Ramblings of a Flower Addict

A blog for one who should, in theory, not have a blog.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Classic Fino Por Favor

I went to the Paso Fino show at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds today. I have ridden a Paso Fino, but it was a long time ago and I really didn't learn much about them. My impression was of a very collected gaited horse that was on the small side. My impression was correct, but there is much more to learn. One thing I was reminded of is that no matter the discipline or style, a good horse is still a good horse and vice versa. Once I understood the different classes, it was pretty easy most of the time to pick out the order the horses would place. Of course as in all judging, some of the classes were much closer and harder to pick. It did make me wish that I had stayed in horse judging at MSU! That is a job I would enjoy!

For those that don't know, the "classic" fino is a gate in which the horse has a lot of animated motion, but has very little forward movement. One of the people that I struck up a conversation with told me that less than 5% of the Paso Fino horses can achieve the collection necessary to perform that gait.

Anyway, long story short....now I wouldn't mind to have a Paso Fino. :)

Although the bleachers did get excruciatingly hard, it was an enjoyable and educational day. The only regret is that I didn't get to ride. At every horse event I go to I end up wanting to grab at least one of the horses and take it for a spin. Maybe next year....

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Just put a gate there...please!?!

I love my husband. You all know that I do. However, I am finding that fence building is more of a strain on our marriage at least than all of the other (supposedly) stressful things that married couples go through. (moving, buying a new house, changing jobs, etc)

While deciding what the layout of the fence will be we must obviously decide where gates should go. Now I am all for saving money, but I also know the frustration of trying to move animals around in pens that are not set up correctly. Duane believes that we should only need 2 gates...one for each pasture. I, on the other hand, know that when you are trying to get a halter on an unbroke yearling, or a difficult calf in a trailer, you always need a gate or a fence where there isn't one. So, my logic is to install a couple more "just in case" gates. It would be darn difficult to add a gate after the fact. So when Duane asks where I want the gates and I tell him, we usually get into a "why there?" discussion. Which is never won by either of us. I usually tire of the debate long before Mr. "plan it out on the computer" can see documentable evidence proving the need for a gate in just that location....sigh....

On another subject...
I have found my dream horse. Really. Like the horse of all horses that I thought I could never, ever afford. He is a 6 year old Thoroughbred. Retired from the track and lives in Hilliard, OH at New Vocations TB Rescue ranch. Basically, they take in TB's that didn't make it on the track and try to find new lives and jobs for them. It really is a great program and one that I can't wait to be able to support. I have to be realistic about our space constraints so have decided that I really should have no more than 5 of my own. I already have one (that will be moving to our place as soon as the fence is up) and have talked to a lady in AR about a TB mare that she wants to lease out for a year, so that leaves room for 3more! Hilliard is quite a haul and there are some safety precautions that you must take with these ex-track horses so it may be a while before we get any. Meanwhile I'm scheming schemes and planning plans....

Monday, May 08, 2006

What kind of egg is that?

For those of you that have been wondering if I dropped off the face of the earth, rest assured...that is not the case. We have had a few minor "techinical difficulties." The phone service was installed as planned but we only had service for one day before lightening struck the phone lines. So... new lines had to be run. Which of course meant waiting for an opening in Duane's schedule. Satellite internet has proven to be a challenge due to all of the trees surrounding the house so we currently have dial up. That really doesn't concern me, but Mr. Technology is about to have a fit.

There has been much activity on the farm of late, but my most exciting acquisition is 23 Guinnia eggs and 2 goose eggs. The goose eggs were more or less an accident as they just happened to be in the box of guinnia eggs that I was frantically bidding on at the livestock auction last Saturday.
It went something like this...
(my friend Stacye went along for the entertainment)
(me) Hey Stacye. What are you doing today?
(her) Nothing
(me)Want to go to the Livestock auction in Bolivar?
(her)Sure...What are you buying?
(me)I'm looking for guineas.
(her)What's a guinea?
(me)A bird...sort of like a chicken.
(her)Ok...????

Upon arrival...
(me)Let's go look to see if there are any guineas in there (the sale ring)...
(her) Ok
(me)What are those? Are those guineas?
(her)Don't ask me. I didn't even know a guinea was a bird.
(me)Good point. I wonder if I can find some nice old man to ask that won't think I'm stupid.
(Silence on the part of friend Stacye. We'll try not to think about what the silence implied)

(other auction goer) did you see those baby duck? Aren't they cute?!?
(me) sure are! what are those? Are they guineas?
(oag) no...those are pullets
(me) oh...sure...that's right....

(me) well, no guineas. I wonder if they will bring any more in before the sale...
(Stacye) don't know. What do I look for?
(me) well...I really don't remember. I know they are gray.
(more silence from friend Stacye)

(auctioneer) blah, blah, de blah, de blah blah
(me) how much did he say?
(Stacye) heck I don't know!
(me) dang! I shoulda bought em!
(Stacye) What were they?
(me) some kind of chicken.

(me) look! Peacocks!
(Stacye) Wow! They are really pretty!
(me) I should buy those!
(Stacye) Where will you keep them?
(me) Just turn em loose. I wonder what they eat?

(auctioneer) blah de blah, guineas, blah blah blah
(me while frantically waiving my bidders number) here!
(more auctioneer stuff, more bidding)
(auctioneer) sold to number blah blah blah
(me) yeah!
(Stacye) What did you buy?
(me) guinea eggs!
(guy behind me) that's about $200 worth of guineas
(me) really?
(guy) yeah! you have a roosting chicken?
(me, suddenly very concerned) no. guess I'm going to have to get one
(side note. All chickens have already been sold)
(guy) hey! There's something for you to hatch them eggs out in!
(me with hand already in air) here!
(Stacye) What is it?
(me) I don't know yet
(auctioneer) sold to number blah de blah blah
(guy) there! now you can hatch em!

(me) Well Stacye, are you ready to go? (this of course is after they have sold the horses, sheep, and a whole lotta goats) Let's go see what I paid for all of this.

(me on phone) Hi honey! Guess what I bought! 23 guinea eggs and 2 goose eggs. Oh, and an incubator.
nope...really not sure. We'll have to look it up. Yeah...don't really know about that yet either. We'll have to look that up. No, I don't know how long before they hatch. We'll have to look it up.

later at home...

(Duane) how do you put this thing together?
(me) how would I know?

(Duane) do we have a thermometer? It says to maintain a temperature of 100 degrees.
(me) we have a meat thermometer...

(Duane while at Orschlen Farm Supply) Do we need to get some food?
(me) I don't know what they eat
(Duane) maybe they have a book...

More on the guinea fiasco to come....

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Blake and Aaron


Two of my favorite people. Blake and Aaron are Duane's 2nd cousins and our "helpers." They are really great kids and we are looking forward to them spending some of the summer with us.

Monday, April 24, 2006

"The Mower"

There has been much activity since the last time I posted. As you all know, we are in the process of moving to the farm and if you have read Geek Acres, you have found that there have been some interesting times.

As Duane mentioned, his parents bought us a new mower as a house warming gift. Although I appreciate it, it makes me feel guilty. They really do give us too much. I have always believed in working for what I have and am still trying to get used to the Key's family tradition of extravagant giving.

Back to the mower though.... I have always been the lawn mower for our family. I enjoy it and Duane hates it.... so he cleans house and I do yardwork. Now we have "the mower" and I fear that my mowing days are over. I'll have to get up at daylight to beat him to the mower!

As it is, I am at home doing the packing, which I really don't mind. Have you ever noticed how many odds and ends things you end up with? I try to pack like item with like item. Some things however, just don't fit in anywhere. I will probably end up with a couple of boxes of miscellaneous stuff. It drives me crazy, but what can you do?

I am really looking forward to a big garden at the farm. I'm thinking about trying my hand at some unusual and exotic vegetables. I might even go to some of the farmer's markets.

At last I can plant asparagus!!! I'm going to have several different varieties. Really looking forward to a return to a simpler life. Which reminds me of a trip we took to Mansfield yesterday. More on that later.....

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Native Trees

I really am so predictable....
Thanks to the new blogs that Duane has found as a result of his new blog "Geek Acres", I found that you can purchase native trees from the Missouri Conservation department at a very reasonable price. Since the two trees that I wanted to line the drive with are native, I ordered 50 flowering dogwood and 50 redbud. 100...trees....

Now, if you have been reading my previous posts, or even talking with me occasionally, you will know that I am very concerned about the drought that is affecting SW MO. Believe it or not, Walnut Grove is in even worse shape than Springfield. The last two rains that we received here, completely missed the farm. Not good news.
In addition, we just found out that we would have to hire a backhoe operator to dig the holes for the dog fence at the farm because the ground is too hard for a tractor with no down pressure.

Back to previous announcement...
I have 100 holes to dig and prepare for the 100 trees that I will be receiving in May from the Missouri Conservation department. (see the problem?)
Of course, I can't bear to see any plants go to waste, so they all must be planted as soon as possible upon arrival.

One would have thought that I could have waited until next fall or even spring to order the trees...but hey, why put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Right?

Keep in mind that I have been very concerned about getting everything done that must be done for us to move in, but I have still added 100 holes to my list of things to do.

Sometimes even I wonder about my logic! :)

Ah well...what would I do without a project to worry about?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Blissfully Perfect Weekend...almost

This was the best weekend I have had in a long, long time. Everyone at work was in a really good mood on Friday so we started off the weekend well. Friday night I met a friend of mine for dinner at Tong's. My favorite place to eat and dinner with a friend that I had not seen in a couple of years....I didn't realize how much I had missed her until we got together again. We were joined by a good friend of hers and lots of laughs ensued.

Saturday morning, Duane woke me up with a cup of coffee! He had let me sleep in a little bit and had fed the dogs. Needless to say that was a VERY good start to my day.

We got to the farm at about 9:30 and had only been there a short time when the neighbor drove up to tell us that one of his mares had foaled. It only took a couple of minutes (and strides) to cover the short distance between our house and theirs to see that new baby. What a cutie she is!

After lots of horse talk and as much horse "fragrance" as I could inhale, we started back to our farm. Coy Dan (the neighbor) offered to give us a ride home as it was starting to sprinkle and ended up taking us to his other pasture to see the rest of his horses.

It was love at first sight and now "Socks" is the newest member of the Keys family. She is a two year old, but loves people. I am really looking forward to training young horses again. There is something very rewarding for me in teaching a young horse. Just to watch them learn is fascinating.




We came back to Springfield pleasantly tired and with plans to do it all over again today. We got back out to the farm a little later this morning (Duane woke me up with a cup of coffee again after letting me sleep even later) and had been there maybe 15-20 minutes when Coy Dan drove up again. Another foal!
This little filly is a full sister to my "Socks" and they both have their mama's 4 white feet. We didn't get much painting done this weekend and I am getting a little worried about having enough time, but I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend!