The Guardian and Trainie

The Guardian and Trainie
Nick and Babe

Monday, February 8, 2010

 After the truck slide.
The weekend was off to a great start.  I love life it has so many adventures to participate in.  I had a lot of studying to do this particular weekend.  Al decided that he would cut wood.  He said that he was going to start cutting up the downed wood, leave it where he cut it up and go to the next one.  This one stopped him in his tracks.  It has been raining and the ground was/is really wet!  He drove over to this particular spot and was in position to begin cutting but he decided that he would back the truck up just a little bit more.  Well the truck began to slide and there was not one thing Al was going to do about it.  Fortunately the truck turned while sliding and was facing forward when it slid into the vineyard fence.  The fence was bent over, two stakes pulled out of the ground and the only way to get Al out of the predicament he was in was to cut the fence and try to get down to the road without getting stuck in the mud.  Al called me on the cell phone and had me come out to help him.  The barbed wire was stuck on the top of the camper shell and he wanted me to cut the wire in order to be able to free the truck!  I could see that if I cut the wire the way it was it was going to fly and I wanted to be sure it was not going to hit me.  There was a lot of tension on that thing!  I said something to Al  so he decided to see if he couldn't back up the truck a bit.  Take the tension off of the wire and I would be able to cut the wire without any mishaps.  It worked and the truck was free!  Al got off the hill and onto the road without any problems.  Now we could focus on the fence.  The fence keeps the sheep out of the vineyard so we had to get it back up the best we could for right now.  We didn't have a "come along" here on the property or we would have fixed the fence properly right away.  Al will bring one up next weekend and then we can put the fence back the way it was.  I didn't get any photos of the truck in the fence and stuck on the barbed wire because I didn't remember to bring my camera!  I am really trying to get in the habit of bringing my camera everywhere I go.  You never know when there will be a photo opportunity and inevitably there is always a photo opportunity.  I did however get a few photos after the truck was gone and the fence was back up with the slid marks so we have some photo record.  Anyway this is how our weekend started.  What other adventures lie ahead?
 Al picking the oranges
We like to go for walks every morning with a cup of coffee and who knows where we will end up.  However this morning we knew we wanted to go pick oranges.  Our oranges aren't very sweet but they have a lot of vitamin C and we like to juice them with a couple of apples and some of the carrots we still have growing in the garden.  We picked about 16 oranges so that both of us would have juice to drink for the next week.  It is always fun walking around the property.  No matter what direction we go in there is always something different to see.  What with all of the storms there are new trees that have fallen and branches blow around, moss blown out of the trees and water everywhere.  We have been noticing lots of mushrooms sprouting up.  Neither one of us knows anything about edible mushrooms so we just look and take note of all the different types.  It is pretty cool to see how some of them grow in what is called a fairy circle.  Mother nature is quite amazing.  Makes me want to learn more, read more.  I took a microbiology class once but ended up dropping out.  I just couldn't get all that foreign information into my head.  Now I have a different attitude and approach to learning the stuff.  I just want to know I do not need to know and I do not need a grade either.  Woo, woo what a way to go.  Learn, just cause.  Humph, what a concept.  I think I like it.  Knowledge I love it.  I love to share it too!
My sweaty peeling oranges for our morning breakfast.  We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to walk out our front door and go pick fruit to have for breakfast. We have three oranges trees and they all produce tons of oranges but when they get ripe is beyond me.  We just keep checking on them and eat as we go.  Maybe one of these days we will be able to know when they will be sweet.  It seems that when we first started picking them they were sweet in October.  This year they weren't even ready by then.  I do know that we have different crops from the same trees like maybe someone grafted different types of oranges on the same tree.
One of the babies on the property.  We have hundreds of lambs right now.  They will grow up here and then in June or July most of them will be sold off.  This year though some of them will stay on to replace some of the old yews.  It is so much fun watching the babies.  As they begin to grow they become more and more like human children.  They gather together in groups and create havoc. Not that human babies create havoc.  But here there is always a group of little rams in training.  They will charge one another butting heads and they sometimes pick the smaller ones knocking them over but they all just get right back up and go for more.  They run, jump and kick in mid air playing all day long in between suckling for nourishment and reassurance, then gathering together for a bit of a nap.  Most of the lambs will hang together while the mom's eat and eat and then eat some more. 
The Spring
Our next stop on the agenda was to check out the spring and see if we couldn't get the two new big storage tanks full of water.  We want to get them full and let them overflow into the pond so we can keep it full all summer if possible.   It is a goal of ours to have this pond for a swimming hole.  We will see.  While we were down at the spring we were cleaning leaves away from our overflow line and when we went to turn over one of the big cement blocks there was a giant toad.  Al picked it up and it was the coolest looking  creature!  I did not have my camera this time either.  But let me tell you this toad was huge.  The biggest one I have seen on the property yet.  I would say it was about 12" long and maybe the body was 6" across.  Al and I both kissed it.  Nothing happened so we must already be the prince and princess manifest.  
We came back the next day hoping to find the toad but it must have burrowed in somewhere because we couldn't find it. Oh well it is a lesson in making sure to bring my camera everywhere.  Well folks I must part here.  I have school work to get to.  Love you all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberatly. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow out of life". Henry Thoreau

Sometimes I wake up and wonder, "What's going to happen today"?  I sit here preparing for the day and I wish I could sleep less.  There are so many things I love to do and not enough time in the day.  Right now I am going to school so that does cut into a lot of the extra time I would have.  I just keep plugging along trying to get everything I want done.  I have this little routine that I do when I get up.  Depending on how I feel depends on how I get out of bed. This morning I didn't want to get up.  It was colder in the room than I would have liked it to be.  I keep my bedroom door closed all day and night to keep the room cool.  I love sleeping in a cold room.  My bed is like sleeping on a cloud.  Between the bed and my down comforter I feel like I'm in a cloud.  It is so roasty toasty.  This morning when I woke up I was all snug in my cloud and with the room being cold I just didn't want to get up.  I laid there for a while falling back to sleep for about 45 minutes. I told myself I better get up or I wouldn't get all the things I needed to do done.  I tossed back the covers exposing myself to the cold room.  Throwing on my sweats and a thermal shirt for I wasn't going anywhere this morning I headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth.  When I look in the mirror each morning I wonder where that young woman went?  Now there is this gray haired woman looking back at me.  I look and check to see if there are any changes.  Isn't it interesting to see yourself and note how there might be more wrinkles or maybe you just noticed your first real wrinkle.  Maybe it just hit you all at once, now you are old?  I like to look at it like I am in the Autumn of my life.  I love Autumn.  Anyway I took my pills and I was ready to start the day.  I greet Kali, my old cat, who no longer sleeps in my room because she likes to sleep up by my head and I do not like that.  The fire has died down so I stoke it up to keep the house warm.  I zap yesterdays "Peppermint Mocha", feed the cat, turn on the computer and lay out my web sites.  I have to check my emails, read  the lastest communications on Facebook and get my blog opened so that I can get on with the rest of my day.  I have a lot of reading to do, flash cards to make so I can study all of the information I have to remember for each of my classes.  That is the beginning of my day.  We haven't even gotten past 9am yet.  I still have to touch bases with people on the phone and that can take hours.  I seriously do not know how I get it all done sometimes.  Well I must part here.  I have got to get back to making my flash cards.  See you all later.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Carpe diem

This is going to be short and sweet today folks.  I have two classes and a big test today so I really need to get to work.  I haven't written for a couple of days.  I have been pretty busy.  I had some reading to catch up on, flash cards to finish up and Al came up this weekend.  Al came up on Saturday after hunting for pheasants with his daughter Janet and his brother Bob.  They got 10 birds I believe.  We have 3 in the freezer, ate one and I got the feathers from one of the birds.  Pheasants are good to eat but they can be tough.  I am still learning how to cook these little buggers.  I got some feathers because I am planning on making some masks.  Me and Al have found a few hip bones from dead sheep and they look like a mask already.  I just thought that it would be interesting to add some adornments to the bones and make them look really cool!  I keep thinking about when me and Al go to burning man we will need some costuming and I want to prepare now.  We aren't going until Al retires, which will be in another 18 months.  Anyway more on that another day.
Sunday we took our ritual walk checking out the property.  There is always some sort of change that has happened on 300 acres and we love to check it all out.  Trees are always falling, more fire wood, and there are a lot of mushrooms out there right now.  After the big storm we had there was also a lot of fallen moss.  There are so many different kinds some I have never seen before.  I tried to take some photos of them and some of the photos turned out pretty good but some I just couldn't get clear enough.  I am going to collect some and see if I can't spread it out, dry it and use it in some kind of adornment for a costume.  Some of the moss, (I think that is what it is) looks like lace.  Some of it looks sort of alien, like it dropped down from some other planet.  These are the kind of things we see on our walks.  We were actually on our way to pick some of the oranges we have on the property.  We like to juice them for our breakfast.  The oranges are a bit sour yet but we just add some apples and a few carrots out of our garden and "yum"  tasty juice to drink not to mention the vitamins we are getting with the fresh fruits and vegetables.  On our walk we met up with the vineyard manager, Joe.  We talked for a while and asked him when he would be going to Italy again?  We want some grappa.  It is good stuff.  Powerful!!  He said he would check with his son and see if he had any maybe he could get us some.  We hope so.  After talking for awhile off we were for home, breakfast and we still had cleaning up to do.  We also wanted to hang up our "Merganser" nesting box.  Well actually it would be a nesting box suitable for any of the ducks we have on the property.  We have Mallards, Wood ducks and Mergansers.  We also have Canadian Geese but they nest on the ground.  We had one pair nest last year.  The goose laid 5 eggs.  We only ever saw three goslings and none of the goslings made it past a few weeks.  At least we didn't see any after a while.  We did observe the goose with three babies and then two, then none.  Oh well that is the way of life.  Some make it and some don't.  Well folks I think I will stop here.  Love you all stay healthy and see you later