Wednesday, December 29, 2010


My sister came down for a quick visit yesterday. Our grandma McCandless is in the ICU. So far she is recovering from a pretty bad bought of pneumonia, but since she's 89 years old (albiet a very healthy 89 years old), it's touch and go so sis wanted to make the trip down to lend her support.

While she was here, sis had to come out to the farm to visit my menagerie. For "Aunt Toes," visiting Sophie is obligatory. There's no visit that Sophie looks forward to more, than a visit from Aunt Toes.

Of course my sister's name isn't "Toes," but that's how Sophie knows her. When I first got Sophie, she was a teeny tiny puppy and my sister and I lived in the same apartment complex in Kansas City. Sis was across the way, so on our daily walks Sophie and I would stop by. It was summer and my sister would answer the door with her sandals on. Sophie was so little, all she could see were my sister's toes in those sandals, so soon we'd yell "TOES!" and Sophie would go nuts.

Thus, "Aunt Toes" was born.

Sophie loves her "babies," which are various stuffed animals she likes to carry around, sleep with, shake, throw in the air, lay in front of the heater with her, and play keep-away with. She has a lion baby, a tiger baby, and a bear baby (oh my!).

Aunt Toes decided it would be only proper for Sophie to have a baby-baby, and Sophie loves it!!

Not sure this last shot is very appropriate....

Aunt Toes also got to see Milton for the first time. He's grown since I last posted pictures of my "barn" kitty (who no longer lives in the barn, lucky him).

I was out getting registration photos of Betty today and had to tack on this last picture of her back end--the reason being to show off all that white hair at the top of her tail. Think she's a bit rabicano?

That's it for now, folks. The blog might be sporadic for a bit, considering the circumstances, so please bear with me for a while and we'll get back on track hopefully in the near future once everyone is healthy again (God willing). Goodnight,


Monday, December 27, 2010

Sophie's Soliloquy--Redux

To be or not to be--that is the question:

Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them.

To die, to sleep--

No more....

This monologue brought to you by the Sophster, gueststarring the mouse du jour. No animals were harmed in the recording of this dramatic scene, although the mouse may have been mentally forever traumatized. Furthermore this blog accepts no responsiblity for Shakespeare rolling over in his grave.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I spent Christmas Eve at my dad's house, cooked us our traditional Mexican dinner and we watched Inception on his new blue-ray player. Then on Christmas we went to the movies and watched True Grit (which was excellent) and ate Chinese, a new tradition we started last year.

The Chinese restaurant we like to go to has chicken on a stick. Dad likes to call it "gopher," because it looks just like the gopher they ate in Where Brother Where Art Thou.

We got our food and sat down to eat. Here's how our conversation went.

Dad: "Gopher, Jessie?"

Me: "Thank you, but I'm afraid half a gopher would only arouse my appetite before bedding her back down."

Both of us: laughing hysterically.

Hope your Christmas was just as fun,

A Winter Wonderland (well, sort of)

This morning was the closest thing we've had to snow all winter.

It was an eerily beautiful morning. Frost clung to everything, and the air was so still, that the frost crystals were stacked on top of each other, making it look like snow.

Everything was frosted,

and the air was so still.

It made for a perfect day-after-Christmas.

Off in the misty distance, the cows grazed solemnly.

Even from the very back, the farm looked so peaceful.

Sophie's shredded jacket cracks me up. She's run under too many barbed wire fences with it back in Missouri and I have yet to find her a proper replacement.

The horses were all hungry (of course). After feeding, I went back inside and cozied up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate.

The afternoon I spent with Moose, making sure he could stand tied well enough to take him on an arena night and worked on his feet some (he's not too great about his feet being handled, but coming along well regardless). I also did Fabian's feet, ran water and seperated Betty so I could really get to working on her as well. She's coming along so well, following me around for affection now. Time to get her trained to lead and tie!

Overall, it was a perfect ending to a great holiday four-day weekend!


Friday, December 24, 2010

He's Been Naughty

Just look at him laying there...

all sweet and innocent.

It's all a ruse, though...a canard!

Moose doesn't seem to care if he gets coal in his stocking.

He's the proverbial annoying little brother, and he's going to live up to the name!

I'm not touching you!!!!!

I'm not touching you!!!

I'm not TOUCHING YOU!!!!

Then Betty turns the tables on him,

and he cries wolf.

And then, it starts all over again.

I'm not touching YOUUUUUUU!!!!!

Santa has a list and he's checking it twice,

and I'm pretty sure he's got Moose as more ornry than nice!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Paula and Me

Today is kind of crazy so I was going to skip posting, but then Stana uploaded this video of Paula and I from the arena ride Monday night. Although it blatently points out that I really need to work on my seat (both in the riding and diet aspect), I figured I'd share it anyway.

They say swallowing one's pride will not cause indigestion. I'll get back to you on whether that's true or not.

I love Paula. This is only her second outing EVER. We hadn't ridden in over a week. We barely lunged before I got on her. She's just such a good girl.

Even when she's going 100 mph she's still so nice and soft. She's starting to acknowledge the cues to slow down and when she comes out of our circles she's in just the right spot, collection-wise. We just need to work on maintaining that now. I need work, too--I need to smooth out my cues a little better and stop leaning forward. I also need to give her a little more rein and work on leaving her alone a little more.

