Thursday, February 28, 2013

Baby Solana Turnout

These are from some of baby Solana's first turnouts...that's Ernest Expressions - "Notteea" - her dam along with her...

How do I get these legs to work together?!
Man! This is hard work to get to this green stuff!

Are you my daddy?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let the Nostalgia Begin!

Not entirely sure what got me going on this...probably partly that my sweet mare is coming up on her 9th birthday next month, partly that I've been spending so much time with her trying to bring her through her laminitis episode as best I can (will be sharing more on that in upcoming posts), and partly because once I came across some pix of her that I'd forgotten about I set out looking through lots of old pix of her :D

So allow me to set the stage a bit: I had been away from horses for a number of years when I heard about a breeding stable very near my home. After a first visit just to see the place, I ended up befriending the owners and ultimately spending loads of time there. I was actually in the enviable position of being able to go out there and ride at any time I wanted without any of the financial responsibilities! But that would change...I had never been around a newly-born foal...or really any foals...In March 2004 there were two mares due to foal at the barn. The Andalusian mare was actually due first...she was the one I'd been riding....but the Quarter Horse was also expecting an Azteca foal (dad was full-blooded Andalusian, mom full-blooded Quarter Horse, making baby an Azteca D--interesting registry 'rules' use letters to distinguish between horses with different percentages of the foundation breeds).

While I wasn't there to witness the birth, I was there within about 4 hours. Canola Solana, BTSF was born March 25, 2004 at about 2:00 a.m.  These pictures were taken later that day:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Greyhond Home Security System (GHSS)

While there's no photo from this incident, I must relay a story LoML told me when I got home last night. Seems our sweet Gwyn continues to take her role as guard dog seriously (after all, she has a baby in the house to protect now!). LoML was watching tv, when he heard a *serious* growling coming from the dining room. You know it...the almost sub-sonic "I mean business" growl that's accompanied by full hackle-raise and meant to make the hairs on your neck stand up too. The lights were off so he couldn't immediately see what was there, but based on the sounds coming out of our sweet girl LoML was sure that something had gotten in the house. He flipped on the light....only to discover that the terrible intruder was none other than one of my felt leaf-shaped placemats that had fallen onto the floor (perhaps with assistance from the Orange Menace!) and was standing up diagonally  against one of the chair legs...the horror! All kidding aside, while I would never pretend that Gwyn is a guard dog, I do think it's nice that she will bark and/or growl if someone unexpected comes up to the house. She only barks once or twice, and we know that anyone coming in might be in danger of being bowled over in her exuberance and could be subjected to being French-kissed by a hound with stinky dog breath (hey! we're working on that!)...but potential burglars don't know that...and when she growls or barks it can sound really serious :D

I'll be embarking on a nostalgia tour here on the blog over the next few weeks as regards Solana (more on that tomorrow), so before I do, allow me to share our very first picture of Gwyn. This was the picture they had on the Greyhound Friends of North Carolina website where they show hounds up for adoption...the picture I was immediately drawn to...the picture I obsessed over and kept returning to out of all the others :D I've shared it before, but probably not since right after we adopted her and thought it was worth pulling out of the vault again. Isn't she quite the diva striking a pose?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Courtesy Car

A few weeks ago my vehicle had to be in the shop for several days (long story, but the local dealership got it all straightened out)...while it was there, they gave me a courtesy car. It was the new Buick Verano. Mind you, I already drive a Buick that has awesome features, but I confess this one had even newer bells & whistles that I had fun playing with. The video screen information center was wild and could even show me the extended weather forecast and what was playing at the local movie theatres with the touch of a couple of buttons!

But I'm easily amused, and probably what tickled me the most was the "switchblade" key:

On an unrelated note: I mentioned Tim McGraw's latest release the other day. Here are the lyrics to my favorite of the new songs:
Number 37405
Oh, he listens to the countdown, every Sunday morning
From a cold solitary prison cell
And the music from his radio is like freedom down a dirt toad
Makes that eight by ten a brighter hill

Before he started doing all the hard time that he's doing
He was singing in them honky-tonks and dives
He dreamed of being somebody, now he's number 37405

Well she used to come and see him, every other weekend
And bring him all the news from way back home
It's been two birthdays since he's kissed her,
Five seconds since he's missed her
Now the perfume on those letters ain't that strong

He's got too much time to think about the night he had too much to drink
And all his buddies, they begged him not to drive
Mr. Life of the Party, he's now number 37405

Old judge on the bench said, "Son, your crime's got consequences."
It's what he told him, fifteen years ago
He took a life and that's a fact, he'd give his own to give it back
Today's the day he finally gets parole

He turns in them prison clothes, and stands there at the forkin' road
And mama prays and waits while he decides
And the angels close their eyes...

Listens to the birds sing on a perfect autumn morning
Just down the road, rings an old church bell

Just reading the lyrics doesn't completely get you there...but still....he does some really nice things with the music....I was really blown away the first time I listened to it and got to the line "and the angels close their eyes..." - the music drifts into some nice harmonics...and then after the last line you hear the church bell and the song sort of winds down a bit...very touching.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Funny Video Saturday

I just had to share two youtube videos with you today. The first I discovered when someone posted it on facebook. Without a complete spoiler, I will say it goes from sweet to hysterical:

and this one that my mom saw and told me about:

Friday, February 22, 2013

I Luv My Doggeh

Here's a typical sequence of events...Gwyn's lying there, Xander comes over, flops down, rolls over...

Gwyn inspects him :D They're so funny together...I don't know why we even own a tv!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Interwebz Takeover

Be afraid! Be very afraid!! The kittehs are takin' over the interwebz!!! Case in point:
The Orange Menace
Little mischief...such a long time ago!
You may also email said kitteh at :D

A special shout-out to Auntie J for coming up with the descriptive moniker :D

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Paper Dog and Paper Cat

Yes, the Christmas paper is still in a pile in the living room can I possibly deny them? Well,'s Xander's pile'o'paper...Gwyn just keeps an eye on him!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

cat or fox?

Gwyn's current favorite toy is her fox. It's like the one seen here on the left:
It's one of those that doesn't have any stuffing in it, but it does have squeakers in each end. She *loves* her fox! (I've noticed that Polly at Graceful Greyhounds has one very similar.) When Gwyn gets really excited she runs around with her fox and squeaks it frantically until she wears herself out.'s the latest development...and I'm not sure if it's good or bad???

Is it me, or do they look almost the same except that the fox has no stuffing and the orange menace has lots of stuffing?! By the way, that is Gwyn's bed they're lying on!

Monday, February 18, 2013

More of Water Boy

Xander continues to perfect his water boy technique :D It's a little hard to see in the first picture (I'm not using flash since I don't want to blind us both with the mirror right there!), but the water is running in a very slow stream. I think the rest are self-explanatory.

His preferred technique involves putting his paw under the water and then licking it off, but sometimes he just has to stick his face in.

Let's look at that shot just a little closer...yes, the water is pouring down his face and off his nose (off of, not out of!)....and yes, his tongue is out :D

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Funny Face

So I really love the "sport continuous" mode on my camera. It enables me to shoot fun sequences...Now, before anyone starts calling the authorities, let me explain! Sometimes when Gwyn gets a "cookie" we play with it first. I hold onto it for about 10-15 seconds...she'll try to take it by putting her teeth around it, but will not grab my hand! I never feel teeth. When I let it go, she runs around with it, drops it, play bows at it...and generally has a marvelous time with it before she settles down to eat it. Now before you start to lecture me about teasing, know that I only do this occasionally. Most of the time she gets treats I just hand it to her once she's quietly lying down. As wild as she acts when we do play this way, she's got a very soft mouth and also understands that I giveth, and I can taketh away! It can make for some hilarious faces:


                                                                                                             And then, here's another sequence....

 Lest you still think I'm cruel, I show you that she's gotten her cookie, played with it more herself, and eaten most of it! :D

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Willow!

Our sweet Willow turns 13 today!! She and her dear brother Oz, who died in July, came to live with us when they were six weeks old. They were so adorable :D
Willow on left, Oz on right

Oz! You got somethin beside you! Don't worry, I'll get it!!!

I bitez your head!
This next one was taken the night we brought them home, or the next day. The two of them together barely covered LoML's elbow! They were virtually indistinguishable but for the dark patches on their heads. Oz's was dark grey and made a "V", while Willow's was dark brown and was a "slash" mark. Over the years, the marks faded away completely....
Oz in front..

Oz in front..
Willow's our diabetic girl...well, at least she was's in remission right now (though I'm not sure that's the correct medical terminology). She was diagnosed when she was 2 years old. She was insulin dependent for the next 10 years, requiring shots twice daily. Sometime this past year...after we lost Oz maybe...her metabolism changed (?) and she no longer needs insulin! I continue to monitor her glucose levels and my vet tells me that there may come a time when we'll have to start it again, but so far, so good.

I believe Willow misses her dear, sweet we do....but Xander, a/k/a The Orange Menace, has kept her quite busy! :D He's ruthless as kittens can be, and takes every opportunity to leap on her, pin her down, and bite her neck (unless it's one of those times when he thinks he should lick her...which she never seems to appreciate since he does it while pinning her down). She's lost weight as she's now getting much more exercise than she was there for awhile. While she channels her evil alter ego when she has to go the vet's (can you blame her since her early experiences consisted of having to have blood draws every couple of hours?) she is one of the sweetest cats I've ever known. Another interesting fact is that she's decided it's time now to move to daylight savings time. :D She's my furry alarm clock. While she will progress to more attention-demanding tactics if I don't respond, she always starts out just by sitting by my head and purring. Loudly. :D

Happy Birthday girl!!!