Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Pickin' and Putzin'

Nobody was looking.  

So, I shook the apple tree----several times, no less!  

It was the culmination of a tempting moment like those when the imp of the perverse gives permission and instructs you to take the scissors and just cut the label off that pillow or the mattress. 

It feels good to break a strange law imposed on you for a lifetime. 

Then, you wait to see if the FBI comes to arrest you.

These days, in this crazy world, that could very well happen.

Who came up with these laws anywho?

Nobody arrested me yesterday, and I did manage to fill a small bucket with apples. 

These apples seemed to survive hitting the ground with nary a bruise. 

After filling the bucket, I separated them into two containers---little, deformed apples to a bucket for the horses and bigger apples in a pail for peeling.

Our tree has some of the strangest looking mini apples I've ever seen.  Don't know what causes that, but they're perfect for the horses.

We recently bought half a pig from the neighbors, so I'll be making as much applesauce as possible as an accessory to upcoming meals with pork chops and hams. 

Nothing better than dipping a bite of meat into that lumpy applesauce!

I also pulled up my Walla Walla sweet onions yesterday after discovering that the freezes of the past week or so spared them. 

Most of the afternoon was spent on the tractor.  Ours is a sexy Kabota which is now hooked up to a rather unsexy brush hog.  

We bought the brush hog several years ago for $100 from my brother.  We spent several hundred dollars getting it fixed once.  

It has served us well, and yesterday was no exception. With Liam running up and down the lane, keeping track of horses, I went round and round in three small pastures. 

Except for some needed weed eating along fences, the pastures look quite nice. 

So, it was a fulfilling and enjoyable day.  At one time, I even shed layers right down to a short-sleeved polo shirt. 

What a blessing we are experiencing with this full week of continually improving magnificent weather. 

Today my sisters and I will haul horses up to the Wyman game preserve near Naples and head down the many trails on the parcel near McArthur Lake. 

I'm guessing that's about as ultimate as it gets for some farm girl horse lovers.

Looking forward to the adventure. 

Happy Wednesday.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Leaves of Lovestead, Et. Al.

One million down.  Billions to go. 

I completed the first installment of leaf pickup yesterday.  I also took two baths and washed my hair twice. 

It's a dirty job, often thankless during those first pick-up sessions.

Looking back on a day's worth of work can be downright demoralizing when that once neat and tiny patch of green grass soon has a brand new coat of orange, red, yellow and brown adornments.

With the size of our yard, leaf pick-up is a tedious, ongoing chore usually lasting two or three weeks, but come spring when there's no need to pry layers and layers of frozen, globs of leaves from the ground, I'm always thankful. 

So, I'll persist.  

Today, the brush hog will get a workout in the pastures, and I'll be in a constant state of euphoria as I go round and round and admire the beautiful landscape surrounding our place. 

Thankfully, unlike leaf pickup, fall brush hogging aka tidying up of the fields is a one-and-done project. Again, come spring every inch of pasture will have an equal chance to sprout brand new green grass for the horses. 

Yesterday I also began the long process of cleaning up flower pots and beds.  

Sad to see the marigolds and zinnias and daisies, which outdid themselves with their summer and fall color show, now lying in piles along the edge of the woods to decay. 

Happily, that process will eventually bring nutrition to the ground below where those once beautiful flowers be lying in their eternal hibernation. 

The cycle of life moves on, as does all the work involved with preparing for and enduring yet another winter.

For now, though, it's a glorious time to be outside, breathing in fresh, crisp air AND the beauty while puttering away at each fall chore. 

Happy Tuesday. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

One Fine Day . . . .

We almost missed Aspen Show 2018.

Thankfully, though, when several family members were able to head up Rapid Lightning Creek Road to what has to be one of the most exquisite and heavenly stands of aspen here in North Idaho, most of the trees still had their leaves.

Many golden, some still green and a few spotches of orange red quaked or fluttered in a slight mountain breeze from their limbs extending from tall, slender, white, majestic trunks reaching far up toward a stunningly blue sky. 

We felt fortunate to have made the trip yesterday, which was a relatively relaxing "day after" for all of us.  

Some were taking a breather from two weeks of preparing for a successful barn celebration, while the two Love's of the group were past the worst stages of re-entry after a long overseas trip.

Talk of just what time we each collapsed from total exhaustion the night before dominated some of the conversation while organizing ourselves for the drive to the grove.

On the way, some occupants of Barbara's pickup spotted a cow moose in a thinned out stand of trees just off the road. 

Rigs stopped. People armed with cameras exited.

The clicking began.  

Barbara noted that the doors to her truck had been left open, just in case, what was soon noted to be a mama moose, decided to chase us off. 

She didn't seem to mind, though.  After standing like a statue for a while, she slowly ambled off with the baby following behind. 

I'm sure my sisters captured some nice shots because they stuck with her and found an opening suitable for some nice images. 

Later, after parking on a wide spot next to the aspen grove, the rigs emptied again.  

This time, the intensity of catching some good shots of the moose diminished to almost total relaxation as we casually strolled up the road, stopping from time to time to take in the awesome beauty all around us. 

Occasionally, some stopped to compare images within their respective camera window viewers. 

To say a "good time was had by all" would hardly match the combined exhilaration within us----a day to relax and truly a day to behold the beauty God dishes out in so many places on this earth. 

We pretty much had the place to ourselves too.  One motorcyclist drove by while we were tailgating at yet another stop with cheese, crackers, popcorn, chips and candy, left over from the previous day's celebration.

As we were about to leave and head home, another rig came by and stopped.  The driver seems to show up in a lot of remote places where Bill and I go. 

Yup, Bill Hawkins, his son Dal and his friend (Heidi Overholser's hubby) were on their way to a hunting spot. 

All in all, it truly was one fine day. 

And, another and another lie ahead. 

Feeling blessed on this Monday morning. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Saturday "Seens" in Selle Valley

Yup, it was a pretty nice first day back home.

Family, friends, horses, dogs, fall colors, blue skies, cookies and coffee at a sisters' celebration--- life doesn't get much better than that.

Bill and I did our best to keep ourselves going on three hours' of sleep and a case of jet lag.  

We succeeded, finally relenting to the exhaustion and collapsing into bed for the night and, happily, some quality sleep.

Attending a great afternoon gathering at Barbara and Laurie's horse barn and arena certainly helped the process along. 

The purpose for their party:  to celebrate this year's horse show achievementa with some of their horses and to provide visitors the opportunity to meet other horses.  

Dusty and Pache took lead roles among the Tibbs Arabians stable horses.

After visiting with folks for a while, Barbara and Laurie saddled up their two Nationally award-winning geldings, rode them into the arena from the south doorway and proceeded to put on a light clinic about Western dressage for guests who were seated around the arena's north end. 

My sisters, both retired teachers, sprinkled entertaining anecdotes in their primer on basic the basics of dressage and more specifically, the fast-growing sport of Western dressage.

Throughout the presentation, Laurie demonstrated some of the general expectations of a dressage test aboard Pache who had given her several award-winning (Top Ten) rides at the recent Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa.

It was informative and fun to watch these veteran horse women, who have developed into a fine-tuned team, share their knowledge and their experiences.

Twas also fun reconnecting with friends whom we sometime don't see for months or even years on end and getting acquainted with some new faces. 

The 3.5 mile drive to my sisters' farm also offered some stunning vignettes of fall in the country at its very best. 

So, today, after that night of decent sleep, we'll get back into some semblance of our normal routine, maybe watching a little Seahawks football from London, doing some more visiting and just plain enjoying a glorious time in our little piece of Heaven back home here in Selle.

Happy Sunday.