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Saturday, February 26, 2011

It is Saturday!

I am dying to go out with my horses, so I bid you adeau!  I'm out of here.... No camera! only a sandwich and a drink in my backpack..

I can only ride SweetPea and I'll have to pony out Navarre... His off hind is still in too bad of shape to ride him! I hate this because I would have loved to have company... Michael ( my trusted worker as of late) or one of the kids on the road.... (on pony ... of course)

I'll let you know.  32 degrees here! but going into the 50's

Gravely still in the shop, need a new alternator... not sure if we can get one yet.  Any suggestions are welcome!

Adaue,.... Adaue.... Adaue, Adaue Adaue... as the song would go...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Got Help Today!

I got help with the old Gravely today!
I to mentioned the guy, this was my largest obstacle at the moment, he just laughed! If this is the your largest you've got it made.  I do! I admit it! My life is as simple as it gets!   I make sure I do what I can for myself, and do what I can for others.

BUT the two things in life my Father did NOT allow me to do was ... Electricity and Chain Saws.  Two things I desperately need assistance with at this point in my life.

Turns out it is an Electrical issue with the gravely!  Alternator, Ground, or ? who knows what

I can only pass on this information as it was told to me by Ed.
Ed of ER Lawn Equipment Repair... will travel to Fairview NC, his numbers are... 828 582 9595 or  686 3934 both of which are now in my phone till the gravely dies!

Having said that He does have a YouTube video... Click Here!  as he said... "it is a little of red neck heaven"

He allowed me to ask a million questions! ( of course it is likely the reason he wants me to take it to his shop!) ha ha ha... BUT I am happy to have someone who is willing to work on the old thing!

My life just got even easier, considering I have someone else to worry about getting the old thing right.  I said Oh you will have a customer for life!   He sadly looked up at me and said, NO I will eventually have an unhappy customer, as I will no longer be able to get parts.

I know my machine is old, archaic! and about to die... but knowing it is not a mechanical issue, I am not willing to bury it just yet!  Everything works, as long as I can keep it running!

Thanks to ED I hope to keep it running as long as I can, so I can hopefully in the future afford to replace EVERYTHING this silly old machine does.

It is amazing how powerful this old thing is.
Besides the neighbors wouldn't have me to laugh at as they drive by seeing me mow my pasture with a walk behind.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Typical Day

Typical day...

Sun is out, Gravely not running AGAIN... Freckles (sun damage) pop through the skin with in 10 minutes of being outside.  Somehow a weld on my gate is broken, so I will be making a trip to Tractor Supply at some point today! Can't lock up horses if 18' is wide open! And I just refuse to do any more "jerry rigging" at this point.  I already feel like the estate is looking a little too red neck for me as it is.

Lots on my plate these days.
Part time at Pirates' Lair   Husbands business
Show Me Your K1200RS Products!

Part time at Paradise Sitters ... My pet sitting of Horses and Birds... not an everyday thing!

and now... new on my plate ... although the most exciting thus far... Part time at Blake House Inn B&B see their web site... here... Blake House Inn Link.  Be sure to check out the specials page... There are always things going on around here, and this is the PERFECT place for a girls weekend adventure! OR a Man's get away...

I am excited about being able to cook for people, tell them about fun things around Asheville, and get back out into the working world!   Instead of a world of my own making.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring has sprung!

The Hen and Chicks are on their way back out! As well as the thyme they sit in....

The giant sedum is on it's way back out as well. 

BUT the best of all is the WINTER JASMINE.... a plant I have heard few get to bloom.  But Joe gave me cuttings only last year and this year they bloom with a brilliance I needed this past week. 

Enjoy my little garden of yellow.  Taken only days ago, and still filling out more and more each day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spirit / Faith / Soul

We all have those days!  We have all had those gut wrenching experiences that make it impossible to breath! We all have our scars, physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Today I have lost all faith in my extended world.  I am having to remember, having to remind myself with each key I touch, to control my anger, my tears, and my aches.    I cry as I type... and my head is pounding! 

