Follow me on my daily adventures with all my critters and get sneak peeks at our latest creations!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

Phew-i cant believe another year is passing us by! Where does all the time go??? I have so very much to be grateful for~an awesome hubbie, a sweet and kind little girl and all the wonderful furbabies we share our lives with...and great friends whom i cherish...
2008 brought some wonderful additions to family...Clancy, the Marley of the Prairie, Gracie~my new filly and Gypsy~Rileys Christmas surprise! I look forward to 2009 as a year filled with happiness, health and wonderful times spent with family both furry and non furry!
Wishing everyone out there a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why horses are important...

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a young girl courage, if she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life. Even the smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer the fear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful. Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle or a computer, a horse needs regular care and most of it requires that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch. Choosing to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the water buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip their noses and drink heartily; we know we've made the right choice. Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone>missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves. If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it. Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people - which makes the whole partnership thing all the more interesting. If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday, but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than turning a key in the ignition and putting the car or tractor in "drive."In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he's fed up with how slowly you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry you over fences - if it suits him. It all depends on the partnership - and partnership is what it's all about. If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion in addition to basic survival skills. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that>sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven.You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider. These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work. If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our over saturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures. If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals. Some of us need these reminders.When you step back, it's not just about horses - it's about love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, a case of colic, a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us. When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow. We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give. To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle. Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return. Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true companion.In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses--or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Christmas Story Part II

Lets see....where to begin...i guess i should start by saying that we have had no luck at all finding the perfect equine partner for Riley. Her last pony came all the way from Kansas City and was promised to be child safe. Wellllllll that pony bucked her off three times!!! Oops. Not so good. It was a good year before she was willing to crawl back in the saddle. Then came the fancy show horse from Virginia who treated her well but was too big. I think every time she got him all she thought about was how far down the ground was...thousands more dollars down the drain...And then it occured to me. DUH. A MINIATURE HORSE!!! We looked at lots so she could see all the things you could do with them. She loved the idea of something so small and something she didnt have to RIDE!!!

Okay so we i got it figured out now we have to find the perfect one!!! Like every other little girl i have ever known she wanted a PAINT...and of course we needed a child friendly model and one that was registered so she could show in 4H. I was about to give up. We had looked and looked to no avail. I told Riley there wasnt going to be one before Christmas~hopefully we would find one in the Spring. Drat. And then i found her. This is Rim Rock Sweet Dreams....

It just doesnt get any cuter or more precious than this little bundle of fur!!! She is a paint. She is beyond child friendly. She is only 33 inches tall. She is IT!!!

Jason snuck Riley off shopping on Christmas Eve so i could go and get her and sneak her into the barn. I had it all planned you see....Little did Jason know but i had bought him a new big sliding mitre saw for Christmas. Because i am devious by nature i came up with the idea of a treasure hunt. I wrapped up a small jewelry box and put in under the tree with the first clue...You should have seen the perplexed look on Big Daddys face. He is thinking this is my warped way of getting Riley to the barn. Each clue was hidden in a tiny stocking and goodness i had them running everywhere!

Finally they both ended up in the barn. Riley is standing there looking at the saw and didnt even see that little mini standing right behind the gate two feet away from her! Then the little Chistmas surprise moved and caught her eye. She screamed in delight!!! It was a sweet, sweet, moment...

Here they are together...

What a dynamic duo!!! The excitement wont be ending here...Riley tells me she MUST have a Nigerian Dwarf Goat this Spring. Now how the heck am i gonna pull that one off?????? Anyone ever see an Easter bunny traveling with a goatish sidekick???

Friday, December 26, 2008

Look What Santa Brought!!!

What an exciting morning we had...presents and treasure hunts and yep a new addition to the family!!!!!!
More great pictures and the exciting adventure to come! Stay tuned!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Christmas Tour!!!

Well i am finally done primping and tweeking my Christmas decor (i think). One can never be sure about these i cant promise! But the halls are decked and Christmas spirit is in the air here in frosty Colorado so lets start our tour...

We must start the tour with a little holiday humor though. When you live in the sticks you do strange things. Like humiliate your pets. Clarence asked me to put this on him. He has always wanted to be a reindeer. Nope thats not resentment on his face...just look...he's so darn happy he's winking at you!!!

Okay enough goofing off...heres the real deal!!! This is my dining room and perhaps the only real decent room in the house!!!

This is the china cupboard hubba hubba built me for Christmas a few years ago...See all that wonderful pewter inside? Well that cupboard was only half full and pathetic looking til my wonderful friend and TDIPT sister Audrey helped me fill it. She is an amazingly kind person and i am forever grateful to her!

This is a cupboard in my hallway that again hubba hubba built...See that darling little stick horse. Thats from another wonderful friend Cookie who is another TDIPT sister. She is a true gem and incredible artist. I wish you could smell that stick horse. He has filled my whole house with a wonderful sweetness. I also have a wonderful snowman wreath from Cookie but Riley SWIPED him for her room and she is still asleep so i will have to photograph him later!!!

This is my kitchen....

This little ensemble is my living room which you wont see many pictures of because its still UGLY!!!

Okay we're almost done...since we started this tour on a humorous note its only right we end it on one. Right????

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Christmas TDIPT Swap!!!

Oh lucky me! My secret swap partner was Karen of Brady Bears Studio! She makes the most beautiful vintage mohair bears you have ever laid eyes on...her work has been featured two years running in Early American Life.
You wont believe the goodies i got!!! First off i have to talk about the fabulous reindeer bear cupboard hangar she made...Oh i love it soooo much!!!

He has a special place of honor in my house and i found myself admiring him many times a day!!! I need a proper name for him...i'll be pondering that...that way our conversations can be more personal...
My box was filled with goodies i tell ya...chocolates, coffee, an awesome glass reindeer ornament and statue and even goodies for Riley which included a wonderfully illustrated book about a hen, some edible bracelets, and the cutest lil reindeer painting that Karens daughter did for her!
I mean just look at the treasures!!!

Thank you Karen!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It was warm and sunny today~a real treat of a day indeed. I was tired of paint and stain fumes and decided i would do something i hadnt done in awhile~go on a tour with camera!!!
All the big cities have their fair share of gang bangers. There are the Crypts, MS 13, the Bloods...well we here on the prairie got "the Birds". They are a tough crowd too...they love to "hang" in my flower beds and scratch graphetti in the dirt. Look at the hooligans~they are real trash talkers too.
Did you know Phyllis Diller was in a gang? Well she is...look...see???Thats the gang leader next to Phyllis...he is an idiot. The dumbest bird i have ever known. Yo. I said it. Whatcha gonna do about it???Okay enough of that gang stuff...its time to move onto to a nicer crowd...
This is my sweet Glory aka Glory Sue, Glory Zoo Loo, and Zoolie. I have raised her. She is a great love of my life and the ultimate PEST! The whole time i was trying to take pictures she was following me and chewing on my coat. I think the chickens put her up to it... Pretty soon another pest arrived on the scene. This is Gracie, my newest addition. Glory is teaching her everything she knows about being pesky. Gracie has the cutest lil nose...she begs me to kiss it all the time...
This is Mommy. She is my old girl~the 19 year old matriarch. I rescued her almost 10 years ago. She is a most special horse...and yes she is the same color as the other two. I have a bay fetish...its the only fetish i have. I promise.

Is that all the animals you have you wonder...oh no...we are just getting started!Meet Clancy James Tucker. He is a canine hunk and quite possibly the silliest dog i have ever known. I love my Clan Man...the world is his onion (and chew toy!).
The unruly crowd of Labradors... and the sole reasons i go through a vacuum every six months...
This is Shiner...she is an Australian Cattle Dog. Poor thing, she doesnt know a single trick or command. In the summer she will run herself ragged chasing the sprinkler...Shes just too cute...
We have another Cattle Dog named Rosco but he seems to be hiding from the camera. Smart dog.
We have one more critter on todays tour...there is a cat up a tree somewhere....aahhhh yes!!! There is the little scoundrel!!!! Meet Lewis. He is one of the kittens we rescued from starvation this summer. Now he fancies himself a mountain lion...
Somewhere around is a child critter rolling in the snow. Yep there she is! Tee shirt,snow pants and tennis shoes with no socks. Sigh. I try. I do...and no it doesnt look like she brushed her hair today either...

Nope that aint all of the critters around here. I have to ease you into this...its a little... uh... overwhelming. I know.

Rocky Mountain High...

This morning when i stumbled out the door at 6 am to do barn chores i was met by the most beautiful sunrise...this is Pikes Peak as seen from my front porch awash in shades of pink...It only stayed that way a short while but my eyes kept searching for it as i went about feeding the horses and birds. It was sure a nice way to start the day...