Monday, June 29, 2009

Just a Quickie

OK, get your minds out of gutter. Only time for a quickie, as in a quick POST tonight. I just got in about half an hour ago. I have a feeling that most nights will be like this, especially as I have client horses coming in soon, but I'm not complaining--I LOVE it. The blog might not be nearly as exciting (that is assuming it ever was exciting), but real life is riveting!

Laramie is a veteran halter horse now, at least where the work is concerned. She stood tied and sweated like a pro tonight. All that's left is training to show and get her used to the clippers and vac!

Paula had another fabulous training session. I got up on her tonight--just laid over her as I'm quite chicken-s*it. I know, I know, but just see things this way--one fall and it's over for me (because of my back), so yes, baby steps. Itsy bitsy baby steps....

And because I didn't bring my camera out tonight, here is a random photo for your enjoyment.

Hey, it's horse-related! :) I loved this statue in the Parliment parking lot in London. I miss London. I'll need to go back in the next few years again. If I ever had to give up the horses and move to a city, London is where I'd go. "London is my all-time favorite city."

And if you know what show that line is from, then you should be put up on a pedestal as well, to be worshipped and revered by all!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Productive Day

Today was a great day. It was gorgeous out! I got a third stall put up in the barn. This one is 20x10 and will serve as a foaling stall one day. For now, it's Paula's stall, at least until Ebony and CJ get here. By then I should have the 15x10 stall done.

I also got Laramie ran through her first full work session as a halter horse. She didn't have to stand and sweat, but I did put her through the rest of the drill. Here she's modeling her neck warmer....

And at work....

Paula got a full lesson, too. She's evidently recovered from her strangles episode. She paced in her stall all morning, so I decided she was telling me she was bored and needed to be put to work, so I did! I got her groomed, saddled, and had a great lesson. We worked on bending so she can maintain beautiful movement like this:

Man, when she's on, she's ON. She's not quite ready to get on yet, but we're getting there. She's going to be a blast.

Looks like her full brother will be coming out in a few weeks as well. I'll have my hands full, but I couldn't ask for a better set of horses to work with!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Be like the flower, and turn your face to the sun."

One of my favorite poets, Kahil Gibran said that. The flowers were certainly soaking up the sun today....
The rest of us had to wait for the clouds. It was just too hot earlier. Actually, I did get out earlier, but I didn't get much accomplished.

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken." (James Dent)

Yep...the lawnmower broke. Actually the belt did, so the morning was spent trying to locate a belt. It looks like I'll have to pick one up on Monday.

I have to say, I was very upset about not being able to mow (hee, hee....)

So the clouds came out and I got to spend quite a bit of time on Miss Laramie today. I curried the heck out of her when she was still warm and I managed to get quite a bit of hair off. I then thinned and banded her mane (to train and further thin it). I also trimmed her feet for the second time and she was awesome! She just ate her grain and I didn't even have to hang onto her. She's become a real pro!

Unfortunately the only good shot I got of her after all was done was this crummy one off my phone.

Earlier I happened to capture this shot. This is her qualifying mark, by the way. This little strip of white going up the side of her face, is, according to APHA, what makes her a "regular" paint. Talk about getting in by the hair of her chin!
Sophie was also enjoying the cooler evening weather.

But Charlie wasn't enjoying the thunder. Here is his "oh crap" look. You'd think after thunder not killing him for 11 years that he'd get over his phobia, but nope. Silly Charlie....

Friday, June 26, 2009


Poor Harley. I barely mention him, but I've never really talked much about him. He's no less special to me than any of my other pets, though, but I guess I take him for granted because he's been with me longer than any other man :)

I've had Harley since Aug 1998. We figure he was probably born sometime in May of that same year, so he'd be a little over 11 now. He's used up 2 of his 9 lives, that I know of.

I named him Harley because his purr is so loud, he sounds like a motorcycle, but now he's a Harley Fat Boy. Few people get to hear him purr though, because he hides from you unless you're over at my house a lot and he gets used to you, then he won't leave you alone.

The orange cat in these pics are Cartman. I'll have to post about Cartman some day. Don't worry, he's alive and well. He's living with his dad since the divorce. Although they look pretty chummy in these photos, I don't think Harley misses Cartman much. Cartman wasn't very nice to him, really.

Like I said, I know Harley has used 2 of his 9 lives and during those times he's racked up more in medical bills than I have in my lifetime. I tell people he's the most expensive free cat ever. First, he had a retained testicle that they found in his CHEST cavity, requiring major surgery and an after-care incision that ran almost the entire length of his belly. The second time was when we moved to Arizona his liver shut down. No one knows why. It did, he almost died. I held him in my arms and said goodbye before we put him down. Then the vet said to wait the weekend. The weekend turned into a week. Weeks turned into a month. Eventually his liver started working again. I think it was from the liquid bile I had to force-feed him. There's nothing that tastes worse than liquid bile. It said chicken flavored, but honestly, can you really ever flavor bile? Eck.

No, he didn't die and turn into a vampire kitty. He's alive, safe and sound and healthy again. He purrs me to sleep everynight. He trips me by wrapping himself around my legs when he's run out of food. He sits by the utility room door all night hoping to catch that mouse that we can't seem to keep out of there.

I love Harley. He's my main man.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sophie's Anniversary

It was one year ago, last Sunday, that this little terror, er...I mean, terrier, came into my life.

The day I brought her home, she was so deceptively quiet and sweet....

Soon it was clear she was ready for take off....

Thank you for flying Air Sophie. You may now move about the puppy.

She grew up so quickly!

And she LOVES Charlie. The feelings weren't always mutual, but he's grown accustomed to her face.

And really, how could you not love this face?!!

For more of Sophie in motion, please visit her video.

She's not spoiled. Really, she's not....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eddie the Babysitter

I thought I'd post pictures that Kelly took today of Eddie being a good surrogate papa--babysitting Dunkin during weaning. Not sure too many 7 year old stallions would willingly accept the role as a weaning buddy, but then again Eddie is certainly one-of-a-kind.

At first Eddie just snoozed at the gate while Dunkin played with the dogs.

Then Eddie decided to come over and have a talk with Dunkin....

But Dunkin was more interested in playing (hey, human!!!).

So Eddie just continued watching from afar, to make sure Dunkin didn't get into more trouble than he could handle.....

Babysitting is thirsty work! Of course the dogs were thirsty, too, from all that playing :)

Thanks so much to Kelly for taking these great pics and for taking such wonderful care of Eddie!!

Finally, I want to send out my sincerest condolences to Sandra tonight for the loss of her outstanding paint prospect--a three year old red roan tobiano gelding that she had just recently been offered a great deal of money for. She turned it down because this horse meant way too much to her to ever be sold. Sadly he was struck by lightening this evening and died instantly. I am just so sorry, Sandra. I know he meant a great deal to you. Without a doubt you gave him a wonderful life--I hope you take pride in that and comfort in the fact that he was so well loved and cared for...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Catching Up

My sincerest apologies for my lack of posts. Seems like life has been a whirlwind since the storms came through, but I will try to get back into the saddle and get this blog going again.....

To catch up, as promised, some pictures after the tornado that went through Drexel last week. I guess some say it was straightline winds, but the damage just a couple of miles to the south certainly look like tornado damage to me. Not that it matters--it was a heck of a storm either way, and we were incredibly lucky not to have more damage than we did.

Here is a shot at 6 the next morning--there were about 4 news helicopters circling around Drexel and I had a full view up on our hill.

Here's a closeup in case you can't see the helicopter in the above picture.

We lost a few tiles off the roof and here is a piece of siding that came loose. When this sucker ripped off, I knew it was time to take cover!

The bird houses were all down. My neighbor (who happens to be my landlord's mom and is absolutely WONDERFUL to me :) got them all back up by the next day. The houses were full of baby chicks and despite all of them falling to the ground, only a handfull of baby chicks were lost.

This past Saturday I ran over to Painted Prairie Farm (my good friend Darlene's place) and picked up my roundpen. It is so nice to have it back! Unfortunately Paula, Fabian, and Bambi are all sick with what I assume is strangles--have no idea really how they got it but they are all quaranteened and finally, as of today, seem to be heading towards recovery. Anyway, once Paula is fully recovered I will be starting her under saddle. I can't wait!! She ought to be such a lovely rider!

So, the trip was fairly eventful. I took the wrong road to Darlene's place and it was a fight against all odds to get my truck and her trailer down that road without getting stuck, but after a few frantic phone calls I was able to get down the road before Dar had to come get me with the tractor! I would have taken pictures, but of course I didn't want to stop for fear of never getting down that muddy mess of a road!

It was fun seeing Dar's lovely horses and visiting. We got the roundpen loaded up and I headed to Hutchinson to have dinner with my Dad for Father's Day. It was nice seeing him. We went over to TSC so I could pick up a few items and said our goodbyes. I've learned this week to savor every moment with those you care about. It's so important not to take people for granted because you just never know what tomorrow brings.

