September 30, 2009

What do User Manuals have to do with HORSES???

...funny you should my current Technical writing course, and intermittently in my job I am asked to either develop or critique User my research and experience, I have come across some doozies! Some are shining examples of the great good the right recipe can create to inspire users, and some so worthless you wouldn't use them to prop open the basement door....

Then, along comes THIS post....and the next thing I know it all makes sense! Those of you that know anything about Parelli Natural Horsemanship, and the cult-like following he inspires, can appreciate this...the power of User-Friendly, Meaningful, and Motivational materials has never been laid out so well....and it certainly explains a lot!

Happy Trails!

September 27, 2009

I think Clementine and Peter Pan are related...

.....and I learned yet another use for baling twine! Enjoy!

Happy Trails & a hat tip to The Horseshoeing Housewife for the chuckle!

September 25, 2009

It was a difficult decision...

....but I have decided to offer Woodie for sale. If you know anyone looking for an exceptional Dressage, Jumping, or Eventing prospect, please send them my way! He has been lightly shown, but is still eligible for Maiden. His ads can be found on Dreamhorse and Virginia Equestrian.

September 24, 2009

Enriching my daughters existence....

....with Twinkies.

Behold, Randi's FIRST Twinkie experience....and from the look on her face, NOT her last!

We made a quick stop at the grocery store this evening, and I promised the Little Brat a single treat of her we walked by these golden sugar orbs, she asked what they were....I answered, "Twinkies"....she though the name was too cool not to explore further, and made her choice without hesitation....after her first mouth full, she muttered, "I hmod uh gwaaaaht shoysss!"...I think she's hooked...and I am officially a terrible mom!
Happy Treats,

September 23, 2009

Twice Upon A Time....

If I'd have known getting preggers would be such a terrific weight loss program, I would have gotten knocked up a long time ago! I had my 11 week appt. yesterday and have officially dropped 10 lbs since conception...woohoo! I haven't been sick at all, so I can't really say what the cause is, but I'm diggin' Doc is not concerned...he assures me I will be gaining a lot more than I have pooper!

Here's a shot of the punks now....they are sitting facing opposite directions....Baby A is upside down, and you can see it's little hand on the side of it's face...Baby B is right side up and was kicking the bejeezus outa Baby A the entire time we watched (hence Baby A's defensive position). That one's gonna be trouble!

...and my favorite shot of the day...BABY BOOTY! Check out those kickers...they were going 100 mph in there...and only 2 cm long.....seeing the punks so well formed at this stage was something special....I wasn't expecting to see so much detail...

Eight more weeks til our next ultrasound....hoping to learn their genders at that are some names we've been tossing around....what do you think?


  • Cody James
  • Landon Michael
  • Devon William
  • Yin


  • Sophie Rose
  • Ella Rae
  • Aili (eye-lee) Anne
  • Yang

Happy Trails!


September 22, 2009

Sick Happens....

When the punks came over this weekend with a bout of the back to school funk, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would share in their misery...pregnancy has a way of wearing you down so that you catch every little nasty germ that comes within 100 mile radius! I just got over the Spotsy back to school funk that Randi brought home, when the Stafford back to school funk beat me back down (schools start about 2 weeks apart) all fairness, the Little brat got it just as bad we stayed home yesterday and got some extra rest...also went by the Doc's to rule out strep....all clear! So, back to work and school for us....sniffles and all....sick happens.

Happy Health,

September 17, 2009

Swine Flu Amongst Us...

We learned this week that an employee in my office building was diagnosed with the H1N1 Swine Flu....and during flu season no less....In response, my company has taken measures to sterilize the facility and spread hand sanitizer about....I'm also doing my best to stay confined to my office and wash my hands about 38957239875389 times per day! It seems a little surreal it has actually come this close to home. Has anyone else had any confirmed cases so near to them? It's a little concerning...
Happy Health,

September 15, 2009

Easy Living...or is it?

As most of you know, we board horses here at Westwood...the personal and professional care of each horse in our custody is our top priority. I take great pride in applying years of experience, and a genuine apreciation of the horse to provide a quality of care that is hard to find elsewhere. That being said, I've gone round and round on occasion with a client debating requests or accommodations that aren't in the best interest of the animal in our care. We do, in fact, draw the line when the interest of the owner is at odds with the best interest of the horse. You see, I am not actually in the business to make the owners happy above all else....I believe making the owners happy is a byproduct of excellent HORSE-care. We strive to provide our boarded horses at least as much turnout time as they get 'stall' time. When horses aren't exercised regularly, we recommend more turnout (field board), and even offer exercising services if the owners should elect to have their horses lunged, round-penned, or ridden in their absence. I was happy to come across this article that does an excellent job of digging deeper into the phenomenon we encounter from time to time....when 'love hurts'.

September 14, 2009

A Dragon for Baby Cayden...

The Little Brat and I went to Downtown Fredericksburg for lunch after her Ballet class this weekend...after some delicious sandwiches at the Caroline Street Cafe (consequently, this is also where LB has deteremined Fishy-Heaven exists. There is a Beta fish there that looks almost identical to Fisher the II...thus, she believes he ultimately ended up in Fishy-Heaven = at the cafe...ah, the minds of children), we ventured next door to one of those 'Build A Bear' type shops...LB decided she'd like to make a Dragon for her cousin Baby Cayden....she picked him out, made a wish on and inserted his 'heart', and even dressed him all by herself....she was very proud....then, we named him Peyton. She insisted on sleeping with him for three nights to ensure he'd be a good friend to Baby Cayden...I suppose he passed the test, as she released him to my care this morning to go ahead and send him out....
Soooo, keep an eye out for the mailman baby Cayden! Peyton is on his way to see you!
xoxoxox...LB et all.

September 11, 2009

The Beetle has found a new home...

A wonderful retired couple not far down the road caught site of my precious Beetle Bug and snatched it up! I dropped it off earlier this week....sigh....I miss it already.

Looks like me and Big Bertha are going to be spending a lot of time together again...

Happy Travels,

September 10, 2009

Catch Rider...

Dee is one of my favorite former 4-H punks...I've seen this kid come a LONG ways as a young lady and equestrian...I was unable to ride Woodie for my last dressage lesson at Nicky's, so I asked Dee if she wouldn't mind taking him for a spin for me...and she agreed! She was already going to be there riding her own pony (that she has trained on her own, I might add)....don't they look great!

This was the first time Dee ever rode the big guy, and she handled him very well...and I think he kinda liked her too...

We finished out the day with dinner at Horne's...a tradition now when we haul to Nicky's for lessons....and we are never dissapointed!

Thanks Dee!
Happy Trails,

September 09, 2009

It was bound to happen...

...Fisher IV has gone to deeper seas. LB found her belly up when we got home today...I don't think we're a fishy kind of family after all. The geckos, dogs, cats, goat, ponies, and horses are going to have to fill her need for pets...What? I haven't mentioned the gecko's? Really? To tell you the truth, they just kind of appeared one day...but that's a story for another time.

Farewell, Fisher IV.

September 08, 2009

Her first fall...

It was bound to happen...a horsey-mom's worst fear...a child's first tumble from their mount! The Little Brat was trotting her Bo down the rail today, when he got a wild hair up his bum and cut back on her's not like the old man to maneuver himself so quickly, so it caught us both quite off guard! Horses will be horses though, and I was only about 20 feet away when it happened...not that proximity helped the impending heart attack at all! LB was wearing her helmet, and after a once over was deemed well enough to ride we caught that ornery Bo, saddled back up, and took him for one more spin around the pen...LB handled it like a pro, and made her Mamma I think I can breathe now...
Dadgumit, WHY couldn't I just be a soccer mom???

Happy Trails,

Blue-Dog and a Ball...

Silly dog, Jolly Balls are for HORSES!

I purchased this particular Jolly Ball for the mini's...but I couldn't figure out why this ball, and others, kept finding their way out of the horse corrals...

Were the horses tossing them out in playful fits?

...or was there a ball thieving dog on the loose?

...I found my answer!

Happy Trails...

September 07, 2009

Ladies Labor Day Trail Ride...

From left to right:
Little Brat on Bo, Me on Woodie,
Gma Kathy on Potter, and the Oldest Brat on Clementine...
The ladies in the family took a ride to Lake Anna this Labor Day weekend. We loaded the ponies up and hauled to the Lake Anna State Park early Sunday morning...

This was the first trip for both Clementine and the Oldest Brat off the farm!

The Little Brat can't quite manage on her own yet...but you can always find her lovin' on her pony...

...or playing on mom's stuff...

The trail ride was lots of fun...I'd like to have got more pics of us navigating the trees and creeks and bridges, but it's a bit hard to manage a camera while riding and towing a punk on her horse behind me, it was fun, and everyone did great! I think the ride is about an hour from the parking lot to the lake...when we got to the lake, we stripped down to our bathing suits and took the horses for a dip...the Oldest Brat has never gone pony surfing, so she hopped on Bo (ole faithful), and too a spin...

There were lots of waves due to all the holiday traffic on the lake....the horses didn't seem to mind any...

Clementine was just happy she did not have to go near the water...she hates to get all those pretty fluffy feathers on her legs's so un-lady-like! So she stood by and watched...

After a refreshing swim, we tied the ponies to rest a bit while we went solo swimming...

The Little Brat has become quite fearless with those water wings on...I think we are going to have to start her in swim lessons next year!

...nothing more fun than a little game of punk tossing!

