Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Be Careful What You Ask For . . .

Last week I specifically wished for a broken gate and a functioning water line. This somewhat worked out, but just to repeat and clarify I asked for a broken gate, not a broken fence. I suspect the universe wasn't listening reading closely and someone needed to read more thoroughly. 

Things were humming along pretty well the last few days. Nothing was broken, not a water line, not a gate, not anything. Christmas was quiet and we finally made it through a holiday without having to drag the vet out. It was nice. Since this is real life, or maybe I should say our life, of course it didn't last. 

Things were going along as planned for most of the day today. Morning chores were routine and we only had one runner when we were putting halters on the horses that had a date with the farrier today. Everyone was well behaved for the farrier. We ate lunch and headed back outside.  Then we missed seeing the destruction of part of our fence by about a minute. 

Those who have been to our farm know that our perimeter fence is set well off the road. There is also a large shoulder with a big ditch and a treeline between our fence and the road. In other words, something would have to go really, really wrong for someone to hit our perimeter fence. You have the shoulder, the ditch and the treeline before you get to the fence. 

Alas that happened today and we had an extremely smashed up, upside down SUV just inside the fence in our pasture. The driver of a large SUV lost control of the vehicle and went airborne. The SUV flipped over as it went airborne, off the road, through the treeline, over the ditch, took a utility pole out of the ground and snapped it in half, and finally went through our fence and landed upside down. By some miracle the rescue squad found a mostly unharmed driver once they were finally able to extract them from the vehicle. They left on a stretcher in the ambulance as a precaution. Then it took equally as long to extract the mangled remains of the SUV from our pasture. The horses in that pasture were largely uninterested in all of the commotion. They were at the opposite end of the pasture when it happened and aside from a few raised heads they had little interest in all of the activity.

Once the SUV was removed Jason then put up several corral panels to temporarily repair the fence and we thought we were done with unexpected incidents for the day.  That is until Jason realized he had lost his wallet. He told me he had caught his back pocket on the tractor (which he had driven out to the scene loaded up with corral panels) and torn it. He thinks his wallet fell out at some point after that. We walked all over the pasture looking for his wallet. We tried to retrace the paths he had driven in and out of the pasture on the tractor.  We went back to where he had gotten the corral panels. We looked in the truck to make sure it wasn't in there. We looked everywhere. So to add insult to our injured fence Jason is also down one wallet and it is laying around somewhere on our 150 acres. 

Just to clarify what I asked for last week I will repeat that I asked for a broken gate and a functioning water line. A broken gate, nothing more and nothing less. I will acknowledge that I did get the functioning water line. Broken gates are relatively easy to deal with in the grand scheme of things. Broken water lines and smashed up fences not so much.  Also, if anybody wandering around the farm happens to trip over a wallet, that would certainly save us a lot of time and aggravation. 


Apollo, Hemi and Thomas were in a hurry to get somewhere

Walon says waiting for the farrier is so very tiring

Kennedy and Toledo were also resting up for their turn with the farrier

apparently the thought of having hooves trimmed was exhausting today; Apollo, Rip and Grand

Why would you bother using a shed when it is raining when you could use it on a sunny, pleasant day instead? Tony, Elfin, Thomas and Homer hanging out

Moe and Levendi resting up for their farrier appointments

Stormy and Johnny were being goofy; taking pictures directly into the sun doesn't work out very well.

Chance and Ritchie were also being silly


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Stills

Taco and Renny

Toledo and Rubrico didn't let a little rain slow down their playtime

Lily and Traveller




It made me happy that Bruno, Duesy, Fabrizzio, Merlin and Walden were so anxious to use their shed when it was pouring rain (/sarcasm)

Levendi and Tony

Lighty grabbed Africa's tail (with Mick watching) . . . 

. . . so Africa grabbed Lighty's leg

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays - whatever is appropriate for you for the season we wish you a good one! And for any super politically correct people who managed to be offended by the preceding list - we'll go with plain old Have a Nice Day! 

It was a gorgeous, sunny day at Paradigm Farms today!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It Didn't Last

I'm sure you are wondering what didn't last? 

A) peace on earth
B) good will towards men
C) a non-leaking water line

If you guessed option C you would be correct.  The "good" news is this was a new leak, 1,000 feet away from last week's leak. Ok neither of those were good news but they were the only positive things we could come up with. The bad news?  Not only did we have a leak, but it was pouring down rain for much of the day today. So When you are trying to keep water pipes clean and dry in order to cement them together this makes the task almost impossible. 

I always find this "clean and dry" mantra a bit ironic as we are digging up leaking underground pipes. A leaking pipe is surrounded by mud and water. This does not jive well with clean and dry, not even a little bit. As we went through the whole routine of digging down to the pipe to find the leak and repairing said leak we discussed the fact that we had now had two leaks in two weeks. We installed our water lines four years ago and have never had a single problem with them until now. Needless to say we are perplexed and unhappy.

The "best" part of the day occurred when Jason was trying to put the line back together. Not only was it raining, it then started thundering and lightning. How freaking awesome is that? Standing there holding water pipes in a thunderstorm trying to keep them clean and dry. Yes, everybody laugh with me, because I can assure you there was no laughing from either of us at the time. 

We (I should say Jason) got the line put put back together. I managed to find a tarp in one of the barns and we got the area covered. Several hours later Jason turned the water back on and all was well again, at least for now. I think we've moved on from being gate killers to water line killers. I'm 100% sure that I liked being gate killers better and would like to go back to that. At this point all I want for Christmas is a broken gate and no water leaks. Surely that isn't asking for too much?


another day, another picture of Jason digging a muddy ditch

Our tarp propped up underneath with shovels so it would shed water.

Rubrico and River on the run

Thomas and Apollo having a dueling rolling session; Leo chose not to participate

Murphy, B-Rad and Sam

Lighty, Dutch and Renny

George and Lotus

Baby, Moe and Thomas watching the rain

Elfin and Leo

Grand and Trigger

Duesy and Walden

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Stills

Tony and Rip

Johnny and Lighty

Traveller and MyLight

Cinnamon and Calimba

Cuffie and Maisie

Trigger and Chance

Moe and Leo

Lotus and Romeo

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