Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pee Wee, Water Issues, Vet Visits Part II

To pick up where I left off in our last post

I told Jason that we had surely had enough drama to last us for awhile between two vet visits and needing to call Pee Wee, all in one day.

I was wrong. I was so very wrong.

I didn't realize at the time that we had only just gotten the drama llama going. Jason, Carter and I enjoyed a nice start to the day on Sunday morning. Late in the morning it came to our attention that there was a wet spot on the driveway. Since it hadn't rained in over a week (a nice change!) we immediately knew what this meant. Jason had only moderately gotten started with his ranting and raving when I suggested, before we even started torturing ourselves, that "maybe we should call a plumber."

I knew we weren't going to continue with his streak of taking my good advice the first time (as he did when I suggested we call Pee Wee to deal with our tree) and he proved me right. He informed me we didn't need a plumber and we definitely weren't waiting until the next day to deal with this problem. I told him plumbers were like us, vets, ER doctors, etc. and that they also worked on the weekend, for an extra fee of course. He insisted no plumber was required.

Jason collected some shovels and commenced the rotten job of digging down to the water line. Then he had to continue digging so he could find exactly where the leak was.

the last smile Jason cracked for quite awhile

We dug for an hour.  Jason did 90% of the digging and I did 90% of the supervising. An uneven trade for sure but my slow progress with the shovel drives Jason crazy.  The leak was identified. A junction where two pipes joined together was the culprit. Jason made the first of what would end up being many trips to Lowe's and Home Depot for supplies. 

Once he returned with the necessary supplies he removed the damaged section of pipe and got everything ready to replace it. The only snag was when he went to cut the pipe down to the appropriate size his pipe cutter broke.  No problem, we always keep spares of every type of tool around. Jason stormed off to find another pair of pipe cutters and then proceeded to break that set as well. By the grace of God we happened to have a third pair of pipe cutters and he managed to not break this pair and cut the pipe. We cemented everything together and proceeded to wait 30 minutes longer than the directions suggested for the cement to set. 

As we waited around for the cement to set so we could turn the water back on Jason made the comment that the hard part was done, and now all that needed to happen was to fill back in around the line. 

Ten hours later we were still without water and Jason finally gave up. 

When we turned the water back on at the closest shut-off all was well for about ten minutes and then the whole thing blew apart again. Off Jason went again to purchase more supplies. He re-assembled everything, we again waited longer than necessary for the cement to set and were yet again rewarded with the water line blowing apart. 

More trips commenced to buy even more supplies. This round I think Jason purchased every item in the plumbing section at Lowe's. If this thing broke 10 more times by God he wasn't going to have to make another trip for supplies. That was a good move since we continued to have to rebuild this section of water line in our own pathetic version of the movie Groundhog Day.

When everything blew apart the third time the destruction didn't end at the original break. It went a few feet back to the next shut-off where the water line went up to our house. So now we didn't have water to the back half of the farm or our house. We were even worse off than when we started. 

At this point Carter and I were hiding in our waterless house while Jason continued his Groundhog Day with the water line and proceeded to have an epic (and deserved) meltdown. No need to have a replay of our Christmas Fail with Carter. 

Carter thought it was cool that he wasn't going to take a bath that night. Why mommy? Because we don't have any water. Carter thought it was fun to go out in a pasture to pee and poopie. Why mommy? Because we don't have any water. Carter thought it was great that I heated up some hot dogs and chicken nuggets in the microwave instead of making him eat vegetables and grown up food for dinner. Why mommy? Because we don't have any water. The next morning when he got up his first question was if we had water? Sadly the answer was no. 

After reassembling everything for a fourth time Jason gave up, a mere ten hours after we were "almost done." He didn't even try to turn the water back on and told me he had called the plumber and he was going to come at 8:30 in the morning (I didn't mention that I had made this very suggestion ten hours previously . . . ). You can imagine how filthy we were but of course we couldn't take a shower. Jason went to the front barn and used the hot water in the wash rack. I wasn't about to take a shower in the wash rack when the standing air temperature was 45 degrees so I went to bed dirty.

The next morning we fed horses and hauled water from the front of the farm to the back of the farm. The plumber arrived. Jason, with his hands shaking hands from post traumatic stress, turned the water back on to our house and the back of the farm. 

Everyone stood a respectful distance away from our repaired water line waiting for the geyser. 

Nothing happened. 

I was sent to the back barn and told to turn on one of the taps and let the water run for a few minutes, then turn it off.

Nothing happened. 

We turned all of the taps on and off several times. 

Nothing happened. 

The plumber, in a confused voice, asked why we had called him out. I couldn't tell if Jason was elated or fuming mad. I think he was both. We made the plumber wait for awhile to make SURE things were really working ok. Finally we paid him $100 for staring at our repaired water line and he left. It was money well spent in my opinion. 

To summarize, we had a three day run where we had:

1.    Two vet visits for two different horses in one day
2.    One massive tree down over a fence
3.    One chainsaw stuck in said tree 4 times
4.    One call to our buddy Pee Wee to deal with said tree
5.    Two broken water lines (although we originally only had one)
6.    21 hours without water to the back half of the farm
7.    13 hours without water to our house
8.    Five trips to Lowes and Home Depot
9.    Two broken pipe cutters
10.    One shower in the wash rack of the barn
11.  Three trips to a pasture so Carter could pee and poopie outside
12.  One load of clothes that required three cycles of heavy wash 
13.  One cancelled debit card due to fraudulent charges (yes, I didn't even have time to type out this part) 

I think we should be good for awhile on drama and pain in the butt type stuff for awhile. At least I hope we're good for awhile. 


Murphy and Sam were having a big time

Calimba and Cuffie

Kennedy and Donovan

Oskar and Rubrico

Ritchie and Trigger

Gus and Silver

Leo, Moe, Hemi and Apollo

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pee Wee, Water Issues, Vet Visits

We had a 72 hour stretch that didn't go well at all. It didn't start off too terribly. We had a resident that didn't want to eat Friday morning. He was doing the stand up, lie down thing and not wanting to eat. Of course we made an immediate call to the vet. It was about an hour and a half before the vet arrived. About five minutes before the vet arrived the horse in question made a complete recovery.  As the vet truck pulled into the driveway Mr. Suddenlyfelttotallyfine was acting completely normal and eating like his life depended on it. And he's remained that way ever since. Of course the vet did a thorough exam anyway, including a rectal, and concluded that the horse definitely was fully recovered from the probable gas that had ailed him. It is the best kind of vet call to have, no question about that. 

Things got a little more interesting when we moved on from that to dealing with a downed tree on a fence. This wasn't just any downed tree, the trunk on this tree at the base was about six feet in diameter. A couple of the limbs would qualify as decent sized trees all on their own. And there it all was in a giant mess over our fence. 

These are just some of the limbs from the massive tree that fell on the fence. It looked like half the tree line fell down but it was only one huge tree. Lucky us.

Jason of course bore the brunt of dealing with this tree. He sawed, he maneuvered huge limbs with the tractor, he sawed some more. At one point he tried to lift one of the tree branches off the fence with our 100hp, 4WDtractor. The entire tractor tilted to the side with only two tires on the ground. Jason quickly abandoned any notion of trying to lift parts of this giant tree off the fence. Sawing was the only option. 

After getting his chainsaw stuck in this tree four times Jason finally gave up. We were able to get several of the limbs off the fence and mostly repair the fence. It doesn't change the fact that two massive limbs plus part of the trunk are still over the fence (but not touching it) and must be dealt with in the next few weeks before they finally fall on the fence as well. 

I asked Jason if we should call Pee Wee. No joke, there really is someone in our lives named Pee Wee. We first met Pee Wee about a year and a half ago. We were having more electrical lines run on the farm and the utility company needed some trees removed in order to run the lines where we wanted them. We weren't about to tackle these trees ourselves (we're stupid but we're not THAT stupid) and someone at the utility company gave us Pee Wee's number. 

Pee Wee has a former utility company truck with a giant saw on an arm. If you are wondering what Pee Wee looks like he weighs 300+ pounds and he doesn't have a whole lot of teeth. We have no idea what his last name is, or maybe even what his first name is.  All we know is Pee Wee, the man, the myth, the legend. Pee Wee works for cash only so we only ever got his first (I guess?) name.  

We were most appreciative of Pee Wee and his quick work taking down our trees the first time around. When I brought up bringing in Pee Wee in to deal with the rest of our gargantuan tree Jason, in a rare display of taking my good advice when I offer, agreed with me. I almost didn't know what to say. Despite the fact that I was speechless I was pleased we were going to let Pee Wee come to our rescue again

We only had a few minutes to pat ourselves on the back and celebrate the fact that we had managed to not maim our kill ourselves, our tractor or Jason's chainsaw. It was back to feeding horses and right back to another vet call. One of the horses had managed to give themselves a lovely puncture wound, one that made us both go "O-M-G" when we first saw it. After my first look I looked again and pronounced it looked worse than it actually was and couldn't be stitched. Our second vet visit of the day later I was proven right by the vet. The patient was very good as the vet scrubbed and cleaned, we started a round of antibiotics, and finally called it a day. 

I told Jason that we had surely had enough drama to last us for awhile between two vet visits and needing to call Pee Wee, all in one day.  

I was wrong. I was so very wrong.  

To be continued in the next post . . . 


Mick and Lighty were having a great time; Africa wasn't impressed enough to stop grazing.

I wonder if Lofty, Silver and Romeo realized what a pretty sunset they had

We had a pretty sunrise as well

Donneur under the pretty sunrise

Cocomo and Lofty

Bruno and Duesy

Rubrico and Stormy

Lucky and Lightning

Remmy and Fabrizzio

Murphy, Dutch, Renny, Sam and Africa

Dolly leading the way followed by Cuffie and Norman

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Stills

Timbit, Griselle and Sparky on a frosty morning a few days ago

Donneur and Romeo

Gibson and Silver

Taco, Dutch and Murphy

Faune and Flyer

George and Asterik

Alex and B-Rad

Apollo and Hemi

Sebastian, Lighty and Africa

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Just Can't Get Enough

I told Jason today that maybe the smartest thing we could do would be to buy a gravel pit. I think anyone would consider us addicted to the stuff. Jason will never, ever feel like our driveway has enough gravel on it.  I don't think either of us will ever think that we have enough gravel in our pastures around the gates and in the traffic areas. 

We made it six entire weeks since our last day of gravel deliveries until we couldn't take it anymore. Like junkies in need of a fix we called our gravel guy yesterday and were absolutely gleeful when he said he would start delivering loads first thing this morning. At 8am our first gravel truck of the day rolled in. Sadly we had to stop after four loads. Four loads isn't nearly enough to satisfy our needs, but we comfort ourselves with the thought that it is four more loads than we had yesterday. 

If anyone needs some last minute gift idea for us I'll be happy to give you the phone number for our gravel guy. We'll take anything from the big 3 to 4 inch rock down to crusher run. We're not picky AND we'll love you forever!


one of several gravel trucks that drove down on our driveway today

the sight of a gravel truck in the pasture . . . 

. . . leads to the horses huddled together and on high alert. Safety in numbers and all that.

Johnny staring at the mysterious piles in his pasture

Cinnamon, Maisie and Dolly

From left to right Duesy, Fabrizzio, Remmy, Walden and Hesse. It's a tough life at Paradigm Farms.

Chance and Leo

Ritchie and Thomas


Rocky and Largo

Silky likes to keep an eye on things when you're getting food ready

Walon and Kennedy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Fail

I don't know if I should have titled this as Parenting Fail instead of Christmas Fail, but fail is definitely the right choice of words. I happily admit that I am one of "those" people that enjoys the Christmas season. I'm not really into the day itself, more so the weeks leading up to it. I like picking out presents for people, dragging the tree out and decorating it, looking at the various seasonal displays I see at homes and businesses as I drive around, that kind of thing. I am also a person that works way too much and often fails (there's that fail word again) to find, create, take, manufacture - pick your word here - the time to enjoy things outside of work. As much as I love my job there's more to life than the endless work around the farm.

Combine the above with the fact that I have been nostalgic about my dad lately, the man who loved to buy Christmas lights, and I decided we were going to decorate for Christmas this year. I envisioned Jason and I having our very own Clark Griswold moment where we plugged in the lights and lit up the county with our magnificent display.  My first thought was that we could put garland (with lights of course) and bows on both sides of the small section of our driveway that leads to our house. Doing the whole driveway, at almost a mile, wasn't even something I was willing to consider.

