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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A ticking time bomb... ?

How do you possibly prepare for leaving your animals, knowing at all times one is a ticking time bomb?

1. I do my prep. pre measure all their food, all their supplements, put them in am bags and pm bags.  I then take photos of where and what is going on.

IF I were leaving today! I would let the babysitter know... don't try to drive up this crazy muddy drive in the rainy slosh of a right away.  Just park here like I do and WALK in... I would then supply the babysitter with a walking stick I use myself! ha ha ha...

My feed is AM in the LEFT metal trash can in the barn... and in the AM trash can Sweet Pea's feed is the larger amount bagged on the left and Navarre's is on the right. 

NIGHT feeds need oil... the oil is in the right trash can with the feed... 

I would also warn the babysitter I have pest... specifically a raccoon that loves to get in my food so please make sure to refasten the cans as I left them. 
My visiting raccoon has yet to figure out these little fasteners...

I would also make sure the babysitter knows were the siczzers are for cutting into a bail of hay... as so!
 My next thing would be to make sure you put the doors back as you found them, (as I generally change my door configuration depending on what I am doing in the extra stall... So sometimes it is to one side and other times the doors are in the middle.
and I would make sure the locking system was highlighted... ha ha ha...

I would also give a visual as to where the hay would go... I love my hay to go as far down the dry (mud) lot as possible but in weather as this ... just get it off the mats and not into the gravel... as so ...

I would also provide them with all my numbers...
not going to post that one! ha ha ha... but this is just for starters...

Life is good
and even GREAT if you can plan ahead... not that it always works...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cold and Cheating!

In all the freezing around here I forgot to tell the world.

I left my lights on Wednesday after taking feed and water to the horses.  No problem I thought... I've got the truck.  I turn the key on to allow the start now light to warm up, I go to disconnect the trailer while that is going on.  Not so easy, never is... plate, block, key, lock... crank... and sure enough it's frozen together.  So I go back to the cab to start the truck, thinking I'll allow it to warm while I get out the hammer to knock this thing off... Krrr Krrrrrr Krrrr Krrr Krr kr k ..... Oh what the heck!

So I run in the house YELLLLLL for the husband... and he allows me to take his truck!
I get to work JUST on time...
No Car
No Truck and the world to care for in the morning!
So I start making my plan in my head, perfecting it all day, my times, my route (I only ever make one big circle) my list, making sure I don't forget something I'll have to do next week etc....

Open the car hood this morning to jump the car first... ? NO OIL cap on my engine!   What the heck... ok so one more thing ... route, stop, list etc...  Take other off silver car in basement!

Uncover water insulation box
hook ups, two nozzles, clean water trough, put out hay, do feed so it can soak, and allow them to graze.. and then... take a breath while it is filling up.

( Car still running so the battery is charging)
Auto Zone, cap!
Flax seed oil, Southern States,
Bird feed, small  and medium... (no medium it had expired) I was in a great mood when I walked in but by the time I walked out I wanted to strangle the woman!
Horse Shop (Balsam Quarter)  didn't have what I needed...
Airport exit, out to Mills River to the BEST FEED Store in Western North Carolina.... didn't have gloves in my size but got three bags of feed.

I had to drive to another bird store I couldn't find it! but what caught my eye was Neo ... Neo Burrito oh I desperately wanted to rush in get a veggie burrito and go on my way.  But if I was going to cheat on my diet I at least wanted to do it going out with someone else....

So I rushed to the second bird store ( I  had passed looking at the two new buildings on both sides of the old place.  They too did not have what I needed but they were nice about it! mater of fact and fine! I got a few things and rushed home.

I asked Jerry if we could go out for mexican! I love mexican foods, He wanted to finish watching what he was into (Tennis) and I took a nap.

1. I rarely take a nap
2. Even when I am desperate to take a nap I can rarely get relaxed enough to do so.
Not today! I fell asleep and the MD called.  I fell right back to sleep and one of Jerry's customers called!   OGM... I just want to sleep....
I didn't realize it was time to eat dinner, I forced myself up, and we went to our favorite dive... I got a shrimp salad...it was so much better than I expected it to be, I didn't finish the salad and I didn't bring it home as that was my cheat for the week.

So we shall see if I gain weight from the one meal.  Or if like 2 weeks ago if I just don't loose any.

I've lost 10lbs but that is about it.
I am not starving. I am a little hungry more often but I just eat when I feel like I need to, given the chance.   So I have almost lost all the weight I put on going to Nashville to care for Mother.  My clothes almost fit better.

My leg feels much better!
Now I just need to start getting back on the bike to exercise again.
Cheating can be fun when shared! ha ha ha...

My love to the world

Record breaking colds.

Life has been as normal as it gets, IF we dismiss the cold weather in November and the wind chill that is dangerous; especially for those who live in the south.

Horses are fine!
There has been no shaking, no need for blankets, BUT they have had extra solid fats, extra liquid fats, HOT mushy breakfast of their regular feed and the hot mushy mess of alfalfa cubes.  I have also carried two gallons of boiling water to add to their water container to make it a little more attractive along with adding salts to their feed to encourage them to drink more water cold or not.  They have also been given so much hay for the day and night they are not eating all of it.   BUT considering their winter coats are not in perfectly yet and we are only in fall I felt the need to supplement them in every way I could.

Water is on to boil as I type
Alfalfa has it first quart of boiling water in it and awaits the second and third.... before I can leave.

The sun is not yet up
But the cold outside has infiltrated my house, my living room is at 53 as I type (per grandad Goins old thermometer hanging in my dinning room, which is closer to the heat source in the kitchen than i am)  I am curled up in my barn clothes hoping to get warm to the core before I have to get out in the wind.  The wind after all is the major issue.

The average person in the south doesn't get the cold layer thing...
I've got the undergear under garment on.... then a wind deflecting warm layer and I will put a wind breaker over all this.  My legs are just silk sock liners, wool socks ( I love high ski socks!), then fleece pants all of which I will put my overall over then my boots and head out.  As I hike into the barn with my gallons and gallons of water, feed, supplements, oil and lantern. I am sure I will have to open a layer or two...

fingers... Oh my gloves have exploded and I can't get a new pair till I get a day off.  So Thursday I'll go get feed, gloves and more alfalfa.  I also need more solid flax seed oil.    So right now three fingers get exposed but... I stay busy enough to keep my fingers safe.

My poor face in this wind... I end up putting chap stick or vaseline on my face because I do not have goggles.  I can't wear my big eye sun glasses because there is not enough light as it is....  Yes I pull my neck warmer over my mouth and nose but the eyes have little to no protection other than turning my head covered by a beanie and two hoodies.

Life is good and it works out well with all my old, worn, abused gear for the barn.
I am so lucky, and so thankful I have this gear and mother nature causes me little to no real trouble.

Loving my life, no matter how hard the animal care is I enjoy all of this, it is a part of who I am.
Do you enjoy something in life this much?
Do you wish you had something in life you craved this much?

My love to the world.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I hit a wall!

Life has been ok!

I'm still doing well on my diet!  Yes I cheated!  It was a little over a week ago when I went out with my hubby.  I figured I would gain weight but didn't. I also didn't loose any either! After eating like a pig, stretching out my stomach, and licking the butter from my fingers... I'm pretty darn happy with how my choices are going. I mean really I rarely got lobster, crab and shrimp I wasn't going to wait another year just because I had started a new life style that I know I'm going to eventually work seafood back into the mix for special occasions anyway.  I really doubt I will ever eat beef, pork, or chicken from a factory setting again.  I will address the normal meats in years to come right now I feel so much better with no outside influences being from meat.  I hope to start growing more and more of my daily food as life continues.  I've set up so much already, I'm on my way.

What I did do wrong was get some oats that were not gluten free.  I had stomach cramps as if I had eaten an entire loaf of bread.  So had to find the oats a new home and go back to the Non Genetically Modified foods and the Certified Gluten Free oats.  It took me 4 days to start feeling better, not to forget I had a little cold there in the mix as well.  But I am now back on my energy kick.

Had I not been gaining energy again...1. I would not be typing this out, I'd be going to sleep.  2. my horses would have suffered instead they have what they need for winter weather two months earlier than normal.  3.  I would not have been able to keep up at work for Saturday and Today!   We have done an incredible amount of work at the clothing store and today was the icing on the cake!

As for the week...
I got the water insulated!
I got the fig trees protected for the season...
I have supplies ready to put out for the acacia berry bushes, and the rhubarb patch.
I also have supplies ready for the cherry bushes outside the pasture.

Mike and I got some lushous dirt moved (best I've created yet!) and some sand spread out.  I have moved 80% of the mats so the horses can eat off them instead of IN the barn. We also got all the hay from the horses stall and put it into my tack area (in record time), so now the horses have a wonderful 4 sided room to get out of the wind.  They seem to enjoy the new patio, the stall being open, and getting out of the weather thus far.  It is suppose to rain and then freeze tonight so we shall see in the morning how much they want to use it!

So in all ... with in the past week and 1/2 I've only lost 2 lbs bringing my total to 10.  I'm happy with it, my leg is happy with the results and life has been ok!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

getting over the crud.

ok... so today not perfect but still getting over the crud I got from my hubby.  You know personal contact causes these things....

beautiful day...
Nothing much done...
I put down a few more stall mats out in the muddy areas at the barn.
Drained down two hoses.

and really that's about it!  except I did go back to work today, worked my 8 hours...

Nothing new to report today... Hopefully more to share tomorrow.

My love to the world.

Friday, November 7, 2014

OK... I hit a mile stone.

I have finally started to loose a little weight.

Yep... I finally got below 150 lbs.  First time in a long time... Or so it feels.

I've been sick for the past few days and while I tried to work out on my own today, I just could not get it all done.

I got the fat in the barn.
I got their water filled.
the insulation box covered, straw on top and sides of it, and a new extender with commercial grade valve ... Now lets see how long it takes me to mess this one up.! ha ha ha... I've not had one last me a month yet!

I got too tired to complete my barn list so I climbed up to my zen spot to get a breath and take in another view.

The sun was out... 
the wind bearable... 
I was just getting too tired to go on. 

Life is good... 
Here is to wishing you all you need to have a great day. 
My love to the world. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

being thankful.

Yesterday I was soar throat, ear aches, jaw clinched, and green snot.
Today I am a little better in a few ways.

I am thankful I only had to take ONE day off and had the other two scheduled off.

I am thankful my husband didn't mind driving me to the barn so I could take all the meds I needed and not worry about it.

I am so thankful that living well here is so easy.
While I am newer at all the vegan stuff, it is so easy to do so where I am.  Most people are conscious of where there food comes from.  There is only ONE locally owned store in my small town, and while it can't carry all I need it is just walking distance from my house.

I work down town so there are several good organic stores on my way in.
I get what I need on my way to or from work.

Hemp is still my main source of added protein to any and almost every meal.
But while being so sick, it was good old bland potato soup I was craving (like my Nannie always made me as soon as she got me home from school if I was sick)

I have lost 5 lbs in the past 4 weeks.  BUT I have lost many inches in my clothes etc...
I am excited about getting my weight down and being able to keep it down, with my new life style.

We did however have the talk of Thanksgiving today!
YES we will be having Ham, Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Green bean casserole and corn pudding.  All of which will be your normal Animal Laden dishes for my sweet Husband.  I figure I will make a few dishes to freeze and have one frozen dinner a week IF I don't gain too much doing this.  I can make sweet potato wraps with some homemade GF fry bread.

My accommodating over the holiday may cost me, but what I need to do is NOT have it cost my pocket any more than necessary because of the big meal.  Yes I will be cooking all of it ... meats and all but that is life with a family.

Any ideas? I'm open! Give me a recipe my meat loving husband will try and like! ha ha ha...

While I am some what disappointed that I will not be VEGAN for my holiday I am open to being open to old comfort foods for the holiday season.ONE good cheat meal a week.   I'll make sure to concentrate MOST of my eating on the veggie side dishes most  vegetarians will eat.

So I'm vegan on my own time and vegetarian on shared times... hows that for a new line of thought! It's all a new lifestyle change for me...
I do feel better but I am noticing when I get sick I get really sick.... Not sure what is up with that but we shall see as times goes on.

