Archive of ‘Star’ category

THE PIPS TURNED TWO…AND WHAT A WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY PARTY IT WAS!

Several days before I left for my bum-thumb-fated trip to Pennsylvania, we celebrated the Pip’s second birthday. It was sooo much fun! We invited some neighborhood friends, and kids, and parents, and a very special grandma, to join us for the festivities.

I had every intention of posting some great photos when I returned from my Fourth of July trip. It’s just that my dumb-broken-thumb got in the way. But now? I see it as a way to relive a magical afternoon. Every time I think of that afternoon, it makes me smile.

There were so many delightful photos, I had a hard time choosing. What follows, reminds me of a family album. I gotta admit…I’ve gone dizzy looking at some family albums. To the point of asking where the bathroom is…then asking for a glass of water…then…”Oops…I’m out of time…gotta run.”

I can’t help but think this family album…our Freeka’s Funny Farm family album…ROCKS! After all, it’s only once in a lifetime our beloved Pips…Grayson and Pockets…turn two!

Party Down!!!party1

Elizabeth and I wanted to have fun. BIG FUN. BIG KIDS KINDA FUN.

I figured we needed entertainment. Somewhere out on one of my hiking trails…it hit me. (I love how my brain works on hiking trails.)

YES! We must do…Pin-the-Tail-on-the-PONKEY!

First I sought Recluse Michel-MAN-gelo’s talent. Yup. Got him outta bed early that day…

…took him down to the barn and gave him some chalk and introduced him to his model…party66

His creative juices started flowing…
party3

Pockets loved her modeling job…party4

…and that Recluse Michel-MAN-gelo…such talent!party5

Of course…there is no tail. Just you wait.party6

Let the party begin!!

That’s Toots greeting Jessica on the left, Nate, and mama Suzy…and a huge bag of carrots!party7

Dakota and Sabrina!party8Hittin’ up the treasure chest…party9Dakota and granny Allie… she’s my riding partner from down the road…she’s sixty-nine and kicks my butt on the trails with her little Paso Fino! Allie grew up with her Chincoteague pony who lived to be thirty five!party10I had a gut feeling the bunny ears wouldn’t last long on Pockets…party12…whad I tell ya…party13

The pink and purple girls…Suzanne and Pockets…party11I encouraged the kids to draw on the barn before we started Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Ponkey.

I’m not sure what kind of creature that is below. Yo…Sabrina!

I used to see monsters like that, hiding under my bed at night…party14Dakota in dreads…with the sun shining over her head…party16Let’s play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Ponkey!!!

I braided ten tails from baling twine so peeps could keep their tails. This was not a big hit. I found tails everywhere after the party. Sigh. Pioneer Woman…I am not.

As everyone took turns, they were spun around once wearing a blindfold, then directed toward the barn door. Slap that tail on, remove the blindfold, have a good laugh (for me especially…and apparently Dakota), then initial with chalk.

Dakota went first…now that’s funny!party17

Next up…Jessica…party18Check her out! I love her Lost Unicorn shirt…party19

Sabrina…party20…you rock that tail girl!
party21

Nate…he’s a stellar football player with a soft spot for the Pips…party22Hmmm…that’s a tailback position!party23

And then it was my turn…I asked Jessica to turn me once…party24…I was lucky to find the barn door!party25You might say…I don’t know my ass from a barn door…party26

Then along comes smarty-pants Suzanne…party28…who could barely find the barn…party27…but was smart enough to locate the other tails…party29

THAT’S IT!

We took down the tails.

Nice try Mama E…are you pinning the tail on the patella?party30

Some of the adults were too grown-up to bother…in other words…they were drinking beer in the shade…party31Did I say…Grown-Up?party32We did get Allie…party33Tim..party34…and Suzy to pin that tail!party35

After the game, prizes were given to the kids. They were really special gifts Elizabeth had chosen from her horse collection…winner got first pick.

