Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beautiful Morning

I walked out the door this morning, still half asleep, across the back porch, down the steps and started out into the yard when this finally registered:

Actually it was quite a bit more colorful when I first saw it, but this is what I got by the time I ran back inside and grabbed the camera. Amazing how quickly it changes...

Getting up early is sometimes difficult and it seems I am the only one in my household even capable of it which gets frustrating. But look what I get that they miss!

Farewell September!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Little Bear at Little Elden

I'm sorry, did you think you would see pictures of a small bear? I'm not deliberately misleading you - there is a trail up at the Little Elden horse camp called Little Bear. I'd heard a lot about it but never ridden it before this trip. And I'm not sure I will ride it again unless someone else has RECENTLY been on it...

It's a fairly technical trail. It goes to the top of the mountain which is 9500 feet elevation. I'm not sure where we started but I would assume somewhere around 8000 feet... it's a steep narrow trail. We were a good ways up when we came to a downed tree - across the trail and too large for the horses to get over it. A steep slope up to the right, a steep down - WAY down - to the left. Our leader went up about 5-6 feet to where the tree was a bit smaller and laying flat on the ground, over it and back to the trail, with two more following - it looked pretty scary to me, very steep and the horses were slipping and scrambling, but there was no turning around on that narrow trail with 12 more people behind me so I turned up the hill a little sooner than they had hoping the angle would lessen the difficulty, and prayed real hard! On the far side of the tree I lost Sherman off my lap - he ended up on Katie's neck! But he didn't fall since I had him clipped to my belt loop. Rocket stayed in the rear saddle just fine. One more passed over behind me and then I heard a big commotion and yelling and turned around to see my friend Lisa's turquoise shirt rolling down the mountain. I didn't even see her horse Lady...

That got the adrenaline going... I unclipped both dogs and dropped them on the ground, hopped off as fast as I could trying to stay on that narrow trail, gave Katie's lead rope to my friend Pat in front of me and got back across the tree as fast as I could. A couple more downed trees laying parallel to the trail about 3 feet below it had stopped the downward roll of Lisa and her horse... and luckily Lady had slipped and fallen in such a way that Lisa was above her as they both slid/rolled down the mountain. By the time I got to Lisa, Lady had regained her feet and gotten herself back up to the trail, going straight to the next person in line who had dismounted and grabbed her reins. Another gal and I got to Lisa about the same time, working to calm her down and assess her condition. Scrapes and bruises of course, but it seemed her only "serious" injury was a sprained or possibly broken ankle. Once she got her breath back and realized she was pretty much ok, she wanted to see the horse so we got her back up on the trail. Lady had multiple small cuts and scrapes on her legs but otherwise appeared to be fine. She wasn't even limping! In the meantime a couple of folks pushed and shoved and wiggled and heaved and got that log to slide down just far enough that the rest of the horses could continue ON the trail.

Long story short we got Lisa back on the horse and took the safest route which was continuing on up to the top of the mountain. Took a nice long break in a beautiful meadow there, iced her ankle and everyone had lunch, and the trail down the other side was not near as steep. Lisa really wanted to turn back but we convinced her that going downhill that steep, when she couldn't put any weight on her one ankle, would be a BAD idea.

Back at camp we put Lisa in a chair with her feet up and unsaddled the horses, washed Lady's legs real good and got medicine on her owies. She generally freaks about aerosol cans but she did really good with the medicine. Got her settled back in her portable pen to find that Lisa had left the chair and was checking for bruises. Her comment later was that she looked like a bad Picasso!

She didn't sleep much Saturday night, every time she moved the pain woke her up. SHe and Lady were both stiff in the morning and Lady's one leg, with the most cuts, was slightly swollen, but still no limp. Took her for a walk to loosen her up and then several us went for a nice slow short ride, including Lisa and Lady, in the hopes of working otu some kinks before the long trailer ride home.

Lots of thoughts about what COULD have happened kept running through all our minds. Ten feet earlier on the trail and there wouldn't have been any downed trees to stop the fall... if Lisa had been hurt bad enough she couldn't ride how the heck would we get her down??? If the horse had been hurt bad enough she couldn't walk... I don't even want to go there.

As we so very often say, it could have been so much worse... but these are the rides that create stories. Uneventful rides are sure enjoyable but we would miss so much gorgeous country... 3 other people hit the dirt that day as well but those were more "normal" incidents and no injuries so we can all laugh at those folks. And it was great to see us all work together, both right after the fall and up at the meadow, and later in camp, taking care of what needed to be done and all pitching in together.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So Far, So Good!

