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  • Finally Progress.....Demolition in Pictures -

    An update on our progress will follow. As you can imagine it's been slow going. I didn't post these pictures the day they were taken because the demolition turned out to have issues, like most everything else in the rebuild but at least we got it started. I hope to find the time to get back to regular posting but that's been the plan from the beginning of this journey so time will tell but I am taking pictures and they may have to tell the story for now.There are legal complexities that may prohibit much else for a while.

    The GoFundMe page has been closed out but we still need donations. I set up a CaillierFireFund through PayPal. It actually takes fewer fees and we don't have to rely on others or wait weeks to get the funds. I get notified immediately. I will be posting how the fund raising has gone and where we stand in rebuilding our home and our lives.

    I miss you all and hope to be

  • The Fire - Answering Some Questions -
    Dave's View as He Came Home

    Mopping Up as the last, stubborn hotspots are put out.

      I wanted to put these pictures side by side but blogger is having none of it.

    I apologize for leaving another story hanging. I thought I was going to have regular access to a computer. That turned out not to be as easy to accomplish as I'd thought. The truth is when you have a fire like this, whether its uninsured like this one or not, life has changed in more ways than just that roof over head. I find myself thinking as I sort through this chaos that's now my life, that even an insured homeowner would be dealing with the daily issues I find before me.  Before I resume the story about the fire I want to address the questions folks must have since the fire.

    First off, the Red Cross was on the scene as the fire fighters were still mopping up. They provided uss with a debit card loaded with a small allotment for food, clothing and gas and they put us up for 4 nights in a motel in Puyallup that allows pets. Thankfully, the Red Cross understands the important role animals play for us humans in coping with life's tough issues so Red Cross contracts only with facilities that let the animals come along. Hopefully, I will get to posting regularly enough to tell the stories of some of those adventures in the motel room since Delilah is after all my annual open house , I hope he's right. I hate to see what the rent by the month will be.

    When it comes to showers, we have to punt. We do have people who have told us we can shower at their homes but after this much time we don't want to be taking advantage and are unsure where that line is. Sponge baths are becoming my friend. With hot water in the motor home now, the shower in it is available (once we clear out the clothes hamper, garbage can, dogs' water bowls and the clothing hung there) but the water goes cold about the time I think the temperature is right so I try hard to get my hair washed and hope for the best. The cold water sends my pain through the roof.

    The first days people stopped in to see what we needed and the truth of the fact was and is we need pretty much everything. I was so overwhelmed I didn't even know what to say. It is as hard to answer that question now as it was then because the list is so extensive.

    We did get loads of clothing but the sizes and assortment leave big holes in our wardrobes. Funny thing that word, wardrobe, seems way too highfalutin for the barn clothes we need most. Then it was cold when the fire struck, now it's hot. Dave and Lindsay made a trip to Goodwell over the weekend and couldn't find a thing that would work for any of us. We're digging through the clothing we've been given to find the coolest clothes we can that will still protect our arms and legs from the hay since we all seem to be allergic, not to mention how those ends can get under the skin as bad as any wood or glass sliver ever could.

    We have had a couple of different parties who have done our laundry. There is no laundromat in Graham and I am still trying to locate the nearest to our location because I feel like I am taking advantage of these women's generosisty. Some things I can wash by hand but the sinks in a vehicle like this were never intended for such use. Dave's lost a lot of weight but even his trim size 34" jeans are too big for what I have available for washing.

    I think I've covered the most obvious questions . If not, let me know in the comments and I'll try to cover things as I try and write this story of the effect of this fire of my family and my horses. Before I do that, there is one more thing I want to mention.

    Because Dave allowed our homeowner's insurance to lapse, the mortgage company put what the industry refers to forced-placed insurance on our mobile home. I learned of this dilema a while ago, not long enough to have fixed it, unfortunately. Now that we are actually dealing with a loss insured by such coverage, I am learning far more than I ever wanted to know about the mortgage, mortgage servicing and forced-placed insurance industries. At this point I could do many blog posts on the subject but for now I will just say this. I always thought such insurance would at least replace the building that it supposedly covered but forced-placed insurance really doesn't cover a building, it covers a mortgage and only in the amount of the outstanding balance on that mortgage. In our situation where we are somewhere around 20 years into this mortgage, the amount of funds available to rebuild is far less than what it will cost to do so. The fundraising we are doing is falling way short of what we actually need

    Even now, I am still trying to figure out what the next step is.....and just when I think I do have it figured out....something else changes.

    Thank you to those who have donated to our go fund me account or to the savings account at Chase Bank, South Hill Fred Meyer Branch by requesting the David Caillier rebuildingourhome account. The advantage of the account is they don't take out fees like Go Fund Me does. Either way, any and all donations are appreciated.

  • The Fire - In Lindsay's Words Part 2 -

    Part 1

    Upon seeing the smoke and flames in the mudroom, Lindsay immediately put her blanket over her head covering her face. Then she grabbed the dogs' leashes and hooked Sugar up but Delilah had other ideas. She was frightened by the smoke and the blaring smoke alarm so she retreated to the very back of her crate. Lindsay actually had to crawl into the crate and pull Delilah out.

    Lindsay is not 100 pounds soaking wet and I'm pretty sure that Delilah is at least 65 pounds if not more. How petite little Lindsay managed to drag a frightened Delilah out is beyond me but she did. Thankfully once the Siberian Husky was no longer in what she believed to be a safe place, she began listening to Lindsay and there were no more issues with obedience as the three exited the burning house.

    Once outside, Lindsay stopped on the front sidewalk to make the call to 911. Before she could even dial those three numbers, smoke enveloped her so she began to run, not stopping until she hit the front gate. There she only stopped long enough to throw the gates open continuing on to the street before trying again to make her call.

     She dialed 911 as we had practiced but our practicing had been flawed. We had not taken into account the extensive hearing loss that has happened over the past few years. Lindsay normally only uses her phone to text because she can't hear well enough to talk with anyone. Now she was on the phone with 911 only hearing well enough to distinguish they were talking to her but she could tell what it was they were saying.

    By this time curious drivers were stopping on the road to watch the burning mobile home. Unable to distinguish what the 911 operator was saying Lindsay walked up to a driver who had his window down telling him, "My house is on fire. I have 911 on the phone but I am partially deaf...."

    To be continued............

    Some folks have asked if we have a donation account aside from this one at go fund me  The answer to that question is "Yes." There is a savings account at Chase Bank, South Hill Fred Meyer Branch. Those who would rather donate through it, can do so by requesting the David Caillier rebuildingourhome account. The advantage of that account is they don't take out fees like Go
     Fund Me does.

  • The Fire - In Lindsay's Words....... -

    To be honest,  I don't really remember clearly what happened when I got to Lindsay's location next to the mailbox lastn Thursday afternoon so I have asked her to tell me what happened that fateful day. Because of Lindsay's traumatic brain injury (due to her treatment for brain cancer when she was a child) it is common for it to take days, weeks and sometimes even years before all the pieces of an incident come together so it was no surprise to me that her telling this evening had much more detail than it had on the day the house burned.

    Lindsay had been taking her lunch break at the usual time, sitting in the living room watching the television.  She was wearing her typical stall cleaning attire (old grubby, sweats) and the sheepskin slippers she'd received for Christmas the year I'd worked for Fred Meyer. She said she felt cold so she decided to retrieve her favorite fleece blanket from her room before General Hospital got started. That made the time somwhere just before 1 PM.

    She described the air as being somehow misty or something as she made her way down the hall. It didn't smell like smoke yet but it was somehow just odd, heavy maybe,...odd enough for her to notice but not enough for her to be alarmed yet. 

