Monday, February 28, 2011
and then our rental truck breaks down after we have been home in Nebraska!
It seems like I’ve been gone for a month! Where has it gone? My time is probably somewhere out on the interstate, where I have been traveling for the last 3 -4 weeks ago, 10 days ago, and more recently yesterday and today!
Back to the beginning. Before our truck broke down on the interstate, smoke billowing all over the place. Before we had to unhook our flatbed trailer, that had our recently purchased tractor on, and left it, along with the truck, at a truck dealer in Ohio. And before the rental truck decides to break down on us, a day before we were to return to Ohio!
Hubby and I left the beginning of February to visit parents in PA. We drove home this time, so that we could bring a tractor home from Ohio. We drove 14 hours to near Columbus, Ohio and stayed an evening with Hubby‘s nephew. The next morning we drove about 2 hours to see this tractor, pay for it, leave our flatbed at the place, and continue on to visit our parents. 5 hours later we were at Tom‘s mom’s place.
We visited hubby’s relatives, near Harrisburg, PA, for 3 days. We helped his mom get out and go to lunch each day, and to her Dr appt. We left on a Sunday morning to travel through State College to have a late breakfast with 2 of our college professors, who are now in their late 80’s. They and their wives met us and we had a great visit!
We continued 3 hours north west to visit my parents for 3 days. My mom has slight dementia, and after visiting with my family the first evening and next morning, we helped my dad clean. We took them to town to shop. And we made sure mom and dad had a cooked meal each night, instead of the instant meals from Meals on Wheels, which are great meals for the elderly. It was just time for something different.
After 3 days visiting my folks, we left the next morning to pick up our tractor and drive halfway home. We did manage to get the trailer hooked up and the tractor loaded, which took some finesse. It’s difficult to get a tractor, that has a front end wider than the flatbed trailer’s wheel wells, onto the trailer. The previous owner of the tractor moves trailer homes, and he knew exactly what to do. We were on the road shortly after. We figured we would go about 7 hours, stop for the night, and go the last 8 hours the next day. We got 2 hours down the road.
Then we see the smoke. Did we blow a tire. I wish. We stopped and checked all tires, on both the truck and trailer. None were hot and smoking. Hubby noticed some grease, and after looking under the truck, saw that we were leaking some fluids from somewhere. The smoke was coming from the oil hitting the hot muffler and anything else that was hot, causing the smoke. We crept to the next exit and headed for a gas station. It was 4:30 and we needed to get to a repair shop before closing!
Hubby put more transmission fluid in, after buying all he could from the small gas station. We asked where there was a repair shop close, figuring there had to be something within a few miles. All small towns have at least 1 repair shop. How can gas station attendants not know what businesses there are in a town with about 500 people? Finally, another person getting gas said there was a garage just a mile down the road. Geez. Now it’s almost 5 and we wanted to get to some garage before closing.
We pulled up in front of the garage and you guessed it, the garage was already closed and no one answered the phone number. I’m on the computer, goggling to see what repair shops are in the area. I first had to goggle the town and find other towns near us. Then hubby says to goggle GMC or Chevy Truck dealership, and good news, there was a dealership within 10 miles, and they did repairs.
The repair shop was closed, but they would see us at 7:30 the next morning. We slowly drove the 10 miles and parked at a hotel. Early the next morning, hubby takes the truck over to the repair shop, unhooks the trailer after blocking it up with lots on concrete, and checks in with the service center. Later that morning, we get the verdict. The torque converter and oil pump needs replaced. This is a major repair. More bad news….there are only 4 repair kits in the country! At any dealership anywhere! And we had to commit to the repair before the repair parts would be sent to us! Well, that’s a no brainer, since we can’t go anywhere with the truck leaking transmission fluid everywhere. Then, the parts include special bolts, and there were NONE at any dealership. The bolts had to be ordered at the manufacturer!
The one bit of good news we had is that the dealership got us a rental car at dealer price! $30 a day which is great. When they saw we had a truck, they gave us a rental truck for the same price. We had brought back some furniture from Tom’s dad and we didn’t want it sitting in the back of the truck, wrapped in plastic, for who knows how long, and in what type of weather!
We left the truck and headed home. 13 hours straight. Home at 1:30 in the morning! We left Tuesday, Feb 8, and had been gone for 10 days, traveling over 2500 miles by truck, and approximately 44 hours in a truck. And I couldn’t go to sleep. I sat with a glass of wine for another hour. At least I slept in until 8:30! But hubby was up and going at 7, to go to an ag farming clinic!
We waited patiently for the service center to finish the repairs. Parts came in the following Tues and Wed, and the truck was done last Thursday. Weather wouldn’t cooperate. We woke up at 4:30 Fri morning to leave. But with 3-6” of snow in our area from the day before, and Iowa looking bad for Friday and Saturday’s travel, we wisely stayed home and waited for roads to clear.
We had snow flurries Friday, but it quit snowing later in the day. Saturday, we went to take the rental truck to fill with gas to be ready early the next morning to leave. It would barely move! We pulled out of our driveway and went about 100 yards, and turned around and pulled it back into the driveway. Now what?
We called the rental company in Ohio and told them the truck wasn’t running right. Engine light was on, as well as other dashboard lights. They told us to take it to repair. Ah…it’s now running right. Here it is, Saturday morning, and the places we called close at noon. A dealership in town told us to try to get it to them. Luckily, when we restarted the truck and didn’t leave it idle long, it ran fine, except for the engine light stayed on. The dealership said to leave it, and to call the 800 number for the rental company to rent a different car in town. I had followed hubby to town, so I took him over to the airport to rent another car. What an ordeal!
Recap; We left Sunday morning to get our truck in Ohio, remember, the one that broke down 10 days ago while we were hauling back our tractor (that we just purchased). And we left only after we get a rental truck, come home from Ohio, ready to leave this past Sunday to go back to Ohio to get our truck, and what does the rental truck do, but break down on Saturday!
We rented a "Nanny's" car. I do not like small vehichles! It was bright orange/red color. We did not lose it in any of the gas station parking lots!
Hubby and I spent yesterday driving 13 hours to Ohio. The only good thing about that little car was that it sure was good on gas mileage! We picked up our truck today, and we’re driving the 13 hours home.
Hubby and I have only crabbed at each other twice, and that's only because after the 2nd offense (of his), we quit talking to each other! We are handing each other snacks though. LOL
And that’s been my February! Today is the last day. I hope March is bright and sunny and dry!
I’ll let you know in the morning if I’m sane. Wonder if my horses remember me.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Last month I was awarded the “Stylish Award” from follow blogger, JJ, of The Joy of Horses. I’m sorry I am taking so long to acknowledge this. I’ve been gone a lot this past month. Thank you so much, JJ, for reading my blog and thinking that I am “Stylish”. I think that is so funny because I have never felt that I was in “style” as a kid.
The rules are as follows:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award. Thank you, JJ! And I am really sorry this has taken so long to thank you!
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!
OK, here are 7 things about myself:
1. I grew up in PA, now live in Nebraska, and I’m married to Tom for almost 30 years (this year), have 3 children, and 2 grandchildren, with one on the way in April.
2. I teach riding lessons and train horses, and try to teach people how to get along with horses.
3. I’m riding CTR’s, Competitive Trail Rides, now, after years at being at Quarter Horse shows with the kids. I want to add Endurance Riding this year. Maybe someday, I’ll get to Tevis.
4. I want to live in the mountains. Or at least have hills and trees around me. For those that don’t know, PA is hilly and Nebraska is flat.
5. I love flowers, photography, and the country, and everything that goes along with country living.
6. I want to get an Australian Shepherd Blue Merle Female puppy, just because I like that color and that breed!
7. Something about me…hmmm…maybe a little bit of a perfectionist, maybe a little impatient (but I’m working on that), maybe a little emotional (and more so with age), but also honest and truthful, probably to a fault. I try to look for the good and not the bad.
MY 15 STYLISH FOLLOW BLOGGERS ARE:
And for visiting my blog and leaving comments, THANKS!
Thank you, JJ of The Joy of Horses
2. Cheryl Ann of Desert Horses
3. Sarah, of Between You, Me, and the Fencepost
4. Lisa of Laughing Orca Ranch
7. Sam of 5 Starr’s Farm
8. Shirley of Ride a Good Horse
9. Judy of Loves Ranchlife and More
10. Own a Morgan
12. Skoog Farm
13. Rising Rainbow and Mikael of Mikael’s Mania - Arabian Horses
15. Jonni of Trot on Hank
And my friends,
Sheila of Half-Broke Horses
Tammy of Horsetrailriders.com
My daughter Sara of The Power of a Ride
My DIL Amber of The Messick Life
THANK YOU! For reading, looking at my photos, and commenting!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Just like a lot of websites before me, I’m going for a theme a day. I’m sure I won’t get a new photo up every day, but I’ll try. I’ll make sure to have a new picture every couple of days though! I’ll make sure to get busy now, and have plenty of photos in the archives!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I recently read Richard Paul Evans “The Walk”. A sad story. The man’s wife died from complications of a horseback riding accident. During this same time, he lost his business to a lousy partner, and his home was foreclosed. He thought about suicide, but he stopped himself when he remembered that he promised his wife that he would live.
Alan walked away from everything he knew, literally. He lived in Seattle, Washington, and he determined where in America would be as far from Seattle as he could be. And he drew a line to Key West, Florida. This book is the first in a series about his walk to Key West.
Alan’s mother taught him about God when he was a child. Both before and during the time she was dying of cancer, and I feel that she continued teaching him about God after she was gone. She prayed as if she was talking to a friend in the room. Often, he would open his eyes during her prayers to see if she was talking to someone was in the room. After reading this first book, I could sense his compassion and gracious manner, but apparent only after he began his walk.
“Live.” McKale, Alan’s wife, told him to live as she was dying. The voice told him to live again as he was holding the pills in his hands. He had promised her he would. He cried, he packed a backpack, he had his friend sell his possessions since his home was foreclosed, and he started walking.
He had journals that he had written during his life. He took a blank, leather bound journal with him. He had ‘decided on a destination; the path is just a detail. I have begun my walk.”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The saying was written in a Chinese fortune cookie.
We need to start the single step. By choosing a closer destination, one that is achievable in a short time. Everyone is on a journey. Where should we be heading? What should be our first destination?
My journey is with horses. I love trail riding. I rode the hills of PA when I was a kid and I missed doing that for a long time. Riding CTR’s has given me back the terrain and scenery that I miss. Now I’m ready to start some endurance riding. My next step in my journey is to buy an Arab, condition, ride the trails and CTR’s this year, and maybe try 1 or 2 short endurance rides this fall. I just have to wait to see where this journey is taking me.
I’m ready to move on from the memories of the rides with Finny to the rides I’ll have with this new horse that I don’t have yet. I’m looking forward to riding the same fields with a smile on my face. I want to wake in the mornings with a sense of excitement and anticipation of the ride that I will have that day. I am ready to move on.
And I feel that happening. I’m anxious to go outside this afternoon and ride Savannah and Chick. The sun is shining. The outdoor arena is dry. The fields are drying. I’m ready to ride.
Sometimes we don’t now the answers or hear them until we are quiet. Answers come at the strangest of times, from the quiet of the mornings, in the middle of a hail storm, or in the peace of a summer evening. When the timing is right, you will hear the answer.
Don’t give up. Stay on the path. Continue your journey. The book said “the real sign of life is growth. And growth requires pain.” No one, or no pet, or no horse, is ever gone. They will always be with us, in our hearts and in our souls. They also help to make us who we are. Like the book said, we need to choose to remember them with sadness or with gratitude and joy. We find what we are looking for, so look for happiness and fond memories. That is the chose we need to make.
Stop and see what is in front of you. Appreciate what life has for you. See everything with happiness and not with sorrow. Let the life around you show you what your life should be. Does that make sense? Look at your life, look around you, and see your life differently than how you’ve been seeing it. Enjoy your life to the fullest. Appreciate the little things. How many times have we heard that or have been told that. But it is true.
Start the walk. Start or continue the journey. We never know what is in front of us or where we are going if we don’t start walking or looking or listening. Maybe sometimes we just need to wait. Patiently.
“The Walk” is a book about loss and the choice we have to grow from them. We need to continue our journey in life so that we can grow into the person God intended us to be. Walking helped Alan find the peace that he needs. Riding will help me find the peace that I need. Just as Alan met people along the way that he was meant to meet, there are horses in my journey that I am meant to meet.
And I am healing from my loss. The pain is less. I am smiling now.
Friday, February 18, 2011
My daughter, Sara, is encouraging me to get over the sadness of Finny’s death. She understands what I am feeling, and she wants me to get past this stage of sadness, and to get to acceptance. She is encouraging me so that I can remember Finny fondly, with happy memories, and not of sadness and with tears.