The returned child is behaving! Pretty much perfectly! Of course, it's only been 3 days...

But I am very hopeful that her lesson was well-learned.

Ruby also seems to be doing ok. She is eating everything we give her. Can't tell a difference in weight yet but again it's only been a few days...

Sunday, September 20, 2009


A guy Randy used to work with has a different job now and is baling hay. He called the other day to see how things were going and Randy said we are hanging in there but it's really tough... so the guy said "hey, come get a couple of bales of hay..."

I thought "that's nice" - you know, every little bit helps. Imagine my surprise when Randy returned with ONE BALE:

Yes that is ONE BALE! 4x4x8, 2300 pounds... a grass/alfalfa mix and although I prefer not to feed alfalfa, the big girls can handle it and WOW what a tremendous boost to my hay fund! Although after getting it into the barn - not an easy feat for just 2 people, especially when one is terribly allergic! - I am wondering where the second one is going to go...

Can you believe the size of that bale? And just in time to help out Ruby...

I also had time to take some pictures of her:

Poor old girl!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Prodigal Returns...

...and yes Ruby is here but I don't mean her. Without airing a lot of dirty laundry suffice it to say that Hilary's father has totally lost his mind and I had to rescue my daughter from him. She is quite repentant and although I wasn't quite ready to have her back yet, it was the only choice right now and I feel the right one. So she is safe back at home now. Only time will tell if I am right... your prayers would be quite welcome!

In the meantime Josh (CarrollFarm) and a youngster came over, bringing Ruby and staying to help with some projects that required more muscle and more hands than I had available...

Remember this:

It now looks like this:
And this brown-panel pen...

Is now a green-panel pen:

Which means that I have 5 extra brown panels now and can expand the othe mini pen when I get time and another helper... I am off to Little Elden next weekend but Randy said he would help me after that. WOO HOO!

I had enough extra panels to expand the boarders' pen as well:

All in all a VERY productive day!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our Newest Rescue...

Ok sorry no pictures but it's kinda hard... they are GOLDFISH! Let me back up a little... a week or so ago I got a call from Kara down the street that her neighbor was losing his house and had 2 horses to place... she was asking for help getting the word out because of computer problems so I passed the word. Then this morning headed up to Wickenburg with Pat and Mary for a Box Canyon F-ride-day and got a call from another guy who lives out this way about the same horses... except HE told me that one of them was RUBY! (Ruby was my mom's horse, we had given her to his son a couple years ago.) Apparently the son had given her away instead of back to us as promised... and she hasn't been fed and has some skin issue going on and if no one took her she was going to auction...

Well I immediately called everybody concerned and told them no, she comes back here... since my trailer had a flat Josh (CarrollFarm) offered to bring her over so she comes back tomorrow. In the meantime Kara called again to ask did we still have goldfish in our stock tanks, of course we do... apparently this guy had dug a pond in the ground as his horse water, stocked it with goldfish to keep it clean and eat the mosquitos... and was planning to cover it with dirt and bury the fish! Kind-hearted Kara couldn't stomach the thought and neither could I, so with buckets and a skimmer over I went... and yes we drained the pond and caught all the goldfish - about 18-20 in all. Kara's 2 adorable little ones and hubby helped, and the kids ended up taking home a fish each :) The rest are now safe in my stock tanks!

This of course meant I got to take a look at Ruby too. For almost 30 she is not as bad as I thought, if she was 6 it would be horrid but at her age and with her bad teeth (she is a terrible cribber) she really doesn't look too bad... but we will be free-feeding her for a while to get some meat back on those old bones.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hindsight Being 20/20...

The misbehaving daughter was back last night for a second load of her stuff. Looks like she has one more to go... First words out of her mouth when she walked in the house were...

"I am so miserable."

I didn't comment.

A little later she asked if she would ever be allowed back here. I wasn't sure how to respond as hubby has already stated that IF she comes back, it won't be for free... so I just said "If you are asking me right now this minute, the answer is no. In time, based on your behavior, we will have to see."

She then commented that she knew she had to take the consequences of her actions...

Hhhmmm. Is she getting smart already or just saying what she thinks I want to hear?

I'm really not sure because the "boy" who is a big part of the problem was right there "helping" her move...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Drama Drama Drama

...but this is the end of it. I hope.

Yesterday I woke up at 4am to find that my 18-year-old, the only kid left at home, was NOT IN HER BED! Called her and she didn't answer. So of course I couldn't sleep till she got home... AT SIX!!! And she had been drinking... Can you say furious????? That was me... She had blown her last chance, lots has been going on the last 6 months that I don't mention here...

She came back after work to pack some stuff... Stomping in and out, slamming doors and banging around. Cleared out a lot though! Supposed to be coming back for the rest tonight... not sure yet what is happening with her horse and dog, somehow I worry about them the most right now, she will be at her father's and he will keep an eye on her. OK he will TRY to keep an eye on her... but he has the option of taking her car away and driving her to school and work, which I don't have because of where we live and our different schedules. I am hoping we can work something out for the critters to stay with "grandma".

And this morning, I found several more silver hairs in with the gold and brown...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Still Sick!

Can I just say I am REALLY TIRED of this by now?????????

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Yup. I'm sick. Blech.

Started out with a sore throat and before long, stuffy head and coughing. I don't get sick often and I'm very thankful for that. But this just sucks...

The worst part for me is I have no energy to do anything, and I am not one to sit around. Usually I am busy moving and doing...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home Again Safe and Sound

After one last nice ride around the loop this morning, we packed up and headed home. An uneventful trip was the high point of the day! I'd say it's nice to be home but... IT'S HOT HERE! I want to go back to Prescott...

Happy Labor Day to all!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lots of Fun!

This morning we had a nice long fun ride, with lots of gaiting and loping, whooping and hollering. After lunch a bunch of folks were packing up to head on home, but with Monday being a holiday, Laurie had reserved us through Sunday night so we opted to stay. No rain today so once everyone was packed and gone, Brenda and I headed out for another nice little ride, taking along her lab Lilly who needed some trail training.

It was weird to be there alone tonight, but we managed to cook dinner and even light a fire all by ourselves ;)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Groom Creek After All

After passing out last night from emotional strain, I woke to a beautiful day. Had a nice ride while watching the clouds build and got back just in time to unsaddle before the storm hit. Sherman, Rocket and I had a nice nap while it rained, then visited with friends until the pot luck. Afterwards there was karaoke and despite the nap I headed off to bed fairly early.

A call from Randy during the day let me know that they never did get the Dodge home last night... after finally getting it loaded, they headed back down the hill and blew a tire on the flatbed before they even got to Congress. This is the trailer that was stolen and recovered after over two years, but of course it came home sans spare... and although Randy went all the way home and took a tire off the little horse trailer and went back, it was the wrong bolt pattern. So the Dodge on the trailer was left in Congress overnight.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Yarnell Hill

Well I got to know Yarnell Hill up close and personal... by blowing a transmission on it! First thing when the Ford sold, we were planning to get a new tranny for the Dodge, Randy knew it was coming... but didn't expect it this fast!

It was a comedy of errors today anyway... just getting ready to start out on my weekend and found a flat on the trailer...and the spare was bad too! So Randy was off to town to repair tires while I fretted and fumed and finished packing.

Two hours after I had planned to leave I was finally rolling... for about an hour. Then comes the breakdown on Yarnell Hill.

For those of you not familiar with this area, Yarnell Hill is HUGE and STEEP and full of windy curves... not fun to go up OR down really... but the only bad part of a much nicer drive to Prescott than taking I-17 with all the traffic. And thank God I didn't this weekend, to break down on the highway would have been so much worse!

And... there is no cell phone service! And a huge storm was rolling through...

Anyway it took half an hour before anyone would even stop... a nice woman offered to drive me to the top of the hill where my phone would work, but I could not leave the horses and dogs on the side of the road... she did not want to leave me alone but I talked her into driving on up and calling Randy from the top of the hill. Long long long story short, he finally arrived, took a look at the truck, started it up, put it in drive and NOTHING. So we called his brother Bill and dad Bruce, where our Ford is sitting for sale, and Bill headed our way with the Ford while Bruce, whose truck does NOT have a gooseneck hitch, went to the house to get the flatbed so they could get the Dodge back home.

