Monday, December 20, 2010

New Dog, What in the world was I thinking?

So, obviously, I have a new dog. My parents brought up their dog from Southern Utah. They are out of town too much to have a dog. It is a Lab cross. Lab-pit bull, lab-rott? I don't know, but the head reminds me of a Rott that I used to have. She is black and slightly smaller than Shooter. As soon as she got off leash, she jumped the fence into the turkey pen and grabbed Jack. Feathers were flying. We turned Peck out and got Jack out of her mouth, but then he disappeared. The mutt was put into the kennel while we searched for Jack. We put Peck in one of the chicken coops INSIDE the barn to keep the dog from being able to get to her. The 4 separate chicken areas are horse stalls in the barn not currently in use. Belle and Foxy share one stall and run, with a second stall for Foxy to be fed grain while Belle eats her special grain/alfalfa cube mash. Lady has her own stall and run. The Ameracauna chickens have a stall, the Silvers have a stall (Silver Cochins, Silver Wyandottes, a Buff Orpington, and two mutts), the rabbits and the Snow Owl (its a chicken)share one, the two mutt roosters and the 3 4-H bunnies share a stall and the non layers have a stall. We also have a stall as our tack room and one with the train modules that were destroyed by the flood that we just haven't had a spare minute or the desire to mess with. All in all we have 10 stalls. The mutt is now in Foxy's old stall. We just have to baby sit Foxy while Belle eats until we can get the dog trained. Its not the fault of the dog, I really did not anticipate her going over the fence into the turkey pen. Jack came back, just missing most of his tail feathers and many of his wing feathers on one side. He is now resting comfortably in the barn. He is pretty mellow and has no desire to leave the chicken coop. (He used to be excited to go out for the day)
She is very nervous around the horses. She was on a leash the first time that she met Lady. Shooter was chasing Lady and then Lady started chasing the dogs. With teeth bared, Lady went after the mutt. The mutt about drug my Dad trying to get away from Lady. This morning, the mutt followed me into Belle's stall to fill up the water trough. She took one look at Belle and backpedalled out of the stall as fast as she could. She listens well and backed off the chicken doors when told, NO! she just kept going back to a door whenever a rooster would crow (fairly often in our barn) I think that she has potential, she just needs some work. Dad would exercise her by riding in his ATV for 2 miles every morning and the mutt would run along side (Dad used to run marathons. He is now retired and can no longer run, Thanks Chemicals from Afghanistan!) Tomorrow, I will be taking her on a nice long leash run. I worry about her getting loose right now. Shooter has jealousy issues, so when the kids get out of school for Christmas break, I am letting them exercise her! Shooter has let her know that I am his person and he is not willing to share.
Well, enough drivel today.
Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Ride

No photos today. I had the camera in my pocket and then it disappeared. Its in the house, but I don't know where I put it.

This morning hit -8F. I was very glad that kid #2 was not in a fun run/Turkey trot like we had been planning on. I never found out where and when it was. Belle and Foxy are back in the same stall/run because Belle has a 100 gallon stock tank with a plug heater. Foxy's stock tank doesn't have a plug and she plays with everything, so I don't want a floating deicer. It was either fork out another $120 for a stock tank and plug heater or just put them in the same stall and leave Lady on the other side of the barn with a heated bucket. (Foxy drinks too much for a bucket heater and she plays with the buckets.) The forecast said that Wed and Thursday were supposed to be super cold, so Monday, I dug out the one blue heated bucket that wasn't cracked to see if it worked, and Tuesday, I ran into town and picked up 2 new heated bowls for poultry and two heated water bottles for bunnies. They worked even in negative temperatures, which is so much better than last year. With less manpower, it is just worth it to spend the money on heaters.

We are down to 3 horses, 7 rabbits, 5 cats, 1 dog, 2 turkeys, no pigs (yeahhhhh!!!!), 3 active roosters, two roosters slated for the freezer, three unknown chicks(too young for me to figure out male and female) and a bunch of chickens(two silver laced wyandotte, two silver cochins, two buff orpingtons, four ameraucanas, 3 really nice barred rocks, 1 ok barred rock, 1 ugly, pathetic barred rock, 1 really ugly golden laced wyandotte, 1 rhode island, two black sex linked, two black sex linked crosses (ameraucana or rhode island, I don't know, and the roosters from the same nest have different dads, so these two might as well. When the eggs start coming, I might know, green or brown, but it doesn't really matter)

So after feeding this morning, we turned the ponies out for some much needed stretching. It gets dark so early that they haven't been turned out much lately. Lady is a fuzzball. She is in a really awkward stage and her conformation looks like an gawky teenager. Her run has a gate that she can see over when we come down to the barn and she waits there until we hit the wood deck and then she run into her stall to stick her head out of her stall. I need to measure her again because when they were out today, she looked almost as tall as Foxy. I think that it was just the angle because when I was ponying her today, she didn't seem too tall.

After all of the cooking and gorging, the temp was finally up to 30F, so Kids #1 and #2 and I went out to saddle. I was going to ride bareback until I decided to take Lady, too. I don't like to hang onto her and Belle at the same time because, with my luck, Belle would be obstinate at the same time Lady threw a fit and I would fly off. I rode Belle with Kid #3 and ponying Lady. Kid #2 rode Foxy. Mr. BPA and Kid #1 rode Mr. BPA's christmas present, the little green machine (an ATV). I love the fact that the horses don't care about the ATV. They went past and zoomed around on other trails and met up with us with no horsey freakouts. We trotted a little, walked alot, just enjoying ourselves. I dismounted just as the sun was hitting the mountains. Belle was the only one that was sweaty and not really bad. Lady had been dragging back and not wanting to go home since we turned off the trail, so Belle had been pulling on her. Belle was dry before I put her back in her stall, but I blanketed her anyway, since it is supposed to be super wind chill cold again tonight. Dusk was full on by the time we finished feeding, and I am sitting, eating my pumpkin and mince slices of pie as I type.

Not a bad way to spend the day.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November greys

The new bunnies are here. They are pretty cool, too. (But not really grey. They are Silver Foxes, Black with white)
Here is Snow White.

.and Sinister.

Sinister really is bigger than he appears. I need to take him over to get him weighed when I have a spare minute, but one of our vehicles had the thermostat go out and we have not had time to try and get it into town to get it fixed. I have been riding the atv to work or walking. That is pretty cold when it is between 9-20 degrees outside. I would take Belle, but she needs to eat breakfast and I would worry about where to put her at school. Once I can set up a place, then I might take her. They tore down the barn at the K-8, but even that wouldn't help because I wouldn't want to leave her over there when I am at the high school. The high school has a field, but it is not enclosed. I need to take in some panels and I haven't had time for that, either. The ATV mostly works. Hopefully better now that it has been tweeked for Wyoming weather instead of St. George weather. We have a trailer for hauling hay and cleaning stalls.
Today, a neighbor came over with his tools and we fixed fence. The cows had kept coming through it and eating the haystack. It was waking up Mr. BPA (the haystack is right by our window), and he was getting sick of getting up in the cold and now he IS sick. The fence is now fixed, but these are pretty big cows, we might have to fix more fence later.

The water is all gone. We have an ugly mess. Since it took so long for the water to go down, it did not have any time to grow grass again. Hopefully next year will be better.

Compare to 5 months ago.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Nightmare

Saturday I planned to drive to Jackson to pick up kid #3's new rabbits for 4-H. I found a breed of rabbit that is supposed to be very docile and mellow. They are Silver Foxes. Their fur is similar to the Arctic Fox, thus the name. Large body, good carcass to meat ratio, and thick skin and fur for tanning. They are also gorgeous. Perfect. Then I started looking for some. I finally found a breeding pair that are not related. The little doe was born July 24th, (my favorite holiday)so I had to wait until she got bigger. The buck is older so that we can breed him to the other two does that we have, just as soon as we get the Silvers. The Lady lives in Idaho Falls, and she graciously offered to meet in Jackson for the pick up. Kid #3 and I loaded up in Mr. BPAs vehicle because it gets better gas mileage than my truck and headed off. Rural Wyoming does not get great cell service, so when I got cell service part way, I had a message that she left a little late, no problem, the roads are supposed to be dry, we can head home a little late. Apparently, Wydots version of dry roads is different than mine. Two inches of packed snow is not a dry road. It was only in spots, but still. We made it to Jackson and could not find the meeting place, we found the address, but it was not a Burger King, so we just pulled in and called. She found us. The rabbits are gorgeous. The first one we saw was only 5 months old and much bigger than our current adults, and docile. It was cool. The 3 month old was not as docile, but so soft. We picked up the pedigrees and headed off. 15 minutes later, she called. "I just had an awful thought. Will you check the sex of the little rabbit?" I pulled over. Crap, it was a male. I checked the bigger one. Crap, its a female. I called her back. She grabbed the wrong ones.
So she is driving from Idaho to Wyoming again today to bring the right ones and pick up the wrong ones. Kid #3 puked his guts out on the way home. Fortunately, I was able to pull over in time. It started to snow on the way home. Lovely. I started to have a nasty hacking cough. I pulled something in my back. My dog ran off during the thunderstorm while I was gone. Bah humbug. Halloween, Go away.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

About Time!!!

Ok, I have been way to busy living life to sit down and post anything. I have gotten a job, dealt with the 4-H county fair with the ponies, rabbits, chickens, and sewing. Foxy has been bred. The pigs that we bought before the flood are finally here. School is back in session.
Sergeant, Mystique, and Princess, my sister's horses, are back in Utah. My sister moves back to Utah in one week. So I will be down to three horses. My hay consumption will be much less this winter.

Kid #1 and Lady took Grand Champion in the Paint mare class. They were the only entry in the yearling class, which was good since Foxy was near, getting ready to go into the aged paint mare class. THAT was ugly. Foxy was a nasty beast that day. As soon as Foxy was done being a giant turd in the aged mares I ran her back to the trailer so I didn't get to see the championship class.
Once Lady was in the Champion class, she was up against the 1st place winners from paint 2 year olds, paint 3 year olds and the 1st and 2nd place winners from 4-5 year olds and aged mares. It was pretty cool to hear their names called out over the intercom, though.
Sergeant and the niece took Grand Champion in Morgan geldings. Sassy and nephew took reserve champion in Appaloosa mares. Kid #2 took Grand Champion meat birds and Champion Asiatic Cockerals for his Silver Laced Cochin. It was a pretty good time. We didn't even try the State fair because I had to report to my new job. I am now so ready for Bart to come live here now. (I can afford two high maintenance horses)

Foxy is due July 4th. Pretty dang late in the season, but with the flood, it was when we could get her bred. The neighbors had a baby born Labor day, that is a bit late in my book. Especially since we hit low thirties at night.

This is what we did today.

This was the first time that I have cinched up a saddle on her. Its the second time that she has worn a saddle.
This was the first. Note-- not cinched up and WAY too big.

This is one of the tiny kid saddles. I needed to lunge her and figured that we would try it with extra. Little did I know that Mr. BPA decided that since I was out playing, he would go on a killing spree with the shotgun. 50 rounds of a 12 gauge target practice. Lady jumped a bit, but it was great practice.

We are going to be putting harness on Lady next.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moat Ponies

Warning!!! Tons of pics today. Only a few were also posted on Facebook.

Foxy and Lady are once again in weaning mode. Foxy just got bred today, so hopefully we will have an awesome foal next summer. A little late, but the flood messed us up.

While we were mucking stalls, we turned out all of mine and two of my sister's horses. I was trying to get her kids to move faster at cleaning stalls so I only put out the horses that we would be cleaning their stalls. Belle and Lady, Foxy, Sergeant, and Princess's stalls were all to be cleaned. Belle and Lady's was easy. Foxy's is a pain because it doesn't have a hard floor so we built it up with the sand bags and then put her floor mats back on it. Under the floor mats was pretty bad, we finally got all of the stuff hauled in from the flood. Sergeant's stall was just as easy as Belle and Lady's but with two arguing kids. . . Well, they never made it to Princess's stall. Maybe today.

So, we put the ponies out. Here are a few heading out to the pasture.

The mares are pretty good about hanging out together.

But Belle hates Sergeant.

But he generally wanders off.

One thing that I really appreciate about Belle is that she knows that when I call, its time to head in.

She tries to avoid going straight through the moat.

And just her hooves are wet.

The other horses just come straight through.

Well, not so straight. Foxy had to stop for a roll.(these pics also seen on Facebook, the rest are never before published)

I just can't wait to wash them all for the show on Friday!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Show!!!

Kid #1 and Lady took 1st in Halter!!!! Lady was not a perfect Lady, but Kid #1 was able to handle her and get her through the day.

In the Championship mare class, they were both too confused to do well, but the second place paint mare under 3 flipped out and reared over backwards slamming her head into a fence. She got up OK and tried to run, but I caught her on her way out of the barn. People thought that it was Lady because I caught her, but Lady was much better behaved than that. Showmanship was tougher because Kid #1 forgot part of the pattern. TROT away from the judge, not walk!!! But they still pulled a 2nd. Lady is very good about trailering now. (Lady IS under Foxy's neck. This is a habit that we really need to break. She does it with Belle, too. She can't do it with the other horses)
She just needs to be given a little bit of time to think about it. We are still working on backing out of the trailer. Tuesday, Foxy and Lady went to the fairgrounds for practice and to get the kids certified for the county fair next week. Although Kid #2 had been practicing with Foxy, Foxy was not impressed with the surroundings and all of the strange horses around her baby(Lady). Foxy was running everybody over and refusing to listen to Kid #2 at all. This was very frustrating for him. He reverted to being scared of her, like right after he was thrown and received his concussion. Lovely!!! I started to lunge her and then passed the line to him again. Foxy just kept screaming and hollering for Lady, but at least she was moving in a circle and not running him over anymore (its already tough being 12, brilliant, and short, without your 16 hh horse stomping on your feet in front of the other 4-H kids) Lady was just fine in the other arena. She listened and practiced well.
Once he lunged Foxy for 30-45 minutes, she settled down enough to let him get certified.
He will just have to lunge her before their Halter and Showmanship classes. Lady will be in the Showmanship class since they are both in the 11-13 year old class. They won't be in the Halter class together because Lady will be in the yearling class and Foxy in the aged Mares. It will be an interesting day. I will be the only adult (unless Mr. BPA can take the morning off) with the two paints, Sergeant for my niece, and Sassy for my nephew. AAAAAAAaaaaaagggghhhhh!!! At least I am not SUPPOSED to handle the horses. Only the kids are (yeah, right). Foxy and Lady have stalls reserved, so that might make things easier. It might make it tougher.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting ready for the show

Lady's first horse show is this Saturday. We had meant to go to more, but the flood really messed things up. We took Lady to the fairgrounds without Belle or Foxy. She was good, but very loud. It was only her fourth trailer ride and the first without her Mamas.

She rushes in the show ring. We are working on that. A few trail obstacles were set up, yoo. The mailbox did not phase her, but she saw no reason to walk on the bridge when she could easily go around.

All three girls got baths yesterday. With all of the swimming and the mud, they were really gross.


During: (This is Belle's prefered method for cleaning her mustache. She really hates it being scrubbed. A hose is much better)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

101 updated with Pics!!!

This is my 101st post. Wow, I should have noticed that the last one was my 100th, but I have been busy and stressed with the crazy flood. We saw this carriage in Thermopolis on the way home from the family reunion. Its even big enough for my family:)

Lady got a sunburn on her nose when she was evacuated to the pasture during my family reunion, so I had her babysitter putting sunscreen on her nose. So, of course, Foxy got a really bad sunburn on her nose. She hates the smell of the lotion, so until it actually hits the sores on her nose, Foxy fights the concept of having lotion applied to her nose. Belle is really stressed over moving around. She has never been an easy keeper. He weight has been really fluctuating. She was looking like she was putting weight back on until yesterday, but while I was there and filling her water, she came over and drank for about 5 minutes, so I wonder if she is just being picky about her water, which, of course, will affect her weight. They are coming home tomorrow. Her scratches are so much better. They are always better when she is out to pasture. In her stall, she will stand and scratch them. Foxy looks really great, except for her nose, but that is healing, too. Lady is a happy baby and the scratch that she got during the flood is finally healing. All three of them walk through the irrigation water without problems (but will that transfer over to walking through streams and puddles on trails?) This pic was taken the last week of June.
Its a little better now. The round pen is now dry. The runs are not underwater, but are muddy and mucky. Its still too wet for machinery to scrape it all out.
Monday, my brother helped Mr. BPA pull the carpet and particle board flooring out of the tackroom. Under all of that, the boards looked good, just soaked. I sprayed the whole thing down with disinfectant and we are waiting for it to dry out. It was cool and rainy yesterday, so we are still waiting to put everything back in. The Chicken coop was really disgusting, but the kids and Critter worked pretty hard on it so that we could move one of her horses into it. All of her horses will be on one side of the barn and mine will be on the other. It puts all of her horses with concrete floors. My side only has one concrete floor, with two dirt (currently mud) and two with wood that is too broken up for horses. One was used for the rabbits and the other for the model trains. A ton of train modules, mostly destroyed by the flood. Grass is growing up through the wood. That stall is low on the list for clean up.

The first horse show that Foxy and Lady will attend will be July 17th. The County fair is July 30th. They will only be doing Showmanship for the 4-H. Hopefully, the kids will have fun. Next year we will try for the parade, but Foxy is not ready to pull in a parade. Belle definitely is not.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Out to Pasture

It has been three weeks since the great flood. We have lost 1 chick, the peacocks are officially living at the neighbors (they are great friends and have conversations) three rabbits died and I have evacuated my horses to a neighbor that is 15+ miles away. Belle was not doing well(she has lost weight even with an increase in grain, hay, and oil) in the corral and a friend from church offered her pasture. We led Belle, Foxy and Lady over the condemned bridge, Lady was nervous until Foxy went over it. We loaded Foxy first. Lady was nervous, but after a few treats and a butt rope, she climbed in. Belle jumped right in, too. I stopped to check everybody when I got off the bumpy dirt road. Lady was no longer slant loaded. She was straight loaded under Belle's neck. Belle was nuzzling her. It was kind of cute. I missed the house (I had never been to the house before, but I THOUGHT that I new where it was) I had to turn around on a narrow road. Thank goodness for gooseneck trailers!! Belle, Lady, and Foxy immediately fell upon the tall green grass (they had been having exposure to grass so that they wouldn't founder) The grass is almost waist high! They were ecstatic!! I can only visit once a day. This really bothers me since i am now so used to them on my property. The next day, I noticed that they were getting eaten alive so I tried out a spot fly repellent. 5 ml from poll to tail, 1 ml under the forelock, 1 ml each on the legs. It works!! Foxy was in such a hurry to get her's that she nailed me on the head right on the button of my ball cap. OUCH!!! After she was sufficiently debugged, she was all snuggly again. The flies were really bad, so I forgave her. Lady sunburnt her nose, so now she wears sunscreen. Belle always comes immediately, Foxy and Lady do now, too, but the first day, I had to track them down. Foxy did not move from her ten foot diameter circle the first day. Lady cut her leg during the flood, but now it is starting to heal. She kept pulling the scab off. I am hoping to bring them home in another week or so. There is still too much water for all 8 horses. This way, they get time to unwind at the pasture while I am out of town (family reunion) and they get time off from the flood and my sister's horses. Belle and Sergeant were getting ugly in the evac corral. The vacation should be good.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Flood of 2010

The Flood of 2010. Sounds ominous. Well, it is. We have an old river bed running through the property. This spring, with the late snow and heavy moisture, it has had a fair bit of water in it. With the warm (not hot, merely warm) temperatures that we have had lately (high 60s and 70s) the snow pack has been melting. The ground was already saturated, this means that the water has nowhere to go. Well, actually, it went to my pasture, barn, and animal pens.

Friday. The ravine in the pasture has stagnant water. We are starting to get mosquitoes. Ok, lets get some anti mosquito larvae pellets for the water. Got grain, forgot about the pellets. We worked Lady on walking, trotting, and standing. Foxy at ground driving.

Saturday. Let’s get the garden planted. Let’s go on a trail ride. Ok, Belle still won’t go through the mud hole of a road that gets out to the trails. One of these days, she will go over it. Foxy was great. Well behaved. Got mosquito pellets. Got a bunch of garden planted. The water has increased and is a flowing stream from one side of the property to another. Time to put the scientific method into place.
Identify Problem. Belle won’t cross water, we have excess water.
Form Hypothesis. If I turn Belle, Foxy, and Lady out in pasture with water running through it, then Belle will be forced to cross water to get to Foxy and Lady.
Test Hypothesis. Out the ponies go.
Results. Foxy, Lady, AND Belle run across the water to get to the pasture.
Conclusion. Belle doesn’t really have a problem crossing water. She has a problem crossing mud holes. The water is creeping up the stock water tank that we keep in the ravine. Critter had just put 10 feeder fish in it to eat the algae. We hope that the water won’t reach the top by morning.

