Relative Something

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

Archive for March 2015

Either – revisited

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During my adventures in Guatemala, I am taking a break from posting daily. To fill the void, I have rummaged through the “Relative Something” archives for a few previously published ‘Words on Images’ posts for you to ponder anew.

Today, “Either,” first published in November of 2013.

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Words on Images - Either.

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Written by johnwhays

March 31, 2015 at 6:00 am

Influence – revisited

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During my adventures in Guatemala, I am taking a break from posting daily. To fill the void, I have rummaged through the “Relative Something” archives for a few previously published ‘Words on Images’ posts for you to ponder anew.

Today, “Influence,” first published in August of 2012.

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Words on Images - Influence.

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Written by johnwhays

March 30, 2015 at 6:00 am

Celestial – revisited

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During my adventures in Guatemala, I am taking a break from posting daily. To fill the void, I have rummaged through the “Relative Something” archives for a few previously published ‘Words on Images’ posts for you to ponder anew.

Today, “Celestial,” first published in December of 2011.

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Words on Images - Celestial

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Written by johnwhays

March 29, 2015 at 6:00 am

Before – revisited

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During my adventures in Guatemala, I am taking a break from posting daily. To fill the void, I have rummaged through the “Relative Something” archives for a few previously published ‘Words on Images’ posts for you to ponder anew.

Today, “Before,” first published in June of 2012.

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Words on Images - Before

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Written by johnwhays

March 28, 2015 at 6:00 am

Believing – revisited

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During my adventures in Guatemala, I am taking a break from posting daily. To fill the void, I have rummaged through the “Relative Something” archives for a few previously published ‘Words on Images’ posts for you to ponder anew.

Today, “Believing,” first published in February of 2010.

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Words on Images - Believing

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Written by johnwhays

March 27, 2015 at 6:00 am

Barriers – revisited

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During my adventures in Guatemala, I am taking a break from posting daily. To fill the void, I have rummaged through the “Relative Something” archives for a few previously published ‘Words on Images’ posts for you to ponder anew.

Today, “Barriers,” first published in February of 2012.

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Words on Images - Barriers

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Written by johnwhays

March 26, 2015 at 6:00 am

Anticipate – revisited

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During my adventures in Guatemala, I am taking a break from posting daily. To fill the void, I have rummaged through the “Relative Something” archives for a few previously published ‘Words on Images’ posts for you to ponder anew.

Today, “Anticipate,” first published in July of 2014.

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Anticipate.

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Written by johnwhays

March 25, 2015 at 6:00 am

Mixed Blessing

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I am struggling a bit to come up with something for today that is worthy of following yesterday’s wonderful guest post by Brooke. That was a big hit, noticeably increasing the number of views by almost double what is normal for Relative Something. It sure was something, and Brooke is my relative, so there you go.

IMG_iP0764eMy desperate efforts to accomplish everything I dreamed of doing before we get to leave for Guatemala are being complicated by the fact that I was still needed at the old day-job for yesterday and today, and by the little spring snow storm that paid a visit. They are both mixed blessings.

For helping the old company, I will be rewarded with a bit of unplanned income, so although it has eaten into my time for preparing to travel, the money helps to finance our trip.

The snow is nice because it provides much-needed ground moisture and will soak in, as opposed to just run off. Unfortunately, it also created the additional burden (which I have little time for) of needing to move the horses indoors overnight. That creates work the following day, because I need to then clean out the stalls.

I just spent hours over the weekend tending to the composting manure piles to clear some space for new dumping while we are gone. That space has become significantly less available now after having dumped 4-stalls-worth of manure and urine soaked wood shavings there.

When we return home, I’m going to have a lot of manure waiting to join that pile. I sure hope the composting restarts as soon as the snow and ice all melt.

Meanwhile, I have decided to plan on not posting while we are away. I could use a break from my self-imposed daily grind. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be posts appearing each day during my little vacation. I have scoured the archive of my Words on Images files and selected a variety that I think deserve a re-showing here.

I hope you enjoy seeing them again. I plan to get back to live posting after we return (if we return) during the first week of April. Holy cow. April.

I’m sure I’ll have plenty of new stories to tell by then. Ta ta for now!

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Written by johnwhays

March 24, 2015 at 6:00 am

Brooke Writes

with 12 comments

Guest Post
Today’s post is a contribution from my niece’s daughter, Brooke Friese, age 11. Brooke and her brother, Drew came with their mother for a visit last Friday. I was thrilled when she accepted my invitation to write a guest post about their day.

IMG_iP0762eI went to my great aunt Cindy and uncle John Hays’ Wintervale Ranch. It was one of the best days of the week!

