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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Tuesday

~ Butterflies near the wildflowers ~

Post Script ~ In response to queries regarding "what kind of butterfly..." I believe this might be a Morpho butterfly, of the genus Morpho. Although the research I unearthed said this particular butterfly is found mostly in Mexico and Central, South America it certainly looks similar if not the same butterfly.

What do you think?

I've visited a butterfly farm in Aruba and found it fascinating. I'll find those photos and do a blog post about the varying types of butterflies. There are also butterfly farms in the USA and some brides and grooms choose to release butterflies rather than throw rice or bird seed. A rather charming custom I believe and, depending upon the season, far more beneficial than rice and a lot prettier than birdseed! -smile-

When I stopped to pick wildflowers, I saw these butterflies at a mud puddle. While I don't know, my guess is while they are supping water, they are getting minerals at the same time. They didn't seem threatened by me, nor should they be, but allowed me to walk right to them, take my photos and then leave. Beautiful, aren't they?!

~ A small group of butterflies, some flitted in the air, others rested, drinking from the puddle. ~

~ The horses start their campaign for re-placement in the herd. ~

In the wild, stallions are kept in the herd for breeding and protection but it's the mares who lead the herd. It's the mares who decide where to settle for the night, where to foal...have their babies..., when and where to drink. It's a matriarchal society and the stallions always defer to the mares. In my small herd of eight horses, there are two mares who vie for dominance...Peaches, the oldest, and Tumbleweed, the newcomer. Over the years, they have reached a somewhat easy truce with Peaches giving way to Tumbleweed as long as Tumbles minds her manners. If Tumbles gets out of line with the other horses, Peaches steps in and corrects the situation. If Tumbles starts picking on Dandy, Peaches will kick some major horse fanny; Dandy is Peaches' favorite and there is NO picking on Dandy!

The herd chases each other around the round pen, first clockwise...~

~ ...then counter-clockwise, in the upper pasture. ~

Lightly, the first horse born at Thistle Cove Farm, is an "easy keeper". That mare could be fed bread and water and she'd gain weight, crying all the while she was being starved. She's such an easy keeper, she has to be put in a smaller lot in late spring early summer so she doesn't gorge, overeat, colic and founder. She's foundered once in her short life and the outcome usually isn't so good the second time 'round. All that to say, she and her brother, Dandy, have been separated from the other horses for a couple of months now. Dandy didn't need to lose as much weight but it's always best for animals, humans as well I believe, to be in pairs as they fare better emotionally.

I decided it was safe to let Lightly and Dandy join the herd, forgetting HayJ, the black and white gelding...castrated male...picks on Dandy, the other castrated male. HayJ is a American Curly cross Percheron and a big'un. He's at least twice the size of Dandy, both in weight and height so it's not a fair fight. Both Lightly and Dandy are the foals of Peaches and she takes up for both of them but Dandy especially.

~ HayJ, chasing Dandy, as Peaches, Dandy's mother runs to intervene. ~

~ The horses begin to settle down. ~

~ Tumbleweed decides the excitement is over so it's time for a back scratch. ~

Abbie, Sadie and Sam went with me to the upper pasture gate but I told them to stay behind the gate. Abbie will listen but Sadie and Sam are young yet, still headstrong and think they know best. I had the horse whip with me and it has a reach of about 15 feet. I don't have to hit the dogs, all I have to do is whistle the whip over their heads and they run like the devil has been loosed on them. This is a good thing as it helps me keep them safe from a distance. Oh, don't get me wrong...I'm not adverse to popping them with the whip...better a pop with the whip than getting trampled by a horse but as the whistle of the whip still works, they are saving themselves the actual physical pain. The same premise works with the horses; they detest the whistle of the whip and will turn and run the other direction. This is good, especially when it's me and me alone standing in the field and they are running full tilt boogie toward me. There's no way I can hold my own with one horse, much less eight of the beasts.

I earned my supper tonight but the soup is a bit different this time.

~ Garbanzo Bean, Tomato, Artichoke Heart Soup ~

Oh, it still has garbanzo beans, tomatoes, artichoke hearts but I added some corn and saffron which gives it that lovely deep golden color. It was still served over home made croutons...this time cheese croutons...and topped with Parmesean cheese. I also stirred a spoonful of pesto into each bowl and, yes, it was BETTER than before! How can it be...but it was! I believe I could eat soup, at least, once a day and will freeze the leftovers for another meal another day.

For supper tonight we're having fresh corn sliced off the cob, put into a bowl with salt, pepper and butter, sliced tomatoes with pesto and provolone cheese, and, for desert, sliced peaches with the banana walnut bread. We usually drink milk, sometimes I'll have ice tea or water but that varies little. We don't drink sodas and only buy them when company expects to drink soda; our limestone water is so sweet, it seems disrespectful to drink soda pop. How can God's good water be improved upon? It cannot.

