Journaling

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Used to run a stable and live on a farm, now I am back into banking for awhile. Still have horses and love animals.  

Monday, April 30, 2012

Losing track of time

I am trying to think of everything that's happened since I last posted. Time flies by really fast around here and so I'll start with the mower. After some complications the mower is now running. I bought a battery to replace the old one and got a great deal at the local Interstate Battery shop. Anyway, I cut the grass just before it rained tonight and it took me a few minutes to get back into the groove. I am so happy to be able to cut the dang grass.... finally.

Kylie road Aubrey tonight, he has been acting like a young horse and giving her trouble but things went well tonight. I groomed all of our dogs (4) and they are very fluffy and smelling great.

The two herds are going out on pasture for a little while every day now. We rounded up one herd today with the pickup cause they didn't want to leave the grass. Kylie took a little lesson in driving the truck in the pasture and did great.

We got a new round bale today for the paddock to use when we rotate the herds. Feed man came, Mares caregivers dropped some feed off for her so all is well.

No more water leaks but I have to fix the toilet in the block building. We had six dogs in the kennel over the weekend and everyone was very good.

Polo joined my herd and Cody loves him, Aubrey, Bit and Pony accepted him as one of their own. I was happy to see it all fall into place. Polo has a boo boo leg, sore from being chased and the harder ground outside.

Pony still needs a bath and we need to take his coat down with the clippers, Bit will also have to be clipped. Cody and Aubrey will get bathed soon. Cody hates baths so he will be done in the driveway so he can dance around and smack his hooves on the ground in protest.

Big Red did a great job of filling in the hole we dug for the water line fix and smoothing
everything out again.

Kylie spent the weekend with her dad at a horse show, they battled about showing as Kylie is not really into showing but her dad certainly is into it.

I hope to trim the weeds soon, not my favorite job but I have to do it, the place will look much nicer with everything trimmed up.

Tomorrow I will cut more grass, maybe weed trim (we'll see) and maybe some more painting on the block building. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Satisfaction in finishing a job

Water line fixed but what about the big gaping hole? Mike moved his tractor and it took Big Red 10 minutes to push the soil back into the hole. I cleaned up the parking lot too and continued to grade the lower areas where the water always stands.

It is good to see things get put back together. I will have to put back the fence before the end of the week but that is only one t-post. I love two, well three things, the post driver, the post popper, and the squeegee for the floor. So much for fine jewelry...

Anything that makes work easier and more efficient is much appreciated.

I took Kylie this morning to do her state testing, and washed Peaches (her once a week medicated bath). The wind was so high that the horses were only out for a short time. The tarp on the sawdust has everything thrown on except the kitchen sink to keep it from blowing away.

It's been a quiet evening, I am grateful for that and hope the weather will be more fun to work in tomorrow.

I held Cooper in my arms tonight (my little sheltie), he put his little face under my chin and fell asleep. When I found him he had been left at the shelter by his owner's boyfriend. I called her for his shot records and found he had been dumped before by another family. He was afraid for months of my brother and would run and hide, he was afraid he was going to be taken away. He's over it now but when I held him tonight I felt he finally felt safe and secure.

All of my animals have their own story, I love them so.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A mother/daughter conversation

I have a 14 year old daughter who is full of questions about life and love. She asked me tonight if I were to do it all over again what type of man would I have wanted to meet and marry.

I had to think about the answer for a minute or two. Since I never had a dad as a male role model the only person I can really think of as an example in my life of a man that I would find qualities in that would appeal to me is my grandfather.

I loved my grandfather and he gave me unconditional love. His generation was different (he was 92 when I was 10) he was born in 1884 and he was my adopted grandfather. Grandfather was kind and much more refined than in his younger days. He had been a lumberjack and a coal miner and then at 40 he converted and became a circuit minister in the mountains.

Regardless of his wilder days I know he was honest and hard working all of his life. He told me when I was a child that I should never do anything that I wouldn't be proud to put my name on because a name should be respected.

Anyway, fat chance finding someone to fill my grandfather's shoes. I do know I would want someone I could respect above all else.

I told Kylie stories about my grandfather, she is named after him (her middle name). To pass on his wisdom and tell stories about him to Kylie is a great honor. I know he is in heaven but his name lives on so long as he is part of someone's memory. 

Feeling Philisophical

Today I felt the affects of the anticlimax of finally resolving the water line break which has caused me much stress. I watched a movie with my brother Gregg called "Meeting Joe Black" it is a movie that can bring deep thoughts to the surface.

I love Facebook because I always see something posted that makes me laugh or smile. I am Facebook friends with many animal lovers and rescue groups. Many people in the world wonder why people work so hard and give so much of their hearts for animals. I believe there are many reasons why, all with good intentions and with a deep profound love to make the world a better place.

I am very sensitive to suffering be it animal or human, I find it puzzling sometimes that even myself will step forward to help an animal and lose patience with another human. Helping animals fulfills the need in our souls to care, to make a difference, to give love without getting hurt. Our need is met with instant gratification of gratitude and  unconditional love. It is not selflessness that we help animals, there's a reward we look forward to receiving. It is very simple actually. There is even an element of feeling like a hero and feeling like a better human being.

Sadly, in many cases there is no reward for helping people. Gratitude is sometimes replaced by entitlement and unconditional love is not something humans are born to give, it takes work and maturity. People are not born with the sense that helping may mean nothing in return and inevitably there is no payoff. The worst of it is the help given may not make a difference or be refused.

I was brought up to give, to honor, to help not only animals but people. The most painful of hurts in my life have been from people either I've helped or loved. It is easy then to want to be with animals, to serve animals, to befriend them. There have been times however when whether appreciated or not, I have felt great joy and love for helping someone or a family in need.

Altruism is a rare virtue in animal or human, Jesus the best example, simply loved for loves sake, regardless of the consequences. The challenge in life is to become a better person and care just because... not for self glory.

The challenge in kindness is stepping to higher ground and love, yes helping others. You might not get the instant gratification, instead it maybe like getting a slap in the face but that is part of maturing as a person.

I will always help animals and people to the best of my ability, I am not weak although some might think so, after all, I am very much aware of the risk I take by getting hurt or rejected and that is not for the faint of heart. Especially for someone that was abandoned and rejected as a child by their own parents. In fact, it can be something that is the most painful and feared but I strive to overcome my childhood ghosts. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cold and rainy but no leak

This morning we capped the water leak in the cold and rain. I am so happy to have it done. We will watch it for a few days to make sure it is not leaking before we fill in the hole. We did the stalls and Kylie went to visit a friend. I am happy just watching some tv this evening and relaxing, a hot bath is order. We were all sore from yesterday's hard labor!


Friday, April 20, 2012

One last blessing for the day

Polo stood a distance from the herd today at the gate and ate hay. He was with them for a few hours and mare came to encourage him. It won't be long now for Polo and he will be fully accepted. I am happy to see progress and happiness for Polo. He's beautiful and kind. 

This good earth

Here are pictures of our ordeal today. Thanks to one of my wonderful neighbors for digging out most of the soil.

We had to dig the rest by hand to find the pipe. My 14 year old daughter went first and dug a long time, then my 60 year old brother took a turn, I took the last turn. We kept turning the water on till we found the leak. We went to Home Depot for the clamps and it rained and thundered so first thing in the morning we will cap the leak permanently.

Sadly, this is the second time we have had to dig this line up. Broken tile and stone were used apparently when the line was installed. I am not going through this again with this water. Even with a backhoe it took all day to find the line, my daughter got leg cramps standing in the mud trying to move around.

I have to say though, I am very proud of my daughter's support as this was her way of trying to make the farm work and carry on. My neighbors and my brother have helped me so much. Though this is a very difficult time for myself and others I am blessed and I thank God for his goodness to me.

The chair that Will ate

Will was a very special dog, part pit bull and part boxer. I loved him and he is a new home after being rehabbed here. He ate my nice chair, so I whipped out my staple gun and some fabric, here it is all nice again. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Important info for pet owners in need

Quick Fix Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic, 930 Lafayette Road, Unit-A, Medina. Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic. Offering low-cost spay/neuter services for both cats and dogs at the following rates: female cat spays $50, male cat neuters $35, female dog spays $85, male dog neuters $75. Surgery prices reduced by $5 if you qualify in any one or more of these categories: senior citizen, military (active/retired/honorably discharged), low-income, police/fire (active/retired), or if you have four or more animals. We also offer fully vetted cats and kittens for the following adoption fees: $90 for kittens 4 months and younger, $70 for kittens 4-12 months, and $45 for cats over 1 year. Visit the clinic, Tuesday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or call Wynne at (440) 465-9654 to make an appointment. Also offering low-cost spay/neuter services. Walk-In Wellness Clinic for cats and dogs is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday. Visit us to receive your pets low-cost annual vaccinations, rabies vaccinations, testing for feline leukemia/feline aids/feline heartworm and canine heartworm, nail trims, flea treatments and worming. Bring your dogs in 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. any Saturday during the month of April and receive a heartworm test for $20 and a heartworm treatment for $15. For more information, visit kittenkrazy.org. Thursday and Apr. 26. (330) 558-1540.

Frustration fuels energy

The water line leak is still not fixed because a neighbor's backhoe blew a hose and he left it sitting in the parking lot, I am one of those people that can just get frustrated and just get things done. I am going out with my shovel tomorrow and getting it done. Five feet of packed gravel will not stop me as I am tired of waiting and nothing getting done.

There are a few things around here that have to be knocked out before I will be at peace. Weeding, painting and cleaning up being some of them.

I have also started to put together a business plan to try and obtain a business loan. I lease purchased this property and I need to get it in our name once and for all so I can concentrate on doing what I started out to do. I hope to find a financial backer and it isn't going to be easy.

I plan on working more with senior dogs because our kennel is small and groom shop. Many groomers don't like to work on senior dogs for various reasons, the kennel is quiet and that is just better for senior pets.

I continue to advertise for senior equines because this place is best suited for their needs. It gives me great pleasure for them to feel at home and safe here and I know how to feed and care for them. It is my objective to care and guide them through their later life and yes even till their end.

Ultimately, I want to partner with people who help children with emotional trauma and let the animals and the farm help with the healing process. Seniors may seem useless to some but they have so much to give.

I also want to pursue canine/equine massage and get certified. I believe physical contact can relieve pain, give comfort and relieve anxiety.

I don't know how I will accomplish all of this but I hope that those of you that read this blog will pray for me for wisdom, focus and funds to build this business into something that makes a difference to people and their animal companions.

P.S. I pray that someday the farm will not be a total blanket of taupe. It's an okay color but everything here was painted taupe and to be frank it's dull and boring. We are in need of a more upbeat color scheme, it just needs to happen.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peaches gets her beauty treatment

I spent sometime helping a friend who does estate sales, I happen to find a beautiful antique brass bed and I am sort of working off the cost. I love it of course, I don't usually get tempted by things but it is really unique.

I came home to give Peaches her weekly bath, she has a bad skin condition that she needs to have a bath at least once a week. Her skin is clearing up nicely, she is a senior golden and is much relieved to have her skin and coat looked after. She belongs to the neighbor and he asked me to do the baths. I blew her coat out with my dryer and trimmed some of the long thick hair so her skin could breath. She is a diva now!

I had some fun with the tractor in the pasture and pushed old tree trunks into the treeline where they can decompose. I also ran over a few pricker bushes and leveled a groundhog hole. The grass is about 6 to 7 inches tall in places but where the horses concentrated grazing last year the grass is still fairly short. It won't be long now though that they will be numming the nice grass, I am thinking three or four more weeks at the most. In the meantime, it's round bales to keep them happy.

I'll be dragging more in the pasture around the trees to make paths and keep the shrubs down. I love driving the pasture, it is really beautiful and I love it natural to. There is brush, grass, trees and little shady places all around. It's a great place for horses to run, frolic, roll and enjoy nature around them. The pasture is almost 6 acres and it's wide open except for the trees in the middle and the fence around it. I can't think of a better place for a domestic horse to spend days/evenings with their herd. It also comes complete with burrs, so they can get the full affect of being a wild horse. They take full advantage of it.

Polo went out with Cody for awhile today, they did pretty good. Jackson in the other herd is such a poop head sometimes because he is a herd bully. Polo just wants to hang out and relax and Jackson won't let him. We will try my little herd in the next few days and see how it goes. Horse politics isn't always easy.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tornadoes

I was raised along the Ohio River, in a valley, and we had tornadoes several times each year. I am glad I live somewhere now where there aren't ones coming regularly because I know what they can do and I hate them.

I enjoy a good thunderstorm and I don't get too concerned but owning a barn with horses keeps me on my guard just the same. I get weather text on my phone just for that reason. The horses either need to come in or be turned loose depending on what's happening.

I think or at least I hope everyone knows the signs of a tornado, you look for a funnel, everything including birds are completely quite, the sky is usually purple and ominous.

One thing I know for sure to watch is the temperature of the wind. If the wind is colder than the air there's a good chance it won't be a tornado but if the wind blows hot, hotter than the air outside, you better take cover.

When a storm comes and the temperature starts to drop that is very good. I've seen trees uprooted and holes in the ground left as big as my living room, I've lived through windows being blown out of the house etc. So, I certainly sympathize with folks suffering now from such severe storms. The animals too suffer, tornadoes are really awful.  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Passed out on couch

I fell asleep on the couch and slept for hours, my daughter had to wake me up. The irony is that as you know waking up a teenager is not fun and so she had to try for a whole hour before I got up. We did the chores tonight together as I was so tired I was staggering. The nap did me good and I am plenty sleepy so I'll be sound asleep shortly.

Tomorrow is strictly a farm day, no working off the farm or running around. I have plenty to do rain or shine and will be happy to be here with all my fur peeps! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time to reflect can be dangerous

My daughter had a sleepover tonight so I have time to reflect. I am seldom alone and seldom sitting down for long but here I am. I, for a moment felt lonely and then I thought a little more about that issue.

When I was a young girl I only dreamed of getting married and having a family. I wanted a family more than anything. My biological dad and mom skipped out on myself and five other children (I was the youngest and a baby), The person that raised me loved me very much but her natural children did not so I always felt like I didn't belong. I wanted a place to belong and I wanted more than anything to be loved and accepted. Fast forward, here I am today and things didn't happen the way I thought they would as a kid.

I had relationships and tried hard to find my place and understand relationships but that was hard for me. I do have a family now though, I have my daughter, my stepbrother, and many good friends who care about me. My animals of course are my children and where I feel I am accepted the most.

Now back to the thought of being lonely, I think what if I met someone and what if they wanted a relationship (dare I utter the word marriage). There was a time in my life when I would have wanted someone in my life more than anything but this evening walking through the barn I realized my true love. I could never give up the life I have now, I can't say I desire companionship more than I desire the farm or the life and certainly the animals.

I'm okay with just me, I am a woman and maybe it's odd to want this more than a man in my life but it is what it is. Part of my soul is here, I feel this was the life I was meant to live. I know another person can't make me happy, like myself, or validate me. I've taken the journey of life and searched for my place and I know I've found it here not only physically but spiritually as well. The best part is I am okay with myself, what I can do, and that I am content being alone.

Dog hair everywhere

I met a really nice Husky today, he had never in all his life had a bath. The dog probably still had puppy fur in his coat (just kidding) I washed him three times and when I went to dry him he still didn't smell very nice so I washed him again. I blew his coat out and I think I got an entire garbage bag of hair off of him. I finished him and he looked great but still shedding but he does smell great.

Tomorrow I have a full line up of baths and will start early.

I'm really proud of my daughter, she is working on her school work online and getting things really caught up. She does help me around here to and I never take that for granted.

My little dogs in the kennel are happy but will be glad to go home. Dogs really miss their people, they do grieve when they are given away or abandoned. I have witnessed it first hand. It's like a child crying for their mother. Of all the things I see, the most difficult is an animal who has lost their owner.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Something that has really touched my life

I bathed a little dog today who comes in regularly to the groom shop I work part time at and he had a few little mats. He was very good for me but when I tried combing out a mat his disposition changed, I took his little face in my hands and looked in his eyes and he looked back and his eyes softened and I proceeded  to comb him out.

