Friday, October 12, 2007


This Gypsy is way more pensive than a cold night with a party and bonfire should allow. I got an email from Samantha over at Nothing But Red, asking to write a contribution to their efforts against socially condoned violence against women in general, against the abhorrent euphemisms known as "honor killings" in specific.

I think of my close women friends who have been victimized through the years, for no reason other than their gender. Too many. Any is too many. More than any is appalling. The actual numbers are revolting.

Thoughts tumble over each other. Tonight is the night to let them seethe. Later, I'll ask them to march in formation.

Cousin Serena hesitantly comes into the sitting room where I type. Guest Annika, the oldest of the girls at 11, is more transparent. "We told Will we wanted him to scare us. Now we're afraid. Will you help us find where he's hiding?"

Just a game gone sour, but an eerie in-law to this evenings introspection. Just 3 frightened little girls who desperately need protecting and building up, and a bigger, older boy who can't resist the invitation to scare them.

You are amazing, wondrous, strong beyond your belief. You deserve to be safe. Hold my hands, let's go into the darkness and find Will.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Past Few Weeks aka The Dog Ate My Blog Posts

I began this blog for a handful of reasons. Among them was to keep family in touch with my life. Heck, to keep ME in touch with my life in those brief, breath-catching moments between whirlwinds. The sudden chill in the air reminds me I need to do a summer recap. I'll start with just the past few weeks. Assume the usual roster of lessons to teach, horses to train, farm work to field, and clients to nurture.

Bower Work Weekend: Amazing Grove care and cleanup. Chestnut orchard pruned, new orchard plotted. Underbrush cleared, mowing begun, Trail network created through the old old orchard. Chainsaw symphonies and bonfires galore! Food, family, friends and fun. Deep gratitude for all the hands and hearts who helped. First Round of Photos up on Laughing Gypsy Photography

Prints matted and framed, in various stages of hanging in the "SPCA: Spirited Personifications, Creative Animalizations" show at the Fire House Gallery in C'Town.

Wolf's and my photos from the Ultimate Five Race appeared in TN newspaper, State Gazette, and on the race website. Niggling reminder to get pix posted on my own site. Its on the list.

Scheduled the most recent addition to the training roster. I worked with this filly when she was a weanling, now she's 5. Has it really been that long? In the grand scheme of things, how do I dare call that long?

Jefferson County Fair Photo Update: Lawn and Garden Tractor Pull.

Working with Jim and James on plans for more loafing sheds for the horses. Today's bitter winds bring added inspiration.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Manic Monday: Tracks

Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but memories. Leave no trace.

There is a time and a season to tread softly. This is not one.

25 or so of my nearest and dearest relatives and friends gather from far and near for Grove Weekend. The object: to work our butts off, eat like pigs-- and remember to sign the guestbook before hustling home. The result: much-needed care of the ancient trees (and up-and-comers) in the grove and adjacent woods on the family farm.

We have chainsaws and tractors and axes and machetes. But cousin Phil has The Secret: The Skidder. A single pass uproots "bad" trees and multiflora rosebushes, leaves a clear swath wide enough to maintain with a tractor and bush hog, and leaves all onlookers with dropped jaws and overwhelming power toy envy.

Sunlight now pours in to what was til this moment a dark tangle of hostile vegetation, feeding the Dogwood and Redbud that ignite the woods in springtime. A joyful family--or 2 horses abreast-- can now ramble through what started as deer trails through brambles so thick I'd emerge bloodied from my romps.

The power to destroy. When wielded wisely, destruction is the launching point for new creation.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

West Virginia Man Makes Big City News

Wolf sends me this link from work. Even Capital Hill is impressed!

One of my intrepid neighbors was busted today after a high speed chase when a cop caught him weaving back and forth in the road with a 6-pack strapped to the front of his riding mower. The arresting officer chased him down on foot and dragged him off the mower.

Now we know something DOES run like a Deere. (Think he had a donut in with the 6-pack?)

What do you want to bet the defendent pleaded, "I was just tryin' to git 'er done!"

...Come to think of it, I may even have a picture of him from the lawnmower races at the County Fair....

(PS: Cy, wanna go to the Open? Campbell's gonna be riding this one for WEEKS!)

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, October 1, 2007

One Breath Poetry Haiku: Snips and Snails

Snips and snails: the tank
at the nursing home. Boys play.
For Granddad, too real....

Manic Monday: Orange

Life: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Home again. Great to be back on a horse after spending the better part of the last four days in a car. Amazing trip it was, despite the circumstances that threatened to keep me home and the last minute shuffling that took place when I was able to leave, albeit a day later than intended.

Home again. Muscles screaming from sitting still hour after hour are stretched into relief. As I ride out towards the mown corner of the field, I go through some of the mounted exercises that make my clients cry and curse, and cause one student to dub me her "Evil Master." That followed up by teaching Bogie, the horse, lateral work (moving sideways and forwards simultaneously, a great strengthening and stretching exercise) and riding out a pretty harmless bucking fit alternately torture and massage muscles back to life.

After some intense training, I take Bogie for a breather around the field to let him catch his breath and his thoughts. I ponder thoughts of my own. I know what I need to do to keep my body at the top of its game. I know to eat right, take my vitamins, and drink waaaay more water in the day than I think I need. I know the stretches the chiropractor promises will keep me out of his office, and I know to floss at least once a day after I brush. And that whole 8 hours of sleep a night concept? Sounds divine!

So what of reality? What about those vitamins that clattered in my backpack, untouched throughout my journey? What of that flossing and those stretches, that take only a few minutes of applied intentionality but yield priceless returns? What good is that knowledge when it festers in forgotten brain-space?

It takes 21 days to form a new habit. Actions spring from habits, lives are shaped through actions. We don't need New Year's to commit to transmuting old intentions into new habits.

A few minutes of remembering for 21 days. The bargain of the year for eternal youth--or at least vibrant living.