Shannon and I thought we'd add another horse stall to the barn last spring. Luckily, Shannon is very handy and did all the work himself. My friend's daughter, Jordyn, who loves horses, helped out too. It took a few weeks, but it turned out really nicely, I think. We've recently decided to transform this horse stall (which we rarely use) into the new chicken coop. With some fencing and thought, I think we'll have it predator-free in no time! Shannon is very proud of himself. As he should be. He did a great job! Jordyn scrapes off 60 year old cow manure off the walls. This is clearly an initiation of sorts to see if she can really handle the barn life. She passed with flying colors.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
My husband, Shannon, and I have been married two years now. I often wonder, "How in the world did I end up in the mountains of rural Virginia?" Well, it's quite simple, really. He is a pharmacist and loved his job here in SW Va, and I was a program analyst in Northern Va and hated mine. So, naturally, I followed him to build our lives and buy our nameless farm. We had looked at what seemed like dozens of homes, and when we saw this old, but newly renovated Craftsman bungalow, none of the other houses had a chance. Needless to say, we fell in love with this home that was built in 1900. It was spring when we bought the house...if we only knew what was to come...
The house was perfect, or so we thought. It is perfect. Perfectly flawed, as only old homes can be. Our pipes froze in the winter, the baseboard heat didn't keep up with the demand of below freezing temperatures, and in January of last year, we got an electric bill of $968! That was our first winter in our home. Oh, and we had a newborn baby that we had to keep warm. Baseboard heat and 10 foot ceilings don't mix.
We have fared better this winter. We had a heat pump put in (thank God!), a gas fireplace put in the family room and a wood burning stove put in the basement in case of power outages. That, and the fact that this winter has been far milder than last year's, we haven't suffered too badly.
We have just under 10 acres, so for all intents and purposes, we will call it 10 acres. 10 acres of rolling hills of pasture, some very steep meadows, a creek, and a huge old barn that once housed sheep, cattle and various other farm critters. Now, the barn is home to Anna, my Paint/Quarter Horse mare, her filly, Abby, a solid black Paint yearling and Iney, a 16.1 hh Appendix mare. In May we are expecting our first chicks to be added to the barn and hopefully not to the dinner plates of resident hawks, owls and barn cats.
All of this happening on the beautiful "gentleman's farm" with no name. Shannon and I have been racking our brains for catchy names, family names, names that make people ask what it means, anything, but nothing sounds right. So, as of now, two years after buying this farm, we have the farm without a name. I keep thinking that one day, I'll hear something, the clouds will part, angels will sing, and I will have found the name for our nameless farm.
So, for those of your out there in never, never cyber land, I ask you, "What constitutes a respectable, catchy, farm name?" I may never have the answer, but while I'm waiting, I'll share with you all the situations I put my poor husband through, funny antidotes of my daughter's, the sad ignorance I portray daily in owning a farm, and my love for God, my family and animals.