I asked Jason how many feet of fence I was contemplating wrapping in garland and lights and he said a little over six hundred. This didn't sound too bad to me. Then he rightfully pointed out that I would need much more than 600 feet of garland to have enough to allow it to drape. So I'm thinking maybe 1,000 feet of garland with lights. When I began counting fence posts to see how many red bows I would need in addition to the garland my enthusiasm for this project began to wane. I decided I didn't want to spend a couple of days doing nothing but putting up garland and bows.

I moved on to putting lights on the house. I convinced Jason this would be a much less time consuming project. Jason didn't buy into my vision of lights on the first and second story of the house. We finally compromised on lights on the front, following the edge of the roof lines, first floor only. We purchased the lights, the clips to hang said lights, got out the ladder and proceeded to decorate.

It didn't go well.

As we were unraveling strands of icicle lights out of the boxes we were already getting frustrated. After the fun of untangling the lights when we plugged the very first strand in it had a section in the middle that didn't light up. We couldn't figure out why. We finally tossed this strand of lights to the side and kept going.

At last it was time to commence hanging the lights. We decided to start with the porch roof since it was the lowest point. We broke 4 of the stupid clips right off the bat before we got one clipped to the roof and the strand of lights.  It didn't help that our ladder apparently was not in the Christmas spirit and didn't want to decorate. Jason was hanging on to our unstable ladder with one hand and the lights and clips with the other hand.

We finally got a couple of the clips up and had about a foot of the first light strand affixed to the house. Then simultaneously the ladder decided to slide again, a clip broke and one part of the light strand we were working with went dark. Jason, in a totally justified moment as he hung precariously on the ladder, shouted out "god damn cheap ass lights!"

Unfortunately Carter had been paying attention at that moment in time and thought it was funny when dad was swinging on the ladder and shouting. He began skipping up and down the porch, yelling in time with his footfalls, "god damn cheap ass lights! god damn cheap ass lights!"

I wanted to die.

I had visions of little three year old Carter skipping around at his pre-school while yelling "god damn cheap ass lights!" and having no clue why his teachers were looking horrified.

Jason was totally oblivious to Carter skipping and cursing as he clung to our ever-shifting ladder and wrestled with the lights. I finally snapped out of my nightmares and said "hey Carter, can you count the lights for mommy?"  Thankfully Carter stopped skipping and cursing and turned his attention to counting lights. He's been solid on counting to ten for well over a year but 11 to 20 is still iffy. So that took all of his concentration and he forgot about his skipping and yelling.

Jason managed to hang on to our recalcitrant ladder and get the lights clipped up on both sides of the porch. That left us with a drooping strand in the middle over the porch steps. Our ladder definitely wasn't going to work on the steps. Jason stomped off and re-appeared a few minutes later driving one of the tractors. I was instructed to get on the tractor and lift him up to the porch roof in the bucket. In ultimate redneck fashion Jason proceeded to finish hanging the lights from the front end loader of the tractor.
one sagging string of lights

We were both happy to finally have this one small section of lights up on the porch roof. We stood back to look at them and soak in our mini Clark Griswold moment. We realized that the plug to connect the two strands we had used left us with a dark spot right in the middle of the porch.  We decided we didn't care.

We also realized one of the strands of our icicle lights was determined to point up instead of down. I told Jason it looked like our Christmas lights were giving us the finger. We decided we didn't care about that either, it was kind of appropriate at this point.

a definite don't try this at home moment brought to life by us

So who cares if we have a gap in the lights and one strand of icicles (unfortunately kind of blurred out by the glare of the porch light) giving us the finger?

We also decided we weren't putting up anymore lights on the house. Not on the first story, not on the second story, not anywhere. The porch was it and we were done.

To summarize our attempts at exterior Christmas decorations we accomplished:
1. One skipping, cursing child
2. Jason hanging precariously from a ladder that was an unwilling participant
3. One dark spot in the middle of our one small strip of icicle lights
4. One strand of icicle lights pointing up and giving us the finger
5. Two wannabe rednecks seriously considering leaving the lights on the porch roof year round so we never have to do this again.

I think that 's enough for this year.  Merry Christmas.


Africa and Murphy

Lofty, Faune and Romeo

Donovan and Rubrico

Thomas and Hemi playing, Trigger and Leo watching

Timbit, Jason and Griselle

B-Rad holding his own leadrope

Sam's turn

Lily and Maisie

River and Johnny

MyLight, Calimba and Dolly