Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘animal sitter

Twice Blessed

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I arrived home yesterday, shortly after noon, and found everything in such great shape I could hardly fathom our good fortune for having found our latest house/animals sitter. Not only does she provide excellent care for our horses, dog, and cat, she cares for our home in every way. I swear it was cleaner when I walked in yesterday than when we left it last Thursday.

She brings in our mail and hauled our trash bins up from the end of the driveway. We checked in with her on Sunday night when we learned there was a tornado warning and she was already aware and waiting downstairs with Delilah.

Everything down at the barn looked great. We’ve been watching and treating an open wound on Mia’s leg that I thought still looked bad so I tried to get a picture to send to Cyndie for her review. Mia did everything she could to foil my attempts.

The good news is that those with better knowledge than us about this kind of thing have a more positive opinion of the progress. Someone is going to stop by to apply more salve to assure things keep going in the right direction.

From the looks of the property, that storm threat the other night didn’t bring much in the way of wind or rain. It is very dry and the prediction is for it to be hot and continued dry for the rest of the week. That’s not very conducive to the main concern I have right now about working on the gravel edge of our new asphalt driveway.

I only have two days before I’m scheduled to head back up to the lake for some biking in the woods. I’m holding onto the possibility that I won’t be working too hard here prior to that departure.



Written by johnwhays

August 2, 2022 at 6:00 am

Long Grass

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Five days away from home this time of year resulted in some really long grass waiting for us upon our return. Before I could start with mowing, we needed to plant some trillium that I had dug up in the woods of our lake place before we left.

After pulling out wildflowers and native growth from the pathway of our little labyrinth in the woods at the lake, I switched to digging batches of trillium for transplanting to home. We decided to plant them next to two existing groups of trillium that are looking very healthy after previous transplantations.

After that, it was time to mow. The job was made more complicated by the tall height of the grass and basically required an additional half pass for each full width of cut. Despite the extra work, I was able to complete the job by dinner time and made it look like someone lives here again.

The horses had been separated into groups of two while we were gone, making the job of feeding them a little simpler for our sitter. It was her first time staying in our house alone and caring for all the animals and she did a fabulous job during our extended weekend of over five days! We are very grateful to have found her.

While I mowed, Cyndie opened up all the gates so the four horses could romp together and wander anywhere they wanted to go. I enjoyed watching them move around together whenever I looked up from the ground in front of me. They moved around a lot and looked like they enjoyed the return to shared wide-open access to all the fields.

Everywhere they walked there was long grass surrounding them. In fact, the back pasture is in need of mowing because there is some thistle sprouting that we plan to eradicate by cutting. The really tall grass of the pasture will not be a problem for the diesel tractor pulling the big brush mower behind it.

At the same time, the grass along the fence lines also needs to be cut using the power trimmer.

It is definitely the long grass time of year.

Happy June 1st!



Written by johnwhays

June 1, 2022 at 6:00 am

Early Getaway

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This weekend being a three-day federal holiday weekend in the US for Memorial Day, we made an early escape from home life yesterday and drove with Cyndie’s mom up to the lake place.

As in:


We have a recently hired house and animals sitter who is spending her first span of time actually living in our house. Up to now she has been making brief visits to walk Delilah or feed horses in the afternoon while we were away for a few hours. This is the real McCoy now. We are hoping she has a trouble-free few days.

That means we are able to experience some precious time freed of the usual home responsibilities and it feels like it’s been a long time since we had this kind of break. I’m really looking forward to it.

We jumped right in with our favorite, Coop’s pizza for dinner last night. That feels like being at the lake. It being the traditional opening weekend of the summer, there will be plenty of chores to do, but they never feel as much like work when you are doing it with so many friends and enjoying the lake scenery.

Did you notice the geese swimming in the photo above? In the off season, wildlife likes to  behave as if the beach belongs to them. It will take a few consecutive days of human activity for us to reclaim our turf and encourage the beach loving animals to choose the less populated miles of shoreline on the lake for their own.

I was able to fit my bike in the back of Marie’s Kia Sorento for the drive up so I’m hoping to sneak in some hours of cycling north country roads while we are out of sight from all the lumberjack work and mowing, trimming, and compost turning that needs to be done at home.

Thanks to our early getaway, we have a spare day before Wildwood Work Day commands our attention. I’m hoping to soak up each precious moment and slow down the perceptions of passing hours so this departure from our usual routine provides maximum benefits.

All this is in contrast to the jarring blemish on our nation’s souls as more blood has been spilled in another senseless mass shooting. Problem analysis from politicians and talking heads without a glimmer of preventive action just serves as salt in our wounded hearts at this point.

There is little reason to believe the formula that feeds this national disgrace will ever change for the better, despite the majority of citizens clamoring for positive action to control access to assault weapons.

I wish we could all make an early getaway from guns and violence.

Hug someone you love and count your blessings for each day you survive without falling victim to some lunatic shooter.

What an embarrassment for the U.S. of A.