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Sunday, January 12, 2014


Today is BRIGHT sunny... and incredible. 
I get to go to work today so my horses will be happy at the barn, and I will be happy to make a dollar or two for the day!

Horses RAN out to pasture this morning... leaving horrible marks in my beautiful pasture... a small price to pay for happy horse.

they got hot breakfast  1/2 bail of hay and are set for the morning.

Life is good but I've got to get ready to leave. 

My love to the world

Friday, January 10, 2014

dreadful rain.

While just making it out of a historical freeze for almost all adjoined 48 states... Asheville NC moves back into its rain season with an estimated 3 inches for the next 24-48 hours. 

I am enjoying the crunch of the frozen ground...
I was enjoying the dry boots.
ice was 7 inches THICK in the water troft...

BUT I am very thankful as not too many years ago wells were dry and water was being brought into the area.  You have to take the good with the bad and just be as prepared as you can for what ever Mother Nature has in store for you.

My task for the day?
While I can't paint... (over flow lines of cistern)
I can get all the trash into the back of the truck to take to the sorting facility!
Then sweep out the back of the truck... yes in the rain ... to prepare it for the next load of hay (if and when the ground ever gets to dry out! )

While I have the truck out and about I may drive to Mills Gap to get more feed for the kids.
I can keep in the house if necessary!

... pictures to come...

Rain was so harsh I was not able to get the phone out.
But the horses did RUN out to pasture today instead of their hesitant walk of yesterday and slight trot of the day before.  I was starting to get worried with out being too concerned, I wasn't ready to say anything it may have just been the mental drain on them from the horribly cold weather. 

Everything back to a normal rainy weather.
My ribs are killing me from all the core workout yesterday walking all that feed to the barn.
Not to mention the pulling and pushing the equipment around yesterday. 
Life is funny, but it all worked out just as it was suppose to.  Not so bad sense that was better than I imagined!

Life to live...
My love to the world.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

only 22 degrees to start the day.

I m SO excited as today is expected to be warm... into the 40's today! 
I have water on to boil,
I have 4 gallons of warm tap water for the horses troft.

I will get to the barn, OPEN the water box.... lay out the insulation so it can warm in the sun and then start in on the horses feed, hay trips and gallons of water for their water troft.  4 gallons with only two horses will be more than enough water ADDED to the water already in the container.

After I get all the trips done back and forth from my car and the horse trailer.  I'll get the foot warmers out of my barn emergency camping gear.  Why do I keep ANY camping gear at or for the barn?  Well because my house if 4 miles away and when you find a horse sick, you want to have the ability to stay as you await the vet or do all you can so you don't have to call the vet.  What ever your choice ... life is easier when you don't have to worry about getting hungry, thirsty, or how you are going to rest in crazy weather. 

I also have my silly disposable bread pan and candle to put into the water box for the last few hours above freezing to TRY to get the pipes working again.  BUT I really do NOT expect to have water as I am SURE the cistern is SO frozen at the bottom this will have NO effect of the cistern itself...BUT I need to do all I can each day to assist the situation as much as I can!

Lots to do today and like yesterday my phone update may not happen so I was unable to add to yesterdays morning post only add ANOTHER post as I was at the barn.  This is VERY Likely to happen again!

Keep an eye out for more post if it matters...
Otherwise I have layers to get on, a car to start, and six gallons of water... four warm tap water and the standard 2 gallons of boiling water for feed and ice!

My love to the world...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

To do list

New basket
Hand pump
Paint over flow pipe. 

Water... the task of the day!

This morning I took the blankets off both horses and I will go check on them mid day.
As you can see I threw out much more hay than needed but better for them to have too much than not enough to get through that really cold weather.

While I made it through the crazy weather of below zero temperatures and beyond negative wind chill's my task for the day is making sure my horses get water.

Why is water such a big deal in my mind?
Well because the truck is still stuck! thus my back up program/ plan is out of commission.
and I'm worried the water box I created will not be sufficient for the incredible weather we have been experiencing the last few days.   You can see a previous post if you like...The Water Box  scroll down a picture of it is way down the post.

Remember...  I have never had electricity at the barn!
I have never had running water!  So everything I do depends on the basics of gravity, temperatures and the sun.  Archaic ... yes!!!! but it works most of the time and IF it works after these crazy temperatures of late; I doubt I will ever run electricity for them.  maybe solar as I get older but nothing that is going to cost me every month.  (but we shall see if it worked first)

My plan!
I will leave for the barn at 2pm with HOT water for the troft no matter what the outcome for the water.

I will uncover and hook up the hose pipe and leaving it down the hill I will see if I can get the water to run! If I can I shall waste water and clean the troft as quickly as I can with bleach then vinegar then rinsing in again and filling it to the absolute rim! 

