Eight months in

Monday, September 15, 2014

Really and truly, has it been eight months?  Have I really spent the last eight months coddling this big boy of mine and spoiling him completely rotten?  Not a day goes by that he is not pet, brushed, loved on, and babied.  If not by me, by some other kind soul who wanders down our aisle at the barn and sees his big, wide face poking out of his stall.  Ryon is so utterly spoiled that at this point, he doesn't think he's a horse anymore.  Case in point: On Sunday we were hanging out in the arena and someone had left her water bottle (the plastic kind with the big straw sticking out of the top) behind.  I took my eyes off Ryon for one minute and he has the straw in his mouth, water bottle dangling from his lips and is gulping away.  "What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine, mom" is what his face seemed to say.

Still, my gigantic "puppy" sticks his head out in the evenings to greet me.  He listens to me whine and complain about random things in my life whilst wiping his dirty nose on my clothes.  We've eaten dinner together, him draping my hair full of straw.  And right when you think he's being nasty or mean, he switches tactics and you realize that he's only asking for attention and a scratch on his velvet nose.

Isn't that what we're all kind of looking for in life?  A bit of attention and a scratch on the nose?  And maybe a treat or two please, mom.

Fall preview weekend

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The tea kettle whistles, shrilly, as an alarm shaking me out of my reverie.  Cold care PM to round out the weekend, the windy and chilly weekend.  A bit of ointment for my face, which inadvertently caught a tree branch on the Saturday afternoon trail ride.  Much more dabbed on my arms, which bore the brunt of the attack.  Can one treat a fever with Cheez-its and graham crackers?  I made a lousy attempt at chicken noodle soup, picking up a family-sized can from the store earlier in the day, only to realize that after living here for over a year and a half, I still don't have a can opener.  Counting the mosquito bites that dot my legs, I cross my fingers that it isn't West Nile.  What does West Nile feel like anyway?  Your priorities show when your pet has been vaccinated for West Nile and you haven't, despite it being present only one zip code over.

Tomorrow some vitamin c or echinacea.  And potentially a can opener as well.

New Hampshire by Howard Moss

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The weather is inching down maybe 10 degrees this weekend... hardly even a taste of fall, much less winter.  However, we deserve a little taste of what's to come and I'm sure it will be here soon enough.

New Hampshire
By Howard Moss

When the loons cry,
The night seems blacker,
The water deeper.

Across the shore:
An eyelash-charcoal
Fringe of pine trees.

The lake reflects
Indefinite pewter,

And intermittent thunder
Lets us know

The gods are arriving,
One valley over.

After the long
Melancholy of the fall,
One longs for the crisp
Brass shout of winter—

The blaze of firewood,
The window’s spill
Of parlor lamplight
Across the snow.

Flaring like a match
Dropped in a dry patch,
One sunset tells
The spectrum’s story.

See the last hunter’s
Flashlight dim
As he hurries home

To his lighted window.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ryon's morning nap
It's not fall here yet in Texas, and Ryon and I are taking a moment to catch our breath (as well as a quick nap) before we go back to sweating it out in the heat.  Thanks for being patient with me and I'll be back to regular scheduled programming in no time.

Guest post: Pepsi and Pringles

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Guest post from my sister Siri (found here and here)

Pepsi and Pringles

Since I can remember, the first thing anyone gets offered at my Grandma's house, after the warm hug and broad smile, are Pepsi and Pringles.

Any gentle refusals, which as a kid came solely on my unwilling behalf from my health nut of a mother, fall on (nearly) deaf ears. Barely after you've ducked under the spray of jasmine to cross the welcome mat, both the cold, fizzing and mustachioed, rattling cans are pressed earnestly into your hands.

Even now, even today, every slight movement twisting a knife of arthritic pain into her hunched body, she strains to reach for a can to pass me.

That ever-present smile beams from her nest in the couch, rows of pearly white dentures laughing through her rapid-fire ("Is your boyfriend here? How is he? Tell your sister to trade her horse for a husband. Did you watch the World Cup? Nike did well?").

The room starts to fill with family, and she smiles and nods through the blossoming bustle, as she always does.

Except for the split second. Except when she thinks no one's watching, and her face falls. Usually crinkled with laughter, her clear blue eyes flit to the corner of the room.

The armchair.

His armchair.

Conspicuous only by the absence of its constant occupant. In his place, rests a small suitcase, packed painstakingly, her gnarled hands worrying over his favorite tie, a creased photo, tokens to keep him company in the coffin - more a comfort to the living than to the dead.

Snippets of hushed chatter fly around in Mandarin. I catch one: the last conversation my Grandpa shared with my Grandma, a night or two before he passed.

"I think, now, I'm just waiting to die."

"But, without you, for what will I have to live?"

I pause as I walk into the kitchen to rinse off a plate at the sink, the precarious stacks of bulk Pepsi packs lining the walls of the pantry, patiently waiting.

Easter eggs

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


He had a hidden, sweet smile
But a terrible tattoo.

He had terrific taste in tacos
But utterly horrible manners.

He had the poshest accent
But a serious, long-term girlfriend.

They are like a girl’s very own, multi-coloured, cheap, plastic Easter eggs, waiting to be cracked open.  Sigh, these silly little Easter eggs.  The question is not whether or not they are novel, intriguing, or interesting.  The question is their duration - how long they will remain novel, intriguing, or interesting.  Attention-deficit disorder is not a condition that is isolated to my horse Ryon.  My attention could be lost to a myriad of shiny objects, bright lights, or sudden movements.

However, you bring the repartee and I will guarantee you an interested audience who won’t once be distracted by looking at a flashing screen.  You bring a conversation that does not revolve around “so what do you do for a living” and I guarantee you that I won’t give you a fake response, smile, or laugh.  We may even talk for hours.  Or we could crash and burn.  But oh what a crash it would be!

Oh, and my favourite way of preparing eggs?  Scrambled.

Inhale and exhale

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I truly appreciate everyone's patience and kindness with me last week.  Or rather, this whole past year.  It's been a trying time and my usual steady-eddie emotions have been up and down like a clown on a rocket-fueled pogo stick.  While you kind and gentle folk take time to think about me during the day, there continue to be people getting married, babies being born, and children starting school.  Please don't think I take your blog comments lightly or for granted.  I know that you all come here willingly, day in and day out, to check in on me.  The funeral for my grandfather is this weekend, however as my mother's cardiologist recommend that she not risk flying, she and I will be staying in Texas while my dad and sister attend the service in California.  My mom has surprisingly, very quickly made peace with the decision, and I can't help but continue to be impressed at the personal growth (as well as speedy recovery) that she's made as a person, within the last few months alone.  It's strange to be proud of one's mother but I am, quite a lot, and tell her so with every inch of progress she makes.

I have a feeling that we could all use a little bit of inner peace as we head into the fall and it seems as though that was exactly what this house was designed for.  The tall, tall canopy of trees, neutral colour palette, and natural design elements through the house all remind me to breathe.  Slowly.  Deeply.  And just relax and melt into my surroundings.  And then slowly, ever so slowly, wander through the walk-through master shower.  Because O.M.G.

Thanks again y'all.

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