Our Thoroughbred Horses

Thoroughbred Horses

Our Three Horses

Our Thoroughbred horses, one who is 22 years old and two who are 21 years old, causes you to think they are too old to want to get out of their fence anymore. Being content to just be lazy and enjoy their barn and paddock. They seem that way, until spring comes around. Spring causes our three mares to act silly and immature. Well, not Tawny, so much. She is part Thoroughbred and Shetland pony and seems to have the most sense. The other two, Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow are registered Thoroughbreds and half sisters, sharing the same father. They were bred for racing at a horse racing farm. Tawny is their niece, their brother being her father. Thoroughbreds are known for their spirit, and yes, our girls certainly have that. When we first got them, we used to be concerned that someone might try to steal them when we were not home. We live in the middle of the state forest in a very secluded area. Once we got to really know them, we used to laugh and say, “We’d come home to some dead guy out in the paddock after he tried to put one of those girls in a trailer!” Yes, that would be a fact.

Boss Mare

Georgie Girl in 2000

When we brought them home from the farm where they were raised, where we were working, Georgie Girl, who had been raced and trailered often, refused to get into the trailer. Bill, the owner, put a rope on the ground behind her, she looked at him and the rope, then at me, and just pranced right up the ramp onto the trailer. She appeared to say, “I trust you. If you want me to get on this trailer, I will for you.” I never knew what he intended to do with the rope. Dark Shadow had never been on a trailer nor away from the farm. She had a huge crush on my husband. He just led her onto the trailer next to Georgie and she followed. Now that makes it sound like she is a quiet, well behaved horse, which was not the case. She was wilder than any of the stallions on the farm! She had never been worked with at all. She was definitely devoted to Larry and would do what he wanted her to do. Sometimes he had to work hard to get her to follow along, but in the end she would trust him and give to him.

Shetland Thoroughbred Cross

Tawny

Tawny didn’t come here till a couple of years later. For the first two years, Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow were not only sisters, but best friends. Still to this day, they are completely devoted to each other. Though Georgie is the boss mare, when she rules over Dark Shadow, that means Tawny will pay. Tawny being the smallest and last horse here, is at the bottom of the herd. So if Dark Shadow gets mad because Georgie has taken her hay away or some other reason, she will come looking for Tawny. I hate that it turns out that way for Tawny who wasn’t doing anything, but minding her own business. But that is way of the horse herd. Tawny will stand up to Georgie, but not Dark Shadow. Dark Shadow acts young and is very spirited and is quite the talker. She will yell out in the middle of the night, and at first it would worry me. I’d jump out of bed in a flash and run outside. Now I know that is her way. She will scream at Tawny or sometimes even at Georgie. That is the Thoroughbred horse way. After all, they are considered to be “hot-blooded” and bred to be spirited and bold and our two are definitely that.

Thoroughbred Horses

Sisters

The first stalks of green grass were poking through the lawn the other day and tempting Georgie Girl something awful. Here I was, sitting at my computer and when I look up, I see outside the bathroom window………a horse head! Uh oh! Out we go to find three horses running and bucking around in the yard. Well it seemed that Georgie was leaning into the fence trying to get the grass and the fence came down. I got Georgie and Tawny into the barn about to go through the gate to the paddock, when Dark Shadow comes around the side of the barn and doesn’t see either of them. She screams a loud horse scream……….out of the barn runs Georgie with Tawny on her heels. Needless to say, I was not successful getting them in. My husband managed to get them back inside and quieted down. They had torn up our yard since it wasn’t cold that day and the ground was soft. Now this morning it is very cold and the torn up ground was difficult for me to walk on. Hopefully, they won’t be getting out again!

Horse tracks

Horse Tracks

signature

Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 201
7 Kathleen G. Lupole


Cats In My Garden

Rocks In Bed for Cat Protection

Rocks In Bed for Cat Protection

Cats in my garden! Yikes, they are my own too! Cats are my biggest pest in my raised beds. My own cats! I had to figure out what to do so I could replant them after the cats ruined most of the plants I planted earlier. I got a lot of ideas of what I could do. One of them that I really like is the idea of using hardware cloth laid down on the top of the bed. Then plant each seed in one of the little squares. That would work. But at this time I needed something I already have. What do I have plenty of? Rocks, of course! An unlimited supply. I knew my cats, being elderly, are quite lazy. They don’t want to have to go to a lot of trouble to dig. I put the small rocks around each plant so there wouldn’t be enough space for them. These cats dig DEEP holes! Even if you chase them out of it when you are out there or see them, they will come back to it later. It is a never ending battle with them.

