Sunday, November 29, 2009

A weekend well spent is a joy forever

What did you do on your holiday vacation Vaquerogirl? 

I ate a lot! 

What else?

I enjoyed my family...
And my friends...
And,of course, my horses. 

Glacier update!

I moved Glacier once again- this time to five acres right next to my house. I hope it works out- the hillside is steep and soon will be muddy- but at least I can choose what and how much she is eating.

 As strange as it might seem- now Glacier is fat! 

So Lil Mama and I took Bob and Glacier to our local Horsemen's Arena to ride( since there is no riding area in her old situation or her new one). 
It is the first time we've really been able to ride her since we brought her into our lives a year ago. 

She was brushed and bridled with a cavesson, and a martingale, and my reining saddle. It didn't fit very well- I still need to find a 'bridge' pad for her. 

I lunged her both directions. Then climbed aboard. 

She was a little hesitant at first, but I just urged her a little and she went forward. She tossed her head, and her tail was  agoin', but as soon as she figured out I wasn't going to jerk and spur, she relaxed. 

Lil Mama climbed aboard next and in a few minutes she was jogging out and kinda enjoying it! 

As we were leaving some friends came and found us, so we were able to lead the children around for a few minutes. She was excellent! 

 We finished the afternoon by moving her to her new home with another 'oldster', Ginger.
No kicking or pawing or shrieking, just a few snuffled hellos and pinned ears, then nuthin'. 
Maybe things are going to be ok. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today I am Thankful for...

No this is not going to be one of the maudlin blogs about how I am sooo very thankful for everything.

And though it began as a rant on the movie makers asking the question, "What are you thankful for?" it is not going to be a rave either.

Instead it is with gratitude that I want to thank all of you.

Thank you ~ Mikey, for your continued reminder that good will triumph over evil and foolishness. You save dogs and horses and snakes and all manner of things that no one else would touch with, literally, a ten foot pole. You live as He would have us all live. I imagine you rescue souls as well, even though you may not post about it, or even realize it. Your deeds touch us very deeply.

Thank you~ Trainwreck, for your unabashed enthusiasms through the year. Your generous gifts have meant the world to so many people in all sorts of places. Your generous spirit takes our breath away daily.

Thank you~ Pony Girl, who has the unique and childlike gift of seeing the most mundane things in a fantastic way through the lens of her camera. Ethereal images reminding us how special the equine is in our lives.

Thank you~ Lil Mama, for your cynical and hilarious view of life as you know it. A wonderful reminder that there is something funny in even the most mundane and wretched occurances. You make laughter a daily thing.

Thank you~ The Wife,who makes dogs and calves, bulls and their naturally occuring detritus seem like a walk in the park. Honest and savvy, brave and beautiful, reminding us that life is for reaching out and grabbing your greatest dreams.

Thank you~ The W.O.W Factor, complete reality checks daily-thank you very much. If you want the truth and nothin' but...a godsend in a world that spins everything. Your feet solidly in the dirt helps keep us there too.

Thank You~ Brown -Eyed Cowgirl, Horses are best when taken slowly , but your daily doses of horse wisdom and humor are likely to make us want to gallop full tilt into the void- and live to tell about it!

Thank you Laughing Orca Ranch~ Your spirit and fortitude is inspiring to say the very least. Your daily updates on your animals, your daily struggles remind me that I am not alone, we all struggle and sometimes we suceed.

I could not name each and every blogger I follow- there are so many and they all touch a little bit of my life every day. People that I have never met, and yet know of (some) of their triumphs and sorrows, their rewards and their failures.If I was to have a giant party I would invite all of you to attend, gifting you with showers of flowers and love.
And to those of you who lurk- and you DO know who you are- I love you all as well. You have taken a minute to read of my day, my life, loves, hates...your presence is known and loved by me.

And FYI- I am extremely thankful for my husband, my healthy children, my wonderful friends, the fantastic country we live in and the freedoms that many have fought for through all the years so that tomorrow my family can eat a huge turkey, and pies and gravies and wine and well... everything.

Tomorrow I wish you all full bellies and happy hearts.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Starstruck and loving it!

Have you ever been Starstruck? I mean truly, mind-bendingly, unalterably ga-ga, screaming like the Beatles-are- in- town kind of starstruck? 
I am!
Hello, my name is Vaquero Girl and I am starstruck.  

What? Who?
Who would make the usually stoic and unflappable Vaquero Girl lose her nut?

Not Clint Eastwood? (A VERY fine figure of a man, undeniably, and a brilliant actor and director, but not him.)

John Wayne? (Nope!)

