Sunday, January 19, 2020

Nikki had 8 Puppies!

Brrr it was cold this morning, dropping down to 3 degrees. At least the wind had died down. We left for church and were glad to see the roads were cleared. The drive wasn't bad.  Mike Kaisner had the morning service and Craig Stickling had the afternoon. After church Mark got the small Kubota out to start spreading sand on the very icy drives while I went up to start a fire in the wood burner for the guests coming in this evening.  Rhoda and Lee picked up Nancy and dropped her off at Joan's house then came here for supper.  David and Stephanie's family along with Anna and the girls also joined us. The older kids had fun slip sliding down the drives that didn't get sand on them.



The younger ones stayed inside where it was warm.



Mike was hosting a football party at his house. Joan was hosting the big Gingerbread decorating contest this evening after supper. Both were VERY well attended. I joined the decoration party. 
















As today is Joan's birthday and yesterday was Ruth's birthday we decided to celebrate them together at Joan's house except Ruth forgot to come. When Joan called, she reported she was baby sitting with her 3 grandchildren and they were playing nicely plus she didn't have car seats for the mile drive here.  We sang to her anyway on some kind of facetime.
Nolan and Sarah's purebred Moyen Poodle Nikki was busy delivering puppies and ended up with 8 puppies. 7 male pups and 1 female pup. These are AKC registered Moyen Poodles. Hopefully I can get some pictures tomorrow.  

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Deep Freeze

We didn't get the 40 degree weather predicted over night. It pretty much stayed at 33 degrees which meant the ice and snow did not melt. It was a slushy mess while feeding this morning. Even my water proof boots weren't water proof enough.  Mark tried to clean off our patio, drive and mom's drive next to the garage.  By 11:00 am the wind shifted coming down straight from the north causing the temperatures to start falling drastically. By this evening we are at 9 degrees with sustained winds at 22 mph gusting to 33 mph giving us a wind chill of below zero.
Breakfast was colorful this morning.  We had avocados that were ripe and ready to be eaten, fresh strawberries, raisin toast with cream cheese, farm fresh eggs and sausage.
Today was a good day to stay inside so while the laundry was running I decided to try to make gingerbread houses for the kids tomorrow to decorate. Sarah made them out of grand crackers so that is what I tried. No gingerbread was baked.  I found out that I am NOT a craft person. I do not have the fine motor skills needed nor the talent to put these together. The first one I tried was a double decker and big but it fell apart, I scraped off the icing and tried some small designs and got them to hold together.  Below are the finished houses, all 9 of them. They look like shacks that even the very poor wouldn't want to live in. 
We have lots of candy sprinkles, 3 kinds of chocolate chips, and pretzels to make fences around each house. Of course I'll make lots of icing to cover them. Maybe by the time the kids are done they won't look quite so bad. This afternoon a booking came in for the barn apartment. They are coming in tomorrow and staying for 3 days. They want to use the wood burner so Mark and I hauled wood up to the apartment using the golf cart and stacked it by the wood burner. Then on the way back to put the golf cart in my garage I tapped the brake and the golf cart quit. It had to be left outside but now I know it is the brake that is causing the problem. Maybe tomorrow it will run enough to put it back in the garage. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Lots of Ice

We had someone ask about the Liberty class after seeing Evan perform and wanted to know more about how it is judged. Our very first time we ever did that was in 2015 at the IL Horse Fair. This was the first time the fair ever offered this class. We had no idea what this was about but read the rules then Emily practiced with Killian. He was only 3 years old and not yet mature but was going to the fair anyway so we spent the money and entered him.  The rules were you had to bring the horse into the arena and take off the halter leaving the horse loose. You were not allowed to touch the horse either with a whip or hand. You had 2 minutes and the horse was judged on how much of the arena he used, did the horse show off all 3 gaits both ways and how long did it take to catch him.  You were allowed 2 minutes to catch the horse but if you took that much time points were deducted.  If it took longer than 2 minutes the horse was disqualified.  Below is our first try.

Emily and Killian ended up winning the class.  He was such a clown here and at the fair and loved to show off.  We were so hoping Killian would be our next Horsemeister stallion but when we tested his semen at 3 years of age it just wasn't good enough quality to keep him a stud.  He had the very best pedigree, out of a star mare and an approved stallion who just happened to have the best pedigree of ALL Friesian stallions even the FHANA approved stallions and yet he just didn't produce the quality and quantity of sperm needed. Well a stud farm cannot use a gelding so even though Killian was much loved we decided to place him for sale. There are no guarantees in this business.  We decided at that point to not look for another stallion and just be content with the 2 proven stallions we already had.   At the 2019 fair we took Valiant since Evan had gone in 2018.  He was in both the liberty and the riding but the liberty ended up being cancelled on Sunday the day we took the video so we just have him in the riding class with Rebekah Martin.
Both Evan and Valiant have the semen quality and quantity to remain stallions and their hundreds of foals on the ground prove this out. We really didn't know how blessed we were to have them until we had Killian tested.
This morning after the walk I moved another bale in for Hadassah then went to Diane's office to help her balance the Horsemeister check book.  From there I met Kensley's bus today and after going to the house to change we loaded back up to go in to Peoria to do some grocery shopping and had lunch at Culvers.  She had the chicken tenders and I had the fish. Both were excellent!  This evening Mark and I went to mom's for games. Rhonda and Spark played too. Diane and Mike showed up too late to play. We had been having snow but by the time they got there they told us it was raining.  It was and turning on ice as soon as it landed. By the time we got out of mom's our car was covered with thick ice. Mark went to work scraping then when we tried to put the car in the garage it kept sliding backwards. Mark ended up driving it down the hill and going around again for a better angle and got it in. Thankful for that success. The rain is supposed to keep up all night and the temperature rise so hopefully this ice will be melted by morning.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ruby's Puppies are HERE

Anna and her family left for Kansas to attend the visitation and funeral of her uncle. That meant I had the girls today and this evening. As soon as they were off the bus and changed we were on our way to Rhoda and Lee's house to see Ruby's brand new puppies just born today. 
Ruby had 2 male puppies and 2 female puppies. They are all healthy and nursing well.  These are Cavapoos and end up darling fluffy friendly puppies.  As there are only 4 of them if you are interested in one you'd better call or text Rhoda pretty quickly. She is already getting messages from people wanting this kind of puppy.  Rhoda's number is 309-208-3840. 
Ruby and Duece the parents are pictured below.
From there we went to a trampoline park where Nolan, Sarah, Zion and Eden were waiting for us. We all had such a fun time jumping, swinging, fighting and rock climbing.

Below is a short video of Braelyn and Taegan rock climbing.
 By 6:20 pm Zion was getting hungry and didn't want to sit for the picture below. Sarah told her if she did we would go get dinner, she turned around quickly and said, "Cheese!"
If you would like to see the rest of the pictures click HERE
We drove to Denny's which wasn't far from the park and had a nice sit down meal.



From there we left for home arriving back at 8:00 pm just in time for bedtime.  Mark and Eric got one of the stall fans replaced today with an industrial fan. It works so well he is going to order two more to replace those that aren't working very well. He kept the wood burner going all afternoon and evening. It is very cold today.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Sticker Shock

I had a quiet day and worked on the barn plans. I hope to build this barn in 2021 IF I can save enough. The other job accomplished was to go in to Peoria DMV and get the new sticker for the Chevy truck. Talk about sticker shock. To renew is now $151.00 PER vehicle.  That's because we happen to live in Illinois, you know the most corrupt state in the union. The lady taking my money was also complaining and mentioned that trailers went up $100.00.  I hope she isn't correct about that. In the mail today came another renewal notice for the Ford truck.  I'm ALMOST tempted to not buy the sticker, drop the insurance and just use the truck as a work truck here.  It is a 2003 and not worth much except when we need a second truck, which seems to happen pretty often.
We picked up mom for church this evening. She has two really BIG shiners, such black eyes that she looks like a raccoon.  She won't let me share a picture so just take my word, she looks like she was in a bar fight and lost.  She had a doctor appointment scheduled for today and was going to head over to the DMV to renew her drivers license but changed her mind when she looked in the mirror.
Mark took 116 to church and always turns on Farmington Rd then heads up Sterling to Forest Hill to Sheridan.  Tonight we were driving along on Farmington Rd at a pretty good clip when we saw lots of pretty flashing lights up ahead.  There must have been something really bad happen, the road was closed both directions and there were all kinds of vehicles with flashing lights including many cop cars and fire engines. There was a car behind us so for about 10 minutes we were stuck until the car behind us started backing up. We were able to turn around. I snapped the picture below as we were making a u turn headed back to 116 and took the interstate.
We still made it to church in time.  Greg Rumbold had the message.  We stayed quite late visiting afterwards.  When I got home there was a message from a lady interested in seeing a video of this mare under saddle:
I had to chuckle when I replied this is a stallion.  I then sent her a couple videos, one of Rhoda riding Evan during the 2016 IL Horse Fair and the other of Evan and Rhoda in the liberty class of that fair. They won that competition.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Fall

We had a good walk this morning. It was warmer and most of the snow and ice had melted. Mom's poor snowman lost his nose along with some other key parts. This was mom's first snowman of 2020 and she beat everyone else in making one.
I only did one round of walk today as Tuesdays are Berean day and I needed to get the mail to that office north of town before the volunteers showed up. If you would like to read about our day there click HERE.
We had one very scary thing happen at that office today. Mom had a bad fall, landing on her forehead and nose on the concrete. She was leaving a little early to take her car to Peoria Tire and Vulcanizing to get the tires checked and the oil changed, grabbed her purse and coat and turned quickly, tripped coming out of the hallway and fell face down, putting a big goose egg on her forehead, smashing her nose into the concrete floor, and cutting her hand. Her glasses didn't break but cut her nose when she slammed down. She was bleeding quite bad and had to stay down until we could get the bleeding stopped. When she was able to sit up and we thought maybe get to the car, she had to lay down before she fainted. Mark Kieser helped get her onto the floor.  Bill Schick helped clean up the blood then drove mom's car to Peoria Tire. Chuck Hemmer followed him then brought Bill back to the Berean office to get his car.  When mom felt a little better she was helped into my car and taken home, given an ice pack for her forehead and nose, an Aleve for the pain and settled into her chair for a nap.  Joan came with me to pick up her car.  This evening some of the swelling has gone down and other than 2 black eyes and the swelling on her face she is actually looking a little better than when it first happened. She wouldn't let me publish any of the pictures as it looks like she lost the fight! The worst part of all of this is tomorrow she has her doctors appointment and we are just SURE they are going to ask her, "Do you feel safe at home?" 
Faith and Ellie came over late this afternoon to ride Jenis and Hadassah but ended up not riding as it is just too muddy and they didn't have enough time. The pictures below are from Saturday. It had been raining then sleeting and the horses were very wet. That is Jenis in front and Zalena behind her.
 Below is Zalena and Hadassah enjoying the indoor. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Rosaleigh and Roxanne

Roxanne and her sister/aunt Rosaleigh are even closer than sisters, they both share the same sire Othello pictured below:
and Rosaleigh's dam was Roxanne's grand dam. This mother and daughter were both bred to Othello and both mares delivered a filly a week apart. Roxanne was born March 30th, 2013 and Rosaleigh was born April 6th, 2013. Rosaleigh turned out taller than Roxanne and has more hair. Check out the mane and feather on Rosaleigh.
Rosaleigh had a temper and one time Emily was working on a waterer, Rosaleigh came up to bug her, Emily shoved her out of the way and Rosaleigh turned around and kicked her.  We were SHOCKED! It was obvious that she considered herself a primadonna . We had to dispel that notion immediately as we cannot have a mare that kicks here. How that was solved was she was taken to the round pen and each time Rosaleigh would turn her rear end to us she was made to work.  It didn't take long for Rosaleigh to decide it was easier to face the human and rest. We did a little training work with her when she was 2 years old then at 3 Rhoda trained her undersaddle.

We bred her to Evan and she had the most spectacular stud colt June 13th, 2017.

We were pretty thrilled with what she produced so bred her back to Evan and she had a gorgeous filly with huge movement May 20th, 2018
Of course we bred her back to Evan (why mess with success) and she had another beautiful filly April 24th, 2019.
Rosaleigh will be bred back to Evan hopefully in April for a March 2021 foal.
Roxanne was more timid and afraid as a 2 year old. She wasn't mean but wasn't like our home bred Friesians which kind of surprised us. We thought all Friesians were loving and easy to train. She wasn't terrible, just not very mature even at age 3. Karin was working with her both here and at Middle Grove. 
When we brought her back to the Hanna City farm Rhoda started her under saddle and she did very well. I think she just needed more time to mature.
She was bred to Valiant and delivered a colt July 25th, 2017
We were pretty pleased with what she produced so bred her back to Valiant and she delivered a filly July 8th, 2019
Meanwhile Roxanne was turning out to be a very nice riding mare for Rhoda. 
She took her out on the trails with her foal with no problems.

We loved her foals by Valiant but wanted to see what she would produce when bred to Evan so did that for 2020. Roxanne is due June 5th, 2020. She is just a beautiful mare.

We can't wait to see her 2020 foal by Evan.