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Terri Farley
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm LATE, but you can still enter!

Dear Readers,

Many of the teachers I talk with, nationwide, are hooked on Writing Fix, a website guaranteed to strike sparks in your imagination.

If you're a photographer, or writer, please check this out:


and let your mind grab onto the Annual Digital Photo Contest

Students & teachers are challenged to capture digital images (candid or posed) that would encourage another student to write a poem or story about the picture.
>Each May 1, winners are selected : one elementary winner, one middle school winner, one high school winner, and one teacher winner. Winning photos become part of WritingFix and winning student photographers each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
The teacher winner receives a complete set of NNWP Print Guides for their classroom. :)

If you look at these photos, please tell me what you think about the one with the fallen birthday cake! Love it!


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Friday, April 29, 2011

Sneak peek at May newsletter

Dear Readers,
If you haven't already signed up for a FREE subscription to my newsletter,
click here because the May newsletter will be out in just a few days.

Sneak preview:

> Rescue of a real Dark Sunshine!

> Terri reveals spare brain in a Texas classroom!

> HoneyBandit kicks up his heels!

> YOU can spend ten minutes inside a real family of wild horses!

> Terri's packing up to leave the U.S.!


Is Sam a horse thief? Find out as Sam's blog from last month continues


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love Letter to Libraries

Dear Readers,
When I heard that this library was in danger of closing, I decided to write about it for the SAVE SCHABERG LIBRARY's blog.
I know lots of you love libraries as much as I do, so I thought I'd share.

Schaberg was my husband’s boyhood library, the first place Cory was allowed to walk alone. Cocky with independence, he’d go striding down Alameda to Vera, then cross the Roosevelt School playground to Euclid Avenue just because he could.
Sure, he came home with an armload of books, quickly read so that he could make that trip again, but this small library gave him more than the roots of learning, it gave him the hidden gift of independence.
We live in Nevada, now, but it’s no coincidence we bought a house across the street from a rural library.

I discovered how closely my children resembled their father the day a librarian brought our dogs home. Rookie and Rosie had escaped their kennel and ended their frolic at the Verdi library. I was surprised and pleased that they knew where to go for help. Then the librarian confided that all of the hours of exercise I thought my dogs and kids were getting -- well, those ended at the library, too.
After darting down our dirt road and across the street, my kids went in to read. Rookie and Rosie, collie and German Shepherd, provided the Verdi equivalent of the New York City Public Library lions.
My children’s love of books was no surprise, but they were both a bit shy and I was delighted that they’d talked adults into keeping their visits secret.
As a pudgy girl with glasses and disabling asthma, I rarely rode bikes and played street ball with friends. I was a poor athlete, the classic “last chosen” for school teams, but I was a star at the Paramount public library. Within days of crossing the library threshold, Nancy Drew mysteries and horse books literally had my name on them, because checking out a book meant signing a card that lived inside it.
One day a librarian told me, as she stamped and stacked my books, that my name should be Phillipa, because it meant lover of horses. I was stunned. She knew I loved horses? Names had meanings? Fifty years later, I still feel the elation and wonder.
Cory grew up to be a Best-of-Gannett newspaper columnist. I grew up to write books for young readers. My daughter will soon teach high school English and my son writes brilliantly on popular culture. Books gave us affection for stories and words, but small libraries like Schaberg gave us the hidden gifts of independence, communication and self-worth.
A seed that grows a thousand blooms is rare, but neighborhood libraries are just that, growing readers and thinking human beings by the bushel. We owe it to our world to keep them alive.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Pen & Cygnet

Swans mate for life.
Female swans are called PENS.
Baby swans are called CYGNETS.
If you know any other intersting facts about swans (especially first hand), share, ok?



