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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

When you're miles and miles away from a good doughnut...

No, they're not good for you, but every once in a while you just have to have a fresh ring of fried dough and a tall, cold glass of milk.  But when the closest doughnuts, mediocre at best, are a 30 minute drive one way and the really good ones are a little further, but cost an arm and a leg and there's a looming ice storm and blizzard and you MUST have them, you do what needs to be done.

You google doughnut recipes.

I am picky when it comes to doughnuts.  My favorite are chocolate cake doughnuts, moist but not greasy, with vanilla icing. I was out of baking cocoa, so those were out of the question.

Next in line for the crown are simple, plain, old fashioned glazed yeast doughnuts.  Now, I've never made doughnuts. I don't own a fryer, but I do have a large cast iron dutch oven.  My mouth watered at the prospect. So that was the plan, a vat of 350 degree oil on my gas stove.  That WAS the plan.  But when I dug out my clip-on thermometer, I discovered that it slid up and down in its mounting so what the actual temperature was at any given moment was anyone's guess.  Reeling in my disappointment, my wind whirled with other options.

The electric fry pan!  It wasn't very deep, but it did have an automatic thermostat, so that was good.  And if I was careful loading the pan and flipping the depth I could work around.

I scrolled through dozens of recipes to find one that wasn't overly complicated and for one that required ingredients I had on hand.

Bingo! Krispy Kreme Copycat from Genius Kitchen

The photos on the site aren't the best, as the doughnuts are over cooked.

I also used metal skewers to flip and lift the doughnuts. And I kept the glaze warm and after letting the glaze set, I dipped them again.

I used my 3 inch and 1 inch biscuit
cutting rings to form the doughnuts.
They looked rather sad.

Once they hit the oil, my worries were
over.  They puffed and filled out nicely.

Using a skewer for a quick flip.

Cooked to golden.

Draining on a cooling rack above a paper towel catch all.

Of course when you make doughnuts, you get doughnut ball!
I also made all the scraps into balls.

Glazed and ready to eat.

With the remaining scraps, I mixed apple, sugar and cinnamon
and pressed together and made apple fritters for Doc.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Insanity of Spring

April 2018 Blizzard coated the windows in ice.
I was reminded by a good friend that I haven't been around for a while.  I was actually aware of the fact, I just simply haven't had the time to sit down and write.  Luckily for me, and you, we had a blizzard yesterday. 
Yes, that's right, April 14th and instead of planting cool season veggies in the garden, I'm huddled inside avoiding a day where the high was only 30 degrees.

3 bin composter, 4x15 feet, large enough for the tractor
bucket to mix and move the materials
The past two months of internet silence has flown by.  I have been doing the work of three people for weeks.  Every moment that was nice enough to be outside, I was outside working on the acreage projects that need to be accomplished to bring home the two mini donkeys I bought in January.  On miserable days, I was inside catching up on all the small projects that pertain to the barn or to the ever growing list of household chores.

I removed the concrete curbing and stones around the well head,
Added compost and soil and planted 800 sq ft with wildflowers
in a new pollinator garden.  It will be allowed to go wild and self seed.

Ducks at the annual Saline Center Auction.

I built a slow feed hay feeder for the donkeys.

The cedar tree seedlings
have to be tackled every Spring
when they are orange and
easiest to spot in the pasture. I still have
3 acres to go.
The 'to do' list is endless.  Worse than the Great List, are the endless hidden little things that should have been on the list, but never seemed to make it ON to the list.  And the amount of time all the little projects take was shocking.

Fresh yeast doughnuts.

I finished the interior of the stock barn with kick panels, gravel, sand, and crushed limestone. It took 5
gallons of paint to cover the whole area.  Lights have been installed and run off of a portable power supply.
I built and painted two large wind break panels for the paddock and painted the wood fence in the paddock, and installed
an owl nesting box. (Thanks Doc for holding that ladder.)

But here we are, the middle of April, and I am waiting on the frames for the stall walls, and need to string the pasture fence.  The rubber mats need to be slapped on the floors, and the wood installed into the stall frames, and all the little things need moved into the stock barn, but that's it.  Can you believe it?  The frames are late to arrive, so that is holding me up.  Instructions for the fences should come tomorrow, so that looks like that's where I'm heading next.
Ellie being Ellie.

Last week, being that I was in a barn project holding pattern, I decided that it was the week that I was going to tackle the garden.

