Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Reality...

Hi all!

Ugh, I'm back in the office today, after 4 full days away. I really had to peel myself out of bed this morning. I had such a wonderful long weekend I didn't want to face reality again.

Last Wednesday, Cowboy H cooked up a full turkey dinner while I was at work. There's nothing like walking into a turkey-and-stuffing-smelling house. After enjoying our "Thanksgiving" dinner, we played Monopoly into the night. Cowboy H beat me (of course, he always does) but it was fun anyway.

Thursday we both worked, but it wasn't so bad. Cowboy H took all the leftovers with him, and my emergency clinic fed us Boston Market turkey dinner. I wasn't going to complain one bit!

With the Thanksgiving holiday past, on Friday we got our tree! This was monumental, as we haven't gotten a tree together EVER before. We have had a tree skirt for 3 years, and have never used it. Let's just say that as soon as that tree was in the house, the tree skirt was out!

Getting the tree really got me in the Christmas mood. I am so excited for Christmas this year. I mean, I'm excited every year, but this is the first year we aren't moving either right before or right after Christmas, so I can actually decorate. I don't have much in the way of Christmas decor, but its all out and ready to go. We still need to decorate the tree, and I need to make a few more stockings since our "family" has expanded quite a bit in the last year but bring on the hot cocoa, cider and cheer! Oh, almost forgot, I'm going to make a wreath for the front door with the tree branches Cowboy H cut off the bottom of our tree. Anybody else pumped full of holiday spirit? I'm even going to bring my Christmas music to work to keep the spirits high.

Speaking of work, things are busy here at work as we prep to head to VEGAS this coming Saturday. Our company has a vendor booth at the American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Convention. Which of course just happens to coincide with NFR and Cowboy Christmas!

Anyone else going to Cowboy Christmas?? I want a show of hands. I've already started my shopping list (chinks, anyone?) so, tell me, what's on your list?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mama H's Big Quiz #2: Answers and Winner Revealed!


"Stink Eye"

Well, hello! Sorry I've been MIA, the holidays will do that to you! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves, whether they were eating turkey with good friends at work or relaxing with family and friends in the comfort of a home.

I'm finally going to close this quiz and announce the winner! I actually completely forgot about this until last night. Oops.

So, tricky Horse Dreams snuck in and answered all questions correctly almost immediately, however Sares jumped in after with answers so funny I laughed out loud at my desk by myself. And, since I made the rules I can break them.

So, congratulations: Sares!! Please email to claim your "Stink Eye"!

And now for the answers:

1. When did Cowboy H and Mama H have their wedding?


2. What kind of horse does Mama H ride?

Friesian Quarter Horse cross

3. What year did Cowboy H and Mama H meet?


4. What was the name of the Homestead kitty that died earlier this year?


5. What color is the shower tile in the newly remodeled Homestead bathroom?

White and yellow

6. When was The Homestead purchased? (Month and year)

December 2008

7. What kind of shoes did Mama H wear for the wedding?

Blue cowboy boots!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The PNW Journey Continues: The Home Stretch

Last you heard, we were passing Mt. Shasta, it was getting dark and our overnight stop was not to far away. Then I said nothing, because really there was nothing much to say about the next day. But I figure I should say something and bring a little closure to the fabulous trip.

We stayed overnight in Stockton where I had found a boarding facility that would take overnighters. The place was pretty dang nice (only the best for Little Lady!). She had a fully bedded 12'x12' box stall waiting for her right next to a HUMONGOUS covered arena. Cowboy H turned her out to stretch her legs while I got her midnight snacks into her feed bucket.

After bedding her down, Cowboy H steered the King Ranch over to our overnight digs. I had found a hotel right on the waterfront in downtown Stockton which was only about 5 minutes from where Little Lady was staying. And what a hotel it was. We were so bummed we could only stay one night because it was so nice. Ohhh was the bed comfy. The cool thing was, as soon as we pulled into the front drive, the security guard and front desk girl came out to meet us. Guess they don't get many horse trailers??

The next morning we dragged ourselves out of that wonderful bed and trucked back over to LL (after a coffee stop, of course). Her stall had already been cleaned and someone had even opened up the door so she was hanging out in the back run. She was not too keen on leaving and getting back in the trailer!

From then on, the trip pretty much looked like this:


Yep, that's I-5 going straight through the middle of California.

I mostly slept, although the stick-straight 5 did allow me to browse through some magazines and get all pumped up for Cowboy Christmas thanks to their ads.

When we passed this point, we knew we were getting close.


Did you know that famous photograph of the cowgirl's booty who is wearing the red shirt and chaps was taken at the Tejon Ranch? You've got to know the picture. You usually find it on t-shirts with the following saying: 'Hate to see her go, but love to watch her leave.' Cowboy H shared that little tidbit with me once, and again when we passed the ranch sign. Thank goodness for him, or that's one less thing I would know.

Well, to end this story, we arrived at LL's desert stables about 4:30 pm, safe and sound. If anything can be learned from this journey, it is:

Cowboy H should never be allowed to haul horses for the Desert Rose without me again. Unlike previous trips where he went it alone, there were no missing trailer pins or dropped trailers on the freeway and no flat tires in the pouring rain. I also performed navigation duties so he wouldn't have to take his eyes off the road and handed him drinks and snacks so he wouldn't have to take his hands off the wheel. On top of that, I was there to talk his ear off for him so he didn't fall asleep and change the radio stations for him so he didn't get bored when I did stop talking (ok, so maybe I over-did the radio station changing, but still, I was there for him). So, what do y'all think, should I be allowed back?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On The Home Improvement Front


Home improvement is starting up again at The Homestead. We've been in the house for almost a year now, and so far we have remodeled a bathroom, fixed up the front yard, put in new windows and had shutters installed.

The next project was supposed to be the garage and painting the interior of the house during Christmas break. In the garage, we're going to rebuild the shelving (which you can see in the above photo), put an industrial sink in near the washer/dryer and possibly put peg-board on all the walls. A month or so ago, I decided that I wanted to paint inside the house because right now none of our walls are the same color white. Cowboy H suggested adding some colored accent walls in as well.

Well, of course, as always, plans are a-changin'. Instead of the garage we are going to give our bathroom a minor make-over. Apparently we have mold growing in our shower. I would have never noticed this because I am blind when I shower (no glasses/contacts) but once Cowboy H pointed it out to me, it was quite obvious. So, a new shower liner is now in order and we might as well replace the cracked and separating linoleum while we're at it.

Secondly, the painting project is being replaced with the Fixing Up The Backyard To Accommodate The Dogs project. Right now the dog kennel is smack in the middle of the lawn. We would like to move it into a corner, up against the brick wall, but have to move some plants and level the ground first. So now y'all know what I'll be doing on my 12 day break off work.


Lastly, Cowboy H has started on the exterior trim for the new windows! The windows that face out front have thick dark brown trim around them. Cowboy H is going to add trim to all the backyard windows and the two windows by the front entry to match the existing trim.

We're going to make this:



look like this:


Lastly, I have an update on the doggies for you guys. Thanks for sharing your trouble-pups also! I know for a fact if we had more time for these guys they wouldn't be so bad, but hey, we have to work!

So, they actually seem to like their little kennel. For one, they don't see it as punishment, which is good. Secondly, they get treats (stuffed Kong toys) every time they get put in it. So far, there has been no whining, howling or barking AT ALL. While the first night they dug a little at the gate, they haven't done any more digging. They are still tearing up their bed, but thats ok. Beds can be easily and fairly cheaply replaced; sprinkler heads and wiring cannot. As much as we didn't want to do this, it seems to be working out for the better. Another plus about having a dog run, is that when we have non-doggy people (some of Cowboy H's co-workers) over for dinner and such, we have a place to put the pups where they can't bother the guests, but aren't locked in the crates or a bedroom.

Don't forget, Mama H's Big Quiz #2 starts tomorrow morning!!! Be there or be square!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Didn't Want To

We most definitely didn't want to, but we had to.

See, we've kinda got bad dogs. I mean, they're puppies, so a certain amount of rambunctiousness is expected, but these two cross the line.

It began with tearing out one plant, then digging a few holes here and there. Next came raiding the wood pile, and scattering their loot across the whole backyard (in the same fashion as the yard sale), after they figured out how to remove the tarp with their teeth. Then, they discovered the wiring for the sprinklers, and we now have so little slack left that if anymore is chewed, we will have to tear out the concrete to replace the wiring. And, if that wasn't enough, once we finally got an effective cover for the wiring and they could no longer get to it, they started in on the sprinkler heads themselves.

Lastly, as if to put a cherry on top of their destructiveness, they did this two nights ago:


Notice even the cover of the book is gone.

Now, this was totally my fault; I left the door to the office open, forgot about it, and then kicked the dogs out when I started cooking dinner later that evening. But, seriously dogs?

Honestly, we are not lazy dog owners, which some people are, and they end up with destructive (i.e. bored) dogs. We take these guys on nightly walks (sometimes twice nightly!), they go out to the ranch with the horses, when we're home they're usually in the house with us, they're learning obedience, and goodness knows they have toys coming out of their ears. But the fact remains that we have a smallish backyard, and an ADD heeler.


After much deliberation, we purchased this:


Yesterday, Cowboy H spent an hour or so setting it up.



Of course, Hank had to help. He really is a good little dog. He just needs a lot of supervision.


We put the sucker to the test last night when we headed over to another couple's house for dinner. The dogs were surprising good; no barking or howling or even whining when we first put them in there. All was even quiet when we returned home; not a peep from the backyard. However, we discovered what kept them so quiet:


At least the disaster zone is contained.

Cowboy H is going to throw together a little doggie house today and before he heads to work he'll dispense a few of the new toys, which Hank discovered last night.


Hopefully, they'll shred the toys and not their bed anymore.

So, how about you guys? Do any of you have "dog areas" in your backyards? Do any of you have dog runs like we now have? Neither Cowboy H nor I have ever had to confine our dogs (while growing up, etc.) to one area of the backyard, so this is completely new to us. I'd love to hear any and all solutions/suggestions for problem children!

Thursday, November 19, 2009



Sooo, little Huey went under the knife on Nov. 7th, and had a little extra weight removed. You know those two little orbs that dangle between the male canine's legs? Yep, they're gone now.

Surgery went well and he came out with four little bitty purple sutures.

Now, those four little sutures are supposed to be removed this coming Saturday, as in two days from now. Sutures need to stay in for 12-14 days to make sure the incision line is completely healed and there is no risk of the skin opening back up.

See, I know this not because the vet told me, but because I also work for the vet. On the weekends and some holidays, I work part-time for a day clinic (the place you take your dog for vaccines and that dang ear infection) and also an emergency clinic (the place you take your dog when it gets hit by a car in the middle of the night, or on Sunday). So, I know all the rules about post-op care for your little doggie.

Only, I didn't follow them very well.

Last night I picked my Huey-duey up to check on his sutures, and there were only two.

Hey, Cowboy H, help me a sec. How many sutures do you see?

Two. Wait. Nope, only two.

A few hours later, I checked him again.

This time, there was only one hanging in there.


I guess I don't need to take him in on Saturday afterall.

Hitting The Road: Good-bye Oregon

Even though Cowboy H and I got to spend an entire day soaking up the beauty of the PNW during fall, it wasn't quite enough. In addition, the Desert Rose and her Loving Husband were busy packing and taking care of last minute vet, health, and travel concerns, so we didn't get much time with them either. The morning that we had to leave came way too soon, and there was still so much left to do! (Ahem, Desert Rose.)

However, once we finally got on the road, it was smooth sailing! We crossed the Oregon-California border just before 3 pm and had to say good bye to all of this:






We were already running behind schedule and didn't want to stop unless necessary (fuel, restrooms, etc.) so most all my photos were taken from within in the King Ranch while it was moving (on the freeway no less). I have no idea where this was, but somehow I managed to capture this really cool bridge right off the freeway:


The highest point on I-5.


Oh, Oregon, we will be back. We will be back as soon as we can. And thank YOU for having us.

Before I move on to how ugly and brown California is compared to Oregon, I have to share this with you. Oregon has these little "Speedometer Check Sections" along the freeways.


When it says start, you're supposed to begin timing yourself. There is a mile marker for each mile, 1-5.


So, if your speedometer says 60 mph, it should have taken you exactly 5 minutes to get to the end of the section. Just in case you're really worried about your speedometer accuracy. Of course, we were very concerned and tested the King Ranch's at every single one. Just kidding, I was too busy taking pictures.

Entering California was like crossing into Kansas or something. There was seriously a straight line drawn right on top of the designated state line and once you hit that line, everything changed. One side was green; one side brown. One side could get rain; the other could not.


There are a few deer just chilling under that tree right off the freeway, but what I really want you to notice is how brown it is. This was just inside the state border, too.



One thing I can say about I-5 is it has some gorgeous rest stops along the way (well, up north at least). Seriously, you could go to one of these for a picnic. They are like parks. We found one that was right along a river and decided it would be a good time to give Little Lady some water and check her feed bags.

What? You mean I can get out?



Yes, we were cruising around the rest stop with LL.

Pretty soon we came along Mt. Shasta, which was a spectacular sight, even if the lake was almost completely dried up.



Next thing we knew, the sun was setting and we had only a few more hours before our overnight stop.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mama H's Big Quiz #1 Answers & Winner Announced!


"Motley Crew"

Time's up!! Thank you to everyone who played along. I hope you had fun rehashing some Homestead history. I did! I apologize for #2; it was pretty tricky and I realized I never quite told you the actual order we acquired our kiddos in. Oops! Anyway, that was the only question our winner got wrong.

And the winner is: Horse Dreams!! Congratulations! Email to claim your prize.

And the answers are:

1. Name all 7(!) of the Homestead animals.

Oz/Olivia (they came together), Maria, Bella, Indy, Hank, Huey

2. Place those 7 in order according to when they became part of the Homestead (first to last).

Listed correctly in the order above.

3. What year did Mama H and Cowboy H get married?


4. What part of her body did Mama H break earlier this year?

Arm or elbow (left)

5. And how did she break it? (Do NOT say she fell off her horse.)

Her horse tripped and fell while she was riding her. They landed on Mama H's elbow.

6. When was the big fire that burned around the ranch where the Homestead horses live? (Month and year)

November 2008 (It was only 1 week after Bella arrived!)

7. What kind of surgical procedure did Cowboy H's pup have to have on his broken leg when we got him?

Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO)

8. Where did Cowboy H and Mama H backpack this summer?


9. What is stuck in the top of one of Mama H's cat's head?

A pellet

10. Does Cowboy H know how to rope?

He sure does!! And he's pretty dang good at it!

Not Quite Mt. St. Helens


This place was gorgeous. I'm so glad we changed plans and came here instead. I'm sure Mt. St. Helens would have been a terrific experience, but for a photo-obsessed girl, this was a complete playground. And seeing as how we don't really get the fall colors in Southern California, I was in heaven.




We crossed right under the railroad tracks and were faced with the tremendous falls and the historic lodge. The lodge was very cool and we ended up eating lunch there after working up an appetite climbing all the way to the top of the falls!




I took so many pictures, it got a little bit ridiculous. But I couldn't help myself!



We were fortunate to find another couple to take our pictures; they even had the same camera as me. I promise you Cowboy H is having a good time; trust me.






The hike up was stunning, well worth the 11+ switchbacks and 1 1/4 miles. It was cold and windy, but by the time we got to the top our jackets had to come off. The views over the Columbia River were incredible.





As we headed back down, I tried to get some close-up shots of the leaves, but it was so windy most of them came out like this:


I did manage to get one good one though.




These colors just kills me. I couldn't stop. We finally made it back to the bottom; Cowboy H had to take the camera away from me or we'd still be up there! However, he did let me get a few pictures from inside the lodge while we were eating our lunch. Check it out:


And don't forget: Mama H's Big Quiz #1 is still open! Get your answers in pronto, because I will be closing it tonight (Wednesday) at 8:00 pm PST and someone will be getting "Motley Crew" to hang on their wall (or stuff in the closet)!