Life in the Country

Driving In Hay

July 7, 2017

I was driving in hay the other night.  Seriously, imagine me (born suburban girl) driving a truck and trailer through the edge of a hay-field.  The object was to drive slowly, stay out of the plethora of ditches, do not run into any fences or dogs and try not to actually drive over any of the cut hay.

Yes, I could do that…

My Loving Spouse and I were helping Our Neighbor The Fire Captain, who has a mid-sized hay operation.  Mid-sized means that he has all the fancy equipment to get the hay down and baled, but not the fancy equipment to get it picked up.  He does the picking up with hay hooks and muscle.  I drove through the back swath (back swath – fancy farm term for the perimeter of the hay-field, where the hay is first cut and baled and picked up, thereby allowing the tractor and baler to turn at the end of each row).  We were going to buy this hay for our herd, so by helping him load it onto our trailer, he could start work the next day baling the rest of his field.

I drove.   The Fire Captain walked along the trailer, hauling the bales up to My Loving Spouse who stacked them.

I could not hear the guys for any instructions and I couldn’t always see the bales behind me.  Frankly, I gave up trying to hear them and just idled through the field.  I figured, that if I was not going the right speed, one of them would eventually tell me.

Fresh cut hay smells so sweet.  It was a beautiful evening to be driving in hay, getting it all picked up.

I know I am living in the right place for me, because I loved every minute of it!


Off To The Hills

June 18, 2017

Sometimes in life there is that friend.

The friend that inspires parents to say such things as, “If Johnny/Susie/Taylor jumps off of a bridge are you going to jump off of a bridge?”  Of course the ‘child’ always says, ‘No’.  However, if that friend invites them to jump off a bridge, then… they are probably jumping.

Which might be how on a certain recent evening The Hillbilly Rig was driven (noisily) up into the hills.  It was drizzling and the windshield wipers added more noise to the journey.  The road was shared with more cows than people, which was just perfect for our Hillbilly escapade.  We arrived at our location and enjoyed some appetizers.

…and a bit of ‘cheap’ beer.  I am a tiny bit embarrassed to say, that I did like the ‘cheap’ beer.  What can I say?  I’ve never been known as a beer connoisseur.Yes, that is a gun, and no, it doesn’t take bullets.  It is a pellet gun and it was so much fun!  We did a bit of target practice and this is considered the ‘proper’ form.

Who knows what kind of form I had, but not only did I actually hit a few cans, but I took the award for the most dents given to the cans.I’d probably be bragging a bit more, but I also earned the ‘one who had to pee in the woods’ award, so enough said.

We had fun!

So much fun, that more Hillbilly escapades are planned…quickly…. before My Loving Spouse sells the Hillbilly Rig!

That friend….every Thelma needs her Louise!



Country Kid-City Kid

June 15, 2017

There are certain times in life when your phone rings, and your heart stops for a second.  The middle of the night phone calls, that wake you from a peaceful slumber to dread in a nano second.  Usually, your heart starts beating again, when it is a wrong number and all you get from the caller is, “Donde esta Juan?”  I also get a similar reaction when my neighbors call.  Let me clarify, we have 2 neighbors and we could NOT ask for better neighbors, however, when they call, my gut reaction is ‘Oh, Bad British Word’ and I often do not say ‘hello’, I answer with this country greeting, “Are my cows out?”

I was recently in town having dinner with our New Jersey City Guest, Number Two Son and My Girl, when My Sweet Neighbor Sue called and because we were eating, I did not answer.  I breathed a sigh of relief when she did not leave a message.  We finished our meal and headed home.  We were about a third of a mile from home, passing one of Our Friend The Farmer’s fields, when we saw a big black cow.  His cows were in an adjoining field so immediately we assumed, one of his cows was out….until we got closer.  Agnes!!!

I slammed on the brakes of the truck, and I might have said a Bad British Word and kicked all the kids out to help wrangle her, including our New Jersey City Guest who was wearing cute City sandals and slightly intimidated by the large beast.  My Girl and I quickly changed places, so she could drive the truck and I could help chase the cow.  These two kids of mine live in the country, but not actually on purpose.  The last time they truly wanted to be ‘country folk’ was about 20 years ago.

