Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wild Things

The grass is green round these parts and stuffs growing like, um, weeds. Here's a photo of some plant life along Muller Road.

I call this the "look at me I'm weird" plant. I'm not sure what it is. Even Kate, my go-to botantist wasn't sure what it is. It has a sturdy, purple stalk, broad leaves at the base, and the fireworks type flower on the top. Weird!

S'all for now.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The team has landed

That there is "Black Betty." Team Van, 2009. She's a 1994 Dodge something or other and holds a whole lot of people and bikes and gear.

The girls are off racing and I'm cleaning the house/barn and mowing the yard/pasture.

S'bout it from the farm. Strawberries growing like mad and the cats and dogs are slow in the summer heat.

til soon,

Friday, May 22, 2009

Willow, Before and After

Just a year ago I brought this sweet mare home. She is a Morgan and had been staked out like a dog in her owner's side yard. She was scrawny and green. She had scars on her face and hind legs from being tangled up in her rope.

Amy had seen the horse advertised on a horse website and sent me the link with a note: "this one looks nice." I made an assumption that Amy "saw" the horse (meaning, in a photo). I trust Amy so I made an appointment to see the mare.

The owner was a young woman with four kids under 4 and years old and clearly had no time for the mare much less upkeep of the property and a horse. I didn't like the look of the place but something made me want to try out the horse. And besides, Amy liked her.

I got on her and she walked boldly ahead. She couldn't steer well but she was listening to my voice. In the first 5 strides I could tell this little mare had a HUGE forward walk. She flicked her ears and turned her sweet eyes around to look at me and that was it: she had me at hello.

The first photo is Willow on her very first ride at Sunny Hill just about a year ago.

This photo was taken yesterday. Willow had a walk, trot, canter in the field then got to jump over some fences. She is getting the hang of it and had some very solid "real" jumps.

What a difference a year makes. Willow can now bend, pick up the canter on the correct lead every time, rate her speed and jump. On top of that she is the friendliest, happiest little mare on earth.

And the best part? Amy never actually "saw" the horse. She said she "saw" the ad and thought it looked like a prospect. We laugh about that all the time now because when Willow arrived she definitely did not "look" good. She does now though. So from backyard horse to stylish hunter, Willow has come into her own.

How darn lucky am I to have two wonderful horses like Oz and Willow? (pinching myself).
happy trails!

Friday, May 15, 2009

S'bout Time I update this blog

Pics above of the first horse show I ever rode in. It was super fun. I learned a lot and most critically, one should try on your new show pants in advance of the show lest they turn out to be ill fitting. All was well though. My pants didn't rip and now I know what to expect in the next one.
Note to self: order new pants.

What with the weather getting nice it's hard to keep up with blogging. And I'm cheating here 'cause I put all these pics on my facebook page already. It's so hard to keep up with social networking!

I am having nostalgia for the days of the busy signal on the phone. Thinking about someone and then writing them a letter to let them know. Wondering what to do that day instead of having to prioritize a full page list. Getting a letter from someone--in the mailbox.

Well, progress brings challenges and I think I shall try to keep just a few of the old fashioned ways.

Have a pleasant and lucky day!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kitchen Floor

Ok, Lady B, here is your photo of the kitchen floor! You'll have to photo shop my car out of the window. Did I crouch low enough? Should I try again on a sunny day?

After I took the pics I cleaned the barn then got the chimney sweep out and played chimney sweep chick. Nothing like blowing your nose after cleaning a chimney of a winter's soot.

Off to clean myself up..toodles

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Say hello to Lake Whoa, Be Gone! I took this photo on my way out to the barn for yet another epic ride with Amy. We decided to ride to the DNR fields by way of the neighbor's driveway to minimize time on the road with four dogs. We found the trail over to the field only it crossed the creek. There was a bridge with lots of snow on it. Willow was game so I got off and led her across. The snow was deep on the other side but navigable. So there we were: me, Willow and all four dogs and Amy/Oz on the other side. Oscar tried to be brave but it just wasn't happening. So Amy took the long way around the field and I trotted parallel to the road and we met up on the other side.

After that it was a typical ride; one dog lost, one pheasant flushed, one dog rolled in stinky stuff, another eating something dead.

I went for a walk this morning too. Here's Muller Road at about 7 am. You can just see the moon setting in the distance.

so long for now..

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Whoopie Pie Incident

Ever have a whoopie pie? It's some cookie like thing that got invented around the's a chocolate cakeish cookie with a marshmallow filling. Sister Neener made them for holidays and I got the recipe from her and she got it from some waiting room magazine. I'm sure the page with the recipe was already loose...

Anyway, I made the batter and added the bottle of red food color it called for. I went to rinse out the food color bottle and managed to splash red everywhere. By some miracle I didn't get any on my white fleece vest.

Like always I gave Cooper the bowl to pre-wash, not giving it one thought that when he cleans a bowl, HE CLEANS A BOWL! So anyway, I think the red will wash off his head in a day or two.

Oddly, I had a Poopie Pie incident this week too. I can only call a multi-tasking foul on myself for this one. I decided to plow a bit while filling the water tank in the barn. It sure is easy to pass the time on an ATV with a plow. Water+bedding+poop+3 minutes= Poopy pies. Big sloppy pools of poo.

Took me three loads with the trailer to clean out the barn and a looooong shower to rinse off the smell. Happy New year...if you come by I'll save you a whoopie pie.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Tale of an Epic Adventure

Two humans and four dogs set out yesterday on snowshoes to conquer the hills over Sauk City.
That would be me, Amy and her dogs Fonzi and Sydney, and Gabby and Coopy. The first mile of the hike was uphill in deep snow (awesome!!) and at the top was a cool cabin where we stopped to water the dogs. It wasn't long after we set out again that we lost Coop. Fortunately, he yarps when he's lost so within 10 minutes we had him back. Then we lost Gabby.

Long story short, it was useful that she was wearing her name/phone number collar because the logging guys found her tried calling me. When we got back to the trailhead sans Gabby we hopped in the car to drive up the logging road. My phone rang and I ignored it. I believe I even verbalized how annoying it was to get phone calls when you didnt' want them. Anyway, we got no farther than the entrance of the road when a truck appeared. I pulled aside and asked the driver if he had seen a dog. He pointed to the back seat.

There sat Queen Gabby, with an annoyed look on her face. She rejoined the gaggle of dogs in the back of the car and all was well. Both dogs were exhausted (still are) and Coop fell asleep on the arm of the sofa.

I had two bottles of guinness and cheese for dinner and slept like a log. The end.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This calls for a lot of cussing

Here is the front door, photo taken about an hour ago. After a solid hour of plowing to clear the 6" on the driveway I hear we are supposed to get another 4????!!! MERDE!!

I weep.

It's Dec.'s not even winter yet. Bloody hell.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This and That

I haven't been updating the blog because my camera is eating batteries. This was one of the last photos I took before I gave up on that camera and it's Mr. Coopy at his best. I was yelling at him to stop eating cat food and this was his response. Sassy pants acting all innocent. Ha! The Jack Russell is no match for me! (ahem)

It's been REALLY cold here so on Dad's urging, I fired up the wood furnace. I will admit to being a little afraid of the thing but now that its 68 degrees in here I'm over it.

There's something about the temp falling to zero (one burns through 8 gallons/day at $2.30 per)that serves to motivate a person.

In other news Amy and I rode bareback today (it's like having butt heat in your car!) and then snowshoed. A regular winter duathlon. Too bad she's not still here 'cause we could add wine drinking and make it a triathlon! I think I'd win.
love, b

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Too much time on my hands....

I just happened to have my camera (again) when I opened the door to the stairs and found this scene unfolding. Spidey trying to go up, Cooper weighing whether it was worth tackling the cat when I was in view. He went for it...full body cat tackle, lots of hissing and Spider escaped unharmed.

Yup..too much time on my hands...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Birthday Hike

Here we all are, setting out for the birthday hike on Sara and Mike's farm. I took this photo of all the dogs and some of the siblings.

