Archive for November, 2007

Brigget Buys a Pony

Meet Elsa 

Brigget called the other day.  “Hey, Tracey, guess what?  I’m going to look at a horse!”


That caught my attention.  Brigget’s been looking at horses off and on for the past couple of years.  She’s been wanting a team that she can drive and till up her land with.  “What kind?”  I asked, thinking I’d hear something like, “Oh, a pair of Norwegian Fjords,” as the answer.


Nope.   That’s not what I heard.  “It’s an Icelandic!”  Immediately dollar signs flashed through my mind.  “I figured what the heck, Strawberry doesn’t need to go to college.”  Yeah, you got that right!  Let the kid get a job.  Tell her to take out a student loan.  Heck, that’s what we told the Grammar Nazi.  “You gotta pay your own way in this world at sometime, kid, better get busy doing it now while you’re young!”  And then we I went out and spent all we’d saved on a barn full of mustangs.  I wonder what Strawberry thinks when she sees her college tuition out there burning hay?


But just look at this face!  Tell me you wouldn’t have been tempted as well!



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Photo-Ho? Me?

Okay, so it’s a term not everyone is comfortable with.  But seems someone did dub me that out there in the land of internet.  It may be true…perhaps…that I’m a bit of a junkie.  Just because I spent 5-6 hours a day the past couple of days editing photos people seem to think I’ve got a problem.  Too bad they can’t find a 12 step program for me, eh?

I found this cool place online where you can make a book.  Oh, I’m sure there are lots of places, but this one gave you a hardback cover and it looked so exciting that I began sorting through photos of Darling and Quiet Storm, editing them, tweaking them, and resizing them so they could go into this book.  My right hand feels like it’s going to fall off after all the mousework.  (City Boy would have preferred I do housework…but it rhymes, so it’s okay, right?)  I think the end result of this particular photo was worth it, don’t you?  Although by next week I’ll probably have changed my mind about that.

 Kisses from a Friend

By the time I  finished  reworking and uploading, most of the day had escaped.  I clicked the publish button and…$30?  For  20 pages?   I may have to  re-think the hardback version.  Or at least go outside and take better photos.

Someone is writing a book on the mustangs of Eastern Oregon and they asked if I’d be willing to do some photography for them.  I’ve come to the conclusion that this person must not get out much, because there are plenty of equine photographers out there that are actually good…so I said yes before she could figure that out.   Hopefully my right hand is up for the task of more mousework… (Anything to get out of housework!)

Mustang Gelding used by the US Border Patrol 

Too Cute Brown Filly 

Strawberry Roan 

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Nancy’s Farm


Okay, so it’s a bit chilly out.  Maybe more than just a bit.  Its most definitely winter here at Carpenter Creek.  Yesterday Darling and I delivered Sunny to her new home.  We had to go borrow a horse trailer from our friend, Nancy, who has the most picturesque little farm you’ve ever seen.   But man, oh man, was it cold!  My toes felt like they were going to snap off at any given moment.  I had to come home and drink hot chocolate (with double the chocolate, naturally) just to help myself warm up a bit.  It did wonders for my spirit, but nothing for my toes.  Unfortunately, City Boy was refusing to rub them and warm them up.  Wonder if it had something to do with the hole in my boot and the mud that had oozed through?


Thankfully my fingers weren’t as cold as my toes or I wouldn’t have been able to operate the camera.  Good golly, what would we have done without pictures???



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They’re falling stars. No, really. They fell straight out of the sky all night and now they’re laying in a dusting all over my ground. People tend to think stars are big, probably because scientists have misled them all these years. But in reality, they’re teeny, weeny little things. And wet. And all over my ground.

Darling set straight to work creating a blogging opportunity for herself which she titled, “10 things you can do with Garland.” It has a rather Charlie Brown-like charm.

We got the tree up the other night. It’s plastic. We used to go chop down a live tree, but I got tired of traipsing about in the mud and rain, looking at tree after tree for what seemed like hours on end, only to come back to the first tree we’d looked at. Tree hunting isn’t my thing. So I stopped hunting. The family continued to make it a day without mom, which was fine by me and probably by them as well because I was getting grumpy those last couple of years. Even without going, I found myself grumpy. Why? They’d drag home a tree infested with spiders. You know how I dislike those creepy, eight legged arachnids. Having them crawling all over my house just didn’t set well with me. Now we’ve got a plastic tree. It doesn’t smell as good, but we can put it up right after Thanksgiving and not worry about watering it or having it die. Plus, when the cat knocks it over there’s no water to worry about in the carpet. Of course, there are no ornaments hanging on the bottom three feet of it because Cleo has decided she’s the official tree un-decorator.

Darling and I went for a different look this year.

Not everyone uses a lariat and a cowboy hat on their tree, then combines it with Cinderellas and Barbies from Hallmark. But we do. At least this year we have. We need a few more western themed ornaments to make it look like we want it to look. Perhaps I ought to hang our spurs? Or maybe we just need to hire a professional tree decorator.

Doesn’t everyone want ropes in their Christmas Tree?


