Wow, I noticed that it's been well over a month since I last posted anything. Sorry about that, but I'm not really doing all that much with my horses right now. In fact, the summer has been so hot and uncomfortable that I'm not doing much of anything outside right now.
As of yesterday, I have exactly one month until my due date! So I guess, baby girl could come anytime now! I should post some updated pics, but I haven't taken any lately. I think I need to remedy that. I am definitely getting a big belly, but it's not too out of proportion yet. This picture is from a trip we took to go cherry picking and hiking in Door County, WI last month when I was about 7 months along.
I've seen some pregnant women with hugely protruding bellies. But, this is my first, so my stomach probably holds her in a little tighter. I promise I'll post some pictures of my current belly and of my growing horses soon!
I visited Cody at the trainer after she'd been there for a month. Cody looked great. She was fit and had settled into the training routine nicely. The trainer showed me everything she'd been learning, including how well she was doing with riding in the arena with other horses. She is also neck reining okay. Neck reining good on one side, but having a little difficulty sometimes with turning to the cue on the other side. Even though I didn't really want to keep her there another month, the trainer was very persuasive about wanting to keep her and further her more. Finances were the biggest reason I wouldn't have wanted to keep her there...I really wanted to just get a month on Cody, then possibly send Griffin to her in the fall. But my husband and I discussed it and since Cody is a forever keeper horse, while I am looking to most likely sell Griffin at some point, it is more economical to invest in Cody, since we know we will use her, she's already a great horse. But with Griffin, we are not even likely to get the cost of training back out of him if we do sell him...so, the decision was made to keep Cody there another month. Griffin's training will be delayed another year, since we still have not managed to get the round pen up this year anyway. And when we do, I've decided that I will do all his training, instead of sending him off. That should be do-able, since I won't be pregnant anymore by the time I get back to him! And now, it is almost time to pick Cody back up. She gets to stay an extra 5 days though because the trainer called me last week and said that Cody had caught a cold that was lingering, so she was going to give her 5 days off. This year has been a really bad year for respiratory infections...I've seen several cases of pneumonia in cows when I've gone out with the dairy vet. It's just been so wet and warm this year. Thankfully, Cody doesn't have pneumonia, but she does need her rest.
I feel bad that I haven't spent much time with my horses lately. But I see them everyday. I try to give them all scratches when I fill their water tank, but sometimes they are not all down at the barn. However, lately, I've noticed that they are spending a lot of time in the barn trying to stay away from flies, and the few times I've seen them out the pasture, they've been really irritated by flies. I've been trying to avoid putting fly stuff on them because it always inadvertantly gets on me too, and I don't want to expose my unborn child to pesticides. I have wiped fly stuff on them before the farrier comes though. But they were being driven so crazy that I decided I needed to get out there and get them all wiped/sprayed right away. I decided to try spraying them because it's faster than wiping and easier for me, since I don't have to bend over to get to their legs (hard to do now that I'm so big), However, I always fear that spraying means more exposure to me, especially if the horse dances around a bit while I apply it. I decided to risk it anyway. None of these horses have been sprayed since last summer, and Catlow can sometimes get a little dancy about it anyway, so I was concerned...but they actually all stood perfectly! I know that they knew the spray makes the flies go away. I did Catlow first, and she did jump at the first sound of the sprayer, but then stood perfectly still, and I did every inch of her whole body. By the time I was done, she was standing in complete relaxation with her head low and her eyes half closed and didn't even move an inch after I let her go (I caught them all in the barn and sprayed them in there). One by one, I got every horse. And I swear when I got to Griffin's turn, he was waiting for me to get to him because he approached me, I haltered him no problem and he didn't move a muscle the whole time I sprayed him. Kachina was last, and even she didn't move around at all. Darn smart mustangs. They impressed me today. They didn't forget a single thing about being sprayed with fly spray from last summer. After everyone was thoroughly coated, I was so amused by the look of utter relaxation and bliss on their faces. For the first time in a while, they had no flies biting them! And I don't think I got any spray on me. I made sure to stand upwind, and since they were all standing so still, I didn't have to worry about getting on the wrong side of the wind.
We've been working on quite a few projects around our house this summer.
The garden is giving me tons of tomatoes now.
I've started canning. So far I've canned lots of green beans...
..,some jam (jalapeno-apricot jam is so yummy), and a batch of stewed tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes.
Next I am going to try canning salsa. I've already dug up all my onions because they were finished growing. Most were kinda small because the soil is not the greatest in our garden. Broccoli is giving us lots, carrots are big enough to eat, although I want to let them keep growing till fall. And we have a couple ripe squash already! We ate a delicata and a japanese curry squash just the other night and they were awesome. I need to get some pictures up of my giant hubbard squash. I haven't tried to pic any of them yet, but they sure are huge!
Another project that goes along with the garden is our cold room in the basement. We started that this spring, and with the hot muggy weather, it became fun to work on it in the cool basement again, so we just finished it this week. It will be a great place to store all our squash, potatoes, onions, carrots, and canned goods!
The garden has been a big project, but we also put in a flowerbed with a retaining wall near our deck. It turned out to be a huge project because we got some advice from a professional landscaper friend, but we are finally done with it! The yard was really tore up for a while. All this equipment is part of Todd's irrigation business, but it came in really handy when we were digging out the wall and filling the bed!
Because we put in the flowerbed, we then had to reseed in our yard because it got all tore up, so we are currently in the process of getting some better topsoil in from some of the cow pastures so that the grass will grow a little better than it had. We'll get some good topsoil for the garden too before we plant next year.
Another project that turned out really well was putting a door on the back side of our house to go into the laundry room. We had a local contractor do that and also build a small deck off the back door. This door will be so convenient for entering with dirty/manure-y clothes. Plus, the deck is big enough to put one of those circular clotheslines on so we will try to save energy by line drying a lot of our clothes. And I want to do cloth diapers with the baby, so the line will come in handy with drying those too! And all just out the back door!
The back door will also be convenient for accessing the chicken coop that we are still working on getting finished. The chicks and turkeys are rapidly outgrowing their little pen and are ready for their permanent coop. We just need to get that done now.
And of course, the last big project that we are working on is getting the baby's room ready! My sister's are throwing me a baby shower this weekend, so that should be a big help in getting ready, but we do already have a crib, a changing table, and some dressers.
So, I promise to get some pictures of my 8 months pregnant belly, and some of the horses up soon. Griffin has grown so much, both in size and in his attitude toward me - he's actually become quite trusting of me without me even doing anything with him. I'm really excited to work with him, once I'm no longer pregnant and the weather cools off. I'll also try to remember to get pictures of Cody at the trainer when we go visit her next.