12 September 2016

Horse Fair

How has it already been more than two months since Horse Fair?!  I'm woefully behind in sharing updates, but I will be working to remedy that as well as attempting - yet again - to get back into the habit of updating/journaling/etc on a regular basis.  Maybe this time I will be successful. Only time will tell!

All the photos from fair can be found on my Facebook page in this album

We missed Scout so much during fair.  Or at least I did.  Carus did have working with DJ to distract her. She did break down during senior night where they were reading speeches written by the graduating seniors, who wouldn't be back the next year, and a couple of those kids thanked their first horses as being the reason they fell in love with horses. It hit her right in the feels and she said that she worries he won't make it to her senior night. I've reassured her that 4 years isn't that far off and he's still doing well so we can be hopeful.  She's planned out how he will be the one that takes her into the arena for senior night - walking together or riding. I hope that she gets that.

If you missed it - Scout is now retired from shows (mostly).  He was diagnosed, officially, June 1st with sidebone (click here for Google search for sidebone where you can find all sorts of info if interested) in his left front foot.  He's on daily pain management as well as some joint supplements and he got a whole month off.  When his month was up and I let Carus ride him at a slow walk around the arena for 10 minutes I held my breath hoping so hard that it wouldn't cause him pain and make him limp again.

It didn’t.  They can walk and trot and play together again, and he really tears it up around the pasture with Dusty! Yay! 

For Fair, Carus was able to borrow DJ, her 4H leader's horse, a 25-year-old Quarab (Quarter horse and Arabian horse cross) who was a drill horse for many years.  He likes to go-go-go and can do so all day long and then some.  Carus worked hard for the 2 months leading up to Fair to get used to him, him used to her, and keep him calm and listening for the slow work that would be required of them for fair.

We are so proud with how Carus handled herself during fair in so many ways, but first I'll explain how so with DJ.

DJ is what one would call a hot horse.  He likes to go and go fast because that is what he was trained to do.  Carus would take him into the arena and ask him to stand still for a moment and he didn't understand why because usually when he got into an arena he would be moving until he left that arena.  She still stuck it out, kept her patience, and tried her best.  She never left one of her classes defeated by a less than perfect outcome. After her trail class where he did a bunch of pawing at the ground, trying to run off course, and even a little crow-hop, she left the arena laughing and said, "Well, that could've gone better."  She didn’t get any blue ribbons this year, but still was very happy with her efforts and so glad to have the opportunity to work with this adorable little energizer bunny horse. DJ taught her quite a bit in their 2 months together.

This was also our first year with the new 4H group as last year's group disbanded.  Carus was the only member this year with prior 4H Horse experience.  The other two members where younger than Carus, in their first year of 4H, and in their first year of showing horses.  (There was a fourth member, but she ended up dropping out mid year.)  Carus was supportive of them, a great leader to them, and helped them at a drop of a hat without complaint (mostly) even though we got close to 100 degree temps (again) and the days were long and busy, occasionally feeling like they were never-ending. 

4H is about to start up again this year, and Carus has a few goals to work towards.  She hopes to show Bailey the mini-donkey this year, show a horse (which is currently planned to be Dusty if Dusty can handle it), become a better rider, maybe show in some English classes, and she wants to earn the most points.

(Each horse 4H member is required to earn 100 points to be allowed to participate in Horse Fair. They get those points by participating in 4H activities, other horse shows, educational clinics and competitions, and community service/volunteer work.  Last year the winner got 470ish points and Carus wants to get 500 at least.  Since we have a limited number of shows we can attend - which does limit her earning ability a smidge - this can be a bit of a challenge, but we'll try.)

More to come. . . 

02 September 2016

Happy 18th (!!) Birthday, Adam!

Adam is 18!

I can't believe it has been 18 years, and at the same time I can. It's gone by so slowly but too quickly. You are officially an adult, but it doesn't feel like you are quite yet. At least to me.  

