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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Intentions

My online bud, the California Cowgirl posted some of her intentions for the new year.  Here are some of mine.

1. You're going to see and hear more of me.  I have several posts plotted out but unwritten.

2.  See #1.  I think I need to post a few more photography lessons.  From what I've been seeing you guys really need to understand where the sweet spot is.  Hello this is a photography class, not an X rated film.

3.  I intend to promote myself more.

4. I need to take time out to just be. I've been far to busy being busy.

5. I need to connect on a regular basis with my friends and family.

6. I think I need to redesign this blog. The music is boring me, God only knows what it's doing to you.

7. I will diet and exercise. I will I will I will.

8. Oh yes, now that I'm dragged into it kicking and screaming, I will try to be more tolerant of our US criminal justice system. I am going back to court in January.  If I could only find that prescription pad and burn it. Oh well.

9.  Howard Street has been quiet lately, but that doesn't mean the loons are gone. I don't think this counts as an intention, maybe it should be counted as an addendum to point 1.  Say point 1c. (Rereading this point 8 should be point 1b or maybe we're at point 1..a..27)

Have the Happiest New Year.  We were going to go away, but Tommy went to see War Horse and now he's so depressed, he just wants to stay at home.   I, personally, have no intention of seeing it.  I remember Bambi, Dumbo and ET.  There are certain movies I know better than to go see.  If any of ya'll go, I'll be interested in your reaction. 

This isn't a cheery ending.  So pooh on that. We are all going to have a lovely year and that's my last word on the subject.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day in Court - 2

Well this happy trip into the US justice system was the polar opposite of my previous experience. First of all the defendants, for the most part, did not look like solid citizens who through no fault of their own ended up in court. Nope, they looked like they crawled out from under rocks, slithered out of flop houses, or wandered in after a lifetime spent on the street.  It was almost as if they were in a contest to see who could be nominated the dirtiest, smelliest and most pitiful person there. And, none of them had an attorney, public defender or otherwise.

The judge was also different.  The judge before was bored, but respectful.  This guy came across like some unhappy combination of the Queen of Hearts and the stereotypical wild west hanging judge.  The first thing he did after entering the courtroom was bang down the gavel and scream that if he saw or heard a cellphone, the owner of said cell phone was off to jail in contempt of court.

Then he called the names of several people in the courtroom and asked them to come up to the bench.  They came forward to see if they could get out of their charges.  One by one they told their pitiful story and after each tale was told, the judge slammed down the gavel and screamed denied.  Somewhere around the third or fourth sorry soul, he squinched up his eyes and stared out into the room.  "Was that a sound I heard out of one you?" he sneered.  "The next one of you who opens his or her mouth, is on their way to jail in contempt of court."

Now I believe it was the fifth or sixth loser, who stumbled up on two canes, carrying a canister of oxygen.  It seems she had been caught in possession of a large amount of marijuana.  "I'm a very sick woman, Your Honor," she wheezed. "Do I look like the sort of person who could smoke a large amount of marijuana?

"You don't need to be the smoker, to be in possession," he said, "DENIED."

Now if I was a member of this miserable and dwindling group, I think it would be occurring to me that this was a real losing proposition and my best course of action would be to tell the state's attorney I wanted a jury trial and find an attorney any attorney.  The odds had to be better.

But no,  they each stumbled up and told why they were innocent and each one was denied.

After about two hours of having all of this fun, my new best friend, came up and told me that the defendant wanted a jury trial and I was free to go.  So roasting, this courtroom was hot and yes coming down with another migraine I left.

Well, gentle readers, this the case of the stolen prescription pad, and the pages that were sold from it.   So, there very well could be more fun days in court to come.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Poking My Nose Out

Today, I do not have to go to court. YEAH.

Well they say you should always begin a story at the beginning and this one starts this past spring.  There I was at work, minding my own business, when the phone rang.  Now normally the office assistant answers the phone, but she was at lunch. So being the proactive little dooby that I am, I answered it.  Big Mistake.  The person on the line wanted to know if a certain doctor was on staff, and when I said no, that doctor hasn't been here for years, the voice on the line said and I quote "Got Her."

Well it turned out that the person on the line was a cop and the her in question was using a stolen prescription pad to write scripts for Oxycontin and Percocet.  "Hmm, interesting," I thought to myself as I hung up, little knowing what was headed my way.

Well folks, what was heading my way was subpoenas and my new career as a state's witness.  Try as I might to wriggle out, there was no wriggling.  I was caught and I was going to court.

Court Appearance #1

If you think when you are a witness, you are treated the same way the jurors are.  Forget it, you aren't.  You have to sit on a hard bench, in the courtroom until you're particular case is called.  I guess they keep you like a trapped rat so you won't bolt. I was forced to sit there for four miserable hours while my state's attorney, during breaks in the action, would walk over, point, and tell the defence attorney that her "star witness" was here.  Lucky right?

Anyway during my four hours I saw and heard some interesting things. All of the defendants looked like executives or clean cut coeds.  They were dressed as if to say "look see how respectable I am.  You couldn't possibly think a solid citizen like myself could have possibly done that?"  The attorneys were all dressed in black suits and, when they weren't working, sat around gossiping or doing other meaningful things like playing Angry Birds on an ipad.

My favorite defendant,  I kid you not, was seen distributing drugs on a church parking lot and when the police caught him, he had forty bags of marijuana in his underpants.  Let that thought sink in.  What was he wearing maternity underwear?  I could see maybe eight bags, but forty.  Jeesh.  Just as I was calculating how get got all of those bags in there, (did I mention that they were four very long and  very boring hours) my new best friend the state's attorney came over and told me that our defendant took a plea deal and I was free to go.  So, cold, the courtroom was freezing, starving and developing what turned out to be the beginnings of a migraine, I left.

Stay tuned for Court Appearance #2

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I Am Thankful For My Girls

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I thought I'd show you my human girls. Have a wonderful weekend. Whoo Whoo post coming soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What To Say Next

Well, it's been awhile and I've been having trouble deciding what to talk about.

First my cat Squig is love.  It's a riot, as is Dweezil's "gag me" reaction. I think his head  (Squigg's) might explode if he doesn't get to tell everyone all about it.  Oh yes, he's been fixed for years, so go figure where this is coming from.

Then there's Jolie's great escape. She's been working on figuring out how to open gates and last week, she let herself out and actually got to run with the big boys. It was probably the happiest day of her life. 

Oh yes and then there's a few nagging questions, such as:

Who reading this calls it underwear and who calls it lingerie?

And why when horses have such gracefully arched necks, do the western pleasure folks seem determined to want to see them pushing peanuts around arenas with there noses?

And then I've been watching "The Fabric of the Universe" and "Through a Wormhole."  Trust me those two shows will get you thinking.  Just as soon as I've watched them both enough times to be able to speak somewhat, sort of intelligently about the subject matter, I give you my take on some of this mind blowing material.

Anyway, I hope you all are having a great week.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Putting My Big Foot In It

There's a joke that's going around here, and I'm sure it's out west as well.  It goes:

Do you know what the difference is between the 1970's and Today?

In the 1970's we had Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope.
Now we have no jobs, no cash and no hope. Sigh

We went to a dinner party the past Friday and the talk was all about the Occupy Wallstreeters.
As you can guess, the majority present had very little sympathy with those camping out in city centers across the country.  Those of us in our fifties, myself included, worked our way through college, started out in crumby jobs and saved to get where we are today. While those lazy lay abouts would rather camp out singing peace songs than work.

Then I got to thinking.  I worked my way through college answering phones in a call center.  The only way someone could do that today, is if their name is Indira or Ramesh and they live in Bangalore. My husband worked construction and that has dried up.

And then I was talking to another friend who has a multi site practice and he was bragging that he has sent all of his bookkeeping to Pakistan and his billing to India, because it saved him a lot of money.  I felt like jumping for his throat and asking if being a bazillionaire wasn't good enough?If he honestly felt that if he wasn't a gazillionaire, he was nothing. So, instead, I asked him, what about the kids graduating from school.  What jobs are going to be there for them if people like you send everything offshore? And he said, "Well I guess they're going to be in a lot of trouble.

So as calmly as I could, I told him I had been a classics major in college and would he like to take a guess as to why Rome fell. Then I gave him a hint, and told him that it had nothing to do with gladiatorial games and debauched sex. When he came up empty.  I said well, the Romans had put all engineering, all manufacturing and everything else in the provinces and the only folks living in Rome were the very rich and the very poor, who lived off the government.  So the when Barbarians took over the provinces, it was all over.

Sound familiar?  When Obama talks about creating jobs, I wonder how many college and graduate school graduates want to work on road crews? Why isn't anyone saying anything about how most of our manufacturing is now done in China and most of our IT is in India. And now bookkeeping is going to Pakistan? Why isn't any politician gutsy enough to say "tax the hell out of companies that take their jobs out of America."  Whatever happened to "made in America." We don't have to create new jobs, we just have to bring the ones we used to have, back.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hello It's October

I've just got a few minutes, but guess what? It's pouring down snow.  It's October 29th and it's pouring down snow.  I am so not ready for this.  If I wanted snow in October, I'd be living in Wyoming, not Maryland. I took this shot five minutes ago.

Doesn't this look like January?  This is what I expect October to look like.  I took this picture last week.

Oh well, what can I say?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

She Beat Them Both

Kitt and Jolie share a two acre pasture with two off the track Thoroughbred race horses, Izzy and Promise.  I was at the far end of the pasture giving apple slices to my girls, when Izzy decided that she was going to chase Jolie away and get her slices.  Well Kitt was not going to have any of that, so she let Miss Izzy know, in no uncertain terms that was not happening.  In response to a less than gentle reminder, Izzy took off at a dead run across the pasture.  Promise, seeing Izzy run, thought, "oh boy, a race. That weenie girl is not going to win and so he took off after her.  And folks, my five month old Quarterhorse foal, seeing all of this, took off.  She came from behind and beat them both to the fence. Yep, my five month old foal beat two adult racehorses who were running flat out.  Suffice it to say, Izzy and Promise were so mortified, they refused to show their faces.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bits of This and That

Work is insane and when I'm not there, I'm at the barn.  So much for free time. I'm glad none of you can see the inside of my house.  YIKES.  Anyway, here are my favorite shots from this week. I took them the few days it wasn't raining.  This weather pattern doesn't give me a really good feeling about this winter.  But I'm not going to anticipate blizzards. Time enough to do that when they are actually on the horizon. 

