2.27.2015

Snoklahoma

Oklahoma is known for it's weather.  "If you don't like the weather stick around. It will change," is just one of the sayings you might hear about Oklahoma weather.  It's true.  One day can easily be 72 degrees in February and the very next day you might have 4 inches of snow on the ground.  It's as exciting as it is frustrating.  Especially if you have five kids and live on a FARM!  

That one time, in January, when we were acting like it was summer and sunk the Jeep.  It wasn't our fault.
We were under a "Its summer time! Psych!" spell.
Wanna get the weathermen all worked up?  Have it snow in early November.
This weather stunt has gone down in the Oklahoma history books as "Snovember"
A few snowflakes fall from the sky and the weathermen can hardly contain themselves.  They change their ties to match the impending weather conditions.  Schools close, small business shops shutdown, and my mother calls to make sure I've been to the store to stock up.  All the while north easterners poke fun at our panic. I believe in being proactive rather than reactive so I get it.  But let it be known that snow in Oklahoma means snow days for public schools, which means annoyed momma in our house.  I am NOT a "Snow Day Fun Day" kind of mom.  I don't race out to the front yard to build a snowman while singing, "Do You Want to Build A Snowman".  I don't jump for joy because we get to sleep in. My youngest kids have yet to master or appreciate that luxury.  Gosh, I sound like a hater.  Forgive me.  My kids need routine, structure, and for the love of Pete to be in school! Who is Pete anyway?  


As far as snow on a farm goes, it only means more work.  If you have been reading my blog you will know our history with pipes and my feelings towards pipes.  Anything that can potentially freeze must be dealt with before the temperatures drop and the snow falls.  Water troughs must be kept thawed (picture me with an ax hacking ice.  Pretty humorous really) and automatic pasture waterers running free of ice.  The water bowls for the pigs and chickens must be monitored and changed frequently.  Animals need be fed extra feed to increase their caloric intake.  Now, there's a calorie burning activity...stand outside in the freezing cold without eating.  And don't get me started on hauling buckets of manure through the snow.   The only good news about frozen manure is it tends to smell less or not at all.  

I don't like anything that can potentially harm my chickens.  Not even snow. 
The other worries that frigid weather bring about are my own personal neurotic ones.  What if the chickens lose their toes to frostbite (it's happened before)?  Why won't the horses take shelter in the loafing sheds (Seriously?  I thought they were smart)?  Will the pigs freeze in a self created mud hole?  Are all the heat lamps working?  Are the water heaters heating or did a rabbit chew the cord?  If I turn on this faucet will the pipe bust?  Maybe I just shouldn't shower until the weather warms up.  

We moms are in this together.  Follow womenirl for real motherhood comedy. 
If you can't tell, I'm not a winter person.  I definitely suffer from "seasonal depression", "everything around you is brown and bare depression", "snow on the ground so no school depression", "my car doesn't warm up fast enough depression", "the horses look cold and depressed depression".  I could go on but it's too depressing.  

All that said, I think one of the most wondrous and beautiful things on the planet are snowflakes.  Each snowflake is unique and unlike any other.  Just like each day here in Oklahoma, weather wise.  

2.26.2015

Redemption Ranch: an Unexpected Find

The road to redemption.
A month ago I brought home a ball of fur.  The cutest ball of fur you ever did see.  I once again added to our farm a Great Pyrenees, named Rosie.  Now before you go judging me and the amount of animals we have please remember we live on a farm.  Farms are called farms because animals, lots of animals, live there.  And maybe I have a problem with adding to it but that's none of your beeswax.  Moving on.  After our bird dog didn't work out I quickly realized Rosie needed a companion replacement.  Never mind that the pigs were fed up with her persistent puppy play.  So the search began.  Second Chance, Craigslist, Petfinder, you name it.  It wasn't long before the sweetest little face appeared on my computer and I was smitten.  I found a companion for Rosie.  Another female ball of fur was sure to become her bestest friend, and mine.

This cute face!  Found on petfinder.com
I came across our newest member on Petfinder.  She was at a shelter in Tishomingo called Muttnation.  Since I live under a haystack I'd never heard of Muttnation.  I only knew I had to drive to Tishomingo, fill out paperwork and be back in time to get the kids from school.  I followed the directions from my trustworthy (NOT! The maps chick had me going to Henryetta, OK which is in the complete opposite direction of where I needed to be going) google maps app and ended up on a dirt road.  Having just seen a news story on 911 and their shocking inability to locate you in an emergency I was worried.  Panicked.  Where would this road take me?  What lied ahead couldn't be safe, right?  Momma always said stay off of dirt roads. What if 911 couldn't find me?  I snapped a  picture of where I was and sent it to Big Dog.  Maybe my text would help the authorities locate me if I met danger along the way.  But I remained focused on the precious face I'd seen just a few days earlier and forged ahead.  I followed the puppy breath scent and finally arrived to Muttnation.  My fear quickly changed to excitement, then confusion.  How could such a cute and fun place be at the end of a dirt road?  Muttnation. A sanctuary for all unwanted and lost dogs.  A safe haven full of what only love can offer.

The sun was certainly shining on Muttnation so much that I had to show you!
I was taking in all the sights!  A darling refurbished trailer, adorable little doggie houses, a spacious building housing all kinds of those who needed a home.  Everything was so clean and bright and pink.  A kind woman greeted me and quickly introduced me to Peony, my pup.  But wait.  I was full of questions.  What is this magical place?  Why is it so fun and cute?  Isn't this a dog shelter?  She said, "now, didn't you know Miranda Lambert bought this place and fixed it up?"  Uh.  What?  Well, that explains it.  That explains why the property looks so fabulous.  It had been "Miranda-ized".  It all made sense.  I knew Miranda Lambert lived in Tishomingo but I didn't know she bought a run down, scary, city dog pound and turned it in to a slice of heaven.  I didn't know that this place was the result of her hard work, huge heart and generosity, not to mention her fans.  Yup!  Muttnation.  A foundation formed by Miranda and her mom to put an end to a problem that breaks every one's heart.  Redemption Ranch is just one of many across the nation Miranda started to help those who are unwanted find someone who will want them and love them.  It was enlightening. It was a refreshing dose of humanity and good will. I didn't want to leave.  I wanted to stay and notice each and every detail put into saving these sweet animals.  

Just a small peek into the trailer where you meet, greet, and play with your new companion.
I think it's only fitting that the road that leads to Muttnation is made of dirt.  That it's scary and unknown.  Redemption doesn't just happen.  It's a messy process. Whether you are saving or being saved, it takes courage, hard work and desire.  For those being saved it takes an enormous amount of strength to get to whatever lies ahead.  After all,  it has to be better than where you came from. For those doing the saving it takes dedication, sacrifice and heart.  Redemption.  I think it's safe to say that Miranda Lambert agrees with Margaret Feinberg, "Nothing is beyond God's redemption and restoration." 
She comes marked with love.  I didn't notice the heart on her head until we were back on that dirt road, headed home.
I know that Tishomingo is known for Miranda Lambert living there with her beau, Blake.  Many people go to The Pink Pistol shop she owns in hopes of running into to the celebs but I say making a trip to Redemption Ranch will be well worth your time.  Bring a bag of dog food, old towels, puppy toys, dog bones or a fat check.  They'd be much obliged.  And who knows, maybe you will bring home a furry friend. 

To learn more click here 
and here www.mirandalambert.com 
and here The Boot 
and of course Follow on Facebook

2.18.2015

A Real Swine Time

What's a farm without pigs?  My friend had a pig, and she doesn't live on a farm.  We live on a farm, and didn't have a pig.  So, naturally I had to fix that.  I had to have a pig of my very own.  I wanted my very own little camera hog.  I needed piggy portraits to share with the cyber public.  I had to have a pig to buy a pink halter for, and to dress in a tutu.  I had to have a pig so I could name it Matilda.  So, I got a pig.  A "miniature" potbelly pig and I named her Matilda.   

The first piggy we ever owned, the legendary Matilda
Sadly, Matilda didn't last long out here.  She and our dog, Shadow, went on a walkabout to the river.  Our dog came back after hours of me looking for them.  As soon as I hollered out my last, "here piggy, piggy, piggy" and called off the search, our dog came walking back up the dirt road.  I was relieved to see him, and was certain that Matilda would be in tow.  But she wasn't.  Our dog came back without her, and that could only mean one thing; Matilda was gone.  If dogs could talk I'm pretty sure he would have said something like this: "We went on a rabbit hunting adventure.  Matilda got thirsty so she walked down to the pond to get a drink.  She fell in.  I tried to save her.  My paw reached for her hoof but it was too late.  She was gone.  Gone pig, gone."  

The weird thing is, I think Matilda is still out there.  People swear they have Matilda sightings, and call, text, and FB message me informing me they have seen her or they know who has her.  But the leads are only dead ends.  I know that somewhere out there she is rooting in some pasture and wallowing in mud, I'm sure of it.  

It wasn't long before Operation: Pig Replacement ensued.  You see, Matilda had a public engagement scheduled at my children's school.   Since she disappeared who would take her place?  Being the sucker that I am I was talked into getting another pig.  I'm a woman of my word and if I say I'll show up with a pig, I will show up with a pig, even if I'm suckled suckered into it.  I found the breeder, and she had one piggy left, Matilda's sister, Lottie.  So, Lottie moved into the barn and life was good again.

Lottie catches some serious air as she flies to the barn upon hearing the dinner bell. 
Lottie sneaks a peek under the Christmas tree.  This stunt earned her the nickname "Naughty Lottie".
What's the fun with just having one pig?  As soon as I was beginning to feel like Lottie needed pig pal, my friend contacted me frantic and worried about the future of her pig, Wilbur.  Wilbur and her dog had gone on a walkabout of their own, and were spotted by some well meaning meanie who called animal control to report that a stray pig was roaming the neighborhood.  Well, that stray pig was not a stray at all.  Wilbur happens to be one of the most loved and well known pigs alive.  He even has a social media fan following.  The city, it turns out, frowns on pigs living in town.   My friend was told to unload her little piggy.  She called us and asked if we would be willing to take Wilbur in to avoid him being sent to the poky.    We said, “Sooooooie!  A pig of yours is a pig of ours!”  It was an honor to come to Wilbur's rescue.  Plus, his city momma comes to visit which means I get to see my friend more often.   
The following three pictures courtesy: Wilbur's city momma
A little bit at a loss for words here.  The cuteness of baby Wilbur is just too much!
Wilbur was destined to live out here on the farm.  Having spent a lot of time as a pampered inside pig at his previous home, I worried about how he would fare out in the barn.  It turns out that he prefers the great outdoors and barn life to the comforts only a home with central heat and air can provide.  He was tickled pink to trade in his cushy bed for a place in the hay.  Who needs a warm cozy home when you have countless mud holes to wallow in, flower beds to root in and destroy, and pastures of green grass to nibble in?  Wilbur is one smart pig.  He knows his place.  

