Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Summer comes to a close

This weekend is Labor Day weekend and in the US this heralds the end of summer and back to school! The weather has been mild and we’ve also had some storms. Some counties have had tornadoes and softball-sized hail, but we’ve missed all that and are glad of it. Hopefully, I’ll get to mow the lawn tomorrow.

The contractors are getting ready to begin repairing the barn. Its north wall will be replaced (the wall that joins the one-story pole shed on its right side) because it rotted when some idiot previous owner, when adding the pole shed, did not put flashing at the adjoining roofline so rain ran down the original barn wall and rotted the wood. We will have that entire wall replaced, the proper flashing added and then we can build three more box stalls in the main barn before the snow flies. We are also having the big outer upper hayloft doors replaced with a solid wall where we will later install a row of five windows. We hope to renovate the 60 x 30 foot hayloft into a guest house/office sometime in 2007. We’re never short of projects around here.

Ian, neighbor Donna and I went to the Minnesota State Fair last Friday. We were there for six hours, walked through all the livestock barns, sampled various things to eat on a stick and spent quite a bit of time on machinery hill, where vendors have tractors and other farm implements on display. We also toured horse trailers – the luxury kind with living/cooking quarters for humans! Donna knows a neighbor who has one for sale and if we’re lucky we may be the proud new owners in a week or so.

Michael and Natalia are visiting from Barcelona. They are staying in Minneapolis at his father’s. Ian and I picked them up at the airport on Saturday. They are here until September 12. They will come to the farm next week for a daytrip. It’s a bit too rustic for overnight visitors. They’re doing well and it’s good to see them. On Saturday, September 9, Michael’s dad and I will host a U.S. wedding reception and BBQ at his home. Last week Ian and I purchased a wedding cake, decorations, party favors and mailed invites. It should be a nice get together. They celebrate their one-year anniversary September 30.

Our vegetable garden is in bloom and some plants are yielding a bounty. This evening Ian ate his first radish of the season while I enjoyed two cherry tomatoes. In bloom tomato plants themselves smell good enough to eat! Donna’s corn on the cob is wonderful and we’ve enjoyed that in the last week. I’ll plant some of that next year.

I picked crab apples from a tree in the pasture and Donna and I spent six hours making jelly. It’s good, and we have it preserved in pretty pint jars. As more stuff ripens, I plan to can more things.

The horses are fine. Kiss is getting bigger by the day. He is just three months and is quite full of himself. He has on an orange halter and leads reasonably well. He had his first vaccinations and was not happy about that in the least. He will be with us until late October when he is weaned and then he will go to the Genesis Training Center where Trouble boards/trains to begin his training to be shown as a halter horse at a big Arabian horse show in Scottsdale, Arizona in February 2007.

Ian and I are traveling to Des Moines, Iowa this weekend where I am showing Trouble at a horse show. We are helping Tony and his Genesis Training Center as they bring 14 horses to show this weekend. Ian and I help with feeding, stall cleaning, grooming. It should be lots of fun. Donna is going to feed and watch over the animals here while we’re away. If we get this living quarters horse trailer we can save money on hotel rooms, restaurant eating and we can take Lady the lab too.

Wish us luck! EIEIO

No comments: