Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Light the Night Fundraiser

Feeling Frazzled

I have been struggling lately. I've made no bones about struggling. I hadn't been able to figure it out until last night. 

We've been at our acreage since the fall of 2005. We started the Sanctuary in the spring of 2006 and it's been steady ever since. It takes a lot to keep up an acreage. There's always something to fix or something to improve (and more stuff to fix because it always breaks). I'd learned that if we did any improvements, that we'd spend the next to years focused on simply fixing those things that broke while we were in the middle of a major redo/remodel.

Luckily we have the support of my parents and their knowledge as they fixed up their acreage (they are still at the same place where I grew up so I am one of the lucky ones who can "still go home"). So for the past 10 years I've had the support of my parents to work on the acreage. In the past couple of years I'd noticed that things weren't being kept up around our place. I chalked it up to having kids about that time. But then I came to the realization that kids were only a very small portion of why the place is starting to look run down.

You see, my parents never sit still. I'm not sure how they do it but they are always on the go working on one thing or another. But Dad has been dealing with some health issues for the past few years (and I'm sure he'd be mad that I'm sharing the info) and he just recently retired. Apparently when you retire, you get even busier. So nowadays, instead of coming down to work on the place, they come to play with the kids instead. I never realized how even the little things can get out of hand if you don't keep up with them and Dad was the one taking care of those little things.

So I have plan of working on those little things while I'm waiting for water tanks to fill. I know some will say I should be working horses while I wait for the tanks to fill. And I probably should (I need to get Lightening going so I don't get into trouble during a drill team performance) but for now, I need to focus on the place and get it so it looks slightly less shabby.

The other thing that I realized last night is that feeling of feeling overwhelmed and not being caught up. I just can't seem to get it together. And then I realized, it's been almost a year of change at the paying job. I haven't yet adapted apparently to the mass chaos and additional demands that I'm putting on myself over the past year for the paying job. But those unnecessary demands are what is putting me behind. I used to sneak in a little bit of organizing and planning and such for the Sanctuary (and the saddle club I'm in charge of...yes I am that busy). But I haven't really had time and without my constant pushing, things don't get done. And for the past year, I've been focused on work and kids. With a new baby in the house, my attention was there. And it still is. My main focus are the kids but then it's the horses. But I didn't realize the paying job was taking up the extra energy that I used to have.

So now I have to figure out the balance. I'm sure all working parents have that struggle. But at least I've figured out the "why" behind the problem. Now to figure out how to fix the problem. But even if I can't figure out how to fix it, I at least know the reason behind it.

So now that I know the problem, maybe I can stop feeling so scattered and just go with the flow.

Fun Mail!

I have been meaning to post this and keep getting waylaid for some reason.

The other day I went to the mailbox and found a surprise!! Usually it's the same ol' same ol' with bills and more bills but on that day there was a package for the Sanctuary!!! We don't normally get too many packages come through the Sanctuary so I was super excited!!

It was a package from one of our amazing supporters Lori! I love getting mail from her. She always seems to know exactly when I need a pick-me-up.

Please excuse the other mail.
 I opened the package and look what I found!!!!!! She sent us items from our Wish List (I've been a bit bad about posting our Wishlist Wednesday items the last couple of weeks). It was like Christmas opening up this package. Lori sent us Thank You cards, stamps, a TSC gift card, AND funds that we will put towards either Rabbit or Bo's vet bills.

How cool is this?!?!!?

Now every time I send a thank you card, I'm going to smile and think of Lori for her generous donations.

Thank you Lori (and sorry for not getting this post out sooner). So a HUGE THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!

P.S. Lori - I love your hand writing!! I'm embarrassed by mine!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Can you help?

I noticed a horse that deserves to come into the Sanctuary. We'll be losing Rabbit very shortly so although her leaving doesn't necessarily open a spot, I would really like to let this horse in to retire. He fits all our criteria and has worked least for the past four years and I'm guessing more than that as he's 20 years old.

But the problem with him coming in is that we need sponsors. We need to have someone else financially looking out for him (besides me). Even if we could get a small monthly donation towards this horse's care would alleviate some stress on me (even $20 would make a difference). Would anyone be interested in helping an old warrior of a horse retire?

If you were to donate $20 a month for 12 months, that's $240. That's $240 to helping keep an old horse happy and comfortable with a belly full of hay and no threat of heading into the slaughter pipeline. $240 might seem like a lot up front but if you spread it out over 12 months, $20 isn't much. It's a fancy meal at a sit-down restaurant or it's four fancy coffees. Isn't a life more important than a cup of coffee (I'm not a coffee drinker so maybe I shouldn't ask that question). There needs to be less out-of-sight-out-of-mind with these old guys and gals. Can you help?

