Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Trick or Turkey

Well, it's the day before Thanksgiving, and here I am just now posting about Halloween.  We end up driving to a neighborhood every year to trick or treat, as there is nothing in our rural area.  The neighborhood we go to is always overflowing with people like us, who drive in from the countryside.  The residents love Halloween and go all out with decorations.  They humor all us outsiders and are welcoming.  It's always one big party.  There's one house that even creates a haunted house in their garage each year.  It's a favorite of the boys.  They also love this 'working' electric chair:

This year Reid was an Oompa Loompa, Cort was Willy Wonka, and Pierce was an airline pilot.  I was so happy I didn't have to work this year, and got to take them trick or treating.
Now, I'm finally done with Halloween - is it time to move on to turkey?  Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Francie Has Fun

Francie and I seem to have hit a sweet spot where our rides are more fun and relaxed.  She's a forward moving horse that wants to please.  She can still be a little hot at times, but she is starting to mellow a little.

I ordered a new saddle pad with a couple of roomy pockets, in case we find ourselves trail riding in the future.  I can easily tuck in a hoof pick, a cell phone, and a snack.

A couple of weeks ago, Paul made a cyclocross course in the riding arena.  The boys had a blast riding this bike maze.  I wanted to ride Francie, but didn't know what she'd think.  At first, she thought it was pretty awful.  She snorted as though the red tape was going to attack her.  I hand walked her through.  She calmed down.  Then I hand walked her through a second time, rattling the tape as we went.  She was spooky at the moving, rattling tape at first, but then calmed down again.  After that, I hopped on her.

We walked through and then we trotted.  Then she started having fun.  She was enjoying whipping around the 180 degree corners! 
By the end, she was cantering the long stretches, trying to catch the boys on their bikes.  I had no idea she would have so much fun with this.  Reminded me of my youth, flying around tight jumper courses on ponies, but without the jumps.  Here we are after, exhilarated from our playful ride.

She still has those funny curled ears, but look - she's got one ear on Pierce, who took the picture, but one ear on me.  We're really feeling connected lately.  I'm looking forward to more fun fall rides. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pierce Turns 11

I started blogging when Pierce was 3.  Two weeks ago, he turned 11!  We had some family come to celebrate and it just happened to be on the actual birthday of my aunt, Pam.

I didn't have time to do a cake that week.  So I took Pierce to Sam's to pick something out.  We were flipping through the cake book and Pierce complained, "Mom, I'm TOO old for decorated cakes!".  So I told him that it was Pam's birthday too, and that she liked decorated cakes.  So he picked out a cake for Pam.  All with an air of "I'm just humoring my great aunt, but I am much too old for decorated cakes". 

A couple of summers ago we went to see The Secret Life of Pets with Pam and George, so Pierce picked that out as her theme.  Plus, Pam is an avid dog-lover.  Pierce then chose the most boyish frosting colors he could find.

He sure didn't complain any when he was gobbling up those teal blue frosted flowers!  Thank goodness we had Pam around to thank for our cake this year.  A birthday without any cake sure would be a sad affair.  I'm guessing this whole incident officially puts Pierce into that "tween" category. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fall Hit Snooze

Fall was late this year.  I took this picture one morning in mid October.  It was the very first morning it felt crisp enough to be fall, following a week of miserable heat and humidity.

The leaves were reluctant to turn because of the heat.  So the break in the weather was quite welcome.  Now, finally, the boys could wear those long sleeved Halloween shirts.

I hope this is a sign it will be a mild winter. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bobby Goes to School

Sometimes, Bobby enjoys riding along to school to pick up the boys from chess club.  Here he is, watching for his boys to come out.

The boys like it when Bobby comes.  If Bobby isn't around during pick up time and ends up being left at home, they are always disappointed.

Update:  Sadly, Bobby has been missing for the past week.  He was a homebody and has never done this before.  We hope that he shows up, but there have been coyotes in our area, and we fear he may have met up with one.  He's such a beloved cat - we all miss him immensely!  Hoping he returns safely soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trouble in Tiny Packages

I have blogged before about how we regularly foster kittens for animal rescues in our area.  This summer, we've had a few come through our home for foster.  Usually they need meds for an upper respiratory infection and socialization for a few weeks, and then they are on their way.

Our current foster kitten, Dune Bug, came to us because she was very feral and had a terrible lung infection.  In addition to antibiotics, she was also on breathing treatments each day (which we were able to give using Cort's nebulizer).  When we first got her, her whole body shuddered when she tried to breathe.  I wasn't sure she'd make it.  She would only eat when I fed her by putting canned cat food (so gross) on my finger and letting her lick it off. 

She turned around quickly.  But then two weeks later, I noticed a black rough patch on her ear.  There had been a ringworm outbreak at the shelter when we picked her up, and I was pretty sure this was ringworm.  I took her in for a check and she tested positive.  So then she started on more meds, plus daily cage disinfections with bleach, plus baths with a special shampoo (she had to actually sit and let the shampoo soak in for 10 minutes at a time) followed by a spray down with a dip that reeks of rotten egg smell.  And weekly rechecks at the vet.  Poor kitty!

Lo and behold, two weeks after Dune Bug got ringworm, Pierce got ringworm, even though I had cut off all kitty handling by the boys.  So I took Pierce to the pediatrician and he started meds.  While the kitten continued improving, Pierce did not.  Two weeks later, he had to go back.  The doctor felt like his ringworm had turned into a staph infection.  So he started on antibiotics and a new antifungal med. 

Well, then Dune Bug's lungs started sounding all rattled again.  I mentioned it to the vet at one of her ringworm rechecks, but they couldn't hear it.  A week later, though, they could.  She had bronchitis.  So she had to continue the ringworm treatment, but also start a new antibiotic. 

The good news?  Well, Dune Bug has grown a lot!  She is no longer feral and seeks out human interaction.  And hopefully, one day soon, she will be completely well and be able to be adopted by a loving family. 

I know there are foster families that take in even more needy animals then Dune Bug.  As many times as we've adopted animals from shelters, we've never really considered all the effort that might have gone into getting the pet to a healthy place where he/she was ready to be adopted.  Sometimes, there is a lot of time and love that goes into it!  But when the pet finds a new, loving home, it makes it all worthwhile. 

Readers, did any of your pets come from shelters?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

In Search of the Geocache

When we find ourselves with a free day, we enjoying hunting for geocaches.  You use a GPS to find hidden containers which house trinkets the boys like to trade.  You can find them in the woods and in the city - they are all over! We prefer hunting down the ones in the woods.

Somehow, when you're out in the woods looking for treasure, time just flies by.  We've easily lost track of several hours at a time.  But we end up finding hidden pieces of the forest we would never see otherwise.

Below?  This is actually a geocache.  It quite alarmed Paul when he found this rat hidden amongst the rocks.  The belly of him was hollowed out, and inside was a teeny tiny geocache.  Just big enough to sign your name on a slip of paper to mark that you'd found him.  Of course the rat is now a favorite of ours.

A long lost ruin, deep in the woods in the mountains.  This used to be part of a radio tower I think.

The mysterious car that is on the side of a mountain just off the hiking trail.  No road nearby.  Who knows how it wound up there.

Painted rocks seem to be all the rage right now, and we found our first on top of a trail sign.  It's a little Yoshi.  We rehid it. 

An interesting caterpillar.  Look at those colors!  I was fearful to touch him with all those spikes. 

Sorting through the trinkets, looking for things to trade.  This cache was under the faux rock formation to the left. 
What a fun time we had!  And there are many more geocaches out there to find.  Readers, have you ever looked for a geocache?