Saturday, December 31, 2011

Adios, 2011!

I don't want to see the likes of you again!

2011 was the craziest year of horse ownership ever for me. A whole lot of bad happened sprinkled with some good moments, and a few really awesome moments.

that's right.
red's secret talent was that he was a serious barrel racing beast.

I completed my first year of eventing with a sixth on Bobby and an elimination, tenth, and fourth on Red. I did a few cross country schoolings, a dressage show (another fourth, this one for Bobby), and I made it around both a stadium and cross country course double clear in both phases in one day on Red. I got to do lots of trail riding through some really gorgeous State Gamelands, we bought an old ugly trailer that hauls like a dream,  and I'm now at a barn with an indoor, outdoor, cross country course, and enough stadium jumps to build a big course with.

sixth in starter horse at high standard stables horse trials.

one fence before getting eliminated at plantation starter trials.

However, I had to sell my OTTB Storm at the beginning of the year to move from a really dreadful  land leasing situation to a real boarding barn, only to have that barn feed the grain I was buying to any old horse in the barn, not feed Red and Bobby any grain period, and give them so little hay that Red dropped 100 pounds in eight months and Bobby dropped 200. I had to give Bobby away when I realized there was nowhere else I could keep two horses on my budget, but Red got to go out with a bang, putting on fifty pounds in just over a month.

in august.

also august. a month before we were finally able to move barns.

And, the worst part of all of 2011, was December 10th when I made the decision to have Red euthanized after a week long battle with colics following a month long battle with high fevers. The unofficial cause was a perforated ulcer, but I'll never know for sure if that's really what it was. Red Pony was my heart horse and he can't ever be replaced, but I'm starting to have fun with Bobby now that he's back in my life.

red gave the finger to 4'.

Goals for next year are to keep eventing, and take Bobby around a Beginner Novice course clear by the end of the summer. I don't have any high hopes for him like I did for Red, but I want to give him a chance and let him show me what he can and can't do.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What a boring week.

I don't know about everyone else, but this week as been a bit of a blah week for me. I haven't felt motivated to do much of anything but play Zelda on the Wii my mom got me for Christmas. Uhh...did I just admit that? Moving on.

Today was much warmer (In fact, I'm sitting in my house with a tank top on right now. So much for that raging blizzard we got last night.) so I didn't have the excuse of being too cold to do anything. I just didn't really feel like doing much. Bobby got a boring w/t warm up for about fifteen minutes before I asked him to halt to try to think of some sort of game plan. There were two fences set up in the arena--a small vertical and the picket fence/gate thing that's about 2', maybe 2'3. I made the vertical a crossrail and added a pole in front of it.

Bobby went over it like a dream. Picked up the canter over the pole, cantered over the xrail without a blink, landed on the right lead and cantered off. You silly mule, you do have a brain in there! We went over it once more from the trot, then once from the canter. Feeling quite pleased with ourselves, I decided to attempt the scary gate. Bobby seemed surprised to see it in his way, like he thought we were just turning down the long side to go to the xrail again. He half-ass ranout on it, but when I circled him around to it, he jumped right over it like it was no big deal and cantered off.

That was plenty for me. We cooled off in the arena then got untacked and groomed just in time for dinner.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lazy post

I'm not much in a writing mood today so this will be picture heavy. Darn, right?

Wednesday, waiting to be brought in for dinner.
tb/mule x already not looking so chunky.
Bobby was super yesterday. Lots of trotting with lots of changes of direction. Nothing too crazy or exciting, but there were two girls riding bareback in the arena with us and it was constant work to avoid them as they talked across to the arena to each other and paid minimum attention to where they were going. The one girl--who's about 13 and annoying, constantly talking, completely oblivious to everyone else around her, and is also a general pain in the ass--covets every horse that comes into the barn and has already made (and loudly voiced) serious googly eyes over Bobby, was like, "Does he jump, too?" To which I said, "Oh, yeah. He events." Drool, minion. Drool. You don't need to know he currently events at the lowest of the low levels. I'm a gem when I'm PMSing.

We meandered down the trail a bit for a cool out with zero fuss from Bobby.

trail blazer.
Today was absolutely freezing. It was 19 degrees out when I got to the barn at noon and of course Bobby was alllll the way at the back of the field.

see that teeny, tiny blue dot? that's bobby.
and i'd already walked half the field at this point!
"what? you just walked a mile. you can walk a little farther."

at the head of the pack for the first time in his life.

I was SO COLD starting our ride that my legs hurt and I couldn't feel my fingers. Consequently, we started off on a bit of a disconnect and I let him dope along on the buckle over some ground poles for awhile until I'd beaten some feeling back into my legs and started trotting. We were all over the place until three different girls came into the lounge area to eat their lunch and "observe". (It's Christmas break. The barn is filled with children and teenagers. I may go into isolation soon. Kids and I don't mesh.) Bobby was pumped. His thinking was, "Look! The people came to watch me because they think I'm the fanciest pony in the whole world. I have to prove them right." And proceeded to start going like I'd been working him effectively for twenty minutes. Whatever. If he wants to show off, that's fine with me.

look how hard we're working!

We did lots of trot-halt-back-trot transition in both ways and a million circles before calling it quits and hacking back out to the hills for about twenty minutes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Someone put their thinking cap on today!

Or, more correctly, someone's thinking cap was clunked down onto their head and was forced to go along with it or run into other horses and walls.

I came in at the end of a lesson of four with BO riding her horse and another girl riding her friend's horse. So with Bobby and I in the arena, there were seven riders all together. Amazingly, there was no mass chaos and everything went rather swimmingly. Because the riders were younger and they were jumping (a small xrail line), Bobby got drilled almost completely at the walk.

We started off to the left and stayed that way for most of the ride. I focused on keeping him straight on the long sides and having a nice consistent bend going through the corners. This is much harder than it sounds as he's so crooked in his neck to the left, so it was a good exercise for me to focus on just niggling at him a little so that his body didn't start drifting but he realized I was asking him to straighten his head and neck.

Once the lesson was over, I started doing spiraling circles and big circles with a little leg yield. That's when Mr Smarty Pants shoved his thinking cap down farther on his head and started the wheels churning. I was riding with my hands just before the rubber ends (Yes, I've discovered rubber reins! I'm never going to be allowed back into the hunter world again.), so while I did have contact, it was barely there. He started stretching his neck down and then lifting it back up and bringing his head in almost to the point of over-bending--at which point my reins were loosely looped from lack of contact--where he'd hold it for a bit then stretch back out again. It was like he finally understood that he can stretch under saddle and was testing what it felt like and what he could do with this brand new idea.

Since we'd done almost no trotting by this point, I asked him for it while keeping my hands at the same spot and let him play around with his own head. We stayed on a circle and while he started out with his head in the air, he again began to streeeetch down then in like, "Hmmm....this seems to work at the trot too. And it kind of feels good...." Slowly but surely, he began playing around with it less and less and started carrying it on his own, and the rest of his big dumb body started coming along to until he gave me the fanciest trot ever. He was so boing-y and bouncy and loose in his whole body.

Hopefully his thinking cap stays firmly in place. Today I got more than I expected and I barely did a thing myself. I think he's one of those horses that can keep to his own agenda and genuinely likes going around in circles learning fun things, whereas Red was prefectly happy dragging his feet and throwing a temper tantrum at the mere word "dressage".  Of course, Red could jump anything you put in front of him without a second thought, and I'll be happy if Bobby goes over a crossrail without a heart attack the first ten times.

back to the barn in the pouring, freezing rain.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Well, it wasn't much jumping and it certainly wasn't poetry in motion, but we made it up from an 18" crossrail to a whopping 2'3 vertical two whole times.

Warm up:

Jumping started off with three ground poles we trotted back and forth over a few times each way before Hubby put up an 18" vertical. I trotted Bobby up to it and he sputtered to a stop with too little too late from me. He took one step forward, knocked it down with his knees then had a naughty attack when I expected him to walk over the now downed rail. "You want me to do WHAT?!"

"this is much too big for me to attempt."

"i can't walk over that!! are you crazy??"

ok, dick. let's go get a whip.
So I went a grabbed a whip, then we trotted over the poles again, this time with one solid smack on the rumpus when he thought about stopping at the friggin' ground pole. Point made, Hubby made the vertical into a xrail and we went over that a few times without incident before putting it back up to a vertical. We went over twice at the trot and once at the canter for each height, raising from 18" to 2' to 2'3 before calling it quits.

Obviously we've got a long way to go, but he's only been ridden for five days and it's a slow process. I'm super happy with our progress so far and I think come May, we'll be in a really good spot to start showing.

RE: massage, which I did again after our ride. I am not at all a professional massage therapist and I really don't even know that much about it. I had Carol Troisi of Light Touch Massage out this past July to do Red and Bobby and she walked me through all the work she was doing so I could keep it up on my own. She said that as long as you're not on bone, work the muscles as hard as you possibly can; you can't massage too hard on muscles. I work mostly on his neck with a curry, then along his topline with my hands. Carrot stretches to each side of his body, stretched out to the front, and between his front legs. There's a million more that I can do, but that's all that I work on for now.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wait, what?

The stupid horses were standing in the pouring rain in the middle of the field instead of under their huge run-in, so grooming was a mess. Horses look so clean when they're wet, then they start to dry and it doesn't even look like you ran a brush over them.

So I put Bobby on the crossties and go to hang his leadrope up on his stall and see a bill tucked into his stall tag....a $70 farrier bill for a new set of front shoes from yesterday. Uh, what? I didn't authorize anyone to have his feet done, and he wasn't due for a reset until early to mid-January. In fact, I haven't said anything to anyone about his feet at all. So how did this happen? No clue. No BO or BM around, and the number on the bill is mysteriously out of service. Hopefully I'll find the answer tomorrow because I can tell you I really do no want to pay this.

It's no fun currying a soaking wet horse, so I ditched his pre-ride massage and double the stretches. Olivia, who owns Kidd and is a big dressage fan, tacked up Spyder and we headed down to the safety on the indoor.

olivia and kidd.
Bobby was sillier than usual warming up, trying to prove that he was the fastest racehorse in the arena, though Spyder didn't even seem to notice he was in there. We ended up doing lots of trot-halt-trot transistions to focus his wandering brain cell and after ten minutes or so, he finally settled into his work and was going really well. Olivia even said he made a really cute dressage horse, which is high praise indeed. She was getting Spyder around sooo long as she was sitting the trot. As soon as she started posting, he fell to pieces. I don't pity her abs at all!

To the right, I did two full laps around the arena at canter from the walk, came back to the trot and got balanced, then did two laps from the trot. I let him stretch out before jumping off and sticking a side rein on his left side just tight enough to wiggle the bit. He did six loops on the longe before we called it quits.

comparing dirty faces with kidd. i swear i groomed him!
He had dried out enough that I was able to get down and literally dirty with the curry to make up for not being able to massage before our ride. Fortunately, I had gotten there a little later than usual and was able to stick him in his stall to wait for a half and hour or so for the BM to come and feed. No standing by the gate screaming today!

I think Hubby is going to take half a day off tomorrow so maybe I can coerce him into coming to the barn to get some Bobby video.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snap, Crackle, Pop.

Bobby wanted to play the "Can't Catch Me!" game in his 15 acre paddock today. He would let me get within arm reach before sidling over a few steps and nibbling the nonexistent grass while watching me out of the corner of his eye. "LOL, look at the silly human. I am so clever." I quickly got tired of this game and offered half his carrot to Memphis who happily took it. Bobby figured out my game right away and speed-walked over to offer his apologies and get his own treat.

I groomed him quickly (I love blanketed horses!) then worked on his neck for a solid ten minutes, perservering despite my shoulder's sobs of protest. Then Jackie came in with her pony and Bobby lost all focus on how good my efforts felt so I called it quits for the time being and moved on to carrot stretches. As he reached around to stretch to his left side, there were two big POPS and he gave himself a full body shake before taking his carrot as if to say, "Whoo! That's the ticket!"

cheater. that's not how it's done!

I let him warm up on the long and low as long as he was going forward. I had enough contact so he knew I was there as he still has the sillies for the first five minutes, but he could stretch out as far as he wanted. He went beautifully! Instead of taking advantage and sticking his head straight up or dragging his nose on the ground (another favorite Bobby trick when he gets tired) he came right in to his lovely natural "frame"--not framed up by me, but how he stands naturally, which is very uphill I don't know if that's the right word. But he looked quite fancy for a big greenie with almost zero effort from me.

More leg yields, circles, changes of direction, and serpentines at the walk and trot. We stopped to chat with BO for a minute as she was on her way out, then started trotting again. I was so pleased with his trot work, I didn't even ask for a canter and quit early. Instead, we mosied up to the outdoor where Jackie was driving her pony.

Bobby was giving her a looong look as they got themselves sorted out, then Pepper spooked at who knows what and bolted for the open gate--right where Bobby and I were standing. Bobby instantly said, "Oh, helllllll no!" and spun around to make for the hills where the Chariot of Death couldn't reach him, but his spooking is about as dumb as he is and he got about three steps further than where he was when he started before I got him stopped again. I jumped off and we watched from the safety of the other side of the now closed gate for a few minutes longer.

He didn't seem as interested with me massaging the injury spot, so I dug in with curry until I found a more satisfactory area. I got some chewing up by his withers on both sides so I stayed there for awhile, then gave him some scratches on his poll. I honestly don't remember what that's supposed to work on, but he dropped his head and was wiggling his lips so I guess he liked it. More carrot stretches, then I grabbed his tongue and let him do a facial release. He adores this one. He hangs his mouth wide open and works his jaw around while you hold his tongue out of the way until he gets the result he wants and takes it back.

Back out to the paddock where once more he hung out by the gate in a state of confusion. You'll get it one day, Robert.

big mule nose.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another "clean up" day

"i made a friend. he is small and spotted."
Only today was more of a clean up on his trotting and evaluating our old nemesis: the canter.

waiting patiently for me to get my shit together.

We went straight to work without the longe, practicing leg yields (at which Bobby is quite good) both to right and left at the walk. We also focused on getting a real twenty meter circle at the walk instead of falling off the track. At the trot, he was really good to the right. A little strong, but he tired out pretty quickly and started focusing on what I was asking instead of just rushing forward. More leg yields and more circles to the right, then pretty much nonstop leg yield to the left just to keep him straight. He gets SO counter bent to the left because of his oooold neck injury that unfortunately is really deep muscle and is going to take a long time for it to be comfortable for him.

At the canter, he was ok to the right. Nothing fabulous, but we got two decent twenty meter circles at each end of the arena and one full lap without any serious issues. To the left, it was a HOT. MESS. We couldn't even make it down a long side without falling apart. I didn't want to shake his confidence, because he was trying, so I did two more twenty meter circles to the right at the canter, then jumped off and put him on the longe.

 You can see why he's such a mess. He's so off-balanced from being so counter bent that with a rider on him, he just falls all over the place. After I shot this video, I hooked the line directly to the left side of his bit and tugged his head in a little to keep him bent the right direction. He did three more laps at the canter bent correctly before I let him quit and walked him out. I think I'm actually going to stick to the routine--canter to the right, then finish up with cantering to the left on the line until he gets stronger and I've been able to work on his neck for awhile.

After he was nice and cool and cleaned up, I went to work on the problem spot with the curry. He was loving it.

I snuggled him into his blanket then started working on his legs again. I got quite a bit more mud off his left front and right hind  and a little more off the left hind. His right front, the worst, still wasn't loosening up as much as I would like, but I got a little more off before a few tiny spots started to bleed so I stopped.

i shaved the hair off--it didn't fall off or anything gruesome.
Once more, when I put him back out, he got lost in the paddock and stood there screaming for his friends. Sorry, Bobby. I'm not taking you up every day. It's time to put your thinking cap on!

"where is everyone?"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

First ride back.

I got Bobby spit-polished before getting on this afternoon. Mane pulled, tail banged, bridle path and whiskers clipped, and his legs shaved up. He had some serious mud stuck to his legs and I wasn't able to get it all off. His right front is the worst, but I don't see any real evidence of scratches. I think once I get it all washed and curried out, he'll be just fine.

The porker's girth is on one hole on each side--and that's with some serious tugging once I got him moving. I jumped on him to see how he would do, but he was a little dance-y and I didn't want to start a fight so I put him on the longe to get his sillies out.

He was done after about five minutes so I got back on and started again. He was still a little strong, but he settled in and went to work. The riding pictures aren't great because my camera is crap and it was in the indoor so he looks pretty pathetic in all of these, but every now and then he was giving me some good stuff. We ended with one full lap of canter around the arena and two twenty meter circles in each direction.

He got worked for probably twenty minutes, including on the line. He didn't take too long to cool out, so while he is definitely a chunker, I think I'll be able to get him back into shape before too long. The power of Thorougbreds!

I tossed him back outside where he proceeded to scream his brains out while I cleaned up my stuff because he couldn't see the other horses who were over the hill. I finally caved in to his stupidity and led him up the hill until the other horses were in sight. Oh, well. He can't help he's retarded. He'll figure it out eventually.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The new horse came home today:

"Hold on!" you say. "Don't I recognize those big donkey ears?"

Yes, yes you do. It is the dumb-bum himself, MightyBobbyMagee!

Early followers may remember that back in August, I finally forced myself to deal with the horrible situation my boys were in and I gave Bobby away to a COTHer.  Lillian, Bobby's new mom, has stayed in touch with me and when she heard about Red, she unbelievably, unimaginably offered Bobby back.

It blew me away. How amazingly kind, selfless, understanding, and just downright saintly is that? The power of horse people, baby. We may all be a little crazy, but I don't think there's a closer knit community on earth (at least one that's not also a cult). As Hubby said, "You horse people. You're always giving each other stuff."

No one is ever going to replace Red, but I've known Bobby literally since birth and I've been with him every step of the way. I think it's right that he's the next one. After all, you couldn't get any further apart than the two of them:

Red was small (15.3hh), Bobby is big (17hh). Red was naturally catty, athletic, and scopey. Bobby is big and hasn't figured out how to use his huge body yet. Red was bratty and opinionated, Bobby is willing and dopey. Like I had to work on when I was riding both, Bobby is still a greenie and needs things to be explained thoroughly to him before asking to put it together. Red seemed to just "get" everything I asked.

This should be fun.

A friend of mine from school, whose dad is coincidentally Hubby's boss's boss, also just got an old friend of hers. Bally is a 19yo Quarter Horse who was a lesson horse at the college for years and years and Becca has been dying to bring him home with her for almost as long.  

So yay for Becca and Bally, and welcome home Bobby!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fingers crossed.

This week has been tough for me--probably worse than last week. It seems like everywhere I look someone is losing one of their animals, and each time it feels like I'm losing Red all over again. I worked in the racing industry for several years and saw a lot of horses have to get euthanized, but you really detach yourself from it. Red is my first I've ever personally lost and right now it doesn't seem like it's ever going to hurt less. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, so when I read of it happening, I start crying uncontrollably like, "I'm so sorry! I know how it feels! It's the worst thing in the entire world!"


I don't want to say too much until everything is official, but there is something in the works with another horse. I think you guys might like the way things turn out.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Well, now that I've had my time to cry, and cry, and cry some more, and stay up all night crying (much to Hubby's delight, I assure you), I'm going to try to take a brief respite to get out a few thoughts.

Red seemed fine Wednesday, Thursday, and almost all of Friday. BO checked him at 8:30pm Friday and since he looked ok, and had been acting ok for the past two days, did not go down to check him again at 10. Saturday morning, BM said his stall was a mess as if he'd had a very uncomfortable night. Regardless, he seemed to go through the rest of the morning without any noticable issues.

When we got to the barn to check on him at 1:30, he had just come down to the run-in and was starting to roll. We brought him in to his stall and almost immediately gave him the first 4cc of torb. I walked him for forty five minutes with him only getting worse and worse so we gave him the last 4cc and I called the vet to confer. She didn't have anything new to offer, so we basically went through everything over the past week then decided if he didn't start showing any improvement within thirty minutes, call her back and she'd be out to put him down.

I think I'd kind of prepared myself for this since last Sunday. I honestly thought we were calling the vet out then to have Red put down, so to have another week with him was at least a small blessing. I knew for sure when we first brought him in yesterday that if I had to have the vet come back out, it was going to be for the last time. At first, I was absolutely furious with everyone. It still doesn't seem fair to me that I'd done everything I could for this horse his whole life and he'd never been sick a single fucking day and now I was going to have to lose him over something I couldn't fix.

The vet was amazing when she came out. She asked a few questions about his pain level, did a rectal to see if the ulcer had perforated (it had) and told me she would have given him less than 24 hours if I hadn't planned on putting him down anyway. I'm sure it's the same for every other horse owner, but it really calmed me down and made me feel better when she said that, and told me that I was absolutely doing the right thing.

He went down very slowly and was gone in less than a minute. She told me he didn't have a lot of fight left in him.

I don't know that I've really admitted to myself that he's gone forever. He's not on vacation, he's not laid up, he's just not coming back. I got a good hunk of his tail to make a bracelet out of, and I know whenever I get on another horse, he's always going to be with me. For all the naughtiness and misery he put me through, I have never been as confident on any horse and I know I never will be. He was my heart horse.

BO and I discussed "Another Horse" today. She said that I was free to ride Spyder whenever I wanted whether I had a horse there or not, and that she has a woman that's looking to half lease a horse out that needs training. He's a 4yo OTTB that's been off the track for awhile, but hasn't started retraining. She thought I'd be perfect for him and it would only be $200/mo. That might be an option, but probably not. When I get another horse, I want it to be mine. Hubby and I are looking at a couple right now. I feel kind of guilty about looking so soon, but it's almost theraputic.

This blog isn't even close to over, so stay tuned, lovely readers. Hopefully I'll have some happy pony news to report before long.

RIP Red Pony

Red took a turn for the much worse yesterday afternoon. The vet came out, said the ulcer had perforated and that he was bleeding internally. She gave him 24 hours, but since 8cc of torb in 45 minutes didn't do a thing for the pain he was in, it would have been horribly selfish and cruel to try to keep going with him.

Eagles Hill

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No news is good news

I got ten tubes of the GastroGard ordered yesterday morning after teaming up with SmartPak who had to call the vet's secretary twice after I had already called her. Honestly, I don't think I've ever dealt with helpful vet secretaries. They always make you feel like you're seriously inconviencing them by calling. Well, sooorry. My five million dollar vet bill is paying your salary, sweets.

Speaking of, ten tubes? $398. Yep. The whole six weeks is going to be $1,540. Sweet. Baby. Jesus. If anyone has a spare tube of GastroGard laying around, send it our way, please! I honestly have no earthly idea how we're going to cover it.

Red was fine yesterday morning. BM said when she went to give him the Gastri-Soothe, she went in sans halter figuring she could just poke it down his throat quickly and put him out. Apparently Red was not down with this plan and, while she got ahold of his blanket, he spun her around the stall several times before she gave up and wrangled him with the halter and lead rope.

It was raining steadily yesterday, but everyone was in the top of the field anyway. I took Red's temp (100.2) while feeding him cookies (this is more difficult than it seems--Red is very bendy), then grabbed Spyder to take him for a spin.

I really like Spyder. If I was so extremely loaded that I didn't even notice a $1,500 medication bill, I would buy him in a heart beat. He would make a seriously fancy eventer. He's got the build and movement a dressage rider would fall over and die for. He's so correctly built, and his movement is so uphill he almost feels like a Fresian when he canters. And while he's still green as grass, he's got a great sense of natural balance and he is so willing.

I started him off to the right which is what I do for all greenie OTTBs--TBs warm up to the right on the track and when you turn them around to go left, it means go time. I find starting right keeps them a little more focused. Spyder doesn't get ridden much, so he was pretty quick to start out. We did loads of serpentines, small circles, big circles, and spiraling circles. As hard as he tries to understand, he really has to be ridden every single step. If you stop riding him on a circle, he won't finish up on his own accord--he veers off in whatever direction seems best, which is usually the opposite you want him to go. We did a brief canter in each direction (so nice to ride a horse that picks up its leads automatically!), then called it quits. As much as I love Red's smooth as glass gaits, Spyder is really fun to ride.

I brought Red in when I was done since he had come down to the run-in. It was pouring by this time and his sheet was soaked so I got him changed into his winter blanket (which was actually Bobby's since his his dirty and therefore hangs off his butt a good five inches). The only time he bothered to look up from his hay was when he heard a peppermint wrapper, which made him turn into a rapist.

BO didn't call last night so I'm assuming he was comfortable. Phew.

In other news, we finally got our christmas tree!

Less than an hour later......

The culprit (who will now be staying in her cage until after Christmas):

And, yes. We did get the massive snowstorm sweeping the nation last night. Prepare to be awed: