Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cute Overload

Due to some small world connections, I am in possession of one very cute picture...


A high school friend of mine works at a horse barn near our home town. The barn owner Julie would mention a palomino named Tanner from time to time that she bred and sold. The friend remembered me posting on Facebook about a palomino named Tanner and told Julie who I was. My parents bought Tanner directly from Julie in 2000 or 2001. Julie just so happens to see my dad occasionally lately, and gave him this picture to pass on to me!



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Home for the Holidays

I'm currently sitting in the airport in Portland (Maine), waiting for my flight to board. I was originally going to have a much more leisurely morning: Wake up at a decent time, show Julie how to do morning chores, pack, deliver a blanket, and meander down to Portland. However, as some of you may know, a big ice storm is predicted / happening today. So when I woke up at midnight, less than an hour after I fell asleep, I decided to check my flight's status to see if it was delayed (meaning I could sleep in even later).

Alas, the flight was canceled. Two of my siblings and I had worked it out perfectly that I would land in Chicago just as Tyler and Mary were driving through and Megan and Graeme were done visiting friends in Chicago.

Instead, my options were to arrive at 8 pm tonight in Chicago, which is 3.5 hours from our familial home, or a flight that leaves Portland at 7 am. Deciding earlier was better than later, I showered, packed, hastily scribbled instructions for Julie, and hit the (icy) road.

I made it here to the airport by going 35 - 45 mph the whole way. On roughly 45 minutes of sleep. Not the most fun drive.

The F-bomb's antenna after my drive
But I am here! And I have a flight to Appleton, which is closer anyway. Soon (fingers crossed) I can take a loooooooooong nap in my old bed.

Anyway, I will probably be MIA from blogging while I'm home. Merry Christmas from all of us at Blonde Bomber Acres!

I gave Hattie a peppermint. Apparently it was not to her taste.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


It was -21 degrees when I went out to feed this morning and has climbed to a balmy -7. That's not including windchill.  As I love to say (and my mom cringes to hear), it's real booger-freezin' weather out there!

The holiday party got snowed out...we ended up with about 10-12" of snow. Julie and I stayed tucked in the house with the wood stove going and my family's hot cider recipe brewing in the crockpot.

Bundled up

You'd think they would prefer to stay in the nice warm barn. Nope.

Stay tuned for a rescheduled party in January!

One of my get-rich schemes (or rather, my sloooooowly-get-SOME-money scheme) came to fruition this weekend. My farriers were kind enough to bring me a big bucketful of used horseshoes. I scrubbed them clean (sometimes having to use a hammer to get the really entrenched bits of dirt/poo out) and painted them fun colors.

If you'd like to help support the farm (and my impending oil bill because holy crap it's cold out), please check out my Etsy page and see if anything strikes your fancy! I can sign them on the back from Blonde Bomber Acres if desired. I have a lot more in each color available (yellow, pink, teal, green, and black) and can also paint them to order in your favorite color. Just hang with a nail through a hole on each side.

Last but not least, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our very own Casey!

EDITED TO ADD: After I posted this entry, I got a notification on my phone from "Google + Auto Awesome", and saw this. I really hated computers yesterday when I was trying to do something for work, and I think they sensed my frustration and sent me this to keep me complacent and compliant. They magically added snow to the picture!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Cheer

I hope those of you within driving distance are planning on coming to our holiday open farm!

I watched a bunch of Alaska: The Last Frontier on Netflix. It's a reality show following a family living "off the grid" in Alaska.

Inspired by their way of using the resources around them, Casey and I tromped out in the woods behind the pasture and cut down a Christmas tree with a Sawzall. I even cut a wedge in the tiny trunk so that it would fall forward and not on my head! I'll keep my running water though, thanks.

Our Charlie Brown Barn Tree!
Then with the extras, Casey made a beautiful wreath that she is very proud of.

Hope to see many of you on Sunday! The animals will be festively decked out...here's a sneak peek of Finch's Christmas jammies.

PS - Julie moved in on Sunday and is an official Blonde Bomber! Her cats Willow and Fawkes are not so sure they want to be Bombers, but Skitters is all about welcoming them to the family.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Okay okay, so I didn't actually move in til December 14 last year, BUT...it's Blonde Bomber Acres' Anniversary Month!

