Sunday, November 29, 2009

Moving Poo

I told you that my neighbor was quirky, didn't I? One of her quirks is that she doesn't like horse poop in her pens. (ok, well who does?) Or her pasture. Or anywhere on her property.

So she pays these kids to rake it up, pick it up and dump in on the manure pile. The pile just so happens to be back by our barn, near our horse trailer. If there are no horses in the arena, they'll dump it in there.

Now most people would take in the wheelbarrow, and dump a little at a time, spreading it out as best they can, rather than leaving piles. These kids (translated "stupid high school boys") dump it in piles. AND right inside the gate. And guess who gets to go out and spread it. ME!

Anyway, back to the pile. It had gotten pretty big so Mike and I decided to turn the babies out on pasture and move the manure to the arena. 3 hours later, the pile was moved. I have a chain harrow, so I drove in circles, spreading it out as best I could.

Then I hooked up the rototiller and drove around in more circles. I left a good space compacted near the gate where I feed the babies. The rest is nice and fluffy!

Fluffy arena dirt freaks out babies, did you know that? I ran the babies back into the arena and they walked every inch, nose down, doing that little snorty thing, smelly the nice fluffy dirt, ignoring the hay I'd put out.

Today is going to be another nice sunny day, so Mike and I will spend most of the morning repairing fences. The high winds last week took some down and we need to fix them.

I put a blanket on Frankie on Wednesday, to see for his mom if he'd outgrown his other blanket. I also dewormed everyone. I put the blanket on Frankie, checked the fit, then took it off and hung it on the fence, while I gave the kids their "candy". Frankie did the whole tongue thing, turned his lips inside out, then walked over and wiped his mouth on the blanket. Bullwinkle followed suit. Then all three babies stood there mouthing the blanket. So...when the weather is bad enough to put a blanket on Frankie, he'll have to be moved to the barn. Otherwise, I envision a shredded blanket by morning.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Supporting Our Troops

There are a few ways that we here at home can send support to our troops overseas.

The real spirit of Christmas is giving to those and expecting nothing in return. Xerox, Inc. has a web-site ( where you can take seconds to pick out a card and write a message to a member of the armed services. Xerox will print and mail it for you for free! You being a stranger won’t diminish their appreciation for your efforts.

Also, you can check out, and choose a contact on the left side on the screen. You e-mail them and they send their contact information and list of needed items. They will distribute to those who don't get much or any mail and they share everything.

I have a link to both sites in my list of favorites. Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Neighbor's Barn

I went over and took pics this morning. There are two big rool-up doors, one on each end. You can view the pictures here.

It's a cute little barn, perfect set-up for four horses.

Listing for the property here

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Interested in Moving?


Well, not "much" of an update, but...

The house is being listed with Distinctive Properties. The address is 2909 N. Road 64, Pasco, WA 99301. The paperwork isn't done yet, so there isn't an MLS# (They're still doing paperwork)

Rumor has it she wants $325,000. This price seems high to me. Here's the kicker - she doesn't HAVE to dicker and she doesn't HAVE to sell! She owns the property out-right. She paid it off after her husband died. SO... she can hold out for her price and the property can stay on the market for as long as it take to get it.



My neighbor next door has decided to stay permanently in Arizona and is listing her house for sale. I meet with her realtor this afternoon so she can take down the specs. When it's listed, I'll post the MLS# and price, just in case someone might be interested in living next to a quirky horse lover!

The house is two story, two bedroom, two bath. One 1 1/3 acre. Gas fireplace and hot water heater. Two car garage. Nicely landscaped.

Three stall barn, I think it's 36 X 30, though not totally sure. There is one automatic, heated waterer. Two frost free water faucets - one on each end of the barn. HUGE loafing shed fenced separately. Fenced and cross fenced so all horses are separated. Fencing is 2 inch electric hot tape on lodge poles. Ground is sandy, so re-fencing (if wanted) would not be difficult. Solid-set irrigation. Pasture is a little over-grazed, but would come back nicely with fertilizer and over-seeding. There is electric plug for LQ horse trailer at the barn, and large space for trailer parking.

I can get pictures and post if anyone would like to do some "dreaming"!

In other news, we had some rain over-night, not much, just enough to knock down the dust. But as the storm is moving off to the east, we now have wind. Sustained 20 mph winds with gusts to 35 mph. Best described as blustery. Just strong enough to blow away the babies' breakfast if not protected.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mental Meadering

After spending yesterday split between crying and moping, I was sure that I was going to take a break for a while, leaving the post about letting Beau go up for all to read for a while. In the bright light of morning, looking at his empty stall and run, I decided that even though Beau is gone, I don't want to stew in the depressing misery of losing him. I want to remember him with happy thoughts and smile, so I'm going to ramble a bit here...

