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So…. My laptop died.

Of course it died just as I was getting inspired to write again.

That figures.

So I’ve hijacked M’s chromebook to update that I am in the research portion of my new laptop acquisition.  It’s slow going.

In other news, I’ve gotten into the travelers notebook thing.  Not the crazy art level ones, but just the “oh my gah those are so neat I must have one even if I have nothing to actually write in it” ones.  I bought a ZLYC instead of a Midori because the ZLYC came with a standard and passport size plus a pen holder for the same price as just the standard Midori.  Initially I was disappointed as the leather was wonky and the notebooks didn’t fit properly.  Thankfully I had been binge watching YouTube videos setting them up so it made correcting the problems much easier.

I am thoroughly confused by the monthly calendar that came with the ZLYC.  I had to basically rework it and create tip-outs to set it up with my prefered 7 day week.  I attempted to do some of the artsy scrapbooking things that I’ve seen other people create and to be honest it’s just not my bag.  I have a couple of months that I think look awesome but others look like a craft store threw up on it.  Go me.

So I ordered the Midori weekly planner notebook and I absolutely love it! It is perfect for my planning style and while I do have a few strategic stickers it is nowhere near the train wreck that is the monthly spread.  I would include pics here if I weren’t hijacking M’s chromebook… hopefully I can edit them in later on.

Getting into the traveler’s notebooks obviously lead to a resurgence of my pen/office supplies/paper supplies addiction.  Luckily gel pens and such are a cheap addiction generally speaking.  I was able to swing by Binders in Charlotte and nab up a several fun pens… I may do a haul post as some of them are pretty awesome (looking at you Slicci 025).

In other other news…. We are riding in the Western Carolina Hunter Pace series this season.  Unfortunately we missed the first pace but we managed the second one at ScotsGrove.  It was our first time at their farm and we had a… somewhat adventurous ride.  Evidently the rules of passing need to be reviewed.  We were unsafely passed multiple times.  But we didn’t let that get us down!  Happily we maintained a consistent pace and finished in 3rd place!  Go Pip!!

We are hoping to hit the HP at Biltmore this weekend if our coggins make it back to us before Sunday.  My coggins run out 2 days before the event so I’m hoping that the 2 weeks we allowed for them to come back will be sufficient.  I’d really hate to miss the Biltmore pace.  J and I brought home a yellow ribbon (3rd) several years ago.  And of course L and I had our worst ride ever at Biltmore, finishing dead last but considering all the things that went wrong on that ride, finishing was as good as getting a ribbon  (1 hour of backtracking for my lost phone, L and Paris falling off the mountain after getting pelted with a golf ball, bad footing, Pip’s first outing, Noorah’s antics and elimination at the start, and my emotional blow up/break down/psychotic break at the trailer… it was awful).

***UPDATE*** The coggins are IN!!!  Right after I called to put our names on the gate list I got a call from the vet saying that the coggins were in!!  WooHoo!! Assuming we are all well on Sunday then we are good to go!

I am still working out the logistics of doing a YouTube channel.  I have been periodically posting videos but not full on vlogs.  My lack of operable computer is one of the hampering factors but I’m sure I’ll have it sorted out soon enough.  There’s a learning curve and I’m slowly figuring it out.  We are pretty much filming every time we go to a pace (Biltmore will be J’s turn to wear the goPro EEEK!!!) so hopefully I’ll have a way to post a highlight vid soon, because trust me you don’t want to sit through 2 hours of us riding.  Sure there are some hilarious parts (“I don’t even know you Pip”) but there are long spans of silence that even we the riders find somewhat dull and boring to relive.

So anyway, I’m hoping everybody is enjoying the cooler Fall weather and look for more updates soon!

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So today Sisyphus made a break for freedom… He’s brash and independent like that.  He’s the sort that will look you in the eye and then make a spectacular leap to the floor then scamper (yes SCAMPER) across the floor in an attempt to climb the Christmas tree.

He is a TREE frog after all.

Currently he’s giving me the eye from corner as he slowly slides back down to the bottom of the tank.  His tank mates are all frog piled up asleep but no not Sisyphus… he’s got to be doing.

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See he woke up Natty Grumpo… Natty Grumpo is the least amused frog in the whole tank.  That’s him on the left.  Notice how Sisyphus is mischievously peaking over the leaf and Natty is just looking disgruntled.

I’m still working on names for the remaining two frogs.  They were actively exploring this morning, climbing out on the vines and taking brief dips in the pool.  Nobody is burying up in the moss so that’s good… the heat regulator is doing an awesome job maintaining an even temp and the humidity is maintaining nicely.  There were poops this morning so it appears that everybody is getting over their trip here just fine.

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And after all that exploring this morning it’s time for a froggie nap… loving that Sisyphus felt the need to moon me in this shot… He’s going to be devil that one….

I’ve tried starting this entry at least 15 different times and I’m resorting to just saying… We got frogs in the mail today and they are awesome!

I was able to catch the 25% off post-Christmas sale at Josh’s Frogs and we are now the proud care givers of 4 White’s Tree Frogs!!

They are quite hilarious and have enjoyed exploring their new home even if it’s slightly bare bones right now.  I have a bevy of vines and decor coming early next week but currently they are enjoying their fake ivy and their big swimming hole.

wpid-wp-1420303503962.jpegThese two are the biggest by far.  The one on the bottom has fully explored every inch of their tank and all the other frogs too… evidently it’s ok with everything because it’s currently asleep on one of the vines.

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This one is very active and has been the most comical.  For the longest it would climb up the side to the very top then slide slowly down… then climb back up… then slide back down.  It was quite amusing to watch!

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How about a little frog butt?  Seriously these guys are hysterical! I haven’t come up with names yet, tho I’m sure their personalities will start shining through soon.  I’m tempted to call the one above Sisyphus.

I was very sad when our other two WTFs passed… I’ve done a lot of research before getting this gang and hopefully they will benefit from my studies 🙂  I have better heat regulating sources for them and also a better understanding of what they need in their habitat to thrive.  I also think buying the frogs from a breeder (or at least reputable source) alleviated some of the stress on the frogs.  As much as I love Repticon I think the middle men are often more interested in their profits instead of animal well-being.  Having said that, I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Josh from Josh’s Frogs for calling and discussing with me the best time to ship the frogs.  He was concerned about the upcoming drop in temperatures for us and was wanting to make sure someone was going to be home today to receive the frogs.  He was extremely nice on the phone and even answered a few questions M had about one of her fish tanks… YAY for customer service!!

So here’s hoping that the blog will have a regular froggie feature detailing the adventures of Sisyphus and his friends… yep that one is definitely going to be Sisyphus now.

This week has been insane.  Normally things are pretty sedate around here… the biggest issue of the day is figuring out what to make for supper… seriously… it’s pretty low-key.  This week has been a bit of a departure.

First- there was rain which made mud which caused Woodrow to slip and “go off” in his front legs… I believe that he slid in the mud but honestly I didn’t see it happen so I can’t say for certain… but there was mud on him and skids in the paddock so it seems a safe assumption.  So while wrapping his legs I discovered that he’s continuing to clip himself so I slapped on a set of petal boots to help with that… the ones I bought for Lady… the ones that are PINK.  Woodrow was not amused… his stallion sensibilities were totally insulted!  Happily he is all well today.

Then- L has had a recurrent stray dog.  She has contacted the people that own it multiple times and this time when she called the number was disconnected and even with driving to where they said they lived she could find no one to take the dog back.  She does not have room at her house for another large dog so guess who has a new dog?  Yep… we’re suckers.  We named him Sully and it’s believed that he’s a Lab/Husky mix… he’s a wonderfully sweet dog and spends the bulk of his day sleeping at my feet.  The only draw back is that he cannot be turned out with the other dogs because he is a bit of a wanderer and also because his Lab-ness makes him want to pick up the roosters and geese… in his mouth.  He hasn’t tried to actually kill any of the poultry but we really feel that picking up the roosters and carrying them around is maybe not a great idea so he’s on leash at all times outside.

Then- We are having a bumper crop of pecans this year so M and the boys have been spending the afternoons picking up the multitudes of nuts all over the yard.  While searching near the bottom of the pecan tree Xander came across a small furry critter with giant eyes cowering into the shelter of a rock.  It was a roughly 7 week old Flying Squirrel that had either been booted out of its nest, fallen or somehow escaped being eaten (we have red tail hawks that nest in that same tree).  He was about to make a really quick snack for one of the farm cats so we made the decision to bring him in.  He has done exceedingly well and so we’ve named him Remi.  M has raised several orphaned squirrels over the years, we have a pic of her and her first squirrel Monk taken when she was about 11 years old I think.  I have also raised a few, most notably Iora.  Remi is our second flying squirrel and I must say I love the little guy’s personality.  Not quite as skitzy as regular grey squirrels and he definitely has a bit of a sense of humor as he really likes to play peep-eye after he’s eaten and thinks that pockets are the best thing ever created!

All 3 of the above things happened on the same day.

A couple days later I got a call from L saying that her mare had a rotational fall over her pasture fence and was unable to walk, had a wound to the knee and was really really not well.  So I hitched up a trailer and went off to help.  7 hours of effort, 2 horse trailers, 1 broken whip, and a gashed eye brow later… we got the mare on the trailer and to L’s uncle.  The mare really did a number on herself and there was some fear that she had punctured her knee tho it was finally decided that it was only a cut.  It was a bit emotional as this is L’s only horse and she and the mare have been through quite a lot over the past year.  L almost lost the mare in a freak pasture accident where the mare impaled herself on an 18″ piece of wood (it went through her chest and came out her neck) and then while helping the mare rehab, L had a freak accident catching her toe in the arena sand while pivoting which shattered her ankle.  So it’s been a rough year.

I don’t usually do any of the hauling because I always have J on hand but J’s work isn’t likely to find a friend’s horse being hurt as a good excuse to be late so I was on my own.  I ended up having to pull L’s barn’s gooseneck trailer instead of the little 2 horse.  I’ve never pulled a gooseneck before so that was… fun… not really.  It was such a comedy of errors.  First the mare wouldn’t go on the trailer, reared up and came down gashing open her eyebrow. Then I had to drop our trailer and pick up the gooseneck… only I’ve never actually hitched up a gooseneck… so… yeah.  I was pretty pleased that I got it in 4 attempts.  Then once we were finally on the road I discovered that I had dropped my wallet at the farm so I had no license and no money.  Then I discovered that L didn’t have a copy of coggins, and on top of that her coggins were expired, THEN I found out I had only 1 brake light, 1 turn signal, and 3 running lights on L’s trailer.  I had the worst stress induced migraine of my life… I could just see being stopped and going straight on to jail with that many things going against me!  (Note- I’m a goody goody about rules… I follow the speed limit, I stop at stop signs… you get the idea… so my stress level was pretty pegged out by the time I actually got home)

Happily the mare is doing ok and I made it home with my sanity barely intact.  Sully was happily sacked out on the couch sound asleep, but was eager to go out for a walk once I got home.  The kids handled being minimally watched by my aunt for 3 hours without killing each other or destroying the house.  Remi did not die from lack of food (thank God… I would’ve been so upset!) and other than a mountain of dishes in the sink, a pile of laundry that never got done and a stack of school work that needed sorting… it all worked out ok.

Today it’s on and off raining/storming so my plans for today have been foiled.  I’m really proud of my children and had planned to take them to the apple orchard today for a picnic and some apple picking but since the weather has tanked I think that we will just have to have that picnic on the living room floor instead.

Now… what to have for supper???

OK… so…. right off the bat… I’m crazy… we all agree? yeah? good.

After the horrific experience we had with our last farm hand… it probably surprises everybody that I decided to take on an apprentice…. particularly one with such limited equine experience.

But I did.

Today is his first day of his week trial. And so far things are going well. The horses like him, the dogs like him (or tolerate him in Ike’s case), and the kids think he’s fabulous. And Jim and I get along with him well too.

Here’s hoping it continues to go well!!

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