Monday, February 28, 2011

Nothing would be quite the same

Can anyone guess what's wrong with this photo? 

Nothing would be quite the same - song: Who Can I Be Now, artist: David Bowie, album: Young Americans

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday Stills (02-27-11 TV screens)

This week's Sunday Stills challenge is to show screen captures from your tv. Well, I didn't really get a chance to do that so I decided to post a few slightly different screen captures. However, they are all pictures taken this week. The first one is from my son's birthday on Tuesday.

The next one is my computer desktop with Buddha on the couch behind the desk.

So, this one is really cheating, but I like it, the equine version of Michaelangelo's The Creation, taken today. More on this, later. BTW, I also went and saw Haydn's Creation Oratorio with my mother tonight in a live Symphony performance.

For other Sunday Stills, the ones that follow the rules, please visit here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Till our feet grow small

Last night, the horses had an appointment with the farrier.

I had planned on leaving work early but ended up talking with my boss for an additional twenty minutes. Such are the best laid plans of mice and men. I knew the farrier would be early. The first time he came when I wasn't there, he tied up Annie and she flipped out. See here for post. Needless to say, she has never tied well. She has broken cross ties so many times that I got used to just throwing the rope over a rail and having her stand quietly. I never thought to mention it to the farrier because I like to hold the horses while their feet get trimmed. Anyway, after that incident, when Annie totally flipped out and fell over, breaking the weld on the pipe rails and cutting her leg, I seriously debated on whether to find a new horseshoer or not. I decided that it wasn't his fault because he had no reason to know that she didn't tie...

Anyway, yesterday, he was at the barn long before I arrived (at the scheduled time).  He had already trimmed Nadia and Scout and was working on Annie when I walked up. I asked him if he'd had any trouble with any of the horses and he said no, not at all. He had Annie haltered and ground tied and he said she was doing fine. When he finished with Annie, I released her and went to halter Yalla! She came right up to me and pushed her head right into the halter the farrier had been using. He was using a rope halter and I joked about how big it was on Yalla! He laughed and said that he'd used it on minis and tied it on for me. Yalla!, as usual, was curious and nosed him while he worked on her front feet. Several times she stretched her head up and out, nose-kissing me as I blew in her nostrils. She can be such a lovey. I decided that if I ever want to show her at halter, I now know the secret to getting her to reach up and out with her nose- just blow at her. lol.

When it came time to do her back feet she got testy. Fortunately, the farrier was strong enough to keep her foot as she struggled to pull it away from him. On the second hind, he pulled it out and forward, keeping her from reclaiming it for several seconds. I was amazed at her suppleness thinking that if it was Nadia she'd probably fall over if her leg were held out at such an angle. Anyway, Yalla! completely relaxed. She dropped her head and gave a huge sigh. It was a great lesson for Yalla! Much better than having the farrier smack her as I've seen some do to misbehaving, restless horses. I was glad to see how level-headed Yalla! seems, not panicky like her mother, and how smart she is, learning to accept rather than fight.

All in all, it was a good day. All the horses have pretty feet again and I had a great time with Yalla!

Till our feet grow small - song: Time Will Crawl, artist: David Bowie, album: Never Let Me Down

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tribute to Simba

Friday morning, I couldn't find my cat, Simba, anywhere. My son had been working in the garage the day before and I worried that Simba had gotten outside. A night out with coyotes in the area could mean the end of him. Last summer I found him scouting around my barn on two different occasions but I didn't find him there this time.

We all looked everywhere and finally he was found hiding under my son's bed. He wouldn't come out and when we did see him going down the hallway he was very weak in his hind legs. He wouldn't eat or drink. Saturday morning, he was no better. He was hiding under my bed. In his sixteen years, he has never hidden away like this before. I called the vet's office and set up an appointment. My son caught him and put him in the traveling box so I wouldn't have to hunt him out later.

I took him to the appointment and right away the doctor said it didn't look good. He was down to 8 pounds and severly dehydrated. The doctor told me that his kidneys had failed. He had mucuous in his mouth and bad breath. He said the only possible treatment would cost over a hundred dollars a month and there was no guarantee at how long he'd last. I agreed to have him put down. I stroked him for about half an hour, admiring his beautiful, soft fur as I watched him slowly breath- he was sedated. Eventually, it was time to let him go.

I really hate taking my pets to the vet's office when they are sick. In 2009, I took Daisy in to be put down. I petted her head as she drew her final breaths, finally done in by the cancer invading her body. I took Gunnar in for surgery that he never woke up from because of the cancerous tumors in his head. Now, I was giving up Simba.
The craziest thing about this final time with Simba is that this was possibly the longest time I have ever stroked him. Since he was a kitten  in Pearly's litter, I've wanted him. I chose him of the six kittens she delivered. He was the beautiful little white one. That's why we named him Simba; because he looked like a lion cub. We had one kitten left besides him and my husband suggested we keep her. So we kept Terra too. They have always been together, in a love-hate relationship. Always, they lay together on my bed. Sometimes, they would fight. But for as long as I can remember, Terra claimed me as her human and wouldn't let Simba near me. He would prowl and yowl at night and wander around restlessly while Terra snuggled up next to me in my bed. My son taught him to head-butt for attention. He loved to be stroked and he would purr loudly and contentedly. He was a restless spirit and never stayed in any one place for long. He'd cry to go to the garage and then cry to come into the house. He loved to go outside and lay under the cars or stalk things in the tall grasses. He had beautiful, light blue eyes that slightly crossed, the softest, thickest fur, and velvety, chocolate pads on his paws.

