Friday, February 29, 2008


How 'bout a little comic relief?

This is the same Ben who used to need a rest after 10 steps.

He runs all over the yard now. Back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth.... all day long.

And he loves to play! He'll grab the nearest stick- any stick- if you're willing to play with him.

His favorite activity is still eating- some things never change. ;)

Feinding Wisdom's Story- part 3

February 28th, 2007- One year ago, our dream foal entered the world.

It's taken me a while to get back to this story. If you missed the first two parts and are scratching your head, look back in the archived posts of 2007.

When I left you last, I was standing at the vet clinic with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remember my mind whirling. I had no way to reach "Charlie Brown" by phone and even if I did, I'd probably just start bawling. Then we'd get no where because the vet would return to perform x-rays to find me standing in the aisle blubbering. All the while, Charlie Brown would be on the phone trying to decide how best to deal with his distraught wife.

I thought about calling our trainer but again, I knew I was close to breaking down into a heap of tears. They've already seen that ugly mess before (oh gee! That's another story). I'm sure they'd all be rolling their eyes while they also tried to decipher what to do with this hiccuping, sobbing mess on the other end of the phone.

I didn't call anyone. I maintained my composure, kept breathing and kept rational thought in charge so important information- information necessary for decision making- wouldn't be drowned in emotion.

I could really stretch this out with all kinds of details that some would find absolutely fascinating and others would hear, "waa, waa, wha, wha" (like Charlie Brown's teacher). Initially things did not appear too bad.

Things went from bad to worse in a short period of time. Solomon's hind stifle joint(the equivalent of our knee) progressed from very swollen to swollen and floating out of place. If you think that sounds bad, you are right.

There are moments that will forever be etched in my memory. I will always remember the feeling, my surroundings, the details, etc. of those moments. That day the stitches were removed and the first set of x-rays were taken will be one.

The day the second set of x-rays were taken is the second. I knew the moment our vet felt that "knee cap" float out of place that it was worse than BAD just by the look on his face. If this story were a true piece of literature, that look would be perfect foreshadowing. It wasn't even a look that he necessarily intended to share with us, but it was there. He couldn't hide what was an obvious response to what is not supposed to be.

If you know me in real life, you know I don't hide my faith. The Lord cares about the very fine details of our lives and He proved Himself in our situation with Solomon.

We made no rash decisions. Everything was well thought out and researched as far as our resources allowed. Our team of vets (yes... now we had a team of vets rather than just one) very patiently fielded my phone calls and unending questions. When they didn't have answers they used their resources to hunt down answers. I no longer had to include my last name when calling the office. We talked so often, everyone seemed familiar with Solomon's case.

"Lord, please let us have the opportunity to ultrasound the joint." Less than 24 hours from that prayer, we were given that opportunity without our vet being aware of our desire. "Lord, please let those three main ligaments be intact" The ultrasound showed those three ligaments intact and mostly good. These were just the beginnings of the many ways the Lord was Faithful and provided answers (in every minute detail) along the way.

After MUCH deliberation & praying and following the LORD's most obvious answers to our prayers we opted for surgery. From everyone's best knowledge, it was deduced that the one remaining ligament behind the "knee cap" had to be the culprit. That ligament was not visible via ultrasound since the location is behind the bone. Surgery would attempt to clean up the joint, debride the damaged bone and would sew tissue together in an attempt to stabilize the joint. (There is not a knee replacement surgery for equines YET)

Solomon was a perfect patient at the animal hospital and the vet students all fell in love with him. Who wouldn't? This young colt was so curious and social yet completely correctable & trainable. He had a great head about him- smart like his mom! You couldn't help but to like him because he had a way of saying, "Hey! Want to be my friend?" After a week at the hospital, and successful surgery Solomon was released to come home.

We nursed him around the clock at home. The camera was on him at all hours. He was great to vet and had no problem with all of our poking and prodding. That included monitoring his rectal temperature several times daily for several weeks. Even our 12yo daughter could take his vitals. We helped him thru GI upset due to medications, learned how to manage his pain and were well on the way to helping him to a full recovery. When his stitches were removed, everyone was amazed at the improvement to the joint. There was far less swelling in the joint and it was remarkably stable.

