Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Great Weekend

This weekend was wonderful. Mother Nature was definitely smiling on us all weekend. Saturday was gorgeous, sunny and a high of 59. The horses were all in great moods Saturday morning as Jason and I fed breakfast to everyone. They obviously knew it was going to be a beautiful weekend and they were as pleased about it as we were.

After we finished up all of our morning chores Jason and I took a drive to go look at a couple of different pieces of land for sale. We do this all the time and manage to find something wrong with every single property we look at. The one we looked at on Saturday actually has some potential though so we'll be going back for a much better look with our realtor.

We also drove by the piece of property that we really wished had worked out. About 120 acres right in the heart of the Amish community. The land was a rectangle and we want a rectangle or a square, mostly open with some slight roll, in an area with good soil and no rocks. We also prefer bare land, no barn, fencing, or house so we can lay everything out and build it out exactly as we want it. All of those requirements were met as well. There was only one slight problem, big power lines running through it. Alas when we drove by it again on Saturday those darned power lines were still there. I have zero interest in looking out my window and seeing power lines and Jason feels the same way.

As we were driving down the road to see it again we passed three different buggies on the road, the Amish were clearly enjoying the weather as much as we were. We also stopped for a moment and watched a three horse draft hitch pulling a plow. Even Jason, who abhors the thought of having to farm with horses and not a tractor, was impressed with the beautiful, straight lines the team was producing and we really admired the obvious level of communication between the driver and his team. The drafts were in beautiful condition with shiny coats, as were the other horses in the paddocks around the barn. I would have been more than happy to have this Amish farmer as my neighbor. Stupid power lines!!

We stopped and had lunch at a little cafe before heading home. I then rode Lexi when we got home. Lexi was a star and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with her. She has been a really easy greenie to bring along so far. Bonnie has been more challenging which is why she is with the trainer right now. She's not challenging in the sense that she bucks or does anything stupid, she just hasn't acted like she came out of the womb already trained and that is about all I wish to handle in a greenie these days! Jason and I then fed everyone dinner, scrubbed and refilled all the buckets and troughs, and called it a day. We ended the day with dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. This is a regular Saturday evening event for us as they always have live music. We enjoyed a nice meal and live music, and then ran a couple of errands before heading home for the night.

Today (Sunday) was an even better day as far as weather. Sixty five degrees and sunny. It was one of those days where you truly feel blessed to have a farm full of horses and being able to spend the day with them. We took our time with everything today, feeding, grooming, etc. and just enjoyed the horses and the weather. I also had another absolutely fabulous ride on Lexi. I think I had a smile plastered from ear to ear the entire time I was on her.

I also learned this weekend that we have been living in filth! We have a new addition to our household that Jason has nicknamed "the Animal." The Animal is a Dyson vacuum that we bought Saturday evening. Our vacuum had been losing suction, no doubt due to the endless piles of pet hair it has had to consume. I keep hearing how wonderful the Dyson animal hair vacuums are so I decided to buy one. Wow, I wish I had bought one a long time ago - I'm pretty sure that thing would suck up Bear if we gave it the opportunity! We also got the version with the Ball so it turns and maneuvers very easily. The Animal was worth every penny and I highly recommend anyone with pets to purchase one. Then again everyone but me seems to already have one so I guess I am just late to the party.

I was pretty sure I was momentarily living in the Twilight Zone as I watched Jason vacuuming our house with the Animal today. I think I've seen Jason vacuum, hmmm, let me think about this . . . . maybe three times over the last few years. But he was really liking the Animal and all of its handy, on-board attachments and he vacuumed our entire house. Is this what they are referring to when you hear about "shock and awe" tactics? I was in shock and awe as Jason vacuumed the house. I was also in shock and awe at all of the dirt and hair the Animal sucked up from our house. YIKES!! I had just vacuumed a couple of days ago.

I wrapped up the day blanketing a farm full of horses in the dark. Unfortunately a cold front is supposed to come through tonight and we will be cold again for the next couple of days. It does look like the end of the week and the weekend will bringing us much nicer weather again though! I waited until the sun was starting to set and the temperatures starting to cool off some before setting out to blanket everyone. Since most of the horses live out and aren't in stalls this meant I blanketed a lot of horses in the dark since it took me about an hour and a half. I was reminded yet again that we have the pleasure of boarding some really lovely horses as they could not have been more cooperative. I didn't mind being out in the dark as the weather was still nice and the sky was gorgeous. No clouds, the moon was bright and the stars were beautiful. I didn't even need a flashlight which was a good thing since I didn't have one with me! All in all it was simply a really nice weekend.

In one of my next posts I will talk about our feeding program as I've gotten some requests and quite a few e-mails asking questions about it. If you ever have any questions the best place to ask is the comments section on the blog. I try to remember to check the e-mail account I set up for the blog but the operative word here is "try!"

Jason using the handy 16' wand built into the handle of the Animal
I kept taking pictures of this sight to document the occasion. I don't know if I'll ever see it again so I wanted visual evidence to remind myself that it did actually happen.
Sparky finally has his own sheet and blanket! I ordered him a matching sheet and blanket in purple plaid. I think he looks smashing in it. That is my mom with Sparky, she wanted to see how his new clothes looked on him.
Mom and Sparky; mom is laughing at me as I was practically doing backflips trying to get Sparky to put his ears forward. I finally got one ear forward and she pushed the other one forward with her hand. He had been napping when we went to try his clothes on and he was clearly still half asleep.
A gorgeous evening sky


Sully said...

I don't have a Dyson and I am soooo jealous. My total lack of carpeting anywhere in the house makes it hard to make a purchase like that. I do borrow moms and vacuum the couches, mattresses, curtain, etc.

We really enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend, too.

Jason said...

I wish we'd bought the SOB a LONG time ago.

Melissa had been talking about a Dysan (sp??) for a long while....we went to Target on Saturday night to get a couple of big white boards so we could write down our feeding schedules on something that was easy to change. While there, we walked right by the vaccum display with the Dysan's front and center.

So we bought one. A $ 605 impulse purchase and worth every penny IMO ! This after giving Target $ 300 the weekend before last, and spending $ 1500 on a new bed two weeks ago (though not at Target !!).

I think the message here is that we need to stop going to town for awhile ! :)

Sophia Nightengale said...

Sparky is a BIG BOY! Gracie doesn't even come up to my waist and she's FOUR!

Sophia Nightengale said...

I am ALSO Sport's Mom BTW.

Jason said...

That's true Sophia/Sport's Mom/Victoria !! Sparky is a pretty big boy, but my mother in law is also very tiny, which accentuates Sparky's size ! I think my mother in law stands just a hair over five feet tall.

ezra_pandora said...

Are they just power lines or the big high tension towers? Because if they are #2, I know they stink to look at, but the power companies PAY YOU to have them on your proprty :)) our barn has then and he gets a hefty yearly sum from the electric company for them.

I'm sooo jealous of your Dyson. we spent a good 3 hours trying to clean up after taking the christmas tree out (yes, I know it's Feb. 1) yesterday. Two of those hours was getting the cleaner unplugged with lots of swearing and trying to find things to unjam it. And a man saying that much on a cleaner is a good value, it HAS to be good. I will have to show this post to MY hubby to convince him.

Cute pics of your mom and sparky :))

Karen D said...

I love the photos of Hick vacuuming - so much so that they're going in the OAC '94 newsletter. Thanks for the smile!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

The power lines are the big high tension ones, and I just don't think they would pay me enough to look at them every day. Such a shame as we both loved that property.

Sparky stands about 14.1 or so. He shares a pasture with a large pony (Traveller) who is actually a bit taller than Sparky so I know he is under 14.2 My mom is also tiny! Sparky is also fat but that is a whole different topic!

If anyone is considering a Dyson I can't recommend it enough. I wish I had bought it a long time ago. We also don't have any carpet in our house which is why I am surprised at what a difference there was.

Emily said...

what kind of feed bags do you use to grain with? I am wanting to transition to older mares to 24/7 outdoor living and I am trying figure out how to grain and keep everyone eating their own grain.

ZionFarm said...

I JUST blogged about the great weather this weekend, then read your blog. I am so ready for Spring!

Sparky is so cute!

Jason said...

Always glad to oblige, Karen ! :)

As per the feed bags, we order them by the gross from somewhere in South Dakota. Melissa will answer in more detail I'm sure. They are tightly woven with permeable sides and an impermeable bottom and they work a treat ensuring that everyone gets the correct amount of the correct feed. It also seriously cuts down on alpha horses getting after those farther down the pecking order.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Hi Emily, I use these feedbags: feedrite bags You can also order these same feedbags from Valley Vet as well.

They are great, I can feed soaked feed in them, the horses can drink from the trough with the bags on if I miss the two second window I have to remove the feedbag between finishing eating and taking a drink, and the horses will literally stand there and eat nose to nose because they know they can't steal from each other. So you can feed meds, supplements, or whatever you need and know the horses are getting all of their food and only their food.

~*~Amy~*~ said...

I don't have a Dyson, but we have a Rainbow. You can only get these from door to door salesmen by referrals...and well....I'm a sucker for a good sales pitch. And you should have seen all the $#%^ it vacuumed up! Living on a know! It is the same vacuum that they had a show about on Everybody Loves Raymond.

Glad you got to ride! Roxy was a crazy crazy girl & my ground is still slick. :( Yeh...the property may not have power lines when you look at it, but that doesn't mean that it won't happen! TVA has made a huge mess of our land & neighboring land!

~*~Amy~*~ said...

Ha....and no...believe don't get money for the power lines. I was lucky to squeeze $1,200 out of TVA for extra hay/feed for destroying my pastures this year! Even that was an act of congress!