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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wild & Free Tourism

In early April, I walked the back roads of Nevada on a wild horse photo safari. Guided by photographer Mark Terrell, members of the Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) sketched, photographed and wondered at the beauty of wild Nevada.
During Part I of the SCBWI mentorship conference last year, two wild horses ventured near the Saint Mary's Art Center in Virginia, City and attendees' excitement led me to suggest a "horse hike" for Part 2 of the conference.
To say there was enthusiasm for the idea is an understatement.
The "horse hike" turned into a huge perk of the conference. One trek expanded to two, then three, so visitors could venture forth in small enough groups that they'd still see natural wild horse behavior.
Without exception, visitors were awed by the landscape and animals. Negative publicity had led them to expect ravaged rangelands and starving mustangs. Instead, they saw sleek wild horses, frisky foals and breathtaking basin-and-range scenery. They heard wild birdsong and smelled sagebrush they'd only read about and vowed to return with family and friends.

I want wild horses saved because I believe in their intrinsic value. Those who don't "get" the value of Nature, should be able to appreciate their money-making potential.
Multi-use of open lands must include low-impact tourism. Motels and restaurants, gas stations and gift shops -- especially in struggling rural areas -- can benefit from wild horse tourism, without up-front investment. The horses are already here and, left alone, will take care of themselves.
Wild horse tourism is a green money-maker, but virtually untapped. The SCBWI group searched Virginia City shops for wild horse memorabilia -- tshirts, mugs, books, even postcards -- and went home empty-handed.
When I snagged wild horse caps from the Wild Horse Preservation League, they became prized mementos.
Even brief glimpses of mustangs make people want to return to Nevada.
SCBWI's wild horse hike jump-started plans for an "Art of the Wild Horse" convention. Facebook, Twitter and blogpostings about the wild horse adventure have touched off wild horse fever nationwide, and in other countries.
Tourism groups in European and Scandinavia countries are at their wits ends that America thinks so little of the wild horses they can't wait to see.
Every day in Nevada, mustangs are trapped and trucked away from their ancestral lands to make way for mines, gas pipelines, tract homes and mini-storage facilities.
Such trade-offs don't benefit Nevada, but industry and the Department of the Interior have convinced law-makers to swap the rare treasure of wild horses for the mundane.
Visitors laugh in disbelief when they hear of legislation barring wild horses from drinking Nevada water, but it's no joke. AB329 has passed the Assembly and is headed for the state senate. And of course the only way to keep thirsty animals from drinking is to get rid of them.
If you agree Nevada SHOULD NOT throw away a no-cost stimulus package brought to us by Nevada's wild horses, please If you would like to E-Mail Governor Brian Sandoval by clicking here

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Exciting HONEYBANDIT update!

Dear Readers,

It was about 12:30 a.m., and I heard Bear (the dobie) on the step between the stall and our bed. A little bit annoyed, as I was almost asleep, I told him to knock it off. He persisted with his whining, and then I saw the puddle. I couldn't believe he had an accident, so I Iooked a little closer and could not believe my eyes. There was water gushing into Honey Bandit and DaBubbles stall. It looked like someone had turned on a couple of bath tub faucets. There was water on the floor under the straw, and Bear didn't want to stand in it.

So I got up and with my slippers on, mumbling just a bit (ha ha) and started into the stall. Just then I heard the most fabulous, intense thunder that literally shook the building. I absolutely love the sound of thunder, and the lack thereof in California is one of the reasons that I had wished to stay in Pennsylvania. It's like God is reminding us that he is all powerful. Honey Bandit did not share my enthusiasm for this noise, as he thought it meant he should jump through the wall. So I quieted him down, all the while amazed at the pounding of the storm on the roof. It was a sound I could have really enjoyed had not Honey Bandit's stall been trying to float away. I trudged out into the down poor. It was like standing under a waterfall. I was soaked through my jacket in seconds. The mud and water was up to my ankles and cold rivers of water poured down my back. I have to say I was not in the best mood that I have ever been in. I might even have said a couple of words that were not so nice.

It took about half an hour to dig the trenches enough so that the water would run around the building and not into the stalls. We had been doing okay for the most part with our make shift hospital/nursery through the winter. However, there have been several times where if we did not realize ahead of time that we were going to get enormous amounts of rainfall, we had some serious issues. But last night took the cake. For the first time in a long time, HB's stall was soaked and once again uninhabitable. So I stayed out in the lovely evening downpour, sloshing through the mud and the muck as I tried to redirect the flood waters. I have to say that once again it has occurred to me that if I were ever to move to a more "nursery friendly" location, I would probably not miss being at the receiving end of all the Shingletown runoff.

