Green Parrot

I bet you didn't know this, but parrots are into recycling and composting. Tyler can recycle 4 feet of packing paper into a cave/nest/playground and then compost it into tiny shredded bits while playing hide and seek. Who needs a paper shredder?

I made pizza for dinner tonight. Garlic and herb dough topped with a bruschetta topping because I didn't have any tomato sauce. Mushrooms, olives, red onion, marinated artichoke hearts, a few pepperoni, and shredded assiago, provolone, parmesan & fontina cheeses covering the whole thing like a winter blizzard.

My assistant, who doubles as a walking vacuum tells me I should take fewer photographs and add more pepperoni.
Melty goodness ready to be enjoyed with more wine. Mmmmmmm

These were sent to raymi for fil's birthday yesterday.

Slow days

My stat counter isn't showing much activity for the Flatland blog over the past few days. I guess everyone is out shopping till they drop, or working too hard at school & work to come by and read.

Nothing much to report here except it's my one year anniversary at work today. Whoop! What have I gotten besides a pay raise, and sleep deprivation? Sore wrists, epicondylitis, a few colds, and poor sleep habits. I guess the pay wins out in this equation where the other factors are negative. I wonder how long I'll last physically and mentally.

For your viewing pleasure I present to you Truck Pull fashion. Yes, I admit I went to a truck pull.. it wasn't my idea but I knew if I took my camera I'd have an okay time. I had an okay time. Along with all the grimy jeans, backwards baseball caps, endless spitting and a cigarette in nearly every hand there were the t-shirts. This one was better than most.

Here's what I'm going to do...

My friend once told me that I should consider selling my photographs to an online image gallery. I have been giving that idea some thought and have found a place to sign up with. I realized that I have a very diverse collection of images that many people could find useful.. and so why not try and sell some of these photographs? M has been telling me that I should do the same thing with my photographs, but you know how it is when you hear things from friends vs. hearing the same things from people who are close to you...

Can you tell what this is a picture of?

From Flatland Publications

WHITE BALANCE Magazine...A special publication for those photographers who can never seem to get a firm grasp of digital technology.

I was looking at someones photographs on Flickr this morning and in their photo set they had made a magazine cover using a picture of their cat. I didn't want to use the Flickr program so I went into Photoshop and designed my own magazine cover. Feel free to subscribe in the comments section.

"Arf, arf, arf, arf"

White fluffy stuff fell from the sky this morning, and Jack couldn't bark enough about how excited he was to see it (and eat it) again.

Ack.. it's in my eyes... blink, blink.

Word of the day

Appropriately brought to you by Garnier Fructis:


"This subspecies of mullet refuses to let go of its cherished plumage. Too many years of Pabst Blue Ribbon and 7-11 hookers have made this mullet confused and nonsensical. What isn't on top, it more than makes up for in the back. It keeps its locks locked-up in a ponytail for good luck and to keep the chicks hot".

Jane: Bobby your daddy has a skullet!!!
Bobby: No he aint go no dog gone sku-let.
Jane: oh yeah he do Bobby
Bobby: Hey woman how bout you go get me a beer?
Jane: *heads for the fridge*

Image and text grabbed from Urban Dictionary

"No pictures please"

That is what she was saying as I took this photograph. I didn't really understand why until the horse got closer and I could see all the restraints it was wearing. Clearly this woman wasn't proud of what she was doing.
I was at this stable in California for a natural hoof trimming clinic, and the barn adjacent to where the lecture was being given was as quiet as a morgue. The word morgue is what keeps coming to mind because the horses that were in the stalls were alive but they weren't living, if you know what I mean. It was really, really sad.

When the people from the hoof clinic walked into that barn during the lecture break there was no nickering, no whinnies heard. Instead we saw horses tied to the walls IN THEIR STALLS, wearing these contraptions to "train" their tails to stay in this upward bent position. It was AWFUL!! The horses were miserable.

I started to feel this anxiety, and I couldn't understand why then I realized that it was coming from the horses. I left the barn and went as far away from it as I could to clear my head before the lecture resumed. For the rest of that weekend I stayed away from that barn.

How uncomfortable does this horse look? This is about as far from Parelli Natural Horsemanship as one can get. I think it's a perfect illustration of how humans inflict unnatural standards upon animals. "It should move like this, it should carry its head, and tail like that" etc.. I felt bad when I saw these pictures so I decided to post them so that everyone can see how gross and unharmonious this is.
Here is something much nicer to look at..
One night when I was driving home, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw this beautiful sight.

