Saturday, April 07, 2007

We have snow on the ground! I enjoyed the snow flurries yesterday but poor Steve, with his still thin island blood, was chilled to the bone. However, it was his idea to go stand in line for a collector's bottle of Kentucky bourbon at 8:30 in the morning. He already had his ticket and came home to get me out of a nice cozy bed where I was reading a new Vivian Vande Velde collection of deliciously scary horror stories. After we came home to warm up and have breakfast we decided to run some errands - more shelf liner for the kitchen and bathrooms - and then Steve decided we were going to be true Kentuckians and we headed to the Keeneland Race Track for the opening day of the horse races. I was bundled up in a long wool coat, gloves and a hat and still froze my bippy sitting up in the stands - except for when I was jumping up and down and screaming for my horses, which never won! Thank goodness we were only betting the minimum, $2 on a horse, as I picked mine by the name I liked the best. Not a good way to win money, but that's not the point for us. It is just fun to watch the horses and people watching is... interesting to say the least. It had to be in the low 30s and there was young woman in a tube top! We left after the 4th race and it had begun to snow as we walked back to the car and snowed the rest of the afternoon and evening, much to Sophie's dismay. She had never seen snow before and wasn't about to go out on the deck with white stuff covering it!

Well since I am in a horsey mood this morning I have been thinking about my favorite horse books. When Mic was in upper elementary school he went through a Walter Farley phase and read every single title in the Black Stallion series. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the book was written in 1941 and that Walter Farley was no longer alive when he wrote to him. I guess Random House felt the same way as they had a "form letter" that they responded with. Mic was delighted to get a letter from his favorite author so I just let it be. What I really like about these books is that it is a boy and his horse. Many of the horse books are "girly" books. Wish I had remembered Island Stallion as it is set on a Caribbean island. I had students in the Virgin Islands who were into horses. There was a small horse track on St. Thomas, which was in very sad shape and the same horse always won, but the West Indians loved the races there too. There was a group of women on the island who rescued the race horses when they were past their prime for racing. A very sad situation. Keeping a horse on a Caribbean island is not exactly cheap. And land is at a premium.

Sadly, Rodman Philbrick's Fire Pony is out of print, but it is also a great horse book for guys. Reminds me a bit of Tex by S.E. Hinton with a younger brother idolizing an older brother who has more than a few problems. Eleven-year-old Roy's older brother Joe "rescues" him from a foster home and they end up on the Bar None ranch, where Roy hopes they can settle in. But Joe has a fascination with fire which is going to put an end to their idyllic days of working horses. Philbrick is better know for Freak the Mighty and The Last Book in the Universe, which are also great MS level books, but we all have a favorite by an author and Fire Pony is my favorite Philbrick book, but I admit I haven't read all of his novels.

Steve is making yummy breakfast burritos and the aroma of coffee is wafting by my nose from the kitchen so I'm headed for my next caffeine fix. Already had my Diet Coke for the morning.