Filling holes and making poles

Sunday, May 22, 2011

 Well, DD won the graceless challenge on the outside step. She forgot all about it and went sprawling out the door the other day (unhurt and laughing like a loon). I am hopeful that I will miss my turn there, as that means I am to fall inward and I don't see that one ending quite so well. Methinks it's time for an idiot-friendly reminder; hopefully this will prevent future wipeouts (well, maybe). DD found some paint in "Handicap Blue" to put on the step (I wonder if that counts for us cranially challenged and/or oblivious folks too). Gosh I hope so. 
Actually, I managed to come up with something completely new in the graceless category. I have two over the fence saddle racks [bottom of photo inset] that have been parked next to the door for about two years now. We normally use them for cleaning the saddles outside. I, however, have found a new use for them. I learned that if you step down quickly and place your heel squarely on that little black cap, it is instantly transformed from saddle rack to bludgeon and will deliver quite the solid whomp to the back of your leg. Honestly...who DOES this stuff??? Oh wait, I do. *rolls eyes*. Concrete is still curing, so we're cleaning up around it, trying to level dirt as well as fill in all those fun little holes left by the frame supports along the outside.We have many bigger holes to fill in too, and we are trying to figure out how to get our hands on some affordable dirt (how stupid does that sound? Ha). Soooo, anybody out there digging a pool this summer??? What about a foundation? Getting rid of a hill? (hey, it was worth a try ;o)
Horses feet, like human hands [and nails] can become dry and brittle, particularly during drought conditions. It is so strange to watch all of the terrible flooding everywhere and be praying for all those folks yet praying here (rather desperately) for rain at the same time. I've been watering as much as I can manage (not our yard grass, but all of the grazing areas I can reach with the sprinkler) in an attempt to keep the grass from dying off completely. If you're a horse with dry hooves, RainMaker is fabulous for moisturizing those footies; the horses love it on their frogs, soles, yadda yadda. Kinda like a soothing massage with lotion would be for us if our hands were very dry. Lots of heavy sighs everywhere and Bella even moved forward when I'd finished her front feet and lifted her back foot in a not so subtle hint: Let's not forget these two, 'kay Mom? Sure thing chickie ;o)
Cavaletti (poles on the ground) are a great exercise for horses; they can help with carriage, balance, and gait among other things. The real deal (I have some wooden ones that were donated) are costly, not to mention quite heavy and/or unwieldy. This is when I trip over the muscle disease mess. Anyway, I've been percolating away on an inexpensive (and lots lighter) solution. After noodling around a bit with some PVC related ideas [bad pun - bahaha] I think I found a nifty AND thrifty little DIY solution. Woo! 
Skip to the next part if you're not into cavaletti, this part is about what I used to make some - I'm sharing in case anyone out there is interested. I should add, however, that you are all sworn to secrecy as to the exact whereabouts of two pieces of DH's [PVC] pipe I'd been eyeballing as I was brainstorming for a solution (he hasn't noticed they're missing yet, and doesn't read the blog so mum's the word *grin*). I used: some pilfered 1/2" PCV pipe cut to fit the noodles (free, but SSH); play sand we already had (for weight); end caps for the pipe (about .59c to keep the sand in and the noodle on); swimming pool noodles (to add color, softness and thickness for $1.88 each); and a chair to sit on and rest when I'd finished crawling around on the floor, which hurt a lot more than my feelings (sometimes your age just reaches right out and slaps you one, doesn't it?). I believe I slaved away for about 20 minutes before I finished all three. Ready? Ta-Daaaa:

Not bad, eh? I tossed two of them in the demonstration area and asked Rina to follow me over them a time or two before supper. I didn't have DD here to take a picture, so I tried to turn and get one myself as Rina walked along behind me over the posts. Of course it's a terrible shot (her head looks as big as the moon from that angle and her body's all dinky back there *giggle*) but at least you get the idea: Hooray, they worked!

The noodles aren't that big, but they worked just fine. You could probably splice two of them together on a longer piece of PVC if you wanted to. Hey; you could even cut the noodles up and use them in alternating colors to make it prettier. Hmmm...sounds like a good idea to me; I might need to add a few more to my collection *laugh*. 

