a walk on the wild side ~ day two

We have continued having unseasonably warm temperatures in December, some days have been over 55F!! I love nice weather just as much as anyone, but it is truly odd to not have Winter in Wisconsin. We have had so many warm days, that the frost is coming out of the ground. Northern WI does have snow, but not the lower half. Central WI had snow, it's since turned into a muddy rainy mess. Of course the season isn't over yet. My 87 year old mother assures me Winter will arrive. She is usually right.  

With all the sunshine, we have enjoyed many hikes on our property. It also prompted another walk on the wild side with Koda, just three days after our first one...

our trio relaxing early in the day
December 22, 2019
We headed out mid afternoon this time. Koda was a-snorting again, so I hung back with the two labs. I overheard Brad talking to Koda "you were just here..." it didn't seem to matter much. 

Brad pausing with Koda
Nemo took to running the pasture towards them, and that's when I saw Koda start to do the "hot feet dance". I quickly mentioned that was way too much energy for my wild eyed boy! I could see he was about to explode. So glad Brad listened, and decided not to continue walking the newly created trail that borders the lower pasture. Instead, he headed the other direction... 

a familiar place

I thought Brad was going to repeat the short wooded walk, and come out by our newly planted apple trees again - but he didn't. He chose to continue walking Koda along the looong narrow path that we created. Gulp! It borders our largest field and leads to/from our pines. The path border is old fencing on one side and a treeline on the other. Single file on a horse. We walk it frequently, but it doesn't have the best footing and needs more work. couldn't even see them, until they took the first turn that brings you out of the pines...

just out of our pine woods

they are further away then it looks

I stayed put with the dogs in the middle of the field. They love to race and dodge everywhere up and down all the paths. We will all walk them together eventually, and hopefully even ride them. Some day.

my tall shadow

walking the open area
around old fencing

coming back across our largest field

heading towards the pasture

it was total craziness after re-entering the pasture
(Koda, Harmony then Nemo) 

Below is a 24 second video of Koda releasing energy *after* several rounds of pasture antics...


a walk on the wild side ~ day one

Out of the blue, Brad asked if I wanted to take Koda for a walk. Um yes, of course!! I have only been asking him to do something *anything* with me and our horses at home for sooo long that I stopped asking. 


Koda's little kid side keeps showing up. After primarily only having handling during turnout for over a year and a half, he is being bratty, pushy at the gate etc. He begrudgingly obliges when asked to back up and wait, take a stroll down the driveway, walk behind the barn before heading to his stall, or *gasp* entering the barn last. 

Koda is very very routine oriented. If Koda could, he would put his own halter on and turn himself in/out at the appropriate time and order, where he goes first. We humans just get in his way. Koda is not the kind of horse you can just let sit. He needs a job, and to be reminded of his manners on a regular basis. We absolutely remind him of the good boy that he can be, every time he is handled. However, I am sure Brad has noticed Koda's naughtiness increasing. He tests everyone, not just me. I thought he would grow out of being the class clown, but it is part of who he is.


Brad is more reassuring then I am for our horses, so he walked the snorting dragon better known as Koda bear...

Heading down to the woods, on the wild side of the fence

Jameson (grand dog) isn't sure he want to be any closer
to the snorting machine

Tank watching Koda nibble & try to relax out of pasture sight

Nemo is very concerned

Brad & Koda took a short wooded walk
and came out by the apple trees
Walking past the huge scary brush pile

Happy to be heading back towards the pasture

walking up to the barn

Nemo & Harmony checking the situation

It has been a long time since our horses have been down to our woods, or any distance from the barn/pastures. We went for one trail ride after purchasing our land three years ago. Harmony has never explored our land. I hope her walk-a-bout days (and Nemo's) will be coming too. The first steps towards our original dream...

The dragon breathing diminished and everyone survived without incident. All is well in Koda's world, and he even got to go in the barn first :) 


santa paws

The day after Christmas, was awkwardly quiet. I had enjoyed grand dog chaos (most of it) the week prior, and as always hosted Christmas Eve. It was good, exhausting and loud. Grandkids sure have a way of livening things up! 

Christmas will always be bittersweet for me, a result of childhoods lasting affects. It doesn't matter how much, or how little, I do. This time of year brings out all the feels. Good and not so good. I practice letting go, a lot. I will never master the holidays, or letting go, but I will always try. A time of year when my heart is reminded, that less is more.

There was only one gift left under the tree come Christmas morning, for our bundle of energy. It was a doggie delight packaged deal. Tank didn't know what to do with four new toys all at once! The destructible kind that I don't normally get him. He was like a kid in a candy store. It was too cute, and as always he made us smile. A lot.

Tank (1 year old)

I hope each of you enjoyed a merry & memorable Christmas season!!


overdue horse post

I haven't posted about our horses (at home) since last Spring, whoops!! I just hit delete to no less then three crafted paragraphs, after a week or more of trying to find the right words. Instead, I am sharing an update in pictures of late Summer into Fall:

a rafter of six turkeys
Nemo's turn to stand guard
heading to their favorite corner

finished fence & path

Fall trees glow

horses hanging out in the upper pasture
during hunting season

our October early winter was beeeautiful

We are still waiting for more snow. I am hoping to find words to share before the end of the year. Just incase they don't flow, have a wonderful close to your 2019!!


our barn will never be the same

As you may recall, last summer three kitten siblings came home with us to be our barn cats. After twice a day gentling for what seemed like forever, they have all come around to be absolute lovies. Even Brad's wild tabico kitten. 

Our kitties are far from feral, and aren't really even classic barn cats. They are more like indoor-outdoor cats. Or will be, once we let them explore the great outdoors. We wanted to give them the best chance of survival by getting them fixed, shots and preventive care before letting them roam. Especially since this area seems to have an above average number of feral cats. 

With two females, we opted to take our kittens to our regular vet. We do have feral cat Spay Clinics with reasonably priced altering. However, depending on the clinic we learned cats get little to no medication and are not monitored. It was a pricey decision, times three. Call me crazy, but I even had them chipped.

July/August at 3-4 months:
Leo (a big overly friendly vocal guy) 
Purr (Brad's wide eyed cautious sweet girl)

Tinkerbell (a very quick tiny playful girl)

Tank is their favorite play toy

The kittens love "helping" with chores

September/October at 4-5 months:

Tinkerbell, randomly attempts flying at any given moment

Leo, can be frequently found lounging

Purr, always watches before joining up

Leo and Purr's favorite thing to do is "help" Brad fill hay bags. Disclaimer, no cats were fed or harmed in the filling of hay bags.

Yes, that is a cat in the hay bag (silly Purr climbed in) 
Leo always joins in the fun
Entertainment at it's finest
Brad's cat likes to be near him, if filling bags she is on him.
Purr loves him best.
Leo frequently hitches a ride

The kittens absolutely love the dogs!
Remi (grand-dog) isn't around as much, so it's extra fun to bug her
She is fluffy fun, especially her wagging tail.

Purr, Tinkerbell and Leo

November/December at 6-7 months:

The kittens spent 10 days in jail 'er heated barn saloon
healing after getting fixed (view through window)

They were so happy to get out,
where everything is a toy (Leo)

Purr loving on Tank 

Leo & Tank have become best friends
(Brads iphone pic)

There is no avoiding these lovable kittens (Leo)
Even the guy who doesn't like cats, loves them all.

Our kitties seem to like having the run of the barn. We have plenty of open windows (weather permitting) with fresh air views, mice to catch and everything is an obstacle to play with. Let me tell you, these three little furry trouble makers have changed the dynamics in our barn. It will never be the same. For the better.