Archive for December 2014

2014 in review   Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,900 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Posted December 30, 2014 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Something You Don’t See Every Day . . .   Leave a comment

. . . is a little snow icon on a Bakersfield weather forecast.  That’s what I saw when I checked the temperature on my iPhone first thing this morning.  I blinked, and looked at the Weather Underground forecast — same thing.  Then we listened to the weather on the morning news, and sure enough, Channel 23 was predicting a very slight chance of snow on the valley floor on Wednesday.  I’m not holding my breath — they’ve already taken the prediction off the internet sites — but wouldn’t that be great?

It’s cold, anyhow, and didn’t warm up much until this afternoon.  Inside, though, the African violets are blooming happily.  Marion gave me these, in a lovely shade of lavender.  They have a subtle glitter effect, which is hard to capture in a photo.


I don’t remember where I got this one, but it’s pretty amazing.


I love those chartreuse frills.


Every supermarket used to have a little display of African violets.  These days they seem to run more to orchids — many obviously dyed.  I like the violets better.

Scott brought us a container of white beans cooked with the last of the Christmas ham.  They were delicious.  I’m thinking of cooking up a big pot of vegetable soup to share with his family.  On these chilly days, a pot of homemade soup or beans really hits the spot!

Posted December 29, 2014 by stablewoman in Horses, Uncategorized, Weather

Frosty!   Leave a comment

We’ve had our first frosts the last couple of days, and we were glad to see them.  Many of the local crops need a good frost, and we are glad to see the last of the flies.  At least, not counting the ones that made it into the house.  When you see them lurking around outside, waiting for someone to open a door, you get to thinking that they’re a lot smarter than they’re supposed to be.

The frost on the weeds makes a nice picture — rather like tiny Christmas trees.


They’re just a little too late for Christmas, though.

I got a nice after-Christmas present today.  Billy made it out to his pickup, all by himself, and for the first time in months made his rounds of the ranch.  He was out for a couple of hours, and enjoyed himself immensely.  The only change is that he uses a walker to get back and forth.  Neither of us wants to take any chance that he might fall.

It was a beautiful day to be outside, especially in a nice warm pickup.  It stayed chilly all day.  We’ve taken all of the usual precautions against a freeze — draining pipes, checking antifreeze, leaving water running overnight, and warming the above-ground parts of the water system.  This is done by inverting a bucket over the controls, with an old-fashioned incandescent bulb inside.  The current bucket is bright blue, which makes a rather pretty display glowing in the night.  Whatever happens, the water system is protected.

It’s supposed to be cold again tonight.  Last night, I woke up to find three dogs sharing the bed with me, only two of which were mine.  Talk about a three-dog night . . .

Posted December 27, 2014 by stablewoman in Weather

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Weston and Me   Leave a comment

Because I’ve been caring for Billy and his fractured vertebra, I haven’t had much time for getting acquainted with little Weston.  When Ciera and Andrew brought him over for Christmas dinner, they thought it was a good time for us to get together.

I wasn’t so sure . . .


This isn’t so bad.  He’s pretty darned cute . . .


Uh-oh . . .




I once knew of a lady who no sooner got on a horse than it ran away with her.  She swore she had an electric bottom.  I think I may have an electric lap.

Oh, well.  Maybe with more experience . . .

In the good news department, Billy got in David’s truck and drove around with him, checking on the place for the first time in months.  He said the place looked really good.  (Implied was, “A lot better than I expected.”)  Tomorrow he plans to get in his own pickup and make his usual rounds.  Everyone will be happy to see him out there supervising again; but even he admits the “boys”, (they’re in their fifties) have done a great job.  But it’s time for him to get out there.

And for me to have more time for great-grandma practice.  If I don’t chicken out!

Posted December 26, 2014 by stablewoman in People

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Weeds!   2 comments

It’s hard to get excited about weeds, but after three years of drought, any kind of green is welcome.  And these certainly are green.  Mostly rocket, I think, but there are some nettles in there.


Peaches found them very interesting . . . “Hmm.  I wonder what these are good for . . . ”


“Maybe if I go over here just a little . . . ”


“I thought so.  Perfect for a nap!”


And they’re almost high enough to hide a largish Golden Retriever.  We still need a lot more rain, though, and they say we might get some tonight and tomorrow.  If so, it’ll be the best Christmas present we could ask for.

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!


Posted December 24, 2014 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Dark Skies   Leave a comment

It’s hard to believe that, a couple of days ago, the skies looked like this:


This morning, for a short while, they looked almost as good.  Now they look like this:


If you look very closely, you will see a dot on a branch mid-picture.  It’s a large hawk.  I tried to sneak up on it . . .


. . . to no avail.  They can tell, I’m sure, when you’re looking at them — or pointing a camera at them.  It must be instinct, after centuries of hunting.

I am finally able to get out and walk, as Billy is so much better.  Son Scott got his pickup cleaned up and smogged today, while son David installed a shower head with a hose so he might be able to take a real shower.

They have been so much help while he’s been down.  We are grateful.

Horseshoer Jennifer was here this morning, and got the ponies trimmed and Kitty reshod.  I hope I’ll be back out on the trail soon.  I need to be; between lack of exercise and anxiety eating, I’ve put on ten pounds in the last two months!

Posted December 22, 2014 by stablewoman in Birds, Nature

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Other People’s Pictures   3 comments

I haven’t been out much lately, so haven’t been taking many pictures.  Other people have been, though, and sending them to me . . . and there are some good ones.

First, here’s daughter Suzanne’s picture of her first grandchild, Weston, doing what babies do best.


Then there is Marion’s shot of the hay crew — granddaughter Christina, grandson William, and dog Mimi — on their morning rounds.  I’m sure Mimi thinks she’s the most important member of the crew.  She’s certainly got the best view.


And last, here’s boarder Donna’s picture of dog Peaches doing what she does best — getting kissed by a horse.  The horse is Zena, not to be confused with other dog Xena.


Maybe Zena’s checking to see if Peaches is still alive.  Yes, she is, Zena; she’s just doing what she does best — the same thing Weston does.

We’re lucky to have so many excellent photographers around here!

Posted December 20, 2014 by stablewoman in Uncategorized