Thursday, December 30, 2021

Going to the Dogs

Some of the Christmas lights at mom's were taken down this morning before heading home.  The apartment guests were out petting the horses and since yesterday I showed them how to feed the horses they did it themselves today.  They have an 11 year old horse loving daughter so that was exactly what they wanted to do.  Karin sent me a grocery list for mom's house since I was going to Aldi this morning.  I got there just as they opened and about had the store to myself. It is shocking how much all food is going up in price.  I didn't buy very much and spent over $100.00 and didn't buy any meat or eggs. As soon as I got home I started making the candy for the New Year's Eve party at Joan's tomorrow. I made chocolate covered peanuts and white chocolate covered pretzels. Those were put out on the front porch to cool.

Once cool were put in the containers.
I was cleaning up the kitchen when Mark arrived home. The dogs were glad to see him. 
We seem to be going to the dogs around here.  We took out the dog door as there is a winter storm moving in on the 1st of January with lots of blowing snow.  Both dogs have been very good about letting me know when they want out.
Speaking of dogs yesterday after our dinner at mom's I was taking her to her chair, looked over at the table and there was a very naughty Miss Molly cleaning up mom's bib.
Molly knows she isn't allowed on the table but mom had some remnants of fried chicken in the fold of that bib. That was just too much of a temptation for Molly.  

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Walter Paul Schwind

 Ruth sent us a text last night that Rebekah was in labor and Rebekah announced the birth of her son today.  Meet Walter Paul Schwind.

He is named after 2 of his grandfathers. He was born at 10:01 pm weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and is 19 inches long. His siblings Jordan, Riley and Blair were thrilled to welcome their new little brother home. 
No walk this morning, it was just not very nice weather and since Diane isn't here to insist the rest of us kind of forgot on purpose.  I left for Sam's Club at 7:30 am in order to get there at 8:00 am the opening time. I bought a few things for the big new years eve party that will be held at Joan's house. Anyone wanting to come it starts after church on Friday evening. On the way home I stopped at Phil and Anna's to pick up Pax who will be staying with us for a few days. He was thrilled to be here and Rizzy was not real thrilled to see him but they soon settled down. I needed to finish the apartment before the next renters arrived which went well. The only problem was the last renters had broken the closet door in the bedroom. It wasn't their fault, it is a folding door that comes off the hinge pretty easy. Once that was fixed I headed over to mom's to take Ruth's place for the rest of the day so she could go play with her new grandson.  Phil and Anna's family along with Nolan and Sarah's family spent the day at the Ark Encounter. Pictures of that are posted below.

It looks like they are having a wonderful time.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The First Snowfall Winter 2021

 Mom and Karin slept in this morning. I took the golf cart over at 7:15 am and all the lights were out and the house quiet. After feeding the birds quietly off mom's balcony I headed home.  It started snowing around 9:00 am. Rizzy was having fun running around the yard in the snow.

 At 10:30 Joan, mom and I left for mom's doctor appointment. The roads were very slushy and snow covered so the drive took about 45 minutes.  That went well except they could not assure us that mom would be able to keep the hospital bed and wheel chair. That depends on her insurance company.  When it came time to leave mom's car wouldn't start. The battery was dead. Joan found a man in a truck that was willing to give us a jump and we drove straight to a repair shop. They checked out the battery discovered it was guaranteed for 2 years and was only a  year old and replaced it for free.  Below mom and I are waiting in the car while Joan helps the mechanic with the battery. 

By this time it was around 1:30 and we were all hungry for lunch.  We stopped at Arby's and all of us ordered a Greek gyro and ate it on the way back to the lake. Joan's kids made a small snowman on mom's balcony to welcome her home. 
I took these pictures and the video below before heading over to mom's at 10:25 am.

I had to include the stop sign for a little bit of color as everything else is in black and white today.
This first snowfall looks so fluffy and white.  
 As soon as I got home I needed to head up to the barn to start cleaning the apartment. The bedding was stripped and taken down to the house and the machines started then the garbage taken over to the dumpster before heading back up to the apartment to clean.  That was finished about the time Mark got home from work.  For supper tonight we had the last of the left over steaks.  About that time the apartment booked again. Three people will be moving in tomorrow for 2 nights. They will be leaving on Dec 31st and the next family is moving in on the 31st. I'm sure glad Anna has two sets of bedding for everything!

