Right now, I am waiting for FedEx to deliver my new saddle for Wyatt. I love my new horse, and we are developing a great partnership, but it took some time to find a jump saddle that works for both of us. Hopefully the one that is arriving today will. If it does work, I might actually get to compete once this season.
In just over a week, my farm will once again be hosting Templefest. We are cleaning, and generally preparing for ~300 witches and pagans to decend on us for a weekend. I am really psyched about the programming this year. The Temple of Witchcraft event team has really got together an impressive array of presenters this year.
It's all communication.
received a delivery of 300 bales of cow hay - there's a "funny" story there - keep reading.
Did some mowing that no one else wants to do because it requires careful patience.
cleaned up some around the cow barn (again, if people would follow instructions, I wouldn't have had to do that)
Picked up a part for the tractor from the JD dealer, and got a chance to tell someone there why I'm using a different repair shop for things these days. (rudeness from the service manager is not acceptable, but possibly related to the hay story below)
Put the big hay elevator away in the shed after unloading the hay. People look at that thing and think I can't move it by myself. (again, see below)
Taught a jumping lesson to the DQ who works out of the barn here so she can cross-train.
Fetched the trash/recycle bins from the bottom of the driveway.
OK, so the "funny" story - The hay man sent his 2 delivery people along with the 300 bales of hay to put up in the loft of the cow barn. I told them that I would load the elevator. It's an old beast that requires careful handling. The older of the 2 (neither were out of their 20's) asked "are you up to bucking 300 bales?" I blinked. What? Why yes, yes I am. 2 weeks ago I baled and put up 750 over 3 days, I can do *this* job (loading the elevator) all day and not really break a sweat. This is the first time in a while that I've had someone obviously judge my strength/endurance based on gender & body type. I think the last time was the new (then) service manager at the local John Deere dealer, who, not knowing me yet, assumed that I wasn't a serious farmer and didn't need that thing fixed TODAY, like I said I did. Well, as it turned out, I really did, found someone else to do it, and the dealer has lost all of my repair business, which is measuered in thousands per year. It also means that I'm not buying new equipment from them either, which has been significant since then. So, I may not be black, but I am woman. I am stronger than you think.
I have a bunch of fields that I haven't been haying because they got weedy. Over the next few years I'm going to work on renovating them and bringing them back into production. It'll be work, but it'll be worth it, since this year, despite being 200 more bales than last year, isn't enough for the full barns here now. I've ordered 300 bales of hay for the cattle, hopefully to be delivered in the next 2 weeks. I'm also working on more chicken space and more cow pasture.
The turkey chicks are outgrowing their brooder, and I think they are bigger every morning. 19 of the 20 have survived so far, so I'm hoping that they all live through the transition out of the mudroom and into the barn.
I think I like to work.
I did cut more hay. dajt did nearly all of the tedding because I had to send Kevin down to the hardware store for a new (temporary) fuel pump for the new (used) diesel tank whose transfer pump I couldn't make work. I got started raking about 12:40 and chocorua got down to the field with the baler about 1:15 (I think, I wasn't really clock watching by then). The baler knotter was being balky, and not long after I got done raking the field (3ish) the baler let go both it's shear bolts. Even so, there were only about 100 bales in the first wagon by then. dhs was doing a great job riding wagon (stacking bales). I left chocorua, dajt and dhs in the field and ran off to get extra shear bolts, as we only had 1 of each. They had it back together and ready for hand turning test by the time I got back. I sent wagon #1 , driven by Kevin the house elf, up to the unloading area along with dajt and dhs and stayed in the field for wagon #2. The crop was really light and with about 30 bales in #2 we were done by 4:15. I helped unload the last one, and we were all done by 5:15. Bale count was 147, which is not much for that field.
Planning for today:
grease equipment, ted hay, rake hay - mostly me, but if everything is going well, Kevin will finish raking.
chocorua will run the baler again, I have dhs, miekec and myself to switch off riding wagon.
Kat will manage the unloading crew again, which I'm expecting to be some of the barn folk, dajt and possibly his younger spawn, and Spencer, my bro. Kevin will get the job of wagon runner and possibly errand runner.
While I'm doing maintenance in the morning, I'll also be calling the drain-uncloggger dude for the kitchen sink and tracking down the correct shear bolts for the baler, and maybe making a call about the fuel transfer pump. I expect 300 bales off today's field.
I am fatigued in my muscles, but feeling really good in my brain. Work is good for me?
I've also made myself sore riding a few times: back, arms, abs and legs. But riding Wyatt is totally worth it. Soon I will be stronger!
April and most of May were sadly unmotivated and depressed, but it looks like I'm over that for now.
Today is a maintenance day. So I can be prepared for the beautiful weather predicted for this coming week in which I hope to bust my ass getting most of the rest of the hay in. If anyone were to ask me if I predicred a drought for the northeast this summer, I'd say yes. Water table is down locally this spring, vernal pools aren't, my feilds are 2-3 weeks ahead of where I expect them to be in terms of ground dryness.
Wauwinet is a 12 year old Oldenberg gelding. I feel extaorodinarily lucky to be able to ride this horse. I've seen him around at events, I might have even competed against him. He's been consistently winning at Prelininary. Here's the most beautiful part: he is the best trained and easiest horse to ride that I have ever in my life ridden.
Compare my seat in the photo below to the user icon above. Below is far better.
I used to journal here often, sometimes daily. I think what might have replaced these natterings (mostly to myself) is the use of chat (hangouts and messenger). When I spend the time chatting with friends, I get those natterings out of my system and end up not journaling. This week, one of the people I chat with most is on vacation and offline, so here I am, journaling.
Yesterday, I took my two 4 year old horses to a 2-phase, competing both of them at the Elementary level: a very simple WTC dressage test and 2'3" jumping.
For Betty, whom I've owned for about a month now, this was intended as a learning experience. She was downright bad in the warm-up before dressage, much worse than at home. I don't know if it was just nervousness, or not having her balance on the slippery wet grass or she's got some pain somewhere. She did not succeed in bucking me off and we managed to not collide with any of the other horses. The best thing I can say about the dressage test is that we stayed in the arena, and sort of managed to at least be doing the correct gait in the right places. I felt like I at least did an adequate job of riding the flail of tension. She was in 10th out of 10 after dressage. She redeemed herself in the jumping, being more settled in the warm-up, even though she still wouldn't stand still to wait her turn and we walked in small circles for 15 min while the show management ran late. She was distracted in the ring, but did jump all the jumps and leave all the rails up, despite my flailing right leg. I need to work more on my balance on her in the jump tack. She finished 5th, because lots of people had trouble in the jumping.
Costa, whom I've had since she was 18 months old, is pretty much old hat at going places and behaving herself. I think she was a little bit more tense than last outing just because of the sometimes being alone and sometimes not with Betty's comings and goings. The slippery grass in the warm up did bother her, so I cut short her warm up. I should remember to not do that next time. And ride her more at home on wet grass. She was surprised that the test was different from last time, and she knew it right away because didn't have a halt at the beginning. The first trot circle was fine, but then there was canter, and she is still unsteady at the canter, and the entire rest of the test was zoomy forward and not on the aids at all. Things to work on. She was tied for 6th after dressage. It's a good thing Costa doesn't need a lot of jump warm up, because she was slipping on the grass, so I only jumped 2 before going in. She was very brave and honest, but still being not too adjustible, and this being a height she actually has to jump over (she's ony 14h3", and 2'3" is much more of an effort for her than for 16h Betty) she did knock one down. She finished in 6th.
I have decided that I would really like to purchase the 4 year old Oldenberg Mare, Betty. So I'm done looking. Unless there she ends up not passing the vet exam. I am hoping to get that taken care of soon. :-)
Think blue screen of death, core dump, spinny wheel of doom.
It's a hard reset, not a soft re-boot; pul the plug, uncouple the battery and start over.
Yes, there is probably some data loss, but it's presence or abscence can't be told until it's looked for.
It can't be looked for until the re-boot is complete and the programs are re-loaded.
Sometimes, some programs have been damaged in the crash and need to be deleted and re-installed fresh.
Now mind you, this is nowhere near as bad as the original trauma,
which is like smashing the computer with a baseball bat, repeatedly,
and then the computer has to make itself work again from the smashed parts.
Hi. Welcome to my life.
Welcome Home Brother
In Honor of Fair Deal aka. Skippy
Hi Skippy, welcome to the pasture, we haven’t met but my name is Paleface and I’m your sister. Sorry you came early, but maybe between you, Trumpy and me we can have Jocelyn’s new mare Costa carry our mistresses safely over those outside courses.
If I may, let me tell you more about our owner she was more than an owner, she was part of us, usually listening to us except when she was headstrong and decided she would do it her way. Hey, I remember the time we took a tumble on a practice jump before our cross-country ride in Far Hills. There we were ass over tea- kettle and everybody rushing out to see how she was. Did anybody check me out, maybe but of course, they were more concerned about my owner. Yeah, I know we all had the best of training, grooming, stabling and most of all the love from her. However, you will get to know, that Connemara’s worry about how they are going to recover from a fall, than worry about the rider.
Hey, here comes Trumpy. Now Trumpy, as you know was great as a dressage horse, boy could he make her look good. Of course, all those dam hours of training, hands relaxed, light leg and those dam sounds she would make from her mouth use to drive me crazy. Connemara’s are bred to run, clear fences and are some of the best barrel races in the world. Not to brag, but when it came to the best all around pony/horse and rider we would shine.
Skippy, I have been watching you and our mistress for quite some time and am thoroughly impressed how you and Jocelyn have put it all together. Boy, you two brought home some great ribbons. Your cross-country runs were terrific and your dressage scores were better than ours. Yeah don’t rub it in.
Well Skippy I think you, Trumpy and I can get Costa to know what needs to be done to have them become champions. What do you guys think? Trumpy and Skippy look at each other and think, “Dam mares, they always have to get in the last word.”
Trumpy and Skippy nod at each other and say, “Yeah, let’s help the new kid out and keep out mistress out of trouble.”
Paleface looks at Trumpy and Skippy and says, “Hey guys, I found a great viewing point, it’s called Kinney Hill. We can watch them, as they become champions.”
Well it’s time to head to the new pasture area I found, lots of great green grass and plenty of room to run. “Goodnight Trumpy, goodnight Skippy.” “Goodnight Paleface.”
To my daughter, may steeds carry her safely over the courses and bring her many ribbons and much happiness.
Death is inevitable and, contrary to many people's belief, but not to my experience, it is not the end of the world. I am sad, but not for those who have changed plane, I am sad for myself, and those who are still here. I have compassion: compassion enough to allow the end of physical suffering, and compassion for myself, compassion for my sad. Compassion for your sad too.
I have observed over the past few days that is seems like people are expecting me to be "not OK", well, I am OK. Certainly there was the initial shock, no more or less now, for Skippy, which was sudden, than for times when I knew the end was coming and had time to prepare. There is no preperation for that shock, I think, except to already have a heart full of compassion. But once the shock settles into acceptace, yes, there may be a hole in my world, but that's no reason to let that hole comsume me. Having compassion for myself allows me a little time to slowly accept, but also the strength to continue. The strength of remember and to know that this is really not the end of the world. He is grazing in greener pastures now, with many of his friends that I knew. And yes, I do handle people the same way I handle my fur folk, as far as my brain and emotional processing.
I do not know if it is being a medium that gives me such a different perspective, or growing up with all sorts of animals around who just don't live as long as we do, that makes death easier for me, seemingly, than for many others that I know. I do know that as I have developed self-love and developed greater compassion, that my heart has expanded enough to make up for the holes that are left when ones I love pass on from this mode of existance.