Showing posts from October, 2009

In which I share scary stories of ghosts and hauntings for Hallowe'en

It's Hallowe'en at last, my favorite holiday!!! To celebrate, I've recorded a few of my favorite scary horse stories--not the kind with huge vet bills, but the kinds with GHOSTS and HAUNTS and DEVILMENT! Enjoy! If the embedded code fails me (again), you can go here for the story Devilment And here for The Ghost Horse of the Chuckanut Hills . Devilment: Ghost Horse: Happy Hallowe'en! (if you dressed up yourself and/or your animals, send pictures and links to me, and I'll post them here tomorrow!)

In which I make plans to write **A LOT* and invite others to join me

Mid-October last year, I stumbled upon an idea that changed my life for more than a month (and quite possibly a lot longer than that): I wrote a novel in a month. Let me 'splain: I have been "writing" ever since I learned how to form letters. I write letters, emails, informative articles for magazines like Endurance News and some rather obscure library publications, and (obviously) I blog. However, I've never been happy with my fiction-writing. I would always start off with plenty of enthusiasm, and after writing 3 or 4 chapters, I'd go back to look at the marvelous stuff I had created...except it wasn't marvelous. It was a first draft. It was dreck. Dreck! I had written dreck! I hate dreck! In disgust, I would burn, shred, or delete the dreckish creation and then go back to writing good stuff. Non-dreckey stuff. Informative, well-researched stuff. Not imaginative stuff, mostly, but at least it wasn't dreck. National Novel-Writing Month (calle

In which there are goats, a wheelbarrow, and an unrequited love

It's Sunday. It's raining. What can I possibly blog about? Something silly. Something with goats. Something with a horse in it..... Well, I've been playing around with YouTube tonight. So here's something silly to make us all laugh on a rainy Sunday evening. Stay warm and dry--and enjoy!

In which Hallowe'en approaches, and I propose a costume party

What's your favorite part of Hallowe'en? The jack o'lanterns? The ghost stories? Trick-or-treating? I like the costumes best! (Yes, I also like scary stories, but I'll save that for a future post). I think we should have an International All-Blog Hallowe'en Costume Party! You are invited to the party, even if you live far away! Post some photos of yourself and your animals -- especially horses -- in costume on a blog or website, and send the link to me. On Hallowe'en Day, I'll post them here and we'll have a party. Cake, candy, bobbing for apples, pin the tail on neighbor's donkey. And everyone can wear their favorite costumes! Here are a few photos to get you started: There's a blog that might inspire you as well: Get your costumes together, and let's have some fun!

In which our hens sometimes choose odd locations to lay their precious eggs

All the books about chicken-raising recommend that a "dummy" egg (plastic, wooden, or stone) be placed in the laying boxes so that hens--who cannot be accused of intellectual brilliance by anyone who is paying attention--will lay their own eggs in a good location instead of, for example, under the wheel of the tractor. None of the books about chicken-raising mention the ability to discern color, but it's pretty clear that, if our Minerva Louises have noticed that the fake eggs in their nest boxes are unusual, they probably attribute the bizarre colors to some other hen. They settle right down each morning on top of the yellow, pink, and orange plastic eggs and lay their own eggs in the same little nest. In some cases, they settle right down and apparently break open the little seam on the side of the plastic egg: I have found two eggs like this. What the....??? The first time, I thought maybe Jim or Willy had put an egg inside the plastic to play a joke on me. The

In which the rain comes a-tumblin' down...for a while, anyhow

The horses were SO WET this morning that I couldn't stand it: I put their blankets on them. Normally I don't blanket these two, especially when temps are in the high 40's. However, the rain was just so heavy, there was no way that they would dry out without some help. They certainly had no intention of standing under the trees and out of the rain. Sigh. This is how much water fell from the sky this morning: I emptied the water from Hana's feed pan when I fed her, around 8:30. I put in her pelleted feed, which she vacuumed up in about 3 minutes (she doesn't get very much, she's already plush enough!). Two hours later, I took the photo below: That is a LOT of water, even by Swampland standards! Fortunately, we have lots of horsey-raingear, especially for days like this. I put a polarfleece cooler on under the waterproof/breathable turnout blanket. A few hours later, I swapped the wet cooler and blanket for a dry set. As soon as I put the dry gear on her, F

In which the rain begins for real but I have a bunch of coping skills

A blogfriend who lives in California recently had a close encounter with a Swamplands-style rainstorm. BootsandSaddles4Mel was hoping to hunker down in a warm, dry, and comfortable spot to wait out the rain, but she was concerned (rightly) about her California-girl horse, who was running around in the rain and mud, making herself (and Mel) wet, dirty, and cranky. Mel managed to get her horse warm and dry and comfortable, but commented that she lacked the proper raingear for her horse and herself. Here in the Swamp, we are experts at rain. So, for those of you in Dry Places, I'd like to offer a Brief Tutorial In Wet Weather Coping Skills. Part One : Keeping the Rider Dry I want to note here that the stuff I've specified below are choices for a wet and rainy day , when the air is 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Gear for colder temperatures is similar, but includes extra stuff that I will write about in a later post. Still, it is important to know that even when the temps

In which I look into the tack room, and marvel at the stuff in there

Nuzzling Muzzles recently posted about the contents of her tack "bench", and then Lytha wrote a post about her tack room/stall. I don't have a bench, and I don't have a tack room. I have a.... (insert sound effect: drumroll and trumpet fanfare) horse trailer. It's parked next to the horses' paddocks (where we will build a being an issue...) and it is conveniently stocked with all kinds of useful stuff. Trailer door, top section pirate stuff: magnets, signs, piratical duct tape, skull beads and feathers red notebook: emergency information, contact info for doctors, vets, parents, etc. If we are ever likely to need information in a hurry, it's in the red notebook. green notebook (not visible, it's tucked behind the red notebook) : photocopies of horse registrations, truck registration and trailer registration. current vet records for any horses I haul, including health certificates and coggins. lifetime brand inspectio

In which the strawberry plants behave in an unusual manner

I wasn't late for work, but I was definitely heading out of the house on time when I heard the strawberry bushes clucking. buk-buka-rhaaaaaaahr.... On Haiku Farm, the wind whistles, the trees whisper, and my heart sings. However, the strawberry bushes have always been pretty quiet. bukka-bukka-rhaaaaaaahr.... I remembered a story that I like to tell, about the African trickster-hero Anansi the spider. One day, Anansi carves a little hole in a melon and climbs inside to eat the sweet, juicy melon. He eats and eats and eats, and when he is finally done eating, he has gotten too fat to fit through the hole. He is stuck inside the melon! So, he sits down to wait to get skinny again. Before Anansi can get skinny, he hears the gardener outside the melon, working in the garden. Anansi decides to play a trick on the gardener, and so he starts talking. The gardener hears the voice, and thinks that the melon is talking--how extraordinary! Surely a talking melon must be shown to

In which I ask the question, "How do you know for sure that THAT'S your horse?"

Some Canadian friends like to tell the story about the time they were stopped at the Can/Am border on the way to an endurance ride in the States. The American border guard carefully examined their passport and the horses' paperwork. Then he took the papers back to the horse trailer and looked inside the trailer at the two geldings standing quietly inside. After a minute, the guard returned to the cab with papers in hand. "Are you sure," asked the guy in one of those pompous-uniform voices, "that the horses you've represented on these documents are the same horses you have in the trailer?" My friends were sure, having just loaded those horses in broad daylight a few hours earlier. "...because," continued the border guard, "neither one answers to his name!" While the horsaii readers finish laughing and mopping tears of mirth from their eyes, I will explain to the non-horsey-readers that horses are almost never called by their "rea

In which I read a book, and learn a lot about Standardbred horses

It's not surprising that I read a lot of books--I am a librarian, after all. However, I never expected to learn so much about the horse in my backyard by reading a book about a horse who is only distantly related, who lived about a century ago, half-a-continent away from Haiku Farm. And yet.... Crazy Good: the true story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America by Charles Leerhsen is a fabulous book, and it taught me a lot about Standardbred horses in general, the history of trotting and pacing horses in particular, and a certain 7-year-old Standardbred mare specifically. Dan Patch was the very first athletic superstar in America, a horse who earned more than a million dollars a year in product endorsements in 1904 when Ty Cobb was making twelve thousand dollars a year playing baseball. Dan Patch was the lucky product of a breeding planned by two drunk guys. The colt was a son of the famously fast and exceedingly dangerous stallion Joe Patchen (his image graces th