Friday, November 27, 2009

2009: The worst year, ever

Have you ever had a year that will live in infamy as being the one you’d most rather have pulled a ‘Rip Van Winkle’ than be awake through?

Sure you have. We all have... or will. And 2009 is mine.

First, I was rear ended at a stoplight by not one but two vehicles (a moving van hit the half ton behind me, linking them at the bumpers before hitting me... if that makes any sense), which totaled my Jeep. After that came the age related woes of my highly intelligent and “sweetest little girl to humans and May West-like to other horses” thirty-two-year-old mare Bear, a cancer scare and surgery for me and, a month later, emergency surgery of a family member. Then a family member took a big hit from the dreaded “Downsizing Disease” (ten years at a great job literally one minute, and unemployment and a “I’m sorry, but that’s the way it goes” the next). But the twin topper was the most devastating of all: the sudden and unexpected but thankfully peaceful passing of my wonderful Mom on October 24th at approximately 3 pm, and, after “telling” me it was her time to go, the peaceful vet-assisted passing of 'my sweetest little girl' Bear (Pokey Bear Sadie) yesterday evening (Nov 24th) at approximately 6 pm.

Heartfelt thankyous go to Dr. McIntyre and the emergency crew of Red Deer, Alberta, for their compassion and heroic efforts with regard to my mom, and to veterinarians Dr. Grant and Dr. Rick, farrier Steve Harris, and Dennis Costen for their compassion and heroic efforts with regard to Bear.

I'll be infinitely glad when 2009 is over.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This is racist?

Seriously? Okay, so what am I missing? If this is racist and has been pulled off the shelves, then I gotta wonder what else is considered racist. Maybe this...

to the Witch communty.

Or this...

to the ‘Hairy Guys and the Women Who Love Them’ group.

Or this...

Oops, now how did that pic get in here? *ahem* But while we’re on the subject, this goes out to all you Twilight fans: THIS is a vampire!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A little horse advice to a beginner

So I was browsing through Craigslist today and stumbled across the following post:

horse advice (south shore)
looking to get a horse, but dont know anything about caring for it, if you can give me some advice as in how big a stall has to be and how much it costs to upkeep a horse that will be great. thanks

Hey, at least this person asked first!

My advice? Don't get a horse unless you're first willing to take a ton of riding lessons with a qualified instructor and work at a reputable stable (gratis, if needs be) for at least a year.

Horses, even the free or cheap ones, are terribly expensive and are a huge commitment (mentally, physically, emotionally, and most certainly financially). They aren't something to be taken lightly nor started on a lark. Learn. Do your research. Ask questions. Find out about things like dental care (once a year at over one hundred per), farrier care (every six weeks at roughly $35 per trim... and that's for a regular barefoot trim—if you want shoes, they could run you a heck of a lot more), vaccinations (yearly for life—could run as high as $200 per year, depending), deworming costs (at least $20 every five weeks for life), boarding (as low as $125 per month to as high as several hundred per month, depending on the area, if the horse is to be inside or outside, and what the stable has to offer), specialized feed if necessary (boarding facilities only provide the basics, so there might be another hundred or more per month extra). And that's just the beginning! Add a minimum of $2,000 - $3,000 you'll need to set aside per year for misc. vet costs and the like (horses have accidents and they’re rarely cheap to fix!). Then there's the obvious, such as a helmet, saddle, bridle, saddle pad, brushes, hoof pick, blankets, fly spray, salt block, mineral block, buckets, halters (always have an extra one handy), lead ropes (again, extra), shipping boots, a trailer, riding lessons (yep, you'll still need that), possible training for your horse, a tack box... and the list goes on and on. Hey, horse owners don't call ourselves "horse poor" for nothing!

Oh, and if you're planning on keeping a horse at home, there's most of the above, plus straw (or shavings) and excellent quality hay (at the very least 250 bales of hay for one horse per year x whatever the price is where you live... here, it's gone up to around $8 to $10 plus, per bale) and a safe place to store it (away from where your horse is, as it could catch fire and kill the animal). And don't forget proper fencing (NOT BARBED WIRE or those damned T-posts!), a run-in shelter, a 12 x 12 box stall (which you'll have to clean out daily) which is made to specs and is safe and properly ventilated (or the horse could get the heaves, severely injured, or even killed), oats or specialized feed, a large water tub for outside (you'll have to clean that out every week as horses need access to clean fresh water no matter if they're inside and outside... unless they've just had a workout—then they need to be walked out and cooled down dry before being given water or they could founder), water buckets for inside the stall (also clean those out at least every week), a pitch fork, shovel, rake, broom, hoses, wheel barrow or muck bucket, safe stall mats (those can be really expensive!), a way to get rid of manure (to limit insects and disease, and because most counties have specific rules about that), rubber floor pans (to feed oats or special feed), water (of course), barn lights (of course), insurance, etc., etc. Not to mention the time involved in doing all of that plus grooming the horse from top to bottom every day, feeding at least twice a day, keeping all areas spotless, checking daily for anything sticking out (nails, etc., that could cut a horse), walking the entire pasture daily to check for gopher holes, loose boards, stray binder twine. And again, that list goes on and on.

Most people love horses. Most people want horses. No person should own horses unless they can afford them and know what they‘re doing. Why? Because too many good, sound horses end up at slaughterhouses, or worse—crippled, starved, ruined and in agony for life. Not to mention your own safety! If you're determined to get a horse, do the horse, and yourself, a favor and learn (through a ton of riding lessons with a qualified instructor and working at a reputable stable for at least a year) as much as you can first, first hand and not through some internet site or via some know-nothing idiot, so you'll know what you're getting into and so you can give a horse a good life.

Life, by the way, can be around thirty years or more.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ALERT: Stolen Horse in Alberta, Canada

As some of you might know, I live in Alberta, Canada. So when I read a post today on Fugly horse of the day about a stolen horse in Alberta, I naturally had to jump on it to try to help spread the word. Please listen up.

If you are in Alberta, Canada please be on the look out for this stolen horse! This two year old filly disappeared from her pasture and we are VERY concerned that she may show up at an auction. If you see her at one or advertised for sale, please immediately call 780-722-4833. Thank you!

If you have seen this filly, do the right thing and call the number. Let's get her home!

Update: This filly is home safe. She was deliberately let out by Bad Neighbors, recognized and intercepted at the auction house, and brought home. Thank goodness!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Applauding Good Farriers/For The Love of Old Mac’s Boots/Another Reason Not To Rein

There are a ton of things we horse owners can physically do to keep our four-legged family members healthy, as well as a ton we cannot do and so have to rely on the expertise of others. Trimming/shoeing, for most of us, falls into the latter category. So today, I thought I’d tout the expertise and ingenuity of the good farrier—that highly regarded, highly sought after and often unmentioned guy or gal who goes to extraordinary lengths to keep our beloved equines comfortable.

I’ve spoken about Bear—my thirty-two-year-old Quarter Horse mare—several times on this blog, but haven’t really gotten into her goings-on, so I figure now’s as good a time as any. To look at her, you’d swear she was in her prime. Inside, however, is a whole other story. It all started long before I purchased her, when her previous owner sent her as a four or five-year-old to some big-name whoop-dee-do reining trainer.

Yes, I said reining, and yes, it might ruffle a few reining-lovers. So it goes.

This summer, stiffness and slight lameness increasing to dead lameness forced a vet visit along with his portable x-ray machine. What he found was a very old torque fracture in Bear’s left carpus (knee) which had healed years ago and had over calcified, along with a bone spur and a few other odds and ends. In Dr. Rick’s own words: “This is the type of injury that likely nobody noticed when it happened, but eventually shows up big time.” Then he dropped the other shoe, saying, “It’s common in reining horses.”

Common! Well if that doesn’t give you a reason not to rein, I don’t know what will. Oh, and just to clarify: I’m a Western and English Pleasure person, not a reining person, so I had never practiced nor shown Bear in reining... although I heard she could spin on a dime and slide like a toboggan on ice. Of course, if I had reined her, no doubt she would have been in far worse shape than she is now and it would have showed up far earlier, like in her prime. But anyway...

So what has all of this got to do with a farrier?--you ask. Hang on, I’m getting to it.

We started Bear on intra-articular injections right then and there, and they worked like a charm. She’ll never be 100% of course (she’s still a little stiff and always will be), but the pain and lameness disappeared... until trouble started again, this time with her right front hoof. Out came the vet (again) with his x-ray machine (again), and this time the x-rays showed nothing—no rotation, no degrading, no anything. (Thank goodness.) The diagnosis: a high abscess. The cure: Epsom salts soakings, Epsom salts poultices, and shoes. Ah, but how do you nail shoes onto a stiff-kneed, sore-hoofed horse without causing even more pain?

You don’t. You use Old Mac’s Multi Purpose Horse Boots (Original) with Comfort Padding instead, along with some vet wrap around the pasterns to prevent rubbing. Bear takes a size 6. And yes, she wears them 24/7, save for taking them off every 24 hours to check the hoof as you normally would, the boot for debris that might have fallen inside, and to change the vet wrap. Easy as hell to size (place hoof on a sheet of paper, trace the outline, take the outline to a tack store and have a knowledgeable employee measure to fit), easy as hell to put on and take off (just don‘t forget to put your finger between the horse’s pastern and the internal velcro fastener when cinching it up in order to give a little breathing room), easy as hell for Bear to walk in, and she‘s never lost one yet. I seriously love these boots and highly recommend them. (By the by, I tried the Epsom salts poultice/gauze/diaper, vet wrap/duct tape boot thingy for about three weeks prior to the Old Mac‘s, but Bear was still pretty darn sore with it. Not to mention that the amount of time with her knee bent and the other leg holding her up sure didn’t help matters.)

Ah, but who gave me the heads-up on Old Mac’s?

Why, my farrier, Steve Harris, of course.

(See? I told you I was getting to him.)

Did I mention that previous to this whole ordeal, when she was just a little stiff in the knees, that Steve was trimming Bear’s hooves via sitting on the ground with her hoof in his lap so she wouldn’t have to bend her knees too much and he therefore wouldn’t cause her as much pain? Now that’s a farrier who goes above and beyond, let me tell you; a rare one who’s actually concerned about the welfare of the horse.

More, we found that Bear, in trying to take the weight off her abscessed front right (during the interm between the duct tape boot thingy and the Old Mac’s), had strained her opposite hind leg through overcompensating. That was when the real farrier fun started. Poor Steve. There he was (even with the Old Mac’s boots and pads by then, which made my mare’s fronts sound and comfortable), with Bear needing to practically sit on him to have her hind hooves trimmed. I mean, Steve is a pretty strong guy and all, but let’s not forget Bear weighs around eleven-hundred pounds! So what did Steve do? He staggered over to his truck and came back with something so simple and worked so well that it was forehead slapping—a wide roll of duct tape and a square sponge. Lay the duck tape on its side, place the sponge over it, place hoof on top, and trim while kneeling on the ground. Voila! Well, it’ll do at least until her hind leg strain heals. By the way, I told Steve that if he ever tried to move, I’d hunt him down and drag him back—he’s that good.

Currently, the abscess is ready to break, the boots are doing famously, and Steve is still worth his weight in gold. Good farriers like Steve Harris (who hails from Alberta, Canada)—you gotta love ‘em.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When should I start riding my horse?

About a gazillion years ago, I asked our so-called qualified vet that very question regarding our then coming two-year-old and was told (word for word): “He’s a lot stronger than he looks, so go ahead.”

That has to be the single worst piece of horse advice in the history of bad horse advice, and I’ll tell you why. 1) No young horse is stronger than it looks, and of course it isn’t; no matter what it looks like on the outside, it’s still a baby on the inside. 2) Any vet who tells someone that is a moron.

Instead of talking to myself for the next twenty pages (since I doubt horse folks who’ve made up their minds and/or have their own agendas and reasons for doing things will listen to little-ol’ me), I’ll just post a link to
Deb Bennet’s (Ph.D.) study on equine skeletal development

Read it; repeat it; print copies off and hang them up in your barn or leave them on the table in your Boarder’s Lounge or pass them out at your kid’s local 4-H or Horse Club meeting. Futurities be damned; I want my horses alive and sound beyond the eight-year-old mark.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I don't think so, Doc

Well, I’ve met with the specialist, had a biopsy (here’s a word of advice: “A little pressure” is doctor jargon for “excruciating pain”), gone in for my pre-op blood work and had a CA125 test. Now, as long as I don’t catch a cold, the surgery will take place on August 24th.

Oh yes, and the doc advised me to quit smoking at least ten days before surgery.

Quit smoking? He must be joking. As if my nerves aren’t shattered enough at the myriad of horror stories one hears about surgery—being awake throughout and unable to tell anyone; dying on the table because the doctor is a quack, or because the anesthesiologist is a quack, or because the doctor is making google-eyes with Nurse Buxom, or because the anesthesiologist is making google-eyes at Nurse Buxom, or because the doctor and anesthesiologist are making google-eyes at each other; dying in recovery because that Nurse Buxom is in the janitor closet with the doctor and anesthesiologist instead of monitoring my stats; dying because the anesthesiologist doesn’t know that my veins have a tendency to collapse with such force as to shoot catheters across rooms like lethal ninja weapons, perhaps killing said doctor, nurse and anesthesiologist, leaving me to bleed to death before the surgery has even begun; waking up at my own autopsy.

I’m kidding of course. I don’t really believe any of that. I’m just a Fiction writer who's a little neurotic when it comes to anything medical. I know nothing will happen before, during, or after the surgery. Ah, but just in case, I won’t be quitting smoking anytime soon.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Michael Jackson

1958 - 2009

Goodbye. And thank you.

Mr. Jackson once asked “Why are people so mean?”

Good question. And with all the crying while leaving cards and flowers, signing billboards, and screaming I-love-you's now that the man is dead, an equally good question might be: Where was all the love when he was alive?

People are flocking to his memorial right now, squealing about winning tickets and acting like they’re about to see a concert, when a man - son; brother; friend; father; icon; consummate entertainer; humanitarian - has died. Family and those who knew him personally are hurting, and will for a long time. Some respect please, public and media alike.

"Smile, though your heart is aching..."

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Mr. Jackson.

With sincere condolences,

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Hawk Horse Trailers

Oh Momma, I want this (and not just because of the name, either)

NEW 2009 HAWK 2H BP DR $12,800

but I live in Alberta, Canada.

