Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Randy's First Fire Call.

My eyes flew open to a high pitched alarm going off! "Was that a fire call?" I ask my snoring husband Don beside me. My question brings only a half hearted snort and then silence until our bedroom door flies open and our 18 year old son Randy bursts in and exclaims "Fire call!" And something else my half asleep mind didn't comprehend, and he ran out the front door. Started his truck up and roared out the driveway. "Drive carefull!" I yelled after him but all we could hear was the droan of his motor as he rounded the curve in Guilford. I quickly said a little prayer asking the good lord to keep my son safe and then lay there wondering what lay ahead of him. This took me back to when he was a small child and had the flu. I lay there chuckling to myself at the similarity of it. I remember way back laying in bed trying to sleep when suddenly Randy burst through the bedroom door only to announce he was going to be sick to his stomach! "Get to the toilet, both Don and I roared, but too late. Randy was too busy hurling undigested wieners all over the hall floor. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it wasn't so funny! Time sure has flown. I can still remember Randy's first cry in the hospital, and how deep his little voice was even then. How he loved trucks and how when we went for walks he insisted on taking his little three wheelers and push them stubbornly along the trail the whole way singing along to himself all the while. It only seemed natual when he began going to Uncle Allan's farm at the ripe old age of 9 and began driving tractors all summer. Any work around the yard that involved a machine usually had Randy at the wheel. School was always a thorn in Randy's side, but he persevered to get his grade 12. I think maybe his grandfather was what kept him at it. He used to tell Randy how important it was he got his grade 12 and because they had such a great relationship, he didn't let his grandpa down even though his grandpa had passed on a few years before.
It just seemed natural when Randy got his drivers licence. Seemed he should have had it all his life. I remember going to the zoo on a class trip and I came down with one of my lovely migraines. I seriously considered letting Randy drive home at the age of 10. I do believe he could have done it no problem at all. So grade 12 graduation has come and gone and Randy now works for Thomas construction. He drives the huge loader in the pit and works the screener that sifts all the debris out of the winter sand that gets put on the highways. Since being employed at Thomas's, he's became a volunteer firefighter for Stanehope Township. This takes an amazing amount of time and dedication from anyone, but especially a young lad of 18. He's also achieved geting his DZ license which really worries me. Only for the fact I know someday there's going to be a big pebble hauler sitting in my driveway!
I'm still laying there awake wondering what he's going to see tonight on his very first fire call, but off in the distance I can hear the familiar droan of his truck coming along the highway and slowing down into the driveway. The front door opens and closes and Randy comes to our bedroom door and announces kind of dissapointedly that the call was called off. "Some domestic." he tells us. "See ya's in the morning." I quickly thank the lord for keeping him safe and think to myself how proud I am of him as I slip into a good nights sleep.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A trip to Hell

I woke at 5:00 am. Man I hate getting up that early but I jumped in the shower, jumped back out and started gathering the last minute groceries I had to pack for Hailey's trip to cowboy camp. Sounds like a great camp doesn't it! Cowboy's, horses, friends, cattle, buffalo and lot's of fresh air! Sounds good to me, but Hailey was fortunate enough last year to spend a week, and upon return, she said she was NEVER , NEVER, NEVER EVER going back! The meer mention of it had her quaking in her cowboy boots! You see, it's not just go and spend an hour in the saddle, then do crafts and swim for the rest of the day. No, the word Bootcamp literally is the new name for cowboy camp or as Hailey likes to call it, HELL! You see, this camp is run by a world class horse trainer by the name of Troy, and Troy knows his stuff, and he wants to teach kids to ride and train their horses, but he demands perfection and he doesn't candy coat it one iowda. He once asked her last summer why she was so shy, she rides beautifully so she has no reason to be shy. Did yawr Momma beat ya with a stick? He'd shout out with his big Texan accent. You ain't never gonna get a job at McDonald's being that shy! The kids start their day early, 7:00 am to be exact, grab what you can to eat for breakfast and make sure you grab something to hang on the fence post cuz Troy never thinks about stopping for lunch unless he's hungry himself, then he sends someone to the house to make a sandwhich for him and carries on with the day. The girls are in the saddle from morning till night, and inbetween that their cleaning the barn, throwing down hay, pulling weeds from Troy's pastures and basically being worked till their knuckles bleed. Then Lori, Troys absolutly wonderful wife, feeds them supper. On hot days they take a trip down to Lake Erie and have a swim, and even get to go on trail rides so it's not all Hellish and Hailey says once off a horse, Troy steps down from being all business and can be a lot of fun. And let me tell you about the change in horse and rider! Wow! My girl is one tough cowgirl now and Hunter, our horse is a working machine! They have a bond now, and work together beautifully. But does Hailey see this? No, and she said she ain't never going back!

So how is it that Hailey is now back at Troy's for another week of verbal and physical abuse? Well we bought her a new unbroke horse last winter and promptly sent this mare down to Troys for a few months of training. The deal was when we bought the mare is that Hailey would take her down to cowboy camp for a week of working with her. And so the time has come. We met up with our friends the Robert's, loaded up three horses and 3 half sick, but excited girls and struck out to Brantford. My son Randy came along and so did Kelly's boyfriend Des, so we stuck all the kids in one truck and the adults in another. This was good because at least Hailey was smiling and having fun with all the other kids. After almost 4 hours in the truck we arrived at Troy's. Horses got unloaded, luggage and food got unloaded and we were greeted by Troy on horseback. After everyone had thrown their luggage in the bunkie Troy told the girls they had 10 minutes to saddle up and be ready to go. Off to the back ring we went to be spectaters. The girls immediatley began loping their horses for atleast 20 minutes just for a warm up and then Troy began a show of cutting buffalo from the buffalo heard. After that he then got the campers running barrels. To my horror, Nicki, our mare, stumbled and went down with Hailey on her back! Thank God for a deep sand ring to cushion the fall! A few more gray hairs have taken up residence on my head! Hailey brushed herself off and climbed back on. Tough girl I thought to myself as a lump of pride swelled in my throat! Troy then promptly give her shit for not tucking her head and rolling. His exact words were, "Your gonna break your God Damn neck if ya keep falling on your head!" But Hailey is happy with that because she knows what Troy can be like if he goes on one of his tangents. It ain't pretty! Hailey is also happy because her friend Kelly went with her this year, and Troy will be focusing on Kelly quite a bit. Fresh meat I think she was referred to! It was time to leave, time to see if tears were gonna flow. But Hailey did good! She only told me once that she still loved me, but she didn't like me much right at the moment! This to me is a good thing! Have fun Hailey!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This is a short story about a deer who comes regularly to visit my pony Wazzat. My daughter thought the name Petunia was nice and it seems to have stuck. We look forward to her visits as much as Wazzat does.

She comes from the forest. A mere shadow slipping silently through the underbrush. If my ears and nose weren't so keen, I'd never know she was there. At first she terrified me! I had picked up her scent and it was unknown to me, but every so often I could hear something venturing closer! I was ready for flight, all my senses prickling in anticipation for an instant burst of speed. Tail lifted high, ears pricked, I scanned the bush, watching for any sign of movement. Suddenly a tiny twig snapped! I was off, bolting for the far side of my paddock until I could go no further so I spun, tail high and a menacing snort bursting from my flared nostrils. Surly that would scare off the intruder.. Silence. I listened hard but not a sound. Curiousity got the better of me. I moved forward carefully. I knew it was close, so close I could hear it breathing. My legs trembled slightly as I proceeded to the fenceline, drawing in deep breaths, trying vainly to identify the unknown. Suddenly a brown head with the biggest ears and eyes appeared through the leaves. I jumped and once more ran to the far side of my paddock. Hooves barely touching the earth below them. I turned to face this intruder who has invaded my peaceful grazing, expecting to find it right on my heels. But this was not so, instead something closely resembling me stood watching me from the other side of the fence. Her deep brown eyes seemed to be twinkling with mischief, her large ears flicked back and forth trying to rid themselves of the deerflies that pestered non-stop. She was chewing on leaves, her long tongue darting out to salvage every morsel. I watched carefully, not sure if she was friend or foe, but no threat seemed to be coming from her. She reached high and ripped off another mouthfull of leaves and again turned to watch me. I couldn't take it anymore. I trotted across the paddock , tail held high ears pricked forward, intent on scaring this intruder off, but suddenly her tail went high in the air like a white surrender flag and she had turned to watch the human barn. My master had just come out the door and began dancing around the yard, arms and legs moving, swinging wildly about. I'm used to such displays from my master but the forest creature watched facinated then abruptly turned and dissapeared into the thick bush behind her.

The forest creature has become a common sight near my paddock. I've learned not to fear her. Instead we graze companionably nearby, me in my paddock, her on the outside of the fence. I actually find her company comforting and when she's not around I scan the forest carefully in hopes to see her. She too must be alone because she comes to visit daily. We draw comfort from each others company, me munching grass, her reaching into the trees and eatting leaves. Sometimes though she gets a little pushy with my territory and jumps from a standstill over the paddock fence into my much beloved paddock and source of grass. This I cannot tolerate and immediatly the chase is on. She effortlessly jumps back out of my paddock as if she's but walking. She then leaves as silently as she appeared and I rely on my master for company until she once again appears out of no-where.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I quickly changed out of my school clothes and put on my comfortable barn sweat shirt and pants. I then pulled on my winter coat and boots and headed out to the barn. We had just received a new dumping of fresh snow so as I walked I zigzagged looking behind me now and then to check out the trail I was leaving in my wake. Snow was magical when I was a kid. I just couldn't understand why it sent my mother into such a state of worrying. I called greetings to my horses who seemed to be enjoying the snow as much as I was. My old horse Devon found the largest drift he could and quickly sank down into it! You could almost see him smiling as he rolled back and forth, all four hooves flailing in the air, then his grunting as he tried to get himself free of the snow drift. He then sprung free of it with a big buck and with tail lifted he cantered over to the fence to see me as if to ask "Are you coming to play too?" I gave him a big pat and went into the barn. I grabbed the wire egg basket and a big stick that sat outside the henhouse, and then proceded to go feed the chickens and gather the eggs. Why the stick? Well, you see, Sir Henry ( the rooster) awaited some poor unsuspecting humans arrival within his domain of chickens. He was a mean brute. He'd wait until you had your back turned and then he'd come at your legs, neck stretched out, wings spread wide and the meanest looking eyes that seemed to glow with the depths of Hell right in them! I'd have to keep one eye on him and one eye on the eggs I was gathering so as not to break any. Quickly I escaped with a full basket of eggs and all skin intact. I grabbed the wheel barrel and pitch fork next. In the distance I could hear my Dad firing up the tractor readying it to blow the snow as well as my tracks, from the driveway. I emmersed myself with the chore of mucking out the horse stalls, removing the horse manure and bedding the stall down with fresh, knee deep straw. This would be the worst job in the world for some, but it gave me time to think of the days events and helped me relax while everything I loved about life surrounded me. The barn cats meowed at my feet, wanting their supper next, but first I had to dump my manure ladden down wheel barrow. The barn door was closed to try and keep the cold winter day out, so being somewhat lazy as all kids are, I grabbed the wheelbarrel handels and gave it a mighty shove against the barn door. That way I wouldn't have to stop and prop the door open. I could hear Dad on the tractor blowing the snow but I was concentrating so much on keeping the wheelbarrel upright without loosing any meadow muffins that I didn't look up to see what he was doing. Suddenly I was being attacked with a wall of pummeling white. It persistently hit my face so I was instantly blinded! I completly forgot my careful handling of the wheelbarrel and threw it aside, meadow muffins flying askew! My hands came over my face in instant defense mode trying to fend off my attacker! Suddenly all went quiet. I peeked out from behind my gloved snowy fingers, waiting for the next assault but all that greeted my eyes was my Dad trying to stay seated on the tractor because he was laughing so hard and slapping his knee that he almost fell off. "Gotchya again!" He hollered over the engine of the tractor and he proceeded on down the lane taking aim at the horses as he passed their paddocks, I'm sure he was chuckling all the way. I just didn't see the humor in it all as I wiped the snow from every oriface of my face and proceeded to refill my wheelbarrel with spilt meadow muffins. Once refilled I muttered paybacks all the way to the manure pile.
Today I think of these past memories and how much I miss them happening. Mom and Dad's farm hold many for me. Memories only a farm, its animals and great parents can give you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our First Gymkanna of 2010

The morning broke cold and cloudy, but at least it wasn't snowing with high winds that made you bend at the waist as you tried to walk outside in it. I quickly showered and dressed which is a feet in itself for me as I love a long hot shower to wake up. Quickly egg salade sandwiches are thrown together and packed in the cooler for our lunch while Don & Hailey pack up the trailer. Everythings loaded, except for Hunter who casually walks onto the trailer with hardly a flick of his tail. He knows this routine well and I'm sure briefly wonders where he'll end up today. I'm gone ahead with my car to pick up Tim Horton coffee's and make sure the gates are open. We arrive at the Minden Fairgrounds for our first gymkanna of 2010.

Trailers start to arrive, old aqaintances from last year give a big Hello to each other. Horses whinny from within their trailers and the unloading begins. Kids start grooming their horses and tacking them up while the horses munch noisily at their hay. Parents frantically register the kids and horses, hoping they enter them in the right classes or they know there'll be hell to pay when they get back to their trailer. The executive members of the Haliburton County Horsemen's club are busily setting up and getting things organised, but the cold weather and wind are now playing havoc with pens, flying papers and frozen fingers. Finally we're ready for the first class!

The day starts with pin the tail on the donkey for the youngest group of riders. Then the speed is turned on! Bays, chestnuts and paints are thrown into motion, muscles bunching and stretching over tight hides. The pounding of hooves fills the air while horse and rider try their turns at barrels, pole bending and other speed events throughout the day. Competitors are intense in the ring but once outside it, all are relaxed and hanging with their friends. Catching up on gossip or checking out someone's new horse or boyfriend. (or girlfriend, gotta make it fair) The sun is starting to peek out from behind the clouds and spectators and competitors alike are welcoming its warmth. Did I mention its also Mother's Day. What a great way to hang out with your kids. I was especially happy to see my son, who says he couldn't care a less about horses, take the time and come hang out with us! He also brought me Lindor chocolates! Time has gone by fast, even though at the beginning of the day it was so cold we thought it would never end! The sun is shinning brightly now as the last class of the day is run. Horses are once again tied to their trailers while kids untack and make sure the horses are cooled off enough to load. Proud parents are watching nearby and once again lots of cobitsing and teasing are evident amongst everyone. The executive breathe a sigh of relief because all their hard work has paid off. As the last horse is loaded and the trailers start to head for home the only thing left to do is tally up the points of each horse and rider and prepare for next months gymkanna in June. Hopefully we won't have to wear our winter coats and mittens to this next one!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Maybe I have a touch of pms! I woke up in a great mood! Showered, did laundry, the kids off to school and getting along great! That's always a bonus when you have 2 teenagers in the house! Got last nights supper dishes done and thought I'd header to town to do some groceries and pay my vet bill. The sun was warm and bright and Head Lake was sparkling away to itself, happy that the ice that had held it's waves captive all winter had finally melted away. Still no blackflies to make one want to run screaming for cover, life was good! I stopped and treated myself to a new shirt, next stop, the vets. I enter the vets office and spy my good friend Deb sanitizing a recently used examination table that some poor animal had probably received its immunization needles. I jokingly tell her "It's about time you got some work done!" She takes it good naturedly as usual (I've never seen Deb say anything nasty) and came around the desk to help me pay my bill. We are chatting away immersed in our conversation so much that I didn't hear the door open behind me. I was yapping away when suddenly my great day was shattered by someone's dog sticking its nose up my butt! I couldn't believe it!! At first I was just totally embarrassed and laughingly said, "wasn't expecting to get goosed quiet so early in the day" but then I just saw red! It made me angry that those people had no control over their dog. They let it drag them close enough to me that it could goose me fair and square! I would never let my dog do that to anyone while I had a hold of her! I expect the same from every other dog owner also. That's not too much to ask is it? Anyway, off I go to the grocery store which charges way too much by the way, and am standing in line emptying my cart when from out of nowhere someone rams into my cart with theirs! Thank god I looked before I turned vicious because it turned out it was another friend of mine, Sharon Barry. We yapped away while my groceries got bagged then I headed out to my car. As I'm driving out of the parking lot, I notice a gorgeous sports car which aggravated me anew! Why would this aggravate me you ask? Because it was such a gorgeous sports car, the owner parked it right in the handicapped parking space. Believe me , I had a good look for the permit, but none was found. I had a good notion to report this car and have it towed away! If I had of had such nerve to park there, I know my car would have been towed away! Well I chose to carry on home and get at my load of wood that needs splitting started. I laugh to myself how that dog owner got off lucky! I can't be held responsible for my actions when I have pms , as anyone that knows me knows!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh, The Little Black Fly

