Friday, April 30, 2010

Scrubbing Butts...

Kali and I went to see the movie "How To Train Your Dragon". When we got back, Kaci had thrown a huge drama queen fit and taken down some of the tape. So I tromped out to the pasture to assess the damage. Two of the hangers needed replaced. On my way to the barn, I stopped and chatted with Frankie and Bullwinkle.

The boys had been hanging onto a little winter hair along their top line, and when I gave them some scratches, I saw that it is finally loose enough to brush off.

I went to the barn, got two new hangers for the tape, and a body scrubby brushy thingy (that's a technical term I think...) and returned to the pasture. I am very lucky that the boy are very friendly and good nature, because they were totally in the way, knocking me into the fence (which was off thankfully), stepping on my toes, the works.

When I finally was done, I set the drill on the other side of the fence. I figured one of them would either step on it or try to pack it off, neither of which was acceptable.

Getting the boys to stand still and wait their turn at being brushed was like herding two thousand pound cats. They both wanted the attention NOW! I had to do something obnoxious to one so he would walk away disgusted. With Frankie, I scrubbed his forehead. He took it a LOT longer than I thought he would, then walked off.

Bullwinkle positioned himself perfectly in the wind so that I didn't have to eat hair or dirt. He followed me when I walked over to start on Frankie. He also has a mild aversion to getting his forehead scrubbed, so before long, he lost interest and I was able to finish with Frankie.

The boys are now mostly shed out. Frankie is a deep dark golden palomino and Bullwinkle is a rich color of caramel. They are both striking!

One of these days, if the wind ever stops blowing, they will get a trailer ride around town. With Millie, I learned that some skills need continuing training, especially if they're babies.

Psssss...That's the sound of the wind leaving my sails.

UPDATE 1:00 pm - The wind died down so I sucked it up, saddled up, and mounted up. Angel ALMOST broke a sweat even. I really love that horse!!

10:21 am - I looked outside. The sun was shining. It was about 58 degrees. I thought I would take up Fugly's challenge and climb on Angel with just a snaffle (after running the stink of her first, of course) and tool around the arena. She can be SO much fun to ride.

I even went hunting for my riding pants. I couldn't find them so I just grabbed an old pair of Levi's and put them on the bed. I walked out to turn the boys out on pasture, and CRAP! The wind is blowing. Why didn't I see that?

Stupid wind.

Since I don't have a whole lot of motivation anyway, I decided that I'd just not ride.

I have some running around to do, so I might as well do that. I don't like the wind. I'd rather ride in the rain than in the wind.

Stupid wind!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


You know, I find myself walking through the days, humming a happy little tune, not worried, not looking for trouble, just happy to be on this ride. Sort of like the village idiot, not good for much other than the entertainment of others, and the then the bottom drops out. Sort of like Mr. Toads Wild Ride. Or a combination of It's A Small World (without all the singing and dancing little dolls) and the Matterhorn.

Yes, my life has a Disney's a Mickey Mouse kind of life...

Anyway, imagine the villiage idiot walking along, happy, humming and smiling, and she walks right into a big hole. OOF! Who put THAT there??? And then I begin to claw and dig my way out, looking for the spring breezes and sunshine, fluffy white clouds and unicorns. The staple of my happy little existence.

Right now, though, I'm in a hole. It's dark and dank and lonely here. I can see the light but it seems a long way off.

On Friday, April 23, Mike's mother passed away. In the end, her passing was truly a blessing, for she is home and she is free of pain. The hurt and sadness of the ones left behind is what affects us. Mike is handling it very well, he'd come to terms and made peace with the inevitibility of her passing. His siblings are taking it harder.

Saturday morning, we made a mad dash across the state to Seattle to get Mike to the airport. He began his journey just after 1 pm. He didn't arrive in Virginia until Sunday after mid-night. Here's a tip: if you are flying on a buddy pass for the airline, don't expect to get a seat, especially if there is bad weather ANYWHERE or if there are cancellations.

Since Mike left, I have been moping around the house, going through the motions, seeing all kind of chores needed done but having absolutely NO motivation to get them done.

Also, after getting pitched off Squirrel last week, I've been sore. Most of it is gone now, except for the bruising, but there lingers a pain in my stomach muscle. It is sharp and pointed, and really only hurt when I sneeze or try to use that muscle to sit up or adjust. Hernia??? Or just weak stomach muscles??

Anyway, it's overcast and rainy, which totally suits my mood. It's so much easier to sit and do nothing when the weather is crappy! Mike is coming home a week from today. Hopefully then, I'll be out of this hole and back in the sunshine...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


If you are a follower of the Very Large Colt blog, or the Fugly blog, you know that Bullwinkle is an oopsie son of Cecil aka VLC. You also know what a great mind Cecil has. I was privileged to actually see Cecil in person more than once, and I tell you, he is an amazing horse!

Lucky for me, Bullwinkle has inherited not only his sire's size and color, but his mind also! This colt was born broke! He is what I call an "Old Soul". Nothing rattles him!

I made a feeble attempt to clean his sheath yesterday and while he lifted his leg, he only cow kicked once. He received a gentle reprimand and took it like a champ. He did NOT care for the hose as ALL, but otherwise, he did very very well.

Bullwinkle is just so kind and gentle! He walks away from his breakfast or supper to say hi and get a cuddle or two. For a two year old baby, he behaves so much older!

I imagine him looking like this when he's older - minus the stallion jowls.(Cecil)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

From screaming to crying...

I'll get straight to the point. Squirrel unloaded me yesterday.

And it was TOTALLY my fault.

She was pretty goosey while I was trying to saddle her.

She was jigging and hopping. She gave me plenty of warning.

She is in heat and was calling the entire 10 minutes I was on her.

I neglected to longe her before I set out.

She hopped across a curb and up a little sand hill and crow hopped. That unseated me and off I came. WHAMO!! Right on my hip in a HUGE honking tumbleweed! Then she set out for home.

A guy in a pickup passed her and came looking for me. He was kind enough to give me a ride home. Squirrel was playing kissy face with Frankie when we got there. We were only about a mile from home...maybe not even that much.

Now for the injuries: my pride, numerous stickers in my arms and back, the meat of my right butt cheek is SORE but the bruising is deep enough that I can't see anything on the skin, the inside of my left knee is bruised, the bottom of my left calf just above the Achilles tendon is bruised, my left thumb hurts, my right shoulder is very sore, and my pride. Did I say my pride?

So I jumped on the phone and offered her to someone. You can HAVE her! All was good. Then the rearing thing last summer came up. Oh yeah... that. It was one time and cause by the neighbor's attack pony. Doesn't matter. The deal is a no go. I don't blame her.

So now what? Barb suggested I longe the crap out of her and ride her every day. UGH! I hurt and I'm spooked and I don't wanna.

Send her out for a tune up? That will cost money I just don't have right now.

Breed her? She produces awesome babies and is very well bred. But babies are a pain in the ass! BIG TIME!! Besides, the stallion that I want to breed her to isn't standing this year.

My neighbor, who was with me, said Squirrel was a really nice mare but not a horse for me. So true! Then she asked "Are you a horse rider or a horse sitter?" Once upon a time, I'd have said "Horse rider." Now I'm not so sure. Horse sitting doesn't get me dumped in a tumbleweed.

So I sit inside, pondering this nice mare that I'm afraid to ride, nursing my wounds and my pride in a hydrocodone induced haze.

Now what...

In other news, I figured out the whole Kaci thing. He and Jazzy have broken up. The love affair is OVER! He is now dating Squirrel. No wonder I got unloaded. I took her away from her boyfriend.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Can I scream now?? Please say "Yes!"

It's just been one of those days!!!

The whole "Kaci thing" has been an annoyance all day long. Then this evening, we had the window open in the office and for most of two hours, we heard his squealing. Mike turned to me and said, "Sounds like they're in love again." I thought "Great!", maybe Kaci will quit all the crap!

So about 10 o'clock, I went out to give Kaci his last tub of feed and turn on the barn light, and though Squirrel and Jinx started talking to me, Shyanna didn't come into the barn like she usually does. She is one of the most noisy horses I know, never missing an opportunity to throw her two cents worth in on how I'm slow to get hay to her. I got to the other end of the barn and still no Shyanna. RUH ROH... where's the mare.

