Mud, Mayhem and Murder!

What?  You did not spend your weekend playing in mud and mayhem and maybe a little murder?

I did!

I have a pretty good, “honey do” list for the horses.  One of the items on my list was to run a water line and electric line to the barn.   After last year’s brutal winter I learned my lesson, water lines need to be buried going to the barn.  You see in Dec 2010, we added onto a lean-to for the horses making it into a barn.  Since it was so late into the season, we were not able to get a proper water line to the barn.

What’s a proper water line?  It’s when the pipes are buried under the ground, at a depth of at least 4 feet so it is less likely to freeze. It became apparent last winter when the windchill was  -45* degrees.  Our makeshift, above ground water line did not stand a chance at being helpful in the delivery of water to the barn in those temps.  After hauling water in 5 gallon buckets  or in 55 gallon barrels from the trough to the barn, I decided that I was not going to do that again… Well, I should probably not say never, because you never know when a water line will break. This coming winter… there would be a water line installed, even if I had to hand dig it.  That might be a slight exaggeration but you get the picture.

Do you get the feeling that I am getting ready to share my experience with adding in a water line to the horse pasture?

You’re right and so smart!

I am so thankful that this past weekend was so nice out because it made this project enjoyable.

IMG_0810

 Unloading the equipment… getting ready to break ground

IMG_0816

We broke ground just about 10:30 am.  The sun was shining, it was warm, and the farmers were just starting to harvest the field next to our property.    With the excavator chewing up the ground, leaving the first piles of MUD behind,  I started my first job for this, which was to breakdown the “shelter” that protected the hydrant next to the horse trough.   So now I have the mud starting to show, the mayhem will come later in the adventure.  I am sure you are wondering about the murder; hang on,  I am getting there.

I had just picked up on of the last five bricks that I needed to move, when a mouse mom with what seemed like 500 babies hanging on her back flew out at me.  Okay, it may have been 6-8 but when facing off with a flying mouse and her babies, they multiply.  I half dropped– half threw the brick at the mice, jumped, and screamed… Once I thought the coast was clear, I poked around the brick evaluating the damage.  I am sad to report that  I committed my first mouse murder.  I won’t lie, I did not shed any tears over the lives lost in that fateful moment, or as I tossed the baby mice bodies into the trench that was just dug.

The very beginning!

IMG_0827

As the day progressed, the project continued to run smoothly… that is until the trench was almost opened all the way.  Dad had about a 2 foot section of ground to remove, when the ditch collapsed on itself!  It happened in a slow motion and yet fast at the same time… the excavator tipped over and sank down.  For a brief moment, I was not sure if we would get dad out of the excavator before the door was pinned shut.

What was my first reaction?  Take a picture for the wall of shame? Cough, cough, cough… I mean wall of Fame.  You see my father is very capable of getting the farm equipment stuck.  Most of the time the adventure ends with multiple trucks hooked up to the “stuck” piece of equipment, pulling it out of whatever precarious situation he got it in!

IMG_0896

One time when I was 14ish, dad came running into the house looking for help.  When mom and I walked outside; we looked at each other; looked at dad and told him to call an employee to help.  Why?  Because he had one of the business John Deere tractors being picked up by a larger Kubota tractor and dangling over the bed of a truck… No big deal. But the John Deere flipped upside down and was leaking fuel.  Mom and I really like living, so we decided that dad needed to get a guys help to flip his tractor right side up.  Do you blame me?IMG_0900

Anyway, back to the Mayhem– we hooked chains up to excavator and I climbed into the bobcat to provide tension to help support the sinking excavator. We were able to get the excavator to stabilize a little bit, but it was still pretty well stuck in the trench.  We changed the angle of the chains, and we were able to walk the excavator out of the ditch!  THANK YOU GOD!  The mayhem of the project only lasted 45 minutes, no one was hurt, and nothing broke!

The project continued on!

IMG_0905

With the trench fully dug, it was on to gluing the pipe together and putting it into the trench.  The goal: glue the pipes and attach the facet before dark.

IMG_0868

IMG_0921

Well, the Mayhem delayed the project, so new goal: get the pipe glued before heading into the house for the night.  This would prevent us from having to rework much in the morning if the trench collapsed.   Mom was a trouper, and she held flashlights while dad and I glued.  New goal met… now it was time to find food and warm up!

Setting pipes by phone flashlights!

IMG_0917

Sunday morning came way too fast! I really did not want get up, but daylight was burning, and we had an open trench, a field tile broken and a brother’s lacrosse game to get to if possible.   Nash came out to check on the progress with me first thing Sunday.

IMG_0920

 

We fixed the field tile and dad back filled the trench, while I cleaned up and started to fix the fence.  Soon, Mud and Mayhem struck again.  Dad pulled up next to me with the bobcat full of dirt in the cab.  For the first time in my life, I dug out the cab of the bobcat and then vacuumed it out.   I was amazed at the places that the dirt got into in that small cab.
IMG_0934

As the project was nearing an end, dad looked at me and said, “All this hard work, and all there is to show for it is a pile of dirt and a facet in the barn– that gives you lots of water.”  I am okay with that!

IMG_0968

IMG_0950

 

By 6:30 pm, the fence was fixed, the water line was considered complete, all the tools and supplies were put away, and I was heading back to the house to clean up and get food. So there you have it… my weekend was spent playing in the mud, a little mayhem and a few mice murders… almost the perfect weekend, if you ask me!

I’ll catch you soon.

H.C._J.

Day 3: New Additions… World Meet Teague

Before I get to today’s topic, I need to share. This is seriously fun writing on a daily basis, knowing I have a friend out there that is doing the same! You should seriously consider joining us on this adventure!

Life changes consistently… No matter how hard I try to keep it the same, things changes. It’s for the best really. I would get bored if I woke up and things were the same EVERY single day. Sometimes the big changes in life can really scare me. Flash back to the first time I got a new coach… you would have thought the world ended after that first practice. It took my parents a long time to convince me that having Big John as a coach was a good thing. They were right. I learned some very important lessons from Big John that I would have never experienced if I had stayed. Flash forward to current times.

This spring I have been arguing with myself and that is an exhausting thing to do. Most of you met my 11 year old Great Dane in a previous post, “Grey Clouds & ‘Colloidal’ Silver Linings” and the debate centered on him. He is starting to show signs that he might not be with me forever… no matter how much I want him to stick around. So I started tossing around the idea of getting a second Great Dane. Nash could then train the new puppy, teach him the ropes of the farm. I quickly talked myself out of this idea. My rebuttal arguments included: I want to focus on Nash and whatever time I have left with him. What if the puppy knocked him over on the tile floor and broke his hip? The one that scared me the most was. What if Nash decided that I no longer needed him because he had been replaced? So that was it in my brain. No new puppy this summer.

Then I stumbled over an ad on craigslist and on a whim called to see if there were any males left in the litter.   There was a pic of one puppy that had the markings that I wanted, but all the puppies marked like this one lately were females. I have a strict NO female animal policy for my personal pets. I was shocked to learn that the one puppy I liked in the litter was a male. So I set an appointment to go look at this puppy, never expecting to come home with him.

Several days later, I pulled up to a house in the hood of a large city just over an hour from my farm and there was this adorable puppy in the door just a wiggling. I looked at my mom and said, “Sold.” We spent an hour meeting both the mom and the dad of the litter and working out a deal. Soon I had an 11 week old puppy wrapped around my neck as I held him the whole way home. Now as I write this, that 11 week old puppy is almost 14 weeks and sprawled on “his” mattress next to my bed.   No worries, Nash is snuggled in his spot in my bed.

What have I learned with this new change and addition? Expanding to your “clan” is good. It does not matter if it’s a dog, a friend or a family member you should welcome new additions at every chance.

No matter how hard I try, snoring keeps me awake and this puppy can snore. Yes you heard correctly, he snores like a freight train. Do you think they make breathe rights for puppies? I would so try to get this puppy to wear one every night.

Cuteness can erase all the worry and stress of the day in 0.2 seconds flat. This puppy has more than his fair share.

IMG_6534

Youth around the “elderly” is a good thing. It keeps the old youthful and teaches the young all at the same time.

IMG_6045

Puppies practice Ninja moves while they sleep.

IMG_6124

Patience is a must, probably when you have little left.

IMG_6413

Shoes need to be stored at a minimum of height clearance of 3 feet.

IMG_5938

Bathing a puppy in the sink might irritate your family, but it gets the job done.

IMG_6163

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never under estimate the power of a ball even if it’s signed by Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal

IMG_5917

Keeping my phone handy to take pictures is a must.

IMG_5914

Drinking out of the toilet like the big boys will happen no matter how hard I try to stop him
IMG_6126

Picking a name becomes a family debate, battle and finally everyone gets on the same page.

IMG_6262

So let me formally introduce you to our newest family member, Teague.

IMG_6309

This little cutie is keeping Nash young at heart and stealing the heart of the family.

IMG_6178

So as we part ways today, I hope you look for chances to add to your life. Sometimes it’s in the places you least expect it too!

IMG_6174  IMG_6470 IMG_5964

Ps. feel free to connect on Instagram, there is a link on the right so you can watch Teague grow up before your eyes!

Grey Clouds and “Colloidal” Silver Linings

I have an eleven year old Great Dane, Nash.

IMG_4015

Yes, you read that correctly, Nash is eleven.

IMG_0066

Yes, that is really old for a Great Dane.

IMG_6346

Yes, he still acts like a puppy and he is doing a great job of raising the newest addition to the family, Teague.

IMG_3293

Yes, his paws are huge and leave big muddy prints all over the house.

IMG_4404

Yes, his poop piles are big… He is a big dude! No I am not going to show you…What do you expect?

Part human

Yes, he thinks he is part human sitting on the yoga ball.

075

Yes, he is super cool.

IMG_3326

Yes, he sleeps in my bed or should I say I sleep in his bed.

IMG_5880

Yes, having a geriatric dog has it’s challenges.

I really could continue the yes statements for a long time because eleven years of adventures with one of the coolest dogs I have ever met, provides you lots of fun stories I could share with you.

Yesterday, I did a line up and washed all four dogs from puppy Teague to old man Nash. When I was massaging the soap into Nash’s coat on his back, he buckled. This caught me off guard. Aches and pains come with age and his back will bother him from time to time. But this was the sorest I have ever seen him. It made my heart hurt a little bit because we never want to see someone we care about hurt. To me, it does not matter if it’s a human or animal that is in my life, I don’t like seeing them in pain.

IMG_6306

Our night progressed like normal. We fed the horses. It was a really nice out so I stopped at our fire pit next to the pond and sat down. I was watching the horses head out to the pasture to enjoy the green grass and the dogs were playing in the pond and running like terrors around the yard. I even had to take a very dead, crispy and disgusting frog from the puppy. (He was not happy about loosing his new chew toy but he moved on to playing in the pond) Nash as the King of the Property, sat at my feet watching his kingdom and subjects. We really enjoyed sitting out by the pond together. At one point,  I noticed his breathing was a little hard, but I chalked it up to the fact that it was pretty hot out.

Just after dusk, we all headed inside.

With the title of my blog, Hippie Chick J, you can probably figure out that some… okay a lot of how I live could almost be considered a hippie lifestyle. I love it that way. I love using what God put on our Earth to help heal us naturally and to keep us healthy. I love learning about supporting my body and my animals bodies through natural and organic ways. One staple in our house is colloidal silver. I call this my miracle cure. Colloidal silver helps with all kinds of infections and when you just don’t feel good. When I am not feeling good I take some and the animals are not exempted from this either. In fact, if they are sick and you ask them if they want silver they head to the cabinet that we keep it in and wait for you to get there.

I love my animals, but I draw that love at a certain point.  So, I keep 2 bottles of silver in the house… one for the humans and one for the animals. I am not interested in sharing a dropper of supplements with them.  As we came in from enjoying a wonderful night out, I decided out of precaution that I should give Nash some silver, because he was not acting like himself. Armed with the Dog bottle of silver I showed him the bottle and he perked up. I gave him, three droppers full and he looked at me like that’s it mom? I don’t feel good give me more. I told him to let it work and in a bit I would give him more. He jumped in bed and started to snooze while I cleaned. It’s a dog’s life in this house for sure.

IMG_6347
Enjoying some silver

Maybe an hour later, Nash woke up and his breathing was even more distressed than it had been during the day. His balance was way off making him very unsteady on his feet. In older extra large breeds, one of the things that can happen as they age is their body does not communicate well and their back end and front end don’t move in sync. Nash’s body sometimes forgets his back end is there and so he moves goofy or becomes unstable on his feet. Last night was one of those times that his body was not behaving well. At this point, I was starting to get worried about him. I gave him more silver and noticed that his tongue was almost a blue color.

At this point I was getting really concerned. We were sitting on the floor together when I remembered one of my favorite “hippie” things apple cider vinegar. I put some in a shot glass and grabbed a dropper. The first dropper I gave him puckered his lips. I have never seen him give me a look like that or Great Dane’s lips pucker. I was hoping for a miracle at this point. But his breathing was still not normal and he seemed anxious. I was calling out to God, asking him what I could do to make him feel better.

I was sitting on my bed talking to Nash and asking what I could do to make him feel better when he plopped his head in front of the diffuser sitting on my desk. My ears and throat had been bugging me the last couple of days and so I had found a one of the essential oil blends that we keep in the house called Breathe. Before going to sleep the last couple of days, I had run the diffusor with this blend in it and it has helped me feel better. Now Nash, had his head in front of the diffusor and was whining.IMG_6348

What could it hurt? I flipped it on and Nash sat with his face directly in front of the diffusor breathing in the Breathe blend. A few minutes later, he took one big breath, stepped back and jumped in bed. At this point, I would say that he was relaxing and his body started to normalize. I got ready for bed and curled up next to my friend, praying he would feel better.

This morning, I woke up early and tossed the puppy outside to do his business. Nash stayed in bed, barely opening his eyes. I gave him some more silver told the puppy to go back to bed and curled up next to Nash. A couple of hours later, I heard that whine… you know the one from a puppy that screams, “HEY YOU! TIME TO GET UP!” I flew out of bed and tossed the puppy outside. When I came back in, Nash was crawling out of bed. I held my breath, I would know what kind of a day we would have within the first couple of steps. I let out a big sigh, he was pretty steady on his feet.

 

His first stop was the bookshelves that held the silver. Then we went outside. He trotted around the yard, stopped at the pond and played with the puppy before coming back into the house.  It’s hot out again today, but Nash is doing well.  His balance has been normal, his breathing has been up and down but improved from yesterday.  He has spent some of the day in front of the diffusor, some outside and some in my… wait his bed.

I can’t explain why colloidal silver, apple cider vinegar and essential oil blends work so well. They just do.  I have used them so many times to help myself or the animals feelbetter.  Sometimes I feel like the crazy dad in, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, that loves Windex as his cure all.   My Windex’s are these three powerful healing agents.

I can tell you that I was working on a different post for this week. But when last night took such an interesting twist, I though this would be the perfect time to share how influential and helpful colloidal silver, apple cider vinegar and essential oils are for many different ailments.

Today, I am breathing a sigh of relief… and keeping “My Windex’s” handy.

IMG_3159