Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roller Coaster: That's Life

The weather around here has been crazy. We went from serious deep freeze to 70 degree days. The hard ground became soft, gushy.

After enjoying two whole days of spring-like weather, the cold front came in accompanied by two inches of rain and gusting winds that sounded like a jetliner taking off in the woods.

Everything is wet, inside and out. The shed took on water, the mini's stalls were wet, as were their feed troughs. We have to move them. Rain blew into the barn aisle, too.

I guess January is blowing out like a lion after all.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Saturday we got 80 bales of hay from Corey, but didn't put it up in the hayloft until Sunday. The full moon was lovely, the night was clear and bright, and freezing, again.

We've enjoyed over 108 hours of below-freezing temps, breaking all kinds of records for this area. It was above freezing today, but the lows will be dipping down to about 18.

January might be planning on going out like a Lion.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lexington, KY

Today is my beloved uncle's birthday. He would have been 90. I still miss him, terribly.

It snowed later in the day, schools closed early and everyone vanished. I also had to leave early, snow or no snow, to pick up a dog at the veternarian's.

We had met her previously, twice, and were deemed proper candidates to take her.

She was great in the car, too, and after a while settled in nicely at the house. She immediately got into the crate in the kitchen, but the jury is still out on how she's going to do with Irene.

Her brief story is that she and another dog were placed in a holding pen outside of a shelter. Don't know where that might have been, or if the other dog was known to her before the two were discovered in the morning. Neither had a name, no collar, but it is obvious to me she's a young dog, probably no more than two, and she's had pups.

She is housebroken, knows sit and down, and a couple other things. Have no idea why someone would leave a dog at a shelter; she is not underweight, and was spayed by the rescue just last week.

We've decided to name her Lexie, on account of it being my uncle's birthday. He was not from Lexington, but lived there and loved it, so in his memory that is going to be her name.

Deep Freeze

The entire week has been about the weather. It also snowed. It has been so cold and windy in the Mid-Atlantic, Chicago is jealous. With the wind chill the temps have sustained single digits, as the high.

Everybody is staying in overnight, and two nights in a row I closed the Dutch doors, too. The water in the buckets are frozen solid. Heated buckets are a necessity, glad we already have them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today: It's Really Winter!

Apparently winter is seriously trying to make up for lost time this week by hitting us hard with a strong Arctic air mass, whipping up the wind chills to a most unpleasant level, pushing overnight temperatures to levels not seen in at least two years, maybe three, and even queuing up a possible snow event for Friday. O boy.

Everybody stayed in last night, I even closed the Dutch doors. The wind was howling. They really wanted in, waiting at the gate for me to come out. With the wind chill it was single digits, not getting up even to 30 degrees for a high today, with the wind the 'real feel' doesn't feel good at all!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Farm Dog Extraordinaire

Life is not fair, I get it, I do. But this is what we have. It takes too much energy to maintain a pity party.

April has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor, to go along with her Canine Lupus and Degenerative Myolopathy. The tumor is in her nose, which is expanding into her soft pallet and making her nose and eye discharge mucus.

We will make her as comfortable as possible, like the vet recommends. She's been a great dog, and doesn't deserve this, but life is not fair.

When we first got her, I was actually sad because she was a great puppy, I regretted that she would not live long enough to see my retirement - she was such a joy and pleasure to be around. As it turned out, she did enjoy our 'retirement,' living in our retirement home. I didn't see that coming in 2000, did you?

She was a farm dog extraordinaire, and a homebody. She got a chance to enjoy the country life and loved her kitten, too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Basement Rehab Project

He is going full speed ahead on this project - hanging thirty-one (31) sheets of drywall and now three new doors are installed.

The place is going to be awesome, so much great usable space, with plenty of head room.

Lots of decorating options to explore. Slowly our house is growing up.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ride Time

We hadn't had a chance to ride since the day before Christmas Eve. We didn't have time or the weather was not cooperative.

Weather man, that liar, said the weekend would be great, so we planned on riding on Sunday, the better of the two days. We were busy on Saturday doing this and that around the house.

That liar, it turned out it was 10 degrees cooler than predicted AND not only did the Sun NOT come out, the fog NEVER LIFTED. We rode anyway.

The fog lent an element to our ride that made it memorable. With the low ceiling, everything bounced back to my ear. We parked at Marriottsville, figuring the League would be too wet and soft. Plus, we saved 45 minutes of ride time.

We started out from there, and tried to keep to the shortest way, but apparently we didn't go THE shortest way we could. We did not get lost. Stayed in the woods, no field or meadows on this path. There were no trains.

The Woodstock Inn was bumping, and it took 20 minutes just to order a soda. We had lunch, it was good, but didn't leave until after 3:00. We had to hurry, the fog was just as thick and dark was falling.

It never actually rained on us, but the mist did get me a little damp. The trails weren't sloppy, but most places were soft. The faster we traveled, the more torn up we left the trails.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nail Salon

Farrier Visit - One thing you can say about Sarah, our Farrier, is that she is prompt.

Saturday at 8:00 a.m. means exactly that. If not sooner.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Well Pump Woes

He has been going on and on about this pump for some time now. When he thinks he knows what's going on, it is not what is really happening. He doesn't want to replace the pump. The pressure gauge was not reading properly, he thought. Bought a new one on Sunday. The 'tank' bladder was not functioning properly so he thought there was a pin-hole in it. He thought the yard hydrant at the fence in the boy's pasture was broken - he got a repair kit and spent Saturday digging it up, which he had set in concrete, that blew the ground fault interrupter while digging (broke that).

He bought a replacement, so he could cannibalize parts from it, because Tractor Supply didn't have any repair kits. Figured we would need a new hydrant for the new pasture anyway, and order a repair kit on line to put the new one back together. He Googled, and decided he didn't like the new hydrant anyway, so he got one at HomeDepot instead.

Last night he decided that the pump is over-adequate for the house, probably because of the original apartment needing water, too. So with 100 PSI it is blowing water through the below grade weep-hole fitting in the pasture hydrant, which is continuing to make the pump cycle, over and over and over, all day and all night. Ugh.

He'll get it resolved, and not spending too much money on it. At least the pump is good, the water tank is good, no bladder pin-hole leak, but the hydrant did not need to be dug out - argh! or replaced.
The line is restricted, clogged, like an artery, with debris.
Now we have two yard hydrants that were not needed. I believe one should be returned; the inferior "Made in China" model should go back to Tractor Supply. Be forewarned about buying 'toys' when you need commercial-grade equipment and fixtures. You'll save time and money in the long run.

A new tank is in the future, too.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Silver Anniversary

It is really hard for me wrap my brain around our anniversary. The time has flown by, and neither of us are the same people we were in 1988. We've evolved, morphed, and changed but we are still there for each other.

Love is grand.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Last night was so cold the buckets froze, again. The boys wanted to stay out, so I let them have their way. The air was still, the Moon is waning, a long cold Winter's rest.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holiday Project

Nothing says holidays like a project that will drain your bank account and keep you busy and dreaming of the project.

This holiday was spent hanging drywall and painting. I will admit that he's been talking about this project since we moved in. I wanted it on the furthest back burner possible. I have a list that resides on the refrigerator, which gets ignored year after year.

He has wanted to install drywall on the exterior walls that 'The Bank' demolished before we moved in. The basement had been an unpermitted illegal apartment, at least it was going to be before all work ceased and the occupants scattered to the winds.

Unfortunately the lovely crown moulding was also destroyed. There has to be a good hundred feet of moulding missing that will need to be replaced. The demolition crew also damaged walls and soffits with their mini-mauls; he's patched these holes so well can't even tell where the holes were.

Instead of reconstructing the two-bedroom apartment, he has carved out a workshop for his tools, work tables and shelves, and a large open room that will serve as a 'man cave.'

Set aside is the room for the oil tank and furnace, and my laundry room with clothes rods and shelving units. These rooms will have bare exterior walls, to be painted later with DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofer. We've used this product in the past and I highly recommend it. It works and it lasts.

He has installed, by himself, 31 sheets of mold-resistant drywall. Amazing. Herculean.

Irene has been his constant companion and supervisor on this project. She was fine with everything until he drywalled the short wall between his work shop and the laundry room. She used this two-by-four'd stud wall as her personal gymnasium. Now it's gone!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013