Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Big Move

Well, it's begun: The big move! Dad arrived last night and we went to dinner, then started working early this morning to get the flatbed he brought loaded up.

Sophie was all ready to brave the cold Northwest wind (notice she's gone under the barbed wire a few too many times in her jacket).

After some organizing and planning we got almost all my panels loaded, along with the plywood I had to line the stalls safely tucked between. Dad strapped them down so snugly that I don't know if they'll ever come off, even when we get them home!

Charlie likes to supervise.

Check out this strap. The ratchet alone for this strap is almost $100! They use these on the big trucks that Dad drives out to the oil rigs so he borrowed one, knowing it would secure the panels safely on the flatbed.

We still used several more straps, but the others weren't quite as monsterous!

I take off early tomorrow morning to take the civic to Painted Prairie and drop off my work equipment, then Dad will pick me up and we'll come back and have our Thanksgiving dinner in Kansas City friday night, then pick up the moving truck Saturday and get all loaded up!

That being said, this might be my last post for a while. I'm having a little trouble getting the internet installer to come out any earlier than December 15th but I'm sure trying!! I have no idea how long I'll be offline, so in the meantime, please enjoy your friends, family, and critters, and give your horses or dogs or cats or kids a big hug for me!!

Giving Thanks

This was a non-traditional Thanksgiving for me. We loaded up my dad's truck and trailer (more on that later), I finished stripping the barn floor, wrapped up the packing and had leftover Mexican food and M&M's for my Thanksgiving dinner.

But I'll tell you a secret: I wouldn't want it any other way. I am so incredibly thankful.

I'm thankful that I get to realize my passion.

I'm thankful that I'm surrounded by unconditional love.

I'm thankful for the beauty in every single day.

I'm thankful for the the health of my critters and me.

I am thankful for those still with me

and I'm thankful to have had those no longer with me in my life.

I'm so very thankful for all my wonderful friends and family. I love you, with all my heart, for standing by me when I have nothing to offer but my friendship back.

I am so thankful I am lucky enough to have you all in my life. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dream a Little Dream...

Today I packed up my cubicle and hauled out everything I needed to telecommute out to my car and it FILLED my little Honda to the brim! It's crazy that one person needs that much stuff just to do one's job, but I am thankful that work is allowing me to take my work computer with me (which is still on XP and works so much better than my home computer that I stupidly upgraded to Vista), my two monitors (you haven't lived until you've done v-lookups in excel on two side-by-side life is now complete), and a new printer/scanner copier that apparently can print via a wireless connection if I ever get one set up.

I am so completely thankful to my employers for giving me the opportunity to do what I love, where I need to live. I can't imagine why they'd go all out for me like they have, but I'm sure not going to question it! I really do enjoy my work--it satisfies my analytical side and I'm always being asked to take on new roles and projects, so it stays exciting and new. Plus it makes me feel like the $60K I spent at KU Law is being put to some use!

Anyway, for the time being I'll stay with my wonderful friend Darlene Worthington at Painted Prairie Farm until I can get some things squared away. I am truly blessed to have people like Darlene in my life. I hope I can be of some help during my stay and I am really looking forward to the fun we will surely have!

I am also looking forward to the future as well, thinking about what I want to aim for in regards to a permanent place to kick off my boots and hang my hat. Fortunately I might be able to get a small piece of land in central Kansas, close to my friends and family. I've considered moving everything from a park home to a small house from the nearby town (there are some very cute ones that sell for $20K or less there). Of course this is years down the road, but it's fun to plan, isn't it?

Well, last night I got a packet of information from Morton Buildings in the mail and I think I know what to ask Santa for Christmas. Do you think it will fit in my stocking?

OK, no wisecracks about my big feet!!

This would be perfect situated on that land and perfect for my own situation as well! I would make a few small changes but this is very close to what I need.

I would need it to be 4 stalls long instead of 3 and I'd put all 4 stalls on the back side with runs instead of an overhang. On the front I'd have a front door and windows instead of stall doors. On the front side, inside, would be a mud/utility room in the middle with the door to the outside (the "front door") and a door into the barn. On one side would be the quite small feed and tack rooms and on the other side would be a large grooming area/wash rack. I'd have a hot water tank in the utility room big enough for my washer, and the wash rack both downstairs and piped up to the bathroom and kitchen upstairs.

Upstairs I'd have two small bedrooms where the dormer windows are. The main living area would be an open kitchen/dining/living room and at the very end of the upstairs apartment would be a small office with big glass french doors so the whole apartment is lit from end to end straight through and I'd leave the ceiling vaulted for as much air and light as possible.

