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Updated: 2018-02-18T20:02:44.252-05:00


Back in the Day


Totally enjoying a site on the BookFace, Equestrians Back in the Day. I think I'm highly qualified to be back in the day, because I remember most of the pictures posted. Not all, by any means, but enough to enjoy the memories. Stanley is the last picture because I miss him a lot, and think of him often. Sometimes when I'm thinking of Dad, and sometimes because his picture is on my phone, thanks to nephew, who knows how to do these sorts of things. He was the first sample pic on my phone, and of course, I haven't changed it. I don't know HOW, is why:)I am VERY proud that I've learned how to hook the lap-top up to the TV. The technology stares me in the face all the time, I just don't always want to stare back.I had planned to start typing a smitch, I like to wait until there are no pings happening, at all. Strangely, though, there has been a surge lately. No idea why. Nothing to read here, people!Move along!Not that I have anything interesting/exciting/earth-shattering to SAY, mind. I just felt like typing again. You never know when you might need to remember how, I figure.Good to know my grade 7 typing is still mostly there. Now that my 7th decade is being climbed, one yearly rung at a time, the old body is starting to creak a bit more. Discovered yoga, and also discovered I am still too hard on myself, because, as Dad always did, I assume my body is still 25 years old, in the glory that that quarter century holds.No, really, it's helping, wish I'd started doing it way sooner, but then I've never been one to jump on any wagon too quickly.Still trying to find my place to write, without interrupotions. I LOVE that typo...Thanks for avoiding my blog, I really appreciate the disinterest :) [...]

On Funerals and things


I looked again at the date of my last post. One year and one day after I started typing my last post, My Darling Dad passed. Nope, not quietly, not easily, and he didn't want it any other way. I tried to talk him into Veterans LongTermCare. Pshaw on ThaT. Never mind that I had it all safely set up with Veterans, and that I kept that option up to date. Dad didn't want to go into LTC. Nosirree.I cannot seem to use the shift key consistently anymore, so please excuse the ones I miss. My fingers are bloody tired these days, and they've learned to conserve for the stuff that actually matters.I was thinking of funerals today, as I prepare to attend another one tomorrow. I knew this funeral was coming, at least.I think of my Dad, and not because of his funeral, which was a wonderful party at his favourite golf club, with all his friends there, as heartbroken as we were, putting on brave faces, and laughing with Dad's many stories. Dad wasn't called "The Legend" for nothing.His dear friend, who was his doctor, gave the eulogy, which was actually, in Dr. Rick's words,"The Rebuttal".The gist was (and I need to get a copy of it!! Remind me)"Thank You For Smoking."Yup, dad never did quit. He had the "longest lungs" a radiologist had ever seen.I realized that Dad, when he was about my age now, (YIKES) started going to a lot of funerals. That happens when you have a thousand friends. Some of his closest friends passed far too young, and they were very difficult for him. As the years past, we'd gottten used to Dad's often twice a year losses, and they always made us sad for dad too, of course. Buddies that were 20-30 years younger, so sad.His dear family friends, his friends from the days when he was with my Mom, that true inner circle, were funeral fodder, too.  My dad looked a bit like Frank Sinatra. actually, I think if Dad on the left, and Larry on the right, had been glued together somehow, they'd have made a Frankie. I miss these guys, a lot. The middle fellow is my GodFather, Bob Barnard, who died a long time ago.Dad's friends were his life, his still-living/all ages golfing buddies I finally lost count of, at The Rebuttal.Then he lost Joanie, the love of his life (too bad that wasn't MY mom, eh, mom...). We almost lost dad a year and a half after Joanie died, he'd taken it very hard, and had been drinking a lot, smoking and being naughty, and not eating. We all know what happens if you do that... I've blogged a little about his hospital adventures through the years I've been babbling, how he amazed every single medical person we would meet. Dad survived several (what felt like thousand) health scares after his first visit to hospital, when he went through the DT's, which I'd never seen before. I had to diagnose it for the doctors.ANYWAY. 8 years and 8 months later, August 15, 2014 Dad went out kicking and rebutting, and he died alone in hospital about 8am, having said "Thank you" to the nurse who came and cleaned him up. When my sister called me I Said "are you sure?" Yes, the doctors were finally right. They'd been predicting his demise for two weeks, as Dad managed to break his hip the first night in hospital, survive that operation, and then a SECOND operation for his belly, the second week he was in.He wasn't expected to survive either. Of course. The Legend.He'd fallen and broken his pubic bone on May 28. Got himself out of hospital the next day by telling the geriatric nurse he had a full-time housekeeper. Which he didn't. We scrambled to look after him for a week, then hired Personal Service Workers. He kept insisting he didn't need any help... He was impossible.Yeah. I didn't sleep much after that. He went back into hospital July 28th. I'll fill in this story someday, too tired now! Still semi-sleep deprived.The day before, August 14, 2014, I had my Stanley-cat euthanized. At dad's house, where they'd had a simply marvelous few years. Stanley hadn't been well, at all. Got super skinny again, hyper-thyroid like me,which we were able to fix with some new meds for awhile, but he took t[...]

