01 November 2015

Boo Bash

Carus and Scout had their first show of the year (year being the 4H year, which runs September through June) this weekend. It wasn't specifically a 4H show - more of an open show for all interested to come from peewee (4-9) to older and wiser (40+) and was a gaming show with a costume contest. (Gaming in horses are courses/obstacles that are ridden horseback AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.)

For the costume contest, they were pirates.  Scout's missing eye lends perfectly to the eye patch.

We had a little photoshoot at the barn the week before to fully document the costume.  

Carus's shirt, pants, and both hats were found at Goodwill. I made the vest using some old vinyl/pleather material we had from refinishing a piano bench a couple years ago. It's a very simple vest with holes punched for lacing - leftover leather lacing bought for another craft project. Using the same vinyl material and some yarn we made the eye patch for Scout.

The day of the photos, the sky was amazing with lovely clouds and pretty colors in the sunset and the moon at just the right height. 

The bridle Scout is wearing is the one Carus won in the raffle at Horse Fair back in June. It fits him perfectly and has heart-shaped pieces all along both sides and across the brow-band.

He had no problem with the hat or eye patch whatsoever. He's such a good boy!

Halloween Day - Boo Bash

Warming up before the contest starts. 

Just put on the finishing touches - hats (Carus's was tied onto her helmet which she needs to wear always when riding*) and Carus, Scout, and I posed for a photo with Karen (Scout's owner and our ride).

Walking the circle for the judge.

First place in the costume contest!! Blue ribbon for Carus and a new one-eared bridle for Scout.

Waiting out of the rain for her next turn at the games. She had a lot of fun with the games. After every run she would say she wanted to go again! Too bad games are one shot, fast as you can, sort of deal. We'll practice them at our home barn.

I made a little video of the clips I took of their runs. I'm still not a great videographer...or video editor, but hey, I try.  I even figured out how to put it to music!  (You can view the video here on YouTube.)

The prize haul. 

*Yes, she was without the helmet for the photoshoot but that was in a controlled environment while they were standing still/posing for just a moment.

17 September 2015


We lost Timmy today.


He became really lethargic yesterday and we took him to the vet.  He was dehydrated and had a very high fever. They gave him some antibiotics and some fluids and then we brought him home and I nursed him through the night. Though I got his fever to break, he was still very weak this morning and his blood work showed he wouldn't get better...no matter how much I nursed him.

Even though he was so sick, he still tried to cuddle us in his usual manner - rubbing his face against ours and pressing his head into our shoulders while we gave him all our loves one more time.

We got Timmy, with Wilbur, from the Oregon Humane Society about 12 years ago. They were just under a year old so we estimate them to be around 13 years give or take a few months.  (Same age/close in age though different litters.)


(Slideshow of Timmy photos)

We miss sweet baby Tim Tim kitty meow meow. We keep looking for him and wanting to see him. I opened the door for the dogs earlier to let them out and when I went to close it I looked to see if Timmy had sneaked out. And then I remembered.

When I went to feed the animals dinner I expected Timmy to come running to make sure he got to eat first. He always insisted that if he could see the bottom of the bowl, even just a little bit, it was completely empty and he was moments from starving. If you put food in the dog's bowls first, he would take a bite of the dog food while giving you a look that said, "look what you have reduced me to."

We expected Timmy to outlast Wilbur and Simba and Yoda, not be the first one we lost.  He was the leader. He watched out for them, even Simba, who he didn't really seem to like.  He would come and get us when Simba or the dogs wanted in and once he even alerted us that Wilbur had got out. Wilbur was very skittish at that time and it took us three days and a borrowed animal trap to get him back - Timmy let us know each time Wilbur came near the door and when the trap succeeded in catching him.

Timmy greeted everyone new that came to the house demanding their attention and made many visitors want to take him home.

You could call Timmy and he would come running, especially if you called, "Timmy buggies" and showed him a mosquito eater. He loved to catch and eat those buggies.

Timmy curled up with the kids when they were sick, purring their germs away. He curled up with us too. He insisted on sleeping between Robert and I every night. If we were cuddling watching a movie, he pushed himself between us. Robert was his special person and that was where he belonged.

If you got a bowl out of the cupboard, Timmy thought you were getting cereal and needed to share your milk with him. He would meow his mostly silent meow and bat at you until you gave in and gave him some "Timmy milks" (which we did occasionally) or finished your cereal and put up the bowl.

Timmy also liked to try to take Cheetos or cheese flavored popcorn out of our hands. Once he was very persistent in trying to get some cheesy popcorn that he was trying to bat at our mouths.

Timmy would bat at us demanding attention.  We would pick him up and he would rub his head into our shoulder and his face against our ear, often scratching us just a little bit with that one tooth that stuck out.

We love you Timmy. You were the best Ittie Bittie Timmy Kitty and we will miss you lots.

11 September 2015

Brain dump

A friend through the interwebs wrote about dealing with all the things running through her head lately and made a list of a few of the things she's thinking about and it seemed cathartic. And then I commented with a few of mine and it was cathartic so now I'm putting it here so I can glean a few more benefits of getting all that weight off my chest/shoulders/brain.

September is my month for anxiety. I've recognized that it happens, plan for it (cause I have to plan) and try to cope as best as possible but it's a countdown until October.

My brain today:

was it the right decision to keep daughter in online school
am I putting too much pressure on her to allow them to put her in high school level classes in 8th grade
my son is a junior
JUNIOR! 2 more years and you gotta find money to put him in college
he wants to go to oxford - ha!
if he can figure out what he wants to do
at least I have 5 years for sissy and her dreams of stanford
or 4 if she manages to shave a year off her high school career
he still needs to learn to drive
need to go to the barn tonight
moving barns
people will hate me at the old barn
people won't like me at the new barn
no social anxiety for you because it would make daughter's worse
it would be easier to move to our own place with a barn...can't afford that...unless i move too far away to borrow that horse anyways....
robert's surgery is on tuesday
vacation time, hurry up and get here
who am I forgetting to call?
when are they going to do layoffs at work?
are they going to layoff?
have I picked the right 4h group?
what if robert dies in surgery?
what's for dinner because I didn't do the menu again!
i wish I had time to sew...or crochet...or finish knitting that blanket i started 2 years ago
I'd like to write too...but yeah, that's gonna happen
2 years and 5 years until college and it's all tooooooooooo expensive
work potluck tomorrow and i'm expected to bring something...what???
would it be bad to get pizza for dinner so i don't have to think about it anymore
download school photos
share school photos so family doesn't think we fell off the earth
i'd love to see my grandparents for xmas...not happening...
has yoda's ear infection cleared up
timmy looks skinny, is he sick
i should vacuum
who am I forgetting to call?
threat of school shooting (it was caught WELL before anything happened just AJH&R$QW&ERUV@LKSS!DNE%UYR!!)

That cleared things out a bit....

Don't worry about my ramblings, of which this is just a sampling, I know the majority of them will work themselves out how they work themselves out and the rest are normal and there's nothing to worry about.  And hopefully this weekend I'll get those back to school photos up.

23 July 2015

Catching Butterflies

We have a screened in back porch.  We removed a panel to allow easier access to the backyard for the dogs and for us.  That open panel also allows more leaves to blow in and flies and bees to get stuck bouncing off the corners, and occasionally we get a bird in there. The bird gets stuck flying in circles (always bouncing off the corner opposite the open panel) and the cats line up at the sliding glass door to watch while Leia looses her shit running around barking like mad.

I will go and rescue the bird; shooing it out with a broom and it usually doesn't take long. 

Once I rescued a honey bee by giving it some sugar water in a little dish and putting that dish outside so the bee could fly off on its own - no touching involved.  

The other day Carus called to me - a butterfly was stuck.  Having a butterfly get stuck on the porch is a new one.  I tried passive moving using a flower.  But it wasn't working.

I finally gave up trying to get it to walk/land on the flower.  I don't understand why the butterfly wasn't happy with the flower but whatever.  

So I let the butterfly step onto my finger.  I was worried that it would tickle or twinge me out and make me jump and shake my hand and incidentally kill the butterfly, but I barely felt it's little feet. 

Carus watched from a few feet back.  She was a little squicked out about it and/or me coming near her with it.  It's those little legs and antenna that are too reminiscent of icky squicky bugs.  She took the photos of it on my hand.

It flew off my hand a few times, but eventually it stayed still long enough for me to slowly - very slowly - walk out to the yard and place the butterfly on the leaves of the tree.  

After all that trouble the silly little butterfly didn't want to move off and onto the leaf; and once it finally did go onto the leaf it just sat there long enough for me to take a few more photos before I had to go back inside and back to work.  

It was nice to blow Carus away with me touching a butterfly, and it was really cool to hold a butterfly in my hand. I was surprised how light footed it was. It walked all over my fingers and I didn't feel it at all.  Crazy cool. 

19 July 2015

4H Horse Fair 2015

Well I'm a procrastinator.

Grooming contest team
(Kylie, Carus, Mitchell, Amelie)

But we already knew that, huh.

Horse Fair was June 28th through July 1st. I think I am able to finally get this up because I finally feel I've recuperated HAHA!

The week leading up to Fair was crazy busy and I stressed over remembering things and getting things done, and trying to anticipate everything we'd need when I didn't know what to expect because no one tells you anything except that it is hot and busy and crazy. I was so very confident that it wouldn't be hot because my birthday weekend is NEVER hot here in Oregon and most years we actually get rain often.

I probably jinxed it. Oops.

The 4 days of Horse Fair were crazy busy and HOT! and I stressed over things getting done.

It was really, really hot.  It is never in the 90s the last week of June, let alone the low 100s, but all that week it was.

The barn with all the people and horses and little to no breeze kept it feeling much warmer...though it didn't have the sun beating down on you so it sometimes it was better.
After In-Hand Trail hug 

There was lots of waiting and working in the barn (the kids have to keep their section clean for a Herdsmanship competition - we won one day but not the trophy overall), and waiting outside in the sun (very little shade and not where it was needed) and running back and forth to the campgrounds and the barn and the arenas and barn again.

I was fairly successful in keeping us hydrated and not sunburned - but I did get sick and sunburned the last day (Robert took over in the last chores as I went home "early" to rest).

The days were also very long.  Carus had to get up at 5 am to feed Scout as when one horse in the group is fed, the others need to be fed too, and there were early events.
Events started at 7 am and go until the schedule for the day was completed - sometimes 8 or 9 pm. Then there were the evening fun activities and bed wasn't before 10 any of those nights, and at least one night it was near midnight.

I stuck a pedometer in my pocket halfway through the first day and got over 35,000 steps that (half) day, and kept that trend up the rest of the week.

Our friend, Scout's owner, was a GOD SEND! for lending us her RV. The AC and nice bed to sleep on and fridge for cold drinks and food were very helpful.  It was very much appreciated.

Riding at sunset

Carus had a lot of fun too! She did great in all her events bringing home Red Ribbons in in-hand trail and riding trail, and Blue Ribbons in showmanship and western equitation.  She did so well in her western equitation she got a special recognition ribbon that was presented to her at the final meeting with all the participants in attendance.

Game night riding
The grooming contest was the first day.  Our group had two teams working in the contest.  Each team gets a dirty horse to bathe and clip and present in a showmanship-type presentation (in hand walking, trotting, and set up presentation for the judge).  Carus's team bathed Mitchell and they won that contest.  They each got a free ice cream for that.

Each evening they had fun activities planned like Game Night where they had games they could play with their horses - like the apple bobbing race, which she got to do, and the team ribbon race where each team of two riders hold a string of yarn between them as they ride around the arena at different speeds and stops and turns and Carus and her teammate didn't win, but they had fun. Another evening there was a potluck and another was a movie under the stars.

One of the 4H groups had a member holding a raffle contest to raise money for her to go to Nationals and Carus entered all the money allotted to her (some she got Daddy to put up and some she got Gramma Barbara to put up) into the raffle for a bridle with heart-shaped conchos on it.  She won that.

Waiting for their event.
We've enjoyed our first year of 4H though have been really stressed about things (they don't explain shit! and I need information and it drove me nuts) and there are changes being discussed with the 4H group we're with where there might not be a group next year or it will be extra small (we're already small) and I didn't want Carus to say she didn't want to do it again right after being exhausted by Horse Fair so I told her she can't decide until the first week of August at the earliest.

I'm thinking she will want to do it again; she really likes the competition and shows and the ribbons.

I'm also thinking next year would be better because now I know what's going on...well, at least I know more of what's going on.  And I'm determined to create a manual for new 4H parents because we need one!

Carus and I were in heaven with all the GORGEOUS horses.

I've put the rest of the photos on Facebook here.

The only video I took was of the last day's events - Showmanship and Equitation.

I edited those together into one movie seen below.  I'm not a videographer nor movie editor so you get what you get.

17 May 2015

Adam dresses up again

A couple of weeks ago Adam and his friend went to Prom and they dressed up and were adorable and I made them stand in front of the hydrangea because it was blooming while I took photos and was an annoying mom.  Also, I love her blue hair. 

But I wasn't too annoying - I only made them pose for a handful of pictures before letting them leave.

01 May 2015

Outlander returns!

Outlander has returned!

That break felt so long, but it could have been longer. 

I think I like how they split this season. Do you think they will continue this pattern with the subsequent seasons?

Adam and I have been discussing how much we like how they are doing the adaptation. They are staying pretty true to the book adding in scenes and commentary to allow thoughts and suspicions of Claire's into the show.

I particularly like the scene were Claire slapped Loaghaire. It was great.

I found a continuance error. In episode 1 Claire and Mrs. Graham are in the kitchen with their tea and palm reading and Frank and the Reverend come into the kitchen. They were discussing Black Jack and how it was thought he had an important political character protecting him as he harassed the country side, and Frank said "Duke of Sandringham" in a questioning manor. It was an odd questioning, like he was testing the name out. BUT! In episode 10 Claire again flashes back to that memory, but now there is more conversation leading up to Frank's suggestion of Sandringham being protector and it flows better.  

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