When the little dog went to the groomer, I walked out and saw that they had muzzled him because he bites. The were filing his nails and he was trying to bite in a way that would have drawn blood if the muzzle weren't on. I put my hand on his head and gently rubbed the side of his face and he leaned into my caress. He did not attempt to bite again and finally his nails were finished.

I see this with many dogs when they are groomed and they may strike out at the blower or especially when their nails are being done. It is a reaction based on fear and that they may feel pain. I find that when I acknowledge the dog as a living thing and they acknowledge me by making eye contact and talking to them they will try their best not to hurt me.

I have worked with dogs bathing them at the shop and the ones who have a very high anxiety level will bark none stop during their bath or they will shake all over uncontrollably but not when I bath them. I touch them and make eye contact with them and soothe them and sometimes they will sit or lay down and just relax. My favorite part is when I towel them dry because I slowly message their faces and body's and they melt into it.

The dryer is a high velocity blower and although the dogs have cotton balls in their ears it is still a lot to tolerate on such sensitive ears, so I cradle their faces in my arm and cover their little ears and I never hit them full on in the face or ears, always at a distance when it is time to dry their ears and face. I find they are much happier and enjoy the process when they are respected and comforted.

Sometimes I bath an elderly dog or one with health issues, I will massage their hips and legs while I work with the water and dryer to give them comfort and help support them when I need them to stand for the process.

I want to go to school to obtain a certification in companion animal message. I believe for the old dogs and the ones with health issues including anxiety it is of great benefit for them to be touched and handled well to relieve pain and fear.

These experiences have really touched my life, I know I have learned the body language of dogs and horses and that I am empathic and can intuitively sense their feelings, especially when something is wrong. It helps me a great deal when working with animals to sense things and read into their behavior. I have made many four legged friends. I can even communicate with body language, movement and feelings and they understand. These skills grow over time and with experience. I am very fortunate to have been able to learn and grow doing what I love. 

God's amazing people

I've met incredible people on my life's journey, many at the bank, from all walks of life. The truly rich and I mean rich people are usually kind and well mannered, the people who think they are rich, are usually self centered and more judgmental, the average person who earns enough to get by are usually kind and want to do good things, the poor.... and I've known many working for a bank in the community reinvestment segment, share with others and give from what little they have. 

Now that I work primarily with animals and their owners my experience is that some care about animals and people and some only care about animals. To me animals and people are inseparable, one inevitably heals the other or both.

Recently, I had a very rich friend who was offended because a man who is my brother's best friend happen to be here at the farm and happened to be black. There is more to the story of course but there is no point in going into every detail.  This man lives in Cleveland in special housing, he is poor, he has aides, and he has lived an interesting life. He happens to be one of the nicest men I have ever met. Today he came with my brother for a visit and brought us groceries because he was worried we didn't have enough to eat. This man came and worked a weekend here for two days all day and helped us clean and do things to get this place looking nice.

My friend no longer wants to be friends and she no longer wants me to care for her animals. My brother's friend helped when my step dad had Alzheimer's, not many people would do that I know because it is a very difficult situation. I can say that I am sorry for my friend feeling the way she does but I am honored to know this man, he is a good person.

I have a wonderful neighbor who brought us deer meat, does our driveway in winter for free, has done many things to help me with this place to get us further ahead.

We are keeping two little dogs for a family who lost their home and are living in a shelter. The dogs have been here for three months, the owners give me a little money and provide food. They swear when things are better they want to do something for us.

Our new boarders who had horses at home for years are so grateful for the time we have taken to make their horse comfortable and to be worked into the herd so he won't be depressed thanked me and said I know you do more than other boarding stables do and they appreciate the time I have given them and their horse. The reward for me is to see the happiness and relief they have in seeing Polo happy and eating again.

Another neighbor mowed our yard because my mower is still out for repairs. There are many more people in my life that have come and gone who have done great things, and sometimes very unkind things. I still count it all as blessings and not one animal have I met that wasn't wonderful, that hasn't given me love, acceptance, and trust.