Those Wide Open Spaces


This post has taken four months to write, so bear with me.Originally started April 14, 2014, not long after the winter from hell finally started to go AWAY.So, those wide open spaces... That Fern Valley lives upon, are so close, and yet a dry ocean of continent away. I love to travel.On foot. Although I'd be all over flying, if I could just sprout some mutant wings. Anybody see the movie "Avatar"? OMG, I want me one of those. I see all the good movies about 2 years after they come out, being a non-movie goer...I could travel HorseBack, but we all know where THAT ends up, with me.barb + barn/horses = More tragedrama that costs me fortunes in either stress and/or money.More Feymus Shamuses that I'd have to ignore. More equines stuck in stalls, ignored for months at a time. More ammies trying to kill themselves.Some of "those" horse-people, so puffed up with themselves. (I do NOT MEAN YOU, dear reader, unless you are one of those, of course:) I don't puff up, indeed, I try to take up as little space/time as possible.Keeps me closer to the edge:)Every time I DO puff up, I hit my head, accidentally, always. Instant humility, every.single.time..I've been reading like a maniac, another failing I have, in that I prefer to read actual books, being a dinosaur.The last book was great!  "The Eye of God" by James Rollins. Really cool ideas in there, all gleaned from science and stuff. My kind of book.My memory is really fritzy these days, must be all the snow and stuff. It could also be "here we go to la-la land" too, but each day is still a challenge :)I've been FaceBooking the really big stuff, because really, why does another continent need to know about Stanley and Dad's latest adventures?Of COURSE, a cat found me here. Of course. Orange tom-tabby, I called him HeyJoe, or HeyBuddy, or just HeyDontChaseHimBlaze.I have insufficient funds to neuter, vaccinate and (bonus!) repair injury to Hey's hind-leg, and it rots my eyelashes. Me, the saviour of all creatures great and small :) Okay, Spayer/Neuterer of most creatures... WHATever. Hey is not allowed indoors, thanks to MH :(  Blaze HATES this cat, super jealous of him, for some silly reason. Okay, it doesn't help that when Hey first started coming around, I encouraged both dogs to chase him away. Hey's just a little guy, and he's bery friendly.Hey disappeared throught the ice-storm, didn't see him for a month, thought he was gone, but he came limping back. Hey lives in the playhouse, that thing is built better than the house I'm typing in (I LOVE YOU, HOUSE!!). Hey now is using Stanley's cage. Door open, of course. Just yesterday I inserted said cage into said PlayHouse, which is a bit drafty, but dry and sheltered from most winds, with thick rubber matting on the floor/ceilings. Solid as a rock! Hey has an old sheepskin rug from Joanie, it's kind of falling apart anyway. His very own Playhouse with warm den, and Hey still comes over and begs for attention, lonely little guy. You have no idea how hard I waffle over this poor little cat. (uh, oh...)Of course, I'm feeding him, and that HAS TO STOP. Yeah, right.Stanley, my cat that lives with Dad, has cost a small fortune lately. Worth every penny, silly old scrawny cat. Dad's bestest buddy these days, which makes me happy. Dad loves to tell stories of what Stanley has done that day. It's his excuse to call me whenever he wants, because he knows I'll talk about Stanley anytime.Blaze thinks it's completely illegal for for me to be changing the rules about outside Cat, and Hey doggedly (teehee) keeps trying to make friends. Hey has already figured Flip out, Flip won't bother him, unless he runs. She does try to hypnotize him, staring at him solemnly. Flip turned 11 years old on Feb. 23! Poor old girl. Her hips are not good. I know they are not good.Hey makes outside play a little more difficult/complicated/guilt-ifying, because this cat needs to have a home, and I cannot offer/afford him one. Blaze likes to wind herself up about Hey, (What's HE doing here?? Can he play BAL[...]

Other Self Questions


LOL, I have no idea why the blog still pings, until I start re-reading some of My!! posts that come up on the stats feed. Yes, I'm pathetic. I check for pings. I read my own blog.Right now, I think only the one sister is pinging me. I figure the others are just bloggers' way of keeping me from quitting, you know, a little ping on the head or something...DANG, I was on a writing roll back then. I miss those days of easy typing, when it just billowed out of me, or bellowed, I guess.Flip was sick today, and kept me up half the night, then helpfully threw up her entire dinner and breakfast onto the shop broadloom. Thank dog it's cheap. I wish we'd insisted they remove all the broadloom at the new shopI am so digging cleaning up vomit with one wipe, as opposed to major freakin' surgical intervention. That's at new house, you see. ALL hardwood or tile (not brand new, very well doggynail used, but just fine!I'm ridiculously enjoying being a house-cleaner. The object of cleaning looks cleaner when I'm done. I have a full-sized ironing board, and it floors me to think I just typed that. I even used it for a week or so. I've backed off, as my hands were/are really starting to (stifles whine). AND I discovered the medium setting on a dryer, a new fangled invention indeed.Ah, well, only way to keep the fingers fit is to use 'em, right? I've been using the heck out of them, and they've been paining me a bit. Okay, a lot. Doctor knows I won't take medications, so she just points out that I have arthritis. As you can maybe imagine, this keeps my hands from frivolous work, such as not-so-creative writing. I'm out of practise, and my guilt level triples when I type. I could be doing work for my company, right now. Or cleaning my pretty new/old rented house. Or doing laundry. Pruning, I have a ton of pruning to do. All finger/hand intensive.Never mind I've been up since before 6am and worked all day, home to cooking dinner and giving dogs water/food/play, and and and. The hours in the day have shortened again, and that's just part of time and it's vagaries.Whine successfully quashed... Whew!!The girls have settled in very nicely, really. I have a list of things I love about new house, and realized I had nothing on the bad side of the list. It's all good. Now, there IS some bad, but it has nothing to do with the house. My new little old town is putting in sanitary sewers, and ayup, they're working right out there.. Noisy!! Getting used to road noise has been a challenge. It's constant, through the day, and starts every morning about 5am. At least, that's when I wake up... But I usually wake up early, so it's NBD.Blaze loathes the soil compactor, giant vibrator that sounds like a giant is walking towards you.Flip isn't a fan either. I will tell you this. It's been a secret for a while. I have a perfectly reasonable fear of happiness. I very rarely allow my own self the emotion of happiness, except where my dogs and work are concerned. Every single time I've ever allowed myself a smidgen of (I can't name it, or..) something really bad happens. I mean, it's just SAFER this way! I can still feel okay. I just don't feel (backspace x5) that. Weird, huh?No wonder I've taken this blog private, off and on, jeesh, I really am that schizo old aunt, now!Good ol' SarcastaBitch. For the family reading, which is the only reading to be done, SB, (female humanoid with horses) early in our internet horse-related dialogues, thought I sounded like, um, that crazy aunt. Which I AM, but that's besides the point. Somehow!Funny. SB's doing great, which is great! I hope all my readers that still brave the blog (and especially those that don't brave the blither) keep doing great. It makes me...You know.It's a very cautious optimism I'm feeling, so don't worry.p.s. This was originally written late november of 2013, and edited a bit (much). I'm kicking it into 2014, for obvious reasons.I am SO glad 2013 is OVER.I hope this video loads. A reminder for me of what spring is going to sound [...]

Crickets and Choirs


For some unknown to me reason, I can't post you-boob links anymore. Gloogle "Crickets-medicine songs by David Carson and the Little Wolf Band" for me. Listen to the sounds. I left a comment, and I'm still spooked, a little bit.It doesn't sound fake to me, because I have heard much the same "angelic choir" sounds in the spring, summer and fall at the farm, when the frogs and other various musical animal were really shouting out their practiced, ancient choruses.Weird, eh?Totally. So, have I proved my alien status yet? Can I go home now?Where was I?I think I'll always carry a part of the old worm farm with me, and I hope I carry this part the longest. I'm glad my tape-recorder brain will be able to repeat this. It helps me to breathe. Life off the farm is predictably, and not all un-pleasantly, different. Noisey, busier, more domestic engineering required, to the 12th power, I figure. My hands say WHAT? I flex them mercilessly. They twist  a little harder to retaliate, what a battle our own bodies are!But it is grotesquely wonderful, how much I appreciate this new address. I never thought a garage would complete me, but there it is. How shallow is that? Just because I allowed the old bathroom to continue to disintegrate, (since good old LL's wouldn't fix the absestos tiled kitchen floor) shouldn't mean that I must scour my new bathroom every day with my eyes, never allowing it to show any signs of anything for very freakin' long. But I do.BOY, I do like to clean. Which reminds me...I will blame my non-readers, as I often do, until pings have reached zero on the loser scale. Once I'm sure no-one is out there, I do believe it's safe again. We shall wait and see...To my eyes widened, my niece has been pinging me. Family doesn't get it. Do another post, they say. Family reading isn't the SAME. I can always say ANYthing to family, whereas here on the netlandz, notsomuch. It's different. I am a writer, I just never wanted anyone to know I can write. It's my secret. Silly?Totally.Hey, when Rob Ford and a teenieweenie are the Canadian symbols of "we made it!"?I know I'm pretty safe here in blog land.EVERYbody's on faceBooks, or lInkIn or tweeteredTwiters. texting. Glllassing. I mean, c'mon! What is humanity doing out there?I'm cleaning. Imagining a few crickets.OH, on that subject, and because no-one reads here, whew, I must put out a consumer alert.TO ALL CONSUMERS OF BATHROOM TISSUE (BT)AKA TOILET PAPER (TP).Please do NOT consume, btw. I mean, consume, as in, you know.Keep out of reach of children and dogs and you in the middle of the night. IF the package states a performance level of "confidence"?It means "prepare to sandpaper your arse."Just for you newbies out there to BT/TP consuming, I mean.Reduce, re-use! OH, better mention an animal, since older dog is rearranging her bed (underneath the table, at my feet, prime RE) for the millionth time. The last beds to be bought for a while, I hope. These dogs love to beat up on their beds. Lift'n throw the pillow around is the latest idea, Blaze has of course picked up on Flip's tradecraft. The more comfortable/durable the bed, the less they seem to "like" it, and the more it needs thrashing. Flip's been toughing out living in a kennel again, her low opinion of the new back yard evident. She paces the perimeter, and carefully stashes poops in places I'd never think of. And disapprovingly watches as I keep the yard clean of poops. She foils me regularly, often using Blaze's distraction of my attention. Sisters are handy for something.Flip misses her 5 or so acres of free dog poop.I don't. The old place is defintely not inhabited right now. My heart still aches for the pretty natural ecosystem we were forced to abandon, the birds and squirrels and other creatures that regularly left their presence known. I know the ice storm will have dealt some heavy blows to the trees around both ponds, prime habitat for the woodpeckers that loved our feeders.But 24 years is just a coup[...]

I still really like GoDarkly


As a title, but I'm thinking that might be yet another book or something. I just wish I had the time and the money to sit and type without having to bring in time and money. Tricky. VERY tricky.I will thus post pictures of the aftermath of big thunderstorms, the clouds after a storm are always amazing, but they sure put on a show tonight! Have at it. What do you see? Or, who do you see?A week of blast furnace heat wave is breaking, thank dog, I hope the province weathers its' weather well.[...]



Well, it's been a while, hasn't it? So much has happened, moving house after over twenty years was just a tad time-consuming. Overwhelming. Exhausting. Frustrating. Infuriating. Saddening. Repeat.The relief is just setting in, now.And now, I have a house I actually like walking into. I can invite people over again. The house is no Taj Mahal, but after enduring what we did for the last two decades or so, it's pretty dang close.We found a rental house in town, a place that Icubed *(Husband, that's my new acroynym for him, and yes, our ship of relation got a tad acrimonius through the slow, painful denouement of the farm life)* could abide moving to. As you all know, if you've stuck with me through these past weird years, I was moved a lot as a kid, so moving wasn't the end of the world for me. I've known all along that this farm life/place was temporary. Sad that the house on the farm became such a nightmare, and not even just due to immediate, bizarro neighbour, which story is even harder to believe. Have I lost you?I know. I do that alot.Anyway, we moved to town. What I consider the "city", although I know it's just barely four corners on the way to cottage country. Fine by me. The road noise is tough, and so is the fact that I HAVE to remember what I'm wearing when I go out the front door. There are kids on this street, and other people's husbands. I tend to look either outlandish, or uh, scantily covered, depending on the time of year.THAt will change too, I can now wear clothes that I actually like, as opposed to clothes that need decontamination after each wearing."New" house is about 40? years old, same type of house, bungalow, but get this, the basement??It's....DRY...Sigh. My bathroom?Tiny, only one, who CARES!!!!! It's CLEAN, and easy to KEEP clean.I had no idea how much I missed keeping a house clean. Farm house seemed to grow dirt, of course thanks to the lake beneath the house. And of course, a failed roof, thank you again, EX landlords from hell. When water is coming from below, AND above, you know the house may have dampness issues. This seems to be hard for certain people to understand.  Mould growth in the house was epic. I mean, for a Microbiologist, it was a wet dream. Talk about bio-films, this was a bio-panorama. Very organic :)AND, new appliances.. I haven't even seen one run for over 20 years, really. The technological advances in domestic appliances are a bit bewildering. My new washing machine goes "rur-rur-rur" slowly like. I haven't heard a new one run EVER. I wouldn't know if it was broken or bent. Clothes do seem to come out clean, so, for the first time in 15? years, I can do my own laundry at my "own" house. My Dad's dear house keeper used to do our laundry. I felt like a freakin' college kid, every single week, thanks to old house from hell. You can't do laundry in a stinking wet basement, trust me on this.I am so digging it. My aversion to cleaning at old place stemmed from the knowledge that it would only grow a new layer of crud in a matter of hours. I do NOT smoke in this new house, and Icubed has restrained his chain-smoking to his office. So, not nearly as much toxic sludge permeates the air. Last time I went to the old place, about a month after we moved, the stench could still knock you over when you walked in. How on earth we ever put up with it, I do know. Those 50 acres of land, two ponds, and for the first time since nutso was ejected, utter, total peace and quiet. (Well, except for the "usual". A visit from York Regional's finest, looking for nutso. A lawyers' lettter to nutso, stuck in our mail slot. Nutso had probably stiffed someone, again. )When we found out we were going to be ejected, we stopped doing anything at all. It was solemnly agreed that the Landlord wouldn't do any maintenance, which was hysterically funny, because that's why we'd started the whole darned thing. So, we stopped our maintenance too. [...]



