Saturday, July 31, 2010

Some Things Never Change

I was going through some photos the other day and I ran across this one:

It's my mom and dad, I'm pretty sure before I was born, so taken circa 1973-1975. Please take note of my dad's pose.

Fast forward a little over ten years:

My dad, with my sister and brother.

It's like they didn't ever even move him. They just changed the couch, the background, and gave him a hair cut. The funniest part of all this is he still sits like that, to this day.

I think we're due for another picture.

Taking comfort in the consistency that is Dad,

~Robert's Daughter

Friday, July 30, 2010


I'm a planner, by nature, so when things don't go according to plan, I have to make a concerted effort to re-plan, or it drives me crazy.

Now, now, no smart alec remarks about already being crazy. Dorks.

This weekend was supposed to be about mowing. I planned to mow the entire place, including the pens, so the grass could get some nice, thick growth before winter.

Isn't it depressing to think that we're already planning for winter?

Anyway, rental mower is still broken, so I try to find a belt for the John Deere, but I end up having to order that--it will be here in a week. I try to rent a mower in one of the surrounding towns, but they either don't offer them or won't rent to "that far." Gotta love small minded town people.

So, mowing is out and my plans are in the outhouse. Don't these people know that next weekend I have a trailer to pick up? Don't they know that my dad will be off work and I'm sure we'll be working on the garage roof? Don't they know that mowing next weekend is not convenient? And that mowing this weekend is? Don't they know the world revolves around this single issue right now?

Whoa. That was not a pretty color on me.

So...ok...rather than feel thwarted, I will press on! I will feel accomplished this weekend, one way or another, by golly!! Here's my plan, man:

I would work on the arena fence, but the rock is as hard as a ground. Wait...strike that. Reverse it.

So, instead I'll finish the fencing I started last weekend, to seperate Fabian from his mean ole sisters. Pounding in the t-posts will still be hard work, but nothing like trying to dig into the hard ground.

Then feet...I need to get all the horses caught up on their farrier work!! I did work on Paula the other day, but was sweating so bad in the 100+ heat and humidity that I only got her fronts done. I'll feel accomplished if I can get everyone's manicures done.

And then I'll need a manicure, too, but that's ok.

You might recall that I had planned on reroofing the old garage, but we've since scrapped that and are reroofing the larger garage. This puppy will eventually be torn down, or set on fire, or both.

To the north there once grew a great forest. This sounds impressive, but it was actually a bunch of volunteer trees and weeds that attracted bugs and kept me from being able to walk out to my new shed without mosquito netting and a machete. We did take the brush hog to most of it last weekend, but there's a few spots I worked on during the week, and I plan on finishing up this weekend.

I also need to finish halter-breaking Moose. He loves to be loved on, but not so fond of having something strapped to his face. It won't take much, but I just need to do it.

I'm so used to wrestling the babies and just slapping the halter on them, but there's no way to do that with this guy. He's..well..let me put it this way: in a few months he'll be my second largest horse, and I currently have one four year old, two two-year olds, and Moose, who is almost four months old. Think about it.

Then all the horses need a day of beauty, as well: brushed, bathed, clipped, and spritzed.

Then I'll need a day of beauty. Or a day of coma. Either one.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Two of a Kind

Sophie and Russell have somewhat of a turbulent relationship.

Sometimes they are indifferent,

Sometimes they wrestle,

Sometimes they snuggle,

And sometimes they inflict brutal carnage upon each other.

Then they opt to give each other distance,

And even attempt to go their seperate ways.

But then they decide to give it another go...

...and it works for a few seconds...

before it starts all over again.

I'd attempt to intervene, but I'm with Charlie.

Sometimes it's just best to let the kids sort things out on their own.

Til the doggies come home,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hi, My Name is Jessie, and I'm an Iatrophobe

"Iatrophobia" is the fear of doctors, but I'm convinced it's Latin for "big wuss." I know most people don't look forward to going to the doctor, but in my case, I get anxious--big time. I usually avoid going at all costs. For example:

1. In 1995 I had my leg pinned between my Honda CRX and a BMW. I couldn't walk for well over a day at all on that leg, but I absolutely would not go to the hospital.

Just walk it off.

2. When I was about 12 or so, my brother (who was about 5 at the time and didn't know better--or did he?) stabbed me in the back with a pencil. The lead broke off and lodged itself in there, about an inch from my spine. I don't even think I mentioned it to my parents until it started causing me problems.

