Monday, June 30, 2008

Highest Recommendation

I just finished the book MARES! (Ya Gotta LOVE 'em) by Betsy Kelleher.

If you are a woman... if you love horses... if you have ever owned a mare... if you have ever even dreamed of someday having your own horse...


I laughed out loud. I cried - buckets! Both sad and happy tears at that. One story even described, almost perfectly, our mare Katie - although I know it wasn't her, the physical description given matched our Katie!

So, WOW! I am inspired to attempt a better relationship with my mares... all of them! And I wouldn't be surprised to find that my mares had e-mailed Betsy to say thanks!

I don't know what else to say, do not miss this book! You can find Betsy's work at

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home Again

Another peaceful, cool early morning... cleaned the horse area, fed the two mares, washed up and fed myself while reading; then made the bed and packed up everything I wasn't going to need to get a head start. Once everyone was up and around, we saddled up and headed out shortly after 9am. This time took Deer Hill Trail, toward the north and east I believe, still pines but quite a bit different than yesterday's scenery.

Really enjoyed the ride, and got back in time to head home by early afternoon, but it looked to be clouding up and I was really wanting to be rained on so I hung around a few more hours... and as luck would have it the storm blew out again. Finished packing up and loaded the mares and the dogs, and headed down the hill. Really really didn't want to go, talked to several people in the Valley that said it was HOT... although Randy said it was ONLY 104! Coming south out of Cordes Junction saw what looked to be a great storm off to the south and west... but as I got closer, yes it was clouds above but what had looked to me from a distance like rain falling, was actually SMOKE rising! Just past Sunset Point I could even smell it in the air... and once darkness fell, we could see the orange glow from home! Scary, and so sad - it's gonna be another tough summer!

And wouldn't you know it, we had to make a run into town (to replace the card reader so I could post pictures!) and while we were gone, it rained at home!!!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little Elden Springs

This was my first trip to Little Elden Springs and I will definitely be going back! It reminded me a lot of Groom Creek which I love, although it's farther away... BUT - the trails are so much better! It's not as large a campground as Groom Creek... BUT - the trails are so much better! The daily fee is also more than Groom Creek... BUT - the trails are so much better! Due to altitude the use period is probably shorter... BUT - the trails are so much better! The two high points in my opinion were Schultz Tank, a lovely small mountain lake, and the IMMENSE aspen grove... Here, take a peek, and judge for yourself:

As you can see, toward the end of the ride it started threatening to storm and we did get sprinkled on, the perfect amount to lend a touch of cool... and we were hoping it would hold off till we got back to camp and unsaddled and then LET IT RAIN. I had gotten up before dawn, to clean the horse area and feed the two mares, wash up and feed myself, and took the dogs for a short walk (all I could handle at that altitude lol). So I thought I would take advantage of a nice storm and snooze a little... only to wake up a couple hours later to find the storm had blown over and we didn't get any more rain, and it was HOT in the trailer! My friend Linda just got a new small LQ trailer and offered me a shower, which felt darn good. Toward evening we all gathered with our contributions and had a wonderful potluck, then sat around the campfire chatting. What a great day!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Off I Go!

Another horsey camping weekend, this time Little Elden Springs campground north of Flagstaff. Never been there bfore so looking forward to it! Supposed to be almost 30 degrees cooler than home and maybe some monsoon showers WOO HOO!

Y'all have a safe weekend and stay cool!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Garden

E-mailing a few weeks ago with Sheryl about an upcoming work day, I had mentioned "the garden" and so she loaded up gardening tools and was looking forward to working in the garden. Well the name stuck because the area WAS a garden for the people who had the ranch before we did, but we don't grow things in it, it's got 3 horse pens in it!

Sheryl and I had a good laugh about it and the subject came up more than once after that. Then last weekend when she came out she brought us a present...

Now I smile every time I see this!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One Year Anniversary

I haven't been blogging that long and I haven't talked about it that long but tonight was the year anniversary of our Midweek Fellowship, now known as The Valley Remnant. Gary didn't talk much, instead he invited us to share what the last year has meant to us. For me, it's my chance at spiritual growth. Because of past problems I haven't attended church in years and I won't. But there has been something nagging deep inside, it did bother me that I wasn't attending any type of spiritual gathering or increasing my knowledge of God's word. Even when Randy started taking Gary's classes, and invited me, I had zero interest in anything that resembled church. Then Randy told me about the next class which was entitled Religion vs. Relationshp... which seemed to be exactly in line with my thinking. I was convinced that organized religion was not of God, but of man - after all, if "religion" WAS of God, there could only be one - His! What was most important to me was my own personal relationship with God and I didn't feel I needed to go to church to have that relationship. In fact for quite a while I have said that my church is the great outdoors and my pew is a saddle...

