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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Navarre and grass

I've said it a million times...
I've got a horse I can't allow to have grass.

I know my battles, and keeping Navarre locked in a stall has turned out to be almost impossible.  I'm going to have to devise yet another style lock system.  He has thus figured out two types and it is hard to keep him in.

so after unloading hay I had to let him out, and I had to drive from the mud lot through the gate to the pasture.  I left it wide open, as I wanted to see him run!   He didn't he assumed it was closed and went to the hay tub.

As soon as I hit the gate area he came running up behind me and SQUEEZED in between my  trailer and the fence post.  He was not about to miss 3 seconds of grass time.  Sure enough he went straight to my little patch of clover took a huge mouth full.  It was hanging from both sides of his mouth as I waved them out of the pasture back into the mud lot.

It was a sight to see, he was cute as a yearling, I wish I could let him eat as much as he wanted... but I cant afford the vet bills, seeing him in such pain, and I think he is starting to feel the difference himself.  Otherwise he would be still testing that fence every chance he got.

While I'm at work!

Lots of people on the Estate today!

three digging holes for deck footings, one burning brush from chemical kill.

One of them left the barn door open, after I hidden his fees/payments in the barn.  Lesson Learned! don't do that again! horses went through their hay, feed bin open? etc... life!

Yesterday we unloaded over 60 bails of hay into the barn, it was the first day in two weeks the ground was dry enough to drive to the barn.

Pasture looks perfect, too bad only one horse only a few minutes a day can get on it.

I'll have to take more photos once the decks get started!

Sorry there have been no pictures lately... I am at the barn before sun up, and about dusk. my attention is care and working of horses, fences, feed, water and hay.  Not photos.

4 am till 7 or past... is a little harder in the dark hours of fall and only getting shorter and darker each day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Navarre and his PPSM

While I didn't believe a horse with PPSM would degrade as quickly as I had been told, it is with every letter, every breath, every day VERY true. 

We had worked up to over 40 miles on weekends 20 miles every other day 16 on a normal day.  Having given Navarre and Sweet Pea a week off due to fungus... Navarre can barely do a 8 mile round trip.  

It is amazing to me how this PPSM issue has greatly effected his physical abilities.  Once in shape, a horse is solid; or so I had always been told, experienced, and lived by.  No longer true with this horrible disease. 

While I did not push him so hard that he tied up upon our return (thank goodness), I did pull my neck out of wack, right arm, and I am as achey as can be because I was holding back Sweet pea the entire time so we could walk home at Navarre's pace.  She on the other hand was ready to run home in an easy sprint having such a short ride.  Thus she walked home looking like a dressage horse jumping from hoof to hoof , with wonderful air time,  as Navarre could hardly breath, and was dragging his feet. 

My reason for bringing it up is  Oct is leaf time around here, when most bikers are cruising for color, and the area makes its money from all the leaf watchers... So I have always known Oct will be a hard time for my training Navarre, BUT this is going to be VERY hard considering just one day off can set him back so far.  

Wish me luck! as this sickly horse is the cornerstone of my trip! Sweet Pea is afraid of her own shadow and much too dangerous to do the trip with only her, and I refuse to use any other horse! much less leave Navarres medical attention to someone else for such a long time. 

Oh I need a new plan! 
Oh I need an assistant! 
Oh how I desperately need someone to ride him, but far too many people are too afraid to ride alone. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saddles, Legs, and physical hurdles

For those of you who know me, I've had leg issues most ... ( over 30 years) of my life.

I have one leg that is just not quite right.  It functions more like I'm in my 80's than in my 40's.  It will not hold my body weight when in a bend, and gives me enough issue when straight.  really too many to get into, besides... what does it matter?  it's a bum leg! We all have something that is an issue.

I can only imagine because of there being little muscle mass in that leg the hard western saddle I am using on my mare is pinching a nerve in that silly leg.  I have started to use a sheep skin, doubled over for extra padding under my bum and under / down that leg.  It makes my rides a little more bearable but not perfect as of yet.

I am at this point asking for hints, advise, and serious words on how I might deal with this physical issue a little better.  We all know I'm not the only one with a bum leg riding a horse.  So many ride that have no control over legs etc...   I just need some ideas.

NO I can't get another saddle!   not to mention $$$$$  but...
THIS is the saddle in question!   no padding at all!
This one fits my little girl and her comfort, considering she is going to carry me over 300 miles is just as important as mine.... if not more!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Just so you know I have posted this before click here for pictures. , but it is often as exciting for me to pack for a trip than it is to wonder about a planed trip so far in advance

While yet months away, I am enjoying all my research on customs, attire, exotic foods I want to try... and how to order them, not to forget research on weather!

I have people in line for care of the animals, I have back ups on the horses, but need a back up for the birds.

It is incredible that I am working on two trips.
The Amazon ,and riding the horses to Nashville. Each as exciting as the other when I gathering information.

4 pair of pants,
3 long sleeve tops,
3 short sleeve tops
4 pair of socks
4 pair of under garments
my hiking boots
a hat
lots of sunscreen
tiny bottle of facial scrub
small bottle of facial lotion
tiny deodorant
tooth paste
insect repellent! 99% deet
reading glasses
ONE book to leave there
one nice hair comb (looks and brushing)

I will wear my black dress on the plane, good shoes, a scarf, and a nice blouse.
sun glasses

I have made a few changes from my previous post, as now I am using compression bags, and then putting the compression's into zip locks. even less room than before and I am putting it all in a carry on.  I am leaving nothing to chance as they now charge so much for luggage I can do without the added expense as I don't spend that much on goodies the entire time I am gone.

Darn Air Companies!

compression bags are round so space between them is packed with all my other little goodies listed in the previous post.  All I have to do is make sure it will fit BELOW the seat in front of me so I have everything I need ( including food) all in less than 3 oz packages, and nothing in soft forms, must be bars, or solid packing no jars of jelly etc....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sundays ride route.

it was a short ride on the road, then a ride around the mountain with little lilly... Then the same ride back home.  It was almost too much for Navarre after a week off.



I plan to ride back roads ponying Navarre... over to Sugar Hollow, then have a rider meet up with me so we can have a nice mid day ride, summons her ride... and I'll take the horses back home.  It's only a plan but it the game for the day.

Water, Liters, Cups ...

Yep I should have expected as much but I didn't ...

So many questions about liters and US measurements.

Just barely over 4 cups is equal to one liter... I'm likely not to need more than 2 cups of water for each meal so it will heat a little faster if protected, covered etc...

I will have plenty of fuel cells for what I need.  Besides I can always have some dropped off ahead of me if I need more!.... provided more people say they wouldn't mind helping me out with things!

Water is still going to be my largest issue, keeping it from freezing at night, having enough for the horses, and the simple task of having to ask people for it.  Water is just too heavy for me or the horses to be carrying too much of it.

I need 20 liters for each horse each time we stop and at least one liter for me twice a day.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

perfect start to a Saturday!

go up late...
got to the barn just after 8am.
Lilly and Brenda already there tending to the horses.

Got them brushed, picked, re-treated, they had already given them hay, I mixed their feed, brought all the horse stuff home to wash/ bleach; and headed to the feed store.

Yep! these trips never end, Vit E, for Navarre. more oil, more rice bran.
Stopped by the  Mast General Store/ Asheville  Who would have imagined the stove I have been looking for was here in town all the time...
I just scanned this, it is the box AND the contents of the box.  My scanner is a standard scan so this is smaller than a piece of normal size computer paper!   A must have, a life saver, and a weight off my shoulders! 

I have to tell you about this stove I am taking on my trip!  I mean really it has been a major concern for me!  I did not want to put something explosive on my horses back or mine for that matter.  I had read about this stove in a motorcycle magazine, and had been searching for it sense.  I had googled, binged, and msned.... stoves for months and no luck finding it!   I had emailed several of the magazine editors asking for assistance and again no help!

Esbit, Pocket Stove  it is a stove small enough to fit in a jean pocket, with solid fuel cubes.  While it is not a stove you would cook for a family on it is after all a very simple water boiling system which is all I need for my trip.    I will be making my coffee/ instant each morning and possibly on an afternoon stop for lunch as I will ask for water and soak my dinner from lunch on so it will cook faster at my dinner/ late stop after settling horses, setting up my tent etc.. for the night.

While other stove appear to be smaller, they are more fragile, AND require a gas source that is larger then the  bowl I will be using for my holding/cooking canister.

The solid fuel cells are packed not to get wet and will light with lighter ( i will not be carrying) match ( I will be carrying water proof matches and a flint piece) I will however need another piece of metal the same size for a solid surface just in case I have no perfect area for my stove.    The other nice factor is the fuel cells burn for 15 minutes on high AND will boil one liter of water in 8 minutes... so very little is required/ necessary and this will be safer on my horses!

Please note if anyone has questions call me, email me!   I LOVE this stove! Now I am starting to feel better about my survival!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lots going on while horses rest

While I get a few days off from riding, and somehow work as well; everything fell together nicely as the rain trickles down at a perfect pace it is still just warm enough to work and get things in order before fall and winter really set in.

There was a huge tree on the west side of my barn, the more I looked at it the more it had to go.  It was a soft although somehow considered hard wood Poplar ... that with the first ice storm would have ended up on my barn.  So as its base is about 5 feet across it split off into 4 other trees and all of them were a problem!

There are several still up hill from the barn, I hope to save my money again and have them trimmed / unbalanced to fall AWAY from my barn if and when they do.  I also got a quote on the trees ABOVE my neighbors house... my property wraps around their house within 20 feet and I worry about it all winter as well.

I got the huge one around my barn taken down by a good tree climber/ surgeon ... good guy! Great prices! good at what he does! and does what he says hes going to! Call me if you need one! I recommend this guy! really!

I then had some quotes on the decks I've been planning for years... Besides I've got to at least get the footings done so I can plant those beautiful Japanese Maples I've been nursing all spring and summer!

Today I have to take down a fence, dig a hole for the fish pond, dig more holes for some grass I hope to get from a friend this month or next... , reset some t post around the barn ( thanks to a silly horse)   and work some plumbing from the fish pond so I can eventually get over flow down to the garden!  yep! I'm all about using everything I've got.   Down to the fish poop!

horse tails and pest eating plants are ready to be put around the pond... hopefully two ponds but i'm dreaming now! One will do me today.

After all I only have a few hours to get these things done before I have to get back to work myself!

Oh well I'm sure you day will be more productive!
Love Amber.

back after a few hours.  Fence down, another made more stable, fish pond in the ground, horses fed, rocks collected for dry creek for over flow from pond (for the moment! till I get my plumbing in for the garden only...4 acres away!) at any rate I'm home again covered in layer after layer of red clay, one jacket looks horrible, pants a new color and two shirts are ? well beyond donation status.

Gotta get the clay from under the nails and get to another job!   But I enjoyed playing in the rain, and making mud pies around the new pond!

more later.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ok now! you have to read this one!

If you are a horse person at all.
If you have ever been out west and seen a grizzly bear.
If you ever thought your horse was a hero!
This is a blog post to read.

I am so much of each it gave me a headache and I had to re-post it!

Horse / Boy / Bear?

this connection above will take you to a blog I follow... but... hardly ever get this emotional over. it is a MUST read.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

His hands...

He asked me back into his shop as he always does, it's like the kitchen table at Nanny and Paw Paws!

Come look he says...
In a room full of dust, shavings, bowls all over the floor,(watch where you step)  two fridges full of bowls started months ago, not dry enough to finish yet. Wine bottle stoppers, bracelets, and other trinkets ( hollow forms) all over the place.

I had never seen my dad actually work on something, piddle yes... finish in front of me no!  I picked up a piece of wood, almost like a one inch dowel piece.

Here let me show you!... as he took it from my hand!

With grace he switches something around on this machine. Adding yet another piece of metal on the other end in no time.  He pulls a tool like I would choose a paint brush, it wasn't quite as sharp as he wanted ... as he spins around turning on yet another machine and starts to sharpen them.  He turns on the wood machine and it spins, faster and faster... I could not believe the graceful, smooth moves, back and forth till it appeared what ever form was in his mind. shavings, that got smaller and smaller as he worked.  Paper, mesh, and other forms of sanders brushed over the piece of wood after all the carving.  All creating even a smaller speck of dust in the air.  Then a liquid... and the speed got faster again... OHHHHH a burn! a thumb nail no longer there, he wears them off  all the time he said.

It was amazing to me to see him work!
He detached the thing, tapped the stopper on, and slid it into a plastic bag for me to give to a friend I would see later.  It was still warm as I slid it into my back pocket!

It is incredible the work he can do.  I have long admired the out comes of his labor, but had never seen it, had often wondered but didn't want to invite myself into his private world when working.  I was overwhelmed with the exhibit of talent and grace... it alone was artful enough for film.  Thank you daddy I enjoyed watching you work this past weekend.

He makes bowls that are for art... others that are for food, wine stoppers, door stoppers, and now bracelets that are beautiful!

I am so proud of him, his work, and the fact he is growing into his retirement; instead of it settling into him!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm ok one on one...

I have found after getting out of the corporate world, after fighting the slow pace of being at home, living in a place with very few friends.  I have lost my social skills.

Used to be I could do a public speech with no issues, tell me what you need to know about, I'll learn it and do it!
Today... I'm lucky to see people over breakfast, then when I check them in, so what little speech I give is on the history of   1847 Blake House Inn B&B  .  Where to go eat around Asheville, Where to hike, where to take your dogs, and where to go for fun.  

I find I have lost my ability to cover a room of 100 people or more so easily as I once did.  So even a group as my family can be over whelming at times.

I have no idea what Danny, Monica, Lain, Zach or any of their families are up to.   I was more concerned of the health of the elder generations still with us.   I've always been in that middle roll, that doesn't seem to change much.  While I do travel like the younger crowd we don't travel in the same manner, my backpacking is of no interest to most of the family.  While Florida has no appeal to me any longer either.

Distance, Time, Ages, and me not having children has only span the family that much further apart.  Funny how no matter what... Nanny and Paw Paw pulled us all together, kept us firm like a house foundation.  With them gone? I float with water while some are firm footings that never move, and other only dry stack corners.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Well I went home for the night.

Going "home" is ... hard.
Anytime I go; I try to hit more than one bird with what ever stone I throw.

Going home for catfish was no different.
I got my truck worked on.
I got some hay from Paradox Farms.
I got to see one friend only because he helped me with my hay!
I barely got to spend two minutes talking to my dad.  but did finally get to see him make a few things! (i'll have to post again later! )

Because I have chosen a slower life style; dinner was overwhelming to me. So many people, so many things to catch up on. Zach, Lain, Danny and all their kids!  my how they have grown!   Aunt Gale, Aunt Sheri, Uncle Steve, Mother and Bill.  Amanda, Luke, Betsy, Peter, Olivia Emma, and Henry... so many so little time

It was all so much I had to stop by mothers on the way out to get a breather and see how she was.

I also never eat that much... much less with that much grease, so dinner made me sick at my stomach.
Emma came over to sleep with me, we giggled till I fell asleep, then up before 4am... I almost left but it all caught up with me and I didn't leave till after 7 their time.   Dropped off Emma... she had to show me how she can break into the house! ha ha ha..

It is amazing how being gone only a few short hours you see so much more with fresh eyes when you return.

Horses have ? fungus... rain rot? barn fungus etc... so many names same darn thing!   So bad I can't ride them! horrible stuff but I caught it in time.

Yes I knew Sweet pea had it before I left, but Navarre's hair is so long already... I didn't feel it in the early stages on him, it was horrible when I got back!   He as usual is the one I'm worried about.  She will be fine, we all hate that MTG stuff! especially this time of year considering it smells like... bacon, smoked meat, or a barbecue!   I'm worried about the bears that are always around the barn!   Do not want them getting any ideas!   I'll start using my home made concoction when I run out!  I just wanted a head start considering this is time out of the saddle and time not getting them or me ready for the ride.

I am almost certain it is from borrowing someone else's saddle and pad.
So out for med Sunday... got two bottles which should last me a week for both horses..
Got new saddle pads as well.

I'm taking my old one to the car wash spraying it off then coming home putting bleach solution on it, and hoping to rotate it on my riding this winter.   But now that crap is in my barn, in my barn yard and I'll be fighting it from now on.  ? Horses? kids?

Now the weather is perfect and I can't ride! tiz life... isn't this the way it always happens.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I miss these days.

I know I'm in my 40's and while I live only 5 hours away in a car, I rarely get home these days due to work and animal needs.

Tonight everyone is getting together at the "fish house" as we call it in Springfield TN.  I can see all the cousins and their kids, the Aunts, Uncle,Sisters, Nieces and nephew,  my mother and step father.  Laughing, spatting, and taking it all in, telling stories, catching up on days past, present and future.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall.
I wish I could have some of that cat fish,  and think of the days when it was everyone with Nanny and Paw Paw around the table.

I can only wish them fun
I can only WISH I was there~
These are the times I wish I was at home closer to the family, but... I am after all who I am.  I am where I am and life changes daily.

My love goes out to the family.
Have fun.
Think of me ... a little at least!

Love Amber!
PS... lets see who is reading this!
 I'll see you later!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beauty in a ride.

I only wish riding safely didn't require both hands, but with two horses and one being a little less controllable/safe! I am required to have both hands on the reins at all times.

If not I would be taking incredible photos of things I am lucky enough to see on a ride.
I was mentioning to my daddy how, I not only do I have to see what ever is around me, but I have to hear it before I can see it.  Most cars are not so bad, but an easy coasting newer car with their higher hum is much harder to hear and can sneak up on me.  Not only am I watching the road, but like a cyclist I am watching where their feet go next... all the glass, wire, and scrap metal in the ditches... I am having to watch for dogs, groundhogs, and rabbits each of these scare the horses, anything really!

But it is the things in nature I wish I could share, I wish I could get off, down and take pictures of so many things sharing what is really out there!

I found a Paw Paw Tree grove on one ride.  A tree native to the area, long gotten rid of by most, but is a wondrous fruit that taste like banana cream.  Why did so many settlers get rid of them? (like any fruit they attract insects and other animals). I am one of the few that went out of my way to plant four types last spring.  We shall see if they survive as they are hard to transplant,but once they take hold will create a wonderful grove that is almost tropical in style.  I was so excited to see some roadside.  What a joy I would never have noticed in a car.

Incredible, beautiful flowers in the ditches! there are so many times I wish I could stop to see if they smell.

I enjoy on each ride, all the water we pass, cross, and often stop to drink.

The sounds differ crossing each bridge, some are more solid, some are more metal, some are creaky flex too much and I worry what the horses think. I never noticed if a bridge had side rails when I was in a car, I get excited if they do when on a horse.

Riding a horse can bring out the best in others...
One woman was headed straight, saw me... and immediately turned my way, passed me, parked and waiting for me to catch up!   Where are you going? What are you doing?  not in a way to be invasive but in a way that she WANTED to help me! She wanted to be a part of what ever I was doing.  Had I been on my trip I would have welcomed any assistance.

One guy on a Harley, passed me and did the same thing! Can I get you something to drink, need to to get you a burger!  ( NO WORRIES MOM... I'M NOT TAKING FOOD OR DRINK FROM STRANGERS) I always wanted to ride my horses on the road a long distance... he wanted to break a cross country record with several horses...  Me I just want to ride!!!!!!

The point is life is beautiful,my rides are more beautiful than I imagined them to be! Houses are more appealing at my slow horse speed, you see cute things you would never notice in a car.  Not to mention you sit higher on a horse and see a lot more for a longer time.

I am in love with the sound of my horses feet as they hit the pavement.  It is incredible when they are unison, especially when SP is an extender and all leg, PN... WR Prince Navarre is short stocky little legs with no extension who almost has to trot to keep up with Sweet Pea's walk.

I ride out into the rising sun... I ride back into the setting sun... I am always in the light of the day, and the sun in my face is a welcome tingle to my nose, at this point I even welcome the crows feet that are making their new home deeper and deeper etching each day of riding more permanently into my face.

Every Day is a new day! But the beauty of my rides makes me want to ride that much more, emotionally this ride gets easier, it opens doors, it turns corners, and shows me new worlds.

Physically? I'm out of shape, and can only hope I can figure out some of my little issues. I have a doctors appointment Thursday to get more help.  Remember we all age differently! I'm doing my best!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

While we all live at a fast pace! Where I live...as I have said before ... if you go the speed limit you are more likely to be hit than to hit someone, unless it is ME on my horses! the avid cycliest that train here year around, OR one of the locals who really does get around on a bike, a scooter, or by foot! 

But I have noticed having done so many of these road rides I am now driving slower, getting lights flashing in my rearview mirror, and people honking their horns.  

I am not doing this horse ride to proove anything! 
I am not doing this horse ride to break a record ( I get asked this on the road when people stop me! Where are you going? WHY? is there a time record you are trying to break? ) I love their reactions when I say 

I'm doing this for me, I've always wanted to do it and life is too short NOT to do what you love.

So once again this is a day of reflection, collection of more route info... and a day to just tell every five year old out there to never loose their imagination.  

Adults are more worried about things... NOT BILLS, after all.... beyond basic food, water, electricity and BASIC shelter the rest is created by YOU.  (YOU estimating what you will have instead of what you DO have)... but having what the "Jones's" have!  
Who CARES! Have what you need, and do the things you LOVE! if you happen to get more than you need, great! share it! or use it for good. 

It is not about the labels on your purse, clothes, or shoes! 
It is about the things life can not take away from you. 

For me?  While I may SUCK at this ride, I may freeze my "arce" off, I will know that if I fail it was my own fault, if I do it and succeed (my own definition, not yours, not some strangers written dictionary! MY TERMS!) then guess what ... that means I die with even a larger smile on my face! after all what else are you going to take with you?   I have found after having lost all four grandparents, their thoughts, their dreams, their travels and experiences are all still there in their last days, when often times nothing else is! 

My terms... 
I will not harm the health of my horses.  their life on the road... as long as I am with them YES... 
I will not harm my health.  We all have our own issues! 
We tend to be too relaxed in our lives, this is a way I can wake myself up and challenge myself mentally and physically. 

At this point I have to say! If you all haven't noticed all ready!   I am able to do this because I have a husband who only wants me to have personal balance, personal achievements, and will support me in anything that races through my mind that I set my teeth into!   My love, my heart, my body all go out to Jerry D Finley, my cheerleader! 

When was the last time you did something that pushed you to your limits? 

Really !   I want to hear about it! 
Even it if it was reading a specific novel that challenged you! A challenge is a challenge! what's yours?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The day after! 9/11... 9/12 Ten years ago!

Wednesday, September 12, 2001, 12:00PM

Considering I live alone, considering I have no Television and no radio, I was wondering about how today would unfold...

I decided because it was the first cool night of the season and the air was pleasant to the skin, I would walk to work. As I was walking to work, I noticed funny little things.  The first was the silence of the air, living so close to the momentarily famous Barksdale Airforce Base, I could hear the birds in a silence I was unaware existed.  I noticed the freshly cut blades of grass.   I noticed some dogs running loose only because I heard the rustle of leaves.   I realized as I turned the corner and came face to face with a magnolia tree they have red seeds in the cones.  I noticed how the squirles have stripped some of the new pine cones in preparation for winter. I noticed how the squirles were playing up and around and back down the trees.  I noticed the side walk.

Some how the sidewalk appeared in my mind to be different. The way the trees have uprooted the foundation of the sidewalk and moved it considerably.  Somehow it is the same as the day before but different than yesterday.  Somehow it made me feel as through the earth moved yesterday.   The trees are reaching for a firmer ground.  The earth is shifting to prepare itself for what ever is ahead.  The walk is harder, I was fumbling over earth and broken sidewalk that had never bothered me before.  I was noticing all the new cracks, noticing nothing new and wondering about everything.

Our lives are different, our lives are the same.  It all depends on how you look at it.

Don't get me wrong,  I am enjoying this day, I am just more aware of my surroundings.  You have to admit, it's a good thing to have a wake up call every once in a while.

I am fortunate, a friend who works for F.E.M.A. responded to an email I sent asking how to get my doctor involved in the volunteer process. said.. ""AT this time, the outpouring of sentiment has been such that, according to the Red Cross, we have more volunteers that we need at every level... There is a critical blood shortage through... And Yahoo is accepting donations online..." So once again Americans have pulled together and are making a considerable different in the outcome of what ever is to lye ahead.

My car is coming along nicely and will hopefully be ready by the end of the week.  After I get it, I will enjoy the old gas mileage I used to get, not this fill up every 200 miles, that gets really old quick.

As you read this above...
I choose not to have all those outside sources in my life! I was at the height of my freedom as a single woman and enjoyed my own company, and that of my two HUGE dogs... Rex ( black great dane) and Deepak ( my sweet Rhodesian Ridgeback)   I have to admit! Living in Shreveport was an experience, a culture shock, and a time in my life I shall never forget!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 ten years ago.

It is hard to believe, I was living in Sheveport LA on the day of.  I remember the imediate rush of testosterone in the office I was in... The men... patiences, doctors, workers, I'm signing up! One Dr I worked closely with even had me contact a person at FEMA.   Life went on, as well we could, then the rumor of the president being there just over the river on the base ...

As I read over this email I copied and pasted below! I didn't even remember any of the other stuff from that day! THAT is how the day un rolled!

It was that next day, when I walked to work my senses were heightened and I had to write an email to my family about it!

Back then I wrote blanket emails of my life, much as I do with my blogging now adays, I'll try to find a hard copy and re-post tomorrow if I can find it!   If anyone in the family has it! feel free to send it again!

FOUND my 9-11 post! Thanks to my mother!

Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 1:20:48 PM
Subject: serious day.

    I started out the day thinking I would tell you how yesterday went.  I
was one of the worst days I had experienced in Shreveport as of yet, but now
I know things in the world can get worse.

    When everyone gets this we will all have more information, but have you
ever considered how arrogant we Americans are?    To think, we thought,
nothing would happen, someone has issued and executed a very well thought
out plan.  You know other countries are laughing, that we allowed someone to
force us into shutting down every airport in the country, and many of our
subway system. All the other countries are able to isolate the insodents...
they shut down an area and life goes on.  Grant you, most other countries
are not our size.

Our communication abilities will probably be the next to go.  after all ATT
has shut down all services in and out of New York as it is.

