Jun. 24th, 2011 10:13 pm
midnightsjane: (Default)
OMG, I have become the world's worst klutz. I'm amazed I'm not seriously injured from all the self inflicted idiocy. LOL. Yesterday I got bitten by a horse (picking up the feed bowl in Rochelle's stall, pushed her away from her hay, and she showed her displeasure by trying to take a chunk out of my left bicep.Yowch.) I have a huge bruise on my upper arm, turning interesting shades of purple and yellow. Today I a) bashed my head against a door b)scraped my right hand c)fell flat on my face in the straw in Kismet's stall, and d)whacked my leg against the wheelbarrow. I did not, however, knock the Vet's coffee cup off the table...in spite of getting blamed for it by the real culprit. Hee.

I stayed over at the farm last night so we could get an early start today. Makes such a difference when I don't have that hour long drive to get there. Had all the stalls done by noon, when the Vet came to inject Kismet's hocks. Kismet has arthritis in her hocks from an old injury she had as a foal, and after Teddy was born she seems to have had a real flareup of the inflammation. She could hardly walk yesterday she was so sore; we had cut back her 'Bute, but she obviously needed it. We decided to have the Vet inject her hocks with cortisone and Legend, to lubricate the joints and decrease the inflammation. It works well, and should give her relief for several months. They had to sedate Teddy a little so he wouldn't get in the way (the procedure has to be done as a sterile one). I was standing with him up against the wall; he was almost falling down and he was snoring a little! Then wham! he woke up, leapt across the stall dragging me with him, until I fell face first into the straw. Luckily, it was a clean spot, LOL.

Juan was very pleased with the way Buddy looks, too. He went into his stall and checked him over, and he told us we've done an excellent job. Buddy looks great, good weight on him, nice shiney coat, and he's now eating hay and his milk pellets as well as drinking lots of formula. We've got him so we can fill up his milk bucket at around 11 p.m., give him a bowl of milk pellets and his hay, and he's good until 7 a.m. Now we don't have to do night feeds, it's a lot easier.

One of our biggest problems has been finding him a friend; he really needs horse companionship to teach him how to be a horse. We've been mulling over the possibilities, and Sue finally decided the best one would be to put him with Orca, our 15 year old gelding. Orca was Kismet's first baby, and he was injured as a 3 year old so he's basically just hung out on the farm all his life. He's a lovely gentle fellow, so Sue figured he'd be a good uncle. Wednesday they put him into Buddy's paddock, let him get settled and then brought Buddy out. Buddy was really quite frightened and anxious, didn't know what to make of this new arrangement; Orca was really good, just stood there and ate his hay. Buddy finally settled and they spent an hour out there together, with Sue and Kelly watching from the gate. Yesterday they did it again, and Buddy actually walked halfway over to Orca, looked at him, and then came back to Sue. He was much more settled. Orca didn't mind at all, and tomorrow we're going to do it again. Every time will be better, and I'm sure that within the next few days Buddy and Orca will be hanging out together just fine. It takes time, and patience, because we have to be sure Orca will be okay with him. Juan thinks this is a very good solution, and will be very good for Buddy. Then, when Teddy is weaned, he can hang out with Buddy and Uncle Orc.

Today was weird; pouring rain one minute, then hot and sunny the next. I did manage to get a little salad garden planted; just some mesclun and lettuce and some radishes, but at least it's something. I just don't have time to do much more, and since I'm not sure when the new workshop is going to be started, I don't want a full garden in a spot I'm going to have to move when building starts. It felt really nice to be out there digging in the dirt, I have to say. Hopefully, things will grow and there will be salad.
midnightsjane: (Default)
Buddy has learned to drink out of the water barrel! What a smart wee lad. He went out into his paddock this morning and walked right over to the water and had a big drink. We've put a water bucket in his stall now that he's got the idea, so he won't be thirsty in between feeds. That will help a lot at night; we're trying to stretch his night time feeding a bit. He's learning how to eat hay, too...and now has 4 teeth! Go, Buddy. We're so proud of him.

Tomorrow would have been his mother's birthday. Phaedra would have been 15. We still miss her every single day. I'm going to take one of my roses out this week to plant on her grave.

