Sunday, November 30, 2014

Last Call for November

We parked at the Rail crossing, in 'downtown' Marriottsville, to shave off about 45 minutes of ride time. We decided we would go the very quickest way and before we had gone barely a quarter-mile Skip alerted us to 'something' that was not deer or birds, which he doesn't much acknowledge. It was friends we haven't seen in forever!

We also didn't see anyone in the park - no walkers, hikers or dog-walkers until we were fairly close to our destination. Only three bicyclists the entire day! And it was a beautiful day; mild temps, high, thin clouds, calm breeze. It was a little soft most all over, like riding on banana peels.

Unfortunately for the men folk, their lunch was a bust. They ordered one thing, got another, sent it back, it came to them still not right, and cold.

And we saw a BALD EAGLE!

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Snow on the ground, but feels like it is warming up. Compared to earlier in the week, anything above freezing would feel balmy.
We traveled to Gettysburg for Thanksgiving dinner and it was the usual fare - FANTASTIC! This year we have so much to be thankful for, especially that all of us at the table have had our own private trials and we're still here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve

The weather continues to deteriorate, getting colder with snow showers. I've never seen flakes as big as these, and they are accumulating. Darn.

Snowed all day, finally winding down after dinner. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, not Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Agricultural Farm Park

Great day for a ride, taking advantage of any decent weather to get out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cold, Cold, Cold

We've been experiencing cold weather. Not just cold, but COLD. The daytime highs are not above freezing. We have electric buckets, and the boys are alternating between field #3 during the day and field #1 overnight. The bucket in field #1 seems to not be working and is frozen over.

He worked on the outlet and discovered a faulty switch, a trip to the BigOrangeBox, and moving the outlet into an upside-down position, power was restored. It was still cold, freezing.

We do have blankets for the boys, but usually don't blanket unless it is cold AND windy. It was breezy, but not horrid. I gave all of them extra hay; hay makes them warm. They all are getting fuzzy, like bears. I know I wouldn't want to spend the night outside, but they do have shelter, if they want.

I closed the aisle doors and left Lil Fred's stall open. The littles were spending the night inside, dry and out of the wind. When I went in to check water and turn lights out, etc., Sprite was in Fred's stall, flat on the floor for a snooze. The radio was loud enough that I was not heard, and was behind the tractor in the sight line. So very cute, those two!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Little Bennett

We had things to do at the house and farm, so we didn't get to ride until later in the day. We chose to stay close and make an abbreviated ride.

We ended up at Little Bennett, not having been there in a while to ride, we discovered a series of re-routes that are more 'sustainable' and easier to traverse. We could look down the hills and see the old trails, covered with disuse.

The USTR was hosting a ride, and there were more trailers and rigs parked in the meadow than I have ever seen there, ever. By the time we returned we were the only trailer left.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Perfect Day, Perfect Ride

On Veteran's Day we chose to travel to Gettysburg with the boys to ride in the National Battlefield. What a great idea that was!

We started out early and got sort of lost around town finding the trail head. Plenty of parking, but we were not alone.

Heading out towards Confederate Avenue, down the drive to the right, quickly discovered about twenty cows at the fence along the path. This took some doing, but we managed to not be surrender monkeys and stick with it. Skip was positively vibrating next to me. Eventually I persuaded KC to continue on the path after a couple 360s, around and around. Skip followed our cue, it turned into a non-event.

I hadn't ridden this park in years (read 'decades') and this is the first time KC has been here. What a great opportunity it was, for all of us! The equestrian trail covers lots of ground, and goes where you might not end up on a bike, hike or in a car or bus tour. The views were fantastic!
For a long time the word was no traveling above a walk, but that has been modified to 'no out-of-control riding, stay on the designated path.'
We all enjoyed ourselves, seeing lots of things, people, dogs, other horses, wildlife, Segways. All a learning experience for the boys, too.

The terrain here can be rough in spots. Some of the rocks are bigger than whales and are exactly where God placed them. If you weren't from here, and found yourself on foot or horseback with people trying to kill you, the footing could be your undoing.

