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, November 13, 2017

Coming full circle

21 years ago I bought a horse and named him Cody and in the beginning I spent every day with him and we had a very special bond. Life happened and being a single parent I didn't have the time to spend with him and sometimes I felt very guilty.

I held on to him anyway and I have looked at this face looking in at me when I clean his stall for the better part of 20 years. Looking back at the rough times and even if I couldn't spend time with him that he was taken good care of, had his herd and was never in the hands of someone that would hurt him or be sold at an auction.

I have waited a long time to be able to be with him and feel the deep connection we once had and finally it isn't a dream or a hope any longer but a reality.

Since I haven't ridden in a long time I struggle with the saddle and the bridle and my riding seat but Cody is patient with me, he just quietly waits for me to get the tack right and tolerates my poor seat. Slowly it is all coming back including the memories, I was young and he was young and in the beginning we learned new things together and we had fun. I am old and he is old but now it is a calmer thing between us.

I know Cody loves me, I can feel it when he is near me and when he nuzzles me when I am letting him out of his stall. I know that when I take him out now to ride or exercise that he feels maybe as I do that it has been a long wait.

I searched for the right saddle for us for awhile and I found one that is light weight compared to our old saddle but just as comfortable. I rode in it tonight and felt deep in the saddle like I used to, the feeling I had forgotten about. When I exercised Cody first I didn't speak to him, he read my body language and knew what I wanted without words. I took time to listen to him in the way he moved and make him feel good.

We rode tonight, we rode a little like it used to be when it was just Cody and me and the quiet of the evening. I was so full of joy and Cody was just mellow and happy to have his hay afterwards. I wanted him to know how happy he had made me, I hugged him and he ate. I walked from the barn to the house, tears in my eyes because I felt I had found something precious that was lost for a long time. There are tears in my eyes now from the love and joy that I feel.

I don't know how many years Cody and I will have left together, I only know that time is precious and we must enjoy every moment together. We are older but there is that glimmer of the past peaking through when I was young and determined and Cody was young and unsure. There is a warm ember of that special bond still glowing and with a little coaxing it will burn again brightly. 



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Humbly thankful

After loosing the farm in Granger I tried to get over it and forget it but I couldn't, it took me years to realize that I would never stop wanting a farm. I looked for a long time for a place even before I was able to buy another farm and one just sort of came out of nowhere.

I bought a farm in February and let the sellers stay till the school year was up, I moved in this month. The interesting thing was that I am deep into Amish country now and have many Amish neighbors. I have one really good Amish neighbor who just happened to be a carpenter. The place is perfect except the barn where the stalls are was in very bad condition, my neighbor fenced the place in for me and built new stalls, the work is impeccable and affordable.

The house is completely remodeled and has geothermal, there is 10 acres with a small arena. I never looked for a property with a pond but this one has that to and it is a large one. The pond is spring fed and has a giant bass in that was hand fed and his name is Lenny. I also have 3 geese.

I had special mats installed in the new stalls that are stabilizing and have a base of limestone, everything drains and stays dry no matter what.   I also had skylights put in over each stall, there is always natural light in the barn and a little hill for the horse to go up and down and woods for them to go into to stay cool during hot days.

I have another neighbor that sells 1000lb round bales very cheaply that lives on the corner of the gravel road that is my road. Buggies travel down my road more than cars, the Amish waive when they see me.

While in the middle of the new construction and the process of moving my brother had his brain surgery for Parkensens and it was a success, he stayed with me during his recovery. My step son and his family are now living in my old house hoping to buy it some day and are 7 miles from here.

My daughter Kylie is out on her own but seems to be struggling, the only troubling thing going on right now. I am sad for her but at the same time frustrated as she wants to do things the hard way.

The horses made the move okay and the parrots and the dogs, I took four cats with me and we may have lost one, the older one who we have been nursing for a few months. The other two cats are both males and are at the old house, Moe one of them may end up here anyway.

There are woods here with older bigger trees, the land is beautiful and I can see it all from an upstairs sunroom and from the sunroom downstairs as well. I have brush hogged the land that the grass had grown up and am slowly working on the weeds, there are apple and pair trees with fruit on them.

