Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Poem?

   Time for a new post something horsey themed I believe...:

   T'was the day before Christmas I awoke with a start, to the phone merrily clanging and the thud of the cat!  ( falling off my chest as I turned over to get the phone of course!) 
Away to the kitchen to answer said call,I bolted,
when what to my wondering eyes should I see, but 3 horses not in a place they should be!!!
They were merrily munching right jolly old things,
on their whole winters store of alfalfa and greens!
  I sprang into my clothes, to the dogs gave a whistle, and away we all flew like the down of my comforter ( which I knew was still warm from my fat sleeping frame...).   now I digress...
   I caught the old mare she was eager to please, and she went back in the paddock it was simple with ease!!!
   She raced through the pasture so gay and so proud, one never would know she was the eldest of the crowd~

The bay Moorish gelding ( Sahib), who needed no blanket ( he was fat and sassy and the straps are too short for his round little belly), was next at the gate and went peacefully in just awaiting his fate.

 Then came the younger chestnut mare, with the diabolical mind, her wits were much, much, much much quicker than mine.  She raced this way and that just avoiding the rope, and I swore and I cursed and quickly I saw it, my one opportunity, to catch this dang horse and get back to my bed!!
 ( okay that doesn't rhyme, but I'm telling a story here!).
   The rest of the horses how grateful they looked, patiently waiting for me to come feed them, the 3 silly horses, they needed no food, they only needed to have a good rest, and they found it quite nicely in the " time out" pen.

   I thought to myself as I mended the fence, " I don't need this!"  But that hasn't stopped my from keeping my horses just as safe as I can no matter the day, and they all wish you the Merriest of holidays today and tomorrow!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


    I have been considering this post for a bit.   What makes a friend?  I have mulled this over for a few weeks now.  Some of my friends are rather new, and many, many are quite old ( as in I have been friends with them for many years, not age-related).   Some friends to me are inanimate objects,  for instance, these fall mornings as I step outside to do chores, it is still dark.  But I look into the sky and see my friend Orion gazing out into the heavens from his kneeling vantage point.  He is friendly to me because he is always there, unchanging, I can count on him being there for me to see.  I have been looking a lot into the heavens, learning the constellations and the stars that they are comprised of.  Betelgeuse is one of the stars in the Orion constellation,  I like this star solely because of its name.  Pronounced "beetlejuice", this star reminds me of the movie starring Micheal Keaton, and I really enjoyed that movie!    Another star in the Orion constellation is Bellatrix, and for those Harry P fans, we know who she is certainly along with her cousins Sirius and Regulus ( both are also heavenly bodies seen in the autumn skies here in Minnesota).  I never was able to make a connection with J.K. Rowling for how she chose the names of her characters, I think she too, looked into the heavens and was inspired.  Without doing any homework on this, I can only speculate, but the names ARE there.  My friends, the stars.    

     Speaking of stars, I am friends with Vin Diesel, at least on Facebook I am... He posts regularly, and always lets his FB friends know how grateful he is to be in the place he is currently at status wise.  I have always admired Vin,  he seems to be a man of integrity, something I value highly in my world.

     Honesty, integrity, faithfulness and kindness are some of the things I value in my friends.  I have many friends, some are not good friends they are on the outskirts of my friendship circle.  My true friends are good friends.   I have not unfriended many people in my life.  A couple of .loser boyfriends, and 2 women are all that come to me right now.

     The one friendship I regret losing now, Nancy was her name and she was beautiful, but nice.  She loved flirting with guys and I loved hanging out with her cuz I knew all the hot guys were going to want to get to meet her ( and me by association).  But one night of partying showed me her true colors, see she had just gotten married to this really hot, hot lead singer of a band ( we went to a lot of bars and met a lot of hot band members).  I knew Terry ( her husband), and liked him, he was a nice guy and didn't need to have his wife going off to party with some other band for all hours of the night.  I told her I wasn't interested in partying with this band, and we should get home, Nancy didn't like hearing that.  She was about to go off with this band without me even though I had driven her to this bar ( somewhere near Marshall , Lind ballroom I believe), and I wasn't about to let that happen. So I finally get her away from the band and get her into my car to head the long drive back to Montevideo ( that is where we lived near).  She was so mad at me she told me we were no longer friends, and she never wanted to speak to me again.  I agreed, and the silent car ride has lengthened into 20+ years.  I never made up with her again.  I sometimes wonder though, how she is doing, we had many fun times before this together.

   The second friendship I happily set aside last year. The person in question proved themselves to be dishonest, untrustworthy and unreliable. 

    My friends are much better people than this.   The people I choose to surround myself with are supportive, considerate, trustworthy, honest and kind.  My trainer for instance,  a terrific person who has been crapped on several times in her life.  Someone burglarized her barn, not just once, but twice!  This woman doesn't have a palace, and works so hard for what she has.  Why should she be the person to lose so much?  I often ask God that question.  His answer?  He doesn't always give us what we WANT, but he ALWAYS gives us what we NEED.  I don't know the how or the why of my trainer needing to be burglarized twice, but God has the plan,  I need the faith to follow what his plan is for me and my friends.  I do pray, and I include my trainer in my prayers.

   I have some really good friends that I have had since I was a child.  I don't get to see them often, but when we get together, we just pick up where we left off in our friendship.  I like to use the analogy of putting on my most comfortable pair of shoes.   Comfortable old shoes are a high priority to me and they clearly are high on my list of things I am grateful for  (right up there with hot running water)! That is how my old friends feel to me.

     I also have friends among the animals.  Clearly, all our animals here on our small hobby farm are friends,  My son and I name them all ( except for the bees, they move too fast to bee named...).  We have our 10 horses, which of course have been with us for many years.  Coni is 30 and she has been with me since she was born.  She is my heart horse, there is such a special bond between she and I we know each other...  Sahib is my other heart horse, and it is clear he loves me, as much as I love him.  Non horsey people have even noticed this bond.  They can see how he looks at me and can see the love emanating from him and they see my love for my horse also.  This is friendship.  I look forward to developing our riding partnership as well as our bond.  I have ridden him a couple of times now, since he got back from my trainer's farm and small baby steps will ensure that bond continuing to grow.
   I grieve for some of my animal friends.  Last year, an owl killed my friend Gary.  Gary was a large Pekin drake.  He loved me and I loved him, we were good friends.  Gary would always come when I called for him and it was hilarious to see this huge duck running and flapping his wings in his excitement to come and see what kind of game we were going to play!   He loved to play tag with my feet.  I would quickly shuffle my feet and he would almost trip over himself trying to catch each foot as it moved!  He loved grabbing on to my shoe laces and untie my tennis shoes.  My boots were frustrating for him, there was nothing for him to untie...  If I mistakenly wore sandals or flip flops outside I had to be very wary of Gary, because he liked nothing better than to come up ( especially when I was distracted) and nip my feet.  That stings, a lot!!!Try it sometime, take a tweezers and pinch a tiny piece of skin on the top of your foot as hard as you can.  That is kind of what it was like for Gary to catch me in flip flops!!!
   Gary liked to sleep next to the house, in the summer so he could be there quacking in his hoarse drake voice as soon as I opened the door each morning.   Sadly, this practice is what led to his demise.  I found him one October morning, with the Great Horned Owl that killed him standing over him feeding.  Shock overwhelmed my grief.  This owl not only killed my friend Gary, but it was more than willing to take on all 5 dogs that surrounded it as I unknowingly let them outside that morning!  I could see it starting to hop toward the mini Dachshund  Bailey, and I rushed outside grabbing the closest item I could find.  A broom.  Yes, I took on an owl with a broom, and guess what? An owl ( esp one of that size) isn't intimidated by a wild woman swinging a broom... I even connected with it, didn't even phase the thing.  It hopped off into the wild where I still here it sometimes at twilight as I am doing chores.  I then hustle to lock all my birds safely into their coops, and make sure the smaller dogs are safely inside before continuing on with my chores for the evening.  I won't lose another friend to an owl's hunger.
    I have sadly lost several birds this fall.  Gone are Betty and Agnes, followed by the only duck I hadn't named, the small black Runner female.  Then Rosy got sick and I found her dead last Monday, she is buried by Gary.  Helen disappeared next, she was a Black Swedish duck who loved her Cheerios, and clamored for them every morning.  Saffron disappeared next, and she was the one bird I thought had the best survival instincts, I figured she of all my chickens would be wise enough to sense danger before it was too late, I was wrong I guess. Now my Mallard duck Goldy is gone, she was Gary's mate and I enjoyed watching her antics as she begged for treats.  Yesterday, I lost one of my exhibition birds Ash, she was a blue Cochin, just about 7 months old, next year I was going to be entering her and her sister Smoke ( get it, Smoke and Ash???... I thought it kind of cool if you say it fast....) in some poultry competitions.   I am trying to keep my girls safe, but I think  coyote has discovered the reliable feast available to him during the day at the Erickson farm.   I don't lose birds at night, only when they free range during the day.
    So I say good by to some of my friends, and I will always remember them fondly.  My other friends, human and animal, I will continue to support through thought, word and deed.  There is nothing like a good friendship.

Friday, August 27, 2010

leaves are changing

   Gosh, is it the end of summer already?   My how time passes!!  It seems I was just beginning my summer yesterday!  At least this year, I am healthy ( as in not injured) and free of the worthless baggage that used to hang around my life. 
   I have spent much of the summer doing horse shows.  No, not showing, I am "retired" from showing, but I announce shows now a days.  I like announcing, I think I do a good job, ( at least I try my best to do a good job), shows always compliment me after the day and usually ask me back for the following year.  I have 2 more shows to do this summer, and then I can officially call it the end of summer.  2 Weeks from now I am announcing the Arabian Open Shows Championship show in Lake Elmo.  I announced this show last year, and they liked my style so asked me back for this year.  I enjoyed the show, so many beautiful horses, and some worthwhile trainers and stables represented.  There is one stable that isn't a really huge name stable, but the owner/trainer always supports the community shows in the state and brings many young students along to these shows.  I hope that stable is there this year.  Their name is Regent Arabians and I have the utmost respect for this owner Doug.  He seems to be a nice man with some integrity.  That is something I highly value at this point in my life.  Honesty and integrity, that is all I ask of someone in order for me to count them as a person worthy of my respect.  My parents taught me that.  I am trying my best to pass on those self same values to my child.  I hate liars!  With a passion!!!!!  Why would someone spend their time making up stories?  Is it to make them seem more important?  I just don't get it...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Motivational sayings

  Searching the internet I have discovered some really motivational profound sayings.  Here are some of them:

"If you wish to grow thinner, diminish your dinner." -Henry Sambrooke Leigh

Your body is the baggage you must carry through life. The more excess the baggage, the shorter the trip.

Arnold H. Glasgow
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.

  I am hoping to continue to incorporate these changes into my lifestyle as much as I can.  I am doing well with the exercise and now it is just to work on the food.  I find myself analysing everything I am thinking about eating.  I have a rough idea of how many calories are in a serving, it is just to reproportion my serving sizes I think.
   Another celebration, I RODE Sahib!!!!!!  I am so excited to get to ride him again! I am also scared and quite tense, but I have great confidence in my trainer, and her skill to help me relax, and I have watched him being ridden by her often, and he looks so happy and unstressed that I know I can continue to develop my confidence with him as well!  He is such a  terrific horse, he has such try and an honest work ethic. My love for him is great as well as my love for all my horses!
  Without further ado:
Premo Sahib

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Changing.... Hats

     I like most people wear many hats throughout my life.  For the past twelve years, the hats I have worn/ am wearing are as varied as the autumn leaves falling from the trees.
     My most important hat right now is that of a mother.  I have a 12 year old son, and he totally rocks my world.  My love for him is boundless, and I am so proud of the choices he makes as an individual.  He is a role model for other children around him,  he is has a clear and cutting wit mostly associated with adult intellect.  He is funny, kind and considerate most of all, he loves all things around him.  I am constantly being floored by some of the profound statements he makes.  I believe his is, an old soul...  I know that sounds corny, but I think it is true, even when he was a newborn, his face held so much wisdom, I knew he was special.  So, without further ado, let me show off my son:

My fondest desire is to raise a well rounded emotionally stable child,  at this point my young man is exceeding any expectations I might ever have had.   He is so cool!

       This Sunday, my hat is that of a beekeeper,  went out and checked on my 3 hives of bees this morning.  They are all doing well, considering we got off to a very slow start this spring.  I think I might have a small honey harvest yet this year!  At least one can always hope!

     Last Sunday that hat I wore was quite different from this Sunday's hat.   At the last minute, the judge for the local 4-H club fun show backed out, so they called me, wondering if I might be available to judge their show!   You can't imagine my surprise in being asked to judge, even if it is only a fun show!  I happily told them I would be delighted to judge the show!  Of course, I had some doubts, woudn't anyone?  I mean, I have never judged a show before, but it IS only 1 person's opinion on one specific day... At least, that is what I have always told the kids I have had the pleasure of coaching.  So Sunday morning July 18 dawns, and off I go to judge a horse show...  I think I must have done alright, no one was waiting to lynch me after the pleasure classes, and it was a lot of fun and quite a learning experience also!  I learned, no matter how many horses are in the class, there will always be one horse/pony that is going to be a brat.  This particular class I am thinking about had a couple.  It was a walk/trot 11 and under class, and man, it was CHAOS!!  I had the ring steward watching 1 pony, the announcer was trying to keep an eye out on another horse, I told her at the first sign of more trouble ( had already had a taste of the nastiness of this horse) stop the class on the rail and we would deal with it...  Luckily, there were no mishaps, I did end up excusing the one horse from the ring ( he was totally unresponsive to the rider), for the safety of the other riders and their mounts.  But how the heck to judge a class like that?  All I could do was take the rider with the least amount of mistakes and place them first, and then go down the line... all in a short amount of time.  I have oodles more respect for the tough job those judges have to do now.  At the same time, I have realized, this is a hat I kind of like wearing, and so my next goal is to attend the judging seminar and take/pass the 4-H judging test.  Here are a few photos from the show:
A  good time was had by all I think.

   I thank all the people I have gotten pictures from,  since I don't have a camera of my own, I rely on others people's photographic skills to get the pictures for my blog.

