Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Guess What?!?

There's grass on that there hill!!!

All of our hard work didn't wash away after all!!!! From what it looks like now, the damage may not be nearly as bad as I thought!
Here are some photos from today:





Watering it, since it doesn't look like we are getting rain soon....



The photo above shows where the major washing took place. There are a few spriggs of grass here and there. Not exactly sure what we will do with this area yet, but HCG1 and Sunny have given us some really great suggestions!

GRASS!!!

The photos below are of the bottom of the hill near the ditch. There are some really nice green spots down there! Maybe it will spread?

The photo below shows the major wash area again. There is even a little grass popping up here.


We planted bermuda grass this time around, bahia grass this past winter (as recommended by the man at the feed store.) He said both were tough and would spread. I looked at my parents' pasture yesterday and they have a lot of bermuda grass. It was gorgeous after all the rain it has gotten lately. So, maybe there is hope after all....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friends

Friends can be quite amazing sometimes. And friends that you have had the privilege of knowing since you were 9 years old can be the most amazing people you've ever known.
My oldest son is beginning to ride fairly regularly, but none of my saddles are really child-size. He's had to ride in the saddles I've owned for many, many years, so they are large, hard, and not the most comfortable things to sit on.
Well, HCG1 was reading my blog recently and felt like it was time for D to have his own saddle. She searched online and found the PERFECT one. So, without hesitation, she bought it, shot me an e-mail, and shipped it to D. It arrived on Monday.

D had been out of town with my parents for the past week. He knew he had a big box coming, but had no idea what the contents were...

"Oh MAN!!"

"No WAY!!!"


"Mom, can I get Tonto out?!?"

A beautiful 15 3/4 inch Wintec 500 All Purpose, display model - had never been used, but HCG1 said she got a great deal on it. Since it has the CAIR panels, we can fit it to any of the horses D rides in the future. This is a dream come true for D (and me!).
Above, Tonto sports the new saddle.


Here D prepares to ride in the awesome new saddle...

D's position improved 100% with this saddle, but I needed to drop his stirrups a hole or two. He said it was soooooo comfortable. The seat has incredible padding!
He now sits balanced in the middle of the saddle and doesn't slide around. Since he won't have to worry about trying to stay in my big ole saddle, he can concentrate on his position. I look forward to watching D really learn to ride now.
This was a complete surprise and such a selfless, generous act of kindness on HCG1's part. Once D gets a little older, he'll have to go work for HCG1 to pay off this saddle. :)

Thank you HCG1, you are the greatest! We love you!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

All that Hard Work

Down the ditch. We had 2 gully washers in 2 days, with more rain today. Needless to say, all that topsoil, seed, straw and hard work has been washed away. We definitely needed the rain, but not in buckets...


We are really going to have to address drainage now. The 2 photos below show where a drainage pipe is buried underground that is supposed to drain water from the top of the hill by the barn down to the ditch. There is a grate near the barn to collect the water and direct it down this pipe. It works great when we don't have a lot of rain, but when we have gully washers, the pipe fills up and the excess water rushes down the hill. I'm thinking we need to just make this a drainage ditch....


Packed clay is what is left. Grass doesn't grow at all in these places, so we'll have to try to get topsoil spread again.
Even Daisy looks sad.

And here is where it all went. I bet this drainage ditch is going to have beautiful grass in about a week!

So, there goes the hill. Another set back. Oh well. My dear hubby is now talking about sodding some of the areas. I wish we could afford having someone terrace it, then plant seed with a seed drill....Please wish us luck.

A Few Favorite Photos

Here are a few of my favorite photos.

The below 2 photos were taken last April. D is on Tonto and I'm on Maggie. It was the last time I rode Maggie. She is now a pasture ornament, enjoying her time lounging around the pasture in her favorite spots. She turned 30 years old this year.

Here are some of my favorite shots of D and Tonto.

This is my middle son B. He's not much into riding yet, but maybe he will be when he gets a little older. Right now Leggos and swimming are his thing.

Yep, B loves to wear goggles in the bath tub! I love this shot, too. My Dad snapped this one in April 2007. Filly and I are sharing a quiet moment after some time on the longe line.
Just wanted to share a few of my favorite photos. Thank you for stopping by!
I'll post an update on the erosion with photos later. Lots of damage. Ugh.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rain is Good...

...unless you get too much at one time. We have had 2 incredible thunderstorms roll through in the past 2 days. The first one dumped over 4and 1/4 inches at my parents' house in Pike Road on Friday before rolling into Prattville where we live. Where we just put all of that topsoil and seed on the hill in front of what was to be my dream barn.

The farrier came to Pike Road to trim the horses' feet, and since my folks were out of town, I had to meet him (one of my favorite things to do). BL the farrier is always so full of wisdom. I love spending time talking to him while I hold the horses.

This is what I saw driving from Pike Road to Prattville. I pulled over to the side of the road to take photos, I was so impressed with the storm rolling in.

As soon as I pulled into our driveway, the bottom fell out. I thought with severe dread, "Oh no! Here goes the hill!!" We spent close to $1,000 on topsoil, seed, straw and water for that hill...

I get my daughter into the house as lightening is popping everywhere and rain is falling like someone pouring it out of a fire hose, go to the door and see this:


This is not good. When I prayed for rain, I was really hoping to get several days of gentle rain, not the "Great Flood." I'm not looking forward to seeing the damage....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Heart Hurts

This is Molly. She adopted us back in late November 2002. My oldest son brought her into the house and said she needed a home. We already had a cat, so we really didn't need another one....but when you have a really soft spot for homeless animals, it is hard to say no. So, my son had this great idea to give Molly to his Dad for Christmas. We went and picked out a bright red collar with a bell on it, put it on Molly, and D gave Molly to Dad for Christmas. How could he say we couldn't keep her? He couldn't say no. Thus began a love-hate relationship between Molly and my husband. Molly loved to hate my husband and my husband loved to hate Molly. B would walk into the house and Molly would hiss in the nastiest way; and he would always be sure to greet her in the same way.
But Molly became my best little buddy. I guess when you are the sole person feeding a cat, they tend to really, really like you. Every where I went, Molly went, too. And she never walked beside me; she zig-zagged back and forth right in front of me. If I wasn't really careful, I'd accidentally boot her into the air. I never could figure out why she wouldn't just walk next to me...or just follow me! She would love to run in front of me as I was hurrying through the house and cut me off. I guess it was fun to see me try not to fall on my face.

She was a very vocal cat and meowed constantly. We would even have conversations.

"Hey Molly!"
"Meow."
"Hey Kitty-Kitty!"
"Meow."


And now she has been missing for a week. I fear the worst, as we have coyotes, bobcats, stray dogs, owls and hawks all over the place. She was very shy, except around us, so I know she didn't just take up with someone else. I made the horrible mistake of letting her stay out overnight, which I NEVER do. It was the same mistake I made with our other cat, who also disappeared one night. I knew better!

Every time I walk by the kitchen window, I can't help but look to make sure she isn't sitting there waiting for me to let her in. I miss her meows and her running in front of my feet. I miss her purrs and her company. Oh, goodness, my heart hurts.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Labor of Love

For those of you who know me personally, you know I have been begging, pleading, and begging and pleading for my husband to finish our pole barn and put up fencing on our small 4-acre piece of heaven (for years.). This has been a work in progress for the past 5 years and finally we are beginning to see the light near the end of the tunnel.

Here is the original pole barn:

The gentleman we bought our house from was...a pack-rat of sorts. This is actually the cleaned up version of the pole barn. When we bought this place, you couldn't walk around the barn for all of the "stuff." My hubby hauled off trailer-load after trailer-load of junk to get to this point.

Yes, this pole barn was built around a utility trailer. I posted the trailer in a local bulletin board and advertised,"Free to good home. You can have it if you can haul it." You wouldn't believe the people that came out of the woodwork to get this trailer. A man with a wrecker service ended up hauling it away on a huge wrecker. I couldn't have been happier to see it go!

Empty pole barn...yes, the antique car had to be moved, unfortunately....but now we have a "clean slate" to work with.

Next...concrete! This was poured in September 2007.


Yep, those are horseshoes in the aisle.



The horseshoes belong to my horses of the past: Buck, Hamlet, and Ollie. One of Maggie's is placed there, too.





Studs going in for walls - the end of October 2007. This side will eventually be the feed and tack rooms. The extra concrete to the right will be an overhang. Possibly where the antique car will go...










The dirt is where the two stalls will go. They should end up being approximately 14 x 14. I wanted big stalls since I will have to keep the ponies up during the day. Filly is prone to sweet itch (please let me know if you have any remedies) and Tonto looks pregnant because he holds his weight so well...


Below is another shot looking down the aisle. Feed and tack to the left and stalls to the right; middle aisle I have always dreamed of.





Now to the property itself: These are original views, before we cleared some of the trees and brought in over 4 tons of fill-dirt and topsoil to fill in ruts, holes, and to plant grass.



Below: Hubby spreading topsoil. This was definitely a "labor of love." He spent 2 entire days (his entire July 4th weekend) on this bobcat spreading and smoothing the topsoil so we could seed this area.

And this is my wonderful, non-horsey husband spreading straw on the newly planted grass seed.




Below are two of our three adorable kids helping to spread the topsoil:

Oops! Nothin' like eating a little dirt!


As you can see, this has been a LONG, SLOW process, and quite the labor of love on my husband's part. We still have a long way to go as far as getting the fencing up and the barn complete, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel (or end of the barn aisle, if you will...). Currently, my three horses reside 30 minutes away with my parents in my old home town of Pike Road. It will be a dream come true to one day be able to walk out of my back door and see my horses grazing peacefully once again (as I did in those days long gone...)

Thank you Hubby, for all you have done and continue to do.
I'll be sure to keep the rest of you updated on the barn progress!