Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yummo! I just made another pizza and we ate the whole thing! Shame on me! If you were here, I could share it with you, instead of eating it all! So come and get some!

Today we went to Helmsburg to an antique store/ junk store, but it was closed. So we drove closer to Columbus and visited a big flea market. We had been there before but it has been four or five years ago. We each found a couple of items and I found a perfect little cooking pot, that I wanted but I didn't want to pay 14.00 dollars for it! So E said he would buy it for my birthday. Sounds good to me, so now I have a wonderful addition to my cookware. Oh, and I found a nice cookbook too. Don't tell E, since I already have too many cookbooks. S if you come up here soon, I will give you a bunch of them, if you want them. There are all kinds of different cookbooks.

It is time for getting in the firewood for the winter. Saturday a week ago was the first time we have been to cut wood. We went to the same place as last year. It was so hot and muggy on that day!! I thought I would melt! Here is a photo of our first time in the woods for this year.

Here we backed the tractor down into a ditch to get it as close to the tree as we could get. We attached the chain to the tractor and the tree and after E cut off the smaller limbs, he puuuullllled that tree right up out of there and up onto the flat at the top of the hill. We have just been laying them out up there on the hilltop, to cut into stove lengths later, after we get these tree tops all trimmed and easily accessable. Here is the tree just before he started up the hill with it.

I usually drive the tractor and haul the logs up the hill to the log yard. I have to get off the tractor and (set the brake, of course) and unhitch the chain and go back to where ever E is cutting the limbs off of the next one. Then he attaches the chain and off I go again, to the log yard. If it is in an area that I don't feel safe, or is an especially big log, then E will do it. But it saves time for me to do it, when I can. I will be glad when we are done for this winter!

Life at Stone Ridge has its ups and downs. Last Monday, when the manager arrived at work, he found one of the recipient mares dead in her stall. She had a three month old filly, still nursing. Enrique, who does the weekend feeding, says she was fine at 9:30 PM when he did the barn check. But we are all suspicious. He has had sick horses at the farm before, and says, Oh, she be alright. She be alright. He is supposed to call the manager, but rarely does. This time it was too late. We will never know what really happened. It was a big job to get her out of her stall, as she was bloated and stiff at 7:30 AM, when she was found. Had to remove her with the tractor. (How else do you get a 1000 lb horse, that is dead and stiff out of her stall?) It wasn't a very good day for anyone. She was our favorite one of the recipients. Her filly is doing ok, but when we bring in the other recipients and their babies, at 4:00PM, she starts calling, looking for her mother, I guess. Otherwise, she is a calm, quiet little girl. Here she is, photo taken later this past week. She is a very pretty filly, and they are pinning a lot of show hopes on this little girl. This photo doesn't do her justice at all. She is so feminine, and petite. She gets turned out with another already weaned filly so she won't be too lonely.

Then, on Friday, when we came to work, the manager says, did you see the cow???? Huh? Cow? This is an Arabian Horse Farm! No, really, did you see the cow? It is in a stall in the lower barn! We could not believe our eyes! There was no cow when we left on Thursday, but there stood a cow, in one of the horses' stalls!

Well, it turns out that Mr. and Mrs. G went to the County Fair the evening before, and there was a little girl, bawling her eyes out in the cattle barn. She had raised this pretty steer for 4-H and couldn't stand the idea that it was to be sold for slaughter. Mrs. G couldn't let that happen to the little girl, so they bought the young Jersey steer, and had him delivered to the barn with out telling any of us. So there stood Bucket, when we arrived on Friday morning. His name came about
because he was an orphan and was raised on a bucket!! He is very gentle and easy to handle. But very lonely, as he doesn't have any bovine friends at the horse farm. He loves to be scratched and groomed. He has lots of different sounds. When he hears us come into the barn, he talks and moos, and when he sees you are leaving, he sounds so lonely. He stands in his stall and stares at the window, but it is up too high for him to see out of. Monday we are supposed to turn him out for part of the day. I hope it makes him happy. Here is what we saw when we came in on Frday!
I have been riding Maddie! Do you think she is old enough? At 5 years old? Well, I would think so. I have always ridden my other young horses at age 3, but somehow, Maddie sort of got put aside, while other things got done. And as she isn't getting any younger, I put the saddle on her about 2 weeks ago and with E's help, I rode her! He led her around with me on her, then walked in front and she followed him, then I rode her on her own, and she has done a good job. She has not put a foot wrong, at least so far. I need S. to come and ride with me now, and get Maddie used to the trails. She is so bored with her life in the dry lot. She has developed an annoying habit to entertain her self. She plays in the water tank, and sticks her tongue in and out of the water, rapidly, making weird sucking noises. She isn't drinking, just playing in the water. It really irritates E. But she has nothing to do all day, day after day, after day. So she entertains herself. Here is a photo that E took of us this evening.
Here are some random shots of some of the babies at the horse farm and some of the other residents. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have been at Stone Ridge for three weeks now and it has gotten easier. I have callouses on my hands again, and the rest of me has toughened up too. It is still hard work, but I can keep up now, at least.

Enrique had a mishap with the riding lawn mower. It was a zero turn mower, that they had begged for, for years. They have had it for the three years that I have been gone, but on Friday he was mowing around the large pond and got too close and drowned it in the pond. He went in too, up to his armpits. They had to drag it out with the tractor. It is completely out of commission and we don't know if it is totaled or not, until it is taken to a repair shop for an estimate. OOOPS!! Mrs. G was away at the time at her mothers funeral, so she doesn't know yet. I'm just glad it wasn't me!

Friday a week ago, Ed and I were standing in the kitchen looking out the window and saw a cat creep up under the bird feeder, stalking a bird. I walked out onto the front porch and she came right over to me. I started to pet her and she was so skinny that there was nothing under the fur but bones. I went into the house and got her a bowl of cat food and she ate and ate. She was the most skinny cat I've ever seen. She was around all day, eating and wanting to be petted. While we were doing chores, she disappeared. About 20 minutes later she reappeared in the yard, along side the garden fence. And she had brought a little black kitten back with her! The kitten was skittish and we couldn't get near it. The mamma cat sat out in the yard a little while and then she and the kitten were gone again, back into the woods along the drive way. It seemed like she brought it out just for us to see her baby. The next morning the kitten was asleep in the hay in the dog house that is on the front porch. After work when we went to do our feeding she and her baby were in the garage. Ed was standing nearby, waiting for me to finish what I was doing at the time, when he said"we have another one"! And there were two babies with her! Both of them black and very skittish, most especially the second one. She moved them to the tall grass, weeds, and brush that is behind the barn, for a couple of days, bringing them into the barn to play and eat, then taking them back at dark. After a couple more days, she took them under the house, bringing them out and letting the eat and play, while we were out and about. Now they are on the front porch most of the time. She hides them during the day when no one is home. One of them is friendly and approachable now, but the other one doesn't seem well. It is very skittish, but it doesn't play much, and just sits or sleeps. I just might take it to the vet, if I can catch it, as the vet is open late on Tuesdays, I think. Here are some photos of them.

Here is a photo of a nest of barn swallows at the horse farm. They were just a coupleof days from leaving the nest. There are about 24 nests of these birds scattered around various places in the barn. This one is right in the center of the stall, above the stall light fixture. Aren't they cute?

Here is the flower garden that I made last summer. Some one had put down plastic bags, then a 6 inch layer of dirt and on top of the dirt were this large limestone rocks. Some of them were as large as my fist. I dug all of that out, dug down and turned the hard yellow clay and put old rotten horse manure and rotted shredded leaves in it and dug all of that in. Then I planted it with garden phlox, purple, pink and one called Bright Eyes. Several different hostas, and purple coneflower. Also yarrow, (a pink one), a yellow lily, columbines, a few gladiola bulbs, and a few other things that I can't remember. These were all 'found' plants. At the home where I worked with my little boys, some previous owner had made a large perennial garden. Then when I went to take care of my boys at Grandmas house, I was told I could have what I wanted of the plants. So this is what it looked like when I started.

This was (above) last fall, just after planting it. And this one(below) was taken yesterday.
This is the planting of hostas, that I had planted earlier this year that I wrote about before, that the dog got into and tore it all up and dug out all of the plants and some of them were in sad shape, shredded and broken. I took this photo yesterday and they are slowly growing back to their former beauty. It will probably be next year before they get as large as they were before that fiasco, but at least they are alive. These came from the same place as my other flowers in the above photo.
Any one hungry for homemade pizza? It sure was tasty! Had sausage, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese on it. I made the dough too, but would use a different recipe next time. There was too much of the crust. Yummo!