Saturday, November 30, 2013

Emma Loses Her Foal

My kitchen is finally closed and won't reopen until tomorrow morning. This kitchen has been busy since Wednesday. Meal after meal prepared, pan after pot used and dish after dish washed over and over.
Today Mark wanted to start splitting wood as soon as it was light but I talked him into waiting until 7:00 am. Instead he started burning the brush piles from last year. It was perfect burning weather, no wind at all and the wood very old and dry. The flames shot into the sky about 30 feet high. Mom could see the fire from her living room window.
We worked on the wood until even Mark was sick of it, filling the entire second layer of the lean-to.
I picked up Diane for Ella Plattner's funeral not wearing a coat thinking I didn't have to go to the cemetery. Thankfully the weather had warmed up into the 50's and sunny. When I found out we did have to sing at the funeral I tried texting Diane so she could get a ride home with mom as Diane had a wedding to attend.
Emily had 3 guests come to go riding at Middle Grove so she took the truck and stock trailer and loaded up Ayanna, Anna and Eliza and planned to bring home Hadassah for training. While checking over the mares she noticed Emma the Friesian mare not the dog, had aborted and retained her placenta. She had to be loaded up and brought home. I'll have to get her to the vet Monday for a clean out. This is another hard loss for Horsemeister. We weren't able to get Jenis or Anna bred and now Emma lost her foal. Sometimes I wonder if this breeding business is worth it. Although there is nothing so sweet as a newborn Friesian foal, so next year I'll forget about this years heartaches.
Emily reported that the foals at Middle Grove are doing well. They rode Mika, Bunni, Lola and Missy even going through the lake as the weather was so nice. She reported the horses were all spread out grazing although they had eaten some off the 3 round bales Mike placed in the feeders.  If the nice weather holds I'll try to get out there to get some pictures.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Work Resumes

The sun was shining but it didn't warm the earth much around our neck of the woods. After breakfast Mark got Ash to help hook up the log splitter to the tractor and the men all went out to help split logs.
Rhoda pulled out Paris for the grand children. Paris is so good with the kids. Below they are riding around the big tree in the yard. 
 As they go under the branches they reach for the 'sticks' as Jack would say.
Taegan wanted to ride too.
 Jack decided it was too crowded up there so he wanted to lead Paris.
 Braelyn thought leading looked like fun and wanted to do Jack's job. Poor Jack, it just seems what ever he has or is doing Braelyn wants to have it or do it too. Rhoda offered to take Jack to Mark's tractor while Sarah helped Braelyn lead Taegan and Addyson around.

 Jack was all happy until the others arrived.
It was too cold to stay out long, their little noses were all turning red by the time they were brought back in. Rhoda needed to leave for work and Sarah headed over to Sauders to work on the house Rachel is teaching the kids to build. The pictures below were taken by Rachel and are of the progress made today.

This is a great learning project for the many nieces and nephews. Rachel is teaching them to work together and all of them are learning real life skills that will help in the future. After all, who knows what the future will hold for this generation. 
Mark kept the log splitter going most of the day. By the time Emily arrived we were just about ready to quit for the day but as long as she was willing we worked until the sun started to set. Before it turned dark we were able to move a round bale in the short shelter and moved Eliza and Paris into that. It's only a little after 8:00 pm but after stacking pile after pile of wood into the lean to we are more than ready to hit the sack.

Fun Thanksgiving Day

We had a very blessed day yesterday from the ride to church in one of Spark's buses to the end of the day.
Spark picked Mark, Sarah and I up and we were the last 3 to fit, that bus was packed. We got to hear the ABC song almost the entire trip thanks to Jane (Jay and Tara's). David Obergfel had the Thanksgiving day service. He started out with this, "what if we were all so thankful everyday that we had to have a day set aside as national gripe day?" That made us think! As he was a teacher he had to get in a few facts about the day, like after the original feast of thanksgiving during the first year of survival, the second year went so well they didn't hold a feast but the 3rd year the magistrate published that all must come to the meeting house and give thanks to our Lord.
After church it was the usual rush to get the food heated up and out to the school. It took us a little longer, the oven was turned on and shortly was producing smoke, so much smoke all the doors had to be opened and the fans turned on. The oven was turned off and Sarah and I worked on cleaning off the burning turkey drippings. We made it to the Old School Center though just in time for the big meal. Beth Herman was in charge this year and did a great job organizing it. The best part and worst part (no camera) of the day for me was watching Spark and Mark down on their hands and knees giving pony rides to the hundreds (slight exaggeration) of grandkids. Those kids were lined up waiting jumping on board before the last could get bucked off. The older kids played volley ball while the oldest kids (us) sat around visiting.
Afterwards my kids and grandkids came back here for more fun and left overs, then over to Sauders for games. It was a jam packed great day.
I must get busy now, we will be serving breakfast at 8:30 am and I still need to bake a coffee cake to go along with the 4 dozen eggs, 4 pounds of sausage, 24 biscuits, 5 pounds of grapes, pumpkin bread (baked by Kim) a couple pots of coffee and 2 gallons of orange Juice.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I'm thankful this Thanksgiving, thankful first for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who paid my sin price and died for me. Not just died but rose again and now stands next to our Father God. interceding for me.
Second I'm thankful for my hard working loving husband who keeps me in the manner to which I've become accustomed (that is meant as a compliment I was accustomed to much less), he kept the fire going all night during this cold spell. Third I'm thankful for my family. Right now gratefulness overwhelms me as sit here drinking my second cup of coffee realizing everything is ready for company because of hard working daughters who willingly gave of themselves, without even being asked.
Fourth I'm thankful for my country that allows me to worship Jesus freely (so far)
and Fifth I'm thankful for my church, a church that preaches right out of the Bible so we learn of God's Words for us, not fallible man's words.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner

Anna came back in season today. We are going to give up on her until next spring then have Dr. Hoerr check her out. It is too cold outside to ask Valiant to cover her. 
Emily helped me move a new bale in Valiant's paddock. Mike got three round bale feeders delivered to Middle Grove and set out three bales of hay. He checked on them yesterday afternoon to find the herd out there had eaten about a 4th of a bale but were all spread out grazing when he arrived. It sure helps the hay bill to have that land. We still spent over $11,000.00 on hay for the year.
Sarah came over this morning to help with the house cleaning while I chopped, mixed, cooked, baked and did laundry. By the time Mark got home from work the turkey was cooked, sliced, de-boned and ready to be heated up for tomorrow's big meal. The gravy is now cooling, The stuffing is mixed and ready to bake. Mom has a special recipe that includes the giblets, sausage, and apple ground up added to sauteed chopped onions and celery and lots of good herbs. Now I know why we only make it once a year. The pies are all baked, 4 pumpkin, 4 pecan and 2 chocolate. We will be celebrating our big Thanksgiving dinner at the Old School Center in Farmington, IL after church. Speaking of church, Spark brought home his 18 passenger van and will be leaving for church at 9:20am anyone needing a ride meet at the playground.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Free to GOOD Home

UPDATE: Both of the horses have been placed. Thanks to all who responded! The email below came in today, these horses are needing homes, can anyone help:
I don't know if you are interested or not, or maybe you may know someone who may be interested in 2 free horses.  As you know, Mary See has bone cancer.  She has 2 gelding horses.
Thunder is a quarter horse mix, 13 yrs. old, white & gray freckles.  Jack is a mustang, 15 years old, bay coloring.  These 2 horses are very sweet and have had a lot of TLC.  They have not been ridden for 1 1/2 years due to Mary's illness.  Ann is feeding them before & after work each day,
working full-time, and trying to meet the needs of Mary, her mother Erma who has colon CA and her father Bill who has dementia.  Ann is wanting to find a good home for these two horses.  Ann classifies these horses as intermediate level for riding, they will need to be worked with due to the part of not having been ridden for this length of time.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cleaning Day

