May 30, 2009

Big Booty Judy....On Trial!

Julie's new horse "Holly" came in on 1 week trial today....the girl has not missed a meal, hence my nick-name pick! Here are some pics of their first ride here....I think she's going to work out just fine...

Walking along...

A little trot too...

It was a good ride!

I think Cecilia (Julie's daughter) may have her sights set on eventing this pretty mare too! She's got a good amount of miles over fences and a flying lead change too! Congrats ladies!

Happy Trails,

May 26, 2009

Gpa Craig's Room....

The ladies of the house got a head start on our Father's Day Project this weekend....we are converting a small room in the basement into sleeping quarters for our favorite Fall guest, Gpa Craig! He picked the spot himself, and framed it out during his last visit...I guess the 3 story climb to our guest room was just a bit much for the ole' spot is nice and cool, and only a few steps below grade.....he can also have his very best good dog Sadie come in and sleep with him too down here....

We started by applying...some oil based Kilz primer to all the walls and's a shot of the room with one wall was at about this time I determined I better get some BEFORE shots!

And here is another shot before we got started...kinda dark and dingy, eh?

After the primer was applied, we put a good coat of paint on all the walls and trim....

Not so bad! It's starting to resemble a usable room!

We still have to apply a second coat of paint to the walls and trim, as well as first and second coats to the ceiling...oh yeah, and a good concrete sealant/paint is yet to go on the floor too....then the fun part, decorating! Stay tuned!

Happy Trails,

May 24, 2009

Horse Show Update!

The local show circuit that Randi shows at each month held a double-header this weekend...she showed both yesterday AND today! She did amazing both days.....she's made a good amount of progress since her very first show about a month ago...she is getting so confident out there and handling herself like such a big kid amongst the 'actual' big started off with her pleasure and equitation classes on Saturday...she ended up placing 4th out of 6 in her Pleasure class, and 3rd out of 6 in her Equitation! Way to go brat!

I think her gumby heels has a big part in her high placing in Equitation....the girl is flexible!

She ended the day with Trail, but was a bit distracted with her best friends (the concession stand boys) waiting on her...she missed a couple key maneuvers, but handled Bo very well otherwise!

Here's a shot of her very best horse-show buddies...Cinder and Steel....sure there ARE lots of little girls there to play with, but she likes these boys...they are rough and tough and I guess that's her style! Lord help us...

We combated the above issue on day 2 by knocking out her Trail class first thing, and that did the trick! She did great and only made 1 small navigation error...makes a momma proud! Then, it was back to her Pleasure and Equitation classes in the upper ring...the class grew from the day prior, with 7 in each class....and she did amazing! She lost a stirrup in her Pleasure class, but calmly placed both reins into one hand, reached down, and placed her foot back in the stirrup without incident and all by herself...impressive, but not quite proper for the show ring, so she placed near the bottom of her class...still, they only give ribbons to 6th place, and she got one! One poor child wasn't so fortunate! I have to say she wasn't recognized as favorably in her Equitation class today as she was yesterday, and it was dissapointing....more than one child had to be helped by their parent during the class, but since it happened behind the judges back for the most part, those kids placed higher than the Little Brat....oh well, we bend with the wind....she still got a ribbon, and it will be sisplayed proudly in her room with all the others!

Overall, she had a very successful weekend and I could not be more proud of her....It makes ME happy to see HER happy up there! That smile just melts a mommy's heart....she's really growing up WAY too fast, but the journey sure is a treat!

If only I could bottle that grin and play it back whenever I would be impossible to have a bad day!

Happy Trails,

May 23, 2009

Man vs Wild: Westwood Edition


Man: 1

Wild: 0



JR really showed those weeds the 'what for' today, that's for sure! Way to go Honey!

Happy Yard Maintenance,

This is how we roll...

The Little Brat and I took a spin around the farm today.....Contrary to the image below, I didn't have her in a headlock the WHOLE time...

Happy Trails!

May 21, 2009

Insanity doesn't run in my family... gallops.

Baby Cayden... his puzzle! Isn't he just the cutest little man you ever saw? When I look at those cheeks, I get an overwhelming urge to pinch them! And that cow-lick....too cute! I think he wants to come live with Auntie Leah!!!

Happy Trails,


May 20, 2009

Septic System 101...

All you (n)ever wanted to know about Drainfields and septic systems....

The Facts:
  • We live in an old farmhouse
  • It's old...really, really old
  • A good septic system has a lifespan of about 40 years
  • Our septic system and drainfield is older, and compromised by roots and stuff
  • We have to pump our tank every 2 weeks and ration water usage in the house due to lack of proper drainage
  • We need a new septic system...

So, we called the county health department to get the ball rolling....they were great! Came out right away to assess the situation, agreed with our decision to go NEW, and gave us lots of guidance on how to proceed....Then, we called Dominion Soil Science and had them out to do some testing for the placement of our new system....we were happy to hear we could go conventional, as an unconventional system would have been big bucks! They submitted the necessary documents to the county for permits, permits were approved, and their sister company, Dominion Septic, started work! Simple as that!

First, they had to dig up the lines coming from the doing so, they found that roots had grown around and INTO these pipes! You'll see their proximity to trees in a later shot...

Then, they used a backhoe to dig out a nice little resting spot for our new concrete septic tank....we upgraded from a 500 gallon tank to a 1250 gallon tank....I'm looking forward to some LOOOOOONG showers now baby!

Then, they dug out a place for the distribution box....the distribution box takes all the 'liquid' from the septic tank and distributes it to the drainfield can just see the 5 holes in the side of the concrete box where the 5 lines will be attached to...

Here is one of those drainfield lines that connect to the distribution box....they are each about 100ft long...a plastic drain pipe is surrounded by those packing peanuts for protection...yes, packing peanuts! Then, the pipes are covered with a cloth...

With everything installed, it's time to begin covering it up! The small white pipe sticking up out of the ground allows for easy clean-out or 'snaking' in the event of a blockage....there is another near the house on the opposite side of the septic tank.

Finally, the OLD septic tank must be crushed! First, it is dug up.....

And then pummeled by the backhoe bucket until it's a million pieces of rubble....then it's filled back in with dirt....that prevents water from pooling in it, or a sink hole from forming in the future....

Here's a shot of the new drainfield area...

Here's the view of our new septic tank a few months, after the grass has grown back, you'll never even knew what happened here! But our house will still be old...vary, very old....and it always has another project in store for us....just when we least expect it! What will it be next? I am hoping we can focus on windows, doors, and siding next time around.....not that I'm opposed to the "Expanda-Foam-Insulation-Stuff" that is visibly filling all the gaps and holes in our house.....but at some point we might have company over....really important people, who won't understand our ways......*shudder*....or not!

Happy Trails,
PS....ahhhhhhhhhhh, I'd almost forgotten how blissful a loooooooong, HOT shower could be!!! Simple pleasures!

Birthday Update!

WOW! What a weekend! It's taken me all the way to Wednesday just to recover! As most of you know, May 17th is a huge day in our family. It is the day that both JR and the Little Brat came into this world! Yes, she's been a daddy's girls from can't suck up any more than to be born on your daddy's B-Day! So we spent Saturday at Kings Dominion....7 hours.....yes, 7! We went on every ride twice, and some even more!

Below, Randi fell in love with this ginormous Scooby toy....

All daddy had to do was hit this thing hard and it was allllll hers! To be honest, I think it was rigged...he did hit it pretty hard, but no toy for the Little Brat...maybe next year!

One our favorite stops was the Scooby-Doo haunted of LBs all-time favorite shows is Ghost Hunters, so she was extremely excited to get to do a little ghost hunting of her very own!!!

And lo and behold Patrick was there!!! Awwww, it was love at first site....

We had so much fun! Now and then we took a break to do a little 'people watching'...there must have been a band and choir sing-off event nearby, because there were lots and lots and lots of colorful groups there!

We ended up home around 10pm...sheesh! What a day! On Sunday I woke everyone up with some good ole Biscuits and Gravy......MMmmmMMM....then we opened some presents...LOTS of presents! Kaiti andTyler scored BIG with giving his old man a signed photograph of his man-love, Brett Favre, and giving Randi a bug catcher!!! Perfect!

Then we all went to the barn for some family horseback riding! I didn't expect that, so I apologize I did not get any pics to share....JR and the Middle Brat pulled out Clementine, while LB and her big sister shared was great! And hilarious.....
We finished up the day with a home-made cake with chocolate icing and lots of rainbow was the event of the year.....I get exhausted all over again just thinking about it!
Happy Trails,

May 14, 2009

A puzzle for baby Cayden....

Baby Cayden is the Little Brat's cousin in California....we sent him some goodies this week, including a puzzle....The Little Brat was concerned, however, that Baby Cayden would not know how to play with the puzzle, so I suggested she show him....

Here you go Baby Cayden, we love you and we miss you! Enjoy!

Happy Trails,
Auntie Leah & The Little Brat

May 11, 2009

G-ma Kathy's Mothers Day....

The Little Brat and I got Gma Kathy a couple floppy hats for her to use in the garden and at the festivals she attends....we also took her to get some more goodies for the's really coming along! All the rain we've had as of late has had one bright need to water the garden....and now that the sun is out, everything is growing out of control! Those are some bamboo sticks Gma Kathy is using to string up the peas and string beans......

Happy Trails,

May 10, 2009

Mothers Day Weekend Fencing Extravaganza!

Now that the biblical waterfall is behind us, we can finally catch up on some much needed spring maintenance around the farm! In particular, fencing! Over the course of a year, we experience many broken boards...whether the result of horseplay or mother nature, fence repair just comes with the territory...and we have more fencing around here than Elvis had woman!

First, we have to walk all the fence lines, identify which boards are to be replaced, then pull them down and pile them up to burn later...

Then, we measure each opening, measure and cut new lumber, and place the new lumber along the fence line where they belong....

Finally, we tack up the new boards, and wah-lah, good as new!

Seems pretty simple, eh? Well, the complexity of the task is relative to the sum of the work to be other words, there's a LOT of fencing to be here...

and here...

and here...

and here...

and here...

starting to sink in yet?....and there's more....

But we got it all done....until the next brute decides to throw their weight around and bust another board....just hopefully not until we've recovered...give us another year or

Happy Trails!