Prior to living on a farm Wilbur was quite helpful with household chores.  Now he keeps the grass and weeds down.
Move over Kardashians!  Wilbur has a photo shoot of his own and attains celebrity status.  
Wilbur and Lottie have become quite the pair.  They are partners in swine.  After Lottie established dominance, it wasn't long before Wilbur surrendered his will  to his new found love.  He happily bows at her every beck and oink.  They are inseparable.  You won't see one without the other.  They love to roam and root together.  Chasing horses or being chased by horses is a sport they share together.  Wilbur and Lottie even spoon.  They can be found spooning under a mound of straw in their stall.  We have our very own pigs in a blanket out here.  But don't get too excited.  Unfortunately, they are both fixed and won't be having any piglets.  Sniff, sniff.  Seriously.  How cute would that have been?  I know!  Dang it!  Why did we have them fixed?  Oh yeah, I remember.  Because a pig in heat is not fun for anyone and harmful to the environment as the potent odor they put off is quiet toxic.  Wilbur was fixed because a pig with a pair is a pig with attitude and ain't nobody got time for a pig with attitude.

Wilbur and Lottie enjoy a picnic on a sunny day.  
I am the unlikely farm girl.  More than that, I’ll be hammed if I wasn’t voted most unlikely to raise pigs.  Never, ever!  But as Big Dog always says, "Can't never could." So there you have it.  If there is one thing I can promise I will promise you this: I will continue to share the swine with updates, stories and pictures.  Pigs are just too much fun!

2.15.2015

Seed Sowing Sunday

The weather is chilly and there is actually a chance of snow this week even though it was nearly 70 degrees yesterday.  Gotta love Oklahoma weather!  Despite the colder temperatures this week, it's time to get out your green thumb and get to gardening...indoors. You can start planning and planting that glorious bounty of fruits, vegetables, wild flowers and herbs you've always dreamed of now.  Let's get started. 

I like this brand of seeds.  Mainly because they come from a reputable company with integrity so I feel good about what they will produce.  You can find them online and at most green houses. 

Burpee

These are just a few of the seeds, according to The Old Farmers Almanac , that prefer to be sowed indoors, weeks before the last predicted frost.  I like The Old Farmers Almanac because their website is chock full of helpful information and easy to navigate.   If you're anything like me, sometimes you need someone to hold your hand and walk you through exactly what needs to be done and this site does just that.  Type in your city or zip code for a list of what and when to plant.  Enter your email address for reminders of what to plant and when.  See?  This is easy peasy.  You will also find loads of exciting things like recipes, gardening tips, garden plans and much more.

Using Miracle Grow soil (because I need all the miracles I can get out there), I filled my pods nearly to the top.  Remove the pesky sticks and twigs.  Carefully place one seedling per pod (if you are far sighted this can be a bit strenuous on the eyes and a pair of tweezers might be good to have on hand).  With your index finger go back and gently push your seeds down about a 1/4".  Go back over your tray with a thin layer of soil and smooth over.  And because we practice "waste not, want not" around here, I used the left over egg shells from breakfast to give the soil an extra boost of nutrients.  

If you don't have a mini food processor GET ONE! 
Perfectly crushed shells to enhance the soil and boost growth...I hope!
It's a messy job but it just might be worth it.  Take the crushed shells and as evenly as possible spread it over your trays.  

There are many ways to identify your pods.  I used popsicle sticks and decorative (of course) masking tape.

I couldn't help but think my trays resembled brownies with toasted coconut on top.  Craving chocolate anyone? Don't worry.  After a few sprinklings the eggs shells will settle into the soil pods.  

It is recommend that you not only place your trays in a warm area with natural light but that you turn your trays daily to fairly distribute a fair share of sunlight.  Word on the street is talking to your seedlings everyday will greatly increase your chance of success.  And water, water, water.  But I suggest sprinkling the water as opposed to pouring the water over the pods.  Pouring may cause flooding thus, resulting in changing your mood for the worse and ruining your day.  I don't have a green thumb anymore than I have a green nose.  I'm going to cross my fingers, stand on my head, and pray for rain in hopes my efforts will yield this kind of result...
Our tomato crop from last summer.  Big Dog took up the hobby of canning so we can enjoy our harvest all year long.

Happy seed sowing everyone.  I hope your garden grows!  Please feel free to leave any of your own personal tips and success stories in the comments.  