I'm not sure what will make you an adult.  Will it be you graduating this year? Or getting your license?  Maybe the trip to DC on your own. Or seeing you vote in your first election. 

I am so proud of who you are. Every day and every year I become more and more proud of you. You are kind and considerate, responsible and empathetic, smart and witty, funny and sweet.  Your sense of humor and love for puns and dad jokes are the best.   

You're the best son, brother, friend, and person that I could have hoped for.

Thanks for making us (your parents) look good. 

01 September 2016

First Days of School

First days of school 2016

Carus went first as she is a Freshman! She started 8/29/16.

Robert took the photo for me as I had to go to work before she was ready to go.  I thought she looked excited and happy and that made me feel less anxious for her (she's my baby, I was anxious for her) but apparently the grin is because Daddy made her laugh.  Whatever, it works.

The better news is that this week has been great for her! She's starting to find her way around a very large school with classes all over the place and seeing old friends and meeting new friends and having a good time.  

Adam started the next day - Senior year! 

He's all same ole same ole to the high school experience. He likes that this is his final year, but I think it is making him a bit anxious because now everyone expects him to have a plan of what to do next and he hasn't decided.*  And on top of school, he's been working every evening this week and isn't home much except to sleep and is tired and not exactly enthused.  Welcome to adulthood kid, it sucks. 

The first few weeks will be an adjustment - they're both exhausted at bedtime and fall asleep easily.  It helps (or doesn't help depending on how you look at it) that they are walking to and from school (maaaybe a mile - maybe) to avoid dealing with 1-1/2 bus ride that comes when they want to get up (leave at 6:30 to ride the bus or get up at 6:30 and walk).

Meanwhile, I can't believe they're both in high school.  My baby is a freshman. My oldest is a senior who will be graduating this year.  This is weird and too soon and just really, really weird. 

*So far the plan is to go to community college and start the basic prerequisites and see what peaks his interest and go from there.

08 June 2016

Scout update

So, starting in March or so, about a month after his abscess blew, Scout started having this lameness.  He would limp off and on and often only at a trot and sometimes if we walked him for a long time before trotting he would be fine and other times he wouldn't.  We'd give him a week off, then ride, and then he'd limp 2 days later.

We thought maybe it was a residual abscess or another one.  Or maybe it was arthritis - he is older.

His owner had his shoes removed and that seemed to help a little and then it didn't.  We added MSM for joint support and that seemed to help a little and then it wasn't helping any more.  There was still the occasional limp.

Meanwhile May crept up on us and the three scheduled shows for May and Scout was still limping.  I went to cancel the first show and then Carus was lent a horse for shows for May so shows were back on but Scout was sitting them out.

It was weird not having Scout with us and people asked about him at the 4H show - Scout and Carus were famous.  We missed him.  I missed him more than I thought I would.

Then he was still limping so he couldn't do the other two shows in May, which we turned into just one more show and Carus still borrowed DJ and they did well, but they're not Scout and Carus so it wasn't the same.

Scout got a chiropractic appointment and that determined there might be something more going on so Scout got a vet appointment for x-rays and there was suspicion of ringbone.

The vet appointment finally came and I held out so much hope that it was just a little arthritis and the vet would have a program that would help him and he'd be better in no time.

It wasn't ringbone. It was ringbone's cousin - sidebone.

There's no cure.

Scout is now a retired show horse.

He is getting a rest while the meds and supplements the vet started him on get into his system and then he might be cleared for light riding.  No trotting.  No shows.  Definitely no loping.  He should be fine for trail rides or walks around the arena. Hopefully.

I'm devastated.

I feel weird for saying devastated, but it's the best way to describe it I think.  I don't want him hurting so it's not like I want to just dose him up on painkillers and keep him moving until he completely breaks down. But I don't want it to be over for him already.

He's fine as a pasture pet.  Carus and I still adore him and still love on him and take care of him and I don't want that to change.

Carus wanted to do 4H and OHSET (Oregon High School Equestrian Team) and while Scout wasn't an option for OHSET, they were really starting to hit their stride with 4H and I'm sad to see that end. Carus doesn't have the same connection with the other horses she's been working with (DJ and Dusty*) as she has with Scout.  I knew there was a connection, but to see the contrast between horses is amazing and interesting.  Ask my Grandma about the connection. She saw Carus ride DJ first and was all, 'that's a pretty little horse. I like him' and then saw Carus with Scout doing their follow the leader routine and apparently now has been telling everyone about the connection.

There are some options for her for next year and things are in the works for considerations and options.  They're on hold while we prepare for Horse Fair at the end of this month though so my patience is being put to the test.

I'm a planner though, and this lack of concrete plans is driving me nuts. Figured putting this all down on the blog will be good for looking back on and for a venting of sorts. Now that it's out there maybe I can relax a little.  We have all summer ahead of us.  Who knows what next month will bring...

(DJ and Dusty are awesome horses in their own ways, not trying to say they suck or anything.)

05 May 2016

Happy Birthday Leia

Happy birthday Leia Monkey Puppy, my #chickendog

She turned 5 today.  

01 May 2016

Adam's Prom

Adam and a group of friends traveled to downtown Portland, to Portland Art Museum, for prom Saturday where they met more friends and Junior and Senior prom (combined) was experienced.

These kids are the cutest! I love how bright and vibrant their dresses and hair are and how some matched their dresses to their hair!  They escorted each other.

I love how much Adam enjoys dressing up. He owns this suit, we just bought him a new tie, pocket square, vest combo for prom.  And I know I'm biased but I think he looks spiffy.

I'm making spiffy have a come back saying. 

These guys were king and queen together in Adam's last Shakespeare play - Midsummer's Night Dream. Most of Adam's prom friend group was in that play. I'm glad he's found his clique. It makes high school bearable when you have good friends to suffer through it with you. 

22 April 2016

RIP Wilbur

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We said good-bye to Wilbur today. We knew with Timmy going that Wilbur probably wouldn't be too far behind. What Timmy had was very contagious (so yeah, Simba has it too...sigh) and Wilbur was already slowing down on his eating and drinking so we knew. Doesn't make it easier... just makes it less surprising.

We tried to make the call at the right time, and I think we did.  We made *the* appointment the day after he stopped eating. I spent his last day force feeding soggy canned cat food down his throat. You know it's bad when you can force feed a cat and not get scratched.

The kids and I said our good-byes and Robert took him in by himself as I had to work.

Wilbur was a little slow and always skitsy.  The first 2 years we barely saw him as he hid in the closet all day and would only come out at night to play chase with Timmy. After a few months he would also borrow deep under the covers - but don't move your feet or he'd get them. Once he got out and it took us three days and a borrowed live animal trap to get him back, and Timmy's supervision of course.

We put a ledge on the window sill for him in our house in Aloha because he kept trying to sit on the sill and would fall off every time he started to doze.

He LOVED that ledge and we finally got to know our cat. He TALKED so much. We would all have conversations with him - meow? meow. ME-OW?! Mow.  And he would chirp to birdies outside.

After we moved out here, he hid under the bed for about a week and then he came out of his shell so to speak. He was often in the living room laying on the back of the couch or curled up in one of the kids beds - which was new. Visitors very rarely saw him as he'd stay hidden when they were around, but he really opened up and became less shy.

He loved fresh water and was really insistent when asking for the faucet in the bathroom to be turned on for him.

His only gross cat thing was he always had hairballs and would find the best place to leave it for you to step on. I think he bathed himself and Timmy and that's why he had so much hairballs. But his purrs were the loudest, his meows sounded like actual conversations, and his sweet slightly cross-eyed face was the best.  He came as a package deal when we adopted Timmy, probably cause they knew shy kitties have a hard time being placed.  I'm so glad he did.

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