I have mixed feelings right now, it all seems to good to be true, I feel unworthy but at the same time I feel I have finally found home, where I belong, part of things I should be part of. The quiet, simple beauty is overwhelming after so many years of struggling and never seeing an end.

I thank God for everything and at the same time I am still in awe of everything around me and how it came to  be. It is hard to settle down and just accept this gift, this blessing, to sit back and think that God has seen me through and delivered me so many times and now has brought me to this place.

It was important to me to have a final place to live out my life, to bury my horses somewhere that I would remain. It is also important that I am able to help my step children and my daughter and my brother. God has made all of it possible. I think that eventually I will feel at ease with everything but for now I feel wonder and amazement.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pulling back

I have taken the last week to pull back and withdraw from interaction with friends on the internet. I have made myself have quieter evenings without so much computer and phone activity and I have tried to go to bed earlier.

Towards the end of the week I was exhausted from work as I have a very analytical job that gives me decision fatigue. I can get very burn out depending on how demanding the week is on my mind. I went to bed earlier and even though I did not sleep right away I benefited from the dark and quiet of lying in my bed and just trying to relax.

Another aspect of what I am trying to accomplish is to have a quieter mind and mouth, I am working hard to try and not swear as much and also to stop thinking so negatively. Getting to know my biological family and ancestors I see patterns of both negative thinking and expressing thoughts negatively or too sarcastically.

Things sometimes are not apparent until you take a step back without anyone around and  you start looking inward. I have had difficulty with reversing negativity because it is easy to fall into but the swearing is not so difficult.

I am working on getting estimates for the new flooring for this house and at the same time some things that will have to be done on the new property. There is so much to get done and prepare things for Dusty and his family to move in here and to be able to move in June with all of my animals. There are things to consider for Uncle Greg who will move in after he retires.

Now the nice weather has come the people I am trying to make things happen for seem to have disappeared, I am struggling with this but as I have told others, never do a kindness expecting a reward or anything in return, I now have to practice what I preach.

My daughter I have not heard from in at least two weeks, I had the flu and was very sick with a high fever and asked her to stop by because I was considering going to the hospital but she wouldn't come. Mind you I gave her money just before I got sick and so presto disappearo. I know it is her age and phase partially but that does not make it less hurtful to me.

In the end, I look around at the beauty outside, all of my wonderful animals and having a good job, I realize how blessed I am and it is time for some inner reflection. When I feel alone facing things and dealing with things they seem to workout and in ways that I know God is behind them. I do get tired of being strong and having to make many decisions regarding two properties but I guess I will get through it.

The next week I will continue to work on my thinking and feeling while I have solitude to do so. I have chores to do in the evening now that daylight is longer that relieve some of the anxiety my job brings on. I have been able to complete specific things that need to be done here one little project at a time but there is much more to go.

I had a very good day yesterday as I spent time in the morning on the new farm and the Amish neighbor who is a carpenter. The pond is crystal clear because it is spring fed, the fish come up to the surface so you can see them, there is a duck that has chosen to live there who is very handsome, the trees are filling out so that I can see how they look now that spring has come. I met some neighbors who are really nice.

It is a much quieter place than here, yesterday the neighbors shoot guns off for hours here and the other neighbors who have a lot of outdoor recreational vehicles race around all day. At the new place there will be few cars, mostly buggies and neighbors who are not as close and are very low profile.

My Daniel though has had a bad time with the weather snap from very warm to cold, he is getting to the age where he probably has arthritis and a deteriorating disk in his neck. I have ordered something to make it easier to get onto the couch, I have also started giving him joint supplements. Daniel is a huge dog, it will be difficult at times to make him comfortable and all of this is old age, he still thinks he can run and jump but then he hurts himself. This makes me sad to see as I know it will get worse over time, the blessing is though that I can spend time with him because I work from home, time is precious with pets because they don't live as long as we do.

Daniel will be my last Golden, he has a very pure heart and no matter how painful it is he will follow me and he will not rest unless I am within sight. If I am sick he will not leave my side for anything. We have a deep bond and he will be my last Golden, I love my other dogs, I will always have dogs and save lives but Daniel is my heart.

It is another blessing that after all these years I can make Daniel more comfortable, I can give him more time when he needs me. It was not always so and I am grateful these things are possible. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Hugh and Bit

I miss Pony terribly, I always will and Bit was lost without him. Hugh had to heal but almost immediately he was accepted by all the horses but what he means to Bit is much more. They were stalled next to each other for about three weeks, finally I let them out together and Bit is much better now. Hugh and Bit have bonded and it seems to have helped them both, it has restored balance in the herd and given me peace about Bit, it hurt me to see him so lost.


Little Sassy Massey

There are many days that I still miss the farm we had, I miss the old oak trees, the barns and Big Red. I bought a giant tractor at an auction for the farm, I never owned a tractor and I got spoiled because it could do jobs that were difficult or impossible to do by hand. I am not materialistic but I did love that tractor. I have been searching for a tractor for a couple of months, a smaller one with four wheel drive and bucket. I found one in Wooster, I paid a lot more for it than my Big Red because I didn't buy it at an auction but I did okay on the price.

With the help of Dusty and his horse trailer we got it home last weekend. It is a small Massey Ferguson, diesel, four wheel drive with front end loader and ag tires like Big Red. It is older but in excellent condition and is enough to move round bales of hay around and gravel. I hope to get an old manure spreader soon which will really be helpful.

The tractor sat in the barn for a couple of days, I eyed suspiciously as I did chores and finally when the neighbors weren't out and I felt confident I started it up and drove it. I had been really nervous about driving Big Red since I'd never had a tractor before and that tractor was bigger than my pickup truck but after being forced to drive it I was over being scared real quick. Same with this tractor, it took about 10 minutes of fooling around on it and I felt right at home.

Driving it made me feel better, somehow just being able to do things with it like I did on the farm seemed to have a healing affect. I hope when I move to the new farm that I will also feel healing, I've been homesick for the farm since I had to leave it but I didn't realize it until the past few months. Things happen and you accept them and keep going but it doesn't mean it doesn't break your heart. It isn't about things, for me it was a dream and knowing that the land and being close to it is in every fiber of my being.

I did not lose the animals though and that is what I am grateful for everyday. I managed to keep them and keep a roof over Kylie's head, it took a lot out of me, it was hard and I felt broken for awhile. If it were not for God I am not sure I would have made it mentally or emotionally intact, honestly.

So, new beginnings and a new life maybe. I not only have a grown daughter but now a son and his wife and children, Dusty has shared his family with me and we all love the land, they've helped me and worked along side of me, the children will grow up with their horses and mine and a donkey and a tractor and soon a big pond. The new place has a spring fed pond, woods, and a small arena.

My brother loves to fish, I know he'll enjoy the pond when he retires. I pray that there will be no more hard times for awhile, no more loss and sadness for awhile. I want to believe that there will be happy times, precious memories to make, peace and love and sanctuary.

I still work many hours at my job and every moment that I don't is precious to me, I try and enjoy every living thing here and the land when I am able. I still thank God that I can walk to the barn at night and feed the horses and brush and pet them, they are home and God willing they will be for as long as they live. I also thank God that I am able to work from home, I work regular hours and many hours over but I am always near what I love.

The new tractor is not a Big Red but it is red and it is sassy.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Vet calls

Hugh was gelded before he came and the vet that did it cut him on the side instead of directly below which would have drained easier. He got an infection before coming and they had him on antibiotics. The infection was much worse by Wednesday and I called my vet to come out.

When you sedate a donkey they actually can get very hard to handle as they fight it, my vet chose not to sedate Hugh and they proceeded to clean out the infection with iodine and gauze without it. Hugh was swollen and in pain and he put up a fight but they held him and got it done.

He got a shot of antibiotic which is what he should have had in the first place and washed down with the hose after that, we also started him on bute. His wound is still draining but the swelling and infection is gone now.

The amazing thing about Hugh is after his incision was cleaned and after he had reared and fought and bit he immediately walked over to the vet and vet tech and put his head down against their chests as if he were sorry and grateful. The other amazing thing is I chose not to tie Hugh up to hose his wound down every day with cold water and instead confined him in a smaller area and followed him around with the hose and he stopped and let me clean the entire area out thoroughly.

Cody hit his head in the stall Sunday and his eye was swollen shut, I had the vet out again because I wasn't sure if he had injured his eye, the vet determined nothing was wrong with his eye he had hit his head and that is why it was swollen.

I have had my horses for many years and never have vet visits but we have had a few recently. Hugh really had a tough time before he got here, I am glad I could get him feeling better and now he will heal without any more issues.

I spend more time now with the horses in the evenings just petting them and babying them. I enjoy petting Hugh but I also know it is important that each one get special attention. Hugh has felt well enough now to sniff the other horses over the fence, they play spat a little but I think they will all get along. Hugh seems to like Little Bit and doesn't show any aggression in the stall over the divider. Bit on the other hand does lay his ears back and spin around at Hugh when he thinks Hugh wants his hay which Hugh does but he can't get at it.

I miss Pony very much, I know Bit does too but I think that Hugh was meant for us and hopefully we will have good times together. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hugh arrives

Friday was hot and I had a tank top on and was burning up while working on the stall for Hugh who arrived Saturday morning. The transport went fine and he got off the trailer and slowly went in the barn. Little Bit and the horses gave him a sounding greeting and Little Bit especially was excited.

We led Hugh into the stall and he sniffed around and Little Bit and him looked each other over. Saturday was cold and the wind was awful. Hugh's foster mom helped me put up fence so Hugh had his own smaller space attached to a larger pasture. I let the horses out briefly and they wanted to smell Hugh but he kept his distance. I brushed Hugh though and let them smell the brush and they looked like they were not sure what that smell was because it wasn't a horse.

I froze yesterday, it took a hot shower and a hot fire to get the chill out. Later that night I tried giving Hugh his medicine and he wouldn't eat it in grain or applesauce but he did do pretty well when I mixed it up in a syringe and put it in his mouth but he didn't particularly like me afterwards.

This morning he was fine and he ventured out of his stall and looked around and stood in the sunshine. It was cold but the wind wasn't blowing and so we weren't all freezing to death. I was so tired from the day before I took a couple of naps before going out and walking Hugh some.

Dusty and Jessie and their little girls stopped by and we all went to visit Hugh. I should have taken a picture of Lee hugging and kissing him, she is only two and half and she loved him and he seemed to love them all. What a happy and beautiful moment.

Little Bit is laying his ears back and kicking at Hugh through the divider between them when I hay them both, but when Hugh walks outside Bit calls for him. I can't tell you how I miss our Pony still, I had some sad moments fixing up the stall and wishing Pony were still with us. I know that Bit still misses Pony too but it is good to give a home to another animal. It is good to share a home and love, Hugh wasn't abused but owned by an elderly lady that couldn't keep him anymore.

You know I prayed about bringing another animal home and in so many ways I felt peace about this even though I don't have experience with Donkey's I have just always wanted one. The Lord has blessed me again with something good. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I feel excited

It seems like my life is all about chores and work 7 days a week and it can become monotonous. The last couple of days things have started moving and I am excited. Hugh is coming this weekend and I have to get the stall ready and do some fence repairs but am really eager to finally get him here to begin his new life.

Next week I am closing on the farm I am buying, I will be moving there in the spring. The next few months will be a series of chain reactions with work to be done here to get ready for the move and renovation. The floors are being upgraded from carpet to wood for when my step son and his family move in.

At the new place I will have to install new fencing and have some repairs done in the stalls and barn. There is a pond and a small riding arena with a house and 10 acres. This will be the last time I move, it will be my home and where my horses will be buried someday.

There is a sunroom for the birds, the pond is for my brother who will be retiring in the fall and will live with me. The arena is for me, I will be able to spend time with Cody without having to be outside in the mud etc. There will be no boarders or the hassle of people trying to run a barn that isn't theirs or people tramping through where I live.

The dogs will have plenty of room and there is an extra bedroom for when family visits. It is not a fancy house but it has been remodeled and there is geothermal that was installed last year.

I know I will probably work as much as I do now but I am excited and feel like the future is going to be something fun and exciting at least for awhile. I am also excited that Dusty and his family will be living here and his two little girls will have a nice place to make many memories.

I wanted to take what my dad left me and do good with it and helping Dusty and family and my brother are two ways that I can do that. Kylie is on her own now but I did get her a nice little car. Of course I am helping the donkey by giving him a home and I am tempted to take a couple of goats but we will see.

I am grateful that things are easier now, I am grateful to my dad but mostly I am thankful to God from which all things come. I have said many times I have been blessed so much and it was true and continues to be true.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A donkey I love

I have been visiting a donkey who is at a rescue, I call him Hugh. Tomorrow he will be gelded and after a waiting period I hope to be bringing him home. The plan is for him to eventually bond with Little Bit since we lost pony and Bit is missing someone closer to his size.

I have really fallen for Hugh, he is very cuddly and sweet and I think he knows that I want to be his new Donkey mom. While visiting Hugh yesterday I had my first experience with a mean rooster, I got a scratch on my leg and learned not to turn my back on him. Hugh did chase him off once I went into where he was and I was really happy about that.

I also enjoyed the company of two potbelly pigs and a couple of really sweet goats. Below is a picture I took while Hugh was wondering why I was holding my phone instead of him.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Where my life is now

It's been months since my last post, there have been many changes in my life and more coming this year. We lost pony a couple of months ago to a tumor in his intestines. He was fine one morning, ate his breakfast and I heard a noise coming from the barn in the early afternoon and thought I should check it out, I found him in a full blown colic.

The day was spent with the vet with no changes, next was taking Pony to the vet's hospital for overnight care. I got a call late in the evening that things had taken a turn for the worst so I called a friend and we went and got pony and took him to an emergency equine surgery facility.

When we arrived it was determined that surgery was the only option and he had an 80 percent chance of surviving. Pony was prepped for surgery, I loved on him and he was put under, five  minutes into the surgery it was determined there was a large tumor and it was located where the small intestines joined the large, his chances of survival was now determined to be 20% and that he may never fully recover. I made the decision to stop the surgery and let Pony die in peace.

No one dreamed at the beginning of that long day that the outcome would not be a positive one. I had Pony for 15 years, Little Bit my miniature horse was devastated, they were very closely bonded. At the beginning of the year I had decided I was going to buy a farm I had found not far from Spencer, I wanted all my horses to have a final resting place together, fortunately Pony was small enough that creationism was an option. We will all still move together in the spring but not the way I had wanted it to be.  

I felt guilty selling the house I live in now because dad had bought it for me before he passed away. I decided that instead of selling this house that I would use it for something that would benefit others. I am going to rent it to my step son and his family so his two little daughters will have a home to grow up in and make memories. Eventually he will buy the property when it is possible but in the meantime the children will have a nice home, yard, barn and school district.

My daughter Kylie started college and shortly after decided to move out on her own. I am not completely thrilled about how she did it but it was time for her to try and live her own life. I have been a mother for so many years and because I was a single mom the idea of having time to take care of myself has been the biggest adjustment for me but it has been a good one.

My diabetes is managed with diet and so far I have done really well but I know in the spring I need to loose weight and I need to quit smoking before winter. I feel old sometimes but I am slowly starting to feel better and have more energy because I have something to look forward to.

Little Bit grieved for more than a week but is doing okay now. The herd is out of balance now with just three so I have found a rescued donkey I hope to adopt soon. I have always wanted a donkey, getting one will certainly shake things up around here.

All of the animals are getting older but they all seem to be holding their own. My hope with the new farm that has a small arena that I will finally after all these years be able to ride Cody and spend time with him before he gets much older.

My work has gone very well although I was laid off for two weeks at the beginning of the year. I am learning new things and I am feeling secure for now in my job.

The past few years have been very difficult, I didn't think it would ever let up but I think things are slowly getting better and I am much less stressed over money and financial problems. I am hopeful that this year is going to be good, my brother may be retiring and when he does he will come live with me. The new place has a stocked pond, I know he will be in heaven as he loves to fish.

I never got over losing the farm a few years back, my heart has longed for it ever since we had to leave it. I know I will never truly be happy until I have another farm again. The one I am buying is the last place I will ever live and I want to grow old and have my ashes scattered there. Until I am too old I plan on enjoying every moment and every square foot of the place.

I have a great deal to be thankful for and I still maintain that God has been with me every step of the way. I am very tired of the winter days though and am anticipating longer days of sunlight and the warmth of summertime.

I hope to start blogging again on the new farm, I don't know if the adventures will be as exciting as the ones on the old farm but it will be fun to try. I want to start with a couple of pictures of where I'll be moving and will add more as things unfold.