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Archive for March, 2008

Does God Know it’s Nearly April?

 

I’m just wondering, because it seems He’s forgotten to turn off the snow button.  Maybe Al Gore forgot to forward the video about global warming to Him?  Do you suppose the angels forgot to give him the Memo?

 

Only 270 days left till Christmas!

We had a couple inches of wet, heavy snow fall over night and it shows no signs of stopping.  It just keeps coming down.  And you know how I feel about snow.  It slows down my outdoor chores tremendously.  I get cold, the ground gets sloppy beneath my boots; there’s nothing pretty about muddy snow.   And as it’s a wet snow, it also becomes slick when you try to navigate your way across it.  Less pretty than muddy snow is a muddy Horsewife’s hiney after she’s picked herself up out of it.  Snow is not my friend.

 

But today…well, today I might be able to make an exception.   You see, it’s the annual bike race around my valley.  And as great as my passionate feelings for snow, they’re even greater for bicycles.  If there’s one thing I dislike more than the Objectionable White Stuff, it’s a bicycle hogging up my road making it difficult to navigate my way home.

 Last year’s race had no snow

“You’re just like your Father,” said my mom one day.  “He can’t stand bicycles out here.  No where to pass them legally with that double yellow line between town and home.”

 

“The two of you should try bowling,” I answered.

 

She gave me a dubious look.

 

“You open the door as he’s driving past and see how many you can take out.  Then record your score.  We’ll compare later in the week to see if you can get a higher score than Darling and I.”

 

Don’t they look like they’re having fun?
If it was that much fun last year,
I can’t imagine they’d want to be here in the snow…

Yup, bicycles are a nuisance.  More so than snow.  And today there’s a lovely white blanket covering the ground.  Wonder if they’ll cancel the race?

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Baa Baa Brown Sheep

Ring~a ~Ling…“Hello?”
“Tracey, you want a bottle lamb?”
“That’s a stupid question, Brigget.  Of course I do.  The real question is, can I sneak a bottle lamb onto the farm without City Boy noticing.  And if he notices, will he soon be a widower wearing orange and serving a 99-life sentence?”
It would seem that Pancake (her real name is the Icelandic word for pancake, and I’m not even going to attempt to sound it out for you) had triplets yesterday morning.  She’s not the milkiest ewe on the planet and one of the ewe lambs is a bit smaller than her siblings.  She’s the one in the back; a rich chocolate colored little girl.  Brigget fears she will need to take her off her mom and bottle raise her.  Since we know that Hulda will reject one lamb (she always twins and always rejects one), Brigget would prefer to find someone else to raise this one.
This was the second lambing at Wake Robin Farm.  The day before it was Sunday who delivered a robust set of twins.
And will you just look at this most adorable little black faced ram lamb!  Is he too cute for words, or what?
Lambs weren’t the only thing Brigget was pedaling yesterday.  She’d ordered 100 chicks and was now offering up some for sale.  Cuckoo Marans, to be specific.  They’re black chickens who lay deep, rich chocolate colored eggs.  Darling has been dying for farm fresh eggs of late, stating she can no longer tolerate the colorless, flavorless store eggs.  Of course, it’ll be early fall before any of these chicks begin to lay, and then we’ll be headed into winter.  I may need to find a few adult hens to keep Darling happy.
 Roughly 1/3 of the chicks in Briggets brooder room.
An Americauna chick who will grow up to lay blue or green eggs. 
Of course City Boy will tell me that adding chickens back into the barnyard is just offering a free meal to raccoons or coyotes or whatever it is that comes along and eats them.  He’ll not be too pleased if I say yes to either of Brigget’s offers.  Maybe I’d better go sweep the floor or vacuum in an effort to butter him up, eh?

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The day had started early, as usual.  But this morning was dark.  Very, very dark.

“Are you sure we have the right time?”  Darling said with a sleepy yawn as she headed out the door,  “It’s awfully dark out there.”

 

And it was.  The clouds were thick and ominous looking.  Before Darling made it completely out the door, snowflakes began to fall.  Big, wet, two inch flakes that had the ground completely covered within minutes.  Darling gave one pathetic glance back over her shoulder at me as she walked…no, drug herself down the driveway.  By the time she would get on the bus, she would be soaked to the bone.  The wind was blowing and the flakes were swirling about our heads; Darling’s as she stood waiting for the bus, me as I went about my morning chores.

 

As abruptly as the snow had begun to fall, it stopped.  By afternoon it was actually pleasant outside and I went out to work with Sandy.  Sandy is a digger; he gets bored and paws at the ground.  Evidently he’s heard you can get to China if you dig hard enough, and that seems to be his goal.  Unfortunately with the weather we’ve had, all he’s managed to do is build duck ponds in his paddock and create all sorts of mud.  And when I work Sandy in his paddock, he takes off with a snort and before long there’s mud flying everywhere.  Yesterday was no exception; mud on the sheep shed wall.  Mud splashed up onto the walls inside his stall.  Mud on the outside of the barn (I don’t know how, he’s just talented that way.)   And when I finally came into the house, Darling took one look and began to laugh.

 

“Mom, there’s mud on your eye.”

 

And indeed there was.  I had been encased in mud from my head to my toes.   Plastered not only onto my sweatshirt and jeans and face, but encrusted in my hair as well.  I was a walking mud monster.  A mud monster who’s more than ready for some dry weather to come her way.   Unfortunately, global warming seems to be headed to someone else’s planet.  Here in the Northwest, we’re back to snow for yet another morning.

