Thursday, December 10, 2009


Often I feel like our blind, diabetic dog: stepping forward in faith, trusting that the next stair will be under foot. And if I miss, that the fall is short enough to shake off and start again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Siege Of Glengary Equestrian

September is galloping along. Mark's Birthday just passed, and mine dances closer, hand in hand with the Siege of Glengary. I always joke that Siege is really my Birthday event! This year marks a milestone: the return of equestrian to Siege of Glengary.

When Siege was still held at the Lazy A campground, I taught some riders the games and ran equestrian events, breaking ground for our shire. Siege then moved to a postage-stamp site. Horses were out of the question.

I had a dream of Siege moving to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, of bringing back equestrian events with all their flash and thunder. This year, that dream becomes reality.

We welcome you to join us! There are many ways to be involved with equestrian at Siege of Glengary.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy April Foals Day!

Luna the Shire/ spotted draft mare delivered a spirited, strapping colt in the wee hours of the morning. Baby and mama are both doing great!

The colt is a chestnut Tobiano with a chanfron shaped blaze-perfect for a future war horse! His sire is Jack Flash, a Gypsy cob stallion imported from the UK. The foal will be registered as a Gypsy Sport Horse.

We are tossing around name ideas, doting on mama and playing with the colt. We look forward to a future full of adventures in trail riding, medieval reenacting, dressage, eventing, and just horsing around.

Since he's a Gypsy born on April Fools, he must be a Laughing Gypsy!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Extreme Sheep Art

When Welsh Shepherds have too much time on their hands...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Obsidian and Gold

This song is Mark's Valentine's present. It took root the night of our engagement, when we exchanged our gold and black feathered horses. I was going to write it for the wedding, but surprise surprise was a tad busy with other things. Then for his birthday, then Christmas, then our first/winter anniversary, but the timing still wasn't right.

After the anniversary the final pieces fell into place. The feathered horses, the places, the swords, the helm and the banner are all real. And so are we. And hopeful romantics at that!

I'm waiting now for the music, for what's a song without a tune? If it shows up in your head, please sing it to me!
Obsidian and Gold

Back when the hearts of men were green and the world glimpsed its first light of morn
And mysteries and histories and victories were born
A tale took root, gained force and flew of Love so fierce and bold
A love that soared on wings of obsidian and gold

A boy was born became a man beneath the western sun
His mind was quick his heart was true yet longed to find his One
A girl ran wild, down years she smiled on the other side of the world
She never thought such love she sought could ever be unfurled
Their spirits, forged in the fires of life and the raging storms they’d weather
Their paths aligned became entwined, at last they ran together

Chorus: So ride together towards forever, hearts joined into one
On one mare black as dreamfilled night, The other fiery sun
These wing’d steeds of timeless breeds, their bearing bright and bold
Will carry you on feather of obsidian and gold

“I pledge my troth to thee,” they vowed, their voices joined as one
“Our endless love and loyalty will ever burn so bright”
And standing there he gave a mare black as the dreamfilled night
And she to him a golden steed afire like the sun

Foul forces rose against them, as hatred craves Love’s death
He gave to her a glittering helm, his kiss life-giving breath
And she to him a banner bright emblazoned with the power
Of two as one together come to face their darkest hour


Voice joined in battlecry, As one their swords they drew
Her blade curved like a lyric, his tempered straight and true
A lightening flash, a ringing clash! Their foe before them flew
United heads and hands and hearts, as one now stand the two

Though evil screams against all dreams egomaniacally
And heaven’s gifts come under fire diabolically
Bonds born defeating darkness are the strongest ever known
The heavens sing such victories as of their very own

Final chorus:
We ride together towards forever, hearts joined into one
My mare black as dreamfilled night, Yours the fiery sun
Our sterling steeds of timeless breeds, their bearing bright and bold
Now bear our dreams, our love on wings, obsidian and gold

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Banner Anniversary

The ice storm provided the perfect opportunity to finish the anniversary banner.

We'd come up with the, probably over a year ago. Mark saw a design with the wolves from the Book of Kells racing around an interior design, now I don't even remember what it was. I thought the wolves would look great around a horsey knotwork triskelion, and remembered a particular iteration that would work well. Mark worked some photoshop magic and *poof* we had our pictogram.
(I just made up the stuff down in the tip of the banner on the fly, to anchor that sea of negative space. )

I'd wanted to make the banner as a surprise for Mark to decorate our wedding tent. Seems appropriate that it mark our anniversary! I still need to cut down the ends of the cross piece and make a flagpole, but the main body is DONE! Mark brought it up to the roundpen while I was playing with Grace--even more appropriate as she is the engagement ring :-)

The banner, dancing by the round pen

Detail of the main design

Detail of the tip design

Just now I look up what the traditional first anniversary gift is: paper. Neither the banner nor the Cafe Press stein with the same graphic (part 1 of the gift) qualify. Ah well. Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coffee with Madeleine

Madeleine L'Engle was one of my favorite authors growing up. As I devoured her stories, I would insert my own character into them and make up new adventures with Meg and Charles Wallace, with Vicki and Zachary. Her skeleton of quantum physics gave my world a structure and power that finally made sense, and explained my impossible reality.

Then I heard her "adult" books were "Christian". I still rigidly tied Christ together with the Church, and wanted both of them as far away from me as possible. Rather than taste for myself, I trusted my intellect (bad move!) and moved on to other authors.

Perhaps, had I trusted her enough to follow through uncomfortable places, I could have short-cut my own journey by 17 years.

Mama D. gave me 3 of Madeleine's books for Christmas. She is my brother's mother in law. Does that make her my mother in law in law? Any rate, January's stolen moments with Madeleine are bringing delight, recognition-- and challenge.

