May 182014

Doranna & DuncanThis is Doranna Durgin’s WordPlay Blog. I’m glad you’re here–whether it’s to learn more about my books, or chat about dogs, horses, and reading.

On Fridays, The Write Horse usually stops by for life with horse training, written by Patty Wilber.

If you’d like to reach my Webstead, you can clicky on that link you just passed. Right there. Behind you! The one that said Webstead.

PS although I use a plug-in that allows commenters to sign in, it’s easy to post as a guest and guest commenters are welcome!

Nov 202015

By Patty Wilber

This week was a bit of this and a bit of that!

We got our first real snow on Monday (preceded by rain all day on Sunday). So pretty from the patio.

First Snow of 2015

First Snow of 2015 

In the pens?  No so much.

Paris. “um… when do I get to go to arizona where it is WARM and not a mud pit??? just asking.” She was slated to be picked up and transported via commercial horse shipper to Arizona this week. The shipper seems to be um… a Bull Shipper. Fired.  Going with a new option. Soon, my dear, soon!

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Nov 132015

By Patty Wilber

Dogs fly free on Southwest Airlines!  At least if they are under 50 lbs and statues in a box.

Dog in a box

Dog in a box

This dog “lived” with Jim’s Mom for many many years..

She passed away Oct, 15, 2015. 

Marjorie (Midge) Wilber

Marjorie (Midge) Wilber

At first, I was not especially keen on bringing the statue back to NM, but heck, we adopted Babe, Midge’s living canine, when she moved out of her home into assisted living, so why not the plaster cast dog? And besides, this isn’t any ordinary dog-likeness.  This guy was Midge’s companion until nearly the very end!

Last weekend, all Midge’s descendants (and spouses and significant others–26 of us) descended on Illinois to celebrate her life.  Most of us stayed (and the rest congregated for much of the time) at Jackie, Jim’s oldest sister’s, house. That was an amazing reunion and what a gift to us all.  Thanks SO MUCH Jackie!

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Nov 062015

By Patty Wilber

The show year is over!

Trail project season is over!

LT is on vacation!

I still have Miss Paris who I haven’t yet talked about in the blog–a beautiful, tall hunter type 3 yr old leopard Appaloosa that I have been starting.  But she will go home in a few weeks.



Sounds like I should be able to take a few breaths.

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Oct 302015

By Patty Wilber

Got back from the Appaloosa World Show last night!  That was the most fun I have had at a big long show in…in ever.

My goal for LT for 2015 was to get her to a status I considered “finished” and to show her at the Appaloosa Nationals and the World.

After our good run at Nationals, I was sort of scared to try to go to World! But then Shelley called and asked me to take her yearling Andy, and that helped relight a fire.

So, we went!

LT at the World’s.

LT had her best go ever in Jr. Working Cowhorse   That girl has a big heart and what fun it was! Thank you Troy Rogers for all your help getting us ready this year, and especially this last month!

Screenshot952015-10-24-19-42-031 Screenshot952015-10-24-19-42-361 Screenshot952015-10-24-19-42-541 

She ended up second by 0.5 points!  It was very exciting!

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Oct 232015

By Patty Wilber

We’ve got a couple of western pleasure horses in the barn.  We ride ’em western and get a lot of pleasure out of ’em.

Last weekend, there was no pleasure riding.  No siree!  We were on a project.  The Last Back Country Horsemen Work Project of the Year, to do some more lopping on Albuquerque Trail, and to hopefully see some pretty trees.

“quit wasting time with paperwork”, says Sitka. “let’s get a move on!”

Peter, after he had signed, took a moment to….pray to his gloves?

It was a moment of ungloved silence. Glovish silence?

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Oct 162015

By Patty Wilber

Janet Cochran at the Blue Allen and Barret Yates Cow Clinic, Oct. 10 and 11, 2015. "the most fun you can have on a horse!", she says!

Janet Cochran at the Blue Allen and Barret Yates Cow Clinic, Watrous Valley Ranch, Oct. 10 and 11, 2015. “The most fun you can have on a horse!”, she says! Photo taken by Janet’s phone, I think.  Not sure who pushed the button.  Or it might have been taken by Michelle Yates…

Last weekend was the most fun I have ever had at a clinic.

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Oct 092015

By Patty Wilber

“Looks like your mare has worms”, they said.

Well!  That’s so RUDE!

All three of my mares rub their tails.  None of my in-training mares do.  None of the geldings do. Only my personal mares. Indy just started…

Baldy locks. Indy says, "hey! why are you eyeballing my tail?"

Baldy locks. Indy says, “hey! why are you eyeballing my tail?”

According to my initial Internet searching, the  number one reason for tail rubbing is worms.  Pinworms.

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Oct 022015

By Patty Wilber

We (Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico, Pecos Chapter) were supposed to  go to the first bridge out of Jack’s Creek toward Iron Gate and get it painted, but someone had apparently used all our bridge paint for another project!

Plan B…

Penny says: "wake me up when i actually need to move."

Penny says: “wake me up when i actually need to move.”

All summer there had been reports of trash at Stewart Lake, so we went there, prepared to clear trail if necessary, and collect that garbage.

Like the Manzano’s last weekend, the weather was fantastic but the leaves were not yet in full autumnal splendor.  On the other hand, it didn’t suck.

Bracken fern against the white aspen trunks.

Lisa riding into the bracken fern against the white aspen trunks. Mary Ann led, followed by the Tucker family, then Lisa.

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Sep 252015

By Patty Wilber

I have been wanting a new toy for riding in the back country and last weekend I got it!  A Camelbak!

The Camelbak! (Thanks Jim!)

The Camelbak! (Thanks Jim!)

I have been carrying two quart jars in my saddle bags, but my saddle bags are already a bit overloaded with rain gear and spare rain gear and a big rain slicker.  Gloves and spare gloves and waterproof gloves and some spare waterproof gloves. Some random bits like baling twine, leather stings and duct tape.  Toilet paper and stuff women should carry, just in case (double as wound dressings), first aid kit for people and some horse drugs like bute, emergency kit (with some extra gloves and an ear warmer, a space blanket some waterproof matches, some gatorade and a bandana). And a flashlight (and a head lamp in the pommel bag).  And spare batteries. Then I usually need some lunch food. And just a little spare food like a clif bar and some jolly ranchers. Stuffing those quart jars in there just adds bulk and weight.

LT says: just shoot me now. Look at those bags and she didn't even tie on the voluminous rain coat bag with the spare waterproof gloves! does she have an inflatable helicopter in there?

LT says: just shoot me now. look at those bags! and she didn’t even tie on the voluminous rain coat bag with the extra spare waterproof gloves! does she have an inflatable helicopter in there? we will only be out for a few hours.  just sayin’!

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Sep 232015

So, the astute among you may have noticed that although this is the Wordplay Blog, ostensibly with a major in Wordplay stuff (that would be me, my books, the dogs, blah blah blah) and a minor in Write Horse stuff (that would be Patty Wilber, who blogs fun horsie stuff on Fridays), the recent content has been all Write Horse and no Wordplay.

I do normally lag in the summer time–that’s about how the Lyme disease gives me grief in the heat.  Just never to this extent.  And I don’t honestly know if I’m ready to re-emerge and start blogging again.  July was a month that never should have existed, and from which it might take quite a while to recover.  Illness, loss, office disaster, conflict, and depression, all on the most profound levels.  It is to suck.

But it’s also past time to poke my head up just long enough to say:


I’ve so enjoyed reading your Write Horse adventures here, and it’s meant everything to me to know that the blog has been chugging away without me.

Three cheers and huzzah!