Sunday. I wake up at 2 AM. I can’t sleep. I toss and turn until I think it is 5 AM. Fortunately, I did not have my glasses on. It was closer to 4:30 AM.
I get up, throw on some handy walk outside my bedroom door clothes (one of Mr. BPA’s Flannel shirts, pair of shorts. I poke my head out of the front door. In the dark, there is a glistening around the barn. WATER!!! I run through the house pounding on bedroom doors, “GET UP, THE BARN IS UNDER WATER!!!!!” I throw on my work boots and run out to the barn. The ravine is full and water is surrounding the barn. The stock tank is floating. Fred, the peacock is on his perch in the adult chicken coop, but I don’t see any other birds, just stuff in the water. There are sounds in the Easter chicken coop(the chicks that we got at Easter), I keep going to the barn. I throw open the barn door. The barn floor is not under water, but getting wet. The new chicks, turkeys, and duck are not in the water, yet. The horses are nervous, but ok. Their stalls are flooding. I run back out to the Easter chicks, of the ten chicks, half are hiding in the dog house with the water only 2 inches from the top of the door. The other half are trying to keep their heads above water. I put all ten on the roof of the dog house. By then, Critter is out and in the chicken coop. I run out there to get Fred, but I see the nephew’s Silver Wyandotte hen with just her beak and part of her head above water. I scoop her up and take her to dry land. Fred is next. The mangy Peacock knocks my glasses off. I turn him loose on dry land, too. All 10 adult chickens are alive and out of the coop. The guys and kids have gathered up the little chicks from the barn and put them in empty water troughs that are now floating in the barn. The kittens are hauled to the house. Tigris, the cat is yoweling, so I take him across, (although he will play in the water with Shooter, its generally just his legs that get wet. This was already too deep for him to walk from the barn to the house on higher ground) Gizmo has already been carried across. Mr. BPA grabs Rascal, the mama cat. She has a mouse in her mouth. She must save the mouse! (Half way across the water, she ended up dropping it) The cats all get put in the house to keep them away from the birds. I grab another water trough and float the Easter chicks to dry land. We then float the 4-H chicks, as well. The rabbits are two feet above the floor, they can wait. Water is still rushing up. The decision is made. Close the gate. Put halters on and turn the horses loose from their stalls, they’ll run to the house and dry ground. Barnaby, Princess, and Sassy are the first to go. Do they run to higher ground and the house? NO!!! They run across the ravine of water and out to pasture. Ok, tie up Shooter, he is busy trying to herd horses across the ravine. Sergeant and Mystique are lead out, the floorboards are popping up and floating. Mr. BPA, Kid #2, and I head in to get the girls. Is Belle going to walk out of her flooding stall, into the barn that is flooding and out of the barn through 2-2 ½ feet of water to the higher ground? No real hesitation. We avoid the trailer of hay, the floating boards, the holes where the boards used to be and lead them to the fence. Out come the rabbits. We finally shut all power to the barn. Feed bins, bags come next. The kids are now just at the dry end of the cycle. The adults run stuff up to dry ground. The kids move it up to the yard or the kids are trying to dry off bunnies, chicks and chickens. Fred is yelling on the fence post and then runs off at some point. Critter’s inlaws that were visiting for the weekend are helping with the kids. The nephew is trying to warm up his Silver Wyandotte that I saved. She was just laying there, not moving when he found her. The neighbors are now alerted. They start making the phone calls and alerting the Elder’s Quorum for help. I drive up to the neighbors to get their shallow boat and drive up to the bridge. The construction equipment is getting water now, too. Back to the house. The water is still rising. They’ve had to move the horses, again. Critter takes two of her horses over to the neighbors. We start waking up other neighbors to let them know that the water is still rising. I ride Belle, lead Foxy, and tie Lady to Foxy’s tail. Drop off at neighbor’s. Now the water is over the driveway. The guys from town arrive and manage to save the hay and trailer from the barn. I drive the hay to the neighbors and feed the horses. They empty the tack room of saddles, grain, and the upright freezer! The train modules are wet. A total loss. The storage silo is only a little bit wet. Most of the storage is in plastic totes and can stay there. Anything else, we just don’t have time to move to try and save. The water is still rising. Barnaby runs across the ravine. Critter takes him to the neighbors. Sassy and Princess are trying to find a shallow way across, but the water is daunting. Should we try to lead them across with the boat. I don’t think so! They will be trying to climb in the boat. Mr. Critter and I paddle across the ravine with lead ropes. The Plan: I will swim Sassy across with Princess following. Good theory. Sassy and I swim across. I tried to guide her, but then she would drop her head into the water. We make it. At one point, only are heads are above the water and she is swimming with me hanging on to her mane, yelling encouragement (I have never swam with a horse before, with practice, it might be fun, but I just wanted to get them out) When we hit land, even before we were out, poor Sassy needed a break. She stood for a minute, calling Princess, who DID NOT follow. We got out of the water. Princess was running up and down the remaining coastline. Get out of there Mr. Critter and drag the stock tank with you (we were just kidding about the stock tank. It had floated to the opposite side of the ravine from where it had started) Princess and Sassy call back and forth for a while and then Princess finally takes the plunge and swims across to the back of the barn where she is caught and led through the barn to safety. Off they go to the neighbors. Fresh food and water is brought to give to the, now, dry chicks and rabbits. All six bunnies and three adults are ok. All 17 4-H chicks, 6 turkeys and 1 duck are ok (we were down due to deadloss from the snow storms) All 10 Easter Chicks are ok. All 9 hens and 1 rooster are ok. Fortunately, the pigs that we were supposed to get this weekend were not here yet. So now loss there (their pen was under enough water at the beginning that we would have already lost them) I finally go and get dressed (I was soaked from the head down, but my hair was still dry) and off to the neighbor’s for breakfast. The absolute BEST biscuits and gravy I have EVER eaten. (1- She is a great cook, and 2- I was tired and hungry.) Unload the saddles from the truck. Empty feed bags to check for moisture. Very little loss. Most was already in plastic bins. Back to the house to give the animals shelter from the sun. Find out that our well is still safe. Pack up Kid #2 for week long summer college camp. Upload pics to Facebook and sit. Incoming phone call.

