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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yes Rain.

Rain, rain, rain, again, again, and again not a dry day yet. While lately I feel as if I live in a wet European country not the Blue Ridge Mountains I am still very thankful for all the rain. Few realize that our area not only collects its water for city water but most of us live on wells. You have to understand it takes MUCH longer for water to get into the underground systems than it does a collection system. Water has been falling for days but it can only seep into the ground so fast, so everything that was any faster than a heavy mist, ran down the mountain; not into the well.

Jerry and I have scouted the property once again and realized we have several nice size Locus trees that need to come down. Nice size and mostly as straight as they come. SO I have called an architect, a Cistern Company, a plumber and I am next to narrow down a builder. Not as easy as it sounds considering I am wanting to use green trees, BUT there are a few in the area that will do just that, only because I am in an area where lovely "green freaks" live... me being ALMOST one of them.

I have looked for far too long the perfect barn. There is never such a thing and if there is well, lets just say there is always a reality check when you start to talk money. SO.... I have come to adapt several different barns into something I will be happy with. Something I can grow with and use UNTIL I can afford to build the second barn for hay only. I am one of the few, one of the strange, that refuses to put hay in with my horses over the long term as hay bails are such a fire hazard, it just worries me too much, I've seen too much happen over the years.

So while I have done little to nothing to the property over the extended rain season, I am getting my ducks in a row so I can consider the horses on the property by next spring, grass or no grass.

Amongst the rain falling I have allowed a local to cut and take some already fallen trees. Funny how if fire wood is free someone might take it ... (after only two years of trying to give it away)... Wow it takes awhile for some to catch on. He actually wanted my west wall of the horse pasture and I had to assure him IT was NOT for sale or take, end of story. NOT to move.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Many Days Gone Bye

Well, it's now Tuesday, my Daddy has been here and gone. There is much to write of BUT work calls and rain falls. while this is being posted early, birds, horses are done work is not. I'll write later.


Thursday Daddy got here earlier than expected so as unpredictable as life is I still had the sheets in the dryer and had to make the bed, but the rest of it was done. Daddy wanted to go out to eat, I didn't feel like cleaning up, I had my day set in motion and it's hard to get motivated to take more than two showers a day.

Friday, birds got him out of bed screaming. It is after all spring and they scream more now than any other season. Birds out Horses next, clean, feed, hay, and water. I didn't put them to pasture till later in the day. Metal, Rhino, errands, and supplies. Then to get wood for him, White Cherry wood and Walnut I think.... problems with the chain saw, problems with the wood. I felt like I was making daddy run around the world.

Saturday, Birds, horses, Stalls, got horses out early so we could go out to eat later but when we did it was pouring down rain. Jerry too the chain saw to be repaired.... We pretty much called it a day stayed inside as Daddy had to travel and at least some of his time here should not be running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Computer freak out... called computer guys, can't fit me in for days... mind goes a million miles an hour. LIFE>>>> SCREAMING in my mind all day long...

Sunday it rained non stop , Daddy left after covering all he could and putting the rest in the cab of his truck.

Monday was all rain... too wet to even walk in the horse paddock. we need it but this sucks for the animals.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Yesterday was a hard day. Anyone with animals knows they are either a part of your family or a part of your work group; mine are family; my children in fact. Sweet Pea has been getting more and more upset as time goes on, meaning she is acting out with aggression. It has gotten to the point I am somewhat worried about others being around her and needed to have the vet come and do an evaluation of what I am doing wrong or what could be going on with her. At this point we are doing one test, EPM as she has clear signs of spinal issues. Test were sent to UC Davis in hopes of not getting a false positive.

I think it’s her conformation as it sucks to put it nicely... while she looks good, she rides like the old rock-n-roller coaster at Opry Land USA ha ha ha... she has clear issues with her Left Hock, and the right leg will NOT pass under her as needed.

Both of their feet are all wrong so xrays are scheduled as soon as we get test results back on SweetPea. I'll trailer them out to the vet for this one as there isn't one flat spot in all the land for true level xrays to be taken. He has laser level spots for this very reason, and my kids trailer like it's nothing.

Yes I will take pictures of the property later day, as it is so calm and peaceful on the estate, I wish I could be up there all the time.

ps.... my phone system works perfectly up there, with a lap top I could move customer service to the property... ha ha ha.... I want a new computer.
the picture is David... I allowed him to use Sweetpea in a show last year, it's one of my favorite pictures... he won a ribbon... yea!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Death becomes "her"

While as a norm May 10th is our last frost date. This morning I awoke to a beautiful thick white glisten across our little valley. A glisten so beautiful it makes you want to cry, cry for it’s beauty and all the lost hard work it took to plant all my tender vegitation . I lost several California Poppies that were just about to burst, pole beans, tomato plants and too many other things to mention in such a gray state of mind

BUT it is bound to happen at some point when dealing with nature, if it’s not the fires out west or the floods in the mid west, or our drought issues here in the east it is going to be something. Mother nature is beautiful and harsh and today is one of those harsh days... I’ll have to find the time to replant my garden .... again.

Why didn’t you just cover your garden? I did cover an area of it,but that gausey material for cold crops is not cheap and my limit was only one purchase years ago and I’ve not needed it sense. I did what I could, I did what I felt like, besides a good day is a day with dirt under your nails so more good days ahead replanting the garden, with new enhancements... apparently it wasn’t a perfect picture for mother nature she demanded it be done better this time. Ha ha ha...

Monday, May 18, 2009

In need of relaxation.

While it's a typical Monday, packages are ready for their FIRST pick up of the day and I'm tackeling the second pickup scheduled around four. I have to admit my mind goes to the new tender grass on the estate. How I would love to throw out a quilt, take off my shoes and have a beautiful picnic today. Just one of the things I miss about "us" having a motorcycle I enjoy riding. Sense Jerry got rid of Yoko, I've not been on a mid day picnic sense. I suppose I will have to plan and invest some time and encourage Jerry to take a packed lunch to the estate with me some time this week, life should never stop being what it once was, but enhanced to be better.

It will never have the elegance of sitting next to the lower pond, skimmed with ducks, rippled with fish on the Biltmore Estate, but what ever it turns out to be, it’s ours. Mud, rocks, and new tender grasses, and a tiny grove of trees, but ours.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rain Rain and yes again more rain.

no picture today, I'll post one Tuesday if I can....

It has literally rained ALL DAY. While I would normally allow this to be an excuse to do nothing; I used that card yesterday so I got to work in the rain all day. I worked so hard I didn't feel the wet next to my skin until I stopped; I had to turn on the heat for my drive back to the house.

So I had help, thank goodness, BUT I was not able to use him to do the work I had wanted.
There are things in life that scare the crap out of me, electricity and machinery that will kill you, yes any of it. So while I started my help, Sergio, picking up large rocks in the pasture where I have NOT planted yet I was hoping to have him take over the bush-hog when he was done. I love this person as a helper but today was very hard for me. While I was literally running over saplings he would just walk right in front of me.

Now while I know not everyone has used a bush-hog, it’s almost like a lawn mower on steroids. It could cut grass, the kind so big and thick you would never strain a lawnmower to cut, but I was using it to cut (rosabunda) a nasty wild rose that I am plagued with, new locus saplings, kudzu, one snake, and basicly anything else that got in my way other than a fallen tree or two. My task today was clearing a small area with growth at least 4 feet tall and often taller than me in some areas, so thick you can't walk through it. Much of the issue plants on the property are VERY fast growing. I am hoping to spray this area later this week as a back up plan AND the pasture for better control.

What I want others to understand is that machinery, no matter how scientific can be unpredictable, and can therefore take a sapling and throw it like a spear with out notice. And for some reason Sergio didn’t care or didn’t get it today. So when he kindly asked if he could take over I had to say no. I’m not letting someone control a machine they either don’t get or have no respect for when someone else is operating it.

LIFE is exhausting!
Why can’t we all know what the other is thinking?

So I ended up be hind the bush-hog from 9am till 4pm! My body hurts, is bruised, and I have blisters on my right hand and callouses on the left???? right hand controls front/ back and left was steering.

My accomplishments are small for the day but I think I will finish a small area later this week.

My only issues are, it’s too dangerous to be doing it on the property alone, and I hate having to pay someone to baby sit me... Any suggestions? Anyone?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Uneventful day.

While I did little to nothing productive today; as i sat on my (^%%) and watched the equestrian events, something I rarely do.

BUT... this is what my back yard looked like today! Sorry I can't make this any better or larger but there was a double rainbow over Pisqua today, very pretty so I thought I would simply share the beauty!

Friday, May 15, 2009

LIFE / WEEDS and New Growth

While it is chance of rain for the next four days I had no faith any would make it here, so last night I hooked up the hose, sprinkler, and soaker hoses; tested, set ON and the clouds burst open.

I have taken the camera to the property again to let everyone see what is going on. While most of what I threw down is really a fall type of seed you can see it has at least come up enough to HOLD the next sowing this fall. IF any of it survives the summer it is all the better.
The tall stuff in the back / almost blue is oats or rye I threw down other seeds this spring as this tall stuff will dye off it is not a perennial but an annual grass/feed. I have NOT wasted any money on the outer edges of the pasture as this is where I hope to put my driveway and I am not about to throw out the money and barry it in gravel later.

BUT as you can see there is much brush that still has to be gotten out of the pasture area. This is my headache. Going to property and spraying each little bush with a stem killer that will not kill my grass. There is still no water, no electricity on the property so I have to take everything I need and work it from the back of the truck..

IF anyone has any suggestions on how to make this any simpler PLEASE let me know.
My new water barrel is full from the rain over night! I am so excited I can hardly stand it. This will allow me to easily water the garden this summer. I now have a mere 110 gallons of water BUT it is better than nothing!

50 in my barrel and 64 in my home made container. IF there were a tin roof on this house the containers would get water with each due point in the mornings but it is a normal shinkled roof top and water get trapped more on the sandy surfaces of shingles. Just a note if you want to use barrels and get water each day consider the roofing materials.
things I have to do today...
Empty water at Ann’s house! I was suppose to do this yesterday!
Get more garden soil! This clay is driving me crazy!
Get horses in by 1pm.
Clean Stalls, pasture, hay horses. Check Sweetpea’s feet. Yesterday she had heat in her front feed, but showing no signs of pain.
Plant more food.
Water garden if no rain.
Do returns.
Find camera case/ clean house.
This is my life in a nut shell.
Simple but busy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

more work, more seeds.

The last few days have been strange; many things to do but the weather is strange as well. While it didn’t rain the clay was as I predicted... hard as a rock due to all the rain we got the last week or so.
I am about to go plant these things in this picture above. Okra ... two types. One normal green and a rare red. The red is a harder type to grow and is best as a boiled okra, which I love. Why is the red better you ask? Well simply because when boiled it doesn’t burst and get slimy which is what most people hate. While the normal green is perfect for frying etc...
The phlox is just for my pleasure. But the mint is for colds this winter. These two are in sand bags in the fridge for the next 7 to 14 days. All the soaking and fridge work is so the seeds more easily propagate when I do put them in the ground.
I am also planting more carrots today along with MORE poppies for next year. I just love these things so much I want to try as many as I can.
Life is good, hope EVERYONE is having a good day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rain rain and more rain...

While yesterday was the last frost day... Today is wet and cold. I’m sitting here with long jeans, two tops, one being a sweat shirt, wool socks and I am still cold. I’m about to put on a jacket! I refuse to turn the heat back on!

There has only been ONE day of no rain sense April the 30th, we are desperate for the water so I’ll make no complaints except to say with all this clay soil I’m not sure anything I am planting will ever come up. I am however spending the extra money and covering my seeds with compost, purchased garden soil or potting soil; what ever I have on hand.

Today I dug out for my blue corn and some tomatoes to mix in with them. Again using the same area for twice the punch.... I had to stop planting as it was starting to mist a rain again so... no need to waste any more of my time in the garden.

Of course the garden was after stripping stalls, cleaning them with pine cleaner, putting out completely new bedding, and getting the horses settled for the morning. I also rigged up another water barrel. This one is much more funtional than my home made on from last year but also was a wonderful gift from moving that little pony a few weeks back. I am so excited!
After leveling off a spot for it, I am expecting it do work wonders! Loving it!!!!

I have so much more planting to do but ... rain rain rain is also important for the wells around here. I can only hope my supply of compost doesn’t run out before I get it all done.

Hope your day is going as good as mine!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Last Frost Date is TODAY!

So while I have done MUCH sense I last wrote, I have duplicated all my garden work by having sketched it out three times and still I have done it completely different. So I will at some point have to make a sketch of what I am really doing as I have done so much now there is no turning back.

The lavender at the entrance to my little flower garden will have to all but disappear this year, the rosemary bush is GONE, roots and all. BUT in the cold I have planted many wild flowers for next year and there are plenty of sunflowers up about 10 inches this very day. The veggie garden is well MY ISSUE.

I have planted sweet yellow corn on the side closest to the road, so to ward off any more noise the highway creates. But in the corn I have also planted poll beans as my paw paw did... so not to have to make a support but to use the corn as the support. This combo was planted Friday

Today ... I have sculpted out a small triangle of the garden and seeded it today. With Rosemary I can only hope will develop into a hedge! Then Onions of two types... small bunch onions and a row of Valencia Onions. Then the next row is Thyme I hope to have spread and make a new garden rug out of it for next year! I love the way it smell when you walk on it. Then a small area of Nantes Coreless Carrots then the final row is Kohl Rabi. This Kohl Rabi is my one plant to experiment with this year... there is always a new or strange item in my kitchen garden.
The Basil, Sage, Tomato plants are all set and also seeded... for a later crop as well.
Today is THE day to do all my seed planting and it’s a day I can hardly breath.

I took both of the horses to the Biltmore yesterday and rode with a wonderful man I call Mr. Don as many around here see me at "That" age where Mr. ... and last name are not necessary... but... as few my age; I feel like Mr. Mrs. Or sometimes Miss is as important as the yes sir and no man that still happens to roll from my tongue without thought.

At any rate I called Mr. Don and asked if I may ride with him. The pace was so fast I was at full "un-extended" trot or canter for most of the ride. SO... today I can hardly breathe much less work with the horses, clean stalls or much of any thing else. It hurts to breathe, literally. So everything I do I am doing at a VERY Slow pace today.

I shall try to continue my planting today but I have to take breaks as it’s not my legs it’s my back, ribs and neck. From losing my balance and riding like a crazy person yesterday. I don’t mind a bareback horse at trot but when it is for miles and miles with no extension it’s the worst!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It is that time of year.

While I have been running like a chicken with my head cut off(like everyone else). I am learning MUCH and I am already making my schedule for what needs to be done this fall.

Gravely was running, but has now thrown bolts, that I have to find and replace, a barring on the most important instrument I have. Somehow popped a piece of metal that steadies/ locks in the angle of the tiller? I am at a loss. BUT the machine allowed the community garden to get done, while I of course still have not gotten my garden completed. I will figure this thing out... I am starting to see why men can't let certain things go.... this blime machine is trying to get the best of me. I'm posting a picture... can you say Electrical melt down?

It has now rained/sprinkled sense Friday, which is a good thing! I am very happy due to all the money/seed I put over on the estate and this mist and sprinkle is only keeping it moist which is perfect! The sun has not been blaring in between sprinkles so there would be no reason for my seed not to get a good start! This is worth NOT having a garden! I can always go purchase some starter plants while my seeds start to take hold for the season. Late gardens are better than no garden BESIDES the frost date is not until May 10th for my area so ... really I ‘m not in too bad of a place.

However my cold crops are about to take over! I have so much I am wanting to offer some to the community for transplant if they will take them. Otherwise I will have to throw out much of my plants or they will start to crowd and kill each other off.

Life at work at getting to be a faster pace and takes me much of the day.

Life in the house is worse because I come in with mud / sand / or horse hair and have no mud room. NOT to mention I am always on the go and NEVER pick up after myself. I’m a slob... (like your typical man... I leave a trail of where ever I want to take my close off till I get to the shower.) I have got to stop this... but... things must be done .

Horses... SweetPea and Navarre are getting cabin fever... with all the rain and the grade of their pasture I can not allow them on the grass for any more than 3 or 4 hours a day, so they are in their small dry lot the rest of the time. And much like any other child they are getting tired of being in close quarters much less together.

I left early Friday morning to drive to Nashville for a birthday party. I would not have done so but how many 7 year old ask NOT to get presents but to have Pajamas purchased for Foster Children so they have a care package when they go to a new home? I had to make sure that deed didn’t go over looked.

So I picked up plastics from Nashville/ Franklin, met Roger in Franklin for lunch, showed up for the slumber party, had breakfast with the "gang" Drove to see my Aunt Gale... of course I missed her, or she was still asleep, drove to see Nanny but nurses had better things for her to do than see me, so I drove to my Daddy’s house, got smaller wheels for the Gravely had more coffee and then on to my Mother in Laws House. Left and got home just about dark.

Sunday ... I was so exhausted I couldn’t stay awake so I slept off and on all day.

Monday ... was a train wreck... boxes in my livingroom and closed my entire desk area in the office. I thought I would never make it through it but we did.
Picked up my truck just before they closed. Oh yea... ABS / Speedometer went out on the truck just before I left. Life never stops!

Tuesday... was full of everything again... rain, rain and more rain. Horses have cabin fever and SweetPea is being horrible to Navarre.

Wednesday. Got the barn Navarre has blood dripping down his leg. Sweetpea is tired of the dry lot, but their pasture is a hill so letting them out on the mud would only cost me grass and money. So I’ll have to lock her in her stall from now on. Locked her up for four hours, let her out and he was limping by the time I got back for lunch. So she is in her stall for the night so he can get some rest of his own.
Because of the rain, it is perfect for the sharing of my extras in my cold frame to the community garden. So plants were plucked/dug up and transplanted today. This way I am not just pinching them off and throwing them away, it's nice to know I didn't waste my money on the seeds! how perfect is that?

My garden...
These Chives, Thyme are doing perfectly! they are beautiful in the garden and in my salads....

Borage is about to take over its little spot. (good in salads and an herbal suppliment).

Sunflowers are all over the place but lost most in the last frost. But if only 1/2 of what I have survive the garden will be BEAUTIFUL and a pleasure to sit in, while it's still cool; drinking my morning coffee.

And the Holly Hocks are much stronger this year. The bird bath (home made from last years sunflower leaves as a mold) gets it's first year of use and the Thyme is all over the place just like I wanted.