Archive for December 2012

Another Interesting Night   Leave a comment

Yesterday evening started off on a sad note.  My friend Ferrabie called to say her grand old Border Collie, Meg, had died.  Meg was eleven and had seemed in good health.  Her sudden death was a shock.  She was one of those dogs, usually of collie type, who greet people by curling her lip back and showing her front teeth.  This is their version of a friendly smile, and can be endearing or alarming.  It depends on whether you know the intent.

Later, we were all —  Billy, me, Xena, and Rye — spending the evening dozing by the fire.  It was after eleven when Xena (curled up, I realized, on my good jacket) suddenly sat up and pricked her ears.  She was listening so hard they practically popped off her head.  Suddenly, she let out a yell and hit the dog door at about forty miles an hour, while Rye blinked at her in amazement.  She raced around to the road side of the house, shrieking at the top of her lungs.  I stuck my head out of the door to see what the heck was out there, and heard a voice yelling at her.  It was too dark to see much, and by that time she was sitting on the lawn looking down the road, as rigid as a little dog statue.  Finally she relaxed and came back in, and so did I.  I figured it was a late rider going home.

A few minutes later, though, the sheriff’s helicopter started circling above us, spotlighting the river.  We listened for a while.  This isn’t unusual, but the copter was closer and more persistent than usual.  I peered out of the door, and got the spotlight right in the eyes.  After I blinked away the spots before my eyes, I realized there was a patrol car sitting in the road with their headlights trained on the river.

At that point, Billy got in his pickup and went to see what the heck was going on.  It turned out that there was a stolen car across the river, and they thought that the thief had headed this way.  They described him as young, and wearing a blue t-shirt with white sleeves.  Billy told them about the dog alarm and came back in.  The patrol car sat there with the lights turned off for some time, while the helicopter circled overhead for close to an hour.  Finally everyone left, and silence descended again.

We figured there had to be more to the story.  They had to have been chasing someone to get that description; and surely they wouldn’t have spent that much manpower on the simple discovery of a stolen car.  Plus, it was almost certainly the thief who set Xena off, and he would have to have been pretty motivated to slosh through that ice-cold river.  It’s mostly knee-deep right now.  Well, there’s another story we’re not likely to ever know the end of.

But we figure Xena may be a lot better as a watch dog than we thought.  And I let her get back on my jacket.


Posted December 31, 2012 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch

2012 in review   Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted December 30, 2012 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Feeling Good   Leave a comment

Another gray and chilly day, and all of the horses are feeling really good.  Fifty degrees is just cool enough to make them feel peppy.

I’ve been hiding out by the fire most of the time, but got out to give Bella a little exercise this afternoon.  She really enjoyed it, and was trotting brilliantly.

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I post a lot of pictures of Bella here, but she is such a pretty little thing and such fun to photograph.  Notice she’s several inches off the ground in the picture above.

There’s supposed to be rain on the way in, and we’re hoping for the best.  Meanwhile, though, there’s still a fire going, the eucalyptus wood smells wonderful, and I’ve been to the library . . . it’s time to go enjoy.

Posted December 29, 2012 by stablewoman in Bella, Horses

Cleaning Day   Leave a comment

Today friend Ferrabie was here to help with the housecleaning.  I shopped in the morning and helped (a little) in the afternoon, so the day was pretty well taken up.

Friend Marion got back from Houston yesterday, where she had been visiting her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.  The Weather Channel had made the weather there sound interesting, so I texted her to see if everything was all right back there.  Everything was fine, she texted back, except the tornado warning alarms sounded while they were unwrapping presents, and they all had to take shelter in the bathroom.  Even the dogs and cat.


But everything was fine!

I think I’d rather be in good old shaky California.  At least you don’t have to watch an earthquake coming.

On the other hand — you can’t see an earthquake coming, and take shelter.

There’s something to be said for each point of view; but best of all would be to have neither one!

Posted December 28, 2012 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Quiet Day   Leave a comment

We woke this morning to showers; the dogs came in damp on top.  You can tell the weather without even looking out, just by feeling a dog.

Most of the day stayed cloudy and cool.  It looked like one of those days with only a few degrees difference between the high and the low.  After shopping and banking this morning, we spent most of the day napping by the fire.  It felt really good.  We’re burning the eucalyptus wood from the trees PG&E cut down.  We were sorry to lose them, but the wood burns beautifully — slow, but hot, and with a wonderful sweet smell.

So — I didn’t get out much today.  Here’s a late afternoon shot from Christmas Eve, at least.

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It’s an iPhone shot, since the camera was on the battery charger, but not half bad.

I’ve been wishing that a) people hadn’t given us quite so many delicious goodies, or b) the weather outside would be a bit more inviting, or possibly c) both.  The sun did come out late this afternoon, so maybe tomorrow will be an outside day.  There are blades of grass beginning to show!

Posted December 28, 2012 by stablewoman in Weather

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The Curve Gets Another One   Leave a comment

We got a bit of rain overnight, and it’s been a cool and cloudy day; but occasionally there’ve been some gorgeous cloud formations.  I went out after lunch, figuring I’d get some pictures of those, and then catch Bella up and let her play in the round pen.

As I searched for a good vantage point, however, boarder Kay came up to see if I had heard the noise.  What noise?  The screech and thud from up on the road, that’s what noise.  She thought the tunnel might have gotten another one.

I went back to the house and updated Billy, then hiked down toward the tunnel to see if there had been another wreck.  When I got there, it was pretty obvious that something was going on.  All of the horses down that way were watching the road intently, with good reason.

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Luckily, the car involved had missed the tunnel, if not by much.  You can still see the oil splat where the Beamer hit.

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Apparently, by the time the first responders got there, the driver was gone.

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So, after a while, everyone except one patrol car left, and only a tow truck was needed.  By that time, it was too late to play with Bella — I didn’t want her to get heated running, and then chilled as night came on — but at least I got a couple of cloud shots.  Here’s one . . .

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Maybe tomorrow I can do better.

Posted December 26, 2012 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

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Merry Christmas   Leave a comment

I’m blogging late today.  I spent most of the day in front of the fire, knitting and reading; a little time walking; and a little more time fixing a ham and sweet potato dinner.  It was a chilly gray day, and the fire was much warmer than the computer.

Still, I wanted to post this ancient prayer . . .


Peace and joy to everyone out there.

Posted December 26, 2012 by stablewoman in Uncategorized