Saturday, November 27, 2010

Unpaid product review - NeverKink hose

When we bought the house, I got two 100' hoses. I sort of blindly picked them out at Home Depot - there's not a lot of choice in the 100' heavy-duty hose selection, so I got the ones that said "NEVER KINK" in 400 point font. Guess what?


It's a really despicable lie. It's a brand name, not a product affirmation. The guarantee is a product replacement guarantee - you couldn't pay me to replace the two awful hoses I have with two brand new awful hoses.

Never ever buy the NeverKink brand of hose. They are some of the kinkiest hoses I've ever tried to manhandle into submission. (Dear god, what kind of hits am I going to get from that phrase?) They are extremely stiff, they kink at the slightest provocation, and the connectors are really hard to work. It's apparently impossible to drain a 100' hose, too - despite my careful coiling last weekend, the stupid things froze solid in our cold snap. Yesterday was the last straw - it took me a good 5 minutes to get the damn hose threaded onto the damn hydrant, then when I turned it on water exploded from the connector and soaked me, then no amount of stomping, banging, or cursing would dislodge the ice chunks in the NeverKink hose.

Eventually I gave up and dumped the frozen 18 gallon bucket into the de-icer'd 100 gallon tank. Luckily for everyone, the 4" chunk of ice didn't break the de-icer when it slammed into the tub. There would have been tears, I promise you that.

Today I bought a Goodyear hose. I am pleased to report that it's much more pliable, it screws on to my FF hydrant much more easily, and it doesn't appear to kink as easily. It's only 50', so it doesn't reach the tank, but I took the hacksaw to the wicked NeverKink hose and extended the Goodyear the extra 15' I needed.

Then I coiled the new hybrid hose neatly into the empty 18 gallon tub and took it in the house. I can learn from my mistakes, and I'm not letting the new one freeze.

Yawn, I'm back

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! (Unless you're not American. But then you're missing out - this is the best holiday we have!) I've been keeping up with everybody and it seems like yall all had a good thankful holiday. Go give Andrea a hello, though - she has a lot on her plate right now.

We had some snow earlier this week, then ridiculously cold temps. It was 7 or 8 when I woke up for three mornings in a row - and no, I don't mean 7 am, I mean 7 degrees Fahrenheit! Yuck.

The goats are angry when it snows, and the chickens are confused when it's cold, but Dixie is impervious to everything. I didn't blanket her because she never shivered. That stupid coat may make her too sweaty to compete, but it sure works great for keeping her warm.

Yesterday I built a pair of very handsome sawhorses. I think the wood is fir - it's some re-usable timbers that were part of the junk heap in the backyard. It's too seasoned to nail well, but if I pre-drill the holes it works fine. And they're free, yippie!

I dragged them into the Blue Room. The carpet in there is terrible, so that's going to be my work space for re-doing the doors. I bought new-used doors off of craigslist back when we bought the house, and I haven't gotten around to hanging them yet. But the "walnut" doors in the hall are starting to bug me.

This isn't a very good picture for any purposes, but can you see how the doors are enormous black holes? Hate it!

The current doors are "walnut" hued fake-grained pressboard. The new-used doors are pre-primed heavyweight hollowcore interior doors, with real wood veneers. Much heavier and nicer. I've got replacements for most of the doors in the hallway, but two of them are very small so I'm going to try to refinish them. I'll sand the gloss off, prime, maybe sand again, and paint. I did some test sanding on the door to the Blue Room (it's cracked, so it's coming down no matter what) and it's really hard to sand without roughing up the door so it looks "fuzzy." Anyway, the broken door will be my test piece.

I don't think I showed yall this awesome painting my mom sent for my birthday! It's better than the real Dixie, because in the painting she has a snow-white mane and tail. ;) I really do love this.

I'm thinking about tackling the front room, too. We both thought it was a weird room when we first saw the house. It makes a terrible first impression - it looks very long and narrow, like a giant hallway tacked on the front of the house. There's a full-wall flagstone fireplace against one wall, a lovely triple window in another, and varnished wainscoting and "crown molding" on the third. The fourth wall is the opening to the hall and kitchen and front door. If you're standing by the hall/front door, it looks like the room goes on forever to a distant looming rock pile. Other people don't seem to care, but the trim makes me grit my teeth - it's DOOR TRIM. Stuck on the wall, up against the ceiling. It has nothing in common with real crown molding except its location. The "molding" and the wainscoting are varnished natural wood, and the sheetrock is textured and painted (of course) glossy white. The whole effect is horrendous.


We got out the tape and measured - the room is actually 12 1/2' by 17'. It's plenty big! It's just dominated by bad design choices. You can't tell from the pictures, but every bit of the trim in this room is door trim. Door trim at the bottom of the wainscoting, door trim at the top of the wainscoting, door trim along the edge of the ceiling... gggrrrrrrr...


My plan right now is to finish out the trim correctly, then paint the trim and wainscoting off-white semi-gloss. The wall above the wainscoting will be a bold color - G is leaning toward the oranges and reds, I like the chocolates and tans that complement the flagstones. The other walls will be the off-white version of the bold color. We are sort of thinking "dining room," but I dunno. I am not great at putting furniture in rooms, just making the walls look good. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Things I found

While looking for my truck title:

A typewritten, laminated Blockbuster card
Three empty toilet paper rolls (in a desk drawer)
A bag of Pepperidge Farms cookies (empty, curses)
My birth certificate and expired passport (you should see my hair)
Leases for 5 of the last 6 apartments we rented
My tax return from 1998
My law school diploma
Coggins for every horse I ever owned (and one I never owned)
Four years of Geico proof of insurance cards
Proof of rabies vaccination for Linux, my first Lab
The original lienholder paperwork for my truck
Registration for my truck in TN, MS, and NV
The title for the Yellow Death Trailer

Now I am at the DMV with the paperwork for a replacement title. :(

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Oooh Garmin, I hate you

Friday I had a lovely ride with ~C and the critters. She came out to my place and picked us up, then we headed about 5 miles up the road into Antelope Valley and parked. We took the horses, of course, and the dogs.

The howling winds gentle breezes were still caressing the land, so I wasn't really sure how Dixie would act. She loaded well and even stood well to get her neck clipped. She started off a little giraffe-headed, but we walked for the first couple of miles and she settled into work very well. Diego was completely horrified about C's windbreaker, which was making some alarming crackling snapping sounds, but he eventually got his game face on too.

It's funny how our horses are so different. Dig is completely sweet, a little squirrely, and needs to be asked to slow down in order to calm down. He responds to the normal advice you get about horses - ask him to slow down, ask him to move his feet, get his brain back. Dixie is independent minded and distrustful, and she needs to go faster in order to slow down. If she spooks or starts off hot, I have to let her go forward. Trot or canter, it doesn't matter - she has to have the freedom to move for a few strides. Then I can ask her to slow down, and she will. If I try to boss her around without letting her have those few strides of freedom, we just get in a huge fight and get angry with each other.

Cersei is an old hat at endurance training. She stayed near us the whole time (and kept Diego on edge.) C's dog Molly is much younger and more excitable, so she covered WAY more miles darting off to chase rabbits (and popped back up to keep Dixie on edge.) I don't know how Molly is feeling, but Cersei has been an exceptionally snoozy dog today!

The area is where Rides of March is held, but we took a new trail. It's not really suitable to run a ride over, but it was super cool to train on. We found trees! They were junipers, so they're more like overgrown shrubs, but they're big enough to feel like you're in a very sparse forest. We followed a cow trail up a hill, then found a dirt bike trail, then eventually popped out on this absolutely lovely ridge. The path down was very narrow and dry, so we walked the horses down the hill again. It was SO pretty.

Friday's ride was pretty much my one-year Garmin anniversary. The stupid Garmin Connect site isn't working correctly for me right now, or I'd show you my pitiful stats. Instead, here's the post from a year ago. We really have come a long way, and I'm so proud of Dixie.

Here's Friday's ride. Almost 14 miles, tooling along at a calm steady pace.

Garmin Connect has "teamed up" with Microsoft to "improve" my "experience" by using Bing maps. I hate Bing maps. I like Google Maps, or even topo maps - the whole thing about Nevada riding is the hills! What good is it if I can't see the hills? And it's not like GC was ever very useful to play with aggregate data. The only interesting thing I can tell you is that in the last 365 days, Dixie and I have done 577.49 miles (with the GPS on.)

So I'm looking for a new GPS analysis program for the Mac. I am trialing rubiTrack, TrailRunner, and Ascent. Does anybody know of any other options? All three that I'm trying out seem to have pros and cons, but they use REAL maps and let you play with the data.

Character was built

I'm way behind again all of a sudden, so I'll just write a few posts and catch up...

I hate heights. I'll go a couple months without having to climb on a roof and I'll think I'm misremembering my wussiness, but then I'll get to the top of the ladder and freeze. It's this huge effort of will for me unpeel my monkey fingers from my comparatively safe ladder and stretch precariously over the gaping chasm and get on a stupid slanted roof. Sometimes I just can't do it - if the roof is too high or the pitch is too steep, sometimes I can't physically force myself to get on the roof. A couple times I've gotten on a roof and just frozen there, trying some deep breathing til I can screw up the remains of my courage and get back on the ladder. (The only thing worse than falling, in my twisted brain, would be the humiliation of being rescued by the fire department like a tree'd kitten.)

It's weird that it's just the move from the ladder to the roof. I can climb a 20' ladder carrying a bundle of shingles to the guys on the roof. I can carry up one end of a board, or a gallon of paint and a paintbrush clutched in my teeth. I just freak out getting on the roof.

This is a mostly irrational fear, so it doesn't matter if I'm climbing on a 1:12 pitch roof that's only 10' off the ground. I still hate it. When I set out to fix the run-in roof, I probably spent 20 minutes adjusting my ladder and kicking the run-in and yanking on the decking to make sure it'd hold me. I was like a restless dog trying to figure out exactly where to lay down and snooze. Except I didn't get to snooze!

Here's why the run-in so desperately needed roofing:

I don't think I've ever seen such a complete failure of a roof.

It took me quite a while to rip off the old roof - it was nailed down with more nails than I've ever seen in my life, and I went very slow so I didn't lose any into the pasture.

My new roofing doesn't look too hot.

It's all wavy - the decking underneath is HORRIBLE. It's still solid enough to serve, but you can see it's not nice 4x8 sheets grooved together - it's just all the scrap plywood the previous homeowner could find, cut to any size that would fit between the rafters. I'd love to rip the decking off and Fix it Right, but that would tempt me to rebuild the whole damn run-in. All I need is a dry shelter option for Dixie for the winter - I can do it right later.

Climbing up and down over and over with various tools and supplies made the ladder pretty blase. I cut the roofing to fit in the barage, then rolled it back up and carried it up in perfect lengths - bruised my poor shoulder doing it. Rolled roofing is substantially heavier than a bag of feed! I tarred the edges of each strip, so it should theoretically bond to the decking better and not leak. I only tarred up a pair of ratty gloves and my least favorite pair of jeans - no disasters there.

I ran out of daylight (and energy) that night with only one more strip to go. It was heartbreaking - I really thought I could finish in one day. The next day, I navigated I-80, did a half-day job, navigated the Highway of Death (no commuter traffic and no bikes, wahoo!!!), then got home and got the roof finished. The gentle Nevada breezes had been blowing all day at an entirely moderate 30 mph or so, so I was glad to be done, yay!

I threw all my tools off (except for the box of nails) and took this picture for yall:

I stood proudly at the edge of the roof, having conquered my stupid paltry fear of heights yet again. Another job well done, or done well, or something! My precious angel of a horse would have a dry area to hide from the wicked driving snow! Then I noticed the whole bottom row of roofing was rippling in the wind. Shit!

I spent another hour up there, adding more nails along the south and west edges of the roof. When I'd pulled the old roof, I'd noticed that the previous roof builder spaced his nails like 2" apart. I figured he had a nail gun and got excited or something - I always space nails maybe 4" apart. The more holes you put, the more chances you'll get a leak, etc. But being on that roof in the high winds Thursday really showed me WHY there were so many nails...

Another job done. Another irrational fear beat down. Another pair of gloves consigned to the dustbin.

PS - Dixie, of course, stood out in the snow all night. But it makes ME feel better, and the goats seem to like it...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Highway of Death

I thought I was working today, a one-day thing in Incline Village, so I got up early to head over the mountains to Tahoe. ~C and Zach will laugh at this post - all the locals are totally blasé about this stuff.

Do you read travel adventure books? You know how the author invariably ends up in a third-world mountainous country, trying to get from City A to City B via what the local government considers to be a highway? It's a too-narrow road, with buses, trucks, motorbikes, and ancient little third-world-country cars all zooming up and down it at top speed. There are numerous shrines to victims of the road, usually bus plunges (named for the typical headline in the NYT: "bus plunge in Paraguay kills at least 37"). The natives are so numb to the death all around them that they take the highway like it's a NASCAR oval, while the author whimpers and pees his/her pants in terror.

