Friday, February 28, 2014

Good Bye February 2014

At this point I don't care if March comes in like a Lamb or a Lion. Want February to be history, and with the weather we've been having this month, it will be historical. And good riddance!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another Cold One

Going to get windy later on, bringing the wind-chill factor into the equation.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snow, Again

Have I mentioned that I'm suffering from Winter/snow fatigue?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Flurries got a little thick today, now everything is covered, again.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunny Warmish Sunday

Another warmish day, let's ride!

We chose to go to the Patuxent Research Refuge because the 'trails' are all sand, old tank tracks used by the Army for decades. With the melting snow/ice anywhere else would be a sloppy muddy mess.

Still plenty of snow here and there, most was just a slushy covering. Lots of grass showing, too.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Can See Grass!

We have suet cages outside the kitchen window. This entertains Irene a good part of the day. We also have a bird feeder. While waiting in their queue the birds perch on the old dogwood, right over the car. He is getting tired of washing the results off of the car.

After washing the car, he decided to relocate the car charger, which took a good part of the day, and
two trips to two different BIGBOXHARDWARE, but it is done.

I took the down time to clean the kitchen and bathroom, go to the grocery, and other house wifey duties.

He spread manure, I cleaned stalls, and with the sun dropped down, it got frosty all over again.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Warming Trend

We are in a slightly warmer but still cold. What melts during the day turns to ice right after sunset. Everyone is staying in overnight because of the melting snow and slick conditions. In a couple more days it will be warm enough for the boys to lose their coats!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mani/Pedi For The Boys

Sara the Farrier came out bright and early to do the boys. Skip's bar shoe was removed and a regular shoe tacked on. She also complained about the plywood flooring in the barn aisle. It is not large and especially KC don't want to stay on it, he's rather paw at the stone dust, imbedding gravel and debris in his feet.
Sara won't be out again until Mid-April, but off to Tractor Supply TSC to get stall mats we go. We're looking for other things and the store is not fully stocked. Out of this and that. We get the stall mats - two 4X6s - into the RAV4 and head over to Southern States Cooperative.

Southern States has the manure fork replacement and Sara's recommended dry thrush treatment. While we were in Mt Airy we stopped at the grocery store to pick up everything else we forgot we needed.

It was snowing, again, on the way home.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day - Powerless - Full Moon

Today was a busy day.
Power wasn't restored until nearly noon, but ran the generator - we weren't suffering. I let the boys stay in a good long while, then put them out. By that time he had snowblown paths and standing-around areas for them in the field, also did the dry paddock.

The snow was so deep that when Sprite stepped off of the path she was chest-deep in snow. A horse with no legs! She was just as suprised, surely feeling vulnerable and contrite.

He ran up to Damascus to get more fuel for the generator and brought back breakfast! He told me he saw a full contingent of trucks with bucket attachment at the Baptist church around the corner. I know they know we have no power.

He continued to blow snow for much of the day, sometimes getting the horses riled up. Of course, it didn't last long - bucking and running in 18 inches of snow is hard work! We rejoiced when the lights and everything else came back on line.

The full Moon has a name! It is the Snow Moon. How apt, right?

With the power restored I did several loads of laundry, changed the sheets, and cooked a rack of pork ribs. Like I mentioned, we are really suffering. Cleaned stalls and brought them in at sunset. Picked snow balls out of their feet. The chronically cold weather has made it a habit for them to be in all night in a closed barn. I hear it is going to warm up through the week, but that's not today.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day

Snow started around 7:00 pm last night. He was running late, then we decided to go straight to the store because he believed we were out of this and that. So we did. Got home a little before 7, did our immediate chores, and when I went out to feed the equines it was already snowing!

Snowed all night, work was cancelled, and it snowed most of the day. He used the snow blower for hours, creating areas and pathways for the horses and dogs. The snow by this time was up to the chests of the minis. Got a little foggy, misty around 2 pm or so. There is about eighteen inches of snow on the ground. We loaded the snowblower into the RAV4 and headed to his mother's house. He should get 'Son of the Year' for this one.

Her road had not been touched. Up to the bumper of the RAV4. He cleared her driveway and sidewalk, and did the neighbor's sidewalk, too. I reminded Mr. Cole that we ain't getting any younger and this is 'heart attack' snow. Very heavy, dense, and at the bottom is a slush puddle.

Mary was thankful for the groceries - she needed things she didn't ask for - Aspirin, bread (her's was moldy, but I'm sure she couldn't tell) orange juice, milk, eggs.

It was raining when we went to the store, started freezing rain as we pulled into the grocery store lot, when we came out it was snowing, again. When we got back to her house from the store it was snowing pretty good - with about 1/2 inch on her driveway - the RAV4 slid backwards while in 'Park' and she asked if I was worried about getting home in this. Yea!!!

It was BAD - only one's out were the snow plows, the ice chuckers and a couple other idiots, like us. Got another 4 inches last night - driving home in the blinding snow, it was so windy! I-270 wasn't much better - some lanes just stopped in a 12 feet tall snow mound. No merge areas, just out there. Our street (Rt 94) has ONE LANE open. 108 is bad enough, and getting deeper as we went along - driving snow - blinding - windy - awful.

I put them all in the barn and brushed off the snow from their backs, picked their feet. The snow balls were solid ice.

Around 9:30 p.m. the lights flickered, tried to come on, went out, back on, out. Then out, dark. We cleared a pathway for the generator to the plug-in site and wheeled it into position. He got the fridge running, the furnace and the well pump. I check water levels in the barn, gave them hay. It was dark and quiet out there.

Ran the generator for another 1/2 hour, then shut it off for the night. It was 51 degrees in the house. The heated buckets were frozen. This is like a Laura Ingalls Wilder story, but now in my little world.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Can't Buy A Day Over 35 Degrees

We finished cleaning up the yard late on Sunday, just in time for a dusting of glittery snow to cover everything. Now we are again looking at a 'snow event' coming right for us.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Let There Be Lights - Again

Ongoing issues with the house include electrical deficiencies and lamping. It still bothers him that the bedroom ceiling light is not centered to the room. Actually, it is. When the closet was installed it made the center a different point, and the lamp didn't get the message.

The lamp in the living room was missing, and we've had a bare bulb in it since then. We've looked at lamps, on-line and in stores, but never agreed on the style or the price. Finally agreeing to spend as little as possible to change the look of bare bulbs, after three years we're moving on.

The living room ceiling has issues, and we decided to get a medallion and a shade to cover up the ugliness. I think we succeeded.

The bedroom had a ceiling fan. We hated that. If you have dogs, you know you can't have a ceiling fan. Finally, he took that hideous thing down and replaced it with a $12.88 fixture. It looks so much better! He also will install a dimmer switch, but not tonight.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Supervisory Role

In the Holly tree, among other creatures, is a Mockingbird. She lets me know she prefers the water bucket to be filled to the brim.

In the past we've had some gruesome fatalities in the buckets. Getting a drink can be hazardous to your life, but apparently worth the risk and effort than going to bottom of the hill, to the creek.

The heated bucket also always has water, not ice.

Making sure I do this task correctly, she is very bold.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ice Ice Baby

Waking up to my little world covered in a sheet of ice, coating everything: the steps are treacherous, the gravel is solid ice. I climbed the fence to get into the dry paddock because the latch was solid ice, like decoupage. Trees snapping around me, falling onto the yard, limbs breaking in the woods down the hill, sirens wailing in the distance, no traffic, scary and eerie....

I had to climb the fence, and it was slipperier than if it had been dripping with motor oil, because the latch was coated with solid ice, inside and out.

All of this is supposed to melt later today, but for now, it is a challenge.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Red Sky Morning

Sailors take warning.
And farmers, too.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ground Hog Day

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will let us know if spring will be early or if we are to have SIX MORE WEEKS OF THIS SHIT on the 128th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PA. What a racket, right?

According to folklore or a marketing genius, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

This is a huge media event for this tiny town in central Pennsylvania, and sometimes it just isn't true. I'm hoping for an early spring, we've had a double-whammy winter season and I'm tired of it.

By next weekend KC will be starting to shed out, continuing until June.

Of course this also reminds me that we need to get SERIOUS with groundhog eradication this year. When the big field is fenced, I don't want any to take up residence with the horses.


I will admit that we did go through some hay this time. Nearly 50 bales gone, poof! With sustained freezing temps, rainy/snowing/sleeting days - with a snow covered pasture, what are you going to do, not feed them? No, they have to eat, and we have to let them.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


It seems like every year, usually in the winter, that we go on a ride and it is not a good idea. And once committed, we go for it. Given chances to turn back, we don't do it. We persevere like we have to, and we don't, but we do. That’s what we do.

Saturday was a lovely, mild day, coming out of the deep freeze of minus degree nights and not breaking the freezing
point days. The rivers were frozen, but the snow was diminishing and it hadn’t been freezing since Friday morning.

We made plans to ride, because we didn’t last weekend, and that’s what we do. They say it is not the weather it is the clothes, and we have the right clothes to wear. Too bad that didn’t give us brains, too.

Ride out was going to be 10:00 a.m. I didn’t get the message and slept till after 8. I’ve been tired, run down, lately. I’m sure most of it is winter fatigue.

On the way on the 4-lane divided highway, with a posted speed of 65 MPH, I heard a weird noise, like playing cards stuck in the spokes of a bike, or the manure fork rubbing on something at high speed. I asked him if he heard it, he said no, I said look out back, I can't see it. He looks in the rear view mirror and says, 'AW SHIT, the tail gate is down!" The manure fork and the metal yard rake, the one we use in our fire pit, were gone. He quickly pulls over, thinks about retrieving the tools, thinks better of it, puts the tail gate back up, and merge back into traffic.

