Saturday, January 21, 2017

Way Out in Timbuktoo

Murphy and I got lucky this week. (I sure didn't see that coming with Murphy, of all horses!) First, we fluted this Mangalarga Marchador mare:

We weren't so lucky as for her to have stellar stats to go with her stellar personality, but she was definitely special enough to retire to our ranch. Of the available rump art, I thought this leaf of Lorien (Lord of the Rings reference) looked best on her. In keeping with the leaf theme, I named her Liana after a kind of woody vine. I think Samoa, our Manga stallion retiree, is very pleased at this turn of events.

And now to the title event, our first visit to Timbuktoo Isle! Murphy and I were headed to Savanna Isle from the Plains Isle dock house, when out of the blue we found ourselves out in Timbuktoo instead. I knew little about the island, just that you can randomly end up there when you travel between islands, and that it is similar to Narner Isle in that it isn't on the map. 

As you can see, the island is shaped roughly like an X. It reminds me of an X chromosome. ;^)

The lone inhabitant of the island is the rowboat dude, MrWayfarer. I can't think about his name without that stupid jingle playing in my head. 

As it turns out, you can only spend 15 minutes maximum on Timbuktoo before you are forcibly dragged back where you came from... I mean rescued. And if you want to go back early, MrWayfarer is game to row you there himself.

The island's sights didn't seem very unique to me. The marshy areas on the right arms of the X's were your typical marshy areas.

And the sandy left arms of the X are home to clusters of various rocks, which were sparkling with harvestable ore. Nothing I hadn't seen before, but we got to work and happily harvested it all.

We did see two unique things, though. The first was a meteorite, which as far as I know are usually limited only to the glacier isles. 

Our second unique find was this almost-hidden buried pirate treasure. I'm thinking it was just coincidence that it was so well-concealed, because the one other pirate treasure we found on the isle was out in plain sight. 

Once our 15 minutes were up, rescuers whisked Pepsi back to the Plains Isle dock house. I wonder if multiple players are ever stranded out in Timbuktoo at once, or if only one player can be there at a time? It didn't look like anybody had been there recently when we arrived.

My final piece of news is that the new APH stallion is named and tacked already! Meet Zenith in all his black, white, and blue glory. We tried various colors on him, but nothing looked as good as blue - I think we're all partial to blue on blue-eyed horses. So blue it was. We tried to jazz it up by going with blue and white rather than solid blue this time, at least.

Welcome to the herd, Zenith! <3

Girl of the Year 2017

The year of Lea Clark, her is-it-blond or is-it-brown? hair, and her rainforest-themed accessories have come and gone. But for us, the real question we wish we knew the answer to was how many sea turtles got sold in comparison to the $2-more-expensive margay cats and sloths?


I fear we will never know.

AG has introduced Gabriela McBride, dancer and poetry enthusiast, as their Girl of the Year for 2017. Finally! An African American! Felicity is quite pleased.

From her accessories, it looks like she's into multiple styles of dance rather than just ballet, which is a change of pace for AG too.

Her hair is really cool! Here's what it looks like down. It's probably a good thing it's dark brown and not black, though - we don't want Mom to go getting any ideas.

Coincidentally, Mom and her sisters have a Kelly doll with the same first name (spelled with two L's) who is similar in appearance to the AG Gabriela. This doll ended up causing a bunch of drama and pulled apart the original friend group at CMS Ranch, the Grand Champions-sized horse stable in the basement. I imagine this Gabriela has a much less divisive personality!

What the Kelly doll looked like new in package. We're too lazy to go take a photo of the actual Gabriella right now. ;^)

Gabriela has a cat named Maya. She's a cutie! I wonder if she's part Siamese or something to have those blue eyes?

Bethany is writing a post about our latest HI2 adventures that should be coming later on this weekend too, so make sure to stop back for that!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Trio of +5/6 Wilds

PepsiSummer went on her first wild hunt of the new year this morning. She found three +5/6 horses in a row! That's definitely a first! Brushfire and I fluted the first one on Prairie, and then Felicity and Burgundy took over to check out the wild hotspots on Twin Rivers and found two more. Can you guess which of the three had +80 stats?

Was it...

A. This bay Sicilian mare

B. This piebald splashed white American Paint Horse stallion

C. This dark bay Dole mare 

Are you ready?

Oh, the suspense!

It wasn't A.
She's yet another +56 5/6er. Who'd ever have thought we'd find so many of these?  I love her markings, especially her birdcatcher spots. But she is a hermit, so I don't really think she'll be devastated to move on to another owner.

It wasn't C either.
Her stats only add up to +54. As pretty as she is, it's a relief. ;^) I doubt she'll mind moving on either, as skittish and antisocial as she is. And let's not forget we do already have a set of awesome Doles, Tang and Cloudberry.

It was B, the stallion! Of course!
His stats add up exactly to +80, and he's only 2 stat points shy of being +6/6. Since he's a Paint, one of our favorite breeds, and a very handsome one at that, I'm guessing he'll be staying as our Mr. January. (Unless, of course, some awesome 6/6er comes along in the next two weeks.) He has the same spotting pattern as our first Paint, Lysithea. Too bad he's not frame overo, the one Paint pinto pattern we are missing.

Lysithea <3
His avatar is rather familiar as well. 
The stallion

Quickstep, Felicity's black minimal tobiano Paso Fino
At least you can distinguish them by the hooves.

In case you were wondering, Felicity did keep wild hunting after catching +5/6 wild #3 to see if she could make it 4 in a row. No such luck. The 4th and final wild horse of the morning was a +2/6 black Danish Warmblood. XD

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016's Fantastic Four

Welcome to the first post of 2017! But before we look ahead, let's look back a little on 2016, shall we?

We added a whopping total of 22 equines (this could still climb to 23, if we keep Tchaikovsky) to our herd in 2016, believe it or not! This is pretty similar to the number we added in 2015, only in 2016, far fewer were wild equines that we caught ourselves. We had the lowest number of 6/6 wild captures of any year yet: only 4 (in comparison to 9 in 2013, 12 in 2014, and 10 in 2015). Clearly, we haven't been wild hunting nearly as often as we used to. *Sighs.* 

Here are the fantastic four:

Donatello: caught 1/26/16

Iolite: caught 5/20/16

20-Karat: caught 8/9/16

Doppler: caught 11/10/16
(? Probably will be Lily's or Bethany's even though I caught him...)

All stallions! We never would have predicted this back during that 6/6 stallion drought that spanned over a year. Wouldn't it be amusing if we had a year+ drought of 6/6 mares now? Anybody want to start making bets?

Anyway, to Lily's dismay, the livery, auction house, generous buddies, and ranch stores more than made up for our relative shortage of impressive wilds in 2016. XD I'm certainly not complaining. *Pats Wonderland, Lumos, and Quassia.*

Our Christmas present to ourselves on HI2 was to build another barn in place of our last windmill. Lily firmly insists that these 13-14 slots must last us until next Christmas. We're going to try hard - really hard - to only add 1 horse or pony per month at most. (Exceptions will only be made if multiple 6/6ers and/or high-stat 5/6ers are captured in the same month, which isn't likely if 2016 is any indication.) It will be our New Year's resolution. Here's hoping we'll have the willpower to keep it!

So far, HI2 has not tried to tempt us. The few wild horses we've caught have all had underwhelming stats. For the record, Gromit and I caught our first wild horse - or rather, pony - of 2017. Here she is!

She may have thought quite highly of herself, but we were not impressed.

On New Year's Day, Mom also opened her last round of Christmas gifts: this time from her Mom's side of the family.

Alas, still no doll stuff. I'm excited to see Wreck-It Ralph, though. And to see what Mom colors with the gray and brown colored pencils.