Sabrina and her mini-horse!party36There were books and cards and fun horsey things…including Elizabeth’s booklet about the Grayson Highlands ponies…party37See Elizabeth smiling her best ‘pony-girl’ grin…party36Meanwhile…the artistry continued. I was blown away by how cool the barn was looking!party37

Pockets inspected. “OH MY GWAD…MY BUTT IS A MESS!”
party39Now THAT is a  HAPPY barn door…party41The party was rockin’…party42…as the best carrot cake ever was served…party43But what about the horsies?party44I filled a trough with hay and had the troops sprinkle carrots on top…party45Suddenly there was an audience…Gypsy and Star!
party46They were most attentive…especially when the molasses appeared…party46That Star has a looong neck…party48I mean really loooong…party49We chased the barn gang out to the pasture and shut the gate. It was time for our great leaders to march in the birthday buffet!party50Next came Pockets and Grayson…with Grayson charming the girls as always…party51What a FEAST! (see the Elders patiently waiting in the pasture)party52Elizabeth and I took turns making birthday photos…while Grayson and Pockets munched down with total birthday abandon!party53…then finally the Elders were invited in…party54Here you see a bit of horse-heaven on earth…FG_364 copyDid I mention it was hot? So very hot in the mountains?party56It sure did seem like that fan followed Dave wherever he went……party57I know you are wondering if Recluse Man ever got that beer open…party58Well…he did…party59After our guests left…I couldn’t find Elizabeth…party60But Grayson found the beer…party61

It was a birthday party we will always remember…even the two-year-olds. Right Grayson?party63OH MY GWAD. Such a poser that Pockets!party64And that my friends…is the end of this chapter from our family album.party65How I love a good Tale of Tails!

MY BUM THUMB…SAID FRED THE BED

I have had many nicknames during my lifetime. Freddie, of course, is my everyday nickname. Freeka, my blog name. My mom used to call me Reeculous Ticklehoufer. I liked that name. Mainly because it came from my mom and it was just…ridiculous.

Perhaps the silliest nickname I ever acquired was, ‘Fred the Bed.’ That came from my best girlfriends at summer horse camp. I don’t think there was any relevance, or event, or behavior behind it. Just that it rhymed. These grown women still call me that. Good thing they don’t live nearby.

I share this as a preface to another dumb poem I wrote. It’s part Dr Suess and part explanation as to where the heck I’ve been all summer.

While most people kick off their summer around the Fourth of July, my happy season…my joy…my summer giddiness, came to an abrupt end that memorable weekend.

Hark ye revelers…for the story of my bum thumb…
thumb1

Yup..I broke my thumb falling off an ATV in Pennsylvania, going zero miles an hour. My right thumb no less. My favorite, most cherished thumb. The one that makes me a right-handed human being.

I was riding tandem, looking for photo opps, when my nephew’s girlfriend tried to turn the ATV around going up a steep embankment. As it started to roll, I elbowed my camera bag over my left shoulder and took the downhill fall with all my weight on my right hand.

CRUNCH went my thumb….followed by LOUD, NAUGHTY words that frightened the wildlife. (animal wildlife…well ok, maybe Katie too)

Here is my chauffeur, Katie, having a blast without a passenger. Behind her is the seat I fell from. Lemme tell ya…riding tandem stinks! thumb2Said Fred the Bed

Why is my thumb so Red?

Could it be Broke?

Am I Awoke?thumb3Said the Thumb

You are so Dumb!

I am about to Croak

And you just Spoke?thumb4

X-rays in Pennsylvania revealed a broken Bennett bone. That’s the bone that hinges the thumb to the rest of the hand. The bone that allows twisting, pinching, squeezing…as in the ability to brush my teeth, use a pitchfork, or wipe my butt right-handed.

Uh boy. It’s gonna be a long summer.

Said Fred the Bed

You are messing with my Head

It’s the Fourth of July

Please don’t lie.thumb5

The Yankee doctor fixed me up with a splint so I could drive the ten hours back home to my favorite Southern bone doctors. Because of the holiday weekend, and more X-rays with the Boone Ortho doctors, I didn’t have surgery until a week later.

I had the best nurse. She told me to remove my earrings and watch and any loose teeth. Then she asked a series of questions, including the standard. On a scale of 1-10…what is your pain level? On a scale of 1-10…I think they asked me at least eleven times in four hours.

thumb6Finally, she asked if I was comfortable and apologized for the long delay. Then another nurse asked another round of questions starting with the famous 1-10 pain scale opener. She concluded by asking me if I felt like hurting anyone, including myself. Whaaaa?

thumb7Now why would she ask that?thumb8Moments later…they took away my cell phone…then my thumb.thumb9Next thing I knew…there was Recluse Man in a fuzzy-wuzzy world…thumb10Said the Thumb

Play your own Drum

But wear this stiff Splint

Like a message in Cement

Oh to hell with my thumb. My hand was very swollen, my fingers were black and blue, and I had a deep wound on my outer pinky from the first splint pinching so hard.

