Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Digs

I think (knock wood) that we are done with the Invasion Of The Scratches. It is also know as dew poisoning and hoof rot so you would imagine an oozing pus-ridden mass of sores. That I would be able to diagnose with a glance. It really just looks like scratches. A few scabs or a small bloody spot. If you found it on your own foot, you would wash it and forget it.

When I first saw it on Claire, I was unconcerned. Then it got much worse and spread to Libby. Big concern. Every morning for weeks I had to scrub legs. It never got better until Lee stepped in. He found a web site that I had not. It had a lot more information and was very helpful. I have no idea what it was, but here is what it said and what we did.

It is contagious. Don't share brushes. OK. Too late for that. But it is a good idea and I should get more brushes and have a tack box for each horse. Put that on my list.

Clip the feet and legs so that the bacteria is more easily scrubbed off. We did that. It also said to scrub off the scabs to get rid of the bacteria under them and we did this....mostly. Some scabs were quite stubborn. And I didn't want to be digging at their feet too much. It seemed to be painful and I did the best I could.

It also said to clip the pasture low to get rid of any high grasses. Lee mowed the whole field and the outside perimeter, then used the weed eater under the fence line to have it all clipped. Mowing also breaks up the manure so that if it ever rains again in my lifetime, it can break down more easily.

We scrubbed and scrubbed twice a day. When it looked like we had a handle on it we started using Desitin (actually the Dollar General brand) to dry the sores up and to coat the foot above the hoof line. I didn't have time to wait for the feet to dry from the scrubbing. I had to get to work. So, I would scrub and clean stall and buckets and then put the horses back in their stall. Lee would go down an hour or so later and goop up their legs and let them out. By this time the dew was off the grass and that may have helped also.

So this morning was the last scrub day. I clipped them again yesterday and gooped them up. Then this morning I scrubbed all the scabs off and gave them one more dose of Betadine. I hope we are DONE!

Lee put the rails and gates up all by himself on the new turnouts. Is there any question as to why he is my mother's favorite son-in-law?? (In fact this has become a family joke and all my aunts are now required to call him their favorite son-in-law, too. The fact is, my mother has only one son-in-law.) I had some minor surgery and have been too sore to help, so he went and did it all alone while I was at work! See why he is my favorite husband?(Once again, the one and only, but still.....)

We have been planning on and working on these turnouts for quite some time. It is just serendipity that they are done at a time when moving the horses to a different stall might also help with their recuperation. If there was also bacteria in their old stalls and turnouts, then they will no longer be there to be reinfected.

We scrubbed the new stalls and moved the salt blocks and put in fresh shavings. New Digs! I have no idea if they like the new digs or not. We waited around and all they wanted to do was eat dinner. If I didn't know better, I might think they were male. "Just feed me and I don't care what you do with the place."

Next week is soon enough to disinfect the old stalls. We swept and hosed them out. Have the Lysol. Just don't have the energy. Gotta save something for next weekend! Of course there is a fund raiser for the Eagle Rock Library at the Blue Ridge Winery next weekend. I have to reserve some energy for that. We love going to the local wineries for a meal and some music. This vist has the added benefit of supporting the Eagle Rock Library. It is the newest of the Botetourt libraries and still has a lot of shelves to fill up. They have an active Friends group and I will go to support them. We'll share a bottle of wine, have a meal and not think about horse hooves at all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Books I Want

I think there should be a BOOKS I WANT link for all libraries. It could be a place for people to request a book they want that the library system does not have. Or it could be a place to request an author that they have heard about. Then other patrons could vote on the choice. Or maybe you have a book in a series and you want to be sure the library orders the next one. Put in a vote!

Another cool thing to have would be the option to transfer the names requesting a title to the hold list before anyone else. This would encourage people to vote and let the libraries know how many copies they might need in the system. Not every library need purchase a not too popular book. Every library would know to order if the book was extremely popular.

Libraries should have a review function for books. The Roanoke Valley Libraries has a method of reviewing (0 to 5 stars) for the ebooks or audiobooks but no place for the bookbooks. (A bookbook seems to be the old fashioned paper books we all know and love.) You should be able to tell others that the author that you have always loved has written a stinker this time and not to bother.

There is a suggestion box/email option, but maybe I don't want a long conversation with a faceless library email. I just want to make my request and move on. One request gets you a place to tell others of your new find or to discover that you are a newcomer to this great author and to jump on the bandwagon. And then you are on the list! I can't wait for the call. My book is IN!!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ridge Rifle and Roy

My cousin Saja is visiting from Memphis. She brought her two girls and her mom, Suzy and our Aunt Donna came to visit, too. It's a small scale family reunion! In addition to Mule driving and horse riding and pedicuring (is that a word?) we took them shooting!

I am a library assistant in Fincastle and Roy Gross is the library courier. He makes sure the books get to the libraries that need them and then get to the right library when they are returned! There are a lot of libraries in our consortium and Roy is a busy man. So it was extra special when he heard the girls were coming and he offered to take them shooting at his shooting club, Ridge Rifle Association. You can see their website at They do a lot of community service and they are a responsible and active shooting club. There are rolling hills and different areas for shooting at different ranges. It is a wonderful club. Roy is the range officer and he took good care of Evan and Addison.

First Roy spent quite a bit of time ensuring the girls knew about safety and the rules of the range. He set them up at targets and let each girl shoot.

Aunt Suzy has a pistol for personal protection and she shot her gun and both she and Aunt Donna got a turn with the hand guns. The girls were taught to load the clips for the pistols and also to load the rifles. Roy had rifle stands to help them aim and they were quite good at it! At the end of the lesson they each got to take home the target that they had shot.

The girls and Suzy had a great time.

Donna even shot and she had had no intention of doing so. I hope my cousin Roland is good to her now that she is a dangerous woman! I think Saja might have shot a bit. It's hard to know what is happening when you have the ear protection on! I think she mostly enjoyed the fact that the girls were having fun. Next time she comes she should have hair again and I'll have to arm wrestle her to get my turn. For now she just enjoyed her girls and her family having a fun day together.

And, NO, Monty, she does NOT look like Howie Mandel.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Budding Carpenter

The library has a Summer Reading program every week during the summer. Jackie, the children's librarian for Botetourt County spends a lot of time all year picking programs that everyone will enjoy that can be obtained for a small budget. She does a great job. Lots of kids and their parents come through the doors in Fincastle every Wednesday. It is so crowded that the staff has to park across the street to have enough parking spaces.

Last Wednesday my new cousins came in also. Joe Desai had a shoe box in his hands and he wanted to show me what was inside. He had made a miniature replica of our Kawasaki Mule!. He even had the roll bars and the dump bed! The wheels turned and everything. Karlyn, his mom, told me that his grandfather had helped him. He had done a fine job and was justifiably proud of his work. I predict big things ahead for that kid!

I wish I had had more time to talk to him and have him tell me about the project. Wednesdays is our busy days and I couldn't spend the time I wanted to. Maybe he'll bring it back on a quieter day!

Green Tomato Cake and Scratches

I am on vacation this week, but have been busier than ever. My cousin, Saja is visiting from Memphis with her two daughters. They are lots of fun and love driving the mule and visiting the horses. I have a trainer come and ride and he gave them a lesson on Monday.

Claire developed scratches last week. I thought it was an injury and was putting Furazone ointment on them. It turns out it is some kind of bacteria that gets into the skin just above the hoof from wet pastures. It is also known as hoof rot and other lovely sounding names. It has been so unbelievably hot that wet pastures is hard to imagine. Nonetheless, Claire got it and then it spread to cellulitis and her whole right front leg was swollen. The vet came and gave her medicine for the cellulitis. The swelling is almost gone, but now Libby has scratches.

Basically the treatment is scrubbing with Betadine scrub and then rinsing and putting on Betadine solution. You would think they would have permanently orange legs, but it fades in about an hour. Claire is mostly healed and Libby is getting better, but I hope it is gone before I have to go back to work next week. It is time consuming and I don't want to have to do it before and after work. I will if I have to, but I don't want to.

I have been busy, but decided to make some Green Tomato Cake. I like fried green tomatoes and I like to make Banana Nut Bread and it looked like an interesting mix of the two. I got the recipe from Cultivate magazine and played around with it a bit. It called for raisins and I don't like them. It called for 2 cups granulated sugar and I did 1 cup granulated and 1 cup light brown sugar. I would have done dark brown sugar , but the light brown was open and almost know how it is. Anyway, here it is.

Green Tomato Cake

2 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Place the chopped tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Place in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain. Dump them out on a few paper towels and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a bread loaf pan with Pam.

Blend one stick of butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.

Add the nuts and raisins or Craisins if you want to. I didn't. I dumped 1 cup of flour and then all the spices and mixed and then added the second cup and mixed. Add the tomatoes and stir them in. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 60minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake's center comes out clean.

I made a critical error. The recipe called for a 9 X 13 pan, but I wanted to make it more like a bread. I kept checking every five minutes from the 40 minutes for the original recipe in the larger pan. I took it out too soon even though the toothpick came out clean. I must have put it in the wrong spot, or it could be that the crust was so crispy the it cleaned the tootpick for me on the way out. Whatever the reason, it was underdone and I had to put it back in the pan for more cooking. Even with all this, the cake came out moist and so good. So try it but if you use a loaf pan, check the tooth pick very carefully. Or use a 9 X 13 pan and cook for 40 to 45 minutes.