BPA?(Not really, she does call me by my actual name)

Yeah, (neighbor) what can I help you with?

Are you busy?

Not really? (whatever she wants, she can have after giving shelter to the horses and making biscuits and gravy)

Can you come help another neighbor? The other river is kagihioertklrkkljk(I heard nothing really after that, I just started yelling for the kids and passed out adults to head back out to there)

So off we go to get everything off the floor and up at least 18 inches or more in the garage of another neighbor. The river behind the garage and house is almost over the dyke. Their horses are moved to the same neighbor that ours are (just different corral). All trailers, campers, animals are moved. They try to build up the dyke. We have to leave for Casper. We take the Dodge Durango (Better gas mileage and more comfortable for the passengers than my truck. The driveway is 1-2 feet under water in spots. The road to the bridge is 2-3 feet under water in spots (we avoid the 3 foot areas)
Some houses are surrounded by water. We trade off for naps. Kid #2 arrives at College and is excited to be able to sleep in for a week (breakfast is not served until 8 AM!!!) Head back home.

Phone call

“You can’t come back over the bridge. I will tell you the back way to get home. (giggle, giggle)”

me- “ok”

giggle, giggle, “hey, somebody tell me how to tell her to get here.”
much discussion in background. Hey, your Durango is light enough and has the 4 wheel drive, you can make it over the bridge, but . . .” lost call.

We decide to go to the bridge and see. We make it over the bridge. We joke that if it does start to go, then we will gun the engine and make the jump like in the movies. The road past the bridge is washed out. The river is flowing over it. We see that there are a bunch of vehicles on the other side. We go for it, we can’t really turn around anyway and at that point, are surrounded by water. The water goes up to the middle/top of the grill on the vehicle, Mr. BPA rolls down his window and puts on a show for the now recognizable neighbors. They only give him a 82 for his 8 second ride. They are exhausted/slap happy. They tried to build up the dyke, but the water ended up finding another way to the property (just not through the house). Fortunately, the water has not risen on our property, just spread to other’s. The fire/emergency personnel shut down the bridge. The local police officer warned that only for emergencies can we cross that bridge. We are all scheduled to work on Monday. It’s the first day of my new summer school job. To relieve stress, the neighbor kids want to try out Belle, then the other horses. We just use the halters and lead ropes. It’s crazy. We finally get home and it starts to rain. Now we need to find rain shelter for all of the displaced chicks, rabbits and dog(Shooter is afraid of storms and we found him across the river and in the next town last time he wasn’t locked in the barn during a storm) Rabbits and Shooter to the Yurt (which is still dry) and the 4-H chicks to the well house. The older, Easter Chicks get water troughs on their sides and the top of a dog crate. The adult chickens have already taken over the intact dog crates. Tigris is left outside (where he really wants to be after being locked up until a secure coop for the little chicks was built while we were in Casper) Gizmo and Puma are locked in the girls’ room. Guido is locked in the boys’ room. Bandit in Critter’s room and the kittens and Rascal in the laundry room. We will take shifts to watch the water level and condition of the animals. I am a morning person, so Mr. BPA and I take the morning shift. At 2:30 AM, Monday morning, I get out of bed to check on Shooter and let him out since the storm has passed. The water has gone down a foot or two. The chicks and rabbits are ok. I let cats out. Rascal takes the opportunity to capture a mouse and give the kittens a hunting lesson. I finally took the mouse away after coming inside after my 4:30 walk around the coastline. All is well (or at least unchanged) I heard Fred, but did not see him. I have been typing this during my off time during my watch. I am on less than 3 hours of sleep, so although I know that there are probably many grammar errors in this accounting, I really don’t care right now. All of the animals are alive. The house is still safe. The water is safe. The people are safe. We have plenty of food and friends (and my sister’s inlaws make it home safely, too.) All is well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Paint in Painting