I was raised in a way considered old to some, I have more in common with those in my travels than those of the place my roots will always reside. 

WHY? because small towns are like a forest.  Small towns are more controlled than you think, merely because they are a balanced ecosystem;  all aware of others positives and negatives, balancing each other out ( as Jerry and I do in our house) helping each other with needs.  If your neighbor needs help, others are there as soon as they can.   No one is left alone, to fend for themselves.  

The beauty of a small town, children can be free to be kids, I roamed from house to house on horseback as a child.  The pleasures of freedom, no fear, the beauty of life all around me.

As a small town grows... the forest gets a little out of balance, but today in my mind it is being choked.  I see the grand oak tree strangled with Kudzu that doesn't belong, and Wild Rose under brush that is thick with thorns.  

Today I can only feel the visual of walking through the woods.  In search of peace but unable to see the mighty oak for all the vines of Kudzu. As I look down at my feet I find I am stuck in mud, of my own making, from the blood that pours down my pants from all the thorns choking and cutting my pants, legs, and the pain that comes along with it.  How sad and unable to move I find myself in this place that has always been my a place of solitude for me.  How the tears flow today.

I had heard from my elders, how others OUTSIDE the blood/but married to our family had done such horrible things.  My grandfather never fought over anything he was promised.  

Today I find evidence of unfair practices in my family, in the blood that runs through my veins! How has this happened? 

While I am saying this... in all fairness I am somehow in the positive of this situation BUT I have already offered my "share" back to another due to the actions of someone else, due to the wishes of my elders. 

I can not see how my family has finally come to this! How those that have judged so harshly (as I have too ) but do not do the right thing when they are in the positive.  I can only hope my family can do the right thing as I will NEVER be the same!  I will never be at rest with my elders if the right thing is not done.  

I still have to remind myself... I can only control my actions in this world.  I can only control my on chaos!  But as my life depends on the history of my family, the actions of my elders, that voice in my head... Paw Paw telling me what is right, what is wrong, yelling at me for stupid things I do, or want to do, praising me for the good I do.  Helping me be figure how I can do so much with so little, BUT NEVER AT THE EXPERIENCE of someone else.  NEVER! 

Always treat others with respect.  Always treat them the way you want to be treated.  How every action I make is an the example for my sisters, cousins, and those younger than me.   I never wanted to be and example but I was, you are! We are as humans! .  How anything you do bad will come back at you! The simple things that have like the truck window splintered, distorted, and never to be the same.  I will never be the same again.  The actions of another have damaged me beyond visual appearance, beyond pain, beyond the depth of the earth... this scar I will carry forever! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

just another day.

This picture is an old truck I pass almost everyday... thought I could play with the camera... Winter sun and programs allow us to play more than I could in the dark room.

The last few days have been full.

I am sorry I have not written more, but as a local ? radio station add... I have been diagnosed with spring fever!
Dear friends do not worry! I have been out and more color is in my face already.  ha ha ha...

I have been taking photo's but somehow not happy with them.

I'll take another stab at it later today and try to update/post some then.

Hope everyone is having better weather than it has been in the last few months.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines day!

I have to ask!  What is with this day?  Do we really need a day to tell people we love them?  Are we really so lax that we do not express such feelings?

I have to say ON THIS DAY I am a very lucky person.  Jerry and I generally do not celebrate such "holidays" as we tend to tell each other, in little "strange" love notes left on the kitchen counter, ON ? / IN the grocery list, even within his packing list we have our private little jokes that make me giggle, I love harassing him about his vocabulary used in such notes.  (Tang is not purchased for this house, but it does find it's way on my grocery list)

Jerry ... my dear... I love you!  Thank you for allowing me to be who I am, what I am (a horrible house keeper ha ha ha... )  Thank you for pushing me to do things I might want to do.  Thank you for allowing me to be as different as any human can be.  While most couples only see each other morning, and night  thank you for loving me enough to deal with me ALL day 24 hours a day...  ( I'll stay at the barn longer today, just to give you a little break! ha ha )

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a VERY good day!

My day started VERY early, but I had much on my to do list at the estate and could not wait!  I also had access to two men who will work for horse rides instead of money!  I am all about bartering!

So up by 5 as I am not a woman that will function without coffee! Oh how I must have my coffee.

I started the truck 6:45... Was out the drive by 7am and got the guys by 7:30... Michael and Brian
Michael is a worker that I enjoy being around, refered to me by my trusted man... Karl.  and Michael loves horses as much as I do. Today was my first day with Brian, but he seems to be an enjoyable man, works well with Michael and understands I need help.

I had a brush pile that I had to get rid of ... air was still and daylight fresh.  Air was damp so why not?  done! Michael tended the fire, unless we all needed to assist in the control... as with everything in MY life! Well into the pile... a hard south wind came out of no where and made us work harder than expected.  All was well, all under control so I left to get more supplies...

As with any fire, non of us saw when it happened, or even HOW it happened,... but one of my old rotting trees I have left for birds, bugs, and other ? life forms was soldering.  After getting back, it was well in flames, so I called 1411 for the fire departments number, is this a 911 call ? I was asked.  It will be if you put me back on hold! I'll give you Asheville, NO! I said that is over 20 miles away, I need Fairview.  This went on and on to the point I almost hung up and dialed 911 but FINALLY the forth person who answered... is this a 911 call.  YES IF YOU MAKE ME HOLD ANY MORE>>>I NEED FAIRVIEW FIRE DEPT with serious stress in my voice.  This is Fairview the guy said... oh thank you! I have a tree ... blahh blahh blahh....

They showed up without alarms, watered it down, which did no good, then foamed the poor thing to death and ALL WAS WELL.    I apologized for yelling at who ever answered the phone.  NO, NOT to worry! There are three Fairview's in NC, and two have the same station number.  This was not a 911 call and you did the right thing!   He gave me the direct number etc... we got all our ducks in a row... and said if the tree smokes anymore, call us direct.  IF we ARE on a call .CALL 911   All is well!

We stayed in the area for hours.  Digging holes, placing t-post for guidance, and getting everything ready for a garden to be put in.  When we did leave we checked the tree, got our hay, check the tree on the way back in, out, in and out one last time.

My shoulders ache, my ribs hurt, from throwing so much manure! pounding in t-post, and then stacking so much hay.  But I am so thankful for all the help I got.  I would not have gotten the truck bed unloaded by myself.  I got the t-post all alone but face it! we have had so much rain a monkey could have rammed those things in the ground.  I am however so anal, I stacked my hay on the truck both times, as I have lost bails on these mountain roads, then touched them all again at least once placing, handing or getting it off the truck.    SO...

I've taken a LONG shower, night time pain relief, and I am soon to be asleep.
I am so excited about this weather for the next week!  Just imagine what I can get done!

So till tomorrow!
I hope you all sleep as well as I will tonight!

Friday, February 11, 2011

some of my favorite words.

Please... take time to be more simple if not to live a simple life.  A simple life is rewarding in ways the English language can not describe.  I have posted a few of my favorite saying on my other blog.

my other blog...    it is called Living Life Simply...  My entries are rare, but they have meaning to me, not just a journal of daily activities but entries of a real life lived with simplicity.

While I am no different than anyone else,  I so enjoy the finer things in life, a fur coat, a really good pair of high heals, incredible french food; but my difference is I enjoy them sooo immensely because I do what I can to live life as simple as I can.  They are a treat, not something I expect as an average.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ferrier Today! with update.

no pictures ... early appointment with my Farrier!  It will be quick, painless, and much cheaper as I do not have shoes on my horses during winter.  Better for ME!!!! $$$$$

Gives me a chance to concentrate on other things financially! ha ha ha...  What is the difference... well $40.00 a horse as apposed to over $100.00 each!   BIG DIFFERENCE. I never make it out under $200.00 with old shoes, more if we have to make a new pair, or FULL set of four, and I pay only $80.00 for both with only trims... What does that add up to...   Savings for hay, feed, or medical bills... what ever comes first! ha ha ha...

Better for my horses as the snow doesn't collect on their feet without shoes, they are easily keep their feet warm? (this is still debatable on a professional level! after all the hoof is like a fingernail! only felt if you cut it too deep!)  But in my mind no shoes helps me keep ice and snow from packing around the frog, this is my reason for no shoes in winter. What's a frog?  it is like the callused part of your heal... On a horse it absorbs pressures as does your heal with fat and harder skin than your arch.  A horse gets so much of a callus a frog is  trimmed.  No different than a person getting a pedicure for summer sandals etc...

Besides you can't ride a horse in snow with shoes... an my kids love a good snow ride in fresh snow!

Just got back... as I was worried.. Navarre has serous thrush in ONE foot, while I worried it was two only one is clinically at risk.  his off hind  or rear right foot.  What's the big deal?  Well how big of a deal would it be for you to have an infection on your heal? An infection that POTENTIALLY could eat to the bone.  Not any different for a horse.  Thrush can be in the hoof, Navarre's is above his frog, to the point the Farrier cut off most of his frog to expose the issue, also makes it easier for me to clean, treat and keep an eye on it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wind? or Spring?

As I tried to sleep last night the wind blew so hard it woke me from a sound sleep several times.  My dear old house is solid stone but the tiny bit of over hang or aluminum / double paned windows howelled, creaked, and created drafts through the house last night.  Only the birds room is less seseptiable to such strong winds.

What normally wakes me is the slamming of the one window in my potting shed, below the back porch.  Not much I can do to secure the poor thing, so we deal with it.

While all this wakes me through the night I dream of flowers in my woods... I can not wait for the beautiful show of blood root all over the west area, leading down to what is soon to be a veggie garden.  What started my mind on such beautiful things? 

It was the discovery of the butter cups that have emerged from the floor of our woods.  While they are not much to look at, they are a warmth in my heart... As one friend said   they are doves with an olive branch... 

While they are nothing much to look at they make me dream of better days... 

Thus pictures of the past, and what is to come... are in my mind... 

Days of the bloodroot are soon to come... 

I can not wait for spring, but we must make it through today to enjoy the small promises of tomorrow.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Visual

It eventually got so bad this week I could not even take the camera out! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gardens that inspire me.

While I have written about only concentrating on the rows of the garden this year I have serious dreams about the years to come.

First... resources ...
Mother earth News  August/Sept 2007 , then April /May of 2008  just for starters.

While this magazine is old, it is a wonderful resource, I have all too many of them but I still use them all on a regular basis.
The lay out of this company has changed over the years so do not be looking on the shelf for the style of cover only the name.

This is ONE of my FAVORITE articles  over three years ago it inspired me to re think all I knew about trees, bushes, and perennials.  It made me start doing real research about my foods.

This layout is the basic form of what I want to do with my garden.

Nuts on the back row, and fruit trees along the side... with berry bushes etc under and around them with my seasonal garden in the open space of this ?  depiction.

I generally have the perfect site for such a large endeavor, but yet to invest the time and money to ALL the contents.

I will need a shed house first for tools etc... it is too far from the barn to haul tools everyday.

I also need the shed house for another water source, while I want the shed house as water I will also be using the over flow of the 3000 gallon tank at the barn.  So I hope to have plenty of water.

While I will not be creating my dream garden this year I am getting it ready for the years to come, at some point, in the next five years I should say I hope to have my basics done, the nuts, fruit, berries all in the ground!   I still have some trees that need to come down as they are too tall, lanky and will eventually cause us problems in the years to come.  It is better to do a selection of healthy trees and keep what we can and what will serve the land well.

The new trees will bring texture, new woods, variety, and a healthier environment for both humans, birds, bees, and animals.  This is going to be very important for a 100 year plan.

There are many small kitchen gardens that inspire me... these are only a few

I would love to know what you dream of when it comes to your edible garden.

send me a picture, or an article I can look up.

