Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Belle at 15 Weeks

I have gone a little picture crazy since I got my new camera. So, sorry ahead of time for way too many pictures. But I am just having way too much fun. Belle went to the vet yesterday and weighed 25 pounds. My goodness, she is only 15 weeks. The Vet called her, "Little Chunk of Change." And she is. My own little Brick House. She is very active. But we give her plenty of outdoor run around time. I am grateful for active little kids that like to play with her. And we go on daily walks. I love those. Exercise for me and get the puppy tired. Double bonus. Belle has one of those sweet innocent faces. For the most part she really is a good puppy. Occasionally I have to tell her not to chew on something, but that is normal. She is house broke and doesn't bark all night when she is kenneled. So, I really can't complain. She still has that bulldog look to her. She will keep all her wrinkles. Which I think will be cute. She will always look like a puppy. I love puppies. I could own hundreds of puppies. I have a horrible talent for house breaking puppies. I don't know why, but I am good at it. Maybe I am driven to house break them because I do not want my wood floors or rugs ruined? I think that Belle has had maybe 5 accidents in the house since we got her at 8 weeks old. She also is protective. She has started to bark when someone knocks on the door. I like it when my dogs sound all scary when the doorbell rings or someone knocks. That is the whole point, to me, for having inside dogs. For the scary factor. There is Belle doing her best Bulldog impression. She is starting to get wide in her shoulders. Really starting to look the bulldog part. But then there is this thing that she does when you talk to her......She cocks her head to one side and acts like she is really listening to what you have to say. I love it. I could just squeeze her when she does that. Brodi is also happy to be her big brother. He has become a lot more playful since we got Belle. He will lay down and play growl with Belle. It's so sweet to see my old man act young again. There Brodi is trying hard to look like a bulldog. I think sometimes he gets a little jealous. But at the end of the day, Brodi is the one who sleeps at the foot of our bed. All in all they both are good dogs. Brodi is so laid back I think it plays off with Belle. Today I make the great trek to the state's capitol. I hope everyone has a wonderful New Years Eve!! And today is the last day for my Sucker Giveaway!! If you haven't left a comment yet, you have until Midnight tonight!! Well, I will see you all next year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trying Different Horse Training Techniques

With all the talk around everywhere about Natural Horsemanship, I thought I would try some out on Ozzie. I just wanted to see if he would do some of the games and such that all the Natural Horseman talk about. Now, I did not train Ozzie to do any of those games. I just did a lot of ground work with Ozzize and we do showmanship. I don't have all the tools and such to do the games properly, but I got out there and tried a few anyway. I went on You Tube and watched a ton of videos to see what I needed to be doing and then I went out to the round pen. Ozzie is a round pen super star. So, most of the games were pretty easy. Oh, and I should say I tried the Pat Parelli games. My father in law is into Dennis Reis, but I don't know what his games are. Pat Parelli was more advertised and easier to watch other people's videos. So, that is why I went with Pat. Again, I was just seeing if my horse would do it. Ozzie let me walk right up to him from about 15 feet away. And he let me rub him all over with the rope. Ozzie will do anything to be rubbed all over. Then I put my "halter" on. I like my rope halter. It's on a 50 foot rope. The one bad thing about using this rope for training is when I want to change direction I have to change the halter to the other side. So there are cons to it. But Ozzie works well with out me changing sides. He is an old pro at this rope. He then did the circle thing. Which I have issues with. I don't like to have my back turned to my horse when working in the round pen. Ozzie should stop as soon as I get in front of his shoulder. And he did, good boy. He then would whoa and wait to be invited in or for me to walk to him. I am not a big fan of "inviting" the horse into my circle. I don't want them to get chargey and just think it's okay to come running into the middle. That is my space. So, I will whoa Ozzie and then wait, then I will walk to him and rub him on the head. Then he can follow me back to the center. I then played the Porcupine game. Which he did really well to the right, and kind of stiff to the left. But after a few times, he was sidepassing away from me. It was fun. And I got to push my fingers in to his soft fluffy hair. I love their winter coats. They get so fluffy and soft. I really hate brushing those out come the spring time. I tried the Yo-Yo game and Ozzie was all sorts of confused. He didn't like me shaking the rope to make him back. He backs when I turn towards him and start walking back. He will also back if I walk backwards with him. So, shaking my rope at him just made him put his head up and his eyes bug out like, "What in the world are you doing Mom?" I think he would get it if I spent a little more time on it. But all in all, Ozzie did very well. Considering I have never done any of those games with him before. Yes, Ozzie, you did a great job. I can see where some of those games would be really helpful for when you are riding. Moving off your leg and such. I think that some of those Natural Horseman Programs are good for people who want to train their horses and don't know where to begin. It definitely has taught a lot of people to be nicer to horses. Ozzie is such a sweet boy. He has the nicest, softest eyes. He has always been really interested in people. I think he is a bit spoiled and that makes it a little harder when it comes to riding him. Instead of doing what I want to do, he throws a little temper tantrum. Then he does what I want. Spoiled horses are bad horses. In my opinion anyway. In the winter time, Ozzie gets a "mule" muzzle. His muzzle changes to white. It must be a brown horse thing. We call him our mule. All he needs are longer ears! But I love their soft velvety muzzles. Another thing about Ozzie is that he has a small mouth. I thought as he got older it would get bigger, but it has stayed small. And do you know what we are getting?Green clover!! Everywhere! It's like spring time here. I think all the plants are confused with the 70 degree weather. Even some trees are starting to bud. It's crazy. I don't mind the color change, but I don't want to be mowing the grass in December. But it looks like we will have to mow it soon or all the green foliage will take over! I had fun in the warm weather trying out some different training techniques. It's always interesting to see what my horse can do. And can you see what Ozzie sees? I often wonder what they think when they see us walking up to them with these big black things on our faces. Horses really do put up with a lot from us crazy two legs!! And I can't believe that Ozzie will be 4 years old soon. I feel like I am so far behind on his training. I wanted to be showing him this spring, and that's not going to happen. Maybe by the end of the show season we will be ready. Slow and steady right? Plus, in March Ozzie will be going away to a trainer. So, hopefully that will help. All and all, Ozzie didn't do too bad considering I have not done a thing with him since November. It was fun playing around.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Suckers! Who Wants A Sucker! (Giveaway!) Contest Over!

You know how Mr. Cowboy makes the neatest suckers? Well, if you didn't know, he does. And they are really delicious. I wouldn't lie, I have eaten enough of them to know, they are very good. Well, a few posts ago, Beth from Around the Funny Farm, suggested that I do a sucker giveaway. I listened to my readers, and begged Mr. Cowboy to make some more suckers, so now, I am going to be giving away a huge bundle of suckers. There are many different flavors. There are cinnamon, banana, sour cherry, sour apple. root beer, pina colada, strawberry, cotton candy, vanilla, pralines and cream, and lots more. Mr. Cowboy even made a chocolate mint sucker this last time. It was really good. He also makes sour suckers. They can be any flavors. He will do half strawberry and then put the sour stuff in the middle and do banana on the other half. It's really good. He did a sour root beer and vanilla, it was really good. Those suckers are pina colada. I have argued with Mr. Cowboy that the color needs to be a pale yellow. But he insists on doing it a light pink. To me that is the color of the cotton candy. But his cotton candy is a blueish color? But I don't think the color matters much, it's the taste that counts. So, to all my blogger friends out there, if you would like some of these........Just leave me a comment and tell me what your New Year's Eve plans are. Simple as that. Then on New Year's Eve, at midnight, the giveaway will be over. I then, next year, I will have a random drawing for the winner!! It's as simple as that. We are going to Louisiana's Capital to visit some friends. It's always a good time when we see them.

So, tell me your New Year's Eve plans in the comments and you will be entered to win a bundle of handmade suckers.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My New Camera

For Christmas I got a new camera! I have been drooling over all of the digital SLR cameras. I have a small obsession with photography. I am by no means a pro, far from it actually. But I am willing to learn all sorts of new things. And now I can, with my Nikon D40. I took it with me to Mr. Cowboy's Grandma's house on Christmas. The poor folks there were my guinea pigs. They were all great sports about me sticking my new toy in their faces. I didn't hear a single complaint. This was my very first shot with my new camera. I told Mr. Cowboy that it looks like Grandma T has a halo around her head. I really have no idea what I am doing. I am sure there are settings so that the light wouldn't have been so bright, but I have not gotten that far yet. This is just turning the camera on and using the auto button. Cowpokette is always a great sport about having her picture taken. She is a ball full of laughter. I love it when she scrunches her nose up like that. She is a wonderful model. And do you see her "bling". She found that gold necklace in one of my old jewelry boxes and insisted that she wore it. She wore it all day long. She is so girly. Little Cowpoke then took his sister for a spin on the little kid's swing. It's so much fun to spin out of control in super fast circles. It's even more fun to spin out of control while looking up! That is the best part. A few months ago, Little Cowpoke spun so much and so fast that he threw up after he got off the swing! They weren't that crazy on Christmas. Little Cowpoke was sweet and didn't go too fast with is sister. After some fun swinging, Aunt Gertrude blew up some balloons for the kids. Aunt Gertrude normally does not like her picture to be taken, but I got in one anyway. She is the sweetest lady ever. And she loves her grandkids and her nephews. Little Cowpoke was so impressed with Aunt Gertrude's balloon blowing skills. Check out that cool balloon. While the kids played with balloons, Grandma T made some coffee and we sat around listening to Uncle Kenneth tell old war stories. Isn't that great! He looks like one of those old men that sit around telling old war stories. I love it. But he insisted I take a picture with out a cigarette and with his hat up so I could see his face. There we go. I don't know if you all can see it or not. But Uncle Kenneth and Little Cowpoke look a lot a like. They have the same eyes and nose. And shape head. It amazes me how much generations can look like other generations. Mr. Cowboy looks exactly like his Mom's side of the family. And Mr. Cowboy's children all look like his Dad's side of the family. It's really interesting. Grandma T is Uncle Kenneth's oldest sister. She too has the same eyes and nose. And nothing completes a Christmas dinner than a warm cup of coffee. Well, at least for them. The only thing that completes my Christmas dinner is a piece of warm apple pie! YUM! Which Mr. Cowboy made all by himself. I am beginning to think that Mr. Cowboy's family doesn't like my cooking. I brought mashed potatoes again, made less, and still brought home left overs. Then only one person ate a piece of apple pie? I just don't get it. They all eat "cream cheese pie". Which is different than cheese cake. But anyway, I kind of got off the subject of my new toy! I am very excited about it. Yesterday I went out and worked two horses and took some pictures. They weren't the best pictures. So, today I am going to try it again. I love my new camera!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Quick Christmas Recap (with a lot of pictures)

Mr. Cowboy made some apple pie.The Cowpokes waited for a chance to steal some sugary apple slices.We threw out some food for the Reindeers.It was a very important job to toss the Reindeer food out into the yard. We must try to bribe the reindeer to stop at our house! Little Cowpoke thought it was a very important job. He even shared the task with his little sister. It was getting late so we needed to head back inside to get our cookies and carrots ready for Santa. Little Cowpoke picked out his favorite cookies for Santa to eat. I think we need to start leaving Santa some baby carrots and broccoli with some dip. The carrots were for the reindeer. I am glad Little Cowpoke didn't know the exact number of reindeer or we would have had that many carrots out on the plate. Then it was off to bed with the kids. It was actually the easiest bed time ever. I told them that Santa won't come if they were awake and off to sleep they went. And you know what happened while they slept?Santa came! Hooray. Santa has had that big wheel in the attic for a year and a half. Santa kept forgetting to give it to Little Cowpoke, but this year he remembered. Then, not so early in the morning, the Cowpokes awoke and found their stockings full and toys under the tree. Little Cowpoke loves Speed Racer. He loves it when you call him "Speed". Cowpokette ran right to her baby doll car seat. I think it's just too much fun at how girly she is. She just knows what to do with those baby dolls and their accessories. "Speed Racer" took his little sister for a spin around the living room. And then we finally got Mr. Cowboy out of bed. Then it was time for some stocking fun!Yes, that is how beautiful I am fresh out of bed. I just don't think Christmas is Christmas with out horrible morning pictures! Next year I am going to start wrapping presents in November, that way I can get to bed before 2 am. Now it's present time!This was Little Cowpoke's first present to open. I wish I would have video recorded him. He was saying, "Oh I'm so excited! Oh my goodness!! MOM!! This is just what I WANTED!! AHHH!! This IS JUST WHAT I ASKED FOR!!"He finally got his remote control red dirt bike. It was his favorite present. He had been asking for one for months. We opened it and put batteries in it, and it was broken. now I get to go to Wal Mart today and return it and try to find another one. But Little Cowpoke was a good sport about it. Mr. Cowboy loved his beef jerky!! Little Cowpoke was excited to get his paper and crayon holder. We got it in the mail the other day from Karen over at The Rocking Pony! She has some of the most creative ideas. I just love all her shirts! She makes them all. She is so talented. Then he opened this gem. He was thrilled and said, "Look I am a chef. I am going to help you cook, Mom!" I ordered two matching aprons for my Cowpokes from Angie over at St. Fairsted Farm. She has some of the neatest aprons ever. I loved the girly frilly ones. She made the boys' aprons with International Tractors on them. So, cute! And these next set of pictures are really for my family, so they can see how our Christmas went, so feel free to scroll really fast if you want!!

My mom sent me this fabulous apron. I was so excited. I wore it all morning. I love the frilly "skirt" on the bottom. Okay, just a few more pictures, I promise!I got two new Nutcrackers! I love them! And do you see little Cowpoke in the bottom right hand corner? Do you see that hand smacking him in the face? Do you see the bracelet on that hand? Yep you got it, Cowpokette is beating her brother up. She is really one tuff cookie. And then I got this beauty. I was so excited!! It's my Christmas/Birthday present. Thanks Mom and Dad!! You guys are the best!! I took it out and charged the battery right away. I am so excited. But after all the present opening, there is always the mess. I love the paper mess. Isn't it grand? Mr. Cowboy was a great picker upper. He cleaned up the living room while I made breakfast, in my new apron of coarse!Cowpokette loved her Belle and Phillip dolls. And Belle loved her bone. Brodi didn't want his bone. He turned his nose up to it? He is such a strange dog. I think he was jealous that Belle got a bone too. Who knew a dog could be so emotional. And finally, the Christmas cactus bloomed! We had a wonderful day catching up with family and eating lots of food. I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.