Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

If I have been quiet recently, forgive me.  It’s been a tough time with my typical anti-holidays sentiments, my family visiting from out of state, work around here trying to get all set up for ponies home, etc, etc, etc.

However, I’m struggling most with knowing I’ll be saying goodbye to a dear, dear friend of mine sooner rather than later.  She has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.  At best, I will be saying goodbye for the last time about five years from now.  At worst, it could be tomorrow.  She will leave behind two severely special needs children, who she will never see grow up to become adults, and who will always, always need their mama.

My heart is breaking for her children, for her family, for myself, but mostly for her, as God has tested her more than Jobe her whole life.

Life is never fair.  But sometimes, life really deals a rough hand to wonderful people.


*There’s a point at which I don’t know what to say to my beautiful friend.  I mourn the loss of my friend, am in shock at the impending loss, but yet she is not gone.  I want to mourn for ME, for MY LOSS, but yet she is here still and faces Death with such a positive attitude and outlook.  No self-pity, no fear…  Just a beautiful, serene, loving outlook on life and an ability to treasure every moment, every breath she has left.  I cry for the shadow looming over her life, yet here she is, celebrating what she has, and what she has been given.  She is one of the bravest and strongest women I know, an inspiration and example to so many people for how to live.  Yet, I wallow in my own selfishness and cry for my impending loss…

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Good things just keep on happening!

Remember how a couple weeks ago Sugar wouldn’t load for me?  Or, if you don’t, the short story is Molly and Casey are away on pasture at a friend’s place because my neighbor had a fit that we have horses, even though I’ve lived here 18 months.  This of course prompted the house search and led to us buying the house we’re moving to Thanksgiving weekend.

So, anyways, Ms. Sugar Britches wouldn’t load.  She had A FIT.  She broke a halter, hit her head and created drama all around.  Well, she doesn’t have a single issue loading into a stock trailer.  Said stock trailer is parked in the pasture and she eats in there just fine, even going so far as to stomp her feet at me and look expectantly, as though she’s ready to go.

My landlord will bring her out to our new place for us.  However, he had a price.  But, so did everyone else I talked to about moving Sug.  The price was that we’d buy his TB mare for $500 and he’d move Sugar for free.  Bad Pants accepted the deal immediately.  Know what?  Moving Sugar was going to cost us $400 anyways.  So, BP just bought me ANOTHER MARE for $100.

Wanna know who she is?  Look here.  She actually has 6 decent wins to her name.  Not sure why they didn’t campaign her harder as she did beat out a couple Derby winners for the years she raced.  Well, it doesn’t matter much anyways.  We’re quite happy with her.

I don’t have any pics with moving upon us.  She was being retrained Western at the time.  Since this video was taken a few years ago, Flirt (her barn name) has been used as a trail horse, a company horse, a husband horse, and a kids horse.  She also jumps and has been shown huntseat.

I can barely say it.  I own FIVE horses now.  FIVE.  And 4 of them are mares (and a filly)!  From a self-professed gelding person, I certainly gained a lot of mares in a big hurry!

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While some of you, my friends, are participating in NaNoMo this month, I will be much too busy to join you.  Why is that?  Well, let me give you a hint:

5 bed, 3 bath, 4000sf

12 acres total, about 5 newly cleared

and when I’m all done moving into all that, you will be able to find me here, with a glass of wine:

We move in the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I’ve got a lot to pack!

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Did they leave anything behind for me?

As you can see, there’s clearly nothing wrong with Sugar that simple FEEDING could have prevented.  She’s really starting to feel good now too.  Good enough that she’s starting to be a little pushy when it comes to love, feeding and going for a walk somewhere.

I’m going to de-worm her one more time as I’m still grossed out by the heavy load she was carrying.  I want to make sure they’re all cleared out and she’s absorbing the most nutrients possible.

Should I roll here?

Ahh! That's the spot!

Up I go!

That felt good!

Not only can Sugar get up and down on her own, as you can see from the photos, but she’s quite happy to trot around a bit when on turn out.

My farrier checked her out and thought she might be a little Morgan, given her bone structure.   Thinking about it a little, I think I agree.  Whatever she is, she’s a cutie!

Additionally, as of this past weekend, Sugar officially became ours.  Bad Pants made it official, she’s going to stay with us and no one else will have any say over her again.  I won’t have to stress about what sort of home she may end up in, as she’s here to stay!


*I should also say that Sugar has no back teeth on her right side.  No idea why, they’re just not there.

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On Tuesday, I not only got to meet Stephanie from Being Stephanie, as she was here in Atlanta for work, but I also got to bring her to my house and cook her dinner.

