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Archive for January 9th, 2013

Standing in Line

Jan
9

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Zip, waiting her turn to get into the outdoor access stall in the back barn yard to the hay feeder. Shortcake’s inside, having lunch, while BP is mooing, knowing she’s last. This is why I’m having a shelter with a feeder built in the “park” field (formerly where I kept the sheep) so I can move the horses. The outdoor access stall in the back barn yard was originally intended for the cows. The horses will be happier back in the field, with their own shelter and feeder, and the cows will be a lot happier, too!

(I can’t open it up and let them all roam around the front and back barn yards for more room. The one time I let the horses in the front barn yard, Zip started chasing Dumplin.)

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The Garden Plot

Jan
9

I didn’t have a garden last year, unless you count this little stone bed by the driveway. I grew a few peppers and cherry tomatoes in here, along with some herbs, while I contemplated my garden conundrum. (Rosemary still going, second winter in a row.)
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(That’s Ross’s truck parked in my driveway. He wants to sell it, so he left it here and took my truck back to Norfolk after Christmas.)

I considered portioning out a corner of the front barn yard to make a raised bed garden. It would have to be fenced off high and secure to keep livestock out of it, and really, growing vegetables right in front of them almost sounds mean, doesn’t it?

Then I got this other idea…. I started this deck project to the side of the studio last year. It remains uncompleted, but that’s about to change. Here are several different views of The Area.
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This area of the yard is a problem area. It’s sloped and inconvenient and pretty much useless. There’s nothing growing in there–I’ve lived here through the seasons now, so I’m sure of it. It’s just grass. Grass that has to be cut. Grass that has to be cut with a weedeater. You can’t do it with a lawnmower. It’s a laborious task. There are other options, such as try to get some attractive ground cover going, but there’s a lot of grass to contend with before that would work without ongoing management. I’m not interested in pursuing that option.

I started this deck not sure how I wanted to finish it, so I stopped the work on it for awhile. I just wanted to cover up this area–but that’s a lot of deck, more than I need. Railing will be added to the lower platform, but what about the rest of the space, yet open? I left an opening to make steps down to lead behind the stone bed to something to be built on the remaining open area. What if I decked the remaining area and put in raised beds? And probably framed it up the sides with some fencing, a screen door, so the garden beds would be protected from the chickens and dogs. Handy to the kitchens in both the house and the studio, and no worries about deer. Good use of space and can even be attractive.

This spring, it’s going to happen!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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