Today Rhoda, Sarah and Emily worked on this 150 year old farm house preparing it for company. The closet doors in the upstairs hallway and 2 bedrooms disappeared years ago and when we were remodeling the house I wanted to install new closet doors. That didn't happen, there was always somewhere else more important to put the available monies especially when we hardly ever go upstairs. Well today the girls decided to remedy the gaping closet holes by shower rods and shower curtains. When mom came over we made her go upstairs to admire our handiwork. That was a bad at 81 years old has way too good of eyes. The first thing she notices is the bedroom door needs touch-up paint and the dresser has some scratches. She went home and got her wood marker and worked on the dresser. It looks much better now, leaving me with trying to find the touch up paint. Mark's job he must get done before the company arrives is to adjust the hot water in the upstairs shower. The sink has nice hot water but for some reason the shower only comes out lukewarm.
We had one scary thing happen today, Evan's automatic waterer froze up and I didn't notice that he had no water at all yesterday. When feeding this morning I could tell something wasn't right with him, he seemed agitated. Thank goodness I went in his paddock to investigate. He was moved in with the weanlings and drank and drank. All of the waterers are now plugged in and working well, believe me I checked and double checked them all. I left Evan in with the weanlings for the night. He is being very sweet with them and seemed glad for the company.


Yesterday instead of being Throwback Thursday it was Throwback Sunday in the Peoria church.
We first had the privilege of listening to Willis speak on loyalty and how important it is to be loyal to the Lord, your family, your church then Chuck in the afternoon speak on Thankfulness. Jim Hoerr had the final prayer. It sure brought back memories of when I was a child. All three of these men have been retired for years and yet are still willing to serve when needed.
After church Mark and I needed to move in a couple of round bales then walked over to mom's for dinner. She served bbq ribs, salad and a had baked a delicious butternut squash quiche.
Sarah, Rhoda and Emily were blessed with the left overs. Amy Koch called, she is doing her part helping with the tornado recovery by taking in 3 horses from a barn destroyed in Washington. The owner had 11 horses she needed placed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Really Nice Letter

The Bible says when we give to the needy we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing. We as Apostolics try to follow that so our deeds are not known to men but sometimes a letter comes in that should to be shared. There is so much devastation in the area that we are holding a special collection in Peoria. Read the letter below to understand why and where this money will be going.
Prior to this week, I knew nothing about Apostolic Christian World Relief, but that changed on Sunday morning when an EF-4 tornado tore through the heart of our community of 12,000 people. My home was spared, but many of our close friends lost everything they owned. Miraculously, casualties were very low and sadly we had one fatality. 
On Tuesday morning, the authorities allowed residents into the area to begin salvaging what remained of their homes. Along with my wife and three children, we have been helping two families pick up the pieces from two separate areas of our town. I have indicated one of the locations shown in the red circle in the photo at the right. The second location does not appear in the photo.

 Everywhere we have worked we have seen your crews hard at work, focused on removing debris and clearing the way for people to work. And what a job they have been doing, confidently, efficiently and quietly. On the first day, I took a moment from digging through debris to ask one specific group of men where they were from and this is where I first learned about Apostolic Christian World Relief.
The following day, we were at a different site and your crew from Fairbury was there. We were amazed at the speed and precision of their work. Two men in skid steer loaders accomplished in minutes what would have taken us days or weeks. One of the skid steers had your logo on it. I took a dozen or so photographs of them at work and included one of them here. I would love to share the rest with you. They are on my Facebook page (Tom Sander).   
Words cannot express how impressed we have been! Seeing a group so committed to serving others in need was powerful testimony to me, my family and everyone else working on the recovery effort.
Please share our gratitude with the men from Fairbury and all the other groups that have been helping so many in our community carry their burdens.
May God Continue to Bless You for All You are Doing!
Tom Sander
116 Lexington Dr.
Washington, IL 61571

Thanks SO much Tom for sending this letter. When we give to AC World Relief we are assured none of it will be wasted. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Today we got more light in the indoor arena. Mark bought 2 of those T5 which are much brighter than the other lights and both got installed but only because Karin showed up. She was willing to climb the ladder up 16 feet, drill 2 holes for each light, install the hooks and with Sarah's help hang them.