    Today,  my hat is that of a straw hat, because that is the kind of hat you wear at the beach, which is where we are headed now, before my riding lesson!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Winds of change

   Gosh how the summer has flown by!!  I have hardly had the opportunity to even consider organizing my thoughts here! 
   Well started the summer off by sending Sahib back to the trainer's farm so I could continue with my lessons and he could as well!  Had the chiropractor out for him and he also had some accupuncture done.  Now, I am/was quite the skeptic regarding non-western medicine, but this has REALLY helped him!  Amazing!  I realize this is the condensed version, but there is so much to blog about!!!
   I am continuing my dressage lessons and finally think I understand how posting feels while riding!  Never knew how to "feel" it.  I hope that my lightbulb moment  continues to be effective!  I am also continuing my workouts at the club, and now my heartrate hardly rises when I am walking @ 3.2 miles per hour on the treadmill!  This is progress!!!  I invited my friend to accompany me a couple of times, and boy did she feel she got a work out!  We both did!  Dripping in sweat!  That is a great feeling! LOL!
    My bees are doing well, had a slight mis-step when one of my hives lost the queen, I was afraid I was going to lose that hive!  But as nature intended, the hive created a new queen, and all is well.  They are getting another box this week.  My other hives already have their new boxes, I am hoping to have a honey harvest by the middle of August, just in time for a local celebration, called Garlicfest.  My mentors had a booth there last year, and we actually extracted honey right there in our booth!  Gave people a chance to see what goes into ( or out of ) the honey they purchase!  People were quite curious and eager to see the mystery surrounding honey unveiled.   Honey production, prior to my becoming a beekeeper always seemed like a secret society to me.   There was always some magic surrounding the whole thing, I mean, you saw bee hives out in the countryside, but never saw anyone tending them.  So, how DID that honey become so?  It was so revealing to me to find out!   I have had the opportunity to watch bees place pollen in the cells from there back legs positively packed with pollen.  I have watched the share nectar with their tongues, I have watched newly hatched bees pop out of their cells, I have watched the bees do their "nectar dance" which precisely tells the other bees where the nectar and pollen are located from the hive.  So many things I have learned!  So many more things to learn!  What a powerful gift this learning thing is!  How humbling to learn from a creature as small as a bee!

Back at the ranch... my 5 year old gelding Handsome got quite badly injured 3 weeks ago.  He managed to put his leg through the metal wall of the run in shed, and gave himself a degloving injury.The injury was to the bone, but luckily he didin't bag any big nerves, arteries or his tendon ( I have no idea how he managed not to do it like that but I am counting my blessing he didn't!)   Several hours and many hundreds of dollars later, the vet says, " complete stall rest".  Those who know me personally, know I have no barn, hence no stall... So I call my trainer and ask her if she has room for my injured fella for as long as he needs stall rest.  Without any hesitation on her part she allows us to haul him up there for his convolescence.  Now Handsome has not been off my farm that often, ( last year when I was injured, a good friend took him and 2 others off my hands), so he didn't really want to get into the trailer.   We tried all kinds of tricks, but without forcing him, since he already had enough stress in his life with the horrific injury to his fetlock.  Then I grabbed a handful of cracked corn, the big bugger stepped right into that trailer for his corn!
  The 1/2 hour trailer ride was uneventful, he is a good hauler once he got in.  Then the adventure of getting off the trailer at the trainer's farm.  Since I don't have a barn, Handsome had no idea what a building like that looked like.  should have seen his face when I asked him to follow me into that barn!  And the sound his feet made on cement!  He had no idea who in the heck was making those clopping sounds, but he didn't know if he liked it!  Then his pop, Sahib spoke up,  he was like a puppy rushing over to be comforted by the elder.HIs introduction to a stall was also an adventure, he took one look at that dark hole and you could see his brain thinking: "She wants me to go in THAT?!  Well, being the good sport he is, and trusting that I will not bring him to anything that will kill him ( I think he trusts me like that anyway, I have tried to be consistant with him), he entered the stall without much more ado.   Turns out he likes a stall,...  To my knowledge he hasn't had any meltdowns, and is being a good boy for my trainer. He is healing nicely after almost 4 weeks at the trainers, thanks to her due diligence and care.  I imagine it will be a while before he is healed enough to come home.  Here are some pictures:
This last picture is from last week, the 15th to be exact.  The wound is healing nicely ( thanks to Jean's ministrations and Wonder Dust!).  We were able to even get his hooves trimmed with him standing sound on that leg!  My only concern is for his fetlock and the possiblity he won't be sound on that leg, but for now we will take it day by day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


   Just getting home from ... *drum roll please... my first 5K!!!!!!!!!  yep I did it!!  I am thrilled and pleased as punch for me!!  This blog began as part of my weight loss journey, and it continues in that vein with a few forays into the rest of my life.   I never thought I would possibly be interested in attending let alone competing in a running(walking) race!   I have a goal now, and that is to complete an 8K in 2 years, this should give me plenty of time to train and condition myself for that kind of running.  I watched the 8K competitors, and man, did they have an incredible pace going!  It was poetry in motion to watch them run.  I love to watch superb athletes perform.  And to have an idea of the conditioning and training that goes into any competition is simply astounding!
    Speaking of watching poetry in motion, I announced my second show of the season last Sunday.  It was our annual Arabian Community Show that my friend and I have put on for the past 4 years.  We had some really lovely horses and horse/rider teams competing !  I have to mention this one gal since I saw her last year, and am totally in awe of her.  Last year when she competed the whole summer, she was also enduring chemotherapy, AND riding a green horse!  This is the level of commitment this woman had for the Arabian breed!  What a role model!  I can only hope to aspire to have half the courage and perseverance this person has!  Had the opportunity to speak to her this year, and let her know how much I admired her  quite modestly this person acknowledged my admiration, another point for her!  Humility is a humbling trait to see in others, I hope to learn from them.
   At this same show, I always have  at least 60 people telling me what to do and how to do my job of announcing.  My son was helping me in the announcer's box, and says, " Mom, you should say this, like this!"  I look at him ( with a Mom look no doubt) and say" Matt, I already have 60 people telling me how to do my job!"  His reply?  "Well, make that 61!".   Hmmmmm, wonder where he gets his sarcastic sense of humor from!??   Minutes later, a voice floats up from the entry booth, ( remember, I am already kind of tense about the announcing thing and everyone telling me what to do and how to do it!)  and it says," That has got to be the WORST announcer I have ever heard!"  Let me tell you, I whipped around in my chair to blast them both barrels with what they can do with their opinion.  My secretary is openmouthed, wondering what the heck I am going to do.  and lo and behold, there stands my brother and sister in-law grinning from ear to ear~!  He only thinks he is funny...  Well, family CAN tell me I suck, doesn't bother me, especially when I know they really don't mean it~!  Their girls (my nieces) competed with their QH in the open classes, they did quite well, I was very proud of them for the fine horsewomen they are becoming!  They are also quite competitive on the WSCA show circuit in the game events.  It is fun to watch them compete.  My brother enjoyed living vicariously through them so much that he went out and purchased his own game horse, and now he is quite competitive also!  Poetry in motion...  Superb athletes... Bet I could beat him  in a running race though...

Monday, June 7, 2010


   Well, both my horse and I are in training, ( I as you know from this blog have been working on improving my physical well-being for several months now.)  Sahib has been at the trainers for a month, and I am signed up for my first 5k coming up here in June.   Yes, you read that correctly, I am running/walking ( mostly walking I bet...) a 5 k!!!!!!!   Never ever thought I would even be interested in participating in something like this!!! I don't care if I am the last person over the finish line either, this is about challenging myself to try something new~!!!!!  More in depth conversations with myself to come!

