Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

Just a quick note with my thoughts on the current issues around the country:

1) - Hurricane Sandy - Truly a monster of a storm when you can be affected by the storm more than 1000 miles from the center of the storm. I am glad all my family and friends are safe, and my thoughts and prayers go out to those not as lucky. Having gone through more than a dozen hurricanes in my life, I am glad that another area of the country go socked for a change. (Not really - I hope everyone knows that is only a joke!)

2) - Election 2012 - I promised my family I wouldn't get on a soap box about the elections, so much as I would love to sound off I will only say this. Don't forget to vote. It is a right many people have died protecting. Do not use that right without being informed as to each candidate's positions.

3) - Halloween - I hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween. The Charlie Brown special has been played, the pumpkin's have been extinguished and I took my grandson in  love out for his first trick or treat. He was dressed as a Transformer. It was magical.

Don't forget to join in on the Autumn's Harvest Blog Hop, sponsored by Carrie Ann's Blog Hops! Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win a $10 Amazon gift card from me, and entered to win the Grand Swag Prize through Carrie Ann. Dates for the hop are November 9th through November 12th.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Something From Another Life...

i don't normally cross my blog audiences, but this time I will make an exception. For those who don't know, I volunteer at Blue Skies Riding Academy, a 501c(3) non-profit horse rescue and retraining facility. I posted this on my rescue blog "Vincent and the Big Adventure."   I apologize for an inconvenience this may present. My regularly scheduled snark will continue next week.

Yesterday was the Blue Skies Riding Academy's 2nd Annual Fall Festival. We had a bounce house, games, pony rides, the fire department came out, and concessions were fabulous. It was a great day and lots of fun. While the event was fun for everyone, the meaning behind not so pretty. Winter is coming, it's time to prepare for the lean months.

When you work with rescued animals, the need to raise funds is constant. As long as the economic climate in this country remains volatile, the volume of animals needing help will continue to grow. With each save, the need for money to feed these innocent bystanders grows. Whether assisting cats, dogs, or horses the people and groups working with these fringe survivors are heroes. We see things which would appall most people.

BSRA saves horses. We bring them to a place of love, we feed them and heal their physical wounds. Once they are well on the way to recovery, the instructors and volunteers begin identifying their previous training. Interesting isn't it, we have these animals, who have come from many different backgrounds, and we only know what we can learn from watching and riding them. Some have little to no training, like Daisy. Others we know were racehorses, such as Oakley (Chilean Princess) and with a few there is only silence. A black void where only our imaginations dare to venture.

Once we know each animal's training, we build on that to restore their jobs to them. Horses need their jobs, it is their part of the unspoken contract between man and beast. We provide the food, shelter, protection and the animals help plow our fields, carry us to market or to war, provide a friend to listen when only a strong silent type will do. We build relationships with them and they with us. Part of that relationship is to swear they will never end up hungry and scared again.

Drought has caused the prices of hay to rise dramatically. The grains which go into commercial feed have risen as well. With the economic putting the squeeze on everyone, rescues are relying more and more on donations to keep rounds bales in the pastures and feed in the buckets. Forgetting reseeding pastures for spring; if it is between buying seed or buying grain, you buy what grain you can and seed when there is extra.

I don't usually use my blog to solicit funds, but harsh times call for new measures. Rescues need help, regardless of what area of the country you live in. $7.00 purchases one square bale of hay, $50.00 one round bale. We have 25 horses, and go through 100 square bales a month. There are 6 active pastures, that means 12 to 18 round bales per month. That does not include grain, supplements, farrier visits, vet trips or chiropractic. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming.

So, as we enter into fall, knowing the holiday seasons will soon be upon us, how about sharing a little love for your local rescue? When you go shopping, add an extra bag of dog or cat food for the county animal shelter. $14 can feed our herd of horses with hay for one day; $20 would include hay and grain for one day. But any amount is needed. If you live in other parts of this great nation, look around. There is a struggling rescue in your area, working tirelessly to save the innocent from man's neglect and abuse. If you don't have money to give, volunteer! Just coming around these animals will restore your inner strength, your faith that we have a greater purpose on this planet.

If you would like to contribute to Blue Skies, there is a pay pal button on our website: And stop by sometime - identify yourself as a patron, and come meet the magnificent beasts who owe you their thanks. It will change your life.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Politics, Religion, and the Great Pumpkin

Well, it's that time again - Election Time. Normally I don't practise politics in mixed company (Democrats and Republicans), but I thought it might be interesting to put my opinions down on paper; forgetting the cardinal rule in our family - Never discuss politics, religion or the Great Pumpkin.

Now I know you are wondering what the heck the Great Pumpkin has to do with politics. It doesn't. But he invokes strong opinions, just like the other two subjects. I have discovered people are very vocal about their own opinions regarding politics and religion.

Party-wise, I will say upfront I am a registered Republican. Do I vote a straight party ticket? No. Do I blindly adhere to all the planks of the Republican platform? No.. Do I use my brain? Always.

The greatest gift we enjoy in this country is the right to choose our leaders. But it can also be our weakest link. When it comes time to elect the men and women who will spend our hard earned money, it seems lately people are not studying the facts behind the rhetoric. News Flash People: not everything candidates or their commericals say is true. Both side stretch and distort until without research it is impossible to tell fact from fiction.

This is on purpose people! If it is hard to check the facts, people won't do it. Let's face it, as a society we expect the newspeople to check our facts for us. Second News Flash - newspeople are not neutral! There was a time when journalists reported the news without bias, but that ended with CNN. Both sides report things as they see them, which may or may not be accurate depending on which side of the argument they agree with.

So, what do I believe it? I believe in America, not as a political system, but a country built on the premise that with his own hands, a man can go from indentured servant to prosperous businessman. A country that said it didn't care where you came from or who you were - this is a land of new beginnings.

I want a conservative approach to giving away my money. If a country doesn't like us, why should we try to buy their friendship? How well has that worked for us so far? How about we take some of those millions going overseas and spend them right here at home, where the money is truly needed. Remember the adage - charity begins at home? I don't think Congress does.

I think government should stay out of healthcare. I favor a strong military as a deterrent to other countries thinking we are sitting ducks for another 9/11. While I personally object to abortion, I will defend to the death a woman's right to make her own decisions. It's called free will, and if it's good enough for our Creator, it's good enough for me.

Our tax system isn't fair to any of the classes, and the small businessman is being squeezed. If all that stimulus money had gone to the companies who create jobs, it would have gone to the small local businesses.  And, no matter how you re-name it, wealth redistribution smacks of the basic tenents of Communism.

For more than two hundred thirty-five years, this nation has survived internal strife, war on our soil and across the oceans, civil rights battles, and anti-war demonstrations. But I am afraid that apathy by our own citizens might be the downfall of the greatest democracy / republic the world has ever seen.

So in prepartion for the November elections - do yourself and everyone else a favor. VOTE!