2.14.2015

Just Another Day in Paradise

Ground Hog Day.  It's just a movie, right?  And movies aren't real.  Even the ones based on true stories aren't totally authentic.  There is no such thing as the exact, exact, exact, same thing happening day after day.  It's all a bunch of hog wash.  It's gotta be.  But then there is the farm life.  

Then there is yet another day with yet another bleepity, bleep, bleep, bleep, blasted, bleepin' pipe!  What is it with pipes and this house?  What is it about an already stressful, how am I going to be in four places at once and feed everyone at the same time kind of day?  There seems to be some force of pure evil that highly believes my day isn't complete without a pipe busting and spraying water through the wall and soaking the carpet.  And that's just one bedroom; I shan't forget the wood floors in the dining  room.  What's a few more warped and buckled planks of wood?  It adds character.  I'll keep telling myself that.
 

I mentioned in another post that I should have learned the trade of a plumber.  Big Dog beat me to it.  He went to the hardware store and bought the necessary supplies, cut out the wall, and did what plumbers do.  He DIY dominated that pipe and dry wall.  Big Dog is always on the brighter side of things.  He shrugged off the repeated offense by chalking it up to, "Well at least I know how to fix a busted pipe.  We don't have to call a plumber...for busted pipes anyway."  Yeah, whatever you say there big guy.    

Tomorrow is a new day.  The sun will rise on this paradise of ours.  Sure, new fires will burn and we will put them out.  Tomorrow we shall once again be reminded of the things we shouldn't take for granted but do.  Like running water for example. Do you know just how great a flushing toilet is?  Its pretty great.  So, I will be once again thankful for pool water to fill the toilets so they can flush when we don't have the luxury of a self water filling toilet.  Oh, and if you're anything like me, you like to run your toothbrush under the water intermittently while brushing your teeth (Not from the toilet!  Gross!  The sink!). 


Raise your hand if you relate.  And then there is the obvious.  I choose anything but water to drink all day (if it's not laced with caffeine it's a waste of my time), that is, until we don't have water.  As soon as, "Attention Funny Farmers: you don't have water" comes over the loud intercom of life, I am thirsty.  Like I've done nothing but gnaw and suck on a salt block for days kind of thirsty.  Water.  My pipes can't seem to live with it and we can't live without it.

2.11.2015

Friendsday Wednesday

You know what's better than Wednesday?  Friendsday Wednesday!  Believe it or not but I just returned from a Friendsday Wednesday brunch.  Picture if you will, me sitting there on a cozy, beautiful couch with lovely pillows talking with an adult.  Like, I had a real conversation with a sweet friend of mine without interruption, manure, wind, or feathers.  I was surrounded by  a few of my favorite things: delicious food, refreshing home decor and FRIENDS.  Not chickens, pigs or horses.  Not even kids, but friends.  I had the pleasure of catching up with gals I haven't seen in months, gals I see almost everyday but the sighting is more like a flash of lightening instead of a greeting or 3 second conversation.   Ahh how wonderful it felt.  See, it's not all dead chickens, split water troughs, and busted pipes in my life.  I have another life.  I put on my cuter clothes, dusted off my ballet flats, took my ponytail out, threw on a clearance necklace and socialized with humans.  I even made cookies (yet another Pinterest Fail) to take.  It felt good.  There is hope. There is life outside the farm.
Cookies Pinterest made me make.  For the recipe and pictures of how they are really supposed to look click here

2.10.2015

Thou Shall Speak No Evil

Recently I was telling, complaining really, to a few friends that all I seem to write about is the inevitable circle of life and how sad that is.  In unison they said, "you live of a farm!  That's what it's all about!"  I suppose they are right.  But it seems more like the circle of death rather than the circle of life out here.  When will the dark skies fade to light around here?  When will the withering stop and the blooming start?  

