Posts Tagged Gabby

Angel Friends

6 November 2009
While exhaustion is knocking on my door tonight, I still feel the need to post at least a short note about today.  At about 1:30 this afternoon, I thought I was “done.”  I was ready to give the horses away or let them loose on Barb Ellison’s property up the road (seriously, her horses live better than the average American!).  I was ready to take Dr. Fisher up on his offer to take the dogs.  I was just ready for something to go right!
I managed to motivate to go pick up a few bales of grass hay for the Frankster to try, and on my way there, called and made an appointment for Boots to see the vet.  The little turd was having issues with his pee-pee, and wouldn’t let anyone touch his back. In the past, those symptoms indicated a bladder infection or kidney stone.  When Aimee answered the phone, I just about burst into tears. 
“How’s your horse?” she asked politely.
“He’s fine – today it’s my f’ing dog!!!”
Silence. It was obvious that she was telling whoever else was at the desk that it was me on the phone.
“Oh MAN, Melissa. Ok, we’ll get you in.”
When I walked into the office later in the afternoon, everyone who saw me just looked at me with those eyes that either said, “Lady, you’re NEUROTIC” or “You poor thing!!!”
I had to fight back tears when Dr. Fisher walked into the exam room.  I think he sensed that, because he was exceptionally kind.  After examining Boots, testing his urine, and poking him sufficiently, he decided that Mr. Dingleberry (as he calls Boots) must have been nailed by one of the horses.  Thinking back, I remember Boots howling at Frank yesterday; I had just assumed Boots was being his usual dominating self, but now, I’m pretty sure Frank had whacked him.  
Of course, I couldn’t be with the vet and not discuss Dr. Frank.  We again discussed all the different possible issues, and came up with a few ideas, but nothing solid yet.  We’re putting him on Probiotics for a while to see if that will help.  The fecal and urine tests should be back from OSU tomorrow, at which point we may know more.  There’s a slight chance that it’s simply an allergy…let’s hope.
When I got back to Deer Park, I headed over to the barn to drop off the probiotics in the feed shed and check on the boys.  As I rounded the corner and looked into the field in front of their stalls, I about fell over.  There in the middle of the area I usually ride in was a round pen — all assembled!  I had known that Gabby was going to come out to exercise Avdou for me, and remembered that she had mentioned that her old round pen was leaning up against her barn. But I never in a million years would have imagined that she would go through the effort of loading her truck, unloading her truck, and then setting it all up without even a mention.  I nearly burst into tears.
There are moments when I realize that the hard times that I’m going through are really part of a bigger picture.  It’s so easy to get stuck with the stress that overrides my daily tasks, losing sight of all else.  Gabby reminded me of that today with her kindness.  I needed that gesture of warmth, of care, of encouragement – and it was tangible.  That round pen means more than just a place to exercise the horses; it brought strength back to me somehow.  It reminded me that while I’m challenged by the circumstances in my life, there are people who ARE genuinely understanding, who are also willing to stretch themselves, to feel and sympathize with others, to extend a helping hand – and without even being asked.  Thank you, Gabby, for having a heart of gold.  Thanks to all of you who have offered encouragement throughout the last few weeks!  I really am blessed to have you all in my life!
the miraculous round pen
Aside from my time with the horses, dogs, vet, and hay, I was able to start another round of quince jelly, as well as decorate the living room for Thanksgiving.  It feels good to have that crossed off my list of things to do and to have the bounty of fall right in my living room!  Jeffrey was so complimentary of the sideboard arrangement.  He kept saying, “In LA, that would be like $500!!!” I love that he appreciates weeds that I bring in from outside!
Straining the quince to make juice for the jelly

The fireplace

The sideboard – the arrangement is al

l from our garden!

While I was busy adjusting leaves and wheat, Ellie decided to help me out by giving Boots his exercise (with her pajama cape, of course)!  It really was precious to see the two of them – even when they weren’t in agreement on where they would go next!
Jax wanted in on the fun!
THIS WAY!

Jeffrey returned home tonight – I’m thrilled!  It’s a good start to what I’m hoping will be a fantastic weekend!

RANDOM PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Blowing bubbles all by herself!

Yovani had the day off from school today, so she had a playmate!

Investment Day

1 October 2009

How could I not have a good day when this is what I see first thing every morning? Today, the lake really struck me as insanely beautiful!
I like days like today. The farm tasks seem endless, but each one is an investment toward next season, bringing its own sense of reward in the hope and excitement for what lies ahead. It’s so amazing to think that the energy that I put into the ground today will bring so much happiness months down the road.


Today we pulled the broccoli up, planted bulbs, and tilled the soil to plant the overwintering vegetables. The guys were out working the wheat fields, as well. It’s so darn cool to see the big ol’ tractor working the soil.

What an amazing view – the hedgerow is our property line, and that’s one of our closest neighbors up on the hill!
This year was the first time I had ever had a full-fledged vegetable garden, and I’ve had no clue what, when, or how to do anything! Yet, still, the harvest has been continual, and I’ve learned so much as I’ve gone along. More than once over the last year Victor has looked at me with a look that says, “Yeah, ok, Lady, I’ll DO it, but I don’t think you know what the hell you’re talking about” – and I’m sure he will continue to give that look…BUT there’s also things HE has learned…like I was right about carrots! FYI, if ever you plant carrots, make sure you plant them in soil that is well tilled and soft enough for them to push through, otherwise you end up with stunted carrots that are impossible to get up and taste like dirt (the horses were pleased with the miserable failure though!).

Victor does all the hard work of prepping the soil for me…I’m a lucky girl!

I follow behind and plant bulbs – come the spring, this strip of dirt will be blooming with daffodils and muscari!

I had a great ride today on Avdou. My friend Gabby came by to give me some help and pointers with the horses. She hasn’t been by in ages, and was very complimentary about the improvement Avdou is making. It was so nice to have a set of eyes telling me my leg was swinging forward and to remind me that while I have a beautiful horse, the time to admire him is NOT while riding! Gabby is a bit of a “hard ass” and is pretty brutally honest when it comes to things she KNOWS, and even so, she was incredibly encouraging…she pointed out that Avdou’s canter is getting back to being balanced, and his ground manners are impeccable. It makes me feel like maybe I DO know what I’m doing and that the “time investment” that I’ve been making is paying off. We still have a long way to go with the horses – they are both out of shape and have loads to learn. Frank’s got a big belly with no muscle so his ribs poke out like crazy! And while Avdou is getting better by the day, he still has a long way to go to be back up to being “athletic.” Still, I feel lucky to have them and am confident in my abilities.
Avdou and Frank learning to be patient…

My big (17hh), grey Killer Horse – Avdou

My clown, with his signature move – Frank
Grandma Lene came by to see Ellie Graye (and maybe me) – it was so nice to see her even if it was only for a short while. Having her living so close to us has been so comforting and fun and amazing. It has only been a few months since she moved here from Buffalo, NY – but I already have a difficult time remembering what it was like to have her so far away!
Walking to go see Grandma Lene in the rose garden

I’m COMING!

Boy, this is a schlep!

Wait – what’s this???

Believe it or not, I didn’t cook a single thing today…Jeffrey arrived home from San Jose, so we had our usual take out from Thai Delight – the BEST Thai food I’ve ever had, with the sweetest owners!
Now it’s time to rest. My body aches a bit, which makes me wish there were a bathtub in this damn house. Yeah, I know. No bath. It’s insane!
RANDOM PHOTOS OF THE DAY


I’m currently obsessed with taking photos of pumpkins. Their orange is just so…so…ORANGE!

That is when they’re not GREEN!


Ellie, commanding the room.
Little Miss Blue Eyes, on our way to the airport to go get daddy!