Back from my mid day run to the barn.
Life did NOT go as planned, but all is well. 
Once I opened the water box and turned on the valve to see if it would run there was no hope of doing anything else.

The time above freezing today is short but allowed me to evaluate the rest of the system.
There will be no hope for at least a week to have water from the cistern itself.  So I went and got 6 gallons of water I will fill and trek in three times a day. 

BUT in order to speed up my recovery time with the cistern I have several ideas. 

1. I will OPEN the water box as soon as it is above freezing clear out all the insulation putting it in the sun as I did today.  I will then unwrap the extension pipe and put foot warmers from my emergency kit on the bottom of the box and lay the extension pipe back on it.  All the while I shall have the extension pipe open for a drip to indicate any progress. 

2. I the mean time I will be painting the over flow valve with FLAT BLACK PAINT and repaint the gutters going into the water container.  

3.  I also will open the debris trap and research more my hand pump I had on my to do list for summer. ? It is worth a try!

4. Before the heat of the day is over if the foot warmers are not making well enough progress I will put one of those tea light room warmers IN the water box and close it MOST of the way to retain a little heat before I close it for the day/night.  ( again all before the heat of the day is gone)

This is all going to be fun and a great learning experience.

Also this incredible freeze killed off most of the pasture grass so I may be able to allow the horses out for longer periods of time.  This is all a good thing!

OH By The Way... if it matters... the pictures ABOVE this post were from my phone as I was at the barn evaluating this situation.  Take a gander and give an idea if you have one!

My love to the world... AegF

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Oh the start is - 1

It will be a day of several trips to the barn. 

When starting the day at -1 wind chill is too much to even discuss. 

Somehow I slept till 7 30am  hours beyond my normal 4 or 5 a.m. So my rush to get to the barn, check on horses with a heated coat and boiling water make my mind whirl with worry for my " kids". 

The car did not want to start on the first try so I gave it one more chance and it started fine.
Because it was not a first time turn over ... I decided to leave the car running the entire time at the barn

I let the horses out and they quickly trotted to the pasture.  I carried all the water and half way covered the feeds with hot water.  I was afraid it would be cold by the time they came in to eat.  I had to go back to the car to get oil as the oil in the barn was a solid mess!  Sweet Pea followed me around as I went back and forth to the car for the oil and the hay then finally to get her heavier coat.

I did not see her shivering or hurting, but she would not eat! Not her hot feed and not even the hay.  It was worrying me, but once I saw one leg in a shiver I knew it was time for the heavier coat.  Once I got it on her she got water and started to defend her food.

I am in the process of getting more boiling water, I will get them more hay for the middle of the day and make sure they have water again.

The water was so solidly frozen it took me a while to get to water that wasn't with only a framing hammer.  Once I got a good hole, I scooped out the broken pieces with both hands and before it hit the ground it was frozen together in a big ball.  My gloves were frozen and I noticed beads of water on my coat and overalls.

I could not take pictures... although I did try but even with my two sets of gloves my hands were not warm enough to activate the phone apps. 

Ok... back to the water and barn things for the middle of the day!
Yes more trips to follow! but for now they have some melted water... she is eating the entire bail of hay by herself NOT allowing him a chance for any, so I threw him out a 1/2 bail beyond the first gate at the pasture gate.  
I could NOT take photos this morning as my hands were SO cold even under two pair of gloves I could not activate my smart phone! SO... no morning photos! just mid day at this point.
My love to the rest of the world in this cold snap!

Monday, January 6, 2014

As the day got colder.

The day started easy ...
as I got too hot with all my layers getting hay and the extra, making sure there was extra oil, and assuring their feed was nice and warm.

I went back to the barn mid day.
I took extra hot water to make sure they were drinking enough.

They were happy and romping around in only their rain coats for slight protection.

Tonight the wind seemed to cut into the skin as the night fell.
I am lucky enough to have all but my eyes covered in this weather.

Life is good!

Both horses were still happy with only their rain coats.  Extra water, and extra oil, and lots and lots of hay for the night.

I made sure the two horses had not only their full bail of hay but an extra half down in the pasture just incase they need it.  If not it was worth my money throwing it away to assure they had enough for this crazy night expecting to go down to zero and the wind chill well into the teens below.

As I made all my trips to the barn.
1st with water and lantern.
2nd with only the half bail 
and the final trip with the full bail of hay for their troft.

With each step there was no secure foundation, it was as if it could fall though at any moment into a bath of fridged water below.

BUT with each step I remember that incredible hike long ago up the mountain fresh with its lava streaming down. Fresh enough to not only roast a treat but cook a meal if one had the time and the layered clothing protection from the heat to do so.  Roasting a marshmallow was the longest I could stand the heat, the color, and the fear of something so powerful.

It was the frozen mud tonight that had no foundation as my boot slipped off a jagged point into a frozen puddle or the loss of my balance due to the shards and their nature alone.  The thought of the glow below my feet as I had hiked UP a mountain thinking of nothing more than my breathing and loss of air.  How could I be so consumed with minimal issues inside me when I could have fallen into the lava that run below a surface I had hiked up not aware of the THIN cooled crust of lava.  How is it we rarely see everything that goes on around us? How is it we do not stop cold for every beautiful sun rise or set. 

I enjoy my flash backs of adventures experienced.
I enjoy what common things such as a frozen mud lot can illicit in a wandering mind. 
I can only hope that in the hum drum of the average day YOU have experienced life, its glory, and things beyond your own dreams to awaken your senses and carry your mind to far off places.

I welcome days of remembering days that made my heart rush, my blood curdle, my toes curl I only wish I had the right words to share those experiences enough to get others to leave their comfort zone and travel to places rarely spoken of to learn, to expand, carry those places with them everywhere else.

My love to the world.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Truck n Trailer.

As much as I have tried the truck and trailer will have to be professionally pulled from its present spot.  I have buried it up to the axel!  The ground is frozen enough I could call someone, BUT that leaves me with a full trailer of hay if anything needs to be prepared after we get them both moved

So I can only call around see who has the equipment to get them out and allow them to pick the day in which to do so.

I will continue to get my hay out of the trailer day by day and little by little. 

As I type the sun is starting to rise and the water is on for boil.

My wish for the day is that it was warm enough to pressure wash the horses legs and treat them because by the time this mud is over I am going to have thrush, dermatitis, and plenty more to deal with.  But reality is ... winter is not going to be allowing this anytime soon.  SO ... I will clean their feet again and hope they stay in or near the barn for the day... (not going to happen)

Navarre is a little stiff because he can't run around in the mud, but as soon as I let him out to pasture he runs, bucks, and does all he can but eat. 

I so badly want to ride...
The weather, no shoes, and my leg prevent me from doing so. 

I made sure WR Prince Navarre was brushed and blanketed... for the cold wet weather.

The day was mild enough.   A cold drizzle most of the day.
The horses were put into their rain coats, I can't have them ringing wet as the temperatures drop into the low 20's tonight.  Expecting to only DROP to zero tomorrow night. 

So my plan is to keep them in their rain coats till tomorrow morning or mid day.
I increased their hay as well as the amount of oil on their feed.
I will increase their hay once again tomorrow and possible feet them three times tomorrow if needed.
I can not increase their pasture time as I can't chance an upset stomach with the possibility of their water intake not being what it should be due to the cold cold weather expected.

My love to the world...

Friday, January 3, 2014

14 degrees, -5 wind chill

We have come from high 30's down to the teens overnight.
At not even 5:30am our winter advisory chimes the alarms to stay inside if you do not have to be out, as if people can stay in all day?

Life is fine, I don't have a problem with weather as long as I can figure out the right layers of clothing.  Silk layers beneath everything from toes to the neck... then insulate wind breaking pants and top layers then rain coat over the top and overalls for the bottoms.

My issue is always my hands! my finger tips always get so cold.  But layer of cloves into a large pair of mittens gets me to the barn.  The mittens come off at the barn so I can use my hands with locks, strings and tools.

I shall take photos as soon as I can!  (if the weather allows... smart phones do not work so well with cold fingers)

The sounds last night were HARSH... street scrapers, salt throwers, and rednecks last night with their 2 strokes keep me up till early early hours. 
Now only the street scrapers and the wind are the symphony that use my house as an instrument of the season.  Drums, flute, and the occasional obo. Like an angry marching tune of the mid 1800 European persuasion.

Water on the stove and ready to be started at 6am so I can get out of here by 7am to the barn for the morning chores and possible early hike up the mountain if the road has not been scraped or salted!

Wish us luck!
Hey at least I have my coffee this morning! allowing me some extra energy for this blustery weather.
My love to the world....
and updates of the day to follow!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Typical day...

So... Second day of the year and nothing has changed!                    Life is still good!

It was a little warmer this morning so no ice on the water troft, but that also means no way to get my truck and trailer unstuck!

My horses are miserable with all the mud; and frankly it depresses me having to see it! I will need to save the money this year and have the lot ready for this rain season next year.  July and August are the two months we get our least amount of rain, of course we have had rain all year for 2013, but rarely does something that out of normal happen again back to back!

So the planning gets under way.
I have a man to call to do the heavy machine work.  I know him from horseback riding years ago, but he makes his living with heavy machinery! The perfect man to talk to!

I have a guy to call for the rock work.  I have used him in the past, and I shall continue to use him as long as he is available.


But if I plan correctly it will not be this bad next year and at this point this is all I can do!

The morning started off wet.
The day continued to rain, then turned to sleet, and now snow and wind gust of 60 mph for the night.
I took the normal 2 gallons of water to the barn.  One for the feed and One for the water troft so they will drink after they eat.
I made sure to put out extra hay
and I got the good rain coat on Sweet Pea.
All is well in the world for the night.

My love to the world.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

last year is gone and a new year begins.

Last year ended with only ONE emergency vet call for the year!  This was a record sense the day I got Navarre, who has always required emergency attention due to his tying up, colic tendencies, and foundering problems!

The year starts with the mud ankle deep, and the horses getting tired of all the mess!
I got only 30 bails of hay yesterday to get me through till it dries out enough that I can get it up to the barn, IF the rain lets up!  (it is suppose to rain again tomorrow.)
Year ended with over 70 inches of rain for the year putting us over 27 inches the average year.  A hard time for horses with long hair and on a mud lot. 
This one starts with hay in the trailer, truck in the drive of the estate but both are stuck!

Not a loss! I just see it as a temporary set back... as my mimosas have kicked in, the bubbly has gone to my head.

I have no REAL goals for the year other than to add more food to the place for years to come.
Yes I planted my dragon orange tree and a single paw paw not to forget the raspberries I added near the fence last year.   While I planted four of the raspberries;  I believe only two have survived, so planting more is a necessary this year!

Now the task of narrowing down what ONE food I add to the property this year that will not take away from the horses but will add to MY advantage in the future.   All the rain helped EVERYTHING survive from last year... but typical summer here is very dry and labor intensive for watering so I have to narrow it down to ONE place and few plants to baby! 

I have several things I want to add, but not all can be done so easily!

Grapes! behind the raspberries would be perfect! Growing along the fence line and shading the horses water in the hot sun but cutting them back in fall or winter allowing the sun to  heat their water container in the winter.  It is after all just an idea I am throwing out on this blank slate of a new year!

More paw paw trees for cross pollination... (although one neighbor has one we have no idea if they are different or not... and like the four apple trees I planted to support the lonely apple tree in the garden area of the estate; several types are needed for  BEST pollination)

My only cherry tree I had planted two years ago died this year due to all the rain.  So building up that spot and picking a better tree for the spot will be necessary in the future.  This spot has turned out to be my issue of all issues as far as food growth and sun!   I need to cut down more trees, but I do NOT want to cut down more trees I hope to only use the area for more of a wooded lot garden ... but these are proving not to be my easiest things to plot out on paper and principals.  ? who knows..   I had planted my Cherry tree in this place as it is the farthest point from the horses!  I am trying to keep the poisonous things on the other side of the estate... but this may not work with all the natural trees we have on site. 

I want a plum tree        
I want a fig tree
I want some cherry trees
I want Pear trees!
I want Peach Trees!
I want ...
I want ...
I want..

We all want so much but my idea is to make my life easier as I age by having much of the food I love so close at hand and easily sold to neighbors or food markets!  Just a crazy idea for the year!

As far as the horses; I'm planning out my budget for the year.
What to expect of the hay, Should I get the first cutting like I did last year or should I wait for a second (which never happened this year).

What to expect of the supplement prices for the year.
I get most of my supplements from SmartPak ... the company... no I do not normally purchase the pre packaged foo foo deals (although I do keep one month of them a year in stock so I have some for ... emergencies or VACATIONS which we did not have last year)

Plan for all the vet visits regular schedules of
vets and
the dreaded emergencies!   hoping we do not have any this year! but keeping my fingers crossed does nothing! So planning will be necessary! $$$

Next week I re-stock my emergency barn kit ... I generally use all the basic human stuff to make it cheaper.
Then the next we re-stock my trailer emergency kit...  I use smaller sample sizes here
Then our next thing is to rotate the feed in the trailer! ...  I rotate my feed once a month but keep some in the trailer for emergency situations, just in case.
Then we empty and clean all the feed containers in the barn...   I try to let my feed bins get low to use all my feed, but they need a good cleaning twice a year.
Then we clean and empty the barn shelving!   I tend to shove things in the shelves and they need to be gone through twice a year if not more to make sure all is well and all that is trash is thrown out.

Thus ... I have my next month and 1/2 full of keeping things fresh in the barn so come spring all my brushes, blades for spring shavings,  and all my tack is perfect for going off and staying gone for a while! ha ha ha...   My favorite bridle stays in the house to be a little more safe than the barn.   But it too deserves a good condition out of a standard cleaning.

Yes of course little to nothing ever goes as planned BUT if I do not plan.. .it does not get done. So better to have a plan and a back up plan than no plan at all!

May your day be great or better!