Monday, May 24, 2010

More changes

    I sold my Ortho-flex saddle, it was too small for my butt.  Found a girl who fits that 14 1/2" saddle just fine, and I gave her a great deal!  I was happy to do it too.  Found myself a new Ortho-flex, put an offer on it, ( half of what they were asking...) imagine my surprise when they accepted my offer!!!  Needless to say, called tha bank today for a "little loan"  I am excited to see if this saddle fits me better!   Love the Ortho-flex saddles though!!  My trainer/instructor has been letting my ride in her stitchdown... heavenly!!!   I am learning to post correctly, I am really enjoying my dressage lessons!!  Thanks to my instructor!!    Hopefully next year I will have the funds to also purchase a western Ortho-flex as well as the English equitation I just bought.  I am still not looking forward to getting back up on Sahib, but I know the time is nearing.  I am stronger in my core, and my balance and hopefully my balance recovery is faster!  I did ask the trainer to see if she could work with  Sahib and objects next to his side, ( when I fell last year, he got scared at seeing this object falling next to him and he ran.)   Her response?  LOL Well, she says to me, so you want me to prepare him in case you fall again??  it was funny at the time, my wording is no longer verbatim.
   Speaking of strengthening, I graduated from the 12 week weight management course put on by our hospital this evening!!!  Yay!!  I dropped 4% of my bmi!!!!    This is exciting for me!!! I am on the right track!  I knew my shape was changing,  just didn't know how much!  I have dropped at least 1 size in clothing, and that is also exciting!  I am not a clothes horse by any means, so I am not much for shopping, but I am going to celebrate by buying some new work out clothes!! 
   Our 12 week program celebrated tonight by having a potluck.  We all were to bring healthy recipes using the skills we learned over the past 12 weeks.  I brought homemade organic cracked wheat bread, and some of my honey!!  It was a definite hit!   Funny how in this heat, the yeast really rises quickly!!  I had that bread made from start to finish in 3 hours! I also have made some ( hopefully ) lasting friendships within this group of positive role models!!  As we got to know each other, we really had fun!  It was rather uncomfortable at our first meetings to try to do things together, but as time passed, our rapport strengthened.  Now, I am comfortable ribbing one of my new friends in the hall at work or just even saying hi out in the world...  ( in my opinion, the act of greeting people out on the street, even total strangers  is becoming a lost art...)  There were some delicious foods there tonight.  a few examples:  sandwiches with sliced turkey, apple, spinach and mustard,  whole wheat tortillas spread with natural peanut butter and sliced strawberries,   a wonderful potato salad with italian dressing instead of mayo, a vegetable salad with green beans, red onions, cherry tomatoes, Italian dressing and feta cheese, an orange salad with cottage cheese mandarin oranges, sugar free jello, and whipped cream, and this terrifc torte with angel food cake, layered with butterscotch pudding, whipped cream, and sliced almonds.Quite a feast!! I can't wait to try some of these foods here at home!
     My honey was a hit also, and several people from the group asked me to let them know when I will have more available this year!
   Some day I will get back to writing my funny tales, but until then I am suffering from boring writer syndrome, so all my faithful readers are reduced to reading my boring drivel.  But hey, at least I am not lying!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


           The bees are here!!   My second year as a bonifide beekeeper ( maybe last year shouldn't count since my mentors did all the heavy work for me!).  I was able to add one more hive this year,  my original intention was to add 2 hives but sadly, my bees didn't survive the winter.  It is very hard to keep bees in a hive alive through a Minnesota winter, esp like the one we had this past winter.  I wasn't even able to get to my hives until the end of February, and even then the usual 5 minute walk took me like 20 minutes because every step was a struggle, I was hip deep in snow, and so I had to pull each leg out entirely to make the next step, it was truly exhausting!  A great work out though...  I thought I was going to have to give up before I even got to the hives though, I was just whipped!  And quite disappointed to open that first hive and find a whole mess of dead bees in there.  Then finding the same thing in the second was quite devastating.  I knew I wasn't going to give up, but it did put quite a damper on any grand hive expansion I might have had in mind.
      Happily, my mentor was with me this time for homing my bees, and so I actually have pictures to help me tell my beekeeping story.  I don't have a camera, since mine took a swim in the Atlantic on our vacation to North Carolina in April of 2008.  Hence the reason my blog isn't filled with pictures... Someday, it will be but right now a new camera just isn't the priority.
    So, I have 3 2 lb packages of bees to place in their respective homes.   Last Monday, that is exactly what my mentor/friend and I did!
  Here is a picture story of putting bees into a hive:
   This is my beekeeping getup, I am wearing 2 pairs of pants to try and protect my legs from getting stung, my sting repellent beekeeping jacket with hat and veil attached ( we discovered wearing a baseball cap under the hat helps hold the hat and veil in place better).  Last, but not least are my trustly leather gloves,  I don't have the sleeve length ones because it is easier for me to pull these on and off.

  Now we are ready to place the bees into their home.First, we give them a good squirt with sugar water 1:1,  as you can see, I have removed 2 frames from the box that is going to be the bees' new home.

Removing the sugarwater can from the package of bees, you can see the hive tool in my left hand, this is the beekeepers "do it all tool", Anything  from removing burrcomb from the frames and top of the box, to loosening the frames from the boxes during the honey season ( bees LOVE to glue everything together with a substance called "propolis"), and there is a curved end that makes it look kind of like a crowbar for lifting items up, very handy tool.  You can also see the bees are at the bottom of the package, this is because I have already pounded the box onto the ground to drop the bees to the bottom of the package.

Shaking the bees into the box, you can see the bees tumbling into the hive.  This can be quite intimidating if you have a "hot" bunch of bees.   This is also the point where it is vitally important to make sure you have your suit completely sealed, those bees can crawl into any opening!

Most of the bees have been released into their hive, and I am going to try to shake a few more out before leaving the box in front of the hive,  waiting for the rest of the bees to leave the package.

This small cage contains the queen,  this is the most important bee in the whole package, without her,the hive will not survive.  She is packaged separately from the rest of the bees, first to prevent injury to her, and secondly to release her pheremones into the bees, so they recognize her as their queen, otherwise the potential is there for the bees to kill this queen.  We marked all the queens this year, it is much easier to find a marked queen  than not.  I helped mark some of the queens this year, but it is quite nerveracking, because the queens are so valuable, I like to leave the marking to my mentors. Our queens were marked with green this year.There they are!!!!  All happy and homey in their new hive!!  It will only take about a month for this hive to become a large hive of  60,000-100,000 bees.

For the first few weeks the bees will need to be fed, so I am placing a pollen pattie and a bag of sugar water on the hive, the frames are all put back into the hive, and I am ready to close up this hive.  If you count you can see nine frames on this box, this is called a "deep box", and it will only contain brood ( which is the young bees), and some food for the brood, the queen will continue to lay eggs in these frames until they are filled, then I will add a second box, as she fills this one to 80-90%.

That is an initial very incomplete lesson in beekeeping.  I am loving it!! This is such a fascinating hobby, and it is good for the planet~!  We are slowly but surely losing our natural pollinators, and I am just trying to do my part to be a responsible conservationist!  Hope you enjoyed the pictures~!  Thank you to my friend Harmony for taking them!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tuning in and turning off