    At some point in her journey down the hall, Lindsay heard what she described as a shot. There was no sound from the smoke alarm so she thought she was safe. Her first thoughts were that loud sound was the neighbors shooting guns again so it didn't dissuade her from continuing her mission. 

    She grabbed the golden blanket covered with horses wrapping, it around herself making her way back to the living room to watch the soap opera. It was when the lights flickered that Lindsay knew she needed to get herself out of the house. Still there was no sound from the smoke alarm, there had only been that funny feeling air, the unidentified explosion, and now those flickering lights.

    Being right by the mud room door, she decided she would grab her boots before she made her way outside. Only when she opened that door, did she know what she was facing. Thick black smoke spewed from the furnace and flames liked at her boots. Only then did the smoke alarm sound.

    To be continued.............

    Some folks have asked if we have a donation account aside from this one at go fund me  The answer to that question is "Yes." There is a savings account at Chase Bank, South Hill Fred Meyer Branch. Those who would rather donate through it, can do so by requesting the David Caillier rebuildingourhome account. The advantage of that account is they don't take out fees like Go
     Fund Me does.

  • The Fire - How the Day Began -

    I had a physical therapy appointment at noon last Thursday. The office is about 4 miles from our farm so it only takes about 10 minutes to get there. I left the house with just that much time left before noon. I really don't like leaving Lindsay home alone so I try to make sure I am gone no longer than necessary.

    A couple of items  had sold from my eBay store overnight, so I'd packaged those and took them with me. I hate having those things hanging over my head so so I planned to kill two birds and drop them off at the post office on my way home.

    At the end of my appointment the therapist decided I should have some time with heat packs on my abdomen. When  she brought them in, she told me to lay there as long as I liked, she needed to move on to her next patient.

    I doubt I laid there for even a minute. I looked at the time and decided I rather get home to Lindsay than lay there. I did drop my packages off  at USPS. Since I'd purchased my postage online, I bypassed the line leaving them on the counter. My little side trip took all of 2 minutes.

    As I came over the top of Graham Hill, I could see the smoke. I knew immediately from the color of it, something was burning that shouldn't be. That road is flanked by lots of fir trees and other Pacific Northwest greenery so you can't see my farm from it until you actually turn the corner onto 288th. Still I hit a point in the road that I could see the smoke crossing the highway. It was heading across Meridian like it was some kind of freight train running from the west to the east side of my road.

    My heart began to race since there were few options to the source of the horrible smoke. I tried to convince myself it could be the neighbors on the corner or maybe even farther down the road, but something told me it was my farm that was going up in flames.

    Even as I turned the corner and saw the maze of emergency vehicles stretching from one end of the road in front of my farm to the other, and even spilling over onto that of the neighbors' on both sides, I tried to tell myself it could be a wreck with a car on fire or something..........anything but it couldn't be my place. My daughter was there, home alone.

    The denial was brief as my brain flicked through possibilities as fast as any computer. My eyes darted for a place to park the car because there was no way I was getting any closer on foot.

    I struggled getting the car's transmission into park. Then the key didn't want to come out of the transmission. It felt like my feet were running before they even hit the ground. I stumbled but willed myself to my feet even though my knees were trembling and my mind racing. I was searching for someone who might have answers before I was even stable on my feet.

    I ran to the nearest fireman asking if my daughter was OK. He asked if I was the home owner and when I confirmed I was, he told me a young woman had escaped with her 2 dogs. She was up by the mailbox as we spoke.

    There were so many rigs and so much smoke, I couldn't even see Lindsay but knowing she was safe allowed me to stop running so I could reach her without falling. It had been a gruesome physical therapy appointment and it was nearing time fro my next dose of pain medication,this new stress was already taking its toll but no way was I going to allow myself to fall.

    I found Lindsay standing right where the fireman had said. She had a death grip on the leashes of both frightened dogs, despite the fact passers-by had offered to help her with them. My daughter was taking no chances she might lose anything else that she loved. Even as I reached her, she would not relinquish either one of them.

    To be continued............

    The Fire - In Lindsay''s Words

    Some folks have asked if we have a donation account aside from this one at go fund me  The answer to that question is "Yes." There is a savings account at Chase Bank, South Hill Fred Meyer Branch. Those who would rather donate through it, can do so by requesting the David Caillier rebuildingourhome account. The advantage of that account is they don't take out fees like Go
     Fund Me does.

  • Early Fire -

    Early Fire Picture

    Too exhausted to write but finally figured out how to retrieve this picture. It was taken by Sara Lamrouex who is now co-ordinating relief  efforts on our behalf.

    I will try to post at least pictures daily and details as I can.

    I would like to thank the four young women who came today to help Lindsay with  the stall work. There  is so much to do related to this fire, the added help allowed her time to let down a little and recoup.

    Donation account  at   

  • The Post No One Wants to Do - House Fire at Rising Rainbow Arabians -

    I haven't posted in a while because I wanted something nice to post butat life is having none of it. I won't go into the past year's stuff now because I need to post about the current events. Thursday at approximately 12:30 PM, the electric furnace in our home exploded and within mintues our entire home was fully engulfed in flames.

    Lindsay was home alone since I was gone to physical therapy but our many times practicing what to do in the event of fire paid off. She was able to get herself and both dogs out safely and call 911 or help.

    Unfortunately the fire spread quickly. By the time the fire department arrived, the double wide mobile home was engulfed in flames. Pretty much everything we own is gone. (These pictures are the good side of the of the bad side to come.)

    We are still waiting on information from the insurance so we have not idea what that's going to cover Due to the age of this mobile home, replacement insurance was not an option so we're going to be in a world of hurt for a roof over our heads.

    A donation account has been set up at  The Go Fund Me page has more information about our story and I will be posting more information as my brain catches up with my life .

    Sara Lamrouex, phone  number 253-307-3879 (who came out of nowhere to offer aid to me and my family) is co-ordinating donations of goods and services. She's has pertinent and timely information on our needs as we discover them (believe me, that's an ongoing process) and our sizes, etc, since all we have are the clothes that were on our backs.

    We will also be setting up a bank account for direct donations. We thought we had that done today but the bank called late today saying that it was done incorrectly so that information will have to follow.

    I will end by saying we are so gratefuly to be alive. Had this ire happened at night, the outcome would have been very different. Later posts will explain those particulars but for now sufice it to say angles were and are watching over us.  The horses are all well.....the dogs are well...........our one loss, my cat, Squeaker.............

  • Prayers for PHS, Marysville -
    Prayers for the victims, families, friends and the entire community of the shooting at Pilchuck High School in Marysville this morning. With 2 dead, 2 very critically wounded with primary head wounds and 1 with less critical injuries, the impact to the entire community, even the country, cannot even be imagined. My heart aches.

    Having lived with the effects of traumatic brain injury to a loved one, I understand the dynamics of that. It, by itself, is horrifying but to add the fact this is the result of some person in the community taking out their rage in the most inconceivable of ways can only add a dimension no one should ever have to bear. This community has been raped. Robbed of their ability to feel safe. A lifetime of wounds blasted upon them in an instant with a flash of gunfire. Prayers the only warmth in the chill of the event so please, pray.


    I know there are those worried about my long silence. I do not want to make this post about me so I will try to update for those soon.

  • Technology Glitches and Passing Time - Not much has changed with me since I last posted other than some changes in technology here. My cell phone was rapidly giving up the ghost and Dave was monitoring the penny sales to get me a suitable replacement. He was hoping to get one that would give me more functions to help me stay connected and allow me to have internet use and such.

    The most obvious problem. was the learning curve.  Pain makes that difficult for me. I don't have a lot of patience with transitioning into new technology in anyway, let alone when I hurt so badly I can barely think so the transition has not been smooth. I am still limping along trying to figure out how things work.

    Another issue was my emails. On the old phone I was writing my blog posts in email format and I had the series I was posting when then phone change came about, nearly completed on the old phone. I also had several other things well started. Dave was told that those drafts would transfer over to the new phone but that was not the case. Each time he was off he was running to the phone store trying to get the kinks worked out and my volumes off writing retreived.. I can't even tell you how many dumb solutions they claimed would work but nothing did and they refused to turn off the new phone so I could send my documents and then turn the new phone back on. instead I dangled thinking a solution was coming any day and being totally overwhelmed by the thought of having to rewrite all of that story. The days turned into weeks and the weeks months.

    I could not bring myself to post an update when nothing had really changed. My issues with pain are still not resolved, nor does it look like they will be and I am tired of posting about it. I am so ready for something new, just haven't found it yet.  I am sorrry that my silence concerned people. I will try to do better.

  • Touching Base -
    I apologize for just up and disappearing like I did last week. Just when I  think I am doing well enough to keep up with regular posting, something always seems to happen.  I get through a rough patch and think things can only get better but instead the bottom falls out and the roller coaster ride continues. I'm pretty sure I have written these words before since the up and downs haven't ceased.

    Truth is I have been struggling since I lost my primary care physician last year. I will explain what that journey has been once I finish writing about the visitors from Florida. For now I just wanted to check in and explain why I haven't been posting recently.

    Two months ago they started me on a new pain medication, that set me on my ear. I keep trying to write but some days it is just too much so it doesn't happen despite my intentions.

    Once I began the new prescription, I immediately had trouble. The symptoms I was experiencing were considered normal and I was told they would subside once my body acclimated. I felt really lousy but I really can't explain how, other than I felt more lethargic than even the worst case of flu or when I first got out of the hospital. It has been weird to feel that beaten down over nothing more than a change in pain medication.

    In addition this medication didn't seem to relieve my pain, or if it did, it was difficult to tell. Being long acting, I thought it might take longer to kick in but I can't really say I noticed that happening. The amount of pain I endure is so great, I wonder if that effects this whole thing.  The relief may be inconsequential against the  pain I experience. Nothing has really made it manageable. It's been more like degrees of terrible all along so any new drug they have tried hasn't done a thing.

    Despite this the dose of this drug was increased the second month and I continued to feel poorly but there was nothing to say the way I was feeling was an abnormal side effect. Even with the higher dose, I couldn't distinguish any relief from pain so at the end of the second month they decided to take me off this medication.

    Unfortunately it is the type of drug the only safe way to discontinue it's use is to gradually decrease the dose. We only began the process the middle of last week. However, Friday night I missed my scheduled time to take it. By the time I realized I had missed taking my medication, it was hours after the fact so I decided to skip that dose. Only when I felt better in the morning did I began to think I might be experiencing some abnormal side effects from this drug.

    I am stuck slowly decreasing the dosage so I can get safely off of it but thinking that cannot happen fast enough. Because I had no negative results from eliminating the one dose on Friday, I have skipped that dose every day since.

    Then yesterday morning I was awakened by intense pain. I have gotten so acclimatized to my pain levels that I usually can sleep through it so I was surprised to have pain be my alarm clock. That got me questioning my perception of whether this medication had worked or not. I am torn between thinking this drug is causing increased abdominal pain or that maybe decreasing the dose is the reason for the increased pain. To be honest I have no idea which it is and I'm unsure how I'm going to get it figured out.

    The only thing I know for sure is this drug can cause abdominal pain and it has knocked me for a loop. I also know I am running out of choices. If the side effects I am having are really only because my body isn't used to it, I need to tough it out until I know for sure. In the meantime I still feel poorly and I continue to hurt so much I can barely concentrate and I have no idea when there will be any relief for me.

    For those wondering about the tests I had last month,  everything came back normal. There are still more tests that can be done but at this point the GI doctor is on the fence. I haven't decided how much more poking and prodding I can take so unless something happens that changes his mind, I think I'm going to forego more testing for now even though he believes more testing is reasonable.

    In the meantime I will post when I can. Please keep me and my family in your thoughts amd prayers.

  • Mr Attitude -
    It doesn't really matter how well trained a horse is, if he/she gets excited enough something is bound to happen. With as many horses as I have, examples of this seem to happen pretty regularly.  Since I had a difficult day and have not completed the post I intended, I thought I would share an example that happened earlier today.

    Pretty much all of my morning was taken up because of a doctor appointment and Dave and Lindsay had errands to run that were going to take the afternoon. Lindsay had the stalls all done when Dave and I got home but hadn't gotten to turnouts. I was too miserable after riding in the truck to take care of turning stallions out so I asked Dave if he would do it for me before he and Lindsay left.

    I warned Dave to be ready for Legs to be pretty full of himself because the temperatures have dropped and he's missed some time out. Either one would be enough for the horse to cop an attitude so I didn't want Dave to be caught off guard since Legs is normally so good for him. Usually if I let Legs know I am prepared for his games, he behaves because it's no fun if I am ready for his silliness.

    The other stallion I wanted Dave to turn out was Tango. He is 3 now and, between the lawsuit and my illness, his manners can be a little rough around the edges. He wants to be good but he's still unsure what that means. Considering the small amount of work done with him, Tango's behavior had improved dramatically but he definitely still needs work.

    I heard Tango scream with delight when he was turned loose in the front paddock. I didn't hear he and Dave approaching so I figured he must have been pretty good. if Dave has problems with a horse I usually can hear him in front of the house chastising the horse.

    Dave grinned when sharing how hard Tango had tried to do what Dave asked. The horse was oozing excitement from every pore but watching Dave like a hawk  to assure he didn't get ahead of him. Tango was a star.

    Legs on the other hand got the dunce cap. He came out of the stall bouncing around and standing on his hind legs. I imagine Dave didn't think my instructions on how to diffuse the horse's enthusiasm were necessary. He tends to learn better the hard way. Legs came out of the stall leaping and cavorting and flinging his head from side to side.  

    Luckily for Dave, while Legs was tossing his head expressing his "I'm the coolest!" attitude, he flipped his head just right that he bonked himself squarely between the eyes with the lead. He'd flung his head with such force there was an audible thud as the rope clobbered him.

    The stallion immediately looked at Dave  and dropped quickly, but quietly,  to all four feet, convinced the man had landed this well placed blow. Dave laughed and the horse sulked because he hates being caught doing something stupid, but he walked like a gentleman the rest of the way out. Legs had no idea he landed that blow himself so he'll think twice before he tests Dave again. Dave is still chuckling tonight because the rope couldn't have landed more  squarely between the horse's eyes and the expression on the stallion's face was priceless. 

  • Are We Ready Yet?............. -
     Part 1 of the Black Years
    Before I continue on with this story there is some background  I want to share.  The rarest and most sought after of the bloodlines on my farm seem to be my Gamaar bred mares. Many of the younger breeders don't understand what those old lines represent but the old timers do. Many of the big name horses of today trace back to bloodlines I hold dear. I have made preserving them part of my mission which is interesting for me to admit since I have never considered myself a preservation breeder.

    Regardless of what I call what I've been doing, I have been very pleased with the horses I have bred to this point. The only reason I was even considering parting with this mare was because my illness has interfered with my ability to breed her but my criteria for a home was very specifically based on my preservation mentality. I had no intentions of parting with her if these criteria were not satisfied and I thought these people might just be the ones to do that.

    I had had several conversations with these folks before they decided to come to see Faye. They were interested in her specifically because of her grey color and the tail line of her pedigree which is Gamaar's dam. Although color was not the big motivator, her pedigree was. They had called me inquiring about my grey Melba-Sitt mare which is a pretty specific request that told me much about their knowledge and mindset.

    Over  the years they had owned a similarly bred mare and she had a daughter for them.  They had lost them both, the daughter only recently, so they were looking for another, as much like what they had, as possible, a very talk order considering the tail/female lines that represents. With the mares I have seen from those lines, KG Phadra Rose, Faye, is a mirror of the beautiful mares expected to carry those rare genes. I had no question she would be what they sought.

    These people from Florida were not, however, the only party interested in this mare and/or the bloodlines. I actually had four inquiries within a ten day period. The Floridians were the first to make the trip to my farm but they were not the only ones to appreciate the rarity of these bloodlines and what they represent.

    As the phone call telling me they were just ten minutes away ended, the  composure, I had felt, because I thought I had two hours to be ready,   disappeared and panic replaced it.  A few horses, whose manes I had hoped to untangle, where still in their stalls so I quickly put them out and let go of my usual standard of having every single horse spit shined and show ready.

    I didn't know how long these people would stay and I hadn't eaten yet. I needed to put on clean clothes too so I had to run to the house while I still could. I hoped these folks were farther away than they thought or that traffic was heavy so I would have some time to get these things done.  My ten minutes were already up when I'd walked into the house so I wolfed down a banana and a glass of milk while changing into clean light weight clothes with pockets.

    I don't ever take meds early but it was not quite time for my next round of medication so I needed a way to carry my next dose with me so I could take them at the proper time.  No way I would be able to show all of these horses and answer questions if my pain got any worse. I got my water bottle lined up too so I was as ready as I could be for them to be here. My wish for them to run late was granted because I got the opportunity to do these things and to sit under my blankets with my feet up again for several more minutes until the visitors arrived.

    When I heard their car in the drive, I painfully pushed myself to my feet. My legs quivered and I dug deep and gritted my teeth to get through this. Nothing about this day had gone as I'd expected and with the experiences I had had since my illness, I was really dreading this. Nothing about having people here seemed enjoyable to me. It looked like a necessary evil and nothing more.......until, of course, we got to the horses.

    When I turned Legs out in the round pen, I then put Faye in his stall so she would be up front and close to her buddies when the people came. Not knowing what their expectations were for how they wanted to experience her, I figured this would be the best way to start. She would be clean and accessible and when they were done all I would need to do was turn her loose right outside the door so she could join the rest of Legs' wives since I turned them out in that field right after I'd put her into his stall.

    What I hadn't figured on was Faye screaming her lungs out because the other mares immediately ran off to the farthest reaches of that field.  She was so upset, I worried she'd be all lathered up before the people ever arrived but there wasn't much I could do short of turning her out. If I did that, my guess is she'd have gone straight to the manure pile to roll so I didn't dare do that. There was no doubt that sweat was better than poop.

    Still I worried about how stressed out Faye was getting  as I waited for my visitors so I checked up on her as I scurried around tying up those loose ends. As I was going into the house I noticed that Heiress,  hearing Faye's distress, had come up to keep her company so I went on into the house knowing that Heiress staying with Faye was better than I could have hoped for. I didn't know if it would be enough to settle Faye totally down but she was no longer whinnying. Maybe she wouldn't be sweaty when the visitors came.

    I greeted my guests and we chatted about all the travel mess while my pain levels sky rocketed from standing still. I realized I was squirming in place as I caught them casting concerned glances at each other. Before they could ask me if I was all right, I told them we would need to get moving so I could get them through this tour. We could sit down and chat at the end. They nodded in agreement and we moved on towards the barn and the horses.

    To be continued....

  • D-Day Begins........ -
     Part 1 of the Black Years
    It is normal for me to awake in such intense pain that it is hard to think, let alone do anything, but the day the people from Florida came was unusually awful. With the way I had abused my body getting my farm and my Arabian horses ready, all the muscles in my body ached but my abdominal muscles were particularly sore and the nerve endings were screaming from irritation.

    With the people not due until late afternoon, I took the time to perform my usual morning ritual for pain. There really was no way I could get right to work, even though that is what I would have preferred. Instead I had to take my morning medication and pile myself under a mound of blankets and wait for the drugs to kick in.

    Because I had pushed myself well beyond my limits, I knew I could not hope for much relief but the added heat could only help my aching muscles. I gave myself the two hours that would normally get me to the point I could think about something other than how badly I hurt and hoped for the best. 

    The mountain of throws and blankets I buried myself under did the best job they could under the circumstances. My pain was too intense to diminish but the blankets did restore warmth to my ravaged body. That in itself was enough of a relief that I was able to get to my feet so I could attack the day facing me.

    Dave and Lindsay were doing the regular barn chores so everything would be presentable and I took care of the horses myself. My first line of business was to check the status of all my horses.

    The usual culprits had stains to be addressed and I had a few with knots in their manes. With the people not due at the airport until noon, I figured I had at least until sometime after 2 before they could possibly get here factoring in the time it would take to pick up their luggage, rent a car and make the drive here.  That gave me some time to get things done right.

    Since the weather was nice I decided I would turn out most of the horses. It would be easier for the people to get a good look at them outside than cooped up in their stalls. I couldn't put all of the stallions out but I could do a couple of them. The stallions are animated wherever they are so those in their stalls would still make an impression. With my electric fence now repaired I could put one stallion in the paddock in front of my house and geldings in the field next to him. Then I could put Legs in the round pen with his mares around him. Since he has grown up dealing with this, he is fine. The rest of the mares I split between the other two fields. All of this should give these folks a pretty good idea of what kinds of minds these horses have as well as their conformation and talent.

    There were some muddy  spots in those fields or paddocks that always beckon the horses for a hearty roll. To counter against this I rinsed the horses that needed it and returned them to their stalls until they were dry. The warm morning quickly dried the horses except for the parts that collect water, under-belly, lower legs, and underneath their manes mostly but I thought those parts would dry quicker outside in the sun.

    To keep the horses from rolling in the muddy areas,  I laid out piles of hay, spaced to not cause disputes, and turned the horses out. Because grass is sparse, the horses all think the hay is some kind of special treat and each is too worried he/ she will miss out if a claim is not immediately staked out over a favored pile. That pretty much saved me  from delighted ponies rolling and destroying all my hard work.

    If any did roll it was hard to tell. Their coats were so slick and shiny and the day so warm, the mud must have dried immediately and the resulting dust quickly slid off. I didn't have to redo a single horse because of rolling outside although I did add more hay to assure they all stayed occupied munching hay until they were thoroughly dry.

    Of course none of the grey mares had looked particularly clean when I checked them but Faye was the worst.  She just happened to be our queen for the day and she looked like she hadn't been cleaned up at all. I decided to deal with her thinking that would be my best shot at having her look good when our guests arrived.

    Lots of the horses looked just fine so I had put those horses out while the other horses were drying. If I came across a horse with a tangled mane, I brushed it out before I turned that horse out. I checked my watch regularly gauging my progress against what I had left.

    I thought I was making great progress until my cell phone rang. It was just after noon but my visitors weren't calling from the airport. They were just a few miles down the road. They wanted to know if it was ok if they arrived in about ten minutes.

    To be continued.....

    Are We Ready Yet?

  • Unexpected News........ -

     Part 1 of the Black Years

    That Friday night it was after 10 when I finally came into the house. I was so over fatigued from all the work my body shook and I was having trouble maintaining my balance. I had to rest just to get enough strength to get ready for bed. My visitors were expected in the morning and I needed to be up early enough to do touch ups on horses before they arrived so I needed to hit the bed as quickly as possible.

