Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I Did Last Night

Keep in mind that I'm in my thirties now, rather than my twenties, which means what I did last night is much more G-rated.

Actually anything I did in my twenties was G-rated as well. I guess I've always been a prude. Or boring. Or...something.

Don't worry, this is not a pre-midlife crisis post. This is a I'm-happy-to-be-getting-to-this-place kind of post. Just bear with me.

I finally have the area just behind the house all cleaned up. For my first three months here I've been trying to get all of the shingles, old siding, and plaster picked up from this pile that was created by my relatives in their frenzy to get the roof completed. The roof now looks awesome, but the yard...not so much.

And yes, it would have been smarter for them to get a big dumpster to throw it into, or to hire a truck, etc. Actually, they did do those things, but when they got filled up and went away, the ground was their final resort. After 3 truck loads and countless hours (when there's no way you can pick these things up in bulk), the area is CLEAN!

This clean.

(If you can't tell by now, I'm a big movie-quote fiend. It's just who I am. Oops, tv quotes, too-- sorry....)

So, I've finally gotten to the point that I can beautify the place. Make it beautimus. You know, that sort of thing. I picked up two flats of flowers (say that fast five times) for only $12! These end-of-season deals rock!

Speaking of rocks, I planted what I call "Mexican Roses" (although apparently that's an entirely different plant, so no idea what to call these) amongst the rocks in the planter by the back porch. We have to keep rocks in here to keep the farm dog from digging everything up, so I just resigned myself to a rock garden.

When they all fill in and get to blooming it will be so purty!!!

This toad looks how I feel--just barely hanging on, hoping for the best.

The other flat of flowers (I have no idea what these are called, either as they had no tags but they were purty so I got them anyway) I split between the patio set and the hanging basket...

which hangs off of the old windmill right by my back door (yes, only in Kansas, Dorothy).

I've actually got big plans for this windmill and they don't include removing it :) I think it's a pretty neat artifact from the old days. For now, it supports my flowers, and if you look in the lower-left hand corner, you'll see it also serves as a lovely tie post for one frisky, annoying puppy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


There's always beauty in the little things around the farm.

In the rose I planted on Eddie's grave...

In the face of a young pup...

In two healthy daughters of the horse I dearly loved...

In the semi-wild coneflowers that thrive in the summer heat...

I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by beauty everyday. It's what life is all about....


Monday, June 28, 2010

Scenes From My Life

You've probably been wondering what I've been up to.

Not that I think that others think much about what I do. Not that I don't think people know that between a full-time job, a new puppy, a new colt, taking care of my current animals, my garden, refinishing furniture, creating my new online store and marketing those items, plus the everyday tasks of laundry, cleaning, mowing and chores, that there is any explaination needed for why my blog has been so sadly neglected.

Aren't you glad you asked? Oh, you didn't ask, did you? Well, I'm gonna tell ya anyway, because it's my blog.

At least it was. And I'm on a mission to reclaim it.

This weekend I was also on a mission to reclaim my yard. When my dad lived here, he hired my uncle and my cousin to help strip the roof down to the rafters and put on a whole new roof.

This means they tore off every single shingle ever laid, including the original wood shingles. As you can imagine, there was quite a mess.

And being men (yes, I'm playing the gender card here), they didn't see any reason to clean up that mess. They did the manly stuff-- tearing off the roof and putting the new one back one--but cleaning is not manly. And it's certainly not much fun.

My dad picked up a lot of it, but working 80 hours a week consistently puts quite a damper on yard activities, so it ended up when he moved out and I moved in, that there was still clean-up work to be done.
And this weekend I'm happy to announce that I removed the last truck load of shingles!!!

I felt like uncorking a bottle of champagne, let me tell you. This is not fun work. Not fun at all. Thank goodness it's over!

I took all the shingles to the silo over at the family farm. It took me almost 2 hours to unload, since I had to do it all by hand.

In case you're wondering, a silo is the remnant of the days when there was no trash pick-up out on the farm. Farmers would burn their trash in barrels and then dump the remnants in the silo. When the silo was full, it would be covered up and a new one would be dug beside it.

Now days we throw burnable rubbish in the silo, so once it's full, instead of covering it my uncle just burns it all down, then we start again. It's pretty dang handy and it's only a couple of miles from my place.

So, cleanup continues, even tonight. I managed to get to the point where everything was picked up and I could use the weedeater. At least I thought I had everything picked up...

...until it picked up a rock and flung it into the window of my porch door.

Oh joy.

Actually, it's kind of funny. Or it will be, one day.

Moving on: my first garden harvest is here!!

Jalapenos, bell peppers, banana peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zuccinni!! I made the most delicious salad that night.

There's just nothing quite as good as cucumbers and tomatoes from your own garden.

While he wasn't even born when this garden started, Russell is doing his part to help out around the farm. In fact, he's such a dedicated worker that he's learned to multi-task.

He can eat and sleep at the same time.

He's a talented fella.

Sophie also does her part. She loves to keep watch while we drive over to the silo.

On Saturday a deer came about 2 feet from my front bumper and I wouldn't have even known it if Sophie hadn't flung herself across the truck "chasing" after it. It came out of the corn so fast I hardly saw it. I'm still not sure if the brown streak was the deer or Sophie running across the cab of the truck, but in either case, we avoided hitting the deer--for now.

I realize this post has no motif, no central point, and actually no point at all, other than these are a few things from my crazy, simple life, that I deal with on a daily basis: lots of work, some silly animals, and often some unplanned circumstances (like destroyed porch windows). The only thing that is certain is life is never dull on the farm.

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted. Goodnight, John Boy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yes, I Laugh at My Own Jokes, Why Do You Ask?

Disclaimer #1: Neither terror nor terrier where harmed in this production.

Disclaimer #2: Please disregard the groovy blue carpet and paneling. This is the part of the house that has not been remodeled yet. Thank you for your cooperation.

Disclaimer #3: I'm sure this is not what Carl Orff had in mind.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Earlier I promised I'd have three big announcements. Well, the give-away (the one you really wanted to know about) is a bit delayed due to the exceedingly limited shopping availability of small-town living (and my reluctance to purchase items online because I can't see/feel/touch them).

But, two out of three ain't bad, so here we go.

I'd like to announce my new side-line business: The White Rose.

I've always enjoyed taking forgotten relics and making them like-new and usable again, so I've decided that since I only have so much room in my house to do this, that I'd start offering my pieces online! I'm aiming for my online store to be open at the end of the month. In case you're wondering what I have to offer, it will be items like the old schoolhouse rescue chair (click HERE for the blogpost) and similar finds/refurbishes. Let me know if you'd like to be on the emailing list, and of course, once it's set up, I'll have a link here on my blog.

The second big announcement comes in the form of a great white Moose.

Yes, his name is "Moose" and he lives up to his name! He is a giant foal (only two months old right now) and his registered name is Almighty Splashed me. His dam is a ROM earner AND producer and his sire is Almighty, a top-10 APHA World stallion, honor roll leader and son of the legendary Mighty Awesome.

He's my newest show horse!! Thanks so much to Darlene Worthington and her family at Painted Prairie Farm. I will definitely miss Suzie, but as she goes to her new home, she will be in a breeding program fitting her excellent bloodlines and producing potential.

Trivia time: Moose is not a tovero (carrying both tobiano and overo genes) like most "medicine hat" horses. Both his parents carry the splash overo gene and Moose is an extreme expression of that gene, which creates white markings from the ground up. You can see, it almost made it all the way up! Unlike Suzie's white foal which was a lethal due to a double-copy of the frame overo genes, Moose's parents are both negative, so although he's almost all white, he's not a lethal. He's registered as a sorrel overo and does not carry any tobiano gene at all.

Clear as mud?

Moose will be gelded as soon as the flies die out. He's stallion quality without a doubt, but there will never be another Eddie and I'm not planning on owning any more stallions to ever try to replace him. There's no replacement, but there are still awesome horses out there, and Moose definitely is one! I always said if Eddie had been sound I would have gelded and shown him. There's nothing as much fun as a good show gelding.

