Sunday, April 10, 2022

I think we may have a pony boy!


I’ve been doing a little work with Little Man and with Cody this spring, and even Keil Bay has volunteered to do ground work with me. Of course both Rafer and Redford love coming into the arena and joining in with whatever else is going on. 

Our grandson is very interested in the equines. He watches them, he pats them, he talks to them, and I am guessing he’ll be riding Little Man before too long. 

I keep saying spring is here, and it is, but we’ve had some cold nights lately and it’s almost as if spring has put the brakes on. It’s hard going back to cold after the very warm weather we’ve also had, but on the other hand, we’re not yet dealing with flies or ticks, so… I hesitate to complain.

It’s probably time to get this pony fitted for a new saddle, don’t you think? 

Sunday, April 03, 2022

November Hill farm journal, 149

 Whew - March was a stressful month for me, after my mom’s fall, resulting in femur surgery, hospitalization, and rehab. She went home on March 30th and is doing quite well with a lot of home and home heath care support in my brother’s home. We’re very fortunate that he’s there to oversee all the daily things and that he’s both willing to do it and does such a great job at it. She is so happy to be back in her own space and her routine.

The morning after we got my mom settled in, I woke up with the worst norovirus of my life. 18+ hours in bed, only getting up for the many sudden treks to the bathroom. I’m finally over the hump of that today, still not 100% but slowly getting back to normal. 

Meanwhile the farm is turning green, dogwoods are in full bloom, garden beds are gradually being cleared of winter foliage as the new growth emerges. We’ve got pollen and busy bees and playful equines. 

I’m happy to report that prior to the stomach upheaval, I had started both Little Man and Cody back into ground work. Little Man is prepping for some pony boy time, and Cody perhaps going back to some riding. Little Man took in it stride, pun intended, and Cody seemed a bit shocked and not all that excited about the work, but my daughter stepped in and coaxed him into it, and it’s gone well. 

Keil offered to do some ground work too, which was very sweet and much rejoiced. 

These three got chiro this weekend and are off work until mid-week, so hopefully by the time I’m feeling totally normal again they’ll be clear to continue.

As I’m typing I’m seeing a number of swallowtails flying outside the window. It’s a great day out there and maybe I’ll make it outside today. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

November Hill farm journal, 148

 Whew, it’s been a hectic couple of weeks here. My mom is in rehab and I’m thrilled to say she’s doing very well. She’s been such a champ, working hard in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and navigating the routine being in a facility with a roommate. She is so lucky to have a wonderful roommate who’s 94 and dealing with a broken hip and all the work that comes with that. I hope I’m as strong and determined as those two are when I’m their age!

The herd is doing well, managing our ups and down of temps and rain and a few snowflakes last weekend. I’m so ready for full-blown spring and I think they are too. 

Today we had 20 American hollies and 6 eastern red cedars delivered. I was nervous about the equipment and the chaos and how the horses might react. I went out as they finished up their breakfast in the barn with a pocket full of horse cookies and a packet of Confidence EQ gel. I never halter any of them to move them to different areas of the farm, but I put Keil’s halter on, gave him a cookie and some gel in his nostril, and walked him to the back pasture with the hay. The donkeys ran and bucked and Little Man marched out. Cody pulled away from my husband and had a little runabout in the big barnyard, but then he too calmed down and they all got cookies and gel and that was pretty much that. 

The original landscaper we’d contracted to do the planting backed out a month ago and our order was canceled. Thankfully our arborist took the project on and we’re so happy with the work they did today. The only downside was that our original order was canceled and the 11-foot hollies were released to someone else. What we got isn’t as tall but they look great!

The cedars are in a holding corral until our next planting day in two weeks, so we can give the horses a chance to settle in with these new trees. The cedars are going in the back pasture. 

I’m relieved this first planting got done so well before the rain rolled in this afternoon, and really happy to have this first phase over and done with. Now they just have to grow! 

In other news, I just had a flash fiction piece accepted by River Teeth Press for the third volume of their Awake In The World anthology. Will post the info here when it’s printed and ready to order! 

And we have some birthdays coming up! Will post some birthday greetings soon. 

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Pacemaker of the Heart is up at failbetter

 My flash fiction piece, Pacemaker of the Heart, is up at failbetter today. You can go HERE to read it. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

November Hill farm journal, 147

 We’re in a bit of a holding pattern as we wait for spring here. Our weather is going back and forth between super warm for this time of year and cold again, so there can be blankets one day and flies the next. It’s not unusual I guess but I’m finding it especially frustrating, as some of the things I want to move on with doing can’t be done until we hit an actual “real” spring! 

A good time to focus on writing and other things, right?

On Friday I had a little (okay, big) scare. Keil Bay’s chiropractic vet was on the way for a regular maintenance adjustment. I opened the gate from the front pasture into the little barnyard to let Keil and his  ever-faithful buddy Redford come through. I’m not sure what happened but when Keil reached the barn aisle doors he suddenly went down onto his knees. He hopped right up and seemed fine, though a bit spooked, and we stood in the barn aisle for a minute and I talked him down. A minute later, he and Redford were in the big barnyard grazing as if nothing had happened.

When his vet arrived I shared what had happened with her and she looked Keil over and started the adjustment. He has been being very clear with only a couple of “usual” adjustments needed each month, but on Friday he was out of whack from his atlas joint all the way to his tail. We don’t know if he had things out of whack before the fall, or if the fall itself created these issues. The only other thing is that he had been looking so good I backed his Equioxx off to every other day the week before this fall happened. I noticed nothing different in his behavior or movement with that dosage, but we agreed that I should put him back to daily and I also added his Duralactin back in.

On Saturday he looked better than he had before the fall and after the fall, so I was very grateful for that, and today he had his acupuncture + Legend injection and when I told the vet what had happened Friday, she asked if I could halter him and walk him out for her. The vet tech offered to do it and he ran from her! Ran meaning his big lovely trot in a nice 20m circle, so when the vet saw that, she said, never mind, he looks great. 

Keil is keeping me on my toes for sure as he approaches his 33rd birthday! 

We have another birthday boy celebrating this week - Redford! I’ll share a birthday photo on his day.

This afternoon I’m working at the desk in the bedroom, and the biggest benefit of this location in the house is seeing my herd hanging out with me while I work.

As much as I love my writing garret, that’s the only room in the house with no view of the pastures or barnyards, and sometimes I consider moving it to the other side of the house. Then I think about how much stuff I would have to move and that is that! 

Otherwise there’s not a lot going on here. We’re starting to move compost from the grandfather compost pile to the shrubs and trees that we’ve planted over the past two years. After that I’ll start putting compost on flower beds and the potager. In March I’m going to do some leaf shredding with the mower in the pastures and then we’ll use the rest of the compost to feed the pastures. And then, as everyone with horses knows all so well, we’ll start adding to the compost pile again, and before you know it, we’ll have a mountain of it back there. 

The dangerous thing about not being able to do some of the things I’m ready to do is that I fall into internet rabbit holes for things like horses and mules. Yesterday I found a gorgeous Welsh-x mare for my daughter and a handsome riding mule for me. Local, great prices, and then I stopped myself. Whoa, Billie. I’m not sure we’re ready for two new herd members right now. 

Just remembered the thing that went on early this week - landscaper with huge deposit in hand to install the hollies and cedars suddenly backed out of the plan, so I have our arborist looking at this project on Friday while he’s here to see if he can take it on for us. I had already checked that off my list! Back it goes. Hope we can get at least part of it done if not all this season.