Friday, July 31, 2009

I am so glad that you care...

Thanks for the comments on the last post, I did not know that you cared, and am even more glad that people sometimes read this. "Real" might be too harsh for you guys, so I'll keep it to a tid-bit of real every once in a while.

All is well here. It's about to rain (again) and Java and Sun are the happiest together I've seen them. Sun is really settling in well. Java is in relaxed summer mode, which is perfection topped with fabulous. Yes, I love her.

Java and Sun in the back. Sorry for the boring photo, but if I get too close to the fence they will think that I have something for them, and, well, I don't.

Sun's owner comes by almost every day, and she takes great care of him. He is only 3, and does a consistent amount of groundwork with him and takes a lesson once a week. She rides Sun about 2 or 3 times a week and the most they have done is walk and very little trot. His steering is his challenge. His owner is fantastic with him, and he seriously is a very good boy and wonderful to have here. I thought I wanted to snap his head off about 2 weeks ago, but did not and now love him. He got over his annoying-settling in phase and is now his normal self and a real sweetie. His owner and I get along great, a plus.

Speaking of lesson... Java and I are having one on Sunday. One lesson, the first in about 5 years, one whole week before the infamous Horse Trails that we are showing in. Way to wing it. It will be fun, java will have a blast and I'll probably talk about it for years. If we love it, we'll do more and really get going.

OK: a dose of real, more like a recurring thought that I have: Facebook is bunk. I seriously doubt if any of the friends I have on there are really friends. I have something like 110 friends on Facebook, about average, and I find their status updates about weather and cocktails really... stupid. To be more specific, it seems that my facebook friends are shallow, and do not know me at all. AND, I'm OK with that. I like you, my blog friends better. My Facebook friends don't even read my blog and think I care if their commute sucks, job sucks, or if they are stuck in traffic on Martha's Vineyard, which I do care, a little, it reminds me that my little world is darn awesome: do you know what I mean?

Bin #1 Manure is 145*. I knew you were wondering.

And... her hair is still long (for now):

Monday, July 27, 2009

regular update

Manure Cabana update:

Bin #1 is full, the stuff has been turned and the compost is reading at 155*. Looks like all is well there.
Bin #2 is now in action.

Mr. Java's Mom and I have chosen a contractor for our next phase of tree work to clear a new paddock. The last spot that we cleared was going to be the new paddock, but it wants to be a garden instead.

Wants to be a garden:

The new paddock will be on the other side of the fern path. The fern path will still exist, with just enough distance between the path and the paddock for a nice spot for the ferns as we know and love it now. There will also be shade as we will be leaving some trees.

Wants to be a paddock:

Java and Sun THANK GOD have finally bonded and conveniently they are happy to be out in the top paddock together all day until I drag their butts in for a ride with Java then dinner. Breaking news: I have just made an effort to take a lesson this Sunday (took the big step and send the trainer an e-mail). I have not had a lesson in many many years. This is to prepare for the horse trial. Then, I'll figure out how we are going to get there.

And on the odd occasion, Java loose to do her mowing around the barn:
PS: I'm tempted to finally get real on this blog, but am thinking that the smarmy happy chit chat is fine.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Physics and Chemistry

Good god, it's absolutely pouring rain. I'm biting my nails trying to design our garden area (to sell veggies next year because I'm going to become a superfarmer) and rain gardens to soak up run off that likes to pool near some of our new big trees. Java thinks this rain/monsoon episode is just fine as she pokes her head out the window, munching on hay. Sun thinks this is fine too, munching hay, dropping copious amounts outside his window and making a huge pig pen of his stall. And I'm for some reason stressing about it all. Mr. Java's Mom keeps calling from work asking me where the water is running to and from... I'm like "heck, it's pouring, the water is everywhere and coming from um... everywhere" I swear, he just called and is on his way home to observe the water running down hill because I'm not able to give a reason for the runoff aside from that we live on a slope and it's raining. I personally think that is is quite convenient that the rain runs down our hill. We don't use any chemicals, so that's great with me. But Mr. Java's Mom wants to know MORE.

When this rain lets up and the horses go out finally is when I will muck, and with all this extra stall time it will most certainly be a two trip-per to the Manure Cabana.

The Manure Cabana by the way was cookin' good yesterday morning with a temperature reading of 157* at 9:00 am. Yep, hot hot hot. I took the thermometer out and the end was steaming. If only science/physics/chemistry was this interesting in school. I wonder if I could get my D in those courses retroactively corrected if I could prove that I can mix the proper amount of nitrogen (manure and horse pee) and carbon (bedding and hay) to cook to 157* and keep it that way for 10 days to become certified organic... Take THAT!!! I can see the tag line of the marketing campaign now (and if someone for some reason steals this tagline and uses it I will hunt them down and poke them with my 36' compost thermometer): Picture a bag of black gold compost and the copywriting: "Certified Organic Compost= Rocket Fuel for your plantings made by the girl that could not achieve higher than a D in classes that teach about why manure is now the rocket fuel that you are paying for".

Chief Pooper:

Assistant Pooper:

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Manure Cabana is in action...

Happy grazing kids:

Big news:
The Manure Cabana is in action. Bin #1 is occupied, and covered by our cool FarmTek CompostTek fabric stuff that they make for composting! Who would think that there is a special fabric that keeps compost covered to aid in composting and lets the heap breath? Well, we all know now anyway. It's great.

We have about 6 days of manure in there, the bin is about 25% full, and Ahhhhhh... the sweet smell of... nothing. No smell. Yeah baby. (well, if you stick your head way in there it smells, but right now after mucking I smell a lot more like manure than the heap).

And, it's cookin' as you can see with this morning's reading using our fabulous FarmTek compost thermometer. 150* in the stuff.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

making do

Java is wonderful. She's a little tired and sore from running around with a 3 year old (Sun, the new resident), but we're managing. I'm beginning to stress about the horse trials we are doing at the beginning of August. I have never done a dressage test, have no idea how to salute, and do not know how we will be getting there. BUT, I'm pretty sure that it is a schooling horse trials, and we are doing the lowest level. Poor Java loves to jump and we'll be dinking over little logs in a field. Also, Java is barefoot and my trimmer said it can be rocky there... OK OK, we'll be fine, I'm just stressing.

Sun is still settling in, and Java and Sun get along beautifully. But, he is antsy at times and likes to walk the fence line. This eventually makes Java nuts and she wants to be separated. This morning she banged her knee on the fence post while running, bossing Sun around and getting my attention. We need more paddocks. We have 3 right now, and will be putting in the 4th soon. I look at Melissa's photos and think... oh wow, 40 acre pastures ....

Now that would do the trick. But, we like our place, especially Java so we will make do with less acres.

The weather has been amazing, CT is making up for the lack of 40 acres pastures with the weather.
Mackie goofing off. Yes, that would be his beloved John Deere toy.

I have no interesting photos. I decided that riding is more fun than trying to take interesting photos.

What's this? This is our larger, more mats wash stall. NICE.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Java bliss

Pics of shiny Java. No I do not put anything on her coat and feed no hoof/coat/etc supplements. I do groom her regularly, and she's just radiant from being so happy here at home. Really, I don't know why she is so shiny, but yes, I like it. I trimmed her tail a little more than usual so that ticks don't use it like a escalator.

Java is just wonderful. I'm sure that those who read this blog and have horses feel the same way about their horses. I'm a very lucky girl.

Sun is doing great, we'll get some weight on him and since he's only 3, he will fill out some eventually and maybe look as round and shiny as Java.

And, Mr. Java's Mom got video of a couple of jumps today (end of day, no sun, it's not that dreary here). It's OK, I see all the wiggling that I'm doing that is not necessary, and I definitely see that Java is barely making an effort over the small jump and swinging her legs to the side. We have a higher jump that we'll work up to, that should make her put a little more effort in. But, hey, we had tons of fun, actually we have tons of fun every time we ride. And since, Mr. Java's Mom got the video right twice, I posted both. Video Fiesta.

Back in love with Farm Tek

Good news, Farm Tek redeemed themselves today with me.

You might recall from a post a couple of months ago that some twit hung up on me as I attempted to give Farm Tek some business. Well, Mr. Java's Mom had a different experience and ordered some stuff from there, including some techie cloth for the Manure Cabana, and had a nice experience. When we call Farm Tek we now only speak with the guy that helped Mr. Java's Mom and his name is Tracy (ext 174 if you want to not get hung up on). I just ordered a compost thermometer and to my delight he is sending Mr. Java's Mom and I t-shirts. Heck, since I don't get to go shopping at Saks anymore now that I covet Carhartt and the real estate market is in a coma, a free Farm Tek t-shirt is like a free Valentino cocktail dress.

The camera is in the barn and Java and Sun are napping in the barn right now and I don't want to disturb them, so I'll post later with new pics after I get the camera.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Animal Moments

Oh Boy! Java and Sun get along. They spent the afternoon out together yesterday. And today they are hanging out happy as can be. Sun is still settling in and seems to be looking for other horses, but will probably figure out soon that it's just Java.

Yesterday was the first day they were out together. I watched them for a couple of hours and they were fine, so I went to the store. I got back and saw Java looking for me over the fence. I know this means "mom, we'd like to come in now, please come get us".

I start unloading the car fast and getting the groceries into the fridge. I go out for the last bag of groceries and Bandy is waiting for me at the back door like "mom, come quick, Mackie is doing something bad". His head is all the way in the bag in the back of the car, he is making a snorting scarfing noise, his head pops out, I look in and see that he has somehow gotten the whole bag of Ghirardelli Cocoa chips into his belly. Oh for crying out loud, chocolate! I call the vet and ask if it is an old wives tail that dogs cannot have chocolate or true. She says it's true (hey an educational emergency, that's great) and calmly and swiftly gives me instructions on how to induce vomiting so that Mackie does not DIE. Mackie preferred his own method and yacked all over his bedding with a lovely blob of oozy cocoa chips. Nice Mackie. Meanwhile... the horses are running a good clip in the top paddock as I'm trying to run the canine ER unit. I get up to the top paddock, the horses have stopped running and are all the way at the end of the paddock hanging out.

I call them, and bam, they come running like wild little animals to me. Dripping and drenched in sweat. They think this is fun.

Bath time, times two. Sun loved the spa treatment.

Animals. I love them, but one episode at a time please.

They must not be any worse for wear because they are fit as a fiddle, limber and ready for more fun today.

This is this morning so far:

Looks like Java ran off a little bit of her chub yesterday.

And, Mr. Java's Mom found it important that I mention that the Manure Cabana is not an O2Compost design. He visited the site and others, and made many modifications to our design, including the special cover made of some special material, the base material, blah blah blah. I still think it's a cool system. But, now that I clarified that it's not really an O2Compost design, but a special Mr. Java's Mom original, all will be right with the world. That's OK Mr. Java's Mom, you still rule for making it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The weekend

The weekend was wonderful, I hope you all had a great weekend too!

Thank you for your supportive and nice comments. I really appreciate it and thrive on the support. I love our place here, and it is really nice to hear you guys like it too!

Sun is doing great. He is settling in very quickly. I'm seeking a retiree for the third horse. Maybe someone who wants a place for their horse to get ready and unwind for real full-time-retirement at a place like Melissa's at Paradigm. Heck, I love Melissa's place. And I hear horse owners talk about hesitation sending their horse "away" and that they will miss them. So they could prep for their retirement here and eventually go to Melissa's. Who knows, that would be nice though, wouldn't it!?

Here is Java getting ready to take a little snooze with Sun hanging nearby in the top paddock. They might be close to ready to go out together.

Sun barely visible as he was coming up the fence line to say hi.

Bandy after a swim. This dog likes sticks and preferably big sticks.

And... the new 3 bin manure compost station. I have dubbed it the Manure Cabana. You might remember that there was a bocce court here when we bought the place (old post from last August). We promptly ripped out the timbers for it and our good friend Tom said that he wanted them for his place as he would like a bocce court at his house. So we neatly stacked them and waited, then had to move them and stack them another place and waited for him to come and get them. Well, one year later, we got tired or waiting. They are now the supports and ramp for the Manure Cabana. Tom is too cool for this blog so he does not know yet that his bocce court future is over. The 3 bin composting system is easy: New manure goes in, there are PVC vents that circulate air in the heap and the stuff will decompose fast, no flies will hatch and we will have some excellent compost that I will eventually sell. Thank you Mr. Java's Mom. You rule.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July and the new resident

Happy 4th of July!

This is Sun, the new resident. He arrived just after a big afternoon thunderstorm yesterday. He arrived safe and sound. He is 3 years old, his mom lives locally and so far so good.

Java seemed to stare across the aisle at Sun when he arrived, and looked at me like "really, you got me a buddy, really?! Thanks mom.".

Then she decided to go on with her business, and not care. Wow, I love her.

And Sun was thrilled with the open windows. He did a lot of this:

And now they are outside, in separate paddocks for now and both are being great. Java is like the level headed steady one (first time ever) and Sun alternates between grazing, running and rolling. He's having a great first day.

Here is Java and Sun in the background. I have not gotten a decent picture of him out in the paddock yet, but soon enough I will.

Friday, July 3, 2009

weed whacking

Java in her favorite paddock, checking everything out. Ho hum, this is a little boring mom.

So, I decide to let her loose to do some weed whacking. She did a thorough job around the trees.

In real life I'm a real estate agent. I've had a very busy week for a change. I'm thinking of sharing some odd things that people say sometimes in the real estate business. Actually, it's so clear to me that both the horse world and real estate has a large percentage of odd/unique/interesting (strange) people in it.
For example:
Horse person, this was a potential boarder. I asked her what she was looking for in terms of care, etc. She said: "I'm a MASTER COMMUNICATOR. My horse has told me what he wants. He wants PASTURE." I'm thinking wow lady, if you are a master communicator, you must be reeeaaaalll good. So you say your horse wants pasture. That's incredible (duh). SO I ask, how much pasture. She says "between 15 and 30 acres." I sigh a HUGE relief, I don't have that. I inform her that she might want to look outside of the state of CT for land like that, and I don't have land like that, best of luck, etc.
Real Estate, this was a comment from buyer. Very nice people, from NYC, looking at a gorgeous house out here in the "country". After looking at the house, walking the land, loving it all, she says "we are worried about bugs, its the country and there are bugs" She was not referencing termites, she was talking about the flying nuisance bugs. Well, yep, there are bugs here, outside, that does occur... bugs occur. Yep...
And, Drum Roll.....................The new boarder arrives tonight. She so far does not seem odd/strange. I really like her. I hope we all like her horse too. I'll take pics.