Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Lovely Conversation

Between hunting season, weather, work and other such interferences, it's been at least eight weeks, maybe ten, since I rode my horse.  Saturday afternoon, we had an all too brief reprieve on all fronts and I decided to take Tessa out for a much needed ride.

This is where Tessa really proves her worth.  She is only 5 years old, her training has been haphazard at best and includes an 18 month layoff after she got kicked.  She hasn't been out of the pasture in at least two months, but I threw my ill-fitting saddle (I still have not managed to resolve that little problem) on her, told the donkeys to be good, climbed aboard and headed off, just her and I, without so much a twitched ear.
There may be some gaps in Tessa's training, some of the finer points are still lacking and she would be clueless in an arena, but that is my fault not hers.  I hate arena work anyways.  There may be some aspects of her conformation I am not thrilled with, but she moves easy over any terrain I point her at.  She may be out of shape and overweight, which is also my fault, but you can't ask for much more out of any horse, especially a young one, than to be able to hop on at a moments notice and have a nice ride. 

Tessa is light and responsive, she may not always understand what I am asking yet, but she always tries her heart out.  In those rare, precious moments when we both get it just right, we flow through the woods without thought or hesitation. 

Riding Tessa is always a constant conversation, me asking, showing; her listening, questioning, questing, trying.  Always trying.  We had a lovely, if fairly short, ride in the woods.  We were only out for about 45 minutes as the light was failing and she is not in shape for it, but it was good while it lasted.  Tessa was certainly "up", but never out of control or unwilling to listen.  I just love the way this horse is always ready to head off down the trail, ears up, moving out, willing and eager to see what's round the next bend.  We need to find a way to do this more often.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sunday Stills - Gone to the Dogs

I haven't been doing a very good job of keeping up with Sunday Stills lately.  Actually, I haven't been keeping up all that well in general lately.  Truth is, I always find the holiday season to be difficult for a lot of reasons.  I try not to be a scrooge about it, but I am glad to have them over with for another year.  Hopefully, I will be able to keep up a bit better now.  Might as well start off with Sunday stills. 

This week's challenge was dogs and how could I let that go by?  These first few photos of Scout are obviously not new, but they are among FB's favorites and she wanted me to include them.

I actually took this picture a couple of weeks ago for Sunday Stills when the challenge was night shots, but I never got it posted in time. 

And these were taken just a couple of hours ago over at Farm Buddy's place....

"Hey Kelsy, you comfy?"

"I'm auditioning for a part in a new zombie movie....

it's called 'Borderline Brains'."

"What do ya think, will I get the part?"

"This is sooo embarrassing!  Border collies everywhere are cringing in shame."

Smile for the camera Kelsy:)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Last Minute Decorating

At the very last minute, we decided to do a wee bit of holiday decorating so we tromped off into the woods to gather some greenery....

we even managed to beat the holiday traffic and make it home with some of it.



"Too bad kid, get your own.  What, d'ya think it's Christmas or something?"

"WELL, YEAH.  i DO."

"Soooo guys, where's the decorations?"

"Decorations?  What decorations?"  *burp*

"If you'd like to bring us some more, we'd be happy to try again.  It would be a nice indoor project - just the way to spend Christmas Eve....and Christmas...and just about every day really..."

Merry Christmas!

PS - I think I am going to take the rest of the week off from blogging, my brain is tired.  I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Eight Days





12/22/13  Sixty degrees today.  The donkeys and I were thrilled. 

Snow tomorrow and single digits by Tuesday.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Perils of Winter

After a month long hiatus from our hiking excursions, the donkeys were back out on the trail for some short walks last week.  Hunting season finally ended, the snow wasn't deep (yet), Ramsey's foot/leg are doing well and we all needed to get out.  I am not sure the walks really qualified as exercise, but fun nonetheless.

With the snow and sub-zero temps, one might think that the Delightfully Delicious Delectables would be in short supply, but not so for the ever resourceful donkey.  The only trouble with these delicacies is the face full of snow that comes with every bite....

and the frustration of not being quite tall enough .

It's very important to keep the ears at just the right angle and best to coordinate one's efforts...

so that your mother doesn't shake the branch right on top of one's head.

