Thursday, June 30, 2011

I've said it once and I'll say it again....

Thank the good Lord above for farm boys.

Had a trailer load of hay delivered the other night.... and our hay person has her 17 yr old son unload and stack it.   I love that kid and his youth and muscles.... and not in a lecherous, dirty, old-lady way.

Rode Sera Sue bareback the other night.  I really need to get me a suede bareback pad.  She has tall withers that makes my ....... cringe.

I'm going riding at my friend J's house Friday night....not sure if it will evolve into a trail ride or not.  She borders that giant ranch land with permission to ride out on it...

Made arrangements for a trail ride with some friends July 17....

I haven't ridden tons... the wet spring and quarantine halted things but good.  Can't imagine I'd show Third Level this year without much work put in and it's already July... looks like that'll happen next summer.  In the meantime... bareback, trail rides and finally workin' with Rex again to move onward and up the levels in the Dressage will keep my little personal horse goals movin' right along.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bomb Scare

There was a bomb scare in our building yesterday.

Turns out one should not leave their backpack in the bathroom across from their suite when they go to yoga over lunchtime. 

Turns out the bomb squad gets called in.

Turns out the police and security guards knock on all the suites and question everyone inside them about said backpack; no one knows about the pack because that person is at yoga.

Turns out the building almost was evacuated.

Turns out my peaceful yoga bliss evaporated almost instantly when I returned to work and discovered my backpack was in the lobby surrounded by police and security guards.

Namaste everyone, Namaste.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rinderpest and Agility

I read in  the paper today that Rinderpest is officially extinct now.  It was a cattle plague assisting with the fall of the Roman Empire... Ghengis Khan's Mongolian take-over...  

Any civilization depending on cattle was at the mercy of Rinderpest.   And now we can all sleep a little more sound knowing it's extinct right? 


Week 4 in agility... a little frustrating.... Toe was zero'd in on me last night vs. looking forward or ahead for his target.   Which is a little funny since in his obedience I couldn't get him focused on me enough and now he is too focused on me to do his agility exercises well.  Poor little guy - has to be confusing to him at this point!

"Geez mom... look at you.... don't look at you.... what in the hell do you hairless bi-peds WANT from me???"

However we'll stick with things and it's only our 4th class... we'll git'r figured out one o' these days!

Keenan, never having done much with obedience other than a puppy class is doing well and is happy and fearless over her obstacles.   Tho' she is S-L-O-W....  trots happily through everything without a care in the world.  La-la-la-la-la....  stroll in the park....

Monday, June 27, 2011


I had a scary incident with our big, half livestock guardian dog, Keenan last weekend.  She is pretty tall, lanky, 55 lbs and 8 mos old.

Her personality is very different from my little Toe dog and it's expected.  Livestock guard dogs are not overly friendly or social... they need to be wary of new people/dogs/situations in order to guard their property and livestock.  We don't need her to be super social and outgoing but we do need her to accept new situations and behave in an acceptable way.  She doesn't have to like new dogs or people but she has to learn how we expect her to behave around them.  I know livestock guard dogs can be difficult...I've met many that aren't but I know they can be. 

She's been to a dog show while I was in the ring with Toe... she accepted all of the dog show commotion, people and dogs calmly, laying at Furry Husband's feet. 

We took her to my sister's house with people and dogs she didn't know... she was happy and relaxed. 

Furry Husband takes her to play disc golf at local parks and she is relaxed and obedient.

She goes to doggie day care two times a week - more to help burn off puppy energy than anything else.  While she is there, she interacts with staff and many dogs in a controlled environment - they've never had a problem with her.  She plays all day long and likes to nap with the small dogs when they have their quiet time.

She goes to agility class with strange people and dogs and is accepting and happy.  

She is typically shy with new people and if they ignore her, she approaches them, takes treats, wags and warms up to their attentions.... she is still a puppy after all and who can resist puppies?  We never force her to be social because I don't want to turn her into a fear aggressive dog.

I took Keenan and Toe to my friends' house last weekend.  T & L have a loud, excited, happy German Shepherd.  He barks and carries on with enthusiasm but wouldn't hurt a fly and is not the least bit aggressive. 
I pulled into their drive and Norman began doing his thing - barking, carrying on. 

Keenan went ape shit.  She turned into friggin' Cujo before my eyes....

It was scary and I'd never seen her like this in any socializing situation.  She was so "out there" and agitated - lunging, snarling, in full-on kill mode that I had to break her focus from Norman and get it on me... I ended up stringing her up with the leash - frankly I didn't care if she passed out because she was that "out there".  She wanted to go after one of my friends who came over to see if they could help and I know she thought about biting me when I was trying other things to get her focus on me.  

This was a life or death situation. 

If a dog bites a human, it's a death sentence.  Right or wrong - these are state laws.  Human safety is first and foremost.  Humans mean more than dogs and biting is never allowed.  (I'm not talking puppy playing and mouthing - I'm talking full on dog bite with intent to harm)

Once she looked at me the leash loosened and she got praise... if she lunged and began Cujo'ing out she got hung with the leash.   I had no other option at the time - it happened so fast and it surprised me with how very out of character she was.

Once she was calmer, we went into the yard - Norman was on leash lying quietly.  Keenan stayed on a loose leash lying at my feet.... she was not happy, grumbling and hackles still raised but she was not Cujo anymore. 

We got a squirt bottle and if she growled or moved toward Norman in any sort of aggressive way, she got a squirt and a "Leave it"... she eventually relaxed and could be near Norman, she wouldn't look at him but she would tolerate being near him, standing next to him etc.  She could be near my friends while remaining relaxed, wagging while they petted her and gave her treats.  She got lots of praise and cookies while she was relaxed.

It freaked me out.  I talked to the owner of the training/dog daycare place to see if we needed a consult with our dog. We worked with Keenan in a head halter, otherwise known as a gentle leader or a  halti.   Much better option - provides lots of control while their mouth is unable to open wide for biting vs. hanging your dog with a leash...but hey, the first situation was desperate, surprising and I was unprepared. 

I took Keenan and Toe to my friend's house this past Friday night armed with treats and the halti.  We were trying to recreate the situation that happened the weekend before.  Norman was barking and excited just like before.

Keenan was perfectly normal.  Totally and perfectly normal.  So normal that after watching her interact with Norman for a while and seeing her remain relaxed, we took her off lead and took the halti off.  She was relaxed, happy, and the dog we know and love.

So what the heck happened?  I know dogs go thru fear stages around 8 mos... did something that day strike her in her fear stage just the right way?  Of course we always watch her and are aware she can be shy in new situations but after last weekend....   I worry a switch will get flipped and she will turn into Cujo.

A friend of mine at the barn confessed to me,  her dog a Border Collie mix did this same exact thing around 8 mos and she was also terrified he was going to turn into an aggressive dog because he was so "out there" when this happened.  Just like Keenan he was lunging, snarling, freaking out.  He was at the vet office when he turned into Cujo.  She worked with a dog training friend along with her vet to work him through the fear, and now he absolutely LOVES going to the vet.  You would never think this dog could act this way - he is happy, friendly, playful and obedient.  He hasn't exhibited the same behavior again....

I haven't had a young puppy in a long time and I haven't really had a breed that can be difficult in a long time either.  You forget about all the work that goes into them to make them sound, sane dogs in all sort of situations when they are adults.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reality check....

I'm reading the book by Denny Emerson, How Good Riders Get Good

It's a wonderful book... very positive and yet very honest.  I'm about half-way through and just devouring it.  He is such a kind and wise man who has been involved with horses in so many different ways... saddle seat, The Tevis Cup endurance, eventing, olympic level competitions... seems like his interests just go on and on.   He knows what he's talking about.

His book had me thinking about my goals.  What do I want to get out of riding?

Had a good talk with Rex.

Reality check.

I'm gonna stop riding Rosso.  I enjoy him on the ground - he is low maintenance and a good pet. 
I'm in Northern Colorado - I'm not on the East Coast or in California or near any sort of top showing circuit.  I don't have goals to compete at top shows... I don't have goals to break and train young/green horses and get good at it....   I don't want to do lots of traveling to big shows so why am I torturing myself with all the anxiety around Rosso.

