Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

You are what you eat.

The saying is true for your pets and livestock as well.

With Diana needing to add weight it will be a struggle as we head into winter. This is the absolute worst time to try and fatten up any animal much less a horse.

I have her on the Angie’s Super Weight Gain Diet and she is doing really well.

She gets a gallon scoop of weight gain feed, one cup of farrier’s formula for her hooves, two cups of sweet feed, a quart of bran, a quart of ground flax seed and two apples chopped.

To that I melt about 3/4 cup of coconut oil and pour it in.

Then I add about a gallon of hot water. The flax and bran soak up all of the water almost as fast as I pour it in.

Yumm! Diana has a nice hot mash to warm her tummy on cold mornings and something warm to go to bed on every night.

And now for your viewing pleasure –

That’s me on a horse Thanksgiving Day. We all went on a trail ride and had a great time.

Let me introduce you: Olivia riding Zeus (rescued off-the-track thoroughbred), Tristan riding Jameson (Irish Sporthorse), Grace riding Monty (rescued off-the-track thoroughbred), Steve riding Jack (rescued Percheron), Adam riding Blue’s Love Affair (rescued off-the-track thoroughbred), Colby riding Diana (rescued Percheron), Jill riding Hanz (Hanovarian), Chris riding Midnight (rescued Quarterhorse) and Steven riding Ducky (rescued Pony of America). I was riding Dan (rescued Belgian) and Jacy was behind me on Murphy (rescued off-the-track thoroughbred).

Notice a pattern with these horses? A very large majority of them were sick, starved animals who were given a chance to eat, drink and live on green pastures. Please look around locally and help someone who might need hay to get through the winter. One round bale of hay can keep a beloved horse or pony at home and feed one average horse for almost a month. Jack and Diana eat twice as much. A pony eats about half. Thank you for your generosity and kindness. You will reap so many rewards that you can’t even begin to imagine.

For those asking how to contribute to the rehabilitation and restoration of Jack and Diana please use the donate button on the far right sidebar. Every penny counts. Thank you for all your help.

500 Acres and No Place To Hide

A few years ago we attended a Petroville holiday gathering. I met so many people it was a blur of faces and, I am sorry to say, of names as well. We were corraling a ten-month old between the kitchen and the dining room where he couldn’t break anything and chatted with folks as they moved between rooms. I had little brain energy left to keep up with the names to faces and felt badly that I know I called at least two people by the wrong names.

Susan McCorkindaleThere was one exception. Her name was Susan. I remembered much later her name was Susan McCorkindale. She breezed into Kim’s home like a bottled hurricane on high heels. She moved fast. She talked faster. The thing I remember most was the word ‘jazzericize‘ erupted in her conversations about eleventy-billion times and something about a book. Then she gathered her scarf, purse and a bundle of something and with the last words “I’ll see you at jazzercise” sent in Kim’s direction she breezed out the door in the same whirlwind that initially launched her into the room. My impression of her was ‘holy cow what kind of spastic bundle of energy was that?!?’

Later, much later, I put two and two together and realized she was the Susan who was being published soon with a new book Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl. When the book came out I read it in one sitting. If you haven’t read it you need to. (I would suggest reading before her newest book launches.) Susan is a city girl from Jersey, former marketing exec with Family Circle magazine, who lets her husband convince her to give it all up for a quiet little life on a farm in Virginia. You’ll laugh at her wit, become charmed at her twist of words and love the way she loves her McMen.

Jump forward to earlier this year when I was asked by Kim to review Susan’s newest book, 500 Acres and No Place to Hide, I eagerly said yes! and then waited with itching hands to actually get a copy and dive in.

My book arrived two weeks early and I dove in head first ready to start laughing. That evening I stood at the stove and stirred with one hand and one eye on the food. The other hand was gripping 500 Acres and No Place To Hide. While the right hand was cooking the left eye was relishing in the mental food of a great read. I couldn’t put it down and finished all but the final three chapters the following morning. Due to animals, kids, guests and errands I had to wait until that evening to read those last three chapters. It was past midnight and I was glued to the sofa, alone in the living room with a lamp on while the rest of my house slept.

As I read the last line in the book I started to cry. I wept for her, for her children and for her husband. I went to bed with sniffles. The haunting sadness of her loss was only buffered by the dark comedy not only from herself but from her husband as well in reaction to his illness. Laughter in the face of tears is good medicine. Susan writes with a clear voice filled with love and affection and you can’t help but want to give her a hug then sit down and chat with a bottle of wine or two -and maybe some canapes.

Susan has the ability to be silly, funny, poignant and heart breaking all at the same time. Her journey begins like a modern Green Acres wherein she plays the role of Lisa Douglas expertly. Counterfeit? No, no, no. Susan is the real thing. A real life Farm Girl hidden under the guise of being a Jersey Girl. She is a master at playing on words. I am very sure in another life her dog, Tug, was actually Arnold, the pig. Susan also has a great sense of humor. When all of her chickens go to chicken heaven (her oven and a big cook pot) I’ll offer her some from own flock. She’s sure to love them as they are as tasty as the ones she is raising.

Susan uses her talent to unravel the inner workings of her relationship with her husband, ‘Hemingway‘, and tosses in some black comedy to soften the brunt of their inevitable loss and drags you along for an incredible ride through her life in the mud, and the bugs and the deer* found on the farm. Hang on to your hats because when Susan is in the driver’s seat she stomps the gas with her louboutin’s and you’re flying through the Virginia countryside in a whirlwind of fun.

Susan will be at Salon Emage Day Spa this evening (Aug. 1st) for the launch of her newest memoir 500 Acres and No Place to Hide. If you are local please do drop in. You’ll love meeting her. You will also be able to buy a copy of her book which is not on sale any place else until tomorrow.

*Sorry, Shel Silverstein, I was caught up in Susan’s style and it is my own little attempt to play on words.

*****

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Babies and Blossoms

My friend, Hope, has a new grandson. I set to work ASAP on this little bath mat set. This is a quick and easy project. One side is a thirsty towel and the other is soft baby fabric. Sandwiched between the two is a 100% cotton natural fiber batting. These are fantastic to have when you are working with a baby. Out of the bath and onto the mat to be dried, powdered and diapered. They launder well, too. The more you wash the better they are. I am working on a few more things and hope to get this in the mail by the weekend.

Things are still blooming here which is amazing considering the heat stunts things growth and the humidity makes the outdoors not fit for human or beast these days.

Gladiolas.

White cedar cone berries.

Roses from the new bush.

I am also in an embroidery mood. I have started working on some hand towels for Halloween. Next up, Thanksgiving.

What are you up to as we head into the hottest days of summer?

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Helping Hands
Thank you for your generous donations to the rescue fund for Jack and Diana. Both of these wonderful Percheron horses were saved from the kill pens of slaughter auctions.



Jack is recovering from a severe leg injury and has many more months to go before his wounds are healed.



Diana could barely walk on her broken hooves. With extensive and expensive farrier work she is now standing tall and without pain.



She has at least a year ahead of her before her broken hooves will grow out to become healthy new feet to stand on. Her treatment will require ongoing farrier work expected to total into the thousands of dollars.

Jack and Diana both need a few hundred pounds on their bodies to be back in good health.

Through your generous donations and support Jack and Diana can expect a full return to their good health and sound footing.

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