This was a big year for us. So much happened that we didn’t do much posting. For that we are sorry.
Munchkin is legal to drive. Dude’s job location changed. I was home full-time. We have awesome friends that made quick work of many projects. We have new neighbors, and we can see the house sites across the orchard. Animals came and went. Preservation of food was a priority. We hit sustained highs of over 100*, and are now facing a hard winter for the first time in years, with temps already in the single digits. We took a family vacation this summer, the first in five years. And yet, there’s still "this much to do"…
Instead of focusing mostly on demolition of the old, we began construction of the new this year. New deer-proof garden fence, plowing the garden for planting, redesigning animal pens, remodeling a valley into an RV park (the Bogg) for visiting friends, finishing the round pen for the horses, training the horses, constructing the new road to the Parson’s place, rebuilding the old cattle guard, digging out water ponds and dried out water holes and an ancient well, prepping for a greenhouse… it was nice to see progress forward instead of just a large cleaning project.
But much didn’t get done. The garden fence isn’t done. The garden was never planted. The animal pens are on hold until the ground thaws. The Bogg is currently a swamp. It’s too cold to manage the horse saddles, so no riding has occurred yet. The road north still needs a last layer of gravel. The ponds will need to be redug. The ancient well will need to be relined and covered. The greenhouse is waiting on a delivery vehicle. But the cattleguard is done!!
Not much has happened indoors through all this. The insulation we put in last winter has resulted in snow staying on the roof – pretty, but the ice claws staring through our windows are terrifying. We have yet to find a chimneysweep who will provide us with service – after a six-month search. We have discovered potential problems with the grey-water system, which affects our noses in the house. Our closet is still stud walls with no cedar. The tools in the basement are still unsorted.
But we did put new lighting in the kitchen, and bought a brand-new refrigerator. We finally arranged for the 10’ mirror to arrive from the antique mall, where it’s been sitting for five years. And we put down a few rugs on the floor, which only solves the problem of lack of comfort for the footsies.
With Behemoth and Little Dog gone, we found the Avenger, a smaller version of Behemoth, but with a beautiful mask. She has continued to protect the ranch from invaders, but at a closer perimeter than her predecessor. This spring, the cat population exploded, with 30 babies born on the property; but as of now, we have only about ten – and only my old indoor cat, the ancient Siamese, and the Tiger outside remain from the previous batch. But the Avenger has been adopted by her own cat, so is that progress?
We’re probably down to ten chickens, no ducks, the three horses, two indoor cats, eight outdoor cats, and… hmmm…. That appears to be it. But we have plans for pigs and goats, at least, and plenty more meat and egg birds.
Well, that’s enough for this year. Looking ahead to all we’ll accomplish in the next 12 months…
Happy Holy-Days and a Hopeful New Year, everyone!