Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Need Olga Korbut.

It’s 10:09 am in Susquehanna, PA and I have just finished cleaning the bathroom on the second floor.  I am exhausted and in need of pains killers. I have pulled muscles and popped my shoulder out.  Morphine or codeine is preferred. If they were readily available I would pop two before I start the bathroom cleaning.
At 52 years of age I want to kill whoever thought of putting the toilet against the wall. When I was younger it was a stretch, but now, it’s damn near impossible.
Kevin Mazeika is training young gymnasts in Houston, TX area. He was not Olga’s trainer, but he still has an impressive record when comes to training gymnastics. I spent 6 years in the Houston area, why did I not look this man up? Join a class or two to figure out the best way to bend my body around the toilet.
I bet most of the gymnasts in the world can’t appreciate how their training is going to paid off. Keep the medal, think about toilet cleaning when that camera is following your every move. You will be cleaning behind the toilet for a life time. The Olympics comes around once every four years. Toilet cleaning is twice weekly if not more. 
There is no contest here. Toilet cleaning wins hands down. Perhaps they should turn this into an Olympic Event. I wouldn’t win, but the performance would be memorable.   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Chapter In Our Lives

Daryl & Alfred on our new porch

Less than a year after moving from League City, TX to Brashear, TX we are being relocated again.  We are headed for North East Pennsylvania.  Oh, goodie. 
The horses have to go back and I pray someone will adopt them. The tears fall as they are loaded for their ride back to Galveston County.  Will my heart ever recover?
After three trips to Pennsylvania, one that I joined Alfred on, he finds us a home in Susquehanna.
 Another chapter begins and I’m not happy with how the last one ended.  

As I Wait For Annie


April 11, 2009  

It was seven days ago that my Noel left for Rainbow Bridge. I stand at Noel and Tecs grave and try to understand. I feel comfort knowing that they are together, but I still miss them. I guess I always will. Death is just one of those things we all have to get used to. 

I can still smell you in your coat. So many tears have been shed as I bandage myself in your coat. My Gentle Giant I would give anything to hold you one more time. Kiss that pudgy nose of yours. 

Annie comes on Monday and I know you will be happy to see your stall being used for someone from the Habitat ranch. Annie needs lots of love and attention and I will try to help her forget the wounds from past abuse. I will hug and kiss her like I did you. 

I know she isn’t you. I will follow her lead as I attempt to make her feel loved and safe at her forever home. I know you will be with me as I try to make her feel comfortable. I’m going to do our Lucky Charms meal for her. The one with all the little broken pieces of apple wafers and cookies mixed in with your food. 

My Gentle Giant you have taught me well. I know you will always come to me in my dreams with Tecs. I know you will help me, help Annie. Thank you for being strong when I wasn’t, patient when I couldn’t figure out which way the polo wraps went on and so gentle when I handed you treats. You were a gentlemen right up until the end.

By the way, Daddy’s lettuce has grown back strong and fuller than it was before. Natasha tried to climb on the porch today. Silly girl. She is getting used to you not being here. I’m glad she's doing so well and I know you are watching over the pasture and barn.

As always, from my heart to yours…………'I love you more, than even one more day'. Run strong, run free, find Tecs and keep a look out for me. I’m just one heart beat away from Rainbow Bridge.

Noel's Last Day


May your knees be pain free &
your heart always mine. 

April 4, 2009

Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.

Joan Didion

What can I say about The Gentle Giant who filled my heart with so much love?

I could tell everyone he was a cutting horse who worked his body with savvy, and style. In his day, I suspect he was somebody special because of his rodeo abilities.

Instead, I’ll tell you why I think he was so special. He had arthritic knees that ached with every step that he took. He kept on walking. When I polo wrapped his knees with ThermaCare Wraps and rubbed on Surpass, he just waited for me to finish. When I held him and nuzzled my face into his neck so I could inhale his smell, he stood there waiting for me to finish this ridicules human ritual. Right before I would let go I would whisper in his ear, 'I love you more, than even one more day'. (The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion)

I called Dr. Allen on Friday, Noel was limping. He came. He said it was time. Once again, no backhoe people were available. That evening the man who helped us bury Tecs called. He could be here in the morning. The hole was roped off and I called Dr. Allen. He would be here after lunch.

Alfred got up early to make Noel’s favorite horse treats. They hid in the corner of the yard and Noel ate warm treats with his daddy before breakfast. Noel licked his lips all the way back to the barn. My tears were starting to fall as I fed and wrapped Noel’s knees for the last time.

Natasha and I were with him when he took his last breath. I buried my face in his mane and kissed his pudgy lips. Natasha pushed his head and ran around the pasture neighing and kicking. I wanted to scream with her, but I couldn’t. When Noel left for Rainbow Bridge, I wanted to go with him, but I couldn’t. It’s not my time. I have things I must finish before God calls me home.