"Could you help us out here Ma?  You're the tall one with the thumbs after all.  Sheesh, ya'd think you could put that darned thing down long enough to help out a couple of starving donkeys battling the harsh elements for a couple tiny morsels of food."

"Hey, what's that over there....?"

Is that another new species perhaps?

You've seen seahorses, now let me introduce the never-before-seen SnowDonkey.

Since I took these photos we have had a snowstorm, high wind, freezing temps and now, this weekend, 40 degrees, rain and flood warnings.  It's supposed to be back down to the single digits by Tuesday.  It's crazy. 

"We came, we saw, we ate, we got laughed at.  How long till Spring?"

Happy Solstice

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's a Boy!

With further input from all of you, especially this link here from M in NC, about determining the gender of turtles, we have finally reached a consensus - Moby is a boy.  Thanks everyone.

"Hmmph, big deal, I knew that all along.  I guess those donkeys are right, you humans can be awful slow."

The secret to success...

Is it any wonder the post office is going bankrupt?  First they cut the hours back on our own little PO so they are only open 4 hours a day.  And, Of course, the 4 hours they are open are just about impossible for me to get to.  No problem, I think, I'll just leave early and make it to the bigger PO on my commute to work.  Unfortunately, I fail to take into account the fact the the state has decided to quit plowing the roads. However, in spite of blizzard-like conditions, I just barely manage to make it to the post office this afternoon at 4:45.  With great relief, I head in and start searching for the right mailers, boxes, etc.

I think all is finally going well when the clerk saunters in.  Before I can even muster a "hello", I am greeted with,

"Just what do you think you're doing?"

"Umm, well, I just want to mail a couple of things.  Hello to you too."

"Hmmph, I don't think so.  We close at 4:45."

ARRRGH!  "You have got to be kidding!  Who the hell closes at 4:45?  Well, you have to at least mail this one thing.  Someone is counting on it."

"Oh, alright, I suppose, as long as it's just one little thing."

"Thank you, and for your extreme trouble, here..."

"Is this...?  Could it be?  What is this?"

"That is homemade fudge."

"REALLY?  I LOVE fudge.  I always try to make it and it never comes out right."

"Well, it can be tricky, just like trying to mail packages from a small town."

"You know, I don't actually have to leave right away.  If you want to get the rest of your stuff packed up I can make sure it goes out tomorrow."

"That would be wonderful, I really do appreciate it.  And here, I've got one last chunk of fudge, enjoy and thank you."  This time, sincerely.

Is it any wonder that everyone falls in love with Ramsey.  Nobody can resist chocolate.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Choosing contest winners can get to be awfully complicated.  I wanted to keep it simple so I figured I'd just have each of my herd draw a name out of a box....
Tessa thought the box might try to eat her and decided that she didn't want to participate.  I had to take the box away from the donkeys when Ramsey decided that he would eat it.  That seems a fair summation of the difference between donkeys and horses.

So then I thought I'd get a cute picture of snowflakes on Ramsey's ears and count the snowflakes. Um, yeah, not gonna happen...

So, what DID I manage to do this weekend?........

 THIRTEEN inches of snow on Saturday....

NINE jars of jam....

and TWO batches of fudge....
Looking at my list of names from my contest post:

Number 13:  Henny Penny Just click on her name to visit her blog, I am sure she would enjoy the company.

Number 9:  Mary Ann over at Calamity Acres, who's name came up TWICE in last year's contest.  I want to know how you do that Mary Ann and could you maybe pick out a lottery ticket for me?  One of those Win-For-Life tickets they sell around here would be nice.  I don't need millions, a thousand bucks a week would be more than adequate for my needs.  Thanks, I'd appreciate that:)  However, Mary Ann is making her own fudge and asked not to be entered, but would you like a calender Mary Ann?  That was an option.

Since I couldn't decide whether I should or shouldn't include Mary Ann in my list, I decided to toss in a BONUS round.  I also trimmed FOUR donkey feet this weekend so TesWisGirl gets some goodies too.  That seems right as she has a contest for one of her lovely drawings on her blog every month. 

Number 2: Tyche's Minder Last, but never least.

Congratulations to the winners and I am sorry I can't send fudge out to everyone who wanted some.  If i have any left over this year, perhaps I will draw a few more names later.

Winners, please send me your address and preference for either fudge or a calender at and I will get it sent out as soon as I can manage a trip to the post office (which could take a wee bit of time since they cut the PO hours back to mornings only.  Apparently, it never occurred to them that us night shift workers might find that rather inconvenient).

Friday, December 13, 2013

An Ongoing Debate

Farm Buddy and I are still trying to decide whether Moby is a male or female, not that it really matters, it just seems like something we should know.  Moby has been around for some years now, he/she started out as one of a pair of baby turtles that FB's sister brought down.  She lives on a lake and every spring, thousands of these guys hatch out.  Unfortunately, they often hatch on the wrong side of the road that goes around the lake and most of them perish before they make it to safety on the other side, either form traffic or heat on the pavement.

The baby turtles were about the size of a quarter at first and stayed that way for several years.  One of them did not make it for whatever reason leaving just Moby.  A couple of years ago FB started feeding Moby earthworms rather than commercial turtle food and he quadrupled in size that year.  We still wonder about what to feed Moby and often think about turning him loose in my pond.  We don't know how a turtle raised in a stock tank would manage out in the big world though.

The other day, after I posted Moby's picture, JMG offered some advice on how to determine the gender of a turtle, and based on that, I think maybe it's a boy.  Since I have nothing to compare it to, I am not at all sure though.  Some time ago, FB read that you can tell by the length of the claws, which are quite long so she thinks it's a girl.  I contend that the claws could be long because they don't get worn down by proper use - ever the farrier:).

So, in the end, we prove to be just as ignorant about turtles as ever and still debating.  What do you think JMG?

And if we still can't tell, we can always go back to my tried and true methods....

"Hey Moby!"

"Yeah, what'cha want?"

"Well, we're trying to get a good look at you so we can figure out what you are.  Could you give us a hint?"

"What, you can't tell?!?  Sheese, you probably think we all look alike or something.  That's just a bit rude don't ya think?  After all these years?!  Humph."

"Well fine, I'll help you ignorant so-and-so's out.  This here is my profile shot.  Kind of sleek and sexy aren't I?  It's my Marilyn Monroe look."

"Or how about this one, it shows off my strong chin, my square Superman right?  Flying round the world, off to save to planet.  Yeah man, I'm the duuude....."

"or maybe the dudette....if you can't tell, it's your problem.  I've got better things to worry about.  See ya."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Once-a-Year Prize

It's that time of year - the once a year when I make my extra special, highly prized, all purpose holiday fudge. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Hanukkah, 4th of July, Whatever, this is my one and only contribution to holiday celebration and here is your once a year chance to get in on the chocolate overload.

Leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win some of my sort-of-world-famous, all purpose holiday fudge.  Sometime this weekend, the donkeys and I will put our ears together and pick three lucky winners.

And just in case any of you happen to be one of those strange beings who genuinely does not like chocolate, you can choose between the sort-of-world-famous, all-purpose holiday fudge or a newly minted 2014 Dancing Donkey calendar.  Which, by the way, are still available at the link below.  Ya know, just in case you don't win or if you do win and really need to have some fudge and a calendar (all the proceeds from which are going to the donkey sanctuary so its a good deal all around).  Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Poor, poor pitiful donkey

"Yo, Ma!"

"Yo, Emma?  What can I do for you?"

"When is the sun going to come back?  When is it going to get warm again?  Don't you know I'm a desert animal?"

"Ummmm, Em, we did talk about this, remember?  We agreed, no blankets this year."

"No Ma, YOU agreed no blankets this year.  Then you went and gave MY blanket to the darned pipsqueak.  It's gonna be umpteen degrees below miserable this week and I WANT MY BLANKIE!"

"Are you sure we can't talk about this?"

"Look at me Ma, do I LOOK like I wanna talk about this?"

*sigh* "Alright, you win.  Ya know Em, you could give that Grumpy Cat plastered all over Facebook a run for his money.  Actually, come to think of it, I wish you would.  Ah well, is this better.....?"

"Hmmmm, that is much better.  Just one thing Ma, are you sure you got the right color?"

"Well Em, it was either that or bright pink with polka-dots.  What do you think?"

"Ah!  Definitely the right choice Ma!  Yes, well done and see, not grumpy any more:)"