Monday, June 29, 2009

B&A - The Front Pasture!

We have pasture! Of course we don't have our fencing up yet, but we have pasture. So exciting!

This is our "Front Pasture". Hopefully one of two or three pastures that we'll get in eventually. We still have the jacked up fence along the perimeter that came with the house and it's just cross fenced with t-posts and one strand of tape that isn't hot, but the pasture is graded, seeded and growing grass beautifully!

For a little comparison, here is the before picture from when we first bought the house.

We didn't take out too many trees from this particular section, but we did remove lots and lots and lots of brush and blackberry bushes and the big pile of junk that I assume was from when they originally cleared it. There were 3 large piles of debris around the property that they never got to burning apparently. I know I've mentioned the panicked clearing of our property in 2 weekends time with less then a weeks notice before and I promise I'll tell you that story one day.

This is a picture of the pasture while we were clearing. We (and by we, I of course mean the boyfriend because I was pretty much just supervision/support) moved the original pile up, fluffed it and added TONS more to it. It pretty much burned for two weeks straight and we got rid of a lot of stuff. Luckily the boyfriend is an expert on heavy equipment and whipped the property into shape really quickly with just the rented dozer.

If you can focus on the pasture behind my shaggy horse in this picture, you'll see what it looked like after the clearing. We wanted the horses to still have turnout, but it was rocky and uneven and only a few small spots had grass and it just wasn't very pretty at all. There was still about 15 feet of blackberries along the bottom fenceline also so the pasture didn't go all the way down.

Here the boyfriend is on Holly in April cleaning it up, making sure it's all level, getting rid of most of the blackberries and rocks and clearing all the way down to the bottom fenceline. Quality Control (Cheyanne) is watching intently, making sure the job gets done right!

After he finished with all that he seeded it and counted on the spring rains. Well, we got one good drenching, like torrential down pour, where a lot of the seed was just washed away, and then not much else. He reseeded the upper portions where it had washed away and then set up some sprinklers since we weren't getting much more rain. It was hard to complain about no rain after the loooooong winter we had, but it would have been nice for the grass growing operation.

It all worked out though. There is plenty of beautiful, tall grass out there.

Since it's still baby grass the roots aren't strong enough to stay put with the ponies nibbling on it, but the boyfriend said too bad! They need turnout! They have been getting stalked (or is it stocked?) up standing in their little paddocks and bored out of their minds. They need the exercise and freedom. And the grass! Though hay prices have come down to around $11/bale here, from the $17+ it was, it's still nice when they get to graze. I think they were really loving it. We had some very content ponies.

I just love this shot....

It's a dream come true on so many levels: the horses, the pasture "done", owning the property, having a view of the's still almost surreal to me. And seriously, how many people do you know that are lucky enough to have that view from their front porch? I could stare at it all day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge - Things With Wings

This week's challenge was pretty fun for me. I've been wanting to get out and try to capture some of the critters around here anyways, so this is gave me a deadline to git'r done.

Early in the week I went to roll up the hose and found this little guy chillin' on it. It's the smallest grasshopper I've ever seen. Not sure if it's a baby or a mini variety. I'm going to go with baby because I don't recall usually seeing them this early in the summer. And I had to google to make sure grasshoppers really have wings. I was pretty sure, but not 100%. They do! Isn't he cute?!? He just sat there and posed for me while I took his picture.

Our house came with a ton of birdhouses hung every where on the property and lots of eaves and places to stash nests so we get lots of baby birdies. This particular bird house is of the tri-level variety and actually pretty cute. I think the guy that used to live here liked wood working as they all seem to be home made. As far as I can tell there is only one nest in this house and the daddy bird was eye ballin' me hard when I was hiding behind a big shrubby thing trying to take pictures of him.

And here's his little wifey. She took one look at me and flew off. I didn't see her again while I was out there. Must have been her woman's intuition, she knew something was not right, even though I meant them no harm.

When I was wandering around outside picking flowers for my bouquet I happened upon this little guy.

And this bumble bee on this thistle. Oh, actually it looks like he's on a clover flower next to a thistle. He seemed a little tuckered out. He must have had a busy day because he was pretty much just hangin' there, not getting much work done. Slacker worker bee!

I liked this picture of the bumble bee with more of the thistle and my pony in the background.

Hope everyone is having an awesome weekend! Off to check out the other entries.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In Other News...

It's been a very interesting week. I've actually had a bit of a rough week. I think I'm getting a little burned out at work. I need to get some time off planned so I have something to look forward to and so that I can recharge. I should be able to take a week off sometime in the next month or two so that'll be good. I think part of my getting burned out is not taking the time to relax in the evenings. Like, relax by reading. I decided I needed that down time again so Wednesday night I grabbed a book. Hey man, I lasted like, almost a whole two weeks! I think. It seemed like two weeks, maybe it was only one. I can't remember. Anyways, it worked wonders, but I'm still burned out at work.

Tuesday night working buffalo was good and bad. Midori worked really well, she was cowing up and turning nicely, but at one point when I stopped her to get the back in and turn properly, the buff got away from us so she took off after it and tripped. She went flying when she tripped and my head snapped back. We were fine other then that, but I ended up with whip lash. Then I had to ride Sugar on the buffalo also because the boyfriend ended up working late that night. She is a total spaz and I was not quite prepared for it. She was all over the place and I could not hold my seat to save my life. It was hilarious!!! I was totally cracking up at myself hanging off the side of her. Poor thing. She was probably wondering who this jack ass was on top of her and where the heck her dad was! lol Needless to say, after getting whip lash with Midori, that ride really did a number on my lower to mid back as well. So Wednesday I was pretty sore, probably why I decided to grab a book and get some down time.

By Friday my back was still sore and a little crackly, but getting better. I was sitting at my desk and decided to stretch. Innocent enough, right? Well, not this time. Something popped in my neck and suddenly I could not move my head. You know in that movie Romey and Michelle's High School Reunion (atleast I think it's that movie, correct me if I'm wrong jrosey, I don't know that movie all that well) where one of them has the deformity or something in her neck and has to wear the neck brace? Well, I looked like her before the neck brace, with my left ear practically on my shoulder. I couldn't turn my head or even hold it straight up. It was painful. Every time I moved it I would get shooting pains. So I checked out my insurance's preferred providers and there was 3 chiropractors within a mile or two of my work. Yay! I made an apt with one for a couple hours later and suffered thru work until then.

That was a momentous occasion for me because I have never been to the chiropractor before. Ever. I've had them out for my horses and I'm a firm believer in them for horses, but I've always been afraid to go or just not felt it was necessary. Funny thing, when you can't move your head a chiropractor suddenly seems necessary and that appointment could not come fast enough!

So some xrays and minor adjustments later I could hold my head up almost straight. Yay! There was definately some swelling in my neck and I was told to ice it as much as I can over the weekend, take it easy and come back on Monday for a follow up. Apparently I more or less sprained my neck. I did not know you could do such a thing. It kinda sorta really sucks too. It hurts. Looking at myself in the mirror yesterday if I held my head straight up and down my neck looked crooked. It was trippy. After the chiro I took the rest of the day off from work and headed home.

I loaded some pics, got caught up on some blog reading, blogged a little myself, just couldn't bring myself to park it on the couch with my book. I was all fidgety and wanting to get something done, but knew I was supposed to be taking it easy. Eventually I did lay down and do a little reading but then the boyfriend came home and was outside doing some stuff and I couldn't handle it any more. I went out and watered flowers and horses and tried to pick easy things to do. The whole time the boyfriend was telling me I should be inside relaxing.

I ended up outside with my camera taking a whole bunch of pictures and picking this bouquet of daisies, grasses and other random pretty things I found around the property. The boyfriend was laughing at me trying to bend over to pick flowers without turning my head. I'm sure it did look comical, but he could also tell that I was having a good time doing it, whether it hurt or not.

I like the way the bouquet turned out! There were some tall grasses out there that looked almost burgundy and all different shapes and kinds. It was fun to put together with the different textures and things.

There were the daisies out there and these cute little yellow flowers and this odd red stemmy stuff too.

I just picked whatever I thought looked interesting and came inside and got it all arranged.

