Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Birthday Practice

At times, I forget the wise lessons of my favorite yogi, The Great Coleman Smith. I lose my way and forget to live in the moment.  Like for example, I've been fixated lately on getting him to his 10th birth date in relative good health.  July 3rd, to be precise.  As obstacles are thrown in our way, I become a bigger, badder snowplow... not always the answer.  Acceptance is, as Cole tells me, sometimes OK too.
His tumor, the Alien, as I have named it...

 did prevent him from peeing normally Tuesday morning.  Cole's stream did improve in the day, but my mood deteriorated to the most morbid funk.  WE ARE LOSING and I have been accused of being very competitive.  
Focusing too much on Cole taught me a valuable lesson by early afternoon.  I was looking for him when I was moving the tractor forward after 500 lbs of fertilizer had been loaded in the fertilizer hopper.  Never saw Garrett crawl under the tractor.  Dragged the hopper over him.

He's mostly unscathed, but it could have been so much worse.

This is life screaming at you to quit being an idiot and get you head out of your posterior.
I hear you loud and clear.
So, define a birthday?  A day you celebrate the gift of a love in your life.  Today is a good day for that.  Right now.

After work, we wander for two hours.  Take in the wind, 

the water,

all the random beauty we encounter.

A T-bone steak wanders into our kitchen too.

Happy Birthday Coleman Smith!

We're not done though.  We foray to town and get ice cream.

Then we venture to Georgia for lottery tickets.

Our road trip takes us down dark country roads.  He keeps his nose pressed to the vent sniffing the new scents.  I'm almost to Montezuma, Georgia, 2 hours from home, when he falls asleep. 

 I turn around and get home shy of 2 AM.  
He awakes with an appetite.  I cook him pork loins for a midnight snack.
Happy Birthday tomorrow too.  Sometimes I lose my way, but he always gets me home.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Dream Two Years in the Making

The work to finish the loft in my ox barn has been taking too long, moving in fits and starts, mostly fits.

Last month, I concluded that even if I only painted one hour a night, I'd still be further ahead than stalled out.

The cattle are a distraction when you're supposed to be focused on clinging to a rafter with one arm and painting under the eaves with the other.

Cole cheered me on once.  But without any screens, the Master of Disaster didn't need to stay up there.  Nor did he need to be covered in paint splatter seeing as I became obsessed about painting the entire ceiling, rafters and all, by hand.

Only when I did begin tacking up screens, did I allow him to hang out.
Trouble is, installing screening alone is tedious.

Enjoying the view with the Kid is more fun.

What a view.  Treetops.

The odd couple.

I can't wait to move in.

If I could only overcome my fear of collapsing ladders and get the screening up!!!

Enter liquid courage:  grande smoothie with 3 raw eggs.  I can do this.

Miraculously, Tommy didn't meddle with the ladder.  Landing would've been soft, but inglorious.
By 9 PM Sunday night, the last staple is in-- screens are up (screen molding yet to be installed, maybe another month before getting around to that, but the dogs will not fall two stories).  

This is it:  We move in!

Worth the wait.  

My dream:  to live in a barn.  Now my reality.  Shhhh, stop laughing, you'll wake Tommy and Daphne, they're sleeping beneath us.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mini Magic

Our horse trainer, Erica, brought her daughter's miniature pony to the farm.

'Cupcake' made quite a sensation.

Emma, who was probably on horseback hours after birth, expertly drove her little rig all over the place.

Erica and Emma, our ace trainers.

Sunday driving.

I love my job.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Very First Tractor

Commandment #10:  Thou shall not covet they neighbor's goods.  
No problem, unless you're talking about this:

Actually, the subject matter isn't Cole, it's what's behind him.  A vintage lawn tractor sprinkler.  A what?  you say. 
A sprinkler that propels itself forward with a water driven gear box. 
It's actually a +50 year old cast iron Nelson.  I have coveted it for four years.  This Mother's Day, it left its yard in Birmingham and cam home with me.

Firstly, the gearbox is shot.  I crack it open, spilling a colony of angry fire ants in the workshop.  Complete tear down, it is then.  The rust is so deep, that it takes many evenings of hand sanding to find the bare metal.

The rear and the front wheels' axles are so far gone that they need to be drilled out.  It's at this point that I wonder if driving back to Birmingham and tossing it in the wood line where I found it would put an end to this nightmare.

Once on the road to perdition, you may as well keep going.  After complete sanding, everything is treated to a preventative rust reactant.

Priming the body parts.

Original finish colors.

Doesn't matter how good looking it is if it doesn't perform its job?...

The new gearbox, initially wouldn't engage.  I was preparing to pitch it into the car for the haul back to Birmingham.  No yard art allowed.  If its not functional, Jamie considers it a pistol target.  At the umpteenth moment, she moves.  
It work!  My first tractor in motion 💗💗💗💗💗💗

Friday, June 23, 2017

Chief All-Glad

Cole spent last week being just OK.  His tumor has grown uncomfortably large and some of his skin tags have become cancerous as well, as determined by Dr. Brown who made a farm call on Monday to check on him.

Dr. Brown worked some magic and by Wednesday, he was back to his old self.  

Acting as my assistant mechanic.

Arguing with Pete concerning who gets to try to climb the ladder with me. 

Helping mom collect sticks from the trails during our evening stroll.

Leading the pack, to Pete's chagrin, through the rain.

We do follow the leader.

Because he always gets us home. Sometimes wet and muddy, but that's part of the fun.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Next 9 Hours

Bad news:  kindness has not killed the fledgling.

The mini Batman pooped up a storm in the feed room today.  

Cole couldn't contain his enthusiasm.

By evening, he was flying stronger, making it harder to catch him every 30 minutes for feeding.

Clocking out and taking our work home with us.

Cole, fixated.

Guidelines say to feed him until dusk.  He's on my porch now, redecorating the freshly painted floors.