Small Rocks Around Plants

Small Rocks Around Plants

It is not just the stone beds that they are attracted to. The wood beds they destroy too. I am fortunate when I have any plants coming up. Next year I will make sure to plant with the hardware cloth. This year though, I took smaller sizer rocks, but not too small, and put them around each plant. I wish I had done this before I planted another bed of bush beans. If I had, I would have made a circle of rocks and put the seed in the center. Anything else I plant from now on, I will do in that way. Trying to make it uncomfortable for Patches and Hobo to use it for a litter box. Cats in my garden is not a good thing at all. My biggest regret is that I allowed our cats, since we moved here in 1999, to be indoor outdoor cats. Before that my cats were always indoor only cats. It is okay until they get old and you feel it is safer for them to be inside only. They get stressed over you trying to change that status so late in their lives. I gave up on trying to make that change. So I end up living with a lot of stress caused by the choice of so many years ago.

Rocks Keep Plants Safe

Rocks Keep Plants Safe

Over the years, we have saved rocks and stones in a big pile. The paddock is full of rock, big ones too. Our three horses uncover them running around all the time. We try to pick up the rock often. Keeping it stored in one central place makes it easy to work with it when you need various sizes for a project. The cats in my garden is one project that I am hoping will be accomplished with our rocks. When my husband originally built the bed I call the “snake bed” (due to its shape and size, not that it had snakes, though it does), he took the rock out of the area on the house that he hand dug to add a room onto our cellar. These rocks were huge and he had to carry them up a ladder and all the way to our backyard. I should add, without me knowing what he was doing. I was right in the house and he did it without me ever seeing him do it. Then he built that bed and came in to get me to come outside to see it. I was amazed, to say the least.

Cats in my garden

Here comes Patches!

 

Hopefully, I have solved this problem of my cats in my garden and ruining all the new plants. Once the plants get to a larger size, they are pretty safe. We don’t even have wild life in our garden and to think the biggest problem is our own pets is unbelievable to me. My father always had wild animals destroying or stealing his plants and produce. I live in the state forest and don’t even have that problem with any wild critters. We’ll see how this works.

signature (1)

Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


Callie Cat – A Cat Not To Be Forgotten Ever!

Tortoiseshell Cat

Callie Cat Lupole
June 2000 – January 27, 2014

She was born in a barn full of horses. One of three kittens. One kitten was gray, one was black and one was a tortiseshell. All females. Our dog, Nikita, was fascinated by the tiny newborn kittens. Once my husband showed them to her, that is all she paid attention to at the barn. In fact, Nikita would babysit them for the mother. She’d lay on a bale of hay and the kittens would snuggle up to her. She loved it!

cat and dog sleeping together.

Callie thought Nikita was her mother.

Out of the three kittens, the one I wanted to handle the most, was the little tortoiseshell kitten . But that was not to be. She would see you coming and be gone in a flash! The other two kittens enjoyed being cuddled and pet. Finally, one day my husband grabbed her when she was sleeping, before she had a chance to get away. She was a changed kitten after that! Always wanting to be pet, and would not let you pet the others. One day, Bill, the owner of the farm my husband worked at, said I should take her home because she had a death wish. Always in the way, and even though the horses were used to cats, the cats had to be careful. I once watched as Callie’s mother was trampled by a stallion. I was sure she was dead, but nope. I guess her nine lives came in handy. 

cat and horse

Callie at home around horses.


One day my husband came home from work with Callie. That was the summer of 2000. Our house was completely changed after that. She got along really good with my old Siamese cat, Nutmeg. When Nutmeg died in 2006, Callie had lost the companionship of another cat. They used to sleep snuggled together. They both loved to sleep for hours and be warm as could be. Our other two cats, Hobo and Patches, do not like sleeping with another cat. So she never could do that again. Most of the time she slept by my feet when I was in bed. She was very vocal and “chirped” often, to tell us what she wanted. She actually “chirped” in her sleep too! I’d wonder what she was dreaming about. Callie had no fear and especially of dogs. They would be so confused when they’d try to chase or bark at her, and she’d go after them. One big dog she chased out of our yard by hitting his butt with her claw and he was yelping as he left! 

