Friday, December 21, 2007
YeeHah! Here we are again at the end of a year thinking about the year to come. All in all it's been a pretty good one.We've been back in the States now for 18 months and have achieved lots as far as getting the ranch and our lives here back together. We have over fifty horses here now. There were only 15 when we returned from Australia.
My biggest personal achievement this year was giving up alcohol.It's been almost a year now! I've never in my adult life done this before. It's great!A lot easier than just cutting back. That never worked!Of course I still like to watch people drink. It's fascinating
January was a month of glad and sad. The glad being; we purchased Flambeau, the horse i had been training for several months (figured i just had to have him); and the sad, our good friend and horse boarder Roger, a beautiful, big, gentle giant of a guy, died unexpectedly of a heart attack. He was not much older than forty!
The winter was wicked with temps way below zero. Some weeks, when the merc rose above zero we declared it a heat wave. Anything that could freeze and break,DID!
In April we escaped for a week with a trip to California to visit Corky, Cindy, Mernie's Mum and of course the new grandson little Finley. Very nice relaxing time. Put on 5lbs!
The warmer weather when it finally came,was much appreciated and savored to the limit. Flambeau and I completed our first endurance ride in Denver; 21 miles of strangling my horse and 4 miles of pleasant riding. The Kenlyn Challenge takes you over and along streams, on paved walking and dog paths and under I 25 several times. Of course Beau was too nutso to notice any of this.
The following rides in Wheatland, Laramie, Nebraska and Denver were much better. He figured it out pretty quickly and has become a fantastic endurance horse. We ended the season with our first 50 ( a real endurance ride)in Denver.
Rod and Beth got hitched in May. We attended the wedding which was terrific. Lots of happy, fun loving people;A good start for our best friends and a lovely couple .
In Sept Mernie's Mum came to visit for a few weeks. Although her memory is not good, she is such a dear and an expert folder of laundry. I never did quite get the hang of that and now she's back in CA. we have reverted back to scrunched up clothes.
I turned 51 in October. Yikes!
Did lots of riding with my riding buddy Michael even at night under a full moon. Life doesn't get better than that!
Great news, BETH IS HAVIN' A BABY! Rod wants to call it Fritz regardless of the gender and there's lots of discussion going on about that in the Keller household right now! Oh Rodney!
In November I spent 3 lovely weeks in Australia with my family in spite of the fact that i got a nasty cold. I've been told its not good to fly with a cold and now i know why. I've been home for a month now and my ears still haven't popped.I'ts left me with some hearing loss in my left ear.Maybe it will get better and maybe not. We'll see.
Dad turned 87 while I was there! He's still going strong although he still whinges a bit; especially when his horses are losing.I got to spend a lot of time with Dad and with my sister Julie and that was precious. Spent some nice time with my sister Kaye. She is looking great and doing really well. I also got to see and ride our horses which was fortunate as in December, our 8year old standard bred Forrest died of a severe bout of colic.Our good friend Graham called to tell us but got the horses mixed up. He was sure it was the older of our two horses and so I assumed it was Fonzie.Although he did say Forrest to begin with.For those who don't know them well they were something like bookends. So now we have done some grieving for both horses.
Mernie has finished a wonderful addition to the house; a mud room at the front that i can't image how we did without. It's a place to come in out of the cold and unload those 10 layers of clothes and shake of the 2 bales of hay you've collected in them.Not to mention the boots with the huge globs of mud and horse poop on them! Mernie is so clever!
Mernie and Rod are finishing off the year with some serious beer making so you can guess what their new years resolutions WONT be!
Take care everyone and make 2008 the best year ever. Luv ya all.
Happy Trails from Ronnie and Mernie with the world On A String at the Ranch.
Don't forget to go back into previous blogs for more roodroppings!
(It would be lovely to have some comments so i know that I'm reaching some of you out there.)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Three weeks Down Under with the temperature hovering in between a lovely 75 to 100 F.Got to spend a lot of time with my sister and my dad which was the purpose of the visit to start with.Sister Julie and I stayed at her lovely cottage in Moonta before losing our way all over the southern Flinders Ranges looking for my horses. No, the horses are not and have never been lost, they are being looked after like kings at one of the South Australia's best bed and brekky accommodations, Bundaleer Homestead(previously blogged). It was us who were lost. Surprise, surprise! We just couldn't seem to follow anyones's, including our own directions.When we finally found the place where they were we still couldn't actually find them. They were there somewhere hiding on 250 acres of gum studded, rolling hills and bushland. After disturbing numerous mobs of roos enjoying their mid day naps in the shade of giant eucalpt trees we found 'the boys' grazing away merrily. By that time what had found us however was the 100 plus degree heat and swarms of pesky, sticky little flies.Ah Australia I had forgotten some of her finer points!
See here sister Julie in her little red sportsy job at Pt Hughes on the Yorke Pennicula not far from where Greg Norman is greating an extravegant playground for himself.We were pretending to be movie stars.Darrrrlings!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
G'day, long time no blog! This is actually a letter to my sister Kaye who wants to know what's going on at the ranch.She writes to me diligently and I'm always too busy or tired to return the favour.But here it is early in the morning and i have a little time.
See here the new addition to the house and Mernie in the midst of it all. It will be great to be able to get inside out of the harsh weather and shed at least three layers of clothing and five layers of hay and manure before actually entering our living space.This has been on the list for quite a while and is finally taking form.(See in front our margaritta mixer now being use for concrete!)
The ranch is almost full to the brim with equines and we are on the hop from dawn to dusk. There are 59 horses and one mule to date and we are expecting a couple more horses for the morton barn in October.A lot of work and a hell of a lot of poop!Just as well we love it. We worked out that if we hired someone we wouldn't be making any money so Mernie has quit his job as of Sept 25th and is coming to work for me! This should be interesting! Actually I jest. Its really hard to get good help and there's no better than Mern.
Mern's Mum has been with us for the passed two weeks. She lives in California so the altitude and weather is a little hard on her. She is 81 and her memory is sliding but she is a real dear and gets around incredible well for her age. She suffers from the usual aches and pains but doesn't always remember that she does so there's some advantage to memory loss.Its been nice having all our clothes folded up nicely and the kitchen tidied up all the time.She loves to wander around the ranch looking at the horses and talking to all the boarders out here.She loves to chat to everyone just like my Dad. Pity those two can't get together.
My horse Flambeau is going great. Our next ride will be a 25 or 50mile in Denver on the 8th of Oct.I'm not sure whether I will get the time off to go but i hope so coz it will be the last one before the snow blows.I'm also riding a couple of horses for other people so i don't know how much training i will get in.Right now I'm riding him about three times per week which is much less than i was.Of course he does at least ten miles a lot of the time so he's still pretty fit.
Well that's about all I have time to write. I need to go get Mern off to work then feed horses and clean stalls.Cheers for now. Ronda.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
we have found a place for your article in a future issue of our magazine.....blah blah blah blah....when writing your confirmation, please include the name of the magazine and the publication date, May 2011......Blah Blah blah.... 2011!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Another kiddie lit poem by Ronda Eden
There’s ickies in the fridge and I don’t know what to do
Slimy bits of watermelon and all this yukky goo
Something green and furry, something all gone black
Some chips all dried and shriveled and what looks like a Big Mac!
No one likes to clean the fridge they’d rather let it be
They’re scared to take the lids off things
They’re scared of what they’ll see
The meat’s gone green and slimy and it’s really on the nose
The cheese has grown an overcoat and all the spuds have toes!
The veggies are quite clever, they take care of themselves
They turn themselves to liquid and move to other shelves
And if they’re left there long enough, they head toward the door
Then when you open up the fridge, they ooze onto the floor
Each day they’re growing bigger and changing shape and color
Some are getting brighter and some are getting duller
One day they might turn into, huge gigantic toads
And just keep getting bigger until the fridge explodes!