Rex asked,  "Riding is hard, why not have some fun along with the hard work?  No one says you HAVE to ride him.  If training young/green horses or disagreeable horses is your goal then yes, keep riding Rosso but I don't think that is what you want." 

I thought about what I want.

I want a sound, confident horse that I can have fun with while learning Dressage... I want to increase in the levels and get to top levels.  I want to compete and do well locally but I don't want to show extensively.  I'd like to show enough that I get "over" myself and it doesn't make me so nervous.  More bareback rides along with trails tho maybe not at the same time - grin -  to get out of my comfort zone, do something different that compliments the dressage work and increases my confidence/seat.   These are my goals.

Rosso is not a good fit for those goals and it's been causing me so much consternation.   WHY?  Just let him be a pet. 

Put my time, effort, focus, attention and money into Sera where I am having fun, learning, progressing and moving forward.  I wanted to try training a young horse - I did that with Sera.  Got started with Rosso - he is trained well and a model citizen on the ground.  If he had been a different horse maybe it would be different.  I wanted to experience starting a young horse cuz I thought it would make me a more rounded horse person.  I did and it did.

We discussed that I'm not looking for another horse right now.  When the time comes, as Sera ages, yes... I would like a 7-8 yr old horse with some initial training that has been to a couple shows.  Think solid Training Level horse that has shown a few times and has potential.   A horse with potential and some training put into him/her will cost $.  

I'm gonna start putting the $ I'd use for Rosso's lesson each week into a savings account (gots to start somewhere) and we'll go from there.  Years from now (knock on wood Sera stays sound and healthy) we can begin looking for a started horse that is a good fit/match for me and my goals...
Feels sort of good to have that all resolved. 

IF a good home comes up for Rosso fine... tho' I doubt that will happen. 

And that is fine too cuz he is low maintenance, lovable, keeps Sera company and he really is a rescue - he was free - has a cataract - not the best front leg conformation - broken front teeth - the chiro vet I've had out thinks he broke his pelvis at one point along with his withers - probably pulling back and going over backwards... and he is sort of nut job in his brain from his race track days.
I feel better....  

Now I really can get focused on what I want to do...   DRESSAGE and hittin' some trails.....

Puts your poor little psyche out of whack to try and be or do something not in line with where you really want to be... took a while for me to figure it out. 

Stubborn I guess. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Agility week 3....and HORSES

Finally making plans with horses again... been a lonely horse spring with quarantine limitations.   My tracking buddy J is also in the agility class and she has reining horses at home.  After agility we talked about going on some trail rides... I know she will think I'm boring but I'm not going to go scaling up rocks with Sera.  She will just have to dummy down a bit til I get my trail ride seat...

I have a lesson with Sera Saturday morning.... lessons with Rosso forthcoming....

I bought a book, "How Good Riders Get Good" by Denny Emerson to help with the Boyd and Silva Martin barn fire out East.  Part of the proceeds from that book go to them to help them recover.  It's making me think.... not sure that is always a good thing.  grin.

Agility is still going well.  I think it must be hard to instruct people who don't know what they are doing and have to watch us all fumble around....

We practiced a front cross doing a pinwheel exercise with some low jumps.  I was nervous cuz I'm very directionally challenged and trip over my own feet constantly...  I remembered to "turn into my dog" and focus on the outside jump pole for the end of my front cross.  Shew.  AND I did it without falling down.  Bonus.

Still practice the 2on/2off... the teeter slam... and the jump chute... and an exercise for weave pole entry.  Next week we will practice the rear cross for the pinwheel exercise.

Can't wait to get me arse in the saddle for a real live training this weekend....  I think there should be a military flyover for celebration.... confetti.... spotlights....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I cheesed the cat....

Mojo, our giant 25 lb black cat who thinks he's a dog, was sitting at the door whining to go out.  We were making some spinach/mushroom quesadillas for dinner.  It was beginning to get dark.

