Writer on a Horse
And a Dog

The world looks better from the back of a horse and the roads of life are easier with a good dog beside you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Shirley Plantation... a must see if you're in Virginia

Sheila Renfro and I did a girls trip several years ago ... Williamburg, Jamestown and Shirley Platation Here is their website link:


Eleven Generations of Family History

What does Shirley Plantation have to offer that no other plantation can? We offer the story of eleven generations of one family who to this day continue to own, operate, and work this grand colonial plantation.

Shirley Plantation is Virginia's first plantation. Founded in 1613, only six years after the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, the crown grant carved Shirley Plantation out of the Virginia frontier. The chronicle of Shirley Plantation best exemplifies the period in our nation's history between the settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and the movement towards American independence from Great Britain in 1776. During its long history and under the leadership of one family, Shirley Plantation has survived Indian uprisings, Bacon's Rebellion, the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and the Great Depression.

Shirley Plantation is the oldest family-owned business in North America dating to Edward Hill I establishing a farm in 1638. Construction of the present mansion began about 1723 when Elizabeth Hill, great-granddaughter of the first Hill, married John Carter, eldest son of Robert "King" Carter. Completed in 1738, the mansion, referred to as the “Great House,” is largely in its original state and is owned, operated, and resided in by direct descendants of Edward Hill I.

The guided tour of the Great House highlights original family furnishings, portraits, silver, and hand-carved woodwork as well as stories of the Hill Carter family, eye witnesses to eleven generations of American history. As one architectural historian contends,"Shirley Plantation is the most intact 18th century estate in Virginia". Several features such as the "Flying Staircase" and the Queen Anne Forecourt are the only remaining examples in North America of this architectural style. Included on the self-guided grounds tour are formal gardens and eight original colonial outbuildings.

Today, Shirley continues to be a working plantation, a private family home, a growing business, a National Historic Landmark, and a direct link between the past and the present and future. Shirley Plantation is privately owned and no assistance is received from any government agencies. The revenue from admissions fees supports preservation of this unique part of America’s heritage.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Don't you just love it when the unexpected happens

My yard, my bird feeders, God's turkeys... Beautiful!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I hate days when everything seems to go wrong

Have you ever had days that everything you try seems wrong and you feel like people are laughing at you because of your mistakes? Well take heart, the people who are laughing will be in your place sometime soon. We all make mistakes... it's how we handle them and want we learn from them that's important. Just think how boring life would be without mistakes...they are the spices added to keep us from a rut.

I can see your wheels moving, trying to figure out what I've done.... hehehesnort... nope not me at the moment but just wait the day is young.

Monday, May 23, 2011

When the weather turns warm...

My green thumb kicks in and I have to plant something.

Does the picture of half my front porch make you want to come sit awhile?

I love dragon wing begonias and impatiens.

The four pots are double impatiens and fuchsia. Doesn't the double impatiens look like little roses!

I'll post the porch again when everything is blooming.

Got my garden planted too. Tomatoes, different peppers, okra, green beans, baby lima, butter pea, cucumber, squash, zucchini, and zipper peas. yummmyummm

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Who invented the list?

Was it a woman planning out the day for her husband or was it a woman that has "most-timers" and needs to get certain things done by a certain time and date... oh I know it was a woman that invented lists...

Have you ever seen a man make a list ... ever?

The only thing about these lists, they get longer as your family grows and you get slower in getting the stuff on them done.

I think that when you turn sixty nobody should expect you to remember anything and you should just do things as your remember them. Yes, that sounds good.

Heck while we're dreaming let's say that when you turn sixty you lose all those pesky extra pounds, your wrinkles wash away if you stand in a rain shower, you eyesight, hearing, teeth and anything else that needs help to perform what they should be doing magically goes back to functioning like they did when you was a kid.

Don't you wish you was about to turn sixty??

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Life is a series of choices. You're skipping down the yellow brick road and life puts of a detour... you can choose and both choices will lead you to the same place but in different ways. Choices are what makes your life what it is today. Should we worry over the choices we didn't make... did we pick the right way! Be happy with the direction you've chosen... be happy with who you are... don't worry about what could have been, rejoice for what is.

I was looking for a cool picture to use and LOL just had to share this one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do we give up or do we give in???

I will be sixty years old in August and I've found that a couple of words have been missing in my vocabulary. I'm going to...

I sat tonight and thought about why they were missing and I came to the conclusion that I had banished them to the dreaming part of my mind. I've given in to the notion that I'm getting too old to be trying new things and to worn out to do the thing I enjoy doing.

Well let me say that thought didn't set well in my head so I banished it to the totally silly never think of it again part of my mind.

Yes I'm slower getting my "to do list" done every day

Yes I have wrinkles on my wrinkles

Yes I take a nap every once in a while... not meaning to of course but hey they should make better TV shows

Yes I'm getting a little grouchy ... oh okay I've always been grouchy but now I can be surly and cantankerous and everyone just chalks it up to my age... I love it!

Starting today I'm going the say out loud one thing "I'm going to" and do my best to do it.

This isn't a bucket list. It's a list of things you can do and enjoy doing.

