Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I Rode Ivan

I rode Ivan!!!
I know some of you are thinking, what’s the big deal? I took on Ivan back in August 2010 when he was advertised for $100 from a local horse flipper. I was able to track down a little bit more information and found out he’d been at a youth camp but I don’t know the reason for them letting him go. He’d come from a lady in Iowa that needed to rehome him and another horse. I took him on because he had a problem with his … umm.. man part. J I took him to the vet and he said it was cellulitis. There wasn’t much to do for it so just watch it. When I first got him, he never sucked it in but over the years he has and now doesn’t let it hang out all the time because the swelling has gone down.
But I digress. I’m stressed over not having a drill team horse and then Ivan gave me a sign. It’s a little weird. I sometimes say the horses tell me this or that. Like Zeke told me he was done with drill team. Of course he didn’t “SAY” the words but he let me know in other ways. Ivan did the same thing. I think he was itching for more attention.
I’d put blankets on last weekend when that terrible cold front came through and dropped the temps to -30. Well yesterday was 30. Yes, a 60 degree swing in temps. It’s tough to cope with. I needed to put a bale in (normally it’s two but for some reason they didn’t power through that other bale so I need to look at it during the daylight to see what’s wrong). But anyway, I was out and decided to halter him up, while I pushed everyone else out to get the bale in. I left Ivan and some of the others in the barn and when the bale was in and the hay net on, I decided to pull blankets and then hop on Ivan.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never gotten on Ivan and even when I looked at him, I’d never talked with the actual owner or tried him out. I just bought him knowing that he was in danger of being picked up by a kill buyer. I couldn’t bring myself to let the local horse trader pick him up. I’m normally a reasonable person and can tolerate people but this horse trader I just want to punch in the face because he’s a snivlining little twit. But again, I digress.
So I left the halter on and put two lead ropes on and hoped for the best. Ivan is so tall I had to bring him over by the gate to climb on. He was actually way better for getting on than some of the other “broke” horses. I was a little surprised. I’m not sure if he knew what was going on or what. I always figured I’d have to send him to a trainer for a refresher before I got on (I apparently was feeling brave last night). But I threw a leg on before he walked off and then hopped on. Nothing. Good ol’ Ivan just stood there like a good boy.
He’s rusty. And when I say rusty, I mean super rusty but he was remembering pretty quick. I ended up just sitting there for awhile not doing anything because Ivan had pretty much locked up and wouldn’t move. I had all the other horses near so he wouldn’t be nervous and Brego was right there by his side the entire time. Chaos came over a couple of times to try and torment but left after I told him to go.
At first I was able to get Ivan to back up. He backs better than some of the other “broke” horses! Crazy how they remember certain things. After a little bit longer, I was able to get Ivan to walk around the bales and just putter. Super, super rusty but still you could tell he was starting to remember some queues.
I’m planning on hopping back on him tonight and see if we can repeat what we did last night. I was on cloud 9. I am always on the ground cleaning and feeding that I forget that I can ride a few of the younger horses that don’t have health ailments or lameness issues that render them pasture sound only.
I’m not sure if Ivan will work out for drill team or not. But I may end up scraping up the money (and going without for other things) to send him to a trainer to get a quick refresher. I’d love to be able to promote the Sanctuary with Ivan. There aren’t any other thoroughbreds on the team so it would be fun!
Here’s to trying new and exciting activities! Wish me luck that Ivan and I click and we can become amazing riding partners spreading the word about the Sanctuary.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Winter Weather

We had another storm blow through this weekend. It started Friday and dropped a considerable amount of snow. I don’t think it was the seven inches they were predicting but it was enough to make life difficult.

Of course we had issues with the automatic waterer. This fall the insulation broke and fell on the float valve make the waterer overflow. Mike pulled the insulation and that was the end of it. Until Friday night when the weatherman was talking below zero temps for highs on Friday and almost thirty below temps for Saturday night! Umm, Houston, we have a problem.

I tried my best to at least insulate the one side so that it wouldn’t freeze over completely. As it was, the horses could barely get their nose into the water and if they had a big nose, I’m not sure that they could. So I broke open the water and hoped that it wouldn’t freeze. Mike went out Saturday after a huge “discussion” on that this is an emergency! Apparently emergency in my world is different than emergency in his world. If I don’t have an automatic waterer, I would be dragging the hose out every day and filling a 100 gallon tank and praying that the horses don’t drink through 100 gallons in a day. The four in the other pen drink through enough that I fill the tank every other day to be on the safe side. So yes, I consider it an emergency!

Mike did fix the waterer Saturday but set the temp too high so now the water is warm. Not a bad thing but it’s going to jack the price of electricity up. I’m going to look at using a propane heater instead of electric next winter. But I’ll need to budget for it.

I blanketed those that had blankets but didn’t stall any because they had the round bales and could get out of the wind. I wasn’t happy about it but wasn’t exactly sure what else to do. Having a round bale in front of them is better than having a portion of hay that they’d probably burn through before I could get out the next morning. But everyone seemed ok Sunday morning. No worse for wear. I’d thrown extra alfalfa to keep them going and they all seemed rather content.

The weather is supposed to warm up and be above freezing for the rest of the week. I didn’t fill the mares’ water Sunday knowing that there was no way I’d be able to get the hoses  out, water run, tank filled, and water drained out of the hose before it froze over again. Hopefully tonight the temps will be warmer so I can get the tank filled without having to worry.

I’m guessing the blog and Facebook will be fairly quiet this week. I’ve been in a foul mood lately and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday cheer. I’ve been looking at things that need to be done and nothing is getting done. Some of which I have no control over and some of it I simply can’t do and that irritates me when I see someone sitting, doing nothing when there’s work to be done. So, yeah, I’m grumpy after dealing with that for MONTHS. But that’s for another venting post. But for now, we are coming through this cold snap no worse for wear. My nerves are shot but everyone else seems to be doing ok.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Brain Dump

So it seems I have a lot on my mind and I need a place to let it all out before I explode. I’m sure when it’ all written down on paper, it’ll seem like so much less and to some, it is.

I don’t know if it’s the impending snow storm that’s going to drop between 3-7 inches or the 40 below wind chill or the 24 below temps coming or the holiday party stresses or the Christmas planning to make my kids’ Christmas perfect, or the search for a new drill team horse that’s bothering me. So here it goes…


I’ve been watching the weather but not very closely. I’m working from home today but I can’t concentrate knowing that this storm is coming. In 10 minutes we went from no snow in the air to it coming down fast and furious. Schools are closing left and right and I’m trying to figure out when to stop working and go pick up the kids before the weather really turns. It’s an advantage of working for the company that I do. I may complain about it at times but in reality, I have a lot of leeway. But I still need to get out and do chores and hopefully do SOME of them before the snow piles up and before the temps drop. But there’s stress in coordinating everything.

I need to try a couple of blankets on a couple of different horses to see if they fit. Brego’s blanket doesn’t really work for him and we had three donated that are in immaculate condition. So one is going on Brego. I’m debating on stalling horses but with a round bale in front of them, it might be easier to stall the super hard keepers and keep the stockier horses out. We’ll see how it goes tonight.

But the temps are supposed to plummet tomorrow making life difficult. Unfortunately I’m supposed to have another Christmas party so I’m not sure what to do. I don’t want to leave the horses while I go. I’d rather be home and make sure I can go out and check them if need be. Give them extra food a couple of times.

