Saturday, April 24, 2010

I started working on getting Tala under saddle last night.  We have been moonlighting with the idea for a while now.  Getting her used to the saddle (she hates it), getting her used to bit and bridle (not to fond, but willing to tolerate), and doing ground driving (very confused at first but a pro at it now!).
So last night I had my barn manager help me.  She held her head why I stood on the mounting block and stepped into the saddle and laid belly down in the saddle for varying lengths of time.  We practiced me doing this on both sides for about 20 minutes.  She did great!  No freaking out, and only a little bit of side stepping.  I was able to step right back on to the mounting block about 95% of the time.
Tomorrow morning I am going out again and we are going to practice some more.  I am hoping that she will give me the okay to actually get on her.  Maybe by Monday or Tuesday we can get to the point of walking around the arena a bit.
We are taking it slow.  I want to make sure that Tala doesn’t get sour and that we are making progress.
But I am so happy that we are that much closer to taking that first real ride together!
In other news, the garden is getting planted.  I dug up a small dirt patch by our ultra ugly garage that was just clogged with weeds.  And not the nice easy weeds like grass or something, but the super nasty bindweed and common mallow.  These roots are amazingly thick and very hardly.  A little tiny plant above ground might have huge taproots thicker than my thumb just lurking below the surface.  These roots are also able to send up new plants in a heartbeat much like mint.  I used my garden claw like digging tool to scrap away at the dirt and plucked out little tiny hair-like roots until I thought I was going to go cross eyed.  And I also played tug of war with roots that I had already dug down 12 inches into the soil to “loosen” them until I thought I was going to give myself a hernia!!
Anyway I think I had quite a victory in that little patch.  So Nora and I sowed a mixture of Sunflowers, Hollyhocks, Lavender, and Snap Dragons in the bed.  Oh and couple of carrots for edible beauty!   :D  I am so excited for the next two weeks when seedlings will hopefully start to emerge!  I can’t wait to see Nora’s face when she sees how quick the sunflowers grow.  Though I am disappointed to learn that they can take 90 days to blossom!!  Holy moly!
Bad news though, we got a POUNDING rain last night followed up by a near freezing night.  It looks like it might have been too much for my little tomato seedlings that were doing SO well!  I am a bit discouraged right now.  Some of them might make but as many as half might have to be replanted. 
I have four very strong tomato plants growing upstairs.  They are already about five times bigger than the seedlings so I am going to reserve them for planting after mother’s day.  These things are HUGE.  They were normal sized seedlings but I planted them in a window box of soil and put it in an eastern window upstairs where it is warm.  It hasn’t even gotten that much sun until recently but they are probably close to 10 inches high and with stems as big around as my pinkie finger!  At this rate they will flower before they are even transplanted to the garden.   Perhaps this is what I need to do with my remaining seedlings.
Part of my spring cleaning fever has been a determination to make use of our unusable garage.  There is one room that has a southern facing window and it gets WARM in there.  I am thinking of moving my seedlings in there so they get good sun and warmth.  Maybe that will give them the growth jump start they need!
I know this is a huge long wandering post.  I got email posting set up and am able to post from more locations now!
More on our wayward gardening adventures later…here’s to hoping we can grow a bit more of our food this summer!

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My Beautiful Nora Girl

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