Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Todays plan

Okay, other than watching an extra child around here I've really been trying to get my life (and house) in order. Several months ago I made a decision that this house whould be a whole lot easier to clean if it didn't have so much &^%^ in it! Soooo....I started on one end of the house and started cleaning stuff out. I went through my pants first...I had pants in my closet from when I was pregnant with Lilly. Well that was the biggest I've ever been in my life and ever intend to be! I was 60 pounds lighter with Hannah even. Out they went! Then, reality check needed, I haven't been a size 14 or 16 since I was a teenager and probably never will be again, out they go! That leaves very few pants that fit and a few that fit if I jerk up my belt to make them stay on...and we'll keep the 18's, I haven't given up fitting into them again yet. LOL
I then abandoned the rest of the closet for another day. I moved into my room, hmm what trinkets do I have that I don't even look at?? I went through the entire house this way. I hauled boxes of stuff to donate and hauled bags of garbage off. Yes, I have those I'm going to fix that one of these days projects too. Now was the time, They're either fixed or they're trash!

When February came I had to be at the ranch too much and the house got into disarray again. I lost alot of that momentum I had going. Today I'm going to pick it up and start again. First thing I need to do is get the house back into somewhat livable condition. This mean I need to break down and clean my kitchen that I've been avoiding. My hubby typically does about 2 loads of dishes in 3 days. This always leaves at least one load every 3 days that needs doing. Then I need to put away all the boxes that I've gotten out in order to make meals that I haven't put back and ended up on my counters. Then I get to buck up, swallow deep, and tackle the kitchen floor with the broom and mop. I love you Hannah! I just wish you wouldn't feel the need to toss leftovers onto the floor!

I also need to catch up on the girls laundry today. :P yuck!

If I manage to get that done I should start one of my "decluttering" projects up again. I skipped most of our closet, all of the office, the girl's closet, the recipe cupboard, the videos, the craft boxes, and several other "little" hidden things. I still need to do them though so that I have room to put other stuff away. Off to work! It's supposed to rain here for the next three days so I should have lots of time to get a good start on it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

may is here!

ahhh another may! The weather is warming up, the grass is getting green and most importantly...we are almost done with babies!!! I am so SICK of babies!! Baby ducks, baby goslings, baby chicks, baby turkeys, baby rabbits, baby goats, baby.....ugggg enough cuteness already! LOL okay so it really isn't that bad, I love the babies! Just not taking care of them. We're almost done incubating this year though. We have some chickens and a ton of turkeys left in the incubator and that's it! All of the baby rabbits went fast and we have one left that was born just a few days ago. All the ducklings are "sold" and just have to go home. There are but 4 goslings left.

The goat kids are settling into the feeding routine nicely. Get let out, run to the barn, run into the pen, devour grain, get milk, run back to pasture, get treats, try to maul lady giving us food, settle happily into sleep or play. Do this twice a day.

Josh is home now and has a new companion. Her name is Dolly and she's a mini-donkey. It gives him someone to hang out with but he is not "into" her like he is another horse and consequently pays great attention to us when we want to work with him. He went to the horse expo here and got a touch up on his training and doesn't seem to be as spooky anymore, but then things are always spookier in the winter :) We found a cheap round pen at a neighbors and will be working on some groundwork and on cart training this year.

I have an extra child I am "babysitting" this summer. She gets dropped off at random times and the mother doesn't bother to get me a schedule. If I point blank ask I will get told that she works 6-6 but she wont pick up the kid until 9:30 or 10! Also, there are lots of issues in the home and I never know what to expect. I can have her for a week solid and by the 3rd day she will be using the potty regularily without being told (she's 4) and will have great manners, but if she goes home for a few days in between my days the first day she's back with me she whines, cries, throws tantrums, wets her pants, etc...It's frusterating to say the least. Her mother seems to point fingers at everyone else and says her kids are the way they are because of their dad, her boyfriend, her sister, grandma, etc...but then when she's home with her kids she sticks a movie in and "hides" in her bedroom and the kids run wild. There's 3 kids total. The youngest and the one I tackle daily is a 4 year old girl. The others are boys, one is 7 and one is 10. I refuse to watch them. The eldest is out of control, destructive, a bully, and a troublemaker. The younger boy is still correctable and given the proper environment he settles down but greatly seems to resent it. The girls (hers and mine) were having breakfast this morning and S (her daughter) says something that I couldn't understand about a shotgun to L (my 3 year old daughter). L looks at me and asks if we have a shotgun. I flat out lied and told me child no, that we didn't have any guns. S then looks at me and says "I'm gonna shoot my mom". What the HECK!! A 4 year old!!! There's so many problems with that family and it seems like no one cares and no one will do anything. They talk to the other kids that live with them that are older (8,12,16) and "hear" from them that everythings "alright" and take it as such and no one investigates. Even when R (her 10 year old boy) got shot in the eye by the 8 year old with the air soft. Everyone took it as playing and no one did anything.

Grandma and grandpa are trying but there's only so much they can do. Grandma has called all the schools and told them what's going on but they talk to the kids and decide that there's nothing that needs to be done. *sigh* welcome to my life.

More another time, hopefully about improvements around our place not about the emotional problems that everyone on the ranch now has lol

Friday, April 8, 2011

everything and nothing!

The reason for the title is that EVERYTHING seems to go on at once and then NOTHING gets done!

The last two months have been spent down at my MILs house. We've been getting up at 6, taking care of our animals, then running down to her house by 8. Then we tag calves and kick them out of the corral. We do other chores like clean the barn, treat sick cows, feed cats, feed horses, etc. until lunch. Then we make and eat lunch. Then it's back to the corral every hour to kick up the hay and check on cows. My BIL is supposed to take over at 2-3 pm-ish. This year he has a new girlfriend and hasn't been showing up until 6-10ish soooo....we dont come home until 8 pm. Needless to say it's been exhausting!

The little time that I do have at home has been spent doing laundry and taking care of our animals. Our goats kidded in March. I hauled them down to the ranch barn to have them so that I could keep an eye on them. They lived down there for about a month. In the meantime every time we're home for a few minutes we were picking up eggs to incubate. Then I was having to record everything and rotate the eggs in the incubator and hatcher every week. I also managed to get my bunnies all bred and kindled. Some are reserved already, some aren't.

I'm thankful it's finally slowing down! Now I get to find time to get to Casper and look at some goats I want to purchase, get to Torrington and pick up some chickens, Build a buck pen for the buck we're keeping now (stinky!), along with getting my general life and the girls back in order. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

horse riding part 2

Ride 8: a month later; mount up, ride around the house and down to the road. I decide that I'm still not up for another terrorizing country ride just yet. We plod down the county rd. A vehicle comes up behind us and we step off the side of the road. I allow him to turn and watch as the vehicle goes by. He steps back onto the road willingly and trys to break into a run after the vehicle. Crazy horse! We go up to the culvert and he sees the shining pipe sticking out at each side of the road. He won't go over it but we manage to go off the road and around the pipe. Back on the road we ride up the hill. I have the idea that maybe he'd like to meet Jericho since he'll have to meet her eventually anyways. I call up my MIL and she says Yes I can ride to her house. We ride down the road. We get to the bottom without much ado other than him calling wildly to the other horses that live right there. I dismount and lead him through the gate, off of our pasture land and into the alley way by the county road. I figure out that if I stand him next to the county road in the bar ditch and I stand on the road's surface I can just manage to climb back on. I do so. We walk a couple steps. Prancing the entire way because all he wants to do is go play with the horses. I sigh and dismount again. I lead him past them and mount again. We ride a few more steps. The next house has a huge dog that runs out barking. Thankfully he doesn't spook but absolutely refuses to go any further. I dismount. It takes me 20 minutes to coax him past the dog. I mount again as hubby drives up in car (he's supposed to pick me up at MIL's so Josh can stay a bit). He opens gate into pasture by MIL's and I turn thankfully off the road into it. We ride up the road, Jumping slightly when a bird flies but otherwise not reacting. We get to where the tractor is parked along the road and he balks at that. You dingy horse you've been walking past that at our place. Suddenly he catches the sound and smell of Jericho. Tractor is forgotten as he whinies joyfully! Forward. I manage to slow him from his trot back to a fast walk. He's paying so much attention to Jericho that he isn't paying attention to where we are going. He steps into some mud and spooks. I manage to hang on as he leaps about 5 feet forward before walking again like nothing happened. I was very relieved to be there finally. The intro went well and he spent the weekend.
Ride 9: I decide I'll ride him home instead of trailering. I must be an idiot! We plod down the road (we took the driveway instead of the pasture road so that we'd go by more houses on the county road since I know he needs to get over the previous problems). We stop every 10 feet and whinny madly. When we finally get out of ear shot of Jericho he walks willingly to the road. Hubby drives ahead slowly and parks by gates to let us out. Shys slightly at hubby...what's up with that??! We walk past the first house and their dogs rush out suddenly barking. We're off to the races! Stop you nutso horse it's okay! I'm still alive and alright...good. Shaky but determined I ride past the other dog's house, he's not out today. I ride past the horses' pasture, they're too far away to care. I ride up the road towards our house. Hubby drives past and goes home since there's no more gates. We get 3/4 of the way up the hill and suddenly Josh realizes he's not out just a pleasure ride, he's going home. Feet planted. I prod and coax and kick determined not to give in ad not to get off. We make it to the top of the hill. No further. I dismount and start to lead him. I have never had a problem leading him as he's been cooperative to that since I got him. I take the lead rope and start walking. I come up short. I read somewhere that if a horse refuses to move you just keep walking in place and don't look back. This has always worked before when he's slightly balked at something. Not moving though today. Knowing I don't have a shot at overpowering him I nonetheless try...I pull and I tug...we go backward two steps. I sigh. I stop. We stand at the top of the hill and I scratch and talk for 10 min. I try leading again. Nothing. Now I'm frustrated and lost. I take him back even a little ways and he wins but the only place I could get Tim to bring the trailer is at the bottom of the hill. Otherwise he'd have to go past me with it, turn around and then go past us again. I talk and scratch some more. Lead...nothing. I try pulling again...nothing. We stand there. I decide there's only one thing to do and hope I won't regret it. I take the end of the lead rope and whack his butt with it...Hard. He jumps about 2 ft forward. Gives me an awful look and starts walking again. At the bottom of the hill I mount again and we ride the rest of the way home.

He stood out in the pasture for a week barely eating and staring towards MIL's before I gave in and hauled him back (in the trailer). I've ridden 2-3 times since then but not more than about 300-500 feet. He shys away from having the saddle put on and the longer he's at MIL's the "spookier" he gets. He jumps at everything now. I need to get him back here where he's closer to work with and less spooky but we don't have a companion here and he's obviously miserable without one. Lose lose situation. I think I'm going to go back to the basics and start lungeing exercises with him. *sigh* I'm also going to hire a different trainer when we can spare the money and have them put 60 rides on him.


I am really slacking here...I just realized that I NEVER posted that we got a horse! After wanting one my entire life we purchased a Belgian Purebred stallion in April.

He wasn't very happy with his new home at first. The week after he came home he made a trip to the vet to fix the stallion part. No way was I going to have a stallion here with two little girls. Then a few weeks after that he got sent to training.

The trainer we hired it took me almost the entire time to figure out that I should have chosen someone else. She did teach him and he has a whole lot better manners than he did when he left but she put only half the time into him that the other trainer we were considering would have and she didn't put the 60 rides on him. She left that for me to do! HA! That would be part of why I hired a trainer! I don't like green horses taking me for "rides" and there's a BIG difference between 60 rides and 5. Also even though she had agreed to train him to drive as well her version of it was throwing the harness on him and hooking him up. Consequently he barely accepts the harness and now spooks when anything is hooked up behind him.

This is where I mention that while not a beginner I'm far from being a confident BALANCED rider. I'm used to riding the ranch horses. Jericho will balk and refuse to move and play dumb games like that but I can deal with that. She even reared once with me. Conveniently I was trying a new saddle when she did it and the seat was too small for my rear and I was stuck in it! LOL She's never tried that with me since. My new horse is not only green but he's young. He's only a two year old (almost three now). I named him Josh. I couldn't think of anything else that fit him and I was also being cute. "Joshua" fought the battle of "Jericho"

My first few rides on him go something like this....
Ride 1: Use cable spools to climb on. I can't mount him on my own as he's over 16 hands tall. Ride around to the front of the house, dance sideways at fowl, stop and stare at car, back away from house. Okay...not bad but not pleasant. That's enough for today now...how do I get down?? Guide horse towards back of house and cable spools. Horse balks at propane tank and wont ride by it again. Try higher up on the hill, horse balks at rabbit hutches. Hubby asleep in house and doesn't know I'm stuck. Hmmm...look around what can I use...Guide horse up to trailer, dismount onto trailer right as horse jumps sideways away from it.
Rides 2-4: Cable spool climb on, ride around front, ride around house area for several minutes, ride reluctantly back to the back and dismount on cable spools.
Rides 5-6: Climb on on cable spool, ride around front and out into pasture across rode. Open area now. He's reluctant to move back to the house as he isn't tired yet but does so with coaxing. Ride progressively further out.
Ride 7: Mount, ride around front, down the rode and out into pasture. He's been doing so well that I decide to take him even further out. He's done good going to the stream so I have him walk along it and look for a place to cross. Find a place to cross. Steps willingly into stream and paws water onto tummy a bit then moves calmly up other side. the crossing leads out onto an area surrounded by gullys. We ride up one hill away from the stream only to be stuck on a plateau. Checking out the terrain I spy a gently sloping hill with a small 4" step down at the bottom. The area then crosses a small branch of water. It then goes up a slow slope back to the top of the open area. This looks like our best bet. We start slowly down the hill. Halfway down the hill we suddenly break into a gallop and go tearing down the hill followed by a mighty leap over the 4" step landing and then jumping over the creek. We then dash up the other side before I can bring him to a stop. Oh geez!! Okay....I'm alright....then my stomach sinks as I realize that to go home I have to go back through that. I feel sick. He's standing there acting as if nothing happened. I manage my first dismount without an aid and drop thankfully the last inches to the ground. I didn't sign up for this....shouldn't this have been covered by a trainer in his first 60 rides??!!! Scratching his neck (I really do adore the horse) I lead him back down the gully and across the ditch and stream and walk the rest of the way home. I don't see anything I can use as a mounting aid and that's just fine with me!

(more on Josh another day...
Day 3 and probably 4 of the challenge...sick sick sick...get better!, keep up water intake)

Cat target

Tim got up yesterday and the new dog we're trying out was barking. He woke me up and told me that he's barking at something out in the field and it looks like a coon or a skunk and has a big fluffy tail. Normally I would jump at the chance to exterminate some predator this close to the house but yesterday I just laid there thinking yeah right. For starters the new dog barks at EVERYTHING! The other two weren't barking. Living out in the country this hasn't had a factor in if we will keep him or not, it's just somehting we'll need to train him in. Second thought was that if it was a skunk or coon that the dog barking was going to scare it off. Probably a cat, I decided, laying there. Tim comes back in and grins sheepishly at me, " hunting a Butch we go" he says. I laughed...a cat.

So far the new pup had several great points going for him...
1. Adult - not puppy
2. Rides great in car, gets in willingly and waits for an Ok before getting out
3. Plays fetch with anything. High point for me since I adore watching a dog run full out to retrieve something
4. Even better...runs around kids while fetching instead of running them over (downfall that my old pup has)
5. Smart and eager to please, seems to want to do what's right
6. Very loving, thinks he's velcro for your lap or leg.
7. not sure how he is with cattle but he's smart enough to avoid the goats.

Negative points:
1. Both times I've had him out of the yard he has gone after birds, first time a goose, (thankfully the goose I don't care much for, wacked him with the empty plastic garbage can I was carrying to make him let go) second time one of my chickens and I managed to yell no at him before he got a bite. This was one of the high points on one of the first dogs we tried to adopt and what sent her back to the pound. This dog however I really feel a connection with and would like to believe that since he's willing to stop when I yell no at him that I might be able to correct it or at the very least chicken proof the yard and have a happy medium.
2. Supposedly is only "partially" housebroken. Another big point. I've watched him mark everything under the sun outside and have been cleaning my house up so there are less marking temptations inside. We are going to try bringing him inside and seeing how he does. This one is a big issue because I do want a companion animal. If he can only be in the yard or kennel we should probably take him back since with the girls this young I spend a fair amount of time indoors (esp. in the winter) and he would be alone far too much.

A combination of both negatives just isn't good for us. If he wasn't housebroke but was good with birds then I could work on housebreaking later or even not housebreak him and spend a fair amount of time with him outside while I do my chores and farm cleanup everyday. Conversely being stuck in the yard limits my time with him outside so he really needs to be able to come inside to be with us.

On other pages: I completed Day 2 of the challenge with 12 glasses of water and an hour workout on the wii fit. This consisted of about 10 min yoga, 6 min strength training (I wussed out), about 15 min of balance games, and a half hour cardio workout. The cardio workout involved a little hula hoop, some step areobics, and me gasping my way "I can do it, I can do it, I can do it" little engine that could style through ten minutes of freestyle-Jogging.

Today's tasks:
8 glasses of water
Start pancreas flush (morning for 5 days)
afternoon nap
Watch food intake
No exercise (This is the day of REST after all)

Friday, January 7, 2011

biggest loser!

Happy New year everyone!

I made absolutely no new year's resolutions this year...after all, I never keep them anyways! That being said...some girls in a moms group I attend decided that they were going to do a biggest loser competition. $30 to get in on it and whoever loses the highest percentage of weight wins the whole pot. The pot is currently close to $700. hmmm talk about incentive to lose weight...think of all I could do with that.
I don't honestly believe I stand a chance against all the skinny gals that have entered. After all, they lose one pound for their 160lbs and they've got a higher percentage than my 2 lbs for my 285ish pounds. I'm darn well going to try though! I've got lots to lose and since I had Hannah I just seem to keep creeping up.
Sooooo....I got up this morning, said my prayers, took a shower and started by loading the girls in the car. We drove into the gym in town and I paid $4.50 to have the girls babysat for an hour (ridiculous!). I turned in my free month membership though that I'd won in a raffle so didn't have to pay for the membership at least.

I take the girls into the "daycare" I'm greeted by a short woman that probably weighs 200 pounds and NONE of it is fat! Her skimpy shorts show off bulging calves and upper legs. Short sleeved shirt shows off bulging muscular arms. Stomach?? Flat and hard as a brick....
Silly me....I thought that the daycare at the GYM might be ran by someone who actually looked like a mom!! I've got a long way to go to look anywhere close to that! I'm not sure I'll ever have a tummy that doesn't look like it's bore children.

I wander around the gym vaguely looking for a bike....hmm I don't see any bikes but there's one of those nice treadmill things that tells me how many calories I burned during the workout. Jump on that and start it up....enter weight.....Realize I should have brought a book or something...look around...a couple of machines down is a gal that looks like she has headphones on that the cord is coming from the machine. Reach down and pull emergency switch button...my bad...um....restart machine....realize that the gal has an MP3 player in the cupholder. Okay...that's do-able, wonder where hubbys MP3 player is, remember that it's on the desk...wonder where the cord to load it with music and charge it is? Think of huge milk crate in closet filled with cords...*sigh* Decide I need to think about something else, glance around again. Okay they have TV....hmmm political stuff...okay...throw that out...look around some more....

Why is it that everyone that belongs to a gym is skinny as a rail already and has muscles the size of basketballs?? Notice the bank of mirrors facing me on my left side. Is that really me???!!! Oh I feel SOOOO much better now.....
Keep walking...don't look at mirrors....glance at clock on treadmill....5 minutes...this is going to be a LONG workout!!!
Finish workout. Machine flashes mileage and time...no calories...I forgot to set my weight the second time....drat!!! Collect girls. Get paperwork that says I need to get their shot records...another errand....
On the way out run into one of the gals "hosting" the competition. I really like her, she's very nice but she's one of those gals that doesn't have much to lose...hmmm great...She tells me "good job" for coming to the gym. I grin stupidly and think that she's probably there all the time. I guess I should have told her good job back but was trying to think positive and think about how I was going to lose all my extra weight. Chalk up one for insensitivity on my part...

Goals for day one:
Increase Water intake from nonexsistant to 12 cups per day.
Pamper self in morning to make it through day.
Weight check
Go to gym and start excersise program
Eat NO processed sugar!

Drank 8 cups throughout morning and before writing this (also have visited the bathroom at least 10 times! ugg)
Weight check: (reluctantly hopped on my wii this morning and checked...hmm up 2 lbs in 40 days....about right)
Pampering...ignore stirring children and take warm shower....rub lotion EVERYWHERE! AAAHHHHH
Gym: Grit teeth and make plans to attend next week as well, workout on Wii in between...
Food: Modify breakfast to include one apple and one orange instead of a big bowl of honey nut chex. So far no sugar....
Plan for remaining day...clean away temptations....dump cheescake leftovers to chickens, hide candy, etc...
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