I got back on the road and about halfway through, in Emporia, we stopped at Sonic for a drink. Well, I got the drink, but Sophie loves Sonic. She thinks it's so great how those carhops bring out all kinds of yummy things just for her!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Contest Winner

I apologize for the delay in announcing our winner. Between the tornado and a few other events that were in all honesty more important than anything I had to say on this blog, it was just not possible to get this posted on Friday. I appreciate everyone's patience!

So, without further delay, our winner is.....


Here were movie lines:

1. We've come for your daughter, Chuck.

2. We mustn't gnaw on our kit-ty.

3. Shut up, just shut had me at "hello."

And her correct answers:

1. Beetle juice

2. Austin powers, the spy who shagged me (I love mini me heheh)

3. Jerry Maguire

Sydney, thanks for joining the blog! Email me at with your address and I'll get your prize out to you ASAP!

Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Drexel Tornado (?)

Last night was a say the least! We lost electricity around 10:30 pm. My sister texted me at 11pm to say a tornado was heading my way. I was already in my bedroom closet (aka tornado shelter) with Charlie, Sophie, and Harley, bracing for the worst. When I saw a piece of siding blow off I already knew it was time to take cover!

We got through what I guess were a couple of "cells," according to my sister's texts. Still no electricity, but I opened the windows back up, checked on all the animals (thank goodness Paula is white--made it easy to see her and the others in the pasture in the dark) and went to bed.

3:30 am sent another strong storm through. No text updates--evidently sis was sleeping on the job (just kidding...), but it was just as strong and scary as the first. I fell asleep in my "shelter" until 4:30, then came back out and went to bed again.

The morning shed light on the damage. Roofing tiles lie scattered on my lawn. All our bird houses fell over and dead baby chicks were everywhere--it was sad.

All the domesticated animals faired very well. JJ and Laramie were nice and cozy in their new stalls. We were very lucky to have suffered minimal damage, but everyone around us had trees down, some on buildings and vehicles, carports thrown across the road, and barns completely collapsed. Here's a pic I snapped on my way into work once the road was cleared enough for me to leave home:
More pics when we get our electricity back. As much damage as there is I will be surprised if I get home and they have it fixed. There was a whole line of KCP&L trucks heading south as I was driving to work--I assume they were on their way to Drexel to begin the hard work of repairing all the lines.

Here is a news story on the damage in town:

I feel so very, very lucky to have escaped yet another tornado (or hurricane force winds--whatever it was)! The Greensburg tornado came fairly close to our place out in Kansas and now this, which isn't nearly as devastating, but still scary nonetheless!

Monday, June 15, 2009


I've wanted to have a contest for a while now, especially as I've seen my blog traffic increase expotentially over the past few weeks. Let's face it, winning stuff is fun. I want this blog to be fun. Ergo, I'd like you to be able to win stuff on this blog.

So, our first contest is going to be pretty simple. On my previous post from Sunday, 6/14/09, I quoted lines from three movies.

1. We've come for your daughter, Chuck.

2. We mustn't gnaw on our kit-ty.

3. Shut up, just shut had me at "hello."

Disclaimer--these are not exact quotes, but close enough you should be able to figure it out :)

Now, for the prize:
Western Horseman Legends, Volume 4. This book includes history on Diamonds Sparkle (dam of Shining Spark), Dash for Cash, Zan Parr Bar, Blondy's Dude, Harlan, Zantanon, Zippo Pine Bar, and Impressive.

Disclaimer #2: Sorry, this prize is used. Anyone who knows me really well knows I cannot afford any extras right now, so I've taken this off my bookshelf to pass along to a new home. It IS in like-new condition, but if you're offended by getting a used prize, or think it's just plain tacky, then you really don't have to enter.

But I hope you do.

So, to enter, just leave a comment with your answers. Since this is my first blog contest, I will give you until Friday at noon (CDT) to enter. I will not publish comments until after the contest ends so even if it's Thursday, still enter--you never know if someone had gotten them all right yet! I will publish the correct answers and announce the winner on Friday evening.

Good Luck and Have Fun! Godspeed, good, Sir knight! Break a leg! Vaya con Dios! May the force be with you!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


For tonight I'm digging back into the archives. I spent the day staining my neighbor's porch, which doesn't make for the most interesting blog material. I thought I'd spare everyone the riveting excitement of watching stain dry and instead talk about a little "rat" that was part of my life for a short time, but even as little as she was, left a great impression.

