Thursday, May 24, 2007

Outdoor chores, Spain and Newsletter Lady

Yesterday afternoon the rain finally found us here on the farm. It did not arrive in angry bursts like in other areas of the State; instead we got about a inch of rain so needed by lawns and in the recently planted fields and gardens. Many farmers are planting corn again this year. I’m told the prices are very good. Must be due in part to corn stove buyers like us.

We’d spent yesterday morning in the back pasture, Ian pulling out T-posts and old barbed wire and me atop the John Deere riding mower laying low thistle, dandelion and cocklebur plants before they went to seed. It’s nice to see how the pasture has changed since we did mowing with the brush mower last year. The fact that I can mow with the John Deere versus the brush mower is testament to what last year’s sweat accomplished.

Soon all the old fencing will be removed and we can move on to replacing the perimeter fence, which will be a big job. The idea for the interior is to segment into large paddocks that we can shift horses to, allowing the others to rest and regroup.

The local news is reporting that right now the Minnesota mosquitoes (we joke that these are the State bird) are the largest they will be all year – about a size of a nickel (a shilling, a 20 cent Euro). Later in the season they get smaller and faster. I just despise these little witches! And, of course, it is the females that bite.

Today began with rain that ran through early afternoon. It was a steady pelt with occasional breaks. I had run electric fence around the front lawn, which is now well-fertilized and eaten golf-course short, so I decided to move the four geldings into a back pasture while I relocated the step-in posts to another area. I donned a rain poncho and began unthreading the white fence tape and then pulled a cart and collected step-in posts. I stepped off the new fence line with four of my own steps in between posts. It is a task that allows me to ponder other things. I just walk, place a stake, step it in, count to four, make sure my line is true, step in another post, and repeat. Surely you have something productive yet mindless like this … doing puzzles, needlepoint, knitting, cleaning stalls.

While I was re-fencing, Ian set fire to a large pile of wood limbs and other burnable scraps we’d piled in the pasture earlier in the spring. Bless his heart, it really got hot and has burned a five-foot x five-foot pile into nothing more than white ash. I really love that we can burn here without a permit, as long as we are responsible and are aware about the level of fire danger. We don’t burn our garbage, but its nice to be able to save the odd boards, fallen limbs, etc.

It’s possible that Ian and I will be traveling to Spain soon because a young Spanish couple wants to buy one of the chalets. The couple has been approved for a mortgage and now the property must pass an inspection. As soon as that’s done the date will be set to sign the papers and that’s when we’ll book tickets. This is the second time we’ve had interested buyers, so we’re trying not to get too excited! Our agent emailed me that a woman is coming this weekend to see the other chalet and she’s looking for a rental property. The young couple is buying their first home. I remember the year we lived in Riumar. It was lovely. I’m not sure how long we’ll be there, but probably 10 days to two weeks. We would be truly blessed if the sale of number 11 comes together during that time.

One thing we will be doing is packing the personal items we have left there and ready all for the overseas shipper. We also need to get our 1986 Porsche 944S over to the UK. It needs to have its fuel control system worked on and then we’ll store it somewhere in England; somewhere reasonably priced, and accessible so that we can use it when we travel to Europe rather than renting a car. We cannot import it to the US until its 25 years old.

Thankfully we have Tina who is more than up to the responsibility of taking care of the farm while we are overseas. She will come morning and night to handle horse-related chores, keep an eye on the property and see that Tiger and Lady are good too. We’d considered boarding Tiger and Lady, but thought that would be so boring for both, not to mention the expense.

As if there aren’t enough irons in the fire, I formally launched my company Newsletter Lady with a targeted postcard mailing to local businesses. You can read more about it at


No comments: