Tank In the Tank

The goat. Is hysterical. Forever looking for what he might climb on, climb in or climb over. Like any goat, of course. But this kid has got some serious personality. It’s why we got him in the first place. The previous owner thought better our place he tear up, than hers.

I’ve been wanting to throw some grass on the roof, build him a ladder and let him go at it. It’s better than the top of the truck, which he was climbing on the other day. Or the roof of my Prius. Where he was as well. The Cowboy is not amused. I on the other hand, tend to run and grab my camera.

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Adventures with Tank

Soaking Up Every Last Ray of Fall

When winter rolls around in these parts, it tends to hang on for what seems a very long time. The winds howl. The temperatures dip. Low. The horses take their place along the shelter belt and the dogs can’t get inside fast enough, much to the dismay of the Cowboy.

So on days like those we’ve had recently, beautiful, warm, sunny and well into October, we do all we can to soak up every last moment. Our 13 y.o. told me the other day, it was too nice out, she was going outside to do some homework. By the time I wrapped what I was doing and went out to check on her, I found she had curled up and was asleep on the lawn, the dogs by her side (until I walked outside) and the horses, goats and the donkey, not too far away.

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I took a deep breath, soaked up a beautiful fall afternoon and let her sleep a little longer. There won’t be too many days like this left. And opportunities to rest – for any of us – especially as we get older, seem rare.

A Horse’s Swirls …

Interesting …
I’m cleaning up my computer tonight. It’s totally bogged down with data overload. Mostly photographs. I’ve been neglectful the past few months about deleting and transferring content to the cloud or any other storage. Mainly because we’ve just been busy. But that’s still no excuse. It’s just not good on so many levels. I could lose a lot I don’t currently have stored. But primarily it’s bugging me because it’s meant some long waits for easy online tasks. Which, is just plain irritating. And I have no one to blame but myself. So I decided tonight it was time to remedy the situation. Especially after trying to upload and edit one photo this morning at the paper turned into a major, time consuming ordeal.
So I’m hanging out tonight in the Cowboy’s old recliner and cleaning the proverbial laptop house – clearing content off the desktop, wiping out unnecessary downloads, going through photo albums and deleting pics I know I’ll never use. Freeing up space.
I offer some background here because it’s relevant as to how I stumbled upon the story below ..
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Among the photos I’ve had sitting on my desktop, are a few I thought would be fun to share on the Cowboy’s company FB page. I click on the page and get ready to upload when an article he posted, apparently 4 months ago, catches my eye. I’ve never seen it, nor had I thought much about the issue being discussed. And, well, I thought it was worth sharing. But I asked him about it first.
“The swirls (sworls?) post? Oh yeah,” he says. “Three swirls is bad. They really are. It’s interesting,” the Cowboy tells me tonight from his nightly perch in the kitchen where he plays guitar.
Direct from his Facebook post:
I have studied swirls for many years and believe there is something to this. Usually multiple swirls is a fairly inconsistent horse. (This is the Cowboy speaking here.) Interesting post by Chuck Nifong who shared Beadle Lake Large Animal Clinic’s status.
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….Many of people have asked over the years …. What does the Swirl mean, well here you go. My Grandfather taught me this many years ago and I have found it to be TRUE *~_CN_~*
Swirlology 101- (whorl patterns). Have you ever wondered what the whorl pattern on your horse’s forehead means. Some old timers have said it can be the gateway to the soul. See if you agree.A swirl located between the eyes indicates an easy going, uncomplicated horse.
Swirls higher on the forehead indicate intelligence and a more reactive nature.Long swirls, especially those that extend below the eye indicate a friendly and agreeable nature.

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Multiple swirls can indicate multiple personalities. High and tight side by side swirls can mean a horse that is super focused and talented, but challenging and difficult in the wrong hands. 2 swirls on top of each other can mean extreme personality swings and unpredictability. Multiple swirls that form a Z pattern can signal a horse that is dangerous and violent.

The direction that the whorl turns can tell you if the horse is right or left “handed” (or hoofed) . If the whorl flows counterclockwise it is left “handed”. If the whorl flows clockwise it is right “handed”. Tell us any other wives tales you have heard about whorl patterns.

O-Mok-See

Our computers most often anymore, get set aside over any and all weekends. Especially weekends we are blessed to have all the kids around.

So the email… the email that came in just as the workday ended last Friday that stunned us both… we agreed to forget about the best we could for the weekend and enjoy our time together. And we’re glad that we did because it may have been the last warm, beautiful weekend we’ll see for quite some time.

There was little that could be done to change the situation anyway. At that point. And, we should have expected nothing less than the news we received, given our previous experience with the South Dakota family court system.

So before I get to discussing what was in the email .. this was from Sunday night. I started journaling again right before the power went out.

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Sunday has been a long day but a wonderful one at that – it was the first Sunday School session of fall, the whole family took part in our first O-Mok-See which lasted all afternoon… honestly, the first time I even heard the word was that afternoon when we were there. It’s different than what the kids are used to doing as well as the horses. So it was good for us.

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The Cowboy and the boys left early to get to their first fall flag-football practice (which they are totally stoked about), we all got home later than we would have liked on a school night and still had to put the horses and tack away, grab a shower, a bite to eat and get to work.

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The girls picked up their homework and went out to my office – the newness and privacy of it all has them excited and wanting to work out there. Needing somewhere quiet and with the Cowboy and the boys still not home, I stayed inside, sat down at the table, and started to catch up on emails, interviews yet to be logged and think through the articles due Monday morning at the paper.

The email, I still haven’t looked at it. But I already know what it says. We’re pondering the various ways we might folo-up this week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the fence

We had gone to ride yesterday afternoon at a friends nearby indoor arena. Grateful for the warmth of the barn and of the horses underneath us, it was not a problem to stay at length and enjoy the time.

It didn’t take long however, after walking out of the barn to unsaddle, that I was back to not being able to feel my fingers and was shivering. I couldn’t wait to just get back into my car, sit on the heated seat and be warm for the next 20 minutes while I waited for my daughter to wrap up basketball practice. Yet, when I got to the end of their drive and turn toward town, the horses on the other side of the gravel road stopped me in my tracks.  I had to hop back out, say hello and snap a few photos. Love how this one in particular, turned out.

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What about your horses..

There are a lot of people throughout the country bracing for the bitter cold the next 24 hours is slated to bring. Grocery stores are packed with people stocking up. Schools are already ordered closed for the start of the week. Cars are plugged in. Animals and people we hope are snug in their beds. And where there is livestock, enough feed has been put out to get them through the next couple of days. They need it.

“What are you going to do with your horses,” a colleague of mine asked the other day.

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They’ll be fine, I told her. They’ve got a windbreak, some good winter fat on them and a pretty heavy coat of hair. I still worry about them, I tell her. But as long as they’ve got hay (in our case along with some grain) at the ready and shelter if they need, they’ll stay warm and weather these temperatures, just fine .. when they eat, they generate heat.

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“Horses are good if they have a windbreak – they can take a tremendous amount of cold,” the Cowboy’s dad says to me tonight as we’re talking about how they might be faring now that the actual temperature gauge in the house shows -18 at this hour in our little corner of southeastern South Dakota. 

We’re still checking on them routinely. Hoping everyone facing these temps, in some cases, record breaking lows, gets through the next 24-48 hours unscathed. Stay warm.

Blustery

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Blustery

It’s been a nasty mix of winter weather across much of the country as we head into 2014. From bitter cold temps to blustery winds today, parts of eastern South Dakota were in near whiteout conditions with winds howling between 25-35 mph. About all we’ve seen of the horses today, their tails and noses peeking out around the corner.