Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Stills

Griselle and Bonnie

Trigger, Elfin, Homer and Moe; all hanging their heads dejectedly because they were not thrilled about getting blankets on this afternoon

Rocky and Rubrico

River, Kennedy, Roho and Gus

a closer look at Gus

a closer look at Roho

Faune and Flyer

Romeo and Lotus

Happy and Johnny were having fun

Murphy and Blu

"Oh hey, nothing to see here, just hanging out"

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Circus Continues

I have discussed before that I have those moments when I realize this is my circus and these are my monkeys. The monkeys have been very active lately. Very active. 

A few days ago I spent some time collecting some of the bones that Ewen had strewn about our yard. I had a nice pile after walking around collecting bones for a few minutes. In case you are wondering, I wasn't loving the fact that I was walking around collecting bones in my front yard. I have decided that every deer or rabbit in the county that exits this earth must make a final pilgrimage to our farm first. It seems that Ewen finds new additions for his bone collection every day. I think I was even more grossed out the day I was driving to the back of the farm and realized Ewen was running alongside the truck with a deer spine in his mouth. 

Ewen says life is good

no need to buy bones at the store for Ewen

admiring the pile I made for him

Even more so than collecting bones, getting skunked is Ewen's true specialty. He showed up at our farm at the end of August. In the last five months he has been skunked six times. SIX.  This includes the time he so graciously included me in one of his skunking episodes. I'm beginning to lose any hope that Ewen will learn to leave the cute little black and white creatures alone.

Our cat Jingle has also been learning new tricks lately. You will recall Jingle is the cat that crashed our Christmas tree and destroyed most of our ornaments. Jingle's latest trick is he has learned how to open doors. I thought he was just throwing himself at the doors until he got lucky and hit the handle just right. When Jason told me he watched Jingle one day and that Jingle had an entire process for opening doors I didn't believe him. Then I saw it with my own eyes. 

Jingle jumps up and grabs the handle. He then lifts a paw and puts it on the handle and pushes down. Finally, he swings his back legs and pushes on the door and the door opens. He then lets go and pushes the door the rest of the way open and walks into whatever room we were foolishly attempting to shut him out of.  He has gotten so good at this he usually only needs one attempt to open a door. He goes in the pantry, in the bathrooms when you have the door shut (nothing like the cat barging in when you're sitting on the throne), lets himself into a room if the door is shut, etc. The "best" part? He often shuts the door behind him. When he's ready to leave he opens the door and then shuts it again.

To put it mildly, this is driving Jason crazy. Jason needs a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. If he gets 7 hours and 59 minutes of sleep he considers the night a tragedy. Our cats love to wreak havoc in our house at night so Jason had taken to shutting them into two rooms at the back of the house (with their food, water and litterbox). When Jingle began letting himself and he and Joy went back to knocking over every lamp and dumping every book onto the floor Jason upped his game. He was not going to be defeated in  his quest for sleep by Jingle.

Off Jason went to Home Depot where he bought a hook and eyelet latch. He installed these on the non-Jingle side of the door. The first few evenings of Jingle's attempts to leave his evening rooms and finding every attempt thwarted did not go over well with Jingle. He threw himself against the door repeatedly and howled. Loudly. If Jason thought he couldn't sleep when Jingle let himself out he was sleeping less with Jingle latched in. I'm not sure who is going to give up first, Jason or Jingle.  Our circus is still going full throttle.


Mick, B-Rad and Taco

Grand, Elfin, Homer and Trigger

Calimba and MyLight

Maisie and Cinnamon 

Traveller, Cuffie and Dolly


Merlin, Fabrizzio, Walden, Duesy, Cino and Bruno

a closer look at Duesy, Cino and Bruno

a closer look at Merlin, Fabrizzio and Walden

Trigger, Baby, Tony and Thomas


Gus and Roho

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Joys of Country Living

(post by Jason) Since many horse people live in urban or suburban areas one of the first things visitors say when they get out of their cars upon arrival at our farm is how peaceful and quiet it is. Some probably love the idea of emulating our life and others probably can't wait to get back in their cars and make tracks for places less rural than this. To each their own, right ?! 

I'll step right out and say that rural suits me in nearly every way. Most of the time if I had my way I'd choose an even more rural location than the one in which we live. Except in short doses I can't abide crowds of people, clogged up traffic, high levels of background noise or lights that prevent me from seeing the stars at night. I like the idea of neighbours so long as I can't see or hear what they're doing.  Our nearest neighbours are about a half mile (1km) away. We are surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland and pasture. 

This suits my personality perfectly. I can shoot at a rabid opossum without rising from my kitchen table if it suits me.  If my truck breaks or one of the tractors decides it needs mechanical assistance we are well covered to get that looked after locally. Similarly if your horse requires veterinary assistance there are several practitioners on whom we can call. Farm supplies, basic services and basic groceries are all reasonably easy to come by without leaving the county. Since on most counts I'm a basic kind of guy I don't find many gaps in services available locally. The gaps that do exist (fancy restaurants, opera, performing arts theatre, good bookstores) can be remedied by driving to Nashville, about 60 miles/100 km away. 

There are a few things that even I find unhandy and inconvenient. When something important breaks that requires expert technical assistance (think computer or certain appliances) nobody is coming to your house to fix the important item. You're going to have to take the item to them and it's going to cost you time to get it done. Internet services are slower and far more expensive than than the cable or fibre internet connections available in more urban settings. Similarly doing anything that requires sending or receiving something from beyond the borders of the US is certainly going to require a drive. Mailing items to Canada from my local post office has been a frustrating experience at times. Since my immediate family is scattered across Canada this happens more frequently than you might guess. Still, for me living in a rural place is more than worth the trade offs that come with it. 

I'm curious as to how our readers feel about this topic. Where do you live now ? Are you happy about it ? Where would you live if money/jobs/family obligations permitted you to move ? 


Sam, Happy, Blue and Nemo

Calimba and MyLight

Rip and Convey

Remmy and Merlin

"oh hey, we're just standing here"

Griselle and Bonnie


Clayton under a pretty sunrise

Norman and Cuffie having an early morning grooming session

Duesy, Walden and Fabrizzio


Cino had to grind his face into the ground over and over as well

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Stills

Happy and Sam

Blu and B-Rad

 Cino, Merlin and Fabrizzio

Hesse and Baner

Bruno and Remmy


Walon and Donovan

Silver, Faune and Asterik

Johnny and Lighty

Hemi and Thomas

Thomas and Levendi

Chance and Convey

Traveller and Lily