What gets you through winter in Maine is PLANNING for spring and summer and figuring out how to make these plans and wishes and dreams come true. Our winter dreams were about building a mud-free road from the street to the lower field; building a new covered riding arena that included horse stalls at either end, but could also double as lambing shed, hay storage, event center, toddler play area and more; also planting the front pasture with corn, beans, zinnias and sunflowers; planting the side pasture as a raspberry pick-your-own and then, of course, our regular vegetable garden. Does that sound like enough? Oh, but we're not done - we hoped for lambs and kids and calves to be born healthy, to cut and bale enough hay to get through the next winter, get our new online store, TetherMade, up and running like a top and get Maddrey through her first semester of college toward her nursing degree (because she doesn't have enough degrees already...).
Well, it's August now, so let's see how we're doing with these Winter Dreams.
The new road stretches from the street to the soon-to-be-built New Covered Arena. The pad is leveled and ready for foundation piles.
The main part of the covered arena building has been delivered and is sitting in huge boxes and on pallets. It was stationed by the driveway two days ago, but I looked out yesterday and Frank has magically transported everything down to the pad for assembly.
And TetherMade is getting orders! We are in three very nice stores in San Diego in addition to our own online store. Plus, the Museums of Old York is having a "Mostly Maine" Pop-Up Store at their annual Home and Garden Tour - and we are included among the artisans in their store! (Yep, those are TetherMade baskets in the lower left on their website promotion)
Maddrey finished her first semester (I will brag for her) with a 99.4 (yes, we teased her about slacking off for that extra .6) and is in her second semester. Frank has hay baled and stacked with lots more to come. Josie bore a very healthy and beautiful heifer, Esmerelda. The sheep birthed lambs, the goats gave us more kids and we have 50 Label Rouge chickens growing fast - they'll be going to "freezer camp" pretty soon...
The little extras that we didn't expect include a new dairy cow, Olivia, who will be bred soon (fingers crossed), me getting to spend a few weeks in New York recovering from the hip replacement surgery that I'll be having in August; we found a new home for my ex-racehorse, Ira (we hope) since I finally had to admit that I'd never be able to ride him and it wasn't right to let such a nice horse stand; my little dog Annie is on a foster mission for our friends' little girl (they are a military family and can't adopt a dog because they might have to go overseas and it's far too costly to bring pets, so she's borrowing my dog for a while). What else? Maddrey's oldest son is out of high school and living with us - getting up at 3:00 a.m. to go out on a lobster boat almost every day (yes, he's bringing lobster home!!!)
Another little unexpected happening - Frank challenged me to check out a website that specialized in horse-drawn farm equipment. Which I did. And I found an auction nearby, which was happening that morning and I found a piece of equipment that Frank had longed for was at this auction. So Frank hopped in the truck, drove two hours, and low and behold... A forecart with powered PTO.
So that's the latest from the farm. And for your Moment of Zen, here are some more pretty pictures.