Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Phantom in the Pasture


I caught this photo last night when my brother brought home a new trailer (btw: the “new” stock trailer looks very spiffy. :))

And I was quite pleased with the talents of my dear little camera.

Then I noticed what the headlights of the truck had caught…


Lo, that famous phantom of legend: The White Stallion…!

There was a whistle and it lifted its head…


Except that “the white stallion” is my own dear mare and the whistle happened to be mine.

Imagining things is great fun isn’t it?

And I am still very pleased with the photos. :)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

They Have A Story: Empty Rifles

Emily Putzke has recently put together a monthly writing challenge involving writing a short piece of historical fiction from a painting or photo that she posts. This is mine. I rather ran away with some of the things shown by the painting and ignored others. My scene comes from a much larger project that is spinning about my head and it has felt so good to have some of it written out; refreshing, freeing, inspiring and all that. 

Thank you Emily for doing this clever tag and I eagerly await the ones to come in future months!

I hope you all enjoy this snippet. :)


   “Miss—a party of Yankee cavalrymen have just crossed Bowers Creek.” As I said it my eyes shot to the flag, red and blue with white points of light rippling against the columns of the house.
   “Yes, Rose.” Miss Fiona's hands went rhythmically on, shaking out the rumpled shirt, lifting a pin from her apron pocket and attaching the shirt to the clothesline. The slow ebb and fall rubbed on my cool and I took courage.
   “Miss, oughtn’t we to do something? The rifles are ready, and so are the other women.”
   “How much shot did we send to my brother and how much did we use against that small band of raiders?” she said.
   It was the same cool voice that she used in the old days when gathering my little siblings about her to teach them their lessons.
   “Too much,” I muttered. Red dust spurted up from beneath my foot. Miss Fiona's hands went on in graceful dance.
   “In other words there is none,” she finished and it was true, but then Miss Fiona never told a lie.
   A shrill yap in the tangle of willows at the end of the lane and, as if it had been a shot, bedlam broke loose. More dogs ran howling to join the chorus and the rest of the women of the hamlet, some wearing bonnets, others just from their kitchens or sewing, rushed to gather behind Miss Fiona.
   “Rose, fetch the muskets for the other women.” Miss Fiona said, her voice so calm that it sent a chill shuddering down my back.
   All my courage fell to the ground. I stammered, “But miss—you said...”
   She turned from the line, and as she untied her apron the wide flounces of her skirt sprang outward and down in all the rippling glory that they had known in the mistress's days of being the lady of the house. In her hand I saw the shining stem of the old colonel's prize rifle, she had had it by her all the while.
   “Rose, you shall hold the flag.” A gush of pride went through me for was not my brother even so standing beside Miss Fiona's own brother holding his flag? We also shall fight beneath it I thought.
   The clip of horses hooves in the lane, a flash of blue through the trees, the dogs barking drew closer, I ran.
   But before I could reach her again they were there.
   The sliding sun glowing on the worn leather of stirrup, tilted cavalry hat, and boot leg. Battle weary soldiers in blue riding beneath a Yankee flag tattered by the fray. Not twenty paces off from the group of women, with a shifting of reins, they stopped.
   There were not above fifteen women all told, desperate pride in every ridge of their bonnets and tilted muskets, children pressing close against their skirts, but it was not because of them.
   Then I saw the commander. His horse's head rearing back slightly as he pulled on the reins with leather gauntlet clad hands that lay deceptively still on the front of his saddle even as the stallion's hooves danced in the dust eddying about the troop. There were streaks of grey under his hat, but the drooping mustache could not hide the quirk of his mouth.
   I knew him, and I knew she would know him, too.
   And then I saw him look at her. She stood hands supporting her father's heavy gun with ease, pink lace flounces kissing the dust, and another row bouncing around her elbows. It was the same dress that she had been wearing that day, and even now, work stained as it was, I could see that he remembered. And her curls were the same: sunlight caught in dusty gold, the front swept back above eyes steely grey and piercingly beautiful.
   Not a voice spoke, the men waited their leader's command and the women waited for theirs.
   A breeze sprang up the new leafing of the trees, snapping at the split ends of the Yankees flag, ours springing proudly erect in the warm burst.
   But I don't think either of them saw or felt it.
   Another moment and... “About face!” the leader cried. It was the same brisk voice I had heard before, but with a new crack of ready command. He lifted his hand, but whether it was in command or for another purpose I could not say for he still looked at Miss Fiona. And perhaps it was that the straight beams of light flashed bright in her eyes, but she too gave one proud little dip of her head.
   The troop divided and gathered and the tramp of hooves vanished once more, the only sign of their passing the clouds of golden dust.
   I put the flag back in its place and turned again to the road.
   A sigh passed over our group and with weary looks and quiet words, still in their silence of relief, the women scattered to their homes. Miss Fiona alone still stood in the road, looking into the blue sky fast fading into fiery gold.
   She handed the empty rifle to me.
   “Rose, go fetch the last basket of washing. The afternoon is almost gone.”
   She went back to the almost empty basket and shook out the next shirt, lifting another pin she began to attach it to the line, and I saw that her hands were shaking.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Things of Beauty: July - August