One year ago this month, I put all of my chips in the pot and bought a 5 acre farm in the middle of nowhere.

One year ago this month, I got to bring my pony HOME.

One year ago this month, I planted the seeds for an invaluable friendship with Casey.

One year ago this month, I began a blog.

One year ago this month, you started this journey with me.

Your support, through comments, likes, and real life discussion, has meant a lot to me. It's helpful knowing folks out there are following along, laughing at/with me, shedding a tear or two on my and my animals' behalf, and just in general rootin' for me.  I am grateful that I can share my life with my family and friends that are scattered across the country, from sea to shining sea. I've moved around a bit and have made and left so many incredible friends that it breaks my heart. There are so many people who have been influential in my life that aren't geographically local.  Through this blog, I feel like I can still connect with all of you beautiful people and share with you the ups and downs of my crazy little farm.

That's a long-winded way of saying: Thank you.

What has been your favorite Blonde Bomber story? 

Our first Christmas at home
Comment here or on Facebook and you'll get put in a drawing for a special BBA gift. You know you want one!

With so much love,

Kelsey, Tanner, Finch, Hobbes, Nellie, Hattie, Mother Ducker, Duckin' A, Skitters, Harlan Pepper, and PoOf

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Ride for the Scrapbook

Saturday's ride was the kind of ride where Casey looked at me and said, "You're going to have great stuff for your blog."

It started off innocently enough. Casey and I were excited to take our gaited horses on a ride together, Casey with Daisy for her first ride, so I saddled up Harlan Pepper and we went up the road. Daisy was prancing and peeing, but was overall really good...not spooky, didn't buck or bolt, etc.

We ended that ride fairly shortly since Casey didn't want to push Daisy too much. I stayed on and let Harlan eat grass while Casey got Gus out of the pasture and saddled him up.

Ever since he arrived, Gus has not liked people getting on. Once a rider is on he's great and shows no sign of discomfort, but having something come up and over him really freaks him out. He reacts the same way to his winter blanket, so it's not just that he doesn't like being ridden.

So anyway, I moved Harlan up to block Gus's path so that when Casey got on he couldn't bolt...except that he wheeled around, bucked, and bolted, throwing Casey off. She was fine other than landing on a rock, but that bleeping pony took off down the road.

Here's what I don't understand. If I were a fat pony and just bucked off my rider, I would a) run back to the barn or b) run back to my pasture. Not Gus. Gus ran AWAY from comfort.

Harlan and I trotted after him, hoping to catch up and grab his reins.That stinker just kept going...I got close a couple times, enough that my fingertips grazed his fur and then he was off again. At one point I jumped off hoping I could get Gus that way. Nope.

When Casey finally caught up to us on foot, Gus was in somebody's backyard. She went around one side and Harlan and I went around the other. We each took a step and stopped. Took a step and stopped. Took a step and stopped. Until fiiiinally, Casey was able to grab Gus. I helped her get on, then looked around for something to stand on so I could get back on Harlan.

Reenactment #2
I found a little retaining wall and tried to get Harlan lined up so I could get on. After a little bit of dancing around I attempted to get on. I swung my leg over, he moved, and I kept on going, right off the other side.

I was wearing so much clothing (jeans, Carhartt overalls, two sweatshirts, and a helmet) that I landed softly and just laid there in someone's driveway laughing hysterically. Poor Harlan had no idea what was happening, but he stood patiently and waited for his lady to get her senses back.

The ride was uneventful after that. I told Casey I had fallen off so she didn't feel bad, so let's maintain that story, shall we? It's been a few years since I've fallen off, so I suppose it was time. I am very impressed with Harlan's reaction to my acrobatics (or lackthereof) and even just his whole demeanor while Daisy was her high-energy self. I love this guy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

What's in a Name, and Other Odds and Ends

The thought has been tumbling in the back of my head since I brought Renegade home that I wanted to rename him. I have hesitated because he responds to his name and so many people know and love him as Renegade.

However, when we (my partner at the time and I) adopted Hobbes his name was Dakota, and his previous owner said that other folks had tried renaming him but he wouldn't respond. Yet he didn't take very long to get used to Hobbes and now knows his new name very well. I like to think he associates it with better times than when he was Dakota since he has obviously had some rough times in his past.

I don't think Renegade has had rough times, but I love the idea of starting fresh with a clean slate. A new home, a new person, a new name. 

SO, Renegade is now Harlan Pepper!

Not only is that a character from one of my favorite movies (Best in Show), Renegade/Harlan's registered name is Renegade's Shock and Awe.  A quick internet search revealed that Shock and Awe was developed as a military tactic by Harlan Somethingorother. (Finding out his registered name also reinforces the need for a name change; technically he's Renegade Jr....gross.) Throw in that he's salt and pepper colored, and it's a fit. For some reason it just works!

Now all he needs is a bloodhound named Hubert and he can go catch a big fish. (movie reference)

In other news:

- In a spectacularly terrible coincidence, Daisy Mae choked on grain last night...just a few short weeks after Casey's other pony Gus did the same thing. Gus' choke resolved on its own, although we did have the vet come out because it was both my and Casey's first experience with a horse choking and we had no idea what to do. Daisy on the other hand definitely required assistance from the vet via a tube up her nose to clear the obstruction. Luckily both Gus and Daisy are fine, but we are going to have to rig something up that makes them slow down while eating grain.

- I bought a rat trap (basically a giant mouse trap) and have caught/killed 5 rats. Wednesday morning I found 3 rats drowned in a water tub in the tack room. With the original ROUS, the body count is at 9. NINE RATS. What is the point of having 3 cats if they're going to let rats run rampant around the barn??

- Hattie is back and settled in. She and Gus are in their own little pasture and have quickly become thick as thieves. They are just abominably cute together.

- Last Friday I drove down to New Hampshire with Shalegh to pick up Reese, the pirate pony formerly known as Piper, and deliver her back to Lupine Farm. The surgery was very successful; the surgeon removed everything, placed a silicon ball in the socket, and sewed it shut so that it just looks like she has her eye closed. It was pretty Frankensteinian with a temporary gauze stent sewed in when we picked her up, but it has since been removed and looks very natural. Shalegh and Reese have a learning process ahead of them as they figure out how to navigate the world and each other, but Shalegh reports that Reese is in good spirits and has been a "little cuddle bun". If you can, please consider donating to Reese's vet bills.

- Deno reports that Cooper is gradually settling in to his new home. Best wishes to both of them!

- As of right now we're slated to get 8-14" of snow next Tuesday. Yippee.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Riding Miss Daisy

If you can't tell by now, horse people don't go without horses for very long.

Sunday found Casey and me once again taking the trailer along to a Maine Mounted Search and Rescue meeting. From there we went to pick up a little gaited mare named Daisy Mae.

Daisy Mae is short, fat, and sassy. Her owner has become afraid to ride her and has spoiled her relentlessly while not giving her any work to do for a few y ears. Daisy is used to being an only child and dominant over her owner, but she has the showings of a good horse. She and Casey instantly had a really great connection, which helped Casey get through the many bucks when she tried Daisy out last weekend!

Daisy is reportedly a good trail horse and has a big motor, which will help her keep up with Renegade. She is responsive to Casey and learns quickly. Plus she's stinkin' cute! Casey decided to give Daisy a try and work with her before committing to buy her.

Right now Daisy is relearning how to be a horse. It's the classic riches to rags story...the beautiful but spoiled princess who suddenly finds herself the lowliest of the low, forced to work alongside the peons. Daisy got a rude awakening when Renegade wouldn't submit to her and is wary of Tanner even though he hasn't so much as given her a cross look. She no longer gets a "Christmas tree" of hay in a hay bag with apple and orange slices as ornaments...she has to eat what the peasants eat: hay on the ground and grain twice a day. She isn't blanketed 24/7.

We're not completely heartless though. She still gets stalled at night while the boys remain loose. She gets carrots and pats. She gets her hay put far away so the boys don't chase her away from it.

However the worst is yet to come...this weekend Casey will start asking her to actually work, including the great indignity of being ridden. Hopefully this will be a story with a happy ending...the princess will have an epiphany and realize that her life was meaningless before and now gained the invaluable wisdom that comes with hard work.

