A Months Worth Of Blabbering

It's been awhile since I've popped in. Just a bunch of this and that going on. I'm never sure lately, when I first peel an eye open in the morning, what day, month, or year it is. If the radio alarm turns on I know it's a work day, then I try to sort it out from there. It went from that really bad snow storm in May, to 90+ degree temps just days later. The hot, dry summer persisted to the beginning of September, then temps dropped to 30's – 40's and we had to fire up the woodstove, after absolutely melting the week before. That lack of transition makes my poor brain darn confused.

Since I don't have any specific subject matter, I'll just toss a few photos out about what's been going on, and a few leaf peeper views.

My flower gardens are pretty much caput after a few hard freezes. But the grass is greener now that it's cool; much more so than when it was so hot this summer and it was cooked and yellowed.

I climbed over, and rearranged the cabin boxes in the storage room, enough to reach a bit of Halloween decorations. Our house is the only one in a 10 block radius that has any decorations out. Not many seem to be too enthused about the holiday yet, but it makes me happy to see the lights twinkling on my little porch!

My folks are 2 months in at their new place. Oh my gosh – what a Herculean effort it has taken to get them just to where they are at this minute. And they are probably only 1/2 way to where they need to be.

A blank canvas, pre-fenced.

The first thing they lined out before even moving, was to hire a fencer to enclose the entire 7 acres so they'd have a safe, secure place for the little horses. That whole process didn't come without it's bumps and bruises. The first guy only did about 1 square acre, then my folks were lucky enough to find a different guy that was a bit more enthused and motivated to get the job done. It was horrendously expensive, but had to be done. Fencers, especially good ones, are few and far between around here.

Then came the barn builders. Wow, they were some kind of organized! I can't say enough good things about this fledgling business. They were phenomenal, and very affordable comparatively. My folks had to hire a separate business to come out an prepare a pad/foundation before the builders came. That took a couple days to haul all the fill dirt/gravel to the site, then level and compact everything with the big construction equipment. The barn builders started the next day. The framing crew came first, and this is what they accomplished in just 1 day. Amazing!

Take a look at that mighty pretty fence in the foreground, too!

 

 

 

On day 2, a 2nd new crew came to enclose everything with metal sheeting. Not an easy task with the wonderful wind we have around here. They, also, were no nonsense, and this is what it looked like at the end of the day. Really, dirt to this in 2 days!

Front view, and to the right of the house.

 

The back side.

 

The opening on the left end will be framed in to make it not quite so vast, and then regular barn doors will be built and hung in the smaller opening. Individual stalls will be put in at some point. For now, it is good enough shelter from the wind, rain, and snow as it stands. The middle section will hold all the hay, and be a place to park much of the equipment out of the weather. The right end, with the door, is my Dad's shop. A third crew came back about a week later and poured a cement floor in the shop section, and finished everything off. All in all, it is a handsome, well built structure that will surely add value to the place.

Then there's the house……my Mom calls it a Barbie Doll house. It is significantly smaller than the house they moved from. She sold a ton of stuff to an antiques dealer before even moving, gave gobs of stuff away, and handed down important heirlooms to us kids and other family members. There still was nowhere to put things, so she pared down even more and had a big rummage sale to boot. Even though they absolutely did not want to take on major remodeling, she decided to go ahead and turn the garage into a living room, as they really had no space for the things that make a house their home. So everything has been turned upside down inside. Farm activities and dogs + pale blue carpet = not a good mix. Out it goes, to be replaced with hardwood floors. Crazy kitchen layout + old appliances + dark wood cabinets and blue flowered bedroomy wallpaper = bye bye. To be replaced with practical new appliances with no added frills or do-dads; new granite countertops in place of 4 inch tile and grout counters; and cabinets to be painted a nice light color, because that's what she likes. New paint, new light fixtures, new window coverings. All this before even starting from scratch in the garage. A couple that did work on my little house, my present house, and my folks farmhouse, have come out of retirement to work with my folks on this new place. That was a lucky break because it is near impossible to find anyone worth a hoot presently with this crazy housing “surge” our town is experiencing. The carpenter that was all lined out to help Bruce at the cabin has never bothered to even show up. While waiting on the many things that have been ordered, they've taken on a half dozen smaller projects, and also got the garage door pulled out and the new window put in.