Those that have been following along for a while are saying, 'Wait! What garden? We thought the lovely, lush, productive garden was bulldozed and now resting peacefully under the new barn.  OMG! Is it a zombie garden?  Do you have to lop off the cabbage heads to kill a zombie garden?  CAN you kill a zombie garden?'

It's OK dear followers.  Zombie vegetables will not be taking over the central US.  The old garden, is still deep under the new barn.  You will recall that the new barn was finished this time last year, but I just didn't have the brain power, time, or physical motivation to plan, locate and build up a new garden after the barn was completed in time for planting.  So I resorted to container gardening for the summer.

What a disaster.  Big money on good containers, quality container mix, and plants, and I think we managed a dozen cherry tomatoes, one horn worm, and three containers of plants that did nothing before they died.

As winter projects started eating my soul, each walk to and from the stock barn I would survey locations and dream of my rich green garden again.  I really enjoyed the deep mulch method of the old garden.  It worked remarkably well the first year, and fairly well the second year. (The second year was my mistake.  I pulled out all the frames, which had exposed soil and piled the hay on 12 inches deep to over winter. The seedy hay found the dirt and weeds went wild and rooted deep.)  The method was sound, in practice, I screwed up.  But all-in-all it was fabulous.  The whole garden was essentially an active compost pile, making new soil for future years, and the depth of the mulch discouraged weeds.  Even those that took root, weren't rooted into anything but hay, and pulled out easily.  You did have to keep up with it, every square foot of it.

April is burning season.
So while I liked the old method, if I was starting from scratch (AGAIN), I was going to improve upon what I had learned.  I kid you not, this is when a blog I follow had a book published.  (Old World Garden)  WHAT TIMING!  I was looking at an incoming snow storm, and Amazon Prime could have it at my door in two days, perfect for weekend reading, pondering, and if I liked it, planning.  Now I have no affiliation with OWGarden, nor do I make any money from you buying the book, Raised Row Gardening ,or am I compensated in any way.  I'm just letting you know where I drew my inspiration.  (By the way, try their recipe for Beef and Noodles! It's how I found them to start with.)

The book is laid out in chronological order and is very clear and easy to understand.  The authors not only take you through the process, but inform you on why the process works.  They then go a step further and give you a clear list of companion plantings, composting tips, material selections, and instead of just taking you from planning to harvest, they wrap you clear around to winterizing, planning and planting for the next Spring, so you aren't left wondering if you are doing the whole process correctly.  This is, after all, a perpetual garden.

It is based on the same compost in place system as my previous garden, but it has dedicated maintained growing areas, and dedicated heavily mulched walking areas.  The benefit to this is that you are severely limited the areas exposed to even possible weeds, and those areas, being mulched as well, will also limit the number and tenacity of the weeds.  All of that reduces the amount of maintenance time spent in the garden.  BONUS!

The flat enough area between the orchard and the workshop.
I read the book.  Ideas started swirling about my head.  I found a level-ish spot in the yard and I dug out the project book and started planning out my rows.  I remembered I had 104 feet of portable, electric poultry fencing that I ordered a couple of years ago from Premier1 fencing, and never put into use.  So easy decision on the size of the garden 25x25 feet.

Now here's the only place I deviated from the book.  It calls for placing the working/growing rows out first, with layers of straw and then soil.  Then filling in the surrounding area with a thick layer of mulch material for the walking zones.

I was starting from scratch and the ground was still mostly dry, so the opportunity for the dump truck hauling 16 cubic yards of mulch to back up to the actual garden location was not to be passed up.
Quite the heap of mulch.  To be matched a week later by
a heap of soil. (most of which was used to re-grade areas
around the lawn.)
  My mulch/dirt guy thought I was nuts, but I'm a regular customer, and I'm used to his "she's nuts" smile.  He was interested in the process and promised to come back in the summer to see the progress.  The hens were quite interested in the massive pile of hardwood mulch, but there really wasn't anything in there for them and they quickly lost interest.
Inspection crew hoping for a new hunting ground.
The tractor made quick work of the pile, pushing it to the pre-measured, painted lines in the lawn, and leveling it.

I pushed the mulch out another 4 feet on a side so that I could place the electric fence into mulch and wouldn't have to mow against the fence, and the mulch would inhibit weed and grass growth along the fence.
I only used weed control fabric under the mulch which is outside
of the electric fence.  5 inches of mulch IN the garden
will keep any of the sad lawn that wasn't really there to start
with from growing up through.

I then installed the fence.  It was here that we found the fence was not 100 feet, but 102, and the gate added another 4.  So the finished size ended up being 25 x 28 feet, which allowed me to add a LONG wide row at one end for sorghum, sweet and decorative corn.

I mapped out my growing rows and removed the mulch from these areas and moved it to around the electric net.
All the mulch removed from the growing areas.  I forgot to take photos
of the next step, which was a central mound of compostable
material, in this case, straw.

I then followed the instructions in the book to build my straw mounds and then good , pulverized garden soil, and then I augmented that with pure compost soil.  I will add more compost to each planting hold when it comes time to plant and then top mulch with straw.
Straw covered with pulverized garden soil and settled. Note the
start of the potato towers in the back left.

I added heavy duty support posts and will add tomato posts and support frames a little closer to June 1st, the earliest I will plant them.

Herb seeds started, potato starts drying, onions and garlic waiting
for Tuesday or Wednesday.

Compost soil added to the garden soil.  Large support posts installed and
potato towers started. (We are two weeks behind on potato season here.)

The two towers are for potatoes.  I accidentally came across an old archived blog post on building them, and am going to give them a try.  They are supposed to cut down on weekly soil mounding and increase the planting to harvest ratio.  We shall see.

Cedar Creek Pottery  A hidden GEM!

So there you have it.  I will share all the other build projects, trips, mis-adventures, and baking
Built two lids for the wine barrels and hooked up the rain/downspout
diverters.  They work great.  It doesn't take much rain to fill a 50 gallon
barrel.  Also hooked up a runoff from the barn to the stock tank, and ran
an overflow pipe down into the pasture.
adventures teased in above photos in future posts, but I wanted to get the garden post out there for anyone else out there figuring out what they're going to do this year.  The great thing about this method is that you can start small and try it out and build on to your plan as the years/ needs/ budget allows.

Chicken Update-

The two speckled Icelandic cockerels have gone to live about an hour away.  I simply did not have room for 4 boys.
Extra eggs?  Deviled eggs!

Delmar, Astrid, and Freya have all joined the ranks of regular layers. Their eggs are barely champagne pink, almost white and still small.

Our remaining Icelandic boy, Ari, is turning out to be a kicker.  It remains to be seen if he is staying.  I will not tolerate being stalked and flogged by a rooster.

Egg laying was going gang busters until Easter, when the Broody Prison Opened, and has had a revolving door ever since- Daisy, Violet, Princess, Ellie, Flora, Donder have all been inmates, so far.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

SOTS (State of The Station) Update

I suppose if we can have a State of the Union Address, the least I can do is sit down and update any one reading this about what all is going on around the Station.  Even though we are in the very heart of a Plains winter, things have not slowed down here.  Projects have been piling up, some are kind weather dependent, others can be planned, plotted, purchased, and even completed indoors, during the most wicked of weather.

Freyer vs the Snow - He plays the snow is lava.

As you remember, shortly before Christmas,  contractors were able to take full advantage of one not too horrible day, and managed to assemble the shed in the pasture. And then came the snow and the cold, the bitter cold, for weeks.  The camel colored blob stared back at me every time I looked out over the pasture, it's giant mouth agape.  We just had to have a nice day, or two, and get that beast painted.  Surely we would thaw a little bit in January?

As I poured daily over weather models, watching wave after wave of arctic air descend from the North or moisture laden air sweep from the Pacific Northwest.  I re-evaluated my list of projects to those that could be tackled inside.  The walls of the livestock barn needed built up and kick boards installed.  I could do that inside, unheated, but still inside.  I called up my local mom and pop lumberyard. While I waited for delivery, I decided to walk the orchard and do the winter clean up and pruning. Two hours later, I had a pile of plywood in the workshop driveway.  How's that for service?

Sadly, the driveway isn't where I was working.  All 22 sheets of plywood had to be dragged to the livestock barn before the next snow.  Sigh.  Did you know that a sheet of 3/4 inch ply weighs 70 pounds?  My flock of supervisors were of no help what-so-ever, but offered a number of suggestions.

A long, very long, extension cord from the workshop and a pair of saw horses, and a circular saw made quick work of the wall panels, and a portable power supply gave me the ability to run the drill with a screw bit to get the walls up.  Our cordless screwdriver just wasn't up to the task.  It took three full days, but the walls in the stall area are up.

The next day, which was a little warmer, coming in at 32 degrees, was filled to building the frames for the corral fence that are under the barn porches.  My fence guy wasn't comfortable doing it.  He just couldn't see what I was describing, so I said I would tackle it myself.  The second day of this project was still 32 degrees, but the wind was starting to howl.  The final boards went up and the confused birds in the corral couldn't figure out how to get back out and had to be shown the door.

The birds were lucky to get out for a few days and wander around, because the next day brought a blizzard.  What a mess.  It started just before sunrise but didn't really get going until morning.  Almost everything was closed. Every enforcement official was begging people to stay off the road, so naturally Doc's job was open for business.  He made it to the University, where classes were in full swing, but there was no way he was going to make it back home, uphill, down country roads, where snow plows weren't even risking going out.  Doc got to spend his night the dorm with The Boy (with full University permission.), which meant I got to plow snow all the next day and try to explain to the chickens why they couldn't come out to play.

The snow quickly melted away, and they contractors came (finally) to install the gutters on the livestock barn. While they worked outside, I worked inside on the lights.  Yes, lights. No, the livestock barn doesn't have power.  I found LED shop lights that put out an insane amount of light, can be hooked together in series, and run off the portable power supply! BOOM, let there be light.

The temperature was teasing me with warmer weather.  I wanted to paint the shed so badly, but the temperature just wasn't reaching the 50 degrees, without howling winds, that I prefer to paint in. But models suggested it was coming.  (But I've seen THAT before.)  I decided that the shed would have to wait, but the barn square that was going on it didn't need to, but for that, I needed a nice piece of 2x2foot plywood.  A trip to the Big Orange Box was necessary.  As long as I was there I decided to grab the paint for the shed.  It was there I noticed that the new paint only needed 35 degrees for 4 hours straight to cure!  Well that opened up a whole new world of possibilities!  But first the barn square.

A simple bold pattern using the colors already around the farm that can be easily seen from the road.  I tweaked a pattern that I saw on a small decorative cutting board in the Mennonite thrift shop and added a few touches of my own.

Temperatures continued to tease.  We were hitting 40 far too late in the day, so the next project was up to bat.  The kick boards in the barn.  Doc had to help me with this one.  Five 70 pound sheets of wood needed to get down to the pasture.  He helped me get them into position until I could get two support screws into them to hold them up.  When this was finished, I was left with finished walls 4 feet high and walls and studs above that.  I COULD just paint it all and call it a day, but the thought of painting all those exposed 2x4s was sickening.  For 5 sheets of half inch plywood and some elbow grease, I could have easy to paint walls.  And as long as I was ordering plywood for the rest of the shed, why not order the plywood for the rest of the inside of the livestock barn.  A quick cell phone call to Mom and Pop Lumber, and two hours later, another large stack of plywood.  But this time I was home and he drove right up to the barn to dump it.  I only had to pull it 10 feet to a dry interior.

This time my helpmate was at work, but I wasn't going to let a 35 degree morning, albeit windy, go to waste.  There was no way I was going to be able to control full sheets of plywood in 25mph winds, AND be able to lift them, hold them, and secure them 4 feet off the ground alone.  I decided to cut them as close to in half as the stud spacing would allow and take them down the hill in smaller pieces.  It took a ridiculous number of trips up and down the hill, and a silly amount of swearing, but the final pieces of wall were up by lunch.

Well by lunch it was 45 degrees and would stay at least that until hours after sundown.  Again I tromped up the hill and returned with my ladder, rollers, and can of bright Lapis Lazuli paint (think dark, bright chickory flower blue).  Each of the three coats was interrupted by me having to break up fights between Andy and Wookie, but eventually the interior was complete.

The next day started out warmer and was a designated shed painting day!  The textured, grooved wood proved to be a royal pain to paint and about an hour into the project of the day, my body was screaming from days of long hard work.  This day was the last in a while that I could paint, so I pushed through and kept painting.  The day allowed for three solid coats of storm paint in Dark Truffle brown.  The only downside was that I was unable to reach the top 12 inches of trim work on the downhill side. Being trim, I couldn't paint that area with the small roller.  Disheartened, I decided to mount the new quilt square and call it a day.  (I did call the neighbors on that side of the shed and apologize for the unfinished top, and assured them it would be painted as soon as we hit 40 degrees and either Doc was home to hold the taller ladder for me or my arms grew 6 inches, whichever came first.)

Three days later, Doc was indeed home, took the long ladder down the hill for me and held it until I could paint the tiny area that was still tan.  As long as he was being handy, I had him drag the ladder into the corral and hold it for me as I installed the screech owl house.  Yup that's right, a screech owl house.  Why not?

This amazing little house quickly became my project nemesis.  Hang a bird house, easy right?  Sure, 10 feet up.  No problem.  I have a ladder.  The post it goes on is on a slope, so just lean the flattened ladder on the hill against the post and hold onto it with one hand, lift the bird house up with another, hold the top hinge door open to access the screw holes with another, hold the bolts with another, and then simply grab the drill to secure it to the post.  What you don't have 5 hands?  Ya, me either.  Once your kid is out of pre-school, all those extra, invisible mommy hands magically disappear, unless you have more toddlers in the house.

I finally came up with a plan about 3am one day.  I would hang a large head roofing nail to the post.  Attach a sawtooth picture hanging bracket on the back of the owl house, and use long pieces of painter's tape to hold the top hinged door open to access the mounting holes.  With Doc holding the ladder, I hung the house on the nail, pre-drilled the holes for the bolts and mounted the house and tossed in handfuls of bedding.  PHEW.  We mounted a perch post and called it a day.

I still have plenty of projects lined up, but the light is on at the end of the tunnel.

The wood in the corral still needs painted, as do all the wood walls in the livestock barn.
I need to finished the wood walls in the non-stall area of the livestock barn.
Dirt and gravel needs added to the corral and shed area.
Sand and gravel needs added to the stall area.
The stall walls need (ordered) and assembled with a LOT of wood pieces.
Rubber floor mats need (ordered) and installed.
The electric fence needs installed, all 7 wires and the control box needs mounted.
The rain barrels need installed and their lids built and painted.
The chicken coop needs a fresh coat of paint as does the concrete on the house and the posts on the deck.
All the fun stuff for critters needs installed, stock tanks, tools, feeders, bins, etc.

As if my list wasn't long enough, I also decided that raised bed planters are the way to go.  Sure why not?

Chicken Update

OH, remember how I said Andy and Wookie were fighting?  Boy, oh Boy were they ever.  Wookie is about half again as large as Andy, big boy. He was in the spa for almost 3 weeks while he rested his twisted ankle from a hen chase down the hill.  Doc and I were headed into town and I decided to toss Wookie back in the coop before we left.  BAD IDEA.  He had been gone so long that he and Andy were no longer tolerant buddies (father and son).  A battle for the Alpha rooster happened
while we were gone.  When we returned, the run was splattered with blood and the coop looked like a scene from a horror film, a dark mass cowering under the nesting box.  I thought it was Wookie, daddy having put him in his place.  To my surprise, it was Andy.  His giant comb a target for an angry, hyper, hormonal child.  A week in the spa for Andy, but he would not return to the coop.  Even when free-ranging they steered clear of each other. So he lived in the workshop with Cirrus, who was molting.  This past week they noticed each other again.  One fight I broke up was so full on that Andy broke off a spur.  Wookie had to go.  He now lives on another acreage with two hens of his own.  I will miss Wookie, he was gorgeous, and sweet, snugly, and a good protector, but peace in the coop is important.  Andy is again king of the coop.

The Icelandics are crazy.  They all have their coop names now.  We have Freya, and Freyer, Delmar and Inar, and finally Ari and Astrid.  They all sleep outside in the run, even when the temperature drops to the -20's. Amazing.  They are fast, skittish, smart, and very inquisitive and vocal.
Top L to R Merriweather, Freya, Astrid, Freyer, Inar
Bottom Ari, Delmar

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Triple E- Born Out Of Necessity, Improved Upon With Love, Dedication, and Experience

On Tuesday I was visiting with Pat at Liberty House, just passing the chit chat of the week and discussing her newest project, internet sales of some of her antiques (which will be totally awesome), when, for whatever reason, her mind just jumped and mentioned that I just HAD to see a website called TripleEEquine.com.  In the context that she was mentioning it, I though that one of the young ladies at the ranch was her new internet sales webpage designer.  In reality, it had nothing to do with her new adventure at all, but I didn't discover that until I got home and checked out the site.
Online, the TripleE is a gorgeous site, and it was LOCAL! Well I'm all about checking out local spaces and sharing them with you.  Even better, I needed stall ideas, and after a quick email to the owners I was generously invited out to see the space in person.  Yesterday morning, bundled up like I was headed on a trip to the Antarctic in July, I drove across the country to visit the Triple E Equine Ranch and Horse Hotel and Deluxe Bunkhouse.
Yes, that's a HIghland on the left.
It was a chilling 10'F as I pulled up to the meticulously kept farmstead.  Only a couple of large dents in the grain bins betray the history that lead to the creation of this beautiful space.  On Mother's Day, May 11th, 2014 an EF-3 tornado torn through Beaver Crossing, Nebraska and surrounding farmsteads.  What would normally be the end of the story for many families, or at least a return to the status quo, was actually the nucleus for the for the Eberspacher household.  Climbing out of their tornado shelter, they were with damage and destruction and the daunting task of rebuilding.

