Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Suspended Animation

I have been blessed with decent weather lately.  Here it is mid November and the frosts are intermittent and we have had no snowfall so far.  Our temperatures are still hitting fifty degrees with regularity.  I should be in a flurry of activity.  Well, I was in a flurry of activity, but my old injury of three herniated disks is letting me know that it is still there.  I am moving much slower now.  Barely perceptible to the casual on looker.

I know to most people holes are not exciting.  But I had finished all of the big ones.... REALLY!!!!.... they were finished!  and all I had left were eight .... count 'em eight smaller holes for  supporting corners.  All eight are one third to half way down.  But they aren't finished and here I am moving at roughly the same rate as a three toed tree sloth.

I'm going to get brave today.  Waiting til the sun gets a bit higher in the sky and I'm out there!!  I HAVE to finish  the eight holes.  Why?  Because I am so damn sick and tired of talking about holes!!!  I know there is more to life and I want to get on with it!

The four big posts are set for the horse shelter.  They aren't lined up quite as well as I had hoped but that's okay.  The horses won't know.  I want to work on it so badly!!!!  but first the holes.  Then there is the putting in features of the track system and even actually getting to play with the horses.  So much I want to do, but first the holes must get done.  So I am going out there today.  I don't care how much zinging I have shooting down my legs, across my gluts and over my back.  Holes will be done!  No more suspended animation for me!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Farm of Sticks

I was visiting with a friend, Jackie.  It was about a year ago and we got to talking about fence.  I always talk about fence.  She has beautiful fence for her horses.  I mentioned that I was still working on cutting hedge posts to get more pasture available.  "Hedge!", she said, " I wouldn't use hedge.  Looks like you have a fence of STICKS!"  Well, yes she is right.  Not just sticks.  I suppose you could say that split rail fences look like sticks.... straight, orderly, rustic sticks.  Hedge on the other hand, looks more like someone's shillelagh.   And a row of hedge posts takes rustic to a whole new level.

This last year I have heard Jackie's words in my head over and over.  It has caused me to be reticent.  But truth be told...... I have no choice.  All I have is my shillelagh collection and if I can't avoid it, then I might as well celebrate it.  I will have my hedge fence.  I will have my hedge run in shed.  I will have my hedge gates... a hedge arbor and only God knows what else.

So I started to look at some resource materials and I found that sticks can be useful.....


And my gnarly hedge trees can be beautiful.........


And I should never give up on my dream being whimsical.......


And if you can't go big, go home.


I think I could really get into this!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Great Horse Escape

Okay, okay, so maybe it wasn't so great, but it really wasn't what I wanted to walk out to this morning. I had gotten the table scrap's for the chickens and headed out the door and I couldn't help but notice the round hoof prints in the mud next to the car.  Damn!  Then I heard the clunk of a garbage can.  I walked around the corner of the house, and there, next to the greenhouse, was Pip.  The alfalfa pellet can tipped over and her slowly munching contentedly.

I suppose this is a good time to put in a good word for Parelli foundation training because when she saw me she did  not take off at a run, or do anything to make catching her difficult.  I went ahead and fed the chickens and she waited for me.  I called her and she followed.  No rope.  No halter.  I was trying to figure out some way to contain her until I found her escape route, mend the fence, all that crap that I really was not in the mood to do.  I needed ideas.... maybe I could do something with  the half finished round pen.

She followed me around the corner of the fence and I could hear her coming along.  After a couple of hundred feet, I turned around.  No Pip.  I looked in the neighbors field... no Pip.  Looked back towards the greenhouse... wait!  There she is... standing at the gate.  Ears forward and eyes riveted on me.  I thought, well, she is calm and thinking.  She knows the drill, so we will try it her way first.  It was a bit of good luck actually.  The fence had not been sending a charge for awhile and it had been baffling me.  There it was.... the problem.  Somehow the ground wire had gotten clipped onto the bottom fence wire instead of the ground rod.  How the hell had that happened?!!!

I opened the wire gate and waited.  Here was the real test.  It is a very narrow gate and Pip , especially right now, is a wide horse.  I had no halter and no rope to encourage her.  It was quite a squeeze.  I just called her once, then tried to not look at her too much.  She didn't need any more pressure.  She rocked back and forth a couple of times, then focused on the far side of the pasture and came through.


I fixed the solar charger wires and watched Pip.  True to her nature, she went right to the spot where she had escaped.  She had just taken a drink and so it was a good snap that I heard when her wet lips hit the wire.  Again a bit of luck.  She had just stretched the wire and had not broken it.

I had gotten off lucky.  And Pip had managed to get an extra large breakfast this morning.  I also got a warning.  I have to get that fence finished.  Every day is precious.  Winter is coming and I'm still not ready and today Pip reminded me just how unready I am.  Bugger.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Beat Goes On

I'm just back into the house from letting the chickens out for the day.  Every morning I take out whatever kitchen scraps I have and dump them out in a line next to the coop then open the door and they are off like a shot.    As I left the coop, I had to give a thought to the next upgrade.  While my little 4ft. x 4ft. coop meets their needs, I'd like something a bit bigger so they don't get too cranky when I'm late getting out there.  Typically I'm late only when Mac is in the hospital.

That made my mind go elsewhere.  My oldest daughter thinks the blog should turn into a bit of a how to blog.  She is probably right, but I don't want to forget where it came from.  The origin was about surviving cancer when you're not the one that has the disease.  When you're the one standing there and watching.  When you're the one handing out pills, setting up home IVs, dealing with vomit and nausea, pain, anger and seeing all of the support for the patient, and feeling your life being totally eaten away. Being alone and there is no one there to pat your hand and say "there, there."  Feeling yourself being turned into a none human service commodity and then having others ask you what do you have to complain about anyway?

If I were a celebrity, I suppose I could start an organization that would support families of cancer victims.  We would wear matching shirts and have 5K runs and everybody would win.  But I'm not a celebrity so I will just sit here and wait for you to find me.  Then I will tell you to rage!  RAGE!  Then start doing something.  I started building a house.  I started building fence.  I got some chickens and watched them go from fluff to going into that good night, which was followed by my freezer.  I have bound my life up with a little chestnut pony and a blond haflinger and a very old dog.

There is a video out there somewhere on youtube of my favorite author, Neil Gaiman, giving a talk.  His advice in the video is to make "good art"  If life is good to you the response is to "make good art"  When things have been bad the response is to "make good art".  The process of making good art is the process of human conditions.  My place, my dream, is my canvas and I hope that with it, I am making "good art".  It fills my heart when nothing else could.  So if we move on, and I have handy hints and tips on using vinegar, I don't ever want to forget that first and foremost, you need to find the way to fill your own heart.  Find a way to go out there and make your own good art.

Today the wind is raw and out of the north, but it's not too cold.  I have to pull some tee posts and take down some wire.  It is a process.  I'll be out there in the wind, trying to make my own "good art".


Monday, November 4, 2013

Eventful Days

Sometimes there are events that just seem to be harbingers.  I believe I have had one already this morning.  I was having one of those mornings where hauling myself out of bed was proving to be difficult.  So the best idea seemed to be to not make the effort at all.  I just snuggled in tighter while Mac went and took his bath and got ready for work.

It was working out fine.

 Mac came down and started getting dressed.  He was acting incredibly cheerful which I chalked up as an attempt to lure me out from the covers.  I burrowed in deeper and told him to go take his morning meds.  He cheerily headed round the corner to the kitchen.  I was starting to feel a new wave of contentedness when Mac made a truly weird noise.  It was somewhere between a girly screech and a great sucking in of air.  If the vocal cords had been able to orchestrate the dysfunctional effort, it would have been impressive.

As I am used to Mac's  bursts of panic, I simply asked, "What now?"

He stood outside the bedroom door and said a bit breathlessly, "There's a mouse in the sink"

"I guess I have to get up then", I said.

He responded, "I don't know what to do."

So, up I go and walk to the front door and get a coffee can from the recycling that somehow didn't get taken to the recycling bin in town.  I walked to the sink.  Spotted my quarry.  Then with a whirl of failed attempts, I managed to put the coffee can over the furry villain.  Then slid a paper plate under the can, trapping him inside.

"I've got him.... get the door for me"  Mac opened the door while I got on my flip flops and headed out to some tall grass.  He followed, fulfilling his role as support team.  Maintaining a safe distance and keeping the front door open, just incase we needed to bolt back in.  I tossed the mouse into the tall grass noting where he landed.  Then turned and went back to the house.  Mac preceded me.

He said, "You know, you're too kind hearted."

Then I pondered..... I think I'm just more practical.  What did he want me to do?  Strangle the wee victim with my bare hands?  How awkward.  Regardless, it was an interesting way to start my day, and as I am a person that believes that all of the big events in our lives are manifested from the smallest, I have to believe that today will be a harbinger of things to come.

It should be interesting.