Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jasper, he is a bit skinny here.
Artemus, he is the king. Jasper's daddy.

Anyhoo, have an interesting story about the Pacas to share. Especially to the pushy broads. I was going to save this for the weekend. It really isn't a fuzzy cute story and no crias are involved. Acutally, a bit icky if I do say so myself.

One of our Pacas, Jasper, was very ill this spring before we got him. His previous owner spent thousands on vet bills. They were worried he wouldn't make it, but his caretaker was told to give Jasper some spit from his father Artemus. ????? Anyway, they extracted spit from Artemus, shot it down Jasper's throat via syringe and he was much better very shortly.

Anyway, he has been doing okay and has put on a bit of weight but not enough. It was decided that Jasper needed another dose of Artemus spit, so it was collected last night.

Extracting spit into a cup involves holding the head and cup just right and someone on the other end messing around with shall we say, his reproductive organs.

Pisses em right off!!!

SPIT, Score!

Friday, July 24, 2009

We were talking about how wonderful dragonflys are, this is the chandelier that is in my dining room. Kevin had found this on a Tiffany website 4 or 5 years ago. We had it in our old house. It did not convey with the sale. It is really interesting and really a piece of artwork. So much more interesting than the blah brass, colonial style thing that was there.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just a few pictures from the farm. The first two are me trying to get pics of my flock of hummers. Little buggers are like most critters, all over the place being cute and amazing, when you get the camera out, no where to be found. If you click on the pics, should be able to see better.
Middle pic is my gift from our girl Fern for being the closest in her foal pool. It is gorgeous and how very appropriate is that. Not only did I get this lovely piece of glass work, she sent me a really cool picture frame with a lovely pic of my man Justus in it. What a cute bugger he is and what a special friend Fern is. Many hugs and kisses to her. I will be doing that same type of thing with my Paca girls. Miss Caitlin is due in September and I have two due in November. Details to follow.
Second pic from the bottom is of my upside down tomato plant. This is my dad's thingy dingy. The vine is really beautiful, it was planted late but I think it will be very productive. Dad planted it from seed, it took a while to sprout, but then took off. I love home grown tomatoes.
Last pic is just a shot I took when I was out getting ready to grill dinner. Can you tell I love this place?
I do still plan to start posting old pics from family albums, it just takes a bit to pick and then scan. My brother was in all last weekend and I didn't want to spend a bunch of time on the computer while he was here. I promise to start working on it this week, and since I am such a lame-brain about this stuff, will post a few at a time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tribute to Spunky, AKA Champagne Jam

No worries, he is still with me. I have just been reading the many stories from my friends about the most special horses in their lives. I do promise to scan and post pics from my family album, but that will take me some time, so will be a work in progress. I thought I would talk about my most special guy for a few minutes.

Long, Long ago, in a Galaxy far, far away (to steal from one of my fav movies) I decided I wanted to return to riding after some twelve or so years of not being around horses at all. To give you some history, I had always loved horses from my earliest memories and I believe it came from being exposed to the poor, unfortunate horses that the natives had in Ethiopia when we were stationed there in the early 1960's (I hope to post a pic of them). Anyway, I did take lessons starting when I was seven or so at the Naval Air Station near where we lived. They weren't exactly top quality lessons but I was happy. They were English and I never did any jumping. I remember my favorite lesson horse was named Sad Sack and he was a big chestnut with pretty white chrome. There was also this BIG palomino that I rode named Brutus.

Anyway, as is the way of most military families, we were transferred to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in early 1971. There was a big stable there so my folks got me my first horse, a four year old QH buckskin gelding. Probably not the best choice for such a green rider, and he was western anyway. Well, I spent two years with him and it was probably the best experience ever. The folks would drop me off and leave as did all of the other kid's parents. We had a blast. It is a wonder some of us survived. Cody, was quite the guy and had lots of talent that I had no clue about back then. He could and would do everything I ever asked. He was good lookin too.