And he's going to make a PERFECT show horse for me. He's gigantic, is built like a top halter horse (I seriously cannot find fault with him) and he moves like a dream. Seriously.... Like. A. Dream. I've always enjoyed showing geldings the most, too, so we're just going to go out to shows, try our darnest to stay clean (har har har) and have a grand ole time :)

Of course I still plan on showing Paula, too. It will work out perfect--she'll be my senior horse and he'll be my junior horse. I'll be known throughout the show circuit as "that lady with the white horses."

See, I don't need a man on a white horse to come rescue me. I'm my own knight on my white horses. I won't be in shining armor, though. I'm usually found in dirt-stained jeans and my John Deere ballcap.

And that's just fine with me.

(stay tuned--give away will hopefully be revealed this weekend!!!)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Because of course my plans are much different now that Eddie is gone.

Because I have the support and encouragement of my wonderful friends and family.

Because there's no time like the present.

Because I'm ready to take life by the balls (just making sure you're awake)!

Because I wanna.

Stay tuned to THREE surprise announcements, including a give-away!! The one thing they all have in common is this: they all happen to match my new blog template.

And I totally meant that to happen. Quit laughing. I did.

Check back in the next couple of days kiddos, and we'll get this train back on its tracks!!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Eddie and Life

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their incredibly kind messages regarding Eddie's death. It has certainly been a difficult time that would have been much more difficult had I not had so much support from friends and family.

I'm doing fine--better than even I expected. I do have moments where I think my poor heart just can't take it, but as corny as it sounds, all I have to think of is Eddie's life and I can immediately stop crying. Even in death, he gives me strength.

I will miss him always, of course. He was buried in a place of honor.

I've already planted a rose bush to mark his grave, but eventually this will be all landscaped and I hope to be able to have a flagstone carved with his name in it one day (I've found the place, but need to gather the funds). Those small trees are Bradford Pears, so every spring they will bloom beautiful white flowers, reminding me that even after the sorrow, life begins anew.

Speaking of life anew, you've all heard that there is an addition to our family.

His name is Russell. His father is a purebred smooth coated Jack Russell terrier (whom I adore) and his momma is a Schnauzer. My good friend Darlene gave him to me. I hope he'll grow up to be a good playmate for Sophie as Charlie is aging and can't quite keep her as busy as he used to.

Sophie is less than thrilled, though.

She played with him yesterday, so she's just sulking because she had to share one of her baby toys with him, silly girl. Charlie actually seems to like Russell, which is surprising since he didn't care for Sophie at all when she was a new pup. Funny how they all react so differently than one would expect....

How could anyone not love this face?

Thanks so much for waiting on me, for sticking around and for coming back to check in. The blog will get back on track. Life goes on and there will definitely be good times ahead. Eddie would have wanted it that way.


Friday, June 11, 2010


Puppies make everyone feel better.

Especially the one on the left.


He's mine.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Eddie is now at Peace.

March 25, 2002 - June 9, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Quick Update

Sorry, no photos. We barely were able to make it to the classes, let alone get any photos taken.

What classes, you say? Well, this weekend I was invited to an APHA show by my good friend Darlene. She has an outstanding group of mares that she graciously allowed me to help show.

It was my first show in six years, so I was thrilled! I have fit for lots of shows but my job was always outside the ring. This time I got to participate in the fun as well!

The first day the mare I led got first in her class, but we were so rushed running back and forth to the stalls that we barely made the class and (DUH) I forgot to change my number, so we were disqualified *sigh*. Not a huge deal as there was only three in the class so no points lost, but it was still frustrating. Darlene missed her first class and was the only one in her second, so Saturday was disappointing.

Sunday proved much better, though, as a kind man offered to help hold horses for us while we showed so we didn't have to run back and forth--REALLY nice!! Darlene led her mare Grace into Ammy mares and won the class and Grand Champion, so she picked up a couple of points (unofficially) there. I led Uno (whom I absolutely ADORE by the way) into two-year old mares but we competed against and lost to who would become the open grand and reserve. Uno's in a growth phase so chalk it up to a bit of temporary imbalance. She's a hell of a mare, so time will be on her side :) Then Dar led Grace and I led her mare Candy in Open 3 year old and older mares and Dar won first and I won second in a decent sized class of seven! We were thrilled to perhaps pick up a few more APHA points on her horses. Not too bad for Grace's very first show, as well. She's a truly outstanding mare that Dar literally picked up out of a pasture, fit up and is now in the blue with her. Way to go Darlene Worthington!!!!!