He will be missed by all of us.

Sunday Stills (Churches & Graveyards 02/20/11)

This week's Sunday Stills challenge is churches and graveyards. I could go on and on but here are my choices...

The old chapel at Ft. Stanton, New Mexico.

In the Pueblo of Laguna, the church is the best kept and highest placed building of the village.
The old San Miguel Mission Chapel in Santa Fe built in the 1600's, believed to be the oldest adobe church in the US. It has been repaired and rebuilt numerous times but the original walls are still standing within.

The Old San Ysidro church in Corrales. One year, Lisa, her daughter, and I helped "mud" a courtyard wall on Mudder's Day. See here for my post.
 I'm not sure of the name of this church but it's in the middle of nowhere, on a hill.

Here's an interesting gravestone in an old graveyard in Santa Fe.

You can rest in peace here (pillow included).

These are the ruins of the Salinas Pueblo mission at Quarai. See here for more info.

I thought this photograph taken in Denver showing an old church versus the new architecture made an interesting shot.

Here's a sad tribute at the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla.

Doesn't everyone go letterboxing at a cemetery?

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Valentine's Day- song: Leon takes us Outside, artist: David Bowie, album: Outside

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Stills (Spring Preview 02/13/11)

Ed said to go to the archives for this one. Here are some Lilac buds covered with snow.
Iris blooms are my favorite flowers.
More purple flower, how about a field full?

Even the Rocky Mountains bloom in the spring.

Spring is the time for my Barn Swallows to build their nests
 and court each other.

And especially, I can't wait for sleek horses and green grass!

This morning, just for giggles, I wandered around looking for signs of Spring:

There's the tiniest buds on my Lilac bush.

Annie is shedding like crazy!

The birds are pairing up and discussing nest building.
And there's still mud, ice, and snow everywhere.
Overall, I think I like the memories better than the reality.

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Hashknife Pony Express rides again!

Every year, in a sleepy little western town where time almost (notice the newspaper headlines?) stands still
and you can still sleep in a Wig Wam (if you want)
the Pony Express rides again!
In the morning, the Hashknife Posse riders enjoy a quick breakfast
and mount up using a saddle like these.
Here are some of the original saddle bags.

click on picture to enlarge

Wednesday morning, in 15 degree weather, the Hashknife Pony Express took off promptly at 8 AM and I was there for the send off! 
Unfortunately, my camera jammed so I didn't get any more than one not-very-good photo. The cowboy is pointing the way as the horse and rider turn and run. The horse and rider are headed for Navajo Avenue and when they reach the intersection, they run right into the police escort truck. The horse slipped and fell but quickly got back up and they kept going. It was a tense moment or two, but in true grit style, "Ride 'em, Cowboy!"

 This horse trailer was parked farther on down the road where the next hand-off of the mailbags took place. Those huge rocks in the photo are actually pieces of petrified  wood.
We parked in the Trading Post (gift shop) parking lot right across the street and there was a virtual forest of petrified wood.
For the record, here's a couple of posers. ;-p
For more information on the event please read here and see a newspaper article here. There's still time to see them ride into Scottsdale tomorrow (Friday) at high noon for final delivery of the mail near this statue

and to see the Parada del Sol Parade (The "world's largest horse-drawn parade") on Saturday beginning at 10 AM in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona.

Would you like to have a letter delivered by PONY EXPRESS? 

The Navajo County Hashknife Posse's Pony Express Ride takes place each year

 the last Wednesday of January (this year- February 9-11, 2011).
The Hashknife Posse has the longest continuous contract with the U.S. Postal Service to carry official U.S. Mail via Pony Express style. The group is sworn in as official U.S. Mail Carriers prior to their route from Holbrook, for the 200 mile trip across the Mogollon Rim into Scottsdale.

The Hashknife Posse is now working on their second 50 years of history, having completed their 52nd ride. (2011 was their 53rd!)

You can mail your letter/letters any time during the year. Of course, you'll have to wait until the 2012 ride to have it delivered...

You can either buy a Pony Express Mailer or use your own envelope. Address as usual. Affix the proper amount of postage. On the lower left hand edge of the envelope write "Via Pony Express".

You then place the letter in another envelope addressed to Postmaster, Holbrook, AZ 86025 and mail.

When you receive your letter it will be stamped with the official Pony Express Cachet - and cancelled with the Hashknife Station official cancellation mark. This letter is a keepsake treasured by many collectors around the world.

Here is the email I got:
Thank you for contacting the Hashknife Pony Express.  If you would like to send a letter on the Ride.  Please send your First Class Letter(s) or Mailer (s) in an envelope to the Hashknife Pony Express, PO Box 8045, Scottsdale, AZ 85252.(Please Help us with our cost by making a $2.00 Donation with your letters)(please do not send fragile letters)  Letters need to be received at the Scottsdale Post Office by Friday February 04, 2011 in order to be carried on the Ride.  Letters can be sent anywhere in the world with proper postage, after being carried 200 miles on the Hashknife Pony Express they will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

If you would like to buy a copy of the Hashknife Documentary, please send $25 dollars for each DVD to Hashknife Documentary,PO Box 8045, Scottsdale, AZ 85252. please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Please visit our ebay web or go to ebay and search hashknife.

Thanks Dave Alford, Trail Boss
(cashiers check, money order or checks please)