In Which Hudson Saves Jane From a Drive By Shooting, and Jane Wants to Kill Him – Part 2


Why TLH was in Radio Silence for four days (sorry);

  1. Hudson is fine.
  2. I’m fine.
  3. We need some backstory. Bear with me?

One of the best things my mother ever told me:

A person’s worst qualities are usually their best qualities, magnified.

She said, “It’ll help you understand people. And forgive them.” Pause. She couldn’t resist adding: “And Jane? It’ll help you figure out your own annoying qualities.”

Thanks, Mom.

(i.e.   You might appreciate a person’s expression of gratitude for showing her how to use a button on her cell phone, but want to strangle her the next day when you receive your third thank you call, thank you text, and thank you note shoved through the mail slot.  It might make you wonder: “Geeze, is THIS what she expects ME to do if I ask her to move a blanket for me when my arms are full??” FYI: No. Wouldn’t even cross my mind.)

Drive-by Day was one of Hudson’s best qualities magnified.

Continue reading “In Which Hudson Saves Jane From a Drive By Shooting, and Jane Wants to Kill Him – Part 2”

EHV-1 is on my Back Door Step

This is why we’ve had a delay in programming.

If  you haven’t heard about the EHV-1 outbreak yet, background info can be found in this article at Equine Ink.

Once I passed through the 1,000-heart-attacks stage (a horse less than an hour from me has the EHV-1 virus and is now isolated at UC Davis) I started researching.

We’re not panicking, but we are also not being stupid. Our barn is in temporary lockdown.  The barn owner will reevaluate the situation in 10 days or so, after consulting with the barn vet. No horses in, no horses out. We have NO cases.  It’s in an effort to be smart, and not welcome the virus onto the property. As our barn owner said, there’s no need to panic.  And there is also no need to be stupid.

Here’s the latest CA update on the current outbreak, from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  USDA info on EHV-1 available in brochure (pdf) form. I found the last link oddly reassuring. It’s a general brochure on all forms of EHV, so you’ll have to scroll down to EHV-1.

For my circumstances, the take home message:

  • Don’t travel with horses until we know the active virus is contained.
  • And for humans, and do not travel between barns without decontaminating: take a full shower, complete change of clothing, including new, unexposed footwear.
  •  I’m keeping two sets of boots clean and isolated from each other (as well as a new car floor mat and seat cover to switch out), so there is no chance I could be a passive carrier, even though the likelihood is slim.

It’s not worth even the smallest chance.

Now that I have that info, we can start to return to our regular programming! We certainly could use a little humor. Hopefully, I can go to the virtual beach in my brain, use my metal humor detector, and dig up something fun!

Murphy Says Hi

I visited, and only had my cell phone in with me, at least in the beginning. (That’s a disclaimer for bad, fuzzy pictures.)

But at times, bad, fuzzy pictures tell a cute story:


Oh hi.

Heyyyyyyy…I remember you! Hi!


Hi hi hi hi hi hi hi!! Nice leg.  Hi.


Just hanging out. Saying hi.

You know, hi.

Ummmm. Hi.

Are all human legs blue?


He didn’t push, nudge, or frisk. He didn’t touch me.

He  noticed I was off in a corner, walked over, stood close, and said hi. A lot.

I stroked his neck, and didn’t make a big deal out of him. I forced myself to be the casual instead of doting Auntie. (This was very very hard.)  He already has the concept of space bubbles thanks to Barbie’s strict rules. I didn’t invite him in, and he stayed out.

(So painful not to scoop him up and do all the wrong things!)

We Haz Kute Fol Piktures

Today was Hudson’s turn to whuffle me.  I smelled like Barbie and Murphy, where I’d just been.  Hudson was doing this: inhale, pause, inhale inhale, pause, innnnnhale….….Ah. That must be the baby!

The behavior at each barn is making me feel, strangely, like a clandestine mail drop.

I wonder what they are reading in the scent messages I can’t decode?

I’m trying to pace myself and not overload Daisy with too many pictures. I only took 418. Okay….


Or so.

I didn’t take pictures during the first few hours.  I was afraid a flash would add difficulty to a delicate time. Inwardly I was chanting day light day light day light puhleazeeeeeee?

