Saturday, May 30, 2015

Conquering the yard & Stuff.

One foot at a time.

I did fence off two sections of yard over the past few weeks, but the other day I decided, enough was enough,...I went to where hubby had bought his country clipper and got a used walk behind mower.

I also asked the gent we purchased the Clipper from to come out and help me figure out how to run the damn thing.  He is a good guy and will come out and give me a lesson!

So I went after the yard which was over knee high in places.  I attacked, the mower plugged.  I stopped, cleaned it and attacked again.

Over and over with frequent breaks ... I worked hard and harder.

Yes...that wasteland is a part of my yard that I had to 'wade' through to hang laundry!

I worked all afternoon and nearly until sunset to hack at the yard.

Finally, the first mowing was done since last fall.  Can you imagine?
Since we'd had so much rain I didn't want to just fence it in and let the critters have the run of the place, I would have had a real mess on my hands.

Though after being exhausted and hot, I mulled that thought over and decided that could have been an alternative.

I was hoping that having a mowed yard would help my husband's mood when he came home.

The grand kids were here and all were awaiting our arrival.  Steve had his week wacker out trimming, Steph was using my little mower to trim other areas, and in my absence they managed to make the yard look even nicer.

The sunset wasn't like this last night, it was rather dark and gloomy, almost threatening.

But all critters are fine, most everyone is on summer pasture...and I have 200' of electric fence to finish putting up and then everyone will be out in the woods and meadows.

Life almost feels peaceful today.
Grand kids are still sleeping and Morris is patiently waiting for them to awaken.

Morris will be going back to 'Uncle John and Aunt Nancy's' house tonight a we have another long week ahead of us.

He loves his job greeting patients at the Chiropractic Office.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A day

Rain provided the best backdrop for going out with the kids for a Tainter Hollow tour.

We found many spots alongside the road to admire and photograph wildflowers.

These above are real wild phlox and the others are escapees from peoples gardens, if I am correct.

I found some beautiful tree and cloud/sky shots too that I felt were beautiful in black and white. favorite oak tree, just leafing out.

It was a beautiful day....

We're Loose in the Country! (Watch out!)

Guest Blog by: Ariel. 
 Grandma's letting me do a blog. [YES!]
We started out doing the Chores. Which, for some, might be boring but for me and Dennis it's fun!
 After that Grandma had to take care of Crystal. [She's a black and tan hound. She has sores on her neck and chest. She is doing OK however.]
Then we packed up some trail mix and Great Grandma's cookies, we  finished it off with  water, and we were off!
We went  down to the Tainter  Hollows.
We stopped to look at the road and some flowers, and took pictures!
We hopped back into the car and drove down the road aways, we came to some rock that had names on them. And we thought we saw a Peg! Turned out to be a Ren through. [Nuts.]
We drove to a place where we  thought beavers were, there wasn't. So we threw rocks into the water and did a selfie. Grandma slipped in the sand while she was running across the road to be in the picture, ending up knocking all three of us down.
{After we drove away from that place we stopped down the road a ways and there was people coming from the place  we just came! Whew, they didn't see us when we were taking selfies.}
[This picture was taken by Grandma's camera, the rest are mine.]
A little while later we went to a creek to eat and take more pictures.
Grandma climbed down under the bridge and was surprised to see Mother birds feeding their babies! It was so awesome!
We were close to the end of our little Road Trip when I spotted a Mother cow and her babies.
"You guys can walk up and see them." Grandma informed us.

There were three babies in all!
[Whew, that's a lot!]
We found a small waterfall and creek to step in; after another 15 minutes we went home.
We washed Crystal and Ellie May really, really, well. [Ellie is the newest of the gang. In case you didn't know who I was talking about.]
Then Grandma and Dennis washed out their houses.
We went for a walk but I was too worn out and only made it to the top of the [huge] driveway.
After supper I went out with Morris to go take pictures around the farm.

The sunset was super cool. So were the clouds!

So after giving Morris and cookie [and everyone {'cept Grandpa who was in bed} got Milkshakes.] {sadly} our day had ended.
Boy! What a day it was!!

We're Loose in the Country! (Watch out!) 

Thank you, Grandma, for letting me post on your blog.
Bye 'til next time!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Creative Mowing, the Organic Way...

I did this once before I believe in 2006 when hubby hadn't felt well and I'd had surgery on my shoulder.

The grass got long and out of control, not to mention the $4 price of gasoline.

We found that they actually did a very good job.

When the gals were finished 'mowing' and 'fertilizing' we put them out on pasture and simply raked the fertilizer and mowed the leftovers down.

Except I realized that sharing the laundry line with donkeys was not the best idea.  They loved to put their faces in it and hide from the flies.

Although my favorite time was when we 'lent' the yard to an equine was when our old mare had a foal.  It was nice to take a lawn chair and sit with Cheyanne and her foal Sundance.

We kept her very close so we could keep an eye on Cheyanne who had had a difficult birth.

Last night I fenced off a large section of the yard for Siera, Fred, and Dyna. I know these 3 respect a single line fence and will do a good job of 'mowing' for me.

I have two more sections that I wish for them to clean up before I let them into the meadow.  Then I think that with a self propelled mower I may be able to keep up between the long drives.
If not, I'll keep using the organic method.
I've gotten very good at creative fencing and these 3 mules have gotten very good at adapting to moving about often.

My Daughter and her hubby ... and the kids may be up this weekend and apparently I could get help with the yard!  Whooo!

I'd like to plant some flowers too and cheer things up around here.

Let us not forget our best 'weed whacker' that we have, who doubles as a guard pony.

And he is a great yard trimmer, along with being a pal to Morris.

I'd like to get Morris to come home for a visit this weekend.
It will be a 3 day weekend and if the grand kids are here, they will want to have him along to take walks.

I do miss the farm comedian.  

Chores are a bit easier now that the gals are out on the Meadow.  I soon hope to have some other places for rotation.
I'll have to sneak off into the woods and string some new wire.  We 'meant' to do it last year.

It is an old forest pasture but there are many goodies to be found in it!
I don't want to waste the opportunity to save my energy by having it available as pasture!

Well off to wake up hubby and start the process for the day.
Today is a super long day.  

Have a great one.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Big Move.

Last week was a marathon week of getting fencing repaired and checked so that the mares and molly mules, along with the donkeys could move to the 'Merry Meadow' also know as summer pasture.

I moved the Dexter cattle into their summer pasture and so far they have been very content and quiet.

I made a hot wire lane up the driveway and into the Meadow.  The 'girls' have done this for a few years and they pretty much walked quietly until they hit the meadow.

Then Sunshine and Sundance broke out in a gallop and snorted and bucked.

The donkeys trotted in a group while the mares whirled and pranced.

All settled in after a while.

I think I'll move Fred, Siera, and Dinah in a day or so.  Then all but the geldings will be on pasture.

Yesterday's skies were incredible.
The expected storms didn't happen here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

And so it goes.

Today was re-qualification day with our firearms.

We have to shoot targets and get a passing score.  We also take a test on the State Laws regarding Lethal Force.

Today I was given 'most improved' on the Glock 'award'. And yes I will agree, I made a huge improvement over my scores for the past two years.  My first year was awesome, then ... well I slipped!

It clicked together and I did very well.  The shotgun is normally my best weapon.  I nearly flubbed it.  I didn't pull it tight enough into my shoulder when shooting [timed event] and got smacked hard by the recoil on my cheek bone.
I made it though.

Hubby was at his daughter's last night so I had some 'free' time. Yesterday.  I worked hard at fencing and adjusting things to make my chore life easier.

Hubby hasn't been able to mow yard yet...eeeeks!
I can't run his Country Clipper and am looking to get a self propelled mower.
In the mean time, I decided to put up temporary fence and get the mowing done organically.

This is Dyna, she was with Fred and Siera who did a fine job in mowing and fertilizing this portion of the yard.

They have another two sections to do and most of my knee high grass will be taken care of.

These mules know the routine.  When I come out at night I just wave to them and give them a kiss sound.
They follow me back into their paddock.  Such good mules!

This is the fence that the grand kids helped with when they visited.
I hope tomorrow to move the rest of 'the gals' out to the Meadow.

Here is Dennis proudly showing off where he helped fence.  He loved the details of electric fencing.

Here is my other helper I had for the day.  She found a morel mushroom!

Ariel is more oriented towards the animals.  She took Dixie out for more than one walk.  Dixie listened to her and they got along so well.

My hubby is in the middle of his treatments and things are going sort of rough for him.

I appreciate all of the help I got from my Grandkids and daughter Steph this week.

Lastly...a photo from Goose Island.
I had to take my Subaru in so they could install a remote starter.

I had some time to kill before Qualification and so I stopped at Goose Island.

Onward we go.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Boss Mare & the herd mentality.

The photo is an old one of a much younger Peaches.  The video is also old.

Peaches came to our farm many years ago and settled into being the Boss Mare.
She was quite stunning with her Dunn color although she was a registered paint horse.

She was a quick turning, muscular and powerful animal.  She was a quick learner and incredibly smart.

Over the past two years we noticed a decline in her health.  Mostly is was due to age related issues.  Unfortunately a horse cannot live forever as much as we wish them to.

In the past few days I'd noticed her a bit more lack luster than usual and the other members of her herd were pushing her away. 

She'd quit eating and had started to lose weight rapidly.

In a wild herd, the sickly equine is pushed away from the rest of the herd.

Yesterday evening after taking a much needed nap [so many days of travel for hubby's illness and non stop juggling of doctor schedules and work had caught up with me], I went outside to take a walk in the woods.

Peaches was down.  Down on her side and weakly flaying with her legs.  I grabbed some ropes and tugged and pulled her into and upright position.
She tried several times to get up but couldn't.
I got out my stethoscope and listened to her heart, lungs, and respiration.

Her capillary refill was non existent.  Her respiration was rapid and shallow. Her heart fluttered irregularly.  

Peaches crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday evening.

She joins our herd of wonderful animals that have crossed before her.  She is probably chasing Badger and Cheyanne around.  Xena, I'm sure is barking and running with them.

Peaches, you will be missed.  You were the Boss.  
I wonder who will step up to take your place in the herd.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So What Has Morris Been Up To?

So some of you might want to know what Morris has been up to for the last two weeks.

Morris went to stay with a friend in town while hubby and I do the daily 2+ hour one way trips to the UW Carbone Cancer Center and the VA Hospital in Madison, WI for cancer treatments.

We felt it was totally unfair for Morris to have to spend endless days alone without 'his humans'.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to give him the attention he likes or deserves nor would I have time for walks and hikes.

So Morris is residing with my former employer.

Morris used to go to work with me at the Chiropractor's Office in town.  He was a big hit with the patients.

So Morris is back at the office, greeting patients and walking them to the treatment room and then escorting them to the door when they leave.

He apparently gets a lot of attention and petting.
Now that he is nearly 11 years old, he gets pretty tired after a long day at the office, but he is happy and working!

I stopped by with the grand kids for a bit yesterday when we were in town. Morris was ecstatic and I think he actually wanted to leave with us, but our tiny house is full with company right now.

And Dr. John looked as though he was worried that we might take Morris away with us.
I asked if he was tired of Morris.

So Morris remains for the time being in town, being a town dog, being a 'greeter' at the office.
Dr. John said he was extremely popular with the patients.  Some had even asked if Morris would be 'in' when they made their appointments with him.

So that is what Morris has been up to lately.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Fencing and Stuff

Time to turn the Dexter Cattle out on spring pasture this morning.

Last night I worked until dark setting things up to make an easy transfer from one pasture to another.  Thank goodness for the ability to make gates in electric fences.

And I love our 'rope' electric fence it is very visible and the cattle really respect it.

This goes for the mules also.  Except Fred, he is always checking to see if a fence is working or not.
If there is a line out he will surely find it.  But he hasn't left our place in over 10 years so I feel we are doing well.

