Just a few random thoughts on the day to day happenings of a mom surrounded by chaos. Come and enjoy my life with a family, corgis and the other creatures at Foggy Bottom.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

An introduction of sorts

As I have been a bad blogger of late, seems that I've failed to mention the new addition(s) to the chaos around the farm.   As my brother is rebuilding his barn this winter and my dad hasn't gotten the new fence put up, so his horses are wintering at our place.  That adds two more clydedales and a stock horse to the mix.  Not to confuse you much more, but the stock horse is Laredo who is the dam of the obnoxious Phoenix, who was formerly known as the pony.

So why is she no longer known as the pony?  Because we have a real pony now!

As it happened, I had been following a facebook post about a pony for sale north of us(okay about 90 mins north).  Super cute arab/welsh cross.  Of course she's a bay and has all kinds of chrome.  All summer people were interested, going to see her, etc.  The weekend of the Saddle Up Youth shows at IEC/KCC, we were also headed up to Waverly for the fall exotic swap.  Just that Friday, the post reappeared and this pony was still available.  I sort of convinced dear hubby to haul the trailer up to Waverly then swing over to see this pony.  That in and of it self involved a busy weekend, blown tire and hanging out on the interstate waiting for the spare.

What we saw was an 8 yr old working with this cute little 4 yr old mare, a 92 yr old man ride her and that was that.  Loaded her in the trailer and brought her home.  Muff renamed her...wait for it....Carnivorous Ladybug.  Something about hearing that over a set of load speakers made her giggle.  Oh well.

Ms Ladybug is one of those gems in the rough.  About 12.2 hands, not too fine, just enough arab in her to make her smart looking.  We've ridden her several times, sold to us as very green broke.  We are looking into a harness and small governess cart for the spring.  And even hubby has been smitten by her, or is that bitten?  She likes to make you aware of her presences, especially if you are ignoring her.  Called "bug bites", she grabs your sleeve or hood and jiggles it to get your attention.  She's sweet, little attitude, nosy, smart and well, just the perfect little bug of a pony.  And of course hubby says he bought ME a pony.  Well, he bought US a pony as we are all just in love with her.

Introducing.. Carnivorous Ladybug aka Bug

Later gators....

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I can't remember yesterday, you want an overview of 2014?

Heck, most days I can't remember what I did the day before.  This being the last day of the great year of 2014, I know I can't remember it all!

Let's see.....

January-holy cow it was COLD!  First show of the year in MN and the Muff and I traveled with several dogs to the St Paul shows. Polar Vortex my tushy.   Hell froze over!   2015-we are skipping that show and staying where it's warm, ie, at home.
A litter of winter puppies?  Again, what the hell was I thinking? Pete had 4 wonderful puppies that almost came c-section but leave it to Pete to do things in her own sweet way.

February-more cold.  And I think a dog show?  Oh yes, Des Moines take 2(well one for us as we skipped January, see puppy note above).   Betty was goofy, Kevin was sassy, and I'll leave it at that.  Muff some how came home one day with a new coonhound puppy--she's smitten.

March-chicks, Hill's Barn Yard days, I think one day of a dog show and winter clean up!  Snow melted, heat returned to Iowa.

April-Travel to the national for a week and had a blast with friends.  Mal finished his beginner novice, passed his CGC and of course, made everyone fall in love with him.  Kevin passed his CGC, Eddie got two of his BN legs and the yell of "dum dum come" could be heard across the event center.  Totally embarrassed on my birthday as well as the start of dog obedience for 4-H. And more warmth!

May-Mal finished his grand with a nice BOB win.  Then we again, just hung out at home and watched puppies grow up.

June-omg, now that month I totally remember!  Dog classes, horse clinics, no baby clydesdale, fair fun and the STORM.  Lost power, flooded basement, minimal property damage, helping neighbors and wishing for a much quieter July.

July-which was by all accounts, quiet.  Time to reflect, sit back by the bonfire with friends.  Oh Muff finally made it through Driver's Ed and now to wait till October when she can get her real license.

August-dog show, THE dog show, state fair, back to school.

September-THE dog show ended.  And....I can't remember what else happened in September?

