Monthly Archives: March 2012

Lucky Clovers All Over My Yard!

This spring our yard has exploded with clover patches. They are everywhere! Naturally, the presence of millions of clovers means that there are some four leaf shamrocks out there. Our family has been hunting for the lucky clovers ever since the patches sprouted this year.

 

Four-leaf Clover

Four-leaf Clover (Photo credit: dalcrose)

I have found so many lucky clovers that I have literally lost count. At one point I was up to 2 dozen four leaf clovers, but I have found so many more since then that I can’t remember how many now. At first I picked every lucky clover I found, but after finding dozens of them, I’ve been leaving them in the yard for someone else to find. Despite finding so many this year, I haven’t kept a single one–instead I have given all of them away.

 

Four leaf clover

Four leaf clover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friends and family are shocked at my seemingly “super human” ability to find four leaf clovers. Although I enjoy their awed expressions, I must admit that I have not seen a single four leaf clover since 2005. Suddenly they are everywhere this year! Does that mean 2012 will be a lucky year? I sure hope so! 😉

Oxalis sp.

Oxalis sp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All of these clovers made me wonder…why are four leaf clovers supposedly so lucky? Civilizations have considered them to be lucky charms and even magical. Four leaf clovers are traditionally white clovers that help ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Although we know now that the fourth leaf is simply a natural variation or mutation, it only occurs in 1 of every 10,000 clovers.

 

That means that finding a single four leaf clover is a 1 in 10,000 chance. Maybe I should be playing the lottery instead, especially considering how many lucky shamrocks I have found this week alone! I guess they were considered rare and lucky throughout history because of the slim chance of finding one.

Clover icon

Clover icon (Photo credit: Atlassian)

The Celts considered them special and assigned a meaning to each leaf. The 3 leaves on a normal clover symbolize faith, hope, and love. The fourth leaf symbolizes luck and is a good omen. The Irish tradition differs slightly because the shamrock represents the Holy Trinity. The 3 leaves represent the father, the son, and the holy spirit while the fourth leaf symbolizes God’s grace.

A five-leaf clover (Trifolium pratense)

A five-leaf clover (Trifolium pratense) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although four leaf clovers are considered lucky, shamrocks with even more leaves are thought to be unlucky. I hope that’s not true because I’ve also been finding 5 and 6 leaf clovers! Have you ever found a clover with four (or more) leaves?

 

Today, I Am Thankful

It is important to step back and really think about the things in life that matter as often as you can. Although it can be incredibly easy to worry, fret, moan, complain, and become overly concerned with everything you DON’T have, it is absolutely imperative to be thankful for what you DO have.

some lucky clovers

A few of the 4 leaf clovers I found in our yard the other day

We are all blessed in some way. Take a moment to recognize your blessings and be thankful for them. Nobody has everything, and I mean NOBODY. Even the richest person in the world doesn’t have it all. There are things in life far more important than any material object.

my puppy

My trusty sidekick, Sage ❤

So, today I am thankful. I appreciate everyone and everything in my life.  Lately I have been fretting about money, I’ll admit that. We need money, but it isn’t everything. Sometimes I need to force myself to sit back and be thankful for the things I do have. It is healthy to consider life and view it in a positive way. When I consider these things, it is easy to see that I have a lot to be thankful for.

happy & healthy pony

I'm thankful our recent rescue is happy and healthy

We are blessed with good friends, family, a roof over our heads, food on the table, dogs that love us no matter what, horses that nicker at the sight of us, and cats that sleep on our heads. We have clothes, shoes, a ton of arts and crafts supplies, jewelry (and the ability to make more), toothbrushes, soap, coffee, chocolate, wide open spaces, random building materials, grass out the wazoo, and so much more. I am thankful for all of these things.

horse sign

We're lucky to be living out in the country

No matter what curveball is flying this way, things always work out for the best. Everything happens for a reason, somehow, someway, it will all work out. You may not know how, but have faith that it will. Life is too short for incessant worrying and griping. Look for the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel, the lesson to be learned each day. It can be hard to adopt this lifestyle, but once you have you will feel blessed no matter what happens.

tattoo idea I designed for my brother

I drew this as a tattoo design for my brother--but we are blessed to be native Southerners 😉

Our little family is blessed with love bursting at the seams, laughter louder than a sonic boom, and enough happiness to overflow the world’s oceans ten times over. Some days it is easy to become upset, angry, or grumpy…but despite those days, we still have what matters, and that is each other. In the end, that’s all that really matters.

Building a Round Pen

It’s raining today. So, I’m inside spending some time catching up on some writing. It has been so beautiful lately that I could not justify spending very much time on the computer! I’ve been itching to start some serious training with my mares, but I really need an enclosed training area for the most effective training. The need for a training area forced me to start planning something big.

Horse Training Wattie Adams, exercising one of...

Horse Training Wattie Adams, exercising one of his horses in readiness for the racing season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the last few weeks I have been planning my next big project. We are going to be building a round pen for training the horses (and the kids…). I’ve surveyed the area for the pen, measured it, removed a portion of existing fence, and calculated the cost of materials for building the pen.

Closeup detail of a safe woven wire fence, sui...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I plan on using the round pen for both free lunging and riding, it needs to be bigger than a typical 60 foot round pen. We decided that an 80 foot pen would be big enough for riding comfortably but small enough for effective free lunging. To measure the area I needed, I found a good center point for the pen. Then we placed a stake in the center and measured 40 feet straight out from the center with a long tape measure. As I walked around the circumference of the pen, I used some spray paint to mark the area.

Tape measure

Tape measure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once the area was marked I was able to clear the existing fence within an hour or so. Next I measured around the circumference in 10 foot increments. I knew that I would need to find 25 points around the pen because the circumference of an 80 foot circle is 250 feet. Once the area was all measured I could really imagine how the round pen would look. It is the perfect size for what we need here!

Newton Mill A horse training area

Newton Mill A horse training area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hardest part for me is calculating the cost of materials…not because I can’t do math, but because I dread learning how much this whole thing is really going to cost. I decided to compare the costs of post and board fencing, woven wire, and vinyl coated wire.

Budget and Spending

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The pricing of each type of fence includes 25 6 foot posts, which will cost $125.

  • Woven wire fencing: $275
  • 5 rails of vinyl coated wire: $299
  • 2 rails of 2″x4″x10′ boards: $315
  • Woven wire with 1 rail of  boards on top: $370
  • 3 rails of 2″x4″x10′ boards: $410
Knighton, horse training ground At Knighton Fa...

Knighton, horse training ground At Knighton Farm, with outbuildings to the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I still can’t decide what we should go with. In light of the economy, I’m tempted to go with the cheapest option available…but I need to consider maintenance, additional hardware needed, and repair costs as well. The cheapest now is not necessarily the easiest to maintain or repair.

Wire fence,(broken) and stile On a path coming...

Wire fence broken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At this point I’m considering paying a little more up front for the vinyl coated wire. It is highly visible, has little to no maintenance once installed, and it flexes. Including additional special hardware necessary for this type of fence, it will probably end up costing $350 or so. That’s not too shabby!

Now all I have to do is make an extra $350 so I can afford to buy the materials! Any ideas on making some extra money? Seriously…I need help, haha!

Puppies, Puppies, Everywhere!

So, you may have read that my dog, Sage, had puppies about four weeks ago. Since then I have had very little time to spend on the computer…sorry about that! Hopefully things will get back to normal soon. Anyway, I promised to keep you all updated on the puppies! It doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to do a weekly summary, but I will get you all caught up on how they have been from birth until now. 🙂

Sage's Pups
Sage and the puppies

Sage feeding her young puppies

By the time a week passed, the little squirmy puppies practically doubled in size and really got the hang of that nursing thing. The yellow puppy dwarfed the others in sheer size and development. By this time he had already opened his eyes!

His name is Butters

This is the yellow puppy at 1 1/2 weeks old

giant yellow puppy

Look at the difference! The yellow pup has always been such a butterball!

A few days later the rest of the puppies caught up with the yellow puppy. He is such a little butterball that we’ve started calling him Butters! The others began to open their eyes and walk more instead of crawling. After a few more days they could see much more clearly, which really helped them find mama easier! 😉

puppies

It's hard being a puppy!

3/4/12 pups

Here are the puppies at 2 weeks old

they're on the move!

The puppies are on the move!

After about 2 weeks, the puppies were all walking around clumsily on their feet. By the time they were three weeks old, all of them are spending time romping and wrestling with each other. They also grew some very sharp puppy teeth, which is really grating on Sage’s nerves! Since they have gotten so big, Sage is really eating a lot now. She went from eating 6 cups of food a day to more than double that amount!

cute little puppies

They are all over the place!

Puppies licking Sage's dog food

I found these two, Avery and the brown puppy, licking Sage's dog food!

They are growing up soooo fast! I can’t believe that they are now almost 4 weeks old. The puppies keep all of us busy, too! They walk all around our bedroom and even down the hallway, romp with each other, and even growl and bark! With their new abilities you can really see their personalities shining through.

puppies

Oh, and they sleep a lot too...

The last picture was taken most recently. It’s hard to judge just how big they really are in this picture, but needless to say that is one big pile of puppies!

Although I swore we wouldn’t do it, some of the puppies have been named. The little female was the first one with a name because she has already been reserved. When Avery is 8 weeks old, she will go home to her new family! The others have been given tentative names to help identify them.

black female pup

Avery is the only female of the litter

Puppies around 2 weeks old

This is when the puppies were about 2 weeks old

The yellow male is called Butters, the small black male is called Runty, the bigger black male is called MJ, and the brown male is just Brownie. Although most of those names are self-explanatory, MJ got his name because he looks and acts just like Malachite did as a puppy. So MJ stands for Malachite Jr., hahaha.

Hopefully we can find suitable homes for all of the babies. The puppies that are still available as of March 15, 2012 are the two black males, MJ and Runty, and the brown male, Brownie. Puppies will be ready for pickup after April 13. If you are interested in a puppy, please let me know!

Aren’t they so cute and fuzzy? I love them!

Sage Had Puppies!

Sage's newborn puppies

Sage's puppies were born February 17, 2012

Another exciting chapter in our lives! Sage had puppies about 2 1/2 weeks ago in February. They are absolutely adorable! Maybe I’m a little biased…but you have to admit that these puppies are so darn cute!

She decided to have them in the middle of the night, much to my dismay. All of the puppies were healthy and loud upon their entry into our world. There are five puppies total, four of them are boys and one is a girl. I took a few photos of them the morning after everyone was born. It was a long night! Sage labored from about 12:00 am until 4:30ish in the morning.

Sage and the babies

Sage laying with her newborn pups

These babies were tiny at birth! The biggest one by far was the yellow puppy. He was 3 times bigger than all of the others when they were born. They were so cute and helpless looking with their closed eyes, but they sure could find mama!

This experience reminds me of some of my fondest childhood memories. My dog had puppies when I was pretty young, maybe about Evie’s age. I remember that childhood feeling of wonder and awe very clearly. It made me appreciate life in a different way and come to understand how nature works. I am so happy that the girls are able to see puppies being born and raised like this because it teaches something special about life.

Yellow baby

Raising puppies is a unique experience that requires and gentle hand and voice, patience, and a lot of floor cleaner. Have you ever raised puppies?

Lost in the Internet Wasteland…

So…I must apologize for not posting in several days. Our family has been going through the hoops of a nasty stomach virus of some kind. That crud really took it out of me!

The day before yesterday I wrote out a long, passionate blog post because of my nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award. (Thanks, Nokota!) In all honesty, it took me a total of 3 days to finish that blog post because I was trying to follow the “rules” very carefully and thoughtfully. When it was finally perfect, I hit the publish button and left my computer for the day to take care of my sick husband.

Nokota Horse

Nokota Horse (Photo credit: Lance and Erin)

Yesterday I logged on to check my stats and think of something to write about…only to find that my post was NOT published. In fact, only an early draft of it was saved! Most of the hard work (like choosing blogs to nominate) was not saved. It was all lost in what I have dubbed “internet wasteland.”

Have you heard of the internet wasteland? That is where all your hard work goes when it is lost forever, irretrievable, gone, due to a server error of some kind or another. In other words, FRUSTRATING as ****, if you’ll pardon my language.

Click to visit Hell

LOL! This is a real screenshot from the other day when I was working on my VBA post.

Upon that discovery I promptly shut my laptop and went outside to blow off some steam. Thankfully I had a destructive task on the to do list! With the help of my neighbor we removed an 80 foot section of fence for an upcoming project. Soon a round pen will go in that gap…perfect for training our newest addition, Gamble.

SCS herd

Gamble up in front of the herd 🙂

This morning I thought I’d try my hand at re-writing my VBA blog post…but I’m still madder than hell at the computer for dumping my hard work into the internet wasteland. I’m going to go outside again today instead of worrying about writing today…

Until next time, take it easy!

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