Monday, September 27, 2010

I can explain!

I'm terribly sorry I didn't post Horse Logic Saturday! ...or Sunday.... But! I can explain all!
 You see, Saturday I was swamped with personal affairs like house chores, boring stuff like that etc., and I simply had to go to my little brother's soccer game. The weather was perfect that day - a balmy 75* and sunny all day. You know it's been rainy and cold here for the past two weeks(!) and that's something I am not used to {nor does it make me cheerful to be trapped indoors with homework - blah.} Anywho, my brother's team smoked the other one by a whopping 9 to 1. Afterwards there were victory icy-slurpy-high-sugar-yummy things all round. I can't recall clearly what happened once we got home. But that too is explainable because yesterday, after church, completely out of the blue, Da hooked up the trailer and said we were going to go trail riding!
 I know you must be thinking that with all the pastureland I'm blessed to be able to ride in whenever I want,  it's rather odd that I should be so excited to go trail riding. Well let me tell you this, we never take the horses on trails. We just don't have the time. And, when you ride nearly everyday all summer, even with all this land, you've pretty much adventured the whole place out. Things get a bit samey.
 Back to the main point.
So we loaded up Wilber for Da, Roanie for me, and Tricksey for little brother. Mum's knees hurt her real bad when she rides so she decided to just walk.
All loaded up
{L-R Wilber, Roanie... and Tricksey, though she's too short to see}
After a long and precarious drive up{...and up and up...} into the National Forest Reserve {aka, the Hills} we came to the spot. The trail head of Big Hill.
 What a sorry name for such a pretty place. The only excuse for such a name is that it was named by the Naive Americans and the translation is simply "big hill". If that is not the case, then whoever did name it is a buffoon. I stray yet again....
We took the longest loop around the hill, about 4 miles. Four miles of blissful riding in the depths of nature. The trees are dressed best autumn frocks, but only for for a few days. The breeze was already plucking at the leaves and whispering change.  As we passed through the silent wood, the leaves fell gently like golden confetti. The variety of hues the different trees take on after a summer of greens is extraordinary. Red oaks and maples, yellow aspens, orange birches..... God's own fireworks show.

I wasn't able to take pictures because I was riding the whole time, but I was able to snatch a few.
{This shot took me forever to get. Roanie wanted to go home, not hold still}
Roanie was awesome for me!! She only spooked twice the whole time. And that, my friends, is what you call a miracle.

Now I have to go now, though...  Da wants on. Okay, okay! I'ma gettin', I'ma gettin!
 I will try and post HL tonight!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A few updates

I posted my "adventure" photos over at Big Sky, so if you don't follow already, be sure to check it out!

Tomorrow being Saturday, I will try and post another Horse Logic answering your questions and perhaps more, so be sure to come back!

Also take a look and listen to this song. The singers are Icelandic{Ooo!}.
 Embedding was disabled so you'll have to go right to Youtube. But anyway, for some reason it makes me smile to see those little old people acting like little kids :) And the song is so unique and pretty in its own way.

Till later!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of many things...

May I first just say how much I loved all those comments on my last post? It was so lovely to learn about your four-legged friends! It's very evident even in the words you used how much you love them :)
  Ah, if only the rest of humanity would look on animals as compassionately as you girls.
 Molly also says "Roo-roo" for the complements.

I know I've talked about canning and jelly making a million times this year already, and probably thought you'd heard the last of it {so did I!}, buuut... A few days ago Mum was given thirty pounds of home-grown grapes. Yep, you heard me right, thirty pounds of these little guys.
I don't know what were going to do with all of them, so for right now they're all in giant plastic bags in the freezer chest.

They don't taste like store-bought grapes either - they taste almost exactly like those little candy suckers you get at the bank! I don't know if you find that weird, but I do.

Speaking of weird... 
 I thought it was so funny the way this photo turned out. I didn't place them at all, and it was only when I edited it that I saw what appears to be a riot. {... I could say something about the Grapes of Wrath, but I won't...} 
 I suppose it's inevitable that we'll can a few, and maybe make juice and some jelly from the rest, but in the mean time....

Pumpkins anyone?

We harvested seven large jack-o-lanterns, two tiny premature ones, five turk's head squash, four baseball bat sized summer squash{not to mention all the smaller ones}, and millions of cherry tomatoes and decor gourds. What a great year for gourds and squash!

Little brother and I also went adventuring the other day and this time I brought along the camera. Unfortunately I haven't the time to post those just yet, so I must say Adieu to you, and you, and you, for now anyway. But do you have a garden?

As a side note, could you please pray for my family. We're having a rather rough and tumble time at the moment. So if you  could it would be greatly appreciated.

{I couldn't resist sharing just one picture from our adventure :)}

Monday, September 20, 2010

My dear Molly dog

Molly, Molly, Molly... nearly 10 years and still strong!
 Though born on Halloween, her heart is of pure gold. Her brown eyes speak volumes, and her smile says it all.

Quiet and unassuming, she hangs back as the bouncing Hammie and the mooch Hooey shove with side and shoulder for your attention. But she's always there to greet you coming home with a Roo-roo! and happy tail-wag.
The chickens enjoy the cool dirt dog "beds" under our deck almost as much as the dogs :)
A friend to all Creation - except for a few hapless rabbits in her younger days — she has become Mother Hen to our chickens and caretaker of all small rodents she finds on her wide roamings.

The first dog to live on the farm, she has had numerous adventures including escapades going far beyond our farm's boundaries. Every time we saddle up she gets all excited, bouncing up and down and rooing until were off on another exciting adventure.

She was once accused of killing a neighbor's hen. Though it was never proven if she had, Da roped the dead chicken to her collar as punishment. Baring it with a look of utter humiliation and disgrace, she sat where she was as if chained, refusing to look at anyone except with the occasional pleading glance. Her joy when she was released was laughable, she bounced from one person to the next as if to say Look! I'm free!

Her unconditional love of family — and pond water — would be an inspiration to the World if they but knew her. {Well, maybe not the part about the pond water...} She is our simper fidelis.

I love my animals. :) Tell me about yours!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Peaches Delight

I've been in the photo editing mood and we've been canning like crazy around here — peaches, apples, crab apples...! So, I give you the fruits of both labors! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Of moving cows and spooking horses...

Moving cows is never ever boring, and yesterday was no exception because I took Roanie. I have mentioned many times before that Roanie needs glasses -- or just needs to get over her spookiness -- and yesterday was the first time we experienced moving cows. I must admit, as I unloaded Pink Pony I wondered if I would survive this ride. Half jokingly, of course. I cinched her up anyways, and climbed aboard just in time for a bloodthirsty sheep to look at us! 
 Lurch No. 1
 Roanie leaped sideways and nearly rammed into the trailer. Taking this *somewhat* in stride I pulled her head around and we did several circles at a trot until she calmed down enough to where we could hurry and catch up with the four other cowpokes. After a stressful and scary two mile ride through strange pastures, across the highway {also very scary for *some* of us}, and over a bridge, we reached a small holding pen containing about ten yearling cows and one of the biggest cows I have ever seen. Her bellow shook your very bones. Roanie nearly fainted. She's all ways been terrified of cows. Cue Lurch No. 2.
 I was ready for this one; I'd been ready since I first caught sight of the great black creatures, knowing this moment would come.  
We had to move the cow and yearlings from the holding pen to the pasture across the road so we could stick them in with the rest of the herd. So my job was to hold the road and make sure no cows got past and went the wrong way. Roanie and I were okay... until the cows started moving. Then she did the thing that of all the things horses do when they're nervous irritates me the most: she backed up, and up, and up.... When you're in this situation, there is little you can do to stop them, after all you can't pull back on the reins. Kicking to get them to move forward usually makes them go faster. The only advice I can give is pull their head around so that they have to circle. It works 80% of the time at least.
 Thank heaven it did this time, and I was able to get back into position before the cows came out the gate. Roanie stood rigid and watchful until the cows, somehow knowing exactly where to go, galumphed {gallop is too elegant a word to use for how they run} right into the pasture.
 Then we five riders rounded up the rest of the herd, about forty or fifty head, and proceeded to push them back the 2 1/2 miles back to the sorting pens{also where are trailer were at} where this years calves would be separated from their mothers to be vaccinated and weaned.
 Now, two and a half miles really isn't that far, especially in cattle driving standards, but when you're bringing up the rear with a bug-eyed, spooking horse that has just become aware of how far ahead the other horses have gotten and how many great black beasts are between us and the others, it can seem like eternity.
 We passed a swamp. A duck, that had waited for all those cows to go by, finely freaked out as Roanie and I passed, and with a great ducky scream, flapped loudly — still screaming — away.
 Lurch No. 3.
 Number three just about unseated me. If I hadn't laced my fingers in Roanie's mane — more like a death-grip -  I would have landed in the swamp myself. It wrenched my waist muscles pretty bad, I'm really feeling it today.
 The rest of the way was fairly uneventful. Roanie gradually got used to the cows and settled into a walk.  But I kept my reins high, just in case ;)

 We got the calves separated and vaccinated in good time. I think there were 30 of them.
And while the guys went and had the customary cowboy beer and chat *rolls eyes*, I cooled off Roanie by taking the long way back to the trailer.
 Lurch No. 4 came in the form of a young buck White Tail crashing about to high heaven in the trees. We were crossing a narrow dam at the time and when Roanie jolted to the side we very nearly slid off the edge; just another six inches or so and it would've been bye-bye Gwyn.
Somehow we made it home safe and sound.
 Poor Roanie. She was so lathered with sweat, whether from the heat{it was 80* and really sunny}, the hard work, the stress, or the pure terror. Probably all of the above.

 All the same, even with the near death experiences, I'm so proud of my Pink Pony :) She went way out of her comfort zone for me and held it together. What more could I ask?
Today I gave her the day off, and when I put them in for the night she came over for a rub, so I guess she still wuvs me, even after all I put her through. :)


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beatrix Potter style

My Mum and I watched Miss Potter the other day and I have been incredibly inspired to write and paint ever since! I could really relate to Bea when she held her first published book in her hands -- wouldn't that be so awesome?? I highly recommend that movie to all writers and painters :)

From The Tale of Two Bad Mice

Here are her watercolor paintings...
From The Tale of Benjamin Bunny

... And here are mine.

What do you think? Do you like them? Has anything recently inspired you? I want to know! :D

Sorry this is such a short post, but I must dash!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Everything is falling into place

All summer — well, make that ever since May, when my grandmum passed away — my life has felt hectic and rushed: 
I've got to do this and then I've got to do that so I can do this, so then... *gets a phone call* Okay, now I have to do that as well...
 Everything seemed spur of the moment and nothing was regular, I simply bobbed around trying to keep my head above water. Don't get me wrong, I like spontaneous moments. But having no structure at all I've realized, is not a good idea.
In my last post I moaned about having to start school again and how I was dreading it. Looking back I regret it. I looked at that post and thought: Oh for goodness sake! Grow up a bit, Gwyn. Okay, yeah you don't understand algebra very well and struggle with it, but you're not doing anything about it. This isn't like you. One, one "raises the eyebrows!"
So I did do something about it, oh yes. I took it to the highest power. I prayed. I prayed for knowledge and understanding. I got it! I could believe it the next day when I zipped through twenty problems in thirty minutes. And I understood my lessons! On the second day of school in the middle, mind you, of my textbook! There is nothing on this earth that could have done that for me.
 The mind boggles.
And still there are some who refuse to believe in the power of prayer.
{*Tid bit*: Many say they don't believe in prayer because they didn't get what they wanted. Did they ever stop to think that maybe God knew more than they, and that they didn't really need it? Just a thought.}

I have learned much in my first week of school; the importance of balance in everyday life, more of how God works, unequal quantities, exponents and signed numbers, the battle of Troy and Paris and Helen's huge role in it, just to name a few things.

Tomorrow is Monday. I will get up, do my chores, do school and homework, practice music, and play with my animals. I can breathe again. :)

Welcome back Normal, you've been missed.