Alfred and I wept as we worked together to bury Noel. Natasha stood at the grave until she couldn’t see any part of his body. She ran the pasture time and again, kicking and neighing over her loss. I tried to console her, but quite frankly I was wondering which one of my body parts was going succumb to an injury. I sent Alfred to take care of his girl. By dinner she seemed fine. She’s kicked Moose a few times since Saturday, but I just keep telling Moose he’s lucky to be alive.

This morning I wrapped myself in Noel’s winter coat and inhaled his smell. I sat on his stall mats and wept for the Gentle Giant who left me way too soon. The joy my friend, has left with you.

On My Mark...Get Ready....Set....Go

November 28, 2008
Food & Freedom

I was driving into the yard with a truck load of hay. All the horses were at the back of the yard. I jumped out of the truck and swung opened the gates. I jumped in the truck and all of a sudden Moose starts running toward the truck with Natasha and Noel in tow. 
I jumped out of the truck and tried to be big. I couldn't close the gates because the truck was in the way. Moose pushed pasted me as the horse across the street started to whinny. Natasha went to visit him. Moose has his head in the hay and Noel has hobbled out of the gate too. 
I had no lead ropes or halters, because they were all in the feed room. I have Natasha across the street, Moose eating hay out of the back of the truck and Noel standing right on top of the septic system. 
I pull the truck into the yard and get the gate situated so I can chase them back in. Yeah, right! 
So I run down to the barn and grab lead ropes and run across the street to get Natasha, who believe it or not was the easiest one to catch. I get her into the yard and have my eyes set on the boys. Cookies I'm yelling and Moose mossies over and I get him with some difficulty, because I don't actually have any cookies on me. Noel is still standing on the septic system and every time I approach him he does his spinning dance trying to get away. I finally get him and walked him into the yard. 
By now Moose has his head in the truck picking through the Wal-Mart bags on the seat looking for the apples and carrots. Natasha is trying to get her head in too and I'm sure there is gonna be a fight and they are gonna dent the new truck. I get in the drivers seat and slowly start to move. Moose is keeping pace all the way to the barn with his head still in the window. I just kept saying, Thank you God that everyone is home, safe and sound.

Natasha Has Colic

No Dinner Tonight
March 26, 2009

Everyone knows the relationship Natasha and I have together. The Mafia Princess versus me. The Mafia Princess usually wins and I have no doubt that the little town we live in knows I am not the owner of the pasture. I simple plant grass seed, clean up poop and Alfred is responsible for paying the taxes. Natasha owns the property. We should just put her name on the deed and be finished with it.

A short history for those of you who live in big cities, and don’t about the NOAA (sounds like NOAH) Hazard Radio. (It has nothing to do with the ark.) The first time this radio went off, I honestly  had no idea where the siren sound was coming from. Dogs were barking and I was in a panic. Alfred strolls out of his office and calmly explains its NOAA. I hate it when he strolls. The only NOAA I know has an ark.

Yesterday the NOAA Hazard Radio repeated went off. Tornados, thunder storms and heavy rain were coming our way. I decided to feed the horses early in an attempt to stay dry. Everyone is in their stalls and I proceed to do my Meals on Wheels routine.

Natasha is not eating and she has gone poop in her stall. I call Beth and ask if she could not be eating because of this upcoming storm. We discuss colic. Beth explains that a horse can still have colic even if they have pooped. I put halter and lead rope on the Princess and we begin walking the yard. She keeps lying down and I cautiously continue to make her get up. I pull her off side and we do circles as the rain begins to fall.

I call Beth again and ask about some medicine I have for Noel and would this help her. No was the reply. I call the vet as suggested and I get the answer machine. We keep walking and the rain drops are turning into buckets. Some two hours later the Princess decides to poop. I call poor Beth again and she says don’t feed her tonight. Ah geez, there is going to be H E double toothpicks to pay in the morning.

I stand with her in her stall as we watch the rain fall. I put the blame squarely on Beth’s shoulders about no dinner tonight. I lay my arm on her neck and tell her how scared I was. She turns to me and I’m thinking I’m about to get a nose job. I slowly remove my arm and step out of the stall.

I tell the boys everything is going to be fine. Noel is thrilled, Moose is not. I head to the house to take a shower and keep an eye on Natasha from the kitchen window with the binoculars. Stall hoping begins and Moose is left standing there wondering where he will be sleeping tonight.

Natasha is back to her old self. Thank you Jesus for saving Natasha!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Jolly Ball

March 20, 2009

I batted my eyelashes at Alfred this morning asked, “Honey, do you know what tomorrow is?”