(Outer pinky. I like that. “Hey there…wanna see my outer pinky?”…or… “OK to bring my outer pinky along?”…or…”Wow…my outer pinky is shedding!”)

Yeah…to hell with my thumb…I was feeling no pain with those big, white pills they gave me.

I decorated my splint…thumb11

…and hung out with the tribe…thumb12

FG_009 copythumb13

It felt so goofy-good to be home post-surgery. Did I mention those white pills?thumb13

One day Recluse Man was painting the barn…thumb15

…when Pockets and I decided to get in on the fun…thumb16

Uh Oh!thumb17

That wonkey ponkey!!thumb18

Dang…she figured out the self-timer?thumb19

We had a blast!thumb20

…just ask Star…thumb22

Red roller, red roller…send Lily back over…thumb21

Then one day the white pills ran out and reality set in.

May I mention the frustration from trying to use a mouse left-handed with a big-fat-right-bum thumb on the keyboard. Or getting a lefty fork all neat inside my mouth without stabbing or slobbering. Or brushing my teeth…or…tying shoelaces…buttoning… unscrewing… doorhandles… knives…cast iron pans…and OMG…showering with a plastic grocery bag up to my elbow, trying to squirt out shampoo and lather one-handed.

Maybe the worst part was how much it hurt to hold my Nikons for long. Like more than three frames.

I have even greater respect now, for all those who have found ways to overcome limb and appendage disabilities. Humans and animals alike.

Said Fred the Bed

To the Thumb she thought Dead

I will Succumb

Just please..once again be my Thumb.

You are the sum of my Yum

My very right Thumb

The strum of my Hum

The opposite of Glum!

One week after surgery, I found myself back at the doc’s office. The nurse removed the splint to reveal the two pins in my hand…I think she left the gauze for effect. I just want you to know I had the following photos full size, until Recluse Man walked by and gagged.

You can thank him for the thumbnail size. It even sounds appropriate…
thumb24

YIKES! New splint Paleeze!!! My hand was still very swollen and weak…thumb25

Three weeks after surgery I went in again for X-rays and a third splint. I shed a handful of skin as I scratched and waited and ignored the ‘no cell phone usage, no photos please’ sign.FG_007 copyMeanwhile Recluse Man had to cover me on farm chores. Secretly I was smirking. I don’t think he realized what goes into making the zoo and the farm happy everyday. Poor guy.

We got a lot of rain and the grass grew mightily.thumb 26I rounded up my own lawnmowers and pitched in…thumb 27Many days and nights passed…thumb28 thumb 29

Then finally six weeks after surgery, the pins came out! It was a little creepy..the thought of actually pulling the pins out. But it was painless and the best part…I was sent home with a removable splint.

The longest pin was 2.5″…dang. I painted my nails in celebration. After all…I was a left-handed pro by then.thumb29

I quickly switched to a thumb brace so I could finally use the mouse right-handed…thumb30

But something wasn’t right. My thumb was stiff as a clothespin and I thought it might never heal properly. Since childhood I have had a funky, right thumb. It tends to stick or pop at the knuckle. After all those weeks in a splint, it took days of massaging before I got my thumb to pop back into action.

That first pop was a thrilling moment…thumb33

Said Fred the Bed

To her comely Thumb

You are not dead but Instead

What a beauty you’ve Become

My long lost Chum!

As a footnote, (great pun…just wait), check out some photos from this Labor Day morning when our farrier worked on the barn gang. Gypsy got two front shoes, one with a pad for some sole-ful healing on her left foot.

As you can see my thumb is working just fine…thumb34

Then…whoa boy! Star had his very first shoeing experience. Another sole-ful foot healing, and as long as he was twitched (most humanely), he was the perfect client.

Right Star? thumb35Said Fred the Bed…from my thumb…to your thumb…♥♥

FREEKA’S LAWN MOWER MAINTENANCE

I have been living on this funny farm for eight years now. It’s strange how as one grows older, time seems to compress. Eight years!

