Cooling It Down

I’m visualizing calm and coolness. Neither is easy, since poor Kathleen is still racking up the challenges and trying to avoid the hospital, and it still hasn’t rained again.

Like this persistent variegated fritillary, we just have to keep going until we find our equivalent of a frogfruit blossom.

It didn’t go over 100° today so far, so that’s encouraging. And the cumulus clouds seem bigger today that they have been. So I’m patiently hoping it all turns around. Like I keep telling folks, I’m fine as long as I have peace and hermit time.

Vlassic and I both appreciate the cool tack room now, especially since I finally got the vent set to blow on me in my chair.

Yep. My she shed is working out great. I even have a stool that lets me write at the desk AND serves as a footstool. Classy. Unfortunately, the comfort and A/C droning make it clear that this could be a nap shed.

Ooh. I can even crochet or knit in here!

Things will get more settled soon, and I’ll be able to share some cool renovation stuff.

We are much cooler and calmer when we eat separately.

In the meantime let me share a cool tip one of my local horse friends shared: you can fertilize by dropping horse apples (poop) into the gaping cracks in the earth right now, then when it rains, the crack will close and the poop will help the grass grow back. Maybe wishful thinking.

I’ll poop for you! It’s my best skill.

You’re Doing the Best You Can

A couple of folks in my circle need to hear this.

YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN

Yep. You may have screwed up. You may not meet others’ expectations. You may not be able to do all the things for all the people (or animals) you wish you could.

Here’s Dusty doing the best he can do jump this huge (to him) pole.

I think you’re fine. I’m glad you’re trying. I know you’ll keep doing your best. Thanks.

Mabel did her best picking up her feet and enduring painful body work today.

We all are challenged and fall short sometimes. But like Tarrin told me today about our horses, making someone’s life a little better is success. (She helped my horses today on what was a hard day for her, so I really appreciate it. She did so much good today.) We can all show we care and help out someone who is struggling.

Here’s the face of someone whose life is great now.

You? I bet you’ve done some good recently. Bring up those memories when disappointments try to bring you down. You matter to me, even if I don’t know you.

Blessed be.

Electrified!

Yesterday had a lot of happiness to it, so let’s celebrate that! The electricians came in and hooked up all our new outbuildings so we can enjoy some light, air conditioning, heat, and fun. Yes, the pool house, chicken coop, and most important, the tack room, are all hooked up. Whoop! Some work still needs to be done, but the tack room was all ready to go.

Look, a light!

The lights are good, of course, but the most important thing that happened was the perky new air conditioner got up and running. I enjoyed basking in its coolness while I rearranged all the new feed I got when we went out yesterday.

Why, no, the air conditioner will NOT be set to that temperature in the future. Lee requests 78. We will see.

To celebrate the advent of the electric age, I also upgraded my floor cleaning technology and installed a cute little stick vacuum cleaner that’s cordless. It arrived all charged up, so I gave it a whirl. It worked great and now there are no crumbs laying around to encourage vermin (they can easily get in through the doors, because they have a gap–plan is to replace them one of these days with a nice barn door.

Vacuum cleaner, ready to go (plus stored bags and my helmets)

I’m all excited to finish fixing up the tack room. There is some painting to do, a light fixture to install, and the small refrigerator to obtain. That will all be soon. In the meantime, I have art to put up and things to allow me to get a bit of work done in there. I’m also going to get a small coffeemaker.

Also, light bulbs will go in those lamps today.

However, no coffee will be made today, since we are under a boil notice from the water company. Boo hoo. Hope that is fixed soon. In the meantime, I have bottled beverages to take over there.

Outside view of the little air conditioner that CAN! (It will also heat)

There was a lot involved with getting the electrical work done. Many things needed to be hooked up, large pipes needed to be filled with wire, and hookups made to all the little breaker boxes (we still need one more larger one, which I think will show up later today). The horses were fascinated when the workers were at the tack room!

We aren’t interested in the electricity. What’s on that trailer?

Yes, the horses got a present yesterday, too. I bought them a hay ring. It’s not as nice as my dream one, which is what my friend Cindy had on her beautiful ranch, but it will last a long time and was “only” $300. Livestock stuff ain’t cheap.

Hay ring, and chicken food that has to go over to the coop. That porch light ALSO works now, by the way.

I’m so excited that I have a place to cool off when working with the horses and Fiona, and that I can write in my horse journal there, have horsey friends over, and whatever. I am also glad the chickens will be able to have a heater in the winter and a warmer if we have chicks again. The coop still needs to be finished, but it wasn’t a high priority. The chickens are happy enough to have the new coop to hang out in when it gets hot. Every day I go to get eggs and find them all in there, relaxing comfortably!

I’ll show you just how happy I am. Lee gave me a flower sticker and it fell on my nail polish box just right. I’m as happy as that donkey looks!

Have a good weekend!

Why Acrylic and Superwash Wool are My New Friends

Those of you who know I love to knit and crochet may be scratching your heads and wondering what in earth has happened to their Suna. It’s true. Suna loves natural fibers like wool, silk, mohair, alpaca, linen…mmm. She loves to touch the soft or scrunchy loveliness of natural fibers. Mmmm.

Natural fiber wonderland

Kendall Sue, however, knows the value of quality acrylic or Superwash wool that’s been treated so it can be machine washed. For one thing, it’s machine washable. Baby items and things made for non-crafters hold up way better when made from sturdy, colorful acrylics. Kendall Sue is practical.

Current project made from a variety of unnatural fibers, but still nice looking enough.

Wool is Suna’s (my) favorite to knit with. But I’ve known the heartbreak of moths in Texas so much that I no longer have the heart to make socks. All my socks have holes now. I’ve also known the heartbreak of having your wool handknits accidentally put in the regular washing and drying cycles. Felt is great when done on purpose, but…

Fancy ass knitted item on couch with dog-proof covering.

Sometimes your fancy ass knitted item is needed. Last winter, it got really cold and we lost power. I happily lent a blanket I was almost finished with to a family member who was cold. Now, this item was knit from a Noro yarn from Japan. Lots of it. A few hundred dollars worth. Because I’m worth it, ha ha.

I forgot it was there, and thought I’d folded it up in my cedar closet. Nope. I think Vlassic was sleeping on it. And then it got washed, I’m sure by a very well meaning caregiver or something like that. There was no label saying “Fancy Blanket – cold wash and lay flat to dry” on it, after all.

Hmm

The good news is that the yarn is a blend, so there’s silk and cotton in it. So the blanket just got somewhat smaller, stiffer, and fuzzier. It’s still pretty. I can’t finish it, since the original yarn doesn’t go with it. I’ll just say the missing squares are on purpose. And I’ll remember to keep precious stuff up in my closet. Lesson learned!*

Fewer than 30 seconds after I put the blanket on the couch. This is why I need to stop making fancy ass items.

And I’ll channel Kendall Sue, my practical alter ego and make my next things washable. Luckily, Kathleen ordered the yarn already and it’s Kendall Sue approved.


I’m not mad. Just shaking my head that I didn’t think to retrieve the blanket. It was my error! All is well in the world.

Hey, Hey, Hay

I’ve mentioned that we’re in a big drought, as big as when we first got to the Hermits’ Rest. You may be in a part of the world with too much water. Neither is ideal!

That’s a sad pond.

As you know, there’s not much for the horses to eat, even though we’ve been supplementing with hay and built more fencing to give them access to an ungrazed area.

Johnson grass. Yum.

The cows the family own are also hungry, So our friend Pamela came to the rescue with some round bales of hay from the end of last year that we could afford. As you can imagine, with high demand cones high prices.

Hey, hay!

To save our good square bales for winter, we’re going to get a feeder for the horses and give them a round bale for the duration of the dry and hot spell. The feeder will keep them from wasting hay. It will eventually pay for itself, I hope.

We will love this as much as we love each other.

So, we have plans, and that’s good. I’ve just got to get over my heat issue. I can barely do any horse stuff. They don’t mind too much, if at all. Much petting and bonding occurs.

You don’t see me. I’m hiding.

The heat is really a pain when it comes to deliveries. Since UPS lady won’t drop things off, we can miss things dumped by the gate. I was not happy my wine delivery sat outside for a long time yesterday. But, only one cork tried to pop. I “had” to open this perky orange rosé tonight for that reason. No one had to beg me!

Wine is Noisy Water Winery from New Mexico.

The good news from today is that I got a beautiful Creature of the Day. She a neon skimmer dragonfly. Look at her sparkle!

Well, I’ve had a hard work day, so it’s time to crochet, drink wine, and eat boudin. It’s what’s for dinner.

Heat. Sick.

Feeling bad today. Stomach stress and literally falling asleep randomly. No COVID, so my social life didn’t kill me. Glad for those free test kits. I think I’ve just tried to do too much outside the past few days.

Me and Carlton. Zonked.

I’m sure I’ll be better tomorrow. At least I picked colors for our next renovation project and look forward to a bigger project coming soon. More details soon!

Why I couldn’t take a nap. Four howling dogs and one trying to escape. Look at Alfred!