Check out:
And a review:

Why don’t they have a dealership in “Horse Country” (that’s slang for Alberta)?

Just asking.

EDIT: On second thought, with all the horror stories you hear about spooky and/or young horses getting hung up on the chest bar and such, I think I'll just stick with my newly redone tried-and-true WW two horse straight load.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Part Two of "People Doing Terrible Things"

Todd Shevan Williams—Animal Cruelty and Bastard Deluxe

I read Fugly Horse of the Day yesterday, a blog new to me (Where have I been?) and likely well known to everyone else. The post there broke my heart and made me see red at the same time. It was about horrific animal cruelty at the hands of an evil bastard named Todd Shevan Williams.

Fugly asked folks to send a carefully worded e-mail to the prosecutor and listed the address. It also gave a link to the ongoing story about the poor horses this arse cheek starved nearly (and in two cases, did) to death, and to the wonderful folks at Beauty’s Haven Equine Rescue who are trying to save them. To read the whole story, follow the link, start at the bottom and work your way up. Warning: Kleenex is definitely required.

Tell me, Mr. Todd Shevan Williams, what planet are you from when you think tree bark is in any way a replacement for hay or even grass? I mean—come on!—I know some horses seem to live on air, but... really? Hello? Or maybe you just didn’t know. So I’m wondering which is it—are you a brainless bastard or an evil bastard? Guess the jury’s still out on that one... though not for much longer, if you get my drift. Of course, if they only let you eat your prison cot mattress, maybe you’ll clue in on what you did to those poor horses.

As for me, I’m always happy to spread the word. Especially if it helps put a sumbitch like Tom Shevan Williams behind bars where he belongs.

Blessings to Beauty’s Haven Equine Rescue . If you, Dear Readers, can help these fine people to help these fine horses by... say... giving them an amount equal to a week of your morning Starbucks coffee or your dinner out/takeout, or by selling something you no longer want (NOT YOUR HORSE!) and donating the sale to them, or even by putting in for one of their many raffles, then please do. Doing good will do you good, and these angel-folks most certainly deserve it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An AQHA Oxymoron = Humane Slaughter

Okay, here’s something for you.
Please pay particular attention to the following (my comments will be in brackets):

“The end for horses sent to one of the U.S. slaughter plants was anything but humane, according to the HSUS. The regulations meant to protect them were inadequate as the horses suffered from a lack of food and water on crowded trailers, and the euthanasia was often mishandled (Mishandled? You mean they often... missed? Ugh! But what better way to show old Blue—who trusted you with his life and had given you everything he could and then some—that you love and respect all he’s done for you than to fill his last moments (or hours?) with terror and screaming agony? How lovely.), the organization claims. Rather than being slaughtered, HSUS says, unwanted horses can be placed with a rescue (As long as they check out and are credible/responsible) or retirement facility (Again, check them out first) or, when no other options are available, humanely euthanized.” (Absolutely! That’s what I’ve been saying for ages, isn't it?)

Oh yes. And here's a little something else to chew on.

Gee, I use Invermectin, too. *tisk* Thank goodness!

I hope they make about as much profit as the Saskatchewan plant, I really do.

Yah gotta love it.

**Warning: Sensitive folks like me will want to skip this.**

(Thank you to coeurdefer for pointed out the following.)

To folks who still believe horse slaughter is “humane," might I direct you to this.

Now before you get your lead line in a twist, go to comments and scroll down to the three-in-a-row posts by Lin - March 30, 2009, 10:54am, “statement from a horse slaughter worker...Who's tne nut around here?” (Hope Lin doesn’t mind me using this).

This post makes my point about horse slaughter, public outcry, and members being guilty by association in the court of public opinion (when the public reads it... and they should). It also made me sick to my stomach.

Do you think this kind of thing won’t happen in new slaughterhouses? Think again. Inspectors and ASPCA won’t be standing there all day and don’t try to tell me they will. Criminal acts? Absolutely. An isolated incident? No way. Watch a video on horse slaughter. Or better yet, go to a horse slaughterhouse and watch what happens. See the way the animals react to the sounds and smells, and in what shape and in what way they meet their so-called “humane” demise. And while you’re there, remember that John Q Public’s perception of slaughterhouses is what’s going to matter—a perception that will forever be linked to the AQHA (the association that’s publicly pushing for it and its members).

Yep, slaughterhouses are a fine way to promote the breed, innit?

Still determined to get rid of your arthritic, unusable thirty-something horse, are you? Here’s an idea. Have him humanely euthanized and THEN call the truck.

And while we‘re on the subject...