I am the author, and Mount Rose Highway is my bus plunge road. It is the twistiest awfulist switchback nightmare. Two lanes, with semis roaring up and down it, angry commuters inches off your bumper, and bicyclists. Fucking bikes! I am all for sharing the road and bike commuting and crazy endurance biking hobbies, but there are some roads that aren't SAFE to share, and that's one of them.

There are no bike lanes, so you'll come whipping around a corner with a line of cars inches from your bumper, and there's a half-dead gasping wobbling biker on the white line and a logging truck riding the yellow line screaming toward you and you realize this is it, you're done for. You suck in all the muscles of your body like you can make your pickup narrower by holding your breath and somehow squeak between the two. Slam your foot back down on the gas, because that asshole in the Yaris is even closer now, and get ready for another turn...

Look! Look at this ridiculous bullshit! This is 3000' feet of elevation gain in about 4 as-the-crow-flies miles. The only way you know you're still in America is the nice asphalt and towering 8' snow poles.

So anyway, I got up extra early and drove all the way through town and got on Mt. Death Highway and headed up it. Then I saw the chain signs. Yes, the scrolling text sign warned me that I'd have to chain up in 11 miles. I slammed on the brakes and made the quickest U-turn of my life. I have chains, in the garage at home, but there is NOTHING in Tahoe important enough for me to chain up and take Mt. Rose Highway.

Fortunately, when I called my temp agency to tell them I was going to be late, they double-checked and informed me that I'm a week early. The Incline Village job is next week.

A Nevada fall ride

Yesterday I rode over to D & B's house and we trailered out to Red Rocks. D is an endurance rider who had to take this year off - life gets in the way. She took a cute bay Arab mare. Her husband B just likes to ride, and he took a super cute dark bay Anglo-Arab mare, pretty green. We rolled along at a good clip and had a great time.

Here's the Garmin. You can tell that Dixie got hot and tired in the last couple of miles - she was drenched in sweat by the time we got back. Not really blowing hard, just totally sweaty. (I did remember to bring her cooler!) She is hairy like a damn yak. I think she's in fantastic shape for a normal horse and mediocre shape for an endurance horse, but I'm ok with that. It's the end of our season - I'm not doing any SW or PS rides this year.

(I'd love to do Desert Gold or Death Valley Experience some year! I don't know if I will, at least not on Dixie - I would absolutely have to clip her, and then I'd have to blanket her, and ugh. It seems like a lot of responsibility. She has amazing hair that keeps her perfectly content in the sleet and snow, and if I fuck with it, I'm going to have to keep her equally comfortable.)

I was extremely pleased with how well our three mares got along. D's mare really wanted to be in front, and she made nonstop nasty faces at the other two when they dared to pass or get too close. B's mare is green, and she would periodically break into a canter (with that little happy-horse half-buck) and zoom past us. Dixie - yall, I can't believe this. Dixie did not make faces. She didn't fight to pass. She didn't velcro her nose to another horse's butt and refuse to pass. She stood tied to the trailer IN BETWEEN the other two mares and didn't squeal or glare, even when B's mare was eating out of her hay net. She did bite B's mare on the nose, very calmly, for trying to shove her nose into the same square of the haynet that Dixie was eating out of.

Both my friends wore Renegades - D's mare had them on the fronts and B's mare had them on all four. D lost a boot pretty catastrophically about 8 miles in. The cable broke, so the boot part flapped loose and the captivator held it on her ankle. Everybody freaked out and took off in a canter for a couple strides but came right back down to us. I had the most carabiners and D rings, so I got to carry the boots back after that :)

Dixie went barefoot, because I know the trails out there and I'm just so pleased with her feet right now. It's funny how even booted-barefoot people keep a close eye on bare-barefoot people. We were walking up a sand road and Dixie wandered off into the ditch and kept walking. D said "are her feet sore?" I said I didn't think so, she didn't feel off or unconfident. I let her keep walking up the ditch, and not 30 seconds later she stopped to pee, then scrambled back up onto the road.

Stuff we saw: four birds fighting. They were too far away to really see colors, but I think it was two crows/ravens harassing a pair of golden eagles - it sounded like creaky crow voices, and the bigger birds were HUGE. We saw cows - everybody had to stop and stare for several minutes, then sneak past them. We saw snow - it spit snow on us all day. And on my ride over to D & B's, Dixie and I faced down the deadliest of enemies, the llama.

There are two houses in that subdivision with llamas/alpacas, but I never can remember where they are, so I keep stumbling upon them. At least this time I saw the llama first, so I could slow Dixie down and start talking to her. When she spotted it, she froze and started snorting hard. The llama was making that hack-up-a-lugey sound and it had its ears pinned at us. There was a tense faceoff for probably a minute before Dixie unfroze and I could ask her to keep walking. When we got even with the llama, she saw two donkeys behind it and thought about freaking out again, but I yelled at her about how they're just damn donkeys and she likes donkeys. She kept going, then a dog charged us from its yard on the other side of the road and she skittered a bit, then gave one of those incredibly loud snorts and got over it. Such a good girl these days!

I am thinking about Rides of March already. Should I clip for that? She had a thick coat for it this year, and the weather was super warm and she sweated a ton. Winter will be mostly over by then, at least the kind of winter I worry about. I'm ok with blanketing through a couple of freak snowstorms in March/April.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A gallop and a finished project

Yesterday my poor trimmer showed up. "Poor" as in, he has to trim Dixie, not "poor" as in bad workmanship! Dixie was a horrible wicked cow of a horse - it had snowed the night before, so everything was white, the universal color of evil. And she's in heat, because she's not the kind of mare who believes in taking breaks for winter. Anyway, Jim couldn't even get her back feet trimmed. She just would not stand still for anything. I tried all the usual tricks to make her move her feet and listen to me, but I never could get her to put her head down and listen. He said he'd call the next time he's in the area, and I said I'd try to get the backs trimmed before then.

Her feet looked amazing. Even with five weeks almost completely off, her fronts weren't flared at all. The backs are belled out at the quarters, which is pretty typical for her. I had big plans of taking pictures of her amazing feet, but that didn't happen either. Maybe tomorrow?

Dixie was such a cow, and it was such a pretty day, so I went for a ride that afternoon. Terror lurked behind every bush but we pressed on down our usual pit loop. Once I got her actually moving, instead of freezing to stare at absolutely nothing a human eye can see, she wanted to canter, but I wasn't having any of that nonsense. I insisted she rack and pace for a couple miles in the valley. By the time we turned for home she was actually paying attention to the trail instead of giraffing along in a panic about nothing, so I let her canter. Then I figured what the hell and let her open up a bit.

I guess I'm scared to gallop for two reasons: that the horse won't stop and that the horse will trip and we'll both die. I've spent long enough, almost a year now, working on rating her speed up and down - I can get her to slow back down. And as long as she's paying attention, she's ridiculously surefooted over horrible terrain. I screwed up my courage and let her rip down a mostly sandy road and tried not to think about her tripping over a tiny pothole. Obviously, she was fine! I need to shorten up my stirrups another notch, but I was also fine and I can't wait to do it again. :)

She was pretty lathered when we got home, so I put her cooler on and left her tied while I did some pre-feeding chores. She was still sweaty, so I turned her out with the cooler on. That didn't go so well. Dixie was pretty indignant that I'd left this stupid blue thing on her and she glared at me and started rolling. Flopped down in the first rolling area, rolled for a while, leapt to her feet. Walked 15 feet to the next rolling spot, flung herself down, rolled furiously, leapt up. I started laughing when she headed for the next rolling spot, glaring at me the whole way. I am pretty dumb, but even I can take a hint - I took the cooler off (and she quit rolling!)

Today's momentous news: I finished the den. Got the last third of the trim painted, put the curtains on new sturdier brackets, put some handles on the closet doors, and rearranged the furniture. It looks badass, except for all the crap on the coffee table, which is why you get no pictures of the room. Tomorrow I'll clean the coffee table and take glamour shots!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mountaintop update

So I broke down and temporarily patched the barage. I didn't fix it, and I sure didn't fix it right. I thought about just not following up on the previous post but that seems like cheating somehow.

Here's what I considered:

I don't have a house jack or a Sawzall. That's, mmm, $200 in tools. I can work around the jack by building a brace out of 2x4s, and I originally thought I could work around the sawzall by pulling or hacksawing the nails holding the studs to the bottom plate. (Yes, I will use the tools in the future, but right now, it's better to have money in the bank than to have tools for a future calamity.)

The rot isn't very extensive at all. The lower plate is rotten for a couple feet and I'd like to replace about 8' of it. The board above it, the upper lower plate I guess you'd call it, is waterstained but feels nice and hard, not squishy with rot. None of the studs are rotten, and the insulation isn't even ruined.

But I'm not sure I can get the rotten board out without a sawzall! Actually getting the board out to replace it is much more involved than I thought. All the extra work plus the minor nature of damage let me just spray for bugs and cover the hole back up without feeling too guilty.

