Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pictures & Updates

It's been busy since returning from Walla Walla. I got to spend the afternoon of Mother's Day with my own mom in Lewiston. One of my sisters hosted a bbq at her house for us.

Last night we volunteered at a Palisade's Park cleanup. We gave the guys chainsaws and sent them to cut out dead or crowded trees in an effort to thin the growth and keep down the threat of a wildfire. (Guys LOVE chainsaws, I noticed).

What a great group of people. We love to volunteer with them when we can, but we have been so busy lately, and out of town a lot, it's tough to find the time.

Here's a picture of some alfalfa growing in the field. Horses LOVE alfalfa!! This is what I bring to Beautiful each day.

The Plum trees are finally starting to bloom here! Maybe we will get a Spring.

I had a load of woodchips delivered the other day. They make great bedding. It's nice to have clean, comfy stalls again.

We're almost out of hay. I think we're down to a measly 10 bales! So, we're having 4 tons delivered from Kettle Falls on Saturday. Kettle Falls is 2 hours away, so I'm surprised the grower would deliver to us. It sounds like good hay, too. He's been doing it for 30 years and knows to bale at night when the dew is on the field so that the leaves don't blow out of the bales. (Some old farmer's wisdom).

I've closed the horses into their stalls to get a better feel for where they're at. They didn't winter as well as last year. Red looks a little ribby to me--though he did shed out great this year and his water intake looks normal. (So, probably not Cushing's). I think, at his age, he eats slow--so separating him out and giving all he wants to eat, plus his Allegra Senior, I should see some good results.

I've continued to take piano lessons. It's one of the best things I've done for myself in a long time. I have a wonderful teacher. I'm working on a couple of Chopin Preludes right now--trying to get the rhythms down. It's tough, and I've found that you have to train your brain slowly to move in these ways. I practice--get as far as I can--sleep--dream about it--listen to the songs played on MP3--then practice again. Each day I get slightly better. It's like learning a foreign language--I need total immersion and time.

I've downloaded some of the songs onto my Blackberry (Mother's Day gift)--I can listen to the piece and play along. Also, the metronome--nothing is better for clicking out a rhythm than the metronome.

Before lessons, I was lazy about rhythms--but I've discovered that without it, music has no backbone. It's like a lump of limbs with nothing to support it. Rhythm stands a song up and helps it move. This also relates to poetry--my favorite form of writing--poetry also needs rhythm. So, I look at these lessons as piano and poetry lessons.

Beautiful eating breakfast this morning. The farrier comes Tuesday for her, so I want to work hard this week around her feet. I also want to work on trailer loading. We'll have a good weekend for it--good weather and finally HOME! Hopefully, someone will be around to take pictures of this process. I've usually not had a problem teaching my horses to trailer load, but Beautiful does like to go UP, UP, UP--and that could pose a problem. We'll soon see....

These pictures were ALL taken today. Each angle gives her a little different look.

As always, 42, the cat, follows me to the barn like a dog. Except the Killdeer, protecting their nests on the ground, saw her coming and did the broken wing display.

Unfortunately, she didn't fall for their heroic masquerade and went right for the babies instead. Killdeer babies are born with their eyes open and ready to run. Their only weakness is, they can't fly. My 42 saw the babies and went right to them, but the one she was nearest froze--like a smart little Killdeer should, and 42 stopped the chase long enough for me to swoop in and get her. Kill Mice, 42!! Not the sweet Killdeer who, bless their little bird souls, don't know better than to nest on the ground.

Here's a picture of a Killdeer pretending to have a broken wing as the one today did. I thought 42 had wounded it somehow, even though she was no where near it. When it saw 42 pass by and go for the nest, it corrected itself and its mate took over trying to lure us away.

The Killdeer I pictured--they are hard to capture!


  1. Wow, you guys are busy!! I like the story about the killdeer, too.

  2. Beautiful photos of the horses! I have 2 questions for you ... Have you let Beautiful visit with the other horses yet? And, how the heck did your cat get her name? There must be an interesting story behind that one!

  3. Very interesting about the killdeer. It was nice seeing you on Mother's Day!

  4. Mom--I find the Killdeer absolutely fascinating!!

    Joanne--I haven't released her yet. I wanted to, but backed off--not feeling the time is right for her.

    The story on 42: I'm not good with cat names. I adopted 42 and #1 from the animal shelter. They were part of a cat cruelty case where a lady had hoarded about 85 cats in horrendous conditions. When animal control went into the house and took out the cats, they numbered them in the order they were brought out, and a tag, with their number, was placed around their neck. So, these little sisters had the numbers 1 and 42 on their collars, and I just called them that. Unfortunately, #1 disappeared from the barn not long after I brought them home. 42 always hated the barn and would come to the house and climb our window screens, begging to be let in. So, now she's an "inside" cat, except when I sit outside or go to the barn--then she follows me. :) She's a very unusual little thing, that's for sure.

    Tileena--It was good to see you, too--and Abby! She looked great!

  5. Interesting story about the killdeer! We have a few around here. I'll have to look for them this weekend.

  6. killdeer are so cute with their long legs. I'm glad 42 didn't snack on one. Beautiful looks lovely.

  7. I knew there was a story there, how great that you adopted two of those poor cats. I see similar cat stories every now and then in the news, so sad. Sorry about Number 1 though. 42 is having quite a nice life now!


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