Some of my plumbing is on the North side of the barn. Already it froze a bit.
I went into town and bought 4 bales of straw. $20
Stacked it up on over the plumbing to give it a bit more protection from that North wind.
The horses come and scatter it everywhere. I rake it up and put some in the chicken houses and the rest in the stalls.
Put up a fence around the new propane tank and to protect the straw against marauding horses.
$20 more straw and another trip to town.
They bent the fence down and busted the bales and were eating the straw....
It's not like they are starving....but
Come on guys......you don't EAT it when it's in your stall!
So I rescue the pieces of bales that are left and bag up more to store for bedding for every one.
It's my fifth wheelbarrow load of straw and I'm muttering to myself
I could feel my late grandmother at my side whispering in my ear "If wishes were horses..."
And then I see a picture. I sketch it. The painting did not go as easily as some, but after a bit of a struggle it finally came around.
As for the plumbing I ended up building an insulated box to go over the wall. We ran out of temperature here the other night and my plumbing didn't freeze so mission accomplished.
And the horses are continuing to inspire me.....
And for those of y'all that don't know about running out of temperature.
My Dad always says it can't get below zero cause then you run out of temperature.
Paula comes in the morning. We sit huddled next to the stove with steaming mugs of coffee waiting for the storm to roll in, remembering other winter storms since we started keeping our horses together. We step out to feed and walk a few steps to the feed room in the enclosed barn. In a few minutes we return to more steaming coffee and the warm fire.
The first year I only had a small one horse shelter. The other four horses slid on the ice in the corral as we stood feeding in the sleet. Then there was last winter…so cold and eight inches of snow on the ground for over a week.
The barn was up then anyway but barely and nothing like it is now with the north and west winds completely blocked and stalls for the ponies. It’s been a year and a half long ongoing project.
The apartment is getting homier with a temporary kitchen set up and the bathroom nearly finished.
I spend the afternoon doing more caulking and weather stripping. It gets noticeably warmer in here. The horses start to look in the windows as it gets close to feeding time again. I think they like Tonka and I living out here with them.
Zodiac is my first painting of the new year. It was sold before I even got it posted on my website.
This painting is a result of my seemingly endless manual labor working on my new place. Some how that kind of work just makes images appear in my head.
Why can't that happen when I'm sitting in a recliner?????
Anyway still splitting my time between the construction and studio. Making more progress with the apartment than getting new paintings finished, but I just got 20 yards of canvas and lots of sketches for more work. So we'll see what comes in the next week.
I have NEVER been so happy to get back to work in the studio. Before Christmas I was so busy I could get no work done on my barn apartment. I was determined to get moved in by the first of the year. I almost made it. Although it is not near finished....I moved in anyway. And I'm exhausted.
This is before. This is my fire exit door to the outside of the barn. It's tiny old solid wood at just 17" wide found at the Habitat for Humanity Restore.
The kitchenette area and some cabinets that need much love.
A bargain....vanity, sink and faucet for $25. The medicine cabinet for $15, both from Habitat for Humanity. I am still painting them white.
My best score by far was the north windows. They are 6' tall and look out to the pasture and the mountains. These were probably $800 new each and got them both for $100 you guessed it Habitat for Humanity Restore.
If you haven't checked them out, you must. There should be one in your area. There are three in Ar and we don't have nothing here. Not only do you get great bargains the profits go to help others get housing.
I'm thinking of getting a new curtain rod, but somehow the hay string gets seems appropriate.
I don't think you can tell from the photos but the walls are textured. I have been working on getting the sheetrock finished enough for the light texture treatment and then texturing.
I hate working with sheetrock.... Day after day and it looks like nothing gets done.
Finally the paint. Love the color.
I and getting plastic glue up ceiling tiles here. No more sheetrock dust for me.
Anyway I am glad to get moved in. It has a nice feel to it already and....a flush toilet in the same building you sleep in...what a novel idea!
I live on a small farm nestled in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.
I have a deep passion for the beauty of the earth which surrounds me and a spiritual kinship for the animals who share the mountains with me.
My paintings are in private corporate and museum collections around the country and around the world.