Saturday, July 29, 2006
Abraham is the name of Faith’s horse. Houston was his name when we got him, but she decided to follow a Nelson family naming protocol for freely received farm animals. Back in November we were given, on the promise of payment when she sold, a black baldie heifer. We named that cow Sarah as Sarah was the mother of God’s chosen people. The first of many. That same idea is behind the Abraham name. His descendants were to be more numerous than the stars. We’d love to have a couple more horses, so we are aiming high.
This is Abraham. He is still in pretty sad shape even though we have been feeding him for a whole day now. He should be all healed by tomorrow. No, I am not that dumb. Our neighbor, Terrie, and Faith gave him a shower this morning. Used some medicated shampoo to take care of the ‘rain rot’ along his spine. His food is a mixed up watered down blend of Senior Horse feed and alfalfa pellets. It smells pretty good but looks like a badly neglected pond.
This is a picture of Abraham neighing at Melissa while she took the picture.
Here is Abraham with Sarah nuzzling up to him.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Terrie said that Houston was a little poor looking and when she got there she let me know that he was a lot poorer than she had expected. We know squat about horses and he looked bad to us. At the same time, he will be a great classroom for all of us as we figure out how to deal with horses. We now know squat plus one about cattle and squat plus a half about sheep, so we just have a new mammal to learn about. Thankfully he is a ruminant, just like the cows and the sheep, so we already know a bit about his digestive system.
Houston is a good sized horse, I do not know about ‘hands’ as a measurement, but I can tell you that he is about 5’4” at the shoulders. Very, very skinny though and in need of some cleaning up. Tomorrow he’ll get a bath and a brushing and we will get some fattening up food in him. In the mean time, we have a new set of friends in Terrie and George and will be providing them with milk from now until the end of time.
We will have a picture or two of Houston tomorrow and I would bet that Melissa will have an insightful, thoughtful post about all this. If you are counting on me for deep, you have made a terrible mistake.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Monday came and VBS went pretty well. Mom passed away Monday afternoon, about the same time that I was in a meeting about an economic development venture. Then, Monday evening, I found out one more plum tree was dead in the orchard and later in the evening one of our lambs died from what appeared to be bloat. We were off to a roaring start. All week we worked until late into the night (or early in the morning) on VBS stuff, in addition to Mom’s death stuff, farm stuff and job stuff. On Friday we hustled butt home from VBS, cleaned up and sprinted to
Then it was back to town so that we could do our VBS wrap-up for church and serve spaghetti as a part of a Juniors’ Camp fund raiser. I took a long nap this afternoon and Melissa went shopping with some friends. It sure is nice to be out here in the country where life runs at a slower pace. I am learning that the reason things take longer to happen out in the rural areas is because there aren’t as many people to make them happen quickly. Everybody is every bit as busy as city folks, we just have to do it all our selves. This is fine as the trade off is that I do not have to deal with long commutes to work, neighbors right on the other side of the fence and smog.
I will get more stuff in this week than last, not hard to beat out last week’s posts, all none of them. Or, I could my favorite new word, in a sentence no less. “I posted to the blog exactly nonce last week.” Nonce is actually a word that means “for the present time” but I am using in it an manner found in no other place than my own dictionary here at home where we feel free to add new listings all the time. Nonce [nunss] – a singular event that has happened no times. “It only happened nonce.” Use it for yourself and set a new trend.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
This is Grace, our 10 yr old daughter.
Samuel, our 2 yr old son, lounging in one of our luxurious pools.
And Joy, 3 1/2 yrs, cools off in the other pool.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
On the bright side, I have not hurt myself in over a month.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Ants like warmth. They seem to cluster around the stove/oven after it's been on. I kept thinking they'd go away while I was cooking because it would get hot, but they seem to increase their numbers instead.
We'd noticed the kids get grouchy when the house reaches 86, but they're fine when it's 85. So we set the a/c to 85. Well, it never kicks on until it hits 87. Finally the other day I turned it down to 83 and it kicks on at 85. The ants don't seem to like it cool. They've been gone for several days. But we just got home from church and there were a lot of ants in the kitchen. It got hot while we were gone. So I guess we like it under 85, but the ants like it over 85.
Ants don't like any brand of poisoned bait.
Wasps like milk and honey scented soap. I've had a bathing buddy for the last week. I don't know if it's the same one, but there's been a wasp (or some wasp-like creature. maybe a mud dauber or yellow jacket. It has a wasp shaped body and it's black and yellow. . .) in the bathroom with me every morning when I take my bath. I just ignore it and it ignores me. But today I used a different soap than I've been using. I grabbed the milk and honey scented bottle today. I poured some in my hand and right then this wasp comes buzzing down at me. It kept coming at me for the rest of my bath. As soon as I was dressed, I went to get Stephen to kill it. So I guess tomorrow I'll get to find out if there's a new one in there.
Ants can be useful. Have you ever woken up at night and seen a bug in the bathroom? I'll kill it and sometimes leave it till morning because I don't want to get all grossed out in the middle of the night. Then in the morning it's gone. I thought someone else was cleaning them up or there were Dead Bug Fairies that did it for me. Well, a couple weeks ago I caught the Dead Bug Fairies in the act. They were ants! They were coming and taking away the dead bug bit by bit. We're hoping that's where the dead spider from last night disappeared to. Either that or it was just playing dead. Creepy thought, huh?
Wolf spiders can get as big as my hand. Enough said about that. I'd rather not think about it.
Have you heard you're never more than a few feet away from a spider? I believe it now.
Also it seems the ants carried away the broken glasses. Maybe it looked like a pair of magnifying glasses and they thought my kids were going to use them to burn ants. So they carried them off and hid them away. Or maybe they looked like dead bugs and the ants were trying to be useful to thank us for all the food we "provided" for them. All we really know is the glasses are gone and many ants hang out where we saw them last.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
On a positive note, the plans for the house are firmed up and we are at work. There is a picture of the site from last week when it was cleared of trees. Over the weekend I rented a backhoe and it is stripped clean with the trench for the foundation's footings dug. We will try to get a picture up later as we are going to work hard to document this process all the way through as we plan to live in this house the next 50 or so years.
The roof is a metal building roof and has been ordered. The walls will be a mixture of rock from our property and what ever other property we can get them from and cordwood. The cordwood idea just wouldn't go away and I kept thinking it would be a big pain in the rear until we finally peeled off some bark and it was pretty easy. So we are using that upstairs. The cost of the exterior of the house will be the mortar and that's it.
We had developed round house plans as this is the most efficient way to build a space, but it is also a bear when you get to things like joist layout and building curved interior walls and doing a roof that is shaped those umbrellas you get in drinks at Trader Vic's. The house will be a combination house and barn. When I was in Switzerland I got to have lunch at a dairy farm and they lived in a house/barn. I always thought that was a great deal and now we will do that for ourselves.
Insert your own "raised in a barn" joke here.