Sara told me about a book, “Shack” by William Young that she listened to on tape. She said it would help me get beyond my grief to acceptance.
Hubby and I took a vacation recently. I took 2 books and read them both. On the return trip home, I picked up 2 books from the airport to read, you know, the romantic novel, easy reading, type.
I have a few favorite authors, including Richard Paul Evans. So I didn’t think anything when I picked up his book, “The Walk”, glancing at the back cover, reading the description, and bought it along with another book.
Little did I know how much this book would affect me. I’m not sure I’ll be able to read the book, “Shack”, that Sara has recommended, for awhile. This book was sad enough.
“The Walk” is about a man who loses his wife, his job, and his lifestyle. His wife had a terrible accident with a horse, and she died of complications. While I read about her pain, and her telling her husband that she was leaving him, my heart was in my throat. I had that lump that everyone talks about. I was afraid to do anything except to keep reading. If I did anything else, I would start crying. I didn’t dare talk out loud.
The husband lost his wife, and then lost his business to a lousy partner. He lost his home to foreclosure. He decided to walk as far away as he could from Seattle, Washington. That destination was The Keys, Florida. I had a Great-Aunt who lived in Key West. Coincidence again?
How could losing a horse compare to losing a loved one? I don’t know the answer to that. I’m sure it doesn’t compare. Maybe the question should be “how can one who has suffered a loss, heal”? I’m sure there are those who don’t think a broken heart from losing a pet or a horse can compare to a broken heart from losing a loved one. All I know is that I lost a dear Grandmother, a Father-in-law, a Brother-in-law, and the pain is the same. Right now, I’m thinking that the pain I feel is different, and I know it is different, and it is deeper. I knew I was losing my Grandmother Ruth. I knew my husband was losing his brother and his dad. I didn’t know I was losing Finny. I didn’t know how much he touched my heart.
Maybe then, the difference was that I felt “at lost”. Maybe now I’m getting over the grief. Maybe I’m getting over the guilt. I do know that I could have done more, but at the time of year that Finny died, I know now that it shouldn’t have mattered. Maybe I’m starting to get over the guilt. Especially when I read about a man who loses his beloved wife. How can it compare to that. And should it?
Getting back to the book, “The Walk”, the husband lost everything. And he is in pain. He lost his wife, who was his best friend from the age of 8. He decided to walk away as far as he could. And he started his walk.
This book is about the first part of his walk. This is a series, and there will be more books. I can’t imagine his pain. He lost his wife, his best friend. He started walking so that he couldn’t feel the pain. Until nighttime. Then he felt the pain of being alone. I know his pain. I know the emptiness that he is feeling.
I read this book, thinking that, as I was reading, this was the book that Sara was talking about. But it's not, and I'm not sure I could read the other book if it's a sad book.
Maybe I'm looking for answers. Maybe I'm looking for the way to heal. Maybe I'm looking for forgiveness. I don’t want to feel guilty anymore.
Doesn’t anyone understand? I tried to do my best, and my best wasn’t enough? That isn’t a good feeling. And I need to get beyond that, because now, I am understanding and feeling and knowing that isn't true.
Alan, the man in the book, began his walk. I’m sure his heart was heavy. Before his walk, he got his wife’s pills and he was going to take them, to stop his pain. But he stopped, because he promised his wife he would live. And the only way he could live without her is to walk as far away as he could from where he lived with her.
I am learning to live without Finny. I got another horse of a different breed and that wasn’t what I should have done. It was an important step, but not the right one. That horse was the first step to healing my heart, and I will always remember her for that. Now it’s time to move on.
Just like Alan who is walking his way into healing. I will ride my way into healing.
Yes, Sara, God only gives us what we can handle. I can now handle this grief which has turned into acceptance, and one day, will turn into (and now I pause to figure out the what) fond memories.
Thank you, God, for the time you gave me with Finny. I still hurt, and the tears still come, but only you know the reason. And in time, your plan will be revealed to me.
There is a reason why this is taking me so long to get over. I am now willing to wait for you to reveal that to me. Will another horse come into my life that will mean as much to me as Finny did, and without his death, would not have meant anything to me? Would another horse come into my life to give more meaning and purpose to my life with horses? Then that makes me wonder why Finny had to suffer, and that makes me sad all over again. Do you understand what I am going through? The torture? What the cause of his death did to me? Could it have been prevented?
Finny’s death can not compare to the death of a loved one. I know that. And I know that, with life, comes death. When and how is the question.
Knowing that all things die and they go to meet our Maker, is what makes death bearable. I am getting over the guilt of not being able to preserve Finny’s life on earth longer. My Maker wanted him in Heaven for a reason. Finny being away from me hurts me more than you know, and that I can type, and the realization of that has tears running down my face, but my Lord knows best.
My heart is in my throat again. The pain is almost unbearable, and I question the reasoning. My Lord, why? When so much good could have come from him living. And the sobs come.
I don’t have the answers. Except there is a reason. Far greater than we can know.
But my heart aches. And I want to heal. Lord, help me heal.
Maybe that is what He is waiting for. For me to ask Him for help.
And after a few moments of that sinking in, and asking why, I feel a peace.
Lord, help me heal, and be at peace.
And like I told Sara, and what I truly believe, everything happens for a reason.
Lord, with your ultimate wisdom, I don’t understand, but someday I will. Finny died for a reason. I pray that it makes me a better horse woman. Compassionate. Patient.
I will pass on whatever I learn. Please teach me and show me what you want me to teach.
I am tired of grieving. I want to heal. I want to remember Finny with fond memories and not tears, and I will.
Please, God, whatever you want to reveal to me, please do so, so that my heart can heal and that I can teach others.
Your wisdom should be what we all strive for.
I don’t think I’ll be able to read “The Shack”.
Is it spring already?
50 degree temps,
Snow is melting,
Ice is melting,
And there is plenty of mud.
I saw geese flying north today,
Not just one flock,
But three flocks
during evening chore time,
And I was outside without a coat on.
Is it spring already,
I don’t think so,
Even though the temps are warm this week,
Next week is to be back to the 30’s
And I’ll be back to wearing a winter coat!
Will it snow again?
Will it freeze again?
Will there be more ice?
I think so,
But I hope there isn’t!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The bale spear fit under the loader. We put the spare tire up against the spear and neither will move.
Hubby is checking to make sure the chains and straps are tight.
But barely. There is no extra room for the tires on the left.
The tractor is ready to go.
Hey, wait for me. I'm still taking pictures!
We're on our way to Nebraska. The bad news is that our truck started leaking transmission fluid about 3 hours after picking up the tractor, at 5 in the afternoon. We stopped at a GMC truck dealer and they got the truck into service early the next morning. Parts need to be ordered. We were able to rent a truck at the dealer price, and we were able to come home.
Then we get to make the 11 hour trip to pick up the tractor and truck next week.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
1998 Case International c50. 4 wheel drive. I just love that it is 4 WD! Loader model 1027.
Look at those tires! We shouldn't get stuck! The tractor is 4WD!
This tractor has a wide front end. The bucket appears to be wider than the tractor.
We will NEVER be snowed in again. Well, never say never. At least we won't be snowed in if the tractor is running well!
We can easily unhook the bucket and put the bale spear on. We'll be able to lift the bales easily to take them to the round bale feeders.
Friday, February 11, 2011
I say through, because we go through 4 sets of these tunnels. Hubby said that there used to be 8 of them!
I love the PA hills. The camera doesn't do them justice!
2nd tunnel, the Tuscardor,
The inside of the tunnel, with lots of lights. I don't like being underground. I asked hubby how long these tunnels will last before they collapse. That gives me goosebumps!
4th tunnel, Blue Mountain,
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
My daughter, Sara, Made me a Farewell Book of Finny. I just love this first pic, as it shows his soft eye, during a fun ride time we had one day in the field, on a warm fall day. I'll always remember that day, taking pictures as I rode. She wanted this book to be a surprise, but she needed me to send her some info. Finny's CTR judge's cards, maps of the places that I rode, the sympathy cards and thoughtful notes from friends, and from others who only knew me by the big black horse I rode. This book will always have a special place on a shelf, as Finny will always have a special place in my heart.
Thank you, Sara and Tom, and others, who are helping me to get over Finny's death. The sadness is being replaced with fond memories.
Finny's Farewell Book...
Messick Quarter Horses
Lessons, Training and Horse Sales
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