Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pondering green horses....

Since I don't have any green horses (I hope!) standing around to be photographed, I went digging at Flickr. Thank you, Pit Van Meefe :)

While I've cleaned a few green patches OFF of horses, and I've had green hands (thanks to a tie-dying project that went horribly wrong) I've never actually dyed a horse green. Can you imagine the amount of food coloring you'd need? Of course, that would make is semi-permanent.... Those hair-spray type temp colors you see at Halloween would probably be the way to go. Ack! Enough time spent on that mental train trip.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pre-Friday Book Review: Going, Gone

Going, Gone by Laura Crum
I've been checking the mailbox hoping to spot an envelope from the publisher since sometime in February. It arrived - on a Monday, of course - and I then had to wait the rest of the week to get home so I could read it.

Doubly nifty, it was free! I didn't have to wait and try to track down a copy at Barnes and Noble or Amazon or via interlibrary loan. (Thanks to Mrs. Mom for the head's up!)

In order not to be biased, I've been purposefully skipping other bloggers' reviews, so when I cracked the book this weekend I was flying blind with only Gail McCarthy's previous adventures as a yardstick.

In a nutshell, Gail's family horse-camping trip runs headlong into a murder investigation. Her ex-boyfriend Lonny Peterson is the prime suspect in the death of his new girlfriend. Gail's childhood friend Bret Boncantini, now a local deputy, provides some helpful, hands-off, police advice, but fears for his job if he provides any overt assistance. If Gail doesn't help, Lonny may just find himself on the wrong side of a set of bars for a very long time.

As I said, I was really looking forward to reading the latest in Gail McCarthy's continuing adventures. Previous books have provided informative, suspenseful, and entertaining peeks into the horse industry through the eyes of an equine practitioner.

Well, everyone's entitled to an off book occasionally, and unfortunately, this one limps rather heavily when it comes to carrying through on the blurb's promised excitement. Going, Gone just doesn't stack up to the preceding volumes.

Maudlin, introspective, and jerky by turns, it trails from a stilted beginning through to an abrupt ending that reads a bit like a replay from an earlier book. This installment lacks the realistic grounding in medicine, animals and characters that I've come to expect. Or perhaps it has too much grounding in reality? There are gaps. Characters just aren't fully fleshed out, and too many of them aren't likable. Too many suspects and the ending is jarringly abrupt.

A bit more in the way of story would have gone a long way toward filling in some of what's lacking. This is definitely NOT the place to start reading this series.

Positives? The critters, as always, are genuine, lovingly portrayed and presented. The riding vignettes, likewise. Gail's relationship with Blue and her son's reaction to all the death are realistic and convincing. Really, as a series of reminiscences, I'd have liked it better. Stringing a murder in there... not so much.

I really wanted to love it. I've been promising to pass it along to my mom and sister (both of whom I've recommended Crum's books to on multiple occasions), but I don't know if I'll do so. I missed Chasing Cans, and on the off chance that it's just the gap in timeline that's causing some of the disconnect I'm going to track it and Moonblind down and compare.

And now I can go read everyone else's opinions and gain a different perspective - LOL!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SD water features

This much snow...2/21/10
Has to go somewhere.

Warmer weather means it's melting. That's the good news portion of the programming. The week of rain we've had that's helped it go? That's the bad news.

We took a drive yesterday afternoon, checked on Rufus and meandered around the countryside at bit after.

In some spots it's a fairly normals spring. A bit wet, but some spots there's always water during melt. In others...

They posted a warning on the high road to the farm we take when the snow blows in badly. It passes through a marsh area just before the next crossroad west, and the water's up just a touch.

Farther down the blacktop...Enemy Creek - the runoff culverts aren't big enough this year.

Driving back we angled across on the back roads
with a detour here or there.

Water at the farm is up, too. The driveway remains passable for now, although there's a very nice pond forming at the base of the drive.

G cut in some drainage. They've never needed a culvert, but this year would be one to have one.

Up on the hill, this little rivlet runs right down through the trees...
And straight through the bottom of the horse lot.

I did some trenching Friday afternoon, and so far it's draining nicely. The bottom is sandy, and it's only a bit over ankle deep...

Now that it has somewhere to run to.

'Myra says...
"Make it stop raining now, 'kay?"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still here

Not sure exactly what I've spent the last two weeks doing - well, I know, but it's not anything interesting - but it obviously hasn't been posting!

Here's a rundown of recent events:
  • horses (not-so-crazy week of mud (!), melting, and shedding
  • work (crazy week leading up to spring break)
  • home (crazy week leading up to 15th birthday for H)
I have pictures to go with most of those, but the USB-thingy is still out in the car....

Basically, it's been a non-starter of a fortnight horse-wise.

T is hunting a new saddle which will hopefully a) fit Rufus, b) fit him, and c) not cost an arm and a leg. I think I may have convinced him not to get too attached to the lovely, new, (and extremely dear) 16" Colorado roping saddle the guy at the tack shop was trying to sell him. He has the option of trying it first, which is good, but the price tag made him gulp (me, too!), although it really wasn't out of line for a quality new saddle.

I'm just not convinced we can't find him a good used saddle that will meet all his criteria. We're going to do some more active looking locally first - at least that's my intention!

Other than that, things are wet, rainy, foggy, and - hooray! - above freezing!