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.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hows' the Barn Coming?

It's not.
Oh, are you stuck with county permit processing?
Are there problems with the building plans?
2014.  The year winter would not die.

March 3, 2014.
Snow: the reason absolutely nothing resembles a barn in this field.
Maybe next week...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter Lessons Learned on the Farm

It's incredible the lessons you learn and the things you accomplish over the course of just one winter week ... when living on a farm!
It's official!  The farm exists!  It has a sign!

Perhaps the most important lesson - when you live on a farm ... by yourself... and the tractor (and snow plow) live in a shed at the end of the driveway (behind the house) which departs the main road, goes down a hill, across a bridge, and up a hill  ... it is not - I repeat not - a good idea to stay very late at work in downtown DC when it starts snowing just before evening rush hour.  My little Camry made it down the hill, across the bridge, and not so much up the hill.  That was a fun night.  And by morning, the scene outside was white.  Pure white.  Thankfully, the power stayed on and I was able to take the opportunity to work from home the next day.  Because there wasn't a chance I was making it out until I taught myself how to run the snow plow!  Which brings me to a few more lessons.

It turns out, apparently, that just because the snow plow is attached to the back of the tractor, this does not mean that you have to plow snow in reverse.  Thankfully the tractor drives right over the snow and disperses the snow behind it!  After living through 2 winters in Syracuse, New York - I suspected there was a technique to snow plowing.  I have now confirmed that.  And I have also confirmed that I don't get it.  I'm capable of plowing the snow.  In whatever first path I make.  I am not capable to making the path any wider.  Shit.  Sorta like backing up the horse trailer.  I always love when some guy says, "Can you just move it 3 feet to the left?"  No.  I can park it just about anywhere, once.  I cannot, however, move it 3 feet to the left or right once I get there. Nor can I, apparently, move my snow path 3 feet to the left or right.  Excellent.

This represents almost 2 hours of work.  Clearly my skills need some improvement!
It also turns out, my tractor is pretty awesome.  It mows grass.  It plows snow.  And now, for the first time in its 20 year life, it found a new talent - it moves cross country jumps!  In the middle of the Polar Vortex -- Tyson Rementer was building the first of the Trevi Manor "mini-Rolex" cross country course!!  I convinced him to postpone delivery by a day to let it warm up to 20 degrees.  Awesome.  And so we put all our faith in my little 20 year old tractor (that came with the farm) that it could unload Tyson's works of art -- and it did not disappoint.  Although I have to admit I had flashbacks of the day Phillip Dutton was riding Katchi and he was bucking and bucking, and PD very nearly got unseated (once! Okay, maybe twice!) -- I so never want to be the girl who owned the horse who broke PD's arm. Or whose tractor crushed course builder Tyson Rementer.  We only had one little incident with a falling house.  Twice.  Stupid house.

When I warmed up a few days later and took a good look at the jumps sitting in my front yard, waiting to be drug around the fields -- I am excited beyond belief!  The jumps are absolutely fantastic!  Beautifully built and absolutely perfect for how I train -- let the horses learn to hold a line and be quick on their feet at 2'6" long before they have to do it at 3'6".  We have a mini corner and narrow tables and rolltops.  Now if Tyson can get some banks and ditches built early this spring - I really will be living in "mini-Rolex"!!!! Cannot wait to get the horses out and start jumping these things!!! Winter be gone!

Narrow houses & rolltops -- plus a bench and table!  Heck of a sight to see out my bedroom window!

Prelim Corner -- at Beginner Novice height!  PERFECT!

Hi.  I'm a Mini Corner.  I'm sittin' in a field.  Somebody, please jump me!!!  Please!!