Monday, January 30, 2012


It has been a very chaotic and eventful last couple of weeks.  Thankfully we've all survived here (so far, anyway), but I am still looking for a way to turn 24-hour days into 30-hour days.  If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Probably the most worrisome of all the events was when my beloved 13 1/2 year old Aussie woke up one morning and couldn't keep his balance.

I called my vet who asked me to bring him in and once he took a look at him, he decided we should first treat the problem as an inner-ear infection.  If the antibiotics didn't work, we'd then know we were dealing with the effects of a stroke.

Thankfully Charlie is slowly recovering.  He gets eardrops twice a day and oral antibiotics three times a day, and while he's not very happy about the doctoring, he is in great spirits.  He can now walk and even trot around the place a little.  He does fall down still every so often if he's not careful, but he seems happy and able to make his way around pretty well, so I think ol'Charlie will still be around for a while.

The second major event around the farm here was my decision to let the turkeys be used for their intended purpose.

To be honest, I'm still a little bummed about it.  I do miss their gobbling around the place and seeing the pretty toms strut their stuff, but it was for the best.  One of the hens was no longer able to walk and another was limping, and soon, because of their weight, they would all be in the same position.  A friend of mine knew some people able to process them appropriately, so we loaded them all up one morning and that was it.  I did find out that the large tom dressed out at 35 pounds! 

By the way, if a sales clerk at a retail farm store tells you that the unmarked poults are "regular bronze" (meaning NOT double-breasted), don't believe them!  I never would have gotten these guys if I had known they were not heritage turkeys.  

I don't plan on replacing them anytime soon.  To be perfectly blunt about it, turkeys eat a LOT and therefore there is a LOT of mess around that I'm just not willing to deal with again.  Chickens are much easier to clean up after, and they just as good of a job taking care of all the insects around the farm.

The third major event of the last couple of weeks has been the start of classes.  I'm taking Spanish, Anatomy & Physiology, CPR and a CNA class so I can be licensed to work over the summer and get the clinical experience I need to start my medical career.  I was told online classes could be intense, but I had no idea until I actually got started just how truly intense they can be.  For example, I had my CPR class all day Friday, then came home and immediately started online homework, finally went to bed at midnight, then got up at 6am, did chores, showered, and did homework and took two online tests until 2pm when I had to stop to get ready for work.  I then went to work, got home at 2am and pretty much fell into a coma.  I'm still not sure that I've fully recovered, although I only had three hours of online homework this morning, so at least my Monday hasn't been too terribly intense.

Then there's my new computer.  Thankfully I got it last Monday and I am very happy with it!  I really appreciate my brother's help with picking it out.  It was sort of a pain to have to have it built but it got here much more quickly than their estimate, and it was a good thing, too--with all this homework due it would have been even more difficult to have to travel to the library all the time.

I was able to also get all of the new windows for my house except for the two large windows I plan on installing on the south side of the house in the living and dining rooms (to let in extra light).  Right now I'm just waiting on gathering up some funds to hire a carpenter to put them in and also to rebuild the front porch.  Once those things are done, I can get the second floor completely stripped out and it will be ready for wiring, duct work, and insulation.   Progress is slow, but steady!

In the meantime I've been trying to get outside during this gorgeous (winter?) weather!!  I've been able to get the old pump house cleaned out--the LAST building that needed to be organized since I moved here.  This morning I moved all of my horse medical supplies out of the old barn (that is close to falling down now) and into the tackroom in the new building.  It's also getting close to the time that I need to get Bambi in a pen by herself so I can start increasing her feed.  She's getting the cutest little baby belly on her!  I'm so used to old broodmares that are massive by now, but I am glad she's stayed fairly small since she's such a small, maiden horse.  I'm not worried about how big the foal is--I just want her and her baby to get through this in perfect health.  This will be the farm's first/last baby in a very long time, so it's going to be quite an event!  For those who might have missed the earlier announcements, Bambi is due to foal in mid-April.  The sire of the foal is Almighty, whose webpage can be found here:  The foal will be double-registered APHA/AQHA, HYPP N/N and OLWS N/N. Needless to say, if the foal and Bambi come through the foaling healthy, it would be great to get just enough chrome to make regular registry in APHA as well!

My little farm just keeps plugging along, no matter what happens and day by day it gets just a little bit better.   It's not always easy, but I can't ever say it's not worth it. 

Living the dream,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No Capes

Sometimes you find yourself sitting in a library, waiting on some vital information for your schooling to refresh on the computer so you can take the next important step in your education, and suddenly, out of no where, a phrase from a Pixar movie pops into your head:

"No capes!"

Don't you hate it when that happens?

Oh, it doesn't happen to you?  What is wrong with me, you ask?  That is a question for the ages, my dear reader.  A question for the ages....

Then I wonder what it would be like to be a superhero.  What power would I have?  Invinciblity?  Super strength?  The ability to read people's minds?

While it would be so ever cool to be able to stop a speeding bullet with my teeth (which, maybe I can, I just haven't ever tried it to be honest), I think I would want one simple, but very powerful...uh, power:

The ability to stop bad things from happening.

It would be such a great power to be able to stop people from losing their jobs, from losing their homes, from making that one small error that turns into a tragedy.  I would love to stop natural disasters, bad luck, and poor timing.  I'd kick Murphy's Law straight in the groin. 

But then I think back about the bad things that have happened to me.  I think about when I was 18 and my family went through the simultatious loss of baby, financial stability, home, and family unit.  I think about my husband joining the army and having pretty much everything go wrong with the house while I was alone.  I think about our split and divorce, the loss of my home, my job, my horses, and then losing Layla and Eddie and having to deal with destroying them, again, alone.  I think about my recent bought with underemployment and my struggle to, well, try everything I can not to lose the little that I have left.  I think about all these trials, and while it would be easy to wish they had never happened, I would not have the perspective I have right now without them.

I think, it's not so much about trying to keep bad things from happening, but more about what can come out of these trials.  We can become angry and bitter, which I honestly have gone through and while it is perhaps the easiest route, it certainly isn't the most contructive one.  The other choice we have is that we can learn.  We can look back, push the emotion aside (while not getting rid of it, because it is still important to embrace emotional learning as well), and look at our past with open arms.  What things went right?  What can we do better next time?

We don't need to be super heros.  We don't need capes.  We all have the power inside us to make a future that we want.  It just takes time...and perhaps a little bit of super-strength optimism.

Onward and Upward,

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Crash

My computer died.

It died last week and I've been trying to get a replacement lined up.  Hopefully I will have a new one in the next couple of weeks, but until then, I'm freaking out man.

It's not what you think.  I actually have enjoyed not having internet access at home.  There's not much I can manage to do on my phone, so not having the "call of the computer chair" luring me into wasting much of my down time has been...well...different.  And in a good way.  For one thing, my house hasn't been this clean in a while....

What I'm really freaking out about is that school!  So, perfect timing for Murphy's Law to strike again, because I purposefully enrolled in all online classes so I could avoid doing the 100-mile daily drive to school.  Looks like I'll have to do that anyway for a while.  Our small-town local library has online access, but it is,, to say the least.

I know this too shall pass, if I don't pass out first, that is.  It wouldn't be my life, though, if things went easily.  In fact, I probably wouldn't know what to do with myself if my stress level wasn't at least at 90% at all times.  I'd probably cease to be.  I think adrenaline is my main form of sustanance these days.

So, dear friends, my blog will even be more sporadic over the next couple of weeks.  There will be much to catch up on....

Catchme Later!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Kids

I don't want to jinx it or anything, but we have been having AMAZING weather here in Kansas this week.  Our weather has a justified reputation for being extreme--we're usually either at 110 degrees during the summer or -10 degrees during the winter.  Ah, there's no place like home....

However, this week has been a gleeful 50-60 degrees.  Yes, January.  Yes, in Kansas.  I know I've had to pinch myself a few times.  

Seriously-- I have bruises.

Anyway, besides picking up the plethora of branches in the north shelter belt, I also decided to give my poor, neglected equines some attention.  First, Fabian got his feet trimmed.  

I trimmed the girls a couple of weeks ago but didn't get Fabian done until now.  Thankfully he's got great feet, so they recovered well from the extra two weeks he had to endure between trimmings. 

After I got him trimmed and groomed I tried to take his picture.  He wasn't exactly cooperative.

Are you done yet?

Then I gave the girls some much-needed grooming.  

Bambi needs some more weight on her, but the great news is that I already have gotten a couple of premium roundbales of alfalfa delivered--just for her!  So, her last three months of pregnancy she'll be treated like a queen.  She hasn't thrived in her pregnancy like I had hoped.  Her and Fabian are on the exact same diet and he's a porker, so I'll get her switched to her summer diet and get her back up to how she looked this summer.  She's not thin by any means, as illustrated here:

But she's certainly lost some of her bloom, poor pony.  I won't be breeding her again for a very long time, so  we'll just do our best and then move on.  See her baby bump?  She's due April 15th--hopefully the time until then won't be taxing....

At this point you are wondering why you even bother reading, aren't you?

Thankfully the horses are used to my bad jokes.

Paula enjoyed her day of beauty as well.

She'll never win a halter class, but she's the most likely to have her ears disappear against a white background.  See?

Ugh, I still need to clean that tail of hers....

Then I went ahead and worked Fabian (much to his delight).

See? Thrilled.

He was amazing, though.  I hadn't worked with him since August and we were able to pick up right where we left off.  He was feeling good, but he has matured to the point that he still listens and is able to calm himself down when he gets upset.  He used to get his panties in a big twist over little things, but thankfully time has changed things in a big way.  He's just awesome.  Hopefully we'll be riding by spring!

Fun in the summer sun,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It's Hard to be a Farmgirl

It's also hard to be a farm cat.

Don't worry, this isn't one of my current farm cats.  I found this while cleaning up the north shelter belt.  This is bleached and clean, so I bet this poor cat was dead long before I moved in.

It's also hard to be a wanna-be designer on a budget. 

Here's a preview of one of my current projects.  It won't be completed until this spring, so you'll just have to wait and see what I'm up to until then.


A bit much?

 Yes, I believe so.

It's also hard to be a turkey.

Especially a male turkey, driven by testosterone, and have every hen in the 'hood completely ignores you--i.e., Tom can't get no props.

It's also hard to be an 120+ year old farm house.

If you look closely, though--things have gotten a lot less harder.

Brand-spank'n-new trim under the roof and GUTTERING!!  I don't think this house has ever had guttering before.  

Speaking of before, here's how it looked a few months ago:

Slowly, but surely, this old house is coming together.  It and I both.....

Spending most our lives living in a Farmgirl's paradise,