They have a beautiful (and furry dog) named Delilah that loves to slobber all over frisbees when you throw it :). They also have an adorable cat named Pequenita; we also have two cats which are twins. Pequenita and my two cute cats are very alike. They are both small and they both are tortoiseshell cats, the only difference between them is my cats have more black and Pequenita has more brown.

Anyway back to Delilah and Pequenita (‘Nita for short), Delilah, being a dog, obviously wants to play, chase, sniff, and lick ‘Nita until she runs and hides meowing at Delilah all the way.

DSCN2963eWe also went on a walk through the beautiful (but very muddy) woods; we passed a fallen tree that Uncle John has nicknamed “The Brooke tree,” we walked down to the labyrinth, it was super cool!

I can’t wait to see it in the summer! My brother and I followed the winding trails to the middle and then back out again.

Then uncle John led us to the barn where we said hello to the horses. Legacy, (a beautiful snow white horse) acts as the boss of all the other horses (Hunter, Cayenne, and Dezirea) he pulls back his ears and jerks slightly towards the horse(s) that is bugging him.

DSCN2965e Dezirea acts as the mother, making sure everyone is fed before she eats, and makes sure everyone is using manners at all times, but she will never scold Legacy, after all he is the boss!

Then we headed over to the hay barn, I wasn’t expecting much, I mean it’s called “The Hay Barn,” there’s bound to be a few stacks of hay . . . oh no, when I walked into the hay barn I was surprised.

I saw tons and tons, two huge piles of hay both stacked in the form of stairs. My brother and I had fun climbing and exploring on the huge mounds of hay (with Uncle John’s permission).

DSCN2968eDSCN2970e.

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After my brother and I were exhausted from climbing on the two piles we walked over to Uncle John’s compost/molding horse manure piles, there were three piles of manure covered in thousands of flies. Along with the three piles was a still frozen compost pile that was now almost dirt, and wheel barrel full of more almost-dirt-compost, (My brother, Drew also pulled apart the poo with his bare hands so he could see what it looked like inside! Delilah also ate some manure! Ewwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!) Then Uncle John shifted the manure with a pitchfork, and the moldy compost started to steam! Uncle John measured the heat of the manure and it was around 130 degrees! Wow it was only around 50 degrees outside!

After that we headed inside, we played a hide and seek game with Delilah where we hide a ball and she had to go and sniff it out, it was awesome! My visit to Wintervale was super fun and exciting from Ellsworth’s cheese factory to Legacy’s bossiness. I can’t wait to come back! 🙂

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Written by johnwhays

March 23, 2015 at 6:00 am

Count Down

with 6 comments

It’s beginning to feel like minutes, not days, until we depart on our travels to visit friends in Guatemala. Cyndie has done a heroic job of rallying to tend to details both necessary and convenient. I was a bit surprised to see her organizing kitchen utensil drawers before we go, but it was a gesture of thinking about making things convenient for those who will be house-sitting for us while we are away.

Our friend and soon-to-be hostess in Guatemala, Dunia, has been calling and sending photos to prepare us, to inspire our glee, and to share their excitement over having us visit. I need to practice staying in the moment so I will be able to fully absorb every minute we have with them, as I am already sensing how quickly our stay of limited days will pass.

Of course, both Cyndie and I have been heard to tease with our family that we will be gone for only a week and a half, …if we come back.

I am noticing mixed feelings about our preparedness to leave the care of our property and animals to a variety of people, some who have had nothing more than one brief visit to inform their managing of our place. I have no doubts about their abilities to take good care of Delilah, Pequenita, and our horses, but I fret over the complications thrown in by weather events that spring is known to unleash here.

After working frantically yesterday to take advantage of the dryness of the upper levels of the paddocks, raking out the divots created when it was soft and wet, the moisture is due to return today with more than an inch of fresh snow. In the days ahead, our animal sitters will need to think about bringing horses in from the cold and wet. That means creating additional amounts of soiled bedding in the barn stalls that will need to be disposed of in the compost pile.

IMG_0755eYikes! There isn’t much room left in the compost space. On Friday I worked to create space at the front of the compost pile so it would be easier to dump manure while we are gone. There is only one small section that is actively breaking down right now, visible on my new thermometer. I will work to ‘restart’ the other zones of the pile after we return from Guatemala, but until then, the pile is just going to grow.

We have some temporary piles established inside the paddocks to reduce the need to haul manure out while we are gone. If the weather doesn’t get too wet and messy, the cleanup should be manageable. I can hope!

Today, while it snows, I will be trying to figure out where my summer clothes are so I can pack for our trip, while simultaneously struggling to compile the last of the necessary tax information to drop at our preparers office before we go.

The minutes are dwindling, and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

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Written by johnwhays

March 22, 2015 at 9:56 am