Monday, June 22, 2015

Potpourri of life

Time has just gotten away from me lately!  Yesterday was Father's Day and the official arrival of summer.  Around here, it seems like summer has been in full swing for 5-6 weeks already.  Highly unusual for our usually temperate climate.  I've enjoyed the cooler, but beautiful sunshine we've had, but that's about to change.  Big time!  And of course it happens when we have scheduled our vacation...sigh.  I don't do heat anymore.  Ever since I experienced heat stroke about 16 years ago, and had another occurrence a few years back, I cannot abide hot weather, unless I'm in the water.  :)  The heat just zaps my energy and then I get sick.  No fun!

So understandably, I'm a bit bummed by the forecast of our temps soaring to triple digits by the end of this week.  We've made reservations for 3 nights horse camping starting this coming Sunday night through Tuesday and coming back home on Wednesday for a previously scheduled appointment with the farrier.  If our weather gets that hot, I might cancel and we could head to the beach, but then I'd fret about our horses back home.  So, I'm not sure what we're going to do.  

I'm also very concerned about Ruby lately.  It's been several weeks now since she suffered something like a stroke, or maybe it was a stroke.  We don't really know, but the right side of her face is slightly droopy, especially the right eye and lip.  Her tongue also doesn't seem to work properly and she has a serious drool, which she never had before.  She acts depressed, but not all the time.  She still gets excited and enjoys going for walks, usually enjoys riding in the car, but has very little interest in anything else.  In fact, most of the time she walks around sort of skulking, as if she were in trouble or something.  I guess my best description of her demeanor is sheepish, like she thinks she's in trouble or something.  It's just really weird.  We were hoping these strange symptoms would go away, but several weeks have passed and they remain, but vary in their intensity.  We may have to send a sample to the lab and see if that shows anything.  She's not going to be 5 years old until August, so she's still young.  We've been toying with the idea of getting another dog for some companionship, but not sure if that's a good idea until we figure out if something is wrong with her, or not.  

In other news, Eagle is doing very, very well at Rachel's.  She says that he's coming along so much quicker than she expected, and that in everything she asks of him, he tries really hard.  That's not news to me, I've always known he has lots of heart and wants to please.  He's a super awesome horse!  I've ridden him 3 times since he's been there and he still feels like a green horse, but he's getting better every week.  I'm not sure how better to describe how he feels, other than very heavy.  He's definitely not a light-footed, lofty sort of ride.  Hopefully this will improve with more time, but if not, that's just the way it might be.  He's learning how to be more supple and that's sure to be helpful.  Rachel takes him on a trail ride 6 days a week and then he also has a bit of ground work and ring riding too.  His new boots have been well-broken in already.  She breaks his lessons in half, with a lengthy amount of downtime in between trail rides and ring rides.  During my vacation week, she says I'm welcome to come several different days if I want for extra rides on him.  If I can go in the mornings, I'll definitely do it!  I still feel timid on his back, but I'm hopeful that with more time spent riding him, my confidence and comfort levels will grow.  He's done absolutely nothing wrong according to Rachel, and that's reassuring.  I just couldn't be more pleased with Eagle and his progress, and with Rachel for all the help she offers to me.  Last Saturday marked the first 30 days in training, so we've got another 30 to go.  The 3rd week of July Rachel travels to Nampa, Idaho for another Extreme Mustang Challenge competition, and Eagle will likely come home then.  If money weren't an object, I would consider leaving him there for another month, but unfortunately it is, so I'll need to step up my game and start riding my horse with regularity.  I have to admit, I really miss him and am so looking forward to riding him, especially in the mountain trails.

On June 14th, we traveled to Perrydale Trails for a day ride with fellow riding club friends.  It's not really trail riding, but is natural trail obstacles (120+) spread over 10 -15 acres and includes some trails through wooded areas.  On the way, we stopped for gas and a transformer across the street blew, trapping my hubby and the salesgirl inside for about 45 minutes.  The firemen were called, and they saved the day!  I'm just thankful that the horses and I were parked in the shade while we waited.  :)  We took Ladde and Missy and enjoyed the day, but had to leave earlier than expected because Missy was favoring her right front and I just cannot bear to ride her when she limps.  That was with Bute on board too.  So disheartening, but I knew when I got her that she had Navicular.  Anyway, it was a good day spent with friends and our horses.  I always enjoy riding Missy because she's just so darned agreeable.  Hopefully one day I'll feel as comfortable riding Eags!