It really needs to rain here. Even with the pool, it’s getting to us all. The horses just stand in the shade. The dogs lay around the house. The people do their best. I just feel icky. Sleep should do the trick, and electrolytes.


Creature of the Day. Large wolf spider. Now outdoors.

Why I’m Thankful for the Pool

Maybe you’ve been reading this blog long enough to remember how I decided I wanted a swimming pool last year. I called it the Pool of Dreams.

Pool of Dreams today—notice the guard garden spider (a good one that eats black widows)

I think some people thought I wouldn’t use the pool. After all, I’ve never been much of a swimmer. I don’t blame anyone who thought this. But while I don’t swim much, I do love water and being outside, especially here.

Things you see from the pool include Vlassic.

I’ve really loved spending time in the pool, and am there nearly every day. The salty water is very soothing (Lee says it’s great for his eyes). I float in my floating device and practice deep breathing. The breeze cools me then the sun soothes me. Then I start observing.

Today I watched starlings flocking.

I see so many birds, especially right now when the herons and egrets are chowing down on the little catfish in the now-shallow ponds. Swallows fly over me and the English sparrow family hang out in their messy nest.

When they took off, it was a big whoosh!

I truly enjoy the time to myself. And the pool lets me be outdoors even in this historic heat. I’d be stuck inside other than when I sweat myself silly taking care of the horses, if it weren’t for the pool.

I’m very grateful to my spouse and family members who helped get this dang pool built.


Wait, I forgot my creature of the day! Here’s a beelzebub bee eater with its prey. What a scary fly!

Oh, Fifi!

That little donkey of ours is always up to something. This morning I stayed in my room drinking coffee for a while, then realized I needed to go feed the chickens. I looked out the front window and had a start!

Why yes, that’s the fence behind me.

Fiona was being herded back onto our property and the gate was being shut behind her. That little escape artist! I threw on my clothes as fast as I could but everything was under control before I got down.

Yep. I’m on the short grass.

The horses were in a kerfluffle but Fiona was just standing there, looking like she was thinking, in donkey thought.

Oh, we’re fine.

I went down to her and said hi. I asked if she wanted to go back in with the horses. She answered by trotting right behind me as I headed to the gate.

I’m coming!

I realized why she was following me: she was thirsty! I guess she hadn’t found the wet area.

Mmmm

It was easy to see how she got out. The fence wire is pretty high near the gate. She left “evidence” of where she got out, so that confirmed it. I’m told that’s the only way she could have gotten out.

We don’t want to see a poop picture.

She’s staying in with her buddies now, so maybe she’s gonna stay with the water. Drew and Dusty didn’t care. They’ve been happy hanging out today.

Meanwhile, I went to feed the chickens and found our creature of the day, a very lumpy rat snake. I hope the bumps in it are mice. It was awful early for the chickens to have laid many eggs. Go eat rats, snake!

Social Life!

Not much time to blog today, because I’ve been busy seeing people and doing things. I DO have friends in real life! My friends are darned interesting, too. Plus, two horses have trimmed hooves. That’s it, other than a few random ranch pictures.

Today’s creature is NOT poisonous! It’s a damselfly. I saw four different colors today: blue, green, tan, and white.
My spotted buddies. One standing in poop, one rolling in it.
Aww, a sweet nest hiding in the stock trailer.
Flowers some dear friends sent.
Enjoying their new space. Can you find Fiona?

Who Says I Don’t Have Friends?

I have some, but most are online friends. I have some local ones, but the only one I’ve seen for the past month is Tarrin, and she got paid to show up. Just kidding. It’s my fault as much as anyone else’s!

I had a nice chat with this friend today. She said it was hot outside. (Obscure bird grasshopper)

My car has had a flat tire since before we left for California. At least it got me home. There’s been just too much going on to get the tire off and take it in to get fixed or replaced. So I have gone nowhere except to the hospital to see Kathleen.

This friend and I chatted while I fed the horses. He said he appreciated the shade. (Differential grasshopper)

Yeah. I’m also working my butt off. No time to galavant around Cameron. Work is good though. I feel appreciated!

You know who is no longer my friend? The UPS driver. She’s stopped dropping off by the garage and now dumps heavy boxes buy the road. Today I had to wrangle a 45-pound bag of coconut stuff for the horses. I was glad I had a wagon!

My wagon is a great friend! These are the boxes huge feed containers came in. The wagon also helps with all my hay moving.

I have no idea what’s up with UPS but I’ll just deal with it. No time to fume and fuss. I’ll just be grateful for good things, like Kathleen being back again and looking better.

Wine, yarn, and a white dog friend will keep me positive, too.
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