November 28, 2007

Just A Few More Barn Books ...

Ok, I've given up on building that stable in England that I was dreaming about. But what a delightful time I had looking at the properties "for sale" in that beautiful country. There were so many that offered such a magnificent lifestyle for the horses ... and me.

Have you ever searched those sites and seen some of the castles those horses live in? You really must try it sometime.

But here I am in my abode far from my fantasy and I'm now on to another interest ... old barns of America.
I made a trip to the library to gather an armload of books about the barns built during those years so long ago and about the lives that had been such a large part of our American history.

So, getting all cozy on the couch and covered with animals ... I began to look at these wonderful barn books and
wondering what stories they could tell me.

Page by page presented more and more questions. I wondered what kind of animals lived there. Did they have any Percherons? Did the children learn to drive those gentle giants when they were barely knee high to the horses?

I have always had a fascination for barns and have traveled many places taking photos of old barns. Some were still standing in all their glory, some tilting from the winds they have endured over the centuries.

But the barns I found truly interesting were the ones that were but a shell of their past, only remnants of the life once lived. Tall grasses were growing through the broken windows and the barn doors were no more.

Each book on the floor beside me had a character all its own.
Each barn a story.

I thought about my grandparents who had left Denmark to homestead in North Dakota, so very near the Canadian border. Through their determination and courage they built a sod house for their then four children on the barren unturned soil. They weathered the storms to live out there dream in a new country.

In time, there were 7 children, a farm house and a magnificent barn, which is still standing and remains a landmark in the area. It was in this barn that my father worked as a child and helped to care for the horses.

And, today, it is that same barn which still proudly stands ... filled with the memories of days long past.

Each book held me captive with pages of interesting designs,
beautiful locations ... and unique histories.

In many of the photographs, I felt a loneliness for the cold of winter
and the beauty of the fresh fallen snow I had known as a child.

Then I came to the last book.
I was in trouble again.

It seems I ended up where I began ...
dreaming of a barn so beautiful I could claim any stall for myself.

But to be honest ...
I think I'd rather have that old barn in North Dakota.

My grandfather's barn ...

It's such a part of me.


November 26, 2007

This stable just might work ...

Lately, I've been thinking that we need a new barn. The one we have is fine ... it's just that I'm not content unless I'm building or rebuilding something.
I think I mentioned some time ago that we have remodeled 7 houses (while living in them). And I'm getting itchy, again. My father was an architect-builder and I was the tag along. It's in my blood.
Then ... I saw this book, just page after page of beautiful stables. But the cover picture had "inspiration" written all over it. Isn't it just divine with that black horse in the archway?
I mean that could be Royal.
And just think how many horses I could collect. Maybe I could finally have several draft horses. How great would that be!
I just don't know why my "Hollywood" heart-throb thinks I'm going over the top. He says, "We don't even live in England".
Oh ... that's the problem?
The way I see it, this would require at least 20 acres of manicured lawns and beautiful pastures. I haven't seen many of those ads in Southern California, so perhaps we should move to England.
I eagerly began searching the sites for a "stately home" as they are called over there. That was a fun thing to do while the football games were going on and Kirk didn't have a clue that we just might be heading off to the United Kingdom. After all, we have a new barn to build.
It was during a commercial that I brought up the subject.
Ok, here's the bottom line.
I get to keep our barn, I can't move to England and I'm supposed to stay away from book stores until this blows over.
Well ... it was great while it lasted. As for the football, I have no idea who won, but it's for sure ... I lost my game.
Tomorrow, I'm looking around this place. Maybe I could find a few walls to move, or something.
Oh, if you're planning on a new barn just click here.

November 25, 2007

The garden, today

My tranquil corner of the garden.

November 23, 2007

What A Delightful Surprise

Thanksgiving Day Roses
Cecile Brunner
The house was all decorated for the fall season
and the Thanksgiving spirit.
Long ago the Cecile Brunner Roses
had finished their bloom.
Each spring and early summer they give us
a glorious display over the front entry gate
and then that was it until the following year.

Early Spring


But on Thanksgiving day there they were
covering the arbor over the front entry gate
with their sweet pink flowers.

This was a first.

As friends and family arrived
they were greeted with cascading roses and
the lovely fragrance of Spring.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving surprise.

November 20, 2007

So Many Blessings ...

A house full of creatures
and a home filled with love ...
so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2007

November 15, 2007

The View From The Top

Click to enlarge

We thought it only right that Royal should have the best view.

So, with a tractor and lots of pushing and shoving around of a
great deal of dirt, we created switch backs and plateaus on the upper hill for that pretty boy.

There was one stipulation. He had to share it with the alpacas.
Oh, we haven't told you about them? Well, another day.

The agreed procedure was ...
when the gate was closed, no uphill adventures.

Royal has been very cooperative about that
and spends most of his time wandering around the barn areas.

That was until ... today.

This is the pathway to the hill ... with the view.
Notice the bar across the uphill path?
That took Royal only a couple days to figure out.

Chain has now been added.

Around the curve of the pathway is another gate.
Sometimes, this includes a guard at the gate.

(you might notice the strange, tall fence,
... Royal trims roses.)

This is one of the places where Royal wanders.

Notice the gate?

Yep ... it happened, again.
(It's a man thing, I think)

Remember the other gate that was left open?
(Click here if you forgot.)

Stairway? Not a problem.

He trotted his pretty self up those stairs,
past the closed gate, and around the bend.

He was on his way!

MouseTrap witnessed the whole scene ...
"Was that a horse that just went by?"

Hey Mom ! I'm up here.

Just love this view.


November 9, 2007

Pete and the Girls

Click to enlarge photos
"April" and "May" in their front row seats
keeping close watch on Royal.

Yep, we're still watchin'.
Hey Pete, are you sure that's the right size?
Getting those little girls to stay on the side out of the way was an accomplishment. They are Royal's pals and they see no reason why they cannot wander around underneath him while he is being shod. That is where they are when he's eating.
They also follow him around the turnouts, even the one at the top of the hill. Now that is quite a hike considering they are only 6 months old and the world is still a big adventure for them.
Royal is so great around them ... he'll walk the long way around to avoid getting in their way.
Interesting friendship they have.

November 3, 2007

Remembering Mom

In Memory of Mom
On Her Birthday
She was kind and gentle, a wonderful friend to everyone.
I am grateful to have had her for my mother.
I think of her everyday
and miss her more than words can say.