I’ve also been trying to juggle scheduling times to go look at different horses that might fit now that I am horseless for the drill team. Retiring Zeke has really taken a toll on me mentally. My go to horse is now retired and I’m left standing at the end of a lead rope attached to no horse. At least that’s how it feels.

But then I have those thoughts that I shouldn’t be looking for a personal horse. There’s so many horses that need homes. So many older horses that need to retire and can’t do drill team. We are full and yet I’m willing to pay for a horse that will fit into drill team. Just seems wrong. I see all these horses standing in feedlots in different states and I cant’ do anything about them but they look like they’d fit the bill for what I need and yet I cant’ afford it. My money is wrapped up with the Sanctuary and they come first over everything else. So what do I do? I am picky on what I want and yet, sometimes beggars can’t be choosers.

So I’ve been trying to arrange times to look at different horses. All horses where I’d pay money. For a  free retired horse, I expect quirks. But if I have to pay money for a horse, there will be quirks but they should be called out and not too severe. It’s sort of like a double standard I have I guess. I expect quirks and health problems for horses coming into the program. But for a horse I’m looking to actually buy, not rescue, I expect no quirks. How can that be? We ALL have our quirks.  I’m struggling with the double standard too.

I looked at a horse last week and I’d take the companion in a heartbeat. I am afraid of the fate for that horse if we don’t’ offer a home but I already have a waiting list.

Then there’s the whole neglect case of mustangs west river and I havent’ been able to do a single thing. I’m already limited in what I can do and it’s not really our focus. But it still bothers me to no end that I’m sitting idle. I want to be going to auctions and pulling old horses or offering a place for old horses to call home. I’m starting to see these old horses. Now that winter is here, I expect I’ll see more older horses up for sale. I’d love to be the go to place for people to leave their older horses but there’s only so many I can financially handle. I’d love for sponsorships but money is tight for everyone.

I’ve been feeling like I’m standing on an island alone. There’s so much that needs to be done and not a lot of help. I know if I asked, people would help. But I look around at the Sanctuary and I see all the stuff that needs to be done and none of it is getting done. Partly because I can’t afford to do it yet, partly because I can’t physically do it or can’t do it alone, and partly because I was hoping the hubby would help out and he doesn’t’ seem to see any of the things I see.

I keep brainstorming ideas for fundraisers but the last one was a total flop. To the point that the only way we broke even was from someone donating a dollar. Yup, that’s how we were able to break even. Aparently I was focused on the wrong crowd but you have to put yourself out there to know but it’s so difficult. Money is tight for everyone and I totally get that. Time is tight so searching for grants is difficult and I cant’ guarantee that I’d get any.

It’s all these struggles and more. So much I WANT to be doing. So I much I SHOULD be doing. And yet, I feel spell bound, frozen to the ground, unable to do anything.

I know all of these feelings will pass. It’ll all blow over like the storm that has now reached the Sanctuary. In the time it’s taken me to write this (maybe 10 minutes), visibility has dropped, the snow is actually piling up, and the snow is falling faster than before. Amazing how life can change in just a half an hour.

As with all my stresses, it’ll all change as well. I simply struggle with change.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Crazy Weather

How does that work? -22 Saturday  night and by Tuesday it's 25 degrees. Yup, that's South Dakota for you

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Expect the Unexpected

It’s amazing that if you stop and take a minute to observe your horse, you’ll learn a lot from them. I haven’t really been around Lace all that much. Not nearly as much as I would prefer. I sometimes think she got shafted by coming to the Sanctuary and not getting pampered like she deserves. But I guess the alternatives were much worse.

So Lace is in with Rabbit, Mayhem, and Junior. She was crowding the gate when I went to let Junior and Rabbit in for their evening grain. She normally keeps to herself and focuses on eating. But last night she was in my space. She kicked at her belly once and I wasn’t sure if she was colicy or just pissy. She’s a very opinionated mare. So I kept an eye on her.

I went to grab the hose and fill the tank…it’s a daily occurrence. She stood at the tank but she normally never does. She even tried to lap the water up like a dog. All signs that something was terribly wrong. It’s a repeat of last year all over again!  Last year the water heater was shocking the water so the horses wouldn’t drink. Well there had been enough water out of the tank that I assumed everything was fine. BUT, Lace was telling me otherwise.

I grabbed a different bucket and started filling that and she powered through the water. Yup, electric water heater must be shocking the water. I did have to keep it plugged in last night much to my dismay because we were in below zero temps and didn’t want it to freeze up completely. But I unplugged it this morning and am going straight to Tractor Supply tonight to pick up to new electric water heaters.

I think from now on, I’m going to use them one year and throw them away. It hurts my feelings because they are a bit expensive but a vet bill for colic is much more expensive. So, I’ve learned my lesson.

I’m glad I listened to Lace. The others aren’t as opinionated apparently as she is. I don’t want it to get so bad that even when I switch out the heaters, they refuse to drink out of the tank. That’s what happened last year and I had to drag over a different tank and put it in a different location. Thank god we have a spare water tank just for weird occasions. I should expect the unexpected these days.

But it goes to show, you should always pay close attention to what your horse is saying.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Giving Tree

And before I forget, Borderlands Horse Sanctuary teamed up with Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue for a Giving Tree. The Sanctuary's residents are listed along with Gentle Spirit's sanctuary residents. The trees with a list of much needed "wishes" from the horses are available at Tractor Supply and Horse N Hound in Sioux Falls. Both businesses are located on Cliff Avenue.

We'd love to fill the Sanctuary Resident's stockings full of grain and other special surprises. Won't you be a part of this year's Giving Tree?

Weather Forecast

I don't want to!!!! I am not ready for cold weather...anything with a minus involved shouldn't be allowed. Looks like we'll be stalling some horses over the weekend to keep them out of the wind.

Looks like it's going to be a LOOOOONG winter.

Christmas Newsletter

And I still need to get the list of items we have for sale uploaded to blogger and Facebook. Hopefully this week if the kiddos let me.

December Thank Yous

Before I forget, I want to send out Thank Yous to a couple of people.

First I want to thank my parents for donating four bags of sweet feed to the Sanctuary horses. It helps with hiding the medication/supplements for some of the horses. It's amazing how even one bag, let alone four bags will go. Every dollar, and even every penny counts these days.

I also want to thank Cyn and Mikki for donating THREE winter blankets to the Sanctuary horses. I can't wait to put them on decide who should get which blanket. They are almost brand new blankets. I'm sure I'm more exited about the blankets than the horses...but they'll thank me (and Mikki and Cyn) when they get chilled and I throw the blankets on to get warm. I'll post pics if I can ever download the pictures off my phone and get snap pics before my phone freezes up.

But thank you, thank you, thank you. It warms my heart knowing there's such kind hearted people thinking about our Sanctuary horses!

Catch Up

I haven't been able to post much because the paying job is cracking down on which sites we can visit...blogger is one of them. And by the time I get home from the paying job after picking up the kids, making supper, doing chores in full blown winter, and then getting kiddos baths and bed, I'm done in...because 5am rolls around way too early these days. Although I have to admit, I don't go out as early as I used to. Love those round bales.

I went and looked at a horse yesterday. I wish people were more honest. We spent an additional hour driving to grab my tack only to never even saddle up and test ride the horse. Umm, I'm not spending money on a horse that I can't test ride. I could have done it but the owner wasn't confident. I'm not getting on a horse that the owner isn't willing to get on. Did that, got bucked off. No thank you.