October-THE horse show, bringing the lovely Carnivorous Lady Bug home and I even pulled out the halloween decorations this year!

November-hum, simply getting ready for winter.  Playing with Lady Bug(who we are all in love with, including David)

December-we lost Lace to the Rainbow Bridge, one cold snap, one dog show where Moose and Mal both got their new rally titles-RA and RN.  Rutro aka Monroe, got one point but at least she kept her feet on the floor and had a smidge of focus.  Great Christmas with family and friends.  Oh and Muff...still hasn't gotten her license.

I know there's a lot more from 2014, I just can't remember it all.  I think it's simply because we do so much, and enjoy it in the moment that it is.

To everyone out there---enjoy what 2014 gave you and be thankful for what 2015 has to offer!

Later gators.....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


The family and chaos crew of four legged, web footed, hairy and feathered beasts would like to wish you and your family a very Blessed Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!

We are looking forward to more grand adventures in 2015!  
Watch out world, here we come!

Cindy, David, Meredith, Alec, and the collies, coonhounds, cardigans, one big ol' german shepherd, the geese, ducks, chickens, clydesdales, paints, quarter horses and one pretty little pony.   Oh and the employee.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Exchange time!

Had a couple requests for some recipes we do in the crockpot and figured here was a good place to put them! Now mind you I have a large 7 qt crock pot, so I make a lot--though left overs typically aren't much because I have a few hunger kids in the house!

Crockpot potato soup

2 large bags of frozen hash browns(26 oz bags)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
chicken broth
1 TBSP dried minced onion
1 tsp dried mince garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 8 oz block cream cheese
Condiments-grated cheddar cheese, chopped scallions and bacon

Mix frozen hash browns, soup, onion, and garlic in crock pot.  Use enough chicken broth to just cover hash browns.  Put on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.
45 mins prior to eating, cut in small cubes of cream cheese.  Stir occasionally till melted in.  Serve!

Pork Tacos(adapted from the America's Test Kitchen 6 ingredient solutions recipe)

Brown 2 lbs ground pork.  Drain and add to crock pot.

Puree 1/2 can crushed pineapple(juice drained) and 2 cans Rotel tomatoes and chilis-any flavor, depends on how hot you like it!   Stir into crock pot.

Mix the other 1/2 can of pineapple with one small finely chopped red onion and cilantro(to taste).  Refridgerate.

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2-3.
To serve as a dip for parties, about 1/2 hour prior to serving, add shredded pepper jack cheese.

For dinner, use soft tortillas and use shredded cheese, pineapple salsa, or sour cream for condiments.

Salsa Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
1 can chunky salsa-partially drained or 2 cans pureed Rotel tomatos and chilis.

Place chicken breasts in crock pot, add salsa.  High 6 to 8 hours.  Shred in the crock pot and serve with soft tortillas and condiments as wanted-lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Later gators!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ch Intrepid Indigo Lace RN

Miss the evil blue bitch.....7/7/02 - 12/5/14

Later gators...

Doing Right by Them

I feel  blessed that I have such a good relationship with my kids.  Granted it’s always a work in progress and no, we aren't always in agreement and yes, we do butt heads, a lot.

What I do feel very grateful for is that  my children are balanced and appreciate their lives. 

God allows us freedom of choice.  We are given opportunities to  make our own decisions, yet because of that, we must also be accepting of the good and bad consequences that are the result.

Muff and I went to Chicago to hit one day of a dog show that I swear every time I will not return to.  Parking, crowds, just simply chaos and pains in the ass of the whole event.  But it has awesome grooming, great rings, wonderful judges and of course Liz, Ron and Duffy!   So along the lines of allowing my kids to make their own decisions, Muff opted to stay for the groups with Red.   On the way home, she said…remind me, we are not staying for groups here again!   It was a long drive home and we were all exhausted.  She learned from her choice and will make wiser ones in the future.

I don’t think I spoil my kids.  They do have a lot but they work hard for the privileges such as having dogs to show, horses to ride and organizations to participate in.   If they want something prove it to me that you can handle it, that you deserve it and that you respect what is being given to you.  I’m not going to go out and buy you something simply because you want it . 

The conversation in the kitchen while I made dinner last night focused around wants vs needs, earning vs being given… the silver spoon effect.   Muff scares me.  She’s grown up.  She’s making very reliable and logical decisions.  Grown up decisions.  What I see is a child that works hard, learns from her mistakes and trusts in her knowledge.   What she draws from this is not only the ability to deal better in this world, but she also retains memories she’ll cherish and hopefully pass on.

I grew up in the middle of the farm crisis.  We didn’t have a lot, but my parents instilled the same values in me.  I was the horsey gal.  I didn’t have a fancy pedigreed horse, the silver tack and the gear to go with it.  I had a decent mount, that I learned and trained myself.  I worked hard to be able to show and that was evident in having a sound minded reliable horse that I was proud to call my own.   In turn, I’ve offered the same chance with my kids.  Be it dogs or horses.  I do know that Alec is very proud of the dogs he’s shown, bred and trained.  They aren’t national specialty winners, yet, but he’s got a grounded attitude about it that means he appreciates it so much more.   Muff, we thought about going out and getting her a very fancy horse to show.  But in looking back, I’m so glad we didn’t.  What she’s been able to do with Torey and soon to be Ladybug, is amazing.  She’s learned so much more and truly loves the horse he’s become…because she did it.  I’m pretty sure he’ll be like Moo and have a special spot up on ridge with the rest of the gang when he dies. 

I guess in another one of my long and rambling posts, I’m trying to say, make sure to keep your kids grounded.  Don’t lose sight in where you came from simply because you took it upon yourself to not appreciate what you were given, be it a lot or a little.  I hope my kids look back and realize that they got so much and it wasn’t monetary related but that they got soul, spirit and love.

Just sayin'....

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

And it's in the books!

Another fair week has come and gone.  At the wrap up bbq, a few days late and more on the late part later, it was commented that it's not really 6 days but more like two weeks.  All the prep work going into the fair is started months previously with more and more activity the closer we get. 

So fair week started with a relocation of the horse show.  Yeap, we had a super wet arena, again.   Muff had fun, Torey looked great, some nice placements and well, she fell off once when she lost her stirrup and then the saddle slipped.   Got back on and tried to finish the class but the saddle was wonky.  She wandered around with a headache for three days then bragged about it.  Silly girl. 

Next was static exhibits.   She had a blast and got great critiques on her projects.  Her fairy garden was a hit with everyone but she needed more detailed info on the creation of it, could have been considered for state fair if she had done that.   Her self portrait from drawing class did receive a state fair consideration!   She knows what to do differently next year and will be collecting projects throughout the year to take. 

Let's see...dog show.   The weather was perfect.  The kids were perfect.  The dogs made us laugh.   Muff was the grand champion advanced showmanship winner with Ms Red.   Next up was Kevin and despite licking the steward's leg on the figure 8, had a 192! in prenovice, winning the class and also winning HIT regular class!!!   Agility, well, leave it to Kevin to do a unique take on the chute which cost him just enough points to get 2nd in the class.   It was a fun day and I have the pictures to prove it. 


Let's see, a day off, then poultry set up and POULTRY SHOW!!!!

Geese were pissy, got loose once.  Sparkles didn't really sparkle, she was very dingy.  But some really good placements with Muff's buff brahma bantam rooster winning his class.  Her ancona duck was reserve in his breed and so was her mille fleur bantam pullet.   All blue ribbons including the geese which were champion goose and best male goose at the show.  Oh her penciled indian runner was champion light duck.   Long day, lots of neat birds and the kids had a blast.

And that was fair....then it stormed.  And stormed.  AND STORMED.

Monday was supposed to be the horse game show but again, wet arena.  Cancelled.  Then the storm came in.  Tornados, derico winds and damage.  We lost power for about 6 hours, basement flooded.  Friends lost their house and another their barn.  A week and half later, still tons of trees laying all over.   And that would be why the wrap up bbq was Thursday instead of Monday.  

We had fun, Muff smiled a lot and now it's the lull before the storm...Wyoming Poultry show this weekend.  Dog shows start up again.  State fair looming and then there's Labor Day.   AHAHAHAHAH

Later gators....