     “Nope,” he quickly replied.

     “It’s our anniversary.” I gentle reminded him.

     “Well, that’s a first.” He said.

     “I know this is the first time I remembered the date, but you don’t have to be so crabby about it.”

     “How many years have we been married?” He questioned.

     “Got a calculator?” I inquired.

     “What year did we get married?” He probed even further.

     “I don’t know…..1991, 92, oh no wait, I’ve got it 93.” I said proudly.

     “Wrong, you get nothing again this year.” He said, enjoying my incompetence where holidays are concerned.

     “Well, maybe I’m just so happily married that I lose tracked of all the wonderful years we’ve spent together.” I am now trying desperately to shroud the fact that I have never remembered what day, date or year we tied the knot.

     “Nice try, you can have that Jolly Ball you’ve been asking for since the horses got here.”

     “Wait one minute Mister,” I snapped. “I need that Jolly Ball for Moose. Moose is your horse.”

     He stared at me and I knew another anniversary was ruined. Defeated I grabbed my keys and headed over to Tractor Supply. I was in a quandary over the many colors Jolly Balls come in. Finally, I had it down to two, red or purple. I went with the red. Happy as can be, I drove home singing along with Garth and Trisha, “In another’s eyes.”

     Once home, I waited for Alfred to finish his work related phone call so he could see Moose receive his new toy. I hold it out and the jackass takes off like I pulled a knife on him.

     “What are you trying to do scare him to death,” Alfred asked, as he ran into the yard to comfort the big lug.

     I picked up the Jolly Ball and walked down to the barn wondering how I had been so wrong about Moose not enjoying a Jolly Ball. He picks up everything he gets near. Lawn chairs, hay stands, and coffee cups. I’m really tired of being squirted with the hose. He picks it up by the nozzle spraying everyone but himself. He is now chewing on the handles of the wheel barrel. I get splinters. The boy needs a Jolly Ball. I put the Jolly Ball down in the middle of the yard and scoot into the house to spy on him from the kitchen window.  

     He slowly munches grass in a circular pattern as he inches toward the Jolly Ball.  I’m cheering him on from the kitchen. He’s about to touch it with his nose and ‘WHAM’ Natasha shows up from out of nowhere and kicks him right in the butt. My neck extends like E.T.’s and my eyes bulge out of my head. I race into the yard to see if he’s okay. I am not the best person to be checking on him because the Mafia Princess has just kicked him and her two legged female side kick is running through the yard directly towards him. He puts his head up, nostrils flaring, and he is backing away from the Jolly Ball and me as fast as he can.

     “It’s okay Moose,” I say, extending my arms in a bear hug embrace. “Mommy just wanted you to have a Jolly Ball to play with.” I gently rub his neck and he begins to calm down. I put the Jolly Ball on the side of the barn and go back into the house to finish some cleaning I had started two days ago.

     I take a quick peek into the yard.  Moose is pushing the Jolly Ball with his nose.  Suddenly, Natasha comes from behind the barn and kicks him again. I have a few colorful metaphors that escape my lips as I race into the yard again.

     “NATASHA!!!” I holler, “What the heck are you doing?” She turns her butt in my direction and sashays away. “Geez, Moose, I’m really sorry. This is my anniversary gift. I really thought you would like it.” I put the Jolly Ball in the feed room hoping this will save Moose’s life.

     All is quiet until dinner time. I open up the feed room door and the Jolly Ball rolls out. How can this be I think to myself? It has a handle on it. It just waddled out the door, handle staying on the side until it hits the ground. Now it’s kind of rolling and popping up and down from the handle hitting the ground, that’s when Moose and I hear hoof beats bearing down on us. He jumps in his stall and I jump in the feed room. ‘WHAM’ Natasha kicks the feed room door. I pull my cell phone out to call Alfred to come and save us. The calls keep dropping because the barn is metal. More colorful metaphors are now spewing from my mouth. I talk to Moose through the slits in the wall, “Do you see her?” I ask.

     The feed room door is suddenly jerked open and I wheeze as I inhale breath from the fear that Natasha has learned how to open doors. Alfred is standing there asking me, “What the heck are you doing?”

     “Nothing.” I say.

     “You’ve called me four times and when I pick up you’re not there.”

     I try to think quick, “My butt called you,” I said. I pull my cell phone out of my back pocket.

     “Put it somewhere else. I have work I need to finish.”

     He turns to walk away and Natasha joins him in a walk to the gate, her butt sashaying in the wind.

     Moose and I step back into the sunshine. I turn to him and say, “She’s out of control.”
     He stares at me like I’m the jackass now and I quickly add, “I’ll take the Jolly Ball back.”