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Buck and Smile

Buck. And. Smile! (Leatherwood / Ferguson, NC) (photo by Skye Pincock Evans)

Sometimes, life throws a little buck your way. The best reaction is to stay balanced and grin. The photo above is of Brick sneaking in a little heels-up action at last week’s Ty Evan’s clinic at Leatherwood in Ferguson, NC. She did great and we learned a lot. I guess she’s recovered from her 2,300 mile walk from our farm in western North Carolina to Idaho.

Great big… Continue reading

Queen Valley Mule Ranch Saddle Review

The first one I bought was stolen. The second one I rode 2,200 miles from North Carolina to Idaho. No, I’m not talking about my mule. I’m talking about my Queen Valley Ranch mule saddle.

My Queen Valley Mule Ranch saddle on Cracker after traveling 1,400 miles from Lenoir, North Carolina to Hyannis, Nebraska. It would travel another 800 miles to Idaho for a total of 2,200 miles on the road.

In this post I’m going to give you an… 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

The Hoof Boot Report: 3 Boots After 32 Days on the Trail

Consumer Reports just won’t report on some things. These are the boots we’re reviewing. Here’s how they looked during our month-long mule ramble.

The word “report” brings to mind images of white paper, statistics, lab coats and, yawn, boring facts. This is not that kind of report. Rather, it’s the account of what my wife Julia and I learned after spending 32 days on the road with 3 mules and 3 different kinds of hoof boots. This may be the… 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 Three Dollar Ocean: Rebuilding a Katadyn Survivor 35 Desalinator

The email came from the Falkland Islands. “Do you have advice and information about watermakers?” It was from my friends, sailors Thies Matzen and and Kicki Ericson.

Thies and Kicki and me in Whangarei, New Zealand. I’m on the left in wide-brimmed hat. Thies and Kicki’s sailboat Wanderer III, is under the tarp on the right. (Circa 2001)

I met Thies and Kicki in Auckland, New Zealand in 2000 where I was rebuilding my sailboat Sea Bird. They were doing… 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

Locust Fence Part 3: Running out of Posts

Today’s post was going to be about setting the first locust posts in the pasture I’m building for our mules and horse….until I ran out of posts. So, back up the mountain I went in pursuit of locust. I found such a beauty, and was taken by how much life it contained, that I wanted to show you some photos of how a log become posts.

Queen of the Wind Fall Locust Jungle: she showed me how many plants and… Continue reading
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