The Gus Robert Duval, not the Apocalypse Now Duval, surely?  (Close but no cigar!)

My Star of Choice is Daniel Day-Lewis. 

From The Last of the Mohican's ( which I will admit, because that is the fourth step or something, I saw fourteen times in the theatre.) I have been majorly enamored with the man. 
I've seen all of his movies-from STARS AND BARS ( very funny!) to THERE WILL BE BLOOD   ( gritty and touching), and I never get tired of just gazing upon that perfectly imperfect face.

And c'mon- who wouldn't just melt when in THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, he says into the phone " Take off your clothes."
Or the Eagle in his glass eye in GANGS OF NEW YORK?

 Here is the best part- he has a new movie coming out on the 25th! Do you know I will be camping out at the theatre waiting to buy tickets like those two goobers in the Sears commercial. You bet! 
                                                       cue screaming girls

The movie is called NINE. It has singing and dancing and lots of beautiful women 

and HIM! 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


As I mentioned before, ticks are bad this year! Even though it seems either a little early or a little late ( we have two 'tick' seasons here in the Bay Area), none-the less they are here in GREAT numbers!
I dusted all of the horses, but I don't think it is working all that well. The oldsters are still plagued, you can see where they have been biting at their sides and rubbing. Lumps on their otherwise shiny coats are telling me that the ticks are hanging in there. So I am going to dust them all again, but I have also been searching websites for other methods of tick control. 

I don't know about some of this advise... let me know what you think. 

Garlic in food.
Guinea hens or chickens.
Show sheen on the legs to make them slippery.
mowing the pasture ( it is 63 acres straight up!)
lavender oil
Avon Skin so Soft
Homemade tick sprays that include alcohol, glycerin's, tee tree oil and other ingredients.
Pymethrin and Pymethrin products. 

Of all that I think the Pymethrin products are my best bet, and they can be had fairly cheaply- $16.00 for a quart. 
Also Seven Dust- but that is pretty much what I've been using. 

We have mostly deer ticks around here, and they are known carriers of Lyme disease. Did you know horses can contract Lyme disease too? Most horses do not show symptoms, or light symptoms, but people can contract the disease from those same ticks and that can be life altering or even fatal. Horses will show lethargy, muscle soreness and intermittent lameness in different legs. 

Beside anemia, untended ticks can suck a horse nearly dry. Gruesome! But I have seen it happen!
For those of you that don't know, ( and I can't imagine that of any of you!), the best way to remove a tick is to take tweezers and grip the tick firmly at the head. Then pull it out, discard the body or bodies in a jar of alcohol. I don't think it matters if it is Gin or Whiskey- or rubbing! ( just checking to see if you are all still reading!) Don't just drop it on the ground, they are practically indestructible ( able to live through cold and even fire.)and it is a sure bet that little 'sucker' will climb right back up on your horse to get another free meal. 

 Crushing the tick while it is still attached to you or your horse ( or your dog or rat or monkey) will cause the tick to regurgitate the tick-tained blood BACK into the body ( is that yecchy or WHAT!) and that is where the bacteria will cause the harm. After the tick is removed wipe or douse the area with clean alcohol.

It takes from 12-24 hours for a tick to infect a horse with anything, but the sooner you can kill and remove the ticks the better. 
Of course with 14 horses, and about 100 ticks per horse ( I am NOT exaggerating!) I will be pulling and dousing and killing ticks for many hours. 

I guess I better keep a bottle of the alcohol ( the 100 proof stuff-vodka is my choice) for the after party. I'm gonna need a stiff drink after all that! 
If any of you have some good tick removing, killing strategies I'd LOVE to hear 'em! 
Now , where are my tweezers?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This is for my Friend Denise...

This is for my friend Denise- who misses me sooo much that she gets miffed when I don't post.

I guess I don't think I have that much going on- but in actuality , I do!

I am ranch manager for a place nearby- and I do a lot of gardening there, as well as taking care of the horses. Last Monday I was busy supervising the floating of seven horses. Which meant that I had to climb the hill at least fourteen times to fetch and return those horses to their pens.
My vet is an amazing guy- Dr Casselberry- he is truely one of the best equine dentists in this whole area- and that includes the teaching hospital of Davis.
Then I noticed that all the pasture horses ( there are seven of those also) were lousy with ticks! EWW!
These horses are old, ( did I mention this is a retirement facility and the youngest horse is Glacier and she is 19?) and some don't want to be handled. I had to dust them all over the course of a few days. I don't know how well it is working, they are still infested as of today. So this afternoon I spent a few hours researching better techniques to rid them of these harmful pests. I am open for suggestions!
I didn't ride today, but the other afternoon I took Jr on his first trail pattern! Desi was so good, and Jr was distracted by a tractor he could hear plowing up a nearby field. But it made ME happy!
Todays activities were mainly working in my very own garden- with the help of a very busy puppy.
Lola had a blast, helping me dig up the bulbs I had just planted and trying to carry off my shears any time I put them down. She romped in the sprinkler and chased the squirrels- all and all a very busy day for her!

