Thursday, August 29, 2013

And Now Time for Something Completely Different

Washington Nationals Baseball! And a FREE CONCERT following the game!

Miami Marlins lost, 9 - 0 Zero

Sammy Hagar, known as the 'Red Rocker' performed right after the game.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Snakes Alive

Irene has killed another baby ring-neck snake and had corraled a live snake under the side table in the dining room. She was making a strange sound, alerting me to the snake coiled, hiding from her. I got it into a plastic container and escorted it out of the house, into the front side yard where it can maybe survive.

I placed a quarter next to the container to get a better perspectve on the size. These guys are tiny.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Riding Weekend

Finally! The weather straightened out, sleeping with the windows opened, low humidity, two days of no rain in the forecast. Wahoo!

On Saturday we parked at the LOMH in Marriottsville, arriving around 11:00 a.m. Surprised that more campers and trailers were not there. It had rained a smidge on Friday late afternoon, but cleared out and dried up. After that it would have been the perfect weekend to camp.

We headed out, visiting Henryton Hospital site along the way. It is in the ending stages of being demolished, swept up like rubish. The hospital has not been used in over thirty years and has had countless arsons and vandalism over the years. Rumored to be haunted, it was a creepy place, soon to be history.

We pushed on from there, passing families out fishing, it was a little cool for swimming. Hard to believe it is August! We should be sweltering, but we did that in July. Now it is mostly like September.

Now that we have the outdoor hot/cold faucet, our new routine is at least rinse them in warm water, but today we used ezAll and gave the boys a bubble bath. They really, really like this. After that we take them over to the open field, where we are patiently growing Orchard Grass, and let them dry and graze. They also really like this part of the new routine.

Sunday we got our act together earlier and rode the local park right where we live. Was surprsed to see a ranger do a drive-by then quickly leave. While tacking up a family on mules with two unleashed dogs came back to their trailer. The young boy said, " ... and we galloped all the way back." I've seen Mule Races, and can tell you they are one of the slowest races ever. The unleashed dogs are a no-no, the ranger was already gone.

The extremely wet June left the weeds and invasive plants like a jungle. The usual mud pits were in good shape, but the flora was out of control. There were lots of trailers parked in the 'cow pasture,' but saw no one out in the woods. We did see evidence of horse traffic, so the trail maintenance is being ignored, just plow through obstructions and over-growth.

He literally hacked his way into a couple go-arounds. We are slated to lead a ride for TROT/CPWHC the end of October and we have our trail maintenance requirements adding up. This is going to be hard work.

Brother Roger and Kathy Dimond came up when we were loading up on our way out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


This year we've had several sightings of the same black snake hanging out in the dying Maple, in the staging area for the next dump run, or generally around the shed.

I've been patiently waiting for the Ring-neck snake 'bloom,' considering the re-installation of the dry wall, baseboards, and moulding in the basement. He reported that he saw a larger ring-neck
snake outside, behind the shed. I was hoping we had dodged the baby snakes this year. It has been so wet this entire season, we are six inches over our normal, I did expect a delay.

I believe Irene captured this baby, and left it for us under the table.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's Always About the Weather

Heat wave shows up, right when we were getting accustomed to sleeping with the window opened, IN AUGUST! Now we are back to the Dog Days, as we should be.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday, Sunday

Rain was promised, mostly looked like rain, but never did. With Skip's sore practically disappeared we could have ridden, but we didn't. We went to Mt. Airy, with another coupon for $20 off, to get a bag of Orchard Grass Mix for the spots that were not seeded by the contractor, plus got some of the 'Honey-Do' list checked off.

We had a rainbow to finish the day and another beautiful sunset on Annpolis Rock.

The nearly full moon peeked out between the clouds.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Skip has a couple sore spots, one in particular, that made riding not such a good idea. He has a sore on his top line that is having a difficult time healing. It is the size of a dime. The saddle nor pad even touch it, but it continues to harbor infection. Scabs over, starts to heal but still has a puss center.

Headed out to Marriottsville, but when we got them out of the trailer,
he determined that Skip should not be ridden. I had the bright idea to walk through the woods out the side of the club and head to the open meadow. It was a beautiful day, we had planned on going to the Woodstock Inn. We had trailered all the way out here, might as well enjoy the day with the boys. And it should be no secret that the horses are much better on a 'leash' than the dogs.

It wasn't far through the woods, but will admit I was wheezing going up some of the trail. I held on to KC's tail and let him pull me up the inclines. They were pleasantly surprised when we led them out into the open field and let them drop their heads, we searched for clover patches.

When we got home KC had a mishap coming off the trailer and hit his forehead on the door jamb. He really rang his bell; came to me and rested his head on my chest briefly, then shaking his head over and over. I knew it was 'bad' but didn't have the guts to look at it.

Soon after that we went to Todd's with the horse trailer and crammed 48 bales of hay in there. Before we could put the hay in the barn we both worked on emptying stall #5, spreading the old, moldy hay down on the right-of-way.

We then headed out to Mt Airy, with our $20 coupon at the Southern States Co-op. We needed this and that, but the most important product we picked up was 'Wonder Dust®.' No affiliation, but this is the best thing since sliced bread. Costs around $2.00. First thing: pick the scab on Skip's back and flush the wound with eZAll® and warm water. Blot dry, apply the 'Wonder Dust®." I also put some on KC's forehead, dusting the scrape (poor guy). He really skinned his head, from brow to brow. Ouch! His nose is sunburned, so I slathered on the Desitin® ointment.

By the time I fed, Skip's sore was dried up, the puss had disappeared. If you didn't know where it was, you'd have a hard time finding it. I as going to reapply, but no need. KC's forehead looked so much better and there were no flies buzzing near their wounds. I would highly recommend 'Wonder Dust®' for minor scrapes and dings. It will also stop active bleeding.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cold Weather Front

This is August. August has long been notorious for the 'Dog Days' of summer, droughts, humidity, pop-up thunderstorms. What we have now is incredible weather.

Monday I went over to Todd's, got another seven bales of hay, did a load of laundry. On Tuesday I made dinner. I considered that enough.

Wednesday I stepped out at 6:20 a.m. with Max and was SHOCKED by the cold air on my face and legs. I had heard of a 'cold' front coming in, but didn't expect it overnight. Would have had the windows open!

Last night was supposed to be the coldest night in August in forever. I thought it was delightful. I finished two more loads of laundry.

We did sleep with the windows, doors opened, but earlier this week a Skunk was fataly struck in front of a nieghbor's house and, depending on which way the breeze was going, the open windows were just letting in the stink.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Breaking News!

We got a letter from the state letting us know that beginning on August 19 our section of road will be CLOSED to through traffic. I'm so happy I could scream! or dance! or something.

The road will be closed for approximately SIX WEEKS.

In late May we had an incredible storm, quick downpour resulting in the creek rising enough to overflow the banks and the roadway. It was spectacular.

Unfortunately, this caused some serious damage that needs to be repaired. It won't heal itself. The letter states that they are going to close the road, remove the road bed over the culverts, uninstall the existing drainage, divert the creek temporarily, install bigger culverts and restore the creek to its original position. The berm also will be sculpted for easier maintenance, mowing, and repave the new bridge.

And for SIX WEEKS we won't have traffic doing 90 past our house! Peace and Quiet - WAHOO!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ride Time

We rode on the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission (WSSC), specically the Brown's Bridge Road end of the Rocky Gorge Reservoir.

This trail is an 'up and back' no loop ride, and the views of the lake and some old houses were excellent.

To ride this watershed you have to sign in at the ranger's station, no where near where you are going to ride. We stopped there first to get
our passes, on to Boarman's Meat Market in Highland for a picnic lunch, then on to the reservoir.

Considering there is a fee to ride, and there is only ONE TRAIL, on only one side of the lake, I would really expect the WSSC to better maintain the trail, at least cut the waist-high grass/weeds in the open meadows. It was difficult at times to find the ONE TRAIL.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Farrier Time

Sara, our farrier, came out on Saturday morning, early and better than on-time.

After that we both ran errands and did this and that around the house.

We ended the lovely day with another beautiful sunset on Annapolis Rock.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rain, Rain, And More Rain

We've landed in a rainy pattern, not like the normal pattern of heat, then afternoon thunderstorms. This has been relentless rain, then more rain, storms overnight, flash flood warnings and no period of drying out between.

The mushrooms are getting water-logged and the mold and mildew are flourishing. The patio bricks have molded. The grass is growing and is too wet to mow. Some vegetables and fruits aren't fit to eat because of the water content.

Because of the rainy weather, starting in June, KC's hooves are 'mushy.' If Skip would let him reside in the run-in shed more often maybe this wouldn't be the case. Even with the newly installed cattle-carpet and stone dust apron to the run-in shed, his feet are not perfect. Our farrier suggested applying 'Crossapol' once daily to his hooves. We'll see how that goes.

More thunderstorms are predicted for the weekend. O boy.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Penny For Your Thoughts

Or Penny for your water trough. Him, who regularly thinks outside the box and uses the internet, said he recently came across advice for keeping the water trough algae-free. Not a catfish, but a couple pennies. Ok, throw a couple in.

Not that I don't routinely and regularly scrub out the buckets. I do. Sometimes I have to because the boys are not the only drinkers. I know the birds (big and small), and bees drink from the trough, as do the foxes and any thing else that can reach.

Sometimes we've had a fatality, and am horrified that I have to dump a drowned ground squirrel or bird out of the water. Or that the birds have used it as a toilet .

HOWEVER - the penny does, indeed, seem to be working.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

First August Week-end Wrap-up

With a beautiful, gorgeous day like this, what else can you do but RIDE!?!

We started out late because that's how we roll. Had a couple things to do around the house before we could go. We again chose to go to the Woodstock Inn, but with a lovely day like this we weren't hiding from the sunshine and we picked up the pace pretty good.

It had rained nearly an inch on Saturday, and some sections of the trails were wet, mucky mud. Once we were clear of those areas we made pretty good time, going a route we hadn't been in a couple months.

We ran into the Mounted Volunteer Patrol team in McKeldin, and then again nearer Woodstock, almost 2 hours apart. Lots of people were out, riding bikes and hiking with their dogs. We also ran into Glen and his Palomino Paint in almost exactly the same spot from a couple weeks ago. We were just starting out, he was wrapping it up.

We ran into friends at the Inn, once again they were heading out, we had just arrived.

After getting home we washed he boys off. They really like their hot water baths. The evening was as nice as the day, we sat on the patio for hours.

Fred kept staring at us, so we had to go out and enjoy a love-fest with him, brushing him and Sprite. We slept with the windows open. I don't know where we stole this weather, but we are really enjoying it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

You Say Caterpillars, I Say Worms

The Lilac at the drivway gate has not bloomed in three years. There also is a tree trying to grow in the middle of it. Earlier this year I broke the tree, not an inch in diameter, but didn't actually kill it. Been meaning to remove it, and the Lilac, replace with a Crepe Myrtle or something similar.

One morning noticed that a branch of the tree was completely
defoliated, and that large caterpillars were crawling on it, by evening another whole branch was bare.

Saturday, with rain once again in the forecast, wearing rubber gloves, plucked every single worm from the branches, leaves, and placed in a small dish of soapy water. They did not like that one bit!

After I removed as many as I could find, he cut the sapling out of the Lilac, and I continued to hunt for any stray worms. The remains of the tree are now residing in the burn barrel for another day.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Already?

Seems like just yesterday was July 4. Where does the time go? We still haven't taken any 'real' time off - No hanging out time, no riding vacation, no nothing. And the time just evaporates - the days are long but the years are fast.