the room and back from the wall switch—Calculate and Evaluate and IT ALL EQUALS 11.5 hours of sleep. Unprecedented for me who is —-the most horrible no good, just can’t do much about it —sleeper!
A 2010 MIRACLE on the very first day of the year! I may have to take a nap later!
Happy New (YAWN) Year! Zzzzzzzzzz.