Murphy Monday: His Royal Indifference

We have a lot of updating to do on several fronts.  But let’s start with Murphy!

Height check. Ridiculously, none of us has a stick. But he’s roughly the same height as Hudson, which makes him 16 hh at 2 1/2 years old.

Um. Nope. No trolls under this bridge. Right, mom? Right?

He doesn’t take after his super model mom.  Definitely does not work the camera. In fact…

How Murphy feels about having his photo taken.

I had begged Daisy to let me take some pics of him.  I might have even wheedled and promised takeout from the Crazy Chicken afterward. (“Jane! He’s like three different colors, has a winter coat, and I can’t get his socks white. No. NO.”)

I promised an unfailing recipe for sock whitening, and I’d bring the ingredients.  It got me in Daisy’s Jeep with my camera bag.

Murphy was annoyingly indifferent to posing in the “hunter stretch”.

Instead of a good hunter pose, I’ll dazzle you with my cuteness and these red leaves.
Fine. I’ll “stretch”  behind. But honestly, I prefer leaning over my front hooves. That way I’m ready for any eating emergency. Instant head drop.
Putting me in front of a pink bush and wiggling the lead rope will not make me drop my head. It will bore me so much that mom and Auntie Jane will have to leap at my mouth, to pry out the oleander leaves.  FYI, they don’t taste toxic…?

I guess we haven’t decided what color we’re going to be yet.  But hey, white socks, right?

Shots of him moving in the round pen went equally well. Floppy ears.  Big blue truck parked in the background. Did not capture his stellar lofty movement.

At least we can see his other side:

Best you're gonna get, Auntie. Put me in front of the blue truck. I'll really stretch out.
Best you’re gonna get, Auntie. Put me in front of the blue truck. I’ll really stretch out. Hahahahahaha.

Fine. It’s clear he’s found some way to communicate with Hudson about, “Real men do NOT pose for photographs with ears forward and head lowered. Do a tenth of what you usually do, in front of the busiest possible background. Good to go.”

I’m stretching…I’m lifting…really. This is it. Full coöperation. (heh heh heh)
Thank God she’s done. Now I can stop with the llama-head and relax. Man my neck was getting tired. Mom. Mom! Let’s do the Beatles Abbey Road thing, K?

Gotta love the handsome boy.

And life is good…

Murphy Monday: Fine. Are those Balloons…?


This out-of-control, wildly bucking, primal flight-panic moment brought to you by The Two Year Old Who Will Not be Fazed.

And Daisy, who took the picture of Murphy’s first time under saddle, complete with, yes, it’s touching him…The Girth.

(Hudson is still certain The Girth will kill him, even when it goes up one hole every 15 minutes.)

Daisy saddled Murphy, removed his halter, and waited for typical two-year-old reaction.

She’s still waiting.

Murphy is captivated by a birthday party just off-screen, complete with helium-filled balloons waving spookily in the wind. Or not spookily at all, if you’re Murphy.  I think he’d carry one in his teeth.

He’s definitely my nephew.  I bet he smells cake.

Murphy Monday: Dry Cleaning, Zebra Loaning, and The Crazy Chicken

Going to see Murphy turned into a Daisy and Jane Road Trip.

It was an unusual Daisy and Jane Road Trip.

We didn’t get lost, eat junk food, do a Mafia exchange for a baby goat beneath a deserted freeway underpass, or accidentally drive through anyone’s broccoli, because we missed the mare wearing a bikini.

Actually, the goat/Mafia/broccoli was a Daisy, Bella and Jane Road Trip.  Three of us together somehow sideswipe the universal Road Trip trajectory potentials.  Weird things happen. Like goat payoffs.

A new RT trajectory formulation started the second Daisy picked up her keys.

She said: “We’re leaving the back open for Mike, he’s bringing me the Zebra because he’s moving.  But it’s a loaner.  I don’t get to keep it.  Even if it’s a forever loan.”

Daisy rolls her eyes at the stupidity of loaner Zebras vs. non-loaner Zebras.

Well, duh. Zebra’s Are Forever.

“Do you care if we pick up my dry cleaning on the way?”, Daisy asks.

“No. I’m good with dry cleaning.”  I pack my camera bag into her Jeep. Zebra? I rack my brain.  Who’s Mike?

We’re driving. Her cell rings.  The Jeep answers. I love technology.

“Hey Mike.”, Daisy says, “You have my zebra?”

“I’m still stuck in traffic”, Mike says via the Jeep, “and it’s not YOUR zebra. It’s on LOAN.”

“Whatever”, Daisy says.

“I’m bringing you some throw pillows too. You can keep those.” says Mike, “or throw ’em.”

I’m feeling the need for a zebra.  And some throw pillows.  Maybe even dry cleaning. I wonder how I can get a Mike.  My life would be seriously improved by a guy who would drop off a zebra and some throw pillows while I visited my horse.

