Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Night The Animals Talk

It is Christmas Eve. The night the animals talk. When I was a girl there was a show on T.V. called The Night The Animals Talk. It left quite an impression. Does anyone but me remember it? Ever since I saw it I made sure all stalls were cleaned and the animals had plenty of hay and water. Just in case. I didn't want them to talk about the measly dinner and the poo in their stalls. I wanted them to talk about important things...like how much they loved me, their owner.
But this year I almost forgot. It is miserable here for the animals right now. Sure they have a dry place to lay their bodies down but they can't get out their stalls very far. I have lots of miniature animals and the snow is over a foot deep. The goats take two steps out and cry pitifully and take two steps back in.

The chickens won't even take the two steps.

The llamas are staying right on the path I wore down going from stall to stall. And the pigs are just confused.

Sunny on the other hand just dives right in, sinking up to his belly. You see he has a new girlfriend. She is a pretty little filly brought back from the racetrack for the winter. She is in the neighbor's pasture right on the other side of his fence. I thought he wasn't interested in other horses but they weren't the right horses. I mean who would be interested in Large Marge when you could have Tipperary Dream?


Anyway back to the night the animals talk...that's tonight so I went down to feed in the dark and everything was quiet...not to worry I think it doesn't start until midnight. I was pleased to find all the goats breaking bread in the big stall. No one was being left out. For once they were all getting along.
The llamas were laying side by side in their stall. The neighbor's chickens were tucked safely in with my chickens. No pecking order going on.
And Sunny nickered as I walked up. So all this snow has been good for one thing. It has forced all to get along.
As I filled the hay racks and checked the water I wondered what they would talk about when I left.

I hope it's how much they love each other...and how much they love me.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Too Much of A Good Thing...Or Count Your Blessings

Today has been interesting to say the least. I pictured that today my son and I would be catching up, doing a little Christmas shopping, baking cookies and playing with the dogs in the snow. Instead I have been here by myself while Hubby is out snow-plowing and my son is still in Boulder. He had rescheduled his flight for tonight but that too has been canceled. It has snowed all day. Hubby and I were laughing last night about be careful what you wish for...me - a snow day from school, him - a little overtime. Well I got my snow days that keep on going and he got some overtime that keeps on going.
Last night with reports of high winds along with the snow I decided to move some animals around. I put some of the goats in Sunny's stall because I felt that it was more comfortable for them. The old goat Moly was cold so he went into the chicken house on a bed of straw....it is amazing how much heat chickens can generate and they are used to him because he is always sneaking in there to steal their food. I put the llamas in with the Cora Belle and Filbert. And I took Sunny home to hole up in the woodshed to wait out the "storm of the century". He has been in the woodshed a time or two before. Built around 20 years ago as a horse stall it has since been used as a shed for our wood. The floor is stall mats and it has a fresh layer of sawdust. I set him up with his hay, a bucket of water and put on his blanket.
This morning when the predicted winds never came but the snow did I decided to take him back to the farm to get some exercise. It was slow going for a 31 inch horse. We had to walk in the ruts made by the car tires but we made it to the farm. I fed everyone, cleaned stalls, shoveled snow away from the stall openings, made sure everyone had water and came home. I spent the day doing this and that and then decided since it was STILL snowing I would bring Sunny home again to spend another night in the woodshed. By this time the snow is about 14 inches but it is easy going if you walk down the middle of the road staying in the ruts. We get home and I walk up to the woodshed and...what the heck...the roof is in a state of collapse. A big beam is crashed in where just hours before stood Sunny. I was so grateful my little horse wasn't in there. So back down the road we went but this time it is getting harder, snow laden branches are crashing around us. Sunny is a bit spooky. A truck flies by us going way too fast, coming inches from Sunny's behind. And I'll admit it. I flipped him the big purple bird. My gloves are purple. I have had enough. I am sure it was my exneighbor coming back from dropping his kids off at his exwife's...they probably had words and he was taking it out on the road. I don't know, it kind of felt good. I hadn't done that in years but don't mess with a woman who's Christmas is going down the drain.
After getting all the goats to cooperate and go back into the other stall I put Sunny in his original stall and came back home. The phone is ringing. It's Hubby and he just went off an embankment in a snowplow. Luckily he wasn't hurt and he didn't hit anyone else, although he took a heck of a ride that included a few spins . He had been up and down that hill a least four times yesterday but today is a new day.
He was teasing me and said, "It looks like it will be you, me, and Solomon for Christmas...no wait a minute...It looks like it will be you and Solomon."

And because my camera is on it's way but not here yet I will post a picture of the goats giving the shavings "the business" they love to give the shavings "the business".



And Filbert and Cora Belle out for a walk on a warmer day.

I will never wish for a snow day again.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For...Or...Too Much Of A Good Thing

I get pretty excited when the weather forecast is snow. Here in the Pacific Northwest our snow showers are few and far between. I have been hoping it would snow and we could have a few snow days from school. I tend to be a live for the moment kind of girl and don't care about the fact that it causes us to go later into June. So when the forecast said snow and it came and we had not one but three snow days I was pretty excited. I loved staying home and caring for the animals which keep me pretty busy just hauling water and plumping up the bedding and feeding them way too much hay. I put Sunny's red blanket on him. I made cinnamon rolls and put out seed for the birds. I've cleaned the house and am looking forward to my son and his little dog coming home for the holidays. But the snow is getting out of hand. It needs to stop soon. We are now in the middle of the storm of the century. They are predicting up to 14 inches in our area which is unheard of. My son is still at the Denver airport with his flight being delayed, so far, at least two hours and I have a feeling they will cancel it altogether because SeaTac is having a blizzard. My mom worry meter is going through the roof right now. And to top that off I was just watching the news when they broke in with breaking news and said, "This just in from Colorado, a plane has gone off the runway at the Denver airport." My heart stopped. My stomach clenched. They said it was a Continental flight. My boy is on an Alaska flight. I hope everything is OK but so far they haven't said any more. The snow is coming down so hard if my boy does get in I don't think I could get out to get him. Hubby works for the county and can run a snow plow and sander so guess where he is right now.
Now I wish the snow would have never come.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just My Opinion


It's another snow day and I have plenty of time on my hands. My camera is on it's way but isn't here yet so my post today will be a subject that is something I want to write about. You could label it a rant and there will be very little funny in it. But remember it's just my opinion......

My mom and I were talking the other day about the weather and how hard it is on homeless people. They had a few heartbreaking photos in the local paper that would just wrench your heart. With this cold weather they have also been talking about your pets and how to care for them in the cold weather. Anyway we got around to the subject of when did people cross the line of caring more for animals than they do people. Now if you are a regular reader of my blog you know that I love my animals and take the best of care of them but to me they are still animals and when push comes to shove people are more important. I enjoy my animals, I give them the best of care possible and I cry a good cry when they die but I do put it into perspective and will not put them before the people in my life. They are animals and we do them a great disservice when we try to humanize them.
With this in mind I will tell you about a recent encounter on another blog. This blog is written by a veterinarian (not Vet on the Edge) and one of her recent posts was about the movie by Disney starring a Chihuahua. She talked about how she hoped that the movie would not encourage people to get Chihuahuas when they weren't the breed for them due to the fact that they have health problems and behavior problems because people treat them like babies. Not unlike other breeds that have seen the rush to get them when they get a lot of publicity in movies or when a certain breed wins Westminster. My comments started out benignly enough. Saying that I had the most wonderful little Chihuahua that was like a black Lab in a 6 pound body, that my vet loved. Well people started to get nasty about Chihuahuas, and never being one to back down from a good argument, I just stated that why get up in arms over a dog that even if it is raised wrong and babied is no real danger to the general public. Who cares if people want to baby and hold their little dog. Then I made the mistake and said the "P" word. I said, with my usual sarcasm and tongue in cheek, That why get all up in arms over a dog that can't do much harm, I save my breed biases for Pit Bulls that can and do, in my area, harm people and livestock almost every day. Well you'd have thought I said, "Your mother wears army boots." People came unglued about my breed bias toward pit bulls. I heard the usual argument about blame the owner not the dog. I was told how wrong I was that most pit bulls were perfectly nice dogs. I didn't know what I was talking about. I was even accused of "drinking the kool-aid"-there is that stupid saying again. It implies that I'm not smart enough to think for myself.
Believe me I've thought a lot about this. Let me explain. Our area is a fairly rural area that meanders along Puget Sound with many bays and inlets. With all this water, we have multi-million dollar homes and then we have travel trailers in the woods with most of the population somewhere in between. We have a fairly large portion that the pit bull seems to be the dog of choice. Now these people have them for all the wrong reasons and generally don't socialize them or take them to obedience classes. They are usually not confined to the owners yard and if they are they seem to get out at all the worse times. We have had many attacks in the last few years. For example, A disabled woman was sleeping in her bed when two pit bulls entered her doggy door and attacked her. Her service dog tried to help but was helpless so hid under the bed. The neighboring Jack Russell that was there visiting tried his best to protect her and was killed for his effort. The woman made it out the door and into her car where she called the police. When they entered her house there was blood and body parts of the little dog everywhere. She was badly injured and spent many days in the hospital. Her neighbors got together and cleaned her house and fixed all the damage. Now you tell me if that woman cared one bit if it was the owner or the dogs' fault. And if she would rather it had been an unsocialized Chihuahua that entered her doggy door that morning.
Example 2- A grandma dropped her grand kids off at the bus stop and was heading home. Just as she entered her yard she was attacked by 2 pit bulls. They grabbed on and drug her around her yard. They bit her ears off. She was able to get her arm around the porch rail and held on for dear life. Upon hearing her screams a neighbor ran to help but was unsuccessful in getting the dogs to release her which they did only after the police came and shot them. I'm positive that she cared not one wit who's fault it was.
I have many more local incidents in my memory banks that include Hubby coming home from his usual bike ride bloodied and bruised from being knocked off his bike by an attacking pit bull. Luckily he is dog savvy and was able to get away before too much harm was done. But what if it was a child? Hubby didn't care who's fault it was. He hated the dog...and the owner.
I was told that most people couldn't pick out a pit bull in a line-up. Well I have trained and showed dogs all my life. I have taught obedience classes where people paid me a lot of money to help them train their dog. I have taught 4H dog training for many years. Many of my good friends are very accomplished dog trainers. I can pick out a pit bull or pit bull mix in any line-up.
Don't get me wrong I know there are many nice Pits out there. I have had several in my classes. But these people come to class and socialize their dogs.
I hate the argument...blame the owner not the dog...and that is after the dog has done all the damage. And it seems that large breed dog owners are the most defensive. I was even told by a dog trainer that, I, as a dog trainer should know that any dog can be retrained to not be aggressive...well I don't know that. Temperament has a lot to do with heredity and poor breeding. I know many examples of puppies that were raised right and socialized properly that had trouble with aggression, and these being raised by experienced dog trainers. No wonder the general public has problems. My friend that has English Springer Spaniels has no problem admitting that there are aggression problems in her breed. I have no problem with breed biases toward my Shelties. You don't know how many people say that Shelties are yappy and hyper. I agree they can be, some are, some aren't. Border collie people have no problem admitting that bad breeding and what the BC was bred to do can cause problems for the general public.
I was even told that just as many Chihuahuas bite people but they don't get reported because they are not as news worthy. Well excuse me....of course not because small dogs can do very little damage.
The last comment geared toward me was a lengthy explanation about properly socializing dogs that had no place in the real world. You see my friends, I, as a dog trainer try to deal in the real world, where most people don't properly socialize their dogs, where yes maybe some do get the wrong dog for them. Where most people would rather worry about a dog that could kill their child than one that could give them a few puncture wounds.
So you see I have over the years thought a lot about this. People have asked me from time to time what I think about Pit Bulls and I state that yes there are some very nice ones but with all the breeds out there why chose a dog that has the potential of harming someone, that can cause you problems with your insurance and your neighbors. And if you have a well mannered Pit Bull then more power to you. You shouldn't be so defensive or stick your head in the sand about the problems with the breed you chose.
Once again my whole point was...Why worry about small dogs that don't do much harm...save your worry for something that can and apparently does. And no matter how much you love your dog, people are more important. Just keepin' it real.

Just my opinion.


Next on "Just My Opinion"- Dog Breeders verses Puppy Mills, it might surprise you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Look Up


We are right smack dab in the middle a winter wonderland. Snow has fallen all day and it has made for some interesting predicaments for some people. Not me. It means 3 snow days in a row...and now Christmas break. I have remained at home caring for the animals and knitting by the fire. Poor Hubby has been out on the roads helping people out of the predicaments since he works for the county and can run a snowplow and sander. All I can do is keep the home fires burning and make sure he has a warm meal when he gets in. I made cinnamon rolls, how's that for a treat! Now I would take pictures of all this snow but my camera is at Canon getting fixed. It has been a problem since I got it. I can get some amazing shots but for every one of those I get a bazillion that are out of focus. Me being the self-doubter that I am kept thinking I was doing something wrong so I put off taking it back. Just when I would be all prepared to take it back I would get a gorgeous shot like this....

Or this......

And think, once again, it was me doing something wrong.

After taking my camera to Thanksgiving and letting my son and his lovely girlfriend look at it, because they know a whole lot more about cameras than I do, I decided to take it back. They told me it was the camera for sure. So I took it back to the store only to be told that I was 10 days too late. If I'd have come back 10 days ago they'd have given me my money back. The manager said, "Why in the world would you think it was your fault?" "Most people think it is the camera."
Well I'm not like most people and tend to think everything is my fault....or nothing is my fault...depending on who you talk too.
The next day I called Canon and a very nice gal troubleshooted with me and determined that is was indeed the camera and to send it back pronto so they could get it back for Christmas. She said she would email me a shipping label and a return invoice. So I waited and nothing came. I called again and this time I got rude dude on the phone that sharply told me that they never give out shipping labels, it was against their policy but could I hold....so I held...he came back on the line and said begrudgingly that he would send me one but once again it was against their policy. At least rude dude sent one and off to the repair shop my camera went. I hope I get it back before Christmas, but I didn't get it back in time to take pictures of Sunny in the snow. He is such a little fuzz bucket right now and I would love to have taken a picture of him today as the snow fell.

So I leave you with a few shots of warmer days and a reminder to not forget to look up.
Help! I'm lost without my camera.

This just in; Camera is on the way...yay

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fish Kiss


Twelve years ago I was starting a new job at the school down the street and wanted to get a goldfish for my desk. I went into the local Walmart and bought a round glass bowl, some pretty marbles, and a 7 cent feeder fish. It was a whitish clear colored fish with a big orange spot on its head. The guy that I bought it from told me I really should get a plain orange one because then if it died I could just replace it without telling the kids. That's not my style. I would never lie to a child. I learned that from Mr. Rogers.
I put that fish on the corner of my desk. A boy named Justin came up with her name, Slick he called her. Perfect name for a fish. How do we know she's a she?.....she has laid eggs twice.
Over the years many a child has fed her and many a child has dipped the tip of their finger in the bowl for a fish kiss. You see that's what is special about Slick, she gives kisses. If you touch your finger in the water ever so slightly Slick will come up and kiss your finger. Now I know that she is just looking for food but the kids don't. They are thrilled to have been kissed by a fish. They love Slick. They fight over who is going to feed her. Every day it goes like this...Can I feed Slick?.....He got to feed Slick yesterday!.....You told ME I could feed Slick!
They never lose interest or forget to feed her.

Slick died today.

I cried...like a baby...over a fish.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Remotely Farming


It's time to spill the beans. I am a carrier of secrets. I am living a lie. Yes, I am lying to my friends. First off my closest friends don't know I write a blog. You know Barb? The one that feeds my animals while I'm away. My BFF. Here's a picture of her and a couple of her many animals.
Doesn't know a thing about this blog.

My friend Cathy, the dog trainer extraordinaire and a good BF, doesn't have a clue that I write and rant. I tell these two women almost everything but not about my blog. At first I was embarrassed to let anyone I know read what I wrote. Now a year later it seems weird somehow to say "Hey I write a blog and by the way sometimes you're in it." I am worried about offending anyone...like saying my mom looks like my horse. Now that could be taken wrong. And with my sense of humor it can and does happen. But now I feel like I have to tell them. And it's all Danni's fault. She mentioned a party. A party of funny people. It grew from there and if I'm having a party I have to invite my BFFs. What am I going to say? "Hey Barb, I met all these people on the internet"
Especially if you show up and you're all 45 year old men. Not that there is anything wrong with 45 year old men...if that is what you are expecting.

My other secret involves you. I have not told you that I farm remotely. My farm is not at my house. It is down the street. When Hubby and I went looking for a farm we happened upon this cabin on the water. It is like "On Golden Pond" so I put off my farm for the time being. But not for long. I needed some acreage to call my own so we bought some property down the street to keep my horses on. I knew it was do-able because a few of my neighbors do the same thing. It is the best of both worlds but does have a few drawbacks. I have to walk a little ways down the street to take care of my farm. But that can be a good thing. I get a lot of walking in and so do my dogs. They love to walk to the farm and back. The farm is fully fenced so to them it is like one big dog park.
I do worry a bit about my animals but have good fences, good neighbors and two guard llamas. Knock on wood in the almost twenty years I've been doing this nothing bad has happened.
Why an I telling you this? Because I don't want you to get to the party at the farm and say, "Where's your house?" Or get to my house and say,"Where's your farm?"
Now I just need to talk to Barb and Cathy....but not before I read ALL my post to make sure I didn't say anything that might offend them.
I'm pretty good at that.

Now my ranting about a proper farm makes sense doesn't it?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hey Danni

Hey Danni,
See my weatherpixie? I stole her from you but made her look like me....and she has a dog...sometimes.
Love,
Goatgirl

It's 10:01pm and it's snowing...yeah. I love snow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Like Mother, Like Horse

My mom came out the other day to visit her goatgirl's farm. She had never met Sunny and wanted to get a look at the little horse that she had read about on my blog. Mom is my greatest fan. She laughs in all the right places and she "gets me"
I wanted to get some pictures of her and Sunny and couldn't get over how much they looked alike.
Sunny looks more like my mom than I do. They being both blond and petite.

My brother and his girlfriend came too and visited all the animals. They don't read my blog because I'm sure they have more important things to do. Hmmmmm. My brother even said, "Don't you put a picture of me on the internet."

HA...since he doesn't read it he'll never know.


Neither will Kym. They are too important to read my blog but Kym's mother does.
Goatbrother did dub mom "llama mama" for her blog name. Doesn't fit her one bit. I think it was a dig at me.
My brother is sarcastic and wickedly funny. No one is safe from his humor and I laugh constantly when he's around. And if you are a regular reader of my blog you know....I like funny.


Koo must like funny too because he followed goatbrother everywhere.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Open Wide


This morning dawned cold and rainy. The perfect day for the vet to come out and get down on his knees to do dental work on Sunny. It just couldn't be helped. Sunny had many sharp points on his teeth and the grain was falling out of his mouth faster than it was going in. Since the vet needed a dry place to run his power equipment and he needed power to run his power equipment Hubby was kind enough to move some of his motorcycles out of the way so we could do the dental work in the garage. Hubby restores vintage motorcycles and has about 15 bikes in varies stages of restoration so it was no easy task. This is another good reason to have a mini...they fit just about anywhere....in between the Honda and the Yamaha. Don't tell Hubby but after all that work we did it under the eaves and used the garage to keep the vet's tools out of the rain. There are a lot of tools in horse dentistry.
First Sunny was measured in order to find his weight. He is 165 lbs. Can you believe that! That gives you an idea of how tiny he is. Then he was sedated. As he fell asleep he was fitted with an attractive mouthpiece and his mouth was pried open. The better to see you with my dear.
The good news is..Sunny has a great mouth for a mini, who are prone to mouth problems. The bad news was he had lots of sharp points and hooks and too many teeth for his mouth. The vet filed all the sharp points and took down all the hooks. There isn't much we can do about too many teeth and luckily it doesn't seem to be causing any problems.

While the vet changed tools Sunny promptly fell asleep on the vet tech's shoe.
They were very impressed with him and said he is in perfect health and perfect weight and was just...well...perfect.
They said not to worry about the clicking in his joints that some horses do that and don't seem to have any problems. It could be from all his time in the kennel doing his figure eight and that caused the stiffness. He is no longer doing the neurotic pacing so with conditioning that should get better.
I guess I did good after all. When will I learn not to awfulize?
I paid my bill and they went on their way. I turned around to my sleepy boy and still had to clean his sheath. (Mom, now would be the time to stop reading) Sure I could have paid the vet to do "it" but how hard could it be? Besides I had Google. While looking up how to do "it" I found this very funny article. I like funny. So I put on my latex gloves and dove in...so to speak.

Sunny put his head on my shoulder and looked at me lovingly. He was having a good day.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Randomness


I don't have anything to write about. My mind is blank. Oh I did the usual things today around the farm; Fed animals, gathered eggs, cleaned stalls, we even did the pig flip to trim hooves which I might add we are getting darn good at. First Hubby sweet talks his girls, then he asks them to come over so he can flip them, when that doesn't work he chases them around the pen and grabs their front legs and flips them in his lap. Sweet talking them the whole time while they scream bloody murder in his ear. I trim their hooves and then he rolls them on their feet. This all takes about 5 minutes each. We spend more time thinking about it, talking about it and gearing up for it than it actually takes to do it. We cut up wood for kindling and repaired some fences. Tomorrow I will do a general clean-up of the place. We have visitors coming to see the animals. My mom is coming over to meet Sunny for the first time and she is bringing my brother and his wife. I like to have the stalls all cleaned and everything all picked up when we have visitors. It makes the experience much more fun when things don't smell like poo. Or you're not stepping in poo. Or looking at poo. Gosh I hope my mom doesn't wear white.
Tuesday the vet is coming out to float Sunny's teeth. He is having a hard time eating because of the sharp points on his teeth and it is getting worse by the day. I am curious to see how the vet gets down to see into Sunny's mouth. I have a small stool ready to offer him. It is the stool that I sit on to groom this tiny steed. I found early on that if I didn't sit on the stool I spent a lot of time grooming his back, ignoring his sides and legs because they were hard to see. I will also take the opportunity while he is sedated to clean out his sheath. If you don't know what that is all I can say is...you don't want to know. One thing about having animals is you never know what you might see when you go out to see them. Take for instance, Cora Belle's tail. The other day I let all critters out into the main pasture. Goats, llamas, horse, pigs, chickens...did I leave anyone out?....and went back out later and Cora Belle's tail had been cut off...the hair that is. There was even a few spots of blood on her skin. Now who would do that? It was cleanly cut like someone took a pair of scissors to it but left a few hairs on the left side. Strange. Maybe some strange cult looking for the hair of a goat's tail and happened to walk by and see the lovely Cora Belle. Who knows?
I told you it would be randomness.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Journey Back Home


I have a friend. Well, a few friends really but this one in particular is one of my horse friends that I happen to work with. The same one that accompanied me on the joyride with a horse in my jeep. As a matter of fact it is probably her fault I got back into the horse owner status in the first place. Yep, I'm going to blame it on her.
It all started when she decided she needed to find a new home for her beloved Ren because he just couldn't hold up to all she wanted to do on a horse. And let's face it we aren't getting any younger and there were places to go and things to do before she got too old to do them. Ren needed someone that just did light riding. Now this decision was very hard for her. She loved this horse beyond what was healthy but was trying to do what was best for him. So she asked me to compose an ad that told his story and she posted it on craigslist. The responses were overwhelming and she was able to find a home for him on a farm very close to her house where the woman does very little riding but a lot of brushing.
Now she needed to find a horse so she compiled a list of all the qualities this new horse should possess.
Some of which were....
She wanted a tall horse that would fit all of her equipment.
She wanted it to be fairly well trained.
It had to have a personality that wanted to be with people.
No spook!
Safe on trails.
She wanted this horse to be young because she wanted it to be the last horse she bought.
And pretty for the drill team.
She then spent weeks looking for the right horse. She is the health tech at our school and I would go into the health room on my breaks and sit on the blue vinyl couch, trying not to catch a germ, and talk horses. We would quickly look at a few possibilities on craigslist and dreamhorse....and I mean quickly because we didn't want to get in trouble for using school computers for shopping. Then after work she would be off to look at another horse only to be disappointed by another tall tale that the owner had told her. Most were hardly trained and the seller frantically tried to make the horse do something it didn't have a clue about how to do. At times it was down right sad and my friend was getting discouraged.
Now in the meantime her daughter happened to have a beautiful Missouri Foxtrotter gelding that she had bought at a time when she really didn't need a horse but he was a nice pinto boy with a steady way that anyone could ride. And he had the best sweet horse smell ever.
I would say to my friend, "What about Sim?" "Why don't you ride him?"
And she gave me every excuse in the book why she didn't want to ride him. Her most popular response being, "He just doesn't do anything for me."
Her horse friends said, "What about Sim?" Same answer.
So back on craigslist and dreamhorse she went dragging me right along with her until low and behold I was the one that found a horse when I fell in love with his picture.
But she didn't.
Back on the blue vinyl couch I went....."Any luck?" I'd say. Trying hard not to catch a germ.
We talked on the phone. We talked in the staffroom. And shhhh don't tell the boss but we talked a bit at recess.
She drove hither and yon...she looked at over 17 horses. She even brought a gorgeous palomino mare home for a trial visit only to take her back after a couple of days because she wasn't the horse for her. Thank goodness...that girl needed a lot of work.
I said, "What about Sim?"
She didn't hear me.
Her horse friends said, "What about Sim?"
She ignored them.
Her daughter put Sim up for sale.
But before she sold him my friend took him on a trail ride with her drill team...he is great on trails....they flipped over him. A seed was planted.
She had scheduled a lesson at her trainers when she had the palomino mare and didn't want to cancel even though she took the mare back so she took Sim instead.
And the trainer flipped over him. The seed started to grow.
My friend took out her list and read her requirements.
He fit every one.
She decided to buy the horse that was in her own backyard.

