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Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Time has kept me tied up as of late.  I have been so busy I've not been enjoying the simple things such as time for myself, my horses, or my bike.  BUT I have been working... and working hard to get things in order.

The tank for water and the pump are on the way! The gutters are up, the tub and milk cans are painted all a beautiful barn red.
The to do list for last week is complete!  and the to do list for this week is only twice as long! ha ha ha...

But Sunday was a day for myself!

I got to go sit the entire morning with just my horses.  Brushing them each. loving on them, and just enjoying the silence of the estate.  It was my first day at the barn, thinking only of myself.

I enjoyed taking Navarre's brades out of his mane and tail, I believe he did too as he fell asleep as I worked on him.
SweetPea was a delight and thankful for the attention as well.  But most of all enjoyed her time alone eating out in the pature with out the little one bothering or following her every move.  

Tomorrow I take yet another day for myself.  As I have friends I have dearly missed sence their leaving town.  I am traveling to Indepandance VA to see the Cravens.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  You really MUST see their site... Their Works of ART!  http://www.cravenstudio.com/

ALL of the food you see on my blog is displayed on their works of art.  It is a simple thing I enjoy... eating with and on such beautiful pieces made by those whom love what they do and only thrive to enjoy their passions more each day; not allowing the downs of life to pull their passions down.

Mother has one of their small vases, and I have a table that is pure of delighted each time I use the plates they have made. 

These are some of my favorite people in the world.  I would ... travel the world to see them if need be.  I am so excited!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today is OUR day to celebrate!
Why you ask? Because it was today ONLY 90 YEARS ago that women got the right to vote!
I am not a political person, I am not a member of ANY party, but this is a day in history I was told of as a child.  I am only in my 40's but I had women around me, in my younger years, that were incredibly strong, educated and loved to share stories.
My Aunt Mary would sit with me on the old patch work "pleather" love seat at Nanny and Paw Paw's and tell me stories... One story I never forgot was the one where She (Aunt Mary Lain) got the right to vote. I remember the first time I got to sign my name and choose who I wanted as President. With a grin on her face and clutching the broach on her dress resting just at her chest. Aunt Mary had a hard time with her hearing aids at this time in her life, but she loved the visits at Nanny's house, She enjoyed the interaction with the family and said she most enjoyed seeing the younger ones... myself included come in and out.

Aunt Mary Owned a little gas station... that at the time still sold gas, manually cut bologna sandwiches, shelved lined with groceries, the old men still sat out front rolling their cigarettes or smoking their unfiltered camels. She loved her cokes and drumsticks (icecream with nuts and choc.)... BUT in my mind she made the best chocolate pies and oatmeal cookies, chocolate chips or not they were incredible.   Today her "station" is owned by someone else and sits not open to the public?  I haven't a clue what it is used for.

Aunt Mary was an amazing woman. Her stories of seeing her first airplane, sitting in a car for the first time, the phone line in her house was a party line till the day she moved out, needing more assistance on a daily basis. She had the first TV in town... (they rolled it OUTSIDE to share with everyone else)  But the look on her face talking about voting... She spoke of signing her name, picking her canidate, and feeling as if she had more power than she could imagine.

Most women today don't think about it! Many don't even make the effort to go and cast a vote.

Not long ago, barely a lifetime ago,  we were not considered human, we were still property! No matter our skin colors... a man... black or white was able to vote and he carried the ONLY vote speaking for his wife and family.

Not long ago we were not able to voice our own wants, needs, or refusals ... Some are still not "ALLOWED"

If you do nothing else today... think of all the women in the world that still today do not have the right to vote! Still do not have the right to an education! (bombings of such protect occured just last week) Still do not have the right of refusal of ANYTHING! Some women TODAY are still PROPERTY! Still only subject to what ever their husbands desire. Some are not even allowed to choose their husbands but arranged in buinesss type marriages to prosper their families.  yes it is Taboo but still happens!
If you are reading this ... you are probably more lucky than you think!  You may THINK you are entitled to vote, but the facts are people have died, MILLIONS of people have died to GIVE YOU THE RIGHT to vote.

if you are reading this... you are walking with your head high today because women in the past ... only a short time ago... walked tall and stood up for the rights of women today.

