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Musings of an animal lover, knitter, mom, and nature girl. I hope you enjoy, thank you for stopping by!

Updated: 2018-04-06T03:23:57.619-07:00




My 18 year old son's best friend died on Christmas night. He OD'd. It is shocking, tragic, and heartbreaking.

We loved this kid.

They became friends in 6th grade. Nick used to follow Max home from the school bus. (He lived, and died,  just around the corner). They grew up together. Then grew apart. But often talked. About ten days ago, they had breakfast together. Nick told Max that he was clean, not using any drugs. He and Max were thinking about moving to Portland together.

I'm trying to remember when it was that Nick stopped by the house - a few months ago? I thought he looked great - same big smile, same sweetness.
We didn't see much of Nick in recent years, as their paths hadn't followed in the same direction. But the love was there still. And always will be. I am wondering if and when I will ever stop crying. How can he really be gone?

"Like a steam locomotive, running down the track. He's gone, he's gone, nothin's gonna bring him back".
We Love You Nick.


{this moment}


Joining along with Amanda from


{this moment}



Desert Tortoise


Dos says Good Morning!


Learning to Trust



Our new Pony!


We have a new pony! It's a long story how I found him, but this pony needed a new home. I didn't know how badly, until he got here.
His hooves have possibly never been trimmed (our horses get their hooves trimmed every 2 months).
Underweight, although not drastic.
Still a stallion (never neutered).
Shedding in weird patches.
But the biggest thing wrong: Terrified. Scared to death. Literally shakes all over. Runs away. Cannot catch him.
This is Winslow, day one.

So, got his hooves trimmed. My blacksmith was so kind and patient. Spent a week working with him everyday, several times a day. Very hard to catch him. Usually takes two people - have to corner him. Left his lead line on him, so when you get close can either grab or stand on the lead line. Once caught, his terror is blatant.
Then he got gelded (neutered). This is major surgery. The vet was awesome. My friend Elaine, who came to lend moral support, fainted in the stall. :)
This is Winslow, no longer a stallion. Very wary of me.
And now he must be exercised twice a day, to help his incision heal. At first I thought, how will this ever work? But, bit by bit, he got a tiny bit easier to catch. And lead.

It was a great day, when he would trust me enough to put his head down and eat grass (instead of watching me constantly in fear).

The bonding and trust between us has grown. I bring sweet feed with me to his stall, and he will come to me. I've taken off his lead line. I exercise him every day. We go on walks. I'm teaching him that it is ok for him to be brushed, and washed with a hose. I now have him in a stall next to my "big" horses, and Belle (my mustang mare) has fallen in love with Winslow. You should see. :)
He's still scared, but not as bad.

He is so adorable, and so sweet. Not an aggressive bone in his little body; just wants love. I'll keep you posted!




Horse kisses, that is.


Winter Wonderland in the Desert Southwest


It snowed yesterday in Tucson Arizona. Magnificent, utterly wonderful. (image)

Sad News


My friends baby mini horse didn't make it. He colicked - this can be for a variety of reasons, but it turns out that his intestines were twisted.
He was only about 5 months old.
So sad.


Orientation, but not the kind you might think


Quick update: Yes, still losing weight. s l o w l y. Did I mention SLOW? S L O W. But it is happening. S L O W L Y.

Now onto bigger and better things:

Do you read It is freaking hysterical, written by someone I actually know. She used to make wooden toys, I have several of them. Her name is Amber. Now she has a book deal.
She wrote this very funny post recently about McDonalds, but that has nothing to do with this story. During her anecdote, she mentioned toilet paper orientation. I was curious, as I'm not particulary concerned with toilet paper orientation.
Ah Ha! It has to do with the toilet paper appearing at the top, or at the bottom of the roll. Something that is very important to my husband. I couldn't care less.
But - did you know that there is also Paper Towel Orientation?? Our paper towel holder stands on the counter. So the paper towel stands up. If that makes sense.
(I hate paper towels, and use them rarely. I prefer to use cotton towels, which are truly rags, because Buster (big dog) pulls them off the counter and munches on them, until I discover him. Then I wash it and put the ragged towels to good use, again. Until he eats them again. But I digress.
I was recently chastised by my husband, for putting the paper towel roll on backwards. I'm still not sure which way it is supposed to go. So, if it is empty, I leave it standing there. Naked.

Just saying. (image)



Weight, that is.

I've done it before, but it didn't last. Now I'm doing it again, and it has to last.
 I started having some health issues - possibly brought on by the extra pounds - maybe.
 And I felt like crap. I felt fat.
I've been committed since June 16th. I've lost 9 pounds, as of last Saturday. This isn't a fast thing.
It is a slow, life-long commitment type of thing. It's a changing of the habits type of thing.
 So, I'm hoping, it is a slow but steady kind of thing.
Clothes are starting to feel a little bit loose. Hunger feelings have changed.
I just read an article on a favorite blog about pie-making. I cannot make pies, just now. I love to bake. I will bake again....just not right now, not today. And when I do bake again, I will savor that deliciousness, but differently. I will not eat 4 brownies (I have the very best brownie recipe ever).
We will see.
It's funny - putting this out there on my blog makes my commitment public. Makes my commitment more - committed.
Wish me luck, and strength.
Feel free to share any tips, or yummy (low-fat) recipes!
(I am not going to post any fat pictures. Sorry...)


Summer Break


We escaped for a little while, from the Tucson heat. From the furnace that is the long long summer here.
We go to the ocean - the Pacific. And bask in the ocean breezes, the endless crash of the waves, the salty air.

We visit the sea lions, and watch the dophins feed in the ocean, just off-shore.
Glorious. Can't wait to go back.(image)

Desert Dwellers


(image) Meet Dos, the desert tortoise. You can read about him here. I am so excited to see him eating. We planted sod, we also planted seed, which hasn't started to come up yet. SO happy he is eating!!!!!

(image) We cover our hay for our horses with a tarp, maybe one day we will have a big hay-shed. It's monsoon season, and looked like it might rain the other afternoon. I went out to make sure the hay was covered. Nope, the tarp had blown off. So I flipped it back over the hay, and found a little furry friend! Meet a tarantula! He was gigantic, bigger than my hand. :)


Monsoon in Tucson


Utterly fabulous rains, floods, storm. I love this. Our horse arena flooded, our street flooded, utterly wonderful.


New Family Member


If you read my blog, you might recall that a desert tortoise came to live with us, last October. October is when desert tortoises go into hibernation. We built a fabulous habitat for our tortoise, complete with den. Sure enough, she hibernated. However, before she fell asleep, she had me very worried. She didn't seem to be eating. She seemed agitated. I called the experts at the Sonoran Desert Museum - they gave me some tips. I watered her well.
Sadly, she didn't make it through the winter.
So, her habitat has remained rather dead. All the plants we planted for her, died too.
Should we adopt another? Should we give up on this idea?
The decision came rather abruptly last night. I got a phone call from a friend. Someone desperately needed a home for their tortoise. They were moving far away, couldn't bring him. They were moving in a matter of days.
What do you think I said?

Meet Dos. (Spanish for #2)
He's resting in his den - way in the back where it's got to be cooler than it is out in his habitat, where I think it is 110 degrees today...

Here's a view of his home. We planted sod, hibiscus and other plants that he will eat (I hope), and more to plant tonight.
He seems ok.
Wish us luck!!




The toad (see previous post!) knew what he was doing.
Today, we had our first monsoon storm.
Glorious clouds, thunder and lightning. Wind. For a long long time, the smell of rain. The tease of rain. A couple drops here and there. I went back inside. Then out again to sniff and enjoy. Then in again to knit. Then out again. Then I realized I was sitting inside in the dark, knitting. It was only about 330 in the afternoon. I looked out - the rain was here. Ecstasy!
I took the dogs outside. Boo, our littlest one, doesn't like rain. Silly girl. Sugar, the smartest one, ran into the yarn wagging her tail and loving it.

The rain has stopped now, but the sky is still gray.

Rain. For the first time in six months. The wonderful wet smell of it. The mesquite trees and creosote bushes letting off their happy rain smell.

