Monday, July 30, 2012

Easter Surprise

The story continues....
Click below to read the beginning of the story:
  We'll Leave the Light On

Marmalade's coat was matted with sweat and smeared with blood. Wood shavings and hay dotted her coat where she had rolled, trying to seek comfort. She was straining and her breathing was labored, her flanks heaved with every  breath. Aunt Jane quickly assessed the situation, ran to the phone, and called Dr. Daner. She sunk down next to Marmalade and rubbed her neck, trying to soothe the mare, waiting for the vet's arrival.

The foal's position was all wrong. One foot protruded from the mare's vulva, and you could see the tip of the foal's nose peeking out below the leg. The foal hadn't turned when labor had begun and was upside down. The other leg was somewhere inside the mare. Dr. Daner was able to push the foal back. He found both legs and turned the foal, gently easing it out with the next contraction. The foal was a lumpy puddle on the floor of the stall. Aunt Jane, in stunned disbelief, began to dry the foal, peeling back the sac, and rubbing roughly to stimulate breathing. Dr. Daner kept his attention focused on the mare, who lay exhausted as the placenta was delivered with one last shuddering contraction.

The mare's breathing slowed. She gave into the exhaustion, closing her eyes as she sighed. Everyone rested for a moment. Aunt Jane looked down at the tiny foal, and turned back to Dr. Daner explaining, "We didn't know she was in foal. She must have been bred in pasture before we brought the two-year olds in for their initial breaking last year. We just figured she was gaining weight from lack of work, since our daughter has been away at college and hasn't been working her."
"Well," Dr. Daner responded, with the characteristic twinkle in his eyes, "it seems you have a little Easter Surprise!"

After Dr. Daner collected his things and cleaned up, he and Aunt Jane watched in satisfaction as Easter Surprise struggled to stand. Her long legs splayed to the sides as she teetered and tottered, trying to get her land legs. Marmalade lifted her head, looking in disbelief at the foal, a carbon copy of herself, right down to the symmetric star on the bright chestnut face. She rose to her elbows and pushed herself up to stand, showering the foal as she shook shavings and hay from her coat. She nickered, and was greeted with a sweet bleating from the foal. The foal took some awkward steps searching for, and finding the teats. Marmalade swung her head around to nuzzle the foal, making soft wuffling noises. The satisfying sounds of the foal suckling at its mother filled the barn as the first rays of sun ran across the drive and into the barn.

Aunt Jane walked Dr. Daner to his truck in the early light. A promise of a beautiful day dawning.  She never imagined that this perfect Easter morning would turn into a nightmare.


To be continued......

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Excuuuse Me!


Hey, Lady, would ya mind?
I'm trying to get some sleep here.


Could ya please turn off the cute little
camera click sound on your phone?
A girl needs her beauty sleep, ya know?!

Gypsy and Tucker are on day 2 of our camping adventure. 
We are in the midst of Idaho at the moment.
Both dogs are sharing the back seat without any grumbles.

Our only adventure today was the dust devil.
It attacked us!

We saw several out on the prairie.

 Then one appeared on the Interstate in front of us.

It was reminiscent of "The Wizard of Oz"
That's tumble weed blowing horizontally.
The wind blew the tonneau cover on the truck up.
The tumbleweed pulled the brake cable out.

When we stopped to put everything together
the dust devil was churning right behind the camper.
The camper was being buffeted and I had
to struggle to keep upright.
Amazing!



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Abducted by Aliens

If I didn't know better, 
I'd think we were abducted by aliens, 
taken on their space ship and dumped on the moon.

Moonscape view from our camper
at Rock Springs, WY

Moonscape vistas in Wyoming:




We are on our way to visit my brother and his wife in McCall, ID. The dogs are stretched out in the back seat of the truck - and they seem to be taking to camping life just fine. Tucker loved playing with other dogs in the little dog park at the campground. Even Gypsy considered playing - but wasn't quite sure how to go about it. We are thinking that will come with time.

(Apologies about the poor quality of the photos - taken through bug-smeared window with my cell phone)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Found on Facebook - Destress

A friend of mine posted a link to this on Facebook. Having lived through stressful times I could totally relate to the story - and it hits the mark. The times that I become stressful are when I am juggling too many balls in the air, or like snowballs, when the balls have become heavy and unwieldy. I hadn't factored in the time factor before. So, take a minute to read and reflect.

Which is your favorite piece of advice?



A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'... She fooled them all .... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied , "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress.

If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So , as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down.

Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... Pick them up tomorrow.

1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker..

5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can't push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY

20 *Save the earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!*

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hobby Horse Blog Hop - 22: Let's Party!!!

Wendell is having a Cyber Celebratory Party at Everyday Rurality. Well, Patrice is involved in the planning, but it seems that Wendell has taken over! They are celebrating a year of Chats on the Farmhouse Porch. Wendell asked us what kind of music, or what dances they should have at the party. He wants to shake his bootie! I'm all for line dances - since my hubby doesn't dance! I can do those by myself. We can begin with the Electric Slide.

I  thought it would be fun to piggyback on their party theme with my blog hop. Join in the hop by linking up below, or at least by leaving a comment. 

If you want to 'go' to Patrice's party, you can click on the Chats on the Farmhouse Porch image below. Oh, don't forget, Wendell would like some carrots! 

Hobby Horse Blog Hop Prompts - Week 22:

1. In what ways do you celebrate birthdays, or other special days, for the fuzzy friends at your home?
2. What memories might you have of a birthday celebration, or other party, involving horses or ponies?
3. What special day is your favorite to celebrate?

My answers:
1. I am such a bad pet mom... I don't do anything special for any of my pets on their Birthdays. I don't even know when they were born! We have Tucker's puppy papers someplace, so I could find his special day... but Gypsy and Mama Boots were rescues and we just have a vague idea of what year they were born. The horses also weren't registered, so no actual dates for them, either. When I was in High School I did give pets and ponies stockings at Christmas... so I'm not a complete ogre!


2. This is a sad story. I have no memories of a Birthday party with pony rides... but apparently, I should :((  Not too many years ago I was talking with my mom about kids' Birthday parties. She started talking about the party she had for me, you know, she said, the one with the pony rides. The one with pony rides? Mom, I don't remember a party with ponies.  She described the party and the efforts she had made to have the pony rides and I didn't remember a bit about it. I think this really hurt my mom's feelings. As an educator, I recognize that children may have little recall of events before they turn 7, especially if no one talks to them and reminds them of things that happened when they were very young. But even knowing this, it was such a shock to find out that I had participated in something that should have been so unique and memorable and I have no recall of it.

  


I found this picture among my dad's slides. This is my brother and sister with a pony. If this pony was 'the' pony from the pony ride party, then it is little wonder I didn't remember it. Based on the apparent ages of my siblings, I would have been two, at most! Hmmm, maybe the pony ride party was actually for my sister and it wasn't my memory that was faulty!


3. Over the past 20 years.... plus, I'd have to say my favorite special day to celebrate is Mother's Day! Becoming a mom wasn't an easy feat for me, so the fact that I had two boys is special indeed. But what I loved most is that our small town had a May Festival on the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend. We would all go to the festival and hubby would slip the boys some money to buy me a gift for Mother's Day. As they grew older, they would use their carefully saved allowance to buy me a gift. They would go off and examine each and every booth, looking for the perfect gift for me. I couldn't wait until the next day to see what they had settled on. Each boy always put great thought and consideration into his purchase, and that is what makes the day my favorite. It isn't about getting a present, it was that the presents were gifts from their hearts. I treasured each one and the memories are so very dear to me now.


Now it is  your turn! Answer the questions in a comment or on your blog, which you can link to mine below. It's always fun if you ask a question of us - that way we can have a conversation!