Horse Slaughter Plants in Canada

Head Office
#312 222-58th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta Canada T2H 2S3
403-259-3568 (fax)

Owner: Claude Bouvry
Two Locations: Alberta and Quebec
Maintains feedlots in Shelby, MT and
Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada

Richelieu Meat, Inc.
595, rue Royale C.P. 101
Massueville, Québec Canada JOG 1KO
450-788-2622 (fax)

Shame on you, Canada. You can set an example and send a message to the world at the same time. Go for it. Stop horse slaughter. Make us proud.

Petition - End Horse Slaughter in Canada Now

Monday, May 25, 2009

Guilt By [American Quarter Horse] Association?

You know, it’s hard enough to think about horses getting slaughtered to make room for more, more, more (as in the AQHA making more money via more registration fees and more membership fees by getting rid of what's already here), much less realize an association as massive and well known as the AQHA—one who actually took steps to amend some of their rules to the benefit of horses... or was that only to quell public outcry?—have so little regard for their breed and all the regard for the almighty dollar that they advocate it. That begs the question: When they (the AQHA leadership) shot themselves in the foot because of it, did they also paint targets on their members, too?

Let’s think about this. In the court of public opinion, owners of Quarter Horses/members of AQHA, and the association itself, are one and the same. So, guilt by association. An example might be the anti-fur movement, where folks didn’t just target furriers but the individuals wearing it, to the point were people who owned it (even the homeless!) wouldn’t be caught dead in it. Now, instead of fur, it’s horse slaughter advocated by the Quarter Horse Association—the very association that’s suppose to tout and protect the breed, not push for the slaughter of it. What will the public think of its members now? They’ll never know who agreed or disagreed with it, and they won’t stop to ask, either. One and the same, remember? Members are AQHA. Members did this. Members are the heartless bastards who will ride it AND eat it, baby. Hi ho Silver... and don’t forget the ketchup.

Let’s take a moment to let this sink in.

Can you say “manipulated” (as in even the pro-slaughter members were manipulated into thinking this was a good thing when all the while it was a money making venture from the beginning, something where everyone (including the cattle ranchers who are all set up and eager to turn into horse meat ranchers) wins EXCEPT the horse), folks? I know you can.

I hate being manipulated. I hate being told one thing and find out it’s a whole other ballgame (or is that ‘market‘?). I hate being guilty by association, and I particularly hate that the Quarter Horse association painted its own members as targets.

By the way, how much do you think the AQHA cares about their breed when they’re advocating slaughtering them? Just curious.

Oh. And while we‘re here, let this sink in too.

And so it begins (note the blog’s name... and good on the blog owner for coming up with it and speaking out!). But that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I am, is pointing out that a really bad situation CAN get far worse. Yep, seems everyone’s jumping on the band wagon, including cattlemen who are being encouraged to see horse slaughter as yet another opportunity (others before being buffalo and elk, though with horses it’s a different ballgame, horses being an already established market—if they can’t sell it here, they’ll just ship it to Europe) to make a buck.

So what's the alternative to slaughter? Stop backyard indiscriminate breeding. Stop thinking of horses as disposable. You bought it so you look after it for life. If you can't, then sell it to someone reputable who can. And, God forbid, if something happens to the horse to necessitate its death, be strong enough to euthanize it instead of shipping it. At least that's my opinion.


Important Note regarding the following:
Well, I was going to do a post about “emotional women” (("The AQHA leadership has always been pro-slaughter, and when their own polls revealed their membership wasn't, their own president blamed the results on ‘emotional women.’”)

I read it, quoted it, was sure I'd cited the right link to it... but it seems I was mistaken. (Hmm.) Therefore, I cannot in all good conscience leave it up. To those who have quoted it and to those it might have hurt: My sincere apologies. If I do happen to find the link again (and if it's out there, I will), rest assured I will repost it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

For the love of old horses

We love and enjoy our old friends. They’ve seen us at our worst (sans makeup, our hair a mess, in our pajamas or bundled in so many layers we barely resemble a human being—those times when we wouldn’t allow people to see us) and best, and greet us with the same enthusiastic welcome, no matter which. They aren’t the fashion police. They don’t care what we look like or how much money we make (unless it effects their feed/care). They just want us, for us. Too bad people weren’t like that.

Like I said in yesterday's post, I have two older horses, both happily retired and neither EVER having to worry about seeing the inside of an auction or slaughterhouse. They are family. Happy to see me no matter what I look like or what I might offhandedly say. And like I also said yesterday, they are not disposable, nor will they be “removed” to make room for new and brighter and better. Only when there is room (God, I am so NOT looking forward to that day) will I consider getting another. Meantime, they’ll get the best care available and all the love and cookies I can give. Goodness knows they deserve it. After all, they’ve put up with me for... how long?

So that brings me to this question: Does anyone have a horse older than Bear, my thirty-two year old Quarter Horse mare?

Just curious.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Shame of AQHA - It's all about the money, honey.