Number Two ran after Agnes all the time moving her toward the direction of our farm, extremely careful to not let her get farther out in the big field, because once that happens…well, let me just say, the bovine usually wins the race.  We moved Agnes at a trot/run from one field, across the street, through the neighbor’s yard, where she stopped to poop in his freshly cut hay, back toward the City Guest (who tried to wave her City arms, but gave up and went for cover when the large cow came her way), down the driveway, into another large field, luckily back out into the road, where My Girl moved her down the road with the truck, into the driveway and back into OUR field, where she went to get a drink of water.

All the time you are chasing your cow, you are thinking, ‘Bad British Word, how did she get out?  What fence to I need to fix tonight?’

These two suburban born kids are country kids now, whether they meant to learn how or not!  They know exactly what to do, when the cow gets out.  They might be wearing sandals and shorts, but they get the job done…and with sweat streaming down their faces say things like, “I hate that cow!”  I was so proud of them.

The fences were fine, so how did Agnes get out?  Well, not all of our kids are Country kids yet.  There may/might/probably will be some gate latching lessons the next time our City kids visit.

Who let the cow out?  Moo, Moo, Moo,  Moo!


Riding in the Vineyard

May 18, 2017

Time to do fun stuff together (especially with our horses) is a constantly moving target.  Between My Loving Spouse’s schedule, the weather, my flue and the boys being shod, little has worked out.  We signed up for the Cave B Winery Prize ride, My Loving Spouse took the day off.  We knew we’d enjoy it, have fun and who knows maybe even win a load of gravel!  We also planned (as in talked about it, but the weather and life did not co-operate) to ride the horses a few times so we’d (horses and me) all have our spring jitters out of us.  Yes, that did not happen, best laid plans etc.  We did make it to the winery determined to enjoy our day.

We rode to the first tasting stop.  Easily setting up this first shot without My Loving Spouse spilling his wine.

A gorgeous location set just above the gorge of the Columbia river.  A beautiful day to be out and nothing beats Washington for beautiful cloud formations.  We tried to stay away from the other 118 riders, as more horses just add jitters to horses that haven’t been out.  You are not supposed to let your horse know you are jittery, so I worked hard at telling myself I was calm…..trying to fool at least one of us.

The only thing that could have made this day better, is if our horses just wanted to plod along and be lazy.  As is often the case on a first outing horses are hyped up on the green grass they’ve been eating.  They act skittish, dance sideways and seem scared of their own shadow.  We had just reached the red wine tasting location and needed to turn into this cloud formation.

The black cloud got blacker and we were now nearer the gorge’s edge.  It looked like a thunder and lightening show at any moment.  The day before we’d had a thunder and lightening storm at school, while the first grader’s were out a recess.  A drenched horde of crying, scared 6 year old kids came running into the library.  6 year old children have a bigger brain than a horse.  I was not enthused to ride into a thunder storm on a large animal with a small brain, near a cliff, who was already not comfortable to be out riding.

At that moment we decided to turn toward our trailer.  Beau got worse, refusing to step over a water line and I had to toss out the only glass of wine I’d been able to sample so far, so I could keep both hands available for managing my hyped up horse.  (Although I did manage to make up for it later once I was back on solid ground.)

Half way back to the trailer, Beau was worse and we needed to return through a row of staked grape vines.  I got off my beast, took the reins in my hand and we walked back in, well, I walked back in, Beau danced sideways almost the whole time, while My Loving Spouse and Sundance rode to the trailer as the hail started to fly.

I made the right riding decision for me, as I said, “There is a very fine line between ‘pushing the envelope’ and ‘it all going to hell in a hand-bag’!”

We did have a nice day.  We do have plans to return to the gorge to ride again…just not with an additional 118 horses and after we’ve had some more time in the saddle and possibly without a hail storm.
Am I blessed? You better believe it!


Hillbilly Rig

April 19, 2017

It is official.  We own a hillbilly rig.

The fact that the deal was made while two bus drivers (My Loving Spouse and Co-worker) were fueling their buses at a truck stop, does not make it a Hillbilly Rig.  The fact that we could pay for it with one trip through the ATM, does not make it a Hillbilly Rig.  (These facts just make it an extra vehicle, that was cheap, that My Loving Spouse thought he could fix, so My Girl could drive again to work in something other than our vehicles).

A Hillbilly Rig is often fixed with duct tape.A Hillbilly Rig often has bits missing that are replaced with hand tools….such as window cranks (for those of you, that know how to crank a window).A Hillbilly Rig needs special instructions for regular features, such as how to open the door, because a bolt dropped off.  How to start it, because I could not stomp on the clutch hard enough to engage the switch, so My Loving Spouse installed a starter switch for it.A Hillbilly Rig has an antenna ball on the antenna, even though it doesn’t have a radio. A Hillbilly Rig has fancy mud flaps, which the seller wants back, because they are special to him.My Loving Spouse started to explain to me how to take the key out of the ignition, but I told him to not bother.  I am leaving the key in.  No one is going to steal it, because:

a.  They need to know that the key is in it.

b.  They need to know how to open the door.

c.  They need to know how to start it.

d.  They need to know how to drive a stick.

A Hillbilly Rig inspires perfectly ‘normal’ friends to say things to you, such as,

‘We’ve got to pick up some cheap beer and drive up into the hills.’

A Hillbilly rig must come in a variety of colors.I am not proud.  I drove it to work, but…

My Girl better learn to drive a stick and fast, because I want my car back.

Come and visit us…we’ve got a rig you can borrow!



Signs of Spring

April 3, 2017

Spring is here!!!

Everyone is so glad, after that winter we had, that almost no one is complaining about the wind!

All the signs of spring are here….There are so many signs of spring, that even My Girl is leaving ‘signs’ for her brother.We do have spring bulbs peeking out of the dirt, the grass is growing and the skies are blue again.

The chicks from school are entering their awkward stage.Or you could just call them ugly……and life is good.

Even at church, they are using ‘signs’ or name tags.  It is fairly hard to avoid using a name tag at church, as there are name tag greeters (enforcers) at every door.  I don’t really mind, as it is helpful for a lot of people.  Yesterday, I got my name tag from the ‘enforcer’ and quickly slapped it on my vest.  Here is a little hint for you.  Do not slap your name tag on.  Press it on, diligently and carefully with force, otherwise your name tag might fall off and you will look like the one person at church who doesn’t want to play ‘nicely’ and properly wear your name tag.  Your name tag might also fall off under your pew, sticking to the floor…and you cannot just leave it there, because, of course, it has your name on it.  You might have to get a spatula from the kitchen to get that sucker off the floor.

Spring is good.  Some signs of it, not so much.



Chick, Chick!

Cheep, cheep! I say, “Chick Chick” to a class and the class says, “Cheep,cheep!” back, because we hatched! 6 little chicks hatched in our incubator and thanks to the live feed, we didn’t miss a beat!  To say that there was some excitement at our school, would possibly be the understatement of the year.  We […]

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Hatching A Plan

My Librarian and I hatched a plan.  We (the library) had incubators.  I (Glory Farm) had eggs.  I taught about ‘broody hens’, the difference between grocery store eggs, and eggs that had a rooster around, what jobs the mother hen did and how the incubator worked.  One dozen eggs from the hen-house to the incubator. […]

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Rocking It

We are rocking it!  Seriously!  In my purge of extraneous brown furniture, I ‘re-homed’ the brown love seats, moved the comfy couch to the living room (where it is looking great) and the family room has nothing left to sit on. That is not exactly true.  We have a lot of rocking chairs 7 to […]

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Why a Parade?

I do know something about parades. I spent many high school hours practicing with my marching band for parades…band reviews…marching, playing and looking good.  I grew up entrenched with the ‘Granddaddy of them all’, the Rose Parade, leading of this parade twice in the band.  If you’ve never seen the Rose parade in person, you […]

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Back On The Trail

School is back in session, so My Loving Spouse and I did what we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  We hit the trail.  The September evening was gorgeous and perfect for a trail ride.  Out the back gate, along the John Wayne Trail with a loop back along the canal.  This also […]

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After The Rodeo

Rodeo weekend is a celebration.  We still carry the aftermath of what a Los Angeles Crowd looks, feels and sometimes smells like, so a ‘crowded’ Rodeo night just makes us giggle.  The numbers are mild, but the attitude is festive!  Everyone is there to enjoy the western sport. This year, we added to our education by joining […]

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