I'm tearing my old house apart, and I found this clipped from a horse-mag, no idea which one, sorry. The clipping isn't that old, so I guess this quote isn't, either.

in time's own place.
There must be some sweet pastured place.
Where creeks sing on, and tall trees grow.
Some Paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again."
Stanley Harrison.

Thank you, Stanley.

To the love that guides us, and the pens that tells the tales.
I hope I can channel those great horses again, one day.

Happy Mothers Day!

My Latest Confession


I am a natural born...Tree-Hugger. I never fully realized it until just last week, when I came "home" to a sight I wasn't expecting.We cannot figure out why the trees had to go. The property must have been sold, or the neighbours are going to add more fill, like they did last year. Good money to be made in fill. This fill pit sits just above the front pond on our property, which means the pond will fill up quickly with even more silt and unknown runoff...But hey, it was just a scrub stand of old willows, right? Doesn't hold the dirt around the culverts, nah, 'course not...Water-courses are for nerds.  I barely recognize my old heart house.Remember this scene? It's from a short few years ago.  Déja vu, that's my life.I can now see to the road, when I look north-west. Never could, before. Ever. Gone is the feeling of being on an island. I had a flock of small birds scold me soundly on our walk up the driveway. I understand their ire and dismay. Where the hell are they supposed to perch now? They even cut down an old small birch tree, one that had split into three, that had doggedly survived all these years. Why is it that when men look at trees, they want them to die? All of the trees cut have been chipped, and thrown back for mulch. Easier for the farmer. Except, the farm two parcels south of us is now up for sale.103 acres, "future development site". Closer and closer, the city inches towards me.I'm kinda glad we're moving, now. This place has broken my heart enough. I sang a song to this place and it's wildlife and farmed life, as I walked on Friday. A chickadee's early spring call made my voice sing back my sadness and loss. Chickadee followed me all along our tree-wind break, which still abound on "our" little parcel. For how much longer?A heartbeat. [...]

Changes in Ranges Bitter and Sweet


My life, it's impasse. Able.It's a long, long story, and it's a hard one to tell, mainly because I had lots to do with some of the story. But in the end, when all's said and done, I had very little to do with this place, at all. Geologically speaking. Agriculturally speaking. Horticulturally, too. I made little dents, and tiny ecosystems, which will all be easily overwhelmed the moment I stop my endless guarding against weeds.OH, why do some people unerringly choose the wrong fork.When I say some people? I really mean me.I've had several beginnings for this tale, but this start just keeps coming back.How on earth do I explain to Flip that her world is going to shrink by a factor of 50, sooner rather than later? How will Blaze cope with her shrunken range? I'll have to drive them "out" for REAL walks, the way I used to, almost two decades ago. City dogs have it so tough, don't they? As I mentioned (oops, maybe that's going to mention) in another post (which is still in drafts, right!), I've read Ted Kerasote's book "Pukka's Promise", and all kinds of obviousnesses blew up in my head. It kinda hurt. Probably like my dogs' paws hurt, after they've been salted 5 days a week. My dogs don't know why I drive to the city, they have no say in the matter. I'm sure they'd rather stay home.When I had the opportunity to move to the "country", all those years ago, I leaped at the chance, because I had a new wee red dog, and I wanted her to have the most room to run. It just seemed fair to the dog. Of course, it was entirely UNfair to me, as it dawned on me that first day I started the car in the country, and drove to work in the city. Wee red dog hated that commute. And so did I. So many of us spend so much time in our vehicles, and no time doing something. ANYthing. All you readers and texters and phone-talkers that think you are drivers? CUT that OUT. Please. I don't like talking to someone when they're driving:) I guess that's why I haven't been a passenger for as often as possible. Hah. English can be fractured.And still be spelled correctly!!When I call where I live "country", I really mean, "someday all will be houses" land. It's transient, too. Just not nearly transient as me, and my dogs. ANYway, I did/do love many things about the house in the country. It is so quiet. Other than critters, of course. But oh, having to leave it for work every day was rough. My roomie was great, but she actually (shouldn't have) depended on me to let her dog out, which got really tricky for me. Hard to leave work, drive an hour, and come back, ya know.I wonder if I'll ever have a point, again. Every glance I take is probably it's last, for this time and place. It is dawning on my that I've spent almost one third of my life here. That's a long, long time!! However, since I`ve Been Moved a lot in my life, I basically enjoyed every second that I could, here. I knew this was temporary. One cannot expect to live like a king on a pauper`s salary forever... Somehow, the years just kept adding up. I never lost the sense of "this isn't mine", and "I won't be here forever". But it seems forever is up, for this place and me.As the recently transplanted cityit that I was, I went through the usual, snowed-in, power-out, pipes-froze, critters-B&E's, neighbour-dog-fracas, country stuff at the first place. I learned to have a quick shower, and I learned how to split wood. OH, the fire-place, giver of heat and warmth in those first frozen nights... My Simon cat totally dug it.I never expected to fall so hard for a place. I loved that first place the best. I met my husband while living there. He was on the next property south of us, and our driveways were right beside one another.  His dog visted us first, several times in fact, to the chagrin of roomie and her dog. I learned the history of the farms all aroun[...]

