Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
This winter has been especially long for me; all last summer and well into the fall I planted countless flowering trees and my first azaleas and rhododendrons on the farm. The wait for the blossoms has seemed endless. Finally in the last two weeks things have begun to flower. The photos that I have taken are just a fourth of what is to come.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
During the summer of 2008 we resonded to an e-mail from a friend in crisis. She was losing her farm and had 3 days to find a temporary home for her 11 horses. She was also hoping to find "forever" homes for some of them. After much discussion, we decided we would be able to host three and possibly keep one. We invitied our friend to tour the farm. With only one small pasture fenced, we thought it was all we could offer.
He now shares the pasture with two equine friends. Dante (the Clydesdale that belongs to my daughter) and Rain (the Paint that belongs to Katie Rose). The three of them have become the best of friends.
There are many books available on Equine Rescue and I think I own them all. If we had more pasture I would very much like this to become a permanent way for us to "give back". There are many older equines that could enjoy their "senior" years with us. Retraining racehorses is another "cause" that I am passionate about. See link below for more information. There is one really informative book about what happens to racehorses when they are not suited for the track. It is After the Finish Line: The Race to End Horse Slaughter in America, by Bill Heller.
Although we aren't ready yet for more of a committment due to lack of space, we hope to buy more pasture next year and add to Rose Hill Farm. If this dream becomes a reality then I hope to always host a few "equines in need".
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Several times at random I would drive up to their house to introduce myself. My family (in the car with me) thought this was MORTIFYING! "Mom, you can't just drive up there and knock on the door!"...I replied, "Why not?"
The first two times that I tried no one was home but on the 3rd time I met Mr. Johnson. He was very friendly. The donkeys were his wife's domain, he informed me. She had been thinking about reducing their donkey herd and he took my name and number.
Just one week later I received the phone call. We could come at any time and take a look. We would be welcome to any two from the herd.
How fun it was on the drive there. I was smugly satisfied and had to tell my family, "See, if you take a chance you can WIN two wonderful donkeys!"
Jane Austen and Crackerjack stood out from all the rest. Mostly because they moved almost in unison. They were the "best of buddies" Mrs. Johnson told me. They were "inseparable". They were also extremely personable and loved attention. We shook hands and paid in full that day.
They were such a wise choice for our first animals. Donkeys are extremely low maintenance. They just want water, pasture and love. When we come home they "bray" a welcome every time. They love to be scratched and groomed. Their personalities are "silly" and they are quite the comedians in the pasture.
Before they came home I had read many books on Donkeys and one quote really stuck with me..."Donkeys, Love that money can buy!"
So true! Meet Jane Austen and Crackerjack: best friends and first four-legged residents of Rose Hill Farm.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Tonight is my only night at home this week. March is geared up to be a busy month for all of us. I wanted to make a nice dinner for my family and if I'm honest...for me too. I had everything for a wonderful pot-roast. I had dreams of a cool winter night and that great feeling of warm food inside.Yeah right! Mother Nature decided to mess with my karma, and it's almost 60 degrees outside. Whatever Mother Nature! Then come to find out....everyone is busy tonight...and no one will be home. (*&#%@) Michael is at the high-school selling tickets to a sporting event. (A teacher thing) I have a meeting at St. George with Katie Rose at 7 P.M. for First Holy Communion (also mandatory) which I had forgotten about. Goody is busy working on a paper for school....Nice dinner...and NO ONE will be here to eat it. Arrghhhhh! I'm just going to list it asap on Craig's List....LOOK!!!.............lol...maybe make some quick cash..$$$
I just let all the dogs in from their gay-evening romp around the farm. I wanted to be sure they were all in the house since everyone was leaving for their evening activities. As I run around trying to find acceptable outfits for everyone, the stress level begins to rise. Fun times on the farm! (Not this farm!) At least the kitchen "smells" good I thought.....until Goody said, "Uhmm mom what's that smell?" I reply, "What smell?".....And then it hits me....IT'S AWFUL! And I notice that Gracie's paws are bloody. No, not from injury, but from some BIRD mauling event that must have recently taken place outside and very recently. She looked proud. And she had bits of feathers on her....and the odor. omg! Katie Rose walked in, "Mom......our house stinks..."...."Oh really?" (my voice dripping with scarcasm and frustration....) "Stinks like what?".....Katie pauses as if to consider...."Mom... it's like DEAD THINGS AND POT ROAST".....Goody and I had to fall out laughing. Next time........I'll just make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and call it a night...!!!!!
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Friday, February 27, 2009
My husband found this one on the internet. He took the kids on a preview "scout" of the location while I was out of town working for a four-day stretch. They peeked in windows and walked the property. There was an apple tree in full bloom. Both kids asked their Dad..."Can we live here?" My husband, in his heart just knew that this was the one and made the appointment as they were driving away. He had to wait four anxiety filled days before I would return home and be able to view the property with the realtor.
I arrived home on a Monday morning after working a four day stretch of 12 hour nights as an RN with an hour and 1/2 drive home. That is some SERIOUS exhaustion! My body was tired but my heart was NOT! I was so ready to see the farm. The kids couldn't say enough good things about it. My husband handed me a cup of coffee and we were in the car and on our way. "Did they really like it?" I asked. "Well, they were able to throw apples at each other for quite a long time so I think they're in!" he replied.
My First Impression......
She was blue! Two story farm house on 10 acres, circular drive, I've always wanted one, pasture for a horse, chicken house with storage, large barn, original wood floors and beautiful wood trim. And my favorite........."Ideal for Restoration."
The house looks much bigger from the outside than it actually is. I remember standing in the kitchen and thinking..."No way"...Our eyes "locked" and I said, "If you promise me we will do an addition I am so in."...We shook hands and closed the deal between us. I promised myself to adjust to living without a dishwasher. There was "none!"
15 minutes later we were in the realtors office signing the papers to purchase our dream. The same day it was SOLD and all those years of waiting were over. Just like that; we were giddy!
I love her. She is 100+ years old. She is blue and that suits her. We all love her. "Rose Hill Farm." Our two-story wood blue farmhouse on 10 acres that took more than 10 years to find, more than 20 actually all together.
We are home..........and our country living has just begun!
Friday, February 20, 2009
No outdoor project is completed by oneself. Where ever I am with garden tools in hand you will also find all farm dogs and cats more than willing to help. lol. The above photo captures my frustration and amusement. I no sooner have a hole dug than "someone" wants to test it's size.
I had planned to keep a diary of my progress with meticulous documentation of all varieties of "green-things" planted. What I ended up with was a black garbage full of good items with all those little tags that came with my tree/shrub or flower purchase. I lost track!
We have planted several varieties of apple trees and one pear. At least 4 Kwansan flowering cherry trees. One weeping cherry tree. One yoshino cherry tree. Several dogwoods. Redbuds at least 6 I have planted TWICE because I found to my dismay that deer like them too. My favorites are flowering magnolia trees and I have 3 different varieties that are doing well.
My hats off to Lowes which started my season of spring off in 2008. They were selling azalea bushes for $1.89. I almost "fainted" in the store. There was a huge color and type of azalea to choose from and at last count I planted 36 of them.
I was also fortunate to be able to plant 4 Rhododendrons and 4 Lilac bushes.
I don't know when in our lives we have EVER anticipated a "spring" more than SPRING OF 2009.....I can not WAIT to see how all the trees/shrubs and perennials have wintered and to witness the beauty of their first bloom on Rose Hill Farm.
I forgot to mention that I also tried SEVERAL Cleveland Pear trees thanks to Lowes again and their amazing sales of 2008. I was lucky to find that towards the back of the store they keep several "sale tree" sections that are not well advertised but once I found them I quickly cleaned out the "flowering tree for sale" isle.
When the first blooms appear I will be blogging away to share with you the bounty of Rose Hill Farm and the joy that we experience as we see our dreams come true!