Cat sleeping

Callie Napping As Usual


Unfortunately, Callie, coming from a farm, had been inbred. They had so many cats and they just bred with each other. Callie had a constant respiratory problem. Several times I thought I’d lose her for sure. One time when she was really bad, I had ordered the Essaic Tea for her. When it came, I quickly brewed it up and it has a 12 hour waiting period before you can use it. So at three in the morning, I gave her the first dose. The next morning I gave her another and soon she was back to her old self. It was indeed, a miracle and I have always relied on it since. Even being so sickly, she was a good hunter and was the boss of the house after Nutmeg died.  

Cat drinking water

Callie drinking water.

Yesterday evening, she passed away quietly on the chair in front of the wood stove. I knew she would go yesterday. She had always been a big eater, and in the last week she stopped eating. Even when I tried to feed her myself, she didn’t really want it. Then the last couple of days, she stopped drinking water. I tried to force it, but she would throw it up. I knew it was her time to go. I prayed to God that he would take her quickly and we wouldn’t have to do anything to speed the process up. We didn’t. She went on her own and is now with Nikita and Nutmeg.

horse and cat

Dark Shadow & Callie

The fact that she made it past thirteen years is due to the fact that I nursed her myself and didn’t use allopathic medicines for her. I am certain a vet would have tried to have me “put her down” long before this year. But she was never in pain and had a good appetite. She was a happy cat and everyone loved her because she was so friendly. We will miss her so much.

Cat and wood cookstove

Callie four days ago


katlupe


Loving Your Pet At Any Age Or Condition

White cat

Loving your pet at any age or condition is normal. It is no secret that I love my pets. I have always been that way about my animals. They usually end up being a big part of my life. My husband KNEW that about me before we even had all these pets. I had a Siamese cat, Nutmeg, and I would not even leave her at my parents’ when we went on the road while he drove an over-the-road truck. At that time, I saw in him, a man who was compassionate and caring toward animals. Even to the point of once a big dog left at a truck stop was pleading with him to take him with us, and he had a hard time driving off. We had no room for a dog, or any means to care for one in the cab of a truck with us and my cat, living in close quarters. 

loving your pet

My Good Boy!

Now we have three cats who we have had for over ten years. We have three horses that we have had since 2000. Recently, a new male cat moved in, but not in our house. That is “Spots” who you see in the photos. Yes, as they get older, they tend to be a bit more care. Just like people, I might add. Nikita, our dog, who passed away in February of this year, at 15 years of age, had become harder to care for. Being a very big and stubborn dog, she still did most things herself. She had to have a ramp to go in and out. And she had to go to the bathroom often and sometimes, barely had enough time to get outside because she waited so long. I wrote this post on my original blog, about her troubles going up and down the stairs. It is just part of the normal life span for us pet owners, loving your pet no matter what.

loving your pet

Spots

One of my biggest obstacles has been the money to care for them properly. Since veterinarian services are now as expensive as medical doctors (and I can’t afford them), I have been trying to research how to afford health care for my pets. Today I researched some health care insurance for pets. But they do just like the health insurance companies for humans do, and are afraid to post their quotes or at least a ball park figure. I think they figure if they speak to you on the phone, you will let them talk you into something you cannot afford. Ha! So I put together my own pet first aid kit
.

loving your pet

Good Morning Spots!

Loving your pet makes you want to take care of it when it is older or sick. I have been trying hard to earn “my own income” so I can properly care for all of my pets. That is what makes me write nonstop daily, work on my computer as much as I can and keep my blogs and eBooks going if possible. I need to do this, for me. I cannot drive to a job, since I do not have a car yet………another thing, I am working to buy if my blogs ever generate enough income for that too. It is not easy in this economy to generate money from the internet. Nobody has any to spend I guess. 

katlupe

Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole

 


Losing My Beloved Dog, Nikita Blackwolf

Nikita Blackwolf Lupole

Nikita Blackwolf

Losing my beloved dog is the hardest thing I have ever experienced. Nikita, passed away on February 18, 2013. It is still hard for me to talk about. But she died at home, naturally, and is at peace now. She was having the usual health problems we all go through in the aging process. She had gained weight in her recent years, and I believe she had Cushings. But never realized that until almost near the end of her life. Nikita lived a happy life out here. Never had to be tied up or contained in any way. A free life meant a happy life for her.