At some point while Daisy is in the dry cleaners, my throat starts to close up and I realize I’m having an allergic reaction. Daisy comes back with garment bags, and I ask her if I could be allergic to this plastic thingie on the dash. She snatches it and throws it out the window.  Ta Da. Problem solved.  I start breathing again. Daisy deals. I love Daisy.

I probably would have talked about it until I croaked.

We catch up on all the important stuff, like the backstory of Zebra rights (I don’t bother to ask if the zebra is a sculpture, photo, painting, or live zebra that will be clopping around Daisy’s kitchen when we return, rummaging in the vegetable drawer in the fridge.) Work, Murphy, Barbie, life, Hudson.

I pay zero attention to the route.  Rolling hills.  Grape vines.  Wineries. I have a vague idea where we’re going.  It’s not all that far from this incredible bakery on the square in Healdsburg? Which I’m certain I could find blindfolded in a hurricane. Or if Daisy stopped the car now and shoved me out.

We wind down the road through vineyards to the barn. Here and there paddocks interrupt the acres of wine grapes, the paddocks gradually taking over. Very South-of-France-ish. Olive trees. Is that lavender?

I see Murphy on a little hill.  Oh thank God.  Standard horse ID test: I can still pick him out of a crowd from a moving car. If you can pick ’em out in a drive by, you are definitely still their Auntie. I’m flooded with relief.  I missed him.

Oh. So THAT’S how this gate opens…

This is our size-check photo.  Remember, he’s two. And Daisy 5’11”.

You can see the adult horse peeking out.

My ears are forward because my mom is throwing grass in the air. GRASS. What is wrong with her?
That vine is almost in reach…one more sneaky step…

We’re horse people, we have to see both sides:

This is stupid. Take the picture.

He’s still the same little friendly foal who wants to see the camera lens. Give or take 1,000 pounds.


After not quite enough time annoying Murphy by draping my body over his, smooching his muzzle, and asking a thousand times if he remembers Auntie Jane (face it, it’s never going to be enough time, right?) we have to pack up and go home. Oh well. I’m looking forward to meeting the loaner zebra.

Daisy says, “Hey, wanna stop for a salad at The Crazy Chicken?”

Unfortunately this activates the rarely used science center in my brain. Which, once it gets going, won’t stop until it feels it has exhaused all analytical conclusions: Is there such a thing as a sane chicken? Would someone ever name a restaurant, in which one eats chicken, “The Sane Chicken”? How about “The Well-Adjusted Chicken”? “The Perfectly Normal Chicken”?

I imagine ordering a chicken salad in front of my friend the psychotherapist.  “It’s okay!  This chicken is certified wacko.”

“Sounds great!”, I say, hoping Daisy doesn’t notice the long pause.

I think we can easily see how Road Trips with any combo of Daisy, Bella, and Jane turn into wormholes in the space/time continuum, rushing us past Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, Buster Posey, and The Goat Mafia, only to drop us off at…The Perfectly Normal Chicken.

Excellent salad. Yummy insane chicken.

I meet the Zebra:


Definitely worth four years of Daisy teasing a good friend for hanging rights. Even as a loaner.

I’m about to start bugging Daisy to loan me the loaner Zebra. The good news? This could become very “Who’s on first…?” if someone else starts bugging me to loan them the loaner zebra.  Eventually everyone except Daisy will forget where it originally came from, and she can claim it back. Forever.

Daisy? Thank my logic center. (It likes cake.)

Did you know there’s a bakery really close to your new barn…?

Murphy Monday: Cinco De Murphy!

Murphy was born on Cinco de Mayo.

He turned TWO years old yesterday.

As part of his growing up and changing needs, he moved to a new facility, where he met a dumbfoundingly handsome horse, with whom he bonded utterly.

We have to admit, this new horse is extremely handsome. And very personable. Daisy could barely tear him away.

Murphy Mirror 2  years old

He’s huge. I think Daisy is 5′ 11″ tall. Murphy hangs his head over her shoulder.

Happy Birthday, Murphy!

Still the same curious boy who said, “Hey. It’s dark in here.”

We love you…

Murphy in tail

Murphy Monday: Hidden Camera Footage

Murphy in the wild.

Playing, uh, well, with others. Murphy, who is awfully quiet and gentlemanly for a 2-year-old (intact) colt, apparently likes to poke at his friends in the pasture.

Daisy sent me the video footage in text:

Daisy: Terrorist.  Lol.

Jane: Funny! Ooooo…he’s so beautiful, even when he’s poking.

Daisy: He is. But took me an hour to give him half a bath.  Wanted to kill him. (Baby stuff.)

Jane: Half a bath…? Do I want to know?

Daisy: Exactly. Half.  Still shampoo on him, FYI.

Jane: He won’t care about shampoo? Tho it might kill us!

Daisy: Final straw. Brought him back to barn. He pulled all the saddle pads down. Fine. Back to pasture before I kill you.

Jane: He’s his uncle’s nephew.  Can’t leave Hudson parked in front of any blanket or pad. Ever. Cloth Must Be Moved. Trampled.

