Friday, February 8, 2008

Horses and Stone Fireplaces

Pine Mountain

It is another Saturday on Pine Mountain. Once last weeks storm left we had nice weather all week. Each day was a little warmer than the day before. We have been working all week installing the wiring for our new 10 K vertical wind turbine from Pacwind. Next week if the weather permits the company will install the turbine. If you would like more information on vertical wind turbines go to If you are a person that is mechanically inclined and would like to build there own wind turbine, a good place to start is with a book described as the alternative energy bible. This book is available at
This week I have guests on the mountain. My sister, her husband, and their daughter Grace are here. Grace just had her 10th birthday and she has recently taken up horseback riding. Grace keeps her horse here on the mountain and wanted to tell this week's story about her
horse. Here is her story.

Grace and Her Horse

My horse is a beautiful Pinto. Her name is Starburst, because she has a bursting star on her forehead. She is brown with white spots. I wanted a horse very badly. So my mom dad and uncle said I could get a horse if I learned to care for it and practice riding. We got Starburst from a friend we knew. She was eight years old and had been a show horse. She had a very good personality and was well trained. She liked me when I saw her and I liked her. Every time I visit my uncle, I go down to the stable to see Starburst. When she sees me she whinnies and comes over to see what I brought, like sugar cubes, apples or carrots. There is a tack room and five stalls. There are other horses, but Starburst is my horse. First I put a halter on her and lead her to the crossbars. I brush her with a curry comb, then I use a hard brush to get the dust out. Then I take the soft brush to make her shiney. After that I get the comb and take the tangles out of her mane and tail. Then I take the hoof pick and clean her hooves. Sometimes you have to squeeze her tendon to get her leg up. Then I saddle her up. I get her saddle out of the tackroom. I put her saddle blanket on and put on the saddle. I tighten the girth strap a couple holes. I go to the other side and do the same. I put her bridle on, sometimes she doesn't want the bridle and I have to hold her mouth at the jaws where she has no teeth and ease the bridle into her mouth. I jump on her and we go to the riding arena. We walk around a few times, she sometimes gets scared of the rattling of the gate in the wind. I once fell off when she was spooked, so I show her the gate several times to train her not to be scared. We trot for while, then we practice jumping. We leave the arena and run down to the creek. We rest awhile and then I take her back to the barn. That was a day with Starburst.

Well that was Grace's story about her horse. I hope everyone enjoyed her story. She writes very well for a 10 year old.
Back at the ranch house we have just finished breakfast. We had a special coffee treat for breakfast. We had Chocolate Mint coffee.Available from this coffee tastes like you put an after dinner mint in your coffee. It is definitely an interesting coffee. After breakfast I load another load of firewood on my firewood wagon and haul it down the mountain to the ski lodge.
Soon it is evening and we are gathered around the fireplace. Our fireplace is the centerpiece of the family room. When we remodeled the house 20 years ago we built a granite fireplace from stone that we bought at Marenakos Stone Works in Preston Washington. This company has a huge stone yard and state of the art stone cutting equipment. They have been making stone for fireplaces and other decorative stone projects for over 3 decades. Their stone has been used to create many breathtaking fireplaces in hotels and homes all over the western United States. If you are interested in finding a stone fireplace that will be the centerpiece of your family room go to . I am sure you will find a design that you will like. Back at the ranch we are gathered around the cheery fire in our stone fireplace. Grace and her parents are playing scrabble and Squeekers our African Grey parrot is chattering away on his perch happy to have visitors to talk too. We are having a late night snack of fresh baked sugar cookies and our Coffee Fool flavor of the day, Chocolate Mint available at Soon the evening is over. I put Squeekers back in his cage and everyone heads off to bed. Good night from Pine Mountain. See you next week.