In the past year we have seen Merle Haggard, Lady Antebellum,, Tim McGraw, The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Aaron Neville. We listened to the RSO and Aaron Neville last night. They were both wonderful, but Mr. Neville should have warmed up his voice before the concert. It took him until 20 minutes into the first set before he could hit the high notes with any power. It was a great show, though...and the man is 66 for crying out loud!
Yes, we live in the country in a small town with no stop lights, although they are discussing painting a crosswalk in the near future. But within a 30 minute drive, we can see a play, shop in a mall, go to a big hospital, visit a vineyard, hike the Appalachian Trail or the Blueridge Parkway.
On our property we have seen groundhogs, deer, fox, raccoon, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, hawks and any number of birds, including very large and ugly buzzards. I saw a bear crossing the road on the way to work one morning. Totally cool, because I was in my car...not so cool had I been walking. Plus he turned and ran away, so I guess I scared him!
So, with all the wildlife and being so far out in the country, you might not expect to see such wonderful programs at the 2 Civic Centers nearby, the ones in Salem and Roanoke. Perhaps the entertainers were on their way to D.C. and they got lost out here in the boonies! But for whatever reason, Lee and I have been taking advantage of the opportunity. OK, so most of the HUGE acts stop in Virginia Beach or Charlottesville or some other big city, but I hate crowds, so that doesn't bother me so much. Sure, I'd like to see Brad Paisley. Maybe I'll catch him on his way to a bigger venue. Although I hate to admit it, the Lady/Mcgraw concert was way too loud for me. I don't think it is because I am so old these days. The sound became distorted it was so loud and my ears rang all night. So an outdoor venue would probably suit these old ears better.
We are 8 hours from New York. We have yet to make the drive. Maybe someday we'll go and see some Broadway shows. For now we are happy with the shows that stop here on their way elsewhere.
From the sublime to the mundane...shedding.
AHHH! The hot, itchy, sweaty winter coats of the horses is starting to come out. After a few hot days and a bit of running around and the hair is starting to loosen.
A shedding blade is a long flexible blade with tiny teeth on one side. When used properly it pulls the hair off in a neat semi-circle. First I use a curry comb in circles to get the hair and dirt loose. Then I pull everything I freed off the horse in long slow strokes of the shedding blade. Libby is ticklish and when I scratch along her back she dips away from the brushing. Afterwards the barn is littered with hair and dirt.
The birds will probably like it. I can imagine that the hair would probably make for a nice nest. In fact we have a few that keep trying to nest in our barn. If nor for the horrid piles of bird droppings under the nest, I would let them, but it is unsightly and unsanitary so we knock their nest down as soon as we see them starting up again. We have acres of trees..go there!
While I had Libby and Claire in their crossties, I gave them their bi-monthly worming, a never ending quest to keep them parasite free. Then I put on Libby's fly mask. She gets horribly bothered by flies and her eyes swell up something terrible. I left Claire's mask off again. Her mask has made a raw spot on her chin. I have to wash it in case a build up of hair is the culprit. Then I will try again. It worked great all last season, but if it continues to irritate her, then I will have to buy another one. She isn't as susceptible as Libby, but the flies get bad in the summer and I want her as comfortable as possible.