You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2010.

So I’ve been trying for weeks … well at least one day each week … the guilt-ridden day … to write something about me for the “About” page. I can’t do it. I mean, I can. And I will. But I won’t be happy. And it’ll take me a long time. I still won’t be happy.

I can say the most embarrassing and appalling things about myself — as evidenced by this blog and my column — but say something real about myself? Gads. The horror!

The most terrifying sentence in the English language is: “Pam, why don’t you take a moment to tell us all something about yourself.”

Seriously? Just shoot me now.

How does one condense the ginormous superficiality of me into a succinct montage of personal facts and accurate detritus that will make me seem not so, well, me, but more, well, like someone worth knowing and engaging in conversation? I have no answer to that.

The stupid part is that it’s my site, I can say asinine things, fabricate details even, in my “About” section. I don’t have to make myself sound brilliant in 89 words or less. I can use 1,000 words to make myself sound mediocre. Shoot, it’s my blog, and I can lie if I want to … and I would, too, if it weren’t for this dang biography phobia-thing.

Thusly, in reference to my last entry about minor Pam-fails, I believe, reader BFF Mary, we can pull out the big guns for this one:

Pam’s mini-biography neurosis = epic fail at: pam(at)


Earlier in the week I had a dream that I was driving on some very slick ice around a curve in the road. About the time I realized I was doing a good job of it while others weren’t, my vehicle changed from a car into a motorcycle, but I was dragging my feet across the ice like training-wheel support, so I was doing OK. Then I came to a stop at a red light and realized I had little one-year-old K-Pam straddling the seat in front of me, and I was now driving the motorcycle on the ice, one-handed, with a baby who was sans helmet, car seat, coat, etc. Auntie fail.

Here in the real world:

I got an email reminder from my mother who sent me paperwork to sign so I could have access to all her worldly secrets kept in a bank safety deposit box. Good stuff right? I buried the paperwork in an unidentifiable stack in the office and totally forgot about it. Daughter fail.

I skipped out on the meeting of a local writer’s group so I could work in the yard picking up rocks and burying a post. Writer fail.

It’s 9:30 p.m., and I don’t have clean socks for tomorrow. Personal hygiene fail.

Tomorrow is Friday. Technically, I cannot claim any credit for this fact because Friday comes around every seven days no matter what’s going on in my life. But I did survive the week.

For the win at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40(dot)com

John got torqued off reading articles about the efforts of many people and organizations helping earthquake victims in Haiti get fitted with prosthetics.

Of course, I didn’t know that he’d been reading them, he just planted himself in the office doorway and asked me, “So do you think people will remember Haiti in 18 months?”

And I, thinking this was an cynicism quiz, said, “Uum, noo. The public will have moved on to the next disaster. It’s easier to feel like you’re fulfilling your search for self-actualization only if the drama is high. Mop up after the party is so tedious.”

“No,” he replied (test fail, Pam, apparently). “They’re fitting people with prosthetics now, but will anyone be around in 18 months when they all need re-fitting.”

“Oh,” I said, heavy on the sarcasm, because I knew I had him caught in a web of hyperbole, “they’re all going to need re-fitting?”

“Yes. The stumps all will have changed dramatically within 18 month — muscles atrophy, kids grow.” I tell ya what, a guy has one arm surgically removed, like, a hundred years ago, and all of a sudden he’s a freakin’ amputation expert. “What’re they supposed to do?” he added. “Whittle new legs?” And he’s a wiseacre.

“Well, you got it figured out then, hon.” I conceded. “We should send a boatload of pocket knives. It’s like that saying: Give a guy a prosthetic leg, and he’ll walk for 18 months. Teach him how to whittle, and he’ll walk for a lifetime.”

“You’re sick.” That’s what he said, but he laughed, so I know what he meant.

This is what passes for intellectual discussion at: pam(at)

So, if you think your childhood was tough and your parents were unreasonably hard on you, or flat out psycho, guess again. If you’re reading this blog post, your parents weren’t as bad as this New York state mom who choked to death her 18-year-old daughter for being “disrespectful.”

Apparently, the mom was too crazy to realize the child was 18 and, legally, she and her ‘tude could be dumped out on the street to fend for themselves. Frankly, the girl would’ve been better off creating a nice cardboard home down in the local alley, because mom had decided “this will be the last time you speak to me like that.” Murder’s wrong, but she got that prediction right.

And, if you think your children are bad, then maybe you should think again. If they aren’t currently or formerly incarcerated for a crime, chances are they’re better than the 16-year-old boy who announced from a courtesy phone at a Wal-Mart with a history of racial problems: “Attention, Wal-Mart customers: All black people, leave the store now.”

Well, if I had done the same, I doubt my parents would’ve gone to the extreme of the N.Y. mom. However, in the end, I might wish they had rather than endure the agony of guilt and punishment that would’ve been heaped on me at home. I would’ve begged the courts to put me in juvie lockup until I was 18. Then I would’ve begged the French Foreign Legion to take me in, start a female branch of corps so that chick felons and miscreants could find a home in their notorious service.

Oui, je parle le francais maintenant at: pam(at)

I have long suspected that Xena is not the sharpest crayon in the color box. This winter I dubbed her Xena, Warrior Cheerleader. She’s pretty and she has the moves to thrill you, but those are bubbles erupting in the space between her ears, not gears grinding.

Now I admit that either the not-smartness is compounded by an attention disorder or the disorder is the problem. She operates under the mistaken assumption that her congenital, and complete, absence of focus (aka, airheadedness) is equivalent to an inherent ability to multitask. Not so much, darlin’.

When she gets to focusing on something else (often) while I’m trying to train her, she understands only a fraction of what I just asked of her, and then rapid-fires a few random responses that kind of resemble something she did to make me happy at some point in the past two years. I can hear her thinking the equine version of “whatever, biyatch.”

It’s really painful when the training session is specifically to address focus-on-Pam issues. My pain is both mental and physical. I have to say “Gooood giiiirrrl!” — a lot — to get through to her. I really want to say “Diiip waaad” — a lot.

Then, too, when she gets frustrated/distressed/crabby/etc., she responds by throwing her body around. Not so swell for me when we are attached by any physical means such as a rope or, worse, my backside in the saddle on her back. She is, after all, the cheerleader with the hot, snappy moves. And she weighs about 1,400 pounds.

So today, the challenge was to get her more focused on me — I do so love to be the center of the universe — while working in the pasture. When I got tired of the physical effort of keeping her obedient on the end of the rope … I let go. We were out on 25 acres. I know it sounds crazy, but what was I going to do? Out pull her? Wrestle her to the ground and torture her with a round of “typewriter” on her chest?

That said, in case you haven’t had the experience of training a loose horse in a large pasture, it’s really really really hard for the average two-legged human, or the more-out-of-shape-than-average two-legged human such as myself, to keep a horse moving, preferably running, until said human decides the horse has learned that it’s better to stay attached to said human in a manner which could be deemed polite. Dare we hope for obedient?

I am totally, freakin’ exhausted. At the low point, I was calling Xena every curse word I could summon when she went all the way to the top of the tallest hill at the far corner of the fence line, acting like the last of the 10,000, with me feeling bad for her as I hiked myself along to the top of the hill too. Then, when I called her to me, she (instead) spun, farted, and bolted all the way back down the hill and across the pasture to stand along the fence by her buddies who were corralled behind the shop.

Me, without any firearms handy. No oxygen either. I was not feeling so kindly toward the Xena horse at that moment. Luckily, it took me long enough to get back down there that my “good girl” feature was back in order when needed.

Well, obviously, I lived to tell the tale. And I can report that Xe lived to fart another day. I can also say that I believe I won this round, but a rematch of wits is scheduled for tomorrow because I’m quite certain she hasn’t fully grasp the magnitude of my adamance about the lesson.

I’m already dreading the exercise at:

I’m totally open to the idea that we are descendents of a distant race of aliens. We are, after all the only beings on earth who require clothing to survive.

Maybe when we die, our spirit gets beamed aboard the Mother Ship. Maybe that’s why so many religions tells us about heaven. That’s how they explain outer space. Just saying. I’m open to it.

Then Baby Brother added another piece to the puzzle tonight.

We were laughing at how little K-Pam has such a tremendous vocal range without really saying anything. Then he surmised that maybe she is saying something in our Mother tongue and that we have to learn to speak Earth-based languages, like English, French and Swahili, because they’re foreign to us on a deeply internal level. If we were on the Mother Ship, we wouldn’t need to learn any language beyond the ga-ga goo-goo squeeee we were born with.

I could write a novel or a dissertation or give a speech on intergalactic economic viability in baby babble and earn accolades for the effort. Well, maybe not me, so much, but a smart alien-person could.

Baby Bro is freaky genius, in any language, at:

Reader BFF Mary sent me a link to a disturbing news article, and honestly, isn’t that why we’re all here? We are disturbed.

Seems a woman in Florida has proven there’s something worse than texting while driving. No, it’s not sexting while driving, but that thought is definitely warmer.

Megan Barnes, 37, of Key West was driving to her boyfriend’s house when she remembered that, omigawd, she’d forgotten to do something important, so she had her passenger grab the wheel to free her hands for the ever-important task. Then bam, they rear-ended another vehicle while going 45 mph.

The task? Oh, she was working on her, uh, bikini shave of her down-there area. For reals. And can I just say that the vehicle crash probably saved her from horribly disfiguring razor burns.

The passenger? That was her ex-husband who, incidentally, tried to take the rap for the crash by jumping into the driver’s seat after they stopped … a half-mile away. But apparently he couldn’t rid himself of the evidence of those pesky passenger-side airbag deployment chest burns. Nice try, though, hero. I have renewed faith that chivalry isn’t dead.

The even bigger issue? The day before, a judge had revoked Barnes’ driver’s license for five years and ordered her to impound her car. She also started nine months of probation. Sorry, hon, but I’m guessing this incident was a violation of said probation. Just guessing.

What I want to know? Can we substitute the word “John” for boyfriend and pimp for ex-husband and make any of this more logical. And maybe get her on a dumbest criminals TV show somewhere. Girl’s gonna need some green to fund a lawyer.

Also from BFF Mary is a tasty bit of style news about some Aussie men’s underwear made with a material blend that includes banana tree bark fiber.

Yeah, bananas + guy underwear = just about any joke you want to, um, insert here.

And to peel off from this topic to slip in a side note: I propose that we begin a campaign to call guy’s undies “gundies.” The general public might go bananas over it.

Another friend, The Dane, sent me this tidbit about a rural Montana district superintendent of schools forgetting that he had a ball loaded in his black powder muzzleloader and firing the round into a classroom wall while giving a demonstration to kids at Reed Point High School.

I like the one kid saying, “Holy criminy.” I’d bet money they were dropping f-bombs and fighting to control the nervous laughter. Or maybe that’s just me.

No word on what’s going to happen to the Super, Dwain Haggard, but since he managed to shoot the center of the “O” in north out of a map during this surprise marksmanship demonstration, I’m guessing folks won’t be giving him too much guff over it. Least ways, not while he’s got the muzzleloader handy.

My own find for the day is possibly the longest running, domino-effect horse/cart wreck in YouTube history. No one was hurt seriously and everyone, four-legged and two, went on to drive again. Animal Planet also has a clip with commentary.

Some of the viewers’ comments were rather scathing, but I’d like to say from my own experience driving horse/cart that things can go haywire quickly. When you add a whole show class full of horses pumped up about the competition and drivers in a situation managed by the announcer on the overhead speakers, I can see the whole situation getting hinky in depths way over everyone’s head mighty fast.

My only judgement of the situation is that it’s unfortunate this happened in an Arab horse class because those equinus poopstainouses have the stamina to maintain a freak-out all day long.

You need horses equivalent to me, too lazy to do anything but stand there and look worried.

Maybe dig some snacks out of my pocket to feed my nerves at: pam(at)

I’ve been spending a few hours each afternoon herding run-off through the yard — much easier since the initial chipping of pathways through the ice, and since we’ve had enough warm weather to actually make the yard 80 percent mud and only 20 percent ice. So give it up with a warm round of applause for Mother Nature. She’s the bomb.

John has spent considerable time this week putting our CDs on the computer. As I sat down to write my column (um, yes, this blogging is relevant to the column writing, it’s like a warm up exercise, trust me), I decided to start the “new” tunes for background entertainment … and for because John had the audio-stuff window open, so I didn’t have to figure out where it’s located.

Me not so clever with new computer-thingies.

I found the play button. So proud, so self-actualized to exercise my keen intellect. However, I did realize that the only song in the window was “Layla” by Eric Clapton, so I needed to expand my efforts to find a way to make it play more songs. While I frittered around the window randomly clicking buttons trying to remember what John had told me to do yesterday, I was happy to realize that I know the song.