Once they were hung Mark climbed the later and hooked them up.
I've never been able to video tape inside the arena, it was always just too dark to come out clear. Well once these lights were turned on it was no problem. Check out the video below.

Rhoda taught Ayanna to lay down and stay until she gives the cue to come. Karin didn't really believe it until she saw it.  Above is Sarah trying out Ayanna on her tricks. Even the still camera works with action shots. The girls were training Ayanna, Eliza and Killian.
 Above is Rhoda trotting Ayanna and below she is cantering her.

 Above Karin is cantering Eliza and below she is trotting while asking her to bend.

 Sarah is trotting above and cantering below

Rhoda is working with Killian in the pictures below

Killian is doing very well with the sit.
 Rhoda finished up with asking all 3 horses to lead together
 Left to right is Eliza, Ayanna and Killian
Mike replaced the heating element on the automatic waterer and the GFI breaker is now holding. We are now ready for winter. Today it sure felt like winter, the high was only 25 degrees and it is suppose to drop to 7 degrees. Mark kept the wood burner going all day and hauled 2 more wheel barrow loads of wood to the front porch. I'm sure all of that will be used up during this cold spell. I'm so thankful for a hard working husband!
The funniest picture today doesn't look funny until you know the story behind it. Each time the girls allow the horses to rest it is inside the box. Well Ayanna and Eliza were turned loose while Rhoda worked with Killian and both ran inside the box and watched the action.

Don't Send a List

If you need a laugh today, watch the video below to understand why men shouldn't go grocery shopping with a list.

Update from Cynthia

Cynthia's house and barn were right in the area of the tornado. We are so glad to hear from her.
Just letting you know we are safe from the tornado....the wind was ridiculous...but no damage. My husbands brothers family lost their entire house. However,  he, his wife and 3 kids are safe so we are thanking God for that! 
And...incidentally....Olivia is doing very good, except for when she thinks its funny to put a muddy hoof in her water bucket and get her water all nasty. I can tell she wants to do it, but waits till i turn around to do so! I scold her for that, change the water and then she usually will leave it alone for the rest of the day.  Despite that, I love her personality.  

If you get a chance check out this article from the Chicago Tribune on the Tornado clean-up, just click on the link below
Chicago Tribune story
NOTICE, after clicking on the link you will have to use the back button to get back to the blog.
Time for a little levity after the last few hard days of tornado clean-up
This list has been sent to me numerous times. OK it is true I believe I and my horse friends have done ALL of this and more. All of this is very normal behavior, isn't it?

 1·        Wearing old worn out clothes while your horse runs around tearing up brand new blankets
2·        Refusing to get a manicure or pedicure or anything along that lines, yet your horse needs regular trims, perfectly clean and moisturized hooves.
3·        Sheath cleaning
4·        Temperature taking
5·        Eating a sandwich or snack in the barn with your dirty hands, yet once in the city you are reluctant to touch door handles.
6·        Getting up super early on weekends for horse shows
7·        How much you spent on vet bills
8·        Talking to your horses excessively: “Girls stop fighting over food right now!” “did you like your treats?” “Girls come get your treats!” “Ooo you like when I scratch your rump don’t you?”
9·        Family pictures but instead of a family it is your horses
10·        When you get upset because your friend or family cannot tell your horses apart
11·        Your “nice” or “expensive” clothing is your show clothes or fancy barn clothes
12·        Bought a truck with nice leather seats that smells so clean…let’s just throw this sweaty and dirty tack on these nice clean seats and enjoy the aroma of barn while driving
13·        When company comes over to your house and you have to abandon them to go do chores because the horses do not like when their feeding is late
14·        Discussing mares in season with horse people around non-horse people
15·        Discussing worm counts and vet fecal tests
16·        When a friend opens your fridge and find horse vaccines
17·        When someone notices horse teeth somewhere in your house being stored like treasures

