Saturday, September 12, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em...

...join 'em. That was my thought this morning when I went outside to work with the horses only to have a convoy of construction trucks drive up the street to work on yet another neighbor's house. That's the problem with home improvement. It's contagious. One neighbor paints her house, and next thing you know all the other neighbors are thinking, "Hey, her house looks better than mine. I have to do something about that."

A few years ago we put a new roof on our house, because we had to.  We literally had rainwater pouring into one of the rooms of our house.  Several neighbors came over to ask how much it cost and to find out the name of the company that replaced our roof.  Next thing we knew, everyone was getting a new roof.  I didn't get much horseback riding in that year.  Nothing freaks out a horse more than seeing a bunch of men crawling around on top of a house.  There's something very unnatural about it, and perhaps reminiscent of mountain lions crouching on boulders ready to spring onto the backs of unsuspecting horses.

It's a good thing if you want your property value to increase, but not so great if you just want a little peace and quiet. When the sawing, hammering, and power drilling started up, I decided to join in on the noise by grabbing my own hammer and repairing all the fences. Then I broke out the buckets of paint and started slopping it on the wooden paddock fence while the horses were out at pasture surrounded by the no maintenance vinyl fence.

It's too bad that paint can't just stay on wood forever. It seems I'm dealing with flaked off paint every summer. If I let most of it flake off, then the horses start chewing on the wood. The more often that I paint the fence, the longer it lasts. Sometimes it's easier to just nail on a new fence panel than it is to paint, though.

You may remember that I recently stained the barn again. Now both the permanent barn and the temporary stall are the same color. All that manure in front of the stall is intentional. I have to build up the ground under the awning of the barn before winter or all the water and snow will start pooling up under there and leak into the stalls. The horses need a place where they can stay dry, and having water spill into the stalls defeats the purpose of having stalls.

The painting was going well until I started running out of paint. I called my husband and son and asked them to bring home more paint and a fresh paintbrush since they were up in the city.

Then I had to call it quits because a thunderstorm rolled in.

That's some mean looking weather.

You know it started raining specifically because I chose this day to paint my fence. Leave it up to neighbors and bad weather to ruin a perfectly good weekend with the horses. The last time I checked the weather forecast, it wasn't supposed to rain until Monday. Oh well, I guess I'll have to go back to cleaning house and making quilts.


Breathe said...

Good for you for being so industrious! All I did was some feeding at the barn. I'm getting it down now. But the mucking still takes me forever.

It's pouring rain, which we need desperately. Muck and mud are really no fun.

I'm so curious about fencing. Everyone has a different approach. Where we board now it's all very cheap - just electric tape and wire. No kidding.

Does the vinyl work pretty good?

Mikey said...

Your fence looks fantastic! Wishing now that mine looked like that... hmmm.
I like your "can't beat em/join em" attitude. But dang, your neighbors are the WEIRDEST EVER. I wonder what that one freaky one who sneaks around would do if you did that to her, next time.... just do your best crackhead impression and start sneaking around, glancing furtively at her... lol.
I hear you on the roof thing and it being like the mountain lions to horses. Trust me, if (as in my case) a dog jumps on your horse unexpectedly, it is considered a mountain lion and to be removed. I think you made a wise decision not riding while those guys were up there working.

I so enjoy reading the happenings at your place :)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Breathe - The vinyl needs some kind of reinforcement, because if a horse leans against a panel, it will pop right out. We have several holes and cracks in our vinyl fencing already, but not due to the horses. My husband throws discus. We reinforced ours with screws and chains.

Mikey - It's good to hear from you. I enjoy reading your blog, except for when you've got blood all over you and a crack in your head.

Paint Girl said...

Wow you've been busy! The fence is looking good!
Sorry all your crazy neighbors had to use up another one of your weekends!!

lytha said...

ah, you work around weather and neighbors, i work around weather and days of quiet. hehehe that's today.

enforced day of rest, phooey!
your vinyl fence is pretty with your arabians in the foreground!

work inspires work, it's true, and i like how we all inspire each other in blogland.


fernvalley01 said...

NM, you must learn to control this awsome power of your ! you can make it rain ! do you have any idea what kind of money you could make in drought stricken areas? LOL. I know how you feel,though. It felt for a while like every time hubby hooled on to the hay bine or baler we would get rain !