The Muse

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Stuff Dreams are Made of

In 1938 it wasn’t Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Hitler or Mussolini that commanded the headlines. It was a little crooked legged horse named Seabiscuit.

Read Laura Hillenbrand’s skillful, exquisite  book  Seabicuit  for a an account of an underdog that inspired a nation.

A little horse with crooked legs who liked to sleep more than anything was used to train other race horses to win, by letting them. That is until a former cavalry horse trainer, and a crippled one-eyed jockey taught him that he was the winner.

In a match race against the proposed fastest horse in American and Triple Crown winner, War Admiral, Seabiscuit left him in the dust and gave the country something to think about except world conditions.

I’m back watching horse races after a few year hiatus, and rooting for the little guy.

I don’t know which inspired me the most, California Chrome or his 77 year old trainer. I first read that Art Sherman was 85, that inspired me, but checking, I guess he is only the kid of 77. I was figuring I had a few more years to come into my own—just lost 7 years. In 1955 he was an exercise jockey for the Kentucky Derby. This time he was a winner of it.

Okay, here is what inspired me:

California Chrome’s owners bought his mother, Love the Chase, for $8,000. Some told them that was too much for a horse that had won only one race. They bred her for $2,500, and she produced California Chrome. So for $10,500 they got a race horse that won millions.

The trainer Art Sherman said that it takes 11 days for a horse to recover from a race with the magnitude of the Kentucky Derby which he won.

Two weeks later he won the second leg in the race to the Triple Crown, The Preakness, and that was including his 11 day recovery and traveling over 2,000 miles from the west coast to Maryland on the East Coast.

I heard that the morning of the race he had a cough. I said, “Well, as with the stories of the great race horses, they had an injury or something that further handicapped them.” He won anyway.

I bet on him, won $80.00 and took my family to celebrate at the restaurant PF Changs.

To life,

P.S. Feel like shouting? Go to the little wolf picture below, click, and give us a shout. The Sacred Wolf Pack is a place for creatives to meet and mingle. Ta Da.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Lessons from Californai Chrome

This is California Chrome, winner of the 2014 #Kentucky Derby.

I missed the Derby as I had no television reception that day, but I am planning for the Preakness coming up this Saturday May 17. 

The Preakness is the second leg in three races for a Thoroughbred horse to become a #Triple Crown Winner. That means winning the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and the Belmont. (The Belmont is the most grueling being a 1.5 mile track, and having run two races previously the contender is quite spent. Remember, he is only three-years-old, not fully mature. In horse terms he is still a baby.)

Only 11 horses in 35 years have won all three races to become the greatest race horses of our time.

Three were in the 70's, I wonder what was happening at that time. Secretariat in 1973, Affirmed in 1978, and Seattle Slew in 1977.

My point here is to direct you attention to the body language of a winner. In most every picture I have seen of California Chrome, his ears are pricked, alert, and pointing forward. His eyes are bright and focused on the the road ahead. (The Prize.) In this photo he has blinders on, which means he will not be distracted  by other horses coming up beside him.

Think of these qualities, we can emulate them on our road to success.

Monday May 12, 2014

Iris and Bubbles and Weenies, Oh My

We're going that-a-way across the Upland Prairie, across the iris field and into the woods--aka forests of Oregon. 

An Upland Prairie will be claimed by the forest--or blackberries, if not kept open as my son-in-law has done by keeping it mowed.

A Trunk Sprout. This Madrone tree was caught in the forest fire last year, and look, it is making a baby.

When son-in-law builds a weenie-roasting fire, he goes all out. 

Too hot to handle. 
Roasting a weenie from beneath a space blanket.

Blowing Snake Bubbles
This is so cool. Cut the bottom off a water bottle, cover with a sock, duck tape it securely, dip sock in a solution of 2 parts water 1 part #Dial Dishwashing Soap, blow into drinking spout of bottle. Viola' bubbles, strong enduring bubbles. Be sure to blow, not inhale.

Catching the fire updraft.

Bubbles flying high

And bubbles on the ground.

Doggie gets a weenie too.

This was my most relaxing mother's day ever. I hope your's was glorious.