He's paid his dues. Now it's time for us to pay his. If you are interested in helping, please email us at

The Adventures of Bo

Monday was exhausting. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve been dealing with a headache or migraine for the past eight days and it’s really messing with me. I’ve been a bit stressed lately and when I’m stressed, I sleep. When I sleep, I get behind. When I get behind, I get more stressed. See the impossible circle I’m in right now?
Anyway, I digress on my adventure’s yesterday.
Bo. Poor Bo. He’s been through Hell and back and yet he’s still the cheerful horse with a happy disposition.
Bo’s vet appointment was scheduled for 11am. Mike was out of town over the weekend and on Monday so I needed to get the kids to daycare. I started to rain about the time I was packing up the kids. I noticed dark clouds but figured the bad weather would hold off until later in the day. I dropped the kids at daycare and hopping in my car. I figured I’d get the truck hooked up, pull Bo out of the rain, and get some work done for the paying job before I needed to leave. I was planning on leaving just after 10am to give me plenty of time to get there. It’s just over a half an hour drive to the vet but I’m always late and don’t want to be late any more. Not a new years resolution just something I need to be better about.
Anyway, when I got in the car and started heading home, I saw the wall of black clouds. All to the west and north. I knew it was supposed to get bad but I wasn’t sure the timeframe. So I busted butt to get home, get the truck hooked up, Bo into the barn, and then decided that the radar showed freezing rain about 30 miles west of us. I knew I was going straight north so I’d be dealing with freezing rain while pulling a trailer. NOT something I wanted to do.
I already don’t like my trailer for a number of reasons so I ended up double blanketing Bo to make sure he stayed dry and warm on the trip to the vet. I had thought I could load him in the trailer and then go grab a few things from the house. I forgot until the minute I had Bo loaded that Bo hates trailers. As in, he freaks out. He’s gotten better with me but he hates them.
So instead, I hopped in the truck and we headed out. I was already drenched from hooking up the trailer and grabbing Bo. It was a downpour the entire time. I was worried that I’d be driving in to freezing rain so wanted to be on the road and at least up at my parent’s until the appointment. It was 9:00am when we hit the road. I was kicking myself for not taking the 9:30am appointment but I didn’t think I’d get around fast enough.
I took it super slow knowing that the roads could get slick any time. And the rain was terrible. But worse than that…the wind. I thought there was something wrong with the truck. It kept switching into a lower gear and slowing down. Yeah, it was the wind. We were headed right into the wind. At least Bo was protected for the most part.
I decided instead of heading straight to the vet (since it was only a quarter to 10am and the appointment wasn’t until 11am), that I’d head over to my parents, unload Bo and just hang out. About three miles from the house,  I noticed the trees had ice on them and the road was starting to ice up. I am NOT a fan of driving on ice. I am even less of a fan of driving on ice while pulling a trailer.
I unloaded Bo and figured he could hang out in the back pen but even that was starting to freeze shut. I figured it would be best to simply go to the vet and wait. I thought they had a spare stall I could hand out in. Bo was better about loading the second time without freaking out so off we went into the rain headed to the vet on icy roads.
We pulled in at 10am and I hopped out to let them know we were there. I asked if we could hang out inside so Bo and I stood around for awhile. Did I mention we have awesome vets? They got me in a half an hour early and got me on the road right away (as in I was on the road just after 11am). No dilly dallying around.
When the appointment was done, I loaded Bo and got the heck out of Madison. The wind pushed us most of the way home. When I crossed under I-90 and was on the south side again, I noticed that none of the grass or the signs had any ice hanging off of them. Go figure. There’s always a difference between north and south of I-90.
But we made it home safe. Bo is now in a pen all by himself until I can come up with a better living arrangement. I’m kicking myself for not pulling his blanket but it was super cold this morning….after being 80 degrees two days earlier.
And I’m sure you’re all wondering WHAT happened at the vet…but I’ll share that later today. After I get more aspirin and caffeine in me to keep the headache to a dull roar.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bo Update

Bo's vet appointment was today. I'm totally worn out from it so I'll have to write about it later.


But I knew that. I'm wondering if the coughing and hard breathing isn't part of the ulcers as well.

More to come later. Exhausted after dealing with driving in freezing rain, ice, sick horse (and oh, did I forget to mention that Bo doesn't like traveling in trailers?!?!)

Now to get to the paying job and earn money to cover the cost of that vet bill. He's on meds that are spendy so need to make some cash to cover those bills. Unless of course someone wants to donate funds towards this vet bill!?!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Bo Status

Well, I made an appointment to get Bo in to the vet on Monday. My vet is out until then. Have a few suggestions on how to make him comfortable until then so we'll see. All require needles which Bo cannot handle. He'd rather stomp you than even SEE a needle, or require that he eat grain, which gives him an upset stomach. Who knew that a $110 horse would cost so much!?

Now the hard part. Do I go ahead and take Rabbit in as well? Make one trip instead of two? Stop the worry and simply get it over with? But I wanted here to go on a sunny, warm South Dakota day. Not a rainy, windy day. 20mph wind with 70% chance of rain. Not the way I want to send her off this earth. So we'll see. We'll see if she keeps telling me. I'm going to have to move her and the others to a different pen so we'll see if that triggers anything.

I hate sick horses. I hate horses in pain. I hate this part of Sanctuary work. But better that I play God and make the final decisions, than to take the easier route and "hope for a good home" while sending them to auction.

Please keep us in your thoughts. The next few days are going to be emotionally draining for me.