Tuesday, March 09, 2021

November Hill farm journal, 121

 We’re in the middle of a wonderful dry and sunshiny but not too hot ten day stretch here on November Hill. Spring is definitely in the works, with daffodils in bloom, many trees starting to bud, bees bringing in pollen, a pony shedding like mad, and some greening beginning to happen in the pastures.

In the midst of this, though we also had three nights with temps in the twenties. Ice in waters outside and some blanketing to keep the Big Bay warm. I think tonight we shift to warmer temps and it will be good to try and get sheets and blankets clean during this warmer, dry spell.

We’ve had a bit of a spring cleaning thing going on last week and this. Last week I finally got the estimate done for the upstairs windows that face out to the front of the house. The big picture window was original to the build, so 26 years old this year, and its seal has failed. The French casement window I wanted to replace it came in at $30k, to which I said, um, no thank you, so we found something similar to that but not nearly as pricy. I’m going with wood inside and aluminum clad out so we don’t have to deal with the outer frames of the windows succumbing to the elements, and the picture window plus the smaller windows on either side will be casement windows that open out instead of the double hung existing ones. More useful to us, attractive, but not the arched French version I’ve been ogling for a few years.

I got a bee in my bonnet and redid the arrangement of things on the kitchen counter. I’ve created a coffee/tea/toast area where everything is gathered nicely for ease of use. Of course this meant finding a place for the things I displaced, and in the end I’m going to have to re-organize a few cupboards, but it’s pushed me to clear out some unused things, which is always a good thing to do periodically.

Our hall closet has become a nightmare of coats, duffel bags, hats, gloves, leashes and dog gear, so I ordered a few fun fabric bins and a wall hanging fabric thing with pockets to try and bring some order and pleasant aesthetics to this very small closet. The storage stuff is lovely and sitting on the dining room table because when I open the closet to begin this reordering, I am just overwhelmed with the thought of actually doing it. I’ll wait for the day I get the bee in my bonnet for the closet and it will go much more quickly!

Yesterday and today our roof is being replaced. I’ve lived through a re-roofing in other houses (rentals in my younger days) but never with five indoor cats and three dogs. Yesterday started pretty well. I kept the dogs quiet with chewies, put Clementine’s “suitical” on when she got nervous, and we watched the entire season of This Farming Life on BritBox. Thankfully the cats came downstairs and found places to curl up for the day, and until two workers came in the back yard unexpectedly and without permission all was well. After a conversation with the owner, we regrouped and made a better plan for today. Right now all is calm and not too noisy. The cats are in their spots, the dogs have chewies, and we’re watching the old PBS series Old Creatures Great and Small. For some reason having the TV on with animal shows seems to make things better. And running the washer, dryer, and several fans also has helped mute the sounds. 

The roof was also the original one, so it’s lived a good life. I’m excited to see the new one - not the black shingles we had, but a mix of grays that I think will look nice.

The horses are happy in the back pasture, Keil is doing well, and even with all the extra stuff going on, I managed to get the arena harrowed when it was still damp enough to harrow easily and well. Today is hay day, so the hay room is being tidied out and new hay coming in. Yesterday my new garret chair arrived and is sitting strapped to its pallet in the garage - it never fails that things sort of pile up to create a three-ring circus effect here, but I guess it’s good to get it all over with at once.

After today we’re taking a break from invasive projects for a bit. There are a few more things on the agenda but we need some quiet days to recuperate first.

For the first time in months, one of the tasks for today is to WATER the bayberries and winterberries! I’m so relieved to be drying out, I don’t even mind this.

In other plant news, our Meyer lemon tree suddenly burst out with blossoms - at least 15 total, and the little lemon that came from the first bloom (the only bloom at that point) is now turning yellow. It’s still tiny but on its way. I’m not sure what has prompted this growth spurt, but I’m happy to imagine a little tree full of lemons in another 9 months or so.

We’ll be putting our bait hive up in a tree in the next week or so in hopes of catching a honey bee swarm. I’m eager to see if this works for us - it will be a first and a big experiment in learning how to replace any hives that do not make it through the winter. This year we need to replace one, and I’d be happy to get two, so we end up with four going into next year.

I have no photos to share today but will have for the next post! 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Well, are you sure you have enough going on at once! It sounds hectic but in a good way. I think you'll be happy when its all done and things get back to normal. We have no buds as yet and this is our first warm day (54) so far. Still have snow but its melting fast, now comes the mud. Glad to hear Keil Bay is doing well. Hang in there, everything is going to look fantastic.

billie said...

LOL - I do seem to end up with too much, don’t I? Thanks re: hanging in there. I needed that this afternoon. :)))