This weekend is my birthday weekend, but we've got so much other stuff going on that I don't get to celebrate quite yet. It's usually the way so I'm not complaining. I'm actually usually down in Oregon at a big drill competition this weekend. It's kind of nice being home for a change. There is a loggers rodeo that we really want to go too, so that should be fun if we make it out there. The boyfriend signed up for a two day cutting horse clinic before he realized what weekend it was on, so that is what we'll be doing for most of the weekend. He's riding in it and I really should go audit it. I need to learn lots from it too so that he doesn't start kicking my butt in cutting on a regular basis. :) Speaking of that, I really should go jump in the shower and get over there.

Next up (hopefully) ~ why this picture is so darn exciting! Any ideas?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Gray-ish GreenThumb

Well, I've said before that I don't really have a green thumb. I've called it my black thumb of death before because I can kill just about anything. I had a much longer record of killing things then keeping them alive. But this year, that is starting to change! YAY! So I'm considering my Black Thumb of Death more a Gray-ish Green Thumb. I'm still killing plenty of things, but I actually have just as many, if not more, things staying alive and thriving this year.

First up ~ the raspberries in the garden. They came with the house and are super duper low maintenance, they grew totally on their own last year, so they hardly count. I would like to think that all the weeding and rearranging and tlc I've given them this year is helping them produce more then they did last year though. They are really going to town so far this year so I'm thinking that may be the case. The first of the berries are allllllmost ready! Wohoo!

Next up ~ What is this I see? It's a little tomato starting to form! So cute!

Next ~ we have the Bachelor Buttons that I planted as seeds. They survived the last couple frosts (in May!) and are growing quickly. There is supposed to be a row of tall sunflowers behind them and shorter bushy sunflowers in front of them, but I don't see any of them coming up. I'm bummed about the sunflowers, but at least the Bachelor Buttons are coming up!

Here we have take #3 on the porch pot. Chey managed to get the purple leafy plant out of one of the pots and destroy it so I had to find something to replace it. Again. This is the same type of flower that was in there originally, just a different color. Next to it is a pretty vinca vine that I intended to use some where else, but ran out of room so I stuck it in there. So far so good on try #3. Hopefully they stick around, I kinda like these ones. Trying not to get too attached though, just in case.

The hanging baskets are still going strong, lookin' good and getting HUGE!

This whiskey barrel pot is in front of our garage and also up on a stump because Chey loves playing in it. I was passing my new fave nursery last weekend and decided to stop in to see if anything inspired me to try out in the whiskey barrel. I have been hesitating to plant anything in it because I didn't want to waste the time and money on it if Chey was just going to dig it up. She seemed to be leaving it alone up on the stump and there were some really pretty flowers that I was totally diggin' at the nursery so I decided to just bite the bullet and give it a try. Again, so far so good on it. Fingers crossed!

It's not the most color coordinated barrel ever, but it's colorful and pretty and I like it. I already had some bright red, white, purple and blue in there, but everything that caught my eye at the nursery was pink, orange and burgundy. It works! I can't wait til it fills in better and really gets going!

This is my favorite flower in there. Again, no clue what it's called, but it's very pretty. It's almost iridescent with oranges, yellows and pinks. I love it! The photo doesn't do it justice, of course. I want a room in my house those colors!

So my gardening skills are slowly improving. I'm not going to consider the curse of the Black Thumb of Death lifted quite yet though.
And of course we have Cheyanne. She was helping me take pictures of everything. I just love this picture! She looks like she's winking at me conspiratorially. Funny stuff! In reality, her eye was bothering her and she wouldn't open it.

Can you see all the sticky balls on her chest? It's ridiculous! They are like little velcro balls that stick every where on her! She's not so happy about me brushing them out all the time either. I hate the sticky balls!

Hope everyone had a wonderful week! I've got more updates to come, just need to find the time to get them all on here!

Sad, Sad Week

Man, this week has been a doozy. I don't know about you guys, but Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon were names I heard often growing up. I loved them all.

Frankly, I was a little surprised that Ed McMahon lasted as long as he did and Farrah's passing was looming, but Michael Jackson totally caught me by surprise. I thought my co-worker was yanking my chain when she mentioned it. He can't be dead! The guys a legend!

