Who thought iron pipe + water was a good idea?

I don’t get how anyone thought that using galvanized iron pipes for water was a good idea. I spent the afternoon getting a valve under the kitchen sink off and replacing it with a new one so I could reconnect the water supply to the fridge. In the process of removing the old valve, part of the threaded end of the pipe broke off – little wonder – it was rusted within an inch of its life. The inside of the pipe in the wall was pretty nasty – about 1/2 blocked with rust/mineral deposits. Amazing the water pressure in the kitchen was any good up to this point.

I suspect most of the pipes under the house look like this:


Add repiping to the list of projects…


Another soggy weekend

We had a large storm come whipping thru the area this weekend – the satellite pics of it offshore looked similar to a hurricane (circular flow, obvious eye, etc). The winds weren’t as bad as the storm back in January – only got to around 50mph this time. The lambs managed to not get blown away. We had a raccoon take up residence in the barn last week. He was particularly pushy and bold, so into the live trap he went and he got relocated 4+ miles away. If he’s wise, he’ll find someone else to mooch off.

While Lisa trundled out to look at saddles up in Santa Rosa today, I took the opportunity to throw some more grass seed down around the pastures, in hopes that it might grow (and not just get eaten by flocks of birds or blown away). We’ll see. Found that the coyotes had pulled one of the sheep carcasses from last years cougar kills under the fence leaving a gaping trench under the wire. Hmmm – need to fill it with rock and barbed wire to keep ’em from deciding to use it as a highway to the ‘lamb buffet’. When the rain stops, I’ll get some pics of the new lambs.

R.I.P. Mr. Mao, welcome new lambs

Alas, more life and death on the ranch. Mr Mao died recently – poor ol’ guy. We got him shortly after we moved in. He was a good rodent hunter, tho he didn’t exactly get along with the other cats that well. I am surprised he lasted as long as he did, as he had a penchant for walking out in front of cars coming up the driveway. He just had this ‘tude that folks would move around him. Once our current bout of rain storms end, we’ll find a place for him out in the yard somewhere.

Mr. Mao

On the more positive side, we have three new lambs this week. So far, so good – the cougar/fox/bobcat/coyote/hawks/eagles/etc haven’t discovered them. Its like the ewe couldn’t decide on color, so she had a pure white one, a white/black one, and a mostly black one.

Questions Answered: volume 1

I would like to take this opportunity to answer some questions that have been posed to me in recent days/weeks/lifetime. They are random, but have been asked by more than one person, and so beg to be answered. Bear with me.

Q: “What ever happened to that little dog you found back in December?”
A: Contrary to rumor, she was not eaten by my pack or the resident cougar (who is no longer resident). She went to live with my sister up in Shasta after living here for a while and getting a clean bill of health. She is happy and social, well adjusted and everything any animal lover would want for a little dog. See:

Q: “I hear you talking about sitting out in that hot tub you say you have. Must be nice. Is it really as awesome as you make it out to be? Can I come sit in it?”
A: ‘Must be nice’? Why yes, it is, thank you for the snide comment. And yes, It really is as awesome as I make it out to be, probably even more so. We tore down a rattlesnake infested woodshed and replaced it with this 8 foot mega-crockpot of steamy hot goodness. And no, you can not come sit in it. Only a select few who have passed rigorous sanitation testing may come sit in it. If you still wanna come over try it out, I’ll send you an application and a list of required medical tests you must pass.

Q: ” Is your sister as awesome as everyone says?”
A: Yes. She looks really cute, and most guys fawn all over her. Until she opens her mouth. It’s all downhill from there. But she is tres awesome.

Q: “Those dogs you have, the greyhounds, are they fast?”
A: Duh. But mostly they just do this:

Q: “Your best friend’s name is Boo Boo Kitty Fuck? For reals?”
A: No. Her name is Elizabeth. I just call her BBKF because a long time ago I was trying out nicknames for her (she had already dubbed me Parsnip, and it stuck)…I went through several that elicited violent head shaking and threatening frowns. Then I said “hey, hows about BBKF? She wrinkled her forehead, thought about it for a minute and then smiled real big and said “Okay!” Oh, and she’s not as sweet as you think. Proof:

Q: “What kind of horses are those you keep posting pictures of?”
A: Get Back Jack is a chocolate Rocky Mountain Horse, Izzy is a black double registered Rocky Mountain Horse/Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse. They both rock.

