Friday, April 27, 2012

Northern Nevada Spring

Overnight got ugly at 34 degrees at 5:30am and just about 32 degrees at 6:30am.  The good news is that we didn't quite get to freezing, I think.  So far no damage and the temp is going up this week so we should be out of the danger zone.  Of course, this is Nevada so no guarantees.

Lilacs blooming
Large fruited crabapple blooming
Climbing roses in the front of the house really taking off this year
Populars, willows, fruit trees all getting leaves
grapes just starting to leaf out

Pulled one of the rhubarb to give some to Linda.  I am transplanting it to the fruit tree area anyway.  It was deeper than I thought and it has massive roots sort of  like yams.

We got the gates hung for the veggie garden driveway.  Nice.  We got the short piece of fence up that keeps the dogs out of the veggie garden on the far side of the horse shed.

We long lined the little horse on Wednesday.  We did pretty good.  He didn't want to turn left so I bopped him on the right shoulder.  That worked to give him the idea and after the third time he was no problem at all.  He likes trotting and I can't wait to get him into the cart so he can get a more exercise.  Hubby also drove him around the yard.

Also, on Wednesday, Hubby got the south side of the veggie garden rototilled.   Next week he should do the new north side area.  We went down by the river and got some materials for the horse hitchin' posts.  We found several old cedar fence pieces and that will make a nice rustic looking hitching post and then we got some cottonwood branches so we could make the crosspieces.  Fun!

Linda says she'll help teach me to lunge him.

Way windy yesterday so after getting the gates done we quit and had a nice rest of the day off in the house.

Monday, April 23, 2012


A huge thunderstorm came through about 8pm.  LIghtning and thunder directly over the house.  It only lasted about thirty minutes and then it moved north and it was gone.  A very fast moving cell.  And a small one.  Very concentrated.  Hubby says there is a line in the akaline flats, wet on one side, dry on the other side.  It looks really wet out here but it is only wet on the surface.  Where you walk leaves dry foot prints.

One large zap of cloud to ground lightening that didn't seem all that close shut down the TV and the lights.  A big power surge but the electricity came back on right away so that was good.  The little horse was fine.

I am trying to get the little horse to play with his new horse toy but he has never had toys before so I don't know how this is going to work.  I am trying to keep him from looking so bored and nibbling stuff off the sand so much.  I am putting molasses on the large rubber ball with a handle for him to pick it up with.  We shall see if he starts liking it.

I didn't do much with him yesterday.  I had to go to town and when I got home it was 91 degrees out.  Then, Hubby got home and we did a few things like get the horse cart out of the truck and hang some hooks for the little guy's bridle.  By then it was getting dark and I needed to make dinner and hang with Hubby.  He is more important than a horse but I love them both:)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Day Off

Today was a day off.  I went to Wally World for about 3 things.  I used that darn self checkout that I hate so much.  I decided not to buy the anniversary photo world addition of the royals since it was $10.  The girl looked at me like I was a moron not being able to figure out the five screens with 8 options on each screen to cancel the item.  Geez, cut me some slack.  Honestly, I've never worked at Walmart.

The I went to Cost-I-spent-how-much?-co.  I bought some new wash cloths and a couple of pillows.  I can't seem to get a pillow I like.  We'll see how these down alternative pillows work out.

.I then went to the freezer section where I couldn't seem to contain myself.  Lobster Ravioli, I'll take it.  Hey, only $7 a meal.  Rib eyes wrapped in bacon, I'll take it.  Hey, only $5 per meal.  okay, those aren't complete meals but I bet they taste fantastic.  Mini Chicken Tacos, on sale.  Gotta have it.

I bought a number of things that don't take much cooking since I get tired of cooking.  Add a veggie and/or a fruit smoothie and we are done with dinner.

I bought the miniature horse a large rubber mat to put under his food dish.  I am trying to keep him from eating too much sand.  I also bought him a couple of horse toys.  One is a ball with a handle on it and the other one is like an exercise ball.  You buy the cover separate.  I think he looks bored, then he wanders around eating bits and pieces off the ground, thereby ingesting a fair amount of sand.  I am hoping to keep him a little busier.

After all of that, I went to the Olive Garden for lunch.  Soup, salad and bread sticks.  Delish. I had two kinds of soup. Chicken with potato gnocchi and the one with the potatoes, sausage and greens.  Both wonderful.  With the tip, it was $15 and worth every dime.

Last, I went for my haircut.  She did a great job.  I tipped her $7 which is probably a lot but she blow dried and everything.  She is a nice gal.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Potatoes, Lettuce

Red Soto and German Butterball  Potatoes went in today.

Lettuce is in - about 15 feet of Red Oakleaf, Buttercrucnch, and a couple mixed varieties.

Watered the Street Side or West Zone overnight last night.

I probably could set up the tomatoes with the wall o water soon.

Got that cute little horse out and brushed him, cleaned his feet, combed his mane and tail, took him for a walk.  I love that little guy.

Watering the South Veggie Zone for an hour today to try to get the area moistened up.

Yesterday, I decided not to move the strawberries until October.  I saw a show on TV that said that is when to move them and make baby plants.   I ran some flat tube to start getting them some water.

It is so nice out that I am hanging the laundry on the line.

87 degrees today

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wiseguy Comes Home

There is my little guy.  His new shed is in the background.  It is getting dark and he is trying to decide where the best place to sleep is.  Should he sleep in the shed or not?  He isn't sure so he is standing in front of it now.

He trailered nicely.  He looked a bit peeved and was whinnying.  I opened the hatch to check on him in the store parking lot halfway home.  He stomped his little hoof like "Hey, what are you doing to me?!"  Then he poked his head little head out to see where he was at.  He was quite curious.

We got him home.  Got him out of the trailer.  We walked him around the yard a bit to let him get used to things and then we walked back to see his new friends the goats.  The goats were already on top of the goat toy before we even got around the corner.  They couldn't believe this and weren't coming anywhere near that thing.  Wiseguy didn't look the least bit worried although he was a bit curious about the new guys.

We put him in the pen and left him alone for a couple of hours.  I then went out and bribed him with a carrot and got his halter on him.  We went for another walk around the yard.  I got him back in the pen after awhile and just sat with him while I had a cup of coffee.

He was eating, drinking and pooping.  I hope he's okay in the morning but he looked fine as darkness descended.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The non-climb fence wire is going up.  One short panel and one long panel that was kind of complicated since it had to wrap around a corner and be fit onto where the shed is - DONE!  Yeah!!

We have one more short panel and some plywood to get up.

The little guy is coming home on Thursday.

We got the final short wire panel up and decided to call it a day.  Tomorrow we will get the plywood up and then we are looking good.

Counting the Cost of Owning a Miniature Horse

$175 non-climb horse wire fencing
$ 70  6' gate
$200  plywood/ 2x6 lumber/2x4 lumber/screws/hardware
$150 driving lessons
$150 gas for driving lessons
$50 for horse evaluation by trainer
$20 gas to meet the horse
$500 for the horse
$800 cart and harness
$200 posts and rails
$17.75 grass hay
$66  trailer electric adapter
$100 44 gallon metal water tank
$70 fly spray, sand colic preventer, brushes, rubber bands, mane comb, rubber curry comb,
     coat stripping comb   [that works well on the dogs, too], salt, hoof picks, small brush for the legs
$60 more gas for more trips to see the horse and buy stuff for the horse
$70  horse training dvds, vet book, training book
$500 old trailer  

What does it cost to get a miniature horse?  I don't think we could have done this for much less.

So far, the total is about $2,400.

Now we will have the annual maintenance cost on top of that.  I'll try to keep track of it as I go.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Planting

Beets - Five feet
Carrots - 8 feet
Snow Peas [Pod] - 20 feet
Garden Peas - 30 feet
Snap Peas - 15 feet
Radishes - 5 feet

Yeah, still more to do today but it is break time.  I don't want to over do it since Hubby and I are finishing up the horse fencing tomorrow.

To get all those veggies in, I had to hand turn over the soil, rake it out and then plant.  I also moved two wheel barrow loads of old compost out of the  new horse pen but have several loads left.  I am going to keep chipping away at that.  I also kept working on shoveling dirt away from the goat fencing as it is getting quite deep there and my five foot fence is turning into a four foot fence.

I love shoveling but my little arms can only do so much at a time.

Garden Notes

Yesterday was a busy one!

I got 40 feet of Russian Finger Potatoes put in the ground.  One feature of the Russian potatoes is that I cover a few hills with deep straw in the fall and then I can dig potatoes all winter.  Then, in the spring, I dig up what is left and replant then in a new spot.  We get plenty of potatoes for the next year without buying seed potatoes.

I am growing 4 kinds of garlic.  Silver rose, Walla Walla, Elephant and Italian Softneck.

I also put in almost 60 feet of onions.  I usually buy the onion deal from Henry Fields or Gurneys and I get yellow, white and red onions.  I think I need to buy some sweet white onions next year.  I am getting really boring with the onion varieties.

