Monday, October 31, 2011

No trick-or-treaters

 We never have trick-or-treaters back here deep in the dark woods.  It's a long.....road through the dark woods lined with tall trees and branches that peek out; a road like going to the unknown.  The signs read "No trespassing" and "Dogs on Property".  Sadly, the candy will just stay here.  I wonder who might want to eat it.. ummm?

I still decorate the house up for us and any friends who do happen to drop by.  The girls came over for dinner last night, so I strung up all the orange Halloween lights on all the decks.  They really pop out in the Halloween darkness.  We do lock the gate, especially on Halloween.  No pranks, please!

But, once you leave the darkness and enter through the gate, it does open up and you do find our home.  I always try to get Mr. W to leave and go off on adventure with me this time of year, but he likes to stay and build his man fire at the pit, have a few guy friends over for a few beers, and talk the talk.

Gracie, our little pumpkin.  A real goblin-getter!  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Madness

How did I get from an overwhelmingly huge abundance of zucchini to a yard full of leaves in such a short period of time!  Fall is just so crammed full of stuff that has to be done.  The hurrier I get to Git R Done, the behinder I fall (great english, isn't it).  I had barn and dog duty this weekend, and everything else was a hit or miss.  The pastures did get mowed and the horses finally got put back on them on Sunday. 

My goal is to get things from my "to do" list to my "done" list.  I had unexpected company all day Sunday afternoon.  I'm still looking for the things I shoved in all kinds of places. 

The wood arrived and hubby did a good job getting it stacked.

I didn't know when or how I was going to get the hay done.  I called the school agriculture class and found a really great young fella in the FFA to
help me get that put up.  We found a snake already hibernating under the bales we moved. 

There's still so much to get done to winterize the barn.  The horses blankets just came back from being cleaned.  That should have been done months ago.  The fans must come down and be dusted and stashed away for next year.  Hopefully, we'll get to re-do the stalls with new mats before it gets cold.  The yearling has done terrible things to his stall.  He must have bad dreams or something.
Very Upset!
I like to bring Potter to the barn.  Sometimes, he's nice, but mostly, he is just a crazy Jack Russell when he comes up there.  He takes the broom away and tears it up, pulls the hay out of the hay bales, runs off with the muck buckets ... just crazy!  So.... I have to put him in jail (really I just shut him up in one of the stalls until I finish). 

I'm sure all you horse folks know about maple tree leaf toxicity.  The leaves in their wilted state contain a toxic compound that can be fatal to your healthy horses.  We had 3 horses die in our area from maple leaf  (acer rubrum) ingestion a couple of years ago.  My pastures are surrounded by all kinds of trees, and many Red Maple.  We are always checking the pastures to see what has blown in to avoid contamination.

My new stones.  I bought several of these when I was in Blowing Rock recently.  I have right many different animal stones from different crafters around the state.  Really love the look of these out here in the woods.

How about you ~ are you getting it done?  Do you feel a little squirrely, running here and there knowing the holidays are just around the corner?  Feel a little pinched for time lately and not checking things off the list. 

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans " ~ John Lennon

Breath in ~ Breath out
                                        Later, Debi

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Empty Stalls

Jackson - Barn Name
   Rock this Way - Registered Name  
Rolling Stone x Pikor de Mint (Parents)
Breed: German Oldenburg

Ally officially owns this beauty now.  The deal was made.  For me, he never left.  I feel I was tricked a little bit.  So, we are back to 3 full stalls now.  I must admit, however, he is a cutie. 

GOV Inspection - This baby was registered last May in the German Warmblood inspection book.

Look at that trot!! Only a yearling.  All he will do for the next 2 years is grow and do ground work.

His Father
Rolling Stone (pictures x 2) below
Can you see the resemblance?

He has a name now ~ Jackson
We appreciate all of you who offered suggestions.  It was a big help.  Because his father's registered name is Rolling Stone, I had suggested, Jagger (Ha!), but that didn't fly with Ally (she said she once knew a bad horse named Jagger).  
We entered these photos last month of Ace in the Dover Saddlery Photo Contest.  All votes have been entered and winners will be announced soon.  There were many, many, many photos entered in different categories.  Don't think we stand a chance, but I still think he looks awfully handsome. 