You’ve all seen mommy, go see daddy Popeye K, he’ll knock your socks off, or ON if we look at Murphy!

I do have cell phone video of those first few hours.  YouTube, here we come!

These are in order of age over the last five days.

3 hours old
Photo by Daisy, 5 hours old
2 days old. I think he slept all day!
3 days old, and hitting the road. Okay, leaving the stall.
I know. I'll lead myself.
Performing my first experiment...
Mom? I goth thith thing in my mowth. Can't Thpit it out!

More photos to come, trust me. And if you missed previous photos, go here.

Talk To The Hoof: Hudson Talks To Barbie

Dear Humans,

Jane is over the edge.  Understandable.  But she does have a blog to run.  I am completely in the loop.  I have informants. I will run the blog. Talk to The Hoof will be my new column.

I talked to Barbie on the barn phone yesterday (BTW, Daisy: you left your phone in the feeder tub in her stall. You’re lucky. She found it rather tasteless.) She’s sore, but well.

She metaphorically bit my head off.  Barbie felt I could have explained the whole foaling procedure more clearly. I played the gelding card (what do we know?) and she’s somewhat mollified. I spoke to Murphy, who of course, had no clue what he was hearing. But that whinny.  He whinnied at me!

According to Barbie this is what happened: she started feeling sort of colicky, but rather far back, away from her stomach. She said it was a squeezy constricted feeling? Next thing she knew, she was laying in the straw being horribly squeezed. She said it was like being ripped open and left to die.
(This is why she is mad at me. For not explaining exactly where the foal came out.  But I appeal to you…would YOU have a baby if you knew where it came out? Of course not.)

Barbie jumped on me: “You said I was on camera!  That the humans would see  me colicking on camera and come help!” She was steamed.

“Barbs, the human came, right?  As soon as you started hurting?”

“Well, yeah.  But it’s not like she did anything.  She just watched me. I nearly died! Humans. She could have given me a shot or something. At the very least she could have brought me a Margarita.”

Better change the subject, she’s gonna blame me.

“How did you feel when you saw the baby?”, I said.

“Baby?  I thought that thing on the straw was my stomach. I thought about trampling it, but I was too tired. I was dying, Hudson. You didn’t tell me I was going to DIE”.

“Um. You didn’t die”, I say, “and look what you got.”

“Well. I could have”, she said, “and what I “got” was HURT. You have no idea. Why couldn’t I have been born a gelding?”

I hear a hoof stomp.

“You didn’t hurt him, though, right?”, I say.

Continue reading “Talk To The Hoof: Hudson Talks To Barbie”

Barbie Yesterday (The No Baby Update)

Yawn warning: this is a video of a pregnant horse eating.  That’s it.

Barbie not giving birth, yesterday, five days after her due date:

On a humorous note, I saw the baby either kick or roll, a slight bulge outward in the area behind her ribs, then gone.  Barbie’s head jerked up from the grass. Her muzzle wrinkled and her ears pinned. She raised a hind leg to kick at her belly, paused, put her hoof down.

The baby pushed on her side.  Kicking her stomach? Wrong spot.

She put her head back down to eat, and lashed her braided, VetWrap-lumped tail against the exact spot I’d seen move, effectively “smacking” the baby with the hard lump.

She might know there’s a creature in there.

And I think she is not going to be one of those push-over mares, who don’t discipline their foals well. Commando Mom.  Has a nice ring to it.

I must admit, I was awed at her intelligence.  She wanted to whack whatever punched her and was going to make sure she hit it back correctly!

Last of the Spring Cattle Drives

Photos from Bella, since we didn’t get to go. Now I know what she meant when she said it’s steep, rocky, and brushy. Thanks, Bella.

The view is awesome. Glad you had your phone, and were high enough for a cell tower!

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(Don’t let Hudson see this, or I will never live it down…those are Dinero’s ears!  I know those ears! Where am I?  How come I’m not there?!?)

Mortal Illness, Entertaining, The Great Flood, and How I Managed to Not Get Electrocuted

(Apologies for the delay in programming: see title for instant explanation.)

I believe where we last left off, I was sick enough to volunteer for the Undead Hotline. Then Shaun got sick.  In another part of the country.  The kids got sick.  Shaun came home and we had a germ exchange program in place. You haven’t had this flu strain?  Oh here, let’s switch. The Three Stooges had nothing on us.  Seriously.

