build-a-barn ~ one section at a time

They started pouring the flooring inside the barn this week! The wash stall, feed room & tack room floor are in!! Thanks to Brad, our son, and a few wonderful employee/friends willing to put in extra hours at the end of a long day to help us out.

Brad installed the wash stall drain (lower right)
& put insulation down in the front room.

He ran pvc pipes to the stalls for waterers,
one for each set of two stalls.

Plumber will eventually run the water lines through the pvc.

We now have a real floor in three rooms!

The yellow arrow points to the wash stall drain, where the
concrete was slightly pitched in all four directs towards the drain

Notice anything else that was done with the flooring?

Brad is grating & framing up the next section in preparation for another upcoming pour. Basically it's the center aisle, around the long drain. We also plan to finish hanging insulation this weekend, and hopefully the remaining tongue & grove board on the storage side. I will be SO glad when that part is done!! It's fun to see the flooring come together, one section at a time. 


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how much wood can a woodchuck chuck

None, at least not in our barn. 

We need everything to dry out, so the barn doors have been staying wide open for now. Of course that is an invitation for curious visitors. We have found many tracks inside the barn, across house flooring, and over the mounded peaks of remaining dirt piles. Our wild critters aren't shy!

Basically, we've created a play land for all the animals that have lived on our land long before we started building. 
That's all good & fine, until you come face to face with one...

Me: Um, there is something black & furry in our barn. Everyone stops what they are doing and comes to look.

Brad: What did it look like? 

Me: I don't know, black & furry. Low to the ground

Brad: It's probably a woodchuck, let me go get something

Daughter: Plops on the ground. I think I see it!!

Me: Be careful!! They can be nasty & bite! Especially when cornered.

Jameson (daughters dog): Ma!! Ma!! I think it's over here!! 
No wait, maybe it's over here?? I dunno. Wag, wag, wag. I love this place, it's so exciting!!

Look at the brave guy with the super long piece of rebar trying to rattle everything so black & fuzzy will run out, lol! Yes, I know - I am allll the way across the barn by the opposite exit. Yep, I am the braver one ;)

Brad: Well, that didn't work.

Daughter: Plops on the ground. I think I see it!!

Mom & Dad: Be careful!! They can be nasty & bite! Especially when cornered.

Daughter moves the styrofoam. Risking life and limb getting bit, while her faithful companion stands by wagging up a storm.

Daughter leaps on the styrofoam, because she doesn't really want to get bit. Meanwhile brave guy rattles the pallet until black & fuzzy makes a break for it. He scurries out leaving the barn unharmed, in search of some wood to chuck.

Brad: Aww, it was just a little guy

Daughter: What are you talking about?? It was HUGE!!!

Me: Will you guys stop playing with the animals and get to work!


expect the unexpected

Not sure where I am going with this post, but hopefully by the end it will be clear (er). We have had more then our share of a very wet cool spring, and it makes me think. About life. About expectations. About purpose.

Our horses are an important part of our life. Every time we seem to get past "things" as they occur, we take a turn. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, and many times just different then we expected - or hoped for. Which is practically the same thing. 

Nemo's allergies are back. Did we really expect them to go away? We sure hoped they would. They are not as bad as last year, but his allergies are back. I don't think it means the subcutaneous immunotherapy isn't working, I think it means he is still being exposed to high environmental allergens. Once we have him at home, we can limit exposure much better. At least with Timothy Grass, we planted a mix without any. 

Grey Horse Matters (or other's with related experience) did your daughter do anything in conjunction with her horse that was on allergy shots? or did the shots control the allergies? Feel free to message me if you prefer.

We've got a call into the vets to see if he has anything more to add. We are already doing the basics (masks, adjusting turn out time etc) but maybe there is something else??

Life these days revolves around the land/building X2. Last night we agreed to cancel our upcoming annual trail riding trip up north. I keep telling myself, it's just this year - but will it be? Who knows what life holds in store for us. 

After a horseless weekend, we arrived to the barn on Monday with high expectations of riding and spending time with our horses. All I can say is, our move can't happen soon enough! No use whining about all the silly stuff. I'll just say - Brad couldn't ride Nemo and I chose not to ride Koda for long. I wasn't a whole lot of fun on the 40 minute ride home.

It had been a week since I've ridden Koda, and my last few indoor rides were marginal. When you add feeding time and commotion, he get's his appy-tude on. There were waay too many riders that are never usually there (surprise!) to get anything accomplished, and it was wet and sloppy outside. Sigh. When do I get to ride and be with my horse?? I had such high hopes. Patience. I have learned some over the years. I always say I was in the bathroom when patience got handed out ;) it's not one of my better virtues. 

Then there is this thing nagging at me, called purpose. Brad thinks my purpose in life is to drive him nuts. That's true, I do it all the time - hah!! But seriously, life's purpose makes a person think. I try not to dwell on it, but who wants to aimlessly float down any ol' stream of life? Not me.

Photography? Sure. It can be a beautiful thing, with purpose. But I don't want to snap photos, just because I can. The whole entire planet is doing that. I've been trying to figure out my style/purpose. My most recent effort lasted 56 consecutive days, almost to the end of February. It's further then I thought I would get, but a whole lot shy of 365 days. The daily challenge was more "pressure" and less purpose. Now I only shoot the days I feel compelled to. Most people who accomplish the 365 challenge year after year, do it for fun. Some do it for recording daily life, others enjoy sharing detailed life out loud. 

My self restriction was no phone photos, and no quicky photos just to get it done. I wanted to practice with my camera more, take thoughtful photography, with hopes that there would be a revelation. I may try the challenge again under different circumstances, but it simply wasn't serving my purpose. Whatever it may be.

Woodland ~ 96/365 photo challenge

So much for clarity. Welcome to my overcomplicated brain. If you've got all this life stuff figured out, do tell.


Expectation is the root of all heartache.

 ~ author unknown


build-a-barn ~ a months progress

It has never been more apparent then in recent weeks, how many times you have to dig the same piece of ground in the building process. You dig it, fill it in, re-dig, re-fill - just to dig it up again!! 

My last barn update was over a month ago. The guys dug a trench, and poured a support "wall" for our room. More (re) digging was required for services to go inside the barn. Brad rented a mini-excavator to get that part of the job done...

front room is dug up for services
from house to be connected
stall side wall gets dug up for water to run off outside
stall wall pvc pipe is secured
outside gets re-dug for pipe extension
We did a lot more then dig this past month. Brad & I hung up insulation, and covered it with plastic. What an itchy mess that was, altho we were well protected. Our daughter came out to help us hang tongue & groove board. Things go much faster with an extra pair of hands!

long outside lower half of wall is done
Brad and I set the second half of the wall using two ladders. The boards are super heavy, especially the ones that aren't completely dry. Wish I had the upper body strength and nerves to climb an even higher ladder, to finish the top row. Sigh. 

so much done, and yet so much wall left to do
including the end walls, and trimming
The horse side required a lot of work done for sections of concrete (not the stalls) to be poured. Last weekend Brad needed "fines" (ground up rock, that compacts) scooped from a pile outside the barn, brought inside, dumped in strategic locations, and spread. Our son was too busy to help, so he asked me to run the bobcat for him :)

Nothing like coordinating 2 feet and 2 hands to raise,
 lower, move and spin ~ including inside the barn!
 Yikes, t
hank goodness I didn't hit anything!!
It was tight (for me) near the floor drain that was already set
while I hauled, Brad compacted
and compacted
and shoveled
(my view from inside the bobcat,
waiting to finish dumping the load of fines)
I got better and faster with the bobcat as the day progressed, except I kept hitting the horn accidentally. It is strategically placed on the back side of one handle. Scared the crap out of me every time. We had us some good laughs!! 

front room has gone through multiple phases
to get to this stage
more digging happened to connect key areas
Brad also framed the other room(s) floor
plumbers did some work (and of course digging!)
the pressure tester is temporary
The last photo was taken yesterday. That pretty much sums up a months progress on the barn. Whew, didn't think I would ever get this post written! Thanks for reading and scrolling along. Hope everyone is having a great weekend, and enjoying better weather then we are ~ brrr!!


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wheely nice table

I was trying to do one collective catch-up post with photos, but can't seem to pull it off. So I'll just have to post separately, or they'll never get posted! Below are a few long overdue phone pics of the wheel table we picked up at fair. 

Our wheel table was purchased from a vendor called Cowboys Friend Remade Treasures out of Iowa. They reupholster furniture & repurpose antique things. The vendor owns a similar 8 foot wheel dining room table. She added an old lariat to hers, between the wheel and the glass. She showed us a photo to give us ideas of what we could do with ours, and mentioned barb wire as another possibility. The wood is so old I love it the way it is, altho barb wire would be cool.The fun part is the table spins.

We were hoping to learn the back story of the wheel, but apparently the guy who made our table has passed on.The only thing I know about it, is her husband stumbled across a smaller 4 foot table made by the same guy who made their table. He bought it right before our fair. She didn't have time to do anything to it, which worked out for us since I like it the way it is. The only thing I plan to do is re-felt the bottom of the loose hub.

The wheel hub on top comes off. It just sits on the glass.
The vendor puts her horse theme salt & pepper shakers inside hers.
Decorations or flowers would look nice too.
Looking down at the table.
 See the photo bomber? 
My silly cat Sydney, he follows me just like a dog.
Table top with the top hub removed.
Click the photos to see how old & weathered the wood is!!

Sorry the phone pics aren't that great. The table is sitting in our unfinished dark basement. It was our first purchase for the new house, or maybe the human room in the barn. Four chairs fit nicely around it. The chairs were included, but we will likely look for others that match better. I think it would make a fun card table, as long as it isn't a game of spoons!!