My love to the world

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

not well today.

I didn't want to leave anyone hanging but really I am just NOT up to a long post.

Exhausted for some reason,
Going to sleep and hoping to get up with more energy.

My love to the world

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day light saving OFF...

Today was great
NO alarm
I got at 5:30 (new time)
Sweet Pea was FREEZING so I had to blanket her, but she did settle down after the blanket AND the hot alfalfa I took them.

Navarre was fine, could care less about the ice hanging all over him.
The barn yard is NASTY wet, hay all over the place, but the new patio is perfect, just needs a good sweeping.  Darrell is right I really need a push broom now that I have more surface to keep clean, as of today I only have normal old fashion brooms.

I finished up the chili for Jerry
The soup for Don,
and a few things for myself.

My soup wasn't so great so I can only hope Don's was better.  I didn't taste anything along the way so... really who knows.

Jerry said his Chili was good all who know him know he is NOT a foodie!

Short day at work,
Short visit with Don,

Now I can't sleep.

Oh well tiz life...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

First Snow of the season.

It is early; I am on my second cup of coffee, outdoor insulates, wool sweater and socks all on so I can tolerate the chill in the house.  I sit here warmed feet propped up on the foot stool, lantern plugged in for its first charge of its hard working life with me (third one from Coleman, second one that is a warranty replacement thanks to Jerry).  Water on the stove to boil, first sauce pan will go for fresh coffee, second and third to the alfalfa cubes to carry to the horses this morning.

This will be a test for my new patio at the barn with the freezing weather having everything in the mix; wind, rain, and snow.

The baseboard heaters are clicking, cracking, and humming with their awakening to the season.

I am still on my personal high from untangling a few knots with the hubby, my little ride yesterday, but also eager to see if Don made it through the night.  I say that because as I sit here my back aches, my legs hurt, and my core is stiff and painful.  He should experience all of the same PLUS having to deal with the horrible pain of FOUR broken ribs. Of which I can not imagine the pain agony and issues that will cause in ones life. OH the humanity!

It was such a perfect outing for me, (until the accident) My mind sees the beauty of the snow, while caution does run though my mind; with a good ride, connection to self and nature I will enjoy the white snow at the barn with its silencing insulation, glow from moon or rising sun, and clean crisp air into my lungs.

OH the balance of glory and worry!
My love to the world

Friday, October 31, 2014

accidents happen.

As I lay here in bed tonight my mind spirals out of control.

My day started perfectly. Billing, Shipping done for hubby...
NEW update on the neck is just torn muscle that will heal with time.
Then a ride out to Biltmore.

The ride was glorious... The quiet, the colors, the company! Don protected me... as I call it from an on coming van. Sweet Pea was about to have a kanipshion fit!  She was high strung from the start and was dying to run the entire ride.  I was in her mouth holding her, neck bent, but barely listening ... so... with one sprint of a run and Sweet Pea was so excited she was hard to STOP.  But I did when I heard the NOISES behind me. My riding companion for the day on Navarre... was off and barely breathing.  Alive yes, awake yes but legs moving from pain.

got both horses tied them together and had to let them go to assist my companion.  The rider came off when Navarre balled up to jump forward with more speed, or so best I can get from his description.  Those who have ridden Navarre know this is unexpected and can catch you off guard.  My riding buddy fell off with a heavy thud onto a tree knot that had fallen onto the path etc... He was riding well, sitting tall, but all this happen so quickly it just ... happened.

I asked him to stop moving, rest, breathe.
I could see his pulse in his neck.
He could see, He wasn't bleeding, I asked him to stay still... he could move everything so he propped up on the side of the path so he didn't have to use his back etc...

It was when he went to get up, realizing the horses were GONE...
He was determined to get out of there.
HE WALKED down the path...

I whistled for the horses and they either stopped or headed back towards us. YES he tried to get back on... He realized that likely was not the best idea.... so He walked out of those woods like he was marching head of a platoon and leading the way.

I got the horses settled as he stood around wanting and begging to help me.
PAIN rushed him as he got in the truck... and ... we went straight to the ER .
I rushed to get a wheel chair and mouthed for HELP! Two nurses came out and took care of him.

I know.
I thought he was a goner.
I thought he was going to have a broken back
? damn it! I figured I was going to have to call 911 and have an ATV get him out, while I knew the horses would find other horses and that too would send people looking for us.

I rushed the horses home.
I threw out hay and left.

Another alarm was my hubby was home and he was planned to leave for a little time in Nash.  Had to check on him, see if he was ok; explain to him what was going on and go back to the ER to see if Don had at least been tended to at some level.

He had a basic x ray showed two broken almost dislocated ribs.
The blood had pooled so much this too showed up on the x ray and caused more concern so another test was ordered and a good and bad result was given.  It was actually 4 ribs broken but the lung not punctured as thought.

Thank GOD he is going to make it, but the poor guy will be in so much pain for the next week and then six weeks.

Oh bad I feel does not easily go into words.

FYI... I didn't blow my diet today I had stuff with me but I was so relaxed at one moment and so worried the next I didn't get hungry.  I did make myself eat something once I got home. After going back to the barn giving the horses more water, disconnecting and draining the hose line.  Lordy I will never get to sleep tonight...

Life is good but it changes in a moment.
My love to the world.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A good day off.

It was again  a normal day but a GREAT day as well.

Don, Darrell and myself got phase one of the equine patio completed! I am so ... excited.

Today we went from... THIS

All the way to THIS.... 

View INTO the barn area... 

From in the barn...

Life is going forward... I learned SO much about laying these things by hand, and almost got it really going on fast by the end of phase one.
NOW I have to save my money again, purchase 6 more pallets of pavers and get started on phase two.

In the mean time! I plan to get my new hose extender that is going to be industrial strength
Close up and cover the insilation box for the water hose. 
Create an insulated LID for the horse water, as well as an insulated box for it!
Not to forget I have to put up the forest fence again.
Put up a fire wood shed! 
Get some trees cut down and out of the way (put onto the west wall )

My "diet" went out the door today as I was with the guys all day. 

cream in my coffee...  a muffin (regular) for breakfast... and yes... a SANDWICH for (1\2 of one) for lunch.  I gave the other half to the hubby... 

Pumpkin seeds for dinner (Jerry had carved a pumpkin for his mother)  

All is as it should be.... and I'm happy.

Signing off, want to get in some good sleep so I can ride in the morning... 
My love to the world 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

long day.

My day started out as normal as they get.

I did billing, shipping, went to the barn did their water and graded a few feet ahead for laying pavers tomorrow or Thursday with the guys...

having said all that I went to my part time job and was doing what is expected... ate lunch...

Chi Pani... a great place to eat...
Indian Street Food but a saving grace for a new vegan like myself.

A great vegan veggie Udda Pamm (if that is how you spell it)  

Worked some more ... then as I was listening to something a co worker was saying ... I realized I couldn't make out WHAT she was saying... and the black started to move in.... 

My co-workers say I got white and insisted I go to a urgent care.  I had a pain in my neck yesterday and while it was no worse it was no better;  and my primary couldn't see me till Thursday of next week;  that with what ever it was that made me not concentrate and nearly pass out was enough to encourage me to think it out. 

I knew urgent care was only going to have xrays and what ever it is, is soft tissue so ER it was... A caring co-worker took me, and hubby followed after tying up loose ends like business, house, animals etc... 

I got to the ER and with in 30 minutes I had an  EKG, it was CLEAN! 
I then sat in the waiting room for hours. 
BUT ... when I got back to a room once again time was given to me and attention was focused more than I expected.  

Apparently the exact spot of my pain is the carotid artery ? who knew? not me! So I was rushed to a contrast CT.  IT too is CLEAR, CLEAN NO issues... 

So I am being sent to an ear, nose, throat MD as soon as I can.  ? who knows... 
Long day! 
Just Keeping in touch... 

My love to the world. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

great energy....

Today was another day with great energy.
I have NO idea why or where all this is coming from, as once again the only change I have made in my life is the vegan diet to get this weight off!  While I believe I have lost 5 pounds in three weeks I have to say I tend to weigh differently from morning to night etc... So I say I have lost this amount because I am weighing myself after my morning coffee, after going to the barn... and after my shower while I am dripping wet.  SO ...

I have lost inches... lots of inches... and the energy is CRAZY!
I have had more and more trouble sleeping through the years.  I thought it was my hormones getting out of wack, my husband snoring like a freight train, and getting older!   Recently the husband has complained about MY snoring! but even last night when he woke me up more than 4 times I was able to get back to sleep (I have never been able to do that)   BUT this could have been a fluke for only last night.

Having said all of that my knee pain is not as much as it was three weeks ago.  I say this as MORE about the little bit of weight I have lost and not as related to the diet change itself.

These are ONLY MY results, nothing scientific here! only me, one person doing what I can when I can and how I can to get my weight off my bad leg, keep my life going forward in a way I am comfortable with, and I am NOT preaching or telling anyone else what they need to be doing.

I had an apple with almond butter and hemp for breakfast.
I had beets in orange and ginger, an avocado, and cauliflower in curry for lunch...
I had a banana with peanut butter and hemp for a snack later in the day...
and tonight I didn't crave a dinner so... that was my day... coffee with coconut milk when I got to work! (can't do that all the time it is too sweet of a creamer for me)

I had so much energy this morning I laid yet another few bricks before going to work!

I know it may not look like a lot to most but this takes a little concentration, although I have to admit I am starting to get the hang of some of it! 

I also took pictures of the trees just outside my zen spot to be... 

This fall is just amazing this year.... I am enjoying it very much.  
Yes horse friends these are maples and bamboo.  I have not yet decided what to do about the maples as they are above the barn and the leaves could blow into the fence below.  NOT sure but keeping an eye on the situation!  

I also had to stop and take a photo of the sun set tonight... it was breath taking! 

Life is good and getting better. 
I am moving around well, having energy to stay up and type out my day... and enjoying the mornings again. 

My love to the world 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Funny. ....

So I've been gluten free for a long time.  BUT I was living off good cheese and foods heavy in fat.   So yes I cut out all the animal products to get a little weight off, but I never ever expected to be feeling as if I have MORE energy not eating all that fat.

Having said that Yes I miss foods, yes I would love to have a bowl of blueberries with cold heavy cream poured over them!

BUT I am not craving the fat any more!  I posted on Facebook when I publicly announced my vegan diet that I was hungry ALL the time.  I was but not only was it I was eating so much but it was also a craving for all the fat I had  been eating.  

I no long crave the fat!   heck I was in the grocery store tonight talking to my father, talking to him about bacon, and milk and still I didn't cave in a grab a pint of ice cream or any meat.

Today I had enough energy to grade off and lay 12 pavers at the barn. My only goal had been to get the center post out of the ground and get the post secured in some other way.  I accomplished my goal and then laid several more for the heck of it.

Had fun with the hubby when I got home.

Then got ready and went to work.... LIFE... it never stops but normally I am pushing myself to just mull through it, Sense Thursday I have been gaining a little more energy a day.  The only thing that I have changed in my life has been my diet... Other than my hair (my husband said)  as if my hair color was going to make me so happy as it give me more energy.  We laughed together when he said it.
At any rate I still had enough energy to work, and post all this before going to bed.

My love to the world..

Friday, October 24, 2014

daily drummm

Life today was as normal and mundane as it gets.  OH except that I died my hair ORANGE this morning! ha ha ha...

I had the ONE day off this week Thursday... and did the hard labor it takes to keep a barn going and lay a few concrete pavers to get the horses a little more settled.

Today that effort paid off.
Sweet Pea was in her own spot eating her feed and not being upset with Navarre.  Yesterday he was for a third day in a row badly battered from her kicking him in her fit of anger.

She hates small spaces while he doesn't mind them.  So all the blocks left are on his side and her side nice and open as she likes it.

While I am normally dragging with little to no energy, living by consuming coffee; today I had energy, and even took a moment to go get more fat for their winter feed needs. So my food change for myself is perfect and on track with my needs.  Otherwise I have no other changes in my life to allow me more energy with little rest in my days.

I decided to change them (the horses)  from the 18 % rice bran fat I normally get to the 25% flax bran fat (new to my area) from Southern States down town.  I also got some Hard Keeper while there; because my favorite smart packs stop carrying the product and I find it works well for Sweetpea.

Life is good and my walking at work today added up to over 5 miles for the day. (not including barn work etc)

Life is good and I'm out for the day, as I open first thing tomorrow BUT I don't have billing or shipping either!   So a late morning for me will do the trick!

My love to all

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Making HUGE changes.


So I have gained weight. My leg hurts all the time. While I push myself with my horses, my house suffers, and I am tired ALL the time.
This is what we started with... just basic stall mats keeping the area somewhat clean.  Sept 27th 2014

I made a huge change three weeks ago today!
I have gone Vegan, Non GMO, GF  for any and all meals I make myself, and or I choose to eat out alone.
I will however eat whatever is on hand when out with friends and family (all within reason)  I'm not going to order a small house salad, a large steak, with three side items loaded with cheese sour cream butter and bacon.

Oct 4th 2014

Having said that I have ... I repeat! ...
I have had three cups of coffee with cream out with workers each Thursday!   I also ate gluten free muffins each of those days as well  Ate some wonderful cheese tots today!!!! .  So yes they had eggs in them! Other than my hard labor days.. my eating going over our days goals etc... This life change is going well.
Oct 8th 2014

I have to say yesterday was the first day I actually had energy!
YES I wasn't dragging myself in or out of the barn.
This morning I actually got up without an alarm at 5:30.. like I used to!
We... Don,  Darrell and myself got more done than I expected... even after breaking one of our necessary tools!  
Oct 16th 2014

I haven't written here because I have not had the energy!
I've been working 5 to 6 days a week.

I've ridden my horses only once in the last two months.  (last Friday and Navarre gave me a time...)

My only day off this week was today!
I got lots done... We got 1/4 of the horse patio done (or so my family calls it)
We rocked, sanded, and pounded the new 1/4 section and the horses are now walking on the first area completed.

Of course basics were also done today!
Cleaning trash around the barn,
Cleaning (Clorox) the water container )
Got hundreds of pounds of feed across town.
Even washed some clothes today!

Oh well I can only say I HOPE to have the energy to give a daily update as I once did...
Weight, measurements, horses, horse blocks! (horse patio at barn) and everything else going around there!
Oct 23rd  2014

Love to all

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Funny how silly things brings back such childhood memories.

These apples and the bowl have likely been in every home I grew up in.  While I do not remember them in the old "Falls" house in Joelton Center.  I know they were always in the kitchen on Lain Hollow, they have moved with my mother having been in the dinning room of her small house, and now in the living room of the house she now shares with her lovely husband.  

The apples are plastic!  They are a typical item from the early 70's found in most homes of the day in the south during their fashion.  But we lived a little out of the way in those days and had relatives/ friends who lived much further out and rarely went to others homes.  Emma Lou came in once and simply took an apple from the center of the table and proceeded to bite into it!   While a gasp was all that could be uttered she soon realized they were not real.  The bowl however was found outside my great grandmothers home having been forgotten or dis-guarded at some point; but as you can see it is in perfect condition and has had a great life in my mothers care.   Growing up our kitchen was large, large enough we could all five work in it at once, large enough to throw parties and not have to leave the kitchen.  My mother once more has a nice large kitchen, this time with a stone center island instead of the old cutting board (island) 

Life changes for us all but there are some things we carry with us.  This bowl, those crazy apples, and the stories, the laughs, and all the kitchens they have lived in make me smile. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

simple things.

Simple things...

French Onion Soup.
Wild Flower Bouquets

Making the most of what you have when you have it.

A mad craving as soon as my feet hit the cold hard floor. I put a cup of coffee into the microwave for one minute and in that sixty seconds I open every cabinet, freezer, fridge, and even stand at the pantry.  sour cream, butter, dried cranberries, and orange oil... (it will have to do in a pinch!  I normally use it for cleaning but it is food grade.)  eggs, vanilla, baking soda, milk and gluten free flour premix.  Crap!  I do have all I need, now do I make the effort?

My hot coffee in hand, I got out the eggs, sour cream, butter allowing them to sit at room temperature just in case I decide to take the plunge.   Another cup of coffee... my last! Ok... so I have got to make more coffee, so I may as well turn on the oven and make the kitchen a complete mess.

While my last cup of coffee warms in the micro again, I grab all the rest of the supplies for scones. Start a pot of water for the next french press... cinnamon and coffee in the craft ok now to organize the dry ingredients; turn on the oven, and premix all the wet stuff.

Wow that took no time.  Do I even have a baking sheet?  butter and corn meal the baking sheet dump the mixture, and cut!  DONE... only 18 or so minutes and ... I'll clean the dishes in the sink as I wait.  We all know I'll never hear the timer if I leave the room.  All the better, cleaning up this mess will take about that long.

At 15 minutes I was done and so were the scones.

The smell filled the house and even Jerry decided to have one for breakfast for going his normal egg and such.

Life is as simple as you make it.... Today the simple won and was a delight to my senses.  Smell, touch, taste, and the sound of my hubby being quite pleased with it as well.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In the light of day.


After looking around everywhere I can't seem to find the chain that was on the gate behind the barn.  I did after all I did find the hoof prints that ran up and down my walking path.  As with each other time my horses have gotten out; once they were free they were confused.  They ran up and down the path trying to figure out where to go next.

The back gate was open last night after they ran into the barn yard, not once did they want to go back out it.  I had fed them I looked around not finding my chain but went on to check the fence line just for backup on my theory.

This is the only gate where I do not use lock to keep it secure, but I always have the chain on it.  This morning I have looked all over and can not find my silly chain.  So to add on my to do list today... to get a new chain, I suppose a new KEY lock to go on it, and a gift certificate of some sort for the Mays...   Boy I hate to have to carry a hand full of keys each time I go to the barn but I suppose it has come to that point.

CRAP! more to do and little time to get it done.

They are out! She said...

After 1:30 am but something woke me up.  it's a sound I know I heard something!
I sat up!
There it is! What in the world?
I then saw the flashing lights.  White, not red, I nudge at Jerry.
I get out of bed.  Flashing, and a faint horn sound. I peek out of the shades... Jerry there is a car in our driveway honking a horn and flashing its light.

