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Parker family horse on Second Crown Point, circa 1940s

Spring started on schedule a few weeks ago. Forty and fifty-degree temperatures started to melt the backlog of winter snow and show a peek of grass, ready to sprout green again.

The thing we’re discovering about New England winters is that they seem to start late and last longer. Today – the first official day of Spring – brought 12 fresh inches of snow on top of the melting plowed heaps clinging to the side of our driveway.

Of course, we got the Spring-project itch a few weekends ago and even spent some time outside working in the barn in the downright balmy 40-degree temps. We tore down plastic, swept up the hayloft, used our handy barn magnet to draw up old nails, and (don’t try this at home, kids) used the blower to blast the cobwebs and dust down the aisle. It sounds so much tamer and manageable than it actually was … seriously, I had to throw out my contacts afterwards — it was a veritable dirt/dust/cobweb/mouse poop hurricane.

It was nice, though, to work on some of the little aesthetic changes to the barn, too. We hung up cross-ties for the horses, mounted water buckets, painted a chalkboard to hang above the countertop we put up in the little ‘feed center’ comprised of an old countertop from my parents’ house. Things like this start making the whole vision come together. I can almost see little Finny’s head hanging out of his stall nickering for a treat.

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Impatient after a winter of hearing nothing from our neighbor-excavator who we had chatted with last September about putting in an arena, Jed finally picked up the phone to the Son (of the Father-Son operation) and asked if we were on ‘the list’…

He said YES and offered to come out with his Dad to review the property and our arena plans. We hoped very much that we hadn’t crossed some sacred dad-son business line by throwing someone under the bus who hadn’t communicated effectively, but DUDE, we need to know whether or not this ring can be put in where we’d hoped — especially before we spent time soliciting neighborly help to pound in fence posts. So. Good to have that squared away. Now we just need the ground to dry up enough to get a dump truck in.

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We also got in touch with our trusty Chimney guy who had also been a stone mason in a former life. We have a major patio/yard project we’ve been hoping to accomplish for awhile now and plan on finally tackling this Spring. Mostly, we’re needing the unsightly rock-slide off our little back ‘yard’ to be built up with a real retaining wall. We’ll add in a bunch of fill to nearly double our ‘yard’ space, level and grade it, and cut a real rock ‘staircase’ into the hill. Some of my ideas and inspirations are posted here, if you’re interested.

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And just before the snow fell on Monday, we got our new furniture delivered over the weekend. More photos to come, I promise, but in short – we LOVE IT. This is our first ever REAL (non-Ikea, non-Craigslist, non-hand-me-down) couch and chair. Ours is the Zoe model from Four Seasons. We got all crazy and went with a white couch. I know.. I KNOW(!)… but it’s slip-covered, and it’s washable, and it’s gorgeous. We also got an oversized wingback chair from Hallagan furniture with a matching storage ottoman. The chair is so incredibly large and comfy, it’s awesome. The ottoman we’ve been pulling up to the couch and using it as a little foot-extension/chaise.

Having such awesomely comfortable and FULL size furniture has been great, especially during Stomach Flu-palooza 2013, which hit me Sunday night. A decent portion of Monday was spent passed out on the couch (in between sipping ginger ale and dragging myself to the workshop to finish orders due out … seriously… what was I thinking?) With room enough for me, 3 blankets and 2 dogs — it was great.

Photos to come, I promise.

Of the furniture, not the flu.

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