Friday, May 21, 2010


Spent a wonderful afternoon on the 19,000 acre Effus Ranch which is owned by an interesting woman who's family has lived in the area for generations. She was very knowledgeable and pointed out the various mountain ranges and closed gold mines, and shared her memories of the history of the ranch and her life. I rode a cute buckskin gelding named Pecos ( and who I mistakenly called "Pickles", until I asked why he had such a strange name!!!!)

There wasn't a cloud in the bright blue sky, and the temps were entering the 90's, but there was a cooling breeze, no bugs, and spectacular scenery. I was even able to see the Coyote's stadium in Glendale, 80 miles away, while I was up on a high ridge. And NO snakes were spotted! Her border collie and Australian Shepard dogs ran along with us, and we enjoyed seeing the first blossoms on the saguaros, the bright orange foliage on the occatillo, and the deep yellow blooms on the prickly pair. And best of all....I saw a rare crested saguaro!

Felt so good to be back in the saddle and riding through the spring desert again, although I missed my own saddle and the smooth gaits of Bart. But, I got my horse fix for awhile again, and loved every minute!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I reminisce of Mother's Days of my youth...of picking a bouquet of dandelions to proudly present to Mom, of making her breakfast to take to her in bed with crayon-made napkin and place mat, of turning her bed down and laying out her nightgown the night before, and buying a gift with my babysitting or pop bottle collecting money. Dad often bought her a corsage to wear to Mass, and she would proudly show it to the many other mothers who also had a flower pinned to their Sunday best dress.

Do kids do these things for their Moms, anymore? I presented Mom with an orchid corsage to wear to church on Mothers Day this year, and she said she had looked around and discovered that no one else wore one. She was so proud of hers, and wore it for a few days when she went to play cards.

Traditions change, as do mothers. When I was growing up, my mother was home when I came home from school, and often had a fresh cake or cookies waiting for us. She raised five daughters, kept an immaculate home, prepared fresh-from-scratch meals, ironed our non-permanent press clothing, and helped Dad with his duties as a Game Warden.

Today's mom's have fewer children, more conveniences with washers, dryers, dishwashers and easy to care for clothing. They have full-time jobs outside the home, and return exhausted and to cook, clean and do laundry when all they want to do is close their eyes and rest .

Motherhood has never been easy, and children are not always easy to love. Every generation thinks the will do so much better than the previous one in mothering, but maybe we just do it differently. Some mothers are loving, multitaskers with organized, clean homes, balanced budgets, home made meals, and well-behaved children. Others sadly make mistakes, perhaps perpetuating the mothering skills they learned from their own dysfunctional mother.

But it is a tough job, and all usually do the best they can with what they know. I was blessed with a wonderful Mom who I love dearly and who is also one of my best friends. As she approaches her 90Th birthday, I am very aware each day that it may be the last I share with her. I always wonder if this year will be my last Mother's Day card to select, and the last time I will share a Mother's Day brunch with her.

Our mothers are precious, and we need to honor them. Thanks, Mom....for all you do. I love you.