If you are reading this... you not only need to say happy birthday to women you see, but a special thanks to your veterans, and service persons of today. They still stand in arms to protect YOUR right to vote, choose, and refuse things in your life.

I say Thank you to ...Aunt Mary, Aunt Lottie, Aunt Alma and all those before them! I owe them thanks I owe them my life style... I owe them my independence!

Want to take a journey ... back in time... check out this site.Women in History see the words of Susan B Anthony in the 19th Amendment... that made us the women we are today!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Saving what little I can.

How do you save money or make sure you have your favorite foods again next year.

This is ONE of the ways I get my tomotoe seeds...
While I was in Yellowstone, my tomotoes went to ? crap.  BUT just because I wasn't here to eat the before they rotted, doesn't mean I can't use those bad/ rotten fruits for next years seeds.  You do have to remember these are heirloom varieties and seeds are just as good, but may not be perfect for the next years crop.

I take them and squach them into nothing... spread them out on paper towels... and note... these towels do NOT have bleach in them, which can harm or simply kill your seeds.

I throw away the peel, and much of the pulp but spread out as much as I can with the seeds.
Cover them with another towel, allowing them to dry and not attracting more pest if possible.
Once they are dry... completely!  I roll them up put them in a zip lock bag.  Make it air tight (so NOT a sandwich bag, but a freezer type) and put them in a jar till next spring!

So now I have seeds for next years perfect tomatoe!  with out having to spend another $2.00 or more for seeds from someone else.

Trying to be in the moment.

One of the things I love about my travels is seeing how people live in the moment.

Why do we not do this as a culture? Why are we as Americans so set on cramming everything into every moment of the day and not enjoying the moment for what it is.  How many things do you have planned for this very evening?  How many stops are you going to make on the way home? 

I always have things planned... like my to do list below, but I'm not upset or worried if they don't get done and I take the time to enjoy the moment.

like this morning!   to read more about this morning... please click ---~ Learning to Live Simple as you will see it is completly different of what you see here.

Why did I create something else?  Because there are always several sides to every story and people are no different.  It is only a try!  We shall see where it goes IF it goes anywhere!

Monday, August 23, 2010

To Do List for WEEK

To Do List...

__X___Get Trash out of car... I hate cleaning a car but the trash has got to go.
_X____Get Gutters installed  scheduled for Tues at 8:30am...
_____Get Delivery Quote on Water system... Want Blck tank... not green.
___X__Get SEVERAL Quotes on Solar and Wind for Barn.  off grid!
     ___x__ first quote over 30,000 for next to nothing.
     __x___ second over 32
     __x___ third  28,
     ___$$__ FORGET IT!!!! I'll do it myself AGAIN!!!!
_____Get Grass seed  pasture mix... watch for sales.
_____Get fencing up around area to sow grass...  t bars out and ready.  not done BUT working on adding manure to the area first.  forgot to put this on the list.
_____Get Gravely FIXED again... hopefully just a sparkplug issue...
    __X___ Out  DONE
    __X___ research / spacing ? 
    __X___ get new one.
_____Ride Bike as much a possible.
     __X___Sun ... 3.2 only.
     _____ Wed....
     _____ Fri....
__X___Get Quotes on more rock... call Jeff... no rain expected so see about delivery late in week.
     __X___ Measure area again... for Quote.
__$$$$___Start Research on permable concrete for grade area at barn entrance. 
     __$$$$$$$___OR gravel matts / gov. issue. for state rds. in TN ,KY etc...
_____Paint Tub... for water this winter.  GOT PAINT... ? NEED TO PAINT TUB

Wow 6 days no post.

I have been extreamly busy...
But as life has it not busy enough...

I got a bike... yes cycle... for me to ride back and forth to the barn.  only 4.2 miles and over 1000 feet in elevation from house to barn.   I got a wopping 3.2 miles yesterday and walked the last mile!   I was so tired I could barely stand up. 

I did however get the basics done.
Hay, Feed and Feet done.  then promptly put my new bike in the back of Jerry's SUV so I didn't have to ride down hill...

I know.. it would have been down hill but please... I had already pushed myself to my limits and still have to work and function for the next day.  I know my limits and that was it.

I will however do it again Wednesday and see if I can make it back home... instead of calling Jerry.  Oh well.  Life is what it is... and I'm just trying to do a little better with it each year.

Friday, August 20, 2010

at the Barn.

Just another day.

As I go to the barn each morning at dawn... to let my horses out I ALWAYS give them a once over. 
As life is typical... so are injuries.

Navarre has kept me from posting the last few days with a nice gash on his hind left knee.  I can only assume after searching and searching the dry lot for anything he could have cut himself on, that my "precious" SweetPea with four shoes decided to kick him!  bursting and causing the knee to bleed.

So washing, and covering are now the norm each time I go to the barn. 
Hydrogen peroxide... dusting for the cut... and covering it with pink swat... to keep an eye on it from a distance and keep flies etc... from laying eggs and causing more of an issue.

It is what it is... but it is time consuming as is any cut with a large animal.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cont. Lets ASSUME money with a horse is no factor.

Assuming money is no factor is crazy... money no matter how much you have can become a factor with a horse!

Ok.  So the previous post didn't scare you away from getting a horse for your child.

Lets look at the choice a little deeper!

I have had a pony , horse, or access to one MOST of my life!  They are a part of who I am.  I am not a nice person, or not complete, when I do not have this relationship in my life.  BUT ... it is VERY time consuming, costly and ... not a relationship I suggest for everyone.

Basics  again.   Remember I am NOT a vet! I am NOT specifically educated to the horses through acredited classes.  My suggestions are through vets and life experience and NEVER to be taken as written in stone. BUT to be a thought process for persons considering horses.   I can only encourage everyone to continue their education and learning everyday from several sources not any one source EVER!

I get up at dawn... what ever time that is ... depending on the time of year.
I go to the barn, let my horses out of their dry lot.
    Why do I have a dry lot?
There are so many reasons to have a "dry lot" but I have one for only a few basic reasons.

1. I have ONE horse that is an "easy keeper"  in horse terms this means he takes LESS food to keep his "FIT" physical standard.   so if I let him out on grass every day ALL day he would be too fat!   This is a good situation to have. 

2. I have one horse that has a genetic defect that he is not able to process sugars very well, and thus is also NOT suppose to stand still for LONG periods of time.  This is becoming a more prevalent issue in American horses... although still only in certain breeds.   SO I NEVER put this horse in a stall.    The dry lot allows me a place to control his food intake and allow him space to move around.

3.  Having a dry lot SAVES your pastures.  in more ways than one.
     While I have one horse that is an easy keeper, I have another that is a HARD keeper!  Meaning she needs more feed, hay, and protein than the other horse to keep her physique...  Having a dry lot allows me to put her out and keep the other in... but ONLY on DRY ground days...
     On WET ground days I keep both horses in the dry lot as one hoof running through the pasture digs up a good 6 inches of good grass, times four hooves and you have rutts and bald spots in no time.

4. The dry lot also allows me a place to keep my horses when I am sowing seed, when I need to allow the grass to grow and when I am treating a pasture for weeds. 

5.  A dry lot ALSO helps keep my horses feet healthy!
     How does this work.  I am in what I call the mid south!  ???  well in the south everything dries out between rains in what I call the mid south... on a "normal" climate year we get rain all the time... and the ground stays moist for our crops.  This moisture is not so good for the horses feet.   a dry lot is just that... a lot filled with gravel, rock or sand so the hooves of a horse are dry.  keeping my farrier bills down as well.

One of my horses has very wet feet.  He can get thrush so easy it is a pain.  This dry lot keeps the moisture down and allows me space, time and effort to treat and prevent thrush.