General Farnsworth became a statistic from just that predicament: his commanding officer issued an order, and it was suicide. He knew it, but did it anyway. He was 25.

Houses and barns are built with 'rubble' rock, because there is so much of it. Tilling the ground would be impossible in most places because of the copious amounts of rock.
The architecture is beautiful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

First Ride in November

A stellar day for a ride in the woods! We started out fairly early, for us, from the horsey club in Marriottsville. The leaves are mostly off the trees. Sight-lines have improved and Skip in particular is well aware of things, like traffic, that were blocked all summer from his view.

We could also see lots of wildlife that would have been obscured by the trees.
We rode through the park and were met by many pedestrians,families out for a walk in the park. One family with five children stopped to greet the boys, the mother gave KC goldfish crackers! He does love them. Another couple in the woods, with two Jack Russell terriers who were full sisters from different litters, stopped for a long visit. They had just gotten back from the Sudan where they rode dromedaries! I've never done this, but maybe one day?

Through further conversation it was revealed that they knew a couple from my childhood, both had recently passed away and their farm has been sold. The boys were good as gold while their dogs took turns barking or lunging at them.
After we left them we passed several riders, none of them known to us, but their horses were a diverse sampling of fine equine varieties. At the bottom of the Switchback Trail we turned left instead of right, crossing the river almost immediately.

While on the other side we scared up a Whitetail buck, with an impressive rack, who then plunged into the river with a loud splash. Others in the area heard the cannonball in the deep end and saw him run up the far bank and straight up the hill. Very impressive!

We passed several bicyclists, some riding, some stopped. Chatted with one resting group, while others came upon us and went on their way. Stopping at the usual watering hole, we had a delightful lunch while the boys dozed, even when the train whistled through.

We arrived at the trailer is deep twilight, the woods were teeming with deer, driving home in the dark.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


The new light fixtures arrived and couldn't wait to get them installed! The weather was delightful for working outside, too.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hay There!

We really did want to go riding today, but actually the weather was atrocious. It was chilly, but the wind gusts, up to 45 mph, were just too much for me and the boys. The leaves were just getting thrown out of the trees in bright showers.

We needed hay, so we might as well get that done. Picked up about 50 bales and stowed that away. We filled up the manure spreader with moldy, spent hay and also discovered a mummified bird with the old hay. Phew!

He wanted to ride, but when I was moving the horses around KC spooked, tore through the interior dry paddock, then Skip wigged out and I said we shouldn't go because it is toooooo windy.

With three out of four horses on diets we don't go through much hay and have seriously diminished the grain consumption because even Skip is putting on weight. Loving that grass!! In the long run it will prove to be a great investment of $3,000+ two years ago.

Max also had a few sessions in his play yard; he's coming along pretty well.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Last Light

Daylight Saving Time ends today, and we are seriously chasing light. We installed the final flood light for field #3.

After searching the world over and never finding that elusive telephone pole, we got a 6x6 inch x 16 foot pressure-treated pole.
He installed the light, capped the end and ran the electrical conduit down the front into an 'L' to make the turn below ground level into the run-in shed.
Getting the light and pole assembly into the hole was difficult. I believe I aged a couple years after this stunt. I laid in the grass, with my feet elevated, and surely will have bruises on my shoulder, arms and leg.

Because the ground is not level we had to rethink our strategy. The pole was not long enough to lash to the tractor's roll-bar and back up into the hole, like we did with the real telephone pole in West Virginia over 20 years ago. Those were the days!

Everything seemed to go in slow motion, I was concerned about getting my hair caught up between my jacket and the pole and getting yanked out. We walked the pole into the hole, walking under it, with our arms straight up, bracing against the pole.

The pole finally plopped in, with the "L" in the ready-made trench, and we worked the wires into the conduit, gluing each section after the other. I know we were doing this backwards, but the lamp is so heavy, it would have been impossible to place it on top of the pole if the pole was in place to begin with.

He ran the conduit through the run-in shed and also installed coaxial wire for the two carriage lamps that have not yet arrived. There is now an outlet for a fan and whatever else we need to plug in, breaker panel in the barn has been upgraded.

After it got dark, we adjusted the lamp to focus on field #3.