Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Projects

Since it's been consistantly warm here in SW Va, I decided to try my hand at planting seeds, and then transplanting once they get big enough. My Grannie and I had done this several years ago with great success, so I decided to do it again...

Above are some Merigolds I planted. In 3-4 days, they started to sprout! The envelope stated it would take 14 days to germinate! I have super powers when it comes to gardening. Anyone who knows me, knows this is a huge lie, but I like to believe it.

These are some African Daisies making their debut! I decided to just use some little Dixie cups for my containers until I can transplant. I used Jiffy Organic Starting Mix, and a variety of both annual and perrenials.

Pyper loves to play outside, and has a fit when we try to bring her in. So, Shannon decided to make a little play yard for her to include her swings, her playhouse MaMom and PaPa bought her, a picnic table and soon, a sand box. Shannon used landscape timbers to frame it out. Pyper had to supervise....

There is not a single area on our farm that is level. This makes for lots of terracing and landscape timbers!

Hammish, our resque cat from the local animal clinic, inspects Shannon's progress. He decides it's up to his standards, and then goes and sprays the corner of it. Thanks, Hammish.

Pyper is daddy's helper, and assists with the measuring tape.

It's almost finished! We just need to add the sandbox, and mulch to make it a bit more kid-friendly. However, Pyper loves to play in the dirt and we're still debating leaving the dirt. I just don't want the cats to use it as a litter box. That would be nasty.

Here are the swings. The horse swing is a bit wobbly when Pyper's on it, so I think we'll have to take it down until she gets a bit bigger and has better balance. The swings look over our soon-to-be-planted garden and creek.

Pyper is already enjoying Shannon's hard work. We are so blessed to have him. He makes life on the farm so much better and a lot more fun!

Pyper ends the day mowing around her play yard. It's a little John Deere mower I got at a yard sale last year for $1. That was a good $1 spent! It's one of her favorite outdoor toys.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Greener Pastures

FINALLY! Our pastures have greened up enough for us to stop feeding hay! This year is so unlike lasts in that we stopped feeding hay in March last year. Here it is almost May, and we've just now stopped. Needless to say, it has really hit our summer hay reserves for Abby. We've been keeping her in during the day to prevent her black coat from getting sun bleached.

Speaking of Abby...I came home on Monday evening, went out to the barn to let her out. I opened the barn door, and it looked as though it had been tossed! I mean, Iney's purple winter blanket was crumpled in aisle, halters, lead ropes, grazing muzzles, buckets, brushes, and various other grooming supplies were EVERYWHERE! I looked down to Abby's stall, and it was standing wide open! She was innocently standing inside, like, "What??? What do you expect me to do when you leave me all day by myself???" I cleaned up the mess, checked her out, and let her out with the girls. She bucked, and farted and ran off to the top pasture where the primo grass is. I literally stood there scratching my head. There's no way she could have used her teeth to slide the bar, and we know horses don't have opposable thumbs...

Yep, I deducted I must not have latched the door to her stall. I'm just so thankful the hay was behind a gate, and the feed was locked up tight! Thank God for small miracles.

On a side note, I am 19 weeks pregnant today, and we find out the sex of the baby!!! Can't wait to share the news and the ultrasounds!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Yep, my heart still goes Pitter-Patter for my hubby. Sometimes, I feel like we get stuck in such a rut of busy lives, a whiny toddler, barking dogs, hungry horses, cats that throw up on rugs, a To-Do list that never seems to get finished, and tight budgets that we forget to really look at what we have been blessed with. I have been blessed with the most amazing husband, Shannon. Sure, we fight, bicker, get on each other's nerves, and sometimes I don't like him. But I always love him. I love him for the man that is gentle and loving to me, even when I don't deserve it, and the kind, sweet, patient father he is and will be to our future children. I sometimes reflect on how much I love him, and it feels as though my heart could burst with all the reasons. He has made my dreams come true, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with this man.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kidding Around

Encouraged by the wonderfully warm weather, we took Pyper to a friend's farm to visit their goats and kids. Pyper was clearly excited!
This is 4R Ranch, in Crockett, Va. Is there anything more beautiful than the mountains of Southwestern Virginia?
"Here's looking at you, Kid." Pyper loved her new friends.
So much so, she wanted to shower them in kisses...
Goats butt heads, right? Pyper thought so.

This was such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Shannon, Pyper and I had a great time. Thanks, Kay and Joe!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

This past Sunday, Shannon showed me this perfect nest with this cute little Robin's egg in it. I later noticed the Robin on the porch banister watching over it. When I went back on Tuesday, the egg was gone. The only thing we could figure, was one of our cats found our little treasure in the corner of the porch. Oh, well...
It was in the 70's today, so Shannon and I took advantage of the warm weather, and worked outside. One of the projects was planting our blackberry and raspberry plants. Shannon thought planting in front of the paddock, but behind the workshop would be a good place, with enough room for the lawn mower to go on either side...
Shannon dug up all the sod, laid weed cloth and put down landscape timbers to edge it.
Shannon took post hole diggers, and then planted each plant in the holes. It rained like crazy tonight, so they were watered just fine by Mother Nature.

I can't wait for my blackberries and raspberries. Near these plants, we have 2 blueberry plants. Lots of yummy fruit for my yogurt in the morning!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dark Brown is the New Black

Today we have started putting Abby, our yearling, in her stall during the day, and will let her out tonight. We have been keeping her stalled for the last month or so, trying to get her used to being kept in. However, we have been keeping her at night, and out during the day.

Have I confused you yet? The reason we are keeping our dark beauty out of the sun is because the sun is bleaching her coat. She is a registered BLACK paint horse. However, she is looking a bit red, if not bay due to the sun. She has beautiful red and blonde highlights in both mane and tail, and that's a no no when showing. If she's reg as BLACK, she needs to be BLACK.

So, we're keeping her in during the hottest part of the day, and out to roam, range and flounce at night. She really loves her stall, but I know she'll miss her buddies out in the field. I've been researching stall bordom busters...I'll keep you posted as to what I come up with.