sunday stills ~ outfit of the day

This Sunday Stills was a real challenge for me, and consequently turned into a Monday Stills. I just couldn't decide what to share, or not share at all.  

My outfits (if you want to call them that) consist of pretty much the same ordinary things every single day. I am just not a dresser upper, and lately it is rare to have a reason to. I tried to think of a creative spin, like maybe a shot of the tip of my boots or a hat. The only related photos I took this past week were selfies. I stink at taking selfies. Plus, I dislike photos of me in general. Kind of ironic for a photographer.

I have some cool archive photos (not of me!) that fit the challenge, but I am not participating in SS to showcase old photos. I am participating for new photo inspiration. These are not creative, but they are my outfit of the day(s).

my favorite long sleeved summer shirt
covered in hair from this very sick boy

wearing jeans and Leo

more sunday stills ~ outfits of the day


between the concrete pours ~ build-an-arena

My last arena post update went up to April 26. That was a long time ago, more arena things have progressed. Grab a cup of your fav, there is a lot to catch up on. April finished up like this:

side & curved wall work continued

supervisors checking on Brad's grading
Tank (& Tinkerbell on bobcat roof)

May updates:

Brad ran control switch wires across the ceiling

operating the forklift was an easy lift/lower for me this time,
and I didn't even leave him up there!

arena drainage work continues

checking levels
before pouring arena (entrance) concrete flooring

tight fit

Brad took over maneuvering the monster belt truck. He somehow wedged it between the building and tree line, to make for an easier pour. I might add, the truck is on an incline (steeper than it looks). None of the other work guys including our son, would dare attempt this. Guess when you have the experience and own the equipment/surrounding property at risk, you can push the limits. Brad was smiling from ear to ear. I am glad I wasn't watching. I imagine the truck was tipped sideways before positioning, the entire stretch of the building.

they are ready to pour

'cmon Tank, let's get out of the way

but not before inspection

Apparently Tank also wanted to inspect the consistency of fresh concrete. I got a frantic call from our son, saying to wash Tank ASAP. Whhhat?! I wasn't even home. I was on my way back from buying the crew fresh donuts in town. The house was quiet when I left, but then I realized our daughter must have woke up and let the dogs out. Chaos ensued.

Fresh concrete will burn your skin. They had just started pouring when Tank ran full speed into it, before our son grabbed him. I didn't know what stage they were at, and had visions of paw prints everywhere. I am glad they didn't have to redo completed work. No one was mad, although our daughter was pretty upset. It wasn't really her fault. I was only gone for about 15 min and she was sleeping. I didn't even think of waking her up and telling her. Oops! 

She was washing Tank by the time I figured out where he was etc. He wasn't the first dog, and won't be the last to run through concrete. The guys were great, with stories of their own dogs doing similar. One for the memory banks. 

thank goodness for belt trucks

Out of the blue, I asked if we could include some horseshoes on the floor. Our old driveway has our kids little hands imprinted with year. We haven't done any imprints here. Brad & I talked about possibly doing horseshoes or something else, a long time ago. I completely forgot. They were close to being done pouring. I got a "ask your son" who was running the job. He said yes, but hurry up. 

I scrambled to find the few shoes I had stashed away for projects. We have Cierra's first set, but those are for something else. We decided on using Harmony's old shoes. The other ones I had were random, and didn't really match. Some were finds from Brads "family" farm. No clue what long gone horse wore them. Harmony was our families first horse after all, so she got the honors. Our son set the shoes and added the dates I wanted :)) For now they are sunk in, but we might pop the shoes out and leave just the impression. They have yet to be cleaned up.

2016 (land purchased)

2021 (arena built)

arena concrete floor drying
(funky perspective)

West exterior looking more finished, no more big trucks

the start of a mounting block

the gutter guys were out again, and did a good job on the barn too
(they installed the gutters on our house)

adding wood to the curved wall

mounting can be done from inside the arena

or outside the riding part of arena

more arena fill & different inspectors
(Remi and Purr)

Brad spent oodles of time on the curved wall and steps

June updates:

getting ready for the next pour
(service door approach, back of arena)

30 sec video update (with zoom to mounting steps)

interior leveled
the last top fines will be added once interior is complete

curved wall braces added & gates hung

there is a horseshoe on either side of gate arena entrance

back of arena with poured approach

If you made it this far, I applaud you!!  You are almost up to date. These last few pics were taken about an hour ago. I will try not to wait so long to update next time.

builder installation to come:

doors, interior top of wall tin and weather vane swap
 (tin and vanes not pictured) 

lights, fans and controls wait for electrician to wire

wondering what those metal black supports are?
I was too.

they are super heavy and sturdy

I laughed when I found out the hefty black supports that Brad & a co-worker welded, are for our small bleacher type seating. In his words "we got a little carried away" ha haa! They are great and we won't ever have to worry about them not being strong enough.

mounting steps are finished

we plan to add a "gate" to prevent escapes during the occasional indoor turnout

We are getting closer to actually being able to use the arena!! 


same poop, different day

For well over a week, all four of our horses poop has been an unusual dark black. The majority of piles consist of well formed nuggets, with more moisture than usual. No unusual odor.

dark manure

I wonder if our dry weather and stunted fields are to blame? The darkness could be from eating some type of weed, as they usually thrive when grass struggles. However, our pasture and field weeds are managed. Our pastures are far from lush these days. They don't look much different than any other year. We feed hay 365 days, and it is the same grass growing in our pastures. We recently got some decent rain, and a couple days of short teasers. Nothing changed.

Same poop, different day.

I googled, and the only thing I found out about dark poo is it could be caused by a possible ulcer. That is not our case. The vet was out today and we asked about our poopy situation, complete with samples. He didn't think we should be concerned.

Our vet was out to do a pregnancy check on Cierra. For the fourth time, she is not pregnant.

I wasn't even excited for the appointment, or very hopeful. That ship has sailed, with good reason. However, this time Cierra is not in heat. According to her cycle, if she is not pregnant she should be in heat. Our vet feels bad, he shouldn't. All we can do is try.

He mentioned most facilities collect semen until the end of June, and we could possibly try again. Brad was going to check the exact June end date on our contract, but it is doubtful he will choose to try AI a fifth time. The other option given was to do a pregnancy recheck in two weeks. Our vet said he has had an occasional mare with a fetus that took longer than average to form, but it is not the norm. 

Same poop, different day.



sunday stills ~ mornings

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

~ Henry David Thoreau ~

see more mornings on sunday stills


sunday stills ~ looking up

What's not to love about a "looking up" photo challenge?!! You miss out on half of this beautiful world we live in if you don't take those words to heart. 

I had planned on shooting the solar eclipse 
(a partial eclipse for my location, during sunrise) that happened this week. I had a location all picked out, and even someone to go with me. Then I remembered, that you need eye protection and an appropriate camera filter. Too late. Sigh.

Bubbles (and Brad) to the rescue!! I waited until sunset, and found out the little cheapo handheld bubble blower I purchased for under $4 didn't work. Go figure. It is hard enough to shoot moving elusive things, without trying to create them yourself. As the evening light dwindled, my hubby saved me. I ran inside to get a bubble wand and he blew the bubbles, while I looked up.

After the fact, he told me he used the bubble machine solution with the wand, which must be thicker. It created some amazing colors!! Click to see them. 
Just like potato chips, I could not choose just one:

I changed the direction I was shooting the bubbles, to get more of a sunset background. I didn't get the sky color I was hoping for, but the bubbles made up for it. 


oak galls

Well after saying a few choice words, I wanted to share what those green balls are that I posted about. They are called oak gallsThere is tons of info online, now that I know what they are. 



One sources says: Oak apple galls look like small, round fruit but they are actually plant deformities caused by oak apple gall wasps. The galls generally do not damage the oak tree host.

Other sources didn't have good news: 

Should you remove oak galls?
Very small insects, notably gall wasps or gall flies, cause abnormal growth on leaves and twigs. ... Something you can do now - and I heartily recommend it - is to remove and destroy any galls you can find on the trees. There probably are many on twigs and branches; look for knobby and hard growth. Chances are it's a gall.

Will oak galls kill my tree?
An infestation of the galls can kill oak trees. It is the height of irony: mighty oaks being killed by tiny wasps. ... The galls are the result of infestation by gouty oak gall wasps, a tiny insect that lays their eggs on oak leaves. It will take several years, but the galls can eventually kill trees. If the Oak is Infected with Galls.