I had all sorts of plans this fall about doing a lesson on September light. Well it has to be sunny to do that, so the rain put and end to that good idea. Oh well. Have a great week everyone and I'll hopefully be back next week with more shots.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jolie at Four Months Old Angel Halo/Devil Horns

Jolie is really most of the time the sweetest of peas.  She comes running up to the fence when she hears my car, she follows me around the pasture when I'm working with Kitt.  Here are her accomplishments thus far.

1.   She stood like a real little trooper for the fairer, in fact he said she was remarkably well behaved and the best foal he had ever trimmed. 

2.   On a lead line she can walk in circles and figure eights as well as just going forward being led on both sides.

3.  She  only flinched a little when I put the bath towel on her back and now it's such non item, I'm thinking of moving on to a saddle blanket next.

But then just when you think this is the best baby horse in the world, the halo starts to slip and two little devil horns sprout out of the top of her head.  Here's what she does, she gets a certain look on her face, she flattens her ears and starts switching her tail.  Then she bunches up turns her back on you, wiggles her butt as she gets ready to kick, and receives an immediate smack on the rump. After a "what the hell" run, she comes back all nice and sweet, but the horns are still there and then she turns and gets another smack on the rump.  There are some times when I'm working with her, I feel like a monster.  This bad behavior has returned. She hasn't done it for over a month. But most of the time, she really is the sweetest of peas.

PS:  I never work with her for over five minutes.  She's just a baby and needs to play.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And Then There Were Three

We decided to introduce a gelding into the pasture with Kitt and Jolie since it was time little Miss Jolie learned some manners from another adult horse.  To say she was becoming a brat was an understatement.  With a lot of consulting with the barn owner, we decided to introduce Mr. Promise to our little group.  The only trouble with that, was that Mr. Cougar, the alpha gelding, boss horse and grand imperious poobah of all was not happy with  the situation.

Here we have Mr. Cougar letting Mr. Promise understand just how not happy he is with this.

Mr. Cougar is the guy with the ears back and Mr. Promise is the guy running away.  Well about half way down the pasture, it occurred to Mr. Promise that there was absolutely nothing Mr. Cougar to do to him.

So he proceeded to turn around and gallop back to the girls, putting on a big show when he got there.

Check out the girl to the left, that's Miss Magic, the alpha mare and Cougar's girlfriend.  Well she was so appalled by this revolting development, that she turned and let Cougar have it.

Well if Wednesday was Jolie's bad day, Saturday was certainly Cougar's.  And as for Miss Jolie, her bratty behavior has evaporated, for now at least.  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Very Bad Day - Jolie

Jolie:  Here's what happened, yesterday.  My mother was not paying any attention to me at all.  She was spending all of her time making goo goo eyes over the fence at the boy horses.  Just when I thought this was going to be the boringest day of my life, Maia and Tommy show up with carrots. YUMMY.

Well I went over to them to get my carrot pieces and do you know what happened?  That big old boy horse, Cougar came over and they gave him some of my carrots.  Yes they did. They gave him my carrots. So, being little and cute I snuck over there and tried to take it out of his mouth. Do you know what he did. HE BIT ME!!!  The big ogre bit me.

Big horses are not suppossed to bite little horses that's not allowed.  So I was really mad and I figured if he could be mean and do things that were not allowed, so could I.  So plotting what I could do and who I could do it to, I turned around and got ready to.., when a hand came down and SMACKED ME ON THE BUTT and Tommy said, "No you don't." So, I turned around and got ready to look big and mean when Maia smacked me and yelled, "That is not nice." I was beside myself.

Maia: So she took off running and bucking around the pasture. It was almost as though she was moving in time to Michael Jackson's song, I'm Bad, except in her case, it was I'm Mad. I'm Mad, I'm really Mad. I don't know what was funnier, the look on her face when Cougar bit her, the way she changed the pleading, "I'm little and helpless, so please don't hurt me, " mouth motions that foals make; into a shocked an affronted, "I'm little and helpless and that big oaf bit me;" or the way she ran around. It was hilarious.   She ended  it by stomping off into the run in shed and sulking in the corner.  I guess we've all had days when nothing goes right.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Enough Already

Alright angry weather gods, I have personally had it.  This rain has plucked my very last nerve. We have had one solid week of hurricane streangh rain.  The bridge I have to cross in order to get to the highway to go to work is underwater.  I can't get to my horses because the road leading up to the farm is flooded. Forget trying to get to gas station or the grocery store. Oh I can get there, I just have to go 15 miles north in order to get on the highway, come back fifteen miles to get to the store which is two miles from my house.  Why because the expletive deleted bridge is underwater.  Trees are falling everywhere and homes and businesses are ruined.  And if all of this wasn't peachy enough, the state's authorities have now said that the Susquehana River which is flooding everywhere is filled with raw sewage, toxins and hazardous waste; and all of these lovely things are going to be dumped into the bay, not to mention ruin entire towns.

I realize those poor Texans have it much worse, but jeesh enough is enough.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Jolie at Three Months

Well folks here she is:

The first time she tried this move, she landed on Kitt's back.  The uh oh look on her face was priceless. And then she got stuck and couldn't quite figure out how to get down. After receiving the "stink eye" from mom, she managed to wriggle off.  The whole thing was so upsetting, Jolie had to nurse for reassurance.  I don't know who reassuring it was, because Kitt turned around and bit her twice on the butt.

Here they are playing follow the rope.  Tommy is pulling a rope and the two of them had their noses to the ground following it.  I know Kitt looks skinny.  We're doing everything we can to fatten her up.

Running fast and I do mean fast.

More later, have a good week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Apres Hurricane

For those of you out west, who don't have all of the fun of hurricanes:  the power outages, the damage, the flooding; you are also missing  the weather after a hurricane.  Once it's gone, something wonderful happens.  the air is crisp and cool.  The barometric pressure is up and the humidity is low.  And the sky is so blue it makes you happy just to be alive.  It almost makes it worth it, almost.

Oh yes, about Jolie, her baby hair is shedding out and she's becoming the color of a mocha latte. I'll have pictures of the little cutie later this week.

Oh well back to work.  Do any of you know anything about stink bugs, they're eating my tomatoes.

Oh yes, DarC you forgot to mention how gorgeous the light is right about now.  There is nothing and I mean nothing like September light.  OK, I know it's still August, but the light says September.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Working with a Trainer

We are fortunate, and I do mean fortunate to be working with one of the best trainers in the business, Lita Hughes.

She's been working with us since Jolie came back from New Bolton,  and...

Tap, tap, tap, it's me, Jolie and I have to tell everybody what happened last week.

M. Big sigh, this goes against my better judgement, but go ahead.

J.  Good, Lita and me have been friends for a long time.

M. Lita and I.

J. Whatever, anyway we like to play all kinds of games like step into the hoop.

And wear the hoop

And every time I gets it right, which is all of the time, I get hugged and kissed and given a little treat.  But last week, she did something new, called "let's go for a walk."

I tried very hard to tell her that horsies on this farm, do not walk around on a rope. They get to run free.  But did she listen, no she did not.  So I reared up and got very scary and mean looking.  Here's a picture of me doing that when I was littler.  See how scary and mean looking I am.

M. Yes, I'm sure all of the earthworms, gnats and stinkbugs were just terrified out of their minds.

But you know what happened?  The next thing I knew all four of my feetses were on the ground.  So, I said to myself, ok my feetses are on the ground and that's where they're staying, right here. And then I was moving sideways. I did this three times and then I was walking like a good girl on that rope, getting a kiss on the nose and a peppermint. She didn't holler, she didn't hit me.  She had to be using voodoo. What other explanation could there be?

M. Oh, I don't know. Maybe we're lucky enough to be working with one of the best trainers in the business, and things are progressing nicely.  Look how much fun you've been having.

But I did not want to walk with that rope.  She tricked me and that's not fair.

M. Oh I think it's entirely fair.

No it's not. Not fair, not fair, not fair, NOT FAIR.

M. I can't believe I am actually arguing with a foal.  It is so fair and that's my final word.

not fair, not fair, not fair, not fair, not fair.  Maybe I'll hold my breath till I turn blue.

Oh the joys of the equestrian life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eek, Yack, She's Coming

We're going on vacation the week after next, and I've hired a house sitter.  Not just any old house sitter, but someone who knows everybody in the local horse community.  What was I thinking? Where was my mind?

Is this an office or a junk room?  When was the last time I washed the shower curtains?  What's up with the windows? They're grime central.  The guest room, is that a guest room or clutter corners?  Got to clean.  Got to toss.  Got to, got to, got to.  Sheesh, I'm in a cleaning, tossing frenzy.

However, I can't remember the last time my house looked this good.  I wonder if she could come twice a year?

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Well here are some of my favorite shots of the girls in their new digs.

Making Friends

Yee Ha

Sliding Stop

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Some Thoughts on Ticks

Here in the east where you have ticks, you have lymes.  I've had it, my horse has had it, and so have several of my friends and their horses and dogs.  I guess I should have said we all have it, since lymes is like malaria, once you get it you have it for life. 

Now if you catch it early enough, you can battle it down to the ground with about six weeks on doxycycline.  That is if it's the garden variety lymes.  Seems like there's a more virulent strain out there. I relapsed twice and Kitt was pulsed on doxy, six weeks on, twelve weeks off for two years.  Both of us, now, are symptom free and have been for years.  Hopefully, with enough high level antioxidants, we will both stay that way.

But there is another strain, which hopefully we both are immune to, that is a killer literally.  Three of my friends have had to put their horses down because of it. It attacks quickly and affects the nervous system and the brain.

Here are the symptoms in humans of garden variety lymes

1.. Exhaustion.  I was so tired and weak, walking across the room was enough to make me feel like fainting.
2.  Aches - you ache all over.
3.  Low grade fever.

Here are the symptoms in horses.

