west texas weekend

Was on the road last weekend with ‘my best old-lady horse in the world‘, Rodney.  This is where we were.  Any guesses?

No, not Seattle…not Santa Cruz….not Miami…..but Midland! That’s right. There are lots of pump jacks in Midland. It’s not exactly the most verdant city in the USA. Can you guess the name of this arena?

No….not the saddle arena…..no, not the lopin’ arena…..not the easter egg arena. That’s it-the Horseshoe Arena. It was a nice facility. Since my class didn’t show until later in the day, I went looking for trouble. This is where I found myself.

I know, I know. I’m a nerd, but I love history. This little 1950’s house was such a blast from my past. It is a modest house in a very modest neighborhood.

Remember the phone nook in the hall of your house? The Bush’s had a phone nook, too.

The house and the memorabilia were interesting and they are a treasure for the city. I had two extremely knowledgeable guides take me through the house. The inside of that house sure did take me back to the 1950’s and my childhood. Midland may not be a verdant town, but the people are verdant in spirit. Wonderful, polite, salt-of-the-earth…..just nice folks. A very pleasant and helpful lady took some pictures of me with Rod and emailed them to me.

Look at all the fans!!  Could hardly think with all the yelling and cheering.  What a privilege to ride this talented horse. Because he has so much heart, we did really well at this show. Here I am leaving the arena trying to look cool.  I was really screaming !YAY! inside.

Here is my cowboy/friend/trainer/ Roger with me after the show. He’s really short isn’t he?

Don’t you dare make fun of him having just 4 fingers on his right hand. He likes to tell small children a horse bit one off! It makes for a fun story, but it was nothing that dramatic.  He’s every bit as capable as any 10-digited man I know.
A fun weekend in a friendly town. Thanks Nancy, for the photos!

signs, signs, everywhere a sign

Signs bring out the rebel within us.  Admit it.  Here is a nice sign outside an arena at a local horse show.

This is a cordial sign….aww…’please’.

Some dogs were quite law-abiding…like this one….dutifully on a leash.

This obedient corgi was begrudgingly minding the sign. He was out-of-doors, but he wasn’t likin’ it.

Hey buddy, I don’t care about your opinion. Keep the tongue inside the mouth!!  Smart-aleck.

I am about to present damning photo-journalistic evidence dogs are rule-breakers by their very nature. Leave the blog now if you can’t stomach seeing these unsettling photos….I’m warning you!! These photos are EXPLICIT! OK….you’ve been warned.

This criminal is clearly inside the building with the sign.

Just because you’re polite doesn’t mean you ain’t breakin’ the law pal!

Caught this trio of gangstas FLAUNTING their disobedience!

These thugs were wily…..tried to slime the camera lens so I couldn’t take clear pictures of them.  Think they had been snortin’ something illegal. They had a helluva time breathing.  A posse would have no trouble tracking these culprits-could hear them comin’ miles away!

This dusty outlaw was the ring-leader. His name was Vinny. Kept sayin’ “C’mon, I dare ya. I dare ya. Just try an’ take my pich-ah!”  In your FACE, Vinny!

This crafty hooligan saw me comin’ and hightailed it outside. What a pathetic, artificial attempt to look innocent you…..you….you…..transgressor!  Don’t fix your steely gaze on me, partner…I’m not buyin’ it.

Oops….sorry….don’t know how this photo made it in. It appears to be the local dachshund with a…..uh..rock. Please exercise extreme caution. Keep your arms and hands inside the vehicle…could be an escaped prison inmate. Looks pretty experienced breakin’ rocks.

#1 cause of insomnia revealed!

Step one….check……admitted I was powerless over my addiction to sleep-enhancing drugs.  My old friend, sleep-how I miss you *sigh*.  Is it possible I have sniffed out a contributing cause as I doggedly pursue the solution to this problem?  Could this innocent face be a contributing cause?

Yup, Roxy-Doxy makes her nightly nest with me and the Texan.  Virtues of a wiener dog sleeping in the marital bed?  Well, duh……who wouldn’t want to sleep with a plush velvet hot water bottle?  Yeah, and the dachshund is pretty soft, too!  Her nose is a heat seeking missile finding it’s target plastered against my legs, my butt, my back, or my stomach…you get the idea.

We begin our hopeful sleep journey with much snuggliness and doxy warmth, but during the night peaceful slumber deteriorates into boisterousness.   Awareness creeps in as those sturdy earth-moving paws pierce my ample backside.  Those gnarly, stout little legs stiffen and excitedly dream-dig, dream-run, dream-jump, dream-swim, or dream-chase our local roadrunner.
Her claws transform into weapons of back destruction.  Daggers.  Needles.  Swords. 

It’s like these

Turn into these

And this beautiful paw

Morphs into this

No silly….not a giant asparagus, but a skin-piercing New Mexico agave cactus! Ouch!!

These images come to mind

I have a diabolical plan-heh,heh,heh.  I’m positive old dogs can learn new tricks, and then I’ll teach that wiener a thing or two.  No, my plan does not involve selling her to Oscar Meyer-even though the little snot is leading our office March Madness pool. I’ll let you know how it goes.

spring songbirds

You’ve seen my African Gray parrot-Waka.

We raised him from an egg. This is what he looked like.  Feedings of white mush with eyedroppers and lots of mess. The youngest sprout is posing with the baby Waka.  The birds on the wallpaper in the background look just like the baby bird!  A foreshadowing, perhaps?

He grew up and got feathers.  The sprouts put him in all kinds of strange positions.  No self-respecting parrot should have to pose like this!  For shame….would someone please cover this bird?

Waka has an amusing variety of phrases. As I sleepily shuffle to the kitchen for coffee, he greets me daily with a cheerful, “What are you doing?”.  The clever Texan (not a parrot lover) thought it would be cute to teach a bird to say quack quack.  Now Waka smartly remarks “Quack, Quack Wak-eee!” in the Texan’s voice. The bird fastidiously answers the phone and alerts us to visitors by exclaiming “Hello...hel-lo!“.  He calls my sprouts and my deceased, beloved schnauzer by name.  He can say, “Mom, mom” in the exact inflection and intonation of my oldest sprout.  When hungry, he implores “Come here, come here!”….and his favorite food is pancakes with maple syrup.

Waka is an intriguing animal…he can whistle most of the Andy Griffith theme song, but he is not much of a singer.  He doesn’t sing in the way one thinks of a canary singing.  I suppose he might sing if I worked with him, but he is more enamored of whistles, clicks, and the inflection of speech.  He enjoys music, but wouldn’t be classified as a songbird.

Not me…I love to sing!   This was my thought today while sitting in my church choir.  Church choir and I go WAY back, and I’ve sung in a choir since elementary school, I guess.  I’m privileged to sing at local weddings and funerals and am continually astounded people ask me to share in momentous life events.  I’ve even sung a little in the local theatre, but my most outstanding audience is my Mom’s retirement home (OK, maybe the local maximum security prison was the BEST audience, but I digress). They are loving, appreciative fans and we share lots of laughs, hugs and kisses.  Here is one of my favorite friends…oh, what a dear!  We sang a duet a few years back.  Love the heck out of him.

I tried to share my singing enthusiasm with my sprouts. Here’s the middle sprout singing at a recital

The floral garb was surely louder than our singing…am I hearing ’80’s?!!

The word grateful isn’t large or broad enough to describe how joyous singing makes me feel.  I feel my most REAL self.  Even blessed, maybe?  I’m thankful to have something to sing ABOUT in this tumultuous world.  Can’t describe myself as a good singer-what I lack in skill I make up for in enthusiasm.  Randy might describe me as ‘pitchy’, dawg, but I’d like to continue singing a long time.  I’ll sing in choir as long as I can limp into the choir loft.  When too decrepit for that,  I will annoyingly sing at church, at home, in the car and blare in the shower.  I’ll be the flamboyant relative who loudly leads the group in bellowing Happy Birthday or the children in renditions of Frosty the Snowman.  Maybe the bird will join in a verse or two! My sprouts and the Texan will have to shush me and flush red hot at my musical antics.  Who could blame them?  Some may suggest I ‘stuff a sock in it’ or ‘shut my pie-hole’.  That’s fine….they are entitled.  But these lyrics (of a folk tune) keep piercing the gray matter…..since love is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing? 

Sprouts…Texan…Waka…friends…..get exceedingly familiar with humiliation and embarrassment.  This songbird will warble as long as she’s able.

completing your NCAA bracket-March Madness!!