What do you do with oak galls?
1) Prune and destroy gall-infested twigs and branches.
2) Burn or step on the galls to kill the developing larvae.
3) Place gall remains in a tightly sealed baggie or trash bag and discard immediately.
4) Rake and destroy gall-infested fallen leaves.

It would be difficult remove all the galls. Some are up high, and the trees have leafed out. We have oak trees everywhere on our property, altho only certain oak trees have them. Not sure how many trees. 

I also plan to look through the resources the DNR guy that assessed our woods last summer gave us. If there isn't anything in there about oak galls, I might just email him to find out how serious I should take them. Of course, my friend google will have more to say about the oak galls. Never a dull moment.  


wandering has willy dwindled

It is hot. It is humid, and it is buggy. Three things that make wandering our property less than appealing to me. My daily hikes have dwindled to a couple much shorter walks a week. If that. It is willy pathetic!! Sadly it happens every year, but usually not this early. The calendar says it isn't even technically Summer, but Ma Natures says differently. Early mornings are better, but even those are warm. I do not do well in the heat, makes me feel all kinds of yucky.

The pines are actually still really nice to walk amongst ~ but ~ you have to get there by crossing dry scalding deserts ('er fields) while swatting non-stop bomber attacks ('er flies and other nasty flying pests). They are vicious and relentless!! I am already covered in bites. No thanks. 
Of course it would help if I was more willing to apply this thing they invented called bug spray.

Do you feel sorry for me yet? Nope, didn't think so. Most of us are stuck in a similar dry hell weather pattern. The dogs are missing our walks. Me too. I will resort to wandering, by sharing some random finds from distant cooler days. Maybe it will inspire me to sweat it out, and even use bug spray?! 


wasn't able to get a decent shot of these super tiny purple & white flowers
(even with my good camera)

Update: I was able to ID the little purple flowers above, using a WI wildflower website Val emailed me (thank you!) They are a type of toadflax. Tiniest flowers I have ever seen. So happy to finally find out what they are!

surprised to find transplanted white bleeding hearts & daffodils blooming
(far end of wild thing area)

I have often wondered if this old den is used by coyotes? fox?
I really want to set a camera up and find out!

Also noticed two newer dens in our wild thing area. 

course white hair just outside entrance
(shedding? supper?) 


transplanted clematis

this one used to grow by our pond


found growing on our oaks, about the size of a walnut 
(any idea what they are?)

 our sand (?) toads are back, mostly by the barn area
(there is NO water near us...)

first peony bud


Coral Sunset peony

I have only purchase two perennials since moving here. Nothing short of a miracle. Last year I finally found the peony above (long story). A yellow peony jumped in my cart at Costco the year before. It also only gave me one bloom, shortly after Coral Sunset. I failed to get a photo of the Itoh yellow bloom. It is hard to wait, but they do take time to establish. Note to self; fertilizer would help. 


this pretty flowering weed caught my eye
(they get huge dandelion-like seed heads)


Tree face, looks kinda sad

wonder why faces randomly appear to me?
guess I am just weird, but truly - I am not looking for them
 Do you see it? 

Tank waiting to head into the pines
taking cover in the shade

there was a ssssnake head in our firepit


brightly colored shelf type mushroom

finding a naturalized allium that survived transplanting
made me smile

thinking this is not good
(any idea what is brewing inside?)

my loong barn garden bed is full of many thriving fav transplants
they have grown so much since this was taken


these pretties have been fluttering around
google says it is a "Red-spotted Purple" flutterby

whaat..who the hell named this??
I read some do have red spots, but talk about being misnamed...


more pretty flowering weeds
these are blooming in our Cactus Cove, and lotsa other areas

planting orange butterfly weed grown from seed
(cactus cove)

This is an experiment. You are suppose to seed Butterfly Weed in the Fall, but they sell them as started plants in garden centers, so why not try growing them both ways. I've never had much success with them, until they reseed themselves. I also found some yellow Butterfly Weed seed from Colorado!! I did the same with them. I truly hope at least the yellow ones take to our land, this is after all our mountain homestead :)) 


super excited to see these bloom!!

There is a lot more, but these were the highlights. Thanks for scrolling along!