Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tucker Talks: Rise and Shine

I have finally figered it out. I know how to get mom and dad out of bed. Ya know, I've tried groaning; and they sleep on. I've tried yawning, ya know, with that drawn out squeaky sound at the end, and they sleep on; I've tried bumping into the bed and putting my wet nose on mom's hand, and she sleeps on. BUT.... last week, really, really early in the morning, I got them both to wake up.... really, really fast. I tried wretching! Mom sat up right away - she listened for a minute then she lay down and rolled over. So, I tried gagging again. Ya know, it is shedding season and those hairs really do tickle my throat. So, I hacked and coughed, ya know, those nice, wet gaggy, gurgly, hacky sounds dogs can make? Mom and Dad both sat up... but, oops, all of that wretching made my dinner come up - all over the carpet... in the bedroom and on the stairs. I didn't really mean to do that. But, it got mom and dad up to play with me at 4 AM. I had some fun! Yes indeed I did!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Project: Week 19

We are getting so close to being ready to move in. Yippee!! I have been continuing to take boxes of stuff up just about every day. I was feeling great about having cleared out all of the boxes from the upstairs landing... then remembered that I had stacked more in the guest room. Oh well (maybe you could change that 'w' to an 'h')!

This week we:
  • picked out counters for our bath vanities. The granite fabricator we used for the kitchen sells 'remnants' for very reasonable prices. The templates are created by a nifty camera-type laser device and a computer. The templates have been made, so we should be hearing from the fabricator some time next week.
  • picked out tile for the hall floor and began putting down the hardi-backer board.
  • had an estimate for repairing and/or replacing the exterior siding, painting the house and the trim. Ouch! (Oh, and now we have to pick colors - that ought to be interesting!)
  • had our pasture seed drilled. We have nice grass, very few weeds and nice patches of dirt between the clumps of grass. We decided to try seed drilling (I'll post more about it on Friday), even though it will take about three years for the new grass to really get established. Now, we'd like a little moisture each week until this stuff germinates and gets going, thank you! Oh, the seed drill keeps track of acreage. We have 7.3 acres of pasture - more than double what we currently have. The boys will be in hog-heaven, especially when that grass becomes established.
  • brought up flats of seedlings to begin hardening them off before planting them in our gardens.
  • talked to a Realtor about marketing our current home.
  • finished tiling the master bath floor, minus 5 small trim pieces (which are cut, but need to be mortared). I learned something this week... I learned that I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever again install 16" or larger tile. What a bear! Last night I was exhausted... and moaned and groaned about aching muscles. Mr. Hubby was only slightly sympathetic - not understanding how working on the floor made me that tired. Then, today he had to step over tiles that had just recently been mortared, but had not set. He complained bitterly about the effort to do so - ah hah! Now do you see why I was so tired?!!! I will have to admit that despite being physically exhausted, working on tiling the floor is incredibly great exercise: up... down, twist...up, down, twist...
  • entertained guests... well, maybe the word 'entertain' is a bit cavalier - considering that we only had a few cans of Coke, a half box of Cheez-its and a stale doughnut. Not to mention that we only have two chairs in the house! On Friday we had just started to get to work when the doorbell rang. It was one of my friends from the driving club. A short time later, the bell rang again. Another friend from the club saw the first gal's car and decided to stop in. They left around noon. Our son showed up with his girl friend and pizza about an hour later. So, we didn't get much accomplished - but it was fun to visit. 
Our pasture is seed drilled.

 Have a wonderful Memorial Day and take some time to remember those who have served our country and have protected our rights and freedom. Thank those who have fought or are fighting, those who may have given their lives or a limb for freedom. God Bless America!

What a Rig!

As we traveled back and forth, to and from our project house this week we came across an unusual sight. This fellow was traveling on a fairly busy road with his 4 in-hand mule teams pulling a wagon with a trailing wagon. He set up camp in fields along the road, using a portable electric fence enclosure to give his mules some freedom. I wish we could have stopped and talked to him - not so much about Jesus, but about his rig, about his mules, about how far he travels each day, about his cute dog that looks out the window while he goes down the road, about groceries and preparing meals, about where he's going and where he's been.  But, alas, we sped past while I tried to get pictures. I'll just have to imagine his answers!




Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh Deer!

I can hear you!

Pssst.... that human is wearing those spectacle things.
She must have lousy eyesight. 
If we stay really still I bet she can't even see us!

What is she doing in our yard?

Hey, wait for me!

Honey? I think we will need to make that garden fence just a little bit higher! 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nabbed!

Help! I'm being held hostage by Blogger. Blogger tackled me and stuffed a gag in my mouth. It tied my hands behind my back. Blogger won't let me talk. Blogger won't let me comment on anyone's blog. Blogger has been messing with my brain by continually telling me my login password is wrong - even though I know it is right. Shhhh... don't tell Blogger that I escaped!

Have you had trouble with Blogger? No, wait, if you have also been nabbed by Blogger, you won't be able to answer!!

I hope they fix this soon and release me!!

 **UPDATE**
Unfettered, at last!
 I have a voice on Blogger again!!

Linda at 7MSN suggested that I clear the cache and my cookies.  It worked. So, if you are experiencing difficulties with Blogger you might try doing that. If you have forgotten how (as I had) use the 'Help' feature for whatever browser you use!

Week 10: Wednesday What's It?

I came across this unusual item as I was packing. Here is something that many of you have probably never seen. Care to take a guess?

What's It?


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Need a hint? This is something I use. It has a bunch of needles that you can see sticking out of it. When I use it, I have to use at least one other needle to continue to do my project.

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I use it to create clothing.

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This item is a pleater. I can thread each of the needles and turn the knob to pull fabric through the gears and onto the needles. When I am finished I pull the threads tighter and that creates tiny pleats in the fabric. Then I can use colored floss to smock the piece. 

Here is a piece of smocked fabric.
You can see the tiny pleats made by the
threads from the pleater.


Here is a garment I made for one of my boys. 
In addition to creating geometric designs you can also
smock pictures, like these elephants.


I made this dress about two years ago. 
It was made using a fine linen fabric and
has delicate flowers around the neck and sleeves.


Maybe one day I'll get back to this. My neighbor's daughter just had a little girl. She deserves a dress like this!

So, did you know what my tool was called? Have you ever seen anything like that before? Do you sew and have you ever tried smocking?

Monday, May 23, 2011

They're Back!

WARNING: If you don't want to learn something new, go back or exit out of this blog! Right now! What you are about to read just might be educational!

The moths are back. The miller moth* is migrating. This particular miller is actually the cutworm moth which begins its life in wheat fields on the plains of Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and Kansas. Once the moth emerges, it migrates to the mountains in the west where it can feed on wildflowers. During the migration period, anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, these fuzzy little guys (1 - 1 1/2 inches) fly at night (they have special light-sensing receptor cells in their eyes) and hide from predators during the day. They find little cracks and crevices to hide in. One of their favorite spots at my house is in the crack at the top of the door to the tack room. So... were you to be here on a morning during miller moth migration season, you would observe that I do some sort of funky dance when I open the door. That's because in my still sleeping state I forget that the moths might be there, and when they rain down on me, I jump about, flapping my hands, saying, "Ew, yuck, acchhh, bleech!"

This is a miller moth....

This shows two miller moths hiding...
"You can't find me!"

The moths don't hurt anything, they are just big and fuzzy and startle an unsuspecting stupidly forgetful person. You will find them in just about any small crack. They will even hide in small areas in cars.


During migration season, one commonly observed phenomenon is swarms of swallows swooping and diving and flying around at intersections. They are feeding on miller moths. According to the Colorado State University Extension,  this likely occurs because, "many miller moths seek shelter in automobiles and emerge while the cars are idling at stop lights. Furthermore, many moths are released as drivers open vehicle windows at intersections to let the moths escape."

One....

Two....

Three.....

Four....
or is it more?
How many do you see?

The good news, for us, is that this migration only lasts a few weeks.... but, that isn't such good news for the swallows! They will have to find something else to eat once the moths have made their way to the mountains.

* Again, here is something educational! The Extension defines a "miller moth" as any moth that is seen in large numbers in or around a home. They believe the name came from people thinking the dust on the moth's wings looked like the flour dust a miller might find on his clothes upon returning from work.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Project: Week 18: A Prickly Problem

This week we:
  • put down cement backer board on the master bath floor... with about 250 screws! Thank you to whoever created the battery powered drill and screwdriver bits!
  • painted the master bedroom ceiling
  • installed the washer and dryer. Trying to run the vent for the dryer was like doing laporascopic surgery... we had a tiny space in which to stuff a 4" vent and then try to connect the vent to different ends - it took two of us at least an hour, with a lot of swearing and grumbling and even a temper tantrum involving throwing things!
  • cleaned out the garage in the barn.
  • installed the wire for our in-floor bathroom heating and put down a layer of mortar to protect the wire.
  • tore out the carpet in the master bedroom.
  • installed pulls on the cabinets in the kitchen.
  • pulled lots and lots of thistle in the back yard.
  • brought up more boxes and pillow cases stuffed with linens. I put the linens away and the linen closet that looked very large when we bought the house now looks too small. It's stuffed! Shhhh... don't tell anyone... I'm a secret sheet hoarder!  Why do I hang on to so many sheets and towels? For example: I have two twin beds, but I probably have 7 or 8 sets of linens for them and some unmatched sheets. Many have the boys' names in them from having visited camp and probably have more than a few stains.  Then there are the towels. I think they multiply when the linen closet door is shut! But... I also think they eat their smaller, weaker siblings to do so ... as in, I don't have the matching wash cloths any more! Hmmm, I think I'm going to check with the animal shelter to see if they'd like some linens!

This is the wire for the in-floor heating.
It has since been covered with mortar, and next week
we'll install the tile.
I can't wait to walk barefoot into the bathroom on a chilly day!

The in-floor heating wire can not be broken. 
It comes with this handy-dandy "Loud Mouth" that shrieks
if the wire is nicked. I was so worried that this thing would
yell at me while I worked!
Luckily, Mr. Loud Mouth was quiet!

Geesh! The washer & dryer have been in place less than
three days and already they are covered with stuff!
Tucker is checking out my mortar bucket. 
I think he's hoping there is something good to eat in there!

OK - Take a look. You may never see this garage
looking so clean again. Like the washer and dryer,
it will soon have its own collection of stuff!

Huge sections of our yard look like this.
That's just part of my thistle collection.
Who says I can't grow anything?!!
We met our neighbor to the west. 
She said that for the past few years our yard has been
a thistle field with plants that were chest high!!
Thistle tea, anyone?

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    How Many Do You Need?



    We cleaned out the garage at our new barn today. These were just one of several interesting discoveries.


    It seems to me that a person can only use one of these at any given moment. Why three?

    Could it be:
    • Darn, I can't find that spreader. I guess I'll have to go buy another.... again!
    • Oh goody, we can all have fun spreading fertilizer today. I'll be the one in the middle, OK?
    • I hear that Scott's has stopped production of this this model and it will be in huge demand next spring. I'll be able to sell them for a huge profit!
    • OK, your job is to fill the spreader while I take it out for a run. Then, when I come back you will have a freshly filled spreader waiting for me.
    What's your best guess?

    Anyone want to buy a spreader? I just happen to have a few extras!


    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Watching Grass Grow

    In the past week we've had about 5 inches of snow (yes... you read that correctly - snow in May!) and a half inch of rain. This is way more than we've had in ages! I swear I can see the pasture grass growing taller and greener each day.


    This is yesterday's snowstorm!
    Those gray flecks are huge snowflakes coming down.


    This is the same view today.


    The horses are anxious to get out and grab some of that green. 
    Maybe later, boys!



    Visit more critters and learn about more farm friends at

    Farm Friend Friday
    and
    Farmgirl Friday




    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    EHV-1 Update; Thursday, May 19

    In our local area most horse events for this weekend have been canceled or postponed. One of my friend's veterinarians has recommended that everyone keep their horses at home for at least 21 days. 

    Sign on the gate of a stable near my house!


    The Colorado Department of Agriculture has the following posted, as of 5/19 at 1:00 PM. 
    • 8 confirmed cases of horses with EVH-1 (in Colorado)
      • At least five of the confirmed EHV-1 positive horses had recently attended the National Cutting Horse Association’s Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah.
      • Two horses were euthanized after showing severe neurological signs associated with the diseases.
    • 22 suspect cases. Suspect cases are those horses that are believed to have been exposed to EHV-1 but confirmatory tests are still pending.
    • 10 quarantine and hold orders have been issued in 6 counties (Bent, Boulder, Larimer, Mesa, Morgan & Weld)
    In addition to the confirmed cases in California, Colorado, Canada and Washington, authorities are now saying that there have been more cases in  Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon and Utah.

    The clinical signs typically start with a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Other symptoms include:
    • Nasal discharge from both nostrils or urine dribbling
    •  Unusual tiredness or reduced tail tone
    •  Weakness or difficulty/inability standing
    •  Leaning or recumbency
    This virus can also cause late term abortions or chronic health problems for foals that were infected in utero.

    The Colorado Department of Agriculture has also said that camelids, which are alpacas, llamas and camels, are susceptible to EHV-1, but there have been no cases related to this outbreak. 


     Check the links on my sidebar for more information.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Week 9: Wednesday What's It? - EHV-1


    This week my What's It? doesn't give you a chance to guess at the purpose of something. With the recent outbreak of EHV-1 and EHM I decided this might be an opportunity to inform. 

    What's It?



    This is bad news. This is Equine Herpesvirus - 1, or EHV-1. Most horses have probably been exposed to EHV-1, however, according to one source, when horses are under stress the virus can reactivate and can cause EHM, or Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy, a neurological form of the disease. This is the disease that was contracted by two Colorado horses at a National Cutting Horse event in Ogden, UT over Mother's Day weekend. One of those horses has been euthanized. Now the disease has been confirmed in 10 horses in California and 1 horse in Washington. Credible (but not official) reports indicate cases of EHV-1 in Utah,  Idaho, Arizona and Western Canada. Considering that 54 horses attended the initial event, the number who have been identified with the disease speaks to the ease of spreading this virus. Currently this appears to be a problem in the western states and Canada, but with the ease of interstate transport the virus could easily and unknowingly be carried to other states and even to other countries.

    There is no cure for EHM. Symptoms of EHV-1 can be treated, but once the horse demonstrates neurological complications the only option is euthanasia. 

    The incubation period for EHV-1 is 2-14 days. The virus is spread in horses from nose-to-nose contact and through water droplets in the air. It can also be carried on grooming and feed equipment and on caretaker's clothing. Humans can not contract the disease.  Many equestrian events have been canceled for this weekend and the Colorado State University Vet Hospital has closed its doors to horses coming in or going out. Horses being transported into the state of Colorado need to have a permit number on their health certificates, which is obtained from their veterinarian, who must call the Dept. of Ag in Colorado.

    Horses that have had possible contact with the virus should be isolated and precautions taken to avoid spreading the disease to others. There are many excellent resources available on the Internet. One publication is put out by the USDA. It describes EHM  and talks about avoiding exposure and monitoring your horse if you think he may have been exposed. It is entitled, "Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy, A Guide to Understanding the Neurological Form of EHV Infection"

    EHV-1 gives a new meaning to 'Going Viral'. Take care of your horses! Keep on top of the news to keep your guys/gals safe.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Hippotherapy

    On Mondays I volunteer at a therapeutic riding center. But, yesterday was my day for hippotherapy! I ran into a friend on my way home from the center, who just happens to live near me, who just happens to have an indoor arena, who just happens to be the most generous, kind person in the world. She is very open to having friends use her arena and she reminded me of that fact yesterday. When I got home I looked at the daunting task of catching, cleaning and tacking two lazy ponies and decided, "Yeah, I'm up for that!" The wind was blowing at about 25 mph. Grooming was great when you were on the windward side, but on the leeward side I kept getting a face full of fluff. I am making progress though, Doc has about a 6 inch square spot on his shoulder where he has completely shed out! Only 5282 more square inches to go! I rode Doc and ponied Pippin over to friend's arena. The trip over went well, despite the wind and despite the fact that it has been a week since I've ridden and months since I've really made the boys work. 
    The ride was just what I needed. We worked on foundation maneuvers and driving into the bit. Pippin carries his head too high. Doc pulls his head down too low as an evasive tactic. I've been working with my instructor to push both guys into the bit, asking them to give at the poll a bit, and then releasing. Pippin gets it! Doc.... not so much! Regardless, it was great to get out and play with the ponies and visit with my friend. I hope the ponies found it as therapeutic as I did!

    Because I like blog posts with pictures, and because I didn't take my camera with me yesterday, here is a picture of Pippin from last fall....before we started lessons. It would be interesting to get another picture. What I'd like to see would be me sitting with my shoulders a little bit further back and Pippin's head down and nose tucked in a bit, but still going on a loose rein.


    Thank you, wonderful friend, for the gentle prod that allowed me to enjoy a great hippotheraphy session. 
    Happy Tuesday to all y'all!
    (That's the plural of y'all - in case you haven't been brought up Southern!)

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    The Project: Week 17: Done!

    Nope... not really. We're not finished either. Done is for potatoes! I worked with a fabulous English teacher when I taught Middle School... and she was a stickler for proper usage. So, even if the kids didn't learn something, I did! We're not finished, but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    This week we:
    • finished the shower and the bath front - with the exception of 4 small pieces that will go in after the floor is completed. It's all grouted but the grout has to cure another day before I can seal it.
    • texturized the walls in the bath room where my cleaning up after tiling took off the old/new texture.
    • began installing what seems like miles of base board.
    • touched up the paint in the bathroom - not a fun thing to do, since I had to balance on an upside-down bucket on the edge of the tub to reach the corners in that end of the room.
    • began putting down cement backer board for the bathroom floor tile. 
    • put a second coat of paint on the master bedroom
    • received our in-floor bathroom heating. Hubby has looked at the installation video - I need to do the same (or maybe just plead ignorance and let him do all of the work!!)
    • put up some storage shelves in the basement. Now we can begin bringing up some boxes, then dismantle the storage shelves where we currently live, and bring those along to store more. How do we collect so much stuff?!!
    • packed and unpacked about 8 boxes of kitchen stuff. Since the kitchen is finished I've been taking up two boxes of dishes, glasses, small appliances, etc just about every day. My sweet hubby has been immensely helpful in washing some of the grimy stuff before we put it away in its new home.
    • enjoyed lunch at my favorite Italian bakery with one of my former coworkers from SC. She now lives near us but we don't seem to get together enough!
    • ordered pulls for the kitchen cabinets. 
    We have a large storage area in the basement. 
    At some point in the future we may finish this room
    and turn it into our 'theater' room!

    Here's our newly painted bedroom. Oh, and
    we now have doors!

    The shower seemed to take forever! It looks nice,
    but we don't like the dark cave feeling at the end by the seat.
    We're thinking of getting a sola-tube to bring
    more light into the shower.


      Sunday Stills: Looking High, Looking Low

      This week's challenge was to get low and shoot up at an object or get directly over the object and shoot down. Here is a trip to the barn from another perspective:

      Our small Austrian Pine... decked with snow on May 15!

      What you can't see is mama Robin looking down at me from her 
      nest at the peak of the barn.









      Doc

      Pippin


      For more views from above or below visit Sunday Stills

      Saturday, May 14, 2011

      Which One?

      I had a long post written on the subject of why I haven't written anything in a few days. I decided no one wants to read that drivel. You, lucky reader, have been spared!

      So... here's a 'not-so-long' post about the thrilling subject of cabinet knobs! Aren't you glad that you stopped by my blog?!

      We have been looking for just the right knob or pull for our kitchen cabinets. We like that little square detail on the cabinet corners, and would like to echo that in our knob selection.


       We have visited a number of kitchen and hardware shops. Yesterday we went by one that must have had thousands of options! The prices on these things are outrageous. Some are over $20....each. Multiply that by 35... ouch!



      I think we have narrowed the choice to two:

      The first has a dark pewter finish. It also has a square knob with the same detail. We could put the pull on the drawers and the knob on the cabinets... or just use the pull.
       


       The second design comes only as a pull. It has a dark bronze finish.





      Your thoughts?

      Thursday, May 12, 2011

      Still Crazy....

      I am not whining.... I will not whine, I will not whine... I promise...

      We really need the precipitation....


      We're in the blue blob on the map. Yeah, blue means snow. We currently have more than 4" of:

      Yesterday our drive back from the Parker house was the worst we have experienced - but then again, I did take the snow tires off the car about 3 weeks ago - my fault! Maybe we should keep the snow tires on year-round! Hubby was driving and the conditions brought this song to mind:

      Wednesday, May 11, 2011

      Week 8: Wednesday What's It

      What's It?


      Good morning! It is May 11 here on the high prairie in Colorado. This is what we awoke to. Surely it is not snow...in May. So, What's It? There must be some other word to describe this. Maybe one of those Word Verification terms from yesterday!

      So, what would you call it?


      Darn.... knew we shouldn't have taken down the 
      snow fence this weekend!