Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Twilight

This week has been so much better! Heavy sigh of relief. Back to work and sort of back to normal.
The good news is that we have a pony adopted! YAY! To a great home, with another pony, a big pasture and a lot of love coming his way. It never gets better than this.
Congrats Wally!

Last weekend we got a lot done around the barn. We put electricity to the gate and now it is not on a battery any longer. The battery kept dying....now it has power of it's own and we will put a light on the gate as well. We also put up some more exterior lights on the barn and now we have a full compliment of light around the buildings....so much easier to clean in the dark and I feel so much braver walking around the back of the barn.

We lost a chicken during the snow, or so we thought. ...but here she came on Sunday, out of the woods, sort of stumbling around, obviously traumatized......so now she is in the barn with Bonnie, the disabled chicken. I might have to change the name of the farm....The Chicken Ranch! LOL.

The borrowed barn down the road is going well. It is a lovely barn, we wish it was ours or that we could move it to our land. Perfect size and great hay storage. Some day, some day.

We got another five ton of hay delivered and believe me when I say that we have hay everywhere! In the aisleway of the old barn and stacked to the gills in the new barn. It always feels good to have hay in the barn and full grain bins....makes me relax a bit.

Tarbaby is having a lot of discomfort with his feet. I have buted him twice a day for a few days now.......he seems a little more comfortable tonight. It makes me emotional to see him in pain and I begin to have the talk with myself about "quality of life" and what if I am selfish or just what needs to be done. We will consult the vet to keep us on an even keel. He is a nice old horse who deserved a better life than what he got. He makes me smile each morning when I feed him, as he, no matter what, gets excited for his grain/slop and he whinnies and sings to me.....but is always very mannerly in waiting and always waits for you to pour it before he digs in. He gets the slop all over his face and his old man teeth hang out of his mouth and he makes pig noises........and it makes you just love him all over again. I wish I had known him as a younger horse, I bet he was quite the guy.

I am thankful for the volunteers who continue to help us with cleaning, building and maintenance. I couldn't do it alone....this is a rescue for all of us, by all of us.
Thanks to all of you who share your time and resources.

A special note to Susy.....we will miss you for a while....be safe, be strong and come back soon!

Christmas is right around the corner.....wow. I am so not ready...but I guess I never am. I should get busy!

My family adopted a new cat from the shelter......we have finally decided on a name....Samson...I am sure it will get changed to Sam in short order.....! Welcome Samson to our family. He fit right in, likes the dogs and even likes the other cats...now how did that happen...no drama? Here?

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

You will remember something long lost and bring it to the present.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fearless Friday comes around

Oh my gosh, what a week.........snow, bitter cold, frozen pipes, dead batteries......fallen trees, power outages that lasted for days......I am so ready for some better weather. Tired, chapped hands....the list goes on but I will spare you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Pony Up friends! I hope your day was better spent than mine. I spent hours hauling water, pushing flooding water out of the barn, fixing pipes, arranging heat tape onto pipes, putting extra insulation in cracks and crevices of the well room and checking generator. Thank God for the generator..that is all I can say.....and then finally........Thanksgiving dinner. Just in time..

Happy to say that today, all is well.....paddocks cleaned, water tubs cleaned and filled, stalls scraped.......grain in the bin. Finally a quiet minute to myself and a glass of wine with my name on it. Maybe next time we will be further and better prepared.......just think, it isn't even winter yet! Yikes!

A huge thank you to Ryan for helping me today......what would we do without you? Thank you...we owe you a hot lunch! Also thanks to Caryn for helping me pre=make most of my Thanksgiving dishes....always a pleasure to have you in our home! Thanks to Brenda for taking extra care of the ponies in this ugly weather.

Horses are in need everywhere......cold weather means they should have extra hay and an extra blanket if they are old. If your neighbors are having trouble with feeding, lend a hand. We are feeding a pony who is unblanketed, old and making his living on "pasture" only.... Please help out if you are able and please call the humane society on animals who are in bad conditions......they cannot speak for themselves and depend on us.

December is right around the corner and Christmas with it. Seems too fast, doesn't it?

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow, courage is speaking up when the room is silent......have courage today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TOO cold Tuesday

We had a violent wind storm, with snow..and now we have no power. It is bone chilling cold...in the teens. There are fallen branches and trees everywhere.....looks like a war zone.

I am fortunate to have generator power for a while. There are 55ooo of us without power..........brr. I hope we will have power by Thanksgiving. There are many folks without any heat. I hope they can get to neighbors or family.

The horses were fed extra yesterday evening and this morning and then again this evening. I brought hot water to the barn and they got hot mashes. Chickens are cold. I made a hay hut for the barn cat and she is cozy inside....shavings, hay, an old wool coat and Bonnie to keep her company. It was hard cleaning frozen poop piles from the paddocks, so I picked them as good as I could and plan on catching up when
the weather breaks.

Tarbaby is double blanketed, but he is not eating as well as I would like. I increased the warm water in his food tonight. He seems perky enough, but I worry anyway. I am a chronic worrier....I wish I wasn't.

My truck is dead.......battery dead and I have no one to help me jump it until tomorrow...so I am driving the car. Amazingly enough, it goes well in the snow. I had it loaded up today with presto logs for a neighbor who has only a fireplace for heat in this cold.

With Thanksgiving in our thoughts, I am thankful for friends, neighbors, volunteers and family. If you have something to give, give it up and give it out! There are plenty of folks in need around you.

Pony Up Fortune for tomorrow:

When you least expect it, it arrives.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday morning, coming down

Snow is falling. Chores are done..water pipes wrapped, extra food put out for birds, horses have lots of hay to munch this afternoon, hoses drained....I guess I am ready.
I am not a snow fan and it will be alright if it comes and goes quickly....although I will enjoy the scenery of snow on trees and undisturbed fields.

We had our fundraiser/auction last night. It was a lot of fund......new friends, old friends, lots of auction items, reasonble prices....great food! Mr. Williams, what a suprise to see you.

I would like to thank all the folks who donated items, my volunteers who donated time and effort, Trophy Lake for the use of the room (they did not charge us!) and of course all the folks who kept their RSVP's! I hope everyone found something that they wanted! I know I did. Thank you to the Darmer family for the donation of hay, thank you to Gail Baker for "Harriet's Bench"...we will treasure it! Thank you to Don for being our impromptu auctioneer! Susy, Caryn, Ryan, Milo, Kaydee, Rebecca, Sharon and BRENDA....(edited because I failed to mention Brenda!!!)...I couldn't have done this without you!

If anyone would like a copy of the Pony UP Video that was shown, we would be glad to copy one for you and mail it or you can come and pick it up. We will charge one dollar for each CD, plus mailing costs if applicable.

All proceeds from last night's fundraiser will be used to feed the Pony Up horses through the winter. We run through about two ton of hay per month (we have a lot of BIG horses with BIG appetites). We also use a lot of stall pellets and we try to buy damaged bags when we can. We feed senior grain, beet pulp, rice bran and alfalfa pellets to most horses...except air fern ponies. Every horse has his/her own diet according to age and physical need. For instance Tarbaby cannot eat much hay, so he gets senior grain, hay pellets, rice bran and beet pulp twice a day to keep his weight up where it should be.

The sky is getting progressively grayer as I write this......looks like it might really come down! Yikes.

I am off to do my own house chores this afternoon.....enjoy your quiet Sunday afternoon. I have this whole week off and plan to catch up on the things I never get done...dr/dentist, shopping....friends.....

