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Married Life

My husband and I sat on the couch the other night reading. On the end table lay an old treasured book of mine showing the wear and tare of many well enjoyed readings. He picked it up turning it over in his hands. The cover was missing and the pages badly dog eared.

“We could try to find a new one on Ebay.” he said. ” One with a cover maybe?”

I looked up from the brand new book I was reading and began to tell him that not every body cares if their books are as pristine as he keeps his. I had barely started the sentence absently folding the page to mark my spot when I noticed the horror on his face and followed the path of his gaze to the book in my hands. Taking note of his consternation and knowing full well the cause I looked him straight in the eye, wallowing in my meanness, and took care to tighten the crease in the page sliding my nail along the folded edge as I finished talking.

The look on his face clearly showed his distress over the savage cruelty of my actions in mistreating a book so.

I love being married.

Small Group

We started a new session with a new book last night. We finished a very good book, who’s name I can not remember but it was written by Francis? Chan, I can’t remember anything anymore, at the end of November and took a month off for the busy Christmas season. Flash forward to February and we are starting up again reading The Case for Christ. I am really looking forward to it, I love the author and his very fact based style.

During the very first study of the book and the very first accompanying video I noticed that the preacher that got Lee Strobels wife into church thus starting this whole journey and great book series was Bill Hybels. I saw him and Willow Creek mentioned and I was like “Hey I know them!!”  To myself of course I didn’t think anyone else would be interested. It struck me as very interesting that this widely read book and the conversion of, if no others, the author and his wife were accomplished through a church that my grandmothers church has preached against, stopping short, I hope, of calling them evil.

It amazes me that this tiny little church with a miniscule congregation feels that they are doing so much more for Christianity and I can’t help but wonder why? We go to a church that I like to think of as Willow Creek in miniature. The congregation is vibrant and enthusiastic and ever growing. The music is loud and beautiful with guitars and a drum. Oh I think I see the problem. According to this other church, which shall go unnamed, music with a beat is evil.

They claim that these “mega churches” don’t preach from the bible, that they preach a watered down version not the truth and all the very difficult requirements that true Christians must follow. No music with a beat, for example and no cheese I believe. While they were busy preaching the evils of large effective churches we were listening to a sermon preached from the bible in which our pastor talked about dissension among Christians and churches. He stated that it is not usually caused by a true difference of beliefs but instead by petty jealousy and envy.


More Thoughts on Winning the Lottery

Because I even bought a ticket this time.

I thought about that live in nanny thing and decided it was just too much togetherness. I really don’t like having to be around people. I will put her in a house a mile down the road, that’s plenty close enough for a neighbor. She can be on call for when I want to get out. I she could keep house too that would be great. I guess she would have to be willing to travel with us to visit family and my other barns/ranches and of course to shows. Maybe also like to ride that could be very handy.

I have been looking at a building in town that has been for sale for years and thinking what fun it would be to open a store. Only if I didn’t have to depend on it to make money. What fun would a practical store be? I want to open a tack and book store. I have been planning this for years. It will have to be a pretty two story building. The one in town isn’t pretty but is the only empty two story building and is on the highway so I’ll go with it. On the ground floor will be the tack, new and used. I’ll go back east and pick up stuff at the tack sales and come out here and sell it. English, western, dressage all the good fun things that probably wouldn’t sell, anything and every thing horse related.

Upstairs will be the books new and used. It would be fun to emphasize local, Nebraska, authors with the new books. Marie Sandoz is as local as it gets. Maybe other locally made crafts and the like and who doesn’t love a used book store. There is no money in it though so it is good that I will have won the lotto. In front of the big windows I will put nice comfy chairs and have coffee and tea fresh brewed so people can sit and read their books. Ahh, it will be so fun, as long as I don’t have to sit there all day. I will choose books and decorate.

What really amazes me is that my very content husband has no dreams of what he would do if only. Is that good or sad that he has no great aspirations? I would have to insist that he stay home and quit his job and farm full time. Help manage all the horses I have collected.


