Saturday, January 30, 2021

November Hill farm journal, 118

 We’re in a cold snap this week, highs in the upper 30s, lows in the low 20s, and we also had a dusting of snow (after a night of near-solid cold rain) so are back to square one with the mud factor. We’ve had horses in blankets for 2 days straight now, somewhat unusual for us, but I don’t want Keil Bay getting cold. He’s doing well for the most part.

In spite of the cold and the ongoing wetness, the time came this week to move on with some of the postponed repairs at the barn. The roof repairs were done yesterday, and will be finished up on Monday. It’s a relief to have that mostly done. Next is rebuilding one of the interior stall doors, bringing in some footing for the two shelters, and doing something with the barn aisle - either packed stone screenings with mats on top or ??? - it’s time. Depending on how easily that goes we may do some work on the feed room as well. 

My farm helper has been doing some pruning of the giant butterfly bush and the hollies in front of our porch, to get a jump on that before they start growing like mad as spring sets in. He also worked on creating a hugelkultur berm where an old and dead tree tipped over in the side strip, which happened to fall in a way that will be a great place to do the berm and create a storm water break over there. 

Next up, though, is a new roof on the house, which is still sitting under the original roof that was put on 25 years ago. We’re moving to a metal roof and I’ll be relieved when it’s over and done with! Then the back deck is up for replacement. These two things will be both invasive and difficult to live with if they go on for longer than a day, which I guess I need to steel myself that they will. There are days when I feel like it would be easier to buy a new farm than manage this one! 

Inside, we’ve moved the old sofa on to Habitat, and the new one is here and ready to be installed today. I’m enjoying the sofette and now the little ottoman I got to go with it. The dogs are not amused that their big sofa is gone and for now there’s just the floor along that wall! 

One thing I’ve made sure to do with these new sofas is get very lightweight throws for ease of washing and drying. The quilt I had on the large sofa was king-sized and very heavy, and with three dogs who have access to a back yard 24/7, I had to wash it at least once a week. The new one is super light and will be very easy to toss in the wash and will dry quickly.

I may have gone overboard with the size of the throw pillows I ordered - they’re great, but take up a lot of room on the sofette. Thinking of some kind of dedicated throw pillow caddy where they can be used when needed but put aside when not. 

This week’s weather has made me decide I’m officially ready for spring. Not that I can summon it in any way but I’m ready for slightly warmer temperatures again. 

In other news, I reembarked on Julia Cameron’s 12-week Artist’s Way exercises last week. I’m happy to bring some structure into creative efforts and routine, and also eager to move into her new book once I complete this 12 weeks of work.

Almost February! Hoping we get a bit warmer weather moving forward and that the vaccine for Covid gains a lot of ground in terms of being out there for everyone to access. I’m happy to see the efforts being put to that task. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

A cold snap at 20-30...hmm, I'll take that! This morning J. and I did the barn and it was 3 degrees, went up to 8 by the time we were done. I can tell you my fingers, toes and legs were absolutely frozen.

Glad to hear Keil Bay is doing well. We just put new roofs on two run in sheds and then a tree came down and just missed the shed by inches. Figures. It never ends with repairs on houses and barns does it.

Like your new sofa. I'm sure the pups will adjust. Hope you warm up and are able to get your vaccine soon. I got one shot so far.

billie said...

I always feel guilty when I complain of our cold, knowing you and a couple other friends up north are taking care of horses in much much colder conditions! We occasionally have a day or two with that kind of temp and it is nearly unbearable for me. To have weeks or months of that would be so hard!

Keil has had a minor relapse this week but I’m hoping it rebounds as we get some sunshine back and things dry out for ease of movement.

Oh dear - tree missing new shed roof by inches. It’s true - it just never ends. We now need two new gutter downspouts on the barn - the guy who did the new gutters two years ago talked me into removing the heavy duty PVC ones that the roof guy had installed, and of course, the metal ones look nice but can’t withstand a horse leaning into them, so they are both bent flat now. I do not know why I caved in about that. Now we just have to pay to have what we already had put back again. Sigh.

I need to post the new photos of the entire living room - the dogs are totally taking it over. I let them in after installing and in 5 seconds they were on the new/large one. Sometimes we just need a third sofa but no room for it!

Stay warm. Glad you got your first shot!!!