Q:”Why don’t I ever see any pictures of you?”
A: Because I never photograph well, or even halfway decent. And because of that I HATE having my picture taken, and 99.9 percent of the time refuse any photo op. The only parts of me that you will see pictures of are my feet and my eyes. Okay, mostly my right eye, the left one’s got a little bit of the crazy going on sometimes.

Q: “You swear a lot, why?”
A: Because it feels good. The same reason I drink a lot of caffeine, spend obscene amounts of money at the spa and waste an inordinate amount of time taking naps in the middle of a perfectly good day. It feels good people. I spouted out my first cuss word at the tender age of 8. I remember it very clearly. It snuck up on me. I was feeding our pig Radar (I grew up on a farm) and I was late and the bus was coming. I spilled all of his grain on my foot. The word Shit! literally fell out of my mouth. I remember being really shocked, it just came out! I stood there, frozen and silent for a moment before scooping his grain into his trough and running out of the shed and down the driveway to the bus. I kept that as my secret for the longest time. I remember that word made me feel better immediately. I love swear words, if only for the instant gratification.

I have a list of other questions I’ve been asked recently. I will eventually make another installment to Questions Answered. Feel free to submit questions, I will feel free to answer them. But be careful, as with most things in life, you may not like the answer you get.

Birthday madness….sorta, well, not really….

Yesterday was my canceled birthday party non-party. Enough people ignored the cancellation and showed up to warrant a cake, dinner and booze. Elizabeth and Mr. Elizabeth attended, my sister Laura drove down from Shasta and two of Art’s friends Rob and Marianne (okay, mutual friends) showed up. There were 7 people, and 7 dogs in attendance. Rob could not tolerate dogs and continually washed his hands and pleaded “get the hell away from me, nooooo, get off, don’t touch me’; he was the entertainment.

I cooked appetizers and a roast beef. We had cake and booze. We watched a creepy Korean movie with subtitles about a guy who was imprisoned in a hotel room for 15 years, then was released with the instructions to figure out who and why. I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me. We played video games. Okay, Art the Husband played video game…..Kill All Humans. We are still tickled with this game, even after having it for a year.

Laura picked up my saddle that was on order in Santa Rosa. This was her birthday present to me, and perhaps the best one. She saved me 4 hours round trip to get it. I’m going to try it on Jack tonight and pray that it fits. It’s really nice, very pretty. Rob and Marianne brought me a really nice orchid. I LOVE orchids. I have a hard time keeping them alive, but I love them. E made me a cd of music that we listened to on our roadtrip. She forgot it at home, but it’s the thought that counts. Besides, she gave me my real birthday present a week ago, nail polish and hair products and a book about Audrey Hepburn all of which I’m tickled with. Art the Husband is sending me to Virginia for a road trip in the spring, he gave me some books about Virginia so I can prepare myself. Oh, and there was cake and booze!!!

For having canceled my party (most of the people invited couldn’t attend) it turned out to be a pretty neat evening. Laura spent the night and we had fresh eggs and bacon and one hell of a pot of coffee this morning before sending her off. Vaera even came and curled up with Art and I this morning. Laura called her a traitor. 🙂

I was going to roadtrip in Virginia, buuutttttt……

I could not wait for Virginia, so my bff Elizabeth suggested a more local meandering: Pomona (that’s east of Los Angeles for you non-Californians) There’s this thing called the EquineAffaire Expo. It’s all horses and clinics and demonstrations and, well, mostly shopping. And you know I’m all about the shopping. And horsies. Put the two together, and I’m THERE. So we left on Friday, loaded with movies and music and itchy feet. The Mom-Mobile has a DVD player in the back just in case I have some children that need to be entertained. Or Art the Husband is along for the ride and gets bored. No AtH this time, just E. and I. And we had so much fun gossiping and giggling we never really got to the movie selection (and what a fine one it was: Love and Sex, Napoleon Dynamite, 200 Cigarettes, Mighty Aphrodite, City of Angels, Chasing Amy and Dogma).

We made it to San Luis Obispo Friday night, we stayed at the Madonna Inn. This place is on a hill in the middle of nowhere California. They have a thing for pink. As in, everything not themed is PINK. Pinker than pink. We stayed in the Jungle Rock room:

That’s right, those are real rock walls. No fake rock for us. E tested the walls, just to make sure.

Indeed, they were real rock, and real climbable.

The bathroom had a waterfall in a grotto, this was an AWESOME shower.

Faux zebra fur wallpaper, uneven stone floor (the same as the boulders on the walls), spending time at the toilet was entertaining as well as utilitarian. It was like peeing in a fur lined cave.

The room was full of little details; the glossy aqua painted ceiling, the midget chair at the desk (if you sat in the chair, your chin was on the desk, literally, I tested the theory. My chin was on the desk), the feathery fringe on the leather sofa. Fabuloos.

After we completely checked out our room, we went over to the restaurant, to get some meat (the menu boasts meat, meat, lobstah, and oh, more meat all in ‘generous cuts’ with sides slathered in either cheese or butter or, if you choose, both!). Elizabeth even wore her meat pants (please, don’t ask…..but I think she is possibly the ONLY person I know that can pull it off). The restaurant closed at…whatever time it was when we walked in the flippin’ door (like, quarter of 10 or something ridiculous like that. Small town, whatever. The bar was hoppin’ though, people dancing in their meat pants and skirts. Meat pants or not….no meat for us. So we slid downstairs to see if we could sneak a peek at the famous waterfall urinal in the mens room. They have one. It is famous. We were all casual about it, of course. E checked out the telephone grotto, it was very….red.

We waited and waited, fidgited…..no boys going in or out, we waited some more and eventually made our move. Twice actually. The first time we ducked in we were greeted by an antechamber with two doors. We got confused and all turned around and ended up back outside. We tried again and chose the door on the right….SUCCESS! There really IS a waterfall urinal, there were no boys using it nor were we caught by any boys trying to use it. So E. used it. No, seriously. Chica goes for distance, does not like to be interrupted and got none on her boots. This is good, because they were really cute boots. We noted that boy’s bathrooms reek, and exited quickly.

MEAT PANTS and the afore mentioned cute boots (fwi)

Next morning we stocked up on road snacks, coffee and headed out to Pomona. We stopped in Carpenteria so E. could get some sunglasses and we could say we went to the beach in February.

The horse expo was a lot of horses, too many kids and a massive amount of shopping potential. Mostly shopping.

We found a John Deere that we were loath to leave there, so we settled for E doing her sexiest John Deere Model Impression. AtH was impressed. With the tractor, that is.

There was a lot of clinic stuff going on, horses that didn’t wanna do stuff being taught, in front of hundreds of spectators, to do stuff they didn’t wanna do. Talk about pressure. And then there were breed demonstrations. We caught the Andelusians demo. They are breathtaking. Very big, very showy, most beautiful animals.

It was dark, so the pictures didn’t turn out so great.
Back inside the breed pavilion were the Andelusian’s counterparts, two little mini-horses. Touted as “the perfect pet”. Ummmm…yeah. Somehow I don’t think one of these things is going to be easy to housebreak, nor will it snuggle up on the bed well. No thanks. But they are cute.

We stayed until it got too cold (yeah yeah yeah, it’s southern california, I know, but we are woosies, and it was cold dammit) We got kettle corn for the ride home only to discover that not only is it the sweet and salty treat, but it’s WARM TOO. E. hugged it all the way to the car (and then proceeded to INHALE a good portion of it, I guess we shoulda picked up some lunch or something at some point).

E. overdid it (a prosthetic hip does not allow for copious amounts of hoofing it around the fairgrounds) and slept thru downtown L.A., which actually wasn’t so bad. I liked the lights at night. We went past all the cliches; Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, Studio City, Ventura Blvd. I’ve played enough GTA to feel completely familiar with the landmarks. We had sushi for dinner in Santa Barbara, marveled at how alike all the UCSB chicks looked (all long straight blonde hair, big boobs, tight hip riding denim, clacky clacker shoes and identical college-slut facial expressions)

We had such a good time at the Madonna Inn the first night, we stayed there a second night. Beats the shit out of anything else in that area. This time we got the Tack Room, which could have easily passed as the Cat Room…okay, the Whore Room. Serious…blood red, the entire thing. Red leather walls with brass studs, red hanging lamps with crystal dangly things, red ceilings, red LEATHER BEDSPREADS. E tossed her stuff onto the bed, and it slid across and landed on the floor on the opposite side. Awesome!

Breaking all the rules (you can do that when you’re away from home on a road trip, it’s in the handbook, look it up) E. tried out the armoire which had rope for doors

and tried on her new spurs….on the bed

It was great. I loved the room. E. tolerated it. Lacking rock walls made the neighboring rooms a bit more audible, neither of us slept particularly well that night, but still, we were able to sleep (this is a rarity for both of us when away from our own beds). But the beds were nice (yes, even with leather bedspreads) and the shower was great (they have a lot of water pressure and volume in San Luis Obispo) We dined at the cafe for breakfast and were impressed with their cakes (no, we did not have cake for breakfast, even though that is acceptable on roadtrips according to the handbook).

We were unimpressed with the very angry Reese Witherspoon look-alike that was pretending to be a hostess that morning. She wasn’t a very good pretender. We did not give her a good review on the little card you fill out to inform the management of your satisfaction. We noted her as ‘the very angry Reese Witherspoon look alike’. We’re pretty sure management will know who we meant, seeing as the other hostess was a very homosexual blonde dude and all the other waitstaff were either asian or old. Reese-a-like stuck out like an angry sore thumb.

The ride home was uneventful if not filled with great music and lots of stories and anecdotes, and the occasional “I HAVE TO PEE RIGHT NOW, HURRY” “um, why didn’t you say something earlier?” “I DIDN’T HAVE TO GO EARLIER, but I have to go now, so hurry, I really mean it….really”

So that was our roadtrip. We didn’t even break into the movies, we are that entertaining to each other. I ruined Carlie Simon (oops, I stand corrected. It was Stevie Nicks. She has a voice like a billy goat) for E. She learned secrets about my totally emo youth. We made fun of boys, a lot. This is also in the handbook….look it up.

I still plan on flying out to Virginia and roadtripping thru the backwoods, but will wait for better weather. Southern California in February was just fine indeed.

Oh look… more rain

The weather here continues to suck… rain pretty much every day, with a few breaks here and there. The horses are getting pretty cranky, because even on a good day, the fields are still too wet for them to go out and play. Don’t want any broken legs, etc. They got out today for a few hours in the upper pasture that wasn’t too muddy – at least before they got at it. Now its a mess. Oh well – we need the rain. I keep telling myself that. 10 inches since like the beginning of Nov. Amazingly enough, the hillside along the road hasn’t had any real landslides (yet). I guess it was so dry last year that its still got plenty of ability to absorb all this. Probably why the creek isn’t roaring yet either. Puppies are less than impressed with the rain too – they really don’t like going out potty when its pouring.

Lisa is down in SoCal this weekend going to some horsie expo thingie – She took Elizabeth with her and I guess they had a good time perusing all the stuff there. She’ll post something about the funky hotel/inn they stayed at in San Lois Obispo with all the neat ‘theme’ rooms.

Tomorrow – Super Bowl Party time. One of the guys from my hockey team is hosting a party, so I’m getting a brief break from work (been totally slammed the past few weeks, 7 day/week pretty much).