The family, who had been active in horse shows and riding had a training and riding arena, along with all the support building and stalls that are found on an active farmstead.  Digging in and deciding to rebuild, the family designed not only an area for themselves, but one that could be utilized and enjoyed by others.  During the design process, their oldest daughter, Emily, was enrolled in the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and was charged with an assignment that would fill an under utilized niche in the agricultural community.  What she came up with not only impressed her professor, but set the family in a new direction with their rebuilding.  The three young ladies, Emily, Hanah, and Sarah put their heads together and brought the paper plan to life, became equal co-owners of their own LLC.  Living only a mile and a half south of the interstate, the ladies, supported by their parents, decided on building a Bunkhouse stop for for those traveling with their equine best friends.  Their motto is "A place to rest your boots and hooves" is well reflected in every aspect of the project.  

I'm sure the project required several family meetings around the dinner table.  After all, years of traveling with their own animals had given them great insight to what worked and what didn't work when it came to lodging and traveling with Equine companions. After all, you can't just pull up to an Embassy Suite and walk in with Buttercup for the night.  So as long as they were rebuilding anyway, they decided to do it right.  As long as the contractors are there, what's tacking on a small set of living quarters at the same time?  Actually, anyone that has gone through a construction project knows it's exactly the right time.

The frigid 10' morning was quickly tempered by the warm outstretched handshake and sunny smile of my hostess for the morning, mom, Angie.  She is gracious, welcoming, and oh so generous to spend time on a Saturday morning to show me around the farmyard and all of her new buildings.  I was there to see how she arranged and built her stalls, flooring, and managed her barn.  I figured someone that has been doing this their whole adult life and has made this into a business would certainly know what they are doing.  Boy was I right!

The immense riding arena is attached to a large center isle concrete floor stable with 8 12x12 foot stalls that have multi-layer floors with bounce but are also non-slip.

There is a large hot water wash stall, a tack room, and areas for feed and bedding, and a vibrating therapy pad area with large bay doors for easy access. 
The stable, in turn, is attached to what the family calls the Bunkhouse.  Don't let the term Bunkhouse fool you. 

Bunkhouse implies a shelter with the very basics.  When I hear bunkhouse, I envision dusty floors, an old cast iron stove, chipped mismatched dishes, an encrusted cast iron skillet, and a duct taped old rocker with crocheted granny square afghan tossed on a tired old sofa.

This place is SO, SO far from that!  It's a fully furnished,top of the line, luxury 2 bedroom guest house.  The family supported the local Habitat For Humanity in its rebuilding, all while providing top of the line furnishings for those that come across this gem on their travels.  The fully furnished kitchen has cherry cabinets, granite counter tops,  a slate back splash, access to the large laundry room, and a large viewing window to the riding area.
Both bedrooms are fully carpeted, and the rest of the space is a beautiful wood laminate. The furnishings are modern and comfortable.  The family room is filled with comfortable leather furniture and a large, flat-screen TV. 
The bathroom sports a split design, so that guests can have full privacy in the bathroom and large walk-in shower, while others are using the large vanity area.
Off the kitchen/family room is a mud room area with a spacious coat rack and storage bench.  Just the place to kick off your riding boots and put on those comfy lounge socks.  If you get a chance to travel through, be sure to put your pin in the visitor's map and sign the guest book!

Not only did I get to meet three of the five Eberspacher clan (dad is a full time farmer and Emily is off being a grown-up- having graduated and is now working away from home as a Veterinary Assistant), but I was given a tour of the other areas of the farm as well.  I met Earl, the family's house pig, who is JUST A RIOT, two of the farm's cats, but also the small herd of miniature longhorn cattle, the horses, the llamas, the blank Angus, and a herd of miniature horses, plus a white mules and some seriously adorable mini donkeys.

Speaking of which, meet The Bugs - Lady and June.  My new reasons to work faster on getting the barn walls and stalls up faster!

photo by TripleEEquine

A Giant Thank you to Angie, Hanah, and Sarah for the great morning!