    To have an American made land mark destroyed, no telling how many lives
lost.  To have the pentagon, the white house and an airport in another state
all harmed to some extent.  There is no telling what else could happen

It is amazing how this has affected everyone.  The patients are glued to the
television out in the waiting area, then their entire demeanor changes...
They are all angry or sad, basically depending on their sex.  The women are
observed as walking down the hall with their head lower than normal.  The
men are tight fisted and eager to voice their thoughts.  We should... is the
most common phrase today.  Someone will pay... is a close second place.

I have been fortunate to know my family is safe.  I am fortunate to know I
am not in a large city today.

    Wow!!!!! and I thought yesterday was bad.  This is the biggest thing to
happen to Americans in years. Sadly enough it will more than likely only
wake us up as a country for a year or so.  Look at OK city!

    Can you imagine! the panic, the extent of energy beyond that of the
Oklahoma bombing, this is not a matter we Americans of my generation are
accustomed to being exposed to.

Exposure... the president just landed here with 3 fighters around.  It was
said to be a wild tale, but was supposently just confirmed.... Now that's a
little too amazing to me if I am in a small coonass city with a confirmed
major air force fighting base and they have just brought the president here.
Now how exciting can that be.  If it is true... I am amazed they took him
over, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, that makes it a little far fetched
for me but that is what is being said.  (I am sure other states are saying
the same thing he's here he's here, we all scream, We are the special ones
they all say. )  This we will only know as time tells.  Oh yea just incase
it is history the time is 11:50am  central time.
Ok so this is the rest of the story.  this is the head quarters for the
airforce.  This is a nuclear war site.  Wow!  I had no idea.  If I can
visit base before I leave, I will have to do that.  Wow that's sorta
interesting. ..

back to much lighter situations...
My day yesterday.

My company is not sure what to do with me, they do not want to lose me as an
employee so they figure they will ship me from office to office for the time
being.  So I suppose this will be another adventure in itself but... Another
chapter in my book.  I don't want to pay rent if I am not going to be home
except on the weekends.  Why would I dare spend more money than I have too.
Besides I would need one major baby sitter down here.

My day only got better!

My neighbors I have yet to describe in full detail have in some form
effected me.  Lilly and RC live on the other side of Noma.  (the house
with art. ) So they do not live on my street and I can barely see their
but.... man....

The house that effected my day yesterday...and the days before.  The house
is two story, a family
of five lives down stairs and a family of four up stairs.  They share
utilities... water, gas and electricity.  Don't ask me why the landlord
left it that way.  The two apartments are truly separate.

So anyway the upstairs family...
Kim, the mother.
BreAnna the four year old.
the baby, I can never remember her name, (I  am just not a baby person)
and the husband, whom I could care less who or what he is.

Kim has no gas because the bills have not been paid, a collective problem.
BreAnna just had a birthday.

So Kim comes over with the baby,and BreAnna in tow, along with cup cake
pans, all the ingredience, towels, shampoo, and conditioner. Not to mention
the new shiner on her left eye.

Yea so she asked me if she could use my oven.  They have no gas.  She asked
me if she could take a bath and bathe the children.  So, all of this sounds
fine, then she asked for leftovers, because the children had not eaten.
Understand, all the ovens and stoves are gas as well.

Ok so how am I suppose to refuse any of this... I can't let a child go

So first things first, lets get the cupcakes going.  To my amazement, Kim
knew what all to purchase but had no idea how to make cup cakes.  So I
ended up making the cupcakes and icing only two thirds of them.  They were
cute.... The first batch was strawberry, the second, chocolate.  We put
white iceing on the pink and chocolate on the others.  They were in cute
little barbie paperliners.  But after doing this...She had to bathe the
kids, where I started preparing food.  Then I (of all people) had to watch
the kids while she took a shower.

So I have gotten out food I had saved for just such an occassion, you know
one where you have no idea where your next paycheck is going to come from.
I got out 3 days worth of food, thinking I would eat myself.  Well I put
together what I could for BreAnna and then a plate for Kim.  While I am
cleaning the mess just about to make my plate I realize Kim is done and
wanting more.  Well I suppose.... Please help yourself, she acted as though
she had not eaten in days.  I am not used to this from her.  She ate 2 and
1/2 servings, BreAnna only ate half a serving.  She has lost weight but I
assumed she was trying to.  Not that she apsolutely has to but...it's not a
bad thing.

So here I am in a day of history where just yesterday I was feeling like I
had a third world country living in the house across the street and then
today we get bombed like one.

Asking everyone at work how this day has affected them at this very moment
in time, I have gotten several responces... One simply put as fear.  One
that of a concerned mother for her children and the welfare of her
grandchildren.  Another a little more pratical... she knows it is not
effecting her personally, but it will effect her environment.  She is glad
to be traveling in and out of the country in a short while, (going to
Germany) because the bombing has made that safer in general for a while.
Until Americans in general get lazy and think once again it's not going to
happen here.

Have a good day and I am glad to know my family is safe.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

it makes me have night mares.

I am loving a new facebook page that is all about horse people helping horse people in an emergency...

I have signed up for NC, and will make my place available to anyone in need during fire, storm (hurricanes) or other natural disasters.

I have also learned MUCH from this page and added a few things to my emergency list, such as paint! yep a spray can or FLORESCENT paint.   While I use rope halters ONLY leather is good in a fire/ emergency as it will not melt into your horse as nylon will, cotton will go up in flames as well!

copied and pasted...WHEN marking horses for identification - don't use anythign plastic, nylon, or metal.  Plastic and Nylon melt and burn. Metal will get hot and burn. Spray paint livestock using livestock marking paints- phone number and last name on both sides of each animal. Large enough to be read from a distance.
  re- typed due to copy issues.

When marking horse for Identification- don't use ANYTHING plastic, nylon, or metal.  Plastic and nylon melt and burn.  Metal will get hot and burn into your horse.   Sray paint or use livestock marking paint- PHONE NUMBER and last name on both sides of each horse. Large enough to be seen from a distance...


Friday, September 9, 2011

Estate... update.

While I've made it public how silly I was when Jerry came to the barn with me a while back.  almost a month now!

I was off my normal routine with him there and left the water running all night long.  loosing at least 2000 gallons of water.

I have to say I've got about 1000 gallons in my little container again, so all is well!   I am likely to take water over to the barn on weekends only to save more of my water for this winter.   The more water I have the less likely it is to freeze!

onward we go!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Rain in the cold is going to be my worst enemy as far as my own ability to deal with the weather.

I enjoy, my horses enjoy riding in the snow, as the body creates a barrier and slowly gets adjusted to the melting and numbing of snow through my riding layers.

I am planning to take my love's motorcycle rain gear with me for such occasional I am just not sure how it will hold up to the rubbing of real leather, or the friction of the horses rubbing up against me from time to time.  Sweet Pea has yet to stay off of me as a pack horse and Navarre is safer to ride as a road horse, so much more training  in the future as always.

I believe Sweet Pea will either get better or loose her mind.  This trip will make or break our relationship!

I can only hope it makes it stronger.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

one of those days.

Its days like today that even I think I'm a little crazy for doing this ride.

The pain is all over.
I knew it was going to be one of those days when the pain was so bad I could barely make it down the stairs first thing in the morning.
runs from my jaw up to my temples
down the back of my neck
my back
my hips down to my ankles.
fingers swollen, and hurting up to my wrist.

getting old SUCKS but letting it stop me from doing what I want... not going to happen.

we all have our aches and pains, I just have days like today when it gets away from me, and I feel like I've got the flu.  The meds will catch up by tomorrow and I'll be a normal 40 something year old.  While today I feel like I'm in my 90's

What a crock!

Hoping your day is better than this one.  We all have them, we just don't all put it into words.  ME I'm journaling everything good and bad about this ride. This is just another day in the books.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Toilet paper!

Yep!   I have a roll, but what of the shovel?
I need a light weight shovel, as there is no promise of my being able to tie up the horses, go into some place and SIT down to relieve myself.

I know it is a normal body function but no one speaks of it!  You cant just GO where ever you want! Human waste is TOXIC, it contaminates grounds and one has to be respectful!   So I need to find a shovel as I do not want to carry my waste with me.

One good book ... How to Shit in the Woods... sounds horrible, but a good, funny read!   Jerry got it for me a year or so ago as I was going into Yellowstone with Daddy, and I dare not contaminate such a beautiful place! It worked, but so did the park system of having plenty of compost toilets around!  

Oh well on with the list.
On with the issues I will see, or cause along my route.
Route? no answer yet! I'm going to have to drive each to choose!
So on in the car I go ASAP.

Monday, September 5, 2011

oh how we spoil ourselves.

In preparation of my horse riding, camping trip to Nashville TN in the winter!  I have to get not only my body, mind, and horses in shape but... I'm having to get my stomach and taste buds to deal with the changes ahead.

I know!   Laugh all you want but I have had a french press for my coffee sense I left home on my own.  Even my father knew its importance when he gave me a camping press for Christmas one year as I was camping off Sweet Pea years ago.

Having said that I've picked up my instant packs at the grocers and forcing myself to drink it black.  For those who know me I always drink my coffee black, but when its bad coffee I drown it in cream.  No cream on this trip! It would be frozen at night, or spoiled by the heat of the horse in the day and too much weight for the trip.

Oh how I have spoiled myself without realizing it! Coffee?  who would have thought it was such a luxury?

NO  don't mention Starbucks to me!  I can't stand their normal coffee... taste burn to me, ALTHOUGH I crave their espresso.  I remember the days of living alone in St Louis, stopping by and getting two or three shots of espresso on my way into work.  THAT was pure luxury!   That I would be likely to kill for on the trip this winter.... Wonder if they have a place for me to tie up the horses as I pass through Chattanooga or Knoxville... which ever it might be.

No still haven't made up my mind on a route... I know! I'm working on it!

much love to the world,
and Much love to my missing french pressed coffee this morning... uggg to the ( no names given) instant single servings I now carry!


Sunday, September 4, 2011


OK, so I have a FEW things taken care of...

Now I have to worry about how much of my supplies I can get into my little two man tent in order to keep it dry and know its with me not where the horses are tearing into it, or someone else taking it as I sleep.

So I figure I can take one sleeping pad, use the horse pads as another layer leave the saddles on nose all night and I'll have to put the feed in small enough bags I can lift them up and down several times a day.  I can't leave them on the saddle as I get it off and on.  I am sure at some point I will unsaddle the horses during the day, allowing them a rest, a feed, and get them some water.   So all of this has to come to play

Dad has suggested my sleeping bags be in river bags as well.  One is down, one is synthetic... the synthetic can handle more moisture than the down, but if the down gets wet! I'm up a creek with out a paddle.

Any other ideas out there?

Any one have suggestions on tying up the horses? keeping them from running away? ANYTHING to allow me to sleep a little better instead of worrying every time I hear one from outside the tent?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

FEED and weight, what to do?

Wow! have you ever read the bag your feed comes in?   While I make sure to read it more closely than most foods I purchase for myself... it is astonishing how much weight this is going to be on my trip.

Navarre can not eat  complete feed, they are too high in sugar as most use molasses to bind the pellets together. Therefore I can't allow Sweet Pea to have any either as they tend to fight over each others feed no matter what I do to separate them.  I can lock Navarre in his stall and sure enough Sweet Pea will have left something behind as she decides hay is more her taste.  Then as I let him out they both rush to the others bowl to see what is there!   Just like two kids that get a slightly different diet, the other is always better.

Navarre is an EASY keeper! Thank goodness!  It is only his medical issues that make his feeding more difficult and demanding.

Sweet Pea is a HARD keeper! But she is food smart, as where Navarre is not.  HE will eat himself to death.  SHE will piddle around eat till she is full and go on to something else.   She prefers hay over a large portion of  feed.

Hay is going to be an issue on my trip!
With Navarre's medical issues I can't just accept hay from anyone!  Such a quick change in diet is enough to throw him into a colic. So I am going to have to add a hay stretcher into their diet!

I do not like doing this, but at this point it appears to be my best option.
Hay = HEAT in the winter.  so I will try to carry some alfalfa cubes as well, but they require being soaked in water and that alone creates another issue.  Water is going to be a problem in the winter no matter how much I plan.

SO Heat! .... hay stretcher to keep their gut going, Alfalfa cubes to give them more heat, and OIL!   YEP!

Right now my kids (horses) get rice bran oil every day...
Navarre gets one to two cups a day!
Sweet Pea gets only up to one cup a day!

I will replace 1/2 of their rice bran oil with corn oil!   Why! two reasons... Rice bran is EXPENSIVE ... AND it is a cooler burning oil in their body! (so I only feed rice bran in summer to keep them from getting so hot)   So the Corn oil will not only save me 2/3rds the cost but will also give the horses a better heat source at night!   THIS heat is what I am after!

OIL= heat, gut protector, and sugar replacement in horses with PPSM.

Think about it! What is the second thing your vet does if your horse colics?
After checking for stomach for extra acid he puts oil down the stomach to move (hopefully) what ever is blocked in the intestines.  a constant source of oil helps the horse NOT to colic so easily, for a horse like Navarre this is very important.

Sweet pea is on a low carb diet... the weight of 1/2 a scoop of her feed is +/- 2 lbs
Navarre is on a NO carb diet... the weight of 1/2 a scoop of his feed is +/- 2lbs
THEN you ADD the 6 ( yep SIX pounds) of hay stretcher for EACH horse that alone is 4+4+12

they get fed twice a day... 2 lbs each time is 4 lbs
then 6lbs of hay stretcher each is 12 lbs
total of 16lbs a DAY just for basic feeds! This is not including the extra they will need to keep up the demands of the walk OR for HEAT to make it through the night unprotected.  ( yes I will pack rain coats for them but... that's it)
16lbs is not including the weight of all the oil that has to go on that food, OR the supplements that are required  for Navarre and his medical issues.

I will break their feeds into thirds on the trip but that does nothing for the weight of the matter.

so I am figuring the oil will weigh at least two pounds if not just under.  After weighing the supplements that weight 9 oz a day for just Navarre... Then oil on top of that ... I'm adding three pounds a day.

19lbs for ONLY one day!
5 days of feed is going to take up almost 100 lbs! That is a lot of feed, a lot of space! That is a lot of worry!

Not to mention keeping this feed from getting wet! Zip locks are great but they sweat like any other plastic when they get wet, hot, cold etc... I am figuring a river bag is going to be my outside layer!

IF anyone has a or several river bags I can borrow please contact me!   I will need them for sure!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Today was a day where getting water to the barn was the first thing on my to do list.  While waiting for gravity to fill the bathtub... I was getting together things to take on my next outing.  Things I will eventually take on my trip but can learn to pack, and get the horses accustomed to all the weight.

Things I put in my pack today.

Feed, hay stretcher, OIL and supplements enough for four days... ( 12 bags of feed) with a cup of oil each for Navarre, and a 1/2 cup each for Sweet Pea.  Body wipes, Facial wipes, facial creams, SUN SCREEN, P-Nutt butter, English muffins, and dried camp foods.   I will soon add the bulky... my socks, my under garments, my sleep wear and an emergency change of clothes.  ( only if I get wet in freezing temperatures will I change while on the trip.) Otherwise I'm will be bathing in deodorant... so you are forewarned! stay up wind if you come see me.

I have decided to take wipes to clean the bridal and only pack one.  I will take some emergency repair parts for saddle, etc... but not much.  

I did however learn I am going to have to carry a shoe hammer, and at least two a shoe full on nails in case one starts to clank on me again.  I will also carry ONE front and back boot for each horse in case I completely loose a shoe. I can't have them wearing their feet down to nothing!  I have them already for Sweet Pea but Navarre's size will be special order his feet are so large... I will get Stacy to help me with that!

Of course my emergency first aid kit is already at the barn, in the bags.  But soon I will have to start adding a LOT of weight to get the horses more used to their new jobs...

I am making my plans a little tighter day by day...
Keep the suggestions coming!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


September: from septem, Latin for "seven"