Any leftover corn will be made into corn chowder for tomorrow's lunch or supper.

~ Banana Walnut bread, sliced and ready for the toaster ~

~ Miss Maggie, in the Granny Smith apple tree ~

~ Miss Emma in the Granny Smith apple tree ~

Miss Emma stays in during the night. Her cold is better, she's still receiving Lysine twice a day and she's improving, slowly. She's a quick little thing, waiting at the door to dart out once the door has been opened for the dogs. The puppies take their time, as do the older dogs, when the door is open. They must reach out their muzzles first, testing the air, seeing if there's anything worthwhile in going OUT, then, and only then, do they, sometimes, stretch a paw toward the porch. Most of the time, they need a little nudge in the nether regions to help them decide.

Today, Miss Emma, Miss Maggie and Miss Maddie, great friends three, chased each other around and around, up the fence post, into the apple tree, down the fence post, down the driveway to the barn...NO! You are NOT to go to the barn, the barn cats will have your guts for garters and may manage to chase you into the road. Not a good thing. Not a good thing at all! So, I allowed the dogs to "sort of" chase the kittens back up the driveway, towards the house and the kittens decided climbing the apple tree would be lots of fun. They look like little pixies as they chase each other around the tree limbs, although I couldn't get Miss Maddie in the photo. Miss Emma and Miss Maggie are photo to speak...and took up all the room in the image.

~ Studio Wildflowers ~

Today the studio wildflowers include Queen Anne's Lace as well as a bunch of other flowers I either can't remember their names or don't know their names. Still, it's beautiful, isn't it?

I'm sorry but I have to end on a sad note; today we say good-bye to Miss Kitty. The cancer is much worse and has spread not only to her bones, in the form of growths, but also to her organs, specifically her lungs. She's begun to experience pain, is having difficulty breathing and, after thirteen good years, it's time. Dr. Anne will be here sometime today and the injections will be administered and she'll be laid to rest with all the other cats that have gone on before. It's always sad to say good-bye but I try and focus on the good years and the fact she was saved from the side of the road where surely she would have been killed. Miss Kitty has been a good lap kitty and has even shared our bed this week. She has born well the indignities of various dogs sharing her space and my life. Yes, I do know she's not a human but there's no doubt in my mind she'll be in heaven, with the others, waiting on me. Jesus' lap will have to do until I go home. -smile-
~ My Beloved Miss Kitty ~

Blessings ~ Miss Kitty ~ another beautiful day ~ sadness to balance the joy ~ expectations ~ heaven ~ Miss Maggie, Miss Maddie, Miss Emma ~ horses ~ more rain for the thirsty earth ~


  1. Wow, so much to comment on! First, the butterflys are beautiful, the color is so deep it almost looks unreal. Do you know what kind they are?

    Second, I enjoyed learning about your horses, they are beautiful creatures. It's amazing to learn about their individual personalities.

    I love your soup especially the addition of the saffron. It has my lips smacking! The cornbread looks perfectly baked too!

  2. Sounds like you have a lot to look forward to when you go home Sandra. I'm hoping to meet up with my beloved dog, Jacko, when I go. I'm sorry you lost your Miss Kitty, but feel sure you did the right thing, sparing her the pain. A lovely post, all about your horses and kitties. I did so enjoy it.
    Blessings, Star

  3. I didn't even notice Miss Maggie in the first picture! The photos are beautiful and I learn so much about animals on here... all the talk about Dandy was making me giggle.

  4. Thank you for a nice journey through your day. The blue butterflies are pretty. All of your animals are so lucky to live with you. I am sorry you have to say goodbye to Miss Kitty, I too know that when I enter heaven I will have my beloved pets there to greet me. My mouth watered as I read your menu. The soup looks delicious.

  5. ms. sandra, i am so ready to go but your blog is so beckoning, and i guess i'll let the boys fly their kite a few more minutes. i love the way your tuesday went - as i love all the ways your days go - and thank you for sharing all these wonderful (even the sad ones - bye, ms. kitty - ) with us. good night...

  6. My dear Sandra, As always, thank you for such a lovely post. I am happy to hear that I am not the only horsey person who is constantly having to "reorganize" their herd!
    We also have a founder mare. It happened a few years ago, a very long recovery and lot of prayers for her. I now use grazing muzzles for most of their turn-out time; giving them an hour without them each day at the end of their 8-9 hour turn-out time. Our grass, like yours, is incredibly lush and rich!
    I am so very sorry to hear the news of Miss Kitty. It is so hard to lose a loved one. Over the years I have learned to be grateful for the fact that we do not have to let them suffer,we can let their spirits go on to Heaven where there is no more pain.

