The barn is high and dry. But trailer parking is at a premium.

The barn is high and dry. But trailer parking is at a premium.

In 2013, Texas Drought Could Be Worst Ever In Some Areas, Climatologist Says

Posted: 02/05/2013  1:38 pm EST

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas continues to suffer a serious rainfall deficit and is on track to experience the second-worst drought on record, the state climatologist said Tuesday.

John Nielsen-Gammon told the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees that most of the state is still in extreme drought and the forecast tilts toward drier-than-normal conditions through the spring. For some parts of the state, the current drought may end up being the worst ever recorded.

I know we need the rain.  I understand that philosophically.  But the part of me that has to wear boots and slog through the water does not.  As it poured, relentlessly from the sky last night at the rate of one half-inch every 30-minutes, joining the heavy rain from Saturday, we just huddled in the barn and prayed for it to stop.

Literally for months now, it has been dry making it easy to pull our trailer in and out.  Our arena has been in rideable every day.  Okay, so we may have been a little spoiled.  I like that.

In less than a week, a big rig will arrive to bring three horses (actually two ponies and a horse) to Caroline, Lynn and myself.  We don’t get much company and I have cheerfully thought of everyone arriving to pick up their respective steeds and enjoying the fellowship that goes with horse people getting together to see new animals.  That is not going to happen now.  Well, the horses will still come-no stopping that, but instead of arriving at my farm, Lynn has generously offered up her place with its gravel driveways and easy turn-around.  Both Caroline and I rely on driving on the grass and both of us have more water than grass right now.

Our bounty from Florida will include the following:

Our new pony-probably to be trained and sold-unless Jo gets her way.

Our new pony-probably to be trained and sold-unless Jo gets her way.

A three year-old branded, inspected German riding pony for Lauren to train, show and then sell.  Jordyn is begging for this pony-she says Lauren already has Mick, Feather and Bruno. Granny has Mr. Kid.  Dev has Snowney and she does not have her own horse!  We will see.

OTTB-Dubai going to Lynn Criner

OTTB-Dubai going to Lynn Criner

A six year-old OTTB named Dubai who Lynn is going to turn into a nice hunter mount-he sure has the look for it.

Scholar with his current little girl.

Scholar with his current little girl.

And finally, Scholar, a cute six year-old pony,  will join Caroline and her crew (giving Princess a run for her money with Abby!).

Joey will leave Texas to began a new career in Florida.

Joey will leave Texas to begin a new career in Florida.

Caroline’s OTTB Joey-whose journey from skinny rescue horse to stocky thoroughbred has been documented in this blog will return on the trailer to Florida and began his new career as an eventer.

We are all excited about our new animals.  Lauren has already chosen a show name for our pony (and I have not agreed to keep her), bought a new fuchsia halter and spruced up her stall.  I suspect Lynn and Caroline are projecting great futures on their new arrivals as well. I think Joey will find his place where he can run fast and jump high amongst the Florida palms.


I am back at work.  These first few days were long and the commute with one arm, harder than I remembered.  Stupid things like not being able to reach the cruise control have impeded my drive.

We lost kitten Griffin yesterday (the day after his picture was shown in the blog with Bruno).  He was hit by car and tossed recklessly in our water-filled ditch.  Lauren is closing her heart to love and it makes me sad.

Her dog Sneaky went in for surgery this morning and is doing great after the removal of a bladder stone the size of a walnut.

The poodle, Kona, seems to be the only one happy about the flood waters.  Nothing makes him happier than us throwing the ball way into our lake of rainwater.  He is thrilled with the new water attraction!


Bruno hanging out while the pasture is mowed with Griffin Kitty.

Bruno hanging out while the pasture is mowed with Griffin Kitty.

Always a million things to do.  I remember, back in Florida, when times were easier and we had someone who came in and cleaned once a week.  I had three children, a full-time job and always too much to do.  I remember the great feeling of coming home to a totally spotless house (that of course would be littered with toys, papers and other paraphernalia quickly).  That will never happen here. If we get one area clean, something else always needs to be done.

Lauren and I have done a reasonable job of getting things done around the farm, outside.  We managed to get some flowers planted, new baskets hanging from the pillars on the barns, and launched a full-out attack on the weeds lining the arena fence. The tack room is cleaned out.  Items were sold in a garage sale, too!

Prior to the unexpected deluge of rain last night, Richard came and mowed all our pastures.  We have seeded, weeded and feeded.  The rain, if it did not wash away the seed, should help green up and bolster our pastures. The yard is mowed and weeded as well.

Kona walking the path through the newly mown pasture.

Kona walking the path through the newly mown pasture.

I will start back to work tomorrow, four weeks post-surgery.  The drive will be daunting but I am ready to get back to my usual routine.  I went to mom’s this afternoon.  We spent a lazy afternoon just visiting.  I will miss seeing so much of her.

Busy times coming up-of course, back to work, horse shows the next two weekends and visitors from Florida with new horses!  Details soon, thanks for riding along.

Green pastures.

