Friday, October 18, 2013

These Legs Are Made for Walking!

Jimmy with the farrier and Jeanne-first visit
We met the farrier about 3 1/2 weeks ago and he took Jimmy's shoes off. It is so difficult when every horse owner you meet has a different opinion on what to do. What feed to feed them. When to vaccinate them. Shoes or no shoes! So much information for a new horse owner!!

Most miniature horses aren't shoed because the are not being ridden nor are they racing. In fact even with people with large horses are choosing the natural way for horses. Jimmy was shoed to help fix his crooked legs. The problem was that the nails started to press into the hoof and was making them very soft. The adhesive used to keep the shoes on (because his hoof is so tiny they couldn't be nailed in like with the big horses) was making his hooves very soft. It was very to similar to when a woman gets false  finger nails on and when they are removed the real finger nail is really soft and pliable....same thing on Jimmy's hooves.

My new friend Jeanne recommended Back to Nature Hoof Care located in Houlton, WI. I love that farriers make house calls! He looked at the shoes and recommended taking them off because the hooves were getting so soft. Jeanne was worried that the shoes were too heavy for his legs. It was a tough decision for me because the breeder and the farrier in North Carolina had a good explanation as to why they should be left on...ARGH!! I had to go with the people that would be helping me care for off!

They did seem to be heavy on his legs. He wasn't running around like he had been when he had his little casts on. I know his legs were weak because the casts were just removed but....Scott carefully removed all of the adhesive as Jeanne held Jimmy on her lap. Jimmy was so good. Scott talked Jimmy through his procedure and explained to all of us what was happening. Removing shoes and trimming hooves is stinky business...literally....pew!

Over the past 3 1/2 weeks Jimmy's legs appear to be getting stronger. When he first got here he could not walk around the trail with the other horses. Now he can!! Scott came back last night and trimmed both Topper and Jimmy again. Jimmy showed even more improvement. Tonight when we walked him on the trail he didn't pull back and he even tried to run! His knees still tip in a bit but hopefully this gets better. He might need a little leg wrap for our library and care center visits!

Jimmy is a cute little dwarf but I was not prepared for the extra worry there is with a dwarf horse. I am worried about his potentially shortened life span. We will just love Jimmy for as long as we have him. Hopefully he will bring joy to those we visit-even if it is just for a little while. We are looking to get Pet Partners registered in 6 months.

On another note, yesterday I wrote about keeping your eyes open for signs from those in heaven....and the poem Amy sent me. Well last summer I had told dad about a wild flower called "Pussy Toes" I had always thought they were weeds. Well I found a patch of it growing in the shape of a heart. I should have taken the picture sooner but I hope you can still see the heart.
Antennaria "Pussy Toes" I think my dad left this for me!
Remember to hug those you love and keep those in heaven...always in your heart! ~ Kathi

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Honey, Veggies, Chickens, and Eggs!

I love the feeling of growing and harvesting my own vegetables and other "foodstuff!" 
Here is just a sample of my cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers. The front plate is honeycomb from the bees. The fresh eggs are amazing and we are getting 6 eggs a day. My garden that dad walked  through with me last summer is a peaceful place for me to be. I feel him all around me in my garden. I see the cucumbers and they remind me of the pickles I made for him last summer. I see the chickens and hear him chuckling that Mike built me a chicken coop! 

Veggies, eggs, and honey!

Nothing like fresh eggs!

Our lovable chickens that produce those delicious eggs!

We were busy picking the pumpkins that grew from the seeds from dad's pumpkins and are making a  great fall centerpiece with some of them. 

We are going through an organizational restructure at work and I was pretty sad about it. In fact I woke up early thinking about the changes. I hadn't seen the cardinals in awhile but there he was this morning outside my bedroom patio door chirping away. The cardinal reminds me of my dad so it cheered me up this morning. Look for those signs from love ones that you have lost.  Ironically my daughter Amy sent this poem to me today...was perfect for the morning...

