Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Here's Toma blazing a path for the NEW YEAR.
May you all have Happy Trails in 2010!
It's a fresh start, so let's all make the BEST of it!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shelter Dogs From Christmas Past

Archie/03                     Jake/05

Two very adoptable Shelter dogs from Christmases past.
Happily they both found forever homes.
Please remember that many don't.
Help the homeless.
Adopt, don't shop!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

View from the Porch


Here's a photo taken last week of the view from our front porch.  It's much easier to look at this view every time I open my blog than my own silly, smiling face!  

Muletide Greetings to you All from the Mancos Mule Team!

Thursday, December 10, 2009



From All of us Here

To those of you Out There

Joy to the World

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It Looks like Winter is here....

HI HO, HI HO it's off to work we go! ...  Toma had to get the tractor out this morning to get the car out of the driveway to get to work, but after that it was smooth, but very slow, sailing all the way into Durango. 

I had a similar task to get to the barn for morning chores.  This time of year I don't fork manure, I fork poop-icles!  Temperature was below zero when I first walked past the thermometer, but it has warmed up to about 28 for the high today.

Maggie and I took a photo of the house from our neighbor's pasture.  The stacks of cow hay and our house made for a nice backdrop in the snow.   

Winter has arrived in Mancos, Colorado! 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stupid Move

Within a fraction of a second
I knew that I had done something very stupid
as with so many really stupid moves
 thinking it didn't help
damage done
1200 pounds of mule
unintentionally slamming down
right on top of my left toe
  ouch .... an understatement

So here's just a little friendly advise....When trying to readjust a turnout blanket never stand right in front of the animal wearing the blanket.  Especially if there is a bit of static in the air.  Pow, the mule got a static shock and shot forward like a bolt. In a blink of an eye she repositioned all her body weight right down on my foot, which happened to be right in the way of her forward motion!!! In my forty-plus years of keeping horses this is my second such injury. And kinda like a bad sunburn ...  I feel very dumb to have let it happen!
Has it ever happened to you?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Here's the Birthday Boy
58 years ago!

Here's the Birthday Boy
Last year!

I don't think he's changed much.....
Another year older
and another chocolate cake!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey Trot ... Dog style

Thanksgiving morning 
one of our local animal rescue groups 
had a benefit walk (Turkey Trot).  

It was wonderful to see so many mixed-breed dogs and their human companions out enjoying the brisk morning air.  Toma and I accompanied our dog Maggie.  I can't begin to tell you how many new urine sniffs she found on this short, but exciting little walk.  A good time was had by all.  There were big dogs and little dogs, young dogs and very old dogs.  But the nice thing was they were all there to help some of the less fortunate animals in our communities.  

It was a good way to spend Thanksgiving morning!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Maggie Goes Hiking

MJ and Maggie
Yesterday was one of the 320+ days of sunshine that we get here in SW Colorado.  It was a glorious day.  We hiked the soon-to-be-opened seasonal cross country ski trail.  It is only 15 minutes from our house, but is a bit higher in altitude, so there was still plenty of snow on the ground for romping and stomping in. We ALL had a wonderful time.

As Maggie ages we go for hikes with her.  She takes us for these walks, we no longer take her.  We stop when she wants to stop.  We sniff when she wants to sniff.  We look for squirrels.  We sniff and pee.  We take our time.  It takes longer.  We see more than we ever did before.  It's a great pace.  You should try it some time ...  this old dog pace!

Enjoying Maggie's Pace

Friday, November 13, 2009

Function and Purpose

Setting Goals

We have rain that probably will be turning to snow as the temperature drops and we head on into the weekend. I can’t see the mountains, as they are blanketed in a gray mass that is slowly moving this way. It’s a good afternoon to snuggle up in the big stuffed chair by the wood stove, and do some relaxing. It’ll be a nice change of pace from my busy morning.

The old dog is already resting. She’s very smart when it comes to knowing when to relax and when to stress about something. I should take lessons from her. As we get a little older we sometimes forget that this “resting thing” becomes more important.