Anyway I went to that class and it confirmed a lot of things for me. I did try to continue on with the next class but things were happening that reminded me too much of my past church experiences and I drifted away again. When Midweek Fellowship started up Randy was all excited and wanted me to come but I was leery. I did agree to come when I wasn't busy with something else, which was about half the time. This went on for a few months and then the last Wednesday in November, Gary mentioned the subject matter for the next week, which was when I usually skipped for my horse club meeting, and I just knew that I needed to hear that lesson. So I showed up then, and the next week my bunco group was cancelled for the holidays so I went again, and about that time I told Randy I was getting a very strong message that I needed to be at Midweek Fellowship. His immediate response was "No, I'm not pushing you" and I said "No, it's NOT you, it's coming from INSIDE ME and I think it's God!" And I've only missed once since - in fact I surprised Randy when I went without him the week he was working out of town.

Gary has talked a lot about the spiritual warfare going on, how things keep happening to people to keep them from coming, and I thought it odd that Randy and I haven't experienced that ourselves. But thinking about my "talk" for last night made me realize that Satan IS throwing things at me too - I personally have a lot of trouble with the dynamic of a "church" setting and when we outgrew our circle-in-the-living-room format and moved into a sanctuary to hold our meetings, it really bothered me. But I had a talk with myself and said hey, it's still Gary, it's still Midweek Fellowship, it's still about my relationship with God and learning more of his Word... so, knock it off and go anyway! And I'm still going! So that's how the first year of Midweek Fellowship has changed my life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Mikey Fix...

... for all you addicts who have been missing her so badly.
Here she is demonstrating the flamingo dance... er, um, I mean she is holding a recalcitrant Fred while Wade does the easy part ;)
Look closely at Fred's expression - even with just one eye showing, you can tell he is plotting! What's that saying? "Payback's a b*tch!"

Hurry up Wade!!
Trooper is studying Fred's method way too intently! Trooper, this is NOT how you are to behave for the farrier!!!
And for you dyed-in-the-wool addicts, here is a Mercy fix as well: modeling the latest in..... HATS?????
Hope you enjoyed our visit from The Horseshoeing Housewife (and crew -sorry Wade, not that you aren't important... but, well, Mikey is just - MIKEY!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sad State of Affairs

I am so bummed by this. I cannot tell you how many e-mails I get through the rescue groups and networks I am part of, from people wanting to rehome an old, lame horse. I understand that it is difficult to make the decision to end an animal's life. But if that animal has served you well, it is just plain cruel to pass it off on someone else once its usefulness to you is done. Especially these days, when most likely it will end up starving or on the truck to Mexico or Canada... I faced the possibility of having to make this decision again last year with my Paint Mare, who was inexplicably lame at only 22. Luckily after a few months of stall rest her problem, which several hundred dollars in vet bills isolated but could not diagnose, resolved and she is back to normal! We have had to do it with our first horse, who in his late 20s could not keep on weight no matter how much or what we fed him, and who hurt so bad he chose to stand in one spot all day long rather than walk around... with my mom's horse who fractured the inside of her knee (and per vet could not be fixed)... with our first official rescue, Wilbur, whose lack of hoof care as a youngster caused his legs to grow crooked, which in turn (also per vet) meant constant pain... even when it's the right thing to do, it's not easy, but it IS our responsibility to provide our animals with the care they need, even if it means causing loss to ourselves. I get so frustrated when people say they feel guilty "killing" their pets... providing a release from suffering is NOT the same as killing...

OK on that note I will get off my soapbox. Give your critters a big kiss and hug from me tonight!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Mini Brag

I was going to say a LITTLE brag but had to change that lol.

Yesterday Sheryl and the boys helped me with a registration photo session. They had a lot of fun and we think the donkeys did too. So just a couple highlights...

This is Clementine. She is now a little over 4 months old. She goes home soon and boy will I miss her. But like Moses she turned out really nice so far and I have high hopes for our breeding program with Dillon as our lead jack.

And this is Peggy Sue. I believe she will deliver Wiley's first foal this fall. Of all three jennets who should be pregnant by him, she seems to be farthest along. What do you think?

There could be as many as four miniature donkeys born as early as October. Fall is going to be fun around here :)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Amazing Radar!

OK I am SO in love with this little guy. What a character! He's a real people dog, I put him in the playpen with Sherman and Vada and he still stands on his hind legs and HOWLS - you can just HEAR him saying "Mama don't leave me, I'm LONELY" - and he gets Sherman going too! vada just sits there looking at them -"BOYS!" she says with a shake of her head.

This afternoon Radar thought that sitting in the water dish was a good way to let us know the big dogs had drank it all... Yup he WAS thirsty!
Last night Randy was playing with the pups on the floor while I was feeding and I missed it so today he demonstrated for me: it's a dogpile!

And tonight he helped Lindsey do the dishes, just like his "big brother" Sherman

Randy also said we will have to watch him, he has NO FEAR - he climbed up on a bag that was sitting next to Randy's chair and then LEAPED up onto Randy's knee! Wish I'd had the camera ready for that one!

On the negative side, he found the few little teethmarks that Vada already put in my card-reader cord and proceeded to chew halfway through the cord! He's ok but the card-reader is no longer working {sigh} - thankfully I had already downloaded these pictures from today! We've got to do something quick as the reader ports in the computer itself don't fit the card to my small camera - which is what most of the pictures you have seen on this blog were taken with!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Makes You Think

So I was talking to a friend this week. She's not happy in her marriage. He drinks. And when he does he's not very nice. Not physically abusive but still...

Every time she is about to decide it's time to go, he'll ease up and she decides to wait and see... but she's still not happy.

Made me think of something I read YEARS ago in Reader's Digest. Couldn't tell you the author but the words stuck in my brain like they were super-glued.

"Familiar pain is somehow more comforting than pleasure you're not sure is coming."

Wow. It still strikes right at the heart of me. I truly think that reading those words changed my life. Because they made me consider why I was staying. And thinking about the possibility of pleasure gave me the courage to change things. Not that the rest of my life has been hunky dory but there sure has been pleasure that I would not have had if I had stayed. And I think my girls are better for it as well.

Leaving isn't the right answer for everyone. But it was for me and among other things, I have Reader's Digest to thank for it!

PS I love you Randy - you are definitely the biggest and best pleasure in my life <3

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meet Radar

Well you kinda met him the other day, but tonight we had a chance to take some pictures of Radar with Sherman and Vada
Lindsey holding Sherman so he doesn't get between the camera and the other pups
Those aren't satellite dishes, they are EARS!
the two boys - "what mom???"
The rest of the shots tell the tale of a wrestling match...

Vada decides to join in

Mikey thinks I have lost my mind... but really, this is what keeps me sane!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting Ready

It appears that Zacchaeus definitely did "go out with a bang"... see

Look at Hannah:

So once again we have dragged the Great Dane crate in and fixed it up for a maternity ward...

Now I know you have all watched Sherman grow up and you must admit he is pretty stinkin' cute! So get your dibs in now, because Hannah is joining Zacchaeus in the "fixed" department as soon as feasible after the pups are born!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crazy? Nuts? Certifiable?????

Or just a sucker for a cute face?
This is Radar. His mom's owner took a couple of pictures of him with a soda can so we could be sure how small he was before we made the drive to pick him up.

Stay tuned...

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's Gonna Be A Long Hot Summer

Whew! 111 degrees by the Jeep thermometer on my way home tonight. At 8pm, with the sun down, still 94 degrees by the house thermometer. Just last week it seemed chilly in the dawn, but today I was sweating before the sun showed its face.

In the winter when I see the pictures of blizzards and ice storms, I tell myself I am not going to complain when it gets hot here in the summer. So let me tell you, I am NOT complaining - I am just stating fact!!! IT'S HOT!!!!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

First and foremost to my wonderful husband Randy who doesn't hesitate to parent my girls any time they need him :) and is a great dad to his own kids - even when they (and by "they" I do mean all of them!) don't appreciate it. The older they get, though, the smarter they all seem to think we are...

To my step-dad Peter, it's difficult to become a step-parent at any age but especially to adult children as that parent/child relationship opportunity is pretty much past... but I will always remember my mom saying that the best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother, and so I really appreciate the relationship he has with my mom and that he is there for her and takes care of her.

To my son-in-law Spencer, even though he doesn't have human children, he is a wonderful dad to my two grand-dogs!

To my dad, despite all the difficult times, we do have some good memories (learning to drive the Jeep, aspen trees, water-skiing, hiking and camping) and here's to the chance to make some more...

To those who have lost a father, especially my Andria - use this day to remember the good times, please don't be sad...

And to all the single moms out there, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to you too - as a former single parent, I know it's hard enough to be one parent, let alone both of them, you are doing a tough job and you deserve to be appreciated on Father's Day just as much as on Mother's Day!

And gosh it's HOT today here, glad we got so much done yesterday, I don't feel bad hiding in the house today ;)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Another Volunteer Saturday

Sheryl and Matthew came out again with their friends Greg, Betty and Andrew. Got some tree-trimming done, grooming, trash pickup... but they were running later than planned so the boys missed Lindsey's hoof-trimming demonstration, she did SIX minis before they arrived and was ready to quit for the day. Boy those new nippers are SO NICE, thanks Mikey for the referral on where to get them!! And oh well, one thing about hooves is they do keep growing, so the boys can catch Lindsey trimming another day.
Here's Andrew who did the hardest branches, the ones that were screeching on the roof when the wind blows, that we couldn't reach from the ground!

I'm so glad that was HIM up there and NOT ME!
Dillon was supervising but of course turned his head right when Sheryl took the picture... I guess we all gotta snack sometime huh?

and after dinner, which to Sheryl's delight Randy cooked while we were working, the boys helped me feed:

...while the moms cleaned the donkey pen, then the boys and I went to get a load of brick someone was giving away. Sheryl wrote me later when she got home that she would rather trim trees and scoop poop than cook... have to laugh because I'm all over that one myself!!! All in all a productive day!