Friday, November 28, 2014

One Year Later - Francie, Horse Rescue

Can you believe that today marks a year since I went and rescued Francie?  The scrawny horse that was so weak yet untamed and unhandled, infested with the worst case of strongyles my vet had ever seen, has come such a long way.

Here are a couple of pictures of her from the first week with us.  She was covered in muck, which I couldn't brush off because her skin was overly sensitive to touch and she wasn't used to being handled.  She had never had her feet trimmed.  She was underweight to the point that her spine protruded, and had three different types of parasites.

In this picture, you can see the muck that was on her legs, that I was unable to curry off being of her skin sensitivities.  She had been standing and sleeping in this muck. 

Note how skinny her neck is in this picture.  You can really see a difference in her neck in more recent photos.

Alright, now here are some pictures of Francie from this past week.  You can see the muck is gone and she has totally filled out.  Her coat is so much healthier, and she is parasite-free.

She has had regular trimmings by the farrier and even sometimes lifts her feet for him when he comes.  Today she loves to be brushed, especially around her neck area.  Look how much thicker her neck is now!

Look at the difference of the shot from behind taken now versus the first picture.  She looks full and healthy - no more angles and bones. 
I wasn't really sure what I was getting in to when I brought her home that day, but I'm happy we were able to offer her a safe home.  She has come a long way in a year!  She will always have stunted growth (she will not grow anymore at this point) but at least she is living a better life. 

Also, for those of you who offered support for the two horses left behind, you'll be happy to hear that they look much better too, since they were dewormed and vaccinated and the one was gelded, and the owners have done a much better job over the past year of keeping hay on the premises.  While they may not look 100%, they are in such better shape than a year ago!  Thank you. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Gray Thumb

You won't believe what I grew this year.  I wasn't sure, when I got the cat seeds, that they would take.  I have heard that they can be very tricky to grow.  Particular about the amount of sun and water.  Finicky with weeds, and not thriving when planted near onions or garlic.

He was a bit of a late bloomer.  I decided to go with container gardening.  I used the tabby variety seeds.  I didn't use any compost, but I did fertilize with tuna and Meow Mix.

Can you believe it?  He turned out gorgeous, don't you think?  Next summer I'm hoping to try some other varieties.  My porch will be quite the showcase! 

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving with good food and loving family and friends. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

We Need More Thriller

On November 5th, I heard Christmas music for the first time.
It's not that I don't love Christmas. 
It's that it is too early.
In fact, it made me grumpy.
During the entire month of October, I only heard Thriller on the radio ONCE.
Thriller is excellent running music.  You cannot run to Christmas music.  You just can't.
In my opinion, we could use a little more Thriller, and a little less Christmas music.
If it were up to me, I wouldn't allow it until December 1st!
Behold - a nice mushroom picture, that has nothing at all to do with Christmas, because it isn't December yet!
Picture taken last month at the Butterfly Garden.
Alright, readers, am I a grumpy old scrooge, or do you agree?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Black Beauty

I took this picture at the Butterfly Garden last month when we were at the Science Festival.  I do not know what type of butterfly it is, but perhaps one of my readers knows?
I love the ragged iridescence of the wings.
I am teaching two classes on Fridays right now.
It's the same class (Normal Life Span), but twice, back to back.
One is from 8:00 - 2:30.
The other is from 5:30 - 10:30.
After the first class, I run paperwork to the office for my other job, run home and get the boys off the bus, and then run them downtown to drop them off with Paul as soon as he gets off work before heading back for more teaching.
It is a rather long day.
It's a good thing I love teaching so much.
Readers, what are you up to today?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Go Fest 2014

Every year we enjoy a huge outdoors festival in Roanoke called Go Fest.  It has certainly grown since we first started attending.  There were long lines for almost all the activities.  The boys braved the lines to do some rock climbing:

They have a rock wall at their school in the gym, so they jumped right on.

Course the rock wall at school isn't so tall.  And it has mats underneath.

Reid had a good run of it, until he looked down and had a wee panic. 
We had to get a little help in getting him down.

After that they all had a go at riding the bull.

I'm always a little tempted to ride the bull myself.

But like usual, I left it to the boys.

They had hammock rest areas everywhere. 
There must've been 100 hammocks scattered about for the resting.

Not everyone was lying around in hammocks, of course.
It was a fun day, which we ended with cupcakes.
We can't wait to see what next year brings!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Watch It

Last July when we went to see the fireworks in Lexington, I brought along a few magazines, because I knew it would be a long wait.  Pierce snagged an issue of Popular Mechanics and became obsessed with an article on smart watches.  We have heard so much about smart watches in the past months.  Pierce asked all of our family to give him money for his birthday, so that he would have enough for a smart watch.

Pierce has long had a watch obsession.  It isn't unusual for him to wear two or even three watches at once.  Indiglo watches, calculator watches, athletic watches, Lego watches.  They are all fascinating to him.  He strikes up conversations in public with strangers about their watches.  Recently he met someone in the library who had a solar watch that he found very intriguing.

Pierce was thrilled to finally get his smart watch the day after his birthday.  I put some game apps on it for him, and he especially likes the rubik cube and the drawing app. 

A week after The Amazing smart watch was purchased, Paul took Pierce on a bike ride.  I decided to take the twins to Toys R Us.  They still had their birthday gift cards (from last August!) that my aunt and uncle gave them.  Reid picked out a deep sea diver toy set.  Cort (who wants to be just like Pierce) picked out a VTech kid smart watch.  Who even knew they made them.

Cort got home and the drama began.  Cort's smart watch could take pictures and video.  It had a voice recorder which could distort your voice into robotic voice or chipmunk voice.  It had a little owl that would teach Cort the time.  In truth, it was a pretty neat watch for kids. 

Pierce was a little green over Cort's new 'smart watch'.
Cort, being the bratty little brother he is, tormented Pierce by recording messages like "I love my new smart watch!  It is better than Pierce's smart watch" and then playing them back ad nauseum in the chipmunk voice.

Poor Pierce.  His watch is still pretty awesome.  But man, life as the oldest is sometimes so tough! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hitting the Bong

A few weeks ago Pierce and I went to test drive some used cars (for the second time), with the idea that I was ready to buy one.  My minivan, which had tormented me with breakdowns since I bought it used in 2009, was on the last leg.  It's a shame - I loved the way it drove and all the space but talk about a lemon! 

I hate car shopping.  Most people get excited about it.  I obsess about the financial aspects of such a big purchase, and hate the tediousness of it.  It seems like someone is always trying to make an extra dime and this leads to shady behavior and paperwork, and then I have to get mad and threaten to walk out so they will fix it.  A shame that companies do this to people.  I wish someone could just tell me the right vehicle for me to get, tell me it is a good deal, and hand me the line to sign on.

So anyhow, I found a car I liked, from a brand I'd owned before and loved.  The dealership was packed that Saturday, and people were everywhere.  We walked back inside, and Pierce loudly announced to the room full of strangers,

"Mom, now that you found a car, are you going to hit the bong?"

What he meant was the GONG.
I let Pierce hit the gong for me.

I really hope he didn't go to school that Monday and talk about hitting the bong with his mother over the weekend....

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quick and Easy Orange Holiday Smoothies Recipe #Idelight #HolidayDelight

During the holidays there always seem to be so many wonderful, special drinks for adults. My family loves to celebrate with mimosas, and later wine. I started thinking that maybe the kids deserved a special celebratory drink too. So I came up with creamy, delicious Orange Holiday Smoothie - sure to please the kids at your house, and grown ups will love it too.

This is the easiest recipe. It only has 3 ingredients, aside from the ice, and it takes about 60 seconds to make.

Load your blender with:

2 cups ice
1 cup orange juice
6 ounces vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup International Delight Frosted Sugar Cookie Coffee Creamer

Blend until smooth.  If desired, top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

My boys adore these orange smoothies. My husband and I love them as well. I think they will make a fun and tasty new tradition for our holiday entertaining.

International Delight is going all out for the holidays.  They are a wonderful source for recipes, wrapping ideas, crafts, and all your other holiday entertaining needs.  You can join their community and find out more here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spy Cows

We're driving down the road and Reid says, "Those are Mom's cows," as he points to a herd of cows in a pasture.  We often play this game. 

Cort says, "No, those are my cows."

Me: "Cort, maybe we can share the cows."

Cort: "Okay, but mine are spy cows."

Me:  "Mine are spy cows too.  My cow wears special spy glasses that lets him see far through the woods."

Cort: "My cow wears spy glasses too.  He can swim and jump over this car."

Reid, "WHAT?!?"

Cort: "Yeah, my cow wears a spy vest full of spy equipment.  He can swim and do karate moves.  My cow can jump over skyscrapers."

Reid:  "WHAT?!?"

(Insert giggles from Cort).

Me: "Wow, Cort.  Your cows are way cooler than mine."

Readers, seen any cool cows lately?
Cort and Reid, doing the hay bike maze at GoFest.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Little Happies

Don't you love those little moments in life that bring you small happinesses?  I have long loved the photos that Gail takes on her blog Louisiana Belle.  Recently she mentioned turning some of them into notecards.  I wanted to buy some, but she insisted on sending me a sampling for free.  Aren't they gorgeous? 
Pierce and I will be putting these to good use in our letter writings. Louisiana Belle really captures some amazing shots.  Especially her birds!  Thanks, Gail!

While I cannot begin to touch Louisiana Belle's photographing talents, I did recently catch a shot downtown that I really like, looking out towards the farmer's market in Roanoke.  A picture that brought me a little happy.

What about you, readers?  What small thing has brought you happiness lately?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Science Festival

A few weeks ago we took the boys and Paul's parents to the Science Festival downtown.  It was packed.  By packed, I mean PACKED.
So packed that we didn't really even go inside the science museum!
But we did many of the activities outside and around the corridors.

Cort was determined to beat his big brother in the boat race.

 Poor Pierce.
Beaten out by a kindergartner.

The boys loved this remote control ambulance.
It also sang the "Happy" song.

Real organs, turned to plastic, and available for handling.
Cort liked this brain.
I liked the brain too.

It was a bit overwhelming for me, with all the crowds.
I was happy to leave the festival and just walk around downtown.
But what we saw was all very neat.
I think if we go next year, we'll get there when it first opens, before the crowds start!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Squeezed In

I love old buildings.  Waaaaay back when we had tv, one of my favorite shows was If These Walls Could Talk.  I love to imagine all the things a building has seen.  Recently I took this picture from the top of Center in the Square.  I liked the King's Paints sign on the brick building.  And I couldn't help but wonder if anyone ever slid down the roof of the 1902 building.

Doesn't the roof top look perfect for sliding?

Linking up tomorrow with Rubbish Tuesday.