Thursday, September 12, 2019

Back to School

It's official.

I'm going back to school.

Starting Jan 2020 in business school, aiming to pass my CPA test within 2 years.  Always looking for fun or painful ways to challenge myself.  I fully expect this one to be in the latter category, but eventually rewarding, eventually.

At least I have my faithful study buddies, always at my feet!

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Week from Hell

So, in the midst of euthanizing Tommy, an emergency trip to the vet school with horse and losing the only other full time employee for 2 months due to injury, the bastard Murphy and his Laws has been piling it high and deep around here.  Bring it on, Sunshine! I will outlast you.
So, Chief decided to start colicking Thursday night.

By Friday morning, we knew we were in trouble.  We worked with him all day, our Dr. Brown came out twice. Administered a vat of mineral oil via nasal tube, leaving the farm the last time at midnight.

Brock and I kept at him, nursing him, walking him, taking him for trailer rides, until:

The holy grail: poop.  After 30 hours without a bowel movement.  Horses can't go without 6-8 poops a day, they are beautiful to look at, but on the inside they are a frail network of wonky intestines.

More trailer rides and more doodoo.  I buried an ox this week, no frigging way I was burying a horse too.
In the mayhem of all this I managed to pick up a companion for Daphne the day after Tommy died.

A client of Dr. B's offered me her pet goat, to keep Daphne from going off feed from grief.  

A loaner goat.  

The new guy is called Bumble.  He's a hoot.  

Super personality, Daphne could learn a thing or two...

He's a people person! He's not so sure about the surly bovine pasture mate.

Finally, Daphne accepts his company and all will be right in the world for the next two weeks.

Just a minor detail that Peter cannot go unsupervised in the front yard anymore.

He earned the reputation of Goat Slayer at the Vet School for his berserk display of aggression towards a fellow patient:  a pygmy goat.

Seems Bumble is on his menu.  Just one more thing to contend with...
Not to mention the ridiculous +100'F heat indices we've had and will continue to have through next week.  Makes one prone to homicide.

My personal method of conveyance:  my 9 seater golf cart, the Executive Cruiser, has been playing games with me. It starts one day and then goes on strike the next.  One day, I was tinkering with it for 15 minutes and only realized later that a baby rattlesnake had been underfoot the entire time.

Never moved, just sat there and watched me.  

I watched it get escorted away.

My least favorite mode of transport: bicycles let me down this week too.  One of my mountain bikes has a blown tire and the one I use every day to exercise the dogs blew a tire going down the trails. 
Guess which two dogs got way out of their 1/2 mile collar range before I could page them back.  I can't run yet, but I can do a mean limping trot.  I finally got within range of Dax's collar and he lead Micah back to me.  I thought I was going to have a f&%#ing heart attack. Losing both my boys in one day, oh hell no.

I ordered a Garmin GPS 2 dog tracker.

Not being a millenial, it may take me 2 months to figure out to to turn it on!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

End of an Era

It's with a very heavy heart that I had say goodbye to my Tommy. It had been a while since his arthritis and degenerating hooves had been robbing him of regular mobility, in spite of regular visits to the vet school for tune ups.  Lately, he spend most of his time laying down.

Within the last two weeks, I saw the swelling in his knees double in size, made an appointment at the vet school, realized it would be too difficult for him to stand in the trailer for hours, cried my eyes out some more and came to the conclusion that if I loved him so much, I should set him free.

There's almost as many pictures and paintings of Tommy in my house as there are of Cole.  The two biggest and most steadfast loves of my life, who started their journeys simultaneously 12 years ago, are now over the Rainbow Bridge.

I had bought Tommy at the ripe old age of 2 days old.

I bottle fed him and his half-brother, Mack, well beyond the time they should've been weaned.

Grow they did, until they tipped the scales at 3000 lbs apiece.

Magnificent team.

A giant with a gentle heart.

He was one of a kind.

One day, I'll be able to hold that big head in my arms and kiss his nose again.

Mark my word, I will find them all again... one day.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt

Sunday morning brought cooler weather and the horses felt their oats.  I stood in the pasture recording the beauty of the galloping and cavorting.
This is the last few moments of the video.  Can you tell who's not playing anymore?

Chief, the sorrel and white paint, that's who.  And I actually have the evidence on film of who kicked the snot out of him: Jack.  Horses are either homicidal or suicidal, end of story. 

A beautiful day abruptly hijacked.
As it happened, our resident vet was coming up the driveway and before he could be welcomed back from his trip, he was up to his eyeballs with me in cleaning and trying to stem the bleeding.  

The cuts were deep and close to the hock joint.  Our equine vet was on vacation, but as usual, Dr. Brown doesn't know how to turn her phone off, so I sent her pictures of the damages.

Word came back that she was on the fence about whether or not to take him to the vet school as an emergency.  My fear was a septic infection of the joint, bleeding, tendon damage, bone fragments.... guess what I did?

Road trip.  No one drives my rig, but me.  It takes a little finesse to wiggle the 38' trailer around and she's so heavy, good luck stopping unless you give yourself plenty of distance AND always manually engage the trailer brakes to assist the truck. 

And I don't go anywhere without my boys.

And Flynn wasn't about to let me drive off with his favorite riding horse, like we get to ride more than once every 3 months, but that's neither here nor there!

He wasn't having it... concerned papa.

We sat in a corner and watched as he was X-rayed, shaved, ultrasounded, probed.  Dr. Zetterstrom was thorough.  She found a chip missing off a bone, but couldn't locate it in the wound, hopefully it is in the pasture somewhere.  No tendon damage or joint capsule compromise. Whew.  Too much swelling and emphysema (air pockets up in between the tissues though.

We watched and watched and watched some more.

Instead of suturing it up snugly, it was decided to leave gaps for fluid drainage.

With just one single stitch holding the whole thing together and rain outside and a special compression bandage applied, I opted to not trailer Chief and risk further injury trying to bring him home.  

Good call.  The vet texted updates on the diminishing swelling.

And it gave Flynn and Brock time to set up a hospital stall at home.
For 14 days, he's not going to be allowed to get his bandages wet or run around like a ninny.  Think he can handle it?  We'll find out when he gets released on Wednesday.

Friday, August 30, 2019


We have a dedicated security detail on the farm.  But, you know how Murphy's Law works?  We have no trouble, not a peep, for 6 months and our new sheriff goes out of town for a few days and that's when some joy riders decide to come onto the property.

The prospect of resolving another problem at 6 PM after a long, long day was daunting, but we made ourselves a quadruple espresso shot lattes and hit the trails tracking. Night forfeited our further efforts, but we separated and went back out checking every inch of the perimeter for an entry point in the morning. 
 Flynn on a mule.  Me and my trackers by bicycle. As it is my day off, I opt to mix my cardio, the dogs' exercise and busting some trespassers all in one.

Nothing like some cute butts ahead of you.

I thought I had a bloodhound, turns out he's a rabbit!

I'm as territorial as a grizzly, so we don't give up until we solved the riddle.  Armed with knowledge of the entry point, Smith and Flynn always get their man.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Excitement at the Farm

We never get bored around here.  Dull days don't exist.  But some days are more exciting than others.  Like when our tree service guys show up.

You know they mean business when they shove a whole pine tree in the chipper!

This year, they brought in the big guns.

Three ornery trees on the lakeside, beyond the house needed tending.
The largest (of course) had already fallen in the lake and required ingenious uses of cabling to hoist out.

This fine gentleman was the cut man in the lake.
Flynn and I aren't quite sure how the heck they got their small crane around the front of the house, but they are some creative folks.

I think I would've pooped my pants watching them negotiate the 6' wide bank.

Good thing we were otherwise employed helping our vet this afternoon.  Somethings do not need to be witnessed!
We caught the tail end of the day's work:

What a show!!!

They make it look effortless.

Up and over the house.

Seeing him do this made me put in a special request...

Almost 50, but still act like I'm 15.

Life is meant to be savored, thank God I surround myself with like minded people.
I've been dealing with this company for almost 20 years.  Best in the business.

Exhilarating to watch.

Precision work.

I love my job.