Breaking News


Butch, amongst the oldest of horse-toys in southern Ontario, is working hard as ever these days. He has been the bearer of many important jewels, like the old and last family dog's license tag, various necklaces I liked and needed to display, and other sundry adornments that y'all might have read about through the past few years. Okay, such as old red dogs' dress-up collar and her Holiday collar, both of which went to live at kid sister house, when, after ORD passed, I couldn't look at them for a few years. Now that kid sisters' old golden girl has left us, Butch has the honour of bearing Millie's collar, too. Kinda hard on the old neck, and someone tried to re-arrange his tail. His neck has really started to shine, and not in a good way.Check out his poll, and his crest. The creepingSheen. AND, his poor tail. I don't know who did that rearrangement, unless it was a certain naughty Flip dog. I have raised Butch up to high closet position, it's just safer for the poor guy right now. Those years flew by, didn't they? No? Well, they sure did for Butch. I guess it's official, then. I'm in Old Lady Land. I always looked older than my years, but for the first time, it hit me. I really AM old, like, now. Get this...I'm a Booster-Juice addict, it's a fruit smoothie franchise  that I "discovered" when Dad went into hospital 7 years ago. Love the stuff, and when my sign shop FINALLY moved out of the crap-hole it was in for 11 years, I was completely thrilled that a BJ (lol) was literally around the corner. Talk about pre-ordained, or something.When I was discovered to be pre-diabetic, I asked the servers at BJ to make mine without any processed sugars, only fruit/yogurt. No sorbet, sweetened juices, stuff like that. DEElish. But I found that the servers on Saturday couldn't make it the same as my servers through the week, so I asked them to write out the "recipe", so I'd get the same thing on weekends, which I work more of now that work is so much more handy to home. HOORAY for run-on sentences!!So, get this. There is a punch line coming, bear with me. Dad's in hospital, more on that later, if you want a re-run, go back a year, or two. Or three. Four even. I wanted a BJ before I hit the hospital, so I went to a (gasp) DIFFerent BJ. Asked for the same thing I usually get, but clearly, they didn't have the recipe even close to right. It tasted like crap. So, on the way home from hospital visit #7million and two, desperate for a BJ, I drive out of my way to get one from the place close to work. I ask them to make a copy of the "recipe", so I can use it when I am in foreign BJland. The server, sweet young light brown kid, very smart and quick, looks a bit nonplussed, and takes down the recipe from their notes board to show it to me. GUESS what the heading of my recipe was. Just, guess.OLD LADY ON SATURDAY.ayup. I'm the OLOS.Amazing. Only yesterday, I wasn't quite so.Some of you know my Dad's long and storied and etc. medical history. Just last year, he went through hell and back. He dun it again. That's my Dad. THREE (okay, 2.5) doctors advised him to postpone his surgery. Too risky, he's too old, too weak, too blahblahblah. Yet they couldn't guarantee that he would get the surgery in a timely fashion, if he postponed for a week.Dad said DO IT. If they didn't do it, Dad was gonna die anyway. He pulled through with great success, and all us kids celebrate by going home and collapsing.7am, the morning after the surgery? I'm staying at Dad's, utterly exhausted, and the phone rings, scaring the absolute bejebus out of me. It's Dad. He wants some fruit juice, and there are no nurses around, anywhere, the place is empty. In the ICU.Uh, huh...My Dad. He's always looking for his staff.I tell him how great it is to hear his voice, and just to wait for the nurse, and I'd[...]

I heart woodpeckers


Get home from work tonight, and I'm out feeding the birds. Yes, I am the crazy bird lady, I hoard wild birds, when they come to my feeders. I've cut back on the number of feeders, and I've discontinued using the front feeder, where we had many bird crashes into windows. ANY way, I hear a chachacha-ing coming from above me, but the sun's wrong, and I can't see. It's more of a "laughing" sound, and I hadn't heard it for a while, and couldn't place the bird call.
A little while later, I'm inside working, and husband says, I think I just saw a red-headed woodpecker at the suet! All red head, white belly. A red-headed Woodpecker looks like this

and is like the coolest bird, ever. He flies with great swoops and flashes of those tuxedo-sharp wings, and his call is unique. I haven't heard it for a long time, maybe 8? years. And it's February First.

Which is the first time in my life, I believe, that February has surprised me.

As I walked the dogs later, hoping for but not getting further sightings/hearings, I remembered my favourite cartoon character of my yout', Woody Woodpecker.

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A red-head, and when I remember his laugh, I'm struck by its' similarity to a real redhead's call.

Which is NOTHING like my laugh, but then, I'm not a woodpecker. Three blows to the head (or was it four??) was enough for me. First time, I was 11, and I leaped off of a stair-landing smack dab into the wall above. I was being a horse, of course. Second time was with the little hot chromey TB Nickey aka "Surprise Package", who showed me what stars look like when you slam your forehead into the horse's poll. Then there was the dangerous bay mare with no withers, she slammed the side of my head into a rock. No helmet. DUhMB, right? Then...? three times it is/was, what a charm:) The rest of my injuries were back-knee related. Those appendages are much easier to fall on:) NOT.
Seems my hands are starting to razz me too. I've worked them hard, and they took several (dozen) applications of pain over the years.

In other equally irrelevant news, things are also changing here. No surprise to me, of course, but I'm not an IBM child for nothing, I guess. I am always prepared to leave.

OH, and my Dad is going for a TAVI operation this month. Say a prayer for him? and the ICU nurses, because I'm pretty sure Dad doesn't /will never make it clear how difficult he is, post-op?! At least, I hope he doesn't struggle. sigh.

Things are changing here, but insides remain the same.

personal note
9 years ago, Joanie. Still missed. Thank you for Joyce, incredible how that has worked out. He had to ask her. And he did. Dad said it just "came to him". Thank you, Joanie.

True Colours AND NoT bAd increases


And now, one of my favourite tunes of 1984. Americans, they just can't spell worth a darn. allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' />We all have our own set of "true colours", and I think it's a shifting changeling coat we wear. The insides remain pretty much the same, though, don't they? I mean, when you get down to physical components and stuff. They stay the same.I wonder what "not bad" truly signifies. Logically, it means "good". "Not bad, not bad at all" is often used for superlatives, I guess. So why does it make me laugh?Well, just once in my life, I'd like someone to skip using the word "bad" in the same sentence as my creativity.Calling creativity "bad" or "good" is kinda superfluous. It's really an individual thing, and the fact that we all have different ideas about it is part of the human equation. The human equation is still being solved;)(Psycho-crazy bad isn't relevant here. You know who you are, and you don't read here anyway. I HOPE!!)Creativity is part of breathing, really. Aren't you creative everytime you are alive? Heck, your body is busy creating stuff, your mind can't help itself. It's part of everyday, even if everyday seems boring.I keep pointing out the obvious, and hopefully, someday, someone out there might get it better. That's mainly why I type, so that I can try to get it, only better.Not bad, eh?Oh, and weirder news of the day, Indonesia has voted to ban women riding motorbikes astride. They have to sit side-saddle. Ayup. Open legs bad, closed legs good. It's amazing, isn't it? Some things never change.I found a way-cool link by an Irish trainer, and hey, just the word Irish gets me to post this:)I'm tired of trying to explain the obvious. No, really, I am. That's part of my uniquely offensive charm:) And I bet this lass can explain it very, very well. This technique is ignored by many barrel girls/BOYS?? as they hit their barrel. Square up the turn, and voila. No shoulder smackage of the barrel. But what do I know, right? I am ancient, and everything has changed since 30 and 40 years ago. Except, ya know? It really hasn't. How much would GoLightly sell for today, do you wonder? I don't anymore. His price would be about the same., sorry, this post is all over the place. Like me.This video makes me sad. allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> But this video never, ever does:) allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' />And, just to be fair, there is a commonality to the art of falling over a horses' head. Can you see the similarity in start position? allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' FRAMEBORDER='0' />[...]

More of what i refuse to let bother me..


Other than the usual things that bother, would be thusly. I don't understand the concept behind the spelling of the word "9th". Somewhere along the line in English land, someone has changed a rule I thought I knew. Ninth Ward, Nineth Ward. I know which one I think is correct. Apparently not, though! Google it!Who knew? I felt like such a ninny! Or is that niney? I have achieved a new disgust with my own capricious language. Colour. Centre. C'mon, who cares, then?? Afraid of freight. Brought to you by...You can't use that word without worrying someone can't read it...a truck driver we know asked for a sticker "If you got it, a truck brought it" and I made it, KNOWING it wouldn't work. Not enough know that's a rhyme... I cannot do "brot". It's wrong. I saw a mistake made by another sign company, they spelled "Managed" wrong. How do people do that. I didn't even mention it to the guy, hey, he had inherited my old building, when it changed Management. They can fix their own darned mis-edits.Ah well. I fracture the language as much as I can anyway.Here's a name of the week for ya. Richard Nice. Who would do that to their kid? Think about it. Why not Steven!? It's just not nice, impathetico. And why isn't "nice" pronounced "niss"??Otherwise, in other news, I manged (yup, that's how it was spelllllled..) to finally get some white on the ground for Christmas. I cancelled my appointment for snow tires. The very next day we had the white stuff, thank you!! My snows are more aged than my all-seasons, from using them too long last "winter", when we had summer by March. Besides, when I have the snow power, I might as well use it. I noticed a pattern a few winters ago. Every time I washed my car, it snowed. It happened that June, too. Weird. If I don't use it up, it doesn't go away:)Christmas comes hard for me each year, as I muddle through my middling life. I am still moved to tears by the strangest seasonal provocations, and I am mystified that "Die Hard" seems to be the current Christmas Eve afternoon TV tradition, when it should be "A Christmas Story" with my old pal Darren McGavin.It's Christmas Eve, let's show some respect. Especially since I need to cancel my TV scrip.Money is going to be tight for a bit, I can smell it. And will I truly miss the boob-tube? I have friends that haven't owned a TV ever. I grew up with the darn thing, being a child of the radio-active age. We started staring at about what, 5? 6? We were "well-to-do" to have a TV, I remember that. I wonder at my eyeballs, the flickering lights sure worked with me. I remember Mom didn't like how our little faces would go blank as we watched...My resolves for 2013 are harder to come by. I will let anger pass through me. I (incredibly) did not react when a customer was extraordinarily unjustifiably rude about my right-hand-man. I bit my tongue, and sent him on his grumpy, soon to be retiring way. I am grumpy, too. But that passes. My aging processes are fascinating:) Hey, what else do I have?!Oh, right, my surroundings, which have continued to break my heart. I am resorting to aromatherapy, so far, my nose is undecided.Huge changes may happen in 2013. They may not. Having thirteen in the year isn't going to be pleasant for us superstitious folks. So maybe I just have to work a little harder at my own luck/fate/flip of the cards.Or Stick flipping...Mildred Lorraine Macdonald. Miss ya, good girl.Merry Christmas, dear earth...[...]

Arses and um. Grarses?


I've been saving this guy, it isn't easy to get him in the right mood for pictures.
Antonio Julio

His pack works, and everything!!
Butch doesn't know I'm doing this...
Antonio'll be dressing in some Christmas decor pretty soon, for his very first time. For some reason, old Antonio wanted some face time this year. He hasn't been the easiest to maintain, depending on the weather, he's pretty unstable. Those hocks... He's uneven in front, not balanced at all. That poor wirzened ear, somebody deliberately tore that ear, I think. Maybe it was Mrs. Small's Ami dog.
Mrs. Small's estate bequeathed this to me, can't imagine why;)
I keep hoping for some snow, to get into the groove of decorating this old decrepit house, but apparently Alberta gets all the snow, too:)
But yeah, I'll take this over AB weather. The ground is frozen, today anyway. I could not get Blaze to have a poop before her nails and anals Dr. appt. The ground was wet, and she does hate wet toes. I mean, she hates 'em. Every step is an "ew, ew, EW". Head down, all morose at my hideous abuse of her dainty toes. Ridiculous, really. Flip will plow through anything, except water over her chest. Blaze will swim, but don't get her feet wet!

No worries today, for a dog that prefers asphalt to grass, when wet. Silly canines.



