Fraternaling the twins: Which one are you?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sometimes I'm just a regular Nellie Normal...
Although I do have an annoying tendency to think I'm peanut butter according to my husband (let's see how thin I can spread myself this week *rolls eyes*). He's right though. Do you do it too? My poor neglected marvelously patient friend had to wait months for me to finish this frame for the name I had crocheted for her; it was a gift for her parents and thankfully she wasn't in too much of a rush. I'd been making them for years, but never attempted to mat and frame one before, so I wanted to give it a shot (and why, oh why did I feel the need to try?) It was worth it, though, in the end. Then there was Meghann of Little Studio (another long suffering wonderful friend) who has also had to wait forty forevers for a little something extra I wanted to make for her as a wedding present...actually, I'm not sure hers has even arrived in her mailbox just yet. I seem to be stuck moving at the speed of sloth and I'm getting all over my own nerves while I'm at it (grrr). On top of that, I often sit down at my desk to do one thing, and wind up doing something else altogether (having completely forgotten why I sat down in the first place *sigh*).
I am, however, always happy when I open the mailbox to find something that is neither bill nor junk. After all, it seems to be so doggone rare these days doesn't it? It was Christmas in July this month compliments of Stacey over at Behind the Bit. She sent me some fun goodies not once, but twice (and how awesome is that I ask you?) The first was for a correct answer on a blog post; and the second, for  regular voting in Purina's  Blog-O-Spondent contest. The grass mileage pun was terrible [I loved it!] so of course I immediately put it in a place of honor on the Epic Farms' filing cabinet. I have to admit the sticky notes came in awfully handy; I'd run completely out and there's only so much room on my forehead. Not to mention that it's a total pain to have to write everything backwards. Ba-dum-bump.
...but other times I'm sooooo her strange sister Abby:

My latest (greatest? flakiest?) undertaking would have to be The Piddlin' Puddle Project (the stranger the idea the sillier the name I assign to it; what can I say?). Okay, I'll admit to having some pretty weird notions regarding the horses; we have conversations - the horses and I - about these things on a daily basis (and no, that's not the strange part). This one has to do with housekeeping issues (so please pardon the picture below). Purportedly, stallions are your basic neat freaks when it comes to (ahem) bodily functions; geldings fall in the messy middle; and mares are, essentially, serious slobs. Initially, the girls were all (pardon my French) tinkling in their stalls at mealtimes which, while not a huge deal, was kind of gross; not to mention a bit stinky when the weather started warming up. Since I knew it was possible to potty train other species, I started to wonder if there could be such a thing as being horsebroken (and wow, that was bad :o) It wasn't long before I decided to give it a try; you never know, right?
It is important to note that our horses are not KEPT in their stalls; they are only in them at mealtimes, voluntarily for shade and to get out of the rain (this is definitely not a reasonable option for full-time stabled horses). Would you believe it worked? The short answer is that horses are creatures of habit which, coupled with [my] daily consistency was largely responsible for our success. It took us about 3 months for the four girls to completely relocate their tinkletime habit from inside to outside the stalls. Considering that Taya actually stopped in mid-stream the second week (I spoke her name sharply and stomped my foot on the ground), I was pretty sure it was a realizable goal. Without yelling (or hitting), here's what I did: made an obnoxious noise (clapped/stomped my foot or the buzzer/wrong answer sound), stated No and their name quite firmly, then immediately "covered up" the puddle with dirt. Whoever had done it would be the last one to eat for that meal. Their stall door was closed afterward, and remained closed between meals for the next 2 or 3 days (allowing the odor, barely discernible to people but easily detected by the horse, to dissipate). This meant they had to wait outside their stall while everyone else got to wait "inside", and increased the chances of them piddling where I wanted them to. If they did, I made it a point to dash out and unlock the stall and let them in as a reward. While there was some initial confusion among the girls about the exact issue (the location of the bodily function, not the function itself), consistency got us through it fairly quickly. What was interesting to me, was that I never had to lock more than two doors at one time. Food is a very strong motivator, so it didn't take too long before they had all figured it out and we were having lots more hits than misses. Lady picked up on it very quickly, and now will even walk back out of her room to "go" before a meal. The funniest [stubbornest] one was Bella, our resident brainiac. She tried so hard to find a way to get away with it: discreetly using the corner of her stall one time thinking she wouldn't get caught; then, when that didn't work, she tried putting her feed bucket on top of her puddle (it had already soaked into the ground) in an attempt to hide it; and when that didn't work, she tried piddling next door in Sara's stall, thinking to have the added benny of getting Sara (the only one who has never gone in her stall) into trouble. I gotta admit, she was pretty doggone creative with her defiance :o)
The last incident was about a week ago; and it was Bella's way of expressing her opinion. I had opted to brush Rina first after breakfast, and what was I thinking going out of order like that? (It's normally Bella, but she had not finished eating). At the very next meal, Bella marched into her stall, whinnied loudly to get my attention, then showed her irritation with me by making a very large puddle smack in the middle of her stall; glaring at me the whole time. Sorry chickie, although I love you to pieces and value your opinion most of the time, this one's definitely a no go. Annoyed or not you're still eating last. Find all this hard to believe? Maybe so, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  
Oh, and I'm sure you've noticed the blog's new look; do you like it? It's still a work in progress; and I really couldn't say WHAT possessed me to do it as I have driven myself completely 'round the bend
this week tweaking and squeaking [okay, snarling] at my screen over Blogger's new design changes and subsequent hiccups *snarl*. Last, but certainly not least, we were invited to Duke's 3rd birthday party over at Ann's Snap Edit Scrap. Since we weren't sure we'd make it I didn't tell Duke we were coming, but I think it's safe to tell him now.The girls made the doggie card pretty easily (though spelling is obviously not their forte), but then there was the problem of what to wear...What about a party hat?

