C. S. Lewis

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad."


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

bareback on Midas

Let's just take a moment to appreciate this sight:

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It was a horribly hot and sticky day. No one wanted to be moving around any more than absolutely necessary, because the mere act of existing outside meant sweat would be trickling down your back and off your forehead in moments.

So, how to maximize benefit of minimal movement? Barebacking.

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The Padawan and the Ham both spent time trotting Midas around bareback. The fleece pad reduces slipping, but I was extremely proud of their ability to sit the trot. I had to work so hard to learn how to sit the trot, and that's basically how they learned how to ride. Glad to see they haven't lost it after a couple years without Navarre around.

Midas, too, was pretty happy and relaxed throughout. No rushing off or pressing a perceived advantage. Partly, I'm sure, due to the icky weather, but also due to improved training and improved riders. Mostly improved training.

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Afterwards we gave Midas a thorough cooling rinse, for which he stood quietly as usual. The Ham didn't let him splash him this time.

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Also, I found a tree frog hiding out on one of the sweat scrapers:

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Zorro and I took a long weekend recently and hid at a B&B reading novels and sunbathing.

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I've discovered how to put PDF documents on Zorro's kindle, so I've been doing that to read my friend's novels--it works for the ones I don't intend to edit grammatically--the print is a little small, which is annoying. But it'll do till I can buy my fabled Surface Pro.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

50 - He said, she said

Lost? Catch up on Zare here

50-He said, she said
Ozriel and I looked at each other and started to run toward the shouting. We collected purple clad servants and an orange guard or two as we dashed through the bright halls—causing not a little bit of commotion ourselves. Finally our little bit of chaos reached the source of the shouting—a small crowd jostling urgently around an ornate doorway—I pushed my way to the front and into the room with Ozriel just a step behind me.
Two orange guards were standing on a four poster bed with their swords drawn; Deadweight was on the left with a knife, and Quill on the right with his knife.
The sight of Deadweight with a blade in his hand flung me into action. I leapt forward threw my leg at the back of his knees, sweeping his legs out of from under him. Deadweight fell on his rear and I kicked the knife out of his hand. “What is going on here?” I demanded.
Because, clearly, they all answer to me.
Quill straightened from his fighting stance, “I caught him in here coming to kill the Grand Master.”
“That’s a lie!” choked out Deadweight. “I caught him!”
“That’s preposterous!” Quill spat. “Why would I kill the man who hired me?”
“Why would I kill my uncle?”
“Perhaps the same reason you would slaughter an entire caravan with Shahoyan Raptors?”  
“Am I a sorcerer that I command birds?”
“As if you would need to be!”  I snorted.
“Enough!” The Grand Master’s voice rose from behind the orange-clad guards on the bed. The guards cautiously stood aside, then hopped off the bed to help the Grand Master up. “It seems,” said the old man with effort, “That my guards need to improve their watch.”
Before anyone else could comment there was another commotion by the door and the Head Marshal strode in, Azbar in his blue cape sweeping along behind him. “What is going on here?”
“A tea party,” I answered.
“My lord, are you alright?” The Marshal ignored me and turned to the Grand Master.
 “Uncle,” Deadweight shifted to his knees and pointed at Quill desperately, “This man is in league with the Marshals against you. They bought his loyalty when he got too close to their schemes with the thieves in the badlands.”
“Is that so?” The Grand Master looked at his long-lost-nephew.
The Marshal stiffened and cast the barest glance at Deadweight.
Deadweight wasted no time. “I was going to tell you—but when I saw you I was overcome with emotion and my wounds—while I was held in the prisons of the thieves because of my relation to you, and learned that the Head Marshal has been betraying you to the thieves for years.”
If we had been friends, I would probably have found his audacity admirable. As it was, however, I considered him a conniving snake of legendary proportion. I started to make plans of escape in case the Grand Master believed him.
“Your nephew,” said the Head Marshal measuredly, “would know, as it was he who held my leash.”
“Lies!” cried Deadweight.

Hook was loose in case I needed to call for him, and could carry two for a little while. We would have to steal another horse pretty quickly to hope to out distance the guard, though, and there was the little matter of finding our way out quickly…I was not going to let this spiral any further. One desperate man’s word against another’s and all vying for the trust of a man far too emotionally invested…this would not end well.  Drawing myself up I called on all my princessly upbringing, “The Marshal is telling the truth!” I announced loudly.

Copyright 2014: The Legend of Zare Caspian is an original story by Abigail Cossette for The Raven's Landing.  If you enjoy the story, please share and link back! Please don't copy it. Contact me if you would like to publish a portion of it in any way, shape or form.

Friday, July 18, 2014

White skinnies project

I have beautiful hand-me-down Nordstrom white trousers. If you have ever shopped for white trousers you know that finding a pair that isn't completely see-throughish is rather remarkable. This pair, however, hits me in really weird places--being high waisted and either straight leg or boot cut--the combined effect was very unflattering.

So. I made them skinny. And while they are not done, I'm stuck on what I want to do next.

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They are rolled up in the picture above, so they can be worn with flats, below you see how long they are:

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It's a good length for heels, so I'm thinking that I want to keep the ability to have the pants longer or shorter. And I really, really want to embellish them with buttons--but where?

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My original thought (inspired by these trousers) was the leg:

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But I'm also wondering if I might be able to redeem the high waist (which I don't find flattering on me) and tag along with that nautical high waist pant trend:

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What do you think? I think I'm leaning toward the button embellished legs and I'll go on trying to pretend they aren't high waisted....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Patterns and poles

So, as mentioned previously, one of our goals for the summer was jumping. And so we're making good on that. I found a gymnastic used by a college equestrian program that was extremely flexible--you could go through it a number of ways, raise or lower the jumps or just use poles to vary the difficulty and complexity.


I set this up with just poles on the ground for my students to get a feel for poles, steering, the long release, and two-point. It's much more real over a pole or a baby x-rail, and everyone is much more interested and motivated to learn balance.


Midas was very, very happy about it.


He was also very, very good. He'll teach them to sit up and control his pace around corners, and to steer, but he's very safe, diligent and honest, and just LOOK at him using his back over that little raised pole:


The next week we popped over a teeny x-rail in the grass and it went famously well. Midas started to get a little pumped and fast, but not unmanageable. He and the Ham also magically recovered from a hairpin turn approach to the x-rail and still trotted over it with perfect timing and balance--the timing was probably all Midas, but kudos to the Ham for staying in balance and not getting in the way! That is no small thing.

We've simultaneously procured 101 Jumping Exercises (the book) and unbearably hot and humid weather. So we're fueled and stymied all at once.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rocks and Water

Now that it has  been ten days since the Fourth of July, I'm finally posting pictures of what we did--I didn't get around to pulling them off the camera and doing anything with them until last night.

Also, I *just* discovered how to link Lightroom to Flickr to make my life easier:

So, we went hiking. One of my absolutely favorite things to do.
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It was a glorious day:

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The river was fast--we've had lots of rain of late. Plus a really snowy winter.

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One person in the family likes having his picture taken (OK, two? Two and a half?)

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This one is my favorite:

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Look closely here: There is a great big tree carcass at the top of the rocks:
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A little to the right of this picture (below) the rocks are more sheer and people climb up them with rope rigs. The Billy Goat family just scampers up any spot they can find, though.

By the time we got to this point in the hike I'd scraped my right palm on a rock (yeeeah, I'm starting to hearken back to my childhood, when I was always wearing a band-aid for some dumb reason) and had wrapped it in a hanky borrowed from my Father in Law--secured with the spare hair elastic I've always got on my wrist (I came *this close* to bringing band-aids with me on the hike). So that was my excuse for not billy-goating with the rest of them. Zorro found a fissure for us that was more managable and my Father in Law and I scooted up that slightly less daring way. It still looked impressive from the river bank, though, I'm sure.

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Fun was had. Later on we ate salsa burgers and spontaneously went to watch local fireworks--nearly the last ones in, and nearly the first ones out--that is the way to do it! I love how Americans celebrate Independence Day--there are seriously fireworks everywhere around here. Plus a celebration of family, friends, food, and resounding gratitude for those who make our freedom possible.

Monday, July 14, 2014

coming soon

Sorry there is no Zare episode today.

I know, I know, why are they shouting, where is Quill, was the canoe wood-or aluminum???

It's coming! I promise. Just not today.

I didn't get as much work done on Zare this weekend as I had hoped, so we're sitting at 1/2 of an episode, that needs possibly vigorous editing.

On the upside, I'm already mulling several ideas for Zare's next adventure. Or perhaps, just the next adventure that I tell you about.


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