Jane Turns 26.5 Twice!

Back story:

There came a day when I actually saw the owners of one of the quiet houses down the street.  It’s a clean and tidy house, maintained nicely.  We exchanged uncomfortable pleasantries, with a few non sequiturs thrown in.

That night, I took the kids aside.  I said, “You know the green house on X street?”  They both nod.  “I want you to stay away from there, okay?”

“Why?”, asked Lee Lee.

“You mean the drug house?”, said Micah.

Continue reading “Jane Turns 26.5 Twice!”

Awry Airlines Takes a Seriously Good Detour

Shaun (who is getting better by the day!) had been out of the second hospital for a few days when Daisy invited us over to dinner.  She bought a house, helped us in the hospital, closed escrow, and moved all in the same weekend.  Daisy gets the extreme talent award.

She simultaneously texted Shaun and I.

Daisy: Dinner Friday?  My house?  Low key.  Just us.

Shaun: Y.  Time?

Jane: No. S just out of hospital, still can’t eat.  Rain check?

Daisy: Do you guys ever talk to each other?

Shaun: no.

Jane: no.  your point?

Daisy: Obviously you are not in the same room.  Talk.  Get back to me.

We collide in the hall: both looking down at our phones.  We look up at each other.

“Daisy…”, I say.  “…invited us to dinner Friday”, Shaun says.

We talk at the same time: “I said no”. “I said yes”.

Continue reading “Awry Airlines Takes a Seriously Good Detour”

FTF: Shetland and Mini Movies

One of the trainers hauled a large mini to the barn for the day, for her very young students.  I mistakenly thought he was a Shetland: the lack of rotundity and uber-bushiness should have clued me in, but I was in love.  Fifty two years old and I wanted to snatch him away from a happy five-year old.  Fortunately, I controlled myself.  He was totally delightful.  Very calm and submissive.  Totally un-Shetland like. (though I’m sure calm and submissive Shetlands do exist.)

So I went looking for a Shetland fix. I must admit I was surprised at the utter lack of “Daisy Reins” in any of the videos I sorted through.

Mini(s) Movie of the Day fits right in with Temple Grandin’s chapter on how horses learn in “Animals Make Us Human”.

Shetland Dressage  The offensive BTV/Rollkur video has been removed. To see original we were discussing in comments, click here. (My apologies, I posted the wrong video.  I’m hoping it was an anomaly, as the others of Zorro that I’ve seen do not have him cranked back.  Sadly, it may not be.  I wonder if the pony had been sold?) This is the same pony.  Zorro looks astonishingly like Tiny, if Tiny had been shrunk in the dryer.)

Shetland Airs Above the Ground (Capriole)

Shetland high Jump

Shetland Hunter Course
(might want to turn the volume down…) Love to see the kids walking the course!

Shetland Hunter   (Nope.  You didn’t miss it the first time around.  It’s another addition, I tripped over it.  As I am learning what to feel and reach for in a hunter, I saw this video and thought, wow nice even hunter rhythm…in a Shetland?)

Spring Break

I hesitated to write the word “break”.  (All of a sudden, I’m superstitious.)

Our house will be overflowing with kids and family, we’re looking forward to that.  We should be able to trick Auntie Daisy and into coming over at least once.  I will once again be welded to my spatula ala Sponge Bob, turning out batch after batch of french toast.  You may not see me here much for a bit.  I’m toying with the idea of Blog Muzak, by posting a photo every so often.  In my case it’s Muzak: I’m not a photographer.  For those of you still caught in the worst throes of winter, I’ll try for spring photos: we all need hope.

For those of you who are sick to death of hearing about me splatting and impaling instead of being ON the horse, you can always type “Jane Bull Ride” into the search box, and see that fine movie.  Be sure to read how, exactly, I ended up on the bull.  I think that’s the post prior to the video.

The same hard stuff is still going on.  That’s life, isn’t it?  One minute  you’re crying, the next you’re laughing, mystified, pulling your bra out of a tree.  What?  I didn’t tell you about that?!


Happy trails.

Academy Award for Horse Care

I’m cross-posting.  (Don’t usually do that, but feel it would be good to keep this out there: old horse does not equal skinny and malnourished horse) This video is shown as a link in this post on Fugly Horse of the Day.  All credit to FHOTD.

The pony is 42 years old.  In light dressage competition.

No, that is not a typo.  Kudos to Lavender Hill Riding Academy, to whom this pony belongs.  Would that everyone have such excellent horse husbandry.

Dear Dad

Hi, it’s me.

You settled in yet?

This is what I think every day: you’re finally warm.  Knowing you’re warm makes it easier.  And yes, I’m still sleeping in your jacket.  Oh, don’t look so pained.  No head shaking!  I’m working on it, okay ?

It’s a good ten degrees warmer here than at  your house.  You took off your jacket.  Sat in the sun.  It’s why your jacket is still here.  You didn’t need it.

Remember when I asked you if you should see a doctor or something?  Find out if there was a reason you were cold all the time?  You shook your head ruefully.

I’ve been cold since the war.

World War II seemed history-book long ago to me…a very long, long time to stay cold.  Why? I asked.

Army.  Snow and ice.  Germany in winter.  COLD.  People shooting at  you.  Hitler.  Living in a frozen trench in the ground for months.  Warmest thing we had were matches.  Couldn’t use ’em.  Felt like years.  Haven’t been warm since.  Especially my feet.

That told me more about your real life, your inner life, than I’d discovered in forty years.  There are whole chambers and caverns I’ll never know about who you are.  It’s the secret life you have to keep from your kids.  The dreams you gave up, the experiences, (good and bad) that aren’t appropriate to share: grooves in your soul.   We have kids, so I understand why there are areas that are off-limits.  Makes me sad though.  I wish I could have known you as Not My Dad also.

Unbelievable you took us to the snow every winter when we were kids.  You must’ve hated it.  But we wanted to build snowmen, forts, and throw snowballs.  I remember sliding down a hillside on a metal trash can lid with you, sitting in your lap, screaming a high pitched little kid scream that probably blew out your ear drums.  Hopefully it did not remind you of bombing raids.

After you told me about being cold, I always had some knitting in progress.  I love you for accepting all the scarves, hats, mittens, socks, slippers. You meant it when you said lemon yellow socks with red, orange, and green dots look great on you, and you’d wear them all the time.  You did too. (After awhile, I was running out of color combination ideas, so you got the more Jackson Pollack color experiments. Sorry about that.  There’s one half finished sock in my bag.  You would’ve liked this pair: black with multi colored ticking.)

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Drunken Hamsters, Apples and The Family Reunion

The Valium addicted hamsters that formerly ran our Internet connection are now safely re-homed into an appropriate hamster tube maze, which we secretly left on the loading dock of the Korbel winery.  Along, of course, with an open bottle of Korbel champagne.

Hey, I’m keeping the Valium.  But I’m not heartless, I got them drunk first.

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FTF: Camp Ins

It’s French Toast Friday!

The burden of our family crisis has fallen on Shaun, who is across the country at the moment, performing amazing feats of compassion, advocacy, and stamina, despite extreme exhaustion.  The kids miss her fiercely.  Dilemma.  Need to protect the kids somewhat from the emotional aspects, reassure them of their importance,  find ways to stay connected despite the impossibility of much phone time, and also still do things where we can be reached at any second because she needs our help.

The Camp In is born.

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FTF: Shark

A few Saturday’s ago: there were three magical consecutive hours when both kids were not sick, and ambient temperature were in the high 90’s. Shaun and I hustled them off to the pool.  We were positively bristling with water noodles, blowup rings, torpedoes, towels, sunscreen, water, and dozens of other must-have pool supplies.  Including other people’s bristling children.

600 of our closest neighbors had the same idea. They too were pool refugees carting supplies and hauling other people’s children.  (Doesn’t anyone have air conditioning in this town?)

Come to think of it, it was a lot like a horse show.

  • Pool = Arena
  • Poolside = Stakeout Areas.  Complete with polite turf wars.

It’s not THAT big of a pool.

We finally got Daisy to agree to be a shark after years of harassment.  She was  meeting us there.  I glanced at the now minuscule looking pool, the huge stake-out encampments (Tents?  Our home owner’s association allows TENTS poolside?  What memo did I miss?) and I thought, succinctly:


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