Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gators Bounce Back

After suffering their first loss of the season to start the week, the Lady Gators finished the week with a solid conference win on Friday at West Columbus to move their record to 3-1. In a game that saw considerable playing time for the reserves, the Gators cruised to a 59-33 win. B was a bit off on her jump shot and finished with 8 points and 4 assists. She did have a very good night on defense with 6 steals and 1 blocked shot to go along with 3 rebounds. A couple of clips of her (#14) play is included below. The Gators do not play again until next Friday when they host in-county rival Whiteville in a non-conference game.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lady Gators Fall to Eagles

Monday night the Lady Gators faced off against the defending East Regional Champion and State Runner-Up, East Bladen. The Eagles and their all-star center led from start to finish and pulled away to an impressive 70-48 win. B played a solid game despite having an off shooting night. B finished the night with 10 points, going 5 of 13 from the floor. She also had 4 steals, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 turnover. A few clips of her play (#14) can be found below. The Gators will be back in action on Friday night at West Columbus in their first conference game of the young season.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gators Move to 2-0

Friday night The East Columbus Lady Gators moved their record to 2-0 with a non-conference win over South Columbus. The Gators played stifling defense from start to finish and held their turnover count to a minimum in route to a 44-18 victory. B had a very good game going 5 of 10 from the floor including 4 of 5 from the 3 point line. Along with her 14 points, she had 3 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds. The best stat she had on the night was ZERO turnovers. A couple of clips of her (#14) play can be found below. What looks to be the toughest task of the season will come Monday night when the Lady Gators travel to last years state runner-up, East Bladen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Off to a Quick Start

The East Columbus Lady Gators got the new season off to a quick start Tuesday night with an impressive win at North Brunswick. After losing a starting guard and their spotlight post player to graduation, the Lady Gators came into the game as a concensus underdog with a young starting lineup that included two freshmen and a sophomore. Early on, the Gators looked to be filling that role as the Lady Scorpions jumped to a quick 7-0 lead. After shaking the early game jitters however, the Gators steadily fought back and pushed to a 25-23 lead at the half. The second half belonged to the Gators as they quickly pulled away to rack up a 55-38 win and put a solid "W" on the board to kick the season off. B played a solid floor game and despite a slow shooting start finished with 8 points as well as numerous assists and rebounds. A couple of quick clips of B's play (#14) can be found by clicking here . A TV news clip of the game is below. The next game is Friday night at home against in-county rival South Columbus. We can't wait to see these young ladies hit the floor again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Hardwood Time Again

It's basketball season again and the East Columbus Lady Gators kicked it off by going 3-0 in the East Bladen High School Preseason Jamboree with wins over Clinton, Lakewood and West Bladen. As was to be expected, play was overall ragged and all teams envolved have much fine tuning to do before their season openers. My early assessment is that the Gators will have the edge on most anyone they play this year when it comes to raw speed. The general rule that speed kills is a basic staple of basketball, but it is only lethal when it is coordinated and controlled. Therein lies the biggest improvement opportunity for these ladies this year. B played well at times and showed the early season rust as others. Here is a couple of quick clips of some of her play (#21).With about two weeks till the opener, it will be interesting to see how much these girls can jell.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Missing Rocky

While sorting through some old cell phone photos, I ran across a couple of Rocky and was reminded how I miss him. Rocky was one of the occasional strays that seem to make their way to our farm. For a dog, or any other sizable animal, it's not as easy as you might think to simply wonder onto our property. Other than our lengthy and narrow driveway, the rest of the farm is surrounded by wire fencing and gates. Anyway, Rocky appeared from nowhere one evening in the summer of 2008. He was a pitiful sight. He had obviously not had a real meal in a long time and was suffering a number of injuries such as scrapes and lacerations. His left ear was split in two and infected. With his condition and him being a pit bull, we were initially worried that he may be violent or even rabid. As it turned out, he was one of the most gentle, large dogs we had seen. As with our previous strays, Rocky was well fed and his injuries and intense flea infestation were treated. It didn't take us long to settle on the name Rocky, as it seemed the best fit for his rough appearance. As best we could figure, it looked as if Rocky had been used (abused) is some sort of dog fighting. Anyway, Rocky stayed with us for several months. In the end, we had to find a good home for him as he was somewhat destructive with whatever he perceived to be play toys. He also liked to dig large holes to lay in, usually in the worst possible locations. C was able to place Rocky with the family of a co-worker. Although the end result was best for Rocky and us, I do find myself missing him from time to time.

Monday, June 28, 2010


One of our main projects while we were on vacation last week was supposed to be replacing a run of fence along the small pasture area that leads to our barn. The old wire fence along that run is way beyond needing replacing, as is many of the poles. On Monday, an overcast day held temps down so we jumped on the project. A couple of rain showers slowed our progress so we figured to finish it on Wednesday, since Tuesday was given to running errands and shopping for project materials.
By Wednesday however, we were well into what proved to be the hottest week I can remember. After Monday, the entire week produced a daily heat index in excess of 105. Ultimately, we cancelled the fence project and moved to some of the items on the barn "to do" list as a means to stay out of the Sun as much as possible. We did manage to install the piping for the automatic water system in the stalls. We lost the whole system to freezing this past winter and this time we installed it with insulation. I also installed a tap for future use when we build our wash room. We also got one more of the stall fronts replaced. Part of our shopping on Tuesday was to purchase our remaining four stall fronts. We found some at Agri Supply in Lumberton but they were mix-matched as far as the doors, some were damaged and all were pretty well weathered from being left to the elements, apparently for some time. After determining there would be a good bit of work to be done on the stall fronts for us to be able to use them, we managed to get a pretty good deal of about 1/3 off the posted price. Overall, it was a pretty productive week despite the extreme heat and humidity but I must admit I was pretty glad to get back to the real workday world complete with air conditioning and minimal labor.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Down, Four To Go

We have been planning on replacing the stall fronts in our barn ever since we moved in 5-1/2 years ago. We did actually purchase a stall front from Tractor Supply about two years ago. Since that time it has sat under our shed. Today, we finally got around to replacing the first one. In planing for the task, I was convinced it would be at least a two day effort to tear out the old front and install the replacement. We actually completed the whole job in about six hours. I had been concerned about how we would secure the panel at the bottom, but setting a railroad tie for the footer and bolting to it worked great. We still have some final tie in to the existing poles, but that should be a piece of cake. It was exceptionally hot today and we were basically non stop on the project in a heat index over 100 degrees. It proved to have been too much for C as she struggles with high heat anyway. B stuck it out all day and we were so proud of how hard she worked with no complaints and constantly looking for whatever she could help do. When it was all said and done, I realized that during the day, which involved a couple of other small projects as well, I had consumed almost two gallons of fluid without ever needing a restroom break. That's a lot of perspiration. Anyway, we were well pleased with the look of the new stall front. It is certainly a nice improvement over the original. Hopefully it won't take us quite as long to get around to making more progress on our barn makeover. We are talking about making a significant dent in it by summer's end. But then, we have always been great at making plans. It's actually getting around to executing them that we struggle with.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How does your garden grow?

For three years running, C's parents and ourselves have tried to grow a productive garden. Keep in mind that our property is for the most part, white sand and/or a powdery black substance that is supposed to be dirt, but basically resembles talcum powder. In either case, it is not nutrient rich by any stretch of the imagination and holds water for about half a day. Additionally, there appears to be some sort of curse on the property that prevents any appreciable rain from falling during any time of year that we may wish for something to grow. The combination of those two maladies have resulted in the first two garden attempts failing, miserably. This year however, is so far, looking promising. We had a good deal of rain this winter which I think gave us a good jump start despite the fact that once again, this spring has been extremely dry. Lots of watering has thus far kept things looking good, but we are in dire need of some substantial rain before the seriously hot weather sets in.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Fling

The Wilmington Hurricanes had their first "big" tournament of the spring last weekend in Greensboro. The was an AAU "showcase" tournament where college coaches/scouts have access to look for potential talent. We did see a number of them around, but there didn't seem to be an over abundance of them. Anyway, the tournament was held at the Greensboro Sports Complex which is an amazingly HUGE and BUSY place. There are eight bball courts which are only separated by curtains, literally. That and a minuscule walkway. All of the courts are surrounded by numerous indoor volleyball, hockey and soccer courts. All of the whistles and players/parents moving from court to court, etc., made it very taxing on the brain. At least from a parent's standpoint. As one would expect at such an event, the competition was very stiff. On Saturday we had our first game against a team from West Virginia that jumped to a early 12 point lead on us. The girls settled down, however, and came back to take it to the wire. Trailing by two points with about 15 seconds left, B got the ball on the inbounds and drove full court for a short jumper to send the game into the first overtime. Yeah, the first. We finally prevailed after three overtimes! A great game and a great win. The problem with three OT's is that tournaments are played on a tight schedule and we had just played our way into the start time for our next game. A three overtime game and playing back to back? What a way to kickoff the weekend. Needless to say, the girls eventually ran out of gas in the second game and wound up dropping a close contest to the Lady Phoenix. We all did have enough energy left for an enjoyable team dinner at Texas Roadhouse before hitting the hay at the motel. Sunday was an afternoon game against Phoenix South. It seemed that half of the teams there were some sort of Phoenix. The girls played hard, but were well over matched. Instead of discussing the final score, I would prefer to leave it with "that which does not kill you will make you strong". In the end, it was a good trip and B played well overall with her best effort being 16 points or so in the first game. It was good experience for her both from the court time as well as seeing what a showcase level tournament is like.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tank Goes To School

