1. February was very dry. We receive the lions share of our rain in the months of December, January and February. The first two wet months gave us above averagerainfall and we were doing major fist pumping; hoping that a good dent would be made in our drought. But, February was warm and dry and beautiful -- and the Sierra snow pack (which provides our water in late spring and early summer as it melts) fell from 130% of normal to 83%. I felt guilty enjoying the warm weather but now we have a series of rain systems moving through over the next week. Hopefully, they will bring a good amount of rain to us and snow to the higher elevations.
2. Kate left a comment on my last post, about roping horses not being able to bend to the right, that resonated in a big way. She said, "...some horses are severely punished if they move to the right and particularly if they take the right lead, and horses that have been treated that way tend to be very fearful and reactive when asked to move or bend to the right -- they're being asked to do something they've been trained to never, ever do under penalty of a beating." I read the post and thought to myself, that explains everything. When Tex refused to lunge to the right for me, it was like he was scared to go right. It seemed so strange. He wanted to do the right thing, but he was afraid to go right and instead kept swinging his hips away from me and standing respectfully -- with a lot of worry in his eyes. Poor, poor Tex. I don't know if he'll ever be able to unlearn this; its going to take time and trust. What a sad journey this sweet horse had before he landed in our pasture.
3. I am a book lover and have amassed a ton of books over my lifetime. I was a literature major and I kept most of my books from school; you can't toss a classic, right? From there, it just grew and grew. There were books about horses and gardening; books from my theology courses; books on learning French and French novels; cook books; and childrens books (I kept many of my childhood favorites -- some of which were my mother's childhood books); fiction and poetry. At Aspen Meadows, we had ceiling to floor bookshelves that covered an entire wall. Here at Oak Creek Ranch we had no book shelves so the books remained in their boxes, stacked to the rafters in the barn, two deep across the stall we use for storage. A few weeks ago, we were gifted with a couple of old bookshelves, made of particle board and pretty ugly. We bought some chalk paint and Brett turned them into beautiful pieces of furniture -- a soft green base color with a light wash of duck egg blue. We put them on the upstairs landing and I started sorting through the boxes of books. I put over 80% of them in boxes to donate to the local hospice. The books that made me smile, or warmed my heart, or brought back memories; I kept those. I kept my mother's childhood books because they are part of her but also because they are part of me. I read and re-read and re-read those books when I was a kid, cross legged on the floor in my room or under a tree in the backyard.