Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where Did The Time Go?

One more class with Marilyn, today, and then I believe we're done. No finals, so yay for that!

Also a meeting on the internships so we can get the proper packet of papers, today. If Marilyn managed to work that bit out with JJ.

Graduation the 9th. It appears that only a few of the people in my program will actually be walking at graduation, which kind of makes me sad, but I'm glad they're letting me walk with my class instead of waiting until next fall when I've finished my internship. I just won't get the actual degree paper until I've finished the internship.

Gotta get out there and get to riding the big mare and the little red gelding. They're going to the sale next month, because nobody ever rides them and I can use the money to buy something that Farmmom can ride that knows its job, so that I can get my hands on miss Etta while we're working to actually train her on the cows.

I feel bad selling them when I don't know if they're gonna go to a good home or not, but that's life. If I can find them homes elsewhere before the sale the end of this month, I will, but it hasn't happened yet so I'm not pinning my hopes on it.

It'll be tough, turning loose of them. They're not my favorite horses and I'm not especially attached, but I took on a responsibility when I bought them and not knowing if they're going good places or not is hard.

But, such is life. I can't afford to keep them around if no one is going to ride them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just a quick note

Dogs are fine, which is a major relief.

I'm home for a few minutes to check on them and let them out while FarmBro takes Youngest Nephew to the doctor... munchkin has another ear infection, and I'm sitting with him today so that FarmBro won't have to miss work.

We've been watching Las Vegas (his pick, he liked the flashy lights) and munching crackers and popcorn.

And cuddling. Lots of cuddling, which I don't mind in the least.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What the hell kind of world...

Just a few days ago I was praising the virtues of living in a small town. Unfortunately we're not immune to the bad shit, either.

Over the last few months there have been a couple of poisonings of people's dogs.

This evening, I went to bring the pups in from the yard, and found Farmdog gnawing on a big juicy ham joint.... that I didn't give her.

I took it away from her just in case, thinking that the step grandpa had given it to her and forgot to mention it. When he got back from his walk I asked and no, he didn't give it to her.

I don't know if it was poisoned or not... but I'm not taking any chances. I'll be watching both Farmdog and Fuzzy Pup (no actual evidence that he got into it at all, but I'm paranoid) like a hawk tonight.

The offending bone is in a plastic baggie in the kitchen, I've located the place it must've been thrown over the fence from, and a call has been placed to our vet, letting him know that we may be making an emergency run to see him.

It's gonna be a long night....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things That'll Make You Smile...

Sitting on the porch on a warm spring day:

A breeze carrying the scent of freshly turned earth from the next block.

Noticing your dog, who has a notorious dislike of winged creatures of all kinds in her territory, very pointedly ignoring the pair of tweeters that have set up house in a mud daub nest under the eaves of the porch.

Folks waving as they drive by, or hollering out the window asking "How's your folks?"

Two young boys passing by, meandering and laughing, one of them popping wheelies. In his wheelchair. As his friend pushes from behind, running as hard as he can.

I love living in a small town.

Spring Is Here!

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the faint green haze of buds on the trees has sprung, nearly overnight, into tiny vibrant little leaves.

And I'm inside cleaning today.

Ah well when I get all the cleaning and such done I'll haul my big pot out into the sunshine and plant my baby spinach.

Life seems to be full of the good and the bad, lately. Beautiful weather, finally feeling the release of the cold grip of winter. There's a difference between a warm winter day and real spring... a feeling in the air.

And then there's sadness. A guy I knew since highschool killed himself last week. We weren't really close, but he was tight with my brother.

I found out last night that a good friend of mine that circumstances have prevented me from keeping in very close touch with, lost his child when it was six days old. I ache for him and his wife.

So. Smile and rejoice because spring is here, at last.

But never forget that there is sadness in the world, as well.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I swear, I have real posts percolating. Local events have precluded me being able concentrate on anything but how stupid people are, and other depressing things.

Soon as my head straightens out a bit, I'll get posts out.

Meanwhile in a mini-update, I got to ride in the new indoor last week, hauled Etta up. The extra room is nice!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ah Plans, How They Change

Well, we didn't get to the sale yesterday. Went to get the trailer and discovered that at some point, somehow, the rim on the front driver's side tire had gotten bent. We discovered this because the tire was flat, and when we aired it up, past a certain pressure the bead on the back broke loose to release some of the air. So, we hauled it into town to get the tire fixed.

When they took it off, they discovered the badly bent rim, on the inside. So, we ordered another one, which will be in around noon today, and they'll replace it.

So, we'll haul the cattle to the other sale barn on Friday, instead.

Plus, I got invited to a poker game on Thursday night, where I'll be the token female, I'm quite sure, but for five bucks an evening of bsing and playing cards is a good deal.

But, I got my presentation written for class today, which is a good thing, I just have to gather up all the bits I'll be talking about, and I'm ready.

And, not being gone all day yesterday gave me some time to clean up Grandpa's saddle, which I'm still working on conditioning. A post on before and after pics, and a little more explanation on my method of conditioning leather, is upcoming.

Also upcoming, for those of my readers who are gun people but not horse people, is a post on caring for your leather holsters and carry belts. If I can come up with some good examples, I'll post pictures on that, too.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This Week...

Tomorrow: Cattle sale. Looking for more jeans in the irregulars section of the western store in that town. What can I say, irregulars in Wranglers are rarely badly disfigured, and they're about half price of the fancy stuff.

Wednesday: Catch horses, place in pen for easy loading Thursday. Oil my saddle and put a quick clean on grandpa's... since I fully intend to steal it for the day Thursday so I don't have to strip a saddle to switch horses. Set up a pot and plant my baby spinach. Start the rest of my herbs in the little hothouse thingymabobber we got today. Go to class, do a presentation on bits that I haven't written yet.

Thursday: Haul horses to the barn, and ride in the fancy indoor. I gotta do it just once, and I got the go ahead. I figure I'll take Monkey and Etta both up. Monkey will show off because he is a show off, and Etta will make the rest of the horses look like nags because she's smart and can do twice what the older horses can in some cases.

Friday: Um. I dunno. There'll be something I'm sure.

Saturday: Run away with Best Friend R, and funkify my hair. 'Tis time to be a little weird.

Next few days are gonna be busy, though. I'm lovin it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Farmmom loves her garden, and we all love the products of it.

What we don't love is the expense of starting it. Buying started plants is expensive, but when your garden is out in the boonies where you can't exactly shelter it, a good started plant has a better chance than a seedling. And when you can get ten times more space out in the boonies than in the back yard... it's not a difficult decision.

So, this year, I'll be starting a lot of our plants from seeds, on the porch in the day and in the garage at night and in bad weather. This also means that we can do a lot more variety than we could otherwise, because the variety of started plants can suck.

So, tomorrow I'll get my seedling trays and a bunch of seeds, and some good planting soil. When the weather folks say we're gonna get about a week's worth of good temperatures (it's 38 degrees outside right now, and the lovely rain we've been getting is turning to snow, which makes me sad) I'll get everything planted and germinating.

This year, in addition to all of our other edibles, I'm going to buy some herb seeds, and raise some of our favorite herbs and spices. I'm thinking about going out on a limb and trying to grow some garlic in a pot, too. If I can grow it in a pot on the porch, then we can probably grow it in the garden, and we can enjoy fresh garlic.

I don't mind starting the seedlings. In fact, it's my favorite part of growing things. Planting something, and seeing it come up. Don't get me wrong the veggies are great, but the time between the plant sprouting and growing strong, and harvest, is just... necessary.

Seeing that seedling pop up through the soil though, that feels like accomplishment.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I've been trying to help some of my online pals understand the allure of country music.

Granted, today, sometimes it's hard to tell the country from the southern rock or the hip hop except by if the singer is wearing a hat or not... but the older country, now, that's a different story.

And those songs were stories. They told you about how that ugly old Strawberry Roan (Chris LeDoux, if you're curious, and Strawberry Roan is the song title) couldn't be ridden, or how he tried to make it to the rodeo on time, and failed.

Those songs told about Momma and Daddy and how they always told their kids to stand tall and deal straight, or all about that little girl down the road and how in love he was with her.

They gave dating advice and life advice and while they accepted that young men and women were going to get wild and go out and have a good time they never advocated anything more serious than a little foolin' around on a bench seat, or a few beers.

If you're interested in that kind of stuff, Chris LeDoux, George Strait, and Garth Brooks will give you a nice mainstream start, and you can branch out from there.

The real old country, the true beginnings of country, told stories of cowboys lost in stampedes, that party at the railhead where Jim got his lights knocked out, whiskey and women and riding for the brand. Cause those songs were written by cowboys, sitting around a fire on a drive, trying to keep from dying of boredom, or riding herd all through the night, trying to stay awake.

I've heard honest to goodness old cowboys, cattle drives and bunkhouse kind of cowboys, singing the songs they learned in their youth. It sends chills, let me tell you.

But truly, the thing that I love about country is that the older stuff, the story songs, can be replicated by anyone with a decent hand at a guitar and a passable singing voice.

Maybe it's me, but I don't think that folks should always have to pay a cover to get entertainment, and some of the best times I've had were accompanied by a six string acoustic, not a sound system.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the new country too. Some of those songs are just fun.

Chicken Fried by the Zac Brown Band, for instance.

XXL by Keith Anderson is another one.

Well, here's a couple from Trent Willmon that will show you what I mean. If you don't smile or tap your toe watching these, I will surrender:

Beer Man and Dixie Rose Deluxe's

Ya'll enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Dunno what it is today but I've felt like crud all day.

Blog topics are fermenting, but I just don't have the attention span to put them down right now.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Drama, Drama, Drama!

So, as part of our Intro to Riding Instruction class, we had to do an Event Planning exercise. Which is only there so that the instructors have a little slave labor during the annual FFA Judging competition.

Anyway, the whole class was assigned tasks and I was voluntold to be on the cleaning crew/all around gofer.

"Do we need to dress up for this?"

"No, you'll be behind the scenes, just look like a human."

I can do that.

Show up this morning, early, to clean up around the barn so that people can be impressed. Only to discover that no one has swept either of the tie racks all semester.

Ugh. So spend about an hour longer than I had planned (somehow, I became the leader of the barn monkeys) shoveling blow dirt off of the cement and sweeping up months worth of detritus, after three of the people who were supposed to be on cleanup crew simply failed to show, and one declared "I have to show my horse in this thing," and left. Mind, this was an hour and a half before the show was to start. I could have understood "hey I have to kick out on this early cause I gotta get ready" but this girl left the barn. I think she went and got breakfast.

Then haul chairs and tables, finish that just as the buses were heading our way, only to be told "Um, we need you presentable. Like... now."

Standard rule for any of you who don't know, for any western event, is that anyone who will be in the arena must wear a long sleeved western shirt. If a hat is worn it must be a cowboy hat.

Except that I had been told I didn't need to be attired that way, so I had shown up in a t-shirt and hoodie, with my hair in a pony tail and a ball cap on. And all of my western wear was... you guessed it... at the Old Homestead, forty five minutes of drive time plus a thirty minute road construction wait away.

So, I booked it to El Marto Del Wal and snagged me a tank top, some makeup to hide the fact that I haven't slept right in... a while... and a hair brush and clip.

I had hat hair, people, something had to be done and a bun in a clip was as good as it was gonna get.

Then across the highway to the western wear, tack, feed, tool and tire store, where, miracle of miracles, they were having a clearance sale. Snagged two western shirts because I didn't have time to try them on and I wasn't sure if the one I really liked was going to fit right, and off to the Stop N Rob to change in the bathroom and snag myself some form of caffeine.

Ya'll, went from grubby barn monkey to semi-presentable (by my standards... I think I did damn good for the tools I had, but I'd have been happier to get a call at five in the morning saying "hey we're gonna need you up front") with all of that running around, in thirty minutes.

I'm nothing, if not efficient.

I then proceeded to run my puppy butt off for the rest of the day, picking up the slack where people decided to stand around with their thumb up their butt instead of being useful.

Next time I get told I won't need to be lookin good, while I'm that far from home... I'm bringing what I need anyway.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vicious Circle

I have failed to link this, mostly because I've been too busy laughing my skinny white butt off.

Alan, over at Snarkybytes has put together a podcast with some of the folks from the Gunblogger Conspiracy and they are rolling right along.

Head on over to Vicious Circle and check it out.

They're not slick, they're not perfect, but by gawd they are amusing as all get out.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


The gym at my old highschool was roaring today. Big mats, one white and one red, were spread across the rubberized floor that's only six years past it's recommended replacement date, children of most ages were dressed in tiny little singlets and parents and grandparents were hollering and cheering their heads off.

That's right, it's Peewee Wrestling time.

Farm Bro and Sis In Law, in the time honored style of parents everywhere, decided that it was time for Eldest Nephew to get involved in sports.

Farm Bro did Peewee Wrestling, and had a fine time, and Eldest Nephew is a natural at rolling around on the floor grappling with someone, so Peewee Wrestling it was. Besides, Peewee Wrestling was about to start when Sis In Law got the idea in her head.

Today was his first meet, and while he was up against a little monster in his first match (ok, so the kid wasn't a monster, he just had more experience and E.N. was a bit distracted with all the noise and hullabaloo) and got pinned in thirteen seconds, his second match was a thing to behold.

They faced off, E.N. in red, his opponent in blue. The whistle blew and it was on like Donkey Kong!

Ya'll, it looked like a red and blue pinwheel across that mat as they rolled over and over and over. Just log rollin over each other...

No pin, and they tied on points, so they had to do a tie-breaker... Of course, they didn't figure that out and the boys thought they were done, so E.N. sort of lost the momentum, and got pinned in the tie breaker, but by gawd he went down trying!

Farm Bro and Sis In Law were helping out... SIL was keeping scores and Farm Bro was timing.... But, it being small town Peewee Wrestling, E.N. wrestled on their mat both times.

SIL managed to keep it pretty well together, but FarmBro was on the mat waving the foam bat that they gave him to tap the ref with when time was up around and beating the mat with it...

Which says nothing about Farmmom and I... Each kid gets to have two people at the mat when they're wrestling, which meant that since Farm Bro and SIL were both technically staff today, Farmmom and I got to get up to the mat and cheer the munchkin on.

Ya'll... I thought Farmmom was going to crawl out on that mat and hold the other kid down so E.N. could pin him, a couple of times. Both of us were hollering and cheering and pounding on the mat... We looked like crazy people.

Which actually means we looked like every other family member at mat-side.

Munchkin fell into a great weight class this time... there were only three of them in it, so he was guaranteed a medal... It helped sooth his injured pride, from getting pinned so quick his first match, and that bronze looks pretty darned shiney at that age.

After his second match everyone made much of him and folks across the gym thought he'd won... and he did, in every way that counts. He had fun, he tried hard, and he gave the other kid a sportsmanlike hug at the end of the match.

Hey, they're six.

Next weekend he travels, and I wish his parents much luck keeping him and Younger Nephew under control in a new place.

Today, I only managed to keep Younger Nephew settled down by dint of bribes of candy and chips.

And, of course, squeezins.