Everyday Ruralty

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch: Pictures with Wendell

Hey Wendell, or should I say, Hay Wendell?! Tucker here...I would love to chase sheep. I love making anything run. Sheep are such chickens they usually run away... but once I had a sheep stamp her little hoof at me and shake her head. I stepped behind my dad - well, that's what they say I did, actually, I was really going behind him so I could go around and surprise the sheep from her other end - but who would believe a fuzzy dog?! Gypsy is gonna come too. I don't think she'll chase the sheep. I think she might be ascared of them!
I would love to have my picture taken with you and maybe Gypsy will let that happen, too. I like saying "Hi" to horses by sniffing noses. Here's a picture of me saying "Hi" to Pippin last winter.


Anyway, I wish we could really come!

Hi Blogging friends! Join Patrice on her porch for a celebratory chat. 
She's celebrating a year of chats on the farmhouse porch.
She's hosting a cyber party - and everyone's invited.

Check out other blogs from her site:

Everyday Ruralty





Chats of the Farmhouse Porch: A Party

Tucker is so excited to be invited to a party! Patrice, at Everyday Rurality, is celebrating one year of chatting on her farmhouse porch. She's planning a huge party and we are all invited... at least we have cyber-invites! Tucker is all excited - he's running around the back yard telling everyone.. over and over again, that he is invited to a party!  He would absolutely adore playing with the other Tucker. But, Wendell, I'm not so certain we could turn it into a party game. There probably wouldn't be too much confusion - the two Tuckers are very different in looks, and my Tucker doesn't seem to know his name when you call him, so only the other Tucker would come running!

A party? With party food?
I LOVE party food!!!

Patrice has asked what food we'd bring to the party. I'd put together my mom's mocha cake and bring it along. We'd have to keep it cool until just before serving because part of the 3-part icing is whipped cream, with a hint of coffee in it. This was the cake 'of choice' for all celebrations at my house. Bless my mom for taking the time to put it all together: 4 layers of coffee-laced sponge cake, a rich coffee filling that is tricky to make, the whipped cream icing and then a drizzle of sugar icing, with more coffee, going down the side. Mmmm....yum! And Wendell, I have some carrots in my garden that I'll pick, just for you. I'll pick them just before we leave so that they are fresh as can be!

Would you like to come to the party too? It's going to be in Patrice's pasture. She will have long tables and hay bale seats. Everyone is invited. What would you bring?! Leave a comment or link your blog to Everyday Rurality. You can read what others will bring by clicking on the image below. Hooray a party! Hooray, lots of yummy food - and not one, single calorie!

Oh... I almost forgot to mention that Patrice is having party favors! Check out her blog to find out more!


Everyday Ruralty

Monday, July 23, 2012

We'll Leave the Light On

This post is a story from the past. It's a story that involves my horse, Marmalade. The story began years before I bought her and although the events are true, they have been somewhat fictionalized as I was not there in person. I was simply there for the retelling of the story and,  Big Red really did save the day!

Marmalade - 1970
Big Red knew that something was wrong. He was like that. He was tuned in to the normal noises and normal routines of the small barn. But tonight he could hear the labored breathing. He could smell the blood. Something was not right. So, what's a horse to do? Big Red stretched his head over the stall door and deftly flicked the light switch. The lights ought to alert the people of the house.

It was 4:30 in the morning. Aunt Jane awoke to see the barn lights glowing. She toyed with the idea of rolling over to go back to sleep, but in the back of her mind there was a growing pool of uneasiness. Big Red had turned the barn lights on in the past, and always for good reason. She rolled out of bed, pulled on her barn boots and, still half asleep, trudged to the barn in the pre-dawn of Easter Sunday.

Marmalade had been experiencing waves of pain for hours. Just as the pain subsided, another wave would creep in and grow to a crescendo. The muscles of her abdomen tightened - a constricting band that made it difficult to breathe. She couldn't stand. She crumpled to the ground, thrashing with the onset of another round of pain. The tightness forced the air out of her lungs with a loud, keening sound.

As she entered the barn, Aunt Jane took note of Big Red's uneasiness. She stopped to rub his neck and he lowered his head as he greeted her with a low rumble as if to say, "I'm so glad you are here." Aunt Jane continued down the aisle peeking over the door of each stall. Orangette was not resting in slumber. Instead, she shifted her weight and swayed, left. Then right. Then left. She turned one ear toward Aunt Jane and rested an uneasy eye on her owner. Platter had evidently been turning laps in his stall. A path was cleared in the shavings as he turned another circle, stopping only to greet the woman.  But Marmalade was.... in trouble.

To be continued....

Mystery Melon - or - Squash Surprise

We have a puzzle in our garden. 
We planted something... and we don't know what it is! 
Now, how, you might ask, could someone be so silly as to do that?! 
Well, as you may recall, we had a garden disaster in the form of a major hail storm, just after we planted the garden this spring. Our fledgling plants were squashed...literally! Hubby took pity on me - he never could stand to see tears! He visited the garden shop. He visited the farmer's market. He bought new plants. I planted them. But, I have to admit, my heart was heavy and I just couldn't imagine the plants 'doing' anything. So... plunk, plant and sigh. I know that some plants had identifying tags, but evidently this one did not. It just looked like the other squash plants, so it went in with the squashes.
Lo and behold... my garden began to grow; in spite of the hail. In spite of the drought. In spite of the almost triple-digit temperatures. I have bounty from my garden. Dreaming is a happy little gardener, now.  In fact, I had enough little squashlets that I could gift some to Sharron. She was given a bag with yellow summer squash, zucchini, patty pan squash and yellow zucchini. I wouldn't give her the mystery melon.... as I didn't want to repeat the stupid thing I did when I lived at my other home, where I had a volunteer squash-like plant in my compost pile. I gave the interesting globelet 'squash' to my neighbors... uh, they weren't really summer squash we found out... they were baby pumpkins! (And that could be why I had to move - it could be that I was laughed out of the neighborhood!) So last night hubby and I pondered the plant. We stood in the garden, hands on hips, staring down at the fruiting body. What is that? Is it a gray Zucchini? Is it a watermelon? I reached down among the leaves and grabbed that baby, which was the size of a small football. I twisted it and broke it right off it's life-sustaining stem. I committed squashicide.... or melon murder... or something! We marched into the kitchen and grabbed the big carving knife... whack! The object lay in two pieces on the cutting board - with hubby and Dreaming staring down at the hemispheres, trying to place what we were seeing into some sort of taxonomic order. We poked it. We examined the seeds. We smelled it... and later we tasted it and partook of it's fruit, and it was good!

Do you know what it is?

What ideas do you have?

Scroll down...
and down some more for the answer.

Oh, and hubby, while we were eating it, smacked hand to forehead
and recalled that he did buy this type of plant as he thought I'd like it!

Mystery solved!

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Are you tired of scrolling down, yet?


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I'm not having too much fun making
the asterisks!


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I have to practice finger-gymnastics to type asterisks
and then hit the return key.


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Okay....


Here is the answer to the mystery....


The object is...


Pregnant Pause...


P


A


U


S


E


Like they use on America's Got Talent...


Can you hear the droning music?


It's a....


Oh, I hope you aren't too disappointed


after having come through all of this....


Spaghetti Squash

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Death and Taxes

...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. - Benjamin Franklin


* * * HERE IS A SMALL FACT * * *
You are going to die.
 - "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

It certainly isn't a very cheery thought, death. But there it is, staring us in the face. I don't know that it is the light that is found at the end of the tunnel, but more likely it is death itself! It is all around us. It is something we all will know. 
As life has grown more complicated by the things we procure, sorting it all out has become more complex. In our ancestor's ancestor's day, one would share his desires upon his death bed. My husband studies our genealogy. Here is a record of death and the distribution of belongings for one of his ancestors:

John Pride of Salem died intestate, and his widow brought in an inventory of his estate, the last, 12m:1647.
Court ordered distribution to his son, under twenty-one years, £ 8, and two daughters, under eighteen years, £ 4 each. The mother was to bring them up. House and land bought of Mr. Holgrave security. Salem Quarterly Court Records, 2:225

Inventory: One dwellinge house, one barne and worke house with foure Akers of land adjoyninge to it, £ 16; marsh and uplande grounde uppon the necke beinge the one halfe of that sometime belonginge to Mr. Holgrane, £ 8 15s; one halfe aker of marsh and halfe an aker of upland, £ 1 10s; two Cowes and one heighfer of two yeares old, £ 13; three Calves of this yeare, £ 3; one hogge and two shotts, £ 2 17s 6d; foure ewe gotes and 2 lambes, £ 2; one fether bed, one bolster, foure pillowes, one Rugge, one pr blanketts, £ 5; two old Rugges, two course beds, one blanket and one bolster, 12s; three pr of sheetes, £ 1 10s; bands and capps, 10s; wearinge apparrell, £ 6; one brass lettle, 1 lettle brass pott and one Iron pott, £ 1 4s; thirtie and seaven dozzen of earthen ware, £ 4 12s 6d; warminge pann and three pewter cupps, 6s 8d; leade and other earthen ware, £ 1 7s; a bible and other books and a glass, 12s; two gryinge panns, 7s; one Fowlinge peece, one musket rest and sword, £ 2 10s; a pr of pot hookes and hangers, 7s; foure Axes, a spade and a picke Axe, 14s; tow table boards, two chests, two boxes with chaires and stoole, £ 1 18d; one bed steed and a trundle bedsteed, 10s; fifteene Akers of Lande on Cape An side, £ 9; for wheate, barly, Pease and Indian Corne, £ 3; total £ 88 16s


Perhaps, if they were lucky enough to have paper and quill, our ancestors would create a simple list of their belongings and designate beneficiaries. Here is a Last Will and Testament from Robert Weekes from 1771, the first husband of a relative of my husband's, 7 generations back!

In the name of God, Amen. I, ROBERT WEEKES, of the Manor of Cortlandt, in Westchester County, being sick. I direct all debts to be paid. I leave to my wife Jemima the use of all real and personal estate during her widowhood for the use of bringing up our children; Also a horse and woman's saddle and bridle and a feather bed. After the death or marriage of my wife I leave to my son Lewis all my lands and tenements. I leave to my three daughters, Esther, Tamorus, and Charity, œ10 each, when they are 18, "And if it should so happen that my wife Jemima should be likely to have another child, it is to be made equal with my other children." I make Job Wright, Edward Smith, and my wife Jemima, executors. - Ancestry.com

With acquired wealth and acquisition of the stuff of life, the formalities of the Last Will and Testament became more formidable. Here is one page of Caption William Pride's will from 1751. It seems lawyers of his time may have earned their fees by writing everything in longhand. 


Captain Pride was wealthy for his day, having a three-page inventory worth 5,803 pounds; 10 shillings; 8 pence.
Included in the inventory were:
A Four year old mare     65
A Saddle     5
A Bridle    1
Curried(cured?) Leather    3
Tanned Leather     2
Leather for a Bridle    5
Can you imagine creating an inventory of your estate?


Our way of living has added a new wrinkle that should be considered when planning for death. What about the part of you that exists online? What about your publications and creations online: the postings on you blog, your email, images and items available through social media? What about access to those items? What about a gaming persona?


Click here to see the original photo above and a succinct chart of outlining the "Real Life You" and the "Digital You"


Now that many of us have digital property, we should make preparations so that the digital part of our lives can be handled as easily as possible, according to our wishes, by those we leave behind. There are decisions to be made. Who should have access to the content of your blog? Will your Facebook page remain standing? Will your heirs be able to access your online accounts? Our new age has brought new things to consider as we plan for death. 


For more information about this topic:

Social Media Policies When You Die

Prepare for Your Death by Creating a Digital Tombstone

USA Gov's Tips on Preparing a Social Media Will

How to Manage your Online Accounts After You Die





Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Centus: Party Flavors

Jenny Matlock has challenged us to write 100 words and incorporate, "Birthday Party Flavor" in our response. I loved writing this - it evoked a wonderful trip down memory lane, and oh, those memories have lots of 'flavor'!



There was nothing I loved more than putting together a themed Birthday party for my sons. Each year, weeks before the big event, I’d involve the Birthday boy and we’d go all out in planning. Although the cake was aways a surprise, we would make important decisions about the invitations, decorations, music, games to play, and most crucial, the Birthday party flavor. Yes, you read that correctly! It’s one of those ‘cute things your kids say’ that remain in the family vernacular. We had fireman parties, a soccer theme, Davy Crockett and the Teddy Bear Picnic - each party having its own distinctive ‘flavor’!





 Click on the image below to visit Jenny's page and read more responses to her weekly challenge.


Jenny Matlock

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hobby Horse Blog Hop - Week 21: Those Things We Do

This has been an incredibly busy week. In fact... it's hard to believe a week has gone by - it flew by so fast that I didn't see it!


Let's settle for a minute, and chat with each other. 
I hope you can join in on the Blog Hop.





In case you are new... or as a reminder:
Each week I post two or three prompts. 
Write about one or respond to all.
Or, just link your blog to mine if you
care to share something else about yourself.

Most importantly,


complete your blog post (or comment) by asking a question of us.


I am really enjoying answering your questions,
and look forward to seeing other responses, too.
I think it's a great way to have a conversation of sorts!

Link your post to the Hobby Horse Blog Hop


by using the Linky Tool below.
Click where indicated, just after it says
"You are next...."
Or...
Leave a comment with the answer(s) to the
questions(s) on my blog, down below.


Visit other participating blogs on the list

and respond to their questions in your comments on their pages.



Hobby Horse Blog Hop Prompts - Week 21:

1. When things get busy for you, what/who takes priority? How do you juggle everything?
2. We have been Hobby Horsing for 20 weeks... but I still don't know some things about you. Do you have a hobby and, if so, tell us about it.
3. What practice(s) with horses, or other domestic animals, rubs you the wrong way?

My answers:

1. Who or what takes priority during busy times? What an interesting question! When my kids were in residence I would say their needs were top priority. They are off, enjoying their independence, so now my next priority would probably have to be our pets. After all, they are pretty much helpless. I would say that I am usually on the short end of the stick, oh, and my poor Hubby ends up having to fend for himself, too. When life gets 'crazy busy' I manage by prioritizing. Doing things around the house gets put on hold. I also try to 'kill two birds with one stone'. If I know I have an appointment or errand on one side of town, I'll save other errands in that area for the same time.


2. I enjoy crafts. Sadly, my basement is a mess and my craft things were dumped there and haven't been unpacked - I don't have a place to unpack them! I think that might be our next project! I have been known to crochet and knit. I make greeting cards. I have worked with stained glass and mosaics. And now, I'm doing some rug hooking. I also enjoy gardening... is that a hobby?!


3. It irks me to see horses subjected to anything that makes them move or hold parts of their body in an unnatural way. I guess my early exposure to Black Beauty and the descriptions of the check-rein have left a lasting influence! Last week at therapeutic riding the instructor put side reins on one of the horses because, "they take her mind off of the rider and side walkers because she is focusing on her head." Yeah, she was right. The horse wasn't paying much attention to the folks behind her shoulders because she was miserable. She mouthed the bit the entire time. It seemed very aggravating to her. And... even with the side reins, or perhaps because of them, she misbehaved. I'm not sure what set her off, but she suddenly lunged backwards. The rider had to be taken off quickly. A few weeks ago we went to a Morgan horse show. We walked through the barns and it almost made me sick to see these beautiful animals in tail-sets. Many of the horses were walked around with chains around their pasterns to make them step higher. Their feet were very long and had additional wedges applied to change their way of going. I cringed just thinking of the potential damage to small bones in their feet.




Despite my disquiet over the practices in the barn that may put 'beauty' over comfort (but heck, don't people do the same thing to themselves?!) I couldn't get over watching, in awe, as this little tyke trotted around the warm-up arena on a very forward moving Morgan.


Now it's your turn. Link up!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gypsy Jabber

I don't like thunder.


D'ya think I'll be safe here?
My new mom told me to welcome her new followers....
I'm new...so I guess I understand that.
Being new means not always knowing everything.

The new followers are:
Moonshadow, who writes KS Born
NeighGirl, who has joined at least a zillion other sites,
Rocy + Indiana at Parker Bourn Farm

I liked reading their blogs.
Indiana is a dog... isn't that great?

Update from Gypsy's new mom:
Gypsy is doing wonderfully. Each day she comes out of her shell a bit more - well, until we had some thunder and lightning! Both of us had to go out this afternoon. Gypsy and Tucker were left by themselves. There were no accidents, no torn-up items, and no evidence of dogs on the furniture.


Waking Up In Nebraska

Pippin and Doc are at their new home in Nebraska. As sad as I was am will always be to sell them, I was thrilled to meet their new owner. He was tickled pink to finally have a team of Haflingers. His smile was a mile wide and he was so very proud of his new horses, the buttons on his shirt were about to pop! He and his wife have been looking for a team for a while. They have a number of horses of varying ages and have ridden and driven for years. They are in their mid 40's and have two sons in their 20's. The sons will use the horses to move cows now and then. Tee hee. I'd love to watch that! Doc and I played with a calf one time. Doc was beginning to understand that I wanted him to shadow the cow and move it. Pippin just wanted to eat the cows! The new owners also want to drive in parades and in gymkhanas in their small community. It sounds like Pippin and Doc will have a wonderful life; they will have a job to do, but won't have to work too terribly hard. Perfect!
So, (sniffle...snort...hiccup) I'll move on to the next chapter of my life, cherishing my wonderful memories... and dream about the future!
In gazing into my crystal ball, I see some travel - and I'm excited about that. We will be heading to Idaho and Oregon in the next few weeks with our camper - the camper that has been in storage since the horses took over the barn! Then maybe we'll swing home via Washington, Montana and Wyoming. (Any Blog friends out there who live in those areas, who want to meet for coffee or whatever, please leave a comment - it would be great fun to connect.) I have a High School reunion in the northeast coming up later in the fall, and we are combining that with a trip, involving a large vessel and water, to celebrate our anniversary... 40 years! Holy Cow! How did that happen so fast?!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marriage Made in Heaven

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, nor puppy dogs and buried treasures, nor kitties and buried... never mind, stays these flowers from the completion of their appointed rounds...



Despite our terrible hail storm in June and the drought and heat that has followed, parts of my garden are looking colorful, if not a bit ragged. Last year I started Hollyhocks from seed and plunked them in the garden. Generally Hollyhocks are biennials, so they don't bloom until their second year. What fun to see them flower this year.


I have a beautiful single blossomed beauty, 
that looks just like her mother!



Here is a lovely double bloom, that also looks like those 
from a plant at my old home.


 Evidently there was a bit of hanky panky going on in the garden!
This must be their child, with traits from both parent flowers!



Isn't she lovely?

And more Hollyhocks...

Years ago we were given this old ancient painted mirror. We're not even sure who gifted it to us. It sat in a stack of paintings in a closet at one home. It was under the bed at another home. It wasn't loved or appreciated. When we moved to our new home and came across the mirror, a Cinderella phenomenon occurred . I'm not certain if it was the colors that attracted me, or that I now grow Hollyhocks, or that painted mirrors seem to be making a revival, but I fell in love with the mirror. It now hangs in our front entry. 


Moving Day

Or... Things That Go Bump in the Night We let the moving company know that we were ready. We waited. Anxiously. Finally we ...