Training and Raining

Hello Friends!

Much has happened since we last caught up!

We had the vet out for our yearly checks. Nellie actually did pretty good all things considered. She didn’t let us vaccinate (I did that later) but she also didn’t really kill anyone, so ya know, we count our blessings. The other critters acted like the vet professionals they are and handled it with grace. Ro is on some anti-inflammatories now for some arthritis aches, and so we mitigate any unnecessary damage. Nellie is supposed to be wearing a mask now, as her little pink skin around her eye is just primo skin cancer material and the vet is worried. We are working on it.

Unfortunately, this vet visit caused a bit of a spiral in Nellie’s behavior and I’ve had to employ some tougher love lately. She started getting pretty aggressive about haltering and the barging and kicking officially put us into dangerous territory. So as much as I hate giving the girl any sort of uncomfy consequences, I had to take off the mama hat and put on my trainers cap, remind her and myself that allowing bad behaviors like that is a huge disservice to this horse and her cleverness. I’m happy to report that while it’s still a massive work in progress, she seems to have a lot of pride in the new, tougher consequences style work. Unsurprisingly I don’t have to dole out consequences often when the right answer is easy.

We’ve had some interesting storms rolling through. I’ve been trying to capture what I can, I’m still not great with the GoPro and lately, these storms have come with so much dust I’ve worried about leaving it outside alone anyway. I know they are tough, but I don’t have any sorta tough weather case, just a little tripod and I usually tie it to the porch post.

We’ve had some dry lightning, and lots of rainstorms. Although, we’ve had a lot more drizzly days than usual too, normally it’s a downpour and done, but the gray drizzle has persisted this year. We’ve also had our usual share of windstorms, which always stress me out. At least with the roof replaced I don’t worry so much about another waterfall from my kitchen light. My favorite thing about the storms around here is that often they come in the evenings, after you’ve already put in a good day’s work, almost like a little reward. But they are also usually gone by the time bedtime rolls around, so you aren’t often sitting up late worrying over the weather. 

The rainy day cuddles are adorable

I was out at the ranch the other day when a little cell went through. In theory I was out there to help my aunt with her scanner, it wasn’t scanning again, but it kinda sorted itself out. I’m not exactly sure what changed but it was scanning by the time I left. I’m a little afraid to ask if it’s still scanning to be honest, I don’t think I really want to know the answer. Anyways, while I was there I got to see the latest batch of babies. Love me some little cows. We met Little Boy, Sue, and Esuni. Little Boy got his name exactly how you’d imagine, but Sue and Esuni have cute stories. Sue is named after my great great grandma, because they share a birthday (how my great great grandma would feel about sharing a name and birthday with a cow is a question for another time) and Esuni was supposed to be Sunny, but they realized she was out of Eve’s line, and they try to keep with the same leading letters to make lineage a little easier. Luckily Sue is out of Sissy, who is out of Sadie. Remind me to tell you all about Sadie cow one day. It’s a cute story (have I told it before? Maybe, doesn’t matter, it’s worth a retelling). Little Esuni was born so small, she literally weighed less than one of my grain bags. They were worried about her, but she prevailed. Those little guys can be hardy when they wanna be. I helped my aunt count the herd, and, of course, we did it in a rainstorm, while that random cell went over. Didn’t rain a stitch before or after. But it was fun riding around with my aunt goofing off.

We’ve had lots of fun things happening around here lately. We’ve had a new baby born to the family, my uncle has a new little girl named Sadee (yes, I know, I don’t think anyone else put it together, but Sadie the cow spells hers different, and has since gone on this year after a long and happy life anyway, so I am not saying anything). Another of my cousins is graduating high school this week. We’re prepping for the Fiddle Fest and I’m very excited, because a dear friend of mine is coming down to visit while it’s going on. 

Lots to look forward to, can’t wait to share it all with you soon!

Until we chat again my friends!

Hippity Hoppity

Hello Friends!
Well, Easter was here and gone quick as a flash! I had such a busy day, a fun day, but such a busy day that I completely forgot my camera and phone on my dresser and don’t have a single picture from the day. But I have the memories and that’s the important part.
We potlucked it again, which is just so necessary at this point, because we were 30+ people again this year. I made my usual honey glazed ham, and the ever weird family-tradition-in-dessert-form “Gork”, and I … bought pies. I will remind you that I am cursed in baking. But, you see, Marie Calendar is not, and I am a big fan of not serving people bad food so freezer section pies are my new favorite potluck thing. Anything where I don’t have to make a crust, anything.
I had put up a Tuesday Post showing some of the eggs we had stuffed a little while before Easter, but because I believe the magic shouldn’t be just for kids, I also snuck a couple cool new eggs in the collection before the adults came out to help hide them, and there were lots of “oohs” and “aaahs” and laughter about the new eggs joining the fun. I’ve taken a pic of a few of my favorites from the last few years, the bunnies, the dinos, the sports ones are pretty classic. The camo and clamshells cracked everyone up when they saw them. I will admit though, the candy fits less great in the seashells. Although, big news, and I don’t know if it’s good or bad. The Twix fun-size bars now fit in a dollar store egg! They didn’t the last couple years, so either the candy shrunk or my eggs spontaneously grew, and I know where I am betting my money. I’m not complaining really though, it means I don’t lose about a fourth of the candy I bought for eggs, so in the long run it saves my money (and my waist line, those Twix had to go somewhere right? Certainly can’t waste them).