We also ran down and watched Dar's daughters in the South Central show in Lyons. I can't wait to show on that circuit. They have competition at all levels so it looks like a wonderful place to start out and learn so much while showing. They have people there who show at the world level and people who show their grade horses. It's really a terrific place with twice the numbers as the APHA show had. I think I caught the show bug now. Time to get Paula going and get my trailer bought!

I can't thank Dar enough for such a terrific weekend, because the next few are going to be very difficult. Eddie hasn't been doing well at all and I'm afraid it's time to say our goodbyes. He's gone downhill over the past week and it's hard for him to even walk now. He's losing weight and is in visible pain, so I'm making the calls to plan out Eddie's final days. Please say a prayer for Eddie to have a peaceful passing. I will miss him so much I don't know if I will be able to bear it, but I know I have to--it's what I signed up for the day I got him. He'll be remembered by so many people who met him and instantly fell in love with him and he'll be remembered through his outstanding few foals and the families that love them.

So I hope you understand that the blog will be sporadic over the next week or two. Don't worry, it will be back. We have so much to look forward to, Eddie's fabulous girls and I. He never ever gave up or felt sorry for himself, so we won't either. He'll certainly take a piece of my heart with him, but having him in my life was totally worth it.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'll be taking a short sabbatical from blogging over the weekend, but I promise I'll be back with lots of fun stories and pictures.

So, talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island. Discuss.

And then report back to me when I return. See ya'll soon!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

When You Make a Promise, Keep It

Last week I decided I'd post examples from my own life that exemplify what I felt was the ten-step guide to my life: The Code of the West. Every day (or at least almost every day) I've covered one part of that code. Tonight is "When you make a promise, keep it."

Let's be honest, sometimes it's just impossible to keep our promises. Life happens, and the best of intentions sometimes fall by the wayside. However, there is one promise I made, six years ago, that I intend to see through until the end: my promise to Eddie.

When I first saw Eddie one night, by the light of a flashlight, I had no idea that this sad horse who had already been through so much in his short life would, in fact, change my own life. All I knew is that he was wonderful and had an incredible strength I admired so very much.

It took me four months to finally get possession of him and when I did, I promised him I would do everything in my power to make sure he was never hungry, never unneccessarily hurt, never want for anything again.

It still makes me cry, to think about everything he went through. Those first few weeks I had him were such a trial: multiple vets, farrier, referral to K-state, x-rays, and a threat from the owner of the stables that if he brought anything contageous in at all that I'd be responsible for every bill that came of it on the place.

We got through it all, though, and Eddie soon flourished.

He moved to Arizona, back to Kansas, and then Texas with me. When I moved to Kansas City to try to get better employment my wonderful friend Vicki took care of Eddie for me in Texas while I tried to get my life in order, so while I wasn't able to personally see to his care, I knew he was in great hands.

I wanted to bring Eddie to Kansas City with me, but I knew Eddie would not be happy in a boarding situation and at the time I had to get an apartment and had no place for Eddie, so I made the difficult decision to lease him out. Eddie went to go stand at stud in Oregon. It was a trying time and I missed him terribly, but he came back to me. He wasn't hungry and he didn't suffer as he had before. While I am meticulous about his care and disappointed my instructions weren't carried through, I still feel like I did my best, under difficult circumstances, to keep my promise to Eddie.

Now Eddie's days are winding down. He literally is on his last leg and there are days when he does great, but other days when I know he is tiring. I knew no matter how long I had him, the time would always be way too short. That is the trade-off one must accept when they have such a wonderful creature in their lives.

I'll be with Eddie until the end, and when the time comes, I will have fulfilled my promise to him, to never be hungry, never suffer, and never be for want of any neccessity every again. I hope I've given him a good life. It was a promise I made to him and to myself as well six years ago that night, when I first saw him by the light of a flashlight.