God's people are amazing, His creatures are absolutely amazing and I am so thankful. Today was another wonderful day meeting new dogs at the grooming shop where I work part time and I have five wonderful dogs in my kennel right now. I am so very happy most of the time.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Brrrr snow, yuk

Glad I haven't planted any of  my half runner pole beans in the little garden I dug up. They would have frozen their little sprouts off. I am all proud of myself because I have been working on my scissoring on the dogs I am kenneling for some friends. I did a really good job, I am very good at baths, shaving and neatening up dogs but still need experience scissoring dogs that have very specific cuts for their breed.

I didn't get any painting done today but I did sort of  re-upholster my roller chair as a pit bull ate part of it last year. Fabric and a staple gun and I am good to go. I took a picture to post later.

Today Polo got some time out with the Will, Jackson, and Mare Girl. It was a lot of fun as everyone went racing around. The other horses are being less aggressive as they are used to him standing on the other side of the gate. Polo got tired and went back into the barn and we put him in his stall and he took a nap. He's eating all of his hay and is stealing lead lines and halters off the other horses doors and calling to Mare Girl so he is very happy and full of life. Polo ran around the arena at a full gallop and his tail in the air.

Our mower isn't back yet from repairs but luckily one of my neighbors is going to cut down the jungle for me when the weather gets better. I get really anxious when the lawn is above 5 inches and since it was fertilized really well last year with manure you can imagine how hairy it is now.

Kylie has strep throat, she wasn't feeling too good so I took her to the doctor today and she tested positive. She got some medicine so she should be better soon. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Water leaks and a helpful neighbor



A real bale of hay


New paint makes everything better


Walls going up in the kennel


Happy Easter

God is good.

Separation anxiety and horses

One thing about the life that I live now is it gives me a great deal of opportunity to meet many different animals. I have the opportunity to learn something new about every animal I meet. I love studying behavior and modifying a behavior by working with the environment to encourage the desired behavior or create an appropriate consequence/reward when the desired behavior is presented by the animal.

I've learned to mimic the body language of horses, dogs and parrots. Behaviors I frequently encounter include food/resource guarding or aggression, separation anxiety, and fear responses. I learned the golden rule from a behavior class I took that is simple "all behavior has a purpose"  (or desired consequence),

I have always known that horses are herd animals and need to be with other horses or at least a companion like a goat, chicken, etc. I am learning from a horse we are currently boarding that true separation anxiety can occur when a horses looses a long time, deeply bonded companion. In the case of Polo, he seems to react to the extreme when other horses leave the barn even though he is not alone in the barn. Another clue that points to separation anxiety in this case is the refusal to eat hay in his stall, frequent bouts of head bobbing and standing in the back of the stall (looking depressed).

Although not scientific, the impression I get is that Polo thinks they are never coming back. The same routine every day will help put him at ease and eventually he will go out with one of the herds. Today I put hay in the arena on the other side of the gate so that Polo could stand and watch the other horses in the paddock, he started eating the hay and relaxed. I make sure that when one side of the barn is out, I put Polo in another stall so someone is next to him. He is now starting to finish his hay in his stall instead of just picking at it and is not bobbing his head except at feeding time which is his way of saying hurry up with the grub!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cleaning on steroids

I started at 8:00 this morning and just got done! The kennel building is clean and organized very well. Tomorrow more painting to give the building a fresher look. I cleaned the tack room really well since it doesn't have as much stuff in it now.

I feel really good getting the things cleaned up now that we have had some decent weather. Still no fix on the water leak but that will hopefully be done in the next few days.

I haven't heard anything about my mower yet either, it's getting to be a jungle in the front yard but it's probably best to let it grow up before cutting it.

Polo met Aubrey today and they got along fine but unfortunately Polo only has eyes for Mare Girl right now. We have three cute dogs we are boarding for a week which is really nice. Things are coming along now that vacation season is starting. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

God alert!