I have paints. Really, I do. I just have not discussed them in a while. I have been out playing with them, being busy, and just not blogging about them. Lady is still growing like a weed. Kid #1 has been working with her on 4-H Showmanship, where she leads Lady around, demonstrating Lady's training at leading at a walk, trot, and standing. Yep, that is Lady's tongue sticking out.Lady was not really impressed with the lining up and standing. Foxy was really great at following kid #3 around, but not so good at the standing in a line, waiting for their turn to demonstrate a straight line at a trot, stopping, turning and trotting back.

Critter was giving the showmanship lesson with 4 kids and horses.

I had Belle in the arena, too.
Shooter was helping. His eye is so much better now. I still think that his vision is compromised, but he doesn't seem to be too affected. He just runs into things a little more than he used to.

The next day we had a riding lesson. With 4 kids. And 4 horses. Belle and Lady were not in attendance, which worried Foxy, so Kid #2 discussed the pythagorean theorem with her as they worked on control, gaits, and being calm. (I couldn't get him to just talk to her, so I made him tell her stuff)

It snowed 10 inches last week, so Lady has not had a bath recently. It is supposed to get to 72-76 degrees Farenheit today, so maybe the lake will disappear and it will be warm enough for baths. Belle and Lady really need them. We also need to get a Bobcat in an scrape the outdoor stalls. Yesterday, there was still some snow in the outdoor runs. Which means that the mud and muck is not so great right now. So in my brilliance yesterday, Critter and I decided to go on a trail ride. Without kids. Belle did not like this and threw a temper tantrum. During her tantrum, she slipped in the mud. I expected her to catch herself and lunge forward. (Anyone that has driven her knows that she can drop her butt pretty far and then lunge forward like she is in the horse pulls) In anticipation of the lunge, I kept my feet in the stirrups. 1800 lbs falling on the human body hurts. As soon as my right foot hit the ground, I had my left foot out of the saddle. It happened pretty fast, but I think that the soft footing actually saved both my leg and Belle. She caught my forearm with the horn (I think, its the only thing that I can think would have caught it)but she didn't roll all the way over. She scrambled to her feet and I rolled out of the way. Mr. BPA was fixing the barn door and came running. He made me demonstrate walking before he let me get back on. He also said that if I couldn't pull myself into the saddle, I couldn't get back on. We went for a very short ride then worked for a little while in the arena. By then, the adrenaline had worn off. My foot is broken. The 1st and third metatarsals. I might also have a hairline fracture in my radius (forearm). My knee is sore. Heck, the whole right side of my body hurts. Belle is good, she never limped or even felt too bad about the whole thing. Sometimes horses can tell if they messed up and stay with you when you come off, not Belle, she took off to find the herd.

Enough Pity party, I am still going to work and I have to practice not limping before my job interview later this week.

We are getting a new paint. She is a light sorrel tobiano. She was given to a coworker of Mr. BPA and all of his kids are gone now and they took their horses this week and he did not want to keep one horse all by herself. So she is coming to our house for Kid #1 to practice on until Lady is old enough. She is really friendly and let us pick up her feet and move around her without problems. We will have to see how she is under saddle. We are thinking of calling her Rose (as in Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty's alter ego. With Belle and Lady, I like to keep with the Disney names. Ok, Lady was a dog, but it really fits her better than TinkerBelle)The new mare has another name, but it is the same as a girl at church and that would just be weird. So now, we will have 3 paints and the one Clydesdale, at least until Bart comes home.