Living in Canada you just get settled into one season, then suddenly your heading into another. I love all our seasons, fall being my favorite with the warm sunny days, brilliant, clear blue sky's and being lucky enough to live in the Haliburton Highlands we get to enjoy the most breathtaking colours when our beloved maple trees leaves change colour. You just get thinking to yourself how you could take this forever when you wake up the next day to dull sky's, bare grey trees, and days of rain. Wow, that didn't last long! We head into winter begrudging the cold winds and grey sky's but as Christmas nears we long for the white stuff. And the white stuff we get! I love the snow! It brightens the frozen earth below our feet and opens a whole new playground for us northeners to enjoy. Out come the ski's, the snowmobile's are now sitting close by waiting for more of the white stuff so we can hit the trails, I even dig out the snowshoes to make trudging through the bush much easier. There's nothing like a walk through the bush at -15 with brilliant blue ski's above you and snow glistening like diamonds all around you! The silence is deafening. Have you ever paused to listen to the silence and ponder just how loud the silence actually is? I love it! Then the sun becomes stronger as the days roll by. The creeks start to move faster, the ice melting away at the creeks edges. The horses start to shed their coats and I warn them theres more cold days to come. The yard starts to bare under the warm rays and suddenly we're half way up our wellies in mud. Every step we take the mud sucks at our wellies with the hopes of capturing one in its deathly grip, so a person is left hopping to and fro desperatly trying to pry their snagged wellie from the muds jaws. This usually doesn't end well. I usually find my flailing socked foot landing squarly in the mud never to be white again.

This year the mud was short lived and we've enjoyed the most beautiful March and beginning of April I can remember in my 42 years. I'm loving sitting on my new covered deck watching the horses mosey about in their field, nipping off sprigs of new found grass. I idly sip my hot coffee while my devoted Kinley lays at my feet soaking up the sunshine. I notice the buds are growing quite prominently on the trees and I know this little bit of heaven is going to be short lived. Time is moving on to when this girl goes into hibernation mode, just as the bears are coming out of their's. You see, I actually don't like this time of year. The time the leaves come out and the days get warm, I long for winter again! No, I'm not crazy, I just know under all those dead leaves on the ground, as soon as those buds start to open up on the trees , a little black alien is waiting to pounce. And pounce they do! Swarms of them! Bitting and swarming blood sucking blackflies! Waiting to wreck havoc on any warm blooded creature walking the terrain of Haliburton County. All I can do now is hope for hot sunny weather to come burn these little buggers off so life can resume again and our blood loss replenishes itself! Until then, good luck fellow Highlanders, I'll be sure to be doing the Haliburton wave (that we all do this time of year) right back to you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lessons learned the Hard Way!

