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Archive for February, 2012

Cass has amazing hair. Fjordhorses just naturally have a lot more hair than your regular horse. Their tails are thicker and easily reach the ground. Their forelocks are natural fly masks. When I first got Cass…. oh, my… did we just have an anniversary?!?!? It was 4 years ago my own fairy princess came to be. She came bedraggled and tangled.

We bonded thru grooming and I still can spend hours just brushing and braiding her mane and tail. Her breathtaking beauty was not far under the surface.

Our sweltering Florida heat soon became a serious issue for our girl and a decision had to be made. Comfort or beauty? We tried to keep her long locks by having Michael thin them out but she was still just too hot. Her mane weighed a few pounds.

I had witnessed her suffering from our heat for too long.

I took a deep breath and whacked her mane off! She immediately felt better and I stopped crying after a little while.

Norwegian Fjordhorses are supposed to be kept in the proper mane cut to accentuate their wonderfully, muscled neck. I still haven’t learned the “proper” way to do it but I’ve gotten fairly proficient. Cass is much more comfy and that’s all that matters. Today was a grooming day for both girls. I began with Becca since she usually tires me out.

She behaved perfectly and we got done in no time at all! I’ve been letting her mane grow since she doesn’t have the same troubles with the heat or allergies as her momma does. Also, I’m lazy. Cass is now trained to clippers for her mane and I haven’t worked with Becca on that.

I had decided to thin out Cass’s forelock rather than cut it short. We’re already having big bug troubles and I’d rather her eyes be protected. I pulled a ton of hair out with the thinning shears!

Her forelock felt much lighter. That should make her more comfy, while still protecting her from nasty bugs.

I love that both my girls ground tie 🙂

Brushed her tail but it’s not quite touching the ground, yet, so no need for a trim.

Both girls got curry combed, brushed and fly sprayed. They were ready to have a great day in their little corner of paradise!

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It’s Just Hair

Conversation with my mother:

Me – My friend said I look 15 years older.

Mom – Is she a good friend?

Me – Yeah!

Mom – Then she’s probably telling you the truth.

So, I put my fears aside and brought out the bottle of hair dye I’d been harboring in the linen closet for quite a few months.

No, I’m not afraid of dying my hair. I’ve not known my actual hair color since I was 22! I was afraid of doing it myself. One of the most important men in my life has been Micheal, my hair stylist. He’s been the only one to touch my hair (other than my husband) for the past 20 years. He even did my up-do for our wedding! But because of our damned economy and the past few years decline in our business, it became impossible for me to justify paying him. Not that he’s not worth it… he is! Every single penny!

Micheal's so cool he even cut her hair for me!

But I do my math these days as hay bales. When I did dog rescue full-time I used to do math in spays and neuters. So, my math tells me 15 hay bales for the girls is way more important than my looks. I decided to simply let my hair go au naturale!

The dingy gray taking over my head.

It’s been well over a year and a half since I’ve seen Micheal. Yesterday as I was attempting to saturate every strand of my hair while standing in my puny bathroom – I sure missed him. I missed his strong hands massaging my head. Ladies, let me tell you, if you ever get the chance to have this man wash your hair, do it! It’s pretty darned close to a sexual experience.

I must have read the instructions at least 10 times. Then I remembered, it’s only hair! Get it done, already!

Don't mind my giant hand, I'm not skilled at the "photos in the mirror" thing!

Ta! Daaaaaa!!!!! I did it! With a birthday coming up, I really didn’t want to look 15 years older. I still have a little ego 🙂

 

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So Much Emotion

Quiet Strength

Always there for me.

A treasured gift from my sis, Peggy.

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I love it when I’m sipping my coffee trying to awaken completely and then the UPS guy honks his horn! The pack flies into Cujo-mode. It’s humorous how they look so pleased when they know they’ve chased him away. When Cass & Becca joined our family I made my Mom a promise. That promise was to always wear a helmet when riding. I’ve been helmet-less the past couple months because the borrowed one I had was needed elsewhere. I ride so sporadically with the girls & I just learning it wasn’t fair to hog it when a real rider needed it. I’ve been waiting for a good sale as they aren’t cheap. But then, our brains are priceless, aren’t they? The UPS guy brought my early birthday present this morning. Please excuse my sleepiness 🙂

Helmets are so important when dealing with these unpredictable, 1,000 lb. animals. I certainly hope to never have a bad fall off one of my girls but falling is bound to happen. Love you Mom and thank you Courtney for reminding me of how important helmets are. Bless you!

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As if living in FL isn’t bad enough dealing with the never-ending mounds of fire ants…

Now I must deal with FireWEEDS?!

Sigh. Yesterday as I was waiting for the waters to finish filling, I noticed some ground cover type plants near the fence to the run in shed. I didn’t want it to have a chance to grow up on the fence so I started pulling it up. My arms immediately began burning! Thankfully, I had my work gloves on. I (stupidly) grabbed the couple other bunches despite the pain and then ran to wash off. Little did I know, this would not work. I sprayed them with the natural antiseptic I use on Cass and hoped it would bring relief. My arms continued to tingle all the way home.

Once home I popped an allergy pill and showered. Arms still tingled all the way up to my shoulders. Scottie brought home 3 different “itch” ointments from the drugstore. None worked. We perused the internet to find out exactly what plant I’d run across and couldn’t find an exact match. I napped while my arms still tingled. As evening hit I emailed our doctor my symptoms and photos of the enemy invader! He got back to me quickly with the answer. I was attacked by a type of Stinging Nettle called Fireweed. We needed to use adhesive tape to pull the stinging arrows out of my arms! Good Grief!

The urticating hair or trichome has a bulbous and very fragile tip which breaks off at an angle and results in a perfect tool for piercing skin.  Basically, the shaft of the hair resembles a glass tube due to the deposition of silica in the cell wall during formation (Thurston 1974).  When the urticating hair tip is broken, it has the action of a hypodermic needle and injects the urticating substances which cause the intense pain and result in irritated skin rashes.  ~ from The Botany Circular #34, FL Dept. Agric. & Consumer Services, Plant Division.

Woke up today with just a slight tingling remaining. The problem now was how to pull up this malicious Fireweed so it could no longer hurt me or the animals. I armed myself with new work gloves, a sturdy rake and a shovel. Thankfully, after walking the fence lines and the barn, there were only a few of these plants intermingled with the harmless foliage. Found this guy hiding in the front of the barn, but not for long!

Eva looked on from the safety of the shed as I extricated the enemy from our lands.

I didn’t have any yard trash bags so had to make do with a regular one. With my goal being to not touch the plant I devised a system to hold the bag open. It worked fairly well. It’s not easy to pick up something without actually picking it up!

I will remain vigilant in my war on these nasty Fireweeds!

Get it Jimi!

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I sit in the dirt and watch my girls eat. Time stops. Nothing else matters. The rhythmic munching soothes my soul. I get an occasional soft wuffle to the top of my head. I am at my best just being with them. Dirt and hay brushes off but their presence lingers on and on and on.

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Eva Is All Grown

Hard to believe my best girl is 5 years old today! What a crazy 5 years it’s been, too. We somehow survived her adorable, yet challenging puppyhoood and she even become a Canine Good Citizen.

Eva had her daddy wrapped around her thick, little paw before ever arriving!

We survived her “pokey bone” surgery when she wasn’t even a year old. Those 2 months of crate rest was excruciating for all of us! She didn’t start out having to wear both the muzzle and E-collar. That happened after she ate a full-length leg bandage or two.

Wonder what she was saying to me?

We survived introducing her to the horses. They’ve since become an integral part of her daily routine. She and Cass have a lovely relationship and she learned (the hard way) to be a bit more careful around Becca.

Cass wanted to be friends from the start, Eva fought the urge to bite her!

We survived adding four rescued Australian Cattledogs to her pack. She’s cool with it as long as they remember she’s the head-cowgirl-in-charge!

The missing ACD is Barby, she hates everyone and doesn't participate.

My girl, Eva. She’s somehow become the dog I always hoped she’d be. Her purpose was to heal my broken heart. She has my heart and I know she always has my back. Such a bond and trust is an unbelievable gift.

She went out shopping in her birthday bandanna and after gorging on gourmet cookies, gross cow parts and basking in the adoration of her favorite aunts (check out Louise’s) she chose her special birthday toy.

She always sits funny like this, remnants from the "pokey bone".

My gorgeous Eva Marie. Her registered name is Sapphire’s Songbird of Serendipity. Coming to our family as she did was certainly serendipitous. I’ll end with a song from the songbird for which she is named, Eva Cassidy. It also happens to be her birthday.  We wish both Eva’s ~ Happy, Happy Birthday!

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