The past six years I have been a divorcée. (TrAshe County pronunciation; dāy-´VHŌR-sāy) Those first two years while my x and I were separated, we tried to remain friends, and it was during that time I borrowed his trusty old Husqvarna weed eater. Never to give it back.

That was perhaps the best deal of the entire divorce. From both our points of view. I didn’t want his Rolls Royce, his house or his lifestyle. Just gimme the Husqi.

That weed wacker (my preferred term although they are officially known as weed trimmers or string trimmers), has lasted longer than my marriage and almost every other useful thing from my former life. It has also outlived two lawn mowers on the farm, a wheelbarrow, and four short-term boyfriends. I may have to kill it, if it tries to outlive Recluse Man or me.

I could tell you the Husqi has had a good long life because I have maintained it so well, when actually I have done very little, save for replacing a few parts.

I do, however, believe in proper maintenance….hosing after use, storing inside, checking oil, winterizing, sharpening blades…that kind of thing.

This applies to all methods of reducing grass and weed growth. Including my very own free-range-mobile-mowers.

Please meet #1 (Gypsy on left) and #2 (Star on right) mowers….mower1

#3 mower (D.O.G.) is in the distance, and is much loved but obviously does not have the horsepower the others do…mower2

#2 mower has a halter on because he went AWOL several weeks ago, while he was solo mowing. Apparently there was a mower in heat down the road.mower3Watch as #1 mower teaches #2 mower where to refuel…mower4

Normally I break up the carrots but this was one-handed shooting for effects…mower5#2 mower looks a little dorky with burrs in his forelock…ya think?mower6

Oh Boy…high octane carrots!mower7

Self-serve was available…but they seemed to prefer full-serve at the porch fuel station…mower8#2 mower inquired about having his teeth scratched…he’s weird that way…mower9

Talk about full service!mower10

Little did #1 and #2 mowers realize as they chomped their fuel…mower11

#3 mower was fast approaching…well maybe not fast by your standards…mower13As far as I know…#2 mower had never had an up-close and personal encounter with #3 mower…mower12

#2 mower looked to #1 mower for direction…mower14#2 mower decided not to follow course…mower15…when suddenly #3 mower changed direction…mower16

I caught up with #3 mower…who btw…was still sporting the remains of a pink pedicure…mower17

I offered a full-service-on-the-hill refuel…mower18

#3 mower was much obliged…mower19

…until #2 mower came into the picture…mower20That #3 mower sure can cut a turn…mower21Poor #3! Can’t a mower refuel in peace?mower22

Is this fuel wars or turf wars?
mower23#3 mower can really skedaddle when he needs to!mower24

Perhaps #2 mower had never seen #3 mower at full speed…he was amazed!mower25Quickly, any fuel or turf wars were settled.

The mowers were feeling well maintained and revving to go…
mower26

Off to do their duties they went singing… ‘You Go Your Way…I’ll Go Mine’…mower29

STUBBORN AS A MULE

I wouldn’t dare call Pockets a mule to her face. But technically speaking, it is what she is.

Breed a male (jack) donkey, to a female (mare) horse, and you’ll get a mule.

But the way we see it around here…ya breed a donkey to a pony…ya got a ponkey.

Ponkeys are total cuteness. Ponkeys are endless entertainment. A good ponkey is short and stout, with big ears and will chase away homie-dogs and hyenas. A good ponkey always comes right over after chasing a hyena…in immediate need of a cuddle-rub-hug and a smile.

After all…fearlessness deserves reward.

A good ponkey has a smile that will make you laugh.

Yet..a couple of days ago I found myself laughing my ass off…over a naughty ponkey’s grimaces.

OH MY GWAD…here comes another episode of Trailer Loading Flunkies.

(move over Star)Star load

That same-sinister-black Darth Vader horse trailer that created my personal ‘Star-Wars’ last year, is back. Sitting in my pasture. Waiting for a trip down the mountain to carry Pockets-the-Ponkey to a vet.

Too bad after the trailer arrived, we told Pockets she needed to be ‘vetted’ at the end of April. Big mistake.