We warned our impending visitors (also family), but they figured it was okay, they’d already had all the strains this year.

I reviewed their itinerary when I got it, a few days before arrival.  Notice they are arriving at Wrong Airport in the town of Far, Far, Away, at midnight. Flurry of phone calls and transportation research.  Luckily, a genius family member (not me) figures out how to get the tickets changed to SFO, which is only two hours away.  Phew.

At this point, Shaun hasn’t entered the virus exchange program, so she can pick them up. Did I mention this fabulous trip to sunny California was a birthday gift to a family member who lives in the land of Eternal Snow?

It’s pouring rain.  Driving rain. Wipers on high, drive-slowly rain. It continues to rain at this intensity for the duration of their stay.  The sun finally whipped out into an insanely clear, blue sky just as I turn the ignition over in the car to take family on the two-hour drive back to the airport on departure day.

With their new best friends. Unfortunately, they were mistaken about which virus strains they’d had.

What better vacation than one that drenches you, infects you, and then sends  you home with individual, industrial-sized boxes of tissues?  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!


We’re a determined bunch. Despite the family propensity for car sickness, we do a driving tour of San Francisco (A few hills, a few turns, what’s the problem?), Highway 1 (a few hills, a few turns, what’s the problem?) and the giant redwood forest (ditto).

In between, we all collapsed in the living room, waited for our green tinges to subside, and watched coverage of the horrific devastation in Japan, where we have (luckily, as safe as one can be there now) relatives.

Did I mention Happy Birthday?

As soon as the terminal doors closed on them, the sky clouded over, and it rained. The ground is fully saturated.  There are mudslide warnings in some areas. I watched as the street drains became overwhelmed, until there was no where for the water to go.

Except…out of the street, across our lawn, and under our house.

This is how I ended up underneath our house, sneezing and coughing, sitting in 4 inches of water, holding an electrical cord in one hand, and a paper booklet of instructions on how to hook up a water pump. In Chinese. (Also, French, Spanish, and Italian.)

  • This is what I can say in:
  • French: you are stupid, and not very nice.
  • Spanish: hey, you want a tamale? Pork, chicken, or cheese?
  • Italian: my mother! Very good. Hello?
  • Chinese: Happy new  year!

I couldn’t find any of these phrases in my  booklet. Therefore, I felt totally incompetent.

I look at the diagrams. Hey! A phrase in English! Petroleum Jelly accompanied by red arrows pointing to a disassembled pump interior.

You have GOT to be kidding me.  I have to take the pump apart, put Vaseline inside, and put it back together to prime it?


Problem.  Two hands, one of which is holding electrical cord.  I toss the instructions onto the water, crawl/slosh out from under the house, unscrew the pump housing, and smear Vaseline inside. Put it all back together.  Hoses are already in place.  All I have to do is hook them up, place the pump, duct tape the bejesus out of the electrical cord to a high pipe, crawl/slosh out, and plug in the extension cord.

It worked!

Until the motor burned out on the pump. The one the hardware store assured us would be able to handle this volume of water.

Back to hardware store.

That was yesterday. Today? Sunny.  Blue sky.  A few scattered puffy white clouds. Spontaneous wading pool removed from foundation, and I’m not electrocuted.

It’s a miracle!

(And I missed you.)


Mommy Has One Month to Go…

…and she’s looking mighty good.  Barbie’s already started to bag up.

We have a story about this.

I get a text from Daisy, and all I can tell is it’s a tiny picture.  Of something. I look closer at tiny picture, and am immediately embarrassed.  Daisy is not going to send me a photo of a Brazilian wax job.  Wrong recipient.

Then I realize: helllooooo, Daisy is not going to send anyone a photo of a Brazilian wax job.

I open the photo to make it phone-sized.  Turn it this way and that.  Huh.  Then it hits me.  It’s a photo of Barbie’s milk sack enlarging.

Now the text that followed the picture makes sense: “I broke at least 16 pony club rules getting this photo.”

I can’t wait to read all your replies in-depth.

(WordPress was down yesterday, so I got a Get Out of PostADay Free card.)