Here is what is left of the mangled gate in which my horse got herself tangled. Not ending the sentence in a preposition - did you see that? Test time...

She is still going along soundly though - so lots more trot. Thing is, she is so very sound right now that she is taking her normal big, over reaching steps (which means she reaches farther with her hind legs than her front foot prints) so today - she pulled her front shoe right off. Now we wait for the farrier to come reset, can't ride without the shoe.

If it isn't one thing it is ten more...

But she feels really good! And that makes me happy.
From Charlie Daniels' blog I love Charlie's blog...

Invitation To The Third World

What makes a Third World country a Third World country? The causes can usually be traced to ignorance, poverty, constant war and religious enmity.

But there is almost always an underlying factor present in all Third World countries; there is usually a corrupt dictatorship whose only interest is power and control.

They seize the public treasury and use it for whatever they deem necessary to stay in power. They seize control of private enterprise, raise taxes, outlaw private ownership of firearms and pour private funds down the black hole of their ambitions bringing on unsustainable inflation, economic chaos and eventual bankruptcy.

They blame their failures on others and take credit for successes they had no part in.

They fill the ranks of the governmental hierarchy, not with the best and the brightest motivated by a desire to serve and preserve the nation, but with egghead ideologues who want to remake the nation in their own image.

They institute huge entitlement programs in the belief that he who gets something for free will vote for the party which gave it to him.

They discourage productivity, creativity and business investment, taxing away the money once used for the research and development programs which once brought the world digital technology and a cure for polio.

They hide their true intentions behind governmental slight of hand and voluminous rules and regulations, creating agencies and bureaucracies to keep the rank and file in line.

They make empty promises and tell downright lies and never get called to task by a media that agrees with them in the beginning and fears them in the end.

They turn their backs on the nation's friends and forge new alliances with its enemies fawning over dictators and despots.

They brazenly ignore the laws of God and try to turn the eyes of the nation away from Him declaring that diversity, not the faith of the fathers is what made the nation great.

They are arrogant and profane seeking to destroy anybody with the audacity to question their methods, which they never fully explain to the public lest the catastrophic ramifications of their actions be exposed to the light of truth.

Even as their programs dismally fail they continue to beat the dead horse taking the nation even farther down the path to the terrible hurt they will eventually have to face.

Does any of this sound familiar?

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, and for our country.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels
Finally getting to let Rosalie spend a little time outside - except today, only her fourth day in the paddock - she decided she needed to leave the paddock, so she tried to jump out - over a four foot high gate - from a stand still. She didn't quite make it, and tangled all four legs in the tubular steel gate. We'll see over the next few days how much damage she has done to herself. Right now, it seems to be only a few nasty scrapes, but the vet says it will take about three days before we'll know if there is possible tendon damage. This horse is truly trying my patience. At least she didn't break a leg, she certainly could have. Am I supposed to sit there and watch her every minute she is outside? Worse than a baby.

D3 is now engaged. Her boyfriend of the last year and a half popped the question and gave her a ring on her birthday. Thank goodness they don't plan to actually get married until they have completed their degrees - and I say until he has a job.

Tomorrow the hub, the boy and I will drive a couple hours to visit D3 and watch her play her cello for an opera production. Happy to hear her play, but two hours of opera - not my kettle of tea. I think we'll then get to watch her steel pan band rehearse, which I truly do look forward to.

One more week to prepare for end of year tests with the boy - then we get back to our regularly scheduled studies. He and I have spent most of the year studying physical sciences - the test is heavy on biology. Our main focus in history is US history - the test is all world history, no US at all. Can't accuse me of teaching to the test...

Mowed the lawn for the first time this year. Not much to say about that, except it is always a good thing when the lawn mower cranks after the winter off.

I guess that pretty much covers the mundane. You know, mundane is fine with me.
My teacher friends (and daughter) will love this, as will any parent, or anyone with a need to laugh, or anyone who is good with words....

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country.

Here are last year's winners...

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m., at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Point and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with Power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
Rosalie is finally getting to spend a couple hours a day outside, though in a small paddock, alone, and on "happy juice" (mild tranq)

We had a small scare last week when I finally trotted her for the first time in months and she was a little gimpy. Had to run back to the vet - but the vet says all is well, she is maybe a little stiff from being cooped up in a stall since Dec 3rd and to just go ahead and trot a little every day. We'll be working her up slowly.

How is that for baby blues?

Then there is school work - the boy is prepping for year end tests - Gus wants to study too

Can you explain that Pythagorean thing one more time?

The real reason Gus jumped up next to the boy is now revealed...
The roots of rap can be found in Irish music... I may have posted this before but it is altogether too appropriate for D3 (who has added button accordion to the list of instruments she can play Irish music on since this school year began) and we love this vid - it is just too funny.

