Thursday, December 08, 2016


What are Archie, Pip and Daisy staring at?

Why it's MILLICENT the barn house cat! Her abscess healed up very nicely.

Doesn't she look like she has made herself right at home on top of the dog crates? She is still spending most of her time in Gordon's upstairs office, with occasional visits from the tolerant Naomi. This is the slowest new-cat introduction EVER.

Pip had a snooze next to Millicent. Yes, cats sleep on top of the puppy crates. It's especially hilarious when the dogs are inside and start barking and jumping up and down. The cats don't care one bit!

Pip tried to give Millicent a little bath... was not well-received.

Somebody has a lot of attitude. She really would make the most fantastic cat for a little old lady living on her own. I really wish my mother-in-law would have a cat, but alas, she won't. So I do my best to love up Millicent as much as I can.

Needless to say, she is 14,000 times happier in the house than in the barn. Meanwhile, I despair over my own cat-lady status and the fact that I may now never have a house with a nice couch and unscratched hardwood floors... (I'm looking at you, cats and puppies!) And instead of getting our fugly bathrooms renovated, we keep spending money on goat houses and crap like that! :) But no one should EVER complain to me about their vet bills, LOL.

It's worth it. I think.

And Millicent is thrilled with life.

PS: I am feeling much better from my horse boo-boo! My ultrasound went fine and I plan to get back on my horse this weekend if possible! Thanks for all the good thoughts. :)

Monday, December 05, 2016

It finally happened...

I finally fell off my horse! My first fall ever since I started riding.

It took 2-1/2 years but I managed it at last, in somewhat spectacular fashion. Don't worry, I'm okay! I have to go for an ultrasound on my kidneys tomorrow but I will be fine.

Gordon, my friend Pam and I were out riding in the field yesterday having a great old time. We decided to canter for a bit, so Gordon led the way. No sooner did I get Roo into gear then wham! Something happened... I went up in the air and slammed back down in the saddle hard. I would have stayed on, but then Roo took a hard turn left (I honestly have no idea if I jerked his rein or not!) and off I flew. I just remember throwing the reins from me and making sure my other foot was out of the stirrup before I hit the muddy ground in as much of a ball as I could curl up into.

I can't say it didn't hurt, because it did. I thought I would be okay until I suddenly felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest, at which point Gordon called an ambulance. Somehow the farmer who rents our land showed up with his pick-up truck and brought the paramedic out to the field! Still not sure where he came from, but it was timely. We have the best neighbours. They ended up sticking me in a neck brace and taking me off to hospital. Not the best end to my ride with Roo, but the paramedics were super kind.

After a bunch of tests and xrays and stuff it was determined that I hadn't broken anything, thank goodness. They finally set me free three hours later, sore but alive. :) They took a urine sample and while I thought I was then free to go from the ER, apparently I wasn't, because I got a call today saying I need to come back and get an ultrasound. I think probably I bruised a kidney as that's exactly the part of my anatomy that took the worst of the impact.  Probably some blood in the urine. Anyway, my neck and lower back are sore but they will get better.

So mainly I am pissed off at having to fast for 8 hours before my ultrasound at 10:45 am tomorrow. I am not a pleasant person when I can't eat. Also I am not good at lying around resting, but I tried to do that today. Everyone is being super kind to me.

Mostly I really want to get back on my horse. I was wearing my helmet but I'm pretty certain I kept my head from hitting the ground. Nonetheless I will be buying a new helmet, just in case.

My friend Pam, who was riding behind me on her  lovely horse Ella (who is currently boarding here!) saw the whole thing. Apparently Roo kicked out at Ella as she came up behind me, either a sideways kick or a backwards one. That's what sent me up in the air to begin with. Still don't know why he turned left but maybe I yanked the rein as I came back down and that threw him off balance. But it all happened so fast, I'm not entirely sure what went on. I don't know what I could have done to prevent it.

To Roo's credit, as soon as I fell off, he stopped to check on me. Pam said he didn't want to leave me and she had to drag him back across the field to the barn. So maybe he likes me a little bit. :) He really is a good boy, and falls are part of riding horses. They aren't machines; they are animals and things happen. You do what you can to minimize your risks. So I will have a soak in an Epsom salts bath tonight, then go get my ultrasound tomorrow. 

And Kudos to the Canadian healthcare system. Ambulance was at the farm in 10 minutes and I was seen by a doctor soon after I arrived at the hospital. Had xrays and tests and was home within three hours. Then they followed up about the ultrasound last night (I missed the phone call!) And I don't have to pay for any of it unless they decide the ambulance ride was unncessary, in which case I believe you need to cough up $45. We have a really great little hospital under 15 minutes from us!

It's okay buddy, I still love you!

PS: I just noticed that this is my 2000th blog post! I guess I've had a lot to say since 2005.

Friday, December 02, 2016


It has been nuts around here lately, truly...

But this guy... going to be in the Christmas parade in Alexandria on Sunday evening! And I am going to ride Roo. Finney has been doing so well in his training that our riding instructor Rose is dressing him up and putting him in the parade. I can't wait! I have to buy some battery-operated Christmas lights to decorate my own horse this weekend.

Meanwhile, in Catville...

...the tea mug reflects Emily's attitude towards life perfectly!

Mootie, Archie and Honey are none too sure about the dogs!

"Why? Why did you have to get TWO puppies?"

But the cats are adjusting. That black blob behind Gordon's hand stroking Dodger is Naomi!

Gordon is good at multi-tasking. Rubbing my foot, reading a book, and cuddling with Chloe.

And you would never guess we have 17 cats...

Not to mention some really muddy horses!

My friend Pam was holding onto Sandy so I could get photos of her filthiness. Sandy really really really enjoys rolling in mud.

Sigh. We have some grooming to do!

I've also been making soap!

Here's a bunch of lavender stuff that turned out quite well.

And back in the barn...

Keaton is king of all he surveys!

But in the house...

Daisy and Honey have commandeered my office chair.

Ah, sisters! Daisy was giving Honey a nice bath.


Then it was time for a nap!

And look what Dodger the pup has been up to...

...he likes to hoard cat bowls! And for the record, that used to be a cat bed.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Soooo, this happened today...

This is Honey. She is one of our Greek cats. But this sweater was not knit for her!
Our cat Naomi has lost fur on her belly and legs due to having a form of kitty alopecia. My friend Pam decided to knit a sweater for Naomi.

But when Pam visited today, Naomi was (oddly enough) nowhere to be found. So we tried the sweater on Honey. I don't know if you can see, but it is a Downtown Abbey yarn and has silver sparkles in it!

Honey was rockin' this look. I swear she was modelling for us.

Later we did find Naomi, and put the sweater on her (it fit her better!) She promptly ran under our bed.

Never a dull moment around here!

Monday, November 21, 2016


Oh Millicent...

I don't think Millicent is meant to be a barn cat. Last week, I noticed she was bleeding from a wound on her back end. Turned out to be a huge abscess that had opened up. So off she went to the vet...

...and back she came with a cone and a drain, after surgery and an overnight stay.

I decided to bring her into the house to recuperate. She started out in the downstairs bathroom...

...with her very own kitty-cat nightlight!

But it was hard to sit in the little bathroom and cuddle her, so now...

...she's enjoying the comforts of Gordon's office, upstairs. It's much nicer to cuddle her in there. She is healing quite well and we should be able to take out her drain later this week.

When we took in Millicent, I was under the impression that she had always been a barn cat. Now I have my doubts. She has not integrated with the barn cat crew, and she seems really unhappy there, spending most of her time hiding, which pains me greatly, especially since she's a real sweetheart who just wants love.

So I'm not putting her back in the barn. We really don't need another cat in the house (she would make 12. TWELVE!) ... I could possibly set her up in the back of the granary, which is heated and quiet. But for now we'll see how she does in here. My first goal is for her to recuperate and heal up fully. She is just such a dear little cat. She purrs constantly and when she's really happy...

