Jun 12, 2011

Down Time

As much as (almost) summertime is for riding, it's also time for acreage keeping. Another lifetime, when I lived in town, I enjoyed a pristine lawn and flower beds. I had plenty of free time to keep things mowed and weed free. That was my life. When we bought this land in 1992, we moved the house onto what was an oats field; there wasn't a tree in sight. That first year, we planted the windbreak and the shade trees but the size of our large yard was so overwhelming compared to what I had that it would take years to landscape. Remodeling the house came first and then we had babies; landscaping beyond the necessities, grass, trees and a few shrubs, wasn't even on my radar.

As the boys got older, their activities increased and once I started riding, many weekends found me on the trails. I have never had any regrets that I didn't get carried away with a busy yard that required lots of time and care. Twenty acres are alfalfa and horse pasture; we probably have close to five acres that we must mow. If we can get an early start to it, we can get it done in a day. It's a lot easier using the "farm" tractor with the shredder instead of trying to do the whole thing with a garden tractor; saving it for where the big mower can't go. I did use the garden tractor on my newly seeded arena, now officially "turf". I probably won't use it until fall or later, making sure the grass has a good start.

The dogs are my shadow when I am home. I call them my weekend team. No matter where I went, they were underfoot or nearby. I had John snap this picture of me while I was on break; the team nearby.

The Big Fat Lying Weatherman said it was going to storm today; 80% chance of rain. The neighbor who cuts our alfalfa asked me on Saturday what I thought; should he mow? What, was he crazy? An 80% chance of rain; that's as good as saying 100%, right? No, let's not cut it now. Well, I woke up this morning to sunshine and a nice breeze. Not a cloud in the sky. And now here it is bedtime and there wasn't a drop of rain all day. Who pays these clowns?

So here it was a beautiful Sunday morning; like stolen time! I went and fetched Windy. It was time to ride.


  1. I am just now starting to think of more landscaping, and we have been empty nesters for 4 years! Looking back, I should have bought a few perenniels each year, which isn't overwhelming to plant when life is busy, and I would have the place looking better. But some of the plants are really nice now, and I'm starting to do the barren areas. You are right...spring and early summer is the time for yard work. I'm glad that you took the time to ride first, because you got your ride in. Me...I went to work first, and hours later, no ride.

  2. Really eloquent post. Great writing!

  3. That's a lot of mowing. My whole place is just about that size although I sure would love to have a lot more land, I think I'll stick to a small yard. I'm even thinking the landscaping I have maybe should come out because I sure am not finding the time to get it cleaned up and weeded after our weird winter and spring.

  4. Even the good ol` BBC weather men get it wrong! Today was supposed to be sunny with perhaps the odd shower, but they got it wrong, again! It was heavy rain, no sun, and my lawn looks like a swimming pool! Love the dogs!

  5. My husband keeps saying he wants an acreage. I think he just likes the idea of it. The actual work I can't see him doing.

  6. I hate when I scrap my outdoor plans because of a weather prediction and instead do something I hate, like cleaning the house or shopping, and then it turns out to be beautiful but by the time you realize, "Hey, those idiots were wrong!" the day is shot. Sorry, rambling on a sore spot.


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