We got to the club and the gate was locked. It was already after 10, so we weren’t going to make the ride out time, but we were the first to arrive.

Martin was running a little late, but came directly after we got there. The grounds were not plowed, just one lane and the lot next to the dumpsters. Nothing but deer tracks.

Martin brought his youngest daughter and a school-mate. Jake, Bree and Shine were up on deck. I pulled KC’s blanket off and discovered he’s shedding! We tacked up and headed out the plowed lane, down to the trail head at the bottom on the left. I chose the first turn off – and we meandered down the path. The trails were still frozen in most spots, soft and muddy in others. High, thin clouds.

This is where it got ridiculously, crazy bad. I was leading and KC would not step off the trail into the creek. There was a crust of ice still clinging to the shore line, and he wouldn’t step on it or over it. Even if he stepped on it and broke it, the water is about 5 inches deep, with a rock base. Never muddy, not deep, crystal clear.

I invited ‘The Man From Snowy River’ to come up to the front, which he did. Skip stepped off the trail, unto the ice ledge, which broke under his weight. KC followed immediately. Sounds easy and great, right? Bragging rights for Skip!!

This is where Stupid stepped up to bat. Martin got Jake to the edge, but he wouldn’t (and never did) step into the water. Eventually we got Shine into the creek, Bree followed soon after that, and the four of us walked down the creek, leaving Martin and Jake on the bank. KC had had enough of standing in icy water and stepped up on an ice flow, I tried so hard to get him off, but he couldn’t wait around any longer. When we noticed that Jake still wasn’t following, we abandoned the try and got back out of the water and re-traced our steps.

We took another trail, uneventful, got to the bottom of the hill and the trail into the water wasn’t as icy. Skip went first, and everyone followed like good little goslings.

We came up under the bridge into the park; the path was not as icy on this side of the creek. We let them rest in the sunshine and eat some grass. As we proceeded into the park I noticed A LOT of people with a picnic tent erected, and tried to guess who it would be with that many people, that much activity.

It was not anything I had guessed, the boy scouts (Webelos) were participating in the Klondike Derby. And a spectacle it was, too. KC was stunned, and Skip was beside himself, in that out-of-body experience only he can do. Skip got to be such a tourist that he fell down, but managed to get himself back up without any fanfare. I heard the splat and when I turned around all was right with him. But, he got off of him and walked him to the fork in the trail.

KC was apprehensive, but Shine stepped up to lead the way. She is the pony-I’d-most-like-to-own Bay Paint parade and show horse. Maybe one of these days...

We managed to follow one of the ‘dog sleds’ back up to the top where the trailer parking and basketball courts are located and that area was congested with hundreds more scouts and leaders, with food booths and the roadway coned off (cones don’t stop us). KC had trouble wrapping his head around this, too.

More scouts were in the woods, too, and the place was literally roaring with voices. The cacophony was horrendous. We got to the bottom of this hill, where the reservoir stream runs into the river, and found it completely iced over. To cross we would have to break the ice ourselves.

We followed the trail around to another crossing further up and found that was almost completely clear of ice, and crossed with no problem, doubly back, again, to the original path. Some spots of the river were iced over, some were clear. The temperature was nearing 50. Could spring be far behind?

We were late getting to the lunch spot because we had spent so much time in the water, waiting for Jake to join us. We had a nice break, got to visit with some folks we hadn’t seen in a while, and headed back to the trailers.

We decided to cross the river at the closest turn off point, and the way was fairly free of ice, and the ice flow that was there was resting on the sand bar. How hard could it be? Famous last words.

Skip was the first in the water, KC right behind him, the others following closely. I followed Skip onto the icy sand bar, the ice not breaking. Skip made it to the bank, but KC slide into Skip and lost his footing. He lost his feet. We both went down with a thud. KC slid one way, I went the other, and the ice did not break, not even a crack! KC tried to get up, but fell again. I sat up and Martin asked if I was all right. Yea, I better get up. KC got up and joined Skip on the bank. I walked across the ice and joined them. Tom was holding KC’s lead line, and KC was favoring both back legs, one at a time.

Martin and the girls got out of the water, but not on the sand bar. They dismounted and entered the sand bar leading their horses. The ice never broke. I'm still surprised I didn't get wet.

I walked KC further up the trail, and he seemed to be ok. We rode on through the woods and into the open meadows, but the trails through there were still in shade, and still iced over.

Martin’s daughter was in front, and wanted to go faster, and instead of looking ahead, and following the path, went off-trail into the tree nursery. The trees are all wrapped in blue tubes to protect them from deer. Placed in rows, we now are going pretty quickly through the rows following a deer path. Bree ran over a plastic tube, I heard it, and a couple five strides later realized what she’d done and starting bucking. That’s when Jayde hit the dirt. Bree hurried up to get next to Jake.

It took until nearly dark to finally make it home, but the trails continued to melt into treacherous pathways. The last river crossing was ice free and uneventful. No wonder people don’t like to ride with us! Sometimes I don’t like to ride with us.