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Archive for June, 2009

hilltop hayfield in june

Our ten days at the Farm in late May/early June were work-filled and blessed with mainly good, clear weather.  It is a pity I was not able to cut the pastures, as the ground was fairly dry and we had a week with no rain; it has rained regularly since we left and they may not get mowed until well into July.  But we had other things to do, and Bobby can mow when things dry out again. 

The folks took the opportunity to drive out to Oklahoma to visit family, meet a new great-grandaughter, and get away from the Farm for a bit.  With us there to look after the dogs, it was as simple as jumping in the truck and driving West.  We appreciated having the place to ourselves for the week; we enjoy their company but when we’re there to work non-stop on specific tasks, it’s nice to set our own meal times (supper usually waits until after dark, past nine) and not have to explain what we’re doing and make conversation as we fly in and out of the little house.  At least for me, that’s the benefit.  My type-A dawn-to-dusk work practices are not always easy for laid-back retired folks to understand.

I had every intention and was well-prepared to tackle two projects this visit:  building steps for the back door to replace the unsafe stack of cinderblocks that Alene had tumbled down once already, and repainting and moving to storage the rusting corral panels that once served as a stock handling pen.  The cinderblock stoop was completely inadequate and the corral, 20 panels or so, is placed too close to the Big Pond and has been weathering unnecessarily, unused since 2002.  I will set it up in a better location as a round pen for training the horses, when that time comes.

The back door steps idea morphed into a full-blown porch, a 6′ x 10′ deck with two wide steps and a sturdy railing porch building finishedcapped with 2 x 8’s, built strong and solid on four posts embedded in concrete footers with a concrete pad at the base of the steps; safe, roomy, useful, enduring.  And beautiful, I think.  It took me 9 days to finish, from digging the footer holes to putting the last coat of stain on the deck.  Halfway through the week I realized my pace was slower than I’d planned, and the corral panels would have to wait another year for their sanding and new coat of green Rustoleum paint.  But doing something well is always worth taking your time.

Derril left me alone with my carpentry project and worked on digging out culverts and drainage ditches on the road up to the hill.  He also replaced the kitchen faucet and fixed a few problems around the house.  Carpentry is not really his thing, and I will admit I work better by myself on projects like this where I am learning and figuring things out as I go.  So he worked at his pace and I at mine, and we were both pleased with what we accomplished on this trip.

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