Monday, February 28, 2011

Response to Bambi - address for Equestrian Site; my views on the search for abiding love

Musings from the desert night....
I was going to put this response to "Bambi" as a comment, but I don't know if many people read the comments, or this blog for that matter, so decided to post it here instead.

Also, if you post a comment, I get it in my personal email which I love, because I get so few comments, but I can't always tell who it's from.  If you want me to write back to you, then email me directly or give me your name if you know for sure I have your address.  I respond to every email I get.  I hope that one day my blog will be so popular that I couldn't possibly write to everyone, but I have a feeling that day is still a long ways off...

So here goes:

Dear "Bambi",

Sorry, I'm not sure how to put site links on here yet, but I'll look into it, along with a bunch of other things I need to investigate in the "social networking" world.

The site I have referred to in this blog is

I use it mostly to contact people in areas I am traveling through, hoping to get information, tips, riding buddies, offers of places to stay with my horses, and all kinds of other great resources.  So far, some people (usually women) have been very very generous and helpful.

Horses on the move in Norco, CA

On the other hand, men who are looking for romance on that site tend to try to move too fast for me, and I can't get tied down - I must be free to do my Nomad roaming!  So I don't contact men, unless they have an especially well written or interesting profile, which is not very often.  The dating website world really shows the lack of good education most people get in this country...

And beware of the good looking photos, especially if there is only one photo.  In my experience, they can either be a fake or a scam artist looking for prey.  And what is up with the scammer who has no ability to punctuate?  Oh yeah - I forgot.  Computer generated.  Like so:

"i am a model from germany looking for nice place to visit.  i can send check for your 6 month rent and security deposit plus large sum of money for me if you will please cash and send me the money so i can buy my ticket to come and see you. you have beauty horse and i very much love to ride.  i like to gallop on ocean. i have many degrees and want to be an actor when i finish medical school but retarded parkinson brother must also live with me so please send money fast when you cash this."

Can you believe people actually fall for this stuff?

Men on the ES website do contact me from time to time, and often either can't spell or say something stupid that clues me in that I don't want to spend any time around them.  I just think the internet is a dismal place to find romance, although maybe for young people it might be better - just a bigger pool of options to sift through.

I have been contacted by some nice men on the site who seem genuinely interested in my goal to ride 10,000 miles.  Sometimes they offer help, but that is rare.  Rare jewels in a sea of monsters.

I have heard people say internet dating works, but I have never seen anything but disasters for myself and my friends.  Sometimes they make for funny stories in hindsight though.  Like the guy from Massachusetts that flew all the way to visit me in Colorado.  Didn't look anything like his photo but within minutes told me he had a gluten intolerance.  He did not stop talking about it the entire time he visited.

What people don't realize is that ER nurses cannot stand to hear about people's ailments, especially outside of work.  You would not believe what big babies come to the ER.  Grown men crying with a splinter!  Incompetent mothers feeding their babies french fries!  Drug abusers that fake appendicitis or kidney stones to get a fix!

You know who impresses a trauma nurse?  People with multiple open fractures who still manage to say thank you and apologize for bleeding on the floor!

Not that we expect or even recommend that, but it is impressive.  I'm just saying...

If you must go to the ER, try not to complain at all.  Just state the facts -  the less emotion, the better we like you.  We admire and love people with a sense of humor.  You'll get much more attention and  better drugs.  It's true.  I'm letting the secret out.   Especially if you do not cry, wince, whine, shriek, or swear at the nurse.  Here is another obvious secret.  We know who is faking.  And we are irritated with all of you overacting drama queens. Although of course the best of us never show anything but compassion.

You cannot impress us with your symptoms, so say it once, and only if you must.  Just answer the question you are asked.  Don't elaborate, and try to be respectful.  And never, ever, touch the nurse.  We touch you - you don't touch us.  Get it?  OK, now I'll move on.

Back to the guy with the gluten problem.  He simply could not stop.  Every conversation, every meal, every single person I introduced him to just had to be informed of his quirky digestive malady.  By the end of the 2nd day,  I almost killed him.  Well, not really.  Oh, I wanted to really bad, but I did not own a gun at the time so I did not make any attempt to end his life.  Heck, all I had to do was slip him a slice of whole wheat bread, right???? I didn't do it, and I'm sorry to say, he still lives as far as I know.  Thankfully, far away from me.  My girlfriend Carolina still thinks he's worth the most laughs of anyone I have dated on her watch.

