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Category: Animals

Do You Like to Travel?

Do You Like to Travel?

I really do NOT like to travel. It used to be fun, but that is no longer true for me. The elegance, the service, and the striking differences between countries all seem to have fallen out of favor. Being treated with care and respect as a valued guest only happens in very special places. At other times, we are treated like cattle. Pushed into holding cells, ticketed, frisked, and examined by Xray, our irises checked against impersonation; the whole experience…

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Thanksgiving! The Best Holiday!

Thanksgiving! The Best Holiday!

Well, it is over now. But it was a massive success. There were 25 of us celebrating in my lovely house near Charlottesville, VA. I thought there were only 22 people to seat. However, when writing the place cards, I discovered that I had miscounted. There were 24 relatives who accepted. Ok. I put two extra places at each end of the larger dinner table. When the day arrived, the first guest at the door was Elias, my oldest grandchild….

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Never Say Never

Never Say Never

Have you ever decided that you are finished with a sport or an exercise because it was no longer convenient? Or maybe you felt too old to do it anymore. You gave it up as an intelligent thing to do. Many people probably have done this. Have you said, “I will never do this again?” I am here to tell you that maybe you need to rethink it. Almost 20 years ago, I gave up riding because my horse bowed…

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Did You Ever Fall in Love with a Pony?

Did You Ever Fall in Love with a Pony?

Peanut Butter the pony I was ten years old, and he was the love of my life: Peanut Butter, a palomino pony who was exactly 14.2 hands, technically a pony rather than a horse. This meant I could ride in large pony classes in horse shows rather than the regular adult classes. This was supposed to give me a better chance to win, but Peanuts was no show horse! My father knew I wanted to have my pony located in…

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Contentment…What Is Yours?

Contentment…What Is Yours?

My plants are thirsty. Sometimes it seems they are asking for water by some subliminal method. I feel their thirst and their desire to have me provide water. I supply them readily, soaking the orchids in water and letting them drain for several hours in the sink. None of that “icecube melting” for my orchids, no indeed. The slanting morning sun glints off of several, silver champaign coolers which hold multiple orchids, dyed pastel colors. Slightly sheer but, opaque enough…

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Hope is in the Air, Can You Feel It?

Hope is in the Air, Can You Feel It?

As I sit outside on this lovely Spring day, awash with pollen from the many flowering trees and the budding leaves of deciduous trees that are so early to leaf out this year, I ponder. While I sit here in warm sunlight watching my dogs accustom themselves to my new puppy there are hundreds of political prisoners sitting in disgusting, solitary cells in Washington DC. The rules have been changed and the government is holding these men without trial, often…

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After Grieving, a New Puppy!

After Grieving, a New Puppy!

Of course, it is too soon. It is way too soon to replace my beloved dog, Magnus. But when you want a new dog they are not always available. So it is best to act immediately if you learn about a good one. And that is what happened. Everyone knew how sad I was to lose Magnus. They wanted to make me happy. “I am happy,” I said. “Magnus was my most demanding dog. He had me running to let…

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RIP Magnus, My Dachshund, My Love.

RIP Magnus, My Dachshund, My Love.

My dog Magnus died Saturday night. He seemed fine and was roughhousing with Sisi my small red smooth coated female at 8 o’clock but when I went to let him out before bed he didn’t come. I looked for him and found him dead in my closet stiff and cold. He must have gone in there to die soon after I saw them playing! It is always a shock to lose a dog. And Magnus was such a sweetheart! I…

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My Little Angel Child!

My Little Angel Child!

When I was waiting for my baby to be born, I was Christmas shopping and sending out Christmas cards. I was so late with the cards because I kept thinking the baby would come in time for a photo on the card. NOPE. She was due in late November, but she did not feel like being born yet. In fact, it was three weeks past her due date when she finally arrived on December 19th, a few days before Christmas….

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How Do You Feel When Your Child is 60?

How Do You Feel When Your Child is 60?

My Oldest Daughter is Having a Big Birthday this month. Helen Dow Matheson Hilliard was born on February 24, 1963. (just after my 21st birthday ) Second of our children. She was born in Charlottesville, VA at UVA Hospital. Her dad was in the Architecture School at UVA. We were thrilled to have a girl. Our family was complete. A Mom and Dad and two children, a boy and a girl were the ideal in the 1960s. But in fact,…

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Puppies are Good for the Soul.

Puppies are Good for the Soul.

It was a cold clear Christmas Eve and we were living at a house we called BonnieBrae. We had not been living there too long, only a few months. We believed we had sold our wonderful farm, Heathfield. It was supposed to go through on January 1 of that year Was it 2000? Or 2001? So we bought another house and moved into it before the actual settlement of the sale of Heathfield. A word to the wise: Don’t ever…

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Tragic Story, Happy Ending!

Tragic Story, Happy Ending!

On the night before my debut, in June of 1960, my mother went out into the night down the driveway to the street after dark. The florist, Walter Sharon, who helped decorate the tents wanted her to see how they looked lighted at night. The tents were pink, dramatically illuminated by glittering small lights. They were hung with birdcages filled with flowers and each had a fake bird or two, adding to the glamor. It was “other-worldly,” the way the…

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Do You Have a Hat for the Races?

Do You Have a Hat for the Races?

My hat is ancient. It may be 30 years old, but it is more like 40. It was a nice straw hat from the beginning. However, age has mellowed it, and it has a patina that can only come with many years of use. For a long time, I kept it in my car all summer. It was always near in those years when we regularly drove a ‘four-in-hand.’ It sat on the back shelf below the rear window of…

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5 Ways to Enjoy a Wonderful Fall Week.

5 Ways to Enjoy a Wonderful Fall Week.

This week has been both icy cold and unseasonably warm, and last night, it was raining (but warm). It seems to me that there are many ways to enjoy the changing season. Here are my top 5. Number 1. Go out into the fresh air. Breath. Saturday was the Opening Day of the Keswick Hunt, and I went to the meet to see them off. It is lovely to be involved in hunting, even as a spectator. Thanks to my…

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How I Accidentally Began Fox-Hunting!

How I Accidentally Began Fox-Hunting!

Like so many things, it all happened by chance. We were staying for the weekend at Heathfield, our farm near The Plains, Va. We had not owned it very long and were not connected in any way to the horse world there. On a warm Labor Day weekend, the phone rang. It was a foxhunting friend wanting to speak to Charley. We met Mike because his wife was at Holton-Arms School with me. I always liked her. She was a…

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