Saturday, November 29, 2008

*sigh* My Hero....

I am trying to better understand what makes up as women attracted to our fictional male heroes. The men in movies, books, and tv that make our little heart's go pitter patter. The McDreamy, Mr. Darcy and James Bond type characters that enchant us.....

Right now, I am watching the Witches of Eastwick. What could any woman, let alone three beautiful ones, find attractive about Jack Nicholson's character?

I am starting to understand that it is the perfect balance between the good boy we love and the bad boy we crave.

Do you agree?

Here are a list of 10 common qualities, that we, as women, tend to be most attracted to.




-desired by other women


-leader/admired by other men



-self confident

-strong emotionally and physically

What do you think?
Please comment with as many qualities of your own as you like or suggest fictional characters that stand out in your mind.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Swear Words

Do you swear?

I do.

I was raised in a non-swearing household. No just your generic cuss words but basically any exclamation beside "darn" was strictly off limits to us kids. The adults would attempt to not swear in our presence and asked our family friends to follow suit.

Like most kids, I rebelled against what I was most denied. When I first cut loose in the real world, swearing was the first vice I picked up. I didn’t smoke, drink, do drugs, or.... but swearing was a whole world of rebellion that I embraced with fervor. By the time I was 16, I could put a sailor to shame.

DB, on the other hand was raised in a home where swearing, of the most foul kind, was an every day part of life. For the first few years that we lived together, I picked up a variety of inventive combinations for swear words and used them frequently.

And then something happened.

I grew up and decided that I wanted to....

Become a lady?

*snort* Well, kinda.

I don’t know if I believe that ladies don’t swear. But I don’t think that it is necessarily lady-like!

I still swear.


But I try not too.

Sometimes there is just no other way to say it.

I still love swear words. As an expressive person, I love the maneuverability of them. The way you can say a whole sentence, just using them. The emphasis. The humor. The pizzazz of them.

I am Canadian... We love to tag "eh!" on to the back end of f'in.

But I still blush when I accidently swear in front of my mother.

I feel it is disrespectful but I am also a little ashamed. I dont want her to think that she raised anything less than a lady.

So, I try to limit how often I swear. Try and limit being the operative words.

Do you?
The pictures in this post are completely unrelated to the subject. I just love Tim Cox paintings.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

(Mom and me)

"You look marvelous!!!"

Love you. Mom.

You're just as beautiful today as you have always been.

(Mom at 15)

Happy Birthday

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Livin' In Sin...

So..... I have been thinking! Surprised? Me too.

I have been thinking of the whole concept of marriage.

Now, if you know me personally (outside the blog world) you would be surprised!

I have been living in sin for over seven years now. Happily. I am non religious, spiritual, but not religious. So I cant say that I actually feel like I live in sin. Sinfully divine, maybe! But not morally unrighteous.

All day today I have been contemplating the whole concept of marriage.

****Mom: don't have a heart attack, I said I was thinking about the concept of marriage, not considering it as a life path for myself. Breath now! ****

I guess, more specifically, I was thinking about what the whole marriage, husband, wife, kit and caboodle represent in society. Last night I discovered that a couple I know, both in their early forties with two daughters, 7 and 9, are not in fact married as we naturally assumed they were. They are the quint essential Canadian family in all other respects. I was surprised, and then curious as to why not. They have been together for over 15 years. They are raising a family. What difference would it make? Wouldn't it be easier to be married?

Which led me to my next train of thought.

My DB. DB stands for Darling Boyfriend. Boyfriend.

I hate when I have to introduce, refer to, or explain, my boyfriend.

What does that mean exactly? Boyfriend. Have we been dating for a few weeks? A year maybe? Maybe we are not even dating! Maybe he is just a boy who is a friend. Maybe we live together, maybe not. Maybe...

I don't dare say partner, especially when he is not there. That has a whole different connotation.

Most of the time I simply say, "my better half" (though DB insists that he is not necessarily the better half of our equation.)

It drives me insane. But the convenience of applying the term husband in order for others to understand the depth and breadth of my relationship it is not a reason to get married. Right? Right.

