Riding Camp

When I was a kid, I had a real thing about horses. I wanted one, but growing up on an apple farm meant we didn’t have a barn or pasture to keep one (or two). My solution was to suggest 4-H – using a horse from a nearby farm. But that meant having to drive me so I could care for the animal etc, so it was a non-starter. I had a few friends who had horses, and now and again I’d get to go to their house and go for a ride. And a handful of times I went to a local riding stable and did trail rides. I read horse books. I did “research reports” on my summer holidays. I was horse crazy.

I have a daughter who is animal crazy, so when we were looking at a special summer activity, we looked at things to do with animals. Unfortunately, the local vets and shelters require volunteers to be eighteen for liability reasons so that was out. And then I realized that there is a stable nearby who does camps all summer long.

When I asked her about it, she was over the moon. Not just to ride horses but to care for the horses. Feeding and brushing and whatever else they get to do. As the time gets closer, she’s getting more excited.

Is it sad that I almost wish I could go with her?

 

Off for some R&R…

Okay, so neither the title or the picture are quite right since I walked about 15 miles today (not exactly REST or RELAXATION, but it was FUN 🙂 ) and someone forgot to pack the fishing gear. But at least we made it out of Dodge earlier this week, minus my cell phone (how is it that I pack for FOUR, and forget my own phone?? Although I did pack the charger 🙁 ), but such is the hazard with a spur-of-the-moment escape plan.

When I was whisked away to the coast I hadn’t yet planned a topic for my Friday blog day. So here I sit at midnight on Thursday, ever so thankful for the neighbor’s generous wifi signal ;-), racking my brain for a topic while trying to ignore the radiating heat of a sunburn…….hey, how about some vacation packing tips?!

  • Tip #1 – Sunscreen is a MUST. For all those pasty cave-dwellers like myself, REAPPLY sunscreen at noon. No matter how thick you slavved it on in the morning–REAPPLY.
  • Tip #2 – When heading to the beach, check to make sure he who said he’d pack all the beach/fishing gear actually puts said gear IN THE TRUCK.
  • Tip #3 – Always take a Swiss army knife—which has already de-slivered, de-twined and fixed a dental retainer emergency 😉
  • Tip #4 – Always pack a flashlight because power-outages happen everywhere….and they’re handy for hunting sand crabs in the dark 😀
  • Tip #5 – Doesn’t matter where you’re going, you can’t pack too much water, paper towel or zip-lock bags.
  • Tip #6 – Always pack a medical kit:
  • Solarcaine Spray
  • Tylenol, Motrin
  • Band-Aids/gauze roll
  • Ice Pack
  • Polysporin
  • Peroxide
  • Benadryl
  • Visine Eye drops

And, yeah, we’ve used about everything in that kit so far! Fun can be hard on the health 😉  But we are having a blast! After today’s marathon of adventure I’m wishing I’d packed a masseuse, and my over-baked, aching muscles are looking forward to spending Friday sprawled in a beach chair while the teenagers run amuck in the surf 😀

Wishing everyone fun & safe vacations and a Happy Friday!!

 

Oh, The Dastardly Villain … by Charlene Sands

Before we get into the world of villains, desperados and scoundrels, I’d like to say how happy I am to be rejoining the Fillies at Petticoat Junction!  Thank you for having me back.   As usual, life has a way of dictating to you, rather than the other way around – I find I’m destined (gratefully so) to write strong hunky western heroes set in small towns!  It’s where I belong and where I’m most comfortable.  

Now on to the VILLAIN:

When I picture a villain, the cliché image comes to mind – a moustache-twirling, evil-eyed man wearing a sinister smirk.  

Wikipedia describes a villain this way:

A villain (also known in film and literature as the “bad guy”, “black hat“, or “heavy”) is an “evil” character in a story, whether a historical narrative or, especially, a work of fiction. The villain usually is the antagonist, the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters. A female villain is sometimes called a villainess (often to differentiate her from a male villain). Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines villain as “a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.”

In this quote by film critic, Roger Ebert, we see how much importance he places on villainy. “Each film is only as good as its villain. Since the heroes and the gimmicks tend to repeat from film to film, only a great villain can transform a good try into a triumph.”

In westerns, often the villain is the greedy land baron, the corrupt sheriff or the wicked stepfather.  Villains give a good story, conflict.  They can be the diverse opposite of the hero.  A good villain makes the hero, “heroic.”  

 I’ve certainly written my share of villains, who were evil and sometimes, murderers.  I have written villainesses as well and by far, they are the most fun to write.  But sometimes, a villain isn’t all that evil. Sometimes, they are merely, selfish, uncouth and greedy.  Not nice traits, to be sure, but those characteristic are just bad enough to make a story truly entertaining.  I really believe the success of my last Harlequin Desire, Carrying the Rancher’s Heir, which spent two weeks on the USA Today Bestseller List and 3 weeks on the Borders Top Ten List had a great deal to do with the sworn enemy theme.  Yes, it was a sexy story with an intriguing hero and heroine, but there was a villain that just couldn’t be brought down and his true appeal, to me, was that he really believed he was protecting his daughter, Callie, (heroine) the way any father would.   On one level readers could relate to him.  He was believable in his dastardly ways.   

Thank you Hawk Sullivan!

Sometimes a villain isn’t so much a person, per se, but a reputation or occurrence the hero or heroine has to live down.  That’s the case in my newly released Kindle romance, Smooth-Talking the Hometown Girl.  Kyle Warren comes back to his hometown of Bentley, Arizona to settle his father’s estate.  While there, he learns some things about his “Pop” but even more things about himself.  Wealthy and successful now, Kyle fights to change one woman’s opinion of him and debunk her wary perception about him, even if he has to be slightly devious to do it. 

I’ll challenge you to guess which of these Great Villains of the Silver Screen, holds the #1 Spot. 

The Joker –  Batman

Darth Vader – The Empire Strikes Back

Norman Bates – Psycho

Hannibal Lecter – Silence of the Lambs

Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz

Mr. Potter – It’s a Wonderful Life

Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Did you guess?  Hang on – I’ll tell you at the end of this blog…

According to AMC these are the Top Seven Western Villains… some might surprise you.

  1. Walter Brennan  – My Darling Clementine
  2.  John Wayne – Red River
  3. Jack Palance – Shane
  4. Eli Wallach – The Magnificent Seven
  5. Lee Marvin- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  6. Lee Van Cleef – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
  7. Richard Boone – Hombre  

My favorite villain(ess) from a movie is the character Kathy Bates played in Misery.  She scared the stuffing out of me.  My Western villain has to be, more recently, Russell Crowe, in 3:10 to Yuma.  So what famous villain from a novel or movie scares you the most? Who’s your favorite dastardly scoundrel and do you secretly love to hate them?  Did you guess right?  Post a comment and you’ll be entered into a RANDOM drawing for a $10 Amazon Gift Card.  

#1 Villain of the Silver Screen:

Hannibal Lecter

 

 

 

Winner Of THE PROPER WIFE


              
Hello folks.  Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my Honey Bee post.  I used my handy-dandy random number generator to select a winner of the giveaway and came up with Laney4

Laney4, if you will contact me via my website with your mailing address, I’ll get a copy of my book right out to you.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by today.

Winnie

Cheryl St.John: Only in the Movies

1. It is always possible to find a parking spot directly outside or opposite the building you are visiting. This also applies to a building you are surveying in the dark to spy on someone. There is always an open spot on the street with a view of the exact window you need to see.

2. If you suspect your boyfriend is cheating on you, simply go to any restaurant with your girlfriends to catch him. He will never see you there, so slip out and walk home.

3. Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at the precise moment it’s aired. If you need to catch a breaking news report, try stepping out of the shower and flipping on the TV.

4. Creepy music (or satanic chanting) coming from a graveyard should always be closely investigated.

5. Any lock can be picked with a credit card or paperclip in seconds. UNLESS it’s the door to a burning building with a child inside.

6. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps. This phenomenon can be seen in high school hallways and classrooms as well.

7. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red digital displays so you know exactly when they are going to explode. Try as you will, you will never get the bomb diffused until 3 seconds away from detonation.

8. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to learn to speak German. Simply speaking English with a German accent will do. Similarly, when they are alone, all German soldiers prefer to speak English to each other.

9. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off. Even while scuba diving and kissing. Makeup looks as fresh in the morning as it did the night before and hair is only becomingly mussed, never ratted or all bunched up on one side.

10. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window of any building in Paris. And the windows and balconies have no glass or screens. AAaarrr…

11. Any police officer about to retire from the force will more often than not die on their last day, especially if their family has planned a party. (Caveat: Detectives can only solve a case after they have been suspended from duty.)

12. Getaway cars never start with the first turn of the key in the ignition. But all cop cars do. (They will also slide to a dramatic stop in the midst of a crime scene.) If you’re trying to escape a maniacal killer, you will drop the keys as soon as you get into the car and then fumble with them. It will never occur to you to roll up the window and lock the doors.

13. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate all strange noises while wearing their most revealing underwear. Walk backwards a lot and don’t look behind you.

14. On a police stake-out, the action will only ever take place when food is being consumed and scalding hot coffees are perched precariously on the dashboard . . .

15. All grocery shopping involves the purchase of French loaves which will be placed in open brown paper b. When said bags break, only fruit will spill out.

16. Cars never need fuel, unless they’re involved in a pursuit.

17. If you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts, your opponents will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around you in a threatening manner until you have defeated their predecessor.

18. If a microphone is turned on it will immediately feed back.

19. Guns are like disposable razors. If you run out of bullets, just throw the gun away. You will always find another one.

20. All single women have a cat.

21. Cars will explode instantly when struck by a single bullet.

22. No matter how savagely a spaceship is attacked, its internal gravity system is never damaged.

23. If being chased through a city you can usually take cover in a passing St Patrick’s Day parade – at any time of the year.

24. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. Nobody will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building undetected.

25. You will survive any battle in any war UNLESS you show someone a picture of your sweetheart back home. If you want to live, don’t get out a photo.

26. Prostitutes always look like Julia Roberts or Jamie Lee Curtis. They have expensive clothes and nice apartments, but no pimps. They are friendly with the shopkeepers in their neighborhood who don’t mind at all what the girl does for a living.

27. A single match is usually sufficient to light up a room the size of a football stadium or an underground cave.

28. It is not necessary to say “Hello” or “Goodbye” when beginning a telephone conversation. A disconnected call can always be restored by frantically beating the cradle and saying “Hello? Hello?” repeatedly.

29. One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them all than 20 men firing at once.

30. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your room will still be visible, just slightly bluish.

31. Plain or even ugly girls can become movie star pretty simply by removing their glasses and rearranging their hair.

32. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their enemies with complicated devices incorporating fuses, pulleys, deadly gases, lasers and man-eating sharks.

33. All beds have special L-shaped sheets that reach to armpit level on a woman but only up to the waist of the man lying beside her.

34. Anyone can land a 747 as long as there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

35. During all police investigations it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once, and the most important conversations happen at the urinal in the restroom.

36. You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

37. Most musical instruments, especially wind instruments and accordions, can be played without moving your fingers.

38. In Middle America all gas station attendants have red handkerchiefs hanging out of their back pockets.

39. All teen house parties have one of every stereotypical subculture present, even people who aren’t liked and would never get invited to parties.

40. When paying for a taxi, don’t look at your wallet as you take out a note. Just grab one out at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare. This works at restaurants as well. If your girlfriend gets in a huff and runs out, just throw money on the table or at the girl at the counter.

What did I miss? Can you think of anything else that happens only in the movies?

I’ve been on hiatus, recovering from a knee replacement. It’s good to be back in touch!

Smooches!

Welcome, Jeff Warburton, wagonmaster extraordinaire

Tanya Hanson says:  Our Teton wagon train adventure last month was perfect from start to finish, and much of the wonder came from wagonmaster Jeff Warburton, a real-life cowboy, a hard-working host,  and a true gentleman. I couldn’t wait to invite him to Wildflower Junction to meet you all. Please make him welcome. I’ll draw one name from this weekend’s commenters for a pdf. copy of my city-slicker wagon train novella, Hearts Crossing Ranch.                          

Jeff, tell us about yourself.

I was raised on a large family owned cattle ranch in northwestern Utah.  We ran cattle in Utah and Nevada on purpose and sometimes in Idaho when the wrong gate was left open.  We spent the spring and fall working cattle, summer raising hay to feed the cattle and winter feeding the hay to the cattle.  

  The town we lived close to was small.  It had a post office, a school, a church and a little gas station.  There were about 100 residents in or around this town counting my family.  It was 2 to 2 ½ hours to a town where there were grocery, clothing, hardware stores, etc The school was a two room schoolhouse taught by a husband/wife team.  Most of the time I was there, there were about 36 kids from kindergarten to tenth grade.  After tenth grade, we had to move away from home to finish the last two years of high school. 

After high school, I went to Utah State University in Logan, Utah, where I obtained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree.  While at USU, I taught in the horsemanship classes for 7 years and spent 5 summers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming working on the outfit we now own.  That was where I met my wife, Cindy. 

After college, I went to work with my wife’s family in the saddle making business.  The business was called Sawtooth Saddle Company.  I spent 3 years learning to build saddles but then realized my skill lay in business management and sales not saddle making.  I traveled all over the West and Midwest selling saddles and promoting our products. 

In 1997, we had the opportunity to buy Teton Wagon Train and Horse Adventure, part of the outfit we worked on in Jackson Hole, Wyoming while we were in school.  We teamed up with my brother, Chris, and his wife, Audra, to make it all work.  In 2007, we bought the Bar T 5 Covered Wagon Cookout.  In 2008, we were awarded the contract for the National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides. 

Cindy and I have 5 kids:  Michael, 19, Jessica, 16, Jordan, 14, Brenden, 11, and Treven, 9. They all work in all aspects of  the business as well but their first love is the wagon train.  They are all very outdoor and horse oriented. 

What did you want to be when you were a little boy?

I always wanted to be a cowboy. 

How old were you when you rode a horse for the first time?

I don’t know for sure.  Some of my first memories are riding with my Grandpa and with him leading the horse. He died when I was two.

 How do you and your crew learn everybody’s names so fast?  I mean, it took y’all about ten minutes.  And you have roughly 300 guests a year in a ten-week summer!

I am glad that we looked that smooth when we were learning everyone’s names, but I am,  pretty sure it took us longer than ten minutes..  Our employees are mostly college students as we can only offer most of our employees seasonal employment.    We definitely had an exceptional crew on the wagon this summer.  That crew wanted to be there and liked to interact with our guests so it came natural for them to learn everyone’s names.  The crew definitely cared and were concerned with each guest as an individual. 

Other than Peggy, the 81-year old “moose killer” on our trip, who is another amazing city-slicker that you recall from your years of wagon train adventures?  (All right, readers.  No animals were harmed on our trip.)

There are so many I could mention.  Of course, there were you & Tim and Roberta & Tim.  You guys are pretty amazing.    We have been so very blessed by the association we have had with folks who come on this trip. 

We have a lady that has been on our trip for 36 consecutive years.  She is such a sweet lady.  She is now afraid that this year was her last trip.  It won’t be the same without her. 

We had a gentleman and his wife that came 6 or 7 years. The practical jokes he has played on our crew and us, on and off the wagon train, are the stuff of legend.  They have become close friends of ours and he has even been on the trip as a crew member.  He has also provided many high quality pictures for articles on our trip.

Jeff, we’re a bunch of romance readers and writers here in Wildflower Junction.  So I gotta ask: was it love at first sight for you and Cindy?

I saw Cindy for the first time in June of 1988.  It was her first year and my second working in Jackson Hole (on the outfit we now own).  Cindy got there that summer before I did.  Just after I got there with another employee,  we were checking in with the boss and his wife.  As we were taking to them, I saw Cindy walking by.  I thought I was discretely watching her go by and no one would notice my interest.  I thought, “Wow!  This is going to be an interesting summer!”  

When I turned back to the boss, he was pointing his finger at me and he had a very stern look on his face.  He said, “Jeff, you leave her alone.  She is barely eighteen years old and I told her folks I would protect her from cowboys like you.”  Then he laughed and laughed. 

I was 24 years old at the time and when I heard she was 18 years old.  I decided that she was too young for me.  For the next couple of weeks, I liked what I saw when I was around her but I kept telling myself that she was too young for me.  I even took her roommate out on a date. 

I then left for the wagon train and stayed on the mountain for 2 weeks.  When I got back, I was supposed to have another date with her roommate.  In the interim, her roommate had decided to exclusively date one of the other hands. 

Cindy was very patient with me.  She didn’t push me at all.  She was just around me being herself.  From this point on, I was in Jackson for four days and in the Tetons on the wagon train for ten days.  The four days I was around her, I would start thinking that maybe she wasn’t too young for me after all.  Then, when I was away from her, I would talk myself out of the whole thing.  

At that time, our outfit participated in the rodeo in the wild horse race with many of the other outfitters in Jackson Hole.  I was on the team of three when I was not on the wagon train.  I got kicked by the wild horse we were trying to saddle during the event and ended up with a broken ankle.  I had to have surgery to pin the bones back in place in my ankle and couldn’t go back on the wagon train and ended up working in the office for the rest of the season. 

Cindy was very attentive and helpful.  She was there when I got back to my hospital room after surgery.  (That was when she met my parents.  They were impressed with how she helped take care of me.)  After I got out of the hospital, I couldn’t bend it far enough to change the bandages  by myself, so she helped.  It wasn’t long before we were officially a couple. 

I’ve told her for years that if I hadn’t been so bull headed about the whole age thing, I wouldn’t have had to break my ankle. 

What’d you guys do for your first date?

I don’t know what to consider our first date.  The night I broke my ankle, she went with me to the rodeo and was with me behind the chutes.  If I remember right, we had talked about going for ice cream with the rest of the crew after the rodeo, but I went to the hospital instead. 

 What’s your “happily-ever-after” with her going to be like, in your golden years?

 “Happily-ever-after” for me is to continue doing what we are doing now.

 What kinds of things do you like to read?

I read lots of Louis L’Amour books.  I think I have read them all but I continue to read them over and over.  I like to read histories and mysteries as well.

 What’s your favorite activity with that lovely family of yours?

Horseback riding and working with the horses.  When the horses are in the pasture between seasons, we like to go walk through the herd and watch them.

 What’s your favorite of the chuck wagon recipes the chuck cooks make for the wagon-riders?

I like all of it (except the green beans).  My favorites, though, are the baked beans, the barbequed chicken and the biscuits and gravy.  

What’s life like the rest of the year, after the wagon train summers are over?

We have the Bar T 5 Covered Wagon Cookout that starts the middle of May and runs until the end of September.  We have shows six nights a week.  My brother, Chris, his wife, Audra, their kids and Cindy work there all the time.   The rest of my family works there when we are not on the wagon train. 

The  first part of October is when we tear down and clean up the Bar T 5.  The rest of October, November and the first part of December we take care of our horses and fences, prepare for winter and get ready for the National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides.  The sleigh rides start in the middle of December and run every day except for Christmas Day until the first Saturday in April.

 In April, we tear down and clean up the sleigh rides and get ready for the Bar T 5 to start again.  Our crew starts showing up for the summer around May 1.  It takes us about two weeks to get the Bar T 5 set up.  Then it is time to start the wagon train all over again.

 Tell us about the elk refuge adventures.

The National Elk Refuge borders the town of Jackson here in Jackson Hole.  .  Last year we had approximately 7500 head of elk wintering on the Refuge.  We take visitors for an hour long ride out on the Refuge among the elk in sleighs  drawn by a team of draft horses.  It is awe inspiring to be out with the large numbers of elk that are there with the beautiful Tetons and Gros Ventre Mountains as backdrops.  Other animals such as eagles, hawks, swans, coyotes, ducks, geese and sometimes wolves are also on the Refuge. 

     

 

Looks like an ancestor helped rescue the ill-fated Donnor Party.  Who is your favorite historical Western figure? 

My favorite historical Western figure is probably the trail driving cowboy.  The boys that brought the herds out of Texas to the railroad. 

 If you could have dinner with three Western legends who would they be? What would you like to ask them?

Chief Washakie – Chief of the Shoshoni – I would like to ask him what it was like before all the settlers showed up.

 

Broken Hand Fitzpatrick – Mountain Man and Wagon Master – I would like to ask him what it was like to be a mountain man and wagon master.

John Slaughter – 17 year old Trail Boss and cowboy – I would like to ask him about the trail driving days.

I think you did a bit of everything during our trip, even teaching me how to rope a steer. What is your favorite task? What is the least?

My favorite task is getting the new guests off the bus on Monday.  My least favorite task is having to load the guests on the bus on Thursday. 

What three cowboy ethics fit you best?  

I think the three that fit me the best are:  Take pride in your work, Ride for the brand and Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

You’re right, Jeff. Those fit you best. Thanks so much for spending the weekend with us here in Wildflower Junction. And don’t be a stranger, ya hear?

An Unexpected Love Story

You never know where a story idea will come from . . . This one came from my husband when he powered up his new Lawn Boy power lawn mower. Who’d have guessed that our modern method of cutting grass originated with a romance?  Not me, though I love my husband dearly for taking care of this particular chore.

The Lawn Boy love story began in 1904 with the pursuit of a woman who liked ice cream.  Ole Evinrude, the eventual founder of Lawn-Boy, had eyes for Bess Cary. Bess liked ice cream and Ole wanted to bring her an ice cream cone.  Two things stood in his way. He had to row across Wisconsin’s Okauchee Lake, and the sun was blazing hot. Determined to impress Bess, Ole made the trip, purchased the cone and rowed back across the lake as fast as he could.  Predictably he arrived with a soupy mess.

Never again, he promised her. That promise led to the invention of the outboard motor.  Ole perfected the design in 1907 and Bess presumably had all the ice cream cones she could eat.  Evinrude Motors was born with Ole’s invention, a basic design that’s still in use today. Outboard motors eventually led to power lawn mowers.  Through different mergers and partnerships, Evinrude Motors became Lawn-Boy, a multi-million dollar business that’s appreciated by millions of men and women who have the task of mowing the lawn.

My husband  is glad for the power mower, but on a day like today–it’s 90 degrees outside and humid–he wouldn’t mind a little help from Mother Nature. Some American Presidents had the same idea. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson  used sheep to control the grass on their estates.  When Woodrow Wilson was president, sheep grazed on the White House lawn. This was more than just lawn control. It served as a reminder of the wool shortage during World War I.  The wool from the sheep was auctioned for $100,000 with the proceeds going to the American Red Cross.

Having grown up in a suburban part of Los Angeles, I’ve always taken lawns for granted.  Until I was about six, my dad waged war with dandelions and crabgrass in an effort to have a perfect dichondra lawn. He lost . . . but not without a fight that included weed killer and steer manure. (I can still smell it–phfew!)  The weeds won and eventually he planted winter rye, the greenest grass I’d seen before coming to Bluegrass country here in Kentucky.

Lawns weren’t always common. In the 19th century they were considered a luxury and a sign of wealth.  The upkeep required groundskeepers who cut the blades with scythes. It was a massive job that required surprising skill.  Watering was a chore, too.  Hoses and sprinklers came into use much later.

It’s not surprising that the game of golf had a role in getting grass to grow so commonly in America.  In 1915, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture collaborated with the U.S. Golf Association to find a grass–or combination of grasses–that would grow in U.S. climates. Fifteen years later grass was common and a new industry had been born. To protect their beloved lawns, Americans needed fertilizer and pesticides.  Throw in garden hoses, sprinklers and lawn mowers like the one invented by Ole Evinrude, and you have a brief history of lawns in America.

Just for fun . . . Do you have a lawn?  What kind of mower do you use?  Push or power? Does anyone have a ride-on?  Check out this video for the coolest idea of all…

A Horse Is A Horse . . .

momlogolihLiving in Lexington, Kentucky, my husband and I see horses all the time.  We were driving down New Circle Road the other day, not paying attention to anything, when a truck with a horse trailer pulled up next to us. The horse neighed at the top of its lunghorses backyard smalls and startled us both.

My husband, being a bit of a comedian, started singing the Mr. Ed Song. That led to all sorts of trivia questions about the old show. It also got me thinking about famous songs about horses.  The “Mr. Ed Theme Song” is on the list, of course, of course,  but it’s not exactly a personal favorite. 

Just for fun–and because I’m still up to my chin in revisions due May 30th–here are some of my favorite songs about horses:

No. 1 on my list is Strawberry Roan by Marty Robbins.  You’ve got to love a horse that can “turn on a nickel and give you some change.”  The song is about a horse no one can Strawberry Roanride. Right away, I’m thinking about putting that horse in a book and pitting him against a hero with a lot of patience and a lot of love.

No. 2. is Silver Stallion by the Highwaymen.  You probably know this group is made up of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.  Talk about the Mount Rushmore of country music!  This song is full of romance and adventure. When I need inspiration, I play it.

No. 3 always makes me laugh. It’s Beer for My Horses by Toby Keith and Willie Nelson.  There’s something wonderfully outlandish about the whole picture. I’m not the only person who likes this song. In 2003 it spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts. 

No. 4 on the list is a Golden Oldie from 1948.  Ghost Riders in the SGhost Ridersky is a folk tale about a cowboy who envisions red-eyed, steel hoofed cattle being chased across the sky by doomed cowboys. He takes it as a warning to change his ways.  I love the drama in this song.  It’s been recorded many times, but the version I remember is by Frankie Laine. Bing Crosby sang it, too. I can’t quite imagine that! I’ve also heard the Johnny Cash version. Very cool!

No. 5 on my list is a song that sometimes I like, and sometimes I don’t. I’m not generally a Rolling Stones fan, but their Wild Horses is classic.  Susan Boyle just remade it. She put a whole new spin on it.

That’s my list.  I know there are others . . . Garth Brooks has some horse songs.  The group “America” did A Horse with No Name. That song always bothered me.  I wanted to name the horse, of course, of course! Anything but Mr. Ed!  That’s my list.  Does anyone have titles to add?