Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One of my pet peeves...(maybe one of many)

If I'm being honest here, I really have quite a few pet peeves, but this one in particular is at the forefront of my mind this morning.

Last evening was our appointment with the farrier to have the horse's shoes pulled for the winter. So, everybody got their scheduled pedicures...simple, right?

Well, so it should seem. I brought Ladde in first because farrier "T" seemed a bit sullen-faced and cranky, and I thought - okay, get the big guy over with first before "T" gets any more tired. And...Ladde can occasionally be a little argumentative, and the way he plays this out is to minutely, but repeatedly, baby-tug his hind feet. After a while this becomes annoying and he needs a "slight attitude adjustment"...which I do, but I also have no problem with someone else (the farrier) giving him a good old-fashioned wollup. Then Ladde is a good boy and stands very quietly for his pedi. However...my farrier seems to think himself a chiro guy as well as hoof care expert; and believes that this is more of a pain issue rather than a behavioral one. And, maybe this is true in part, but if there's a physical cause I will hire a professional of my choosing to do the appropriate treatment. My horse - my decision - my money. That's how I see it. Now, I have asked "T" repeatedly (3 times to be exact) not to do any manipulation/chiropractic work on my horse. And, repeatedly (3 times to be exact) "T" has done what he chooses to do anyway - regardless of my wishes. This in my opinion is not respecting my wishes and therefore, pisses me off. A lot. So...last night I very vocally made my displeasure known.

So, now I have my farrier upset with me (last week it was my sister, who still isn't speaking to me) and who knows if he'll want to continue providing our horses with hoofcare. Of course, this incident happened at the beginning of the appointment and "T" did finish up with everybody after Ladde; and of course, I managed to smooth things over somewhat without budging on my principles. I also apologized for my rather direct comments, and mentioned that I could have used a little more tact and still made my point known...but at least now we have an understanding. Mutual respect is a very important matter and apparently can be a little bit of a delicate situation if not handled with kid gloves. Dually noted.

This morning I discussed the entire situation with my boss (the lameness expert vet), and with a few quick lessons on the equine anatomy, we've come to the conclusion that I've apparently overreacted a little. :) (insert big, sheepish grin here). My boss concluded that "T" was probably doing no actual harm on Ladde (which of course was my biggest fear), was possibly helping to stretch and relax his lumbar and leg muscles thereby making it a little bit easier to hold his leg up; but...was also not respectful of my wishes as the horse's owner. And that, was my main point of contention with the dadgummed horseshoer. So, with my anatomy lessons intact, I will probably in future take the time to warm Ladde up before his trims or shoeings, do a little stretch work and if deemed necessary, give the big brute a gram of bute to ensure both his comfort and the comfort of my farrier. *sigh*

Isn't life ever easy?

We humans are a delicate lot.

I'm just sayin'...

I know - I know - I promised that my next post would be all about the pictures and here I am running off at the mouth AGAIN! Well, hell - apparently I'm a liar as well as a mouthy old broad.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

7 Days and Counting

Can you believe it? One more week and summer is over...the dog days of summer and it feels like fall's been here for a few weeks already. I'm not complaining - really I'm not - the coolish, sunny days are simply divine in my book. Absolutely perfect for doing almost anything! But...it's just kind of sad. Once again, another summer come and gone; and as usual, I'm feeling like we've done very little fun, summery stuff. You know, like horseback riding, camping, swimming, bar-b-ques with friends, lounging around in the sun sipping frosty, cool drinks...sigh...I simply cannot wait for when I can retire! I know, I know - I can almost hear my mother's voice echoing in my ear..."don't wish your life away" - "the older you get, the faster time goes" - blah, blah, blah...I just want to NOT have to work all the dadgummed time!! I long for days to myself where my time is not dictated by the clock, and I don't have to spend 50ish hours out of every single week somewhere I'd rather not be...just to earn a paycheck to pay my bills, to live and survive!!! Aaaghhh!!! I'm soooo tired of working for someone else to earn my living!! *sigh* Okay, I'm done...I think. I just long for a different life.

So, Labor Day weekend was spent in an emotional whirlwind. I wish it would have turned out differently, but like the saying goes..."it is what it is". We had plans to go to the state fair and take a road trip somewhere adventuresome and picturesque. That didn't happen. It's actually been long enough now that my memory's a bit hazy, but Friday and Friday night was not good - that I remember distinctly...the dogs and I spent a day at the lake, lounging and hiking, and the dogs had a blast swimming. I cannot swim in a lake where I have to walk in a foot of mud before entering and upon exiting the water. Simply cannot do it. Yuck! Lakes require rock bottoms, or better yet, a boat. But it was alright, and the dogs were over the top; so not a bad day overall. Home from there, only to head out again with the dogs...this time the destination was the beach. I had no plans, just started driving - west over highway 6 through the coast range mountains and when we reached Tillamook, I turned right and headed north, up the coast. We were very fortunate to find a room over a holiday weekend. God answers prayers. We had a partial ocean view, a lovely deck, king-sized bed, full kitchen and a fireplace. Not too bad. We walked on the beach until sundown, then headed back into town for a take-out pizza, icey cold Blue Moon complete with orange slices and movies on cable. Very nice. The next morning we took an early morning walk along the beach again, took a bunch of pictures and then headed back to our room for coffee and a shower. From there, we headed north up the coast to Seaside and then back home on highway 26. It was a gorgeous weekend at the beach! Mid 70's, beautiful blue skies and absolutely no wind. Perfect! Then on Labor Day, we labored. We stayed at home all day after a quick breakfast out, and got caught up on some projects around the house and yard.

Last weekend, we went and got some firewood and bought a new chainsaw. Now we have about 2 cords all neatly cut and stacked in our woodshed. Nice...how I love squirreling for winter!! I'm actually looking forward to getting a wood-cutting permit and getting out in the woods and chopping some more firewood. I feel like Paula Bunyan!!! However, I'm not the chopper - I'm the pitcher into the trucker. There's something very satisfying to my soul about storing for winter use. I do believe I have a little squirrel in me!

In other areas of winter preparation, we've been working on filling up the pantry with canned and dry goods, filling up the freezer with everything imaginable and making lists...yes, I am a list maker. My list includes everything that I can conjure up to make our lives easier throughout the long, cold, wet, fall and winter months. Such as...hiring our neighbor and his tractor to move our manure pile from last year so we can make room for this season. Making arrangements for at least 1 truckload of slag/gravel to spread around the areas where we park our vehicles and those spots that get a lot of foot traffic...anything to minimize mud is a good thing. :) My hubby has plans to build us a wood storage box - one that will hold a weeks' worth of firewood handy, just outside the door on the back deck, thereby minimizing treks back and forth across the soon-to-be muddy yard to the wood shed. I've seen his plans and it's going to be a great wood box! Like Martha would say...it's a good thing.

Also on the "to buy" list is a couple of tons of bedding pellets for the horse stalls and at least 1 ton of stove pellets for those nights when the woodstove isn't quite enough, or we're too tired to build a fire...whichever comes first. I still LOVE my pellet stove - it just wasn't quite enough to heat the entire house, and on those rare occasions when or if, there's a power outage. No power - no pellet stove. You know the drill.

And, if my list wasn't already long enough...I'm in the market for a new washing machine. My beloved 20 some year old Speed Queen finally died a few weeks back. I'm still in shock over it! I had so hoped she would last forever...but alas, she's a goner. So, to market to market I go!! The only major problem with this cotton-pickin' list is that it's a fair amount longer than our cash supply!! Isn't that always the way it is!!?? So...slowly, over time and with careful prioritization...we'll tackle things as best we can!!

The story of our lives!!!

As always, and with many, many blessings to each and every one of you dear friends, this is once again, Cingspots signing off for now...

p.s. next post will be all about the pictures - I promise!! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Alive!!!

I mean...I'm alive!!! Believe it or not, it's been just over 3 months since I've posted anything on my blog. How the time does fly!! I know, I'm a broken record if nothing else. Anyhoooo, I can hardly believe it myself that so much time has passed. Guess I just didn't have much to say. You can all stop laughing now!!

My last post was talking about the wild and wacky spring weather we'd been having and thinking back, summer was certainly a long time in coming this year, and believe it or not - here it is only 4 weeks from today and it's the first day of Fall. Sheesh!! And I'm still waiting for my tomatoes to ripen. But, overall I've been loving this summer. It's been pleasant. We've had a few stints of wildly hot days, but generally it's been lovely. Not too hot, and not too cool. Mid 70's to 80ish and I'm a happy camper. I can't take the extremes anymore. I don't like it hot and I don't like it cold. My comfort level has shrunken (is that a word?) over the years, even if some other things haven't. But...I don't want to talk about that. Nope, not going there.

We've been busy. Imagine that!! I get tired of hearing myself say that. I long for leisurely days lounging around reading a book, sipping iced tea from a frosty, tall glass and daydreaming about ... oh well, just never mind what I daydream about. Anyway, you know...free time...what I continually long for and never seem to have any of.

Let's see...looking back several months we have taken a weeks' vacation. We started out in central Oregon, prepared to spend the week horseback riding and lounging around camp. Well, it started out nicely enough, but it was hot. Very, very hot. And I got heatstroke and after day 2 of being sick and not being able to ride, or eat, or go for walks, or even play in the creek (it was too cold!) - we headed for home...dropped off the horses, unloaded some stuff, took a little nap and set out for the beach. The beachside was perfect! Lower 70's, sunshiney with a beautiful little breeze. We camped at a place called Whalen Island where we napped, went for long walks, went out for dinners and browsed the quaint little shops. Much more to my liking!

We've also been repainting the exterior of our house. What a job that has turned out to be. We're still not completely finished, we have about 50% of the trim work left, but that's it. It started out with demossing the roof, then pressure washing the entire house, followed by taping off all the windows and doors, priming the entire house, painting the entire house with the base color, painting the eaves/peaks a second color and now followed by the trim. Good grief!! This will be the fourth weekend in a row and I have just about had enough!! We're also painting one of the two barns and the garden shed. It's looking great, but I hope to never have to do this job again. I'm getting too old to work this hard, but it would have been too expensive and unaffordable to pay someone else. So, hopefully soon I'll be posting some pictures of our newly painted and vastly improved house. Yippee!! Oh and I must not forget to thank Steve and Chris...my brother and sister-inlaw who have been a huge blessing - for without their help, we would not have been able to do this huge project. Thank you guys sooooo much!! We love you and owe you BIGTIME!!!!!! Of course, no one from my lovely side of the family lifted so much as a pinkie finger to help us. Sorry, I degress - but oh-so-true. I just hope they never ask me for help...because if they do...I can't be responsible for what comes out of my mouth. I'm just sayin'.

Let's see, what else have we been up to???? The usual stuff of yard work, house work, working full-time at the clinic, caring for the horses and of course, occasionally finding the time to go for a few trail rides and a couple of camp-outs with our wonderful riding club friends. They are a beautiful group of people who we consider much more like our family...they are truely blessings in our lives.

In regards to Harley, my main trail horse that's going blind. It's a mixed bag at best. I've had him out on a few trail rides and it's not going as effortlessly as I'd hoped. He seems to have just enough sight that a lot of what he can see, spooks him. And, if his trail partner gets more than a few feet away, he goes into full-blown panic mode. Not good. If Ladde farts, or stumbles and makes noise, Harley spooks. In the past, if and when Harley spooked, his habit was to wheel away and gallop off. He was very easy to regain control...I'd just one-rein him around and bring him back to earth - so to speak. But...now, he wants to wheel and run, but he knows he can't; and so he stands in one spot and trembles in fear. It's pretty pitiful. I'm working at encouraging him and gaining even more of his trust, but it's a project in-the-works and will take time. So, for now, we are limiting where we go, and who we ride with. I'm not sure how this story will end, but one thing is for sure - Harley's a keeper and he's not going anywhere. He may not end up being my main rider and then again, maybe we'll work it out together. Time will tell. But for now, we're going to focus on more arena riding this fall and winter and try to keep the faith.

