Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Golden Crown

I'm not talking about the kind of golden crown that goes on top of your head, rather the kind that goes inside your head (your mouth). I finally got my new permanent tooth today.
And talk about perfect timing! Yesterday I flossed wrong and popped the temporary out (again). But as you can see my new golden crown is in.

My husband came home just as I was leaving for my dentist appointment. His appointment on the other side of the Cascades went well. His next appointment over there is in two months. My next appointment here is tomorrow. It's time to get my breasts pressed!

But on to more pleasant things! I've been making our own bread lately, rather than buy it. I'm not sure why. Maybe just for something to do? Anyway, I've been having a hankering for lox and bagels. Our local Ray's doesn't seem to carry lox so that will have to wait till my next trip to Redmond and the Fred Meyer. (When I asked a clerk at Ray's for "lox" she walked me over to the "hardware" section. I realized she thought I said "locks" and when I tried to explain I meant "lox" she looked a little confused and said if they had it, it would be in the fish section. It wasn't in the fish or deli. ☹)

So I looked in my "Bread Bible" book and the recipe in there called for an ingredient I thought I had but didn't. I checked my trusty Betty Crocker cook book and it had a much simpler recipe that most importantly I had all the ingredients.
Okay, so they didn't look so pretty but they didn't taste half bad. I'll need a little practice to make them look better. Hubby made a white bean and ham soup that was delicious and went well with the fresh bagels.
Now I don't have to be careful about what side I'm chewing on and I can fully enjoy my Hubby-made meals!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

On My Own

Hubby left this afternoon to go to Eugene. He has an appointment tomorrow and with the icy evenings he wanted to make sure he could get through.

I took advantage of his absence to do a little deep cleaning. I started with the rug in the living room/dining area. I used a carpet cleaner I bought about eight months ago and never took out of the box. But I got it put together and figured out and now the rug is clean. Then I started on the kitchen floor. It's a rough ceramic tile that is supposed to look like stone. I don't know when the last time it was cleaned but it was a loooonnnngggg time ago.

Sadly for me after over a year in storage my steam mop decided it isn't going to work any more. That meant I was on my hands and knees with a scrub brush.

Well, I got the kitchen done and I decided I'm done for the day. I still have the island bar area, the entry, and the laundry room to do. I've also decided I'm pretty sure I will get a new steam mop.

I have definitely decided that I'm too old to be scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees.

PS-Because of the road conditions Hubby took the truck so I couldn't get the materials for my chicken coop, something I'd much rather be doing! Another day then.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Oh, what a day we had today. Notice anything different about this picture? The title of this post is the hint!
Today we decided to relocate Dakota's shed. This is where it used to stand.
We moved it up and back a bit more into the trees. Maybe this will shelter it a little better from the harsh winds we got the other day.
Tomorrow I get to attempt to square it up so we can put a new roof on it. The metal sheets that were on there are too wrecked to reuse for this shed. I think I may be able to cut the torn ends off and repurpose the rest for something else though, like maybe for a future chicken coop?

And in case you were wondering, this particular project wasn't much fun. My husband has little to no patience. I think I may have mentioned before how he does not have an engineering mind and he is easily frustrated if he can't see the big picture.

He is scheduled for an appointment with his cancer doctor on Monday. I think that might be a good time for me to start on my chicken coop project!

NOTE TO COUNTY ASSESSOR: I told you that shed was not a permanent structure.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bad Wind Day

Today was a really bad wind day. And I'm not talking about my husband's flatulence which as a side effect of his internal surgery has been known to literally run me from the room. Today we had high winds outside.

We were having coffee and watching tv this morning when we heard a bad sound outside. It wasn't good. We looked out and saw the roof of Dakota's shed was gone. It had just got peeled off the top and was on the ground behind the shed.

You can see here where the metal roof just ripped straight away from the bolts. So much for all the squaring up to get the roof on right. Needless to say, Hubby was way less than pleased. It was an unpleasant morning. We'll just leave it at that.
Monday I spent a little time on the tractor. I moved some rocks over to the railroad tie jump and rebuilt it. It did not get damaged by today's winds. (The left upright fell over, but that was it.)
I also took advantage of my time on the tractor by widening some of the areas next to the jumps. I always intended on having a space next to the jumps so I could just use the path as a track instead of "having" to jump.
This was the little log jump at the top of the track. It didn't survive the wind, but I had intended on making it more secure later anyway. You can see how I cleared the area next to it to widen the trail here.
I don't mind a little wind every now and then but this was not a little wind. I just saw that there is a wind advisory for Crook County until 10 pm tonight. I can't help thinking if my husband had a little more faith in my building abilities the shed I would have built would have still been there without any damage. After all, the tower I built withstood many serious windstorms. (Remember he wanted something manufactured looking. He was afraid whatever I built would have looked shabby. Hmmph!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fence Frustration Finally Finished

How's that for alliteration!!

As you know, we've had quite a bit of irritation regarding our solar electric fence. It worked but not like we thought it should. If you can grab a hold of the line and barely feel a slight shock, then something isn't right.

We tried everything we could think of, like letting it charge in the sun for several days, adding grounding rods, and constantly checking the entire line to make sure no branches were touching it or it was sagging, or whatever!

This was at the early part of our fence fixing fiasco. Dakota is wondering what and why Hubby is there.
More fixing.
Saggy lines.
Tightened up lines. This is the corner at the top of the horse/bull pens.
Looking down the line towards the house from the above corner.
We finally went back to the Big R store in Redmond to look for an electric fence checker. We ended up talking to the guy that sold us the unit. He introduced himself as Skip and was in fact wearing a work shirt with a "Skip" name tag. Skip let us borrow his checker. Turns out the unit we had was not operating at full capacity. In other words NO WONDER IT WASN'T WORKING RIGHT!!

So back we went to Redmond with the defective fence charger. Inside the store we asked for Skip. They paged Joe to respond, and Skip showed up. ??? Anyway, we swapped out the charger, went back home and hooked it up. It seemed to be working. The only way we had to check it was to either grab a hold of the line (no one wanted to do that) or put a screwdriver from the fence T-post to the wire and look for a spark.

It did make a spark, much bigger than with the other charger. Now how to make sure it would hold the bull. I was really hesitant to let him out of the little pen because I didn't want him to just charge underneath the line again like it was nothing.

The brochure the charger came with suggested that the animals needed to be "trained" to respect the fence. It recommended offering food on the opposite side and when the animal tried to reach through the fence to get the food it would get zapped and thereby learn.

I wasn't sure that was going to work so I did it a little differently. Don't hate me. Don't call PETA on me. I took a handful of hay and held it on the opposite side from the bull just inches away from the hot wire. If you've ever fed a cow you know they will reach out with their tongue. So, yes, Dakota reached out with his tongue, basically wrapping it around the hot wire. And yes, he did get a zap!

Then after a few minutes I went to the other fence and did the same thing. He ended up doing the same thing and got zapped again. I'm sorry to say, but it made me happy. Dakota went and sulked in his shed. I waited a few minutes and then put a small pile of hay on the ground.

I went outside the fence and puttered around so I could keep an eye on him and see what happened next. After several minutes Dakota came back and slowly wandered towards the hay pile. Eventually he started pushing under the wire to reach the hay. Now I was disheartened again because I could clearly see his forehead was touching the hot wire but he was still reaching for the hay.

Just about the same time his tongue reached the hay pile the hot wire must have pushed through his forehead hair and touched his skin because he suddenly jumped back. I took that as a good sign.

I knew I was going to have to do this sooner or later so I went ahead and opened one side of his little pen, giving him access to the entire pen, which is more or less 1/2 acre.
That was two days ago. I am so happy to report he apparently has not tried to crawl under the fence again. He is still in his own pen, on his own side.
I do believe he's finally learned to respect the fence.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rock On

Today we redid the rock border along the house part of the driveway.

This is the area where my car got stuck on the rocks. We took out the big rocks, filled the edge with smaller rocks, then outlined the driveway area to the big gate in the fence.

My idea for this area will be to fill it along the fence line with lavenders and cold-hardy roses. I'll have to wait until spring, whenever that is. But I think it will look nice. I'm looking forward to being able to plant.

I've been thinking maybe I need to change the name of our farm to "Little by Little". Or not.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mini Cheesecake

As promised I have the recipe now for the mini cheesecake I made earlier. I didn't make a bunch of pictures this time, just a few of the finished product.
Mini Cheesecake

1 C graham cracker crumbs
3 T melted butter
2 T sugar
1 8 oz pkg softened cream cheese
1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 C sour cream
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix crumbs with butter and 2 T sugar. Press into botom and sides of 2 4" springform pans. Place in fridge while you make cheese mixture.

Mix cream cheese with 1/4 C sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, sour cream, zest, and juice. Mix well. Divide between the springform pans.

Bake in oven for more or less 60 minutes. Don't let the top get too dark. Note: the cakes will puff up in the oven and then collapse as they cool. Let cool (preferably covered, overnight in the fridge).

Use your imagination to fill and serve. The first one I made had fresh fruit and whipped cream. This one I used frozen blueberries and strawberries and cooked them down with sugar, then added some gelatin. I added too much gelatin but the cake part was still good.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Yesterday we decided it was time to grade the driveway. When we bought the tractor we also bought a grader. The tractor came with a backhoe attached so yesterday we had to figure out how to detach the backhoe, attach a "3 point" system and then hook up the grader to that.

The dealership told us it would take about 10 minutes to do that. Well, the first time it did take a little longer but I can see how now that we've done it, the next time will be much quicker.

So we got it all hooked up and Hubby took off down the road.

He took several passes.
After all, there is a learning curve here.
Break time!
Too much fun!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wallpaper Done!

I got the rest of the wallpaper up today!

It looks pretty good in these pictures. Better than real life. ;-)

I actually had plenty of wallpaper. I didn't have to use any leftover half rolls so each strip on the wall is a complete strip. That was something I was a little worried about. And I also had just enough wallpaper paste, another thing I was concerned about. In fact, I was so sure I would need more paste when my husband went to the local hardware store today for something else I asked him to pick up another container of paste. Looks like I may be doing some paper mache now! (Just kidding.)

So all I have to do now is touch up and clean up and this room will be ready to use.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pony Problems

We had been planning to go for a little drive today but when I fed this morning Flora was foaming and drooling at the mouth. My immediate thought was that she ate something noxious. She dug into her breakfast so I wasn't too concerned.

A couple hours later we were getting ready to leave and I went up to check on her. She was still drooling (but not foamy) and now her neck was slightly extended and she was holding her mouth open and her tongue was kind of hanging out. Now I was concerned!

I checked on-line and it sounded like she had something stuck in her throat, or she was choking. It sounds worse than it is. Apparently in horses it's not as serious as it would be in humans or cattle.

So I put a call in to the vet. An hour later no one had called back so I called again. The office person got the vet on the phone and he was unable to respond. So they contacted the other vet who was in the field and he called me back after a while.

He listened to me describe the symptoms and assured me it would not be life threatening and in fact often resolves itself. He wouldn't be able to come out until about 3pm (which was 2 hours from then). He said if it didn't resolve itself, then he would come out.

Sure enough, she was still drooling and seemed uncomfortable. The vet showed up and started an examination. Flora was being uncooperative so she got a little relaxing shot. Upon initial examination the vet determined that she probably just needed her teeth floated, which he did. Then he had me hold her tongue out to the side while he looked a little closer.

And it's a good thing he did. He found a large ulceration on the bottom of her tongue. Then he found a small twig or thick weed or something wedged in-between some back teeth. It was sticking out in such a way that it was the likely culprit of the ulceration. He actually had to get some pliers to pull the thing out.

I am happy to report at this time that at feeding time Flora seemed much better already, and she was not drooling at all.


Side note:

I haven't done any more wallpapering yet, but the two rows are still up and don't have any lumps or bubbles!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Freezing Fog

I learned the name of the phenomenon I mentioned on Saturday's blog. Not so oddly, it is called a "freezing fog". We had a good one today. We took a little walk around the property after getting the mail and I brought my camera.
This is a single twig. Look how the fog has "grown".
This is the same twig. I knocked the frost off. You'll notice the background is the same.
I had the dogs pose for a portrait amongst the frosted weeds.
We saw this tree. Something wasn't quite right so we took a closer look.
Maybe a pack rat nest? They do live in this area. Fortunately it was vacant at the time I took the picture.
And finally on this chilly day I decided to get started with the wallpapering. I got two strips up and it looks ok. I'll have to do a little paint touch up at the top because I was having trouble cutting it even. So it's not a totally professional job, but it'll do.
I just hope I don't walk into the room tomorrow and find the strips curled up at the bottom of the wall!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Super Bowl Sunday Ride

It was such a pretty day today so in spite of the slight chilliness and little bit of breeze I decided to saddle up and take Star out. We went up the hill towards the spot my hubby was yesterday. Near the top it started getting a little steep and very rocky so we stopped at that point and enjoyed the view (I'll bring a camera next time). We slowly made our way back down the hill and eventually did a loop or two on our property.

This is us coming back from the hill. I didn't know we were getting our pictures taken. Notice the smile on my face and look how pretty and relaxed Star looks.
Funny how small the jump looks from this angle!
I think we both had fun today.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


This morning there was a low layer of fog down in the valley. It looks strange from up here on the hill. I went into Redmond to do some big grocery shopping and along the way every wire, weed, tree, blade of grass... Well you get the idea. Everything was covered with a thick layer of frost. It was pretty.
Later in the afternoon hubby decided to climb the hill on our east side. He called me when he got to the top.
I put my zoom lens on.
This is the above picture blown up a little.
That was our amount of fun today.

Oh and the electric fence thing still isn't right. We didn't bring it in because as soon as we unhooked it from the grounding rods the needle went to the green side. So I'm sure it is just some sort of grounding problem. I really wish he would go talk to the neighbors!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Speaking Of Fences...

Quite some time ago we finally got a hold of the fence guy who actually came out and gave us an estimate for our dog fence. Even though it was not inexpensive we went ahead and agreed to have it built. We dropped off the deposit (which was half the cost) and waited for him to call us to set a time to get the fence built.

And we waited.

And we waited.

Finally hubby called him and guess what? He was just about to call us!!

Yesterday they got started. Here are the two worker guys measuring and marking.

Digging the post holes. This is the only way to dig a post hole!
Oops. Hit an unmarked sewage pipe. No biggie, though. This was from the mobile home pad which hasn't been used in many years so it was totally dry. It did have to be repaired so dirt wouldn't get into the connecting house line. It was quickly repaired without any other problems.
The posts go in...
...and are cemented.
The next day (today) the guys returned. Here they are putting the top rails in.
The cyclone fencing and gates are attached.
The fence is done.
Looks good!
Finally, something went right!

The horse fence was repaired but the electric charger is still not right. I think we'll be bringing it back to the store tomorrow to see what they have to say about it.

Fingers are crossed...