I hope to have 'the girls' turned out into the 'Merry Meadow' very soon.  The grass in nearly ready, perhaps another week should go by before they get out into their summer area.  I have some lines to replace.  One of the division lines for rotation is very old and probably not very good.

That is my goal of 'fixing' before going to work.

Working in the meadow right now is really quite relaxing.

I even fall in love with the scent of the Hawthorne Tree. This tree is not a favorite of some, but to me, I think it has a beautiful shape and the scent of its spring flowers are intoxicating.

And of course there are the wild apple trees that are scattered about in the Meadow.

I constantly try to get my husband to leave them alone or perhaps allow some new ones to grow.
The mules love to pick their own apples and the jelly I make from them is wonderful.

Most of all I love those short few days in which the blossoms flood the air with their scent.

After these repairs are done, I'll move on to the two wooded pastures that need re-fencing.
Hubby meant to do it last year, but we never got it finished.

A huge oak tree fell on part of the wooded lot we have near the creek.  I've looked at it and have figured out a way to fence through it at least for this summer.

I'm not handy with a chainsaw, but I can be creative in my fencing abilities.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Oh Beautiful Spring

Because of our crazy schedule this spring, I haven't been able to take as many walks in the woods as I normally do.

Yet I did get an hour the other day to walk around and take a peek at what was happening in the woods.

The Apple Blossoms had started [now they are in full bloom!].

The Cherry Tree blossoms are amazing.

I really need to get back out and look for morels and see if the Trillium has opened up yet.

They were just sleeping on Monday afternoon, ready to awaken at any moment.

I'd found Jack in the Pulpits emerging from the woodland floor also.

And then we have the wonderful happy colors of yellow. They are beautiful and bright against the new green colors of the grass.

Yellow Rocket, they are worthy of a photo before being pulled.

I love the cheery yellow against the backdrop of fresh greens.

I do love spring.
But then I love all seasons.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Friends in all places

I'd lamented while at work that I needed small square bales of hay and that my schedule of driving to MAD City and back wasn't going to allow me to get the hay I needed.

I purchase small bales from one co-worker.  Another offered to take HIS truck over to the other co-worker's place and deliver hay.
If I could arrange it, that is.
I called the Hay Man and he said "Oh no, let me bring it to your place!" 

The second co-worker mentioned that he would like to help me in any way...could he come out and help me move animals to the summer pasture?

Was there some electrical fencing that needed done?  Indeed there is.

When we got home from MAD City yesterday a fresh load of hay was being stacked in my shed.  I helped by tossing the rest of the bales off the truck.

When we tried to pay extra for the delivery, Hay Man waved it off.  Then hubby pulled out a 10 spot and shoved it in Hay Man's hands.

"Please," he said, "Treat your son to Dairy Queen on me if you won't take money for delivery."

Hay Man nodded and his young son agreed ... DQ would be their next stop.

My belief in good people in rural areas is boundless.

I have one Farm Lady who offered to help chore if we got stuck in Madison overnight.

She would come with her niece and take care of watering and checking on critters.

An Investigator from the Local Law Enforcement Agency asked if he could help in any way.  Offered to help with anything.
Another Investigator that we worked with last summer, said that if we notified him of when we would be out of town, he would put our place AND
Mules on the 'Property Watch List'.

That means a deputy will come and make sure things look good and the house has not been broken into while we are absent.

Small acts of kindness to our neighbors over the years seems to be coming back 'at us'.

I feel quite ... I don't know.  Blessed?  Honored?

People are good.

It is well appreciated in The Long Road.

Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, May 01, 2015

This year ... last year...

This year we warmed up a bit faster than last year.  I am finding wild flowers that were already up and blossoming this year by April 25th.

Last year they were not blossoming until much later in May.

I'm guessing that if I get time between drives to Madison and work hours, I may get out and look for Morels!

I probably won't get to the woods today as we are expecting guests this afternoon.

So I'm going into my archives from last year.

Happy May 1st!