I backed away desperately trying to find clothing, hell, at that point a towel would do.  No sounds below in the house, the birds are not freaking out. What could be going on?  Everything rushing though my sleepy but shaken mind.  Oh they are backing out! he said.  Wait no they aren't

Forget it I was either saying to myself or him.  He turned on the light.  I 'm naked in the brightness, but thanks to his help I found my robe. I tied it around me as I walked down the stairs, turned on the porch light and a woman comes into light as I step out on the porch completely at the mercy of strangers.   They are out! she said as a man shows in the light, they are across the red fence grazing but we saw them and.... but we didn't want to knock on the door.    Sadly a well learned neighbor from the recently nationally known  IDIOT who shot a poor woman for asking for help in the middle of the night.  I half way understood in the fog of my brain being still more than 1/2 asleep.

Five minutes... I said... I'm asleep and I have nothing on.  Five I'll be right there!

It was the horses! I screamed to my almost deaf husband as I turned back on the bedroom light and rustled for anything to wear.  They are OUT! why didn't they call? Likely they did but my phone is down stairs, (he can't sleep with it in our room..) Pants, and a T not yet folded and put into the wardrobe!  Keys.... get a gate key as I rushed down the stairs.  What has he done now ... as I grabbed the keys and headed down the basement stairs.

In the car... going beyond limits... I start to wake up.  Oh you would grab a navy tee dark barn leggings and no socks or anything else for that matter.  I get behind a large SUV as I get near my last turn.  almost 2 am and it was fate he slowed me down.  I was after all driving like a mother to a dying child.  In my mind anytime they are out it is dangerous, but in the dark, on a curvy road where dogs are in the house this time of night someone would hit and kill Sweet Pea by accident.  She is the darker of the two.  Crap... will I ever made it to the barn?

I get to the barn ... the May's are beyond the arch of the curve, lights on facing up the mountain. I drive into my plot of land, back the car far enough away from the gate, leave the lights on and it running, unlock the gate and start with my silly but effective call.  Sure enough ONE verbal call and I could see Navarre in the light, walking his slow pace back to the property behind the Mays running car.  I call and get louder with each call, they are out of my light but I can hear his shoes on the pavement.  They come back home, run up to the barn as I call out again and again.  They Mays are so sweet they yell out to me I yell my thanks in return.  My calls my thanks are likely to have been heard all the way to main street from a top our little mountain, but I am SO thankful they took the time to sit patiently, honk timidly, and wait for someone to respond from their car.  I'll get your number next I see you out! she said just before they drove off.   I walked to the electric box and turned it off so I could run another line or find where it is broken.

I owe them! is all I can say.  Thank God for good neighbors! Thank goodness they listen when I tell them where I live off the mountain.

Now... finding how they got out before they leave the barn yard again.   Strangely enough that was VERY simple.  A gate I never use, A gate I do not keep a lock on was wide open.  NO chain? gone? no string at the bottom, for my second security.  I gave the horses their reward ... for breaking out or coming home only they know for which ... but I gave them extra hay all the same.  No feed!

I ran my fingers over each horse as they ate their hay.  I listened to their gut sounds.  Both are tight as a drum but Sweet Pea has all four gut sounds easily heard, so I hugged her and went on to him.  I could only hear three gut sounds but gave him hay anyway.   I'll have to check him again later... well in just a few hours... I'll be back at the barn my 7 am to check on him.  Then I HOPE to call a friend and meet them for breakfast as they are camping VERY near this crazy night!

Almost 3 am and I would love to go back to sleep? Like that will ever happen!

Laughing at life.
Appreciative of good neighbors.
Giving thanks for my silly calls.
Dying for sleep!

My love to the world.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Just before the sun comes up.

Each morning as I sit at my desk, supplying Pirates' Lair customers with toys they can't wait to arrive;  a steady but faint thump happens just before shadows can be cast onto my paperwork.  At first I dismissed the sounds, the visions of flutter, but I have always appreciated them.

My morning ritual is watching the bats fly back into the eaves of our house, not a foot above my office window, as I sip on my coffee in between each customs collection.  They have moved or simply more prolific;  upon our moving into the house they lived above the garage door and I would catch their droppings and sell them for a little spending money.   Now it would take effort to do so as they have moved to the other side of the house, or possibly just away from the constant moving of my going in and out early and later hours through the garage door.

Bats are an incredible animal that are good to have around, especially in wet weather as we are suppose to have in this area.  Life / Nature tends to be lending itself back to the norm of rain fall in the past two years.   Last year we had too much rain... this year we are barely above the norm but still... it rains at my house and the barn very frequently to say it nicely, north of town I hear it is not so much.  I suppose I can only say I have been lucky with water these past two years, prier to these recently a serious draught weighed heavily on me each day.  I have no running water for the horses, I am VERY dependent on rain for their survival.

More to come as my camping trip with the horses evoked memories, thoughts, and actions in my daily activities.

My love to the world!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Should I stay or should I go....

The heat of Saturday never cooled down.  The low for my sleep was 80 degrees, a southern hot sticky mess to sleep in.

I could only hope all the post that took me hours to put in Thursday would not take hours to get out.
Sleep was doing me no good, I had so much to do, and besides... I will loose an hour in my day as I cross the time zone again. 

I let the horses go free one last time as I took down my tarp, hammock, and fencing.  

As I took everything apart it was hard not to think of everyone I missed desperately.  It is funny how your mind talks to those whom are no longer with us, these conversations in my mind keep me attached to my ancestors.  Rolling in my mind was the day Paw Paw and I walked and marked off this tiny piece of land for me.  Swinging among the webs in my mind was yearning a breakfast with my grandparents, wreaking of horse smells (from a barn I cleaned each morning), especially if I had a lunch date with a man.  Yes I preferred lunch dates back then, so if I needed a good excuse to get away I could easily make up one to be excused and it sound viable.  I often met the man I married for lunch or drinks (coffee)  dirty like this.  With my cut off jeans, muck boots, and a dirty shirt from the morning chores; without makeup, or shower and free as a bird.  Even then I was what I was; and anyone who was to stick around had to know the truth, the whole ugly, smelly, ugly truth of who I was and am today! 

