Around the Homestead

Hill Top Sunday Morning

Pony Pie on a hill (Caldwell County, NC / western NC)

Sunday greetings from high above the Shoe Box Canyon. Yesterday, my wife Julia and I rode to the top of the mountain behind our cabin. I thought you’d enjoy some photos of the ride.

Julia rode her pony Pie. I rode my mule Cracker. From the clearing high above the cabin, we just looked out over the Brushy Mountains to our South. We listened to the “chimp pang” call… Continue reading

Springing Toward Summer

Saddles on our porch: I rode the one on the left from Atlantic to Pacific oceans and the one on the right from here in western North Carolina to Idaho

Happy Easter Sunday to you. The leaves are darkening up, the mules are getting shiny and Snookie is panting in the dirt under the back porch. My wife Julia just posted a beautiful essay on spring moving ahead toward summer here up the Shoebox Canyon. Read the full story, with… Continue reading

Weekend Plans

Want to attend a Dog Hair Cutting Festival with my wife Julia and me this weekend? How about a Mule Ride. You might get a good one. You may not. Fun like Russian roulette!

Hey, how about a ride on a humpbacked mule. Nice! (Skye Pincock Evans photo)

You can tell Julia and I have a little too much time on our hands this weekend. She wrote an invitation to our neighbor P to join us for any or none… Continue reading

Adjusting Pie’s Hoof Boots (Part 3 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

How do you adjust a pair of new hoof boots?

Nice new hoof boots. But how do you get them to fit?

In today’s post, I’ll show you how I’m adjusting a pair of hoof boots to fit my wife’s pony Pie. To get you up to speed, here are the first two parts in this three part series.

Continue reading

Measuring Pie for Hoof Boots (Part 2 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

We clipped her nails and pulled her shoes. In my recent post “Off With Her Shoes” I wrote about how my wife Julia and I are transitioning her pony Pie from steel shoes to bare feet. In this update, I’ll show you how we trimmed and measured Pie’s feet for hoof boots. But first, to recap, a few pics of Pie having her shoes removed.

Julia pulling Pie’s shoes. Lots of pics and descriptions on how this went… Continue reading

Off With Her Shoes (Part 1 of the 3 Part Series on Transitioning to Hoof Boots)

This weekend my wife Julia and I pulled the steel horse shoes on her pony Pie’s front feet. From here on out, she’ll go barefoot. For extra protection Pie might need on rocky trails or abrasive surfaces like asphalt, we’ll slap on a pair of hoof boots.

Julia removing the nails from one of the horse shoes she’s taking off Pie. Pie looks pretty chill about the whole thing. If you look closely, you’ll see Pie is already barefoot behind.… Continue reading

Christmas Greetings

Snookie ponders his reason for the season

Merry Christmas from the homestead up the holler. “I’ll be Home For Christmas” is playing (the Bing Crosby version), the wood stove is glowing and Snookie is pondering another cookie. “I’ll be Home for Christmas” rings true this year, just not in original way it was meant (it was written from the point of view of a WWII soldier stationed abroad). With Covid numbers spiking, my wife Julia and I are hunkering down… Continue reading

Pickle Raft Crushed, Rebuilt and Refloated

Crunch! Last winter a tree crushed our beloved Pickle Raft. This week, we rebuilt it. Here’s a quick (30-sec) video of how that went followed by some pics.

Introducing the Pickle Raft

A few years ago, my wife Julia and I assembled what looked like a patio on top of a bunch of plastic barrels and pushed it in to our pond.

We christened it the Pickle Raft and life was good.

Building the raft. We scored the barrels on… Continue reading

The Garlic Journal

How long does it take to grow a head of garlic? Today I found out.

Last December, Scott, one of our hunt club members, gave my wife Julia and I 30 heads of garlic. They were amazingly delicious, grown by Scott in his garden. This, I vowed, I would have to try.

Scott’s garlic, well, what’s left of the original 30 heads he gave us. Hanging beside it, one of my favorite sculptures, a mango wood carving given to my… Continue reading

Wren Silhoutte

Morning visitor. A house wren perched on our locust clothes line support. The shadow on the left is our door sill. The vertical strings give something for the pole beans to hang on to.

Welcome to summer. My wife Julia and I are busying ourselves with summer chores on the homestead. Mornings, I’m working on my new book. Afternoons are spent building a new locust fence for the mules, tending the garden and leveling a pad for the new run… Continue reading

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