Yo yo yo yo, we gonna party like its your birthday - but not until she comes home for Easter as I understand she is playing pans in a Steel Pan Band concert somewhere mid state this afternoon, then running back to Boone and playing cello for an opera production tonight - and Fri and Sat and Sunday as well. Don't know how this kid keeps up with her schedule. Anyone who thinks getting a music degree is easy doesn't know my kid...

Gus & Fiona are singing right along :)

Happy 22nd birthday my girl.
From AP
Their Achilles tendon is that they did not read their own damn bill so "kids with pre-existing conditions are now covered" is in fact a lie - and Bambi et al were in such a damn rush they didn't pay attention to their own bill:

Under the new law, insurance companies still would be able to refuse new coverage to children because of a pre-existing medical problem, said Karen Lightfoot, spokeswoman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the main congressional panels that wrote the bill Obama signed into law Tuesday.

Only the first of many lies we will find out about as the next few months go by. Dems will be trying to "sell America" on their piece of crap - using lies. Plain, easily proven lies.

I listened to the radio this morning as the Pay Czar, Kenneth Feinberg, tried to tell me that the American people are still outraged by salaries paid to financial institutions bailed out nearly two years ago - even though it was the government who bailed them out (the people whom we are actually outraged at), even though the salaries and bonuses were contractual and had to be paid out by law - From TWO years ago he says we are outraged. So far some laws are still in effect, including contract law. Yeah we are outraged - sir - but we are outraged at our government taking our money to bail out these businesses, and we have not forgotten who it is we are outraged at - not for one damn minute have we forgotten. It isn't business, sir, business that provides jobs - no sir, it is government. And yet I keep hearing Democrat and liberal (progressive - whatever - semantics) talking heads tell me that Americans have too short a memory to be outraged because they ignored our voices over their health care bill? Excuse me? We were furious two years ago, we were outraged one year ago, and we will still be boiling come November - Make no mistake, let me make myself clear

We Will Not Forget!

From Breitbart:

And we see what you are doing, we are not blind, we are not stupid - and like elephants we have long memories!

Tomorrow we gather our troops and begin planning strategy to kick these wicked corrupt ass holes OUT!

(distress flag filched from Pam who swiped it from Pereiraville who swiped it from Venomous Kate - sorely temped to go flip the flag in front of my house!)
People are descending upon DC this Sat at noon in a sign of our displeasure at their tyrannical and unconstitutional tactics to force their idea of health care reform upon us. I understand there are some education issues being piggy backed on this plan that we know NOTHING about. What ever those education ideas are, if they must be hidden under an already massively unpopular plan, I bet they are not something we would be happy about either.

I'm looking at the possibility of going - it wouldn't be easy, but it might be necessary.

Just thought I'd let you folks know. There is not much time to get the word out - tell anyone you think might care.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

If congress does this it is nothing less than tyranny and corruption.

Mr Congessman, we are not stupid. If you vote yes on the slaughter rule, or deem and pass or whatever you want to call it - it is yes for your unwanted health care plan. You have all been told, in overwhelming numbers, that we do not want your prescription. We see your feeble and ridiculous attempt at slight of hand. Leave the magic tricks to the professionals, do your jobs and represent the people of the country. We have called, we have written, we have visited you in your home districts and in DC - we have spoken to pollsters, both independent and the ones you yourselves have hired. We have spoken with one voice and our answer is NO

We will not sit silently while you ignore us and destroy this country and we will not forget what you have done.
Today's post is brought to you by Gus

And Gus's Bunny Butt

As he sits under my computer chair contemplating the meaning of life and how to get more treats out of Mommy.
Right here in my home county - though thank God not our district

So I'm thinking this is not the best way to try to relate to the students? What d'ya think? I surely hope this becomes something of an up-roar here and this teacher is shown the door. I'm going to see what more I can get about this...

Update -
OK first let me say apparently I am about the only one in the US just hearing about this - I've now even found news stories in the UK on the subject. Second, I held my nose and listened to our local radio talk show maroon this afternoon to hear what the locals are saying. I am actually hearing both parents and teachers defend this guy?! Unbelievable. There is, in my opinion of course, no circumstance under which this this behavior is acceptable in a teacher. Period. It just blows my mind that anyone would defend. This is bullying first and foremost, and unprofessional to the extreme. I thought our schools were doing everything they could to stop bullying yet here we have a teacher engaging in the tactic. Simply flabbergasting.

Apparently last week when this all blew up the county school board tried to be all hush hush and we support the teacher (?!) but as of today, thank God, this has changed. Nothing like the world wide media making us hillbillies look like, well - idiots. I understand the teacher is suspended from the classroom pending investigation.

I can save the county the money and trouble. All I need is the paper with the words "-20% for being a Loser! (underscore times two)" and his admission that he wrote it (which I understand not only does he admit but is proud of as his "unique style of teaching") - Investigation over, gather your belongings dude you are out of here. Case closed, next?...

Have you called yours? Pick up the phone and do it, we are down to the wire and Pelosi is twisting arms.
Anyone who cares about stopping the government take over of health care needs to call their congressmen/women one more time. I know we are all sick of it, but this week is critical and I know I have been quiet the last few months. I'll be calling first thing Monday morning. Our blue dog has been a no, until now - now he is "undecided". Must scream, one more time.
Added: Mar 08, 2010 10:39 am
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) intends to purchase twenty-seven (27) REMINGTON BRAND MODEL 870 POLICE 12/14P MOD GRWC XS4 KXCS SF. RAMAC #24587 GAUGE: 12 BARREL: 14" - PARKERIZED CHOKE: MODIFIED SIGHTS: GHOST RING REAR WILSON COMBAT; FRONT - XS CONTOUR BEAD SIGHT STOCK: KNOXX REDUCE RECOIL ADJUSTABLE STOCK FORE-END: SPEEDFEED SPORT-SOLID - 14" LOP are designated as the only shotguns authorized for ED based on compatibility with ED existing shotgun inventory, certified armor and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts.
The required date of delivery is March 22, 2010.
Interested sources must submit detailed technical capabilities and any other information that demonstrates their ability to meet the requirements above, no later than March 12, 2010 at 12 PM, E.S.T.

Taken from here...

What the heck? Did any of you know the Department of Education already has a shotgon inventory? Does anyone know WHY the Department of Education would already have shotguns and WHY they would need 27 more?

Does anyone know WHY the Drudge Report is the only place I would ever have heard anything like this?

What the heck!?

Note the delivery address:
Place of Delivery:
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Inspector General
c/o: Gary Pawlak, Special Agent
500 West Madison Street - Suite 1414
Chicago, IL 60661

Perhaps there is some explanation here, in that the shotguns are to be sent to Chicago. Still frightening.
We do everything together :)

If your ever in a jam, here I am.
If your ever in a mess, SOS.
If you're so happy, you land in Jail, I'm your bail.
It's friendship, friendship - Just the perfect blendship...
This is a very odd snow. It is like feathers - it doesn't lie smooth and flat, it mounds and clings in feathery fluffy masses.

So, once again, snow pictures.
This is my crepe myrtle

You can kind of see the feathery nature of the snow in this shot. I liked the color in the ivy leaves against the cotton candy white snow.

Enough snow already - I needs me some spring...
In celebration of the coming St Paddy's Day, and the fact that so many in this country have some Irish in their lineage - It occurs to me that some of you may have an interest in Irish history. Over the years - since my daughter became so wrapped up in Irish traditional music - I have, by default, spent many hours sitting in on lectures of both Irish history and the history of Irish music and its role in the culture - this leading to an interest on my part in reading more on the subject.

Now, I do love history and I do love to read, but I don't much love reading dry history so I tend to look for well researched historical fiction. Well researched is key, but I remember history better if I can associate it with people, how they lived, how the larger incidents in history affected the lives of everyday people - it just seems more relevant to me if I learn it that way.

So, in a continuing theme that seems to be building here (along with updates on Rosalie) I have some book recommendations for you.

The first is Trinity by Leon Uris. Much like his Exodus and The Haj do for understanding on a personal level of the situation with Israel and the Middle East - Trinity addresses the "troubles" in Ireland - the struggle between Republicans and Loyalists in Ireland. Also as in Exodus and the Haj, the story will frustrate you - twisted my gut - but is gripping to read and sheds light.

The next is actually a series of books written by Morgan Llywelyn. They are known as the Irish Century series. In spite of her decidedly Welsh name, Llywelyn presents a very well researched history of the struggle for Irish home rule beginning in the early 20th Century. These books should be read in order as they trace a family from the build up to the Easter Rebellion of 1916 through the eventual establishment of Ireland as we know it now and the struggle with Great Britain in Northern Ireland. The books are: 1916 - 1921 - 1942 - 1972 - and 1999. Llywelyn does a great job weaving the major historical figures and events throughout the books and has a very good appendix presenting thumbnail sketches of the places, individuals, and events as well as further reading if you are so inclined to research yourself (I am not). Certainly if you ever plan to visit Ireland I would whole heartedly recommend you read this series before going over, you will understand much better what you see, read, and hear while there. These people, places, and events are still very much a part of everyday life in Ireland.

Llwelyn has written many other historic fiction novels set in Ireland as well that can be a lot of fun to read - Grania, She King of the Irish Seas - Brian Boru - Bard to name a few. These are all of a more ancient history of Ireland and if you find you are enjoying her books then by all means, dive in. I've read a bunch of them - just plain fun.

There are many many more books available, many others that I have read - and still more that I own but have not read - but I have given you what I have found to be the best for an enjoyable set of reading. They will leave you with a good understanding of the Irish as they really are - and perhaps a bit of why they are the way they are. At least as much as you can generalize any people as a cultural group.