28 September 2012

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

 

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Remember this beautiful townhouse that I showed you a few months ago?  Decorated by Ginger Barber and located in Houston, the house was designed in neutral shades of soft colors that defy labels. 

 

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The house was truly gorgeous and I was just a bit tongue tied as I toured it.  Overwhelmed, might be a better word.  I was soaking up every detail – and there were so many details to soak up, I could barely get a word out.   I was intrigued by how Ginger had used closely matched colors to create interest, and then used the different weights of the fabrics to create texture.   The effect was so subtle - it reminded me of brush strokes on a fine oil painting.  Each stroke of different colors blends together with the thickness of the paint to create a finished canvas – and this is exactly how Ginger used the layers of hues and fibers to create these interiors.  

I used the time spent with Ginger to listen and learn and when I left, I felt like I had taken a master class.  To her, it was nothing, just another job very well done.  To me, I was the eager student, lapping up every word she uttered.

 

 

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Photograph of horses, by Skeeter Hagler

 

And while all I wanted to talk about was interior design, Ginger, I soon found out, had different interests – mainly horses, and mainly abused horses – starved almost to death, mistreated, and abandoned. Her involvement with these forgotten animals started a few years ago when she came upon one such starving and abused horse, locked up in a stable near Galveston. After calling the police, she was directed to the rescue organization Habitat for Horses, who gladly took in the horse and nursed him back to health. Instead of forgetting about her unfortunate escapade, she developed a near obsession with the organization and began volunteering for them – mucking out stalls, gathering hay, and also, raising funds.

Throughout the day we spent together, Ginger kept talking about Habitat for Horses and proudly showed off a photograph of horses in a field  taken by the Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Skeeter Hagler.   Hagler had generously agreed to donate photographs for a future fundraiser that Ginger was planning.    She asked if I would like to talk about the cause on the blog – and of course I gladly agreed to.  

I don’t know about you, but a starving horse, or dog, or cat affects me to the core.   Imagine being chained up and unable to go find water or food – the very basic necessities of life.  It’s too horrible to even think about, yet it happens to these forgotten horses more often than one knows.  

Habitat for Horses was started in 1997 with just one horse, a horse that was being starved to death down the street from the good Samaritans who wanted to save him.   Back in those days, law enforcement didn’t take action against owners of these large animals – they were placated when often told, “he’s old, that’s why he’s so skinny,” or “we were just going to get him feed.”  Once Habitat for Horses alerted the necessary agencies that they were now offering these abused animals sanctuary, things began to quickly change and they were routinely called by officials to come take a look at yet another starving horse.  After they obtain the necessary court orders, the horses are brought back to health and then hopefully adopted out.  If they are unable to be adopted, they live out their lives on the property that Habitat for Horses is located on.

With the huge success of this organization – there have been growing pains.  The original leased land is no longer large enough to sustain the operation and a hunt was begun to find a larger and permanent tract of land for Habitat for Horses.  To this end, Ginger Barber and Jill Brown, owner of BROWN, along with Skeeter Hagler and Kathy Oliver, another noted photographer, are hosting  “Greener Pastures – A Land Fund for Habitat for Horses.”  The evening event will take place at Brown on November 8th, 2012 at 6:00 pm.  Entertainment will be provided by Texas musicians Shake Russell and Michael Herne. 

Space is limited, so if you would like to attend this event, please go to www.habitatforhorses.org/shake.html or by email at tickets@habitatforhorses.org.

If you are not from Houston, or are unable to attend, please, please consider making a donation to the cause.   Any amount you would be willing to donate would be very much appreciated.  To donate, simply go HERE.

With donations from people like you, Habitat for Horses has been able, since 1998, to save 5,178 horses from starvation and neglect.   They have adopted out 4,660 of these rehabilitated horses.  For more detailed information of what they have accomplished – please see their web site at www.habitatforhorses.org

And since this is a design blog, I wanted to share with you the darling Press Kit announcing the event that was delivered to my house!   It always amazes me how creative some people are:

 

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The Press Kit came in a plain cardboard box, wrapped with twine and a horseshoe.  Ginger wrote a personal note to me, hoping to make the next blog story – a personal note is always such a nice touch.

 

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Inside, lying on a bed of florist moss was this large burlap bag.

