Saturday, February 28, 2009

City Vs. Country Living

Why I LOVE living in the country

Recently on an email list that I’m on, someone posted why he likes living in the country vs. living in a city. That got me thinking why I so love living in the country vs. living in town or a city and, I have lived in both.

If I happened to live in a city or town, would I be able to hear, smell, see or feel the following?

  • Worry about what the neighbors would think if they saw me run out to feed the horses in my jammies?
  • A flock of geese migrating back south in the middle of the night—wait you are asking what am I doing outside in the middle of the night? I was probably checking the gate that I thought that I did not latch.
  • Hearing the wood ducks whistling through the trees on their way to the lake.
  • Owls’ sitting in the woods, calling out to each other as the sun is setting. Or sitting on a wire screaming at you in the dark-that is a weird feeling.

  • Deer coming up to the feeder in the backyard. Fawns coming up later in the summer
  • Seeing a fawn tucked in the grass while out for a walk

  • Watching the moon/sun rise or set through the woods

  • Feel the creepy feeling that something is watching you from the woods?
  • Worry about shutting the blinds at night so people can’t see in—we live almost 1/8 of a mile off the road and tucked in the woods.
  • Feel the bitter sting of sleet hitting your face when you’ve got to go out and feed the horses!
  • Watch the woods from my computer room.
  • See the wind whipping fresh snow across our driveway, hoping it won’t drift shut!

  • Eagles sitting in the alfalfa field across the road or along the river
  • Sitting outside in the back of the truck at the end of our driveway looking for meteors in the middle of the night- avoiding or trying to avoid the mosquitoes that want to attack you.
  • Seeing Orion peeking through the bedroom window all winter long as he is starting to set on the Western horizon.
  • Laying in bed watching the horses wait impatiently for me to get up and feed them.
  • Smell the air after a thunderstorm-or smell the air before a big lightning storm?

  • Find a freakish looking Morel Mushroom alongside the road while out riding
  • enjoy the wildlife in our backyard

  • I can just imagine the gasps of the neighbors if they knew I allowed my horses to graze my lawn last summer. Heck the grass was lush, they helped mow and enjoyed the different scenery.

Do I miss hearing traffic, smelling exhaust, having neighbors super close and worry about keeping up appearances and ‘fitting in’? Not a bit!

Do I miss the convenience of being able to drive a few miles down the road to go out to eat or to get groceries compared to the 35 miles that I drive to work? Sometimes.

Even here, on a quiet night, you can hear the semi’s on the highway over 5 miles away and the train going through Nickerson.

So tell me, why you prefer the place that you live in, city or country.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The BFLWM was right!!

The BFLWM was right!!!

All week, we’d been hearing about a potential for a measurable snow on Friday. A friend and I were talking about how we just hadn’t had a good heavy snow yet this winter and were missing it. Well, our dream came true on Friday. Weatherman predicted anywhere from 2-4 to 4-8 in various areas. On the morning news, the radar was showing some heavy banding north of North Platte/Ord that was drifting our way. WHOOO HOOOO, Bring it!!!! They had also predicted some stronger winds, but I don’t think that ever materialized as there was no drifting going on across our driveway, just nice deep even snow that was perfect to ride the 4-wheeler in. Work closed early, yet I still only managed to get home a half an hour before I normally do.

Once home, I couldn’t contain myself inside, I just had to get out there and play. Newt had followed me from the barn to the house, he loves to run in the tire tracks vs. the deep snow that was belly deep on him. I get dressed to feed the horses, start up the 4-wheeler and head out. Oh, this is going to be good. I goose the 4-wheeler and snow flies out behind me. Slip a bit so put it in 4wheel and tear up to the barn. Newt flies up the tire tracks to meet me at the door. AJ & Cora are wondering just what am I doing, maybe it’s a bit of my own Spring Friskies that I’m feeling.

Got the horses fed, cats tucked away and I’m off to play. Zip around the parking lot throwing snow and head down the driveway.

Whatcha looking at???

Fresh powder, it's just too tempting and I can't control myself!!

I see that someone else couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play in the fresh snow, only they were in a vehicle, zig zagging all over the road and down in the ditch across from us.

Grab the mail and zip back down the driveway. Catch a picture of Cora peeking around their shed to see just what I’m doing. Drop the mail off, get some pictures of Stone & Moji playing and then head for the woods.

Moji says I wanna come race tooooooooo

Geesh it was peaceful back there. Quiet, some snow falling from the branches, scared up two Red-tail hawks that were by the pond. Tried to get their picture but the trees were in the way. I really loved how the snow was powdered on the branches. The camera just couldn’t capture how pretty it was. Headed to the garage to get the birdseed since the feeders were empty. After getting them fed, I called it quits, my thighs were starting to go numb and I couldn’t feel the tips to my fingers or my nose.

Final playtime for the boyz, my fingers are numb and I'm starting to lose feeling in my toes!

Took some time though to photograph Stone & Moji playing again and then headed inside to thaw—best part of going inside this time was MY GLASSES DIDN’T FOG UP!!! I’m loving Lasik

I know that snow will be short-lived and that Spring is just right around the corner. Maybe that’s what made today so much fun and tolerable.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

sleepless nights

Haven't had this problem in a long time! Actually have been sleeping well lately, almost too well, nodding off by 8:00, getting up early and actually being coherent on the drive to work. Heck I've been getting to work by 6:00 am!!!!! That's a whole hour early from what I had been coming in just a few months ago.

A few nights ago, I had this dream where I was driving my truck and could not get it to stop. I was backing down a driveway in a cul de sac that was on a hill and I had no brakes. Both of my feet were stomping on the brake pedal and I was still rolling. I hate that feeling. Reminds me of backing a boat down a ramp to the lake or river and it sliding/rolling because the cement is wet.

Mentioned that to a co-worker yesterday and she said it's probably because my mind has been on go for too long. Sure I'm sleeping, but my mind is working, figuring things out, yes, work has been a tad stressful with figuring out what to do with the dogs during our construction.

Last night, I actually stayed up until 9:30 before falling asleep, was going to try to sleep in a bit and get to work by 6:30 instead of 6:00. Something woke Moji up and he decided he had to go outside.

Went back to bed and the silence was deafening. Tossed and turned, the cat tried to cuddle, but he was tickling me with his whiskers. Moji cuddled up behind me and I should have fallen asleep with that.

NOPE, brain was working on OT again. Started thinking of components for this new review that we have to write out by March--the end of March! So, got up and wrote down those thoughts, sent them off to work and have been on the computer since then.

Texted hubby who is in Las Vegas, figuring he'd still be up...he's not. Chatted with a co-worker on Facebook for a bit.

Well, it's now 3:15, I really should wrap this up and try to get back to bed before the lovely alarm bell goes off at 4:30.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning

After spending an awesome day on Saturday, enjoying friendship, horses and the sun on my face, it was time to get busy and clean house.

I just love the smell of laundry that has been hung out on the line to dry, it smells so fresh. I washed all of our bedding and let the wind and sun, well, what little sun we did have to dry it.

Caught the ponies sleeping in the sun. They were dozing pretty hard for me to walk up on them all the way from the house, across the crunchy ground and get their pictures.
Still dozing, camera is zoomed all the way out through my chainlink fence. Moji started barking in the house and woke AJ up. AJ had to wander over to see just what I was doing. Well, that got Cora up but she had to get a good roll in before getting up.
Ahhh, let's get this itchy spot behind my ear......

ooooh, now my neck and back......
uuuugh, getting uuuuuuuppp...

shaking it all out......
Goober boy just stood there watching both of us wondering where his treat was or something.....
look at all that mud I have to groom off now...............

My Dad called a couple of weeks ago and said he was coming down for a few days. Great, that means that I’ve got to vacuum, dust and clean the spare bedroom. Started cleaning the house and jumping on the laundry Saturday night, didn’t really have anything better to do since Mike is gone yet again.

I also got the paddock cleaned before the next storm/freeze cycle. Sure got an upper body workout lifting wet poo and dumping the sled after it was full. Still need to weigh it to see just how much weight I am lifting and tipping over. I can tell you that those piles are starting to mount up in the woods. Sure, I have a spreader, but you can only spread so much before it starts to get too deep.

AJ was much better today when I worked him. I ended up riding him bareback with just his halter on. Did figure 8’s, backing, turning, avoiding Cora. He acted up just a tad but, but we worked through it too. His back is really really starting to fill out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cell Phones, do we really need them???!!!!

I finally decided to get with the program and get a new phone. It's not like my current phone is crap, but I'm tired of the battery running out when I'm talking--and this is after I've had it charging.

So, jump online to check out some phones that are out there now. Decide on either an LG Voyager or LG Envy 2

Head over to the store to get my new phone and hit a major roadblock.

The customer service rep can not access my account because....get is in a "Trust Market". Meaning what you ask?

Well, let me explain what it means..... my cell phone provider bought out another cell phone provider and since some of their areas overlapped, my phone number has been put up for sale. What the Heck!!!!!!!!!

So, here I'm in the store, I just want to freaking upgrade my phone and add text messaging. The Customer Service Rep could not even tell me what a new phone would cost with the new every 2 program that we are on OR how much to add text messenging to my service would be. All she could do was give me an 800 and a book to figure it out for myself.

So, on the way back to work, without a new phone mind you, I call the 800 number hoping I'd have enough battery power to get through the phone call. Do all the push button, access codes just to find out that they need to talk to Mike. What the heck!, I'm on the account, but can not have 'permission' to freaking upgrade my cell phone. Ok, deep breath, don't crash and for God's sake, don't throw your phone out the window. Give them Mike's cell phone and have them call me. The Rep gets back on the phone and says, "I'm sorry, but he's not answering his phone" GREAT. Hang up on the guy and call Mike. He's at Kohl's trying pants on for his trip to Vegas. Answer your FREAKING Phone!!!!! Give him the 800 number and he gets my name put on the account--yet again.

He calls me back, tells me the new password and says you are now on the account. I tell him something nice and he replies, yes, I know I had better have called them right away as I could tell you were about ready to blow. Ya think?????

Call the 800 number yet again and get a nice rep. We talk about phones etc and decide on the LG Envy 2. Discuss prices etc and get the text messaging put on the service contract too.

Now, I still do not have a new phone in my hands, it may not even get here until Tuesday. AND, I will have to go back to the store to have all of my contacts transferred IF I do not wish to do it myself. Hmmm, I think that's going to be a no brainer. Then, I will have to send all of my photos that I do want to keep to my new phone or my email address, they can not download them off the phone. Ok, great, sure wish I had known that before and I could have sent the one of Grandpa that I wanted to keep from our trip to New Mexico.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Taste of Spring

As many of you may know, Spring is my favorite time of year. The ground is starting to thaw, birds are migrating back and singing their songs, geese are flying over low and the horses are starting to shed out their thick winter coats.

Speaking of which, those horses are extremely frisky after a cold winter. AJ has taken to racing from the arena to the paddock in a full gallop. That boy can move! I watched him this morning and he did not have much buck going as he was running, his tail was popping but his butt was not getting near as much air as it had been earlier in the week. Cora was even a bit playful this morning, saw a half rear and a couple of kicks at AJ to keep him out of her space.

AJ, earlier this week was having his springtime brain farts. Last Sunday he acted up and got worked. I had time again Friday after work to do some more with him. Haltered him up and worked some in the paddock where the footing was good. He was soft and listened to all the cues.

Took him out to the chute where he had acted up on Sunday and he tried nipping my sweatshirt. I whirled around and smacked him with the lead rope and backed him up about 20 ft. We then moved back to the open area and went to trotting and loping in circles, listening to what I was asking. No temper tantrums there and he was light on his feet, moving and doing everything that I was asking.

We then meandered out to the arena. There is still a big patch of mud/water/ice so we started there and I had him pick his way though there a couple of times.

After that, we moved over to a flat spot in the middle where the footing was good and things had started to dry out.

Sent him off in a trot around me, he was going good and then slipped. That put him in a bucking fit. I didn’t like that he had a slight inward aim with one hind leg so he got stopped immediately and backed up about 50 feet across the arena. When he was sent off again, he did not try any more antics and had started to lick and chew, listening to what I was asking.

I changed direction and asked him to lope again, he wasn’t sure of the footing and would pick up the lope and then drop back down to a trot. We ended things on a good note and headed back to the barn.

On the way back, we worked on stopping when I stopped and following my lead. If I stopped and backed up, he stopped and backed up with me. If I turned, he turned with me. I was very happy with him after that 45 minutes.

Had to pull out the wool cooler since he had lathered himself up and I didn’t really want him to get chilled as the sun was going down. Put him in the stall with some hay and headed to the house to get the dogs fed and ready to go out for supper with hubby.

Planning to work with him again this weekend and if things look right, will ride him in the arena. I know that he just needs that consistency brought back and to remind him that he’s a riding horse, not a bronc.

AJ's turn

He's kinda been put on the back burner and today was his day to shine....or not.

Things started off good, he willingly came up to me to be haltered. Got him tacked up and did some longeline work before putting his bridle on. Things looked good. Got him next to the fence and got on. Did some work in the paddock and he was so calm and willing. Felt pretty good so thought I'd take him to the arena.

Things didn't go as smooth in the chute area. He sidled up to the fence nice and easy. Got on, things felt good and we started walking. Walked about 25 ft and he started acting up, shaking his head, feeling high and having Stone and Moji racing and barking weren't making things any better. We did a lot of one rein stops, circling and just trying to stay calm. Since my eye surgery, things look a lot further away than they used to when I wore glasses!!

He was really wanting to get back to the paddock and be with Cora. We did more circling and turning away from the gate. I really wanted to get off, but knew that if I stopped when he was being bad, he'd remember it and try it again in the future.

So, once we stopped on a good note, I got off and decided to lead him out to the arena to work. We got half way there and he balked. Did a rear and tried to spin away from me. OH NO YOU DIDN'T JUST TRY THAT CRAP WITH ME!! He got his little hiney worked right there in the muck. He still wasn't happy and struck out at the lead rope. If the footing and the space would have been bigger than the 20 ft I was dealing with, he would have been sent off at a faster pace and really made to work. Instead, I did the best that things allowed and sent him off at a trot, he figured out that he could slow in the muck but pick the trot back up at the top where it was dry.

I continued to the arena and picked a somewhat dry/frozen place to work him. He really didn't like the feel of the frozen ground and preferred to work where it was starting to thaw. Fine with me, trot in the mud and have it splash up on you. I worked his hiney out there for 30 minutes. Thought about getting on him again and just taking 1 spin around the arena on a good note. Got him next to the fence and he got all high again. Got right back down and did some more work.

Decided working him on the ground was going to be the safe way out today, things just did not feel right to get on and do things from his back.

So, we walked slowly back and worked on him leading nicely next to me. I changed directions and he had to follow where ever I went. Liked what I was getting and decided to unsaddle him.

Once unsaddled I decided to do some more longeline work in the sand. We had good footing in the paddock so sent him off at a trot. He got to the point where he was soft, had a nice bend and was keeping a good steady cadence on a loose line. Changed directions and got the same response. Whoaed him, did some yo yo stuff and called it good. By this time, he's got his eyes 1/2 closed and wanting the attention.

Went inside, took a nap and then went back out and did some grooming also to enjoy the last bit of sun that was out. Both horses got their tails brushed out and braided. Decided too that it was time to stick AJ to see how tall he is. Right now it's reading as the photo shows below, he wasn't standing exactly square, but it will do.

Cora will be mad at me if she knew I posted a photo of her 'dirty' side :)

Trying to show how much bone he's got going on with his legs. He is pretty substantial.

Looks like a storm front is coming in :(

Within 1 1/2 hours, we had this......
to this........
to snow later on!!!!