....after we dried off, we enjoyed some snacks and drinks and took in some of the tubing wipe-outs taking place out on the lake...there CAN'T be anything fun about wiping looks so PAINFUL! So when we'd had our fill of fun for the day, we strapped the wet towels to Potter, tacked up, and headed back to the trailers...

The expedition wasn't without many chuckles and interesting documented below, the Little Brat realized that sitting upright is ideal while on horseback...

..because if you happen to get make the unfortunate decision to lay all the way back on your horses booty.... will soon find out that returning to the upright position is more difficult than anticipated...impossible even! Thank goodness for soft hearted Gma's to help you up when you've gotten yourself stuck...I couldn't stop laughing long enough :)

Happy Trails!

Labor Day...Literally!

I'm not sure what the rest of you do on your Labor Day Holiday....around these parts, we celebrate the occasion with, you guessed it, LABOR! The project this weekend was this worn and weathered roof on our largest run-in was in dire need of an overhaul!

The family was up for the challenge...they began by stripping off all those tired old shingles...but alas, what to do with all the roofing nails and staples that remained?
Well, they had to be removed too...Every. Last. One.

And there were MANY.

And it was important to pick every one of them up so they didn't fall onto the ground and create a hazard for horse hooves, people feet, or tires! That's a handy magnet doohicky in the Big Brats grip...she's on the job!

G-pa Craig enjoyed was happy to have the help...the last roof roofed he almost did entirely on his own!

When it was all said and done, and the new roof was laid, it was a site to see for sure...although we probably won't wait the 50 years this last roof endured before repair, it will probably be good for at least 10-15....just enough time to recover!

Happy Holidays!

September 01, 2009

My Beetle Bug is For Sale...

In light of our imminent family additions, I am faced with the reality of having to acquire a 'family' know, one of those vehicular objects you can fit your whole family into? Heard of them? Really? I guess I am just a little behind the bell curve on this see, I own a truck...and a 72' VW beetle...and I make them work...but there is no way I am going to be able to jam pack either one with myself, 3 punks, and a if I intend on being able to travel anywhere with the family all together, I'm going to have to get one of these 'large capacity' motor machines....while I browse the candidates, I have to put my precious Beetle up for sale...I hate to see it's my dream car...I love this car.....seriously, it's great! If you know anyone that would like to give her a new home, please let me know....I'll make them a great deal....runs and looks like new....I even have the original window sticker from when it sold new...and the original AM radio with laminated instructions as well....

Happy Trails...

Anyone out there?

Twice upon a time there was a woman, named Woman. There was a time when Woman actually had time to breathe, but it seems so long ago now. You see, Woman embarked on a challenging trial not so long ago. An excursion, if you will, into professional development, continued education, family expansion, and farm living. The perfect storm was then created, and sucked Woman from the world she once knew to a bustling and hectic place far, far away! From time to time, you may hear the distant cries of Woman, as she strains to find the tranquility she once knew, yet took so much for granted. OK...scratch that...I'm not sure 'tranquil' has ever described my life....I mean Woman's life....but at least she had time to BLOG!

I feel like a blogging failure as of late...I have so much to share though!

I finally completed my work product for my CPLP Certification it off in the mail, treated myself to Chik-Fil-A as a reward, and then took a deep breathe! I will hear back early November on my results...keep your fingers crossed!

I officially enrolled in the University of Phoenix last month to complete my bachelors degree in Multimedia and Visual Design....I wrapped up my first class yesterday! Yeah! Only 23 more to go...sigh...This effort has taken more time and energy than I originally degree programs, at least this one, aren't the easy street I had hoped for...I have pretty significant daily and weekly requirements I must's actually a lot of work! I have NOT enjoyed the research papers at all, but I do enjoy making progress towards my goal, so I'm hanging in there....

We had our first ultra sound last Monday (7 weeks along), and we have confirmed TWINS on board! Looks like I am going to have to figure out how to do a lot more around the house with my FEET, since my hands are going to be otherwise occupied! Anyone wanna come be my nanny? I make good banana pudding...pretty please!?!?! I am feeling great, and anticipating their arrival! Is it just me, or do they look suspiciously like a jack-o-lantern? hmmmm

Randi lost Fisher II (the fish) in an unfortunate home fogging incident a couple weeks ago...since then, she also lost Fisher III, and is now on Fisher far, so good! Still, it's only day 2....never underestimate my ability to unintentionally kill my daughters fishies. I am cursed! Please keep Fisher IV in your thoughts and prayers...

Gpa Craig was attacked by killer wasps and found swollen up like a hippo within minutes of death....OK, not really...but to hear him tell it....I'm just sayin! His hand is pretty ugly though. I need to get a pic...

I'll try to pop in a little more often now that the circus seems to be settling down...

Happy Trails!