Bratty Boss Mare

WildFire is NOT happy with Hector the Mule.  So I created a small paddock for Hecter.  He can see the mares and they can “chat” across the fence.  But he is safely out of range of teeth and hooves.  He also has his very own run in shed and hay bale!  Hopefully, after a couple of weeks, this Bratty Boss Mare will let Hector join her herd.wildfire.png

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Meet Hector!

We have a new family member, Hector the Mule! He is such a sweet boy who has been a hard working mule for many, many, many years. Now, it is his turn to relax and enjoy love and treats. My red mares are NOT thrilled with Hector, but hopefully, everyone will settle in soon. I have never had a mule before, so I welcome any helpful advice.

Housekeeping versus Hospitality

Recently, an acquaintance paid a brief visit to my home.  Upon entering, the guest looked about and “smirked”.  Yeah, I will call it a smirk.  I have visited this person’s home and it is quite stylish, very formal and tidy.

OK, being completely honest – I am NOT the world’s best housekeeper.  I am NOT the worst either.  My house is a simple farm house, no fancy furnishings or carpets.  Everything is more “homey” and functional.  Yes, there is a mule halter hanging on the closet door handle and I have a saddle in the guest room.

I keep up with the laundry.  All dishes are washed and put away promptly and counter tops are cleaned.  Beds are sort of made (dogs have a tendency to unmake them).  I also sweep and mop at least four times a week.   With windows open, my house is filled with good, clean country air – and dust and pollen.   I need to dust and wash windows and put away some clutter – so yeah, my house looks “lived-in”.

I have a dog door, and two dogs – hairy, shedding dogs.  So, there are little hair balls hiding under beds and chairs.  On any given day, there are probably muddy little paw prints about as well.

So, the fact is – if you come to my house looking for dust and dirt and dog hair – you will find it.  But, if you come to my house looking for hospitality, friendship, warmth, acceptance, and a hot meal – you will find that too.  Visitors are welcome to put their feet up on the coffee table or grab a cozy blanket and snuggle up on the couch.  I don’t freak out if a drink or a snack is spilled.  In fact, dogs handle most spills rather quickly and efficiently.  I invite visiting youngsters to pull out toys and rocking horses and crayons and books, spread them about the living room – and just play.

So, here is my question.  What is more important, housekeeping or hospitality?  Maybe it is just a personal preference, but I want people to “feel at home” in a cluttered, lived-in house with a few stray hair balls and muddy paw prints – oh, and some dust and dog snot on the windows.

 

Disney World first impressions

I am nearly 60 years old, and I visited Disney World for the first time just a few days ago.  I must be honest, it wasn’t the experience I expected.  Maybe it is my age, or maybe it is the grief and depression clouding my perception.  The Disney “experience” was eye-popping!!   The buildings and grounds were beautiful.  The costumes and parades were phenomenal.  The prices were outrageous.  Every possible inch of space was consumed by someone.  I observed many hot, sweating, tense, tired adults and several over-stimulated, tired, squalling children.  I was just over-whelmed – crowded – almost panicky.

My heart went out to the performers who provided an awe-inspiring spectacle, despite over bearing heat.  I cannot imagine how they managed those sweet, joyful smiles while dancing in those hot costumes under a blazing sun.  I pledge my respect and admiration to their talent, professionalism, and commitment.

Our little group made our way inch-by-inch through the throng and into an eatery, already clogged with humanity, some happy and friendly, many not so much.   I studied the faces of the cafeteria employees.  Bergens.  Yep.  Bergens.  If you have seen the move, TROLLS, you know the Bergens.   Bergens are sad, unhappy souls that trudge about through their day.   These poor workers looked so hot, tired, stressed – trudging.   Without thinking, I started singing a portion of the song  when I heard from behind me  “….It’s coming on, It’s coming on….”   I suddenly realized two people in the line were singing with me!

We exchanged a quick knowing glance and giggle.  Then, I kind of felt bad – the cafeteria employees are probably really nice, hard working people just trying to get through a hot, difficult day.  Some people in the line in front of me were short, cross, and just down right rude.  Imagine a whole day of that!!  I made it a point to be kind, to smile, and to say “Thank you.  Have a great day.”  One of five smiled back, made eye contact – and I cheerily added “I appreciate you – thank you so much.”

OK, crossing Disney World off my list – for now.  Maybe I will try again in a few years.  Right now, I am so glad to be back on my farm where I belong!!

 

WildFlower Farewell

I am afraid I do not know the name of this purple flower, but I love the colorful blooms.  It is a hardy, tall fellow – standing up to Virginia drout and sun.  My husband and I sat on our “memory”  bench and enjoyed the last of them

Now there is a huge dragon fly in our living room.  I believe this is a powerful, positive blessing and we will help guide our little visitor safely outdoors.

I am a Horse-a-chondriac 

The upcoming solar eclipse is an exciting event – but I cannot help but worry about my horses and outdoor pets.  Is that silly?  Should I be concerned?

I can keep my house dogs in the house, I will just shut the dog door.

I think Gertie Goose is nearly blind already, so no worries for her.  I think Flip Flop Kitty will be OK.

But what about my red mares?  I know they are little stinkers, but they are my little stinkers and I love them.

This time, Charlie WAS a working dog

We desperately needed the rain here in Virginia, and I was glad to see it.  But, after every storm there are fences to be checked, branches and debris to cleanup.  This is when Charlie dons his working harness and pulls a small wagon.  He sits anxiously awaiting my call:  “Let’s go to work”!!  We walk the fence line together.  I gather up the fallen limbs while he hauls the little wagon.  He is a huge help.IMG_4035

Of course, after a  hard day at work, there is nothing like an afternoon nap.  Notice the “Farm Dog” collar?  Well earned, fine Charlie, well earned – a label of love and honor!!  I couldn’t make it without you!!  God Bless Farm Dogs!!!

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Wildflowers versus Weeds

Wildflowers and weeds seem to go together.  I cannot pull out the weeds without damaging the wildflowers.  To be honest, when they are little – I can’t tell the difference.  My life feels like that – weeds of pain, grief, sorrow, self condemnation mixed with wildflowers of loving family, friends, spirit helper animals.  Some days, all I see are the weeds.  All I see is what I lost, what I miss.

Today, I am trying to see ONLY the wildflowers – I see the butterfly and I choose to believe my son sent it to me – a sign of love.  I choose to let the beauty and the gentle scent of the wildflowers convey GOD’s love to me and my love to HIM.

I pray you all will see many wildflowers.

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Lizard CPR??

The Virginia heat is taking a toll on critters.  I was about to dump the horse trough for a good scrubbing, when I noticed this little fellow struggling to stay afloat.  I scooped him out and laid him in a shady patch of grass.  At first, I thought he was not breathing.  Just when I was about to google Lizard CPR. his little sides started heaving, but he was not moving.   I continued my barn chores, keeping an eye on my little friend.  It took nearly 20 minutes for him to regain his strength, but he eventually scurried off under the barn.  Whew!!  I really was sure how the mouth to mouth would work!!IMG_4277