So much to learn, if only I’d listen the first time

Going through my blog posts, I found this unpublished draft.  For those who know the journey of the horse in this story, thought you might enjoy.


I recently had an epiphany.   I have them somewhat regularly as I am a constant work in progress.  Don’t judge the art before it’s finished.

This little pearl of wisdom has been rolling around in my head for weeks, turning from a fuzzy little wisp of a thought, into something I can finally voice.

See the animal, not the breed.

Simple isn’t it?  Not even original, yet it took me more than a year to learn.  I mean REALLY learn, and understand.

In October of 2009 I adopted an 11 year old Arabian Stallion from HSNT, Merlin, had him gelded before bringing him home and have been working on basic skills and socialization ever since.  Slowly, I’m kinda busy.  That and I’m flying by the seat of my pants as he and I figure this out together.

He’s already broke to ride but it has been years since he’s been ridden.  My first priority was to just let him be a horse.  And put on weight.  He was a stallion for 11 years, meaning, he’s been isolated from others his entire life.  And he went through a rough patch for a few years before being rescued.  My first priority was to just let him be.   To graze on fresh grass, run freely in a large pasture.  Eat. Drink. Be merry.

I’m not going to lie, he was kind of a pain in the ass for most of the first year.  He has always been incredible with me, he’s very inquisitive and has a great mind.

But he annoys the hell out of the other horses.  He gets agitated easily, is very possessive of the mare, gets knocked around a bit and plays a little too rough for my taste with the other gelding.  He gets cuts and bruises and bite-marks.  Heaven help us if he’s separated from them however.

But oh my, pay him the slightest bit of attention and he just melts in your hands.

When the farrier comes, I stall the horses before he arrives so he doesn’t have to chase them around the pasture….alright then, so I don’t have to chase them around the pasture.  Time is money.  So the farrier heads straight to the barn and starts working when he arrives.  I usually join him when I can (he’s chalk-full of great advice).  Last time the farrier came, he started with Merlin.  When I went out to join him, he had already trimmed three of Merlins feet.  Merlin was in the center of the breezeway, untied, dozing peacefully.  He didn’t fidget, pull, shuffle, or even toss his head.  This magnificent beast just slept.

I whispered something to the farrier (I didn’t want to wake Merlin, silly huh?) about how far he’s come since his first year.  To be sure, he was not this easy going the first few months the farrier came, he was sometimes down right ugly.

The farrier said, “He sure seems to have a lot of horse sense.”  And I mumbled my agreement.

And then it hit me.

Wait a minute.


He doesn’t.

He doesn’t have a lick of horse sense.  He has people sense.  But he has no idea how to behave around other horses.

He’s socially retarded.

He picks, bumps, rubs, bites, follows, nudges, and basically has no idea when to stop.  He has a hard time recognizing the signals from the other horses when its time to quit.  He can’t read them at all.

Yet I can go out right now and put ointment in his eye while he rests his chin on my shoulder.  And he will sigh as if there’s no better place in the world then to be with me, right there, fiddling with his eyeball.

After this realization hit, I stopped trying to put this square horse into the round horse hole.  He doesn’t fit.  He might look like them, but he’s not like them.  Not at all.

I’ve relaxed a lot, I can see him now, really see him, for the animal that he is, and the horse he is not.  I think he senses it too, he’s even more lovable.

And, as an added bonus, he’s not as big a toot with the other horses, he’s more relaxed around them (for which they are grateful I might add).

I have learned so much from this animal, I often wonder who adopted who.

“…by the love of those I’ve been privileged to rescue..I have been rescued”

So simple, such profound consequences.

See the animal, not the breed.


the morning of the mutant fog

Some photos I snapped while walking our property looking for shoes my dogs drug off during the night; a navy blue crock and a flip flop.

This is a spider web spanning between two strands of barbed wire approximately a foot apart.

I find it amazing how a tiny droplet of water can soften the hardest of edges.

Or transport you to another place completely.  This looks oriental to me.  I’m sure Ting, the Chinese woman I work with would disagree….”No it don’t, why you say that?”

And I love the natural filter, where sound and sight are both muted and blurred.  Ethereal.

Still looking for the flip flop.

I have seen thine enemy and he is Ignorance

Ignorance scares me.  It is much more dangerous than stupidity.  It is contagious and can spread like disease.  I don’t think I personally know any ignorant people, not out right anyways.  Don’t get me wrong, idiots abound, but ignorance?  That is something else entirely.

Ignorance, in my view, is not something we are born with, it is something passed down from generation to generation, it is taught, intentionally.  Whereas stupidity is heredity.

I’m really not sure what to do with ignorance when I see it, but I know the cure: education and freedom.  But how does one go about spreading these things, war?  That doesn’t seem right.  I think our military is facing this same challenge.

The President of Yemen recently stated that Israel and the US are to blame for all the troubles in the Arab world.  I suppose that makes sense to a tyrannical ruler.  It couldn’t possibly be due to he and all the other tyrannical rulers in the region.  I mean, look how happy the people are.  Oh…right….sneak in a bit of technology, a dash of truth, and a peek at freedom, and all of a sudden the oppressive government doesn’t look so cheery any more.

Not to be outdone, the President of Egypt is claiming that the Jewish military in Israel has secretly trained sharks to seek and attack Egyptian swimmers off the Red Sea coast. Being Jewish, I took this accusation very seriously, I had to find out the truth.

“We speak Shark?”

I’m pretty sure I don’t speak Shark, but trust me, had it been a course elective in college I would have been all over it.

ALL. over it.

I took French.

My oldest sister also took French.  She has a thick Oklahoman accent and if you’ve never heard a southerner speak French with an Oklahoman accent, you should.  It’s funny as hell.

For the longest time, and because I live in a tiny bubble aptly named, naiveté,  I thought ignorance was a foreign issue, not something we in America had to deal with.  But then I read an article written by some yahoo right here in the good ol’ U. S. of A. stating soy turns people gay.

I’m not a doctor, but I watch one on T.V. so I feel confident when I say this is pure rubbish of epic proportion.  However, it hits on all the categories as being ignorant, idiotic, and stupid.  Which, if you think about it, is pretty spectacular.  Most mind-numbing drivel hits one, maybe two categories, tops.  This hit all three.  Stellar.

And so, I close with this:

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The end.

Pheline Phenom 2011

Due to the prolific and uncontained hanky panky next door, and surrounding areas, we are now interviewing candidates for our first annual Pheline Phenomena 2011.   This competition is open to males and females alike.

Let’s meet the competition, in no particular order:

Please give a warm welcome to Mr. September.  Mr. September joined us several years ago and has proved his worth by delivering scores of mice through out his career.  He is a gentle creature, shy, and very popular.  He is favored to go on to win the title, Mr. Pheline 2011.

Next, we have Mr. January.   Mr. January holds a Doctorate’s Degree in Fine Arts.  He enjoys sailing, polo, and languishing in the lap of luxury.  Mr. January is a calm spirit and has proven himself as mentor to some of the younger ‘upstart’ candidates although outward appearances would imply he is less than thrilled to do so.

And here we have, Mr. July.  Mr. July is a wild card in the competition.  With his edgy good looks and clear athletic abilities, he will be a tough contender.  Mr. July is a frog-sports aficionado, holds a black belt in tree climbing, and is currently studying to be a Sushi Chef.

Plus, he makes the ladies swoon.

Now moving to the females who have entered the competition, let’s meet Ms. April.  Ms. April is an accomplished singer, ear-splitting acapella.  She spends many hours a day honing her craft and should sweep the talent portion of the competition.

And finally, we meet Ms. June.  The youngest, and newest addition to Pheline Phenom 2011, who may simply win on cuteness alone.

Stay tuned as we continue to interview candidates.

Next week, meet the judges!

This post is a public service announcement and plea, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS!!!!!

Grade School PE: Deconstructing the Human Psyche

Very recently, I went to this thing at this place and I met a person.

And for some reason, I had this feeling that I’ve encountered this person before, in another lifetime.  Like when we were kids.

As I searched the dark abyss where childhood memories are filed, this sinking feeling of undeniable guilt crept in.

Then a thought formed; Oh my, I think I may have knocked the snot out of this person during a game of 7th grade dodgeball.

As this thought took firm hold, I found myself listening attentively to this person as penitence for my egregious grade school action, which may or may not have actually occurred.

But as this person droned on and on about something completely uninteresting, dropping ten-dolla words to which I didn’t know the meaning, acting haughty and condescending,  I had another thought.

Well, if it wasn’t me that knocked the snot out of ’em, I’m sure someone did.  

Unsolicited advice vomit:  Don’t be a douche.

Check your filter at the door….

Okay, so here’s the deal.  Lately I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the people around me.  Not my family, but strangers.  Not that I’m neglecting my family, you know what I mean.  Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of people watching, one of my all time favorite spectator sports.  The other day while standing in the check out line at the grocery store, I happened to spy a woman with the most ridonkulous hair cut I’ve ever seen.

My first thought, and one I may have inadvertently spoken aloud was: AH. MAH. GAH.

Mind you, I’ve seen lots of crazy hairstyles and usually the folks that sport these wild ‘does’ are aiming for shock value.  I don’t believe that was this woman’s objective.  I believe she actually liked the vile pile atop her head.

Let me explain, there was a band of shaved hair from the temple down that went all the way around to the other side, it was maybe a 1/4 inch and silvery gray in color.  From here up, it simply exploded violently into a golden atomic mushroom cloud, a completely different color from the base.  It really looked like an afro hat made of gold colored hair that was at least three sizes too small for her head and merely sat on top.

And I did something I usually do not.  I stared.  I ogled.   I gawked.  I was dumbfounded.  I would have liked to have seen the look on my face.  I’m guessing it was either one of abject horror, or unadulterated  admiration at the tenacity and conviction with which she wore this hair.

Based on her demeanor and the manor in which she carried herself, I supposed she was a woman of means, and completely unrelated, she was shopping with her husband.  Wait, no….correction, she was yelling at her husband.  I suppose she was angry about her hair.  Or maybe not.  Perhaps this is exactly what she asked the stylist to do…”I want it shaved here and here and then upwards I want it to explode like a mushroom, capiche?”  Because I think she was Italian.  Every Italian woman I’ve ever seen on TV yells at her husband and the older I get, the more I realize everything I’ve learned is from watching TV.

Her doppelganger could totally be a mushroom.  Mushroom is not a goal, it’s a fungus.

Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fabulous to be that guy, the one that walks around New York reeking fashion havoc on the innocent  public?  I think his name is Carson…something… from that Queer Eye show.   Anyway, I wondered what outlandish insult he’d hurl and how fabulous it would be to leave our ‘Polite and Social Etiquette’ filter at home.  After dealing with the mushroom lady he’d turn around and scan the crowd, then he’d say “Hey Lady! You there!  The size 26 in the tube top!……don’t.”

And then he’d spy me and say something like, “For the love of Pete, do something with that hair.  But not what she did.”  And then he’d look a little harder and say, “There are stores that sell clothes other than graphic tees, find one.”  And I’d throw my head back and laugh a knowing little laugh to let him know that his powers of superiority are useless against me.  Then I would reply with some witty little quip to show him he’s met his intellectual equal, one who’s ready for a vocabulary duel, because lets face it, I’m a girl, he’s a girl and at most, it would end in an embarrassing cat fight of epic proportions so instead I would say something like, “Wait…what?”

“I said, that’ll be $78.32….”

The Power of the Circus Peanut

I have a love affair with food.  It’s not that I turn to food for emotional replacement therapy or anything, but rather, I see food as both an art medium and a memory trigger.

The artist in me loves to play with food.  I dream up a dish, whip it up with my hands, decorate it on a plate then….EAT IT! 

There’s something very satisfying about that.  It’s nice and tidy (relatively speaking), there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end.  No lingering drama, saga, or baggage.  No loose threads.  Simply put, it was there, and now it is not.  But on a good day of course, leftovers.

The other aspect of food I so enjoy, are the memories some foods invoke.  My Grandmother for instance, is associated with Circus Peanuts.  No, not the peanut variety, the orange sugar concoction that’s oddly textured, way too sweet, and the teensiest bit gross.  She always had them on hand.


 And Sunday dinner was always the same – the tenderest pot roast born from the  cheapest cut of meat, silky mashed potatoes, string beans from the garden and  scratch rolls bigger than your fist.  These foods bring about warm hugs, kind  eyes, purple hair, rose milk hand lotion, and a beautiful smile that could light  up a room.  OH! And her chocolate cake….*verklempt*.

My Mom is French Moroccan, so we grew up eating odd things like eggplant,  pumpkin, pomegranates, and kumquats.  Which I like saying very  much….kumquat.  It’s just weird.

My Father however, is Oklahoman, so he  brought to the table, literally, yellow squash, zucchini, and fried okra.

I heart  fried okra.

Fried okra is a fishing trip with my Father.  He’s fishing and I’m fidgeting, trying not to vomit as I touch a worm, talking too loudly, and absentmindedly and annoyingly disturbing the water  with spasmodic, flailing limbs.  After all, I’m a kid.  And to a kid, streams and worms are freaking fantastic.

Sometimes, I think recipes make greater memories than photos.  I have boxes and boxes of photos that I haven’t looked at in years.  I can’t actually remember the last time I opened a photo album, but the foods.  Ah, the foods.  These I make all the time and always, I remember the beautiful people, places, and events that inspired them.