Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last day of the year..........Thursday

I leave the house this morning and there is fog......hanging in the low spots of the road, looking like clouds which have fallen from the sky somehow. It rained during the night. I get to the barn and get started.......water tubs need filling........the paddocks are squishy under my feet.

Jake is not feeling too good this morning. Lethargic, runny eyes and he didn't finish his hay. I run my hands over him, rub his ears.........and then take his temperature. No temperature noted. I give him some new hay and he nibbles it. HMMM> I will keep my eye on him as I feed everyone and it will give me something else to worry about today....by the time I start serving grain he is a little perkier and he hollers for the grain. I pour it in his bucket and he eats greedily. I feel a little better. Although somedays I expect to find him dead.....I don't want him to die. I want to see him with weight on and able to move without such huge effort. I am impatient with weight gain. I can gain about ten lbs in two days....no sweat....so I am wanting to see an immediate difference in Jake. It takes time when starvation has robbed you of muscle and fat....

I feed the chickens and make a note that I must clean the coop on Friday.......nest boxes too.
Paddocks will need raking too. The mud gets ahead of me....the chores get ahead of me....
Speaking of chickens, the little speckled hen is laying eggs on top of the closet in the barn......WAY up there. You have to use a ladder to get the eggs. All those nice nest boxes and a custom coop........and she lays eggs in the barn.

We will put an automatic gate in this weekend and a security camera at the farm. Necessity, unfortunately. We can watch the security camera from our computers......very cool.

My mother is ill and will have surgery next week, so my blog may be sporadic......a few lines here and there. I would appreciate your prayers for my mom......
Note to Mom: I love you and will be there for you....probably even cook for you...think positive thoughts. We will get through this.

Some days hit us like a ton of bricks. Sadness that puts a heavy weight on our hearts and minds. ...hard to shake off, impossible to forget and yet we must continue on...no place to stop that would be easy......keep going.

Tomorrow is 2010. Too strange.....George Orwellian. Think about how much has changed in ten years and what is to come in the next ten. The impossible becomes the norm.
Happy New Year........be safe and sane.........get home early....and have a designated driver PLEASE!

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

Take care of the small things before you go.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday comes around

Up early, leave the house late.......it is cold, as usual.....a double feature now that it is raining.
Soggy paddocks, steamy breath from warm grain........chickens in the barn. Jake has made a mess, which really only means everything is working. When I dump his grain slop into his bucket he pushes my hand and the bucket away so that he can start the business of eating.
Soon I have a virtual chorus of slurping and bucket thumping which I find comforting.

I feed the cats and tell them that today they really must leave their room.......I take the tiger striped one and place her on the hay bales......but she runs back to the safety of the room....so I take the calico and put her on the hay.....and she too runs back. Hmmm....stockholm syndrome....it must be.....I leave the door open for them as I do each morning so that maybe they will venture out. The chickens feel free to go in and get the dry cat food crumbles, one even laid an egg in their bed...but the cats won't come out.

The weekend will come and we have chores to do........move manure piles......fix some fencing....groom horses.........move hay, tractor work......arena fencing. ...boy those horses are hard on the arena fence.

Pete the peacock is still hanging around and I guess he really is not leaving on his own. I thought he might find his way back to his own farm. How do you keep those things on your own place because it seems like they just wander....for miles. He is hanging with the chickens and they don't seem to care. He walks around with them and naps with them...and he clacks his beak at me. ...as some kind of warning to not come close. ...not sure why, because he runs if you walk after him. He makes a strange noise somewhat like when you blow air through a reed that goes on an instrument and he makes it over and over again......every once in a while he screams a high pitched noise that sounds like "help me". No kidding.


On my way to work and I listen to The Honeydrippers sing "Sea of Love". ..
Traffic is light and I think that everyone except me must have the week off. No Starbucks this morning........just my home brewed stuff in my new travel mug. There will probably be Starbucks for lunch.

Off to bed, lots of things to do tomorrow.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow

Say yes and follow through.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just another manic Monday

Up early......it is raining, still cold.........one load of laundry, all dogs fed..........coffee made, in the shower.......off to the barn.
I listen to Sarah Vaughn........yikes.....just listening to old CD's........no oldies station this morning.
To the barn and I turn all the lights on, feed the cats, let the chickens out.......the horses scold me for even thinking about feeding those cats first........the cats meow and love their canned food. I always give them canned food in the morning. Something hearty to start their day.

Jake moves slowly this morning, almost painfully. I worry about him as I fix his grain.......he feels well enough to creep forward into the barn and "steal" hay. I let him.........at this point, I may always let him....whatever he wants for as long as he wants.

I warm everyone's grain and give extra beet pulp to TarBaby. We are trying to get a little more weight on the old guy. He eats his slop well, but lacks in the hay department. He is very long in the tooth as they say and a very sloppy eater. He has grain/slop all down his wall and onto the floor. He has worn a spot in the dirt where he sticks his leg out for Beaver......the "you try to bite me, then I try to bite you game"...... horses are so very playful.

Beaver learned to get his head through the gate that separates him and the filly.........and after he gets his head through, then he can get a hold of her grain bucket. She screams at him and he doesn't care...she kicks and he kicks back. Everyone has a personality.......everyone has likes and dislikes......some play well with others and others must live in their own paddocks.
Winston plays rough and so he cannot be trusted, especially with an older or down on their luck horse. He threatens through the fence and tosses his beautiful head...kicks up his heels and scares the rest of them. It is not infrequent that he gets a hold of Churchie's blanket and rips it or helps Churchie remove it. Clowns.

Our new volunteer was at the barn tonight and she brought a friend.........nice people. Welcome!

I got most of the tax information done...ready to file........such a lot of work, so little time to do it. The accountant has been after me for a couple of months. Life can be so complicated over uninteresting things.

I washed my truck today......the first time in .....ummm.........well, I won't say. I also vacuumed it. It was SO dirty. Looks brand new now....and um.....now I need to do the horse trailer. The horse trailer needs washing, and maintenance.........wheel bearings.....greasing.........and probably more stuff that I don't know. Soon..........soon.

I keep waiting for things to slow down and they never do. Funny isn't it? Never a dull moment..so I do what I can, when I can, keep lists of what I intend to do and prioritize it each day. I need a full day to myself...........no horses....no chores.........maybe next week? ROFL.

Pony UP fortune for tomorrow.

It is not what you are going to have, but what you already have.......

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday.....long holiday almost over

Wow.....the holiday is almost over, the new year almost here. We had an uneventful weekend.
No major projects going, just the everyday chores that must be done. ...cleaning poop, grooming horses and cleaning the barn.
Saturday we cleaned paddocks and stalls, then went to the feed store and got grain and bedding.
The shoer came and TarBaby, Max and Winston got their feet trimmed. Jake was on the list but he was not all that steady and so we decided to wait another week. His feet are a mess, but are really the least of his problems right now.
We gave haircuts to everyone and cut tails so that they won't be stepped on. We checked weights on horses........and Vinnie is FAT......so his grain ration is cut down. We added some grain to TarBaby's and we added vitamins to Jake's ration.
Jake spent some time in the sun today and yesterday.......he got a little sweaty and so we put a cooler on him for a while....he was dry when I came back this afternoon and I reblanketed him.
We got him a new blanket yesterday so that the old one can be washed. He is still eating good........cleans up all of his hay and is very vocal for his grain. He is coming along and I have hopes he will make it.
We had a lovely Christmas......nice homemade gifts from several people......jams, cookies, and various desserts that I do not need to eat for another year. ...several bottles of wine. My favorite Leaping Horse Merlot......
A nice holiday party with lots of great friends......what more can you ask for? Oh and the sun was out too..........such a bonus. I said today that it is only four months until April....four short months.......and the weather will turn around.....the days will be longer.......the pasture will be better ............no frozen hoses, no using the defrost in the truck.
I came home this afternoon and got some stuff done that I was putting off...........TAXES....end of the year stuff.........I paid some bills too........early, so that I won't have to mess with it later this week........I love to be caught up and finished.....I am sure everyone else does too.

I switched the horses over to Allegra Cadence. So far I like the quality and they seem to like the taste of it. I cut mostly everyone's rations down except for TarBaby and Jake. I increased their beet pulp. We have mostly TB's and the grain equals high spirits.......can't pay attention.........I have to run around the paddock like a screaming meemie kind of thing. Because we have volunteers.......we have to keep them safe from hyper active hooves and 12oo lb bodies....not just the volunteers........me too! It is easy to keep feeding what you feed, but you really must pay attention to weight and how much hay is wasted. Fortunately, I throw very little hay out when I clean stalls.......they clean it up and waste a very small amount.

So one more holiday to pass and then we are home free for a while......January always seems to be a long month. It will be hard to start writing 2010......it even sounds weird....doesn't it?

Hopefully tomorrow I will have a full report on our Sully and Yukon....both in foster homes. No news is good news I hope?

Enjoy your week.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Be particular when you listen ........ and listen well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas morning

Up a little early.......still dark and it is freezing, the grass crunches under my feet while I walk the dogs. I am glad for a warm vest and thick socks. I come back in the house for fresh coffee. The house is quiet except for a begging cat who wants to be fed right NOW! One fresh can of Seafood Pate coming right up.
I check email for a while, then straighten a few thing up, put some wash in and head for the barn.
I listen to Christmas music on the way......Brenda Lee singing Rocking Around the Christmas tree.
I get to the barn and everyone is lined up for breakfast. I throw hay, heat water, feed chickens, clean Jake's stall, clean TarBaby's stall.......head back and prepare grain/beetpulp/bran. I really must wear some latex gloves as the mixture dries my skin out.......maybe I should wear it as a facial mask?
Jake cleaned up all of his hay and was eager for his grain mixture. He always wants more. We up his quantity slowly. I can already see a little difference in him.
I empty trash, sweep up a little and then give everyone carrots and apples (courtesy of auntie Kim).
Then I head back to the house to spend the day with family.

I don't want to spend my morning writing about the crap we encounter while we rescue and rehab horses.......the nut jobs that we deal with...I could write a book....in fact I should...but..
they don't deserve the attention today......

The sun is out.......bright.......I could almost think it was summer if it didn't feel so cold. It looks like it will be nice all day...good day for a long walk in the woods or a game of lawn football.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve and we have threats

Christmas eve and some folks have nothing better to do than make threats.
Unbelievable.
I have had to call the sheriff's office and make a report.
Monday I will file a restraining order.
I take threats seriously. I have removed particular portions of the blog in order to protect other person's privacy........

I worked until 3 today, then came home, fed dinner to the horses and helped Kim clean stalls. Everyone is tucked in for the night.

The vet came today and removed stitches from Max's face. He also gave Jake a check up and a once over. "Keep feeding" him like you are and bathe him when you can to make his skin more comfortable. We will add vitamins to his food next week and boost his grain a little. He ate well today and cleaned up all of his hay and drank a lot of water.

We will open presents in a little while and then have a late dinner. I hope you are with family that you love and cherish. May all your dreams come true!

Merry Christmas..........2009
Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Show your appreciation for others efforts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday continues.......

Just one of THOSE days.
You get home (or back to the barn)......and all hell has broken loose. Max has ripped his blanket in half, Beaver is in with TarBaby and there has been bloodshed in the chicken coop.

How does a horse rip half of his blanket off? Then try to fit him with an new blanket and he is too long in the back , too fat in the belly.......an 87 is tight. Good grief. He looks like he is wearing something two sizes too small now......but it was the best fit I had.

Beaver has chased TarBaby around and made a mess of his stall.,,he took the fence down and climbed right into TB's paddock. Devil horse.

There is a chicken missing...feathers everywhere.

Those stalls that I stripped yesterday? Gross.

I need two of me. I need it to be daylight again at 4pm. I need to have a talk with the horses about team work and taking care of your things....using the proper toilet facilities and keeping your room clean.

all in a day's work. Saturday cannot come soon enough, so I can work four hours straight and get things organized again.

Welcome to Wednesday

Early.......it is cold.........the Lab is out, I am drinking coffee......making a list about my day and what I need to get done, who I need to call, who I need to thank.........
Let me publicly thank the Berglunds and Mindy from RainSong.......they are taking wonderful care of Sully and Lauren has had him out for his first ride. I am derelict in my duties of posting the photo they sent, but it is on my phone and shall soon be on the blog!
Also, thanks to Doreen, and C! for taking Yukon. He loves his big pasture!

I have to work at my real job all day today and then part of the day tomorrow........then three days off! I do have a few Christmas decorations thrown up.......but no tree. Too much work for me right now.

Kathie, it was nice chatting with you yesterday......I hope I can see your horses and ranch someday. Enjoy your Christmas!

Cliff and Tina........thank you for your recent donation. It will be used to buy much needed hay.

Brenda, thanks for the blanket for Jake. He is wearing two of them to keep him warm. I didn't have anything small enough. You saved us.

Kim , Kelsey and the Stiffey's and Ryan, thank you for your long term devotion and committment to cleaning stalls, feeding animals, building shelters and whatever else needs to be done.

We were glad to be part of the Running Start program this year and to have Devon and Lauren choose us as their community project! Thank you for the hard work and continued support.

I am very thankful for our supporters and I always appreciate the kind words left on our blog or on our forum. I have met many long term friends.

off to start my day.........

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Photos of Jake
















Time out Tuesday

I had the day off today, a committment early this morning so no sleeping in and quite the contrary, I had to get up even earlier.....get the horses fed, a couple of stalls cleaned and then into Silverdale by 7:45am........waited until around 11am, then headed back home. I spent the afternoon stripping stalls, cleaning water buckets, rebedding stalls, cleaning up old hay, sweeping the barn........yeah, that kind of stuff......late this afternoon and I got a chance to do some Christmas shopping for an hour. I made good use of my time. The answer is GIFT CARDS. Personally I love to get gift cards for places that I haunt......so I hope everyone else will too.

I spent time with Jake this afternoon. I took his blankets off and brushed him gently. I cut his bridlepath, curried his head and combed his mane out.....it was a tangled mess. He loved the grooming session.......even when I pulled on his tangled mane. He enjoyed the brush up and around his ears, but not so much on his belly and the hair is so matted, the brush hardly had an impact. He really needs a bath. In a couple of weeks when he is stronger we will take him to a local stable and bathe him. I am sure it will feel good. He ate good today and was adamant that I should give him more grain but he had to settle for warm beet pulp and a horse cookie.
I took pictures of him, as I will every few days to document his recovery. It is hard, at this point to say he looks better....but he is perkier, that is for sure.

I have had people question why we want to find Jake's previous owners? They seem to question our motives. Our motive is simple.......we want to know everything there is to know about Jake.....health, illness, soundness, quirks.....saddle training and we also would love to find someone who loved him, perhaps enough to offer him a retirement home. We realize that folks sell horses.....we have all sold horses and I bet we have all wondered how they ended up or that we would offer to take them back if misfortune occurred and we found out about it. Sometimes we trust too easily and we are sold a bill of goods. It has happened to me, much to my regret. We already know who starved Jake and that person will be held accountable. We are not the police, although I wish we were sometimes. We have many horses in our care who simply ended up in the wrong hands......sold or given away......it doesn't seem to matter.

Vinnie was in high spirits today. I was cleaning his stall and took my jacket off, threw it over the fence and kind of forgot about it, until I saw Vinnie swinging it around like a kite. He crushed the zipper and slimed a good portion of it.
Which reminds me. I always leave a pair of boots in the barn and this morning I could only find one. It seemed strange that the boot could be gone or misplaced. I take them off in the same area....both of them. But this morning I could only find one. I looked under the table....over by the hay.....NO BOOT. I found it this afternoon.......in Winston's stall, under his hay. He must have leaned over his door, grabbed it and then chewed on it a while......then became bored and dropped it. Well......it is still useable.

Christmas is almost upon us and then a new year. I pray for a better economy, more jobs and less heartache.

Pony UP fortune for tomorrow:

Finders keepers, losers weepers.........hang on to it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, so it goes

Drizzling, cool morning....after a somewhat tropical day yesterday. Horses sweating in their blankets even.......geesh.......go figure Mother Nature.
Coffee is brewing, I am thinking my day over. You know I still haven't done my Christmas shopping. My day just got away from me yesterday and guess what? Today is my anniversary and I am also unprepared. I really have to give my husband extra credit for the life we live.....he complains very little that our lives are completely intertwined with horses and that I am usually on the run here and there......transporting horses, going to the feed store......picking up something........or on the phone or on the computer........if I were him, I would probably complain....however, it is always easy to guess what I need for anniversaries, Christmas and birthdays..........HORSE ITEMS........he is not so easy....and if you have any suggestions you had better send them soon.

I need to call the shoer today for Max, TarBaby and Winston....they all need trims. We never did hear from TarBaby's owner. I expected her to come out of the woodwork. How do you abandon your horse? I cannot figure it. ......don't want to figure it at this point. Simple cowardice....leave your "problem" to everyone else and hope for the best. TarBaby is lucky.

Jake had a pretty good day yesterday, he ate well and was pretty vocal each time I was at the barn.......begging for his grain slop and wanting to get out and root through the hay pile. He has good firm poop, is peeing a good quantity and drinking well......I cannot ask for more than that right now. He has grown on us in the short time he has been here......of course they all do...
you care for an animal and you cannot help but bond with it.........and especially one who has been through the wringer. I still want to cry when I look at him. How he has any love left for humans is beyond me....but the fact remains, he does........he still has hope I guess.

I work today and then have tomorrow off, with a committment early in the morning which means I will have to feed/water/clean even earlier...........UGH........someone will have to use a gun to get me up. I hope today goes quickly and uneventfully.........NO DRAMA and NO SUGAR COOKIES>

Ryan.......have a wonderful trip to Arizona........and merry Christmas! We will see you when you come back..........fly safe and sound!

Okay I am off and running...........enjoy your day.

Pony Up fortune for today.

Speak up today, your voice cannot be heard unless you open your mouth.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday morning

Gee ...7:41 and it is still dark. I am waiting on the Lab to come back from her morning romp, drinking some coffee and wondering why it is still so dark? It is drizzling outside and cool, with low hung fog in the trees, hanging on them like some scene out of a backwoods swamp.

We had the Christmas party last night and it was fun.........good food, laughter and spirits....homemade goodies and a fun present exchange....no one was hurt in the tussle over gifts!

Yesterday we got a lot done, but not everything.......we ran out of time........but we did get the manure pile moved (it was smoking hot......yikes!), we got TarBaby home and we got more gravel put in his run. We attempted to install the new water heater but lacked the appropriate fittings, so we will have to try again today. I never hooked up a water heater before.......so of course, I left it to Kim.......did you know that it came with minimal instructions? We almost burned the box before we found that the only instructions are on the outside of the box....oops.

I ate too many cookies yesterday. I freely admit it and I resolve to be better today........you have to love Christmas though........all of that baking that I don't have to do. .. :) I cannot be trusted with Christmas cookies in my truck...........do not, for my sake, hand me any....at least not today.

I take Yukon to a new foster home today. He will share a pasture with two other older horses, with his own stall. He will get ridden out on some trails, get a lot of treats and have access to a huge field. Thank you Doreen and C! We will have his hind shoes pulled this week. I hope I have an older saddle that fits him......he has huge withers and broad shoulders.......the kind of horse you hate to fit........because it usually means custom.

Jake ate well yesterday, cleaned up all of his hay and ate all of his beetpulp/ricebran/senior mix. He is still weak and has a hard time with his balance. He cannot/will not lay down because he lacks the strength to get back up. If you move him over you must be careful to not unbalance him and give him time to situate himself. He loves to have you stand next to him and softly put your hands around his face.......he falls asleep and his head becomes very heavy.
We left his gate open yesterday while we worked and he again ate hay from the hay stack......he prefers it over what he has in his stall, which is the very same hay, I might add. Briann babysat him while we worked to make sure he didn't get into trouble while grazing the hay stack.

I simply must get some Christmas shopping done today. I am so late. I haven't even made a list.
Almost 8 am and it is still dark....so weird.

I got my husband a heat/motion activated camera for Christmas. You anchor it to a tree and it will snap photos of "live"motion/bodies.........we hope to see what is back in our woods. We have had it up for 48 hours, so today we will check it out!

Off to the barn, the Lab is back and everyone has eaten breakfast, so time for the horses.....they will scold me for being late.

enjoy your day, get your Christmas chores done..........


Pony UP fortune for today:


You will find treasure in something cast aside.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Busy Saturday ahead

Tried to sleep in a little.......too much on my mind. I have many things to do today.......the fun never stops around here....always something to do. The manure pile needs turning, stalls need more bedding, paddocks will need to be picked. Pick the trailer up, pick Tar Baby up.......
oh and get ready for the Christmas party.

Max needs his stitches out, the filly needs a haircut, Beaver needs his wooly jammies combed.......and Jake, poor Jake needs a gentle bathing........his mane and tail are ratty and strawlike and his coat is lumpy, scabby and smelly. You can barely touch him because of the bones and we don't want to hurt him.

A huge thanks to Ryan, Devon and Kim.......for cleaning the last three days and for giving me Thursday night off. You are the best.

I better get moving........enjoy your day.

I totally forgot the Pony Up fortune yesterday, so here it is to start your day.

Show kindness to a stranger today........it may be all they have.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Help us identify Jake







Jake is tattooed. He is bay with no white. His teeth appear to be in the teens........




He was said to be a pony horse at Emerald Downs.




We would like to track down Jake's history.


Edited to note: I spent some time on the phone with AQHA and none of the 5 series seems to match......

however, if the number is 6776N, the horse description matches, bay, no white, colt, foaled 1994 and the horse's name is Whisperin Mackay.

We can run DNA, as this horse has DNA on file.


Anybody know this horse? Bay, approx 15.3H, no white....windsucks.









Help us to find out who Jake is.......and where he came from and if anyone still loves him....




It is hard to aptly describe the condition Jake is in....even most of our pictures do not show the extreme emaciation. I said to someone yesterday that he looks like a Thanksgiving turkey carcass. He has severe rain rot and his skin smells......he was so weak, he could not whinny, he could only grunt.
Eating tires him and he must rest frequently.
For those of you who have not figured it out........
we have Jake with us.........we are tending to him and feeding him carefully. It is touch and go. We are not sure Jake will make it. Starvation takes a toll on a body and sometimes the damage is too much...and so we are careful.....we measure his feed, we warm his feed and we keep hay in front of him 24 hours. He cannot be de-wormed until his weight is up. We work the incremental feeding up a little at a time and we pray he will not colic.
You want to feed him a lot, take the hunger away and fill him up.......but you must be careful. Food must be measured out in small amounts. Not too many carbs....or the body shuts down...we are giving him fat, protein and a small amount of carbs. As of today, he is cleaning his food up and asking for more.......and he likes to steal hay. When I feed in the morning, I leave his gate open and he goes to the stacked hay and eats from it. I let him.....of course I let him......this morning he gave me a whinny and it broke my heart.
my heart aches when I look at him..........I want to throw up when I take his blanket off and I am always afraid to find him dead in the morning. I tell myself that if he dies, at least he had a few days, a week to know a kind hand and a full stomach...we will have done the best we could do for him and obviously more than any human has done for him in months.
I wonder how people starve animals to this point? are they numb? have they lost all compassion? are they mental? I don't have a quick answer...........I have lost all mercy for them....I pray for retaliation...........or something........anything.
Next week we will submit a DNA test for Jake to find out is he is Whisperin Mackay. I am relatively sure he is.......and we will also visit Emerald Downs to find out who had him.
Pure tragedy.
A horse gets given away to a "good" home ......
Once someone's pride and joy.
Now someone's regret.
Help us find out who Jake is.














Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday pm

Many of you have asked about the Gig Harbor horse.

All I can say right now is that "he"is safe. He was reported to be a "she" and we really didn't care about the sex when we helped him out......but "she" is definitely a "he"......
He is tattoo'd and we are tracking his history down. You cannot hide the tale of the tattoo.

Someone is going to be very anguished to find out he was starved and almost starved to death.
Bet me.

We will release more information when we can.

Thursday

Only a minute to blog....I am late as usual and need to get going.
My lap top finally died and will be repaired today.........new harddrive....and that is almost like getting a new brain....at least for me. I have a friend who is this kind of tech savvy and he will "fix" it and hopefully back up all my precious information.

I took Sully to a new foster home last night and he is in the Taj Mahal......really.......I wish I lived there, in a stall........brightly lit, clean, roomy.........huge arena and about five teenage girls to love him. Thank you to the Berglunds and Mindy ............THANK YOU>

TarBaby is still down the street at the neighbors and will come home Saturday. Thank you KIM, Doug and family. I hope he hasn't been a nuisance........he is so nosy.

RAIN< RAIN and more rain, our paddocks are soaked, we had some loafing shed flooding from running water..........oh I wish it was dry and freezing again.

We got more hay yesterday and the BARN is FULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. We have a maze of hay to get through and horses stealing hay from pulled down bales. Winston's neck is too long.........he had a whole bale pulled against his door. Obviously he is not fed enough............NOT. Stolen hay always tastes better.

I have a million things to do and I have to work Friday. I would like to sleep in a little but it isn't going to happen this week.
Ryan is going to come on Friday and do some chores......we have a busy weekend too, as we have the Christmas party......and I have to shop........I am behind schedule.

What do you want for Christmas? I can't think of anything right off the bat that isn't horse related or somehow related to cleaning or feeding horses....I need to get a life.
I think a nice massage and some good socks should hold me....that is what I will tell Santa, if I get a chance.

As I was hauling Sully last night, the trailer lost it's lights.........running lights and I had to use the hazards to get where I was going. Had to leave the trailer too..........so I will go back and get it in the daylight. The turn signals worked but not the running lights........hmmm.......I am sure it is something easy to fix.

Gotta get going..........horses waiting..........and oh, did I mention it is still POURING?????????

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday again

Up really early this morning and to the barn by 6. I have things to do and places to go this morning.............all the way into Tacoma for a meeting and then back to work.
I use the last of the chicken food and make a note to buy more........I also need stall pellets and a new pitchfork..........more notes to self.
I listen to The Supremes sing "Stop in the Name of Love".......finally a song that is older than me...that was like the favorite song of my older sisters when I was a kid. I am much more rock and roll than MoTown.

I leave the door open for the barn cats and hope they will go out. I told Kim they have the Stockholm syndrome....you know, like the Patty Hearst defense? Okay, some of you will have to look this up.........heck, some of you will have to research Patty Hearst, won't you?

Vinnie is feeling TOO good........he and the filly are making quite a pair with the squealing, kicking ,running business.......but then they are two young TB's.........enough said?
I am glad Vinnie is feeling so good....but still I will cut his grain down and increase his beet pulp....like feeding a furnace I always say.
Evidently it is going to rain all day, like it did all night.........umm..........didn't I say I liked freezing weather? We have some leaks....more work on Saturday before our Christmas party.

Thanks to Kim, down the street for taking superb care of TarBaby........he is enjoying himself and I am sure he won't want to come home. We will pick him up Saturday, we promise! Logistics, logistics..........horses ..........everyone needs a stall and right now we are one short....but we have a foster home for someone else this weekend............a GREAT foster home I might add........we will send Sully. Poor Sully man.........he hates to leave the farm.......but this way he can be worked and seen by potential adoptive homes. Thank you RainSong!

We also have Yukon going to a foster home where he will be used as the extra horse........a great little three stall barn with a wonderful group of women who will love him!

so we can be back to normal and take care of some emergencies that have come upon us .........details to come.....some of you are already helping.............thank you.

I am home late tonight..........feed store again, bought new boots for my stupid aching feet and bought chicken food, stall pellets.........I cleaned stalls in the dark and I bet I didn't do a very good job.........another note to finish putting lights in the loafing sheds...........always a day late it seems.

anyway, I am tired and had a full day....my shoulders ache and my brain is running on empty.........always more to think about and plan for another day..........I have never been so busy in my life. Sometimes I amaze myself.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow............

Stranger than fiction, but truth is truth.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday....just plain Monday

Up very early and to the barn before work. Not quite so cold and fortunately no snow. I am glad about that. I know it is Christmas and all......but still, snow causes quite a disturbance and makes so much work.......I would not have minded if it stayed cold and frozen for a while...but really.......please, no snow.

I get hay thrown, check waters and then grain. I still provide hot grain, probably not quite so necessary this morning, but I know they like it and it makes them feel good.
I clean Churchie's stall as it is a mess and I clean Winston's paddock. Feed chickens.........water and feed cats. The cats have not ventured out since it got cold and tomorrow I may have to drag them out.

I spend some time making calls today on behalf of the Gig Harbor starvation case.........this saga is not over yet. Folks think they are off the hook but I say...not quite yet my pretties....face up, stand up.........tell the truth.....first you have no money, then you have money, then the animal is sick.........and well now............YOU are a rescue? I would laugh if it weren't so pathetic and twisted.
You don't even know the meaning.

I go to the feed store on my way home and get timothy pellets, senior grain, beet pulp and dog food..........I get a new toy for the Jack Russell. He has a pile of toys but he always loves a new one and I always indulge him. He is thirteen this year but still lively.

My lap top is still a dead soldier.......new hard drive coming tomorrow, new discs to load programs and then I won't have to borrow my husband's computer. I love or did love my laptop........until it went bad and then I have spent considerable time hating it. All should be good to go by the weekend.

TarBaby is temporarily at the neighbors while we figure some logistics out. Thank you Kim for taking him in and I hope he is behaving. I haven't heard from you , so I am guessing all is well. He probably loves the fussing.

We are having a Christmas party this Saturday...........consider this an invite. Please RSVP...........it is a potluck, so YOU have to bring your best dish! Saturday at 6:30pm until 8:30PM.........bring a gift under twenty bucks to put under the tree for the trading tree........not sure if you ever played that game... it is fun. You draw numbers and the first guy picks a gift, the second guy can take the first guy's gift or draw his/her own..........and so on........

Hard to believe that next week is Christmas.........so much to do ......and then it is 2010 , now that seems really weird, huh?

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.

Show others your heart's desire.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday evening.

Good things happen to those who wait.

That was my Pony Up fortune for today. I, umm......forgot it earlier.......but thought I should post it now for those of you who were waiting.

I appreciate folks who care about animals and their welfare. I have many good relationships and folks that I can count on. Thank you......somedays you are the only thing that helps me keep this all worth while.

We are so much stronger in a group than individually. Our voices will be heard and a statement will be made. The message will be made clear that we will not tolerate starving horses and particularly when it is not the first time horses have starved at a particular residence. This is a small town with a large horse community. This community is willing to help those who ask for it but will expose those who neglect and abuse animals. Public record is public record. Tell animal control what you think and write your city officials. Demand accountability and compassion.
An animal is not last month's pair of shoes.

Sunday morning













The first two are Vinnie, the third is TarBaby and the last is Beaver, the little wooly mammoth........he refuses to be blanketed........he rips blankets to pieces.


Sharing some pictures from the farm this morning........










Sully, Vinnie, TarBaby and Beaver

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday sadness




I hardly slept..........I tossed and turned. I wonder and I worry. I get up early, let my dogs out, feed them, have some toast and then layed down again to see if I could sleep for an hour. I did and then woke up late. Jumped up, brushed my teeth, poured some coffee and got on the road.




Ryan and Kim were already at the barn working. We fed and cleaned , then went and got some hay that was donated to us (thank you Doreen!)........then worked some more, then went to lunch, then came back, cleaned some more......then we went home. I went and did some chores at home, ran some errands and then back to the barn to feed dinner.




It is still cold, we carried water and fed extra hay.............checked blankets.......everyone is comfortable for the night.




We quit feeding the Gig Harbor horse. We had to........we didn't want to.


Animal control must do their job. This cannot be allowed to go on or to happen to another horse. My picture last night was not very clear.........tonight the pictures will be.......and they won't be pretty.




It was mentioned to me today that I was trying to use a starving horse to "make" money for us.........MAKE MONEY? Yeah........there is a lot of money in this rescue business.....mostly mine. The hay we were dropping over the fence obviously didn't cost us any money.....and the water we carried, well it wasn't heavy and didn't take any time or any gas to get there....and the blanket we put on the horse.........it just appeared out of thin air. Yeah, this is all about the money..........we don't care about anything else around here.


You try to help people and they say ugly things. They are ignorant of the very essence of horse rescue and what it takes financially, emotionally and personally. You tire of the excuses.......the ignorance, the stupidity, the arrogance........you take care of animals that folks throw away, you invest your own time, your own money and your very soul........and then you get people who say you are in it for the money. I have two words for you ........






You know who you are. You have no regard for your animals, no compassion, no intellect and almost certainly no soul. Anyone who could look out in their pasture at a starving carcass of a horse and not feel sheer terror at what they had done.........anyone who could drive up and down their driveway while their animals were hungry and crying out for food......anyone who could sit in the comfort of their home while there was no water for your animals to drink.........




I would hate to be you. Empty.......just plain empty inside.




I think that what goes around, comes around. When your lips are cracked and your tongue is swollen and you cry for water, there will be none..........when the cold is so fierce against your skin, there will be no warming..........when hunger rages in your body and mind, there will be no food to satisfy you........when you crave companionship, there will be none.........when you call for help, it will fall on deaf ears. No one will care for you in old age and you will die alone and helpless.




Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday morning

I can't sleep in......too much to do, too many thoughts running through my head.

I would like to raise some money for a ton of hay to feed the "starving horses" in Gig Harbor. The folks who have been feeding them have used their own hay and they are getting by like the rest of us in this economy. The hay costs 175 a ton, which is cheap.... so I am asking that if you have a few dollars to spare, until we get this thing ironed out, if we could get 175 dollars together and buy some hay. I am really not sure how long it will take to resolve it. but regardless the horses need to eat and it is not their fault. I have permission to feed them. I encourage you to call Animal Control of Pierce County and lodge your complaint.....the horses are near Point Fosdick. I would also think about buying some large bales so that the horses could eat 24 hours....but I must figure out if there is a shelter for the hay.

I forgot my water bucket at the barn, so I will have to go down there and back here and back there. I hate it when I forget.......too much to do I think or I am just plain old....maybe both.

My Rottie figured out how to get out of his crate last night......and seriously damaged the crate with his watermelon head......it is now bent and the door will not close. He must know what is coming today..........no more rear end jewelry to sport. Poor guy. I thought these crates were made for big dogs? You know the lab stays in her crate without the door being shut.......this lab is a good dog....the first lab I ever owned...but she is bad with the small dogs......and will nip them as fast as lightning.

okay.......off I go...........brrrrrr, it is cold....14 degrees. AOL lies ...it says it is 37 degrees......maybe in California...not here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday.......already late

Thursday morning, early, I have not yet left the house...and I am already late. I have water to carry, horses to feed, water tubs to crack ice in........yikes.
I am listening to our heat run.......the jack russells chewing on bones and the coffee is brewing. No music, my husband is still sleeping. I think it is the coldest it has been all week.......brrr. I really hope it doesn't snow. I love to look at snow but I hate the after effects. I am ready for 80 degrees...somewhere, someplace tropical......coconut lotion, sunglasses and some sand.


I must get going by 5 thirty or I will really be late. I have frozen poop piles that need cleaning, ...but my priorities are warm water grain, fresh water to drink and hay........the poop can go later.
It is taking me an hour to get the simple chores done and then off to work. I must be crazy.

Too cold to leave my big dogs outside......so I let them out and let them get drinks.......feed them...and then back to the inside kennel. It is bone chilling out there.

more later.