 

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And inside was the Press Release, along with a CD donated by Shake Russell, the much beloved Texas musician.   What a cute invitation- you’re not likely to forget an event when you get something like this!   And that’s the point.  I popped the CD into my laptop to listen to while I wrote this, getting into the mood.

To listen – double click on the arrow:

Aw, Shake Russell! Nothing makes me think of days in Austin at college more than listening to this song “You’ve Got a Lover.” How many times did we see him and Dana Cooper at the Armadillo, back in the early 70s? The words to this beautiful song are really so bittersweet, you wonder whatever happened to the girl he wrote this song this about?

 

So, whoever designed the Press Kit really did a great job, making me all nostalgic for Texas music and Texas Lone Star, and Austin, and the Lake, and horses.  

 

Sweet Captain, my daughter’s horse that lives in Chappell Hill at my brother in law’s ranch.  He has the easy life - he’s happy, he’s fed, he’s loved and is rarely even saddled up anymore - which makes it so hard to understand how someone could abuse such a gentle, kind animal.

 

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Look at this cutie!   Not all horses at Habitat for Horses are adopted out.  Some remain at the ranch forever – these are their sanctuary horses.  This horse, Pete, was their first rescued horse  - it took one entire year for him to heal up from his injuries, and another to become acclimated to other horses.  Now, they say he is a very spoiled, much loved horse.

 

 

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Here is a group of other sanctuary horses.  Notice the eyes on the horse at the far right – so beautiful! 

 

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Other horses, like Wolke, are available for adoption.  On the web site, there are pictures and extensive histories of all the horses ready right now for adoption.  If you can’t adopt a horse, you can always sponsor a sanctuary horse!

 

There’s a special place in heaven for people who donate their time and labor to helping the less fortunate.  Habitat for Horses is run by such people, like Ginger and others, who volunteer their time, helping out at the ranch and trying to find others who want to help too.

 

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If you can, please think about attending the Greener Pastures event.  Or, if you are able, please consider donating to Habitat for Horses.  Every little bit helps.

To purchase tickets to the Greener Pastures event, go to:  www.habitatforhorses.org/shake.html or by email at tickets@habitatforhorses.org.

To donate to Habitat for Horses, simply go HERE.

To visit the Habitat for Horses web site go HERE.

Thank you so much for allowing me to talk about this with you. 

 

34 comments:

  1. just wanted to tell everyone that we have a pumpkin winner - Amanda. if your name is Amanda and you did NOT get an email from me - you aren't the amanda who won!! ok - i THINK there will be two more pumpkin giveaways, so don't despair. you still have a chance to win. thanks!!!

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  2. Love the palette used in the townhouse so fab! My that photo of horses running with fogs makes me think of cousins ranch, wonderful. Got my eye on your next posts.

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  3. oh, firstly - congrats to amanda and to all the horses that have the joy of greener pastures and love.
    gorgeous post.
    pve

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  4. Wow this is such a wonderful cause, being a former rider...these types of organizations always pull at my heartstrings. I love her devotion and passion to this cause. I so agree that there is a very special resting place for people who unselfishly give to those in need...and Ginger sounds like one of those people. In addition her home is absolutely spectacular!

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  5. Thw townhouse looks lively, I really like the spiral staircase :) The hourse looks adorable too, so happy! Nature is lovely. http://www.ukhomeinteriors.co.uk/

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  6. Joni - always love your posts on design and everything it entails. But, I have to say this is my very favorite post! Sometimes we get so caught up in the material things in life and forget about what truly is important. Thanks for this post with substance and a reminder to help the defenseless animals, specifically the horses. A huge THANK YOU to Ginger, too!!
    Alana

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  7. I completely agree with Alana. This post made my morning. Wishing all the horses a peaceful life and blessings to all those involved. Thanks for sharing and representing the Habitat for Horses in such a loving way. I'm looking forward to taking a look at their site.

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  8. I love her home - and even more love her cause. I love the photo of your horse. Such a sweetie.

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  9. Great post--thank you for bringing light to a truly worthy cause!

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  10. J,
    we have an organization here that i am involved with.
    they save hundreds of horses that were heading to canada & mexico for slaughter.
    thank you for this beautiful post!

    xox

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  11. TEXAS does rescue right. Mom's ancient poodle died last weekend and we found www.PoodleRescueofHouston.com Will be getting one soon.

