Musings on Animals

The farrier came out to the barn morning. Outside it was dank and raw, having snowed some last night. Inside the barn it was warm and toasty, filled with the smell of green hay, musty horse fur, and of course, the perfume of horse poop. Does anyone else like the smell of horse poop as much as I do? Anyway, usually I ride on farrier days, but not today. The footing in the ring and on the trails was muddy and wet, and the outside chill bit right through to the soul. Instead, I moved into Buzzy’s stall for a short time.

Buzzy is my equine-buddy and best friend. He got his name because he actually buzzes. It is a sound he reserves for special greetings and to announce his ultimate contentment. He buzzed a lot this morning. In his stall, I took the curry to him and simply made gentle circles all over his body, but in particular, on his belly and while doing so, rested my head on his back. His body embraced me and he stopped munching his hay and went into a trance-like state. Occasionally he turned his head and nuzzled my butt.  If ever we were one, today was that day. Now I can get on with the rest of the day with a peacefulness that can only come from a pure connection with another being.

On another note, I am reading James Michener’s Alaska and he writes about sea otters and their exploitation by what else – man! Essentially, this amazing species was almost decimated when their fur was coveted for its beauty, richness and warmth, of course demanding exorbitant  prices and making its hunters rich. I cried when I read the section  that described a hunt and I relay a part of it here. But first, some background, and that is that these lovely creatures float along on their backs, the mothers carrying the young on their bellies and the males floating along beside. They are charming and adorable, almost human-like in their actions and looks. Michener writes:

“’We have her!’ Innokenti would shout, and with a burst of speed he and Zagoskin would virtually leap at the anguished mother, clubbing at her until the babe fell from her protective grasp. When the pursuers saw the little one afloat, Zagoskin would club it, reach out with a net, and pull it into the kayak. The mother, now bereft of her child, would begin swimming madly from one boat to another, searching for it, and as she approached each one, lamenting like a human mother, she suffered the blows that came from the gloating men and swam on to the next, pleading all the while in a high-pitched wail for the return of her child.”

The issue Michener  highlights is how man’s greed destroys these, and other magnificent creatures purely for financial gain. Sigh. Will it ever change?

Etch A Sketch Sales Rank on Amazon Jumps 1,556% After Romney Aide’s Remark

Etch A Sketch Sales Rank on Amazon Jumps 1,556% After Romney Aide's Remark

Did you have one when you were a kid? I LOVED mine, though I wasn’t nearly as good at as some other kids. Hmm — maybe I’ll order one? I think it might be more fun than the antics that are characterizing this Republican nonsense.

Etch A Sketch Sales Rank on Amazon Jumps 1,556% After Romney Aide’s Remark.


The Weather Conspiracy

It’s 80 degrees today, wearing shorts, tank, and flip flops. It’s a conspiracy, I say to my daughter. You’re nuts, she says to me. It’s March 21 in Rochester, NY.

Outside it smells like perfume – many flowers are in full bloom, the forsythia has burst forth, ice cream stands are open two months early, and I’ve been riding my horse in the outdoor ring which is nice and groomed instead of boggy as it usually is in March.  It isn’t even Easter yet!

We are all dizzy with the sights, smells, and taunts of summer. I saw someone in the neighborhood opening their pool. I dragged my summer wardrobe from the cellar so now my closet is packed because I don’t yet dare put the winter stuff into the shadow zone.  I talked to my friend in California today where it’s cold. Then there was the snowstorm this week in Arizona.

Yep – I’m sure – it’s a conspiracy. And for once, we here in Rochester are on the stellar end of things, so pardon me while I eat my ice cream and dangle my toes in the kiddie pool!



In Search of The Perfect Pen

I was watching the TV show Hoarders last night, and as usual, horrified by the deplorable conditions of the featured homes. And while I watched, I sat there with a self-serving sense of satisfaction that I was NOT a hoarder, that I did NOT live in deplorable conditions, and that minus a few knick-knacks here and there, we lived in a rather neat and organized little home, albeit a bit dusty. (What’s a little dust?). As I gloated, and made some comment accordingly, my daughter dearest looked at me with her curled-lip smile, which is never a good sign, and said, “Pens?”

Gulp. Oh boy. That’s a “got ‘cha.” I never thought about my predilection for pens as anything more than an “I love pens” thing. Other people love pens. I’ve heard them say it. In fact, I’ve had conversations with people where we compare makes, models, and ink colors. But even in these conversations, I know I am a breed apart because in addition to these basic things, I concern myself as well with ink flow, how far out the writing tip extends from the pen, and what its weight is (the heftier, the better). I do not dare bring these things into these conversations as I suspect it would be stepping over the edge.

Man oh man, I guess the jig is up. I’m a hoarder. A pen hoarder. I have boxes of pens stored throughout the house. I keep my current favorites in front of me at all times, and if someone disturbs them, I know in a second. No casual pen-borrowing from this hoarder. Those poor souls who’ve most innocently tried will never do so again.

Indeed, I have tried and probably have just about every brand, make, model, out there. I have driven in blizzards to get a pen. I order pens online. I give pens as gifts. I am in ecstasy when I get a pen for a gift.

I have spent much of my adult life in a quest for the perfect pen. A perfect pen is like the Holy Grail for a writer. However, there exist two issues with this: it’s expensive and just as with us mere mortals, there is no such thing. So, I have a choice – continue my quest, go broke, and run out of pen storage places, or accept the inevitable and succumb to the all-electronic brigade. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

Well, see you later. I’m off to Staples!

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