A Hardworking Heavyweight in the Pasture

Hooray! I have a ranch project I can talk about! We’re getting the front pond dug out more, so it will be bigger, deeper, and hold more water. The pond was originally made from an arroyo (ditch) that made it hard to build a driveway into our homestead area. The dam is our driveway.

Removing willows that are in the way.

While it’s all dry, the tenants have had the ponds (cattle tanks) in the area between our house and the creek dug out. They silt up and need it every so often. since the guy already had the dozer here, Lee seized the chance to dig ours out, too.

It looked familiar, but don’t they all look alike?

It turns out the bulldozer is the same one that built the pond in the first place! The current operator got it from the previous guy when he gave up the dozing. It’s pretty cool! Plus the dozer guy (see, I’m not naming names) grew up right down the road, so he knows how the drainage works from first-hand experience.

Dozing with scenic ragweed.

I’m looking forward to seeing how much our budget will buy in pond digging. He’s first digging deeper into what’s already there, then enlarging it. I’m confident all the water plants will return. After all, they showed up quickly once the pond was dug in the first place!

I took a walk and enjoyed the cool October morning air today, too. What a refreshing work break! I got to pat all the equines and see what was blooming and growing. The horses were mostly ignoring me and staring intently to the north, though.

Alert!

It turns out one of Sara’s horses was walking down its pasture. They sure keep an eye out for each other! I know they miss Drew, who is making new friends, I hear.

All right then, these are some more pictures from my day. One good thing about starting work at 6:30am is having time to take pictures after work!

As they say, getting out in nature is good for you, even if it’s just a horse pasture.

More Fire but Okay

The wind came up and blew the fire from yesterday across the road. But they saved a bunch of other hay and then used our tractor to spread the remaining bales out so they would burn out more quickly.

Spreading bales

These round bales are like cigars. They are so dense that it takes a long time for them to burn. Once again I’m sure grateful to our local fire fighters.

You can see it went across the road.

Interesting fact: the hay field will come back beautifully once it rains. Burning the fields is good for them. This just isn’t a good time.

Goldie says don’t play with fire.

Other than that I’m tired from working, doing stuff with the two horses that aren’t mine, and cooking some dang good jambalaya with ham and boudin. Plus I’m sad that a friend lost her husband yesterday. That will do for today.

Scary Evening

We were feeding horses when I spotted some smoke in the near distance. Then Anita texted that she couldn’t make it over here to eat, because the road to the ranch was closed at the intersection with the main road. Oh no!

Yep. The road was closed.

We quickly realized hay bales were on fire, so we sent our tractor over to help out. We also realized it was our friends who lease our land for their cattle whose equipment had sparked the fire. Oh no!

Good news. The tractor and hay cutter (and the driver) are ok.

Lots of tanker trucks arrived and people began spraying while our tractor and another one helped move burning bales around to space them out.

They had to cool the tractors off.

There was great teamwork among the firefighters and neighbors. Everyone pitched in. We were a little scared when the tractors were moving bales that looked like fireballs, and especially when our tractor had to pull one that got stuck off a burning bale. But everyone knew what they were doing.

Pulling the stuck tractor.

We are very happy the fire is contained, but it sure is smoky downwind from us. And the bales of hay will take quite a while to burn out. Someone is sleeping there and we left our tractor in case they need it.

Ruby the hound dog watches from my friend’s house.

It’s so dry. And we have flint rocks in the fields. The field was being mown to prevent fires, ironically. I’m just glad no homes or people were damaged, and that lots of hay was saved.

Lee was on the other side of the road and got some good pictures of the teamwork that kept everyone safe.

Sending gratitude for the firefighters and skillful neighbors. And I’m glad everyone is safe. Sending love to friends who got less good news today.

A Good Kind of Tired

It’s been a long day and I’m darned tired, but like I said in the title, it’s a good kind of tired, both physically and mentally. Yep, I went to a horse clinic with both horses today over at Tarrin’s ranch. That’s a lot of horse time! The good news? It was COOL this morning. That helps when you spend the day outside.

