Hornworm dominoes and horse hoof care

We haven't found any hornworms on the tomato plants for two days now.  It is too hot to stay outside very long, so we have to find new amusements. 

The preschoolers are learning to play picture dominoes around a big table. I made the set of photo dominoes a few years back, but the kids just rediscovered them.

Around the table sit a ruffle of four year old girls, the strawberry/goat boy, the Chinese three year old, and two  large, sweaty eight year old boys banished by the elementary teacher.  The domino cards are big and the children are small.  Matching a card at the end of the domino "snake" can involve an aerobic journey around the table.

Our small Chinese student is sharp matching images.  She's learning English very quickly.  She can say, "I don't think so!," when asked to do something. And she knows the essential little girl phrase, "I'm a princess."

The essential word for today is farrier.  It popped up while I was filing Dad's yellow fingernails:

farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves. A farrier combines some blacksmith's skills (fabricating, adapting, and adjusting metal shoes) with some veterinarian's skills (knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the lower limb) to care for horses' feet.--Wikipedia

Dad was very excited when I arrived this evening, as he had decided I was the one to take him "home".  Supper first, Dad.  Ravioli and canned peaches.  If I speared bites on the fork, Dad was game to pilot the fork to his mouth.

What's next, Dad wondered.  Should he pack?  He had flipped his sheet and blanket onto the floor and is wearing just a shirt and a diaper.  The tiny Chinese girl wears the same outfit at naptime.

I distract Dad by getting a hot washcloth to clean his hands after the ravioli.  I offer to put Vick's on his fungus-afflicted fingernails, but he asks me to clip them.  Aarrgh!  He screamed the last time I tried.  I don't have the proper hoof-nippers for the job.  True, Dad looks like an Asian Dragon Empress with his long nails, and they are full of gunk.  For what we are paying for skilled care, Madge should be soaking his fingers in Joy.  Wish I'd brought my Sears Craftsman power sander.

Huh?  This photo is borrowed from a farrier website. I need those leg protectors, hoof-nippers, and giant rasps.  I promise Dad I would work more tomorrow on his nails.

© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder

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