Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Real Reason I Didn't do a Fall Triathlon

I have been waiting for a while to share some exciting news. 

We will be adding to our family in May!

I found out in August, just days before the Pumpkinman and Maniac Triathlons.  I was hoping to do the Maniac Tri this year, but because it is my first pregnancy and I was so early in it, I decided it would be best to skip it this year.  I have been keeping up with workouts for the most part, still running, biking and swimming, just not all on the same day.  In fact, Moose and I ran in a 5K this morning.

I have been incredibly lucky and have not really been sick at all.  I have been a little tired and once in a while feel generally kind of blah, but overall, it has been smooth sailing.  I am really hoping that it continues this way. 

Here are some pictures of the little alien baby.  If you are not into these kind of pictures (I'm not), I apologize.  They are mostly for family and so that Ella can see a picture of her cousin.

Here is a 2D frontal picture.  I think it is cool that you can see 2 arms/hands and 2 legs/feet when the baby only measures 5cm.


The first time I rode her was in December of 1992 and she started bucking when I asked her to canter.  There was something about the little mare that I loved anyway and I bought her.  She was the first horse that I bought with my own money, saved from selling 4H market lambs at the fair.  We brought her home on a very cold night after my grandpa had built her a stall in our old cow barn.  After all, there was no way I could let her sleep outside like the other horses.

Janie and I had many adventures from trail riding to pony club, hunter paces and events, and LOTS of roundy round shows.

She had the best personality and even had a few tricks up her sleeve.  She could shake and "say please" and gave the best pony kisses.

I sold Janie after leaving to be a working student in Virginia.  She had two other owners, but I was able to keep up with her wherabouts.  Her last owners cherished her as much as I did.  In 2008, they offered har back to me for retirement.  I was thrilled to have her back, relaxing in my backyard.  Thank you so much Heather for letting me have this time with her!

Janie taught so many kids how to ride.  I think Ella and I were the lucky ones to have the last ride on her.

The last two winters were pretty tough on Janie.  She wasn't able to gain much weight back over the summer, so the difficult decision was made to have her put down this fall.  I did OK during the actual procedure and burial, but haven't really been able to talk about it or think about her until now.

Janie was so loved.  I am glad that she had a long life and had the last few years to enjoy retirement.  I will always remember her cute, fuzzy face, her gentle nicker and the best pony kisses.


I haven't posted anything for a very long time, but that doesn't mean that there hasn't been anything happening around here.

I had a great summer with Odie.  He really is a terrific horse and a really quiet and willing 3 year old.  Odie competed in two team penning events, went on several trail rides and even went swimming!  He never put a foot wrong and was always willing to try whatever was asked of him.

Unfortuntely, in May, I found out that Odie is a bilateral cryptorchid.  That means that even though he was sold to me as a gelding and appeared to be a gelding, he was actually a stallion who had undecended testicles.  This is a problem that can be rectified with surgery, but a very costly surgery with a 6 month recovery time.  It really was not something that I could afford to take on and it really limited my options on where he could live.

I contacted his previous owners who own a horse business and breed horses, hoping that they would work something out with me, or take him back for the same money that I paid for him.  The conversations did NOT go well, to say the very least.  After talking to Greg and a few other professionals, I found myself submitting paperwork for a small claims trial.

The situation was quite tense and I was really nervous about going to court.  Overall, it went really well.  In the court, I told my story, submitted verterinary paperwork, bills and the original bill of sale.  The previous owners spoke a lot about his registration papers (really a moot point since registration papers can be filled out by anyone, education and horse knowledge not required) and the fact that they didn't know he was a cryptorchid.

In the end, I won the case.  The previous owners had to reimburse me for the cost of the horse, the vet bills and the court fees.  They also had to take Odie back, which was the hardest part.

You are greatly missed Odie.  I hope you are showing someone else what a great little horse you are!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ranch Sorting

Melanie and Gus

Despite the wind and freezing temperatures, muscle pains and illness, my friends and I took our horses to a ranch sorting clinic.  All of our horses met some cows a few weeks ago, but this was their first time actually working cows and learning to play by the rules.

Me and Odie

Here's a quick run down of a ranch sorting event -
  • There are two connecting pens with a gate in the middle with 12 cows on one side
  • Cows are numbered 0-9 with 2 unnumbered cows
  • The object is to move cows from one side to the other in order beginning with the number the announcer calls.
  • If any of the cows cross the line in the wrong order, or any unnumbered cows cross the line, you are eliminated.
  • Riders ride in teams of 2 and take turns cutting the cows and manning the gate.
  • If you do really well (fast with lots of cows), you can win money.
Becky and Maverick

All three horses did really well all day.  With a little practice, health on our side and some warmer temperatures, I think we could be really good!

Melanie and Gus and Me and Odie

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung here in Maine, a little earlier, a little warmer and a lot drier than normal.  Here on the mini-farm there is a lot happening.  Greg added some dirt and some weed block to the garden.  The asparagus bed is finished and the rest of the garden is ready to be planted. 

The ducklings and chicks that we ordered have arrived and will soon be ready to be on tick and slug patrol.  For now, they are happily peeping under the heat lamp and driving Gauge absolutely wild!  (pics to follow)

I had to build a second chicken coop to accommodate all of the fowl.  The ducks are moving into the small house attached to the garden and chickens will now live on the other side of the goat shed.  Herbie and Fergus were extremely interested, but not overly helpful, in the construction of the new coop.

Last weekend, we competed in our first triathlon of the season at the University of New England.  The race was very well run, the weather was fabulous and Greg was thrilled that it was a short pool swim.  To top it off, we stayed with Sarah and Jason and got a chance to visit with my mom and play with Ella while we were there.  They even came to cheer us on at the race.  Thanks guys!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


We have been trying to make the most out of the little snow that we have.  I found a great place for cross country skiing in Waterville called Quarry Road Recreation Center.  We have only made it down there once, but the weather and the trails were great.

At home, we been doing a little work on the house.  We have removed the bar and added an office loft.  Greg is excited to have his own office space and it really defines the kitchen.  A new and smaller bar will be build soon and then the flooring projects can begin.

I have been down and out with a bad case of the stomach flu and am currently at the laundry mat doing sick bedding as we speak.  Later, I will decontaminate the rest of the house.  I am very hopeful that Greg will not come down with it.

We still don't have much snow which makes for an icy driveway, but easy walking in the woods.  The dogs love to investigate the bog.  We're still hoping for at least one big snow before the end of winter!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Ready

The pond is ready for skating!

 Greg and I shoveled and swept off the little snow that we had.

Moose loves winter.  It is the only time that he benefits from having a pond in the backyard.  It is much easier to get the ball when you don't have to swim.

There is a pretty strict no skate policy on the left side of the pond, where the stream enters.  I tried to make that clear with the snow line.  Though I don't think any one would drown, I bet the water is pretty chilly right now. 

We are ready for winter, but still waiting on snow so that we can get the skis and snowshoes out.  

What We've Been Doing Lately

Not a whole lot.

The surgery was kind of an eye opener for me as to how much one relies on their stomach muscles.  I was able to get off the couch and out of the house a few days after the surgery, but still couldn't really do much. I have never been more bored in my life.

Christmas was quiet, with a little Dutch tradition.

We did get out and do some easy hikes in Orland and in Camden.  It was just a little icy.

This is what Moose has been up to, pretty much all the time.....

The other dogs do this most of the time.....

And the outdoor animals......

Those goats will do anything to get to their food!