November 2008


I have come to the conclusion that there are some animals out there, who spend the better part of their lives, trying to outwit the humans who put up barriers to keep them ‘safe’!!

In the 2 years we have lived here in the country, there have been many stories of animal escapes. It’s just a part of everyday life here, but a cause for more gray hair for me!!

Working with the sheriff’s department, a large part of the husband’s calls are reports of ‘cow in the road’. He even responded to a call about llamas in the road. When he got there, llamas and an alpaca or two, were wandering the main road. That was a fun roundup!!! Certainly not the kind of calls he was used to while an officer in Washington, DC!

‘Cow in the road” calls usually end up with there being no cow in the road, by the time the officer arrives. Said cow was just moseying around, and long gone by the time help arrived!

The husband has also been involved in escapes without happy endings- one night two horses got out and were killed by a truck.

One of his happier animal adventures was a drenched little dog in the road. This little guy had apparently gotten too close to the creek, after a huge rainstorm, and got swept away. The husband pulled up beside the dog, opened his car door, and the wet, muddy little bundle jumped right in, sat in his lap, and looked up at him as if to say, “Home, Sir”!  He was miles from home, but with the help of a neighbor, and the postal carrier who recognized him, the old guy was reunited with his owner!

The first animal adventure I came across after moving here, was a herd of goats in the middle of the road, as I came around a blind curve! When I stopped and got out of the car, they scattered, back the way they came!! From later talks with the neighbors, apparently the goats are regular visitors- and not very welcome ones!! They invade neighbors’ gardens eating and destroying as much as they can before being chased off! The herd lives on a nearby farm, owned by an elderly woman, who has trouble keeping up with their antics! There is a dilapidated, abandoned old house nearby, and it is not unusual to see an escaped goat or two, relaxing in the sun, on the remains of the old front porch!!

Near my home is a small piece of land with two rental trailers. One day, while driving home, I glanced over at the trailers, and there was the BIGGEST hog I have ever seen!!! There were three men standing around watching him root thru the dirt, and this hog was easily larger than the 3 men combined!! He turned out to be an escapee from that goat farm. I have no idea how they got that big boy back home!!! I was just happy he did not decide to come thru the trees to my property – my horses would have had coronaries at the sight, sound and smell of that intruder!!

There are always sightings and stories of chickens who have escaped the final destination of the local chicken rendering plant!! The daughter’s friend once rescued a turkey from the road. Somehow, he had fallen off the truck, and was sitting dazed by the side of the road. She put him in the back of her car and continued on to work. Aside from the poop and feathers he left in her back seat, he was content to wait for her in the car, and he now lives with her on her farm- as a pet, not an entree!

On a previous post, I have written about Miss Kitty coming for a visit. Miss Kitty is a horse- and she escaped late one night from her paddock several miles down the road, and fortunately (and amazingly) found her way to our house. We found her sleeping outside our paddock, with our two horses watching over her from the other side of the fence.

Also written about in an earlier post, the neighbors’ cows escaped one evening, and came right into our lush green hay fields!! That was an exciting night, when my van had yet another incarnation, becoming a cutting horse on wheels, as I helped the neighbors round up their cows!!

My own horse has a history of jumping fences -his motto has always been  ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’! He has only done it twice in the two years we have been here, because his paddock is usually very green!!. Age, and the electric fence has prevented any further incident!!!

I “found” two horses grazing by the side of a rather busy road, not too long ago. I made a u-turn and started knocking on doors til I found their owners. Apparently someone had not latched the gate too securely, in that instance, and the 2 grays wandered out. One of the horses was deaf, and always stuck close to his hearing companion. I still shudder to think what could have happened, if one of them had stepped out into the road!

My favorite story happened recently – to a friend of mine – who shall remain nameless – because he doesn’t want his friends and neighbors to make fun of him!! Friend was relocating his 1800 pound steer, and had him in the stock trailer. He had to go to the gas station to fill up the truck. As he crossed the railroad tracks, and pulled into the station, he heard a ruckus in the trailer. He pulled up to the pump, and went toward the back to check on the trailer, in time to see his bull backing down the trailer ramp into the gas station lot!!! Apparently, when he went over the tracks, the bolt latch on the trailer door became dislodged, and when the big guy bumped it, he realized he was free!!! The gas station sets on a busy road and backs on to an open field with a stream, so it took some fast maneuvering to box that steer in. The friend called some friends (ones who would not make fun of his predicament), and long story short – it took over 2 hours to get that steer back in the trailer!!! He just got tired of all the commotion and walked right back up the ramp!! Fortunately, he was relatively tame, or the ending to the story might not have been as happy!

I am finding, out here in the country – as peaceful as it is, it always pays to drive with your eyes open – you never know what might be around that curve! As much as we try to ‘protect’ our animals, from themselves and the world around them – they have minds of their own, and life with them is NEVER dull !!!

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All is well, altho’ dreary, rainy, and cold, at Mountain Meadows this Sunday morn, the last day of November…………………………

https://ooglebloops.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/christmas-memories-giveaway/

 

Click on the above link to leave a favorite Christmas memory!! The random drawing will be on Monday, and the winner will be announced here!  Today and tomorrow are the last two days to enter.

I thank everyone who has entered already for sharing their sweet and bittersweet holiday memories- I wish you could all win!!! But, the random number selector will pick only one on Monday- so if you haven’t entered already, start typing!! – you’ll love the ‘goodie’ box!!!!!

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All is well, and still dark out, at Mountain Meadows, this frosty Saturday morning……..

tree_of_happiness_award_thumbnailI just received “the Tree of Happiness Award” from http://www.colouritgreen.wordpress.com

She has a great blog about life across the pond!!!

Now, in return, I have to pick 6 blogs worthy of the honor~~~~ Yikes!!! If you are in my blogroll – you’re worthy of the honor!!!

I’ll just pick the ones I visit the most often- hard to narrow it to 6, but here goes:

http://www.bitze.wordpress.com

http://artinredwagons.blogspot.com

http://www.apronstringsandothertiesthatbind.wordpress.com  (be sure to enter her Xmas giveaway!)

http://www.thefarmchicks.typepad.com

http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com

http://.www.mylifemyhorse.wordpress.com

I hope I did this right – if not, you can just visit them by clicking on their name in my blogroll!!! Still learning my way around a computer!!!

Also, the award ‘winner” must list 6 things that make them happy:

1- life on the farm

2-life- period!

3-my kids

4-my son got his dream job!

5-the friends I have, have recently met, and have yet to meet

6-my husband

Thanks again – and glad what I write is of interest to some!!!!!!!!

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All is well and rainy, at Mountain Meadows today……………….


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It’s a tea party for me – Sunday morning tea for one!!!!

I collect tea related items and pottery. Delicate Belleek and vintage English bone china cups and saucers, usually never leave the display cabinet!! With a rambunctious canine crew of 4, fancy tea cups would have a very short life span once they move into this house!!!

So, most of my tea at home is served in sturdy, handmade pottery.

I just wanted to tell you all about a new tea source I discovered in  blogland –

http://www.chappedchick.com


Peggy Krantz, the proprietress, is so sweet – and your order is mailed out right away from her farm in Dexter, New Mexico.

I ordered the tea ball/infuser pictured – you can pick your colors and charms. I requested a bag of alfafa tea, which is absolutely delicious all by itself! Peggy threw in a sample of her lavender hand cream, which is  wonderful!! How did she know I am a lavender freak?? LOL

The tea ball pictured matches my daughter’s locally made Bay Pottery mug perfectly. I went searching for my linen napkins to complete this little Sunday vignette – and remembered they are all for sale in the shop!!! I did manage to save two of the vintage bed trays for myself – the rest are in the shop!!! There comes a point in time, that things have to be passed on to others to appreciate!!!! One can only have so many  things, before one is teetering on the edge of ‘hoarder-dom”!!

The little bent honey spoon partially seen in the pottery honey pot, can be ordered from Mrs. Hardesty’s Tea Room, in Harrisonburg, Va.

http://www.rockingham.va.golookon.com/listings/mrs_hardestys_tea_room

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Tea ball from “Chapped Chick”-so cute!!

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My goodies!!!!

Well, my alfalfa tea is getting cold…………………………the wood stove is whistlin’ and cracklin’!

Time to sit back and enjoy my tea while I can, before the husband calls on me to help with his basement project!!!!

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All is well, and peaceful this Sunday at Mountain Meadows………………………….

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…tea for two

And two for tea,

…me for you

And you for me…..

Nanette/Tony Bennett

Don’t forget – leave a comment about your favorite Christmas memory, and be entered the random drawing on December 1st, for a wonderful free goodie box!!

https://ooglebloops.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/christmas-memories-giveaway/

Click on the link above- there are only 7 days left til the drawing!! Share a favorite holiday memory in the comments, and you will be automatically entered in a random drawing for a great goodie box!! The name will be announced midday on Monday , December 1st.

There have been quite a few wonderful memories already shared, and I want to thank everyone for participating!

I still consider myself new to the area, altho we have lived here almost 2 years now. Still don’t know alot of people, but am getting there! It would be easier to meet folks if I worked outside the home. But I love my life out here in the boonies and do meet someone new every day!

Last night, I was invited to my neighbor’s Tupperware party. I have not been to a Tupperware party in over 20 years – maybe longer!!! If you’ve ever had children, you probably have had Tupperware at some point in your life! I think they used to make ‘sippy cups’ – we always had those around the house!!! And everyone, unless they have lived under a rock, knows how to ‘burp’ the lid on a Tupperware container!

But over the years, most of the Tupperware I have had, has disappeared or been tossed out.

I did learn something last night tho – NEVER throw out a piece of Tupperware! If it gets broken or cracked – they are guaranteed for LIFE!!! You don’t need the receipt or proof of purchase – if you have it and it’s broken – return it to a consultant and you will get a new one – for FREE! Or, a credit, if the item is no longer made.

I met a very nice bunch of ladies last night- and of course, now I am hosting a party at my house in 3 weeks!!! Despite all my protests that I did not (and do not) know anyone in the neighborhood- I guess I WILL be getting to know my neighbors!! I even tried volunteering my house to my one friend in the neighborhood for HER party!! But, no -she said I would have to have my OWN party- but she will help!!!! I will go to her outdoor party at the Ruritan Park in May!! Everyone at last night’s get together graciously consented to come to mine!

I now live in the valley of Avon and Tupperware, and am meeting the nicest and down to earth folks!!! I moved here from northern Virginia, an area that was ‘take-out heaven’! I am discovering people around here know how to cook – and cook REALLY well – so it stands to reason that Tupperware would be a must-have in every kitchen!!! Tupperware and church potlucks go hand in hand!

I was pleasantly surprised – Tupperware has alot of cool new stuff and has updated the old standards. Of course, prices have gone up, along with everything else in this world- but it is, for some reason, still an irresistible product!!!

I also discovered this morning, that I could have an online party – gosh – then I wouldn’t have to clean my house and chase down all the ‘dust ponies’ under the couch!! (We have moved beyond the ‘dust bunny’ stage with 4 big dogs – we now have ‘dust ponies’ who ‘reproduce’ relentlessly!!! LOL)

Those of you in my email address book – beware – your invitation is flying thru cyberspace to ya’ll !!!!

You see how I am easily swayed – from no, don’t know anyone, to ok, a house show if ya’ll will come, then to an online party too!!! I guess I don’t mind – the young consultant is a sweet girl, a stay at home mom with small children, and I know this helps her out. Plus, she is VERY knowledgeable about her product, and makes the time spent very entertaining, and is good at what she does! She got me to host a show, didn’t she?? LOL

So, while I am flipping thru my Tupperware catalog to see what I ‘need”, I might as well peruse the Avon one also – they are not just makeup anymore – and there is even an actual Avon store in town!!!!!! Christmas anyone????????

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All is well, and altho 21 degrees outside, quite comfortable, when warmed by the thoughts of new found friends, at Mountain Meadows on this sunny Saturday morning………………..

Earlier today, I went out to fill the horses’ water trough. It was a task I did not relish – the wind was blowing, the thermometer read 35 degrees – and the wind chill was a number I chose not to dwell on!!

It could be worse – I could be living in Minnesota, instead of the mountains of Virginia. I can’t imagine poor horses in the winter in the midwest- with wind chills to 21 below!!!

My husband built the horse barn – it’s beautiful, but in his infinite wisdom, angled it so the summer breezes would blow right thru the barn doors and keep it cool. Well, in the winter, those same winds are a blowin’- and they are NOT very warm!!! The barrier of leaf-less trees is pretty ineffectual at slowing down the wind! It probably doesn’t bother the horses at all – but when I am in there doing chores – BBBRRRR!!!

The best thing I purchased last year was a submersible heater for the water trough – it keeps the ice away, and the horses are not sucking down totally icey cold water!

After having the pump and hose in the barn freeze up last year, the husband rigged a system that drains the water out of the hose when we’re done using it. A vast improvement on last year!!!

The buckets in the stalls, however, freeze up all the time, so today was the day to empty them out, and forget about them for the winter. I’ve developed muscles since I began doing this on my own- and carrying water buckets is no big deal. For some reason, when they are frozen – they seem a whole lot heavier!!!

The little field mice are burrowing under the hay, and I’m sure other places that I really don’t want them! We have no barn cats. There were a couple of big toms that we saw from time to time near the barn, when we first moved here.   I guess their main residence is someone else’s barn.

The dogs love to ‘hunt’ mice when they come to the barn – they never catch anything, but it keeps them occupied and keeps the mice on their toes!!!

The horses haven’t yet started to eat the hay we’ve bailed for them. I keep some in their stall, just in case. I guess there are still enough blades of green grass in their paddock. We still let them roam, under a watchful eye, outside the paddock for a little bit every day to eat out of the still green hay fields. Today, was not one of those days!! It was just too cold!!!

I pulled a few leftover corncobs off the stalks, and put them out back for the deer. Our land is considered a deer sanctuary- at least by me!!! I feed them a little bit of corn every night. They are safe here – but once they left our property, it’s open season. The deer show up, under cover of darkness, now that hunting season has begun, to eat our still green fields, and snack on the corn I leave out.

The fire is sizzling in the woodstove behind me, and I hate the fact I have to make one more trip outside tonite into the bitter cold!!!

But, when I am done – I am hunkering down in front of the stove with husband and dogs, and not leaving the house til tomorrow!!!!

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All is well at Mountain Meadows tonite……………………………………….



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