Oops! I did it again.

This is the second story that I will start off with a nod to my parents, whose mantra is:

“If you really want to get your place cleaned up, schedule a meeting.”

We learned how powerful the “people-are-coming-over=MUST-CLEAN-UP” hormones can be five years ago when we hosted our son’s high school graduation reception here at the farm. Next was a visit from a magazine photographer who’d asked to document our fireplace restoration project (full story here). To say that our home is not BHG-worthy is a massive understatement, and my husband adamantly requested that I never, EVER cause such a thing to happen again.

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Jordan’s high school graduation reception endeavor also morphed into an emergency landscaping project that involved renting things like sod cutters, hauling in 2 ton boulders and dump truck loads of landscape stone.

However, The most recent home “tour” was quite a bit more unexpected. We were eating lunch one day and a strange car came up the driveway. HoofPrints frequently gets deliveries from vendors, plus the mail comes around lunchtime so I didn’t pay much attention. But this car was going MUCH slower than normal and didn’t seem to be delivering anything. I left my food and went stomping out to see what the heck they were doing. Continue reading Oops! I did it again.

My stupidest horse training mistake

What I learned from this one set me on a whole new path with horses…

A while back, I revealed my stupidest dog training mistake, ever, involving our Jack Russell Terrier Lucy. That’s here.

This one’s a doozy; my Arabian mare Allarista was on the receiving end of a desensitizing effort gone very, very wrong. I bought her as a green-broke 3-year-old. I had started and ridden youngsters before, so it was no big deal (so I thought). However, a few years off to have a baby can change a lot about a woman manages dicey situations involving horses. Allie was (is) a good girl. She was started right by her breeder and has excellent ground manners. But she wasn’t too sure about her new owner (me) who didn’t seem to have her act together.

I quickly realized that I was in over my head, and set about getting some professional help. Continue reading My stupidest horse training mistake

Feeling overwhelmed? How to be happy anyway.

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“I only clean up after my horse” artwork by Lesley Bruce, available on a T-shirt here

According to author Martha Beck, PhD, society these days has evolved in such a manner that folks think they’ve got to be prancing around gleefully (think: Swiffer commercial) in order to be truly happy. On the contrary, Martha says “True happiness is sustainable delight in the beautiful moments of everyday life.”

Martha’s article in Oprah Magazine How to Find the Kind of Joy that Lasts also says; Continue reading Feeling overwhelmed? How to be happy anyway.

The Best Place to Bury A Dog

German Shepherd Dog Zack joined our family in the summer of 1999

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Most people don’t realize purebred German Shepherds can be all black, but it is not uncommon; baby Zack looked like a little bear.

He was a cute little bundle of fur at first, but quickly became “legendary” among mail carriers, delivery people and bicyclists in the area. His thunderous bark and menacing presence was enough to make anyone who didn’t know him more than a little nervous. Just to make sure everyone knew he was serious about his position as “Chief of Security” here at HoofPrints and on the Keesling farm, he often escorted (read: chased) visitors off the premises whenever they left. Continue reading The Best Place to Bury A Dog

Somebody should DO something!

We found this Red-Bellied Woodpecker flat on his back on the driveway beside the garage. He was still alive, quite warm, though stunned and/or gravely injured. My husband Rob and I were both heartbroken; I was nearly in tears and I suspect he was, too (more about why, later). Because I spend so much time on the internet “for my job” Rob is somewhat skeptical of the actual productivity of all those hours spent staring at a monitor. In my efforts to justify said usefulness of all that time spent, I am continually cherry-picking and pointing out to him – interesting and useful information I have gleaned from my hours spent online. Birds are one of my favorite topics. Continue reading Somebody should DO something!