Fish lips

I met these small mouth bass in Florida, where they live in a very large home made tank that sits inside a partially enclosed shed that functions as a photography set. The man who owns these fish films bass fishing videos and commercials for fishing lures. The diffused sunlight coming in through the side window of their tank was the only light I had inside the shed, but it was enough light for the fish to see me moving around in front of their window, and as I moved from left to right to set up a photograph they would follow me. I'd never been followed by a small school of fish before.. except while snorkeling in the ocean.. But THIS was different- I was on dry land and these guys were following me. The greenish light in the shed and the splashing sound of their aerator would make for a relaxing place to hang out, and I would sit with them several times while I visited in Florida.

These guys live at the Chinese restaurant not far from my home. They don't have such a pimped out underwater palace as the bass do. They have a bright light shining down on them all day long. And they don't have much room to swim around in either. I hope they don't end up on somebodys plate one night.

Brief update

I've been home from vacation for 6 days now. Funny, it seems like so much longer, but when I close my eyes and think about a certain view I can see it in my mind's eye just as clearly as if I was still there. I think it's really interesting that a place can have such remarkable scenery, weather, or light that it sort of etches itself in your memory. Iceland. It has definitely won my heart and I feel as though I belong there.

My laptop is warning me that my startup disk is nearly full, so I can't post any new pictures from vacation yet. They are coming though, I promise. In the mean time here is one from this evening. My friend Aristoitle waited quietly while I took pictures with my cell phone.

Thank you

I want to say thank you to my blog visitors for coming 'round and reading my blog. I've been such a distracted blogger lately that I haven't even visited my own blog to check for comments to moderate. Normally I don't have any, so I was expecting to have an empty "in" box.... but you folks surprised me! I have finally posted your comments and added my thanks here and there. In case you don't read back to the comments you leave me I am posting my thank you here as well.

I hope to get to visiting you again regularly, Rosie, Jack, PoopieSchmoopee, and Graze On..

In the mean time stay tuned.. as Mallow is preparing to hit the road for another trip. This time passport required. ::cue mystery music:::

Back in the saddle again

Hi there I'm back.
I haven't been doing much since my return from Colorado just working and spending time with Aristoitle.
I keep thinking that I need to keep a more thorough record of what I do with Aristoitle because some days we just have amazing rides where he is so tuned into me.

The last time I rode him I used my bareback pad, halter with reins clipped on to the chin loop, and one carrot stick. I attached my reins to the loop on the bareback pad and decided not to use them and only steer with my body (eyes, bellybutton, legs) .. and use the carrot stick as a reinforcement if he didn't "hear" me. Okay, that was working well this night, but we still had trouble getting together on the WHOA part of the equation. I used to ask him to change from trot to walk by not riding with my body, I would exhale, relax... Aristoitle wouldn't respond to these cues and would continue trotting. Yet sometimes he would hear me and slow down, but this was very hit and miss.
This time I decided a whole new approach was needed.

When Aristoitle is at a standstill and I want him to back up I raise my heels towards his shoulders and gently tap him until he begins to back up. I lean backwards as well when I am tapping him like this. I then lessen the tapping but keep my heels up there so that he continues to move backwards but with less of a cue from me. He has learned this pretty well, so I decided to try this while he was trotting.. and wouldn't you know it.. speedy Gonzales heard the message and came down to a walk! Now I can ask him to trot by inhaling deeply and getting my energy up, then after trotting around the arena a while, I exhale and raise my heels up to slow him down to a walk. While he is trotting I try to keep my energy up and I breathe normally. I try to be aware of my body and whether or not I am leaning one way or another or gripping with my legs. If I do need to grip with my legs I do so from my knees up-- NOT the other way around. I try to go with the flow as much as possible. Believe me it is difficult to get all the muscle memory going and doing things the right way so I don't interfere with him, but when it works out right it is MAGIC!

Okay enough of this computer stuff ... I need to go visit Aristoitle before work. Bye.. have a good day!

Colorado in bits and pieces..

Last day of the conference and rain started to fall pretty hard about a half hour after the final presentation. The timing couldn't have been any better weather-wise.. we had just left the big arena and started walking down to the car when this storm blew in. Beautiful clouds on one side of the valley, and a rainbow at the other side of the valley.


What a great trip! We had a fun time, learned a lot, took TONS of pictures. Here is a photo to get you hooked.. that's probably all I'll post for today because I need to go see Aristoitle now. :)

Be back in a few days..

Aristoitle stays home while I go to Colorado for the Savvy Conference this weekend. The Savvy Conference is a Parelli Natural Horsemanship event where Pat and Linda Parelli show us new techniques, release new learning materials, and put on a demonstration of Natural horsemanship as only they can do. I'll be back on the 10th.. Ciao!

