Our New, Improving Blog, with Emergency Post Button…

It’s time for spring blog cleaning!

I prefer to think of it as a proactive, energized, boots-on-the-ground, guerilla cleaning.

Fine. I’m just antsy and rearranging the widgets, hanging new wall paper, and possibly updating pages that might be, um, slightly out of date. Like the “Mommy” page. Um. Barbie had the baby. (Murphy Mondays, anyone?) He’ll be a year old on May 5th. Is it too soon to take down the pics of him in her tummy?

Jane’s Cool Idea

I’ve wanted to add this for a while.  See the big red emergency button on the right?

(You can push above button, but it won’t do anything. Try the one in sidebar.)

Press it, and be surprised by a random post.  An even bigger surprise? We never know when Jane will update the button. It might not even take you to a post from TLH: it could take you to any random thing we liked in that second! Time travel! Internet travel! Anywhere-But-Here travel! Shoes! Handbags! A two-for-one on toothpaste! (Okay, maybe not.) The possibilities are endless.

Some coming blog updates:

Dinero has gone back to his forever owner, to retire on the giant cattle ranch where he spent his life learning to rope competitively, and work cows.  He began showing some arthritic changes: time to stop roping.  Bella is not a “Bute ’em and Use ’em” kind of girl.

We’re going to officially meet Woodrow, Bella’s potential roping horse: he’s Hudson’s new roommate.  For that matter, it’s way past time for the bios of Bella and Alice to be up.  Like…years…?

Oh, I remember…  Last year, there were these space aliens?  And I ran out of tinfoil? So I had to fight them off with Sharpie highlighters (they can’t take the dayglo colors) and try to win them over with cake, which of course they loved.  I sent the recipe with them back to Xytozgth.  Peace through frosting. Anyhow, that didn’t leave a lot of time for keeping up with much besides posting, and we know how THAT has gone.

And I’m fairly certain they wiped my short term memory, which would explain the car keys I found in the fruit drawer of the fridge…

The Update from Jane’s House, and Favorite Barn Names?

Shaun’s dad is very ill. He’s moving in with us in a few days, and going into Hospice. I’m very glad he’s going to be with us.  I know it is a difficult transition for him, from total independence on the other end of the continent, to moving deeper into our family life. He can use all the prayers you can throw his way. Big adjustment.

We’re hoping we can help make this time warm, loving, and supportive, and at least offset the sadness of leaving a lifetime home.  (Can you imagine?!) To be seriously ill on top of that seems so unfair.

One computer is going to be shared by one full-time work at home person, one part-time work at home person, and the family.  Not looking so good on the blogging front. It could surprise me and work out, but I wanted to let you know what’s up.

I looked at my cell phone the other day and thought “Well. If I blog from my cell I will teach myself how to seriously edit. No way can I do more than a few sentences!”

This might be a good thing!

Another alternative: “let you entertain me” blogging.  (Yes, I’m laughing.) See example below.

I have a question for you:

What barn names have you absolutely adored, whether it was your horse or not?

The barn name of the cute little filly in the earlier post is “Twinkie”. She does look like a little vanilla cream-filled Twinkie! Her name hit my Adore list.

Hudson shared his paddock for a while with a sweet quarter horse gelding. He was average/medium cow horse size, which is generally well under 16 hh. Chunky and solid, but definitely not large. I really liked him. I asked Bella: “Do you know why he’s named ‘Big’?”

Bella pointed to his butt, the letters “BH” were branded quite large on his rump.

“B H….get it? Big. Horse.”

That’s how Big got his name.  I never could look at him again without feeling absolutely charmed. It fit him. He was a very straightforward, what you see is what you get, truth-in-advertising kind of guy. Big personality. Cracked me up.

What names do you love, and why? How do they fit?

Have you come across barn names that didn’t seem to match the horse’s personality?

The Old and The Restless

I seem to be on a soap opera theme?

Really, this has to do with miniature daffodils.

It’s gray.  It’s raining.  I walk out the back door, and the teensy daffodils are blooming.

SPRING!

Life is good. The sun came out.  I got hugged by my horse. I’m (temporarily) not psycho. Never mind it’s supposed to snow here tonight, in the land of No Snow. The daffodils declare it’s time to grab a pitchfork, and muck out the house.

I thought in my non-pitchfork down time I’d virtually clean the blog. I can eat cupcakes do isometric exercises and clean at the same time.  How perfect is that?

We’re open for opinion!

Warning, excellent opinions may be irresponsibly disregarded.

