Monday, September 23, 2013

Adding to the Herd

It happened today. We brought three horses home to meet Clyde. Doyle and I brought home the trailer last night to air up tires. We drove out around 9:30 this morning.

Debi had come out to say her goodbyes. It was bittersweet for her. Two of the three horses were the last of her Dad's that he raised. My heart hurt for her. She reassured me that she and her husband were very pleased we were taking them. It was just stirring up memories.

We loaded Patches the 13 yo mare first as the other two were inseparable. We had hoped that loading Diamond the 12yo gelding would make it easier to load Dixie the 7yo who had only ridden in a trailer once when she was brought to where she is now as a young filly. Doyle and I had prepared that it might take us a while to convince her to get in the trailer. It did. About 2hrs but we did it without her being upset or getting anyone hurt. It did take me, Doyle and Debi's husband David to accomplish the task successfully. Well worth that in my opinion!

There were several suggestions on how to introduce horses. Doyle and I opted to put them out and see what happened. Since Dixie was the last to load, she was the first to unload. Clyde was most interested...of's a girl! Then we unloaded Diamond and then Patches. We had anticipated squeals and kicks. A new "pecking order" (who's the leader) has to be reestablished. Clyde has been the leader around any other horses since we've had him. I think he met his match today in Diamond. The girls were most interested in meeting Clyde but Diamond was very protective. He keep trying to keep them away from Clyde. There were some serious enough blows that I took Diamond out of the equation to give the ladies a chance to meet Clyde but by that time Clyde had enough and he wasn't even interested in the girls anymore.

See the "horseshoe" imprint on Clyde's left butt cheek?! Clyde got Diamond pretty good too. I noticed swelling on his "cheek". Same location! 

He would just stand in the corner of the pasture and every time one of the girls tried to approach him, he got defensive so I shut him up in a different area so he wouldn't feel threatened.

I took off work tomorrow too. I think I will try introducing one at a time and give them some time to get acquainted.

With Clyde safe, I spent the rest of the afternoon watching the three. I just can't get over how pretty they are!

Dixie (L) and Diamond (R) are two peas in a pod. I was thinking I would just leave the names they had but Doyle would like to change Dixie and the more I think about it maybe I do too but not sure what it will be yet. I also learned yesterday that I know the woman that used to have Dixie. She is the nursery worker for our church! She was so excited to learn I would have Dixie. She told me that she had named her "Rain".

This is Patches. She is the half sister to Diamond.

This is Dixie. Her mother was a Mustang and her father a registered Paint. She has a little bit of color but not a lot. I just love her head. She is the one who will require the most work as she only be halter trained. I am looking forward to working with her.

They enjoyed running around the pasture.

I will be happier when I can blend Clyde into the mix and I believe he will in time. Tomorrow's another day!

Have a good one!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Out of My Element

I actually found a little time to craft although may I emphasis "little". Doyle and I have been working hard on preparing for the new horses that I've either not had time or was too tired when I did!

I don't take classes very often only because they usually fall on the Saturday's I don't work at the store and even though I really enjoy being at the store I do need some time at home. There was a class last Tuesday on Mixed Media with Jen Star. Three classes were offered that day. I really don't know anything about mixed media but the title and description of the class caught my attention. The class was "Memory Journaling". I like to journal and I like to craft so I thought "why not". I was soooo out of my element! I think I like it. It's just so different from anything I have ever done. It didn't help that I had been working at the barn all afternoon and had quit in time to come home to shower than dash off to class. I hadn't felt very good that day and I was physically tired. Not a good combination. I came home early and didn't finish the class. I worked on it some more today while working at the store. I have more to do but I'm liking it a bit better.

At first I wasn't sure what I would use it for then I thought I could use it as a book filled with "truths" that God reveals to me. The scripture from John 8:32 "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free" is on the purple corrugated paper.

This is the spine. I used a stencil and some paint for this textured look.

The I also designed to participate in the store's Designer of the Month Contest. I didn't participate at first because I didn't think I was eligible since I was an employee. Then I found out I could. I picked up my kit right before I learned that I was going to get three horses.

I was supposed to make a two page layout, card and another project with the contents in the kit. I managed to get a 2 page layout done but that was all before the deadline came and went!

Close up of the left page of the layout. My first outing in our boat with Doyle, Vanessa, Kashton, Kennedy and my dog Kaidence.

close up of right side of layout.

I am entering both projects in Cat's Creations WOW Wednesday. Leave me a comment for a chance to win a wonderful prize. A random commenter is chosen. Check of the other blogs who link up. I assure you that you will always find inspiration!

In my "spare time" (LOL!) Doyle and I kept Kashton Friday night. Vanessa had to coach the cheer squad at the football game and it had been raining all day. It was cool and damp and she didn't want him out in it. Doyle had him when I got home, feeding him. He slept long enough for me to cook dinner.

After he woke up he wanted to play. He was very intrigued by this puzzle.

He may not can put the pieces in the right place but he sure knows how to chew them!

I think someone is happy and spoiled!

Have a good one!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Preparing to Increase the Herd

After Doyle and I saw an spent time with the horses we knew this was an opportunity we couldn't pass up. As I said before I believed it was "God's gift" to me. Doyle agreed! I had told you that we had been talking about buying more horses. Doyle had even talked to the lady we rent our pasture and barn from to let her know what we were thinking. She gave us permission to use another barn on the property that was not connected to the pasture we have now and said we could alter it however we needed to. We came home from seeing the horses and went right to work.

We had plenty to do. The barn hadn't been used in quite some time and the last it was used it wasn't for horses. There was a lot of cleaning up and throwing away as well as making some modifications to the barn to satisfy what we needed.
There are two stalls in this barn. It appears that no one had cleaned the stalls....ever! What you see is all poop....that has disintegrated into poop dust!

I don't know why I always tackle the hardest jobs! While Doyle was measuring and cutting a door way into the barn from the pasture we were using I shoveled poop...for days! Every afternoon until dark with several breaks! It was in the shade but in the mid 90's!

Maybe this picture will give you a little better perspective of how deep the poop was! In some places it was packed like concrete! I don't think I've ever worked so hard in my life! It's amazing what motivation will do for you!

All better now!

Isn't this nice?! It's the nicest I've ever had!

Doyle cutting an opening into the barn from the other side creating a breeze way.

Here is a wider view. To the left of the barn in the forefront you can see the other barn in the distance where I am currently feeding Clyde.  We have lots of weeds to cut down too!

Here's a look from the other side. Sorry about all the stuff in the way. The green gate is to keep Clyde out until we are finished. The red round thing is a large round bale feeder. Doyle has taken it apart and moved it.

There are still several little things Doyle wants to do but they can be done any time. We are basically ready for our new additions. We would have gotten them sooner except I am working at the store because it's retreat weekend.

Until next time...have a good one!

A Gift From Papa

I've been sitting on this news for about 2 weeks! I've been afraid of saying anything for fear of jinxing it and I'm not superstitious! I will be officially getting this gift on Monday and will blog about this day but first I must share the story behind it.

May 2007 my beloved horse Blue died. He was 18yo. I had owned him for 12yrs. We had been through alot together. I can't begin to tell you how deep my bond was with him but the day he died a little bit of me died with him.

Christmas that year Pastor Kirk gave me a gift as he usually did but this gift was extremely special. Here is an excerpt from a blog (January 1, 2008) I had on a previous blog site.

On Friday before Christmas Pastor Kirk came in with a rather large wrapped gift for me. He usually gives me something every year. I decided to wait to open it until Christmas. When I opened it I felt bad for not allowing Kirk the blessing of seeing my expression upon the revelation of the gift. As you can see it is a sculpture. The name of the sculpture is "The Gift". I began to cry as I looked at the intricate details of this awesome piece of work. God began to show me through this artwork that I was the little girl and He was the cowboy. I believe it was God's way of reassuring my heart that I will have another horse one day. I know I have a horse now but I do not have the connection with Clyde that I had with Blue. I believe one day God will give me another horse that I will bond with like I did Blue. And I'm just foolish enough to believe that someone will give it to me. I don't know when or how but I believe I will have another horse other than Clyde. I couldn't quit crying for several minutes. I finally did regain my composure. I have found when I tell people about this sculpture and what I believe it stands for, it makes me cry again! I will have to say this is a very special gift and such a tangible reminder of God's love and promise to me. Geez, there are tears in my eyes now even as I write this! I did call Kirk later and thank him. Even as I was thanking him and sharing with him what God had showed me I began to cry on the he didn't miss out entirely on the affect the gift had on me!

Fast forward to 2013...six years later. Doyle and I have been discussing getting a couple more horses. Clyde is 23 will be 24 in February. He is a "senior citizen" in horse world. Every day I have him is a blessing. Not only does he need company as horses are herd animals but no one else can ride with me because I only have one horse and I want to teach my grandchildren to ride. 

Sunday afternoon September 8th, I was on Facebook. I saw a picture from a friend of mine, Melanie,  I meet through scrapbooking, of her two little girls on horses. The caption was "Giddy-up...of course now they want their own!" I don't always look at comments but because horses were involved I did. Someone posted "We have three horses we're trying to find homes for, if interested. LOL". I posted "I might be interested. Can you give me some more information? I currently own an older horse and want to add." Then Melanie posted "That would be awesome but absolutely nowhere to put them. Valerie would be a definite 1st choice for me! I know she would take wonderful care of them!"

This lady messaged me through Facebook and we chatted back and forth. In the end she gave me her phone number and I called to make arrangements to see the horses on Tuesday September 10th. I was in love the moment I saw them! It was all I could do to restrain myself but I knew that I had to have Doyle's approval to go through with this. I knew I had it when he said to the people "Valerie always said she liked seeing color in the pasture. I guess now I need to go work on the barn to get ready for them." 

Let me introduce you to Patches. A 13yo registered Paint Mare. Stands about 15H.

Meet Diamond. A 12 yo registered Paint Gelding and half brother to Patches. He's about 15.1H. He's the same height as my Blue was and built about the same.

This is Dixie. A 7yo half Paint half Mustang Mare. She's probably about 14.2H. Not any relation to the other two. She was taken in by this family from a friend when she was a filly (less than a year old). She has never been ridden. I am hoping to change that.

All three are very docile and of gentle temperament. Doyle picked up their feet without any of them having a halter on. I was impressed! The other two have been trained but haven't been ridden in 5 years. 
The two registered Paints are horses left from the father of the woman who owns them. He used to raise Paint horses. He has since died. She and her husband are retired and want to move at some point. They didn't want to sell them for fear they wouldn't go to a good home.  
Can you tell that Diamond and Dixie are buddies!

I did ride Diamond Wednesday. I chose him because where they live now is VERY rocky and he is the only one with shoes. He did just fine.  I was very pleased.

These guys are the reason I've been so quiet of late! I've been busy helping Doyle prepare our place for 3 more! We now have everything ready and have scheduled to bring them home with us on Monday. I am so excited I took off work so I can spend time with them and watch to make sure they don't beat up on the old guy!

That's a pretty good gift huh?! I believed Papa for "a horse" to be given to me and He gave me three! That's so like Him. It drives home the truth from Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us"

My heart is full!
Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's Football Season!

It may still be in the 90's but it's football season all the same. Vanessa registered Kennedy in PeeWee Cheerleading. She absolutely LOVES it! When you're around her now you're going to hear a cheer at some point! Her cousin, Krystal (a year older) is also cheering with her. Aren't their uniforms cute?!

She gets plenty of practice since Mommy coaches the Christian School cheer squad!

I know what you're thinking "her bow is on backwards". No its not according to Vanessa that is the "correct" way for cheerleaders to wear their hair bows. She even showed me a picture of girls in competition and they all wear their bows that way. I still looks backwards to me! You can tell some of the other Mom's thought the same as not all the girls have their hair bows on the same way!
Here's a short clip I took trying to get the girls doing a cheer.
If you can't find her she is on the front row on the right of the photo one over from the bigger girl.The cheer is "red, black and white. Come'on Rams let's fight".
Have a good one!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cards in Envy "Manly" Challenge

For this challenge I used Cards in Envy sketch#11 posted on their Facebook page.
Here is my card for the Cards in Envy "Manly" Challenge.
The image is a stamp set from Stampin Up called Horse Frontier. The papers are Authentique Genuine Collection.

I made another card this week for a family friend from my childhood. We were neighbors when I was growing up. They lived a mile down the road from us. She had twins, a boy and girl 8 months older than me. They had horses and I learned to ride on their Shetland pony. She had sent me a birthday card this year. It touched me and I wanted her to know how much I appreciated it.
I thought this image was perfect coming from me! The image and sentiment are a stamp set by Phyllis Harris through Unity Stamp Company. The papers are from that same Authentique collection as above. All scraps from another project. I colored with my Copic Markers and cut out part of the image. I matted the sentiment and used foam tape for dimension. I also included a few photos of family and pets just to catch her up a bit on our goings on. I would love to see her face when it arrives!

I took Gracie back to the vet today as she won't quit chewing on her tail. I've bandaged it, sprayed it with "Bitter Yuck" to no avail. I also wanted to make sure she was putting on some weight. I'm trying to feed her twice a day. One time she'll eat good and not another. She seems to be feeling right at home. Two days ago, Doyle found her on our bed!
Kennedy is not really asleep but it makes for a good picture. From this point she has slept with us! Good thing we have a king size bed!
Although it's not good, I managed to sneak a picture of her weighing in today. She has gained 2lbs in 2 weeks. I'm just relieved that she's gaining!

She likes to "sunbathe" and roll in the grass. The vet said she believed that the tail-biting was a nasty habit she probably acquired while in the shelter brought about by stress. She prescribed anxiety medicine! Well, I must say that was a first for me! I'm a little skeptical but we'll give it a try.
This was Thursday night's sunset as it dropped behind a cloud bank.
This was Friday's sunset. The sun had already set and most of the color gone but the sky just had a peaceful calming affect that just beckoned me to take a picture.
It's been a while since I've posted a picture of Lil' Man. He turned 6 months old Thursday. Granddad is whispering in his ear.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Day

Kennedy is enrolled in "Mother's Day Out" a ministry to the public by First Baptist Church. Kennedy refers to it as "school". She met her teacher and classmates last week. The "school" year started Tuesday. Kennedy was so excited. Right now the kids just live 3 blocks from the church so Kennedy, Mommy and Kashton walked her to "school".

I am very glad that Mommy got pictures!

She got a new "pack pack" as she calls it. She is so proud of it. She is carrying her mat for nap time. Gee, it won't be long before she really starts school!

 I spent part of my holiday driving Keannon and Remi to the airport. On the way back home I stopped at a McDonald's to have breakfast and let Kennedy burn off some energy. I had not seen a playground like this one. I don't think Kennedy had either. She was reluctant to go in the purple ball which is like a spaceship. She wasn't too sure about the webbing she had to crawl through to get to it until she saw a girl littler than her go. She got brave and cautiously made her way. You can see the delight of her accomplishment!

I did get her to eat pretty good but it took us about an hour! She would eat a bite or two then go play! It was ok with me really. Wasn't like I had anything I had to do.

We finally get on the road. About 40 minutes from home she falls asleep. She had already asked to come to my house.

We get home and find Granddad and Gracie in the Peanut Palace as the cleaning lady was still in the house. Granddad is eating lunch and Kennedy decides to eat again. She wants a bit of Granddad's "samich" because his are the best!

Have a good one!