Archive of ‘Gyps and the Pips’ category

BLOOD, SWEAT & GEARS (Pockets Takes A Trip To The Vet)

OH MY GWAD!

Speaking for Pockets-the-Ponkey, I am sure she would have begun this post with that very same expletive. It’s her favorite line, and what inevitably follows, is some sort of drama.

It was a BIG day for Pockets last week…her first VISIT TO a VET!

A two hour journey down the mountain!

Pockets has been dealing with a leg condition called stifle-lock and Elizabeth was beside herself with worry. If anything, it had gotten worse over the winter.

Stifle lock, or ‘Upward Fixation of the Patella’ (UFP), is fairly common in horses and ponies. The stifle is the upper part of a back leg on a horse and consists of 3 bones: the tibia, femur, and patella. The tibia is like a person’s shin bone, the femur is similar to our thigh bone, and the patella serves as a knee cap connecting them. Stifle lock causes the back legs to pop, or sometimes lock and drag.

Grayson had stifle lock but outgrew it, as is often the case in a young pony or horse. Stifle lock doesn’t hurt a pony but it sure hurts looking at a leg that pops or drags. Elizabeth was coming out nearly everyday to work with Pockets. Exercise is great. And the whole Freeka herd has 24/7 access to the pasture or barn. Which is good. Very good to be mobile.

Sheesh. Somehow I ended up watching The Who in Hyde Park, instead of the news this morning. Much better way to start the day! Their 50th anniversary concert. And this is stuck in my head…

Keep me movin’
Over 50
Keep me groovin’
Just a hippie gypsy

Come on move now
Movin’
Keep me movin’, yeah

Keep me movin’, groovin’, groovin’, yeah
Movin’, Yeah
Mobile, mobile, mobile, mobile

Let’s dedicate that to Pockets. WHEW! I have finally cooled down after watching Roger Daltrey strutting his stuff. That man has no stifle lock whatsoever!

Back to Pockets going mobile.

Mama E and her ponkey discussed the day ahead. Elizabeth told Pockets Dr Meeker is an expert…and I hinted he is a cutie to boot. She would be in good hands.

Here is the P-Pip trying to say Dwoctahh Meekaaahh….Pockets to vet 1

We practiced trailer loading so many times, Pockets was a pro. So long was there was a little grain. (Check out Peak Mountain in this frame. That Mountain. Inspires Me. Every Day.)Pockets vet2

I lifted that darn trailer gate so many times with Star-boy and P-pip…I made the excuse I needed to document. My aching back!!! Such heroes…Recluse Man and Karen…Pockets vet3

I worship the ground they walk on…and the trailer doors they close!
fPockets vet4

Elizabeth was happy…Pockets…not so much…(read ear language)…Pockets to vet4

And check out the look! HEWP!!!! I AM BEING KWIDNAPPED!!!!Pockets to vet21

When we got to Davie County Large Animal Hospital, in Mocksville, NC, we had a little wait. No problem with that. The grounds and facilities make for a very comfortable visit…Pockets to vet5But Holy Patooties!!! Pockets saw the EQUINE AMBULANCE and declared she would not travel home unless it was in that very same ambulance…

Such a Rebel! Such a Drama Queen!Pockets to vet6

Listen here you ponkey…you are NOT Mariah Carey or Beyonce, or any kind of Diva…demanding special transport!!! (Snort…)Pockets to vet7I had to remind her…she didn’t exactly qualify as a ‘LARGE ANIMAL’…(Snorts Galore)…Pockets to vet12

Thank the Ponkey-Gwad…for Heidi…answering calls and greeting clients. Elizabeth had already declared her a great friend after spending loving-lingering-bragging moments on the phone making the appointment…Pockets to vet9Then…the big moment came when Dwoctahh Meekaaahh examined Pockets.

He said…

‘This is the Texas-Ponkey-Two-Step-Syndrome. The way she dances in place!?! Turn up some George Jones!’
Pockets to vet10(totally fooling…forgive me Dr Meeker…totally-totally fooling)

Time for a serious walk to check out Pocket’s moves. After all…she has never stepped two feet in Texas…Pockets to vet11

Mama E showed the good doctor a video. Of course Dr Meeker recognized the problem immediately. But wadda-mama-she-is…showing off her ponkey-kid…Pockets to vet13

It had been eight weeks since Pocket’s last date with our farrier. I had suggested waiting until after our vet-visit to learn the best way to trim her. Too bad the farrier at the clinic was totally booked that day.

I figured Dr Meeker could draw some sharpie lines on her hooves…Pockets to vet14But wait a minute…in a stroke of luck…Robert the farrier pulled up. Hay-lelujah!!!! Good to meet you dude! Just in time!!Pockets to vet15

But first Pockets needed sedation. She has no love for farriers and tends to rear up all high and mighty in defiance. At least as high as she can get. (maybe 4 more inches?)Pockets to vet16

Here comes the Blood…Pockets to vet17

The Sweat…(and dirt from rolling in thunderstorms)…Pockets to vet18

…and the Gears…churning in that ponkey head…Pockets to vet19

The cute-paleo farrier took over after that. He reminded me of a caveman…no business cards to share…no email…no FaceBook. He just said…”If you need me, they know how to find me here.” We were smitten. At least three out of four of us girls. Pockets not-so-much.

She was suspicious to say the least…the dude had scary tools and dangling ropes…and weird britches…Pockets to vet20

But in no time, Pockets was having sweet lil ponkey dreams…Pockets to vet22

Never mind the torture tools at her feet…Pockets to vet23

Pockets to vet26Pockets to vet25Pockets to vet24

In her dreams…Pockets asked Karen….”HOW HIGH DOES A CARROT FLY?”Pockets to vet27

“Way higher than your chinny chin chin,” Karen replied. Karen is so good at bedtime stories. Pockets was in a trance…imagining flying carrots…Pockets to vet28

Later on…Mama E and I agreed we might have a crush on our new vet and farrier…but an even BIGGER CRUSH on KAREN!!! For years shce has offered her Tucker Farm as a sanctuary for donkeys and goats in need of rescue. Now she can add ‘ponkey’ to her resume. Without hesitation, she offered to transport Pockets to the vet. Talk about great friends.

Karen…the ponkey-donkey-goat angel!!!Pockets to vet28Every angel needs a break. Plus angel-duty meant squatting in front of the fan…ahhh…felt so good. It was hot and sticky down down in the piedmont. My turn!!!Pockets to vet29“It’s your second sedation you rascally ponkey…let me tell you a story about the ponkey who fell down and never got up…you listening?” (I admit…I am not so good at bedtime stories).Pockets to vet30Elizabeth was enormously proud of her beloved Pockets…Pockets to vet31

Of course she documented the trim job for our local farrier to see. A half hour of action-packed drama. Soon to be released on Netflix. (not)Pockets to vet34

This is the final trim. How ’bout that!! Four on the floor…Pockets to vet32

However, the photo I couldn’t stop studying, shows the difference between her trimmed back hoof (on left), and eight weeks of growth (on right) The new trim gives her better balance and easier movement. Her stifle lock is not gone…but mo’ betta.
Pockets to vet33One last look after the trim, and a little trot-about. Here is Pockets singing…’The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Girls’. Actually it was more like…”OH MY GWAD…WE DONE???? I WANNA GO HOME NOW-NOW-NOW!!!!”Pockets to vet35Well excuse me m’ dear…but we are not quite done. First, Elizabeth had to express her gratitude to the good doctor.Pockets to vet36Pockets to vet37Lots of gratitude…Pockets to vet38Back home, Pockets set a personal best for her quickest ‘unload’ time…Pockets to vet39

Her elders were excited to have their little mascot home…Pockets to vet40

Grayson not so much. He was still recovering from an AWOL adventure during a thunderstorm the night before…Pockets to vet41

Pockets doesn’t know this yet, but in five weeks she will have another day of Blood, Sweat, and Gears. Poor wonkey-ponkey!Pockets to vet42

Thanks to all for following this little Tale of Pockets!
Pockets to vet44

LET IT SNOW

There’s something about a BIG snow that brings out the Neanderthal in me.

This behavior pattern…it seems to happen over and over again…whenever it seriously snows.

This is what I know.

I’ll find myself all toasty warm inside, standing at the door, mesmerized, watching a winter storm play out over the pasture below. Snowflakes putting on quite the show…suddenly sweeping sideways…or zipping upside down…or rocketing downward before crashing in a blur of mates. Their fellow snowflake-soulmates in the soulful snowflake cemetery in the pasture below. The snowful-mates are falling en masse. The snowflake cemetery is getting a pile on.

That’s when I get dizzy.

Where are the horsies? Usually I’ll see Pockets in her favorite position…looking my way from inside the little barn door.

And that’s when it happens. The Neanderthal moment. Cooped up far too long, I’ll suddenly feel like a lunatic cave woman who needs to come out of her cave-closet. It’s far more than just wanting fresh air. And it’s way worse than cabin fever.

I want to paint my face and shed my clothes. I want to run and shout and chase ponies and horses and snowflakes…like a neked crazy cave woman on the brink.

“AAARGHHGOBANSHEEEEZEETWERKERSHERFURYERMAMAMAGRRRRRRRGOGO!” (I’ll shout at the horsies).

BUT WAIT JUST A MOMENT! HOLD YER HORSIES!!

I am a 21st century Neanderthal-Farm-Chick. I close my eyes, breathing deeply through my nose. A moment of meditation. I gather myself. I do a downward dog. I see an upside down D.O.G. Time to make a run for it.

But first I must dress the part. Carhartt – Muck Boot chic. And instead of painting my face, I pack my camera bag. Then I am ready to go run and shout and chase ponies and horses and snowflakes.

I’ll yell at the top of my lungs…”BLAAAAH! BLAAAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAAAH!!!” (not very original…and the horsies are onto me)

So I wave my arms and shake an empty feed bag…”BLAAAH!”

My pec muscles are aching the next day.

Shall we get on to some favorite snowy farm photos?

BLAAAAH!!!!

The first January snow was a light one. Somewhat windy…but that makes it even more exciting for a soccer game.

Grayson was chomping at the ball…FG_109 copy

…practicing his moves…FG_060 copy

Star had never met a horse-soccer ball…much less played the game. (Does Gypsy look like a bored soccer mom?)
FG_070 copy

Grayson promised to teach Star…FG_065 copy

Pockets said…”OH MY GWAD…DA SAME DUM GWAY BALL…I WAAAH PUHPLE!!”FG_069 copy

Then suddenly Grayson kicked the ball and sent it flying..FG_071 copy

…or maybe it was Star who was flying!…FG_072 copy

So much so…he needed to get up close and personal…and sniff…FG_082 copy

…and lick…before the gray ball terror subsided…FG_092 copy

Grayson showed Star some moves…FG_103 copy

Then said, “YER TURN!”FG_104 copy

Star snickered…”Heck Yeah…Bite This…Pelé!”FG_105 copyAmbihooftrous…no less! Wowzer!FG_106 copy

It was halftime and I barged in. “Alright! Enough! Time for a family portrait!”FG_057 copy

It was a beautiful color-coordinated portrait…Olan Mills style…FG_029.2

…until Star could no longer help himself…or actually did help himself…to a sniff…
FG_027.2

NEXT SNOW???

Bad attitudes all the way around. Gypsy took it upon herself to lead the tribe around and around the round pen. Every which right way I was rounding…she rounded about the other wrong way…FG_028 copy

In a roundabout way…it was wrongful and ridiculous…FG_026 copyIt was clearly a conspiracy…FG_033 copy

…there was no getting around it…FG_020 copy

Finally Star approached me cautiously…while Gypsy held back.

BAD MANNERS!!!FG_052 copy

BAD PARENTING!FG_051 copy

Pockets was the only one to show remorse…or maybe those were just snowflakes stuck to her eyelashes…FG_038 copy

Whatever…I gave up.

Then the BIG KAHUNA came along. It was supposed to be a two foot mega-blizzard last weekend…but wimped out at barely twelve inches. I am very happy with wimpy snow. That very same wimpy snow is still glaring at me.

During the so-called blizzard…Pockets was briefly misidentified as a dirty snowflake…FG_049 copyI couldn’t help myself. I turned Neanderthal and whooped it up…FG_094 copyI may have had a little help…who dat?…Recluse Man?? Go Ahead!!! I’m ready…shake that bag!!!FG_045 copy

Poor Pockets…almost tummy-high in the snow…it was hard for her to keep up…FG_047 copy

…especially while Mama G’s silly boyfriend was showing off his fancy footwork!FG_040 copy

Around the pasture they ran…with Star in the lead…FG_061 copy

…until…”OH MY GWAD!” said Pockets…FG_065 copy“NOT DA BIG HILL!!”FG_066 copy

Pockets was as determined as any ponkey had ever been..FG_068 copy

It required enormous ponkey-will-power…FG_069 copy

Once up top…Pockets was very proud of herself…FG_073 copyBut then she made it clear..we needed to talk…FG_035 copy

“I WAAH WONGER WEGS!’ she said…FG_091-2Umm…ok…is that the end of the conversation?FG_003 copy

The next day when the sun popped…she was feeling better…nuttin’ finer than a snow beard to cheer a ponkey!FG_036 copyAnd it was then that I discovered what Pockets excels at in a snowy world…FG_018 copy

SNOW PLOWING!FG_017 copyHow about doing the driveway next… Pockets??FG_022 copy

Stay tuned for the next blizzard!

2015 … A YEAR IN PICTURES FROM THE FUNNY FARM

Sheesh…I am hiding in the barn…it’s taken me so freekin’ long to publish a post.

Yes.

It’s me. I’m back. The gone-forever girl.

Lotsa water under the bridge.

Lotsa poo shoveled.

Lotsa trying times.

Lotsa healing days.

Lotsa joy.

Lotsa horses.

Lotsa laughter and love with my tribe… and especially Recluse Man.

Dang. I could write a corny country song.

That was the end of 2015 in a nutshell. And now here it is already the second week of January.

While sweeping out the old and bringing in the new, I thought it might be a good thing to share some of my favorite funny farm photos from 2015. Little did I know how long it would take. In fact…I had to get a wrist brace to finish this post!

Holy Cow Patties…did I ever get carried away! I do believe I have Photoshop Tendonitis.

Before I begin with this indescribably hilarious and seemingly bottomless blog post…(OMG…how many photos and words did I include???)…let me announce our latest addition to the tribe…STAR!!!

That would be the very same Star-Trek-Wars-damn-horse I tried to load on the trailer for 24 days…then finally walked here…2.2 miles in 45 minutes..smooth and easy.

After a short trial period with Star and Gyps and the Pips…about one week before Christmas…my crazy boyfriend…that Recluse Man who I love…told me he wanted to buy Star as a Christmas gift for me.

HAPPY HEART POUNDING WITH GLEE!! INDESCRIBABLE JOY BEYOND WORDS!!! That’s what I was feeling when Recluse Man asked me what I thought about the idea. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS!!

Welcome to the farm…you hot-blooded-red-headed stranger..STAR!

You’re mine all mine!Star-gift1 copy

Now for some favorite farm photos from 2015…

Let’s start with Freeka’s Funny Farm covered in snow…freekafarmsnow copy

Grayson and Pockets had arrived two days before Christmas 2014, when their Mama Elizabeth brought them to live on the farm. They were born into feral herds in June 2014, at Grayson Highlands State Park. Three months later, Elizabeth bought them at the annual pony auction. Six months after their birth…they joined my tribe.

OK…so one is a ponkey…(half pony – half donkey). Guess who?

(hint…the one hiding her ears…)Eliz & pips winterWhat the hay??? Gypsy had never seen such pip-squeaks before! Could it be???? Gyps & the Pips??? Move over Gladys Knight!!!G&P's at barnSuch short legs running in the snow!
G & Pips running in snow
Gypsy wondered if she was ready to be a soccer mom…
soccer momWill they ever grow?
soccer mom copyShe thought…they were so funny looking…Pockets in stallBut with such a sense of humor! Why Gypsy was a smash at motherhood!Grayson_Gypsy laughing

Then one February day, a pot bellied pig named D.O.G. arrived…mighty_swine copyHis human, Tommy, had been looking for a good home for him…
DOG Tommy
 A little peanut butter bribery on a stick, and D.O.G. discovered his new home in our abandoned chicken coop…DOG_arrival copy

No doubt…D.O.G. wondered where he had landed…is this the moon?DOG_PeakI was so tickled to have a pig.

I mean he WAGGED HIS TAIL AT ME…the very FIRST MORNING!!!!

I GUSHED and SWOONED!!!! (while he chomped and smiled)breakfast_smile copy

On the second morning, after the weather got very cold, D.O.G. figured out where Recluse-Banana Man lives…2valentine (1) copy

Recluse-Banana Man is way more fun than those mean ponies and yapping dogs…Pig & poniesThey were so up close and personal…Pocket pig butt

D.O.G. decided ‘Running with the Pips’ wasn’t for him…pips & piggy

After that…the pigster free-range grazed until I worried he’d become bigger than our house…house_pig copyD.O.G. considered going on a diet…(very briefly)…in order to fit through the dog door…dog_door copyMeanwhile…winter was still wagging around…3 dogs in snow

I’ve always loved that late-winter day when the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks finally arrive…grosebeak1 copygrosebeak2 copy

Elizabeth and I did silly things and made lots of photos…mamaE2 copy

We found out Grayson does not like to wear hats or jewelry…but will gladly nibble on any-damn-thing…don’t ask me about Mama E’s taste in hairdos…
mamaE copy

Pockets? Why she just LUUUVS to dress-up!hollywood copy

Our Starlet!party_ponkey_border

 It was the Pips first winter!snowy2“Who cares?”…said the pig! I’m running away from home…traveler copySing it Toots!toots1 copy

toots3 copy

No matter what season…Blue pursued his favorite pastime…POTD_15_11_13_Blue copy…while I found the secret to giving D.O.G. a successful pedicure…sake copy

 When the warm weather returned, Recluse Man did some spring cleaning. Much to Lily’s disgust…he tossed the TrAshe county porch couches!!! WTCOUCH???TrAshe couches copyIn between repairing fences, Recluse Man discussed the merits of having white hair…with his favorite hairy-white friend Pockets…white hair copyAs a result…she felt uplifted!!!upper7 copyAfter all…she’s a honkey-fonkey-furry-white-ponkey!!!upper8 copyPockets…”OH MY GWAD…It’s tough hangin’ wif a fwend like Gwayson…”phat1 copyphat3 copyphat5 copyphat7 copy

Hey let’s not forget how cute the pigster is…all posing in front of the rhododendron…he is…rhodo copyBy early spring, Elizabeth and I were walking Gyps and the Pips to the river and around the neighborhood. The Pips were learning about halters and lead ropes and voice commands…(theoretically)walk4 copySpring on the farm!!!freekafarm_spring copySpring is for the birds!! It was my first year putting suet out through the winter and beyond…suet copySuch payoffs! (ok…so I’ve never had a grackle at a feeder before)FG_047 copyJesse-Linguini was nearly fully recovered from her ACL surgery by spring, and was ready to run and play outside…ya think?

Jess…”gimme one more dang dog toy and Ima rip out yer persnal sqweeker…5 sekunds or less”)FG_004_1 copyThen…Pockets saw her first rainbow…rainbow1 copy…and fainted…rainbow3 copy…what a drama queen…rainbow4 copyElizabeth comes out every chance she gets…pony dreams copy …while Recluse Man and I try to find a little time to ourselves…serenade copy…but there’s always competition…and serenading in the background…HA!serenade2 copyThen when we finally GO somewhere…NRSP1 copy… it FREEKIN’ rains!!!NRSP10 copyWho cares??? We’ll make the most of it!NRSP7 copyBack on the farm…while I was tending to daily chores… mud legs copyRecluse Man was singing in the shower…and that would be the Minny Whinny shower!

If I recall, he was singing…”Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain…” …oh go SPLISH SPLASH..will ya?!
tripping in shower 2 copyWhat the heck you doin’ there Recluse Man???? Quite the psychedelic landscape…are you on the Magic Bus?
trippin in shower.1 copy

D.O.G. enjoyed hanging out on our porch and gave up on the chicken coop sometime during late spring. He was fine with going up three steps to get to the porch…but he made it perfectly clear he did not like going back down the steps. It required serious bribery.

As experts…we found tortilla Pringles worked the best…date night copy

Then we set up a ramp. It was an instant success with at least two of the d.o.g.s…FG_317 copy

Dog Day Afternoon…but where’s the D.O.G.? Did he really go down the ramp????doormats copy

Tommy showed up one hot summer day and shortly after we decided I would become D.O.G.’s permanent human. Hot diggity D.O.G.!!!Tommy b.day copy

Nuttin’ like having a watermelon-eatin’ partner who doesn’t spit seeds…waterm4 copy

I hope we don’t start looking like each other…like dog owners so often do…waterm1 copy

The pigster loves it when spa day rolls around…dogdays5 copy

He gets a pedicure…a facial…a tusk cleaning…and…WATERMELON!!!…pig_spa copy

It didn’t take long to realize…if the pigster’s nails aren’t polished…he develops a shoe fetish…shoes2 copy

We love a reason to throw a good party around here…bday2 copy

When the Pips turned one…bday1 copy

…we made the most of it…party animals copy

…until Pockets got schnockered on molasses and we had to cut her off…bday4 copy

Then Fourth of July…star-spangled copy

I had one hat to share…star-spangle-3 copy….well maybe two…party-poop2 copy

Go Toots!…the others skedaddled when they heard fireworks in the distance…something to be said about ‘hard of hearing’…how I know…right Toots?

RIGHT TOOTS?dorky hat copySUMMER…my first, second, third…favorite season…

When I go to war with the watercress…POTD_9_24_15_3 copy

…and I think I’m winning…but not…FG_131_1 copy(Let’s check in with Blue again…ok…still the same.)POTD_15_11_13_Blue copy

When summer rolls around, we buy new Koi from a local high school FFA program. That’s after the freekin’ great blue herons and raccoons and kingfishers have feasted to the point of heartbreak and tears through the previous seasons.

The release of a new generation brings joy and anticipation. Yet often, we don’t see them for up to a full year after their release in our pond. Fortunately, we picked out some exhibitionists this time around…

…good luck amigos…FG_038 copy…listen to your elders..homies copy…and follow your bliss…(before the barracudas show up…)
FG_052-1 copy

Back to summer….

Did I mention Recluse Man’s summertime pizzas??? LOADED with love…and olives…and herbs and peppers and cheese…fresh from the garden and markets…FG_048 copyThe pigster was caught stalking…like ….’every breath you take…every move you make…Ima watchin’ you’…PIZZA…REALLY????watching you copy

Occasionally the pigster would go AWOL. I freaked when he did this the first two times…but then realized it was a simple search and rescue to bring him home.

 I am…after all…D.O.G.’s…The Bounty Hunter…with CHEERIOS!!!!dogfetch11 copy Ah Ha!!! Got him!dogfetch7 copyMeanwhile…Lily greeted every visitor to the farm…FG_103 copy…and experimented with mud packs…FG_061 copy

…while the other d.o.g.s laughed…or napped at the thought of such ambition…FG_009 copy“Hey Toots…those ain’t marshmallows …ok girl?”FG_318 copyWho Cares???? Look what Recluse Man got….
Shadow1 copy

Lookin’ good biker dude…it’s a Honda Shadow for croooooosin’!!FG_020 copy

Summer is wonderful. After weedwacking and sweating and mowing for hours…I pretend I’m livin’ the life. Coconut bras and pineapple drinks galore…(oops…did I order the wrong size coco’s?)coconuts copy

And then I started blogging…and life changed…croc1 copy

I found myself sharing thoughtful, retrospective, deep-delving glimpses and realizations…even while revisitng my boarding school of years past…POTD_15_11_08_St_Marys_5 copy

…I found myself sharing the kind of urban chick I used to be…when I had a studio and lived five minutes from town…Fred pitchfork

I found myself chomping on the reins to share every little ride…POTD_15_10_27_FG copy

ENOUGH!!! TIME OUT!!!POTD_15_11_27_Black_Friday copyDoes anyone need a TV or couch? ….

OK. Back to work…it’s hay season!! (wtf???…are those Pips loose?)RM_hayloft3 copy

Is this Meals on Wheels?POTD_15_11_04_4 copySomehow I got talked into pullin’ and stackin’ bales…
RM_hayloft2 copy

It’s a primitive and itchy job…FG_149 copy

…that requires some airing out…FG_065 copy…and a good farm hand on hand…FG_048 copyMeanwhile…during hay season…Pockets discovered she lives in a gated community!!!gated ponkey copy…yet not far away is an authentic outhouse!!!!

(Oh My GWAD…people poop! lemme outta here!!!)FG_152 copyBlue continued to pursue his favorite pastime…POTD_15_11_13_Blue copy…as did his bgf…Moondust…FG_007-3 copyThe hummers were a daily sideshow…I made hundreds of hummer photos…FG_475_1 copy…and braved the rain (from under the deck roof)… FG_010_1 copyI was not alone in my fascination…FG1_0085 copy

Moondust had arisen…FG1_0080 copy…while the Pips practiced their two-step…dance1 copydance2 copydance3 copy…and the pigster turned rasta…DOG_dreads copy

Then Halloween rolled around…POTD_15_10_30_Halloween6 copy

…or is that Elizabeth rolling around???POTD_15_10_30_Halloween5 copyPockets finally met ‘the Great Ponkin’…(dang…that hat gets around)…POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_07 copy

…then chomped The Great Ponkin’s offspring…POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_10 copy…while D.O.G. dressed as Wilbur…POTD_15_11_02_2 copy“Trick or Treat???”…the pigster asked…trick or treat 2“TRICK OR TREAT…LET ME IN OR I’LL BLOW THE DANG DOG DOOR IN!”POTD_15_11_02_6 copy

Waza matter pigster….been chompin’ too many treats…’eh???POTD_15_11_02_7 copyAhhh…the beauty of autumn…when the Pips run wild…(or just stand and chomp)…POTD_10_08_15_AWOL1 copy…an occasional walk is good…POTD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express copyNext thing ya know it’s snowing…wait…that’s not snow…ah hem…Lily…oh LILY???bday3 copy“It gets so cold outside….paleeze let us in????” (use the dang dog door dummies!)bday2 copy

Holiday season is on…POTD_15_12_01_muckboots_1 copy

…and Elizabeth seemed to love her new Muck Boots…FG_010_1 copy

…but I had to tell her to tuck in her pants…WTH girlie???FG_002 copy

…she got it…finally…FG_012_1 copy…meanwhile the pigster had moved inside..and tried to disguise himself among the spotty furniture…spots copyIt was pointless to try and hide with a sock monkey…indeed..catastrophic…FG_177 copy…it became a funny farm…’cativity scene’…FG_178 copyYet I was discouraged…trying to load Star to bring him to the farm…I knew…he knew…he wasn’t going to fit in my car…SB3 copyAfter days and days of working with him…I got him to load…FG_096 copy

…so long as no one was at the back gate…FG_020 copyFinally after 24 days of trying to transport Star in the trailer…I decided we’d trek 2.2 miles to my farm. What a Star-Trek…one mile of which was on a fast two lane highway…this part had me freeked….until we had a perfect practice walk…FG_058 copyI was never happier to get him on the farm in one piece…made it copy….then we all fell to pieces over his dance steps…FG_153 copy

…even Grayson…the little man…FG_128 copy

Star had never met a critter so poised and confident…and wanting to smell his butt…as Pockets…FG_242 copyLet’s get on with Christmas!FG_074 copyToo bad Mama E had to leave for her hometown of New Orleans…FG_134 copy…but of course Santa would watch over her Pips…good hands copy…when he wasn’t posing…naughtyRM2 copy…or caught in the act….(What the heck…Santa…that’s my barn door!!!)naughty santa copyI quickly forgave Santa when he gave me a horse of my own for Christmas…dream come true copy…dats right you red-headed beauty…you are part of the tribe now!!!hohoho2 copy…shall we belly-bump Santa?bellybump1 copyPockets was not amused…there was nothing in HER stocking…”WAAAAAH?”stocking1 copy…dang…even the rasta pigster who doesn’t celebrate holidays that feature ham on the table…pig xmas 1 copy

…got something!!!pig xmas2 copy…as Linguini says…”it’s all in your attitude…”FG_031 copy…and with that…I believe the year closed on a good note…let’s ask Grayson…pig_nose copy..better yet…lemme hug on Santa…Star gift2 copyStay tuned for more zaniness from the funny farm in 2016…FG_083 copyFG_085 copyFG_087 copyBe back soon…ya hear?

PHOTOS OF THEDAY – POCKETS THE PUPIL – November 6, 2015

I’m sure she would agree with me when I say Pockets had a most interesting afternoon. That girl loves to expand her fonkey-ponkey mind.

For starters…Recluse Man had to make some final measurements before he gets supplies for some barn improvements. We’re extending the roof, adding some doors on the stalls and changing some gates. Apparently this is of great interest to the gang..and most especially Pockets.

For Photos of the Day…check out Pockets the Pupil…POTD_15_11_06_7

When he realized no treats were being passed out, Grayson quickly lost interest. But Pockets? Why she had her nose in the book…
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On behalf of her babies no doubt, Gypsy studied the new stall plans…
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…while Pockets made it clear she needed to see at her own eye level…
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“Hey Wecluse Man…I waahna dwaah,” said PocketsPOTD_15_11_06_5

“Dwaah your nose in here,” said Recluse Man…POTD_15_11_06_4

After much scrutiny, Pockets finally agreed to the plan…POTD_15_11_06_1Then on to the round pen to wait her turn…POTD_15_11_06_9

“Sheesh…this could take forever….GIT ON WIF IT GWAYSON!!!”POTD_15_11_06_12

“I WAAH MY TURN!”POTD_15_11_06_11You gotta love a ponkey who loves to learn.

Here’s to Pockets the Pupil!

PHOTO OF THE DAY – THE GREAT PONKIN – PART III – November 1, 2015

When Halloween arrived, Pockets the Ponkey was so excited about meeting The Great Ponkin, I couldn’t bear the thought of her disappointment, should she not.

That ponkey gets really fonkey when things don’t go her way. Especially when it comes to ponkey traditions and rituals and beliefs. She is full of beliefs.

I decided to take things into my own hands. I would make her the best Ponkin of all time. It would be the Ponkin of her wildest dreams. It would be a Ponkin she’d be talking about for a very long time. It would be…The Great Ponkin.

But dang, there I was on Halloween without even a pumpkin.

So how did things turn out?

When I told Pockets there was someone she needed to meet, she got very excited.

Let’s hear it straight from the ponkey’s mouth.

“Oh My Gwad…is it The Great Ponkin? Mama G…tell me I’m not helloosinatin!”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_01

“And are youse the The Great Ponkin’s Great-grandponks? Oh My Gwaddess!”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_02

“Haya Hiya…Ima Pockets the Ponkey and Ima believer!”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_03

“Mama F…take my picture with The Great Ponkin or no one will ever-ever believe me!”
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“Now…one without the Great-grandponks…paleeze! Oh to meet The Great Ponkin! Why we have the same hair!”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_05

“But WAADAMINUTE!!!….dats not REAL HAIR…dat hair UNNIBBLABLE!!”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_06

“NOT REAL LIPS! LIPS NOT MOVE!!”
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“SMELLS LIKE OLE FARM PUMPKIN!!!”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_08

“TASTES LIKE OLE FARM PUMPKIN!!!”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_09

“THE GREAT PONKIN WOULD NOT LET ME EAT HIS GREAT-GRANDPONKS…YOU DUMMY”
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“YOU TWIED TO TWICK ME! I WILL EAT THEM ALL!”
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I had become a believer as I created The Great Ponkin, and was mortified to see the fun Pockets was having, tormenting the poor Great Ponkin and his Great-grandponks.POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_12

She didn’t hold back and found great pleasure in telling me I didn’t know poo about ponkey-lore.

Fortunately, The Great Ponkin handled it with Great austerity while maintaining his Great Grimace.POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_13

No pumpkin was safe.POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_14

Of course I didn’t tell you the full story and perhaps the reason why Pockets behaved like a naughty half-ass.

You see, I tried to turn her into a unicorn and it was a bit of a disaster.POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_15

OK…maybe it was a huge disaster.POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_16

In all fairness…I owe Pockets her take on things…

“Oh My Gwad…I HATE HALLOWEEN!!! First you put a dorkydumb horn on me that looks like a toilet paper ear plug and tell me to look cute!!!

WAAH THE POOPS???

I am POCKETS DA PONKEY…AND I AM ALWAYS CUTE!!!!

Then the WORST..you TWIED to TWICK ME with THE GREAT PONKIN!

(Pockets get tongue-tied when she’s upset)

PONKINS-SHMONKINS!!!

You CANNOT JOKE AROUND about THE GREAT PONKIN…YOU CANNOT TWICK ME!

He is REAL. Now go decorate that dumb pig of yours…I waah my Mama E & G.”POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_17

So I took her advice and had the most fun decorating the silly pig.POTD_15_11_01_ponkins_III_19Best part? That D.O.G. believes everything I say!!!!

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – THE GREAT PONKIN – October 30, 2015

Mama E and I thought we would make a few Halloween portraits of the Pips before the big day. We planned to decorate the hay bales..try on some hats….get a few snaps.

May I present some Photos of the Day.

We could tell Pockets was excited. Anytime there’s dress-up and make-believe, that ponkey makes herself readily available…POTD_15_10_30_HalloweenBut this time was different. Halloween is coming right up and Pockets had an agenda.

We soon learned she was in search of the Great Ponkin.
POTD_15_10_30_Halloween2“WAAAAA,” she said. “I wanna meet the GREAT PONKIN!! Where-oh-where is the GREAT PONKIN? I WAAAANA MEET THE GREAT PONKIN!”

We thought if Pockets wore the great pumpkin hat, it would calm her down. She would be a happy ponkey once again…POTD_15_10_30_Halloween8We explained The Great Ponkin can only be seen on Halloween.

We tried our best to get her to smile…
POTD_15_10_30_Halloween9“I WAAAANA MEET THE GREAT PONKIN!”

And with that she knocked that dumb pumpkin hat off…and Mama E too!
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Poor Pockets. We were not taking her seriously…POTD_15_10_30_Halloween5

…and neither was Grayson…
POTD_15_10_30_Halloween7STAY TUNED FOR HALLOWEEN ON THE FUNNY FARM!

PHOTO OF THE DAY – ALL BARK AND NO BITE – October 29, 2015

It’s tough enough when you are tiny.

It’s even tougher when your sidekick calls you a mini-mule…and your mama wonders why you are still a midget.

For Photo of the Day…see Pockets holding her own.

Paleeze…don’t ever say…she’s all bark and no bite!!!POTD_15_10_29_ALL_BARK…not that fonkey-wonkey-ponkey…oh no-no-no!!!

PHOTO OF THE DAY – TAKE ME TO DA REEVER – October 14, 2015

It was such a gorgeous day in the mountains, when Elizabeth came for a visit we were all ready and rarin’ to go for a walk.

“Oh My Gwad,” said Pockets. “I waaana walk to da reever…take me to da reever…Oh My Gwad…pweas pweas pweas!”

For Photo of the Day pweas see Pockets the Ponkey on her walk to da reever…
POTD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express1…she couldn’t be bothered waiting for shoe laces and slow-pokes…POTD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express2-2Reever here we come!”POTD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express3“I wanna meet a shark!”POTD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express4“Oh My Gwad…I can’t wait!”TD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express5The Ponkey Express finally made it…POTD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express6“Hay was dat a shark? I saw a shark! I saw a shark!”POTD_15_10_14_Ponkey Express7That fonkey ponkey was sure behavin’ all wonkey.

WE HAD A BALL! … watch play-by-play … TEAM GRAYSON VS TEAM POCKETS

Tom Brady has nothing on my tribe when it comes to deflate-gate. After Freeka’s Funny Farm experienced its own deflate-gate, I know first hand. I was the interrogator, and lemme tell ya, my interrogatees were way slicker than any four time Super Bowl champ.

It all started last winter when I got the Pips an amazing Stacy Westfall purple pony ball with a durable, protective cover, designed to give many months and even years of entertainment. Elizabeth and I were brimming with excitement when we introduced the ball to the Pips. We taught them the rules of soccer and had a few pick-up games and it was great fun and a good way to warm up in the winter.

The Pips were fiercely competitive…FG_207-2…Pockets liked to chomp and run the ball…
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…she had some weird defensive moves…FG_216-4…and she let us know when it was a bad call…FG_213-4…and played dead when she didn’t get her way…FG_200-4Poor Grayson couldn’t take all the drama.

(weren’t they just the cutiest patooties at seven months old?)

I think we made it through one month before deflate-gate occurred. Ironically, it was right around Super Bowl. My Linguini-dog looked awfully guilty. But so did a Pip or two. Or was it Gypsy? I interrogated everybody who had been in contact with the purple ball, but of course they all denied any wrongdoing. Very coincidentally and shortly after, they all destroyed their smart phones. I was never able to get a confession or any hard proof.

“Oh My Gwad,” said Pockets … “Wadawegondoo?” She was not the main suspect and I felt her pain…missing that purple ball and all. We tried a few patching techniques but nothing held. The purple ball was folded up and lowered in rank on the ‘to doo’ list, as Pockets calls it.

Then one day Mama E showed up with a new gray ball! I had my doubts it would last through one game. But like Elizabeth said, “So what if it pops, it was cheap! We’ll get another.” And another and another? Could we get prettier colors? Boy, I’m starting to sound like Pockets. There would be no interrogating if this one deflated. It would be death from natural and purposeful causes.

We introduced the new ball and set the rules. Each face-plant counted as one point. Simple as that. No goal lines. No yard lines. Just face-plants. Elizabeth and I would ref the game, and document it for the benefit of modern equine science. I just made that up….but I like the idea.

Off we go….

Grayson immediately gave the ball some test chomps…FG_156-1Pockets was cautious, but wondered what ‘gray’ smelled like…FG_151-1          As Mama E documented…who’s that in the distance? Recluse Man mowing around the pond? For heavens sake…somebody’s gotta do it!FG_149-1“Follow me,” said Elizabeth….”Let the game begin!”FG_161 copy“Harumph,” said Pockets … (have you ever heard a ponkey say ‘harumph?’…. it’s quite funny)FG_165 copyGrayson wanted to encourage his beloved ponkey, but teased her instead…using that gwadawful ‘half-ass’ name…just knowing it would put her nickers in a knot…       FG_167     Mama E reviewed the rules…FG_173 copy            When Pockets deferred, it became Team Grayson’s ball… FG_175 copyHe didn’t waste anytime!FG_168 copy NICE MOVES GRAYSON!FG_169 copy What the heck is the ponkey looking at???FG_223 copyWho cares? Look at that Pelé move!!!FG_222 copy IS HE GONNA SCORE????FG_224 copyYES!!!!!!!!!FG_226 copy IT’S A FACE-PLANT!!!!!!FG_225 copyTEAM GRAYSON 1…TEAM POCKETS 0!!!FG_227 copy FG_230 copyOK! You can stop rolling on the ball now!FG_228 copyDO NOT POP IT …YOU SHOWOFF!!!!FG_232 copyIt’s Team Pockets ball now…Woot Woot!  FG_181 copyGO POCKETS!FG_182 copysay waaaaah?FG_183 copyFOUL!!!! NO BACK-KICKING!!!FG_184 copyHAY!!!! GIT BACK HERE!!!FG_186 copyTeam Pockets was out of control, running madly around the playing field…FG_209 copyIs Recluse Man still mowing??? Poor dude.FG_210 copyPockets finally settled down, then sulked in the weed patch…FG_189 copyIt was time for an intervention…. FG_193-1Elizabeth thinks she’s gained back some respect…FG_194 copyYeah right… run to mommy…you wonkey ponkey…FG_195 copyBack to the game…FG_242 copyGrayson makes it clear…this is his ball…FG_243 copy…and again, wastes no time…FG_255 copy..and it’s another FACE-PLANT FOR GRAYSON!!!FG_257 copy…he is slow to recover…or is he eating grass?FG_258 copy..or maybe he wanted to show Team Pockets how to do it!!!FG_269 copyTEAM GRAYSON 2…TEAM POCKETS 0!FG_358 copyGrayson runs a victory lap…grass still in his mouth!FG_361 copyLET’S GO AGAIN!!!FG_316 copy
Notice the competition… far left…showing utter contempt for the gray ball…FG_283 copyWHOA!!! SWEET MOVES!!!FG_307 copyFG_309 copyWHAT’S THIS??? ANOTHER FACE-PLANT!!!!
FG_299 copyTEAM GRAYSON 3 … TEAM POCKETS 0

(ok…you can stop eating now)
FG_302 copyPockets goes over to congratulate her opponent…(thanks Eliz for the greeeaaaat photo)DSC_1064_111-001 copySuddenly Gypsy decides to put a spark in her little ponkey…(another good one by Elizabeth!)DSC_1092_139-001 (1) copyUp and down the field they go…that is, Grayson and Gypsy…Pockets decided to stay downfield…FG_218 copyIt was becoming quite clear…Pockets did not like the gray ball…no wonder…her color is PURPLE!FG_190-2 copyI can hear her now …”I WAAAAAAH MY PUURRRPLE BALL!!!”FG_212 copyEven Mama E couldn’t get her to play…FG_389 copyFG_190-2 copyMeanwhile…Grayson was having a gray BALL!!!! FG_354 copyHe was balling with joy!!!FG_367 copy…for the whole world to see! (dang…if I have to look at RM mowing one more time!)FG_386 copyAND WHAT’S THIS???? FACE-PLANT #4!!!FG_225-1 copyTEAM GRAYSON 4 … TEAM POCKETS 0

The bell rings and it’s the….

END OF THE GAME!

LOOK AT THAT HAPPY PONY!!!!FG_372But JUST A MINUTE!!!! Team Pockets wants a rematch… with…you got it…a PURPLE BALL!!! (thanks Mama E for a great closing photo!)DSC_1016_63-001 copySTAY TUNED FOR THE REMATCH!!!!!

A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR THE PIPS!

Hiya … heya …welcome to Freeka’s Funny Farm. Scroll right on down for some zany adventures and photos from life on my southern mountain farm.

I am Freeka. Well sometimes. Other times I’m Freddie. In fact, I have an entire collection of ‘F’  names but I’ll save that for later.

Yup...that's me wearing my 'F'avorite shirt

Yup…that’s me wearing my ‘F’avorite shirt

Now should you be wondering about the ‘Funny’ part of Freeka’s Farm…

Yes, we are all nuts here. No, we don’t take drugs to control it.

It’s just that I am a photographer who likes to laugh a lot. And somehow I ended up on this little farm in the mountains and now seven years into it, I find myself presiding over three dogs, two cats, a horse, a pig, a pony, a ponkey, and a boyfriend I call Recluse Man.

I am their tribal queen. Or maybe I’m a princess. Yes, yes, we’ll go with princess. It doesn’t really matter since no one realizes this very important role except maybe Recluse Man. And that always prompts a hearty laugh from him. Funny girl … ha ha … Princess. But who wouldn’t want a princess? Sometimes Recluse Man should take me more seriously.

Anyway…for some time now I have found myself greatly amused and entertained by the antics of my tribe and I think it’s about time to share. Besides, we have a ponkey named Pockets living here who is searching for fame and fortune. And more poo. Always gotta be  searching and sniffing for poo.

If you don’t know what a ‘ponkey’ is…well… you dummy…ya mate a pony with a donkey…ya got a ponkey …otherwise known as a mule. But we never-ever use the M word around here. Never.

The timing for my first blog entry couldn’t be better because you see, we’ve been partying. We like to party. Especially since Pockets the ponkey, and her sidekick Grayson the pony, just turned one. They were both born in June at Grayson Highlands State Park in VA into feral pony bands. Then three months later at the annual September auction (2014), my nutty friend Elizabeth bought them, and three months after that they came to live here.

Not only have the Pips just turned one, they have spent exactly half their little lives here on the farm. Woot..Woot.

This is so typical around here…Elizabeth and Pockets are cutting up and getting all the attention while Grayson takes backstage….FG_027_3Meet Grayson. Isn’t he a cutie-patootie? He prefers ‘handsome’ … you decide. btw….Elizabeth is always smiling around her Pips…it’s the real deal…and very contagious.FG_021_1_2Pockets believes in fairies and magic and of course…unicorns! We gave her a magic wand and told her to grant wishes and make rainbows and sprinkle magic everywhere…FG_035_2

“Oh My Gwad,” said Pockets…”waataaloadapoo….I waaaah more beads.”FG_039_2

Balloons on the hitching post! What the heck is a balloon?FG_043_2

I think the donkey in the ponkey makes Pockets more curious than Grayson. Plus she is a badass, watch-dog, half-ass and always on the look-out. She really is. A halfass I mean. You don’t believe me? Her daddy was a jackass, her momma a pony…so that makes her a halfass…but only Grayson calls her that. You need to start believing me.

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Meanwhile Grayson showed some anxiety….perhaps he was worried we would play pin-the-tail-on-his-favorite-ponkey?FG_103_2Oh c’mon now patootie-face…have a lil sniff?FG_113_2FG_115_2Of course all of this is a way of offering the Pips new experiences. On a funny farm, why not make the lessons fun? (Don’t bother confirming with Grayson)

But enough about lessons…let’s get on with the party. And what would a party be without Mama G? Gypsy, or Mama G, has been with me for six years now. She had a carefree life with a couple of boyfriends before the Pips came along. Then BAM! Enter two of the tiniest baby horses (?) she had ever seen. It could have gone any which way. I mean, no one asked Gypsy if she wanted to be a surrogate mom. Why, she could have jumped the fence to audition for 50 Shades of Hay. Naturally, Elizabeth and I were thrilled to see Gypsy take the Pips in like they were her own.FG_066_2

Gypsy decided to attend as a blonde since she heard blondes have more fun….FG_138_2This was our version of a birthday carrot cake…shredded carrots with molasses drizzled on top. My kind of cake recipe. It was a HUGE hit!FG_064_2

Pockets….”Hey git yer own!”FG_133_2FG_142_2

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OMG…youse guys are so cute…of course you can have seconds…
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Mama E (Elizabeth) grabbed my camera while I distracted Gypsy to give Pockets a chance to lick her plate…at least that was the plan…FG_178_2Meanwhile, Grayson got in on it and I was surrounded by sticky lips! Lemme outta here!FG_186_2Then Gypsy found the molasses bottle and things got outta control. Molasses everywhere! It was a stickety-lickety good mess…FG_209_2I could have sworn Pockets the Ponkey was drunk on Molasses!FG_210_2

Even Elizabeth was brown and sticky under the nose…now how did that happen?
FG_087_2Well of course…molasses kisses!!!…but who has the brownest nose?? (Grayson doesn’t count)FG_090_2Feathers were sticking to Mama E’s lips….hey is that Groucho Marks?
FG_245_2Everyone had a great time. And no….we did not play pin-the-tail-on-the-ponkey!FG_247_2

Then right on cue, Tootsie the clean-up girl arrived to assist me.FG_255_2

Never was there a better birthday party on the funny farm!!