Paddy And The Barbwire Brand

The Picture

 

Paddy drawn by Wendy Liddle, cowboy cartoonist

The Poem

The Barbwire Brand
 
My ponies rear
has kissed the fence!
Now brandin’ him
makes no sense.
                                             © Katie Kidwell, 1994
 
from the book:  “Well Hell’
Illustrated by:  Wendy Liddle

The Story

Today, I thought I’d share the story of my last Cariboo horse. Being an Irish girl from a family of Irish names, it’s fitting his name was Paddy.  Bruce Kiskaddon would have liked him.  In his words he was the “old breed with a mustache on the lip.”

My first horse as a young girl, came from royalty. When I married I wasn’t allowed to buy anything higher than “meat price.”  Now I don’t regret the horses I owned this way, just the abuse they had suffered before me.  I know I gave them a better life for their remaining years. Paddy was one of them.
 
Paddy’s life started out right but he had the wrong trainer.  This man who “broke him” was a neighbour out our way who loved to do everything “the cowboy way”.  His reasoning was, “You gotta make them buck and then get all the buck out of them.”  This approach as most enlightened trainers know, creates a bucking horse.
 
So “broken in” Paddy returned home to his owner, a casual hobby rider.  Sensing his gentle colt was now a little uppity, he sent Paddy off to another trainer a little distance away.
 

This is where it get’s a little complicated  

The second trainer had a brother-in-law who was also a vet.  When Paddy returned home from the second go-a-round the word was, “he had the flue.”  His swollen body and inability to move was vouched for by a local range rider.  Yes she too had seen him laying down at the trainers all swollen up with…the flue.  Remember this for further on.

How I Met Paddy

I met Paddy when the Swiss owners of our ranch asked me to help find a horse for Albert.  A friend told me her neighbour didn’t want his horse and it had befriended her horse on the other side of the fence. Maybe Albert would want to take a look at him.

Albert liked him and asked what I thought.  I was concerned about the enlarged “capped” knees he had on his front legs.

“Oh, yeah,” said Paddy’s owner, “he had the flue and he can’t bend his front legs now.”

I cautioned Albert but he thought everything would be okay.

Back at the ranch, Paddy didn’t like Albert.  He didn’t like men, and threw him when he was startled by an oil spot on the pavement.  It was a hard landing for a Swiss gentleman who had never ridden before.
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One day Albert phoned me, Paddy had backed into a barbwire fence and needed doctoring and he had to go to Montana.  Would I take him back to my place and take care of the cut.
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So I did, and Paddy and I had a great three weeks together.  He was the only horse I’ve ever had that would trim your flower beds and not walk through them.
However the barbwire cut left a scar but that was nothing…
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When Albert returned he told me he was going to ship Paddy for meat so I bought him.  One day I had the “brother-in-law” vet come and inspect Paddy.  I wanted to know the real story.
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He said, “I’ve never seen the flue do that to a horse’s knees.  That horse was put on the rocks.  It’s the way he trains them.”
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Paddy lived out his life with me.
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He laid down by putting his front legs out straight in front of him.  He got up this way too.  I rode him mostly at a walk and then later I and Paddy escorted my elderly (80 plus)  neighbour “Jud” and his (30 plus) horse “Bud”.  I took coffee in a thermos and we’d ride up the hill to some tree and get off to drink and eat cookies and tell stories.  Carrots for the horses.
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It wasn’t a good feeling the few times Paddy tripped on the trail, so I rode him less and less and he got fat.  This made it harder for him to get up and down.  He never had a chance to grow old.  But he played with my husky/wolf cross, who liked to lead him, with the rope in her mouth, around the yard.  AND he was loved by my orange cat Teddy.
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Paddy got his feelings up a few times at Jud’s horses and one year reared up and got his front hoof caught on the top wire.  I counted 26 barbs with blood and hair.  Jud gave Paddy a stall in his barn and I doctored him there.  During this time Jud’s goat fell in love with him.
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The night Paddy left the stars were around the moon in a special way.
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It made me think he wasn’t wasting any time on getting over to the other side.  I told my friend Wendy about Paddy and a poem I wrote for his earlier, barbwire backup, at the ranch with Albert.   Her illustration of Paddy is here along with my poem.
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I wrote Paddy’s story here so you could know the more of it…
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© Katie Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)
© Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving

An Artists Prayer

The Story

Recently I was directed to:
 “Write an Artist’s Prayer and put it on your blog”.
I have since put it on the bar of my blog and on social media sites.  People have loved and shared it.

As an Artist we are often given what Julia Cameron calls “our marching orders”.  Have you had this experience too?

Here done up in “Canva”  (a great tool for artists) is what I wrote as “An Artists Prayer”.

 

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art

 

I Love Howard Lake

 

Katie @Howard Lake/painting
I love Howard Lake.  It is off the grid and there are no lights around the lake.
 
I put some of my father’s ashes on the lake there and later as I was to get out of the boat I mysteriously fell in…
 
You should know, I have received visitors there. The likes of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and for my friends who often listen to the earth…I once heard it there. I am afraid to describe it as I have yet to talk to them about what they heard…
Jonathan @ Howard
The fishing is great. Except the last fish I caught at Howard played dead and I’ve yet to figure out the significance of this. I let it go, at which point it came to life. Like I said, I Love Howard Lake!

Water Colour Paintings from Howard Lake

The Rhythm of Howard Lake #2
The Rhythm Of Howard Lake
The Spirit Of Howard Lake
Oneness

In the picture above “Oneness”, depending on your browser you may see an “orb”.  I did not put it there.  It showed up after drying on the back of the couch and while I was cooking supper in our motor home.  I have seen orbs in photo’s.  I did not expect to see one in a painting!

Do you have a favourite place to paint?   Here’s to your adventure painting!

©Katie Kidwell, 2018
GWJ Creative Art 

Let Life (a poem)

Background

Wendy Liddle, use to live down the road from me in a little town called Clinton.  While she lived there we got busy exchanging my cowboy gags for her drawings.  Several magical moments came out of our working together.  One was the way she sketched my cartoon on my horse Trigger.  At the time it didn’t look like me. Years later when the Mill Girls (who also hailed from Clinton) asked me to join them – that’s exactly what I looked like!  Wendy of course was long gone from town…
 
Wendy illustrated my poem, “Let Life” with  a ballerina on a horse.  How did she know?  I never told her (or anyone) I had once been a ballerina…what seemed a lifetime ago and at the other end of the country!
 
Well here is the poem from my book “Well Hell” along with Wendy’s drawing for it.

Poem and Drawing

©GWJ Creative Art, 2019

Let life
Lift your chin
Stir your heart
Dance your limbs.
Let life
Take its course…

You hold the reins;
You ride the horse.

©Katie Kidwell, 1995
Previously Published:  ©1997 Cowgirls, 100 Years of Writing the Range, edited by Thelma Poirier.  Roundup Books/Red Deer College Press

Ballerina Katie!

Katie @Gloria Bondys School of Dance, Chatham, Ontario Age 8

©Katie Kidwell, The Living of Loving
GWJ Creative Art

 

World Singing Love

©”Spirit Of Song” w.c. by Katie
Several years ago I created a web site with an invitation for the world. I called it: World Singing Love. How it works is simple.
Everyone sings the chorus. The chorus is one world. That’s right, LOVE.  The music you can click on is easy to learn and the words are right there if you want to learn the verses! 
 
The recipe for how the magic works is on the web site so I won’t repeat it here. Find out for yourself what it is. Here’s the link: 

Web Site for World Singing Love

Be in the spirit of song and let me know if the magic shows up for you and your loved ones.
©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving

Katie Sings Mother Goose

© “Four Leaf Clover” Art by Wendy Liddle from my book of Cowgirl Poetry

In Vancouver, British Columbia

In the 70’s I helped the “play therapists” in what was then the kids ward  of the Vancouver General.   Before the Children’s Hospital was built.  I brought my guitar and voice and played to the kids of all ages in all conditions.  It was heart touching and memorable.  For the young teens I played what was on the radio!

Looking back at the Mother who grabbed me and wanted me to know that her baby hadn’t slept for days….but fell asleep while I was singing!  I am reminded of another time on the ranch…when I created my nursery collage and songs and recorded them to play in a bedroom without me!  It worked too!  Maybe better because I wasn’t present to stimulate.

So I created a web site where people could go and play my recording if they needed a voice in the room for their little ones to fall asleep to.

You might surprise yourself at how many of these tunes and rhymes you already know!

Here are the Mother Goose Rhymes I recorded.

Did you notice how I changed the “Old Woman In A Shoe”?

Here are the nursery songs I recorded as a collage.

Katie sings Mother Goose has its own website. Hear the continuous loop of rhyme and song at this site and see if it helps to put your little one into happy sleep!

Let me know how it goes…

©Katie Kidwell, 2019 The Living Of Loving
©GWJ Creative Art

What I Wish They’d Invent

When the Beatles recorded Eleanor Rigby they made a lot of sad people happy someone had noticed them. The happy people paused and gave thought…yes it was sad…“All the lonely people, where do they all come from?”

Not all people who live alone are lonely. There are lonely people living within large groups of people.  Loneliness is a state of mind capable of feeding itself sad experiences for the rest of its life.

So I wish they’d invent…

A system/machine, based on the hologram, challenging loneliness. Not another dumb-down drug.

Current research says it takes 21 days for the brain to incorporate a new habit.   Programs could be tailored to client needs or one universal one.  As complicated as some people’s lives are, the foundation of brain change is probably in the factor of one.

I will go out on a limb here and say I believe it is this:

The need to sense we are receiving love and respect.

Could a hologram field change the brain’s belief in its self?

Perhaps you have heard of the research supporting:

“What we think about we experience.”

“We cannot give to others what we don’t have for ourselves first.”

“Thinking will make it so.”

Any invention to help the brain get back on its feet. To experience the world it’s missing, would have great benefits for the heart.  Once healed and re-oriented, the world could well be shocked by the people showing up on the page.  No longer suffering somewhere alone.

Perhaps this invention is already underway.  Loneliness is worth talking about.

Here’s a cool U-tube video of Paul McCartney (2009) in New York singing with his band,

Eleanor Rigby, Sing the Changes, Band on the Run

Google the lyrics to “Sing The Changes”.  Maybe this is where the invention is or how it will be discovered.

I hope this blog has got you thinking about :“what I wish they’d invent” .  Write your own essay on this and see where it leads.  As always I hope to inspire my readers towards their own creative discoveries.  

 What I Wish They’d Invent

© Kathy Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)
©Kathy Kidwell, 2019, The Living Of Loving
GWJ Creative Art

 

A Secret

The Story

This poem “The Secret” was in my mother’s Grade One Ontario Reader.  It was one of her favourite’s.  If you know who wrote it let me know.  I took the liberty of writing a lullaby for it many years ago.

For my 2017 Parkside Show “The Little Birds that Fly” I artistically arranged the poem on special paper in a special frame along with this painting, “The Cradle.”

The Painting

“The Cradle”
©GWJ Creative Art
water colour on Yupo

The Poem

A SECRET
(from the Ontario Readers First Book)

I know of a cradle, so wee and so blue,
Where a baby is sleeping this morning, —-do you?
I think he is dreaming the dearest of things —
Of songs and of sunshine, of tiny brown wings.
I’ll tell you a secret, — don’t tell where you heard, —
The cradle’s an egg, –and the baby’s a bird!

The Song “A Secret” (composed and recorded by Katie)

©Katie Kidwell, 2018 The Living Of Loving

©GWJ Creative Art

 

Testing…Testing…

I moved to Vancouver when I was 19

A high school graduate with shorthand, accounting and typing. I had always worked after school and during summers so I expected to find a great job with all my references! Excited to move away from the little cow town!

On one of my job interviews…

In downtown Vancouver I was applying for a receptionist position.  This was a company leading the way for other company’s on: “How to hire the right people for your business.”  Now I don’t remember their name.  But I do remember their office was full of packages,  pamphlets and signs for “industrial psychology.”  Something I had never heard of. They were very busy.

The test would take three hours…

I was informed at my interview I would have to undergo the testing they were teaching other company’s.  If I wanted to come back after lunch they would have the test ready and it would take 3 hours. I had a folded newspaper in my purse with the days job opportunities. I wondered if I wanted to give up most of my day to one application.


I thought about it…. 

Then I realized – Heh!  People pay big money for this and I get to do it for free.  So I came back and sat down to a stack of papers. Most of the questions were multiple choice.  When I finished – yes it was 3 hours – I went to their waiting room.  In time I was called in.

And the results of the test are…


The man behind the desk looked at me with what appeared to be a mixture of kindness and sadness.  Holding the papers in front of him he shook his head several times and then he apologized.

 

“I’m so sorry…I don’t know what to tell you. What you should do…”

You have the highest marks I have ever seen for someone in the field of writing…with music second and art third!”

He looked at me as if I should say something. I sat stunned. He continued.  “I don’t have a clue on what to advise you…maybe…(and at this he really sounded doubtful)…more schooling?” Then he really perked up: “I can tell you would never be the right applicant for an office job!”

And this was just a receptionists job… 

So I had wasted a whole day.  One part of me agreed with him.  I did love writing, music and art, BUT I had already proven myself out working in office jobs I had references for.  I had all my high school training!  I could do short hand!  And this was just a receptionists job…I kept these thoughts to myself.  I thanked him and walked out.

I like to think I went for a nice coffee…  

Today, I haven’t forgotten the atmosphere of his office, his look and his words.  I wish now I had looked deeper at what he told me.

I became Secretary to the highest paid scientist in forestry…

 
I did work in Vancouver in temp positions moving in and out of many office buildings.  In the course I learned dictaphone and telex machines and zerox. I became secretary to the highest paid research scientist in forestry in Canada at that time.  A two year hiring on Russian research called “Muka”. But in the end I became sick with agoraphobia.
 
Eventually  I became a folksinger and a multi-media artist.  My ability to juggle the work on the ranch gave me what most ranch women get. Expert ability to handle logistics. This meant I could organize shows with successful outcomes and I did!  My typing has been invaluable and I still love short hand.  But everyday I’m faced with the same dilemma my “tester” had.

 I still don’t know what to tell myself about the writing, the music and the art.

 Oh well.  All’s well that ends well.

 I hope it does.
 
© Kathy Kidwell, 2015  True to You (no longer on-line)
©The Living of Loving, 2018
 

Mystery & Magic by Katie Kidwell

“The mystery is in the magic. How the magic appears is the mystery.”
Art by Wendy Liddle for my book “Well Hell”
 

Science Class

In school, science taught me to approach Life through dissection. To view Life as a study of how things work…
 
So to figure out the Life of a Frog – I would need to dissect a dead one. I refused. How can the dissection of what is dead ever lead to how it had Life? Only it’s anatomy which is now purposeless.
 
As an artist I find Life at the centre of everything worthwhile. I accept Life as a mystery…A mystery full of magic. I live fully engaged in this because I agree with the Magician and expect the mysterious. In return, I have received a wonderful Life.
 

Direction

How does an artist find their way in this world?
 
So without taking things apart how do I find answers? I find them in direction – by having a sense of one and by listening for it.
The distilled essence of artistic vision is a direction. The sense you were given one at birth and all you need now is the discipline to follow thru. Only you have yours.
 
Agreement being the vehicle of free choice – choose now to agree with this. You were created to create by a creator.
 
Your direction is?
 
A question to ask yourself: “What does my heart really want to do?”
 
Remember: What we absolutely love we must follow or we will have no peace.
 
Note: No one ever discovers their direction through someone else’s dissection. Sorry therapists!
 

Listen

Listen to your heart. Something great is there – speaking. Learn to listen. Be patient. But mostly give your heart – Your Love.
 
The right direction?
 
You will know you are moving in the right direction when the mystery and the magic show up and take you by the hand. It might even be slight-of-hand as in: “How did that happen?”
 
Be a child…reach up for the hand reaching down.
 

Act

Now’s the time to talk about all the things you love. What is living in your heart? Is it a mystery? Be prepared for magic. Write it down as words have a way of telling you something.
 

My Personal Experience

I find the multi-media work I do comes from the direction of my heart. The station I have tuned into. The life-long love I have for the creator who lives in my heart. In mysterious and magical ways – His Life shows up and asks me to create for him. He knows I am open to listening!
 

Recently

 Creating my Christmas cards (The Snowflake Butterfly), led to writing it’s story. This happened while I was still painting the cards! So the piece of watercolour paper I was testing my colours on started taking on words to.
 
It was a matter of brush and pen working at the same time.
 
There is never a dull moment when you are truly alive in what you love. I am thankful to return the results of my “loving” to the Master of it all. There is always another assignment waiting!
 
I Only Have Questions For You…because You have the answers for You!
 
How do you feel as a creator in your world?
 
Alive or dissected?
 
Like I heard and am now saying:
 
“The mystery is in the magic. How the magic appears is the mystery.”
 
Is there something hidden in your heart? What do you truly love? Listen for direction. It’s a road map…it’s Life!
 
Enjoy the scenery…the real you is on its way!

©Katie Kidwell, The Living Of Loving, 2019
GWJ Creative Art