Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year In Review

Been one of 'those' years. So much done, accomplished, and lost, too. So much has changed, but time goes on.

Started and completed the pasture expansion. That was a feat all by itself. We're not getting any younger, and it was tough going, but we made it.
The view has been changed because of the mile of four-board oak fencing, but it fills my heart with so much pride I could weep.

We lost our Lexie Lou in August.

We got a visit from the local fire department in September because someone thought our fire was more than it was.
We did manage to get a lot burned before they showed up and flooded the burn pile.

Max's play yard was finished, and could be a commercial dog park! He really does love it and he's coming along, now he's three. Time does evaporate.

Have a list of things I should make into New Year's resolutions, but some things are really just wishing, and I'm only mortal.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Last Sunday For 2014

Weather today was cloudy and mild, with rain starting later in the afternoon. No ride today.

We decided we'd do a short road trip, no horses, no dog, and visit Frederick (the city).

We did not eat at 'Volt' but the old mansion was spectacular.

A lot of neat eateries and shops in the Carroll Creek area in old town Frederick. Some of the stores are no wider than a King-size bed.
It began raining on our way back.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last Saturday In December

Saturday was a great day for a ride, mostly clear and cool. We've had some rain and freezing temps, but it has dried out fairly well.

There were hikers and cyclists out and about. We tried to stay out of the muddy spots and the river and creeks were a little high, too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

The Night Before Christmas
It’s the night before Christmas, we’re out in the barn
Blanketing horses to keep them all warm
They’re eating their dinners, tucked in cozy stalls
Not aware that it’s Christmas or any special day at all

They can dream of spring pastures from their pine-scented beds
No visions of sugarplums dance in their heads
But we people are thinking of merry parties and such
Maybe feeling a little sad at missing so much

This season is special but the horses don’t know
We’ve got work to do before we can go
We finish the chores and head on inside
To get ready for dinner and our own yuletide

It’s nearly midnight, the carols are sung
I remember a story I was told when I was young
How at midnight on Christmas Eve
The creatures of the barnyard can speak to us with ease

I am called to the barn, I wade through the rain
I know I must go, I can’t really explain
I slide open the door, pause for a while
Then slowly walk down that dully lit aisle

A nicker from Casey, a wink from JD
Sleepy old Alibi waking to see
Tucker rustling his bedding, a snort soft and light
Each horse gave a greeting as I walked through the night

I thought about parties bright lit and warm
The ones we don’t go to ’cause we have the barn
And vacations and holidays that we don’t get
When we’re working long hours for bills to be met

Walking all the way to the end of the aisle
I stop to stroke Bonnie, it brings me a smile
She snuffles my face, hot breath on my skin
It starts me to thinking about my horses, my kin

I could be at parties with laughter and mirth
But where I am right now is the best place on Earth.

~ Sandra Williams

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

Ride time! Mild day at Seneca Greenway, an underused gem.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Protecting the Bank Account

The lawn tractor has been ailing. Definition: Won't start. We use this lawn tractor, which we've had for fifteen years, to not only mow grass but to haul the manure spreader and mulch leaves. It had light duty the first eleven years, mowing the back yard in our previously urban life, kept under cover the rest of the time.

We also use the Ford tractor to spread manure and mow grass, but sometimes the tractor is too big, the weight would leave tracks in soft dirt; we wouldn't want to bend the grass.

When he finished installing the face boards a couple Sundays ago, he started it up to mulch the accumulating leaves. He ran it about two swipes in the little woods and it died. Kaput. Dead.

He tried this and that to get it going again, and then it got too dark to see. He had taken it apart, pulled the hood off, the air filter, exposed the carburetor and spark plugs. The filter was full of dust. Maybe we chocked it to death?

He took some time, tinkering and thinking, and even researched a candidate for replacement. The research revealed that we were better off with the fifteen-year old model than a brand new upgrade. He was determined to fix whatever was wrong with it, within reason.

The power of the internet, and the use of his 'GOOGLE' finger provided feedback about the new models and 'how-to' videos on a sure fix. He located the parts that would be needed and worked nearly all day getting it right. The weather was predicted to be great, what wasn't taken into account was the 30mph 'breeze' that chilled us both to the bone. Made a sunny day seem like torture.

Nearly dark and he got it running! YEA! He proceeded to mulch the remaining leaves, until he ran over a tree root in the little woods and bent the blade. O well, he knows how to replace a blade, too, but he did save us $3,000.00.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mid-December Ride Time!

The weather forecast promised a different kind of atmosphere than what we actually experienced, but it was a great day to ride!

Chasing daylight, we really scooted back from our lunch break, trying not to ride back in the dark. It was close!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

12-13-14 Lisbon Christmas Parade!

The Lisbon Christmas Horse Parade! An annual event to raise money for the local fire department and horse rescues, the participation increases every single year. It is a pretty bid deal around here.

Mrs. Claus has a fine steed to carry her on the parade route.

The Huntsman always looks like he's ready for Christmas!

The police have to get involved, too.

It is a classy parade, traditional riding styles.

Serious money has been invested, on display for this awesome parade.

The cute factor is multiplied by Pi.
Mules were well-represented, and the High School Rodeo Queen has a beautiful Mule.
When it is all done, we'll hitch up to the fence and get a bite to eat!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Right on schedule, the forecasted weather was spot on. It was predicted that the rain/freezing rain/sleet/snow would begin around 10 and it was pretty darn close.

Yesterday, I had them in field #2 overnight, then all day. I brought them in to eat, then turned them back out. When I went out to move them into the barn for the night, it was already raining and they were ready to come in.

Overnight it changed to freezing rain. Everything is coated in ice: the car, the fence, the trees, mulch - everything. They are happy to be in, eating hay.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Face Boards

Saturday it rained, all day long. In the end we got nearly two inches of rain. Today, bright and sunny! Breezy, windy, gusty day and we thought about riding but decided it was too windy, cold and muddy to really enjoy ourselves.

After doing this and that around the house he decided to 'throw up some face boards.' The boards had already been cut, stowed and stacked neatly in the Living Quarters trailer. We scurried around for the Paslode nailer, nails, Mahogany level and a hammer.

I pulled the boards out, setting them against the posts for installation. Installation was not as easy as imagined, and turned out to take a lot longer than anticipated. The fence boards have dried and resisted the ring-shanked nails, nearly each one had to be nailed in and some had to extracted.

He finished hanging all the face boards on the posts that ring the 'yard.' All the others that will be installed are going to have to be drilled and screwed in. Plus, we don't have the wood on hand. That will be another thousand dollars for a time in the future.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

First And First

Rained all day, heavy at times, and everything is a dripping wet mess. The boys stayed in the run-in shed in field #1 all day long. Later in the day I brought them in to eat hay.

Friday night I left them in field #3, all night. This is the first time they have spent the night in that field. No cougars or coyotes ate them. I knew it was going to rain Saturday, and the environment would be completely different.

Bringing them in before dark, they ended up staying in all night, the first for the season. It wasn't technically cold, but the wind picked up, gusting pretty darn miserably. They have no issue staying in.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hornet's Nest

The paper nest that was high in the Maple tree, in the little woods, has finally disintegrated and fallen into the yard. We've had weather systems that are not conducive of living in a paper house. The cold, wet and windy conditions has dropped the sodden nest on the ground in pieces and parts.

Monday, December 1, 2014

December's Here? That Was Quick!

December came in like a lamb. Last night, around 10, it was warmer than it had been at noon. Weird.

Gorgeous morning, feels like early April, not December. Surely it won't last, but take what you can.