How life has felt lately
Illustration from A. A. Milne's classic book, Winnie-the-Pooh 
As if last weeks trials and tribulations weren't daunting enough, the serial chicken eating dog received an unfortunate bill of health from the vet (at this point I'm wondering why I didn't go to vet school or learn the trade of a plumber).  As for me, I received a one-way ticket on an all expense paid guilt trip.  After saying unkind things to this poor dog for killing several of my chickens, I'm told he has to be...put down.  Now, exactly how many times can you be told you have to put an animal down in one week? I've lost count, and I feel responsible for at least his death sentence.  Shame on me for speaking such terrible things over that poor dog after he instinctively, yet still maliciously, murdered my chickens. 

Poor Bo.  Bo was my husband's 40th birthday gift.  His pride and joy hunting dog that would not only retrieve live chickens but with training, dead ducks as well.  I noticed he was walking funny a few weeks ago.  I figured he hurt his leg trying to escape his pen in a desperate attempt to satisfy his craving for fresh fowl.  Going with my gut, I made an appointment for him to be seen.  One look at him and the vet suspected hip dysplasia.  But one hip being out would be fixable, easy, doable.  Nothing falls under those categories around here.  Nope.  The x-ray confirmed he had it double time.   Double hip dysplasia.  No future of hunting chickens or frolicking in the pastures.  Apparently he would live a life of miserable pain, such pain he would develop tics and the best, most humane thing to do would be to put him down. I hear things like this are no brainers for real farm folk.  Sick cow, put it down.  Sick horse, end their misery.  Virus spreading chicken, off with its head.  But for me, a city girl, I can't seem to understand or accept it.   Can't we just give them herbal supplements, natural oils and gluten free feed?   But the vet accepts it.  So much that he was surprised when my husband didn't leave the poor dog there so that his staff could get on with what such a diagnosis calls for.  

With spring on the horizon I'm hopeful it's only a matter of time before these sad and dreary tales of mortality fade. When will the clouds will part?  When will the sun shine?  Surely there will be blue skies smilin' at me and everything else that survives.  Oh, and lesson learned.  Don't curse farm animals.  They have enough going against them.  

In memory of Bo and his wild chicken chases

The Girls

I feel like I've cheated on my chickens, waiting until now to write about them.  The Girls.  My Girls.  They were city girls before becoming country girls.  I started with nine, and ended up with three.  The others didn't make it as they met their maker through the mouth of a K-9.  Why is it that everyone makes a big deal out of the cat and mouse charade, but not the dog and chicken charade?  I have barn cats, and I've never even seen one of those darn things chase a mouse.  I digress.  So as I was saying, “The Girls”.   It all started out as, "Well its Easter.  We may as well get chickens because Atwoods has them, and their weekly ad suggests we buy some."  So we did.  If you think I'm a sucker you're right. 
My less than stellar photography skills show fluffy blobs which are actually my girls.
After the untimely demise of  a half dozen newly hatched eggs, the remaining three earned their names.  Red (she's a red chicken so duh, her name is Red), Agnus, and Gertie.  As if losing sleep over having five children wasn't enough I started to lose any remaining sleep I had over my girls.  Are they cold?  Will they freeze to death?  Should I buy them sweaters?  Is the heat lamp on?  Are they hot?  Should I make them popsicles?  But I needn't worry.  These birds are tough birds.  We moved them out to the country with us, and they proved to be even tougher than I thought.  Agnus had nine lives (she lost her ninth life between the jaws of my least favorite dog in the whole wide world...at the moment anyway).  Red lost two toes to frost bite but walks without a hobble or limp.  Gertie survived a few near death experiences in her time as well.  She only lost a handful of feathers to our dog and kept on cluckin'. 
The girls greet me outside my kitchen window one fine morning.
So, like most things out here, it's a learning process.  I knew nothing about chickens.  But I was obsessed with them.  If I could have wrapped them up and put them in a baby carriage to parade them around the mall or take them to play dates at the park I would have.  Instead I read what I could, and consulted my two good chicken friends, pecking their brain about everything chicken.  And then one day it happened.  My girls laid their first eggs!  Oh what a long awaited glorious day.  I had waited seven whole long, lengthy, are we there yet, months for those first three eggs.  Naturally, I arranged them on a book of wisdom I had devoured and took pictures.  I regret not making them baby bracelets and bonnets.  Instead, my husband quickly fried them up, before I could place them gently in a glass display case for all to see.   
  
I highly, highly, highly recommend this book.
Today, Red stands as the sole survivor of the original three girls.  I'm pretty sure she smokes cigars, drinks whiskey and eats bacon.  The population of Chickenville had grown  to over 20 since it was established by the  first three.  I don't name them anymore.  It makes mourning their death easier when I find them dismembered by a hawk, owl, bobcat, or that dad-gum dog.  And because of that dad-gum dog, the chicken population is now down to eight.  To be fair, the others fell prey to hawks or owls.  But I have a delivery on the way of 25 more brand spankin' new baby chicks.  Not just 25, but five of five different breeds.  Eggs-citing times are ahead.  
The girls scratch and sniff around the flower bed which they soon destroyed.  I forgave them. 

2.09.2015

Diamond in the Rough

"Daddy, I want a pony," she said with her sparkling blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and glistening blonde hair doing most the talking.  Who says, "no" to that?  Not "no" to the request for a pony, but "no" to all of the stunning attributes that do the talking, begging, pleading, reasoning, and, lets face it, relentless whining.  So like any dad who listens to his wise wife, our daughter got a pony.  I mean, we live on a farm for crying out loud!  Duh, of course she got a pony.

When a child gets a pet the first thing the child does is name it as only a child can.  If it's a goldfish it's likely to be named, Goldie.  Or if it's a dog with spots, the name will obviously be Spotty.   A black cat, will be named Blackie.  You get the point.  So following the norm, our daughter, upon seeing a diamond shaped spot on the pony's side,  proudly named him Diamond.  A male pony named Diamond?  I had no choice but to go with it and, the funny thing is, the name fits him.  I guess it helps that we dress him up in glitter and ribbons, and fix his mane and tail in fancy braids.  He doesn't seem to mind the "Dude  Looks Like a Lady" looks.  But it's not the name that sets this pony apart from all other animals.  Nah, it's his personality.  He has bad days and good days, and isn't afraid to let you know how he is feeling.  Diamond has little man syndrome, and trust me, the large horses make way and bow down.  His bite is worse than his neigh.  Just ask my daughter.  And if you ask Diamond he will tell you that her punch is worse than her scream.  On a good day you might see Diamond grazing by the pool (he can magically escape any pasture which has given him the nickname Houdini), chasing a pig (purposefully NOT stepping on it) or begging for an apple slice, with a twinkle in his eye.   

Diamond is a good sport.  He doesn't mind a bad hair day, or even a bad hair month.  He paid no mind to an unfortunate bang trimming he got from a talented little girl and her best friend wielding a pair of purple plastic safety scissors.  You wouldn't mind bluntly chopped  bangs,  would you? 

It takes a LONG time for horse hair to grow back.   Not like the LONG time it takes for our hair to grow back.  It takes  ten times longer.  But like everything else that happens around here, Diamond's unfortunate haircut can't be undone.  It's yesterday's news, and life goes on here on the farm.

Diamond has taught our daughter how to ride, to hang on when being bucked, and to not give up when your horse gives you attitude.  He's a keeper even though she's outgrown him.  He put up with thirty 5 year olds who took turns "riding" him during a field trip they made to our farm. I can't imagine a pasture without him.  He's been proclaimed to be "the nicest, well mannered pony around" by our farrier and that my friends says a lot considering ponies have a bad reputation!  He certainly is a Diamond in the Rough.  

Photo Courtesy: Sharlee Rother Photography