Friday, September 23, 2022

It's Official

 It's official.

This guy is now a Smith.  I've been taking care of Peter for 8 years for my boss, but today, he's mine.  

Why?  Because the farm closed today. 

16 years old and still mischievous.  He graduated from 3 years of physiotherapy with his BFF, Liz. Video of Peter hard at work :

Peter is easy to love, he's ever so grateful.

We're celebrating this Gotcha Day 8 year in the making.  He's been mine in my heart since day One.  Instead of leaving him behind when Cole and I traveled, he joined in. He became our protector.  Between Peter and Garrett, nobody messed with us on the trails.  

This old farm dog has been to Canada, he's played in the Pacific, he's hiked up in Maine, skied in Montana.  Peter has run trails in 35 states and 2 Canadian provinces. 

The dog with the heart of a lion, Cole's protector, Dax's mama, Emmett's favorite granny, I watch him sleeping in an armchair next to my desk late at night, twitching and running in his sleep.  I wonder which adventure he's dreaming of.  

The adventure isn't over.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Changing of the Guard

 Big news at the farm yesterday: it is sold.  It was put up for sale back in May, but my employers requested I not blast any news about it online.

The shroud of secrecy has been lifted. Here is the listing with the promo video.  Me and the horses are featured after the fishing.  

The video editors chose to highlight the more low key videos of our day of shooting.  I've had to beg and plead for some of the footage of what ended up on the editing floor.  

Moi and my boy, Jones

None of the exciting stuff ended up in the promo.  So here's some of the good stuff.

For those who think a Tennessee walker can't jump, y'all haven't met my riding instructor, Erin, who is also a steeplechase eventer

Heather dazzled on her mare.

Heather and the Mustang she trained

As we begin our mock day of fox hunting:

When Jones tries to jump into Heather's back pocket.

Heather used her own horses, this is her on her other horse demonstrating Western pleasure riding with Luke.

Jones and I provided most of the comic relief.  As we cantered up the hill, Jones decided the cameramen were out to eat him, so he galloped off side into the bushes.  They believed I was doing it on purpose to add drama to all the footage.  Nope, just me not able to control my hot horse.

The work here is intense and never ending; the creatures that are out to get me are always lurking, but as I've said in the past, this piece of land is a jewel.  I knew if the new owners drove in with their bulldozers to put in subdivisions, you'd be reading about me in the obituaries.  I would have a major coronary on the spot.  The new owners plan to use the property as a family compound, no development, no logging, no hunting club.  My little Jurassic Park is safe for another generation. It is my legacy, I healed it and protected it for 8 years. I don't know if I have a job or a place to live, but my work was not in vain.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

The Grind

On Friday, I bush hogged miles of trails..

My batwing cutter and I make a great team.

That night, the manager from the neighboring farm came by looking for me at 8 PM.  He found me doing chores in the barn.  He gave me a lecture about working too much.  After his monologue, I told him I'll be home 20 later because of him and I handed him a pitch fork.  

Saturday was a 14 hour nonstop day.  A friend told me I'd forgotten how to have fun, I work too much.   

Coming home at night is my fun.  Trying to pick my way through a throng of dogs in the dark, less fun.

Every time I come home.  Video:

First duty: make supper.  Why do you have 12 hens, they ask.  Because I have 8 dogs and WE prefer organic eggs.

I'm either 16 hours late for breakfast or 8 hours early.  It's been my MO for the past 3 years: starve during the day and consume 3000 calories nocturnally..  

Kids are fed.

My turn.  No shower, no putting on pyjamas, I'm already behind on 2 lectures and I have homework due by midnight.  

My daily bedtime is between 1 and 2 AM.  Back up at 6.  Keeping my eye on the prize.

My Precious.