Saturday, February 24, 2024


 It was only 19 degrees outside, what a change from yesterday.  The good news for us was the ground was frozen but the gravel pile was not.  Right after breakfast Mark started spreading gravel on the North and East side of the barn. Our airbnb guests were coming in this afternoon and we wanted to make sure they could drive all the way around the barn and now they can. 

Evan's paddock needed a new bale so while Mark had the skid steer out I moved the motorhome out of the barn and parked it out of the way with the 2 horse trailers.
The next job was to let Evan into the field and lock him out of the paddock. He was thrilled to get out, had to roll then put in some big bucks. What I didn't realize was when he was showing off I must have turned to phone upside down so some of the video he is bucking upside down.

The grass is growing but not long enough to leave him out. As soon as we put the bale in he was put back in his paddock. He was happy with his new bale so all was well.
The hay is our first cutting and in the picture above and looks faded but it really isn't. Below is a close up of the bale. Even though it is first cutting we put it up early and it is fine stemmed and still green.
I know I brag on our hay too much but last year's hay was just exceptional. 
The middle paddock also got a bale. I don't have any horses in there yet but as long as we were moving hay it just made sense to move in two bales.
After the bales were moved I took the golf cart over to the dumpster to throw the net wrap away and checked out Mark's work this morning. Below is the East side of the barn, the gravel now is wide enough to easily make it around the last of the pile at the corner.
Mark is saving that pile of gravel to work on pot holes on the main drive.
The North side is almost done.
Above is looking East and below is looking West.
Evan was led back to his paddock before I went back up to the barn. I wanted to count bales.
We have 42 left. That should easily get us through until we can cut hay again. Mark and I left at 1:45 pm to drive to Costco to pick up the sprout sandwiches for church lunch tomorrow. That place was packed. Shoppers had carts full of stuff. By looking around you couldn't even tell there is a recession going on.  We had one problem, Costco doesn't take Discover card and that is the only card I use. Mark has a Master Card and they don't take that either. He ended up using his debit card. From there we drove to church, put the 15 trays of sandwiches in the fridge then set up the tables and move out the serving carts. We need to leave here tomorrow by 7:50 am. On our way back Anna sent the picture of Taegan's basketball tournament. The Farmington Farmers won the tournament. Anna wrote: Tournament Champions!! What a fantastic end of the season. So proud of all these hard working ladies!

We stopped at Arby's for supper ordering 2 fish sandwiches for $6.00. Joan took the motorhome over to her place this afternoon. There is a drawer that needs work on and she wanted to get it ready to rent. 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Growing Grass

 No walk today, Ruth wanted to sleep in after that late night. Diane called during walk time to join us but instead just got to visit with me. They are having a really good time in Gulf Shores, it is a good group of people that live in her complex.  She says it is like living in her own retirement facility. Two of the other owners grew up with us and were in Diane's Sunday school class and another 2 are both family, Mike's sister and our brother, then there are maybe 4 other owners that we know from church. Then across the street is Beth and Greg and Rachel and Dave.  After breakfast Mark left for the shop while I went to the barn to finish cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen. It really looks nice and is now ready for the company coming in tomorrow afternoon.  Mark got home with a new set of keys for the motorhome. I took the golf cart up to the barn to make sure they worked and while up there checked out the keys for the Mini Max Little Guy. This is a little different, the purple door key also opens the outdoor compartment. 

We are going to list this on RV Share as a rental. It has a dry weight of just 1900 pounds and can be pulled by smaller vehicles such as a mini van that has a tow package. The down side of this is it ONLY sleeps 2 people and there is no room to squeeze in a 3rd. The upside is a BATHROOM. Small trailers that are light weight don't usually have bathrooms. This also has a decent size fridge and freezer. Another huge upside is the bed coverts to a queen size or two twins. 
Again small trailers usually only have full size beds.  We went that route once with the 2011 trailer and after staying in it one time with Mark, I ended up on the couch. It was much to claustrophobic for 2 of us crammed in with walls on both sides.   The other really nice function is that back window. It is huge and called the stargazer and you really CAN see the stars out of it.
I've applied for the title so we will get it listed soon. 
On the way back from the barn I stopped to check out Mike's 2 Thoroughbred mares. Both were enjoying the hay. No sign of them coming into season. We want to get them bred but not until late March or early April. It would be nice to start tracking their cycles.
On the other side of the drive (and against the sun) was Lea and her daughter Thalia standing at the gate just hoping for attention.
That is Evan in the background.
Valiant was staring over at the mother and daughter.
Lea hasn't had an ultrasound but I'm almost 100% sure she is pregnant. She has no interest in Evan or Valiant at this stage. If she settled she would be due October 25th. A late foal but better than no foal. If she has a colt we will place him for sale, if a filly we will keep her. Can you tell I'm getting anxious for foaling season. It will come soon enough. Next week I plan on bringing Lily home.  Karin invited us to dinner tonight. She and mom tried out a new chicken recipe. Both of them worked on it. We arrived just before 5:30 pm and it wasn't quite done. Mom told us "That was ALL Karin's fault, she wanted her to put it in the oven sooner."  We had to laugh. The meal was good.
The vegetables were really good also. Karin used season salt on them which gave them a different flavor. Karin told us Diane recommended that.
I'm going to have to try that. The chicken was mixed with cream cheese then wrapped in crescent roll dough. We left for home around 7:00 pm. Karin had drawn a portrait of Zion.
Another of my grandchildren and I knew exactly who it was from the first glimpse.
The morning was sunny and warm and mom got out on the balcony. By the time I finished and went to sit outside a brisk wind picked up so instead I turned on the heated throw and sat inside. Tonight we built a fire to warm up the house.  We have falling temperatures and a wintry mix moving in. It is supposed to bottom out at 24 degrees but tomorrow a high of 42 and Sunday sunny and 64. The grass is growing!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Mom the Hero

 Mark wanted an omelet for breakfast and I just happaned to have all of the ingredients so we both enjoyed that with a slice of toast. The last two slices of bread in the house. I may just have to go shopping tomorrow. Ruth and I were the only walkers and as we started down the hill toward Sparks the rain started up. We turned around and went to mom's and went in to visit with mom and Karin. Diane called around that time and joined us on our non walk. Evidently we had a big storm come in last night with hail and lots of wind but Mark and I didn't hear a thing. It woke both mom and Karin up the the hail pounding on their metal roof. A big tree fell across Mike and Diane's drive. 

Mark used the skid steer to move it off of their drive, then took the skid steer to Joan's house to move some gravel. He and Mackenson emptied the trailer full of split wood today. Below he is bringing the skid steer back to the barn.
Today I worked on the upstairs game room of the barn getting it ready for guests. That floor needed a sweeping badly. I am amazed at how much dirt is dragged up those 20 steps. The guests wanted 6 beds set up in the upstairs. The bedding upstairs is all stored in the two cabinets so I thought it would be an easy job. It wasn't, missing were 6 twin size water proof mattress protectors AND 6 of the fitted bottom sheets for those mattresses. The only items in the cabinets were the 6 pillows, 6 flat top sheets and 7 comforters. (there was only supposed to be 6 of those) I thought they must be in the downstairs bathroom in the baskets but I could only find 2 twin size mattress protectors and 2 twin size fitted sheets. I had to put the full size mattress protectors and sheets on 4 of the beds upstairs.  They look ok. Each mattress was put down close to an electrical outlet for their phone chargers. 2 were put on the wrestling mat.
2 were put between the couch and basketball game.
The last two were put on the North wall.

The gym was organized, the bouncy house folded up and put in a corner.
I have a little more cleaning to do tomorrow. It was such a beautiful day outside I really wanted to be out in the sun so took the golf cart over to the other barn, worked a bit on the motorhome then just sat in the sun for about 15 minutes before going in to make tuna salad for Mark's dinner tonight. I got online, ordered 4 more mattress protectors and 4 more fitted sheets. When they arrive they will be labeled before putting them in the barn. The baskets in the master bath will also be labeled so I can easily tell which sheets go with which bed. Ruth, mom and I left for Kathy and Randy's wedding shower at 5:45 pm. We arrived right after the home bus and just followed that group into the fellowship hall. It was kind of funny, each person in line was holding a wedding card and it looked like that must be the ticket to get in. The ladies putting on the shower had it beautifully decorated.
Above mom and Ruth are checking out the table. It was all decorated with old fashioned valentines theme.
The meal was delicious. We started with a creamy chicken and wild rice soup, cheese and crackers, delicous fresh fruit and ended with strawberry or chocolate peanut butter parfaits.
They also had gummy lips. Sharon tried hers on for us.
Sarah passed around the lips and dove chocolates.
The guests were so happy for Kathy and Randy and really did shower them with unusual gifts. Below was the coolest from Loretta's family.
Randy and Kathy are going to be remodeling their house so they got lots of gift cards from Menards. People were so creative with their gifts. Bonnie gave them what looked like a box of chocolates but when it was opened, there was just 2 little kisses in it plus a bunch of pictures of old presidents looking back.
Below is a 3D card with a gift inside.
There were 75 people signed up to come to the shower. I'm not sure exactly how many made it but it seemed like all 75 did. Below Kathy is giving a very touching thank you speech.
It was such a blessing to be there.  We didn't get home until 9:00 pm WAY past Ruth's bedtime haha and mine and mom's. On the way home from the fellowship hall mom told us the story about one of the husband's of the ladies there.  We were talking about the different couples and mom said, "I only knew him as a baby but I would never tell him that, he might be embarrassed. I was his wet nurse."  Then went on to tell us the story. His mother was struggling nursing him. The doctor told her to put him on formula but the poor baby couldn't tolerate the formula. The doctor then told the mother the only way this baby will survive is to get him on breastmilk. The mother asked, "where can I buy it?" The doctor told her, "you can't, no one sells that."  There were two ladies in the church nursing babies at that time, Mom and Jan Heinold so those two ladies took turns and kept that baby alive also working with the mother until she finally had a milk supply. Yes mom was and still is a hero in our eyes. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


 Ruth, Joan and I walked, Diane joined us by phone from Gulf Shores. Amazing how many problems of the world can be solved by just talking them over. Mark wanted eggs and pot roast for breakfast. He knew I had left over pot roast and decided that could be heated up in the microwave to add to a couple eggs. Easy meal! After breakfast I went to the barn to start cleaning. We have guests coming in on Saturday and the floor needed a good sweeping and mopping. We had a lot of mud dragged in over the weekend. With all the snow melt that couldn't be helped. Everywhere there is mud. I stopped to take some pictures of the spread gravel around the barn. Below is the South side looking East.

We can now park 2 cars abreast on the gravel. Below is looking west.
We have one winter sled outside the front door that probably can be put away for the winter. Mark even got gravel spread on the East side. 
This side still needs more and the pile we have left would probably finish this side. The North side needs a load yet. I worked on the barn until 9:45 pm then quit to go to mom's house. We were hoping to get outside today on her deck but the sun just didn't come out much to warm it up enough.  Karin had  some pictures out in the garage drying. These were all of my family. 
I had to laugh at the picture above. That is Taegan when she was 2 or 3 and mad at someone. Below is Kensley.
Their papa is pictured below.
While watching out the window we saw a flock of geese came in.
They started feeding by the beach. It looks so funny when they are upside down.
When Karin arrived I went straight back to the barn and was able to finish the kitchen, living area and the floor. I was just starting to roll up the bouncy house when Fedi called. He finished fixing the horse trailer and was bringing it back.
I am so thrilled to have it fixed. Now I can go pick up a pallet load of bedding from TSC.
We left for church at 6:15. Gregg Rumbold had the message tonight. Click HERE if you would like to watch that. After church a bunch of us went to Culvers for a late supper.  We just were enjoying the fellowship of kindred minds. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024


 As today was Berean day and Ruth was going to be a little late we did not walk but met at mom's at 8:00 am. Ruth, mom and I left at 8:15 am for the Berean office and had a wonderful time working with those wonderful volunteers. If you would like to read about our morning at the Berean office click HERE. When we got home around 11:45 Mark was busy spreading gravel around the barn. 

He would dump a bit them back up while using the bucket to flatten it into the ground.
I went to the stall barn and was surprised to see how much snow is still on the ground on the North side of the barn. 
I just got one stall cleaned today.
I need to buy a pallet load of bedding to start preparing for foaling season. I can use some of the 2 year old hay bales for bedding as we have no straw and haven't seen any for sale this year. Lily is due March 20th but will almost certianly deliver early so I want the stalls ready by the first week of March and will get her then.  Fedi took the horse trailer to his place today to do some welding. As soon as that is finished I'll go to TSC to pick up the bedding and then Lily.
Below is a little bit of history of our family (my mom's brother) that was published in the 
New Jersey newspaper "The Record" 1970.
Since that article was written about my mom's brother of course I needed to write something about dad's side of the family.
During  some of our Meister family reunions we sang this song: 
I've got a beautiful family just take a look at our tree. There you will see the best story written in history. Jacob was one of our founders, though I don't know him at all. They say that he was a fine man and that he started us ALL. (there were more verses but I don't remember them)Today I saw an article about grandpa's mom.  Obituary of Mary Meister (wife of Jacob Meister) elder in the ACCN congregation in Harper, Kansas from 1906-1937) I'm not sure how old he was when he became the elder but if he was put in at 50 years of age he would have been born in 1856. Grandpa Meister was born in 1891. Grandpa would always warn us about leaving a baby outside in the sun, one of his siblings died when they were working out in the fields and the baby got too hot. I don't know how old grandpa was when it happened but he never forgot the trauma of his family going through that.