farming, Uncategorized

April Already

So much happens on our little farm within a day, it is hard to pause and pick up from wherever I left off. I knew it had been a few months since I sat down to write something about the going-ons in the coop and in the pastures. It’s late by my clock, but if I don’t get something down, I’m afraid I never will. Zoe my sweet dog is laying on the floor, she is banned from the bed tonight because she decided to roll in a fresh pile of horse manure. I do have a white kitty sleeping beside me, who I believe is making the dog jealous.

Still can’t quite believe I haven’t written since October. The entire winter and beginnings of Spring have flown by. We got a pig and lost her. Retired the old mower and got a much-needed upgrade. I’ve cleaned fence rows, hauled firewood and more water than I care to recall, and watched the Robin’s come and descend on the fields. We had frost and snow and sleeting rain, and finally some sunshine. The daffodils have bloomed and gone, but the fruit trees are just beginning to flower. And the grass is finally, finally green.

The biggest change around here, by far, is the work done on the house. The loan was approved in late January, and we had the windows replaced on February 15th, which is the best post-Valentine’s Day present I have ever gotten. Well, maybe that and chocolate strawberries from my Dad. They are currently at a tie. Soon after windows came new siding, a beautiful sage green, with new patio doors, soffits, and fascia board, which I didn’t know existed until a few months ago.┬áMy mother came the week of the busiest repairs, and cooked all kinds of treats for the crew. To top it all off, we got dark brown gutters to match the roof. Speaking of roof, we had leaks over the front porch and rain in the dining room that disrupted my March birthday plans.

I did end up exploring the attic though, and discovered a poor dead bird that was promptly removed. My wonderful barn-roof repair man saved the day, he and his neck brace arrived with his brother to lay new sheets of metal, and we decided to close in the front-porch ceiling with barn wood. Of all the work we have done so far, that may be my favorite. Each board is a different color, width, and texture. It brought the porch back to life. And I will finish putting water sealant up as soon as the temperatures stop dipping back to the low 30’s. We may even have snow next week, if you can believe that.

There is still more to do, though, which is just part of renovating an 80+ year old farm house. It has been incredible to see it reborn, and to see all the decisions and planning come together. Currently waiting on a new door to the basement, and the stone mason to begin work in early May. We did pull down some beautiful, hand-laid stone walls, which I hated to do. There were two partial walls in the front, and one wall by the back patio door. Since we have not had gutters on the house for several years, there was a lot of water damage and you could see where the stone was leaning away from the wall.

I am always hesitant to replace original things like that, because they are such amazing pieces of this farm’s history. But the fact that I was able to pull them down with a crowbar says a lot about how unsecured they were. Fortunately, all the mortar chipped right off, and I have been able to use a lot of the stone around the house for new flowerbeds. Several people have recommended building a fire pit from the rest of the stone, but I would rather not have something else to weed-eat around.

Once the new stonework is done, I plan to get a truckload of mulch and give our very neglected flowerbeds some TLC. By that time, we will be ready to plant the garden, and I have a feeling that the summer will fly by too. While the winter was long and cold and dark, it is the time to rest and plan and dream up new ideas and projects for warmer days. For now it is spring, and I am thankful. I’m ready for more green, more mowing, and more planting. We have 3 chicks that hatched over Easter weekend, and I will be writing about my 6 baby ducklings next time. The days are getting longer, and the fireflies will be here before I know it. It’s a miracle to watch the farm be reborn each year, and each year it seems to be more beautiful than the last.