Friday, November 22, 2013

Israel Visits

I left the house at 6:00am to pick up Israel at the shop. He was a happy boy today. At 7:20 am he was taken into the apartment and given to Emily while I walked. It was just too cold to take him on the golf cart and at 5 months old he is too heavy for me to carry for the mile long walk. He took a 2 hour nap this morning and while he was sleeping Mark agreed to stay in the house to listen for him while I ran out to watch Rhoda and Emily work horses. The first 2 worked were Ayanna and Eliza. Rhoda worked with Ayanna while Emily was tacking up Eliza.
 After letting Ayanna run a bit Rhoda brought her in to the middle and asked for a bow.
 This was done with no lead rope just a whip to cue. After the bow Rhoda asked her to lay down.
 Rhoda then told her to stay and walked away. Ayanna was watching for the cue to stand and waited until Rhoda gave it. What a smart 3 year old!
 Rhoda is riding Ayanna while Emily is riding Eliza. They had a very good session with them today.
I had to leave by this time but after these 2 mares were put away Rhoda brought out Rosalie and reported, she is very smart. Ayanna and Rosalie are full sisters. Rhoda feels Ayanna has a bit better conformation. It will be interesting to see when Rosalie is full grown. Emily brought Valiant out for some work while Sarah worked with Anna. All of these horses are doing so well. Today was de-worming day here. Rhoda and Emily got the herd de-wormed with Strongid.  
Diane was watching 2 of her grand children so Israel was taken over to her house for a bit. Mom came over to visit and play with the babies.

Mark and Emily got the old lights down from the indoor and tomorrow Spark is coming over to help Mark install the new lights. This should make it bright enough for better indoor pictures. Mark took the truck and stock trailer to TSC and picked up 2 16 foot heavy duty gates and a couple of hog panels. 
David met me at Sam's to pick up Israel and I went in to buy a few more groceries. I was disappointed though, yesterday I didn't buy eggs at Aldi's I thought they were just too expensive at $1.59 a dozen so planned on buying them today at Sam's along with the pecans for the pie. The same 36 eggs I spent  $3.69 on were now $4.69. not much savings. Oh well I now have plenty of eggs for baking. At least the pecans were on sale.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cold on the Way

The weather has been a cold dismal gray rainy day. The rain held off until after the walk. Diane and I worked on letters. There were 2 kind of funny letters today that I will have to take a picture of and post tomorrow. One had the tiniest little letters, so small we could hardly read it and that was asking for a large print Bible and the other had letters so huge they took up most of the 8 x 11 sheet just asking for a Bible (not large print)I meant to bring them home but forgot in the rush to get everything done.
After the Bibles were dropped off at the post office I headed to Aldi's where $120.00 worth of groceries were purchased including a 20 pound turkey and all the ingredients to make 10 pies. Unloading had to be done in the rain. I stuck a lamb shoulder in the oven for dinner which helped heat up the house while it roasted. Rhoda and Emily stopped at TSC for 12 bags of grain on their way home from school and had to load and unload that in the rain also. We just heard the coldest temperature of the season is heading our way and I still have 1 automatic waterer heater not working. For some reason the GFI outlet keeps popping. Mark picked up Spark to get some ideas on installing new arena lights for the indoor so both of them looked at the outlet trying different things but weren't able to fix it. I sure hope this will not be a complicated fix. We are heading to bed early as I have to be on the road by 6:00am tomorrow.

Emma's Home

Yesterday when the girls were dropped off at the house, they were so glad to see Emma and Emma was glad to see them. Emma loves sitting by their chairs at the table and is so helpful to clean up anything spilled. Taegan loves spilling things just for Emma.

Braelyn found the sparkly shirt Beth Herman gave me last year for Christmas and thought it was just about the prettiest thing ever. It has horses on it and sparkles! Between the shirt and grandpa's new gloves she was ready to head out the door.

She wore that shirt all day until it was time to head upstairs for her nap, then couldn't figure out how to not step on it going up the steps. Diane and I are heading in to the shop to work on letters and Bibles. Sometime today I must go grocery shopping to buy a turkey. Can you believe Thanksgiving is in ONE SHORT WEEK!
I was able to talk to Emily and Rhoda this morning before they headed out to school. They said the devastation in Washington is much worse than anyone can imagine.