Showing posts from November, 2014

In which I achieve a goal. It was hard and it sucked but I did it

Why I wrote 50,000 words this month, and why nobody gets to read any of them, and what I’m going to do, now that it’s over.

I’ve done a NaNoWriMo project almost every year since 2008.  
If you've never NaNo'd or had a NaNo in the family,  lemme s'plain:  the challenge is to write the first draft of your book in a month.  
50,000 words, 30 days.   You don't have time to edit or refine or fix.   The only way out is THROUGH.  
That first year, I had a wonderful NaNo experience, and wrote a story that delights me still. 
The second year didn’t go so well.  I wasn’t very excited about my premise, and my characters were too much like the people I spend my days with for me to want to go home at night and spend an additional two hours with them in my head.  
Plus, the setting was pretty boring. 
The best thing about the entire month of writing that year was the last day, when I loaded all my characters into a Jeep and “drove” the fictional vehicle off a cliff, killing them all at once…

In which winter does have a use: it's a good time for riding lessons

The calendar supposedly calls this "autumn," but here in the Swamp we are in the middle stages of the Winter Rain Festival.
With cold rain pouring down, it's time to move some of our play under a roof.

We all have different issues to tackle this season, and it's a little easier to tackle them with moral support from the Usual Suspects.
Margie is a greenish rider on Magic, a talented endurance horse.

Margie and Magic just finished their first season of distance riding.  Now, it's time to return to the arena and fill in the training holes that got skipped over in the rush down the trail.

Patty and Flower have been out of lessons for more than a year.  Patty's knees have given her pain for a while, so she's been spending a bunch of time with our favorite physical therapists, plus she's still coping with the aftermath of that poorly-executed flying-without-wings incident.

And then there's me.
 My muscles and connective tissue on the "surgery side&q…

In which I steal a trailer and show off some Mad Librarian Skillz

The SS Illegible will be in the shop for a while after our mishap last weekend so I did what any self-respecting Pirate would do: I stole a horse trailer.
The mechanic left a long, whiny voice message for me about how getting a replacement axle for my trailer might take a month--or longer.

Yeah, no. 

Our farm is only five acres--not nearly enough room to bury all the bodies that would accumulate if I can't ride out for six weeks.

 Fortunately, the axle problem was not actually a mechanic issue.

It turned out to be a librarian issue, and I totally have the chops for that.

I fired up my Librarian Spidey Super Senses, got on the Interwebs, looked up a phone number for Trails West over in Preston Idaho, and called 'em.

5-star customer service, BTW.

 Within 5 minutes I was on the line with Ryan in the parts department.

Within 7 minutes, we had made arrangements for Ryan to pitch the appropriate axle for my horse trailer into the next set of trailers heading for Western Washington…

In which I share a story (or two) about fortune and mixed blessings

Long ago, a man owned a wonderful horse. 

This horse was strong, fast, and brave.  
"How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful horse!" the man's neighbors would say to him.
"Maybe so, maybe no," replied the man.  "Only time can tell."
One dark night a tree fell in the pasture, knocking down the fence.  The horse got out of the pasture and ran far off into the hills.  

No matter how long the man and his family searched and called, they could not find the horse.

"How unfortunate!" said his neighbors.  "You've lost your wonderful horse."

 "Maybe so, and maybe no," replied the man.  "Only time can tell."

The next Spring, the horse returned--and he brought with him five fine mares, each with a foal at heel.

"How fortunate that you have such a fine herd of horses!" said the neighbors.

But, "Maybe so, and maybe no," was all the man would say.

 Time passed, the herd continued to mature and g…

In which we celebrate the short but good lives of Haiku Farm turkeys

After a week of monsoonic rain, the sun came out.

Monica was out early, shooting photos of the turkeys as they wandered around the backyard nibbling on dandelion greens, lavender seeds, and overripe apples.  
It was a nicest "last day" for turkeys that I could think of.

They lived here long enough to learn where the trees would drop the best fruit.

They lived here long enough to teach the dogs how to behave properly in the presence of dinosaurs.

They taught me where food really comes from...not just in theory.

 They taught us all that even ugliness

contains beauty.

And yes, we will eat them.  What a waste their lives would be if we didn't!

In honor of the things we learned, we will put apples in the stuffing, and lavender on the table.

Because, they taught us some stuff.

And that's a good thing.

In which sometimes our mental calendars are a heavenly joke book

With one eye on the horizon, only one remains to watch the road beneath your feet.   -- Words of wisdom painted on the bathroom door of my old karate dojo
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.  --Jewish proverb
I got a note from a Green Bean friend recently.

She's got a nice young mare as an endurance prospect, a trainer she likes, and a plan.

However, recently, she's been feeling like she's been moving backwards instead of forwards.  She feels unbalanced and frustrated while doing things she used to be able to do comfortably.

And then, last week, she hit the ground--hard.  Hard enough to require a ride to the ER, where they diagnosed a pretty impressive concussion, and recommended that she stay off the pony until her head stops bobbling (which it hasn't, yet)

"What am I doing wrong?"  she wanted to know.

I read through what she wrote, and I recognized a couple of issues:

 She is feeling unbalanced, insecure, and probably a litt…