But here is where I get defensive. I am not married. My DB is not my husband. But to suggest that because he is not my husband, our relationship is something less than what some other random married couple has drive me insane....rrrr.....

DB is infinitely more to me than any term, any name could represent. He is my heart, my love, the centre of my universe.

So I ask you,

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

All the Dead Horses

Or half dead, I should say.

The past week I have not been keeping up on the horse market. I have two very promising prospects in mind and two more that show a lot of promise. But I am not looking anymore, not because I have already found my what I am looking for! Ha! Like that would stop me! But because I just cant stand it anymore. It makes me sick. It makes me angry. It makes me doubt our humanity. All of the dead horses. Or, at least all the half dead horses, I should say.....

The ones that remind me of a time I walked into the local SPCA to find a beautiful Golden Retriever tied up beside the front desk. I was waiting for the attendant to get off the phone so stooped down to say hi to the angel laying at her feet. Her face was that of a classic golden, wide eyed and sweet but gone white with age. Warm brown eyes, clouded with gray cataracts, looked up at me and met my gaze evenly. Her tail wagged gently. I cooed to her softly, "Hey, there sweet lady." She got up to meet me, her bones clicked and muscles strained to lift her. Her tail stopped wagging for a moment, reflecting the pain it caused her to rise, but immediately resumed, gently swaying back and forth, the long ribbons of silken hair, falling from her tail like banners. She sat before me, her chest round and proud, her face set in a regal and contemplative pose. I reached out a hand, knuckles up, in greeting. She ducked her head and pushed up into my fist. I instinctual cupped her cheek and ear. She leaned into me, desperately. I looked into her eyes once again and felt my heart break at the look in them. She was dead. There were no other words for it. The pain and confusion that I saw reflected back from her gaze overwhelmed me and I felt the tears break and stream down my cheeks. I didn't understand. Was this the attendants old dog? Surely no one had left her here? I stood up when I heard the woman at the desk hang up the phone. She took one look at my face and simply shrugged her shoulders.

"Why?" I asked, my voice breaking.

She answered, "For thirteen years one family owned her. But the kids went away to collage and the parents wanted to travel. They dropped her off this morning."

I groaned. They cold, hard edge that had clipped her voice as she spoke told me all I needed to know....That while tragic, there was nothing uncommon about this beautiful dogs story. I cringed to think of what injustices this woman must witness, day by day and wondered at how she kept any faith at humanity. I didn't need to ask what would happen to this dog. Her years had clearly come to an end, she was in pain, physically and emotionally.

"When?" I asked. "Please don't tell me you have to wait two day?"

"Yes, we do." She replied in the same hard tone.

I looked her dead in the eye, jaw clenched and my hands trembling. She looked back at me evenly, and then, ever so slightly, nodded her head. I turned on my heel and walked outside. I sat in my car and cried. At that moment, I hated myself for being human. For the dog. For the people like her. For the millions of children around the world, enslaved and starving. For the women that are beat. For the horses that we hurt for our own gain. For the abused and tortured. For all the injustice. And I felt some last thread of my innocence slip away.

It is that feeling of injustice, anger, resentment....of hate even, that I try to avoid when looking at horses for sale online. I used to be fairy adapt at avoiding the half dead horses. These days, it is impossible to ignore. A bad economy is hurting the horse market. Stop over at Browneyed Cowgirls post to read how she was recently reminded of this. Her neighbors, longstanding and respected horse breedersare euthanizing their brood stock. IMHO, they did the moral thing. They took responsibility, no matter how hard or disheartening the reality. They didn't pass the buck.
Here is my comment to her post:

"I think it is safe to say that we all love horses here! But the sad truth is that horses are not simple creatures to keep...not like dogs, that require very little financially and can sleep where we sleep. I think that we all have to face the fact that regardless of the economy, the world around us is changing and the market for horses will change with it. I personally feel that over time there will less need for the broodbands that we have seen in the past. Even now "production sales" are not as common as they used to be. In the past, I didnt question the ethics of breeders that were producing quality stock but I think that time has passed and there is no longer a market to support the use (and care) of those animals. I would much rather see a horse put down than see it starve. Is it sad? Of course, it hurts me heart to think of what those families are facing and the nice horses that were lost...but...I hate to say it in this crowd..... How many children were just killed in Darfur while I was writing this? more than 1? Less than 5? What child in the UNITED STATES just watched his mother die because they could not afford health care? What family just became homeless? I dont want to see horses die any more than the next person but the humane culling in times such as these, while tragic and sad, is a responsible action. Their death is not a punishment, their neglect would be."

I am so tired of finding ads like this:

"22 year old grade mare. Never bred. Sound for light riding but hasn't been ridden in years so would need a tuneup. Needs experienced rider. We've had this mare since she was 2 and would like to see her go to a good home. Cant afford to keep her for the winter. Come pick her up. $100 Will trade for a dirt bike or ATV"

Are you kidding me? Buck up!!!
*****All of the pictures on this post are of horses, over the age of 20, that are for sale. I am not suggesting that older horses do not have a use or should not be sold. But to sell indiscriminately, is wrong. ******

I had to post this because I feel so passionately that the death of an animal is not a punishment to them. Their suffering and neglect is. The obligation that all pet owners have is to put their own feelings aside and do what is right for the animals in their care.

There! I said it.

Usually, I try to keep this blog positive. Usually, it is my hope to make you'all smile. Maybe even get a chuckle out of ya! I am sorry for the rant. It had to be said.

Hmmmm.... how to make you smile after all that......


Okay... a joke....

A guy walked into a bar.....


No! That didn't do it. How about...

What did the snail say when it took a ride on the turtles back?


Dont hate me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Embarassing....but true.

The past four days have been spent, by and large, reading the Twilight series of books by Stephanie Mayer. I am a wee bit embarrassed that I became so wrapped up in a teen romance novel, but not enough to stop myself from doing so. I used the excuse that it was "research" as I have been plugging away at my story (that started with the Ghosting It Forward tag and that slowly grew to a life of its own.) I wanted to read a few books written for teens, like Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and others like the Twilight series because they managed to transcend the boundaries of their "teen" category to be enjoyed by a much larger audience (and are International Bestsellers). So I had an excuse, right?

Well, as it would turn out, I absolutely loved the Twilight books, inexplicably so! I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that I loved so much about them. Sure they are well written, surprisingly rich in detail and imagery, extremely suspenseful. I read for 600+ page novels in four it would be safe to call them page turners. Something about the first three of the four novels I related to because of my own personal experiences at that age. I can see how many adult woman would be happy to relive their first love or heartbreaking crush by becoming immersed in the helpless romance between Bella and Edward, the fact that Edward is a vampire, not withstanding. I am not a sci-fi kinda girl, but will happily put aside the whole vampire thing for the sake of a good love story... and a good love story it was.... Even if slightly cliche...a testament to the age old paradox of a young women's insatiable desire to win the heart of the unobtainable, the perfectly delicious, the bad boy, with a lust and passion second to none.

With that being said....

My only regret was that the author wrote them to be appropriate for teens...IMHO, much older teens, but still teens. Maybe I am becoming prudish with age, surely I wouldn't want my daughters to read such romantic....panting. LOL!!... But while I am prudish about what I would want my daughters to be reading, I am not at all ashamed to admit that as an adult woman the chasteness of the author was frustrating, indeed! I like to read literary fiction just as much as the next guy but when it comes to this kind of romance...*blush* I prefer a little more....... *hint hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

So, I still have to do a little more "research" in reading a few more popular teen novels but before I do I might have to invest in a few good old fashion smut novels to get me by. A Harlequin....Something with a pirate and virgin, perhaps?

Don't look at me like that! You know you love it too!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Australian Stock Horse....really

I am sorry this is coming to you a little late. I have no reasonable excuse other than that I have read three pretty hefty books in the past three days and have been lovin' every second of it. More on that later...for now....

A Brief Summary of the Australian Stock Horse's History:
The origins of the Australian Stock Horse started when English settlers first started colonizing Australia in the late 1780's. They imported Thoroughbreds, Spanish stock, Welsh ponies, Arabians and Barbs. The interbreeding of these horses, and culling of the poor ones, eventually developed an all round saddle horse perfect for the ruff country of the outback and versatile enough to do all the jobs the settlers required. They named these horses, the Waler (After the colony of New South Wales).

These horses developed an international reputation around the world as excellent Calvary horses. Between 1850 and the end of WWI, 400,000 of them were exported to serve in wars around the globe.

Even though the Waler had developed a reputation for hardiness, endurance, and working ability in Australia and abroad, and though their numbers reached the millions, no official breeding registry was formed until 1971! They inspected all horses, mares, and geldings before including them in their "stud book" and by 1978 had come to register 40,000 horses. Today's registry includes over 170,000 horses.

At this time the Waler became known as the Australian Stock Horse to reflect the diverse ability of the breed as an all round stock horse. They were used to work livestock, as saddle horse, harness horses, as Calvary horses, to clear timber, and plow the land.... as such the slogan of the Australian Stock Horse Society became:


Strength. Stamina. Reliability. Versatility ....the cornerstones of the the Australian Stock Horse.

I think the Society sums up the definition of a ASH best so I will go ahead and quote them here:

- "With its versatility, the Australian Stock Horse has achieved outstanding success in a wide variety of sports including: campdrafting, showjumping, dressage, eventing, pony club events, harness, polo and polocrosse.

The Australian Stock Horse is intelligent, with courage, toughness and stamina, and has a good temperament. The Australian Stock Horse is considered possibly the world's most versatile horse, the horse evolved through selective breeding in response to the demands of the environment.

The basic pre-requisites of a high performance horse are a quiet temperament, intelligence and athletic ability. These qualities are essential for a brilliant performance whatever the event."

I think that the ASH Society also best defines their "standard of excellence" (what they look for in a good ASH):
  • Head alert and intelligent with broad forehead, full, well-set eyes, wide nostrils. A fine, clean gullet, allowing plenty of breathing room.
  • A good length of rein, well set into the shoulder.
  • Sloping shoulder, not too heavily muscled, a well-defined wither slightly higher than the croup.
  • Deep chest, not too wide in proportion, but showing plenty of heart room.
  • Ribs well sprung and back strong and of medium length in proportion.
  • In forelegs, forearms well developed, cannon bones slightly flat, pasterns short and slightly sloping.
  • Hindquarters strong, rounded and well muscled, nicely sloping to give a full line from croup to hock. Hocks broad, flat and clean, the cannon relatively short with well-defined tendons. The hind legs well under when standing.
  • The Hooves hard and in proportion to the size of the horse, with a wide heel and feet straight.
  • The whole of these component parts to be in balance according to the size.
  • Preferred heights between 14 and 16 hands.
Australian Stock Horses today:

In Dressage:

In Polo: Campdrafting:
4H: Eventing:
Show Jumping:
And most a stock horse:
And then there is my favorite ASH of all.....
Denny! The Man From Snowy River's horse of course!

*sigh* A girl can dream.....

Shhhh! Dont tell DB!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Australian Stock Horse...kinda

I have been meaning to write this post for some time. About seven years ago I started watching a television show called McLeods Daughters, an Australian drama that is centred around a group of women running a sheep farm and the love, struggles, and woes they face trying to survive in a mans world. I managed to keep up with the show as it bounced from one obscure channel and time slot to another and watched the central characters grow and change with each passing season. Today, IMHO, McLeods Daughters is a shadow of what it once was, but I continue to watch faithfully. I fell in love with Australia, and the horses they love, through this program.

