Saturday, July 31, 2010

A week in which much is accomplished

Hello again! I've been off for quite awhile and was, as the title suggests, very busy. Many, many, things are going to be happening and so we are preparing now as well as getting things done while we still have time.

 First and foremost, we finished the hay! Whoop! Mathematically, we got about 110 round bales{6 feet tall} per 15 square acres. Can you believe that?? We usually only get around 50! We have stacked 51 bales in our stackyard for us to keep and the rest we are selling. This grass is really good too - good enough to feed the horses this winter - so we might not have to buy loads of hay from others this year like we have in the past when our hayfields were full of pigwheat and other weeds only fit for cows to eat.

Mum and I took a day and made strawberry jam that is to die for.

There is nothing quite like homemade jams and jellies.

I have been rearranging my room just about every day, trying to get it the way I want it. I went crazy and bought a load of picture frames to put my photographs and artwork in, but I'm running out of room on my walls! My art-and-writing nook is yet to be completed. I still need to put up my gigantor corkboard. And I'm in the middle of organizing my artwork. Not an easy project!

Sunday was my little brother's 10th(!) birthday{I still can't believe he's that old! I remember turning ten!} and a few days before his was my Da's birthday. I'll be nice this time and not mention his age... :D

The second week of August is the County/4-H Fair! and things are CrAzY. This year you have to pre-register all your entries by Aug. 2nd for some incredibly vapid[new favorite word there :}] reason. They{the fair guild} don't seem to understand that, on average, each participant doesn't even know what they're taking until the night before. So we have been scrambling to get all our projects in order by... good gosh! MONDAY?? *yelps*
 I'm in all sorts of categories ranging from Breads to Educational Posters. I don't have pictures of everything, but I did take one of an antique photo collage wall hanging I did for Home Environment:
Hmm... This one turned out blurry. Drat.

The letter that makes up the background was written by my great-grandfather while he still lived in Germany!{Yes, that means it is in German :)} It's dated July 16th 1910. And I found it on... July the 16th 2010!! How cool is that?
You can see my grandpa with a friend on the far left. The faded sepia next to it is my great-uncle when he was about 3 chasing the chickens in the barnyard. Next over is the team of draft horses my grandpa's family shared with other homesteaders. And on the top is a picture of my great-aunt as a child, playing in the hayloft.

I love all things old fashioned, but photos are the best.

On top of all those things, I'm going to open an Etsy Shop for my jewelry. I have been planning on opening one since last November when I first heard of Etsy but never got round to looking into it. My Etsy has a cause behind it as well, something that has been on my mind for for a long while. I never had the answer until now.... I won't tell you more until I've fully set up everything :)

Harvest has begin with the picking of baseball bat sized summer squash. I don't know if we're going to get much more than gourds this year - the grasshoppers are worse than terrible - but I'm crossing my fingers for a few tomatoes.

Briefly, some highlights:
 We've got a big pack of coyotes nearby at the moment and they screech and holler to high heaven every night. O_O It is very hard to sleep.
 A pair of foxes had kits up in our neighbor's high pasture and omygoodness! They are the cutest things alive!! I've only gotten to see them once while I was riding up there and I sorely wished I had my camera!
 Shyanne pulled a tendon in her left hind leg so I can't ride her at the mo.
 Hooey rolled on some cactus - I had to perform "surgery".
 I plan to have another Little Fun Thing soon, but at the moment the camera isn't working so I don't know when exactly "soon" is. Hang in there!
That's what has been happening in my life.... What's going on in yours?


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Super excitement!

Why you ask? My Mum just surprised me with  tickets to a Celtic Woman concert in August!! *screams!*
 I am ecstatic! I mean, I never actually been to a concert like this before! Whoop!
 I really, really, really hope Orla will be singing there! Her voice is my favorite.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just a little lost

Today has be a difficult day of me, in more ways than one.
  First there was the difficulty of getting all my work done and done well; second, I had a little I guess you could say breakdown when I spent a half hour trying to get the horses in. Just as they were heading for the gate Shyanne{the leadmare, by the way} took off down into the lower pasture and went all the way to the highway, the other horses following close behind. I was so angry I just stormed back in the house and left them to do as they jolly well pleased. Then tonight at a quarter past ten Da caught his horse and after awhile was able to chase the others into the pen{and on his birthday too}. He wasn't happy that I had skived off just because I was upset, after all the golden rule of horsemanship is to control your emotions so that they don't translate to the horse. So now I feel like a failure in one way or another; because I didn't have time to clean the water tank, I couldn't get the horses in.
 Then to top it all one of my friends is now "in a relationship". It wouldn't be a bad thing... if it wasn't her. I know her and how this is going to change her. She conforms to peer pressure like no one else I've ever known. I want her to stay the sweet girl she is and not the stereotypical highschooler she wants to become.  I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm just overwhelmed and overtired.