Bawk – Chicken

Maw/Prrrr – Kitty

Leave me alone, I'm reading

Leave me alone, I’m reading

Dizzeeee – Daisy

Mmmmmmm(very high pitched in the middle) – Cows

Snort snort – Pig

Growl(with hands held in air) – Bear

Cluck (sound made with tongue) – Horse

Aaaagh – Sheep

Oo ooo – Owl

Sticking tongue in and out quickly and damply – Frog/lizard

Vrrrr(lots of grumbling) – Tractor/feed truck

Dare – Take me over there, now.

No(with pointing) – Nose

Uh uh (with a wave of hand in-front of face) – I am done eating, I do not want anymore and may never eat any of that again especially if we have just stocked up on what was previously a favorite.

Dat Dat – That, I would like that please. That right there, can you not see that I want that? Please give me that!

Danu (undetermined sound made upon being given something) – Thank You

Enthusiastic waving and blowing kisses in the air – Motions made to anybody who is showing no interest. Never when someone is talking to her or says goodbye.

Circle motions with hand while nodding happily – Please keep spinning the chair in circles until I am sick and throw up on the floor

Pathetic whimpering while clawing desperately for the remote – My show has stopped! Make it go again! I know that thing makes it go somehow if you wont do it fast enough let me try. Why don’t you love me enough to make it go again?

Holding hand out to object not quite touching then pulling it quickly back shaking it and holding hand to mouth – That is hot we aren’t supposed to touch it it will hurt. Maybe mom or dad would like to touch it? Please? It will be fun just try. Here let me show you how. (Grabbing your hand and pushing towards hot object)


If I Win the Lottery

I will very rarely buy a ticket even but it is a lot of fun to think what I would do with the money if I did. Especially when my mom keeps sending me adds for horses she thinks I should get. It wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t know my taste in horses so well. So apparently if I had tons of money I would hoard horses big time. My ever helpful husband pointed out that I would never get them all ridden any way.

That would not be a problem. I would of course install a great trainer at my huge indoor arena and have all the assorted riffraff I collected in reining and cow horse training. It might be a little difficult to find a really good trainer who was willing to work with a breed besides the “usual” much less assorted riffraff. I remember how horrified the big trainer guys were, when talking to them at shows, that one in their midst was training a Morgan. Not me for once, they were discussing Monty Bruce I believe, riding the beautiful Rebels R We . I would find one though and my odd ball herd would travel the country making a good name for themselves. We would also make the Morgan Grand Nationals with the herd members of the proper bred.

To start my herd I would get this pretty little girl. She looks exactly like my old gelding Nate. May have to follow the link I could not get her picture to copy or the video to work

Look at the legs on this boy. It’s like draft horse legs on a pony body I love him.


This one doesn’t appeal to me quite as much but maybe in person he’s prettier than his herd mate.


This is my dream horse. If I had time and money and a live in nanny, which I will of course be getting with my lottery money. Or not, looking for his picture I see that there is a sale pending. Lucky people, hope they enjoy him.


Girly Girl

Very stylish

Very stylish

I’m afraid my daughter is going to take after her fathers side of the family, with all kinds of beautiful girls who spend hours on clothes and make up and doing their hair. Not after my mother and I who would rather go riding and consider a hat a good hair style. My grandmother would be proud at least, she has tried and tried to convert us to her very stylish way of thinking.

I was getting The Goblin Child dressed today to go into town and meet her father for lunch. I struggled against her squirming, trying to get clean clothes on her so she could look as adorable as she, almost, always does. Over her tights I put a tiny pair of Uggs, all white and furry, she immediately began taking them off. After putting them back on a couple of times I thought I had succeeded but as I walked out of the room she grabbed a different pair of shoes and followed me holding them up.

Obviously a much better shoe choice.

Obviously a much better shoe choice.

Looking down into her imploring little eyes I asked if she wanted to wear that pair instead. She nodded emphatically so I sat down

and we changed shoes. She was very proud of her pink cowboy boots and didn’t try to take them off once. Shows what I know, she is going to be a little shoe diva.

