Friday, June 24, 2011


These photos taken last night outside our front window. The clouds very much reflected my mood yesterday/today.



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Billy - 32 years old

Love Story

This story began 32 years ago. My mom heard a knock at the door and went to find someone holding an 18 month old Morgan horse with a big bow around his neck. He had been given as a gift from friends and others in the patrol department where my dad had worked. A few months earlier, my dad who was a highway patrolman was killed while assisting at a traffic accident. His name was Billy - something we all found somewhat ironic since my own dad's name had been William (Bill).

So, my love story with Billy began when he was half my age: I was three and he was 1 1/2. I think neither Krista nor I remember life before Billy. These many years that have filled in the timeline of our lives since the day he arrived have been filled with so many memories. He has been a part of every season, every event, every change, a part of who we grew up to be.

Some of the memories I am quickest to recall:

He loved the horse trailer. Most horses are hard to load, but being food motivated as he was, he saw it as a place of sustenance and happiness. One time, when Krista and I were little, we were both riding on him bareback while he was being led and I guess Mom and Dad forgot we were up there, because they loaded us right into the trailer with him!

He ALWAYS nickered when he sensed that a meal was in order. Sometimes - well, often - the nicker would be accompanied by an enthusiastic rear and elegant display with his front hooves, followed by a buck and fart. So funny. So Billy.

We used to ride for hours and hours every week in the woods behind our house. We lived in a very isolated town (Nutrioso, Arizona) with few people, so our horses were our source of sanity, in a way. Riding Billy was always exciting, in one way or another. He never let the ride be dull... it was always some stunt or another that he was pulling. His personal favorite: when we were cantering on a long stretch he would suddenly and randomly pull a 90 degree turn straight through the trees, up a hill, over a log, or through a creek. We both learned to ride with a death grip "just in case". :-) He is definitely responsible for making us better riders.

When I decided to pull my own "Man from Snowy River" stunt and ride down the face of a mountain, Billy was game. He was game for anything. He just slid down that ridiculous incline without hesitation. And amazingly we both survived. I was so proud... and stupid. What a horse!

There are so many memories... they simply never end. That is a brief summary of my love story with this horse. Every member of my family has his/her own love story with him and they are all unique and special.

Today, his story ends, but his legacy, I feel, will go on in our hearts as long as we live. He will be desperately missed, and I think these memories that we have in bounty will be very comforting to us in the coming days as we grow accustomed to his absence and our loss.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garden yummies

Our garden is finally producing and we are loving it! I made a quiche out of our fresh tomatoes, basil, yellow squash, and some of our dear friends' farm fresh eggs. It was INCREDIBLE! If you want the recipe, let me know.




Boy + Corn




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Saturday, June 18, 2011


I can't believe how much I hate saying goodbye. Death feels like the ultimate, permanent loss, and it is excruciatingly painful. It is with deepest sadness that I say goodbye to Skip Fasel, one of the people who played a defining role in my youth. Skip cared so much about people. He was always a listening ear, not just to me, but to probably just about anyone who knew him, and he encouraged me at critical junctures in my life. He and his family helped me navigate my way through some of the toughest challenges I faced as a young person and make decisions that permanently changed the course of my life for the better. There are not words sufficient to express how much he will be missed or how deeply he was appreciated, by me.

Tonight is his memorial service, in Arizona. I am unable to travel, for obvious reasons, but Krista and my dad are both there and somehow that makes me feel some closure, some comfort as I say goodbye to a dear friend.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My life is crazy... or maybe I'm just crazy

Valiant hasn't been feeling well, so I made her two eggs for lunch. I served her eggs on a plate, and when I reached in the drawer to pull out a fork for her, I suddenly felt a little odd.

When Devany was trying to eat her breakfast this morning out of her little bucket, I had to run out and pull Audrey and Madigan out of the bucket so that Devany could get her head in. It seemed normal at the time, but on hindsight I have to admit... that's a bit unusual.

I was looking over my goat/horse/dog feed bags to make sure their ingredients were organic/soy free so that Madigan's isn't getting negative things in his diet. Wait... what?

I love horses and always have. Yet, I'm terribly allergic to a lot of their hay. Particularly Timothy grass and Alfalfa. I've currently got my barn stacked with: Timothy/Alfalfa cross. Makes for some tearful mornings and evenings and lots of nose blowing. I guess I could have thought that one through better BEFORE purchasing the delicious green hay.

Last week while weeding the garden, I glimpsed Arnold SchwarzeSPIDER. Outside of tarantula land, this bad boy was trying to set a size/ugly record. After my heart started beating again I went after the thing with a WEED WACKER. What? I'm here to report that, though it might not rush to your mind as the most obvious spider eliminator, it was effective. I'm sure the sheer enormity of the beast made my success possible, but I felt pretty clever in that moment.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


In a bad mood? Crabby? Tired? Bundle's remedy for all that ails? A really good dance song. I mean he's flexible. From Vivaldi to Dierks Bentley - as long as it has a good rhythm or beat he can't help it. He can often be seen bouncing around his car seat, head bobbing, with a big smile on his face. What cracks me up is how he has different moves for different music. He is so wired to love music, it's almost intimidating.

Well, now that he's acquired a generous helping of dog food, I guess I better go round up some dinner for the growing boy and his never ending appetite.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Devany - 3 weeks old




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Kitchen Duty

We had our 7th high tea yesterday and in preparation we recruited the help of the little man in the house to prepare scones. He was AMAZING! He poured the flour, measured the dry ingredients and operated the "machine" with much enthusiasm. He was interested in the whole process. He was fascinated with all the measuring and stirring and actually spent most of the time with fingers in mouth just observing. At one point while he was trying to turn off the Kitchen Aid mixer, he turned it on high and the flour went flying. He looked at us with a horrified expression on his face and started to fuss. We assured him that it is the responsibility of every good cook to thoroughly dirty a kitchen and that the flour was simply proof of his outstanding capabilities.

Oh, and it turns out that scone dough is just as tasty as fully cooked scones. That's the official report from Bundle.




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