Monday, December 27, 2021

More Bookings

 I started laundry before running over to mom's house. When Ruth came I left straight for the Peoria post office to pick up the Berean mail. There was so little mail that we decided to call Berean off for tomorrow. As soon as I got home all of the apartment laundry was taken up and the finishing touches done so the apartment was ready to rent and shockingly it did. The guests are a man and wife and the wife loves horses. They asked if the horses would be out so they were sent a message back of the name and breed of each horse on the property. Right now we just have Valiant, Evan, Sally, Sheena and Rockaway. The rest of the herd is at Middle Grove.  When Mark got home we worked on the back door of the indoor arena. Mark took some bolts off and was able to get the doors shut and locked for the winter.  We have been wanting to get that done as most of our storms come in from the West and with those big doors open the driving rain can reach the hay bales.  I was able to shut them partially by myself but was not ever able to get them close enough to lock so I was very glad Mark figured out how to get that job accomplished.  While working outside another booking came in for a family of 5 who are staying for 2 nights checking in on New Years Eve and leaving Jan 2nd. I sent them a message asking if they needed an airbed but they haven't answered yet. At 1:00 pm the service man for Mediacom arrived to find out why our internet is not working properly.  It was terribly slow and the wifi wasn't working well. It turned out that when Mark signed up for a new package with higher quicker download and upload speeds our modem isn't handling it well. Phil was sent a text and he will order a new modem. After the service man left Sally was taken out and teased and again covered.  She needed to be covered by tomorrow morning as it was yesterday morning for her last cover but tomorrow will be too busy.  Joan and I need to take mom to her doctor to get her signed up for Palliative care now that she has been kicked off Hospice, so we can keep her bed and wheel chair. Ruth stayed with mom and today made an exercise chart for her. We can look at that chart and encourage mom to keep up with her therapy once Ruth goes back to work.  Mom had a good day today.  We had a damp cloudy chilly day but down at Gulf Shores it is sunny and 75 degrees. Everyone there is getting lots of sunshine and keep sending back beautiful beach videos. I think they are trying to make all of us a little jealous. That may be working too.  I made a pot of chili for supper and right now I have the wood burner burning brightly. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Another Christmas Day

We were in a fog this morning. It was so thick that we could hardly see the new barn from the house. 

Sally was teased and when still in covered by Valiant before heading over to the cabin to feed Dancer and Sheena. It almost seemed as if today was another day of Christmas. We got to go to church again, Mike Kaisner had the message on right after the birth for the morning and Tim Funk had the afternoon message. We had just gotten home from church when Joan called. She was on her way home and saw a loose mare in the field next to Evan. Sure enough Dancer had escaped the cabin field again and Sheena was again all by herself all worked up about being left alone. Dancer was put in with Sally and Rockaway before heading over to get Sheena. They were all put in together until I could get the waterer going in the middle paddock.

Above are Dancer and Sheena.
Of course they all had to rush around. Below is Sally who was covered this morning.

Rockaway just stood off to the side watching them run around.
Ruth had her kids coming over for dinner tonight so I headed over to be with mom around 2:30 pm. Our renters at the apartment sent a message they were checking out tonight instead of tomorrow morning as they wanted to get an early start. They told me they loved the stay and will plan on coming back later.  Anna was sent a text and she came right over to start the cleaning. Because of the 3 dogs that stayed she needed to wash all the bedding in the apartment so had both my washer going and the apartment washer.  We served all left overs at mom's for dinner tonight but all of those left overs were really delicous. Just as we finished our meal came the big surprise. All of Spark and Rhonda's family arrived to sing Christmas carols. 

 It was wonderful having carolers come to the house. After getting mom to bed I headed straight up to the apartment to change the washer and dryer then to my house to change those machines. The last load of sheets are now in the washer. Today really was just like another day of Christmas minus the presents.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas 2021

 Mark and I were up really early Christmas morning well actually it started very late last night. Our smoke alarm went off. That woke us before midnight. Mark got up to check everything and even thought he smelled smoke but there was no fire. We had not had the wood burner going as the evening and night were mild. Honestly I never got out of bed on that alarm but went right back to sleep. Around 3:30 am the alarm went off again. This time I thought I smelled smoke. Mark stayed in bed but I went searching and again found nothing. I ended up falling asleep on the recliner chair while on duty. After that very disturbed night be both overslept not waking until 6:30 am. Of course that meant a rush to get everything done before leaving for church at 9:30 am.   Church was a blessing. Sarah and Nolan brought Zion, Eden and River. It was such a joy to sit with them during Christmas service. Craig Stickling had that.  After church Zion and Eden came home with us to help decorate Christmas cookies. 

They had fun and those cookies ended up with SO many sprinkles. They took this job very seriously. If you would like to see the rest of the cookie pictures click HERE.  At 2:30 we headed over to Joan's house for Christmas dinner.  Mark grilled the steaks out on her porch. The dinner was delicous.
Nancy sure enjoyed it and cleaned her plate quickly.  Joan had made fudge which was added to the Christmas cookies and pumpkin dump cake for our dessert.  Braelyn, Taegan and Kensley enjoyed playing Christmas dress up at Joan's.

After dinner I took Nancy home while Mark cleaned up the kitchen. As soon as I got back from Morton I drove straight to mom's to help her get ready for bed.  I took the picture below of the Christmas lights on mom's balcony with Joan's house in the back ground across the lake.
Tomorrow mom wants all of her Christmas decorations put away so this will be the last night to enjoy them.  This Christmas was a hard Christmas. Mom would have preferred to be in Gulf Shores with all of the family down there. They are having beautiful 75 degree sunny weather and today lots of the kids were playing in the Gulf Waters.  Greg was catching huge whitefish and the rest were getting lots of beach time. We are still very thankful we can celebrate the birth of Jesus even if we can't be together. Jesus really was the best gift EVER!

Friday, December 24, 2021

60 Degrees on Christmas Eve

 We awoke to a beautiful morning that turned into an even more beautiful day.  I headed out around 7:00 am and discovered Sally in front of Valiant's paddock. She is in season so heavily she couldn't make herself move even when I went to get a halter on her. 

Dancer was also here but Sheena was having a fit still at the cabin field. Both Dancer and Sally were put in with Rockaway so I could head over to help mom get ready for the day.  When Ruth came I was able to take Dancer back over to be with Sheena and grained all the horses.  Sally is 20 years old and has beautiful tall foals with tons of hair when bred to Valiant so we decided to give her one more chance for a beautiful baby and had her covered. She stood very well. We shall see if she conceives. As soon as I cleaned up I drove to Sam's club to pick up things we needed for mom's house and when back started baking cookies. I only frosted a few and will leave the rest for the kids coming tomorrow to help with that.  I have lots of frosting and sprinkles.
Evan's paddock needed a new round bale and Mark had the tractor out moving logs with the bale spear so gave me a hand and brought the bale over.
If you don't believe he was moving logs with the bale spear I have proof.
Ruth wanted to go shopping one more time before Christmas so I headed back to mom's but when I got there she had mom practicing standing up.  
Once Ruth left I stayed with mom until she finished her shopping. When I got back the pumpkin dessert for tomorrow was baked then started supper. Tonight we splurged and had surf and turf, we had grilled ribeye steaks, sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, salad, crab pieces dipped in butter and a cookie for dessert.
After dinner the pumpkin dessert was taken out of the oven to cool. Not quite half is topped with pecans and the other half is just crumble as a lot of the kids don't like nuts.
It was such a pleasure to be able to work outside without heavy winter coats. I could get used to this nice warm December.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Raising Prices

 This morning was bookwork time. The website had to be updated and unfortunately after going over all the bills (grain bills, hay bills, bedding bills, insurance bills and vet bills) We HAD to raise the prices on our foals. We have kept the price of them the same for almost 15 years.  We now have inflation like we have NEVER seen before.  The price of everything has gone up tremendously except the hay since we raise most of that ourselves, but even that went up as the farmer that puts the hay up had to raise all of his prices. At least the round bales didn't double in price like the grain.  I've always tried to keep our prices reasonable, wanting to help anyone that always had the dream of owning a Friesian a chance to make that dream come true. The next job was another bookwork and this was to write down all the miles used on the truck for horsemeister. I had done a rough estimate but Mark wanted dates and miles which meant going through the blog for the year.  I know it would be simpler to just write the miles down when driving but that doesn't happen. I'm just not that organized. By the time all of that was done it was my turn to head over to mom's house.  Ruth was with mom this morning and sent an amazing video of mom sitting in the wheel chair and holding on to the banister of the stairs and pulling herself up from sitting to standing position. Ruth is amazing!  She is always looking for new ways for mom to improve.  We had a nice warm day with sunshine and the temperature reaching 52 degrees. When Mark got home he went right to work on splitting the last of the logs from the silver maple tree that keeps losing it's huge limbs right in our yard. We sure didn't have to go looking for wood this year.  On another note Valiant is getting plump again. Each breeding season I struggle to keep weight on him. He runs the fenceline calling to the mares sure they are all here for him.  

He also spends hours glaring at Evan.  Of course Evan glares right back at him but Evan stays in good weight. Evan never seems to lose weight even during breeding season. He is content to eat while watching the mares.  The picture above is of Valiant and below of Evan about the same time of year but both were taken a few years ago. Evan has much more hair now.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Poor Pitiful Rockaway

 The morning was cold, hovering around 24 degrees. Mark got up during the night and kept the wood burner going so the house was nice and warm.  I took the golf cart up to check on Rockaway. He saw me coming and came running up wondering where his friends were.  He was fed then left in that paddock until later this afternoon as I couldn't find a halter quickly and it was already after 7:00 am.  Joan is now back from Gulf Shores and came on the walk to tell us all about her vacation.  Diane told us they were planning on leaving for Gulf Shores around 1:00 pm today so we won't see her until next year.  I had the morning free. Joan and Ruth took mom to the dentist at 9:30 am.  They will be finishing the dental implants soon but today needed to make molds for the crowns. She was easily able to tolerate sitting in the dentist chair for over an hour.  Rizzy (Israel and Elisabet's dog) is enjoying her vacation at grandma's. She has been chasing rabbits then taking naps on the couch. 

She really is a good dog. At 1:00 pm I headed over to mom's to meet with Vicki the social working who was here to kick mom off Hospice.

Well officially she isn't off until December 25th at midnight. We have an appointment with mom's regular doctor next Wednesday to get her placed on Palliative care. The problem with that is the hospital bed and wheelchair are from Hospice.  We told mom at midnight Christmas she loses her bed and would have to sleep on the floor.  Vicki was quick to explain, "no no Palliative care will let you keep the bed and wheelchair."  Of course we laughed.  Hospice has been wonderful and we really appreciated all they did for us.  After Vicki left I needed to head up to the barn to move Rockaway so he could see the two stallions.  He was put in Ribbon's old paddock and went right to work checking all the buckets. This poor pitiful weanling is missing his buddies. It isn't often we only have 1 weanling all alone. 

Of course I put grain in 2 of them to give him something to do. Notice those two white things by his feet? Those are ice chunks that had to be dumped out of the buckets.  He even had to check out the bucket I brought the grain in. 
At 4:30 I started supper as tonight was my night to bring dinner over to mom's house.  Tonight we had chicken stir fry with fried rice and egg rolls. We had an enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Two Leave One Left

 It was just me and the dogs this morning for the walk.  Joan is still gone, Ruth was due a little later and Diane didn't come. 

I didn't walk long and had time to stop at Sam's club to buy more of steaks, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and lettuce for our Christmas dinner. It was plenty cold to leave them in the car while I worked at Bereans. If you would like to read about our morning there click HERE. I was on the way home when the phone rang. I couldn't answer it as I was still driving so when I reached the Hanna City post office to drop off the Bibles I called the number back. It was the owner of the two foals leaving today. He wanted to tell me the transport company said they were just 2 hours away about an hour earlier.  I had to rush home but even before getting into the house the phone rang again and it was the transport company telling me they were about 20 minutes away.  I quickly changed out of my t shirt and new jean skirt the kids gave me and rushed up to the barn to put halters on the weanlings leaving.  They were brought into a stall to wait for the truck and trailer.
Sterling is in the green halter and Morgana is in the red halter.
It wasn't long before their transportation arrived. They were given that nice big box stall in the middle of the trailer.
Now I just had to convince the weanlings it was fine to walk on a ramp.  Sterling was a little afraid so I took Morgana first, she walked straight up without any hesitation. When Sterling saw her walk in he was quick to follow.  The ramp was closed and I walked out the side door into the tack room but stopped to take a picture of them before leaving the trailer.
Rockaway was sad to see them leave. He called for a bit then settled down to eat hay. IF anyone is interested in him he really is a good boy. He will be very tall as Valiant is his sire and Lola is a big mare. He will also be easy to train. He stands tied, leads and loads and he doesn't kick. 
If interested he is for sale for just $4000.00. He is registered with FHHI papers are in hand and he has a current coggins. I'll be moving him into the middle paddock tomorrow, that way he will be able to see both of the stallions and won't be so alone. Ruth decided we needed to figure out a way to get mom down the basement if we get another tornado warning.  She decided to try the wheel chair outside going down to the beach. She sat in it and I tried to take it down and we did ok for the first two steps but the third step was steeper and also at a turn, the wheel chair started tipping, Ruth started yelling and I started laughing as she was trying to get out but couldn't. I couldn't get the wheelchair upright until we finished going down the step. We were both exhausted and was just hoping Karin wasn't watching taking pictures. At the end we decided IF it had to be done there would be a way but ONLY if there were two strong persons working together. There is a lady selling fresh eggs between Trivoli and Hanna City. She contacted me about buying some but I only had a dollar on me.  I drove over to mom's and borrowed $4.00 but right about then Mark got home and had a five on him so I grabbed that and drove to pick up the eggs then returned mom's $4.00 when I got back. Tonight for dinner we had an omelet. Not just any omelet this one was loaded with sausage, mushrooms, onion, peppers, spinach and cheese. I made a 6 egg omelet and put a 3rd away for Mark's breakfast tomorrow. It was delicious! Nothing like eggs laid this morning from free range chickens.