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the fuzzy slippers farm report

April 23, 2015

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it appears that spring has finally made its way to the fuzzy slippers farm.

it hasn’t been what i would call a gradual appearance–

it’s much more a case of last week’s major soaker of rain and snow

causing an explosion of color and growth.

it’s a welcome sight after one of the grayest and coldest winters

that i can remember in colorado.

however, given the weather doled out in the northeastern part of the country,

i have no complaints.

as the temperatures rise, so does the level of activity around here.

our big news is a big deal–

we built a hay barn!

after 2 1/2 years of struggling to keep our hay dry and protected

with tarps through rain, snow, and high winds,

we knew it was time to get serious with one of our long range plans!

the timing couldn’t have been better,

as one of the farm residents (not brandt, jk, or i…)

celebrated a 40th birthday this month

and her dad came out to spend a week helping her build the barn.

all i can say is thank goodness, because this turned out to be a much

larger project than any of us anticipated.

sometimes ignorance is bliss, but in this case

having someone with a little more experience than the rest of us

was a very good thing, indeed.

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sara and the guys had the posts set before the construction week began.

(there’s a funny little story about setting the corner posts on a saturday

and then setting three of them again on sunday…

it’s funny now, right sara??!!)

the various stages of construction were fun to watch,

with some days seeming to show more progress than others.

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i pitched in where i could, including operating power tools

(i made sure someone captured that to appease the doubters),

but a lot of my time was spent being a gopher, handing things to people

in high places, and holding ladders.

i was also encouraged to clean the pens and groom horses,

which is actually much closer to my realm of expertise.

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i groomed rose so carefully one day that she nearly shook her stuffing out…

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psyche.

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it must be noted that the horses suffered greatly during the construction process.

they had their arena access closed off due to trucks and trailers bringing in supplies

and being parked as storage and work surfaces out there.

when the rafters were up and the time came to cut the tops off of the posts level

with the rafters, we had to contain all of them in one pen for their own safety

while post tops rained down.

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they were so miffed they all went under the lean-to and pouted.

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i tried to document the progress in photos,

which was a mistake right here when this little lady

thought i had come to open the gate!

(more on this little spitfire later!)

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we were never without an audience throughout the process.

the fence line looked like a horsey parking lot during the days,

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although on occasion someone found the repetition boring

and opted for a little snooze.

once we had reached the point where the materials we needed from the trailers

was in place, we were free to close up the arena and let the horses loose.

there was a cloud of dust as they fell over each other trying to get out the gate.

when the dust settled, we had the usual response:

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they thought we had gotten them playground equipment!

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since the work was progressing nicely i took the opportunity to spend some time

with the lovely si gaoithe,

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and of course the law of attraction was working nicely,

like attracting like and all…

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once the siding started going up things really seemed to move quickly.

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it looked like a hay barn!

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we decided to put a clear panel at each end to provide some light

when the rolling barn doors are shut.

(rolling barn doors to be built as soon as the rest of the custom-made

trim is installed around the roof line)

it was time to put it to the test.

on the morning of sara’s actual birthday we went to get a load of hay.

i wandered around while the strong folk loaded the hay

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and i swear i heard lucinda williams singing “car wheels on a gravel road”…

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i knew we needed a hay barn for practical purposes,

that it was, in fact, a necessity.

 i didn’t expect to love the hay barn,

but using old, salvaged lumber that came

with its own history did something to my heart that i didn’t see coming.

now, when i go out and feed in the morning,

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i see our home evolving into what we envisioned.

our human home, our horse home, our donkey home.

and while some people have barn cats,

we have barn bunnies.

in fact, even the easter bunny dropped by to lend a paw

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and then proceeded to move right in.

we have bunnies hopping on top of the bales

and bunnies burrowing under the bales.

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it’s a happy place.

and you know what makes me really happy?

tbt2

that this old horse kid,

who raised this little horse kid,

could celebrate 40 years of togetherness

building a hay barn!

* * * * * * * *

 now, i’m just guessing that a number of you are hoping i’ll get to the animals,

so here you go!

i have formally proclaimed one of the herd to be our alpha mare:

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yes, the little spitfire herself, meadbh.

(pronounced “mave”) (duh)

this little princess, who turned three last friday,

is the smallest horse on the place.

small in stature, but big in spirit!

you can’t say we didn’t see this coming:

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she got up and hosted her own meet-and-greet session

less than an hour after her birth,

since mom needed to catch a few more zzz’s after all that work.

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at 30 days of age she began training for the race track

by running laps around her turn out pen.

Meadbh jumping

exactly four months to the day from her birth she decided

to expand that to the all-around category and

commenced her own jumping regimen.

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there isn’t a lot she can’t (or won’t…) do.

she’s a girl who believes that the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side,

and an arena fence isn’t about to stop her from reaching it!

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our dear tireachan is coming along nicely–

this is without question the most sensitive soul in our herd.

he has beautiful movement–  a real flashy extended trot,

if you’re up for the exercise!

he also has the most exquisite beard ever,

not to mention a noteworthy pair of lips!

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rose is the one that i can always count on to look at me when i talk to her,

even if she is in the middle of a meal.

she’s my golden girl.

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caoinlean takes after his mama with the long hair

and looks stunningly like his dad.

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we are very proud of how he is coming along with his training.

he’s steady and likes to work.

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and then there’s this girl.

because this is my blog.

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on nice evenings we like to sit outside and notice how beautiful the horses look

when backlit by the setting sun.

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this one makes me very happy,

although if you look closely i think rose photo bombed this

by sticking her tongue out at the last minute.

now, here’s an example of the type of antics that can occur on any given day,

especially a day that you leave the gate open for a second while you try

to drive the garden tractor into the shed:

what a human sees:  uh oh, the gate is open!

what horse(s) see:  welcome!  come in!

times seven.

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what human says:  out!

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rose:  yes, ma’am.

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six others:  did you hear anything?

no?

me, either.

good times.

human daughter takes horses out of pen

while human mother laughs hysterically with camera in hand.

we have an excellent working system.

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last week’s rain/snow/slush/mud extravaganza was not entirely appreciated.

poor sam…  i’m going to nickname him eeyore.

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i think he is the velveteen donkey.

those little spots are all that remain from when he was stuffed with fluff.

okay.

i may as well admit that last night we formally signed the adoption papers

for our herd of shorties.

you remember my post a while back about discovering coast to coast dachshund rescue,

and i’d just like to say that we don’t do anything halfway.

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yes, these four adoring boys kind of worked on dear old dad’s heart…

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so we sort of added another one.

this little flattie is just a pup, and although puppies have boundless energy,

when it gives out they just drop!

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now our mornings look like this…

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until dad fires up the griddle to cook them an egg or two as a mid-morning snack!

that dad’s a great guy!

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this was their adoption day gift,

a cross between a fairy tale and disneyland!

we do have a fully fenced acre of yard,

but this keeps them safe and contained when we have the audacity to focus

on something other than them!

like, say, painting the deck.

um hmm.

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and in case any of you are smirking about how i manage to manipulate

things around here, smirk away.

this place has completely gone to the dogs!

it’s pretty safe to say that our family is complete.

don’t quote me on that…

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because some day i might actually find these,

despite the fact that i could not find photo credits to share with you.

then all bets are off.

so that’s the current farm report from the fuzzy slippers farm!

thanks for being here,

and please come back again to see what new antics we come up with!

now, back to work…

hey, guys–  i have an IDEA!!

where are you guys?

hey, here’s a great way to add visual interest to our landscaping!

guys?

Screen shot 2014-12-20 at 6.46.50 PM                                                                                                             (again, no photo credit…)

i’ve got to go find them–

they’re going to love this!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. pencilfox permalink
    April 23, 2015 10:32 pm

    that was quite the post..!
    thank you for the photo of my girl si gaoithe….and that photo of rose shaking out her stuffin’….SO FUNNY.

    please take good care of yourself, even if it means cleaning out stalls and brushing the animals instead of doing the heavy labour, OK??

    xoxo

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      May 5, 2015 9:07 pm

      ah, that si gaoithe! she is a true sweetheart and always your favorite! i am just back from california where they desperately need rain, and here the pens are a swamp and the rain just keeps falling. brandt just said the front range is on flood watch. we are in for days more of this wet stuff. i must admit the yard is a green explosion, but i really could use some sunshine to get me motivated. how is your shoulder? you take care, too, ok? xoxo

