In which there's a New Camera, but it stayed home when I went riding

Kitty gave me a camera!

The battery needed a good long charge, so I plugged it in at home.

Then, I went riding.  My phone took all the photos on the trail today.

Since we were expecting rain, riding was actually "Plan B" today.  Plan A was all about spending time at home in the morning, and hanging out at the Naked Lady Spa with some friends in the afternoon.

Eleni texted from the spa to say that it was very crowded--a 20-minute wait out the door!  Hmmm.

That doesn't sound like it would provide the quiet, restful experience I was seeking today.

And besides, it wasn't raining!

When I got home, the battery on the New Kid was all charged up, and Jim had even taken an inaugural photo:

I added a second photo to get the buttons under my fingers.

Then I went outside to mess around with it a little more.

Thank you for the wonderful gift, Kitty!  This camera will not be gathering dust at Haiku Farm!

In which I live the best of all possible lives, and the sun did shine!

The morning didn't start with great omens.

I left the camera and my gloves and my phone and no horse cookies on the fender of the trailer while Fiddle was tied, as I have done about ten zillion times in the eleven years this horse and I have been together.

She wanted cookies.  She thought there should be cookies.  She knew that she deserved cookies.

She went looking for cookies.  Phone is not a cookie.  Glove is not a cookie.  Other glove is not a cookie.  Camera is not a cookie.  The cookies must be under all this useless junk.  So she moved the junk...onto the ground.  The phone and the gloves bounced safely under the trailer.

The camera bounced...right under her foot.


There is no budget this month (or next, or the month after) for a new camera.  All the pictures for this post were taken with phone cameras--mostly mine, but also Patty's.   *see UPDATE at bottom of the post!

The goal:  enjoy the sunshine.  The horses are out of shape, so today was for WALKING.

Lytha in …

In which I haven't been posting because nothing has been happening

The EHV-1 quarantine has been lifted!
Due in part to quick action and cooperation among local veterinarians and horse owners, the outbreak remained confined to Gold Creek Equestrian in Woodinville.  Gold Creek is still quarantined, but the rest of us are free to move around again.  

It's drying up a little bit now (finally), but the skies have been grey and dumping cold rain on us for almost two weeks.  Not only "not fun" for riding, but also "really REALLY muddy" out on the trails.
So, Fiddle and I haven't left the property together since December 21st.
Tomorrow's forecast says "MOSTLY SUNNY." 
We are heading out.  11am at the trailhead--if you're local, come join us!
I've been reading some old blog posts lately, and this photo in particular caught my eye: 

If you'd like to join me in a little sentimental journey, you can START HERE.  
That's the first part of the report from a …

In which we burn energy that would normally be used for riding

"It's a beautiful day, let's saddle up and hit the trails....not."

There's been no change to the EHV-1 situation...which is good.  No new cases, no new euthanasias (that we know of).  This is one of those times when no news is good news--if things had gotten worse over the holiday weekend, there would have been an update from the state veterinarian and there isn't one.

So we're still self-quarantining and glad to have horses safe and healthy.


It's so hard to stay home when the sky isn't throwing cold wet stuff down.   So, we didn't.

Megan invited Jim and me to join her and Anne (human) and Lucy (dog) on a walk up the Wallace Falls trail on New Year's Day.

Off we went, into the sunshine.

It was a perfect day to walk this trail.

We dressed in layers and dropped most of them for the uphill hike to the Middle Falls.

In which we strategically choose to hunker down for a couple weeks

"Where is the best place to be during a bar fight?"

I used to participate in conversations like that all the time.  
As the youngest adult and one of the smallest people (many of the juniors were bigger than me), strategy was my best tool in karate class.  Bigger students could muscle through in a sparring match, but that wasn't really an option for me.  I needed to use my brain at least as often as my fists.
The answer to the question about the best spot in a bar fight: "Drinking tea with a friend on the other side of town."
I think about that now, when horse owners throughout the Pacific Northwest are trying to figure out the best way to cope with the frightening outbreak of EHV-1, a common herpes virus in horses that has the ability to mutate from a minor respiratory bug into a deadly "neuro" version.   
The outbreak is, at present, confined to one barn in Woodinville about 40 miles from Haiku Farm.  That's the good news.  
The bad news is that…

In which there's a story about a pig and recipe for bacon

This is a true story about a pig.  I've met her.  She's lovely. (and I don't usually say that about pigs)

Early last summer, our friend Mel was working around her place fixing fences and stuff, when all the horses in the pasture suddenly lifted their heads and STARED into the trees near the creek.  
Horse people know that when one horse does that, it can mean anything--or nothing.  But when a bunch of horses do that all at the same time, there is usually a Reason.
And there was:  down by the creek Mel saw a half-grown white piglet rootling around for food in the vegetation.  The piggie had a bum leg, and had obviously escaped from some neighbor's pen--possibly while also escaping whatever critter had grabbed her by the leg.
Mel put up signs notifying the neighbors about the pig, but nobody responded.  Since the piggie was doing fine on her own, nobody worried much about her until the summer got really hot and dry, and the creek dried up.  Then Mel started leaving out bowls …

In which there's a story about rice and a recipe without rice

A Single Grain of Rice (India) A king prepared to take a journey of ten years, to tour around his country and see all that there was to be seen.  Before he left, he called to each of his three daughters. 
To each daughter, he gave a single grain of rice.  “Keep this, guard it, and do well with it,” he said.  “Rule my kingdom while I am gone.  I give each of you this grain of rice so that you may use it to learn to use your power in the service of wisdom.  When I return, I will choose my heir.”
The eldest daughter looked at the grain of rice in her hand, and tossed it negligently over her shoulder.  Why care for this particular grain of rice, when there were ten bags of rice in the palace kitchens?  She thought no more about it.
The middle daughter tied a long golden thread around her grain of rice, and put it into a beautiful crystal box.  Every day, morning and night, she looked at the grain of rice and reminded herself that she was powerful.
The youngest daughter called for advisors and…