Besides both of us working every day, we've got all our winters' supply of hay in the barns, a winters' supply of bedding/stall pellets in the barn, all or most of the winters' supply of firewood in the wood shed, garden in and still have our bedroom remodel staring us in the face.  When that's finished, I'll just heave a big old sigh of relief! Our pool is up and ready, so I'll bet that's where I'll be spending a lot of time in the coming week or two.  Too hot for much else!  Who knows, if the weather turns too hot for horse camping, maybe I'll cancel our camping reservations and head to the beach.  We have a camper now, so we're pretty much foot loose and fancy free!  I'd just feel a little uneasy about leaving our horses at home when it's so bloody hot though.  *sigh*  It's always something, isn't it?  

Hope you are all enjoying our summer!  Get out there and do something - even if it's wrong!!  :)  Something my dad used to say!  

Until next time, blessings

Friday, June 5, 2015

Havin' a ball

Out walking on our recent camp-out to Mt. Adams
That's an understatement!  But I really am absolutely loving interacting with Eagle and Rachel on my weekly visits.  Eagle continues to astonish me at how fast he's picking up on his lessons, and just how very well he's doing overall.  He's been calm, quiet, and really enjoys his lessons, especially the trail rides.  Rachel is taking him up in the hills pretty much daily now, and he's had no more spook incidents other than that first day.  

The footing in the riding arena is causing him some foot discomfort though.  It's a very small, maybe 1/4- rock and it's hard packed, necessary for year round use in our rainy winters.  Eagle's back feet have almost completely worn down the side walls, so I'm buying a pair of boots for him today.  He's been wearing boots on his fronts all along, so there's no problems there, but my sweet boy has tender feet and needs rubber all around. I wish we'd noticed earlier, but he'll manage with wearing Ladde's boots until I get him new ones.  

This weekend our mild weather is turning uncomfortably hot.  We're expecting 90-95 this weekend, and that's just about unbearable for me.  Time to get that swimming pool up!!  I was smart this year about pool supplies.  I've got enough filters and chlorine tablets to last pretty much all season.  That stuff sells out fast!  We bought a new cover for the pool too, so the farmer's field chaff won't be a film on the water, that will help the filters last longer too.  

Hay fields are being cut all over the place, and I'm anxious to get ours cut, baled and safely stored in the barn.  Having to worry even more about our very own field makes me a nervous nellie.  With this hot, dry spell I should be getting my wish soon enough...time to round up our hay crew.  Last year we put 21 ton in the barns and about 2 ton of alfalfa. That's about the maximum that we have room for.  It usually works out perfectly, and this year we've got maybe close to a ton left right now.  The horses are getting 1 flake twice a day and they're fatter than ticks.  Ladde and Missy spend their nights in the corral where they can't eat all night long.  They are the two I worry about the most, they really need a regular exercise routine.  Hopefully we'll have time to begin that soon.  Never enough time to do everything that we want or need to do.  Age old story...

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One of those life updates

Our past weekend was a whirlwind of activity.  I sound like a broken record!  We picked up our fourth, and hopefully final ton of bedding pellets.  We've never used more than 4 tons in a year, so I should have enough to last through this coming winter and next spring. That would be wonderful!  I saved a total of $92.40 by buying them all now while they were on sale, plus I get peace of mind at not having to pick them up during inclement weather and a busier (ha!) time of year.  In case you were wondering, 4 tons of bedding pellets makes a mighty big pile!!

I got my small garden box weeded again, 3rd time this year already...I hate morning glories!  The bigger one isn't so bad for some reason, and I have about 2/3 of my garden planting finished.  I have two big tomatoes, a beefsteak and a heirloom variety new to me, my favorite ever cherry-sized tomato (Sungold) and a grape tomato.  Yum.  

I planted a row of strawberries, (a variety of types), some Walla Walla onions, Acorn squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, lemon cucumber, cilantro, sweet basil, oregano and maybe that's it.  Anyway, I have more plants than I have space for planting.  *sigh*  I always seem to get carried away, and every year I try not to.  I bought a new rose bush (deep red) to replace the one that didn't make it from last year, 2 more lavender plants (cause I love them) and a couple of nasturtiums.  I've also got a couple of chrysanthemums and a flowering bush that I still need to find places for.  As usual, I'm putting the cart before the horse.  Some things never change!