Last, but never least, we have new volunteers (two and a quarter to be exact). I'm very excited to have Krystal helping us (she'd be the partial person on the left ;o) She's not only become a great friend, she's interested in the horses and happy to spend a chunk of her summer stamping and sorting for us with some outdoor manual labor thrown in for good measure (and what more could you ask for in a pal??) Jack has aspirations for the tractor - he thinks stamps and stuff are for girls and is holding out for some manly machinery. He was all eyes and happy feet bouncing enthusiastically up and down while watching DH run Tilly in preparation for the patio. Until I snapped his picture, that is. Geez, first its grownups, now it's a baby looking at me like I'm loopy (guess it shows *grin* ;o). I'm thinking a couple of growth spurts and a few more years and he'll be good to go; what do you think?
Our other new volunteer is Emily, and she will be spearheading the BellaButton fundraiser for us. Hopefully, it will be a rousing success ('cause I sure don't want to have made all those buttons for no apparent reason ;o) We will be splitting the proceeds from the buttons with the Twilight Pageant. I'm not normally into the whole pageant thing, but the Twilight Pageant raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (and for obvious reasons, I am into cancer causes ;o) You know, maybe we'd better keep this whole blog post hush-hush now that I think about it (I swiped Bella's tiara for Emily to use in the picture since Bella's wearing it on the button photo - SO DON'T TELL BELLA). Man, I'm turning into a regular kleptomaniac *grin*. Below is a photo of what the finished buttons look like; sorry about the copyright thing plastered across the picture, but I'm sure you all are aware how quick people are to snatch up stuff like this and use it themselves without a care in the world (or a penny for our pockets). This is what Ann was helping us with:

Guess that's it for now; got kind of long...sorry. Have an awesome week everyone!


  1. You are always so busy and always creating something ~ you are one ambitious person Jen!

    We aren't digging any pools this summer but if I could pave my whole yard or fill it with gravel I sure would. After 3 hours of weeding this morning I'm tired of yard work already!! ;)

    Happy Sunday Evening to you!
    xo Catherine

  2. Catherine: I try, although the brain seems to have many more aspirations than the body can handle *laugh*. Three hours of weeding? Ugh! For now I walk past the front flowerbeds with my eyes averted (works for me ;o)

  3. Thanks for the morning humor. Always nice on a Monday morning!
    I love your cavaletti (and I won't say a thing about the missing PVC!). I bought two noodles to play around with.. you know, hit the boys, let them chew on them, tickle their tummies, etc. When that's old hat... I think I'm going to be looking for some PVC... already know where the sand is!

  4. I don't think you swiped anything, it's more like creatively acquired. If those pvc pipes were so important your husband shouldn't have left them laying around where anyone could acquire them creatively :)
    Bella wouldn't mind the tiara issue considering it's all for a good cause. The buttons look great. I think you may be right about the Duke pic making a good button

  5. Yay! Best of luck with the fundraising, and so cool to see you made your own cavaletti, they are REALLY expensive to buy!
    Hope you're all doing well, hugs!

  6. Dreaming: Anytime. Glad to bring a smile. I'm always up for a laugh, especially on Mondays (unfortunately too many times I am the laugh ;o) Thank you for not outing me (ha). Just found some noodles on sale at Fred's for $1.29 (now I can make some with stripes - yeah!) Maybe you can take some pics of yours when you get them done so I can how they turned out.
    Ann: Oh, I LOVE that one: "creatively acquired". Awesome! (I foresee many, many uses for it both in the near - and distant - future ;o) As to the photo? We can try one and see how it works (bring it on sistafriend)
    Meghann: Thank you so much; I think about you all the time (and pray too!) They are indeed very expensive; I was happy to be able to take something off the later list *grin*. Hopefully the fundraiser will go well (I'm praying for that too! :o)

  7. Liked your very inventive cavalletti. Ours are so heavy it's a drag (literally) for me to move them around.

    Good luck with your Twilight affair, love the button. Hope you make lots of money.

  8. GreyHorse: Many thanks all around! Although I can physically move heavy stuff around most of the time, it requires a lengthy rest afterward and it's not worth wasting my limited energy on something trivial like moving cavaletti. I'd way rather use it up playing with the horses ;o)

Your comments really brighten my day!

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