Sunday, January 15, 2017

The List is Growing

The list of projects around the ranch was overwhelming when we moved in.  We methodically got to work, starting with the most pressing issues and working our way down.  We had finally reached the point of "would be nice" projects; instead of "urgent" such as water leaking through the ceiling.

And then the storm hit.  Although, our property held up pretty well with the streams filling, but not rising above their banks, we did sustain some damage.

And, of course, there was already the issue of having to do something about predators getting into the chicken pen.  Here is our little flock of three: two hens (you can see the tip of the tail of one behind the back post) and Calvin, the rooster.

And, then there is the family of rats that built a nest under the hen house and have now moved inside -- making a big nest in one of the nesting boxes.  I poked the nest with a stick and three rats ran out, up the walls, and into the rafters -- where they watched me destroy the nest.

We finally got a break in the rain -- four days of cold sunshine.  Brett has been busy putting chicken wire over the entire chicken run.  Saturday we worked outside all day -- I was busy pruning the orchard and my roses while Brett wrestled with chicken wire.

Of course, there is the matter of the fallen oak tree.  Brett put up new fence rails and we moved the girls back into their pasture.  Pistol has been picking her way through the twigs and brambles to get to the big limbs, where she nibbles on the moss that covered much of the tree.  Lucy followed her in but didn't like the feeling of all the branches around her legs -- and didn't seem to like the taste of moss as much as Pistol.  Mostly, they have been enjoying the sun.  All the animals are doing a lot of this.

The rain also made a mess of our driveway, which was on the "list" but under "would be nice" and not urgent.  It isn't urgent now, but its definitely made its way up the list.  The driveway is paved with asphalt and is full of dips and mended holes.  It looked... shall we say, rustic.  Now, it is missing a chunk, the sides have eroded and there are pot holes.  So, this summer we will have to have that fixed.

The biggest damage, other than losing the trees (the oak took out two trees when it fell, plus pushed another partway over), is our bridge.  The bridge crosses the stream and connects the house and barn side of the stream to the girls pasture and compost piles.  We cross the bridge with the horses, going back and forth to the barn.  Brett crosses the bridge with his tractor when he moves compost.  And, there are times when he needs to take his truck across as well.  The bridge has always been narrow, with room for the tractor but not really wide enough for his truck.  Now, the sides have eroded -- on both sides of the retaining wood sides and there is a deep hole dead center.


Brett spent most of last night, awake, thinking of the best way to re-build the bridge. He is hoping to finish up the chicken coop before the next storm hits on Wednesday.  The next dry spell after that will be dedicated to the bridge.

Project Priority List:
1. Chicken coop
2. Bridge
3. Upstairs bathroom (already gutted, we decided to remodel it before the big storm hit)
4. Tree removal (this will take years)
5. Driveway

Lucy is interested, as always, in our activities.  Nosy thing that she is.

11 comments:

  1. An American in TokyoJanuary 15, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    I'm sorry to hear about all the damage from the recent storm(s).
    I hope that you get a few more days of sunshine to work on things!
    That picture of Lucy is so cute! I can just imagine her saying, "If I were you, I would do it this way instead..." Ha ha!!

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  2. Goodness, there's always such a big list of things to do when you have a horse property! Hopefully the chicken wire will protect your chickens and OMG RATS! We've had rat families move into the coop, the barn, and the HOUSE in the last two weeks. Traps are set and the cats need to step it up a notch!

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    1. Rats are the worst! You do need to tell the cat to step it up... in the house? UGH! Good luck - you have my sympathy.

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  3. On the brightside, I do think projects keep us young...and healthy. I look at Old Red, 37, and try to glean wisdom on how to live a long life. Key themes for him are duty to the herd and a tough, survivor attitude. I think people need the same--a sense of purpose and a project! We plan to live at our place until they wheel us out kicking and screaming!! Let's hope for an early spring! Actually, your winter does look like our spring!!

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    1. It make look like spring, with the green grass, but I assure you it is winter. We didn't get out of the 30s all weekend. I'm ready for spring! ...and I'm so tired, that I feel really old. LOL.

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  4. There always seems to that one more thing that crops up and needs attention. I know how you feel because we go through it all the time. Not that I know what I'm talking about with bridges but we boarded at a place one time that did have a lot of bridge crossings over streams. They put in huge stones down the sides that reached up above the road of dirt on each side and it seemed to stop erosion. Just an option. It's a shame about the trees, maybe you could call a company to cut them up into manageable pieces and then you could cut them up for firewood. Good luck, hope you get lots of sunshine soon. If I were the horses I'd lay out in the sun too while I got the chance.

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    1. That is exactly what we have now -- big stones on the sides and then filled with road base. The problem is that ground squirrels have burrowed holes in the bridge and when the heavy rain came, it washed away. We still have the stones, but no fill. I think Brett is going to fill it with cement this time -- good luck burrowing in that!

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  5. Sure sounds like the work never ends. And isn't it the way that just when you think you've got things under control, something happens to upset the apple cart. You have such a beautiful property but it does take a big effort to keep it that way. Wishing that nothing gets added to the list for some time to come. Love the Lucy pic of her spying on you - too cute!

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  6. The list never ends, but the truth is that we'd be bored in a condo.....and probably fat. ;)

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    1. We would be bored in a condo. For sure. I love our dark quiet nights -- don't think I could do suburbia and street lights again.

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  7. Shew...,sorry to hear about all the damage the storm left in it's wake..I had a bit of storm damage as well, found a sheet of stable roofing way out in the bush!

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.