Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Snippets 1

Since I can't ride my horses in the summer and share the stories of my rides, I have a tendency to write about a hodgepodge of topics.  I'm calling these my "summer snippets".

Serger Success

I did finally get my serger threaded.  Once the new power cord for my laptop arrived, I was able to find a video in which the instructor didn't overlook the last three steps of each phase.  She even added in a step of her own, and that did the trick to fix the problem I was having.  So, that means I got the final edge of that blouse serged.  I don't know when it will be wearable, though.  I have piles of clothing patterns for both me and the dogs, and fabrics waiting to be sewn, but I haven't been able to get to them because I have such persistent sewer's block when it comes to completing this blouse I've been constructing from scratch for the past few years.  I brilliantly wanted to design and construct a top like the Project Runway contestants, not considering the fact that I have no training in fashion design.  You seriously have to be born with engineering sensibilities to do this.  I admire designers and tailors and seamstresses.

My father was a civil engineer and he taught me how to design and build race cars.  We made them together, but he did the majority of work.  He got way more enjoyment out of those projects than I did.  I just liked to drive them and win.

Mule Matters

The horses are all totally desensitized to the Mule now.  It only took a couple of days for them to relax, and now I can race it right up to them and they don't budge.  I park it beside them and let it idle, and they act like it's not even there.  I did have to train them to not eat it, so they know the Mule is off limits to their muzzles.  The only thing I worry about now is that if I come across an ATV while horseback riding, my horses might run up to it to see if it is bringing them hay.

Even the wild rabbits and lizards come running when I drive up.  One rabbit always hops underneath the Mule when I park it, so I have to shoo the rabbit out of there before starting the engine.  I was worried that the engine noise would bother the neighbors, but when I had the Mule idling on one side of the hay barn, and I walked to the other side of it, just 12-feet away, I couldn't hear the engine at all.

My Mare Speaks English

The other morning I found Gabbrielle with a bare face and no fly mask.  She's usually very protective of her fly mask and won't let the geldings rip it off her.  I touched my face, and then touched her face and asked, "Where's your fly mask?"

She turned her head all the way around and pointed with her nose at a water trough.  I walked over there and looked inside.  Sure enough, there was her fly mask floating in the water tank.  Sometimes that mare stuns me with how intelligent she can be.

My Old Haunt

My daughter and her boyfriend took a trip to both their hometowns where they grew up, and she sent me pictures of our old house.  We still own it and rent it out, but haven't seen it in five years.  I was shocked by what I saw.  First off, remember my crazy neighbors who turned the property next door into a junkyard with their hoarding habits?  Well, my renters are giving them some competition.  Junk everywhere.  The man runs a gardening business, so he has a bunch of trailers, and he had tools and a cement mixer and all kinds of stuff just lined up around the perimeter of my house.

They nailed some kind of sign to the garage by the walkway.  I couldn't read it, but I certainly did not give them permission to nail stuff into the siding of my house.  Also, we had paid for and installed two traffic signs that said, "Private Road - 10 mph" along the street, which was on land we own, and someone moved one of the signs off the street and onto our driveway.  Again, we didn't give anyone permission to do that.  That's totally something the crazy neighbors would have done.  Trying to convince them that they didn't own the whole neighborhood was difficult.  The first thing they did when they moved in was to take down the street sign, because it didn't have the same street name on it as their legal address.  We bought a new street sign and put it up so that delivery truck drivers could find us, and those neighbors tried taking the new sign down again.  They finally got smart and just changed their legal address to match the name on the street sign, which was much shorter a name than the original street their house was associated with.  These are the types of problems you have when you move into a subdivision that was built on what used to be farm land, and the original farm houses had addresses associated with the nearest highway.

There was this little wild tree that seeded in a pot filled with dirt that had been sitting at the edge of our lawn for years.  We let it grow, and it took root right through the pot into our lawn.  That tree is now so huge that it blocks the driveway, so the renters can't park in the driveway or get their vehicles into the garage.  They never mentioned that problem to us.  The man is a gardener, so I'm surprised he hasn't trimmed it back.  If only the tree were that big when I lived there, the dog walking neighbor couldn't have seen into my windows from the street.

The barns are totally dilapidated.  They need serious sanding and staining.  The corral at the back of the RV lane is busted with boards just hanging there.  It amazes me how the renters have been nickle and diming me over every appliance that doesn't quite work right, and they even went so far as to request that I replace all the windows on the house because cold air was seeping in, but they won't mention a broken fence.  Also, without horses there, both the RV lane and the dry lot are covered in weeds.  I'm rather astounded by that, because I lived in that house for nearly 20 years, and the RV lane, which was covered in landscaping rock, had never been taken over by weeds.  There'd be a few weeds here and there, but I guess from me walking back and forth on it, the lane stayed mostly rock.  I heard Stephen Colbert joking about the governor of Nevada calling a state of emergency over weed.  I caught the tail end of his spiel and thought he was referring to the weeds that grow out of control and kill everything in their path, but it turns out he was talking about a shortage of legal marijuana.

All I can say is that it looks like the people who live in our house have been smoking pot.  Also, the junkyard neighbors appear to have built some kind of shed right up against the fence to my horse paddock.  I hope it blocks people's view of all that junk.  I would have preferred to have something like that there than all those broken down vehicles.  I looks like the roof overhangs onto our property.  The horses would have shredded that in an instant.

The one neighbor on the other side of me who keeps her property pristine and weed-free must be digging herself an early grave after seeing how the neighborhood has gone downhill so fast.  I'll bet she regrets all those years that she hassled us to paint our house, spray our weeds and trim our trees.  At least she never had to ask us to clean up our junk and bulldoze the barns and corrals.  We're probably looking like we were pretty good neighbors compared to what she's dealing with now.

Rock Wars

Yesterday my husband and I went painted rock hunting.  Usually, all the really nice rocks get snatched up within an hour of them being hidden, because the hiders are really bad about announcing exactly where they hid them online.  I only had about half an hour to search, and we weren't at the park for more than ten minutes when this woman and her teenage daughter swooped in and somehow managed to sweep away everything in a matter of seconds.  I was so frustrated.  I didn't want it to be a competition.  I just wanted to take a nice, relaxing walk and feel delighted to stumble upon some pretty rocks.

I approached them and asked if I could see the rocks they found.  I enjoy looking at the paint jobs and the creative ideas that people come up with.  The lady said that they were going to just keep a couple of them and re-hide the rest.  It was too late for me to look for them, because I had to get home to feed the animals.  I wish they had arrived either earlier or later.

The woman was getting on my nerves, because she kept following me around and pointing at rocks right next to me saying, "There's one!" and then running over to grab it.  She'd hide it in her hand like a little child saying, "It's mine!" and I'd have to ask to see it so that I could enjoy it too.  The annoying thing is that she should have been looking in her own location instead of trying to beat me to the ones that were near me.  That would have been the polite thing to do, but I've learned that not many people around here consider the feelings of others.  I'm convinced that survival of the fittest is evolving into survival of the most selfish.


TeresaA said...

I'm glad that you got your serger sorted!

I don't know how you cope with such high heat though.

Linda said...

Crazy! Yes, rock hunting is becoming a thing up here, too. My mom is really into painting rocks and now even sells rocks online. It has become a big, big passion for her, and she often goes on drives with my dad to find rocks. It makes her happy.

Gabrielle is a smart cookie. I think they can understand quite a bit. It probably helped that you signed a bit for her. I'm going to test my horses!