LOL, well, as usual, a reply to a reader comment made a post. How do you do that... My blather button finally coalesces, for a minute.This was to be my brief Reply to your comment, OBP, and again, thanks for the pings. That's what I think kids "take away" from rodeo. That NOT handling them is fine, and wrestling with them is normal/good. I wouldn't mind this as much if the point was to teach something useful. I guess it's the old instructor in me.When I first found a SHARK video, I had no sound on my computer. It helps a lot. I don't agree with old Steve's harsh judgement of the entire rodeo planet, which is what gets people annoyed in the first place.Heck, I wouldn't even MIND the broncs so much if they'd skip the flanking and the spurring. Horses that "love to buck" should BUCK. I keep hearing "it makes them buck straighter, so they don't hurt themselves". I dunno, I think flanking makes them panic. I guess it's no fun, or something, if the horse isn't at least pissed off. The experienced broncs mostly stalled in the chute. The REALLY well-bred ones came out backwards. They all reacted strongly to the flank application. And to me, not in a good way.Gosh. I am one cranky old broad. I love watching a good bucking horse, with a rider that can sit him. Did you watch the SHARK video of the CS bronc throwing himself to the ground several times, and rolling? CBC didn't show THAT. CS horse, "born to buck", or have fits. Whatever. But CBC did show the chute staff just whaling on the broncs' heads to get them out of the chute.How weird is this rationalization, anyway, from a rodeo supporter. "Bronc riding is rather different than other events. Its the only one that you work against the horse to win. so yeah the standard rules are going to be a little different."Yeah, standard rules fly right out the freakin' window. How is that good... And what does that teach the new rider?!I remember a horse named "Smudge" that I re-broke for his owner. Wild man. Gorgeous fire-breathin' dragon he was, bright liver solid chestnut, an early warm-blood, with LOTS of blood. He could have made a great bronc, I think. If I had rewarded him each time, and shaped the way I wanted him to... Nah. Hard to re-sell:)I taught first mare Royal Gamble to buck. Then I quit, quick. They can really start to dig it after a while:) There was an ex-bronc at the barn I worked at for a few months through university. "Pirate" was his name, cute little light bay, never EVER touch his ears for any reason. Bridle him, fine. Leave ears ALONE. His back was so sad. The barn tried using him for polo, but he later ended up at Peter's barn for a while, and I rode him a bit. (This was after GL sold.)Pirate's back was board stiff, he could NOT trot to start. He just couldn't. I had to walk and then canter to loosen him, and he had the dearest little tiny rockin' horse canter. STIFF, though, so, so stiff:(I just wonder what he went through, before the rodeo owner decided he was NOT born to buck.Anyway, I promise to stop ranting so much. There are much larger problems to deal with in this world. Like who gets the couch.Thanks to FV too, for her patience with me and my foibles. I got a few;)[...]

OH, NO!!


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I'm going there, AGAIN!!
How can I post another SHARK video, I am such a deranged tree-hugger/pussy/vegan/more expletives than you can shake a sock at... Quick, where's my chequebook, I gotta send SHARK/PeTA/HSUS some money!! That'll fix everything! sigh.
But ya know, the thing is, I saw this already, on CBC-TV, our most bestest esteemed Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's coverage of the Calgary Stampede. This is the "high" point of every show. People LOVE to watch kids being dragged around by ponies, ponies falling on kids, kids falling off and under ponies, kids wrestling ponies to the ground! It's hilarious, it's a blast!! Did you see that one girl, looks like she broke her neck! AWESOME!!

sigh. Why do you think my horse light has burnt out? (Besides the obvious!) Because as long as THIS is funny, I am not going anywhere near a barn. Or a horse. Or a pony. I'm too ashamed of my species to look them in the eye. Well, that, and my own deep sense of guilt &/or sorrow for so many of the horses I've known. Horse baggage can be pretty heavy, ya know.

I have finally accepted I have a minority sense of humour. Some might even say I have no sense of humour. Ah well. As long as I can make myself laugh, I'll be alright. As long as there are dogs smiling at me, I'm good.

Falling Scenes, with thanks.


Taken November 7, 2012

Picture taken October 7, 2012

To the veterans of our wars.
Thank you. 

You Know....


When I was throwing that pitchfork at that horse 37 years ago, deep in the throes of whatever was messing me up at that time, I guess I should have been grateful.No-one video-taped me. I didn't miss, and I got the poor bugger's withers, and he wouldn't come near me after that. Huh. Wonder why.... He healed up fine. We were "lucky" I was such a bad aim at that time. Since I became a dog person, my aim has greatly improved;)I guess my point is, anyone can look bad for 11 seconds on you-tube. But I have to wonder. No-one saw me do what I did, just the unfortunate horse. If anyone HAD seen me, I hope they would have said something to make me aware what I was doing was wrong. Only I did that. As soon as the pitchfork left my hand, I was horrifed at my actions, and it shook my brain back onto the semi-even keel it semi-enjoys today;) I stopped doing stuff that was wrong. I stopped a lot of badness to myself.Today, it seems, the opposite happens.I have to smile that my discussion video has a ton of views, but no opinions. There are some people in horses who don't seem to know what's wrong anymore. We love staying in one century. It's starting to feel like the freakin' 1600's again.I definitely would have said something to that guy. Or would I? Who am I to say what's wrong? I guess just my head. Just my heart.8 Years together!! Arrived Nov. 4, 2004!She's had a pretty good life so far:)Blaze turned 6 on October 26, 2012! My puppy:)Her life hasn't been too bad either:)[...]

Discussions, probably not...


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Ingenuity Fail, Mom!!


 I had the appalling temerity to place a decapitated jolly ball handle around Blaze's most favouritest ever nippl/bbly ball. Then I took her picture.
"Oh, woe is me. How could you. My FAVOURITE toy. (Well after Frisbee, but still!) My life is ruined, ruined, I tell ya!"
The jolly-ball handle had been sitting outside for, oh, eons, when Blaze found it, and thought it was the coolest thing, ever. It has become third favourite. Clearly, she prefers I do not mess with her toys.

Then, oh, NO, I took Flips' picture. You can see how thrilled she is. Right after I put the camera away, I was treated to typical kelpie chaos play, hilarious. Apparently, it's a top-secret thing with Flip.
And yes, Blaze's ears really are that big:)

Here they are at work. It's the end of the day, and they wanna go home. Like, now. They like working, but they like it when it's over, too.
You can see a black box in the top left corner of the pic. That's my battery back-up for the computers, and it sits beside my desk. Flip likes to press her head up against it, when she's sleeping under my desk. She's really into technology:)



I love this. Friend of mine sent me the link, I think because I basically have no bathroom, either.

Yes, I finally learned how to screen-cap, I am SO proud!!
There are definitely some pros to having no toilet. You don't have to clean it. I have a peculiar aversion to, well, I guess it isn't peculiar, but I seem to gag more easily these days. Shouldn't experience make me stronger, less prone to upchuckage? Noo, I seem to quease easier every day. I mean, not every day!! I mean, when I have to go, I go, but, but. BUTT.
I hate human poop. There. I've said it. Why do y'think I avoided bearing children, other than for the obvious reasons I had at the time? I have NEVER liked baby poop. Sorry, Dad, Senior poop also qualifies as dizgustink:(
This has been a test of the Going.
Lightly into some other night. Not mine!!

Here's a too sad, too, just so you know I still have some issues buzzing around in my poor little peabrain.

Yeah, well, I'm not saying NOTHING. This is from 2011, and the good old government hasn't gutted any farmer programs, have they!! Oh, wait, right, they have...

I've discovered a new perjorative word to describe my outlook on animals. I am a WELFARIST.
Oh, the horrors...
To all the angry vegans out there...
Bite me.

Shallow Depth


I should admit that the term "Jane, you ignorant slut" (or "JYIS"for shortened)  has always made me laugh, and I blame Saturday Night Live, with Jane Curtin & Bill Murray. for that. I know the term isn't exactly flattering. It just makes me laugh. Always has. I Love the name Jane. Weird. The evolution of shock comedy, I was around for that... Then it became just plain stoopid, and I gave up.I am soo shallow, I'm actually deep with shallowness.If it isn't funny right away, it really isn't funny. I've never used the JYIS in public company, of course, but since I get little (yes, my choice) company at all, I have to be careful when I DO (gasp) go out, because my inappropriateness keeps shining through. Like I bought what I considered a plain, light weight (it's HOT here, and my car A/C can quit) black dress for a very sad funeral (my Dad's dearest  BF/BIL).I asked the clerk, can I wear this in public? She answered suuuure. I didn't say I was going to a funeral, of course. BIG mistake. HUGE.  I just am hopeless, I tell ya... I basically wore a nightie. At least it came down to my knees. My siblings are gonna laugh about this for years...Some things just aren't funny. I won't go into them here, because everyone doesn't want to hear about it anyway, it's all over the news. Just watch it. Believe me, you'll find something that REALLY isn't funny.Anyway, who cares about thaT. What about MEeEEeeeEEEEee.  You too, of course, otherwise I wouldn't have started typing ANYthing. But some of you (still?) ping me, even though I'm an animal-wights oddist. I stand for chickens everywhere. Horses too, but never mind.I tell animal wights people that we've got no right to say animals have rights, since WE caught them and bred them and domesticated the ever loving hell out of them. Animal wights people HATE that, dunno why. Anti-animal wights peeps hate me too, I've noticed. Ah well. Can't please everyone, or is that anyone, in my case?I eat meat, still. Oh, the horror. But I've cut back, and so far, I haven't died. I'll keep ya posted on that, for sure.My whole life has been one long biology experiment anyway, I've been keeping myself fascinated for years. I love experiments. For instance, (you KNEW there was a forinstance) I was raised on sugary foods and all that good stuff. I lived on Coca-cola while I was teaching. I have a horrific sweet tooth, really kept the old dentist busy in my growing years (thanks Parents!) In May or so, Doctor decided I was sortanotquite reallydiabetic. "Pre-diabetic" Doctor called it. Although I was previously amazed my normal body function tests hadn't registered my habit of eating dark chocolate m&m's INSTEAD OF real food, my blood tests finally came back with an tiny little EEEK.Well, not really. I had been uber-stressed over Dad, who is doing amazing, his Doctor says he has a higher power looking after him now. Anyway. I sorta had symptoms, eye-wise and exhaustion-wise and generally tired-wise, and I was dumb about my diet while he was scaring the heck out of us.I was too busy/stubbornly oblivious to change. WELL.Doctor said I had to cut back on potatoes and pasta. Of course, my favourites carbs. Checking the sugar in what you buy is an eye-opening, ANNOYINGLY so, because now I need glasses to read the fine print, experience. They put that sugar in EVERYthing.Was there any point to this post?Um, no. Not this time. I just wanted to show my appreciation for the pingers.Do you know, I'm STILL [...]

More Pictures & Stuff 2


Volunteer flowersTHIS is a water-dripper. See below.Still a sucker for these pansiesCoyote in Butch's fieldCoyote pup? in Butch's field.My latest invention for "my" birds is shown above. We've gone through 3 of the "regular" water-dripper thingies, you know the type, fine "U" shaped design, for hooking on to your birdbath, 1/4" rubber tubing. Each lasted about three minutes, in my back "yard". The first one's dripper thingie was tooo fine, and our hard water blocked the noozle nozzle, and the tubing started leaking. Second one developed mysterious leaks in the tubing, until finally more water was spraying into the garden, then dripping into the birdbath.Bought yet another one, because I love watching birds do their thing, and again, within a few minutes (weeks) the danged tubing was leaking again. I had THOUGHT the tubing was just old and worn out the last time. But I discovered WHY the darned things start leaking in the first place. The chickadees were pecking holes in the tubing. Yeah, little aviators, also bloody vandals.So this is my fix. Peck through THAT, chickadee. Works a treat, not even that ugly:)If you look closely, on the left, a chickadee (of course) was first to try the new set-up. Funny little things. Crazy bird lady. That's me:)[...]

Pictures & Stuff


So angelic, isn't she?Now she's plotting. Why? Flip smelled something.So did the turkey vultures.This corpse was dragged out of the spillway by the vultures.Vultures were so HAPPY!My Bleeding Heart...[...]