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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back on Track, but stopped by the rain.

Yesterday was such a perfect day!

I got the fence down,
got the mud dug out of the dry lot
Got Road Bond put back in...
     Repaired a rut going down to the pasture.
    Got a good drainage ditch dug around the fence
Got Sand/silt/screaning.... what ever you want to call it... put back in MOST of the dry lot.

We worked all day... stopping only 30 minutes for lunch, and then had to stop at dark.
I got my truck fully unloaded, filled back up, unloaded again
Got the mats out of the barn area... all but two that I will need till I get my barn/shed up on my place...
I also got 25 more bails of hay, loaded and unloaded.
Got the poles set in concrete for the fence to go back up.
     Got the poles measured correctly in hopes of using the boards that were not broken or chewed by the horses.
I got more rails from my place to replace the broken/ chewed ones anyway...

I still have about a 10 x 25 foot area that needs more road bond and sand... but I am VERY happy with all I did yesterday.  Considering road bond was put down with the backhoe, but all the fine tuning was by hand and ALL the sand was spread by hand....

while the fence was still down at 8 am this morning and the horses spent the night in the pasture... something I never allow.  I got over there by 8am and tacked up some boards to keep them in BUT not any good boards, as it is raining, soggy and I am not willing to use what little electric/battery operated tools I have in the rain.

As it looks Tuesday will be my next day to get the fencing up perfectly.  I can not wait.

Joe and Steve seem to be happy with all my hard labor to their place.  I am happy that it looks so much better and more functional for them, me and a new buyer if life allows.

I will have to take pictures when I get DONE. 

I sit here and all I can do is laugh!

While I tend to stay active... you have to remember I do sit at a desk typing, talking and shipping all day.  Yesterday!!!!! oh my I sat down four times.  lunch, travel to get concrete (old bag set up due to all the humidity we had this year) travel to get hay ( not three miles) and one more time I made EVERYONE stop, sit and relax a minute....

My body hurt so bad last night I had to turn on the electric blanket just to relax enough to go to sleep, every time I turned it off the pain awakened me not thirty minutes later.  

It hurts to breathe... much less move... But this is the kind of HURT I welcome.  I did it!  I got it all done, know more about how I want my place done.  And now I know I CAN DO IT ! ... accomplishing all the updates at Joes only makes me more sure of my decessions at my place, for me, for the horses, and for building sheds, barns, gates, and arbors... I am a VERY happy person today.
The pictures have NOTHING to do with yesterday... but spring is comming and I am enjoying what spring has given me in the past. These are two types of lavender I have in one of my gardens.  LIFE IS GOOD

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday... Gray and drab.. BUT my list is back on track.

I have the Gravel guy showing up ANY MINUTE...  I have the back hoe guy showing up between 9 and 10 as is the bobcat. 

I have made several calls to get a cheap labor person to help me but at this point it is the hole in my plan.  I need help getting the fence up tomorrow while everything else is being done.

I will go get the post AND the rails today ( yes in the rain) as usual but ONLY after getting the rest of the manure out of the bed of my truck... SO... I have lots to do today AFTER work, but before it all starts tomorrow.

I am so happy to be getting Joe's place back in order so I can concentrate on mine!!! yea yea...

a barn should NEVER look this bad... and horses should NEVER have to stand in mud... None of this is Joe or Steve's fault... I just wanted to figure out how to do it correctly.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just another day in my life.

It is Wednesday, my truck is stuck in the mud after getting only 25 bails of hay, but after touching each twice or MORE just to get it on the truck, then another 2 or three to get it off the truck, I got tired and tried to get the thing closer; getting it stuck.

I'm fine with it sitting there!  What do I care? it is safe, in the horse pen, the hay is up and Joe brought me home, I have a car to get back and forth. 

I will just fill it up with HORSE MANURE untill I have enough weight in the back end to get out of the mud hole I have dug!  Life happens... My life always happens to challenge me in ways I just have to let roll off my back.

On a good note I may have someone that will cut down two dead trees that are likely to fall on my stalls (if I ever get them up) so I am keeping my fingers crossed!  Wish me luck!

