Friday, May 31, 2013

Introducing: Peaches

 It finally happened. He found himself a horse.

Meet 'Peaches'. Her registered name is Treasure Chiquita, and for a couple of days The Oldest tried calling her 'Chiquita', but it just didn't fit. And so, Peaches she is.

She's a registered Morgan mare, about 13 years old. She is, when compared to our other horses, a lot of horse. She's full of energy, she's fast and likes to show it. But she's also brilliant, well trained, (mostly) well behaved, and has a fantastic personality. She learns incredibly fast, and you can tell by the look in her eye that she wants to please you. She's a little nervous, though that's wearing off as she becomes used to her new surroundings. And she's positively splendid to watch as she's grazing on the mountain, her chestnut coat glistening in the sunset. No doubt, she's the prettiest animal on our little farmstead.

In the first 24 hours that he was off work last week, The Daddy had already had her out twice, working with her on loading in the trailer (which she mastered in no time at all,) and taking the girls on a long ride around the neighborhood. It makes me so happy that he has a horse to do that with now, to be out there enjoying all this space along with our girls (on their geriatric horses that Peaches could run circles around.)


By the age of seven, The Oldest was Horse Crazy and I had read every Marguerite Henry book out loud to her. One of our favorites was Justin Morgan Had a Horse. It's the true story of the first Morgan horse. To be able to trace Peaches' bloodlines all the way back to Justin Morgan was quite a treat, both for The Oldest and for myself.

The Daddy's sentimentality for Morgan horses stems from the fact that his grandfather raised them. The idea of having a Morgan pleases him tremendously. What's even better, he inherited his grandfather's old saddle, and has been using it to ride. He's not the sentimental type, but I can tell it means a lot to him. 


She's proving to be a good hobby for The Daddy, who has already practiced with her at the rodeo grounds, lunged her in a round pen, and taken her to a trail course to get her used to different obstacles. (I've never seen a horse that is more content to go over a bridge backward than forward, until this one! But she'll get there.)

 He's got that patience-mixed-with-confidence that is necessary to really get a horse to listen, and they seem to work well together. It pleases me so much to see him have a hobby besides hunting, one that doesn't only happen during certain months of the year. I can tell he's excited to have her and really enjoys the time he spends with her. He's always dreamed of owning a farm, and that part of the dream came true... but having a horse of his own to love and enjoy was a part of the dream, too, and I'm so glad it's finally happened for him.

 Welcome to the farm, Peaches. We're so glad to have you!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Little Things - The Important Things

Ah, what a nice break it's been from blogging! With so much to do, and so little time, writing our little stories has been pushed to the back burner.

If there's one lesson I'm learning from this crazy new life we're living, it's how to prioritize. Children must be taught and fed. Animals must be fed and tended to. The hay pasture must be irrigated and the garden must be planted and tended. Sadly, things like blogging, or knitting, or any of the other little creative bits I used to have time for seem to have been replaced with other activities, at least for now.

Not that I'm complaining. So much satisfaction can be found in the work that makes up every moment of every day. I enjoy it all immensely, and so does our family. What is actually work often feels more like play. I've learned to find incredible enjoyment in my animals, in walking through the sloshy pasture twice a day, and in making cheese and yogurt. Peaceful moments come in the form of enjoying a cold beer on the deck at sunset, listening to the birds singing their goodnights; listening to Two Little Girls making clothespin fairy dolls talk as they adventure through the garden fairy village; watching goats and horses graze contentedly along the edges of the yard.

Not that it's all picture perfect. The never-endingness of it all is constantly overwhelming, and I'm still learning to accept that I'm simply not ever going to have it all done. It goes back to those priorities. Some days school takes priority, and we do a week's worth of math and English to make up for the days we've missed. Other days I realize I haven't shoveled manure in a week, or that the weeds are climbing the pea trellis faster than the peas are. Whatever seems most pressing gets accomplished, everything else is left for another day. I'm learning to remember that it will still be there tomorrow. And some days, play and relaxing and laughing take priority. If they didn't, I'd be a crazy person. And we all know if I'm crazy, my family is too.

So along we trudge, delighting in all The Little Things we do, appreciating the sweet details that tend to fog over the messier big picture. And for now, that's just about perfect.

As life seems to be evening out again, I'm hoping to get back to writing the little stories that make up our little lives... the stories I want to remember, that I want my children to remember, the stories that I hope make a few folks smile once in awhile.