Life on an Arabian breeding farm in Capitan, NM.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I know it’s been a while, but…


 
I know it’s been a while, but I have some very good reasons for my absence. In fact I have so many good reasons it’s hard to know where to begin. Lets start with the monsoon season. Now I have lived in the southwest most of my life, so I think I know how the monsoon season is supposed to work in a normal year (meaning no La Nina, and no El Nino). The mornings are beautiful, then is starts getting hot, and muggy. Thunderclouds form where there was only blue sky. There’s wind, lightning, and thunder, and by about 2:00 in the afternoon the temperatures plummet as huge raindrops, and maybe even hail pound the ground for ten minutes or maybe even half an hour. The air is sweet, and clean as the clouds, wind, and rain seem to magically disappear. The deluge is over for now, and the thirsty ground has absorbed the rainwater like a sponge. There is a beautiful sunset, and a star filled sky for a canopy at night. That’s the way it is supposed to work. You’re not supposed to have day after day of rain morning, noon, and night. Towns are not supposed to be underwater, that’s supposed to happen in the Midwest, not the Southwest. Yes we need the rain, but not all at once. You get a little rain, and then you get a little dry spell so the ground can absorb the moisture it so desperately needs. Like I said someone didn’t read the rulebook. The sad thing is with all that rain it still doesn’t make up for the three years of drought. Now we need a good snow season.

 

Of course in spite of the fact that it may be raining that doesn’t mean you stop doing the things that have to be done. Things like feeding, and clearing out stalls that now have pools of water in them. When you do these things of course you get wet (soaked is more like it) because when you started of course it was dry as a bone. Normally this is no big deal, but when two weeks before you were sick it can become a problem. Yes the chills, and fever return, only now you have a chest that hurts so bad you can hardly breathe. This makes doing anything extremely difficult. Two weeks go by, and you can breathe, but please don’t make me laugh. This starts a coughing fit that won’t quit.

 

While you’re still recuperating you have a very hectic week of taking your father to various doctors. This in turn elicits various tests one of which is at the hospital 70 miles away for four days. Your body of course vehemently objects as it refuses to allow you to drive such a distance for even one day. You also discover that you no longer have water. The well has suddenly gone dry again (thank you neighbor for that). Since you were caught unawares, and it had to be on a Friday (when the Village is closed, and you can’t buy water till Monday) you get very upset. Thankfully you have some water on your account. It’s not enough, but it lasts a little while, and you have two tanks of rainwater for the horses, at least they will have enough water to last till Monday. Then begins the daily routine of water runs. My tank is old, and brittle with numerous cracks I have fixed with bondo. It only lasts a little while then I have to remove the bondo, and re-do it. The cracks get larger of course, but it’s all I can do. George (April’s father) is looking for another tank for me, meanwhile I try to make at least two runs a day to keep pace with the demand of thirteen horses. Now if I could only get enough to do laundry that would be really nice!

 

You also have at least two horses that have to be moved since their feet are now mush from all the mud that wouldn’t dry out (we’ve covered that already, the monsoon season that didn’t behave properly). Ok if we move Marina, and Lizzy to the arena their feet will dry out. They have the two wettest stalls. Everyone else gets their feet cleaned, and that’s it. Boy are Marina, and Lizzy in seventh heaven. There is a lot of grass amongst those weeds. Lizzy’s feet are the worst. Not only are they soft, but also way too long, even her soles are overgrown. Things are starting to dry out, and now her feet are cracking etc. The arena is helping, but not enough. April shows up, and manages to get the worst of the overgrowth off Lizzy’s feet, and evens out Marina’s. I move Marina, and Lizzy to
the pasture, and Jazzy, and Penny to the arena. Finally Marina, and Lizzie’s feet start to wear down properly. Once Lizzy gets regular workouts she will do much better. In another week she’ll be ready to ride again. No one’s ridden her since she came here. Joe has a headstall that I think will fit her. What do you want she’s a TB, and all our other horses are Arabians? Her weight is good too. It’s amazing what Pergolid does, she was thin as a rail, and now she’s fit as a fiddle, well ok, maybe a cello.

 

There are three stalls that have to be cleaned asap. I usually get around to it at least twice a year, but things have been a bit difficult these past few years. It’s dry enough now to do some mowing, but when I said the mower didn’t feel right I was correct. The pulley went flying off before I had a chance to do much. I now need to get two spacers, a new pulley, and a new nut. At least I thought that was all I needed. It turns out the spindle that I got was the wrong spindle which is why the pulley was ruined. I finally have all the right parts, and April helps me torque down the nuts, and away I go. Finally after three months my mower is fixed. Of course one of the blades is only half there, and the other blade needs sharpening. The weeds are so dry now it doesn’t really matter so new blades will wait till next year. I start working on one stall in-between water runs (lets not forget that the well is now bone dry), when I notice that Star has some swelling on her belly. The next morning it’s bigger, and the fur is ruffled. I look more closely, and sure enough it’s pigeon fever. She has another pocket that is forming on the right side of her chest. Now I have to get at least one stall cleaned. I choose the one next to Espree since she had pigeon fever when we had an outbreak in CA. I get not quite a quarter of it done, but I move Star anyway. The next day April, and I work on the stall, and get almost half of it done. This is not going well. The pustule on Star’s tummy slowly seeped out (we got her out of the pasture just in time), and healed quickly. Meanwhile her chest pocket now encompasses her chest, and has traveled to her tummy just beyond her front legs. After a couple of days the chest hardens, and bursts. It takes a few days to drain, and she’s good as new.

 

Sunday Joe showed up, and helped us get the worst of Star’s stall done. The next day (while I was running around) April got up to the stall front, and all that’s left is the inside of the stall which might as well have a cement floor it’s packed so hard. We leave it for the time being, and the next two weeks Joe works on Lizzy’s stall. I get both floats on the pasture, and arena tanks replaced. I get all of Father’s doctor’s appointments changed so he can go to Tuba City, and then to his sisters for their annual Christmas party. Don’t ask it’s a long story. We buy him a Jeep since he can’t drive the Fiesta up our road in the snow. He can’t drive it anywhere in the snow, at least not around here. I still have to take him to Roswell shopping, and to various doctor’s to make sure he is ok to travel. There’s also a sleep study on the 23rd I have to take him to. I have no clue what we’re going to do about his heart monitor. I’ll have to talk to the doctor’s about that.

