Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ok, I survived the first week, working back at the horse farm! I would come home 5:15 so tired I could barely put one foot in front of the other! It seems so much harder this time, than before. For the last two and a half years, I really haven't done this much physical work, and I'm paying for it! I have been using the weedeater for hours, it seems like, grooming horses, cleaning stalls, cleaning the barn, dumping and cleaning water buckets and refilling them. Helping bring the horses into the barn in the afternoon.

There are five mares and their foals, three of which haven't been handled hardly at all and are as wild as a deer! I've been working with them sometimes, just getting them so they will trust me a bit, and can be touched and rubbed.

Here is a picture of the mares and babies. These are all recipient mares. The babies are embryo transfer babies. One mare is a nurse mare, because the birth mare tried to kill her baby and the vet and attendant. The nurse mare was brought in from Kentucky and she and the baby bonded and she is doing a fine job of raising her Arabian filly, even though she is a Quarter Horse mare.

Not much has changed around there. Enrique is still there, and they have a new manager since September last year. I like him, he is easy to get along with.

Here is a photo of an unusual bird to find in our yard. I went out to put the horses fly masks on and when I rounded the corner, this is what I saw! It is a Peahen, we think. Or maybe a juvenile Peacock? Anyway, she was visiting our chickens. A little while later, she flew up on top of the horses run-in shed and the dog spotted her up there. That scared her and she took off flying and landed in the neighbors still uncut hayfield. The dog couldn't get to her and she didn't come back. Our only neighbor that has a peacock says it wasn't hers, but if it came back she would like to have it. But we haven't seen it since.

Last Sunday we had a good visit with the family and got to see David, Danielle, and Isaiah for the last time before they move to one of the Carolina's. I didn't know until we had left that they were leaving in two weeks or I would have taken more photos, and for sure a group photo. But I didn't know that.

Here is a photo of another cute couple, my baby sister and her husband. Aren't they cute?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Surprised you again, didn't I??!

Yesterday, Ed came home early so we could go and get a load of hay. Spotty thundershowers were predicted, so we wanted to get going. We got two loads, each one with 110 bales of hay on it. The farmer and his two helpers, put it on their hay wagon straight out of the hay baler, then Ed and I transfer it too our trailer to haul it home. It is hot, dirty, and scratchy, but hey, the horses have to eat, and they said thanks for all the hard work! Now we just have to get 400 more bales. Hopefully, 200 of those will be our own hay, waiting to be cut and baled. I really do dread all that work, as it is too much for just the two of us, but you do what you have to do.
Here is the scene of the crime:

And we have arrived at home at the barn and are about to unload and stack it in the loft. There are 90 bales on the trailer and 20 on the truck. I unload the trailer while Ed is in the loft, catching the bales as they come off of the elevator and stacks them. After loading and unloading 220 bales of hay last night, I was pooped! Did something to my finger because now I can't hardly use it. Hurts like 60!!

Here are some photos I shot of the farmers cows, while waiting for the baler to 'do its thing' on these windrows of hay. Do cows have personality? I wouldn't know, never having had much to do with cattle, but these girls look entirely different and number 23 was very interested in what I was doing. She came the closest and stayed the longest, watching me, so very curious.

And guess who was hiding behind all the 'girls'? This big boy!! I'm glad I was on the other side of the fence!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I found a very interesting bread recipe a couple of months ago and yesterday I decided to try it out. It is simple to do and tastes wonderful. It makes two large loaves. Here is the link to her recipe: And no, it is not supposed to have any fat or oil in it! I was kind of skeptical about that, but the bread was perfect. She writes an interesting blog, and I have been reading it for months now. Ed likes this bread and also said it makes good toast. (He compares everything to what is purchased in the store, so for him to praise something homemade is a BIG step up!

My little boys are in Missouri for the next 7 weeks, with their mother and their maternal grandparents. On Monday, I'm going to Stone Ridge for a talk with Mrs. G, and a temporary job for the summer. From what I have heard through the grapevine, things haven't been all that wonderful over there. Things like an employee mistreating the horses, etc. That one is now gone. She told me they have five new foals, and several other young ones, so I am guessing my day will be full. I'm not looking forward to the drive over there or the long work day,(6:30-5:00) but it is a job.

Enrique called me here at home yesterday to confirm that I was coming back. He didn't believe it! He is collecting and freezing the bumper crop of mulberries and wants me to make mulberry jelly again. I told him I would if I could have some for myself too. I think a couple of years ago, when he froze them, he had about 14 gallons of berries!!! I made 4 cases of jelly from them, in pints. Of all the jellies and jams that I have made, I think the mulberry is the most popular. It just can't be beat, on a toasted, buttered Enlish Muffin!

Do you want to try another wonderful recipe? Ed does not like rhubarb, but he loved this, and it was soooo goood!! Here is the link to the best rhubarb recipe that I have ever eaten!
Enjoy and tell me how YOU liked it!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I thought an update might be in order, before someone starts yelling again! Here are a few random photos, now that I have my camera back

This is a wildflower called Dutchmen's Britches. We went for a walk back in the woods and came across lots of these growing along the path.

We have finally dried out enough to get in our garden without standing in the mud. Everything is growing well so far. We want to cut our hay, but the ground underneath the growing grass is still squishy! It needs cut but we just wait...and hope it doesn't rain anymore for a few days.

It seems that the gnats are much worse this year than last. If you try to work in the garden, or just go outside for anything, they are buzzing you, getting in your eyes, hair, walking on you! Yuck! Here is a photo of the horses that I took this morning. Notice all those gnats? I covered the horses with flyspray, but it only seems to work a short time, then they are after them again. Do you see all those insects buzzing around their heads? EEEEK!
We have a family of wrens nesting on the front porch. She built her nest in an old tin can that was laying on its side on a shelf. Here she is with a caterpillar, ready to hop up on the shelf. They are fun to watch, very busy little birds. They also have a beautiful song, that the male sings frequently, through out the day.

Here is the Hamburger Bun recipe that you wanted, Mom.

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons instant yeast (I used 1 pkg. of Rapid Rise yeast and added it to my dry ingredients)

1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes or 1 teaspoon of onion powder, optional (I didn't use either)

1 teaspoon of salt ( I used 3/4 teaspoon)

2 tablespoons of melted butter

1 egg

1 cup of warm water

In a mixing bowl, place flour, sugar, yeast, (onion powder if using) and salt; mix well. Add egg and melted butter. Add water and mix and mix dough until well combined. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes or until smooth and elastic, (dough should still be quite soft.) Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and sed aside until doubled in size. (mine took 35 to 40 minutes)
Divide dough into 8 or 10 pieces. Shape into rounds, and place on greased baking pan and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. These were sooooo good!
Here is Elliot. I think this photo that I took this morning, shows his sassy personality! He is terrified of anyone other than Ed and myself, but he is a playful, sassy, friendly little cat. He is also a good mouser.

We should be starting to get pullet eggs near the middle or end of September, then there will be all the fresh eggs that your little heart desires. At the moment we don't have enough eggs for ourselves and all the people that want them. Our neighbor lady has been buying all of our eggs that she can get her hands on, as 17 of her hens were murdered by a neighborhood dog. I have two people that buy eggs regularly, besides her. So there aren't enough to go around. When these new ones start laying, we will have about 33 layers. (At the moment, we have 13 hens.)Neighbor lady says she can sell any eggs we won't need! We will see what developes.

Hanging begonia on my front porch. Isn't it beautiful?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

What a Week!

Whew! We had some nasty storms, beginning on Wednesday as I arrived home from work. I jumped out of the truck and ran and got the horses into the barn and into their stalls, when the sky opened, with thunder and lightening for background music! I stayed in the barn until it let up a bit, then dashed for the house. But the storm only intensified when I was inside. We had 3 inches of rain in short time and 60 mph winds! Then at 4:25 the power went off...and didn't come back on...the next was still off...and that night it was still off, and the next morning it was still off! What? And the temperature was 88 - 90 degrees! Finally, at almost the exact minute to 48 hours, the electric came back on, at 4:30 on Friday! We had the fridge and the two freezers hooked up to the generator. When we wanted a shower, we would unplug the freezer and fridge and plug in the pump to the well. And do the same to fill the horses' water tank. Oh, how I appreciate running water and electric lights! so many little things that we don't think even think about, such as brushing your teeth, doing a load of all takes water, that we take for granted.

On Friday, just as Ed arrived home, we had another nasty storm that dumped 4 1/2 inches of rain again! All told, we had over 9 inches of rain, in a couple of days! Electricity went off again a couple of times during this storm, but came back on and stayed on.

The uncut hay took a beating, and lots of it is laying down flat, instead of standing up. We are hoping it will stand back up and everything will dry out long enough to get it cut and baled.

We went to the grocery store this morning, but forgot to get Hamburger Buns. I had plans to grill some Venison Burgers for lunch. Since we forgot to get them, I decided to make some. I had a recipe for Hamburger Buns that I have had for 3 or 4 years. I dug it out and whipped them up and popped them in the oven, and oh, yum, were they good! They only raised for 40 minutes and then raised on the baking pan for 20. They baked for 15 minutes. They were soft and light, and just so good.

We have decided NOT to send Maddie to some one else to get her started to ride. I will do it myself. Why pay someone else to do what I can do? And I wasn't for sure that I liked some of their training methods. Since she is our baby, I will do it my way, that way I won't have to undo someone elses work. She couldn't call me and tell me that she didn't like what they were doing to her, so we will keep her home and do it ourselves.

I put the saddle on her last weekend and worked her in it and walked her around and she didn't care about it at all. She paid it no attention at all, so I'm sure that she will not be a problem to ride.

Baby sister came up yesterday and spent the day. We sorted through the photos of the wedding that she photographed a couple of weeks ago. We did some tweaking, cropping, color adjusting and put them on a CD for her client. They really looked nice and she was pleased with the end result.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Last summer at someones yardsale, we met a man that is one of our close neighbors, but we didn't know him, or that he was a neighbor. We spoke about horses, and he invited me to come and visit his wife and talk to her as both he and his wife train horses for people. But with one thing and another, I never did it. Yesterday as we came home from town, with nothing pressing to do, Ed and I stopped at their place. It is just one county road over from where we live. We asked about their training methods, feeding practices, as everyone does things differently than the next person. Checked out the barn, and the other horses that were there.

Ed and I have been discussing getting help with getting Maddie started under saddle. I don't bounce like I used to, and don't want to get hurt, so this is why we were seriously checking them out. We were there for an hour, talking with them.

Today, they came over to our house to check out Maddie and see what they thought. (Said she was a good looking horse.) They invited me to come and ride with them also. So this afternoon, I saddled Katie and rode back on the trails on the Nature Conservancy that is behind our property to meet them. That is where they also ride, teaching young horses to be 'trail smart'. We rode for an hour, and Katie was really sweating, as this was only the second time she has been ridden this year! Me bad! She (and I found out me too, are so 'out of shape'!)

We have decided to take Maddie over to them for a short time to get her under saddle. I have done a lot of work with her already, just have not rode her. One day this week, we will load her up and take her over there, along with her own hay, that she is used to. They live close enough, that I could ride her back home when it is time to bring her home. I have been invited to stop in as often as I wish to see her or see them work with her. Which I will do. As often as everyday, most likely.

I have been working on my flower garden and also have added a long row of Hostas to the front of the house along the front porch. They were large well grown plants, and I had mulched it and it looked so nice! I tied Sam (yellow Lab) to the back of the truck that was parked nearby and came in the house. Came back out about 45 minutes later and that &#*@&^%#* dog, had dug them all out, tore them up and dug holes all through the bed that I had them planted in, which was about 15 feet long! I could have easily killed him with a hoe! (Not really, but I sure felt like it). It wasn't his fault. I should not have tied him with in reach, but he has never done anything like that before, so had no reason to expect such devastation!

Anyway, I gathered up the pieces and replanted them. It doesn't look nearly as nice as before but they are all growing, albeit, slowly.

I can't take photos, because a certain someone, has borrowed my camera, (boy, do I feel naked without it!) therefore you will just have to imagine what it looked like that day when I walked out on the porch! It still maked me angry!

I'm sure there are other things I was going to write about, but they have left me. It is nearly 11:30, and my brain says, Enough for now. Will catch up another time.