Then what a job will that be, to clean up that big mess
We’ll have to think of something
We’ll have to move I guess
Just thinking of this makes me tried
And makes me hungry too
But there ickies in the fridge and I don’t know what to do.
Sent to Cricket Magazine, 8th June 07
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Have you ever seen a rat upon a pogo stick?
By Ronda Eden
Have you ever seen a rat
Upon a pogo stick?
I think I saw just that
Go through the scrub so thick
Boing, boing, boing, boing!
It shot past like a light
Boing, boing, boing, boing!
It gave me such a fright
I wonder where they got them
These rats must have a store
Or maybe it’s a warehouse
With pogo sticks galore!
They must hang on real tightly
If they’d so much as cough
They’d lose their balance might they
And sure as eggs fall off
I’m really only kidding you
Those rats are not that clever
It was really just a kangaroo
Have you seen one? Have you ever?
Sent to Boy's Quest Magagine on Friday 18th May. Accepted for publication in Hopscotch their magizine for girls. See blog entry June 10th for details.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Paying attention at the pre ride meeting.Note the funny visor on my hat that lasted about................2 minutes!
Flambeau's first endurance ride
Flambeau's first endurance ride, the Kenlyn challenge in Aurora CO. was full of trials and tribs. It was a beautiful day abet a little on the hot side for this type of thing. We got off to a bad start the day before by getting stuck creeping in a traffic jam on I 270 for ONE AN A HALF BLOODY HOURS!! When we finally got through, we couldn't even see what caused it! There was however, a guy in a pickup stopped sloughed over the steering wheel fast asleep; or maybe dead! Everyone was just going around him of course assuming, as we did, that someone surely has called for help.So, needless to say, we arrived late and had to skip dinner and set up in the dark. Mernie was a little grumpy and he wasn't alone. We also had a friend with us who had a rotten cold and coughed a lot. But she was low maintanence, a really nice person and talented horse woman so it was great to have here along.The ride itself was beautiful and very well organised. An easy but interesting track right in the middle of Denver. It went along and through a river bed with lots of bridges and water crossings , through sandy tracks and up and down gentle hills.It would have been prefect if Flambeau had not been so wound up. It was a fight to keep him at a reasonable pace. I had to wrestle with him most of the time and because of this could not let my guard down long enough to get water for myself. Flambeau drank from the rivers really well! Therefore he vetted with all A 's and I dehydrated so badly that I did myself injure. I would be a great advertisement for Camel paks! Those pouches you carry on your back and sip from a straw. Maybe I'll call the Company and volunteer to admit my stupidity.I found a horse to pace with and we came in vying for 9th/10th place out of a field of about 50. It was the first heart rate down to 60 and Beau's took a bit too long to get there so the other competitor received 9th /place which put her in the runnng for the Best Condition award. Flambeau's heart rate hovered at 64 for about 5mins in which time a few other horses came in so I ended up coming 13th. Your horse's heart rate has to come down to 60 before they even consider you in. I blame his winter coat and being such a dill all the way. It took him the entire first loop, 17 mlies to calm down and he used up a bunch of energy he didn't need to use. As for me, I became so ill the next day I had to call the hospital for advice on my condition. I personally would never had passed the vetting if it was me they were checking on! We learned alot on this first ride and if i can get Flambeau setted down i think he could win 25s like this one. What's more, he could win them barefoot! The two big things we learned is, regardless of the weather, check the roads where you will be driving for unexpected harzards and alternative routes. It
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
See here Flambeau my endurance prospect.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
The Ishchick! (Part fish part chicken. And not happy about it!)
Roughs from the dummy book for Peggy Lou the Emu. Please excuse the quality. Taken straight from the drawing board.
Please click on images to enlarge.