It was another lovely day, feels like summer at long last. We're starting to leave some of the horses out in their paddocks at night now, and tomorrow Midnight and Kyra will go in the field for a couple of hours. Can't leave them out too long, because the grass is so lush. They could get belly ache if they eat too much.

Busy day, but we got lots accomplished. That's always a good feeling. After all the hard work, Sue cooked a great dinner of steak, rice and veggies. It was delicious, the steak was so tender I almost didn't need a knife to cut it. Yum. Best part was the not having to cook when I got home.

I am making oatmeal bread though; non yeasted, quick bread that's really tasty. I didn't have any bread left, so I decided it was time to get busy and bake.

Have to go to work in ICU tomorrow, so I have lunch to make. Best get on that before it gets any later.

Oh, and I discovered that Kelly, the young woman who works for us on the farm, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction. I am going to introduce her to Harry Dresden.
Mood: accomplished
midnightsjane: (Comic horse)
I think we've skipped right past spring to summer. It was gorgeous today, hot and sunny. What a lift after all that miserable rainy weather in May!
I'm going to have to dig out my shorts.

Had a nice day out at the farm; got there around 11 a.m. to help with the stalls (Kelly only works a half day on Saturdays). Jack and Sue had already left with Kismet for the Clinic; she got into the trailer without even hesitating. She's been to the Clinic several times for breeding, so she's quite comfortable with trailering. Good thing, because we don't want her stressed. She's all settled in, and now we're just waiting for her to have the baby; and what a relief not to have to sit up for nights on end doing foal watch! Jack and Sue got back, and our trainer arrived to load Goldie onto the trailer to take her over to the stable Mihai works out of. Summer camp for 4 year old horses, LOL. She was pretty good loading, considering it's only the second time she's ever been in a trailer. Sue said Goldie walked right out of the trailer at the stable like she owned the place, and everyone was looking at her. She really is a beautiful horse, and Jack is so proud of her! It's very cute..he's a proud poppa.

While they were away, Kelly and I put Buddy out in his paddock for a few hours. He had a good run around, and a little drink of water out of the barrel. We brought him in before Kelly left, because he was getting pretty hot out there. He's drinking about 6-8oz. bottles of foal-lac every 2 to 3 hours now; we're going to stretch his feeding time to every three hours, and hopefully he'll soon be nibbling on a little hay. We've ordered some foal-lac pellets from the Vet, and he'll start on those next week. He is growing every day, and is very strong and energetic, so we're happy.

After we brought all the horses in and fed dinner, Sue and Jack went out, and I stayed to feed Buddy at 6. It was really quite nice being there all by myself; I made myself some dinner, watched Dr. Who on their big screen TV (and now realize that Space is running an episode behind, so I have to avoid spoilers :( damn.) Flipped back and forth to check on the hockey game..I have a bit of a superstition; I can't watch the whole game, because the Canucks might lose if I do. I know, it's dumb, but what can I do? Can't jinx them! They won, 3-2 in overtime. 11 seconds into overtime, as a matter of fact. Go Canucks Go!!

After dinner and Dr.Who, I gave Buddy his 6 o'clock feeding, spent a little time fussing him, and then it was time to fill all the waters and give the horses more hay. It was very peaceful in the barn, all that I could hear was the munching of hay. I brought Kyra out, groomed her and then took her into the arena to lunge her a little. She was such a good girl! I was delighted. Then it was getting on for 8 o'clock, so I closed things up and headed for home. Brought Stanley Schnauzer with me; he does like to come into the city from time to time, to check out the doggy emails left on all the bushes here, LOL.

As I drove through the city I was amused to see how many people have been caught up in Canuck Fever; there were people waving flags, car horns honking, and everyone looking happy. I almost lost my Canucks flag when I rolled down the window for Stan, but managed to catch it before it fell off. I would have been very upset if I had lost it; Jack and Sue bought it for me and I fly it proudly.

Got home and found that I have new neighbours; two young men who look to be about 16 years old (I'm sure they're at least 20) have moved into the apartment upstairs. It's been empty for almost a year, so I'm going to have to get used to the sound of footsteps overhead again, I guess. They seemed very nice, so I'm sure it will be okay.

