Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mending Fences

Resisting the urge to add Literally. Used far too often these days...

When we moved to this farm the building, as well as the surrounding area, was in a sorry state. In fact, I met a woman at the library last week who happens to be the great-granddaughter of the second owner of this place that was built in the 1700's.  She confessed she and her family have not driven by the place in fifteen years due to the steady decline. "It broke our hearts," she said.  I promply advised her to have the whole family take a Sunday Drive, drive in, in fact.

Since moving in last July, my son has not only landscaped the entire front and back of the house lot (lot of New England rocks lying around he had fun with),  but taken care of drainage problems around the foundation by hauling sixty-seven thousand pounds (OK, I exaggerate, but that stuff is heavy) of chopped railroad  bed gravel we found two piles of near the farm shed.   I told her the pond was my assignment (not to mention the farm cat population control), which of course is taking a bit longer.    She was delighted, thrilled even, though surprised that we are doing all this as simply 'tenants.'  

The Son has a foot of gravel surrounding the entire,enormous foundation of the house. This is one of his front porch gardens.

A lot of people exhibit surprise and confusion. The first summer the farmers trapsing back and forth with their equipment in the course of their work, would stop and ask my son if he bought the place.

Discarded metal fence rails the son turned into a trellis for his cow-bean seeds.
They attract hummingbirds.

He also turned a huge brush pile in the front yard into yet another rock garden.
And left the tree the brush pile killed for me. Reminds me of the desert.

I guess what seriously offends me is the fact that so many people don't care anymore. Whether its a lack of pride in their surroundings, laziness, or just not being willing to help others for the sake of it. I just don't know.   What I do know is that so many here before us left so much junk in overgrown areas of the farm it someday will cost a fortune to have it all hauled away.  We took care of the house lot junk last year.

Anyhoo, Due to the sorry state of my hands, as well as my entire life being somewhat akin to a constantly running episode of I Love Lucy (or Rosanne, depending on what my kids are up to), I try to stay away from power tools.  (And uncontrolled burns, don't even ask why I never fry chicken...).   And about that fence...

The state of the cute, weathered fence in the back separating the yard from the pond that has been falling apart since we moved in, has been awaiting my attention.  The split rail surrounding the rest of the pond has endured at least 75 years.

Lovin' that old piece of sewer pipe I turned into a planter!

 I decided the best way to deal with replacing the missing slats was to use the ball of shrinking twine I have had in my sewing box for longer than I care to remember.  I also cannot remember for the life of me why I bought it in the first place. Nevertheless, it has come to the rescue.  So before the raging thunderstorms that are due to hit this state later this afternoon arrive, I spent the morning mending the fence. 

And hope that my son doesn't come home and make a remark about Daryl, Daryl and his brother Daryl fixing the fence...

The cat-tail problem is an ongoing project for me. Aside from a total kill chemical (which Fred, the HUGE bullfrog would not appreciate) my only alternative is grass and weed killer.  Pruning around the pond has halted until the massive amounts of wasps I am severly allergic to go away in the fall.

My drainage pipe (also abandoned years ago on the property) is working great, but...

Did I mention the anticipated rain storm is sorely needed?

And just because....

Tara Farm has produced a Leopard.

Who did not in the least appreciate being forced to display his spots.

Now if we can only convince the owners to buy some exterior paint for us...


  1. It's great that you're managing to utilize a lot of the stuff that was lying about the property. Using the pipe as a planter is a cool idea.

    Our last house was a Victorian money pit. We had a tenent in an upstairs apt (only way to afford the place) who wanted to paint his entire place. We were more than happy to buy him the paint, brushes, etc. if he was willing to do the work...everybody happy!

  2. We rent, and we are always amazed at how people don't care about something unless they own it, and not always then, either. Literally :-)

  3. Good for you all in making improvements to a historic place that obviously has meant so much to others.

  4. Wow, it makes me tired just to look at all the work set out before you.

  5. Still looks like a lot of work! Wouldn't a condo be easier? LOL. just kidding!