September 06, 2018

Summertime....and the living is BUSY, don't care what Ella says!

Summertime is about mowing, heat, gardens, sweaty ponies and evil horseflies!  We've had lots of heat and then lots of rain at times.  It's been hard to keep up with the pastures.  We mow one a week and rotate the horses off the one we just mowed.  The pastures have been looking great though!  Even the wormhole area is green and the horses are getting good grazing there too!  The fans in the barn are keeping them cool and away from the horseflies.  Some of these flies I've mistaken for hummingbirds!  They are huge!


Our garden got attacked by a vine borer so I only had 3 zucchini before the plants wilted.  Ugh.  My tomatoes have been okay, had a tomato horn worm issue but got the caterpillars and fed them to a neighbors chickens and left the ones with parasitic wasp eggs.  That's actually pretty satisfying.   Still contemplating chickens for Geek Acres but I'm afraid my border/aussie mix will kill them.  He never has learned that horses kick...


My neck has mostly healed but still not signed off to ride yet.  The horses are doing fine with that though, lol.  I'll have a lot of work when the weather cools I'm sure getting them back into the habit of riding.  I went to a sleep study and have sleep apnea....my whole family has it so I was encouraged to go.  Sleeping with a cpap now, only been about a week and getting used to it.  Feeling overly tired with that adjustment but it's slowly improving and certainly quieter for the husband!  Plus it's good to know I'm taking action to prevent future health issues and of course not dying by stopping breathing is a big deal.  I apparently did that 98 times as hour!




My bees have been good, had to split one large hive and make another so now we have three hives we are getting prepared for winter.  Hoping things keep going well.  Treating for mites and all seem pretty healthy.  


It's been a busy summer of just work with mowing and bees it seems.  No riding, no scuba diving.....sad.  But now that I'm healed up I'm back to getting in the water and should be able to mount up again soon, at least the weather will cool down and those dreaded horseflies will die!

Got a new haircut and liking having slightly shorter hair.  Sorry this blog post is boring.  Just haven't been able to do much pony stuff to write about.

July 18, 2018

I'm still here! Ponies, Garden and Stuff

Everything has been good, I had a 6 week recuperation, 3 with a silly collar around my neck but I have no pain anymore.  I only have my left pointer finger that sometimes feels off.  Not numb or tingling but just different.  Can't complain since my entire arm was having issues before the surgery.  I'm off riding until my vertebrae fuse so possibly this fall but maybe longer.  Bummer.


The ponies are doing well though hanging out and I can groom now and do chores again.  That was hard for a while when I couldn't even pick up poop.  Not that it's my favorite thing to do but it has to be done and often!  Oiy.  I have a good husband and great friends that were staying with us and mucking out.


We started a garden and have been harvesting a decent amount.  Now it's almost overgrown, not like the picture below.  Been battling some bugs and hoping I get tomatoes though.  We also have potatoes and then Steve is growing cucumbers and pickling them.


Bees are doing good too but that would be a whole other post.  Just been so busy and having some challenges at work with a change in schedule which is better for my health but harder to regulate my off time without just getting lazy and watching TV.  I hope this post finds everyone well.  Just wanted to say I'm back from outerspace!

April 15, 2018

Herniated disk

Well I have to have surgery this Friday on my c5 and c6 vertebrae where there is a herniated disk and bulge pressing on my nerves, making my arm tingle and losing strength.  Not very happy about it but don't want to play around with treatments the doc thinks will not work due to my lack of response to a week of steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs.  


We have so much to do and so many started projects!  One of our hives, the Roman hive, lost their queen but luckily a couple club members who know that I'm disabled from lifting came over with some brood and a capped queen to install in that hive with hopes it will set the babies right in a week or so.  The other hive, the Gothic Hive, seems strong.

Lesson 1: don't use a rubber band to secure the queen cage, it isn't secure and the extra panic of finding the cage and putting the queen on top of the bars made for the hive to start building comb inside the lid instead of on the frames.  When we opened it up the combs fell down and could have very well killed our queen.

Lesson 2: A miller feeder is less invasive feeder for beehives than the Ultimate Hive feeder 
and doesn't allow for that extra room where bees can build comb willy nilly.  We have two arriving on Monday and hoping a club member can help me switch this out and both hives will continue strong and happy.



The comb we took out was so pretty with nectar stored and pollen.  We also saw eggs so are pretty sure the queen was on these combs and most likely perished when they fell down.  If the cage had stayed down in the frames I'm sure the bees would have built comb where they should have since they follow the queen.


Our horses are doing well.  They need a good grooming but other than that are content and happy.  Grass is coming in, we already spread manure and seed in one field and in patches in the other field plus strayed for weeds just in the fields.  We are allowing all sorts of flowers and such where the horses don't need have their food grown.  We still have plenty of hay so are slowing getting the ponies on the field.  Obviously it will be a while before I can ride again.  So bummed.

We have seedlings starting for some gardening in a fenced of area for our garden.  Steve is building us some raised beds in a little bit for us to transfer them.  It will be awesome to just go outside and pick my salad!  For now that's the drama at Geek Acres.  I have the best husband ever, who is helping out so much.  I hate we can't divide the chores like we normally do but such is life, if the tables were turned I'd be doing the same!  Happy spring wishes to everyone!

April 07, 2018

The Bee Package installs!


I'm dealing with an arthritic neck and possibly a pinched nerve, MRI next week, so wasn't really up to being fully hands on with our bees.  Still very excited!

Activities around Geek Acres

What can I say but life is pretty busy, we are gearing up for beekeeping, dealing with a mud season (aka muddy ponies) and preparing for spring in many different ways.



Steve has been working from home rather than on site for his recent contract, which has been great. He's also had some fun making things with his new wood working toys. He's made several bluebird boxes, hive stands and a beekeeping tool box for me and has other things in the works. 





 I've spent a lot of time painting the beehives. There are many steps involved since I'm not painting them just one color, I'm painting them like houses. The first one I painted like this cute building we saw in Rome that was gorgeous. Then I decided to make a stone sided gothic style manor. I found a dollhouse company that makes cool stencils for doing stonework on dollhouses so I used it for the beehives using paint. Easy peasy! Just takes a really long time but going a little crazy on cuteness is sort of my thing. 




We also prepared our apiary site.  The first site we had liked was a bit too shady so we decided on one much more prominent in our backyard and with full sun.  Hopefully it will work well.  




That shady area is just down the hill from the beautiful plum tree we had to majorly cut back.  It was plagued by black knot fungus with the only way to help it survive being to cut out the infected wood.  I thought this tree was so pretty but it was over grown, not pruned and in a shady area it just had all cards stacked against it.  We will see if it can survive and if it will return to it's pretty self some years down the road




Stay tuned, we got our bees and I have a video of our bee package installations.

I have a pinched nerve in my neck and having pain and numbness so haven't been able to do much the past couple of days.  The horses are doing good, I've been dying to go work with them but that will have to wait a little bit.  At least it's greening up and they are shedding and getting shiny again!

January 25, 2018

Snowmageddon 2018 NC

We received more snow in NC than they have had in years, at least in the Piedmont area.  Our snow measured about 10 inches on average.  Coming from Colorado I was thrilled!  I was working the day it started snowing and was able to leave early as soon as my husband texted me that we already had 7 inches.  Bernini, my little Fiat 500, did fine in the snow until I got to our unplowed road.  I basically drove and pushed the snow in front of me until it made a wall and then the little car was stuck.


Steve was home working so I could call him to get the tractor out and rescue us, otherwise I would have had to walk to our house and do it myself but I'm glad I had the option either way.  He came down with Kevin, the Kubota, and plowed the snow from around the little car.  Then I followed him home as he made a path for us and a path up our driveway.


Once home I had the pleasure of watching the ponies play in the snow.  I don't know what it is about snow but they love it!  Chance was running around while Daenerys was nuzzling me in hopes of treats.


Chance loves to put his lips on everything!  He plays with water and hoses, humans he tries to groom etc.  It wasn't a surprise that he wanted to lick the snow off the nearby pine tree, he was so cute and acted surprised when the branch eventually dropped a ton of snow on his face.


Dani like to roll in the snow but also just followed me around while I was out there.  She was very much wanting the love.  It was still pretty warm considering so later that night we had to dry the horses and blanket them for the colder temperatures that were to come that night.  Leave it to NC to have rain and then snow fall followed by very freezing temperatures to make the roads lots of fun!  Luckily I was done at work for the week so I could just stay home and enjoy the pretty snow.


The next day was gorgeous!  The sky was so blue and the barn was it's pretty red color, I love where we live!  