Shameless self promotion :-)


I bought this shirt here

August 13th in pics

stunning photography brought to you by Mallow and her LG cell phone that has been dropped on its head too many times to count; and Aristoitle, a horse outstanding in his own field.

Hoof comparison part 3

Hi.. still coming back for more hoof pictures? (really?)

Previously you were wowed by this story and photographs. Here is a brief update with crummy cell phone photographs for those of you who like looking at pictures. :P

This is the right front hoof before I did anything to it. You will see there is one place on the sole that is lighter in color than the surrounding material. This is a piece of the sole that chipped off exposing new healthy sole. I took my knife and gently exfoliated all the sole that would crumble off.

This is the result of the exfoliation and lowering of the outer hoof wall. Nearly all areas of the sole crumbled off on their own except for one fairly large spot at the apex of the frog. I left this patch of old sole alone with the thought that treating it like a scab will allow the sole underneath to do what it needs to. I don't know if this is the 'right' approach, but it felt better to me to let it stay rather than paring it off.

I did rasp over this patch on the toe when I went around the hoof wall and lowered it. Normally one wouldn't want to rasp over the toe callous.. but since I have this buffer scab of hoof I didn't see any harm in bringing it down a little bit.

Once I lowered the hoof wall I finished up the trim with a bevel, or mustang roll all around the hoof wall.

Anyone interested in barefoot natural hoof care should visit the web page of Pete Ramey. Here is why I advocate his web page and his approach..
1. After studying many cadaver hooves of foundered and healthy horses, along with the feet of wild horses Pete has learned to use the hoof (sole) topography as his guide to trimming. There are no predetermined angles that the hoof must be trimmed to fit into.
2. Each foot is an individual and is treated as such.
3. I appreciate the fact that Pete is constantly learning, and trying to better himself and his trimming.
4. He has a conservative approach to trimming based on his study of rehabilitated foundered horses, and cadaver hoof dissection. He knows what is going on underneath that sole topography we see when we pick up a hoof.
5. Pete has a collection of research articles which he has written and shares them on his web page.
6. I noticed that he now has a DVD collection of his lectures for sale. If this DVD collection is anything like his weekend seminars - they will be full of great information!
7. ** Pete is not paying me for any part of this endorsement.**

B-day preparation count down..

I found this on Toothpaste For Dinner. Go visit his site for more cartoons, you'll be glad you did.


This photograph was taken from a moving car. I was driving and snapping. Okay not a good thing to admit, but I was all alone on the bridge and there was no oncoming traffic. I'm grateful for living in a place where driving one hour away from home takes me out to the countryside. I hope you like the photo. Have a good day everyone.

Congratulations to H

I met my friends at the Kawasaki dealership last week because I can't pass up the opportunity to check out brand new motorcycles and inhale the new tire smell that permeates such places. A few weeks earlier it was the Harley shop.. where I indulged my "Born to Be Wild" fantasies and sat on a few Harleys. Naw.. no hawgs for me.

These Kawasaki Ninjas are pretty cute though. ... Oh, before my mother falls off her chair while reading this, and the word Ninja she should know that these bikes - the red one especially- are the same size as those used in the learn to ride class I took. The yellow one I'm on is a little bit larger- but not by much- .. for taller people.. *cough*

So I'm posting this pic because today, Saturday, my friend H is getting her Kawasaki Ninja delivered. I bet she is too exited to sleep tonight and is busy spending her sleepless night making a nice, new parking place in her garage. I picture a nice, warm, cozy nest... ok.. maybe just move the two Harleys over a bit. There, that'll do.

Mallow of the Flatland enjoying a daydream, while H gets the real thing! Way to go H, Congratulations!!

Hoof comparison part 2

Silly me.. last time I made a comparison of Aristoitle's front feet I mistakenly used a photo of a Left fore and Right fore. The results are still interesting but not exactly, um, as accurate as I had first thought.

Not long ago I came across an article on thrush when I was doing some Internet surfing of barefoot hoof trimming sites. The article stated that even though a hoof may not look as though it is infected with thrush, it may in fact still have thrush down deep in the collateral grooves. One might not necessarily have the stinky, cheesy (ew) falling apart frogs associated with a bad thrush problem.. but it can still be there. Aristoitle has the occasional crumbly frogs, so I spray them with a full strength solution of Lysol after picking them out and brushing all the debris from the central sulcus and collateral grooves. I have been keeping up with this Lysol regimen for a month and am beginning to see some interesting changes. Guess what? Heel soundness and the desired heel first landing can be brought about by treating a thrush problem! So, if you have been trimming your horses feet, and you still see that he is a little tender in spite of careful trimming try a thrush treatment- it may be the missing piece of the puzzle towards your horses soundness.

Aristoitle's hoof today vs. January '06.. quite a difference! Even though the January photo isn't framed the same way one can see that the hoof is returning to its natural shape now that is free from the shoe. Notice that the hoof has become less oblong. There is a nice callous forming all around the inside on the sole (like an upside down crescent). I keep a nice bevel, or mustang roll on the hoof wall to prevent any more laminar separation.

The lamina (a.k.a. white line, which in the '07 picture looks like a dark band around the inner edge) are not feeling anything at this point. What does hurt is a long hoof wall w/o a bevel because it acts like a lever pulling upward and outward with each step the horse takes. Imagine your index finger with a long fingernail and you want to push your fingertip straight down onto a table. The fingernail gets bent backwards with pressure, right? Now if the nail were trimmed back you would be able to apply pressure to your fingertip. This is what the bevel or mustang roll on the hoof wall does for the horses bare foot.

Why does he have this funny looking white line? 1. Dietary changes, 2.Worming medications, 3.Vaccinations, 4.Anything that will cause a large disruption & die off of the flora in the digestive tract.

Vaccinations? I don't have medical proof of this, and I'm not a veterinarian, but I am starting to believe that we vaccinate our horses too much. And can it really be good for the horses system to receive 3-4 vaccinations all in one day, in combination with (possibly) sedating him for a dentistry and other treatments?? Think of all the chemicals/vaccination bodies/ whatever you want to call it that just got put into the horses system.

Dietary changes? If you keep your horse in a boarding facility that buys its hay from various suppliers, how do you know what kind of hay your horse is getting? Is that quality consistent? Variations in the diet will certainly make an impact on the horses hooves. Just start looking down there for those "growth rings" and you will see what I'm talking about. The daily feeding of hay, sweet feeds, coupled with the worming meds can add up.. especially (in my opinion) the double paste worming routines.

Got grass?
Go to Safer Grass and you will never look at a lush, green pasture in the same way again.

If you are fortunate to have your horse on your own property and can arrange a version of Paddock Paradise you really should look into doing so.

Catching up on past activities

Have you ever gone without doing something for awhile, like, say for several weeks, then you get back to doing that thing again and it all goes really well? That's what happened when I rode Aristoitle the other day. He was great! He felt a bit stiff initially so I took things slowly and walked around the arena to warm him up. Then I asked him for a trot and he was fine -even a bit slow- which is unusual for my speedy Gonzales. As he warmed up he got a little faster, but he was relaxed with his head and neck low. At one time I lost my balance a little bit and his head popped way up..boing!! "Ack, what's she doing up there?!" .. then he regained his composure when I got my balance. :-)

I rode with only the bareback pad, the rope halter & lead rope. He is getting so responsive with just the shifting of my weight. It's really interesting to experiment with steering just by turning my head and upper body and have him respond to that alone with out my using the rein. I never thought I'd ride THIS horse with only a rope halter. I have Mr. Pat Parelli to thank for this. Thank you, thank you, thank you Pat.

I hear munching sounds

The giraffe horse neck

What do you mean giraffe?

I was tagged

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I. I had to look up the word Meme before I started this reply. I'm not certain this would be called a Meme. More likely blogs on the Internet are.. these tidbits of personal information may be evolving into a form of Meme.. but I digress.

II. I like to make things.. sculptures, drawings, whatever. I enjoy combining digital and traditional processes but I really prefer making art without the use of a computer. I learned how to weld a few years ago and have made a steel & paper sculpture, and a table, both of which reside in my living room.

III. I have a sense of humor. I make fun of myself, tease others but at the same time I'm sensitive. Waaa poor me!

IV. I am mechanically inclined and have always wanted to learn how to fix motorcycles. I once found an abandoned motorcycle in the woods and then schemed for days about how to bring it home, and repair it. I still wish I had done it!!

V. I am friendly but only have a few close friends.

VI. I bought a second set of wheels and tires for my mountain bike so I can swap out the road tires for dirt tires. I enjoy tinkering with my bike and have a repair stand.. see #4.

VII. I enjoy reading blogs about art and cooking. I especially enjoy looking at photographs of tasty food and checking out the recipes even though I don't cook much.

VIII. I own one horse who is now 22 years old. I don't know where I would be today if I didn't have my horse. He has been one constant source happiness in my life that I thank God for. With him I have traveled to places I would not normally have gone. We have competed in endurance rides together and have seen the most beautiful countryside. Studying Parelli Natural Horsemanship has changed our relationship in the best way imaginable.

for my new profile pic.