Archive of ‘farm life’ category

PHOTO OF THE DAY – BLACK FRIDAY – November 27, 2015

I am NOT a Black Friday shopper. In fact, I will go to great lengths to stay away from crowds of frenzied shoppers.

Today for example, I needed to buy some rope at the hardware store for that darn horse I’ve been trying to load. I took the back roads to Tennessee.

And dang if I didn’t find THE BEST Black Friday Special in all of Johnson County, Tennessee.

No lines. No sales tax. No hassles. Just come and get it….POTD_15_11_27_Black_FridayRecluse Man said, “If we don’t get the horse tomorrow…we’ll get the TV.”

I can’t wait til tomorrow.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – BLOG SITTER – November 25, 2015

Until further notice, I have reassigned my duties as Star-trekker-trainer, and daily blog poster, to a highly qualified substitute.

As you can see, this substitute of mine has exuberance, she’s forthright with her goals, she has a good chomp, and every so often; a nice disposition.

Meet…Whip-Lash….POTD_15_11_24_substitute_1

“Hey Whip-Lash!! … Let go of Star!!! …See you on Friday with some leftover stuffin’!”POTD_15_11_24_substitute_3

HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y’ALL!

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – STAR DAZED – November 23, 2015

I haven’t posted Photos of the Day in two entire days.

I had my reasons. I think one was valid…the rest a bunch of poo.

Honestly, I think I needed a break. But the scary thing? I immediately got used to it.

Makes me wonder if I should take weekends off. But that’s when things happen!

For example…Saturday I had Recluse Man help me with Star. I really believed the day had come when that stubborn mule would load and go. Like an ‘IN-N-OUT’ Burger.

He went in OK. And he came out OK… breaking two lead ropes, and ruining a new halter along the way.

Booger-Burger. GIT-BACK-IN-BURGER.

I got him loaded again…after much coaxing…then called it quits. Always great to end on a good note.

Sunday was dismal. The coldest day so far this winter, with a bitter-stiff breeze. I had Recluse Man and a helper who is good with horses, and yet we still regressed.

Star wouldn’t even load. Not used to guys hanging out….trying new techniques…and probably gazing into my eyes… watching me wanting to turn the Panthers game on…we called it quits. Again. With no progress made.

Saturday I wasn’t able to post a POTD because I couldn’t access my FFF blog site. I took a nap at 8pm and didn’t wake up until 1am. Site was up, I wrote a post, went back to bed, woke up, and thought..HOW STUPID IS THAT? I should never have accessed.

Sunday I wasn’t able to post a POTD because I was accessing so much great football. Double Header!…Panthers then the Packers…my favorite two teams…WON!

I was very happy.  Then later on, I found myself easily entertained with some really great excuses for not posting.

And then it was the late game!!!

Are you ready for some more and more and more FOOTBALL???

YES!

Lately, beyond football, I’ve been watching too much news and having nightmares about terrorist attacks. There are snipers and suicide bombers and feelings of deep fear inside my head. I wake up…then fall asleep to the next nightmare.

2nd nightmare…I’m trying to walk Star to my farm…1.2 miles along the highway. There are trucks roaring by, loaded with Christmas trees and lumber, that backfire when there is no shoulder on the road and nowhere to escape.

They are equally scary nightmares.

Then I’m shivering…and realize Recluse Man has rolled all the covers around himself, just like D.O.G. wrapped in his pig blankets. I grunt. He grunts. (I mean Recluse Man). I steal back the covers.

Now back to Star. We had a really good day today. I needed to hit ‘rewind’ on our training sessions and start with some easy tying. Forget the trailer. I had worked with tying him last winter and he did great, but there was no trailer in sight.

I thought he’d freak over any kind of tying at this point, but again, he surprised me.

Don’t forget this is a very green horse.

I bought two Blocker Tie Rings after watching videos, and seeing how much sense they made. The lead line is wrapped inside the tie ring so there is some play in the line when a horse pulls back forcefully. The amount of play is adjustable.

Once there is some give in the line, the horse will ease off on the crazy pulling. Horses are prey animals who hate restraint. Especially when separated from their herd. But when the restraint gives..no need to pull!

