Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gelding The Stallion, formerly known as Lucky

Lucky had his gelding procedure yesterday. I moved the horses around between the
pastures to put the mares out on the grass, and Lucky up close to the house where we would have easy access to him when the vet arrived.

Unfortunately, when a mare's foal is a week old, the mare has 'foal heat' and is willing to be bred again. The brown mare is coming in to that, and Lucky went over one fence and through a pasture to get to her. I got to him before he got busy with her....there's a lot of flirting that goes before any action with horses. I got them all sorted out and him tied up to a fence far away from the ladies.

We made a quick four wheeler run to the cabin for some tools, and when we got back, the new baby had gotten outside of the two strand electric fence and wanted back with his momma very badly, but was NOT going to touch that fence again. It took some strategy and luck to get him back in, as he is not tame yet. Lonnie worked the gate, and I moved past the colt and encouraged him to go toward the opening. Thank goodness it worked the first time, and we didn't have to spend an hour running around in the pasture.

Then, the vet got here. We moved Lucky to a shady and clean part of the lawn, gave him the anesthesia shots, and he got wobbly legged, and then sat and rolled over....the wrong direction. This is a HUGE horse that probably weighs 1300 lbs,
even skinny. So, the vet and I each grabbed a let, me on the front, him on the back, and rolled him over. I stayed at Lucky's head, the vet started to get the job done,
and I had to start singing to the horse so I wouldn't HEAR the cutting. URK!

Then, we had to keep the dogs out of the bucket of

It took Lucky about 30 minutes to come to, and he wobbled around for about another hour. When he was grazing and steady we went in the house, leaving him tied in the shade on a long grazing rope (something he is used to.) Next time we looked out, he had broken free and was over by the mares again. GEEEEEZZ.

Luckily, he's easy to catch, so he was returned to his own pasture.
I put his new halter on, which happened to be pink. He managed to lose it over night. Guess he didn't appreciate pink in his newly neutered condition.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Call Me A Roofer

The "Doll House" has been having some leaky roof issues during some of the recent tropical downpours. A couple of years ago, I had a local roofer use the roll roofing to try to solve that problem. It only worked temporarily, and the time came to make major improvements.

My friend, Lynn, who has been doing much of the recent work on the Office of Multiplicity, said she would come early today to help me put the roof on. She always brings her daughter, Misty, age 13, who is normally an excellent helper. Lynn said that she wouldn't get on the roof, but Lynn is normally fearless, and I expected her to climb up and pitch in after the first few minutes. Oh, how wrong I was!

Lynn and Misty arrived at 8:00 AM, which is good, because the temperatures were projected to rise to the mid 90's. I went up to start freeing up the flashing at the upper end of this 24' x 13' roof area. Lynn and Misty stood on the ground, talking to my renter, Frankie. Lynn again declined to get on the room, and Misty followed her mother's lead. The whole roofing project was then up to me.

Lynn tossed me tools when I needed them and handed up the V-crimp sheet metal one piece at at time. They are unweildy due to length, so I'm glad she helped with that, but Frankie did just as well when Lynn went to Klekar's Lumber Yard to get more meta. After I got over my irritation at the lack of help, I got into a rhythm of lining up the 14' sheets of metal and screwing them down to the deck. Thank goodness, it's not a very steep roof. It took twelve sheets of 14' and five sheets of 8' V-crimp to cover the roof over the kitchen and back porch/steps.

During the process, Lynn noticed the fat next door neighbor leaning against his porch post, watching us work. She was really grumbling under her breath about it, so I finally looked up and said to him (with a smile), "You could come help!"

He laughed and said, "I just find it surprising to see two women working."

I had to resist the urge to show him a one finger salute and instead told him, "I wouldn't phrase it that way if I were you." Lynn added some comments about men working, and the fellow went into his house.

Luckily, the weather was partly cloudy, and I had occasional shade from white puffy clouds. When the sun came out, the roof really started heating up. The last ten minutes of work, just before 11:00 AM were horribly hot. I drank two bottles of water during the process, but I still lost three pounds during the three hours it took to get the roof on.

That's a project that's been looming over me for a while, and I'm glad to get it finished. Proud of my work on it, too, especially since it turned out to be an almost solo project!

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Positive Frame of Mind

Over on, there are some folks who just LOVE to be negative, especially if it's a gloom and doom prediction based on a recent media story.

One of the most prolific negative posters started a thread this morning, predicting what was going to happen as fuel prices rise. "
Purchases of things other than what is needed to maintain what we presently have will be very rare. Watch for headlines stating 'starvation in the cities', you will be rewarded. Collage educations will be worthless, learning to survive will be priceless.
The depression of the 30's will appear as being a cake walk, compared to whats coming. I expect to see small compounds banning together to survive, we are headed to third world status; maybe not within my life time but in the near future. Teach your children how to raise foods, hunt and fish, defend their selves, there is no one available to bail us out..."

For some reason, I have a difficult time staying out of these silly discussions, and I posted a very short simple rebuttal saying that we can't predict the future and that I preferred not to tell myself and others negative stories about what may happen.

That opened the floodgates to the other Negative Nellies, and when one of them said that my problem was that I wear rose colored glasses, my patience snapped. Herewith, my reply....

You know, I just am totally amazed every time I get hammered for positive thinking. There are some folks on this board that just can't stand it when someone stands up for not being gloom and doom. You'd think I'd learn to keep my mouth shut.

I will be more specific:

A. We bought Howard Ruff's _How to live in the coming bad years_ back in the 70's. Then, we bought gold and silver, stocked up on emergency food, etc etc. His predictions fell on their fanny.

B. A few years ago, we heard all about how the Mexicans were going to march up Highway 59 and invade. They didn't.

C. We heard about all the diseases that were supposed to wipe out half the population and decimate the ecomony. They didn't.

D. We read on other threads about the "decline of the small town," but if you LOOK, there are thriving, wonderful small towns. I know this, I live near one and travel through them frequently.

E. I have faith in the citizens of the United States and their ability to respond to whatever the world economy throws at us.

F. What I don't do is fall for every media-hyped Chicken Little story.

G. We have traveled internationally for business, and I realize that our 'middle class' is so far more wealthy that most of the rest of the world that our whining about it makes us a laughing stock on a global level.

I don't have rose colored glasses, and I resent the personal attack(s.) What I do have is a paid for home, a garden, and a plan. Because we have been working our plan for 30 years, we are farther down the homestead road than a lot of the people on this list, and I get hammered for that, too. We are successful, and we have worked hard to get here.

And some of you don't like that.

Call Me A Mechanic

I had some trouble with the riding lawn mower this morning. This is the relatively new Craftsman 20 HP, 42 inch cut machine. I cleaned the air filters, sprayed carb cleaner in the appropriate orifice, then saw a telltale drip. The fuel line to the carborator was cracked and leaking in two places. I went to Bep's and got new fuel line, then called Sears to get instructions on getting to the end of the line that I couldn't see. They wouldn't tell me, as it was a 'safety issue,' and recommended that I call for service. I had already checked online, and the soonest a repair person could get here was July 26.

Sooooooooooooooooooooo, I took off the housing for the air filter, and TA-DA, there was the other end of the fuel line. Got that replaced, then decided to check all the sections of the line and the fuel filter. Went back to Bep's for more parts, and got it all put back together. The mower's running nicely now, but the temp is 94 degrees outside, and I'm taking a break!!

Anyway, I'm pleased. The base charge for Sears coming out if you don't have a service agreement is $94, so I think I did pretty well by doing that project myself.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Always Something To Do

It has been almost a month since I posted, due to just being busy. The garden in Missouri is coming on, and there's been weeding and tying up of tomato and cucumber vines. Lots of watering has been required because it hasn't rained in a month. DRY DRY DRY!

We have been cleaning out Lonnie's wood working shop and replacing everything where it belongs. It's three rooms, so that's a lot of work. It's good, however, because it will not only be ornganized again, but I'll know where stuff belongs!

The horses are no longer a problem because I bought them. Randy needed money and I got the Missouri Fox Trotter stallion, two mares (both bred), and a three month old filly for a grand total of $800. They are thin and hungry, but basically healthy. We are starting them on good grass hay (thank you John Walters) and a feed designed for horses who need to be rehabilitated. As soon as they start looking better, I'll sell the mares and the filly. I may keep the stallion to bring to Texas and breed to Cookie, my line back dun Mustang.

I'm currently in Ganado, catching up on stuff here, getting ready for Dan's family reunion and his birthday. It has rained so much here that the mosquitoes are absolutely horrible, swarms of huge ones attack you every time you go outside. Sure makes it hard to go for a walk or bike ride. I wish I could send some of this rain to southern Missouri where it is SO dry that the gravel road to the house sends up clouds of flour-like dust with every passing car.

I'd better get busy sorting the stack of mail and tidying up my studio. There's always things to do, no matter where I am!