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Sit Down, Hang On, and…

I’ve been driving down to my friend Curt’s place for riding lessons every Monday for the past six weeks.  At first, it hurt.  My body was sore from my tippy top to my tippy toes.   Thankfully, my body has adjusted.  Or so I thought…

 

JoJo and I after a lesson. 

Curt moved me up from his mare, JoJo, to a customer’s very green filly that I call Rhonda.  Rhonda is a lovely red filly who moves like a kitty all hopped up on catnip.  She’s fast.  She climbs walls.  She breaths fire.  At least that’s what it feels like while I’m up on top.  When she moves left, I seem to be moving right.  When she stops, I, for some inexplicable reason, keep going forward.  And when she spins a 360, I’m glad she’s so good at planting her pivot foot because if she didn’t I’d undoubtedly be on the ground.  Instead, I just land sitting backwards, facing her tail rather than her head.  I’m not really certain how that happens, but I’m always grateful I’m not eating dirt when we finish our lesson.

 

Yesterday as I was putting Rhonda away Curt asked me what I’d been learning.

 

“Sit down, hang on, and don’t scream like a girl!”

 

He just smiled.  “Good.”

 

Curt told me about a Reined Cowhorse event going on up here this weekend.  Darling and I went to watch and I got a few photos.  These people don’t scream like girls, either.  They also seem to stay facing forward in the saddle when their horses spin circles.  I’m in awe.  Do you think they super glue their Wranglers to their saddle?

 

 

 

 

 

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Sandy

Sandy
(photo by Darling, editing by me) 

Sandy’s weakest area is still his self confidence.  I spent Saturday going in and out with treats; hands full of grain to offer in an attempt to get him to enjoy my presence.  It appeared to be working, but Sunday he was back to snort and spook the moment he saw me walk around the corner.  With church and dinner at my grandmother’s, there really wasn’t time to spend with him, and what little time I did have is precisely when God deemed it appropriate to open up the heavens with a down pour of biblical proportions.  Not just rain, but wet, sloppy snow was thrown into the mix.  Cold and wet and The Desperate Horsewife do not mix well, as you may have gathered.

This past week we put the round pen up in the field, about 50′ from the paddock.  The ground is still too wet and slick for it to be of any real use in terms of working a horse, but it made for a good first outing away from the paddock.  Sandy, however, is not a mud wallower such as Jet.  No, he plants those mustang feet of his and refuses to tread across what may just suck him down into the very bowels of hell.  I can’t say I blame him, being barefoot in the mud isn’t my idea of how to spend an afternoon, either, but I’ll be danged if I’m going to share my muck boots with him.  It took a great deal of convincing, and eventually a rope around his middle and run through his halter, to convince him that following me was the easiest solution.

 

Sandy models his ‘belly rope’. 

Along with our short walks back and forth, Sandy has learned to wear a saddle.  He doesn’t want me reaching underneath him, so I tied a little bailing twine onto the cinch and then manage to move him so that the string is on my side of his body, and then I pick it up and tighten the saddle onto his back.  He’s not bothered in the least by this.  He’s worn a bridle, complete with a bit in his mouth.  He looks right handsome, don’t you think?

Handsome fellow in his new ‘clothes’. 

If only we had a few nice days of weather, all in a row like little ducks, the ground may dry out enough to actually be of use.  Then again, with all the rain perhaps it’s God’s way of keeping me moving at a pace that is more comfortable for Sandy.  I’d be tempted, no doubt, to push him further, faster, if I had a few hours of warm sunshine and dry footing out there.   Sandy is undoubtedly thankful for the poor weather conditions!

All saddled up and wanting to go nowhere! 

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Beware of Imitations

 Spooner’s droopy ears were an easy way to tell him from Ringo Ray Ram.

There’s only one Ringo Ray Ram, and for a while it was easy to tell which of the twins he was.  A month ago I could have sent any of you out there and said, “Fetch me Ringo Ray”, and you’d have been able to tell him from Spooner with no trouble at all.  It was obvious even to those unfamiliar with my sheep who was who.

But now, as Spooner and Ringo Ray grow older, it’s becoming less and less obvious.  They’re similar in size and their body type is nearly identical.  And Spooner’s ears no longer droop down like an old hound dog’s would.  In fact, there are days when I’m hard pressed to tell the difference with a quick glance.  But because I know my sheep, I can tell you who’s who, even though they look the same to you.

Will the real Ringo Ray please stand up? 

In today’s world, it’s becoming more and more difficult to tell the difference between good and evil.  Evil has changed.  It’s become more acceptable.  And it tries to imitate good whenever it’s given the opportunity.  The only real way to know what truly is good, is to get familiar with it, study it and embrace it.  That way, you can recognize evil when it shows up on your doorstep.

Spooner once looked different than Ringo Ray…but he isn’t Ringo Ray.   He’s changed just enough so that in appearance he could easily fool the untrained eye.  It’s the same with Christ.  There are many imposters out there who’d have you believe they are the one true risen Lord.  But if you look closely, and if you’re familiar enough with what our Lord truly looks like, you’ll be able to tell the difference.

 

Hope you all have a Blessed Easter! 

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I don’t think so.  But Darling and the Geek Boy to think me a bit odd sometimes.  But it just couldn’t be helped.  The Ghost was calling out to me from the depths of my computer files.  He wanted to come out to play with Photo Shop and I, and how could I say no?  So out he came and we played and played.  I don’t think I’m done playing just yet.  It’s still not quite right.  Perhaps he ought to be a bit smaller?  Maybe his back hooves should be a little more transparent.  What do you think?  I’m going to continue to tinker with him, but this is it for now.

I think I really need a white horse, don’t you?  A real live one, not a ghostly computer likeness.  Sure wish I knew where the real Ghost ended up…

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