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Challenges of the Countryside

3 November 2009






Oh, man, sometimes this city girl living in the country just needs a good cry……..

I was scared to death when I moved the horses out to the property – but it made sense.  Things weren’t working out in the situation they were in; we were trying to reduce our spending; they needed some time just to be horses; and we had 72 acres that we could do whatever we wanted with.  The barn was built in a week or so, and before I knew it, I had my horses here with me.  I knew that I had the training to be able to provide what they needed, but doubted myself at every turn.  I’d never had full-care of my horses before, and while I was definitely familiar with their daily needs and care, I felt I needed someone to remind me what to do; someone to catch things that I might miss, and, of course, someone to correct me when I was doing things that weren’t “right.”  Somehow I’ve made it through the last 10 months, mostly due to the help and encouragement of many of my “horsey” friends.  They believed in me, and reminded me that I have good instincts and lots of knowledge but I had just never been tested…I think they were right, but I have to say, this entire situation with my horse Frank is really trying my self-confidence!  Sometimes I think that I’ve gotten in way over my head with this whole living-in-the-country thing.  

he has the softest eyes of any horse I know

Today as I was taking a break from being with Frank, I just felt like throwing my hands in the air and saying, “FORGET THIS.”  With so much to be done around the property to keep it up to par, I just couldn’t see how or why to keep going: the horses, the dogs, the baby, the house, the garden, and the myriad of other things that seem so petty but seriously take up time.  I left the horses, and walked across the dam with Boots and Jax in tow.  As I did so, I actually thought about this blog.  I thought about how I would articulate the emotions I was feeling, and how I would resolve them.  I was stumped. All I could think was, “I just want to cry.”  I still do.
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I spent several hours with Frank today.  He didn’t eat anything through the night last night, and around 1 pm, he began to show signs of colic – he was biting and kicking at his belly, and as I was hand-walking him, we couldn’t get more than 10 feet without him trying to roll.  I gave him a half-dose of Banamine and called the vet; I hand walked him until he finally seemed to be more comfortable.  I was happy that when I put him back into his stall, he stood on all four feet, and even took a few bites of hay.  The vet is going to come out tomorrow instead of Friday, because things don’t seem to be getting better.
he finally decided to eat

so skinny

Still a clown! Love this guy!
In between the frequent trips to the barn to check on Dr. Frank (yes, that’s his registered name), I did get some tasks done in the garden.  The last crop of quince was ready to be picked, and our neighbor has been begging me for them, so I harvested the remaining fruit, and packed them up for her.  I also picked the last of our dahlias, then headed to the vegetable garden for cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and basil.  After gathering the last tidbits of harvest, Victor came through and mowed everything down.  It’s hard to believe that the season of growing is already done, but the withering vines, drying husks, and wilting herbs have spoken! The ground seems so naked now, but it’s clean and tidy, and I love it!
I love these dahlias!


The quince for Farah

Victor mowing down the garden

V also trimmed the roses (I think we’re a couple weeks late but at least the frost hasn’t come yet)
After checking to see that Ellie Graye was still napping, I headed out to walk around Deer Park in an effort to take some much needed “Melissa” time.  As I did, I looked for inspiration for Thanksginving and Christmas decor.  Often times berries, leaves and flowers have to be collected far in advance – otherwise, by the time you need them, they’re gone or moldy or ruined in some way.  So, I picked up some berries to use on the mantle at Christmas time.  I also clipped some of the “beauty berries” that we have in the island of our driveway.  I love using them in winter arrangements, as they dry wonderfully, and give an unexpected burst of color in the middle of an otherwise colorless season.



Beauty Berries
Spending time with my daughter was a wonderful way to end the day.  When we headed into her bedroom to get ready to sleep, she asked me to read Good Night, Moon.  Most nights she’ll look at the first few pages, and then lose interest, but tonight for the first time, she understood that the words I was saying were associated with the pictures in the book.  Three times we read it: “In the great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon….” all the way through to “Goodnight noises everywhere!”  It really was a special time together.  As she sat in my lap, her head cuddled against my neck, the smell of her freshly washed hair, and the sounds of her contentedly sipping her milk, I was once again overwhelmed with emotion.
Our FAMILY is why we live here in the country and not in Los Angeles.
Our FAMILY is what makes the hard work of the farm worth it.
It’s US is who gives this place purpose.
Looking at the lake trying to find “Patos” (ducks)

Mr. Frog was following her everywhere this morning!

Her favorite suction cup ducks!

It’s definitely time to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and just be with my emotions. Good night, all!
RANDOM PHOTOS OF THE DAY

Our house from the rose garden

The flag in the rose garden

Hugging Victor

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2 Comments to “Challenges of the Countryside”

  1. Loved it as usual and if this is of any comfort today I cried….just the build up of everything…Just a note.. Frank looks better the I pictured him. He actually looks pretty good. You had to die when he was colicing…Im happy he came out of it. Your home is incredible. Great pictures….Sleep well! 🙂

  2. An insightful post.I found this website useful for Herb Gardening tips http://www.herbgardeningtoday.com. I think you guys will find it interesting too.

    Thanks,
    Kelly – Herb garden plants

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