Monday, December 12, 2016

Winter Yard "Seens" and Hot, Steaming Apples

Slowly but surely, the festive aspect of this season is beginning to appear around our home. I've rather enjoyed adding a little at a time, and it has been nice to have the recent clean, fluffy snow to provide a little enhancement---outside, that is. 

Today Bill will pick up the Christmas tree, and sometime this week it will come into the house.  Every year I'm reminded that our comfy little house has one problem:  not exactly the best floor plan for a Christmas tree.

It's a temporary situation, though, so the tree stands in front of the sliding glass door, same place as the dog dishes.  So, the dishes move to another area, and the dogs adjust quickly. 

I don't really foresee any dog problems with the tree this year because (knock on wood) Liam has quit eating the house. 

Seems to be a cold-turkey thing too.  It's been several weeks since anything other than dog food or chuck-it balls has experienced any teeth action from Liam.  We are even feeling comfortable leaving him inside the house with Foster whenever we're gone for a couple of hours.  

Therefore, life has been good for table legs, couches, comforters and the rocking chairs.

Could be the manure pile out by the barn is helping out. 

I've been cleaning barns for about the past three weeks and dumping the goods in the usual spot out west of the barn.  

Until I began my winter routine of barn cleaning, the big piles along that side of the barn had completely decomposed into wonderful garden dirt.  

Dogs don't get excited about dirt nearly as much as my friends and I do.

But when fresh, warm horse apples come straight from the stall, all three dogs' noses go into overdrive as they pass by the piles and stop for a quick bite.  

Usually I yell at them to stop eating that disgusting stuff, so they'll quickly grab an apple and race off. 

Well, I've noticed the past couple of days that my pups have taken on a different strategy for enjoying their unauthorized treats. It's been cold and most of the more recent horse apples from stall cleanings have frozen quickly.   

So, they have nosed their way into a hole where the blanket snow which has covered up the main pile.  

The hole is almost out of sight for anyone walking to the barn.  Plus, I'm thinking that the goods inside are both juicy and toasty, thanks to protection they've received with our recent snow drops.  

With this more recent approach, they're probably figuring that Mom can't see us, so we can grab a few more bites before she realized what we're up to. 

This morning, just when I was happily contemplating that Kiwi sure does enjoy coming to the barn with me of late, I realized later that she has a vested interest in accompanying me. 

After finishing up inside the barn, I came around the corner just in time to see her quickly rebound from the hot spot in the pile. Yesterday I caught Liam at the same spot in broad daylight. 

Don't know why dogs love those horse apples so much, but I've about given up on trying to stop them. Bill told me that he noticed early this morning while walking Liam that the deer have been visiting the pile also. 

So, our young Liam has discovered horse apples.  Not thrilling, especially with the bad breath that comes with such a doggie diet, but considering the fact that our house is now safe from his chewing, I guess it's a good trade-off AND I'm feeling pretty confident about the Christmas tree.

In other news, Bill has already left for the day.  We have yet another item in need of fixing----the front tire on our Kubota tractor went flat yesterday while Bill was plowing. 

So, he took off early to beat the Les Schwab crowd and to spend some time at the IFM office.  In his absence, I'll probably tackle some house work and bake another batch of cookies in between chasing dogs away from the manure pile. 

Our schedule is pretty relaxed these days in comparison to the rest of the year, and I'm finding the pace rather enjoyable.  Of course, when I make such a statement, all Hell can break loose------so take that back! 

Happy Monday.  

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