I got several shrub bases with roots out of the pathway areas.  One large one and two small ones were directly on the way to the new veggie garden gate and I knew that one of us would be tripping over it eventually if I didn't get those things out of the way.  The other  shrub base and roots was in the pathway to the new horse pen.  It was a wicked looking thing with pointy branches sticking out from where I had chopped them off a few weeks ago.  I sure didn't want to bring my new buddy in and have him spook at the goats or some such and then cut his leg on a branch stub.

I finished getting systemic onto the trees.  We think  we have peach borers although we haven't managed to literally catch one of those little devils.  We had an apricot tree bleed to death and the next year another apricot tree died.  We have also lost a couple of crabapples and one or two apple trees to those monsters.  We have had attacks on cherry trees and another 2 apple trees but we dosed them with systemic right away and they survived.   We don't really like using systemic but we haven't much choice since the willows, peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries, crabapples and apples are all susceptible to borers.   I've been using it on the Siberian elms, as well, since they have rough bark [which we think is what the borers like since we haven't had any attack our pears or other trees with smooth bark YET] and the elms get those annoying elm beetles that get into everything.

I watered the North Zone yesterday.  I watered the Front Zone and the Back Zone, both near the house, for three hours each.  It has been so dry this winter that I am already working hard to make sure the plants have water.  Spring is finally here although it can be a bumpy ride for 4 or more weeks.

The Kwanza flowering cherry trees are starting to bloom and the lilacs look fantastic this year.  Hoping for a good show.

It was chilly in the house so Hubby started a fire to warm us up a bit.  I called the burn line and it is a permissable burn day.  I don't want to spend much time on that but I might get a bit of the last stuff near the veggie garden in a pile and burn it.  We shall see.

41 degrees overnight.  Yesterday was 64 degrees and very little wind.  I hope today will be just as nice although it definitely looks cloudy, I am sure it won't rain.

I put the tomatoes and the artichokes [yes, I am growing artichokes from seeds] into the greenhouse and left them overnight.  Fortunately it was 52 degrees in there this morning.  Any time it stays over fifty I am happy since the baby plants do okay with that temperature and above.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garden Notes

Looks like it really is time to start putting in the peas, potatoes, garlic and onions.  It should stay above freezing Although this is Northern Nevada and it is quite possible we will have a frost or two yet.

Certainly the soil has not warmed up enough for anything that is considered warm weather:)

Last night was 35 degrees.   Today's high  is predicted to be 62 degrees.

The nights are going to be warmer and the days are going to be into the sixties for the rest of the week if the weather gurus have it right.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Garden Notes

It has been above freezing for the last several nights although Wednesday night was 33 degrees.  Days 55 to 65 degrees.

Haven't gotten much done in the garden since we were busy building fence, working on the horse shed, hanging a gate.  This weekend I have a lot to accomplish.

We ran the wood stove in the late evening last night.  Toasty.  Cold and cloudy today so I may run it again later.  Love the ability to toast up the house without spending an arm and a leg.

Really windy yesterday.

Three Days of Buying and Building

We agreed to buy this trailer for Wiseguy to ride home in.  It has a bit of rust but Hubby says it is quite serviceable.  We had to buy a wire adapter for it.  Don't ask how much it cost with 2 day shipping!

Hauling cement...

Opening cement bags....

And mixing cement was a large part of our three days of building.

We took time out to have Hubby meet the horse in person and look at the trailer.  Wiseguy was so cute.  He wanted to trot everywhere on his lead rope but walked when asked.  His trot is so slow that if I stride, he trots:)  Hubby really likes my little guy.

Hubby notched the corner posts for cross pieces using his one of his chainsaws.  He loved it.

The cross pieces are up and the X brace wires are on and twisted tight.  

The gate is up and you can see the top rails are going on.

More later.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Garden Notes

Overnight low of 33 degrees.

High of 74 degrees.

I watered the West side for 4 more hours today.  This time with the sprayers turned on.  I am watering the Fruit tree zone for 4 hours as well.

Supposed to start being windy again but today was the perfect temperature and overcast.  Loving it. To bad I had to clean a house instead of working on my projects!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Garden Notes

Overnight low of 26 degrees.

Yesterday's high was 68 degrees.

Today is a permissable burn day so I think I will work on that.

High noon and I got a lot done this morning. I cleaned the goat water trough and got them some sparkling new water.  I watered the North Zone.  I burned 4 piles of brush.  I got the asparagus in the ground along with some more compost.  I got some more of the compost fluffed up and turned over.  I got a bit of water on the compost pile.  I turned off all the water in the back and turned on the water for the front garden area.

The weather is nice with just the occasional puff of 10 MPH wind.  Break time and then I'll see what else I can get done.

Front and back zones watered.

Emitters replaced in West side or Street zone.  The old bobblers were wearing out and/or I put quite a few one gallon per hour drippers on that zone and that was a mistake since the last elm tree, way at the end wasn't getting any of the water.  The water just wasn't making it all the way to the end.  I already tightened up this zone a bit but it needed more work.

So, I tightened up the back half of the zone.  I took off a couple of more emitters off that weren't watering anything [the plant either died or got moved].  Five or six sagebrush were getting two half gallon emitters and they would be happy with one half gallon emitter so I changed those up.  When a bobbler [emitter] gets worn out the water streams out instead of dripping out and that lowers the water pressure on the line so I checked for that situation and replaced those that were a problem.  I replaced almost all of the one gallon per hour emitters.  I ran out of new half gallon emitters towards the end of the line.  I need to order some more.

I cut some more of the flat tubing.  I have 25 lines cut now and I need about 30.  Looking at the roll, I think we will have enough flat tubing for this year.  I am reusing the flat tubing from the old garden set up, as well.

Did dishes.  Cooked dinner.  Yeah, that should be the other way around but I didn't do dishes earlier today so I had to do dishes and then cook dinner which means now I have to go do more dishes:)

Notable Quotable

Here is another beautiful poem by EChamberlain, MD who graced me with his beautiful imagery once again.  When I go to see the prairie this fall,  I will be thinking of "a land rolling like wild horses run".  Thank you,  E.

Here is a link to the original comment.


Because you liked the nature imagery of "Like A Rose Explodes," I thought you'd like this somber tribute to the Dakota Indians, whose heritage is marked by, above all things, a closeness with nature. I worked for a couple months at the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge South Dakota, a place that has since been featured in a segment on, I think it was, 20/20, documenting the extreme poverty and desperation there. Before I took the position there, I read up on how striking the poverty is there. Shocking and sobering. Around my last day there, I took a drive across the rolling hills on the reservation, just to wander around, and the words "a land rolling like wild horses run" came to mind and the lyrics here below wrote themselves. 

Though I don't mention it in the lyrics, I was also bummed when I realized, while there, that christian churches have replaced, at least in part, the Indian natural philosophy.


The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 required the American government to protect the Lakota and their lands from the incursion of the white man. But in 1874 Custer announced the discovery of gold in Dakota's Black Hills, triggering a gold rush into sacred Lakota territory and the American government violated its treaty and protected the miners along their path to gold, a path that whites called "Freedom's Trail" but the Lakota called "Thieve's Road." In 1881, Helen Hunt Jackson published "A Century of Dishonor," the first detailed examination of the federal government’s treatment of Native Americans in the West, shocking the nation with proof that empty promises, broken treaties, and brutality helped pave the way for white pioneers. (Adapted/ excerpted from

To this day, those building the Crazy Horse Monument-- not far from Mount Rushmore but dwarfing it in size in South Dakota's Black Hills-- refuse American government tax dollars to help with the construction because accepting the white man's money would violate the spirit of the monument-- therefore the line in the lyrics here: "No eagle [the symbol of America] casts a shadow on the monument..."

In a land
Rolling like wild horses run.
No second hand.
Just the clockwork of the circling sun.
Dakota winds
Lift feathers of the lofty one.
There stands
The first, the one true American.

In the years 
Before the new ones come
Dakota spirit 
Moves out free among
Black hills 
Where tent stakes of the sky are hung,
Standing near 
Where right-here-and-now are from.

But gold dust gathers 
On the western front.
Wildlife scatters 
As before the hunt.
The wind foretells
What the new ones want--
What prey that staggers 
Will this day confront.

The gold rush rumbles 
Like a beating drum.
A white unwelcome 
Blizzard brings the winter months.
Settlers storm in
And the unsettling comes.
The thunder grumbles, 
Indian Summer's done.

Arrows fall fast 
Under the setting sun.
The pistol blasts 
Gun powder on the moccasin.
Dakota stands
Hardfast against the gun.
But its smoke signals forecast
How the west is won.

