September 30, 2008

Wildflower Snaps From the Tractor Seat

One of the reasons I enjoy my tractor time is that it is a solitary pursuit. Event though it takes a bit of concentration (stayin' between the rows/not getting whacked in the head by low branches/makin' sure the hogs not boggin' down/not hitting any trees - ya' catch my drift right?) I can multi-task. There is a lot of time to check out the world around me. When mowin' tree rows ya go slow....excruciatingly slow. Here are some wildflower snaps from my tractor seat.

Solidago speciosa aka 'Showy Goldenrod'

Aster pilosus aka 'Heath Aster'

I confess, I didn't mow this one down. It's blue. I just couldn't do it. Mostly because it's blue. So I took one x-tra minute...disengaged the PTO, raised the deck and went around. And all things considered I think it was the best minute of the's certainly the one I feel the best about. Did I mention my blue justification?

Now if I can just figure out what the heck it is....I'm going with Aster. But is is Aster patens, Aster novae-angliae, Aster azureus, or my best guess of Aster puniceus? Anyone have any ideas?

September 29, 2008

Brush Hoggin'

A happy way to spend a couple of days....drivin' the tractor, runnin' the brush hog. It's not my favorite job at the nursery but ranks right up there. This is a field with Acer rubrum 'Franksred' aka Red Sunset Red Maples. It hasn't been mowed since early summer.

I start my first pass.

I've got three rows pass each.

I've got 1 row with both passes done. And the rows to either side with one pass each.  I love tasks which show instant results.  You know whether you've done it right or waiting for results....Bam....Instant gratification.

Bear Grylls Winner

dvm's Wife....don't say ya never won anything in a dice toss.  You are the winner of the wonderful fabulous marvelous (heehee) Bear Grylls book.  Kindly send me an email at h.bluehorizon(at) containing the location you want this fine literary work mailed to.  Thank you!

September 28, 2008

Always Asking

What is your cross asking of you? How will you see it triumph.

September 26, 2008

Bear Grylls Book Giveaway

Okay.  I'll admit it.  I watch Man vs. Wild.  I just adore Bear Grylls.  The prospects that I will be somehow abandoned and alone in Panama and will need those survival skills he is teaching is slim I know.  But come on the guy is EASY on the eyes.  And that that voice.

So of course my reading time is now colliding with the time I have set aside weekly for the Discovery Chanel.  The Kid Who Climbed Everest, does not disappoint.  It is a fascinating account of what it takes to climb Everest....spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

So I'm giving away one slightly used but well loved copy of The Kid Who Climbed Everest or as I like to refer to it.....Hottie Climbs a Big Hill.  Just leave me a comment and I will make a random pick on Monday.

September 25, 2008

One Bitchin' Saw

We're still cleaning up down trees from a couple weeks ago when the remnants of Ike blew through. Trees down at the house, the office, the woods, around the lake, at my grandparents house. Basically all over the farm. I came home from the office and saw that my hubby was cutting up part of one of the big locust's in front of our house.
"Whatcha doin'?"
"What's it look like."
"Can I help?"
"You'll hurt yourself."
"I will not! That's insulting, actually."
"You're afraid of chainsaws."
"Oh....that's right. Humph. Well okay then."
It's then that I notice the saw itself......."Why does that saw say 'Farm Boss' on it?" In reply I get a look. Not a very nice one either, you know the look that says 'I don't know what she is going on about, but I hope she goes away soon.'
"Listen. I don't know what that saw thinks. But there is only room for one boss on this farm and that's me. I'm the boss. Got it."
My hubby chuckles shakes his head and walks away...mumbling something under his breath that sounds suspiciously like the chainsaw makes a better boss. But he surely wouldn't say that would he. I'm worried. I don't want to be replaced. I'm a good boss. And I have the art of bribery down to a science.

"Hey honey...What do ya want for dinner?" TAKE THAT Stihl chainsaw...until you can cook, you'll never be the boss around here.

September 24, 2008

The Rules

I find that I need to post some rules for the book giveaway.  Not many, I promise!

1.  One entry per person only....unless otherwise indicated in that weeks particular giveaway

2.  You can live anywhere you want in the world....but I will only ship in the USA.  
So your options are this...I will give you a $2 USD shipping credit, you pay the balance of the shipping via paypal.  


I send it to the USA address of your choice.  Meaning you can sell the book and I will ship it for you or you can hold a contest on your blog and I will ship it to the winner as long as they are in the USA. 

My Niece

Sisterella performed one of my very favorite Auntie duty maneuvers recently. "The Drive By Child Drop" .... do not be alarmed ... No children are harmed in the execution of this maneuver. The scant 1/2 an hour drop gave us just enough time to amble down to the barn to feed the horses some grass then a quick walk around the office to pick up sticks.

Lord-love-a-duck this child is adorable!

I absolutely love being an Auntie.

September 23, 2008

Saturday's Dog Hike

Last Saturday's group dog hike at Moraine State Park led by Kelly the Naturalist, gave Clarice a wonderful opportunity to expose herself to as many fellow canines as possible. And she took full advantage.

As soon as we arrived she picked her first target. Threw herself on her back and wiggled till the dog fully understood that she is seriously submissive.

A little past the sunken garden we spotted some beaver action. I had no idea that beavers didn't keep gnawing trees till they were on the ground. They stop at about right there and then leave them to fall when there ready. Interesting.

Clarice was the smallest dog on the hike but she kept up, completing a little over 2 miles of moderate hilly terrain in a little over 1 1/2 hours. Her size didn't detere her till the end...

Swimming and rough housing with the big dogs wasn't an option. We did get soaked though!

September 22, 2008

Stolen Bike Wants To Go Home

Last Friday, in the wee hours of the morning. Someone stole my bike. Well actually. They stole my bike and left the above model in it's place. Now why would someone do that? Did they think that it wasn't stealing if they exchanged it? 

Did they take there yucky Wal-Mart special for a mid-night ride in the country and spot my tricked out Giant through night vision goggles and were suddenly overcome with the urge for an upgrade. Whatever the reason. I can tell you this. I do not want the Wal-Mart special. I want my bike back. 

I miss her. Really I do. I bought her special order from the bike store, a Giant Sedona in forest green and silver. She has a head light. And green slime in the tires so they never go totally flat.  She went back to the bike store yearly for a tune up.  I saved my pennies for 4 months for that bike. She has been a valued member of my daily commute for 3 years. 

On the count of three I want a pity party.  WAAAAHHHHHHH!

Also...the bike you left...wants to go home.  So come and get 'er!

September 21, 2008

Eagle's Wings

And He will raise you up on Eagle's wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of his hand.
-Fr. Michael Joncas

September 17, 2008

Goin' walkin'

Clarice is looking forward to:

This Saturday the 20th of September @ 10:30 AM

Moraine State Park's naturalist will be leading a group 2 mile dog hike starting at the Pleasant Valley picnic area on the South Shore to be followed by a doggie swim.  Need more info? Call the park @ 724-368-3612

Hope to see ya there!

September 16, 2008

The Horse for Me

There is no better way to see the world then from the back of a horse. The woods are greener. The air cleaner. The mountains steeper. The clouds bigger. Wildlife is less skittish. And you can hear yourself think.

Obie is the horse for me. He came to me after a 4 year search following the death of Tee. I looked and looked. I bought and sold. I had friends buy horses for me. I had a trainer buy me a horse. And finally in a last ditch effort Obie came to me for $1 and a trade. And that was that. The horse for me was him. I could wax poetic about him. But that would not do him justice. Obie's not an easy keeper. Not easy to ride. Strangely phobic.


I have been softened in attitude by seeing things through those big brown eyes of his. He has made my world infinitely better by his mere presence in it.

What more can a person ask.

September 13, 2008

What's that Lassie? Timmy's in the well!

Okay....not in the well.

But in a hole.

Not what I wanted to wake up to....rushed for work.  Let the "girls" out.  

20 minutes later I'm ready to leave the house for the Nursery.  

Call for Charlotte.


Call for Clarice.

Around the bend she comes.  Stops.  I say where is Charlotte.  She takes off.  I follow.  I am led to this.  Charlotte pup-pups rear end sticking out of the ground.  I am not mad.  I'm used to it.  I am owned by 2 Jack Russell Terriers.  And they have me well trained.  

I know that things underground are infinitely more interesting to them then things above ground.

So I go back to the house.  Grab my camera.  And play the game again.




Around the bend she comes.

"Clarice.....where is Charlotte."
And she takes off.  I follow.  I am led to the "hole".  Charlotte is digging.  I wait.  And wait.....and wait.  Eventually I say "Charlotte....what are you digging to girl?"  She backs out looks at me for a nano second and goes back at it.

Clarice waits nearby.

Digging is not Clarice's deal.  Charlotte is Clarice's deal.  Making sure that everyone knows what Charlotte is doing is Clarice's deal.  Clarice is all about Charlotte.

Charlotte is all about dirt.  And the things that reside beneath it.  Chasing, cornering, digging, holding.....that's Charlotte.

How long did this go on.  Well I just couldn't put an immediate stop to it.  I couldnt.  How awful would that have been for Charlotte.  So I went in the house.  Called the Nursery.  Said I'm going to be a little late.  Made steel cut oats for breakfast, ate them, went back out.


"Clarice".....repeat of first two attempts.  Clarice plays it the same the third time as she did the first two times.  Maybe even with a little more enthusiasm.  I know it needs to come to an end.  
And Charlotte has an okay recall she won't want to stop but she will.  And it will take a few minutes to clean out her eyes and check her pads.  But I have a few more minutes.  And honestly it is great to watch her dig.  So I settle down on a rock and watch.....

It was then that I realized that Clarice was standing in Poison Ivy.  

Game over.