The Farmhouse

Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh Deer!

Well folks it looks like we may have to put The Farmhouse up for sale.  We have had some very upsetting events taking place.  It seems a roaming gang has done some real destruction here and frankly I am just not feeling too safe!  Look at this careless vandalism that has occurred:

As you can clearly see there is no possible way we can live with this!  After all we have a paid security guard that frankly is laying down on the job.

That's right - you - Bella.  We count on you to patrol the premises and you have let these hoodlums destroy our beloved hydrangea and hibiscus bushes.  Oh, they are bold .  They come right up to the house and eat away.  I saw a few of them this morning and yelled out some choice words, but, they thumbed their cloven hooves at me and went on eating away. As I have told you before Bella enjoys eating the hibiscus flowers so I am starting to think that she may be in cahoots with these hoodlums. How's that for a fine how do you do? Oh, and I also have discovered my beloved dog is somewhat of a "loose" girl.  Cliff and I went on a little getaway last weekend and left Bella at a neighbors house. I was informed when I picked her up that she had slept in this persons' bed - with said person!! And snuggled, too.  Really?  I guess she is more of the love the one you're with type of gal.  I am a bit ashamed though.

Anyway, I am thinking of looking into a condo, on a high floor where no roaming vigilantes can destroy my plants. Then I will have even more time to craft.  I have two new creations that I am very pleased with.

This is Mr. Dandy Fox.  I went crazy and used two different fabrics.  I actually ran the beige fabric through my ink jet printer to get the image.

I found this bucket at Goodwill.  I painted it and added vintage wine labels, then distressed the paint.  I hope to put pine cones in it and put on the hearth.

I was only kidding about moving, actually I am going to shoot the deer!!! LOL people.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Fungus Among Us

We have a very unsettling problem on our hands - Fungus.  That's right, the lawn that Cliff worked so hard on is now over run with a fungal infection.  Sadly the beautiful green is now brown.  And it's spreading.

Not too attractive! Here is our dilemma.  Do we spray? Or do we not spray?  I am opposed to spraying for two reasons.  One, we have a well and eventually those chemicals end up in the water supply.  Don't they?  Secondly, we have a dog who enjoys eating, rolling and laying on the grass.  There is no way that this stuff can be good for her.  Can it?  However, something has to be done.  We just can't have a brown lawn!  Can we?  So many questions!  In other pest news the insects are having a great time destroying my flowers.

White fly has invaded my Million Bells.  I gave them a major haircut yesterday and sprayed them.
The beetles are eating the Hibiscus Flowers.

Funny, Bella eats the red one's and the beetles eat the yellow.  Fascinating stuff.
The roses are being eaten up too.

We planted 2 Hydrangea bushes and one is doing well, but the other is struggling.  I am providing  both with intensive care.

Even the very hardy Sweet Potato Vine is not immune from the pests.  

The garden was looking so wonderful and then the next day you notice these little buggers have taken over.  I guess we are lucky that the deer have not invaded our property, but they are all around us. It's a constant battle between good and evil here at The Farmhouse.

Josh has made it to San Fransisco and secured a job!  He is hunting for an apartment as I write. I must give that kiddo some props!  It's some adventure he is on.  We miss him, though with runaway swine and fungal problems we have been busy.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Swine Sunday

So I am chatting on the phone with my pal in New York, drinking a cup a' joe and I hear Cliff say, "There are pigs on the driveway!"  Huh? Pigs, here at the Farmhouse. I quickly hang up stating I've got pigs to see and run out to see these two running down the lane.

OMG! Potbelly pigs - I love these swine!  But, what to do? Of course I go and grab my camera and knock on my neighbors door, screaming, "Susan there are pigs out here." She comes out and then her husband joins us.  Here's where the fun starts.  He decides to try and catch them. She runs and gets two dog leashes, while the one with mohawk decides to make a break for it.

Fortunately there is an empty garage next door and we got the female herded inside.  Then we took off chasing the runaway.  Let me tell you something - these swine can RUN. And SQUEAL!  The squealing was epic.
Cliff comes and joins in and the four of us are running like maniacs chasing the mohawked one back to the garage.  It took about 30 minutes and a certain pig falling in the stream to catch him and get him corralled into the garage.
Thankfully I like to snoop around my neighborhood and I knew where these pigs lived.  I went over, but no one was home so I left a note on the garage.  Fortunately my phone rang about an hour later and the owner said he'd be right over to retrieve Bonnie and Clyde.

He came with a large crate and went into the garage to wrangle them.  Much squealing ensued.

Success! This is Bonnie, she may be in a family way.  Catching Clyde was slightly harder.

Not happy!!  Don't you find it interesting that all of this happened right beside the home of The Flying Pig!
Just another crazy day here at The Farmhouse.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Just Us...Again

Well - he's gone.  Packed up his car and pulled out at 6 AM sharp.  By now he's entering Colorado.  Did I cry?  Yes.  Did Cliff cry?  Yes. I've now had 2 days to get used to the quiet and I must say the silence is deafening. The house is clean, but, oh so quiet.  It's funny how you get used to being an empty nester and then they move back home and you slide right  back into being the mommy again.  Only this time they work and have lives of their own.  No carpools or sports you have to attend. I liked it!  I had a playmate, a sous chef and someone to go to Starbucks with.  So what if he left food out or the fridge opened?  Now I know it's not "healthy" , but it was 6 weeks and it was a great way to re-connect.  I haven't lived with my son for the past 7 years, so I consider this as a special time that we will probably never have again. I hope he loves his new life in California, but, I also hope it's not forever!  His room is all cleaned up and waiting!!  So, since there is never a dull moment, yesterday Bella was sick.  She vomited most of the day and seemed very queasy.  We took her to the vet last night to make sure she didn't ingest anything serious.  She seems better today, but naturally I am worried. (Must worry about something)  This is a phenomenon I have noticed with other empty nester"s - the dog-child phenomenon.  Once those real kids leave, we become obsessed with our dog children.  I have witnessed this with many of my friends and neighbors.

1- I have a friend (all names have been changed) who practically makes out with his dog.  I have told him on 
     several occasions to "get a room!" And yes - the dog sleeps with him in bed.
2- Another friend is afraid to leave her precious pooches with her husband while she travels, because she is 
     afraid they won't poop for him.
3- I call this the Downton Abbey Issue- some of the help in the neighborhood take better care of their charges
     than the owners do.  That's right - they are paid to treat the dog-child as their own. And they do.
4- Posting of Dogs on Facebook, often dressed in clothing or sports jerseys.  Yes - I do this!  Hey it's better
     than bragging about my kid!
5- Arranging play dates for our dogs. 
Thankfully, I love being with my dog and she seems to enjoy my company, too.I am not saying she is a substitute for my son, but you get the picture.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Random Thoughts and Big Moves

We are well into summer and we are still working here at the Farmhouse.  Today we decided to wash down the wood siding on the Carriage House.  It got really dirty during construction.  Cliff asked Josh if he would like to do it, he said,"Not really." Shocking!  Cliff started washing and I jumped in and said I would do it, as I thought it would be a good work out for my less than toned arms.  I was right! 

See the dirt on the left side? The right has been washed.

Here is Cliff before I took over.  I started washing and he stood back and "critiqued" my work.  I told him to go play golf and let me wash the house! Sometimes it's best to work alone.  Ya know?

After I cleaned up from my house washing I took Bella for a stroll and took my camera with me.  I found a few things that I find interesting in my hood.

My honeysuckle vine is really growing on the arbor.  It's almost at the top.  I love this!

Wineberries are growing down the lane.  I like to stop and pop a few in my mouth as I walk along.

These Tiger Lilly's were planted by the previous owner, they surround the Carriage House on two sides.

I don't know why, but when the gates close for the night I feel a sense of security.  It's like the neighborhood is all tucked in for the night.
So, Josh has some exciting news.  He's moving to California next week.  I am very sad about him moving, but it is something he really wants to do.  He started thinking of going west last summer, but he got a Newfoundland instead.  We all know how that turned now that he is "free" he is going to try California.  He leaves next week.  He is driving cross country with a friend. I guess he can't sit around The Farmhouse playing Candy Crush all day....can he?

He got me started on this stupid game and now he is obsessed with passing Level 70.  Needless to say we will miss him.  I have loved having him live here for the past month and a half, but, my rational mind knows it's not where a 25 year old man-child should be.  He needs to do this and I have agreed not to beg him to stay. Maybe we should have kept Fletcher? 

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Photo Shoot

Now that summer has arrived I spend countless hours enjoying the outside of my new digs.  Here are a few of the things that make me happy.

Did you know Golden Retrievers eat Hibiscus flowers?  Bad Girl!!

Drift Roses.

The little stone bridge.

The old stone walls that surround our place.

We don't know what this was, but it's scary down there.  If I ever go missing, please have the authorities check down here!

The perfect place to sit and watch the boats go by :)
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Creature Comforts

Things got pretty heated here at the ole' Farmhouse this week.  The upstairs of the house to be exact.  We added central air to the main floor and there is a window air conditioner in the cozy room, but, sadly Cliff's office has nothin'!  You see Cliff needs his creature comforts and that includes HD TV, Chocolate and air conditioning.  So off to Lowes we went and purchased a small window unit for the office.  I mean how is a man supposed to make millions of dollars if he is hot??  This got me thinking about the other creatures in my life.  How do they cope with uncomfortable weather?  Pretty well thanks to a very caring mommy named yours truly. Bella actually enjoys the heat.  She loves to lay outside in the sun. She has been trotting down to the stream to cool off when she is overheated.  Kitty on the other hand has an arsenal of things to keep her comfortable.  It's truly amazing what we horse people do to keep our precious beasts cool and calm.

Take a look at this.  This is called a fly mask.  No explanation needed.

She wears this every night when she is in her pasture.  It's like looking through a window screen.

She wears this lovely chapeau when we ride the trails.  It's called a fly bonnet.

The fly bonnet covers the ears and the fringes keep flies off of her delicate face.  This  is a generic bonnet.  Some (privileged) horses have fancy bonnets.

Kitty is jealous of her friend Bella's bonnet, but I am too cheap to buy her a "cool one".

Let's not forget the fans that run all day keeping these equine prince and princesses cool.

Every stall has a fan attached to the front. Some "over protective" parents even buy deluxe metal fans, but , they shall go nameless.  Kelly B.
Our horses are in their stalls during the day and in the pasture at night, when it is less buggie and cooler.  We are blessed and cursed with our pasture situation.  The farm has acres and acres of lush, green grass.  Great you say?  Not so great when you learn that horses can get very sick from too much lush grass,  Grass is high in sugar and can cause metabolic problems for "easy keepers", this means fatties  Most of our horses are draft crosses and need very little food to maintain their size, unlike the Thoroughbred which can eat all day and night. So... our horses wear these crazy contraptions.

This is called a grazing muzzle.  Kitty wears this from spring through the first frost.  It has a small hole in the bottom that allows her to eat - slowly.
You may think this is cruel, but , it is truly a lifesaver for these guys.  They are used to wearing them and they get plenty of grass and they can drink too.  Please notice the very plush sheepskin that I have had professionally sewn around the top so she won't get rubbed.  You should be so pampered!  Hell - I should be so pampered!
So basically these horses live better than most of us.  Don't forget the caring owners to run to Sam's Club and buy buckets of these mints.

After all we want our horses to know we care! LOL!  Hope you keep cool
Thanks for stopping by.