Archive for March, 2010

For Steven

Spring and Thomas Jefferson

amywink March 18th, 2010

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“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”
~~Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1785 Aug. 23.

“Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth.”

~~ Thomas Jefferson

For more reading, try Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book

Ides of March

amywink March 15th, 2010

As I write this, I am waiting to hear about Miss B, who had to spend the night at the vet’s after she began to colic. Will and Popeye watched, worried, while Lisa walked the pony around the dressage ring.

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Will was quite upset about his buddy not being in the pasture after we finished our drive and showed it:

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While he calmed down once Popeye came back to the pasture, it’s clear he’s very attached to his pony, who the vet thinks may be 19 or 20 years old.

We did have a very good drive yesterday and the weather was gorgeous. Driving my red horse between the green grass and blue sky on only our 4th drive of the year was the perfect way to spend the first Sunday of my Spring Break. Both a cure for the current madness of the world and a balm for grief.

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And after our “exciting” drive on Saturday, Will settled down into his work on Sunday like a professional and my hands were more responsive and soft. We are making our way back to being the good team we were in November. We picked out our pace a bit, averaging 7.3 kmh with a max speed of 15.5 kmh, and we traveled about half a km more during our drive (according to our new nerd-o-meter gadget!). We drove up to the front pasture and through the blooming agarita bushes, which scented the air with a light sweet fragrance reminiscent of jasmine. I had never smelled agarita before but the only plants blooming in that pasture were the giant agarita bushes so they were the only suspects. I wonder if agarita jelly tastes as delicious as the bloom smells.

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*** UPDATE***

Miss B is better after a long vet stay. We were preparing for the worst but she’s improving. She may have an infection that contributed to the colic. She’ll be coming home today, Tuesday, most likely. We’ll all be glad to see her home.
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Spring Training

amywink March 14th, 2010

Finally, the weather is with us and the rains have been forecast for midweek days instead of the weekend. We are rewarded for our wet winter with masses of bright clover and the start of the wildflower bloom–which has been weak in the last 2 years of drought. For 3 weekends in a row, we’ve managed to drive one day at least and this weekend, the start of my Spring Break, will commence our spring training schedule.

After a long winter break, Will is a wee bit squirrelly and my hands are rusty. The combination isn’t pretty so my spring goal is more consistent work for both of us, starting this weekend with 2 days of driving. And we have a new cool gadget to help us! A Garmin 205 Edge GPS.

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It’s certainly a handy little device and the accompanying software allows me to download the data to my computer and track our training. It shows a map of our path and graphs a variety of stats—speed, elevation, pace, etc, etc. Yesterday, Will and I traveled 4.91 km in our 45 minute drive–with two stop/stands and an attempt at backing (which went pretty well aside from a wee bit of head tossing). Our average speed was 6.5kmh (we walked most of our trip) and a highest speed of 14.9 kmh. Now, I have no ideas on how that compares to anything but I have the data!!

I have yet to enter the “user profile” because I’m not sure it will understand a 1000lb “rider” and a 350lb “bike”. Maybe I’ll try it today, for grins. I’d like to get an idea of how many calories Will is burning, after all, since he’s gained a little weight over his winter break!

Unusual De-Spooking Device

amywink March 12th, 2010

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Will thought this was potentially dangerous, or, at the very least, Really Really Weird.

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