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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not used to it!

Yesterday was a wonderful day.

I got 99% of my daily to do list done, fell asleep on the sofa, and woke just 20 minutes before time for us to leave for dinner.  Jerry and I RARELY go out to dinner anymore due to the economy.  But this day we were going to dinner with Karl, the guy that finished and did such an incredible job on my barn.

I found Karl through a neighbor Tim.  Tim lives up the mountain on the top! LITERALLY! I ride to his house and turn around ( when the horses are not sick) Tim had stopped ONLY once before, seeing I had such a crew of Hispanics assisting with my massive fence project years ago...   He brought us all drinks, stating he hadn't seen a crew work so hard in so long he thought we all deserved a break.   So Tim struck me as a good guy from the start!  Not biased of my workers, and making sure I didn't over work them!   I like this in a human!

This Second stop... he said... I've got a friend down on his luck that could help you with what ever your building.  I decided to at least look into the offer.  Tim offered to bring him by, thus we made an appointment to meet.

Karl was this guy! I remember Karl as timid, no strong eye contact, unless you asked him a construction question.  Then his eyes beamed his face lit up and he answered every lay-mens question I could think of with a direct look to my eyes.    I've been down on my luck who hasn't? so I made a deal with the guy and our working relationship started soon there after.

At dinner last night we were laughing, giggling, and smiling so much my face hurt.  We didn't meet Karl for dinner, Karl took us OUT TO DINNER to say thank you.  

Just last night Karl was telling Jerry about his most fearful experience with me.  Not four days into our working, I  backed into Karl!  You know when too people are going for the same thing and one gets there JUST before the other and they bump into each other.   I apologized and said... sorry I didn't have on my rear view mirrors.  I thought NOTHING of it!  Karl apparently for that very second, was scared for his lively hood, thinking I would make sure he never worked for another person etc... I can't believe the fear, wish I had known only to ease his mind.  I'm human! I made the move backwards, but Karl was sure I was going to make him pay the price for my mistake.

You do have to understand, we were out in the middle of no where! I was a woman spending most of my time with a strange man of which I had no idea of his background.  So it was Karl that was more worried, more cautious, and SERIOUSLY respectful of my space, my property, and my ability to pay him.

In my mind, I was the lucky one!  I knew with all the quotes from local builders I was NEVER going to be able to build my barn with a professional.  Karl on the other hand was a professional who just needed a ride to work.  He had ALL the tools and such skill! Skills I was used to seeing or having access to with men in my family, but I was/ AM alone out here! No FAMILY No Men to help just me.... to make life work, or do all the work!  

Troy and I started the barn, dug for the post, set the post, set the basic framing... but Troy was here on another job and I could not continue to abuse his time ... Karl was the answer to everything Troy had no time for.  And even Troy liked Karl and his skills!

Karl and I began to open up to each other as time went on, noticing when each of us was having a hard day etc... But Karl was a rock! He was NEVER late, Never expected anything of me, and rarely asked me for anything other than supplies a head of time they were needed.   I enjoyed our morning rides, going over our to do list, supply list, and how he could make things work easier for me.  Near the end of the barn project I missed our morning talks, as Karl had purchased a work truck and was hauling everything himself.   I have to call him every once in a while just to make sure I do not loose contact with him!  He is one of those people that is now special in my little NC family.

I would not have a barn if it were not for Tim, Troy, and most of all Karl!  I always felt like I was the lucky one, just being open enough to listen and give someone else a chance to help me, while I try to help them.  I would never been able to move the horses to the estate without all this help.  But there was Karl at dinner... saying He was the lucky one!   How he had been given so much by the work over on the estate.   Someone who was thankful of work! that in itself is rare for todays times.

We never know what the little things we do, can do to change the day or lives of other people.

Karl is a remarkable man, he is one of the rare men of today!
True to his word,
Will treat you as good as you treat him.
VERY respectful
An extremely hard worker, he gives over 100% each day. Never late, Never slacking... rain, snow sleet or shine ( he was A LOT more reliable than the Post Office... ha ha ha.. )
He is a man I would recommend for any job,
IF I had a place to rent out he would be the perfect tenant!

Last night was different for me, as I am not used to such a personal thank you!  Our dinner was incredible, our conversation top notch, the three of us were there for over two hours enjoying the company.  It was a night to remember.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To Do List for the day!

It is a rare weekday ... as I have the day off!

Having said that,  it is merely a farce... 

My day off will consist of....
    • Get the birds out, dragging two of three cages into the yard for a GOOD washing.  ... DONE
    • Cleaning out the truck bed... it is FULL of too many things to list, and the truck is at the center of my day! Not to mention I have workers to pick up and NO WHERE for them to sit in my buck seat cab, FULL of ??? things that can not be in print!   ha ha ha...  DONE 
    • Putting the birds cages back in the house BUT in the living and dinning rooms, as I need to vaccume, mop, and wax their room... but this will be in stages through out the day. DONE 
  • By 10am I need to leave go pick up two guys at the VA, then proceed to go get some hay from a friend.  Yes it is last years hay, but he has a VERY NICE set up, with very protected, but  well ventilated area.  Considering I lost my local supply for 200 plus bails for this winter,  I am above appreciative to get ANY of his left overs.  He is good man! One who shares what he has, as I would him!   But yes I play fair... I am purchasing the hay!     I can only imagine it will take me +/- 3 trips due to the high grade of road from his farm to my estate.    I ran LATE!!!! 
    • I then I need to stock my barn with a mixture of the two hays so not to mess up the digestive tract of my horses.  DONE 
All of this before the heat hit 80 I can only hope!  

    • Then I have to do work for Pirates' Lair!  DONE 
  • Then I need to clean out the guest room, it is after all almost our anniversary and I somehow find motorcycles traveling through town this time of year that need a room, food, and a few supplies for their trip!   Happy to do it!  But need to get prepared!     STILL ON MY LIST! oh well , not so bad for one day! 
My day OFF is ? like any other... a day FULL of work!   But I am excited to get some of these things off my list today!   

I can only hope I accomplish what I need! 
Wish me luck! I'll need it!
6 of 7 done...

now by 9pm... I'm off to bed! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the love a of horse.

I so enjoy the fact all the neighbor hood kids come over to see the horses when ever I am at the barn.  Sometimes we make appointments to ride, sometimes it just happens.

Here are just a few photos that make sharing my animals worth while, for me, my horses and HOPEFULLY other kids that other wise could only look through the fence and dream.

I just missed Sweet Pea giving GG a hug  

LL and her "mount

 Sweet Pea rarely allow ME to touch her ears... but for these kids... it's a given, what they want they get!
I got lucky enough to catch this hug... Sweet Pea hugging LL

It's not just having a horse, but sharing a horse that makes me feel good.   It is the fact that for YEARS I did NOT have a horse but the dream of a horse kept me out of lots of trouble.  The passion, the smell, the physical demands, the money, the rewards of emotion like this picture! The most unbelievable desire to be the best I could because of an animal, the dream of communicating with that animal, the dream of wind blowing the mane and making me feel like I was on a cloud, dreams ... that finally came true for me!   I can only hope it does for one of the 5 kids that come to brush, ride, and be around the horses.

I don't have much but what I have...can be shared by all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On our way .

While Navarre is not back to any sort of normal he is out of as much danger as before.

His gut is doing much better, his back is softer, although his legs are still very tight they too are better than before.

We are well on our way.
Vets yesterday want to check him for cushings disease.  which could be slowing down our recovery time as well as give us another insight to what is going on inside of him.  So I am working out the schedule and we will get this process in place as well.  It is an all day test at the Dr's office so I will not be able to be around all day to see what all they do.

MY concern as a "parent" is Navarre is never stalled and is never alone.  two things that will be going on that day!   BUT I'll deal with that when the time comes and we ( as his health team) can only hope it doesn't throw him into another tying up episode.

Life is getting back to normal, I am getting MORE tired as each day gets easier ... only because I function in emergencies on auto pilot now as all the adrenalin is used an no longer stored for my daily activities... I am finding myself more and more tired each day.  This too will pass!   Getting sleep ( laid in bed till almost 7am) I was up but was resting.

Getting back to normal... what ever that is.