Later, Debi

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Favorite Places

North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains

I haven't been real active staying up in the blog world recently.  With extra workload, etc, it's just been hard to keep up with all the comings and goings.  I have dropped in to read what everyone's been doing and seems everyone is so excited with the change in the temperature.  I did manage to sneak in some time in the Blue Ridge Mountains on a couple of occasions - truly my best get-away destination for a little R&R. 

 The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 470-mile scenic road that connects the Shenandoah National Park/Skyline Drive in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.


Blue Ridge Viaduct drive is just gorgeous with the leaf change.
A viaduct is a bridge over land. The quarter-mile long Parkway bridge is called the Linn Cove Viaduct.

We visited the Mast General Store over in Valle Crucis, NC. Golly, what a crowd of people.  This store is the best example of an old general store.  It's been around absolutely forever.  There's the old saying about the store "If you can't buy it here, you don't need it.  You name it, the store has it.  Listened to a little guitar pickin' while we were there. 

I arrived early enough in Blowing Rock to join in on the music on the lawn at the Inn at Ragged Gardens. There was a band and an outdoor bar, hor dourves plates... Ragged  Gardens is a 1900's manor house that has about 12 rooms and suites.  Gorgeous, and just absolutely enchanting in the evening all lite up.   It was decorated seasonally and just out of sight beautiful.

Had to go and visit the Farmer's Market in Boone, NC.  All these little places run together, so it's nothing to get in the car and just drive from one place to the next.  It was cold too, very chilly.  We had our gloves, coats, and scarves on.  Just the best apples around, all the heirlooms by all kinds of names.  We bought a peck of Stayman's.  It tastes like an apple should taste.  Of course, we had to get our pumpkins.  Big, beautiful, North Carolina pumpkins, goodness.   
This little sweet shop is called "The Last Straw".  It is in the village of Blowing Rock, NC.  It is a home and garden store.  Again, seasonally decorated and just waiting for the rush of tourists who fill this small town every fall.  The fall aroma of candles and spices just fill you as you enter, the lovely music (oooh),  and just things you want to touch and wish you could bring home.  You cannot imagine how crowded the town becomes.  You almost have to push to move forward on the sidewalk.  Reservations for dinner - a definite MUST, or you might not eat.    
My most favorite place to visit between Boone and Blowing Rock, NC is a garden center called "the Mustard Seed".  My place - I go nuts in there.  I stay for hours in there looking, touching, making notes, etc.   Customers sometimes think I work there because I stay in there so long.  I'm just going to put some photos up so you can get a feel of this place. There was a Halloween contest going on.  Each employee had to set up a display using pumpkins and plants and was voted on by customers.  I never voted because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  They were all incredible.  I'll show you some of their work too.  

Look at the size of those Mums - I knew I should have brought the truck! 

I could not stand myself in all this wonderland of fall beauty.  They were having a plant sale too.  Oh yes, daughter and I made a few purchases.  She had to drag me away.  I wanted to live there for the rest of October.              
 I hope you can tell what this is.  It's supposed to be a "tipsy" lady who fell into her garden pot.  I actually know women who's legs look like that!!

You can figure this one out - Toy Story.

Nacho Libre  

Doesn't it feel good to get away and see a change of scenery?  I love the stroll through small towns and capture the moments of what makes me happy.  Even if it's for a short while, we own it to ourselves to feed and energize our spirit and leave the day to day behind (if possible).  It was all still here waiting for me when I arrived back home, but for some reason it didn't really bother me.  I needed to feel the brisk mountain air and touch the water in a mountain stream, smell the homemade chocolate fudge and candy apples - and just pinch myself that I was free from the scheduled routine of life even for a little tiny bit. 

Talk to y'all later ~ Debi

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This is their time of the year.  They were so happy to make their appearance and come out from behind doors, up in attics, and standing in barn rooms.  Look at those happy little faces.

This is a little set up as you enter our farm (if you can find us).  It scares the devil out of the horses. 

Have you picked out a pumpkin yet.  I have always been drawn to non-traditional looking ones, like above.  They're just so old fashioned looking all knotty and bumpy, long, oblong, speckled and so forth. 

Going adventuring this weekend ~ Talk later. Debi

Monday, October 3, 2011

Girlfriend Bags

A lot of territory was covered this weekend.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, bordering on downright chilly.  I traveled to a couple of greenhouses including a wholesale greenhouse that was just knock-out incredible with all the color of mums, pansies, ornamental cabbages, etc.  The amazing thing in the greenhouse were the thousands of poinsettias that will be shipped out about the 2nd or 3rd week of November to outlying retail stores.  When they begin to bloom, I'll go back and get some pictures for you.  You just cannot imaging standing in the middle of thousands of poinsettias of red, pink, and white. 

