Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Day Late and ... You Know

I overheard a conversation last week wherein one person wished another Happy New Year, then asked if there is a set time after which it is no longer acceptable to do so. They agreed that you should say Happy New Year the first time you see people that year, but not beyond the month of January. I made it: Happy New Year, dear blogger buddies!

You may have noticed (or not) that it's been awhile since I posted. There are a number of reasons for that. My dental emergency just before Christmas seems to have compromised my entire immune system, so it's been a battle to stay well and mobile. The prolonged period of inactivity has taken its toll on my creaky body, but I believe I'm finally on the upside of all that nonsense.

Work has been busy, and after writing for eight hours a day, the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is writing some more.

I haven't ridden since about Thanksgiving, either due to other commitments, stinky weekend weather, or just not feeling up to it.

If you look back over my posts since Daylight Savings Time kicked in, most of them are either subjects I've researched, or revolve around feeding time at Casa Fry. I commute an hour each way to my job. This time of year it's dark when I leave in the morning and close to it when I get home in the early evening. Whenever I am able, I cut out of work a few minutes early so I get to see the Boyz in a few minutes of daylight.

When I get home, I change my clothes, bundle up, and spend 45 minutes to an hour in my role as Cafeteria Lady, in good weather and bad. I have to stay with them until Daltrey is done eating so he gets his full portion of food. The ironic part about only seeing the horses to feed them during the week is that I'm actually spending more time with them on a consistent basis. What has surprised me is the quality of that time.

Would you look at our BIG, butt-high baby boy? His butt is up to my shoulders, but his withers are a good 4-6 inches below that. He's holding his weight well. He's super social and curious. He is 10 months old, so his attention span is still short (or nonexistent), and he's a bit of a spaz. We're learning basic manners, such as being touched all over, not nibbling people, leading, picking up feet, and (to me) the biggest one — stay the hell out of my space, goober. Mike and I jokingly call him an "empty kettle" because he doesn't know anything, although he's not dumb, by any stretch.

It's a joy to see Jaz in such good health. This time last year, we were battling strongyles, which he likely had for a long time. We call him our "delicate grey flower" because he's always the first to react to the weather. No joke: I used to have to blanket him if it dipped much below 60°. Although temps have dipped into the 30's, he's been warm and happy. This evening they are forecasting a "wintry mix," and this is the first time I feel like I probably should blanket them.

In the evenings, when Jaz and Poco have finished their token portions of food — neither of them need it — they hang out, waiting for the OK to finish the food Daltrey has flung. Jaz and I have a game we play. I'll be sitting in my chair, and Jaz will come up behind me and put his nose on the top of my head or one of my shoulders, and wiggle his nose. That's my signal to make a pinching motion in the air with my hand, and he puts his nose between my fingers, so I can gently grab it and wiggle it. If I try to ignore him, he will gently muss my hair or nibble my hat or hood. He loves this game.

>sigh< As you can plainly see, Poco is as broad as a freakin' barge, and his attitude screams that he needs to be ridden BIG TIME. At meal time, he and I play head games. So, what else is new? He and Jaz both know the routine inside and out: they may stand and watch as I load their buckets, but as I am closing the grain locker, they make their way to their pans, where they are expected to stand at a respectable distance while I dispense the food. Jaz gets fed first, then Poco, then Baby. Lately, Poco marches his fat ass over to Daltrey's pan and waits there until I run him off. Then he goes over and runs Jaz off, grabbing as many mouthfuls of Jaz's food as he can until I can get over there to herd him over to his own pan.

Surprisingly, Poco is not as pushy at the waiting game as Jaz, who is stealthy and relentless. Poco finds a place close to me, and parks himself until I give the all-clear to grab the spoils. He likes to put his nose just next to my ear, or he'll put his head down so I can whisper in his ear, which he absolutely loves. He's not above a bit of gentle nuzzling to get my attention.


Most nights, the sun has already gone down by the time I get home, but sometimes I get lucky.

Actually, you know what? I'm lucky every darn day.

13 comments:

Sarah said...

Happy New Year! :)

Jeni said...

Looking at your header and the "baby" is almost as tall as the "old guys". He's going to be one big boy when he's finished growing.. at about 5 or 6 yrs. Rosie has finally stopped growing "up" and is now doing the draft "grow out" LOL!

I hope you start to feel better soon and all the medical crap is behind you.

Happy New Year to you too Leah !

Kate said...

I love those regular horse things - like your feeding routine. I enjoy those times as much or even more than riding. All your guys look great!

Dental work and mouth issues can really take a toll - feel better!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Happy New Year to you too! I'm sorry to read about your dental problems. I hope all is better.

"Actually, you know what? I'm lucky every darn day." I like that attitude! I feel the same way.
Like you, I haven't ridden since Fall. When I get home, it's much too dark so I usually spend my mornings with the herd, feeding and talking to them. On the weekends, I get busy, it's too cold, or I just don't feel up to it. Oh well, the good thing about back yard horses is at least they're like your other pets and only cost groceries.
Daltry is going fast!

Hopeful said...

welcome back to blogger land and happy new year to you, also!! i'm sooo sorry you have had the physical trials and i hope you are on the mend soon and have the energy and feel good you want. your horses look great! enjoy the weekend. you deserve it after the long commutes.

fernvalley01 said...

sounds like a sweet little routine! Glad you are on the mend

jacksonsgrrl said...

Lady, you are so right. LUCKY as they come, I'd say. Most people think that feeding 28 horses 3 days a week (sometimes more) is crazy, but it the most cathartic thing on earth. Every single horse out there thinks I am THE SH**! And I love them too. I also get to spend a different kind of time with my own horse, which I love. Being alone with just the horses to converse with? Yeah, it's great. They know more about me than my own mother! *grin* That's a beautiful sunset by the way. Glad to hear there is some light at the end of your dental hell. Sadly, I can relate on an I've been there waaaayyy too many times level. Thanks good Irish teeth! UGH. "Broad as a barge" cracked me up! Thanks!

Rising Rainbow said...

Sorry to hear your dental stuff led to more health issues. That sucks when you're trying to do something good for yourself and it goes wrong.

You've done more work with your baby than I have with mine. Mine is also butt high at the moment but is not as filled out as yours.

Sounds like you get in a good visit with your horses. That's cool.

Happy New Year to you too!!

AareneX said...

It's great to see you back in the blogosphere, and OMG the baby is getting so big!

If you are feeling lucky every day (as I do), you are doing something right! You go, gal.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Yeah, I suppose if you write all day, you don't want to write anymore. I actually use writing as an excuse to relax, because if I'm not writing, I have to be moving. The winter chores have been outrageous. Happy New Year.

Desert Rose said...

What a fun feeding routine for you all! I don't get to do it often...but I love to hang with my hroses when the eat. It gives me a teriffic sence of well being! Happy new year to you too!!!

Paint Girl said...

Happy New Years!
Wow, your baby is butt high! Growing up!
That is so great that Jaz is doing so well. Very good to hear!

Mrs Mom said...

Happy New Year Leah!!

Sorry that you have taken such a rough beating out there. Sure hope that things are on the upswing and STAY that way. Spring riding will be here before you know it! ;)

WOw--- that is some "baby" woman!! Holy cow is he growing fast!! He looks terrific!

Actually, all the boys do. Dear Husband peeped over my shoulder as he passed by, and right away pointed to Poco and said, "I like that guy! He looks like MY kind of character!" You know what? Poco IS! LOL

I hope 2011 is a fantastic one for you guys!!! Big smooches to all the herd from us!

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