To everyone out there... may your life NOT be up to the hubs in mud, may it be a silly slide if mud at all. ha ha ha...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday. Going to get hay

The sun is behind clouds and the wind is 15 to 20 miles per hour making it MUCH colder than it should be.

I have much to do not on my list this week as I forgot to add get hay, feed, and ferrier that was already on my schedule.  

A good person called hours ago and offered to sell me some of his hay.  This person is so nice I don't like to ask him for hay, but he has some left over he called to offer me before the general public.  I'm off to clean the truck, load and unload hay all the while praying it doesn't rain before I get it out/ and back into the barns...

Wish me luck

Monday, March 22, 2010


Here it is the 22nd of March and it is snowing outside.

I started my to do list yesterday. I got the Gravely started, allowed it to run a while as I collected my other pieces. Got it moved through the soft grass and Jerry took care of the flat tires. I didn't have time to take them off and replace them with the thin ones BUT I will get to it at some point. I was eager to get the bush hog off and get the three pieces to the tiller on the silly thing. Just as I got it all together, the sun disappeared and the dark clouds moved in. I rushed over to the one little spot I had in my mind that I was going to get finished before the rain moved in... but it started a steady sprinkle just as I made it to my perfect spot. I had to stop... Put the silly thing up and ???? frankly ... I gave up for the day.
I rarely just give up, but smelling like grease for two days, arms shaking from the old machine, and rain stopping me in my tracks was just enough. Not to mention it never got warm yesterday, and has only gotten colder sense then.

As I sit here and type, it flakes from the sky, the horses are out but blanketed, the flowers are drooping and the heat is back on full steam!

It is hard to believe the weather we have had this year... not just where I am but across North America, I am amazed!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This Weeks To Do List... Honey Please...

Today is only the second beautiful day of the year. It is the first time I have had to take off my long sleeve shirt to expose my short sleeves because I was getting to hot.

The wind is blowing just perfectly today.
The horses are warm, the ground is finally drying out.

My bobcat guy, my backhoe guy have stopped by the house and are hoping to work on Joe's place next weekend. Which means I have to have the gravel/granite ready to be applied. So call!!! Jeff.

In the next few days... my list consist of ...
Getting the tires on the Gravely changed out. Fat tires are flat and the smaller tires are better for the garden anyway.
Getting the Gravely started.
Getting the bush hog OFF the gravely and getting the tiller on. NOT easy for just one person.
Getting the garden tilled before it rains again.

Get an OLD fence post from my estate to use at Joes.
Get 6 fence boards to use / replace at Joes.

Get the crushed granite ordered and delivered.
Get the Gravel ordered and delivered to my place as well.

Get the Poles purchased for my place, so I can put up fences and gates.
Get the fencing cut!
and applied to areas where I am going to be using trees.

Ask TROY over here so he can tell me what else I need to do, in what order, and HOW to get it done.

Get the auger to dig polls... but this can go on next weeks list.

Like everyone else this is all on top of the normal daily things. Spring... I love it but it is so busy it makes my head spin. Thank goodness I know how I want the garden done, what I hope to plant where and I already have that schedule on hand/ working around the weather of course.

The spring list is getting longer. The summer list is being made and the FALL list is starting to pile up. LONG TERM Plans... what makes it work today but better tomorrow?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Flowers are TRYING to come in.

Today, I go and price long term fencing at all the same places... It is such a beautiful day I hate to be working but I have decided I will do what needs to be done THEN I will take the horses to the property again and allow them to run, play and eat at will. 

Spring has come, but snow is expected Monday, so I can only hope the flowers that have bloomed survive.

You have to take into account, these flowers are at the barn....

The flowers on my property are NOT in direct sun... so they are on their way out of the ground but not with blooms as of yet.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So much on my mind.

I have now priced out everything below and figured for only 200 feet of fencing, with three corners ... dont' ask... it is going to cost me about 1500.00 This is a lot of money to put on fencing I am going to take down... SO... I am starting all over and going to see what it will cost me to put up the real thing.  Something that will last! Something that will make my dreams come true when the projects are finished.