Green pastures. Just before the rain.

Night Stalker

I have written about the wild dogs that come and eat my cat’s food, kill my cats and destroy my trash.  Also, I wrote about the awful morning I found Mickey bitten and slashed.  I still have no clear answer, but lots of theories, from coyotes to bob cats on what attacked Mickey in the pasture a few weeks ago.  He is finally almost healed.

I did not discuss as it was too fresh and too sore, that Lauren’s favorite cat Orange was attacked and killed in my yard a couple of weeks ago.  If you review posts from last spring you will see him with his best friend Siobhan before she was killed.  Orange was the closest thing to a pet cat that we had.  Of course, we had just days earlier spent hundreds of dollars at the vet for him due to a high fever and infection.  He had recovered.  He is dead.  Money down the drain.

ANYWAY-this is not about Orange.  I went out to feed yesterday morning.  I have resumed my duties as morning feeder, shoulder in a sling be damned.  It takes a little longer and it is a little sloppy as I spill feed over the feed bowls using only one hand but I get it done.  Back to work this week, if I can do that, I can do my chores at home.

First thing I noticed as I stepped outside was all the cat food was eaten.  If the cats eat it, there is always some left over.  If dogs come through, every speck is gone.  I got out to the barn and Mickey was huddled in the run-in shed with Feather beside him.  Usually, they are at the gate ready for breakfast.  I called to them and Feather broke to me first.  I grabbed her fly mask but she was spooky and trotting away.  Barely hanging on, I got her in her stall.  I went to get Mick.  He was wild-eyed and dancing a jig.  It was weird that the dogs (all seven of them) were out in the yard but quiet.  Not a single bark.  I got Mick to his stall and figured the dogs or coyotes had come but were gone.

There was no sign of my barn cats even when I opened up the canned food.  Again, strange but I was not alarmed.

Make no mistake about it, it was morning by the clock (about 5:00 am) but still a deep dark with no moon or stars showing through the cloudy skies.  I walked to the house.  I scanned the yard for cat corpses -horrbile but I need to see them before Lauren does.  No sign of cats-dead or alive.  And still the dogs were quiet.

As I rounded the house to the front porch, I heard a deep and threatening growl.  I could not tell if it was behind me, in front of me or by the road.  People talk about the hairs on their neck standing on end-mine did and my heart beat faster.  I saw nothing.

The growling continued.  I know dogs well enough to know, this was a big dog. And it felt threatened.  I felt like I had been dropped into a Stephen King novel and we know how that works out-ya, I get eaten.    I was scared standing on my own porch.

“Go on, GET, GET outta here!!” I yelled.  I saw no movement, saw nothing.  Still my dogs were quiet.

In my pjs, my arm in a sling, my heart pounding, I scrambled in the front door.  I have no idea what type of dog it was, or where it went off to.  Likewise, why were my dogs all quiet as death?  The horses and cats clearly sensed the intruder.  My dogs bark at butterflies.  What mystical creature was this that they all respectfully were silenced?

I do not know, may never know, what was out there but I am looking forward to the electricians getting here to put some new lights in the barn.  I will be searching for clues and watching my animals for insight.  My neighbor is out of town, but I wish he was still keeping a vigil on his back porch.  This was a morning I will never forget.

Around the Farm

Alice, welcome all to Six Meadow Farm

Alice, welcome all to Six Meadow Farm

It seems like there has been a lot going on these last few days-actually, just usual farm stuff, I have not left town in four days which maybe a record of sorts for me.  I have enjoyed having this quiet week to rest, piddle around the place and get some chores done.

I have been to my mom’s assisted living place every day.  Maybe it is just seeing her daily again after missing days right after surgery, but she seems brighter and happier to me.  I had hired a sitter to come between 4-6 pm each day to get her to dinner and back.  Each day when I get there she has on jewelry and today even had earrings on.  She is very proud of her manicure we got the other day.

Showing off her pink nails.

Showing off her pink nails.

Yesterday, she left me behind again as the home was having an Elvis impersonator in the dining room.  She practically dragged me down the hall.  She hugged me goodbye and was groovin’ to the music as I left.  He really was pretty good.

Elvis singing to momma.

Elvis singing to momma.

Ally, Jordyn and Kendyll came down tonight for their weekly horse back lesson.  Jordyn is still reluctant to trot but is getting much better with the turning, stopping and riding on her own.  I love seeing Ally ride.  She was always a beautiful rider and it is good to see Mickey getting a work-out.  Feather, especially being only six, is a saint with Jordyn.  My shoulder restricts my typing ability so I am just going to let the pictures tell the rest of the story tonight.

Lula steadfastly waiting with Kendyll as mom and sis ride.

Lula steadfastly waiting with Kendyll as mom and sis ride.

Jordyn making her way with Feather-all by herself around the arena with mom and Mick. Love this!

Kendyll FINALLY getting a turn!  She says she was born to ride!

Kendyll FINALLY getting a turn! She says she was born to ride!

Thank you for riding along-it’s a very good night at Six Meadow Farm!