The closest Pier I is closing because they are relocating around the corner.  So, they are clearancing out EVERYTHING.  I have been 4 x's.  Items are now 40-60% off.  When they reopen in their new place the end of this month, they open with holiday stuff (forget fall).

My goal after the yard work this weekend was putting together my girlfriend bags.  There are 6 of us.  Just like blog-land, we're there supportively as friends to talk trash, some good/some bad.  Because I just thank the world for these forever friends, I made them fall goodie bags. 

First going in the bag was a little mini-loaf of my homemade Raw Apple Cake.  I made 8 of these this weekend.  This is my go-to cake to make in the fall.  The house smells like you would like to take a bite out of it with the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with all the apples and nuts baking in the oven.  These are wrapped individually in wax paper and then put in clear cellophane bags.  The recipe is written out on a cute card and attached with my
farm card, and tied with a piece of bailing rope.  It's just the right size of cake for a friend who might share a little with her husband.

These are some other items I have put in the girlfriend bag.  Little bags of candy corn treats, fragrance sachets of Pumpkin & Citrus Spice (yummy smelling), and just the cutest ceramic owl tea light holder, along with spooky light flashing Halloween necklace for fun.  Creative crinkle paper strips in orange and yellow are throw around in and on top of the bag to give it a little festive finish and a tiny magnetic clothespin clip with a little spider, pumpkin or "boo" statement is attached to the handle. 

This is one of the little bags all filled up and tied with a little ribbon on top.  I know they will love it and I have enjoyed so much putting this together for them. They are a special group. We keep each other sane with good laughs, serious talks, sometimes tears, but always walk away knowing someones got your back if you need them.  I hope all of you have friends like that.  We need them in our lives to help feed our souls and give us encouragement ~ a shoulder when we need support, an ear to just listen, arms just for a hug.  Hallmark should have a "Love your Friend Day" shouldn't they?  Why not, there's a day for everything else!  
                            Have a good week everybody ~ Debi

Saturday, October 1, 2011


When will we ever get it all done?  I've waited so long for the arrival of this crisp fall air and now I feel in a panic to get the things done.  This morning the temps were in the 50's ~ that's getting sort of cool, I think.  The air conditioner was turned off and windows open to air out the house (finally).  We still have the friend's dogs, that's 7 dogs totaled, and we're ready for them to go home.  We're ready to get back on OUR schedule.  My work schedule at the clinic was horrendous this past week making me worn out at day's end. I went to bed with the chickens every evening.  

Anywhoooo,  this is the first weekend of October.  The weeds took over one of my flower beds and I really would like to get that taken care of TODAY!  I had picked out my daffodils for fall planting, but need it to get just a tad colder before sticking those in the ground.  Pansies planted today.  My little tiller died on me.  Home boys who opened up a new little fix-it shop said they could fix it, but actually killed it. I took it to a REAL dealer who was going to fix home boys job, which I should have done in the first place.  Just trying to help the local economy sometimes doesn't work ... I'm just saying, okay.  Now today, Little Reds coming home to be junked because to repair it would cost more than the tiller cost. I'm grieving terribly; I loved Little Red. 

There's all this wonderful stuff going on in the community I wish I had time to jump on board and do.  All these fall festivals and stew sales are going on.  The Farmer's Markets have all these nice fall veggies displayed that I would love to scoop up and throw together for a meal this evening.  I visted my friend Sandy's orchard this past week and gathered a bunch of her apples for a great apple cake recipe which I will just have to share with you really soon.  I've already made four mini-loaves this past week for a few friends. The horse lost a shoe, so the farrier will be coming sometime today.   It had slipped my mind about getting fall shots for the horses, so maybe the large animal vet will make a trip out this week.  

It's a huge list of things to do and an even bigger one of the wonderful things I just want to do.  I know many of you feel the same way I do.  I want to breath in this glorious season of fiery orange maples and crisp mornings and not miss one darn minute of it.  We deserve it ~ the summer was brutal.  I hope we all get to do something we truly enjoy this weekend.  See you back later with talk of my weekend.   ~ Debi