It had scar tissue or something growing around it and pushing it outward, so my mom scheduled an appointment to have it removed. I remember sitting there in the doctor's office with her and the longer we waited to have it "cut out" the more nervous and sick I got. I was sweating and shaking and couldn't stand it--I asked her if we could leave. She made me promise if it didn't get better in a couple of weeks that we'd go back, so I promised. Thankfully it did get better, and to this day, there's a very small bump still there, but no more issues.

I think I willed it to get better.

My brother also shot me in the eye with a sucker dart. I think he had it in for me.

3. About four or five years ago, Dad and I were working on the old hog shed, trying to convert it to a shelter for the horses (before I had the good sense just to light a match and buy a new one for the same cost as trying to fix up the old one). We had a ladder there and were working on attaching supports on the roof. Dad climbed down off the ladder because I needed to move it to an area where I was working. When I moved it, the hammer he had been using (and forgot that he left up there) fell down on me, hitting me in the forehead with the claw end.

It sounds really bad, and it did smart, but the worst part was when I removed my hands from my face and looked up at my Dad--the awful look on his face scared me to death! He was absolutely pale. I don't think I've ever seen him look that way, so it scared me that something was really wrong. My hands were bloody, but head wounds bleed a lot, period, so that didn't scare me nearly as bad as the look on my dad's face!

I ended up going inside, making an icepack and laying down. And yes, I fell asleep. Exactly what people with a possible concussion shouldn't do, but I did. I can still feel a small dent in my head where it hit, but I'm just fine. (No quips, now.)

4. Then there's the multitude of horse-accidents: being thrown, attacked, drug, trampled, struck, bitten, and kicked.

Yeah, something like that (not really).

I have excessive scar tissue in my back from a rib being moved when a horse nailed me with her back feet, I've had my ear torn from a horse that reared up and hit me in the side of the head (lucky it was only my ear she got), I've gotten knocked out by a very large, untrained halter horse who bolted and ran straight over me, my hamstring tore when I tried to bale off a client's crazy horse, I've had my saddle slide off in a show and knock me into the railing, dragging me under the horse, and I've lost track of how many times I've flown so gracefully over jumps...and my horse didn't.

The thing is, I've been very lucky to have been riding horses my entire life (had my first fall as a toddler) and yet only had a few things happen. A few of these things probably should have sent me to at least outpatient care, but I'm a mule and I refuse to go.

I think the only way they'd get me in the ER is if they carried me in, unconscious.

5. Then my back issues, of course. So many people wanted me to get surgery, but this is the way I think about surgery: when you take a shovel and dig up the ground, you can put the dirt back in, but the ground is never the same. I don't want someone cutting on me when my body is trying to tell me that something is wrong and I need to take action for it to heal. Of course surgery is most definitely neccessary in some instances--I'm not knocking it. But in my case, I felt like I could get my body to heal in its own, without taking drastic measures.

At least that's the way I justified it. And I can find a way to justify anything.

I'm really probabably not a true iatrophobe, but I would rather just completely avoid the whole doctor/needle/hospital thing if at all possible, whenever possible. I have no idea why I'm such a wuss, except that perhaps because I've been blessed with such good health that my lack of exposure to medicine is what gives me anxiety over it.

It couldn't possibly be that I'm weird or have "issues." That couldn't be it at all *cough*.

Live long and prosper.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Favorite Shots

I'm certainly no photographer, by any means, but I do love taking pictures. One of these days I'll invest in a more professional-type camera, but for now, I just do the best I can with my little, cheap point-and-shoot. Sometimes having a little less in the way of technology makes getting that great shot all the more thrilling!

The above sunset wasn't even edited in any way--totally straight from the camera. I just got lucky!

Of course, the dogs are always some of my favorite subjects, and I'll always remember Samson just like he was in this picture.

Sophie always provides great fodder for those comical shots, but here, she's actually borderline artful. Who knew?

She takes her babies very seriously indeed.

Charlie is always difficult to photograph because he rarely picks his head up. He has such a kind, beautiful face, that the best shot I ever got of him was when I was unable to stand much because of my back. I was laying outside letting the dogs play and he came over to keep me company (as he so often does) and I managed to snap this picture of him.

Thankfully my yoga pants are barely visible.

Then my dear Layla. This will forever be how I remember my lovely girlie girl.

To me, it shows everything about her: her intelligence, her kindness, and her inner strength.

Paula has been the subject of probably 90% of my photos. There's just something about a beautiful gray horse.

Even when she's in her winter woolies, she can provide a great shot, that reminds me of what she means to me, and how wonderful both her parents were.

The funny thing is, she's not the prettiest horse, really. She's lovely and correct, but she's not going to ever win any halter classes.

I think she photographs best when she's moving. It's almost like her character is on display during these times.

Like the first winter that I had her back, when she'd prance around the place, so healthy (finally) and free....

Her full brother is also quite photogenic. He's colored just like his daddy.

I have hundreds of photos of Eddie, and of course I cherish every one, but this one--this one makes me miss him the most.

Bambi has always been very photogenic. She's such a cute, little thing, but she also lacks the capacity to ever look awkward.

In that way we couldn't be more different.

Then there are the random photos that I take around the farm, that really have nothing to do with my critters at all.

Sometimes, even ditch weed can have an aesthetic quality.

Even the creepy can be lovely in springtime on the farm.

(This is actually where I'd prefer to own a telescopic lense.)

That's one thing about the farm--there's never a lack of subject matter.

At the very least, you can always count on a spectacular sunset.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Slap Happy

Last post today, I promise.

As you may or may not have heard, I got a trailer yesterday.

This involved driving for over three hours after we had worked outside for all of Sunday morning, looking at the trailer, negotiating, failing to negotiate, driving away, turning around, driving back, negotiating again, and then actually purchasing the trailer.

I need to mention that the lady that sold us the trailer had the most adorable little Yorkie (almost) ever. I write (almost) because Darlene's little Yorkie Sugar is truly the most adorable Yorkie ever. I just felt like I should explain myself.

Anywho...this dog was quite a character and a memorable part of our visit. So was the fact that this lady was so stead-fast on her price. Don't get me wrong--she was very straight-forward and honest, accomidating and very welcoming, plus she's offered to meet me half-way when I pick up the trailer. This last fact is incredibly kind of her, because I never even asked.

On our way back, I set the odometer to see what halfway would be. Unfortunately for me it is well into Oklahoma. Oklahoma roads suck.

This is not personal opinion. This is a fact.

So, it's late, Dad and I are exhausted, I'm giddy over the trailer, we have a long drive ahead of us and we're trying to keep talking about something--anything--to keep ourselves awake.

I mention it would be nice if I could talk the seller into meeting me at the Kansas border.

Dad says, "just tell her you're on probation."

I mention how that might not work, considering she's already seen me in Oklahoma.

Dad says, "just tell her I'm your probation officer, and I can't go with you in two weeks, so she'll have to meet you in Kansas."

I ask him what if she asked what I would be on probation for.

Dad says, "Tell her that you beat up the last person who was selling a horse trailer and wouldn't come down on their price."

We laugh.

Then he says, "then tell her: 'You'd better come down on your price, or I'll beat you up...'"

And I pipe in: "And you're little dog, too!"

Thank God we made it to Kansas. We just don't belong in Oklahoma.

In Seven Months

During the three-plus hour drive down to Clinton, Oklahoma, Dad pointed out something to me that I hadn't fully realized: I've had a lot happen so far this year (in no particular order):

1. I got Eddie home...

2. ...and sadly had to say goodbye again (I still miss you so much, Ed).

3. Got all the branches picked up, fencing and trees pulled out, pile burned and new fencing put up south of the barn.

4. Started tearing off the garage roof and making plans to turn the south portion into hay storage (will be so handy to be fully stocked up for the winter for a change)!

5. Finally got a decent saddle, and one that I can show at the open shows in.

6. Welcomed the Moose Man :)

7. Also welcomed Fabian back home!

8. Welcomed Suzie to our place, welcomed her new foal and sadly had to put this beautiful baby down since she was lethal white. After losing Eddie and deciding there was no need for me to maintain any breeding program, Suzie joined the herd at Painted Prairie Farm.

9. Finally started that veggie garden I've always wanted.

10. Found terrific homes for JJ, Dakota and Laramie.

11. Got the horse trailer I've wanted for YEARS (just last night)!!!

12. Said goodbye to our old farm fixture (miss you, girl).

13. Had a major clean-up day, cut down trees, took out fencing, burned a huge pile of wood and moved in a brand new shelter.

14. Moved into my house and got its top on (I still need to work on this photoshop version :)

15. Did a lot of clean up around the house...

16. ...and planted some flowers.

17. Got a good start on the arena fence.

18. I got a new addition to our canine family (Russell).

19, 20, 21...etc. Got my Camry, had a minor accident with the Camry, then fixed the Camry (lol), lost some more weight, bought my show shirt, show boots, was able to return to the show ring thanks to Dar and her awesome horses, did some landscaping for Dad, got a couple of nice farm trailers, accidentally killed a couple of house plants, helped Dad shop for and move in some new furniture he got....

Well, you get the idea. The point is it certainly hasn't been a boring year so far.

I'd like to rest now. Goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow.