Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Granny files

Did you know that I, Fenway Bartholomule, have some of the best human grannies in the whole wide world? Well, now you do. My human Granny Joan loves animals so much that she is even bringing a scraggly little kitten back to Washington from Florida after finding him on a business trip! He needed someone, and the only someone who stepped up was a woman who lived 3500 miles away. He's been to the vet, and is vaccinated, neutered, FeLV/FIV tested negative. He's going to be looking for a home in Cascadia after every Miami-area rescue refused him admission. Granny is also kind to hoofbeasts, and has opened her doors to cattle, goats, horses, llamas, dogs, cats, and birds in need! In fact, it was SHE who fronted the cash to make me a permanent member of the Jones household, after seeing how her adult daughter FarmWife had fallen head over heels for me.

My human Grammy Jane is pretty swell, too. She's the sort of woman who stops at the grocery shop for carrots after a full day's travel from New England to Wickersham, just to be sure she won't arrive without a treat for her favorite grandmule. That's dedication.

My human Grandma Leslie is renowned the world over for her delicious food, her beautiful garden, her pampered kitties, and her amazing talents as a hummingbird whisperer. FarmWife tells me that there are sometimes two dozen hummingbirds at Leslie's kitchen window all at once! Her garden is like a fairytale, but I know this second hand. I have not been entrusted to set hoof amidst its winding paths, hidden nooks, and fragile blooms.

That's OK. I'm all about the wide open pasture, anyway.

My wish for you—may your hay be fresh and abundant. May your trails be smooth and scenic. May your grandmothers be as kind as mine.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A big step

The oldest human filly is home for the summer from her other home (with dad) and I have this to say: she's nearly as tall as FarmWife, just as nice as FarmWife, and just as good at delivering hay, ear rubs, and scratches. It's official: I've taken the big step of including the oldest human filly in my circle of People Who Get Brayed At (PWGBA). The PWGBA have a very special place in my heart.

The middle human filly asks when, and by what means, she can become a PWGBA. FarmWife tells her that regular barn visits, occasional treats, and consistently kind actions will get her into the club. It will, middle filly. It will.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summertime . . . and the living is easy!

Ok, so it's not officially summer yet . . . but the living IS easy! I am relishing my role as Official Farm Greeter and Pasture Ornament. Could I be any more lovely, really?

FarmWife is using every spare minute of computer time to push pets for the folks at, but we assure you that we're still brayful, hayful, and well!

I hope your Solstice weekend is joyful, and promises of an excellent summer to come!

I am a RARA

I'm distancing myself more and more from mainstream horse industry thinking. In opposition to some vegans, I DO think it's humane to ride a horse if the discipline suits his physical and mental aptitudes and if you're willing to keep him on as a retired companion when his useful life is through. However, when riders carry on about the RARA's threat to equestrian sport, I think to myself that I would GLADLY trade my right to ride, harness, breed, or otherwise use my animals if the tradeoff was a fulfillment of Radical Animal Rights Activist goals: an end to subjugation. It's not a slippery slope into restrictions on OUR freedom. It's an overdue journey towards the abolition of speciesism and slavery. Yes, there are animals that need protection more immediately than the eventers and the carriage horses. Still, if we lose eventing and urban carriage rides as part of a societal shift away from institutionalized animal abuse, it's a worthy trade.

Oh, and I say this as a huge livestock lover: to the meat eaters who argue that we protect domestic livestock breeds from extinction by milking or eating them—screw that. I'd rather see them go extinct than be brought into this world only to be murdered by their keepers. They were invented for human appetites, and they didn't ask to be born. It would be a sad thing to never again gaze upon the doe eyes of a Jersey cow, but it's sadder still to think of that cow being sent to the butcher when her overtired udder loses its tone in middle age. To think of her sons being thrown out like garbage.

In the past, I've supported the breeding of sport horses, purebred dogs, and dairy goats. I shall not support it any longer. I no longer believe in intentionally bringing animals into this world. There are too many already, and I shall hold this stance until they ALL have loving homes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Who's the badass?

Now THAT's a confused llama. Not my image.
I found it on,
which probably found it somewhere else. 
I was taking a look at the recent searches that led folks to Brays of Our Lives dot com (and yes, people, I do see what you type into Google so please keep your strangest queries to yourselves!) Here are some highlights:

Confused llamas
Furry question mark
Looks like we have a badass here
Advantages of riding donkeys

نقاشی پنجره

That last one had me pretty excited, as I was sure it would translate as "mount of the gods" or "equine who surpasses all others and breathes the fire of heaven from his majestic nostrils". Turns out it's Persian for "window painting." 

Ah, well. 

A window would look nice with me painted on it. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Feast time is over, let the famine begin.

Well, it's official. I am no longer skinny. After losing a lot of weight this winter (we're guessing it was due to encysted strongyles), I'm now round as pound, plump as a lump, fat as a cat, and what have you.  I not too fat, mind you—I just have well-sprung ribs, so you can forget that pregnancy joke right now! Anyway, the long and short of it is that I am no longer in need of massive quantities of concentrates. I've had my equine senior/timothy pellet combo reduced from four pounds to two pounds a day and FarmWife says it's going to go away completely in not too long.

Ah, it was fun being a hard keeper while it lasted. FarmWife says that next year we're doing a Quest dewormer in the fall and a middle weight blanket all winter just in case.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

My kind of math

A girl after her mother's heart! Here's my middle human filly's second grade math work:

Problem: write a story that matches the problem: 42+53.

Solution: "I have 42 mules. I get 53 more. How many mules do I have now?"

That's my girl. Keep dreaming big, kiddo!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A knee story

I turned 34 this morning. Cheers, Joan! Cheers, Tim! Thanks for bringing me into the world.

I decided a few days ago that it's a lot better to be 34, out of shape, and just starting on the road to fitness than 40, 50, or 60, out of shape, and just starting on the road to fitness. I have, therefore, gone on three jogs in the last five days.

Being a person of fast metabolism, I can be deceptively out of shape without standing out to my friends and loved ones as a person in poor condition. Believe me. I am a person in poor condition. Today, I had a major fitness milestone: I ran so far, and so fast, that my fat chihuahua started to pant and lag behind. Small steps. (Apparently she, too, is a person in poor condition. With shorter legs.)

Here's one small miracle: my right knee, which I injured in 1998 in a collision with an Irish Wolfhound and which has no anterior cruciate ligament (total tear), had a transformative experience last fall and I am like a new person! This  experience came after 14 years of nearly constant mild to moderate pain, loud clicking and grating, and one diagnosis by an orthopedic surgeon as "the worst knee [he'd] ever seen that [was] still being walked on."

Last fall, I was riding my bike along the road in slow, stoic discomfort. Pedal, crackle, wince. Pedal, crackle, wince. Pedal, crackle, wince. Then, at the corner of Wickersham Street and Innis Creek Road, something tore loose. The crackling stopped. The knee surged with a lightening streak of pain. It swelled up, bruised badly, and was generally more dysfunctional than ever for a day or two after the experience, but do you know what? I have had NO knee pain in the ensuing 8 months. None! It's amazing. My theory is that a flap of my torn meniscus cartilage had been bending the wrong way with every step for 14 years and that finally, on that bike ride, it broke loose. It must have settled someplace out of the way, because I haven't felt it since. Fingers crossed. I hope it's gone for good!

Next step: a 5K charity run in September for the Humane Society of Skagit Valley. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Happy birthday

Today is FarmWife's birthday. I heard we were going bowling and then out for sushi. I was so excited that I got all dressed up: new mane turrets, fresh fly spray (it's organic), the whole 9 yards. I heard that the sushi place had one of those fun little conveyor belts where an astute vegan can grab an order of avocado and cucumber maki while it rolls past, and the less discerning diner can go for the mystery rolls with tentacles sticking out. Fun times.

Well, do you know what? It turns out that mules are not allowed at 20th Century Lanes OR at Kuru Kuru! I am being left behind.

Here is my left behind face.

I think I am going to go roll in the dust. That will teach them to celebrate without me.

Fenway Bartholomule