Before long my squirreling nature will show in full-force again. You know, the gathering mentality. Our 20 tons of hay are safely tucked in the barns, but we still need to get 3 cords of wood for the winter, wood pellets for the pellet stove and of course, bedding for the horse stalls. And, I made strawberry jam which is in the freezer, and have strawberries frozen for future use, but still want to can peaches for the pantry. The peaches will be here this Friday, so if I can find the time, looks like I might be canning some peaches this weekend. Oh, and I've volunteered to be a greeter once a month at our church and this Sabbath, it's my turn...plus I'm on the "encouragement committee". I seriously think I need my head examined. As if I wasn't overly busy before...whatever was I thinking!!?? Pray for me, please??? Pretty, pretty please???

I am starting to depress myself, so I am going to shut up for now before I think of something else to add to my "to do" list. And, all I really want to do is run away and rent a little cottage in the mountains by a lake and waste away for a month or so...sounds simply divine, doesn't it? A girl needs to keep her dreams alive...for sanity's sake, if nothing else.

Love and blessings to all,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Heavens to Betsy... the weather!!!

Whatever have we done to have such horrendously volatile spring weather!!?? In the last several days, we've experienced warm temperatures and deliciously sweet sunshine, gentle, nurturing showers, delicate breezes...sleet, angry rainfall, hail, rainbows, stiff winds, more rain, some sunshine...torrential pelting rainfall, gale force whipping winds, a little more hail...back to aaahhhh beautiful sunshine...good grief, I'm afraid to ask what's next for fear I'll find out!!

But, it's certainly not boring!! Tomorrow (according to the calendar) charts the 2/3 mark through spring. Yep, summer's a mere month away - believe it or not. I've yet to complete my garden planting because we're still experiencing night-time frosts on occasion, and our horses are still on about an hour and a half of grass turn-out daily for fear they'll overdose on the lush springtime carbohydrate-rich pasture. They are decidedly unhappy about this unreasonable limiting of their free-choice munch time, but their bellies are proof to the contrary. Will they never be satisfied?? I fear not...spoiled critters!! Our last year's stockpile of hay is severely depleted...we have 3 or 4 bales left. I sure don't want to have to buy more before we get our once a year barnfull - and who knows when that will be with this uncooperative weather. Oh well, I have absolutely zero control over any of it, so que-sa-ra-sa-ra...whatever will be, will be!! You know the song, right? Sing it with me, kay? No!? Oh fine then!!

We've finally gotten the shoes on our horses but have yet to make it to the mountains for that first trail ride outing this year...call me crazy, but I prefer riding when there's little mud and sunshine on my shoulders. Ooh ooh, another song we could sing together...shall we? Can you tell I'm experiencing cabin fever? Hmmm? Oh well...soon, my pretties, veerrrrry soon...

Bye all,

One last thing...all season long, I've been saying it's gonna boil down to the only 2 possible competitors! And guess what!!?? I was right!!! That's right - Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze - ooh baby!! They are the best, and I can't possibly make up my mind as to who the winner should be!! And, I guess it doesn't really matter cuz they're both winners and they're both gonna go far!!! Yeah baby!!! In case there are some of you out there who are wondering what in the world I'm talking about? American Idol Season Finale next Tuesday...Crystal and Lee.........love that show!!

Cingspots over and out :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


No, not the smelly kind - as in, a mixed up bunch of stuff. So, I'm at work today after having stayed home and taking a sick day yesterday. First sick day in, I can't even remember how long. Felt deliciously luxurious getting to stay home and sleep in for as long as I wanted to. The bummer was...I didn't feel well and that's about all I felt like doing. Funny how years and years later I still harbor guilty feelings about being "lazy" if I'm in bed during the daytime. I can still hear my mom's tiny voice in my head...isn't there something - anything better you could be doing besides laying in bed??? Will it ever go away and let me just learn how to relax?? Probably not. Anyway, I'm still not feeling very well, but I figured I may as well be at work collecting my pay instead of wasting my precious vacation time lazing around at home. Sick days are not a luxury I have, and I have no co-workers so I always feel guilty for taking a day off unscheduled. I hate that...feeling guilty is such a waste of emotion!

The horseshoer was out last evening and trimmed the girls and Shad, and we finally got shoes put on Ladde and Harley. Now I want to go riding!!! I want to go riding with just my hubby for a couple of times to see how Harley is going to be out and about with not much vision. I think if we stick to some wide, safer trails, he will probably be just fine. No super steeps and no drop-offs for us. We'll stick to the kiddy trails for a while and go from there.

Our horseback riding club has its' first scheduled camp-out coming up over Memorial Day weekend at Mt. Adams in Washington state. It's a beautiful location and has become one of our most favorite camping and riding locations. We're thinking that we may not be able to go because our truck is in serious need of new tires. I priced comprable tires to the ones we have now and they're almost $1300...ouch!! Amazing how expensive everything has gotten. We don't want to risk having a flat along the road somewhere with the horsetrailer in tow, so we'll see how things pan out, but it's not looking good. We were so looking forward to this camp-out too. Hopefully our lack of money won't prevent us from doing a lot of riding and camping this season. We may just have to stick close to home, but then we'll miss out on socializing with our friends and that's a big part of the enjoyment. Such a drag!! I wish this economy would make a turn towards improving and put lots of people back on track. Somehow, I just don't see that happening anytime real soon. I guess we'll just have to get used to staying much closer to home, at least for a little while.

Our weather is slowly becoming more spring-like. Most of the mud in our pastures has dried out and we're experiencing drier weather and more sunshine. The temps are still pretty cool, but I'm just happy the rain is decreasing. Hopefully before long, we can start planting our vegetable garden. We're staying pretty small this year, planting tomatoes, some salad greens and cucumbers and hopefully adding to our berry patch. We recently bought two more apple trees to add to the fruit orchard. We have peaches, cherries, pears and apples. Yum!! I don't want to go overboard, but fresh fruit in the summer is always a treat!

Hope all is well with everybody...blessings from cingspots!

Monday, April 26, 2010

If wishes were kisses

Monday again. Boy, weekends sure do fly! It's raining again and our sunshine which was around for at least part of the last couple of days has disappeared, and grey skies prevail. I read on someone's blog that they have a small peach on their tree and blossoms on their zuchini plants...well, they obviously don't live in the greater pacific northwest!! I can't even imagine such an early growing season - well, anything other than grass or weeds that is. Somehow, it just doesn't seem fair! (snarle)

We stuck fairly close to home the entire weekend. We didn't even go to church, but enjoyed a quiet Sabbath at home and just relaxed. It was nice. The house was cold enough that a fire in the woodstove felt mighty good, and once again we were thankful for our little stove. Our supply of wood is completely gone and we've been burning up old scrap lumber that we've stockpiled over the years. We're also completely out of pellets for the pellet stove. We're gonna be up a creek without a paddle if our weather doesn't warm up soon. I'd like to get our next winter's supply of wood soon if we can, just to be prepared and have one less thing to have to remember to do later. Like my hubby is always saying..."all it takes is money"...There are so many things on the "need to buy" list that it's disheartening, and that list just seems to keep on growing. Oh well, one day at a time, or maybe that should be, one thing at a time. Somedays I find myself wishing for not only more money, but more time and definitely, more energy. If there were only 2 of each of us, we'd make headway a whole lot quicker. Oh well, it's just not worth worrying over. I keep telling myself...worry about nothing - pray about everything. My new mantra.

Sunday was a work day for us. We tackled a long-overdue clean-up project that we've been putting off for a long time. It was one of those fenced-in, catch-all spots near one of the outside barns that was a real eyesore. With Harley's worsening vision, we thought it was the right time to get the job done. It looks so much better now. All the debris is in the back of our truck awaiting a trip to the dump and our burn pile has easily doubled in size. We also have the raised garden bed all cleaned up and ready to go, cleared the apple orchard pasture of the windfall from winter and got the lawn mowed and edged. We took an afternoon trip to Costco and stockpiled for the freezer and the pantry as well. The one area that was ignored was the house. As soon as the sun shows up, the inside is all but forgotten and we're outside playing catch-up. Like I've mentioned before, when both of us work 40 hours a week at an away from home job, have animals to be cared for daily and try desperately to honor the Sabbath...that leaves Sunday for the one day a week to try and accomplish everything that needs to get done. It ain't easy!

My list of warm weather projects keeps growing in size as well. Firstly, the winter's supply of hay needs to be paid for and promptly stored away in the barns. We're down to about 1-1/2 tons and hopefully, that will last until we get the new crop. I'm thinking 16 tons of local grass hay should do; and since that's about as much storage as we have available - that will just have to do. Firewood - I'd like to get/chop whatever about 3 cords and get 1, possibly 2 tons of pellets. I'd like to build 2 or 3 more raised garden beds - one for strawberries and the others for whatever we decide to plant. We'd like to replace the kitchen flooring and paint both the walls and the cabinets, and replace the sink. Of course, if we replace the kitchen flooring we want to include the mudroom, the nook where the woodstove is, and the laundry room. Matching flooring for this entire area would be a nice improvement. And, we need to repaint the exterior of our house, remove the moss from the roof and clean and restain the deck. I'm getting tired just thinking about all of it...never mind having to pay for it all. See what I mean? The list just never seems to ever get shorter, and there's never enough money to even get close to paying for it all. I guess I'm whining, but it seems discouraging at best.

In between all the projects and jobs that have to be done, we still need to enjoy some downtime as well. Remembering to take the time to be thankful for what we do have, realizing that it could always be so much worse, and enjoying the life that we have been blessed with is equally important. Not one of us knows how much time we have, or what will happen "tomorrow", so it's vital that we enjoy our lives, our families and our friends. And for those of us with horses...use and enjoy them when we can too. God knows we do enough laboring just to keep them, it's kinda nice to get to go riding every once in a while.

Some of the best things in life are the simple things...warm sunshine, sitting on the deck with someone you love, sipping a cool drink and listening to the music of nature on a summer evening, watching the dogs play, taking a nap, laughing with a good friend, taking a walk in the woods...so many things in life to savor...all I wish for is more time in which to enjoy it all.

If wishes were kisses, I'd be a pretty happy gal...


but then, kisses are pretty good too. :)

Blessings from cingspots

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Life in the day

I had no idea what to title this post. I changed it several times. But, it's not about anything really...just life. When we wake up each morning, we never really know what's going to take place. Could be monumental; could be incidental; could be exciting, or boring...but regardless of the day - life just happens...every single day...to each one of us. Opportunities abound, shit just happens. Most of the time I feel like I'm just along for the ride. I'm definitely not in control of anything; and on those rare days when I think I've got it all covered...it's all cool...tomorrow happens and shoves me right back in my place.

I just keep getting back up, and trying to keep moving forward. Ray Hunt told me once that "the energy's gotta go someplace...best to direct it forward, if you can". He really was a wise man, and definitely not just about horses.

You probably can't tell, but I'm an emotional mess today. Oh sure, I'm at work and functioning just fine. I could almost do this in my sleep. I'm good at it. The smile is there and I'm putting one foot in front of the other. Answering all the questions, helping out wherever I can...autopilot on. "check"

I watched a very well-made documentary film on OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) last night. To say it was disturbing is more than just an understatement. I wish every single person in the United States could watch this film. We all NEED to watch this film. We should. It's called "Food Inc." It's available for purchase online if anyone's interested. I wouldn't recommend viewing it with the kiddies...or before dinner...it just might ruin your appetite. But, nevertheless...you should watch it. Very enlightening stuff.

So, anyway I was out and about on our property the other day and shot a few pictures of the critters. Spring has sprung in all its' glory, and our little piece of reality is a very pretty place right now. The horses are shedding their winter woolies, enjoying their rolls in the mud and eating everything in sight. Life is always grand for the dogs...they spend their time playing, sleeping and begging. Hey, what's not to enjoy? Nellie's been growing leaps and bounds, and has outgrown her first baby collar. I don't think she'll be as big as Annie, but that's just fine. She idolizes Annie and that's okay too. She couldn't possibly have a more perfect mentor.