Before I settle into my big stuffed chair, and my resting mode, there is something that I want to bring up for discussion. Here it goes……

How much do you leave up to fate in regards to what your future holds for you? On the other hand, how much do you, or should you, influence your goals and take the proverbial “bull by the horns” to make that journey into your future happen?

I think that often opportunities are lost because too much is left up to fate. It makes me think of a rather laid-back family that we met while sailing in the South Pacific. These people lived each day to the fullest, they were fun loving almost to a fault, and they neglected the day to day maintenance of their sailboat. I can remember hearing them say that they were meant to be doing what they were doing, and that they would be taken care of because it just felt right. That is until they were shipwrecked, their boat sank, and they were stranded on a deserted island for 6 weeks without food and water. Alive, but was that really what fate had in mind for them?

All those who wander are not lost, but at some point in time they have to recognize that they have reached a destination. Making a new goal, striving towards it, and accomplishing it can be very rewarding. There is always something to look forward to, to strive toward, but I think that people need goals. Whether they are little short-term goals, or huge, life-altering goals it doesn’t really matter. Just make it something to plan for, work at, and keep your blood flowing!

Do you have any thoughts on fate vs. function and purpose?

The big stuffed chair is calling me. So here’s hoping that you have a fun-filled weekend packed with function and purpose!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Mancos Mule Team

Today was another good day, and I'd like to share it with you.  I haven't posted in a while.  We have a sick mule.  I guess you could say that I have a very unlucky mule.  I think that she has too much horse genetics and not enough jack.  I do not want to get into all the details, but Polly has once again been through several tests, been trailered to Albuquerque to visit veterinary specialists, and has been diagnosed with Sinusitis.  She has good days and bad days, and so do we.   
Let me introduce you to the the Mancos Mule Team that is working to keep her happy.   It is our belief that her quality of life is important to the very end. 

This is Toma riding Polly in Utah in 1988.  My new mule had just spent 60 days with a trainer.  That same trainer put Toma (who had never ridden before) on his 26 year old schooling horse and had given him a 60 minute lesson.  Toma may have become a bit over-confident and asked to ride our sweet young mule.  You guessed it, Polly did what any smart mule would do, she tested the rookie, concluded that he didn't know squat, and proceeded to rub his leg on the fence line for about ten feet.  This was the first of many lessons Polly was to teach us in the years to come.

Pictured  above are my two favorite riding buddies; Effie and  Polly  resting at Horse Lake in the Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon in 1993. With over twenty years of memories it is hard to pick a photo and describe what we've been through together, but my fondest memories are of the miles and miles of trails.  We always had at least one dog in tow, and we most always had a good time.  Then there was the day that we ran head on into a back packer, running full speed, down hill, straight at us.  He had a big floppy, orange float tube tied to the top of his pack, and he was running so fast that he was not able to stop.  Polly has this talent for "Getting Out Of Dodge" when that sorta thing happens, and all that I had to do was tighten my seat belt! Yahoo!! 

Maggie May is Polly's 3rd dog and is our very watchful horse and mule herder.  She is both a friend and foe to Polly,  but then remember, a good dog's gotta do, what a good dog's gotta do! 

Rhettly  is a bit of an air-head, but he could get an A for effort.  He's been Polly's pasture mate now for about thirteen years.  I suspect that they are best friends.  Since this most recent diagnosis Rhett seems to be keeping a very close eye on his old girl friend.

With these older animals in our lives, we are committed to their health and their happiness.  It is hard to make choices for another living being.  To decide when they have been through enough trauma, or invasive procedures, and then deciding what is still a good quality of life.  I believe I will know when the time comes, and that I will make the right choice for our sweet Polly. 

How to make a sickly mule happy:
Antibiotics and Sunshine ...
Turned out on pasture with her Best Friend ...

Happy Mule

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm Speechless ... Snow

We all woke up to a light snowfall this morning...
I'm definitely NOT ready!

October 23, 2009

October 28, 2009 

Silly mule has heated water in her stall....
but she likes ice cubes!

And then there's Maggie ...
our Snow Puppy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Shelter Faces.....

Those of you who have followed my blog know that I used to be a volunteer for ONE of MANY small town animal shelters. That was over three years ago.  My husband and I would go to the shelter every week and photograph all the new, adoptable dogs ,and then post them on the website hoping to get maybe just one of them adopted.  

We have since moved to a new home, in a new town, in a new state, but I have not been able to rid my mind of all the very loving, very needy, very adoptable dogs that we met,  if ever so briefly.  I do not know exactly how many of these less-than-fortunate pups found homes.  I know that the adoption rate in that community was not very good.  But to make a long story as short as possible, I still have not been able to delete their very hopeful faces from my computer files.  I have thousands of photos and thousands of faces...all with that "please take me home" look.  This may be the least I can do in their memory.... to post their pleas.

Too many good dogs... 
not enough good people! 

Please spay or neuter your pets!  

Please adopt, don't shop! 

Saturday, October 24, 2009


AWARD?   Oh Darn....

Thank you so much hillybillyfarmgirl (my friend MICHI) for passing this award on to me! ♥....I guess?

Accepting this award comes with the following challenge.
The challenge is to answer the below questions using one word only.

Here are the questions, and here are my answers.....

1. Where is your cell phone?  Boxed
2. Your hair?  Messy
3. Your mother?  Tough
4. Your father?  Friend
5. Your favorite food?  Pasta
6. Your dream last night?  None
7. Your favorite drink?  Cabernet 
8. Your dream/goal?  Travel
9. What room are you in?  Office
10. Your hobby?  Remodeling
11. Your fear?  Turmoil
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Retired
13. Where were you last night?  Home 
14. Something that you aren't?  Aggressive
15. Muffins?  Poppyseed
16. Wish list item?  Kitchen 
17. Where did you grow up?  Rural
18. Last thing you did?  Walk
19. What are you wearing?  Jeans
20. Your TV?  Sony
21. Your pets?  Family
22. Friends?  Distance
23. Your life?  Routinized
24. Your mood?   Contented 
25. Missing someone?   Always 
26. Vehicle?  Super-Nellie
27. Something you're not wearing?  Cap
28. Your favorite store?  Home-Improvement
29. Your favorite color?  Greens
30. When was the last time you laughed?  Yesterday
31. Last time you cried?  Bereavement  
32. Your best friend?  Toma 
33. One place that I go to over and over?  Barn
34. One person who emails me regularly?  Sister
35. Favorite place to eat?   Table

Also, I'm to pass this award/challenge along to six others...
Please take the award and the challenge...and I hope that this is not a burden, but a sign of my appreciation for your blog and the topics that you choose to write about and share!

Val ..... mules, horses, dogs, work and play, and wow does she express herself well!
Jill's life
Jill ..... giant pumpkins, dogs, mini-critters with long ears, garden sculptures, and so very interesting and fun to follow.
Laura ..... I have only followed Laura's blog for a very short time now, but could immediately recognize her knowledge and love for her horses and (one) mule?  She has a wonderful gift for telling a simple tale ... very readable and easy to follow.
Nature Nutz
Lisa .... her love of nature, all aspects of gardening, and  fondness for her own as well as shelter animals makes her blog not only a learning experience but fun to follow as well.
Baba Yaga's Mirror ..... educator (now back at work for the school year) and animal lover .... this site is packed with information.   Thanks for all your genuine love and care.
Pick a Peck of Pixels
Abe .... a photographer extraordinaire with a great sense of humor and gift for putting words on paper!

Never having accepted any award before, I am not totally sure how this works or if the way I did it will work.  Ah well, like I said I'm passing it on (I think I'm passing it on)  to those of you whose posts that I continue to enjoy each time I log onto your blogs!

Hope you are all having a very nice weekend....

P.S.    Now I have done my part, but I have no idea what to do next except push PUBLISH POST