Thursday, May 24, 2018

Graduation day

Here's something about my Dad: He never, ever talked about dying. It was as if his refusal to acknowledge the possibility of death would prevent it from ever happening to him.
Except, there was this one time when Ryan was a baby. Dad and I were talking and he told he me that he "hated like hell" that he wouldn't be alive to see Ryan graduate from high school.
I was shocked. This was an incredibly un-Dadlike statement. Also, I didn't agree.

"I don't know," I said. "Grandma made it into her nineties. You will, too."

Here's another thing about my Dad: He liked to argue. A lot. I braced for his counterpoint, but all he said was, "I hope you're right, but I don't think so." 

And that was that. End of discussion.
I've been thinking a lot about my Dad during the run-up to Ryan's graduation
I don't have a strong belief in the afterlife, at least not in the traditional, Christian sense. Still, I'd like to think that Dad was with us when Ryan walked across that stage and accepted his diploma.
I am very proud of my son.
And I know my father is, too.

Throwback Thursday

Ever since he was a tiny baby, Ryan was all about electronics, especially computers. 
He loved our dogs...
...but he never expressed an interest in horses.
I always swore I wouldn't be the kind of parent who forced her kid to embrace her passions, but I had to try, at least a little. When Ryan was five, I drove him up to my friend Trisha's farm in Wellington, Colorado.
Trish gave him a lesson on Arwen the Wonder Pony.
 Ryan looked pretty cute up there and seemed to have a good time.
Unfortunately, it didn't take. He did not ask to go back for another lesson. In fact, I'm pretty sure he forgot all about Arwen the minute we drove out of Trisha's driveway.
That didn't stop me from trying again.
Ryan on Arwen, 2007
Every couple years...
Ryan on Punky, 2009
I put him on a horse. 
Ryan on Trillium, 2011
And every couple years...
Ryan on Rev, 2013
it failed to take.
Ryan on Santana, 2016
Ryan turned eighteen last month and graduates from high school tomorrow. He is (technically) an adult, and I finally ready to admit defeat. He's never going to be a rider.
And that's okay. He's an amazing kid person, and I am so proud to be his mother.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Butterflies

Every now and then I get an idea in my head, and I just can't rest until I see it to fruition. This is how I ended up making a kaleidoscope of tiny butterflies. 
The wings are paper, and the antennas and legs are made from hardened thread. 
I love them. 
I don't know exactly what I'm going to do with them... 
but I'm sure I'll think of something. 
Okay, that was fun. Now it's back to work!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

NaMoPaiMo showcase - Mindy Berg

Twenty eight days is plenty of time to paint a model horse, unless the model horse looks like this.
This is Mindy Berg's 2018 NaMoPaiMo model, Tigara.
She is a customized Eberl Nizara resin.
Mindy started her in February, but wasn't able to get her finished by the February 28 deadline.
I'm sure this comes as a surprise to no one. 
The details on this model are insane!
Tigara is currently being offered for sale on MH$P.
She comes with this rug and presentation set by Dee Crawley.
Congratulations, Mindy. I don't care how long this horse took to paint. She is fantastic and you are a winner!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Wild horse hunting in TRNP, part one

I have always dreamed of photographing mustangs in the wild, so I was excited to discover that the North Dakota leg of our recent road trip would take us near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which is home to one of this country's best known wild horse populations.
Finding six hundred and fifty mustangs at a fourteen thousand acre wild horse sanctuary is easy.
Finding less than two hundred mustangs in a seventy thousand acre national park is not. I was worried that it might actually be impossible, that we would drive all that way and not see a single horse. Fortunately, that didn't happen. Within half an hour of entering the park,  we spotted a pair of roans on a hillside in the Cottonwood Area.
Can you see them?
I was able to zoom in on them a little, but they were so far away.
"That's better than nothing," I told Carol as we climbed back into the car, "but I really hope we can find some a little closer."
We did!
Just a little further into the park, we crossed paths with a roan stallion who was grazing right next to the road. I was hyperventilating as I took this picture through the car window. He was so close!
He didn't stay that way, however. He moved off warily as soon as I got out of the car.
I really wanted to follow him...
but instead, I let him put some space between us.
That was a good strategy. He stopped almost right away and posed nicely for my camera.
So handsome!
"That was awesome," I told Carol as we said goodbye to the little roan (and his faraway friend). "I can go home happy now."
Little did I know, the best was yet to come!
To be continued.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Finally!

I've always wanted to own a sidesaddle, but like a lot of tack makers, I often find it difficult to make things for myself. Five years ago, I ordered a sidesaddle doll from my friend, Anne Field.

"Now I'll have to make myself a saddle," I thought.

It didn't work.
The doll found her way into a lot of photo shoots...
this one still cracks me up... 
but I never got around to making myself a saddle...

Until now!
Actually, I made two. One will be sold at BreyerFest, but the other is here to stay. 
Woo hoo! 
I am so glad to have that checked off my list. One personal project down, nine hundred and ninety nine to go!