Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lady, Mud and Crazy People

We've been busy here on the new farm getting things cleaned up, repairing fences, putting in gates as the budget allows, playing with the animals and looking for paying gigs to help fund the projects here. We've enjoyed the wonderful company of lots of family and friends since moving in. It's been wonderful to be able to house them, and for children to run (nearly) wild while parents actually have time to converse (or run wild with and without the kids).

Kristin Horowitz joins us for a trail ride on Lady
Our biggest news this month is the acquisition of new pets: three kittens who will serve as our outdoor mousers - all rescued from a local household overrun with kittens; and one new horse - now the girls can ride together if they so choose. The kittens, though all from litter, are a motley crew. (Photos in camera, of all things, so I'll have to add them later.) One blue-gray furball I named "Blue" because I'm THAT ORIGINAL. Yep. The black/gray tabby was named Catrinka by E. And V named the tortoise shell kitty Molly (with apologies to our Louisiana friend). They have mastered their quarters in the garage and are marking the heck out of the sideyard territory. Blue caught his first lizard today, so at least one of them should work out as a  mouser, right?

Tee's Impressive Lady, a 15-year-old Quarter Horse, was added to our pasture this month after retiring from her recent stint as a lesson horse at Cal Poly where she was also used by the Cal Poly Equestrian Team. She's got some arthritis, but she's active as anything. We were told her arthritis would keep her from loping or galloping. Seems no one told her. While we tend not to lope her under saddle, she's happy as can be in these pastures and regularly can be seen running the hills, ravines and flats. She has a stiff, funky gate when she gathers speed, but we didn't get her for her show.

Lady's been working really well on our recent trail rides. E joined me for a 10-mile day out on Santa Margarita Ranch, a beautiful property not far from us. I was there to shoot photos of an adventure race (see aforementioned comment re: paying gigs), but enjoyed a fabulously beautiful day of adventure with my daughter as well. So glad she asked to join me! I rode Lady. E took more-reliable, quieter Maddie.

My event photos are also now for sale online (Dawn to Dusk Adventure Challenge and Mud Mash X) and I suspect this sales site will see additional photos go up in coming months as we look toward the next phase of Best Family Adventures enterprises.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One Farmer's Trash is Another Farmer's...well...Trash

I don't know what it is about living in open spaces, but there seems to be some sort of tradition that involves leaving a big trash pile behind for future generations. I'm not talking about wood scraps, pipe and fencing materials. I'm talking about true trash.Trash that's no good for kids or animals. Trash that says, "I never planned to be here forever, and I don't care about the people who live here after we leave."

We've been cleaning up trash ever since we moved here Valentine's week. We've carted off loads of rotted wood (and enjoyed it in ceremonial celebrations of our move to the country), used magnets to pick up loads of nails and wire, even called on grandmothers to help us pick up broken glass and seemingly endless strands of various wire throughout the lower pasture area.

Yesterday evening, I took the Jeep to the "old pond" to start picking up some of the heavy stuff. The Jeep, you see, has a vital tool - a winch! Makes life SO much easier when it comes to finding things like, oh, buried wheels, large parts from farm implements, old rusted valves that are too heavy even for Mr. B to carry down to the growing scrap pile.

This morning, V helped me gather three garbage bags worth of glass bee bottles and a truck bed load stacked with random parts from refrigerators and cars. Though we couldn't load it due to weight, we did mange to pull a piano soundboard to the scrap metal heap as well.

Unfortunately, I'm pooped, and we need the truck bed for other goods later this week. So, it's off to the dump we go with this load. We've saved up a heap of scrap metal (into which the piano soundboard certainly will go) to be delivered to the appropriate recycling (ie. cash back) center as soon as we figure out how to get it into our trailer. (Need a winch in there, too!)

Oh, other chores like fence building and weed pulling continue, and unpacking the house, too.

Eventually we'll get to planting the garden Big Red helped me til...eventually.

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