I had the mozzarella cheese bag in my hand... I looked over at Mojo, "Moji - you can't go out, silly cat!"  I shook the bag of cheese at him from half way across the room for emphasis.

 ... uh... cheese bag was open.  I hadn't closed it yet.

Shredded mozzarella cheese sprayed everywhere... it was all over Mojo... the bench by the door... the floor... in our shoes by the door...  everywhere.

The dogs were pretty happy that I decided to sprinkle the entire kitchen with cheese.  I gave a giant GASP and started laughing. 

Furry Husband says calmly, without turning around or blinking an eye as he was flipping the quesadilla's over.   "Honey, did you just cheese the cat?"

How does he know?!  

Cuz he's been living with me for 13 years and is well aware of how "special" I am....    grin.

Monday, June 20, 2011


There is a situation at my place that has me in a pickle about what to do.

Furry Husband and I go walking many mornings with the dogs... we walk to the South and if we go far enough we pass this house.  Last fall this house added a horse to it's little paddock/pasture and we noticed because there are metal t-posts with no caps on top, barb wire, scrap metal, a camper and a snow mobile in this enclosure. 

Not that I'm judging - people do all sorts of different things with animals that I don't choose to do.  But as we walked past we made a comment that our horses would surely kill themselves in an enclosure like that... they are hotter and Rosso is a huge drama queen who's run himself into and through a fence at least 3 or 4 times since we've owned him.  The metal and barb wire would have ended his drama pretty abruptly.  This horse however seemed calm, older, quiet and has been fine in this pen without any injury to itself.

This spring we went walking in that direction far enough to pass this house.  This horse has lost a dramatic amount of weight - he's lost the winter coat and we hadn't been down that way in a while.  I looked online and he's probably a 3 on the Henneke body scoring system.  He was in good weight when he arrived in the fall.  His hooves are very long and beginning to dish up which makes me think "neglect".

There isn't enough grass or weeds for a horse to live on in the pen.  Right now there isn't any grass or plant matter at all - he's eaten everything.  I don't see any signs of hay bales or tarps that might be covering hay anywhere.  I could be wrong - I'm not on their property. 

Maybe these people brought this horse home as weed/grass control.  He could be ill.  Tho', he seems bright eyed, isn't cushionoid, walks normally... he looks o.k.  He is older - but he isn't as old as Brandon or Jess were... he just doesn't have that super ancient horse look about him. 

Furry Husband and I discussed going up to the house to talk to the people... I hesitate to do it because I would expect a lot of anger if we did.  A neighbor suggested we offer $ for the horse to save it.  Someone else told me I should be prepared to take it if I talk to the people.

Only I don't want another horse right now.  And while I care, why does it fall on us to pay for someone elses lack of responsibility? 

Horses aren't cheap... vet, farrier, vaccinations, feed... and they live a long time.  I think most of the animals we have are rescue.... 2 dogs from animal shelters.... 5 cats we found that were stray/feral/sick - we trap and spay/neuter any other cats that show up and try to re-home them or if they are feral, we release them back where we found them (google Trap, Neuter, Release for feral cats) .... I've had 2 free horses cuz no one else wanted them... I feel like we do our part to help give a home to unwanted animals.   We spend a lot of money on our animals to give them good vet care, food, training.... our financial situation isn't great but we do o.k.   We don't have unlimited funds, time or space to keep bringing home animals in need.

At the same time, it's not right that this animal could be starving and we are supposed to turn a blind eye?

I submitted 2 reports to the Larimer County Humane Society, asking for a home visit and education to this address... the horse may or may not be in a neglect situation.  I've been leaving messages for a horse rescue near Ft. Collins.   I've offered a donation to the horse rescue if someone can come out to evaluate/educate the situation.  I'm trying not to make assumptions but trying to get help from an organization who's job it is to do this sort of thing if it's needed....

I'm thinking about dropping off some bales of hay for these people to feed... I don't want judge or be holier than thou and I would really rather not even be IN this situation thinking about getting into these people's business..... I also don't want to see an animal that might need real help and ignore it either.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What in the....

Furry Husband called... Keenan, the 8mos old, 55lb,  very tall, Akbash/Aussie mix puppy....
was STANDING on the cat perch in the window. 


Exactly like the one pictured here.  Just standing there looking out the window.

It is plastic and cheap.  How in THE hell did it not break with a large dog STANDING on it?  And WHY was she standing on it?  She is tall enough to see out the window by simply turning her head to look.  

Next thing you know, we'll walk into a room with her standing on one of the ceiling fan blades for the ride 'round and 'round.....

Do they remember?

Furry Husband was moving some hay bales this morning.  Consolidating piles... 1st cutting is here, 2nd cutting here... a little of 3rd cutting over there...

While he was moving hay bales he noticed peanuts tucked between the bales. 

We have bird feeders, one of which is a platform feeder.  We put whole raw peanuts in there for the Blue Jays.  The jays take the peanuts and hide them all over for later.

I find them pulling weeds or when we move something that hasn't been moved in a while... it always makes me smile to think about the jays hiding them and I wonder how many hidey holes do they actually remember?

*sidenote*   and what is UP with the middle-age waking up at 2am and not being able to go back to sleep thing?  4 outta 5 nights this week I was awake at 2 or 2:30... blink, blink.... wide awake....not sleeping...   

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Agility week 2

Yikes.  Week 2 is funny.  We are all new, none of us knows what we are doing and we sure do fumble around a lot in general as a class.  Which is good - we are all starting out at the same level!  Funny to watch tho' I bet.

We are still having fun and I am still way uncoordinated!  grin.  I knew this going in and it's one of the reasons why agility scares me!  Second being course memory....

We learned front crosses and rear crosses in our 2nd class. 

Good thing Furry Husband is NOT so uncoordinated and he can do the footwork and better yet, remembers the footwork!   I went to practice with Toe last night.  I remembered how the rear crosses went... I started to practice the front ones and could not for the life of me remember how a front cross went...

Just then he pulled into the driveway and was able to show me....  will have to do that over and over so I can get it cemented in my noggin. 

Next week we do some exercise the instructor called "pinwheels".  


Better keep practicin' my front and rear crosses cuz a pinwheel sounds complicated!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Do you ever struggle with comparing yourself to others?  Man - I really do.  Always think so and so is smarter than me or stronger than me or knows more about X than I do and I get really down on myself.

It's sort of a silly thing to do and yet I can still get really wrapped up in it and feel completely miserable.

Good to take a step back, a deep breath and think... it's o.k. to be different from each other.  I have my own strengths and my own thoughts.  They don't have to be the same as so and so. 

I think we wish for the strengths we see in others when we see them cuz we don't happen to have THOSE strengths... we seem to downplay our own because we already have 'em and are familiar with 'em.  They are old hat.  

Grass is always greener sort of thing I guess.

And those are my deep thoughts on this fine Wednesday in June.

I'm looking for some other horse outlets... the EHV-1 virus put a kabosh on things and Rex is leaving for AK for a couple of weeks... I tend to be more goal oriented in my tasks which is why I like the lessons - they give me things to work on.

Was thinking about other horse pursuits I could do... jumping?  Meh.  Don't think I'm courageous enough anymore.  Barrels or other gymkana events?  No interest.  Endurance?  Also no interest.  

One of my goals this year was trail riding.  Where do I find people to go with that can go easy on me until I'm more comfy?  I'm good getting out of my comfort zone but I don't want to be over faced with steep, narrow trails on my first rides....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pasture time...

We began turning the horses out on pasture last week... we turn them out for a short time in the AM and the PM for a week.  We increase the time a little bit the next week.... a little bit more the week after that and so on until they their systems can handle the lush green grass and they can stay out all day long.

When Brandon was alive I'd call them in by shouting, "C'mon B!  Bring 'em in buddy!  C'mon B!"   Brandon's head would come up out of the grass and he'd faithfully come in with the younger red horses right behind him, following his lead.

The first time I went out to call the horses in, I had to remind myself not to call for B.  It was right on the tip of my tongue....  ghost of summers past.... C'mon B....  I called out for the horses.   "C'mon ponies!  C'mon Sera Sue... C'mon Rosso!"

In unison... as if they were synchronized swimmers... both horses lifted their heads from the grass, swivelled their necks to look in my direction... paused for a moment .... gave me a "yeah right" look and swivelled their heads back to resume eating.

Huh.  (me standing there with my hands on my hips takin' in the scene)

Well, that's not gonna work. 

Life without Brandon...

I grabbed halters and went out to get 'em.  I walked up to each, put the halter on and led them quietly in.  Did that for a week.... there is 1 flake o' hay and a small handful of grain in each feed tub as incentive to come in....

Now I call and they both come walkin' in...

What good, red ponies! 

Just took some adjusting to a new routine....

Monday, June 13, 2011


We have our second agility class tonight with Toe and Keenan!

I thought Keenan might be a bit of a spazoid being 7 mos old but she was good ... there are 4 other people besides Furry Husband and myself... nice, small class.  A dachshund named Bear (love it!), a Golden Retriever and my tracking buddy J with her husband and their two English Cockers....

The instructor was great - knowledgeable and fun.  She taught us about target training using the lid from margarine type containers... starting out with a treat on the target and working toward treating our dogs whenever they nosed the target... moving it further away so they had to go to the target to touch it.  It's teaching them to work away from us because they will have to go out to jumps and obstacles in agility vs. staying close to us like obedience work.  (heh - not that Toe stays close to me in obedience work like he's supposed to anyway!  grin.) 

We also learned the 2 on, 2 off concept.  The dogs have to have 2 paws on and 2 paws off the yellow contact areas on the end of the obstacles when running an agility course.  We practiced using the Aframe. 

There was a short table next to the Aframe, letting them jump up on the table to get onto the lower third of the Aframe.  Our targets were at the bottom.  When they reached the end they were treated, told wait with 2 feet on and 2 feet off... released with a happy OK! and treated again.

We let them run thru a weave pole set up... at this point the weave poles are far apart with pole standing on the right and left while the dog runs through the open middle... the poles will get closer and closer as the training progresses. 

Last thing we did was introduce them to the teeter... the instructor held the teeter just a few inches from the ground while our dogs put their front paws on to get used to the drop and sound it makes when it hits the ground.

All exercises were done from the right and left sides so we get used to working with our dogs on either side.  Different from obedience when dogs are always on your left.  A harder concept for ME vs. the dogs ... isn't that always the way it is?

It was great fun - our dogs were happy to work for food and seemed to enjoy figuring out the agility equipment and what we wanted them to do. 

I'm looking forward to tonight!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The necklace

I don't remember if I mentioned that my friend Meg, an artist, was going to make me a small piece of horse hair pottery made into a pendant from Brandon's tail hair.   She makes all sorts of pottery but I wanted something I could wear and have close to me....

This is the back of the pendant ... 

And this is the front of the pendant.  I wanted a design in the clay... I think she did a great job.  Can you see how it's a horse head profile that makes a heart? 

Meg knew Brandon and I've known Meg since she was 12 and I was a 20-something.  It's nice to have this made from someone I know and who knew my Big B.   Brandon will always be in my heart.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fly Sheets....

I went over to Mrs. Kravitz's house last night.  She bought a fly sheet for one of her horses and it didn't fit.  I thought it might fit Sera.  It didn't and I took it back to Mrs. Kravitz.

Went home and I sprayed Sera with some spray....

Rosso has a fly sheet because he will literally run to get away from the bugs until he's made himself colic.  (tiny bit on the dramatic side, that one)

Sera doesn't really NEED a fly sheet, she won't run until she's sick but the mosquitoes are particularly thick right now with all the rain we've had. 

Next thing you know, here comes Mrs. Kravitz, pulling into our driveway... she brings me another fly sheet.  Tells me it's another spare they found in their garage and if SHE had a Third Level Dressage horse, you can bet it'd be covered.

I thanked her and told her I'd just sprayed Sera with bug spray...

"Oh, that shit'll give you breast cancer.  Just use this...."  shoving the fly sheet into my arms and crawling back into her car to drive away before I could say anything else.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meet Poly....

As in polydactyl.  See her extra toes?  Makes her look like she has mittens on.  I bet she is great in the snow....

We had one of those nights a couple weeks ago.

Keenan, the LARGE, 7mos old puppy who is a skilled counter surfer, nabbed a sponge from the kitchen sink and promptly ate it.

I was in the process of giving her some 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting vs. risking it making it through her system... which worked almost instantaneously by the way....  hur-gack, hur-gack, hur-gack....

Furry Husband ran her outside to monitor and retrieve the sponge...make sure she didn't eat it a second time....

The phone rang and I was talking to a lovely tho' extremely chatty person, the sort that doesn't really let you get a word in edgewise... when I hear Furry Husband yell, "HONEY?  CAN YOU COME HERE A MINUTE?"

Thinking something was going wrong with Keenan, I tried to get off the phone with the lovely person to no avail... I went outside and Furry points down our little gravel path.  He says there is a cat down there writhing around and he thinks it might be injured.  He's holding Keenan back, monitoring vomit, picking up sponge pieces and can't go investigate.

I walk down the path and find this little tabby cat writhing around, not cuz she's injured, but cuz she is in heat....   I scoop her up (all the while with Ms. Lovely talking in my ear) and move her to our bunk house with food, water and some spare blankets for a bed.

She is such a nice little cat... completely friendly... loved the belly rubs.... she was pretty dirty, matted and hungry.  We got her spayed and found her a home with 3 kids... I guess the youngest daughter carries her all around and loves her to death which is great cuz we have 5 cats and really didn't need any more!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mystery cheese....

I read somewhere that no matter what your cheese turns out like... it's still cheese.  Maybe not exactly the cheese you were trying to make, still a cheese of some sort.

We had some birthday parties for friends coming up and I wanted to have some soft chevre to give... I tried to make a chevre from buttermilk and rennet vs. the direct set starter packet I buy from New England Cheesemaking Supply.

I opened up Mary Jane Toth's book, Goat's Produce Too!, and found her recipe for chevre.  It called for cultured buttermilk from the store to ripen the cheese and rennet to curdle the cheese... I think my milk amounts and rennet amounts were off.

I got the curds as usual...  all looks well so far!

I put the curds in butter muslin to drain the whey.... and when I pulled them out to mix them with some sea salt... the texture was weird.

Really weird.

It was like working with a sticky bread dough....

Too much rennet? 

It's in the fridge aging and cooling... I ended up not giving it to anyone for birthdays because I'm not sure it's gonna taste good or have a pleasant mouth feel... who eats raw bread dough?   I made more from direct set culture because I didn't have time to mess around with getting my rennet to milk ratios figured out...

Gonna have to give that one another try... wonder if it'll taste good or change in texture with some age in our "cheese cave"??

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We got up early this morning to go for our little 2 mile walk with the dogs.  A few houses down, all 4 dogs rush over to sniff something that must smell really good to a dog.

The 7 mos old puppy, Keenan, came away from the sniff fest with something in her mouth.  It looked like a crumpled up piece of paper...

Furry Husband pulled her over, reached into her mouth to take whatever it was away and I suddenly heard,


He sounded like and his face looked like a South Park cartoon with all those lines on the outside of the wide, shocked, cartoon eyes and he held his poop streaked hand out in front of him looking at it in horror.  Turns out it was poop mixed up with a dried leaf.

I'm still giggling....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tack cleaning and honey badger....

Went to a tack cleaning party Sunday afternoon.  Since we are all staying home til the o.k. is given for the EHV-1 virus, we hadn't seen each other and we figured we could be productive, chatty and clean up our tack.   Boy is my tack CLEAN now... maybe I'll ride Sera bareback with a halter from now on so it stays that way.  grin.

Had a nice afternoon chattin' with all my barn friends.  A couple of them are really, really, really (did I say really?) into CrossFit.  They are talking about doing some team competition thing and having honey badger shirts made.  I didn't get the honey badger thing.

One of my friends pulled it up on YouTube for me... and if you haven't seen it yet, here it is. 


Now I get it. 

Nasty, bad ass, honey badger!