Thursday, May 16, 2019

November Hill farm journal, 75

It’s been a lovely week here. We had just the right amount of rain last weekend to give everything a good drink but not so much that we had a river running through the front stream bed. On Tuesday a cold front moved in, bringing our temps for the past three days to highs just at 70 degrees and lows around 48 degrees. I feel this is just about perfect weather for humans and animals alike. Of course, it is ending tomorrow and by Saturday we’re looking at a high of 91 degrees. I’m not thrilled but it’s the weather. We just have to roll with what comes.

The garden beds are looking wonderful. I have to remember to pinch back some of the plants that will grow too tall before they do, but for now everything is growing, blooming, and standing beautifully in the garden.

In other news, Keil Bay was losing weight and I freaked completely out about it and have boosted his feed tubs plus added a mid-day meal. He defies the norm where senior horses can drop weight in winter; he always looks fabulous in the winter months but for the past two summers we have had an issue with him needing more calories. He has already put weight on in the week since I increased his feed, and as anyone who knows Keil can imagine, he is adoring the fact that he gets that mid-day feed tub served to him in the cool quiet of the barn with his fans going.

It’s tricky having one horse that needs more calories and the rest needing less than they get, but we’ll manage. I’ve finally scheduled the interior fencing along the dirt paddock to be replaced, which means the plastic strand fencing that has been there all these years (and proved totally useless in corralling donkeys) will be taken down and away. We’ll have three-board fencing to match our exterior fencing, sans the woven wire, and the front and back pasture gates will be closer to the barn so the horses and the humans don’t have to travel all the way to the end of the dirt paddock (near the difficult neighbors’ house) to move through. I’ll end up with a small enclosed garden space at that end which will serve a double purpose: more garden space, and screening for the property line on that side. I’m very happy we’re making this improvement.

I have mowed all the buttercups this week, harrowed the arena, and thanks to my farm help, all the weedeating and mowing needed elsewhere is totally under control. I also pulled poison ivy out of my pollinator beds and am glad that chore is behind me.

This weekend I have some power washing to do and getting ready for the bees, who are coming June 1. More on that soon!

A certain golden girl can jump on the sofa now and it’s a favorite sleeping spot. What a sweetie she is!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Laundry room wish list, item 1, check!

I’ve been pondering a different arrangement in the laundry room for several years now, and eventually came up with an idea based on a Welsh hutch I found online. It was gorgeous but very pricy, $3k+, and I figured if I kept my eyes open I’d find something close enough to do the job. I checked on Craigslist off and on for months, never saw anything remotely similar, and moved on to other wishlists for home and farm.

Last week on a whim I checked and found a hutch that was very close to the one I wanted. We got it for $400 and I spent most of Mother’s Day prepping to paint the wall behind it. The wall is soft apricot now, on two sides of the laundry room, and the hutch is in place. I’m seriously considering painting it with chalk paint, layering a soft natural green and a creamy country white in an interesting way, and putting dark wax on top of that. But I like to live with things before I jump in and put paint on, so my husband brought this monster up the stairs in two pieces for me and it was almost instantly christened with the November Hill Feline Seal Of Approval by Pixie.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to put the horse minerals and supplements “away” on their new shelving and line up my boots and hang my gardening hats. We have twice the space we did before and it looks much more my style than the counter-top wood tables that were there when we moved in. 

Now I need the second item on the wishlist - a wood bench that will fit over the horse feed bins under the window, a place I can put a cushion and sit to put my boots on, fold laundry on, etc. I already know most benches are not as high as the bins are so it may be something I have to make or have made, but I want it simple and durable, and that shouldn’t be too hard to have done.

On the opposite wall, there’s a multi-item list of things to do. Have the dryer outlet rewired, see if the vent can be done differently/more efficiently, replace the shop sink with something beautiful that will also allow for buckets and maybe even a lower deck dog washing station, plus new shelving over the washer/dryer.

Not to mention the new laundry room door with built-in dog door to accommodate the Golden Retriever girl who lives here now. I’ve found the door I want, but have to get measurements before I get the quote to see if it’s affordable. I’ll be happy when I can make this room totally Done. :) For now, though, I’m happy as can be with this hutch!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Clementine and the herd

Clem is spending time off leash in Poplar Folly now, along with her best friends Bear and Baloo Corgi. She’s curious about the equines but does not approach them, and if they start running she comes to my side and sits. 

The big lesson for Clem is “leave it” when it comes to horse manure. We’re working on it. 

It’s fun seeing her learn the ropes of living on a horse farm. She’s already a superstar when it comes to going out in the world. I feel sure she will be the same here as she gets more exposure.