Summer back into Winter?

A funny thing happened the other day. I had gone to town to get some groceries, and when I got home I parked the car in its usual spot. It was a gorgeous day, I saw Brent over by the barn and waved. As I was waving I saw a black animal moving and went OH CRAP as I realized that it was a cow, on the side of the fence over by the front of the barn! Then I realized it was one of the girls, not Benji! She started heading down the path toward the alley gate and I headed for it to open it up, until Brandy decided to step in and charge her. NOOooo bad dog. I mean with Benji good dog, but she didn’t know that she shouldn’t chase this cow lol So instead I got both dogs into the house, and headed out to help Brent.

It turned out that before I got there, she had gone around to all of the gates trying to get back into the pasture and was pretty agitated that she couldn’t get back in. Poor girl. Brent went and got a huge handful of cow cookies, I went over and opened up the gates into the alley, and it actually didn’t take too long for her to calm down and start following Brent as he broke little pieces of cookie off for her. I closed one gate and opened another gate and when she saw she was back in where she was supposed to be she was super happy! (not as happy as we were lol) Brent went and found where she got out. The cows have made a little path through the wild plum trees next to the fence and found the weak spots in the fence. We didn’t know this, but now that portion of the fence has been secured too. Benji STILL hasn’t been out, we think that shock fixed him for a good long time, otherwise he probably would have come out when his momma did that day. We think that she came in through the fence into the plum trees and couldn’t find her way back to where she came in. Yes, it was a little frustrating at the time, but it is always a learning experience and we are still loving living out here in the country. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and yes, that is still true after what I am going to tell you about next.

When I wrote my last entry it was full speed ahead into summer around here. The trees were leafing out, we were having to water things, we were wearing shorts while working outside, and I got some plants planted! I figured out how to get water to the soaker hose on the flower garden next to the garage (going to have to get another long hose I think), and got some marigold seeds planted. We got a start on the vegetable garden, got the first raised bed into the ground, moved all of the fabric pots to the garden area, one side of the fence up, and measured where we need to sink the last two wood posts.

Well, the weather has decided that we haven’t had enough winter yet, and this morning I am humming “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….” *sigh* Sunday evening I took a picture of a gorgeous sunset behind the barn. Monday morning we woke up to fog and drizzle. It moved from drizzle to full on rain, and by the afternoon there was standing water everywhere. The temperature stayed in like the 40’s most of yesterday, and then as the sun went down it dropped to about 32. Was 30 or 31 when I went to bed and it was snowing a little bit, but not a lot of accumulation had happened. This morning it was 29 when I got up, and Brent said that when he woke up there wasn’t much accumulation of snow, but that we got a bunch between when he woke up to when I woke up. It is currently still snowing pretty good out there, but as of last time I checked the thermometer it had come up to 33. It is supposed to stop snowing this afternoon, but drop into the high 20’s tonight so the ponies will be keeping their sheets on.

We put the rain sheets on the boys yesterday afternoon at feeding time, and put Dolly’s winter blanket on. I need to find a better sheet for her, something like what the boys have. The sheet I got for her is not sufficient for keeping the wind off of her. Last time I put her fleece cooler on with that sheet on top and that worked, but it is not a long term solution. Butter is wearing a 78″ rain sheet that I got on sale. I figured he should be about the same size blanket as Freckles. Boy was I mistaken LOL The first time we put it on him I laughed. I said I’m sorry dude, looks like you’re wearing a dress for now. Granted it is a Weatherbeeta so it runs a little big. Freckles wears like an 81 in normal blankets or a 78 in Weatherbeeta. Turns out that Butter is quite a lot smaller in blanket size. He measured at 73, so I’ll be looking for a 74 for him (or a lot of blankets look like they go from 72 to 75? so maybe a 75). I knew this after I measured him last week, but I figured I wouldn’t need a blanket for him anytime soon…afterall it was summer! *sigh* oh well, guess I’ll be getting him one his size now. PS, have I mentioned that I hate mice? They put a huge hole in one of my fleece coolers and made a nest on top of my saddle! grrr I’m going to have to get a barn cat asap.

We ran out of paper towels yesterday morning. Never thought I’d be so thankful to run out of paper towels. Why? you ask. Well, because when Brent went down into the basement to get some more paper towels he discovered that one of our copper pipes sprung a pinhole leak. Water was spraying out and making the floor wet. If there is one thing we don’t need in the basement it is moisture. Being a ridiculously old house, the previous owners did not grade around the outside well and as a result there is more moisture in the ground around the place than there should be. This is causing some issues in the basement. Anyway, at some point we will be doing some work down there, already have the work estimated and the contractor picked out, just don’t have the funds to do it right now. In the immediate sense we will get the leak fixed and then go from there. Work done down there previously was not professional because they mixed metals on joints and connections which has caused tons of corrosion. The water heater is likely to fail at some point, at which point we are really going to be in a world of hurt with no drain or sump pump in the basement. Right now the only ventilation we have down there is opening the door at the top of the stairs. We can’t even plug a fan in down there because none of the electrical outlets work. We will have to plug an extension cord in and run it down the stairs to get a fan to work. SO on top of plumbing things, we need to get an electrician out here at some point this summer.

After he discovered the leak, Brent put his plumber hat on and tried a few things to get the leak to stop. After a few different things, he got it down to a slow drip. Hopefully Brent will be able to fix it this weekend when Tom and Ginger come out as Tom was a plumber by trade, but just in case we have an appointment with a plumber coming out on Tuesday afternoon. I am hopeful that we can cancel that appointment, but keeping it for now. I am afraid that the guys will start working on it and realize that we don’t have the materials or when they cut into it they realize we’re opening a bigger can of worms than we thought or something.

A few days ago the fan in the bathroom stopped working. I don’t know how much good it was doing anyway since it was venting into the attic anyway, but alas it is something that we need to get fixed. While we’re replacing the fan, we also need to put a roof vent in and vent it properly, so we will hire an HVAC company to come do that for us. I found the ones that we want to do it, but that is going to cost money and frankly until I sell that other house money is pretty tight! Just like the plumbing and the electrical though, there are multiple hvac things that we might need done. That is a little surprising to me since we don’t have a furnace and only have portable ac units, so we are essentially getting to know that V in hvac really well lol One of these other hvac things that I am talking about was also discovered yesterday. It was raining and drips were getting in around the outside of furnace vent that comes down through my office closet and into the basement. I’ve always been skeptical about the open air going from the basement up through to the roof, but that just ticked me off. For water to be coming through there that means that the flashing wasn’t installed right, or is missing…just like we saw on the barn roof! ugh. I understand that some people like to do things themselves to save money, especially when you live so far away from everything that a trip charge might be astronomical, BUT IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT RIGHT WHY ARE YOU DOING IT?? You are not saving money in the long run.

If you don’t know me, then you likely don’t know that I grew up in a family who all worked for an hvac company that my grandfather started. My dad was the kind of guy who did know how to do many many things, and do them the right way. When he needed to do something that he did not know, he always knew someone who could help him out. Many times in trade for other work! Growing up I thought it was normal to not hire anyone for anything unless it was something that we could not do, like the company that would come pump the septic (which was faithfully done every year), or the company to come fill up the propane tank, and then I can only think of a couple of things that he hired out, redoing the gutters on the house, and paving the driveway. Those are literally the only times I remember someone being hired! He did almost all of the work on our vehicles, and we had a family friend who we would take the cars to if they needed something that dad couldn’t do.

I suppose seeing things that someone took shortcuts on kills me that much more because it is a glaring reminder that dad isn’t around. I know I am thinking about him so much lately because of the raw emotion brought up by selling the house in Denver. I do love that house, but if I had not spent two solid years working on it with him before he died, I do not think I would love it quite as much. I am trying to stay busy and keep comfort with the thought that dad would be proud of us living our dream out here in the country. The less time I spend thinking and writing things like this, means the less time I will spend crying. I know this is a good thing, and I just need to get the other house sold. It is not a bad thing for me to cry over selling the house, it is just a step I need to take to have some closure I suppose.

Friday I went up to Denver for my infusion appointment and then stopped at the old house to mow the lawn and water flowers. Took me FOREVER to mow the backyard, and now that we’ve gotten this moisture I’m guessing it’ll take forever next time we’re up there too lol Oh well, at least the grass seed that I put down has a fighting chance. This week isn’t looking great for going up there, but maybe toward the end of the week? Brent’s mom and Tom are coming down here for the weekend, so we weren’t planning to go back up to the house until Tuesday when the listing pictures are supposed to be taken. Unfortunately I also wanted to get the house cleaned before the pictures, but it looks like that may have to wait till Tuesday morning. I still have some weeds to pull, some iris to dig up, and some roses to prune so that everything doesn’t look hopelessly overgrown. The good news is that everything is growing and starting to bloom, this is a time when the house really shines. That Linden tree in the front yard is what I’ll miss most I think, and it too is starting to leaf out nicely. I am hoping we didn’t get enough snow up there to break any branches on the Linden or the peach.

Sunday we went up to Denver and *almost* have the whole house cleaned out. I know I’ve been saying that for months, but I mean it this time LOL There’s a few minutes worth of work in the main floor bathroom, although it is mostly empty after Sunday’s work. The fridge needs to be cleaned out. I have about one more box worth of stuff to get out of the kitchen, but I ran out of packing material. There are a couple of small kitchen appliances that need to make their way out here to this house, but everything else is in the garage. Brent cleaned almost everything out of the out room last time we were up there (including emptying out the fridge), but I wouldn’t mind mopping the floor, cleaning the counter off, and kind of just cleaning everything (vacuum, clean windows etc). Then before the house is actually shown we probably want to straighten up the garage a bit (assuming we can’t have it completely cleaned out by the time the house goes on the market, we will continue going up there to do yard work and clean and take things to goodwill etc.

The chickens are all doing great. I am so happy that we have the inside space for them in the barn so they have a space to stay dry and out of the wind. We will work on their outside enclosure when summer decides to come back. The cows are taking advantage of their shelter, and the horses are staying inside the barn shelter. Brent is making sure everyone has plenty of hay to keep them occupied. I went out to the garage this morning to check the freezer out there for bacon or breakfast sausage (unsuccessfully) and our ghost cat was in there. He jumped up into the rafters when I came in, but I am happy that he chose to take shelter in our garage. I forgot to check his food and water, but I’m sure there was some there for him. Brent does a pretty good job of keeping them full.

Out of the plants I bought, luckily I only got one planted outside. The others are in a flat in the garage. I am itching to get the garden going. BRING ON SUMMER!

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