Monday, August 15, 2016

Meet "Meri" ~ My new, little Icelandic mare...

We have been looking around for a little pony for the Grandkids and I made a good trade on Saturday for this little doll. Her name is "Meri," (pronounced Mary). She's an Icelandic mare and she's due to fowl in about 90 days.




Educating myself on the Icelandic breed, the neatest trait so far is that they can live 35 to 40 years. That's a long time to be horsing around with a cute little mare named "Meri"...


We wanted to get the Grandies a pony to ride, but not something that would scare them, or hurt them and Meri seems to be just the ticket so far. And, the added bonus is that even though their small, adults can ride them far distances. It's strange because she's tiny, but with my saddle on her, the stirrups barely clear her belly (well, she's pregnant too - the reason the saddle is crooked, it just won't stay on her!)

The little grandson's didn't mind. They had fun riding Meri and they gave her a proper introduction complete with lots of attention and hands full of crunchy treats, including a whole bag of pears for her little self to munch on.


And she gave them a very fun ride. Very, very gentle and very attentive to her precious cargo. So much so that our little 1 year old Grand didn't want to get down. He just wanted to keep riding her with his little bare piggies and cute little hands clenched on Grandma's saddle horn.


Our oldest little Grandson properly introduced himself to "Meri" as, "Journey Bug"... 
She put her head down and sniffed him from his head to his boots. Then she stuck her head near his pocket requesting a treat he had tucked away and then let Journey pet her big belly and acknowledge her baby inside. That was exciting for a little boy.

Then, off for a ride around the farm on Grandma's precious new toy...


Reading up on the Icelandic breed is pretty interesting. I didn't know a lot about them aside from a chance encounter with an Icelandic stud horse named "Gus"... in 2013. It turns out little "Meri" is from the same owner, it's actually one of the "Man-Child's" cousins.

Another interesting tidbit about the Icelandic breed is that most horse breeds have 3 gaits; walk, trot and gallop. The Icelandic breed has 5 gates; the walk, the trot, the gallop, the tolt and the flying pace. They are so smooth to ride for being so small and stalky. It's an interesting experience...

I needed a different bridle bit the first day we were playing with Meri, so I called a neighbor and she brought a few and came to see my new toy. She got on Meri to give her a spin and she was trotting, or maybe "tolting" up the highway pretending she had a glass of champagne in her hand telling me how smooth of a ride this little gal is, which totally surprised her. Meri is just this little powerhouse of gracefulness. This video pretty much shows the beauty of this horse breed. I'm just completely tickled to have one here, especially one so, so, sweet ~!





 I'm very thankful the Grandkids will learn to ride on such a special horse...

Friday, May 13, 2016

An Antique Marble Fireplace from Caracas Italy...

BARN FIND!!!

And she has all her pieces~ yay...
Who would ever have known that there was an antique, carrara marble fireplace surround hiding in a barn in Central Utah???

 I wouldn't have guessed it~!
The people that purchased the contents of the barn had no idea either, until they stumbled upon some old crates from Caracas Italy and opened them up to spy this beauty...

She was just never installed in whatever home she was shipped here for, I guess...
Instead, she remained tucked away in an old barn with her crates rotting away and waiting to be discovered.

And, what a discovery~!



 All of the pieces are there, but her dark mantle piece was shipped cracked in half and packed separately in the crates.
We'll figure that repair out soon. 

She's not a tiny creature - she's over 6' wide and over 5' high.
And very HEAVY!!!

 I know she's heavy because I brought her home safely tucked into the back of my Durango and it is bottomed out and feels like it's towing the 'Mother Load'...
Which it is~!

Doesn't every blonde drive nearly 2 hours to tuck an antique carrara marble  fireplac safely in a retired cop car?


See, even the Durango has it's own story...

A couple months ago a gentleman came by inquiring about an old piece of construction equipment. Truthfully, it hadn't been used in over 17 years. It was kind of one of those 'bone pile' pieces of equipment that maybe someone would need a part off of. Well, seems this guy did...
Him and the 'Man-Child' discussed the terms of the trade and it was supposed to be a 1999 Dodge pickup truck with an automatic transmission and a Cummins diesel engine. I just get sick of shifting down a 6 speed transmission, but I love the fuel mileage of a diesel. Who screwed up 4th gear in a Dodge, right - Every time I shift down with a heavy load on, I miss 4th gear. My mantra for a while is that "I want an automatic."  I want the transmission to find 4th gear on it's own - AUTOMATICALLY - when I'm slowing down. This is the 21st century and frankly, I'm sick of 4th gear evading me.
So, on the date the guy was coming to get the equipment and bring the pickup, I was quite excited...

I was looking out the window and seen this go by on the back of an equipment trailer...

 I'm like, "Honey - that's not a Dodge Pickup." 
"That thing on that equipment trailer has 4 doors and no pickup bed. And, unless someone else in this area is expecting a vehicle delivery today by a logging company on a large equipment trailer, I think there's a problem..."

I was really bummed...

Where was my automatic transmission on my new/old pickup truck with a diesel engine...
=(

My phone rang - 
It was the guy here for the equipment and that 4 door SUV on the equipment trailer was a loaner for me, or I could keep it until the pickup got out of the shop because the pickup truck blew up ~ 
Holy Hannah!
I'm glad it blew up on him...

So, here's this 2009, retired deputy vehicle with a souped up Hemi engine - yes, AN AUTOMATIC and she goes about zero to 693 miles an hour in 3 seconds...
She's ugly, but she gets right up and gets going!

We call her "The Short Bus" because she has 3 sets of seats, kind of like a jacked up mini-van that used to have bars... 

And, I've fallen in love with her and I'm keeping her, even though I still think she's ugly. And, my mechanic says there's not a damn thing wrong with it except it goes too fast...
(=

And, my grandson like's my new car and that's all that matters to me.

*Wink*



So, I had to keep my foot off the gas as I was bringing my beautiful antique marble fireplace home, all tucked in snugly in the hatch back with all the 'short bus' seats bent down.



We figure she weighs about 1200+ pounds.
My poor Durango is dragging ass, literally, but she carried the precious cargo home safely.



And, we're almost ready to start the garage / office addition to the home. We even had the roofing material delivered last week. So, sometime in the near future (I hope) she'll look something like this in our soon to be created, 'Office/Den'...

 
You really just never know what you'll find in a barn~!



Monday, April 4, 2016

A Barn Door...

Really, a new door into the sheep barn - - -


I've needed one since forever...

The "Man-Child" has been working on building a permanent corral for my beautiful St. Croix sheep herd.

We got the horse barn a long ways along last year, now he decided to do some work on the sheep barn.
He had a door that matches the chicken coop door (what are the chances?) and he put it into the end of the sheep barn for me. Easy access for the short woman - ME!

 He has rebuilt so much around the chicken coop. It is so nice now and so functional. Now, he in the process of building my sheep herd a permanent location sort of incorporating the chicken coop into things.

I started out with 4 St. Croix Ewe's and a St. Croix Ram. Now, I'm overflowing with St. Croix sheep. That's ok. I have good taste in sheep and sheep taste good to me~!

(=

We've been getting some beautiful lambs this year. 
I have a list of people all over the Western United States looking for St. Croix Rams. My silly sheep are playing a good one on me. So far, I have all ewe lambs but 2 - ugh. I'm probably not going to be much help to those looking for rams. My girls are on strike this year and only birthing girls...

But, they are the cutest dang ewe lambs ever~! 


And these little newborns were born during a trip to the hardware store for more bolts and screws and nails.
Aren't they just the sweetest twins ever ~~~

No lambs are cuter than St. Croix lambs...


I'm so thankful the "Man-Child" loves the critters as much as I do and spends so much of his limited free time making sure they're well cared for and comfortable. 

And, he makes sure these 'Little Grands' are well cared for too~!
They came to visit on Easter and we went for a 4-wheeler ride.

This is how the little guy prefers to ride in the Rhino - trust me, I never go too fast with him hanging around this way... 
And this grand little suffers from a sock issue - they just jump off his feet and we can never find them again ~

 And this little handsome boy decided he wanted to ride in the back of the rhino. At one point, he was laying down on a blanket looking up and watching the clouds go by.

I had some doughnuts on the counter and we bagged some up for them to take home with them. This little Sugar Monkey climbed up on the counter, took a doughnut out of the box and took a big bite out of it, then climbed down. I asked him if he was taking 'that' doughnut home with him ~ the one with the big bite out of it...
He said, "No"... "That ones for Grandpa."
I asked him why he bit a piece out of it...
He told me, "So Grandpa knows I picked it for him..."
Priceless~!
Of course, Grandpa ate that one first when he got home and heard the story...


This was a great project.
I've needed a door into the sheep barn for a long time. 
I must confess...
Sometimes I walk over just to use the door.You know, to make sure it's still there and still works...







This is quite a project going on for the beautiful St. Croix girls...

And, I have no idea why they line up and stare through that horse panel. They do it to me all the time and it's so cute...


I hope your Spring projects are turning out as satisfying as ours...

More to come on the sheep barn remodel soon~!
=)






Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Beautiful Morning Walk...

I'm so grateful to live in a rural area where the air is clean, the skies are blue and there are miles and miles of open spaces...


This was the view from my morning walk this morning along a  power line trail...


It snowed on the mountains last night - Again... 
We're experiencing "Sprinter" here in Central Utah.
(Sprinter = A Spring/Winter mix)

We never know what we're going to wake up to.

It was cold this morning and there was a thick layer of ice on the troughs I had to break up for the animals.

A cold morning made for a brisk walk, but a beautiful one...

 I'm so happy to see some green~!
Spring is here...
(=

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A change in the living room...

This one is the 'Man-Child's' fault...

There has been a change in the living room and I just adore it~!


On Sunday, the 'Man-Child' was surfing the internet and came across an ad for a beautiful couch and a loveseat set...  

The add read:

"Custom Sofa and Loveseat"
"Beautiful HIGH END CUSTOM Sofa/Loveseat set - Brocade Fabric with extremely comfortable DOWN cushions - Hand Carved Wood Frame. Extra Large and Extra Elegant for a formal setting. Purchased 10 years ago for $9,000.00. We are moving to a home that they will not fit in. Our loss is your gain...
$125.00 OBO"

I nearly fainted~!


I grabbed my phone and dialed the # and the seller still had the set ~ Oh, Yay~!!!



We scheduled the pickup appointment for Monday evening and the owner was nice enough to help load the set into our horse trailer too. It took us 2.5 hours travel time to get to the town where the furniture was located and the road trip there and back was a fun one, as always. We enjoyed the scenery all the way. It was a great adventure. And, the furniture is GORGEOUS, just as it appears and yes, it was only $125.00.
 (I'm still pinching myself...)




The sofa is in the living room now and the love seat, that came with it, is in storage for one of the upstairs bedrooms, if I ever really get stairs - it's so weird to live in a house with no stairs to the upstairs. But, I still dream someday I'll have those stairs~!
Until then...
I can sit on this beautiful, comfortable, dreamy sofa and dream about some stairs, right?











Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Rustic Flower Drying Rack...

I asked the "Man-Child" if he would make me a rack that would hang off the side of the refrigerator to dry flowers on...
And, he did~!


It didn't cost anything. I had the old vintage brass hooks from a previous salvage project and we have plenty of old barn wood around this old homestead.


He just simply hooked two boards together. One sits on top of the refrigerator and is slid under the old crates. The other hangs down the side of the refrigerator with brass hooks to hold the flowers.



The flowers are heavy when they're fresh, but once they dry out, they weight practically nothing.

 This was one of those simple ideas and a simple project, 
with a BIG IMPACT~!


I adore this rack - it has brought such a softness to our farmhouse kitchen...
It fits right in with all of the other decor.


And softens a huge black square, which is the side of the fridge...


 Such a simple addition (as well as functional!)


Yet, so pretty~!







Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Beautfiul 'Oopsie' Baby...





 I went over to do chores this morning and I could hear a little 'bah-ing'...
That sound always, always brings a big smile to my face... I had an 'Oopsie Baby' born healthy this morning - yay~!

I had a ewe we had to pull from the big herd last year because she got an infection in her bag. Thank heavens her twins she had last year were old enough to wean. Charlie (my alpaca) finished rearing her lambs for her. I used to laugh when I would walk out to water the herd and two young lambs were laying all over my alpaca. Charlie loves the sheep and he gets as excited about new lambs as I do. Anytime a little one needs a little extra loving, Charlie is right there to interfere - - -
(=

Anyway, we pulled the ewe and put her over in the corrals with the ram.
She was in pretty poor condition and whatever infected her came on fast. She recovered quickly, thank heavens, but I knew I would be expecting an early little one. I was praying that her bag would recover and she could nurse this years offspring(s), because she's one of my registered ewe's from Oregon and one of my best moms.


I am grateful she only had a single lamb this year and not twins, or triplets. He is a huge buck lamb. He's very healthy and he's going to be tall like his daddy. He seems to be nursing ok, although her bag still looks 'wonky'. She has milk and that's good enough for him....


This is an early lamb for me - about 3 months earlier than regular lambing.
I'm very thankful he's a big healthy boy~!

(=