The barn roof had some neat patterns on the snow from the wind.  Look how pretty it is!  I'm so glad we finally painted the barn since it looks so nice!


Loki had fun helping us take care of the horses and he enjoyed bounding in the snow but also keeping to our path out to the barn.  You can see how deep it was!


The ponies were toasty in their blankets and looking for their morning feeding.  After a couple days the snow did mostly melt away and we have been enjoying the mud and muddy ponies.  What fun.  I'm glad we got the moisture, it will be good for our pastures.  I always enjoy horses in snow though!

December 30, 2017

Reddish

We've finally finished painting the barn!!!  

Steve's dad started us with one full side painted in the red but I realized the custom base we went with made it a bit too bright.  The second coat is the less vibrant red and I like it so much better.


The trim was the hardest part of course since we tried to tape to get straight lines but I always end up going back over the mishaps with a small brush for touch ups.  Steve had to do the high areas on the ends of the barn since I hate getting too high on a ladder.


I did the majority of the lower surfaces and trim...section by section.


Steve also fixed the stall doors that had really chewed up wood and it looks fantastic.


Here's the shed row side all painted red and awaiting the trim work.  It seems we had to wait a long time between painting days because of weather or temperature so it felt forever to get this completed.


I also painted the two gates attached to the barn.  One stays open most of the time to let the horses come and go and therefore the white X faces outwards with a neat effect.


I like the pop of the white trim!  Above you can see the left door doesn't have trim below the door.  We'll cut a piece of wood at some point and match it to the other door.


For now I am so pleased to finally have this task done and hope the paint holds up for a while.  Of course we already have smudges of dirt where the ponies rubbed some body part on the edges....LOL.  It's a barn, it's gonna have dirt!  I will have to buy some more of those nubbin scratchers and place them near their favorite spots!


It's so great finally having a major task complete and we can move on to yet more projects we have on the list!

November 16, 2017

Barn Lighting

Daylight savings time end means it gets really dark at 5:30pm and I, not being able to see in the dark need lights in order to feed my horses.  The southside of barn where we've added the new fencing is now the feeding area directly out of the feed room.  


We added a new light on one end of the barn to light up this area and also to continue lighting in the direction of our run in shed where there are hay bags for an addtional feeding location.


Also right by the feed room there is a new light shining down towards the door.  My interior lights work great and the new location for the switches work perfectly.  


Steve still has to work on the south side of the barn where the stalls are to rewire the lights for the stalls which are switched on via the tack room.  Then there is a new location on the outside of the barn for a switch that will turn on the aisle lights and barn yard light.  Our barn will be well lit for any needed illumination!  I could even work one of the horses at night if I need to!  

And as you can see the barn is getting painted.  Steve's dad worked on the southside of the barn while we were on vacation in Australia.  We had to buy more paint so the next two days with the warmer temperatures means I'll be out there adding a second coat and starting on unpainted sections.  I'm loving how it's looking so far.  The sunset lighting in the above pictures sure makes it glow!  LOL

November 11, 2017

New fencing section

Steve and I have been busy as usual.  I've spent time finishing up my Scuba diving certification in prep for our trip in October to Australia.  Before the trip we wanted to get a new section of fencing put up to change where the horses are fed now that the only door you can use for the feed room is the big door.


Steve staked out what he calls the "whoop-de-do" like what we have on the other side of the barn.  It's basically a human fence pass through.


Steve's new auger makes the job of digging post holes so much easier!!!


He also make sure that the fence posts didn't slope therefore you have a place to rest your beer when you are working out in the yard!  LOL.


We got a new 14 foot gate placed (eventually wanted to get another in the back so you can enter with a truck and trailer through the back to deliver hay etc.)


Then of course the posts had to be cut to the fence size, they were just a little too tall.



I started working on painting the doors to the hay room....we'll eventually have the entire barn painted but that's a lot of paint and time.  Luckily I have a father in law who likes painting and stayed here while we were down under!


So the rest of the post is just pictures since as I write this we have to head out and finish up installing some barn lights and doing some wiring.


I played with a silly filter on my camera here.


Complete fencing!


Lastly we had to run the electric fence connection to another area of the electric fence so we rented a trencher to do that job.  The picture is of Steve but I'm the bad ass who did the job mostly!  Hear me roar!  More to come!