26 April 2011

Just because you asked...Traveler's Grandson

This is the most recent picture ... it was taken just before sunset a few weeks ago.

Trav (as he's affectionately known) is a blue registered Missouri Fox Trotter, though I don't know what good the blue registry does anymore since he was gelded as a colt. I guess it just means he has excellent blood lines...

He is 16.2 hands and turned 15 years old on April 16. I've had this big guy since he turned three. I did all his breaking, rating and training myself. He and I are pretty good buddies and been a lot of places together. He goes pretty much anywhere I ask him to go except into a two horse trailer. We've never mastered that, though he will go into anything that's bigger. He's been known to toss me on occasion, but fortunately I've not been injured, but that's not to say an injury couldn't happen sometime down the road.

This pic was taken at my late friend Jon's place where he had an enormous pen all to himself.

This last pic is of a girlfriend's son and her grandson, it gives you and idea just how docile he can be, though I'm not real certain he was sure about what was happening ...he's just nosey enough to like almost everyone. The little one, in the pic, was good enough not to squeal if Trav twitched a muscle...

I wish my camera hadn't been dropped last week and only taking fuzzies now (good for muffed target's I suppose) ... I'd have already been taking pictures of the new place he's going to be living. Guess I'll just have to borrow one... and keep y'all posted.

Traveler goes to a new home...

Well ... I was going to move him to a new home today, but at the last minute his stablemate, Zor, wasn't being picked up this morning. This is probalby a good thing since I haven't had time to go over to the new place and make sure everything is ready for him. Curmudge and I are going to move his 'portable' fence panels later on today, along with his water barrels, feed barrels, water hose and more stuff than I will probably need there.

He's going to be around the corner from Jean's so I can walk him over when the time comes. He will be alone in his new stall until he acclamates to the new friends he will meet. Once they (all four of them) acclamate then he can be turned out with them to graze.

I think it will be late Friday before we finally go to Traveler's new stall.  The gal who is taking Zor for Jean couldn't make it into town today with the horse trailer, so Jean will load him (into her horse trailer) on Friday afternoon and take him out to his new home.

24 April 2011

Easter memories

When I was young, I remember Easter being a 'special' day. I would receive a 'frilly' new dress, shinny new shoes (they were black patent leather) and a colorful flowery little bonnet to wear. Mum or grandmother would spend the time to curl my hair even though the bonnet would cover it. I had curly hair too.

Pictures were taken after we were all dressed and just about ready to go to church. (I can't find them tho, I think they're packed in a box I haven't gotten around to unapcking yet.) We didn't often get to dress up for Sunday church and when we did.... it had to be a special day. After church those frilly fancy clothes were off and regular playday clothes were on again, those 'new' outfits were carefully put away for the next time. 

I recall Easter egg hunts on the church grounds for the little ones, and colorful 'food baskets' for families who didn't have a lot of money. Mum and my aunt would hardboil two dozen eggs and color them for us to eat another time. I never got to help them because it was supposed to be a surprise for us. Thing was, I was old  enough ... I could smell them being cooked the night before. Someone put vinegar into the boiling water so the shells wouldn't crack and break (I would later learn).  There was a train ride into Boston to stay with the grandparents for the week.

The dinner grandmother fixed was huge as I recall. There was always a lot of food on the table and around the kitchen. The smells were grand making ones stomach rumble (or growl if you will) in anticipation. There was a huge ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, buttery flavored dinner rolls, and a mint jelly and pickle condiment tray. Desert was homemade deep dish apple crisp, peach cobbler, or blue berry cobbler and vanillla ice cream was available to go on top.  Our Easter baksets weren't big, but they were overloaded with goodies... chocolate bunnies and  marshmallow chicks come to mind.

I haven't had small ones around for many years, so the tradition has been lost .... though as I was coming into the trailer park where I live yestersay afternoon, I was flagged down by a nice man who was inviting all the residents to an Easter egg hunt for the small ones early this morning. That invitation is what reminded me of these long time ago memories.

Happy Easter everyone! What ever you do today ... make it fun and joyful!

19 April 2011

Up and runing again

Sorry, I've been away ... my computer has been sitting while I finish other things ... I needed to get it connected again to Curmudge's internet service. I finally accomplished that feat this evening...

I could have used his laptop to post here, but I just don't like the keyboard  ... makes my wrists hurt ... sooo, I've just been visiting around for short bursts of time the last few days, instead of spending hours like I sometimes do. Now, I can. My desktop is up and running and I'm ready to get after it again.

I won't be posting pictures for a while. Somone dropped my camera on Sunday while we were perusing pics I had stored on it. It landed hard on the concrete and damaged the lense. I can take pics, but they're all fuzzy and out of focus. Gonna have to replace it very soon. I don't go far without it in my pocket.

Updates on the two older horses and others..... at Jean's

We started the week with six and now we're two....
The paint filly (Cuddles) and the mini's (Aires and Macky) went to a new home on Saturday (past). Coke went to a new home on Sunday (past)... he will be a pet now.

That leaves Zor and Traveler. I still haven't decided where Traveler will go when the time comes. I have been looking at a few options, but haven't quite found what I'm looking for. I don't have but a week or so before he has to be moved, so time is of the essence.

17 April 2011

Busy .... Busy ... Busy ...

Been without my computer the last few days.... I'm using Curmudge's laptop ... and I can say I don't particularly care for his keyboard ... makes my wrists hurt. In a pinch, though who can complain?

I've been helping my friend Jean get ready for a yard sale. Yesterday was the first day of sales that are going to happen over the next couple of weeks. They had a really good day and got rid of a lot of 'stuff'. Three of the six horses went to a new home yesterday, too. She commented last evening while we were having dinner, that she looked out the window and was disappointed not to see them in the pens along the driveway... I could see the sadness in her eyes.

She's also packing to move... not just move and settle in again, but move across country to Massachusetts. I envy her going to live in my 'home state'. I want to go too! Ahhhh... but alas, it's not going to happen any time soon. I can wish, hope, dream can't I? Pray for a miracle? Ha! I should be so fortunate, though one never ever knows what the future holds.

We still have a great deal to do.. It's shed day! There's a myraid of stuff in the shed, most of it horse stuff, brushes, tack, saddle pads, bridles, old Christmas decorations ... and many shared memories. Today, we are hoping to get some boxes and things into storage for the main move, too. It's going to be another busy day... and I'm running behind ...

More later....

14 April 2011

Two older horses

I'm doing some legwork for my friend who has two older horses. We are searching for a 'retirement' facility or a place to donate them in Arizona where they can live out their lives in peace and quiet. I'm not sure where to begin my search and I know she's talked to someone in southern Arizona who has information and can be of assistance. We are waiting.

My friend is moving and can no longer keep these two wonderful animals. A little background ... both horses are over 20 years old and have had good lives. Both horses are in good health. My friend would like them to live out their lives in a peaceful situation.

"Coke" is a quarter horse gelding and is docile. He is approximately 23 years young. He has been carrying my friend's granddaughter without incident for a number of years. She has been riding him in gymkhana the last year, but he is getting too old for the rigors of chasing cattle or hard riding like gymkhana, though he does well with riders of all ages and abilities.

"Zor" is a gelded Arabian. He is the pet of my friend's late 'significant other'. He is about 24 years young. He requires a firm hand and an experienced rider. He wants lots of love and attention.

Both horses load and travel easily, so this is not an issue for my friend when it comes to moving them. My friend is more than willing to trailer them to a new home. They have spent the last few years together in pasture and/or a large, large pen. My friend would like them to remain together if at all possible.

Any information, contacts, or leads to follow up on is greatly appreciated. Time is of the essence. You can comment directly to this blog or email  me at  megfifebell@hotmail.com  Thanks in advance to anyone who can help us.

13 April 2011

What's on my mind this morning?

Finding a place to board my horse.... the gal where he is kept right now is moving and leaving the state. I've been really fortunate the last few years, I've had him close where I could do all the work and care myself. My personal preference and ideal situation is one where I can have him in the back yard, where I can see him all the time, talk to him when I'm doing the dishes or sitting on the porch enjoying an evening. For now, those days are gone, I'm in need of a facility. Many of the places I used to know have closed up, gone out of business or are overfull and have waiting lists.

What are my options? First and foremost, the cost has to be affordable. Prices vary greatly between facilities and private boarding. Much is dependent on what you're looking for. Is it a private owner who will charge a nominal fee to have him on their site? A private owner, where you just pay for water, and have to bring in your own feed, feed your animal(s) daily, and clean your own pens? A Feed and Tack operation that has limited boarding available? Or a big operation that is strictly for boarding? How do I find these places? Word of mouth, mostly. Driving through neighborhoods where people have horses and accessibility to places where I might enjoy riding. A poster on the wall in the corner store, or through area 'horse and rider' magazines.

What do I look for when I'm considering these places? The size of the pens/stalls, is it sheltered from the weather? How often will the pen/stall be cleaned? Is water available at all times? How many times a day will my horse be fed? What kind of animal is on either side of the pen/stall where the facility is planning to put my horse? What other amenities are available? For instance, a turn out area, riding arena ( if that's what you do), accessibility to riding areas off site, wash racks, tack rooms/locker storage for grooming items and your saddles etc., and trailer parking.

I'm not necessarily in need of 'full service', but that may be dictated by what I'm going to be doing for work in the coming months, too. I need to know up front that my animal is going to get fed every day at least twice a day and have unlimited availability to water. That is his normal.

He's been pastured a while, not penned. The stall/pen size is important, because he is a big animal. He'll adjust to being penned again, he's been kept in stalls before. I need to know, too that he can be 'turned out' to run , buck and fart (ew! stinky, but necessary) at least twice a week for an hour, especially since I'm not riding a lot. I may have to pay someone to do that for me if I'm not available, but that's sort of  immaterial until I decide on a facility. There's always someone around who wants to make a few extra dollars..... Having some kind of shelter available out of the weather is something else to consider, too. Not that they stand in the shade for long periods, but they will when absolutely necessary.

How accessible is the facility? Will I have access 24/7? Am I limited by the facilities hours of operation? Both of these are considerations. Do they offer vet or farrier services? Will they allow my vet or farrier on their site? Will they feed 'supplements' with regular feedings?

Because you're going to pay for the basics and probably the 'extra' amenities, too, you need to be assured you will not have to be there every day to see to the feeding, care, etc., of your animal(s). There are certain things boarding facilities will not do  for you as an owner. Find out before you commit to placing your beloved animal with them.

Convenience. Is the facility convenient? How far will I have to travel to get to him in an emergency situation? I like to be 'hands on' with my animal. I'm used to being right there for him. I'm a phone call away 24/7  (if/when it's possible ... as I said before, it's dictated by what I'm doing for work in the coming months). I don't like the idea of being an absentee owner. But if that has to be the case ... then there will be someone who can and will make decisions for me in an emergency. It's hard on me and it's hard on Traveler.

I'll be keeping y'all posted on this latest adventure with Traveler and myself.

10 April 2011

Thought I'd go for a walk

Thought I'd go for a walk BUT it's cold out there!
And it's 0420 MST so it's still dark.
What was I thinking? A smoke will work for now
Actually, I'm trying to figure out why my feeds aren't working ....

08 April 2011

Tilt and Whirl

Lord, give me the strength to get through everyday life.

The world seems to be spinning out of control. STOP THE WORLD SO I CAN GET OFF. PLEASE! And I mean jump off after it stops.

In light of what I posted a few hours ago, this is what I feel like doing .... all the media hype, spin and twist will not get the job done. What is the job? Finance the government for another six months! Create a balanced operating budget for 2012! (somehow, some way) Avoid catastrophic setbacks the weak economy can't handle! Create jobs! Do something except argue amongst yourselves.

Ideology doesn't fit here! Common sense should prevail, but I see little of that in all the interviews I've seen the last few hours. I don't know what to call what I'm seeing in real time media coverage. And at what cost does shutting down the government have for the average guy/gal on the street? What's next? Impact eminant.

... how will 'it' effect you? The clock is ticking ...

Looming government shutdown ....
$176,000.00/12 months = $14,666.67 per month/4.3 weeks = $3,410.85 per week. I'm in the wrong business. This represents the average compensation paid elected officials in the House of Representatives and Senate (paid by tax dollars, yours and mine). Now, is this salary taxed? And why should 'they' still get paid if our military doesn't? (If there is a government shutdown)

I'm angry! Frustrated. Officials (elected by non other than you and I) would still receive paychecks if the government shuts down at midnight? While 800,000 others will be furloughed with out paychecks. Our military personnel not get paid (or be partially paid). Federal emergency unemployment benefits (EUB) will stop (albeit temporarily) affecting hundreds of thousands still struggling to pay bills, feed their families and eventually find jobs. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Government shutdown? It's well known I've struggled the last few years, but this? The economy, jobs, federal officials political agendas, posturing, and ideologies over 'entitlement' cuts ... including but not limited to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid (for the poor and indigent)and much more, much, much more. My head spins, my head hurts and I'm confused while I struggle to make sense of where the United States is going. I'm not one of those who wants something for nothing. I'd rather be working.

Government shutdown? Budget cuts over abortion funding (Planned Parenthood) and EPA funding for greehouse gas emissions regulation? What is this? This stops the federal government? This prevents money flow to keep government working? Is this over 'ideological' budget cuts or is it about funding the government through the end of the physcal year (October 2011)?

Authors note: I'm not political by any stretch of the imagination, but this I follow because it will directly affect me and many others I know.

05 April 2011

ABC's of me, meme

Quilly sent this to Tilden and I borrowed it from her...

Age – 59 .... soon to be a year older

Bed size – queen mattress over a camping air bed frame

Chore you hate – shopping for clothing

Dogs – not anymore

Essential start of your day – feeding horses

Favorite color – mauve and blue

Gold or silver –

Height – medium, not tall not short Instruments I play (or have played) – piano, but I haven't played in years, so I guess playing instruments doesn't qualify

Job title – unemployed commercial truck driver aka drives 18 wheelers

Kids – one plus three grand children

Live – simply, or try to

Mom’s name – JoAnn

Nickname – I've had many but 'Wirenut' works as good as any, and I'm never late for dinner....

Overnight hospital stays – too many in the last year +

Pet peeve – too many to list here

Quote from a movie – "What we've got here is failure to communicate." I'm stealing this one from my sister....

Right or left-handed – both.... but predominantly lefty... just means I think with the right side of my brain...

Siblings – yup

Time you wake up – early

Underwear – garments

Vegetable you dislike – brussel sprouts, lima beans

What makes you run late – other people, hard to say ... I'm usually early

X-rays you have had done – wrist elbow, sinus' how many more would you like?

Yummy food you make – not often anymore lack of funds ...

Zoo animal – zebra's they remind me of stripped horses

03 April 2011

First Sunday ...

Now that we've gotten past 'fools' day without incident or detriment to one another.... what else is happening? Here in my neck of the woods, it's Sunday, pretty obvious since I'm posting this on Sunday ... first Sunday of the month to be exact. What significance does the first Sunday of the month have?

Some years past, I was introduced to 'The first Sunday of the month ride'. A disorganized ride from a local watering hole .... just a group of people who got together to ride for hours or the day through South Mountain Park and surrounding areas, using the then local taverns as stopping points. "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses..." Tobey Keith.

No matter what was happening in my world, I was there. I looked forward to those Sunday rides. My horse was ready, willing and well able to meet whatever challenges we faced. I looked forward to seeing people I hadn't seen in a while. I have fond memories. That was then, this is now.

It's a more organized ride, now, dubbed "The Silver Pony Ride" .... sponsored by The Silver Pony with a different coordinator each month (October thru May) with a reason or reasons to ask us to come out and spend money.... the pleasure of riding with friends on a Sunday morning has long been forgotten. The pleasure of seeing people you haven't seen a long time set aside for a cause or causes.

No, I'm not complaining, just stating fact. It's been a long time since I've saddled Traveler and headed to the ride. No, I don't mind digging into my hard earned stash to contribute to some worthwhile cause (toys for tots @ Christmas) or for someone who desperately needs a helping hand. There's always someone needier than I.

I do mind financing the bar (to bring people in during an otherwise slow time). The heavy handed organization, the canvassing with fliers all over the neighborhood and surrounding areas, the push to commit to be there ... to be a part of something that used to be fun, and what has become an event for mishaps, accidents and who knows what else when riders and horses get together in large groups.

I've a few excuses for not attending of late.... mainly cash flow to contribute or to spend on a beer or two along the way. Shoes on the horse to ride in the park on shaley rocky trails. The horse isn't ready? He's always ready! Traveler doesn't care if he's out of shape, he's ready! It's a simple matter ... I'm not ready! Not ready to fight his freshness. I don't want to get hurt either. Let's just say it's been more than two years since I left the property with Traveler for such a ride. Can you say barn sour?

In a couple of hours, I'll see all manner of riders, rigs, ectera passing by headed for the staging area. I envy them, yet I know my own limitations and reasons for not participating. This is likely the last ride of the season until October ... maybe I'll be ready then? Yep, I'm promising myself right now... I'll be ready then and so will Traveler.

01 April 2011

An April Fool's Joke?

Is this for real?
'You may have to consciously let go of some of your plans and simply leave things to chance. The element of the unexpected can help you out quite a bit, so work with it instead of trying to keep it at bay. The natural flow of events should lead you toward a place of greater freedom. Use your imagination instead of relying completely on mental processes like logic.'

I don't think I'm a dreamer by any stretch of the imagination. Though I might be wrong about that, being a dreamer that is. I make lists, I plan ideal scenarios, I can put a budget together for an ideal situation. Waiting for the natural flow of events is like asking me to... to .... to ... I don't know ... be illogical?

What does it mean? Does it mean I should take a leap of faith, fly by the seat of my pants? Pick up stakes with nothing concrete on the other end where ever I might land? Chance? Hard to wrap my head around. Yup, I get that it's necessary to be flexible, but I didn't see the word flexible in that piece. I saw ... 'consciously let go and leave things to chance' ...

What do I want? Out of this early season heat! ARGH! It's the first of April and high temp records have been broken across Arizona today. It's too early! It's too soon. I want some spring weather, comfy days and chilly nights.

Where do I want to go? Somewhere where there are four 'distinct' seasons. I can live with four or five months of hot (or hot and sticky). I can live with four or five months of cold (or bone chilling damp cold). The rest of the months can be chilly (or balmy) and raw (or dry) for all I care as long as it's four seasons. But it can't be anything like the excessive heat here in the desert. It might be April in the desert, but the weather is exhibiting signs of summer, already.

April showers bring May flowers ... isn't that how the rhyme goes? April showers bring May flowers may be true in other parts of the United States, but here in the desert southwest, it's dry and drier. It's way past time for a change of scenery .....