Having the garage turned into living space should make a significant difference in how they will be able to function in the house. This garage is 600 square feet, with an added area that will be utilized for storage.

To put this in perspective, the whole main floor of our cabin is 576 square feet, and we have to squeeze in a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and hallway!

The walk thru door will be removed, and a new door placed on the opposing wall for access to the patio.

 

 

A wood stove will be put between these 2windows.

It's like I said before, it has been their lot in life to turns coal into diamond at every home they've owned. Although this house was more than adequate when the bought it, it just didn't function the way they needed it to. It wil be a most excellent little farm when they get it all put together.

Luckily, the weather has been fairly decent these last several weeks, which has helped them move things along. I have been very much enjoying the beautiful fall colors, and wish it could stick around.

 

 

 

 

 

So beautiful.

We had a lovely sunset tonight, with some really unusual clouds.

They look like big feathers!

 

My silly Piper had to come help me take pictures. Always one to get the best vantage point!

And I'm sure you've always wondered what a big, hungry, vegetarian gal eats for dinner – so I'll show what was on the menu tonight.

Fried green tomatoes with buffalo berry catsup (my great grandma's secret recipe), garlic Texas toast, and peach iced tea. It was pretty darn yummy!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Goodbye Farm, It Was Good Knowin Ya

I guess the title says it all. It's been a mighty difficult last couple of weeks. Twenty seven years makes for some long, hard roots to pull out. My poor folks are completely exhausted. But at least they have everything out, and hauled to the new place. There have been a number of fiascos to overcome, but they've managed. One being, the man they had lined out for over a month prior to the agreed upon start date to fence a portion of the pasture at the new place, pulled out 2 days before he was to start. He called and said “I'm not going to make it to your place – I'm just too bushed from my last fencing job, and you can understand my side.” At that point in time my Mom had a bit of a short fuse, and she really didn't understand his side (what a way to run a business, that big knot head). Boy, did she let him have it. Needless to say, he was Johnny-on-the spot 2 days later, and fencing away at the new place. They would have had absolutely nowhere to contain their little horses had he not shown up, and I'm sure she made that abundantly clear. There are too many people who have garbage work ethics these days. Or at least it sure seems like that around here.

My folks did the lion's share of all aspects of the move themselves…..and they are no spring chickens. Far too proud to ask for, or accept help, no matter how many people offered. The way all the legal paperwork shook out at the end, with the vacate date of the owner of the home they were moving to, and they themselves tied to a move date decided by the people that bought the farm, gave them exactly 5 days to move all of their worldly possessions 15 miles from the farm to the new place. They had rented a “Pod” moving container about 3 weeks earlier, so were able to box up many things and stack in the pod, which helped. But, when you move a whole 2 story house, barn and outbuildings, and farm equipment, there is a lot more than a pod's worth. Oh my gosh, that 5 day move period was a killer. Bruce and I each took a vacation day, and also went out every evening after work; and my big little son, my brother, and his son, also pitched in as best they could (as my brother and my son both work 10 hour shifts each day with their jobs). We were loading 3 trucks (cabs and boxes), and a 2 horse trailer for each trip in – and made trip after trip….after trip. Oh Lordy. And to make matters worse, they are in the middle of a huge highway construction project between the farm and town. You could expect a 15 minute wait for a pilot car each way, both coming and going. And a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

But that part's done now, and there are just a bazillion boxes to sort and unpack at the new place, more fences to build, a new barn to build, water hydrants to install, and the list goes on. Even with all that, I believe the good Lord helped them get a place that will suit their needs; with a nice little house, just enough land to support the little horses, only a couple miles from town, and best of all, the fact that they were able to nab it in this out of control real estate market we're experiencing presently.

I took a few pictures in parting, but only a few, because I was ready to bawl and didn't want to make my folks feel bad. I don't deal well with change, and this was a mighty big one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Farm(s) Pending

This might well be the new “mini” farm.

