Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pillowcase Dress/Nightgown

About a month ago, I visited one of my favorite places: The Goodwill!  I bought about 12 pillowcases.  Why?  Because I love re-purposing things!  These mis-matched pillowcases were bought for .25-.50 cents each.  I bought a bunch for my friend, Brandy, as well.  Pyper is the quintessential girly girl.  She loves bows, flowers, purses, and lace.  I have made about 5 pillowcase nightgowns for her.  I made 2 last night in no time at all.  I just used what I had on hand.  I didn't have any ribbon, but I did have some elastic lace that I used in liu of ribbon.  I think this one turned out great.  I love this pattern, because it grows with your girl.  I found this super easy pattern at:

 Of course, I washed the pillowcases first.  But one great thing about old pillowcases is how soft they are!

 Gathered neck lines...comfy sleeping...

I made this one after everyone went to bed last night.  It literally takes 30 minutes to make.  The "ribbon" is some cute fabric scraps I had left over.  Pyper loves it and this morning gushed over the bows.  This makes me happy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bathing in Sunlight

I'm re-reading Simplicity Parenting, and donated/threw out a lot of excess toys and stuffed animals.  Coincidentally, I freed up this great galvanized tub that was in the girls' playroom and held all their dolls and stuffed toys.  I decided to re-purpose it.  I saw a friend's blog where she had her infant in what looked like a crab pot on the front porch and thought it was too cute.  I filled the tub up with water from the hose, but Pyper deemed it too cold to play in.  We waited a few hours and the water was nearly hot.  I added more cold water and it was perfect.  I put the girls in for their outdoor baths, and they really enjoyed it.  Eventually they ended up together in the tub splashing and squealing.  Pyper ran around naked for over an hour.  We live in the country...why not?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Horse Heaven

This weekend was one of the best ones in a long time.  We had fun last weekend camping, but this weekend was so relaxed and we got to spend it with our favorite 4 legged companions.  Mark Noel has introduced the bit to Abby, and like all things, she took it in stride.  He took her out in pastures to cut cows, and though she has NO cow sense, she didn't spook at them.  That's perfect in my book.  I don't want a cow horse.  I want a great trail horse.  And I think I've got her!

 Mark is very soft with his hands, not pulling in her mouth, and she responds so well to his gentle training.  She's very responsive and compliant.  She has some fire in her belly, and that's good.  I don't want a horse that's so laid back as they're boring.  I can't wait to ride her.  I could have on Sat, but I wasn't in the right attire (ahem--sundress and flip flops). 

 She picks up the lope and I could tell she was enjoying herself. 

 Look at that alert headset.  Just waiting for Mark's next cue.  That is the look of a happy horse!
After we visited Abby, we went to a yard sale down the road.  I bought a nice Hereford Yoakum western saddle for Shannon for a steal and a hay bag for future horse trips. 

 Our next trip trail riding was Sunday.  We met up with Kay and Joe (I did the endurance race with them 2 years ago) at Horse Heaven about 30 minutes from our little farm.  Shannon decided he wanted to come along.  He's never formally ridden on a ride, other than riding Anna bareback in the pasture with a halter and lead rope.  Kay brought Hank the Wonder Horse for Shannon.  They got along great.  Although Shannon said he felt sorry for Hank during the ride, because he had to put up with Shannon shifting his saddle and learning to ride a trot and canter on him.  I'm sure Hank didn't mind too badly. 

 Iney saw her buddies and wanted to be near them.  She was very anxious to go, and I had to really hold her back the first hour or so. 

 Midway through the ride, I took the camera from Shannon and tried taking pics while riding.  I'll apologize in advance for the blurry ones.  Kay takes MUCH better pics, and you can see them and her post on the ride at their family blog:

 Shannon and Kay.  We did some trotting (we are conditioning for an endurance ride in Aug!) and Shannon held his own.  I was very proud of him and his willing attitude.  At one point, he wasn't sure if Pyper and Raegan would have siblings, but then he recovered and enjoyed the rest of the 8 mile loop.

