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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It hurts to move!!!!

For some reason I’m in a good place. While what feels like only hours ago I was on my last leg, I am now soaring as if I have wings.
While we all have several things going on, I’ve been trying to manage the business, the house, the horses,(meaning moving them from property to property in the trailer/ up and down curvy mountain roads, worry about time on fresh grass etc...)the estate, trying to get the gravely running, use it???? plant the garden etc... my list goes on and all. But they are each things I have to do every day and it just about killed me.

5am up ready to go. Filing, accounting and issues....till about 7

7 birds. Eat breakfast/ share with them...

8 house/ night time orders. Deliver to PO on way to horses.

9 horses, feed, clean stalls, clean dry lot, put poop and bad hay in truck for house/property planting/composting.

10 empty, truck, spray out bed, get gravely started, use it for breaking ground not touched for 6 years... HARD CLAY.... Morning Orders do and deliver to PO when on the way to get hay

11. Take truck/ get 50 bails of hay, feed, new pin for Gravely and sharpening stone for knife.

12. STOP / BREATHE and eat lunch.

12.30 move old hay forward, unload new hay, feed, Clean poop out of pasture, move horses.
1. Take ground breaking to a deeper level with new pin.
This took a while.

2. Go rake/ by hand, mix alfalfa (only a 1/4 of a bag... please!!!), timothy, orchard grass, carrots, turnips, clover, and a little short fescue for pasture planting, throw seed, and cover thrown area, at least ONE acer of the estate.
This took a while ... most of the evening. Till 6pm.
The oats and rye from fall are beautiful, I hate to have to cut them soon but... I’ll feed them to the horses and use the straw for insulating my fall crops/ extending my plant season later in the year.

6. Go to community garden and see the miracle. The Gravely is working perfectly! Stay, chat, figure out new uses of instrumentations.

I "think" I zoned out till 7:30 (early for the horses but I was ready to get a shower) when I had to go feed, hay, clean and make sure horses were groomed for the night. Navarre has really bad feet! I’ve trimmed the hair on his legs just so the bulb of his heal will get more air but they stay wet not no matter what I do, so they have to be picked three times a day and I medicate them heavily at night. He tends to still be such a baby and actually sleeps laying down at night, so this is my best time to keep the feet packed with medication..
yesterday was so perfectly run I couldn’t have asked for a better day.... life is good, but I am so sore I can hardly move! But boy did I sleep good last night

Monday, April 27, 2009

OK so I haven’t written in DAYS....

BUT Friday was full speed, Jerry was out of town and I had several things I needed to do. I moved a friends Pony, which is now safe in her new home and much happier than in rented stables. Franklin was here working on the Gravely when ever he could. Still more issues. The man that mows the yard was here doing his thing.... Work to be done and still more appointments.
Saturday... Franklin was here again working on the Gravely with a helper. Still fuze after fuze. Two boxes.... me, bathing a horse that should be white that has more hair than any animal I have EVER had. It took me two hours just to make sure the main and tail were wet, and finally rinsed clean. Then I braided his hair but never got to SweetPea. Navarre was GEORGOUS for about five minutes.

Sunday I had help moving the compost pile further from the house, getting horse supplies, except for all the places that were closed. Getting the barn cleaned up for summer. Putting up all the winter gear, buckets, and blankets. Washing everything before it’s packed.
Monday... work, work and more work along with ... hay, feed, and seed. Franklin is out working on the Gravely AGAIN till dusk. BUT HE has it working, starting up with the key AND even have the tiller thing.... on it! I am so excited I’m still up and can’t go to sleep. I can’t wait to use it and see how long I can use it tomorrow until it blows up. Because what we did to it ... it will either work or burn itself out. Franklin has the orgional engine book for the silly thing and not once does it have a fuze as a part of the wiring... so we took it out. It appears with all the issues, someone was having a problem with it and "jerry rigged" it with a fuze to "help" their problem.... So after my changing two parts the only other ... the voltage regulator that re-charges the battery was the only other part left attached to the fuze. So after testing it and having issues he replaced it too. So... In the morning I’ll start her up and hopefully get my garden broken for the corn. As the best corn growing farm in the area planted theirs YESTERDAY.

I have to say, having gone through all this (and I am sure there will be more to come as the machine is so old.) ANY ONE whom doesn’t have respect for farmers or rural people needs to get a life. Living like this is truly one of those things that opens your eyes to really having to know about MANY things in life. While I have always loved and respected my maternal grandparents, and tried to absorb everything ever shared with me... I can’t imaging having lived back years ago with no internet to hash out my "tractor" issues. Or County extension office to get advise from about my pasture management.
While I sat at my grandparents table as an adult EVERY morning and absorbed every story ever told I wish I could ask Paw Paw what his first tractor was.

I know what his first car was, it was a style with a rumble seat. He had it when he lied and joined the army behind his mothers back even after his uncle had worked out the paperwork to keep him home when his time did come. Paw Paw had this car and it sat for a long time while he was at war over seas and he decided to sell it. Having never discussed what was REALLY going on back over here in the states he wrote his parents an amount he wanted for the car. My Nanny .... Miss Knight at the time wanted to buy the car and Paw Paw ( Cecil) said no she would hurt herself in it. So he sold it to someone else through his parents for a LOW LOW price, not knowing or discussing how much EVERYTHING had gone up in price sense he left. He regretted it; after having come home and not having a car, not being able to use the money from the sell to get another as easily as he imagined it.... and ... Nanny laughed... yep! it could have been mine, ours, but he wouldn’t sell it to me! Which lead into yet another story at the breakfast table over coffee, toast and deer stakes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Productive Day

Although I had to cancel a horse lesson with my wonderful assistant. I feel so badly about having to use the time for other things, but I had gotten so back up due to frazzled days I needed to continue the momentum I was in.

Franklin was out again early this morning... I’m in your yard he said as I answered the phone. I ran out and he worked so diligently. We got it started, turned it off, started it again... then a little of a hitch starting it the third time but... we let it sit for a while so to allow the gas treatment to soak into the carburetor and what not...

Franklin showed up again just before 5pm and the darn thing will not start again... so only time will tell. It keeps blowing the fuse . Now we can only figure to go through it wire by wire

But other than that I got all my horse stuff moved to the shed, got my emergency supplies restocked. Gathered all the grass seed I’d collected over the last 6 months into one place, all while trying to find a muzzle to give to Grace for her Pony. I could NOT find it.

I did however get all my grooming supplies into one large bin as well.

Yes I worked today,! But I was doing all this in between phone calls, invoices and shipping. Life can be good when you work for your self!
The Pictures are... Lolita at the top our little Quaker. Tealie... in the middle my little lovebird. And Maya last but not least as she is our Maximillian Pionus. Tealie is the smalliest, then Lolita then Maya is our largest... They have VERY different personalities.
Maya loves Jerry, the rest love me... birds choose a sex to relate to. it just worked out this way as Maya was the ONE bird I researched and researched before making the leap for 50 plus years..... and she HATES me! unless Jerry is gone for more than two days then she will love on me out of despiration!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Hard Day...

It’s after dark! Incase you haven’t noticed I tend to post EARLY or late (for me). It’s always after dark, not because I’m so busy... please. It’s because I take care of the horses as close to dark as possible. Not only for their sake of spreading out their food source, but because their barn faces a perfect West Sun Set View. It has got to be one of the most peaceful parts of my day. And tonight was no exception. Brightly painted Pink, Orange, Purple sunset allows me to drive home in peace and collect my thoughts of what I did for the day. Was I productive? Or was I am mess?

Today... well it was a mess but I’m ok with that. I have to have these days of messes in order to enjoy the days that are so productive it makes you smile!!!!

Just yesterday I got a call, one I never expected. A voice on the other end explaining about Lord’s Garden behind me... (which I’ve signed up for volunteer work, already) but the explanation was to say they are begging for anything they can. "Is that a Gravely under that tarp in your yard" Well as I replied... She’s not under a tarp today but YES. She just died on me again! The conversation went on .... much information was shared and Franklin was at my house working on my little red Gravely by 8am this morning.

He instructed me on using a voltage meter? Or what ever those things are called. He also gave me Both sides of the story of how to winter proof my little red machine for next winter. It appears as usual... all the issues I am now having I have brought on myself! What’s new? So ... all that to say I spent my afternoon running around, doing research, and getting things I needed to clean this little red machine. Franklin is coming back when he can to work on it himself, as I promised he could use it anytime he needed as long as it didn’t interfere with my working my property. We will work it all out! My thing is I’d rather see it used than to see it sit!

I drained the gas tank, cleaned the gas line, drained the fuel filter, sprayed the carburetor again... and then took off the gas tank because there were CHUNKS of rust that came through the gas I took out. I’ve done what I can by myself and I’ve done all I can for the day!...

I walk into the house smelling like gas or carburetor cleaner, sorry hun I know I stink. Oh no problem; it’s an improvement over the other smells you normally bring home. Can I Get a Break

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lessons Learned Today

Ok... I had a wonderful weekend as my Mother and Bill came to visit. We spent good time together.
One of the things we did Friday ... was try to drive by where I was going to move the horses this weekend but road construction kept us from being able to get close enough to see the pasture. So Sunday when I took the horses over with the help of my lovely assistant, I was in a panic to see the grass was not ankle deep but knee deep.
And while those of you with out horses will never understand the immediate panic, but believe it or not too much grass can make a horse VERY sick, cost MUCH (thousands) in vet bills and leave your horse lame (not able to walk) if not dead in no time from Founder or Colic due to the grass being so rich!
So while I delivered the horses to their new pasture Sunday I also picked up my horses and took them back to the dry lot Sunday. Lesson learned... don’t assume the grass if fine... MAKE SURE it’s perfect BEFORE you load the horses and drive them up and down mountain switchbacks....

Today being Monday ... it was too much to take them back over for more grass but I plan to take them over for three or four hours tomorrow. Building them up to a time when I can leave them 24 hours a day....
Having said that I was working on the gravely today so I can go cut the fields.... I changed out the key as it was horrible and you couldn’t tell if it was working any more. Changed out the solenoid from three to four prong attached everything again... and started it up. Once I got it started and let it run a minute I pulled the engaging pull for the clutch to the bush hog and it died.... Yes died again... to not start again. Blowing a fuze. Ok... so back to the auto parts place closest to my house 9 miles away... Got my money back for the four prong, and they didn’t have the right length fuses...
Traveling all over town finally auto zone had everything BUT now my issue is the three prong I needed and wanted is NOT the right distance for the mounting onto the tractor... so I’ll have to rig the thing on tomorrow so I can go mow that silly pasture.... What a life... What a day... So SECOND Lesson Learned today... go to Auto Zone for small engine parts for the gravely... even if it is a good 20 miles away. Needless to say... it was a beautiful day all morning, and while I was working on the ^$&* thing, but as soon as I got all the new parts; the sun went away and it is raining again. Yea for the rain but couldn't I have gotten the tractor together first? just once? Lesson three it's Monday why would you even attempt the extra work? Leave Mondays alone, even the seemedly perfect ones....
The picture is Navarre's Left eye, notice the lashes... they are white and turn black as they go back ... on both eyes! He has some great markings...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

a picture of LAST YEARS sunflowers.. read you will see why.

My paying job for some reason keeps getting in the way, along with the weather! Life is good but with nothing but clay soil; you can't work it when it's so wet or you risk serious clumps that will dry so hard they will not allow seeds to burst through. So I am forced to pay attention to the paycheck, and the weather.

I have to say with bare soil I have been on pens and needles but thus far we have had mostly gray, misty days that have not effected my terain... thank goodness.. While we have been in a serious drought for the last two years we are only 3.73 inches behind as of today... yea!!!!

If anyone has any idea how i can get around my two main issues I am up for suggestions. Other than spending thousands of dollars on new top soil that is... unless someone is willing to donate it! ha ha ha...

At any rate the weather has been wet for the last three day and is expected to break tomorrow. was wet two days before that and never dried. SO>>> Depending on wind and sun I am hoping to get the tractor up and running and start on a part of the pasture ASAP.

On the other hand, my cold crops are looking so good I am ready to start thinning them out. I have SEVERAL... brussel sprout plants in any one wants any. I have Kale of three species looking beautiful, carrots, onions, broccoli, colliflower, and LOTS of lettuce. this chilly but wet time has been wonderful for early crops.

My sunflowers are coming up all over the place as well. What was not seeded by the birds eating from the stalks, I transfered the stalks to the compost pile but stood them up right so to attract animals further from the house. Thus spreading more seeds all over the place. I have several hundrends all over the place and i have NO IDEA which kind they are.

The garden will be hap hazzard BUT BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

Much love to you all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No photo,
no work done for the property,
no real progress report, just the mundane.

Today I had to concentrate on getting my out building in place so I now have a place to put the troubled machine and all it accessories. Caulking, paint and peg board will be the next thing I spend money on so to half way organize all the blimey parts. I did NOT put it on the estate, there is not enough traffic to allow my machine to sit there unattened, it's at our current house. As Jerry says... Blocking the view, but necessary.

Almost every man I talked to wanted to know how many attachments I had for the silly old thing. I can only assume they wanted to sell me more. But each nearly gasped when I told him I had everything I needed, EXCEPT the manure spreader. OH!!!!! I can’t help you there, never seen one! Do they still make those things? It would be rotted/rusted out if you found one. Wa wa wa... said Charlie Browns teacher... I’ve shoveled manure one way or another most of my life, I’ll get by with what I’ve got!!!!

What am I mush?... I’d have a new solid pan put in an old thing like Brian did for his at Paradox Farms. It’s a much better design than the 3 to5 piece deals they come with.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting there! bump in the road

I am happy... I have most of my parts to the Gravely!!!!
I have the solenoid ...
I have the new key/start mechanisem
I have the new battery.
I just need a coated copper wire to ground my solenoid!!!! yea... Radio Shack here I come.
But I have my standard 4pm Horse Lesson later today so it’s not going to get repaired today, I’ll put it on my list of Things to do tomorrow!!!!
But I’m getting there. I was afraid I was going to have to dig all my corn ditches by hand... what a work out that would be.

Monday, April 6, 2009

troubled machine!!!!!

this is my gravely I'm having trouble with...

While it is a MONDAY... I was able to get out with both of my horses yesterday and again the energy is so rewarding for our typical Monday Bashing...I had several issues over the weekend. My gravely would not start. Of course on the perfect weekend to plant per the farmers almanac. I replaced the dead battery, by passed the starter solenoid and it started so I replaced the solenoid ... but it still will not start with the key. I have now ordered a new key ignition switch and can only wait for it to arrive. Yes I have checked the fuse and it appears to be fine. WHO KNOWS>>> I’ve tried to join a Gravely website discussion but they will not allow me in yet. It’s been three days and no word as to when my name will be approved or not.I am behind on my planting again BUT the low is suppose to be below 30 for the next two nights. SO I didn’t loose too much did I? Although I would have loved to have things in the ground and ready for the next good piece of weather.I have called and volunteered at a local garden... just behind my house Lord’s Acre managed by Susan Sides. While I can not actually see the garden as it is over the hill I can walk to the volunteer post. I will connect more as they open their blogs AND web site. They need all kinds of things but I have barely enough tools to manage my own little plot so I will have to take my own and bring them home again after each visit.Lord’s Acre is going to be growing food for Food for Fairview Program which is perfect!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Navarre; my wonderful little Vanner. My little dream come true! I am very lucky that I have a wonderful young lady working with Navarre and myself. While I am much heavier than I used to be I wanted someone of my OLD OLD OLD size to back him more often than I do. While I sit on him on occasion I did not want to be on him everyday. This young lady matches him in beauty and timidness. So she is a perfect fit to assist me with his training, while I am more like a steam engine going too strong all the time. I never let him get by with anything while I am reminding her not to allow him to treat her ill in any way.
I do not have permission from her mother to mention her name on open internet so ... this I will not do at this time. But I so enjoy working with them both as today’s lessons were perfect. Ground work and then relating it to backed work.
As you can see while this little boy is very young he is WIDE... I have to say he sits ever so perfectly. I can not wait for the day I can ride him down the road as I did SweetPea last weekend. Having the option of two horses that are exact opposites of each other is also very fun for me and will allow me to widen and improve my riding skills.
Each day he is more and more like a horse instead of a baby. It is sometimes hard to remember how young he is, which again is why my perfect assistant is the one for the job. I am hoping to convence her to take him to a show soon. I will let you know of our progress as time allows.