On Riding Bareback

In the winter, especially, it is the only way to go. Riding bareback improves balance and gives a better feel for the horse. How can anyone not love the smell of a horse, so warm and earthy. So why is it that when I come in from a nice ride, pleasantly exhausted and ready to relax for a bit, my husband gets mad at me for sitting on the couch?

2014-01-25 11.58.29

I don’t think horse dirt really counts as dirt.

Winter Riding

I got out for a ride on my pony yesterday. It has been a bad year for riding with the cold and ice and when I have gotten out it has been on Odie. The little Coyote has been neglected. He made that very well known during our ride.

My darling husband took The Goblin Child with out with him all morning to move a fence, put propane in the tank and feed cows. When he sent her in so he could get non child friendly tasks accomplished she went to sleep, immediately.  I was able to accomplish all kinds of things around the house, mostly cleaning. When he finally did come in he ordered me out of the house to enjoy some of the moderately nice weather.

I grabbed my bridle and a hand, make that pocket, full of horse cookies and went looking for horses. I could tell Coyote hadn’t been ridden for awhile because he came up looking for me. When he is being ridden regularly he heads the opposite direction. I slipped him his mandatory cookie with the bit and hopped on. He was very polite as we rode around their pen, we checked the hay bale and mostly looked for places to ride that were out of the wind. The other two ponies followed us, Jerry with short bursts of running and bucking, Odie cautiously vaguely curious about where we were going. I still don’t know if that strange pony even has a canter.

Bored with that I forced Coyote out the gate for a lap around the stack yard. We plodded slowly out checking out the cows and generally looking around. Then we reached the corner, the fence line, the turn around place. Every thing changed. We were headed

I swear this is what we look like

I swear this is what we look like

home, like a shot. His head came up, he pranced and danced, and leaped into the air performing high school dressage moves.

Sitting, bareback, upon my rampaging pony  I pondered the intricacies of riding. I could feel how still and steady and confident my seat was. Granted, I had a death grip on the mane, but there was not a drop of fear or tightness. Together we swayed and dipped in an intricate dance. I could feel his back muscles tighten and release with every spook and hop and I remained still, the eye of this whirling vortex.

So why can’t I ride? This is so frustrating. On Coyote, almost, nothing scares me, on any other horse everything terrifies me. It’s not fair. I am more nervous riding Odie, our twenty year old perspective kids pony. I do find him a little alarming to ride, I believe it is the lack of controls. I do mean that in plural, not a lack of control but the lack of buttons and levers. There isn’t the complete control over movement in any body part like I am used to. Coyote can be trying to run home sideways and I can touch him with my leg behind the girth and straighten his body, bringing the hindquarters back in line. Riding a horse without those controls is like driving a car with out, I don’t know, steering I guess.

Unfortunately it’s more than that, I think years of starting colts ruined me. I know what horses are capable of, I’ve seen a mare who could kick a saddle as it was placed on her back. I know that they can still kick you no matter where you stand. My own little Jerry has gone from standing completely still to gone out from underneath me in an instant. That quickness made her a great cow horse but I don’t trust her with the child or husband even now that she is old and lame. I often think that if I could ride colts with the same confidence as I do Coyote I wouldn’t get bucked off but I think I used to ride all horses like that and it must not have worked because here I am old, sore and sure that I am coming off.

Sometimes I wish for a quiet well behaved horse but mostly I enjoy my wild, little, old pony. He makes me feel like I can still ride without forcing me to be able to still ride.

The Three C’s of Child Training

Training horses, training children, what difference?

Training horses, training children, what difference?

I have noticed, looking back, that I made many posts, while I was pregnant, pondering the possible similarities between training a horse and training a child. I haven’t done any since having her at least partially because I don’t want to curse myself.  If I say that I have this down then she may turn out awful. Still I feel safe in saying that there are many strong similarities. They are creatures who don’t speak and communicate through actions.

Up late one night feeding The Goblin Child I decided that I would go on the clinic circuit offering my training advice, for horses and children, to the millions. For millions of course. It was such a simple concept, my training theory. The secret to training is for the trainer to possess a few important qualities.

The next morning I couldn’t remember what my great training strategy had been. All I knew was that I would market it as The Three C’s. Occasionally I would remember one or two and I would imagine what life on the road would be like as I offered my genius to the masses. If only I could remember all three at once. The amazing loss of sleep involved in the first year of parenting was a handy excuse for my forgetfulness.

Then one day I remembered. It was great, the child started sleeping through the night and it came to me. There was just one problem. The qualities didn’t actually start with C. It blew my whole spiel. Not to mention it was a little embarrassing but who can remember how to spell at two in the morning. I still stand by the importance of my three c’s even if they don’t all start with c.

Calm, Quiet and Confident.

It would have been so great we could have given Clinton Anderson a run for his money. Oh well, I shall have to confine my training to my own child. Poor thing, she is receiving all my pent up need to train. This is every bit as much fun as training a horse, just a little longer in seeing results. That all important proper timing for the release of pressure, making sure you are rewarding the right thing, is still the most important. I do spend some time wishing that we could go for lessons. As with horses it’s important to know what the goal is and while I understand the end goal some of the smaller day to day goals are a little harder to pinpoint.

A horse is started after two, we work on giving to pressure on the ground, giving to the bit and saddling. When is the proper point to teach a child to drink from a real cup? Use a spoon? We work, we play but without shows how do we compare? Oh well, I suppose that would be even worse for children than it can be for horses.

Oh, wait.

Home Schooling as a Very Real Possibility

I always enjoy reading about home schooling. Some people look at me oddly and ask if we have an older child when the subject comes up. I admit it may be a bit early to be deciding, she isn’t even two yet. That gives us quite a few years since preschool is not happening and kindergarten is questionable. It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, I train it’s what I do, be it horses or my child. Is there any difference really? I always say that she will be going to public school only as long as the Hay Springs school is open. If our dear government ever does manage get it closed then that’s it we’re home schooling.

The rumors have circulated for decades that it will close. Recently when Mirage Flats School was closed for budgetary reasons they started up again as strong as ever. On the other side of the fence is the superintendent who quickly squashes any rumors as silly and says they are here to stay. There are also those who believe we are positioned far enough away from any larger town that the trip for a child to reach another school would be far too long. I am not saying that there is any chance of closing now, but…

It always amazes me just how hard our caring legislature back east in Lincoln tries to get ride of all schools in this part of the state. They managed to have all the rural schools closed. No more little one room school houses, bus those kids to town. I suppose I can see the sense of that, from a strictly budgetary point of view. This latest bill they are trying to pass isn’t necessarily closing any schools, yet. What it is doing simply doesn’t make any sense at all. Unless of course they are easing us into it. Please do read it here. We have a gentleman named Jim Scheer to thank for this piece of brilliance, not surprisingly he is from back east.

They feel that small schools, under 650 students, should have to group together until they reach a district size of  1,300. They don’t all have to share schools, just have the same calender and superintendent. Why? What possible purpose can that serve if not to ease us into more consolidation? If I could get a logical reasonable explanation of what they are hoping to accomplish here I might be all for it. But I haven’t found one, just a list of rule changes as though they are playing a board game and got tired of the old rules.

In my quick look upon the internets, Chadron appears to be safe. Gordon-Rushville also sneaks past, they have already combined. I haven’t heard how that is working for them. I have heard, completely unsubstantiated, rumors of knife fights in the city park between high school kids, yeah that’s enough for me, she’s not going there. Plus it is a good forty five minute drive. Would they want to join up ( to quote Monty Roberts 😉 ) with us? What is going to be in this for them? For any of us for that matter? And where are we supposed to find enough children to meet their 1,300 required? Hemingford is close and together we could top 650 but that only counted if you started with that many. Then, what the heck, we could throw in Crawford, with their two hundred some students, they are only and hour away. Wait that only brings us to ruffly 900. Okay, the entire panhandle, minus larger cities, will join together for one properly sized district. This is going to be great.

I have not been able to find any discussion on this although I know it must be out there. I would like someone to please tell me why? What is the purpose of this? All I know for sure is that it is one more step towards homeschooling.