Instantly she retorted; I WILL NOT BE VETTED…NOT EVER-NEVER…NOT TO GWAYSON OR ANYBODY…NO VETTINGS FOR ME…GWAYSON NEVER EVEN PWOPOSED!!!!

(What a Drama Queen…I told her she was too young to be wedded…and that’s not what I meant in the first place!)

Ever since, Elizabeth has been diligently teaching Pockets how to load in the monster-trailer. They were making big strides, those two.

Then a couple of days ago when Elizabeth couldn’t make it out, I promised her I would load Pockets. My friend Janice was coming over to collaborate on a round pen session with Star. Janice and I both have three year old geldings and we had agreed to do ‘co-op’ training sessions, sharing time with our boys. It was her turn here. Our goal that day was to put a girth around Star for the very first time.

Success!J & Star girth

I was so tickled to see my crazy boy wearing a fancy belt around his scrawny waist…Star girth

Loading Pockets afterward, sounded like a piece of carrot cake. I told Janice I would snap some photos for Elizabeth while she loaded Pockets. Easy-breezy. Nothing to it. The P-Pip had loaded already.

I must mention…Janice is light as a sparrow. Very horse savvy. And full of mischief.

She led Pockets to the trailer ramp and sat down inside.

What the hay?

Star watched from the sidelines with huge trepidation…Star trailer Pockets

No doubt…Pockets was wondering about the new girl at the end of her ponkey leash…Pockets trailer1

Let the circus begin!Pockets trailer2

It was about here…J&P trailer

…that I was laughing so hard…I nearly peed my pants…J&P trailer3

Meanwhile…Janice was flying by the seat of her pants!J&P trailer3

Down the trailer ramp and through the pasture they go!J&P trailer4

Star was…shall we say…Startled? Notice Grayson in the distance…chomping away…J&P trailer5

Finally Pockets gave into curiosity and stopped pulling…
J&P trailer6

Pockets-the-Ponkey decided to investigate ‘The Girl Who Wouldn’t Let Go’…J&P trailer7

The two of them talked it over…Janice said…YOU ARE STUBBORN AS A MULE!

Pockets said…I AM A PONKEY…NOT A MULE…I AM A FONKEY-WONKEY-PONKEY…YOU HONKEY!J&P trailer8

…slowly they made up…J&P trailer9

ROLL THE CAMERA!!…B Roll!J&P trailer10Thank Gwad…Elizabeth showed up the next day…P&E trailer1

I was worried we had made a wreck of her training progress…E&P trailer6

Carrot bribes sure help…E&P trailer7

P&E trailer2

But in the end it was Grayson…P&E trailer3

…who saved the day…P&E trailer4

All lickety-split that stubborn mule…I mean PONKEY…loaded!

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

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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 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 – FOUR ON THE FLOOR…HEAD OUT THE DOOR – November 24, 2015

 

FOUR ON THE FLOOR AND HEAD OUT THE DOOR…YIPPEE!!!

GO STAR!!!!

After 10 days of working with Star, and getting him over his fears and green-colt anxieties about loading in a trailer, we had the best day yet.

Thank you Goddess of Patience! Thank you Blocker Tie Rings! Thank you Janice for leaving your trailer!

Not only did Star load, he stayed. He sniffed. He stuck his head out the side door. He nibbled. He leaned into my fingers at his favorite scratch spots and batted his eyes. He turned his head this way and that. He backed out a few steps, then came forward. Then he stayed again…for awhile.

And then he asked… “Hay girl…where’s the TV?”

I was so happy with this headway (wimpy pun), I promised we’d watch the next Panthers game together.

It was the same feeling I had at age 14, when I won four blue ribbons and then grand champion, in a horse show at summer camp. It was hard work and team effort then, and no less so today. With the same huge feeling of accomplishment.

And trust. Gotta have trust.

Check out the Star-dude…in Photos of the Day…POTD_15_11_24_Star_load_1

Head out da door…four on da floor…

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“You coming?”POTD_15_11_24_Star_load_3

“Where’s the TV?”POTD_15_11_24_Star_load_4

“Love my little apartment…where are my slippers?”POTD_15_11_24_Star_load_5

“So when are we going?”
POTD_15_11_24_Star_load_6

Lookin’ like Turkey Day…you hot-red-headed-turkey-you.

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