I was amazed by how quickly Star calmed after having a mini-freak-out. There was nothing to break. Nothing to fight. Nothing to bring him down…or up. In fact, he ended up with just a little longer line…(which I quickly shortened as soon as he moseyed closer).

Go Star! Go Blocker Tie Rings! GO INTO THE DAMN TRAILER!!!

At this rate…I will be happy to get that mule here for Turkey Day. I will STUFF HIM GOOD… RIGHT INTO THE TRAILER.

Here are some Photos of the Day. I do believe I will put an album together after that horse finally gets here…ya know…for his grandkids.

That Blocker Tie Ring has him….Star-Dazed….POTD_15_11_23_Star_daze_1

…putting a broken lead rope to good use…”Say Yuum??? Star?”FG_209_1 copy

We eventually got brave enough to tie on to the trailer..with great success…FG_224_1 copy

…for us at least…FG_223_1 copy

“What can I say or do to get you loaded…Dude?”FG_071 copy

To be continued.

Duh.

 

PHOTO OF THE DAY – NO BULL – November 18, 2015

It’s a rainy, gloomy, windy day on the farm.

I’m starting to get cabin fever….along with the dogs.

But not that pigster, D.O.G. He’s two feet away…nestled against the couch. He’s making petite grunts while he dreams. I think he is airborne now. His hooves are twitching as he goes higher and higher! He’s a flying pig!

D.O.G.GONE!!!

This kinda day? If I drank Red Bull…I’d have two. But then I might be seeing double. …POTD_15_11_18_red_bull

So I think I’ll just take a nap.

(btw…these are Scottish Highland cows…No Bull. They’re really sweet gals.)

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – STAR PART IV – November 17, 2015

I don’t have many photos to share today. I was more focused on a training session with Star, and didn’t want to distract our efforts by pulling out my camera. When I did, there was a break in concentration that wasn’t worth losing over a few photos.

We did not fully load in the trailer today, but once again, we made strides.

Am I talking like we are one?

Hell…if we were, he’d be dictating from the couch, after whipping up a carrot cake for us.

I want my boys to make life easy. Or rather…I want to make life easy on my boys? (Consult Recluse Man for the answer)

That will take awhile.

Meanwhile… bottom line…Star got his front legs inside the trailer today, and both back legs on the ramp. It only happened once, but I was beaming the rest of the afternoon. We got two legs on the ramp many times…but OMG…the flat, inside part was the scariest.

“I am a girl in constant sorrow…if only I get that horse here tomorrow.” (sorry…but that tune just popped into my head)

We started on Sunday with butt ropes and multiple lead lines and tricks and treats…and lots of resistance and lots of high pawing and scary rearing up.

Today, there was much pawing on the ramp (good sign)…but the rears were wimpy and few compared to Sunday, (double good sign). And there was so much more trust without restraints, and positive rewards after Star realized resistance wasn’t worth the effort.

Of course there was only me, (like yesterday)…not a whole gang of human strangers, (like Sunday)…and none of his horse buddies to cop the treats. Or dogs. Well waitaminute…that damn puppy ran through my car twice today…leaving muddy paw prints all over the place. And eating horse treats. Damn. Sorry Rita…but DAMNDAWG!

At the end of the day, I wasn’t disappointed about not fully loading Star in the trailer. I think we were both a little surprised, feeling a renewed connection we shared many months ago. The tiny gestures. The eye contact. The mutual understating and reactions over certain behaviors.

They were subtle…and clear…in a way I never get from communicating with people.

Maybe Star was thinking…duh…you human-girl…you are finally catching on.

Fortunately, I have the trailer on loan for a few more days. Tomorrow will be a wash-out, and too wet to pursue. So maybe Thursday is the day…or Friday. And that could be the first Thursday or Friday in December. But I hope not.

I have learned so much from these training sessions. But most of all…I have felt this joy, working with a horse I admire.

Star is so green…maybe that’s part of the attraction. I like to think I’m the first human he’s learned to trust. Lofty thoughts aside…I know he connects…as much as a horse can do….if you are not a bale of hay, or scoop of grain.

Blah blah blah…here are some photos of the day…late tonight… hay ho…hay ho..it’s off to work we go…POTD_15_11_17_StarIII-5

Three mules-of sorts…lookin’ for the payload…POTD_15_11_17_StarIII-4

See Star-mule…waaay off in the distance…is it dejå vu…all over agin?POTD_15_11_17_StarIII-2

Less rearing…more pawing…and forward movements beyond yesterday that I did not capture…you just have to believe…and tell Star the same…POTD_15_11_17_StarIII-1

GOOD NIGHT…

DANG!!!

NO STARS IN SIGHT IN THE PASTURE!!!

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – DR. RM SPOCK – November 16, 2015

For those of you who have been following the adventures of Star…the horse that is sooner or later bound for my farm…here is the latest.

Star did not load in the trailer all the way today, but we made great strides. Janice was sweet enough to leave her trailer behind so I could work with Star in a more relaxed environment. Just one on one with a trailer. Like Aaron Rodgers says…RELAX!

But then I started to realize…there is no such thing as a relaxed environment at this farm. In fact, there are a ton of distractions in the neighborhood. For being out in the country on a dead end road, there are horses all around, and people jogging and walking, and dogs barking and stealing my gloves and lead lines, and trucks and cars, and the mailman and neighbors. But what finally ended our session? The loud blasts of gunshots nearby! Even the Great Pyrenees slumbering out of sight, was glued to my leg after that.

It had been awhile since Star and I had a training session together, so I spent time with him first off, working in the round pen. A refresher crash course of sorts. I made some spooky stuff for him to walk on…a huge length of plastic wrap with corrugated tin underneath. He walked over it so many times, it got booooring. Could a ramp to a trailer be scarier than that?

Apparently so…this is as far as we got….looks real scary…eh?POTD_15_11_16_Spock_3

I used a stick and a flag and tips I learned in videos I watched, but overall I found that I wanted him to trust me, without instilling fear. I want to make him feel like the trailer is a happy space. We were on the verge…until the damn gunshots….POTD_15_11_16_Spock_4

Now you’re wondering…. WHAT THE HECK? Where does Dr. RM Spock fit into this?

Well, lemme back up. When I go to Star-Bucks, I have to round up the horsies first. Their pasture is huge and very steep and lately they favor the uppermost parts. I drive up in my trusty Subaru, but it sure makes things easier if I have a helper, shaking the bucket of grain, enticing the three stooges down to the lower pasture. Then I single out Star, and jump the creek with him, to move him into the paddock with the round pen. And that’s where the scary-ass trailer is parked.

Elizabeth is a pro at this, however she wasn’t available this morning.

But look who showed up…to beam the horsies down!!!!

It’s DR. RM SPOCK!!!!POTD_15_11_16_Spock_1

He kept saying crazy shit like…

“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”

“Change is the essential process of all existence.”

“Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

He was getting heady as I got the halter ready….I couldn’t help myself…

“SAY WAAAAH DOC RM SPOCK???? …

…BEAM THAT DAMN HORSE IN THE TRAILER!!!!”

And with that, he disappeared.

Still… I must say…DR. RM SPOCK…ROCKS.

 

PHOTO OF THE DAY – STAR LIGHT, STAR FIGHT – November 15, 2015

starlight II-2

There are plenty of documentary photos from the attempted trailer loading of my friend Star today. However…I would rather not edit them now and be reminded of the hours we spent futily trying to load that stubborn mule.

I had the very best of help with Team Trailer Star…thanks to Karen, Janice, Elizabeth, and Recluse Man. I thought Recluse Man might ride away on Buck while we weren’t watching. I mean…he had big feelings for that horse. But there was no breaking up Star-Buck today.

After more than two hours of rearing and balking and roping and walking…we chose to leave the trailer behind.

I will work with Star tomorrow…hopefully getting him adjusted and loading in the trailer with no big distractions.

Team Trailer Star and I would rather have it go peacefully and naturally…even if it takes a few days…rather than use force and fear tactics.

But keep in mind…YOU STUBBORN MULE…THE FORCE IS WITH US!!!!POTD_15_11_15_Star_stubborn

So there’s your stubborn mule Photo of the Day.

PHOTO OF THE DAY – FRIDAY THE 13TH – November 13, 2015

 

Today I learned a new word…

friggatriskaidekaphobia

I had to copy/paste to keep from getting whiplash trying to spell it out. That is one crazy looking word…especially pasted all big and bold.

Any word that starts with ‘frigga’ I’m gonna like. Or at least I thought.

Friggatriskaidekaphoboia: noun

1. having a morbid or irrational fear of Friday the 13th.

Consider we have had a Friday the 13th this year in February, March and November. Today is exactly 39 weeks since the Friday the 13th in February. That’s 3×13 weeks. The Friday the 13th prior to that was June 13, 2014, exactly 3×13 weeks in-between. Next year’s only Friday the 13th is May 13, 2016, and… you got it….3×13 weeks from today. I learned that on EarthSky. They write about cool things.

But maybe I shouldn’t have read that first thing this morning, because my day sure went downhill from there.

In fact, I have developed a bad case of …

freekin-friggatriskaidekaphobia

I should have listened to ‘Blue’ … my not-black cat in the loft who told me to…keep a low profile…don’t go outside…take long naps….accept any petting that leads to purring.

For Photo of the Day…meet the opposite of…friggatriskaidekaphoboia.

Oh Blue…POTD_15_11_13_BlueI should have listened to YOU!

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – D.O.G. AND THE WOOLLY WORM – November 12, 2015

Last month the famous Woolly Worm Festival was held in Banner Elk, NC. It’s a BIG deal. HUGE crowds. Woolly worms GALORE.

During two days of celebrating mountain life, the grand finale is the final heat of the woolly worm races. There are usually about 1000 woolly worms competing! They race up strings…worming their way to the top…until the final winner is declared. Fastest woolly worm takes all, ($1000). From that winner we get the winter forecast. I learned there are thirteen segments to a wolly worm’s body that supposedly correspond to the thirteen weeks of winter.

Did you hear that? Since when do we only have thirteen weeks of winter?

Twinkle Toes won this year and it looks like a dreary, cold winter. Twinkle Toes was last seen heading for Key West.

Meanwhile back on the funny farm, I found my own woolly worm and devised my own techniques for racing and predicting the winter.

All it took was a dirty-nosed pig named D.O.G., and a woolly worm I found on the driveway. I figured whichever way that woolly worm stomped off the pig, that was the direction I would take for the winter.

For your Photos of the Day…here is my version of a woolly worm race.

Ready….Set…Go!!!POTD_15_11_12_wollypig_1

OK …so that was only a warm-up. The woolly worm headed north and was about to be squished by D.O.G. I will neither allow squishing, nor northward bound worms in this race!POTD_15_11_12_wollypig_2_A

So now for the real thing…POTD_15_11_12_wollypig_3

Looking Good!! Heading SOUTH at a strong pace…and D.O.G is rootin’!!!!POTD_15_11_12_wollypig_5

Woo Hoo! Back flip down the steep part!!!!POTD_15_11_12_wollypig_6

That’s IT! D.O.G. and I are heading south for the winter…POTD_15_11_12_wollypig_7So long…Recluse Man!

PHOTO OF THE DAY – INNER IMELDA – November 10, 2015

I’m starting to think D.O.G. the pig, has a bit of Imelda Marcos in his bloodlines….and here’s why.

I change shoes often throughout the day. It’s always a quick decision…like…going down to the barn in the mud? (muck boots)…. going for a hike with my girls? (hiking boots)… going to town for errands? (any shoes that are clean)…going to stay inside at the big Mac? (slippers).

No mind fuss. No shoe fuss. It is what it  is.

But the pigster? Oh My DOG! He has the hardest time making up his mind. And he doesn’t even wear shoes!!! I asked for his help once…but never again.

Here’s what happens….POTD_15_11_10_shoe_fetishThank you very much pigster…but could you fetch my cowboy boots from downstairs?

OK…I hear ya…you’re embracing your inner Imelda.

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