Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I was sitting around minding my own beeswax and out of no where I was accosted by several words which blithered around in my head.  They were harbinger, arbiter and musings.  As you can see I've already used one and it describes my state of (out) of mind.  Too the spouse has been yammering on about writing the blog.  Evidently it strikes a chord somewhere in his depths, which is something polite people would never probe too deeply.  Yes Malcolm, I'm talking to you.

I  returned to house sitting a couple weeks ago, and rather than go day by day on the adventure I will just cut to the chase and announce I escaped unscathed.  If there is any justice in the world, and sometimes there is, the  horse that kicked me remembered me and we were very cautious of one another for some time.  To say that I steered clear of his hind end is an understatement of epic proportions.  And for his part, he kept a beady eye on me at all times.  Then he came up lame.  Dead lame.  Crippled and hobbling.  So I called Shirley and said,  "Killer is lame."  she said,  "dammit".  I said ,"whatcha want me to do about it?"  she said,  "I'll call Dave the shoer."  I said, "ok." and waited around for a while and since I was getting paid good American fiduciary currency, I decided to earn my keep by doing as the Shirley (hereto for known as the Empress) bade me do.  Well if that didn't sound awkward nothing does.

Anyway, as I was saying the Empress had bade me lunge the horses at the rancho.  So there were three horses and as you know one was lame, lame, lame so doing some high falutin math, that left two to rig up in their respective devices of straps and bits and pads and boots and the myriad of other equipment one must strap, buckle and velcro to the horse and other parts thereof.  First was Bugatti, now known as Bugger Gotti.  Everything in the world scares this one. Flies, blue sky, wind, me, brushes, hair, get the idea.  Sadly in concert with his anxieties came the unfortunate episodic poopings.  Like every five seconds, and don't bother trying to keep the clean up up.  So anyway I eventually got him out to the ring and chased him around two minutes at the trot and eight minutes at the canter...each direction.  You talk about paint drying.  And of course I stared at the watch like every 15 seconds not believing at any point that that little time had passed.  God I hate to lunge.  And Bugger Gotti would take advantage of every lapse of attention to stop and stare at me so I would then have to expend precious energy to "git him up agin" and continue the exercise.  Heavy sigh.  So anyway the allotment of time finally ended and I led Bugger back and hosed him down and threw a fly/kkk sheet on him (really Empress? white hooded cloak...on a horse?  What's a gal from the deep and dirty south supposed to think?) and put him away.  Checked my messages from Shirley and found this, "Called Dave, left a message for him to call you, gave him your phone number, here's his phone number, what the horse doing now?"  I returned the call and said, "nothing" and went out to capture victim #2 who just so happens to be the Empresses "special" horse.  His name is Monte.  Say no more.  And so I open the lair door to Monte's realm and immediately spied his shoe, on the floor and therefore, not, on his foot.  So two emotions here, one, I didn't have to lunge him and two, the empress was going to be annoyed.  To put it mildly.  What follows is a verbatim transcript of the conversation.

Me:  Your highness, the  great and wonderful Monte has ripped off his shoe and part of his foot.

Empress:   @#$%^&*

Me:  I haven't heard from Dave yet.

Empress:   #$%^&*   @#$%   @#$%    $%^ #$% #$%

Me:  Impressive

Empress:  I'll call Dave again $%$%$%^, would you go find the easy boot in the pasture, put it on and duct tape that sucka down tight?

Me:  You have five acres of pasture.

Empress @#%&*()_)!(*&^%$#$%&*()!_)(*&^#$%^!&*())(*&^%$#$%!!

Me:  Right then, I'll just go out and find that EZ boot, shall I?

So I did and I taped that sucker down tight, on the wrong foot.  My turn !@#$%^&*()__!!!!!  I tore all the !@#%^&*(tape off and took the boot off, studied both front feet, located the naked one and started all over again.  I blame a long and steady diet of codeine for my uh lapses.

Anyway, over the course the day and long in to the evening I conversed, texted and messaged the Empress on all things with the lame horse, Empress: "what's he doing?"  Me: "um, not eating,  pawing, being weird.  Looks like colic only he's not grabbing his sides and he has gut sounds." Empress: "He never eats, he's just like that I'll bet he has an abscess brewing in a foot, you have Dave take that shoe off and so on ."  Me, "M'kay, heard from him then?"  Empress:   "@#%^&"  Me:   "aha".  Empress:  "If you really think he's colicking then give him some Banamine (horse medicine)"  Me:  I don't think he's colicking he's just doing some of the things horses do when they colic.   I've checked him out, he's just being troublesome.  Empress:  "#$%^"  Me:  "You got that sistah."   Then some discussion about Monte.  Empress:  "go ahead and lunge him in the EZ boot, you know he's a smart one, he knows exactly how long the lunge whip is and won't go anywhere if he's out of range.  You have to throw stuff at him, it's best if you hit him with it."  Me:  "My but that sounds like a good time."  Empress:  "Tie a plastic bag to the end of the lunge whip and shake it, that ought to get him moving!"  Me:  "Awesome."  And finally late that evening we had the word that Dave the shoer would be out the next morning about 8:30.