1. Soreness.  Your horse will ache all over, but it will be worse in either the front or the back.
2. Sensitivity to touch. 
3. Changes in mood or attitude. He or she will become much more excitable and spooky.
4. Fever

If either you or your horses have any of these symptoms, get the blood work done. It's an easy test and the doxy works right away.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bringing Up Baby Month Two - The Good and Bad

Well after our little trip to New Bolton, I thought  now things are certainly going to settle down.  HA HA HA.  I guess you guys know that we've been sweltering in the east. Two weekends ago, the heat index was between 118 and 120. That Saturday morning, Tommy and I arrived at the barn to find Jolie lieing down, almost comatose, covered in flies with no water in the buckets.  I talked to the barn manager about this as calmly as I could and about how not happy I was that they were in a sweltering stall for close to eighteen hours a day.  When she told me that there was nothing she could do about that.  I thought to myself, "well there's something I can do.  We can move."

And move we did.  It was really heart warming to hear from all the folks who jumped in and offered to take them. But I decided on a barn where I really like the owner's philosophy.  Horses need to be horses.  So we moved.  Now they are on a two acre pasture, with a beautifully built run in shed. The rest of the horses are in the next pasture with easy access to the barn. The girls are getting to know the others and making friends.  Kitt is exhausted but doing well, considering what she's been through.  As for Jolie, she's endearing herself to everyone at the barn.  She has a way of doing that. 

Since the barn owner has never had a foal on his property, he contacted a friend who owns a thourobred breeding farm and she came over to take a look and offer advice.  She said both girls were healthy and doing well. and then she said that in over thirty years of breeding race horses, Jolie was the most perfect foal she had ever seen. The women could hardly believe Jolie was a quarter horse. What can I say.  Quarter horses rule.

PS:  There will be pictures very soon.  She's loosing her baby hair and underneath it, she's a golden palamino.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Against My Better Judgement

How do you do ladies and gentlemen, I am Sir Dweezil of Inwood and I would like to introduce my good friend and boon companion, Mr. Squigman Igmeowkowski.

We are a couple of bon vivants and sophisticated men about town.

Maia:  Eyes Rolling

Dweezil, here, Squigman don't you have something to say to that dear lady out west, Ms. Cynthia Susan over at the Rough Strings Ranch

Squig here, Cindy Sue, you are one red hot mama, even though your a dog.

Whap and a smack on the head

Dweezil what did you do that for? What did I say? It's not like she's that tasty little Siamese down the road and I'm not really into dogs.

Whap, Whap, Whap.

Cynthia Susan, Mr. Igmeowkowski is obviously not himself today.  Maybe he had too much anesthesia at his last visit to the vet. You see, he can't seem to stop fighting, poor lad. What he meant to say is that when we read your latest post, we were overwhelmed with your intelligence and canine loveliness.

Maia here, where are my muck boots, the you know what is getting pretty thick around here.

It's Dweezil again, muck boots that reminds me of our locale, that little slice of heaven where we live.

Dweezil, don't say it.  You know what's going to happen if you say it.

Hmm, like I said, Sqiggman is obviously suffering from some brain deficiency, because we live in the rolling hills of the horse country of Maryland.

Now you've done it Dweeze. It's here

Hi, I'm a horsie and I can run really fast. Wanna watch me run?

No, Shorty we do not want to watch you run, now go away we're having a conversation here with our adoring readers.

But I want to say.

Zip it.

My name means pretty and I can run really fast.

Zip it.

I won't.  Unless you let me talk, I'm going to hold my breath till I turn blue.

Feel free.

Look what you've done Dweeze, you've gone and ruined it.  It must be your hairdo. It's made you stupid. What kind of boy cat gets a "sanitary cut."

Am I blue yet?

I'll show you a sanitary cut. Come here you little weasel.


Before this degenerates any further, I think you all have pretty much proved my point.


Oh good grief, Now there's three of them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Messing About with HDR

I finally got up the nerve to try to do an HDR, and not being out west, I thought I'll just try it with what I've got at hand.  So I did the three exposures, automated them in photoshop,uploaded it to picnic, worked on it there and tada here it is:  My very first HDR.

Anyway, have a wonderful weekend.  I'm off to buy a colorful ball.  That's what we're up to now with herself, we kick the ball, she chases and if she touches it with her nose, she gets scratched and a treat. She can also step into the hula  hoop no matter where we put it.  And as far as her little snit fits go, well she decided to see if she could rear up on people and or back kick them.  That lasted all of two weeks.  Ever time she tried it, she got smacked , we hit the ground with a wiffle bat right next to her and she was told in no uncertain terms "that her behavior was not nice!"  Of course she had to try it with several different people only to find out that it worked nowhere. at no time, with no one.  

We're doing all of this "enrichment" because she's extremely bright and being the only foal this year has no one to play with. We obviously can't let her rear up, chase or kick people, but she can rear up on, chase and kick around the ball.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Think She Might Be Cowy

Well up until I started getting into this foal raising thing, I had never heard the the word, "cowy," used as a descriptive adjective.  In fact if someone had told me that "cowy" was an adjective, I would have assumed that it was negative.  You know the old, "Doesn't Mabel look cowy in that outfit?  What on earth possessed her?" Or, "did you hear what Janine did? How could she have been so cowy?"

So when I read that the stallion's offspring tended to be cowy, I was puzzled to say the least. Nothing about Jolie looked like a cow, she's a precious little quarter horse and extremely bright. It wasn't until I was explaining this whole cowy business to a woman at the barn, a transplant from Denver, that I found out it didn't mean stupid or fat or stupid and fat; it meant that horse has a natural aptitude for cutting cows.  Well we don't have any cows and another border is being down right stingy about volunteering her goats, so I thought to myself, "Self I guess I just have to wait until she's a lot older to find out if she has any natural talent and ability in cutting.I also immediately went to UTube to see what this whole business looked like.

Fast forward to last weekend.  A friend of mine came to see Jolie and brought her dog, a shepherd chow mix.  Well Jolie took one look at that dog, ran right up to him, lowered her head and gave him her full attention.  If the dog took two steps to the left, she took two steps to the left, and she never stopped looking right at him.  She mirrored him, step by step, until the dog having had with it with being stalked by a foal, ran off.

So folks, is this cowy behavior?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Month 1 Part 2

Now let me see, where was I, oh yes on to New Bolton.  There are not enough words meaning perfect, exceptional, talented and dedicated to describe the vets at New Bolton.  It is IMHO the Johns Hopkins of the large animal world.  They took my sick foal and made her well and they treated her with kindness and compassion while doing so.  What can I say.

There were however two sort of funny things that happened. The first was a bit like an episode from I Love Lucy. I can just hear ya'll thinking that I have just lost my mind. How on earth could New Bolton be like the Ricardos?  Well in this particular episode, Lucy wanted to buy a pricey negligee and she knew that when Ricky saw the price tag, he have a fit and make her take it back.  So what did she do?  She bought twelve negligees and when Ricky had his huge fit, she offered to take eleven back, if she could just keep one.  Well after seeing the price tag for twelve negligees, one seemed like a welcome relief and he agreed.

When we first got there, the primary vet said that his best estimation for time and cost was five days and $5000. Yikes, but it was our foal's life, so we agreed to do it.  Then the veterinary resident came in and said no more like between $2000 and $3000 and we would have to pay half of the highest price up front. Gee $1500 after $5,000.  That seemed like a bargain and when it turned out that was all our bill was, instead of thinking $1500, yikes, $1500.  We said oh my god, what a bargain.  It wasn't even close to the $5000.  Hence the twelve negligees.

The next sort of funny was the source of her infection.  When we came in, I told the primary vet about the small healed over puncture wound and he told me point blank.  No, these infections were always blood borne and the source was somewhere else.  When we looked at the xray, there was a pocket of infection, next to the joint (luckily it had not gotten into the bone.)  When I said look at that, could that be the source of the infection.  Oh no, the source was somewhere else.  So when the vet called the next day with his update.  I asked, did you find the source of the infection, and guess what? The infection was not blood borne and they couldn't fine the source.  I wanted to say, Hmm, how about that puncture wound, but I decided gloating wasn't becoming, so I refrained.

Just to show how nice they are, a few days after we'd come home, I received the sweetest letter from the Resident in which he told me that not only was Jolie unusually pretty, but she was amazingly well behaved. Now before you guys start thinking that I have equine equivalent of some cutesy combination of Angelina Jolie and Sydney Sawyer (in case you've forgotten he was the brother who was always reminding Aunt Polly that he had his Sunday School suit on and knew his Bible verses); I want you to remember that I said that not only is she a bossy boots, but she is also quite the little madame. And that gentle readers is another story for another day.

I'll leave you with a few of my favorite shots from the past two weeks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bringing Up Baby Month 1 Part 1

Her first month was a month of extremes and it all started the week before Father's Day.  We went out to the barn, and I decided to go in and say hi to the owner.  So I did, she was in and had some company.  After I sat down and introductions and other niceties were out of the way, she said to me and I quote.  "I'm so glad you stopped by, Ms. J, has something she'd like to ask you.  What she wanted to ask me was if I would be willing to sell her Jolie after she was weaned for $9,000.  You could have knocked me over with a feather, to be trite.  After the shock wore off, I said that I'd think about it, but right now she wasn't for sale.

Later that week, a friend told me she'd posted pictures of Jolie on her facebook page and Jolie now had "friends" across the country.  Jeesh.

Fast forward to Father's Day.  After visiting my inlaws, we went out to the barn and I saw her lieing down behind the hay bale.  So I called out to her "Hi baby horse." And for the first time she neighed, this pitiful little neigh and this is what she looked like limping over to us.

As you can see, something was definitely not right. I ran for the barn manager and together the three of us somehow got her and Kitt back to the stall.  The barn manager ran for her cell and called the emergency vet.
To make a long story short.  Jolie had a septic right hock, was running fever and septic joints in foal this young is generally the result of a blood born infection which is absolutely life threatening. She had to go to New Bolton (where they took the race horse Barbaro) first thing in the morning. 

As we were all standing around in a state of shock, I happened to notice a small dark scab right over the swolen hock.  I showed it to the vet and she said that it looked like a healed over puncture wound. And then she said, these sceptic joints in foals are 99% of the time the result of a serious blood born infection, but maybe this time it wasn't.  But she still needs to go, because I can't treat this.

So, it was off to New Bolton.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Internet is Down at Home

We've been without the internet at home for over a week. Comcast finally came out and said that it was a cable issue and they need to put in a new one.  Soo, my story will just have to wait until next weekend.  Have a lovely week, and I'll be popping in here and there at work.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bring Up Baby - Week Two

This week has been all about the record breaking heat.  We've had heat indexes over 100 and code red air all week.  The poor little girl could only go out for an hour first thing in the morning, before the heat and humidity got unbearable.