Time to fill out your NCAA tournament bracket! This welcome spring-time ritual has our family enjoying the friendly back-and-forth and the inevitable differences of opinion about the outcome. This year, one family member’s ego swelled bigger than the roundball. Ever since Roxy-Doxy decisively won the Bark Couture Dog Spa March Madness pool last year, she’s been a royal pain in the bracket. As we were filling out our team choices, Doxy demanded the reading glasses. Why do they have to make the type so small?

She shunned the reading glasses complaining they were riddled with fingerprints and they made her nose appear unusually long.  She could read her bracket just fine without them….thank you!  She began her first-round picks.

No, you most certainly may NOT call your bookie in Vegas!!……I agree Morgan State would be an enormous upset in the first round. 

So,……you like New Mexico, Washington, Butler, Gonzaga and Wofford? Those are your favorites? Are you sure?  #15 ranked Wofford is your choice to win it all??!!

Wait a minute! Doxy….I think I detect a pattern to your choices. Could it be you picked these teams because their mascots are the Lobos, the Huskies, the Bulldogs, the Bulldogs and……the Wofford TERRIERS?! Tell me you are not dumb enough to choose Wofford because their mascot is a TERRIER? They are ranked #15 out of 16!  This is why they call it MADNESS!


My picks? O.K…. I like Louisville, Winthrop, Temple, LeHigh and Kansas. Kansas is my pick to win the whole shootin’ match. What? Do I realize all these teams have birds for mascots? Birds? Oh, perhaps they do. They are the Cardinals, the Eagles, The Owls, the Mountain Hawks and the Jayhawks.  The fact the teams proudly sport bird names has absolutely nothing to do with how I made my selections.  They are unarguably the most superior teams!

Let me tell you something you snotty, bloviating little weenie dog! Do you know there are 12 teams with cat mascots? That’s right. Cats must be the most fierce feline ballers on the planet! You’ve got the killer skills of the Bobcats, the Cougars (twice), the Panthers (twice), the Wildcats (twice), the Tigers (thrice), and the freakin’ Bearkats. That’s ‘Bearkats’ with a ‘k’ Doxy! They are soooo awesome they can spell cat with a ‘k’! Are you hearing me?

Alright….. give me your ten bucks and I’ll mark you down for the Wofford Terriers. I’m still pickin’ the Jayhawks. Awww, c’mon Doxy….can’t we both just agree to disagree?

a day in the life of a show horse

Today we have a guest blogger-Rodney, the American Quarter Horse.  Rodney is my horse and I am lucky to show him at Quarter Horse Shows.  Let him tell you about a typical horse show day.  Take it away Rod!
Hay everyone…let me show you what I do at a Quarter Horse Show.  We care about our hoof-wear.  My person wears this on her hoof. It helps me understand what part of my body I am supposed to move


She puts these on my legs to give my muscles support. Please don’t call them hose-they are leg wraps

Sometimes a person comes and helps us with our feet. Some of us wear very special shoes.  They are nailed on-but it doesn’t hurt

Hay buddy…why the long face?  Sorry…..bad  joke. I have to be patient and wait my turn

My mane is cut short and banded with little rubber bands to make it lay down nice and neat.  It’s not cool to have stall hair in the show pen.   Some of us wear braids and others of us have long, flowing manes.  Most horses in my class (western pleasure) wear the mane short…but you don’t have to

My person puts a shiny saddle on my back and pins this paper to my saddle pad

To do my job correctly, I have to listen and pay attention.  Practice, practice and no neigh-saying

While I was practicing, a lady who walked with the help of a piece of wood asked if she could pet me.  She had white hair and she told how she used to ride and show horses…but not any more.  Her hand looked bumpy, but her touch was soft and reassuring.  I stood still while she touched me.  She thanked us and turned to limp away with her stick.  She looked to me like she could use a good vet.  I don’t know what happened to my person…she either had dirt blown in her eyes or she had a run-in with her water bucket.  She wiped her cheek and looked down, but I knew the eyes were making water.
 
These are different things that go in my mouth. Which one depends on what I am doing and how old I am and things like that.  I turn my head towards my person, open my mouth, and help put my own bit in

Some of us get tired and have to take naps. We wear pajamas to keep our hair and mane neat

Only the wisest and most experienced horses get to carry around a small person like this.  This one must have grazed on something hard…his teeth are gone

After my class, my person pets my cheek and pronounces me ‘the best old-lady horse ever’.  I don’t understand what that means exactly, but then she kisses me on my muzzle and we both feel proud.  I start looking for a snack.  Hope you enjoyed hearing about my day.