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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I was always in love with horses. I think most girls are.

My parents both had horses when they were growing up but I didn’t get my first horse until around age 10 (I THINK that is about how old I was). His name was Apache. He wasn’t a large horse but he was very pretty. If you remember the TV series, The Ponderosa, and you remember Little Joe’s horse, Apache was marked kind of like that horse. Even their names were somewhat similar; Little Joe’s horse was Cochise, mine was Apache…Indian related names.

My first ride on Apache was a wild ride. This was my first time alone, going off alone across the field on a horse…all by myself. And I was nervous. About ½ across the field, Apache took off, hell bent for leather. It was all I could do to hang on. We were headed for the woods, but just before the woods was an electrical fence. I don’t remember if I got him stopped or he stopped on his own. But I do remember I was in a panic! I didn’t know if I wanted to turn him around and head back towards the barn because I was afraid he’d take off like a ruptured duck again.

I remember my Dad running across the field towards us, encouraging me to do this, that and the other. I got Apache headed back and we were just about ½ ways back and Dad told me to make him stop. I stopped Apache and then HE decided he wanted to back up and back up he did. And he KEPT backing up and no amount of coaxing or clucking was going to make him go forward. The electrical fence was right behind us. Before WE got to that, Dad got to us.

Dad had me get off the horse and he said “If you want to back up, that’s what we are going to do!” He made Apache back all the way across the field…which didn’t do ME any good because by NOW, Apache had ME buffaloed….all within 10 minutes. He minded very well for Dad, but anytime I came near, he’d lay his ears back tight to his head and give me a dirty look. It didn’t matter if I had sugar in my hand or not. He did not like me.

I don’t remember how long we had Apache but I did have a couple of more horses. One was a beautiful palomino named Big Boy but my favorite was a little mare called Puddin’ Tame. She was Puddin’ for short. And she was marked similar to Apache. Puddin’ was a little sweet heart. I could do about anything with her and she LOVED to run. I even set some barrels up out in the field and away we would go. We figured she had been used for barrel racing because as soon as she felt your foot in the stirrup, she was ready to go. If you hopped on her bareback, she didn’t make a move till you asked her to.

There was a period of a couple of weeks that I didn’t dare ride Puddin’ due to a back injury (me, not her). I’d been roller skating, or attempting to anyway, and managed to fall square on my butt which hurt my tailbone and pride quite a bit. It was sore enough that I had to go to the Dr and get heat treatments on my back.

When the Dr finally said I could “resume normal activities”, I saddled Puddin’ and proceeded to put my foot in the stirrup. Little did I know at that moment, that my foot managed to get tangled up in the rope swing on the tree by where I was attempting to get on Puddin’. Puddin’ started out, thankfully at a walk. The next thing I knew I was stretched out like an arrow on a bowstring and Puddin’ was still going. My Mother was witnessing this from the kitchen window but couldn’t do anything to get there in time to help. I finally was stretched to the point that I had to let go of the saddle horn (and of course the rope around my ankle was stretched too). It flung me back like I had been on a bungee cord and I HIT the tree with a resounding THWACK!!

I had Puddin’ many years. She lived on even after I graduated from high school and on into my married years. I don’t know why it was that I wasn’t able to have her on the farm that my husband and I lived on but she stayed “at home”. She eventually got to the point that the vet had to come out and put her down. Dad had someone with a backhoe dig a hole and bury her. She was a good old gal and even though I haven’t thought about her in years, telling this story gives me a lump in my throat.

I even had a couple of more horses after Puddin’ but there was never another one like that little mare.

Were there any favorite horses in your life? Or favorite farm animals? (Don’t laugh, but I had a pet chicken too!! She would squat to be petted when you came up to her. She died of old age, right on the roost!)


  1. You were a lucky girl...a lot of girls dream about getting a horse and you got SEVERAL!!! How nice to have these nice memories.
    All I had was a few dogs, and they weren't around long...we were Air Force Brats and when we got a new assignment to move, the dogs were given away and not taken with us. I don't know why...I think my mom didn't like them...so my heart got broken a few times over that!

  2. Gary H.12:16 AM

    Hi Cathy,
    Here's something that I found that I think you and the rest of your readers will appreciate, sorry about the length of it:

    At a time when our president and other politicians tend to apologize for our country's prior actions, here's a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our country.

    Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60s when
    DeGaule decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaule said he wanted all US
    military out of France as soon as possible.

    Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?"
    DeGaule did not respond.

    When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the
    Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of
    'empire building' by George Bush.

    He answered by saying,
    "Over the years, the United States has sent many of
    its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom
    beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for
    in return is enough to bury those that did not

    There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers
    were taking part, including French and American. During a break,
    one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you
    heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft
    carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he
    intend to do, bomb them?"

    A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: "Our carriers have three
    hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are
    nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to
    shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to
    feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand
    gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a
    dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and
    from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"

    A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included
    Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French
    navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large
    group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
    Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a
    French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many
    languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, "Why is it that
    we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than
    speaking French?"

    Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the
    Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't
    have to speak German."


    Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
    At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

    “You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked

    Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

    "Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

    The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
    "Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France !"

    The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he
    quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in
    1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen
    to show a passport to."

  3. Retired One, yes I was lucky to have so many horses in my life...just unlucky to get off to a bad start!

    Gary, I may copy what you posted and put it in a Yarn post one of these days. I don't know how many people actually read the comments and I like your post!

  4. that was great gary.


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