August 26, 2008 was quite a day. I learned that Macy had coliced and passed away--news that was hard to take despite knowing that she had been in the best hands and everything had been done to save her. I also got my promotion that day--a promotion that allowed me to get back into horses, doing what I love.

It was also the day my sister emailed me saying that some kittens had been dumped at the cemetery where she works and it looked like they were pretty sick. After the previous two events I had nothing left. I wrote her back and told her to go ahead and bring them home.

Well, there was only one small female kitten left when she got out there. She brought her over to my apartment at the time and boy, I have never, ever witnessed such a small creature create such a sick mess! The poor thing was confined to my utility room until I could get her to the vet that weekend. I forget what she had--some sort of infection that, of course, was contageous, so she continued to be confined until her illness cleared up--and I was resigned to scrubbing out her room twice a day with bleach. Ah, fun times....

But, when the little rat got better, boy, was she better. She was a spitfire, so we named her Lucy...Lucy Fur. Get it? Yeah, we thought we were pretty funny....

Here is Lucy, or as we also called her, Harley's mini-me:

We've come for your daughter, Chuck.

So Lucy got to come out and play and be amongst the other animals when she got all better. Problem was, 4 animals in a one bedroom apartment doesn't work very well, especially when two of them are babies, of opposing species.

Sophie, we mustn't gnaw on our kit-ty.

But don't worry, Lucy wasn't harmed. In fact all she did was scream and then she'd go back for more. It was a love-hate relationship.

Shut up, just shut had me at "hello."

And sometimes they were so sweet it would make your teeth ache...

But in the end I just couldn't add one more cat to the mix. So Lucy went to go live with a little girl who had just lost her beloved cat to kidney failure. I do miss Lucy and hope she's doing well. She really was a spitfire....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Anniversary

I just realized today while looking at my calendar that I put Empress down only a few hours shy of exactly one year after I had to put Layla down. I sure hope this doesn't become a yearly thing.

Girlie Girl, Diva Dog, I can still hear your bark. I can still feel your beautiful, soft coat run through my fingers. I can still see you give me that look when I get road rage :)

I think I might have to put a little garden stone next to that beautiful rose, for both my beautiful girls.

That means next week marks the anniversary when I got Sophie. Oh dear.....


I hope everyone likes the blog's new look. I still feel like I may want to go with something a little more colorful, but then I keep going back to thinking that the color should come from the pictures. Pictures like this...

Unfortunately it's cloudy out so the picture really does not do this flower justice.

This rose appeared the day Empress passed away. It was a just a bud then, but as it's bloomed it's made me think about her, remember her, and miss her. These are brand new roses--they were not supposed to bloom yet, yet this one bloom first appeared on Monday.

It also wasn't supposed to be such a vibrant pink. It was supposed to be light pink. I wonder if she's trying to tell me something?

Speaking of life, Samson loves every minute of his.

We should all strive to love life as much as he does :)

Oh, Boogie, you make me smile so.... Happy Dog, Happy Life!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pictures from Granby

Sandra sent me a couple more pictures today. I just have to share--it's so great to see these kids being so well taken care of and enjoyed.

Here's Colton (Ringo), looking like he's going along so well after only having been ridden a handful of times.

I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but it looks like Colton just might soon be the new show prospect for a 12 year old girl. Of course he'll be gelded first, then trained and we'd be aiming for their team debut in the show ring in 2010. It's not finalized, so...knock on wood, I'm hoping this all turns out. I am really looking forward to not only having Colton around again, but having such young, up-and-coming stars be a part of my little ranch. Stay tuned!

Sandra also sent me this shot of Benz. She wasn't kidding--he's a big boy (and obviously right in the middle of a good growth spurt)! Benz is Eddie's boy, out of Check Out My Mercedes, a wonderful futurity-winning granddaughter of Impressive now owned by my good friend Kim Noyes.

These poor yearlings--they go through such awkward stages! But Sandra is in love with him and just tells me how much she adores him every time I talk to her. I think Benz is going to turn out to be quite the looker! And of course, under Sandra's terrific care and training I have no doubt this team is going to be quite the amazing team as well!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grays are Fun

Due to the late posting, I thought I'd let the pictures do most the work tonight. Paula was the most unusual color when she was born. We knew she'd be gray, but it was still pretty surprising just how fast she did turn gray....

The night she was born, she already had gray hairs throughout her coat.
A week later, pretty much the same. I love this picture because you can see the eagle on her neck....
At 9 weeks she's quite a bit lighter already.
Almost 3 months....
As a yearling...

At 2...

And now, at 3... Well, she'll be three next week :)