Daisy: It’s Evil.

Jane: Makes sense. Cloth = evil. Because our horses are perfect. Normal?

Daisy: Week from hell.  Barbie: 3 abscesses in 3 legs. Be glad you weren’t here.  She would have lured you  into her vortex of pity.  Been better since Tuesday. World is NOT ENDING.

Good grief.  Daisy has had a rough week.  Three abscesses in three legs in a Drama Queen Mare? Daisy took care of it instantly.  Barbie however is positive she was tortured, maimed, and is still in agony, because it didn’t stop until Tuesday.  For goodness sake, it started on MONDAY.  What took so long?

Do we understand this requires copious amounts of carrots and cookies to heal?! Chop chop.  What is wrong with you underlings?

I hope you are all surviving abscess season.

Without going broke in the produce aisle!

Murphy Monday: Murphy Goes to First Grade, and Gets Hooked

What? Of course it’s Monday.

Today is Magical Thinking Tuesday. Therefore: it’s Monday.

Recently, Daisy wore her shirt backwards all day. Therefore: it was Backwards Day. Hudson  had his first “I Love You From Not Very Afar” day. (Much to his eternal shame.) Shaun has had several “Opposite” days.  Almost every day is “Crazy Dress” day for me.

We prefer thinking of them as First Grade Moments, instead of: “Uh. Whoops.”

Wow. Apparently I’m having a “Blather” day.

Thankfully, we have short footage of Murphy actually moving. If  I video, I get a lot of “hi hi hi hi hi hi hi”. Here he is, in first grade, with trainer Nathalie Guion.   He’s hooked all right.  Check out Nathalie reeling him in at the end.

Murphy Monday: Big Boy Pasture

Murphy In The Middle.

Thanks to Nathalie, our first current picture! Yes, he’s really horse-sized already.


He’s still an easy baby..for an almost-two-year-old. His stallion behaviors seem to be limited to sudden duffle bag hurling.

Still, it’s Time.

Daisy is making arrangements for gelding. Meanwhile, Murphy is definitely large enough to move from the co-ed baby pasture to the all-gelding pasture. It’s always an unnerving moment when one must release one’s teenager into the company of adult males.

He’s their size, and still growing, but he’ll always be that cute little foal who stuck his nose in the camera, and said: “Hi. Hi. Hi? Hihihihihihihi HI hi hi hi…wait…I’m still saying Hi!!!!”

The change, other than his missing his playmates, was uneventful. No hissy fits. No prolonged imbalance of pasture dominance.

It’s Murphy. He made friends.

Murphy Monday: Another New Photographer

Daisy let me know she had photos of Murphy in more “hunter-ish” stance, and would send them to me for the blog. Daisy took some great photos! Here they are:

Murphy sort of hunter pose

One more:

Murphy hunter-ish pose 2I texted Daisy:

Jane: You took some awesome photos!

Daisy: LOL

Jane: No, really, I like them!

Daisy: You’re kidding.  Right?

Jane: Nope. They’re good.  FYI, not jealous of photographers who know Murphy.


I smack myself in the head.  Can I pass this off as an “I got you!” joke?

Daisy: You forget I know you.  You can’t pretend you were having me on.

Jane: How do you DO that?!?

She reads my mind.  So please meet, again, our new Murphy photographer.


Murphy Monday! How Time and Duffle Bags Fly…

Can you believe Murphy is going to be TWO in May?  Me neither.

Daisy posted this awesome photo on her Facebook Page.


“GREAT photo!”, I said.  I was impressed. I loved it.

I might have been a teensy bit jealous that an Unknown Person pointed a camera at Our Murphy. And pressed the shutter.  And it came out great. (Totally dumb, but hey, I’m human.)

I tried to be gracious about it.  I texted Daisy later.

Jane: That is a really really good shot of you and Murph.  Love.

Daisy: ???

Jane: Who took the pic? It’s awesome.

Daisy: Uh. You.

Jane: I did?  Hey.  I’m good.

I try (and fail) to cover up how totally stupid I feel.  Nice. I was jealous of myself.  Way to go, Jane!

Daisy: OMG. You’re serious.  Too FUNNY. You forgot???

Jane: Maybe a little…?

Daisy: Our Holiday Card photo shoot???

Jane: Oh yeah….that one

Daisy: You forget I know you. You don’t remember!

Jane: Was it hot?  We shot Murphys girlfriend too?  That one?

Daisy: That one.

I love my nephew. Misplaced my brain. He’s even bigger now, and beginning to show some colt behaviors. He’s still very sweet.  Calm. Not going deeply into hormone land, except for his newfound hatred of duffel bags. Daisy can’t leave her duffel around him.  He’ll whip his head past her, snatch it up and toss it as far as he can.

Duffel hurling.  Murphy’s only stud behavior.  Which is why we are going on a road trip  – relatively soon –  to UC Davis.  To repair a very small hernia, and end his need to save Daisy from sinister duffel bags!