Mud, Mabel & a walk

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I hope y’all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and safely rang in the new year.

We had a lovely, low-key Christmas and we kept our tradition of ringing in the new year being sound asleep. I saw a friends status on Facebook that read “9:00 is the new 12:00 so good night and happy new year”. Ha, that is definitely us as well!

The past two weeks were crazy at the newspaper but I had some extra days off due to the holidays. I managed to get myself outside during one of those days off and I walked along our creek with a whole menagerie of cats following me…

I wandered along the bank looking for unique rocks, geodes & agates and was really hoping to find an arrowhead or two. I found a couple of cool rocks and petted all the cats that followed me the entire time I wandered. We were all enjoying the unseasonably warm December day.

I thought these bubbles were cool. They reminded me of a honeycomb.

~~~

We are still trying to come up with solutions to solve our drainage and mud issues.

CountryBoy was able to cut some trenches in to help divert the water…

but after another recent deluge the culvert became clogged again…

and we had a muddy mess in front of the barn and no more gravel…

We ordered some more gravel today to finish out the road to the cabin so that guests would be able to take their own vehicles up but the rock truck couldn’t get past the barn without getting stuck. So, that load of rock ended up in front of the barn and down part of the driveway and we canceled the rest of the loads we ordered. It was a disappointment that we weren’t able to finish rocking the cabin road but we definitely needed some gravel in front of the barn so it worked out in the end.

We’ve talked with someone about our water problems and drainage issues in the yard, barn and road and we’re on the same page as to some possible solutions.

A ditch along the back of the barn to solve the soggy barn, possibly a pond to catch most of the runoff the mountain with an overflow into a wide rock channel in the driveway that will flow into an existing deep ditch that empties into the creek. Work would also be done to change the slope of the road away from the barn.

We’re waiting on a clear plan and an estimate with a reasonable payment plan and then hopefully, sooner rather than later, work can start to remedy the muddy mess that has become our farm.

Meanwhile, CountryBoy dug quite a bit of mud out of the culvert and he created dams across the road to guide the water into the existing deep ditch…

It has rained for the past two days and our temporary solution helped guide much of the water where we wanted it. We are thrilled and will continue expanding on this solution until we can get a more permanent one in place.

That was how we started the new year… cleaning out culverts and cleaning the cabin after a traditional new year’s day breakfast of eggs, black eye peas on toast with hog jowl bacon. Mm, mm!

Speaking of the cabin, people are finding us and they are booking it. Yay! We had a couple rent it for 3 nights. They rang in the new year at Mountain View Retreat! More guests are coming tomorrow night and more at the end of the month. We are thrilled and still surprised every time and the fact that the guests love the space and the time spent in our cabin is even more exciting. Only four more positive reviews and we will be Super Hosts with Airbnb.

And, speaking of hog jowls…

get a load of sweet Mabel’s portly jowls, ha!

She tucks herself in the hay under a heat lamp for a good nap or good night’s sleep. (The ‘stripe’ on her back is a stream of sunlight through the slits in the barn.)

We still can’t believe how lucky we were that she wandered down our driveway. She’s been such a wonderful addition to the farm.

~~~

I started this blog post Thursday evening and it has taken me until today to get back to it. Since then, we had company yesterday afternoon – my nephew, his wife, daughter & her husband and their young’un. We had a fabulous time visiting, playing card games and of course, eating! Just before a mean game of Nertz began our guests arrived to check in to the cabin. Perfect timing!

Today we took down the Christmas decorations and stored them until next year. While we waited for the guests to check out I brought some plants in from the greenhouse because they’re calling for freezing temps tonight. After the guests left we headed up to clean and ready the cabin for the next guests. Little did we know at the time that the next guests would arrive in a few hours. Gotta love those last minute bookings! That’s why we do our best to always have it ready – short of some fruit and freshly baked banana bread. Thankfully I made three small loaves yesterday so we’re good. Even MORE thankfully we did not EAT those loaves this morning, ha!

We couldn’t be more thrilled at how well the cabin is being received by the guests as well as the number of bookings we’ve had in such a short time of listing it. It’s exciting to be able to share our little piece of this earth with those who are seeking adventure, solitude, or who want to try a night or two of off-grid living or all of the above. Let’s see what the new year brings 🙂

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