Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Time to Remember

Christmas Day proved to be a wonderful day in more ways than one.
Santa was awfully good to us this year, bringing the kids everything they thought they wanted and more.


My beautiful Grandmother passed away at 1:00 AM on Christmas morning. She was 94 years young. Although very hard to lose her, this was such a blessing, as she has been suffering from Alzheimer's for the past 10 or so years and when we visited her in October, all she wanted was "to go home." She literally meant she wanted to go back to her house, to live in her home with her beloved husband who passed away a year ago in May, but instead of going to a physical house, she most definitely went to Heaven. Grandma was such a lovely lady and a wonderful Grandmother. I will miss her so very much, but I am relieved that she is no longer laying in a bed in a nursing home. What a day to depart from this earth!

Grandmother Harper

Papa Harper

A photo of Papa and Grandma with their 4 children - my Dad is the handsome guy on the left. He is the oldest child.

I think this photo was taken at a surprise birthday party for Grandma - I love the look on Papa's face! Priceless! This is how I remember both of them - they were so fun to be around!

My 3 children after the services. (A didn't want to have her photo taken...hence the droopy head). We are at Papa and Grandma's house. My cousin and her family own it now. I am so happy the house stayed in the family and that it is restored.

The Gerber daisy came from the arrangement on Grandma's casket. The boys were honorary casket bearers.

Before the funeral, we were able to spend some time with my other Grandmother.

This is my Mom's Mom. She will be 93 years young in February. This little lady still goes to Curves 3 days a week and has the best sense of humor!! Her mind is still sharp as a tack and because of that, she is able to stay in her own condo. It is a blessing that my children are able to know their great-grandparents. I believe they realize how lucky they are, too.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Metal Horses

As promised, photos of the metal horses - Hubby hung the cool metal horses my parents gave me for my birthday under the window. I love them!! It adds a nice touch to the barn.

A close up of the horses:

It is so hard to believe we are in the final countdown for Christmas!!
I hope that each of you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2010!
Happy Riding!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Progressing Along....Slowly

Between the weather and hubby's friend taking on another building job, the progress has slowed considerably. Since my last post, the upper dutch doors have gone up, which is very exciting!

We made them 5 feet wide instead of the standard 4 feet wide. I think there will be more wear and tear on the hinges, but I believe it will be nice to have the wider doors...hoping to put crossties or something like that in the doorways to keep the shavings in. The barn will look really good once we get the painting done!

This will be the grooming area:

At first we were going to enclose it for feed or tack, but the tack room will be big enough for both. The aisle is not as wide as I'd like it, so this open area will be a great place to groom and for the farrier to work.

A view of the future stalls:

We still have a lot of work to do in this area. Once the outside is complete, the inside work will get finished up. Having the doors on one end has made a huge difference in cutting down on the wind. It was brutal to stand in the aisle way when the wind was blowing, but now when the doors are closed, it is right pleasant in there!

Looking through the barn:

Another view looking through the barn:
In this shot you can see the doors that are closed, blocking the wind. :)

My daughter checking out the stall area:

Another view of the stall area:

Inside the stall area:

Another view of the front side of the barn. My hubby hung the metal horses below the loft window and they look really neat! I will get a photo to post once the rain stops!

It is really hard being patient, but I am trying really hard.... Hubby and I are still not quite in agreement about the stall mats. I would like to invest in them, but I haven't yet convinced him of the benefits (even after having all of my FB friends post about the pros of stall mats!) He can find too many cons. We'll see....
Hoping all of you are gearing up for a wonderful Christmas! We have our tree and stockings up, but that is about it! Yikes!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Finally, Some Pony Time!

Finally! I was able to steal some time to visit with the ponies this past weekend. They were in desperate need of brushing to get the prairie mud off. It's been 6 weeks since I saw Tonto and Maggie last! My poor Mom brushes them when she can, but she does good to feed, water, muck stalls, shuffle horses around, work full time and care for my Dad and the other animals all by herself. I believe she does a wonderful job and I am so, so very thankful for her.

Here's old Mags with her mud pack on. She's doing fairly well for being 31 years old.

After brushing; she is still filthy, but mostly dandruff. No rainrot, which is what I was afraid of. She wants to know where her supper is. Twice a day she gets 2 lbs Equine Senior, 2 lbs Omolene #100, soaked alfalfa cubes and soaked shredded beetpulp. Mom wants to feed her 3 meals a day, but because she works, she just isn't able to. Maggie is a little thin, but the vet says that isn't a bad thing because she has an old bowed tendon and leg problems that too much weight would aggravate. I still don't like her any thinner than this.

This photo was taken looking into the sun. I liked how the sunrays came down around Maggie's head. She's such an angel, it's appropriate! ;)

Another view of Maggie.

Tonto got cleaned up, too.

I think once I get him moved to our place, I'll start riding him bareback - he looks like a big soft couch!

I just love this pony - he is too cute for words and sooooo loving!

Oh, had to share - My Dad found some dog sweaters on sale at Target....

Below Boots models hers:

Then goes to hide in embarrassment under the window. :)

I thought they looked great - maybe the sweaters are just a bit too small? :)
And talk about "Cat Naps."

A just couldn't keep her eyes open any longer and passed out on my bed....Annie followed suit. I thought this was too cute and had to snap a photo.

I now have an assistant while I work. Sometimes she thinks my work assignments are hilarious....that's her opinion though.

or very boring...

But she's great company and I am loving having her around. It does the heart good to know you saved at least one from the shelter.
Well, not too much to report on the barn. The upper dutch doors are on now and we are hoping hubby's friend will be able to come back on Sunday and build the last 4 doors. Then we need to finish the stalls. I'm still working to convince hubby that stall mats are a must - I've gotten a lot of great feedback from horse friends on FB and a horse board I'm on. I'll keep you posted!
Hope all is well with you and I'll post updated barn photos soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Updated Barn Photos!

LOOK! We have bottom doors! SO excited! Another small step towards getting the barn ready for da ponies!

Looking more and more like a horse barn!

Once we are finished with the painting, the support board can be removed from the overhang. The ladder leans against it to keep from denting up the metal roof.

Oh, buddy; I can't WAIT to use it!!!

Hubby's favorite part is the deck. The kids like the easy access to the loft now; so do the cats. :)

Another view of the doors.
Eventually we will replace the metal siding on the loft with wood and
add more windows, but it is fine with me for now.

Hubby put the door latches on tonight. I'll have to get some photos tomorrow. No more propping the doors shut with 2x4's!

We have been so blessed with the warmer temperatures and rain - the grass is growing like crazy!
The barn is slowly coming together. There is still a lot of inside work to do, but now that the front doors are on, we can close them to keep the chilly wind out while we work on the inside. Hubby's friend that has been helping has taken on another side job, so he can only come on Sundays to work. At least he is still helping out; everything goes much faster with his help since he is an experienced builder. Keep your fingers crossed he can help more once his other job is complete! :)
On a sad note, Hubby accidentally ran over our beloved kitten Stripes while the kids and I were in Georgia visiting my Grandmother the week of Thanksgiving. When we got home, we buried her beside Snowflake. It was so hard! We all cried like babies. I can't believe we ran over two of our beloved animals this year!
On Saturday I took the kids and we went to the local animal shelter to adopt a homeless kitty. Oh man, was that ever hard! Never again will I take 3 emotional kids to the shelter to pick out a pet. We narrowed it down to 2 choices; a 6-week old kitten and a 4-month old kitten that was a spitting image of Stripes. A, my 4-yr old daughter, wanted the tiny kitten desperately because she could easily carry it around. It was very timid and was a feral kitten, so it had some nurturing needs. The other kitten was the absolute sweetest kitty I have ever been around. She kept hugging on B and curling up in his lap. B was completely smitten, plus he wanted another kitty that looked identical to Stripes. I was worried that our other kitty (the Mom to Stripes) wouldn't accept the older kitten, so I kept encouraging them to choose the baby over the older kitten. After 2 and a half hours, we reluctantly brought the timid 6-week old baby home. B was completely heartbroken and we all cried the whole way home from the shelter. I told B he had to name the new kitten. Finally on Sunday evening, he had warmed up to her enough to name her "Annie."
Well, guess who is asleep in my lap as I type this?
Annie, our new, not-so-timid-any-more-6-week old kitten...
Snuggling with D:
Hanging out with the bunny:
(please excuse the mess!)
So, it has been a busy and emotional week, but things are settling back down. We all miss Stripes so much. Annie is capturing our hearts though, and the kids are not talking so much about missing Stripes now. Even Hubby has enjoyed snuggling with her the last couple of nights.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are getting ready for Christmas! (We haven't even started Christmas shopping yet!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Visit with Filly

While in Dothan for D's soccer tournament, we were able to stop by and visit Filly. Her new name is Paparazzi (Poppie for short). I think it is very fitting!

Here she is all braided up - she competed in her first horse show on Nov. 21! We didn't get to see her ridden, but T left her braided so I could see how fancy she was. She was lovely! T said Filly was very nervous, but behaved. It was a small open show, perfect for schooling. T even entered her in a halter class!

Pretty girl all fancied up! (Love the tongue sticking out!)

Back at Filly's stall with some of T's friends.
It ended up that one of T's friends and I rode together when we were younger! Small, small world!

Filly is enjoying the conversation and the tidbits of hay the girls feed her
as my husband and D look on...

Here Filly stretches for some more hay. She looks a little like a walking horse!

T and D undo all those pretty braids.

Nice perm Filly!

And hubby decides T and I need our photo taken with the ever so thrilled Filly:

She was never one to put her ears forward in photos!
Come on, smile Filly!
Is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen? We left before their class was finished, but I bet they won!! (That saddle looks so comfy!)
It was wonderful getting to visit Filly. She is so content and happy in her new home. T treats her like royalty and is taking her time with Filly's training. This little mare has issues that T will be able to work through because she is patient and kind with her, but knows when to discipline. As much as I miss her, I couldn't be more pleased, or relieved. There is no doubt she is where she needs to be and I really look forward to seeing her live up to her full potential. T hopes to bring Filly to some shows near where we live, so hopefully I can watch her in the future! Hopefully I can post some updates on their progress.
I've had no pony time since Filly was sold on Oct. 22. Between soccer, work, Thanksgiving and children, all my time has been taken up! Hopefully I can get out to brush and spend some much needed horse time with the ponies this weekend. Goodness, I miss them!

Oh, and I have updated photos of the barn! Progress has slowed, but it is creeping along and looking great! I'll post ASAP.