It was a very cold day on Sunday. Highlight (or lowlight) of the walk was the running of the sheep. They all came running over the hill with all the dogs behind them. Sara had to fish one out of the creek and right another that was having a mild heart attack at all the excitement. But, no one died, no humans were gored in the running.

Happy b-day to all the Anderson siblinks!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Solving problems

It's been kind of slow lately, what with getting sacked from work I actually have time to do things. Still, just when I thought it was starting out another slow week, things happened.

Recently I fired up the wood furnace but managed to smoke up the entire house. I called the expert on wood furnace heating (Dad) and he said "did you check to see if you have bird nests in your chimney?" Duhhhh...

I opened up the flue today, prepared for a very messy job only to have 3' of connected bird nest come out in one string, complete with a dead bird and a wee skeleton of a baby bird at the top. I think my early season fire cooked all of them. Anyway, check out the nest.
I was aiming to line up the nest to get a good shot with the bird but Cooper had already gotten a whiff of bird and was lurking nearby. I no sooner got the main part of the next propped up when he shot in, grabbed the bird and ran off, throwing the bird in the air as he ran.

If that wasn't exciting enough, I decided to check on the chickens. A new chicken is arriving tomorrow ("Kiev") and I needed to put the dog crate in the coop so she'd be protected her first few days. I walked in the coop and all three birds were on their perches, which is unusual for during the day. I decided to check for eggs and you'll never guess what I found.

I've been suspicious that something has been in or around the coop lately so I've been tightening down the doors. Still, I didn't expect to see this when I looked in the nesting box.
FYI...that's not a chicken in the roosting box. I tried to get the lil guy out but wasn't sure how to do it. I'm fresh out of falcon gloves so I gave the dogs a try. Gabby sniffed him out right away but it was Cooper who got after the possum. Even with all the barking and me trying to poke it into a bucket we couldn't get him to get out of the box.

I did the next best thing...came inside and blogged about it. I'm taking do I get this guy out of there w/o getting bit??

At least I know why there have been no eggs for a week and a lot of chicken feathers in the coop!
Gotta go..the horses haven't adjusted to the time change and are hollering for dinner.

Evil Coopy

Tippy got brave and came downstairs and even bolder, snuggled into the dog's bed. Of course you-know-who joined her. This photo was taken in the break between a lot of spitting and yarping. Not 10 seconds later Coop dragged the dog bed until Tippy rolled off and ran hissing.

Ahhh, peace and quiet at the farm.

Happy Election is almost over day....

Monday, October 20, 2008

A clean horse

This here is a photo of Oscar's butt. See how much cleaner the right side is? The pic was taken mid-wash. Amy and I were cleaning him up for his first clinic and trailer ride in the new trailer. He was not a fan of the sponge bath but tolerated the half hour or so it took to degrime him.
He did great in the clinic and earned a lot of sweet praise from the instructor and the audience. Mostly things like "wow, he's awesome " or "he's so adorable!"

Amy put him through his paces and he was a hard and honest worker-Sara, you would have been proud.

And here for Barbara is a photo of the kitchen floor going in. It'll be finished today and I'll get another photo of that.
So last week I was in shock about getting sh*&t canned and this week I'm starting out angry.
Stay tuned for more on that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So last weekend Amy, Jon, the dogs and me went up north to celebrate. What were we celebrating? Well, grouse season for one but also me entering phase 44B of my life.

The photo above is looking outside the window of the Dad cabin. Sydney dog parked herself on the couch (she was clean, Dad!) and stared out at the spectacular view. Amy and Jon went hunting and got a few birds. For my part, I did some drawing, wine drinking and contemplating of how it feels to get sacked for the first time in one's life. Harumph is all that comes to mind at the moment. Dad gave me a lesson with pastels which was very enjoyable. It's the opposite of starts dark and goes to the light. Watercolor (my usual medium) is the other way. I smooshed up some color in an approximation of the image of a horse...but darn, it's hard to get used to the chalk. Dad is really good at it and I'll have to practice for about 10 years to be half as good.

Here's a nice shot of Amy with Sydney out in the field.
Does she look tough (yet kind) or what?? And here's a photo of Jon with both dogs...little Fonzerelli and Sydney. Amy cooked up the birds on Sunday night and we feasted on them and wow, grouse is good!!! YUM! Here's hoping you all are enjoying some fall color.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


That's the name of the day. Even though Amy and I had a fantastic trail ride yesterday the rest of the day was devoted to getting the house and grounds ready for winter. Where's the groundskeeper?? Oh right, I fired him.

Anyway, yesterday Cooper almost ate Pot Pie, my best laying chicken. Fortunately I caught him in time to save the chicken. I threw some rocks at Cooper and didn't talk to him for two hours. I think he showed no remorse. He has no idea how close he came to being a listing on Craig's list. Amy saved him.

The photo is of Oscar's eye. It's hard to get a photo of his blue eyes without him wiggling around. In this image his expression is: "Whatchoo doin' with that silver thing bubba?"

Today I made some jalapeno jam so I could make my favorite appetizers and did some quality phone time with far flung friends.

Toodles for now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Now I wonder who would throw a rock through my window?? Hummm. Could it be perhaps a short, chubby, diabetic, toothless man that whose advances I'd spurned on numerous occasions?

Seems to me that a slingshot that helped this rock through the window. It happened when I was out planting trees along the arena. The trees are a screen to block out a certain neighbor. The hole wasn't there when I started planted but it was when i got back, and guess who was keeping an eye on the planting?

In happier news, COOPER FINALLY KILLED A RODENT! I guess this means I can't call him a "bat terrier" anymore. Today he got a vole. Granted, it's small, but it's the correct species.

Here he is...slobbering over his happy meal.

The vole stayed instact until Fonzi arrived and he and Cooper fought over it. They made two parts and I think Fonzi ate his half and Coop ran off with his half. Blech.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


There's nothing better than dogs running amok at Sunny Hill. When Amy drives up and unloads, Gabby and Cooper are bouncing around her car, just waiting for Sydney and the newest addition, Fonzi, to fly or flop out of the car.

That cute lil feller Lady B is holding is Fonzi....Amy's new dog. He's a German shorthair and he's smart as heck. Fonzi came to the farm two weeks ago for his first romp in dog haven. He was smaller than Coop. Um, not any more. He's doubled in size in two weeks and Coop is back to being the shrimp. (make that a shrimp with attitude).

Isn't Lady B cute?? I miss her terribly. She's back in FL dealing with all the things one deals with when you are gone on a proper family visit. Granted, she worked her tail off all summer and what a masterpiece she made. Kudos and love you and I miss you a ton.

And to the right is Amy herself, holding her new hunting compadre. Amy and Jonathan are going grouse hunting this weekend. I'd go but my dogs would be darnright useless in that process. That and I can't shoot.

And lastly, here's Pete with the Mini Coop-Terrorist, lulling him to sleep with his, je ne sais quoi....
It's hard to tell from this photo but Coop
is asleep here. Pete used the Vulcan Mind Meld to calm him down.

I wonder if that would work on me?

Maybe it would work on neighbors with OCD??

Ahhh, who cares. I don't have time to spend that much energy on any foolish crap. Here's to living, full tilt all the time.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wha Happened to August?

Have I mentioned I dislike working at a certain company in August? Because said company has its own trade show that last for weeks and disrupts one's sleep, eating, exercise, and general living pattern?

Rather than be bitter about it I thought I'd do something more interesting, like call the deputies on my stalker/neighbor. You all know that story now and while it is quiet around here I don't trust that dude one bit.

Somewhere between the trade show, dem. convention, stalker-gate my kitchen remodel was winding up. It looks absolutely stunning....thank you, Lady B! We were taking photos of the kitchen yesterday and I took a photo of her taking a photo. We are sillllly. But she is proud of her work as am I.

This photo is of the area of the kitchen that used to have a useless counter and the refrigerator.

And the other photo is of the wall that used to have a useless cabinet. Most of the kitchen was just about useless.

And is there nothing sadder than an empty wine rack?? I'll be working on that as soon as I recover from August.

And Pete from New Hampshire made it to Wisco. He arrived yesterday and got to see Oscar and Willow in action, had dinner with Barbara and met all the

animals. Oscar and Will put on a good show of horse play and Cooper...well, he did his thing. Here's a photo of Cooper and Peter.

Cooper really likes Pete. The dog lays in his arms and sighs and falls asleep. How come when I try to hold him like this he gnaws on me??

Pete and I have managed to get some riding in, in between farm chores and fixing the rear tire on my car. The rain is holding off...barely...and I hope it stays nice for the weekend. More photos to follow..

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Chickuns Vote: Obama 08!

Here's Dumpling, hanging out in the coop with the American flag. The coop came with the flag and how could I not leave it hanging there? The barn came with an Abraham Lincoln and he's still in there as well. Best not to disturb history.

I took the day off of work to see what sort of chaos happened while I was at Trek World. My garden was awash in tomotoes and peppers, the horses were juggling and Cooper was driving the ATV. Not really, but the garden was quite dry.

So I weeded, mowed, and cleaned the barn today all of which was not good to my back. Then I rode Oscar (awesome!!) and figured I'd help the bone along a bit....stress it a little so it grows, ya know?

btw, the Olympics stinks. As I was watching the dressage competition I figured out the formula for network Olympic coverage:
- 500 vicious, sales minded corporate ad pitchmen
- add 2 greedy, stuffed shirt network owners
- mix with several cable or dish networks and bake at 400 for 2 weeks

The recipe yields 2 weeks of terrible coverage of any event you are looking for, if you can find it.

I wonder how many 30 somethings built up their resume torturing the rest of us with this stoopid formula for Olympic coverage?

In other words, I'm disappointed in the treatment the Olympics gets these days. Good thing I have other things to keep me busy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The panels....

Halooo! Here's my panel that Barbara made. How cool is that?

News of the week: the sink is in and works great. Other news:
- I fell off Oscar and fractured my butt
-Trek world started; I don't like Trek world
- Cooper is eating a dead thing
- It's only 60 degrees right now
- the computer is fast again...yipppeee!

Short update today. Hope y'all are having a good weekend.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Progress report!

Here's Spidey cat, checking out the new sink, wondering why her watering fountain isn't turning on. Being that she's 13 she only drinks running water, preferably out of the sink.

Isn't it cute? It's a lovely, deep sink with a bronze faucet with a sprayer. And that white thing to the left of the sink is my dishwasher. Ahhhhh.....happy happy.

And here is the opposite wall (to the left of the new sliding door) with my eating area. I have the sweetest table that comes out of the wall if I need it to, and tons of book and storage space.

Right now the shelves are full of books and tools, but soon they will be full of objay darts!

The whole room looks spectacular, even not painted. When it's painted I'll have a party to celebrate Barbara's amazing work. There's no doubt in my mind that it pays to have an NCIDQ designer design your kitchen. There are far too many amateurs out there who will slap cabinets on a wall with no regard to lighting, funtionality, problem solving and how it all relates to the rest of the house.

My favorite part about the kitchen? When you walk in its like looking at a great painting. And it absolutely fits with the rest of the house. In other words, it looks like it's always been here, not some modern soho kitchen in an antique house.

So this morning I was out in the barn and heard the unmistakeable "whoomph" of a hot air balloon getting a shot of hot air. I got my camera but it was well over the back field before I got a photo. The speck in the photo is the balloon. Really.

Finally, I have to show the panels that are in my living room. Barbara did a primitive scene of Sunny Hill in 4 panels. Cooper is chasing a chipmunk up a tree. Gabby is running full tilt across the lawn. I'm riding Oscar and Barbara is on Willow.

Oh darn...blooger won't let me post any more photos. I must have hit my max number of uploads for the day. So stay tuned for a photo of the panels. xoxoxo becx

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weapons of Mass Hay Making

That there is the Big Ole Tractor that hauls the hay baler. So guess what I've been doing this week?? Yaa der making hay! Whilst y'all were watching tv and drinking beer, I was raking hay and drinking beer. I think I win in the "fun" department.

Confidential to MooneyBat: solidarity sister. Hay making is hard work!

Anyhoo, the festivities started on Saturday when the hay (alfafa) got mowed. It needed 2 days to dry so on Monday afternoon I was out on the Kubota raking it.

Here's a photo of the cute lil Kubota. I'd just finished raking and aren't those the nicest rows o hay you ever saw? (Say yes, dammit!)

The rake throws hay out the left side only so I did a whole lot of clockwise, then counterclockwise circles. It wasn't boring at all, not with Cooper in my lap (he insisted on riding along) and the ear protection/radio I had. The one problem with that was the ear phones only picked up Christian stations or *really* old rock stations that I've never knew existed in Madison. So it was either "depend on Jesus, he's the only one who loves you" or some Van Halen tune I've blocked to survive puberty.

Here's another shot of the field and it's tidy rows. Nothing like a tidy row of alfafa.

So last night (Tuesday) was bale like crazy before it rained night. Neighbor Mike was in the BF Tractor and I was in the LF tractor, hauling the hay wagon over to my barn to unload. I pulled into the barn and started throwing hay down, only to quickly realize that these haybales were somewhere in the range of 60# a piece. (um, that's kinda heavy).

After an hour of tossing I looked up and saw that I had about 140 bales to go and called for back up. That would be Joe. We got it done and I hauled the wagon back just in time for the rain to start. The rain felt great seeing as I was a sweaty, disgusting, unladylike mess when it hit.

But, nothing like a barn full of fresh hay. That makes a farmer happy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My slow internet

So it turns out that my house guest for the summer was downloading a lot of music and videos, which caused my internet provide to put an "Abuse Alert" on my account. I've been quarantined!!

I will try to put another post with photos on line tonight, maybe at 9pm because at 8 in the morning it's slowwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

rats. What's a farm blooger to do? Oops. I mean blogger.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Around the Farm

I took my camera out on the rounds yesterday just to chronicle a typical day at Sunny Hill.

A day starts with a cup or two of coffee. Here I had just gotten up from the laptop to make another cup and came back to find you-know-who in my chair. You just know he's saying "move your feet lose your seat, sucka!"

Before I go outside I wanted to post a pic of Barbara working on the panel murals. These are going in the cabinets under the tv and the four panels together tell the Sunny Hill story. Here she is working on the right hand panel, and Willow is going over a stone wall with Lady B riding side saddle. Too cool! She's doing them in a primitive style but each animal looks like the real one. Stay tuned for the completed photo.

So after I've had a cup or two of coffee I head over to the barn.

We had more rain last week and since the water table is about 2cm below the surface it doesn't take much for the pond to return. Sigh....just a week ago I was mowing this area then we got 2" of rain last Friday.

alrighty, I was going to post photos of the inside of the barn but my satellite is on a sabbatical and won't let me upload any more pics. Will try again tomorrow.

Friday, July 4, 2008

My Left (purple) Foot and other Events

Here's a shot of what is just one happening in an eventful week. That's the arena with the first dump truck of sand dropped on it and Coopy digging holes in the sand. It took 5 more truckloads to get it to 2" and an hour with the skid loader to spread it around. All made more difficult because my left foot was out of commission. And why is that, rebecca?

It's Gabby's fault. She conned me into letting her go outside at 11:30 pm (I thought it was about 8:30). I was half asleep going down the stairs and missed the last step, rolled over on my foot and landed ass over teakettle---is that not a great old cliche?--and knew I'd sprained a few things. Now the only reason Gabby has to go out in the middle of the night is to chase some animal walking through the yard. Turns out Gabby had run down a fox. Poor Mr. Fox but he was probably sniffing at the chickens anyway.

So the next day my foot was not looking or working well. In case you ever wondered what role your toes play in human engineering they improve walking balance, A LOT. They look kind of useless but trust me, they are important.

Round up this week: wine rack and upper cabinets built, arena sand in, new wiring in house ($$owch$$), and living room mauve/maroon bad Fung Shui job going away.
Here's a photo of the painting in progress.
First is the photo of the gross mauve going away, replaced with a saddle brown. Yum. Note the essential bottle of wine near the ladder. That helps keep your lines straight.

Time to get some chores done. More kitchen transformation pics soon!