You never know. I might go psycho again, throw caution to the winds, and splash the site in wild colors.

Yes!  I’d LOVE to give you some advice:

It is Possible to Blog Wrong. Who Knew? Oh. You Did?

I signed up for the postaday2011 challenge.

I’ve received lots of informative, fun, and inspiring emails from WordPress, both general blogging tips, and specific topic prompts.  The suggested prompts don’t always work for TLH. But I’ve discovered a hidden talent for creative rearrangement of the prompts.

I don’t think the prompt “photograph a truth” was intended to generate a PSA to tell readers we have rocks in the sky at night.

I’m seriously stubborn.  There will be a post every day unless aliens arrive and demand we fork over all cake on the planet, I end up fighting to save the planet from a global cake crisis, crash my car, chase them with my dry cleaning, and come home to find out the fridge has been blown up.  (Not daunted: should above scenario occur, we’ll just have two posts the next day.)

In my attempt to write about something besides butter cream frosting, I have dutifully read all the blogging tips on how to create, keep up, and do…bloggy stuff.

I thought I liked learning things, until I learned this:

I am blogging wrong.

  • My posts are too long, you won’t read them.
  • My topics too variable. (Writing about frosting AND horses is non-sensical.)
  • My tags are too specific and goofy.  (Understanding the difference between tags and categories sent me to the funny farm for a weekend.  I’m still not sure I understand.  But I got a nice basket out of it.)
  • My categories would drive a librarian to tears.
  • Stream of consciousness blogging is…yawn…what was I saying?  Oh. Yeah. Bad.
  • My blog lacks a single focus (unless we count shared horse-snot, bonding experiences as the focus?)

Continue reading “It is Possible to Blog Wrong. Who Knew? Oh. You Did?”

The Intrepid Rider’s Faction Award

In September, TLH was bestowed  The Intrepid Rider’s Faction Award by Marissa of Tucker the Wunderkind.  It is a very high honor.  The award goes to only one recipient, and I am beyond awed to have been chosen.  Thank you for your respect, kindness and generosity: I hope I continue to earn them.

Now it’s my turn to award a blogger I respect and admire.  It has been an incredibly difficult decision.  It’s taken me more than a month to come to a decision.  There are so many women riding and writing with all their hearts and souls, venturing  both with and without fear into intrepid riding.  (I believe we need fear as much as we need fearlessness, to ride well, and be good horsemen.)

How on earth to decide?  Incredible blogs, amazing breakthroughs, wonderful generosity, helping hands, playfulness and stick-to-itiveness seem to be the norm in horse blogging. I can think of so many women who deserve this award.

About The Intrepid Rider’s Award:

INTREPID RIDERS FACTION ~

We strive to go where others only dare to go with our horse loves. . . healing, being respectful of the horse, riding, playing, camping, jumping, swimming and traveling down the trails of life. . . with the horse in our Hearts. Overcoming many obstacles, and sometimes weather, to ride!

This Award is dedicated to those Horse Lovers and Riders that inspire others to go deeper in ability, knowledge and understanding of the Equine(s) they have been entrusted to.  The good of the horse is the ultimate goal apart from pressures to achieve ribbons and fit into lesson schedules.

~ Some of these riders are fearless, when it comes to weather conditions and the forecasting of them. . . being with their horses fills these folks’ soul and takes the cares out of daily routines.

~ They are unconditionally loving to the horse and may have rescued it from known ailment or living condition.

~ Others have researched and purchased/acquired their horse, to find a difficulty in temperament or a physical burden within the animal. Yet, being dedicated, they have persevered to proudly be in partnership with their horse, lovingly striving for deeper awareness between them.

~ Some horse lovers may have ridden for years and suddenly, had an accident that takes them away from the great joy and freedom they have, being aboard such a magnificent animal. They have allowed the healing horse to rise in their hearts once again, and beckon them back!

~ Fear is not my normal response to things. . . just a desire to achieve higher understanding of what may lay ahead of me with my mare or gelding, that truly is a gift to my heart and soul. I always seek knowledgeable and caring individuals to assist me, in any quest I may look into.

~ I am taking with me the good I have learned from caring individuals that have shown great single-minded LOVE to the horse, and am leaving the dust of the bad behind me, not allowing it to fetter my supreme desire to be all I can be as a rider to my mare or gelding, and also, to allow him or her to be the Equine athlete he or she truly is!