As I sit in heaven
And watch you everyday
I try to let you know with signs
I never went away
I hear you when you're laughing
And watch you as you sleep 
I even place my arms around you
To calm you as you weep
I see you wish the days away
Begging to have me home
So I try to send you signs
So you know you are not alone
Don't feel guilty that you have 
Life that was denied to me
Heaven is truly beautiful
Just you wait and see
So live your life, laugh again
Enjoy yourself, be free
Then I know with every breath you take
You'll be taking one for me. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Beautiful October Sunday

Dad's Dahlias

It was a beautiful day today. Sunny and no wind. I was busy getting the garden cleaned up. There was a light frost on the ground this morning-a sign to get the rest of the vegetables picked. We had watermelons, pumpkins, eggplant, cantaloupe, tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, and more!

We didn't  grow the largest pumpkins this year-I think I planted them
too late. But we did get some cute ones and they were still fun 
to pick.  Thanks to my friend, LeeAnn, we have some adorable
Jack Be Little Pumpkins!!
Not the biggest pumpkin!

We had some "new" friends come over to help us work with the horses. Kathy, Sid, and their grandchildren. They put the harnesses on the horses and walked them down the trails in the yard. After a nice walk, we groomed the horses. It was a perfect day for a BBQ and we had some delicious burgers, a great salad, and scrumptious brownies!! If anyone wants to come and work with the horses give me a call. It is important to socialize them to get them ready for their therapy visits!

Yesterday we got all of the footings in place for the garden shed. Mike and I mixed all of the cement and poured the  footings before it started to rain. I am SO excited for the shed. I will be able to keep all of my beekeeping supplies and garden tools close to the garden!

I "met" a lady on line that forwarded me some therapy training information. She has a miniature dwarf named JJ. He needed emergency colic surgery last night. I feel like I have a special connection with Joyce because she named JJ after her Aunt and Uncle that passed away...and you know I named Jimmy after my dad. It may seem silly to name an animal after a loved one but it is crazy the peace that it brings to you and keeps the person nearer to you somehow. So keep little JJ in your prayers.

Off to do algebra homework.....give hugs to those you love and keep them always in your heart.

Saturday, October 12, 2013



and h..ere....s    Jimmy!


I have been so busy that I haven't added to my blog in waaay too long. I have many pictures I have taken to update my blog with and to tell the story of my dad's garden. It has been a busy summer moving the plants from dad's garden to my yard. Last week we finally transplanted the miniature pussy willow tree that Amanda had given to my dad last year. He carefully planted it outside and this spring we were so happy to see that it had made it through the winter.

A friend of mine had asked me to join a women's writing group after I told her how I could see some sort of story in Jimmy the little horse with casts! The group has been amazing. It feels more like grief counseling and joyous wonder all wrapped into one! Some people turn to writing to express their loss but of course it isn't all just about that. One lady wrote a book called "Thin Places" after a death in her family and it is amazing. I will tell you more about the books as the months go on....and I promise I will be here!!

The garden was wonderful this summer. I spent 3 1/2 weeks in Africa so it was out of control when I returned but we still had a decent harvest. I am already planning what I want to grow next year! This morning we ate some cantaloupe that I grew. Dad's Dahlias are blooming beautifully as did his Calla Lillies. The strangest thing happened when I transplanted dad's little tree...I could see and feel his hands touching that same soil AND the love he felt as he planted it. It was so comforting and so sad all that the same time!

We also brought home the miniature horses! The picture above is Jimmy. Well, his full name is "Always in Your Heart"-Jimmy. My dad and I shared a moment when he was giving me a one of his favorite artist prints...I just started to cry and said I didn't want him to leave me...and he said, "Kuff, I will always be in your heart." I am so happy that we shared that moment because it is what has become my guiding principle in ways. He is always in my heart so I always feel him close.

Mike and I went to North Carolina to pick up three miniature horses. Their names are Major, Topper, and of course Jimmy. We camped in a KOA on our way back so that the horses didn't have to spend 17 hours on the move. It was an adventure to say the least! Once I got home I was really lost at what to do next. I found a new friend, Pat, right down the road that has miniature horses...We both have lived here 27 years and I never knew she was there! She in turn put in me in touch with a lady named Jeanne that has miniature horses and has a dwarf horse!! Dwarfs are basically special needs horses. I didn't know that about Jimmy when I agreed to purchase him. How could I turn my back on a horse I named after my dad??? So stayed tuned for the trials and tribulations of raising a dwarf miniature horse!!

I need to harvest the honey stay tuned for that adventure.
Blessings to all. Be sure to reach out to those you love and haven't seen in a while...and always give lots of hugs! Until next time......