Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Done Trenching

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We had a variety of options available to work on yesterday, but chose to stay with the project to bring electricity to the chicken coop. It seemed as though the chickens were wondering when we were going to show up. When I stepped out of the house, they were all up near the front door.

I turned back to warn Cyndie, because she was bringing Delilah out with her. Despite a recent occasion when I was distracted while holding the leash and Delilah jerked violently in an attempted chase after the chickens, Cyndie reports a series of well-behaved, closely supervised, successful passes between dog and chickens.

Delilah is acutely aware of the chicken’s presence as Cyndie leads her past for a walk.

Despite the third consecutive day of abnormal heat for September, we braved the blazing sun to complete the trench to the barn. That was not an easy feat, because the last stretch crossed an area where we had laid down a lot of gravel for the driving path extending beyond the back of the barn.

To put it mildly, it was rather unforgiving. That’s great news …for a road. Not so great for trench digging.

Once inside the barn, we routed the cable to the circuit breaker box on the far side. That was about the extent of energy we had left to offer. Final connections will wait.

The hard part is complete.

We are done trenching, thank you very much.

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Written by johnwhays

September 25, 2017 at 6:00 am

Adding Electricity

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Despite the sweltering heat and humidity bathing our first day of autumn, freezing temperatures are not too far off, so work has begun to add electricity to the chicken coop. With an outlet available, we will have the option to provide a waterer that won’t freeze and maybe a light or heat lamp, depending on the situation.

On my third attempt to drill through the floor and miss a stud or screw, we were able to pull wire up for an outlet box. Then we trenched.

 

The chickens seemed to take great interest in our progress. Maybe they sense this is for them?

We are over halfway to the barn circuit breaker box this morning, so I’m optimistic I can get it done by winter.

Maybe I have some skills in procrastination. Time will tell.

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Written by johnwhays

September 24, 2017 at 9:02 am

Cayenne’s Magic

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One of the truest sayings is that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. For some reason the last couple of days for Cayenne, it had become downright irresistible.

On Thursday evening, after we had walked the trash bin down to the end of the driveway with Delilah, Cyndie decided to open one of the paddock gates to the hay-field for the horses. They are well-familiar with the timing of being given access to the grass after the sun gets low, and calmly joined her as she neared the gate.

I stood on the driveway with Delilah and watched as the horses stepped out. Cayenne immediately walked up to the arena web fence, almost as if she was going to go right through it, then stopped and leaned over in attempt to graze.

I chuckled and commented over the obvious display of her interest. We know they like the short grass, and we keep the arena space closely cropped, but with the entire hay-field –now also cut short and open to their access– one would think they would be satisfied with the availability of the wide open acreage.

Regardless, Cayenne kept her focus on the arena grass. The other horses seemed satisfied with the grass right beneath their feet in the alleyway, but Cayenne moved along the web, continuing to seek access to the shortest grass.

I saw trouble coming the instant she put her head between the two lines of web and warned Cyndie, who was already trying to get around the other horses to redirect Cayenne’s attention. Before Cyndie arrived to back her up, Cayenne managed to make a mess of things, bending a step-in post and popping the web off in a mini-panic to extricate herself.

It was safest at this point to let her proceed forward, instead of getting her to back out. Of course, now the rest of the horses wanted in, so when Cyndie opened the access point to move Cayenne out, they all pushed in to join the fun. After some grumbly coercion, Cyndie got them all out and fixed up the fence.

We thought that was that on the issue, …until yesterday morning.

After breakfast, as we wandered down the driveway toward our first project of the day, we found Cayenne all by herself in the middle of the arena, looking guilty as hell while trying to project an aura of innocence. What was most shocking about it was that the web fence was perfectly intact and the access closed.

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Did she jump over to get in? Did she figure out how to step her four feet over without snagging the web? We have no idea.

The mystery will go down as simply being Cayenne’s magic.

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Written by johnwhays

September 23, 2017 at 8:46 am

Revisiting: Afternoon

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This afternoon we reach the autumnal equinox, marking the transition to the half of the year when days are shorter than the nights. Summer is over folks. Move along.

As IF!

Nope. Today the forecast is predicting high heat and humidity. Near record temperatures, in fact.

No flannel required.

I stumbled upon my Words on Images called “Afternoon” in my media library last night. I’ve decided to reprise it, in tribute to the delightful days of summer we’ve been blessed with this year.

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Words on Images

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Hmmmmmmmmm.

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Written by johnwhays

September 22, 2017 at 6:00 am

Embattled Planet

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I do my best to send love out into our world, but lately it feels a little short, in terms of effectiveness.

We had a lovely time out to dinner with family in downtown Minneapolis last night to honor Julian’s birthday. I’ll give a happy shout out to Randle’s restaurant on the Nicollet Mall. Nothing pretentious about a straightforward menu and lots of sports on tv screens covering the perimeter walls.

This is the view I had coming home, and this is about as clear as it looked to my weary eyes:

During the long drive home, I was basking in the afterglow of the wonderful time we had, while also contemplating the attention grabbing headlines of catastrophic weather and geographic cataclysms. With hurricane Maria wreaking havoc in the Caribbean and the severe earthquake that occurred in Mexico, previous travails get overshadowed, yet are no less deserving of continued support.

From the challenges of renters forced to continue paying rent for unlivable properties in Houston and Florida in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to the cholera outbreak in Yemen during their civil war, and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya muslims in Myanmar, as well as everyday ongoing poverty and homelessness, there seems to be no end to the struggles around our globe.

I get to sleep in a comfortable bed, with a safe roof over my head, blessed with spectacular late-summer weather seeping in through an open window.

I don’t deserve to have it so good, and it makes it hard to fully immerse my mind in the blissfulness when others suffer so.

Sending love to all the aforementioned, as well as to all others with needs, known and unknown.

Would that it be that each loving intent we project out into the world would have influence enough to make some measure of difference, no matter what challenges others are facing.

Put more simply, I hope it helps.

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Written by johnwhays

September 21, 2017 at 6:00 am

It’s Curious

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For as much of my life as is now committed to caring for our property and animals, I find it curious that I can still have a series of days with very little contact to them. Yesterday, in celebration of our anniversary, we went out to dinner in Hudson after I got home from work.

When we returned after dark, I dropped Cyndie off at the barn so she could make her way to the chicken coop to close their access door for the night. I parked the car in the garage and headed inside to start my evening routine.

Tonight, I will be meeting the family at a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis to celebrate Julian’s birthday. This will lead to another night of arriving home after dark, not even seeing either the horses or chickens.

During my work weeks, it can happen that I’m completely disconnected from the activities of our ranch for a few days. It’s a little disorienting for me.

Especially since the most orienting thing of all for me is when I am able to spend time with our animals.

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Written by johnwhays

September 20, 2017 at 6:00 am

Let’s See

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Let’s see that again. One of the conveniences of keeping a daily journal in the form of a blog is the ability to easily review what has come before. Last night I reviewed my posts for September 19th going back 8 years. I tend to pull out the same few pictures for the occasion every year.

Happy Anniversary, Cyndie!

As well, today we celebrate the birth of our son, Julian! HAPPY BIRTHDAY my son! You are truly a pride and joy for us to behold. May you have a special day and fabulous year ahead.

Remember these?

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September 19th is a very special occasion for us. Huzzah!

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Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2017 at 6:00 am