     Just got home from my weekly weight management meeting.  Tonight along with some heavy duty working out, the dietitians grilled some delicious food for us.  The funny thing about food is, it ALWAYS tastes better when someone else prepares it!  Even a peanut butter sandwich is so much better when someone else has made it for me!  What does that mean?? 
   Tonight, they grilled Tilapia with fresh herbs, parsnips and carrots seasoned with lemon zest, some Mrs. Dash, olive oil and after grilling topped with cilantro!  It was delish!!And the crowning touch was grilled fruit!  I never imagined mixing Mango with blueberries and grilling them!!  But, it was quite a taste sensation for me,  I though, love Mangos!  Blueberries, not so much... I am learning though to like them as well. 
   The workout was a killer and it was all done with items one has around the house, no need for a gym membership!  And I have to say, I was sweating with the best of them in that 25 minute workout!  I feel so good though, cuz I can keep up with the fittest people in our class!  I know my voyages to the club are paying off in spades!!!  I am still trying to work out at least 5 days a week, often I find my week days are too busy to fit in a visit to the club, so then my weekends have to take up the slack.  I had originally intended to work out all 7 days per week, but realistically even getting in 5 is sometimes a struggle.  My hardest days are when my son also has a lesson planned for that day.  For instance, Tues are really impossible since he has guitar lessons @ 4 pm, and I don't like to make more than one trip into town per day,  this means, I have his guitar with me at work, and then need to get him to guitar by 4  and since the lseeon is only 1/2 hour, there isn't time for me to get to the club and even get my cardio done before it is time to pick him up from guitar.  Sadly, this gym doesn't allow children under 16 to have a membership so  Matt can't even work out there while I am exercising...Next year when my contract is up, I am switching to the other gym in town that DOES allow children to exercise...  Until then, Tuesdays will continue to be a struggle I guess.
     Love my personal trainer though, what a great guy!  Totally motivating!  I have not found working out to be fun yet, but he has promised me I will.  Until then, it is a necessary evil...
    On a great note, my fitness level increasing has made a difference in my horsemanship ( I think),  and last week during my lesson, I got to work on posting!!  I was always told I suck at posting, so I never really did it much, learned to ride a sitting trot ( probably not well, but I did it...)  I was quite pleased to hear my instructor say, I could be posint with no stirrups in no time!!  I know, killer but I love hearing that I can do things I never thought my obese shape could possibly do!  This is a comforting thought!
       On another note, my bees arrive next weekend!!! Yay!!  I have added one more hive, and am keeping that in another location, first to spread the pollination around, second, because one of my neighbors has expressed an interest in keeping bees so hands on is the only good way to learn about beekeeping!  Last year, I had around 8 gallons of honey from my 2 hives, this year, the bees have a head start since they don't have to build the comb, they can instantly start gathering nectar and pollen to make honey with!!  How exciting!!  Oh yeah, I am definitely NOT allergic to bees, contrary to another blog statement...  I have had my Dr prescribe an epi pen though, just in case.   My mentors are very helpful and always willing to answer my questions.  We have been busy building bee boxes, and painting them!  This time my third hive is going to be white,  so I have a pink hive, a green hive and a white hive!  Next year I hope to  add a couple more hives again!  Keeping the bees alive is the challenge here in Minnesota, most of the beekeepers I have visited with lost at least half of their hives most of us lost all our bees, no wonder there is a definite shortage of pollinators in the world!  We have to figure out a way to keep these bees alive through a Minnesota winter!  My mentors are working on breeding a hardy queen that can withstand the rigors of a harsh winter here in MN.  I hope they are able to develop such a queen!  Anyway,  I am just tuning in to working out and turning off the junk food channel in my brain!  Celebrating and wanting to share my victories, and my joy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yeah Baby!

   Finally my health filled changes are starting to pay off!!!  I had my bloodwork drawn yesterday, and today I called for the results.  I am back within normal limits on my blood glucose levels!!!!!  I have been quite worried since my last blood draw (Jan 2009), showed me to be prediabetic, that scared me into starting this blog, since this is a place for me to formulate my plans, vent and rant a little, entertain ( some...), and just generally journal about my every NORMAL life.
   I am quite satisfied with my progress so far, as these are changes for life, this is an ongoing process,  it didn't take me overnight to get to the size I am now, I am aware that it won't happen overnight for me to lose this weight and be back to more normal sizes.  At my age, the difficulty has significantly increased for me to lose weight, sadly  I am really struggling with that at this time.  I AM down 10 lbs since I first started working out at the club,not an incredible number, but one I can live with, the best part of the whole fitness thing is my increased flexibility and increased core strength!   I am so excited about that!  I can do crunches into next week if I had to now!!  Thank heavens I don't, cuz I really hate crunches!  I can also now jog for at least a mile, but I have always liked slow jogging, I used to run quite often, but that was like 22 years ago. I have enjoyed going to the club more and more.  At first, it was quite intimidating for me, but I realized the people going there had no interest in pointing fingers and laughing at the far person trying to work out.  They are all there for the same reason I am, to increase or keep the current physical fitness level they are at or want to be at.
         The personal trainer who is working with me has showed me so many exercises that include my stability ball, that I should never ever get bored working on that thing!  I am so happy and grateful to this guy for encouraging me and showing me that I can do anything for 3 minutes!!!  Thank you Scott!!! He is also a certified athletic trainer, so he understands my limitations regarding the life changing injuries I sustained falling from Sahib last summer.  He has been careful to make a routine that doesn't tax the prosthesis in my right elbow, and he has showed me great exercises for the partially torn rotator cuff on my left side! in addition to those first noticed injuries,  last fall, my right knee swelled and got incredibly painful,  and in a few days ( as any orthopedic person will tell you), the quad strength in that leg was all but gone.  I couldn't even climb the steps into the house with that leg, bending it past 45 degree was next to impossible, so I really struggled getting in and out of the bath tub.  But I LOVE baths!  So, with the help of my son, I was able to get in and out of the tub.  the MRI showed a meniscal tear, and moderate degeneration of my medial and lateral cartilage.  I knew I was in serious trouble...  Had a cortizone injection done, and that took down the swelling but, didn't help the pain much, and certainly didn't make the weakness any better.  Joining the gym has taken away all the pain in my knee!!!  I was bracing myself for some more surgery this summer ( when I wouldn't have to do chores), thankfully, this is not going to be necessary!!!  Yay for me!!!!  My arms are both much stronger, and although I still have some tendonitis in my right arm ( probably always will, but it is tolerable), I can do things now!  I dismounted from my lesson horse to the ground last Saturday!!!!  I didn't know if I had the strength to support my body with that arm to a ground dismount, hurray I can!!   I am celebrating my return to fitness!!!  YES!!!  Abd as an added bonus, I get to watch some really beautifully muscular bodies around me work out!! I admit having a weakness for a chiseled muscular body,  anyone with sculpted muscles gets my admiration!!

     At the same time I am celebrating my fight back to health, my son and I are mourning the loss of Tommy our much loved and highly mischeivous cat.   Last Thursday was my son's birthday, so we decided to have a hookie day away from school and work.   We headed off to Como Zoo and the Science Museum with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.   Toured the zoo, and the Conservatory ( we got a taste of the tropics there!!!), and then headed over to the SM.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were quite interesting to me, but about a 20 minute jaunt for the preteen.  Of course, this meant that we left the SM at 4:30 PM, which also means we ended up in the worst part of prime time rush hour, on the most congested part of the Twin Cities!  I am no city driver, that is for sure, so this created a mountain of stress for me, but I thought I handled it well, with no profanity spilling from my lips.  My son takes great delight in correcting me here.  I apparently DID swear some, just not as much as usual when I am stressed.
    Anway, we got home and let the critters out for an outside trek around the yard.  Taz and Tommy, the 2 cats included.  They didn't want to come in  when we all came in from doing chores so I figured they would come in before bed.  At bedtime, I called and called for them and neither one came, they have done this before, so I figured they were out hunting, and would be back waiting at the door as usual in the morning.
   The next morning rolls around and Taz is waiting at the door, but no sign of Tommy,  I called and called for him but, he didn't come.  I didn't really think anything of it until I started out on the highway heading for work.  There was Tommy's body,  he had been hit by a car and killed.  All I could do was get him off the highway, onto the shoulder, I had no time to bury him and I certainly didn't want my son to see his beloved cat.  Arriving at work, I tearfully explained what had happened to Tommy, and asked if I might be able to leave early to go home and bury him.  Work was more than willing to accomodate my request, they know how much we care about the pets in our lives.    Then, I thought of some friends of mine, I would not usually consider asking for a favor like the one I was about to call and ask for, but this seemed like the time one could consider asking for this kind of help.  I called my friend Harmony, and asked if she would be willing to go over and bury Tommy for me.  Immediately, she told me she could certainly do that for me, because that is what friends do.  I asked that my son not see the body, and since I was unable to reach him via telephone ( I thought he was still sleeping, turns out, he too, was outside calling and calling for Tommy) that she break the news of Tommy's death to him.  I felt getting his body into the earth the soonest was the best measure in these circumstances, and I am so grateful to my friends for doing this for me!  Thank you friend!!

