Archive for February 2011

Nip’s Home!   1 comment

And he’s very happy to be here, too; although he looks rather mournful in this picture.  Can you see the bandage from his IV?

He looks and feels darn good for being such a sick little dog a few days ago.  He’s eating and drinking well, and looks better almost by the hour.

His sister, of course, is overjoyed to have him home.  In fact, the main problem is keeping her from tiring him out.  He tries to keep up with her as she runs joyful rings around her, and he probably shouldn’t.

For this reason, we kept her in the puppy pen last night.  Alone wasn’t working, unless we wanted to listen to heartbroken wails all night, so we put big dog Spanky in with her.  Spanky wasn’t thrilled with this, and climbed on top of her little doghouse to stage a Great Escape.  He was recaptured and stuffed back in, and the house moved so he couldn’t get close enough to the fence to climb out.  The rest of the night was peaceful.  If Nip still seems to be doing well, we’ll probably let the pups sleep together tonight.

I got an e-mail from the driving trainer, Trish, and she will be ready to take Bella for training any time after March 7.  So little Bella will likely be headed for Lancaster soon.  I just wish it was closer.  I’d like to take some driving lessons, too.  Maybe there’ll be some way to work things out.

Posted February 28, 2011 by stablewoman in Pets

Good News   Leave a comment

Nip is doing so much better that the vet is sending him home — probably this afternoon.  We’ll all be glad to see him back.  He’ll be glad to be back, too!

It’s been a near-perfect day, with a cold wind blowing from the snowy mountains, but intensely blue skies.  There have been riders going in every direction.  Here’s Courtney (with a friend on a green filly) on Andrew’s prospective purchase, Kitty.  I suspect Kitty will be staying.  Doesn’t Courtney look happy?

In other news, there’s a good possibility that one of the other ewes is pregnant.  Maybe we’ll end up neck-deep in sheep.  I don’t think there’s much chance any of them will become lamb chops.

Posted February 27, 2011 by stablewoman in Riding

Cold Storm   Leave a comment

The rain started just as Marion and I got to the gallery where the guitar concerts are played.  The music was wonderful; everything from classic to modern, from Gershwin to Bach.  The guitarist was very young (at least to me), and I thought he looked like Harry Potter.

It was still raining when we got out, and continued to rain most of the night.  It was a light rain   — and definitely not snow — but persistent.  The ground was so dry that there are very few puddles, except in the road.  It should do the grass in the mountains a lot of good.

The aftermath of the storm, from the snow on the mountain to the clouds above, was so spectacular that I spent a lot of time outside with my camera.  Here are some of the results.

The rain, as I said, will do a lot of good in the mountains.  I’m afraid it won’t do as much on the valley floor, for the grass has begun to produce seedheads.  Here is some wild barley.  It’s pretty now, but later we will be cussing it as foxtails.

Andrew went again to see little Nip at the vet today.  He is still holding his own, but has not yet started to eat on his own, which is not encouraging.  The vet says it sometimes takes several days for them to get back on food, so we’re still hoping.

And Xena is still healthy and happy.

Posted February 26, 2011 by stablewoman in Weather

Hanging in There   1 comment

Nip is still at the vet’s.  His white blood cell count is up, so his system is in there fighting.  He’s alert, no fever, but still having intestinal problems.  We’re rooting for him.

It’s hard to believe that it was only a couple of months ago they were just entering our lives.  Here’s Chunk, drowsing under the Christmas tree.

He wasn’t interested much in sheep, but loved playing in (and eating) the grass.

Goodbye, Chunk.

Xena continues healthy and happy, but it’ll be a couple of weeks before we’re sure she’s out of danger.  She got to sleep on Andrew’s bed last night, so she was much happier.  We’re crossing our fingers for her, too.

Marion and I are planning to attend a guitar concert tonight.  We both need a bit of cheering up, and some lovely music ought to help.  If, that is, we don’t get caught in the snow . . . I’m not too worried.

Posted February 25, 2011 by stablewoman in Pets

A Sad Day   1 comment

This is a hard one to write.  Last night we lost little pup Chunk to Parvo.  His brother Nip is at the vet hospital, holding his own.  So far, Xena is healthy, but bewildered.

It was an incredibly fast-acting disease.  Day before yesterday, they all seemed healthy and active.  Yesterday morning, Andrew called to say that Chunk seemed a little off, and he was going to keep him that day.  By mid-morning, Nip started to act lethargic.  By evening, Chunk was dead and Nip had been rushed to the vet.

The vet said that since it acted so fast, they probably couldn’t have saved Chunk anyway.  Nip is bright and alert, his fever is down, but he is still passing blood.  It’s too soon to say if he will make it.

Andrew did everything right.  The pups were given all of their shots.  They were well-fed and cared for, happy-go-lucky little dogs.  We just didn’t see this coming.  The vet said that Parvo is like the flu; it changes so fast it’s hard for the vaccines to keep up.

It’s especially hard to see Xena looking for her brothers.  She tries to play with the big dogs, but they pretty much ignore her.  We’re really hoping Nip makes it.  If not, I’ll have to do my very best to spoil her rotten.  Of course, we’re watching her like so many hawks.  Right now she’s down “helping” the big dogs with the sheep.

I’ve been working on simple commands, like “sit” and “come”.  She got “come” right away, and is doing very well with “sit”.  Now when I call her, she comes galloping up, bounces off my leg, then plops her little behind down and looks up hopefully.  “I sat,” she’s no doubt thinking, “Now where’s my treat?”

I seem to remember a poem by Kipling that begins, “Don’t give your heart to a dog to tear.”  Oh, they can be heartbreaking; but how much we would miss without them.

Posted February 24, 2011 by stablewoman in Pets

Problems with Pants   1 comment

Losing weight is good; some of the problems that come with it are . . . not so good.  If you are hoping to lose more, you don’t want to invest a lot of money in clothes that may not fit soon.  All of my old wardrobe is no longer usable (though some of my very old wardrobe might  be).  So I tend, for now, to do most of my shopping at WalMart.

A few days ago I bought two pairs of pants, size 16; down from size 20.  I was very proud.  They were the first pants with actual belt loops that I’d bought for years.  They fit pretty well.  I also bought some knit pants, described as “L — size 12 to 14”.  They also fit.  Okay; that’s odd, but good. 

I’m in a gray area in length.  The average length seems to be for someone 5′ 8 or better.  The Petite, for 5’2 or less.  I’m 5’4.  The average is too long, and the petite is too short.  Oh, well.

I got my new pants home and prepared to wash them.  While taking off the tags, I noted that the rear pockets on the belt loop pants were apparently false.  Well, there were still side pockets, so that was OK.  But then I looked at the inside of the pants, and they did have rear pockets.  Which were neatly sewn shut.  What the heck?  I unpicked the stitching, and was left with perfectly good rear pockets.  Why would they sew them up?

I could only picture some seamstress in Bangladesh thinking, “Ha!  Take that, you bloated American capitalist plutocrat!  I’ll sew up your pants pockets and drive you insane by inches!”

I’m almost afraid to buy any underwear.

Posted February 23, 2011 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Snow?   Leave a comment

The forecasters keep saying that the conditions for this weekend are going to be just like those that brought on the snowstorm of 1999.  Well, maybe; we’ll believe it when we see it.  They already said that once this year — well, this rainy season.

Meanwhile, it is cool but beautiful.  The pups and I found a hyacinth blooming at Teri’s memorial tree this morning.  It is blue-violet; the best color for a hyacinth, in my opinion.

I’ve been asked to make an afghan to raffle off at the school carnival; that is, the school that I taught at for many years.  I decided it was time for another round ripple.  I made one a couple of years ago in rainbow colors.  This time, I’m using colors that suggest a spring sunrise.

It’s coming along nicely.  Maybe I can have it ready by the time our retired teachers’ group has their luncheon in March.

We packed the ewe and lamb down to the pen with the other sheep.  I got to carry the lamb.  She’s coming along nicely; though she can’t weigh more than four or five pounds, she’s a solid little wooly armful. 

Billy and I always wait for March with anticipation, because it’s around St. Patrick’s day you can get corned beef.  I found a nice Harris Ranch corned brisket early this year; I can smell it simmering on the stove right now.  I’d better go check on it . . .

Posted February 22, 2011 by stablewoman in Needlework