Saturday, December 31, 2016

Parting shots

In keeping with Braymere blog tradition, the last post of the year is an all photo extravaganza. Happy New Year's Eve, and here's hoping for a happier 2017!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Opening day

What do you open the day after Christmas?

If you grew up in Los Angeles County, you know the answer to this one. It's Santa Anita, of course!
It's been a long time since one of my trips to California has overlapped with a racing meet. As much as I would have loved to have spent all of opening day at the track, this was supposed to be a family vacation so I settled for breakfast at Clockers' Corner...
with Colleen, Seth, Ryan and James.
Doesn't Ryan look excited?  
The view from our table was pretty good, but not quite good enough for me.
I spent most of my time at the rail...
photographing the racehorses...
and lead ponies. 
For reasons I no longer remember, I neglected to bring my longest and best lens with me to California.
I had to make do with my old, short lens.
I missed some shots here and there, but mostly, it did pretty well.
Next time, however, I'll be sure to pack the right equipment! 
Before we left, we also spent a little time perusing sales offerings...
One each please!...
checking out Santa Anita's carriage collection,
petting the Clydesdales... 
and looking at the statues. 
John Henry
This was a really fun way to spend a morning.
Thank you to my family for (once again) enabling me. Someday, perhaps, we really will have a family vacation that doesn't include horses!

Thursday, December 29, 2016


On Christmas Eve, one of my mother's neighbors came over to drop off a plate of holiday cookies. She was accompanied by her daughter, Hannah. Mom asked Hannah what she wanted for Christmas, and Hannah said, "A horse."

At this point, I got involved in the conversation. It turned that, until fairly recently, Hannah's family had owned a horse. They'd kept it near the Loma Alta ring in Altadena, where I'd once ridden Snickers, Navajo, Chipper and others. We shared a few stories, and before she left, I told Hannah that I thought Santa would bring her a pony.

I didn't say what kind of pony.

The real, live, breathing ones don't actually make good gifts, but plastic ponies are a different matter entirely. I still have a small stash of Breyers living in my Mom's basement. Most are treasured members of my carpet herd and not candidates for re-homing, but I was able to find a couple I could (just) bare to part with.
I also decided to give her my old Breyer barn.
With Ryan's help, I hauled everything upstairs, cleaned it up a little and then we carried the barn and horses to Hannah's house.
No one was home, so we left everything on the front porch. 
Oh, how I would have loved a surprise like this when I was Hannah's age! I wish I could have seen her face when she came home and found it.
I know I'll miss seeing those horses next time I'm in California, but I have no regrets. Sometimes giving really is better than getting or keeping. I hope Hannah enjoys owning Nick of Time and Love N Kisses as much as I did.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Family Christmas

My family and I...
spent Christmas weekend with my Mom...
at her home in beautiful Southern California.
My sisters were there, too,
and Erin...
brought her little dog, Bobo.
We spent a lot of time walking in nearby Eaton Canyon,
checking in with our favorite neighbors
picking fruit, 
and visiting some of my old haunts.
I also managed to find a few horses.
Maybe it was more than a few.
So happy!
It's good to be home again, but that was a fun five days!