It's been about the heat and her foal heat diareah.  Yes, here I am the chief cook and hiney wiper.  Every evening out I go with my bucket and my sponges and my desitin and wash and wipe. Jeesh the poor little filly, or maybe it jeesh, the poor little owner.  Anyway she's been a real little trooper, throughout.  She's leading better everyday and tolerating her wiping.   She still comes up when she sees me, even with sponge and bucket in hand. So I suppose we're still on the right track.  If this doesn't clear up in the next few days, it's time for the yogurt.

Next week it's going to be a lot cooler, so I'll have pictures.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Not Alone

There's a large group discussion over at the help section of Blogger between folks who are having the same problems commenting that I am.  I'm at work, but when I get home, I'm going to read to the bottom of the discussion and see if there's anything I can do to fix this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hi There DarC and Say A LIttle Prayer

Well once again I'm blocked from commenting. They ask me for my google account, I give it to them.  They ask for my password and I'm told forget it.  I can even sign in to my google account and then try to comment and I'm told my password isn't my password and to forget it.

So here's what I wanted to say. Hey there girlfriend, when I read the title of your post, I thought, Holy Crap, she's going to come away with five chicken, ten goats, a few sheep and a mule.  I know that I can't resist a baby anything.  I think you did great.

Ok now for the next bit. I've been reading all about the nasty weather out west.  Try this on, we're going to have a heat index of 110 tomorrow with 90% humidity and code red air. I have a tiny baby foal, who I'm going to have to cool down if I want her to live. I don't know what to do, so she and her mother are going to be kept in the stall with the fan on and hosed down twice. I can only hope this will be enough.  In the long and short of it, if you are not in fire zone, and it's raining, consider yourself lucky.  You could be here and dealing with what we're dealing with.  You may be bored, but at least your animals are not in danger of dieing from the heat.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Well Here She is at the End of Week 1

She attracts crowds.  A friend of mine said I should charge $2 for the attraction. :)

She's really good about letting people she knows handle her.

She can run like the wind.

I think she has Kitt's lovely extended trot.

She leads better, everyday.  I don't have a picture of that.  And now here's this week's doozy.  She can walk on her hind legs.  She actually took three steps.  She hasn't attempted it while being led and if she did she would be corrected immediately, but I don't feel that I can come charging out into her pasture yelling "bad girl, no," when she's just playing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hi Out There

Well Google is not letting me post comments. Go figure, so here's what I wanted to post.

DarC:  I wondered if you were affected by the tornadoes and I'm glad you stayed safe.  The sky color before a tornado is creepy in the extreme and the sound is something you don't forget.  One thing you didn't say you did, but you should do, is open one window, that's what I've been told anyway.  It has something to do with the pressure build up if the tornado strikes or comes close to your house.  Anyway, glad you're safe.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Huge Thank You and What In The World Do I Do With Her

Thank you guys for all of your kind comments about my baby. They mean so much to me. Blogger wouldn't let me tell you how much they meant, but they did.

Ok here's what happened on Day 5. On day 3. she was entranced with the big girls in the pasture next to hers.  They are three year old fillies and they put on quite the show when they saw her for the first time. So what did my little monkey do, today? She figured out how to crawl under the fence and get in with them. My poor mama horse was, as usual these days, having a hissey fit. My five day old baby was playing with the big girls and having a ball. The big girls were loving her up. Go figure.

Oh yes, the barn manager told me that five day old Jolie was figuring out being led and was a really good girl about it. So much for my lead line lessons.  The assistant manager told me that she was so bright, I should consider dressage or "eventing." What oh what do I do with her to help her reach her full potential.  I'm at a loss here folks. So help me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bringing Up Baby Day 3 - Out We Go

Today we let them out in the pasture. What can I say, Jolie found her own and poor Kitt had a nervous meltdown. They say a picture tells a thousand words so here they are.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our First Offer

My baby is two days old and we've had our first offer. I didn't tell you this in the last post. Some pony clubbing mother asked me how much when she is weaned, and I said, politely, "not for sale."  And to myself, I said "Over my dead body." My little peak a boo, will never go to a thirteen year old pony clubber, to be past to the next thirteen year old and so on until she's sold at auction for dog food.

Here's why I call her "Peak a Boo."  I decided to dumb down the Parrelli friendly game for a foal. So when she comes up to me stops, get's her pat and runs behind Kitt.  I put my hands over my eyes and call out, "Peak a Boo." And open up my fingers. When I can look into her eyes, I call out, "I can see you," and then she comes running. So, instead of thinking about her as Jolie or Raven or whatever, to me she is now Peak a Boo.

Bringing Up Baby Day 2 - Much Better

Photos will be coming tomorrow, promise. She's still in her stall. Tomorrow, she goes out. Today went very well.  I can now touch her face, her ears, stroke her neck and her back.  We played a game, she came up, I touched her and then she ran away.  She'd come to a dead stop, peak around Kitt and then come running up again, come to a stop and let me touch her. When she was lieing down, she let me stroke her ears, neck and back.  I don't do it for long, I don't want her to feel overwhelmed.  I play with her for about 1/2 an hour, then go sit under a tree with my book for an hour, then back I go.

