Always Moving Forward

It’s 5am here.
I’ve been up since 3:30am.
Drinking tea, sitting with cats, listening to the Other 2 snore…
I can’t sleep.
Again.
It’s nothing new. I have always had a hard time sleeping.
Insomnia is my oldest friend.

Today is a little different though.
Today, The Kid starts grade 12.
Already.
And I’m feeling my age…
Soon enough, she’ll be 18.
She’ll be deciding what she wants to do with her life…
She’ll want to move out.

And as much as time is always moving forward, and we all have to grow and go on, I’m not ready.
I’m not ready to be the parent of an adult.
She’s an amazing person.
I love her to the moon and back.
I’m very proud of the person she’s grown into.
And, I think she’ll do great things with her life.

But, I’m not ready to be the Mama of an adult child…
as if I have any choice!
LOL

Riding a Friend’s horse in a local parade. ❀

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Thankful Thursday

Things I am thankful for this week:

Sable eating her cookie…with previcox hidden inside. πŸ˜‰

a. Flax/apple cookies.
They make giving her a pill soooooo much easier.

Eating a bouquet of alfalfa flowers…

2. Fancy molasses. And oats.
Since she’s been on antibiotic pills instead of shots, we’ve had to be creative with getting them into her.
Without a fight, that is.
Molasses and oats in her beet pulp, with her ground up pills and it all gets slurped up in record time.

Trying to steal Ruby’s alfalfa bouquet…

c. She’s feeling better.
A whole lot better.
But, she’s also coming onto the last couple of days of antibiotics and I’m nervous about whether or not she’s going to stay better or relapse…

Garden tomatoes…

d. Fresh tomatoes from the garden.
This is the biggest haul of red tomatoes we’ve had since we moved to the Farm. It’s been challenging (to say the least) the get the garden off the ground. Especially since I had the whole technique down pat in the city…
It’s getting better every year, and that’s something to be thankful for.

Astrid enjoying her flowers while Ruby looks on…

5. Finally, these 2 jokers.
Because as hard as last Friday was, Astrid was right there to comfort Sable and make sure she was okay.
Thankfully, our vet was understanding about herd bound fools and as long as she was out of the way, she could stay.
And Ruby has been *my* rock while Sable was sick.
When your normal leaning rock of a horse needs to lean on you for a while and you need to lean somewhere too, well it was nice Ol’ Painty Face stepped up and let me use her to brush out some stress and anxiety on…

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.

An Update on the CinderBella Saga

When I last left y’all an update, we were waiting to hear back from the vet on our next steps in Sable’s care.
We were at the end of an 8 day course of Excenel shots, the swelling in her TMJ was still there, and she still needed her teeth done.

Friday morning, I heard from the vet.
I explained where we were at with Sable, and with a little bit of discussion, it was decided to go ahead with floating her teeth.
That’s done under sedation, so he cold try to take x-rays of her big head at the same time, and, if need be scope her to see if there was anything to see that way.

So, at 9:00 Friday morning, it was decided he would come for 1:30 to do her teeth…

And from there I was anxious as all effing get out, because my biggest baby was sick and needed her doctor…
After some coffee, breakfast and some much-needed meditation, I went out to the pasture with The Kid, and we coated the Palomino Princess in bug juice. Gave her a bit of a back rub, cleaned between her teats, rubbed her ears…all stuff to level my anxiety out without making her anxious.

First thing he did when he arrived was poke and prod at the lump on her jaw. And decide that he was for sure doing x-rays…
So, after a shot of sedation, which left our poor big baby swaying on her feet, he and his tech worked on getting an angle where hopefully he could see something that might help us understand what was going on.

Next few pics are from my phone, so not the greatest shots.
Unfortunately, there was far too much going on for me to bring out Voldemort, so these had to do…

Drugged for x-rays…

After the x-rays, he decided he wanted to stick a needle into the lump and see if there was any fluid in it. He asked me for some clean water, to wash the spot on Sable face, and I dashed up to the house for some…
As I got back, he said “She’s developed a bit of a nose bleed…” as I looked at the blood running out of her nostrils.
My response?
“Oh fuck!”
For which I immediately and automatically apologized…
I don’t know why.
I swear like a sailor, really. And it was an automatic response to yet another unknown thing happening that I had no control over.
But, we all had a good laugh about it, so it was fine.

The nosebleed did mean he was going to scope her though, because it was wholly and completely unexpected, and we kinda needed to know if there was more going on in there that caused it.

Yay!!
CinderBella was getting a camera shoved up her nose!!
Okay, not shoved…guided.
But still, good thing that mare was drugged.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

So, needle in the lump produced a teeny bit of fluid (which was likely joint fluid) and some blood.
Scoping showed inflammation in her lymph nodes and nothing more nefarious than that. Thank Epona!

And then it was time for teeth…because those *still* needed doing…
Speculum halter went on so he could have a good look, and then he took it off her, because a. she was a bit panicky that she couldn’t move her mouth and b. it probably put a hella lot of pressure on her TMJ which was already hurting…
So, he teeth were done like this:

The Kid held her halter the whole time…

She was not a happy mare about this whole thing. Not even a little bit. But, he got her done without extra sedation and without too much of a struggle. Once more, thank you Epona!!

After all was said and done, and our Big Girl was dozing in happy happy land, he gave me antibiotic pills for her and anti-inflammatories as well.
8 days on both and we’ll reassess from there.
And, when he called my Saturday morning with x-ray results, it turns out she has extra bone growth on the TMJ, which is most likely what the lump is.
Uh, did I mention it’s really hard to get a good x-ray of a TMJ in the best conditions, let alone on a drugged and wobbly horse in a pasture??
But, it was worth doing for the small amount of extra knowledge we got from it.

drugged and snoring softly in my face… ❀

So, now it’s Sunday, and the big question is, how’s my biggest baby doing after a couple of days of previcox and more antibiotics?
Check her out…

She’d just gotten up from a lying down nap…first one I’ve seen her have in a while.
Hubby says he’s seen her laying down when he leaves in the morning though, so that’s good!

She heard me coming and decided to get up…

“Hey Mama…got an apple snax for me??”

Those ears…
That posture…
You’d never know she was sick!!
❀ ❀ ❀

“So? Treats?”

Yup, treats.
Because the easiest way to get the Palomino Princess to take her anti-inflammatory is in a flax/apple cookie.
I’m still working on a reliable way to get the antibiotic pills in…without an argument.
LOL!
That’s the key. πŸ˜‰

And now, my friends, you know what I know about how our Sable is doing.

Catching y’all up…

I’ve been working on writing this post now for a few days…
There seems to be so much going on, that I don’t know where to start, or how to put things into words.
And yet, its typical summer time things…

Weed/water the garden
Care for the animals
Cut, rake, bale hay
Clean the house
Make the meals
Clean the kitchen
Start again the next day…

I’m finding myself exhausted before the day even begins.
And I’m trying really hard *not* to whine about it.
Which is a huge part of why writing this post has sat and sat and sat…

I am very happy to share that the garden is on track to produce the best crop this year.
We should have a bumper crop of bush beans, if flowers are any indication.
There are crazy amounts of flowers on the zucchini…I’m so excited for a lot of zucchini. I think I’m probably the only person in the world who *hopes* for a huge zucchini crop.
I love it in everything. And now, I’ve found a pickle recipe that uses zucs instead of cukes! I so want to try that!

Daily watering has made a huge difference.
That’s something I struggle with, because we haven’t yet fixed the hose tap on the house, so we’re running a hose from the yard hydrant over by the garage.
That’s a couple hundred feet…and my hose is holy.
OMG
That sounds like a terrible country song!!

“Waterin’ ma garden
With a holy hose
I’m waterin’ more weeds
Than ma tomatoes”

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Point is…I need a new hose. Or a few to put together, that won’t water the weeds while I’m trying to water the food forest.