Quite the view. Six and three quarters acres (80% less land than the farm), but just enough land to suffice. The house is about 1/3 less square footage to have to keep tidy and maintain. Close to town. Neighbors, but not right on top of you like living in town. Irrigated. These are the pluses.

The downside is; no barn or shop for hay and equipment storage. No small shelters for the little horses. Not a fence on the place. Close to the highway, so the 5 remaining barn cats coming with will have to be contained in some type of little building with a tall, screened in outdoor area, to keep them safe. (Being barn cats, they have always roamed free at the farm, so this will be a tough adjustment for them.)

These all are the realtors pictures. The inside is lovely, but quite small (compared to my folks farmhouse). But, that's all part and parcel of downsizing. It was a lucky break to have been able to JUMP on this place hours after it was listed. My folks tied it up as quickly as was humanly possible. The realtor had multiple, multiple inquiries in the days following the listing of this property. It's going to be a lot of work to get it ready to house all the critters, but that's part of the give and take. The land is pretty much a blank canvas. They are already contacting fencing companies, contractors to build outbuildings, moving companies, etc., just to get on the lists. I mentioned before how crazy wild it is right now with real estate in this area, and all types of companies involved are booked up weeks to months in advance.

So, God willing, it's upward and onward. Real estate dealings are are fragile and fickle; fingers crossed this will go thru without a hitch. I guess now would be the time to start stock piling super potent vitamins and coffee….the whole family's going to need them to get this show on the road!!

I'll take a minute now for some more sappy and sentimental sharing of farm pics. The gardens are so beautiful right now, due to my good little Mom's relentless efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Clover, the tamest barn kitty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Farmward – Ho!

The saga with my folk's farm continues. It looks like this time the sale might be the real deal – possibly. It's been a long drawn out process, drug out since last fall. A couple with 4 little kids want to buy it “for sure”……..contingent upon them selling at least one of three properties they own. And then comes all the hoop jumping and red tape with appraisals, inspections of every sort, what is included in the sale, etc., etc. At least these people don't expect my folks to include furniture, pictures, garden decorations, clothes, shoes, and the family bible in the sale, like the last yahoos did. (Maybe a slight exaggeration, but not by much!) This potential buyer did want them to throw in the backhoe with the sale, which may, or may not, be considered. Depends on what sort of place my folks can find to move to. If they have to start from scratch with a place with no fences or outbuildings, my Dad will need all his equipment to get the job done. Hopefully a place will come up not needing everything from soup to nuts to get ready, before they can move in. I cannot tell you how absolutely insane the real estate market is in this area right now; very little to be had, and a king's ransom in pricing for what is available. We've all been searching like mad, trying to catch things that come on the market immediately, as homes and land are snapped up, literally, within hours after being listed.

I stopped at the farm on the way back from the cabin the other day. I feel like you can't soak in enough of the place, when you know the chance is great that it will belong to someone else soon.

 

My Mom brought me upstairs to see this cactus type plant that is in full bloom.

 

I got to visit all her babies while we were upstairs.

 

 

And get an upper view of the gardens from the bedroom balcony.

 

It will be a big adjustment for the little horses to have only a very few acres to live on. Hopefully it won't bother them too much. They are an elderly lot; the oldest one being about 34 years old, the youngest I think around 22. There are 15 left, and my folks just want to keep them fed and happy til they go to the happy pasture in the sky. Their whole house search is revolving around finding a place where it will work for their old horses, and old barn kitties. Some people call that crazy, I think it's mighty admirable.

 

From last fall

 

Hopefully the geese will get to stay on the farm, as many of them are 30+ years old

It's a beautiful place, and I sure hope the new people will love and care for it as much as my folks have. It will be nice for their little kids to grow up there; the perfect setting for playing and memory making.

As stressful as it is, I guess we just have to remember that the good Lord has a plan for us all, and we need to keep the faith and move forward knowing it's in His hands.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Hometown Charm

There are a lot of very talented and artistic people that live in and around our little town. Lately there have been some especially nice photographs locals have been sharing of our area, on Facebook. Thought I'd share a few here to try and spice up this dullish little blog-o-mine.

This is a nice shot of Park Street, the main street that runs from east to west across town. On the left is the Murray Hotel, on the right is the the very beautiful old train depot. I am not sure who took this photograph, but if anyone seeing this knows who did, let me know and I am happy to give the well deserved credit.

A very pretty old barn a few miles east of town, on the Old Clyde Park Road. I believe Debby Perryman's took this photo, and the two that follow.

 

I took these, below, of our neighborhood deer (I'm sharing not because I'm talented or artistic, but because I'm amazed these ding-a-lings will practically let you walk up and pet them when they're supposed to be “wildlife”). This is just around the corner, about a block from my house.

 

Not anything too terribly exciting going on lately, which is good! I'm not much of a fan of trauma and drama, so I'll take nice and quiet any time. If I don't post again before Thanksgiving, I hope you all have a safe, happy, healthy one!

TTFN!

Teresa

 

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Season of Cozy

A beautiful fall day, and Halloween is just around the corner!

Love this photo I pulled from Facebook.

 

Lovely Vermont, from our vaca there a few years ago.

 

Vermont

 

My own backyard, the Yellowstone River.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall at the farm.

 

More from our Vermont trip.

 

 

 

 

 

A spooky but beautiful cemetery in New Hampshire.

 

 

 

 

A beautiful photo from Facebook, by talented photographer Kim Tashjian.

A collection of some of my favorite pics that give me a very nostalgic, fall-y feeling 🙂

Happy Halloween, Happy Fall!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Fingers Crossed

Well, my folks have sort of sold their farm…..sort of. Contingent upon them finding another place, smaller, where they can still bring their little horses, geese, and barn cats. Which, so far, has been a good trick. Good grief they want a ton of money for places with any amount of land attached to them around here. Actually in pretty much the whole state of Montana. The realtor, my folks, and basically our whole family have been searching hard for a place for them, but they have such specific needs, it has been extremely difficult to find anything. The market is pretty limited around here, also. That is, unless you have the ability to pay into the millions of dollars. Which they do not. If they had a place all lined out that they loved and would be excited to move to, this could all be so much less stressful and sad. It would be a bit of an adventure! But all they have looked at have much less land, very much smaller or very weird houses, and all need tons of work. And the majority of them are priced at not much under what they have accepted for their farm. But you get to a certain age where it is necessary to downsize. It just gets too difficult to maintain a place of that size in the manner that it has been kept by them for the last 25 years. Forty acres, a big pond, river frontage on 3 sides of their property, a dozen out buildings, a big old 2 story farmhouse, and every inch of it all meticulously kept. Of course, it was a wreck when they bought it (that's how it has been with each house they have owned – buy a wreck, turn it into a gem). But after years of blood, sweat, and tears, it is wonderously beautiful little farm. This time though, they just can't start from scratch again, even if it is a smaller place, and have to turn coal into a diamond like they have every other time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here's keeping my fingers crossed, that my folks will be lucky enough to catch a break, and find a miniature version of what they already have. They deserve a break after all the hard work and shear determination they've had through the years, to not have karma reward them in a fitting manner!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change!

The weather has been all over the place –

Rain

Google Images

Really cold

 

Turning to record high temps, and blue skies

Google Images

Then jumping to Rip Snorting WIND!!

And back to rainy, and a bit gloomy.

But I'm not complaining. Those poor folks on the east coast; they have every right to complain with snow practically to their chins right now.

I took the poochies out to potty before bed last night. I like to stand on my front porch at night, look at the stars, and say my prayers while I wait for the dogs. It was such a warm, calm night. So quiet, and I could hear rain falling softly on my flower beds. Then I looked a little harder, and the street and sidewalks were not wet at all. I walked out into the yard, no rain at all. The sound I was hearing were worms (probably hundreds) crawling thru the leaves in the flower gardens! That, I can assure you, is not a common occurrence in Montana in February! This would explain the robin we saw when we went for a walk on Sunday. They are hardy little birds and will put up with some winter weather if they have some nice fat worms to feast on between snowstorms. Normally, tho, they don't show up here until late March.

 

She was hard to catch a picture of – I'm sure she was on a worm fetching mission.

It was was a perfect day for a walk.

There is an awesome walking trail across the river that is 2 miles round trip. This is a little resting spot for anyone who would like to set a spell and contemplate.

 

Students from the art department at Montana State University built this neat wind instrument. When the wind blows (as it always does in this neck of the woods) this pipe construction catches it and produces very soulful little songs.

There is this lovely old barn to look at as you meander along the trail.

All the bushes and trees are beginning to bud out.

Everybody was so happy to be out in the sunshine.

 

Our beautiful view as we headed back.

 

See what all that good fresh air does for a body………tuckers ya plum out!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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A Tour of the Extremely Bargain Furnished Living Room

Felt like it was time to re-arrange. Sounds much easier than it is – my living room is difficult. Too many doorways and the big ol' Tulikivi stickin' way out into the room. Just have to use a little imagination to get everything juggled around.

It's a blustery, thunder and lightening day. Here it is, the middle of the afternoon, and I had to turn the lamps on just to see what I was doing.

I love these rocking chairs. The smaller one came from Bruce's Grandparents farm, the larger one I found at a rummage sale for $15. We reupholstered both of them and polished up the oak, and I think they turned out really nice. I took the gothic window off the sideboard in the dining room and was at a loss where to put it. I didn't want to squash it back in the closet because it's pretty and needs to be seen 🙂 so I propped it up in the corner and kinda like it there for now.

Moved the leather chair over to the other corner and it makes a good reading spot. I got this chair at a rummage sale for $35, bought the leather at a saddle supply shop in Billings, and managed to find an upholsterer in Bozeman that was a total bum. He had the chair for almost 5 months until I threatened to turn him in to the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Advocates, and any other consumer help agency I could think of. He then finally finished it, and did do a decent job, but the whole experience made me really wish that I knew how to upholster my own larger pieces. Simple smaller pieces I can do; big pieces, I'm a fraidy cat to try.

The metal coffee bin to the left of the chair I got at the thrift store for $25. The roll top desk behind the chair I rescued from my sister-in-law, who had it all ready to go to the dump. The cabinet that sits atop the desk is the upper portion of a Hoosier type cabinet which came from (you guessed it) a rummage sale; a super score in my opinion for $20! I “married them” and they are terrific storage.

That opening to the entryway, above the chair, is where the gothic window was supposed to be built in. A good dozen years later, I got sick of waiting. So when we got the oak floors in the living room last fall, I told Bruce to square off the opening, trim it out, and call it good. I'd had 2 carpenters look at it, and neither of them new how to trim out a Gothic arch. Oh for the craftsmanship of yesteryear! It is so hard to find help to hire in this area, and then you're lucky if you even get the basics completed. Thank heavens I have a very talented husband. Unfortunately, his day job keeps him far away from the “honey-do” list a goodly portion of the time. But when it gets down to brass tacks, he comes thru for me and some things get finished up. And very nicely I might add 🙂

The pictures above the lamp are originals. Some of the very few originals I own. I mostly have antique prints.

I got this tiny drawing of sheep from an art gallery here in town (during crazy daze) for a wonderful price. Bruce cut the mat on our cutter, and the frame was (of course) a rummage sale find. Total cost, approximately $12! Not bad for original art 🙂 I cut the little picture in the lower right hand corner out of a Victoria magazine and stuck it against the glass just for good measure cuz I thought it was cute.

I bought this farm scene at an antique mall in Bozeman because it reminded me a lot of Vermont with it's church steeple sticking up in the background. Turns out that, I believe, it's Russian. The detail on the steeple and the artist's name are what make me think that. This photograph doesn't do it justice. It is beautiful and very detailed when you see it up close. I'm so glad I got it, as the antique mall where I purchased it burned to the ground just a few months later.

Some of my flock of sheepies. This little plaque is cement, and was a gift from my Mom.

More sheep, and the print is one of my very favorite – it has a stone bridge with arches just like the very one we have in our town at Sacajawea Park. I got it at a rummage sale 🙂 and framed it myself.

