Friday, April 28, 2017

I Love Progress

I love progress. I do so much better when there's momentum and I can see progress! Even something little is better than nothing.
I've spent this week making progress. Oh sure, it's really just little tasks that HAD to be done but I'd been putting them off because I wanted to give my full know, like writing Thank You cards to all our donors from Light the Night and doing those kinds of tasks. I am not good at multitasking so I want to make sure that what I do, I can focus all my attention.
We had to put hay in for the mares last night. I really don't mind putting in hay when it's light out. Even when I fight the hay net, there's really no grumbling because it's light and I can see. I guess I'm going to have to attach some glow lights to the hay net this winter when I'm doing chores in the dark all the time.
To put hay in, I had to go and pull the mares and Junior out and stall them (and let Rabbit wander). Then Mike has to go out and put the hay bale in and the ring on and I can go back out to finish my chores. The joys of having little kids.
Well, while Mike was out I asked him to finish filling the water tank AND get me a couple gallons of weed spray! I've been meaning to get those darn weeds sprayed for weeks but this past week was always rainy. But the sun came out for just a little bit and there was just enough sunlight left at the end of the day that I could get a few weeds sprayed. I was ecstatic last night. I went after every single burdock bush I could find and a ton of thistles. Most of the thistles popping up now are in the rosette stage. Next year they will actually bloom and then we'll be in a bigger mess. So I'm doing my best to attack thistles.
I only hit up the thistles near the house and yard. I still need to go after the ones in the pasture. That's going to be an all day task unfortunately. Anyone want to help me? This year I'm going to do some serious weed control. I'll let you drive the farm truck!
I'd gone out a couple years ago and sprayed the pasture but Mike had made it so weak that it didn't do a bit of good and I was pretty peeved. So this time I think Mike figured he'd better make it really strong. And I learned my lesson on applying the weed spray!
This morning when I went out to do morning chores, I noticed the burdock bushes up by the barn were looking wilted. It was hard to tell because we'd had a pretty good frost but usually up by the barn, things are protected. I hadn't expected to get a serious frost otherwise I would have covered some of my flowers. Hopefully they come out of it.
I'm going to take a walk this evening to see if the spray did any damage to the weeds and thistles by the house. Can't have little kids playing in thistle patches! Just knowing that I sprayed weeds made me happy. It's progress. Little progress but it's something. And it's something that *I* did. I've been waiting for others to do stuff and I'm not sure why. But I've learned that if it needs to be done, it has to be up to me. I really don't know why I thought someone else would do it. I guess because I always had Dad to rely on and he'd help. And the fact that the weeds (and other things ) weren't as bad as they've gotten. But now I see it and I'm making a difference. I know, it's a weird line of thinking all the way around.
Makes me happy to see progress. Now I'm simply waiting for our personal tax return and for the Ondura sheets to go on sale so I can start putting a new roof on the hay barn!! I will be EXCITED to get that task accomplished. The old cedar shingles are falling off left and right and the barn has been leaking for years. Now it's time to get it fixed. It's one of the five (I keep changing the number) major projects I want to get accomplished this year.
  • Reroof the hay barn
  • Reroof the old garage (which includes patching and fixing the weak spots in the roof)
  • Putting the roof back on the run in shed (the one the tornado blew off)
  • Painting the outbuildings (at least the barn and the tack room)
  • Fencing (focusing on permanently dividing the big pasture into four sections. It'll ruin the visual appeal but it's what's going to make our pasture last)...and fence in the CRP that is now no longer in CRP... we gained 5 acres. It's not great pasture but it's at least more room for the horses to roam. Now we just have to get the fence back up! After 10 years of no maintenance on fences, things fall apart!
 Anyone want to help with any of those tasks? It's progress. Or maybe I should ask it a different way...anyone want to see me giddy and happy?

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!

Where's Skippy - Day 5 (Last Day)

Where's Skippy - Day 5

Hint: It's somewhere in South Dakota

Leave a comment on where you think Skippy is at and you'll be entered into the drawing. Whoever wins this month, will be entered into the big drawing at the end of the year for a prize (TBD).

We'll post the winner hopefully early next week.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jim Napping

I caught Jim napping just now. Doesn't he look cute? (I accidently startled him when I tried to get a picture of Zeke napping...oops!)
I guess for being 30 years old, he can nap whenever he wants! He deserves his retirement.

I'm still trying to keep the momentum going after our annual Light the Night fundraiser. I'm so far behind on planning and organizing that I'm struggling a bit. All my fundraiser ideas keep coming to an abrupt end because they just are feasible with such limited time. So I guess we'll just see how the rest of the fundraisers go this year (if I can get anything going).

Happy Thursday (and Happy Napping!)

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to last year's Light the Night. A little different in where and when we had the fundraiser but still humbling and honoring. This truly is my favorite fundraiser.

Where's Skippy in April - Day 4

Where's Skippy - Day 4

Hint: It's somewhere in South Dakota!

Leave a comment on where you think Skippy is at and you'll be entered into the drawing. Whoever wins this month, will be entered into the big drawing at the end of the year for a prize (TBD).

Check back tomorrow and see where Skippy is going!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday: We wish for fertilizer for our pastures. The horses love having lush pastures to roam and graze.

Where's Skippy in April - Day 3

Where's Skippy - Day 3

Hint: It's somewhere in South Dakota!

Leave a comment on where you think Skippy is at and you'll be entered into the drawing. Whoever wins this month, will be entered into the big drawing at the end of the year for a prize (TBD).

Check back tomorrow and see where Skippy is going!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Quick Update

It's been a little bit since I've rambled about the goings-on at the Sanctuary. We had a successful Light the Night fundraiser. That has to be my favorite fundraiser because it's so humbling to me to see all those that are being honored.

I've been trying to keep Bo on grass as much as possible. He spent all of Sunday on the lawn grazing. My family came to visit for birthday celebrations and I pulled Chaos out for my nephew to ride. It's fun to watch as kids discover horses and the joys they bring. But while Chaos was being led around, Bo decided that he was supposed to follow Chaos. It was a funny sight. I also had Rabbit out but she doesn't go very far from her herd. Bo gave up following Chaos after once around the yard and went back to hang with Rabbit.

The wind was a bit much on Sunday but nothing unusual. I went to check on Rabbit and couldn't find her. She'd put her self in her stall that doesn't exist! I think she just wanted to get out of the wind. I don't blame her!

Later in the afternoon, my nephew was itching to get back on and ride so I saddled up Rain and took him. There's only three saddles that fit Rain. My normal western saddle, the Australian saddle, and an English saddle. I didn't think fast enough to grab my Australian saddle and my nephew fits best in my saddle so I grabbed the English saddle. I haven't ridden English since right after my daughter was born (over 1.5 years ago) and I only rode for about 5 minutes. I wanted to lift a light saddle (that's why I went with the English saddle rather than my heavy western saddle) for that brief ride. But it's been awhile since riding in an English saddle and then try leading another horse who prefers to eat grass over walking!! And Rain walks MUCH faster than Chaos and his poky gate. But I think my nephew had fun and that's all that mattered. Even Chaos seemed to enjoy himself.

btw: Chaos is MUCH bigger than Rain. This picture is deceiving.

I do think the horses would be much happier if I could spend more time with them like I used to. But for now, I'll hopefully have another helper around the place.

I decided to put Bo in a pasture to see if that would help with his ulcers. I missed a couple of times with his meds so am making up for it now. I don't think the omeprazole has really made a difference. Unfortunately, he's still wheezing and coughing so the cold never went away. But the omeprazole is super expensive and I know the vet is going to suggest another two weeks of treatment. Bo hates the medicine and requires me tying his head down just to get half of the paste in. He's getting better but I don't want to ruin it. So I'm sort of at a loss. I guess I'll call the vet this week and see what they suggest.

I'm holding off on calling the vet for Rabbit. I have not made the decision yet but I'm really only waiting for nice weather. The rest of this week is supposed to be rainy and dreary and I don't want to have to say goodbye with that type of weather. Call it silly, call it frivolous, call it whatever. But I want her last hours and minutes on this earth to be happy and filled with green grass and sunshine. Not rain/snow and cold. That's not the way to leave this earth. So instead I'll wait. She's no better, yet no worse than she has been for the past few months. But she has told me. I'm letting her enjoy some grass on the lawn but she doesn't wander far. It's time. And I know it. But putting all the pieces together is the tough part. I know some will think I'm crazy but the weather plays into it, the paying job has to give me time off, and I can't have other stuff going on. This weekend we have Mike's parents visiting so even if it was nice weather, I couldn't bring myself to make the appointment.

People sometimes ask why I don't get more done. Well, that's why. There's always something. Either there's kids to care for, extended family visiting or doing something, or the paying job. Like last night, it was 9:30pm by the time we finally got the kids asleep and I could sit and upload Light the Night pictures (and fight my computer and hates me!). Considering I have to be up at 5:30 am to get ready for the paying job, I can't spend too much time on the computer because I need sleep. I sit all day and read, so I need to be able to concentrate and not be exhausted every day while trying to get through the paying job. So, not as much stuff gets done. Would I love to have more help, Heck Yeah!!! So, if anyone would like to help, just let me know. I'm sure to come up with stuff that needs to be done, even if you don't live around here!!!

So that's what's been going on lately. Trying to keep up the momentum after the Light the Night fundraiser. Oh if only I could add three hours to my day!

Where's Skippy in April - Day 2

Where's Skippy - Day 2

Hint: Skippy is staying in South Dakota for his trip this month.

Leave a comment on where you think Skippy is at and you'll be entered into the drawing. Whoever wins this month, will be entered into the big drawing at the end of the year for a prize (TBD).

Check back tomorrow and see where Skippy is going!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Light the Night in Photos

The following are just a few of the pictures I took at our annual Light the Night. Check out our Facebook page for all of the pictures.

Where's Skippy in April - Day 1

Where's Skippy - Day 1

We'll even give you a hint on where you think Skippy is at today. All of the places on Skippy's vacation this month are in South Dakota.

Leave a comment on where you think Skippy is at and you'll be entered into the drawing. Whoever wins this month, will be entered into the big drawing at the end of the year for a prize (TBD).

Check back tomorrow and see where Skippy is going!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Where's Skippy - March Locations Revealed

I am revealing the March locations but still need to figure out who the winner is. The results of the winner will come later this week!

But for now, here's where Skippy went in March. He traveled to Ireland.

Day 1: Cliffs of Moher

Day 2: Cooley Peninsula

Day 3: Glendalough

Day 4: Skelligs Island

Day 5: The Burren

Where's Skippy - February Locations Revealed

I have been naught about keeping up with Skippy and now that he's on yet another vacation, I figured I'd better at least catch up with where he's been in February and March. So here's the places that Skippy was at in February. His February vacation was focused on romantic locations.

Day 1: Anguilla, Caribbean Island

Day 2: Aspen, Colorado

Day 3: Belize

Day 4: Bora Bora

Day 5: Chachapoyas

Day 6: Kauai

I still need to announce the winner of February's guessing. The results should be coming soon!

Light the Night

Saturday was our annual Light the Night fundraiser. And once again it was a total success. I think this is my favorite fundraiser and it's more humbling and honoring for me than for others.

We joined up with Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue during their Help-A-Horse Spaghetti Dinner and Dance fundraiser. Maybe next year we can participate in the ASPCA's Help-A-Horse event. We'll see. Life seems to be throwing me curve balls as of late. Nothing major, just me adjusting to life.

I did want to share just a couple of the pictures from the event. I need to get the rest of them off my phone but my phone and computer don't play nice these days. So hopefully I can get some of the pictures posted here and all of them posted on our Facebook page.

But for now, here's just a few of the luminaries to enjoy.

Where's Skippy in April

It's that time again where Skippy goes on vacation! For his April trip, he decided to stay closer to home and travel to different parts of South Dakota!

To play the game, Skippy will post a picture of where he's at. All you have to do is leave a comment on where you think he's at. Then you'll be entered in to win this month's game.

Whoever wins each month, will be entered to win the big prize (TBD) in December.

Don't worry about whether your guess is right or not. We just want to see how many people can guess where Skippy is at.

And I'll be better about posting where Skippy actually was after each month (I've dropped the ball).

So check back every day this week to see where Skippy is at and leave a comment for a chance to win.

Happy Guessing.

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.

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to last fall. I (and the horses) are so ready for pasture time!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday

This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for Strategy grain. We've found that Strategy mixed with senior feed helps keep the weight on. It's what Bo and Junior have been on all winter and it's done wonders for Junior (not so much Bo but there's more to Bo than just grain).

You can find Strategy at TSC for $15 a bag. Want to donate a bag to help ease the cost of feeding our hard keepers? 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Light the Night

Don't forget about our upcoming Light the Night Saturday April 22nd. A $5 donation will light a luminary of a loved one (two-legged or four). I'll provide more info but would love the help in spreading the word and really lighting up the night with our fundraiser, Light the Night.


Super stressed this week. And now I'm dealing with a migraine. Came on fast last night but at least I'd gotten by chores done. I have thoughts on my mind but can't seem to put them into words just yet. Worried about Bo. And I think Rabbit has told me it's time. Just so very hard when their body is giving out but when you stand and look at them, they are fat. I'm so used to dealing with weight loss and the visible signs that anyone can see. Dealing with pain management is a bit new for me. But she was off her grain last night and didn't even touch it. I think she's telling me to let go but Im really struggling for some reason.

Paying job has me super stressed. Lots of high priorities that HAVE to be done with very little time to get it accomplished so the Sanctuary stuff gets pushed. Not a big deal if it wasn't this week. I had something I wanted to work on and it has to be done and now I'm not sure if I'll get it done.

Stressed, exhausted, and a little sick. After this week, I'll be back to being right as rain but until then... so I  might not post much for the next couple of days.