Friday, June 25, 2010

Worming Chickens

My chickens have not been looking very healthy lately and one of the older hens even had a bit of diarrhea. I make one of my frequent trips to the feed store and it was recommended that I worm them. Now I am certainly not new to country life, but had never even heard of worming chickens. I don't know why it never occurred to me as I worm everything else.
I buy a bottle of Piperazine-17 and get it home to find out there is nothing about chickens on the bottle. Thank God once again for the info on the Internet. I find out I put 1/2 tsp in 4 cups of water. After pulling their water the night before I put in the medicated mixture and keep them in the pen until they drink almost all of it. We can't eat the eggs for 2 weeks but I am giving one a day to the dog as I figure it won't hurt him. The chickens look better and the diarrhea cleared up very quickly.
I plan to do it again in the fall. I have an 8 oz. bottle of this stuff and using it 1/2 teaspoon at a time I think it is a lifetime supply.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blue Blazes and a Fast cat

Blue Blazes
11x14 watercolor available here

I've always liked the expression "hotter the blue blazes" and it's been on my mind lately as it's been ...well hotter than blue blazes here.
This is a painting where I came up with the title first and thought black and white paint horses would be a great subject for it. I am thinking of doing a square larger more abstracted version for the small works on paper exhibit.

I've had the two 10 year old grand daughters here for riding lessons and all kinds of summer fun. They work at the barn an awful lot. Mucking stalls is one of their favorite things. (Yeah)
 I asked them to put up a few sticky fly papers in the feed/cat room. They got out the ladder and tried to do a good job. They hung one up too close to the cat door. An unsuspecting cat came through the cat door and went screaming out, running across the pasture faster than I thought it could run dragging the fly paper that was stuck to it's tail. The girls thought it ended up in Texas, but it came back for feeding time minus a bit of hair.
Another lesson learned for the girls. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Moon Shadows

Moon Shadow

I pick blackberries in the evening now, wading though the tall grass as the sun dips behind the hills casting a pink glow. Tonka goes with me. He's taken a liking to the berries and will pick them carefully off the stickery branches. I'm hoping he is watching for snakes. I can see where the deer have taken bites, too high for rabbits. We only take the ones on the edges, leaving plenty for the bear that moves through here this time of year.
I sure don't want him stopping by the tepee to file a complaint.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Kisses From Heaven

As y'all can probably tell from the paintings I've been pretty pleased with the progress of my mare Miami. She is smart and willing and seems to enjoy our rides as much as I do.
I always see such a connection with what I'm painting and what is going on in my heart.

Miami has got a whoa on her. She can be on a rope right in the middle of a panic attack, like when we were being stalked by a horse eating kitty the other day as we were walking on a lead rope in the pasture. She knew we were under attack and started galloping and bucking on the end of her rope. I said whoa and she stopped instantly.
 The fact that she did it at all is why we still ride in the arena. Our comfort zone is rather small still yet.
Anyway back to the whoa.
When I am riding her I say whoa and she stops immediately. Actually when I say anything she stops immediately. This has caused me to go bouncing forward a few times when I said something that wasn't whoa and she went errrkk and stopped. So we had a lesson on words that were not whoa. As much as I talk to her I would think that she knows this, but she is still a bit unsure with the whole riding thing and just wants to do it right.
I have to smile as I think of how hard she tries to please me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Catching Up

Shining Heart

The parents, grandkids, horses and farm have kept me hopping lately. My stepmother has been ill and there have been frequent trips to the doc and the hospital for tests. Nothing has resolved and she she was admitted to the hospital today. Dad is doing well but needs lots of care and cannot be left alone.
I have one or two grandkids eight days a month. They are old enough to be a big help caring for the animals and working in the garden. They are starting riding lessons, well one is anyway. Missy is still lame so Terra must wait longer for hers.
I ended up making about 20 quarts of cherry jam and now have green beans and new potatoes ready to cook tonight. Yum.

The new riding instructor came out to help me with Miami. She said Miami is a very smart horse. Everyone says that. :) And we were a good match for each other. I have had plenty of fear to deal with trying to start her out at home after breaking my back and wrist several years ago on another horse. It's difficult having so much fear blocking what is a major dream for me. My trust in her and confidence has grown slowly. We switched from a training bit to a snaffle which caused all kinds of protests from my darling little paint, but I had my big girl panties on and we worked through it. It took us several  days. I've been spending my mornings working with Miami, afternoons and evening dealing with the parents and farm. And at night instead of working much I am studying how to boost my confidence riding this horse and working on a lesson plan for the next mornings ride. I have spent years, since she was a yearling, training her and sent her to not one but two trainers for her saddle work. She is still very green, but groundworked to death. So for now I will be painting little and spending what time and energy I can muster to get her trail ready and advance our riding skills.
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be able to pursue my dream and very pleased with the progress with are both making.