The next day at work I said my usual..."Well, any luck?"

Glowing and grinning from ear to ear she said, "I bought Sim."

I let out a whoop and gave her a big hug.

Sometimes you don't have to look any further than your own backyard.




And besides, my immune system couldn't take much more of that blue vinyl couch.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks


I love a road trip. I love riding along and looking at how other people live. I love looking at farms and imagine living there. After our last road trip where we made the unfortunate stop in Vegas I didn't think Hubby and I would ever leave our street. But we did and I'm glad for it.

We decided to take a Thanksgiving trip to Bakersfield to visit my son, goldilocks, and her very fun family. It was so good to see them and laugh about our above said trip, share a bounty of good food and meet goldilocks' 90 year old grandma. I have come to the conclusion that Bakersfield gets a bum rap. The butt of jokes for years, Bakersfield is not as I pictured. It is very much like Tacoma, the town I grew up in...but minus the rain plus sweltering heat, I hear. I love California...north of the Grapevine hill. It still has a lot of open spaces, lots of farms and some very beautiful countryside. Grapes grow around Bakersfield as far as the eye can see. I love grapes and I love wine so grapes as far as the eye can see is good. But most of all I love where real people live and Bakersfield is full of real people. It is a practical, sturdy town that helped to mold goldilocks into the smart, down to earth, real person that she is today. That is why my son loves her....and she is beautiful. I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.

Some random things I observed on the road trip are...
America if you are listening, we don't need any more stores!!! If I see one more new modern complex with a Target, Home Depot, etc. etc. I am going to scream. All the towns are starting to look the same.
People need to take a lesson from Hubby and turn those junk vehicles into some cold hard cash. That's scrap metal you know. I think there is enough out there to fund the bail-out for the automakers. The circle of life.
Oregon is the cleanest of all three states. Hubby described it as the best of California and the best of Washington all rolled into one state but they love their ADULT SHOPS right next to the freeway.
Oh and one more thing...Danni, when did Waddles become Hooters??? That's just WRONG.

Solomon was happy to see his brother...


Returning home to find all animals in good shape is always a blessing too. My animals love when I'm gone because that means my neighbor, Barb, feeds. Barb is very generous with the food. She thinks a little hay is good but a lot of hay is better. I come home to fat and happy animals.
I have been trying to entice the neighbor's chickens into my chicken coop. Now I admit it is chicken thieven' but the reality is that they are at my place all the time. I feed them and they don't. I don't want them eating at my place and laying at theirs. It kind of reminds me of when another family lived there and bought two sheep. They were under the impression that the sparse pasture was enough for the sheep to live on so fed them no extra. I couldn't stand to see them looking through the fence at me and would throw them hay when I fed my animals. A year later I was talking to the woman and she marveled at how wonderful the meat from those sheep was...and it didn't cost them anything to feed them. I didn't clue her in because they were moving and I wouldn't have to feed any more sheep and they needed the help anyway but I refuse to feed the chickens and not get any eggs. They started out with six lovely young hens and because they don't lock them up at night they are down to three. One nice Black Star and 2 wild Rhode Island Red Heads.

Before I left I locked up the Black Star in with my hens. She really liked the never ending buffet.
The Rhode Island Reds wanted nothing to do with it and freaked out, upsetting my girls, so out they went. Barb was able to lock the Black Star in every night with my girls. No luck on the wild red girls. I am afraid their days are numbered.
I asked Barb if she got any eggs and she said no that there weren't any in the boxes. I thought that strange and went out to look. Oh there were eggs all right. It's just that my girls lay all their eggs in one basket...so to speak. They have six boxes and all lay in one. If someone is using it at the time they just wait their turn instead of choosing an empty box. Barb just didn't look at the one on the far end so I have eggs to sell tomorrow.

It's time to get back to our routine.....and put these animals on a diet.