Monday, July 27, 2009


Well I just got back from a little town in Oklahoma called Burns Flat. I am not sure how many people live there because I only saw a few but it is near Cordell and quite a drive from the airport in Oklahoma City. I woke every morning to sit on the front porch and watch the cow babies and the horses play in the vast pasture that is their yard. I am sure they didnt know what to think of me walking out every morning and yelling "COW BABIES!"

I drank Firefly vodka sweet tea with my friend Holly and went fishing at the junction with the water moccasins and Holly's family. Oooo, maybe I should have mentioned the people before the snakes? Oh well, they know I love them. Did I mention the firefly vodka? I dented my head crawling into Holly's truck. Played with the horses, got mauled by cattle when the trigger to the automatic feeder on the truck broke while out in the pasture. We ate awesome Mexican food and took lots of photos for an article I am working on. Loved the red dirt and blue sky and 1000 degree temps!

My job may not pay much, being a writer but I can tell you it makes up for it in spades when I get the opportunity to call this work at all. The view from the back of my horse is my buddy Holly Clanahan and her hubby Chad and their many, many acres of animals. Had a great time, my friend. Thanks for the AQHA bling. Thanks for the friendship, the Firefly and oh yeah, the big dent in my head! Love ya


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fish, Friends and Finishing What I Started

Some days, the world seems to be moving way too fast for me to keep up with it. When this happens, I just shut out the world and go spend time with my ole pal, Hootie. I've been sneaking more and more time with this horse and his mother, Cher and their friend the paint, Nova. At our farm, that is the most quiet, least demanding area and aside from a flake of hay and a full water bucket, they don't really ask anything of me. Beau, our stallion is cool too but when I walk out the back door, which I do quite often throughout the day, he calls to me to come and spray him with fly spray. He is obsessed with the ritual and I can be in the house ten minutes and walk back out the door andf he lines up at the fence and whimpers for me to pick up that fly spray. I spray him and he actually turns around for me to hit the other side. Then he is happy until I walk out the back door again.

As a writer, I have an editor. She (or he) edits everything I say so that it looks more intellegant on the written page. This way, I seem more insightful and more educated and well... just more. I am really grateful for editors. I have decided that I need one to edit my life. The decisions I make, the people I allow close to me, how I spend my time. I need a life editor to keep me focused on getting things done such as articles and this blog, the childrens books that I write for every child born to someone close to me. I need an editor who tells me when I have been on twitter too long and to tell me to RUN when I meet someone who is later going to cause me grief. To stop me when I am about to say something stupid and most of all to cover my butt when I need to go spend time with the horses. She could take my cell phone and my email and the kennel phone and just edit my life while I play. Anyone want to sign up for this position, the pay sucks, the hours are brutal but I promise you will never get bored as there is always something that needs to be done.

So moving on... FISH. We built a garden with a little pond just outside my office window so I would have a quiet place to go when I wasn't busy. First of all there is not one place or one moment anymore that is not busy or quiet now that the dog kennel is in full swing and the phone is always ringing and people are coming and going but it's pretty and I can hear the water bubbling as I write and that is really relaxing. Soooo we bought fish for the pond. How fun! Bear put a big bucket with holes in it so they could get out of the sun and plants and ledges for the tadpoles to climb out when they grow legs and turn into bullfrogs. One morning I go out there to find they are missing. Not floating, not sucked into the filter, just gone. After a long discussion as to where they might have gone, we go and buy more fish but this time, we are going to watch more closely to see if we can figure it out. The pond is a long way from the barn and it is nestled in a garden with a fence around it. I've seen birds land and drink from it or eat the seed I leave for them nearby but no raccoons or predators have ever been seen nearby. Then one day I walk out to find the orange barn cat, Redford sitting on the shale rock on the bucket, the little island of the pond with his arm all the way up to his shoulder submersed in the water fishing. REDFORD! I yell and I startled him, he lost his balance and fell into the water. Mystery solved. The damn cat has been fishing in my pond. Expensive meal for a barn cat.

FRIENDS... friends can sometimes be like that damn cat. You feed them with kindness, you open your door to them and what do they do? They eat your fish! Someone should invent a friend filter that warns you of which friends are going to be good ones and which ones are well, just psychotic. My life editor certainly would have warned me about this one. A year ago I met a woman who wanted a horse. Now don't get me wrong, I have some really good friends both old and new that I thoroughly enjoy but then there are ones such as... we shall call her ...ummmm Worm. For no particular reason aside from the fact that she wormed her way into my life and then ate my fish. Worm wanted a horse. I had two we werent using so they moved in to her barn. We made her wait a month before we gave her the horses so we would be sure she wouldnt change her mind because that is a big decision. The month passed, the horses moved, she also had two donkeys. Then three weeks to the day I recieve a call that she wants to get rid of everyone and everything and I needed to come get them because she was depressed and just wanted them gone. She wasnt a horse person and she had gone off her meds and was falling apart. So I did what any friend would do and helped her find a place for all four animals. The donkeys went to Ernies and the horses went to another lady around the corner. I couldn't bring them back here because I had taken the opportunity to strip the fencing in that pasture and rebuild it. Hootie and his crew were in the other pasture. She appologized up one end and down the other and I let it go, encouraged her to go back on her meds and she vowed she would NEVER change her mind. She showed up at my house and gave me a pretty little saddle and bridle and various tack to thank me for helping her. Nice!

Then the other day, almost a year to the date and completely out of the blue, she called to say "remember that saddle and bridle I LOANED you?" "Well I bought more horses and need it back." I said WHATTT??? My first thought was this woman was not a horse person by any definition, she gave me the saddle for helping her get through a really tough time, I had four saddles so I would not have borrowed one from her and oh my gosh, she is off her meds again. I recounted the events that had transpired the year before and toldher that the saddle had been passed on to someone who neeeded one and I wasnt sure if I even had the bridle anymore but would look when I had some time. The following morning she called to say she was going to come over and help look for the bridle. I had 14 dogs all together and was packing to go to Oklahoma and was really busy. She would not actually get the new victims, I mean horses for a month so there was no rush, right? No. I went out and dug through twelve boxes of tack and could not find THE bridle. I called and told her that I would just pay for the saddle and bridle but couldn't find it and didn't have any more time to look. She declined and this was followed by about six more phone messages about how she wanted to continue to be my friend, not to be mad at her, she doesn't really remember what she said because she was not right at the time. All of which I simply ignored and went about my busy day. At some point in the conversations, she told me that she had also been calling Ernie to get her donkeys back a year later. I bet he is feeling about as angry as I am at the moment but am afraid to call him. Sooo heres to a friend filter that filters out indian givers, people who dial my digits way too often and people who can't decide what they want in life. Saddle gone, bridle gone, horses gone, donkeys gone and a year gone by. Move on.

Long winded I know but now finishing what I started... I am headed to Oklahoma this week to write an article for a fairly new magazine who hired me to write two articles. One, I already sent in. The second article is about a wonderful man who recently passed away, a cattle man and the father of a friend. My reservations and research were set about three weeks ago. and I am due to leave in a few days. I have made an attempt to touch base with the editor at least five times since then and have recieved no response from her. I am a little concerned because she is supposed to reimburse me for my travel and I have a couple questions for her before I go. I think it is important to tell this mans story and to finish what I start andI have quite a bit of time into this particular article. So the plan is to go and get the story and write the article regardless. Then maybe my life editor can help me decide what to do from there. So Oklahoma, here I come. A few days with friends, some research and who knows, maybe itwill all work out and maybe it will end up in a different publication but either way, my job is to tell a story so thats what I intend to do.

So the view from the back of my horse is not the fish, the friends or finishing what I started, its the little corner of the farm where Hootie and his crew reside and after I finish this blog entry, spray Beau with his fly spray and find me a life editor, I will be taking the phone off the hook and headed to the back of the woods to spend time with my horse because thats what is important and that is where things become clear to me. My horses, they speak volumes without even saying a word.