    So, this blog contains a goodbye...  Goodbye Tommy, our much loved silly cat!!  I  miss  having you sleep in front of the computer screen so I can't read what I type. I miss listening for your Siamese yowl when you have determined there is something you need ( like being let out of a closed room). I know we will miss having our tree tipped several times next Christmas time.  Tommy, we will miss you playing in the bathtub in the middle of the night.  We miss watching your antics as you play with Taz or stage a mock attack on Bailey the doxie.  Taz misses you and looks for you daily and nightly.  I miss you sleeping by my head at night, I wake up and reach for your silky fur listening for you thundering purr and then realize, you aren't there... Grief is so hard, it hurts so much... if I had it to do over, I would have kept you safely inside, and never allowed you to experience the delight of the outdoors.  I know you are in a much better place now, but that doesn't make the hurt of missing you any less.  Someday, we will see you again, pretty Tommy but until then know that we will always love you in our hearts and will miss you always.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

self worth

   I happened to look at my horoscope today, and instead of some crass, inane forcast about my day, there was this single profound statment.  This is what is important to me and it came from the Star Tribune Horoscope:

       "Your value is not dependent on how many people are "friending" you on a social networking site -- or in real  life.  You determine your value, and popularity has nothing to do with it."

     How much this statement means to me,  I have my own self worth, I am making life-time changes for myself.  Not because someone wants to cyberbully me, or attempt to intimidate me or even tell lies about me.    I hope people who read this are able to make the same applicable changes for their own lives.

    About my journey into these changes, they are on multiple levels and at different stages all of them.  I am trying to be more aware of my eating habits, and try to make clear and healthy choices for everything.  Of course, sometimes I am going to slip, but, I am right back on track slugging away at these unwanted pounds as determinedly as I can be.  I joined the 12 week wellness program put on by the hospital,  every week we weigh in so I have to be accountable, not only to me, but to the personal trainer and the dietitians who have personally designed a program suited just for me.  I want to be a success story for them as well as myself.

   I have been religious about working out 5 times a week.  I can really tell in my arm strength, and my core strength increasing has improved my balance significantly.  I don't fall nearly as often, which is good, but not nearly as entertaining to my horses as when I wasn't as stable in my core.  I fell a lot then.  And of course, after I fall there is always some significant profanity following said event.  I  admit, I don't always get to the club to workout, but if I don't get there, I make a plan to do something at home, either with my workout DVD's or I take a walk down the state trail in front of our house.   Last night was one of those nights, I knew I wasn't going to the club, so I took a mile and a half walk down the trail,  accompanied by 5 dogs, and 1 cat, ( I don't think Tommy knew what he was getting himself into, but once we got as far away as we were, he no choice but to follow us home!)  Poor Tommy will probably not want to walk with us ever again!  He was so funny!  I love putting on my iPod and just walking to the beat, some of my favorite songs to walk to are by Queen, so I have learned many of their songs by heart.  Another song I can really get a power walk going to is by The WeatherGirls, it is called; "Its Raining Men", love that song!!  It has such a peppy beat, and it is just fun to listen to the words to for me.  I enjoy my walks outside tremendously, and am grateful for the trail to walk on so my pets and I are semi protected from the dangers of road traffic.

     I have renewed friendships with some of my high school friends, the tried and true friends that even though I hadn't seen or spoken with them for many, many years, it felt as though we had just talked yesterday.  They will be my friends for an eternity, this I know.  These are the people who know me for who I really am, not  some fly by night friendship that only ends in hurt and betrayal.  These are the people I can share something in confidence and not have it proclaimed in a half truth to everyone who would listen.  That happened to me, I guess it wasn't a reflection so much on me as it was on the character of the person who did that to me. Needless to say, this friendhsip didn't survive... It involved some of those changes for life...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Well, well

   Well:   A hole with water in it, has always been my standard smart-ass comment, turns out, this IS true, but, some wells are better than others.   Our well, is among those that need replacing.  A friend of mine and I were discussing the amazing coincidence that our knowledge base increases with home ownership.  I would never have known what a "flowing well "was without being a home owner.   A flowing well is the same as an artisan well, ( which I always thought was a "good "thing) but, not all artisan wells are created alike.  Our well is a very shallow well, ( 27 ft with the top being 4 feet below ground level), I always knew it was shallow but, had no idea HOW shallow it really is. 
    It all started last Fri night, as I was doing chores, I heard a strange sound, like water running through a stream.  I shined the light on our well, and the water was gushing around the well like a fountain.  This didn't look good to me, so I headed inside and called a well company, of course, they wer not open, so I left a message, and then figured, I better shut off my well, but, first I called my friend who has recently had well problems, to see what she thought.  Her well knowledge has increased substantially the past couple of years also.  She felt if I were to shut off the well, I should also pop the circuit breakerto the water heater, so I didn't add insult to injury by also wearing out the elements on my hot water heater if the water were to drop in the  heater.  I hastened to do this since we all know how I feel about my hot water!!!  In case I haven't mentioned it before, I love, love, love hot running water!!!  so, now, the well is off, the hot water heater is off, but, there is enough water in the pressure tank to flush toilets and so forth.
   Called a well company, and explained what was going on.  He agreed with the measures presently being taken, and that I would be alright until Monday when I would not have to pay an emergency well call.  Monday, the well company was making arangements for repairing said well, and excavating company had come out and looked at the job, ( actually 2, because I called another friend of mine who works for an excavating company also and he came out and looked at the mess. 
Both excavating companies expressed concern for being able to dig out the well to repair the problem.  So, I call the well company again Monday night and talk to them about the reluctance of said excavators to do the work.  He decides to come out and take a look himself on Tues.  Low, and behold, between him and my excavator friend, they come to the conclusion that there isn't a hole in the well casing (that is what was orginally suspected), but, that the seal around the well pit itself has developed a leak.  Apparently, this is BAD.  About 8 grand bad...I have to have a new well, because groundwater can potentially seep into my well contaminating the water in it.  So, although there is plenty of water, and plenty of water pressure, there is no good water to drink.   As this isn't an emergency ( we can purchase bottled water),  I am going to save up a substantial amount ( hopefully, we all know about those "best laid plans"), and by fall, I can have a new well dug, and I won't owe the bank a fortune, along with wanting to make my annual "hay loan".  The banker I work with agrees, and was actually pleased that a well wasn't the 15 grand he pictured it would be...!

    Looking back on this week, I once again, have been educated in something I had not a clue about.  I guess this is a bonus of not living life with a sliver spoon in my mouth.  I am willing to learn new things, and every piece of knowledge I gain is a plus!  Life is good...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Club House

    Ever have just a word or a phrase bring back some powerful memories?  This happens to me often, ( maybe I live in the past )  well, this morning while during a Facebook written conversation, an old friend of mine mentioned these three small words.  Doing so brought an unexpected but, entirely welcomed set of memories.  I hope to share them here.

