Saturday, January 31, 2015

January's Last Day

Today has been a cold day, the high being around 23, but the wind. O boy, the wind. Last night it was gusting up to 50 mph, the wind chill being around 5. Frightful. Not fit for man nor beast. Everyone stayed in, the Dutch doors closed.

Today has been a cold day, blustery, but the wind now has died down and the 23 degrees feels kind of warm. The snow on the ground is actually evaporating, and the static is pretty outrageous. The moon is waxing, casting stark shadows.

The days are definitely getting longer, and Groundhog's Day is next week. KC will commence shedding, and I'll be watching for when the daffodils emerge.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow/Sleet/Freezing Rain/Rain

Sounds like a recipe for misery! We got all of this within about three hours this afternoon.
Been cold, too, with snow on the ground. The boys wanted in field #2, I let the littles out in #1. Later in the afternoon Skip wanted IN, walking the fence while KC was down the field eating grass that shows through the snow.

I let them all into the dry paddock, gave them each hay. Later on the staring contest started, Skip trying with telepathy to let me know he was being mistreated.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow - Repeat

Taking a 'snow day' to take care of things around here and at our old house. Our tenant let us know that the pond is overflowing into the neighbor's yard. The neighbor does not notice.
He got good and wet, muddy.

He continued working on the basement stairs landing. Irene approves.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Basement Stairwell Landing

We heard a rumor, and there is evidence, that the basement was dug out by the previous owner. A beautiful cement floor was poured, then painted white. The concrete was so smooth that the paint did not stick. It has since been covered with sheet vinyl.

The stairs, which were also new, have been sanded because we could not clean the boot stains. We are undecided about what exactly to do with the steps. Painting is an option, but it will wear out.

The landing is old, a tongue-and-grove in rough shape, painted with dull red deck paint, and splashed with grey, black and white paint. Today he decided to lift one of the boards up to see what was under it. Random width rough-hewn oak sub-flooring.
He couldn't stop pulling boards until they were all removed.

Now that mystery is solved, we discussed what to replace it with. We're going with Pergo, to match the rear hallway, and tie in the transition. He has started the prep work for the installation, sanding the sub-flooring boards, buying the underlayment material and a box of Pergo (Alexandria Maple).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weak Winter Sun

Today we took Max to the vet for his long over-due check-up. He also has a 'Lick Granuloma' that I believe is giving him bad breath.

I'm glad that he was with me at the vet's because my explaining what a horrifically bad dog he was just wouldn't do it justice. In the end he was given Morphine and got seriously mellow. He was so embarrassingly an awful boy, I'm sure they will be talking about his performance for ever.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

MLK Jr Ride Time

Parking at the rail crossing on Marriottsville Road, the parking lot was iced over. I was hoping that this was not going to be a bad idea. As we were tacking up, a train blew through the intersection. I heard the train rumbling in and placed myself between the tracks and KC. The train had to blow the horn, it is a law.

I waved to the engineer, who not only waved back, he did, but he also swung open the door and walked out of the engine compartment and waved to us vigorously, and gave me the 'fist bump' gesture. KC stood like a statue. Cars were lining up on both sides of the train.

We proceeded out, along the tracks where the frozen puddles were rather large. Navigating these was interesting. I again was hoping this wasn't going to be a big mistake.

We rode to the Woodstock Inn, sparsely populated, no bikers and no horses. There was no evidence of any horsemen in the woods in the past several days. It was slippery in spots but the boys were careful and we didn't fall down or have any hair-raising events.

On the way back we scared up nearly twenty deer near Bon Secours. It was not exactly dark when we arrived home. The days are getting longer. In another couple weeks KC will begin shedding his winter coat.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Nail Salon and Road Trip

Sara the Farrier was out in the morning to 'do' everyone. Everyone was good and Skip's feet are in pretty good shape. We haven't done much riding lately, so maybe that has something to do with it. She suggested an X-ray of his front right foot.

After that was wrapped up we went for a drive - destination: lunch! We had lunch at a funny little hole-in-the-wall that had good reviews. Searching for 'authentic' food is a crap shoot around here.

We then headed out to see if we could find a couple new trail heads that are now open to horses, and we need to see the trailer parking availability.

Poole's store now is a Southern States Cooperative but still retains its historic look and feel. The house next door isn't too shabby, either!

Across the road is the Seneca Stone Cutting Mill ruins, built in 1837.
The stone was quarried in the immediate area and cut at this location. This is the same stone that was used in building the C&O Canal, the locks, the lock houses. Also used in the Smithsonian Institution's 'Castle.' Lots of houses and rock walls are also made from this stone.
At Riley's lock, also known as Lock 24, the Seneca Creek goes under the C&O Canal, the lock filling with water to lift the canal barges over the creek.
I made him stop the car to photograph this manse on Montevideo Road.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rachel Carson

We had some things to do around the house (washing cars, etc.) and took a short haul to Rachel Carson Park afterwards. We ran into a member of a one of our horsey clubs riding alone in the park. Turns out she bought a house on the park! and now has her horse in her yard. And to make it more exciting a long-time friend and riding buddy now boards her horse there, too.

The boys were glad to see their old girlfriend and we had a nice catch-up. Sometimes you get too busy and lose sight of what is going on in your own backyard with friends. I think I'll add that to my New Year's Resolutions.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Out With The Old

In with the new:

Replacing (finally!) the dining room fixture. The existing specimen wasn't really that old. Believe it was installed after 2004, but before 2007. It was not cheap but it was not pretty, and for our lifestyle the absolute worst choice ever. If you have a cat, or a dog, or any mammal, you do not want a ceiling fan. Especially not in the 'big room' that includes a kitchen or food preparation site.

There was even spray paint on one of the fan blades from when the entire house (inside and out) was spray painted. I've held my nose for over four years and now am enjoying our new light!

Slowly whittling away at the list of things to replace and install. In with the new!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Out With The Old

Inherited with the house were the ugliest ceiling fans ever sold. Had one in the bedroom that was finally replaced last year. The dining room light has remained for lack of a better fixture.
Naturally, we went around and around on this one. It would be a focal point because of the location in the house.

If it was too big it would dominate the room, the table, and everything else. Too small and it would be like a bedroom light. No big deal. The styles we liked were so much money it brought into question what the business model was for these companies.

After looking, on-line, and looking at hardware and renovation stores, we finally found THE ONE.

In with the new!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

Freezing. Rain. Freezing Rain

Slick, slippery, frozen. What looks wet is actually ice.

It was actually warmish yesterday, and after their dinner I put them out in field #1. KC didn't want to go, neither did Skip, but after persuading them to go, KC stood at the gate, pouting.

The plan was to bring them in for the overnight, because I heard it was going to rain, with freezing rain and sleet. There is already snow still on the ground.

When I went out at 10:30 it was raining and they wanted in! I was ready for them, having prepped the stalls: scrubbed out the electric buckets and freshened up the sawdust.

Been a sodden, foggy wet Monday.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kitchen Faucet - Upgrade

He finally got tired of the hose not going back up into the neck, so he replaced the kitchen faucet, exactly like Grandin's.

Two trips to the BIGORANCEBOX and we're all set. He also installed a cabinet mat under the sink. Purged products that we don't use anymore. It looks fantastic!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Feed Me!

When there's snow cover I make sure the feeder and suet are filled.

Haven't seen a squirrel this far up the hill in a couple years. We had one, maybe two, but they didn't survive a recent hurricane.

We have suet cages outside the kitchen window. This gives endless entertainment for Irene. The birds don't give one wit about her looking at them. Even the crows are getting bold.

We also have a bird feeder slung on one of the maples in the 'little woods.' It is a favorite spot for the mourning doves and house sparrows. We have the entire array of woodpeckers, too.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


The snow started on Tuesday and continued until the afternoon. After that it got cold. Cold cold. Like in crazy cold. And windy.

I kept the horses in until the sun did come out, giving them hay in field #1. I don't think they were thrilled, but enjoyed the hay.

Max got into the snowy scene, too.

The sun was bright, but not strong enough to warm up this Arctic blast. The snow squeaks.
Then the wind started up, making it unbearable. The horses have stayed in overnight, wearing their coats and with the Dutch doors closed. They are happy to be in. The snow is drifting against the fences and blowing off the roofs. The electric buckets are in use. What a great invention!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

SNOW! - First For 2015

Woke to at least an inch on the ground, and it continues to snow. First for the year! Schools are closed, because that's how we roll.

I had put their coats on yesterday late in the afternoon - it was clear and seriously windy; the wind chill was horrible. They spent the night outside, but it was snowing before daybreak.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


He decided that we needed a 'whole-house filter system' installed. I honestly don't know why we didn't do this before, we never thought of it, but now it is done.

He's been off since before Christmas, and we've had a great holiday with family and friends. We've gotten a couple things done, played games and music, got a few good rides in, but there's something about last-minute plumbing projects that speak to us!

It started with the toilet: he replaced the water connection, which was not 'new' being a re-used part. Later that night I could still hear water running. He went to the BIGORANGEBOX this morning to get the innards for the toilet, replacing that. Then he got the idea that we needed 'whole-house filtration system' because of the sediment in the toilet tank. It did look like there was a beach dune in the bottom. There is a filter in the refrigerator for the ice machine.

Back to the BIGORANGEBOX to get the filter, turning off the house water right before dinner to install. No worries, the PVC pipes set up and water was restored.

Today is also our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. Sweet!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


He believed the toilet was leaking, that maybe the wax ring had failed. That toilet has been there four years. He has a wax ring, but soon realized that the supply line had sprung a leak, corroded at the junction. A quick trip to the local over-priced hardware store and the toilet is now back in 'business.'

Friday, January 2, 2015


I have a list, an on going list, of some things I'd like to do, have done, and to accomplish. Some are wishes, some are dreams. Some would require hitting the lottery.

My old list has only a couple things pending. I believe that is pretty good for a long list for the 'five-year plan.' I would like a new kitchen (floor/cabinets/counter top). I'd like to have T-111 siding put on the garage shed, he'd like new windows for that same shed. I'd like a 'lid' over the bins so that the tractor can have its own house. I can wait.

What I'd really like is a new job, a new adventure, a paying job that I would bounce out of bed for in the morning. A fresh start with interesting people doing interesting things. When I ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, it is because I'm looking for ideas. I need a change. Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! 2015

2014 is history - so many good things, some unfortunate events, but we're going to make 2015 a stellar year!