Showing posts from June, 2010

In which the family returns to ridecamp for a week of trail work

Our family is in camp right now, building and riding mountain trails with our friends. We'll be back next week--please leave a message. beeeeeeeeeeep!
Thanks for all the comments yesterday, everyone!

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled lifetime.

Before we were interrupted by the bad-customer-service tango, we were packing up to leave for camp....

This is a photo of my trailer tack room BEFORE I packed stuff for our week in the wilderness. Lots of stuff, but we actually use most of it.

Willy helped pack the hay. I can do it all myself if I have to (and have done it many times alone), but if there's a herky 17-year-old available, I'm certainly clever enough to ask for help!
We'll be gone a little more than a week, and the horses will be working hard, with limited time available for grazing in camp. That means we need to take THREE bales of hay. The hay takes up so much room, I've learned how to pack everything carefully so I can get to the essential stuff en route if necessary, and still pack the trailer so nothing tips or tumbles.
The camper is kept in a state of readiness, because sometimes we just toss it on the t…

In which customer service is mostly underwhelming for cameras

I've put some serious miles on my camera since I bought it last August.
Still, I think this

was a little premature, given that's it's not a year old yet.
It's not a photo of a very black leaf. It's a black blob. Looks sorta like a geoduck, or maybe Mick Jagger's lips. Certainly, it doesn't look like a picture of Mimsy, who was supposed to be the subject of the photograph.
So, yes, the day before we leave for a week in the most beautiful wilderness area on the planet, my camera broke.
But, wait. I purchased an extended warranty. I'll just return it to the place I bought it and they'll replace the camera. Easy-peasy?Not.

Stand in line for 10 minutes, check.
Be told by some poor disempowered wage slave that I've stood in the wrong line, and need to go stand in another line, check.
Stand in second line for 20 minutes, check.
Be told by disempowered wage slave #2 that she can't do anything and that I need to contact the manufacturer directly,

In which we are packing for camp, and Chicken Number Twelve learns a trick

We're getting everything packed and ready to go for an early-Saturday-morning departure for the Renegade Rendezvous ridecamp, so I haven't written much (except a few posts that were supposed to be on "delay release" but Blogger was being stupid...stay tuned to see if I actually got it to work...I'm still not sure...).

Anyhow, between cleaning/mending/replacing equipment that we'll need and getting it all crammed into the various corners of the rig, there hasn't been much time for taking pictures and writing, but I promise that I'll write at least one more post before we leave into the non-electronic wilderness.

Meanwhile, amuse yourselves with some photos of Chicken Twelve. Twelve is still running wild in the yard, and has eluded all our local predators for nearly a month. We're slightly amazed, but willing to encourage her eccentricities...obviously.

The dogs merely wonder if the chicken is going to get all the good treats, ...and not leave any …

In which the Summer Solstice Party's guest of honor fails to show up

Celebrating the first day of summer without the sun: Swamp Party! "Rain" tea, ah well. It
still tastes pretty good if you
heat it up a bit.

Jim's traditional
Solstice bonfire: welcoming
the sun with propane.

Our garden garlands
ask for peace on earth and, please,
a little sunshine?

Some folks--you might say
"the smart folks"-- ride out the rain
inside the warm house!
Outside, the rain slacks a bit. Librarians and horse folks enjoy it.
The Guardian Owl is a source of concern to some party-goers. Librarians don't
fear the Plastic Guardian.
They are brave like that.
Most folks enjoy the fire and food and friendly talk even in the wet.

Cute kid with hot dog. (Cue the ominous music.) Dog moves in for feast!
Hoist the mainsail, ye scurvy bilgerat! I'm Pirate B-dog the Hungry!

In which we celebrate Saturday Stories : Directional Poem

Directions to the Farm

Get into your efficient shiny city car
Stickered with pithy city wisdoms, and drive
into the biggest traffic jamnation you can find.
Inch between delivery vehicles with your AM Radio
keeping you alert, the shrill insistent messages drilling
essential information and the essential advertisements of impending crisis.

Keep driving.

When the grim grey streets beside the freeway
Start to give way to gentler, greener places wandering away to parts unknown,
take the off-ramp.

Your radio station gradually changes
The syndicated city cynicism fades
The speakers play somebody’s mama twanging a banjo and
Humming a bluegrass tune.
You join in on the chorus, although
You’ve never heard the song before now.

Re-fuel at the gas station that also sells coffee and fresh eggs
and worms,
The attendant may greet you and show you the poster on the
Cash drawer: the local theater group performs tomorrow; her daughter
Is in the show. Maybe she’ll see you there, that would be good.

Roll down the windows. Han…

In which something bad happens, but not to anybody at our farm

When I went riding Saturday afternoon with Jennifer and her "baby" horse Mateo, the sun was shining, the horses were happy, and all seemed right with the world.

Later that day, apparently, somebody left the trailhead, and within 3/4 miles of leaving the parking lot, the back door of their horse trailer opened, and a horse fell out and was dragged for more than a mile.

Link to the article in the Seattle PI

Accusations have been flying, names are being named, and everybody is upset about the horse's gruesome end.

Have you ever had a bad feeling while you were hauling your rig? Have you ever stopped the truck to run back and check on a door that is already secure, just because you couldn't quite remember if you'd latched it tightly already?

I have.

I've even blocked traffic to do it. And after reading the reports, I will now continue to smile and wave apologetically at the angry drivers behind me as I hop out of my truck and race to the rear to check it wheneve…

In which a party invitation is extended to our Blog Friends

We're having a party, and readers of this blog are invited!
Won't you join us?

Come to Haiku Farm, meet the horses, pet the goats, laugh at the dogs, admire the chickens, and have a lovely afternoon.

We'll supply hot dogs and marshmallows, plus a nice fire for cooking them. You bring food to share, plus your friends and family.

DATE: next Sunday, June 20th
(it's Father's Day--you can bring your dad!)

TIME: 4ish to 8ish (earlier or later is good, too)
PLACE: Haiku Farm, The Swamplands USA (email me privately for directions: aarenex AT haikufarm DOT net) We look forward to seeing everyone!

In which I stand on a soapbox and talk about training Miss Fiddle

Let me begin by saying that I'm not a professional horse trainer, and I don't even want to pretend to be one. I do not fix problem horses, I don't offer advice about tack or equipment for other people, and I don't put my horse on a pedestal as an example of a Well-Behaved Horse.

I do, however, believe that every time you interact with another living being, you are teaching something and you are learning something. Every single time.
Think for a moment about the last interaction you had with another living soul. Did you order the dog out of the kitchen? Did you kiss your son on the forehead? Did you promise your spouse that you would pick up bread and milk at the store? All of those creatures learned something about you. What did you teach them?
Those creatures had some reaction to your behavior. Did you like the reaction? Do you intend to change your behavior to get a different reaction, or repeat your behavior to get the same reaction again? They are shaping your behavio…