Oozing sass

Funny aside: I came across Amanda's blog via a Facebook thread about something else completely, and quickly discovered through blatant stalking that she had been the person before me to see Renegade! She lost her Tennessee Walker recently (and beautifully captured the process on her blog), and is ready to let another horse into her life.  She also looked at Daisy but decided she wasn't the right fit. So now I feel like BB Acres is the repository for Amanda's cast offs! Just kidding, but it's a small world, ain't it?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Help Needed

Last night Reese (formerly known as Piper), a BB Acres alumna, had a terrible accident. A tie snapped and rebounded, hitting her in the eye. Reese is currently in New Hampshire at an equine surgery center with her owner Shalegh by her side. Unfortunately they will have to remove the eye and Reese has a long road ahead of her.

We recently had a health scare with Gus when he choked on his food, so it's been on my mind a lot about what it would be like if something major and tragic were to occur to any of my animals.  A couple months after I adopted Finch she chewed up a bottle of Excedrin...she had to have her stomach pumped and stay the weekend at the emergency vet's. Luckily my parents were able to help pay the bill; otherwise I don't know what I would have done, only that Finch would get the treatment no matter what.

Shalegh and Reese are facing much higher bills. If you are able, please consider donating to Reese's recovery. I think all of us animal lovers fear being in this position. There is never any question of getting medical care or not...we get that for our animals and worry about how to pay later. So if you can, even just a little help can go a long way.

Farm Family Fund for Reese's Recovery

In the short time that Shalegh has had Reese she has formed a strong bond with her, something I was never able to do.   I am so so grateful that they have each other to get through this.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Lots of changes are headed our way! Mostly exciting, except for the fact that winter is looming.

- Cooper goes to a new home tomorrow. Casey rode Gus last weekend and that was that...she wants something smaller and peppier for herself. She grew up riding hot-headed Morgans and Saddlebreds and she misses that excitement, plus Coops is on the big side (for her). So she is searching for the perfect horse while Cooper's new owner Deno gets to enjoy his laidback and easygoing personality.

- Hattie comes back on Saturday. Her second shepherding gig has also failed. She is just too playful for the sheep owners' tastes so back she comes. I will say that although I enjoyed the quiet feeding times, I do miss her loud, obnoxious greeting and excitement to see me.  She will chill out at the farm indefinitely, unless the perfect situation for her comes up.

- Poof is probably a permanent Blonde Bomber. After an expensive vet visit, I found out that she is a spayed female around 8 years old with an ear infection and underweight, but otherwise healthy. Her prospective home was hoping for a younger cat, and Poof and Skitters are actually getting along now, so she'll probably stay. She is so sweet that it's hard not to love her.

- BB Acres is getting another human resident. Friend and coworker Julie found herself in need of a place to live, and however much I love my hermitude, I knew we would have a blast living together. We have the kind of relationship where we can say "Go away, I need alone time" to each other, and call each other out on passive aggressive behavior. Plus, she's pretty much going to be my indentured servant. She LOVES to cook and do projects around the house...she came over earlier this week and walked out saying stuff like, "OOH OOH, we could do [insert project here]!!" Which means my walls might finally get done! Hallelu! She's also strawberry blonde...if she was brunette I'd probably have to say no, but luckily she fits the Blonde Bomber type.

So Julie will be joining the farm at the end of the month. She is an animal person, which is good since she will be bringing her two cats with her, meaning we will be a five cat household, in addition to the 2 dogs, 2 horses, 1 pony, 1 donkey, and 2 ducks. I think we will have officially crossed the line into crazy cat lady territory.

And that's that! We're headed back to the beach on Sunday for some more fun in the surf with the ponies.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Renegade Report II

Another quick check in with Rene!

We had a great ride at Popham Beach a couple weeks ago. Casey brought Tanner because Cooper had a swollen knee (which is all better now), and it was Renegade's first trip to the beach. Our farriers Emily and her son TJ came with a few other people, including our vet Marilyn. It was also a beach trip for a gaited horse group, so there were a lot of mounted steeds pounding the sand.

It was a beautiful, beautiful day and Tanner led the charge into the water (by calmly walking into the surf, letting the other horses know it wasn't going to be the thing that killed them that day). We galloped through the sand and surf and it was awesome!

