Thursday, March 22, 2012

Horses In Kitchens

Simon, the Friesian, stable mate to Marcello (I can't locate a pic of Marcello)
And most people can't tell one big black Friesian from another.  I can.








I am sure this will go down in my book of life as one of my favorite stories:
I saw the bringing of a horse into the kitchen as a way to a new kitchen.  What kind of an idiot thinks like that?  Well, me, of course.  No, I was not just hoping the horse would knock down all the walls.  I was hoping that Martha Stewart would see the video as part of a contest for a whole kitchen re-do, and give ME the new kitchen of my dreams.    It took a little convincing to bring the husband and the horse owner in on my plan.  This owner didn't usually even take her horses out of their pastures, much less down the long drive, up porch steps and into a strange, green, floral and very cramped space, much smaller than their stalls.  We laugh now that the day we did this, January 1st, it may have looked to anyone watching like we were suffering from a little too much New Years' Eve alcohol.  But no, completely sober, I promise.  OK so why would Martha be impressed by this?  Why the horse?  Those who know Martha know about her well-loved Friesian horses.  So, looking at the incredible Friesians across the street I started to hatch a plan to have one come down and julst look through the window into my mess of a kitchen.   I really can't remember if it was my idea or Danielle's (the owner/breeder) to bring Marcello, the two-year old stallion right up the steps and into the kitchen.  But before he even headed down the long drive, we knew that was our goal.  We just thought it would be funny to see him slurping something up out of my oversized antique sink.  So video camera running we did just that.  Up three steps--through the mud room--into the kitchen area, that's two doorways.  Pretty tight for a two year old stallion of a very large breed.  Hooves big as dinner plates with all that black feathering.  Beautiful arching neck and flowing mane.  
We put his favorite grain in the old farmhouse sink and he was a happy camper.  Not one big hoof through a cupboard (as if that would have mattered, not).  On his exit he cleared all three stairs in one giant leap off the porch.  Nice touch, Marcello.  (I have the video, but you may have to come to my house to view it, as I am completely stupid about making it into a form to add to this blog.  With a little help one day, I will try to add it here.) 
Also, one other disclaimer:  this is not the sink.  Exactly like this one though.  This is my second big farmhouse sink.  Yes, I am the lucky owner of two of these gems.  (Sold the first one). This one has just been removed from an upstairs room and is for sale now.  Any takers?  Look at April's Country Living and see the story on page 101.  That woman bought a whole house just to own a sink just like this one.
The end to the story is that Danielle and I waited with great anticipation watching the Live surprise of the new kitchen winner on the Martha Show.  But they didn't show up at my door.  A woman with incredibly bad wallpaper in NJ won my new kitchen.   And we had to wing it on our own.   Good thing the husband is an architect, super builder and as Napolean Dynamite (and I) says, "I have mad skills."   Here is how the sink area looks now:

Now this IS an actual picture of the actual new kitchen, done without a dime from Martha.  This is just one corner.   One day I will do a blog about what we did in this space.  Would I bring the horse in here?  No.  I guess not now. 



I promised a tale of two kitchens and two horses.  Here is the second:
I was genetically predisposed to bringing a horse in the house.  Here is a picture of my grandmother, Anona Fox, with a horse in her kitchen.  Her horse weighed a thousand pounds (a guess) less than Marcello.


This little guy, named Smokey, was separated from his mother during a mustang round-up.  He could not be reunited with his mother, who had escaped the cowboys and run off into the hills without her baby.  He was less than a week old, with his umbilical cord still attached.  So he was brought home and needed to be fed. The story from the Deseret News of July 29, 1952 reads that,
"Three times a day he trots up five steps from the porch landing at the home. . .goes straight to the kitchen where he sniffs at the electric range and the cupboard.  Then, spying his own private pan being filled with his own formula of canned milk, syrup, and warm water, he trots to the sink." 
The above caption is from the article.  Sorry for the white lines.  The pictures scanned poorly.
Penny is a dog.   Hard to tell from the photo as the dog is wearing some kind of outfit.  A Boston terrier, I believe.   But it is hard to imagine a young horse even letting anything sit on its back.  There is another picture of the colt wearing a little red cowboy hat and playing in the yard with the children like a dog.  That Fox family!  Always a good story there.  Especially that red-headed grandmother!
Cover of the Deseret Magazine, July 29, 1952.  That's my Aunt Colleen and Smokey in the front room reading a "Bit and Spur" magazine together.   Such a cowboy family I come from.








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