The KidPidge is one of those capable women who typify my mother's Minnesota family. Her mother was my mother's favorite cousin on my mother's dad's side. Pidge is in the company of Mom's half-sisters, Mavis, Jean, and Joyce, farmwomen all who can cook and sew circles around me and know things about machinery, livestock, gardening, bookkeeping, child-rearing, and plain old hard work that are the stuff that makes America great.

Pidge keeps a stable of three horses. Here's her newest one, called The Kid. Pidge has been pondering how to foster an atmosphere where all three horses get along. She commented last summer:

"I was hoping The Kid would be a pal to Silky, who gets bullied by Starlet, but alas, he pushes poor timid Silky around too. Tonight I caught him snapping at her, so Silky now gets to bunk by herself at night, and the Kid has to be with Starlet, who is making it pretty clear to him she's the boss and will take a chunk out of him whenever she feels the urge to do so. At least Starlet has started to be a little nicer to Silky now that she has a new whipping boy. My other gelding was a real burden to take care of (Pidge is referring to the critter that crushed her against a fence, with resultant life-threatening injuries), but the good thing was he loved both mares and was kind to them both even though he was the boss. Never picked on them or snapped at them. So not sure how things will work out this winter. Hope I don't have to do some new construction to accomodate these incompatible personalities."

A week or so ago, Pidge wrote that "I learned an interesting fact...if your nose touches an electric fence, it makes your teeth fillings feel like they are on fire.

"I think I am going to have to arrange separate quarters for my Silky mare. She has Cushings disease, not uncommon in old horses, and weight is just melting off her despite my efforts at feeding her a high-calorie diet three times a day. Seems that she will need to have private quarters--at least during the night--so I can give her all the alfalfa hay she can eat without competition. I had hoped The Kid would get along well with the boss mare, so timid Silky can have her own space and the other two could share, but it's not to be. Starlet, the boss mare, just hates the new horse and he gets forced outside into the cold rain and shivers violently."