I was really proud of her.  The feed truck came lumbering up, making all kinds of noise, with two guys, yelling and throwing feed sacks to the ground.  This was right next to her stall.  She did not panic, or go crazy, she just stood there, peaking out of the gate, seeing what was going on.  I guess it helped that Kitt was just as calm as she could be during the whole thing.

We had our first little showdown, which I won.  I put her halter on her and she did not like it one little bit.  She had a temper tantrum.  I just stood there and said calmly, "you can pitch any kind of fit you like, but that halter is not coming off. She was not happy with it or me, but a few hours later, she had relaxed was back to playing the freindly game. I like to end any training session, even at this young age, on happy note.

Here's what she looks like, as you'll see tomorrow.  She's a palamino, with four white socks and a white blaze. Her confirmation is very correct and her pasterns are straight.  She also has dark blue eyes. I don't know if they will change over time, but right now they're blue.

Pictures tomorrow.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bringing Up Baby Day 1 The Good and the Bad

Well, here we are on day 1. My normal vet is on vacation, so the replacement vet arrives.  Now I want you to remember my baby stood up all by herself in less then 1/2 an hour.  She found the nipples all by herself. She was running around the stall, bucking and having a grand old time.

She takes one look at her, and says "she tiny, hello no she isn't. Why is she so small? She's toxic. Well I want you to know that I've seen toxic foals and this little girl, doesn't fit the description. She looks at the placenta and says, "well this is why she's toxic, this placenta is way too small. 

Well at this point, I jump in with, her mother is 15 hands and her father is 14.2, just what do you mean by too small? Too small as compared to a 16 hand warmblood who's been bred to a 16+ hand Thoroughbred.  Well not to be dismayed, she has to take blood to determine just how toxic poor little Jolie is. Also the poop I've seen her do is not quite good enough, so the poor little filly has to endour two enemas. What a horrible first day of life. Oh yes, did I mention the poor little girl has to get two shots everyday for five days to counteract how "toxic" she is.

Well guess what? the vet who's standing outside her stall, calls me to tell me her blood work is perfect. And watching her jump around the stall, she decides the antibiotics are already kicking in and then here's the kicker (sorry for the double kicker), she tells me little Jolie is probably the fanciest foal she has ever seen and I have to train her to do something.  An animal as beautiful and bright as she is should not be a trail horse.
Well guess what, she will be, and it won't be to do dressage or eventing.  Her mother is the fastest horse, I've ever ridden and she can turn on a dime and her father is making a name for himself in the cutting world.

Somehow I have to get her over this hideous day, and trust me I will.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

She's Here

She was born at 8:00 tonight and was standing 1/2 an hour later.  Tommy filmed the whole standing up so as soon as I can process it, you'll see it. When we left, I figured Kitt was getting nervous about us continuing to stand around flashing camera's and petty the baby, she had pretty much figured out the nursing.  She appears to be strong, smart and healthy. Knock wood. 

Her name was going to be Shiner's Jolie Dancer, but Tom and the teenager who delivered her, decided that she should be called Shiner's Jolie Raven. Oh yes, I had to go home at 7:00, I figured she's never have her, if I continued to sit under the tree, pretending not to stare.

Oh yes, on her father's side she's a direct descendent of Doc Bar and obviously Shiner and on her mother's, she's a direct descendent of Old Tom Cat and AQHA Grand Champion, so I can hardly wait to get started with her.  But the most important thing is that she's here and she's seems to be healthy.  Now let's all keep our fingers crossed that she inherited her mother's dear disposition, because in the end that's all that counts.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"I Don't Believe We're on the Eve of Destruction"

Well folks here we are on May 20th, the supposed day before the end of the world.  I don't know about you, but I have plans for Sunday that don't include sitting out an earthquake, or whatever fire and brimstone these fear mongers have predicted.  I understand the megamind behind all of this nonsense has based it on mathematical calculations beginning with the day Jesus died.  Unless he has access to archaeological records that the rest of the world does not, I'd be curious to know where he got his information as to the exact date.

Also, unless he has access to biological information that the rest of us do not, the only way for the soul to leave the body is for the body to die. So, I guess he's predicting a mass die off.  Well I suppose that's one way to end the overpopulation crisis.

Now don't get me wrong. I do have a firm believe in God, and having read the Bible in the original Greek, which I'd be willing to bet he has not, a love of Jesus and what he really said, not what we've been told he did.  I also believe that Plato was accurate when  he said, there are three beliefs necessary for faith. 

1.  There is only one God.
2.  You have a soul
3.  The soul is immortal.

I wonder what those folks spreading the fear are going to do on Sunday, when they're still here?  Stay tuned this could get interesting.

PS:  Foal watch starts this weekend.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm Back

Sorry I haven't been post much lately, but guys I didn't know what to say. There was always, I'm working six days a week and that sucks.  Or maybe I could have posted, golly gee it's raining again, whooptie do. Or I could have posted about the hairball clean up detail, I seemed to always be on.  But it's finally spring and Kitt is about two weeks away from her due date and the light is wonderful. So I think I'll just leave you with some of my favorite shots from the past week.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Fineally, we have spring. Since there is nothing more beautiful than a southern east coast spring, I thought I'd share a bit of it with you.