Relaxation? For Me it is.

My husband and I adopted two horses from a rescue in  Rockwall, Texas a few months ago. We already have 6 donkeys, lots of dogs, 2 inside cats, a barn cat and her unofficial friend, and 4 hens.

Some people wonder why anyone would want so many animals. My question is why wouldn’t anyone want as many animals as they could have?  I have always loved animals- really any kind of animals. Heck, we even have coyotes in the woods behind us. One day one was in my yard looking for food. What  a beautiful animal she was. But,she was starving and a  mama at that. I did not occur to me it was a coyote until I realized how scared she was. Coyotes are intensely afraid of humans. In fact, the only time they come out in the day is if they are hungry or sick. She finally scampered off, too afraid to take the food I offered her. I can honestly say I have only been afraid of one animal. A boxer. I was jumped by a boxer when I was a little girl and I’ve been afraid of them ever since. I’ve never gotten close enough to another one to resolve my fear. Maybe one day.

My husband, Stephen, used to be the one to feed the donkeys . He also fed Prince, the barn dog and Barn Cat. I thought the object of having a barn cat was to eat the rats, but I was mistaken. I took care of the inside animals…until… we adopted Licorice, the Tennessee Walking Horse and Houdini, the miniature horse.  They changed my life … and my mind.

I wake up about seven in the morning and begin feeding the animals before tasting my morning coffee. I feed the donkeys, the horses, water all animals, check for eggs, wash out the henhouse and freshen the water kept for the dogs. Then I just go about my day. I don’t mind waiting a while for my coffee. Most days, the animals start my day off perfectly, so no worries.

I go about the day, cleaning here and there, maybe folding clothes – maybe doing nothing, if I choose. At one o’clock, I watch General Hospital-  a show I’ve watched for over 50 years. Yep, I’m a charter member of the club. At four o’clock, I’m in for an hour of Judge Judy. Judge Judy is my hero! She says what she means and means what she says and that’s something these days. After Judge Judy- feeding time.

I’ve really gotten to where I love this time with my animals. Since Houdini is a bit heavy for a miniature horse, he only gets grass or hay , but I must tie him up while Licorice eats pellets because he loves to eat her food. She is a feisty 22 year old horse and needs to have the additional pellets to keep the weight on. While she eats, I go feed Bambi, who has just become a mama donkey for the second time. The other donkeys get hay – pellets in the morning, but not so they become overweight. It is never good to have an overweight donkey. After I feeding everyone, I sit in the pastures , watching Licorice eat.

Licorice has a funny little ritual during feeding time. When I bring her food, she waits at the gate, nickering- welcoming me – the food. She turns circles at the gate until I whisper gently, “Back girl- get back.” She backs off from the gate while I open it and set the food down. She dives in, nosing some of the food out of the bowl, and stomping her right leg. Pawing the ground, she eats her food quickly. She is not a dominant horse and she will walk off if Houdini say, were to walk up behind her. She is much larger than he, but he’ll get her food.  I sit in my lawn chair and marvel at this animal. She is majestic.

After eating, Licorice saunters over to the salt block, and licks for a good two minutes before she gets a long drink of water. Back to the salt lick, and back to the water. She eats a little grass and then comes to my chair for a pet on her brow as if to thank me for feeding her.

So, the truth of the matter is that my afternoon ritual

sweet Licorice
sweet Licorice

especially, is the most relaxing part of the day. There is nothing quite like sitting in the pasture, hot wind blowing in my hair, watching my animals being nourished with food while I am being nourished by God.

It’s Funny- Not Funny HaHa, Funny Odd

I have three children- 2 sons and 1 daughter.One of my sons, my youngest, Micah,  has Cystic Fibrosis. If you have never heard of Cystic Fibrosis, I would not be surprised. I’ll give you a quick  summary. Here goes:

We all have mucous in our bodies. “Normal” bodies have mucous that is thin and slippery and is throughout our bodies. A child with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has mucous in his/her body that is very thick and sticky. When the mucous is thick and sticky, it clogs organs such as the lungs, the pancreas, the liver. A child sweats profusely, cannot digest food properly, does not usually gain weight well , gets  lung infections, pneumonia and the like often . The mucous, because it sticks to the lungs during infection causes the lungs to scar and the child or young adult to lose lung function. Some people with CF get lung transplants because of this. Some are too sick to transplant and some don’t want transplants. There is no cure as yet, although the medication breakthroughs have been tremendous of late. For many children and young adults (and occasionally old guys)- well, they die young. 

So, when Micah was diagnosed with CF at about 9 weeks of age, I had a lot to learn quickly. My schedule was busy  (remember, I had two older kids). So, Micah would wake very early in the morning ready to eat, but he had to have a breathing treatment first. Next, chest physiotherapy (CPT) (clapping his back, sides and chest 3-5 minutes a side) and then I had to make sure he got his applesauce (which hid digestive enzymes that were bitter tasting) before I gave him his bottle. His formula had been changed many times, but we finally became a test family for Good Start Formula before it went on the market in 1989 or so. While I was taking care of him, I was also getting breakfast for David and Mandi . Mandi was about 12 or so , so she could get her ownself ready for school. David watched “Zoobilee Zoo.”  Okay. After breakfast was naptime for him and an hour or so later, I’d start all over again. Most of the time, he had breathing treatments three times a day, but if he was sick, it could be as often as every two or three hours. 

Well, fast forward a few years. Micah is almost 26 years old! By all accounts, he should have died before he was one year old. God has had His hand on this boy all his life. He has lived 25 years longer than anyone thought he would (except us). The other day, while doing a breathing treatment, he coughed up some blood – not a good sign, we all thought. He wisely called the doctor and went in for a CT scan of his chest. 

Today, I received a call from him saying the doctor called and said he had a subtle pneumonia going on- so subtle that it was not seen on xray. I am so grateful God chose to bless Micah with that blood. No, I’m not some kind of crack pot. But, I know my son. Had blood not been a factor, Micah, as diligent as he is with his health, might have missed that he was not well and just carried on until the pneumonia got worse. As a result, he has only home IV’s to do instead of a 14 day hospital stay. 

Isn’t it funny how God chooses to get our attention? Thanks God!