Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter is here

We've had a very dry and mild winter so far.

Not today.

It's 1 with wind gusts of 38 mph and a wind chill of -22.

We left the dogs inside when we went out to do chores... no sense in them being absolutley miserable along with us.

Poor goats and horses! They all have extra hay to eat and generate heat... the goats houses are bedded with straw but... dang. Everyone still looks damn cold and miserable.

Wishing for the wind to stop soon.

Oh. And lucky me... I'm cleaning the barn today! 10 stalls and an outside paddock. May not be my best work today.... I'm jus' sayin'.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Look what Santa brought Furry Husband...




He's been dying for a young dog/puppy of his own since I brought Toe home... welcome Keenan to our little ever increasing hairy household!
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She is 10 weeks old, roughly 22 lbs... Toe adores her and plays with her constantly much to the relief of our older dogs.
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She's half Akbash and half Australian Shepherd. We met Clyde, grandpa to the little boys who own the Akbash, at the feed store party. (And this is maybe why we haven't been to any other feedstore parties....we end up with more animals!)
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The neighbor's Aussie jumped the fence and hence the Akbash/Aussie mix. There were 3 puppies left.... Clyde told us if we were smart, we'd take the little yellow one. She was the best of the bunch.
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Furry Husband worked all day Christmas Eve but someone else had the day off.
While he was working, I went to have a look at the puppies.
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The other 2 had long hair... "perfect!" I thought. I won't have to make any decisions because I know Furry Husband is grooming averse. I told the 8 yr old boy in charge of the puppies that I would take the little yellow one. (little being relative)
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By that time the little boy's mom came out to meet me and we were chatting.... when she sees that I've picked the little yellow pup, she says to her son, "Uh-oh. You know your Dad wanted to keep this one... go in the house and call him to make sure he's o.k. with this"
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The little boy comes out of the house downtrodden, kicking the dirt with the toe of his shoe... "I guess he wants to keep her." he mumbles, barely audible.
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Oh. O.k. then. Well, lets look at the other two puppies...
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Just then Dad pulls in the drive... he walks over and I say to him, "So you stole a puppy right out from under me!"
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He hems and haws... says they haven't talked about it as a family. I say, it's fine. If they need to talk, they can go in the house and talk and I'll wait out here. It's not a deal breaker if the yellow pup isn't available, I will take one of the other ones.
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They all go in the house.
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I'm acquainting myself with the other puppies and I have a second choice picked out.
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The little boy comes out of the house and announces to me, "If you want her, you can have the little yellow one."
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Turns out the little boys take ropin' lessons from Rex's brother who lives right around the corner from me. I told the sad little boys that when they came for roping lessons, Justin could tell them where we live and they are welcome to come visit her any time.
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And THAT is how Santa brought Furry Husband a puppy on Christmas. (can you say, sucker?)
Furry Husband is over the moon happy to have his very own puppy and Toe finally has someone to play with....



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone feels peace, love and joy this holiday! All the best to you and yours...

http://www.goatbiology.com/animations/carol.html
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I gave my word.

I stopped at the feed store yesterday to pick up a couple bags o' horse chow.

The feed store fella Ben, says, "Do you want to know about a party you won't come to?"

I say - where and when?

About this time the feed store owner says, "Awww, they won't come"

I say - I promise we will come. I give my word. (uh-oh. my word? what does that mean exactly? what am I getting us into here?)

They say the party is tomorrow - which is tonight after work. I flava-flaved some goat cheese with sriracha and green chilies... I'll pick up a bag o' corn chips at the store on my way over ... Furry Husband will bring the cheese and we'll meet up at the feed store.

Our feed store is always having parties and we happen to have plans or something happens where we can't come every single time they have a party. Every single time. They think we are party averse.

Oh-ho. They are sorely mistaken.

We'll show them. We'll show up with goat cheese and chips... and we'll hang at the feed store with the fellas and the hundred baby chicks for sale, and the feed store cat and all the fella's feed store dogs - there's gotta be at least 23 dogs at the feed store at any given time.

The year 2010 will be THE year we started attending feed store parties.

It can only go downhill from here....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice!


LOVE me that winter solstice! Today will be short but every day after will get a little bit longer and a little bit brighter....


HOORAY!
and look - Santa loves goats! The only thing this has to do with winter solstice is that this pix was on Wikipedia under winter solstice. Romans celebrated it on their Julian calendar December 25, at Christmas. Hence Santa riding a goat....
Goatie love ringing in the holiday and winter solstice.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Christmas week!

Hope all of you are enjoying the holiday hustle and bustle, no matter which holiday you celebrate! I particularly love all the Christmas lights... just love them. They help fight off all that darkness!

I offered some goat poop to my girlfriend to put in her yard as evidence of Santa's reindeer. She politely declined.

We decided I could spray paint it with some sort of glitter sealant, package it up and sell it on EBay as Santa's reindeer poop.

Why glitter?

Oh, everyone knows that Santa's reindeer poop rainbows and glitter... don't they?

I read somewhere about someone who spray painted their goat poo metallic colors and strung it with thread like popcorn garland for their tree... hmmmm.

Maybe next year I'll experiment with goat poop and how to incorporate it into the holidays.... do you think it'll catch on?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sera vs. Rosso


I think it's hard to have two horses. I've always owned one. Learned that one horse and that horse's abilities and quirks. Currently I'm riding both Sera and Rosso each weekend with Rex.

It's really interesting to see how they differ.

I am perfectly comfortable on Sera - even if she's a bit of a bitter fish at times. We were working on flying changes earlier in the year. Last Sunday we were in the middle of a 3 loop serpentine at canter for the counter-canter. During the middle loop her little ears went back, she wrinkled a nostril and she leaped in the air kicking out with both back legs.

Flying change.

Not a pretty one tho' it was clean I am told. I don't have much feel for this yet either. We aren't at the part of "learning a flying change" where it's pretty yet. Not even close.

I wasn't expecting it.

It was this big, sort of ugly, surprising movement... I laughed a bit and on we went not skipping a beat. It didn't unsettle me or unseat me. Not one little bit.

She is high headed and short backed. Partly the way she's built. She holds in her back notoriously. She can never be deep enough. When she gets tense - at a show or when learning new things - up goes her neck and her back locks against me.

When I think she is deep and long in her neck, and I feel happy because I've gotten her stretching down so much? We go past a mirror. Uh. Right. She really isn't all that deep - nothing to be proud of so much. Makes me laugh at myself. Especially compared to other horses who seem to root in the arena sand with their noses.

She is a hard nut to crack from front to back but she really, really likes her lateral work. When she gets tired, she rushes, gets on the forehand and tries to anticipate what I want. I have to half halt to slow her down, get her attention back on me and what I'm asking.


Then I ride Rosso.

And while my confidence is returning... I am very aware of paying attention to his body language. His ears. If they shoot forward and focus on one thing and his head begins to come up... I better get his attention back on me pronto.

I don't think he'd really do much in Rex's indoor arena and he's never had a big, violent outburst with a rider. My issue is in my head. I know this.

I don't fully trust him. Not yet anyway. I think we are on the right road to having a good relationship but... it's not there yet. Lots more work ahead of us. Ahead of me, that is, in my funny, wee, little brain.

He is tall and leggy with a long back. He carries himself very low... hello... where ARE his ears? He doesn't curl up and disappear; I can still feel him in the reins but he is one of the sort of horses that would like to root around in the sand with his upper lip. Very opposite of Sera and what I'm used to from riding her. Can be a bit unsettling to me.

His back is very loose and relaxed. He is long and limber with lots of movement. He is easy to balance from front to back - not so much in the lateral movement. When Rosso gets tired he offers to stop. All of a sudden there just isn't much forward anymore. He half stops and I push, push, push him to go on as he is slowly fading away.

Go figure.
They are complete opposites.

Hopefully these differences, recognizing them and riding them will make me a better rider and horse person.

Hope I figure it out.

Or one of these days, I'll be living in a van down by the river.....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Song in your heart?

You ever wake up with a song playing over and over in your head? Like the instant your eyes open there is this song in your head in a loop.... you aren't even fully conscious yet and here is this song playing, clear as day, in your brain.

Today I woke up with that 70's? 80's? song... "Domo arrigato Mr. Robot-O"

What the hell is that?

I don't know any more of the song other than that stupid phrase. I don't know who sings it. I never liked it. I never bought it. Never encouraged anyone around me to listen to it and yet....

Today. December 16, 2010. 9 days away from Christmas. In my 40th year of life. This is the song stuck in my head when my little sleepy eyes cracked open.

Where did it come from? Why is that taking up any space in my brain. C'mon - I need all the brain cells I can spare. I don't need to waste them on a file like that.

Two weeks ago I woke up with Whitney Houston in my head. A song from before she got all whacked out and drugged up with Bobby Brown. Talk about a bad influence. Don't get near that Bobby Brown. He'll mess you up.

"I believe that children are our future... teach them well and let them guide the way... show them all the beauty they posses insiiiiiide..... "

Seriously. Did I ever own Whitney Huston albums? No. My little sister liked her. Did I? No. Did I wanna dance with somebody? No.

Brain?

You and I need to have a talk.

No more.

I don't know what you are up to while I'm sleeping. Don't know what sort of parties you go to. Don't care. No more of this crappy 70 and 80's music. C'mon. I mean it. Quit with the bad music.

Quit bringing it home with you.

Stop.

I'm serious.

Are you listening to me?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Goat Ultrasound Party.

The above is what Furry Husband and I did Saturday night.

We are pretty weird. (I didn't really need to tell you that did I?)

We went to the Larson's house... they were ultra sounding their does. We coulda brought our does too but since we aren't breeding them this year, it would have been even weirder if we brought them.

We watched a goat being ultra sounded.... the vet couldn't see anything indicating pregnancy.

She stopped, walked over to a cupboard and pulled out this soft case that looked like a shotgun cover.

Furry Husband said, "Wow. You guys are hard core. She's not pregnant so now you're gonna shoot her?"

Nope.

Worse.

The soft shotgun case held a long thin ultrasound attachment. It was lubed up and promptly inserted into said doe's rectum.

Guess it gives a clearer pix than the ultrasound roller whatjamacallit on the outside of the goat's belly.

Turns out the doe WAS pregnant after all. Cigars all around.

I became so absorbed in trying to read ultrasound screens that I didn't notice Furry Husband slipped out with Mr. Larson to go in the house, out of the cold and product test the hot chili bubbling on the stove and the frosted Christmas cookies...

Does that make me a bad wife? I didn't even notice he was gone! I was too absorbed with goats. Am I a bad person?


The rest of the does were ultra sounded and I can say with absolute confidence, I can identify a goat bladder full of pee on ultrasound.

Uterus? Nope. Can't see it.

Placenta? No.

Baby goat-lets? Right. No. I can't i.d. them either.

I can tell if a goat has to pee tho'.

And I think that could save some one's pants or shoes from splash back.

So yeah. I think i.d.ing a full goat bladder is pretty important.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sugared Nuts

I'm making these tonight for my Mom-in-Law's Christmas care package...they are so easy and so tasty! Wanted to share them with you. Watch out tho... you leave them around your house and you WILL eat them.

1 lb unsalted nuts - (walnut, pecan, almond halves and or pieces - whatever blows your skirt up)
1 Tbl water
1 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (more or less to taste - flexible)
1 egg white
1 small capful of vanilla extract or orange extract or cointreau (optional)

Preheat oven to 250

Whip egg white til frothy - not stiff

Add water and flavor, mix gently

Coat nuts with the egg white mix until all nuts are shiny

In a separate bowl mix cinnamon, sugar and salt together. Fold it into the wet nuts until all are well coated.

Coat a baking sheet with butter, spread nuts evenly in a single layer.

Bake for 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven, turn them with a spatula, put 'em back in and continue cooking for 45 more minutes. (recipe is very forgiving if you go a few minutes over)

Cool on wax or parchment paper

They freeze well and it's very easy to double the recipe. Yum, yum and yum.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What's on top of a house?

and our dogs say, "ROOF! ROOF!"


Before. Sad. T-lock shingles. (see the dogs? 1, 2 and 3!)
Roof felt.

Voila! Little copper colored roof!
Front.
Back.



Friday, December 10, 2010

Mr. Burns




I'm taking these pretty dry on-line courses at work.


They are interspersed with random test questions to make sure you grasp a concept. When you answer it correctly - the word Excellent. complete with a period at the end appears in small, newsprint font on the bottom left hand corner of the window.


Every time it appears I hear Mr. Burns, in my mind, saying "Excellent"....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Exciting news!

Well - exciting to Furry Husband and I anyway. Probably NOT so exciting for anyone else.

We get a new roof today!

For once, having aged, out-dated, old, dilapidated stuff worked in our favor! Long story short, we have t-lock shingles on our roof - they don't make t-lock shingles anymore and our roof needs to be replaced so insurance will cover it!

Of course I tend to have champagne taste on a tap-water budget... I wanted a metal roof. Furry Husband was in charge of getting quotes and talking to contractors. He found a friend of a friend who gave us a "friend of a friend quote" for a metal roof. We'll still have to pay around $1,000 out of pocket, but because metal roofs are green and environmentally friendly, we'll get a tax credit and still come out about $100 ahead.

YAHOO! We found a way to get that metal roof!

They just arrived at our house and when I get home... we'll have a new, metal roof.

Is that exciting or what?

oh.

I bet our dogs and cats livin' inside aren't going to enjoy the process..... Hang in there guys, it's only for today!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Angry Chicken

We took our holiday Christmas picture Saturday morning. We used our white chicken "Salt" cuz we thought she'd show up the best. She was SCREAMING the entire time. Ear shattering, can't hear yourself think, full-on hysterical chicken screaming.

She was a very angry chicken. This is an angry chicken and an out of focus angry chicken that for some reason makes me laugh...
And then our picture taker, Panzee, decides to take one of me looking like this. I think I'm dreaming of sugar plums in betwixt all the chicken screaming. Maybe my eardrums ruptured and are bleeding. I don't really know....
Then our picture taker, the funny and sardonic Panzee took this picture of Sammy looking ... well, frankly looking like he's pleading with someone to save him from this debacle. Can you see the plea in his eyes?


Until finally we have our Christmas picture! (we cropped out the hay pallets for our card, but you guys can have the full on country effect...)
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Toe is WAY focused on the screaming chicken.... he'd like to make that chicken stop screaming in his special bird-dog way.
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Brandon, the horse, is 33 this year... and you can almost see him thinking "Oh the humanity.... I live 33 yrs on this Earth for ... ?"
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Our little cattle dog... - wait - ... dachshund mix (from dna cheek swab results - hiliarious) is 12 this year. How can she be 12? We adopted her when we got back from our honeymoon and we've loved her ever since... do they have to get old?
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Our doe, Spot, has her 3 coats on... a blue long sleeve fleece, a grey fleece vest and finally a lovely red ensemble. The cold bothers her much more than any of our other goats. I looked into mini horse coats or goat coats.... it's cheaper to stop by the thrift store and outfit her with some lovely fleecewear. (she wears a women's XL if anyone is wondering)




It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fuzz-butt, dirty, little, stump wagger

I took Toe to his second Rally class last Friday.

He wasn't as excited this time and thought, "ohhhhh - new place! I think I'm going to sniff over here... and wow this is a good spot to investigate .... and oh, look! what's that over there? What? Whozzat? Who's there? Is that my owner talking to me?"

I got lost on course once the first time through. Mildly. I remembered my name and where I was. I didn't have to look at the information tag pinned to my shirt should I go wandering off....

Furry Husband came to watch.

He wanted to see what this Rally bid'ness was about and figured it'd be a bonus to see me turning circles looking for the next number. He's supportive like that and of course, anything I can do to keep him entertained....

After my turn, the other dogs were going through the course - Golden Retrievers, Cavalier Spaniels, German Shepherd, Boxer, a couple of very pretty mix breed dogs...

I leaned over and whispered to Furry Husband, "Honey, snookums, sweetie-pie? (that's how we talk to each other... really....) Look at all the dogs... Toe is the dirtiest, scruffiest dog here!"

Furry leaned over and looked down the line of dogs waiting their turn. He looked at Toe, raised his eyebrows and started laughing.

Toe lives on our little farm-ette, he runs around outside, he comes to the barn with me to help clean stalls or hang out while I ride. He rolls around in the oiled sand arena....wrassles with the barn dogs, eats choice horse turds...

I try to groom him once a month since the hair is always growing, growing, growing and the dirt piles on in layers, layers, layers.

I think I forgot November.

Well, he is clean and de-fuzzed now. He doesn't look like he's been on the streets anymore. How much you wanna bet no one will recognize him at Rally Friday?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rosso

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

I had a lesson Saturday on...... Rosso! Yup. I did! Me. The big yeller chicken.

I'd been taking him up to the barn on my cleaning night to let him hang out, stand like a polite member of horse society, then tacking him up and lunging him in the indoor before taking him home.

I rode him before I began showing Sera this summer but my tiny pea brain couldn't focus on a youngster that I was having brain bugs about AND work toward Sera's tests and movements and shows.

Saturday I brought him up, tacked him up with shaky fingers... told myself. "Self. Hey - pay attention. Is he doing any thing that causes you to worry?"

"No." I replied to myself.

"O.K. then. You have to trust he knows his job, he doesn't have the pain in his back anymore, he is being a model equine citizen. You have to extend trust!"

Sigh. "O.K., O.K., O.K. self - quit nagging"

I led him into the indoor, lunged him for a bit, put the lunge line away, led him to the middle of the arena.

"Here goes Self!"

Up I went. Settled into the saddle. Rosso stood stock still. Good boy! I scritched his withers, rubbed his neck. Wiggled around in the saddle... let him stand and let both of us relax a minute.

I asked him to go forward. He did with a nice, springy, forward walk. It felt like a walk you'd see in a Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder movie... Yeah. I'm bad. I'm cool. I'm bad.

We did lots of changes of direction, 3 loop serpentines, diagonals... bumped it up to trot. Very even, rhythmic, forward... some slight spiral in on a 20m circle and leg yield out.... shallow loops down the long side.... then some shallow loop with leg yielding back to the wall.... all went very well. I was relaxed, he was relaxed - nice floppy ears.

Then I had no horse left. He was tired... I had to drive him forward - he went - I just had to put a lot more effort into it and then I was tired. We pushed him for a bit longer and ended the lesson there.

I didn't want to get down! Such a nice ride and I wasn't afraid and all went well...

So I stayed up there.

For the rest of the weekend.

Rode him into work today. In fact, I'm typing this from a laptop up in my saddle. Getting him up the stairwell was hard, but worth it. Good thing I have a big cubicle.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our buck finally gets some lovin'

Princess, the doe brought to us for breeding, came into heat today.

Shew!

Our buck is overjoyed. He is fulfilling his sole purpose in life today.

bow chicka chicka bowwwww -

sky rockets in flight... afternoon delight...aaaaaaaaaaaafternoon delight....


great. now I have that wierd afternoon delight song stuck in my head going round and round...
*head hitting desk*

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rally?

Now that Toe has his tracking title, I'm movin' on to Rally.

I wanted to try different dog performance things with the little fella... this one is next on my list.

I was learning formal obedience when Rally arrived on the scene and I know a lot of traditional obedience people sort of poo-poo'd it.

However, I think it does have practicality behind it. Your dog goes into a ring on lead with you, the lead stays loose at all times, you are allowed to talk to your dog and the two of you perform obedience maneuvers while following a numbered course with pictures at each number of the movement you are expected to perform.

I think it's a great way to introduce dogs to working in a ring with everything that happens at a dog show going on all around... it keeps things upbeat, happy and fun and once Toe gets his Rally title, we'll move into the more formal obedience world for his first obedience title.

I have to laugh at myself tho because I know I've told you all what a klutz I am. Well, I'm also very directionally challenged.

I'm not at all used to following the numbers or signs in a ring. In formal obedience, the judge tells you what you'll be doing next and you do it. You don't walk a course looking for which number is next...

I get a little lost and corn-fused. Turning in circles looking for the next number... are we on 8 or 10? Did I just go right at 12 and where is 13??

It's like a jumper course.

I never could remember which jump came next when I was young and fearless.

I'm afraid I'm struggling in Rally the same way. Tomorrow is our second class and I'm sure after some more practice I'll figure it out and look a little less confused. Turn fewer circles looking for the next number... right?

Right??

Geez. I sure hope so!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Controversial therapy?

I told my boss about my dream - coming to work without pants and with really hairy man legs. I don't think he knew what to do with that information. It's good to keep management guessing.

I called my horse chiropractor/acupuncture vet yesterday. I like to have her visit about two times a year. Rosso is starting back up to work and while lunging was having a hard time in right lead canter. He kept falling out or switching behind.... wanted to get him checked out before anything goes amiss and he's in pain and I end up back on the ground.

Also figured I'd have Sera checked over. We are starting a winter clinic series December 8 and her work level is going to increase in difficulty while we learn Third Level movements.

Was glad I had Dr. M out. She teaches a course at CSU for the vet students there and I think she is pretty reasonable. She charges roughly $75 per horse, more if acupuncture is needed, less if a horse is fine and needs minimal work. That includes the farm call and a good 30-40 min going over each horse from ears to tail.

Turns out Rosso had some soreness in his right SI joint and left hock. Not enough soreness to show any lameness - just sore enough to show a little discomfort with hard prodding and groping.

He went through our tape fence a month or two ago - think he went ass over tea kettle - but I wasn't there to see it. We had just fed, went back in the house and I heard a big commotion outside followed by galloping hoof beats.

I went out to see what was going on. Our tape fence was down and Rosso was in the front pasture running scared. Our other two horses were watching him like he was insane. I'd love to know what happened but none of them are talkin'. Anyway - she thinks he may have hyper extended something... we'll give him some oral anti-inflammatory for a couple months and she adjusted his SI so there was no more discomfort. She didn't think he needed rest per se, but we'll work him walk/trot and over ground poles to build up some core strength before he does much canter work for the next 4-6 weeks.

Sera was in pretty good shape... she had a bit of pain in her left SI which was adjusted out and she was stiff in her first two neck vertebrae which was able to be worked out as well. I was a little bummed out because Dr. M found some discomfort on the right side of Sera's withers and in her left lumbar area that may be due to saddle issues. I had my saddle re-evaluated and re-flocked for Sera at the end of summer.... something to keep an eye on anyway.

Always something.

Dr. M didn't need to stick anyone full of acupuncture needles as all the sore spots could be adjusted away. It's pretty interesting to watch her work and how the horses respond.

I know it's a a little on the controversial side o' things ... and yet I truly believe I see positive differences in my horses for it.

Have any of you had any good, bad, indifferent experiences with this sort of treatment?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hairy legs....

I had a dream last night that I was at work with no pants on. Just a top and my undies and my legs were as hairy as a sasquatch.

I hate the dreams when I forget my pants. When I finally realize it, I am so horrified but I don't have a skirt or pants to correct the situation so I have to fake it and pretend it is the latest fashion wave to walk around in your underwear at work with hairy gorilla legs.

Glad when I'm in the real world, fully awake that I have never, ever... not even one time, gone to work without pants on.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aftermath

Thanksgiving was great... I was an undead zombie by the end of the day tho'. Our guests asked where our dishwasher was... Furry Husband and I looked at each other. I pointed to him, he pointed to me.

It's all manual labor baby... no fancy, modern mechanical dish washin' invention here!

The chocolate cream pie was most excellent if I do say so myself. I had a pie crust catastrophe that I'll share cuz maybe I can save someone from the same mistake.

The recipe called for a blind baked pie crust. I thought that meant I had to wear a blind fold. I pulled out my Joy of Cooking to double check. Oh. PRE-baked pie crust. Blind bake is an over the pond English term for "pre-baked"....

I looked at Furry Husband, "Honey, you can put the blindfold away now."

Said I should bake it at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. I dug out the pretty deep dish white ceramic pie plate, put the crust in, poked lots of holes in it with a fork...

Oh. Hmmm. The Joy of Cooking says I should weight the crust with dried beans....

I looked in the cupboard. No dried beans. Wait! Here we go! I have some dried lentils. Lentils are beans right? I poured the lentils into the pie crust and popped it in the oven.

10 min. later I checked the crust.

What the?

The crust slid down the sides of my pie plate! There was this little smooshed disc of pie crust...

I pulled it out of the oven and called my neighbor who bakes a pretty mean pie crust. I told her what had happened.

"Did you use a glass pie plate?"

Yes I say...

"Yeah, that happened to me once too - the glass gets too slippery and hot and the crust can slide down the side"

She said she's salvaged pie crusts by smooshing them back up the sides if they aren't completely done.

Under the lentils the crust wasn't done yet. I was gonna try to salvage. But first I had to get the lentils outta there.

NEVER and I repeat NEVER use lentils as dried beans to weight a pie crust. They are small and flat and they sink into the pie crust. I was scooping them out, picking and digging at the pie crust - cursing the day lentils were invented. I couldn't be sure I'd gotten them all. Did I mention they are similar in color to a pie crust?

Decided that I didn't want to risk having any guest bite into a creamy piece of chocolate cream pie only to bite down on a dried lentil and break a tooth. Besides, the crust was looking like a moon scape all pocked and pitted with craters. Not a pretty crust at all. Furry Husband was looking at it very dubiously.

BAH!

My stubborn nature will have to give in and recognize defeat. I ditched the crust.

I made another and put it in my deep dish pie tin - that's pie TIN - no glass.... it turned out beautifully golden and flaky and all was well. I poured the chocolate filling in... cooled in the fridge and topped it with whipped cream the next morning. Fabulous. Everyone loved it. No lentils anywhere.

No one needs to know about the pie crust, glass pie plate, lentil nightmare.

Shhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goats in heat...

Speck went into heat. Poor Speck.

We decided not to breed the does this year. We want to do a little goat experiment and try a 2 year lactation....

Maybe I should rephrase that. Not so much poor Speck but...

Poor Mario.

Our buck is on the other side of the fence from Speck who is peeing and flagging her tail in front of him. He's moaning and crying and it truly sounds like he is dying a very slow and terrible death in his pen. He's fine... just a little... um... well... "blue".

We got a call from a woman who wants to bring a doe for breeding this month. Unfortunately, I don't speak goat-ese and I can't tell him he is gonna get a little lovin' this year.

Poor Mario.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving

Is everyone ready for a feast?

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday... centered around good food, good friends, good wine... warmth and fabulous cooking smells coming from the kitchen.... mmmmm.

I save recipies that strike my fancy, keep them in a binder with sheet protectors and this time of year I look through them to decide what new dishes to try.

I'm trying all sorts of new things this year.... a new apple sage stuffing recipie from Good Housekeeping, parmesean thyme roll recipie from Cooking Light, roasted artichokes and fingerling potatoes along with balsalmic roasted pearl onions from Martha Stewart's Food, chocolate cream pie recipie from a co-worker with amazing kitchen dexterity and caramel croissant pudding from Food & Wine magazine....

AND both Furry Husband and I have been watching a lot of Food Network. I think we are ready to raise the bar this year.




*dang*

Need a new keyboard.

Drooled and slobbered all over this one.

Gross.

What are you guys having for Thanksgiving dinner this year?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I did it, I did it, I did it!

Oh I'm sure many will think this is no big deal.....

I rode Sera bareback for my ride with Rex this week. BAREBACK! I honestly didn't think I could do it... just figured it was a thing from my youth... long gone....thought I'd get up there and slide right off... bloop. Into the dirt.

I wasn't sure what Sera would do... and I am really NOT at all graceful. I'm not one of those people who can lightly hop on or swing themselves up.... I clumber and wallow and grunt and make anyone watching wince in pity for all my flailing struggles.