    While resting up so I could get myself off to bed, I checked my phone for messages since the Floridians had promised to check in when they arrived. There was a message from them but it was not what I expected. They  were stuck in the Midwest and were lucky to have made it that far. 

    The entire east coast and midwest airports were experiencing extensive flight cancellations due to extreme weather conditions spawning the worst series of tornadoes the country has ever seen. I hadn't seen the news in days because I'd been pushing to get ready for their visit so I had no idea weather was reeking havoc with the lives of so many and, to be honest, I doubt it would have occurred to me that it might interfere with their plans. I had tunnel vision as to how the weather was affecting me and what it would be like over the weekend. I was shocked to hear they were stranded halfway here.

    These people had phoned my house immediately when their plane had touched down and the time stamp put that call at just minutes before I had come into the house so I was not the only one having a long, exhausting day. They should have arrived at their motel here at about 5. They had not even caught a flight out of Florida until after noon. I was surprised to hear they were still coming with all the obstacles they were facing.

    The message said they were hoping to get a standby flight out in the morning but there were no guarantees. There were only two flights available but they hoped to be into Sea-Tac around noon. They would call when they arrived. Then they would drive straight to our farm but that was only if they could get a flight at all. If they didn't, they would call when they figured out what their next move would be.

    I had mixed feelings about this voicemail. On one hand I had put myself through a load of torture that might all be for nothing. Just the thought hurt. On the other hand as exhausted as I was, this news was a huge relief to me. It meant I could sleep in to my normal wake-up time instead of rising three hours earlier like the original itinerary required and I would have time for my pain meds to kick in before I had to begin pushing myself again. As much as I was over doing, this change would give me a much better chance of getting through the day if they did make it. I was definitely grateful for that.

    Not knowing if or when these folks would arrive, I decided the best plan was to proceed as if they would catch the flight they hoped. Even though I was pooped, this schedule seemed doable except that Dave had to work in the afternoon so he wouldn't be available to take over if I got too tired. Depending on what time they arrived, it could be Dave would only be here to help with the preparations. I was hoping that wouldn't be the case but there was no point in worrying over what I couldn't control. It was going to be a long day for me regardless because of how much I had already pushed.

    To be continued.....

    D-Day Begins.....

  • Cleaning Up...... -
     Part 1 of the Black Years

    Part One of Amanda's Wright's Story

    First off I have to say despite the terse comment made on Facebook, this is my blog and it is my prerogative to write whatever I deem appropriate. The subject matter of these last months is not what I would have chosen as part of my journey with horses but it did happen because of the horses. The impact has been so profound, it is appropriate to the share the story so others can protect themselves should they find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

    I know before this, I wouldn't have believed this could happen to me. I thought I was healthy,  I was most definitely strong, capable and self sufficient and I believed I was a good judge of character. I suppose this gave me a false sense of security but in addition I just didn't believe that so many people were out there looking to make their way on the backs of others. I am a glass half full kind of person and with that I wanted to believe the best in people.

    These last two and a half years have set all of that on its ear. My opinion of people has changed dramatically. The fact so many chose to capitalize on my weakness and others have decided to ridicule me as I write this story makes me wonder what has happened to people's humanity. It is hard enough to understand why anyone would want to exploit my misfortune like Kelly Panowicz did but to have that followed up by Crystal Baker's battering seemed unbelievable.  Then to reconcile the fact the vultures were not done with me yet or that they gathered in such force has been incomprehensible. For others to see my victimization as a reason to criticize makes me think the world has gone absolutely nuts. How low can anyone go than to kick someone when they are down or to revel in another's misfortune? Yet that is exactly what happened. It is no wonder my psyche feels as battered as my body.

    By the time Amanda Wright ( Mannuq Arabians) left here, I felt so beaten I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and never come out. The fact she intended to abandon me knowing people were coming to view horses hit me like a pro boxer's shot to my mid section. I may have realized in my head that Amanda had come here to exploit but my heart still wanted to believe people are better than that and she was just a mixed up kid.  Leaving me high and dry that way had been the fatal blow to my reticence to accept Amanda was really that self-centered and calculating. When that last holdout fell so did my faith in humanity.  I recall thinking I now understood why people choose to become reclusive. With such ongoing treatment why would anyone want to venture out in the world? I was beginning to think that might be a good plan for me. After all of this, I was unsure I ever wanted another visitor on my farm but I did have the people coming from Florida already scheduled. With their plane tickets purchased it was too late to cancel so I knuckled down to get things in order for their visit. I could deal with my broken trust of humanity later.

    I had my hands full getting horses ready in time. From the point where I knew Amanda was running out on me, I had four days to get the horses cleaned up and there were still some issues around the farm I needed too and there was the pain. My constant companion still made it difficult to stand so I try not to push myself beyond the point where I can recover in a day or two.

    I used the same type of priorities for doing getting horses ready as I would for an open house. I always do the tidiest horses first and the messiest last.  With 29 horses and 4 days, I must have a minimum of 8 horses done per day. That gave me a little extra leeway for dealing with any last minute surprises. I also reserved these showers for after turnouts so the horses wouldn't roll while they were wet. With dinner time immediately after the horses go in at night, they would be preoccupied with eating while they dried.

    That meant I used the earlier part of the day for cleaning up the property. The weed eating had been done but there was an assortment of branches, vines, fence posts, wadded up tarps, torn down boards, broken buckets and pieces of wire fencing laying around.  All of these things discarded near their point of origin giving my farm a trashy, uncared for look that had driven me crazy as it developed. I had cleaned this all up the summer before but it developed again thanks to Amanda and Darryl's lack of regard for my property. Now with the culprits gone,  I found myself stuck with cleaning up their mess.

    That muddy area between the barns needed to be addressed too since Amanda had only fixed an area wide enough to get a wheelbarrow through so it would be easier for Darryl to clean those stalls. She had not fixed it properly either, just slip shod work that would hold up for the brief time she knew they had left.

    I was determined to get these things done, just as I was determined to get the horses presentable despite the condition of my body. It's funny that Amanda was so overwhelmed, she couldn't move but I managed to get my list of tasks accomplished in the four days I had.

    I got all the trash picked up so Dave made a trip to the dump. He repaired the stalls that Darryl had dismantled a board at a time because he'd pulled them down instead of nailing them back into place. I lit off the burn pile and fixed a walkway where the mud had been....and I got the horses cleaned up too.

    There was still lots of work that needed to be done but the farm looked presentable. I wouldn't be embarrassed when these folks arrived on Saturday but that wouldn't have been the case if it had been up to Amanda. I was physically exhausted and my pain levels were through the roof and I didn't know how I was going to get through showing horses to them.

    Just having that ugly RV gone so l didn't have to look at it made me feel better and it definitely improved the look of my farm even with the dead yellowed grass where that monstrosity had parked. I was hoping that relief and an infusion of adrenaline would get me through showing the horses. Dave knows little about their pedigrees and these peopleb were coming particularly to see some individuals of rare bloodlines so I really needed to be up to presenting horses to these people. I had really done myself in getting my farm in order so now I wondered if I should have settled for less. Were my high standards bite me or would they pay off?

    To be continued.......

    Unexpected News.......

  • An Exit Strategy of Our Own -
     Part 1 of the Black Years

    Part One of Amanda's Wright's Story
    My first reaction to Amanda's claim she didn't want to be one of those taking advantage of me  was, " You have to be kidding! You have been doing exploiting me since you arrived 9 months ago but you don't want to be one of those people. It's a little late for that so what does that really mean? You want me to feel sorry for you? Or you want me to think you didn't mean to?  For what purpose?  I will still be friends?  Or so I don't tell anyone what you did? Or maybe so you don't end up as blog fodder?". Something was behind those tears....and it sure wasn't any kind of caring for me.

    I didn't share my thoughts with her because her tears were lost on me. I didn't need to think about this to know how manipulative her exclamation had been. I couldn't get her out of my house and off my farm fast enough so I didn't respond to her comment at all. I just let the conversation die despite the urge to let her have a huge chunk of my mind.

    I figured the best way to get her out of here with as little drama as possible was to keep my cards close to my vest. I didn't know exactly how we were going to deal with Amanda and Darryl yet because Dave was at work so I couldn't talk to him but once I did, we would figure out how we would handle this. I was pretty sure once Dave heard Amanda's plans he would be as upset as I was and we would finally be on the same page. I just wasn't sure what the best course of action would be.

    After she left my living room, I was really angry at myself. I wanted them gone so I wanted to kick myself that I had even suggested there might be a possibility they could stay. I had not promised her anything. I had only said we could talk about it but I was really wishing I hadn't. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck with them and that motorhome.

    Turns out the thought of being stuck with that ugly broken down RV is the last thing Dave wanted too. It would cost us several hundred dollars to get that thing off our property and we could only accomplish it IF we had its title. There was little, if any chance of that because I was pretty sure Amanda told me the title was lost. No one from Craigslist would take it without a title either. We were screwed if they left that thing here. The laws in our state require 2 years to pass before a vehicle abandoned on private property can be towed or removed in any manner. We needed Amanda to get that thing running and get it out of here.

    Not long after our talk, Amanda and Darryl left taking their first load over to her sister's place. I don't know if they made more trips or not but I do know that when Dave talked to her that evening she told him there was some kind of problem with them moving to her sister's. She didn't volunteer anymore than that and Dave didn't ask but he did tell her the RV must be moved the next day.

    Amanda did not come into the house to talk about alternative plans as I had told her she must if she wanted to stay.  I mention this not that we would have invited her to stay but more in line with the fact she was still playing the same games. I think she assumed she could continue on as she had been but the scare of having that trashy motor-home abandoned here was the final straw for Dave. Everything I had predicted and shared with him about Amanda's behavior here had ended up being true so Dave could finally see there really was never going to be the kind of help she promised in addition he could see if they didn't abandon that RV now, they would when the first opportunity arose. It was only a matter of when.

    Dave now wanted them gone as much as I did and he wanted it yesterday.
    First thing the next morning he was out there asking Amanda for status on getting the RV running. According to her she ended up at the welfare office borrowing money from some emergency fund to get it running.

    When it was, Amanda asked him where to park it and he basically told her anywhere that was off our property. She said they had no place to go and he suggested maybe they could go back to the hoarder's farm. Amanda said she had already asked and he'd told her no but Dave stuck to his guns. He told her after seeing that she was planning on leaving it here, we couldn't take anymore chances. They must leave immediately.

    It was easy to see that Amanda and Darryl were both livid. The ugly look I had received the day before was mild compared to that I got when I walked in on him in the first barn. He dropped his head and turned his shoulder like a blocker for football and came straight at me trying to intimidate me. He stepped aside at the last second so only his clothes brushed against me. It was clearly a F*CK YOU, B*TCH! gesture.

    Dave was scheduled to work that afternoon and the RV was still sitting here. They were so angry,  Dave was worried about leaving with them still on our property so he waited around. Eventually a tow truck arrived and they left the same way they came.

    To be continued.......

    Cleaning Up.........

  • More Pieces Towards Getting There..... -
     Part 1 of the Black Years

    Part One of Amanda's Wright's Story

    As I walked to the house, I saw Darryl loading their things into the trunk of the car his parents had driven from California to give him soon after the baby came. There was a mean, angry set to his jaw, l had no doubt was directed at me. I had not seen such an expression from him before. Not even on the day I had brought them both in to confront Amanda for not living up to our agreement when I had asked Darryl to be there.  I wanted him to hear both sides of the story since I was already thinking a lot about the position Darryl was in and it seemed to me he might be being manipulated by her as much as we were. Now with his expression so angry I had to wonder what was behind this attitude. They were the ones cutting out on me. I couldn't imagine what he about this was bothering him.

    My mind, still whirling with Amanda's disclosure, instantly shifted gears as the implications of this sight began to mesh with her words. This move couldn't have been executed without prior planning. I wanted to know when Amanda had hatched this plan. How long had she lied to me about helping with the horses when she knew all along she would be gone?   Knowing full well how important these visitors were to my business and the future of my dreams, not only was she running out on me, but her actions had denied me the opportunity to make other arrangements for help to get my horses ready now that the weekend was past.  From her demeanor,  she wasn't even giving this betrayal a second thought. I wanted answers so I would finally know how ruthless and conniving Amanda Wright really was.

    I continued on into the house so I could think about what this all meant and what I wanted to say to her. Once I had a plan, I went back out and asked Amanda to come into the house to talk once she finished feeding the horses their lunch. She responded "ok" but didn't ask why and I didn't volunteer.

    When she came in, I didn't waste any time with platitudes. Despite everything that had happened, I still treated her with dignity and respect, my ethics still more important than my feelings. I  wanted to understand what was going on so right off the bat I asked her when she had begun planning her exit strategy.

    Amanda's answer was sometime around two weeks which is exactly when Darryl got hired by Subway. The man had a part time job at minimum wage and there was welfare for the baby so she didn't need us anymore. This timing was exactly what I had been telling Dave for months would happen when Darryl found work. They had used us for whatever they could get and now that they had other options they were out of here with no regard for what they owed.

    Even with this revelation all I could think about was Lindsay. I worried about her and the effect of all of this crap on her. She has been jerked around by the promises of all these sleazy people for two and a half years. She gets her hopes up believing she is going to have help only to have those hopes dashed into smithereens. It's hard enough for me to make sense of this but to exploit my brain damaged daughter in this way is just plain cruel. All I could think about was saving Lindsay from this pain.

    Amanda, on the other hand, could think of nothing but Amanda.  She was rattling on with her explanation about how hard this was for her and all I could think was how screwed up she is so I confronted her. I actually told her that her life was a mess. She was barely a step above homeless and her priorities were all messed up but she responded by telling me her life was just fine. Her only stress was my horses. "I just can't do it," she claimed. Without my horses her stress would go away.

    Still assuming what she says is honest and trying to help her, I told Amanda her problems were much bigger than my herd. Since her method of dealing with being overwhelmed is to become immobilized, crippled by the "can't" she routinely uses to justify being stuck, she was in big trouble whether here or not. She had not shown evidence of good coping skills the entire time she had been here and she had had the opportunity to learn some important life skills. If she had come to me when she first arrived, maybe I could have helped her see how to deal with what seemed to be insurmountable. We could have done a work schedule and presented the work in a more manageable way.

    The interesting part of this was the comments she used to discount my recommendations that I didn't pick up on until I thought about this conversation later.  During the course of these remarks, she also discounted things her counselor was telling her which were much the same as I was saying. Amanda was stuck because she choses to be. She was rejecting anything helpful and this information just cemented my thinking that Amanda, like Jessica, doesn't really want to be accountable for her life. She wants people to feel sorry for her as a way to suck them into her games.

    As I spoke to her, I did not try to guilt her into staying because I am not a game player. I didn't even know if I wanted her to stay but thinking about Lindsay and what she needed,  I suggested the possibility of talking it over with my family to see if there was a schedule that might work should she want to stay. However, she must talk to me about it by the end of that day.

    Of course our conversation was much longer than this but I don't recall everything I said other than it was much the same as I had said before to her about the way she runs her life and those things I advise others as a life coach.

