Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Makin Noodles

Makin Noodles...I always am interested in things that happen where folks live...here we live on the edge of the "Great Palouse" ...this is an area of farming, and though folks frequently ask, we do not grow potatoes here ;-) Our farmland in the area is not flat...as you can see from this photo, the combines have levelers on them, so they can work the side hills.......The area is covered in wheat, barely, lentils and garbanzo beans. There are some areas of Canola too, which, in bloom is a spectacular yellow color.

We have a wheat field directly out the back door of our house. The farmers call it the "Peanut field" seems it is shaped liked a peanut. It took the guys a little less than an hour to harvest the field of 35 acres. This soft white wheat that they grow here, is headed for the orient. Almost all the grain grown in this area is headed to Japan, China, Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia for use in making those lovely soft noodles used in their cuisine. So, the wheat is off the field now, and will take a slow journey to its final destination. The wheat will most likely be loaded on a barge, and barged down the Columbia river. Lewiston is the US's most inland port, a mere 400+ miles from the Pacific Ocean.....Through a series of locks the barges make the long trip to the Columbia river bar at Astoria, OR, and then they head out to sea.

We are always a little relived to have the ripe/heavy wheat removed. The removal of this will cut our fire danger down a whole lot. An unharvested wheat field has a whole lot of fuel in it, and we are glad to see it lessen a bit. And...to think that our little kernels of wheat will someday be someone in China's lunch or dinner.....yep, makin noodles ;- )

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bringing home a **winner**

All my horses are at home now....for a bit at least, as we hopefully will be taking HeartBreaker up to Trainer Mike for a late summer/fall training and showing season. We gathered up the foals that were out away from the ranch,Hattie had been staying with a babysitter, while I took a few days off, and I also brought Legacy home from Trainer Mike after our show last Saturday. Trainer Mike rode her in an Intro A test, and then we switched to the next step up and rode her in a Training Level 1 test..... That second ride of the day produced BLUE for Legacy and Mike, winning the TL 1 test class....Trainer Mike had been working on Legacy's canter, they handled it just fine for a young horse. The judge also had time to add a few pointers and Mike had the option of riding the test again. He opted for schooling the canter instead, and with the judge encouraging him to let her open up, they rode the canter much better....Trainer Mike tends to be a bit conservative, we both realize that our young horses have years and years to develope, we don't not want to push too hard..... but the judge really encouraged him to let her go more forward , accept contact, as she totally trusts him, and it was lovely. I brought Legacy home after the show, and put her to babysitting youngsters. We also confirmed yesterday that she is in foal to HeartBreaker for a spring 2010 foal. That is exciting news, both the parents of this foal are dressage winners! Proving their potential out in the public, in open shows against all sorts of other breeds.....We are very excited about this young filly's talent, our very first homebred to hit the show ring, and a huge future in the world of dressage. Legacy also has a whole lot of growing left to do, at 15.2HH as a 3 year old, we are excited about what she can do for our program. The judge also commented on her gaits, her MIND and her potential, when she grows into her gangly body as she matures.....This is one very awesome curly filly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tales of skunks and ponies.....

In early July we had some very special visitors to the ranch....My niece from Missouri came with her family, ages 3 weeks ( yes, weeks!) to 12 years...her three oldest kids are bonus kids, and she has 2 youngins aged 2 1/2 and 3 weeks.....Cassie, came with a plan in mind...find something to love and ride ;-) We made use again, of our nurse mare, pony mare, "Addy" tacked her up in a halter and lead rope and sent Cassie off riding...they stand at the fence, wondering what adventures could happen outside that wall......Cassie had a blast, trotting around on Addy, finding her own legs sored pretty easy, and dreaming of cantering down the trail in the future. We had a wonderful time with all our family members, the older kids are gracious and kind and love their new siblings.....!
While the boys were exploring in the hay barn, they came across some of the local young skunks....we had been having trouble with skunks in our barn, dinning on our cat food...so, this trip for the family was filled with tales of skunks and ponies...you can not get any truer to farm life than that!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4 th of July.....our independance day !!!

Ralph August Meiling....somewhere in Europe....1943

woohooo !!! It is the 4 th of July...a time that America celebrates and remembers our past.....and a time that we are so very thankful of our military troops that help to keep us free. My Dad was a WWII vet...he spent 4 years overseas, first in Africa, then in Italy......after he passed away in 2007, I found his war picture album...all those places in pics.....he looked so young, he must have been amazingly brave to travel the world and defend our freedom. His pic album is a real treasure, he had told me of those pics often, but could not remember where he had put the album, so we never got to look through it together....and sadly, not ONE single pic, had a place or date on it....some pics are obvious....Africa is pretty easy to spot, as is Rome.....but I surely wish I knew where some of the other photos were taken....

Photos are a legacy that we leave behind for our heirs and the next generations.....a treasure to share for certain....

Enjoy your day, remember that because of soldiers of wars past...we are all free !!! and Happy 4th of July !!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hey, hey, HAY !

Anyone out there remember "Fat Albert?" ....I do not suppose it is even politically correct to say that title anymore.....Fat Albert was a cartoon about a rather plump, but cheery kid...who always said...."hey,hey,hey!" so, I am just quoting him on this topic.

Monday and Tuesday, we hauled in our hay....18 ton of round bales this year...we use round bales late in the summer, and then early in the spring, when we have mare in for foaling and breeding season. We still have a good supply of alfalfa left for our broodmares in the winter....our weanlings will come off pasture in the late summer, and they will spend their days in our pasture here by the house, with a round bale, and supplemental grain....

It is always a chess game here, seems no matter how many pastures or stalls I have, I could use more....but...hey, hey, hay....that is life!