Saturday, March 25, 2017

Celebrating spring!

Er.  Not so fast!

Friday 24 March

Winter wasn't that bad.  Wasn't that good.  But wasn't bad.  My best indicator of what kind of winter we had is my hat.  I have a sheepskin hat.

It's a very nice warm hat.  And...I only use it when it gets ...and stays...very very cold.  I never even took it out of its bag this season.  When I don't use my hat all season?  It wasn't a bad winter!  We even had a week in February where it was in the 60s.  We had windows open for two or three days straight.  Caught up on a lot of barn work.  It looked very promising!

March came around and relief was in sight.  You see, it almost never gets bitter cold in March and if it does?  It doesn't last long.  Well.  I should know better.  The first weekend in March it was 4 degrees.  It got cold.  And it stayed cold.  This *never* happens in March!  We can have blizzards in April but it never gets cold like this.

We had a full on blizzard 10 days ago and the snow still hasn't melted.  I never minded the snow much.  It's the cold I really hate.  But make no mistake.  Barn work sucks in the cold and it's a long trip to the manure pile and back in the snow!

So.  Where have I been?!  Hiatus?  No.  Just busy.  Crazy busy.  Between employment and barn work and trips to the gym I just haven't had time to blog.  I want to try and get back on board.  I started blogging for me.  Keeping track of things over time and after so many years I enjoy going to back through it all and recalling where I was and the things I was doing.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Finding our way around

There's woods all around the property. Much of the property is wooded and it's adjacent to some conservation land.

First ride! 20 December

But most of the neighborhood is residential. Rural. But still residential.

25 December - Christmas Day ride!

Our second trip out we explored some of the neighborhood. L was a rock star! She had never ever seen anything like this before! Houses. Driveways. Mail boxes. Basketball hoops. Sidewalks. Signs. Fire hydrants. Christmas decorations! She was all kinds of "up" but she was on her most perfect behavior. Bright and attentive. All the training delivers huge dividends. She wasn't all kinds of willing - she had more of a "weellll ok if you say so" kind of attitude.

Turns out barn work takes up a lot of time. After getting acquainted with the neighborhood I don't think rode again until...oh had to be the end of March anyway. I didn't really plan on not having time to ride and I'm a little disappointed with that.

Monday, May 30, 2016

We moved!

7 February

Winter wasn't without its challenges! Our barn closed last November. And we were all told to ...get out, get out now. There's never a good time for something like that to happen. But it *is* a risk you take when you rent space. Not only is the weather going to be a problem - here in greater Boston, usually by the middle or the end of October, people who otherwise keep their animals outdoors the rest of the year, they've reserved most (all) of the available space for the winter. Especially any place with an indoor arena.

I have some resources and I could manage. But..the situation ..well, some animals had no place to go. Five horses were homeless. I thought it over. I leased a farm. And took in the homeless animals.

Our Barn. 27 November 2015

What a huge adjustment! For everyone. Of course we had tons of work to do. Putting up sheds and fencing, getting stalls ready and of course moving. I've had horses for many years but I've never run my own farm before. Oh yes I have help. But still scary as all get out.

And this property is very different than where we've been for the past 21 years. Where we'd been in a huge (24 horse) barn surrounded by 1800 acres out in farm country, this is 12 acres in a (rural) residential neighborhood.

Our barn is just off to the left past the flagpole

Settling in just fine

13 December - Still getting organized

All tucked in 13 December

We made it through the winter with only one crisis. Everyone is still in one piece and we've experienced *many* new things. It's been good for the horses. Neighbors. Houses. Lights at night. Traffic. Lawn mowers...leaf blowers. Snow plows. Kids playing basketball. They'd never seen any of this before.

The barn is much smaller than we're used to, but it's cozy and has a certain charm. We're cleaning stalls with muck buckets because there's just so little room to maneuver. It's not permanent and we're making it work for now. And my core strength is pretty good these days!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Winter is here!

And somebody was happy to get out in the snow!

6 February 2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Still here!

For the longest time I just didn't have anything to say. And then, when I had something to say I was too busy to say it!

I always keep track of the first and last corn of the season.

12 October 2015 - last of the season

I *love* fresh local corn and I swear I'll have an ear every day.

And I like to keep track of the fall colors. 2015 was a dry year. I think our local rainfall was somewhere around 8 inches below normal..and the fall colors were just *brilliant*. One of the best seasons in recent memory.

11 October 2015

December was mild. Very mild. Warmest greater Boston December on record. It was 70° on Christmas day! So far no real ice to speak of and only one storm with some light snow. The first cold air of the season is forecast for tomorrow...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A turnip?

I am so very excited. I love radishes. So this year I planted some radishes. Some of the more exotic radishes you don't find in the supermarkets.

Delicious radishes!

I like radishes with butter. Radishes and salt. Radishes roasted and pickled.

Ok, what does this have to do with a turnip? Well...I love turnips too. And a couple of years ago I got a packet of turnip seeds. As it turned out at the time I didn't have any space left for turnips by the time I was done so I put them away and forgot about them. When I was looking for radish seeds I came across my turnip seeds. So I planted turnips with my radishes and look!

My very first turnip!

I never grew a turnip before.

What's even funnier is I planted them next door in a field that isn't planted this year. And not two days later the farmer came by and plowed the field! I didn't know what to expect of it. Well. A week later my radishes were coming but rather than nice straight lines it was just a patch of radishes scattered all over. And turnips! So thick they crowded out all the weeds.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Corn 2015!

The first local corn of the season is in!

18 July 2015

That's from Cooks Farm in Wrentham, MA. You can see that's fresh local corn. Look at the tassel!

It's definitely the early corn.

Bicolor Corn

It's a well developed ear with plump enough kernels but it's still not too flavorful. I like to microwave my corn 1 minute for each ear...but my microwave is broken! I can't be bothered to fix it because, frankly, I hardly ever use it. So I steam my corn in an inch of water for ...oh, a minute and a half to two minutes. That's it.

I was very surprised this year. I got desperate and bought an ear of corn from the supermarket. I'm not sure but I think it was New Jersey corn. And while just a *tiny* bit starchy it was actually quite good. I understand there's hybridized corn today whose sugar converts to starch very slowly.

I've had all kinds of time to blog but..well, I just haven't had anything interesting to say. Of course I always log the first and last of the season's corn. Nothing says "summer" to me more than corn and watermelon.

There are some notable other signs of summer around.

Tomato Plate

The field ripened tomatoes aren't in yet but the greenhouse tomatoes from the farm stands have been just delicious! I like slices or wedges on a plate, with chopped fresh basil and onions. I usually like red onions with this. Sometimes I use yellow. With the *tiniest* splash of red wine vinegar it's just, well, that's summer on a plate! Sometimes I sprinkle just a little bit of Parmesan cheese over that. And sometimes I use balsamic vinegar. And sometimes I just use a nice olive oil. You get the idea.

And of course it's bath season!

This is my G and she *desperately* needed a bath!

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