Of all my Collective posts so far, this one is misbehaving the most – I say it needs to be telling of the delights of the last two months, it wants to think about the frosty and cool bright pleasures of the cozy seasons to come. It’s all rather confusing, which I suppose makes it rather accurate to life, so here it ‘tis. 


Very Favorite Things
Meeting a skunk on my evening ride (fortunately we passed without any interchange), weeping over heart-breaking, yet oh so meaningful and AMAZING stories with Arwen, delicious vegan recipes, getting back into math and serious study mode in general, attending my first baseball game, TOY STORY 1 & 2 (I thought it looked good in caps, so thus, the caps), talks with fellow horse people, afternoons spent reading picture books (Marvin of the Great North Woods anyone?).


Reading
I have been reading, but it has been of such a dabble here and there variety that it was rather challenging to record, however last week Heidi (and Mommy and Littlest Sister) went to an antique store and found an original thirties copy of Nancy Drew’s The Password to Larkspur Lane!!! It was amazing. They also found several L.M. Montgomery books, which means several days spent doing almost naught else. And of course since we are drawing into the seasons of cool mornings and falling leaves… I see many more afternoons spent dreaming over her books on the horizon, but I am not complaining, oh not in the least!


Writing
Blogging has been rather sparse this summer (but then, you knew that. :)) however, that which I did post this past eight weeks I felt much fulfilled about as they were about two of My Very Favorite things i.e. High Noon etc. and Clarkson and Elise, both very tingly indeed.


Watching
Arwen and I finally were able to introduce Mommy to Yankee Buccaneer! We had been planning on doing so for ages and yesterday, the other girls being baby-sitting and I having a horrible cold, the time was right. So we did. I fell in love with it even more and Mommy loved it (Arwen already did of course). So everything was quite perfect. :)


Out-Of-Doors
We have been blessed with the coolest of summers, the grass loves it, and it shows its joy by growing all of the time, which I love as it means so much mowing! 


Cooking
So much excitement in this department! I’m still loving my chocolate superfood smoothies, making them nearly every day for mine and my parents breakfast as they like them, too. I have also been playing around with lots of other vegetarian/ mostly vegan recipes and meals and it has been a very tasty and fulfilling trend to be on!


Discoveries
Sons of the Pioneers
Western music with haunting melodies and good voices and it is classic as in “Black and White movie” classic. 

Rachel Heffington’s new blog venture Lipstick & Gelato.
Rachel has always been one of my favorite bloggers, so when I discovered that she was starting a new lifestyle blog you can imagine how ecstatic I was. So far every single one of her posts has been spot on, this one being a particular favorite.


And now it’s nearly fall... summer is almost over and cold weather and hot cocoa are on their way; however, for some reason I can’t quite feel it yet. Perhaps it is because we had such a cool blustery summer, but I’m not complaining because that is one of my favorite versions of the season and it was a good summer.

Also while I was “away” my blogs had their second anniversaries! Blogging has been full of uncountable blessings and the wonderful friends and kindred spirits that I have met have been (and are!) incredible! And so I just want to thank you. Each of your comments mean SO MUCH TO ME and I’m truly inspired by every one of you. :) 

Thank you.

So that’s life right now, cool summer breezes and warm Indian summer days; pretty much just sparkling living in general.

What has life held for you lately?



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