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Pip had surgery back at the end of summer for canker in his offside front hoof. It went better than everyone anticipated but he’s still stallbound until the first of the year at least.  He will have another surgery at the end of this month to hopefully route out all the canker and we will be canker free. I can already tell that the hoof is feeling better as he’s quite boisterous on his short stints out to graze.

G is doing well. He’s got a funky abscess thing on his hip that is refusing to heal up properly. Most likely it’s due to the location on the point of his hip that is causing it to heal so slowly. However we will be exploring it more fully over the next few days. It’s very ouchy so I’m loathe to try to mess with it too much without back up.

Everybody else is doing pretty good.  Lucy and Jen are looking fat and sassy, probably the best they have ever looking going into winter which makes me super happy. We have been working very closely with the nutritionist at Tribute to work out a very specific feeding plan for all of them and the effort really shows. Also crediting them with Pip’s fast recovery after surgery as we had a very specific game plan for about a week before and then on going after his surgery.

We are nearing the end of the proverbial bad year. I’ve been counting the days until Thanksgiving when hopefully it will be over. There’s some amusement that I’ve been blogging long enough to see 3 “bad” years.  It’s very macabre amusement at best.

So I’m pretty much going insane from the lack of riding. My last ride was in February and it looks like it will be February or so before Pip is sound enough for riding. Of course I have G but we spent the better part of the summer getting G and his gastric issues worked out and now I have a fat and sassy nearly 18hh divo gelding that I sort of don’t exactly know how to ride. If Pip is the nice reliable, easy to handle Land Rover, then G is the high-end, finicky Lamborghini. Fun to ride, but he just might kill me over a subtle miscommunication. I was working on taking G to lessons with Amy but he didn’t fit on the trailer (1st world horse owner problems) and then L had to take a hiatus from lessons due to her dog’s battle with cancer (seriously… it’s been a bad year).

Come on Thanksgiving!!

So anyway… I’m hoping to do a pen post soon. I’ve kept myself pseudo-sane with a slightly unhealthy pen addiction. I think I’m single-handedly keeping several online pen shops afloat with my Japanese pen addiction. I’ve got a couple of journal related posts planned as well and hopefully I can get those queued up soon.

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  • It’s hotter than Hell and I’m pretty sure I saw one of the cats melt under the oak tree in the bottom pasture.
  • I spent about 15 minutes today trying to figure out if one of my cats (not the melted one) had been injured only to discover that the blood spatters around the car were from Serah (the evil cat) killing a squirrel.
  • I found a juvenile purple finch in Pip’s salt block this morning. It hopped up on my finger before flying off into a nearby tree. That’s as close to a Cinderella moment as I’m likely to ever get.
  • Pip has canker in his off front hoof.  It will require vet assistance to correct. I’m very upset about it.  He’s scheduled for a little later in the week and I’m hopeful that we can get it cleared up. He will be sidelined for a while tho.
  • M moved her garden from nearer the creek to up here near the house.  I think it was a smart move as it makes accessing the garden much easier. She has been a bit late planting this year but everything is coming up well.
  • Of course we are drowning in squash and zucchini.
  • I am waiting (not so patiently) for the okra. It’s the only thing that makes these hot days bearable.
  • We spent last Saturday down in Atlanta watching X’s friend Han in a yo-yo competition. I have a feeling X will be competing in the next one whenever that is.  He’s quite good with the yo-yo tricks.  His next “trick” will be putting all his tricks together with a bit of music.
  • Since we were in ATL that meant we were able to swing by the Duluth Hmart!!  YAY!!  So much wonderful! I needed to do some heavy restocking so my buggy was pretty much packed by the time we were done. I was getting dangerously low on pretty much all of our Asian staples so I knew it was going to be a near 2 buggy haul.
  • We had a delicious early birthday dinner at Chung Dam for J. It was divine. That place is well worth the expense for the dining experience and inspiration.
  • I’ve pretty much cooked some form of Korean food everyday since we went to ATL.
  • Dining has been excellent.
  • We started our school year at the first of this month.  We had our usual hiccups at the start but found a pretty good rhythm by the second week.
  • We are doing lots of fun and difficult projects this year (dissecting animals, writing research papers, learning French among other things) and the boys are embracing the new challenges with if not eagerness, then at least curiosity.
  • I’m personally enjoying this year as we are focusing on US history and state histories and studying biology… two of my favorite subjects and adding in a brilliant reading selection (we are doing a study on The Hobbit soon!!). This may be my favorite schooling year so far!
  • The boys have been binge-watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Amazon. It has been amusing as the boys are continually asking “why was that funny?” or “who is that?” because they don’t get the reference. It took a solid 10 minutes to explain why Danny Bonaduce sitting in a pear tree was funny. The show is loaded with similar bits so the questions are frequent and often amusing.
  • I’ve got a couple other blog posts in the works which should post in the next few days so maybe the next post won’t be weeks from now and in bullet form 🙂

So my last farm post has been a few months ago.  Farm life has been tough as we are in the throes of “the bad year” and while I know having a farm means being close friends with Death it doesn’t mean I enjoy the visits.

We lost Bingley to a pasture accident and Rosalea and Maddy to old age and possibly a broken heart with Maddy… I knew she would not stay long after Belle as those two were closely paired. One of our oldest cats, Sheegwa, recently passed as well after an altercation with a couple of stray dogs that turned up in our woods. 

And then because that wasn’t enough, we hit the teenage years with the children.  SJ spoiled us with her easy waltz into the teen years.  The boys haven’t been so kind.  They are excellent kids mind you, but I was ill prepared for teen-age boy emotions and dramatics.  I feel sorry for them really. They managed to get a hyper aware mother, hyper aware grandmother and eccentrically attentive father.  They can’t catch a break.  SJ communicates tacitly more often than not, and years spent observing body language in the horses and other farm animals mean that I notice even the slightest “tell” in body language. And the boys’ “tells” are pretty easy.  And when they try to “pull the wool” as many teen-aged boys do… they run into J.

It’s been tiring.  I think I completely shut down all social interaction from January until recently because I just couldn’t deal.  I was using so much energy to just hold it all together that I didn’t have anything left.  Friends were going through their own personal hells and I didn’t feel like I could be there for them and save myself at the same time.  We finally worked out a code for “I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to say but I’m with you” by sending “…” just so we knew that some one was listening even though we didn’t have it in us to talk.
I have an alarming number of “…” messages.  It would appear that we weren’t the only ones having a tough year.

It’s my hope to work with the blog more this year.  I’ve found inspiration in helping one of my high school best friends start a blog to chronicle her life changing move away from corporate work. She and her daughter are embracing a more nomadic lifestyle in hopes of improving her daughter’s health.  As soon as her blog is up and running I will link to it as I’m sure their adventures will be incredible!

And then there are my friends with established blogs that just blow me away with their creativity.  I’m overwhelmed by all that they do and they inspire me to write more and find my old story-telling voice again. Be prepared for farm stories, life stories, hauls, hobbies, reviews and the ever popular rambles.  I hope everyone will weather this brief period of uncertainty with me as I find my blogging mojo once again.  I’ve missed writing so much and realizing how rusty I am is frustrating but I’m determined and that’s half the challenge sometimes 🙂

Some days living on a farm can be really depressing.

Some days it feels like all I post on here is how yet another of my senior horses has died or some other tragedy.

Some days writing feels more like admitting defeat than anything else.

Some days it’s a struggle to just get out of bed because everything will be the same, over and over and over again.

Some days that thing that makes you tick, that thing that makes people like you… just isn’t there.

Some days you manage to lock your keys in the car when it’s not suppose to be possible.

Some days you help other people with their blogs and realize yours has gone stagnant.

Some days you bump into other local bloggers and you become overwhelmed by all that they are doing and how WOW their blogs are.

Some days you wonder why you even bother anymore.

And then…

Some days the kids show you how all the effort really has paid off as they sit politely in a local cafe overrun with unruly children left to go nearly feral while their parents seem oblivious.

Some days you catch a glimpse of Pip being a complete idiot cavorting around his paddock, sliding in the mud then completely busting his tail as he loses his traction, falls, then pops up like no one could have possibly seen it all.

Some days the daffodil man is at the flea market and it’s hard not to suddenly become passionate about daffodils when hearing him talk about them all.

Some days you get three subscription boxes in one day and it feels a little bit like Christmas.

Some days you turn out a meal for the family that really is quite spectacular.

Some days you realize your husband is awesome as you watch him climb a tree and saw off a dead limb just before going to work because he can.

Some days you realize that even though you’re failing more often than not, you haven’t stopped trying.

Some days you watch movies with 4 dogs and 2 cats and at least one kid all piled up in the chair with you because everybody needed a snuggle.

Some days you realize that you really miss writing whether or not anyone is reading anymore.

Some days you write.

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Twenty three or so years ago I was struggling. I was at a college that I hated, eating up my parents’ money on an education that I didn’t have a clue how to utilize.  Just before the end of the final semester of my freshman year M told me about a lady she knew that worked with Mustangs and how she had a little weanling that was for sale.  M wanted me to go look, so on a weekend escaping the hell of higher education I snaked through the back roads and found Belle.

She was tiny and spunky and full of challenge. I was in love. $300 later I was the proud owner of a ’92 Mustang, brown with black trim… my college friends didn’t find the humor, sadly.

Belle started my career as a trainer.  She was trained “out the wazoo” and it was with a broken heart that I realized that the little bay mare was only ever going to be a horse first thing in the morning as by noon she was well under 14.2hh.

Belle was never an easy ride. She was a challenge and many of my students had spectacular bolts and falls due to her sass and attitude.

I loved her though.  She saved me when I was lost and didn’t know what to do with myself after I left school. I nearly killed her with my ineptitude on more than one occasion and I learned a lot of my more subtle and softer training methods while working with Belle.

She was a fixture in the pastures, the last of my original stock of horses.

This morning she woke up on the other side of the rainbow bridge in a big beautiful pasture, with Spring and Brandy, Aimee and Alise, Baxter and little Seiji… and all the others… with no fences and all the grass and watermelon she could ever want.

 

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