Many moons have passed
Since when those days begun.
Still no eagle casts
A shadow on the monument
Of another past
That held another future once.
Dakota stood fast
Til its death was done.
The first, the last,
The one true American.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wiseguy...Second Date

I went down to see Wiseguy again today.  Jan, his current owner, is such a nice lady.  We talked and she showed me how to harness the little guy.  Forgot to get photos.  It warmed up and I left my coat and the camera in the car.

She harnessed him and then I harnessed him.  She showed me how to drive him with the long line and the type of commands she uses like she says "Trot" when she wants him to trot.  He showed a bit of his personality today.  He is very sweet.

He did try to move around to follow people when it was my turn to "long line" him.  Then, because I wasn't directly behind him with the reins, he would get confused.  Jan walked me through it.  By the end of our session we were doing a much better job, Wiseguy and I.

When I was long lining him we went around a corner and there was a large dog behind a fence.  Wiseguy shied but I told him it was okay in a gentle voice and then clucked at him to keep moving.  Jan thought I handled that pretty good.

Wiseguy and I had a little heart to heart when he got back to his pen.  I got down with him, he brought his nose up close to the bars of the pen, we looked into each others eyes.  I told him, "You're going to like living with me, sweetie."  He gave me a little snuffle and said, "yeah, you aren't so bad."

I think we are going to make a good team.

Garden Notes

Nineteen degrees!  Geez, that is cold.  Any hope I had of the cherry tree flowers surviving to make pie cherries is gone.  This is the third really cold night in a row and is the coldest yet!  At least it isn't supposed to be windy today.

The house was a bit chilly at 66 degrees.  Of course, with the wood stove we have higher standards for warmth than we did when we were running the propane furnace.  Hubby got a fire started about 5:30 am and I got up and kept it stoked.  Now it is a toasty 75 degrees in here.  I love that wood stove.

The good news is that I haven't planted any cold weather crops yet.  I felt kind of bad for not having the garden tubing set up and running for the peas and potatoes but now I don't feel badly about that.  A late start is just what I needed.

Yesterday morning I got 15 or 20 flat tubes cut to 40 feet for the veggie garden before I had to leave.  I want to make sure we don't have to order some more since I have to get an order for bobblers in by April 30th.  They are having a 10 % off sale and I need a bunch of them so that is a great sale to take advantage of.

I still need to keep working on the veggie garden area.  I have a few more roots to pull out and some grasses that need to come out as well.  We also need to spread out the compost and rototill the  garden area. The most important goal I have is bringing my little horse home.  Preferably next week.  We shall see.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Garden Notes

Overnight low of 24 degrees.   Not as cold as last night but still pretty darn cold.

Yesterday the wind was within reason and today it is not windy at all.  At least not yet.  Looks like tomorrow won't be windy either.  I hope not since I am going to see my new little horse.

 I wish I had more time this morning to survey the yard.  However, I have to go clean a house.  How do you think I am paying for this little horse?  Sure, Honey Bunny bought the wire fencing and the posts and rails but I am buying the actual horse and cart :)  We make a good team.

Notable Quotable

Today's Notable Quotable is by EChamberlainMD

Here is a link to the original posting.  By the way, I asked permission before posting it over here on my teensey weensey blog.

It is a poem.  I like the message and the imagery.

Once upon a happy-ever-after it happens,
Sometime somewhere in the hills and trees,
Like smoke sneaking out from camps and cabins
On an uncalculated, unnavigated breeze,
That stirs you to find yourself lost in the moment
When time takes its last winter walk through your woods.
Like the last wisp of ashen aspen once smoking,
Something leaves you then and there for good.
Looking up where shadows of leaves wave like wings,
Like eyelashes flashing baby blues of sky,
Where the world gives you a wink, making you think
You can see right back in its wide open eyes,
When the end of the daylight hangs heavy in the air and
When shadows are melted and welded to black,
Like a newborn cast in the wild looks up, staring
In wonder under a starry-eyed mother earth gazing back,
When lightning scrapes the stone and steel horizon
And ricochets and ripples, turning night to day,
When thunder barks and sparks are flying,
And you feel the buzzing of something rushing your way,
When storm clouds hiss and spit then split apart,
The rain slipping their grip til they drip out of view,
Behind the crashing and splashing, the flash in the dark,
Like a rose explodes, the world opens to you.
Like a rose explodes,
The beauty's exposed,
And the world opens up to you.
When a fluttering, stuttering, stumbling, mumbling from heaven
Whispers, "Pay attention to what your senses deny,"
Right here, in your presence, is the question, the essence,
When you look up the answers in the sky.
It's not in spells of hells or catechisms
Or searches for meanings in visions or dreams
Or magic or miracle, myth or mysticism--
It's not in any of those things, it seems.
It's not printed or pressed on papyrus or pages
Or sketched or etched in stones or stars
Or languishing lost in the language of ancients.
It's in the rose that explodes
Right here where you are.

by EChamberlainMD

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vole, One, Redtail Hawk, None

I was driving home from my cleaning job at the golf course.  I was cruising the outbound road when a redtail hawk swooped down and across the pond.  I hit the brakes since I thought she might be flying low across the road.  She dropped onto the short grass between the road and the pond.  I then saw a little rodent hopping away.

As she dropped from the sky, I could see her buff underbelly and the bands of black on the underside of her tail and her magnificent outstretched talons. Such a privilege to see her so close up and personal.  Amazing to catch all the action as it unfolded.

The redtail sat on the ground and looked at me as I sat in my stopped vehicle.  We gazed at one another for a bit.  She finally flew off to the south, opposite of the way I was headed.  A couple of cars went around me.  One lady was craning her neck to see what I was looking at and they both probably thought "What a nutty woman."

Strangely, these intense wildlife encounters are the moments I carry with me for years.  I will enjoy remembering this for a long time to come.

What's the Damage?

So far, the plants don't look too bad and I can't for the life of me figure out why not.  Looks like one more really cold night tonight and then a somewhat cold night the next night.

The biggest casualty seems to be the manifold for the veggie garden/hose complex of irrigation tubing and hoses.  One of the valves froze and then busted.  Fortunately, Hubby can fix that although I have to make into Home Sleezo to buy the part.

One of the forsythia looks a bit unhappy but it was the first to bloom so maybe its just done blooming?  Perhaps I will notice more damage from the big freeze when I get out there tomorrow.  We shall see.

I'll have to go to Carson City on Saturday.

The good news is that I haven't bothered to plant the veggie garden yet.  Peas can take a freeze but a freeze down to 21 would have wiped them out!  I am planning on doing some planting this week coming up.

My tomato babies are doing great.  I haven't been leaving them in the greenhouse overnight but I have put them out there several days so that they get as much sunlight as possible.  I am not really using the greenhouse to its fullest extent this year.  Last year I did annual flowers and it turned out wonderfully but this year I bought perennial flowers that would prefer to be direct seeded.  Oh well, I will simply have to use that greenhouse for fantastic lettuce all the way into winter:)

Bruce had some heavy duty freezing as well in Ohia.  Looks like Raymond had pretty sparkly frost.  He is in Ontario.  That is Canada, don't you know?  He is behind us on spring so I don't think this cold snap quite the agony that it is for Bruce.  Here in the barren desert, we are just starting to see spring so I am hopeful that it won't be a huge set back.

Last year was a minor disaster.  The trees were all leafed out and we got a dip below freezing and that set the trees back about three weeks while they regrouped and tried to shoot out some new leaves.  It took half the summer for some of them to recover.

We had a mild winter and it seemed like the trees kept getting fatter trunks.  I didn't realize that trees kept growing in the winter time.  Deciduous trees, anyway.  The pines, Barker cypress and Rocky Mountain junipers all did really well this winter.  Nice to see us finally getting to a point where we have visible trees.  We have been here 6 1/2 years after all.

Boy, am I Frosted

Or at least my plants are.  Dang it, it went to 21 degrees last night.  I sure wasn't expecting it to get this kind of cold.  Oh well, there's nothing I can do about it.  At least most of the trees have held back on doing much leafing out or blooming.  I'll have to check for how much damage there was when I get home this afternoon.

At least it was one of the most beautiful sunrises ever.  Now that has to be some compensation.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Only One Day Off

Hubby is only getting one day off this week.  I love the overtime money but in the springtime it is rough since we have a lot to get done between now and May 1st.  We ran errands.  First, we went to Starbucks.  Then, Lowe's to pick up the gates we ordered.

The 14 foot gate stuck way out of the trailer so we put red flags on it.  We also picked up posts, 2x6's, an old work electrical box and a package of 9volt batteries.

I had a coupon for Burger King and I love those Whopper with Cheese burgers.  Haven't been in months since I only go if I make it to Fernley or Fallon.  Then, we tried to stop by the feed store in our town but it was gone.  Didn't actually surprise me since the new owner was quite the character.  Read:  Clearly drinks a lot.  We had to drive to Dayton.  Hay was outrageous at almost $18 a bale for alfalfa and grass hay.  Still, we were getting low on alfalfa so we bought 2 bales and, since I am bringing a little horse home pretty soon, we bought one bale of grass hay.  At least they were heavy bales of good quality hay.  Hubby dragged them off the truck and into the hay shed.

