Monday, November 30, 2009

Maybe Tomorrow

I have all kinds of blogging I want to do, but a post-Thanksgiving food coma and the Oh-My-God-It's-DECEMBER madness of this week are sort of in my way.

Today, for example, I spent an hour and forty-five minutes in Target. And then I went to the mall. Then I came home, ate dinner, put everything I'd bought away, and sashayed off to Chorale.

So tomorrow, hopefully, I'll have some time to blog. Maybe catch up my neglected little sign blog.

But tonight, I must sleep.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shoe Porn

I have a coupon for Nine West, so I thought I'd take a look at their web page. I'm in lust with several pairs of shoes.

Maybe I'll treat myself for Christmas... : )

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Horses On a Fall Day

It's been months since I've been to A Chance For Bliss, and today, I finally had some time to go see my equine friends (and all the other awesome animals, of course).

A Chance For Bliss is in trouble. The horrid economy has wreaked havoc, and Dee and Woody must raise $65,000 to pay their mortage or risk losing their home. If they lose their home, many of these awesome animals do, too.

I don't normally use my blog to pimp out my causes, but it's getting close to the Christmas season, and you just never know when someone might come across this and think, "Hey, I have a few bucks I can spare." If you're like me, you do most of your charitable giving around the holidays. I can say, with 100% certainty, that ACFB is a wonderful cause. Check out their website and read the stories about their many resident animals, past and present--you'll be amazed at the neglect and tragedy that brought some of these marvelous creatures to Dee and Woody. But just as you despair at humankind's ability to discard animals like so much rubbish, you'll be heartened by the LOVE and CARE these animals receive at ACFB. Each and every creature, great and small, young and old, healthy or sick, is given 100% love and attention.

Take Handsome.

Handsome (Official ACFB Spokespony) was born with a clubbed hoof. Many people would have had him euthanized, but ACFB found doctors at University of California, Davis (and it's amazing vetrinary school) willing to operate, pro bono. They used it as a learning experience for student vets, and Handsome--all full of piss and vinegar and zest for life--is a new pony. You can't even tell he ever had a clubbed hoof.

You can, however, tell that he loooooves the carrots that Mom brings him.

Windsong is a new resident.

Dee and Woody gifted her to their faithful helper, Margaret. She is a beautiful horse, but she has an eye problem. Her former owner died of cancer, leaving her in need of a loving home where she could receive good care.

And how about Stevie?

Neglect in his pre-ACFB life left him blind in both eyes. But as Dee once said, "He's blind, but not handicapped." Stevie has bonded with Hanauma (Hannah-ooma) and spends his days staying close to her. He is also a great trail rider, placing 6th out of forty-something horses at a recent trail riding challenge! It's not about having the sight, but about having the TRUST. And Stevie trusts Dee, because he knows she won't put him in danger.

Dee and Woody are still working with Cuervo.

Cuervo must have some kind of abuse in her past, because she does not trust very much. Horses are herd animals, but Cuervo has to be kept apart because she is such a brat to the others.

Today, Mom and I were heartened to see that Red was in with her. Cuervo seemed calmer and more relaxed. Her ears didn't go back when we talked to her or approached the fence, and she enjoyed the treats we tossed over to her.

Red, meanwhile, is putting on weight.

He wears the strap around his neck to prevent him from wind sucking. Stall-bound and bored to near death in his previous existence (you just can't call that a life), Red wouldn't eat but instead took to wind sucking (getting high on his own breathing) and eating the door of his stall. These days, there's not a stall in sight, and Red can run, stretch, and eat to his hearts' content. He still shows some of the unhealthy behaviors, though, hence the strap.

This article is interesting, and likens wind sucking to a drug addiction.

Of course, A Chance For Bliss has more than just horses. They also have pigs, goats, a small flock of geese (and one mallard), three cats and many dogs. Oh, and some chickens and rabbits! Following are some pictures from today of some of the awesome animals and the gorgeous land they call home. You'll notice that the horses have their winter coats, and a small flock of visiting Canada Geese stopped by to enjoy the pond.

If you have a few extra dollars to spare this season, won't you condsider gifting it to A Chance For Bliss?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Music: Train

The title track from Train's new album: Save Me, San Francisco. Fun song!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Review: A Voyage Long and Strange

This is going to be a weekly feature, I think. I have a ton of books and movies I'd like to talk about, so stay tuned on Sundays for my recommendations. :)

I bought A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz after reading somewhere that fans of Bill Bryson are likely to enjoy Horwitz' work. Bill Bryson, of course, is the brilliantly hilarious author of Notes From a Small Island, one of my favorite books to read and re-read.

I love a good travel story mixed with history and information, so Horwitz was a pleasant surprise. In Voyage, he takes the reader on a journey to the "New World," starting with the Vikings who settled Greenland and parts of present-day Canada, through the Spanish Conquistadors and their "God is on our side" attitude, right up to the inevitable Puritans who eventually made a go of this whole United States thing. In his adventures, he finds that much of what he learned in school about the history of the America's--what we all learned--was actually re-written and revised in the years since it happened until it hardly resembles the real truth.

If you are interested in history, there is plenty to chew on, but this is not your normal, dry tome about events that happened many years ago. In order to really get a feel for the places he researched, Horwitz set out on his own long and strange voyage around the New World, meeting a variety of people and bringing back delightful stories of his encounters.

The book is, of course, sad, as it explores in some depth the decimation of the Native American cultures that simply couldn't fight back against disease and the far more sophisticated weaponry of the new settlers.

Horwitz is an excellent researcher, and uses a dry humor reminiscent of Bryson's throughout the book. Voyage is well-written, engaging, and sets many myths of American History straight. Renew your passport and don't miss this voyage!

Notes In Class

A few days ago, I was cleaning up after my middle school kids, when I found a piece of paper with what appeared to be a note written on it. I sighed and rolled my eyes, wondering what fun stuff I'd read. Would it be moaning about how boring this class is? Gossip about the latest tweenaged romantic entanglements?

Imagine my giggles when I read the following:

Apple Hill

Mom, Dad and I went up to Apple Hill today. I love the fall colors and it's kind of fun to poke around the different sellers' places. I didn't take a ton of pictures, but I definitely got some good ones.