Martha the sequel |

Martha the sequel

Martha had a childhood that could be considered miserable. Once old enough to be out on her own, she did a whole lot of bad things. After years of effort on her part and a lot of loving help, she managed to straighten herself out.

“Every night I have a ritual,” she said. “Me, how did I do today? God, job well done.”

Martha lives on 80 glorious acres in Mason Valley. She’s built a barn for her equine responsibilities and a studio where she can do wax painting, sculpture and have a place for a bank of computers.

“I’m very left brain/right brain” she contends.

After driving .9 miles along a dirt road, I pull up to her property. A solar powered gate swings open (mechanism designed and built by Martha). Once inside her new 1,300 square foot home, she pours us some very, very strong coffee labeled “Death Wish.” She gets 5 pounds at a time from Amazon. She promises to give me a pound to take home.

As we sit guzzling coffee on her sofa, she says she has to open a parcel that she’s just received from Amazon. Out comes a palm sized Raspberry computer circuit board.

“This will hook up with blue tooth speakers and send out Coturnix Quail bird calls,” she explains.

Her plan is to anchor Coturnix breed quail to her property because, as she so deftly puts it, the local quail are taking all the food and water and getting as fat as turkeys.

“Ron the next time you come out, we’ll have to ride out in the Kubota (Sherman Tank ATV) and see the Covey Command Center,” she said.

This is no piffling matter. The CCC is comparable to NATO in the world view.

Martha’s dogs are an integral part of her life. Before settling in Mason Valley, she traveled one weekend a month to Yerington for special “dog whisperer” training. Martha settles for nothing than the best for her Weimaraner’s and Auvergne French Pointers. Sophia is her superstar and to watch her in action is inspiring.

Martha has 3 equine members in her entourage. Othello, a black mule, is on the Mules Who’s Who list. Othello stands 5.3 hands high and is well pleased with the way he has turned out.

“He can be a real jerk sometimes,” Martha murmurs. Lucy and Darling are two Mammoth Jenny Donkeys and are 5.1 hands high. They are brownish white, have long furry ears and would be cuddle material if they weren’t so big.

“When you’re riding them, if they’re startled they run 5 steps and that’s it. Sometimes I put my forehead up against Darling’s and wonder what she’s telling me,” she said.

Martha explains that Lucy and Darling will outlive her, so plans have already been made for them when she isn’t here.

Martha is all set for her new dream life. Now, how about that pound of coffee she promised me!

Ron Walker can be reached at