The horse's pasture to the East...

Saturday, January 30, 2021


 Today I danced in the rain. It’s January here in the Midwest and the rain was cold, just above freezing. My dogs , all three, said “ Nope. Not going out there Ma. I might be a tough ombré farm dog but January rain is not my thing. “ . So I put on my barn coat over my PJ’s, pulled on my barn boots held together with duct tape (every farmer’s friend), put on my gronkiest cowboy hat and out the door I went. I took off down our long, winding drive going west, and singing and dancing in the rain. They stood up on the porch watching. “ She’s kind of weird, nice but weird. Doesn’t she understand that it’s cold and wet? “. I kept dancing and splashing in puddles. I put on my Gene Kelley and off I went right down the drive.

Up on the road were some guys trying to fill a hole they had dug yesterday, putting in some kind of fiber optic tech line. They turned around and watched too. And then one of them put on some music, blasting it from their trucks. I waved and kept dancing. My poor orphan doggies couldn’t take that. They all came running out, splashing and rolling, doing their business and forgetting about whether it was cold and wet. All of us were soaked, muddy and playing in the rain.

And then the guys on the road started pointing and waving. I turned and here comes Lucky, my beautiful, glorious Lucky, running straight at the gate without stopping. And over he came, sailing like he was Pegasus and his wings were carrying him. He’s twenty years old! My Lucky is twenty years old and hasn’t jumped 4 and 1/2 feet for years and here he came, right over the fence. We all stood there, jaws dropped. He foxtrotted up to me and said, “ Whoooohooohooo hoooooo!” He was not going to be left out. 

I could hear the guys, up on the road, laughing and cheering. It really was a spectacular leap. Lucky’s take off to landing is always over 17 feet. I don’t show my horses, don’t care for the stress it causes the horses or people, for that matter. But we did jump out on the trails whenever I found a good place for it. And both of us loved it. And there he was, rain soaked and steaming because he had run from the back of his pasture to leap. I had some of his favorite cookies in my pockets so I gave him one. He chomped and chewed, humming the way he does. Everything Lucky does is with a verbal comment. He’s always done that, has cracked friends up when we ride or play together. Lucky’s full brother, three years older than him, was a world class jumper. He even looked like my Lucky, a beautiful copper penny of a horse with one white sock. They both were blessed with spectacular health and perfect conformation. I still marvel at the fact he is mine.

My beautiful stunning boy can still fly! John heard it, came out the door to help if I needed him. He asked if I needed a halter and lead. “ No, thanks. We’re fine. Lucky’s here because he wants to be. He won’t leave me. “ and he didn’t either. We played on the ground out where the old arena was, before the tornado took it, and up and down the drive. The dogs were still playing in the puddles, following scent trails and walking with us. Lucky and I played in the rain, practicing walk/stop transitions, walking circles, walk/stop/back and then just walking together as buddies. He knew when we got back and I took him through the gate there would be another one of those wonderful molasses cookies. He hummed, I sang off key and we all danced together in the rain. I was so cold I was shaking and it never occurred to me to stop. 

When we got back to the barn I took time to check his legs for heat, check his hooves for stones since he jumped on gravel and to walk him around a bit more to make sure he was cooled off. Apache, Stony and Willow joined us. I love walking with a herd around me. Maybe I was a horse in another life? I don’t know. It always makes me feel safe to have them there with me. 

How many people get to do that? Dance in the rain with three ancient farm dogs, one spectacular aging horse and more waiting at the gates? I don’t have a penny to my name because I spend all of it on my animals, and I love my life! I am married to my best friend, live with three wonderful, aging horses, one fierce bad donkey, three dogs, four cats, seven ducks and seven chickens. We work hard here, love this place we live in. If I had one wish for the world, it would be for people to have this kind of muddy, wet, messy, cold, grey January morning dancing with a horse down the road to some pop music blaring from a truck. If everyone could have these brief moments of unadulterated joy, maybe they would calm down a bit, relax to the rhythm of their lives and enjoy the moments in the real present, not the make believe they see on little glass screens.

We’re so lucky in our lives. We both enjoy living tight to the bone, meeting the challenge that comes with the choices we made. The land we live on is beautiful, off the beaten path. We are the caretakers of the land for the Universities nearby. It’s a preserve we’ve protected for twenty years. Living here allows me the chance to dance in my PJ’s with my dogs and flying horse.

