Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Spider, Mr. Bill and a Horse Named Happy

But First..... Die Wise
I've been reading a very cool book recently. It's about the challenging subject of dying. The book is called "Die Wise" and it's by Stephen Jenkinson who is a psychologist and a palliative care worker. The book is very challenging but I'm getting a lot out of it. What I've gotten most so far is that waking up each morning is a gift and not to be taken for granted or expected like it's a right. When I think of it this way I actually feel happier, brighter, and my recent bout of depression (not debilitating, just garden variety ennui) is dissolving into thin air because I'm thinking about life and death in a different way.
One of my best friends, Georgia, has terminal brain cancer and Lenny, her husband, is right there with her. What an ordeal and I am very proud of them. I can't even think of a thing to say about it. My society does not give me a decent language with which to talk about it.

Ookina Kumo
Years ago I was visiting my friend Betsy and her husband at that time was Minao. Minao is Japanese. As we walked into the house I glanced up and saw a very, very large spider in its web just above the trumpet vine. I called Minao over, pointed at the spider and said "how to you say big spider in Kanji?" Minao says "Ookina ku-mo. Pronounce it Oh-kee-na Ku-MOH. If you say KU-mo it means "cloud".

This is a Black Widow. It's the biggest Black Widow (ookina kumo!) I've ever seen and it was living above our front door until one night I went out to get something in the car. I saw it when I started to go back in. It doesn't live there any more, needless to say and, no, we did not relocate it. Unless you consider relocating it to its next incarnation a relocation. Gone Girl.


We tried to get close to Bill Clinton the other day. This is the closest we could get. That's him and his white hair over there going into the back of the Fresno State University Student Union.

I'm kind of a celebrity junkie within reason. I only want to go see one when it's easy. I would not go out of my way. My best celebrity sighting was when I was in my hometown of Marshalltown, Iowa a few years ago. At the time I was visiting my dad and we were in a downtown antique store. When we went to the counter with our purchases the lady behind the counter said oh did you know that Hillary is going to be at the Court House in 15 minutes. I said Hillary who and she said you know Hillary Clinton. So we bought fast and raced down to the Court House a couple blocks away and sure enough here comes her big ole bus. She spoke to a small crowd (she says I just had a Maid Rite and I can tell you they're Made Right!) (Really Hillary so cheesey) and then they said she would be greeting the audience. Sensing my celebrity opportunity, as soon as she came off the podium I used my height and confidence to push my way to the rope and as she walked by I shook her hand (soft and small) and said I am happy to come all the way from California to meet you. She just kind of smiled and said thank you and went on to the next person. So maybe I've shaken the hand of the next President.

I'm pathetic. I know.

Marty is crazy. Maybe that's what I love about him. He was looking at Craigslist ads yesterday and came upon a horse for sale for $750. He called the owner and next thing you know we're in the car and it's 105 degrees and we're looking at this cute little pony size horse. The owner looked reputable. The horse looked confused and scared. But it also showed this quality that is hard to describe and is something that probably only years of looking at horses will tell you. He looked like he wanted to be a good horse.

So we bought him.

I said Marty you know you have to train him and find him a new home before winter, right? We only have a limited amount of space and budget for horses here. Here's what I think. If this little guy has any interest in jumping I think he might make a great Pony Club pony. In stature he reminds me of my daughter's first pony Spice. Of course, Spice was well broke when we got him. He needed to be. He was intended to be a 10 year old girl's horse. And he was.

Maybe this little guy can follow in Spice's footsteps (hoofsteps?). We'll see.

In the meantime, Marty has a fun project on his hands. Marty is really good at taking scared horses and making their inner gold come out. When we were at The Ranch he took their young mare who was all wound up tighter than tight from who knows what had been done with her and softened her right up. She was well on her way to becoming a really nice horse when we left The Ranch. Now we have Happy. I wanted to call him Apples for my sister's old Appaloosa but Marty insisted it was Happy and I'm letting it go. I want the little guy to grow into his new name. He's anything but happy right now but that's our goal for him. That Happy the appy loves his job.


  1. What a great post and what a purty horse!

  2. Packing and packing and packing. DH is up there getting the house fixed and I'm here, packing and packing and packing. Hoping to be there by the first part of July now.

    1. oh wow I sure do feel for you. we're still not unpacked and its two months later. course we're remodeling and that's having a big effect. best to you.

    2. We are doing our remodeling before we get there so we don't have any 'unfinished projects' hanging over our heads once we move in. We've lived that way here for 10 years and I don't really want to do it there too. I miss him, but we'll be back together soon enough. Thanks.

    3. I wish I'd learned your lesson before we came here. Good on ya and have fun!

  3. Horsy good, spider not so good, Clintons even worse....
    I am so happy that my moving days are over. All that stress and chaos.

    1. Thanks Ron. I really hope my moving days are over, too.