Horses about town

The West is the land of the horse.   Horses, originally brought to North America by the Spanish, made getting around the vast distances much easier.   We celebrate the legacy of the horse.

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A cowboy without a horse is just a pedestrian.

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And he needs something to tie the horse up to.   How about another horse for the job?

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Wild horses epitomize the spirit of the West.

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But they are not limited to the west.

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One can actually keep horses in town, and ride along the trails.   It was rather chilly this morning, so this horse is wearing a coat.


Wait a minute, what’s he doing here?   He’s only half a horse.

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Not a horse either, but he does live in a barn 😉

I find all sorts of interesting things when I go exploring.

The Amana Gallery

I have a thing about refrigerator magnets:  I don’t really like them, yet my refrigerator sports plenty of them.   I guess that means that mine are a different thing than everyone else’s ;-).

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This group is from a variety of sources: local, the British Museum, the Louvre, the Marmottan, St. Louis Art Museum, Minneapolis Natural History Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum and Honolulu Aquarium.

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Santa Fe, local, the Quilting Museum and Miss P.

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The magnets at the bottom are holding up a piece of art from a young friend.   This is the traditional role of refrigerator magnets.

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The late Poochie dog and promotional magnets.

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Here’s a picture of one of my nephews as a youngster (he’s 35 now), M and the late Arfy dog.  Magnets from Brazil, London, Seattle and San Francisco, as well as gifts (yes, you thought of me and thought “refrigerator magnet”).

Actually I pity the poor person who has only a pristine refrigerator to look at.


And death

Death and taxes, taxes and death.  Twinned together, but not exactly equal, one temporary, the other permanent.   If you don’t pay your taxes you might have to go to jail eventually (it being the job of the government to prosecute you, this could take some time.  Perhaps one might even succumb to old age 😉


Of course my own experience with death is limited, it is the great unknown.   A frequent plot device, it’s easy to write.   My favorite is Death as conceived by the late Terry Pratchett who speaks in CAPITAL LETTERS.   And of course all writing about death is fiction.   And the way taxes are appropriated is often fiction as well.




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“In this world nothing can be said to be more certain, except death and taxes.”

It’s quite a familiar quote, but I had to look up the author and found that it was Benjamin Franklin .   This is an unchanging truth from over two centuries ago.    Buried somewhere deep in the government archives, written in inscrutable legalese are all 70,000 pages of the tax code that people and businesses have to follow.   John Oliver noted that it’s two things that people hate:  paying money and doing math.   After finishing my taxes I would agree.   Oh well, taxes are the inevitable that we can predict to fall on April 15th, unlike the other.



Shopping lists

One of the more mundane tasks in life is compiling a list of items to remember to buy at the store.  Even Michelangelo had to do this, and as his designated shopper did not know how to read, he also had to illustrate this.


On successive days he needed bread, wine, herrings, anchovies, fennel soup and tortellini.   Each day was not a very long list, but I guess the shopper could not be trusted to remember the few items that were requested.

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This is my shopping list, which I keep on the kitchen counter next to Gumby and Pokey (stars of stop-motion animation from the 50’s and 60’s).   Much like Michelangelo’s assistant, I have a memory like a sieve, so if I don’t write it down the moment I think of it, it’s gone and I forget to buy it.  And of course we both like anchovies.

When I was shopping recently I found a discarded or forgotten list in my shopping cart (trolley).   The list was written on a pink post-it note.   The list was:  cat food, dog food, bird seed and tampons, obviously the list of a younger Earth Mother.   These lists offer a glimpse of the little things that fill our lives.

And I definitely need to add wine to my list.



Today Miss P and I were on a mission, to find and photograph some hoodoos.   What is a hoodoo?   One use of the word is a synonym for voodoo, but what I’m talking about is a column of rock, where the softer rock has eroded leaving a little (or big) hat of harder rock on the top.   It sort of looks like a person.

Why?  Well they are the sort of thing one runs into when one is out walking.   But when you are looking for them, they suddenly disappear.    It was tremendously windy today, so we just couldn’t get to one spot, but we did come across a few.

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These ones are near the house and we spotted them on a walk on Sunday. (Note to self: Do not wear Birkenstocks when out hiking).

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This puny one barely qualifies, but it is technically a hoodoo.

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These ones are pretty puny too.

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These ones are more respectable examples, located over by Pulpit Rock.   There are even some in a neighbor’s back yard, but none in mine.

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This is sort of a hoodoo, but it doesn’t have a hat.

A related thing is a balanced rock, which is not formed in the same way.   We have a premier example right in a city park, which is formed by erosion after the uplift of the mountain.

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This is extremely popular with tourists who drive up, snap a photo, and then go on to next tourist thing.

Ritual and tradition

Growing up I loved each and every holiday.   It’s an excuse to break out mass quantities of special food and to see all the relatives (not necessarily a good thing) and to be on best behavior.   Easter, the celebration of Spring and Faith is an important cog in the wheel of time, after the dull days of winter.   I had dinner with some friends yesterday and we reminisced about Easters past.

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For women and girls it meant a new hat, white gloves and a new best dress to wear to church.   My grandmother was a great lover of hats, her favorite shops were hat stores.   So I always got a hat that made me look like and feel like a complete idiot.  My brothers were merciless in mocking me.  For some reason I never thought to return the compliment, so a certain amount of fighting would ensue.

Then after what seemed like hours of waiting and trying to be good, the feast would commence.   Country ham (incredibly salty), biscuits, rolls, salads, deviled eggs, potato salad, green beans with bacon, crudities, lamb-shaped coconut cake and lots of pies.   My grandfather liked American food, so nothing ethnic was served at the feast.

I don’t make everything anymore, but I do try to do some of it, because it’s important to remember.   And it’s just me and Pen, although she could devour an entire feast by herself.  We always listen to Beethoven’s “Mount of Olives” too, it’s part of the day.

Easter also meant candy and there was that moment of decision.   Whether to eat everything at once or to save something, and what order to eat things in.   The essential existential question was: is it better to eat the weird candy first (like those flavorless fondant eggs) or to go directly to the delicious stuff (like red jelly beans) and of course the proper way to consume the chocolate rabbit (bit by bit starting with the ears, or in giant gulps starting with the feet or tail.

Then it was back to reality, no feasting or special foods that only appeared at holidays.  At least until the next festive occasion!

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Miss P

pen and pearls

Today Miss P would like to share her thoughts.

I am almost 12 now and looking back on everything I’ve had a pretty good life.   I moved into my present house in November, 2004 when I was adopted.   Before that I was homeless and lived on the streets of Woodland Park eating garbage and rabbits (both of which are very tasty!).

I love the water!   I have webbed feet and was born to swim although I had to learn how to do this when I encountered deep water.  In fact I went swimming today at the special doggy swimming pool.



I have been told that I have a pretty face, even by total strangers.  And many people ask about my beautiful curly coat.   I have naturally curly fur and I’m not part poodle.





I have a lot of hobbies:  destroying squeaky toys, chasing tennis balls,  eating (I’m not picky and it doesn’t have to be actually food), searching for dropped food (places with little children are the best for this), rolling in interesting things and going for long walks.


I also sort of like posing for pictures.