I must rebel against the practice of the Christmas newsletter. These are the mass produced, non-personalized accountings of the glorious blessings that befell the sender and his/her family during the year. Christmas newsletters are not a bad idea. They're a nice way to sum up the year in a paragraph or two for far flung family and friends. But often Christmas newsletters turn out to be self-serving brag sessions. Or they reveal far, far too much about a family's personal matters than some near-stranger needs to know.
With all this in mind, here is my spin on the Christmas newsletter. Horsey, of course. And entirely untrue. For the most part.
Dear Family and Friends:
Well, another year is nearly over here at Pipe Dream Ranch and it's time to check in with those we love. Right now I'm not feeling much love for Stewart. Even though he is my husband, sometimes I envision him as a Thoroughbred. I'd like to run him in a cheap race in hopes that someone would claim him. Every morning it's the same: we get in an argument over which is the better method to clean the stalls. I say you shovel manure first, pick up the mucky shavings last. He does it the other way around. Does he not understand that there must be a consistent method to manure management?
Meanwhile, our fantastic stud colt Zipalenasparkabarspot ("Sparky") is growing into the horse of our dreams. We can't wait to stand him at stud! Of course, we'll have to be able to catch him first. Boy, he can really race around the pasture when he wants to avoid being haltered! We've tried luring him with a carrot, and that worked for a while, but then he started grabbing our fingers with his teeth. That was how Stewart lost half his index finger last March. I can't blame Sparky, though. Stewart has that sort of ruddy complexion, you know, so I'm sure Sparky just thought his finger was a carrot. On the bright side, now we know our health insurance covers pretty much about everything.
Meanwhile, our little Cassandra is blossoming into an incredible rider. Her trainer, Hans, says she is-- and I quote-- "the most gifted natural equestrian I've ever seen." And that's some praise, considering that Hans was a groom and chief blanket washer for Millie something-or-other who once rode on an Olympic team in the late 1970's. According to Hans, Cassandra can do it all: barrel racing, reining, dressage, show jumping, hunters, calf roping... and she's only 6! Now you can see why we chose Hans to be Cassandra's riding instructor. He recognizes our daughter's true talents, unlike the dozen or so other instructors we'd hired in the past. It's no wonder Hans is so expensive. He has true insight, and that makes his salary worth the second mortgage we took out on our ranch. Why, Hans even thinks that by next year Cassandra will be riding Sparky in the all-around events. Of course, we'll have to catch and break Sparky first, but I'm sure our little Cassandra can do that with the help of Hans and a collection of horse handling DVDs we bought at this year's horse expo. Cassandra is, after all, a talented young horsewoman!
Other than our adulation of Cassandra, our devotion to Sparky and our occasional disdain for each other, Stewart and I have had a fairly uneventful year. Well, that's if you discount the feud we're having with our neighbors. They're threatening us with a lawsuit. Seems they're not too happy that Sparky jumped the pasture fence and impregnated their pet donkey. I told them, "That'll be one fancy mule, what are you worried about?" Some people, right? Frankly, I wish they'd tossed a rope around Sparky while he was mesmerized with their donkey. I mean, that would've been nice, but we weren't so lucky. On the other hand, we were lucky that the city didn't sue us when I accidentally caused a flood. See, I was hauling our six-horse slant load with our mini-truck, chatting with Hans on my cell phone (he needed some cash to rent cattle for Cassandra's cutting lesson), and I cranked the steering wheel too tightly as I made the turn off of Main Street. Wouldn't you know it, the back end of the rig jumped the curb and clipped the side of a fire hydrant. Wow, did that water gush like a geyser! I managed to get away with only a handful of tickets for some minor violations and a windy lecture about how I shouldn't be hauling such a trailer with a light duty truck. I told the officer, "Look, as soon as I rake in some stud fees from Sparky, I'll gladly buy myself a dually." I then asked the fine officer if he had any experience in wrangling wild stud colts, but he just looked at me funny, so I dropped that conversation for fear I'd end up with more tickets.
So that's pretty much it for 2007. Hope your year went well, too!
~ Merry Christmas from All of us at Pipe Dream Ranch