Thursday, February 23, 2012

Farm Animals Gone Wild

I haven't written about Smokey lately because Oliver will not ride him anymore.  Oliver was riding Smokey a couple of months ago (with his helmet on) and Pumpkin started chasing Smokey and biting his legs.  Smokey bucked Oliver straight onto his forehead.  We though Oliver would eventually get over the trauma and get back on Smokey.  So far, it has not happened.  We had a horse professional come over to take care of Smokey's feet and he told us someone in the family should be riding Smokey.  Smokey can handle up to 230 pounds of weight.  This weekend we spent some time in the pasture trying to figure out who should ride Smokey.

Pearl was first.  She only lasted a couple of seconds before she threw in the towel.

Glenn was the next to ride Smokey.  Glenn can tell you it is really hard to ride a horse who is biting your feet while your wife is chanting, "Eight seconds! Eight seconds!"  

Sadly, he was no Luke Perry.

It was my turn to take on the tiny beast.  Things were going okay until Pumpkin started messing with Smokey.

My mom thought it may be easier to ride Smokey with a lead rope.  It was rocky from the start.  Smokey wanted me off in a bad way.  Finally he did a tricky maneuver and tossed me on my hip.  Evidently my near death-by-pony was funny to certain members of my family. 

Something was in the air that morning because all of the animals were feeling spry.  Lotta, Pumpkin, and Smokey had a great time chasing each other around the pasture.

Oliver and Pearl first checked Leche for signs of pregnancy, then retired to an oak tree to hide from the crazy animals.

Moments later, Leche decided to join the children in the tree.  It was ten seconds of sheer terror! 

After all of the ruckus, it was time to make amends and go back to peaceful pasture life.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Birth of a Name: Giving Tree Family Farm

Oliver has been sick now for several weeks.  He has moments of feeling good, then the fever returns and he becomes a very different child.  Oli has been tested for everything and has been on a course of antibiotics for the past five days.  Nothing helps.  Oliver's symptoms are worse during meal times.

Flo and Harry have been invited to the table to make meals more enjoyable.

Oliver is tired of being away from his friends at school.  The only activities keeping him happy are spending time at his Grammy and Pop's house and being in our new apple orchard.  

Glenn has always dreamed of having an orchard.  My mom became friends with our retired neighbors who just happen to have an unkempt apple orchard.  My mom saw a match made in heaven and set us up.  Now we spend weekends at the orchard playing, pruning and relaxing.  Oliver and Pearl have been a big help to their dad.

When not helping Glenn prune, the kids enjoy the trees.  This morning I watched Oliver swing from the branches, throw apples, and climb.  I watched pearl dig in the dirt, put tiny apples in her pockets and eat every mushy apple she could find.  I became immensely grateful for the apple trees for bringing a smile back to Oliver's face.

Then it hit me.  This reminds me of "The Giving Tree," one of the best books of all time.  We have been searching for a name for our family farm for the past couple of months.  I ran over to Glenn and said, "What about 'The Giving Tree Farm'?"  We walked to my parents' house and shared the name.  We made a collective decision to name our farm "Giving Tree Family Farm."  So there you have it; the birth of our farm name.  Now if only I could solve this fever issue!