The view west from the homestead

The view west from the homestead

Sweet Chance

Sweet Chance

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Sitting calmly drinking tea. It's 6am and the sun is just showing itself. Magpies and Stellar Jays are at the feeder and the humming bird food is frozen. Just another sweet fall morning, but NOOOOOO! OUR HORSES ARE COMING IN JUST A FEW HOURS! I feel like a kid waiting for the grown ups to wake up on Christmas morning.

Teslin is up in Colorado with our new dear friend and neighbor Valerie and her 2 girls. They will be picking up Sweet Chance (AKA Fat Chance, Fatty, or Sweetie, known to her owner Teslin as Chance), and Halfie, Valerie's newest short fat sweet thing in 2 hours. They are Halflingers...... sweet tempered mountain ponies, known in Europe as horses since they can carry big adults as well as safely trundling around little kids.

THEN.....on their way in, Valerie will stop by her house, drop Halfie off, and put Thunderchief in (AKA Chiefie). Chiefie is a 16 plus high paint who is like a 1200 pound Zia (our golden). Valerie needs to find another home for him since he is sparring with her older gelding, Apu. He needs to have his own mare (and foal to come!). He also has just recovered from a 2-year long healing of a hoof he ripped open on barbed wire. He's fat and out of shape and sweet as can be. So....after Valerie puts Chiefie in the trailer, she's bringing him and Sweetie over to US. Can you believe it?

We've been working on our barn all fall, and it sits outside our window in all it's rough cut splendor. It's a 36 X 12 fo0t run-in shelter, with a cozy tack room. We had the help of our friends Lloyd and Stephen who patiently taught us the ins and outs of squaring and angles and other such things, and we all, every one of us, helped to build it. I actually got comfortable with the skill saw and have to say, there is something wonderfully repetitive and simple about construction. Much more meditative than medicine. (What was I thinking?). We're hooked. Next thing, a chicken coop.

It's been a huge fall....after a year here in Northern New Mexico, we are all very happy and involved in school and the community. My dear friend from childhood and beyond, Katie, and her 8 year old daughter Anna moved in with us in August. Anna is going to Cassidy and Teslin's school, Rio Gallinas, and Katie is having a much needed sabbatical from delivering babies in Oakland. We can't forget their dog Meadow, who is having a gas with Zia and country living. I've started back to work, and joined Chris at El Centro Family Health, the local community health care clinic. I'm doing women's health and loving it (even if it isn't quite as meditative as putting up battens). Cassidy is in his final year at Rio Gallinas, and we are trying to figure out high school for him. Teslin is in 7th and having a great time. (Did I mention that she is up getting her FIRST HORSE AS I SPEAK?).

Katie has rediscovered cooking, and has been making unbelievable dinners for us. Last night it was Chana Masala, Palaak Paneer, and Tandoori Chicken and Naan. The other night it was Ginger Elk with cornbread topping. Then there was the Spaghetti and Elk meatballs, Spanish Tortillas, and can't forget the simple meals like succluent roasted chicken, or the Chile Rellenos, Felafels, and all her desserts (apple cakes and cookies Oh My!). We're all quite fond of having 2 mothers in the house. I think it is the right ratio....especially if one is working and the other is not. It should be a bare minimum.

There is a squirrel at the feeder now. He sits and eats all the sunny seeds and is SO FAT we think he may die of a heart attack. Katie and I think he has no mechanism to stop, and must have a store of seeds that would last 3 winters already. His cheeks and stomach sag over the edge of the feeder. Life is tough at the edge of the mountains.

Life is full and good and winter is approaching. It is very healing to be getting 2 fat horses after our saga with Blazee last spring. All they need is love and riding and some good green hay. Peace to you all out there!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wishing your family a wonderful holiday season! You guys are a great family...glad you posted an update after a long while!
-Sheileen Lopez