Walking in the rain

Spring in Leaf River

The sun came out, so I took Max for a walk.

The rain has been spitting and threatening all day, but not much had fallen since the inch we got yesterday. The sun came out for a bit this afternoon, so I took Max for a walk up the lane. By the time we strolled up the second hill, the wind kicked out and rain that felt almost frozen started hitting me in the face.

Max wanted to run home, but I made him wait for me. I put him inside and went out to the barn to see if the horses were ready to come in. All three were inside and the rain was blowing in through the north doors. Charlie was full of spit and vinegar. Maggie was eating Sonia’s food, and Sonia looked like she was pleading for relief. You see, she is the oldest, but Charlie pushes her around, which she does not take well. She looks worried. Sometimes, if I don’t lock them in their stalls, he will keep Sonia away from the hay nets, and sometime outside in the bad weather.

Farm equipment

Neighbor’s brought their equipment over to spread our horse’s manure on the hay fields.

A few weeks ago, we were having the manure spread onto the hay fields to fertilize them. The pile from cleaning out the barn every week over a couple of years, left to compost, had gotten pretty big. My neighbors were nice enough to bring over their big equipment to do the job. I opened a gate to let the tractor into the south side of the pasture, and the horses came running out. They ran into the hay field, but it hadn’t turned green yet. Instead of panicking, I just laughed. They weren’t going far. So I just enjoyed watching them run around until they were ready to go back in. It was a good experience for them to be so near a big tractor. They pretty much ignored it. It desensitized them to big noises so they don’t spook when I’m handling them. There’s nothing worse than a freaked out twelve hundred pound animal. A few times, I’ve gotten run down, but I’ve always been able to get back up, at least so far.  LOL. The joy of having horses in the back yard.

Sonia, Charlie and Maggie are having a romp in the hay field.

Sonia, Charlie and Maggie are having a romp in the hay field.

Starting Over

A young foal standing next to her mom.

Just getting started.

My website LeafRiverWriter.com crashed a few weeks ago. With the help of BlueHost tech support, I was able to retrieve my blog entries, but the design elements and widgets are lost. I’ve decided to take my lemons and turning them into lemonade.

I’ll be redesigning my entire website, refocusing it on what I love to do and to write about: HORSES.

Don’t panic if you’re not a horse person. I’m hoping to find a community of people (or perhaps gather a new one) who just loves horses. You won’t need to know anything about horses to enjoy it  because it’s not about “how to…” although you may learn a few tidbits in that area.

In my future blogs, I’ll be talking about what it’s like to “live with horses” and why I do it.

Having a horse on our property, we’re responsible for everything from finding or raising hay (we do the later) to scheduling hoof trimming every six to eight weeks (longer gaps in the winter because their hooves grow slower in the cold), maintaining their environment (mending the barn and mowing the pasture), along with keeping their stalls mucked out takes more time, physical work and education then boarding a horse at someone else’s facility.

So why do I do all that if I don’t ride my horses anymore? I’ll be writing about that too.

Living with horses is a lifestyle that grows out of my spirituality, a connection to earth and all living things. An expression of that belief is my art.

A close up picture of a horse's left eye.

Maggie’s watching and waiting.

Horses are included in my quilts, photographs, watercolors and clay sculpture surrounded by archetypes from Women’s Spirituality and nature up close. That art will appear in my blogs as well as on my art website TrotTownStudios.com (a site which is also in the process of being redesigned.)

This new vision of my social media presence will take time as I accumulate new computer skills from Lynda.com, so I’m asking for your patience. More importantly, I’m saying stay tuned. Lots of good stuff is coming.


Never enough time to write.

Never enough time to write.

Throughout this last winter and early spring, I was able to write everyday, not just for an hour or two, but four to six hours each and every day.  I’d hoped to maintain that pace throughout the summer. Sometimes, we can’t control how our time gets used.

Being a vegetarian, and living on twenty acres, it only makes sense that I keep a large garden. Last year we were able to freeze,  and dehydrate enough vegetable to get us through most of the winter. This year, I planned to keep the weeds better under control and rework the watering system so that it would work more effectively.  Last year was so dry, the tomatoes struggled and we weren’t able to harvest enough to put up salsa or spaghetti sauce.

The garden keeps me busy weeding, watering and harvesting.

The garden keeps me busy weeding, watering and harvesting.

This year, we had plenty of rain early on which made it harder to manage the weeds.  Twisting my rib out of place (probably from overdoing pulling and whacking the weeds) put me out of commission with pain spasms–three or four times a minute for days.

I found a chiropractor with magic hands to relieve my pain. However, the neck adjustments dislodged my ear crystals, causing my world to spin and making me nauseous. I’ve had this vertigo before and remembered some of the moves the audiologist used to relieve the symptoms.

Unfortunately, the cure also requires not bending over and sleeping in a sitting position for two or three weeks.

I don’t sleep well on my back–especially when sitting up. I’ve been unable to work at all for over a week now. Today is my first day back to the computer, making a little progress on my manuscript.

Doing nothing or resting or being at less than full-tilt activity feels unnatural to me. My life requires daily maintenance. A lot of it. I’ve been working hard to bring some much needed organization to my life, but with these disruptions, those projects have been left half-finished.  I tell myself, “There’s always tomorrow.” It helps keep me sane, but just barely.

Now, the heat and humidity ranging around 100 degrees is making any work outside impossible until it begins to cool off around 9:00 p.m.  I know 2/3 of the country are suffering, with many people suffering much worse than I.  At least we have air conditioning, which is better than last year when we were out of power during the heat streak.


Time to relax and enjoy the sun set

Time to relax and enjoy the sun set

I tell myself to “go with the flow.”

Worrying about what didn’t get done only drains the energy I need to heal, and to maybe get a little writing done.  Sometimes I can make it work–like today. A little progress on the manuscript and this blog. I need to celebrate the small successes.

How are you dealing with the heat?  Or anything else that is disrupting your Best Laid Plans.  I’d love to hear from you.