Kendyll following in her daddy's foot steps as he taps down the dirt on the new water lines.

Kendyll following in her daddy’s foot steps as he taps down the dirt on the new water lines.

Yesterday morning I went off to work.  I feel like I miss a lot each day I am away from the farm.  Even on a quiet day, horses get ridden, dogs have adventures, the grass grows taller and new things get completed. Lauren is doing a great job as barn manager.  She has a new bank account where board money goes and new excel tracking sheets to watch her expenses.  Certain days are allocated for the perpetual cycle of pasture mowing, most to riding, others to feed and hay pick up.  Lauren takes Sunday off when she is not showing.  Who would have guessed it would have gotten so complicated?

Nary a day goes by without guests.  It is a different life for her.  One filled with commitments and time schedules but one also filled with friends to ride with, new jump courses to design and things like pasture rotation to consider.

Mondays Ally comes to mow the “people/dog” part of the farm.  Frequently, her husband Luke comes along and helps with dragging the arena, mowing pastures or whatever else Lauren has going on.  Yesterday with baby Kendyll standing close by, and Lauren and Ally observing, Luke got down on the ground to attach the mower to the tractor.  Then he moved it forward about a half of a foot to prepare to mow. Directly under the mower was a four-foot (maybe five-foot) water moccasin.

A shovel to the head ended this snake's life.

A shovel to the head ended this snake’s life.

I am not going to go into a lot of “what ifs” because I have already totally freaked myself out by Googling water moccasins and seeing the horrific damage they do to people and animals.  I am grateful no one was hurt.

I hope to not see anymore snakes.  I hope no one nor any of the animals gets hurt in the future.   I do think it interesting that almost two-year old Kendyll’s  longest sentence to date occurred when talking to her grandpa on the phone.  “Poppa, daddy killed the snake!”.  At least she used the unfortunate event as a learning occasion.

Oh, surprises!

I got a surprise text as I got up on Monday that my cousin Deb and her grandson, Christian were in town.  I had known they were coming but not exactly when.  Debbie, with her master’s degree in nursing, has spent numerous years over seas, based out of Dubai.  Recently she retired to Sri Lanka.  A little off the grid for me, but she is enjoying it.  Although my sister and I spent a lot of time growing up with Deb and her brother, Jimmy, I had not seen her for 14 years.

We planned to get together after I got off work to catch up before they jetted back to Sri Lanka today.  Wow.  Anyway, yesterday morning she and 16-year-old Christian headed down to Wharton to visit my mom.  I appreciated with all the miles that she had traveled that she made time to visit my mom.  I also appreciated her honest evaluation of the nursing home and her care.

Deb has never been one to mince words, has been in the medical field 40 years and seen a lot of nursing facilities.  I have gotten a lot of advice about moving my mom to another facility after her serious falls.  Deb found Elmcroft to be the “nicest, cleanest and best smelling” facility she had been to, ever.  That means a lot coming from her.  She spent a couple of hours there and observed the other residents as well as my mom.  She found them to be well cared for and in good physical condition (for being in a nursing home).  This is just one nurse’s opinion, but it is an important one to me.  Falls can happen anywhere but good care is harder to find.

My mom might have recognized her or not, but loved the attention and the chocolate shake from Sonic.  Deb and Christian got to the farm just as I arrived from work.

During the day, the construction crew had ripped the roof off to build on the stall for new Betty Sue.  I know I should have planned better but did not expect to pick up two boarders and a new filly.  I am glad there is space still available in the barn-just a roof that is too low to house the big horses we have.

Making the add-on stalls tall enough for the big girl my little girl will become (did you follow that?).

Making the add-on stall tall enough for the big girl my little girl will become (did you follow that?).

I loved visiting with Deb and could not believe what an intelligent, thoughtful and insightful young man Christian had grown up to be.  With the exception of arguing with his grandmother over his saggy shorts, he seemed like an adult not a teen at all.

Deb has followed my blog from day one.  She rode horses and my uncle had racing quarter horses for years.  Some of my fondest memories were of horse drill team in Shawnee, Oklahoma under the lights in the summer evenings.  She couldn’t wait to met my Bruno.  He was a little dirty from the surprise afternoon shower but it didn’t stop him from posing with my cousins.

Christian wasn't so sure about the big horse but Deb was totally hands-on.

Christian wasn’t so sure about the big horse but Deb was totally hands-on.

I know my life would be richer if I had more family closer (Sri Lanka is a little far).  Debbie is wise, funny and knows my history.  It would be great to have her nearby to share the burdens of my mom.  But,.. technology is wonderful and we will stay in touch.  I suspect they are both reading this blog as they wait in Dubai for their next flight.  I am happy for surprises like favorite relatives and new stalls.  The snake surprise…well, enough said.



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