I found the land pulling on me as I cleared everything. 

I took away trash I had not put there, leaving the place the best I could and better than someone else whom had been there earlier.  (plastic bottles) 

I was eager to get home to my husband, but I desperately wanted to stay, I had just gotten settled, I had just gotten into my camping groove, and I was just starting to really relax. The pull being almost equal had I not had my horses with me, I would have stayed till late in the day driving home with the sun behind me instead of in front of me as it is each time I leave from any visit. 

Text sent, calls made, horses in the trailer; I had to be on the go.... back to the reality of two or three jobs in a day. Animals, Pirates' Lair Motorcycle Accessories, and Ad-Lib Clothing store.   



While Friday was really more about getting all my business of life taken care of.  Putting my real name on my title, having the address put to my real address and getting a shot for my knee.  Saturday was a day I anticipated all week.

My day started with both horses standing as close to my sleeping quarters as was allowed by their fencing.

While I tried to get myself going the anticipation of the day was building ... and finally gave me the energy to get up out of my hammock.   We were able to get out of the farm by 8:30 allowing me just enough time to get ice for them and meet some of Paula's newest cat upon my arrival. 

Sure enough... almost 100 cats on the estate (Paradox Farms)  now, but be assured they are all neutered, spayed and READY for adoption.  So anyone in the Nashville / Pleasant View area please give this place a thought when searching for that perfect cat companion.  My girlfriend has the perfect one for you... one way or another!

One of the nicest farms in the county.  a European  Allee  flanks the drive, a 5 mph sign gets your attention.  A beautiful red horse barn to the right, an late 1800 white farm house to the left ;guest parking in between them so no one is in the way of tractor traffic.   

We started very late.  Then once we got into my horses my little girl was terrified of the industrial fan in the middle of the barn isle and refused to go much closer.  I finally got her into the wash stall a stall of dreams for the equine community.  the perfect set up with wash mats, over head temperature controlled water and even heat lamps over head... I walked Navarre into the grooming stall with ease.  Then there is Baby... Brian's horse a huge 17.3 retired jumping horse; still with good muscle tone for his advanced age.

I had once lived in one of these incredible stalls; converted into a New York style efficiency it was the best place I ever lived.  No matter horses or cats. there were no animal smells in this place, it is always kept beyond average standards. I could write a book on this farm but that would not tell you of my day. 

I knew with my horses being pasture horses the prep would require more than my horses are used to.  Sure enough, my girlfriend started on Navarre making him a dressage pony instead of a cart horse.  After her finishing, I caused issue after issue, having forgotten most of my English gear.  I forgot the nose band, the mouth guard, and best of all an English girth.  Lucky my girlfriend had everything we needed, but it took time; my little boy is big for some but TINY compared to any horses she had.    

As we moved out to the dressage ring, Sweet Pea and Baby went crazy for each other so we had to bring them out to the ring as well.  In doing so, something happened when I walked away; Navarre throwing my friend into the fence, Sweet Pea breaking a fence board in half and Baby squealing like a ... well a baby. 

Navarre got a coming to Jesus discussion from Paula (to say it nicely) and thus started my ride perfectly at odds in a new place.  When I got on Navarre he was shaking, I could feel the magma mount and knew at some point he would be Mount Saint Helen with me flying 20 feet into the air. This horse has so much power it can cause you fright going into a full canter, much less when he is upset as he was as we started.  Here I was at odds with a horse that normally does anything I ask, then the fight within myself started as well.  He was confused I was confused and I was loosing it fast! 

The jest of the story is I've been riding cowboy (free) style and now asking or using full control of my horse.  I find I am more of a leg rider than I thought. Having dropped my formal outside reign therefor not assisting Navarre with his front end and expecting him to move from the motions of my butt and legs only.  It's like driving a car backwards where each move is amplified, but not perfect.   We finally had a meeting of the minds, he calmed down, I calmed down and we finally completed our circles, figure eights and serpentine figures in this perfect dressage ring.   After he relaxed we floated on air, we started to move together as we normally do instead of fighting each other with each step as earlier. 

My only other appointment for the day was to meet with Mother and Bill.  Grant you I was in a navy t-shirt full seat riding pants, and it was almost 100 with heat index.  I had not washed my hair in 4 days, only taken a wash from the horses water bucket morning and nights, and I had just ridden Navarre for two hours.  But we met at the Mexican place in Joelton central.  While I looked like death, likely smelled like death, I fit in just fine.  Most everyone there I had gone to school with at some point, they stared, I stared back and waved.  

My Mother looked amazing! having lost several sizes, wearing newly fitted clothes she looked much healthier than when last I saw her.   We ate and talked for almost two hours, never holding a place someone else needed, so I enjoyed my time out of the heat, in the air conditioning, and thoughts of my husband as tennis was on the televisions at both ends of the place. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A day of BLISS!

With very little sleep thanks to Navarre,  I decided to take it easy as long as I could.. I hung my hammock for a nap later, made breakfast and coffee all perfect for the chill starting this day.  I took a walk on the property, made note of a few things like  blackberries, apples, lots of nut trees, sassafras trees, and strange objects.  On my walk I sat on the ground at the old home site and the cattle approached me.  Riddled with flies I could hardly stop looking at them, I was surprised at the horrible flies, horrified really but ...they are not my cattle and I'm not the one eating them later.  I continued down the lane and called Lauren to see if I could photograph the pond, her voodoo grave yard, etc... but of course I ended up going to her house loving what she had done to it and sad to see she was selling it. 

After our visit I called the restaurant my cousins were going to for lunch, if they had reservations I was going to pay for their meal... as she had paid for mine last night.  But no reservation so that was a flop.  I took my morning cloth bath, a cool shocking clean from the horses water, but a warming sun dry made it worth while.  I loaded the horses and took them into Nashville for my shot.  I had to park them in the outside parking area due to the trailer height.  It took me all of 15 minutes in the doctors office, then we were all headed to the attorneys office closer to home.  That look me all of 45 minutes so I stopped by an old establishment to get some late lunch.  The horses were set with ice and hay so there was no reason to rush or worry about them.