Our vet uses three shots when euthanizing horses. The first one is the "Sleepy" drugs - it makes the horse sleepy and woozy so they lay down. The other two shots are the over-doses of the euthanasia drugs. When the vet gave Beau the first shot, his reaction was immediate. He dropped like a rock. He lay on the floor of the trailer, weakly bobbing his head, with his eyes closed. He sighed.

Fighting the pain and trying to find relief had exhausted him and he went down quickly. Mike patted his nose and talked to him as the vet gave the final two shots. We had made the right decision. As hard as it had been, it was the right one. Beau told us that.

Wallowing in loss isn't good for anyone, so for the rest of the day, I tried to just make it through. I didn't want to dwell on it, but it was still there. This morning I realized more clearly many things made possible by knowing Beau.

I realized that there are a ton of people who I've "gotten to know" because of their generosity, encouragement, and celebration of Beau's small victories. People I've never met, people who've never posted, but felt the thrill of victory and a deep sense of loss. I was here in person, but YOU were here in spirit or in comments and e-mails, and that means a lot to me. It's hard to go through alone, and because of you, I didn't have to.

I realized that "will to live" sometimes just isn't enough. If Beau had just had weight problems (or lack thereof), we'd be fine. But that foot... The problem existed LONG before Beau came here.

Speaking of the foot, I learned something valuable this time. I'd like to say that if I'd x-rayed the foot right when he got here and seen that the damage was unrecoverable, I'd have put him down immediately and saved everyone time and money. But you know, I would have missed ALL the good about Beau - his goofy little nicker, his obscene, gooey adoration for an ugly little appy mare, his "smile" - the look of utter "joy" at slobbering over apples and carrots, his feeble attempt at a buck because he was feeling better... I'd have missed it all. Sitting here, still feeling the sting of loss, I can honestly say I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

I think Beau came to me to serve a greater purpose. He came here to know love and to be cared for. He came here to get a peaceful death, rather than one of horrific pain and suffering in the pasture of a fool without compassion. Beau came here to bring together wonderful people and create new friendships among strangers with a like passion.

Beau left us to open the door for another horse in need. God knows there are way too many out there. The new horse is out there somewhere, and with Beau's passing, has begun the journey to my barn. He or she hasn't found me yet, but I have faith that it's only a matter of time.

You know that poem "Don't stand at my grave and cry"? Someone sent it to me yesterday and though Beau doesn't have a grave, it does make sense. He isn't here. He is grazing green pastures, jewels intact, flirting with the girls, living the way he was always meant to live. When I die, I want to go where my animals go when they die. I hope that they will forgive my stupidity and mistakes, and love me in spite of it all.

So no more tears for Beau. We should rejoice that he has no pain, will never again know hunger, lies in warm sunny field of sweet green grass. Any tears should be for the horses lost on their journey and don't quite make it to a place of love and caring.

I thank you all so much for your support and kindness. I hope you continue to check in from time to time. There is rarely a dull moment around here and I can already hear to soft sucking sound of the vacuum created by Beau's passing. Not long now.

Hug your horses and give an extra treat today!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Letting Beau go...

I wish I had better news. I wish my prayers had been answered. I wish Beau was continuing to get better. I wish he wasn't in pain. I wish...

If wishes were nickels, I'd be a rich woman.

Tomorrow we are letting Beau go. We are going to ease his pain.

Last Saturday, after his trimming, he was so much better. By Sunday evening, he was hobbling worse than he had been before he was trimmed. By Monday, he could barely walk. He has gotten progressively worse over the week. By this morning, he had to work hard to get over the 3/4 inch mat in his stall to get to his feed.

I'm sorry, I can't watch him suffer like this. His pain is obvious. Double doses of B-L Solution did not give him relief. Double doses of bute did nothing to ease his pain. I can't see him like this. This isn't living. This is barely existing.

If Beau was showing improvement, I'd wait him out. I'd get the vet over here every day to ease his pain enough for his hoof to grow out. But he is getting worse.

Being so close to him, I've held on, looking for ANY little thing to give myself justification to keep him alive. I've been thinking "Maybe if we try this. Maybe if we try that."

But Beau is not an experiment. He is a living, breathing creature that is existing in pain with no relief. It's not fair to Beau. I've always promised myself that if I couldn't do what needed to be done when the time came, I would give up my animals. I'm not ready to do that.