Enough fun for now. I’ve got to go sweep those stars off the patio…

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We Had Joy, We Had Fun…

This is going to be a rough week.  It’s been years since I’ve shed tears over the sale of a horse; I didn’t expect it to hit me so hard.  But it has, and the tears just don’t seem to end.  I don’t know if it’s the horse, or if it’s the bond that I’ve seen grow between Darling and Quiet Storm.  The smiles and frustrations, the growth and the triumphs.  That little horse has taught my daughter so much.  And isn’t that what a first horse should do?  Take a child and turn them into a happy, confident person?



It’s not just Darling who fell in love.  When she and City Boy returned home yesterday from errands, I told them that Quiet Storm had a buyer, and that they’d be here from Oregon on Sunday.   City Boy had a look of regret flash across his face.  “That’s too soon,” he said.   City Boy, my non-horsey half, has convinced himself that Quiet Storm is a puppy.  She’s his barn building buddy, the one who shadows him around the property when he’s building fences.  The one who knocks over the boxes of nails and screws and whatever else he has sitting alongside him when he works out in the barn or paddock.  The one who rests her head on his shoulder and gives him hugs.


I don’t really know how Darling is feeling.  She holds everything so close when it comes to emotions like this.  Quiet Storm’s new owner is a sweet woman in Oregon, and we handpicked her.  We know she’ll be going to an exceptional home…but she’s also a beginner rider and that leaves Darling with the task of getting Quiet Storm over a few hurdles this week.  Trail rides will be taken every day that it’s not raining.  And the more she rides her and spends time with her, the harder this Sunday will be.



Quiet Storm isn’t the only one heading to a new home this week.  Sunny, too, has found a new owner.  A woman who fell in love and has the skills and compassion with which to take my fiery red filly to the next step.  It’s odd how I’d been in such turmoil over her just a few months ago, and yet now I’m totally at peace.  When her new owner came to visit with her, she settled right in and began to relax; you could see right away there was a connection.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s only a few miles away from me where I can go visit and see how things are going.


So there you have it.  A week of emotional hurdles ahead.  Keep us in your prayers as Darling prepares to let go of her baby…


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It’s not really a good idea to cut your kid’s hair yourself.  You never know which way they’re going to move and whether or not you’ll jab them with the scissors, make a crooked cut, or snip off the end of their ear accidentally.  Lucky for me, Darling cuts her own hair.  I’ll bet Rufus is wishing he could cut his own hair right about now, too.


The trouble with being born a dust mop is that people don’t know when you’re coming or going.  Indeed, there are days when you, yourself, are unsure which is your front end and which is your back.  City Boy and the kids got tired of petting Rufus’s head and finding out it was his tail.  Rufus got tired of chasing squirrels backwards.  So they decided it was time for him to see a hair dresser.


I fired Rufus’s hair dresser. She kept clipping him like he was a Tibetian Spaniel, or perhaps that’s a terrier?  Either way, long ears.  Rufus, aka Homeland Security, is a Shih Tsu cross and should have little ears, not long stringy ears.  I had no choice in the matter, really.  Besides which, Rufus loves the feel of the wind in his long locks and will stand out there, nose pointing directly into the windstorm just to give us the full effect of his studly beauty.




Somehow, Rufus has become a safe haven for all the fleas in the county.  Why, just as Jack Frost begins to get a firm grip on the land, the fleas have chosen my poor puppy as a winter meal I have no clue.  But deep down in those now matted locks is an infestation of blood sucking, egg laying, six legged beasts that are making my poor Mr. Fluffy Pants miserable.


This morning, since I was awake and the rest of the household was asleep, I decided to remedy the situation.  I snagged City Boy’s good kitchen scissors (they’re the sharpest, after all) and plopped Rufus down in front of me.  If I can shear a sheep, I ought to be able to give the dog a hair cut, right?   So I set straight to work.  I had visions of Edward Scissorhands as Rufus’s hair flew up into the air past my face before landing in a pile beside him.  He laid there completely relaxed, rolling over onto his back and exposing himself in a most obscene manner, even for a little dog.


I snipped and sheared and cut away, sculpting a fantasy in my  mind of what my little Shih Tsu cross would look like when I was done.


Fantasies seldom work out in real life.


Rufus is embarrassed…he’s refusing to allow any photography… 


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Gray Saturday?

If yesterday’s sales were on Black Friday, does that mean today is Gray Saturday?  I’m about to find out!  Darling is still in bed so I think I’ll head out and do some Christmas shopping for her.  First I’ve got to run outside (in the dark and cold) to feed the horses.   Then, off to Michael’s for art supplies!

For about a week I sat here and looked at the photos of this horse after we returned home.  Don’t these eyes just pull you right in?  I’ve named her Clairol Girl, lol!

Clairol Girl, along with many other older mares recently gathered in OR, has been sent to a long term holding facility where she’ll live out the rest of her natural life without a stallion in the mix.  Since it’s so difficult to adopt out horses over the age of 10, often times they get sent to live on private land where the BLM pays the rancher to care for them.  Some will foal the following spring as they arrive bred.  The foals are gathered, weaned, and placed into the adoption program.  If you visit the Pioneer Woman blog, you’ll have seen the wild mare herd that they’ve been contracted to care for.

As usual, I’m bemoaning the fact that I didn’t get to bring home such a photogenic creature.  Wonder where she went?  Wonder if I can get her offspring when it’s weaned next year??

Darling has finally begun to post to her blog again.  For a real treat why not skip on over there and check out her photos?

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