Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Day of October

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Hey, Hay!!

Sunday dawned clear and cold. Not a cloud in the sky, snow on the ground. Crisp is a good word, right. The blue sky with the fall colors and snow as a contrast is very striking. I put on my flannel-lined jeans, first time this season.

Grained and turned them out into the pasture. Their buckets are frozen. KC is wondering where I've hidden the hay. He's really pathetic and sad. We need to get hay NOW.

Tom calls around and we decide to go to Lisbon to Tahill. They really have nice hay; no weeds, no sticks, no stickers, no trash, no dead animals (I could tell you stories!) - all good. He has to shovel snow from the flatbed.

One of the two guys that load the hay cannot do it; recovering from emergency hernia surgery. We stack the hay 20 bales per level, four levels high. Tom lashes the bales to the trailer with the straps and we head home. Did not lose any bales on this trip.

Didn't take us too long to unload the trailer. We did take a short break, but wrapped it up in short order. We put three bales in the car and I returned them to Merhle. He was unaware that I had stopped by Thursday night, or taken the bales.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

That S*** Word

Snow? Really? ARGH!! We had planned on getting hay this weekend, maybe squeezing in a ride, too. I kept hearing about the snow storm that was headed this way from the South. Really? Lots of trees haven't even turned yet. Snow?

Friday was a beautiful clear day, the lake was calm. Friday night the temps were starting to dip. We both cleaned up the dry paddock, he emptied the manure spreader just as it started raining. I brought the boys in for the night and put their jackets on.

Woke up to snow on the ground Saturday morning. It continued to snow, then sleet, freezing rain, rain, and snow for the rest of day. I went to Mt Airy for grain and shavings and the light lens for the tractor. I also did grocery shopping. Snow was deeper up there. Some people were out that should not have been. At least turn on your headlights!

The snow was supposed to stop around 3 PM. It was snowing harder at that time. He was working on the hallway, installing the Pergo. He thought he needed a better saw, one recommended for Pergo so he went into town. Wasted trip. The recommended saw destroyed the board. He'll return that later.

Snow finally wrapped up around 7 pm. Would have been more on the ground if it hadn't rained and sleeted, too. Brought the boys in for the night. At this point on the last remaining bale of hay.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


We got blinds for the house as a gift from my wonderful, beautiful Aunt Pat. She really knows her stuff, and we got the nicest, best choice we could have ever begged for.

We had to take a few things into consideration when choosing window treatments. First and foremost: we have a CAT. I’ve heard stories about cats climbing the curtains, walking the valances, shredding the sheers. Lovely as that sounds, I knew we couldn’t be there to police Irene.

I thought I wanted blinds, but in the end he found the best solution for us. He wanted to install them, too. We had looked at Loews’ and HomeDepot. We got one set of mini-blinds for the bathroom and those are great for that application.

We finally decided on vertical blinds. Plastic, yes, but made with a brocade pattern. You have to touch them to prove they aren’t actually fabric! I wanted green, he wanted white. Green won!

He did install white mini-blinds in the kitchen window. I am also getting a horse-themed valance for the kitchen window only.

Since we’ve gotten the blinds up, without the alarm, I’m sleeping until after 7! Makes a huge difference. No more headlights strafing the walls, no more sunrise in my eyes, no more flood lights streaming from the grain elevator across the bean field.

So happy!! Thank you, Aunt Pat.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Where Do I Get the Energy?

No, really, I'm asking, where do I get the energy to live my life? I've tried coffee, strong coffee, diet Pepsi and too much food; none of those seem to work. Any suggestions?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

I had a cold! Grrrrr! I started a new job/position on October 10. On that day the computer guy had to install my programs and printers. He had a raging cough; productive, constant hacking. He was on my computer, my mouse, sitting at my desk, spewing. Ugh.

On October 19 in the afternoon I developed a sore throat. Uh oh. Not cool! And had a sneezing fit later in the day. On the 20th I had a snotty nose. Grrrrrr! I have not had a Cold in years and years. I don’t appreciate Typhoid Larry showing up at work and spreading his microbes around!

Thursday night I apparently snored loudly, which also means I got some sleep! Friday night I had a coughing fit that woke me up, choking and unable to get a breath in edgewise. He was snoring through it all so I didn’t wake him up. I woke Irene up, though. She was sleeping on the desk chair and escorted me to the bathroom.

Saturday was mild but overcast, with no rain predicted. I slept until 7:30! I love our new blinds. In the past this would not have been really possible with the Sun shining into the living room. Everybody was waiting by the gate for me! After that I proceeded to do laundry, straighten up the kitchen, swept the floor.

He was scraping the remaining remnants of glue from the hallway, in anticipation of the Pergo installation. He’ll need a leveling compound to finish the prep work. I know a trip to HomeDepot is in our future. We also need to go to his mother’s place and stop by the old house. He loaded up the old tile from where it has been resting on the patio, dropping this off at the dump. On the way home we stopped at the Red Rooster for lunch.

While he applied the leveling compound I groomed the boys, trimming their manes, ears, legs, getting the mud off of them. I feed them all and scoot off to the grocery.

The sun finally came out for a glorious sunset. It’s dark by 6:15.
Sunday was a sparkling day, but we get a late start. Those new blinds make it possible to sleep in! I clean up the stalls, eat breakfast and start the dishwasher.

We head off for the LOMH with the destination being the Woodstock Inn. On the way down the trail we can hear hooting and hollering coming from the abandoned hospital site. We ride up towards it and see a couple walking around. We hear others, but they are on the top side. KC is such a great watch dog! No one can sneak up on us!

We see several groups of walkers, some with dogs (off-leash!), and some bikers, too. The boys were stellar, once again, no issues, best behavior. We also saw lots and lots of deer. Too many, really.

When we finally arrive I see Captain and Blackie tied to the hitching post, and then see the Braekman's sitting in the bay window, waving at us! Its Fillip’s birthday and we had a nice visit with them, catching up with the latest news.
When we arrive back at the LOMH we are the last to leave, locking the gate behind us.

Beautiful day, wonderful weekend. Mondays happen so fast!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mid-October Weekend Wrap-up!

Rain Friday morning made the pasture a little 'soft.' I postponed grocery shopping until later.

Saturday was another crazy whirlwind. We went to Southern States and Tractor Supply. Feed for the boys and a gas-powered leaf blower with gutter attachment. While there we realized a Rabies clinic was being held. Also picked up 6 bags of shavings for the stalls. Anticipating the stall mats!

We stopped at the Mt Airy Inn for lunch. Sorry to say it was expensive for not much food. Live and learn, right? We stopped in Tractor Supply to see if a light lens was re-stocked but it wasn't.

We got home, he used the gutter attachment and came to the conclusion that an advertised part was missing. I was cleaning out the run-in shed. Having rained a couple days during the week, the boys spent way too much time in there. We had to go back to Southern States for the missing part and took April and Irene for their Rabies. A one-year vaccine was $7 for each.

We went straight from there to our old house, cleaned out the gutters, and then to his mother's to pick up the stick and a couple small branches from her yard. After we got home I ran out to the grocery.

Sunday, sparkling Sunday. He continued chipping the grout from the wood floor, prepping for the Pergo installation. Then we went for a ride!

The boys were stellar, considering we hadn't ridden in a month, they were just great. Beautiful day, beautiful weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Torrential Downpour

Thursday night on the way home it pored. We got detained while retrieving the rent check. I will not expound on our renters because that should/could be a blog all by itself. While on the way home from the METRO station it started raining, really raining. I couldn’t see the road in front of me, the lightning was blinding, the thunder was loud and sustained.

The rain water was deep on the top of the hills, the wipers couldn’t work fast enough. It was technically still daylight, but I couldn’t see much past the end of the hood. It was like bulldozing a pond most of the way home; it felt like the car was skipping all the way home. If a tree had fallen across the roadway, I would not have seen it, surely. It has been years since I've been driving in such heavy rain.

The boys were dry, too, still hanging out in the shed when we arrived. The parking lot had pooling water, I got soaked running from the car to the side door. The rain water was flowing across the patio pavers; the stairwell sump pump was working like a champ. The gutters were clogged, water was coming down the basement wall from the window. Lightning was fierce. Tom cleaned up the water with the wet-vac, then climbed up the ladder to get the leaves out of the gutter.

Eventually the heavy downpour subsided, the breeze picked up. Barely sprinkling when I went to the barn with their dinner. The Moon came up and the stars came out. It was still lightning when I went back out at 10:00 p.m. to give them more hay, but they all spent the night outside, warm and mild.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Second Full Week In October

Another whirlwind week here on the farm. Tom was home on Monday, a holiday. He was also home on Wednesday, planning on retrieving the new window treatments from the BIG TOWN. The weather has been mild, but rain moved in on Wednesday night, continuing off and on into Friday.

I started a new job/position on Monday! This move also places me closer to home. Habitually we purchase gasoline on Thursday on the way home. Friday I have more than a half tank left! That’s a savings you can see!
On Monday he finished staining the barn around 8:00pm. Glad this project is done, finished! It was not easy, but went faster than we thought with the help of our nephews. Power washing took more time, but staining is a messy job. The oil-based product stained our clothes and made everything greasy. I threw our clothes away. I didn’t want to ‘oilify’ my beautiful washer!

On Tuesday I played catch-up with my womanly duties; laundry and dishes.
He was off again on Wednesday and picked up the window treatment. They didn’t send the right valance so he had to go back to retrieve that, adding a couple hours of road-time to the day. Lewis, our farrier, was also out to ‘do’ the boys. He came late in the day, but I missed him. I have to mail him a check, too.

I went to a dinner after work with my new co-workers; it started raining/misting on the way home. I hayed them when I got home. I wasn’t going to let them spend the night in the barn, the temps are still mild. They’ll be staying inside soon enough, right?
He managed to install one set of blinds on the dining room window and the micro-blinds for the kitchen. I really love them; makes such a huge difference. It now looks like grown-ups live here!

Tonight he installed the second set in the dining room. He was going to move onto the living sets and I told him to just do the one and Friday night we’ll work on another set. The living room sets will entail moving the desk and computer AND working over the bed. Yes, our bed is still in the living room!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday, Surprise!

What a wild, crazy weekend. So many things planned, so many things got done. And the weather was stellar, for a change.

My Aunt Pat got to the farm late in the afternoon. I fed everybody, and us, too, and she said there was a phone message from my nephew. While I was outside he called again, again I missed the call. We had a relaxing evening, watching "Love Affair " from 1939 with Irene Dunn. I love her but the remake with Cary Grant, "An Affair To Remember" is better, in my opinion.

Saturday morning we ended up getting a late start. I loaded Braum's cell number into my phone, we headed out to the BIG TOWN for breakfast, the promised haircut, and finalizing the window treatment order.

Earlier in the morning I had tried, over and over, to load pics, but it wouldn't work, over and over. On the way to the BIG TOWN I tried to call Braum, and learned that my cell service had been cut off because I hadn't paid the current charges. This also meant that the navigator did not operate, or google searches. Tom didn't bring his phone. O boy.

We had a delightful breakfast at the "Double T" Diner, followed up with placing the order for window coverings, and then a nice haircut. I sure was in dire need of a haircut. We're all better now.

Lewis, our farrier, was due out between 10:30 and 11. When we got home there were two vehicles in our parking lot. I thought Tom was going to lose it, and Aunt Pat kept asking who that was. It was David and Braum. The farrier had been and gone.

What an awesome surprise it was to see Braum and David. A spontaneous visit is always the best, right? Neither knew it was my birthday, but this was the best birthday, ever!

We visited and the boys went down the hill to shoot their guns. Tom proceeded to stain the barn. The day was beautiful and clear. When the guys came back up David pitched in to help Tom stain the barn. He finished the parking lot side of the upper loft. It really is high up there!

We worked until almost dark, I made my birthday dinner, which was excellent. After dinner I started a bonfire, getting rid of lots of tree debris from Hurricanes Irene and Lee. Braum ended up spending the night.

How could the weekend get better? In the morning Tom took us to the diner in Damascus. We had a nice visit, Braum continued on his travels, we resumed staining the barn.

I stained the top side, the mirror of what David had done the day before. I learned from David's mistakes and felt that I made pretty good time, without wearing too much stain. Took me two hours to finish. After lunch I started on the double doors and the remainder of the bottom.

Tom finished the staining project at 8:00 p.m. on Monday night. Finished, completed. What a project, what a beautiful barn.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another Beautiful Day!

Another beautiful day, third in a row, too bad I'm at work! The pasture is drying out nicely and the Orchard Grass is really filling in. It's been cool but no frost. The new grass is getting lush. I know we should have gotten two units of seed but we didn't. We probably have lost that window of opportunity to get seed started this late in the year.

We plan on staining the barn sometime this weekend. This brand of stain has application rules: The temperature low can be no lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit and two days prior must be dry and the day after dry, also. The weather has not cooperated to have this happen until maybe this weekend or Monday.

The back hallway will have the Pergo installed on it; Pergo also has application rules: Must let the opened pack sit in the room where it will be installed two or three days before application. We'll probably pick the materials up on Saturday.

On Saturday I have plans of my own, too. I fantasize about getting my hair cut, my feet 'done' and opening a bank account at the local community bank. Please let my dreams come true!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Always the Weather, Man!

Our plans to camp out for the weekend were dashed by the weather forecast. I was literally on the last trip out to the trailer, with the kitty litter pan when he looked on the computer and declared the weather was degrading and we weren’t going to go. I was disappointed, having looked forward to this event at the horsey club for weeks. As usual, he was right. The weather got worse as the minutes went on.

Plan B:

I had already gone to the grocer, caught up with laundry, sheets, towels, and straightening out the house. All that was left to do was load the boys into the trailer, April and Irene into the back seat and drive. Now that wasn’t going to happen. Darn it!

I also am reading a terrific book from our little ‘book club’ at the office, The Girl That Played With Fire by Steig Larsson. It now is raining fairly steadily and I could sit at the table for the rest of the morning reading. I can see the boys are still in the shed eating hay, the little ones are in the barn aisle eating hay, April is chasing Irene; I can sit here undisturbed.

He putters around working on this and that, I’m reading, not paying attention to him. He’s researching something on the computer, then announces that we can go to the BIG TOWN and look at window blinds! Really? OK, let’s go.

Looking at blinds, window treatments and options didn't take that long. We manage to agree on just about everything. We do need 'expert' advice, so we'll come back again soon. We also stopped by the Big Box Home Improvement Store to pick up this and that for at-home projects. And Lunch.

On Sunday the weather was no better. No riding this weekend, period. The boys spent the night inside and the morning showed standing water at the top of the pasture. Argh!

We headed out Trader Joe's but stopped at HMart, too. It was fantastic, the offerings more than I expected. Fruits and vegetables I've never seen in my life, fish I've never seen before and the prices were less than our local grocers.

There was also a basket of our Maryland Blue Crabs, alive and snapping. There is no prettier, finer crab in the world, in my opinion. We bought Tiger Shrimp and veggies for tonight's skewers. Then on to Trader Joe's!

A different weekend than was planned, but still a good weekend.

Demolition Man

At 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, he decides to re-do the loose tile in the back hallway. I don't really know what happened, but within 45 minutes all the tiles were removed and relocated to the patio, two 5-gallon buckets of broken tile, dust and mortar were sitting in the kitchen. It already looks better!

He proceeded to chip the old adhesive and smooth out the floor - It's Oak hardwood flooring! Why tiles were set on top of this beautiful floor will always be a puzzlement to us. Almost every single tile was broken, cracked, chipped or in some way compromised. I'm glad the tiles are gone.

We have decided to install Pergo on the floor. This will be a huge improvement. Can't wait!