See, the bottom of the two boards in the bottom plate is sitting inside a little L-shaped lip of concrete. It's going to be difficult to pry it out if all goes well, and it's going to be horrible if it's bolted to the concrete.

From the outside you can see two boards:
Outside of barn

But from the inside, there's a lip of concrete and only one board showing.
Inside of barn

My first rule for home repairs is a modified Hippocratic oath: "First, do not make it worse." I can't fix everything, and some things are really not worth the time/money it would take to repair them. (See: the rattling water pipe that's not attached to a stud inside our fiberglass shower insert.) If I have the right tools and no looming time constraints, I can fix the barn right - but if I hurry I might end up making it worse.


I love Throwback at Trapper Creek, but her area is so wildly different from mine that is usually leaves me jealous or confused. Here's a recent post, which I agree with totally in principle but I just can't apply in practice.

She has cows, one horse, and laying hens. Everybody's pastured when the grass is good, with rotational grazing for the four-leggers and chicken tractors for the hens. Pasturing works the manure into her beautiful grass. In the winter, she deep beds everybody and ends up with beautiful compost in the spring. Doesn't that sound awesome?

But how on earth do I modify that to work out here?

I have the one horse, who's easy to pick up after. (Really, there is nothing easier than scooping horse poop off of sand.) The goat poop ranges in size from very small to really tiny, and my manure fork can't pick it up. Are there goat poop forks? Does everybody else just ignore it? Goats don't poop much compared to horses, but I'm still concerned that the whole pasture will be carpeted in goat berries by the spring.

The other piece of the puzzle here is the wind. It's often windy, and it's occasionally incredibly windy. I think if I lived somewhere else, I could deep-bed the whole chicken run with shavings and capture the manure that way, but it's not an option here. I am considering buying a couple bales of straw and trying that, but I'm not sure it'll work.

There are a lot of farm/homesteading blogs about raising animals in more temperate climes, but I haven't found a single desert blog yet. I know I'm not the only person to raise backyard animals in the high desert, but surely I'm not the first one to write about it? Share some links if you've got them, please!

My compost experiments continue. It's been another frustrating experience - most compost articles are written for home gardeners who collect their potato peelings and lawn clippings and store them in a tiny bin. There's some stuff on county extension and .edu sites about small-scale farm composting - but they always have bedding mixed in with the manure. All the stats on carbon:nitrogen ratios assume you've got some straw or shavings in with the manure, and all the sites give different ratios for horse manure.

I tried one heap with sagebrush mixed in with the manure. It got hot pretty quickly, then cooled off and won't heat back up no matter how much I turn it or water it. It doesn't look done, but I am disgusted with it and ignoring it for now. My second heap is 95% manure. There's some shavings from the old chicken house, and some paper shreds from the paper shredder, and our tiny amounts of home compostables. I've watered it enough to break down the balls and keep the inside pretty moist, and I turned it last week for the first time. Much to my shock, it was steaming! I turned it more thoroughly last night, and it's uniformly hot and cooking! So there's one puzzle piece in place: just horse manure and water makes good compost.

And my last poop-related complaint: Once I manage to produce some compost, how the hell do I garden out here? I can build raised beds with cold frames, if I need to, but I don't know if I need to. The sun is so bright - should I site my garden beds near the buildings and fences so they get partial shade? Does sand + compost = dirt? What can I mulch with that won't blow away? This is all very confusing :(

Friday, November 5, 2010

So beautiful

Last night I thought the sunset behind Dixie was really pretty. I don't usually notice clouds to the north.

Then it got prettier to the west!

Then it just got absurd. It looked like the crappy airbrushed t-shirt you bought when you were 12 to prove you went to Florida over the summer.

Eventually it faded out to a sort of gorgeous bruised color, if a bruise could ever be gorgeous.

That night I got the cats really stoned on catnip and the Weird One came up on the couch, purred a lot, and snuggled up with me. (He's really odd; this is extraordinary behavior for him.)

Today I loved on my fat horse for a while. She told me she was very itchy and needed extra scratching. Unfortunately she's white so extra scratching just brings up the dirt from her coat.

Fat fat dirty girl. (How do I tell what kind of searches get me hits? I bet I get some confused clicks from that phrase.)

She was sure the phone was actually edible.
IMG_1482 IMG_1483 IMG_1484 IMG_1485

Poor starving pony.

Then the sun set and it was fabulous again.

Tomorrow I'll put up a real post, I promise. :)