Thursday, December 02, 2021

Mountain house, 4

 We have some new photos of the walking trails that are inside the larger property boundaries. This land is beautiful! There is also a spring on the land, what appears to be a “bear tree,” and what looks like a lot of native flowering plants that are dormant right now. Each season will be a new adventure. For now, we’re exploring early winter. So far have seen bear scat, coyote scat, and deer scat. More exploring soon. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

It’s A Dog’s Life (not sure what number I’m at with this)

It’s been a relaxing weekend and the November Hill pack seem to be enjoying a lot of rest and relaxation. They’re a fun crew. Baloo is in a search and rescue class that’s giving him something to focus all his intense energy on, and he’s doing quite well. Clementine is patiently waiting for her turn at search and rescue. Bear’s still chipper as ever but given his age and mild arthritis, we are not planning any more work for him! His job is to be fluffy and snuggly and to sniff out the farm and all its visitors. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving from November Hill and the Mountain House


I’m grateful for blue skies, big trees, native plants, honey bees.

Horses, ponies and donkeys.

A pack of hounds, cats full of curiosities.

Family and friends.

Lands preserved and protected.

Books to read, books to write, the creative process.

From our homes to yours, I’m thankful for you who may be reading here today and every day. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2021

November Hill farm journal, 142


Happy to see this photo husband took that reveals November Hill spruced up for its namesake month. It’s taken months, but it has new roof, new paint, new upstairs windows, new attic HVAC, and I’m so glad these things are over I’m going to pour myself a little cocktail and celebrate. :)

I’m behind on my native plant updates, but will get back to that soon. Meanwhile we have a thornless blackberry going onto a trellis in the potager and still have the witch hazel and the heirloom local apple trees to plant. 

We’re having crazy weather. Warm days then cold days, temperature going all over the place. 

This week I had a few little repairs done with a contractor who will do it all, from little things like repairing door latches that don’t latch to bigger things like building new stall doors. He repaired a door latch, installed new light fixture on the deck, replaced a deteriorating exterior vent, and measured the back door so I can order a new Dutch door. This took him a couple of hours and compared to the larger jobs that we’ve done this year, it was a piece of cake. (Maybe I’ll add that to my cocktail time)

It’s been a relatively quiet day today and I’m doing some housework and for some strange reason am still wearing my pajamas. I very rarely do this but I’ve done it twice in the past week and one of those times I actually put a fleece vest over them and drove to get a coffee order!

I also ordered and received my 2022 day planner and the thought of all those blank days lying ahead is intoxicating. I know they will get filled as the year opens out, but for now I have an empty year ahead of me and I’m going to enjoy the thought of lazy days and puttering around trying to find things to do. 

Back to my wood floors and mop. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Mountain house, 3

 Some thoughts on trespassing private property:

We’ve had our issues here on November Hill with ATVs trespassing on the private gravel lane in front of our farm, as well as the back side of our property along a utility easement. One of our previous neighbors’ young adult sons, drove an ATV right in front of my face down to our back property, rammed our gate down, and drove over the gate to continue on his way. Last year 25 or so ATVs mostly driven by adult men trespassed all over the place behind our farm, doing huge damage to the land. All of this has been dealt with, and I remain completely mystified as to what possesses people to think they can buy an ATV and drive off into the world at large across any piece of land they see fit to ride onto. 

Now, of course, we have a beautiful piece of land on a mountainside that happens to have a sensitive habitat grassy bald on it. We knew this when we bought it - people are driving not only ATVs but full-sized trucks up to the bald, doing great damage to this gorgeous piece of land. 

My husband spent hours this week putting up chains and no trespassing signs to stop the trespassers until we can get a more appropriate barrier put up to stop this encroachment. I have a call into the USFS ranger for our area requesting assistance from them as well - the vehicles are entering through USFS land to get to our land.

My hope is that as we make it known that this is private property people will respect the boundaries. I remain mystified as to why anyone would think they have the right to drive into private property and do anything there. I don’t understand the mindset that allows that behavior.

If you want to cross private property, ASK PERMISSION. You may be told no, and if so, RESPECT THE FACT that the private landowner paid for the property, pays for upkeep and land management, and pays taxes on the property. Taking any kind of vehicle onto private property is likely doing harm. DON’T.

I understand all the arguments against private property ownership, and I understand that historically none of this land was ours to take. However, in 2021 we paid for the privilege to preserve this land and that’s what I intend to do. 

Rant over. I’m grateful for kindred spirit neighbors who are working closely with us to stop this grassy bald from being destroyed by the thoughtless, criminal behavior of random people.