Here is my custom made in North Carolina couch that I purchased at a rummage sale for $40 and had reupholstered (not by the bum, but by an awesome upholsterer that has since moved away 🙁 ) The lady I bought it from said she had it custom made, pre-children, back when she and her husband both had high paying jobs and more money than they knew what to do with. It is a phenomenal sturdy, hardwood, camel back sofa, and I don't know why she didn't just have it reupholstered herself. My gain!

A portion of my collection of antique, chalk painted Indian pottery.

I put my cast iron barn and farm animals on the sideboard where I previously had the gothic window.

 

There is a small light in the barn which makes the whole barn turn into a night light in the evenings. The china cows came from Bruce's grandparents; I found all the rest of the critters here and there over the years. The barn came from a thrift store in Big Timber.

I put all the rest of my sheep collection out, too. I only put them out about once a year because I have so many different collections and like to rotate them all. So it's fun to start unwrapping them and it never fails I'm surprised by some that I had forgotten about. I'm easily entertained 🙂

Anyway, just thought I'd share some of my treasures. Now, maybe you can understand why I'm so whiney about not being able to rummage due to my new job! I hate shopping retail because I can't stand paying retail prices for anything! For real, 90% of my house is furnished with rummage sale, hand-me-downs, thrift store, auctions, etc., which I'm sure has saved me bazillions of dollars over the years 😉

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Over the River and thru the Woods

Today, going thru the pictures I have stored, I thought it might be fun to take you for a walk around my folk's place. These are taken at different times, so some are snowy, some are green grass and flowers. They used to raise sheep and goats, along with the miniature horses they still have, but have downsized considerably over the last few years. They have decided it is time to get a smaller place, so they have put the farm on the market (sniff… actually, it's more like wring out the darn handkerchief). It makes me sad, but it is a lot to take care of, especially the way they do – beautiful yard, painted fences, brush cleared on a big portion of the forty acres for grazing, etc.

The house is really only visible when the trees are bare. With everything leafed out, it's tricky seeing the house from the road.

To the right is the milk house. There was a stanchion inside, and that is where the goats were brought to be milked twice a day.

If only this barn could talk, the stories it could tell – it is about 115 years old.

The view to the northwest of their front door. (And, by the way, those are the mountains where our little Moose Springs cabin sits 🙂 !)

A small area of their lovely, large yard, where my Mom toils away spring thru fall making it beautiful, and the deer uninvitedly eat all the fruits of her labor. Needless to say, she is not fond of the deer, and has rescued a hound dog from the animal shelter to prove the point. Except that plan fell thru, as the hound dog doesn't care if there are deer in the yard – she is busy keeping her eyes peeled for raccoons. So the job has fallen to the rescued poodle/schnauzer/muttsky dog to be the deer runner offer :). She chases the deer away while the mighty hound dog lounges in her chair in the TV room.

 

Here is a picture of said houndy dog. I just love her, the big goof. She is so smart and sweet. Her name is Lilly. I can't find a picture of Sophie the deer herder (who is equally smart and sweet). I'll have to get one of her the next time I go to the farm.

 

 

Luckily, they have a back hoe, so my Dad can haul in big rocks as my Mom landscapes to her hearts content.

 

 

If the farm doesn't sell right away, my Mom plans to turn this little round house into a studio so she can have her own private place to paint, sculpt, and be creative with whatever. She's tired of my Dad fiddling with her projects when she has them set up in the house 🙂

A sunny spot in the round house garden.

The geese wander where they please around the farm, but don't ever leave the property.

The Shields River wends it's way around the pastures.

Grazing peacefully.

The backside of the barnyard.

 

 

 

Quintessential farm scene.

Sheep Mountain in the distance.

 

 

One of the barn kitties.

Jig is the boss horse, the only stallion they have on the farm.

A bunch of the girls, having fun.

Hope you enjoyed our walk around the farm. It's a really beautiful place to be. The inside of their house is every bit as charming as the rest of the place. I'll make it a point to post an inside tour soon.

 

TTFN,

 

Teresa

 

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