One of the sweet ladies in town has been a good friend and mentor to my cousin, and she has long spoken highly of the amount of work I put into Easter for the little ones. She very sweetly surprised us this year by giving us her collection of Easter eggs to use, as she has passed the torch on to her kiddos. We had a lot of fun looking at her eggs as we stuffed them and there was one egg in there that was HUGE by egg standards. We referred to it as the motherlode. I attempted to use Watson as a source of scale, he was not terribly enthused. We loaded that egg up with candy and some change and it was quite the find for the lucky little one.

I have always loved Easter, I have really fond memories of church and eggs, family and friends and bunnies as a kid, and I think I love Easter even more now as an adult. Seeing my dad and uncle play with the wee ones, watching all my cousins, now grown, with babies of their own and sitting on the porch with my Grandma while we swap recipes and tips and solve all the world’s problems while debating a piece of pie, those moments are so special. Watching the kids squeal over candy and hearing Dad’s Easter prayer, yelling back and forth directions to a cousin who knows where the spices should be in my cabinet but can’t see it while I pull someone’s hot dish from the oven, that feeling of community and easy comfort is so perfect and such a reward after months of planning and organizing to pull it all off. There’s always a new reason this is one of my most favorite holidays.
I also would be remiss if I didn’t briefly mention how amazing the weather was! It was cold, rainy and windy all week leading up to it, and it’s been pretty stormy since, but our Easter Sunday was warm and sunny, very bright and all the flowers started to bloom that morning, it was a blessing in the most sincere way to wake up to that sunshine, especially when I had dreamed of a snowstorm the night before. The kiddos even played in the hose water (admittedly, it wasn’t quite warm enough for me to join them haha, but they were really happy).
I wish you all could come join our joyful Easter celebration, you are all so special to me and I hope your holidays, whichever ones you celebrated, were joyful, wonderful, and filled with love! Share with me your traditions, memories, and favorite things, I can’t wait to hear about them! Happy belated Passover, Easter, Ramadan, and Spring (and any others I might be missing)!
Until we chat again, my friends!

Coming Out of Hibernation

Hello friends!

It’s warming up slowly but surely and I’ve come to the conclusion I’m basically an overgrown houseplant. Basically if you give me enough sun, a little food, some water, and I am a happy bean. It literally boils down to basically if the sunshine is out, I handle life a lot better.

Joe feels the same way I think. The sunshine zoomies are intense and exuberant. He’s already curating the beginning of this year’s stick collection. He raids the yard trimmings and wind downed limbs for the best sticks. He’s been following Dad around doing yard work and helping me in my quest to de grossify the tack space. It’s a…work in progress. But Joe is loving when it’s warm and sunny enough to work outside.

Joe’s foot is healing nicely. It wasn’t a big deal, just a split pad, but we didn’t know when it initially happened, and he had the post-groomer zoomies around the house, and my house looked like a crime scene. Then, because I’m not particularly fast at learning my lessons, we let him loose to move freely again when we thought it was done bleeding and I had to play CSI: dog zoomies edition all over again. I used an entire can of the heavy duty Resolve Pet Cleaner and I still have little blood spots I keep finding. My dad has a carpet shampoo thingie so as soon as we have a warm day I can leave the doors open with, I’m shampooing the rugs. If the cops were to stop by the purple light thingies would be going nuts! 

So, Joe had to wear some vet wrap and gauze for a while, and he’s quite upset because I’ve been alternating antiseptic and antimicrobial sprays just in case. He has super tickly feet so any sort of work around them is an ordeal. It took a while to find a groomer who could handle him because it’s a knee jerk reaction for him, he snatches his tickly little toes away and hides them.

He’s all good now, though, which is great as I was really worried about infection, and he’s zooming like crazy again. He’s had a serious case of the springtime zoomies for weeks, but otherwise he pretty much milked it for a day or two and then moved on.
We’ve had some more sad news on the farm this last week. The raccoon that has been terrorizing the animals and that we haven’t been able to get rid of has escalated his behavior and we lost our lovely last chicken. This one hit Dad especially hard since she followed him around during the day and played with the cats, and then he had a little night time routine with her to tuck her in each night. UNfortunately, some time in the last week or so the raccoon learned to manipulate basic latches and locks, so the previously secured chicken coop isn’t. Little one will be missed.

I’m basically ready for Easter at this point, the eggs are stuffed, the food is all in various states of completeness but I think the ingredients have all been attained, and I’ve taken the Monday after as PTO. My boss is getting used to me, he knows I take Easter really seriously and he already had that day marked off for me. He’s a funny guy, he can be really hard some days, but I know he’s got my back. I hope everyone gets to have a boss like I have at least once in their life. Some of my cousins came to help me stuff the eggs and a normally four hour job only took about an hour. Because I think I am clever I fed them Egg Drop Soup in return. Let’s keep our fingers crossed we have a warm and sunny Easter. The last couple years have been a little cold and cloudy.

They burned the canal last weekend. Just got rid of all the major weeds and tumbleweeds that pile up over the winter time. They are always really respectful of the horses, and I happened to be driving in right as they went by, so I went and stood by the girls so they had a little extra support. They were amped up, but not particularly scared.

That’s been us most generally. Slowly turning into spring, and we are slowly coming out of hibernation. What are you guys up to? Have you been able to start your Spring Chores yet? Got any fun Easter traditions?

Until we chat again, my friends!