I finally got the mess cleaned up as best I could. Then, when I was finished muttering about the inconvenience etc. etc.. I said a big fat prayer that HB wouldn't catch a chill. This morning we completely emptied the stalls so they could dry out. At this moment he has had a lovely day where he got to go outside and play in the sun for a while, and is contentedly munching away in his fresh, clean, and yes, reasonably dried out stall.

Honey Bandit is getting more and more bounce in his step. His confidence is growing, and often times his attitude reminds me of a teenage boy. When he has to do something he doesn't really want to, he will kind of toss his head and give you that look. It is comical, because it is so clear that he is giving me attitude. He is starting to push the mini's around. This is actually quite a big feat for him. I think that is also what is boosting his confidence so much. He thinks he is a big shot because he can push the mini's around. Wait until he meets Chilly Pepper.

His coat seems to be getting darker around his neck. His mane is actually starting to grow and his tail is also growing quite a bit. Except for his "starvation tummy" (it sags because the muscles were all eaten when he was starved and the vet said in a couple years it might be normal again), he looks pretty normal. (Funny how our tummies sag cuz we eat too much and his sags cuz he starved. hmmmm what's up with that?) He has more energy when he runs and plays, but of course has nowhere near the amount the mini's do. But he definitely has more than he did.

The three of them are enjoying the fact that they have a little more room to romp and play in, now that we have expanded their pen. There is still a very large mountain lion around the neighborhood. He is spotted in the surrounding area on a semi regular basis. He walks along the road and is supposed to be huge. So the "small, young kids" aren't going out to play unless we are watching them. Since the cat already had a bite of DaBubbles, I don't want him coming back for more. (Last Thanksgiving we were eating dinner when something crashed into the chain link fence, moving it 15 feet or so, allowing Patches to get out and run around). Thank goodness whatever it was "crashed into it" as opposed to making it over it. So since people keep letting me know that the cat is still around in broad daylight, I will keep being a paranoid mommy.

I hope ya'll enjoyed the sunshine today. I know we all did. Off to get some rest. Take Care and God Bless.



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Monday, April 18, 2011

IMPORTANT Horse Trailer Loading advice from Palomino

Dear Readers,
Palomino just sent an update & though HoneyBandit is doing well, one of his wild cousins isn't.

Please READ and LEARN about horse trailer psychology from Palomino:

We need some prayers for a very special horse that belongs to a friend of mine. Her horse was severely injured when a neighbor used a "butt rope to try and force her into a trailer".
There is a very good chance that her withers are broken. She was in severe pain after she flipped over backwards onto unforgiving ground. We are grateful that she wasn't killed, but this is so unnecessary and every one out there can learn from this.
It isn't worth it to try and force a scared horse into a trailer.
Many times they end up with broken necks. Take the time (or have someone who knows how) to train your horse to safely load.
There are many ways to let the horses find out that trailers are not that scary. But it can take time. If they put two front feet in, let them "settle and think about it".
So what if they back out a couple of times?
Most of the time if you give horses a few minutes to think about what they are afraid of, they will figure out the trailer isn't going to eat them.

* * *

It is kind of interesting that when we brought that wild mare back to California, we did not "force her" into a trailer. We simply showed her that there was less pressure if she went towards the trailer. Pressure in this case = a moved arm or hand -- NOT yelling or screaming or hitting, simply giving her an "out" in the direction we wanted her to go.
You can move a wild horse (or any horse for that matter) just by your body language and the tiniest movements of your hands. If we had tried to "force" her into the trailer, all heck would have broken loose and she would have been injured, and so, most likely, would we. There is not a horsey person in the world that has not made a mistake, me included, but let's all remember not to try and force any horse into a trailer.
So please, ya'll say a prayer for this beautiful mare. She needs all of them, and so does her "mommy". I actually think her "mommy" is suffering worse than the horse, because it is so hard to see our beloved animals in pain.
Good news:
Honey Bandit now has about twice the room to play off of his "nursery". He, Patches and DaBubbles had a blast. They love to play "ring around the tree", and now they have another one to play around. They're having galloping good times!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bloomburg, Texas = warm & friendly

I loved this school visit and I can't wait to post photos of my with staff & students, so here's what greeted me. Look around while you're "here" and see if the setting looks like what you think of when you imagine Texas!
Happy trails,

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Silver Lining for a Golden Filly

at left, March photo, Lisa Friday
below, April photo, BLM

Dear Readers,
Did you see the injured buckskin filly in Lisa Ann Friday's March 15 video of the Utah BLM corrals? The Cloud Foundation made the footage public last week and journalists worldwide recognized a story which had to be shared.
I was still in Texas when I posted my Saturday, April 9 blog about the mud and blood in Butterfield corrals. Watching from the clean warmth of my Dallas hotel room, I felt guilty until I flashed on the day before.
For 6+ hours I'd been "chauffeured" across Texas by Sherry, a smart, funny, kind-hearted school librarian and her tolerant husband Bill. On our way to Bloomburg school (250 K-12 students), we talked about everything, including Sherry's yearning for her own DARK SUNSHINE - a buckskin mustang. And there she was, in need of rescue.
Phone calls blazed and emails bounced between Nevada, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
TODAY I learned Sherry and Bill have been approved to adopt the filly. Bill is designing a ranch environment for her. Sherry is fielding student offers to visit and comfort the filly -- young hearts reaching out to a wild heart.
When she arrives next month, the mustang will be called Wild Cat in honor of the Bloomburg school mascot.
I believe Bloomburg students are natural storytellers. I believe Wild Cat will become part of local lore, and the story of her life will change the lives of her kind.
Happy trails,

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Texas Hand Jive

Lucky me to meet folks from
Rocky Top Equine Therapy, They
support literacy, kids, wounded warriors & horses in Keller, Texas

Dear Readers,
In college, when I was learning to be a teacher, I ran across the term "excessive gesticulation." My professor applied the term to students who use their hands
A LOT when speaking. It's a symptom of...well, tell you later.
In the meantime, you can read an article about my visit to Texas classrooms -- sponsored by the Texas Rangers baseball team, JC Penney and Storyopolis Entertainment. There's also a video of me talking with my hands to a bunch of great Arlington, Texas students here:


Happy trails,

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

HoneyBandit: Getting to be a Big Boy

Dear Readers,
As I write this, Palomino Armstrong and her husband Matt are helping yet another wild horse. Photographer Cat Kindsfather rescued a beautiful wild mare (a Medicine Hat like my GhostDancer) she named Oshunnah and Palomino and Matt are helping Cat move her mustang to the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown,California, where she'll soon be roaming free with Ghost Dancer, Sage, the real Phantom and many other wild horses, on 5,000 fenced acres.
Last I heard, Oshunnah was none too happy about being back in a horse trailer, but her human helpers think she'll feel it was worth it when she's set free.
Here is a HONEYBANDIT update Palomino wrote earlier this week:

Tuesday was an absolutely fabulous day here. The sun was shining and warm and the horses were kicking up their heels. The mustangs in the upper field were running and bucking and chasing each other up and down. You could actually feel their joy and excitement as their feet pounded up and down the hill, their tails flying, their necks arched as they chased each other.

Honey Bandit thought he should do that to. He was striking out and prancing around his pen. He started chasing DaBubbles and they were flying and kicking and I got a little bit nervous that one of those feet might connect and send DaBubbles to China. So we put Honey Bandit, Dabubbles and Patches out in their "play area". All the way to the corral, Honey Bandit had his neck arched, and it was tight. He was ready to panic if he could only find something. He searched side to side, arching that neck like their was danger. But mean old mom kept making him stop and stand every time he was about to "explode". I took all his fun out of it. So he had to walk over there like a gentlemen, and if something scared him he had to stop and check it out until he calmed down. But he really really wanted an excuse to "freak out".

