A blast from the past and a mystery from history... Part 1

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Well okay, it was Monday (but doesn't that count?)
When we bought our house (over 20 years ago - and eek) the first person to officially welcome me to the neighborhood was Sandy from "two doors" down. I was hugely pregnant with DD (now in college), and she was just finishing up nursing school. It wasn't long into our initial chat that the subject of horses came up; turned out we'd both collected Breyer Horses growing up and she was every bit (haha) as horse crazy as I was. Of course she actually had real horses to play with, gorgeous Appaloosas to be specific, which [as the official stand-in for the Goodyear Blimp] were temporarily out of the question for me. She turned into one of the best friends I'd ever had, and I was devastated when her husband's company transferred him and they had to move away not long after DD first birthday. She came back for DD's second birthday party and we went to visit them the following year, but eventually life got in the way and we lost touch (this was before the marvelous age of technology and handy sites like PeekYou ;o)
PHOTO: One of my Breyer horses from childhood, the Appaloosa "Stud Spider" (in honor of my long-lost pal and those speckled and freckled four-legged loves of her life).
Fast forward a REALLY long time to about 5 years ago. I started going to that workshop in North Alabama I blogged about last time. We went right past the area she lived in every time we went, but with all those country roads and turns there was no way we could find it by ourselves. Even after the internet became readily available I still couldn't find her. I had long ago lost the solitary letter she wrote me containing her phone number and a Rural Route address. I'd look for her from time to time over the years, but even with Facebook I was coming up empty; until this year that is. For some reason it suddenly occurred to me to Google "Appaloosa Horse" in conjunction with her name and that netted me a two year old ad for a filly she had for sale (complete with an email address - woo!) Thankfully, she'd hung on to that email address even though she no longer used it and answered me a couple of days later. We stopped by to visit on our way back from Talladega, but since DH had to work we kept it pretty short. I found myself agreeing to make the trip back up there for a visit over spring break.
PHOTO: One of my favorite photos of DD as a toddler. She is "holding" Sandy's mane man (affectionately known as Little Man - he lived to be in his mid-20's and passed away only last year).
I am [deliriously] happy to report that my fabulous friend has not changed one iota; she is still a blast to hang out with as much as she was "back in the day". We had the best visit, and it was just plain old FUN hanging out and playing with all her critters (that particular F-word seems to have disappeared from my life recently, somewhere between the medical misadventures and DD's accident).I'm posting some shots from our GPD [Geriatric Play Date] *snicker* ...Enjoy the view!
PHOTO: Sandy has three gorgeous pure white peacocks; Shrek, Fiona, and "Junior" (Junior's gender is yet to be determined). This shot is of Fiona (L) and Junior (R). Aren't they awesome?  
The male, Shrek, was not speaking to anyone at all yesterday; apparently his beak was out of joint over a piece of baling twine, his foot, and some *cough* interfering female who had the audacity to remove it ;o) He stayed up in the rafters and wouldn't even talk to his own family (and isn't that just like a man? *laugh*). I managed to sneak a picture of him for you though...

I've heard of screaming meanies, but I have to admit that the grinning nanny was definitely a new one on me. As you can see by her photo, however, I'm not making it up. It's always nice to see happy animals and it was obvious that the animals all loved Sandy by the way they watched her and/or followed her about. Side Note: If you would like to wake up in the mornings via cardiac arrest, I can personally recommend the Screaming Meanie Alarm Clock. My husband has one, and it is a surefire way to get that ticker moving in a hurry (or stop it all together; stupid thing is loud enough to scare the snot out of the people in the next county)
Sampson, a Great Pyrenees, was a huge hit with DD. He is every bit as handsome on the inside as he is out. For those of you unfamiliar with the breed, these dogs have become extremely popular among livestock owners. They are excellent guard dogs for herds and/or flocks and are quite content to spend their days (and nights) watching over their furry charges. At 11 months, Sampson is still on the puppy side of things, but he seems to have [mostly] grown into his feet :o) What cracked me up though, was his unexpected pasture pal. 
It seems that Sampson's bestest bud is a little donkey named "Jackie Chan". I did a double take and blinked several times before snapping this next photo; Sampson was washing Jackie's neck. The little guy even lowered and tilted his head so the dog could reach it better. I would have said, "Don't forget behind the ears", but I think he already washed there. How funny is that? 
I think I'll save the rest of the pictures for my next post and leave you with our mystery from history photo. Spring has sprung here and everyone is shedding large quantities of hair all over the place. This could just be a ginormous hairball, or it could be something else altogether... What do you think it is?
Oh! Can't forget my sky shot, can I? When I got home, the sun had already set but I did manage to capture this photo with my cell phone camera as I hurried across the pasture to feed. Pretty neat, huh? Gotta love technology ;o)
Have an awesome week everyone!


  1. I think I need to come stay with you for a few weeks Jen. How wonderful it would be to be surrounded by all those lovely farm animal friends!

    How wonderful to catch up with your long lost friend after all those years!

    Happy Wednesday friend!
    xo Catherine

  2. How fantastic that you were able to find your long lost friend. I love the powers of GOOGLE!

    I had that same Appy Breyer as a child. Unfortunately, I played with him so much that the back leg fell off...I still have him though!

    I'm loving all your beautiful pictures and critters!!

  3. Was that a fun meeting or what?

  4. I just love the internet. So many things your can find. Glad you were able to locate your friend.
    What a great collection of photos those are.
    Those birds, oh my, gorgeous
    and the dog, just too cute helping his bud with his daily grooming

  5. Nice to meet an old friend and to pick up as if you'd never been apart.

    Love seeing happy animals, noisy or not!

  6. Catherine: Thank you *grin*. It was wonderful playing catch up with Sandy. I have to say that there's nothing more relaxing than just plunking yourself down in the "yard" and hanging out with the furballs ;o)
    JJ: I'll admit that Google is one of my all time favorite verbs *laugh*. My little brother used to step on my Stablemates to break the legs off (the brat). I have a few Stablemate survivors though, in addition to the full-size Breyers :o) Glad you enjoyed the photos!
    Lori: It was a most awesome time ;o)
    Ann: The Internet is a marvelous resource indeed, although I have been known to snarl at it a time or two when it annoys me. Thanks for the kudos on the pics; that made my day coming from you, O Camera Queen *giggle* :oD
    Jean: You are so right! I was delighted to find her almost exactly the same (except for the addition of "Miss Clairol", that is - Ha ;o)

  7. What a beautiful story of a beautiful friendship. I am so happy for you. My staff person always says, you don't need a lot of friends when you have a few really good friends.

  8. Fisher: Your staff person is absolutely correct *grin*. I'm one of those that often goes for quality over quantity when it comes to friendships, so it has been a huge blessing to have found this dear friend again after all these years :o)

  9. What fun to connect with an old friend. Within minutes I bet you felt like you hadn't been apart at all!
    I love all of the pictures - especially Sampson! He sure is a handsome guy!

  10. Dreaming: It was indeed; and you are exactly right (ten seconds and we were yammering away like we'd seen each other the day before ;o) Sampson was absolutely beautiful and very, very sweet. I think DD was trying to figure out how to sneak him out to the car without anyone noticing *giggle*.

  11. It's just so great that you and your friend got back together after such a long time. Loved all of her animals but my heart belongs to her dog. How cute is he washing the donkey! Bet you can't wait to go back. Pretty sky picture too.

  12. GreyHorse: It was indeed :o) What cracked me up about Sampson was that before Jackie came along and volunteered for bath detail, he was apparently trying to bathe the little bunnies (and you can just imagine how much that was appreciated... NOT *grin*).

Your comments really brighten my day!

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