I lined Sera up next to the mounting block... hmmm. She's still to tall for me to just put my leg over..... and I'm afraid to go belly first over her back because I'm not sure what she's going to think or how she'll react to all my clambering.

Lucky for me, Mrs. Kravitz's husband was there and he gave me a leg up.

He held his hands out cupped.

I looked at him dubiously. I'm pretty sure I outweigh the man.

"Don't throw me all the way over her back to the other side o.k.?" I hesitantly step into his cupped hands and I stand...

"Are you sure you can hold me?" (still standing in his cupped hands)

he grunts as he is holding my full weight while I dither and fret ...." just....umph get....hurg on....oof"

I swing a leg over and I'm on my lovely, fabulous mare bareback!

Oh! She has a spine! I am now intimately familiar with my mare. The last horse I rode bareback was my old gelding... he is very round and stout....backbone nicely covered in lots o' flesh and roundness. I was never that intimately familiar with Brandon.

We walked and trotted and cantered.... oh it was great fun. Like being on the best carnival ride in the world.

I almost came undone when we were doing trot half-pass... normally I weight my stirrup in the direction of travel. I went to weight my stirrup and whoops! There ARE no stirrups, you are bareback Shanster - duh. Almost slid right off the side... but I corrected and on we went.

Oh, it was so much fun. I really love, love, love, love my red-headed mule, Sera Sue.

And it was so much warmer... the day was 28 degrees, cloudy and 98% humidity. Brrr. I'll be doing much more bareback this winter. Know it will help with my balance, strength and confidence.... while keeping me nice and toasty.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Must. Love. Darkness.

Oy. I'm struggling with the short days and the dark when I get up and the dark when I get home. It's not doing much for my riding motivation.... I'm trying to convince myself to love the darkness. What other choice do I have?

I also know it's winter cuz Furry Husband turned up the thermostats. We have electric baseboard heat and he turns up the dial in each room.

Then we do this funny little dance all winter long. (you'd think we were Sandhill Cranes doing a bizzare mating ritual or something...)

He pulls this solid wooden bench in the kitchen far from the wall thinking it will burst into flame because a baseboard heater is behind it. I move the bench back to what I think is a resonable distance. He pulls it out. I move it in.

Allllll winter long.

I also prefer our bedroom to stay a bit on the chill side. Nuthin' like snuggling under the covers and being warm when it's chilly. Furry likes the bedroom on the toasty side. Again, we sneak around and I turn it down then he turns it up... I turn it down... he turns it up.... over and over it goes.

It remains a peaceful if not rediculous battle of the wills so far.... just another sign. I know without a doubt - winter is here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Goats bring visitors....

Had a visitor yesterday come by my place to learn to make cheese.... she's going to write it up for a Colorado Springs newspaper food article she does. I'm not sure what to expect but I do know she is a gifted writer. When she sends me the article, I'll link to it here k?

I worked a chevre and a feta recipe backwards so I'd have the cheeses in their different stages for her to see.

It sort of blew my mind....

I watch Food Network... and I have a new appreciation for all those prepared steps they gots goin' on.

I tried to organize things smoothly...I think they went o.k.... we made a garlic/dill flavored chevre, a walnut/honey/cinnamon chevre and a basil infused chevre.

Oh, I also dipped into that soft rind cheese I made 3 weeks ago. It's decent! I was hoping for a creamy middle like a camembert or brie... it wasn't like that but it's definitely different than anything I've made before. I wish you could taste it!

I have 4 more containers of cheese in various stages in pots or hanging in cheesecloth from my kitchen cupboard handles draining into other pots... my kitchen looks a little like a kooky science experiment, but that means lotsa good cheese for me this week!

Cheese.

It's a glorious thing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

First Snow

Our first snow for 2010!

Weather guys said the storm would be bigger - still it's a nice, gray day with teeny little granular flakes of snow amounting to maybe 2" - maybe - streets clear and melted.

I have today off from work and I was hoping to get some quilting done (piecing... for those who really quilt...I'm not a regular quilter...erm...piecer) and bake something to fill the house with yummy scents and warmth from the oven. Cozy.

Maybe some yoga.... maybe some hula.... maybe teaching the dogs to jump thru the hula...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sammy's DNA results....

Who knew all this time we had another Setter in the house?
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No wonder our Gordon Setter and Sammy got along so well... they was kin.
Sammy shows up mostly as English Setter 37-74%...
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German Shorthair Pointer coming in at 20-36% and 10-19% each of Laborador, Golden Retriever and Rhodesian Ridgeback!
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Well we were right about the Lab anyway... Sammy must get his big dose o' fierce from the Rhodesian Ridgeback eh?
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They hunt lions in Africa ya know.... sorry we don't have lions Sam-in-ator... just coyotes, foxes and skunks.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sammy's DNA

Sammy - Bequia - Toe Sammy to the left - Bequia (the Dachshund - snort) to the right... baby goaties far right
Sammy knows how to smile on command ... such nice pearly whites Sam-in-ator....




O.k. - FINALLY - I get around to Sammy and the results of his DNA cheek swab experiment.
If you missed the post before - I gave Furry Husband a gift of BioPet Canine DNA kits for our anniversary and his birthday. Thought it'd be a fun science experiment. You can read about Bequia's test and results here and here.
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We've always thought of Sammy as a Border Collie/Lab mix. He's a large dog - 70-75lbs. He is pretty high energy, sort of a nervous dog, quick to try and please you - but overly quick. When doing tricks before you can tell him which trick you want, he falls to the floor and rolls over trying to guess what you want to please you ... loves people... can be aggressive to dogs he doesn't know.
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He is super protective - he protects the cats, the goats, the other dogs if we should have a visiting dog. We always call him our "protector dog" and feel really safe with him around patrolling our property.
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He likes to run the fence line with the horses, barking and snapping at the horses, trying to help Bequia herd them.
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What do you suppose his DNA results were?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kraken?


We must've really angered something out there.
Furry's car is acting up - the electrical stuff is all wonky and he can't roll windows up or down and the electric locks are acting up so in it goes tonight for a look-see.

Cataract sounds like Kraken.... sort of.....?

We fed Sunday morning and found Rosso's cataract eye swollen shut. Crap, crap, crap! I called our vet and took him down there... she found a tiny little seed hull or some little dirt thing in his eye. It looked ulcerated but we couldn't get the eye dye to pick up the ulcer. That could be a good thing.


The risk is that the irritation and pain in the eye will set the cataract off and growing again. She loaded him up on banamine for pain and swelling redux. I gave him atropine when I got home to keep his eye dilated and I am to put eye ointment into his eye every chance I get.


The swelling was finally gone this morning and he doesn't look to be in any pain but lets keep our fingers crossed that The Cataract has not awoken.....



Friday, November 5, 2010

Fragility...

(yes, this will be an odd blog post coming from me! don't worry - we'll return to regular programming shortly...)

I listened to this NPR program on the way home from Denver a few Sunday's ago. Music just wasn't cuttin' it for me on the drive home. I like to think I tuned in for a reason.

