Friday, April 23, 2010


The Anniversary of
the Death of 3 Strikes Ranch
.....there is a lot of discussion happening
about what should the actual date be
which would mark the anniversary of the
saving of the horses that remained
in the hands of Jason Meduna,
or you could call it the
end of 3 Strikes Mustang Ranch.
It would seem natural that the date would be when
the last surviving horse was removed from the hell hole
that engulfed so many others; a final count that will
never be known for sure as to how many perished.
We will never know how many innocent babies died,
out in those sand dunes of Nebraska.
The land so abused, as abused as the horses;
in the care of Meduna and his wife.
For myself, the first anniversary was March 6 of 2010.
I started taking pictures long before that day of March 6, 2009,
but it was that Friday afternoon that he walked
out of the trailer, and noticed me on my 4-wheeler.
It was Friday, March 6, that he saw me taking pictures.
It was that afternoon:
he knew that I knew.

This picture was taken Saturday, April 10, 2010

It is already different from when I first saw it earlier. My mom stands in the background. That day Mom, Dad, and I went to the bone pile. They had never seen it; in person. As we crested the hill and the bones were in their view for the first time, there was a little gasp. My dad said, "That's not right." My mom said, "Oh my God." It is hard to imagine someone just dragging a bunch of horses to a pile and leaving them to rot. It's hard to imagine until you stand at the pile, and those bones become bodies of helpless, loving and innocent horses. Horses of all ages. A baby laying by it's mom in bones over the hill. A sight that those who were out there could have seen, if they just could have been allowed off the trail, because the trail was so close. Many would have driven right by this pile....they did not hear the cries of the horses. They did not listen. They listened to Jason. Now, people are listening. The horses and burros will always be remembered. Time will go on, more horses will have unimaginable endings somewhere else, but some horses will be saved.... By loving, unselfish people who do what they do, because they are called? or because they just know they are needed. So in their compassion they reach out and give all they can to help. They do this time and time again. The strength they have is something I cannot imagine; but it is something I could only hope to be blessed with. Thank you Mom and Dad for all you helped me with during this whole entire ordeal. And thank all the people who had anything to do with the saving of these wonderful animals. You can find more information about the survivors on various sites. Start with the NE200:

One of my favorite songs, "Bless the Beasts and the Children"...I think I'll go sit down at my piano now. I haven't played this in ages. I imagine I'll have a whole new perspective on the song.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breaking In.....Our own house.....

Give me a home

where the cows do roam,

Where the deer and the antelope

eat our trees.

Where seldom is heard,

a discouraging word

(who were these people?)

And we have way too many

50 mile per hour days' breeze.

Home, home on the ranch,

where we shouldn't have to lock the house tight-

But there's someone near by,

We don't see eye to eye,

So our home gets locked up at night.

Thank heavens, the ending of that song does not apply here anymore.


Now we are back to pretty much normal around here, not that I should advertise that our house is sometimes unlocked (and it's probably not advisable to take a chance and see if it is locked or not, in the middle of the night, as we have become accustomed to keeping ourselves prepared) but life is back to not getting up in the middle of the night to look out windows and see if there are any 'prowlers'. But speaking of locking doors.......


Starting about this time, last year: we did lock our windows, our screens, our sliders, and our doors, garage doors included. Many times in the morning, I wouldn't get the south door of our house unlocked, and you know how you think a door's going to open when you put your body into it? I don't know how many times I greeted Justin or Josh with a, 'Ooops, forgot to unlock it.' I all but forced them to lock their doors; they did during crucial times (when a neighbor returned from jail, or when horses were removed from a neighbor's - times like that especially, we were all 'buttoned up' pretty tight.)


I remember it well, one morning last April in 2009- Don was already outside. Calving time gets us out the door pretty early. I was zipping around, gathering the garbage to take outside. Just as Don was walking up to the porch, I stepped out with my trash bag, slamming the door behind me.......


"Oh no", was all I said, at first.

Don looked at me with that puzzled look of why I would say 'oh no', until slowly, the realization of what I must mean soaked in. "You didn't", I think was all he said- at first.

"Hold on, we'll get in." Yes, that was me, in my totally optimistic voice.

So, around the back to the slider. Locked. Windows, all wonderfully and securely, locked. Garage doors, locked.

"Wait!" I exclaimed, "I was washing the upstairs windows....(the ones above the kitchen) ..... maybe I didn't put.... no.....the screen's back on."

Don, "Did you lock the windows up there?"

Me, "Of course."

Don, "Why do you lock the windows on the 2nd story?"

Me, "Are you kidding? I lock everything."

Don, "Of course. I thought you put a key to the door outside somewhere?"

Me, sort of sheepishly, "I did."

"Where is it?"

"In the house."

"Of course."


"Oh my gosh wait!...I just remembered I had the garden hose out the garage window to fill the horse tank! I don't think I locked it." (I was hoping I was right)


What do you know, I hadn't even put the screen on either. Eeeks, glad we were all OK. So at least we could get into our house, without breaking a window...


(The accessible window was the one by the grill.)

I was just so pleased. Don was still grumbling because I was locking everything...because of our circumstances. We had been through enough that 'the neighbor thing' was starting to get on everyone's nerves over here. Then because of that, I had locked ourselves out of our house.


Now the big problem, how to get in. We stood pondering for a few seconds with thoughts of, "I don't believe this" and "I hope no one drives up". (Actually, I sort of wish I had my camera with me). - Our first consideration was who would go thru the window. Considering the fact that I am 5'1" and Don is 5' 10"....BUT..... the bottom of the window was at 55". That means I am only 6" taller than the area I had to start from. Don was already half way up there. Yet, I, so bravely volunteered, "I'll climb through, I'm the one that locked the door." Don so generously reminded me, "Now how are you going to get down on the other side, once you get up there?" "I'll just slide, or fall," I said.

Then, of course, he had to remind me that I don't fall too gracefully. But it wasn't a 'fall'... when Justin was about 3 years old, I got BUCKED off a horse we were trying out and broke both my wrists. Yes, both at the same time. Yes, you should pity my mom. I stayed in town with her so she could help me. Oh, my poor mom. Anyway....

So Don had to remind me that I would probably kill myself taking a dive into the garage from the window. Fine. Next problem: the opening was 16" tall, by 21" wide. And this 5'10" man was going to maneuver his body into the 55" tall, 16" x 21" opening. This is the part where I wish I had my camera! He said to 'give him a lift'. Here's the part where I started giggling. I clasped my hands together, he put a foot in, and I cracked up. He was struggling to get up without kicking me, I was pushing everywhere.

"Quit laughing."

"I can't help it. What if Josh or Josie look out their window and see you trying to get in the window?" This was about the time I was pushing up on his behind, then he made it to the base of the window. Now it was a matter of getting his legs in through the opening. One leg went in, then the other was almost..... but not quite..... "Push my foot through." Another crack up. "Stop laughing and push my foot through." "You should see yourself." So I pushed his foot through, it didn't want to go too easily, it was sort of wedged in. Now his head and shoulder and one leg were in. "I'm sorry I'm laughing, but you would too if you could see yourself." "You know we could go get a ladder, but that would be like a guy thing asking for directions, huh?" Luckily I didn't have anything sharp along the wall when he got in. I did say, "be careful." I thought that was nice of me.

I'm sure it's much funnier to me, it's one of those, 'you just had to be there' things. But it still makes me laugh. Don would just say something like, "yea, you laugh now." That makes me crack up more.

So, through bad times, there is usually something to make us smile. But dang it, I wish I would have had my camera. I do have keys to the doors, I think they're still in the kitchen. I didn't think it wise to ask him to re-enact it for photo op purposes. I'll just have my memories.