That's what's so nice about video. Even though I detest watching myself, it does give me the opportunity to see what I'm doing wrong. If I correct those things then it will only further help Paula develop into a nice pleasure horse.

Thanks so much to Dar and Stana for their help! :)


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Arena Night

If you hadn't already noticed, I'm doing a couple of short, word-only posts today as opposed to my usual photo-filled, single daily post. I thought I'd mix it up, 'cause I'm crazy like that.

Last night I ran home from work (and boy, were my legs tired, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk), put Moose in with Bambi and Betty, put Paula in with Fabian, loaded all my gear into the trailer, loaded up Paula and Fabian, fed the remaining trio, and left for the arena.

Although I'm not riding him yet, I took Fabian because of his trust issues. When he first came home I couldn't even lunge him without him trying to climb out of the roundpen. He struck with his front feet when he was scared and he was scared of everything. The first time I tried to catch him it took me an hour! He was a mess, poor kid.

Now he sticks his nose into the halter when he sees it, follows me around everywhere, lunges beautifully (knows all his cues, too), and I've pretty much tried everything to desensitize him and build his confidence and trust, including sacking him out with feed sacks, walmart sacks, beach balls, rain coats, a milk jug with pennies in it, etc. Anything I could find that would be loud and scary--I've literally thrown it all at him, and he's quickly gotten over those feelings of insecurity and become a much more confident, managable young gelding.

So last night was the next step: take him somewhere loud, scary, unknown, with lots of people and horses doing all sorts of activities. We really scored on this one--it was much more crowded than when just Paula and I went a couple of weeks ago. Paula, having been there once before was an old pro, of course (I do realize how lucky I am to have such an easy horse, to have experienced something one time and then have that been-there-done-that attitude). I unloaded Paula, saddled her up, and then unloaded Fabian.

I ended up taking Paula in the arena first, because I wasn't sure how overwhelmed Fabian would be. When I went back to get him he was wide-eyed but calm and still mostly-confident. I was really hoping he wouldn't revert back to those days where he struck at/fled from anything that was mildly upsetting.

Thankfully he never did. He barely spooked less than a handful of times. He did spend a lot of time tied up on the side of the arena, but it was good for him. He got to see kids running around, be tied up pretty close to other horses who were half-asleep, setting a good example for him, and he learned patience as he had to sit there and wait while other things were going on. Thankfully my friend Dar was near him when they ran the first set of barrels, reassuring him on that first run.

It was also a great experience because Fabian learned to trust other people, too. Dar paid him some attention, the gal that puts together these ride-nights moved him at one point, and he saw lots and lots of other people. I was worried that Fabian had learned to only trust me when Dar came out one day when I wasn't home and he wouldn't come up to her. This night was so good for him to learn that he has nothing to fear, even when I'm not around.

After I finished riding Paula I saddled up Fabian and led him around the arena and he seemed very comfortable, overall. He was willing to inspect anything that he wasn't sure of, and even with kids and horses around everywhere he got to the point where he was relaxed--like he had been to a hundred similar events.

I'm so proud of Fabian for having come so far that he now not only trusts me, but himself. He's changed from a horse that others deemed "dangerous" to being a level-headed horse that I can safely take places, leave tied up for an hour or two, and work with in a busy, crowded environment.

I can never say it too much: I love Eddie's kids!!!!



I get asked a lot of the same questions a lot, so I figured, because I'm so bored inspired, I thought I'd do a little FAQ about me. And if you don't want to know anything about me, then just hit that little red "x" in the upper right hand corner and all will be right with the world.

1. Why don't you have any pictures of you on your blog?

I would like to think, in some very small and insignificant way, that my blog is a teeny tiny positive contribution towards the betterment of society. Adding a picture of me to it is a complete contradition of that goal.

2. You seem to fit 36 hours into a 24 hour day. How do you do it?

Calgon, vicodin, the blood of a young virgin, primrose, and camomile tea.

I'm kidding! I'm just being silly. I don't even know what primrose is!

3. Did you take your meds today?

Define "today."

4. Why did you start this blog?

To become wildly famous, make millions of dollars, buy all the banks in the world and throw all the money in the streets so everyone will love me.

5. Are you seeing a therapist? We hope?

That's classified information, between me and my therapist(s).


6. Why in the world do you have so many animals?

I ask myself that same question every day. Then I remember that they actually are my therapists.

7. Are you drunk?

Define "you."

8. Why don't you have any kids?

It's on my to-do list, along with with skydiving with a parachute made out of swiss cheese.

9. Why did you quit law school? Didn't you want to be rich and successful?

I decided I'd rather be cents-less than soulless. Wait....

10. Why do you have to "put in your two cents," but it's only a "penny for your thoughts?" Where's that extra penny going to?

Don't most people think their own words are worth a lot more than your thoughts?

Well, I hope that clears up a few things about me. Now, aren't you glad you asked?


Monday, December 20, 2010


Sophie came up to me the other day with a very guilty look on her face.

She couldn't even look at me.

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Did you get into the litter box?"

"Did you dig up the bulbs in my garden?"

"Did you track mud into my bed?"

"Did you drink from the toilet?"

"Sophie, what did you do?"

I never did find out what she did,

and I think it's best that I never know.