Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Wind Picks Up

The winds started gusting in the middle of the night - loud enough to wake us up.  This morning it was blowing hard.  Brett was scheduled to go on a trail ride and debated about going; finally deciding to load up and give it a shot.  I spent the morning down the mountain at my daughter's track meet and my poor little car was blown all over. 

After I got home, I put Jackson in the arena to roll.  He was walking well so I decided to throw my breeches on and try sitting in my new saddle.  I only rode Jackson for ten minutes, at a walk, in straight lines but it was just wonderful to be on his back again.  And wonderful to be sitting in my new saddle.  The cantle and pommel are both quite high - much higher than I usually like.  So, initially I mounted and looked down at my seat wedged in and thought "ugh, why did I choose this?"  Then he started walking and I remembered.  My leg hangs perfect with no effort on my part and I can feel him very clearly.  It's almost the feel of being bareback. 

Kalvin was going NUTS in the wind.  You can see the trees bending behind him.

The donkeys were out and about.  Initially, they were out in the pasture.  Then a gate blew open and they were really out!  I glanced out the window and saw them headed for my flower bed with Brett in pursuit.  I grabbed the camera and ran outside...

After being chased away from my flowers, they headed for the hill behind the compost piles.

From there, we cornered them along the back driveway.

"Which way to run... thinking...thinking...thinking"

"Maybe if I hide behind a tree, they won't find me and I can stay out."
After that excitement, I headed back to the house.  On the way guess what I found in the garden?
The season's first artichoke!  Yum!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Stupid Start, Good Ending

Yesterday Brett and I flew up to Monterey so Brett could go to a wine and food festival with my dad. My dad takes one of the kids/kids-in-law each year and it was Brett's turn.  While he and my dad were feasting and drinking, I went to dinner with my mom and sister.  We had a great time catching up on all the family news over burgers, malts and fries.  When we got back to our hotel last night, I tried to check us in for our flight this morning.  It wouldn't let me.  I kept getting a message that I could only check in between 1 and 24 hours ahead of time.   I was annoyed.  Our flight was in 14 hours.  This morning, bright and early, I was back at the computer.  Same thing.  We drove to the airport and I tried to check in on the airline kiosk.  SAME THING!  We got in line for assistance.   I looked at my email itinerary yet again and noticed that I had booked our flight for JUNE 29, not April 29.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Brett, being the best husband ever, didn't get mad or even really react at all.  I think he knew I was doing enough reacting for the two of us.  I was very anxious to get home because the neighbor taking care of the animals in our absence had sent me a text saying Jackson was lame on his left hind again.  Fortunately, we were able to get on the flight I thought I had booked.  It was an expensive mistake but we got home and I'll be triple checking dates in the future before I hit "enter" when booking our flights. 

Fortunately, everything was in good shape when we got home.  I love this neighbor, she does an outstanding job and I trust her eyes which is the most important thing.  The day she graduates college and moves away to live her own independent life is going to be a sad one for me. 

Brett and Flash had time for a short ride.

Tuffy and Finessa were down at the far end of the arena -- finally drying out with our warm days.

Jackson's custom dressage saddle arrived.  I set it on his back and admired it...  Hopefully, I'll sit in it on his back soon.

Jackson really wanted to go for a ride.  I let him roll in the arena and hang out there for awhile.

Sedona doesn't like to go swimming.  She'd rather patrol the area. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Beautiful, Busy, Bathing Day

Today was warm, in the upper 70s, with just the barest of a breeze.   Jackson was (dare I say it) walking really well.  A few people have asked what the diagnosis was and I'm happy to relay that he does NOT have laminitis.  The wet weather softened the thin soles of his feet and he just got sore and bruised.  No insulin resistance, no metabolic anything, no laminitis.  I'm keeping his feet dry and painting them daily with either turpentine or thrush meds to toughen up the soles.  In the meantime, I'm burning my calories working in the garden.

I pulled all the poppies, bulbs and potatoes out of the big planter box in my vegetable garden.
I tossed the potatoes and poppies but kept all the bulbs.
I added a thick layer of compost -- eight trips down to the compost pile and back.

I stopped in the barn feed room to quench my thirst.
Then I transplanted tomato plants and a pumpkin plant from the greenhouse. 

I sorted the bulbs.  On the left, are Easter lilies.  Brett buys me some every Easter and I transplant them into the garden.  I planted the tulip bulbs, on the right, down by the arena.
Katy came up and worked with Kalvin.  Then she gave him a bath.

I gave Jackson a bath and then let him graze while he dried. 

I lay on my back and looked up through the twinkling Cottonwood trees.

Next!  Flash got a bath too.

Passage kept me and Jackson company

The chickens were taking dust baths.  The one on the left scooted herself into a hole...

...and proceeded to roll around. 
The roses are starting to bloom.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Looking Up

Jackson is walking better today.  I think this is just going to take some time.  Meanwhile, we are having beautiful weather.  The cottonwood trees are twinkling in the breeze, the sun is shining, the pasture is drying -- it's all good.  Here's proof:

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm So Tired of This

As I was driving home from work tonight after a very long day, Brett called me on my cell (yes, I was wearing a bluetooth).  He told me that Jackson was lame on his left hind.  Brett was feeding when he got home from work and noticed Jackson standing, with the hoof cocked, refusing to move.  Brett had to use Jackson's halter and lead to bring him into the barn and it was a long, slow process.  Step, grunt, rest.  Step, grunt, rest. 

The headache I had been fighting all day suddenly intensified.

Jackson had been almost sound on the right front yesterday morning when I longed him.  Sound at walk; very slightly off at trot.  I was looking forward to full recovery and getting back in the saddle - maybe by the weekend. 

I guess not.

When I got home, well after dark, I went down to the barn.  There isn't any swelling in the leg or heat or bounding pulse.  Hoof testers.... you got it.  Positive.  Heavy, heavy sigh.  I gave him some bute and a big hug.  He nudged my pocket for cookies.  I scratched his shoulder crease.  And gave him another hug. 

I'll wrap it in a poultice filled diaper in the morning if it is still sore.  And hopefully I'll have a more positive post tomorrow night.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Feast

The sun never came out today.  We had weather in the 40s and blowing mist with a few soft showers.  Brett's sister and her family, nephews, niece, boyfriend, girlfriend -- a houseful -- came up for Easter dinner.  I love cooking holiday meals.  This year I attempted to make brioche.  I started it yesterday and after measuring wrong the first go around and dumping the dough in the trash and starting again... I finally got the dough right and into fridge for its long rise.  This morning I was up early.  My recipe said the brioche needed to rise in the brioche pan for 3 hours.  At the 3 hour mark, it hadn't budged.   So, I started a batch of fail safe dinner rolls.  Then, OF COURSE, it started rising.  So, we ended up with three kinds of bread -- the wheat bread I made yesterday, the brioche and the rolls.  But, I'm feeling a good sense of accomplishment over the brioche. 

I love these napkins.  They were a gift from my best friend in France. 

Radishes with herb butter and fleur de sel.  A big hit.

Curried eggs
The main course:

and dessert:

The best part of Easter dinner was all the laughter and stories shared around the table.  I love Brett's family --  (I love mine too, of course, but my parents were with my sister this year and the kids were with their dad). 

Happy Easter everyone!  Time to clean up and put my feet up (after horse chores of course).

Sunday Stills: Wildflowers and Flowers

California Poppies are everywhere.

They are even growing in the water fountain...

Fuji apple blossoms

Dutch iris


Spanish lavender

Jupiter's Beard


Thyme ...and more poppies.