Well, that's it for this week (more than enough, probably). So how about you? Are you a Nellie or an Abby? Maybe something in between? I'm pretty sure we could always use some company here on the Funny Farm. Yep, I'm talkin' to you, Abby...   ;o)


  1. Oh I can so relate to being peanut butter :) I came up to the old computer to print out some pictures and somehow ended up here instead. But boy am I glad I did. Your training session was quite the accomplishment :) Gotta love that Bella, I like her attitude. What a surprise that they showed up for Dukes party too. Tell the girls that we're happy they came and a special hug to Bella for wearing the hat. She looks Marvelous!

  2. I am also peanut butter. Something about high functioning ADD.

    Horse pee inside stalls because they have bedding. Bedding decreases the likelyhood urine is going to splash on their legs. True fact. Try placing a good amount of bedding outside someplace, I bet they would use it.

  3. Great pictures for Duke, never been to a animal B Day Party.Enjoyed your tutorial and site.I rode Elvis last week in the NE Sandhills.

  4. Oh what a great post - I've missed our daily chats, so it is good to see you're still galloping along (as usual, yikes girl, you gotta bottle that energy and sell me some!).
    I got a notice today that I have a package at the post office awaiting me, so maybe that is it? You silly, wonderful woman, you didn't have to make me anything, just having you to chat with is enough!!
    I am AMAZED that you trained the girls to potty outdoors (geez, did I just use baby talk for horses? I think I did *rolls eyes*). You should patent that and sell it. Seriously, make a YouTube video whenever you aren't working 30 hour days and people will be amazed.
    Love the new blog layout - very stylish :)
    Have a great weekend and enjoy your clean stalls!!
    Meg and Arwen

  5. I just love reading your posts! I always learn something new like the Piddlin' Puddle Project! Bella is a certainly a spunky one! The photos for Duke's party are cute!

  6. I'd like to work on the no stall peeing and pooping sessions............

    Ours, like yours, can come and go in their stalls as they please but it seems that that's a favorite "relieving" place.

    That crochet is gorgeous! You have some lucky friends..

  7. Ann: Always nice to know I'm not the only one *grin*. Glad you liked the hat; I'll pass the word to Bella. Happy official birthday Duke!
    Sydney: *Laugh* I'm afraid there is no bedding in the stalls, just a natural sand/dirt floor the same as it is outside. The stalls are basically a glorified rooftop and built like a shedrow. Except for this past winter, the climate here is such that we don't need a whole lot in the way of shelter. That does make total sense though :o)
    OutOnThePrairie: Thanks so much for stopping by! Ann (of the first comment up there) is quite the clever girl; she organized an online blogging birthday for her little man. Such fun!

  8. Meghann: I sure hope that's it! I really hate waiting (HaHa). It was supposed to take a whole week to get there (and are you kidding me?) Yeesh. One thing that scares me about video is my talking to the horses *Laugh*. Half the time I sound like some 300lb society matron mollycoddling her high dollar Pomeranian. It can be mortifying in mixed company, but the girls just eat it up! (glad you like the new look - I do too :o)
    BeadedTail: Oh thank you *blush*. Bella is definitely a character and very, very smart.
    Carol: It's a habit; they can smell the pee and will continue to go in the same area; same with the poop. Taya does both in the same place, but the others only tinkle (they stop to poop on the way down the hill). Try scooping up the wet stuff up and putting it outside; maybe put some bedding out there as Sydney suggested. It was a pretty tedious process, but I really wanted to keep those stalls clean so it was worth the hassle in the end :o)

  9. Well I'm definitely peanut butter too and spread myself too thin. You did have a busy week.

    Loved the pictures for the birthday card. I think you've got lots of stick-to-it-ivness with the stall training. My horses would never do it and I just don't have the time to train them. Bella is hilarious, you gotta love a mare like that.Reminds me of Sweetie and Dusty.

  10. GreyHorse: Everybody seems to have related very well to the peanut butter comment. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. Bella is definitely a pistol (as they say - whoever "they" are) and she keeps me on my toes. She also understands the power of laughter and has shamelessly used it to keep herself out of trouble on more than one occasion :o)

  11. Great pictures of the horses in their cute little hats for Duke.Glad you went to the party.
    We love peanut butter too and do understand about spreading it very thin.
    Have a good week end.

  12. "Horses Get great GRASS mileage"!! hahaha, great!! Love it!

  13. Rebecca: Isn't that hilarious? Next to alliterations, puns are my favorite Englishism ;o)

  14. Cute post ~ sweet blog!

    I will be back! :)
    xo Catherine

  15. Catherine: Always happy to see a new [smiling] face, and thanks for the comment! :o)

  16. Bella, you posed so pretty in the birthday hat! Hats are hard to wear, unless they have a chin-strap.

  17. Daisy: Actually, I used one of the bobby pins I had in my hair *laugh*. Worked like a charm :o)

  18. Who would have thought to potty train their horses?? Great job!

    The birthday pictures are priceless!

  19. Jeni: Thanks so much for dropping by. I readily admit to being on the flakey side of things and am willing to try almost anything at least once (including potty training). Imagine my surprise when it actually worked *grin*. Glad you liked the pics!

Your comments really brighten my day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...