    I specifically pointed out that she was healthy and couldn't get the horses ready because she said she couldn't. It wasn't that she was incapable but because she didn't even try. I assured her, even though I am barely able to stand,  the horses would be ready because I believe I must so I would push through despite the obstacles and I would do it by myself. I might pay afterwards for ignoring my body but I would get it done......doing so is what self esteem is all about and she definitely could use some of that.

    All of her excuses were pretty much the same old game to avoid responsibility but there was one thing Amanda said that stuck with me. She sat here in my living room and turned on the water works, "I don't want to be one of those people who took advantage of you." she cried.

    To be continued.....

    An Exit Strategy of Our Own......

  • The End Gets One Step Closer -
     Part 1 of the Black Years

    Part One of Amanda's Wright's Story
    Friday came and went producing exactly what I predicted. The drive line had been reconnected on the RV but it was no closer to moving on its own than it had been the day it was towed here.  Amanda Wright (who goes by Mannuq Arabians on FB after her Native American heritage) was still trying to sell us on the idea the ugly yellow spot of dead grass underneath it would be worse to look at than the vehicle itself but we weren't buying it.  She also had the nerve to challenge our decision because there might not be WiFi at the new location like we somehow owed them that. Funny how Amanda always could find an excuse not to do something based on her needs but our needs never counted for anything with her.

    On Friday Amanda Wright's sister and the sister's fiance didn't even arrive until well after 1 and they were gone about 3:30 or so. There were a couple of screws missing from Dave's chainsaw so nothing was done about the storm damage. The fiance did, however, edge most of my yard with the weed eater and an area was cleared of grass and debris for the motor-home to be parked across from the hay barn. Without the fiance the work party as Amanda called it would have been a total bust.  I think Darryl did assist with clearing the area for the RV. No horses were rinsed and no work was done on manes and tails but the yard looked good other than my overgrown flower beds. Amanda had done about a third of the little bed in the front but she hadn't finished it so I was grateful for the edging.  I definitely appreciate the hard working fiance. If Amanda or Darryl had given me the quality of work he did, there wouldn't have been a problem.

    By this time Amanda knew the people from Florida weren't arriving until sometime the following week. She didn't know exactly which day though. I was still hoping to get some kind of work out of her and I knew nothing would happen over the weekend if she knew the date of their arrival. There was a lot of work to do and I certainly thought she owed me that much and she wasn't denying it.

    I suppose honesty was more than I should have expected considering everything that had happened but I was still hoping some part of Amanda was sincere. I was about to find out how truly wrong I was.

    Nothing was done over the weekend to ready the horses and little was done on the farm. Darryl waded up a couple of tarps that had been in the area where the RV was to be moved. Amanda had fixed a narrow walkway where the mud was bad but that had been at least a week earlier and nothing more had been done. If Amanda did anything with the horses over the weekend, it was to feed them lunch but I would not swear to that.

    Then Monday when I went out to put one of the stallions out, I ran into Amanda going out to the barns.  She was smoking a cigarette, something she was told she was not to do on my property so maybe that should have been my first clue that something was up since Erin had immediately defying my request to not smoke here when she knew she was leaving. When I asked her why she claimed she was under such stress she had to smoke. I reminded her second hand smoke is dangerous for her baby and there is no way to protect him from it when it is in her clothes and hair and on her skin. She owed it to him to stop. She ignored this information and soon after  informed me they were packing up and leaving that day. She said at least a couple of different parties from Craigslist were interested in the RV.

    I must admit this while thing caught me off guard. They quite literally didn't have their own pot to pee in. The thought they would up and leave abruptly hadn't occurred to me. I didn't know what to think.  As I tried to make some sense of this, I found myself asking her where they were going.  She replied they were moving in with her sister and her fiance.

    I don't recall how I exited this conversation but I didn't say anything rude nor did I yell. I was polite even though I had good reason to scream. My mind was racing. I had people flying in from Florida in 4 days and Amanda Wright was leaving me high and dry. Like that wasn't bad enough, she was planning on deserting that ugly monstrosity of a motor-home right there next to my house where it not only would be the first thing anyone saw coming onto my farm but where it would remain as the fire hazard that it is so if the inevitable fire ever happened it would burn my house too.  Here I had believed she couldn't really get any lower.....and she did.

    To be continued.......

    More Pieces Towards Getting There....

  • The Beginning of the End -

    Part 1 of the Black Years

    Part One of Amanda's Wright's Story

    Considering the concerned horse person Amanda claimed to be, it is hard to imagine how she could ignore so much and still make such an assertion. JJ commented on yesterday's post that she thought Amanda and Darryl were the worst we had here and I believe she is probably right. However,  it's important to menton Amanda was quite outspoken in her complaints about Jessica and Erin. In hindsight I realize  that was nothing more than a way to get her foot in the door by making it look like she would be some much better than either of the other two.....yet there she much worse in so many ways.

     The only reason I qualify my agreement with JJ is Amanda was around so much longer than anyone else and I am always trying to be fair but the reality is whenever Erin or Jessica were specifically asked to do something they did a much better job than Amanda ever did. Trouble or any of my other horses did not end of looking like poor Trouble while Jessica and Erin were here.   Erin actually spent more time in the barn than Amamda ever did and Erin was only here 2 months next to Amanda's 9.

    More horses actually were groomed by Erin than Amanda too, even though that isn't saying much. I was embarrassed by the way my horses looked twice when I showed them to prospective buyers when Amanda supposedly got them ready for the people to see. I was NOT embarrassed by what Erin did to get horses ready when people came during her stay. The job could have been better, considering she came from a show barn and the prospective buyers were looking for show horses, but the horses were presentable. Yet Amanda had criticized what Erin did when she appeared here that day.

    Last August I had people coming from Florida to look at a mare and her two daughters. Like anytime I have people coming, I want all of my horses to be groomed since I never know when someone will decide they want to see another horse. These particular people I expected would want to see all of the horses because bloodlines tend to differ across the country so this would be their opportunity to see different horses than they are used to in their neck of the woods.

    With Amanda no longer pregnant I expected her to get my horses cleaned up for this visit, all of them, not just a few as I had asked when people had come over the winter.  Dave expected the ugly RV to be moved to a less conspicuous location. There were also some expectations about getting the farm in order. One of which was getting mats fixed since the mare and one of her daughters has the worst mats on the place. I also wanted a muddy walkway fixed and the lawn mowed and edged.

    I knew approximately when these people were coming but I also knew from Amanda's past performances that she would put these chores off so I gave her a deadline that was a week earlier than the actual visit. I didn't let her know the people were coming later. For all Amamda knew her deadline was the real deal.

    I wanted all of my horses' manes and tails combed out and kept that way as well as each horse thoroughly rinsed off. I gave her enough time she could have bathed them all if she was really interested in making up for all the time she'd let me down.

    Interestingly enough at this time, Darryl began some program with the state that he was forced to attend because his child was now on the welfare rolls. As I had predicted, stalls were not being done while Darryl was gone for these purposes. The program, however, didn't take up as much time as expected so its impact was not as bad as it would later become but enough to finally be getting through to Dave.

    I kept asking Amanda how she was doing with getting the horses groomed and I reminded her I was not going to tolerate being embarrassed by dirty horses again. She claimed she was making her way through manes and tails but I reminded her she needed to be making progress on getting them rinsed too so that we would only need to do a quick touch up the day before the people arrived.

    Amamda assured me she was beginning that task on Friday. Her sister and her fiancÚ were going to help. They planned to come first thing in the morning and then be here the whole day for a work party. The fiancÚ was going to work on the storm damage from two winters ago and her sister would hold horses for rinsing. Amanda figured they would put a big dent in the job then.