From the moment Bad Pants, Dude, and I picked Steph up at her hotel, it was as though I was picking up an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while.  We were all completely at ease and talked as though we were picking up a conversation from where we left it in the past.

Steph is even more gorgeous than the photos on her blog would leave you to believe.  She’s very friendly and bubbly too!

Steph brought me a book she had that I have been wanting to read.  I gave her both my favorite brand of chai tea (Big Train- it’s also GF) and a bag of my very favorite coffee, Wicked Wolf by Raven’s Brew, which I can now get here locally at a specialty store.

After getting back to our place (and thanks for putting up with us being a bit lost in downtown ATL, Steph), I showed her around our tiny acreage, introduced her to the horses and then we met the dogs.  It was very reassuring to hear Steph say that Sugar is looking a lot better than she did the day I brought her home.  (Whew!  That’s a load off my mind!)

Once inside, after the tour, Salem hopped right up on Steph’s lap and made himself at home.  Even he loved her, and he can be stand-offish with strangers.

So we spent the evening talking, laughing, eating GF stew, drinking some 14 Hands wine, and eating gelato (also GF).  It was a great night I was sorry to see end.

I feel so privileged to have gotten to spend this special evening with Stephanie.  I can hardly wait for her next trip to Atlanta!  Next time, we’ll go see the Georgia Aquarium and have wine at their bar!  Whale sharks and wine….  Can you imagine anything better?

Love you, Steph!  Thanks for visiting!


(So, who’s up for a visit to Atlanta next??)

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For those of you who haven’t befriended me on Facebook, I’ve been quite busy with a new project.   I’ve been so busy, in fact, that I have put the Bake-Off on hold for a bit.

So, without further ado, let me show you what’s been going on.

**WARNING: Graphic photos** 

While I admit that the photos I will be sharing below are not that bad, IMO, I do realize they could upset some readers.  So, if you’re one of those, please feel free to skip this post entirely and know I took in a skinny, starving mare near death and I’m working on making her better.






Meet Sugar, a 14hh, upper-teens, stock horse type mare.

Just 12 days ago, I helped rescue an abandoned horse at the end of our road.  Her owners didn’t want her any more and turned her loose, just like that.  She’d been fending for herself for some time in a swampy area.  But, in case you haven’t heard, Georgia is in the midst of a drought.  Our ponds are mostly dried up and the grass had been dormant for most of the summer.  So , the swamp was dry, with no water and no nutrition in the grasses she was eating.
Mind you, this is the second horse I’ve found since moving to Georgia.  You can read about the first one here.
I told my husband I was going to go take a look at her.  He told me we just couldn’t take on another horse.  We’re already full up here.  AND he’d just purchased another for me a few days previously as a surprise.  (I knew about it.  Oddly, he bought her that SUNDAY night.  It’ll be some time before I bring her to Georgia though, as she’s a baby and in Oregon).
So, he protested mildly.
After seeing the plight of this little mare, at how painfully thin she was (and still is), and seeing her old injuries that weren’t cared for, my heart broke.  I spent the next half hour trying to get the owner to relinquish her to my custody (and he was a scary, strung out, tweaker dude!), followed by 90 minutes of slow walking to move her the two miles it was to my house.  I could not leave her there.  I simply couldn’t.  A couple more weeks on her own and this mare would have died, if she hadn’t wandered out into the road and been hit by a car first, causing a terrible accident and loss of lives.
During that walk, I prayed that we’d make it home safely.  That Sugar wouldn’t go down, and would have the strength to make it to my house.  I sweet talked that little mare the whole way home too, calling her “Sugar HoneyBaby” and begging her to not go down on me, all the while pleading with God to keep vehicles from flying up the road at us, causing an accident, or spook, or worse.
We made it home.  Sugar was in pitiful condition.  I gave thanks for our safe journey.  I gave thanks that my husband’s soft heart caved when he saw her.  And since then, I’ve worked hard to put weight on Sugar and to make her comfortable.  She’s gaining steadily (52 lbs the first week), but she’s not out of the woods yet.
It’s also been financially tight for us to take Sugar on right now.  Not only did we just pay a substantial amount of money for my new filly, but my husband’s company announced they were changing our pay cycle and we’d be going an extra week before being paid again, all on a payday that is already reserved for rent and bill and whatnot.  But some how, so far, the Universe has provided, not just for us, but for Sugar too.  (Because, rehabbing a horse is VERY expensive.  In 11 days she’s cost roughly what I spend on my two horses here at home for a three week period).
I de-wormed Sugar yesterday, as she was finally strong enough for a mild de-wormer (pyrantel, if you’re wondering).  Even then, I was deeply worried about a chance of colicking.  Oddly, colic and founder are my worst fears when it comes to my horses.  I’ve never really had to deal with either (except a little belly ache with Casey because he was cold last winter).  So, I checked on her hourly, until after midnight.  She’s fine today, a little quiet, but fine.
In the past 12 days, I’ve been able to piece together that Sugar was someone’s beloved, well-trained baby in the past.  She blankets like a pro, even lowers her head to put on and take off the blanket, de-worms without need of a halter and doesn’t fuss, and is about the easiest going mare I’ve ever known.  Of course, with some additional weight, some of that may change.
I don’t know much about her past and I can only guess at it from what I observe.  I do know she came with a calcified knee injury, but I don’t know how old it is.  She needs her teeth floated, but appears to be about 16-18.  She fly sprays like a champ.  She spooks sometimes, but she spooks in place.  She has an eye injury that has left her with some vision impairment.  And she spooks when strangers she doesn’t know approach her from the left, the eye with the vision impairment.  Once she knows and trusts you, she’ll follow you anywhere and actively seek out your company.
Sugar came with the name, “Cocoa”, but we changed it for obvious reasons.  I’m told that she is papered and that her previous, previous owners would just give me her papers.  But so far, that hasn’t happened.  At this point I haven’t been able to find out anything more about her.  Not her registered name or breed or date of birth.  But that’s ok.  I’m learning about Sugar all the time, just by what she shows me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a broken down old mare to go love on and a stall to strip.  🙂

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George, the little cat whom we were told would only live a single month at most when we adopted him, gave us his heart for 19 months instead.  In the end, his little, tiny body began to fail him.

It’s amazing at how a tiny, sickly, old cat could steal so many hearts in such a short time.  From being locked in a car on a hot July day, saved by shaving, fluids and an ice bath to making a nearly 3000 mile journey cross-country, George has had a tremendous ending to his life, in which we spent spoiling him and filling with love every day.

I doubt I will ever eat turkey again without thinking of the little cat we bribed to make it to and through each holiday.

We returned him to the Universe today.  He will be sorely missed.  I hope Heaven has provided him with turkey and Grandmas laps.

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First, I called Mrs. Mom today.  When she answered, I said in my best sick-whine, “Mo-om!  I’m sick!”

Later, I made chili from scratch.  When it was done, I decided I wanted pb&j instead.

Sometimes it’s great to be 6 again!

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The pirates got my husband!

Last night, because temps were dropping fast, Bad Pants went out to blanket the horses with me in the dark.  He took Molly and left Casey for me to deal with.  (Casey can be a pill when it comes to blanketing).

First, those tricky pirates slicked up a spot in the middle of the pasture, near where I would usually walk to feed Molly.  (The hot wire runs across this spot to form their winter paddock).  Casey was acting a wee bit spooky and I should have known something was up.

So, Bad Pants slid around a bit, but then regained his footing.  Next, he began to crawl through the strands of hot wire.  Beings as it was dark, BP did not detect the trip wire those sneaky pirates had set up on the other side.  He rolled his ankle and went down, blinding Molly with the headlamp in the process.  So in turn, she stepped right on his ankle, then backed up and bumped his other shin trying to disentangle herself.

When Bad Pants went down, he let out a yell.  I dropped Casey’s blanket in a puddle.  (Fat lot of good a soaking wet blanket does!)  Casey took off at a trot, blowing and snorting.  There was no slogging through the muck to blanket him, especially not with a wet blanket!

Luckily, the area where the trip wire was hidden was dry.  Molly’s blanket survived it’s minimal time of the ground and we got her all snugged up for the night.

I helped Bad Pants limp back to the house, left him at the bottom of the stairs, and took the sopping blanket inside.  Before I could come out and assist BP in the house, he scooped up Mo and hobbled up the stairs.  After all, he didn’t want the cat getting frost bite!

I took Mo from BP, got BP inside and parked him on the couch with a bucket for *just in case*.  Then I slid his shoe off, iced his ankle and covered him with blankets since he was a little pale.

Luckily, nothing is broken.  His ankle was probably saved by the soft mud and bed of pine needles that make up our paddock.  I suspect he’ll be right as rain within a week.

Those pirates!  They meant to get me!  My husband foiled their plot and took the hit for me instead.  I hope they won’t be back for more!

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This afternoon, my study session with Dude was interrupted by a couple loud thumps on my front porch.  My house shook with the thumps.  When I went out to find out the cause, I found a small white box that the mailman apparently “dropped”.  (Cranky, maybe?)

Once inside, I opened the box (photo withheld to keep address private), and this is what I found:


Yummy Chummies for the dogs!

Books and keychains!

Did you get a close enough look at the cheese?  Well, look again:


Thank you, AKPonyGirl, this is one of the most touching gifts I’ve ever received.  We will think of you with every bite!

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