So I'm still on the look out for a replacement for Zeke. Zeke is enjoying retirement but I'm stressing. I tried out Chaos but he wont' do for drill team. He's a perfect trail riding horse and a perfect ambassador for the Sanctuary because it gives me time to talk with people about the Sanctuary. So I'm not sure what to do. It's put me into a foul mood.

Everyone seems to be doing ok otherwise. True winter has set in. The temps are starting to really drop so I'm going to have to go in search of my hammer to break out the ice for the ponies. I apparently have gotten soft and lazy not having to haul water every day.  I'm dragging the hose out to fill the water tank for the mares and Junior. It's an every day sort of thing now. I'm afraid our automatic waterer is going to break. Mike took the insulation out of the top because it was pushing on the valve making it run and overflow...that was this summer and guess what... it's winter. So hopefully it won't freeze up. But I'm going to have to figure out how to fix it myself. All these projects that are not "do it yourself".

But we are here and hopefully I can dig out the laptop at home and actually start working on Sanctuary stuff. Using my phone just doesn't work. So we'll see how the rest of this month goes.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Caption This

More goodies from the ol' archive. 

Can you caption this sequence of events from Chaos and Maverick?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rain, Rain, Go Away

As my husband would say "I'm in a mood" and I guess I have been for awhile. The paying job is working me over but the rush jobs and poor planning should be over this coming week. Then I can hopefully put my focus towards the Sanctuary. But we'll see. I finally had to get nasty about finishing up some of our remodel projects before Christmas. So my attention has been elsewhere for quite some time. (The first remodel job started in March and the second in June and neither are done so you can maybe feel my pain).

But enough of my nagging. On to better things....the horses!!!!

So I have the mares and Junior in the pasture near the barn to make life easier for me to haul water (and it's much better protection from the weather). Speaking of weather, we have a nasty storm rolling in right now. It's been raining all afternoon and not just a little drizzle either. When I went out to do chores around 4pm (because I insisted that I would do chores in the LIGHT during the weekend), it downpoured. I'm not sure if my coat will be dried out by tomorrow morning or not.

I would feel better with stalling horses but no one seemed all that worked up. So instead, I opted to throw blankets on the delicate flowers and go with the flow (and hope that they dont' rip them to shreds before real winter sets in). But my thinking is that if we get a ton of rain, the horses will get wet, and then they will get chilled. Chilled horses = bad. So, I opted to get drenched and blanket horses. Some were ok with it while others gave me the stink eye.

I think there's something wrong with Junior's eyesight. He is more flighty now than he ever was. I knew he was touchy about his back end but now, any time I haul a hose near him or do anything fast, he gets upset. So I'm wondering if he's starting to lose his eyesight. He's 28 so I expect a few more ailments coming his way. But it's hard to take knowing that he's uncomfortable. He wasn't too thrilled with the blanket but Rabbit seemed rather pleased. She really is a dear. She simply doens't feel good with all the muscle pain. I need to find someone who will do massage for free.


I was digging around in the ol' archive and came up with a few good pictures. All my recent pictures are on my phone and I can't get them off because I cant' find the cord to download them. The other set of pictures are on a flash drive that went awol. Yes, this place is a madhouse. I had such high hopes that this year I would be more organized. I should know better.

But the reason I was looking through old pictures is that Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue and Borderlands Horse Sanctuary are having a fundraiser at our local Tractor Supply Company and Horse & Hound. We'll have a Wish Tree with a list of all our needs, along with pictures of all our residents.

Gentle Spirits is doing all the work (thank you!!) and all I had to do was look through pictures. There's so many good ones but so little time to pick them out when you have a one year old vying for your time. But stop on over to TSC or Horse & Hound if you are local and check it out. I'm not exactly sure when the trees go up but check it out!

I'll post our wish list soon.


As always, I'm terrible at planning. I signed up to participate in the vendor area of the Hartford Christmas this Sunday. I figured having a booth might help promote the Sanctuary and get our name out there. I have so many ideas and so little time but I thought this might be one way to get out there. We'll see if it was worth my time and money. I'll have items up for sale and it would be nice to get them sold so that there's less stuff in the house (as Mike points out there's too much stuff).

So stop on our to Hartford, SD around noon. I'll be there promoting the Sanctuary!!

Chaos  (pics are all from last fall -- 2015)

I know there's more but I'm drawing a blank. The paying job is cracking down on certain websites and I'm afraid blogger is one of them. So my posts my be few and far between until I can train myself to sit down and write posts at night. We'll see how it goes. There's so much that needs to be done but when you're snuggling with kids, it's really hard to give that up and do research and just try and ways to promote the Sanctuary and make ends meet.

Hopefully by this coming weekend, I'll be at least a little at wits ends and can really start tackling some projects. But we'll see. I'm sure I'll be in panic mode by Wednesday. And if the weather continues down the path that it is...rain turning to snow, I'm going to really freak out!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Caption This

It's been awhile since I last posted. The paying job is going to make blogging a bit more tricky so the posts may be a bit more sporadic until I can dedicate more face time with the computer.

But in the meantime, I found these goodies in the ol' archive and figured I'd share. Can you caption this sequence of events between Brego (on the left) and Ivan (on the right)?

Monday, November 21, 2016


So, after posting one to two days after about being in blizzard alley, we get our first snow storm. Not only that, but it was bad enough that they called off my work (and usually hell has to freeze over before that happens). There was enough wind that it was hard to know exactly how much snow we actually got. At one point, I was hauling water with two five gallon pales and the snow was dragging on the bales (a curse of being short).

I knew we were to get snow but I wasn't expecting the cold to come barreling down on us as well. I didn't get a heater on the big water tank until Saturday and the ponies don't have a tank heater because the outlet burned up where I need to plug it in. So it looks like I'll be spending all winter hauling and smashing ice multiple times a day.

On the bright side, my lack of time did save my butt. I never turned off the heater on the automatic waterer so it never did freeze over. Unfortunately, the insulation somehow shifted this summer and dropped down on the part that makes it automatic so it was overflowing. Mike couldn't get the lid popped off but was able to wiggle the insulation out. Unfortunately, there's no insulation now in the automatic waterer so we are headed for disaster if he doesnt' get off his lazy butt. I expect impending doom on the automatic waterer later this week (because I dont' foresee Mike doing anything this week...why... I have no. idea....can you tell I'm grumpy).

Nothing too exciting going on otherwise. I was hoping the temps would warm up a bit so I could pull blankets off Bo and Rain. I put blankets on those two because Rain can't handle any little bit of cold (he still doesn't have a winter coat and wont' get one) and Bo needs to pack on a few more pounds before I am satisfied. I dont' foresee him packing on the pounds very well now that winter is here.

But we have different hay and they are powering through it. It's got a hint of alfalfa in it so the horses are powering through it. We  need to put in bales tonight before the next storm rolls through. I guess the next storm is mostly freezing drizzle, so no six inches of snow to contend with at the least.

I had planned on going in to buy grain on Saturday but the kiddos were sick so figured we'd stay home. But we did run in to TSC to pick up some grain. I haven't quite figured out how long grain will last. I'm only graining three but as winter progresses, I'll have to start graining others (Jim, Rain, Brego, Zeke).

