Blogging seemed necessary for me after Dad passed away in 2008. It was a way to slow my life down a bit and try to keep some precious memories alive through imagery and the written word. I come from a long line of farmers on Mom's side and it seems that I am inclined to follow that type of lifestyle. If you are interested in the old days check out the links below.
Jessie, my perfect 'first' horse is now 26 yrs. old and a registered AQUA bay mare. Blue, my dominant Appendix, is a registered American Paint. Jessie loves her grass more than her mother and Blue loves eating (period) and 'herding' poor Jess. Both love eachother! Jessie is very smart and warned me of the fox who was within 7 feet of Callie.
LaQuinta, My Elegant and Athletic Egyptian Queen
While showing in Lexington, I stayed at the LaQuinta Hotel and all summer saw this poor cat who was too shy to be caught. On the third try, it took over an hour to convince her that she would be making a good decision!
Little Bear, Our First Baby
Mama Dog, a wild black lab mix who refused to be tamed, dropped two of her pups at our back steps of the new house. Little Bear rules all of her siblings and tries to rule her parents. She is a very good guard dog!
Nugget, The Boss of the Boys
Nugget arrived about a year after Little Bear. At first he refused to come in, so I would wrap him up in thick blankets during winter's cold nights. He is the best dog, and so gentle with children. But, his growl sounds like some monster from a scary movie, no kidding!
Rocky, Mama's Mountain Lion!
While photographing the huge Rockefeller barns at the Rolling Rock Hunt Club in Ligonier, PA, I sadly spotted a dead black cat near the road lying in the grass. When I stood up, an older kitten approached me sporting a white bulging eye. He let me pick him up and off we went to find a vet!
Coty, Everyone Wants To Take Him Home!
While riding Blue in the big field, I heard the dogs barking. My heart sank as I couldn't see well but thought I saw a coyote. We trotted across the field only to find a terribly thin stray in need of our home. Coty is a superb watch dog!
Sammy, Mama's Shy Boy
Sleak beautiful Sammy was watching over Black Jack on a little hill as he laid dead in the ditch beside the highway. He heard my screams of anguish as I picked up our gorgeous brother of Little Bear. Two months later, he chose to live with us.
Callie, My First Barn Cat
One June day, something thin and dark hesitantly showed herself near the entrance of the barn. With a weak meow, she told me she wanted to stay at the barn, pleasing me to no end! Callie is the most patient cat and the only cat who allowed me to put 'antlers' on her head for Christmas.
Cricket, My First Kitten!
Something told me Callie was pregant though she did not show. She was so proud to introduce me to my first and only Grandcat! I never had a kitten before and this cat has totally melted my heart! He is rotten to the core and frequently must be reprimanded with the dreaded 'Love Jail'. Grammie holds him like a baby and pets him gently despite the awful protests that escape his strong jaws. He only receives 'Love Jail' after a vicious tackle that includes biting his mother's back and knocking her over. After his release, he immediately rubs my leg with his 15-inch long tail!
Princess, A Gift from God
The day after Cricket was born, Little Bear let out a weird bark. I discovered a gorgeous long haired cat perched in the corner of the unfinished side porch where the dogs cannot access. Still beautiful despite being starved and bone thin, Princess has become just that...a princess! She does what she wants but she makes up for it by being the most affectionate cat in the world giving lots of kitty kisses.
Daddy Cat was wild! After a year of daily feedings, long begging sessions and quiet study while he hid safely under the horse trailer, I finally won his trust. He now resides in the barn separated from Callie and Cricket who stay in the tack room. Daddy Cat is extremely vocal and affectionate, always thanking his Mama for his new home.
Sharing Farm Tails With You!
Thank You Ali!
Attitude of Gratitude Award
Thank You Ali!
Click on the award and visit Blessed Country Mom
Thank You Paint Girl!
Click on the award and visit Paint Girl!
Thank You JC!
Click on the award and visit Lilacs and Cats
Thank You Leslie!
Click on the award and visit In The Shadow of Juniper Hill
Thank You Stephanie!
Click on the award and visit The Life of A Farmer's Wife
With Thanksgiving at an end, and Christmas coming up, I always go from room to room and make a mental note of what needs completing before company arrives and the holiday decorations go up. I can't help but gaze at some of my favorite finds and remember where and when I found them....my horsey sterling 'mint julep' cup comes from only one place and in that is in western Kentucky....Wakefield Scarce Galleries. I so hope I can find time and go back down to visit this wonderful collection of shops. I want to visit their Christmas Yule Shop! The bedding ensemble was special ordered from a large interior design store near Charleston, WV. I saw it in a catalog, waited for it to go on sale which it never did and I was so thankful I found it again! The special ribbon pillow was a recent find from another shop in Kentucky. Grammie was holding a neighbor's horse on a Sunday in early Summer. I think she looks so beautiful and her classic suit shows off her stylish taste. The oil painting was from a local shop and it reminded me of my Jessie. The painted cast iron toy is from Amish country in western Pennsylvania. Mom, Dad, the good husband and I traveled the area and browsed around in some antique stores. We timed it right and were able to visit an Amish fundraiser where all the monies collected goes into their hospital fund. It was very strange to be a minority in a large group of people. And finally, my precious Jessie is never tiring to look at. Although she is not inside (darn!) I can see her from the 'Old House Parlor'. I love her very very much and feel so fortunate that she has reached 26 years of age. I pray she lives decades more, blessed with perfect health, soundness and happiness!
I know, I know, my timing is a bit off but I have been so busy with Heritage Farm's blogging and developing a new website for my husband that I have neglecting poor Farmtails. Blue and I haven't competed for three years. I am not myself and something seems lost when I don't ride on a regular basis and test ourselves in competitions. But, with Daddy's passing in 2008 and with Blue's back issues it just didn't happen. Ah, before I forget, did you notice something peculiar about my photo? I never show my face in blogging but some of the pics were such fun to share so it was quite fitting to wear a few Photoshop masks since the competition was held over Halloween weekend! Don't you love my masks?
Blue was such a good boy during dressage but I was not. I was concentrating on bending him to the right in a corner during one movement that my mind went blank and I forgot the next move. He received extremely good scores prior but that is OK, we ended up on a 39 which is very good for a beginner horse with an error in the test! Most scores in the novice divisions are not lower than the upper twenties and thirties are a good average. Jessie averaged around 32 or 33.
His stadium was so smooth and rhythmic which is how Jessie and I used to ride to the fences. I was a bit concerned that he might be a little 'looky' but he went clean and didn't even rub a rail. We only trotted the jumps to be on the safe side. I want him to learn to be balanced and not strung out so this is the way to go before he canters them. Unfortunately I had to see a fall a few minutes before we went in which is never good for the psyche! Faces were grim but thankfully the rider had no more problems afterwards.
Both stadium and cross country jumping were on Sunday (dressage was on Saturday) and I was a little worried that he might be worn out but oh, no, that was not the case. We had only 40 minutes between the two and I thought he would be nice and calm. NOT! He was wired. Lovely, Blue (extreme sarcasm)...I don't need this right now since I purposely did not give a lot of time for warm up since you already were warm from stadium!~ So, we circled, transitioned, did bending exercises, and I finally got him listening instead of wanting to gallop away like a maniac. There were several other horses cantering around, going over the practice jumps which added to his exuberant behavior. I am really glad he liked it out there and he wasn't being an idiot at all so I was very pleased with big boy Blue!
Again, our trainer advised trotting the fences and cantering in between so that is exactly what we did. Our fences were only two foot but at that level it really isn't the height, it is what the jumps look like, where they are positioned, etc. There were two more falls just in my division alone and there was a slight delay before Blue and I went in the start box which is never a good thing for the rider to hear over the loud speaker....sigh...my prayers for safety streamed up to the heavens!
I am glad I took pics of the course, as one tends to forget them with time. Blue was so good and I was so happy with him and I give him an A+.
We earned a purple ribbon which is 7th place and finished on our dressage score with no errors in either jumping phase. Whoohoo Blue! And purple is sooo in this year!
Luckily our chiro is local and paid us a visit which was unexpected so Blue got an adjustment that was sorely needed! Aside from Jessie getting the hives and her upper legs swelled since she was at another farm before the show (ate a weird weed), getting a scary call Friday night from a friend that Jessie was lying down with her eyes and mouth open, locking my keys in my truck, running out of our prime timothy hay (for some reason the horses were hogs!) and hurting my back lifting an old leftover 120 pound bale up into the truck bed that my supplier had in his dark barn at 7 am, and worrying about a little yellow homeless kitty at the hotel, the weekend went well!
After living 15 years in a very beautiful urban setting on top of my husband's highrise, it became obvious that I was out of place. I began riding about 12 years ago, purchased an awesome sport horse and competed in novice eventing. I needed to find all of us a beautiful place to live so that I could be the one to care for my Jessie, not a hired farm hand at a boarding barn that might close on a whim. We were blessed to find our old historic 80 acre farm tucked away in the woods that surround scenic fields. Hailing from generations of Vermont farmers and horse lovers, I felt right at home. I could now have another horse, dogs, more cats, plant flowers, grow veggies, mow the yard, feed and hear the birds chirping, listen to frogs, walk in the woods, and do all the things we did as kids. Kudos to my awesome husband. Without him, I would not be able to experience these blessings that God has bestowed upon Woodfield and all of its inhabitants.