Thursday, March 5, 2015

Introducing ... Barn Cats!

Several people have commented that I've "abandoned" my blog ... and I say, oh no, I just haven't had a chance to update it for a little while.  Then I pulled it up, and realized that little while was, oh, about 8 months ago!  I guess that counts as abandonment.

In those 8 months, I built a barn and brought some horses home.  Little things.  But this first blog back is all about the BARN CATS that now populate that barn!  Last fall, the horses moved into an almost finished barn, and 2 nights after the construction crews finally vacated, I was in the arena riding under the new arena lights, when I heard it ... meow!  Meow?!?!  I went nuts!  I started calling to my mom ... A CAT! A CAT! BRING CAT FOOD!  It didn't take much to coax her into the new Trevi Manor barn, and she looked close to starving.  We were desperate to make sure she liked the place and would stay with us ... the cat's no dummy.  She figured us out real quick.  And so, "November" (on account of her arrival month) became out first cat.

Over the next 2 months, we're pretty sure she gained 6 pounds ... making her about 3 pounds on arrival.  Good thing she found us --- this would have been a rough winter on a little starving kitty.  November has proven to be the most incredible barn cat (well, tackroom cat might be more honest) -- and the only trouble with November's arrival was that she put a complete halt on our plans to adopt multiple cats from the Howard County Cat Club (the shelter that held onto my house cat, Schmoe, for 4 years while he was waiting to find me!) ... my mom and I had been watching their site for months, just waiting for the construction to sufficiently end so the kitties wouldn't be terrorized and run away.  But when November turned up and laid claim to the barn, we were so afraid that new cats would run her off, so we were a one cat barn ... until 3 weeks ago, when we finally decided November is here to stay!  And, so Howard County Cat Club brought a delivery of cats!  There are now 3 barn cats (tackroom snoozers) residing at Trevi Manor ...  November's new friends, Sebastian and Butterfly, are truly incredible cats!  Sebastian climbs EVERYTHING, and Butterfly flits around the barn like she's floating on air.  They really seem to love it, and we certainly love having them!  Having the horses home has been incredible, but having my own team of barn cats is the best!  And, we have one more on the way ... a senior kitty named Daisy, also from Howard County Cat Club.  She's been waiting at the shelter for many years for the perfect home, so she will join us in the spring when the weather is a bit nicer (though, I don't know why we're waiting for that ... we already know she will be the queen of all the tackroom kitties and she will never have to step a dainty kitty paw into the barn if she prefers not!).
November ... upon arrival.  PLEASE, CAN I LIVE HERE???

November hunting inside a XC jump

November living the tackroom kitty dream.
And then Sebastian & Butterfly arrived in the tackroom too!

Butterfly says that being a barn cat is a tough job.
Oh look, a barn cat actually in the barn! Be brave little Butterfly!
Sebastian believes this barn was custom made for him!  We can't believe all the places he can go!
Sebastian doing the high wire walk.
Oh yes, that's Sebastian too.  Way up there in the window in the roof.  Getting up was easy, getting down, was ... not.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kinda looking like a barn!

I think the photos say it all.  This thing in my backyard is kinda starting to look like a barn. And I kinda love it!!!  Life is very very good.

The barn has dutch doors - but still no walls. Interesting.

Ah, we have a roof!
Mom testing out the newly arrived footing!  It passed inspection.

Mi taking the first spin around the new arena!

Mini mirrors on a giant wall -- anything is better than nothing and at least I have something to hold me over until we can properly mirror the entire wall.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Barn Building - Last Day of Spring!

Barn building continues ... into summer.  What we had thought would be a project finished mid-winter, turned into late spring, turned into ... please oh please let me have a barn before winter hits again!  And all due to circumstances beyond our control - snow and snow and snow, then county bureaucracy.  Good times.  But so much has happened on the barn in the last week, I can't believe it!  Things continue to go in an order I didn't expect (just today, 4 windows were put into the walls -- we have no roof, and only framing on the walls, but we have windows!). Elmer and Sam, of Quality Buildings, and their team are doing a beautiful job and have been such a pleasure to work with!  I keep telling them I am going to make them crazy before this is all finished, and I think they're starting to believe me (poor Sam had to move the entire framing for 2 windows today by about 8".  And he smiled the whole time as I told him they had to move.  Poor Sam. But they had to move. Is there an eventing barn-building equivalent of a "bride-zilla??"  Oops, I might be that girl.)

Monday June 16
We have a "wall!"

Tuesday June 17
We have many "walls!"

Friday June 20 - last day of spring!
It feels like we almost have a castle!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Barn's Still Building

It's funny how you have certain expectations for how something will be built, only to discover nothing happens as you expect it!  At this point in my barn building land, we have an absolutely beautiful concrete slab layout that looks strikingly similar to the architectural designs layout of my barn plans ... with a 3-D rendering of a wash stall in the middle! Not what I expected. Definitely thought walls and roof before floor. But even without walls, or a roof, I have to say it was incredibly exciting to walk sort-of-in (or maybe on) my barn this weekend!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Barn Building: Week... Isn't it finished yet?!

My intentions of posting a weekly progress update on the barn construction has failed -- mostly because progress stalled due to 1) we're a horse farm, 2) we're in Anne Arundel county.  Thanks Maryland. And that about sums up the last 6 weeks of my life.  Amazing how you can do everything right, yet when a single individual yields unchecked power without an effective appeal process ... sorry, did someone say we live in the 21st century in modern democratic America??  Thankfully Maryland has some fantastic horse people in the area who were ready and willing to take on a good fight on my behalf -- and we won, in a roundabout way.  No restitution, no apology.  But the barn moves forward, so I guess that's something. And my advice to anyone building anything in Maryland: GET IT ALL IN WRITING.  Thankfully we did, so it just took 6 weeks to get someone with some sense to read that writing!  I can only imagine how much worse things could have been had we not.

So, here is this week's photographic evidence of building progress!

Perimeter foundation done and plumbing going in.
The large walls on the right are the wash stall ... or what I loving refer to as the Trevi Manor prison cell!

Arena drainage and base installation -- SO MANY ROCKS!

Arena with hay shed/equipment storage wall ... ready for mirrors!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Barn Building Week 2

At the end of week 2, the "barn" and "arena" look painfully similar to the end of week 1.  The turn from winter to spring rain has literally washed away my hope of huge progress last week.  I refuse to post pictures as it would be like playing one of those games "can you pick out 7 things that are different between these 2 photos."  You'd get to 5 things pretty quickly, and then for the life of you not be able to find the other two.

But, two very exciting things have happened over the past week.  

1. Our arena builder came by to check out the land and discuss some details.  Stupid rain aside, there is a very good chance my arena will be done in early May. WOO HOO!  I will have to set up a lounge chair in the middle of it until the horses arrive.  If I can't ride in it, I can at least lay in it!!

2. The ground FINALLY dried out enough on a day above 20 degrees that I actually had 2 seconds to spare, so the first of the cross country jumps moved from the front yard into the side fields where the paddocks will eventually go.  If one more workman asked me "what the heck are those things in the front yard" I was going to cry! 

And one other pretty exciting thing happened just today -- after going back and forth in my mind a thousand times (plus at least 10 emails to my poor builder), I finally picked a color for the barn siding.  I'm pretty sure at some point my builder must have drafted an email to me that went about like this:  "Dear Crazy Lady,  whether you pick color A or the indistinguishable hue difference of Color B, if you want your barn construction to start next week, you need to pick one today.  A or B.  Pick one. We haven't even put a pole in the ground yet and you are making me crazy.  You. Are. Fun."   Thankfully he deleted that version and sent a much nicer version that included promises that I will love the barn no matter which color I pick and that if I hate it that much -- we'll figure out a way to fix it.  Bless him.  

Mini XC course with the new (very blue!) roundpen/outdoor stall.

Mini Houses!  I have plans for this area to be our mini "Head of the Lake"

Set the rolltop/bench strategically to let me mom sit and watch the building process - from a safe distance!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Barn Building ... glimmers of hope!

It's starting!  It's really finally starting!
Tuesday it snowed.  Wednesday the snow melted (or was blown away!).  And Thursday the sun came out... and brought with it a crew of excavators and equipment!  March 27 was a very good day at Trevi Manor! And so we begin: Week 1 of Barn Building.

The arrival of many men and much equipment!

Before you build, you must tear down: The shed meets its demise.

The shed - minus boat hanger - ready for relocation. And a very long silt fence has taken over my beautiful view.