Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What does Solomon see? He was on high alert for thirty minutes! He was snorting and blowing, raising and lowering his head, trying to see 'it' better! And he is not a spooky horse, by any means! I walked out and stood beside him, but couldn't see a thing. He was so intent on watching, that he ignored me! And the other two were ignoring whatever it was, completely! About an hour later, I did see 3 deer, but they were on the backside of the hill, not where he could see them. Besides that, he sees deer all the time, as E has a deer feeder right near their dry lot. There are usually 2 to 5 deer out there every evening. The horses ignore them completely!
Next step in the 'drain pipe saga'. E rented a concrete saw on Sunday and made a couple of cuts the width of the room floor. The dust was awful and even with the door shut, permeated the whole house. Since neither of us has ever had to do anything like this before, we didn't expect so much dust! but too late now!

After several good whacks with the sledge hammer, we had a hole in the floor!

Now, where is that drain pipe? It was awfully wet under there!

Gotta make the hole bigger! Oh what a mess of mud and broken concrete, all over this bedroom floor. (we suspect that some one in the distant past, has enclosed a back porch to create this bedroom). There were channels all over underneath the concrete where we assume the water had been leaking for a long long time!

The pipe ended above a drain, such as you would find in a garage floor! The drain was completely filled with mud! There was absolutely no place for the water to go! E used a plumbers snake to ream out the drain, after digging out as much mud as he could get. Then he had me turn on the water to the bathtub,

and yea, it drained out, through the drain! But we are going to replace that iffy drain with all new PVC pipe, that won't clog with mud. What a horrible mess, and it stinks too! Time to get on with the next step. It has turned out to be a much bigger problem than we anticipated!

I took this from my kitchen window last Friday morning, just at daybreak. It was -14 below. There is a huge cave called Boone Cave, just over the line of trees in the background. There is also an opening to the cave in this sinkhole on our next door neighbors property. When it is cold outside, the fog just boils out of this opening and coats the trees around it in frost and ice. It is quite pretty. Boone cave goes right under our farm. It has been explored for about 3 miles inside. No, I'm not brave enough to go in side, just to see what is there!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter Ramblings

First snow of this winter and they couldn't wait to go outside an play in the snow! They had new snow shovels and were so excited but with about 1/4 inch of snow the shovels didn't work very well. It was quite cold and after half an hour they were ready to go back inside. We will just have to wait until we get some more snow! They had new snow boots and everything! They were disappointed, but I'm sure we will get at least a few inches of snow before April!

The horses are having lunch. Most days I am not home during the day to give them an extra bit of hay, but they sure enjoy it when I can do that! The building and the mess in the background belong to a neighbor. This sits right along our driveway, so have to see this daily but at least in the summer there are leaves on the trees to at least screen it from the house. They are making bio-diesel from used cooking oil that is collected from area restauants. Quite an oder in hot weater!
Last Saturday, E thought we should start spreading the manure pile on the hay field. We have an old antique manure spreader that is ground driven, meaning it unloads the manure with a chain that is turned as the wheels on the spreader are moving. It doesn't attach to the PTO of the tractor. Also it is small so doesn't hold very much. I used it years ago, pulled by a lawn tractor and it worked perfectly and was just the right size for that time. Now it could be a bigger size and the job wouldn't take as long. But it is better than using a shovel and a trailer, and I've done it that way too!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Never A Dull Moment!

We discovered a BIG problem yesterday! We have been having problems with the drain in the shower for the last year, but it wasn't tooooo big of a problem! The fix was the biggest problem because whoever did the building on this house, made a mess of it! The drain from the shower is encased in the concrete that is the floor of our small second bedroom. It was carpeted so we never had a reason to mess with the floor, until the shower developed a problem. We did know that there was concrete under the carpet, though. Yesterday, New Years Day, since we were both home, we decided to tackle it. Carried most everything out and piled it in the only place left to put it, in the living room. E cut the carpet and found a tile floor underneath the carpet. He pulled them up and underneath was a layer of particle board that was sopping wet and had been for a long time! We had no idea because the carpet was never even damp! I walked around in there in my socks often. After the shock, he started to shovel it out the window into the wheelbarrow. Then, he thought maybe we should check with our homeowners insurance. So we stopped where we were and closed the door in it! So where is the water coming from? We have no idea! As far as we know there are no leaks in the bathroom. As the drain is set into the concrete under this back bedroom, we can't get to it yet. There is no way to gain access to this drain without breaking up the floor in this bedroom! Until we hear from the insurance adjuster, we are stuck! and that won't be until next week at the earliest! What a trip! We havent' been able to reach the guy that usually delivers our sawdust for bedding the horses' stalls. We have tried for 3 weeks, left messages with no results. We were down to two wheel barrow loads and finally had to find someone else. We contacted him by email on Tuesday and today he brought a trailer with 12 yards of sawdust and dumped it on a tarp, right at the barn door. E has adapted an old grain elevator that takes the sawdust up into our sawdust stall and fills it. We just fill the hopper at the bottom! Woo hoo! It is so much easier and faster too! Love it! Dumping the load on the tarp. This was nice clean sawdust. I'm sure the horses will enjoy their beds.

E had to get up in the trailer and start shoveling as the trailer wouldn't go high enough to dump it all out.

Half way done, but we had to meet my in-laws for lunch at the Chambers Smorgasbord Restaurant in town. Good excuse to stop shoveling, right?

We had a nice lunch, and we came home and finished putting it in the barn. It should last us for a long time. Maybe months. It feels so nice to have dry bedding in the sawdust stall, and plenty of baled hay in the hayloft.

I don't make New Year resolutions as I think they are just made to be broken. But I am going to attempt to ride my horses this summer. It isn't much fun to have to ride alone all the time. Maddie will be 6 years old in May 2009 and I have just managed to get her under saddle last summer. She only had 3 or 4 rides under saddle for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. I am not comfortable taking her out alone and there is no one to ride with around here. Do I hear any volunteers? She needs to be ridden and given a job!
This is our 'mole' dog! She heard something underground, and she tip toed around here, under the bird feeder, for quite a long time. It was comical to watch her as she was literally 'tip toeing' back and forth! She stood in this position, listening, for a while. She eventually gave up and walked away. But sometimes she does dig one up. Last summer she unearthed several of them!
So anyway, this is what we have been up to lately.