October 2009


As I sit here nursing two bruised knees, and one largely bruised ego, I thought I would write a post on this largely ignored (of late) blog!

Let’s talk about barriers.

The dictionary defines a barrier as: something that separates, demarcates, or serves as a barricade. For example – a fence, hedge or wall; a bar, encumbrance, handicap, hindrance, hurdle, impediment, obstacle, obstruction, roadblock, stop………………..you get the picture!

One might think I am about to address something deep and metaphorical, having to do with life, and those things that keep us from moving forward with our lives. A discussion, perhaps, about an obstacle, be it mental or physical, that keeps us from achieving our goals, and moving on to the next phase in our existence……………….

Well, sorry, it is nothing as intellectual as that.

The barricades in my life are about 3 feet tall, and prevent me from moving freely from one room to another in my house. I am talking about baby gates!!!!

Now, at this stage in my life, I should be waaaay beyond having baby gates in my house!!!!!

But, no…………I live with 4 dogs, who, ideally, should be considered a pack of 4. Since I lack the demeanor and macho confidence of Cesar Millan, this pack of 4, is, in reality,  2 packs of 2. Which brings us to the need for baby gates.

My two dogs, and my daughter’s 2, do NOT get along. It is not for lack of trying. So, thru’ out the day, we play “musical dogs”. There are 2 are upstairs while the other  two are downstairs, and vice versa.  If both pairs have to be downstairs at the same time, the barricades are up.

After two too many hairy encounters (no pun intended), between my daughter’s male and my male, we give up………………….

Now, on a positive note, these barriers have kept me quite limber. I can lift one leg and pirouette on the other foot, while balancing a glass and plate, or an armload of books or laundry, going from one room to another. There is no better exercise to keep my old hips and hamstrings moving and agile!

I walk extra steps each day to get to the stairs, since one very high gate blocks the shortcut to get upstairs. Sedentary, I am not!

On occasion, the one gate is triple barricaded, to prevent one high flying dog from sailing over it, in her attempt to engage my two dogs in unwanted, riotous play or worse.

It was this triple barricade that led to my downfall today!!!!

As I gracefully arched one leg over the triple gates, my heel landed on the outer gate. The foot that followed, caught the top of that same outer gate. As my inner voice was screaming “Stop, go back!”, I chose to ignore it (have I learned nothing from that rarely wrong inner voice of mine? Apparently NOT!). I plowed forward and downward as I got tangled in the gate, my English mug of tea, myself, and my glasses  flying in different directions!

I sat, laughing so hard the tears were streaming down my face- or perhaps I was crying – who knows; with my jeans sopping up the puddle of Pipps tea from my overturned mug! Amazingly, the mug did NOT break, neither did the gate, my glasses, nor my skinned knees!

I could, at this stage of my life, being living a quiet, empty nester type existence, with just my husband and my own two dogs.  But, life is short. My daughter (and her unruly dogs) will be gone again soon enough, to strike out on her own. I love having her here, and will enjoy that time, however fleeting or long it may be.

There are some days when a 2 dog, gate-less household seems like an unattainable heaven on earth.  But, until that time arrives, if the only barriers in my life are a couple of baby gates, I should consider myself very lucky.

Now, I must go and get some ice packs for my knees……………….

The good ol' days - when everyone just got along...................

The good ol' days - when everyone just got along...................

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All is well, if not quiet, at Mountain Meadows, this warm Sunday afternoon…..

As autumn approaches, the animals become more visible. I don’t know if it is because the density of the forest is not what it was, or because the hunt for a meal becomes more intense.

The moon was rising quickly over the treeline, while we were at the barn. It’s amazing how a full moon can actually be seen moving upward!

First, we heard a turkey in the brush..then, a gosh awful screaming  came out of the woods. The horses all turned in unison, and faced the sound. Ears pricked toward the racket, they followed it, as it moved along the fence line.

It was a fox – it’s yapping can take you by surprise, if you have never heard it before. The first time I heard a startled deer was unnerving – but the fox call can send chills down your spine, when  you’re walking the dark path back to the house!!!

Fortunately, I don’t have any chickens yet, so this fox is helping keep the mouse population down. I hope in the spring, I can see the little ones – they are amazing to watch. Very playful and curious, the babies have little fear of humans initially. I can remember watching a litter of cubs/kits playing in a woodpile at another barn, watching me watch them! Apparently, the mother fox was not as carefree – she moved the little family elsewhere by the next day. They probably all got a stern lecture about those humans!!!!

If you want to hear what we heard tonite – go to this youtube video -it’s not our fox – but you will get the idea!!