Navarre, almost white! which is unusual... I have brushed him every morning, every night to help him relax.  At this moment Sweetpea was down in the pasture with LL ( a little girl that loves Navarre, but will love on Sweetpea when Navarre isn't well )  Significance.... Navarre never leaves Sweetpea's side!  Still wasn't up to following her around.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I can breathe

Yesterday continued on a REALLY GOOD course.  He drank from other sources (water buckets) as the day continued.  His body functioned more normally and his walking continued to improve.  What I didn't post yesterday is that he was SO soar he could hardly walk.

Sweetpea would come and greet me at the  fence while Navarre stood at the barn with his head down.  He never used his back muscles to lift his head anymore than I required when I tied him up to check him.

BUT today his head was higher and his back muscles softer to the touch.  I am extremely happy with the progress I have seen in him over the weekend.    I have all I need to make life changes for him on order and continue everything discussed with the vets.

I am tired and am going to sleep but will make more informed information as I get my schedule back on track.

I want to say thank you to all whom have called, emailed and requested updates through facebook.  It made my life easier not having to return EVERY call, or type/ copy and paste each email.  I appreciate everyones concerns, prayers, and attention to my horse.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

into another weekend.

While NOTHING with Navarre is any better! we are not a lot worse either!

For the FIRST time this week I saw him take a drink of water on his own, and FINALLY got to see a decent manure pile that was a little dry but not as bad as it was on Wednesday.

I'm posting very little as I have VERY little time in my life for ANYTHING other than Navarre.  My poor birds have suffered as my attention went to birds I was sitting.  My dear husband has had nothing but a morning snuggle no more than 5 minutes long, JUST before I roll out of bed at 4 am each morning.  My boss has gotten nothing but what I HAD to do to get and keep her clients happy.  I have had no time, no personal time, and barely eaten all week.  I am in such worry by the time I get home, check on Navarre, and get utterly depressed I am ANGRY!  to the point, when Jerry asked about Navarre... I'm snapping at him!   Look... I'm not a nice person right now... I don't want to talk about it!   In other words leave me the F^@% ALONE!   He doesn't need, or diserve it... he just isn't a horse person and can't help me so ... it's a little hard to even get into... having to explain everything in detail every time he asked.  I AM such a HORRIBLE person right now! but I am sorry! and I DO dearly love my husband... I'm just SO D@^* tired!  

I sit here ONLY because I can breath a sigh of relief than Navarre drank on his own this morning... ( after making sure I was offering the thing 4 (YES FOUR) choices of types of water.  City water, rain water (lots of storms last two days) and purchased drinking water and my roof water.  OF COURSE he choose to drink the purchased bottled water!  What the heck! at this point I could care less about having to go get another 5 gallons of water IF it makes him drink it.

I have no idea what stresses caused this horse to tie up! I have no idea how his electrolytes got soooo off whack  and I have NO idea how I am going to get it back to normal and keep it that way.

YES we are changing his diet, YES he is only on dry lot, YES I am walking him as much as I can... morning and night... Today having the day off ... we are putting that task at every two hours or so... BUT even that could be too much for him at this point.  So it is all up in the air... basically I am at the mercy of an animal that can not tell me what he WANTS... and I can not express to him what I NEED him to do.

Started new...
RICE BRAN OIL instead of the corn oil... both my kids got corn oil during the winter, for Navarre's EPSM ( PPSM) or for heat!  Yes it is cheaper to add heat to a horse with oil instead of grain... and it saves money on the hay.    Yes i have several sources of hay... about 100 bails each... YES I have them ALL cored and know what their contents are! So I mix and match my needs based on what ever is going on with weather, health, or performance demands.    I had stopped the corn oil a month ago as he was getting TOO hot with all his hair, the spring heat over 70 degrees... I could have started this by not having an oil in his gut?
SweetPea looks like a bronze statue with her coat shinning like silk... Navarre?  After the shave took off most of his hair / he looks like every other horse in town.  Normal, but not silky smooth like he should.  SO note to self.. always have oil in Navarre's gut!  Rice bran more expensive, but takes less, and does more in the long run.

