April 7th, 2006

dragon

New Houses and Granddaughters




One of my two married sisters (That sounds wrong. All my sisters are married. I only have two...) is buying a BIGGER house now that the kids have both left home. (Doesn't everyone???) Oh, what fun! Paint! Redesign! Butt heads on every detail in every room!

The Granddaughter's room is the second spare bedroom. She's 8. Until now, she's been "Cinderella" through and through. But, you see, she's got this crazy "aunt". Who has horses. (Twenty-two at last count -- BUT WHO'S COUNTING??? I'm TOO OLD to count! Right? Anyway, I don't have enough fingers and toes to get that high... so who really knows?)

Whom said granddaughter has visited since a way, way, way too young age. And fell in love with the horses (or maybe the IDEA of horses -- I think she still pussyfoots through the manure.... At the age of 8, these things tend to come and go. Princess one minute, cowgirl the next...)

So, proud Grandmother shares with sister the first email from smart, blue-eyed blond, dimpled, smiling granddaughter...

    \Dear Grandma,
    I am learning to type on the computer. I have my fingers on the right keys. I am writing about blue whales. Do you think it is interesting? I sure do!! ☺ Grandma you are my favorite IN THE WHOIE WHIDE WOLD☺ . When I am in forth grade you will be 59☺ you are my most favorite☺☺ PLEASE Grandma get me a horse

Gee, I wonder why she shared that little gem?

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Last time she sent me an attachment, it was a realtor's set of photos and description of the house, complete with price, which was OUTLANDISH. She assured all that she DID NOT pay anywhere close to the asking price. I told her, at that rate, I could afford, oh, say, one brick...

Well, that's a depressing thought, so I pulled into my mind something POSITIVE about where I live... I have ROOM for my horses, and can see them from my house -- generally out any window. Walking outside, down the driveway, to the mailbox, anywhere on the farm, horses and cats accompany the people unless fences intervene. With a smile on my face, I sent my sister this come-back:

    So, how big is the patio on that new house? Any plans to fence it in... :-)


Didn't rain too hard on her parade. She shot back:
    LOL!! No horses allowed in town, and there’s no grass on the patio!! And NO plans to fence it!! About all we’ll do to the yard is plant some trees!! It’s totally naked now. Only some shrubs by the house.

    I told her each horse has to have 3 acres of grass to eat. She’s already asking to come down to ride your horses. I told her I wasn’t sure you had any broke to ride, and didn’t promise anything!!


Well, I'm thinking, Just what kind of a grandmother ARE you, anyway? But I KNOW that's not politic to say, so I send:
    The quietest ones have sold, but lots are broke. Coqet’s daughters Mocha and Crem are pretty mellow under saddle. She’ll need to be up in the yard and pretty closely monitored, of course. (and NOT fall in love with either of them — one is not for sale, the other $20,000... ) Pride, Fleur, Serena, Adagio, Cariñosa, Canta, Louise, Omnia, Chime (who is up with Jess), and several others are all started.

    Adagio and Fleur go down the road with a strong sense of seeing the country and would be great rides for people who know how and want to endure.

    Serena when she’s not in heat is fine, but can hot up. She loves kids, and if we want to walk her around, would be a good choice. She’s so big, she intimidates, but is really a love.

    Her dam can be hot, but went to Jess’s one summer and was ridden ALL OVER by a kid on a halter and never was anything but a plug. I’ve seen her put her head up and say “Ladders are 20 guilders” and you need one to get eyeball to eyeball with me. Then she’s awesome and NOT a kid’s horse.

    If Cinderella plans to ride, see to bringing footwear with a decent heel -- that's NOT a glass slipper.


So, maybe plans WILL be made. She shot back:

    I’ll print this out, but I’m not sure I should share it with her ☺  She’ll want to be there NOW!!  Maybe if we let her clean out the barn and shovel some she might change her mind ☺  It worked so well for YOU!!


(That last was a rather un-subtle reference to the running family "feud" -- Can I have a horse, Daddy? I was already that way in kindergarten, as Mom reminded me by returning me my very first "report" which was on horses, and had drawings traced from plastic statues, then cut out and pasted onto the cover... By age 16, Dad relented. For my birthday I got

NO, not a HORSE! This isn't the movies! Permission to BUY a HORSE. I guess he figured that was pretty safe. I had about $24 in savings, and my top wage was 50¢ an hour babysititng for four kids after midnight, the normal going rate being 35¢ an hour. And, if the sink was full of dirty dishes, and you were there past bed time, guess what? Right! You were expected to set the kitchen to rights. It took me THREE WHOLE DAYS to acquire two horses, their winter hay supply, and a used car, all on "time", for the unbelievable of total of $150, unsecured, no money down, no payment schedule. Next came a job shelving books at the local library for the staggering sum of 90¢ an hour. Sometime that winter, Dad took to rumbling to his friends that "the cure was worse than the disease."

Her agile mind cococted another, even more pleasant scenario that did NOT involve special footware for Cinderella, nor a six hour+ car trip with fretting, tired child aboard:
    You wanna come up and paint some horses on her bedroom walls??


Ah, FOND MEMORIES!

    Yeah! Murals! BUT, if I do it, YOU CAN’T PAINT OVER IT! Does the sunlight hit her walls?

    How long do I have? Can we put pictures we like in a projector that does paper, throw it up and trace??? We used to have one of those things (I’ve forgotten what they are even called). If I had slides, we could use that kind of a projector.

    I have a scene in my head I’d love to do. It is a forest, hardwoods like oak. The man hunting is tired out, seated at the bottom of a tree with his rifle beside him; the dog sleeping against his leg. The deer come up and stand quietly, staring at him. But, none of that can I draw free hand except the trees... I always wanted to paint it on the bare walls of the old house, starting above the arch in the kitchen and wrap it clear over to the bathroom door. The guy would be in the corner where the table sat, head about tall enough to be seen over the table.

    One I described in my first novel was on a refrigerator. The herd is running across rolling southern Iowa hills that start on the side and continue around the back (all pipes, etc. are stripped) onto the next side. When you open the door, Debut’s 3/4 view pops out on the inside of the door. (The fridge was being used for storage and stood outside in Arizona, like a shed.

    We can take video footage and translate that to the wall, perhaps.


So, she really fires up, then remembers, SHE LIVES WITH SOMEONE. SOMEONE NON-HORSEY. SOMEONE NON-WEIRD WALL PAINTER. A perfectionist. An artist of a totally different stripe.

    How long would it take you? No sunlight. Her room faces North ☺ She has already asked R. if she can do something special on her walls ☺ He has no idea how special!! If you did it, she wouldn’t LET me paint over it!!! Uh, she wants the walls purple….very light lavender. Right now they’re somewhere between green and khaki…..dull green/brown.

    You mean an overhead projector. We could always rent one….She’d rather have the horses running over the hills and right into her bed!! Imagine waking up to the herd aimed right at you!!!! I’d better warn my hubby ☺ Did he ever see your room in CCM? I can’t remember ☺ I know he was in the house, but it could have been repainted by then.


    R.- FYI….start at the bottom ☺

But you, dear reader, don't have to, as I've been reversing the discussion as I build it...