Just look at that face!
And I just like this picture, so I threw it in for good measure!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Girl Power!!

Did you watch?

Did you see her?

She's a powerhouse!

From last to first!

I wasn't worried~ I've seen her run before.

It's that last kick, that long stride...

It's that savvy jockey, Mike Smith.

It's Zenyatta!

Zenyatta Mondatta- means Top of the World in Sanscrit.

She is!

Horse of the year? I agree with Mike Smith- Horse of the Decade!

1st Female to ever win the Breeders Cup!

Her last race was her legacy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Philosophical Phriday

Ah Geez!- not another one of those huggy -feely type posts!


Today was a different kind of day~ it was cloudy this morning and the sunrise was spectacular. (Yes, I was up, but not because of Lola). 

Then we got what a friend calls Oregon mist- a rain so fine it was like dew on your skin, a prelude to a mind boggling  I- can- see- forever- and- then some kind of  an afternoon. Hills of dark green layered like petticoats clear to the horizon,with a pink sunset peeking from the edges. The hummingbirds in the garden thrummed overhead, scolding me as I swept paths, raked leaves and stopped often to glory at the scenes around me. 

Fall is a beautiful dying for most, but for California it seems more like a rebirth. After a hot summer that shriveled and burned the grasses, even a small bit of rain encourages it to grow quickly. Millions of birds fly in from parts unknown. Our famous San Francisco fogs lay off shore leaving the beaches swept clean and tourist free. Apples ripen,their strong pungent smell making me dream of apple pies and jellies. In my town the locals come out of their air conditioned houses to breathe the rarefied air,strolling the trails along the Strait with their camera's at the ready. 

 It often seems that Fall is just Halloween and then a mad counting of days until Thanksgiving and then Christmas. The SuperBox's (you know who they are) start touting Christmas and snow and icicles and fireside cuddling long before the days have even cooled to the mid 60's. 
How many times have I myself been swept into this vortex of Holiday Madness? Too many I am afraid.
But I am dragging my feet now. I am enjoying the colorful days and the sparkling nights of crisp clear air. I refuse to be pulled into Christmas any earlier than December 1. 
This Fall I am going to linger...

I hope you will too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heerree she is!

Well Ta-DAAAA! 
Here she is- Presenting...

Isn't she a cute lil thing? 
She has settled right in, eating, drinking, playing and all the other doggie things she is suppose to be a doin'. 

OD is in LOVE!  
We all are.

Who knew?

She has a brother still waiting to be adopted too! A handsome brindle coated boy...

Christmas may come early!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Rose is still a rose

We have decided to get a new puppy. Since Mac died the house is just too empty! Actually we are planning to get two, but we are getting the smallest one now and the Great Dane in the Spring.

I know! I know! Another Great Dane? Well-yes! I love the breed and it's sometimes nice to have a big dog at your back, and you don't have to bend over to pet them, and my house is still Great Dane proofed- so why not. I've even picked a breeder- in Texas! If I drive out from California to get him I'll have to make a few stops along the way to say hi to some of my blog buddies!

ANY-way... we are going to look at a Boston Terrier on Thursday. I've wanted one for a long time. It's a little girl and I've told OD that it can be her dog. She is so excited, she's never had her own dog before- they have always been my dogs.

OD is looking for the perfect name.
This is where things start to go south and get complicated.

"Who is going to name her!"
" You named the last one!"
" You'll pick a goofy name!"

Hubby doesn't want a frou-frou- ankle biter name. His pick is something from his favorite Band- The Greatful Dead. We have had Stella's and Begonia's and Sugar's and Sugar-rees. Jackstraws and so many more... I'm bored to death with Greatful Dead names!

Amy wants something very special. It's like she is naming her first child! Her picks are Alabama,Ivy,Cora, Fizzygig ( I don't know!) and Lola.

All this morning the debate raged.

This name is too frou-frou, that name is to long, too soft, too short, not enough consonants, been used before, too common.

Lil Mama told her she should wait to see what kind of temperament the dog has before naming her. (Good Advice)
Me- I really don't care- I seldom get to name our animals anyway.

Stay Tuned to see who wins!