The program was Krista Tippett's on Being. She was speaking with a French man, Xavier Le Pichon. He lived in a concentration camp as a child and witnessed children of families dying every day. He chooses to live in a community of disabled people with his family. He is a famous geologist who works on plate tectonics....um, whatever that is.

He was speaking with the host about fragility and the evolution of humanity. How being fragile makes us human - what an interesting concept....

I was really fascinated by his interview - only caught part of it and kept meaning to look up the program to listen to it in it's entirety. You can find it here: http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/fragility/

Under his link, there is a poem, Le Vase Brise (The Broken Vase) by Sully Prudhomme. The English translated version is below. I think it is amazing and wanted to share.....


The vase where this verbena's dying
Was cracked by a lady’s fan’s soft blow.
It must have been the merest grazing:
We heard no sound. The fissure grew.

The little wound spread while we slept,
Pried deep in the crystal, bit by bit.
A long, slow marching line, it crept
From spreading base to curving lip.

The water oozed out drop by drop,
Bled from the line we’d not seen etched.
The flowers drained out all their sap.
The vase is broken: do not touch.


The quick, sleek hand of one we love
Can tap us with a fan’s soft blow,
And we will break, as surely riven
As that cracked vase. And no one knows.


The world sees just the hard, curved surface
Of a vase a lady’s fan once grazed,
That slowly drips and bleeds with sadness.
Do not touch the broken vase

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Siren Song

No pix o' Sammy today - I got sucked into the siren song of the barn last night. Monday is my night to clean stalls and I like to take Rosso along. I figure it's a good reminder for him about loading and backing out of a trailer and standing politely tied for a couple hours with stuff going on.

There were 5 dogs running back and forth in the alley way, a strange horse there for riding, cars pulling in, people around, poop carts rolling past, horses whinnying for their supper....one mare at the end is squealing, kicking, grunting and pissed at the stall occupant to the right... random yells to tell her to knock it off, dogs barking....

When I pulled in, I noticed this woman, T, from Divide CO was there with her horse and there was all this banging and clanging and commotion coming from the barn alleyway.

I walked around the front of our truck and poked my head over to see if my help was needed, T didn't seem to be in any distress so I unloaded Rosso and walked into the barn to tie him, right next to where the commotion is.

New Moon's stall. She was banging her empty water bucket with a LOT of enthusiasm. Who knew an empty water bucket could make THAT much noise. Hoo-eee. (Her automatic waterer is blocked because she is a hay dunker and it's been causing lots of problems, now she has a hanging water bucket).

She was clearly asking - no - demanding water from T and getting louder and louder about her request.

T had no way of knowing Moon's waterer was blocked off however and wasn't responding to Moon's communication attempt. I had to laugh (on the inside) it's like Moon was trying to talk to someone that doesn't speak the language and just kept getting louder.

We've all seen it. Someone non-English speaking and the person trying to convey a message in English talks louder and slower as if by sheer volume of voice and annunciation the non-English speaker will understand.

I filled Moon's bucket with water. She didn't give me a chance to get in the stall before sticking her head in and getting a big drink. Looks like she'll be getting an add'l water bucket in her stall from now on.

Talk about interspecies communication.....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bequia's DNA results

Ta - da!

Bequia is 37-74% Dachshund!

The rest of her breed profile includes 10-19% of the following:
Collie, Greyhound, Scottish Terrier

And to round out the group, she is less than 10% Border Collie.

Furry was like - this is bullsh*%^.... he doesn't believe it.

DNA is weird - could show up infinite ways and like the NPR articles, there could be some random breeds tossed in there. But it gets us in the ball park of things to see in our beloved "widdle dawg" (said in a thick NJ accent). Yeah, I talk to her in a NJ accent and ask her where she parked the car, if she has a quarter and if she wants to join me for some coffee talk....

I can see the Collie...mebbe a smooth merle coat? and of course Border Collie.... the terrier and the dachshund are sort of out there....but she is pretty deep chested with a small waist and hips... so who knows? Could that be Greyhound?

Odd that Dachshund turned out to be the BIGGEST indicator. ?? Now we are calling her our "little dachsund" or our doxie mix. grin. Anyway - good, clean, scientific fun....

Next up we'll do Sammy.... pix of him tomorrow.....

Friday, October 29, 2010

DNA part 1




Happy Halloween! Isn't DNA a little scary?


K - mebbe that is a stretch...


I bought a couple canine DNA tests for Furry Husband. He'd been wondering out loud what Sammy's breeding might be. Figured it'd be interesting and fun to see. I purchased one test for each of our two mix breed dogs...


NPR did a couple stories about the canine DNA tests....

Read part one first:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127484075

And the follow up ending to the story here:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127563468&sc=fb&cc=fp

In the above story, there were a couple extra dog breeds thrown in along with the two the dog turned out to be. Blood testing is more accurate than the cheek cell test. The cheek cell test seems to get you into the ballpark of breeds your dog might be with a couple random breeds accidentally thrown in.

We had the cheek cell test.

This is Bequia (pronounced beck-way). She is our 12 yr old mix breed dog we picked up at a Denver animal shelter 11 yrs ago... we've always called her our cattle dog mix and figured there was some border collie in there. She's a medium size dog... prolly about 45lbs.

She goes after tennis balls all day long like those high energy herding breeds will do... she tries to herd the horses through the fence...seems to be a strong herding instinct going on there. In fact, sometimes Sera will paw at our gate when we are being too slow about feeding.
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The tip of her hoof sticks thru the gate (don't worry, it's not big enough for her hoof to come thru). Bequia will latch on to the tip of Sera's hoof with her mouth ... mad that Sera is not listening to her herding instructions and moving along as instructed. Of course Sera can't feel a thing and there is definately no damage to the hoof or to Bequia in those few seconds.
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Or Bequia will snap with a click click click of her jaws at any horse sticking it's head over the fence not listening to her imperious command to move already. She doesn't connect or jump up to attach to a nose... she is just doing what I've always thought of as herding behaviors....trying to intimidate large livestock ... she isn't formally trained in anything other than basic obedience. No herding trials or anything like that.
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She is super smart and learns almost by osmosis. She loves retrieving and will fetch anything... the morning paper, the t.v. remote, if I drop a pen I can tell her to bring it to me and she will. I can give her something, Furry Husband will call her and she personally delivers whatever it is. She absolutely adores children and always has....which is no fault of ours since we don't have any. grin. I figured she must have come from a family with children before we adopted her.

What do you think Bequia's DNA results were?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Snow and Mojo update

So far Mojo is normal, eating, peeing and extremely happy. So happy in fact that he keeps waking us up at 3 AM to tell us how happy he is... walking over the top of our heads.... head butting Furry's chin... purring loudly.

We are happy too.... but ... well... the 3 AM thing is getting a little old Mojo! Anyway, the powers we spoke with say as long as he is acting normal and peeing and eating all is well. Shew.

Let's hope it KEEPS going well.

Last night was my night for stall cleaning. We have 40mph winds with gusts up to 50mph because of a storm hitting the CO mountains.

I like to take Rosso with me and I wasn't gonna take him but figured, it's good to get him out and about in ALL kinds of weather and to experience all the sounds of wind from the barn... scree and branches and lord knows what getting blown against the metal walls.... wind screeching in cracks, the building moaning and groaning as it withstands the buffets of wind...

I get Rosso loaded up, pull the truck and trailer out... as I shut the gate once we are out of the front pasture, there is this wall of white at the far end of the neighbor's alfalfa field across the road.

Weird. Must be clouds or fog or something....

I begin driving and it was like the movies when the people are escaping from something and they look in the rear view mirror... all of a sudden there was snow - white out snow - all over the road behind me... clear in front of me but it was following me up the road!

Got to Rex's, unloaded Rosso and tied him up in the barn and then the snow hit... 40mph wind and white out snow swirling everywhere. True blizzard conditions! I thought I was hosed for going home. It is hard enough to see at night for pulling into our driveway and pasture with the truck and trailer.... but in white out conditions at night and in snow that might be slippery? I'd be screwed.

I had 2 hrs ahead of me cleaning stalls so figured I would just see what happened.... by the time I was done cleaning, the snow stopped, was mostly melted 'cept for in patches here and there and the wind had died down. Shew!

And Rosso stood hind leg cocked the entire time...

Hmmmm. What is it I keep hearing in clinics? You have to ride the horse you have. Or how about ... you can't treat the horse like a criminal when he's not acting like a criminal.

Good theory to put into practice for myself vs. thinking 'bout prior incidents eh? Why do you suppose it's so hard to be in the right here, right now moments?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Things have moved past the threes....

'Member how our vacuum broke...then the fence went out... then our fridge broke? We were all hoping it was a case of "things happen in three's".

Well.

It was not to be.

Our giant, black kitty, Mojo was weird Thursday night. He went to the vet Friday and it was discovered he has urinary blockage... he was catheterized. He dislodged the catheter, when the vet tried to replace it a tear occurred in his urethra.

Well - the tear can heal on itself shutting off the ability to pee. That would be a life ender for the big fella. There is a small chance that may not happen.

She tried one last ditch effort to get the catheter back in place to prevent it from healing closed. If the tear could heal with the catheter in place, things will stay open ... no dice... too much blockage lining the urethra.

There is a surgery that can be done to make he into a she.

It's thousands of dollars and we just can't do it.

We brought him home and we are watching him. We are hoping he will be o.k. He's on some drugs, antibiotics... special food.

Never was a cat so happy to be home.

When Furry Husband went to pick him up at the clinic, Mojo kept head butting Furry's chin and licking his nose and face. The vet said she'd never seen such a thing... that Mojo must think he's a dog. That is what we've always thought too. Mojo goes out with the dogs and comes in with the dogs... lays around with the dogs.... I'm sure he thinks he's a dog.

There might be ... maybe... fingers crossed ... an inexpensive way to get him re-catheterized to prevent things from sealing shut. We are keeping our fingers crossed and should find out more tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted... send good thoughts to our big, black Mojo kitty.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Itty Bitty

This morning I went out to turn horses out into pasture, I had cut up a couple apples to give them (someone gave us this big bag of apples but they aren't crisp, they are mushy and so they are now horse apples and I'm trying to get rid of them! I can't eat mushy apples... gag)

Noticed Itty Bitty Opal Kitty and the dogs gathered around her. I move the dogs away. Lo and behold she has a mouse, it's dead and she's trying to eat it.

I tell the dogs to leave it but Toe is notorious for stealing dead voles/mice from the cats. sigh. I go to the horse pen - feed the horses the apples, turn them out... I see Bequia and Sammy thru the fence line and know they aren't trying to steal the mouse... but Toe is nowhere to be seen and I think he is eating dead mouse... grumble grumble....

I come back into the yard.... Toe is running up ahead on the path, Itty Bitty is licking her chops and following me with the dogs to the door... hmmm, maybe Toe didn't get it and Itty Bitty ate it after all?

I let everyone in, Toe runs to the bed, jumps up on it, circles to find a good spot. I say, "You better not have anything..."

*ptooie* (Dead mouse flies out of his mouth onto our bed.)

Innocent look. blink. blink. "Wha? Heyyyyyy, how'd that get here? Didinna come from my mouth!"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

TD pix and hula hoops

Group pix of everyone who passed the tracking test... Here is me with the Little Toe-ster along with the 2 judges and the woman who put in the track for us that day.

And... the really, BIG, EXCITING news?
I hula'd!
I asked for a hula hoop and a jump rope for my birthday. Wanted to move more but have fun and play a bit while doing it. I've never ever been able to hula in my entire life. Never.
I have to admit I Google'd "how to hula hoop".... I learned it was more of a side to side motion vs. an around around motion with your hips - other than that, the site told me to practice and good luck.
I pulled my hula out last night to practice.... and I did it! I hula'd!
I was able to keep it going and once I stopped, I could start it up again! Furry was chuckling cuz I couldn't put the hula down...
I was a hula hoopin' fool last night....
Maybe today I look up jump rope rhymes and jump rope tricks. Will they come back to me from my grade school days?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Broke!

Our vacuum cleaner broke... left giant streaks of dirt and dust instead of sucking it up. In a 800-900 sq ft house with 5 cats, 3 dogs and 2 hoo-mans, a vacuum is a necessity!

Our refrigerator warmed up to 70 degrees this weekend.... sigh. The fridge repair guy came out and said the fan was broken.

And last but not least, our electric fence is out. It's run by a solar panel but it is dead, dead, dead and dead. Nothing coming out of the housing box for us to follow a fault finder and fix anything. We had our electrician neighbor come and take a look. He confirmed... it's dead. We had to order a new housing box.

Hopefully the saying about things coming in 3's is true and that's gonna be all for broken things at our house. Yeesh!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toe is a TD dog now!

Here is Toe's tracking test!

The straight line is the path the track layer left, the dotted line is Toe's path. Track was aged about an hour.... we went a total of 450 yards... to me, it is a huge open field and other than the 2 flags, I have NO earthly idea where the track goes. The judges follow behind me about 100 feet or so with a map and the track layer.
If I go off course they blow a whistle. I'm allowed to finish my track with the track layer to assist me in staying on the track while the judges leave to judge the next dog.
In a TD test, there are 2 flags. One marks the start of the test and it has a scarf on it with the track layer's scent. Toe sniffs it, I pick it up, wave it over my head and put it in my pocket.
The 2nd flag indicates which way the track goes.
Toe was really strong... pulling and confident and then we came to this ditch...
I didn't think TD's had "obstacles" like ditches or hedges or whatever in them... Toe went across the ditch and I thought, really? (and this is where the hoo-man interferes... after all, I can't smell or see any scent right? This is where I coulda blown it by "thinking"... in tracking you are supposed to just follow your dog)
I stood my ground. He went back and forth at the top of the ditch and then was pulling me across... clearly saying, "It's this way, Mom, c'mon already!"
Alrighty then... gotta follow my dog and still I was waiting to hear the judges' whistle to tell me I was off course.... no whistle! I kept going....

After a while Toe's little stump-butt started wagging and he turns to look at me.... there is the glove!
I praised him huge, picked up the glove and waved it over my head. We passed and Toe is a TD dog.
One of the judges was this man from New England... NY I think?... he has Golden Retrievers and I guess when Toe was on the track he was heard to say, "Wow - lookit that little dog go!" That is funny to me... guess there aren't really many smallish dogs out there.... ? The dogs in this test were Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, a Belgian Sheepdog, and an Elkhound...

You can see Toe circled a little on a couple corners and the lines that go sort of back and forth was the ditch when I was holding ground and he was, I think, double checking before he committed again to the track.

Out of 8 dogs, 6 passed that day. It was a good trackin' day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY!

Just say that in a big mega super sales pitch way.... feels good huh?

We made it!

I'm taking Toe tracking tomorrow. (2 hrs away... gotta be there at 7:30am... getting up at 4:30 am... ow. ow. ow.) Keep your fingers crossed! If he passes, we'll get our Tracking Dog (TD) title. Then we can focus on obedience and see if we can't get a CD on the little fella this winter... and maybe take an agility class next?

Tho' I seriously wonder about my coordination for agility.

Can the dog still pass if the owner trips and is lying face down eating dirt?

Prolly not.

Give all your furry, feathered, hairy critters a smooch and ENJOY your weekend!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Milk Test...

I told you guys we added our does to the milk test? yeah. Fun. F-U-N, fun. not at all.

The directions are/were super confusing. Every time my poor friend who I suckered into being my milk tester came over to draw milk, we'd sit with all the instructions strewn about the kitchen table and it felt like we were studying for finals or something.

Now that we seem to have it down... I get the milk reports each month after submitting samples of milk from Spot and Speck.

I have no idea what they mean.

I see the fat % and the protein %... other than that? Nothing makes sense. Just adding to the frustration and bad feelings overall about this stupid, *^%@* milk test bid'ness.

But my poor suckered in milk tester is a woman of reason and she tells me that now we have it figured out, we should keep sending in samples each month. The interesting thing is that Spot and her daughter Speck have pretty negligible differences in fat or protein from the milk they give - we are talking maybe a tenth of a percent ...

I have to get the gumption up to call the woman who runs the milk test to get a more thorough explanation of the reports, however, since it is a confusing, frustrating thing for me... I drag my feet about it.

We are gearing up for breeding season and so do I keep milk test going into next year or quit when I dry the does up?

Think my vote is to give it up. Will probably breed one doe next year while I wait for the babies who were born late this spring to mature for breeding next fall. Hardly seems worth it for ONE goat to stay on milk test and I did it for a year.

Meh.

I think my milk test itch has been scratched.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Migration?

I have seen around 793 dead racoons on the roads when I'm driving to and from work. What in the....?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The world did NOT come to an end....

when I turned 40. Shew! I woke up and the sun was still in the sky, birds were chirping, the cats were taking turns walking across my full bladder as I lay there checking all body parts were still functional. Fingers - check. Toes - check. Can I move my neck? Yup.

Alrighty then...


Sorry for the lack of posting... work has been insane. I get home and the last think I wanna do is look at a computer screen.

We had a great party for my first 40th and Furry Husband's last 40th later this month.

We put the keg next to the goat pen because goats really needed to be part of the experience. Need a beer? Scratch a goat.


Funny how at a 40ish party, there are lots of children... baby strollers... wee folk....





Even the band brought a baby... my Mom adopted it. I'm not sure the band left with the baby, I think my Mom took it. Baby snatcher.
(see the stroller to the left there? And oh, look, there is a play pen over to the right. It was part of the band set-up...)


At the last minute we confirmed on the band. I'm so glad we did. They played bluegrass-ish or maybe Grateful Dead-ish sort of music. There was a banjo. And really? That's all that mattered. Banjo. All hail the banjo.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pix o' my little red-headed mule.




Sera Sue at the Estes Park show.... (and how can I be FORTY this week?)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Invites

Furry and I are planning a combo shin-dig for our birthdays in October. It's my *gasp* very first 40th birthday and his very last 40th birthday.

I was calling some neighbors to invite them this morning. I called up ol' Jack.

"Oh. I don't think we'll be able to come. Sugar beet season is starting and we harvest around the clock...."

O.k. - well, we'd love to see you but if you can't make it, that's fine too.

I hung up and Furry asked what ol' Jack said... I told him and we both started cracking up. NEVER would we get a decline like that back in our city Denver days!

Sorry - can't come. Sugar beets. I love it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cavalia

Amazing.

That show was amazing! The performers move in ways you wouldn't think a human body could move. A guy at one point stood there while one person climbed him to stand on his head. Standing. On. The. Guy's. Head. Two more came out to climb the guy and stand on each shoulder and two more hung horizontally from the ground off each hip. Seriously. What in the....? How is that physically possible?

There were people flying all over the stage - bouncing - jumping - leaping - coming down from the ceiling... and the horses stood there. Hind leg cocked. Ears out to the side. Oh... the hairless monkeys are flying all around the stage again? Ho hum. Borrrrrr-ing.

There was roman riding, roman riding while driving 4 in hand. Vaulting with a person on a horse cantering in a circle while the person jumps, does triple flips or some such thing in the air always landing back on the horse....

There were trick riders.... oh those trick riders! The horses would fly across the stage at a full gallop. The rider would be sitting backwards and flip themselves forwards... or hanging off the side of the horse or running alongside, jumping up and over to run on the other side... one rider came out behind the saddle, laying over the horse's haunches with her head dangling 3 millimeters from the horse's galloping hind hooves.

Wow.

It was jaw dropping and stunning.

Afterward, we went into the stall area. There was this immense, beef-cake of a horse. Not tall - maybe 15hh - stout. Oh man, was that monster STOUT. Tree trunks for legs. Not sure I've seen a leg that big.... Comtois was the breed... colored like a Belgian. He was my favorite of the show. He was a vaulting horse... round and round he cantered... the flying hairless monkeys were nothing to him. La, la, la.

Cool, cool show, horses and performers.

And very, very, very, very, very (there may not be enough very's...) wonderful Furry Husband!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How does that happen?

Furry Husband and my wedding anniversary is this Friday. ELEVEN YEARS! How in THE heck did that happen?

memories.... misty water color memories......


Turns out, Furry has quite a sneaky streak.

I was reading the paper - well, the comics - because seriously folks, you can never have too many comics/funny pages in your life. Sometimes I read the main section of the newspaper but not always...

I decided to read the main section.

As I was leafing through, there was a printed piece of paper with Furry's name on it... I couldn't comprehend what I was seeing really. Thought it was a bill or something from the news agency that was mixed into the paper....

Well it was stuck into the paper opposite of a Cavalia ad.

He got us tix to see Cavalia this Friday in Denver for our anniversary!

Squeeeeee!

Cavalia is produced by a Cirque du Soliel person involving horses... it is supposed to be pretty effing amazing.

What a wonderful man he is... romantic sigh..... and to think it all started with me telling him a dirty joke, flashing my cleavage and sportin' platinum blonde hair while he tended bar at the Wynkoop Brew Pub in Denver.

Just like a fairy tale .... heh, heh.