Better post while I can

The dreaded Blogger Flu has finally caught up to me. I can’t log in to anything blogger related from Chrome, but apparently I can from Safari – for now.

Today I rode my horse :) I’m not supposed to ride til this weekend, but you know I don’t listen good. I just slipped on her bareback and we walked four houses down the street, then back – less than 5 minutes riding. It was lovely.

I’m actually really enjoying rehabbing Dixie. We seem to spend a lot of time hanging out together. She really likes the new patio chairs – she likes to watch me when I sit out there in the mornings and afternoons.

My kitten is a killing machine. She brought me a whole nest of baby voles, one at a time – five in 24 hours. That was a lot of effort and required a day of sleeping, but today she rejoined the hunt and brought me an adult vole. Atta girl. Just… make sure they’re dead, ok? I don’t like the ones that still squeak.

Anybody like True Blood? New season premiere did not disappoint.

I did a bunch of stuff around the house – cleaned and de-cluttered, hauled trash to the dump, worked in the yard, and got most of my tools organized in the garage. Now I can pack tomorrow and go camping this weekend – then maybe to SF for the 4th, but I’ll be back Tuesday at the latest.

Not that it matters. I bet Blogger will still be a temperamental bitch when I come back. Sigh!

Hay feeder update

Here’s the pictures of my slow hay feeder.

The white mesh is hockey netting. It’s extremely sturdy and the holes are a good size to slow down a horse, but not frustrate it completely.

My attachment system is so ridiculously ghetto, but I can’t figure out a better way to keep the hay in the net without starting over completely. Sigh. It’s a piece of PVC woven through the top squares of the net, then that’s clipped to to the lip of the backing with Romex.

I think the backing is a shelving unit. There were a bunch of wire mesh L-shaped things in the barn when we bought the place, and one of them ended up in my hay feeder. It looks like something from a closet organizer kit to me. But there are no sharp ends and it doesn’t trap water!

The rest of the feeder is just scrapped together. The legs are 2′ long – because I could cut four legs out of one 8′ 4×4. There are plywood ends and some 2x4s bracing it all together. I tried various things, but ended up tying the metal shelf in place with more Romex. No sharp ends, easy to reposition if you have thumbs.

I went ahead and Romex’d the whole damn thing to that telephone post in the pasture. It’s not a live wire post, it’s just a very sturdy 12′ post standing in the pasture. Obviously I didn’t put it there, and taking it out seemed like way too much trouble. But it keeps frustrated Dixie from knocking over her hay feeder, so it can stay.

Posted in hay

Sharron Angle would be proud

I just traded a chicken for a birdbath. Go go gadget economy!

One of the banties became an escape artist. She ate part of my garden while I was gone, so I shored up the fence and she stayed in for a day. Then she started getting out again. From Tuesday-Sunday I caught her 1-3x a day and threw her back over the fence with the others. I was complaining about her to M and she said bring her over – M is down to two elderly hens. Later I told M that we should go to a yard sale and find me a bird bath, and she offered me one she wasn’t using. I forgot it when I left – but when I got home, the damn chicken was out again. So I threw her in a feed sack, fed everybody else, and went down the street and bartered her for a bird bath.

Look! Guaranteed to not eat your garden plants.
Birdbath for chicken!

*edit* Just for the record, I think Sharron Angle is dumb as rocks and it gives me great pleasure to vote against her.

Carpe diem

We lived in Ohio for maybe 9 months and when we left, we’d only made a handful of friends. And I don’t mean lifechanging best friends, I mean people who we’d met in person, had contact info for, and would consider eating a meal with. It was pretty embarrassing, actually.

At some time in the moving process, I don’t really remember exactly when, I decided to change my fundamental approach to people. Instead of only meeting people in person and interacting with them if the stars were aligned perfectly, I was going to default to actually doing stuff and only back out if circumstances were just awful. It’s really hard for me, even after two years of practice, but I just do stuff all the time now.

So earlier this week I realized the weather was just lovely and I wished I could ride. Since this spring I’ve had a couple of people remind me that there are more endurance horses than riders, and point out that if I ever need a spare horse I can catch ride, so I posted on a brief email on Ridecamp. I almost immediately got two responses, from different people nearby. Yesterday I drove north to Janesville and had a beautiful ride in the Plumas NF.

This is Fire. Isn’t she cute? :)

Yes, she’s an Arab. (OMG I RODE AN ARAB!) She was so sensible and kind that I really kept forgetting how green she is.

We were up in the eastern Sierras, and the views were just breathtaking. Very different from my usual desert riding. I was utterly lost, but Fire had more than enough go to keep up with everybody so I didn’t worry.
Mountaintop, looking west:

Looking east:

Equipment failure: I rode with the sheepskin cover on my saddle again. That thing has got to go. I can’t do hills with it – every time the horse picks up a trot up a hill I get almost bounced out of the saddle. How embarrassing! It’s really a shame, cause it makes the saddle fit my butt a lot more comfortably. Maybe it’s just the fleece over the fenders that’s the problem and if I had a seat-only cover it’d work? I might try that some day.

I also forgot to bring ANY WATER AT ALL. Hurf durf. I have two new Camelbaks to try out, too! When we got back to the trailers, I found a half-liter of water rolling around in the backseat of the truck and gulped that down.

We did about 7.5 miles in just over 2:30, but there was 2600 feet of ascent in there. There were some crazy steep hills! Fire was quite surefooted and I never really worried that she’d trip.

She was not so good on the water crossings. Her owner A thought she’d have done better, but the horse A was riding freaked out completely about every puddle we came across, and Fire picked up on that. I can’t blame her for ignoring the strange human on her back and assuming her pasturemate is right and water is evil :)

It’s a LONG drive, an hour on the highway, but I’ll go back for sure. If we do a couple more training rides on Fire, she’d be ready for an LD this fall and I’d ride her in that. Hopefully next week I’ll get a ride in with the woman who lives just up the road from me. Ideally, when Dixie gets back in riding shape I’ll have lots of new friends to set up training rides with!

SF #5: I want a houseboat!

Look at these utterly adorable houseboats outside of Marin! I want one.
I want a houseboat

G insists that he’s known people who owned houseboats and they only seemed like a good idea at the time and I’d end up hating it and where would I put Dixie, but I don’t care!

Look at this adorable little park they live in! It’s like the complete opposite of a trailer park!

Posted in sf