Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I knew it was going to be cold out today. Before going out to feed breakfast to horses and donkeys, I finally got around to cleaning out the front closet, which was stuffed with coats, gloves, hats, assorted and sundry used shipping boxes, plastic inserts, etc., as well as a few games, a bag of clothing needing to go to the thrift shop, and AC filters.

I made up four more bags of thrift store donations, two bags of trash, and matched up all the gloves. There was a barn jacket that fits me and I have no idea where it came from.

Son, daughter, and I all bundled up and went out to do morning chores.

It was nice feeding a warm breakfast to the equines. I'm somewhat fanatical about them having their blankets unbuckled up front while they eat feed, so we got them all undone, let them eat, then buckled them back up again so they could go out and face the very strong, cold wind.

It wasn't bitterly cold, but the constant wind made it seem a lot colder than it was.

On the way to the feed store to buy shavings (this is what happens when you let the shavings pile get down to the dregs and call for a delivery at the last minute... then it rains for three days and he doesn't want to deliver until the ground dries out) so everyone would have a fresh warm cushion for tonight's hard freeze.

When I pulled into the thrift shop parking lot, it started snowing!

By the time I pulled out of the feed store lot down the road, it was snowing hard, and combined with the wind, it was almost like a blizzard. We don't really get blizzards here, but this was close. Of course, it only lasted about 10 minutes, but for that span of time, it was like I'd moved someplace else entirely. I had flashes of Little House on the Prairie, which we read out loud, every single volume in the series, several times when the kids were young.

I couldn't wait to get home to see what the horses and donkeys were doing.

They were eating hay in the field and grass paddock, business as usual. A few minutes later the sun was out, blue skies were back, and our little afternoon blizzard was over.

I created a bit of excitement with a syringe full of crushed digestive enzymes and molasses. Cody was the recipient, and after getting about 2/3 of the dose, somewhat enthusiastically, he decided the aftertaste of enzyme wasn't worth the sweetness, so he took off down the hill. Keil Bay and the pony, ever ready to taste anything, bellied up and shoved their open mouths at me. The pony gripped the syringe in his teeth and tried to run with it, but I wrestled it back and gave each a taste. They tasted, they flapped their lips, and they walked off. Cody came back, thinking that maybe I had switched out the original syringe for something more tasty.

In the barn, the donkeys had their turn. Only Salina, the wise one, resisted. I suspect her 25 years have taught her that nothing good comes from a syringe.

But wow - that pill crusher works great!


Grey Horse Matters said...

I do hope the snow stays down south and doesn't head up north here. Although we are getting forecasts for a few flurries in the next few days.
I really should clean out my closets too and find our gloves and warm weather gear.
Salinas is one smart cookie, she knows nothing good comes from a syringe after all these years.

billie said...

Arlene, it continually amazes me how wise she is.

And yet still full of spirit. At dusk I called the geldings up and they came galloping. Salina was already in her stall with the evening's hay in her manger, but she came trotting out into her paddock, tail lifted, to join in the melee.

I met the geldings at the gate so I could close it after them, and we had to go through the whole "does she have that syringe thing again, or does she possibly have a treat?"

Keil Bay checked it out first, then walked to his waiting stall. Then the pony, who, disbelieving, actually checked me out TWICE, and then Cody, who checked me out and then waited for me to close the gate so he could walk with me back up to the barn.

What a crew. These are the best moments, the little comings and goings and the conversations we have in the process.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How exciting...snow!

Wise Salina :)


billie said...

Just the tiniest bit, Lisa. So many people are rooting for a big one, but not me!