.., she sits around with her tongue sticking out.

I don't know how a cat this sweet and friendly and cuddly could ever end up in a situation where she was abandoned to the elements and left to starve. I just want her to have a happy carefree life now.


...Daisy, among others, is less than impressed with the rowdy new puppies.

This is so hygienic. Not.
Pip, Daisy, Mootie and Mimi. They love it there because it's warm from the dishwasher!

Same spot, but slightly different array of cats: Annuk, Daisy, Honey and Mimi.

Meanwhile, Emerson was hanging out with me in the garage and decided he just HAD to suckle my finger...

....whereas Annuk and Honey are happy to sleep.

Purrs to you all, you wonderful blog readers!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Good night, sleep tight...

I went down to tuck in the barn critters tonight...

Roo and Sandy thought maybe I was bringing them some food!

Keaton wanted cuddles!

Buttercup and Redford were just hanging around... those faces! I love them so.

And this face...

...belongs to sweet Esme. Yesterday marked two years since she and her friend Finney came to live here after being seized by the OSPCA. Esme is a lovely girl and likes a good-night kiss.

And Finney... now "broke to ride!" My riding instructor Rose has been working with him. Today he took his first trail/road ride... 8 km and he was GOOD AS GOLD!

He even crossed the Beaudette River at the back of our property!
He has come a long way in two years, and I am so proud of him. He's about 4 now. When he arrived, he was freshly gelded and completely lacking in manners. But he's super smart and has learned so much. And now he's turning out to be an awesome little riding pony, and it's so much fun watching him trot and canter. So proud of my chestnut pony!

And Saul...

...has his own stall again.

This one was built for him a while back, but he'd been using another stall until tonight. But right now we are boarding my friend's horse, so we finally got the door on this to free up some stall space. Saul is adjusting!

When I was a kid, my Dad used to say the same thing to me every night...

Good night, sleep tight
don't let the fleas bite
and let the guardian angels keep you safe all night

...all while making the sign of the cross on my forehead (Irish Catholic, don'tcha know!) Even after he and my Mum split up, he would call me every night before bed (I usually spent Friday night and Saturday with him) and we would say the verse to each other. This continued on well into my high school years.

Sometimes when I am having trouble sleeping, I think of my Dad saying that to me with love, and it helps. Maybe I should start saying it to the equines! :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2016


This little gal was spayed today...

Poor Chloe, she absolutely hates the car. She drools so much she soaks everything around her, and she pees in her crate. But her spay went well and she and Gordon are on their way home as I write this.

Dodger missed her a lot day. He was quite subdued. I kept telling him not to worry, she'll be home soon! They really bonded in foster care.

I have just started taking them for off-leash walks around the farm and they are excellent! They stick close and have great recall, the way Sophie and Tristan did. It's a blessing.

And what a happy pair!

Chloe has happy ears!

We've had some unseasonably warm weather the past couple of days, and the dogs are really enjoying it (not to mention the other animals.)

This guy has the body of a whippet, and he runs like one too.

Last night I was tidying the garage, and I had the pups with me for company. But I needed something to distract Chloe, who was into everything. This did the trick...

...Dodger managed to get in on it too!

And we can't forget this puppy...

Monty turns 9 months old on November 15th and is absolutely huge!

He's a goof and a sweetie, and he takes coyote patrol seriously. He will be neutered soon too.

And this year, I asked people to bring me their Hallowe'en pumpkins for the goats, pigs and birds.

People were dropping off pumpkins all weekend! Some people (I am looking at you, Rox and Kirsten!) even drove in from Ottawa, a good hour from here. We couldn't be more grateful. We must have gotten 50 pumpkins this weekend and the animals are so happy. A great way to recycle post-Hallowe'en pumpkins.

Hope you are all having a good evening, especially you Americans biting your nails over the election. The puppies (all three of them!) send kisses.