    In Feb. 2008, I lost my Siamese cat, Maverick. He was 21 and I had him since he was 8 weeks old. We were the best of friends. He went off to college with me, and for years as I worked in the show horse business he went to whatever farm, in whichever state that I went to!
    I worked in England for 6 months, and my grandmother took care of him where she was living in Ohio. She cried when I came home....because Maverick wouldn't be staying with her anymore!

    He loved to eat "people" food and had a thing for Playtex rubber gloves! He would carry it around in his mouth, while he did a Siamese yowl! I have his first glove and his last in a keepsake box with his baby teeth, whiskers etc.

    As you can tell I could talk about my "kids" forever. Because that is what they are-family. My life is better for having shared so many years with Maverick. Your animals are so very lucky to have you, Sandra. I know how grateful you are to have all of them in your life. Miss kitty was blessed to be a part of your life. When she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, Maverick was waiting.

    Many blessings to you and your wonderful family.


  7. I also love soup. It is such a comfort food. I made Broccoli-Potato Cheese soup today. love your post .

  8. You have such a nice blog. I really enjoy reading it

  9. What kind of butterflies are they? They are beautiful.

    As with your horses, it really is the female dog and sheep that ends up calling the shots no matter how big and impressive the male is...and although I do not consider people animals, you can bet every dominant male has a female in his life who affects his every decision...

    I am sorry to hear about Miss Kitty.

  10. Hey Sandra, came by for a morning visit and was not disapointed! Great post! I LOVED the butterflies, we only see one occasionally and I wish they were everywhere! I think about getting a horse,Hubby wants to get me a Welsh pony but now I'm wondering if it would be lonley without another one to talk too! HA!
    Sorry about Miss Kitty, I too had
    a Miss Kitty(named after the country song Should a Been A Cowboy)who died of Feline Leukemia.You're right, Jesus's lap is a fine place to wait for you!

  11. Anonymous12:22 PM EDT

    I soooo enjoyed my visit at your little piece of heaven on earth. So sorry about your little kitty. We lost two animals in one year....with great joy sometimes comes great sorrow.

    Will be back again and again,

  12. Hi Sandra,

    I'm so sorry about Miss Kitty. She was blessed to have found you and to have had a loving home with you for so many years. And I agree that Jesus' lap is a great place for our little furfaces to wait for us to catch up.


  13. Great and interesting usual.

    I love watching the interactions of my horses although I have only three. Some are such subtle movements and others are down right "get out of my face!"

  14. Hello Katherine Aucoin - thanks for visiting and I think the butterfly may be a Morpho. Please see my post script to this entry for more info.

    Hello Star, we've lost so many this year...eight animals! I told Dave I'm ready for the deaths to cease for a while and I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. -smile-

    Hello Dandy, he's called Dandy or Dandy Man and he's a character. He loves me, I love him and he'll come to me for kisses and nose rubs. Heck, almost all my animals come when called; they have twice as many legs as I, they need to come to me!

    Hello Leslie, yes, all our beloved animals will greet us on the other shore. That's what keeps me happy when I have to say good-bye.

    Hello Cherie, I know you're tired because of the difficult work you do. Thanks for visiting and hope you had a good night's rest.

    Hello Misha, it's always hard to say good-bye but when it's the right thing for them, saying good-bye is easier. I have thought about grazer muzzles but have never carried through. Lightly would hate me, I'm sure. I'd rather put her in a short lot for a couple of months -smile-.

    Hello Woebegone Cottage, your soup sounds wonderful as well; best it was delish!

    Hello Robin, thanks for visiting and don't be a stranger. It makes me happy you enjoy my blog, thank you.

    Hello Kathy, I believe it's a Morpho, please see post for more info and let me know your thoughts. Yes, roosters crow but the hen delivers the goods! smile

    Hello Carol, the butterflies are beautiful and I love watching them. Get two Welsh ponies and drive them to carriage...lovely!

    Hello Karen, many thanks for visiting and come back soon. It's been a tough year for us losing animals; we've lost eight to death and I'm ready for a break!

    Hello Julie, I feel God brings animals into our lives for all our sakes. When we're open to Him, our lives are more richly lived, more blessed, more righteous, more grace filled, more filled with love. Who, I ask you, has enough of any of those things?! smile

    Hello Carol, animals teach us so much when we have 'ears to hear and eyes to see'...don't you tink?

  15. Sorry about Miss she and Mani are chasing butterflies together right now!

  16. i want to come to your house- the view, the wonderful looking dinner, dessert, animals- sounds kinda like my kind of heaven!

  17. Hi Leslie and thanks; I know they are both happier and making the butterflies lives a bit more exciting! -smile-

    Hi Life is Good...come on down! This is the nicest place I've found to hang out until I'm called home -smile-.

  18. Anonymous2:26 AM EDT

    I enjoyed learning about your horses, they are beautiful creatures. It's amazing to learn about their individual personalities.

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