OMG, it's 11 p.m. already. Where did the day go? Time for bed for me.
midnightsjane: (Default)
It's been a busy few days here. I worked day shift on Monday, drove out to the farm after work to do the night feeding for little Buddy, helped out Tuesday then came home, got ready for work and worked nights Tuesday and Wednesday. My first two shifts at work were pretty uneventful, the last one was steady, mostly due to an admission, a person who was really sick. Not my patient, but I was helping the admitting RN with all of the things she needed. Luckily my patient was (I thought) stable and almost ready to leave the ICU. I went off for my break at 4 a.m., and had no sooner put my head down for my nap when a Code Blue, ICU was called. I figured it was the new patient...but when I got back from break, it was my patient! He had crashed and burned, and kept my co-workers busy the whole time I was gone. As the Charge Nurse said, it takes 30 years of ICU experience to know exactly when to leave for break. LOL.

To top it all off, I was fighting off a rerun of the cold I had last month. Yuck. Came home and slept for about 4 hours, then went back out to the farm yesterday afternoon..oh, and before I went to bed, I made a Leek and potato pie to take for our dinner. I got there around 4 p.m. Sue had already fed everyone, so we went in and had our dinner. It was very yummy. Comfort food.

While I was at work, Sue had a big problem with Kismet, our pregnant mare. She lay down in her stall, and couldn't get up again. She's very big, almost ready to have the baby, and her belly was getting in the way. She has a bum leg (her hock was broken when she was a youngster, and she had surgery to fix it; she is always a bit stiff and with the pregnancy, her legs are puffy). In the end, Sue had to call our Vet, who came with a helper, and it took 5 people to get Kismet up and standing. We are very worried that if she goes down again and we're there alone it will be a big problem, so we're going to take the Vet's advice and take her to the Clinic tomorrow. She will stay there until the baby is born; we just can't take any chances with her after what happened to Phaedra. Everything looks fine, the baby is great, and all looks to be proceeding according to nature's plan. Dr. Tracy ultrasounded Kizzie again yesterday to check, and she was very happy with how everything looks. Even though it will be a bit expensive, we feel better doing this, because Dr. Samper and Dr. Tracy are there to keep a constant check on her; there are other mares there waiting to have their foals, and there is someone on duty 24 hours a day, keeping watch. It takes a huge load off our shoulders, particularly when I have to be at work. I worry about Sue being there alone should anything happen. Jack is going to hitch up our trailer tomorrow and take Kismet to the Clinic, then come back and take his horse Goldie over to the trainer's stable. Goldie is going to "summer camp" for two months, to give her some experiences away from the farm.

It will give us a break, less work for us. Buddy needs a lot of our attention right now, and we're all pretty tired. Kelly, our employee, is just wonderful; she has been working so hard. We're lucky to have her; she is really good with Buddy, and loves him to bits. He is growing like a weed! He is now 11 days old, and is a good 4 inches taller and about 30 pounds heavier than he was ten days ago. He's got huge amounts of energy, and has been racing around his paddock. We are thrilled with how well he's doing.

I got up at 4 a.m. to feed him and then went back to bed until 8. We had all the stalls to clean, today being Kelly's day off. I did the big barn..10 stalls. By the last one, I was huffing and puffing a bit. We brought everyone in, cleaned the paddocks and then I drove home. Had a bite of supper, and now I'm ready to collapse.

I treated myself to a new book by Mercedes Lackey this evening on the way home; a new one in her Elemental Masters series called Unnatural Issue. I haven't spent any money on myself in ages; everything has been going to keeping the farm and the horses going and my personal bills paid, etc. I decided just this once I could throw caution to the wind and spend a little of my hard earned cash on something totally for me. How times have changed! Last year I wouldn't have thought twice about it, but now I haven't bought a new book in months; I've been going to the Library, and working my way through my own store of books. I reread a lot of my books from time to time. Just now I'm rereading the Diane Duane Rihannsu Star Trek series that started with My Enemy, My Ally and ended with The Empty Chair. I love her world building and her interpretation of the Romulan society. One of the best writers of the Star Trek novels, for sure.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to these past days. Hopefully, things are going to settle down a bit now, but I'm not holding my breath!
midnightsjane: (Default)
Hurray. Much better in the memory department today, LOL.

Buddy update: He went out in his paddock for 3 hours this morning. It's been a little cool, so he is wearing his foal coat, so cute. He's all snug and warm in it, but he's growing so fast it's almost too small for him already. He was very calm and relaxed in his paddock, did a few wheelies and a bit of a trot round; wow, does he have a trot and a half. Huge elevation, like his sister Flori. I suspect that he's going to be a great dressage prospect. His walk is enormous; we almost had to run to keep up with him when we were bringing him in. He remains a happy little guy, and we totally love him to bits.

Our pregnant mare Kismet looks ready to pop anytime. She still has almost 3 weeks to go, but I think she's going to have it by this coming weekend. She was lying down in her paddock this afternoon, and couldn't get up because her belly was so big. Kelly, Sue and I had to help her...and trying to get a 1500 pound horse up isn't easy! We moved her into the foaling stall today, so everything is ready. I admit that we're all feeling very anxious, because of what happened to poor Phaedra. So if you can spare some positive thoughts for our Kizzie and her baby, I would appreciate it!

The weather is still very cool, but at least today it was warm enough in the afternoon that I could take off my jacket.

I'm very sleepy all of a sudden. Think I might try to get an early night. The farrier is coming at 10 a.m. to do my horses' shoes.


May. 27th, 2011 10:49 pm
midnightsjane: (bad hair day)
Translation: ARGH! CRAP! IDIOT! I drove all the way home from the farm through rush hour traffic, pulled into the parking garage, looked for my house keys..........and looked, and looked. Oh, wait. I left them in the pocket of my nice brown jacket. OH,WAIT. I left my jacket in the spare bedroom of Sue's house. :headdesk:

Never mind, my friends at the bookstore have a set. OH,WAIT. I took them back to give to my neighbours when they looked after my cats awhile ago.......and never gave them back to Jill. CRAP.

Back in the car, drive all the way back to the farm (only 70 km each way), almost give Sue a heart attack when I walk up the driveway because I can't unlock the gate, because my keys are in the house. At least I was there in time to help her fill the water buckets and give the horses their bedtime snack. Got my jacket and keys, drove all the way back to the city, and finally got into my apartment. Had dinner at 10 p.m. :headdesk:

In other news, little Buddy is doing amazingly well. He is healthy and happy, bouncing around his stall, playing with the little wheel toy that is mounted on the wall (we put it up there years ago for Sue's old horse, Caddy), and drinking on average 32 ounces of formula every two to three hours. He's trying to nibble on hay, too. He has two top teeth now, and one of his bottom teeth poked through today. He has grown, and put on a lot of weight, and looks great. We love him to bits. He stands by the door to his stall and wuffles to us when we come with his bottles. He might not have a horse momma, but he has three human moms and a human dad. He doesn't lack for love and attention, for sure.

I took the night shift last night; fed him at midnight and then again around 4:30. He's able to go longer between feeds now, not like last weekend when he was being fed every hour. Poor Sue really deserved an undisturbed night's sleep. I'm used to being on night shift, anyway.
We're working out a schedule so that we all do our share of the late nights. Won't be for long, because once he can eat hay and his foal kibble he won't need milk as often.

This afternoon Sue and I went to the feed store to pick up more Foal-Lac; Buddy has gone through one pail of it already (at $200 a pail, we're going to be glad when he doesn't drink as much!) But we're not complaining. Whatever he needs to be a healthy boy. We found some of the cutest fly masks for Sera and Goldie..the mask is gold coloured with leopard print fuzzy trim. So cute. I'd get one for Midnight, but after 5 minutes on him, no-one would be able to tell what colour it was, other than mud. LOL.

That's it for me. Time to hit the proverbial hay.
Mood: annoyed
midnightsjane: (Default)
The radio was playing a song by Joel Plaskett when I started up the car this morning; the refrain, over and over again, went And tears fell on the face of the earth. I have shed enough tears this past 48 hours to cover the face of the earth I think..

We lost our beautiful Phaedra on Thursday night. She gave birth to a strong, healthy, gorgeous baby boy at 7:10 p.m. All seemed to be going smoothly, except that the cord broke early, before he was all the way out, and there was a lot of blood in her uterus because of it. We were worried and called our Vet, who told us that when the cord breaks early, there will be lots of blood that she has to expell, but it should be okay. We watched her for several hours until things seemed to have settled; the bleeding stopped, and she looked tired but was comfortable. Sue and I went to bed, thinking all was well around midnight. At 2:30 I was awake, thinking I'd just go check on them..I tiptoed into the barn, shone my flashlight into the stall..and there she was, dead. Poor little baby was curled up at her back. I ran back into the house to tell Sue....and the rest of the night and day were just so terribly sad, I can hardly bear to talk about it. The Vet came at 6 a.m. to check the baby, and told us that Phaedra most likely died of a massive internal hemorrhage, from an artery in the broad ligament that sometimes ruptures when the mare strains during delivery. When that happens, there is absolutely nothing that can be done; even if he had been standing beside her, all he would have been able to do was watch her die.
We are so devastated. She was such a beautiful horse, and we loved her so much, from the day almost 15 years ago that she was born in our field, til the day she left us.

We have to keep going, because now we have to raise her son. The Vet put out a call for a foster mare, but we're going to bottle feed him and raise him by hand. He's strong and so incredibly sweet and friendly; it just kills us to see him all alone in his stall, but he seems quite happy, and we all give him lots of love and attention. Jack calls him his little Buddy, and the nickname has stuck. Between Sue, Jack, Kelly and me, we've set up a schedule so that he gets fed every 1 to 2 hours during the day, and a little less often from midnight to six. He is drinking like a trooper, a special formula called Foal-Lac. I went out and bought some baby bottles today, to add to the one we had. Jack and our friend Mihai have been trying to rig up a system so that he can have free access to a feeding station; there are buckets with nipples that calves use, but that wasn't too successful. Jack found a 2 litre bottle with a nipple that we think we can secure to the stall wall, but for now it's all hands to the bottles. The Vet came this morning to check him again, and he's lending us a heat lamp for the stall, because we have to keep him warm. He's wearing a lovely little foal blanket, and is very snug in it. He's going to be fine, and he's bonded with us all, so we're his family now. Our little Buddy. We promised Phaedra that we'd all look after her boy for her.

Yesterday we buried Phaedra in a lovely shady spot at the bottom of the field. A really nice man, a friend of Mihai's, brought his big backhoe and dug her grave, and then gently lowered her in. We all cried, and put flowers in with her, and watched as she was covered with soil. As we were walking back down the field, Sue looked at her watch; it was almost exactly 24 hours from the time Buddy was born. Our world turned upside down in a heartbeat.

Rest peacefully, dear girl. We love you, and you'll always be part of the farm with us.

Tears fell on the face of the earth today, and watered your grave. Soon I will plant a rose bush there to mark your resting place.
midnightsjane: (Default)
It's really a good thing that Dusty, one of our young horses (3 years old, 17 hands high!) is such a quiet, calm girl. I was putting her in the arena for a run today, since it was too rainy and miserable for them to go out, when I did a pratfall right under her feet. Tripped on my rubber boots and fell flat on my face. She just stood there with a puzzled look on her face - hey, why are you lying down?...lol

We've started getting the youngsters' manes and tails fixed up. They all look a bit ratty at the moment, losing their winter fur and all. Florrie's mane was so long it looked like she was some kind of Rastafarian, with her dreadlocks. We had to take scissors and cut it short enough so we can fix it with the magic comb that makes it look like the mane has been pulled. We have decided it's going to be our project of the next couple of weeks, making them all look presentable. Get it done before the new babies make their entrance.
Phaedra is due May 27th and Kismet is due June 16th. Hopefully they won't decide to pop on the same date...Kismet is often a couple of weeks early. We are going to be busy!

In other news, I've finally finished my taxes (I know, I'm late). Being part owner of a farm has benefits..there are tax write offs! Yay! I get money back this year.

Would the nice weather hurry up and get here? I'm tired of wearing my winter jacket.


midnightsjane: (Default)

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