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The Cape Fear Equestrian
"And so they bought a farm"

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By J P Reilly

July 2002
                           
My wife say's there is a book with this title but I've never seen a copy.  She said it's funny.  I bet it is, because living on a farm has it's moments!
 
There's lots of fun, right after you feed, muck out, rake, mow, load, unload, etc.etc.  This is a much better life then living in a subdivision or condo.  I'm sure it is.  I think I'm sure.  I hope I'm sure, because I'm in this mess up to my ears and there's no turning back now.
 
Living on a small horse farm in Pender County has been a challenge.  I work a full time job, while my wife and girl's take care of house, horses, and hounds.  I'm glad that I have a background in construction because when I'm done doing it for a living, I can go to the farm and practice on the weekends.  The honey-do list is on a large roll of toilet paper!  I complicate this by trying to do everything like I'm working on Figure 8 Island.
 
Some day, when I have time, I'll tell you the story of the horse in the tree.  No big deal except my wife was at a horse show.  Come to think of it, a lot of crazy stuff happens when my wife is gone.  However, I usually get them straightened out by the time they get back.  That's not to say I'm not greeted with a curious "what cha been doin".  Sometimes I tell her, sometimes I don't.  Twenty odd years of marriage, will give you wisdom to keep your mouth shut.

August 2002
 
I overheard a conversation the other day, debating which was the smartest dog.  I offer this as an observation only.  We harbor several Jack Russell terriers.  One day I was sitting on the front step and on the lawn were two of the dogs.  The older dog had a ball and was teasing the younger one.  Every time the younger one would back off the older one would drop the ball.  The young one would then try to get it but was never quick enough!  That pup backed up half a step, turned and looked down the laneway and started barking the "somebody strange is driving up my road" bark.  You know what I mean, the hair up, teeth showing, watch dog bark.  As soon as the older dog got up and started barking too, the young dog grabbed the ball and ran like a thief.  The old dog got taken by the young pup.  The lesson learned - Never let your guard down or you might get your balls stolen!
 

October 2002

Last month I escorted my mother to Brooklyn, New York. She and I went to visit her sister, who is not well. My aunt enjoys my company and I hers. Glad I got to see the Old Gal, hopefully not for the last time.

I was born in New York but have lived many years below the Mason Dixon Line. As you know, I live on a small working horse farm.

So Mom and I fly to Laguardia Airport. If you havent flown into this airport your missing one of the great amusement park rides in the country. After landing we took a NASCAR like taxi ride to my aunts house. I couldnt help thinking that Were not in Kansas any more Toto.

The houses are one on top of another, cars and trucks at all hours, alarms going off at all hours. I stayed in a house that had more locks than Home Depot. Getting out the front door took the skill of a locksmith! However I only set the alarm off once. Not to shabby for a guy who doesnt know where the keys are to the farm house.

One thing about a melting pot city like New York is the food! Anything you want any time you want and some things you dont want. I had to settle for six course Italian suppers, piled high Corned Beef on Jewish Rye for lunch and Danish pastry for breakfast. So much for my diet.

Sitting on the front steps watching people walk by I realized that most were immigrants. Many people have passed by the Statue Of Liberty to make a new home in America. New York City is a remarkable place. For hundreds of years, people of all race, color and creed have lived in peace in this great city. The bombing of the Twin Towers might have changed that. I sat there for five days and only three people said hello.

When we left we flew over Manhattan. There is a very big hole on the lower east side of that island. A hole where moms and dads, sisters and brothers lived and worked. I think people are scared and maybe people are angry, but maybe people are just sad.

Five days was about all this cowboy could take. I was very glad to drive up My road, get attacked by My dogs who are allowed to poop whereever they want (outside the house), and sleep in My bed.

The next morning while driving to work (eatin a country ham biscuit, drinkin sweet tea) I realized that you have no control over where you are born but you do have control over where you choose to live. I pray for a long life and be laid to rest on this farm.

NOVEMBER 2002

Ah yes, its time to talk about the farm DOG. The trusted family canine, that we love so dearly...Pooch, Buddy, Fluffy, Flea Bag, whatever you call these members of the family, ya gotta love em!!!

That said, sometimes they can be a real pain in the butt. Our dogs are split into two main groups. The largest group is the barn group. This pack of hounds consists of three males and one female. Thats not exactly true. The bitch has five puppys. They are six weeks old now and are so cute. There is something about puppies that can turn a grumpy old man into a kid again. Ill give you a useful tip though, do not let five pups out of their kennel unless you have help getting them back in.

The second group are the dogs allowed in the house; my Jack Russell Rush and my daughters new Welsh Corgi Twinkie. Rush(any similarity be-tween my dog and a radio talk show host is coin-cidental) is the most laid-back Jack Russell Ive ever seen. Thats why hes in and the others are out. My daughters Corgi is in because,she is my daughters dog,thats why. Actually she is a sweet little pup who comes when called and doesnt get into the trash.

For those of you who dont have Jack

Russells let me explain. Russells are not little lap dogs. Russells are hunters! They kill mice, rats, snakes and about any other small animal they can get. They will go to ground or up a tree, whatever it takes to get the kill.

HAPPY TRAILS