My mind goes to dreaming
What do I dream of ????  Using things I like, and having a BEAUTIFUL place for the horses; that even I want to live.  A place of quiet so I can hear them chewing, blowing out air in relaxation, and hoofs hitting the ground as they run in delight.

What would I use in this dream?   

I would have a covered entrance with one of the sets of these doors, to make it feel like an oasis at the entry!

I would have beautiful OLD WORLD pots at the entry, I would have plants in, around, and under them.  LOTS of color...

I would have a gate that would INVITE people to look, but not keep them out.  None of these are going to work.  The gate would cost me more in vet bills, the pots would be dead with one kick, the doors ... well they rest in my shed awaiting their new home, but today is not the day ...


accomplishing???? I'll have to let you know as time goes on...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lots to do, Lots to think about. HOW do I get it all done?

As some of you know... I have a piece of property I am TRYING to get ready for the horses.  Well the time has come to move them, BUT I am NOT ready to do so.

1. Joe and Steve have their house up for sale.  The harsh winter weather has taken its toll on the pasture/ their front yard... so out of respect I need to get their place in perfect condition for the possibility of a spring sale.  They are so good to me, and I can't do ANYTHING that would dampen their possibilites of moving on to the next step in their plans.
     So ... MOVE HORSES/ and RE SEED pasture.

2. This means I have two choices... a) pay someone to allow me to board or pasture my horses.. or b) GET MY PLACE READY...
     a) would allow me to PERFECT my place...  but would cost me the money I would be using to get my place ready...  so...
     b) getting my place ready, and using the money to invest in my own place is the only light at the end of the tunnel (for me)   I hate throwing money away!!!!

3.  So today I priced out temperary fencing at all my local suppliers.
     a) Tractor Supply
     b) Southern States
     c) Fletcher Lawn and Garden
          There are SO MANY differences between each... this is going to be an all day thing going from one place to the other getting my supplies ready.
     I still have two other places I have to price out.
     d) Lowes
     e) Home Depot
          Why am I pricing out items with these two... because I was never "normal" and I am still in the planning stages and willing to think out of the box. ..

So Thinking OUT of the box in order to save money.  While I have NO BARN, NO STALLS... I do have trees and more trees... So. I figure in order to save money... for the summer I will simply allow the horses access to the woods in order to keep them cool during the day.   This will require money I didn't want to spend BUT WILL in order to save a few dollars in the long run.

In order to save a little of the money I will have to spend on Temporary Fencing; I am going to make a fence around the "barn/stall" area with fallen small trees.  This will give me a visual and keep the horses OUT of the area till I can get it ready for them. This is something I can do myself, even if it is moving ONE small branch a day, stacking it appropriately. Allowing me to plant something that will GROW UP the embankment, and keep them away from where I will have to store a few things in order to build a shelter for the winter.

What am I pricing out????
  Fence post... T-post 5 foot or 6,  and Step in post just to save the pasture as much as I can....
     Caps for safety for both
     Insulators for fencing...
     Post planter,
     and puller
     Electric Fencing....  wire... TAPE 1/2 inch and 1 1/2 inch and 2 inch...
     Solar Fence chargers... there is no electricity where they are going.  a solar is cheaper than an electric hook up....
     Gates, for around back of barn, into barn area, into wooded area,  truck entry to pasture... must be large enough for lime, killer/spray trucks.. (HUGE) as well as hay trucks, and other supplies I will purchase in large quanities... (to save money again in the long run) ....    
     Water containers,
     Hay containers to keep it off the ground. Question?  Do I drill holes in it? Or do I build a cover to protect the hay from rain?    So many decessions?????
     Rock... for footing when it is soggy! What Size, How Much? Where? Do I spend time and money on drainage for this area????  

I know it doesn't look like much, but when you start adding up 5cents here and there... it will pay off for me to go to each place in a circle to get all the cheapest supplies I can.

If ANYONE has an idea of what I am NOT thinking about ... PLEASE let me know! either on a post here, or a personal email... This all has to go up so fast I know I am going to over look something... HELP!!!



Sunday, March 14, 2010


While the picture is bad, it is done on purpose.  I didn't want someone mad because I scanned a magazine article perfectly.  Instead I photographed the magazine.... this is Navarre's Dad...
Horse Illustrated has an article on Navarre's Breed, just so happens His Father and His maternal Grandmother are in the photos. This one is Panda on the right... His maternal grandmother.  I wanted HER as the mother but... $$$$ please... Pie her first shipped with her to the US was a good pick.  Smaller, and more black.  Gypsy King (above) throws white babies... so I TRIED to counter balance it.  NO LUCK...
Today was one of those days... too wet to ride but too pretty to stay inside, it's 7:40 and still day light (barely) but... the change in this time zone is drastic... I enjoy being on the west side of ANY time zone, you get so much more light!  Being on the east side you get cheated... ha ha ha...

I have better pictures of mom and dad but this is the most recent article.

Hope everyone is having a good day, enjoying more daylight!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A hard days work... really messy job!

My day was NOTHING but cleaning Navarre.
We went from this...


I didn't get to finish today... so this weekend I have to shave his legs... and the rest of his belly.

I braided his mane on BOTH sides so this is not all his hair. 
I braided his tail into 16 braides then braided them into braides... you have to see his tail to believe me.  His tail took me from 10am till 2pm just to get it clean and braided...

I left the TIP of Navarre's tail down... about the same amount of tail the SweetPea has.  and put the rest of it up... as good as I could.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I have had two wonderful days in the last three days.

Lets just put Monday out of our minds... Mondays are always bad and frankly ... I wish I could forget them.

But ... Sunday was a good day.  I spent all day with one of my life long friends Troy.  For the last 10 years we have seen little if nothing of each other, but he is in my area for a while and I hope to have a partner in crime to go do day adventures in the area with....
Sunday we went to the Biltmore.  EVERYTHING at the Biltmore is OVER and BEYOND what you could ever expect for a "home"

Troy and I took the audio tour and enjoyed the walk to four level and a basement.  Although after taking it we both with we had done the behind the scene tour or better yet roof top tour.  Keep this in mind if you do go.  AND if you only do the audio tour make sure to listen to the additional info you have to type in per your map. 

Otherwise spend the 12:95 get the paper back and take the audio tour home with you in bound form with pictures....

At any rate we had a good time.

Walked around through the green houses, the gardens today are all domant.  I hated that Troy didn't see them in all their glory BUT I can only hope it gives him another reason to come back later in the spring for all the bulbs or summer for all the roses, fruit and other flowers in their hay day!!!!!

The scenery took us to the glory of in door growing... three green houses in origional form... I can only imagine...

I love it when people get to enjoy the Biltmore and other things in the area...

I took the horses over to our property while I was doing a little work... I allowed them to play.... what is WRONG with all this... while the fence keeps them out of the road at this point, the fence is in NO WAY complete... they could have run away at any point they wanted, while I was working. 
Jerry was there sitting at the largest opening... but something tells me if they came running and kicking... he would LET them run by him with no question of who was going to be larger than whom.
It is hard to see the little speck that is me... but I am throwing seed.
 The neighbor has a german shepherd... Sweet Pea was really keeping an eye on him.

He never once got too close for comfort.

Navarre did nothing but play in the mud and EAT like a PIG...  Can you say NASTY!!!!!
He is the worst looking thing unless he is VERY clean... of which I HOPE to give him a bath this week!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My plan for the day.

It is close to 9am and I wanted to already be at the barn, brushing and getting a horse ready for the first ride of the day.  The weather was suppose to be in the 50's today, but the reality is... it is only 31 degrees and the wind blows about 15 mph so it takes the feeling down in the 20's.  While riding is work (if done correctly) not so much work for me to have my fingers frozen in the first mile of riding...

so I will wait till the chill is above freezing to get my plans started.

I hope to start my day riding Navarre,
I then hope to take a second ride out with SweetPea
Clean stalls when I get back,
Then come home and start to turn the compost pile... Yes a hopeful thought, but I can at least turn what ever is NOT frozen, and cover the rest with plastic to pull in heat during the next few days...
I hope to hear from a Joelton friend, get our tickets to the Biltmore for tomorrow
I then need to get all my paper work ready and renew the Equestrian Pass I hold while we are there tomorrow.  List... Shot Records, Coggins, Pictures for files etc...

I then hope to enjoy the rest of my evening and go to bed early. 

I will be in serious pain Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (if I don't get too lazy riding) but the walk around the house and the grounds tomorrow will help work some of this out.

I may actually get out of the house...

To take up my time this morning awaiting the warmth of the sun... here is yet another food item.
Please note I took pictures of my kale, heritage curly kale because I wasn't sure how it would taste considering all the freezing we have had here.  But each time it a new weather situation came in I covered my Kale with more hay.  Yes it should have been straw... and I will  pay for using rotting hay ( that I could not feed to the horses) but I was not going to spend more money and wanted to use the resources I had on hand.

Kale... another new way to eat the stuff most just throw vinegar on and cook it too death!!! Well cooked my way I crave it, I can only hope you will like it.

This is what you will need.
Kale about the size of a grocery bag...
Garlic, two or three pods.
Soy Sauce... nto 1/8 of a cup if orgional.. but if low sodium... 1/4 cup.  for taste...
ONE cup of  water.

I took this picture, because this is the average size of my leaves this late in the year.  TINY!!! Most of the time I harvest leaves that are the length of my standard knife shown in this picture... most were not the length of my fingers.

I collected Kale from the garden, yet another thing that you can just throw out seeds in the late summer early fall and let them take over.  I tend to thin them out by just cutting lines in my free seeded areas then I thin them out more as they get larger eventually leaving only one plant every 7 inches or so.  These plants are just about gone but (having nursed them) they have lasted me the winter. Well... truth is... normally I would be planting MORE THIS MONTH, but it is still too cold for the seeds to germinate so I will have to wait till April... this is a wierd year!

At any rate... I use my small cast iron skillet for this... Nannies! I gather ( or you can purchase) a collection about the size of a standard grocery bag.  ( not our reusables... but the Ingles, Krogers, Food Lion non recyclable pieces of crap)    Now this sounds like a lot but it cooks down to LESS than my 8 inch skillet!  

I wash the kale by soaking it in the sink first.   Then I use my fingers on EVERY leaf and soak it again.  Then I fill the other side of the sink and soak again.   I put mine in the fridge for an hour or more so it will crisp back up.  The store purchase ... you can skip this.. it's done or has preservatives!

I then cut the tender parts off the stem.  This is NOT hard... just hold the end and let your knif easily slide down the center vein.  What does not come off ... well you probably don't want it anyway... Don't force it but hold the knife firmly.  But do make sure it is a decently sharp knife so not to waste your kale.
These are ALL my center veins after I am done... See they are NOT CLEAN just managed...

Put as much of the cut off kale leaves into your skillet (does not matter the size) WITH one cup of water.   This will seem impossible but trust me this amount here will cook down to LESS than 1/2 of the skillet size.
Put a lid on it! Cook on NEXT to high untill the lid fits.
The kale will turn a brillian green as it starts to cook.  In this picture I have moved over some of the wilted kale to add more into the open (boiling) area, then I will put my cut up garlic on top of all of this so the garlic is steamed to perfection. Then I will add more of my kale on top of the garlic as well.
I use a LOT more garlic than most... One more thing I get honestly!  My maternal grandfather... Paw Paw... loved garlic as do I BUT ONLY if it is cooked properly.  People are afraid of garlic.. when steemed like this it is SWEET not garlic strong in taste.  But use the amount above unless you are like me and love roasted / steamed/ or boiled garlic taste.  It is like onions.. I can't stand them raw either.
At this point start to add your soy sauce but use it sparingly... you do not want to over do the salt thing...( you will note, I don't use a lot of salt but for some reason I love this dish... )
As it all starts to cook down even more you can start to stir it flip it put what has been on the bottom on the top etc...
You can see I eat my kale with my sweet potatoes... This is what I am packing in my back pack for todays ride... Both are great eaten even cold... But I do all the work on my potatoes and then I prep and cook my kale while the potatoes are cooking... it's all done about the same time... So the kale only took about 25/ 30 minutes..
Beautiful taste, Beautiful food, Easy, cheap, and something we can grow even if we live in the city...

Now Hopefully I am out for my rides... Hope your day is Sunny, Warm and FUN!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Food, easy to grow, easy to cook, and great to eat.

Ok... So here I am again... and it is more about food than anything else...

Reasons. I'm stuck in this house due to weather, and I'm always thinking about food.  I get it honestly! My paternal grandmother was always worried about what she was going to cook for dinner, while on the other hand my maternal gradfather was asking what is for lunch as soon as he got up from the breakfast table.

With the weather as harsh as it has been, life is a little harder out of the garden BUT here are things that are easy to grow, easy to store, and foods I take with me even on horse back, out for the day.

I finally had to break down purchase some herbs because the weather here as taken its tole on mine!

The Sweet Potato... While I love sweet potato casserole, I am getting to old to eat a stick of butter, a lot of sugar and top it with marshmellows and or nuts! 
My way of eating them is ... well a little less of a pound punch to my stomach.

I always wash my potatoes no matter if I am going to peel them or not. 
I also gather everything I will need for this dish.

Potato...one for each person!  or more if you are a heavy eater.

Garlic one clove... one for each person or each potato.  Peal it, smash it let it sit 10 minutes while you cut your potatoes.

Thyme, if dried...  1/4  a teaspoon for each person or potato. If Fresh 1/2 teaspoon, peal leaves from branch... hold branch at top and pull DOWN to take leaves off in seconds.

Red Pepper!  Only a Dash! over the entire dish.  I use about 1/2 a teaspoon for everything just before I throw it in the oven.

Olive Oil.  any will do ... I use light for this dish just because I don't want to taste it.

it is amazing how easy this is...

Just peel your potato, and cut it into strips like thick french fries. 
Barely sprinkle olive oil over the strips, then sprinkle the thyme, throw whole cloves into the dish, and sprinkle with your red pepper flakes.

Toss to coat it all perfectly and put it into an oven at 350, cook till tender and sweet. 

It takes my oven about 45 minutes to an hour depending on how many of the potatoes I decide to cook.  

Potatoes are SO EASY to grow... you can do this even if you are in the city on your patio.... use a kitchen size garbage can, take a potato that has eyes, or strings starting to grow out of it.  Cut the potato up so each piece as at least one eye or external growth.    Put 1/2 a bag of garden dirt into your kitchen size garbage can and put these pieces on the top, cover the cut up pieces with about 2 inches of dirt .... a plant will emerge from each cutting... as it does and startes to get larger... tear off the bottom leaves and add more garden soil.  this will allow more room for more potatoes and the plants will continue to grow.  otherwise throw them in your garden, cover, and continue to pickoff bottom leaves cover more as they grow...

THEN once they bloom their beautfiul blooms, cut the tops off,( like tobacco) this will stimulate the bulbs>>>>your Potatoes to grow larger.  NEVER let a potato skin see the sun! this is very important.

Last year I got about 10- 15 good size potatoes from each cutting!    So think... One potato you would have thrown out just gave you at least 20 to 30 more.    These plants like it cool but not freezing. so start them early.  I plan to throw mine in the ground with in the next 30 days.  I am zone 6 ... but I plant zone 5 due to elevation issues.

Garlic is a fall plant.... so while it does save over winter... mine is all starting to sprout again so I am almost out, BUT I have plenty in the garden once again doing it's thing over the winter.... I only hope as harsh as this one has been it will survive.
This photo is before I cook them.

This is After cooked.  Yumm...

Yes I use my cast iron skillets for everything! I don't know what I would do without them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Just another Day in the South???

This is my house as I type... Yep!  It's MARCH 2nd and this is the weather!   What is going on?

there is little I can say! 
What are you doing with your time? 

??? Taking a hint from a girlfriend...
I'm doing my fingers and toes, praying for Summer fun, Summer Sun, and getting OUT of this house!