She reminds me so of my Grandmother. Granny was still of the "children should be seen and not heard" camp when I was growing up, and my ubersensitive personality inflated that and carried into young adulthoood before she died. Yet after death, she affects me daily more powerfully than ever in life. I wish I'd been smart-loving-brave-presumptuous-WHATEVER enough to chase that down while still she lived. A powerful woman, a powerful Christian-- but that which I now see as worth pursuing chased me off as a child.

So too it is with Madeleine. I mourned her death but now she's with me as I ponder, or recognize myself in her words, or snarf coffee out my nose in hilarity.

I wish I hadn't wasted so much time. I wish I knew enough then to grab hold of what I know is important now. Bu I am sooo grateful that long after their deaths, these two extraordinary women are still dancing in my life.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Saying Good Night

If the only reason the truck fried and we needed the flatbed was so the stranger staggering down the side of the road didn't freeze to death, it was a night well spent.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shield sheltered, foe facing
Astride alone, aloft in a saddle
Strongly stitched, skins stretched
On wood felled and fashioned
To tame a tireless tide
Buoyed by winter’s wool
Warmly woven, colors clashing
Cinched snugly, buckles bright
By singing smith-strong strokes
Leg leathers, lightly laced
Wrap the war steed’s snorting surge
Rebellion reined to reason
With the horseman’s weird whisper
Weapons waiting, formed to feed
Arrows quiver, fletched to fly
Sword’s sharpened shine unsheathed
Seeks to silence, lethal loyalty!
Banner breaks on skysurf
Snapping sea of stitches
Singly sewn, my clan's commanding
proclaims my presence
Lone in a lake of rivals rage
Shield sheltered, foe facing
One warrior battlebound
The vast village, ahorse in its arts
Rides unseen alongstride

Burst the Bounds

I start Madeleine L'Engle's "the Irrational Season" this morning, book 2 of Mamma D's Christmas gifting. As the sun groggily staggers above the horizon, I once again whirl and revel, agree and question L'Engle's luscious prose.

This sentence sparks a pyrotechnic WAHOOO! that blows me off the sofa!

I saw creation bursting the bounds of daily restriction, and stretching out from dimension to dimension, beyond any human comprehension.

Bursting the bounds of daily restriction... I recognize in that my Wild Joy. THAT is the way I want to live!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Morning Mare Check

Between the bitter wind and the burning cold, I expect to find a newborn foal, just out of principle. But the pasture status is still quoing. Luna's still standing in the hay, happily getting larger as the round bale disappears down her gullet.

The young-uns are keeping her company. Grace marches right over for attention. SkySong was sleeping sunbathed in the hay--she takes a little longer to wake up.

I find myself singing "In Your Eyes" as the horses' glossy orbs reflect our world-- and me--into the iPhone camera...

"...In your eyes, I am complete...."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Bend

I hate that corner.

Its a 90 degree bend in a country road, close enough to town for convenience, far enough out to keep dirty secrets. The parking area is littered with rotting garbage, tattered sofas and silenced torments.

Jeannie's son was driving home late one night. As he rounded the bend a car screamed out of the darkened pull off behind him. The driver seemed crazed, honking and trying to run the young man off the road.

I don't remember the details of the rest of the story. It ended up with Jeannie calling the cops and her husband grabbing a gun and joining in the car chase. The cops cornered the psycho in the parking lot of a local hotel. As they were cuffing him they discovered a small boy-- his stepson-- frozen, silent, and bloodstained in the backseat of the car.

I hate that bend.

I use that shortcut this afternoon, racing home from town on the misty fringes of the icestorm. Something catches my eye about an old barn, makes me want to pull over and play with photos. I remember with delight I'd thrown my camera in my bag that morning. I look for a pulloff. My heart sinks and my hackles rise as I realize where I am.

I maneuver my Subaru through cast-off Christmas trees and decaying deer carcasses. I can see the barn through the mist. It reminds me off the cover of the book, "The Shack." I shudder and start praying over the area.

As I walk along the road away from that dreadful parking area, I slip into that amazing place-beyond-words between the camera and the world around me. At some point a man comes out to check his mailbox. "Looks like that barn could use a fixer-up," I laugh.

"Or a strong wind," he replies ruefully, "we hear it creaking and groaning at night...."

The low battery warning leads me back to the car, back to the Bend. Praises and prayers again flow freely. A powerful Peace washes over.... I climb into the car.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year 2009

The New Year. Perhaps it's just placebo, this annual rebirth we step into each January. We turn a calendar page which marks a made-up measurement of imaginary time and call it a milestone.

Placebos may be counterfeits, but their results are really real. I say, bring it on!

I've been chewing on this year's resolution for a few days now. I wished everyone a New Year of wild joy, and realized this was my resolution. To live every moment with Wild Joy.

I smile, remembering that long ago realization and accompanying commitment that who I am is Bold and Sparkly. Why is it, I ask again, that we need to constantly remind ourselves what we already know?

Wild Joy is my birthright as a son and heir of the Creator and Lover of EVERYTHING. It's the food that charges my body, jazzes my spirit, and ignites that Love that glues me to everyone in my world.

And it's also a choice.

It's not conditional joy: my circumstances are perfect and the stars harmoniously converge and so I'm joyful. It's not a rebellious joy: I'm joyful to spite my circumstances. That would still define and limit Joy by the parameters of circumstance. It's a Wild Joy, outside of circumstance, generated moment-to-moment by choice rather than cause-and-effect.

A commitment anew rather than a new commitment.

I haven't yet put 2009 planner pages in my Ta-Da Book. The year stretches untouched in front of me, the open space welcoming Wild Joy with an wide embrace.