But I haven't thought about it or anything.... :)

It would be quite small but that's what I want--I want to spend time with my horses and not cleaning house all the time! I want to spend money on my horses and not on heating/cooling my house. I am hoping if I am really smart at doing some of the work ourselves and leaving the entire place very basic it might actually be affordable??

Well, I've got some time and will continue to gather ideas to try to create a permanent, affordable place for me and my critters. It's fun to dream, though--right?

Speaking of dreams, I thought I was in one tonight with this sunset....

I will miss the sunsets up here on the hill, but Toto, I think it's time to go back to Kansas.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Office

I took a break from packing and contemplated what to post for tonight. What would be of interest? Certainly not packing! Well, all I have to do is look around.

Or look UP, rather.

I was told this picture is called "The Pharaoh's Horses," but it's a bit different from the traditional print known by that name. Does anyone know the proper name of this print?

It's about 100 years old (with the frame) and I got it from my ex-husband's grandparent's estate. Just for the record, when we divorced, I did offer it back to his family and they told me they wanted me to have it. They knew how much I loved it (and I still do--very much so). It was so nice of them to let me keep it.

I hope to restore the frame one day. There is a technique using a handmade mold that you can replicate and restore the missing piece of the frame. I will have to try it some day!

Furthermore, no office is complete without a Terrier.

She's too sexy for this office.

Too sexy for this blog, but she knew that all alonggggg.... I'm a So-phie, ya know what I mean...and I do my little pose in the of-fice. In the office, yeah, in the office....I do my little pose in the of-fice....

Oh dear Lord I apologize. Bless the pigmies down there in New Guinea.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Catching Up

It occured to me today that I hadn't mentioned that when I first decided to move, I went ahead and rehomed Magnus.

I adored him, but Harley wasn't too fond of him and I thought such a good kitty needed a much more stable living arrangement, so I posted him for adoption and within an hour he had a mom and a 5 year old little boy doting on him!

They were the perfect home--stable, dedicated and they thought he was the cat's meow! She even called me up to tell me a week later that they had had him neutered and he was settling in wonderfully! Thanks so much to Sandy in Archie! I couldn't be happier that Magnus finally found his forever home!!

You might remember that last week I posted a teaser concerning Maybe and JJ....

Well, Maybe Baby (pictured above) will be coming to live with me when I get moved next week, and JJ will now be owned by Stephanie of Great Bend, KS!

Stephanie wanted a more laid-back horse but absolutely adores Maybe (she calls her Foxy) so I suggested JJ (pictured above) might be the perfect fit for her. I will welcome Maybe with open arms and hope to get some training put on her over the next year and see what she might be best suited for. She's Eddie's oldest known foal, so she's pretty darned special in that respect and along with Paula, my best chance to get up to the status of a proven producer in the showring. Of course with her color we won't have any trouble getting noticed! Stephanie plans on having JJ trained under saddle and together we're going to try to get him to the show ring as well! I think he'll be the perfect fit for her with his easy-going, fun attitude.

That means that now I own every living Eddie filly I've ever bred! I certainly didn't mean for it to turn out that way, and the people who have his colts absolutely adore them, but somehow I ended up with all these special girls. I look forward to training and hopefully showing them when my situation improves and I'll have them to carry on Eddie's bloodlines some day when the market improves. I couldn't be prouder of all of his babies, and am pretty darned happy with all "my girls."

Saturday, November 21, 2009


In a week I'll be residing in a new place.

This means right now I've got quite a "to-do" list. Thankfully I managed to get a lot of it done today!

New tires for the trailer:

Hauled hay and water (while the girls watched):

Got the civic worked on and the tire changed out on it (the picture has nothing to do with this errand--just Charlie looking very cute :)

And got the recycling hauled into town (Bambi was fairly impressed. Either that or she thought I had food. Yeah, probably the latter....)

I also got one of the stalls taken down and all the bedding scooped out--just four more stalls to go! The house is almost packed completely up as well.

We're well on our way!!

Friday, November 20, 2009




and socially unacceptable.

Completely unacceptable...

and that's ok!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?

As we all know, the horse market is basically in the toilet.

I got to thinking about this on the way home tonight (a 1 1/2 hour drive will do that to you) and I know this market has made me think a LOT differently about my horses.

This used to be my horse-life:

My girls, running in for their grain, with babies in their bellies or at their sides.

Seeker (Fabian's momma), Rita (now owned by Kelly in Oregon), and Cilla (Bambi's momma) all running in from a 60-acre pasture for their feed. It was my dream realized....

Sully (JJ's momma) and Penny and her baby Dot, following close behind....

These are wonderful memories, don't get me wrong, but now if I had this many mares and babies (although they were all lovely) I'd pull my hair out, scream, and hide in my closet with a bottle of tequila.

And never come out.

Right now it seems that every home for a horse worth having is completely filled up, and the only people left who are looking for horses have no business having one. One look at Craigslist and a person can find the scariest sites: horses standing with junk laying all over the place, a horse so sickle-hocked she could barely stand up, and then perhaps the scariest thing of all, horses that actually aren't bad at all--nicely bred, nicely put together, trained, safe and reliable, going for absolutely nothing at all.

It's enough to make a person wonder where is this all going? Thank goodness a lot of people have cut back on their breeding but many people who never had any business breeding horses to begin with keep pumping out double-digit foals each year out of their backyard? Good Lord Almighty WHY???

I won't go into details but the stories I hear seem to get worse and worse everyday. I suppose now that actually purchasing a horse is more affordable now (although caring for it surely isn't, but we're talking about the type of people here who never think that far ahead), these people with IQ's lower than their shoe size think it's a great time to "invest."

I would love to get my numbers down to 3 total, maybe four including Eddie, but with the way things are, I have resolved to just do the best I can with the six that I have. My plan? Well, it's pretty simple: keep my horses, grab a bottle, hunker down and pray for daylight (name that TV show :)

So what's your plan? Are you breeding less? Showing more? Trail riding more or even taking up a new equestrian activity? Are you selling/adopting out any horses successfully? Are you just hanging onto what you have and getting through these tough times as best you can?
If you are breeding a few horses, what are your plans with the foals? The (responsible) people I know still breeding are only planning on breeding one or two horses next year because they realize they'll need to keep the foals for a few years, most likely, or they are breeding for a horse they want to keep and do something with. I have a few friends with VERY nice, but unfortunately very young stallions and very nice producing stallions with their first one or two foal crops. It makes it nearly impossible to still produce responsibly but yet promote a young sire in this market. If you own any stallion, what are your breeding goals? Have you considered gelding/selling because of the market? Are you preparing to promote the foals yourself until the market improves?

To answer those questions for myself, as a stallion owner, I very much considered gelding Eddie, but due to kidnapping threats from friends and family (I *think* they were kidding???) I decided not to and just keep him intact and try to wait things out. I do have a few close friends wanting Eddie babies of their own, so he'll still be busy enough. The only horse I own that I could cross with him is Laramie and I can't see the sense in breeding her before she's shown. She's just too nice. So, once Miss Laramie has some points under her girth, we'll see about how she feels about being mother to a moose.

So...what are your plans? What are your goals? Where are you headed?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Oh, rest in peace, dear flat tire number five of two-thousand and nine.

I will always hold fond memories of you first going flat when Dad was here, inspiring him to buy me a portable air tank as a belated birthday present, then airing you up and believing you were miraculously healed...

...Until tonight, at least, when you blew out on 69 highway in total darkness, in the cold drizzle. I cursed your name into the night as my heels sunk into the mud along the side of the road. I sang the praises of your fully-inflated comrads as I finally pulled into the driveway.

And Saturday you'll be fixed.

Or you won't, and you'll be replaced, just like the four that went before you.

So rest in peace dear tire number five, while I log into Ameritrade and buy 10 more shares of Goodyear!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Tonight I'm feeling lazy. There isn't much going on except for going to work, the cold, wet rain, and packing--not exactly the stuff to spin exciting tales of wonderful adventures from. The most exciting thing that happened all day was the tire on my civic stayed aired up all day.

I was pretty stoked.

Yes, that's pretty sad.

So, I leave you with a picture from an email that was just sent to me.

I'll give you one guess which house would be mine, if I lived in town.

Oh, and one other thought....

Bring on Spring!!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Moving, Part I

Saturday was the first day of moving. Actually, instead, I should call it my sister's moving day, but Dad and I moved the stuff I was storing for her up to KC and put it into a storage unit her boyfriend, Jeff, had rented.

My sister was at work, so Jeff asked if we wanted to do anything. Dad said, "Let's go have a beer!" Dad's not a big drinker. He has a beer a year. So, when Dad says he wants a beer, we go get a beer.

Not far away from the storage complex was a pool hall. We got three beers and sat down at a table near the ping pong tables.

Dad and us kids have played ping pong as long as I can remember. He's a pro, at least to us.

Now we've got Jeff broke into the family customs as well...

I took these on my phone, so sorry for the poor quality. Jeff isn't this blurry in person.
Would be weird if he was, though!

We also played pool. I can remember going with my dad on his oil field routes, before I was even in kindergarten. We'd stop at these bar and grills in these small towns and eat lunch and we'd play pool. The people at these places always knew my name, sort of like a western Kansas version of Cheers.

I didn't know anyone, though, because I was like...5?

We also ate at Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. I've lived in Kansas City a total of 6 years and I have never been to Oklahoma Joe's, so it was about time...and I'm sure glad we did! One thing I will miss about Kansas City is the barbeque, but my waistline sure won't....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Almost Moving Day

Moving is not on my top ten list of favorite activities, if you can imagine.

It places much lower on the list, amongst dentist visits, cleaning the litterbox, and reading The Heart of Darkness.

But, like all those things, this is something I have to do, so might as well get 'er done!

Dad is coming up tomorrow to move all of my sister's stuff into storage and then he'll take a load of fencing back to his place and store it for me until I find a nice little place out there for me and my critters.

This is the only picture I have of my dad on my computer right now. Everything else is packed up, so this picture doesn't make much sense other than hey guys, that's my Dad.

Although he didn't know I was taking this picture, he never smiles in pictures--ever. Even at my wedding. Even at my graduation. Even when I make him a banana cream pie (his favorite dessert in the whole world)...still, no smile in pictures.

So while he doesn't look like very much fun in pictures, he's really a blast. Seriously. We sometimes call him "Bugs." He used to end all his jokes with "this Bud's for you." He used to throw road apples at us girls after we sprayed him with the hose while watering the horses.

Now we just call each other with the lousiest jokes we can find. I'll get a call while I'm at work,

Me: Hello?

Dad: What did one casket say to the other casket?

Me: I don't know, dad....

Dad: "Is that you, coffin?"

Me: Goodbye, Dad.

Then I'll call him up, right as I'm walking to my car after work.

Dad: Hello?

Me: Did you hear about the guy that got cut in half?!

Dad: No?

Me: It's ok, he's all right now.

Dad: Goodbye, Jessie.

So, I'm looking forward to his visit, even though we're doing something not-so-fun (moving). I really appreciate all his help, and in two weeks I'll owe my first born to him and the Worthingtons both! I don't think I've ever felt so guilty (for having so much crap) and so blessed (to have these great people willing to help me) at the same time!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweet Faces

These two--Dakota and JJ...

...they are honestly the sweetest horses ever. Seriously. Just look at those faces.

Then there's this sweet face.

I dare you not to say "awwwww...."

That's her sweet face, just in case ya didn't know.

My sweet baby, with her baby.

Sophie loves her babies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just Maybe, JJ

This is JJ. His registered name will be BoysCanBeFabulousToo.

He's a 2008 APHA/AQHA sorrel overo gelding. His sire is Hustlers Fabulous Too (our own Eddie). His dam is Solomons Reward (by a son of Sonnys Security), aka "Sully." Sully was rescued--she was headed to slaughter and picked up in the knick of time by LaDonna King. Sully was misunderstood, neglected, and abused, but she is now living the good life with my friend Vicki Morgan (who sent me JJ, by the way).

This is Maybe Baby (known to her current owner as "Foxy"). Her registered name is Fabulous Serendipity.

She's a 2006 APHA sorrel overo (obviously) mare. Her sire is Hustlers Fabulous Too ("Eddie") and her dam was Triples Paintd Chick, aka "Chic." Chic was also a rescue. She was neglected, stunted, and just plain picked on when I got her. Sadly Chic passed away when Maybe was 6 weeks old due to a uterine blood clot.

So why are they featured on today's post?

Well, just maybe you'll have to stay tuned to find out....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This is April, aka "Dun Forever N Red," a 2005 APHA Dun Overo Mare, pictured in 2006.

I got April for free one day when I was picking up some horses from an acquaintance. April was a wild little thing and had broken her forehead open right before I arrived.

Her owner was very frustrated with her, so she offered her to me. An extra spot in the trailer meant I couldn't think of a good reason why not, so she came home with me. Windy (pictured in the background) showed April how nice it was to be friendly to people and April soon came around.

After her wound healed and she was halter broke and used to being handled, I got an offer to trade April for Truly (Dakota's momma), so April went to Texas.

This is April today.

She is well cared for,


and gorgeous.

You can't ask for any outcome better than that for a little untrained, free filly I decided on a whim to take home one day.

Here's her video.

I always love a happy ending!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Turning the Page

I love a good book. You never know what the next page is going to be.

It could be some revelation, or a rebirth, or a tragedy, or disappointment. Life is like a book in many ways.

Today I finally got my break. It seems in my book, the pages were stuck together, and when I turned the pages for the longest time it seemed things didn't make sense. Now that the pages are unstuck, it reveals what was missing and now there is hope for the rest to fall into place.

Everything really does happen for a reason and just now it's finally all making sense.

And just one more thing: I love my job.