Monday, December 31, 2012

Website Problems

Emails and texts have been coming in about the website problems. Now Forbidden comes up when typing in This is so frustrating, enough so I'm ready to start over but don't want to lose the website name. I'm really tired this morning and yet the work that must be done is mounting up. I'll have to cut the walk short to get in early, there are copies to make, studies to open and process, Bibles that must be hauled to the home for wrapping and then shopping for the New Year's Eve party. And to top it all off the car is out of gas. Once home from that work, the horse work will start. Mark has agreed to help fix the paddock fences. It is pathetic how bad the broken boards look and pathetic to see my attempts to fix them with no tools except bailing twine. The 2 new mares need work, they are afraid of people and someone needs to start spending time gentling them. We were told they haven't been handled much for SIX years! They had a good start so it shouldn't be too hard or take too long. I'm really missing my horse whisperers Karin and Rhoda! The weanlings will need a new bale soon but I want them moved to another paddock to start preparing theirs for when we bring the mares home.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sissy & Star

Introducing Sissy and Star:
Sissy's registered name is C C Shake Some Star Dust, she was foaled April 11th, 2002, and is triple registered. Her registration papers are: Tennessee Walking Horse Association, Spotted Saddle Horse Association and Racking Horse Association.
We were pleasantly surprised at how HUGE this mare is. Sissy will be sticked later but is tall and stocky with a very thick long mane and tail. She is going to be a wonderful cross with one of our Friesian stallions. Star is an 8 year old all black Tennessee Walker mare. She didn't come with any papers but will also make a nice cross with one of our stallions. She has an extremely thick mane and tail and is also a nice big stocky mare.
Both of these mares will be put into training and bred this spring to either Valiant or Evan.

Mission is Closed

The dog mission in this small farm house opened last night to take in all the homeless dogs (well the dogs with no owners home). Heidi was the last to ask to come inside. She left during the evening and showed up here around 3:00am with a quiet bark. She decided she needed warmth and companionship after spending the long dark cold evening guarding mom's car. Mark just decided this dog mission is closed for the day. It is all of 12 degrees here but the wind has stopped so Heidi and Studly were let out and told to go home. We will need to come straight home after church today, our 2 new mares are suppose to be delivered this afternoon. These are both gaited mares, a black TN Walker and a double registered black and white Spotted Saddle horse. Both of these mares ride but haven't been worked for a couple of years, I'll have to see if mom wants to break them out for us. That's a joke mom, a joke!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Splitting Wood

This very necessary job wasn't begun until after lunch but once started went well. Below is Mark just as we were getting started.
This wasn't hard work, my job was to work the hydraulics on the splitter while Mark fed the logs but it sure was cold work. After my toes were feeling pretty frostbitten and fingers were stiff it was time to quit. The picture below was snapped of the split wood.
It was 18 degrees outside with a stiff breeze and light snow falling this afternoon, just not the most comfortable working weather. Most of the wood split will be for next year, although some was seasoned and moved unto the porch for this winter. I went in to warm up while Mark stacked the entire split pile in the shelter off the back of the garage. All of our work didn't seem to put much of a dent into the huge pile that still needs splitting. While using the equipment today just re-enforces how we have so much to be thankful for. Karin's dog Studly has moved over here from mom's house. Heidi was over for a while then wanted to go home for the night. She feels she must protect the place until mom comes back.

Dumb and Dumber or Not

Do animals scheme? Evan for the last 2 days was stepping into the round bale feeder up against the gate then standing there until someone would rescue him. For the rescue grain is grabbed, then the gate opened and once he is free, he gallops around then comes running back for the grain. This has gone on for the last 2 days. Why does he insist on going right back to the corner and stepping into the bale feeder? Perhaps he has been rescued so many times with a good run up and down the drive, then a sweet treat, while Valiant stands inside the paddock watching, it was worth standing in a corner until rescue? Then there is Emma. Emma will not go outside by her self at night, she stands at the door and whines but is too afraid to walk out the door until Darcy goes first. For the second night in a row she has stood at our bedroom door whining around 1:30am until I get out of bed, wake Darcy, make Darcy go out whether she needs to or not and only then will Emma hobble outside, walk a few steps to the grass, squat for just a few seconds then want right back in. As soon as the door is opened she hops quickly over to Darcy's bed, the bed nearest the wood burner, flops down and stretches out. Meanwhile I'm standing at the door freezing waiting for Darcy to come back. So who's the dumb one now? I'm starting to feel manipulated by animals. Last night Spark and Rhonda invited us over to watch the Christian comedian Mark Lowry on their big screen. We walk in and Spark has his wood burner fireplace insert going full blast.
Such a warm welcome sight. We didn't even have to go into their downstairs away from the fire, Spark has a projector mounted in his living room where we could sit in comfort while watching and laughing.
We are missing all the family that left us for the south. Mom calls every day to give us poor freezing people up here an update.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Price of a Puppy

Emma's vet visit went well, that is she was very well behaved. Dr. Hoerr poked and prodded, bent and straightened, moving her leg this way and that all without sedation and she didn't even let out a whimper. She even stayed still for the x-rays.
She has great bones. She is in the prime of her life at 3 years of age. The diagnoses is a torn ACL and the prognoses is either have the surgery or she will be lame the rest of her life. Dr. Hoerr is a very practical vet knowing when a farm dog is more than just a dog. He is willing to do her surgery for the price of a puppy! Emma's surgery is scheduled for Thursday morning. Today is cleaning and laundry day. I'm staying home and cleaning if it takes me all day. That is a joke this little house won't take more than a couple of hours. On another note the group vacationing in Gulf Shores, AL just got bigger. David and Stephanie took off driving down to the gulf and Sarah is flying down. So what started with just Rhoda and Karin in John and Beth Meister's condo grew to include at least 15 people: the Davidovic family and mom in mom's condo, some Sauders, Sceggels, Schwind's and Meisters in John & Beth's condo and now Sceggel's in another. They are enjoying the sunshine while we are stuck here in the cloudy cold North.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Decision Time

What to do about Emma. I pretty much know what the problem is, she slipped on the ice while running and more than likely tore her ACL. She now has a vet appointment at 2:30pm instead of first thing this today. But..will we like what the vet is going to say? If the dog is under 30 pounds, limit exercise and it will heal but a big dog they recommend surgery, very very expensive surgery. Is it right to put that much money into a dog when there is so much need in the world? The problem with not doing the surgery (according to vet and the internet) is too much strain is placed on the good leg and it can cause that ACL to tear and if that happens the dog must be put down. So we have some praying to do, 8 weeks of praying. Emma spends most of the day laying around anyway, that's what Mastiffs do, they lay around shedding dog hair and slobber. I'm heading in to Meisters today to work on Bible studies and have to do this without Eva Jean. She can only come in on Tuesdays.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Phone Works

After church yesterday Phil, Anna, Brealyn, Taegan, Anna's brother Ashley and Sarah came over to install the gift the kids gave us, the Wilson Phone Booster. They didn't quite have time to finish the installation before the steak dinner over at mom's was done and of course broke for that. Who wants a cold steak dinner? After we all finished eating it was time for games, we played the new game and Rook although Phil and Mark left to keep working on the phone booster. Ruth & Fede came to pick up mom right on time for their long drive down to Gulf Shores, AL. Their 8 passenger van only had 5 in it for the trip leaving plenty of room to take Nancy home, just a short 5 minutes out of their way. By the time we came back to the farm house the booster was up and running and working! The phones work, I can now get phone calls, answer phone calls, get my messages and all without leaving the warmth of the house and standing outside. I found I had a lot of unheard messages. Mike and Diane spent the afternoon at the cottage in Middle Grove. They took the pictures below.
So now we have proof the horses are drinking out of the automatic waterer. Diane said she walked all around looking for a reason there would be blood on the snow, checking tails, legs, and bodies and can't find any wounds, or bloody tails. She said some of the horses were eating off the round bales and some were grazing through the snow. Even though it was Christmas, Mark got the trailer unhooked from the truck, used the chain saw cleaning up some fallen logs in the 2 pastures then used the truck to haul the logs over to our huge wood pile. He finished up by putting all the vehicles inside.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Gift

Christmas Morning! The day we celebrate the best gift mankind ever received.
The birth of our Lord Jesus. Just think, He left the glories of heaven to be born in a lowly manger. Is this how a king comes? Shouldn't his birth have been in a palace on the finest of linens and silks attended by the best doctors in the world? Why choose a humble stable and why announce His birth to a few poor shepherds first instead of the kings of this world? To think He knew how His life on this world would end and still chose to come. He not only knew but willingly laid down His life for US! So this day we celebrate His birth but know soon He is coming back and not in a manger, this time our King will come as THE KING! Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Blood in the Snow

Mike drove out to Middle Grove to move a few more round bales in and found blood in the snow, 4 places, not a huge amount but still blood. He started looking over the horses searching for a wound but all seem well. He kind of looked at tails to see if there was any matted blood in any of the tails in case of a miscarriage but lost track of which horse was checked and gave up not finding any reason for the blood. Who ever it was will probably have to wait for help until after Christmas. There really is no one to ask to check them out, Karin and Rhoda left last night for Gulf Shores, AL driving through the night to reach the warmth of the gulf. Mom and Ruth's entire family are heading down to the gulf tomorrow right after Christmas dinner. The Sceggel's are serving Christmas dinner at mom's tomorrow with Mark grilling steak over the fire. We will also be in charge of taking Nancy home. Mike moved the International Harvester tractor over with the log splitter which will really help Mark with the wood pile. After lunch a new bale was moved in for the boys. They weren't out but would be tomorrow and it was more convenient to move in today. We went out without our gloves and really paid the price with frozen fingers. Emma got hurt today, she cannot put any weight on her left hind. Her whining is so pathetic sounding when she tries to stand. She is another animal that will need to wait until after Christmas to get checked out. What is it with animals getting hurt when the vets office is closed for the Christmas holiday?

The Meister Christmas Party

Each year the Meister Christmas party is held in Farmington, IL at the Old School Center on the 23rd of December. Thank goodness for the school there is no way to fit our growing family into a house. We start with a meal and the meal last night was probably the best Christmas meal ever. The meat came from a brother in Eureka who donated 20 pounds of pulled pork at the Skyline auction. Mom bid on it and won, then when Diane went to pick up the meat he insisted 20 pounds wasn't enough for our family and threw in another 20 pounds refusing any extra pay! What a gift and it really was some of the best flavored easily the most tender and delicious pulled pork ever! After the meal we gather into the library for the most anticipated part of the evening and no it is not the presents or even the visit from Santa. More on that a bit later. Below are a few of the girl cousins waiting for the evening to begin.
Santa made an entrance earlier than usual to hand out a gift for each child before the start of the program.
Once the little hands and mouths have something to keep them occupied it is time for the reading of the Christmas story by Spark. Spark needs a lot of help with the reading, his eyes must not be good, he says a lot of wrong words and the children all have to be on their toes, catch the wrong word and say the right one.
He got them with, "there was no room for them in the Holiday Inn!" One of the kids yelled "No, ummm I guess you are right!" of course the room burst with laughter. Below is Nancy listening intently:
And then comes the most anticipated part of the evening, the special numbers! Each child gets an opportunity to be the star, standing on the stage performing into the microphone:
After the Special Numbers it is time for Santa to come back. Fede played Santa this year and really did an excellent job. Most of the kids didn't even scream and try to hide, of course he did bribe them early with candy. Diane tried to have it a little more organized this year calling 4 up at a time, then when the gift was opened they were to tell everyone what they received.
Addyson was pretty thrilled with her Brave costume:
Once the young ones have their gifts the adults are called up. Nate was so excited to get called he couldn't contain his enthusiasm. Check out what he did to poor Santa:
Mom's turn was just a bit different this year. She opened the few smaller gifts then Diane announces, "we have one final gift for mom, something she has asked for for years and years." Of course mom is very confused.
Below is her reaction when she opens her large flat screen television:
Yes we are forcing mom kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Ciera Update

Ciera's owner Stacy sent a picture update last night.
Words can't really explain how thrilled we are when we receive updates that include pictures. Check out Ciera's tail in the 2 snow pictures, it is obvious Ciera is loving her new home and even more obvious how much Stacy loves Ciera! Thanks so much STACY!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter at Middle Grove

These pictures were taken yesterday morning. Below is Ella all drowsy in the sunshine.
Cookie and Missy fit right in with the herd, below is Cookie.
Helen came right over to check the riders out.
There are 2 foals in the picture below, Olivia, Jewel's filly is behind Sangria's colt. These 2 are like 2 peas in a pod.
Below is Hadassah enjoying the round bale.
Below is Ayanna checking out Mike's truck.
Trying to get a picture of Sangria is not easy, she is always right in my face asking for attention.
Mika and Mike came galloping over the hill.
These next pictures were emailed from Mike. Below is Rhoda and Jenis galloping down a snow filled hill.
Karin on Eliza and Rhoda on Jenis at the cottage.
Karin said they got in lots of canter, exactly what Eliza needed. In just a week or 2 we will need to bring back to the Hanna City farm Ribbon, Jenis, Eliza, Zalena, Ylse, and Lily. Lily is due early March and the other mares are going to the IL Horse Fair and we need to work on our program. The other 3 we will probably bring back soon for training are Indy, Ayanna and Killian. And now for a cute pony video sent to me from Alesia.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Buckeyes & Pies

I couldn't resist and drove out to Middle Grove to snap a few pictures of the trail riders.
Once they were over the hill a few other pictures were snapped. Below in order is Killian, Indy and Ayanna:
A few other pictures were snapped which will be worked on tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon was spent baking pies and making 10 dozen buckeyes. All is now ready for the Meister Christmas tomorrow. The tub is filling and I'm going to enjoy a whirlpool bath before heading to bed.