Thrush!  It is a painful, smelly ailment to the hoof!  In simple (monkey) terms... it is like you having a soar on the bottom of your foot that gets infected with some flesh eating organism... and you can't use crutches! You have to walk on in order to function.  Thrush can do the same to a horse IF NOT treated.  it can eat to the bone!  not painless for your poor animal either!    It can be a simple as a cut on your foot that doesn't bother you but it can be as serious as above!  Why take the chance... if you horse reacts to you cleaning his hoof... it is painful and needs to go! FAST!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I want to get a horse for my child!

I hear this ALL the time!

Let me just say... I do not recommend horses or birds for KIDS to own! 

Horses... I think one should rent, lease, or do lessons LONG before even considering a horse for a child.  A child needs to learn to be safe around a horse.
     needs to learn what it takes to care for a horse.
     needs to understand how much of a time commitment it will require for the rest of the horses life... 30 years or more at times.
and parents need to KNOW what financial commitment they are getting into.  Basics are not cheap and emergencies are a college semester tuition, to start with. And like the cost of living... prices will only rise!

Hay... I have two horses... and I go through a bail of hay a day. 
Hay WAS $3.00 a bail it is NOW... $7.50 or MORE for decent hay. so at the least it did cost me... 1095.00 it now cost me... 2737.5  just for BASIC hay NOT the good stuff.  not only to you need hay but feed is important.
my feed cost me min. of $15.00 a 50lb bag, which barely last me a week and a half.  so 20 bags a year min... at 15 each is... only another  300.00 a year.  so a mere  3037.5 just for basic feed.

basic vet check up and six month shots cost me about 400.00 every 6 months providing nothing is wrong with the horses... so yearlys cost me a basic $800.00

Farrier bills are every 6 weeks.  that is about 10 times a year ... sets of shoes cost me 150.00 so 300.00 every 6 weeks... up to .. 3000.00 a year.  I do take off shoes a... during winter to save money and ride in snow, but one horse requires at least front shoes all year brining her down to 110.00 every 6 weeks only saving $40 dollars while the other I can cut down to 90.00 a season saving a little more.   BUT This is a SHORT lived season.    so plan on the 3000.00 or you will get in trouble ...and again this is WITHOUT issues...   the more issues the more the trim, or shoes cost.

pastures... add in time for cutting.
     Seeding a pasture is NOT cheap.  100.00 a bag is the going rate around here... and check how much pasture and seed you need.
     not to forget weeding... chemical or digging cost money.  WEEDS can kill a horse, cause you higher bills!

and what about a stall?
     Cost of building!
     Cost of bedding.   I do good with this area... I use two scoops of pellets... at $7.50 a bag / a bag a month. and a bag of shavings a week!  at $6.00 a bag for the good stuff.  The better the shaving the longer they last. 
    so.. 7.5 x 12 is $90.00 and  6x58 is 348.00  so ... add another... 438.00 to basics because if a horse gets sick... they are going to need more bedding ...

so lets add up basics for a year. no emergencies, no issues...

2737.50 for hay
300.00 for feed
800.00 for basic check up and shots required
3000.00 for feet / farrier
100.00 ONE bag of seed for pasture... I use A LOT MORE THAN this.
50.0  for chemical/ broad leaf to keep weeds out of pasture.  this is all I use... I do NOT over do chemicals.
438.00 for BASIC stall requirements. 7425.50 for BASIC CARE!  this does NOT include cost of fencing, stalls, barn for dry hay,feed etc... this is much more money than expressed above.

just keep in mind... I've spent MORE than purchasing an average horse on emergency vet bills in one year... up to 10,000.00 in ONE season...

if you can't afford to have these funds up front, ALWAYS on hand... you do NOT need a horse!

this may explain why I not only have one job but I now have a second job... sitting for other animals to earn more money for my animals.

Monday, August 16, 2010

water for the barn...

Water for the barn can't come too soon!
Today started with me trying to not be so uptight! Sense I got back from vacation I have been wound tight and spinning like a new play top at high speeds.

I've taken some moments to breath,but with water for the horses and my second job of pet sitting I've been going full steam ahead.

So I slept till 7 am... this was a big deal. my first day with no animals other than my own, and hopefully mine well on their way of being happy.

I got the water tank settled, filled and then for some reason I could not get it tight down correctly.  the silly thing is round but I guess it being so wet made the situation worse.

OK... you have to understand the simple math of this situation.
ONE GALLON of water weighs OVER 8 POUNDS...
so figure at the LEAST weight... 8x65gallons of water and you have... 520lbs of water that ??? is not the most stable thing on the back end of a truck. 

OK... so I am VERY tired of PUSHING  over 500lbs of water to the edge of my truck tailgate once I get to the barn.  It hurts my back and my quads are tired of it.  although my legs would look better if I did this everyday.   So I was TRYING to get the water closer to the edge of the tailgate before getting to the barn.

IT did NOT work... I will have to go back to grunting and pushing the silly tank with my legs up against the truck bed and my back on the tank, then moving to using my shoulders....  this gets really OLD.... FAST...

I was going up the road like a Snell, got all the way to flat top mountain road and went to take the first switchback... and the *&%*^(* thing fell OUT of the truck, and rolled down the mountain.  Breaking the plug and spout on the way.  Denting the poor thing in horribly... but I finally caught up to it... emptied it out the rest of the way and drug it back up the hill to the truck.

let the horses out and started my morning trek ... going from shop to shop trying to find the replacement piece.

1st stop a plumbing co.  NO ... chemical place they said.../
2nd stop, farm store, nope... nothing that small, you have to be a real farmer...
3rd stop ... stop selling them and had only larger ones on clearance.
4th stop and hours later... found them, got two in case it happens again...

by this time I was VERY late for work, had forgotten my phone and the horses were out the entire time.

I rushed to the house.
Was VERY short with Jerry... by this time I was ?  not a good person to anyone... I just wanted my horses taken care of.
He stopped his breakfast and helped me install the new seal, plug and drain.
I got a few gallons of water to the barn and I am trying to settle by getting this down in type before I get any further

Back to pushing all that weight around tonight when I take a full 68 gallons to the barn, wash out my new bath tub, and get the horses settled for the night.

Life... just when you think you have your ducks in a row, you realize one of them is missing or an UGLY duckling.  This morning was ugly.... I can only hope the situation turns out as pretty as a swan.

much love to you all!
Hope your Monday is a little easier.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Water for the barn,

While NOTHING is done yet.  I had an appointment yesterday with a woman in the area who specializes in water solution's for animals and gray water systems.

We are both in agreement on a LARGE water container, but it will have to go on the south side for winter exposure and I want a solar pump!  I do not plan on running any other electricity to the barn.  That money will be used for clean energy systems.

I am enjoying my barn more and more everyday.   But I digress...

Both women agreed, we needed to use only one tank in order to use the system to it's fullest. 

I am in the process of getting clutter???? free??? gutters. I am only getting bids at this point.
then I need to install down spouts to the area the cistern will reside.

I also need to worry about the cistern base.  Do I bury it?   or Do I create a concrete platform?

I am looking into both?  I have no idea which I will decide on at this point.  It may depend on how much rock or bolder we run into when digging it.  we shall see!   They each have their advantages.

Concrete... a clean area to walk around the cistern? but harder to hide into the natural setting I have. And it will be colder in the winter? what will it do to my freezing issue? All matters I will have to research.

Digging a hole?  Well it will look better from the road and in the barn BUT what about settling?  I may have to go down 3 feet or more for this to work for YEARS ... which is what I am expecting... and nothing less. Which will cost me as well.   Labor is not cheap and now that the barn is up this is not an easy area to get to!  Which is why I called her earlier(over a year ago) but she ???? needed something to go on, as where I would have dug the hole at the same time I was digging for the poles.  BUT that is me!  and as I always say... I have never fit into a perfectly shaped whole/ group in my life, why would I expect to now?   NOT...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

at the Barn.

We had our first appointment in our own place.
One horse down and one more to go...
It got too late to shoe Navarre so he will be worked on tomorrow morning early am.

I gave the kids the straw type haw first just to get rid of the stuff.
They like their new place!
eating and running...

They even snuggled up together after I left.
This was a rare site.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Horses are doing remarkably well!

