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- Evidently I can’t write cohesive posts anymore (as my unfinished drafts seem to indicate) so I’m back to my favored form of blogging
- In farm news, we have new poultry much to the amusement and disdain of the USPS.
- They came in waves
- First the French Guinea keets that were met with coos and smiles
- Then the Khaki Campbell ducks that convinced the well-meaning postal workers that they needed water so that I ended up wearing water/duck poo soaked shorts home from picking them up at the post office.
- And then the Novogen chickens which brought the ire of the postal worker/armchair animal husbandry expert that felt the need to lecture me on the cruelties of sending chickens via post. Whatevs lady… I don’t recall asking for your input.
- All the new acquisitions are doing very well and are growing by leaps and bounds.
- It’s been a while since we’ve had ducklings and we all managed to forget how excessively messy they are.
- They are super cute tho…. so that helps
- In other news… It’s been too hot to do much with the horses.
- The heat has been brutal!!!
- So it was probably a good thing that I decided to go ahead and have the lipomas on my forehead removed.
- Surgery was a beast.
- Post op was a solitary nightmare.
- I don’t even wish to relive it to blog about
- in a nutshell…
- facial surgery is painful (all them nerves gotta be feeling things!)
- I reacted poorly to the anesthesia (hello panic attacks and hot flashes for 2 weeks!)
- my family and friends UTTERLY ABANDONED ME for the duration (Love you guys soooo much!)
- but on the plus side… tumors were lipomas (non cancerous) and I’m rocking some pretty bad ass scars… on my face. GRRR!
- I’m in the process of opening an Etsy shop… maybe.
- I’ve been making lots of jewelry and happily people are responding very positively to what I’ve made.
- I’m thinking of making a whole separate blog for that as I don’t necessarily want that traffic over here.
- The boys are still avid cyclists.
- J and B are planning several rides this fall… mini “tours” so to speak
- Aside… Froome won the Tour de France so there is happiness in my house
- He is B’s favorite cyclist
- Along with Peter Sagan who is becoming X’s new favorite as X is becoming interested in cycling as well… particularly sprinting.
- I think that X has always liked the cycling thing he just didn’t think his build was conducive to it, until I pointed out that Sagan is built like a tank (compared to Froome) and he’s a very accomplished sprinter.
- I am coming to a place of peace with cycling.
- We will see how this tentative peace holds once the weather turns and we are all vying for ride time.
- I am feeling optimistic
- School is in session for us and has been since the week after the Fourth of July
- With the exceptionally unrelenting heat we’ve been having I felt that it was in the best interest of all parties to just go ahead and start now so that we could enjoy a few Fall breaks instead.
- It’s going well.
- X and I are avidly reading right now.
- He’s reading Harry Potter (his first time through the series)
- I’m reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
- I thought the first two in the series were pretty good, but half way through this one and I’m starting to lose my immersion in the story. At this point I just want whatever is going to happen to just happen already.
- I hate when a novel turns that way for me.
- J bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I will be delving into once I’m finished with Tris and Four.
- I almost forgot about Luna!
- We have a new dog!
- She’s a Lab/Staffie/Bully mix (I hate using the word Pit)
- She’s adorkable (typo intended)
- She loves me and is a big 40lb teddy bear already and will probably get even bigger!
- She’s about 4 months old now and is all-elbows and knees and goofy gawkiness.
- I love her immensely and Joop tolerates his “little sister” better than he would like me to believe.
- The gardens are doing well
- We desperately need to put up more pickles as B has eaten all of ours.
- All of them
- As in there are no more
- We are getting really creative with zucchini and squash
- We have a deer problem this year which is annoying.
- X and B have been huge helps to M.
- X has done much of the plowing and B is a pro at picking both vegetables and bugs!
- I’m certain that I’m leaving something out but for now that’s it… hopefully there will be a new proper update (sans bullet post) soon!
Yesterday found us heading out on a hay run which lead to J and I checking out a new to us restaurant off of Woodruff Road in Greenville. We have been long time fans of the Korean BBQ on Woodruff (the one in the same building as the Red Robin gas station…weird? yes!) but had seen that another Korean restaurant had popped up a little further down the way and decided to swing in to check it out.
It is a tiny restaurant so large parties or families with lots of kids will have some difficulty seating together but for just the two of us it was very quaint and cozy. There are pictures of menu items on the walls and the menu was well illustrated with pictures and both English and Korean titles.
We started with fried dumplings.
They were good, not spectacular, but tasty. The dipping sauce was exceptionally good and accentuated the standard pork filling nicely.
J ordered the Bulgogi at a level 9 spiciness.
This was very tasty and fairly spicy but was more like any Asian stir-fry. It was a large portion and heavy on the beef so well worth the price, just not the flavor we had been anticipating.
I ordered the Duk Boki.
Duk boki is kind of like a stir fried or maybe braised spicy rice cake. This was very spicy and was ok. I felt the rice cakes were a little mushy so there wasn’t the chewy texture that I am more familiar with and the spicy flavor was a little one dimensional, but otherwise it was good and the portion was ginormous!
I felt that the side dishes were a little lacking. There were three kimchi type vegetables and 2 bean sprout type things but there wasn’t a sweet or sour balance to the flavors.
Everything was just HOT and SPICY or somewhat bland. The kimchi was very good. VERY good, so next time I would probably get something that focused on the kimchi.
All in all I found it to be a fair restaurant. Not exactly where I would go for my Korean fix, but not a bad restaurant. You get a lot of food for the price and J and I left full and sated. The staff was very friendly and we enjoyed talking to them so I can definitely see us going back there but just ordering different items.
Kimchee Korean Restaurant is located at 1939 Woodruff Rd, Greenville, SC 29607
Back at the beginning of February I heard about a gelding that had been relinquished in a high-profile neglect case down in the lower part of the state. It was indicated that he was an Irish Draught by Rockrimmon Silver Diamond. Immediately I was intrigued as Guinness is also by Rockrimmon Silver Diamond. I knew that finding RSD babies around the Carolinas wouldn’t be that uncommon since RSD stood in NC for a while, but I was still curious. So I called and talked with the vet in charge of his care and discovered that he had been standing as a sporthorse stud for a farm in the Charleston area and was slightly underweight and in slightly poor condition but would be gelded soon and they really wanted him out of their facility as soon as possible.
I was not in the market for a new horse. Heck, I hadn’t ridden all winter. So I politely asked if there were any photos and she sent me this:
Well… doesn’t that horse look a bit familiar? So I politely asked her to keep me in the loop and quietly walked away feeling that surely some other person would come forward for an ISH. A week later I again hear from the vet. The gelding had been done, evidently no one else had come forward and was I still interested?? Ugh…
Tentatively I spoke with M and J and we reached the decision that this boy had been put before us for a reason and started making the arrangements to bring him home. We rearranged paddocks, set up his quarantine pen and started to fish around for a trailer to use. I will not go into the horrors of trying to find a trailer to bring home a recently gelded stud horse that I don’t actually know. Understandably nobody was eager to have him onboard. So we made the decision to just use the old beat up green trailer. Our wonderful neighbor David did a quick check over it to make sure it was safe and that all the electric components were working and even tho it was a mess cosmetically, it was safe and tall enough to bring home our new boy.
Valentine’s morning we headed out! J and I had a good drive down and realized rapidly why the gelding needed a new home asap. Living between the interstate and an airbase/airport isn’t exactly the most ideal life for any horse. So we pulled up and after parking amid what I think was a dog/cat adoption event and overhearing more than one person ask “how big is the dog you are planning on getting??” we were redirected to the barn were I met our new gelding.
This was my first look at him.
What I saw was a profoundly depressed and unhappy horse. Obviously he and G share a common look, but where G has the look of a horse that has lived the padded life of a privileged, beloved show horse, the new gelding, while polite, looked tired and weary. As J put it “he looks like he’s seen some things”.
So I filled out all the legal paper work while J changed out his halter and put on his travelling clothes (cooler and boots). I wasn’t entirely sure what he would have to say about loading up on the little trailer but after a look around he walked up meekly and munched on hay while I secured the ramp. I couldn’t decide if he was that “OK” with the whole thing or if he just didn’t care anymore.
An so we began our journey back home only to realize that we were insanely hungry and needed to stop immediately for lunch. J, the intrepid puller of trailers, negotiated several multi laned highways to get us into a large parking area behind a Chik-fil-a. I decided to hang out with the gelding while J went in to order. I opened the escape door and stood talking to him, nonsensical blathering of nothingness, just to let him hear me and hopefully keep him calm. Immediately I noticed a change in him. He nosed all over my face, whoofed through my hair, nuzzled my cheek and really latched on to me as a person he was interested in. I took out my phone to update M about our progress and this happened…
I continued to talk and babble on to him and suddenly a car pulled up beside us! I was a little nervous as I had read a lot about his case on our way to Charleston and I knew that there were some hot opinions about it. The couple in the car stopped to comment on how much my horse must love me because they could see how relaxed he was when I talked to him. I told them that he was a new acquisition and they were surprised as they had thought that we were a long bonded horse and rider combo. They wished us luck and safe journeys and again I noticed how the gelding was definitely warming up to both J and me.
