It's been quite some time since I updated you on the barn project, but it is essentially finished, minus a little painting of the iron fencing and a well-chosen corral sign. Yes, yes, I'm aware that most "oil pipe" fence is left to develop a patina of rust here in Kansas, but at the ripe age of fifty-four I am still apt to climb over the fence rather than walk around to a gate, and I don't want to soil my britches. My initial plan is to happily spend most of my summers sliding in and out of this "man cave," and rust stains are not part of the vision.
The northernmost third of the barn has been reserved for hoofed critters, hence the "corral". My original intention was to house a couple of bred Angus heifers for the winter and thus gain the benefits of both the miracle of baby calves while also providing to Mrs. ProfessorRoush some nice grass-fed steaks (the latter individual is an unreformed and unapologetic carnivore). It has, however, been appropriated by the donkeys and a pair of barn cats for the foreseeable future. The rest of the barn is storage for the "big green" tractor and its various implements, and the small green" lawn tractor, and various gardening implements that otherwise dirty and clutter up the garage.
There is something both incredibly calming and deeply biblical about having a barn filled with straw bedding, feed, and living creatures. I imagine that my blood pressure dropped ten points the minute I started feeding animals again every morning and evening. There is a peace and stillness in the barn (with the exception, of course, of the donkey's braying at the sight of me), that I haven't had in my life for quite some time. It may be a -10º wind-chilled trek to the barn, as it is this morning, but it's a short one and it does serve to stir the blood every morning. Inside the barn will be some hungry kittens and some impatient donkeys, waiting on the stupid primate for some decent sustenance. It took only two days once the barn was opened for the donkeys and cats to learn when feeding time was. Creatures of habit, each and every living soul here.
So this is where I can be found this winter, lazily sharpening lawn mower blades and hoes and dreaming of Spring. The barn cats? I'll introduce them to you later on, I promise.