"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." — E.B. White

Friday, August 26, 2011

blackmailing the male

It must be said;
My kids play very well together.
And not so well.
I can't decide which situation this was.
Sarah n Jack were quietly playing dress up in her room.
I'm never sure what to expect when they come down...

Some days he chooses to be a fireman
or a cowboy...
 Maybe a duck or even, lordy,
 french fries (a premade costume someone gave us)!

Some days he plays Mary to her Laura Ingalls.
Lately even baby Carrie.
He's a really good sport
(or desperate for more friends/neighbors?)

Today he was a flower fairy with her.

he danced
and skipped

and twirled.

Then his ride came and it was time to go to work. 

Going just 'round the corner to make hay.
Talk about not being caught with dirty undies...
Please dear Farmer, drive very carefully lest I have to explain this to the paramedics!
Or a prom date later when his big sister chooses to blackmail him.

ps- Even Chase enjoys dress up!

Hope your week is magical!
(and not hurricaned!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We do this for fun?!

Sarah on her new pony "Loafer's Lodge Piglet."
Yesterday I got up at 4 am.
I made coffee
fed dogs
medicated Nick
fed kittens
cleaned litter box
opened coop and
checked on 10 new chicks I found on craigslist.
I packed cooler w/cheese sticks, grapes, peaches, crackers, almonds n cold drinks.
Packed extra gloves n garters n jod straps, and
got the saddle pads from dryer, girths off line...
Fed ponies n horses.
Fed goats n milked.
Filled water carriers and
packed last supplies on horse trailer.
Finished trimming ponies whiskers, combing tails, brushing off bedding 
and painting hooves.
Back inside and
fed kids sausage n eggs got them dressed in show clothes.
Packed my other show clothes to lend students
and trimmed The Farmer's hair (too) quickly.
Finally I readied myself fast.
We loaded ponies n kids and 
headed down the road by 9:15 ( later than I'd hoped but still early).

It started to rain.
Are you kidding me?!?!

I had 5 students with ponies at the (outdoor) fair.
One 4 yo, two just turned 5 yo boys and 2 seven year "old pros!"
Jack, John, Sarah, Bella, Liz, TJ and Cindy
Older students had planned to come n help but plans changed...
Still,  lest I make you think I did everything myself, ...
I had some awesome helpers.
Newly minted horse show Moms n Dads n Grands!

It takes a village to 
show with little kids n ponies!!!

But it's soooo worth it when you see all smiles, no drama
 and not a tear shed - even when the sweet 4 yo got dumped!
Bella on Merit

Tj on Neil Diamond

Morgan on her pony Kahlua
Jack on his new pony Brookside Merit
THANKS to all my support team!
Despite the downpours that precluded the 
much anticipated rides n ice creams...
It was fun!

Now we've had a practice run and are ready for more shows...
(Just as soon as we clean off the mud n remove the mildew smells.)
Are we crazy???

Saturday, August 13, 2011

There's no tellin'

I'm always tryin' to keep my big mouth shut.
Finally found a way.
Not sure it's a habit I can maintain.
Reached into my junk drawer extra early as I headed out to the barn...
Needed some Chapstick.
And coffee.
Opened gluestick instead...

Need. More. Coffee.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nick the Demon

"Nick the Demon" is what we affectionately call MY dog, Nicodemus.
Don't let that fool you, he's really a saint and we adore (and spoil) him.
My tart tongued friend calls him "the tenant dog." She's of more blue blood than me and while growing up on her fancy TB farm only the tenant workers kept Beagles...
Yup, I am a tenant worker!
Nick's favorite sport, of course, is tracking bunnies and providing updates to us stick in the muds who refuse to follow... He's so good at hunting by scent (not sight) as a good hound is supposed to, that he'll be tracking a bunny that we can see, all the while yipping at the trail on the ground! 

 I've never really been very good at naming animals... That's a real handicap when you breed horses! A long time ago I figured out a cheat for naming our dogs after adopting my first stray Beagle.... We found him on Thurston Rd and quickly named him Thurston Howl (Gilligan's Island anyone?).  The next Beagle was Jackson after his address on Stonewall Jackson Rd... My very first adopted dog, way back when I was a trendy teen, became "Fitch," as the alternative Abercrombie on my well worn sweatshirt didn't quite roll off my tongue... Since then, if the pound hasn't named them, I pick the closest interesting street we take to pick up the dog!   Pitiful, huh?

So, dear old Nicodemus has been with me since long before Sarah. He had a true best buddy named Cody, The Farmer's German Shorthair, who passed away nearly 3 years ago. I don't think Nick is happy we took in Olivia (named by the rescue group) for his companion... Nick is quiet, restrained, formal and extra polite. None of those adjectives describe huge "Oblivia!"

Nick is such a great family dog, if Olivia's counterpart. He's always quietly watching n guarding. Usually from the highest ground. In the sunshine. Our porch stairs are his favorite. But a sunny hill or mound will work too.

Does anyone else out there have a Beagle that always chooses the highest vantage point? 
I'm always reminded of the Snoopy cartoons! 

We've tried to train the dogs not to go upstairs - mostly because the baby gates made it so easy and we have white Berber up there - but Nick has always known I'd never chastise him and sneaks up to find a patch of sunshine near his family. Often I found him curled up below the crib while the kids slept... Lately he's been found in the kids bed (by invitation) and vice versa! 
The poor old dog can't escape 'em!
He's serious n somber (and perfectly behaved) for a Beagle... He rolls his eyes but allows the kids to drag him around the farm or into their playhouse on a leash. Please don't tell anyone that he's slept in a Disney castle and even worn baby clothes and played dress up. He would be mortified.
But between the "family sandwich" ...  
and channel surfin'... he KNOWS he's loved!

My buddy. Always a great source of smiles!

Hope you have a furry fiend friend that loves to snuggle too!