Archive for February 2010

Sun’s Out   Leave a comment

And the flowers are soaking it up — even with rain on their faces.

Things are peaceful here today.  The firefighters, police, and arson investigators have come and gone — for quite a while, we hope. 

There are lots of people out enjoying the sun, too.  They’d better; El Nino isn’t done with us yet, as Billy just said.  The computer forecast tells us it could rain the coming Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. 

We aren’t complaining, though.  Rain means the price of hay should stay reasonable.  The ranchers won’t have togive their cattle extra hay, because there’s lots of grass.  The coastal oat hay should be  a bumper crop.  That means the irrigated alfalfa won’t be so crucial. 

Things are looking good.

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Posted February 28, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Storm   Leave a comment

Not this storm, though it was impressive coming in.

It dumped quite a bit of rain, and we heard a rumble or two of thunder.  There’ve  been several storms through in the last eighteen hours, and we’re well supplied with puddles again.

No, the real problem was last night.  Someone apparently came in, broke into a tackroom, stole several saddles, and then set the tackroom on fire.  The arson team has been investigating most of the day.

There is reason to believe that this was a personal grudge, not a random happening.  We’ve had problems like this before, though not for many years.  We certainly hope it won’t happen again for as many years. 

The tackroom that was destroyed was not ours, but the one next to it was, and it too looks to be a total loss.  Luckily the people using it were insured, and the damage to the one on the other side is minimal — and mostly from the firefighters chopping it open to fight the fire. 

I thought very hard before I wrote about this, but an honest blog should record the bad with the good, and I’ve tried to do that except where it seems confidential.  And everyone around knows about this already.  It’s hard to miss a pile of ashes where a tackroom was yesterday.

It’s always depressing, though, to be reminded of how petty and vicious people can be.  But at least, no people or animals were hurt.

Posted February 28, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Watchful Mama   Leave a comment

I walked down to see Mama and Baby this morning — he was sound asleep under Mama’s watchful eye.  She looks relaxed — but noticed the ear cocked toward the camera.  She’s a very protective mother.

Like most babies, he spends a lot of time sleeping. 

It’s so green around here.  While walking down, I noticed these tiny toadstools.

The fiddleneck and filaree are in full bloom.  The grass here is as fine as hair, and nearly as soft.

Billy has been in a lot of pain and nearly unable to walk.  He thinks it’s his old enemy, gout.  It may well be, so we’re avoiding red meat for a while.  Red meat, red wine, and spinach are among the things you’re not supposed to eat if you’re gouty.  The pain has eased off, and now he’s just having his usual stiff knee, so maybe it’s working.  But if it comes back, I’m holding my breath and turning blue until he goes to the doctor.

Posted February 26, 2010 by stablewoman in Horses, Nature

Spring Again   Leave a comment

This is the time of year when it’s spring one day, winter the next.  At least, it is in California. 

We let the fire die today, and enjoyed the sun.  After almost a tenth of an inch of rain yesterday, a drying-out day is nice.  The flowers seem to think so, too.

This is a bulb I picked up at the supermarket last year.  It had one stem of flowers then, but this year it’s proudly flaunting three.  I like its starry blue-lavender blossoms, but can’t remember what they are.  I’ll get out my old (and indispensible) Sunset Garden Book and see if I can find out.  It’s nice to know the names of things.

Posted February 25, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Knitting Again   Leave a comment

It’s cool and damp (.03 this morning) and the fireplace is going again.  That means I want to sit by it and knit.  And, of course, all of the knitting world is doing the same during the Olympics.  There’s something about watching a skater twirl or a ski jumper fly that just goes with a knit project.

It had better not be too complicated, though, or you’ll end up with a snarl when the snowboarder wipes out or the slalom skier slides down the course on her backside.  I’m working on a mitered-square blanket; about as simple as you can get.

This is a new product; Lion Brand Amazing.  It’s a self-striping yarn, half wool and half acrylic.  That means it’s not too expensive, it’s machine washable (carefully!), and it’s lovely soft.  I may have gotten a little carried away with the color.  I wanted to try one of every colorway they had.  One or two might have been better.  They’re lovely colors, though, even if one or two are a bit . . . ferocious. 

Nothing else remarkable is going on, so I’m going to go put another log on the fire.  And read.  And knit.

Summer is coming . . .

Posted February 24, 2010 by stablewoman in Needlework

It’s Billy Joe   Leave a comment

Well, the new arrival turns out to be a boy.  Billy Joe, not Billie Jo.  In the general excitement, it’s easy to make a mistake, especially when Mama is not too keen on close inspection.

Mama is doing just fine.  Her placenta finally came free, and was all there and normal.  And Billy Joe has had his picture taken — a lot.  We don’t have many foals born here, so it is An Event.

Meanwhile, I’ve had a minor crisis of my own.  You know those Cadbury Creme Eggs?  The ooey-gooey ones that show up only around Easter?  I’ve got a weakness for them.  I bought a package and had it sitting all ready on the hearth next to me; then I started worrying about them getting too warm and melting.   So I dropped them down next to my chair, where I keep all my Stuff handy.

Unfortunately, I forgot about them, and they worked their way under the recliner.  Do you know what happens when you rock on a Cadbury Creme Egg?  It’s amazing how far that ooey-gooey center spreads.  Especially when yarn is involved.  Fuzzy yarn.

Well, I had to cut out and throw away a bunch of yarn.  There’s a (luckily acrylic) shawlette in the garage, waiting to be washed.  The chair needs to be turned upside down and washed before the ants find it.

But I’ve still got three eggs left.

Posted February 23, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Foaling: Never Simple   Leave a comment

Well, Mama Mare did it last night.  We got a call about eleven — they had a baby!  Billy went down, and they got the navel iodined.  That’s very important against navel ill, an almost always fatal infection.

Then we got a call later — Baby had managed to slip through the tiny space between pens, and gotten in with the next horse.  They managed to get it back with frantic Mama, and wanted to know how they could block the space so it wouldn’t happen again.  Now, Billy is using a walker because his knee gave out unexpectedly yesterday, so I went down.  Luckily, they had figured it out by then, and laced the hole shut with rope.

It was a busy night.  Then, by this morning, Mama had still not passed the placenta.  The vet is going to make a visit.  Usually that’s just a matter of a shot to restart labor, so we’ll hope that does it in this case.  I’ll have to report on that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, here’s the cause of all the fuss, looking quite unconcerned.  She’s a very nice filly.

They’re going to call her Billie Jo, in honor of — guess who?

Posted February 22, 2010 by stablewoman in Horses