April 2021 A Spring Walk About, Gearing up for Summer

Apr 25 2021
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April 2021 – This month brought us grief and joy in large quantities this year. April 13th Lodi proposed to me and, of course, I said yes! We are absolutely just annoyingly happy lol no set date yet but it won’t be until next year. Not two days later I got the call we all dread. Lodi got home before me and my Mom’s little mare (Jazzy) was unable to get up and had been struggling for at least a couple of hours. She had a sky high temp and our vet gave her antibiotics to fight the tick disease he suspected. We made her as comfortable as we could and waited for the shots to kick in.

She was far up in the pasture by the barn and we were stunned (and very relieved) to find that, just a few of hours later, she got herself up and moved all the way down to their pen (her home, her favorite place, her safe place).

At that point I honestly thought she was going to be just fine and even called Mom with the good news.

A few hours later she was just gone.

We had Jazzy for nearly 20 years and she was 28 years old – it was really just very sad. I’m glad she was able to pick where she wanted to be though and go quickly (and not miserably) on her own.

We spent most of the night checking on my gelding who had no idea what to do and is a bit of a flighty nitwit anyway so I worried and worried about him.

He’s going on 30 this year, I’ve had him since I was 11 years old. Gar and I have literally been through it all together and losing Jazzy just dropped a stone on my heart for the day the call will be about him.

Losing horses is so hard… I swore never again to own animals this big. They’re so much harder to help and take care of because of their size.

A friend of ours brought his back hoe out and we buried her in the middle of the pasture beside the barn.

Lodi may have been even sadder about losing Jazzy than mom and I.

In the last year Mom’s little mare and Lodi really took a shine to each other. We even talked about our engagement photos including the horses once they were all brushed out and shiny this summer.

I have FINALLY finished cleaning up my yard and I fixed my garage's soffits and moved my horses' into their new shed and hauled hay bales

(Pic taken back in 2018 right after I moved the horses into their new shed. Jazzy laid down just a few feet from here. Sweet girl – she will be missed.)

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

With the loss of his pasture mate we’ve been spending extra time with Gar.

Every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together this spring. I didn’t even realize I was intentionally doing it year after year. With Minnesota winters being so brutal (usually) I think we all might just inadvertently find ourselves wandering around outside just because we can!

And it blind sided me how much it meant to have someone who wanted to join me… I’ve never had that before.

A walk about comes with the expansion of our homes to the outdoors after months of just our few walls. And that, of course, comes with all that needs to get done until the snow narrows our lives down one more time.

(We have completed the basement bathroom and living room which is all coming up over the next couple of months on the blog. The rest of the basement (and most inside work) is being put on hold now until next winter.)

We have about six acres here at Grandma’s house.

Plenty to wander, explore and maintain though someone who grew up on nearly 300 hundred acres (like many Midwest kids) I certainly would be happier with more cushion from the neighbors.

But it is still plenty to dream about, repair and maintain!

Horse fence needs to be fixed after the winter, the area I call the “low spot” on the property has been on my list since I moved in as it is in desperate need of clean out from dead fall, logs and just lots of crap.

The garage needs a gutter, one piece of brick molding above one of the garage doors and steel eve covers on the gabled ends – all of which I’ve been procrastinating on since 2015… and the dog kennel needs to be expanded… the fence panels and posts have only been sitting there waiting for that to get done since last summer…

We want to drag a part of the horse pasture and spread all of our old hay there leftover from this last winter in hoping it will take seed and get rid of a monstrous amount of weeds…

Besides those things which I consider “maintenance” Lodi and I just made our first big purchase together.

April 2021 YOLO

We purchased a side by side.

Yes it will do some work here but it was truly.

Just for us.

Just for fun.

(With Covid still going on we’re not the only people who wanted a side by side this year – our purchase also came with a 6-8 week wait for it!)

The side by side also comes with our need to finally get us a decent trailer. Another thing that has been on the list for awhile now that has become a must have and not just for the side by side either!

I ordered one right away in April 2021.

A few ways I saved money on our trailer: (This isn’t my first rodeo) I went to the best known welder in the area and ordered one. I had him make the ramp and install the light kit for us but nothing else. The base has stake supports so we can add sides if we want to later and we’ll be putting the wood floor of the trailer in ourselves.

Its a vast contrast between anything that can be purchased when it comes to quality / price, and I expect the trailer itself to last us just about forever.

With the purchase of the side by side also comes our biggest (and most expensive project) of this summer. We need a place to house it and our garage is just not big enough for our vehicles, lawn mower, snow blower and a side by side.

This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed our need for more storage space here on the farm, I’ve always wanted a place for lawn equipment and gardening stuff.

In the beginning we were going to expand the horse barn by one stall and then we discussed just buying a little premade one stall garage to put down by the fire pit…

But, finally, this April 2021 (especially now that we have the side by side), we settled on the most practical solution.

We’re going to add on to our garage and give ourselves another 12×30 feet of storage space.

Lodi is not a stranger to concrete and has wanted to expand the apron in front of our garage and concrete the path to the access door literally since he moved in. Now he’ll also be pouring our addition to the garage in concrete as well.

I have no worries about that slab and apron being done correctly.

For the first time in my life I can hand the reins over to my partner and know it will be done right. The fact that Lodi is actually taking things OFF of my plate and I can trust him to do it… Is this real life?!

(I love this time of the year. It may not be warm enough to sun bathe but it certainly is time to clean the deck. Unwrap the grill and chimenea from their winter tarps. Put the heated dog bowls “bird baths / critter waterers” away. Set out all the furniture. Put up our new magnetic screen “doors” and just wait a little longer. Deck time is almost here. My spring photos here include Lodi out feeding the horses, as I took these pics just a few days before we lost Jazzy.)

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021 ONE BIG SUMMER JOB

I’m feeling really good about getting that list done.

All in its actually just a few weekends and I can build a lean to off of our garage in my sleep. I LOVE simple construction projects! And *pats myself on the back* I still have several boxes of siding left over because I ordered extra when I sided the garage and house. (I even have house wrap leftover…)

The cost will be screws, 2x6s, joist hangers, posts, steel and plywood.

(April 2021 YAY for having a trailer now too, we’ll be able to haul the materials here ourselves!)

I still have two things on my wish list besides…

I really have my heart set on those trees I told you guys about…

I want to plant several new leaf trees (hopefully big and fast growers) along our fence line and a couple in front of our old barn. It will (eventually) give us a north wind break and I just love trees! I wanted apple trees but I know the deer would just eat them…

The second thing on my list I’ve also already mentioned to you guys here on the blog.

I really want to build a new stone fire pit that’s a little closer to the house in a new pea gravel lower deck along with it! Is this a must have for me? No – this one I would actually concede to next year without much pouting… we don’t NEED it – our current fire pit does the job just fine.

HOWEVER, at some point this early summer, we will be renting a skid steer to prep for our concrete and it would be foolish not to go ahead and clear the rectangle for our lower deck at that point to…

Fortunately for us (and our doing all of the labor) nothing on that list is monstrously expensive. Materials are through the roof but we still hope to have the time (and funds) this year to get it all done for both of us.

Another “fortunately for us” spring came early!

According to my Minnesota calculations we have six months to complete our list which makes it seem entirely doable. One big weekend a month is all it would take to accomplish everything!

April 2021 am I still dreaming? Probably!

But isn’t that what spring walk abouts are all about?! First time ever though, I’m not alone in getting these things accomplished and that’s pretty amazing.

Lodi and I have been working (with intention) to do some things just for us lately. Starting healthy habits can be so difficult when we’re both working full time besides the blog, everything that needs to be worked on here and all the regular stuff like laundry and dishes etc.!

But I got us some crest white strips that we’ve actually been diligently using at least three times a week.

Besides that my aunt gave me a wonderful deep sea mud mask for Xmas and we’ve been masking up once a week too!

BOTH of these things we can do while sitting and staring at the TV in our tiny amount of free time during the week lol – and they’re both improving our skin and our teeth.

But, most importantly, they also make us feel better about ourselves because its an intentional habit just for each of us individually. (Its so easy to let our own selves fall by the way side in light of “more urgent” things.)

Our last weekly habit is to take a bath together. YEP. We’re doing it. And its been wonderful.

Once a week we soak for a good hour together, drink wine and listen to our favorite music. We use these wonderful Epson salts and lavender bath bubbles.

IT IS HEAVEN

And its been so good for us.

What I find most amazing (and not surprising at all) is how we’ve really had to force our tired bodies into these things sometimes. But I think that’s true of everyone at the end of the day after EVERYTHING (and everyone) else is finally taken care of.

Doing good things for ourselves feels like adding one more chore that’s unnecessary – but we never regret it and the benefit is really beyond measure.

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

April 2021, every year since 2014, once the weather finally turns nice, I do a full walk about of the property. Lodi and I did this together

Comments

  1. Kim
    April 25, 2021 at 7:49 am

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you.

  2. Darlene
    April 25, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Congratulations on your engagement. So happy you have a great partner to share your life and plans with. I have been mArried 53 years and it is so great to have a partner that shares all your loves.

    • April 27, 2021 at 10:18 am

      Thank you Darlene, happy spring!

  3. Toni (in Niagara)
    April 25, 2021 at 11:41 am

    I’m sending you my condolences for the sweet horse. How lucky you were to have her in your life!

    I’m also send big-fat congratulations on your engagement!! How wonderful!

    And…
    I’m also send you a question: What is a side-by-side? At first I thought it was a fridge-freezer, then a duplex, but your description of what you’ll do with it doesn’t fit in with anything I’ve heard called a side-by-side. Yes, I do live in a cave………..sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks, and again, all the best!

    • April 27, 2021 at 10:20 am

      Thank you so much Toni. Sorry about that! Up here in northern MN side by sides are so common I didn’t consider that that probably isn’t the case elsewhere! A side by side is an all terrain vehicle a bit like a four wheeler except its a two seater and looks like a big adult go kart lol. It’ll be fun for us but it can also do the work of a four wheeler around the farm too ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Cynthia Atwood
    April 25, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    Love all of your writings !! Keep writing and sharing, please.
    Congratulations on your engagement.
    God bless you !
    Cynthia, a faithful reader every week !

    • April 27, 2021 at 10:21 am

      Thank you Cynthia, happy spring!

  5. D Gehman
    April 25, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    My deepest condolences for Jazzy – I lost my mare, Sassy Girl, when I was 18 and I still miss her 38 yrs later. Congratulations on your engagement – so very happy for you both. Just a thought for your trailer wood – I have used Trex type boards for trailer flooring in the past and have had great success. Not having to replace every year or so makes that kinda pricey initial cost MUCH more palatable.

    • April 27, 2021 at 10:21 am

      My goodness I didn’t even consider that! Trex (or composite) is a WAY better idea for the trailer floor, thanks for the tip!

  6. MADELINE l NEWTON
    April 25, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS TO A BEAUTIFUL COUPLE THAT CAN MAKE IT FOR ALL THAT THEY HAVE BEEN THRU …LOVE IT …YOU HAVE DID SO MUCH TO MAKE THE HOUSE YOURS ..HOPING FOR ALL OF YOUR OTHER DREAMS WILL GET DONE AND LOTS OF FUN WITH THE SIDE BY SIDE WE HAVE ONE AND SO FUN…LOVE AND MUCH HAPPINESS IS IN YOUR LIFE …SORRY FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR BABY …JAZZY …SO PRECIOUS …NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF FUR IS ON THEM THEY ARE STILL OUR BABIES AND IT DOES HURT TO LOOSE THEM …TAKE CARE AND JUST KEEP ENJOYING LIFE TOGETHER ..YOU HAVE ACHIEVED SO MUCH TOGETHER ….LOVE IS PRECIOUS …

  7. Sandy
    April 25, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    Congratulations to both of you. How wonderful, Tara, that you found such a good man.

  8. Stephany Michel
    April 25, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Congratulations!!๐Ÿ’• Had a feeling this would be coming before too long. So happy for you that you found someone special to share your life with. He seems like such a great guy and the two of you so happy together!
    So very sorry to hear about the loss of your little mare though. ๐Ÿ’” I grew up with horses in MN and was blessed that my sister had a place large enough that our kids have been able to also. We lost our little pony Taco, the horse all of our children learned to ride on, 6 months ago. It’s heartbreaking. ๐Ÿ’”
    Such an ambitious list for the summer gal. Your energy and ambition astounds me. But, as you said, at least this time you have someone dependable to help you. I look forward to following along. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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