The coast was clear. But he checked the kitchen and living room one more time. Nope, no one was home. He stealthily tiptoed over to the china cabnet and reached behind the clock, his fingers fumbling until their tips hit the cardboard, then they seemed to rear back and suddenly lurch ahead like a predator attacking its prey. They entwined themselves around the cardboard box and gently removed it from behind the ticking clock keeping it as quiet as possible in case someone caught him in mid motion. Then, prize in hand he ran to his bedroom.

Mom was busying herself doing housework. She hated a dirty house and muttered under her breath about how the kitchen table had now become a catch-all! It caught everything under the sun a kid could think of to throw on it. School books, empty lunch bags, dirty empty milk glasses and a baseball glove. She'd get to that later as she knew it wouldn't move until she did it. First she'd get her dusting done. The china cabinet had at least an inch of dust on it she was sure! She started to grin to herself quite proud of herself for buying a box of chocolate covered almonds and hiding them behind the clock so she'd still have them for Christmas. She pushed the clock over a bit so she could dust behind it and also check to make sure the almond stash was still there. It was! She reached out to move them so she could spray the pledge where they sat. It took her a second before it sunk in that the box full of almonds was deafeningly quiet. Mom blinked and then shook the box vigorously, then she noticed the box had been opened! Empty! She didn't get mad often, but when she did, she resembled a volcanoe, quietly rumbling and burning inside until it bubbled to a head and overflowed like a shook coke bottle! How could they?! "YOU KIDS GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW"!!! she bellowed! In the kids scrambled. They knew no good would come of this! Mom meant business! "Who ate the almonds?" She asked this quietly and calmly. The way she spoke made the kids quiver. They sensed it was worse than they thought! "Ok then, I'm going to spank each and every one of you unless the guilty culprit owns up" She waved the wooden spoon menacingly! The youngest girl was terrified of getting a spanking. She knew the only hope she had was to own up to a crime she didn't commit! But it was the only way out of a spanking! "It was me! I ate the almonds mom!" There, it was out! The lie had popped out like lightning and then it turned around like a boomerang and struck her down. Mom advanced on her and put her over her knees before she could run for cover. As the wooden spoon came down repeatedly on her bottom she could only cry out "you said if we told the truth we wouldn't get spanked! I didn't eat them!" she wailed!

Brother watched wide eyed then turned and slithered down the hall to his room. That was a close call! He almost felt bad that his sister was taking his punishment for him, but then he smirked to himself as he popped a chocolate covered almond into his mouth which he had hidden under his pillow. After all, he thought to himself , that will teach her to tell a lie!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My first attempt!

Welcome to Horsepatch. I really wanted Dogpatch, as that is where I reside, but had to settle for Horsepatch as some fellow blogger already named their blog that. Hmm, the nerve of them. But on the other hand Horsepatch suits me much more as my life revolves around the 4 legged equines. Dogpatch is all about having a backyard full of howling yipping hounds that are tethered to their doghouses and only run free 2 weeks of the year during hunting season, but they make their voices heard all over the county of Haliburton. I do have a dog though, so I guess I fit right in. Her name is Kinley and I do suspect she has a bit of hound in her though she resembles a large golden lab. She is my faithful companion and wonder what I'll do without her when she isn't stuck to my heels where ever I go. I'm happily married to a great guy by the name of Don and two great kids, Randy and Hailey. Or profit suckers as Don fondly calls them! Any parent can relate, I'm sure. We've aquired a few equine friends over the years here in dogpatch, a nice pinto gelding whom we call Hunter. We call him our second dog as he is just like one. We also have a welsh pony named Wazzat whom would rather spit in your eye than be patted by anyone. Two wasn't enough you know. We fell and hit our heads and bought a 3 yr old quarter horse mare, whom is now sucking our bankaccounts dry cuz she's at a trainers for 3 months. It was a hard hit to the head I'm sure of that!! We also have two extra toed cats, Willy and Lilly whom are just the best felines going. Well now that you know a little about me I'll try and make my next post much more interesting. I just had to show my sister Cathy (whom got me into this thing) that I could do it! Thanks sis! Good night all!