Pony UP Fortune for tomorrow:

Eyes wide open........mouth shut.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday comes around

Brrrrrrrrrrr....cold and rainy...with the weather forecast calling for some snow. Not even Thanksgiving...I am not ready for snow.
The week has been busy as we prepare for the fundraiser/auction dinner. We have a big guest list and we are very excited to see and greet everyone! RSVPs were due yesterday and I believe we have a full house!
We have a load of auction items and we are very grateful to our vendors and friends for donations of goods and services.
We would like to thank:

Nina Lyman
Mrs. Pastures
West Bay Auto Parts
NJ Collins
Susy Price
Ryan Bolen (wait until you see his auction item!)
Minders Meats
North Coast Electric
Melody Miller
Beth Anderson Ness
Fred Meyer
Brenda Armstrong
Carmen Farver
Second Wind Coffee
The Darmer Family
Baxter's Horse Cookies
Olsons Tack Shop
The Gift Horse
Chinook Electric Partnership
Cliff and Tina Hansen
Peninsula Equine (Dr. Julie Page)
The Stiffey Family
Jax Salon
A Sound Massage

Louie and Jones broke out during the windstorm we had last week......at midnight I went to the barn, after my mom called me and said "horses were on her porch!" Yikes!
In my jammies, glasses and rubber boots I raced to the farm and found Louie and Jones milling around my mom's back porch.....apparently waiting for treats. They came right to me and I lead them up and put them back......then fixed the gate that they broke down. After the adrenaline rush, I could not sleep ..so I stayed up....mistake...I was so tired the next day at work. Hard to keep my peepers open.

We made a great video of the Past and Present Pony UP horses...not sure how to share such a large file yet, but I hope to put it up soon.

Our website is down and we are working on it. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Our next big project is a new tack room. We are so compromised on space. Our old tack room will become our feed room and then we will have more room for hay in the barn. Always a new project coming along.

I visited the Humane Society yesterday, looking for my cat....I didn't find him but I did see so many lovely cats......big ones, little ones , older ones and busy, busy kittens! The Kitsap Humane Society is overloaded with cats.....if you have room in your house and heart......go and adopt a cat today! There were about three cats that were twenty pounds or better.....HUGE. I am pretty sure my cat is not coming home...it has been over two weeks. I think it was coyotes.... he ran outside and I couldn't catch him....and off into our ten acres he went.....end of story. The coyotes are very brave and we see them in the yard frequently. Our cat was a house cat and never stayed outside....one mistake and we lose him.

I am off to do chores...run errands and then I have to go to work for a while.

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

It's in the bag~!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday....hear the wind?

I love the wind. I love to watch it blow the leaves in mini tornadoes and then send them skipping off in all directions. Fall is here. No more glimpses of summer weather, no more picture perfect sunsets....but perhaps snow and ice with brilliant blue skies. I am not much of a snow person, but I do appreciate the beauty of undisturbed snow in a field or snowcapped trees...I just do not like to drive in it.

Last weekend we worked hard around the farm and got even more winterized.....more lights outside to keep the dark at bay while we clean. Horses groomed, blankets arranged, hay delivered, buckets scrubbed, garbage emptied. I must say the new lights are great......so much easier to see the bears who might get me! Even the chickens stayed out later to scratch around under the lights. Thank you Ryan for your time and effort...it was a long day.

We have been working hard on our auction items and we have some great things to offer......some horse type items, tack, artwork, dog baskets, coffee baskets, kids basket, cat basket, Christmas basket, spa basket, hair service certificate, vet certificates, hay, beaded brow band with matching stock pin, dressage lessons from two instructors, original artwork signed by the artist, Christmas ornaments, horse cookies, saddle fittings.........wowie! We are blessed to have such great supporters...thank you. Now come and have dinner and Christmas shop with us! All proceeds will go to support Pony UP Rescue for Equines.

Pony UP fortune for tomorrow:

It isn't perfect, but it will get you by.

Friday, November 12, 2010

and again we have Friday!

First news of the blog.........
Don't forget the Pony UP annual Fundraiser/Auction on November 20th...6pm at Trophy Lake Golf Course....lots of fun auction items, food and friends! Please RSVP to Krismasdog@aol.com and save a place for you and your friends!

This has been a long week. I forget how long it takes me to get into a new routine with darkness upon us so early in the afternoon. I remember now where we need more light and how exactly I clean paddocks in the dark! I clean with a miners light....right on my head or my hat if it is raining. The horses get used to it and the work gets done. One of the bonuses of the early darkness is that the chickens put themselves to bed and I don't have to wait or make a second trip.

Bonnie the chicken is still hanging in there.......eats, drinks but doesn't walk much. We move her around, stretch her wings and put her in the dust bath a couple of times a week. We hope she can get better.

It is that blanket time of the year again......blankets get ripped......blankets get wet......horses take them off....we put them back on. Church has a really good winter coat...but we put him in a thin sort of rain blanket.....and he was cold...go figure.....I put a thicker blanket on him and voila....he is much happier. I wonder how things would be if it was REALLY cold, like Montana or Nebraska........by the way, what kind of name is Nebraska? Sounds Russian.....but I know it isn't....hmm.....I will have to google it.

Today we got the fifth wheel home to the farm......finally. What a lot of work. I have never had an RV before ...at least a towable one and good grief ...I had NO IDEA. Of course in order to make it mine, I had to wash it.....bleach it......I am slightly germophobic....I love bleach. It makes me feel better. Someone pointed out that I am in daily contact with HORSE MANURE......but horse manure doesn't bother me.....human stuff does...and of course, if you are bleeding....you don't want me to help you. I will pass out or throw up. I am a sympathetic vomiter.........that means if YOU vomit, I do too. Heck, if the dog vomits, I vomit...I can't help myself. Anyway, the fifth wheel is home....parked...safe......and tomorrow we will set it level, plug it in and voila.....we have an office!

Horses are good this week........Lizzie's weight is good, her coat is beautiful.....Blue is much friendlier....loves carrots........Tarbaby is picky about hay.....so we feed him more senior grain in a slop twice a day which he loves and we give his old hay to the ponies. You have to love the recyle program huh?

I have had to work the last four Fridays and my trail riding aspirations have been dashed.......I worked today for a few hours and I have to work next Friday as well. All money for the horses, of course...so I don't mind.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain, after a beautiful day today....we have many things to acomplish, as usual......some more outside lights to put in, some receptacles, clean paddocks.......check gutters on the barn.......go to the dump.....have a Pony UP meeting......and help on a community project for a particular family.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us! I love Thanksgiving best out of any holidays.... a chance to get together, have a nice meal........and visit. We have a lot to be thankful for this year........we are truly blessed to have some of the folks we have, who volunteer, who donate.......who think of us........thank you!

Pony Up fortune for tomorrow:

Sometimes you don't see the angels who serve you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

So long Saturday

I am late in my blogging duties....so busy, as usual.

We had some beautiful weather this past week and we were grateful for the dry out time! It was seventy degrees here on Wednesday and I took all blankets off for the day and night. Normally the blankets would be on for good about now. Go figure how the weather will fare this winter season...I have no clue...but I hate snow, so it can definitely stay away.

Friday we got a good cleaning done, Mary and I. It is always fun to gab and clean...makes it go so much faster. The past few Fridays I have had to work and so my chore time is limited, this Friday was no different.

This morning we got a lot of things done.............YAY! The automatic gate opener is now functional and it works great! Thank you Alex and Ryan! We had a new volunteer for the morning.......welcome Caryn! (yes, another Car-ryn)...and guess what...this Caryn adopted our bunny!!! Susy and I also got the summer plants put up, made a new flower bed, cleaned the chicken house, cleaned all paddocks and water tubs....groomed the ponies, groomed Tarbaby and Church, got the barn aisle swept, loaded up the garbage from the new barn and some from the old barn....watch Zenyatta run, went to check out an RV and got coffee! We always have fun on Saturdays..at least I do.

We now have an RV for a caretaker to live in.....so exciting. Thirty two feet long, bathroom and kitchen...no leaks.....now we are looking for a caretaker to live at the farm. If you know someone looking, send them to us?