We’re with it, Suna Mom

There were many new things to learn, and all the horse and rider pairs found out what they needed to work on. That was particularly fun, because there was a range of skills and abilities. Sara brought both her horses, too, so she also had a long day.

We’re tired, too.

Apache did better than I expected, though he was in no mood to move his hindquarters, which made a backing in a serpentine formation painful. But heck, we have trouble backing in a straight line! He wasn’t particularly interested in side passing either. He got pretty pissed off but I kept whacking his side and Tarrin got all in his face.

I prefer just watching the other horses while my mane gleams.

Like many of the horses, he was not impressed with the water obstacle at first, but he ended up able to do it repeatedly. All the horses eventually did it, even Sully!

Sully working on that puddle.

After the first group went, Tarrin did some interesting education on how horse anatomy affects how they respond to bits and reins. I learned a lot. We also learned a lot about the role we play in keeping our horses balanced

We’re balanced. We walked around the cool new visiting horse pen matching steps.

Drew did a bit better than Apache on the skills, but then, he was more experienced at a couple. He did great side passing and just fine on dragging an object, but he’d practiced way more than the other horses had. I was truly impressed watching Sully figure these things out. She’s so smart and really trusts Sara.

Only look at MEEEEE

Drew was a bit dubious about the water, but didn’t take long to get the hang of it. I was proud, since I hadn’t done water stuff with him yet. He’s so good, but got rather bored waiting for the other horses and neighed a lot. But wow, he’s a shiny boy.

Look at me shine! Now hurry up and learn, y’all. Note fly in flight.

The hardest obstacle was heads and tails, which involves going around a barrel either on the forehand or back. I did not understand it when Tarrin went over it earlier in the week, but I followed the instructions and by gosh, Drew did it. And now I get it, too!

I like to think I’m a genius.

He’s not a genius! But he likes to learn, as does Apache. We got some fun new experiences and learned so much from everyone. Clinics are great. I love the camaraderie, the variety of participants and the wisdom of clinicians. Tarrin is a great one, by the way.

And Now I Get Sniffly

I came home with one less horse. Drew is staying at Tarrin’s for a few weeks to do his “finishing school.” When he’s done I should be able to work on riding him!

Drew’s back to school picture.

I’ll miss him so much. So will Apache. They’ve finally bonded and I catch them playing together with food bowls and stuff. At least they had fun together in the new pen at Tarrin’s.

We will see Drew again soon! And he will be smarter! I hope I can ride him.

Bye, Suna Mom

No, Not Me, a Clone

Oh friends. I have a wee vent. I’d like to have a lot of words with whoever came up with those “clever” clones of Instagram accounts that show up in the Messenger app with people’s names and photos and say brilliant stuff like, “Hello hope you are doing?” (today’s) or “Hello, how are you doing today?” All these things do are waste the time of the cloned person, because they have to repeatedly let people know that no, it’s not them, it’s some bot.

No, that is not me at right (or below, if you’re reading on the phone). Do you need to check with me to be sure? Nope, not at all. Just look at it.

  • Is that how my name normally looks? Nope.
  • Is it from a Facebook account? Nope. (I only message from there.)
  • Does it have any posts or followers? Nope. (My actual Instagram has my name spelled normally and has a bunch of posts and followers.)
  • Does it say “New Instagram account?” Yep.

If the answers you get match these answers, then you don’t need to let me (or whoever has “messaged” you) know about it. There’s nothing they can do.

What you can do is block and report the account.

See this message I got back in July from “Anne Hutten?” I knew it wasn’t from her. Name spelled wrong, 0 posts and 0 followers, new Instagram account, and the typical message. I looked at the bottom of the screen. I clicked Block. If I had clicked Report, I would have told them that she was pretending to be Anne and answered a few questions. The message would have disappeared. I was just lazy and didn’t do it, which is good, so I can show you the example.

How can you prevent this?

You can’t, sad to say. These bots just go grab people’s pictures and mess with their names to make a fake account. I’m not even sure what they do if you respond. I could only find endless sets of instructions to report and block the accounts.

I’m to the point where it takes me a few seconds to block and report, then go on my merry way. When I get cloned, I end up spending a lot of time saying that’s not me and giving instructions to people who are trying to help me out by letting me know something I can’t do anything about.

I guess enough people fall for these things and let the cloned account ask for money that it makes it worthwhile for them. That means they’ll keep cloning. So, let’s not panic, just go on with our lives.

Now, if someone hacks your account, it’s a different story. That’s when someone takes your legit account over. That is something you need to report to Facebook, Instagram, or whoever, and work with them to take care of the problem.

I searched Facebook for me. Looks like I’m safe. Haylee Sue Ann seems to be a real person.

To find out if there are extra people pretending to be you, by the way, you can simply search Facebook or Instagram and see if there are “fake you” people out there. (Don’t report actual people with the same name as you – it’s a big world out there!)

Oops, in addition to the Haylee person, there’s a fake Instagram me. They have been reported!

OK, hope that helped. Here’s a quiz. Review the images below and see if you think they are fake or real.

Oh yes, I wanted to assure you that I do have an Instagram account that’s legit. Some people even look at it! I have no urge to be an Influencer of Insta-famous, so I am perfectly happy with my numbers.

Hasta luego.

For Me, All Is Well

I can’t speak for the rest of my family, but today’s been good. I got to do grocery shopping for sickly children and had fun with that. I got them a Mexican saint candle to protect sick people. I need to get one for Kathleen, too, to ward off future surprises.

Come set a spell. We’re open!

I guess I’ll just share my tack room improvements, which make me happy even if they are small. My favorite things are my Mexican pottery from my beloved old office. I really like the foal with a disapproving look on her face.

Vacuum more!

I also brought the burro planter that I’ll put something in one of these days. I hope spider plants.

My kids got me the wall hanging one year when they still did gifts.

One of the baskets my friend Gina sent me recently makes my ugly tissue box fit in well. It has a weird liner, but that’s fine. And people who are allergic to scents can take care of the problems the adjacent diffuser causes. How efficient! The diffuser makes it smell less like garlic and coconut in here (from feed).

And I grabbed a bird hanging thing to charm anyone who goes to the tack area to view Drew’s ribbons. I predict this area will be more colorful next year. There will be competition!

I was so busy writing about the vacation rental we’re working on that I didn’t share the pretty things I found on a walk through the lower pasture yesterday. I checked to see if there was still any water in the creek and yes, there is a trickle.

Cow says why don’t you have cubes for me?

Mostly I enjoyed early autumn seeds and flowers. And more mama cows. That never hurts!

Hearts, Hay, Horses, and Headaches

The letter for today is apparently H. I shall start with hearts, since it’s a cheerful topic and something to be proud of. After finishing the camo blanket, I went back to work on my heart afghan I was making for Kathleen. Today I finished the heart section.

heart afghan
It’ darned cheerful!

It’s way too small to be useful to keep one warm, so I am already a third of the way through with making a border of squares to go around the hearts. I have ten colors of yarn for the centers and need 30 squares. That’s pretty dang good how it worked out!

squares
Pattern from that book I got on crochet quilt blocks.

After that, I’m gonna do something else as another border, probably also from that book. I have a lot of yarn. Well, except for the cream. I may need another skein of that one. All the other colors I haven’t even finished the first skein on!

Hay

I decided that since hay had gotten so expensive due to the drought, I should “harvest” what was left when the front pasture was shredded. There was some long and very nice coastal Bermuda out there that got mowed.

That’s a good amount of hay!

It was fun to pick it up. I feel ranchy!

Horses

Sometimes the horses mystify me. Both Fiona and Drew had smears of blood on them this evening.

Just a schmear.

No horse had a cut. Maybe Apache had another nosebleed? His nose looked fine, though. A mystery.

I’m still thrilled Mabel looks so much better.

Mostly they make me smile. They see me coming and pick those heads up to see if perhaps there’s food.

We see you. Is it dinner time?

When it’s been a hard day, watching their antics and rubbing those soft necks can make everything better. Which I needed.

Drew’s relaxed enough to drop and roll around with me right in front of him. Probably trying to wipe off the blood.

Headaches

Have you ever had a day where you start off sorta irritated and then actually irritating things start happening? That was me at work today. Sometimes I wonder how people get hired. Or how they keep their jobs if they don’t understand what their job entails. It’s like signing up to be a carpenter but you insist on hammering the pointy sides of nails. That’s not how nails work!

But I’m way better at shutting up these days. I didn’t write the software I support nor their job descriptions. I’ll just do my job and let their bosses notice the quality of their work.

Still. I got a headache.

Occasionally this helps.

Plus I missed a meeting this evening. My calendaring skills are something my boss should have a chat with me about.

Vacation Rental in Cameron?

Are you one of the hordes of people who’ve been looking for a comfortable, rustic retreat to stay in for a few days while you do business, visit family, or vacation in Cameron, Texas? Do you have more visitors than space in your home when there are big events like football weekends, Steaks Stein & Wine, or livestock events? Look no further, because we here at the Hermits’ Rest Enterprises (that’s me and Lee and our family helpers) have something you might be interested in coming soon!

It’s got a hermit! Pumpkin has already fallen over. I need to put a brick in it.

We’ve acquired one of the most charming homes on one of the prettiest lots in the area, colloquially known as the Red House. It is convenient to the airport, schools, and the town, but off the main road. Family friends owned it until they needed to sell, so we did one of our famous quick cash purchases. That’s a joke, because just like the one we just sold, this one took a lot longer than we anticipated. So, I’ve been sitting on my photos for a while now!

The Red House

We have repainted the interior, removed all carpets, added fresh window coverings, and will soon have some new appliances to put in the cute blue and white kitchen. The house has good heat and air conditioning and is on a shady lot.

Obviously not staged yet!

We can imagine lots of fun being had on the porches and in the amazing screened-in garage, which will soon be a recreation area. We can also imagine small conferences and meetings being held on the big table in the large dining room. The previous owners did a great job fixing this house up for the occupant, and then they cleaned the heck out of it before they left. That’s unusual for a house we purchase, but then, they are great folks.

This garage is so cute.

While the house has only two bedrooms and one bathroom, it will sleep a family or small group, with a king bed in the main bedroom, a bunk with trundle in the front bedroom, and a sleeper sofa in the living room. We haven’t put the furnishings in yet. That’s next!

There will be more than a stool in the main bedroom. But look at the floors!

We will list the house once it’s furnished. I’m glad I had a lot of kitchen stuff from my other house that’s in good shape and usable, and that we have some nice furnishings and decor. I can’t wait to get the house ready to rent!

Huge back porch built for relaxing. That’s the garage at left.

We will keep you posted on the progress. In the meantime, use the comments or Facebook messenger to ask questions.

Bletch

That’s a thing I used to say as a young teen. Trying to ignore world events isn’t working for the last couple of days. I get concerned. Then I can’t sleep. Then I get moody. Must be the hormones.

Wish I were as chill as these two.

Also. Tired of insects. Flies and moths in the house. Do they make you feel icky? They do me. It’s extra annoying.

At least outside there are three sets of twin calves. Here are four.

Worked hard. Helped a friend. Enjoyed less hot weather. Continue to wonder why I keep getting confused and hope it’s just because things are confusing, not something worse. envy this guy.

Byeee

I Finished Something but You Can’t See It

Just kidding. I can’t help that the Camo Blanket is practically invisible! It makes me invisible, too!

I’m not here

I think it came out the way we intended it to. Kathleen says the colors look better than she feared they would, and I was impressed that I used almost all the green. I guessed well on how many squares I could make.

Carlton is dubious.

I like how the zigzag join looks braided. It looks nice on the back, too. And I think the border adds a little interest. I didn’t want to do anything girly for the edging, since its recipient is a manly boy.

It’s pretty big but not too big I hope. It should be good for naps and sitting under on cold hunting trips and alligator killing expeditions! Or watching TV. Whatever the toddler wants to do.

A toddler blanket!

I sure hope the recipient doesn’t read Facebook or blogs yet! This is his Christmas present! I have enough of the brown to maybe make him a camouflage hat, too.

It makes a nice background for a finished manicure, too.

Now to finish off my other project. It’s nice to have a rest day. Tomorrow it should cool off and I’ll make the horses do fun stuff again.

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