I went over to Rachel's to watch her work with Eagle Sunday afternoon.  He is doing absolutely fantastic!  He is very pleased with his lessons, and I am immensely happy that he's so happy!  He's been on several more trail rides, and has added sidepassing to his regular routine.  She's been having him walk over tarps, open and pass through gates and going over the tippy bridge.  He's also learning to control his spooks.  Dealing with our irrational fears seems to be a challenge for many of us, animal or human.  But he's just doing great, coming along nicely and quicker than I'd ever imagined.  The footing in Rachel's outside arena is tiny gravel, maybe 1/4 minus or something similar, which is proving to be too rough on his feet.  He's wearing his boots on the front, and I'll be ordering a pair for his backs as soon as I get the measurements.  He goes barefoot in the hills and trails, doing just fine out there.  I'm really getting anxious to ride my horse - I've waited long enough!  But wait I will, until he's not quite so green.  When I ride him for the first time, I want it to be a successful ride for both of us.  Rachel agrees with me that if he was ridden at all, it was just people sneaking rides on him, he's as green as grass as far as "training" goes.  He's such a smart and willing horse though, he's coming along quicker than either of us had hoped.  :)  

Ladde and/or Missy, who spend their nights in the corral; broke a post which allowed the 6 ft gate to crash the other night, so we had to buy a new post and a couple new fence boards to make that repair.  I never know who to blame because Ladde likes to push down on the top of the gate, while Missy is a major butt rubber.  *sigh*  Those two!  They are a match made in heaven!!  Anyway, my hubby got that job taken care of while I worked in the garden.  No rest for the wicked...speaking of the Laddmonster, he had a bout of gas colic last week.  Scared the stuffing right out of me!  I'm cool and collected at work, offering sound advice for people to deal with a colicing horse...but when it's my horse - all that knowledge and know-how goes right out the window.  I am like everybody else. Scared and in need of help.  I administered a dose of Banamine and called my boss/my vet and he came out and gave Ladde an exam, took his vitals and determined that he thought he'd be alright.  Ladde was sweated all over and soaking wet, oozing mud from his very pores, so we sponged him off until he was cool, then put his blanket on for the night. He's recovered and since has had no other issues.  Grateful!  Thankful!!  Feeling blessed!!  Ack, how I hate colic!!

My hubs took the camper off our truck so I would be able to take more hay out to Eags when it was needed.  

My one really special treat (except visiting Eags) was having my toes done.  Oh my, how I love those pedicures!  It's just so relaxing and decadent to sit there and totally chill while somebody massages sweet-smelling oil all over my feet and calves.  My feet are silky soft and callous free, and my toes are painted a lovely coral color, perfect for late spring and wearing sandals.  What a treat that was!!  Now I just need to work on that suntan...

Our weather lately has been getting warmer and warmer, but we had a front blow in night before last and there was booming thunder, lightning and lots of rain.  It felt absolutely delicious after that 87 degree Sunday we had!  I just cannot tolerate the heat these days, zaps all my energy and unless I get into shade, I actually feel dizzy, then sick.  Time to get that swimming pool  back up in our yard!  It's only 12 ft in diameter, but it's big enough to get in and feel cool and refreshed.  I just love it! So, today is another cool, grey and drizzly day, but it's supposed to be heating back up again, with 90 degrees predicted for Sunday.  Oh well, better get used to it - here comes summer!  Less than 2 weeks away. I've really enjoyed this spring, a good mix of sunshine, comfortable temps and some rain mixed in for good measure.  I am so ready to spend time on the deck, in the pool, having friends over for BBQ's and the like.  I'm ready for more camping trips, horse back riding in the mountains and oh, just everything!  I want to be a social butterfly and eat ice cream, watch fireworks and spend time with friends, read a good book...just enjoy life.  Time goes by all too quickly for me and I just want to live without always having to worry about everything that needs to be done.  A good mix of work and play is perfect, but life is always heavy on the work end of the scales.  Just doesn't seem quite right to me.

Well that's about it for now...until next time,
blessings all around!