Okay so the water leak is really on my last nerve and so I talked to Mike the owner of the body shop down the street about it. Mike has a backhoe, he is coming to dig a hole in exchange for a few gallons of gas. I love my community and my neighbors because we all try to help each other out. I still have to give God the glory because He has been with us every step of the way. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cold, but a good day

I went to work at the groom shop today and had a great time. I bathed several smaller dogs and they are so sweet, no one knows how much they go through for their owners in order to have beautiful coats.

I came home around 3:30 and Polo's owner was in the barn spending time with him. Polo was pining to go out with other horses and so we decided to give it a try. Polo was so excited to join the other horses, we started with Will who charges a couple of times but with no real intent. Mare Girl gave her usual ears back look but wasn't too concerned. Of course, it was Jackson that had to be a pain, he charged and chased Polo and I ran him away. Jackson is just above Mare in the herd structure which is one away from last so he strives to bully Mare and now Polo. Still, it went okay for the first meeting and Polo will be run off for a few days. I am thinking Mare and him will be best paired because they can go out together alone and eat in peace without Jackson and Will. Polo is looking to find another horse to bond with as he lost his long time herd buddy in October.

Dave and Josh came to work on the walls in the kennel, they are 5 feet tall now and look pretty good. Next, we will put chain link fence to the ceiling and make gates. This weekend all my focus is going to be on finding the water leak and fixing it. The electric bill jumped last month so that is probably when the water leak started, the pump has probably been running 24/7.

Tomorrow is going to be fun, Scrappy comes for daycare and Peaches comes for another bath. We will be getting three dogs for boarding for a week on Saturday. Chores are easier now with just two feeds to use and a round bale in the pasture so the horses eat all day. We have a big pile of sawdust and so the stalls are fluffed and easier to clean.

Now if the lawnmower would come back from repair before the lawn grows higher than the house I'd be very happy. I get really irritated when the lawn is shaggy. We got in from the barn earlier to night than usual and it's really cold tonight. I want to go to sleep earlier and get started very early in the morning.  

The joys of my life

I sat under the stars tonight and they were exceptionally bright, the moon is almost full. I had time to contemplate happiness and I thought of my childhood and some things I remember that stood out. I was raised by my adopted mother and grandfather, we were very, very poor. I can remember one Christmas when I was sick with rheumatic fever and the community collected used toys to give us for Christmas. The one thing that brought me joy was a bunch of little links that snapped together and you could build things. I played with them for hours. I had a couple of dolls growing up and some toy horses and that was really it. I spent many afternoons building and pretending with what I had.

I remember as a child sitting under two big trees and watching nature around me and sitting by the Ohio River bank in a little meadow under trees just listening to the water wash up on the shores. The sun would set across the river and the water would sparkle.

Most of the time I was alone as a child, the really best moments I can remember as a child was visiting the mountains with my adopted elderly grandfather and visiting my Grandfather Hayward's farm. I loved that farm and that old house. I didn't get to see it often but I loved it like it was a living thing.

As an adult the happiest times I have known is when I found Cody my horse and when we used to ride trails every night for hours, just me and Cody. When Kylie my daughter was born, I can think of nothing more wonderful than holding her as a newborn and watching her sleep. It's hard to describe but being unofficially adopted and not really accepted by my biological family or my adopted family, Kylie is the first person who was truly mine and I hers like families are supposed to be.

Other moments of happiness included buying my first house with land, I had never lived in a house before and when I brought Courage home, my dog. Finally, when we got this place and land of course. Working years in a bank behind a desk and finally now working on the land, caring for a herd of horses, my beautiful dogs, Nana the parrot and helping bring joy to people and animals.

I had a really good career at the bank in the beginning, I helped a lot of low income families buy homes and move into neighborhoods and schools that would help them have a better life. I approved or obtained approval for hundreds of loans. There were loans I fought to get approved through private mortgage insurance underwriters and even the mortgage VP's at the bank. For awhile I worked in compliance and reviewed loans for fair lending. Once again, to help low income families.

Yesterday wasn't the greatest day but there was joy in it. My daughter who is 14 now is amazing. Kylie was there for me yesterday, she wanted to let me know she was there for me. Today, she showed a great deal of courage, all for me so I would be okay. How blessed I have been and more so now.

I hope that when people feel down and there seems to be no hope that they can remember the small things, the precious moments with loved ones and the simple pleasures in life. Life is a bundle of moments tied together, some moments are happier and some are difficult but each moment at a time is all we really have and there isn't a thing that can change it. No guarantees, no real control and we either relish the moment or loose it living in fear. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An upside down day

Fluffing the arena, lots of visitors and phone calls. It was a crazy day by any standards. Chores and then Mike came with his Ford Tractor and started dragging the arena, he wasn't able to break up some of the stuff and so it was time to release the Kraken (my big red tractor). I was able to break up the hard surface and we will spread the footing back over the arena floor tomorrow.

I ran to Walmart cause I thought the battery was run down on the tractor and while there I got a much needed and overdue oil change on the truck and tires rotated. I also bought a battery charger because it is either a flat tire or a run down battery at least once a month and I just broke down and bought a dang charger to keep on hand.

After evening chores I took Kylie to try on dresses as she has wanted to try on Prom dresses for awhile, she isn't old enough yet but she wanted to do it and it was fun.

Back to the farm and more phone calls and eventually it was time to do the night feeding. I fed everyone and noticed while I walked past Polo's stall that he was choking. I have never seen a horse choke but it was obvious what it was and so I called the owner's and Willow Creek Veterinary. I love Willow Creek because they always answer the phone day or night. They advised me what to do and Polo was able to work it out on his own, his owner came right away and he was fine by the time she got to the barn but was glad to come and see that he was okay.

The tough part of the day for me was dealing with people and money. I have to say it just once... money and greed in this world, it makes me sick to my stomach. I never wanted to be rich, I never felt money was more important than anything, I believe we are here to make the world a better place, to serve others and God's creatures. Instead, it seems money is what we were created for, to fight over, to covet, to stop at nothing to get and to destroy in order to gain more. If we have money we don't need God, we don't need to worry about others, we don't need to try and be better people. Animals don't have money, they have compassion, they care for others, they look to meet their own basic needs but are satisfied.

One more thing, I don't care about cars, expensive houses, or any superficial things. I love my daughter, my animals, the animals in my care and the land and nature that God has blessed me with eyes to see. I really feel like if I hear one more person rant and rave about how much money they spent on something frivolous to the tune of thousands of dollars while children in the world go hungry and are homeless... I think I am going to puke... just saying. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fluffing the arena


Sawdust delivery, it was a biggen...


Hay Sluts..


Things I use my tools for

Rehanging a gate for the kennel. 

Getting serious about tools

I bought this because when I work on something at the farm it takes me a half an hour to gather tools as people take them, use them and then scatter them (you know who you are out there). I trolled the house, the barn and the kennel and gathered all manner of homeless tools and now they are in one place and they better remain so or else.... 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Exhausted...

Today, Kylie and I hit the ground running at 8:30.  We started stalls, cleaned the arena and some misc. stuff. Our first arrival for the day was Polo a beautiful retired polo horse, he made the trip here just fine and settled in well. He is next to Mare Girl in the barn and is stricken of course, love at first site. Mare Girl is completely unmoved and oblivious to another gelding in her harem of admirers.

Polo ate hay and his feed, took a run around the arena and spent the rest of the day staring through tiny cracks in the wall of his stall at Mare Girl.

Dave, Dusty, and Josh showed up to work in the kennel building and got a lot done as far as laying brick. There is still a ways to go of course but it's getting there.

Mike brought Sara to ride and we spent some time with them and fixed Cody's stall to prevent cribbing. It was Mare Girl's turn to be wormed, she fought like a wild horse so finally I gave her some food she couldn't resist with the wormer included and she ate it and licked her bowl. Mare may be old but she has plenty of go that is for sure.

It was a very long day and I am still wound up but tired. Tomorrow is sawdust delivery, more on the kennel building and fluffing stalls. I may do some painting if the weather permits.

Saturday was crazy too as I had to go to a few stores, shave down a huge matted dog and get a round bail besides the usual farm work.

I will sleep good tonight I think.