    When I was 9 our family had a terrible fire,the chimney on our house blew up June 4, 1974.  Our house dogs awoke my parents, who in turn made their way into our bedrooms and led us into the upstairs bathroom, which had a window that opened onto the roof of the kitchen.  We escaped the house via the window, but, then, it was a 12-14 foot drop to the ground.  My dad jumped off the roof and landed unharmed, and retrieved a ladder for the rest of us to clamber down.  They loaded all of us frightened smoke filled kids into the car, and were about to leave for some help ( we lived in the country and my grandparents home was a mile away).   We heard the dogs barking in the house and my parents tried to get into the house to rescue them, but, the smoke was too thick.  They turned away from the house and we raced to my grandparents ( it was around 4:00 am).   The fire dept was there within minutes, but, it was too late to save our pets, we lost Pepper ( a Vizla), Shotzie( a Dachshund), Mitzi ( a Miniature Poodle) , Trixie ( Doxie /Poodle X puppy), and Scooter ( our Siamese cat).   I was devastated.   I was inconsolable for a long time.  I still had my horse Sundance, and my sisters and brother were all still with me, but, my friends the animals were gone...
         It got better, I met some new friends from  the town next to ours, and they also had horses and lived nearby.  We lived with my granparents until my mom and dad could figure out what to do next.  Our horses lived at my grandparents farm because the place we lived at was rented and there was not barn for the horses nor was there enough land for the 6 horses we had. After our chores were done for the day, of course we would take off on horseback to meet our friends and we would spend the day together doing fun things, raiding neighborhood kitchens ( the neighbor ladies LOVED company, even if it was a bunch of hungry kids), taking our horses swimming in the creek, riding to the village for Pixie Sticks and a can of pop.  Gosh even now, these memories are so powerful, I can still see myself on Sunny, soaked to the bone, he and I,... laughing at someone who must have fallen off in the water.  The smell of a lazy summer afternoon, laying on the the back of my mellow horse, just soaking up the summer sun.  Triumphantly cantering down the road with a can of Orange Crush  in my hand and a handful of Pixie Sticks n my pocket, leading the way to our "secret Hideout", so we could laugh and giggle as we ate and drank our succulent treats.

   That was the first summer, subsequently, we started spending more time together during the school year also, even though we attended rival schools.  Now, this is a story for another time...

      During that summer though, we discovered my grandparents old brooderhouse.  Gosh, it looked just the right size for us to have a clubhouse!!!!!   So, after securing permission and help  we planned out the refurbishment of the "clubhouse".     It was painted the typical "Barnyard Red", and  my grandpa found windows that fit the casings and secured them into place.  He also made not only a door to fit the clubhouse, but, also, a screen door, so we could have the cool evening breezes enter into our new clubhouse. Gandma made pretty curtains ( white with tiny roses on them),  we put down a spare piece of linoleum, Mom and Dad gave us an old couch and a small table and chairs sat in front of the windows. 
There were extra benches for people to sit on.  Dad strung a wire from the garage to the "clubhouse" and there was light... our clubhouse was complete!  Everyone wanted to become a member of "The Club".  Our cousins wanted to sleep in the clubhouse when they came out from the city to visit .( of course, we shared...) 

   We spent many hours inside the clubhouse doing things young horse-crazy girls do.  Reading Horse and Rider, Horseman and  Horse Of Course magazines. We made made patches of a horse head ( in purple satin no less!) to sew on our jackets ( think Trixie Beldon, she was a strong influence...)  We had meetings monthly... We brought books to share ( horse stories of course)  I signed up to be a penpal on Horse Of Course, and spent many hours re reading and writing back to the many penpals who responded to my request for a penpal.  We planned our next horse back excursions, where we would go, and who we would visit.  We daydreamed about our lives ( the horses and the boys in them , yep, we were now pre-teens, and we discovered BOYS!)   The time spent in our clubhouse seemed endless, and it was a friend sometimes when the pressures of being a young person with low self esteem seemed overwhelming.

   We  spent a couple of years sharing dreams and time with our beloved clubhouse, sadly, our lives were turning in new directions; school dances, sports, new friends boys, boys, boys.... The clubhouse became forgotten.   By the time we reached eighth grade we were not spending much time at all within its welcoming walls.  The clubhouse was now just a fixture on my grandparents farm.   Over the years, it lost its cheery curtains, storms broke out the windows, my grandparents passed away, and we grew up.

   I had the opportunity last spring to visit my grandparents old farm, and with the intention of possibly purchasing the clubhouse for my son, restoring its former glory I went to see it with optimism in my heart.  Sadly, it is decomposed beyond salvage, the roof is fallen in, there are no windows left intact, the floor is rotted through.   Time has ravaged our beloved clubhouse more than any act of vandalism ever could. 

   This is my tribute to our clubhouse, ,although it will not see another generation of children grow up in its walls, it will live on in my memories and on this blog as well as in the memories of some of my closest childhood friends!,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter boots

    Ever have a pair of old comfy shoes, you just love to slide your feet into??  I have several... ( yep, shoes are my thing!)    My favorite ( and currently only) pair of winter boots are like that.  They are Sorels, I purchased them about 10 years ago ( hey, when I find something I love, I hang onto it!).   They are the slip on kind, no laces.  Completely waterproof ( and snowproof), they are on my feet at least twice a day from the beginning of winter through spring.  I have often wished I could find the exact type of boot out there somewhere, and buy about 5 more pairs, so I can have those wonderful boots for the rest of my life!   The only thing I wish were  different would be that the leather upper would be slightly longer.   Many is the time I have been doing chores in the springtime ( hence the "mud zone") and have sunk into the mud higher than the top of my boots... I know many of you have suffered from this same happening in the springtime.  So, there I am, arms full of hay, boots sunk into mud over my shins, trying to balance with my legs splayed and arms immobile.   What do YOU think happens?   Yep, I lose my boots, ...   every time.   There I am, stocking footed trying not to let my foot go into the mud, hence now balancing one legged with my arms full of hay.. I should have been a juggler~!   feeling around with my foot, trying to find my errant boot is no picnic I can assure you.  Of course, I am not going to drop my load of hay!  Are you kidding me?  That stuff is worth its weight in gold!  Or so I am thinking...finally, success!  My toes find their way into my lost sunken treasure of a boot!  Now, to gingerly loosen the boot from its mud prison.   There is a certain art to removing a mud buried boot.  First, you have to understand that the foot can't continue moving in the same fashion as before mud binding.  That is always my first mistake,  I try to keep the impetus going.  Gravity always wins.  This is a given.  Nope, you have to stop, and physically concentrate on removing that boot from its prison.  This means, lifting the heel of the boot up first, you aren't going to get any where trying to pull the toe up,  you will just lose your boot again, ( ask me, I know)  then slowly, pulling your foot up out of the sucking ooze.  As a child I never could grasp that concept, and many times returned home from an adventure out in the field, bootless.  My mom or dad would just shake their  head at me, and make me go find my boots...
    My horses, don't understand why I should suddenly stop as I am bringing them their morning/evening rations, and queerly tip forward and backward, side to side, ( trying to prevent myself from falling with my boots sunk into the mud).  But, they are tolerant, they know their pet ( me) is  a strange soul, and they still love me anyway.
   Maybe this year, I will invest in a pair of those rubber boots though, I hear they are good in mud...
   But as for this winter, I still LOVE my WINTER BOOTS!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010


   I just can't stop grinning today, finally, my online nemesis has gotten what is really coming to her.  I feel so VINDICATED!!!!   See all you people, she REALLY was lying, about pretty much everything!!!!   I feel the need to celebrate.  No, not because someone got their ass thrown in jail, but, because someone DESERVING of getting their ass thrown in jail GOT their ass thrown in jail!!! 
    I am wondering about their horses though, I heard there was only a single bale of hay on the place when she was arrested.  I imagine someone is going to have to bail those poor, poor horses out of that mess.  That was entirely the reason I got involved with that crazy person in the first place.  Because of the horses.  I am not a money tree for other people, I am only a money tree for myself.   I am more than willing to work hard to keep what I have, and feel I do so.  I am not willing to have somone continue to lie and tell half-truths to an apparently easily swayed group who delighted in jumping on the band-wagon of disrespecting me.  Shame on all of YOU!  
    Now, if I could possibly try to tell those interested in a little more about me and my immediate world.
  I am obese, but, nowhere near 300+ lbs.  I am working on making changes that will increase my physical fitness level, and hopefully lose weight.  So far, I have been a  member of a club for a month and feel my physical fitness level has increased substantially.
   I do have 10 horses, most of the Arabians,  Coni, my oldest is going to be 30 yrs old this year, I have had her since she was born.  She is a registered Half-Arabian, and is blind in one eye.  She has been blind in that eye since she was 9 yrs old.  It was a pasture accident, we don't know what happened to her, sadly, the vet that we had treating her was an old "cow doc" ( but, we still loved him for the great guy he is), and perhaps didin't follow a recommended protocol,  anyway, her cornea is scarred and there is little or no sight from that eye.

  Shom is my next horse, he is a purebred registered Arabian, and he is coming 23 this year.  I have had him since he was a yearling.  He is my Houdini horse, can get through any fence that isn't electrified.  He also loves to untie himself from anything he is tied to unless you daisy-chain the heck out of the leadrope.  He has on occasion, turned on the hydrant out in the pasture, of course, this entirely floods that paddock area.  He gets a kick out of it, I think... He has also mastered the " innocent" look,  he cracks me up sometimes!

   Nabila is a coming 23 yr old registered purebred Arabian.  She is a Witez II preservation mare, and I really wanted to get a baby from her.  She got to stay at the vet's 10 days once trying to get her uterus in shape for breeding.  Sadly, it wasn't to be, but, she is the best babysitter horse I have!   I can happily and without trepidation place anyone on her and know they will be well taken care of.

Sahib is my dream horse,  a Khemosabi grandson, he is an 8 yr old gelding,and my former stallion ( not because I was in the "business") , he had such a terrific personality as a stallion, and locally, we were doing our part to create a new stereotype of the " crazy Arabian".   I gelded him in June of 2007, so if that makes him " newly gelded" I guess so be it.  He is also "greenbroke" and in his "sophmore" year of riding.  I fell off him last summer and broke both my arms, and was out of work for a couple of months.  I was not riding him along the highway, ( as erroneously stated in someone else' blog), but on a state designated trail.  I was several hundred feet from the highway with a swamp filled with water between us and the highway, I think he was safe.

  I did breed Sahib, 4 times, all 4 times resulted in pregnancy.  First, I bred him to a 4-Her's mare,  it was my first time handling a stallion during breeding and didn't know how he would behave, he was a true gentleman.  She settled from that one breeding and had a half Arabian colt, they named Spunky.  Spunky died from suspected twisted gut colic 6 months later.  The 4-Her was devastated... so was I . 
   I also bred him to 2 of my mares, the first Promise, is a 25 yr old mostly Polish registered Arabian.  She is a big bay with an exotic head, unfortunately, I have been unable to track much of her history, ( not for lack of trying), but, she has only 2 registered foals on the books, and one of them is Honey.  Honey is the result of Sahib and Promise mating and I gave her to a dear, dear young friend of mine for her 21st birthday.  That day was so cool, it was a total surprise to my friend, but, her parents were in on it, and many of our mutual friends came out for the occasion.  I made a card and hung it by a ribbon around the 3 day old filly's neck,  my friend completely unsuspecting came into the barn, and greeted me.  I in turn, swung open the stall door, and calmly said  " Happy birthday Em, here is your present".  She had no clue there was a baby inside with her name on it!!!  I can't even begin to describe the look on her face when she realized, she was the proud owner of her first horse!  She and Honey spent the entire summer together snuggled up.  Last fall Honey developed Potomac Horse Fever and almost died.  She is a walking miracle, and only the scars on her legs tell the story of her brush with death.  I call her The Filly Who Lived...

   Song,  is the other mare ( purebred registered Arabian) I crossed with Sahib and is a grey Bask grand daughter, coming 25 also.  She broke her knee many years before I got her, and now the knee is fused,  she is not lame on that leg, but, the farrier is very careful when trimming her, not to force her knee.  She is a sweetie, and the biggest horse I have standing about 15 hh.  I like to think of her as a princess horse, one every little horse crazy girl dreams of owning, and floating away on the sunset upon.

   The result of a cross between Song and Sahib is Handsome ( aka Song of Supremacy).  When Handsome was 3 days old, we have a terrible wind storm here.  The run in shed he and his mamma were in was blown to pieces.  I remember waking up that night to the wind and a terrible crash.  I looked outside and during a lightening strike ( the power was out) I saw what made my heart just sink.  The run in was no longer there, and I couldn't see the mare or foal ( it was like 4 am).  I ran outside thinking the worst.  I looked with a flashlight into the remains of the building I couldn't see a horse or colt.  So, I sprinted out into the pasture they had been in, no horses.  I looked during a lightening flash toward the driveway, and there it was a splotch of white where there wasn't supposed to be white.  The wind took my breath away it was so strong, but, I headed over in the direction of the white I saw.  There were Song and her baby safe and sound, scared silly, but, alive.  I led Song into the lee of the house, and waited for the wind to die down.  I had no idea what to do with no shelter for my mare and her baby.  Then I saw a flashlight at my neighbor's,  so I called them ( of course, the phones were working).  They quite willingly offered a stall in their barn for Song and Handsome.  They spent a couple of days with my neighbors until I could rebuild a runin shelter for them.   They are both happy and healthy horses here at our house, Handsome ( hopefully) will be the horse of my retirement, 20 some years from now...

    Bree is another purebred registered Arabian, she is my "diva"... one of my friends calls her a " rock star",  she just has that personality that says " look at me!!!"  She is 21 this year, and another terrific trail horse.  I really enjoy taking her places we haven't been before, because as long as she trusts her rider to do right by  her ( as in, not put her in danger), she is more than willing to try anything you ask of her.  In my older and wiser age, I am not tempted to do any stuntriding, so we amble along quiet country roads and trails.  She is fun.

   Buddy is our registered Peruvian Paso, he originally came from Alabama, so I try to make sure he is not too cold here in the blustery North.  He also has DSLD, but, that condition seems to be under control.  A couple of years ago, I thought we were going to be spending the last summer of his life with him, but, he got much better, ( Majesty's Flex Wafers have helped...).  And now is back to terrorizing those horses he deems lower on the totem pole than he is.  He has a lot of " brio" and is not a horse for a timid person to ride,  but, a blast for someone who isn't afraid to move out.

Last but not least is Spot,  this is the pony everyone wants.  He is a leopard spot POA, and truly a PITA.  I think I only put up with his shenanigans because he is so cute.  I originally purchased him ( as a 2 yr old stallion, stupid me...), as a pony for my son to learn on.  I sent him off to a trainer for a couple of months, and she felt he might not be a good beginner horse... ( " he has quite a  motor" is a direct quote).  6 years later, I still have him and will probably have him until his death.

   This is my plan for all the horses I currently have.  I never planned on having 10 horses, but, I also know that is my limit.  I can't take care of any more than this especially when 7 of them are over 20.   They are all very happy and healthy and I won't overextend myself so that I can't take care of them.  I will put them to sleep first. 

   My mom is in her mid 60's, looks 50, and is a terrific person.  I think she would be very hurt to know someone stated she was in her 70 -80's,  I know that hurt me.  My mom came and stayed with me when I got hurt this summer, she stayed for 2 weeks and I am so grateful to her for doing that for me, I love my mom!!!   

    As far as me being a slovenly person, I guess that is left in the eye of the beholder,  I have not been described like that before, and it actually hurt my feelings.  But then, I considered the source...

     I have not ever been in trouble with the law, never been arrested ( have had handcuffs on though, that is another tale!!  NOT WHAT YOU ARE THINKING EITHER!!!  LOL).   I try to live by the golden rule, and sometimes that is difficult .  

   In closing, ( I know there were many more half truths written in that other blog, but, I don't type quickly, and I am sick of typing now... ) I hope those of you reading this have a little more insight into my world, without embellishments.  Someday, I will refute the "rest of the story".   Have a great day/night/ whenever you read this!  I know I will for quite a while!!