The grass is growing in the furloughed paddocks and we should have nice grazing come spring and summer....we have put about a million pounds of grass seed down so we should have something...LOL. We also got some sand (thanks to Susie) in the arena, although we will need more.......the horses are enjoying rolling in it and just standing in it...who knew it could make them so happy?

Tomorrow I hope to go for a trail ride and relax a little. My friend Kathy has invited me and I have in turn invited Louie. Louie is a horse, of course...a big fat TB....and he needs the exercise....ok, so do I.

My house cat is missing since this morning, he got out around 6 am when I let the dogs out, ran away from me and I haven't seen him since. I fear the worst. We have coyotes. We have let him out a little bit during the summer but he never stays out. I hope he can come back.

It rained hard this afternoon and reminded me to get a new raincoat and rubber boots.
You would think I might own several pairs of boots and several jackets, but I never have enough.

Pony UP fortune for tomorrow:

Beware of smiling strangers today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Good Morning Monday

It is five thirty a.m. A steady rhythm of rain is pounding the roof and it is cold. I am not looking forward to getting wet before I go to my "real" job. I shudder to think that we probably have six more months of this..maybe longer if the year is like the last. Remember it was winter right up until about July 7th? I can hardly remember dry paddocks and what they look like.

It was a busy weekend at Pony UP. Saturday, we worked in the rain.....Susy, Sarah, Alex, Ryan, Aspen and myself....cleaning paddocks and moving gravel. A long wet day. Ryan and I later went and got six stall mats to put over fresh gravel...we got the nubby stall mats that are anti slip. All paddocks have mats now. I took the boys to Mexican lunch...my turn to treat the girls next week.

Yesterday, Sunday, we had a lovely morning of sun and I took blankets off until mid afternoon when the clouds returned. Bronte helped in the morning and learned how to soak Tarbaby's feet. Everybody's weight looks good, coats are glossy......and Louie is FAT. We got it figured out why Louie is fat. Louie shares a paddock with Jones. Jones is the boss horse......so we thought. Jones gets grain. Louie doesn't. Jones protects his grain with evil looks and raised hind legs, which seemed be be successful......until we leave and Louie very quietly and non threateningly worms his way into Jones stall ...then quietly takes turns eating the grain with Jones. Time to move horses around......new pasture mates....so Louie's diet can work. Louie is a very nice horse, we all love him but we don't want him to be so fat.

I actually bought a western saddle for Louie and I am going to start taking him on trails with Caryn and our friend Kathy......and whomever else wants to join us. I need someone to take Jones on the trail. Any volunteers? How about you Kari L?
Banner forest, here we come. The Pony Up posse! We are looking for one more western saddle with a WIDE tree.

I work five days again this week and then next week go back to my normal schedule. I hate to work my regular job on Fridays because I get behind schedule at the barns. I still have work to be done at the new barn........gravel, garbage run....replace light bulbs.....hogsfuel....... okay, don't get me started....I have a mental list going already.

I watched this fascinating program on crows (I love crows).....and now I love them even more. Did you know they were as smart as an ape? The U of W has a program which is studying crows, they filmed a lot of their research and made this documentary. Crows not only can use tools, but they can make tools to use.....how smart is that? They also remember faces and places for over two years.......in this study. If you get a chance....watch it. Called "A Murder of Crows" ...

Off to do a load of laundry, shower, feed dogs........find a hat to wear in this rain......where is my list?

Please remember to reserve your tickets to the Pony Up Fall Fundraiser! 28 dollars now, 30 dollars at the door. November 20th, 2010. You still need a reservation if you are going to pay at the door!...we only have so much room. Please join us.
The fundraiser is going to be held at Trophy Lake Golf Club, in Port Orchard...6pm.
If you have an item to donate to our auction, please contact us........if you want to donate a dessert for the dessert auction........let us know!

Enjoy your day!

Pony Up fortune for today:

If not you, then who?