Farewell to a Pony

RIP Dante, 2014  37 years old – give or take a few years

Dante came to us eight years ago as a free pony.  The riding school where he worked was losing their leased pasture due to owner property sale, and Dante couldn’t be on stall board due to heaves (a kind of equine asthma).  We were the perfect home with 80 acres of pasture and a nice barn run-in that he never seemed to use.  I’d go out in the pouring rain and he’d be soaked, unconcerned in the field.  There were days when he was out there with icicles on his fur.  No bad weather seemed to bother him – fitting for a guy who was part Highland Pony.

Nick and Dante 2He’d been a cart pony at the school, giving driving lessons to both adults and children.  I barely knew how to ride, let alone drive, so at our farm he became a riding pony.  I hacked out around the farm with him.  My eldest son took riding lessons with him.  Dante gave kids a ride at birthday parties, ran games courses, and more.  He went through his days with a sort of grumpy stoicism, but underneath the crusty exterior, he was a loving, gentle guy.

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Guns and Soybeans

photo 1 (2)Sweetie served in the Air Force and many of our friends are veterans, so this year he decided to have a Veterans’ Day Bang Party.  Which means a bunch of people heading out into the field behind the brewery and shooting guns at a target.

Searching for brass casings

Searching for brass casings

I know lots of my readers are wondering about the appeal, and a decade ago I was right there with you.  I’d never shot anything beyond a BB gun at some soda cans until I started dating Sweetie.  I still know squat about guns, but there’s something fun (and bonding) about hanging out with a bunch of people, admiring each other’s firearms and trying them out.

Some impromptu target repair

Some impromptu target repair

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Shaving a Pony

Vacuuming Punch

Vacuuming Punch

Opening Hunt is this weekend.  I know a lot of my readers are scratching their heads with a “huh?” expression on their faces, but for us foxhunters, Opening Hunt is a big deal.  There’s the blessing of the hounds, the stirrup cup (God, I love port), all the horses with their braided manes and tails, their neatly clipped fur – it’s like falling into a time warp and experiencing a bit of history.  Except instead of riding side-saddle with twenty petticoats and a huge skirt, I’m in pants with several flasks full of booze, hoping I can stay on my pony while astride.

No, we seldom catch the fox.  Honestly we don’t want to.  Chasing foxes is great sport and we want a wily one to live to play another day.  So we don’t hunt with terriers that will go down the den after a fox that’s run to ground.  We don’t shoot a tree’d fox. We just chase them, and 99.9% of the time, they easily elude us.

Last year, I paid one of my fellow foxhunters to clip my horses, and she did an amazing job.  This year, I was determined to try it myself, so I purchased the clippers recommended by my friend and showed up at the stable with a six-pack of beer in tow for our clipping party.

“Wow,” my friend Marie exclaimed upon seeing my clippers.  “What the heck did you buy?”

“The Andis.  I told them I wanted the big ones that could do a full clip on a horse or cattle.”

She looked at her clippers, then at mine that were easily double the size. Suddenly I felt like John Holmes at a nudist beach. “Umm, are these too big?”

“Well, you’ll certainly get the job done.”

And I did.  My pony Punch (who I gave a nod to in Angel of Chaos) was amazing.  I crawled all over him with buzzing clippers, hacking away at the thick forest of fur that coated his body.  It took me three hours to do a trace clip, and I’ll admit it isn’t the neatest job ever.  Still, I’m proud of how awesome it looks.  Clipped, Punch is two-toned – a bay roan on top, and a gray on the bottom.  He’s the cutest damned pony ever.

And after, I vacuumed him.  With a shop vac.  Then I went home and raced into the shower because I had little bits of pony fuzz all over me.  It had somehow gotten down into my bra, and I burst through the front door announcing to my sweetie that my boobs itched like an MF.

Fingers crossed that I manage to not fall off this Sunday.  It would suck to have my lovely black jacket mussed, and I want to make sure I’m fit for the incredible tailgate post-hunt.


Locked and Loaded!

We’ve finished edits of Angel of Chaos and the finished book has been uploaded per the pre-order terms!  If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, head over to Amazon.  It will be delivered first thing on your e-reader.

Next on my list:

I’m busy writing a short story for an anthology that will be available for FREE both here and and the other author websites.  Sam is trying to show Gregory the true meaning of Christmas in a small Alpine resort town, but it’s hard to keep up impish holiday cheer when people are being murdered for their sinful ways.  Could the killer be. . . Santa?  You’ll have to wait until December to find out!

Starting October (sheesh, that’s tomorrow!) I’ll also be working on the next novel – Three Wishes.

THREE WISHES (An Imp World novel) 

Dar has helped his foster sister become the ruler of Hel, and helped her free the enslaved humans from the elves. It’s about time he helped himself – to a fun two weeks of mayhem in the Windy City.  Collapsing a few buildings and corrupting politicians is an ideal vacation for a demon in Chicago, but Dar didn’t count on a beautiful angel sabotaging his fun and putting him to work.

Asta is an angelic enforcer, scanning for demons in her assigned territory and sending them to an early grave.  Unfortunately, the latest trespasser from Hel has diplomatic immunity.  But immunity doesn’t mean she can’t coerce him into helping her track and dispatch the powerful demon that’s been cycling in and out of her radar for the last few days.

Demons are the sworn enemies of every angel, but Asta must learn to trust Dar or the dark presence that is growing in Chicago will spread – and this particular enemy has the skills and knowledge to send human civilization back to the dark ages.

Impish Fun for 99 Cents

For the first time EVER, A Demon Bound is on sale!  Been longing to cut loose with some impish behavior, but not quite ready to commit to Hel yet?  This is your chance.  Through September 19th, get the first in my Imp Series for 99 cents at Amazon.  Come on, you’ve got that much floating around under your sofa cushions!

Go ahead, dip your toes in the lava-hot water and give the Imp Series a try.