We drove the horse pen supplies around through the veggie garden and parked near the work area.  The new garden set up is making it easy to use a truck and trailer in the garden.  Obviously, once the veggies are planted, we are done doing that until late fall.  This will be nice for bringing in manure, if we get around to it this year.

We got the lynch pin of the horse fence in.  It is the corner post for the reinforced corner where we will be hanging the six foot gate.

We got the last rafter up and the back trim board.  We seem to be moving right along on this project and we need to be.  We have to be hauling that little horse to our house in about 2 weeks.

A little taste of spring.  The pie cherry tree is blooming.  The ground squirrels and birds generally get the cherries, if we get anything at all.  So far, no late frost in the picture.  I have bird netting but I'll have to do it up tight on the bottom to keep the ground squirrels from stealing from us this year.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Meet Wiseguy...No, he's not mafia, he's mini

Meet Wiseguy.  He is 10 years old.  31 1/2 inches tall.  Weighs about 200 pounds.

I went to see this cute little miniature horse.  He was so sweet and patient and calm but with a bright set of eyes.

Cassidy, my trainer, and her dad showed up.  I was glad she could make it since this is a big decision.  There are some aspects of the horse and his training level that I would want to ask questions about.

The current owner, Jan, has owned him for eight years.  She taught him how to pull a cart.  She went to the pen,  whistled, Wiseguy came  to her and she gave him a carrot.  She put the halter on him and led him out.

She harnessed him up.  It took a fair amount of time but the little guy stood patiently.  Then she hooked him up to the cart. Jan drove him a bit, then Cassidy drove him around for awhile.  I hopped in the cart and Cassidy drove while we talked.  According to Cassidy, although the horse does have a couple of really minor issues, he really is a sweet and willing little guy.

We talked about his size.  Honestly, he is small.  I will not be able to drive myself and another large person for very far and I certainly won't be able to take two of us for long rides in the country.  I told Cassidy that, although I would like that, the reality is that it will be me and my little horse going out for drives alone the vast majority of the time.  Yet, I may want to think on that as a bigger horse would allow me more flexibility.  She reminded me that she is there to keep me on track and help me achieve my goals.  Fair enough and exactly what I need.

 We talked about his trot.  He isn't especially fast.  She says, "This is his speed.  This is how fast he likes to go.  How do you feel about that?"  I thought it was a nice speed not ridiculously fast but I think you could view the redtail hawks and the swallows, the cows and the deer nicely at that speed.

His trot really is cute.  He kind of has springs in his feet.  He has a bouncy, flouncy trot.

Wiseguy was a little unhappy about the bit. I noticed that Jan was having a hard time finding the middle of teeth when she was putting the bit in. Then, he seemed to be fussing at the bit just a little.  Cassidy and I discussed the bit and the way the horse was behaving while we trotted along.

Cassidy thought there were possibly a couple of things that could be going on.  One, that he may have been steered with the reins a bit hard.  The other that he may have some minor teeth problems with a point sticking out.  She thought that it wasn't a huge issue and that it could be worked out.  He also wan't wearing a cavasson which is important so that the horse can't spit the bit out.

Later on, she did look at his mouth and he does have a point on a tooth and a small ulcer in his mouth, despite the fact that Jan had his teeth floated last fall.  This is apparently common, fairly minor.  I will need to get his teeth floated when I get him home.

Every time we pulled up to people, Wiseguy tried to snuffle their pockets to see if they had a treat in there somewhere for him.  However, he did whoa when told so that worked out okay.

Finally, I drove the little guy.  I actually did quite good.  I backed him, walked him around quite awhile.  I did manage to do some subtle reining while turning him.

Here is the rest of this story:

I was quite proud of myself for doing some okay horse driving.  We all talked a bit more.

Trainer's dad says his feet are great.  I give the trainer a chance to talk to me alone.  Trainer dad says he really likes the horse and that he is very sweet.  Trainer says she really likes the horse.  I say that I really think this is a great horse for a beginner and that he will be a great confidence builder.  So I say, "You like the horse" and I point at trainer dad.  "You like the horse", I point at trainer.  I point towards myself and say, "I really like this horse so, Jan, how about we make a handshake deal right now?"  

Someone in the crowd said now is the time to talk price but I told Jan the price is fine.  The little guy is costing me $500.  He is coming home with 2 halters and a lead rope and a winter blanket.  In addition, I am paying her $800 for the cart and harness.  It is a good deal and the type of deal I was hoping to get.  This is a pet and I do have to keep the price within the realm of reason.

I also discussed that it would be a couple of weeks before we could take him home due to needing to complete his pen and buy him a water trough and such.  She was aware of that and reiterated that that is not an issue since she has already paid to board him through the end of April.

We shook hand and the deal was done.

Jan and I walked around to see a trailer after the trainer and her dad took off.  We hit it off nicely.  Discussed how pricey the show horses are and how they are breeding some flat headed, skinny legged miniature horses.  Yuck.  We both want a little horse that looks like a little horse and not freakish and we both want a little horse that can do its job.  Pulling a cart.

I may pick up a small trailer, as well.  We shall see.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Thanks Raymond, First Photos from New Camera

Hey, thanks Raymond.  I don't know what I was doing wrong before but I followed your directions and the camera wizard came up on the screen.  Yeah!!!

By the way I read one of your stories the other day on your blog.  Fun stuff!!!  I'll get over there to comment when I have a little time:)

This is a flash photo from the new camera.  They are both so cute, aren't they?  That is Doggy Daddy and Penny Poo Poo.

The horse shed with roof beams.

Two side rafters are up.  I then rigged it so that I could get the front trim board on.  This is a two ladder job.

Here is the horse shed with all but one rafter in place.  

My daffodils are looking good.  I should have some more coming up still that I transplanted around the yard last summer.  

Camera Problems and Working it in the Springtime

The camera is fine but I have to load a program [apparently] to allow me to get the pictures off the camera and into the computer.  This sucks!  The DVD reader thingey hasn't worked for a couple of years.  Sure, there have been a couple of times when we tried to get it going because we wanted something from a DVD but it just didn't seem like it was worth the time and the hassle to replace the DVD so we haven't gotten around to it.

The computer is probably five years old and I have been thinking about replacing it.  I am even considering an Apple computer.  I need to read up on this stuff.  We mostly use the computer for the internet, blogging and commenting, sharing photos.  I don't know what I will do about that.

In the meantime, I can't download my photos from my new camera because the DVD player isn't working and I need to put this program in from the disc that came with the camera.  Rats!!!

I got some good photos yesterday.  I got the roof struts on  the horse shed.  I put up the Simpson clips.  Then, I put on the two side rafters.  I screwed the front trim piece on [it's another 2x4].  Then I put up the other 2x4's for rafters by shoving them up against the front trim board.  Should come out pretty even that way.  We are ready to roof and put on the plywood siding.  There is also trim work to do.  I think I will worry about painting it in a few weeks.

The wind came up while I was working on the horse shed.  Chilly!!!  It didn't warm up much yesterday.  It snowed just enough to sting your face in the wind.  Fortunately, I fired up the wood stove so I could come in and warm up in between rounds of measuring and drilling and attaching.

I also got a couple of nice photos of the daffodils which are totally blooming in yellow drifts right now.  Spring is here although it was 28 degrees overnight last night.  I am hoping that the trees have been holding off leafing out/blooming and that it won't be a problem.  I'll find out when I walk around the yard later today.

I got 20 holes dug for the asparagus yesterday.  Then I got two wheel barrow loads of compost spread out into the 20 holes.  I'll probably put more compost into the holes as I plant the asparagus.  I got all the drip lines set up but three.  I'll do those today.  I have quite a few drippers [I like to call them bobblers] to pop on still.  I want to run the water today and plant the asparagus tomorrow or Wednesday.  If not then I have to wait until Saturday.  I think the plants are fine.  I put them in a bowl with damp coconut coir on the roots and put them in the fridge.

My artichokes are coming up so I need to work with them today.  The package said to soak them overnight in water.  Then, put them in a jar with peat moss [I used coconut coir] for two weeks.  It hasn't been two weeks but they are definitely sprouting.  I am going to do that right now since I don't want to go out until it warms up a bit.  The tubing is hard to work with when it is really cold.  The good news is there is no wind.

If I get lucky there will be little to no wind this afternoon when I go to see the little horse.  I'll have to take a few camera photos so I can get them on the blog.  Darn the camera problem:)  Wish me luck on the little horse.  I have been looking for quite some time.  I am not in a hurry but I would like to find the right horse at the right price so that I have the spring and summer to play with it.

The quail came through this morning while I was planting seeds.  I need to throw some chicken scratch out there for them.

Gardening Note:  Red Hot Pokers started today.