SweetPea is more relaxed than I have ever seen her.

Navarre is playful and running around like a kid.

I'll post pictures later.

Farrier came yesterday.  I was worried because SweetPea is always wound so tight you can feel her pain when anyone different is around.  Yesterday, not in her new home for 24 hours...she was so relaxed and no one was having to walk on egg shells around her.

Jerry later went to the barn with me to feed and she even loved on him a minute. 

Cloud Forest Monteverde.

This was about the most sun we got through the canopy...
There wasn't a single limb, branch, or even leaf that didn't have something else growing on it.
And while it doesn't generally rain here... EVERYTHING is wet all the time.

this was a TREE TRUNK at eye level...? see how wet everything is! amazing...
plants started IN THE TREES and sent roots down to the ground as they got older.
yes another good lunch... sardines!
with my honey!

Your average tree trunk?  I am not sure how the tree survives with so many other plants growing on it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Moving Horses.

Well... it has only been years (4) in the making... The barn is NOT finished or complete it has a few things to go.

1. Water.  I have no water system as of yet but am hauling water everyother day for the horses.
2. Gravel. I have no real footing beyond 20 feet of the barn over hang.

I am split with emotion.

I am excited the horses are finally on our place.
I am terrified the horses are finally on our place.

I am worried to death about the horses trying to get out and not having a friend around to warn me, call me, or ? anyone to say hey???? are you just out having fun?

I am about to create a flier, with color photos... to put in every mail box up and down the road. with pictures of the horses, ALL my phone numbers etc... I also want to figure out if I can put my trailer on the property I think I have a spot it will fit with out any issues for the horses or me. ? but this is one of the last things I will worry about this week.

I have LOTS to clean up at Joe's!
I have LOTS to figure out at my place.  ?
    a. Compost bins.  Where, How far from barn, how much exposer to sun, air, wind etc...
    b.  Gravley ... getting me a cleared path to my compost piles.
    c.  life in general...

I am a nervous wreck... How is it I can worry so much about horses?

As of this morning both horses are a nervous wreck as well.
SweetPea has thrown a shoe, She is snorting at everything! on guard, ... protective mode...
Navarre has loose stools? but water is no longer well water, so the tap water could have killed some of the bacteria in his stomach... or as normal SweetPea could be trying to kill him every 5 seconds I am not there!

I think I am going to get a cheap bottle of wine... take my table and chairs over there and sit with the horses after work... I have asked one friend to show up... and I am extending this invite to anyone else who doesn't mind the horse smell. 

The art of relaxing will be required.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

from Las Flores to Monteverde... Photos...

as you can see the roads were GREAT for a WHILE...
only a small land slide or two... or three... oh well I actually lost count!   there were so many!!!!

We stopped to ??? well ... to contribute to the natural resources...

So I was playing while I waited ... for Jerry to come back..

So take a close look.. because with only land slides to deal with ... I was ... OK..

So Consider this the Before / gravel road and see the next picture for the REST of the Story...
this is AFTER the gravel road..

blood shot eyes and the life drawn out of me...
this is why..
a gravel road that in this picture appears as no big deal ONLY BECAUSE THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW $%&^*(&*((*() PICTURES THAT CAME OUT 1/2 WAY FOCUSED...

another packed lunch...
we stopped the car to take this shot... coffee... coffee, bananas... plantains.. pretty plants for sell etc... you name it ... it was within eye shot.
By the grace of a higher power we finally made it to our next hotel...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rain Forest... did I say RAIN???

Please read post from 8/4...  as it tells more of the story ... these are pictures to support previous post.

While this is NOT local cusine... it is my perfect travel lunch, for two... besides... a good, cheap, and low fat meal is perfect when you have had such an enjoyable time out in nature. 
While eating... we were joined by two locals..
While they were a little camera shy... you can see they were bright, LOUD, and playful couple..
It is amazing how good food is when you travel in third worlds.. the food is such a testiment to LOCAL...
a simple soup.. but the taste is beyond what you will find in most towns in the U. S.

ending with the colorful pattern of my new umbrella...