I need to have the farrier out to trim up Rabbit and Dude. Unfortunately, our farrier wants to retire so I'm in search of a new farrier. I'm struggling to find one.

There's a lot to do lately but I'm stressed and with stress, I sleep. I wish I had insomnia instead. Then I could get more done. The holidays will be here and the house is a disaster. To the point where I can't feel comfortable any  more and it's wearing on my nerves. So hopefully I'll still be around to post a few ramblings but if not, it's because I'm too cranky and dont' want to ruin the upcoming holidays for anyone. It's all very little and minuet but still very irritating. People dont' realize that their actions really do irritate me. Don't treat my ideas like they are stupid and don't ignore me. It's not a hard concept.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Blizzard Alley

This post made me laugh. Apparently we are in "Blizzard Alley"... average 1-2 blizzards a year (41 to 74 from 1959 - 2000).

Here's a few experts that caught my eye (and made me laugh)

The annual probability of a blizzard exceeded 50 percent through all of North Dakota and Minnesota, as well as most of South Dakota, western Nebraska, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Colorado.  This includes the cities of Minneapolis, Duluth, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Fargo and Grand Forks.

One reason is the terrain of generally flat land, along with some hills and streams. The lack of trees also makes a difference in that trees provide friction that can help to lessen the wind. The combination of the land and the lack of trees allows strong, cold winds to blow southward from Canada across the northern Plains.
Also, this area is frequented by strong low-pressure systems intensifying to the east of the Rocky Mountains, tapping cold, Arctic air behind them. This means significant snow events in this area are often accompanied by strong winds, sometimes exceeding blizzard criteria.
Maybe that's why I get freaked out over winter. So many blizzards. Wonder what they would say about those storms that were never marked as blizzards but came darn close!?

Winter will Be Here Friday

We are going to be in a Winter Storm Watch starting Friday. Winter will be here. A Blizzard Watch to the north of us. The weatherman isn't sure if the pattern will change. So, winter begins Friday

I may post more later but I wasn't expecting a blizzard to the north of us. I should know better. Still lots to get done before the first snowflake appears. At least we have half of our hay. But I keep tossing around the idea that we should pick up a Lantry mustang. But that means the waiting list to get into the Sanctuary will have to be on hold. It's not our focus to take in a younger horse but the alternative. But then there's the time and funds, which I have neither. So I don't know. I guess we'll just see how it all plays out.

but until then, I'll be running around trying to get things tucked away. I came home last night to hoses hanging from all sort of odd places. Hoses were hanging like Christmas lights. Some days the help I do get is a lot more work than it really needs to be.

but I'm grumbly this morning so I won't go any further.

I just wanted to say, winter will be here in two days. eek!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Getting Stuff Done

I was feeling rather confident this weekend and even up to this morning. And then reality hit me in the face and I'm feeling overwhelmed again. One step forward, two steps back. I just have to remember, it'll all get done (or it won't) and in the long run, it doesn't really matter...well...sorta. It does matter when there's no shingles on a roof and the barn roof is leaking I noticed this weekend that the hay barn is missing shingles. I knew it leaked but now it's going to leak even more. I have a third of the materials to do one side of the roof. I am not sure if I can get up there or not but I guess I have to. It's simply a matter of time. I'll need the tractor and a good solid few hours to put the ondura sheeting on to cover the hole. I guess I'm going to be pushing for that project as well. It never ends.

But I'll get there. Slow and steady.

With the long holiday, I spent Veteran's Day celebrating with my family, relaxing and enjoying the nice weather. It was nice to get away from the stresses (even if they were still bouncing around in my head).

Saturday Mike worked on the flatbed trailer. He put a whole new floor in it. Now if I could just figure out how to convince him to put a new floor in the horse trailer. It'll need to be done soon. I wish we could have had more time before the weather turns bad to tackle one last outside project (ok two).

Sunday we hauled hay. My hay guy is my uncle and he's also a farmer so I can't get irritated with him by not having my entire load of hay delivered. We used to do big squares and those had to be out of the field immediately. Switching to rounds has been a game changer for me. Not all the hay is delivered at the same time (logic of my uncle's) but it makes it tricky to get it to the Sanctuary.

We'd been doing the onsy, twosy trips up to pick up a couple of bales but I NEEDED to get a full load brought down before the first snow flies. I don't want to try to maneuver around our yard with a trailer and tractor when there's snow (and mud).

So we were able to finagle two loads of hay. But it meant going up and getting it ourselves. No problem! Luckily my uncle had the first load loaded up on the flatbed and we used his truck and trailer. His trailer holds 11 and our trailer holds 3. Big difference. But it takes a half an hour to drive up and another half an hour to drive back home. Do that three times and you've got a solid three hours just in drive time (but imagine going a little slower because you're hauling hay AND borrowing someone else's equipment). Then there's unloading, which for us takes awhile. It probably took us a solid 45 minutes or so to unload the 11 bales, where it takes my uncle maybe 10. I won't complain. I'm happy to have a tractor with a loader rather than just the old chevy, using the pull and drag method.

I'd made arrangements earlier in the day to have my farrier come out and do a quick trim on King and Tommy. I need to find a different farrier who can work with Rabbit. She needs to be trimmed every four weeks (my farrier is looking to retire). So we squeezed in two quick trims and two loads of hay.

It felt good to have half of our winter hay sitting in the yard. Now to get it all paid for.

I still need to send out thank you notes and receipts for the fundraisers from last month. I'm so far behind. I'm hoping that I can tackle those projects this week. I'm tired of being behind on everything. Who needs to sleep right? I am hoping the stress from the paying job is about over (at least for this big push on a project). So instead of having to work 3-4 hours every night on the paying job projects, I can work 2-3 hours on Sanctuary and household projects. The garage is still full of stuff from my sister's house (from when she moved last month) and it all needs to get in to the house before it snows. I do not want to scrape my car every morning and push off snow. So there's yet more tasks that have to be done before Friday morning. A bit of a challenge to clear out the garage to get cars in. Wherever there's a flat surface, junk piles up. I also need to move the ponies to their winter pen. It'll mean hauling water a shorter distance and not having to wander in the dark as far. I'm hoping to cut my chores down in the morning to a minimum. I'll get there. Just a matter of time...although I'm limited on that and the threat of snow is causing me some stress.

I am ready to go back on vacation. Who's with me?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Holding On

Here I thought I was going to be really good and post almost every day in November and I haven't. From the three to four weeks of tooth aches (and finally getting a root canal) to my computer at my paying job crashing and deleting ALL of my high-priority deadline documents, I've been a bit MIA.

It's silly I know to let this type of stuff get to me but it has, so I haven't really posted much. There's so much I want to do and that needs to be done but I'm burned out. Once a few more projects get off my list, I know I'll feel better but there's just some stuff bouncing around in my head that I can't seem to get out. And with all that bouncing around, I tend to stress eat and stress sleep. And when I mention it, people always healthy. Umm.. stress eating. How am I supposed to eat healthy?!!?  :-)

I guess I'm simply riding my pity train again (wonder if I could get frequent flier/travel miles?)

I'm so far behind in thanking everyone that helped out in last month's fundraisers. So much to do and so little time...well, really there is time now but by the time I get the kids to bed (and they are going to bed early, I'm wiped out too).