    Yesterday's client has a PERFECT horse. He came to her as a rescue! Now he's pulling carts & wagons, & carrying riders. Fun watching him be silly-devious. Such a character.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  12. Hi Joni,
    Love the townhouse. I could very easily live there, the colours and details are beautiful. We have the same type of horse rescue here in Alberta Canada. My husband has volunteered there a few times. He does find it very difficult though to see the horses that have been mistreated because he just can't understand how people could be like that. They are beautiful animals and I am wishing you guys a great turn out. Texas and Alberta are very similar with the oil industry and ranching, except we have winter and snow.

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  13. Great post, I'll never understand how humans can be so cruel and thank God for the humans who stop the cruelty!! I'm up in New England so am wishing you a great turn out at the event, I've done the subscription donation and love that they offer that option.

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  14. Hi Joni, A wonderful story. Like you I abhor the thought of any abused animal.
    If a owner cannot or will not take care of these gifts to us, then give them to someone who will.
    Thank you for letting us know about this special cause.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  15. Thanks for devoting your post to such a worthy cause.

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  16. Beautiful post Joanie. Love the press kit and invitation. Beautiful photos! Happy Weekend!

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  17. My daughter has a horse, Amon, whom she's had since the day he was born. Horses depend on us. Being cruel to them is beyond sad. I donate to the local SPCA throughout the year and will now be making another donation to Habitat for Horses.

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  18. My daughter has a horse, Amon, whom she's had since the day he was born. Horses depend on us. Being cruel to them is beyond sad. I donate to the local SPCA throughout the year and will now be making another donation to Habitat for Horses.

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  19. Joni, you are so sweet to let us know about this organisation!! Just gorgeous! I love Ginger!! Fantastic! I will try to get in touch!
    xxx
    Greet

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  20. One of my very favorite stories as a young, horse-mad girl was "Black Beauty" and that was written in 1877 to highlight the rampant cruelty to horses throughout Victorian times! and was one of the ORIGINAL reasons for the SPCA both in England and in America. I think we forget, as we no longer have horses as a central part of everyone's life and we focus on the cruelty to cats and dogs, that there are starved and neglected horses all over this country- THANK GOD for these organizations that focus on them and provide rescue and loving care to these marvelous creatures, who deserve so much. Thank you for telling us about Habitat for Horses and their wonderful work!

    ".... there is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham...."
    —Black Beauty, Chapter 13, last paragraph.

    Best,
    Meredith

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  21. thanks for a wonderful post on two of my favorite things: beautiful homes and one of God's most beautiful creatures, the horse! I live in Houston but wasn't familiar with this organization. Made a donation and may be in a situation to adopt a horse in the future. Thanks Joni and Ginger!
    Debbie

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  22. Thank you so much for all your kind words and donations!!! i was so excited to read your responses.

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  23. Thank you for sharing this wonderful organization with us. My sister in law owns a horse ranch and I truly cannot fathom not taking care of one of God's most beautiful creatures. What a fabulous event this will be! I will definitely keep it in mind.

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  24. Thank you for telling the 'Habitat for Horses' story, Joni. 'Habitat for Horses' is a wonderful cause.

    With so many Cote de Texas readers who're design enthusiasts as well as and animal lovers, I know there are many who'll be interested in designer Stella McCartney's information about animals in the fashion industry:
    http://www.stellamccartney.com/default/stellas-world/whats-news/stella-peta-anti-leather-video.html

    When Charlotte Casiraghi and Stella McCartney met in London several years ago, they struck a natural friendship. In this interview they talk about fashion versus ethical awareness and Doing the Right Thing:
    http://www.stellamccartney.com/default/stellas-world/green-me/green-me-stella-charlotte-casiraghi.html

    KO

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  25. My family adopted from this organization a few years ago. The horse was old and slow and perfect for the little kids who were inexperienced riders. He would just walk a steady pace with those little kids and be rewarded with treats and hugs after. He was with us for 3 years before he went to pasture in heaven. We still have his picture on the shelf. He wasn't the prettiest guy but we loved him.

