Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Belated Birthday Present

This past Wednesday was Mom's birthday! We actually got the HI2 birthday message on the right day this year, rather than it coming a day late! Maybe the trick is to log on in the late afternoon rather than the morning?


Our buddy Gem happened to be on when we were, riding her new strawberry roan New Forest Pony. Her avatar isn't quite as strawberry as I was expecting, but boy is she cute! I think Xanthos was impressed as well. ;^)


Also cute is Pepsi's birthday present from Gem, a wobbly-legged fawn. Gem's Exmoor, Vita, has one just like him, so now the twins Dasani and Vita have twin companions as well. <3


It only seemed right to flute the birthday horse while riding Napoleon, the lucky 6/6 Welsh Pony we found on Mom's birthday two years ago.

The flute brought us a bay Hanoverian! Lily (who loves Hanos and still doesn't have one) didn't get her hopes up too much - she figured another 6/6 wild on Mom's birthday was never going to happen. Well, it turns out she was right about this year, anyway.



Drat, just look at those gorgeous markings! And it would've been so entertaining to have a horse strutting around our ranch isle like royalty. XD

I guess HI2 didn't want us feeling too bummed out, because two days later it decided to grant us our second 6/6 wild horse of 2016.

Was it...

A. a brown Don
(HI2 has been quite generous to us with Dons in the past, after all...)


B. a black Welsh Cob
(because obviously you can never have too many solid black horses
- just ask Shady, December, Onyx, and Windy)
or 

C. a flaxen chestnut Haflinger
(we don't have one of those, and it could only be a matter of time...)



The






answer





is:





B! 


Of course, it would be another stallion. The pendulum sure has swung back in the stallion direction for us. He is quite handsome, though! I love his stripe and that one white foot. It looks like Napoleon and Landslide are getting more Welsh company!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Carnations, New Horses, and a Strawberry Surprise

Sheesh, count on Julie to get me all misty-eyed over an old laptop! 

Let's move on to happy, HI2-related topics.

First order of business: check out this wild ASH that Julie and Tinsel fluted on Friday the 13th!


A booty bouquet. Oops! XD
Second order of business: let me officially introduce you to Usko, Yonder, and Yellowstone. 


Usko
Bethany has claimed him. "Usko" was the most fun name she could come up with that made it through the filter and started with the letter U. A goofy name for a goofy horse. =) That lead rope still looks odd to me, but whatever. At least it's a nice color.


Yonder
Kaimanawas are feral horses from New Zealand. New Zealand makes us think of picturesque mountainous terrain "way out yonder." The name seemed perfect for this rock-colored horse.


Yellowstone
She's a Westphalian, and even though the breed is from western Germany, we were more in a western United States frame of mind when we chose her name. I suppose she's technically more gold than yellow, but we decided it was close enough. Julie and I are still working out which of us will get Yonder and which of us will get Yellowstone. It's a tough decision!

I was not wild about adding two horses in March (Usko and Lumos) and another two in April (Yonder and Yellowstone), but my sisters were insistent. At least we haven't found any tempting horses yet in May, and we're almost half way through it already. 

My third and final order of business is this strawberry roan New Forest Pony:



Our buddy Gem and I were both online for a while on Wednesday night. Gem spotted a Camargue mare that looked like a female version of Mistral (and Murphy), so I rode Stromboli over to an auction house for a look. While I was there, Gem also pointed out a 6/6 NFP mare with 70 some minutes left in the auction. Gem made the first bid on her of a mere $1000 and said that she thought she would die laughing if she won. 

Well, I found out yesterday... 



Unlike Carl, luckily, Gem is still very much alive. But wow, come on now, really? A beautiful 6/6 +87 mare. $1000. I'm still shaking my head and snickering over this one. 

I happened to notice that there is another 6/6 strawberry roan NFP mare in the ranch stores right now. She's set for sale at $100,000, and she's only +60. Not to mention she's missing the cute facial markings and the interesting persona of Gem's mare.



Hats off to you, Gem!

Goodbye, Old Friend

Thursday, May 12 was a sad day for Mom. She went up to her bedroom, got out Carl, and discovered that Carl is dead.

This is Carl:


Yes, Mom named her laptop. Carl the Compaq and Mom go way back. He's been in the family since roughly June of 2006, which means he didn't quite make it to 10 years old. Once upon a time, he made surfing the internet, watching DVD's, and photo manipulation a breeze. A few years later there was the glass of water incident, which he miraculously survived. A few years after that he got a virus, but after a repair and some new antivirus software, he carried on valiantly. In his later years, he steadily declined until he could no longer do much but Microsoft Word. Mom, however, still found him useful to type her stories on from the privacy of her room, where he would warm her legs and whir away happily.

Carl had gotten to the point where turning him on and opening a document became a huge, 20 minute minimum ordeal, hence he spent most of his time in hibernation mode. One of the last things she'd see before going to bed every night was his little red light blinking. It was on Thursday evening when - for the first time - Carl would not wake up from hibernation. His screen remained a bleak dark gray. Mom tried to wake him by turning him on and off repeatedly, but it seems he is in a deep coma from which there is no return.

 Rest in peace, Carl. You will be missed. <3

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Long Live Livery Stalking!

It was your average Wednesday evening, around 7 pm our time. After dropping a 3/6 wild off at the Narrowed auction house, I figured I might as well have a look in the livery on my way north.

I started clicking through the horses: cute Abacos, two 5/6 Appaloosas, a pretty apricot dun Argentine Polo Pony... Nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. Before long I got to the lone Connemara, a dark bay stallion - fully trained, 6/6, awesome stats. I was really tempted to adopt him, but I left him be. 
1. I figured somebody was passing him on to someone else, and I didn't want to be that click-happy person who screws it all up. 
2. We already have a 6/6 livery-found Connemara, the beautiful Esker. 
3. For once, stallions outnumber mares in the herd, so it's really mares I should be looking at if I'm going to look at any.

On I clicked. And then there he was:




Oh my goodness! Another! Still, I was hesitant. He was another he, after all, and his name made it seem like he was intended for this MysteryDream player.

As I clicked on, I became more and more amazed. The parade of exceptional horses continued. I saw a gorgeous dapple gray Kinsky, several stunning Morabs, a petite Shire, a handsome dun Sal, a Swedish Warmblood, a mare-stallion pair of blue-eyed black sabino Tennessee Walkers, and a bunch of Westies.

More were in the parade than I've listed - these are just the ones that I found most memorable. I was in too much of a rush to document all this with screenshots like I should've. As best I remember, nearly all were 6/6 with tons of experience and trainings, and the majority of them were stallions. Many had personalized profiles (though clearly the Kaimanawa did not). All of these gems sprinkled in amongst the average livery horses were surrendered by the same player. Whoa! I sure wonder what the story was behind this!

The first thing I did once I reached the end of the list was to go back for the Kaimanawa. Looking at him and one of his former names, Blueberry, gave me serious deja vu. Maybe I really have seen him in competition or for sale before, or maybe he just reminds me of a wild I've caught of the same breed and color. Whatever the case, the Kaimanawa had not been claimed my MysteryDream or anyone else and was still there. However, many of the others, I noticed as I scrolled, had already vanished. Presumably, word of what was going down in the livery was spreading, and quickly. I took the Kaimanawa's continued presence and that odd haven't-I-seen-you-before feeling as signs that he should to go home with us.

After adopting him, I went back to check on the Tennessee Walkers. It seemed wrong to split up the pair, though, and I only had room for one more horse at the time. Before I'd made up my mind, both horses had vanished. I returned to the rapidly-disappearing Westies, hoping maybe to find a mare still left, since I'd just screwed up our mare to stallion ratio even more. Sure enough, the one I'd thought was the prettiest was still there, this perlino:




I took her home too.

Mom has a page-a-day horse calendar this year. We didn't realize it until later, but guess what color the horse was on the page for that day? 



A perlino! Gotta love these horsey coincidences. =)


Here's what the horses look like in avatar form:
The Kaimanawa. He looks like a super dark 7Up. =)
For comparison: 7Up, our Shagya Arabian mare
The Westie
For comparison: our only other perlino, Aspen the snowflake perlino Nez
Wow, talk about being in the right place at the right time! These new horses have left our barns nearly full. Sorry sisters, but I ask you: how was I supposed to resist commemorating such an occasion? Never have I seen so many great horses in the livery at once, and I doubt I'll ever witness anything like it again!

Our herd actually went down by one the next day, because our little duplicate Exmoor mare finally found a home! Our buddy Gem offered to take her on after she read Bethany's last post. The pony was ecstatic. Dasani, her twin, was a little sad to see her go, I think, but I assured her I'll take her on plenty of visits to Gem's ranch. Gem has named her Exmoor Vita, after Vitaminwater, a beverage she thoroughly enjoys.



Sometime we need to make our avatars look like identical twins, dress them identically, and ride around together on our Exmoors in identical tack. Just because we can.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My, what a long rope you have!

Last weekend here, it snowed several inches. This weekend, it's in the 70's and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. West Michigan weather sure has a flare for the dramatic. My sisters and I much prefer this April extreme to the last!

We haven't been on HI2 much lately, so no big news to report. The sidekick Budyonny is still sticking around in rank 16, waiting for us to make up our minds already. 




Somebody actually asked me how much I wanted for him on Friday during the brief window of time when I was playing. He was tagged as "want to sell," but I was still surprised. Nobody's asked about our poor duplicate +6/6 Exmoor, and she's been sitting there tagged as "want to sell" for months.


You'd think somebody would want this cutie!
*Sighs* Anyway, I told the inquiring player the truth, that we still hadn't decided if we were actually selling him. She accepted that and graciously didn't point out how the tag really ought to be changed. XD I have since changed it to "not selling now."

We all love the Budyonny's personality, and he is quite cute too. The issue is that - in our eyes anyway - he looks a bit odd in halters and hackamores: there's always an awkwardly long loop of rope. 




It's not an issue in most bridles, hence we have him wearing an English bridle for now. 



Since, as a rule, our horses all end up in bit-less headgear, though, it's not a permanent solution. I suppose if we kept him, we could always keep him halter-less and say he hates having stuff on his face. Or we could just get over it and let him look a little wonky. He is a sidekick, after all, and sidekicks don't generally look as picture-perfect as the hero anyway.

And now, since this post is still rather short, here is a random picture is for your entertainment:



That's right, conjoined baby carrots that look like a pair of orange pants. Mom discovered them in a package of normal ones as she was packing her lunch the other day.

You're welcome.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

March: In like a lion, out like a... Fjord?

Felicity here again. I know, I know, I just posted last week. If you wanted to hear from another sister, tough! In light of this past week, I couldn't stay silent.

On Tuesday the 29th, we met up with our buddy Gem. The day before, she had bought a +5/6 Fjord!

Why is this a big deal? Well, let me explain:

In addition to loving horses with spots, I also love Norwegian horse breeds. I've wanted a Fjord, in particular, ever since we joined the game. We've had success finding the game's other two Norwegian breeds, the Dole and the Norwegian Coldblood Trotter, but nice Fjords proved more elusive.

I don't know how Gem found him or what made her think of Pepsi, but I sure am glad she did! When she offered him to us, I was ecstatic! Not only is he a he, which means he gets a cool two-toned mohawk, but he's also my favorite shade of dun on the breed, a creamy Ulsblakk, or "white dun."




Here is his cool black-legged avatar:



By the way, doesn't the avatar of Gem's new APH look like Fort's (our Spanish Barb)?



Ha ha, the big difference being that her horse's hooves wouldn't utterly vanish in sand like Fort's! XD

But anyway, back to the Fjord, Gem pointed out that he would make an excellent "Bagel." I can definitely see her point, and I happen to be a fan of bagels. Melt a slice of cheese on them, and yum, bagel heaven. Regrettably, the letter B has already been taken by stallions Brio and Brushfire. Since I am currently re-listening to the Harry Potter books on CD (we own them all, and they are awesome!), I thought he would also make a good "Lumos." Lumos is the spell that makes light appear at a wand tip - the magical version of a flashlight. This may be a stretch, but Lumos also sort of sounds like something you might spread on a bagel, lol.

Here's what he looks like in his light-in-the-dark-themed tack:


I hope Arion, my first mohawk-bedecked horse, isn't too jealous!

Love you too, little Greek buddy. <3
Oddly enough, shortly after adding a winter-loving Fjord to the herd, winter decided to make what is hopefully one last resurgence here. Check out the backyard:

*rolls eyes*
But I refuse to end on that chilly note. In case you were wondering, Julie is keeping the Belgian, and she named him Sardonyx. I like him in red just as much as I did silver. =^)


Sardonyx is a cool rusty-banded gemstone. A fitting name for a big, strong red roan, I'd say!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Budyonny

Ha ha, Mom's iPad wants to autocorrect "Budyonny" to "busy onyx." Onyx is pleased. 


I am really slow when it comes to typing on this thing, but I am giving it a go anyway since Mom left it in the basement.

Remember the cute Shih Tzu and guinea pig from Lily's post? Well, on Monday night while they were still here, our aunt brought home another canine: a 6-month-old pit bull mix named Nala. Yeah, like the lion.


It appears she is here to stay. Nala is already quite large, and if her paws are any indication, she's going to get even larger. She's still total puppy in temperament, though: jumping, chewing, having accidents in the house moments after being outside, crying loudly whenever not where she want to be, zigzagging everywhere on leash, etc. My sisters and I are less than thrilled. We were really hoping the next dog the humans would get would already be past the destructive energizer bunny stage, since we would rather not live in constant fear of becoming chew toys. (So far we've been safe in the basement, but we're considering moving to Mom's room or a higher shelf for a while, just in case the door to the basement gets left open.)

But enough about the puppy. In Lily's last post, you may also recall her going on about how we need to conserve our remaining open horse slots on HI2. Later that very day, I found this guy in the auction house:


Nobody but the foreign bidder was interested with less than a minute left in the auction. I had to act! Sorry, Lily. If we don't catch any awesome 6/6ers before the 31st, can't we keep him? Please? 
1. Our herd should totally have a Budyonny. 
2. How cool is his persona? We don't have any sidekicks yet.
3. Look, no white markings! On breeds that can have white markings on HI2, it's not often you find a wild horse without any!

His avatar is cute too:


And not identical to Nimbus's, our other solid gray:

The Budyonny

Nimbus