The Horse Report

Don’t let the beauty fool you, it’s freaking cold!

Freeze warnings, wind advisories, it’s April 7th for crying out loud!  The daffodil army and pansy platoon are laughing all the way until next March.  Henrietta Hosta and all of her bridge playing buddies in the enchanted flower garden are just going to have to ride the storm out for a few days.  Thankfully, I’ve played this southern Indiana “gotcha” spring game many times over the years.  I have many years of failed plants and a Brinks truck worth of money invested just to prove I’m no master gardener.  No seeds in the ground for me yet this year though, except for my three strains of hippy lettuce, but it’s safely tucked away in the garage in a planter along with a couple of other things we have put in pots.

These babies are headed to an all inclusive vacation in the garage!

My special hybrid lettuce for my Colorado followers!

Was Punxutawney Phil spiking his coffee with Kahlua or what last February?  Early spring, my ass!  The latest I can remember it snowing in this sector of the planet was on derby day many moons ago—that  would be the first Saturday in May.  Kentuckians, you better know what day the Derby is held or you will be banished to West Virginia.  Hopefully after this weekend it’s back to cargo shorts, no show socks, and T-shirts to show off my bulging biceps and shapely legs.  I’ve been training hard for my upcoming photo shoot for a future piece in Life magazine featuring America’s sexiest bloggers.  Or I just hate wearing a winter coat in April.

This will be a daily pic until they lose, to quote Bull Durham“Never eff with a streak!”

I finally get to rescue Sloane this weekend, and not a moment too soon!  I’m reaching out to anyone that has done this whole separate family thing before.  Sloane, for once, got to escape Boredom, USA: Population three for a night and got to spend the day at the American Girl Doll store in Nashville, TN today.  From the phone call I received before bedtime, it sounds like she had an absolute blast.  I would show you pictures, but of course I don’t have any because that would involve the foreign concept of co-parenting.  Rumor has it that it does exist; I’m still a tad bit skeptical of it myself, but my little mini me did manage to sneak one picture in to me.

Parenting tip 101 from Mr. Skipah….If an American Girl Doll catalog shows up in your mailbox throw it away before your daughter ever sees it!  Ivy League educations are cheaper!

Quick disclaimer:  I’m currently living in sin if you listen to some 1930’s bible thumper, different era and different times.  I get that, however, if Miss Madison showed up tomorrow with a Shetland pony for Miss Madison Jr. and a Van Halen starter kit for the Turtle Man, I’m going to say, “Where do you want me to set up the stable and studio?”  I would also probably ask “What all were you doing when you were at that teacher conference in Vegas again?”, but that is beside the point.  Those are her children, and as long as we have the lights on and food to eat, it’s not my place to question what she spent on her children.  If I show up with a live Siberian tiger for Sloane, I would expect the same courtesy.

Apparently it doesn’t work like that in Sloane’s neck of the woods.  She was rambling on and on about all of her new found American Girl Doll loot like I’m describing the 1990 Cincinnati Reds season when I was a kid.  About the time I think she is ready to end the phone call so she can play with her new toy horse she got from there, she informs me she doesn’t get to play with it until tomorrow.  I ask the usual parenting questions of “Did you lose that opportunity because you misbehaved?”, “Nope dad, I didn’t want to upset my stepdad if he saw all the stuff I got”, I’m paraphrasing these quotes, but the gist is he would have lost his mind if he saw how much she was spoiled today.

She’s eight and has been through the ringer since she was six.  She’s learned what an affair is all on her own (calm down, it wasn’t me) and now is being taught to fear the wrath of adults because she got too many toys on a mini vacation she got to take today.  This is asinine!  Let’s teach an eight-year-old it’s O.K. to hide stuff from an authority figure for fear of backlash when all she wants to do is play with her new toy. Freaking spare me already!  The fact she has to be raised in this culture of deceit is upsetting and very troubling and right now there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it!

About it for tonight, just yet another episode in the complete and utter mystery that is known as life.  One day, after I get out of my own legal peccadillos (nothing criminal), I’m setting up some kind of network for dads that have been and are wronged.  We get stereotyped in a bad light because of all the other dumb men before us.  Modern family law still uses archaic rules, and men are the ones made to suffer.  Bring on the weekend already, Sloane has nothing to fear when she is home with me!


Send Skipah Sailing!


  1. Those flowers are so adorable so…. you can have your little one helping you with those instead of the dolls. It is not only educating but fun and connecting to the nature too!


  2. Stupid WordPress, I’ve tried to figure out what works best. I need to tear this site down and rebuild it again with a new design and fix some of these “mechanical” issues, damn job keeps getting in the way!

  3. Sorry to comment twice on the same post, but as I was thinking about your last paragraph, I suddenly remembered something I’d read on the Internet about fathers who were campaigning for equal rights and conduct protests by dressing up as superheroes and disrupting things. I couldn’t remember if it was in Australia or the UK, but when I Googled it, it was the latter.

    This wasn’t the original article I read, but it covers the same story:

    I’m not suggesting you don a mask and cape, but I was just interested to find out how widespread the issue is around the world and the extremes to which some people are driven just to get a bit of notice.

    Incidentally, I hope your photo shoot in Life about America’s Sexiest Bloggers goes well. They don’t have anything like that where I live, which is a shame since I could definitely make the grade. I’d just paste a photo of Brad Pitt to the bag on my head and I’d be in.

  4. Be very afraid! Her other family is teaching her to hide things from the other adults in her life. If she ever gets drawn into doing illegal drugs, she already has practice at hiding her actions! Not a good thing for little kids to learn.

    Thankfully, so far she seems to be pretty open with you still! The smart farmers in southern IL have not planted any corn this early yet this year. (Apparently losing hundreds in trying to plant early last year taught them a much needed lesson!) Kinda hard to fit an entire field in a garage, so they have to be content spreading anhydrous on the fields along with manure!

  5. You know, I had typed that Target had their version, as well. But, your website, my computer doesn’t like all the advertisements because it always locks up and will error out. I replied 3X no lie. The first two messages disappeared. Most of the time, I just say F it. I was bound and determined today, though, to comment. So I persevered. However, replying to your comment seems easier.

  6. Oh I know, Target has something also, unfortunately that stuff sells out like hot cakes! Not my problem though the her A.G. collection is with the evil empire.

  7. Walmart has the “MY LIfe” version that is very similar to American Girl, but much more affordable. And all the extra accessories probably will fit the American girl dolls. (FYI)

  8. That place is crazy what they charge!

  9. BRRRR, March/April is always tricky around here. Thanks for the kind words look forward to reading more your site.

  10. That’s what every one tells me, but it is a helpless feeling a times.

  11. Sorry about all. Hide the catalogues, you’ll find yourself in for long entreaties. My daughter is grown, but nowI want one of those dolls for myself.

  12. Thanks Gary for sharing from your heart. This has got to be so extremely frustrating and difficult. I am a father of 4 who are now grown up as young adults.

    When I read of the situations of others, I am so grateful for what I have.

    No gardening for me until the 2nd week of June up here in Canada. Even talking a -11C (12F) for tonight. Definitely a long way to go.

    Please take care,


  13. Hang tough and know that you’ve got more influence on that little girl than it feels like you have.

  14. Glad you get to have the weekend with Sloane. This stepdad thing is awful!

  15. I inquired but freaking customs and tariffs. They make life so not fun.

  16. It’s great that you’re going to get to be with Sloane this weekend. Incidentally, a live Siberian tiger would make an awesome present. It’s always nice to have a gift you can take to school and have eat anyone who’s mean to you.

  17. Sounds like that marriage is off to a great start, she’s had a step dad for less than a year and they have to sneak stuff into the house. #Signmeup

  18. They will one day Anne :).

  19. As a victim to one of those asinine step-dads myself, this truly pisses me off! Just not right, AT ALL! I think it’s time for Sloane to start learning some form of martial arts to give that guy a swift kick in the nads…..then the face as he’s bent over and wheezing.

    Anyway, good luck with the plants and your team!

  20. It is awful to agonize from afar. I wish things could change for you.

  21. I know there are some moms that get a crap deal also, my heart aches for you. Sloane would love nothing better than to live with me and has blamed herself in the past for not being able to. The whole process is ass backwards! We don’t get much snow in southern Indiana, damn sure not in April!

  22. I wish you were makin it up! 🙁

  23. Dude, I felt you tore a page right out of my life about this whole co parenting gig. My Oldest, he’s 14, got ripped away from me when he was 9 by manipulation and him thinking it was “disney land dad” (not his fault) and he wants to come back to me so bad because of the crap he’s being put through with his father and stepmother. It is so hard to be cordial when all you want to do is rip them a new one. I have no choice but to stand back and watch all this until he is 18. I know fathers get stigmatized but I do believe there are some mothers who get the same treatment. I may one day tell my story when I’m not so bitter but until them I’ll keep journaling.
    On another note this weather is crazy but I live in south Texas where snow is like unicorns!

  24. I almost pulled the trigger a couple of weekends ago when you know it was freaking 80, but talked myself out of it. As for the horse bit, really WTF, you let your child get a new toy and she doesn’t get to play with it until the next day when someone goes to work. I’ve said for almost two years I don’t make this shit up!

  25. Well that horse bit is some bs right there! Who would have the nerve to complain about a child’s toys?
    They are ridiculously expensive, but my girls have one, and Moo even has a horse. Moo’s the only one who continues to love hers, but just playing with them a year is worth the investment, I think. (For kids who like dolls anyway.)
    It’s so cold! I couldn’t believe it, but I went to take the girls to school and had to get back out of the car and scrape! Scrape! lol Winter was strangely warm and now spring is colder than usual!
    My seedlings are inside as well, cause as you say, This ain’t my first rodeo, either!
    (Tempted to plant pansies tho…really tempted…but not this weekend, cause Brrr!)

Tell Skipah all about it!