I heard a friend say that they missed 2020 because this year was starting out worse. Not for me this morning, on a classic Kansas Winter day. It’s still grey, cold, raining. We’re in the middle of the day now. Evening chores will start in three hours and I don’t think the temperature has changed or the rain slowed down. It’s going to be muck on top of frozen ground and we’re all going to be sliding around. It’s the kind of day that folks huddle inside away from, waiting for Spring and sunshine. But today, for Lucky and I, my three amigos (Apple, Scout and Sandy) and my husband who hugged me, mud and all, when I came in and said he loved me, for today it’s perfect. I wish everyone could find a way to feel what it’s like to have a glorious 16 plus hands horse jump a fence, just to be with them. 

Magic. It’s all magic. I can’t wait to see what comes around the bend for us next. 

Isn’t he stunning? I am so in love!

I am, ever yours, Nancy (who forgot to take my phone with me so I couldn’t get images. How twentieth century of me!), smiling

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

I AM, EVER YOURS, LAUGHING .... AND MASKLESS because laughter should always be open and with delight...

 It’s happened. I left all social media platforms last June. Getting violent threats does that. It was a good thing, in retrospect. I was spending too much time in a virtual world, reading about and talking about other cultures and people’s ideas and not enough time here in my own, real, present time. The reason for leaving was not one I had anticipated. I was asking questions that went against the accepted norm of “be afraid, be very afraid”. And I refused to follow the mandated, mind you not lawfully mandated (and even then I would have refused) but simply being told that wearing a mask was now the accepted social behavior, that all people outside that group endangered the group. Even worse, it came along seven months after the public was informed about a virus and five months after the initial lockdowns. How interesting. 

But what is it that happened? I’ve begun to receive written notes, cards and letters, sent through snail mail, telling me to conform. I’ve kept all of them too. Some of them are sent with, I think, good intentions (The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. You’ve heard that one, right?) and some of them are openly threatening. Again, how interesting. The best I can say for all of them is that it is helping to support the USPO so good job guys for supporting all of those much needed jobs. 

Am I going to respond to any of them? Only with humor or just ignore them. Some people were stupid enough to actually put their home address on the envelope. Again, how interesting. News flash folks. If something happens to us, my family or my animals you are the first suspects along with all of the screen shots I’ve saved as well as emails. 

I’ve never broken any law, not even to shoplift bubblegum or to park where I shouldn’t. I have no traffic tickets at all on my record, never taken drugs (I don’t even take pain killers when I have a terrible sprain or broken bone.), never drink. I don’t lie, although I am a damn good story teller. But I always begin with, “ Let me tell you a story...” and inform people that it is a tall tale, something to entertain. I don’t gossip, although I have listened to my share of gossip without responding. Not sure that’s a good thing to do but I do listen because it gives me information about the person gossiping. Did you catch that? It’s the person who talks about others in a derogatory way that I am accessing and not the person they whisper about.

Basically I walk my own road. I love it when others walk along for a while, short or long, but I walk my path, not theirs. I listen to MY inner voice and not the finger wagging admonishments sent via text, email or snail mail. I don’t respond to people that yell at me, hit me with their truck door, throw things at me or come to my home to do damage such as bash a mail box. Kind of childish that one. We needed a new mailbox anyway so, as usual, something good always comes from wrong doing.

I admit I’ve watched what has happened in the world and especially our country with horror. People are incapable of asking questions, even so called well educated people. Instead they fall in to the “admonishing teacher” mode with an arrogance that is not unexpected. I would be lying if I didn’t write here that some of these people have made me cry. It seems that there is absolutely no acceptance of an opposing point of view in a country that has guaranteed the right to express that opinion. Indeed, cities have been burned, businesses destroyed along with entire neighborhoods, people harassed, beaten and even killed because of a guaranteed Constitutional right to follow our own politics, religion (you do remember that churchs were locked down too, right? People, at a time when they needed their community the most, were told that it was illegal to go to church.) and to express our ideas openly. Even worse it was sanctioned by small time bureaucrats. How interesting.

I’m not going to talk about the nature of a virus, the fact that it NEVER goes away. It will mutate but in some place it will continue exactly as it was. I’m not going to talk about the fact that viruses evolved before we did or that we are, on a daily basis, exposed to hundreds, even thousands of viruses. Our bodies build something called immunity. For the sake of people reading this who might not understand immunity, here’s a dictionary explanation.

im·​mu·​ni·​ty | \ i-ˈmyü-nə-tē  \
plural immunities

Definition of immunity

the quality or state of being immuneespecially a condition of being able to resist a particular disease especially through preventing development of a pathogenic microorganism or by counteracting the effects of its productsWould you like the medical explanation ? 

What is the immune system?

The immune system is what protects your body from diseases and infections. It's the bodily system that produces the immune response to defend your body from foreign substances, cells, and tissues. The immune system includes various parts of the body including the thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, special deposits of lymphoid tissue (such as those in the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow), macrophages, lymphocytes including the B cells and T cells, and antibodies.