I'm going to take the time to walk to the pond and see if there is any tadpoles along the edge.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I know my friend Irene is jumping for joy... yes I read poetry and I love this poem.

It's all about hopes, dreams and desires... making the best with what you have and thanking the higher being for his blessing.

I know some might see this as a sad poem but I see it as an inspiration... life is hard and not everything is like the fairy tale but you do what you can with what you have and LIVE

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The free bird leaps
on the back of the win
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer in Alabama

These pictures were made several years ago... look how little Ella was, she is in the green shirt by the chair.

I'm sharing these pictures to show why I write southern. It isn't what I am but who I am. Southern describes me from my rustic home where you can have your own handmade quilt to snuggle with while watching TV, to my kitchen with the large table and home cooked meals, to my front porch with a swing, to my slow talking quick wit ways.

This was a Friday afternoon and it was around 95 degrees and we just loaded up the kids and dogs and went to the creek. Instead of beach chairs we have creek chairs.

The water is so cold, even in July and August, your lips will be blue and your teeth chattering in less than a minute.

Another cool thing about this spot, when it rains hard the deep hole moves. It's like a new swimming hole every year.

I love contests

A good contest to win books. Go to the blog and follow instructions


Friday, May 13, 2011

I don't understand ... why does everyone say my dog is fat??

This picture just too cute not to share. Lexie is not fat... she is just big boned. I love her just like she is and I don't care that she can't roll over.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What color is inspiration?

Is it oranges and purple like a sunset on a cloudy day?
Is it red like a rose from your garden?
Is it green like the first sprouts of grass after a hard winter?
Is it yellow like a newly hatched chick?
Is it pink like the bloom of a peony?
Is it aqua like the ocean or azure like the summer sky?

Inspiration isn't a color it's a material thing. From your lover to your grandmother, an illness to a birth, one moment to a lifetime.

Touch each person in your life so you will be their inspiration.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Momma's don't let your babies grow up to be a StableGranny

As far back as I can remember I've loved horses. I wasn't like little girls today that have all the Breyer horses... I made my brother and cousin be horses. I would tie ropes around their waist and drive them like stagecoach horses. My cousin would always fall down and cry... I broke my ankle, I twisted my knee, I broke my leg... depended on have much I had been running them ... if she wanted to quit playing something was broken, if she just wanted to be the person instead of a horse ... it was only twisted. I always told her that they shot horses with broken legs.

What I would give to run wild and free again like we did when we were kids. We had the world by the tail and didn't know it or really care.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Should we always share??

Have you ever felt like everyone is pulling at you and they don't want you to have anything. I know that at times it seems like you can't find peace to enjoy what you love but... always a but... would you love it so much if nobody wanted it??

Special things only become more special when people praise or brag on it. Take for example my best friend and soul mate. Everyone tells me ... Ronnie is so sweet. Ronnie is so much fun. Ronnie is so talented, he can fix anything. etc etc

I always roll my eyes and say, "You don't live with him." but you know my heart does swell just a little when others see what a special person he is and he is mine.

My point is, no we don't have to share what is special to us. From the old jeans that look great on you but feels like your soft nightgown (and you granddaughter wants to wear them to the barn) to you husband (now I don't mean share like kinky stuff) that you send to help out the neighbor or let just anybody dance with him (which I do because I like to watch that man dance) It's not wrong to save something for you, but if you choose to share that is okay too.

The picture reminds me of a mother trying to eat supper... her food always taste better than the food in her kids plate.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Got the royal treatment

Got the meal cooked for me... I only had to make cheese cake and pecan pie
Had whole family at my house plus sister-in-law and her daughter Kristi ... and Kristi's dog
Got the cards... ain't they sweet
Got a new patio set for the front porch... pictures will come later

I am truly blessed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Okay I'm going to get mushy. Sigh... my mother died of lung cancer when I was 27 years old. I miss her every day. She was the one person I could always depend on to chew me out if I did something wrong, hold me if I was sad and take care of me if I was sick.

A mother fixes whatever needs fixing and knows your deepest darkest secrets and loves you anyway.

A mother can hear your voice on the phone and are able to judge your mood. She can detect that tear in your voice. She can look into your eyes and knows something is wrong.

You don't have to give birth to a person to mother them.

Here is a disclaimer.... the memoir below will make you cry and it isn't perfect because I just can't edit it... look over the mistakes and know each word comes from my heart and it was therapy for me to write it.


Malignant, was the word that changed my life. I can remember in vivid detail the day my mother’s hell began.

“The tumor is malignant,” the doctor told us.

I struggled to breathe as he talked treatment and time frame. My mother’s face showed no emotion as she listened. I looked at her, silently pleading for her to make this alright. She always made everything alright for me, my brothers and my dad.

“Then the tumor is inoperable?” mother asked.

“That is correct,” the doctor answered. “An oat cell tumor only spreads if it’s disturbed.”

“But..,” I cleared my throat but the lump that was choking me would not go away. “You have to give her some hope. We need hope! There has to be some kind of treatment that will help her.”

“I’m sorry, I wish I could say there was, but there isn’t. Radiation will be for pain control only, it’s not a cure.”

Mother reached over and touched my hand. Giving me a weak smile, she asked the doctor, “When do I need to start the radiation?”

"As soon as possible, tomorrow if we can set it up.”

At twenty-five years old, I understood what the doctor was saying. My mother was dying. My mind understood this, but my heart could not.

Two years later standing at her graveside, unable to shed a single tear, I realized that my life changed from the moment I heard the word malignant. First I prayed for her to live, but as the cancer grew and the pain got worst I prayed for her to die, so the pain would stop. It took me over a year after her death to cry and for the grieving process to begin. For a year, I lived with the guilt that I was relieved when my mother died. One day for no reason, I started crying. I cried because my best friend was gone, the one person that had loved me, no matter what. I cried for my babies that would never know how much their granny loved them and what a special person she was. I cried for my brothers and dad who made no effort to maintain our family unit. When I came to terms with my grief and stopped crying, I made a vow our family would stay close. I shamed, begged and bribed them into meeting once a week for breakfast, where we talk about our families, share our lives, and renew our bonds. Sometimes the meetings are serious, when our children are having problems or when family members have been sick. Other times, we laugh and talk about silly things the kids have done or said. My favorite times are when we sit for an hour and talk about the past.

Even though the word, malignant, makes my heart jump with fear, I remember how my mother held our family together. Each time I nudge a brother or my dad back into the fold, I think of the word that brings Mother’s memory to mind, the word love.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Size doesn't matter

Have you ever had a problem and your friends didn't understand why you let "such a little thing" bother you. Problems are problems and it doesn't matter had trivial you think it is ... to someone else it might be a mountain. Here's my point, be understanding when a person is talking about something that stopped their writing process, their life, their heart. You might think that boyfriend that just dumped your friend is a jerk but he might be your friend's true love. I'm the world's worst to spat off words that only make problems worst for my friends.... do start trying to figure out who I've made mad... this is just thinking out loud... but I know my faults. Just because you care about a person doesn't give you the right to say something that will hurt them more.

I really do like the golden rule

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we all followed that rule. Of course, people are different too. What wouldn't hurt me... words being like water off a ducks back... might crush someone else.

So I think I'm going to change that rule. "Do unto others better than you would have them do unto you.

Ahhh... that is better.

Don't you just love those big Golden's acting afraid of the kitten. I can just hear one saying to the other... No you touch it... I'm not touching it, you touch it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Summer in the south

The steady dome of mosquitoes, snakes, ticks and jiggers waiting for you in the grass and tress and....... clipped down dogs.

I'm putting a before picture and after.

Now you might ask why we do this... well it's not really to make them cooler but it is to control hair on everything. The black one, Levi, has a hotspot on his side. Southern dogs have to live with all the things above just like their masters. One thing extra is the rain and humidity causes infections in their skin and the hair hold the infection and your dog can have really painful spot before their masters even know about it. Better to make it were you can see their skin and stay on top of things.

I think the haircut made Lilly's ears grow. Does she look like she's going to take off at any time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Zenyatta... perfection or loser

Zenyatta (foaled April 1, 2004 in Kentucky) is a retired American champion Thoroughbred racehorse, winner of 19 consecutive races in a 20-race career and American record-holder for consecutive victories without defeat in unrestricted races.

Saturday will be the first race in the triple crown bid. Lets look at the 2010 Horse of the Year. A great horse that has more heart than most of the people around her. A topic for Sixty Minutes and an object of much interest if not bets... this girl loves to beat the boys. She would let them strut their stuff and when they had lost their steam she would breeze by them. In my book she is a great horse that has it all... beauty, heart and a real gentleness that comes from being well loved. Her owners and trainer instructed her not only in track manners but in living manners. She is a lady and presents herself as such.

Am I a racing fan? No not really, I watch because I love all horses but the thoroughbred is not one of my favorite breeds. I am a fan of giving credit were credit is due... this is a great horse.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Do we ever really know the heart of others

My Uncle Johnny and Auntie Vi lived in Rhode Island for as long as I remember. I know mother and Auntie Vi lived in Massachusetts when they were young but Rhode Island is what I remember. I loved my Auntie Vi dearly but she could be difficult (I'm a lot like her) at times. She loved animals and liked to watch baseball and hockey. She was my mother's sister and I talked to her on the phone more than I saw her. What I remember most about her was her laugh.

Now my Uncle Johnny was a saint in my eyes. Goodness and kindness oozed from him... when you talked to him he listened like what you was saying was the most important thing in the world. Uncle Johnny came to see me just two weeks after I broke my hip (broke it on 07-25-07 and he came second week in Aug) The pictures were from that visit and was the last time I saw him. After his death, my cousin Margaret,sent me pictures that Uncle Johnny painted.
I had them framed and hung them on entrance wall from the garage. I look at them every morning and when I come home they greet me. Thanks cuz, your effort to get something of his to me has made me very happy.

The dog in the picture is not Lexie but my Jazz. Uncle Johnny called her a piranha because she chewed so bad... even on people.