  2. sageandspirit permalink
    April 24, 2015 7:47 pm

    Look at you with the power tools! (Power tools scare me.) Yes, DO be careful with those things.
    And the animals….such a loving bunch of weenies and a fairy-tale collection of horses! Life on the farm must be an adventure each and every day!
    Give them all a big hug! xx

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      May 5, 2015 9:10 pm

      heehee– power tools scare me, too, but my girls are real do-it-yourselfers, so i just can’t bear to be outdone! the farm adventure is soggy right now– after a week in california visiting my folks in radiant sunshine this gray is a bit tough! i’m looking forward to bright sunny days and warm temperatures to play with the horses, go for long walks, and get the garden planted! i’ll be sure to hug the critters for you! xoxo

  3. April 27, 2015 11:46 pm

    I’ve never laughed so hard!!!
    Pouting under the lean two, you drilling something, kids in the kitchen at breakfast time, you drilling something, (hehe) the bored horse laying down, the bonnets…I’m dyin’ here!
    But, the barn raising is no laughing matter. What a fantastic thing, and yes, the winter has been rough. So, good for you. No more soggy hay, tarps that blow off, not to mention they’re an eyesore. And they’re noisy. 🙂
    I needed this tour. Thank you for such an entertaining afternoon. Loved every minute of it.
    x

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      May 5, 2015 9:16 pm

      yes, i had fun putting that post together, although i did feel a bit funny about how long it was and how many photos were in it! are you getting the rain that we’re getting? gosh, days and days of it, and now the front range in on flood watch. i was afraid that might happen. my non-stop flight to denver on saturday landed in albuquerque when the airport here was closed for weather and we didn’t have enough fuel to stay in the holding pattern. now THERE’S something to think about! california needs the rain but oh! that sunshine was just glorious! i got some coastal walking and treasure hunting in which always makes my heart happy. and if you’d like another farm tour, you could just drop by, y’know? 😉 xoxo

      • May 6, 2015 3:58 am

        We are getting rain, but not like that! And I thought Colorado was suppose to be sunny almost all the time. What up?!? I know, up in Red Feather, it won’t stop snowing! I’ll never get into my trailer. 😉
        You were on the coast! Glorious sunshiney days. How many times did you hear folks say “we need the moisture.” Yeah yeah…but, it feels so good!
        I go next week. Can’t wait!
        I’m coming out to your fuzzy farm. I’m gonna.
        And while I’m there, we WILL find your owl nest.
        xx

      • sassysistersink permalink*
        May 6, 2015 4:27 am

        I haven’t seen the nest, but I did find soggy pellets in the snow and saved them to dry out. Today I dissected them and have a little tin of tiny bones and teeth. I’m pretty sure they are from mice– super tiny– and not my sweet bunnies! That’s what I’m telling myself!

  4. Brandi permalink
    May 8, 2015 1:33 pm

    Oh woman, your life is mighty full. Full of work, full of love…and full of hair! 🙂 It’s so good to see your family come together and work on a good and common goal. And I raise my own circular saw in solidarity to you. Long live our power tools, and the hands that wield them.
    xx

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      May 13, 2015 6:05 pm

      woman, so glad to see you here! it could be said that I have a hairy life, if the broom, the clothes brush, and the muck rake are to be considered as indicators! and, yes– hooray for common goals! they bring such a wonderful energy into our lives! I am on a mission to be more productive with my time and to hold myself accountable. it’s working, I just need to maintain a balance between so many things (sound familiar??). hoping that your little farm continues to burst forth with new life and that all the critters are chubby and content! xoxo

  5. May 23, 2015 5:15 pm

    Oh my, what a lovely farm and lovely horses! Finding your lovely blog has just made my day. How I dream of a life like yours! I know it’s hard work, but oh, the rewards! And I love that you give your horses gaelic names!

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      May 24, 2015 1:16 am

      thank you, Kathy! we certainly do love this place and all the critters who call it home! as you say, it is a lot of work (especially with all the rain and mud we’ve been enjoying!), but completely worth it! we can’t take credit for the Gaelic names– the breeders we got our horses from are Irish and named them at birth. I love that they have authentic names

  6. Katie permalink
    July 12, 2015 8:42 pm

    Thinking of you and your fuzzy family … hoping you are all well. Happy summer!

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      July 13, 2015 2:45 am

      aw, Katie!! you have no idea how happy it made me to see you were here! the fuzzies and I are hanging in there, and I would love to see you!

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