Saturday, December 30, 2006

Star with her new owner




On December 10, 2006 I sold my two year old filly to a family in WI. In this photo Star, the two year old filly is being used for a riding lesson by a 9 year old family member of Star's new owners. Not many two year old's are calm and gentle enough to be trusted with a youngster just learning to ride! Star was always an exception, she was almost too easy to "break" or gentle as some trainers now like to refer to that initial stage of training. I guess I would have to say that she is the perfect example of the best of imprint trained horses. Congratulations to Star's new owners in WI!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Selva Cox/Opal Nokomis Smith - My Cherokee Grandmother



Raised as Opal Nokomis Smith, my Grandmother came into the household of Milo and Ida Mae Smith, a childless white couple, as Selva Cox. Opal/Selva was born in Makanda, IL in 1910 and her true parentage remains a mystery to this day. She was always told that her father was Cherokee and her mother was "Indian with a little French". Who was she really? This is an ongoing search that I have been working on for many years. It was always very important to my Grandmother that I, her only granddaughter, learn all I could about my Cherokee heritage. In my case that is truly a double edged sword! I'm still looking for a starting point...

Good food, good people, time to recover!

Yet another Christmas and another year have passed. Where does the time go? I recall my Grandmother saying such things when I was a child, back when time seemed to drag on forever. Now each day flies by and I never seem to have enough time to accomplish everything I want and need to do. On a daily basis I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and thank God for the time I have. Life is such a blessing, even on the worst of days.

On Tuesday morning, the day after Christmas, I went to the barn bright and early to feed my horses then turn them out for the day. After giving them their grain and hay I walked outside the barn to look for the kitten. Thank goodness I looked to the west side of the pasture! With all the rain, and constant breezes, a large top heavy tree had fallen. Now of course this tree couldn't have just fallen AWAY from the fence, not even just across the fence, it had to fall ALONG the fence and take two smaller trees with it. My corner posts are all leaning at a sickening angle and the wire snapped at the first tree. The hole from which the first tree uprooted is filled to the top with water! I had no choice but to leave my girls in the barn until I could work out a plan.

I returned to the house and called my dear friend and riding buddy, Chester. My husband is currently working an hour (+) from home and with shortened daylight I knew it would be too dark for him to help with anything when he returned home.
Chester said he would come over in the afternoon to look things over, to see if we could patch the fence or if necessary move the horses back to his farm. So I left my two increasingly restless horses in their stalls and went to town for a couple of hours. Chester came over about 2:45 p.m. to check the situation out. After looking at the fence, broken wire, leaning corner posts, extreme wet and muddy ground and a big tree laying just about right for two horses to walk right over it and out into the road, we decided to move the girls to his place.

Actually I believe both horses are quite happy with the situation now. They have other horses (old friends and some relatives) to run and play with. Chester also has a lot more pasture than I do and the girls are also enjoying the larger area in which to roam. When I looked at the BIG PICTURE from the fence line now laying on th ground, I realized just how fortunate I was in so many ways. 1. My horses didn't get hit by the falling trees 2. Nothing fell on my new barn 3. The horses didn't get out the afternoon before as I now know the tree was down as early as 3:00 p.m. Christmas Day 4. I have a wonderful friend with the pasture and barn space to accomodate my two horses! See, I am blessed!

And with that I am prompted to once again say we should always remember to LIVE, LOVE & LAUGH!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas from Southern Illinois!

The weather has been lousy but the day was wonderful. Family, especially the grandkids, made me laugh, cry and wore me out! Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries (fresh, of course) green beans, salad, veggies and dip, hot rolls and of course lots of dessert. I think I've gained another 5 pounds just thinking about all that food!

Such happy times, at least for our family. But what about all those families with loved ones in the Middle East? My heart goes out to all of them. My husband served in Viet Nam and even though I didn't really know him at that time, I have to wonder what is it was like for him to be away from home in a strange land where he was not wanted? How did his parents handle having their son so far away in such a dangerous situation? I have heard their "remembered stories", but at the moment they were living through it all, how painful it must have been.

So I have to say that having my family here, with me in Southern Illinois is a true blessing. I have so many blessings in my life, and I am grateful.

Because I chose Christmeas evening to begin my blog I'm going to wait for another day to get too serious about my posts.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Remember to always, Live, Love & Laugh!!!

My Cherokee Grandmother

My Cherokee Grandmother
Selva COX/Opal Nokomis SMITH Nolen

Enjoying the Ride

Enjoying the Ride
October 31, 2008

Daddy Cat, Jr.

Daddy Cat, Jr.
"You're blocking my light!"

Chester

Chester
Chester & Princess Out For a Ride