April 25, 2016
The farm where I ride horses is overrun with rabbits. Which is cool, because it also means there are lots of raptors around, including a breeding pair of bald eagles.
Last week, I went to ride in the indoor arena because the ground outside was still wet, got on the horse I was riding that day (I ride either TinyHorse or the Boy, that day it was the Boy, who is a big baby thoroughbred and a sweetie pie), started around the arena…
And there was a baby bunny sitting right on the path. I couldn’t tell if it was alive or dead. Its eyes were open, it was fluffy, it looked alive. But it didn’t move, not even when the Boy and I walked within a foot or so of it. The bunny was in baby freeze mode and it wasn’t moving.
I couldn’t stand it. I’d be worried about stepping on it the whole time, and if the Boy did step on it I would be so horrified and traumatized it would likely ruin my whole day. My whole year. So I got off, found a pitchfork, and went to try to get it out of the way. I mean, if it was dead someone would have to scoop it anyway. If it was alive, it would leave, right? Right?!!
No. I scooped it up with the fork. Still didn’t move. I thought I saw it breathing but I wouldn’t put money on it. I took it to the door, intending to set it down and maybe it could recover or whatever. It still didn’t move. I carefully set the fork down and tried to scrape the baby bunny off it. Determined that it was alive because it started wriggling. Finally got it off the fork.
And it immediately ran back inside the arena.
So, you know. At least it wasn’t dead.
(How the story ends: I never did get it out of the arena, but it finally went and hid under some jump poles, which at least meant we weren’t going to step on it. I had a lovely ride after that.)
June 8, 2015
May 15, 2015
As you can see, I’ve taken out the paper mache again, so that I can make a Thing. It’s a secret project. I might post pictures of the finished thing, or I might not, because there are some extenuating circumstances. How’s that for mysterious? Anyway, this bit is what I did Wednesday. I worked on Phase 2 last night, and left a wet sopping mess to dry overnight. (I love living in an arid part of the country, where paper mache actually dries overnight. I was reading one set of instructions that suggested putting your paper mache in the oven to dry, and that just sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. Or maybe that’s just my oven.)
When I got up this morning and took a look at it? Ooooooooh, it’s lookin’ really good! I’m really excited! Next step: paint.
May 6, 2015
1. Decide to do a Thing.
2. Study other examples of that Thing.
3. Read up on how other people have done that Thing.
4. Practice doing that Thing.
5. Get feedback from experienced Thing doers.
6. Do that Thing some more.
7. Put that Thing out there.
8. Repeat forever.
July 30, 2014
Turns out I’m not the only one going through a belongings purge and cleaning out the boxes from the basement and so forth. My parents are cleaning out, too, which means the last few times they’ve been to my house, they’ve brought. . . boxes. Of. . .stuff. They say, “This is yours now,” and leave me to deal with it. It’s hardly fair, as this has given me even more to clean out than I planned on. My strategy is to not even let these boxes get to the basement. Go through them immediately, throw stuff out, send them to the thrift store. I’ve done pretty well so far. Most of it has been toys I didn’t even remember we had, leading to the oft repeated phrase, “Why did we even keep this?” Answer: They got put in a box twenty years ago and no one looked at them until now. And I can’t just throw away the boxes, because I’ve also discovered true treasures, like old Muppets toys, that I will not get rid of.
Then one of the boxes turned out to be filled with art projects. My art projects, from when I was a wee small one. Seems I took a pottery class when I was probably in second or third grade. I made a lot of. . .stuff in that class.
What do you do with this kind of thing? I actually remember making most of it. I just hadn’t thought about it in thirty years. And Mom saved it all.
I think the assignment on this one was making 3-D maps of an imaginary place. We built up a mold of rocks and newspaper and things to make contours. I actually kind of like it, but it’s huge, like the size of a small watermelon.
This was supposed to be a self portrait. We will speak no more of it.
Another bust, done a few years later for a different class. I kind of like this one. I’ll probably end up putting it in one of the herb planter boxes for decoration, and to scare off bugs.
Seriously, guys, there was a whole box of this stuff. Art, you know? Not good art, but still. It felt really weird when I took a hammer to most of it. That’s right, except for a couple of little pieces I saved, I smashed the whole box into little pieces, which then went into the bottom of flower pots and planters during my last round of gardening. So, recycling, which felt pretty good. Still, it was weird destroying art.
But I think it’ll all be happier providing drainage for flowerpots.
July 7, 2014
My brother and his family came to visit this weekend, as we all gathered to celebrate my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary (!!!). I got to do something pretty darned special: I took my niece riding. This was one of the things on my auntie bucket list — I’m the horse person in the family, and every little girl needs to ride a pony at least once, so I really wanted to make this happen. We were a bit worried that Emmy wouldn’t be into it — horses are big animals, and if she’d decided she didn’t want anything to do with them, well, that would have been fine.
But see, right now I have access to Thumbelina, who is 13.1 hh — very kid sized. Perfect opportunity. Emmy did great:
(Thumbelina did great, too.) Emmy even helped brush Thumbles’ tail. She didn’t want to get off. Her parents may be doomed, and my work here is done.
When we got home, I remembered that one of my Breyer horses is a little bay Shetland pony that looks very much like Thumbelina, so I gave it to Emmy. Niece’s first Breyer! She’s only two and a half, and doesn’t quite get that not all toys should be thrown around. I had to close my eyes a couple of times, lest I see one of my beloved ponies take damage. But hey, she has her first horse, and that’s important, at least to me.
We all spent the weekend in the mountains, and had some pretty cool wildlife encounters. Here’s the moose who visited us at the cabin where we stayed:
Isn’t he lovely?
February 24, 2014
It’s a wonder I ever became an English major, what with the terrible time I had in AP English in high school. But I think part of the reason I had a terrible time was I loved the literature. This is the class where I discovered Sylvia Plath and Tom Stoppard. But the teacher… I argued with her. A lot.
So, in comments on the previous post I already told the story about this awful textbook we had that divided stories into “real” literature and popular literature, or “crap,” pretty much just like that (the book earned my eternal ire by placing Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” one of my favorite short stories at the time, in the “crap” category). So one day as part of a group presentation I did a fake commercial with a blender where I announced “This is your brain on popular literature,” blended an apple, and said, “Any questions?” The entire class cheered. The teacher did not. (I wonder, if I tried to bring a blender to high school now, would I be suspended because of zero tolerance policies?)
This was also the class where I pointed out that you can sing every Emily Dickinson song to the tune of “Yellow Rose of Texas.” (There are sing alongs on YouTube. Proceed at your own risk.) Now, first off, you can’t sing every poem to that tune, and second, that just means it’s a popular meter and there was no reason for Dickinson not to use a popular meter. In my defense, I would not have pointed this out to the class if I didn’t think everybody didn’t already know it. Turns out, nobody else knew it, and I was subsequently blamed for ruining Dickinson for everyone. (My response: “If that’s all it takes to ruin Dickinson for you, you don’t deserve her!”)
It would have ended there, except test day came along. The test, the big AP test that had kids puking in the bushes beforehand. As part of the AP English test, we were given a poem cold, that day, that we had to do a close reading on and write an essay about in the space of forty minutes or so. We cracked open our test books: Yes, it was an Emily Dickinson poem. And there were two dozen high school kids humming that song under their breaths. If looks could kill, I’d have been a steaming pile of goo that day.
I, however, thought it was the funniest damn thing that had happened all year. I could not stop laughing. And I got a 5 out of 5 on the test.