Monday, June 30, 2008

Clouds, Birds, and Horse Lumps

So, I have a bunch of randomness that I am going to post about today. I have been super busy lately. For the past few days I have been getting Big Cowpoke ready to go visit his Dad. It is always so sad and stressful when I pack him up and take him to the airport. Not only am I sad to say good bye but his little brother doesn't understand where Big Cowpoke has gone and why he isn't coming home. Many times Little Cowpoke has asked, "We go get "Gah"? "Gah" is what Little Cowpoke calls his big brother. I am not sure why? But he misses his big brother. But while he is gone, I try really hard to stay busy. I have checked up on my baby birds. My have they grown up fast. They have their nest right next to my front door. They are my attack birds. When people come to the door the swoop down and try to get the person.
Aren't they just the cutest? Well, I guess, they can be cute. If you don't mind cleaning up after them.
When do they leave the nest for forever? I can't wait to knock that sucker down. I probably will have to put up a bird house to try and detour them from building a new house on my porch next year. I will have to do all this while Big Cowpoke is gone. Maybe he won't notice. While he is gone I am not only going to take down that bird nest but I am finding some time to ride.

I got Lucy out of the pasture and tied her up to the trailer. You can see she doesn't have much room to move around. That is due to all of the treasures that are piled beside her. I guess I could also tack her up in the barn but all my saddles are still in the horse trailer from our last outing. While I was brushing Lucy I noticed a lump. It's a strange lump. The lump is on her rump (I sound like Dr. Seuss). Here is what it looks like.

See, weird right? I do not know what it is. You can push on it and she doesn't mind it. It's kinda like a puffy thing. An interesting note, when she walks that leg is funny. When she brings it forward she kinda throws it down. Like she is stiff in her hocks or her stifle. I am not sure. I do know she kinda just thumps her leg down. Not much movement in her fetlock. I am thinking she might have arthritis, but what is up with that lump? So, can anyone out there solve Lucy's mysterious lump?

She is such a funny horse. She really loves people. I think Lucy loves treasures too. There even is a kitchen sink. That has been there for years. I am not too sure what one might need that sink for? I know what a sink is used for but what would someone want with that old nasty sink? Maybe in case the bugs want to wash their wings? Well, after we got all tacked up I headed over the the pasture to where I was going to ride. And while we were walking we passed up some more treasures.

Yep, that is a bucking bull there. With a wheelbarrow that has had a flat for........well.....about forever. Lucy is such a good sport. She doesn't mind those scary treasures. She just walks right on by. I warmed her up behind my house and then Lucy and I went on a short trail ride with two other riders. We rode down the street. She is really good. I should have taken more pictures of our ride, but somehow it's hard to hold a camera and ride at the same time. I will have to perfect my photo taking skills while riding a horse. Maybe when I have ridden Lucy more than three times. Our riding times have been limited with all of our afternoon thunderstorms. I will leave you all with some pictures of what our afternoon thunderstorms leave us, besides a lot of rain. They leave us with some really beautiful sunsets.

It kinda looks like a mushroom cloud. But that sunlight shinning through was amazing. The photos really don't do it justice.

Until next time, y'all come back now ya hear!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

You Might be a Red Neck if........

You move broken down old four wheelers around the yard with a tractor, so you don't have to weed eat around them.

That there four wheeler has been sitting in the same spot in the yard since I moved here. It has been weedeated (is that even a word, weed eated?)around many many times and even sprayed around with some Round Up. That there four wheeler is owned by my brother in law who doesn't even live here. We can't take it to his house because his wife will have a fit and we can't get rid of it because he will have a fit. Because you all know that one day he is going to fix it!! I think it's far beyond fixing. The junk that sits around the yard is called "treasure". I call it that because it can't be rid of. The men here will cry if it's gone, because one day they might need it. So, until that day, it will sit in the yard.

So, until the day when my brother in law decides that this "treasure" needs to be dumped, in my side yard it will sit. Most likely until death do us part. Why do people who live in the country have to have "treasure" piles? Maybe not every one who lives in the country does, but the men here sure do!

New Project

My father in law bought a horse named Lucy, about two years ago. She is a big bodied girl. She has a wide chest and nice big hip. My father in law got her in hopes that he could ride her on trail rides. Well, trail rides have come and gone and Lucy has not been on a single trail ride. In fact I think she thinks that she is in the best home she has ever had. She gets all she can eat hay and grass and never gets ridden. About six months ago my father in law tried to sell her. But no calls. I think that is due to her color. Some people just don't like horses like Lucy. I think she is cute though. He had her turned out in 40 acres for over a year and not a soul has touched her. Every once in a while she would get checked on, but nobody has ridden her. Then about two months ago he brought her back home. She was a bit underweight but she was still as sweet as before.

Here is Lucy. She is an Appaloosa. Or as my red neck in laws call her an Oppoloosas. I try to correct them but they just won't listen. They even call her an "Oppy". Whuauauauaa! Sorry, it's funny. When they put an ad in the paper they wrote that she was an Oppoloosas. Maybe that is why nobody called? I read ads like that and think, "They have no clue. They can't even get the breed right, who knows what the horse is like. " Any way, this was a picture I took of her one time when we went out to the "country" (like I don't live in the country, this pasture is 45 minutes farther into the deep south) to check on the horses and cows. She just trotted right up to us. She is the one horse that you can just walk up to and halter. She has a nice personality.

Here she is modeling for us. You can see she lacks a lot of muscle and is a bit underweight. But oh how that has changed. I need to get a recent photo of her. I rode Lucy the other day. She does have some issues, but nothing that can't be ironed out. I rode her at our last rodeo and she was very nervous. I don't blame her for being nervous. She didn't know who I was and I was riding her into an arena that she had never been to before, and I was asking her to walk and trot around some funny looking things. Well, they were just poles and barrels but still , she thought they were funny looking. She did very well, considering that was the first time I had ridden her.

When I rode her the other day, she was in "go" mode. That is all she wanted to do. I on the other hand was not in "go" mode. I am never in that mode. I have two speeds, slow and slower. So, she got a quick work out in the round pen where she was grateful to let out a few bucks. All Lucy and I did was walk and stop. You would not believe how relaxed she became. I think she was a bit grateful too. She is used to being ridden by a 16 year old boy that doesn't know anything about riding. He just gets on and goes. Then by the time our hour was up, I had her bending at the poll and doing some bending and flexing. She was grateful for the stretch. My father in law was all excited. I am going to ride her again tonight, I will take some more pictures. She is super fat now. I am also taking her to the rodeo this weekend, where I will take some pictures of us barrel racing, or barrel walking, that is what we are going to be doing. I do the slow work and then when the time is right for a bit more speed I hand the horse over to Mr. Cowboy. I will lope the barrels but as far as galloping, no thanks. That makes my hands sweat! I give props to all those speed demons out there!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hay and Heat!

I love getting hay. It's very invigorating, or something along those lines. When we go and pick up hay we try to get around 200 bales. We normally go about three times before the spring and summer is up. That way we are well stocked up for the winter. Last year we had about 400 bales and we made it with about 10 to spare! Between my father in law and me we have 18 horses here. That is about 10 too many! But non the less they all need to be fed. So, we go and get them hay, and lots of it. It's a dirty job, but some one's got to do it.

This time we went on a Monday afternoon Which means that all of our manual labor was working at their day jobs. Except for me, the cowpokes, Paw Paw, and the homeless man who lives in the camper by the barn. So, we gathered everyone up and drove on out to the field. It was a pleasant day, just shy of 95 degrees and about 80% humidity. Good southern weather. Our hay here is strictly grass hay and it's funky looking. I was used to looking at a nice timothy alfalfa mix hay and then saw Bermuda grass hay. It's a shocker. I called it straw for a long time. But you can't beat 3 bucks a bale now can ya!! My cowpokes love the tractors.

You can see how dry it's been down here, just look at that dust!! My Cowpokes love this part of the hay process. The big tractors.

This man that was driving this tractor baled this field for us and one other guy. He had a bunch of hay left over. He told us that he was going to round bale it and feed it to his cows. He then told us that a lot of his costumers don't want square bales anymore. I told him that we will always want square bales and to always call us. That is strange, I guess people don't have the room for storage? I am not sure why they would want round bales, unless they have cows. Well, onto our loading. Mr. Cowboy is our normal stacker, but we had to enlist our homeless man.

Well, technically he is not homeless, he is more of a drifter. He lives in my father in law's camper. We call him Mr. William and he is wonderful. He weed eats and keeps the barn super clean. We hardly ever see horse poop on the ground in our barn. He feeds our animals when we are gone, and he sprays our fence lines and ditches. He does all this just for a place to stay and food. Well, I give him some money every now and then, he really has been a big help to us here. He is a hard worker.

I think he is like 60 years old? I am not sure, but he is around that age. He would toss the hay up onto the trailer and then jump up there and stack it. He is one tuff guy. When he first came here he didn't have any clothes or shoes, so we went through all our stuff and gave him a bunch. I could not imagine living on the move like that. Oh, and don't worry, I Googled him to make sure he wasn't some weirdo. He just is a drifter. But anyway back to hay.

After a short drink break, we kept on loading them up! I even jumped out of the driver's seat to toss a few up on the trailer too.

This is what I see the entire time. I am not a very good driver. I get side tracked really easily. I will start to day dream while driving 2 miles per hour down a lane and the hay tossers will have to yell at me to stop. A bit ADD I think.

There was about 200 bales we picked up. It didn't take us very long. Mr. William and my father in law did a great job. After they stacked it Big Cowpoke likes the jump up top to help toss over the ropes to tie the hay down.

He is all big and tall up there. Maybe by the time he is 10 he will be able to drive us around the hay field. When we got home we were all too tired and hot to unload all that hay, so we just backed it up into the barn. The next morning Mr. William got up and unloaded it all himself. He is amazing! I hope he never wants to drift away from here. He has spoiled me with all of his help! After this hay trip we did one more and we have about half of our hay storage for the year! That is a good thing considering we have not had much rain since the first cutting. This weather is just not acting right these days.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This is Awesome!

That is what Little Cowpoke said when he opened a box that came in the mail a while back. One of my favorite blogs that I read is called the Rocking Pony. She is so fun! I love her funny stories and her cute animals! Plus she is really talented. She has a store on Esty, where she sells all sort of fun kid things. I have been over to her store many times wanting to order all sorts of fun shirts for the boys. The other day I finally ordered two shirts!! As soon as I opened the box the boys were so excited. Little Cowpoke said, "Dat is Awesome!" Big Cowpoke said, "Cool, I want one like Little Cowpoke's too!" At the time I was dropping off a rental car at the dealership where my van was getting serviced. Both boys took off their shirts and put on their new ones. Then the boys felt in necessary to model by the red Ford Focus. They are so funny.

Such cool dudes. I think I really need to order about five more each. The boys wear those shirts at least twice a week.

And I can never take a single picture with out the boys making at least one silly face. I love their shirts and I can't wait to order more! Also some fun news here at our house, we have some new baby birds living on our front porch. I wanted to knock the nest down but Big Cowpoke wouldn't let me because there were eggs in it. So, I agreed to wait until they hatched and the birds flew away. So, here are our front porch barn swallow babies.

So tiny tiny! There are four of them.

When ever I would step outside to take their pictures the babies would start to scream. I was worried the mommy bird would come and attack me, so I would run back in the house. I hate bird feet! They creep me out. I think that is one of the main reasons we do not have chickens! But just a quick post today. I am so sleepy and need to hit the sack.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Off Shore Fishing!

Sorry I have been such a blogging slacker lately! Our summer has been so busy! We traveled to Baton Rouge to meet Mr. Cowboy after work this weekend. We went to the amusement and water park there. It was a blast! I have not ridden a roller coaster in about 10 years! It was so much fun. We are going to go back in about two weeks. But anyway, onto the fun stuff.

While we were visiting my sister, they guys went on and off shore fishing trip. They left really early in the moring and spent 8 hours out in the Gulf of Mexico fishing! Before they left we asked them to take a lot of pictures. I think they took about 15 pictures, and not a single one of what the boat looked like. But they did get a few good ones of the big fish they caught. They started out the trip at about 5 am. I just don't get why men like to get up that early to go fishing? I guess to beat the heat? I prefer to be sleeping!

You can see how tired Big Cowpoke is, and I think Mr. Cowboy is putting on his sun screen. Guys take the strangest photos!! I would like to point out Mr. Cowboys fantastic farmer's tan!!

It was a long ride out to see, so I guess Big Cowpoke got some lounge time. This cowpoke is all boy. He loves to hunt, fish, play in the dirt, spit, and a lot more things that take a bit of testosterone! Mr. Cowboy enjoyed the ride out to see too.

"How you doin?" (say with a think southern accent!) My model fishermen cowboy. I am not too sure I could have looked so relaxed on the side of that boat. I would have been afraid of falling overboard.

Then they finally started fishing! Uncle Anton was fighting sea sickness the entire time. But he pulled through and caught a bunch of fish.

Even Big Cowpoke got his own poll and he caught a few fish too.

"We got one!!" The fish were pretty strong and big, so Big Cowpoke would need help to reel them in.

This is one of the small Mings that they had to throw back. They caught three different types of fish. Red Snapper, Black Snapper, and Ming. Unless you were this next guy who caught himself a sea turtle.

They had to cut the line. It's illegal for a sea turtle to be brought aboard a boat. The poor turtle now has a hook in it's mouth. That one is a biggen. He must have been at least 90 plus years old! When Big Cowpoke was not fishing you could find him hanging out around the boat. He would check out the fish that everyone else had caught.

Then he met a girl. We teased him and told him she was his girlfriend. He got all red and embarrassed. He is so cute. I was told that she fed him cherries. How he already has a way with the ladies!

Here he is looking all cool while talking her the girl and her mother. He has the right idea to sweet talk the parents too!! I love how he is all laid back and playing it cool. You really have to watch those cowboys.

Then it was time to head in, back to the main land. Mr. Cowboy told me that they got grass caught in their motor or something like that and they had to go really slow back to shore. While they were headed back there were dolphins riding in with them.

Uncle Anton got it on video but I do not know how to put his video on here. The dolphins were jumping out of the water right along side of the boat. When they finally made it back to shore, the guides cut up the fish for them. I am sure it has some technical fishing name but I do not know what it's called. Between the three of the guys, they caught about 18 fish.

Here are they proud fishermen with their booty! We grilled the fish in a Cajun rub. It was really really good. I am not a big fan of fish at all, but fresh fish right out of the ocean and onto the grill with spicy Cajun seasoning, could not be turned down. I tried all three fish. I liked the red snapper the best. They all seemed to have a great time.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beach Babes!

Awe yes, the beautiful Florida beaches. The white sands, the blue water, the rolling waves, the jelly fish. Oh, that last one is not on the brochure? Well, they should put jelly fish on their brochure for this time of year. They have been bad and my sister had told us that the jelly fish were bad at the ocean, but we wanted to play at the ocean. My dear sister humored us and we walked over to the ocean. It didn't seem too bad. There was a purple flag up for a warning for the jelly fish, but we did not see any in the water. We started out just testing the water out slowly.

Here Tori is wading in the water. The waves here are really mellow and gentle. Nothing like the large waves I am used to seeing in California (my family vacationed there every summer since I can remember). And to our surprise, there were no jelly fish to be found. So, we got a little bit farther into the water.

Big Cowpoke even took his shirt off and jumped right in. He was all excited to be at the beach. That is all he has talked about this summer, going to the beach.

The playing started and we decided that the ocean was save enough and jelly fish free enough for us to stay there an play. So, Uncle Anton and I ran back to the cars and loaded up our arms with all of our stuff. That included one cooler, an umbrella, lots of towels, beach toys, floaties, boogie boards, and more towels. We had our arms full and started back to the beach. As Anton and I walked onto the beach, my sister yelled to us, "Don't come, Tori just got stung by a jelly fish! Let's go to the bay!" Poor Tori got stung. She was tough though and then we trucked it across the street to the bay. That is where the real fun began. Break out the arm floaties we are going to the bay!!

The kids swam.
Swam and played.
And guess what else we did? Yep, we swam some more! Even Cowpokette got in the water. She really liked the beach.

The kids were having fun. I on the other hand am not a beach person. I do not know why, but there is just something about the beach that kinda freaks me out. I did get into the murky, slightly mysterious water. Then the fish started nibbling at my legs and that ended the whole water thing for me. I then decided to be a beached whale for the remainder of the day. It's okay because somebody had to stay ashore and keep an eye on the little ones swimming.

I love the dry land. I think it's weird that I will get all sorts of dirty in the barn, but when it comes to the beach, yuck! Maybe it's the live fish swimming in the water thing? I am not too sure, but I do know my water troughs are cleaner than the beach and I don't go swimming in those. I know I am weird. I was joined ashore by my sister and some of the kids for lunch.

We are some serious hot beach babes! While we sat there eating we got to watch a fantastic storm roll in. There was thunder and lightning. It was far away and seemed to blow right over us. Nothing will stop us from enjoying the beach, not even a little thunderstorm. It did scare some folks away. They went packing fast.

Here is the big cumulus nimbus cloud that was the front runner of the storm. It was really neat!

Here you can see how the storm blew over us. You can even see it raining in the back ground. Pretty neat huh? You have got to love southern rain storms. It is really amazes me how you can see the fronts coming here. But after a short break the crazy beach lovers got back in the water!

Weeeee!! Fun water games!! Toss the Toddler!!

Big Cowpoke got a boogie board. He was so cute! We saw it at the store and he was begging for the "surf" board. I told him it was a boogie board. He then said, "What is a boogie board?" Poor sheltered child. Despite him not knowing what a boogie board was it sure didn't take him long to learn how to use it.

He was a pro. Then I tried to dig a big hole for Cowpokette to play in. The hole did not get very large before it was taken over by little kids. But they had fun playing in it.

And what would a beach trip be with out burying yourself in the sand?

It's so much fun to be a kid! To get all dirty and not worry about all the bugs that are in the sand and then all the fish that are in the water that you have to wash off in before you can even think about drying off! Awe yes, the care free life of kids! But last but not least, I will share with you the pictures of the real Beach Babe. Cowpokette really loved the sand.

Okay I will stop obsessing over my little girl. We all had a great day at the beach. My sister and I were trying to dry off and we were discussing how we were going to drag the kids out of the water and into the cars. While we were talking she got hot and wanted to cool off, so, she walked out into the water, just about mid thigh, and not 5 minutes later she was attacked by a jelly fish. It wrapped it's tentacles around her leg and then it stung her daughter. So, we all went running out of the water and the kids then called it quits. Is that a way to end the day at the beach or what? At least we didn't have to drag the kids to the car kicking and screaming. We all had a good time! Tomorrow I am going to post about the guys trip off shore fishing! So, until next time, y'all come back now ya hear!