The tapes lying on the ground between her pen and Kaci's was a good indication. She'd gone through them. I thought "Hey, wait a second. I KNOW I plugged the fence in, especially since Kaci was acting like an idiot!" I Went back into the barn. Yup, plugged in. The tapes were NOT snapping on the ground, so the fence was off. What the...?

About that time, Shyanna came loping into the barn, in Kaci's run. Lucky for me that she is "twine broke", meaning you can lead her all over with just a piece of twine around her neck. I was able to pull her out and get her into her stall and the barn door closed, locking her in.

Then I went out and put the tapes back up. The outlet has a little indicator light on it that tells you if you have power. Nothing. I checked the switch, which is 8 feet up on the wall in Shyanna's stall. Off. Great! Thanks Mike! I turned it on and still nothing.

Since it was after 10, I just ran an extension cord from the other end of the barn. Thank God I had one that long! I stepped outside Kaci's stall and heard the fence charger clicking. Hurray! It's working! That should contain the horses for the night. Then I had to walk the fence between Kaci and Jazzy and make sure the fence was still up. I had to do this with a flashlight. Have I ever told you that Jazzy is FREAKED out about the flashlight beam? Lucky for me that I was on the other side of the fence. I DID have to step out of the way, cuz although Kaci saw the shiny light, I don't think he realized it was held by the Queen of Everything (that would be me since I feed him). Luckily, I can be nimble when I need to be. (Like that stupid song says "I got the swagger of a cripple") The fence was still up, though sagging and snapping in a couple places.

So they are all buttoned up for the night and as I sit here typing, smelling of pulverized horse poop, I don't hear the relentless thundering of hooves that tell me that Kaci is still being a jackass (Nikki - no offense to your little critters).

And, now that I've typed this all out, I don't really feel like screaming anymore. I'll settle for a straight shot of whiskey and head for bed.

I've said it before... there are days when I truly want to shoot one or more of my horses. Mike said I can do it any time I so choose, just as long as I've already dug the hole. Most of the time, I find that I'm too old to dig a hole that big by hand and I don't have a tractor that could handle the job. So I sit and talk about screaming and shooting my horses. Seriously! I'd have already screamed if Mike wasn't already asleep. (He gets cranky when I wake him up screaming. Boring old man!)


Kaci spent the day pacing the fence, wanting Jazzy, carrying on obnoxiously. I figured NOBODY would get any sleep, so I switched Squirrel and Jazzy.

Now this...


Just goes to show us girls will never make a man completely happy, even if we give him what we think he wants!

Isn't he magnificent though??

Stallion? Nope! Proud cut gelding? Hmmm...maybe...

Sometimes things come to me in the quiet of the day that should have been completely obvious all along!

I switched Jinx and Kaci.

Kaci shared a pasture with Jazzy, and it's the smallest and the most over grazed. It is also the slowest growing, least lush of the four.

Jinx had her own pasture, the largest and the lushest. Jinx's stall is at the other end of the barn so her corner feeder is also on an outside wall. Kaci would have no thoughts of competition, and there wouldn't be a threat of choke.

So, in my moment of brilliance, I switched them. BING! The light was on and shining brightly!

Here's what I did. I locked Kaci in and turned Jazzy out. Then I put Jinx in Jazzy's run. I then stood, watched and listened to Kaci carry on like a stallion!

Holy cow! Posture, squeal, strike! He's not a stallion, but there IS a possibility that he's proud cut. That is the only thing I can come up with as to why he does what he does. I would LOVE to have a decent video so I could tape it and let you guys watch it. I'd like to have your thoughts.

Then I move Kaci to Jinx's run with full pasture access, moved Jinx into Kaci's old run, and opened the gate to Jazzy's run. All done.

Except Kaci is now running the fence, unable to get close to Jazzy, though he can see her, and he kicked at the fence bordering the neighbor behind me and knocked one of the tapes down.

Stupid horse! He's acting like an idiot and the girls are completely ignoring him.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Millie REALLY Goes To School!!

Tara came this afternoon and the two of us were able to encourage Millie enough to get on the trailer. It was big and scary and had a strange horse in there, but she managed to swallow her "fear" and pull up her big girl panties and jump on.

Tara noted that she was being spoiled and stubborn.

Millie? Really? Umm....YEAH!

But she is off to school, but only 25 minutes away...close enough for me to drop in on her, which Tara said I can do whenever I like. Maybe I'll bring a horse and we'll ride out together!

I'm just so excited!

So now, I've got Bullwinkle and Frankie separated at feeding time. I want to make sure that Frankie is eating ALL that I give him, which will soon include Strategy. He's not going through a growth spurt, but he's lean and ribby. I realize that he's Appendix registered, but I'm having problems keeping the weight on him. I'm glad that he belongs to Cathy, not me! So we're going to add some higher fat feed to try to fill him out a little. Tara thought that since he's three, perhaps his teeth needed to be looked at.

Hopefully, focused nutrition and lack of competition for feed will help! Plus, they are getting pasture time three days a week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Back to business..

And that business is horses.

Remember Kaci when Stace brought him home? He looked like this:

This morning, he looks like this:

I think he's finally getting close to where I want him. Maybe another 100 pounds. He could use some flesh on his topline.

In other news.....

I neglected to LATCH the chain to Shyanna's stall last night. When I got up this morning, all groggy and stumbling around, I wondered why all the horses weren't outside the barn and looking at the house. That is the normal morning routine. I took the dogs out and heard Kaci squealing, and again wondered why.

About the fourth time Kaci squealed, I put the dogs in the house, my shoes on my feet, and headed out to the barn. I found Shyanna and 500 gallons of pee outside Kaci's stall. Well, that explains it.

I put her in her pen and surveyed the barn. She'd helped herself to breakfast as some point and wasn't very tidy about it. So before I even got my coffee, I was cleaning up the mess and feeding the ponies. My fault. My fail. Learn from it. You'd think I would!

Millie is still here. The weather has calmed down and is supposed to be nice through the weekend. I talked to Tara and come hell or high water, Millie is getting on the trailer on Saturday!! I've got the waders and the slickers staged and ready by the door.

The new pooch is settling fine. He is becoming more connected to us and is a VERY nice little dog. We still have some issues to work through but that will come with time. He is already 1,000% better than he was. He has attached himself to Kali, which is fine.

We also changed his name to Jasper. It fits him.

Princess Aria went home yesterday. Prince Asher could care less about her. He showed zero interest and instead set to organizing the shoes by the door. Then again, Aria was sleeping at the time. Perhaps when she starts making noise, he'll realize she is his baby sister and not a doll.

I interviewed for a job yesterday. It was going very well until she got to the "HR Corny Questions". She asked, "Why do you want to be a Procedure Writer?"

My mind went completely blank and I said, "Because I need a job." I tried desperately to recover, saying that I'd done that in the past, but I was totally stuck on the "Because I need a job."

I mean DUH!!! I'm interviewing for a job here! I felt like such an idiot! Come to find out, I will be updating procedures and reformatting them to WORD 2007 from Word Perfect 5.1! Hmm... update much? I was hired to do the very same thing in 1994, though it wasn't WORD 2007.

So that is my news.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Welcome to the world!!!

Aria Li Stafek

8 pounds, 8 ounces

21.5 inches

Gramma Karen loves you!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Princess is on her way...

My daughter-in-law is a week overdue delivering our first grand-daughter so she was induced tonight. (I think she's just being a baby-hog!)

I seriously doubt that she'll be born before sun-up, so Mike and I came home to get some rest. Asher, my grand-son, will be spending the morning with us, so we won't see the new baby until later in the day.

Asher did this yesterday...

You don't suppose he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, do you?


Kali is teasing the dogs and making them howl.. sheesh!

I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Walla Walla working in the office of the barrel race there this weekend. Early mornings and late nights just aren't my thing anymore. And my feet hurt. However, I did get to meet some girls that I had only e-mailed before. THAT was fun!

I think the worst part was dealing with the bitchy girls who had "Princess Syndrome". I know that they are part of the whole "experience" but for some reason, I took it really personal this weekend! I try to be pleasant, happy that they came, go out of my way to help, and I get hammered for it. Another problem was that it was an alcohol free week for me (simply because I kept getting too busy to run to the store to stock up). I figured that if I drank enough, I wouldn't care. Note to self - include alcohol as part of the survival kit next year)

While I was there, Mike delivered a bunch of manure to some friends. Their neighbor came over and asked if he knew of anyone who wanted her dog. He is a Lab/Weinemeier mix (looks like a yellow lab), supposedly about a yr old, though he looks to me to be 7 or 8 months, neutered, shots, the works. Doesn't know that the human voice means anything. Named Tye. His owner was going to have him euthanized because she couldn't find another home for him and didn't want him to go to the shelter. (Noble thoughts, in my book) But since Mike is a sucker for yellow labs, he said "Sure! I'll take him!"

Meet Tye

The horses somehow survived without me. I got multiple texts from Mike on the proper application of the blanket to Kaci - mostly about how and where the back leg straps were supposed to be done. I walked him through it (since he has NEVER seen me blanket a horse - yes, that's sarcasm) and this morning, Kaci was naked, so I guess he just gave up. Lucky for Kaci, it stayed pretty warm over night.

ALL the horses were STARVING! *snort* Poor babies actually GAINED weight in three days. Kali told me that she was going out and throwing extra flakes to everyone because she figured dad was being "careful" with the hay.

Anyway, I'm home! Happily so! And we just got word that the doctor will be inducing my daughter-in-law tonight at 7, so hopefully, our new grand-daughter Aria will join us before mid-night!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's FUN to run!!!

I've been busy!

This past weekend there was a three day barrel race a mile from the house, so I spent time up there talking with my friends, video-ing their runs and just basically hanging out.

One of my friends, Tara, has room to take Millie, so as soon as the roaring winds die down enough to hear each other, she is going to schedule an afternoon and come get Millie. Millie's first lesson is going to be to load in the frickin trailer!

I talked at length with Tara at the barrel race and she talked through what she does with colts. I liked what I heard! Also, she is just 25 minutes away, so dropping in to visit Millie as watch her progress won't be a problem.

I spent the past few day picking up poop. It has occurred to me, as it often does, that if I cleaned the runs more than once a week, it wouldn't take so long. The problem is getting the poop picked up every other day. Since it's so dry here, I don't have a problem with slop, so I get in the habit of letting it dry out. When I first moved to the property, I cleaned runs EVERY day. I guess I've gotten lazy in my old age!

So I picked up the last of the poop, then mowed three runs in the pasture. Then it was turn out time. I took down the tapes on the far pasture, so the babies would have more room and grass to graze. Then I turned them out. ALL of them! (Well, there's only three but sometimes it SEEMS like more...)

They ran, and bucked, and raced for about 20 minutes before settling down to the business of grazing. Millie is a great bucker! If I was smart, (which I'm NOT apparently) I'd sell her to the bucking string. That little firecracker can flat out BUCK!

Frankie farted around a little bit, then found a quiet corner. He wasn't much into this running around business!

Bullwinkle, on the other hand, can RUN! When he drops down and starts moving, e can FLY!!! Most of the time, he just sort of does his little Western Pleasure lope, but when he decides to get down to business, he can really MOVE!

I watch for the duration of the play time to make sure there weren't going to be any personality issues, then came in for some lunch. Mike wants to make spaghetti for supper so I'm going to have to go get some french bread to go with it. Since I'll be "out", I may as well treat myself to a fat burger, right?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

That noise you heard...

That was Mike popping his cork.


I've been trying to sell or rehome Millie. I got her for free, so I'm totally cool with someone taking her and making her into the horse she is meant to be. I really need the room, and the lighter load, so I thought of a gal in Walla Walla. Cindy agreed to take her if I could deliver her. Sure - no problem!

Um yes, BIG problem! Millie wouldn't load. W O U L D N O T ! ! ! !

Kali and I couldn't get it done. So, I'll gave up and decided to try again tomorrow with the help of an old cowboy who is "seeing" the quirky neighbor.

So Mike comes home and I tell him where Millie is going. That's when he said, "OH HELL NO!! I'll put her down before Cindy gets her!!"

So instead, once we get her loaded, she's going to Rawley Stanley for training.


Nikker - Squirrel did NOT leave. She's still here, standing around, eating, pooping. I thought I'd hear at least SOMETHING. But nope! Why can't people just send me an e-mail and say "Thank you but I found a horse that's a better fit."