Arriving back in Joelton, seeing the name... Joe's Produce etc... gave me a flash back to my early years of going into the local store and in my mind this is the same thing only a new location.  In essence My Uncle Roland had a small shop on the old 431 as you approached Springfield/ Robertson County line; If you have driven the old road it's just across from the old white church.   JB ran that little store after my uncles death, he kept just enough basics for the those who never drove the 6 miles to Bates Grocery in Joelton central; serving bologna sliced to your specifications, the small cold cokes top popper next to the door, and orange cream ice push up pops. JB's  son Joe had run that store after his fathers death, keeping it almost as it had always been minus the outdated gas pumps.   But after the death of my Aunt Mary there was nothing there, it was deserted like so many other old structures.  So the place for all the local retired men to sit (on the discarded old church bench), drink, role a smoke and shoot the bull was gone.  As I looked under the banner name on the building there were three men sitting there talking and drinking.  One in Duckhead overalls on an old church bench left of the door and a non matching mate flanking the other side.  The others in work clothes non the less but on at one of the wooden picnic tables.  Cynthia's mother sat outside with them as well as eating her lunch so I casually said hi as I passed to go inside.  She was shocked knowing that I live so far away, she expressed her satisfaction of seeing me considering my Nanny and my Aunt Gale are no longer around for me to make a point of visiting.   I walked in; old screen door slamming behind me,  Cynthia doing as any good proprietor does, shooting the bull with all the customers busy as she could be.  I got fried catfish, white beans, hush puppy, and fries; a perfect meal for a hard day of driving in an out of traffic.  I went back outside sat with Cynthia's mother and enjoyed my lunch.  Cynthia making all her rounds came outside and we chatted for a while.  Cynthia who now owns Joe's Produce, after Joe's sudden death in a car accident, he wasn't married, no children, but Cynthia had worked for him for years.  Ms Darnell, wife and mother to the duo thought Joe would love to see Cynthia run the place if he had a choice.  All of this in perfect keeping and everything is as it should be for the community. 

 It is perfect and I can only suggest that if you travel up I-24 get off at Joelton, Springfield exit and go toward Joelton and eat at Joe's... on the right hand side of the road,  it looks like a dive... but the dives are where all the good local cooking happens.  They are good people, fair prices, home cooked meals, and a testament to how life really is. 

Getting back to the camp site was simple, but the act of getting the horses in and out of their pen was a little tricky.  In order to get them in or out I had to tie Navarre to the trailer and move the trailer with him attached!  Yes I did!   Putting them in the trailer was fine easy in fact, but getting them in the pen and not having one dart out was a little more tricky.  I would get Sweet Pea out of the trailer and allow her to eat freely as I unloaded Navarre, but I tied him to the trailer in the pen.  I got Sweet Pea, walked her into the paddock I had created but tied her to a tree so she was down the hill as I backed up the trailer with Navarre in tow, thus blocking any manner of their getting out after untied.    Having explained my complicated process the reality is... Sweet Pea could have jumped over the trailer hitch any time she liked, and with little to no real electricity in my tape strands Navarre could have walked through them and not felt a thing due to all the hair he possesses. 

Life was perfect I settled down and started to read.  A perfect sway in my hammock, light shown over my shoulder onto the pages, a cold drink from my cooler in the truck.  

A friend was able to visit; their camp chairs in tow.  I met them at the high gate and we all walked back down together.  My rules at my barn follow my horses, so boots and a helmet are my requirements.  Everyone was in boots and we could take turns with my helmet if need be.  Just having a connection to this friend made me feel so much better about life.  Seeing how tall her daughter had grown in only two or three years was astonishing.  Seeing her daughter on my little fat boy walking, trotting, and a canter or two was a gift to my soul just to watch her have fun on my little horse.  Yet another friend showed up with her daughter as well, so they all took turns on Navarre till some had to go home and others of us were too tired to ride any more.  We smiled, laughed and enjoyed our time together so much we never broke out our chairs and sat on the ground or the trailer the entire time we talked.

By this time, the ground in the newly erected horse paddock was starting to be a little more worn; so my worries dropped a few degrees in respect to the risk of Navarre getting sick.  He was moving slightly stiff in the hind off but nothing serious.  

After everyone left I was in total bliss.  The light in the hammock started to fade with the day so I pulled out my trusty lantern, lit some bug candles and allowed myself to read, rest and enjoy the place. Taking in the smells, just being on the old place was as peaceful as I have felt in years.  Strange how as a kid of 16, and yet again in my 20's I swore I would never go back to Joelton, dying to get out an LIVE in the rest of the world.  Now as an adult in my late 40's I feel more pulled to the place where my hammock swings as much as I do my little plot in North Carolina.  As the sun fell lower and lower, the crickets got louder, the flock of turkeys decided to cut the pasture closer to our campsite which stopped the ring of Navarre's bell as he stood still to watch them.  The cattle moved closer and the lightening bugs finally went to sleep, awakening all the owls as they started to call out to each other more and more.  All the sounds were music to my mind, I faded in concentration and finally turned out my lantern.

I slept like a log, as if nothing could awaken me till a sudden alarm sounded.  DEAD SILENCE! no crickets,  OMG no bell!  I slowly rolled over in my hammock, praying I didn't fall out, I could only see the glow of Navarre's white butt, I had no idea where Sweet Pea was.  I felt for my flashlight slowly moved it in position and clicked it on.  SIX green eyes shown back at me, as the light moved from Navarre to a further distance, THREE coyotes scampered down the property as I uttered my first word YOU ... Shits... to their backsides... gone in a flash, crickets gaining a higher pitch and Sweet Pea looking at me like she did something wrong.  I rolled over checked my phone ... 3:30 am or there a bouts as I easily fell back into a deep sleep with the crickets at a deafening tone again.  A great deep sleep I never expected but welcomed with its rarity. 

Before dawn, I could hear puppies playing.  Some where very close there was a coyote den with a few more to harass me on my next outing!  Truth is the property needs coyotes so I have no issues with them.  In fact I wish I had one or two on my property in North Carolina to control all the rodents, ground hogs, opossums, raccoons etc... 

Friday turned out to be a PERFECT Day! A day that made the drive, the physical exertion, and all the planning MORE than worth all my efforts.