A note about shoers.  They live in their own world and it is not in this or any close by galaxy.  Ere go the next morning about 7 as I was stumbling about still in the house and in my jammies and struggling to get some coffee and get myself in some semblance of order, whom should I see rolling down the driveway?  Yes the errant shoe man.  So I uttered a few oaths, not mentionable, and found my way out of the house, without coffee mind you, and met Dave at the barn.   I inquired as to which time zone he'd come from,  grabbed Monte and motioned to the foot that now had the boot on it and muttered something about shoes, duct tape, Empress, coffee and went in search of Killer so he too could be assessed by the shoer and me without coffee at 7 in the bloody morning.  I managed to collect the horse and present him and we looked at him and he stared at me, and then we moved him around on the lead line and I'll be struck dumb, but he looked about 90% sound.  Which is to say he weren't hardly limping at all.  So Dave scratched his head and  gave me the hairy eyeball and I called the Emperor and told him the good news and he said, "I'll be go to hell"  and I said,  "OK, but what shall we tell Shirley?"  and he said,  "well let's just find out, she's right here."  and I said, "OK, I'll put Dave on."  and I did.  So then we talked in circles for a long time and came up with nothing and Killer had a good laugh and I squinted at him and finally we decided to do nothing, but Empress was still on about abscesses and remove the shoe and the shoer was like yeah but he has not much foot to begin with and he has nothing to nail to.   Let's leave it for now, and I'm thinking well that's just fine and dandy you're on your way out of town for the next six days, the empress is 600 miles away and it is Killer afterall and shouldn't we do something even if it's wrong?  Well that was shot down so Killer went back to his pasture.  Dave put the shoe (on the right foot, go figure) back on Monte, explained his real estate scheme to me in lengthy detail and took himself off to go fly fishing in some remote area far, far away from any annoying clients and cell reception.  I gave it all up as a bad job and went back to the house for some coffee.  Damn horses.

So later I lunged everyone and that took like forever - really, then to reward myself for being such a good little employee I went shopping.  I got a super cute skirt and some adorable shoes.  Feeling a lot more centered after that, I returned to the rancho did all the chores and then collapsed in lounger and scoured the tee vee for worthy viewing options.  The royals had taped "The Game of Thrones."  I immediately decided that that was going to be no good.  I mean medieval fantasy?  Really?  Thanks guys, I was hooked from the start and thank God you had all ten episodes recorded.  It was something of a real challenge to work all my other obligations around that I gotta be honest.  Well anyway you will be relieved to know that I cleaned, fed, washed, wrapped, lunged, cleaned, fed, washed, lunged and carried on through out my stay and when the spouse called Monday morning and wondered if I'd be able to come by and have lunch on my way home I snapped that if I ever got through the show I'd be there.  Priorities you know.

In addition to being the help in Petaluma, I also got to be the help Sunday night for Muffie, the horse show mom.  Remember her?  Anyway she'd found someone else to take care of the whine country estate while she too went with the royals to the bucolic countryside of Oregon to a show.  Sadly, the substitute help couldn't do the horses and ponies who were left on Sunday night, enter yours truly.  So I drove the 30 minutes over to whine country and in spite of never actually getting a real answer to my question of what exactly do you need me to do I arrived in all my sweaty glory.  So I called Muffie on the phone and said,  "I'm here what do I need to do?"  and Muffie started to tell me for the umpteenth time what needed to be done, got all of like three words out before her channel changed and she said, "I gotta go, I'll call you right back."  Well I badgered her for quite awhile and finally ascertained that two of the three ponies who were out needed to come in to the barn for the night.  OK.  Then one of the five horses who were out needed to come in too.  OK. And the four pasture horses get this and the pony who was left out got that and the ponies who were in got something else and the horse who was in got something other than all of that.  No problem.  Except, and there always is one, there were only four horses out.  There was a pasture horse in the barn and he was not supposed to be there he was supposed to be out.  Not good, not good at all.  Further the horse was locked in a stall with no access to the run paddock attached to the stall and this could only mean there was something wrong with it, but there was no note no nothing about why the horse was in and I decided I didn't know what to do about that and I called Muffie. 

Back story.  Earlier in the day I called Muffie to find out what I was supposed to do, you've heard this?  Ok, well anyway while she wasn't telling me what to do she was telling me that her son, had gone missing on his bike and she needed to go find him.  And I'm all yeah, good idea, hey Muffie?  you will call and tell me when you find him?  yes?  please? ok.

She didn't call, so I had no problem interrupting her fashionable dinner out with fashionable friends while I was at her place sweating and finding  strange horses where they shouldn't be with no messages left as to why trespassing horse was where he was and why.  And further the other horse who was in, immediately remodeled his stall by removing a top board from his manger and tossed the offending board face up in his stall with all the lethal rusty nails laying face up for all to step on and what not.   So no, I was not in the mood to be all sweet and this  and that.  So Muffie got all huffy about the horse being in the stall, because you know he's supposed to be out (really?) and he needs to go out right now and then you have to move the other horse in to the stall that the trespasser was in and bed it and move all the hay and feed and what not and blah blah blah.  And I got all Meat Loaf on her and said, "Stop right there!  Before you go any further do you love me?"  No not really, but I did say, "um the horse is probably in for a reason, before we chuck it out shouldn't you call the owner and find out the details?"  and she said, "ok fine, I'll call you right back"  like I'd never heard that before.  But she did call back and said she couldn't get hold of the owner and to do all the stuff we talked about, then she found a text from the owner that said the horse was hurt and needed to stay in and Muffie got huffy again, and I talked her in to just leaving things alone and all would be ok in the morning and besides I was tired verging on grand mal cranky.  Frightened, she agreed, and I left her a tasteful bill and went on my merry way.

Finding that I am in serious need of some quality time by the sea, I shall soon take my leave of the 100+ temperatures of the valley and venture to a more genteel spot down Carmel and Carmel Valley way.  I shall endear myself to one and all and wear a jacket and long trousers and comport myself in the quality country life for a spell.    But first I gotta get there.  So adieu dear reader,



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