The very things that were believed to be in Solomon's favor for a successful recovery were also the very things that were going to be to his detriment. He was young and growing! As he began to feel good, he had a natural desire to be a normal horse.

One step. I believe that is all it was. One wrong step. Solomon went from walking on 4 hooves- albeit lamely,but walking- to walking on 3. That is another moment I won't forget. It was a "moment" that lingered and wouldn't go away.

PS. If you stumble upon here in search for stifle injury information or if you are fascinated by details and want to learn more, feel free to contact me privately. ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just in case you missed this...

This kid has a God-given talent!! I want to hear him sing my favorite praise songs. And if you google him with youtube, you can hear him sing O Holy Night at a corporate Christmas party in Dec. Gives me chills!

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, February 22, 2008

What you didn't see!

I thought I would show you what you DIDN'T see in yesterday's pictures!

You don't see it yet, do you. You're looking at his beautiful face and the blurry snowflake in front of his eye. Oh! Maybe you think I'm referring to his mohawk. You noticed that didn't you!

Yes! He needed to have his bridle path clipped. But that's NOT what I'm talking about.

Look at his tail!

I think I just heard you GASP!

That's frozen globs of MUD on the end of that tail. Anyone want to venture a guess as to how much that tail weighs? I can tell you that it sounds a bit like a wind chime made of rocks. It also causes your pony to walk like a chicken!

Not only is that enormous mess extremely heavy and cumbersome, it also functions as a self twisting, tangling, braiding mechanism as each frozen glob swings around while the pony walks. What a mess!

No, I'm not heartless! We toted 3 buckets of hot, hot, hot water (1 soapy) down to the barn today and melted all of that mud out of his tail. So now instead of frozen globs of mud, pony has frozen conditioner in the end of his tail.

That's right- frozen! It was sooooo cold that his hot tail was freezing faster than I could dry it. The good news is, he'll never feel it as we only had to wash the end of his tail- all far below his tail bone. The Prince has his tail back tonight.

Oh! And the mohawk was clipped!

NO! I don't have a picture! Not only was his tail frozen. So were my poor FINGERS!

Here! You didn't see this yesterday either!

Isn't she Beeee-oooooo-ti-FUL! Doesn't that make you feel better?


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Living SnowGlobe

The poor weatherman! The forces of nature are proving very difficult to forecast this season! We've had forecasts that have caused us to change plans and appointments only to have the storm peter out. Last night we were told to expect a dusting, possibly up to an inch of snow this morning. Imagine my surprise when I woke up to a solid 3 inches of snow instead.

So when the light, fluffy snow so rare for this area started falling, I grabbed my camera, stuffed my feet into my boots and ran out the door!

Brrrrrrr! Hello! Clearly my brain had not fully booted yet!

I immediately ran back inside, down the basement stairs and quickly jumped into my cover-alls. After slapping a hat on my head, I resumed my sprint out the door with my camera!

This is the kind of snow my Upstate NY memories are made of. This kind of snow was awesome to ski in! Or for that matter to just lay on my back and let fall on my face and eyelashes. It's a peaceful kind of snow.

This kind of snow is beautiful! And I love this haflinger in all his goofiness! You must click on these pictures to get the full effect! (Click a second time) I left the files fairly large so you can see the snowflakes and ice on his whiskers!

Another beautiful "window":

Now if the pony and the weather will cooperate with me in the morning, I'll be a happy camper! ;)


Sunday, February 17, 2008


Ok... so my later got a little longer than I intended. That seems to be the way it goes. But I had a few comments about the video from my last post.

Seems we need the reminder from time to time that life is finite and often too short. The speaker had a lot of good points. It is good to dream, to have goals and to be working for something. A great childhood and great parents are equally important. I've had both and am so thankful!

I think he has it right about placing people above things and showing gratitude. Boy was he ever right about apologies too. I'm not always good with words and am sometimes as clear as mud but I hope that sincerity shows in spite of poor words in times where apologies are necessary.

Now, I don't subscribe to karma. The girls and I have been studying world religions and karma is an idea coming straight out of Hinduism. The fact of the matter is, you can live your life right and good and that doesn't mean it'll necessarily come back to you in this life. I believe the Lord will reward a life of obedience for sure, but it might not be in this life.

Thankfully, the Lord does seem to offer us enough rewards for obedience to encourage us to keep making the effort. But as another Sonlighting mom, Andrea (she's the first I've heard coin the "Jesus with skin on" phrase- LOVE IT!) has discussed recently- bad things still happen to good people.

Take a look at Jesus' life and specifically His interactions with people. And even more specifically, look at the way Jesus interacted with those who didn't know Him. John 4 gives the account of the Samaritan woman Jesus meets at a well. Consider His conversation with her and His treatment of her. Notice that He had every right to be offended by this woman yet He didn't condemn her or shun her. Instead He offered her Living Water.

Jesus with skin on. Yes! Andrea, you've got it girl! THAT is a goal worthy of giving a lifetime of effort - no matter how long that takes.

PS. Did you notice the favicon? :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Living and Dying

My brother-in-laws (both of them) sent me a link to the following video (on a different server but I find the Youtube videos load & play better):

Here is the link if the video doesn't work for you here:

I think you will find this video worth the 10 minutes it takes to watch it.

More later...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Look Alikes: People & dogs

Taxes are D.O.N.E! Yippee! So as a reward for my hard work, let's discuss look-alikes - the people & dog kind.

You've seen it before but I think the phenomenon might be more evident at a dog show!

Could it just be my imagination...

Maybe it's just the outfit...

Then again...

Maybe there's something to it!

Monday Escape

I gotta take a little escape from this Monday! I should be working on the taxes. And I will... after I escape for a few minutes! LOL You know how Mondays are!

So... I told you I'd tell you about the Westminster dog from our Field Trip. We were standing watching a class of Huskies (I think) being judged when I noticed two ladies with a Bassett Hound coming down the aisle toward us. I was scrambling for my camera because his ears were effectively sweeping on the ground beside him. Immediately I was transported to The Pioneer Woman's posts about Charlie. I think I understand how those ears could send you into a time warp.

I missed my photo op but the ladies noticed our attention and stopped to chat with us. They directly addressed the girls and I have to say, I love people who enjoy children. These ladies struck me as people who not only enjoy children but also enjoy educating them- educating them without the children realizing they are being educated- even better and perfect for a field trip.

The conversation turned to the Tibetan Spaniel and we all admitted that we'd never heard of the breed. I wasn't even remotely aware of the breed. We were invited to follow them back to their kennel/grooming area where these ladies brought out a sweet little Tibetan Spaniel named Belle. It was like being invited backstage. ::giggle::

Belle was brought out of her crate and the girls were allowed to pet her. Belle was allowed to lick & socialize with the girls too. Both were equally happy about the experience. Belle is going to be in the Westminster show this week! I think the girls felt like they'd met a famous person. ;)

Here is Belle:

She was very sweet & look at those eyes!

Don't know if I'd want one myself or not(I personally love my Westie boy), but she sure was a sweetheart. So if you're watching the Westminster Dog show this week and see her, you can say, "Hey! I know someone who met her!" LOL Doesn't that make us all important?

I was personally enraptured by these two dogs.
Guess that makes me a terrier girl, huh?

They are tenacious!

His reward: a rat toy! hehehe

And now my Good Man Charlie Brown is in the driveway so I'd better get back to the taxes!

And later... let's discuss look-alikes... the people & dog kind.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Field Trip!

Busy Day! We had a trip to the dentist first thing this morning which put us close to Indianapolis. When I was laying in bed pondering the schedule last night, I remembered that our friend & dressage trainer was showing her Swissies at the Indy Classic/Hoosier Classic Dog show this weekend. The show started today! Great opportunity for a field trip!

Following the dentist, I surprised the girls with a trip to the State Fair Grounds to see their first (mine too) dog show. Unfortunately, we were too late to see Janelle show but we decided to stay for the afternoon. It was a great opportunity for the girls. We discussed appropriate behavior at the show before arriving (don't approach/pet without the handler's permission, no running/screaming/jumping, be polite and considerate of those around them) and the girls were very well received by people. They even had the privilege of meeting a dog going to Westminster next week- I'll tell you about that in another post. ;)

For now some fun expressions.

"I know I'm beautiful."

Don't you wonder what is being said here?

I LOVED this dog! His face was gorgeous!

Speaks for itself, doesn't it? LOL