I'm sorry if this is a rant you don't want to read, but I had to get my feelings straightened out, and the best way I know how to is to write. So I think I'm going to go find comfort by reading my Bible, praying for strength and wisdom, and turn out the lights to hopefully awake tomorrow ready to take on the challenges I could not face today.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cuttin' Time

'Tis the season to make hay!
Starting today, we are cutting the fields and raking rows. Before we cut the grass was higher than our horses' ears! Hopefully this means the 12 year drought is nearing its end. 

After the grass rows dry out we'll then bale it all to make great big rounds of hay, tied with string. The grass should dry rather quickly in this heat, and hopefully it won't rain until we get it all baled up. Wet grass equals moldy hay.
Making Hay

"...this is the moment

at the threshold of a new day when the heart
of every farmer forgets its scriptures and speaks
directly to the quiet land..."
- Unknown

It is also the time to start planning for next year.
This year all our gardens have been hit heavy by a horrible blight of grasshoppers. I don't care if I never see another one in my life. The nasty things eat up everything.
  Our lettuces, spinach, and carrots hadn't a chance. The moment they poked out of the soil the hoppers mowed them to the ground.
The tomatoes are doing fairly well - for some reason the grasshoppers leave them alone - but they still have not produced anything. In fact, the only thing that seems to be thriving are the gourds.
The bugs coupled with the drought makes this another tough year. You really have to wonder how the pioneers did it.
 But as for making plans for next year, I do believe we are going to focus more on self-sufficiency. Ducks maybe in the foreseeable future, perhaps turkeys to bring down the hopper and locust population, and even a milk cow has been mentioned{I'm not sure just how serious Da was being}. Dare I even imagine... goats
  Everything is still pretty sketchy and nothing is definite yet, but I really hope we're going to expand our livestock!

This year I must build raised gardenbeds for the north side of the house. It was my idea so I guess I build it. I'm going to look around for some old, weathered barnwood - it makes the best looking boxes. Where I can find enough for two 12' x 4' boxes I have no clue... But one must try.

Humph. Mum has just called for an orderly house so I must leave you, wonderful readers, with this last photo...

But, please... tell me your next years plans or gardening stories!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You know you're a writer when...

Here's a list I made up for fun -- and from experience. Feel free to add some of yours!

You Know You're a Writer When...

  • You consider ink-stained fingers or a pencil in your hair badges of honour.
  • You drink coffee purely for the caffeine content.
  • You have at least seven large notebooks laying around with important tid-bits scribbled on their pages. You have yet to fill one completely.
  • You have several different movie soundtracks on your iPod to inspire you.
  • People look at you weird when you tell the voices in your head to be quiet "for one second!"
  • You have a a bad experience and you try to figure out how to apply it to one of your characters.
  • You bounce up and down squealing when you come across a picture on the Internet that matches one of your characters. 
  • You would rather be chased by a dragon through a tar pit than be subject to yet another writer's block.
  • You willingly share your latest chapter with a perfect stranger, but mysteriously become tight-lipped when family asks what your story's about.
  • You do everything in you power to look like your main character - from cutting hair to making articles of clothing and props - hoping it will lend you a better scope of your character.
  • You try to draw things from your story but tear your hair out when you see how miserably you've failed at capturing your imagination.
  • When it comes to a new idea, resistance is futile.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Inspiration: A photography contest by HorseFeathers

{Click to for details}

A beautiful flower is an inspiration to me for it reminds me of this bible verse:
"Consider how the lilies grow.
They do not labor or spin. Yet, I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12.27
How often do we {especially girls} need to be reminded that often the most beautiful thing we can put on comes from the inside. Therefore, a flower, to me, is not just an inspiration, but a reminder.

This may come as an obvious pick for me, but never the less it still holds true.
Horses cannot help but inspire patients, kindness, self-control, bravery, and understanding.
Any who disagree do not understand the true meaning of being an Equestrian.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

{ :) }

(: The best feeling in the world: When your horse first decides it loves you back. *sigh* :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My 4th of July in pictures

-The Parade- 
{I only took photos of the horses and buggies... :P}

I like this horse a lot. He's very big, and just look how strong his neck and shoulders are! I'm guessing he's a roping horse.

These cute minis pulling the little wagon :) Not to mention the appy pony.

Little cowpoke on his trusty steed

I like the set up of this picture very much.

-The Fireworks-
{Well... the good ones anyway. Dumb camera has a 5 sec. exposure in the dark. And the fireworks were a mile away.}

This one turned out weird. And kinda cool. :D

The grande finale!

It's late now - it took me a looonnngg time to upload and add "w.s. photography" to all the pics - so good night. :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

There's nothing like a good rodeo

Last night I got to go to the ranch rodeo! By far the best kind of rodeo because all the events are ones that happen everyday for the average ranch hand. Things like, branding, bronc riding, stray gathering, wild cow milking{you never know, right?}, and lots of hard work like that. It's also a chance for the hands to get off the ranch and join in a little competition with the other big ranches out there. Most every big ranch in the area has a team.
 I won't post much more on the subj. because I asked my friend CorgiChic{from now on CC} to send me some of the pictures we both took with her camera. Its kind of a cheap one and the lighting was bad for it, but I'll try and fix them up as best I can. She also go a video of the wild cow milking so I'll have to post that too :D

I saw a massive toad out on the drive this morning so I'm gonna grab the camera and go find him again.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Results

  I must beg pardon for the delay - I had meant to post this yesterday at latest, but while my brother is enjoying his little vacation on the beach, I get twice the work load here. And yesterday evening I went bridge jumping with a couple of friends intending on my return to post but then a big thunderstorm moved in and our internet connection went out.