Vitamin E and Selenium ... One reason I mixed my hay so much was my area is about NULL and VOID when it comes to minute traces of Selenium...   Yes Selenium can be dangerous for a horse, so we never want to over do it!  If your horse get ANY vitamins ... Selenium is likely in it and DON'T add any more!   History shows horses in this area are mostly low in Selenium, so this issue is nothing new.  Can I just tell you this STUFF STINKS! While it is dry it is not so bad, but once my oil hits it!  Watch Out! it smells like fish! and doesn't wash off your hands very easily!

Poor Navarre has worked up to a flake and a half a day... still not enough to keep him happy!  I have salt blocks all over the place but he only really likes the PINK Hemilian Salt blocks... ? What the heck, so I am making an order later for as many as I can afford.  ( So much for silly blocks at the feed store! ) Yes I will eventually work him back into the cheap stuff, but right now... I just need him to eat his electrolytes and DRINK!!!!! darn it!

He is back on the ULCER Guard... that stuff is $40.00 a day!   we are soon to be back on maintaince instead of treatment dosage.  ? but it is what it is...

I have him on Electrolyte Syringes till I can get him to drink the water with it in it! So apparently they are working, as of this morning at least.

ok... while I am NOT done with this post... my egg breakfast is ready and I need to eat!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It is rolling down hill Fast!

Navarre was a little more stable yesterday.  We did get water down him, and his gums were a little more pink instead of white, they were wet instead of paste...

But pads ? well just about gone, hard to keep him settled.
Fence... pushed down to get to grass again! so... only more issues caused.

I stayed up with him all night!   Belly is more distended this morning, more painful, he is grunting in agony!

So I'll take him as soon as I can.
Trailer is hitched!
Water will be loaded about 5 am.
Back end cleaned out ( has hay in it normally) must have shavings ONLY today.
I'll get ice on the road and I'm taking them both!

If not Navarre is going to be impossible to keep settled, so his playmate must venture out today as well, the last thing I need is a 1,000lb horse not listening today!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I wish I didn't worry so much!

I have done Monday Shipping for Pirates' Lair ...
I have done my billing for the weekend....
I am dreading going to the barn!  It's not that I have a horse in stall and have to pick,clean, and repair the bedding.   I can't stand the fact Navarre was not drinking as much as we need him to.  I put equine tea in his water, to entice him a little.  I am sure this will work wonders...   I keep telling myself! ha ha ha

Life is always full speed, I just wish I could let certain things roll off.  It just NEVER works that way for me with these animals.    I am sure this is only ONE more reason it was a good choice for me not to have any children.  Boy would I be a wreck!

I have no idea how all you people do it! My hat is off to all the parents out there that do it all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

not a mother.. but what a day.

My intentions were to go ride today... with a neighbor, up the mountain, have a little picnic, ride back down, call my mother... have a chat as I sat and listened to my horses eat, roll, and snort to relax.   BUT life always has a way of inflicting its own schedule into our scheduled worlds...

Off to the barn at 8, all was well, both horse at the barn, fed them only about 16oz of feed, gave them 1/2 a flake of hay to share! and started in on my brushing.  To be honest I concentrated on SweetPea, because she was dirty and she was going to be wearing a saddle, something I rarely do to her any more.  She has such a bad back, and loves when I ride bareback ( this has greatly bonded our relationship) BUT she wears a saddle when she works and today was her being in charge of Navarre ponying him up and down the mountain... She loves to work.

I shed bladed Navarre, got basics done on him ... while Sweet Pea was ready for her saddle by the time the girls got to the barn.

Took  a few photos... and I was enjoying the pace of the morning, when all of a sudden as I put the bareback pad on Navarre and ? all of a sudden he was DONE! he had a fit as if he had never been saddled, bucking rearing, snorting, and not wanting to do ANYTHING.

I start with the basics... feet, breathing, heart rate, and temp.
Feet were warm? strange... so I started looking for a pulse... couldn't find one... BUT can't get to his skin either.  My neighbor was nice enough to run home, get scissors and bring them back.  By this time I was already alarmed at the heart rate which was slightly elevated, he is normally so calm and so easy going this was enough for me to know we were getting into trouble. / DONE I called the vet! and sure enough Navarre fell apart not soon after my call.  He didn't want to move anymore, eyes drooped, head fell, and all he wanted was attention; so that is what he got! AFTER getting his feet in cold water.

His stance was a little off! not much, not by so much someone not around him all the time would think anything of it, but enough for loved ones to see it.

His belly barely cornered... distended? but not so tender he reacted to my poking at his belly with fingers or a brush edge.

I called Jerry and he brought the ice we put his feet in ice as soon as it arrived

so ... colitis and foundering  only slightly, only early stages BUT he was already dehydrated by the time the vet got there. No food today or tonight.. This for a horse that is FOOD DRIVEN? oh no?

Pulled everything out, ... fun!
PUMPED his stomach,   went well.
Padded his feet...  
and normally any horse would be on stall rest, but with the EPSM... he can't be stalled or he will tie up.  SO... I stalled SweetPea and made him a SMALL pin around the barn, a nice bedded area just outside of the stall so he could be near Sweetpea and now I can only hope it all passes nicely!   I was sure he would stay near her, BUT being so food driven I was worried about him eating on old nasty hay in the barn yard SO... we pinned it off!

yep... pads.. vet tape and the OLD sure thing... DUCK TAPE... can't have a horse with out it! ha ha ha...

went back to feed Sweetpea and check on Navarre...  

Navarre followed me around like a dog tonight thinking I would give in and give him something... anything mom... Mom?

Sure enough he found a way to reach past my purple shelving unit and got the feed can... So Jerry helped me move 200lbs of feed farther back into the hay stall.

I'll be surprised if he doesn't figure out how to jump in at some point!


Navarre was NOT happy! Where is mine? What do you mean SHE GETS FOOD?

Life with animals is never ending! so once you make that commitment you just have to go with the flow!

MY HAT is off to my vet!  He took my emergency call through the message service and called me promptly! Came just as quick as anyone could ever ask for a house call!   Was easy going, attentive, and left me a list of to do's DON'Ts and what if's... took his time and hand wrote it all out as well as going over everything with me.

Neighbors were understanding, caring, and someone was VERY helpful.  I took my young helper home after 2pm!  This was how long it took us, non stop to get everything perfect for the afternoon.  They offered to help in any way, but I am sure Navarre with be better tomorrow, if not... I'll call the vet, leave the key and ? do what ever else needs to be done.    It is what it is and it never stops!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Visual update on garden.

The weather has been hard on my potatoes, BUT soon enough it will be warm again...
Red cabbage... on it's way to making a decent head.

Chinese cabbage well on it's way!

Broccoli making its florets.

Basil's and Tomatoes... just getting started...
Oh yea all the bottles... they are the only watering system I have! no water on this side of the estate... YET! I'm working on it but will NOT perfect the issue for another year.

More pictures to come tomorrow! it was getting late, visited with a neighbor, and needed to get home.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cool air!

While the last few nights have been in the 60's (what is going on?)  out of the norm... we slide back into the 40's tonight... Of course just after I planted 13 different types of basil.  7 different tomato plants, more corn , beans, pumpkins? Not to forget the 8 types of sage at the gate.  5 types of tyme, and several rosemary and lavender plants all perfect for COOKING!!!!!!

 I love spring!

I just can not get in tune with mother nature this year.

I am however hoping to have the afternoon off tomorrow!

What are my plans...up for shipping, horses, birds, (the norm every silly animal woman does)
After I make breakfast at the b&b... clean a few rooms... prep for the next day...
Home for...
A mid day date with my sweet love,
 possibly dinner? we shall see, what I crave and what he craves are NEVER the same... you just have to laugh!
 then on to the garden where I HOPE to do more work.

The rains have brought back in the chill of the season! I am only hoping my tender plants are going to be ok! if not... well ? something will survive, and what doesn't will have new seeds planted by the weekend.  I'll just have to consider it new space.

Neighbors are starting to like my shared space....
cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash are in place by one family... more cucumbers and tomatoes put in by yet another... And yet a third has mentioned potatoes and or kale? we shall see... but like my forefathers... the land is there and we can all share as long as we all play fare!

Much love to the world!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


May : name after Maia, the goddess of growth of plants.