Friday, September 23, 2016

Hay, Nets, and Corral Panels

Had a busy night last night getting everything rearranged. Mike unloaded the big round bale out of my truck and dumped it into the smaller pen.  Unfortunately, it landed on it's side so I wasn't able to get the haynet on. Those bales are a tad too big for the hay nets. Hopefully the mares and Junior wont' completely destroy the bale and pee all over it.

We are going to have to bring a load of hay home for the big herd in the next week or so and start round bales.

When I brought Junior and Lace home, I dumped them into the pasture with Rabbit and Mayhem. But after getting the haynet half way on, I had to go in search of the mares and Junior and get them switched over (and get their tank filled).

I think everyone was content to sit in front of the bale and eat. I guess that means the pasture is either done or very nearly done anyway. But I do want to move them back to the pasture once I get more fencing done. Fencing and repairs are the bane of my existence.

When we moved the bale in, I had Mike take one of the cattle hay rings and put it on the bale. The other two horse hay rings I knew I'd need in the big pen. I am on the look out for another horse hay feeder ring but in the meantime the cattle one will have to work and hopefully the horses don't rub too much of their mane off (and Lace doesnt' get stuck). She couldnt' figure out how to back up and not lift her neck up to catch the top ring. Crazy mare.

But the cattle hay ring was in the pony pasture so I had to get them tied up. While they were standing not so patiently tied to the trailer, I went ahead and moved corral panels around so that they'd have one last place to graze before I'm back to feeding hay morning and night. They didnt' seem overly impressed with me moving then, which is a shock to me. I figured they'd run and jump and fart all over the place but instead they hung out watching me. So I'm not sure if that's a sign that I havent' been around much or that they were displeased with me making more changes.

But for now, everyone is set for the next couple of days, which is a good thing. We have a few family activities to do so we'll be around but not around. I thought life would get a little slower but it seems to be getting busier and busier these days instead. So I may not post much the next couple of days. Each day getting closer to winter and not getting my to do list done.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Playday Information

Ghetto Style

Caption This!

There's so many options for captioning that image. And Yes, that was me just a little while ago.  I took a long lunch and flew up to Madison to pick up Lace and Junior (if you look hard you can see them in the trailer).

I needed a bale to keep the mares and Junior occupied while I fix fence and I figured I might as well swing passed my hay guy and pick up a bale. I forgot how big his bales are. It was a bit unnerving driving home but we made it as you can see.

Junior and Lace are in the pasture with Mayhem and Rabbit until tonight when we put the bale in. Then we'll play musical pens/pastures and get things moved around.

The ponies need to move to a different part of the lawn too. I foresee a long night in front of me.

But its' all worth it. Junior and Lace both put on weight and Junior is as good of a weight as he'll get until next year. He does so much better on lush grass. I wish I could have taken Bo up as well but he's too pushy. What you don't see are the cockleburs on Junior and Lace. I'll probably roach them. And for anyone that complains and says I'm being mean. I dont' have time to pull 1000 cockle burs from each horse and it's even crueler to leave them in and let the burs fall out. The only other option is for you to volunteer. And  I'd gladly accept that offer.

We didn't put in our order for hay but I did talk with our hay guy and he's trying to figure out prices and set a price for me. So in a little bit we'll know. I need to get a load down in another week or so. I usually start feeding in October and much to my dismay, we WILL start feeding the first of October.

But, that's Sanctuary life

Thursday Rambling

What a difference 12 hours makes. On the last day of summer (yesterday), temps were in the 80s. Today, the first day of fall, temps are in the 60s. Fall is definitely here...and I am NOT ready for it.

We are in the beginning stages of planning for our playday. I didn't do it last year because my mind wasn't totally with it yet. I was on maternity leave and could have held the playday but my mind...well, it wasn't there.

But we definitely need to be doing some major fundraising to help offset hay costs. Our hay guy has always wanted us to pay for hay the following year. Not something I liked but as the years passed, that's just how it was and I got used to it. Then I got an offer for the same quality of hay, cheaper, AND I can pay right then and there instead of waiting to find out what prices will be like (I got schnookered this year for last year's hay).

So now I find myself in a pickle. I had to pay for last year's hay and now I'm scrambling to come up with the money to pay for this year's hay. I know it doesn't make sense but to come up with $8,000 in a couple of months is impossible. Luckily our new hay guy is understanding but it's going to be tight this year. I knew at some point this manner in which we paid for hay was going to bite me in the butt. Unfortunately, it's now when I'm still trying to get myself refocused on the Sanctuary instead of letting it coast. It sort of has to coast when you're pregnant and then have to figure out baby stuff.

But I digress.

Last Friday a neighbor stopped out and asked if we wanted some small square bales of hay. Well of COURSE! We never turn down hay (unless there's a timing issue in that we have to get the paid hay home and the free hay has to wait). So Saturday morning Mike ran over and loaded the stock trailer full of hay. The flat bed is still loaded with alfalfa that was donated and I haven't had time to unload. The alfalfa is a bit trickier as it's drier and not nearly as easy to man handle.

But, we need to bring Junior and Lace home tonight. That meant last night after the kids went to bed, that I had to unload the hay into the the dark. It wouldn't have been too big of a deal but where we put the hay isnt' exactly easy to get into. I tried to drive straight in but that didn't work so had to go through the front and haul each bale through the little door. It didn't take long luckily and it's a great feeling to have some extra hay.

The Farmers Almanac is calling for a bad winter. I had a feeling we would have one. It's been a few years. I'm not talking polar vortex kind of bad but real bad with lots of snow. Hopefully we won't have another year like we did a few years back where the snow was so high on the road that it was like driving through a tunnel (yes, I realize I sound like an old person talking about the "good ol' days").

I also need to pick up a bale of hay. I need to put the mares and Junior into the smaller pen instead of letting them stay in the pasture. I dont' trust Junior to fall out of the pasture again like he did this summer. And with the corn being almost ready to pick, I don't want him out there running around. So until I can get electric up, they will have to stay in their other pen. I know Mayhem is going to start pushing on the fence pretty soon as well. So even more incentive to get it done. Now that we have electric hooked up in the barn to keep the horses off the fence in their pen, it'll be easier to take care of adding electric to the pasture. The only catch is timing. There's just too much to get done with no time at all.

I always overestimate what I can get done and underestimate the length of time it takes. If we were in the middle of summer instead of the first day of fall, the days would be longer and I would push to get stuff done. But with the sun setting at 7pm, it's really hard to get anything done outside.

I am planning on taking a day or two off from the paying job to work on a few projects on the Sanctuary. Blankets need to be washed, repaired, and water proofed and a few outbuildings could do with a scrape and a paint. I don't know how much Ill get done. The blankets are high on the priority list. Unfortunately, I don't see it happening until mid October and by then it'll be chilly washing blankets. My goal was to have them washing in July when it was super hot. But that didn't happen. I guess because there wasn't as much pressure to get them done. Well, now there's pressure. Those blankets haven't been washed and waterproofed in quite a while.

And to add insult to injury, we are still in the middle of two house remodels. It's been since March for the one and June for the other. I know it'll all get done but I'm anxious. Before long snow will fly and everything will end up coming to a complete halt for the projects that I want to work on.

Hopefully after I get over this darn cold, I'll have more energy and can take on a bigger project. I'm going on almost a full week without my voice. Ok, so it's there now but not very good. Luckily I don't spend a lot of time talking (I make up for it by making long posts).

It'll all get done, or it won't and I just have to come to terms with it. But in the meantime, I'll still be a bit panicked. I'm slowly working on the playday fundraiser. I could use some help...spreading the word is the biggest part that I need help with.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Playday Planning

And the planning begins. We are having our annual playday Saturday October 8th at the Cowboy Way Church south of Hartford, South Dakota. I don't have all the games finalized but will very soon. I need to get the show bill figured out ASAP so that I can start posting it to a few Facebook sites.

Now that I've made it official, I'm starting to get nervous. I'm a bit run down from going so hard with non-Sanctuary related activities. I'm afraid I'm going to get burned out soon and I really want to set my focus and attention on the Sanctuary rather than silly stuff like the paying job drama.

We did get an unexpected surprise last Friday. A neighbor stopped over and said he'd donate some small square bales of hay. We were going out of town over the weekend so Mike went first thing Saturday  morning and loaded up the stock trailer full of hay! It's last year's hay but we aren't picky. If we are going to have the winter that I'm thinking we are going to have, we need all the hay we can get.

I  need to unload the hay tonight so that I can pick up Junior and Lace from their "fall" retreat. If the pasture still has anything left, I'll take them back up but I have a feeling that their pasture is done. I also think the  mares' pasture is done too. I didn't get a chance to fix fence so I'll have to put them into the small drylot and pick up a round bale for this coming weekend until I can get the electric fence up and running.  Always so much to do an and so little time to get it all done.

I'm dragging a bit because I caught a terrible head cold and lost my voice in the process. I guess it's a good thing to lose the voice. I'm still opinionated enough online.

Anyway, we are here but super busy. I need to get the ponies moved around to a different part of the yard because they are out of grass again and I'm throwing previous hay. I'd rather hold off on throwing hay until October. I know, October is almost here but still...even a day or two helps.

Anyone want to help with the playday? We need volunteers, donations for name it, we need it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Playday Scheduled

Mark you calendars for TWO fundraisers coming up in October. I don't have all the details but wanted to get the word out as soon as possible.

The first is Sunday, October 2nd. It'll be a costume and other fun type of fundraiser. I still need to work out the details...ok, someone else is running it for me and volunteered but at least mark it on your calendar. I'll get more details soon.
The other is Saturday  October 8th. It'll for sure be a  playday and possibly something else along the way. I'm still working out the schedule and the details but put it on your calendar.

Lots of planning and spreading the word. If you can help spread the word that would be great.

You Just Need To

I've been a little touchy lately. I know the reasons why but I won't bore you with the details. There's simply a lot going on right now and I'm struggling to keep my head above water. In fact, my head isn't actually above water. I am just below the surface and can see what's going on but I'm drowning.

There's been a lot of pressure put on me (both by others and by myself). Some I can fix, some I can't. I need to let the pressure I can't fix go and focus on what I can fix.

But I've been hearing a lot of "you just need to....".

But those that say those words to me have no grasp of what my life is like. I work a 40hr a week job but have to drive an additional two plus hours each day (coming and going), there's also time I need to spend with my kids when they first get home. There's supper, there's cleaning. It's all stuff people do on a normal basis...but then add in a baby. Then add in 16 horses to care for. Then add in a new dog to bond and work with. It all takes time.  Oh, and add in two remodels.

So, lets swap shoes for a little while and tell me that my life is easy and that it's simple.
Here's my schedule:

5:20am alarm goes off. Snooze because I'm exhausted
5:50am finally crawl out of bed (yes I could do more in that half an hour but my body requires eight hours of sleep and I typically only get six and those are never consecutive)
6:15am leave for work (after rushing to get ready)
7:00am start work
3:30pm leave work
4:10pm arrive at daycare to pick up kids
4:20-4:30pm leave for home
5:00pm arrive at home, hang with kids, and start some type of skirt work
5:30pm start supper
6:30pm have supper and then go outside to get some fresh air with the kids
7:00pm baths
8:00pm bedtime for kids (by this time it's dark)
9:00pm go out and do chores, clean up supper, take care of dogs/cat
10:00pm done with chores and go inside (shower and get ready for bed)
11:00pm go to bed

Sleep for 6.5 hours but wake up in the middle of the night to check on kids and then start the day over. There's no room for anything else. Chores take a little longer because I do them in the dark. I sometimes can start chores while we are outside playing after supper but I can't count on it.

Oh sure I could give up time with my kids but they are small. At some point, they won't be around and I want to enjoy their time now while they want to be around me. But tell me...can you handle my day, everyday? There's no room for much else. So the "all you have to do is..." and "you just need to..." crap doesn't have any allotted space in my schedule. Tell me how to fit it in and we'll see.

Add to that mess of a schedule two house remodels and trying to spend some quality family time with extended family on the weekends. It doesn't leave time for anything else.

So before you tell me "you just need to...", put yourself in my shoes for a little while before giving me advice.