Ahhhh. :))(image)

Desert Toads


In Tucson, we have monsoon season during the summer. These are amazing thunder and lightning storms, dropping tremendous amounts of rain in very short periods of time. I adore the monsoons. Today is officially the start of monsoon season.

Except, no rain in sight.

However, last night, my husband announced the arrival of a desert toad. They only come out in monsoon season. They hang around on our patio and eat bugs. Then they poop on the patio. They are huge - often bigger than your hand. So their poop is huge too. Gross.

Did I mention that they are poisonous? If you dog licks one (we have four dogs), they will start hallucinating, and frothing at the mouth, and other very bad things. So now we begin the summer fun of letting the dogs out to go potty, and making them leave the toads alone.

So, I hope the toad knows more than the weather forecasters on TV.(image)

Yesterday, and Today too


Warning: This Is A Rant.

Yesterday. I had let my friend Cathy talk me into working at the election polls. Civic duty and all that. Besides, she said I could bring my knitting and knit all day. Yay!
 I am unemployed. So it seemed like a good idea.
Not so much.
I had to get up at 430am. I had to be there at 5am. I worked until 8pm. It was the longest day of my F***ing life.
In about 2 weeks I will get a check for $140. oooeeeee.
Today I called Cathy, chatted about yesterday. I said, "How did I do?". She said, well, it was pretty unprofessional of you to knit while there was a voter there.


When I got home at 8pm last night, beyond exhausted, I took a shower. Then went to check my website stuff. My husband was talking to me. I said, wait, I can't even concentrate on what you are saying, because all of a sudden, all I hear is this GIANT THUDDING BASS OF "MUSIC".  All doors and windows are shut (it's 100 degrees outside people). The central AC is on. And still my house is shaking. It went on and on. I went outside to try to determine cause of said "music".



They've done it before. I called the cops. I've never been bombarded by anything that loud, from someone that lives more than 1/2 very very long block away.

Are they serious?

Cops came. It was quiet for 5 minutes. Then started again. I called again. They came again. This time, one of my kids encountered said cop on our street, and got out to talk to them. There had been a short lull in the thudding. Cop was saying, gee, it's not so loud. Then they cranked it again. Cop said, what do they think this is a fucking RAVE?

Then it got quieter.

I was able to collapse in bed around 10pm.

Other kid came home at midnight. This morning he told me that when he got home, music was back on, and went on til around 1am. I was having nightmares, I kid you not. In one of the nightmares, there was thudding.

It must have been the "music".

I hate everyone in the world.


Sorry no pictures. This blog might just become my journal into psycho-world. I think I'm losing it. Nobody will want to buy my loveable Woolies because their creator has lost her mind.


Itty Bitty Tiny


I love pigs. A long time ago, in a place far away, I worked at a corporate job. I used to have toys in my office. Pig-type toys. It caught on. People used to give me piggy toys. Then I had a lot of them. One day one of my piggy toys was missing. Then I got a ransom note. The games went on and on.

Fast forward - I still love piggies. Especially little ones.

Check out this itty bitty one!

I want one!!!




7 Day Forecast. June in the Sonoran Desert. And this is mild! I can *almost* (no, not really), deal with this kind of hot. It's when it gets up to 105 and above that it is totally intolerable. It's like a furnace. and yes, it's really dry. I think the humidity is about 7%. My eyes, nose, throat, skin - dry. Beyond dry. Pedicures are a medical necessity, because something happens to the skin on the bottom of your feet when you live in the desert. It gets like leather, and then cracks. Which hurts like crazy.
There are fire alerts everywhere. No fireworks for the 4th of July, 2nd year in a row.
So I limit my outside time to early morning and after dinner. Because the heat makes me not feel good. I don't know if it's my auto-immune disease, or what. But I'm sapped of energy.

Did I tell you how much I love my air-conditioning? We had to buy an entire new central AC unit; we did it in December. It works great. Glorious. My husband and I have little mini-wars about what to set it on. He likes 75. I think that's a little extreme.

What's it like where you live??



Do you remember what you were doing the summer you were 17 ? For me, it was the summer after I graduated from high school. I worked a lot - I had lots of regular babysitting jobs. I was in demand.
I didn't have a boyfriend, having recently broken up with Dan Newhall. And I wasn't even sad about it.
I was going away to college in the fall - 6 hours away from home - and I couldn't wait. My parents drove me crazy. Especially my mother. I had a lot of great friends, and we hung out together all the time, listening to music and doing other stuff that you don't want to hear about. (It was the 70's people).

Today, my youngest child turns 17. He is the greatest kid. He is so kind and loving. He adores our animals, and almost always takes the time to play with them - especially the cats. He is soft-hearted. He's always been an animal-lover.
He has recently acquired a girl friend. No, we haven't met her , it's early days yet. Is it the one he really likes? Or is the one he really likes going to finally make up her mind and then the new girl will have her heart broken? Or will the one that couldn't make up her mind have her heart broken in the end?
The best part about this whole scenario, is that he talks to me about it. He trusts me. He knows I won't make judgements, and will just try to help him figure it out. He knows I'll give him some good advice. One day a couple weeks ago, he was stressed. He told me that he was avoiding the new girl, that she'd been texting him all day. He was avoiding because he didn't know how to handle it. I suggested that he text her back right away, that she was probably upset that she hadn't heard back from him all day. So he did. And then he felt better. And I'm sure she did too. And it progressed from there.

He is job hunting. He took the SAT's on Saturday, although - with this kid - we're not sure that he is University-bound. He might end up going to the local community college for a year or two, then transferring to the University. We'd save a ton of $$, and with my being unemployed...
We will have to see. He'll be a senior in high school in just a few months.

So today he turns 17. I always ask my kids on their birthdays if they want to hear the story of their birth. It's become a joke. They've all heard it 1000 times. The joy, the excitement, the blessings of their births.

He's a young man now. I feel that these were good years for him. I think he'll look back on his younger years and feel happy. And he looks forward to moving ahead with joy.

Happy Birthday to my son!(image)



I neglect my blog. Can I tell you why?

I think it's because for a long time now, I can't decide what I want my blog to be about.

I think I want to write about more personal things.

But then I think that might be too personal.

I want to write about what I'm working on, my "art". But how totally self-involved is that?

For a long time I've written about where we live. Because it is truly amazing.

I could write about the fact that my husband was stung by a scorpion just the other day. He had to go to Urgent Care. I almost asked him if I could take a picture of the bite. But then I thought, ugh, how disgusting is that??

I almost wrote about kissing bugs. But you don't really want to hear about that, do you?

Do you want to hear about my boys, growing up? What they are up to? They are teenagers, and the oldest is almost no longer a teenager. My youngest turns 17 tomorrow. I don't know if they want me to write about them. Or post pictures of them. Although, to be honest, their stories are pretty fascinating. You could learn a lot about kids from hearing about them.

Do you want to hear about my unemployment struggles? I was laid off last November. The longest time I ever went without working was 2 weeks about 30+ years ago. This is difficult. I might start to write about that. You never know, it might get me a job offer?? (A girl can dream...)

So anyway, I don't want to ignore my blog. I rather like my blog. Even if only 1-2 people read it.

So, I'll be back soon.

Wow I don't have any pictures to post? I must have a picture to post.....


Happy Mothers Day - to Mommies of all sorts!


(image) (image) Happy Mothers Day!
To Mommies of all species!
This is my friend Cathy's mini-horse - who surprised her yesterday with a new foal.




Sometimes it takes my breath away. Soft wind, night sounds of crickets and other night creatures, it's dark outside. And I'm waiting.

 So it happens...the big super moon rises over the mountains. Majestic. Magic.
It lights that side of the sky as it rises.

Over on the other side ....still dark.

And the night waits.(image)



We feed the bunnies. Not on purpose. But the horses are messy eaters, and there is hay all over the place. The bunnies try to clean it up for us.
It's hard to get a good picture of them, they are very good at camoflage.

This is Belle, our mustang. She is wearing a fly mask to protect her eyes from the flies. We buy 'fly predators', they are little bugs that eat fly larvae. We also have goldfish in the water troughs. They eat fly and mosquitoe larvae. It's supposed to help a lot.
We still have flies.

And bunnies too.