Almost back to camp.  We took a side trail and went through the most relaxing and lovely trails at the end.  The Mountain Laurels were in bloom, moss on logs, birds singing, soft (then later, hard!) rain falling, creek crossings, and introspection made a great end to the ride.  Once back at the trailer, Iney had a bit of a horse tantrum and didn't want to stop.  She kept trying to get back on the road to the trails.  I think she could have gone another 8 miles with no problem.  I love trail riding.  Looking forward to more in the coming weeks and months.   We really enjoyed ourselves.  And Shannon's not very sore this morning!  Bonus!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Almost Finished!

The cabinets came in and the workers started putting them up. I think it looks really great so far. I picked out the bamboo flooring.  I love how it turned out.

The kitchen sans a refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher. 

 From the education room to the hallway and coat closet.

 The table and chair storage.

The office 

Hallway going into the pharmacy area.

 Shannon looking over the work and progress.

 One of the bathrooms.  We still need all the kick boards throughout the pharmacy and artwork, but so far, so good.

We have the pharmacy inspection next week so we're really under the gun to get things ready and perfect.  The drive through window arrived last night, so that is the next step.  Whew!  So much going on! 

We also ordered our delivery vehicle yesterday.  A silver 2012 Subaru Impreza hatchback.  Should be here in 8 weeks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Riding High

This Saturday, I loaded Iney up in the Barbie trailer and headed off to Fox Creek Horse Camp in Troutdale, Va.  It's "SUPPOSED" to be only 45 minutes away from my house, but the Nat'l Forestry Service gave some CRAZY directions.  Needless to say, it took me 2 hours to get there and I even ended up in NC at one point.  *SIGH*  Oh, well.  We got there in one piece, and I was very proud of that seeing as it was my first time driving a truck and trailer.  Whew!

 Iney munched on hay waiting on me to get my ride on...

 I met up with Nickie and Grace.  My Craigslist stalkers.  I met Grace (right on gray horse) 2 years ago when she came and took Blackie, our mini, off our hands.  I had listed him on Craiglist and she sounded like the best fit for our little guy.  She's an experienced horse lady and so much fun!  She, in turn, brought Nickie, who SHE met on Craigslist.  This is starting to sound kind of creepy, so I'll end the story about how we met. hee hee

 The best view a gal can have...

 Going up the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.  We were in Mt. Rogers National Park in Grayson County.  It was BEAUTIFUL and about 10 degrees cooler than further down. 

 We had to figure out where we were going, so Grace refers to my map.
She gets a second opinion from her horse Sophie Mae.  Sophie said we needed to go back.  HA!
 Iney and me!!!
Sophie Mae and the wild pink roses. 
The mountain laurels were about a week from really busting out.  They were bountiful and beautiful.
 Iney loved being in the back of the pack.  At one point, she was in the lead and kept snorting.  We need to build up her confidence a bit, but every ride will do that.  This is only her 2nd ride. 
Nickie on Sugar, me on Iney.  I was BEYOND proud of my girl.  She crossed difficult water passages, bridges, mud, saw deer, heard the wild ponies, saw motorcycles, cars, crossed a busy road, picked through some very rocky terrain and didn't balk once.  She is really coming along as my trail buddy.  Oh, and with the correct directions, it did take me only 45 minutes to get home. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ain't Too Proud...

This is Anna's cut on her left knee from Iney kicking the snot out of her.  She popped the stitches Frances had sewn.  I called Frances and she said it was ok, just keep it clean and be careful of proud flesh.  HUH?  What in the world is that?  Well, I researched it, and the picture below illustrates what proud flesh is.  It's basically just an over accumulation of granular tissue on a wound, typically below the knees or hocks on horses.  It can cause a lot of damage if left untreated and the treatment varies from meat tenderizer, to prescribed medications, caustic agents (Furazone), to surgery.  I noticed Anna's wound was looking a bit "proud" and thought I'd try to fight it off as best as I can.  I put her in her stall, pulled out the stitches and went to work...

 I put some Furazone on it after cleaning it and then vet wrapped it.

 I came home that evening and found that the wrap slacked, and the wound was dirty.  Yuck.

So, I washed it off.  Lots of hydrotherapy is recommended.  We do it 2x a day.  I think Anna likes it.  In one of my vet books I read about spider bandaging.  It is a great bandage for knees and hocks as they move so much.  So, I set out and looked for a unused pillowcase, and did this!  (See below) 

I put some triple antibiotic cream on the wound and covered it.

 Put a stylish quilted pad over it.  I didn't want to spend the $$ on a set of 4, so I made some with leftover fleece and flannel I had.  I have to say, I was quite impressed on how well they turned out!!!  Maybe a tutorial later????

 And started braiding the pillow case down her leg.  The spider bandage looks intimidating, but it's not.  VERY simple.  I also You Tube'd it to see EXACTLY how to do it. 

VIOLA!  The end result! 

 I added another quilted pad to the bottom and wrapped a polo wrap around it like a standing wrap.  I made the wraps as well out of fleece.**NOTE of caution!  Wrap from the inside out to avoid tendon compressions.** I pinned it twice.  Very secure and VERY fashionable!

 Anna inspects her new leg wear.  So far, so good!  I have some Equaide on the way, so I'll start treating with that as soon as it comes in.  Sometimes I wish I had become a vet.  I just don't think I could have put animals to sleep though.  *sigh* 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Here We Go Again...

 Back in college I got into Endurance Racing.  We rode Arabians, and I broke my tail bone more times than not.  Those were some of my happiest times.  Since the days of my frivolous youth, I have transitioned into riding Quarter Horses.  The wonderful thing about Quarter Horses is that they are so gentle, sweet, and CALM.  Anna is the quintessential sweet QH, and then I have Iney.  Iney is an Appendix.  Which means she is 1/2 QH and 1/2 Thoroughbred.  Therefore, she's not AS calm as Anna.  Ha!  I joke that she has the body (and feet) of a Thoroughbred, but the mind of a QH.  I love this horse.  Her sire is a world champion show jumper, and that is one direction I hope to delve into in the future.  Two years ago, after talking with my friend Kay, she said she's interested in getting into endurance.  Kay is a wonderful horsewoman as well as a veterinarian.  I hadn't really thought about doing endurance again, as I no longer had an Arabian.  But, she said she had QH's and was planning on going really slow.  I signed up--thinking Iney would be perfect.  Iney had never been outside of a show barn, ridden outside of an arena, and NEVER on an endurance race.  Our conditioning was limited to riding in the pastures at our farm and neighboring pastures.  Looking back, I shake my head, because it was INSANE to take her on a 30 mile ride without ever being on a trail!  I just had/have such confidence on how well she was trained for 2 years under professional horsemen and women.

Here is Iney and I, 2 years ago at the Virginia Highland's Endurance Race.  It was literally 15 miles up Iron Mountain and 15 miles down Iron Mountain.  I still feel bad for being overly cautious with pushing Iney, because we came in on time, but Iney didn't cool down fast enough for us to have actually qualified as finishing on time.  So, Kay, here is my public apology!!!  I was just so scared of injuring my loved mare. 
We DID finish, and without injury, so I still consider it a success.  This year I know better.  I have 2 months of conditioning to do to get ready!  YIKES!

 Iney chilling out at the trailer.

 About 10 miles in or so.  Iney had really hit her stride, and was doing great.  I was so proud of her!

This was taken at the vet check.  She had all A's on her report card, and was calm.  The only disturbance on this ride was Iney's lack of enthusiasm to cross water.  She did ok at first and then decided it was much better to JUMP all water crossings.  Ultimately, she ended up kicking Kay's horse, Hank The Wonder Horse, and injuring his back hock.  Sorry Hank.  SO, this year, we are doing lots of trail riding, we are going to work on water crossing, and I WILL finish under time.  What's better?  I've encouraged my horsey friend, Grace, to join me!  She has a beautiful gray QH that she'll ride.  Fun times ahead!!! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In 9 Out 9

It's hard to believe that our Raegan is 9 months old today.  She has been in this world as long as she was in me.  This past month, she started eating ripe avocado independently, waving "Bye-Bye" and saying Ma-Ma.  She's also interested in crawling, but like most things with Itty-Bit, she takes her time and isn't in a rush.  I love this about her.  She'll start sitting up, then flop on her belly and then roll over, roll over again and scoot.  Her sweet, slow smile warms my heart and her sweet disposition soothes my soul..  What a blessing this little one is!

 Mom requested that I take Itty's picture as I had done with Pyper.  Itty is above, Pyper below.  They are approximately the same age in each picture.  How can two sisters look so very different?  We are so blessed to call these girls our children.