Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cleaning Tack & Attending Plays

It's that time of year where we're right on the verge of having too much to do--but until then, have very little to do for the horses except wait out the cold.

Because of that, I'm spending a lot of time practicing piano, attending plays, and conditioning tack. Oh and, of course, watching the kids play their winter sports.

The picture above is the play we attended last night, The Belle of Amherst. It's a one woman play about the life of Emily Dickinson. Much of the information is based upon her letters to Thomas Wentworth Higginson of the Atlantic. You can view the letters and the article that inspired her to write him by clicking on this link.

The actress who played Dickinson was Ellen Crawford from the television show, ER. She was WONDERFUL! I'm a big Dickinson fan--so it was a special treat for me. I'd wanted to attend for the last couple of weeks, but things kept coming up. Last night I asked my husband yet again, so he called and found out it was the final performance. We had two hours to get tickets (if we were lucky enough to still get them, which we were) and get down there. I really appreciate having a husband who is so happy to take me to a play like this one.

Today Shiloh and I went to a Moms Daughters and Horses tack cleaning party put on by our friend Katie. She supplied all the cleaning and conditioning items--door prizes and snacks. It was only a $5.00 donation to clean a saddle and bridle!

Katie did a great job, as usual--and Shiloh and I are ready for the AQHA open schooling show next Saturday!


  1. I am so jealous. How I would have loved to have been there for the play! But that's the price I pay for living way down here in my little valley.

    And yes, you are so blessed to have a husband who loves the arts, too.

    Good photos of Miss Shiloh, too. She looks so grown-up and efficient.

  2. The plays sounds wonderful! Just yesterday, my daughter asked if we could go to the Emily Dickinson House in Amherst, MA (about an hour from here). Here's the link:

    So we're planning to take a ride there sometime this spring, and see the beautiful and peaceful setting of her writing. Have you by any chance ever been there?

    And my daughter is behind me asking what your favorite Dickinson poem might be. Hers is Poem #320 (There's a Certain Slant of Light).

  3. Mom--Wish you could have been here to go with us--I did think of you and that you would have loved the play.

    Joanne--Your daughter sounds like a lover of poetry, and a woman after my own heart! I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see E. Dickinson's home. Have they preserved her garden? I haven't been there, but I certainly hope you go and bring us back pictures! (And, I do hope to go there one day, too!!!)

    As for my favorite of hers--that would be tough--I do enjoy the one about her keeping the Sabbath staying home--and I felt a funeral in my brain--but oddly, my favorite might be the one about the bird who bit the Angleworm in half--something about the last stanza--very Virginia Woolfy--"Than Oars divide the Ocean,/ Too silver for a seam--/Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon/Leap, plashless (love that word) as they swim." What that means, I do NOT know, but something about it resonates with me. I love the way she surprises you with her unique dissonance.

    I do believe that when you read Dickinson it may be the most personal of poetries. I think (and I'm curious what your daughter thinks) they are as much mirrors of the reader as the writer. She was a lover of Nature--and I've always thought that the Natural world is a mirror into our souls. Her poetry is the same. Horses are the same, too.

  4. I haven't been to a play since I was in college. Maybe one at Eastern 8 years ago or so. Not Bob's forte. Can't even drag him to a movie. Oh well, hes wonderful in other things. Have to sign in as anon. I think I need to reboot. Lea

  5. A tack cleaning party, what a fun idea! did she use the money for a fundraiser or just for materials?

  6. Anonymous Lea--Your Bob does do a lot. You share your horse passion together--that's for sure!

    Reddunappy--Yes, it was a fund raiser for the club, but I doubt Katie made much over what she donated for the supplies. Although, she bought most of it for last year's Spring Tack Cleaning party--and I think this was all left over--so maybe we did make a little bit of money. It was sure fun to clean tack with friends--it wasn't like a chore.

  7. Hey Linda,
    I'm Joanne's daughter and love Dickinson's poetry. I was an English major in college and was lucky enough to study her work. Her gardens are supposed to be amazing and I am reading a book about them. You might like it, so here it is: The Gardens of Emily Dickinson by Judith Farr.

    One of my professors always said that to understand Dickinson's use of figurative language within a poem is pretty much to understand the poem. And yes, I've read the bird/angleworm poem and actually studied it. My professor talked about how the personification of the bird humanizes it. It is a great poem.

    I agree with you that Dickinson's poetry is very personal and can be seen as a mirror reflecting all types of images. Her imagery of nature, religion, and death offers amazing insights into the world. And also shows tensions as well. (I wrote a 7 pg. paper on tensions in her poetry.)

    I really enjoyed chatting about this and I hope you get to Amherst someday! Take care.

  8. Hi Jen--it sounds like there is a lot I could learn from you. I'd love to pick your brain! I'm actually interested in your paper if you'd ever like to share it with me. I appreciate the topic you chose--tensions in her poetry.

    The book you recommended, I ordered it just a few days ago--also another called Emily Dickinson's Gardens--by Marta McDowell. I'm looking forward to them both.

    We purchased our home a couple of years ago, but so far have only planted trees--this is my Spring for planting flowers, shrubs and, yes, grass! So, my plan is to incorporate some of the flowers from Dickinson's gardens. We have fourteen acres like, I believe, she had.

    Please, please, please, when you go--send along some pictures!! I'd appreciate it! I don't know when I'll be able to get there.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.