We were transferred once again and Cody was sold to my Dad's retiring Sargeant who had land not to far from the Post. Was hard for me, but we really couldn't bring him.
After I was back in Va Beach it was hard to stay involved with riding. I did take a few lessons off and on for a bit, but by the time I was sixteen, it was done.
Fast forward to age 27, that is when I started riding again.
Spunky was 5 and stepped into the ring when I was having a lesson, it was winter and he was clipped (he turns very pale) but he turned his eye to me and I was done. Shortly thereafter, I was asked to ride him so that he could have some miles put on him because his owner was going to sell him. Can you say Conspiracy Theory. Well, Spunky and I just clicked, right from the start. I hadn't been back in the saddle but for 3 or 4 months after a very long sabatical. I sucked and yet he took care of me.
Now, I have to tell you about his history. Spunky was bred from a small QH/TB cross mare to a QH stallion so that his owner would have her next hunter. Problem here was that she and Spunky didn't get along at all. To give Spunky credit though, at 3 he was only halter trained. Can't blame the guy for being a bit hard-headed now can you. Anyway, at this time enters very wonderful trainer who got him started. She worked with him for 9 months and then he ended up standing around until shortly before I came along. His owner finally decided to start working with him, she was going to show him a bit and then sell. It wasn't going well at all. That is when my trainer put me on him and 6 months later, he was mine. That was August 1989.
A year later, we moved to Williamsburg and to a large show barn. We did show and had a blast. It was fun being a Pally QH amongst all of the bay and chestnut TB's. We always stood out, sometimes that was good and sometimes not.
I was always proud of my boy. We started as a couple of rank beginners and ended up quite the team. He was far and away the best of our little team. I can't begin to tell you how many times he saved my ass from my poor riding or my poor choices.
Spunky's best qualities were:
First- His bravery and his honesty
Second - His athleticism
Third- His versatility
Fourth - His adaptibilty
He had all of these in Spades.
I credit this horse and my daughter for keeping me sane during the the horrible years of my first marriage and subsequent divorce.
I have many wonderful memories and stories about Spunky, but I think my favorite anecdotes involve several very top quality trainers that I rode in clinics with:
As I am riding around in these clinics, three different Clinicians ask me if my husband treated me as well as my horse. My response, all three times was, NO, that is why I still have this horse and got rid of the husband.
Spunky is still here with me today, he is 27 and hanging tough. He is a bit gimpy left front but has been for a few years. It isn't getting any worse and he is still fat and happy. I will post a new summer pic soon. You would never know he was that old except for his back has a sway to it.
Good thing my hubby is a Teamster, he realizes and respects the importance of Seniority. The only one who out ranks Spunky is my daughter and she only has him by 1.5 years. LOL!!!
Anyway, the first two pics are of Cody, my first horse. Sorry for out of order. One of these days I will really learn to do this whole bloggy thing better.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Damn it I posted another pic twice.

Oh well, just wanted to show pics of my fierce bad hunting dogs, silly critters.

The pic of the device on the hood of the truck is my custom made Snake Dispatch Tool. My dad made this for me after an encounter I had with a Copperhead. At the time, I only had a rather short pair of hedge clippers as a weapon. The snake was in my garage and my dogs were right there, so I grabbed what I had available and whacked the shit out of it's head. Anywhoo, dad decided I needed something more effective, so he made this for me. It has already come in handy when I had to dispatch a half dead groundhog that Gracie found, and last night when I found a Black Snake sitting on top of one of my feed cans, I was able to ask it to leave, in a rather inpolite kind of way. I keep it hooked onto the back of Dolly with a bungy cord.

Oops, didn't mean to post that pic twice. Anyway, that is Dolly the golf cart, she is my most favorite barn helper. The amount of time she saves me is inmeasurable. Notice the "off-road tires on the back," they have come in handy many times.

Just a couple of pics of the last 4 Pacas we brought over. The white one is Portfolio, he is actually very well bred and a great prospect. He is unproven at this point. The other ones are Dakota, Boots and Honey (not pictured). Those three aren't exactly breeding quality so we are checking into gelding them or finding them pet homes.

Just some random pictures today. The cat is Casper-Batman, I think he is actually a mini black panther. He is the world's best barn cat. He is people friendly but will kill whatever comes along. He is not afraid of anything, including large cat-hating dogs. His idea of grooming himself is to roll around on the rock driveway. Not really too effective. He was dumped on our old property about 6 years ago. He had tags on and when we called, the people said they didn't want him. Sad!
I think I need to trim back the Wisteria, it is starting to attack people when they come to the front door.
Just the Pacas hanging out in their stall with the fans on. We were so fortunate to already have broodmare sized stalls at this barn, and they even have stall mats in. The Pacas like to pee and poo right in the middle, does make clean up easy.
Took a pic of the sky because it is such a pretty blue. Usually this time of year we have lots of humidity and the sky doesn't look that clear and blue.

Well, my computer is trying to yank my chain, so everything will probably be in bits and pieces. This is Fred the tractor. We love Fred, he was totally redone by a gentleman and came along just when we needed him. He is one of our most essential farm helpers.