And just as I figured out where the “shuffle” button is I realized the chorus was playing:

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.
Layla, I’m begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won’t you ease my worried mind.

And I had this ah-crap moment: All these years I’d never seen the title to that song — I thought Clapton was singing “That ain’t love” instead of “Laaayylaa.”

First, let me say that my version of the lyrics did make sense, so just shut up about it.

Second, I’ll say that I could actually feel the spinny wheels of my brain coming ’round to drop into their proper place. I said, “Oooh, hunh,” out loud. And then this tune popped into my head:

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round.
’round and ’round.
’round and ’round.
The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round,
aaaalll through the town!

Hey Clapton, foolish pride is all I got, man.

That and a No. 2 shovel at: pam(at)

Since Xe got new shoes and a newly adjusted spine, I had to take her for a spin at the indoor arena at the fairgrounds. She worked nicely, but stood waiting her turn, well, like an idiot.

This was the first time I’d hauled her and Jilly anywhere together. They travelled well together, but the standing tied was a bit of a challenge. Xe didn’t like that she had to stand and be good while Jilly got to “have fun” bein ridden. So she used the new shoes to bang on the pipe fencing. Yeah, that’s what I spent the $70 for: percussion instruments.

The two college girls who were there when we arrived were packing up their crew of horses and their stuff as I started riding Jilly and the scenario played out as:

Bang. Bang. Bang.




Ride. Ride.

Bang. Bang. Bang!

“Xe! Quit!”

Ride. Ri—.

Bang! Bang!

“Hey! Xena, Warrior Dipshit, [snort — from a college chick] I would happily work you first and last.”



Jilly and I exit arena. I swap horses to be tortured with work. College chicks exit barn, a mercy for me that they don’t hear me muttering curses at Xena who has put on her me-sweet-girl-you-love-me face and is perfectly happy and content now that she’s the center of attention and action.

Lungeing Xena in arena.

Bang. Bang. From Jilly.

“Seriously, you two?! What? Are you small children that I can’t take anywhere? No. You’re horses and there’s a canner market in Canada, just an hour away … .”

They eat the other red meat north of the border, eh: pam(at)

Before I get started, I have to say that as I was typing the title of this post I realized that since I often shorten Xena’s name to Xe, I could apply the same system to my name and we would be P and Xe. That’s not really very flattering.

So moving right along, I took Xe to an equine chiropractor today, and it was an entirely not horrible experience. She hasn’t had too many people work with her doing anything, let alone an adjustment, and she handled it well. Maybe it helped to have other horses around for distraction, even some frisky 2-year-olds that were having a raucous time in the corral next to where the chiro was working. She was giving him the “yeah, whatever, dude, just don’t block my vision of those yahoos,” but when he’d get something popped in she was all “oooh, lovely, happy feeling, man, thanks.”

The loading at home and at the facility was not the glorious success I had hoped for with her waltzing into the trailer like she was thrilled to be visiting her second home, like a chalet in a lush green field. However, she didn’t throw a big hissy fit and rip my arm out of the socket or drag me down the road whilst my dug-in heels left furrows in the slimy mud. In the end, I count it as a success since she hasn’t been hauled much and she literally has drug me around as described in times past.

I had a sort of mixed performance as well. I forgot the checkbook in the pickup so had to make an extra slogging trip there and back again — because it was obviously beyond me to wrangle a horse and deal with being around people and consider any practical matter like paying for services rendered when rendered.

On the plus side, I did remember to drive the pickup around the cul-de-sac at the end of the facility’s road so I was pointed in the direction of quick escape before parking. Thus I prevented any chance of getting blocked from forward motion by other trailers and having to back the horse trailer into some god-awful nook to get jockeyed around to leave.

Like I did last year.

When I had to screech the horse trailer fender down an old fence post, half-toppled in the tall grass already, to get out of the god-awful nook which I couldn’t seem to get backed into at any angle that would allow clear maneuving space to pull out toward home.

So, score one for me because that forward-thinking, non-demolition success totally trumped a little jaunt through the mud for the check book. Of course, I’ve been planning ahead for a year to get the parking thing done right this time.

I’ll shoot for a more perfecter trip next year …

start planning tomorrow at: pam(at)

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 22 other followers