don't let the sun fool ya

It was nice to see the sun, after such a rainy Christmas. Brad had the day off, so we were able to visit our horses in the daylight. I was really looking forward to seeing them, without the lingering stillness of the dark. 

Temps were in the low 40's (F) I thought we might end up peeling layers off and riding in sweatshirts. Silly me!! It was sooo windy and sooo wet! Someone knew it would be sloppy, and brought snow boots. I was thankful & got to keep my feet dry! 

Brad sledging through the wetness & wind

to bring in Koda & Nemo

We had an uneventful ride, just the kind I like. We haven't been working on anything in particular, just connecting. Our rides have been much shorter with very little loping, if any.

When I only ride once a week, I feel like we are starting at the beginning and it's not fair to ask a lot. I should probably rethink my rides, and get some type of plan of action going. If I am bored, you know Koda is too. 
It's harder to get motivated, when you don't know what conditions you'll be riding in. Guess a person could do two plans of action. One for more space, and the use cones if needed, and a back-up plan that can be done with restricted "shared" space. 

I am going to revisit my post with indoor riding ideas it's got some great links & ideas from readers in the linked comments.

It was surprising to see Koda's breath so visible near the end of our ride. Didn't think we really did that much. Must have been the figure 8 with extended trot on the cross. We did two 'er 16 if you are doing the math. Apparently Koda thought it was more like 64 ;)

horse eating end of the arena
requires listing ears
After our ride, the boys got to munch on yummy flavorful carrots from our garden. I dug the last of them before the ground froze. They last pretty good and taste much better then store bought. Just ask Koda & Nemo & Cierra what they thought of their Christmas carrots!!


Merry Christmas from me to you

2016 Handmade Christmas Card
(cover & inside greeting)

This year my handmade Christmas card features a photo of our family dog (actually Brad's heart dog) and two of our grand dogs. Three very special dogs that share a bond, in very different stages of life. 

Merry Christmas friends, and may the New Year be one of progress towards whatever makes your life complete. Wishing you happiness & health in 2017!!


the quiet pattern

As we wait for the barn building to go up, we find ourselves in a bit of a quiet holding pattern. After the start of the year, things will begin picking up with the land again. Right now everyone's got holiday brain!! The barn shell will be built & house meetings will begin again. The house floor plans were one of the first things we had to complete, but there are a ton of decisions left to be made!! Sigh.

Until then, we are enjoying winter's beauty and dreaming of the day when we live with our horses. I miss them! Between life and the weather, I've only been seeing our horses once a week. Big change from riding four nights a week! Brad goes a second day for a lesson. I opt out. It's too darn frustrating to ride in the winter where we board...needless to say Koda & Nemo are getting fat & sassy. Me too!

Before winter temps dropped to what it must feel like when hell freezes over, we found a use for some of our alfalfa bales. Don't cringe, I did...

Brad spread bales all over the house building site to keep the frost from going too deep. My hubby guarantees it will save us a lot of money in the spring...it pained me to watch, but I believe him. The bales we used got some rain on them while stacking. Plenty of good bales still stored inside, if we ever find anyone to buy them! Everyone in this area is very overstocked. Guess it's a good problem to have.

The quiet pattern finds me walking in our woods. Even in the winter. Here are some early December views...

Looking out of our woods, towards building site

It is pretty funny listening to someone describe where they saw something...

this tree, on that path

Not sure why, but the tree above stops me every time I walk past it. Looks like a heart. Might just carve some initials, or a year, or not. It's on the lower path. You know, the lower path. Towards the east. No, not that one, the other one. Right before you turn. Where it forks off, in the shape of a Y. The lower path, before you get to the other lower path. Yep, that one! Ha ha!! 

winter view from the house site
the only thing missing is the horses
and um, the house

Near the road it says we have permission to build our dreams. Interestingly enough, people ask us a lot if we have permits...guess it's because it means, this is really happening.

By the middle of December, our views looked more like this...

winter view from the house site
further West
Walking towards the woods, it was all about the trees...

natures way of painting

and then something red stopped me in my tracks...

beauty in a simple weed

Woods are incredible after a snowfall!! Silent. Untouched. Surreal...

then, out of no where...soft snow randomly falls, gently from the tree tops, like a sprinkle of powdered sugar, floating down from high above...

...it was like walking in a fairytail!!! I can't even imagine what it would be like riding a horse through the woods when it's like this?? But I am going to find out!! I have never ridden in fluffy snow & can't wait to try!

Shortly after the beautiful snowfall, a bitter cold front moved in. And stayed. The kind of cold that is good for nothing, and dangerous.

We usually trim our house with festive lights. Some years outdoor trees are also lit up. This year, the only thing that got decorated outside was a little tree at the new house site. Lit by solar panels, and love.

home is where the heart is


let the building begin ~ the barn

We've started putting our building plans into action! Our goal is to build the barn shell this winter, primarily for storage. Phase one is getting the flooring done:

My hubby & son prepped the site, by scraping off the top soil.
iphone credit: brad

The excavators dug the barn site out.
See Brad checking out their work, at the far end?
Thanks to my hubby, son and a few very kind co-workers who offered to help, our barn footings were set & ready to pour. These guys worked in the dark, in the rain, after long days...some of the kindest people I've ever met, work in the construction industry. 

missed out on all the action. Had some back trouble that put me totally out of commission for one very long week. I am so happy to be mobil again & see the progress in person!

Footings are set.
I couldn't believe the difference in depth, from one end to the other.
The far end had to be dug out over three feet to make it level!

It looked like a big giant sandbox.
I wanted to run up & down the long maze-like rows!

The days are so short now.
We rented high power lights to get the job done,
 before Mother Nature could ruin it.

Center of the barn

It fascinates me that they know where to put what,
and make everything straight.
It's not like they can hit delete,
or pull out an eraser, if the concrete isn't dead on.
Front of the barn footings
Front corner view
Back corner view, opposite above 
Here is a 15 second video showing the building site, with footings:

The Belt Truck below has a long reach, they use it to pour cement. It saves a lot of time & makes difficult area's accessible with it's looong reach.

belt truck in action
iphone credit: brad
Stacks of wall panels were delivered
& strategically placed with a Boom Truck.

iphone credit: brad
The wall panels were set, poured and stripped before I had a chance to get back out to the land. Everything was picked up and gone. What remained were sturdy cement walls! While all this was going on, winter abruptly arrived.

walls make the barn look like a building!
sections that drop down are where the doors will be
center of the barn
see the cutout near the ground?
I learned it's called a jump, and is used for leveling
I still don't get it, lol!!
walls stand high above ground
corner view

Here is a 17 second video showing the building site, with walls:

Cold weather was moving in, the excavators wasted no time backfilling the walls. The very next day, the barn site looks like this:

 walls are buried
excavators extended our driveway up to the barn
Phase Two will happen early next year, most likely in February. Stay tuned for more Build-a-Barn!!


View other Build-a-Barn posts to date.