Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1

So...I missed July and August altogether.  There is a reason--we lost a dear friend, my next door neighbor, on July 4th.  Adjusting to life without her has taken tremendous effort.

Another event consuming my energy has been the start, after years spent in anticipation, of my barn.  Yes!  I will at last have a structure with stalls and a tack room and a feed room and a wash stall with warm water for bathing horses in cool weather.  I can bring the Cream drafts inside during the summer days to keep them from getting sunburned and developing skin cancer.  The old mare can be warm in the winter.  The tack won't be dusty or moldy and I won't have to use the horse trailer to store carriages and harness in.  I can have a refrigerator for cold drinks...I can have water, period, for rinsing off bits.

Just a little excited.

I haven't been as dedicated to taking pictures as I should have been.  But I'll work on better documentation of the process, which has been pretty amazing.  For a time we had mountains of dirt out in the field, and then a huge crater.  Things are a little more balanced now, but by no means finished.

The first step, for the builder, was to set up level lines for the floor...and that was our first hint of the difficulties ahead.  When they set up a level string from the high point of the field, the lower corner of the floor turned out to be above the pasture fence, thanks to the slope in the ground.  In order to solve that problem, they had to dig into the high part of the field, thereby creating the dirt mounds.  Thank goodness for backhoes and the men who drive them!

Then there were the trenches, two feet deep and filled with concrete to provide a foundation for the walls.   Then load after load of gravel, as a base for the concrete floor.  Plumbing pipes had to be dug into that gravel.  And all of this work took place under the blazing summer sun with standard Sandhills humidity.  Some days, the "Real Feel" temperature reached 115 degrees.

Now, the gravel is being smoothed and packed while the builder frames the edges of the porches and stalls.  In a few days, there will be concrete poured inside the edges.  Voila'!  A floor!

Pictures soon.

Wishing for cooler weather,