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  26. I don't understand people who abused animals and forget that these are loving, feeling creatures. This organization sounds wonderful and I will definitely have to go donate since I can't go to the party. Right now I have a similar siuation at my home but with abandoned pets. We have a cat and dog who have been turn loose in the woods to fend for themselves. I wish people would realize that domesticated animals can't feed themselves or know how to find water. There are a number of critters out in the woods that would kill these pets. So every day we take food out and I spend hours trying to get these animals to trust me enough to come closer to me. Winter is coming and the tempertures will freeze these poor things in a single night. People if you can no longer take care of your pet please, I beg you, take them to a shelter where they will be cared for. Don't dump them thinking they'll be fine.

    Thank you for this wonderful story.

    XXX
    Debra~

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  27. Beautiful story. Shake Russel is such a wonderful humanitarian. I used to be heavily involved with Muscular Dystrophy Association, Shake and his band always drove out to Green Family Camp during MDA week and played for the MDA kids during our week of camp. Horses, so beautiful. I want to adopt them all (no, I'm not a hoarder), I will send a donation now (I usually send donations in friends and family member honors as Christmas presents and my F&F love it!). I hope everyone who reads this thinks of doing something similar. Love that Ginger Barber house too. Design and horses, I think people who love one, love the other...just how we must be wired.
    EB

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  28. Joni, Your posts are always so interesting and informative. You never disappoint. Thanks for letting us know about this organization.
    Wanda

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  29. What a timely post... my mother just shared this you-tube video about a horse named Reckless that assisted our marines, the 5th infantry, over in Korea during the conflict. My father was part of this unit... he was 19 and was killed in action before my mother gave birth to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=YIo3ZfA9da0

    Those particularly fond of horses will appreciate this video very much...

    ~Terri~

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  30. I'm from a horse-loving community in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. I've been around horses all my life, and I cannot imagine the horrors that these poor horses face--simply can't fathom it. I was so touched by your post and the work of this organization that I just donated to the fundraiser. I'm going to spread the word around my social network throughout Canada & the U.S. Please pass along my wishes for great success with their work!

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  31. Joni, I am in tears. Absolute tears. I adore horses and rode when I was little. I just can't imagine how people could do this to an animal as lovely as a horse. Thank you SO much for bringing this to people's attention. It's a great cause.

    On another note, I am still without a computer due to the whopping repair bills we had on our casa... long story. Not the St. A house, but our residence. Hope to get another computer (I'm holding out for a MAC)and return to blogging. I just can't make Mr. Magpie strap on that expense quite yet. But I miss YOU. I tried to email you from my regular, not blog, address, and it must have misfired. Some flaming looney tune sent what I think might have been a virus to my magpie address, and I think it was something that would have allowed them to hack or hijack my blog. So I am afraid to go back to that mailbox. Anyhow, I am going to try and catch up on all of your posts, a marathon read and get my Joni fix.

    BTW, I took a page from your book and had some slips made for my DR chairs some time ago, way back before we had to tear off the eaves. If I could find my camera and its cord which I lost before I lost my camera, I'd email you some pics. LOL!

    Take care. I've been thinking about you during Yom Kippur and wishing you many blessings. Hope Elisabeth and Mr. Slipper Socks Man are all well and you, too.

    XO,

    Sheila

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  32. P.S. I was trying to post about the article on Reese Witherspoon's house,"Bait and Switch", and something went flukey. Not sure what, but I have got to say that you are an absolute scream. Loved the comment... "Sooooo cute and sooooo fake. Even the wicker dog is fake." LOL!

    You crack me up.

    I will try to comment on other past posts, but if I can't for some reason, know that I love it ALL as usual. Oh, and I saw one of your ads in a magazine I picked up this summer at Barnes and Noble and was SO impressed. Looked great. I was in exile for about two and a half months in St. A. with a respiratory infection, and every now and then, I would sneak out and go to B&N for a magazine fix. I didn't cough on anyone. Or at least I tried not to, but it was hard. And I know people thought I was nuts when I was talking to myself saying, "This is Joni's ad!" LOL

    XO,

    Sheila

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  33. The first and second photos is just awesome. I want that kind of interior design!

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  34. Love the color palette, however why is there no glass top on the coffee table in the first picture? do you need to have big sized books to be able to place a vase? what happens when you want to place your drink on that table?

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