(one of the studly men and horses of McLeods Daughters)

(Stallion to be imported into Canada Spring 2009)
In 2004 I did some pretty serious research into traveling to Australia and importing and Australian Stock Horse (ASH) into Canada. As far as I knew, there were only a 6-8 ASH in the United States but not one in Canada that was reg. ASH. I had hoped to be the first. As it would turn out the red tape behind exporting was a little much, as was the cost, and well, life got in the way and I never did follow through with my dreams. Just a few months ago I read an article in a local horse magazine about a woman in Calgary, Alberta who last year successfully imported an ASH stallion and who plans on setting up a breeding operation in parternship with a major Australian stud farm. I am excited that this breed is being brought in to Canada and hope that it will continue to grow both here and in US. I think this breed has a lot to offer on its own and as an out cross on the American Quarter Horse!!!!
(an Appy reining, and doing a nice job of it!)
*gasp* Did I just say I wanted to cross breed an QH??? I must be going soft in the head!! But no! Wait! Hear me out. I LOVE Quarter Horses. With a capital "L". There is, in my opinion, no other breed that effectively would cross with a QH (please include paints in this statement) to improve their qualities for NRHA (reining), NRCHA (reined cowhorse) and NCHA (cutting). I am not saying that other breeds can not do well and compete at these events but 99.999% of the time, they do not win at top levels. When was the last time you saw an Arab or an Appy winning the NCHA Futurity? While half Arabian (X QH) and Arabian competitions do exist in the reining world, and Appys have placed well, when was the last time one of them won a major NRHA Futurity and Derby? I am not trying to say that a QH is a better horse than an Appy or Arab or any other breed, I just think that statistics back me up when I say that no other breed dominant es the NRHA, NRCHA or NCHA like QH's do!

(An Arabian cutting)

I know a Quarab that was one of the best horses I have ever ridden. She was small, light on her feet, could go all day, work a cow and keep up with horses twice her size. She never took a bad step and was the best minded horse I have ever known. I also knew and Appendix that cleaned up in the Hunter circuit and an QHxAppy that kicked ass at three-day-eventing. So, I am not going to argue that QH crosses can not be great!

(An Appendix jumping)

Now, what was I saying? Oh yah, the topic of this blog! The Australian Stock Horse! I guess I will have to do this in two parts after that rant. lol

Let me leave you today with a link to the farm that has the first ASH in Canada and that is importing this beautiful stallion in Spring 2009.

Their stallion:

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Idiot Box

I promise that tomorrow's blog will be horse related. I am actually planning on doing a post on the Australian Stock Horse after reading Pony Girl's blog today and learning of Bush Babe's blog and her post on camp drafting! I have been meaning to do a post on ASH for some time now so look forward to putting one together. Stay tuned.
Now.... about the Idiot Box.

My Poppie was known to call the television, "The Idiot Box"!

Over time, he grew to understand the positive aspects of what TV had to offer....things like the History Channel, the Discovery channel and all the other educational programs. Over time he came to love Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and a host of other Senior TV staples.

Eventually, Poppie bought himself a special pair of ear phones to allow him to hear the TV...that is, without neighbors three streets over having to hear things like, "I'll take Musicals for a thousand, Alex" blasting from the vicinity of Poppie's house, like clockwork every evening at seven-thirty.

(Poppie loved when this guy was rockin' it!)

Then came cable TV and the Sopranos. Poppie loved the Sopranos. Thank God he had the ear phones by that time, or the neighbors would have been calling the cops every Thursday at ten-thirty.

No matter how much he grew to love what television had to offer, he still called it "the idiot box".

With that being said, my Poppie would be horrified to hear of a terrible little secret I have.

I am SO embarrassed.

I don't know if I can tell you.

Oh, but I just have to....

Tonight is the season finale of a show that I have faithful watched for many years...far more than I care to admit.

I hide away in my closet.

A blanket over my head.

I turn the volume down really low so no one can hear.

I have my hand poised over the remote in case someone should come in!

So that I can change the channel to Animal Planet or Myth Busters or some educated program...anything but the trash that I am secretly watching!!

Americas Next Top Model!!! *gasp* There! I said it!!

I am so excited! Tonight it will come down to these three girls....
McKey with her infinitely long legs!
Analeigh with her sixties flower child charm....
Or goofy Samantha, with her girl next store good looks...

I cant wait to find out who will win!!! I am hoping for Analeigh. My secret is out. Any other's care to fuss up? Come on! What junk tv do you watch? Celebrity Rehab maybe? Come on! You know you do it!!