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President Jefferson said it best to those without the pride or desire to become self sufficient and depend on hard working folks like me to support them…

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

“The democracy will cease to exist
when you take away from those who are willing to work
and give to those who would not.”
— Thomas Jefferson

Shining a light…

Monday, June 6th, 2011

By now, most have heard that Kathi and I are divorcing (and as of 12/19/11 – officially divorced). In the end, I found the only way for both of us to live the lives we want and pursue our differing dreams and goals was to part ways. Each of us will be remaining involved with horses I’m sure. We each will remain involved in horse rescue and fighting equine neglect/abuse and carry on the mission we began with Windchill and his Legacy though on different paths. There’s been lots of talk, lots of emails and of course, emotions have run high. Thus I wanted to set the record straight here. We did have the annual Windchill BBQ last year, you are all our friends – and have become friends with each other and we didn’t want to lose that bond. At some point I’ll start posting blogs again here, I have years of notes of life on the farm to write about and had a separate blog I used to post all these thoughts. For now, I’m always around via email and always around for a cup of coffee and some good conversation or just plain quiet contemplation.

Jeff

PS – my original post, posted in response to the various talking going on behind the scenes – I leave it here to show that I can respond in kind if necessary, my desire to try to have handled things as mature adults should not be interpreted as weakness but desire to be productive and peaceful: Contrary to what is being spread by somebody, I’m not going to respond in kind. The pettiness that resulted was because of my request for a divorce. I’ve made attempts in the past to avoid this course but in the end found it was the only way for us both to live the lives we want and pursue our differing dreams. If you buy into the pettiness without independent validation, you deserve whatever comes of your relationship. As I’ve said from the beginning, we can handle our business privately – but somebody’s public statements have made that an impossibility. I stand by the rest of the sentiment I’ve expressed – I wish the best for all involved. Always have, always will. God bless.

Jeff & Magic (the big version…) goofing around in the pasture

Monday, September 6th, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvH1uSCTUQk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpbw1t3tINY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB2CW9WWTQY

Setting up – you can watch the activity!

Friday, August 13th, 2010

You can watch the live action as we race to get things set up for the Windchill Memorial BBQ! The links are below:

Windchill Action Cams

Riding lessons

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Okay guys, for those that know JoAnn Paul you know how hard she’s worked to become a good rider – working for hours on end with Axel out in the pasture and now spending hours riding him up and down the driveway or out in the pen. I keep telling her she should talk about her experience. Her dedication has been amazing – cold winter days spent out in the pasture, harsh wind blowing – and there’s JoAnn leading Axel around. Rain, snow, winds, sun – it hasn’t mattered. So my hat’s tipped to the cowgirl named JoAnn. I’m going to see if I have some pix to post along with this – email her and tell her you’d love to read about her experience learning and training at the same time!

Jeff

Axel is an avid iPhone fan - JoAnn and Axel checking Facebook

Raindance in the news…

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Kathi and newborn foal in a gaited horse magazine

Storm of the century!

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

The dictionary defines the term “meteorologist” as:
1. One who studies meteorology.
2. One who reports and forecasts weather conditions.

What it fails to include is item number 3: A scientific sounding name for being wrong nearly 100% of the time.

Case in point – for the past couple of days these esteemed fortune tellers of the weather have been warning us about the impending big storm. Road plow crews were placed on 12 hour shifts, people were told to hoard their children, gather food, burn their paneling and furniture, be ready to eat their pets, save bottles of air for when our communities lay buried under an avalache of snow, starting Friday night snow was to begin to falling in amounts tantamount to biblical proportions, by Saturday we were told up to a foot of snow will have befallen us – for those of us who lived to see it Saturday night would see a lull and Sunday it was all to begin again, with another half foot predicted. This morning as I look out at the slightly overcast sky and wondered if I should sweep the few flakes that had apparently gotten lost and fallen on porch, I wondered how much these people are getting paid.
What a perfect job. Paid to be right or wrong in percentages. How safe would you feel if you settled into your seat on the aircraft to hear “Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to welcome you aboard Snafu Airlines Flight 911, I’m your Captain, Allis Lost. Today there’s a 10% chance we’ll be cruising at 35,000 feet, with 70% chance of arriving safely at our destination…” Or go to the dentist to be told there’s a “40% chance I’m about to drill into the correct tooth, with an 80% chance of success (and that remaining 20% chance of accidentally drilling through your jaw)…”

“Yes sir, and how would you like that done? Medium rare? Well there’s a 70% chance you’ll be able to survive eating it without salmonella or some other horrible fate befalling you, and what would you like to drink with that last meal?…”

Or in my job, wonder how long my board of directors would keep me employed if I told them there’s a 60% chance we’ll be in the black next week, or telling staff there’s a 40% chance they won’t have a job if I screw up some other percentage. A large part of my job is forecasting, sometimes up to 1, 2 and 3 years out. If I screw it up, people lose jobs so there’s not this little comfortable “30% chance”. I’d imagine you probably have a job that requires some degree of accuracy in what you do – are you able to come within 20% and call that accurate and keep your job? So why do we give these chronic liars a scientific sounding title like “meteorologist?” Why aren’t they called weather fortune tellers? Guess I’d better go sweep up the few flakes from the perfect storm and let the animals know they’re safe, I don’t need eat them today.

Post hole digging (a post from the past)

Friday, May 14th, 2010

For anyone considering buying a farm – my advice to you is to buy with one with all posts you will ever need already dug and placed. Every single one of them. I just came in from TRYING to dig two four foot holes. That sounds relatively easy, doesn’t it? Not when the ground around here is roughly 12 inches of soil and then hard-packed clay intermixed with rocks placed at angles making it virtually impossible to dig them out, nature’s way of suggesting I move elsewhere. I now have two holes, each about 2 1/2 feet down and now face a tomorrow of again standing out there for several hours trying for the other foot and a half per hole I need to be below the stupid frost line so it won’t heave my beautiful new farm sign out at some weird angle.
So if any of you are looking for that special holiday gift for me – could you send me the rest of these holes.
Me…I came in, soaked in a hot tub, got my fire going, stacked some more firewood next to my fireplace and I hope to never get up again from this chair. Ever.
Oh, and while the auger was running next to me, I was laying on the ground trying to dig a rock out of the hole and a pickup raced back because they thought I had either been electrocuted by my fence or had lost a limb since most of me was in the hole and I couldn’t hear them yelling. That was funny. That’s also life in the country – folks actually stop to see if you’ve chopped off a limb and if they can help.

Midnight mayhem (post from the past)

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

For four weeks she’s worked vigilantly to understand it. She’s watched. She’s studied. For endless hours she’s attempted. She’s practiced. A week ago she figured out part of how to do it, the rest she figured out a couple of nights ago: Sunday has mastered the stall door latch and door opening.

The first part was fairly easy – lift the latch up and slide to the right. Soon each of the doors was found with the latches open but still closed because due to barn settling, you have to pull the stall doors open. Well…couple the latch opening with a head placed over the stall door and a step backwards and Sunday is now master of her domain. Looking out the next morning where only one baby should be free wandering the aisle of the barn and in the pen, all the young’uns and their ‘babysitter’ – an older horse rotated through to keep them assured all is well – are out wandering the aisle putting their collective intelligence towards the next big heist: how to unwrap the chains from the pen gate and get into the trailer where the good square bales are kept in reserve for sick or stalled horses.

Goodbye Blaze (from April, 2006)

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Last night I had to put down my collie, Blaze. She’d become a part of this farm, having gotten her the month after I moved in. She was a working dog and this was ‘her’ herd. She and Skidder, our border collie kept watch of the herd 24/7. I can only remember maybe two nights that they slept inside the house, the rest of the time they had to be outside watching the herd.

She was my constant companion and a friend and playmate to the horses, always playing their game of tag. Having brought her lifeless body home, we gave Skidder time to grieve and came back to find him quietly laying with his head on her back. He stopped calling for her in the middle of the night like he had done the previous night. He helped me bury her, staying at her side. At one point he tried to stop me then realized the futility. I let him say his “goodbyes” to her before covering her up with the light she had chewed up in my driveway and her favorite bones and blocks of wood, and that blue blanket she wrapped herself up in on cold winter nights, sleeping in late in the mornings. She wasn’t exactly a morning dog…not unlike her owner.

I went out to see what my 13 year old had written on the white cross. “Blaze, soar on incandescent wings, rest in peace.” I guess I can’t find anything more profound to say to you Blaze. Now I have to listen for you in the wind as you chase the herd. Only this time, I won’t call you back and tell you to stop teasing them. It’s good for them Blaze. And it’s good for me. God bless you and you’ll live in my memory and heart forever.

Raindance’s Blazing Skies
February 28, 2005 – April 6, 2006