Ladde with spooky glowing eyes. :) He's as fat as a tick. I need to get started on his conditioning sooner, rather than later. Their shoes go on in early May, and I am more than ready to hit the trails. I cannot wait!

Harley horse. He sure doesn't have the look of a blind horse does he?

He still has some vision. This is his good eye, but there's a little vision in both. I am anxious to get him back out in the woods too. I'm still working on wrapping my mind around the fact that my best trailhorse is nearly blind, but we will work through it together. He trust me and that's what counts.

The infamous cushioned post that was probably instrumental in causing trauma to his left eye. He and Ladde were always playing "face wars" around this post and on several occasions, Harley's eye took direct hits. Aaah...hindsight.

Sorry for the dirty lens...the dogs at frantic play. The term, "whirling dervish" comes to mind. :)

Little Miss "Frosted Siri L" - she has always been so very opinionated. Hmmph!! I bet she wouldn't have been so incredibly rude, had she known she had grass stuck between her teeth!!

The perfect little angel horse...Kadie. THE best mountain horse - EVER!!! How I love this horse!!! She's 24 years old this year. Don't you just wish you could turn back the hands of time?
I sure do...

"The girls" My beautiful dogs and bestest friends anybody could wish for - Annie and Nellie.

Nellie adores Annie. And, I'm pretty sure you'd never get her to admit it; but...Annie's pretty fond of little Nells Bells too. And, that's a very good thing!

Life's pure pleasure for these two!

What a good pup!! She has been the easiest puppy I can ever remember training. She's a very smart little girl. She's about 6-1/2 months old now. She's gonna have a fun summer...I see swimming and camping and a whole bunch of new adventures in store for this little gal!

Sorry for the blurry pictures. Our neighbors finally burned down the big, old, red barn. It was a sad day, but I guess it needed to happen. Nothing lasts forever in this life.

Annie does not dislike cats. However, most of the time I think she would just appreciate them all leaving her alone. But, you know how that goes...they all love her! :) We all do!! *sigh* Whatever is a girl to do?

This is "Princess". I know, it's a ridiculous name, but I've always named the animals whatever pops into my head. What can I say? She's a princess!! Just look at those beautiful, blue eyes!!

Our shaggy little old lady of the herd. Siri is 28 years old now. She's actually shed out since I took this picture and is looking amazingly good for a mature woman of her years. You'd never guess her age if you saw her! Good genes.

This is Harley and Shad - not a great picture, but it does show how wet and muddy our pastures have been. They've dried out some since this was taken, and we're eternally grateful for that. But, spring in Oregon you never know what to expect!

Nellie, crazy puppy!!!!!

The seasonal creek near our house is a source of great joy for our dogs...however, there have been times when it's been a source of great distress for us - in the form of very muddy, swampy-smelling canines. Oh, the ups and downs of living in the country!!

Until next time, blessings everyone! May you enjoy peace and joy this spring!
Cingspots...over and out!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Holy Moly, my baby's 13 today!!!!!!!!

As a yearling...this is the time in his life we referred to him as, "Harley 10 Hairs". His tail, mane and forelock did eventually grow back...just different. :)

He's always been my sweet boy.

He's always been such a loving little guy. We still call him our "little Harley". This is most likely because he and Ladde grew up pretty much like brothers, and Ladde has always been a "big boy". Everywhere we went, everyone without exception commented on how very big Ladde was. It's true...he's a true 17 hands, and weighs 1500-1600 pounds. Harley, by comparison at 15.3 and only 1300 pounds is small. It's all about perspective.

Harley giving brother-in-law, Steve a ride. He's very calm with rookies aboard.

Me and Harley riding in a Ray Hunt clinic several years ago.

Posing with Ray. Sheesh, notice how my flirty sister snuggles up to Ray? She's not a horse person, nor had she ever heard of Ray Hunt before today...some people!! :)

Our two beautiful baby boys all grown up. Harley and Ladde with my hubby in-between.

Harley and me at another clinic. This one was with Brad Cameron, the mule trainer. Awesome clinician!

This was taken summer before last while on vacation in LaPine, Oregon.

Whoowee!!! I can't believe that another birthday for my boy is here again. April 8, 1997 was the day my beautiful Harley horse was born. What a day...I remember it like it was yesterday...

Scooter's due date was in early March and we had just about given up on having a foal, or at least a healthy one. You see, Scooter was our beautiful mare that had chronic laminitis. We had struggled for years to keep her sound and had spent countless amounts of money and effort to keep her comfortable. I can count on one hand the number of times that I was fortunate enough to get to ride her, and she was a dreamboat to ride. She'd colicked on us one of those times while camping at Timothy Lake, and we were pretty sure we were gonna lose her. But, thank God we had Banamine in our med kit and preferred walking for endless hours instead of sleeping like all the other campers in the campground. Around and around we walked, most of the night...when the sun was beginning to rise through the trees, we finally felt like enough time had passed without Scoot having severe pain spasms that we could chance a few blessed hours of sleep. Thankfully, by morning Scooter seemed comfortable enough to travel and we headed for home. Crisis over.

Another time a few years later, Scoot was having another episode of laminitis and our vet tried a newer technique to increase the blood circulation in her feet. The procedure was called a venogram, and consisted of applying a tourniquet around the fetlock and using a butterfly valve, we injected dye and saline solution into the blood vessels of her front feet. Everything went smoothly and Scooter was a willing and agreeable patient. But, for whatever reason, that evening Scooter colicked again. Dr. Rick came out and this time we nearly did lose her. It was a very severe case of colic. Scoot was very painful and for some reason she started having muscle fascillitations (spelling?) and her potassium and other electrolyte numbers dropped off the chart. My vet was scared, and that scared me. We gave her several different pain meds and fluids for hours and stayed with her for most of the night. With many prayers and the constant work of my boss, we once again, pulled her through. Another crisis over. We were starting to think that our beautiful girl was cursed. Without getting very lengthy here, let's just suffice it to say that we started believing that our uphill battle with Scooter's soundness and health might be a losing proposition. She had foaled twice before we had gotten her. Our other horse Ladde, is sired by one of Scooter's foals. A beautiful stallion by the name of Sir Ladigo. Anyway, we wanted to breed her, in fact that is the main reason we had got her in the first place. So, once she had been doing well for a while, we found a stallion and had Scooter bred. I guess what I'm trying to relay is just how much we were dealing with where Scooter was concerned, and now her pregnancy was a full 31 days past due. Our nerves were like steel guitar strings.

My wonderfully creative hubby had devised a very clever way for us to "spy" on Scoot during her pregnancy. He had run telephone coax cable from our house out to the barn enabling us to pick up the tv remote and hit the "Scooter channel". At anytime of the day or night, we could gaze upon our beloved mare and see how she was doing. Without that, I seriously think we would have snapped.

So, one morning...April 8 to be exact...I wandered out of my bed all sleepy-eyed and hit the scooter channel. There she was, still pregnant. *yawn* I headed towards the shower. Whoa!! Wait a minute!! Something; I'm still not sure just what it was that caught my eye, but something made me snap awake and do a 360 and have another look. Yep, this was it - she was going down!!! I grabbed a jacket and jumped into my muck boots and flew like the wind out to the barn! I arrived just in time to see a tiny muzzle and two very tiny little hooves poking out from Scooter's vulva!! Thank you God, the presentation was normal!! I dropped to my knees, tears of joy streaming down my cheeks to witness the miracle of birth. Up until this time, I had never witnessed a birth of an animal of any kind; no kitten, no puppy, and certainly never a foal. To say I felt like a novice was quite the understatement. But, I whispered a quick prayer of gratitude and help on Scooty's behalf, and prepared to take it all in.

Within minutes there was the front half of the most gorgeous foal I'd ever seen exposed. I grabbed my knife and cut open the sack to expose his nose and carefully cleaned the mucus from his nostrils. I remember how his little eyes looked up at me and he blinked twice as if clearing his vision. He was absolutely precious!! Of course he was all wet, but his color was the most exquisite deep red, almost like a rich, liver chestnut...no signs of any white, and I couldn't have possibly cared less! He appreared fine and I was so filled with thankfulness. About this time is when you'd expect the mare to push the foal out completely and finish up. But, no...Scooter decided to take a little break and review her handiwork. She started this beautiful little maternal nickering that just brought me to tears all over again. She was cooing to her sweet baby and he answered her!! Just a tiny little nicker, barely audible but it was there all the same. It was still to this day, one of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard. Just lovely, and I felt blessed to be there with them, and I felt so honored that Scooty was so relaxed and comfortable with me being there at such a special time. Since little Harley was still half inside, there was no way for Scoot to do anything but look at and talk to, her foal. I kept waiting for Scooter to complete her job, but she and the foal seemed totally content to just lie there, momma softly talking to her baby and the foal looking around at his new surroundings. I kept smothering his precious little face with kisses and making sure there was no mucus in his mouth, nose or ears. Everything seemed perfectly normal, except for the fact that he wasn't completely out yet. What was going on??? About this time, I began to worry, thinking that this wasn't completely normal and maybe I should do something to help. This was in the pre-cell phone era and I wanted to call the vet and ask him if there was a need for concern, but I wasn't about to leave and miss a moment of this event. So, I just sat there with Scooter, now addressing my attentions on her. She appeared to be relaxed and totally content...wish I could say the same. After about 15 minutes of "time-out", Scooter gave one great big push and Harley was expelled. Whew! What a relief! Now what? I forgot to mention that Scooter had hardly stood on her feet for any length of time in the last 30-45 days of her pregnancy. The extra weight was a bit much for her laminitic feet and she layed down a lot. So, I cleaned up the foal for her, dipped his naval several times, dried him with a towel...and waited. Why wasn't he getting up? This was about the time I decided to make a mad dash for the house and call the vet. I wanted him there - now! I felt like something just wasn't quite right, and I was getting scared again! I made the call, vet's on his way, then called my hubby and gave him the good news. And, back out to the barn I went. Still no change there.

After the vet checked everyone out and reassured me that everything appeared fine, I waited almost 4 hours before Harley decided to stand up. He just made up his mind and stood up...a little wobbly at first, but no big deal. Sheesh!! Scooter was still lying down, but nickered to her foal to come over and he did. He obeyed like a little soldier, and for the first time they sniffed noses and got acquainted with one another. Reassured by everything, I went inside for a quick shower and a much-needed cup of coffee. Later, feeling much better I headed back out just in time to catch Harley nursing with gusto. Another relief. Scoot was lying down holding one hind leg back so the little guy could nurse, which he was with much vigor!! Camera now in-hand, I began shooting pictures for all I was worth. I will try to post some of these very soon so you can all see how very adorable he was. For the next several months, most of the time Harley nursed with momma lying down, and when she was feeling better and he had to re-learn how to nurse while standing, he used to stamp his feet and switch his little tail at the discomfort and inconvenience of it all at having to crick his little neck to get his meals. It was so funny!!

Scooter's registered name was "Mis Star of David", and we decided that given our foal's relaxed, laidback attitude towards life, coupled with the fact that he was so very slow to get started in life, the name "Harley" suited him just fine. So...Scooter had a Harley. We almost named him "Harley David's Son", but I was in a very Nez Perce Indian frame of mind and went with "Ahkunkenekoo" ahh-koon-kee-nee-koo...quite the mouthful huh?? It means, the land above...heaven. And, he was our little gift from heaven. But, he's always been Harley to us.

So, that's the story of the beginning of our wonderful relationship with our beautiful Harley horse...trail pony extraordinaire!!

Happy, happy Birthday sweet Harles...my little spunky!!!!

You're a teenager now!!

Blessings all...cingspots

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy April Fool's Day!!

...or, as it's been more appropriately termed..."All Fool's Day". :) To me, this somehow includes all of humankind and is much more politically correct. Wouldn't you agree?

Shame on me...sorry, couldn't resist!

Anyway, thought I'd better drop in here and chat for a bit. My last posting has been a couple of weeks or so ago. I know...I'm not doing very well here lately. I do, however read my favorites a lot more often than I've been updating my own blog. I love reading about what all my wonderful blog buddies are doing.