So I was browsing the internet today and happened across this little gem:
AQHA Official Celebrates Pending Slaughter of Quarter Horses

Are you f**king kidding me? Oh, this will do wonders for the breed. To hell with standards. Instead of focusing on actually improving the breed by trying to stop backyard breeders (discouraging indiscriminate breeding (and registering) and flooding the market with the crap, the poor and the damned), let’s instead concentrate on shoveling money into the AQHA coffers (via registration and new member fees) and “killing off existing Quarter Horses to make room for more.” In other words, improvements and standards? We don’t need no stinkin’ improvements or standards. We just need more!

Yeah, right.

And while we’re on the subject, “the next major AQHA effort will be to try to defeat the federal legislation that will end the slaughter of American horses; HR 503, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009.”

This is AQHA's idea of something good for the breed?

I think my head is going to explode.

The slogan “Let freedom ride” should add the words "[until we decide to] look at ways to introduce an equine economic stimulus package that will boost registration numbers." (The quoted are AQHA's then executive vice-president Bill Brewer's words, not mine.) To hell with the horse, the breed, the standards, and the promotion... unless by promotion and "other ways" the AQHA means Quarter Horses: Versatility now also includes making a darn good sandwich.

I own two Quarter Horses (or do they own me?)—a thirty-two year old mare and a twenty-seven year old gelding. Both did their time in the show ring (I prefer open shows, though we did a bit in breed), both won a truckload of ribbons and trophies (High Point and Super Horse, etc., etc.), both have given me more than I could ever repay, and both have earned their retirement ten fold. They will never see the inside of a slaughterhouse or auction; they’ll live and die right here with me. They are NOT “disposable.” They are family.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm also desperately seeking info about Faleh (Falah)

Okay, I’m going to spell this wrong so please don’t go by what you read. I’m looking for information about Shanayn’s (sp? Pronounced: Shaw-nayns) Faleh, a registered ¾ Arabian gelding purchased from me by a young woman named Nancy who lived in Manitoba, Canada. (I’d name the town, but as you can tell by the lack of Nancy’s last name, I can’t remember it). Faleh is (or was?) a flashy chestnut with a white blaze and socks. Nancy’s sister also bought a grey around the same time. Nancy sent me a winter picture of her and Faleh shortly after purchase, and I visited him once.

Nancy, if you’re reading this, or if anyone has any information about Nancy and Faleh, I’d dearly love to hear it. You can use the “Contact Me” link in the sidebar on the left, or email me directly at

Thank you so much.

Looking for The Brady's from Dryden, Ontario, Canada (re: Dinah)

Okay, this is only going to sound a little weird to everyone but the folks this is meant for.

I’m looking for Mrs. Laurie Brady, Jill Brady or Brent Brady, (formerly?) of Arbour Jade Farm, Dryden, Ontario. These are, or were, horse people, and this is regarding a sweet little bay pony named Dinah.

If anyone knows them or knows of them, could you please either direct them to this post or give me a shout? If they are reading this themselves, could you please contact me? (See “Contact Me” under my profile for the link, or email me at

Thank you so much.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are you a member of (Writing Forums dot com / WF) and can’t get on the site?

You aren’t alone.

Quotes from two different sources (I hope they don’t mind). Source one:

I don't understand how anyone is getting in. Four versions of IE, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0, Firefox 2 and 3, Google Chrome, Avant and Opera are unable to get in. I tried the AOL browser and even tried a vintage Nutscape browser for grins and no dice. The only thing I have left is an ancient copy of Mosaic but I don't think that'll resolve the protocols.


I've tried getting in with every browser at my disposal (quite a few) and no go. I got a pm yesterday, so someone is able to get in...but not me. Haven't been able to access since @4 am Sunday morning.

Source two:

WF is not working for me either. It's not loading in Firefox or IE, so I'm guessing the server crashed or something; I recall Adrian talking about server problems earlier.

As for myself…

Here's a little sumpin sumpin. Currently, I can't get on WF. Well, I suppose I can, if you want to be technical about it, but all I get is a white screen. So I called my Shaw cable tech guy today, and he said it sounds like the site is blocking me for some reason rather than my computer blocking it. (My firewall, cookies and all are fine/gone/disabled/whatever he had me do.) In fact, WF is the only site on the web I can't get into.

I can only imagine the amount of people who are having the same problem getting on WF ( / writing forums dot com) as we three.  For those who are and are looking for a port to ride out this latest storm, or for those who are just plain fed up with and are looking elsewhere, might I suggest Writing Discussions.

Writing Discussions is Selorian and valeca’s baby. It has tons of workshops and an owner who genuinely cares and stays on top of things. I know! Incredible, isn’t it?

So if you’re like we three and need a port or second home, check out Writing Discussions.

Friday, April 03, 2009

What do you mean “Adding some Tuscan to your kitchen is a lot like writing”?

The more I work at getting the house ready to paint, the more I’m convinced that the main thing you really need to do to refresh your home is to “edit” it as harshly as you do your writing.

Do you really need a picture (or groups of pictures) on every wall? Of course not. You also don’t need to line every wall with furniture, either, even if your hubby will gripe and whine that you’ve moved his favorite chair. (No worries. As long as he can still see his big screen TV and reach his remote, he’ll live.)

And to make matters worse, a Tuscan kitchen is all the rage. But honestly, no, you don’t have to blow the bank to go a little Tuscan, especially in these hard financial times. A coat of paint on the old cupboards and island (I had to go with white because my kitchen is a tad dim, though I'll likely repaint them antique white before I'm finished), new cabinet handles (black wrought iron) and, if you have low cupboards like I do, stuff on top.

Speaking of stuff. Obviously my loved ones decided I needed to collect barnyard fowl. (Who knew?) Luckily, I didn't get many — only four roosters and one duck, to be exact. Ah, but apparently bringing the outside in is the key to Tuscan, so up they went, along with a small white vase with a grape motif and complete with fake leafy vines, two wooden wine presentation boxes, several unique bottles, one ceramic strawberry pie plate posed upright in a plate holder. When grouped in threes and fours, and with some space between each grouping, it worked!

Adding a braided rope strung with realistic looking papier-mâché vegetables and garlic cloves (bought at Value Village thrift store for fifty cents), a black wrought iron four-bottle wine rack (bought at VV for a whole seven dollars; a wine rack is a must in a Tuscan kitchen, don'cha know), a burgundy kitchen mat and whimsical burgundy potholders and oven mitt, worked too. So did a trio of black wrought iron candle holders (to match the black wrought iron chandelier that came with the house) on the old worn maple table, along with using a predominantly burgundy and red tapestry-look Pashmina as a table runner. (Since Pashminas at the Liquidation Center were five dollars each, and since I couldn’t decide which color or pattern to choose, and since I was in a hurry, I bought four of them). Oh, and I also tilted a large and lidded ceramic blueberry pie plate on the buffet and stood a Tuscan-look pie plate in a black wrought iron stand beside it. Lastly (for now), I put my nicest cutting board on the island and placed on it a Peace Lily in a bright red ceramic plant pot, a small apple basket filled with my favorite Red delicious apples, a cute ceramic strawberry figurine. TA DA! The start of some Tuscan, which is just what my shoestring budget ordered. Okay, so it helped that I already had stainless steel and black appliances because my old ones were ancient and dangerous. But any color appliance would likely work just as well.

Crazy, isn‘t it?

I think so, too. But hey, the house needed the help and I needed something to do. Besides, it's best to decide on a theme before dashing off to the paint store, right? Think of it as writing. You need a plot or at least a vague idea before you can get down to work.

Tip: For under and above cabinet lighting, I went to the Liquidation Center and bought a basket-load of wireless battery powered puck lights. They were a whole one dollar each plus the batteries — can’t beat that with a stick.

Hint: Stickup puck lights tend to fall off when hung upside down, so what I did was remove the back from the rest of the puck light, carefully tapped a small nail hole into the back’s middle, removed the nail and pushed a thumbtack through the hole facing out, removed the sticky backing paper and pressed the puck light’s back into place via the thumbtack, then I attached the puck light to its back. Sure it‘s time-consuming, but it's far less than stringing wires, boring holes and likely electrocuting myself. Cheaper, too. And hey, I don’t mind pressing buttons — I type, remember?

Is it the best kitchen in the world? Not even close. But it’s simple, inexpensive, is a huge improvement from what it was, will certainly do until I can do more, and, like writing a story, is a work in progress.

A bit at a time, that’s the ticket; I’ll get there... eventually.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

About that rain...

The results of the ultrasound are in, and the answer is: it's a solid mass, bigger than a golf ball and smaller than a baseball.

So, it’s a referral to the gynecologist (specialist), have a little surgery, and then they’ll see.

Que Sera, Sera.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some Help Here, Please

Dear Readers and Writers,

Are you sick of seeing folks who don’t deserve to win, always win? Me too. But now we have a chance to change that.

I’m asking you to help out someone who actually deserves to win something. It’s JM over at The New Australian, and she’s in the running for The Bloggers Guide challenge for the region of Australasia. She won, but the competition isn't over, so I'm asking for your help.

There were six regional winners (including JM) and now those winners are going head to head to become the 'world champion' TBG.

How? With a combination of blogging posts and voting, each of the six will accumulate points - or kudos - in their total. The person with the most votes by the end of the voting period wins. You don't have to sign up to vote. If, for some weird reason, it says you do have to sign up, then you don't need to.

JM’s honestly is one of the nicest people you’ll ever want to meet, in real life or on net, and is one of the hardest workers around. She also really, seriously is someone who damn-well deserves something good. Plus, it’d mean more to her than you’ll ever know. That's why I’m asking.

For details (and about one minute of your time with no need to join or sign up for anything and no spam mail to follow, etc., etc. - I swear), please hurry over to:

The New Australian - Lend a Hand? - Sticky Post

Come on, Dear Readers, let's help this gal out.

Thank you so much!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Had an ultrasound today for issues completely unrelated to the car accident I haven’t told you about yet but will a little later. About this latest though. When I find out, I promise to tell you… which should be around March 31.

So let's see... That's the car accident I didn't cause and the three hour blackout which both happened on Friday the 13th, and now this. Yep, that's three bad lucks. Hopefully it'll stay as three and not as the family usual — clusters of threes.

('Blooming In The Rain' graphic by

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Perfect Pain...t

Are you a renovation idiot who watches those crazy home shows and wonders what the heck color of paint it is that’s so damn popular it’s seen literally everywhere? Yeah, so am I. And since it was driving me nuts, and since I’m going to renovate in the spring (if it ever comes), and since I’m a research junkie, I kept at it until I found it. Well, I found the right ballpark, anyway. And even better, I’m willing to share.

Are you sitting down?

The darkest is Tobacco Road. One shade lighter than that is Plantation Beige. Two shades lighter than that is Sandy Lane. And they all can be found at your friendly neighborhood Sherwin Williams store. (Those colors apparently used to be available at Duron, but SW can make them for you.)

I know, I know — I’m fabulous.

Though they are colors, they’re considered warm neutrals, so with white ceilings, white trim and white doors, the above paints, in combinations or not, they'll look gorgeous in any home and go with any decor. Cool, no? I’m going to use the Sandy Lane to lighten the darker areas as well as in both bathrooms, the Plantation Beige pretty much everywhere else, and the Tobacco Road for accent walls.

Yep, baby, it’s gonna look great!

Oh yes. And are you also looking for the perfect little kitchen plant? Something that will look adorable on your counter or island when small (they can grow to 24” but take a long while to do it)? Something super easy to take care of and doesn’t need to be near a window to live? Something even a person like me — someone who’s so bad with plants that my family says I kill the plastic variety — won’t kill? Something inexpensive but looks like a million bucks and is disease and bug resistant? Then get yourself a Peace Lily. You can purchase them pretty cheap at your local grocery/florist store (I got mine at Safeway) or be taken for a boat ride at a fancy flouriest shop. Just water the livin’ hell out of it whenever the pot feels light, place it where there isn’t direct sunlight but enough that you could read a paperback book if you were sitting where it is sitting without additional light, and viola! Trust me, you’ll love it.

Now, if Spring would only come...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Australian Bushfire Appeal - Helping To Get The Message Out


A lot of Aussie YouTubers are getting the message out to help the victims of their worst ever natural (?) disaster. If you can help, please donate to the Australian Red Cross:

For more information and a list of places to donate, please see Fiction Scribe.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Great And Ongoing Flu Shot Debate

So here I am, wrapped in a lovely red chenille throw and surrounded by meds, Kleenex, an economy-sized bottle of Acetaminophen, two-and-a-quarter packages of Halls cough drops, Vicks Vapo-Rub, Benylin Extra Strength Chest Congestion and Sore Throat with Menthactin (Fast Acting For Relief Of: Chest Congestion and Sore Throat), and NeoCitran Extra Strength Nighttime Total Symptom Relief Hot Liquid Medicine for Cough and Fever and Body Aches and Headache and Nasal Congestion and Sneezing and Runny Nose and Sore Throat with Soothing Lemon Flavour that is neither soothing nor can I taste or smell because I didn’t get the flu shot. Not that it would’ve mattered.

Every year my family makes a big deal out of the flu shot, or rather, to get it or not to get it—that’s the debate. One sister pleads the fifth (coward); the other adamantly refuses to get it, saying she got the flu from it before and there’s no way in hell… ; my mother gets the shot every year, and every year her arm swells to a size rivalling Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in his pro-bodybuilding heyday. Me? I’m a hit-n-misser—I’ll get it if I’m guilted into it or there’s no other way around it.

So I didn’t get the flu shot this year. So I was driving to the mall a little over a week ago when Savage, of Savage and T-Bo’s 106.7 FM The Drive, said there was a mess up with this year’s flu shot—apparently the government guessed wrong (imagine that) so the shot wouldn’t protect against the strain currently sweeping the province.

“Ah-ha!” I yelled, my fist in the air. The driver beside me gave me the look.

Two or so days later, I got the flu. Three or so days after that, I got pneumonia. Now I wonder if I shouldn’t sue the government. Surely they had a hand in this; them and their huge wages and years of university and ten-thousand-dollars-for-a-hammer funding and previous shots that gave you the flu so bad it scared you off ever getting another one, and this year with their bureaucratic mumbo-jumboed TV adds showing beautiful nurses jabbing cherub-cheeked kids in the arm with a yard-long needle while their mommies, smiling and nodding like drugged out teens at a Grateful Dead concert, look on. And they were wrong!

Yeah, I should.

Maybe tomorrow.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...