Sunday, December 31, 2017

Oak Burl

 Found this chunk of oak burl while working in the woodpile yesterday.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Itchy itchy...

Poor Bullet has allergies.  His ears bear the brunt of the irritation.  I'd run out of antihistamine for him a week or so ago.  Last night, they were bugging him so much that he woke me up at 02:30 flapping his ears nonstop.

I managed to find some antihistamine for him in a cupboard, and he eventually settled down again, around 03:30 this morning.  So when they opened, I called his vet.   Unfortunately, they were all booked up the rest of the week, due to holidays, and couldn't see him until next week.

So I came up with an idea, to try to prevent not only the flapflapflap of his big old ears, but to also limit the risk of my house looking like a slaughterhouse if he splits an ear tip!  As much as he was shaking his head, he would paint my ceilings red with the blood from a split ear tip.

I repurposed one of my cycling tubular bandanas into a doggie snood!
He seems to be tolerating it better than I expected.  With this, and his collar off, he doesn't make much noise now.  Maybe I will be able to sleep tonight?

Friday, December 15, 2017

Trailcam fun

We decided to set out a trail cam in the woods to see what wandered by.  There are a lot of tracks, as you can see in some of my earlier posted photos.

Here's what we caught on candid camera!

A couple of bucks, and a pair of does.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Taking a walk

Lately, I have been taking our older male Ridgeback, Bullet, for walks in the woods.  We have enjoyed seeing all the wildlife tracks, and even spooked a buck one evening.  That was exciting!

Bullet gets so excited to go on walks.   His whole demeanor shifts to that of an overgrown puppy.  It makes me happy to see him like this.  All our dogs love their walks, though Shiloh does not like her Gentle Leader halter, and pouts about wearing it.

The woods here are noisy this time of year, with all the leaves on the ground.  Squirrels skitter through the leaves, acorns fall like hail, humans and dogs alike crunch crunch crunch on our walks.

I've found we see all sorts of fascinating things on our walks in the woods.  I hope that for as long as we are here, the woods stay undeveloped.  There is wildlife here.
A little kitty.

Doe, a deer, and a not so little kitty!

There are odd vines, and lumpy trees, that if one were to use their imagination, could see spirits, dark things perhaps, reaching out, grasping, and binding.

There are even trash pandas (of course!) in the woods.   We've seen those pesky guys of them most likely is responsible for the demise of one of our guinea fowl.

Raccoon, aka Trash Panda
The colors and shades of fall are some of my favorites.  You never know when you will stumble upon a brilliant flash of color, even out in the woods under a heavy oak canopy.

Friday, November 24, 2017

On Thanks...

Green salad, double-smoked ham, and Abuela Foster's mac 'n cheese.  A half-finger of Knob Creek Rye, to remember all those who have served, are serving, or never made it home.  For their sacrifices, I am thankful.

For family, those at home, and those living far away...
 Los Tres Amigos!  

For know who you are, and you are like unto family to me.
The tree, the symbol of a promise of long ago, and the promise yet to come.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Beauty in the midst of fall

If my slow internet connection would ever get around to sending the individual pics to my laptop email, I could load the pictures here... aargh!

This is a Beautyberry bush.  Apparently you can make a drink akin to lemonade from the berries.  They are rather astringent if you just chew one up.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The best laid plans...

The plan had been to have some fun with our bonfire yesterday.  However, evil reared its ugly head yesterday, in Sutherland Springs TX, and put a damper on everyone's mood.  Oh, we still lit the fire, we needed to burn the scrap wood off, but we cooked no potatoes, the kids went in early, DH didn't stay long either, so I ended up sitting in a camp chair, watching it burn down low.  Just to be safe...

It became a thoughtful time, out there in the dark, with only the fire and my thoughts--thoughts on those poor souls murdered during worship, thoughts on how similar both churches in my life are, to that little Baptist rural church, thoughts on the historical significance of Guy Fawkes day, and other such musings.

I have been feeling nudges to do certain things to preserve life, recently.  Things I felt before the awful events of yesterday.  It makes me wonder if God is trying to tell me something...I do try to pay attention to these nudges.  They tend to be important.

I want to be prepared to respond to crises in my life.  Which brings us to the Threat Matrix.  Everyone has one, and everyone's is different, but most folks don't think much about it.   A Threat Matrix is simply you considering the bad stuff that can happen to you in life, and then logically considering its effects on you, and the likelyhood that such a thing will happen.  Then once you have ranked such events, you list out what actions you can take to ameliorate the perceived danger.

For example:  I live in Tornado Alley.  Several significant tornadoes have struck in my area.  I have family I wish to protect. 
What is the threat?  Severe weather (large hail, high winds, tornadoes). 
Is it likely?  I would rate it moderate to highly likely to occur. 
What are the effects of such a storm?  Property loss, injury, loss of life.
What can I do about it?  Maintain home insurance.  Have a first aid kit and communications.  Have a storm shelter.
This is my storm shelter.   There are many like it, but this one is mine...

That is how a threat matrix works.  You can consider any threat, from terror attack, to home invasion, to a slip on the ice.  It allows you to rate and rank threats in a more logical, less emotional way, which will hopefully lead you to more reasoned responses.  The more likely you think an event will occur, or if the effects are too damaging to your life, then you are more apt to allocate funds to prevent the incident from occuring.

First aid is a prime example of a perceived need in my mind.  Yes, we have "some" first aid supplies at home.  No, I am not obsessive about it, merely 'well prepared'.  But I would like to enhance my portable supplies.  I want to order one of these kits:  TACMED DOK  It would live in my shoulder bag where I keep spare cell phone  batteries and cables, pens, etc.  That bag tends to go with me to Co-op, and on road trips.  Just in case...I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

Stay frosty, my friends.  Stay safe.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Bonfire Day

Being of English/Irish extraction, I grew up with a passing familiarity with Guy Fawkes Day, as celebrated in the UK (at least how it was described to me by my father).  Living in the country now, we can have a bonfire wherever there is no burn ban in effect.  This is handy, especially since we are heating with wood this winter, and have a fair bit of scrap from the trees we've been cutting.

So last week we began to pile up the burnables, in order to have our Nov. 5th bonfire, though we won't have a dummy to burn in effigy (too much hassle, and far too many politicians to choose from!)  I might even wrap a couple potatoes in foil to cook 'em in the coals.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Gettin' His Mad On...

Somebody didn't have a good week at work--too many trips 2 hrs west because of orders... in a work van with bad tires and crapped out suspension.   Tends to make the hips unhappy.

So DH decided to go for a PR on squats last night.  Here he is coming up out of the hole with 365# on his back!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Work day

Since we installed our fireplace insert this past spring, I have been eagerly awaiting the turn of the weather, aka Winter Is Coming.  Finally, this week has seen chill mornings for NTX, and it has been nice to learn to use the insert.

The insert is an older model, think non-freestanding wood burning stove...that fits into your existing fireplace and seals it off.  It came with a rather large, and clunky looking blower, to move cold air around the fire box, heating it, and blowing it back into the room.  Blessedly, it is VERY quiet, yet puts out a fair bit of air.

Having subscribed to a couple wood burning forums, I did pick up a cool tip on how to keep the insert glass clean.  If it gets smoked up/creosoted, you take a damp paper towel, dip it in cold ashes, and wipe the crud off the cold glass.  Don't do it to warm/hot glass though.  But it works like a charm!  And is essentially free.  I like free.

Since we split so much of our firewood sized for the old fireplace, which was huge, we need to re-cut a goodly amount of our existing woodpile to fit the insert.  Today, as it was only a sunny calm 69degrees out, I decided to break out the chain saw and hydraulic splitter and get some work done.
A small pile pulled from the cord and re-cut.

Cut logs, not really worth splitting.

Stacking work for the Monkeys.  I'm sure they will be thrilled! NOT!
After around 2 hours, I had the above cut, and split.  It did take awhile for the splitter to start up, but once it caught, it ran fine.  I suppose it would be helpful to download an operations manual for the thing, right?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sunrise, Sunset....

Sunrise, sunset,
Sunrise, sunset. 
Swiftly fly the years, 
One season following another, 
Laden with happiness, 
And tears.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Small watercraft advisory

There is a small flat bottomed boat up here, that gets used sometimes to go out on the pond to fish from.  This year the paddle was broken, and the pfd is floating somewhere in the pond, growing moss I believe.

DH and I picked up a new paddle at Cabela's and we tested the waters, so to speak.  This of course inspired two Monkeys to beg for their own chance to paddle the pond!  They all swim well, and are not allowed tip boat without direct supervision, so we were not too worried.
Just a bit nervous!

Initially Monkey3 got in and was too scared to do much. So her big brother, who had one paddle Texoma at Cub Scouts camp had to take his turn.  He did rather well, and this convinced his sister to go again, overcoming her great and successfully navigating the pond near shore.

Like an old pro!

Second time's the charm.

Let's go fishing!

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Promised Lan(d)

A wee play on words and someone's guest Wi-Fi.  Seriously though, this place is near and dear to our hearts.  Thank you to the RPCNA for allowing us to share this beautiful place.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

It's been one of those weeks...

To start off the week, I broke my cell phone.  As I use it for many tasks, including as my training log for weightlifting, not having it, has been disruptive!  I did co-opt Monkey1's phone for the duration, until I can get my replacement, so people who know me, can call or text me.  But everything else I use the phone for is kaput!

Then this week saw the return of Homeschool Co-op!  The kids were excited.  I, as the parent, get to teach a class.  I got lucky and my entry of Strength and Conditioning was picked.  Alas, I cannot do barbell training with the kids, as I don't want the liability, and it's far to labor intensive to disassemble, transport, reassemble, etc, my power rack, and several hundred pounds of iron!  So we are doing bodyweight conditioning to start, and adding dumbell/kettlebell weights as we progress.

Since I mostly do cycling and barbell training, my high-rep endurance is suffering.  Yes, my own class kicked my butt today!  At least I was able to do the work though.  Hopefully, my own class will help me up my conditioning level, though it won't help me for strength.

This morning, before Co-op, I got an email from my 3rd hour instructor for yong kids Archery class.  He wasn't going to be able to be there today, and would I, the assistant, take over?  Of course, but since he has all the targets, we ended up playing kickball, and freeze tag instead.  Ayt least they burned off some excess energy.

Finally, the North Texas Giving Day went well for TIRR Rescue.  I want to take a moment to thank eveyone who donated in support of TIRR.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  This rescue is near and dear to my heart--all our dogs have come through TIRR.  And your support of TIRR Rescue means a lot to me!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Help TIRR Rescue via North Texas Giving Day 09/14/2017

This Thursday is the annual North Texas Giving Day.  TIRR Rescue has participated for several years now, and it has proven to be a great help in funding the needs of the many dogs at TIRR.  Anyone can donate.  You need not be in north Texas to give.

If you feel led to donate, I thank you!  If you cannot donate, please share the link to this blog, or copy and paste the donation link in the letter below, with your friends, and on social media.  Every share, and every donation means the world to these folks, and to these dogs.

Below, is TIRR's posting about Giving Day, and their plan for any funds donated.

From TIRR Rescue:

TIRR Rescue is, once again, participating in the North Texas Giving Day which is on Thursday September 14.

This fundraising event is enormous for TIRR Rescue – it is one of the prime fundraiser we participate in each year. 

Each year we try to target something that we need more than anything else.  We always have many needs and wants for the dogs we take in.   This year we have taken into our program many dogs that other rescues could not accommodate.  Currently we have 5 dogs that are Heartworm positive and in need of Heartworm treatment.   It is not uncommon for us to take in many HW positive dogs in the span of the year.  If you are a TIRR follower, supporter, volunteer, enthusiast or simply a dog lover watching from afar, you know that when we take a dog into our program, we take them for “their life”.  So we know that each dog we take could potentially have heartworms or other health issues.  Although we in the dog world are so familiar with heartworms, how they are contracted and how they are prevented – there is a huge population of people with dogs that are not knowledgeable and/or can’t or don’t provide the prevention.  We are hoping to have enough funds for treating the 5 dogs we have now and also to assist with other medical needs these dogs may have and also for medical issues TIRR encounters with future dogs coming to the Ranch.

Hurricane Harvey was a devastating event for people and animals of all ages, and continues to be an opportunity we can offer assistance, whether direct rescue and/or indirect rescue.  One of the best ways local rescues can help is to assist in getting dogs moved out of our local shelters to secure spots from those coming from the disaster areas in South Texas.  Unlike other disasters of this nature, the shelters in South Texas did an amazing job preparing for the influx of dogs/cats they would receive.  TIRR Rescue and Etosha Rescue joined efforts in supporting the needs of the people and shelters that would provide immediate safe harbor for the massive number of animals rescued.

Here is the link to our page on the North Texas Giving Day website.  We are asking for your financial support and TIRR will ensure that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the care of the dogs and the facilities they enjoy daily.  Having air conditioning and heat, in addition to a respect for their needs is the ultimate gift to a dog that has been abused, neglected, scared on the streets or left  in the back yard with no respect for the love they could and would offer.

Roy and I both want to thank you personally for your support during this fundraising effort.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

More fun fishing!

Yesterday we went out to our friend's pasture to fish her ponds.  We knew there were some big bass, and she said it was ok if we took a couple home.   We caught 15-20 fish between us all I'd guess, and took 5 home.

Here's a look at some of what we got!  God bless Texas farm ponds!

3# 11oz

Scale pic has weight.

Weight of fish above.
And DH send me this picture of dinner that night!  Fresh fried bass, and hushpuppies!  MMMmmm, good!