And sometimes dangerous disasters happen while trying to find love online.  Like the sociopath I almost fell for.  Well, actually I did fall for the charms of the "Alaskan Devil".  Who then seduced my best girlfriend, on my birthday.  She told him all sorts of false info about my finances. Which led him to break up with me. Because he was after money!  Man, was he barking up the wrong tree.  Charming yes, smart?   - not so much.   Close call?  I wouldn't be living my dreams now if she hadn't accidently helped me out on that one.  Thanks Tina!

So I have learned to avoid the website for romance, but enjoy meeting all the nice horsewomen!  I think it'll make a great resource all the way along the trail....

All you people out there who want to brag about meeting the love of your life online?  I have one thing to say:  "Isn't that nice!"  Now don't talk to me about it again for 3 years.

All these people in the world, and yet I think most of us know how hard it is to find true chemistry and abiding, lasting, respectful love.  To make it last?  Now that is the real question.  My hat is off to all of you who have made it happen.  Genuine happiness longer than 10 years?  Now I'm ready to listen...those are the real love stories....Like my friends Billy and Sheri.  And Jess and Mike.  Paul and Donna.  Lucy and Tom.  Nancy and Art.

I am aware (and somewhat jealous) of a few good relationships out there.

But most people I know are either unhappily married, divorced, madly searching for a relationship or just getting out of a bad one.

You people that just met "your perfect mate?"  Talk to me in 3 years if it lasts that long.  That new love phase is really sickening to the rest of us.  Especially when we meet him/her and can see he/she is all wrong for you.   Double especially if you feel the need to express your lust through displays of affection in front of us.  Yech.   Why oh why do girlfriends not listen to each other on these things?

It's nature's way, it's nature's way.

Sex and the City quote:  "It's the sex haze."

Me?  I'm staying single, at least for now.  I am having too much fun to screw this up.

The Main Males in my life now...
Do you think it's possible that Jerry Seinfeld was correct in saying "85% of the population is undatable!"  (Over 50, I think it's more like 95% or even worse).

Elaine's response:  "Well then, how are all those people getting together?"

Jerry's response:  "Alcohol".

Champagne and chocolate works for me....
Well, at least we can laugh about it!  C'mon - you know it's true!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A New Friend in Castaic

Along the way to Los Angeles, I got a call from my good buddy Janna.  She had told me about her friend Henry, who is in the process of creating a new vineyard in the town of Castaic.  (Cas-TAY-ic)

As she was passing through, she remembered that she was going to connect with him and introduce us, because she thought he had property and a horse set up.  They had been river raft guides together and she was pretty sure that he would welcome me to stay for a night or two.  When she called, I just happened to be nearing Castaic myself - coming from the other direction.  When she learned this, she quickly called a friend that had his number and then called Henry, who invited us to drop by.  When she called me back, I happened to be exactly at the Castaic exit on Highway 5 after driving most of the day.  It would be the perfect time to stop and let the horses have a break.  I pulled off the freeway and stopped in town, and within a few minutes Henry called with directions to his house, just a few minutes away.

Janna decided to turn around and come back to join us, and we enjoyed a few minutes together.

Janna and Henry in Castaic, CA

Good friends for a long time.

Henry's beautiful vineyard home.  My bedroom upstairs on the left...
Henry's dog, Jackson.  He's an Akbash herding dog, bred in Turkey to guard sheep.
Jackson is about 3 yo and already weighs 130 pounds!
Gentle and sweet, he guards the property with regal grace.
Here's a link if you want to know more about the breed:
Gives you a sense of how big he is doesn't it?  I am in love with this dog.
Janna likes to play with the heavy equipment.  She's a farm girl at heart.
In Henry's wine room.  Cabernet, Merlot, and Sirah in the oak casks.
Henry and I shared some of this bounty later - delicious!
Henry's other canine companion.  "Jilly".  So sweet.
Yup, Henry's in love with his little lap dog.  I think the feeling is mutual....
Janna and I share a hug prior to her departure.
It was a wonderful introduction, and Henry and I hit it off.  We cooked and drank wine, and I baked some of my favorite whole wheat walnut bread.  I stayed a second day, and took advantage of the sunshine to bathe the horses and trim their feet.  Henry and I managed to get a ride on the 80 acres before I loaded up and headed south again.  Thanks Henry for the great hospitality and the restful stay!  What a nice break for the horses, and I just loved meeting Jackson and Jilly!
There's my truck and trailer parked by Henry's house...
Horses get a much needed rest in Henry's corral.
I'm in love with Jackson.

