Dollies, Missionaries and Mice

Strange dreams lately. I heard roomie early today feeding the horses – her usual routine – and usually I just acknowledge the noise and go back to sleep. Yesterday the haffy decided that she wouldn’t put on her rope, so she ended up staying in the little paddock by herself all day long and got her dinner when I got home at 11pm. She was very congenial about putting the rope on at that hour and she got to eat her grain and got some hay of her own on a lead then was allowed to join the herd for the night. I want to teach her, not stress her out so she’s not far from the group, just not part of it until she wears her rope. Every time I work with her I learn a little more about horse psychology and herd dynamics. Last night while on lead she stood half in and half out of the garage to eat the hay she was stretching for while making sure she had an escape route and knew where the remaining herd was (they were crowding in on her derrière, trying to share). I was encouraging her to come in and eat, while driving them out of the same space – a very interesting interaction to say the least since little sister (aka haffy girl) is so key on her freedom. She kept bonking her head on the bottom of the open sliding garage door every time she spooked. A little frustrated at the 3 I took her halter off so I could drive them out and of course she ran to the outside circle and though she was trying to come back in, it was just too much for her to overcome and I ended up spreading her dinner around and everybody had a share.

I left a note for roomie that I would be up at 7:30 to extricate her and feed her separately again and at 6:30 heard the feed bin rolling along the cement. The best laid plans must be adjusted so tomorrow I’ll sleep in until 8am, let the 3 out to the pastures and little sister and I will do some of the evening chores early by going up to get more hay and I’ll put her in a stall to eat for ½ hour or so, so I can come back out and retrieve her, reinforcing again halter = yummy stuff. We will also play some horsy brain games and the parelli 7 games before she goes back into her little paddock. We’ll do this until she is compliant about or eager for having a rope put on. This running business is crazy. While I’ve learned how not to be a predator to her perception, she hasn’t made the connection yet between rope and good, safety, food, carrots, fun. I want her to want to be with me more than she wants to run away. We have a long lesson.

So as I am laying in bed in the half light of almost morning I got to thinking about the mice problem that is developing in the basement. It’s inevitable (sidenote; little sister just took over the remaining hay pile and all the other 3 were evicted, oh little sis…) that we have mice come inside since we live in the country next to a hay field. The cats have caught one so far and Juice has been very interested in one of the kitchen cupboards recently, so I’m sure there’s another at large. Roomie saw one running along the ceiling beam a few days ago and there are a ton of droppings around my storage bins. That lead me to thinking about sewing, since I have a huge box of fiber fill down there and I don’t want any surprises when I open it again and then I remembered some other sewing when I was very young. My grandmother was a seamstress among other trades and made my dollies the most beautiful clothes. One of those was a short tan wool coat with a collar, silk lining and little pockets. There were dresses and pants, pantaloons, hats, gloves and blouses. My dollies was dressed to the 9’s in the fashion of the 50’s. It was late in the 60’s at that time and I was about 5 years old. I would lean over the sewing machine and watch her put together whatever she was working on. My grandparents lived ½ mile away from us, so we visited often. I still have the sewing machine she used at the time in the cabinet grandpa made her.

One day when I was in my early teens after the dollies had been in storage for several years, I pulled them out only to have to shake a mouse nest out of that lovely coat and I cried so hard at the loss. Many things had transpired between then but it seemed on that day I forfeited my innocence. The inevitability of change registered with a boot to the throat that I cannot hold on to what was. I have tears in my eyes now remembering the sorrow of throwing that coat out. Grandma passed a few years after that. Later as a young person starting out I lived with a woman from Arkansas and her two children. She was leaving an abusive relationship and her family drove up one day to bring them all back home. They packed everything from the house into their vans and I’ve never heard from her since. When I say everything I mean they also took all of my belongings that had been stacked in a corner of the garage including my dollies and the remaining clothes from childhood. I have been trying for years to remember what exactly I lost that day. It’s just stuff. This is the first thing I’ve been able to recall with any certainty and only now after at least 20 years later. None of it has changed my life. I remembered this morning that I had used marker on my dolls body. Then made the connection to a Missing Without a Trace episode where a little girl who was being molested disappeared and when they were searching found all her dollies had black marker drawn on their faces.

What does that have to do with missionaries? Apparently nothing.


All My Love


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