So we continued home with me asking J every 5 minutes if the gelding was ok. I think it made for a long trip for J even if he didn’t complain 🙂
Somewhere along the drive home I decided that Fawkes would be a perfect name. I did not like the name he came with and I felt like he needed a new name to start his new life. So Fawkes, the name of Dumbledore’s phoenix, seemed perfect!
Anyway, we made it home before dark and spent a good 30 minutes hand walking Fawkes around to work out his travel stiffness before putting him up for the evening. He was polite and courteous, even with the wind blowing fiercely.
Then next day we spent shoring up shelters as wintry weather was forecast. As I was feeding Fawkes his morning feed I noticed his sheath was grossly swollen. I placed a couple phone calls to the vet and ended up driving to TR as the sleet and frozen rain started to pick up medicine at the vet’s office.
The weather tanked during the night and we awoke to an icy wonderland!
Fawkes didn’t seem to mind at all. He didn’t even think the children sledding on the ice was all that interesting. He did spend some time making kissy faces with Noorah.
Already looking like a different horse!!
The swelling in his sheath gave us several days of concern as did his very ugly gelding incisions. I’ll spare you the pictures, trust me they are gross. I had pretty much daily phone calls to the girls at the vet’s office to make sure we were on the right treatment path. It was a tough time as my instinct said that I should cold hose his sheath area, but my common sense said that cold hosing in single digit temps was potentially dangerous!
A week or so in Fawkes turned grumpy and moody. He was unhappy with the horses in his neighboring paddocks. He was unhappy with me. He was unhappy with the boys changing his water. He was unhappy with J feeding him hay. Everything caused penned ears and unhappy eyes.
I spent some time just observing him and noticed that he was repeatedly pulling at his turnout and biting at his shoulder. So with a modicum of trepidation, he is a big boy after all, I walked up to him and started scratching his shoulder under his blanket. Initially he had his angry face on, but then it melted away and he started leaning into my hand as I scratched. So I took off his blanket and started scratching all over his shoulders and as far down his back as he would let me. Initially he would let me go as far as his withers but after a few minutes he was ok with letting me scratch him pretty much all over. Unfortunately in the middle of our bonding session a car pulled up in our drive-way and I had to leave him but as soon as I came back to the fence he backed up and invited me to scratch his butt. We have daily scratching sessions now and the unhappy grumpy mood has disappeared.
Fawkes has also been having weekly sessions with Nicole of EquiZen Horse Therapies. I really have to say that these acupressure sessions have worked wonders on all my horses and Fawkes is no different.
Fawkes is learning what it means to be a pampered and loved horse and seeing him really blossom has been amazing!! He’s gone from being a dull and grungy, unhappy horse to being a shiny, personable, gelding with a little bit of a sense of humor that pops up from time to time. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!
Due to the things going on at the house between my last “Adventurous Recap” post and today I just haven’t had time to sit down and really recap what happened.
In a nutshell we stayed at the Luray Caverns West Motel, which was luckily within easy walking distance to a McDonalds (yuck I know, but it was food) and within the delivery range of several Italian places.
After an unsuccessful conversation with the local insurance agent we made the decision to go ahead and get a rental car (provided by our insurance) and head down to Michie Tavern for the day while we figured out how best to have the car repaired.
Michie Tavern definitely hit the spot and made up for 2 meals at McD’s!! Even Sophie hit her chicken limit… tho she still had plenty of room for dessert!
We had decided that our best course of action was to have J head up with our flat bed trailer (after getting a tow quote of somewhere near $1600) and M and Sophie to head down in the rental while I stayed at the motel with the car. I was able to arrange for a friend to hang out with the boys at the farm and keep an eye on things while J and M were in transit but I had not taken into account how stressful this how adventure had been on them. In hindsight I should have had J pile Martha and the boys into the truck and had him meet M somewhere along the way… however that didn’t happen and ultimately lead to situations that I will blog about at a later date.
I will say that 4 hours that I was solo in the motel with M and J on the road was horrific. My phone was refusing to charge properly and as I was the only female in the entire motel (the other occupants being well intoxicated golfers) I didn’t feel exactly comfortable just wandering around. I had thought to spend some time sketching or writing but my pens and pencils had been nicked by Sophie for her trip back home. So I dug out a book I had purchased in Carlisle. Last Words of Sinners and Saints is not good reading when you’re slightly creeped out and by yourself.
It was a long 4 hours.
I felt so sorry for J. He drove all that long way up to Luray, slept fitfully in a less than comfortable bed, loaded up the car and headed out again the next morning. That was a lot of driving!! At least the return trip he had me chatting away in his ear… the whole time…. mostly nonstop.
So… We made it home… dropped the car off at David’s and started the process of getting the x5 back in working order. Not going to lie but it’s been a serious undertaking. So many things were damaged from that deer that had to be replaced… things that were damaged that damaged other things that had to be replaced. At one point I seriously thought the car was going to be totaled but thankfully it was not.
The car was completed and ready to go just in time for our next trip to MD for feed. Happily that trip went uneventfully and we have since changed feed to a locally available product which works out better for both our horses and our cars 🙂
Had I been able to write this closer to the time it happened I’m sure there would’ve been more humor but so many things that happened on this trip started the downward decline of Martha that I can’t really look at it with humor anymore. Martha was always a sensitive person and would fret over perceived issues. Her worry over us having a wreck, her worrying over M and J driving so far. Her worry over me being alone so far from home. Her worry over situations that happened with the boys while we were away. All those worries surely didn’t help an already unwell woman.
Jim has been so great with the whole horse thing that I really couldn’t say no when he suggested we go stand out in the broiling hot sun and look at race cars today during the whole Motorsports on Main extravaganza in preparation for the Petit Le Mans which I think is going to be in Atlanta this coming weekend.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much into racing… except for Formula One and you really just can’t live with Jim and not become involved in F1 as he’s dropping tidbits and updates during the season. (Aside- did I ever mention the time I got into a minor altercation with a man in BAMM about who drove for Williams and who drove for Jordan in like 2005?? No? Well I did… it was weird… but anyway…) And we’re all over recording the races and ALL the practices (there are 2) and qualifications. We breath F1 from April to November… seriously… he even makes M watch it too… which is saying something.
But anyway… The Petit Le Mans is not Formula One… it’s a sport car endurance race but unlike the 24 hours of Le Mans (in France) it only lasts about 10 hours (which is flippin’ long if you ask me!!) or 1000 miles (whichever comes first).
Regardless the cars are pretty awesome! I’ll admit that the Patron Ferrari (pictured above) was my favorite… could be the paint job… could be the whole Ferrari thing… I don’t know… but it was pretty cool.
But anyway… everybody had a great time… although the boys and I were pretty much done after 20 mins… while Jim and Sophie were still going strong an hour later. It did give me a chance to people watch and I did find a notable trend. Lots of women with strollers and/or babies herding their children solo while their man drooled over the cars (I’m not kidding about the drool either). I had one negative encounter. A man was standing back from one of the cars trying to take a picture when the boys ran up to look in the cockpit… there were LOTS of other kids around but he snapped at Beckett and me saying something along the lines of couldn’t I keep my children under control. I totally admit that I snapped and rounded on him. I said “seriously, if you can’t get your Man-gasm on without attacking kids then you just need to go home” and stormed away not before hearing a smattering of applause from a few women behind him. Oh yeah… get me sunburned and dehydrated and attack my kid and see if the claws don’t come out.
So anyway. We did have a good time 🙂 Jim and Sophie hung out at the BMW tent for quite a while and Jim got to do the race simulator there which was funny because the seat was set for kids and he had to drive with his knees by his ears! All the kids got Michelin man blow up dolls (the blow up stob is on the Michelin man’s bottom… how weird is that?), activity books, tattoos and flags from the kids’ tent sponsered by Michelin. It was actually pretty nice. Sophie got autographs from 2 of the drivers and it’s like she’s totally met superstars (even though we don’t know who they are).
We capped off the day with gelato from the gelato shoppe at Lazy Goat. Unfortuately I got Brownie Batter or something like that and it was just awful 😦 YUK! Beckett got pistachio and it was delicious so that made up for it some.
All in all a pretty good time and it looks like they’re planning to do this again next year so I’m sure we’ll be there 🙂