I'm having a hard time coming to terms with it. It's just weird. He was the King! He was such an icon when I was little. I love his music. I was rockin out to Thriller, Billy Jean and Beat It on my way home today. One station had a MJ lunch hour with people calling in to tell stories of fave memories and requesting songs. I got choked up more then once listening to it.

I just can't believe he died. Too weird.

Rest In Peace, Ed, Farrah and Michael.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Honest Scrap

I received the Honest Scrap Award from Paint Girl over at Adventures of the Painted Creek Farm. Thank you very much Paint Girl! I just love reading about her adventures! It seems that we have quite a few things in common! It is fun to hear about her aussies and know that I am not alone in the amazing things that they can collect in their coat. She's got quite the herd of animals over there and always has entertaining stories to tell!

The Honest Scrap Award comes with a caveat or two. First, you have to tell your readers 10 things about you they may not already know, but are true. Second, you have to tag 10 people with the award. Third, you have to let the people you've given the award to, know that they've received this award from you. Finally, make sure you link back to the person who awarded you.

So first up, lets see if I can think of 10 things you may not know about me that are somewhat interesting...

1. I was in 4-H for 7-8 years when I was younger. I can't remember exactly how long. I showed dogs first, then added cats and then, finally, got the opportunity to show horses as well. Horses was my favorite and I made it to state for Horse Bowl my first year.

2. I can't stand having naked toe nails. I'm open to going barefoot, though I don't usually. But if my toe nails don't have some sort of color on them, even if it's a 4 month old paint job that is mostly chipped off, I will avoid exposing them for anything other then a shower and bed time.

3. I think I have a bit of the girl version of "little man syndrome". I'm petite, 5'2" and skinny and I drive a big truck and my favorite thing in the world to do is dominate horses (more or less). Seriously, the fact that I love pushing around 1,000 lb animals has to say something.

4. The boyfriend and I are together because of a horse named Captain. Long story short, my friend sold her horse to his mom and they conspired to set us up. The rest is history.

5. I hated country music until the end of high school. I absolutely could not stand it. Then all of a sudden I decided to embrace being a little country and now look at me!

6. I am an office manager for a small construction company and I love my job.

7. Apparently I scare people and I have no idea why. I think it is the same reason that horses tend to respect me though. I've been told that the guys in the shop at my work are "afraid" of me. As in, they won't come in to talk to me if they can avoid it. Usually, they'll talk to the other office girl, who will then have to come talk to me. I think it may have something to do with the stupid questions that they sometimes ask that I just don't tend to have the patience for. Or maybe I'm just a bi-otch to them all the time. Who knows. I try to be nice, I swear!
8. I played volleyball in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Didn't try out freshman year of high school then got cut sophomore year because I was too short and a little rusty. As far as I know I still hold the record for consecutive serves in a volleyball match at my junior high. 17 straight serves over the net. Yes, volleyball games are only 15 points. So I served one entire game (the other team really sucked) and then talked the coach into letting me stay server to start off the next game of the match.

9. I have a serious weakness for peanut m&m's. They are going to be the death of me. Okay, maybe not me so much as my jeans. It's getting a little dicey.

10. I am an olive fanatic. I love olives. I love black olives, greek olives, green olives, pimento stuffed olives, onion stuffed olives, jalapeno stuffed olives and, my personal favorite, garlic stuffed olives. Mmm MMM!!! I haven't met an olive yet that I didn't like.
Alrighty, so there are ten random things you probably didn't know about me. I'm sure you are all going to lead happy, fulfilled lives now that you have that knowledge.
On to tagging...
Since pretty much all of the few blogs that I read have already gotten this I'm only going to tag a couple people that I don't think have had the pleasure of the Honest Scrap Award yet...
1. Amers425 over at The Inside Workings Of... I blame her for my Twilight addiction and recent book obsession. She's totally my enabler.
2. Caspian over at This Kuntry Arabian because he is such a character and I would love to learn some new things about him! ;)

3. Jenny and Missfire who just finished up the Extreme Mustang Makeover. Jenny was able to adopt MissFire and I'm excited to see MissFire's training continue!
4. Foxypants - probably the funniest blog I read. Her animals just crack me UP!
I think thats it from me. If I didn't list you and you want to do it, consider yourself tagged!
Now off to leave comments and then get my beauty rest.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge - Tri-Colors

I'm back after missing last week's challenge. It was a crazy busy week and I just couldn't find any grain or water towers. Darn it! First challenge I missed.

This week's challenge was to get three or more colors in a picture. Once again I'm trying to be a bit creative and branch out from my typical flower pictures. This is what I came up with...

These are three of my favorite lotions that I have sitting on a little makeup table I have in my bedroom. I loooove Bath and Body Works lotions!

I may have mentioned before that I'm a bit of a shoe whore. I love shoes. This walk in closet all but sold the house for me when we looked at it. I believe I hugged the shoe rack when I saw it and I have had fun filling it up with shoes. There is one more shelf up that is full of flip flops and a pile of shoe boxes on the other side of the closet that are full of shoes as well. I think I have a problem.

I'm also totally anal about how my closet and shoes are organized. The shoes specifically are arranged by color, heel height and style.
This is my "fun shoe" shelf. They are different colors or styles that don't fit in so much on the other shelves.

These are some of the more colorful and fun shoes from that shelf. There are my hair on cowprint heels that I mentioned here, my red wing tip sling backs, my black and white wing tip sling backs and my brown alligator print sling backs.

I picked these ones because they all have pointy toes so I could do this with them...

So not terribly colorful, but certainly three or more different colors in there.
Looking forward to the next challenge!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

All Is Forgiven

Well, it didn't take me long to forgive Chey. Less then 24 hours actually. By the time I left work yesterday I couldn't wait to get home and give her some love. On my way home I got some more plants to fill in the gaping holes in the pots and informed the boyfriend of my new plan that he needed to help me with. As soon as I told him what I was thinking he jumped on board and said he had just the thing. He had set it aside, saving it for some higher purpose, which this just happened to be.

This is my new plan...

I had the boyfriend cut off these stumps from a tree we took down last year when we cleared the property. He had saved it aside because it was cedar and most of the rest of the trees were maple and cotton wood which he cut up for firewood. They look kinda cute and woodsy on the porch and will hopefully get the pots up high enough that Chey won't bother them again. I hope!!! If she does decide to bother them again, they will fall and really be toast!

I also tried to piece together plants to recreate the pot that I had before the one got completely demolished. I'm all about being matchy-matchy and balance. I didn't totally nail it, but I think I got it close enough that once it fills in it should look just fine.
Of course I couldn't find the big pretty flower that had originally been in there. I was bummed because I was rather fond of it but I was on a mission to get them filled in and be done with the whole messy business so I could totally get over it and I didn't look terribly long and hard.
I did find this strange leafy plant though...

I don't remember what it's called at the moment (of course! I cannot retain plant names to save my life), but it's got these odd bright purple leaves.
I'm still trying to decide just how exactly I feel about it. I'm not totally in love with it, but I think it will be pretty once it fills in a bit. Luckily (I'm trying to be positive here!) Chey pulled the big plants out of both of the pots so that part is balanced at least.
So here's to hoping this new plan of mine works!
Oh, and the big bonus to all of this...the cedar smells sooooooo good!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dog For Sale!

New owner must not take any pride in their yard or have any attachment to their flowers, especially tulips and potted plants.

I can hardly even talk about this. I certainly can't even look at my dog right now. She is SO on my shit list right now. Being cute isn't even helping her with this one.
Remember these pots that I planted on my deck? The ones that I blogged about just a couple days ago? These big, beautiful pots that I was so proud of myself for not killing?

Well, Cheyanne helped me out with that...

Notice the big, tall, beautiful and thriving flower in the back is missing? Look at the next picture up, then come back to this one. Ya, totally massacred. Pieces of it all over the lawn. Still, the rest of this one fared pretty well.

This one on the other hand...

Not so much. Take a look at how the mini petunias in front were draping over the side so perfectly in the very top picture. Not any more! This pot was toast.
And keep in mind this was after we cleaned up and salvaged what we could, hunting down anything with roots left on the lawn, and put them back together. This was not what they looked like when we found them.

Cute isn't going to help her on this one. I don't think anything short of shitting solid gold bars would help me not be mad at her right now.