    I had experienced Amanda's idea of a work party with her sister and fiancÚ before. They had shown up after 1 and were gone around 3. The only real worker in the group was the fiancÚ. I didn't expect this time to be any different.

    While I was pressuring Amamda to get the horses cleaned up, Dave was doing the same thing with the RV. He told Amanda the thing could NOT stay where it was. It had to be moved or else......

    Dave is a very easy going guy. He would have to be to live with me. I push him pretty hard and he rarely pushes back. I think Amanda had seen enough to know she'd better take him seriously when he said "or else because that is really unlike him. The RV wasn't running yet but she claimed to be waiting on parts.

    Darryl actually found a job working for Subway. His orientation was to start the same week the people were coming from Florida. I knew the stall cleaning was done by the way they had already handled Darryl's absences. Amanda did feed lunch sometimes but she had not touched a stall. The working dynamo she'd claimed to be when she was grooming her way onto my farm was just one more lie. She had a lousy work ethic and her word was useless. The only question I had was how high and dry would she leave me with people coming all the way from Florida?

    To be continued.....

    The End Gets One Step Closer........

    This picture is Surprise. I should have posted it yesterday when I was talking about her. As you can see from the attitude, she expects to be appreciated. I love this little mare. Hope I get to breed her someday. Curretnl that's not looking likely.

  • Some "Special" Treatment for the Twins and More Shortcuts... -

     Part 1 of the Black Years

     Part One of Amanda's Wright's Story

    The more time that passed here without the promised help, the more frustrated I became. There were so many instances were I felt used that I couldn't walk out the door and see that hideous RV and not feel exploited.

    That thing was so bad they had a tarp over the roof with milk jugs full of water tied with hanks of yellow plastic rope at each grommet to anchor it down to stop the leaks. During a windstorm that tarp caught air and wrapped itself around the power line going to my house. The weight of it all caused the line to sag and as the wind gusted the whole thing bounced and blew. The dangling anchors flung about like dancers in some misguided choreography, thrown by the wind and jerked back by their tethers,weaving themselves together in a unwieldy mass that dangerously jerked at the power line. Watching the movement of this conglomeration, I feared the force would rip the wires down or tear them loose and start a fire.

    Of course Darryl and Amanda were gone and when I called her about the danger she showed no concern. The only thing that mattered was her schedule and she was busy. You'd think if she wasn't worried about my house burning down, she would have at least have been worried about her own since the RV was parked so close if one burned so would the other. 

    I ended up out in the storm fencing with the milk hugs to untangle this mess, not an easy fete with a cramped abdomen. When I finally got this mess off the wires, I pushed the wadded up tarp underneath the RV so it wouldn't blow around and cause no more problems. It stayed there for months until I insisted they do something with it and the other junk they has accumulated around and underneath the RV.  Neither of them ever apologized for the problem and that too irritated me. it seemed like everywhere I turned there was another reminder of their sense of entitlement.

    Every time I worked outside picking rocks or turning horses out etc that Amanda was supposed to do while she and Darryl sat in their motor-home playing on their computers, I felt raped. Every time I stepped in their dogs poop or cleaned up after them in my bathroom....I felt raped. Every time I had to clean their rotten food out of my refrigerator or found no room in my freezer, and had to clean up the crap down my hallway that Darryl dragged in, I felt raped.  Plain and be hurting so badly I could hardly stand while those two played on my WiFi was more than I could take especially when there were these other things happening to add salt in the wounds.

    Then when I shared these feelings with Dave, his response was he didn't want to do anymore work. I'm sure he thought it could not be that bad but I have been raped in my lifetime, actually more than once.  A man who raped me actually turned into a murder-rapist who killed a woman I knew so I am familiar with what being raped feels like and to be old, sick and exploited for nearly 2 years has all the emotional elements of rape: humiliated, powerless, guilty, ashamed, embarrassed, exploited, exposed, weak, vulnerable, abandoned, depressed, unworthy, unloved, used and abused, the list goes on. The repetitions of these events only exacerbated these feelings and  the wedge between Dave and I grew every time I pushed through my pain while they played and Lindsay and I worked. It was getting pretty ugly here. My horses were fine but I was falling into the darkness with no lifeline in reach.

    By the time the baby came I had a pretty clear picture of what Amanda Wright was about. She had led me to believe she saw horse keeping the same way I did and that's what she would do once she was here but it only took a few days after they arrived for me to see it was all a lie. If she really felt the same as I, she would have been in the barn grooming horses and seeing to the turnout rotation instead of hold up in her trailer acting like the horses didn't exist.

    At no time during her stay did Amamda show anything that looked like genuine concern for my horses despite the fact she was trying to convince me otherwise. There were a few, very limited instances, where she mentioned to me a horse had an issue but she didn't follow through with the care the horse needed.

    As an example, some time over this last summer, after the baby came, Amanda noticed Surprise was injured. The mare must have been kicked by another horse. She had a huge lump on her jowl, a cut that looked like it might be infected(I thought it might be from a hoof's edge although it was not long enough to show a curve) and her eye was swollen closed and weepy. Treatment was twice a day icing/cold hosing, SMZs and ointment for the eye but Amanda didn't follow through after the initial treatment even though she kept the medications with her in the RV so she wouldn't forget.  She didn't take care of Surprise unless she was reminded by me. After she went somewhere leaving Surprise's medications out of reach,  so even we could not treat her, I ended up having her return them to me so I could monitor the status of Surprise's care. I prepared the SMZs so all Amanda had to do was give them but it  was only the first three days that she was involved in Surprise's care at all.  It was easier for me to take care of the mare myself or have Dave do it than chase Amanda down.

    How Amanda could claim to love the horses and ignore/forget Surprise's injury is beyond me but it is just one of many examples that says Amanda does not love horses like she claims. Luckily there were not many injuries but most of them weren't even seen by Amanda. Lindsay was and is my eyes and ears.

    Then there was the issue of keeping the horses clean. Not having shavings in the wintertime required some extra attention to keep the horses clean.   Their long winter hair is like a magnet for poop and pee. If not curried regularly clumps of material can form. Despite my illness I had kept my horses clean until last winter when it was Amanda's job to see this happened. As long as you stay on top of it, it's not a difficult job. Most of my herd is pretty tidy. Only a handful of them require constant watching but Amanda didn't groom them at all.

    I pulled Trouble out of his stall one day and he was disgusting with dried on crud totally covering his belly, armpits, hocks and lower legs. The only time I have ever seen anything like this was when Heather Kohl Davis left Vee living in a sewer. Vee's situation was worse because the sludge covered her entire body. I would say that Amanda's behavior was as neglectful as Heather's. Lucky for my horses they weren't living in circumstances like poor Vee.

    I spent two hours hosing this mess trying to soften it so I could get it off. In the process I was stepping in Amanda's dog's crap. Two days earlier Amanda had turned Trouble out and she had ignored this disgusting mess because she didn't want to deal with it. The whole time I have been laid up my horses have never looked this bad but it never occurred to me this woman would  neglect my horses like this.

    Like this all was not enough there was another nasty habit Darryl had. My stalls are wood and having a board kicked loose is pretty common with all of these mares. Instead of hammering them back up, Darryl would pull them off and throw the board out of his way never telling anyone. Eventually there were more boards over my french drain than there were forming the partitions separating the mares. It was only as Dave discovered the extent of this that he began to realize he was spending more time fixing Darryl's messes than he had ever spent cleaning stalls. The lazier Darryl got, the more Dave realized this wasn't turning out like he had expected either. Darryl didn't know it yet but Dave was reaching his boiling point.

    To be continued.....

    The Beginning of the End......

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