So the three of them ran their little butts off. They bucked and kicked and chased each other and skidded to a stop and had the absolute best time. After awhile, we had to go inside, and they didn't think we needed to end their time yet. So we got Patches and Dabubbles and walked over to the gate and started out. I knew HB wouldn't be able to stand being left behind, and sure enough about 30 seconds later he ran to the gate and skidded to a stop right in front of me, almost as if he was asking me to bring him back. I love it when they do that. But one of these days he will turn into a big shot like Chilly Pepper and won't be so dependent. Then it will be trickier.

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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mud & Blood: Wild Horses' Hellish Spring at BLM's Butterfield

Dear Readers,
I enjoy the cozy days and gentle rains of early spring, but after seeing what's happening in the government's wild horse corrals near Salt Lake City, I feel guilty and gloomy. BLM speaks of rescuing mustangs to create healthy horses and healthy rangelands. After seeing this, you'll find it hard to believe anything they say.

Eye-Witness video of wild horses at Butterfield

Please use the email link and phone number at the end of the film to state your opinion.

The horses can't speak for themselves, but their eyes appeal to you to save them.
Please use your head and heart to help,

p.s. here's what I wrote; feel free to borrow

I generally enjoy the showers of April. I love hiking the range in northern Nevada to see wildflowers and wild horse herds full of new foals.
Video shot at BLM's Butterfield Short Term holding corrals on March 15, 2011 shows a hellish spring for wild horses. These conditions are cruel and unhealthy for any species.
Please get some dry soil in there for the horses.
I've made loud public comments blaming independent contractors for most of the abuse of America's wild horses, but these animals are in the hands of BLM. Please step up and do what's right.
Terri Farley

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Believe Your Eyes about Wild Horses

"The Warning--Stallion Style"
all photos by Cat Kindsfather

This mustang stallion is the first line of defense for his family, but he needs YOU to back him up!
I've prioritized the items below, so that you can use your time wisely.


1. If you only have a few minutes, LEARN about tax-payer funded round-ups of America's wild horses click this link and watch this with your own eyes. Then talk about it. Tell everyone, because they can't care, if they don't know.

NO TIME TO DO MORE? This is a reference document. Print out this page. Put it by your computer. Next time, before you waste an hour online, spend 3 minutes making your world someplace you still want to live when you're old.

2. Only want to visit one website about wild horses? I trust: American Wild Horse Preservation. It's known as the United Nations of Wild Horse Advocacy since most respected humane groups work here to screen information and work together. It includes statistics, photographs, eye-witness observations, and solutions.

Tell lawmakers you are watching

3. Nevada has more wild horses than any other state. Ask the governor to keep them running free and to allow them to drink Nevada water.
Want to see mustangs when you visit Nevada? Tell him. Tourism dollar$ are very important to this state.
Email Governor Sandoval of Nevada

4. Your legislators can't act for you if you don't tell them what you want. In just days, Congress may give BLM millions more dollars for disastrous round-ups. Would you rather have your tax money go to education? Health care? Jobs? Say so.
The process below, took me 3 minutes. I timed it.
a) CLICK HERE OR paste in your browser
b) go down the page to the space for ZIP CODE and enter it
c) an automatic email comes up. You can just sign it with your information, but if you change the subject line and personalize the first paragraph (ex: Failure and cruelty wouldn't be rewarded with a raise in most jobs, so why should the taxpayers give the BLM millions more?) it may get more attention.

5. Write to Robert Abbey, the Director of the Bureau of Land Management and tell him what you think of wild horse round-ups. Tell him any GOOD the BLM does is hidden by the ugly cloud created by independent helicopter contractors hired with your tax dollars One sentence will do it!
BLM Director Bob Abbey

6. Keep up! Learn what's going on by joining a : mailing list
you can trust

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Friday, April 01, 2011

My April Newsletter is out!

Read about books & Boise, Idaho's Young Writers, Jake's way of working with horses as practiced by real life RED HORSE NATION and enter my trivia contest! Most of all -- have fun!

April News Letter

Happy trails,

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