With the holiday Bill had to wait in line at the gas station half an hour bfore he could get fuel... Bruce did manage to convince our dogs that he was allowed in the gate even though we weren't home... and 5 hours after breaking down, came the big dilemma: it is a hard and fast rule that you NEVER unhook your trailer from the truck with the horses still in it... especially on a hill! But we had no choice, as I was hauling a horse for a friend that does not load in the dark. And since it was now dark, there was no unloading her... (Not their fault, this mare was in a bad trailer accident long ago, broke her tail so she can't swish flies or lift it to potty even! And they have done really well with getting her back to loading in the daylight! Still working on that dark thing though...)

With all wheels chocked and a bale of hay at the back of the trailer, we nosed Randy's Jeep up against the bale of hay as an extra precaution to hold the trailer in place and stomped on that parking brake. Got the Ford hooked to a tow rope on the Dodge and, praying all the while, cranked off the trailer... as soon as it was off the ball, the Dodge was towed out from under it far enough up the hill to get the Ford back in, unhooked the Ford and backed it in under the trailer and cranked the trailer back down. Longest 5 minutes of my life... especially when one of the horses decided to protest such a long time standing in the trailer by pawing and stomping! I had visions of the trailer going over the cliff with the horses in it... but the chocks and the Jeep held firm.

The guys sent me on my way as soon as we were hooked up... I called Randy when I got to Prescott and they were still trying to load the Dodge on the trailer... they had towed it with the Jeep on up the hill so they could load it on flat land - thank God! Because they broke 4 tow straps trying to load it...

Me, I said "uh huh" and uh huh" and hung up and went to bed!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Babies? Or Just Bellies??

I took the camera out with me not long ago and shot some random pictures of my jennets... wondering how things are going with the breeding program but I'm just not sure. What do you think?

This is Milly, she is the oldest of all at 16... I don't have much history on her, except I know she has a 3-year-old daughter. IF she is pregnant, she can't be more than 6 months, or halfway... but she was overweight when I got her last spring.

Taffy is 15, has had two foals that I know of... and look at that expression - she does NOT want me taking or posting pictures of her butt! I believe she is due in October...

This is Betty Jean, who is 14 and has had 5 foals (all girls!) IF she is pregnant, she could not be more than 6 months along (halfway)...

This is Susie Q, she is 5 1/2 and has had one foal so far. I believe she is due in October...
Josey, who has never had a foal... she is 5 and was also overweight when I got her last spring. I don't think she wants me taking or posting pictures of HER butt either! Both Peggy Sue (the chocolate on the right) and Becky Lynn (the spot on the right) are the same age, and definitely NOT pregnant... just for comparison.

This is Mary Ellen, who just turned 4 and has not yet had a foal, although I am thinking she IS bred... just not sure if she is holding it tight like first-time moms sometimes do, and due this fall, or if she is not due until spring...

This is Ellie Mae who is only 2 and definitely NOT pregnant... just for contrast :)

So my conclusion is, I will continue checking HERE... as so far, all of my girls have begun to grow an udder approximately one month before foaling!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

11-day Diet Ends... Moderate Success!

Final weight after 11 days is 201.2 which is a loss of 8.6 pounds. I really wanted to hit 10 and get under 200 but this is close enough that I will be doing it again... however with a camping trip to Groom Creek coming up this weekend, we are taking a longer "break" than the 3 days recommended... it was hard enough to do this on day rides (I did it twice!) but a whole weekend, no way...

However I plan to stay careful during the "break" - I am not going to go back to my old style of eating and I am going to do my best not to cheat... but continue following the "regular long-term" weight loss hints - trying to have 4 small meals as well, and walking... and maybe treat myself to an M&M or 2. My breakfast was, and my lunch will be, stuff that would have been on the 11 day plan. However I am really really looking forward to have a Subway sandwich for dinner - meatball! But just a 6-inch and NO CHIPS OR SODA! We have had bread only once in the last 11 days so it should taste really good AND a 6-inch should satisfy me where before I would have bought a 12...

Here's hoping that this plan will at least stabilize the weight loss, if not continue it more gradually...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Got A Phone Call...

FROM DEBBY!!!!! (Life's Funny Like That)

It was awesome. We nattered on about serious stuff, funny stuff, inconsequential stuff, and all kinds of stuff... it was just awesome. I haven't looked at her blog yet but I am wondering whether she will post that she got to hear my donkey Wiley braying over the phone {grin}

Hard to believe we've never met (and quite honestly unless she comes to visit AZ there's a good chance we never will) but she has become, through blogging, so important to me... it was just awesome to talk to her.

I think having said awesome three times now I'll just stop.

{{Debby thanks again so much! You are awesome ;)}}