How’s that for a blog title? Jay told me he’d been waiting for my post on the subject, so it seems like as good a title as any for my May update. The title refers specifically to the death and destruction of blackberries and alder saplings, both of which are weeds in the Pacific Northwest, and both of which suffered major casualties a couple of weeks ago.
As I said, alder trees and blackberries are weeds here. They grow fast and rampant, and they are constantly encroaching on the areas we’ve cleared. I realized this year that we’d lost a ton of pasture to those evil weeds, and judging by the fast-disappearing fencelines, we were soon to lose a lot more. So we called a guy down in Cherry Valley who had a lovely mulching machine. This thing would snap a tree in half and then eat it to the ground. It was awesome! We brought him in a couple of weekends ago, and he cleared all of the brush inside the pastures (and near the house) and outside the pasture fencelines of pastures three and four. There’s still a fair amount to be done, but he got the important stuff, and now we’re on to our next priorities: replacing fencing and making the drylot dry.
We had Todd come out last week to look at the work we want to do and to tell us what it will cost. First priority is to replace the fencing around the house. Second priority is to replace all of the fencing on the property except the pasture fencing. Third priority is to redo the dry lot so it won’t be a mud pit next winter. We want to replace the existing fencing (a mix of wood, field fence, and electric tape) with a fence that’s both horse- and dog-proof. That would mean, when we’re done, we have four or five separate areas in the front part of the property that can hold either dogs or horses. Right now, the fencing is ugly and falling apart, and only the fence around the house can even pretend to be truly secure for dogs.
Another thing we’re doing right now is planning to move back into the basement — without doing any work on it. I had suggested just throwing in some cheap carpet and a coat of paint, but Jay didn’t want to put any money into stuff that will get torn out in the “real” remodel. I understand that and decided that really, there’s no reason we have to do anything (though we may want to throw blankets on the floor to keep sound from bouncing around). It’s going to be a while before we can do the real remodel, and I don’t want to be out of the basement the whole time. We need our guest room, and the basement is the coolest place in the house in the summer.
What else? Work is going FABULOUSLY. I’m soooo blissfully happy. I love my manager and my department and my projects. They seem to have enough work to keep me employed through the rest of the year. Hopefully beyond that as well, but they certainly can’t promise that now. Hopefully there won’t be any weird rule changes at the beginning of next year that would keep me from coming back in the same capacity I’m in now.
I have my fingers crossed that I’ll finally get a curly puppy in September. Pax’s littermate was bred to a very nice dog in May. I don’t think the pregnancy has been confirmed yet, but I’m hoping, hoping, hoping!
Horses are doing reasonably well. Miss Princess lost weight over the winter, and that concerns me a little. The vet is coming out either tomorrow or the beginning of next week. I upped her groceries, but she doesn’t seem to be gaining weight the way she should. The other horses all look great — good weight, came through the winter well. Miss Rowan BIT me the other day. Little witch. I called Leslie that afternoon and told her Rowan needed to be trained before I killed her or she killed me. Hopefully Leslie will be able to do the training herself — and take Blue at the same time. Ideal ending to the story would be that she takes her, trains her, and finds an excellent home for her.
Ummm… I think that’s about it. Life is great here, and I’m blissfully happy!