Yesterday Casey and I went for a blustery ride on Coops and Renegade.  I hadn't ridden him since our Popham Beach ride (I was sick and it's getting dark earlier and earlier...weeeeee weee weee!). So I was interested to see how Rene was going to do.

And he did pretty well! On the way out he was in the kind of mood where he was looking for things to spook at. "Oh noes! A leaf! The end is coming!!!!!!" On the way back, we passed by barking dogs, chainsaws, and lawn mowers and noooot a care in the world.

I was impressed not only with his beach adventure but also that he had a two week break and just was a little frisky, nothing unmanageable.

Loving this guy!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Smooth Criminal

We have a (hopefully temporary) new resident here at Blonde Bomber Acres. I kinda stole her...

I was dropping off a package at the post office last Friday and I was greeted by the friendliest, prettiest cat. I bent down to pet her and felt every single vertebrae and rib. So I scooped her up and walked over to a couple of post office employees who were outside.

"Is this a stray?" I asked.

"Well, she belongs to the people across the street," they replied.

"She's really skinny..." I said.

"Yeah, she was so beautiful and filled out in the spring and now she's just a bag of bones. One day I took her over to the owner and said she was looking really skinny, and the owner said they were feeding her," they replied.

"Hmmm...I'm tempted to just take her and feed her up!" I said.

"We really wish you would! We would, but we each have two cats already," they replied.

"So do I, but I'm going to take her anyway. She is just too skinny," I said.

"Great!! Thank you!" they replied.

"If the owner really cares, I live up just on Smith Road," I said.

"We're not going to tell anyone," they replied.

I stuffed the cat into my car and we drove off into the sunset.

And so now I have Poof (POst OFfice). She spent a couple days in the basement acclimating (read: traumatized), then another couple days in the office so everyone could get used to each other's smells, and now she's out and about under supervision.

Both yesterday and today I gave Poof ample opportunity to go outside and return home, or live in the barn. She chose to stay inside, which I am taking as a sign that she loves me! Well, at least she loves food.

Poor Nellie was already getting kitten-bombed by Skitters and now the new broad is hissing and growling at her in her own home.  Skitters, happily clueless, jumps on anything that moves. Finch leaps in the middle of a fray when she senses a cat fight, pouncing and growling and chasing.  Hobbes hides in the back room.

Would anyone like a very pretty, very friendly cat?? She has been de-flea-ed and is already gaining weight.  Marm and Dard, want a look-a-like to keep Scrappy company?

If all else fails, Poof has a home here and can help keep the house and barn free of mice. But Nellie would love you forever if you take Poof!

In other news, I opened an online Etsy shop selling plus size vintage clothing.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Greetings to Gus

It's been a busy couple of days here at BB Acres.

First, I chopped off all of my hair!

I am so glad to be back to short hair. I do this every time...I think "Oh, I should definitely grow my hair out, it will definitely look good despite every other time I've grown it out and hated it, definitely." and then I get super sick of it and CHOPCHOP. 

Anyway, today we picked up the newest (and cutest) Blonde Bomber! Not mine, don't worry. This one is Casey's...or rather, Audrey's.

Casey had been casually searching for a pony for a while now, but Audrey had some pretty high standards. She wanted a white, male pony and had pooh-poohed many cute ponies. So when Casey saw that Brogan at Animal Rescue Unit had taken in a white, male pony, she showed his picture to Audrey and that was that. 

Whenever Casey and I set out to trailer somewhere it's always a spectacle. However, despite forgetting money and going to the wrong place entirely, we took the truck and trailer to a Maine Mounted Search and Rescue meeting and then headed down to ARU to pick up Mr. Pony.

Ta da! Just kidding. This is just one cool dude.
While I enjoyed looking at all the different animals there (goats, pigs, alpacas, horses, ponies, draft horses, minis, dogs, chickens), Casey had eyes for just one animal.

This is Gus, a 6 year old Welsh pony who rides and drives. He's had some time off so he needs a tune-up, but a) he is beyond adorable, b) he is really sweet, and c) Audrey isn't old enough to ride on her own quite yet which means that Casey gets to ride him and Gus has plenty of time to practice being a good pony.

Homecoming montage!

Welcome home, Gus!