Sunday, February 19, 2012

Well, They're Gone

Two of the horses we thought would be with us all their lives left in a two horse trailer this afternoon, heading back to Alvin with their new owner.  This will be a new chapter in their lives and, hopefully, it will be the beginning of happy times and new adventures for them.  The man who bought them has a lot of kids, including two teenage boys.  Yeoldfurt and I hope each of the boys will strike up a bond with one of these two horses.  If that happens, the lives of those boys and these horses will be mutually enriched. 

The trailer they left in was a fancy rig but has seen better days.  The floor was good and solid though and the latches are secure.  We don't haul that often and ours is an open aluminum stock trailer.  This is a two horse straight load and I wasn't sure if the horses would be balky.  But they loaded right up when asked, they made me proud.  Maybe it was the fresh hay I put in the mangers for them, but I like to think it was their quality upbringing. 

We sent them off with a 50-pound bag of feed so that if the new owner has a different type of feed, he can introduce it gradually.  We gave him their bridles and bits too.  They are good leather headstalls, double-stitched and well-oiled, and they are already adjusted to fit these horses.  We have a surplus of tack anyway and want the transition for Lucy and Lyric to be as smooth as possible.  Hopefully, a few little familiar things from home will facilitate that. 

The two horses that remain will have 8-1/2 acres to themselves.  We expect them to be anxious and calling for their missing herdmates for a few days.  It's always unsettling to a horse when members of the herd come or go.  But by next weekend, they will have settled into the notion that they are the herd now ...just the two of them.  The good rains we've had these past six or eight weeks have caused the grass that was so stressed by last summer's heat and lack of moisture to try and come back.  With only two horses on it now instead of four, it will recover more quickly.  If the rain patterns continue through the spring and we have at least minimal rain this summer, maybe hay prices will come back down too.  With only two horses on the feed/vet/hay/farrier bill now, maybe our finances might have a chance to recover too.  One can hope.

I took one last picture as they pulled out of the driveway.  I wish them and their new owners all the best.  Sometimes we have to let go of things we love in order to do right by them.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Paying it Forward

Nothing like an unexpected accolade from a friend to brighten up your day.  Modern Day Redneck nominated me for the Liebster award.  The icing on the cake was that he referred to me as his 'teacher' when it seems to me I've learned a lot more from him than the other way around!  But it sure was a bright spot in my day and now I get to pay it forward.  

Here are the rules:
1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

2. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.

3. Pick your favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.

4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.
It's hard to choose just five from the many that I read every day.  But here are my five: 
Lamb of Frippery Farm who I first met through the chatroom.  A world class lady who carves a homestead out of the west Texas desert ...quite a feat in itself.  But she also bravely wrangles teenagers and an ever growing menagerie as her Darlin' Man seems to bring home a new critter every time she lets him out of her sight.  
Humblewife of Double Nickel Farm who is the epitome of all things wholesome and good.  She loves the Lord and embraces all her roles ...wife, mother, homemaker, homesteader ...with grace and humility and enthusiasm.  
KX59 and Southern Belle of Bells A Ringing are a husband and wife team, emphasis on team.  They are 'on the same page' and yet autonomous in their perspectives when they each post on the shared blog.  Sometimes serious, sometimes humorous and sometimes downright hilarious ...but always well worth the read.  
Melissa at Kids and Canning Jars is a homeschooling mom with a knack for canning and all things frugal.  She cans hotdogs ... who'd have thunk it possible?  She dehydrates citrus ...again ...I never would have thought of that.  Maybe I've just led a sheltered life in my homesteading ventures so far, but I always look forward to her new posts.  I just know I'm going to have an 'a-HA!' moment!
Last but not least, is Kate at The Craftivist who is one talented lady!  She can knit and crochet and sew.  If it's crafty ...this lady can do it.  She even did a post on making homemade Bouncy Balls fun is that?!? 
If you are on my blog roll but not on the above list, please know that I read you every time you post and choosing just five for the list was really hard. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Yup, 'Interesting' is One Way to Describe this Past Week...

Like Yeoldfurt said in his post earlier today, it's been an 'interesting' week.  It seems like everything around here either needs fixing or replacing these days.  The vehicles have been taking turns breaking down for three months now.  We've had to put money into every single one of them, each time from $200 to $1500.  They're just old vehicles and mechanical things have a tendency to wear out.  I broke that tooth a couple of weeks ago and get to spend $95 to have it pulled next Thursday (a good bit cheaper than what the dentist wanted to do) and today I got to spend $15.00 on a new mailbox and hardware because some hooligans trashed our old one night before last.  Makes me wonder what next week has in store for us. 

My venture at Yesteryear's pays for itself but not much more than that.  In the three months I've had the booth space, my net after expenses is a little over $100.  Not exactly a revenue stream, but I am purging a few things and turning them into cash.  My primary goal in setting up the booth space was to purge, so technically it's a success.  But I was hoping it would generate just a wee bit more cash than what it has so far.  I could really use an infusion of cash right now.  I'll give it a full year ...or until the first month I actually have to pay the booth rental ($35/month) out of my pocket instead of my sales ...and see if it's worth continuing. 

Looking around for what else I can sell, I couldn't help but take another look at the horses.  We have the two that we ride and we have the 23 year old who is our grandkid horse.  Those are 'forever horses.'  That only leaves the six year old, Lyric.  The one I was going to saddle break last year and it just didn't happen.  Well, technically, she's broke to saddle and will take a bit and bridle very nicely.  I've just never climbed up on her back.  Every time I think I'm going to, my wiser self reminds me of how well I wouldn't bounce if I hit the ground these days.  It's been about 12 years since I had a 'horse wreck' and I was lucky that time ...nothing broken, just some cracked ribs and a hairline fracture of my pelvis.  The way things have gone for us in general the last couple of years, I think my luck may have run out. 

So, I listed Lyric on Craigslist today.

She was a pretty little thing as baby and she's grown up to be a really nice mare.  I'm asking $600 and hoping I find someone half my age who has a bit more disposable income than I do ...most importantly, someone who will love her and appreciate her.  She deserves more than I can give her at the moment. 

This is my first ever attempt at selling something on Craigslist.  The price is right (free) ...I just hope she sells.  If I can get $600 for her, the money will go to stock up on hay for the three we will still be feeding.  Sounds like a lot of money, doesn't it?   We used to get 1000-pound round bales for $70/each ...delivered.  Now we can only find scrawny little 500-pound bales for $135/each including delivery.  So converted to round bales at today's prices, $600 is only about 4 weeks worth of hay for the three horses we'll still be feeding.  Lord, I hope the good rains we've had for two months now continue through the summer so our local hay producers can get up and running again!

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