I can only chose one.  The rest of you intrepid riders – you know who you are – and I hope you know how much respect I have for your dedication, wisdom, and the generosity you have shown me, helping me understand something I missed, inspiring me to dig deeper (or diet and get fit, *cough cough*), try something new, or make me laugh when I lose perspective.

I award The Intrepid Rider’s Faction to Lee Cullen, at Confessions of a Struggling Dressage Rider.

Lee is learning dressage at 40, after 5 years of hunt seat background, without a horse of her own, or even on the same horse in each lesson.  She is working her butt off learning dressage when she is only able to ride a few days a week, on school horses.  That is an incredible challenge. I admire Lee for continuing to bring herself back to horses, horsemanship, riding, and self-honesty and humor in the face of some daunting challenges.  She IS learning dressage under what would be considered severe restrictions by most riders. She’s honest and funny, sharing her complete experience: both when it goes well and when it doesn’t, giving many of us courage to look at our complete experiences.  Lee you inspire me to dust myself off, start over again, or break out the champagne.

Thank you, Lee, for sharing your journey with us, and daring us to dig as deep into ourselves. You are an intrepid rider, one who faces fear with courage and humor, and success with modesty (and humor!).

Lee, here’s your next challenge: award another intrepid rider.

There are not many rules with this award:

1)  That you give it to only one person

2)  Link back to this post, so they may have an understanding to its true nature.

3)  You may use any or all of the written descriptions, with the award picture.

Good luck!  I’m sending lots and lots of chocolate, you’ll need it when agonizing over your decision.

Congratulations, Lee!

 

The Chocolate Card

Forget Platinum, Gold, or the elusive “Black” card.

We’re rolling out the new Chocolate Elite card for readers of TLH.

theliteraryhorse.wordpress.com

Thanks to the stellar help and kindness of Stacey Kimmel-Smith from Behind the Bit, TLH now has a badge, with code, you can stick on your blog, Face Book page, or sport on your latest tattoo.

Because I’m a card-carrying member (Level: Troglodyte) from the paleolithic era of blogging, you’ll have to email me for the code to put on your site, blog, FB or tattoo.  I have no clue how to do that neato little box in the side bar that says “copy code”.

HorseBloggers is Stacey’s brainchild, her invitation post can be found here, with instructions and reasons to join.  There will soon be a HorseBloggers page on TLH for your reading and clicking pleasure.

BTW, the chocolate card is your free pass to all things sugar and horses.  Is there a better combo?  I think not.

The Literary Horse To Host The October Carnival of The Horses

CarouselPhoto Courtesy of The State Library of New South Wales

Right here!

This is going to be SO fun.

Due to recent events, I have not posted information about the carnival in a timely manner (read: ACK I totally forgot I was hosting.  Okay, I forgot it was September, and October comes next.  And I had a commitment for October.  OH NO!)  I’m hoping you will gallop in to my rescue (and the carnival organizer’s utmost relief) on your proverbial white horses.

Don’t know what a Blog Carnival is, exactly?  Oh good.  I didn’t either. Essentially, it’s the equivalent of a topical magazine (in this case around horses) that travels from blog to blog.  The Literary Horse is hosting the Carnival of The Horses for the month of October.

How it works:

  1. I panic and write this post I ask for submissions from other bloggers (you!)  on anything horse-related that you have written.  Submissions may be serious, funny, useful, photographic, a day-in-the-life-with-horses, news reporting, whatever moved you to write one of your favorite, or your reader’s favorite, posts.
  2. I link to your post. (probably with a short excerpt)
  3. You get new readers and share your brilliant [reporting, writing, photographic, blogging] skills and your unique take on horses with the world!
  4. This lasts for the entire month of October.  (But act now, don’t delay!  Get yours in before the rush!  I won’t be able to cram them all in on October 31!  Uh, we won’t mention I’m late, and you’d be doing me a favor.  Okay.  We will mention this!)

Submission forms here.

Grab some cotton candy, and dive in!  Don’t be modest.  We want your perspective.

FTF: Call it The Optimist in Me

It’s French Toast Friday!

I confess.  I have relationships with my Spam Comments.   Like all relationships, in the beginning, I had trouble identifying if they were for real or not.  I’d look in the blog spam filter, cock my head, and think, wow someone at That Big Casino really likes my blog! They said my post on accidentally eating dog kibble was brilliant, insightful, and thought provoking.  They are definitely coming back to read more of my thought provoking ideas!

Call it the optimist in me.

Continue reading “FTF: Call it The Optimist in Me”