Oh and we had a heat wave the last week or so…
It was hotter than…well, it was hot.
We lost almost half of our meat chicks.
Talk about frustration.
These guys are supposed to be our winter food, but if I lose them early, it makes it so much harder to get enough put up to feed everyone through to next year.
I did contact the hatchery and had a good chat with the owner, who gave me some tips for next time.
Fingers crossed that all grow well for us now!

Sable is feeling much better!
Though I’ll tell you, she’s probably so sick of me by now.
I’m all over her ever day to make sure she’s feeling better.
I have been so worried about her…let me tell you, lose one and it breaks your confidence. Or, at least it did mine.
So, I’m trying not to be a pain in the Vet’s ass, while still trying to make sure that our Cinder-Bella is healthy.
Add into that my ridiculous anxiety about making phone calls…sweet merciful crap, now *that’s* a pain in the ass!
Like when we finished Sable’s shots, and we found she was losing skin in spots…I had to call and find out if this was a side effect of the drugs, or was this something else.
Then, we found the same thing going on with Ruby on her chest.
Turns out, it was reactions to horsefly bites.
Something I should have recognized, and been able to handle without a vet call, but I panicked.
Jeez, I’ve always prided myself on not being “that owner” who calls over every little thing…yet, here I am.

But, the good thing about the Girl’s skin…
I did a betadine scrub on them, to clean up the loose skin, coated them in SWAT (to protect from the damn bugs) and now everyone is good again.
All the hair has grown back in.
So I’m lighting daily smudges, as the wind allows.
That’s the only thing that’s effectively combating the stupid horse flies. That layer of smoke on the mare’s coats gives them a couple of hours protection after they leave the safety of the smudge smoke.

I did get a chance to photograph a lovely prairie sunset the other day:

See the mares at the bottom?
❀

So, y’know, I’m trying to focus on the beauty and splendor of country living, instead of whining all the time.
LOL
Sometimes though, it feels like all I’m doing is whining.
πŸ˜‰

Soon enough, harvest will happen.
*Then* I’ll whine, out loud, often and with gusto.
As we put chickens and pigs in the freezer, I pull out the pressure canner for veggies, and tomato products, and with a whole lotta Bambi Dancing luck, we get a deer or two to add to the freezer.
Then I’ll be whiney and tired, more than I am now, and I’ll be longing for the quite days of hay, weeding and watering.

Winter is coming.

Monday Morning Ritual

Monday mornings, especially now that it’s warmed up, means coffee on the deck, with a toast to my favorite Girl…

Lovely bum!

This past weekend, on the hottest day of the year, her skull finally made it from the cage to the maceration tub.
Along with some other bones.
Now, we wait.
Change the water every couple of weeks.
And wait some more.
Hopefully, with the heat of summer full upon us now, maceration won’t take long, and I’ll have my sweet mare’s skull clean and ready for decorating.
And I know it sounds cold and awful to be cleaning her skull, but I have been a bone collector for years…longer than Hubby and I have been together.
Truth is, if I *didn’t* keep Cookie’s skull, I know I would regret it.
😦
I always knew I would keep hers…I just thought it would be another 15 years from now before she gave it to me.

 ❀

Monday mornings remind me how much I miss her sassyness, her demands for coffee and gingersnaps, those breaths of horsie breath in my face…

34 weeks today.

From her colic 2 years ago…it really was the beginning of the end for her…all the money and vet visits in the world just prolonged things, and we still had no answers until the very end.

And I still miss her like it just happened today…

13

Monday was Cookie’s 13th birthday.
I had in my mind for a while, long before she passed, that I wanted to do a cake smash with her.
This was supposed to be her year for it…

Instead, her herdmates enjoyed her cake for her.
Seems like it should have been a bittersweet shoot, but it turned out to be great fun. ❀

Hubby offers some cake to Sable…

He mighta smooshed it into her muzzle a wee bit…being it’s a cake smash and all… πŸ˜‰

Ruby’s turn…you can see icing on Astrid’s muzzle…

That tongue…lol!

And then Hubby set the cake down, so all 3 could enjoy it at once…

Ruby:
“Y’know what I like?”

“CAAAAAAKKKKEEE!”

And then our dear sweet Blonde Girl had a moment with her friend’s halter…
πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Comedy Plus, image-in-ing, and Create With Joy.

The Thing About Heart Horses…

Last week, I read Anna Blake’s post on this very topic…
Heart Horses.

Initially, I had a very negative reaction to the post.
The angry monkeys in my head demanded their typewriters to bang out their thoughts…

And then I stepped back and thought about it all.
I came to this…

I have, since a month or so after bringing her Home, called Cookie my heart horse.
Why?
Because to me, she was/is/always will be the most special, most influential equine in my life.
It took a whole lotta *something* to get her and I together, and once it was done, there was only death to separate us.

So, does that mean my others…Ruby, Sable, Astrid…are any *less* special to me because they’re not Cookie?
I don’t think so.
They are who they are, and they are special in their own ways.

Sable is my accident prone, but rock solid, lean on me Mama I can hold you up, bombproof horse.
Ruby is my challenge Mama all day every day, if it ain’t my idea I ain’t doing it, horse.
Astrid is my happy Little Red who loves brushings and cuddles and forehead rubs and those rare times I let her lick me…dang that mare likes to lick things!! lol

They all hold a special place in my heart.

Unlike Cookie though, they were all pretty darn quick to come to the charm of The Food Lady.
Cookie was a force of her own, she gave nothing freely, and I earned every little thing she offered me.

When you have to spend hours on end sitting, waiting, leaving, and coming back day after day, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you have to stand and wait in -30*c cold, hands uncovered because gloves are an unknown, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you walk out the door one morning, after so many mornings like the ones above, and that horse calls and meets you at the gate…
When that horse drops her muzzle so you can gently blow and greet her…

So that was the foundation of our relationship.
Me being patient (for the most part), and her trying to decide if I was worth trusting.
And when she offered her trust, it was a high like nothing I have ever experienced.
How could I not love her a wee bit more than the others?
How could I not give her the biggest chunk of my heart?

But don’t think it was all pretty and rainbows, because it wasn’t.
It was hard work.
It was a lot of wanting to give up.
It was a lot of frustration for both of us.
It was her avoiding me for days on end.
It was a lot of heartache, as I wondered if I was in over my head (short answer? yes).
There was mud and blood(mostly mine) and bruises(also mine) and shit…and tears.
It was a lot of days ending in tears.

Oh, but those days, few and far between in the beginning, when she’d let slip some normal horse behaviour, or she’d show me a cheeky moment (nibbling my braid was a favorite), or she’d just choose to stand next to me and be…
I’ve said it over and over…it was like she was my dealer, and those bits of trust she let slip were the crack I lived for.

Yeah.
She was, and always will be, my Heart Horse.
There will never be another one like her.
And y’know what?
I’m glad for that.
Because I know and recognize that, I can love others, give them a spot in my heart, and give them what they need, without comparing them to HER.
My love for her does not diminish the love for the others…any others.
And, quite frankly, loving a horse like Cookie just plain ain’t easy…it is…well, it’s exhausting

At the end of the day, I know the term bugs people.
I see the eye rolls, the little laughs, the snorts of derision…
My favorite (said quietly, but within my hearing) “Only fluffy horse lovers call any horse that…” implying that I couldn’t possibly be a real horse person.
Meh.
That’s okay, because, truthfully, people bug me like the term bugs them. lol
I’d much rather be with the horses.
(Okay, I’ll grant, some people are okay. πŸ˜‰ )
When I use the term, I’m not using it for others.
I’m using it for me…for her…for us.

And if that bothers other people, or makes them think less of me as a horsewoman, that’s okay too.
I’ve never much cared what people think of me, so how someone else feels about my usage of a few simple words…not my problem.

When I got back into this life of horses, it was for her:

❀

It was always about her…
To the horse world here, she may not have been much to look at, she may not have been anything more than a broodmare, she may not have been anything more than a number run through at auction…
But to me, she was the world.
My Heart Horse.

Aaaaaand….
Now I’ll just take the typewriters away from the angry monkeys and go on about my day.