We're all sick of the relentless rain. The fields are rice paddies, the roads washed out, the horse hypothermic from all the frigid rain. So, we've been holding them up in the barn, collecting mountains of manure--- because that's what horse do best.
Everywhere is flooding.
Mother Nature sure is pissed off. But, we find ways to adapt and overcome:
My little 26 year old buddy, Axel, has a chronic eye condition. We see his opthalmology specialist at Auburn University on a regular basis to keep him as symptom free as possible.
His current problem has been resolving nicely with the help of twice a day drops in his left eye. He's an old pro at it, a good patient, putting up with fingers poked in his eye for two years now. The other old timer at the farm, Henry, decided to poke himself in the eye and cause me to return to Auburn twice in one week.
Unlike Axel who basks in the 24 hour attention when he spends a week at the vet school undergoing treatment, good old Henry did not.
He decided to go on a hunger strike. Back I went to the vet school. Which is probably a good thing because I have this wingnut at home who was having the grandest conniption fits because his buddy had been taken from him.
When Henry's pasture mate, Chance, died last year, Roscoe came to us to become Henry's new companion. Roscoe takes his job a little too seriously.
Henry has taken a few trips to the vet school now, each time Roscoe goes full Monty on the theatrics.
Usually a horse settles down and goes back to grazing, especially since I'd put Cody in there with him to keep him occupied. He didn't give a toss about Cody. He kept pining for his Henry. Returning with an empty trailer was heart wrenching for him.
At last, the apple of Roscoe's eye is back!
Love and loyalty, something we have a lot of here at the farm. Peter helped raise Dax, he's his baby. Angus and Axel are ALWAYS together, inseparable. Micah can't stand his big brother Dax to be out of his sight. Deeper and truer than a lot of interpersonal relationships. Guaranteed.
Family history: I have two sisters, both from different fathers and mothers. We may not be genetically related, but that's a technicality seeing as we are soul sisters. And you better not mess with my big sisters, because they're more certifiably nuts than I am. Gina, manages a +40 head horse rescue in Oklahoma.
Gayla, also lives too far away, all the way in Texas. She's off the chain too.
No matter where I am, or what I'm doing, these two have my back. I don't think they realize how much I look up to them. And worry about them... so when a storm was leaving a path of destruction in Texas and snow in Oklahoma, I radioed Gina to forewarn her, and demanded she send the snow my way. I see far too little of it in Alabama.
This is apparently all the snow she received. "Causing major snowdrifts against the barns", she wrote. Beware, Gina has a wicked sense of humor. A few days pass and I get a package in the mail from Oklahoma.
A bag of water, two lumps of coal, a carrot and some buttons.
No way. YES WAY! Gina sent me the snow I'd requested.
My homage to the gift: a sculpture titled 'Oklahoma Snowman, A Still Life'. Long live the sisterhood! Later, to my added delight, Winter actually remembers that it is January and it returns to us full on.
Fashion parade. I love Winter jackets, winter hats, the cold crisp air in my lungs.
Bring it on!
Yes mother, I do wear my favorite Owl hat in public.
And much to Flynn's embarrassment, I wear this winter felt hat out too. Apparently I look Gilligan.
If it gets colder than the predicted 21'F Tuesday night, I might have to break out some of my true Canadian arctic gear. I'll really embarrass him them. Keep your fingers crossed.
I don't adhere to "you can't do it anymore", I believe that I'll find another way to do it. End of story. I'm still tinkering with the new recumbent bike to weld brackets on for the dogs to pull me.
Dax prefers to ride on me, bobsled style.
The dorky head rest will be removed.
Flynn's Stephen Hawking impression.
Digging can be challenging. Planted 5 trees by virtue of shoveling one legged.
And then my helpers did what they do best: mayhem.
Spreading hay is totally doable.
The horses are now fairly bomb proof. It's been a year of seeing electric wheelchairs, crutches and scooters zip in and out of their stalls. You ride a bicycle by a random horse in a pasture and see how they come unglued, then you'd appreciate how sane these horses are.
The trick: find a way around obstacles, both literally and figuratively, or roll over them. Not our usual way to collect sticks and pine cones before mowing, but it works.
Pruning with a pole saw, no problemo.
Teamwork: I filled the trailer with limbs one day and Flynn emptied it the next. Some tasks would take me a ridiculous amount of time to perform, so I bow out ungracefully.
It's been a long season battling varmint under one of the houses, since I've not been able to work in the crawlspace in the past month, they've gotten the upper hand.
After two days of crawling around under there fixing insulation and cleaning the vapor barrier, I call for backup when a bucket of acorns drops on me from above.
Know when you're defeated.
But never give up the fight---- battle something else!We made some serious preparations for a weekend storm threatening to bring 70 mph winds and 10" rain
In typical Jamie fashion, I had all the horses locked up in stalls in the barn, the dogs were with me too. The two that lack any common sense had their GPS collars on (in case they got sucked away from me), orange capes on for more visibility, I had all their life preservers handy (in case of flying debris, the attempt is to protect vital organs), important documents and my passport in my bug-out bag. Plan is always to wait it out, saving the horses from potential lightning strikes, but being ready to cut them loose of the stalls if a tornado bears down, then hide myself and the dogs in a corner and wait for the ride to the Wizard of Oz.
All that was missing was a Flynn. 11th hour return:
Much more romantic to die together anyway.
The storm brings 45 mph winds, much rain, bringing down a few trees and lots of limbs. But, the next day, I'm back to commuting between jobs as usual.
New Year's Eve: time to make our way back to San Salvador Airport. Vacay over, leaving Juayua.
Taking the long way back so that we can see different parts of the country.
The famous El Zonte beaches on the Pacific. Black lava sands. Renown for the finest surfing.
I find an open air restaurant where it looks like the locals eat.
An 8 year old keeps coming back from the shoreline with his harvest of mussels.
I place an order for roasted chicken and watch the cook start the fire.
30 minutes later, this is the scrumptious meal we get. Give me a chicken and an open fire and you can either count on a carbonized meal or a case of salmonella. I don't know how they do it so well!
We stray to the beach while we wait. My scooter can only go so far before the waves overwhelm it. I ditch it and my boot to swim in the ocean. I couldn't hear Flynn over the waves chastising me for getting my sutures wet. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Totally worth almost missing our flight.
The remaining journey to the airport was stressful because of traffic jams and the main thoroughfares in narrow streets. Flynn handled it like a pro.
He eventually let me have my fun and ride my scooter on the escalators.
Our first trip together a success!!!
The joy of coming home.
Exhausted from our adventures, we are in bed by 10 on New Year's Eve!