More photos of Shandoni Ranch and Sharon's place in Placerville

Maggie after a workout and a bath.

Sharon with one of the restored antique vehicles they keep.

Bronze Statue at Sharon's place in Placerville

Sharon and her buddies.

Sharon and Trish hanging out in Placerville
Doreen at Shandoni Ranch with one of her babies in training.

Monday, February 21, 2011

On the Road to San Diego

Gathering the Herd to leave Shandoni Ranch
Midnight, Me, Magic, and Maggie
After 6 weeks at my dear friend Patty's house, I finally pulled out of her luxurious home and headed out to pick up the horses at Shandoni Ranch.  Maggie was a little hard to catch - she had a really nice boyfriend there - a great big red horse that told her lots of stories about when he used to be a hunter -jumper.

Jay from Shandoni Ranch
Jay helped me get hooked up and even offered to clean out my trailer while I went out and gathered the horses from the pasture.  He is the one who provided excellent feed and care for my horses during their lengthy stay at Shandoni.  Thanks to Jay, everyone is fit and healthy and ready to go.  It's such a great thing to find a great place to keep the horses.  I don't like to be separated from my buddies, but it sure worked out well this time, because Jay and Doreen were just, well, THE BEST.  I will be sure and stop by again when I'm in the area.  I feel so lucky to have found this wonderful place.

This is me turning around due to flooding of the road leaving Shandoni.
Lots of rain while the horses were in Helverta.

I finally hit the road around 1:30 and right away had to turn around and go another way due to flooding across the road.  A very nice neighbor let me turn around in his driveway.

Here I stopped again.
I had passed this joint many times, so I  stopped to try a burger here.
I must say, it was some kind of wonderbar!
An old fashioned hamburger joint on Rio Linda  in Heverta, -yummy!
The drive down highway five was good.  Sunshine and no problems.
We made it to Lost Hills, north of LA.
 I got a room at a Days Inn in the background.

This nice fellow allowed me to water the horses in the driveway of his truck wash.
I've never seen a car wash this big.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A trip to Placerville

Toby and McGregor
I was invited to Sharon Evans' place in Placerville this week.  I met Sharon on an Equestrian website that I use to connect with horse people in areas I'm headed.  Sharon has been an animal trainer for the movie industry for more than 40 years, and was a wonderful hostess to me.  She told me interesting stories from her years working on films, TV shows, and commercials.  It was fun to see the photos from Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, the Ewok movie, Petticoat Junction, Lassie, and many more.  Her personal dogs were willing to perform several tricks while I was there.

It was cold and snowy outside, so we chose not to ride at this meeting, but hope to hook up with her again when I come back through in warmer weather.

Whatever you want, we'll do it.
I'm planning to load the horses and head south to warmer weather today, Sunday.  I'm going all the way to the San Diego area.  I have a number of old friends and new there and lots of plans to ride.  I've been so laid up with this pain, and it's still not right.  I'm going to continue to search for answers and keep up the good practices I've discovered so far.  One day I'll discover the key and heal this thing that's holding me back.  Meantime, I must get back on the road and ride!

High Five from Toby
Might be a few days until I find internet access again.  The truck is all packed, I have a new camera in hand (a Nikon D7000), and I'm ready for action.  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Single's Awareness Day!

Valentine's Day again.

 I like the idea of "Single's Awareness Day" better, where us singles can celebrate freedom from the downsides of romantic relationships.  Today, I think I will treat myself to a spa treatment, take myself out for a movie, hug my horses, and enjoy the fact that I am free!

For all of you in loving, wonderful, happy relationships - enjoy and cherish each other.  For those of us who are happily single - enjoy and cherish the freedom!  It's all good.

Here's a Single's Awareness Day toast from the Dalai Lama:

"The more you are motivated by Love, the more Fearless and Free your action will be".

Love is everywhere - and sometimes flows more freely when you're single than in a relationship.

Celebrate everything - all the time!  Cheers!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Almost Fit to Ride

Upward Bow - One Legged!

Well I'm getting better, there's no doubt about that.  But I'm still not 100% and I'm thinking I'm just going  to have get riding and keep searching for whatever it is that I need to be completely "over it".  As you can see, I'm flexible strong, and fairly healthy.  It's just this niggling pain right at my piriformis muscle.  Ouch.  This pose and others don't seems to irritate the thing in the least.  Gradually over the past month, I have daily improvement, but I don't think hanging around here any longer is going to help.

Southern California - here I come!  I plan to stay and visit with generous folks in San Diego, Pasadena, and Venice Beach.  Also hoping to meet up with my yoga teacher  - Shiva Rea.

I'm planning to visit NORCO, an equestrian community west of LA.  I hear they have many miles of trails in their little town (10 miles square).  I've been invited to ride with the "Saddle Sore" riding club, and I can't wait to meet a whole new group of friends.

Also, I finally decided to throw my hat in the ring.  I submitted an application to audition for the American Competitive Trail Horse Association's "America's Favorite Trailhorse" competition.  100 riders from all over the US will be selected from Auditions on Horseback.  Winners will be allowed to compete in the finals, and there is money to be made!  And possible TV reality stuff - whatever.

Don't you think Maggie could win?  She is the Bomb!

Northerly Magdalena (Maggie)
Warming up in Colorado

So Patty and I continue to hang out and enjoy each other's company for a few more days.  We've had a great time together over the past month - cooked some great food, baked bread, ate chocolate, drank champagne, did a lot of yoga, and fasted on wonderful fresh juices.  (Not all at the same time though).  I'll be forever grateful for her wonderful hospitality and friendship.
Good Bread Fresh from the oven.
Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland on the screen.
Always a good time at Patty's place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Back to Dr. Debby

Well, things didn't go so well for me in Sonora.  Janna is an awesome friend, but I woke up Monday morning with my Sacro-Iliac joint WAY OUT, and sciatica screaming at me to head back to Dr. Debby's office in Sacramento.  I loaded the horses and drove back, determined to find the answer to this intermittent and debilitating pain in my left hip.  Turns out this time, the Piriformis muscle was rock hard, so Dr. Debby applied electrical stimulation, massage, and a chiropractic adjustment to keep me going until I can get back in for a 90 minute treatment on Wednesday at 11:30.  It helped, but tonight I feel it clamping down again.

I have committed to healing this injury once and for all and for finding a cure for this pain!  I will not leave here until I have 3 days pain free.  It's getting better, but I obviously didn't complete the process.  I have a lot of riding in my near future, and I must be fit enough to handle it.  I feel I am close...

The horses are back at Shandoni Ranch, where Jay and Doreen took them right back with sympathetic action.  They care for my 3 darlings so I can care for myself.  I hate not being with them, but it's imperative that I am ready to travel, and to travel hard.  I have people waiting for me in Southern California, and I can hardly wait to get going.

So we'll see how things go today at the chiropractor's office.  Dr. Debby (who I think has genius in her hands) mentioned something about engaging with the new massage therapist.  I have tried several massage interventions, none of which have "held" or even helped much so far, but I'm willing to try a focused approach one more time.

My dear friend Patty welcomed me back to her lovely spare bedroom, and we are taking care of each other.  The three day fast came to an end, and we've been making fresh chicken soup with dumplings and veggies.  Tonight I baked fresh bread and it was awesome - whole wheat walnut flax seed loaf.  Yum!  There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh baked bread after a juice fast...

We watched "This is IT"  the Michael Jackson film documenting rehearsals for his amazing show that never made it to the stage.  If you haven't seen it, I really recommend it, and it's always fun to try some of his impossible moves in your own living room.  The moon walk is the least of it...  The dancers are amazing, and watch for the Female guitar player from down under.  What a rockin fantastic player she is!  Check out this link:  her name is Orianthi Panagaris, and I love her sound.  We haven't seen the last of her....

After that, Alice in Wonderland came on with Johnny Depp.  I love this movie for the costumes and creative wit.  Again, if you haven't seen it, it's a must!   Watch for the armor she wears at the end.  My friend at the Phoenix nest in Loveland made me armor to ride in based on the design of Alice's.

Here's a photo of me in it last summer at the Estes Park fourth of July parade.  Somebody asked me if I was trying to be Zena.

Armored Ride in Estes Park, July 4, 2010
Well, that's the update for now.  I really hope you're sticking with me because one of these days I really do plan to do some riding!  Preparing is all part of it.