I've got all kinds of ideas but I can't get to them for one reason or another so we are missing out. And because I am silent, people don't know about us. The other problem is, if I finally put ourselves out there, the horse people will discover us and want to "retire" their horses but I can't take on any more. If I say no, that's a black eye for me. If I say yes, I'll be an irresponsible sanctuary manager and will be in trouble quickly. It's a lose-lose situation (sorry, totally negative nelly here).

I know I'll get out of this funk soon enough. Others have it much worse. The neighbor to the south of us had a house fire and they lost everything in the house. I'm glad I missed it but Mike saw the flames, smoke, and fire trucks. It's still too fresh in my mind to get over a fire. Ours wasn't a house but it still has a lasting affect on me. I feel terrible for our neighbors. Good people.

The weatherman is talking a storm next week...most likely at the end of the week. It's a total flash back to last year. On my second day back to the paying job after being on maternity leave, it snowed....bad. And I almost got hit by a truck. And it wouldn't have been a fender-bender kind of crash, it would have been a life threatening crash because I would have slid through the intersection and been t-boned on the driver's side by a Ford F350. So I thank the gods above for keeping a watchful eye on me that day (and other days that I'm too oblivious to notice). But it's a little bit spooky for me.

I also bought a tractor. Started making payments on it, but it'll help with keeping the place look less like a junkyard. And for those that say, oh she's super lucky, or how do they get all the great finds....I don't. The Sanctuary isn't pay for it, neither is the Sanctuary paying for the big tractor that we use specifically FOR the sanctuary. We searched, we scored, and we finagled into getting those tractors. We were patient and we had to bide our time. AND, we are paying for it out of our OWN pockets and donating the equipment to the Sanctuary. And neither are new. If I could figure out how to get around to finding a grant to finish paying off the tractors, that would be fantastic. But until then, don't say anything to me that would sound anything but sincere because I'm paying for it by myself....see, getting totally crabby now. :-)

I know from the outside looking in, everything is just peachy. But there's a lot people don't see and I won't post on this blog because it's a bit personal. So, if I get a little snippy or cranky, or downright crabby, I'm sorry. I'm just trying to figure out how to cope with all that's going on....stuff I've mentioned and stuff I haven't.

So if I don't  post again for awhile, we are around. I'm just trying to stay afloat. If you've emailed or left messages, I'll get there. I'm just trying to stay above water. After being taken down a few pegs on my ladder this summer, I'm just trying to hold on.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Working Weekend

Not really much to report. Last night the kids and I played outside, enjoying the warm weather. How can it be 70 degrees and the first of November? I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts. We are supposed to have warm weather today and tomorrow (70s!) So I'm going to take advantage of the crazy warm temperatures and try to get a few more outside projects accomplished.

We'd started waterproofing blankets but Mike thought using a weed sprayer would go faster. It made the job go faster but I don't think the blankets actually got waterproofed. I may just take out the ol' paint brush and go like crazy to get what I can done before the gallon of waterproofing runs out. I've been lacks on doing the Wishlist Wednesdays. I guess I should have wished for waterproofing!

I also want to try and squeeze in a little bit of painting on the little garden house. It's not directly used for the Sanctuary  but it IS the first building you see when driving up. I'd rather not have our entire place look like a poophole. So we'll see. I should have maybe asked for a gallon of exterior white paint while I was at it for the Wishlist Wednesday. I have neither paint nor waterproofing so we'll see if I have enough time in the morning to grab the materials I need.

We are also getting one step closer to finishing up more of the two remodels in the house. We are so close I can almost taste it. In fact, once the remodels are done in the house, I'll have more space and feel more relaxed. There's simply been so much to do and we are never home that nothing gets done.

Here's to a productive weekend. Daylight savings time may help some but with kids, it won't help us. But I'll take what I can get. Beggars can't be choosers.

Anyone want to come and help? We'll probably lose Sunday to family stuff but if we can spend even just a few hours Saturday afternoon getting things done, I'll feel better.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Turning a Blind Eye

I don’t remember when the news broke about the horses west river. I hate to admit it, but I turned a blind eye. I know others were more informed of the situation. I had faith that the situation wouldn’t be nearly as bad as it is. I can come up with any number of excuses on why I turned a blind eye.

I’ve had no involvement and just know what I’ve read, which is very limited. There is only so much that one person can manage and what was happening out west wasn’t one of them (too many personal goings-on to focus my attention). Now I wish I had paid more attention. The minute life slowed down long enough for me to think about the situation and read a little about it, there’s so much that I and we as a community could have done.

Standing from the sidelines, I’m seeing things unfold that aren’t right but there’s nothing I can do. I turned a blind eye and now it’s too late.

I was asked a couple of weeks ago if we were going to take in any of the horses. No. I am struggling to get the funds to pay for this year’s hay. I don’t have enough funds for another mouth, let alone make the trip and purchase a horse that will have significant medical issues to focus on. It hurts to turn a blind eye. We aren’t set up for wild horses. They aren’t really wild but not handled. But I’m not set up for that type of situation either. I have two small kids and very little time to even manage the horses that we do have now. How could I possibly bring in a horse that will need all of my attention? When we took in Chaos, he was an unhandled yearling. But I had the time back then to work with him, mess with him, get him used to being handled and to turn him into an awesome gelding.

So I turned a blind eye. I gave myself every excuse in the book to turn a blind eye. I feel like my hands are tied and yet I know the inevitable. Hundreds of horses will ship to slaughter and people are fine with it. I am not fine with it. Yet, I turned a blind eye for too long so what can I do? I have ideas but it’s too late.  And even if it wasn’t too late, I don’t have the funds. I’d need to work with a bunch of people to get a few of my possible ideas for helping up off the ground. I don’t know.

I hate that I turned a blind eye. I hate that my hands are tied. I hate that hundreds will die. I stand at auctions and see less than 100 horses and I struggle knowing that most of them will not see the next year. I can’t imagine looking at hundreds of horses and know that they will not see the next year. How can someone sign the death certificate for so many? This is not a game. We do not have the right to say who lives and dies and yet we do. Some people should not have that power. I am in charge of 14 sanctuary horses and I consider their health and life quality every day. And it weighs heavily on me, like it does for anyone who runs a horse rescue, or even owns an animal.  It is not a responsibility that should be taken lightly. They look to you for guidance, protection, shelter, etc.

So, how can I turn a blind eye knowing that hundreds will die? Yet, my hands are tied.

There is too many disjointed thoughts to really make a decent post. I just know that the magnitude of the situation is huge and yet I feel helpless. I feel as though I am standing at the edge of an abyss and if I were to take another step, I would fall in. How can I sleep at night knowing that I SHOULD do something and I COULD do something if I could figure something, anything out? How can I sleep at night knowing hundreds will die? If not this situation, there are others. Others standing in the slaughter pipeline waiting for their turn to leave this earth. I want to do something but instead I stand in front of the abyss turning a blind eye.

October in a Nutshell

Pphhheew, now that October is in the rear view mirror, I can maybe put my feet up for more than 30 seconds and get a few things done around the place. I love October but it seemed to have slipped away before I could enjoy the time.

I’ve been absent from much of Facebook and this blog because I’ve been a bit wrapped up in outside activities that don’t really relate to the Sanctuary, but take my time away from it.

So, lets see if I can do a month in review just to give you a taste of the chaos that has been my life. Some will be TMI (most of it really) and probably not appropriate for this blog but…it’s my blog and I’ll do what I like. Tehehe

October rolled in with planning for fundraisers and praying for decent weather. October 2nd, a very good friend hosted a Halloween Fundraiser Party and we raised $500, which is all going towards our Winter Hay Fund.

The following weekend was our annual playday (didn’t have it last year because I was on maternity leave and couldn’t get my brain in gear). After paying for arena rent, we made $400. We also received additional donations so all proceeds are going to the Winter Hay Fund. We are sitting near $1200 towards our $3500 winter hay bill. I’ve been picking up last year’s hay for now until we can get a load of hay delivered. My hope is that buying last year’s hay will help cut costs until the cold really sets in and we’ll need this year’s hay. But we are still struggling with getting any hay delivered.

The second weekend in October also saw me helping my sister pack and move to her apartment. It’s been a long time coming and everyone is happy to see her out of the house she’s been in. It’s the house she and her now ex-husband built a few years back and there’s nothing but bad memories in that house. Moving has been a five year process to get out of the house thanks to mortgage companies and other such oddities. But that’s all TMI. But it did mean that you can accumulate a lot of stuff in five years. So I spent lots of time packing and hustling to get what I could, done.

The third weekend in October was my birthday. I asked for one hour to myself so that I could prime the little garden house. I’d taken a day off earlier in the week to scrape the little building. But I only scraped three of the four sides. I left the side no one ever sees, knowing that I might not get enough time. I did discover that the top of the wind mill fell directly between the little garden house and the hay barn. When we moved in, we had a working windmill but that promptly stopped with the first wind. When the tornado blew through a few years ago, it took the top off. I never really bothered looking for it. And I discovered that it had fallen almost directly down and avoided both buildings. It’s a four foot span between the hay barn and the garden house so someone up above was watching over us. The top of that windmill could have easily come through the roof of either building, destroying it, costing us a ton to repair the building.

So on that Saturday, I was able to squeeze in two hours of priming and Mike scrubbed off the dirt on the blankets and lightly waterproofed the blankets. I wanted to use a brush and really coat them but he suggested a sprayer, which didn’t really give them a decent waterproofing, so we’ll see. We are looking at putting a second “coat” on but I’m betting it won’t really do the job like I want. But for now, it’ll have to do. Beggers can’t be choosers. I was able to spend two hours priming the little garden house but didn’t get everything done. My fear was that I wouldn’t’ get it painted and it’s the first building you see when driving up the driveway. We also made a quick trip up to Madison to pickup a load of hay. Our little flat bed can hold three big round bales. We need to buy a bigger trailer but for now, the little flatbed will have to suffice.

That following Sunday I was back at my sister’s packing and moving as much stuff as I could in the little bit of time I had. I was in go mode the entire time.

The fourth weekend, I finally got to do something fun for me! I’m the chair of the Minnehaha County Saddle Club and I had YET to be on a trail ride all summer so I went on the final ride of the year. I had planned, communicated, and posted all the information for each of our rides but hadn’t gotten to ride all year. I took Chaos because Maverick wouldn’t let me catch him. I spent over an hour pulling cockleburs from his tail. I chopped part of his mane and forelock. We are overrun with cockleburs.  I can’t remember what I did that Sunday, but I think I was able to finally get the little garden house finished, well primed anyway. I had to dig to find enough primer. Three sides and it took up 1.5 gallons of primer. That was some super dry wood. I had scraped it but you could hardly tell. I’m glad it’s primed and it makes me happy to see it, even if it’s primed and not painted. We are finally getting somewhere. I am the sole maintainer of outbuildings and it stresses me out. I hate being the only one to take care of everything. But that’s for a different grumbling post.

This past weekend I spent the entire weekend packing and moving my sister. She is officially OUT of that house and the final remnants of her terrible ex-husband are gone. She is free of the past and now moving forward, as we all can do. The past six years have been trying at best when it comes to that part of our family. I’ve tried to leave it out of this blog but it is a part of my life and my family is first and foremost. But now that she is in her OWN place, we can move forward and take a breath of fresh air.

I do need to do a bit of planning for a couple of fundraiser ideas but I’ve been so exhausted. Because in between all the building maintenance, packing, and moving, the paying job has decided to throw a wrench into everything. There’s been a lot of pressure since mid-June and I’ve been forced to prove myself time and time again and it’s rather exhausting. The past two weeks have been even more trying than normal. High priorities with little turn around time and then my sole work computer crashed….big and bad. As in, I lost everything. So the 20+ hours I’d spent on the high-priority that had to be done in 36 hours was GONE. And then I was left with no computer for three days. It’s been a struggle. So I’ve been a bit MIA from being online.

Not to mention there’s still the house fiasco I’ve been living in. That’ll teach me to try and remodel a room in the house. Ok, it’s two rooms but it’s been made abundantly clear that I am on my own for getting any remodel stuff done. But from the paying job stressing me out, making me spend extra time doing unimportant work, to caring for 16 horses and trying to fix buildings, and keep up with everyone, and taking care of two kids and all their holiday stuff, there’s very little time, if any to actually work on the house. So living in chaos hasn’t’ really helped the stress level. I know, I’m riding my pity train at the moment. I’ll be better in a day or two when I’m away from some of the stressors. I need to figure out how to remove more stressors. I’ve been doing that lately and it seems to be helping.

I’ve also been turning a blind eye to what’s been happening out west. I did start thinking about it the other day and it makes me angry and helpless. So I’m not really sure what to do. My hands are tied as it is. We are so small and I’m the only one doing everything with the Sanctuary. I want to do more, I want to do something that will make a difference (unlike my paying job but it pays the bills), I want to make people as passionate about the same causes as I am but I don’t know how. I want to work with others but no one wants to play nice with me. Share and share alike but no one seems to want to do it so we are all fighting the same fight but getting no where. I don’t know. I’m frustrated, so I’ll leave those comments for a different post…I’m sure it’ll come soon because I need to get a few things off my chest, not that it’ll make a difference but…I seem to do better with venting.

So, that’s been my life in a nutshell for the past month. Lets hope November is a bit calmer.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hello November!

I have all kinds of stuff I want to say but my system keeps crashing. So instead I'll just say that I will return with all that we've done...mostly non-horse related but I still want to share.. I have lots rambling in my head so when the system I am on will stop crashing, I'll post more.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Long Overdue Thank You!

I have a very long over due thank you coming to one of our supporters. I've been terrible lately about sending out thank yous to those that have helped the Sanctuary. So, here I am, MONTHS late but I guess better late than never.

WAY back this spring (was it that long ago??) I was grousing about this or that. Honestly, I was riding the pity train and we were going on a long distance trip. But then what should happen, but I grab the mail and see something that not only brightened my day but brought tears to my eyes. Our supporter, Lori H. knows EXACTLY when I need my spirits lifted. I honestly think she's one of our guardian angels and she's Rabbit's angel too! In the mail, those many months ago, was a gift card to Tractor Supply from Lori!!!

I hate to admit it, but I didn't use it until just recently. Not because we don't have a ton of stuff but because I wanted to make sure I wouldn't have buyer's remorse. I was torn between tires for my carts and wheelbarrow or over the fence feeders. I couldn't make up my mind, so there sat the gift card. And to be truthful, I was like a kid in a candy store...well, more like a girl in a tack I was really a Sanctuary in TSC!!!

But I finally broke down and used that coveted gift card to buy THREE over the fence feeders. Two in hot pink (my son picked them out), and one dark blue. I decided on feeders after trying to juggle one over the fence feeder, one bucket, and one pan dish back to the mares and Junior. Yup, over the fence feeders it is. I'll avoid showing you pictures of the tires that we need.

My son being "helpful"

But that's not all. Way back in late July/early August we got a request to take in an older mare. I had a feeling that this mare would be a hard keeper and there would be a lot of time, money, and heartache put into this mare. So, before I made any decisions I put the call out to see if we could gain funds to feed her over the winter. And wouldn't you know Lori H stepped up AGAIN to help. I did warn that we might not use the funds for the mare in case the deal fell through.

We also received funds from Melissa B. I warned her as well that the deal might fall through and asked if she wanted her money back and they both said no. So I decided to put funds from both Lori and Melissa into our winter hay fund so that we could feed Rabbit and Lace. Seems fitting that Lori's funds should go to Rabbit. :-)

Well, the deal fell through and the owner put the mare down due to neurological problems (that were not disclosed to us initially...I won't discuss my opinion on the situation).

But that's not all. Right when we were having our playday Lori H. stepped up again and donated more funds for our winter hay fund (because she couldn't make the playday and wanted it to be a success).  So I am late THREE TIMES!! THREE TIMES in telling her THANK YOU for helping us with the horses and making sure that they enjoy their hay and grain in style.

So, although I am slow in saying THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, late is better than never (I hope).

Thursday, October 20, 2016


This is yet another non-horse related post. I apparently am feeling philosophical lately. I think it's the nip in the air and thinking about life in general that has me in this mood lately. So, I'll warn you to read at your own risk.


I am always amazed at how resilient animals and kids are. I think of some of the predicaments that these kids and animals are in and I know I wouldn't handle the situation very well. Again, this is totally off topic but something that's bothering me.

I was at daycare picking up my kids when one of the teachers asked why one of the kids had two backpacks (one for school (in the same class as my son) and one to go to a parent's house). I know nothing more, nor do I want to. But I realized how resilient these kids are. So tiny and about the same age as my oldest and yet juggling something that even adults can't always handle.

Then I think of the animals. They too are resilient. Taken out of their home and given away because of circumstances that are out of their control. Yet they perceiver. I wish there'd be a study on perseverance or something like that. How can some animals (thinking Bo) be put into such terrible conditions and yet love people. He's just this happy go lucky guy even though he was near death. He doesn't hold a grudge against anyone (unless you're carrying a needle or a dewormer). Maybe he was just born a happy-go-lucky horse, I don't know.

But we should all take a page from their book. Life will go on and to look on the bright side of life. I've been down in the dumps lately, riding my pity train. I need to get off that pity train at the next station and start enjoying life. As I sit here (at home because my paying job lets me work from home one day a week), I'm looking out the window and seeing the beautiful colors. Yellows and greens and browns. It's an amazing canvas of color today even with gray clouds hanging over us. I used to think we never had much for fall colors. I apparently never paid much attention to my surroundings. I love fall. I just wish winter would be ...well, not winter.

So I don't think this post had really any point to it...other than to remind myself that the life I have is pretty darn good, even if I'm wearing my crabby pants. As life hands me challenges and obstacles, I too will persevere and continue on, making those experiences a part of me to make myself better.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Temper Tantrum

I had a temper tantrum last night so I didn't get ANYTHING done. Yup, that's right. Even as an adult, I still have temper tantrums. I may be headed in to another one later today but we'll see. Shoveling the chocolate and caffeine to help ward off another tantrum.

I now can compare my tantrums to my four year old's tantrums!

Hopefully later this week, I'll have more to report. I DO have a really good post but want to include some pictures first...because blogs are boring without pictures!

Monday, October 17, 2016


I would say "And this is how I spent my birthday on Saturday" but not really. I'd taken last Tuesday off to scrape the little building that used to be a grainery and now my garden house. I'd scraped three of the four sides and on the west side (the side I've half painted in the picture, I scraped as high as I could without getting an extension ladder).

I only spent two hours painting. I should have kept going beings that it was my birthday and painting was what I wanted to do. So I got almost all of the west side done, except where I couldn't reach to scrape. And just under half of the north side. I had thought maybe I could paint on Sunday before having to help with some family stuff. But the temps didn't help. And then it started to drizzle. And it's been drizzling ever since. I'm not sure if it'll dry out enough for me to finish painting or what. If it doesn't, I wont' get it finished priming until spring. I had hoped that at the very least, I could have it primed. Because that's the first building everyone sees when driving up the driveway. I know our place looks dumpy but I really am trying.

But I needed another hour to at least get the north side painted. I should have said the hell with it and kept painting.

We had originally thought we could pick up a load of hay but that fell through. We were able to get three bales to hold us over until next weekend. I'd been throwing small squares but with 16 horses, small squares go quickly. So we got three round bales in and netted and now the horses are happy. I had hoped to move the ponies to a different pen so it would be quicker to haul water but there's stuff in the way that needs a tractor (that I'm not allowed to drive...I wont' even go there on how unhappy that makes me).

I also dug out all the blankets. Unfortunately this spring, I took them off and threw them wherever. And that's exactly where they stayed until yesterday. I dug them all out and put them in front of the barn so I could take an inventory. I'm hoping the weather holds long enough for me to wash and water proof them. I had hoped to skip washing them but after pulling them out Saturday, nope, they are GROSSS. So, washing is in order. But on the bright side of all the terrible bathroom/plumbing remodeling, we did get hot water to the outside so I can wash horses and blankets with hot/warm water instead of freezing cold water. So hopefully I can do some scrubbing each not. But we'll see. The paying job has be hopping and if it's not the paying job, it's the extended family trying to get a few things wrapped up before the end of the month.

So, I'll be around, just not really in front of a computer. Anyone want to help me paint, wash blankets, or do other work around the place before the temps drop?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cranky Pants Humbled

It seems that every time I get my cranky pants on, life reminds me to get off my soap box and appreciate life. So I was grousing earlier (ok, down right venting, I'll admit it), and tonight right after picking up the kids (and wishing that I could just run away), a neighbor stopped out with his trailer and a round bale that he wouldn't need for the winter.

Yup, totally humbling.

This is the same gentleman who donated around 50 small squares of hay last month. He even volunteered to load it up, haul it to our place, and stack it wherever I wanted. Talk about humbling. And tonight, when he pulled in, I asked if he wanted help unloaded the bale. Mike wasn't around to unload it with the tractor. Nope, he said he would get it.

Yup, humbling.

So, after a few short hours of wearing my cranky pants, they are in the wash to wear on a different day. Instead I now think about how grateful I am.

Always when I'm down in the dumps someone surprises me and lifts my spirits (more on that tomorrow).

Venting - Ignore Me

I need to get this off my chest. Yes, I'm going to vent and it has very little to do with horses. I should probably just delete the whole damn post but I need to write it at the very least.

I have no time and no money and yet people cant' seem to get that through their heads. I work a 40 hour work week at a paying job like every other Joe Schmoe. I "choose" to live where I do, which means my commute to my paying job takes longer than most. In fact, just drive time to and from work (without involving kids) is 45 minutes one way. So, add 1.5 hours to my 8 hour day (well, 8.5 because of lunch) and voila I'm at 10 hours being away from my home, my horses, and my kids. How many hours are you away from your home and family on a given work day?

Then add in the fact that I'm caring for 16 horses ON MY OWN, not to mention the two dogs and a cat. Every animal on this place is MY responsibility. *I* am the only one caring for these animals. I'm having to give them what I can of my time but it's not enough. There is NO help. NONE. NADA. It's all me and there's not enough of me to go around.

There's my two very young, and very impressionable children. They are one and four. They'll grow up before my eyes and be gone so I dont' want to miss out on a minute and yet I am. I'm gone from them for 10 hours a day, then they crash and are asleep by 9pm and I dont' see them again until I pick them up the next day. I see them for 4 hours...FOUR. That's all I get to spend with my children, but I am also supposed to do the laundry, make supper, clean the house, do chores, and oh yeah, be the ever supportive and loving wife and not get mad when shit doesn't get done around's been FIVE months and I STILL dont' have an F-ing bathroom sink...never mind family complaining about me not havin a sink.

Never mind the carry over of my past horse life where I still am trying to function. I don't want to lose my friends but I don't have near enough time to dedicate to answering phone calls, text messages, IMs, and Facebook posts and comments.

I am tired. By the time I can finally sit at night, I'm exhausted. And the minute I sit, my lazy husband sits too. No, he's only worked an 8 hour day and been gone for maybe 10 hours and gotten to see the kids and not had to do any skirt work. There's no added pressure to do anything around the house. But that's for a different venting session. Did I mention he doesn't DO anything?

And there's so much pressure. I have a new boss at work so now I'm having to prove myself all over again. I'm also now being asked to study and become certified in something for work but I have to do it outside of work. I don't have the time. How the hell is that supposed to happen? I don't have the money to buy the test. I haven't gone back to the dentist because I dont' have the money to get the cavities filled that happened when I was pregnant with my daughter over a year ago. Apparently when I'm pregnant my teeth go to crap. I don't have the $500 to fix them either...and that's WITH insurance.

My husband once talked about soldiers coming back from war. That they experience PTSD but it's not really PTSD, it's the lack of support from the people around them. During war, you have people's backs, you support them, you protect them. But when you go back to the real world, you're on your own. I am feeling that extensively now.

I am on my own at work. I am on my own at home. I was told specifically that I will NOT receive any help on any projects around the house/sanctuary. So I am on my own. How can I maintain ALL of the buildings and the house to a livable standard without help? How can I do that and work, and take care of kids, and take care of animals, and try to find funding for the sanctuary, and keep sane? I'm not trying to be cheeky or anything. I'm just angry at the world because I'm left standing on an island by myself and the waters keep rising.

I keep getting pressured to do something. I can't do it and have made no bones about it because I don't have the money. The whole topic upsets me because I'm in a bind over it but I'll make it work. But I keep getting pressure. So this same person who is pressuring me contacted me on Sunday while I was helping my sister pack. My focus was getting as much done as I could because I had THAT day to get it done. THAT DAY ONLY. I don't have time to chit chat. My time is Mine and I dedicated it to that task not being pressured to do something that I know I'll have to say no.

So that same person contacts me again on Tuesday when I took the day off so I could focus on working around the place...because I am the ONLY one doing anything. I can't stop and send texts back and forth all day wasting my time. I have only so many hours in the day and I need to get it done. So I didn't respond. And guess what, Life happens. Kids happen. I didn't respond. Now, when I finally have thirty seconds to breath and respond...oops...someone else is interested.

I am going to walk away from the entire thing. That's what I am going to do. Remove one more stressor from my life and see what happens. I already removed one stressor by taking baby talk off the table. There will be no more babies at the sanctuary. And this topic that I'm so irritated over, there will be no more of that talk either.

People just don't understand that I have very limited time. And what time I do have, I want to spend with my kids. And when they are asleep, I'm usually asleep too or buried eyeball deep in some project that HAS to get done because if I don't, I'll have even more people on my case.

So, I may disappear for the next few days to get a few projects done.

Please ignore this post. I know it won't make sense. And once some of my projects are done, I'll be less stressed....but I need to vent. I am human. And there is only so much I can do. I am at my limit and at wits ends.

There is only me to do everything and I can't do it all. Not alone. Not without support. Don't get me wrong, I know there is support out there... I can see that just in the past two fundraisers and the generosity that people have bestowed. But the day-to-day stuff, I can't do it alone.

There is only me and I am alone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Crazy Past Few Days

I've been so busy the last few days I haven't had time to post anything. Here's life in a nutshell...some horse related, some not.

Last week I was prepping for our annual playday. I didn't host a playday last year because I was on maternity leave and my brain wasn't there. So having not had a playday in two years, I was scrambling to find everything that I needed again.

On Saturday, we held the playday. It was a success. People were so generous. I am humbled. I'll write more about it in another post.

On Sunday, I'd agreed to help my sister pack for her move across town but hubby wanted to do one final camping adventure. So I spent Sunday morning scrambling to pack and make sure everyone was fed and watered for me being gone overnight. By 1pm I was a packing machine and didn't stop packing until 9pm.

I had Monday off so that was part of the reason we went camping. Hubby, the kids, and I all hung out and relaxed, enjoying the final day of nice weather. I was itching to be home but wanted to enjoy the time too.

I took Tuesday off from the paying job and worked as frantically as I could. I'd originally taken the day off so I could wash and repair  blankets. But I have come to the conclusion that I will not get blankets washed. Instead, I'll be happy to dust off the dirt/grim and get them waterproofed and repaired  before the cold season is upon us. But when I woke up Tuesday, it was misting out so no waterproofing. I was disappointed but there was plenty to work on. Instead I focused on getting electric up in the mares' pasture. It's the same pasture that Bo and Junior some how escaped. I don't have all the electric up because I ran out of electric wire...go figure. I didn't have everything we needed but I made do with what I had.

I had to take a break from fencing when I realized I didn't have everything and would need to come up with a plan to make it work (which I did). So I tackled scraping the garden house. It's the first or second building you see driving up the driveway. The barn is the other building you see driving up the driveway but it's too big of a project for me to tackle so late in the season. So instead I worked on the garden house. I was able to scrape the north, south, and all but five boards on the west side. I'll leave the east for another time when I know I'll have enough time to get it scrapped and painted. I'll be pushing to get the three sides painted as it is.

I also  moved the mares' water tank over and got it ready for winter, basically I put it up on a pallet and put boards around it to keep the wind off the tank. I figure any little bit helps. I also started moving corral panels so that I can move ponies to their winter pen (which is slightly closer and much more protected). I also made up Junior's winter stall for graining. He needs to be separated during grain time so he gets all the grain and supplements. I was able to put together his pen. I'm trying to figure out how to put up another pen so that I can run Rabbit in to another pen so she can eat without being disturbed (and I don't have to halter the mares).

I still need to move corral panels around and get temporary stalls in the hay shed. I am planning on picking up a load of hay this Saturday if anyone wants to join me. I've been throwing small squares and I need to use them for emergencies and whenever I stall someone in the barn because I no longer have large squares to work with.

I still have a bunch of other work besides painting but could really use the help. I'm hoping this Saturday after hauling hay to put primer on the garden house. Even if I don't get a good coat of paint, a good coat of primer will hold until spring. I'm desperate. Anyone want to get a little painted?

I'll write more later but wanted to give you a rundown of the past four days in a nutshell.