To all of you who have followed Beau's progress, sent money and gifts to make him more comfortable, sent words of encouragement and hope, I thank you. Even as I type them, the words don't seem like they're enough.

Tomorrow morning, Mike will get up at 3:00am and give him a double dose of bute. When I get up, I'll give a double dose of B-L Solution. Then I'll give him a double dose of apples and his very own bag of baby carrots.

I'll give him one more pat. One more stroke on the soft, warm fur under his mane. One more hug. One more kiss on his sweet little nose. One more act of love. And I'll walk away with one more patch on my heart.

Beau, I have been blessed by having you here to spoil and care for. As you cross the Rainbow Bridge to race the wind and jump the clouds, as you run carefree through green, lush pastures and splash across sparkling streams, stop for a moment and look over your shoulder, and know, for these very short past weeks, you were loved.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Work in Progress

The farrier came this morning to work on Beau. I got some photos throughout the trimming.

Before the trimming, Beau was rocking on that bad front foot. It's like the bottom of the hoof is a rung on a rocking chair, he just rocks back and puts his weight on his heel. The other front foot was flat but long. So we'll try to make things a little more comfy for him.

I started him on a Silver Lining Herbal Supplement called "Laminae Support". It's supposed to promote blood flow to the hoof and laminae, allowing it to heal and grow faster. Here's what the website says about the product:

"This product may be beneficial in maintaining the natural temperature in the feet and legs, important in avoiding laminitis. The herbs responsible for this are devil’s claw, boneset, white willow bark and yucca. It is also important to keep the natural health of the feet’s circulation and maintain capillary and venous integrity so we add butcher’s broom and hawthorn. The natural function of the kidneys needs to be addressed and we do this with uva ursi and juniper berry and the liver gains its support from the Oregon grape, garlic for the maintenance of the systems natural killer cells, slippery elm to maintain smooth muscle tissue and kelp for the high mineral content it contains."

Devil's Claw and Yucca are the same ingredients in B-L Solution, which Beau is also on to address and relieve pain. I started him on it yesterday and he is walking MUCH better this morning.

We found an old abcess. Beau is now wearing a soaker boot for the day and is very put out about it! You can see along the "white line" that there is still a void. After just a trimming and before the shoe was put on, Beau was walking 100% better! So that is great news!

This is the "After" with the new shoe. You can see where the toe is still pulled back and hasn't grown out yet. This isn't necessarily "bad" news. The farrier didn't think we'd need to fill with epoxy. Seth set the shoe back further to support the sole, but prevent any pressure on the toe.

His front right is actually in very good shape.

His back feet are in grea shape! Beau is VERY stiff in the left hind hip, but is walking fine on it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pictures of Beau - LOTS of them!

Ok..Here's a test. See if you can pick the "Before" and the "After" photos. For those just joining the blog, the "Before" pictures were taken between August 20, 2009 and August 25, 2009. "After" pictures today, November 13, 2009. (Friday the 13th - AAARRGH!)

Making faces at Squirrel. You can see just how much she really cares...

The Cuteness!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I know I already posted that I lost him, but I felt like I need to say more about Bandit. I believe that everyone who reads this blog feels the same about their animals as I do. They aren’t “dogs” or “pets” or “things”, they are “kids”, loved, cherished, doted on. If you don’t feel that way, you might want to skip the blog for the day.

Mike and I got suckered into buying Rylee, Bandit’s mother. I saw a picture and HAD to have her. HAD TO! We’d always had big dogs…Labs or Rottweilers, so a small dog was a new experience! 9 week old Rylee walked into our lives and said “Put up, or shut up! I’m taking over!” And she did!

When she was three years old, we decided to breed her. She was registered with JRTCA, who registers dogs only after they are a year old, and only after viewing pictures and an extensive vet check. Our female, we believed, was a PERFECT representation of the breed. So we searched for two years for a suitable male to complement our perfect female. 61 days after her first date, Rylee delivered 8 pups. A HUGE litter for a Jack Russell! One died immediately. After six weeks, we realized that six were perfect and one was incorrect. The tri-color male. The lower jaw was undershot and he was obviously pigeon-toed. We would never be able to register him, and he was so dang cute, I had to keep him.

Is that not the CUTEST pup you’ve ever seen?

When the last puppy went to her new home, Bandit moved in and was promptly crowned “King of Everything”. He could do nothing wrong, EVER! (Mike will tell the story different, of course) He was the source of many many hysterics, usually mine, and almost ALWAYS at Mike’s expense!

One night, when Bandit was about 6 months old and still in potty training, I was awakened in the middle of the night by “KAREN! KAREN! The damn dog just pee’d in the bed.” I got out of bed and turned on the light, put the dogs out, and flipped the covers back to survey the damage.

Mike was wrong. Bandit hadn’t pee’d in the bed. My darling had gotten up under the covers, lifted his leg, and pee’d on Mike’s back. Remember the hysterics part? I had them. Mike didn’t find any humor in the situation, not even years later when I tell the story and snicker. I managed to save the pup from certain death by convincing Mike that Bandit was sorry and he’d just gotten confused. I don’t care who you are, the story is still funny!

At the time, we had a swimming pool. Bandit LOVED to swim! Apparently he’d missed the briefing that explained that Jack Russell Terriers aren’t water dogs.

Bandit also missed the briefing that he was supposed to be a cat killer. We have a HUGE male cat, Spaz (4 yrs old and weighs in at 16 pounds) and he and Bandit would wrestle all over the house. Mostly in the middle of my bed, because Bandit would “attack” the cat while he was napping, but occasionally elsewhere in the house. Bandit would ignore our petite female can, and Spaz ignored the other two dogs.

Bandit LOVED “Doo-De-Doos”!!! These are the little tubes in the middle of paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls, striped of any extra paper, that you hold up to your mouth and say “Doo-Doo-De-Doos”, as if it were a trumpet. The hairy little monster would LOSE HIS MIND!! He’s jump and claw up the front of you, trying with all his might, to get that little tube of cardboard. Once he got it, he’d take it to the living room and “kill” it. Within minutes, it would be shaken, shredded, smooshed, and slobbered into bits the size of a nickel, then abandoned, leaving me or Mike to pick up the carcass and throw it away.

Bandit and Rylee would play tug of war, using one of Mike’s socks. It wasn’t always with Mike permission, either! The way they’d growl and carry on, you’d think the hounds of the Baskerville’s were fighting to the death in my living room. Once bored with the game, they’d drop the slobbered sock and go in search of an empty lap. They liked Mike’s the best, because he is so much warmer than me, and his lap is smooshier!

Mike was not always the target of Bandit’s mis-deeds. In October 2008, Mike bought me a new pair of riding boots, Ariat Springbucks. The old ones had holes where my little toes had chewed through the fabric. So my new boots arrived! They were custom ordered, because they don’t carry them locally anymore. I wore them once to ride Angel. (Yes, I know. Surprise! I DO actually ride on occasion)
The next day, we were on our way to the feed store. Mike told the dogs, “C’mon, let’s go!” I threw a fit! I didn’t feel like fighting a Lab and two Jack Russells in the pickup and I didn’t want to smell dog breath when I came out of the store. So, mean ol’ me, made the dogs go back in the house. When I returned, one boot was not longer a boot. It was now a clog. Bandit didn’t even bother to look guilty. It was as if he was telling me, “That’s what you get for not letting me go.”

I thought when Bandit died, there would be a huge hole left in my life. While I miss him terribly, I realize that remembering him and laughing again at his antics, each puts a tiny patch on my heart, covering the hole of loss and sorrow with a patchwork of love and laughter. So there are no more tears and sadness, just a smile, and perhaps a snort when a memory thought forgotten replays in my head and I remember again just how funny and exciting loving this little dog has been!

New Pics of Beau coming tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


To all of those who have served this country, to those who are serving, to the families, I thank you for your sacrifice!

God Bless You!

Darrel Stafek, Lieutenant, US Navy

Sorry Dad...I don't have a picture.

Michael Vermillion
Gunnery Sergeant, US Marine Corps, Retired (Staff Sergeant when pictured)

Straight out of Boot Camp - Isn't he KYOOOT!

Joshua Stafek,
Recruit, US Marine Corps (Medically Discharged)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Now THERE'S a first!

We've been at this house for four years. We owned horses for two years before that. I've slogged through the muck and the mud and gotten poo on my shoes and boots.

But tonight, for the first time ever, I got pooped on!

I was putting Beau's blanket on and he was "on point" at the neighbor across the pasture, who was moving around in the dark. I moved back to fasten the leg straps of his blanket and WHAMO! Beau poops! Right on my arm.

Luckily, his poops are firm. But still! EWWWW!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Frankie goes to Hollywood...Oh wait, I mean Pasco

As promised, here's the new kid. Frankie showed up while I was gone. He gets along with the other babies fabulously, although Millie is a bit of a bully at feeding time. In the 4th picture, you can see just how big Bullwinkle is. Bullwinkle is 1 1/2 yrs old. Frankie is 2 1/2 yrs old.

That's Millie's tail in the bottom corner. The wind is HOWLING!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rest In Peace Bandit! I love you!

Last night, my Precious Bandit was hit by a car. Mike saw it happen and my darling baby boy died in his arms on the way to the vet. We are still very upset.

The guy kept going. There is a special place in hell reserved just for him.

We buried him in the dark and the rain next to the arena. I held the flashlight, my tears mixing with the rain, while Mike laid him gently in the hole. He looked like he was sleeping, so peaceful.

Rest in peace, my little buddy! I miss you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cathy Davis in Ohio!! Beau's Hero!

Cathy - THANK YOU! Cathy Davis from Ohio sent Beau an AMAZING winter blanket. It fits BEAUTIFULLY! It's still a little big in the chest, but that's because the little dude doesn't HAVE a chest! LOL!

EVERYONE - Send a Cathy a great big "Thank You" and a send some major hugs her way!

Who is this chubby little man??

Getting adjusted

Me and Beau! (He's thrilled, can you tell?)

His Majesty will NOT have his dinner interrupted!

All buttoned up for the night!

Thanks again Cathy! You're simply awesome!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I'll be home by 6:00 pm tomorrow night (PST) YEA!!! I'm ready! It's been a long week.

Some updates from home:

Dad says Millie has gone from being in love to being somewhat of a bully. I'll assess the "kids" when I get home and make sure it's not causing a HUGE problem. Millie CAN be a turd, so if it's a problem, I'll switch her out with Honey in the Money. Honey is very sweet and kind to the babies!

Dad also said that he went in to feed Beau and left the gate open. Normally, I just pull it to the closed position andd Beau is food-motivated enough to ignore it and follow me into the stall. Apparently Dad left it WIDE open and little Mr. Beau went on a walkabout. Naturally, he didn't go far, just wandered around and checked things out. Dad put a hand on his neck and said "Come on" and Beau followed him back to his stall. Dad really likes the sweet guy!

Gramma suffered no more than a beaut of a shiner over her left eye. Apparently, Mom had bought her some new shoes for "going out" and since Gramma had them on, well, it was time to go! So she got up and promptly fell. She forgot she needs help. The solution is to NOT put the outside shoes on her unless and until she actually IS leaving!

My great-aunt suffered a massive stroke from which she will not recover. She has been moved to hospice until her body gives out and she is called home. She might survive long enough for me to get home and say goodbye, but that is iffy at this point. Thank you for all your prayers and kind words. I truly appreciate it.

Mike's mother has terminal lung cancer. She is in pretty good shape right now, all things considered. I am really happy that Mike got to spend so much time with him mom, since the next trip east will probably be for her funeral. We are going to try to get him a trip back for a week or so in three months, but that is a great big MAYBE.

I will do my best to post in the next few days, along with photos of the new kid.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

From Summer to Winter in 12 hours


Yesterday, it was 80 degrees and humid, felt like a steam room!

Today, it's 45 degrees and POURING rain! I've gone from frying to freezing!

My sister-in-law's house is right under the approach flight line for Langley Air Force Base...I've threatened to call and ask them if they could suspend their flights. See, I've got a headache and I'm cold, and I'm trying to take a nap, and their jets keep waking me up,

Mike hid my phone.

I talked to my mom this morning. The detailed note I left for the horses and their feeding was greatly appreciated. However, I forgot to note which dog ate out of which bowl, and where in the kitchen. Mom fed the puppies and got them all confused! Oh well... They'll survive.

Mom told me that my gramma fell again. She moved to town a year ago after my grampa died. Two weeks later, she missed the bottom step and fell, breaking he hip. Two months later, 13 days after getting out of rehab, she fell and broke the other hip. Three months after that, she fell again and broke her femur (did I spell that wrong?) on the first hip, just below the leg pin. So yesterday, she tried to get herself up and fell, hitting her face on the coffee table. Nothing broken this time, just a big old goose egg and black eye. The problem is that they tell her "You can't do that". Well, YES! She can too! They should instead tell her that she is not supposed to do that or she shouldn't do that, or "you told us that you wanted help" *sigh* And of course, she keeps asking for my grampa, forgetting that he died.

I also learned that my great-aunt had a massive stroke. Mom wasn't clear on prognosis, but it didn't sound good.

I just want to go home to my two cats, three dogs, and 8 horses - plus one more new arrival that came while I was gone. He's just a boarder for the winter, but I would have preferred that he wasn't delivered until after I got home so I could make sure there weren't going to be any problems. From what I hear though, Millie is IN LOOOVE! SO...Bullwinkle has a buddy to play with, assuming he can get Millie to leave Frankie alone...