Sunday, April 25, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Mothers are often overlooked, underrated, and underestimated, but my mother is my hero. She has gone about her life quietly, never boasting or bragging. She has always done her job as a wife and mother without asking for, or expecting, any special praise or credit. When you ask her if there is anything she'd like to have for her birthday, or Christmas, or Mother's Day, she'll say, "I can't think of anything. I have everything I need." She is the rock of our family, although she probably isn't even aware of it. When my dad was alive, he always credited much of his success to her because she stood by him, supported him in everything he did, and never complained when times got hard. (Gosh, how I wish I could be more like her!) He also said that he believed women were stronger than men. He had a great deal of respect for her too. If you were to judge a person's success in life by their friends, then my mother has been wildly successful even though she still lives a very simple life.
Well, I could go on and on about my wonderful mother. What I really set out to say is that in honor of Mother's Day, I am giving away an autographed copy of my latest novel, The Last Rodeo, and a box of chocolates. If you'd like a chance at the drawing, which I'll hold on May 2nd, here's how to enter:
1. Make a comment on this blog post that you are entering your name for the drawing.
2. Make sure you have a blog or facebook email where you can be reached.
3. Be a follower (not a requirement but I'd love to have you).
This will be a drawing, not a contest, but I'd love to hear why your mother is your hero. You may post this giveaway on your blog.
Thanks for participating!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Occasionally when I'm not working on something of my own fictional creation, I spend time putting together the stories and history of my family. I recently came across a photo from the 1940s of a Shire mare and her colt, belonging to my grandfather. I have always been in awe of these great horses when we go to the State fair each year. I look forward to a walk through the horse barn just so I can stare at their massive size and envision my grandfather handling them on his farm.
It's hard to imagine being able to control something so huge, but they have a reputation for being incredibly gentle for their size. An average saddle horse is around 15 hands. Compare that to a Shire that can be upwards of 18 hands. In case you're wondering what a "hand" is in horse measurement, it's 4 inches. This measurement is taken at the horse's withers.
The Great Horse of England, believed to be the precursor to the Shire, was originally a war horse in medieval times. It had to carry up to 400 pounds for rider and armor, which didn't necessarily include the weight of the rider's clothes, nor the horse's gear such as saddle and bridle.
When the war horse slipped into the realm of history, the Shire continued on as a draft horse. It became an American national treasure in the 1800s and even into the 1900s. Shires were my grandfather's draft horse of choice. He took a great deal of pride in his horses. His animals were fed and watered in the morning before he ate his own breakfast.
Like many men of his generation, he never became proficient with automobiles and tractors. He tried to keep pace with the times, though. He bought a car and built a garage for it and took driving lessons from his sons, but the first time he tried to park in the new garage, he drove right through it and out the back end, hollering, "Whoa, you son of a bitch, whoa!"
My imagination makes me laugh every time I picture that moment, but what I wouldn't give for a video of it just the same.