My garden can always use more!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When Foods HATE other foods.

clean and simple... some foods are not companions... they are as different as the Eastern World, and our Western Ways In other words.. BE Careful , VERY careful...

You may want to print this for your records.

Beans can not stand Onions... ANY ONION FAMILY
Cabbage can not stand Strawberries, Tomatoes, or Dill
Carrots can not stand Dill
Cucumbers do NOT like Aromatic Herbs or Potatoes
Onions are as above horrible for any beans, peas etc.. (legumes)
Peas are also bad for Potatoes

Potatoes do not like peas, beans, sunflowers, cucumbers, tomatoes, turnips
Radishes do not like Hyssop
Tomatoes do not like Cabbage, fennel, or again potato
Turnips do not like potato

Why does any of this matter, it actually helps in your rotation!
Because the beetles that eat your potatoes are not as likely to eat your tomatoes the next year etc... This is one of the reasons you should look into crop rotations, three or five year but any rotation is better than using the same place for the same plants, pets, and issues year after year.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Foods that love other foods.

Ok... While I'm NOT a professional I have taken several sources and made a list of companion plantings...

Try these...
Asparagus... ( LOVES )... Tomatoes, Parsley, and Basil
       ISSUES... Asparagus is a perennial and thus can NOT be moved with any rotation plan, the male are eaten, while the females go to seed as seen in this picture.

Beans.... (LOVE)... Most herbs... most veggies (especially those who NEED lots of nitrogen)
     Potatoes, and Egg Plant are two favorites.

Cabbage... (LOVES)... Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Beets, Onion (entire family) Chamomile, Spinach, Chard's

Carrots ...( LOVE) ... Peas, Lettuce, Onions, Sage, Tomatoes, Peppers!
     ISSUES... remember Carrots take very loose soil, can not be disturbed for a hundred days or more! Therefore I do NOT suggest Onions! if you disturb the soil you will loose your carrots.

Celery... (LOVES)... Nasturtiums, Onions, Cabbage and Tomatoes

Cucumbers... (LOVE)... Beans, PEAS, Sunflowers, and the radish

Lettuce...(LOVES)... Carrots, Radish, STRAWBERRIES, Cucumber
     ISSUES... Remember Lettuces wilt or will go to seed in the heat of season, Strawberries and Cucumbers will SHADE the lettuce in the heat of the season lengthening the life of your lettuce.

Corn... (LOVES) Squash, Peas, Pumpkins

Onions ...(LOVE)...  Beets, Carrots, Lettuce, Cabbage

Parsley... (LOVES)... Tomatoes, Asparagus

Peas ... (LOVE) Carrots, Radish, Turnips, Cucumber, Beans

Potatoes... (LOVE)... Beans Cabbage, HORSERADISH, and Marigolds
     ISSUES... Potatoes are famous for beetles in order not to hurt your worms, one can only hand pick the beetles or have bags... BUT ... Marigolds help as do horseradish plants.  BUT remember Horseradish is another perennial that will not want to be moved in your rotation... ANY rotation!

Radish... (LOVES)... Peas, Nasturtiums, Lettuce, Cucumbers

Spinach... (LOVES)... Strawberries, and Fava Beans (not that common in U.S. but delectable!)  you have to shell them twice!

Tomatoes... (LOVE)... Onions, Asparagus (see asparagus above) Parsley, Cucumber, Marigolds, Carrots, Basil

     ISSUES... when you get your new plant (providing you don't use your own seed) when you do plant it... Plant it as DEEP as possible.  it will grow new roots closer to the soil surface as it grows and allow the main roots to pull in DEEP moisture from the soil instead of drying, being wet, drying, being wet.  It will help the life of your plant.

          ISSUES... While most places will tell you to make tomatoes grow UP, this is fine... but look at your tag is it determinate or indeterminate?   IF it is an indeterminate tomato allow it to grow along the ground... at each branch of your stem, cover it with new soil, or compost, it will grow new roots allowing the "suckers" to die back and feed the top limbs, buds and tomatoes until FROST kills the plant.

