Sunday, February 08, 2009

The passing of my father

My father passed away this past Friday in his slepp. He will be missed very much: I am honored to have been his daughter

How does one say Good-bye?

How does one say good-bye,
To the man who was always their hero,
The man who nurtured their soul,
He who taught them the deeper value,
In knowing right and wrong?

How does a girl thank the man,
Who set the standard by which,
All men would be measured,
A standard she would hold even herself to?

How does one say good-bye,
To the man who removed slivers from fingers,
Dabbed skinned knees with stinging iodine,
And sealed them all with a kiss to make it better?

She doesn’t say good-bye,
She finds pieces of him in herself,
So much of the best of her,
She owes to him, her father.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Eight Belles and PETA

Eight Belles was euthanized on the Churchill Downs race track on May third after she beat eighteen of the best thoroughbred colts in the country in the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Eight Belles' courage, heart and talent brought tears to my eyes. She personified all that has been bred into the thoroughbred horse for centuries. Eight Belles was not abused, she was doing what she had been born to do from the moment of her conception. Eight Belles had the best of the best in the world of a thoroughbred race horse or any horse for that matter. Eight Belles was fortunate. Eight Belles had a top trainer, top riders and a top jockey all doing their job to the best of their abilities. The jockey did nothing wrong, he did his job.
I have lived my life with horses, from ponies, to Arabs, and many in between. I have seen much in the way of abuse and neglect much of this could be deserving of attention from PETA. Arabs addicted to cocaine, jumpers hit with poles, reiners and cutters with navicular by three, Common horses hit kicked and whipped, Gaited horses sored and weighted, and skeletal equines near death from starvation.
Much of the above stated is purposeful and mean--some a quick means to a financial end. I have rescued well over a hundred down and out horses, most of them thoroughbreds used up at the small tracks of our country. Many of these horses never had enough of anything, dozens break down on the tracks. So PETA please put your efforts in perspective-help those who truly need an ally. Eight Belles was truly a fortunate one-there are thousands of horses in all areas of equine sport and existence who could truly use an ally.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Poet of the Month

I was named Poet of the Month on the Writing Forum for the month of June-would love to have you visit my work there at It is very humbling for me and such an honor.

Thursday, March 09, 2006 is now up and running! Please check it out for more information about my book Show and Tell. Thanks!

Friday, September 02, 2005

book cover, Show and Tell Posted by Picasa

newly published author-single parent, teacher, horse lover

Karen Vanderlaan
2909 West Pioneer Road
Slaterville, Utah 84404

Ogden, Utah-January, 2005-Local Author's memoir, "Show and Tell" released! Karen Vanderlaan grew up on a dairy farm in West Newbury, Vermont where she began riding horses as soon as she could walk. As a girl in pigtails, life was idyllic and full of magic on her personal paradise on Milky Way Farm. Paradise, however, was lost. All too quickly her innocence was lost when her mother gets involved with an abusive, manipulative woman named,"Bunny". "Show and Tell" is a story worth telling because the author explores her painful past, struggles to make things different, and utilizes her strength to rewrite her destiny. "Show and Tell" will make you laugh and cry as well as inspire. Karen resides in Utah where she has raised three children, teaches middle school children with emotional and behavioral disabilities, and rescues down and out horses. "Show and Tell" is available through Publish America at their web site:, as well as at,and Barnes and ####

Show and Tell KimmyNevada (5/7/2005)

Karen has been a role model for me since I can remember. If it weren't for the pictures in this book I might not have believed it was her writing such sad stories of her childhood. It is amazing to me to see the positive, happy person she has become with the events she has lived through. This book made me so extremely grateful for everything I have been given throughout life. I cried alot while reading this book, some were tears of sorrow, but most were tears of hope and gratitude. I hope I can always remember her story when I feel like life has beat me and my resolve to continue is dwindling. This book needs to be read by every person who is struggling with a past that didn't give them a foot forward in life, so they can see that they don't have to dwell on the unfairness of things they should have had and see that they still can have their dreams come true.

Blessed are the Children CynthiaCalifornia (4/12/2005)

Karen's book is a story that breaks your heart and fills it back up at the same time. You want to rescue her, but she doesn't need your help. She is a strong woman with seemingly endless fight in her. All of her children are truly blessed to have a mother, teacher and role model like her.



Show and Tell BarbaraUtah (4/6/2005)

As a high school teacher, I found Karen's book to be an inspiration with my dealings with children. I would read it at night and the next day I would greet my students with a new outlook an inspiration regarding my "difficult" students. Her book showed me how difficulties can crush or inspire people. With this knowledge I can be that "significant influence" in a child's life. Show and Tell is so well written it was difficult to put down. I eagerly awaited my next visit with this exceptional woman.

More than surviving---Thriving! LisaUtah (2/14/2005)

Full disclosure-- I have worked with the author for a few years here in Ogden Utah. When I got my copy of Show and Tell the other day, however, I was overcome by all that Karen has overcome. I did not know much about Karen's personal life, and to read about the abuse and cruelty she has suffered was painful. Show and Tell is not a victim book, however. It is a book about overcoming some of the worst things that can and do happen to women, becoming strong, not just surviving, but thriving. Karen's parents are some of the most self absorbed people I have ever read or heard about. Karen had absolutely no help from the fathers of her children. Yes, she's made mistakes, but haven't we all? It would be easy to understand if Karen were a loser, someone who has never done anything with her life, for you could point to her past and say, "well, can you blame her?" Instead, Karen had raised children and horses, and is a fine teacher of the kinds of kids no one wants to teach. I recommend Show and Tell. It may not be a "feel good" read; it's not all light and happy, but it's inspiring.

Powerful, Honest AlisaUSA (1/1/2005)

This is a most wonderfully well written book. My heart was torn out, along with Karen's as I read her stories. I highly recommend this book to animal lovers and all with a belief in true survivors.

Great read!! KimUtah (12/6/2004)

This book is a wonderful, heartfelt look into the "quiet, desperate" lives that so many of us live. The story is honest, gritty and something that everyone can relate to. I highly recommend it!