Archive for April 2nd, 2012

Patriot Is Here!


He’s here! He’s here! Morgan is in HEAVEN. (More tomorrow.)

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Buttercup at the Gate


Every day now, I shut the gate at the driveway and let Buttercup and the donkeys out to mow the fresh, green grass around the house and studio. Up near the gate to the upper pasture has become Buttercup’s favorite place to sit a spell after she’s had her fill. Work has begun on the upper pasture fencing repairs, and hopefully by the end of the week, I can turn Buttercup and the donkeys out in that big field. (I’m probably going to keep the donkeys with Buttercup for company until BP and Glory Bee come back–I don’t want Buttercup to be lonely. That will give Patriot time to settle in, and Zip will hopefully be arriving in a few weeks.)

I think Buttercup heard that pasture would be opening soon. She’s waiting! She wants to be first in!

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Patriot Day!


Patriot will be here this afternoon. Yesterday, I took Morgan to the little store in town to pick up her saddle and other equipment and supplies. She’s been saving her money. Not that she saved enough, so I had to help her. Morgan’s money tends to fall out of her pockets. Usually while she’s standing in a bookstore.

She had fun picking everything out. Tim, the owner of the little store, helped her with a few things.

After we got home, she spent most of the rest of the day riding the couch.

(A number of people asked about a helmet. Yes, she is getting a helmet also. I will be picking that up today at another store.)

Meanwhile, so many coincidences falling into place. As I posted yesterday, the previous owners visited this weekend. In our conversations, I found out a few things, including that there is someone nearby here (just a couple of miles away) who gives riding lessons. I’ve been wanting to find someone who could come here to the farm for lessons, so this was exciting. They also have a hitch wagon they take places to give rides, and I promptly hired them to bring their horses and wagon to this year’s Party on the Farm! (Won’t that be fun?!) Along with a hitch wagon, they also have a wedding carriage, and I talked to them about collaborating on wedding events at Sassafras Farm. (Could a wedding at Sassafras Farm be any cuter? Now I can offer a carriage to bring the bride down the road and up the drive!)

The previous owners also told me about a horse neglect and abuse case that occurred here on this farm in 2006. A veterinarian (at North Gateway! the animal shelter where Coco is right now! and NO, she is no longer a vet there) who leased this farm at the time had 13 horses seized. At one point, she had several dozen horses here, which is far too many horses for the fenced pasture, and they were being starved. There isn’t enough stall space here in the barn for that number of horses to be sheltered, and when I called Jim, my neighbor, he said he’d known of at least three horses that froze to death here over the winter of 2005-2006 and were hauled up the hollow on the farm and dumped. I remember that winter–I had just moved to West Virginia and the temps hit zero multiple times. It was quite cold in the slanted little house that winter. The vet was eventually evicted from here (for non-payment) and the horses were seized from a nearby 6-acre farm, shortly after she moved them off this farm. You can find the story here. Some of those horses eventually found their way to the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, which was founded in 2007.

At first, this whole scenario felt a little weird and creepy, knowing it happened here on this farm. She lived in my house, cooked in my kitchen, sat on my porch, starved horses in my fields, and dumped them in my hollow. But then it felt somehow very right after all. The farm has come full circle as today, I adopt a rescue horse. (By the way, see my story today about the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue in the Charleston Daily Mail here.)

Patriot is coming!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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