Turnips (LOVE)... Peas?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

planning a new garden

This task is HUGE!
I have a section of the estate I am devoting to food.  The issue is how to do it where it will not overwhelm me with up keep.  This is my list of SEEDS I have saved from last year!

This is a list of things I need for food this year...  ( on the right page)

My lot is 70 by 70 at least... although there are other trees around this that will effect sun, drainage etc... I believe to save myself issues I will plan the garden at 65x65 feet square.  4225 square feet to deal with!   That is a lot for food IF I do it correctly.

Other issues.   Hill to the north, Hill to the East, Woods on North, West and East Road to the south!
I have no structures, but I do have some tree roots to work around.  Why are these issues? because...this effects wind, rain and creates a micro climate a little different from the area...

My goal for this year is to create some raised planting beds, some I will use... some I will use as compost for next year and years to come.  This is the idea so far.

OK... if you enlarge the picture above you will see I only have 22x30 planned plot!   Why so little?

1.  Well in truth the smaller the garden the more likely you are to keep it up!
2. Not all of this is plants... so in reality I am planning an even smaller garden than this!
          the 16 foot solid lines are all going to be compost heaps for NEXT years raised beds.  I may throw some easy to manage plants in the heaps OR plant them with oats, rye, or clover all item that are good to turn into the soil to add nitrogen, and other benefits.
3.  If I can companion plant...
 First back two rows... Corn on the two back rows I can get... 14 stalks of corn in each row MINIMAL  plant one group with beans growing UP the corn, and plant pumpkins to cover the soil to keep down weeds.
Corn also on the back row to the right but this one with green peas growing UP the corn stalks, and different squashes to keep the soil weeds down.  This takes care of 5 different plants in a small area and gives me less work for weeding 5 different rows....

Then another row of composting...
Second set of rows... Then two more divided rows of food, These I have noted as Tomatoes and Basil knowing in order to get my garden more proficient I will need MORE food in these rows.  So I may add ONIONS in the spring and Garlic in the fall on ONE row then... Carrots  and cucumbers along the other row.  I am also likely to use a BED FRAME to have some tomatoes grow up while allowing others to spread over the ground.

then another row of composting... after all I have plenty!
Third set of rows.... then I have noted Lettuce and kale!   This is where it gets harder.  Lettuce and kale need to be sown every two weeks, BUT they also need to be covered by something during the horribly hot months of summer.  I may use this row for Flowers, and Brusselsprouts  for height, lettuce, cabbage, kale, Broccoli, and Cauliflower.  this is hard mixture but I call it my salad row...

yet another row of composting...
Then my last row... maybe? ... which will be potatoes of ALL kinds... I want this close to the front so I am reminded to heal them up every week!   Also in my rotation they will be moved farther to the back next year but will never make it all the way to the back as this will be the most moist place in the garden...

It is all just a start!
What are your plans for your garden this year.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rare 2nd post let the horses out.

I knew with the sun as bright as it is, the wind blowing hard... 30-40mph !  The horses would want to RUN, so I let them out on the pasture

Sure enough... Snap shots of what I saw  Remember none of them are good, but snap shots are never planned, and they were moving SOooooo fast the camera on MOVEMENT could not catch up.

Running with her eyes closed... I call it her BLISS shot!

Navarre LOVES rearing, bucking and changing directions... I call this his Lean Angle


And finally Navarre looked at me as if to say   WHAT? 

Groundhogs Day...

While the Groundhog of knowledge says spring will come early this year, my groundhog (Wally) has yet to make his appearance this morning!  If he came out in the fog of the morning, when I could not see that far, I am sure he will agree with Punxsutawney Phil.  If he has come out, after the fog and sun... while I was gone I am sure with the brightly colored day he ran to hide.    We shall see who wins this debate as the season progresses!

Happy Groundhogs day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


February: named after Februa, A time period when sacrifices were made to atone for sins.

February will never have a blue moon... because the shortest time between full moons is  29.27 days... thus more days than the month of February has.