Monthly Archives: July 2014

My Kind Of Shoes

July 28


Oh Yes, I would wear these shoes!  🙂



The End of July 2014 Drives

Amazing…June and July’s driving totals were almost identical with the same amount of hours and miles I don’t believe that has ever happened before.

We started out this morning at 65 degrees at 7 am and ended at 74 at 10 the cloud cover was wonderful to keep the sun off. In the last two weeks the fall crops have ripen and are close to being ready for harvest .  We did see some crop damage from the recent rain and winds, these are photos no farmer wants his fields too look like so close to the end of the season.

Wheat field wind/rain damage

Our version of a crop circle This is our version of a crop circle.  Click on all the photos to bring them up to full size.

Luc and Galahad had a brief rest stop at the crossroads, just long enough to snap this photo of them checking out the countryside.

July 28 Luc & Galahad

It was a wild life drive with does, fawns and even bucks could be seen everywhere.  It’s been a long time since we have come across a coyote but this morning we watched as one was hunting mice in the hayfield near our house.  The boys didn’t seem to mind him at all.

I’ve noticed Luc’s collar is getting tight and more importantly at times he seems uncomfortable, I think that is why he keeps putting his head down which catches the lines under the neck yoke.   I fitted the next size larger on him which is a 19, that one is a little long but the draft fit perfectly so I think we’ll try it on Thursday which is out next outing.

Driving totals to date are 560 hours and 36 minutes, and over 1,044 miles.  See you in August!

Here is part one of todays video drive.

Part two can be found here.

A Diamond in the Rough

Windows & Siding 2-28-14

A diamond in the rough is exactly what our landlady saw in the old Kingma family farm house.  2014 has been a huge transition year for this lovely family farm home where Jim, his brother and sisters were raised.  Here is the original siding with the new main floor triple pane windows installed.

In January, which was an unusually mild month, Herman started replacing all the old single pane windows, many were cracked and only a select few actually opened.  Four of the windows and two of the doors inside received beautiful new trim that framed them perfectly!  Most of the old farm windows were distributed to family members so they could have something to remember the house that held so many childhood memories of their beloved Parents/Grandparents and Great Grandparents.


These are some of the original windows, we spoke for one of the middle sized ones and the two on the right side that I am transforming into picture frames.

Once Herman accomplished the new windows he began the huge job of hand sanding every inch of the outside of the house.  This house was cedar sided when it was built in the early 1950’s.  A new addition was added to the front in the mid seventies.  Some of the siding had deteriorated to the point of needing replaced with concrete boards that would take the harsh weather.


Herman made his own scaffolding, in order to get every inch hand sanded down to the bare wood, by the time I snapped this photo he had already taken the top layers down, it was scary high!

Finally late spring it warmed enough to begin the 50 gallons of paint project.  First a layer of 25 year guaranteed primer coated the entire house.  Followed by the exterior and then trim paints.  The house was transformed!

Kingma Farm House

Herman was not done!  Two loads of tile rock, a skid steer, and an excavator show up.  With our tractor Jim brought in huge amounts of fill dirt and in three days the landscaping  transformed this into a show place with beautifully placed rock work.

Kingma Farm House

Gutters will soon be installed to finish the house project.  What a year it has been on transforming this ole’ farm house.  I can hardly believe it is the same place I tried to not get into the background of Teamdonk photos.

The rock sidewalk to the front door.

We have never had a such a beautiful walkway that goes to all three doors in the front of the house. The new gutters, which are next,  will connect to the pipes strategically staged to carry the water into the pastures and away from all sides of the house.

The inside of the new doors has been my project and this one is just about finished.

Kingma Farm House

Thank you Herman, Matt and Julie, all your efforts are truly appreciated!

Wildfire Smoke and Hot Dry Temperatures did not detour Teamdonk

Off and driving at 7 am at a comfortable 61 degrees and it stayed nice for the duration of our outing, yes I love mornings like this!  Luc and Galahad were anxious to get out and see how their world has evolved since their last outing on July 8th.  The GoPro worked great and a lot of footage was recorded.  There was so much that I broke it into two parts.  The first link is:

Part two can be found at

The temperature had skyrocket to 75 degrees by 9 am.  I was indeed happy to be home and have everything put away by then.  The winds kicked up in the afternoon bringing with it clouds of smoke from the west.   To the east I could see afternoon thunder heads building.  A bad combination all the way around.

Todays stats:   If you watched the second video you know that we were out for 1 hour and 21 minutes.  We traveled 3.09 miles at a 26 minute per mile walk.  That translates to a 2.9 average speed but the boys threw in a 4.2 mph when Galahad got his reminder tap.  Our average speed is 3.0 on flat ground.  They were rearing to get down the road!  It was indeed a fun drive!

July 17, 2013

Todays photos shows how the crops have evolved.  On your left is a canola field that bloomed early in the season.  To your right is fall wheat.  Click the photo to bring it up to full size.


The drive from ‘ell!

Whell that was the worst 42 minutes of my driving life!  Hitched Merlin and Marshall and all went well until I climbed into the cart, then it seemed as if Marshall was the only one in control.  Had to jump out and stop Marshall twice to fix the lines.  Then somehow  they fell to the inside of the team and I had a hard time reaching them, what a frickin’ mess!  I need my hitching area back, this didn’t work today!  Here is what I have in my hitching area.  The fence line isn’t bad but they have to back uphill to get up to the road and it is something they really do not like to do!


Then going down the driveway Merlin caught his line under the neck yoke and Marshall was not in a stopping mood.  That was another get out of the cart to fix things.  Still didn’t seem like I had a lot of control but all looked okay.   One more check and then it was off to the hay field.

Marshall was wound up and high headed so we practiced whoa and back and I tried to keep him calm.  All was fine until we saw the horses pastured on the backside of your place.  We watched them and then turned around and went back through the field.   About half way I turned around again and went back towards the horses who were running and that was all it took to completely set Marshall off.  By now we were all the way to the back side of the field.  So it was step and whoa,  then a couple of steps and a whoa.  Nothing would settle him, tired a circle and that make him worse.  I could feel a big runaway building.

Jim, who getting ready to swath hay, came out into the field and got a hold of Marshall and helped me get him back to the hitching area.  By now Marshall was almost completely out of control.  Thank goodness Jim was here to help, it probably would not have ended well.

After Marshall was put up I checked Merlin’s feet I could see that the entire back side of his hoof wall, that abscessed so badly, is going to come  completely off.  I think I will retire him until that hoof is rebuilt.  I’m guessing another four to six weeks at the most.

Marshall is going to be confined to going up and down the driveway with Luc until he can settle down and relax.  He is so upset with the deer, I am really hoping he will eventually decide they are just a part of the landscape.  He is just not driveable at this time.

Stats from today’s drive from ‘ell… total was 42 minutes that was 29 minutes moving and 13 minutes stopped time.  They drove 1.32 miles at a 33 mile minute, highest moving out speed was 6.4 miles per hour,  their average walk speed was 4.1… our normal speed is 3 mph.  Thank goodness I wore my heavy leather driving gloves, I really had to pull for all I was worth to keep him under  control.

PLAN B… Marshall gets to ground drive with Luc up and down the driveway, around the machine shed and to the unhitching rail and away from it… that will NOT make him happy.  I think ground driving him is the way to reboot his working mindset.

Today he had the open gate lesson… just because the gate is open… you may not exit until I say you may!  After all was said and done… Marshall came up to me and said he was so sorry… would you rub my ears and just love on me for a few minutes?  All is forgiven Marshall… I will just revise your driving plan!

Deer Patrol

Marshall is the sergeant in charge of fighting off the deer… or so he thinks.  He huffs and blows, he stomps his feet and it’s often a major stand-off until the deer give up and bounces out of sight.  Marshall wins, again!

Marshall 7-9-14

The other three are encouraging him to just “Go Git “Em, Marshall…. we’ve got your back all the way”….. and if you believe that……

Donkeys on Deer Patrol


Click on all the photos to bring them up to full size!

A Little Out of Our Norm

July 8, 2014 Luc & Galahad

We took a short break next to this nice piece of equipment.  Look like road work is about to commence, it may make it a little interesting driving this route in the near future!  Click on all the photos to bring them up to full size.

The famous Teamdonk #1 pose a the bottom of the canyon.  There's a hill ahead fellas!

The famous Teamdonk #1 pose in the bottom of the canyon. Is this an avoidance issue?  No one has to tell them, “There’s a hill ahead fellas!” 

Luc decided  to add a little excitement on our morning commute.  He managed to get the neck yoke smartly wedged under his chain chin strap.  I don’t even know how that is possible but he did it!  I may have to devise a break-away chin strap, just for Luc!

Other than that we had a pretty nice early morning drive that ended in the mid 70s under a very hot skin burning sun!  The boys were wound and ready to go, check out the video, it’s not our usual plodding along!


Making the turn for home past the spring canola and the busy bees!

Making the last  turn for home past the spring canola and the busy bees!


Let’s Catch Up on a Drive!

July! We are starting the best months of Driving Season off right with a Luc and Galahad Teamdonk #1 drive this morning!   The fall wheat fields are beginning to show signs of fading green to a slight yellowish.  It’s the beginning of the prairie changing to the golden fields of harvest.

So much to see with harvest and planting all going on at the same time

This is a view I have truly enjoyed for the past 348 hours and 710 miles since they first started driving together in the summer of 2009.  I’m looking forward to many more hours and miles behind these two!  This photo of Luc and Galahad was taken 7/25/2013.

We’ve  had a couple of weeks worth of rain and some cooler temperatures, but that is all behind us now. Merlin had an abscess on his front near hoof in June and was showing signs of one on his hind rear last week but I think wrapping it with a black drawing poultice did the trick.  This one was milder and healed quickly.  I now know what is causing this and the plan to change their lifestyle is in progress. The boys have been trimmed and are ready to barefoot it down the road.

Marshall has been on deer patrol, blowing, snorting, stomping his front feet and standing his ground while the other three donkeys are peacefully eating and ignoring his antics.  Meanwhile the deer in the back pastures are doing the same right back at him.  A doe brought her tiny newborn out to parade in front of the house and down the lane, now that caught everyone’s attention, including those in the house!  What a magnificent sight!  With Marshall around no animals are safe from discovery, right now he has a deer phobia and it’s not driving friendly.

Luc and Galahad’s 2 hour drive was 5 miles with an average speed of 3 miles per hour.  Temperature was around 70 degrees.  Very pleasant!