Nikita

Nikita eating a deer carcass.

Nikita was my first and only dog since I grew up. The dogs my parents had when I was a child weren’t dogs that I ever got close to. They were always chained up outside. I would never do that to a dog, not ever! So I never really thought I liked dogs. I always said I was a cat person. And I always have a had a cat or two. Now I have three. Nikita taught me how different a dog can be. I feel she was an extra special dog, extremely smart. It didn’t feel like she was an animal. I was with her daily, all day long. Her passing has left a huge hole in my heart. 

Nikita

Our Little Girl

I am thankful to have had Nikita in my life for fifteen years! That is a long time for a dog, I believe. I am also thankful that she didn’t suffer too badly at the end, and was able to go naturally. She went out by the forest path in our backyard, and I knew then, that she knew she was going to die there. My husband, my son and I, as well as our horses and cat, Hobo, were all nearby. We all miss her terribly, as she was a huge part of our home. Each one us paid a lot of attention to her every day. Losing my beloved dog, Nikita is a hard post to write today. 

Nikita

Nikita, as a puppy!

She is gone now, but forever in our hearts! 

katlupe

Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole

 


Taking Our Stray Duck To A New Home

Cayuga DuckLook who showed up at our house recently!

My husband and I approached our house coming from a trip to the store, and I saw something black in the road. I exclaimed, “That is not one of the cats.” As we got closer, we could see it was bird. I thought it was a wild turkey, as we had to stop along the way to the store to let a flock of them cross in front of us. It was not, it was a duck! He followed us into the driveway as if he was waiting for us.

Pet Duck

He was a friendly little guy, sharing my husband’s supper with him!

The trouble with us keeping this little guy was that we had no place to keep him. No place safe. Our home is surrounded by thousands of acres of state forest. Many wild critters live within close range to our house. He was sleeping on our deck right outside the sliding glass door. I think he was afraid at night and stayed awake the whole time. He slept in the day time when we were outside and he felt safe.

 

Black DuckHanging out on the deck!

I asked one of my homesteading friends if she’d be willing to take the duck in to live with her flock. She would. I was a little sad about having to give him away as he was really a nice friendly guy. But this was no way for him to live. He needed to be with other ducks and have the proper food and care. Our home is not set up for livestock, except for horses.

 Cat Carrier

I needed a container to transport the duck. A cat carrier is perfect!

I discovered that he was a Cayuga Duck. I can’t understand why someone would have dumped him off at our house, unless they didn’t want a male duck. A drake is what they are called. I didn’t really know he was a male though until we took him to my friend’s house. She told me you could tell my the curly feather on his back. Who would have known that? 

Luring Duck

 What do you have for me there?

 The only proper container I could find to transport our duck was a cat carrier. I had used it once to transport a chicken so I knew it would work. This duck was not as used to being carried around as my chicken was, so we had to lure him into the container. Once my husband got him inside, he was quiet and got used to it. Of course, there were some bits of food in there to keep him occupied.

 Duck going inside

Checking it out!

My husband thought it best to lure the duck with a little bit of food scraps. It seemed to work because he loved to eat anything we could find for him. He also loved my husband and would follow him around the yard. During the ride over, he did not make any trouble. Calm as could be and we would hear an occasional, soft “quack.”

Chicken And Duck Flock

Checking out the new flock!

When we got to my friend’s house, her ducks came out from under her deck and she tossed some food out for them. Our duck joined right in and must have thought it was a feast. He hadn’t had proper food since he had come to our house. He did eat some horse pellets and crackers and bread. But that was not proper or healthy for him. She had other types of ducks, so this was her first Cayuga Duck. I hope she will like it.

Chicken Duck Cat

New friends!

My husband noticed he seemed to take to that white chicken. He was following him around while we were there. The black cat was also checking him out too. He knew it was a new duck added to their flock. Smart cat! By the time we checked out all my friend’s critters, the duck seemed to fit right in with the others. I am glad he now has a good home with other ducks and birds.  

Chicken and Duck Flock

 Part of the flock!

 My friend said her husband named him “Doc” and he was doing just fine. I am happy to hear that, as he is a good little guy. 

katlupe's signature

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole