Monday, December 31, 2012

Summer Synopsis

It's the end of the year and I've largely neglected my blogging duties both here and on the KVTR club blog since last spring.  I managed to put together a club video for the Christmas party, so I uploaded it to that blog by way of catch-up, and made a resolution to do better this year.

Guess I need to do something similar here, to catch you up on Kate and my doings, as well as EvenSong Farm happenings over the last seven months.

Several occurrences conspired to confound my summer.

Zoe Mary (Taylor) Phillips, 1922-2012

In June, my Mother fell again, fracturing her hip. She was still suffering the after-effects of two compression fractures in her back from June of 2011, and her spirit and body decided it was no longer in her to continue the fight.  My kids and I made a quick trip to Northern California, and were with her for her last two days on this earth.  She passed quietly in her own home less than a week after her fall.

 After returning to the Kittitas Valley, I had less than a week to prepare for the arrival of the grandkids prior to summer camp at Lazy F, west of Ellensburg.  In the past I have volunteered at this Methodist camp, but the last few years I have simply escorted Brenden there.  This was Delaney's first year to attend, and Lazy F has a great way to transition kids to sleep-away camp:  Grand Camp, where grand kids and grand parents attend together.  Michael and Brenden both started camp this way, and Delaney did fine as well!  (She's already made it clear that she ready to attend on her own next summer!)  Meanwhile, Brenden was out on the edge of camp, in teepees, for an "explorers" session.
Brenden, 9, in blue, flirts with the girls
works with his team on the challenge course
Delaney, 5, climbing the rock wall!
After camp, it was back to Grandma Laurie's farm for some horsie fun (and a little ranch work) and a trip to town for 4th of July fireworks.
Mowing the pastures, and moving "stuff."
Learning to saddle up on his own.
The maze hones steering skills.
Kate looks thrilled....Not.  But she takes good care of her precious cargo.
Getting on by himself,
and off.
We can do this, Grandma.  Quitcher worrying!
Kate's extra lead rope was to prevent eating-on-the-job, but please also notice Delaney's blue pearl necklace--the height of equestrian fashion!
 Then I sent the kids home with their Mom, so that Grandma could get busy with a very late haying season, thanks to our late, wet spring.
First load in my barn!
We were haying nearly to August, when we're often done before Grand Camp and the 4th!  Because of my commitment to neighbor Hank to be available to help in the afternoons driving the baler (in exchange for my own supply of hay), I can't stray too far from home for the three weeks or so that we're haying--so no club rides (which are always all-day affairs).  So I pretty much hung around place, working on various projects.
Sandy helping move gravel.
The irrigation system worked all summer, with only a few minor glitches.  This shot was in early October, when an early frost turned everything to ice.
While the ground was soft, after that last sprinkling, I started expanding the little pond into a more complex water obstacle...
...digging some "creek beds" and building some little hills to climb.
I rebuilt our back porch--Started out to just replace the decking, but the joists were pretty well shot, too, so I redid the whole thing.
There's always fencing to do.  I'm slowly upgrading all my field fencing to 2X4 horse-safe mesh.
Unfortunately, I never finished drawing up my plans for the garage or barn addition, so neither of those major construction projects got under way, though I did do a little bit of prepping, so hopefully I can get my drawings in to the county this winter (only one little fence section to re-stretch), and start digging post holes first thing when the ground thaws in the spring.

In August, Maddie and I took a new approach to her spooking/bolting issue, but I think I'll put that in its own post (soon, I hope).

The other fun thing that happened in August is that I was contacted by Pete's new Mom, and traveled up-county to help prep him and his 9-year-old girl for their premier appearance at the Kittitas County Fair! 
At home, the week before the fair, to practice showmanship.
And a few trail obstacles.
Into the ring.  First in Paint geldings!
The only trail obstacle I managed to get in focus.  Second for the in-hand trail class.
Costume class.  I think they got second here, too.
It was loads of fun to see how well Pete (our second EvenSong Paints foal) is doing for little Kate!  (I'd love to get Pete and my Kate together some time!)

I did manage to get in a couple of club rides.
Ears at the bottom, near Lake Easton.
Kate out front, coming off the Cle Elum Ridge.
Then it was time to go back to school!  And I had all sorts of summer projects to finish up!  But nothing important enough to keep me from going to the mini-clinic and trail competition chronicled in my last post.

Now, it is deep winter.  I have a new line of posts that got set just before the hard freeze, that need the fencing stretched, come some half-way sunny day.  And then there's those barn and garage drawings to finish up...