 

So to sum up, the monsoons made a mess of everything including me (I was sick for three weeks). Marina, and Lizzy are in the arena, and loving it. Star is over her pigeon fever, and no one else came down with it. The mower is finally fixed, and all I have to do now is find the time to get the rest of the property around the barns etc. mowed down. I got the floats on the two big water tanks replaced. I have father’s doctor’s appointments set up so he can travel. Father now has a proper vehicle to tool around in here. My Jeep is finally on its last leg so it’s good that father bought a Jeep. Two stalls are almost cleaned (Star’s needs to be cleaned again but it’s only new stuff). I have to catch up on the other stalls, but hey they’ll be a piece of cake compared to the back stalls. I also have to continue to work on the stalls that Joe started. He can’t have all the fun you know. I have to make at least two water runs a day, three if I want to get my storage tank anywhere near full for I don’t know how long. I finally decided to fatten Sadie up, and put her in the pasture with Lizzy, and Marina. I’ll have to make a feeder stand for her, but it will be perfect since all three of them get supplements. Jazzy, and Penny will go back in the barn stalls. I’ll have to work Jazzy on a regular basis so her feet don’t get too long. I got the water heater blanket, but have yet to put it together. I brought in my plants for the winter, but my woodpile is still pitifully small. All in all things have been seriously hectic, and show no sign of letting up. Isn’t life wonderful?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I guess they’re right…

 
You know how they say after you get over the flu to take it easy because you can relapse? Guess what, they’re right! Not only that but they also say that the relapse is worse than the first time around. Wouldn’t you know, they’re right about that too. When my mower parts came in I had to test the mower after I put it all back together to make sure that it was working properly, and while I was out there it sorta started raining. It wasn’t raining hard, it was just sprinkling, and I got a little soaked. It wasn’t cold out so I didn’t think anything of it. Then later when I fed of course it did the same thing. At least I wore warmer clothing, only it didn’t seem to do any good. By the time I finished with everything got everyone fed etc. I was coughing up a storm. Needless to say I’ve been down all week. The worst part is I can’t seem to breath well. I’ve always been short winded (kept me out of sports as a kid, which I did not appreciate), but this is ridicules. I’d have to stop halfway through feeding to catch my breath.  Today I was able to unload, and stack hay, but after all I only had eight bales of alfalfa, and some feed bags so it was no big deal. Still, and all I was exhausted, but I got it done. After I did the hay Father wanted to go to town for lunch (he doesn’t appreciate my simple one person meals), after which I came home, and proceeded to fall asleep for a couple of hours. Hey that’s the most I’ve done all week.
 
Actually it’s been a good time to be sick (if there is such a thing). All it’s done for the past week is rain. Now we’ve been in a drought situation here in the southwest so naturally we’ve been praying for rain. In our church every Sunday one of the things we pray for specifically is rain, and I am assuming that the same sort of thing goes on in just about every church in NM. Well God took us at our word, and opened the floodgates. Geese Louise He could have let it rain a little bit at a time, but nooo… He lets loose the rain all at once. One Tropical storm is bad enough, but two during monsoon season is a bit much. This is why my husband, and I insist on never living near a river, and never, ever have a house on low ground. I had a friend whose house was a mile away from the Santa Cruz down in Tubac AZ. We had a monsoon season like this. It rained for three days straight, the river changed course, and she had three to four feet of water in her house. That was a bad year. We were stranded for three days while they decided who was going to pay for the road that washed out leaving us (Rio Rico community) isolated. All the roads leading in, and out of Rio Rico were washed away. The bridge going over the Santa Cruz was left standing, but there was no road. The raging water cut out the road behind the bridge, leaving a twenty foot drop about fifteen foot wide. It was really sort of cool watching the power of the river cut away at the road bit by bit. I’ll have to look in my files to see where the newspaper articles are. Anyway this has been that sort of rain here in NM, and CO. We have been inconvenienced, but there are plenty of people in both states that are going through a terrible time. The worst part is that in spite of the fact that the rivers are higher than they have been in a number of years it’s still not enough. The lakes have risen somewhat, but are still no where near what they should be. For the year we are getting closer to normal rainfall but not there yet. We may get there the next few days as it is supposed to rain some more, but that still won’t make up for the past three years. In addition to a good monsoon season we need a good wet winter with a slow snowmelt in the spring. No more flooding (just in case you’re listening Lord).
 
I may be frustrated because I can’t get done what I want to do, but I really feel for the horses. Ok so they are spoiled. Each has a dry spot to stand in so they don’t get soaked, but that’s besides the point. All the runs are sloppy, and some have standing water where there are low spots. I’m going up, and down the fence line trying to find a spot to leave hay for the pasture horses. When it’s raining I take the hay in, and feed them inside the shuffling barn. Everyone seems to have gotten a little thin with that Coastal hay, but Espree, and Sadie are the worst. If tomorrow is as nice as today I think I will put the two of them in the arena. I have water there, and I can feed them extras. I started Espree on Breeders Choice, but I ran out, and forgot that Harvey’s closes at noon on Sat. Then Rudy told me that they are also closed on Monday’s.  Hopefully, with the new store that won’t be the case. I really need that stuff for Jeri if no one else. Jeri has shown real improvement, and I don’t want to have him take a step back. I also need to get Espree, Sadie, and LBM up to weight. They are the worst. Some of the others are down a little in weight, some just need work, big bellies, and no muscle, and then there’s Sere. She looks fantastic.  If I can get the rest to look like her… You can’t sell a horse that looks like crap, so I’d best get to work, and get them in shape.  Of course in order to do that it has to stop raining long enough for me to cut all the weeds, and grass down. I did get the round pen mowed, but it’s so slick with all the rain that if I try to work any one it will be a slip, and slide affair, great for kids, not for horses. Today it only rained a little this morning, and if I’m lucky maybe tomorrow will be dry, then I can get some mowing done. Some is better than none. I also hope that Wal-Mart has gotten in some wood pellets. I need a ton of them, but even a few bags will be better than nothing. It’s a little early for wood pellets, but they have the cheapest in town. I’m not going to pay premium price for something that is going on the ground. It works just as well as dry stall, and is a whole lot cheaper.
 
I also found a cheaper fly spray. It took a while to come up with something that works here, but I think I’ve got it down. Most of it is just plain lemon Pinesol, and water (half, and half). That’s what the recipe called for (www.moniteausaddleclub.com/flyspray_recipes.htm). To that I added my alcohol, and clove mixture, just a little mind you, to convince the mosquitoes that they want to stay clear of the stuff (they don't like the smell of cloves). Add a little bit of eucalyptus oil, shake gently, and spray. It works as well as the fly spray you spend a fortune for that only lasts a day or so. It also makes the barn smell good. Today the flies were horrendous. All that moisture, and then just a little sun was all they needed to come out in force. I’ll make another batch tonight. I bought a big bottle of Pinesol for a whole $3. Much better that the $60 or so for the good stuff. It works, that’s all that matters to me. The horses are happy, so I’m happy, and that’s all that matters. Try it or try one of their other recipes, who knows you may find one you like better.
 
There has been one causality due to the weather. I found another hummingbird on her back this morning. I got some food in her, and I got her warmed up, but it wasn't enough. She had a heart attack and died after about half an hour. I'm sure the weather has caused other deaths in my hummingbird population, hopefully not too many. They are such brave little creatures they deserve a long life.
 
 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Finally…


 

Yes, you guessed it the mower parts finally came in, and they’re the right parts (yes!). After I feed tomorrow I’ll take off the other blades, sharpen them, put everything back together, and try to get some mowing done. I say try because that tropical storm that has been drowning Az is coming our way starting tomorrow. I swear we can’t get a break no matter what. Well that isn’t quite true. Something nice happened the other day. Sherry called about a sign she saw at the post office (the one in Alto) offering free cut wood. I called, and Sunday went over to Sonterra with the pickup. Larry (the owner) had already cut down about a hundred trees, and has about another hundred to go. Between the beetles, and the fire he’s going to be left with one Ponderosa pine, one Pinion, and some Juniper on his land. He is lucky though the fire stopped short of his house. Three other people down the road lost their house. He is a very nice man who moved to Alto with his wife once they retired. He helped my father, and I load the wood into the back of the pickup, and said I could come over any time to get more wood. He showed me how to get to his woodpile in back just in case I go over there, and they’re not home. Like I said he’s a very nice man. Now I have to get the shim for my sledgehammer so I can use it. I have a lot of wood to split. By the time I split the big logs I will have doubled my log pile with one truckload of wood. He has another five truckloads in back. It’s the one good thing that has happened this week. I got plenty of wood, and made a new friend, they even used to breed paints.
 
I thought I possibly had Stormy sold, but after I sent her some conformation stills, she said that he wasn’t what she was looking for. It doesn’t help that he is the least photogenic horse that we have. Then too I can take action photos, but stills? Even just looking at him standing there he doesn’t look like much of anything. It isn’t until he starts moving that you can see what he’s all about. Once I get the place cleaned up, and everything mowed, I’m going to start working him, and Star. They both need to be worked to get them in shape so someone will want to buy them. Stormy will be a great endurance horse no matter that he doesn’t look like much. Oh well, things will work out somehow,
besides April wants to be the first one on his back. If I sold him now she would miss out on that, and so would he. I would also like to see just what he can do in these hills. He’s small, compact, and more than willing to please. Ibn loves going out into the forest, and I’m hoping that Stormy will too. Star is more of a little princess, and I think she would be perfect for a little girl. We’ll see, I’ll just have to trust that the right person will find us, and will give both of them a forever home. After all that’s the point in breeding isn’t it?
 
The hummingbirds are leaving, and the elk are coming. The bulk of my hummingbirds have begun their journey south. I still have a little over half a dozen left but that’s all. They will stay bulking up just a little longer for the journey then they will be gone too. The other night I thought I heard an elk call, and tonight I heard a young bull call out. It must be his first season, the cry was so thin it reminded of a teenage boy when his voice changes. The hummingbird’s leave, and the elk come back, that’s what September brings. Soon the elk will be thick, and if I’m lucky I might even get a picture or two. When I’ve seen them before I’ve never had a camera, or it was too difficult to get whoever I was riding still enough to bring out the camera get it open etc so I could take a picture. My little iphone should make it easier to take pictures on the trail. I’m bound, and determined to get back in the saddle. September’s a wonderful month for riding. It’s not too hot, and it’s not too cold. Hopefully it won’t be too wet this winter so I can ride more. Once Joe gets his mare here you watch April will be here more often, so the three of us can go riding in the hills. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden with anyone. It will be fun, and it will force me to ride instead of working on the property. Luckily there generally isn’t as much to do come winter, I hope (are you listening Lord), especially if I can get enough wood stacked to last the whole winter. Great, the news just said we will have a flood watch come tomorrow with more rain expected than they first reported. Don’t they know I have a lot to do? I can’t mow if it’s raining cats, and dogs for the next three days. I just can’t seem to win for loosing these days. Oh well such is life, I will get done what I can, and figure the rest out later.
 

 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tomorrow is the Day…



Tomorrow is the 6th, that’s the day that my mower parts are supposed to arrive, now let’s see if they do. I have to go into town to get the hay I was supposed to get today, which I will do while Father is at the senior center for lunch. I was supposed to do all that today, but you know how it goes. We didn’t get back from Ruidoso until 4:00, not only was I too tired, but it was too late anyway. I did go to the Dollar store (after I fed), and got what I needed there. At least there will be one less stop tomorrow. If the parts come in I might even be able to get started mowing tomorrow, or at the least first thing Sat morning. It’s supposed to stay dry (with maybe only a few showers over the weekend) till mid week next week. Of course that’s what they said about Monday, and a downpour right at dusk, almost ended the life of a little hummingbird.
 
Amongst my hummingbirds, I have about half a dozen or so juveniles (I think). Just after sunset we had a huge downpour that lasted say fifteen minutes or so. I was on the phone and once it stopped I went outside to sit on the porch to watch my hummingbirds while I talked. For some strange reason I looked down, and there on the porch floor directly beneath the feeders, was a tiny little hummingbird all fluffed out, and hunkered down. Needless to say I got off the phone real fast, went over to her, and when I went to pick her up she barely moved. I cupped her in my hands, and tried to warm her up with my breath. She moved her wings a little, but was too cold to do much more than sit there. There was no way she could get warm enough to spend the night outside, as the rain dropped the temperature quite a bit. I do have some bird cages, but they are all down at the barn (of course), so I took a large wire waste paper basket, put a feeder inside on some pine shavings, and gently set her on the feeder edge. She was able to grab onto the feeder, but her wings were still spread out. Since the cats go everywhere I put her in the shower, and closed the door. When I went to check on her later in the night she had climbed up to the top of the basket, which had a lid on it (I do think once in a while). I figured she would be better off for a warm nights rest so I left her there till morning. When I woke up first off I checked in on her, took her outside, and removed the top. She climbed to the top, grabbed on to the edge, and off she flew to the safety of the trees. If I hadn’t seen her she would have stayed there on the porch, and gotten thoroughly soaked for another deluge followed the first about twenty minutes later, then too I would never have been able to hold such a tiny little creature.
 
I love my hummingbirds, they are truly amazing creatures.  They delight me with their antics chasing each other from their favorite feeder. The adults pretty much leave the youngsters alone knowing (I only guess) that they need to put on as much weight as possible for the long trek ahead of them. Other adults are fair game, but not the little ones. Then too there are groups that are quite willing to share a feeder, while others battle it out. It won’t be too long before they are gone, as the nights are becoming quite cool. They have a long journey before them, and are almost constantly eating. They have to double their weight before they trek across the gulf. It still amazes me that such a tiny little bird can make such a journey. We could learn a lot from hummingbirds.
 
April is supposed to come over on Sat I’ll find out then what Joe thought of the Appy his brother wants to give him. I don’t know whatever happened to the TB mare he was looking at, but I suspect they decided to try racing her. I’ll find out when they get here. It should take about three days for me to get all the mowing done after which I can start working on the horses again. I need to groom, clean some feet, take a rasp to a few, and start working others. If April is here for a while maybe she can do feet. Sere has been on the OCD pellets for a week now, and I want to clean, and trim her feet (one front hoof is definitely shorter than the other again), and maybe put her in the round pen to see if there is any improvement at all. I know that a week isn’t a lot of time, but if I work her lightly once a week, I can better gauge her progress (or lack thereof). I think I want to move LBM, and Stormy as well. LBM needs to wear down his feet, and he needs more exercise. I need to work on Stormy, and LBM’s stall is closer to the round pen. Also I can give Stormy more attention. I need to desensitize him all over again with a spray bottle since he’s decided that this year he doesn’t want to get sprayed with fly spray. I think he, and Ser-Haat are conspiring against me. LBM will still be next to Ibn, and being next to Sere will let him know that all mares are to be treated with respect (not just Lizzie) if you plan to live long. I can’t quite put him in with a bunch of mares say in pasture (which would be more natural), but if I can expose him to more than just one mare, he should learn some horse etiquette. He’s still little (short too), but he is also a teen, and given the chance can produce. Ibn was about 18 months old when he got his pony babysitter pregnant LBM is three. Sere is tall, and a dominant mare so I don’t think he will try anything with her. He’s still very impressionable. I’ll try switching the two of them, and watch LBM like a hawk before I leave him alone next to Sere. I haven’t been watching her cycles (after all we’re not breeding) so I don’t know how often she is cycling just now. Even if he were to try, he’s just too short, and there will be a fence between them (I’m not totally daft).
 
That’s the plan, which is of course subject to change, at least four or five times. I don’t know why I even bother to plan things. Nothing ever happens the way I plan it, but I do try. I also need the energy to do all this. I have an idea that once I get all the mowing done, my body is going to say, “ok that’s it we’re done here”, and then I’ll probably sleep for three days. Right now I’ll settle for one night beginning now!

Monday, September 2, 2013

And they grow, and grow…


 
Monday morning I woke up about 1:00, 1:30 freezing cold, and in excruciating pain. I closed the window, upped the heat on my heating pads, took some Ibuprophen, and went back to bed. I woke up again around 5:00 feeling no better. I spent most of the day on the easy chair in a thermal shirt (not my normal cut up T-shirt) covered with a blankie, and the heating pad much higher than normal. I did call to find out about the parts for the mower. No parts. Finally about 3:00 in the afternoon when I realized that yes I had a fever, it finally dawned on me. April gave me the flu. I think dead meat best describes my feelings for her that afternoon. Three days I was totally miserable, three days. In spite of my fevered condition I continued to call about my mower parts. Ok maybe I wasn’t up to putting the mower back together, sharpening the blades, and doing the once around the property, but I could get the parts, if they would come in.
 

Well I survived, but the parts never came in. By Thursday I had become a wee bit impatient. I called Randy again, and asked if he could maybe find out where the package was by the tracking number. You can do that with UPS you know. He said he’d call me back. This time he actually did only to tell me that the parts were backordered, and they had no clue when they’d be able to ship them. Great! He said he had someone else he could call, and would call me back. Since he never called me back I stopped by on my way to Capitan. Yes he found the parts, and they told him they had them in stock. The kicker is they won’t get here until Sep 6th. Another week, and it will be a jungle out there. Ok so maybe it’s already a jungle, but by then I’m sure that everything will be seeding which is what I was trying to avoid. It will also be a hassle even if I do sharpen the blades because the mower will bend everything down and it will be difficult for the blades to even get to the stems to cut them. This is all reminiscent of when we first moved in. What a mess it was trying to get this place cleaned up. Oh well, at least the parts are on their way, I should be grateful for that. I don’t think I will be ordering parts from Randy anytime soon. He’s local, and a good guy so I want to give him the business, but I don’t think my little bit of business is going hurt him any. If anything it will only hurt me since the other places to get parts are in Ruidoso. Just once Lord do you think things could get a little bit easier? Not!
 
That’s what’s up with the mower. As for the kids I haven’t been riding (can’t get to the round pen) so they are not getting the workouts they need, and neither am I. Jazzy is absolutely fat, and Star, and Sadie have nice big hay bellies. Most everyone else is picking up weight nicely. We have always done better with half, and half (except for Jazzy), and in spite of the expense of getting alfalfa I guess I’m going to have to keep with that program. The Breeder’s Choice I’m now giving Jeri has really helped him a lot. He is putting on some “serious weight” (April’s words). Actually everyone is looking real good. LBM is thin, but that’s just because he’s a teenager, and just like people teenage boys eat you out of house, and home, and never seem to gain a pound (how I wish it were the same for me). The OCD pellets I got for Sere came in (before the mower parts I might add) so I’m excited to see if they actually help her. I’m loath to start giving her pain medication for her navicular cist so I am praying big time that this does the trick. It would be so wonderful if I could let her out, and see her run, and play, and not go lame in five minutes time. She is so beautiful to watch. She’s big, elegant, and has exquisite movement. She’s broke to ride, and if I could get her to the point of riding her, what fun we’d have. We’ll just have to wait, and see.
 
On a side note I was talking to Sherry (Krisite’s owner) about my mower, and when I asked how things were going at her place she told me of her woe’s with one of wee little one’s. After being trimmed one of her mini’s came up lame. After a few days she was assured that it wasn’t founder (she’s foundered before), and she decided that it was in fact the trimming, and that our super hard ground was just too much for the poor little mini so she tried padding her two front feet. Well by the end of the day the pads were all compacted, and of no use at all. Next she decided she was going to try little booties. Well this was just too much for me not to see so I had her send me pics. She’s adorable in her little booties. Sherry
said she would put them on during the day, and then take them off at night so her little feet could properly dry out. No sense in letting her develop thrush or God only knows what. It does no good to cure one thing only the have the cure cause another problem. I haven’t heard back to see how she’s doing, but I’m sure that she’s doing fine.
 
Now I have to decide whether to go down to the barn for some grooming, and stall cleaning or stay up at the house, and tackle this computer room. I have three projects going, and quite frankly I can’t find my desk. The only reason I can type is the keyboard, and mouse are on a pull out tray. My desk is piled with music, pictures, negatives, mail, and misc. other stuff. Then there is this thick layer of dust everywhere. You know how it is you have so much to do that you don’t seem to get anything accomplished. Well that’s about the state of affairs here. Of course that’s always the state of affairs here so I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Isn’t life good!
 
 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Foiled again…


 
Before I go down to get my mower parts, I call to see if they’re in. Yes, they’re in now I can get some work done. I go down get the parts, then go to Ruidoso to get my other belt, and some meds for my father. More than half the day is gone when I finish my running around so I elect to put things together in the morning. I was getting ready to bring the mower up to the garage looking at the new parts, and something just didn’t look right, so I get the old mandrill to compare it to the new one, and wouldn’t you know the new one is about 2” shorter than the old one. I swear someone just doesn’t want me to mow down those weeds. I take both the old, and new mandrills to Randy with my book. He just shakes his head, and goes back to the computer. He finally finds the correct part, and yes it will take another four days for it to come in. That puts it at Monday before I can hopefully get my mower back together. I can’t believe this. All I want to do is what everyone else has already done. Keeping grasses, and weeds mowed down is imperative for fire prevention. Even the county mows all the roadsides. Besides all the tall grasses etc. make a place look unkempt. Oh well, such is life at least such is my life.
 
I did make some discoveries. The other day while watching our hummingbird wars a bird happened to fly between the trees the hummingbirds gather in, and their feeders. I have seen the hummingbirds fight each other, but have never seen one of them take on a larger bird. Well that little bird had another thing coming if he thought he could fly in the hummingbird territory. Here’s this little hummingbird chasing a larger bird off his turf. He chased him around, and around till the other bird finally took off. A little later I went into town, and I find the little bird the hummingbird chased off. Every year about the same time the hummingbirds come to town, flocks of these little birds arrive lining the power lines. I’ve never really taken notice of them except for the fact that they’re there. I take out my phone to see if I can zoom in enough to get an idea of what their markings are. In flight they seem to be a sort of swallow without the forked tail.  I get a fair enough picture, not good enough to be a pretty picture, but good enough for me to try to discover what it is.
 
I found a website that has pictures of all the birds that either pass through or live in NM year round. Turns out that the little bird is a swallow, a Bank Swallow. It’s called a Bank swallow as you find it around riverbanks. Riverbanks in the desert? As a matter of fact there are rivers around here. There is a creek that runs in the monsoon season that winds around our area. There are even rushes, and reeds growing there during the summer. Lots of insects mean insect eaters including the Bank Swallow. I also discovered that the birds that make their nest in our garage every year are called Say’s Phoebe another insect eater. The bluebird that’s here year round is a Mountain Bluebird, and the Jay that takes up residence around the chicken coop (eating leftover’s) is a Pinion Jay. Who knew? We have the normal sparrow, and a Dark-eyed Junco. Once in a while you can find a Roadrunner, or hear an owl, and I have a picture I took of one I can’t identify. We have a falcon, but I haven’t seen it recently. The eagles are more often in Ruidoso, and last, but not least there are the Turkey Vultures. These are the birds I see around the ranch.
 
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

No not yet...



Finally I get a day when I can actually mow without worrying about it raining on me. I get the deck belt on, and off I go. It doesn’t feel quite right but it’s mowing, then the belt came off. I go back to the barn put the belt back on tightening it as tight as I can, and go back out. Then I see smoke. This is not a good sign so I take the mower back to the garage where I have more tools. I take the blade off, and put it back on numerous times, but no matter what I try I can’t get the pulley to stop wobbling. I give up frustrated, take the mower back to the barn, and go back to the house. I know I have to take off the top bolt, but there’s just no getting it off. Next day I try again spending hours on the thing using what I can find. I can’t find our pipe to give me more leverage then I end up starting to strip the bolt with the one socket that does fit. I give up in frustration yet again. Rudy suggested using the pipe wrench, which turned out to be the best idea yet. Next day I get out the pipe wrench, using a crescent wrench for more leverage. Finally the bolt breaks, and I get it off. I take everything apart, and take it to Randy’s to see if anything is usable. The top bolt is stripped, the pulley is stripped, and there is this thing on the bottom that is detached. I have no idea what it was having never seen the whole assembly before. Randy confirms that it all has to be replaced. There is a top bearing that is totally missing, and the thing I couldn’t identify is what’s left of the bottom bearing. Then he asks about the housing. He shows me one, and tells me what to look for, mainly cracks if the housing is good otherwise. I go back home, and proceed to take the housing off. It’s totally blown apart on the bottom. It’s made out of aluminum so it will blow apart instead of ruining the mower. Makes sense to me. I call Randy, and he orders me the entire assembly. Unfortunately it will take three or four days to come in, and it’s Thursday. The soonest it can come in is the first part of the following week. By now the sunflowers, weeds, and grasses are in some places taller than the dogs, and they’re not small. On top of that things are starting to seed. It looks pretty, but… 

It continues to rain almost every day, sometimes a lot sometimes not so much, sometimes in the late afternoon, and sometimes at night. Now the sunflowers are starting to bloom. By the time I can mow they may be taller than the bloody mower. I can’t ride in the arena because it’s a mess of weeds with a little grass trying to come back. The flies are thick even though the inside of the barn is almost fly free. Can’t I have even a little bit of a break? Ok so the sunflowers seem to have choked out the tumbleweeds I have been battling the last few years, but I would like a bit more of a break, like something going right for a change. I did get the garage cleaned, and organized again. Rudy left it a bit of a mess the last time he was doing things, and with the dogs shedding, and the wind blowing all kinds of debris in it’s a disaster. I also got all my wood (even the little stuff) cut, and stacked. Now it’s time to go get more. There’s some good wood over at the state land, and another stash across the way where a creek begins. There’s wood everywhere around here, it’s just a matter of going out, getting it, and cutting it. Hopefully by the time winter comes, I’ll have a good enough stash so I don’t have to cut much in the freezing cold again. I also got the weed eater out, and cut the grass around the house. That was a chore, but at least the house looks better. It would have only taken me an hour or so if I had my mower, and a lot less back strain, but oh well such is life. We have the big weed eater fixed enough (temporarily) so when April comes on Sat. she can cut around the horse panels down at the barn. By then I should have my mower up, and running, and the barn, and arenas will look like they're supposed to. God I miss my mower. Now if I only had a tractor!

The days are beautiful, and the hills look like an emerald green island. The horses are doing well on half, and half. LBM is still skinny even though he is getting more than anyone else (except Jeri of course). He’ll start filling out as soon as he gets a break from this new growing spurt. I can’t even use the round pen so no one is getting worked. It’s ok, I’ll take the rain any day. We get so little as it is I don’t begrudge the couple of months of wet. By Sept. things will dry up, and I’ll be riding to my hearts content. I can finish Star, and get Stormy started. I’ll work with Ser-Haat, and maybe even Jazzy. As much as we hate to I think we are going to give up on the idea of continuing to breed. Like so many small breeders, I think we are going to have to divest ourselves of all but a few horses. We have the knowledge, and the stock to be successful, but not the wherewithal. In order to be known you have to show, and showing is expensive. That’s what we get for living out in the middle of nowhere. I’m trying to wrangle my way to a TB farm, just so I can be around babies again. The worst part is the more I hear about the breeders the more I have no desire to meet them. Their trainer has over sixty horses to get ready for next year, and there are over eighty babies on the ground. Most of those horses will go to auction, and God only knows what will happen to them. I don’t understand that kind of breeding. They are breeding as many horses as they can in hopes of getting one winning horse. Still I don’t know them or their breeding program so I can’t really judge. There may be some method in what seems to be irresponsible breeding. Then people wonder why there is a glut of horses on the market. I don’t know, racing is a whole different world of which I know nothing about (except bad). We breed carefully, minimizing weaknesses, and hopefully bringing out the strengths of dam, and sire in the resulting foal. Everyone wants a winner whether it’s at the track or in the show ring. Even with the best of records, and winning bloodlines you just never know until a horse matures exactly how well you did in selecting the correct dam, and sire. Then you have no idea if the resulting foal will be a good breeder or just a good horse, especially when you’re just starting out. Sandy has been breeding for over fifty years, and her bloodlines consistently produce a quality horse. We started too late in life, and at the wrong time. Part of me will probably never give up the idea of starting over, and trying again, but right now we’re having trouble just keeping our heads above water.
 

Today is a beautiful day, a good day to go out looking for wood. Oops, I forgot to put the last battery (chainsaw battery) on the charger. That means I’ll only have two batteries to cut with. Somehow I have to find the money to get a larger chainsaw with a lithium battery. Doing it the way I’m doing it takes forever. Maybe I’ll do some grooming first, and then go out looking for wood. Father is going to be gone most of the day today (they’re have an activity day at the senior center) so I might even do some housework, ugh! I need something to lift my spirits, not bring them down so I’ll more than likely only do housework as a last resort. Hey I have a barn to clean, and a clean barn is much more important than a clean house. We’ll see, horses first, wood next, then house, and who knows maybe even me!
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stymied at every turn…


 
Do you ever get the feeling that all the cards are stacked against you? Last week was a total washout. We finally got some sunshine, and the mower died again. This time it was the lower deck belt. I called everywhere in town, and no one had one (of course). I ordered one from Western Auto (they just became a Husqverna dealer) but it’s going to take 4 – 5 business days. That means another week. Then I get a call from one of the places I called and unbeknownst to me they had ordered one. It came in Sat. Now I have two. I’m all excited because now I can mow down all the sunflowers, and
grasses that are getting much too high. The need for this is further emphasized by the fact that one day Bear was carrying on something fierce. I went outside to see if someone was coming up the drive, but there was no one. I went inside, and he started in again. I went out the back door to hear a rapid rattle. Great, there in the garage was a young rattler. I’m pretty sure that it was a Western Diamond Back Rattler, that’s mostly what I’ve seen up here. It was still very dark in color, and of course I completely forgot to take a picture of it just like I have forgotten to take pictures of all the other snakes we’ve seen. So here I am in the garage with a young rattler curled up ready to strike, and nothing to capture or kill it with. You see it’s all curled up behind the jeep next to the portable air compressor, which is in front of all the tools that are long enough to do me any good. Meanwhile April is down at her mothers, and I am patiently waiting for her to come back. It’s almost feeding time. I was able to grab a broom from the house just in case it decided to go somewhere, but that’s not really going to do me a lot of good. I can’t leave it so I wait, and wait for about half an hour. Finally April comes back, and I yell at her (she’s mostly deaf) to go down to the barn to get a certain shovel. I keep it there readily available should I find a rattler in the barn. Unfortunately this particular rattler decided to come visit at the house. Because of where the rattler is even with the shovel I have to bob him on the head first to make him move (without striking) then catch its head in just the right place so I can cut it off. Poor thing it was not a quick death, but I had no other option. I finally got its head in the right position where I could slice it with my knife, and still be protected from his fangs with the shovel. I have learned that one always carries a knife with you, and a very sharp knife at that. I hated killing him, but with my father around I can’t take the chance, and since I don’t have one of those snake crooks I dare not try to capture one to re-locate it. The constrictors are no problem I simply pick them up, and move them to a safer place. I was impressed however, that Bear didn’t try to attack it. He just barked to let me know it was there. Since it wasn’t moving the other dogs didn’t even take notice. Bear is definitely earning his keep these days.
 
This all happened on Friday so I told Father to be sure to watch where he is walking. I learned as a child to always walk with your head down watching what you might be stepping on. Not so my father who is not very observant to begin with. I also told him not to walk anywhere where the grasses were tall. Since we were going to town on Sat to pick up the mower belt I suggested that he get himself a pair of boots. I explained that Levi’s, and what serves as snow boots for him were not sufficient protection should he come across a rattler on one of his walks. At 89 my father is a very different man than he was while I was growing up. I suggest, he does. It’s very strange. Anyway on our last stop before going home we stopped at the boot store. I found a pair of work boots that will protect
him from any strikes. I don’t normally like the square toe, but it seems to suit him. This is his first pair of boots ever so I have no idea if they fit right or not. He’s walking on the treadmill to try to break them in, but since he doesn’t know how a boot is supposed to fit in the first place it makes it difficult. I’m going to put Neetsfoot on them tonight to soften the leather a bit. That should help. He feels very insecure walking, and he’s using muscles that he’s never used before. You have to remember he’s 89, a city boy, and not too steady on his feet to begin with. This is a whole new experience for him, which I think is good. He needs new experiences. He’s fighting dementia, and anything new keeps his brain active.
 
So no I haven’t ridden anyone, I haven’t mowed (too wet, and boggie), and I was out for a week with a terrible headache that refused to go away. I stopped drinking caffeine for about three months, and have had trouble with pain ever since. I’m drinking regular coffee now, and my pain level has dropped to a more reasonable level. Now if the rain ever stops long enough for me to do something maybe I can get something accomplished. I was able to get some more wood, but it has been too wet to cut. I really need to increase my woodpile.
 
There have been controlled burns all around us (there’s one going on now), and at first I was startled, then I remembered going into town that the sign was up for controlled burns Mon – Fri. After last year everyone around here is a little skittish whenever they see smoke myself included. In fact my neighbor called a little while ago asking if we were burning, and I told him no, but that they were doing controlled burns. He called to verify, and yes they are doing a burn. Of course it’s so wet that even if there were an uncontrolled fire it wouldn’t go far. Thank God for all the rain. I may not be able to do much, but we so need the rain. Our water table is up too. I haven’t had to get water since the monsoons started. All the rain also means the flies, and mosquitoes are out, and since I haven’t mowed the flies are thick, at least when it warms up. I’ve only seen one mosquito, but I won’t stop worrying until I can get some mowing done.
 
The rains have also cooled things down dramatically. I’ve been giving Jeri oats with his dinner to try to make sure he keeps warm. I’m also giving him some alfalfa, which he has actually been able to eat. It’s not very stemmy (thank you kindly), and is a hotter feed. He still hasn’t gained much weight, but he’s holding his own. Rudy keeps saying that for a 25-year-old stallion with no back molars he looks great. He certainly feels great especially when Penny goes into season. He’s Johnny on the spot showing off whenever a girl catches his eye, and if I take some of them out to the arena to play he really struts his stuff. Actually all the horses are looking pretty good with nice shiny coats (when they’re not full of mud). They need exercise, and it shows, but otherwise they look good. Sierra is going through another growing spurt, and is all skinny again. I swear it was just the other day when I thought he was getting a little chunky. Marina, and Penny got to go out, and play in the arena before it got too mucky. All signs of lameness are gone so once things dry up a bit I'll take Marina out again. Till then she'll have to suffer a while longer in her stall. I'm not taking any chances on her straining something again. I've switched to half, and half (alfalfa/grass) on all but the pasture horses, and all seem to be doing well. I have an idea we are in for a cold wet winter so all the weight I can put on them now will serve them once winter sets in.
 
NOAA says that we won’t have sunshine until Wed, and then again Sat, and Sun. I love the rain, but I do need a little sunshine (hint, hint) to at least get things in order again. Maybe tomorrow will be better. If I can get some mowing done, then maybe I can get a ride or two in. Who knows if it dries up enough I might even get some stalls cleaned!!!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A few days with no rain…


 
Yes we need the rain, but I’m glad for the respite. I re-did get the door between the hen house, and the run, and used a slide bolt to keep it up. I had to use washers for spacers (taken from some roofing screws). I figured it wouldn’t stay up by itself, but since it was I thought well maybe. Wrong. It blew down twice. I was supposed to get something at the Mercantile when I got hay, but of course I forgot. I found a slide bolt in one of Rudy’s little trays, and that did the trick. Then I got out some Thompson’s, and coated the run door, the framing, and the first door going into the hen house. That should do for the hen house until I buy some wood for the framing I want to do around the tin. Yea for that.
 
So what else have I been up to? Riding maybe, no such luck. Besides working on the hen house, I got the mower out, and have been mowing taking advantage of the dry weather. The last two years have killed us just when I was getting grass to grow. Then last year when the mower wasn’t working, all my hard work trying to encourage grass, and not weeds to grow, really messed things up. I was getting the weeds under control, now this year I have tons of weeds again (mostly sunflowers). It’s not as bad as it could be, I actually have patches of grass growing without weeds where before you couldn’t find hardly any grass let alone whole patches of it.
 
The arena is a total loss. There are hardly even any weeds growing. When Katie’s horses were here I had them in the arena for a while. They ate what was growing in the arena down to the roots. That followed by drought, and the arena is mostly just dirt. Oh well, I’ll just start putting manure in it again to try to get some grass growing. Then too it’s still early, and it may recover some yet this year. More than anything else I have anthills. All of a sudden this year I have huge anthills popping up everywhere. Some of them are killing my trees. I got rid of the one in Ser-Haat’s stall, but now there are dozens more. I’m afraid I’m going to have to get some ant killer. I don’t like doing that, but I’m afraid I’ll have no choice.
 
I also did some drainage repair. Lizzie, and Marina’s stalls weren’t draining (again). I have to do this every year it seems. Of course if I had a tractor it would be no problem. No I did it the old fashioned way with a fork, and rake. I needed the exercise anyway. Then I had to build up the dirt for the gate into the arena. I couldn’t get the mower in, so I dug up some dirt around the rails, and threw it into the gate area. There’s a lot more work to be done, but even if I did nothing but maintenance I wouldn’t get it all done. I’m not willing to give up riding so I’ll do a bit (like stall cleaning or mowing), and then ride a bit, or vice versa. The days are perfect. There’s a nice breeze keeping things cool making it perfect for riding or working. I really need to ride though. I haven’t been on a horse since the whole chicken affaire. Star needs to be worked before she’s forgotten what I’ve taught her. Not that I think she’ll forget, she just needs as much practice as possible if I’m to get her solid under saddle before winter hits. I also need to get Stormy started. I’m not sure about Ser-Haat. I don’t know if I can start him. Everyone says I’m a great rider, but I’m not as confident about my abilities. We’ll see, I’ve got a lot more to do before I attempt Ser-Haat. Hot as he is, he’s been so good about letting me do things with him so long as I take it slow. Who knows I may get brave, and attempt to start him myself foolish child that I am.
 
Woodcutting is also high on the to do list. After messing with the hen house this morning I was going to go riding. I started out, and of course it started sprinkling. Change of plans. It wasn’t raining hard, and that’s really the best time to go out cutting wood. It’s hard work, and the cool breeze, and light rain really feels good. I went to the tree in the back of the property that blew down last winter. I still had the main trunks, and some medium sized branches I could harvest. I already had the chain saw batteries charged up in anticipation of just such an opportunity. I cleaned all the branches off the main trunks, and cut one trunk into two pieces. I may have gotten a bit stronger, but not that strong. By the time I finished, the gator was pretty much full. I was going over to another old piece when it started raining a bit more. I opted to take a break under a nice full tree. After a bit Pena came over to join me. I guess she felt the same way. The boys have so much fur they didn’t even know it was raining I’m sure. Bree went up to the house so it was Pena, and I under the tree. The rain felt good, but that was no reason to get sopping wet, besides these rains never last that long. When it cleared up I looked at the tree trunk, and decided that my little chain saw just wasn’t quite big enough, then too I wouldn’t have enough juice left in my battery to finish the job. Back at the house I got all the wood cut into lengths except for two logs. I also found a hitch hiker. I picked up one of the logs only to discover a baby lizard cling to it for dear life. We have two fat lizards in the garden so I figured they could use a little one to help keep them from over eating. Hopefully he will stick around. It was after 4:00 by then, and I was just a wee bit tired.  I feed at 5:00 so that gave me a little time to rest before having to feed. Once at the barn I noticed that Penny had pushed the panels into Ser-Haat’s stall again. Good thing he’s a skinny little thing. I pulled out the long chain threw it in the gator, and when I finished feeding everyone, I wrapped the chain around the last panel, and pulled it straight with the gator. Wouldn’t you know right there, there was actually some nice green grass growing. Well now there’s nice green grass with some tire spin marks interspersed.
 
I still want to ride, I still have mowing to do, and then there are always stalls to do. Everyone needs grooming. They just all had to sunbath in the mud. Ibn is the worst. He rolled, and squirmed until he was completely covered in mud on both sides. Then everyone’s feet are all packed with mud so they all need to be cleaned out. I love the rain being desert raised, but it sure makes for a lot of work. The one good thing is Jeri is no longer peeing in his stall (thank you Lord for that). I put in a layer of wood pellets (which he tried to eat of course), and he just stopped. His stall is nice, and dry the way it’s supposed to be. Now if I could get Lizzie to stop peeing, and pooping in her stall, good luck with that. It’ll never happen!


 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Big Red has arrived…


 
We have two groups of hummingbirds that pass through. The first group arrives late April early May. They are mostly Greens, and Ruby Throats. Then about late July, early August the other group appears. Big Red is with the second group. He showed up a few years ago, one small feisty little bird who was always ready to take on all the rest of the hummingbirds. Now he’s actually a Brown Hummingbird (I think, I looked it up anyway), however depending on the reflection of the sun, he’s anywhere from red, to copper, to a brilliant bronze color. The first year it was just one, and every year thereafter there seem to be more reds. The other day for the first time I saw a minimum of three reds. I knew they were here as soon as I saw one bird not just chasing another away, but chasing him from tree to tree doing actual combat. That’s my red. I think they have a short bird complex. They are about half the size of the greens, and rubies, but they make up for it big time, thus the name Big Red. Already we have too many for me to count, and a lot of them are reds. In a week or two we will be inundated with hummingbirds. I put up three more feeders, but I don’t think it will be enough. It seems like every year I need more feeders. I’ve become one of their stopover’s on their way south.
 
We’ve had a little rain almost every day, and things are starting to green up. The girls in pasture aren’t even at the fence line when it’s feeding time. I’ve had to call them, and call them to come in at night. I see a little gleam of white, and here they came running. It’s such a beautiful sight seeing them run like that. They’re free, but not wild. Yeah I know it’s only food that brings them, but still it’s something special.
 
 
 
 
April came, and was going to spend some time at her mothers cleaning for her, and then we decided that the next day she (and Katlynn) would clean stalls, and I would mow. I also decided to clipper the little ones (inside dogs) as long as April would be at  her mothers. They needed to be done a long, long time ago. Well April got sick, and had to go home so I mowed the next day anyway, or at least I tried to.
As I mowed the sky got darker, and darker with huge thunderheads forming. The cloud formations were unusual with layers upon layers of white, and dark clouds. Finally about 2:00 it started to sprinkle. I got in, and no more than 10 minutes went by, and the sky opened up.
We had a deluge of rain that lasted well over half an hour.  After that it rained off, and on all afternoon, and into the night. When I went to feed everyone’s stalls (inside barn stalls) were wet, but Jeri’s was the worst. The rain was coming in from the south right into the stalls. The skylight above Jeri’s stall needs to be replaced so I have a feed bucket there to catch the rain. Well it overflowed, and he peed in his stall to boot. I was not pleased. Then this morning I go to feed, and he peed in his stall again. What’s the point of having a nice dry stall if you’re going to pee in it? He has a nice big paddock he doesn’t have to pee in his stall. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about that. It’s not the right time of year for wood pellets, and besides if he’s going to do this all the time, that gets mighty expensive. I’ll put a water bucket in his stall to catch the rain since we supposed to have another big storm this afternoon, but I don’t know what to do about the pee. Maybe if it gets mucky enough he’ll find another spot. Stallions, and their pee spots!

 
I have to re-do the chicken slid door. It works great when it’s dry, but guess what? Wood swells when it’s wet. Duh! I found some small hinges I can use, and a nail, and hook should serve as a latch. I’ll have to put some more Thompson’s on the door since it’s such a thin piece of wood. I don’t know why I can’t think of these things sooner, ah yes the “O” thing. I love that excuse. No one can dispute it because it’s true. I did get a load of medium sized wood while I was out feeding. It’s soaked clear through, but when it dries up I can start cutting wood. Summer’s half over, and I haven’t gotten any more wood. Everyone in town is stocking up, but I wanted to ride so I’m behind the eight ball. Days like this I can’t ride (way to wet, and slick) so gathering wood is a good thing. I’m also charging up my chain saw batteries so when it does dry up I can take the chain saw out. I’d really like to figure out a way to keep my woodpile at least semi dry. I can’t put posts in the ground (Rudy tried that already, bedrock you know) or I would make a lean-to affair. I have plenty of roofing tin that’s for sure. Which reminds me I have to bring in the damaged roofing tin from back of the arena. Sounds to me like I have a full day ahead, let’s see how much I actually get done.