Saturday, May 31, 2008

I love my 'kid'


This is my 'kid' I am so proud of her and I probably don't even tell her that. She's always game for doing things with me...
If I want to go play in the woods, she's game.
Riding? She's game.

She's also the mom of two of the cutest grandkids I have.
Her heart?
It is huge...magnificently huge.

Here she was asking me how to put on Fred's bridle. I stepped over and dropped it on her head...and told her to let me take her picture.
[I also said I'd blog it!]

I really am one lucky 'evil stepmom'. I have one of the best 'kids' around. I tip my baseball cap to her...

and can't wait for her next visit.
Here's to yah, sweetie.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Morris's Rebuttal


It is pretty simple in my mind.

Most things are...I mean simple.
I am a dog. I am a faithful dog.
SHE went on the other side of the electric fence. A place I dare not go.
The thin little white cord stings something awful, it makes my mind go blank-er.

When SHE ignored me and got busy doing things to the tank that the big mules drink out of, I got bored sitting up by the house watching her.
[never know when those white cords will attack -- you know]

Then Mr. Farmer joined her and the both of them ignored me.
I couldn't help it, it is not my fault.
I followed my nose which led me down to the pony to see if he'd left any treats in the grass by where he is staked out.

Yum.
Something interesting caught my eye a little further up the driveway. It needed my immediate attention!

I had to smell it and leave a mark.

Understand, this is a male dog's duty, his job, his reason for life,...
to search out objects to mark.
And I am good at it.

Onward up the hill...
so many smells
so little time to mark it all...

Quickly I found myself at the top of the hill.
And I smelled HER...
Daisy.
Big, yellow, and gorgeous ... a lab.

And then a young man, who was very willing to pet me!

SHE was SO happy to see me when I was dropped off back home.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Bad Dog


Morris.

Morris.
Bad doggy.

Only I'm sure he didn't think so. He has never wandered. Until the other day...it was my fault really.
I was helping my hubby clean out the BIG water tank, scrapping and washing it. I always keep an eye on Morris and he always stays by me.
BUT
He hates electric fences, he has been zapped and it hurts.

So, I was on the other side of the fence and he sat watching me. After a while, I forgot about him and continued to clean sludge out of the big tank.

30 minutes later our neighbor's son comes wheeling down the driveway. I walk over to greet him...

He gets out of the car holding Morris, who is looking quite satisfied that he found a 'new friend' and a 'new' ride.
*Is this your dog?*

Yes. I glare at Morris who looks pleased with himself. Happy enough that he isn't really wanting to be handed over.

*He's so cute! I think he is adorable.* The young man says, petting Morris who is grinning happily with HIS new friend [who took him for a ride!]

*Mom said he was yours.*
I hear regret in his voice, maybe he liked Morris enough to keep him?
Hmmm.

*He is mine, and I made a mistake by not keeping an eye on him, I'm sorry.* I say, taking Morris into my arms.
His tail stub is going 90 mph and he is looking at his new buddy.

*No problem,* says the young man, he gets back into the car and drives back up the hill, waving...at Morris?

I scold Morris. [Morris you bad dog, darn it you don't go visiting! Bad dog, bad dog.]
Morris looks at me and hears:

Morris blah blah blah blah blah.

He is happy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Contender

Rarely does anyone ever bother to take a picture of ME! Here I was putting Badger away and a little child voice said:

Grandma! Stop, I'm taking pictures of you.

This is from Ariel's little kid digital camera. Let me say that I am impressed as she is beginning to learn from watching grandma and experimenting on her own.

Not only that, I like this picture a lot. It shows exactly the kind of relationship my mule and I have.

I've browsed through Ariel's photos on her camera and some have been typical kid pictures. Sometimes there is a photo of a blurred lamp...but then she comes up with some really nice ones!

Looks like I've got a contender in the family!
Whooo Hoo!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Butt Bees?

Okay, here I am out in 450 acres of woods with just my mule and NOT a soul around...except the big buck that was laying in the tree top until we were almost on top of it...

I'm riding Badger along exercising him, and getting him in shape for his upcoming endurance ride.

My thoughts are wandering [don't they usually?]

I see the Maypoles are flowering, the wild geraniums are flowering, along with violets, and several other wildflowers. I am happy and content.

BUT

I have to well you know...
I had too much coffee before I left the house...

And well you know what happens...

So I hop off Badger and he drops his head to munch while I squat to take care of business. I'm squatted there and right in front of me is a beautiful sample of a Maypole flower combined with a wild geranium.

I reach into my left jacket pocket for the ever present itty bitty point and shoot camera. I figure on doing two things at once ...

I take a few photos, and drop the camera back into the pocket, when suddenly a VERY angry bee starts buzzing my head.

Uh oh.
The bee smacks my helmet.

[I'm not fond of bees]

The bee circles buzzing angrily ... I'm thinking...

*I'm caught with my pants down! I need to vacate this area!*

Solution?

Ever see the bunny hop, shuffle, while avoiding sharp prickly things and an angry bee with riding tights around your ankles? Let's not forget to mention an amused mule who is not worried about an attacking MONSTER bee who I am pulling by the reins.

Yeah.

The mental picture?
Pretty ugly, eh?

But I am pretty talented.
Hop
Pull
Yank
Pants ON!

Remount...and off we go.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Papa, Papa!


Grandpa asks Dennis, do you want to stop riding and go home?

The 2 yr old shakes his head NO and points to the woods, he's ready for more riding. In fact he'd probably ride until he fell asleep in the saddle.
Was it because he was riding or because he was with his Papa?

Ahhh, I think it was the Papa factor.

We led out with 4 mules. The grandparents had the grandkids ride with them, while mom and dad had their own mounts. We rode for about an hour and a half which is pretty darned long to take a 2 and a 4 yr old.

So we know it is all about PAPA with DR.
We had a grand time and so did the 'kids'...all of us...
Ariel likes the rough riding the best:


video

Friday, May 23, 2008

Getting to be that time of year


Why do I look in the mirror and dismiss those laugh lines, creases...crinkles...and signs of age? Well, simple.
I don't want to look older, but the truth of it is. I am getting there.

52 years old is not old, but the grays in the hair, the wrinkles that I shrug off as 'laugh lines' and the crow's feet around the eyes [can my glasses hide them?] are all tell tale signs.
Gosh, I'm not as young as I used to be!

I had a doctor tell me that once. I wanted to slap her.
She said: *Well you know you are getting to be that age now.*

Exactly what is THAT age? I know, I know, there is no stopping our aging process. But I am content with being 52 [really sound like it don't I?]. After all, I wouldn't trade starting over for anything. Not unless I know all that I know now...

June 2nd I turn 52. Not a big deal, but that means I am early 50's! Eeeks!

My mind still thinks I'm a kid, and I am at heart.
As I've heard many people say, *Getting older sure does beat the alternative!*

Yeah, it does.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'Shrooming with Mules



This is a spring ritual trying to find the tasty morel mushroom, as you can see they are not easy to spot in the mulch on the forest floor.
We hit the 'mother lode' yesterday while riding. We picked about 2lbs of mushrooms around a dead elm and a downed pine tree.

Badger was the honorary mushroom carrier. He is tall and used to plastic bags of 'stuff' hanging off from his saddle horn. Plus he is tall enough that the berry briars wouldn't tear the bag to pieces.

It began to rain on us while we were still a mile or so from home. We got wet, we got chilled, and we had the time of our life! Below a short Video of Sunshine the little mule showing off her wood's talents. This was not set up. I just sat on Badger and filmed.
She's a tough little cookie.
[Seems we found enough 'shrooms to share with someone special...S&S!]




video

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday, Monday


Our farm is taking shape now, we finally have some pasture back in the woods! Still so much to do after last year's storm.

We fenced off the yard and turned the mares into it. It had rained so much over the past few weeks that we couldn't mow.

Well that combined with the high price of fuel [read, gas prices SUCK], we thought we'd use some 'organic mowers'. Funny thing is,...they avoid the weeds, but gobble up the fresh spring dandelions.

After they have cropped it down and fertilized the yard well, we will drag it and mow the high spots. We will probably pull the fence off too as the grandkids are going to be here this weekend.

Things are falling into a routine, I am helping Rich with clean up work [gasp...he is cleaning the sheds!] At least once a week we are taking two mules out together to ride. I'm working on Badger for endurance and Sunshine for training. Both are coming along nicely.

Attached is a video of Thor being a silly goose and trying to show momma who is King of the pasture...that is, until she puts him into place.

I love watching animals!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Organic Lawnmowers For Rent!

With the high price of fuel why use a conventional lawn mower???



For rent

Organic Lawn Mowers.
For medium yards we have medium donkeys.

For small yards we have small donkeys.

For very large yards, we can supply more than one hungry donkey.

Guaranteed to~~
Cut
Trim
AND
Fertilize!

As a bonus these donkeys will:
Serve as an Alarm system that will not malfunction in the case of a power failure.

Serve as a wake up Alarm.

Irritate your neighbor [if he/she has no sense of humor].

Keep stray dogs from pooping on your lawn.

In a pinch a donkey could:
Get you to town if your car won't start. [You may want to plan a day or two in advance for this]

Entertain kids, grandkids, and friends.

Add a donkey as an organic lawn mower today...or just rent one as a great conversation piece.


Thursday ramblings

This is Thor who was born on March 26th this year. He has just received his first hair cut and we trimmed his forehead so we could see the shape of his face better.
We moved him and his mom Princess to a grassy lot next to the driveway.

Today Thor learned what an electric fence is all about. Took him two stings on the nose [ouch!!!] but he decided that he needs to stay within the lines...
the lines are your friends...

[wasn't that a stupid TV commercial???]

We are fencing off the majority of our yard and letting our 4 legged animals 'trim' it for us. We'll go in after it is cropped and mow it and drag it.
Cut
Weed
Fertilize...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It went like this..

Me: Do you want to go look for morel mushrooms?

Him: Yeah...later.

I watched as the sky darkened. I wanted to ride two mules on Sunday. Instead here I was fixin' fence and building fence...
Fence
Fence
Fence

Seems all that we've been doing since last August.

If I stretch another wire, it'll be one too many. Ok, perhaps not. We do need pasture for our animals.

Finally, he turned to me and said. 'Got my mule caught yet?'
Oh yes! We were riding and looking for the mushrooms...my favorite thing to do!

Hmm, kill two birds with one stone. I needed to ride Sunshine and I needed to exercise Badger!
We caught up Badger and Sunshine.
This is how we hunt morel mushrooms in our part of the country.

[Sunshine is the little red mule]

Enjoy:


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Donkey Riding...and such


Missy.
She is the laziest donkey I've ever seen. Pushy as donkeys are but lazy too. I pulled her out of the pasture for transfer [to the meadow] and while my hubby was giving her daughter Niki her summer haircut, I saddled up Missy with my English saddle.

When we purchased Missy, she was supposed to be a riding donkey. Well in 'buyer beware' terms, that meant you could sit on her and direct her in a manner of speaking. When we got her home, we found that forward was not in her vocabulary unless she had some other equine with her.
Frustrated, I put her aside and let my husband breed her. Her daughter is nice. Pushy to be petted just like mom.

I'd ridden Missy bareback last Thursday and actually made some progress. She walked up the driveway. So was there hope yet?

As I saddled her up...she dropped her ears flat and began to 'mouth', then bray...then she squatted and ... well if you know what a mare does in heat...I don't need to tell you.

I scratched my head a bit. This could prove disastrous or interesting. I decided interesting and continued to saddle her. Missy was not a happy camper, her hormones were raging.

It took me quite a bit of coaxing with my hands and nudging...along with traveling backwards to get her going. Bob [our donkey stud] would bray...and all motion would stop while Missy dropped her head humped up her back and did her female thing.

I finally did get her out to the meadow and we actually got some smooth trotting in! She IS a nice ride!

But I believe I'm going to wait until she is out of her full blown hormone raging heat cycle to ride her again.

On a last note.
I did ride Sunshine, the little red mule solo into the woods last night.
She needs a touch more confidence, but in whole, she is ready for soloing....
What an awesome little mule.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Invisible Woman

I work in Medical Records. Which means I take patient records in a cart around the clinic and drop off and pick up files and paperwork.

There is something very interesting about this job. Yes I like it, I have challenges each day of making records get from one place to another ...

But something very different I noticed yesterday is that I AM invisible! Not to the nurses or providers, but to the public.
While walking down the hallway with the cart yesterday, I saw some people I knew from the other office I worked in. I didn't stop to gab or say hello as I have a tight schedule.

Those familiar faces stared right past me, as if I didn't exist. Their eyes avoided mine. I was just a person pushing a cart.

Of course there are times when I am just a shadow that walks into an office to pick up paperwork and two doctors may be speaking. I don't listen to what they are saying and they don't acknowledge my presence. I am not there.

Other times I am one of the clinic's most wanted. That is when things can get hairy! They are looking for records, faxes, or some small piece of paper. That is when I am the most wanted.

;-)

I'm looking forward with getting up to the latest in Records and going all electronic.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Let's go biking



I can't tell you how many years it has been since I've been on a bike...oh what, yes I can! I believe the last time I rode a bicycle was in 1996.
When my son asked if I'd like to go with him on a training run I said sure! He pumped up the tires to his wife's bike and we packed it with gatorade and other essentials and off we went along the lakeshore of Kenosha.
I haven't been in the area in ages, and let me say Kenosha has really done a fine job with their Lakefront!

As we passed the new Civil War Museum, I thought about my brother in Virginia and how he'd enjoy the museum if he came to Wisconsin for a visit. The website boasts that it is unlike any other museum in the country.

I followed my son along the walking/biking trail from his home to Carthage College, a place I'd considered going to college when I was in high school.

We turned around at Carthage and headed back. Someone forgot to tell me about how cold it can be riding against the lake wind. It seeped down through the front of my sweatshirt and jacket. Thank goodness my son had lent me his running gloves.
Had I been by myself, I would have probably taken dozens of photos, but we were on a schedule and I am not co-ordinated enough to take shots with a camera and ride a bike at the same time.

[I'm sure someone is chuckling about that right now...]
The homes along the lakefront are impressive and beautiful. The spring flowers are coming up and blossoming, color exploded everywhere around us.

As if the bike ride was not enough exercise, when we got back to the house and my son showered...we took Teslin for a walk.

I'm beginning to miss home. But my spring visit has been quit fun and very much NOT like my Christmas visit at all ... where I ended up driving home in near blizzard conditions.

I'm heading home tomorrow after a visit with my sister. I feel like I've been gone for a long time and sort of miss home!