How about herd immunity? Unless you’re completely head blind you’ve read about that, yes?

What is herd immunity?

The term herd immunity refers to a reduction in the likelihood of someone catching a specific infectious disease because a significant proportion of the people in that person's community are immune to it. If you are less likely to come in contact with an infectious person, you're less likely to get infected yourself. The people in a community can be immune to a particular disease especially through previous exposure or vaccination.

I am here to be a friend when people need me. But I am not willing to change who I am while helping. I have an inner code that I follow. I will continue to form my own opinions based on the answers to questions I’ve asked, the research I’ve done. I do love having online access to some of the finest libraries in the world. 

“ Many are those who are my vigorous enemies; those who hate me without reason are numerous.

Those who repay my good with evil slander me when I seek what is good. “

PSALM 38, verses 19 and 20

How interesting. I opened my brother’s bible and it fell to this verse. I decided to do that again. This is what it fell open to :

“Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse a man for no reason-when he has done you no harm. “ Proverbs 29 and 30

Again, how interesting. And one more time ...

“ The Lord spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said :

Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy ; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. 

The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary ... “

ISAIAH 11, 12, 13, 14

Everything is always open to interpretation, at least in this country it is still guaranteed under our CONSTITUTION, the BILL OF RIGHTS, and even THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. The way I read and respond to the passages the Bible has opened to without me choosing and under this set of circumstances reinforces in a wonderful, mystical way the path I am walking. 

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I am going to make mistakes every day. I will loose my temper, hurt the people I love, make poor decisions. But I also hope that I continue to learn from them too. I am going to break eggs and make a mess on a regular basis. But for right now, the more people push at me to join their herd mentality, the more I am going to settle my feet, stand here smiling and, when I go out my doors, I am going to walk a path that makes sense to me. It isn’t my job to fulfill other’s ideas of who they think I should be. 

You tend your garden, make your path and keep your well intentioned suggestions, or not well intentioned but vile, thoughts to yourself. And I will do the same.






Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

The Exodus version (from the ESV BIBLE)[3]

  1. “You shall have no other gods before me."
  2. “You shall not make yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God are only worthy of worship, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments."
  3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
  4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
  5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you."
  6. “You shall not murder."
  7. “You shall not commit adultery."
  8. “You shall not steal."
  9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
  10. “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”

Are you beginning to get the idea? I THINK FOR MYSELF and I base my path and decisions on what I CHOOSE to, not what others think I should do. And I interpret what I have learned to DO MY BEST, to MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS, to be HONEST about who I am, and to laugh at all of the rude attempts to change who I am.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, laughing at the way things go!

Saturday, January 2, 2021


 We have a dog, Sandy, that we adopted last Spring. Her first home, first love, is a person from the Greatest Generation. This person was active during WW2 and had been running their own ranch well in to their nineties. The adult child, a friend of mine, of this person (I never use gender or name. ) was trying to keep a small business alive during a very trying year. First Person was sent to an assisted living home because of extreme end of life issues. 

The transition for Sandy was abrupt, in fact had to be. Human politics were in the middle of the world in a way that became increasingly twisted during 2020. Sandy’s First Person, their family and Sandy became unintended victims, the silent group you rarely hear about. I had an opportunity to step up and took it. Helping is part of my code and being here for Sandy has been a true joy. But explaining that to Sandy was the hard part.

All we can do is love Sandy, give her support, good food, exercise and plenty of space to move in. And, like all of my dogs, she lives without a leash. She has Apple and Scout to play with, and us. She even has a relationship with my horses, greeting each one with a touch of the nose. How they worked that out is their business. She was never worried by them and they responded in kind and they formed their own language. 

Sandy grew up on a ranch, was used to horses and, it now appears, chickens and ducks. She is the only one of my three who can safely go in to the bird yard without harassing the birds. I’m glad for that. She is now deeply bonded to me, passing her need to serve to another human being. 

Sandy is always with me. She offers her expertise in the best horse poop, how to clean up hoof trimmings, and the delightful delicacy that is duck poop. We go for long walks up and down hills, down old riding paths and in to ponds. She even added to the excitement of finding and cutting our own Christmas tree, here on the land, by following Apple in to the pond and getting stuck in the mud. John and I waded in after her and all of us were covered in muck by the time we made it out and back to the house. There’s only one way to manage an event like that. We turned it in to an epic tale of adventure, fighting off water dragons and a rhino or two. 

You’re wondering where this story is going. Bear with me. I’ll try to keep it short. LOVE. That’s it, in all of it’s simple or complicated forms, it’s LOVE. When I told John about Sandy he was in, no questions asked. Neither of us had met her but she was a dog of service who was not allowed to go with her First Person. She was an honored elder who needed the constant care all of us need at the end of our life. LOVE. 

She came straight to me as soon as she was helped down out of the vehicle she arrived in. She was exhausted, confused and her First Family were all crying. So was I. It wasn’t an easy transition for her. I think she is still waiting for them to come get her. But she is also my friend and loves her life here. She is “ in between “ the way a lot of rescued or adopted elder dogs are. I have a feeling that, when the time comes for her to leave her life here behind and she goes on to that next world, she will wait for her First Person patiently the way she does every afternoon, about the same time of day that she came here. She sits or lays down out in the yard and watches to the West, where her old home was. 

But I still haven’t answered the question, ‘Why?’. LOVE. Giving Sandy a home was a way for me to help her First Family. Having her here allows me to finish healing from a business I lost after 911. There was no one to help us. It was the end of years of work for me. Sandy’s First Family has a similar business. I helped so they could focus on keeping themselves above water. I helped because my Mom died at a very early age. I never had the chance to care for her as an Elder. Sandy has given me a way to complete a circle of LOVE. 

There’s more to it than that though. When the world turned on it’s ear and John and I became pariahs, heretics because we refused to wear masks, there was only one way for us to declare who we are. LOVE. I’m not going to talk about human politics here. The innocence of Sandy deserves more than that in her story. Sandy is a living, breathing part of my core belief in un-conditional LOVE. So are all of the other animals we live with : Apple, Scout, Phoebe (ancient Honored Elder cat, now nineteen), Dibs, Bear, Calamity, Lucky, Apache, Stony, Willow, seven ducks and seven chickens. And the people we LOVE ; family, friends, neighbors and the random events when we interact with people we haven’t met. 

LOVE. For me the only way to counteract the twist in the world surrounding an event that has been used to manipulate people on a mass scale, is to stand my ground and LOVE. 

My anthem this year is I WON’T BACK DOWN, by Tom Petty. I’ve written about some of my core beliefs in previous posts. But at the center of all of them is the power of LOVE. It’s the light that floods the darkness until it recedes. I choose unconditional LOVE. 

I LOVE my country, the USA. I am a patriot in every sense of the word. Generations of my family on both sides have sacrificed for the sake of the freedoms we have in this country. 

I LOVE my family without question, including the pain brought my circumstances I couldn’t control. I LOVE unconditionally. And so does John. We stand together in LOVE.

I LOVE the land we live on. We keep it clean and clear of chemicals, hike in to the woods we are charged to care for and carry out trash left behind. We use no chemicals and practice restoration of the prairie and our bit of the furthest western edge of the great eastern forests that used to cover this continent. 

LOVE. It’s a powerful concept, worth practicing as best you can. As smaltzy as young people are going to think this idea is, as you age you will come back around to it. LOVE. When everything else fails, LOVE is still there. There will be a year when you wonder why you didn’t say it more often to the people you care for. I LOVE YOU. Simple phrase isn’t it? And complicated too. LOVE. 

I’m not talking about possessive obsession. I’m talking about LOVE, the kind where you are strong enough to let go when it’s time. LOVE, the kind where you stop and help a lady who is having a melt down in the grocery store because she can’t find toilet paper. The kind where you call the store the next day to make sure that the clerk who melted down because I came up to the register with no mask, is OK. And the kind where we adopt a ten year old dog who has been separated from her First Person through circumstances she can’t understand. 


My word this year is BOUNDARIES. BOUNDARIES are an important part of LOVE. Good fences make good neighbors, one of my favorite phrases. Loving myself is part of the BOUNDARIES. And LOVE in all of it’s complicated forms, practiced unconditionally, is a way to try to do my best. I still fail on a regular basis, but the best part about LOVE is that it’s still there, waiting, when I come back around. 

This year I plan to LOVE the land, my animals, my family and to LOVE unconditionally. I’m carrying forward my words from last year, keeping them on the refrigerator instead of posting them to my office bulletin board along with all of the other past words. FORGIVE, BELIEVE, CONNECT. They all connect to LOVE. And BOUNDARIES define the ideas of how I will manage the hysteria that seems to linger.

Thank you Sandy. I have decided that every day is going to begin with I LOVE YOU, for me, for all of us. LOVE. I’ve got your six, and you have mine. 

LOVE. The Beatles had it right. All you need is LOVE.

Look out darkness. We’re coming through! LOVE! 

LOVE. Always, LOVE..... I am, ever yours, Miss Nancy, smiling with LOVE.