I am deeply touched by folks who help. Thank you to the family who left hay last night for the starving horses and thanks again to the folks who took them water.........you are my heros and you give me faith. There are definitely angels who walk amongst us.

.

My day off tomorrow. I take the dog to get neutered, have the shoer coming at noon and then go to pick up hay.....lots of catch up chores tomorrow to make up for the weather we have experienced. My poop piles need cleaning.

Kim did most of the chores tonight and together we grained with hot mush, and caught wayward chickens. The barn cats are snug in their beds and all the fawcets are covered. Thank you Kim for carrying water in the dark and not complaining for a second.

Christmas is upon us......gosh, that was fast. I am hardly prepared. I have two presents purchased........only two. ...pathetic, I know. I will have to catch up this weekend I think. I was thinking today I should really bake something and then I thought about how much time that might take and well, hmmm.......maybe I can buy something.
Did I tell you how much I value home made presents? I really do.......I treasure them....heartfelt remembrances of folks I love. I encourage everyone to give and receive them.......Christmas is not about money....it is about our hearts.

I was talking to someone the other day and was asked what is the oldest thing in your possession? Hmmm.......well, I have my Billie Jean King wood tennis racket from when I was sixteen......but I have my neice's diaper pin and t-shirt from when she was a newborn and I was ten. I don't know if she knows that.......she is a grown woman now....but I will always treasure them and the feeling I recall from loving her when she was a baby. I am the youngest of four girls and so I never had a little brother or sister and she was my first experience with a baby......
I am too selfish to give them to her........just yet anyway. :)

I hope your day was good.......I am ready for a little rest and relaxation.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.

If you feel chained........look for the weak link and escape.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday is just another Tuesday

Cold again......hot water/grain mashes....lots of liquid, extra hay. At least it is dry outside. Hoses frozen, but the spicket in the barn works. I carry some hot water, make some hot water and it all works out. It looks just like summer with a frozen element.

I am off to work, listening to Elton John sing "Benny and the Jets".......I grew up with Elton John and I still love his work. Great lyricist, great singer and fabulous piano player. I could easily just listen to him play piano. Benny and the Jets is not his greatest work but it gets you to work and has a good chorus.

sure that blankets were on snug and that everyone felt okay. I am happy to report that Max's head is doing okay...no more accidents today.

It breaks my heart to turn a horse away, but I have a responsibility to my group of refuges.....that there is enough money to feed them, shoe them and support them. When an adoption happens, another can come in. Otherwise I do a dis-service to those I have taken in. I try to be resourceful and rational, sometimes my emotions get the best of me.......sometimes it is hard to sleep.
Sometimes I hate irresponsible folks who put us in these positions and I really hate folks who just turn their heads to animals who are suffering.

Hate is a strong word.
Hating is a lot of work.
Hate is a four letter word........
HATE.
It is an awful word.
We use it so casually.
I hate this.......I hate that........
we are told to grind it down.......we shouldn't "hate" anything.......saying it is almost like swearing.....we should substitute "dislike".
How diminuative.
HATE.
Hurtful word.
Powerful word.
Emotional word........you hurt me and I hate you.
Manipulative word.........do this and I won't hate you....join me and I won't hate you.
You can actually hate the word hate........but sometimes no other word will do.
I don't want folks to "dislike" attrocities like starvation, abuse, neglect, because only those of us that HATE the attrocities will step up to stop them.

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

Something good comes your way in the early afternoon.

hug your horses and keep your enemies distant, your friends close.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday.....monday...can't trust that day

It is COLD.......very cold. I run hot water, bundle up.......I am ON time for a change.....get to the barn, let chickens out, feed cats and make sure they are warm enough......then throw hay, swear at the crummy hay and how it flakes off and vow to never buy that hay again........then I go to Max and Ollie......take the flashlight........throw hay and ....umm.......wait a minute....Max's nose looks wet.....shine the flashlight closer and it is wet........with blood.......oh oh. Open the gate and give him an up close look......lift his forelock and oh my....a large gash in his forehead. This is not a scrape....it needs to be stitched. Thankfully the cold has kept it from really bleeding. Now I will be late........very late. I call in to work and tell them ......I am going to be late....sorry.

The vet comes, tranquilizes Max , then cleans up the wound and staples it, then stitches some of it. It is deep. We give him some antibiotics and I clean out his hay pile while the tranquilizer wears off. Ollie is standing close to Max and sniffing him like "hey, what's the matter?"

Off to work I go. On the way to work, I call Pierce County animal control.......because yesterday I saw a skeletal horse on a pasture........and I do mean skeletal. No fat, no blanket.......and in this weather it will surely die. Mind my own business? Nope. It is my business and yours too. You wouldn't let them do this to a child. I don't care if the horse is old, it shouldn't look like that.......a little extra care.......yes, but so what. IF you need help raise your hand.......or put your animal down. To starve is inhumane and let's figure out where we got that word........"HUMANE".......because surely it does not explain half of us. There should be other words.......I will call again tomorrow and see what I can do to help. That poor horse. I hardly slept last night.......

It is supposed to be record cold temps tonight. Kim came and helped me with feeding and putting chickens away.........well, she did most all of it before I got there. We also got some new hay and the horses and I are thankful. Good timothy...hardly any chafe.

Off for popcorn......

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.........

It will appear out of the blue.......and you will realize the importance immediately.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Silence

Quiet cold morning....I bundle up and draw hot water into a water tank, so that I don't have to fool with the hose this morning. Six and a half gallons is HEAVY and I have to carry it with both hands. Of course I heat the truck up and boy, is the truck dirty. I really need to wash it. I go back and grab my coffee, then head for the barn. I listen to Carol King sing Smack Water Jack......does anyone even know that song? I simply have got to find a new channel or a new CD or something... although I always did like Carol King and now I find I cannot get the song off my mind and I will probably hum it all day.

I let the chickens out.....too many roosters, not enough hens.....and there is our peacock Pete. I really am feeling bad for him. He sleeps on the top of the roof of the barn in the rain, cold or wind. I worry about him. I figure he knows more about peacock behavior than me, but still....it's cold out there. The barn cats are fed their morning wet food and today I will find them an electric heated mat......their room is normally warm enough but feels cool this morning. They have several beds and a box to get into, but I am sure they will like a heated mat of some sort.

The horses got some new hay yesterday. They have shown me that it was a total waste of my money to buy that last hay. They hate it and most of it is now called bedding. I threw away more than they ate. They ate ALL of the served new hay.....finicky boys....when I put the hot water in the grain, sometimes it is very watery and Sully especially enjoys drinking the warm liquid.

I break water tank ice so everyone can drink. My hands are freezing and this weather makes them crack and chafe. I should wear gloves all the time....but I don't always think about it and then gloves ruin your dexterity.

I clean paddocks and stalls.......and I sweat a little , then get cold and zip my coat up again and wonder why I didn't put that stupid hat on? or those darn gloves.

I had a nice birthday yesterday and thank you for all the nice birthday wishes. I spent the morning with Kim and Ryan, who helped clean and we ran errands ......like we got diesel fuel, we got poster board and we got Starbucks! Then we took Sully out on a short trail ride and he was a superstar, like I thought he would be. Kim rode him, I walked and Ryan walked.....no spook, eager to go, no jigging, no fussing.......he will make a stellar trail horse with some time.
We got back and Ryan got his first horse back lesson......from Kim and Sully. They both did well...and we are proud of both of them. We will go on another trail ride next weekend, maybe take Max this time.....I hope it won't rain......

On a good note, I found the puppy's owners. They live down the road and had just gotten her.....let her out and she ran off. I reunited them last night and there were two small kids who were very happy to see their pup. Her name was Molly. I gave them a leash and a crate to help with her training. She is a smart little dog.......we taught her to sit yesterday in just a few minutes. It doesn't take long to get attached.......I was figuring out someway to keep her..but honestly, I lack the proper time. I have dogs of my own and they probably don't get the time they need.......I have a lab who would probably love dog agility and if I had time, I would take her.

Kim made me a lovely wood burning for my birthday.......I treasure it. I also got a Carhart jacket and some perfume, a beautiful planter and some wine. All around good birthday.

Time to stock up on grain and rice bran........I am feeding a small army. Next week everyone gets hoof trims. Vinnie's hoof crack is going to break off and we will move him to a smaller paddock to limit his travels while his hoof grows out.

Off to run some errands, go into town and then back to clean the chicken house.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

There is no confusion in doing the right thing.......make no mistake.


PS.....who votes to continue or discontinue the Pony Up fortunes?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday .......when it rains it pours.....

Today is my day off and I sleep in, then I am late because I can't find my keys, then the cat runs into the garage and under the car and he won't come out...........ugh......so I am later than usual.
Off to the barn, listening to John Denver (John Denver?) sing Annie's Song. ....good grief, I had forgotten about that one.
The horses are miffed that I am late and milling around, calling and showing how they are literally starving to death right this very minute. Right... So I get hay thrown, grain fed and start cleaning.....then I comb Vinnie's mane because I cannot stand that it is tangled and dirty......I look for the scissors but cannot find them.........I must have three pair...but not a one to be found. He lowers his head and stands quite still.......he likes to be groomed.
I fill waters and then open the pasture gates so that everyone can have a romp.....and the romp begins........screaming, bucking, farting........off they go.
I waste some time petting barn cats and making sure that no one breaks out. They don't , but I am always cautious....paranoid........whatever.
I have some errands to run, and then I have to take the dog to the vet.......so I take off at around 11 thirty........leave the driveway and head home..........what do I find? A pitbull pup.....wandering the road.....I have never seen it before and I travel this road a lot......she is cold, visibly shivering........and so I pull over.......get out of the car, call her.......she hesitates and then RUNS to me........I pull her over to the side and out of traffic, look for a tag.......there is none......and I sigh.....pick her up and put her in the truck, where she snuggles into me. I stop at a few houses.......no one has seen her before...and the one guy.........he lets it be known that he hates pitbulls and that they should all be exterminated. I wish him well.........and take her home.
I feed her, get her a blanket and put her in a crate.......then I go shower.
Off to my errands......I have made some "FOUND" signs for the dog.......I hang them here and there......hoping someone will call.
I run to Tacoma, to the vet......and then back home. No one has called. I am thinking someone dumped this pup. ....damn them.........damn my luck.
My own dog has a blown knee......very complicated.......no surgery for right now, he is too young....but later he will need it.

and that is how my day went.
A glass of wine, some popcorn.......a bit of relaxing.
Tomorrow is my birthday.

How did I get this old?!

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Plant seeds now for beautiful flowers later...........

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesday...half way through

Funny........I drive home with full moon and then drive back to work with a full moon and then drive home again with a full moon.
Werewolves prowl and vampires lurk.
Gee...it sounds like Halloween. It looks like Halloween.
As I thought, we had a full frost this morning.......wipers on, defrosters on.......scrapers in hand.........yep, it is late fall. I wore two jackets this morning and donned latex gloves to save my poor hands from cold and wet.
Hot meals served and hot water is slow to come. I really need a hot water tank....25 gallons would do nicely. Every horse likes a warm hot grain in the cold, cold morning. I could save a lot of time with a hot water tank or something like that. The only thing that saves me from the cold is sticking my hands into the grain mixture and stirring it.......warm like oatmeal.......my hands linger....
No cougar sighting today but I have to admit I was watchful.......paranoid.......chicken....but after I work for a while, I forget........I am lulled into the silence of morning.....listening to birds waking up, roosters crowing and horses breathing...while I walk paddocks in the half dark, half light twilight. I really love being at the barn in the morning. ...very peaceful.

It is funny how your mind works sometimes..........you drive along feeling happy and then you hear something that triggers a memory....and suddenly you feel overwhelmingly sad............about something.....I always say that I am carrying a truckload of unresolved grief. I have never figured out quite how to resolve it and so it just builds, I guess. ...somedays it is heavier than others....and somedays it seems relatively light. But it just takes a word, a song, a saying to make it heavy again. I still miss my dad. I guess I always will. Gone too soon........way too soon.

My week is almost over and I already have full Friday planned..the weather is supposed to hold through the weekend and that will be grand.......just grand, as it allows me to get some things done.
I am watching Gonzaga play basketball and fighting off the cat from my cheese popcorn........almost ready for bed but not quite. Thinking a hot bath would be lovely and relaxing and will help me sleep.

I think the Emerald Downs TB sale is this weekend..I wish I could go, but I can't.....won't.......no room at the inn and I can't get caught up in what I can't fix. Hard lessons to learn.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

You cannot see the forest for the trees............look at the big picture.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Totally Tuesday

Colder and colder it gets.......tonight on the way home I am greeted by a full, bright moon which pokes through the trees and lights up the roadway. There is a chill in the air and tonight I know it will freeze for the first time.
When I get to the barn everyone gets a hot meal of grain/beet pulp and rice bran.....it steams while I carry it by the light of the moon and out to the loafing sheds. I am strangely comforted by the slurp, slurp of the horses eating their "slop"... no one fusses while they are eating....no kicking, no squeals......just a steady slurp and an occasional bump of their feed bucket.

I pull the hose into the barn and fill some buckets with water so I can warm it tomorrow and so that the hose will not freeze. I check on the cat room to make sure it is warm enough. I insulated it the other day and I am pleased to find it toasty warm. I have a couple of cat beds and a lot of straw in their box too. They should be good to go.

There is a sign up and around the corner from the barn, just a stone's throw away from us......a neighbor pointed it out.........."COUGAR WARNING.....large cougar spotted on this road."
UMMM......."this road" is our road. YIKES. That is probably the wierd noise I heard early in the morning. I was trying to describe it...and I said it was sort of like a howl, but not quite....but it upset the horses and made the hair on my neck stand up. I thought it was a bear. It was pitch dark, about 6am and the noise came from the woods. The barn cats ran back into the barn, the horses all went on high alert and I stood there for a minute before the chicken part of my brain took over and I went in the barn. Funny how your instinct takes over....huh?

Anyway, I love wildlife and I respect it and I am not mad at the coyotes for taking my one barn cat...they have to make a living too and they don't know a cat from a rabbit....but I am not thrilled to have a cougar around. Hungry cougars will take cats, dogs, ponies, chickens.......and I worry about my mom in the yard with her little dog. I hope there is enough food around that a cougar won't see my farm as an opportunity. Maybe I am needlessly worried....maybe he or she is already gone. Maybe the cougar got the cats that I am missing?

We are behind on grooming and so Saturday will be devoted to grooming and trimming horses in the morning, then we will take Sully for a trail ride in the Banner Forest. Ryan is coming and he will go with us......and we will let him ride Sully for a while. I hope the weather will hold.

Today was gorgeous...blue sky......sun..........small breeze........I hope tomorrow will be the same.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

What you constantly dwell on will arrive on your doorstep.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday.....ever have one of those days?

I got up EARLY.....drove to the barn, listened to Pink Floyd sing "Another Brick in the Wall" and so my day started.
My routine is slightly out of order because we have an extra horse and I always seem to fumble around while I am preparing the hot meals and this will last a couple of days until I have everything back in order. I am a creature of habit and routine.
Did I mention that I am a symmetrically obessessed? I cannot stand it if things are not even....evenly spaced, an even height.......even numbered.......it drives me crazy. Just an idiosyncrasy I suppose ........but I will spend a lot of time getting things to looks symmetrical.
My favorite number is 8. Go figure. 8 is a perfect specimen ......in every way. It is balanced on top and bottom, it is evenly divisible by half or quarters.......you cannot go wrong with 8.
ummmmmm, I can't go wrong with 8.
It was a long day at work........short handed, grumpy contractors.....ringing phones........I was glad to go to lunch and have a walk and take a breath.
I went to the feed store on the way home, bought pellets, more beet pulp and grain........they are eating like a cloud of locusts.
No volunteers tonight , so I am on for the pm feeding and I turn the Christmas music on......to get my mind off of my less than stellar work day.... Winston is not having any of the Christmas music waiting period ........he wants his grub in a tub NOW! He kicks and then lunges against his door...... of course I feed him first. I am reinforcing his behavior...I know........I know.......but still, I cannot have the barn kicked down. Sully gives a low and quiet whicker.......he wants his too, but he is at least mannerly......then TarBaby gives a deep in the chest whinny.........calling for his 85 lbs of grub.........he gets a huge portion because he does not eat much hay. We will make an appointment for him to get his teeth done for Friday...... he seems happy and somedays that is enough to make me happy. That is why we are here. Funny what can make you happy, huh? Not money, not glamour.........but a horse who eats and is perky and who calls out to you when you arrive.
I tried some of the compressed bales of timothy and I must say I hate it. I suppose it could work if you weighed the hay each time, but who has time for that? It is easier to load/unload, probably easier to store.......but has a lot of chafe in it and we are slowly making chafe bedding in stalls because no one will eat it.........except for Sully. I also think it has a lot of dust in it.
We are still working on a home for 451.......the Appy/draft horse. We have had some inquiries and we send them on to the folks who have 451. We pray he gets a great, long term home....and we wish we had more info on where he came from and his likes/dislikes/issues.
It is always such a high price to pay.........a horse who is sent to auction because of his owners issues.........and everyone assumes it is the horse's fault ...somehow, some way.......very sad. Folks should leave a note, a record.........something.....it could save a life.

I was dreaming last night and I dreamt that euthanasia should never exceed a price tag of 25 dollars. There should be legislation. People get down on their luck and cannot afford 500 dollars to euthanize old Dobbin....and instead of old Dobbin getting a quiet, dignified death........his people are forced to take him to the auction. It really is dispicable. I hate it.
We should all hate it. A horse who is old, ill or infirm should be able to leave this life with his head being stroked by a person who has loved them.

Off my soap box for tonight......or I could ramble on and on.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.

Respect is earned, honor is learned ...........eyes wide open.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday and our four day weekend ends too soon

Up early to the barn, clean stalls, paddocks, back to the house, shower, clean clothes......back to the barn, meet Kim and off to get Sully. We stop for coffee and off we go.
Sully is happy to see us and loads right up.....no fuss.....no worries. He is a very trusting boy and we are glad to have him back with us. He is happy to be home. No screaming, no pacing, he settles right in.
He is very interested in Vinnie and Vinnie is interested in him. We are glad for hot wire or I think Vinnie would have come visiting.
We get everyone settled in and fed........then we go and grab some Mexican food and talk about our day and what the week will bring.
We talk about fundraising, expenses......volunteering and how we miss the barn cat.
We have some unique opportunities to pursue. Some things that could help us out financially and logistically. Just a matter of getting the time to do it and planning it out.
Tax time is coming and so are license renewals and property taxes.....and insurance.
OH boy.
The farm truck needs work.....four wheel drive and all the other things that need to be done at 60 thousand miles. I am no mechanic.......so I am at the mercy of others who know more than I do.
We need lights outside at the loafing sheds too.......this is a priority because it is so dark when we feed the pm feeding and plus, you should try to out manuever Beaver with a feed bucket....!
He is determined to have whatever you are carrying.
Today he almost got the peacock too......he hates him and he does not want him in his paddock...the peacock just seems to drift around from paddock to paddock......most of the horses ignore him, but a couple......HATE him.
Work tomorrow......I hate to think of it....we were getting so much done with four days off.

Next Saturday we take Sully in the Banner Forest for a trail ride. We are excited and we hope it is not raining, although we plan to go rain or shine...we might take Max if the weather cooperates.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow.......

Keep your comments to yourself and see yourself in your comments.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday.......all day long again.

Slept in a little.....drove down to the barn, listening to the Bee Gee's sing Night Fever and Kelsey was already there waiting for me.....soon to follow was Kim, then Mary and then Ryan.....and so the day began. We got a huge amount of work done.
Roofs lengthened, Beaver got new mats, we graveled a roadway/paddock for Sully to come home to, cleaned paddocks, cleaned the barn aisleway......got horses fed, got a couple groomed......and got some hay moved.
I am just now home and it has been another long day.......muscles ache......and I am cold. The weather was not nearly as nice today as it was yesterday, but at least it did not pour rain........although it was windy and cool.
We have a little more hogfuel to move along a paddock and some fencing to fix, some painting to do and ahhhhhhhh, then maybe we can take a breath.
We will pick up Sully tomorrow and bring him home....then move some hogsfuel and make sure that everyone is getting along.
Beaver and the filly are holding their own. He sort of likes her...she sort of likes him.
Vinnie got his feet done today and he had some bad abcesses in his hind feet......the cracks are results of the abcesses.....we pulled his shoes and he is good to go. He was not happy with his food this morning and we soon found him begging at the gate for something else. We held out and he finally decided to eat what he was served.
TarBaby is feeling good and is happy in the barn stall........he is eating good too. What a relief it must be to be outside and to be able to move around.
Ollie and Max did not like the roofing noises and so we turned them out in the arena while we worked... I found that one of them has kicked through the new plywood.....well, I guess boys will be boys...and I should have used thicker plywood. When we first put them together Max was the underdog, but he now has the upper hand and he rules the roost...but they play together nicely.
I had to bodily put the chickens into the coop tonight, they are sure that they want to roost in the barn like the good old days........and so I take them one by one and put them to bed.
The tractor has turned out to be a godsend....I am glad I spent the money.........we moved manure piles today and hauled gravel........such a time saver.

anyway, dinner calls, and I am hungry.

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow...........

Be watchful and wary of sure things.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday and it wasn't black for me

LONG>>>>>day. I have been at the barn since 8am.....working.....a little of this, a little of that......Kim came and helped me around 11am and she stayed all day. We got a lot done......and we are tired but there is more to do tomorrow, as always. It is now after six and I am dirty, sweaty and smelly (like mud/horse/wet smell.......not totally unpleasant but still?)

We regraveled Beaver's stall, put retaining fabric down, then hogsfuel in his paddock......his little feet do not disturb the ground like the big guys......and then we put Beaver back into his paddock and now he shares a fence line with the filly....which he loves, at least right now...we will see what he thinks tomorrow. We put TarBaby back into the barn stall, which is roomier for him...he is feeling more secure about the farm and eating well, so we are hoping he will be happier in the barn with an attached run. He actually kicked his heels up today, rolled in the dirt and had a long nap in the sun. I think he feels really happy.

We also dug a ditch, put a gate up, went to the feed store, went to the hardware store, got diesel for the tractor and this morning I got all the gravel spread in the driveway so that we can park easily. The driveway is now level again...no lumps or bumps......I am becoming a great tractor driver and all around good grader of gravel.

We also went and met the potential adoptive folks who are interested in Yukon.....they liked him fine and are coming back tomorrow to see him again. Keep your fingers crossed........they were very nice folks...we liked them a lot.

Tomorrow, we will gravel another paddock for Sully to come home to and also gravel a bit more in TarBaby's area........then we should be good for winter! We got two loads of gravel delivered today.....and I have to say it.......Morrison Gravel ROCKS! Their drivers are the best......they can back those dumptrucks anywhere and the guys always shut gates behind them.

We will also lengthen some roof lines, install a light fixture in a loafing shed out back and turn some horses out for some exercise in the arena. Ryan is coming to help and is bringing us some metal roofing.

The shoer comes tomorrow. We found some really bad lateral cracks in Vinnie's hooves......it may be the reason he is not still racing. We will see what we can do for him. He is feeling much better and acting much more like a 5 year old OTTB. He raced around his paddock like a madman today.......sweating and screaming and bucking. We took his blanket off for a while to see how his weight was and he promptly rolled.........got filthy dirty........and oh, by the way, his weight is good....he has gained some and has filled out.........he has a beautiful body. Nice short back, big hip....good shoulder. What else would you expect from a son of Giant's Causeway?

Sunday we will go and get Sully.

As usual we are always busy and planning for future projects. We need to replace the arena fencing or get it fixed properly.......we need better footing for the arena and we need more exterior lighting. The chores never end.

The day was beautiful today, no rain, blue sky and the horses enjoyed some sun. It was so nice to not have to work in the rain. I felt entirely less grumpy today......maybe because of the weather, maybe because I got to work all day and get a lot of things crossed off my ever growing list of "things to do".

I hope your Thanksgiving was good. Ours was quiet and uneventful.

The Appy/Draft cross gelding perhaps has a place to land. We will help with whatever we can......hauling or help in finding temporary board.......if you have a cheap place where he can be boarded for a few weeks.......email us. The gal who is interested in him cannot take him for a few weeks. We have no room to help with this......not even with a shoe horn.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Reflect on where you have been and think about where you are going.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day......Thursday


Pictures of the beautiful Breeze.......from late summer (photos by Kim)

I was grumpy yesterday.....tired and ready for some time off. I slept in this morning until 7, then got up with the dogs, made the coffee and off to the barn. I was still a little grumpy and glad to be by myself for a little exercise and quiet. Who needs the gym? All I really need now is some aerobic exercise and I could probably be Ms. Fitness.




I fed everyone, then started cleaning stalls and paddocks........patched a hole in a leaky roof, extended a roof line a little to keep the rain out.......took TarBaby's blanket off because he was too warm........and raked up loose hay.......voila, now it is four hours later and I am done.


Everyone is clean and dry and I can rest.




I think about Thanksgiving and I think about things we should be grateful for........family and friends, jobs in a tough economy and plenty to eat.


I also think about the things we take for granted and how selfish we are sometimes....yes, me included.......I am not just talking about others. Sometimes it is all about me and I must check my ego at the door, keep my mouth shut.......swallow hard......




So just for today why don't you and I ..........




Swallow our pride.


Show some enthusiasm for someone else's project.


Agree to disagree and leave it at that.


Give a helping hand when no one is expecting it.


Buy the guy in line behind you coffee.


Hug your grandma as tight as you can.


Listen to your child explain something......all the way.


Visit someone in a nursing home who doesn't have family.


Plan to drop your old clothes off at the women's shelter.


Hold your tongue when tempted to say something sharp.


Try the new dish your sister in law brought and RAVE about it.


Understand that everyone is carrying a burden of some sort.


Let your mom give you advice and say thank you.


Don't drink too much.


Be polite.


Smile a lot.


Turn the football off and watch an old movie.


Think about how lucky you are.


Say grace with meaning.




Please enjoy your day with your family and friends........be safe and sane and THANKFUL!




Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:




Happiness is just a phone call away.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday.....it clears up

My computer needs help........the hard drive is failing. I spent like 1900 dollars on a top of the line laptop and you would expect it to last longer than this, wouldn't you? Anyway, my blog may suffer for a while until I get it sorted out. I think I got an extended warranty, but these days who can remember everything that you did 18 months ago? Certainly not me.

I got up late this morning which is a problem. I wake up faithfully at about 4:50am and then tell myself I have about five minutes so I lay my head back down and somehow it turns into 25 minutes. Yikes....then I fly around and don't feel like I got everything done and I hate to rush...it makes me anxious.

I get to the barn and I heat water for TarBaby's mush. I make a vat of it because he is not absolutley sold on our hay and I am not sure his teeth are good. That smacks of another vet bill coming, doesn't it? But if he needs dental work.....he will get it...I don't want to think of mouth ulcers. He didn't eat very well for a few days...he was unhappy and depressed, but seems perkier and he is eating better today and yesterday. He gets a full water bucket of mush twice a day...tonight he got cut up apples in it....and it is always served warm. We moved him into the pony stall because he was afraid of Winston, my big horse. Winston was making menacing faces at him over the fence and Winston is huge.......so I traded Beaver and TarBaby places........Beaver can hold his own with Winston.....okay Winston is afraid of Beaver........there ....the truth is out.

I finish up in record time....and dash off to work, listening to REO Speedwagon sing "I'm Going to Keep on Loving You." It is lighting raining and I hope it will stop soon. I write myself some reminder notes for later and think about what I will do and when I will get it done. Friday...always Friday......I think about going shopping or just kicking back and nope......I have chores to do on FRIDAY. Gravel.....and I must pick up diesel for the tractor.....and I must have my oil changed in the truck....and speaking of the truck...gosh, I'd better wash it and maybe change the serpentine belt..............and speaking of serpentines, I better schedule a dressage lesson.........and the shoer is coming...........and the hogsfuel........and whoa......Thursday is THANKSGIVING.......food shopping.......and I need to make a dr's appointment because I was supposed to do it two weeks ago........and I have a prescription to fill.....the dog needs to go to the vet......and I need to see my grandma and to order hay and go to the feedstore......take blankets to be washed....check Pony Up donations boxes..........send thank you cards......

oy vey.


Time to buy hay again and time to load up on grain and supplements. We use timothy hay pellets, rice bran, beet pulp, sunflower seeds, corn oil and senior grain. Senior grain works for almost anyone except the very obese. Beet pulp and sunflower seeds go to the easy keepers like Beaver. He has a fit if everyone gets grain and he doesn't , so the beet pulp and sunflower seeds are his......he loves them....plus we add timothy pellets for him now because he has a cough from dust in the hay or perhaps an allergy......he is getting cough syrup too. We mix it up in a nice warm mash.....and he likes it just fine.

Felice the barn cat never came back. I keep thinking I see her out of the corner of my eye, but it is just my imagination. She was a really nice cat and I miss her. I am sure a coyote got her. I hope it was quick for her. Sorry I didn't protect you better Felice.....you were a good kitty and never any trouble.

It is almost Thanksgiving and time to stop and reflect on what you and I are thankful for.

I am thankful for family and friends.......thankful for a job in a crummy economy......thankful for a nice place to live and the chance to make a difference in the lives of some horses. Thankful for volunteers who become friends. What are you thankful for?

Well, I have some chores to get done before I go to bed.........laundry, empty trash, clean kitchen.......write some return emails....

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Do what you know is right ......put your ego in your hat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday.....already?

Slept in a little, got up, fed dogs, let dogs out, listened to cats complain about new cat food....drank coffee, gulp...read Craigslist. (I keep saying I am not going to do that)...read some email and I see that the filly we were trying to place got placed! YAY!!! Another reputable rescue will take her and we are glad! That leaves us with trying to help the Appy gelding...and so we are putting the word out and keeping our fingers crossed that he can get a home before the auction.

but I digress.......I finally did get my butt going and I got in the truck and started driving to the barn. I listened to Elton John sing Blue Eyes and I was thinking about how I was really hoping Felice the barn cat would be at the barn when I got there. She was absent when I put barn cats to bed, and although I called her for an hour and then went back later.........she wasn't there. She had been around all day while we were building....but just sort of disappeared. Anyway, I got to the barn and she was not there. I was sad. I think coyotes probably got her. I called again this morning and checked every nook and cranny......no Felice. I have probably posted pictures of her before......black and white tuxedo girl kitty........very sweet and so soft. We are going to miss her.

I fed horses and worked on cleaning paddocks and stalls for three hours..stalls were messy due to nonstop rain last night (don't get me started on that).....then headed home about 11:15, showered and ate lunch, then went to Costco and ran some other errands. Got home, went back to barn, fed dinner, filled waters.......went back home and changed clothes for the Pony Up Fundraiser.

What an evening.......we had a good time, good food and a great turn out. I think people didn't recognize me without dirt or hay stuck in my hair.
A huge thank you to all who participated.......
C..., who donated her time, who donated her cooking skills and great food, as well as her restaurant and who also attended to a million other details.........THANK YOU! Thanks to all of the folks and business' who donated items.......we couldn't do it without you and thanks to all the folks who attended! I hope you had a good time. Also thank you to my volunteers who helped set up and organize.........I am very pleased with our turn out and also that we had some fun. It was very nice to meet new folks!
More thanks to:
Strohs, as always, thank you for your support and efforts!
Peninsula Equine Services, Dr. Julie Page
Mt. Rainier Equine Veterinary Services, Dr. Bob DeWard
Collins Chiropractic
Sandy Green, original artwork
Horses For Clean Water, Alayne Blickle
Cedar Hill Training, Crystal Hornbuckle-Baker
Sound Equine Farrier
Stiffey Family
Jo Meintz
Kathleen Moroney
Elaine Davis Photography
Dawns Photography
Winter Lakes Farm
Liz Howgate
John and Dianne Green
Lucky Dog Outfitters
Kristi Anderson
Education Stained Glass Studio
Koi’s Bistro
Sul Mare Salon and Spa
Ellen Mosier, Pearl Moon Equine Massage and Reiki
Darlene Piper
Elizabeth Clark, Equine Rhythm Beads

Jesse Link, original artwork (Jesselink.com)


I am sure I have missed a few.......but I will get you tomorrow......I am tired. I stopped at the barn on my way home to make sure Felice wasn't there (she wasn't) and to make sure the chickens were in their proper beds.
I have let the dogs out, put them in bed and now off I go!
I shall be asleep in like 45 seconds.
Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

A sincere smile will make someones day better..........practice yours on a stranger.
.

Post Script Saturday

Kim and her mother built a chicken coop for us........and it is fabulous! We worked all day at Pony Up putting it together and voila...it is finished! Roofed and has a door..........room for all our precious chickens and it is insulated! A virtual chicken paradise....thank you Kim and mom!

We worked from 8 until 4.........Kelsey and I cleaned in the morning,and then I practiced spreading gravel with the tractor up the driveway and around the barn. Let me just say that I am not yet an accomplished tractor/gravel spreader. ...although I have managed now to pick up full buckets of gravel without digging the whole driveway up.

We are tired.

Here it is Sunday morning and I have lots to do before our event tonight.

It is pouring rain and cold. One of those days when you think about waking up in tropical Hawaii in your fancy hotel room ....birds singing and a sweet breeze flowing in the window.....
I guess I will dream on....it isn't happening today.

I guess I will just spray some horse linament on my shoulder and neck, pull my Carhart on and go get it done. I will pray for no roof leaks or major flooding........

more later!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday morning

Umm.....it is still raining and it is COLD. I am not motivated to leave the house except that I know what would happen.
I will get going a little early to check on our new visitor. Yesterday we sent Yukon to a local barn where he can get some exercise and love from a couple of young girls....in return we brought back TarBaby. TarBaby is an old Tb who has spent the last five years at the stable. Six months ago his owner never came back and left no word as to what her intent was. TarBaby got no visitors, no carrots, no groomings, no pets except for the infrequent kindness of passersby.
Fortunately for him, the stable owner is a kind woman, who continued to feed and shoe him with her own money. TarBaby is not rideable. We were approached to take him, but as we have been saying, we are full and have no empty stalls........but we did have a ridable horse who could be half leased and at least bring in some income for the barn.....and in place, we took TarBaby.

When I brought him home yesterday, he had to go into the barn, into the last stall and so he had to walk through the kangaroo court. First Church who wanted to take a big bite of him and then Winston who just wanted to touch him once or twice......then past hay storage, then a couple of chickens scattered past him and that was scary. Then to his room with a small turnout......he has not had a turnout on his stall for years..........he was not sure what to do......he went out and stood in the rain and stood there for several hours. I had to coax him back into the stall to eat.

I hope when we see him this morning, he is more settled......he was not too interested in eating last night. We are trying to find a foster home where he can actually have pasture for a while and really stretch his legs. Poor old guy. He has big ankles and a stiff gait and his tongue slightly protrudes from his mouth. He has a fresh clean blanket on ......and he will get plenty of love and treats here.

off to do my chores.......errands and a million other things........I have a list.

I have to go to Strohs, the Humane Society, Costco, the mall........meet a couple of friends to gather auction items........to Cenex........I have to dig a small ditch, fix a roofline which leaks a little..........strip the pony stall........change some feed bins around.....and Kim and her mom are bringing the chicken coop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay...no more chickens in the barn. The chickens were ALL in the barn last night and had to be bodily removed. The peacock was on TOP of the barn...and I really suppose he is not leaving....sigh....I never wanted a peacock.

more later..........enjoy your brisk and blustery day!