Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A Celebration Is Upon Us!!!!

It is a time of great turmoil and disaster. There is the upcoming election with all the mailings, the unsolicited telephone calls at all hours, the constant barrage of commercials and accusations, and the endless analysis by the "specialists". This election is overtaking our air waves and I, for one, will be happy when it is completed if only to get my music back!

Then there is Hurricane Sandy. They could have picked a better name, in my humble opinion. The devestation and lives lost are very painful to listen to and watch. I am amazed, however, at the efforts taken in preparation for the arrival of the storm. Many, many more lives could have been lost. Perhaps Katrina did teach us something, after all.

Here on the homefront, life continues to be full of lives saved, lives rescued, and lives re-homed. After working for several weeks, I believe we have found the absolutely perfect home for the two Clydesdale geldings, Andie and Turbo. This has been a challenge but last Sunday's tour was very productive and next Tuesday, it is my hope, that the deal will be sealed. I will rest much easier knowing we have re-homed these two gentle giants and have averted the sudden decision to "just be rid of them". The owner is a good man and a compassionate man but the time it has taken me to find the right home for his boys has been twice what I had estimated to him. That means more money out of his pocket but he is holding tight, bless his heart!

The kittens continue to grow and thrive. Now eating canned moist food for breakfast and using the big cat food bowl the rest of the day is a huge time saver from bottle feeding all five of them. Cuter than a bug's ear, they continue to grow, explore, and find the world a wonderfully fun place to be! This house is full of boxes to climb, furniture to hide under, and big cats to sleep on and with. Kidd seems to be a gentle one with them and even Victor snuggles and cleans them. Crooked Head is a great Mother to them and they seem to be learning all the things their real Mother would have taught them.

And tomorrow, we will accept two more horses originally destined for Saturday's sale barn in Marion, WI. An elderly Standardbred and an elderly Shire. Both horses have worked and performed for their owner in their younger years and, luckily, they fell into the hands of a man that doesn't "like to see a horse go to slaughter". This man has boarded the horses for us until Trish comes this way for the Gala so tomorrow, she will stop and retrieve our newest two horses. Believe it or not, they will be #859 and #860. We'll work hard to re-home them before the winter season sets in and I will be eternally grateful to this stranger who called one evening when we were sitting around the table stuffing Gala invitations.

Finally, there is the race going on around THE FARM in preparation for an event that we host once per year. We take a hunk of our barns and a few of The Herd and we head to the University of Minnesota Equine Center in St. Paul. We work hard and convert the horse arena into a Gala hall. And then, magically, people appear and we spend an evening together as we celebrate another year of saving lives!

The Fall Gala & Auction is this Saturday, November 3rd, with the doors opening at 6:30pm. The program begins at 7pm and you will not want to miss a moment of what we have planned!

Our welcome message will be a personal one and I look forward to expressing my gratitude. Then, a few moments later, we will celebrate our hard work with a video created of specifically selected photos and set to specifically selected songs. The video tells of twelve years of sweating and freezing and working until you thought your muscles would snap. But it shows the faces of the people and the horses whose lives are better off because Refuge Farms was there. I've watched the video each morning for the past week to remind me of why we are so frantic and crazy. Why we are working so dang hard and sleeping so little. It is to celebrate and reach people. To explain our Missions in pictures and yes, with live horses and humans, too.

Babee Joy and Jeri-Ann will be in the corral for all to marvel at. They are "The Babies of THE FARM"

and they will be there in all their spendor and grand size. Guaranteed to steal your heart, you will want to attend if only to witness perhaps the largest horse you will ever touch and see! 

And then, toward the end of the evening, our farrier, Isaac, will appear with Helen in full harness. What a thrill to see this mare who was destined to be euthanized on February 22nd come into that arena! She will have her head high and her feet coming straight out in front of her! She will be proud and Isaac will be beaming! He loves to drive her and she loves to be in harness! I can hardly wait to see that picture as it unfolds!
Finally, after that grand entrance, there will be "the surprise". Now, I can't tell you what it is but I can tell you that it will surprise you! In fact, it will surprise all of us since it is something we have never done before! Truly! We will make history Saturday evening at the conclusion of our Gala and you will NOT want to miss being a witness to the event! Trust me!

Tickets are $35 at the door and you are welcome from 6:30pm on throughout the evening. We will have finger foods for you and a cash bar. Our silent auction will entice you and help you with your holiday gift shopping . . . and maybe even spoil yourself a bit, too! And then there will be the horses. Ah, the horses.

Join us, won't you? In the midst of the hurricane, the election, and all of the "noise" of the world, come and spend an evening of celebration. An evening to recognize the work we volunteers do at Refuge Farms. Simply because we believe in it . . . we believe in working to save a life.

For directions or more information, simply email THE FARM at We'll be waiting for you!

I'll close with a poem written by one of the people working "behind the scenes" for The Gala, Jodi Giroux. She is an animal lover and recognizes the care and work we commit to in loving and rescuing these creatures. Her poem is a great observation and also kind, in its way. Transparent, it seems to me. Thank you, Jodi! Enjoy!

See you at The Gala!
Sandy and Jeri-Ann and Babee Joy and Helen and . . . .????????

      I feel tension in my ‘parent,’
   Not only her,
but others who help
“What could be going on?”

“Is everything in check?”
Sandy wonders
“ volunteers, music and food,
I hope it is a successful Gala”

I eat my grain,
Enjoying my treat,
But what’s going on with all
This hustle, bustle and Gala thing?

“The logos! Donations!
Will they be sent in time?”
I have to get volunteers lined
Up at the U!”

I know my ‘parent’ loves me
I sense her relaxing around me
I think this craziness is for me
And my friends
Does she realize how grateful
We already are?

“So many places!
So little time!”
A checklist here, and
A checklist there
“We need the money to carry on
To keep these horses living on.”

I whinny and give a stomp,
She’s too busy and refuses
To look
I whinny and shake my head and
Finally! She turns a glance!

“What’s going on my friend?”
Sandy asks
“Only if she can read my heart,”
He feels

They stand in silence
Looking at each other
Simultaneously expressing,
“Thank you and I love you!”

With a pat on the head from her
And a whinny from him
They go their ways
Knowing it’ll all be okay!

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