Archive for December 2010

Frosty End to 2010   Leave a comment

It was very cold (for Bakersfield) last night.  When we got up, there was a skim of ice on the puddles, and frost everywhere.  I liked the silvery glittering fur of frost on this log.

We’ve had a warm wet winter otherwise, though.  This is only the second bout of frost we’ve had, and there are (or were) still a lot of flies around.

The thirty-first is good day to look back at 2010.  For me, the event of the year was Billy’s knee replacement.  It’s made a lot of difference in both of our lives.

There were sorrows; daughter-in-law Teri’s passing, for one .  Then there was acquiring a pony, acquiring a puppy; small joys, but cherished.

As I approach seventy (two more years, eep!) I hang on to the good moments more and more.  It’s not like youth, with endless possibilities ahead of you; but the happiness seems more . . . concentrated.

Last year I picked out my favorite pictures of 2009 and re-posted them over the first few days of 2010.  I’ll do that again this year, I think; unless something really interesting happens, that is!

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Posted December 31, 2010 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

Golden Light   Leave a comment

The rain is past for now, anyway.  Cold winds from the north-west yesterday and today have made it beautiful, but chilly, outside.  The sun broke through late yesterday and gilded the riverbank with light.

It’s been crystal-clear today, with even the coastal mountains sharp-edged.  You feel as though you could see the ocean if the mountains weren’t in the way.

The horses have been enjoying the sun, with many of them lying on their sides, soaking up as many rays as possible.  They’d better enjoy it; there’s supposed to be more rain on the weekend.  We’re at four hundred percent of the normal rainfall for this year, and it’s the second wettest calendar year ever.  Everyone’s been working hard, and we’re not in bad shape.  Most of the pens have been drained and/or ripped, and the roads are drying out.

I hope the Rose Parade doesn’t get rained out!

Posted December 31, 2010 by stablewoman in Weather

It’s Snowy in St. Louis   1 comment

Or at least in Webster Groves, near the big city.  Sister Sally sent me these pictures of my nieces Emily and Rebecca in the snow.  There seems to be a special kind of rosy cheek you only get while playing in the snow.

Here is their back yard.  I’m really jealous; all we’ve got is mud.

Right now, the wind is howling out of the northwest and it is cold.  It seems colder than if it were snowing.  At least we have a nice fire going, and the wind is drying out some of the mud from last night’s .4 addition to our all-time record month.

I didn’t blog yesterday, because I went to the dentist for an emergency extraction.  Actually, it wasn’t much of an emergency.  I called to say that the tooth that he had put a temporary filling in had abcessed.  He had warned me that it might be a problem, but we wanted to see if we could save the tooth.  It was, and we couldn’t.  He got me right in and popped it out.  I’m not even very sore today. 

Now we’re sitting by the fire, wondering what Mother Nature is going to do to us next.

Posted December 29, 2010 by stablewoman in People, Weather

We Love Our Backhoe   Leave a comment

Today is another cleanup day.  David’s spent a lot of time on the backhoe.

This sure isn’t as pretty a shot as the sunrise of a couple of days ago, but it’s beautiful to us.  Remember that flooded round pen?  Here it is today.

You can’t get into the round pen and rip it, as we do with the horse pens.  The gate’s too narrow and the shape too awkward.  So he dig a trench, then a pit — no, a pit then a trench.  You hit the river sand below, and away goes the water.  Hooray!

At least until the next storm, coming in Wednesday.  I very, very seldom dread the sound of rain; but this is, after all, the wettest month in the history of Bakersfield.  We could use a few days to dry out.  But I don’t want Mother Nature to think we’re ungrateful, and decide not to rain again till next fall.

She’s done it before.

Posted December 27, 2010 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch

The Heavens Opened   Leave a comment

After that beautiful sunrise yesterday, and high winds all day, things were drying out nicely.  Then came the deluge.  It poured for about two hours yesterday evening.  The official storm total was .42, but I think we got better than half an inch.

We were flooded again.

Actually, it wasn’t as bad as before, because David had dug so many trenches and drainage holes already.  The roads, though, are a mess again.  I can’t get my Beetle to Andrew’s, let alone the other side. 

Today Andrew spent some time on the John Deere, scooping up dirt and depositing it in the worst pens.

Some of the horses could care less about the tractor working at the far end of the pen.  The more nervous ones are stowed in an empty pen until the work is done.  There was one empty pen in this row, being reserved by someone looking for a horse, so they used it when necessary.

This is one of the drier sections of road, and you can see how it looks.  The tunnel in the background still has eight inches of water in it.  Sometimes I think it would be nice to have asphalt roads, but those aren’t safe for horses and riders.  Not to mention that all of the water that drained off the roads would end up in the pens, too.

Posted December 26, 2010 by stablewoman in Around the Ranch, Weather

Christmas Dawn   1 comment

The prediction was for fog; but when we heard the wind howling in the night, we knew that wasn’t likely.

Instead, this is what I saw when I got up and looked to the southeast.

As the minutes went by, it got more and more spectacular.

The wind has been up most of the day, and the roads and pens are drying out fast.  We’ll be ready for rain in the night — and much happier about it than before.

I’m about to go start getting dinner ready.  Suzanne sent us a honey-baked ham, so it won’t be hard.  Sweet potatoes, a corn casserole, brown-n-serve rolls; she provided us with a feast.  We’ve been getting goodies from friends, boarders, and neighbors all week. 

Here’s wishing everybody a Christmas as good as ours!

Posted December 25, 2010 by stablewoman in Weather

Drying Out   Leave a comment

Yesterday and today were drying-out days, before the next storm comes in.  The crew has been working on getting the worst of the roads and pens scraped and/or ripped, before the next storm comes in.  They worked on the new line of pens, so Bella got to come and playing the sick pen while Billy ripped hers.

She had a wonderful time.  Here she is between bouts of galloping, trotting, kicking up, and squealing at her neighbors.

She’s a mess, but I gave her a good checking-over and she’s got no problems.  Other than boredom.

On the way back from putting her away, I stopped to look at the round pen — or round puddle.

It looks a lot bigger than it is here, I guess because I was taking the picture through the fence.  It’s not going to be usable for quite a while.  David just finished digging a trench with the backhoe, to drain the big arena — the one on our side.

Then we had a beautiful sunset.  It’s been a while.  This one had an unusual pearly iridescence.

Last night, we thought our old Bullet was colicky, so he was up in the sick pen last night.  He was fine this morning, but fretting for his buddies.  I sat on the tailgate of the pickup to lead him back to his buddies.  We had to go through the tunnel, and would have never made it on foot.  It was over his fetlocks; probably six to eight inches of water still backed up there.

Things are slowly improving, though.  The STP daylily decided Christmas Eve would be a nice time to have one more bloom, as if to cheer us up.

It did.

Posted December 24, 2010 by stablewoman in Flowers, Horses, Weather