Saturday, April 26, 2008

Creepin' crud

This week's excitement, other than 428 4H activities in three nights, with two kids and two dogs, is that the horses have some kind of skin issue that is itchy and leaving bald patches on their bellies and legs.

Reno started this thing last fall. I didn't know if it was fly bites or what, but I was inconsistent with the Fung-Away spray since I didn't know for sure that it was "fung" or not. Eventually with winter, it seemed to go away and I thought we were over it.

I kept noticing Princess biting her sides and I kept thinking, "oh no! She's getting some sort of spring colic or something! Eeeek!!" Although I am very diligent about time spent out on spring grass. Then when I turned her out the other day I thought I noticed something weird on the side of her large zeppelin-like barrel and sure enough, it was a bald patch with some red dots!! Great!! And upon closer inspection, there were several more on the other side and on her hind leg.

Of course, not to be outdone, Reno had already got his belly up and running, including the patch right in the elbow of his front leg, on his hind gaskin from last summer and he rubbed his butt so hard on the webbing stall door thing that he bent the two eye-bolts beyond recognition. I did mention to Handyman that they had seemed somewhat small for a horse application. He replied that he had not planned on 1200 lbs. of buttocks to be pressing on them for some duration. I replied that he obviously was new to horses. They have been upgraded.

Sooooooo, before the heat wave broke last night, I bathed two horses with betadine shampoo twice this week. The Fung-Away is almost gone and I am emptying last summer's tube of Vitamiacin. There seems to be some improvement. Princess's spots already look like hair is starting to come back. I wish I had some clippers to trim "gorilla boy" who started shedding in February and is still not finished.

I'm also trying to dig out the stalls and get all the bedding replaced next week. I'm guessing that it might be bug-related. The bedding is fairly old and what with those chickens/feathered rats in there all the time, who knows what they're bringing...(in all seriousness, I don't think my fowl have anything foul.)

On another note, Handyman was seriously bitten by "the Love Machine", our cat Jake. We were in the ER last Friday night for an hour and a half, watching Jay Leno and getting IV antibiotics. PTL--no infection! The doctor told us they usually get infected and it can be VERY serious business very quickly. I am VERY thankful.

#3 is going for surgery one week from have her bladder issue fixed, once and for all. The other two have been through this too, so we know the routine. Just praying that all goes smoothly. When #1 had her surgery, our terrific pediatric urologist who operated on her found 2 ureters on one of her kidneys. One had been hidden in all her xrays--he was surprised! Just another documentation of her "special-ness".

Handyman got a call to shoot Barak Obama this week in a 3-camera interview. Unfortunately, he was already booked on an auto auction. He was bummed because he wanted to see how "Barry" handles himself out of the spotlight/when the cameras are off. Later that day Handyman talked to his friend who was crewing-up the job and found out that BO's campaign was saying they couldn't pay the regular rates for the guys; "They didn't have enough money." does that work? This is the champion of the working man, right? Thank goodness for the auto auction.

I wrote down 6 things for dinners this week and made sure I had the ingredients for them all. I didn't assign them or anything, just kept the list in the kitchen and that made things a lot easier. However, I fell off the wagon with my laundry baskets. They're everywhere and they're overflowing and I hate it. So, it shouldn't be too hard to get back on that. I also cleaned the bathroom downstairs rather than waiting for #1 to do it. Rather than being angry with her every time I walked into it, I decided that really, it's my house and I'll have to clean it all when she's gone, so I might as well take 15 minutes of my time to make me AND Handyman happy, than grouse around for a week and then clean it anyway. She'll have her own bathroom someday, and I'll bet she figures it out pretty quickly. Either way, this makes me happier.

Haven't planted the garden yet, and thank goodness--it's going to be 47 on Monday. This state hates me...but it has been sunny. My climbing rose is making progress and my parents brought 4,295 suckers off their lilac bushes. We managed to plant 10 or 11 of them. It'll be great if they all take. My rhubarb looks great and the crabapple and cherry trees are starting to bloom. If the dogwoods get frozen out this year, AGAIN, I'm putting the house up for sale.

Oh, one last thing...I found a hen with an apparent broken leg in the barn. I assume a horse stepped on her. Handyman and #1 played orthopedists and splinted her up with popsicle sticks and duct tape. It'll be two weeks tomorrow and she has been rehabbing under the patient, protective wing of Sir John Middleton, the toeless rooster, who LOVES her. They snuggle together at night and he stands over her during the day. I don't know what he'll do when she returns to the flock. It's precious.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'm so excited!/Same old same old

It has been a beautiful weather week--yes, I am actually saying it! Yesterday was darn near the perfect spring day, strong, but pleasant wind and afternoon high of 73. Today, however, is classic Indiana weather--high of 41 with light rain or little teeny ice balls. Fun! The high for next Wednesday is 78 or 76 or some ridiculous thing. I had almost put away my carhart coat, but common sense got ahold of me in time.

I have been lunging Princess every day, albeit briefly. She is tubby. But she is definitely improving even with such small time investment. We started picking her feet while she eats her pittance of feed, since she tried to lay down on the farrier last month. He did not appreciate it. So that has improved. She has not fallen in on the lunge circle the last several days. And she is also improving on her right rein. She doesn't bend yet, I'm sure it is inexperience and lack of muscle tone. She leans and bends to the outside. On the right rein as she is heading toward the barn, she was raising her head and trying to pull out of the circle and then stopping sometimes. I focused on just keeping her moving forward, figuring that would fix the head issue all by itself. Lo and behold, today she marched on, not looking off or even trying to pull out. Yea!

I can tell she is a little bored, already, so I am going to get some poles for her to trot over. I am also trying to increase her time moving to get that belly worn down a little.

I really, really, really recommend the 7 Habits for Families book by Covey. I am in the seasonal clothing exchange nightmare. Wash, size, sort, remove, pack away, search, find, sort, who grew? who wants this? who can wear this? who will wear this? Handyman's solution to the whole seasonal clothing exchange is to never exchange...just keep everything in the closet!! I can't stand it!

Gotta work on my chore list, my school assignments and my menu planning. Sick of coming up with food that kids hate. One hates chicken, one hates ground meat of any kind in any form (unless we tell her it is steak burger)???! Neither will eat sandwiches...what's a woman supposed to do with that? (I'll be at the barn, girls. Fix yourselves some oatmeal.)

Gotta go!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bring my smelling salts!

Ladies and Gentlemen: Today, the sun shone the entire day and it was above 60 degrees. In fact, I sweated a little while cleaning stalls. I hung out laundry (which is still out there in the dark, now that I think about it). I planted a climbing rose. I washed a lot of dishes. I lunged horses--they were shocked. I saw old friends for a great dinner. And I think Handyman got a sunburn when he fell asleep on the driveway.

Yes, folks. We here at Netherfield work our butooties off. Handyman just finished a week of 3:30 am mornings, coupled with lots of driving. And he doesn't sit much while he's working. So today we made it to early church and then when I insisted he not take a nap inside, he laid down on the asphalt and fell asleep. Now that's tired...

I made ice tea for him and he recovered enough to make Pioneer Woman's bacon-wrapped jalapenos as our contribution for the supper with our old cronies. They were great, of course, as was the rest of the meal: butterflied pork loin in the big green egg smoker, an awesome salad with strawberries, almonds and fresh greens and an amazing coffee chocolate pastry with ice cream and homemade caramel sauce and toasted coconut. I see a stairmaster in my future--oh that's right, I have horses...

If the weather holds, we want to slice-seed our pasture this week. The horses will hate being kept off that for several weeks. When I lunged them today, Reno did his usual teeny western jog, breaking into teeny western canter. Princess did her usual, falling in on one side of the circle but then improved, but quickly tired. That happens when your belly is the size of a small hot tub!

I'm trying to apply some of the skills I'm learning from the 7 Habits books, and they seem to work pretty quickly. But you know why, because they are all about dying to self. I know someone who taught that before Mr. Covey. Not that the 7 Habits aren't worthwhile...he says himself that he did not invent them. He's organized them and explained them very well.

They were "invented" by a fisherman from Galilee, and His Father.

Gotta go hay.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

This just in...

heard on the news last night that there were 8 dry days in January, 7 in February and 10 in March. That there's a recipe for deep dark depression, excessive misery...

(remember that song) Gloom, despair and agony on me...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Stats are in...

Weather stats are in...the coldest March since 2001; no days at 70 degrees since before Halloween; more than 3" over in precipitation than average for the month of March; and my favorite: only 47% of the sunshine we should be getting for an average March.

Y'know, I'm just glad to know I'm not turning into some old crank. It ain't me! It's the weather!! Handyman is tired of hearing me complain and I am crabby! The barn is doing great. I can't believe how much longer the sawdust lasts now that we have the bottom skirt board installed. If Handyman were ever home for more than 8 hours of darkness, it'd really move along.

Also, I am really getting a LOT out of 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. I bought it off Ebay so I can highlight the good parts. It is hard to be a good parent. It really yanks on the lazy parts of me. The whole "only 13 more years to go" thing of being unselfish and patient and kind seems a little marathon-ish...

Maybe if it was a little sunnier...

I heard this: The husband sets the pace of a home, the wife sets the tone.

Groan--oh great, it's up to me again...

On a positive note--I dropped off my taxes at the accountant, and once again, I did better than last year and learned some important, simple things I can do to make my life easier next year. Also--the more debt I pay off, the fewer things I have to keep track of next year!

Gotta go hay (and thank God I have some.) Horses are starving in Georgia, I hear.