We decided it was time to get Tank started on his transformation into show material. A short trip to Holly Ridge would put Tank in the capable hands of our trainer, Roey Mobley, at Milestone Walking Horses. Roey, as do we, believes Tank could well be a diamond in the rough. Roey run a fine establishment with a great stable of students. We will be making periodic trips through the process for lessons and to see how she is coming along with polishing Tank's rough edges.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lady Gators Week 1

After having their first four games of the year rained out, the ECHS JV Lady Gators finally got the 2010 season rolling with four games in three days. In the season opener on Tuesday, B started and pitched a complete game 10-1 win over East Bladen. B struck out 10 and walked none while also getting three put-outs on come-backers. A double header at South Columbus on Wednesday concluded in a split with the Lady Stallions. The Gators dropped a close 5-3 decision in game one, leaving the bases loaded in the final inning. ECHS came back strong in the nitecap, hammering out a 9-2 win. B started the first game and went four innings allowing only one run. The Gators wrapped up a successful week on Thursday with a 15-1 pasting of East Bladen in an away rematch of the season opener. B started and picked up the win, going four innings and striking out 5 while allowing only one walk. The Lady Gators look to have a well balanced squad with good hitting and solid defense. Going 3-1 in the opening week is a great start and should make for a fun spring.

Monday, March 15, 2010

First Show of 2010

B and I had our first horse show of the year on March 13th & 14th. It was truly one of the best times we have had. Considering the many hurdles we had to get past. We had to do this show solo as Dad was working an outage and wasn’t able to go with us. Due to B having a game scheduled on Friday evening, we decided to take the horses up on Friday morning to get them settled in and set up the trailer for spending the weekend. We usually try to get to shows on Friday so we can practice and get the horses familiar with their surroundings. On Friday morning we were going to tie up loose ends so I decided to let B go to school a little late, but she had to be present so she would be eligible to play Friday night. The forecast was calling for rain so I told her that if it rained and they cancelled her game she could go with us. Just before time for her to go to school we received a text from her coach saying the game was cancelled. So B got to stay home and we loaded up the horses and headed to Camden. .

Since my truck driver was not able to go to this show with us, I would have to drive the trailer home from the show by myself…..something I have never done before. We have a 3 horse trailer with living quarters. It is pretty big for me. Yes, I drove to Camden for practice and R followed us in his car to help us get set up. We arrived safely, got the horses settled in and started hooking up the trailer. Water immediately started pouring all over the floor. We ended up with a broken water pump. Of course, there was not one to be found anywhere. So that meant we had no water. No big deal. We’ve camped for years so we are no newbie’s when comes to a shower house.

We got everything squared away and R left for home. We hung out with our trainer Roey Mobley and others that were showing with her. It was so much fun being “barn buddies” with them. There were a total of 4 horses in our stable showing together. Gus, Moonie, Mya and Missy. We all did very well in the show ring. B and I both got a 4th and 5th place ridding Missy.
We are looking forward to our next show in Raleigh. Oh, and by the way, my drive with the trailer… piece of cake!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

We Got the Big One

We got the biggest snow our area has had in quite a few years. It was a good 6-1/2" which is a major event in these parts. As is usually the case this close to the coast, it was a heavy, wet snow, which brought down quite a few limbs. Our power blinked a time or two but stayed on. C's Mon and Dad, next door, lost power for almost half of the day right after a transformer just down the road blew. It was beautiful on the farm and I think the horses even enjoyed it. Especially our new Percheron, Midnight, who promplty took a roll in the snow as soon as B let her out of her stall.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Tank for Christmas

A Happy New Year to everyone and hopes that all had a very Merry Christmas. As has been the case with us for the past few years, Christmas was kept on the light side this year. Not much under the tree and just a bit of family gift exchanging. B did get her #1 wish for the Holiday though...a new food processor whose official name is Flashy Cuts Rebel. His short name is Tank. The Flashy part seems to suit him best as his a black beauty with what looks like it will prove to be an eye catching gait. He is a 5 year old Tennessee Walker that we purchased from the N.C. Boys and Girls Home in Lake Waccamaw. That may not sound like your average pipeline for quality horses, but you can never judge a book by it's cover. They have many very nice, well cared for horses. Tank is green as a gourd relative to any type of showing and will need a good deal of training and ground work, but looks to be well worth the effort. Task one will be getting him introduced to the current residents and seeing how things work out between him and our reigning ban boss, Apollo.