Here we go...
-The Legend of Skyrian Quiz Results-

'This is bad,' was all Cilla could think as she a Tovah dove and weaved through the stone houses. Another angry shout from behind. 'This is really bad.'
 Jax' needle like claws dug through her shirt as he held on for dear life as they hurtled around another street corner. Cilla ignored his irate chattering as well as the growing pain of the stitch in her side.
"Why did you do that?" Tovah yelled over his shoulder, never slowing.
"Well, how did I know it was the Earl of Dargent?" She yelled back as they dodged past the tanner's reeking vats. "In a shoddy town like this?" She continued breathlessly. "The contingency is almost nonexistent!"
"Yeah, well, you hit the "almost" bang on. Literally. Blimey! Sound's like they've got whole mob after us! Up here! Quick!" He ran up a stack of crates using the momentum to leap onto the thatch roof of a low house. Cilla scrambled after him just as the mob came around the corner, the Earl of Dargent leading the charge. 

Elizabeth, Dreamstar, and Olive Tree, you are most like Cilla: Mischievous, full of humor, and fool-hardy. Tending to act before thinking things through, and would rather clean stalls than go to a dinner party with "good society".

An hour later Cilla's siege army was depleted. All that was left was two battalions of foot soldiers, a small unit of horsemen, one siege engine, and a burnt out commander. 
"It's your move, you know," prompted Tovah. His castle was nearly untouched and the walls were still very well garrisoned with twig men. All of his wall mounted balistas were intact, save for two which Cilla had knocked out earlier with her "lucky siege tower". It was later left immobile by a vicious onslaught of arrows from Tovah's archers.
Cilla sighed heavily. As far as she could tell there was no possible move to take. "I'm thinking of having them all do a sacrifice charge at gate..."
"And then I will wipe them out with my tar, pitch, and archers and then..."
"And then the game will be over!" Cilla finished for him. "What a brilliant deduction!"
"Why don't you like this game with me?" Tovah asked, somewhat exasperated.
"You think to much." Cilla grumbled.

Margaret Rowena, Tessa Brooke, and Sierra, you are most like Tovah: Intellectual, logical, brave, and level-headed. You hardly ever get into scrapes, but when you do its probably because of a particular friend.

In the midst of all the bright tents, games, and sellers the child looked pathetic. He couldn't have been more than three years old. He stumbled around, tears in his big blues eyes looking through all the strange people repeating one word over and over, like it was the last thing he had left in the world: "Mumma! Mumma!"
Instantly Emy went to him and took him in her arms. "He's lost, poor child,"
"Emy..." Cilla sighed. 'Here we go.'
Ignoring her, Emy stopped the baby's crying. "Have you lost your Mumma?" She asked gently. The little boy nodded forlornly. "I wonder who his mother is?" Emy said looking around them. Cilla looked as well, hoping to see, what? A woman in tears searching for her baby? Probably. But the ever moving crowd yielded nothing. 
"Oh, come off it, Emy," Tyrell barged in. "When I was little and lost nobody ever stopped to help me."
"Yes, and see just how you've turned out." Emy said derisively. Then, in a softer tone, "Come on, baby. Emy will buy you a honey cake." and left hand in hand with the little mite.
Tyrell stared after them before turning to Cilla who just grinned, "She has a point, you know." and sped off after Emy before Tyrell could catch her.

 Ellyn and Elisabeth, you two are most like Emy: Big hearted, sweet, and kind. Preferring the quieter and simpler side of life. A good book and a warm hearth sums things up for you.

Tyrell revealed a set of silver spoons. Cilla drew back. "You didn't!"
"I did." he smiled widely.
"From the high table?"
He nodded. "You dared me, didn't you?"
"Only in jest! Just what do you think would have happened to you had you been caught?"
He shrugged nonchalantly. "No idea. But I'm going to find out."
Cilla narrowed her eyes. "You're not going back?"
"I want to see how much I can snatch out from under their noses before they notice!"
And before she could stop him, he was off.

Felicia and Vanya, you are most like Tyrell: A daring, devious wild child. But smart and brave as well. And one day{if you survive} it will serve you well.

I hope you all had fun with the quiz! I know I did thanks to all of you! I know most, if not all, of you are writers yourselves, so if you'd like to do a quiz for your characters like I did, go right on! I won't accuse you of being "copy cats" :) As long as they're your characters and your own unique questions{besides the universal ones like "What's your favorite color?"} I have no say in the matter other than I encourage you to!

Right I really have to go now! Ta ta! Gwyn