1. Brett continues to heal although it is hard to see because he continues to abuse his body. H is currently building three more compost bins and has been laying cement block for the wall that forms the back of the bins. If he feels any hint of energy or increase in mobility... he heads straight out and works until he can't move. I've given up on trying to teach him moderation; he's driven. People ask us if he has a "honey-do" list since he is retired. We laugh. I rarely ask him to do anything; I often ask him to slow down.
2. We are under a red flag warning today (started last night). There is a threat of thunderstorms and lightening strikes with little to no rain. The huge fire burning between us and San Francisco (the Rocky Fire) is almost 50% contained this morning. Full containment is anticipated for Monday. This is the biggest, hottest, most out-of-control fire in the State right now. Fire crews are being very aggressive with all the fires -- which seem to be breaking out everywhere. There have been a few closer to us and the aggressive response has meant that they are out pretty quickly. We love our firefighters and support the fund raisers on their behalf in our community. Driving through the foothills, there are hand lettered, cardboard signs posted on street corners -- "thank-you firefighters."
3. The weather is shifting; the days are shorter and the nights are cooler. There is no longer time to ride before work but I'd rather have cool nights and not ride than have miserably hot days that extend into short nights. I'm back to riding only on the weekends. Tomorrow will be the first time in two weeks that I've been on Lucy. Last Friday morning I tried to ride early before work but that was the morning that Brett came off of Mufasa. Saturday and Sunday were hot and smoky -- not healthy for riding. Heck, not healthy for stepping outside at all.
4. I was pleased with Lucy's reaction when Mufasa exploded on Brett. I had just mounted and walked into the arena. We were walking up the long side, away from the mounting block. When Mufasa spooked and crow-hopped forward with Brett, we heard it before we saw it. Lucy threw her head in the air in alarm -- but didn't react beyond that. I turned her and we watched the crow-hopping, Brett's unintended dismount, Mufasa's crash into the fence, and then Mufasa bucking and farting as he ran down the driveway with the reins and stirrups flapping. Her head stayed high but she listened to me and stayed put. Good girl.
5. Over the years that I've been blogging, I've formed friendships with fellow bloggers. One of these friendships was with a young woman, Esther Garvi, in Nigeria. Esther was Swedish but she worked in Nigeria for the Eden Foundation, started by her family, to help the locals with farming skills and education. Esther loved Niger and spoke of it with longing whenever she traveled to Europe to see family. Yesterday, while driving to the Foundation from the airport after one of those visits to Sweden, she was killed in a car accident. I was stunned. I still am. Esther loved the African bush, the people, her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Sheba, -- truly a faithful companion to her, her horses and goats. She lost her mother a number of years ago and missed her terribly. My first thought on hearing of her death was that she is now with her mother -- but so many of us here, left behind, acutely feel the loss of her bright smile and warmth; her love of the land and of the people; her love of life and the gift that she was to so many.