Seems lately my life has been in a bit of a standstill for some reason. I get up each morning and greet the day, head off to the clinic and put in my time there, come home and along with my hubby, take care of the horses and the cats, then head inside for a quick dinner. "yawn" See what I mean? Boring, huh? Since the news about Harley, seems like my energy level has dipped to an alltime low. I know it's a bit of depression hitting me, and I will overcome, but it's there all the same. I've actually been feeling more tired than depressed. For a while there, I was walking several times a week, had started swimming with a friend, well I did once anyway... :) , with hopes of doing it at least twice weekly, and riding twice weekly. For the last month, I've hunkered down and done a bunch of nothing, or at least it feels that way.

The rain certainly doesn't help. It's been raining torrents lately...lake backyardy is looking like a great hangout for the local duck and goose population...sigh...it's spring, or at least the calendar says so, however our weather since spring has sprung, is far worse than most of our winter was. Sound like I'm complaining? Uh-huh, I am. I am so sick of rain!!!!! And mud, and grey!!!! I want to go lay in the sun and feel the warmth deep inside my bones, and get a sunburn. Yeah, soak up a lot of sun and wear summer clothes and complain about how hot I am...and fan myself like a true Southern Belle. Not some wrinkly old prune drowning in all this dreary Oregon rain!!!!

Okay, that feels better! Just need to vent a little and get it all out. Like a big, loud belch! Admit it - it feels good sometimes.

Thanks for listening...

Blessings ya'll

Cingspots, over and out!

Oh, just thought of something. Quick update on my Harley horse. Last week, I took a day off work and took Harley to an ophthamologist for a thorough eye exam. Diagnosis is chronic uveitis (cause unknown), secondary cataracts in both eyes and mild to moderate glaucoma in both eyes. There is still some vision in both eyes, but not much in his left, more in his right. In human terms, he would be declared legally blind. He sees shapes, shadows and changes in light, but no distinction. This has probably been coming on for possibly several, if not many, years...at least he's had time to adjust. For which, I am eternally thankful. Me, however...I'm still trying to get used to the idea. Blindness would suck. But Harley's so much more resilient than I will probably ever be. I am thankful that he trusts me so much. In fact, I feel honored that he trusts me. I love my wonderful, gorgeous Harley horse!! I just pray that I don't let him down. I hope to ride him again on Sunday, for the first time since finding out about his vision. I will be both our eyes, and we'll be fine.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sad Day

I had this post all arranged about a wonderful weekend beach trip with a very dear friend of mine, pretty pictures and all...but I just don't feel like doing it today.

For a while now, I've been taking Harley to an indoor arena and riding him with a friend of mine and her horse. It's been going great and I've been enjoying this one-on-one time with my wonderful horse. We've been doing some bonding and building confidence in one another and getting physical exercise, and it's all been so very enjoyable.

I didn't get to go riding last Sunday morning because there was an unusual event take place during the morning feeding. My hubby and I were up pretty early, had a quick cup of coffee, then headed out to the barn to let the horses out into the corral where they could enjoy their breakfast in the sunshine. Nothing unusual...pretty much our morning routine, except on this particular morning, I was the one pushing the "roach coach" around dispensing the hay piles while my hubby released the horses from their stalls one by one. As is customary with our little herd, Shad (the thoroughbred) got out first and he came running and bucking out to the hay where he has a little taste and then, unable to contain his pure, unadulterated joy at his freedom, has to go gallywhomping off again being the silly goose that he is...normal stuff...however, when it was Harley's turn to come running out he came charging with a full head of steam straight at me. gulp...no time to react, except for a quick thought to dash behind the roach coach for cover...sounded like my best chance for protection at the time, except that when Harley got close enough for me to look straight in his eye, I knew he wasn't going to run over the top of me; he was instead going to go straight over the top of the roach coach full of hay...what the heck!? So, I quickly moved in the opposite direction and surely as if it had been his intent, Harley ran right over the top of the cart...as if it hadn't been there...as if he hadn't even seen it. Very strange...

So, I ran into the barn and grabbed his halter and lead to bring him back inside where I could survey the damage. He appeared to be okay but for a few minor scuffs and one small cut near his coronet band on a front foot. Good grief!! I say a quick prayer of thankfulness that he wasn't hurt and turn him back out for his breakfast. As I headed back out to finish depositing piles of hay and collect the roach coach, I realized I had left the gate open into a small paddock-sized grassy area which of course, Shad had spotted. Before I could get through the gate, Ladde and then Harley were all in the grassy area. I followed suit with the intention of flushing them back out into the corral where they belonged before heading back inside for another cup of coffee.

Now, the horses know before I say a thing that these are sweet, stolen bites of fresh, green grass and that they are going to be run out...so, without much prompting from me, one by one they run out. Harley was the last to leave, and he rounded the open gate with ease and proceded to run full-tilt out into the corral. Now, one thing I had failed to mention earlier; was that I had left the now nearly empty roach coach sitting right smack dab in the middle of the corral...well, Harley ran right into it again!! This time he flipped over and got his hind leg briefly entangled in the handle. Oh my word!!! I was in complete and total shock at what I had just witnessed and was so upset that he was hurt, I could barely think straight. What is going on!!?? First thing that crossed my mind, of course, was that he can't see!!

So, to make a long story somewhat shorter...last night my boss came out and did a full eye exam on Harley and he is indeed, losing his vision. Apparently, he has been losing his vision for a while now. How long, we will never know, but looking back over the last year or more...let's just say that a lot of questions in my mind have now been answered. So many occurances now seem so much more clear. I had occasionally wondered why my perfect little trail pony seemed to be so much spookier than he used to be; he used to be so much more sure-footed than he is nowadays...the list could go on and on and on, but you get the picture. I can remember quite a few times where the thought had crossed my mind...is he having trouble seeing? And then, as quickly as that nasty little thought entered my mind, I would dismiss it; certain that I was being paranoid, or it was just my overactive imagination...only now I know it wasn't. I can only say that I am so heartsick at the thought of my beloved Harley going blind. Oh how I wish it wasn't so!! He's only 12 years old, and he has so much life and energy, and he's just so healthy and vibrant!! It's such a hard diagnosis to accept, except somewhere deep inside...I already knew it.
I hate it!! One of the things I hate the most is feeling helpless, and right now I feel utterly and completely helpless. My boss took close-up pictures of Harley's eye and plans on sending them to some ophthalmologists that he knows, but told me not to get my hopes up. I know there are many advances in medicine in regards to the eye, but the prognosis is usually guarded at best. It probably doesn't help that he's an Appaloosa. Seems to be a pitfall of this beautiful breed of horse. I can only say that I feel so very, very sad about this. Not for me, but that my beautiful and cock-sure little horse may very well become blind and won't be able to see all the beauty that there is to see. I would appreciate your prayers for Harley.

I'm not nearly as confident of a rider as I used to be, and I'm trying to get over my feelings of fear and inadequacy, but this opens up a whole new host of challenges that we will need to overcome. I've never been a quitter, and I won't now, or ever, give up on Harley. A blind trail horse can be quite a challange, but if God's plan for Harley is to be blind, then we'll just have to get through it together and the best way we know how. Again, I humbly ask for all your prayers if you don't mind. We can use all the help we can get. I'm not the sort of person who can easily, or any other way for that matter, disgard an animal. They are family. Right or wrong, for better or for worse...we're in this for the longhaul.

Blessings all,
cingspots :(

Monday, March 8, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Really...it's March 17, 2010

Silly blogger doesn't let you change dates. It is St. Patrick's Day which of course, means it's almost spring...yippee!! This coming Saturday, is the first day (technically) of spring and Ladde's birthday. Wow, I can hardly believe another spring/summer season is just around the corner. Time sure does fly!!

I don't want to think about anything serious today, so I'm doing a blog medley. A post of some good times spent last summer. Just cause I want to think about happy days and not anything else today.

Pies!!! Ooh yummy!! This tiny little restaurant on the way to the beach that serves the best breakfasts. And, they also serve pie. All kinds of pies. This is a picture of the morning's baking...hmmmm.

The beautiful, blue Pacific near Newport. Nye Beach specifically. A great place to spend some time.

My beautiful friend...Miss Betty. I love you my wonderful little friend. (she's gonna kill me for posting her picture here!) We had a good time on our little weenend outing to the beach.

An artsy fartsy shot through the weeds. :)

Depoe Bay...what a glorious summer day!!!!

Another one taken at Depoe Bay / the ocean side, of some cool looking caves...

A crazy artist painting with his back to the ocean...not a very good idea at all. Hasn't he heard of "sneaker waves"? Whoosh!! and he'd be gone in a nano-second!!

Taken from "the wall" in Depoe Bay.

Not the greatest picture, but...this is a grey whale!! We had no idea we'd be whale watching that afternoon. They are just gorgeous!! I love whales. Once, years ago, my friend, Diana and I did a 20 mile "walk for the whales" walkathon for Green Peace. I thought I was going to die, but I made it. Talk about sore feet though!!

Some boaters who spotted the whales too.

Don't you just love exploring tide pools? This one looked especially interesting, but I didn't climb down the rocks to check it out. Just picture taking this trip.

An old rusty ship anchor. Would look totally cool in the yard of a little beach cottage, don't you think?

The actual "bay" of Depoe Bay. Remember the movie with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel, Overboard? This is where they filmed part of that movie, only the snobby Goldie referred to it as "Elk Snout". Love that movie!!

This shot shows the actual channel that the ships have to pass through coming into Depoe Bay from the ocean. Very, very narrow. Another movie tidbit...remember Jack Nicholson in "One Flew over the cuckoo's nest"? This is where that boat outing scene was shot where they stole the boat and went deep sea fishing. Didn't know you were going to get educated today, did you?

Here's a cute little guy mooching fish from one of the local fishing shops.

Depoe Bay again...different shot. Gorgeous day at the beach!

I love this bench! Just a little resting spot for shopping-weary husbands, I guess...

I love how the sun shines off the water in this shot. Not sure what kind of ship this was, but it's no fishing boat...

Someone's artistic carving...kinda cool huh?

More tidepools!! These ones were right on the beach, and we did get to do a little exploring.

Guess that's it for the beach shots. Betty and I had a wonderful weekend at Nye Beach. We stayed at the "Sylvia Beach Hotel", which years ago was the number one destination for honeymooners staying on the Oregon Coast. It's a very old hotel. All the rooms are "author-themed". We stayed in the Ernest Hemingway room...feather bed, tropical decor and more masculine than feminine. They have rooms of many authors and have journals written in by their guests over the years. Very interesting reading material. They also have a full library in the top floor, with a help-yourself kitchen, fireplace and in the basement each morning they serve a full course breakfast - chef's choice. Delicious food! I hope to do it again one of these days. Now, lest I forget...when I returned home, I had a care package from Chelsi. Very cool stuff!! This is the card that she designed herself and a handmade dishrag. I love it Chelsi!!

This is a picture of the loot that Chelsi sent to me. The wine was very good, the chocolate I dug into immediately, and the syrup was divine!! We would definitely enjoy getting some more of that!! Thanks ever so much Chelsi!! If you haven't already, you've got to check her out...Adventures of a Horse-Crazed Mind. She's a very talented writer, horse-crazy gal, like most of us and she's a multi-faceted gal who hales from British Columbia, Canada. Not to mention, what a talented artist she is. Go check out her blog, you won't be sorry!
Well, that's enough picture posting for one day. Wishing everyone out there in Blogland a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!! May ya be havin' a green one fer me!!!
Blessings from cingspots.
Just wanted to say a quick, but genuinely heartfelt "thank you", to all of you who left such kind and loving comments on my last blog posting about my sweet, Harley horse. His body soreness and cuts are healing up nicely after his run-in with the hay wagon. As far as the blindness issue...we're just taking it one day at a time. Thanks again for all the cherished prayers and well-wishes that were sent our way!! You guys are the best!!