Thursday, July 23, 2009

Barn Blitz and Mad Cats 21-23 July 2009

Mad Cats

I was in the garden between the showers yesterday when a blur of ginger and black whizzed past me. You can tell Sandy has recovered from his poorly paw. Here's Sandy showing of his newly healed foot, in a rather balletic pose I thought:

'Hey, look at my foot. It even has some new fur growing'.
This was a pause in the mad fighting that went on (or should I say a paws)....

I made up this little montage of the action for you. You'll notice Sandy is almost always the dominant one. He had a mouthful of black fur at one point and was trying to spit it out. Poor BlackJack. Mind you, he's often the one who starts it all.

We have some long ornamental grass in one of the front beds at The Deenery and BlackJack discovered it yesterday. He was fighting it and hiding in it. It was hilarious. I made another montage of his antics:
The grass is clearly winning in the centre bottom shot! He looks so cross. Do click on the photo to enlarge it - you'll get a much better view.
'Phew, enough is enough. Don't you know I've been poorly', says Sandy!

Top Barn Clean Up

The big news from 2 days ago, which I had forgotten in the water chaos, was that Jim and I spent the day clearing up the top barn. We need to move all the junk from the old barn, which has to be demolished, up into the newer one, so it had to be done.

I made a tentative start in May. Here are the 'before' photos I took then:

About the only thing that's happened since then is we have done one run to the re-cycling plant.

So, after our efforts, which included shovelling 20 year old cow poo which was stuck firmly to the floor, this is what it looks like now:

The 'stuff' in the cow byres on the left is all re-cycling so we'll do a tip run next week.

This is the top section and the dividing wall still has to be scraped. How on earth do cows crap up there? I have scraped each individual cow stall, walls and floor!
This is the last cow stall I cleaned. You can see the metal piece on the wall where the cow was presumably tethered for milking. I'm sure Weaver will set me right on the names of things and what used to happen here - and maybe even the trajectory of cow poo!!

So there you have it, all as clean as we could get it without actually washing it. After the tip run we'll move the stuff up from the old barn, some time next week.


The water saga goes on. Yesterday evening when Jim arrived home about 8.30pm, the water stopped again. Jim primed the pump and it was fine. I went to bed at midnight and Jim told me this morning that the water stopped again shortly after that and all we'd done was flush the loo! Something is wrong somewhere. So the Pump Man is coming again at tea time today.

While he was here last time the heavens opened and we had a monsoon (well, almost). We hid in the barn while Sean had a cigarette! It was so noisy, as it has a corrugated iron roof!

Here is our water supply (or not, as the case may be).
The water comes up the big black pipes from the 'well'. Looks a bit primitive doesn't it?

What water does come out is still a delicate shade of brown. Lovely. It doesn't notice in tea of course.

The Garden

The gladioli are just coming out, there are lots in the top bed by the gate and also some on the allotment:Nearly there. This is the top bed, which has the gladioli and dahlias, it's packed full to busting.
You can see the orange cactus dahlia I took a photo of 2 days ago. Here is a close up of the purple and white one:I used to have a large, sprawling Marguerite daisy plant in the long top bed in front of the barn. I dug it all up and transplanted it to various places around the garden and allotment. A small plant has just flowered in one of the raised beds:
Such a plain but pretty flower. I hope Teri sees it, she loves daisies.
Finally a petunia which is in one of the hanging basket. They have been so pretty this year.

ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and Inchies

Soulbrush sent me the letter 'K' ATC, K is for Kick boxer. What a great idea. I've had trouble thinking of a K. This is for the group I belong to ABC of ATCs.
Soul also enclosed four 'inchies' so now I must send her some of mine to catch up:

These are literally 1" square! I have had great fun doing mine. I love the pink lady the best of these. Thank you Soulbrush.

Today - The Pump Man Cometh Again

Jim's had to go to the Kildare Horticultural Trade Show again today as he didn't get all his interviewing done yesterday. Sean the pump man came again this afternoon so I have dealt with him. He thinks the real solution would be to have a submersible pump. These are obviously under the water and even when the water is low, whatever is there it will pump up. It's also quiet (ours makes a tremendous racket) and the little house thing that's in the middle of the drive could go and the controls could be fitted inside the top barn. This would kill 2 birds with 1 stone, as he would put lighting in the barn and a couple of sockets too, all in the same job. Also he'd fit an outside tap. Sounds good to me. Money, money, money!

I just have to persuade Jim now.

I think that's enough for today. Must get outside as it's stopped raining.


Arija said...

You do lead such an eventful life!
When you try to revamp an old place it not only takes muscle but also heaps and heaps of money. We're in the process of connectings our new rainwater tanks as well as building a new shed for the Prof since our g-son has taken over his beautifully equipped one down the hill. I'm going to have a third of it as a potting shed cum studio. The earthworkd started a couple of months ago and who knows, by next summer I may have my own little corner. Meanwhile I just pay the bills and the poor old Prof is getting more and more exhausted.

Bea said...

Your cats are sooooooooooo much like mine, in their personalities and colors. Cleo is my black cat and she never ever starts anything, it's also Louie, the orange tabby.
So, you are cleaning the cow poop from the new barn, right? Amazing the jobs you have. lolol
Love the glads. I see them at the farmers' market but I've never grown them in the garden. They are so pretty.
The water pump.......consider it an investment in your sanity. lol
You boil that brown water good, you hear........"can't see it in the tea" OMG~!!!!!!!!
lolololsnort :)Bea

BT said...

Hello Arija. Gosh, your woes sound worse than ours! Potting shed come studio sounds interesting! Don't get the bits mixed up! Our builders started last November, I guess they always say it takes much longer than you think and is often a nightmare. Poor Prof.

It's funny our cats are alike, Bea! I get all the fun jobs Bea. Jim wouldn't have bothered! But I wanted rid of the 20 year old poo!! The glads are gorgeous and make lovely cut flowers too.

I agree with you about the water pump. It would also get rid of the little 'house' it lives in which is right in the way of the parking area. We could sweep round in our car without it! I promise I'm boiling, I'm boiling!! lolol.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Sandy and BlackJack frisky as usual! I hope Buster is better too. You work too hard, but I know it will all be so nice when you finish. Lovely glads and dahlias today - such pretty colors. Sounds like a good solution to your water problems if the cost is not too bad! Good luck!

blushing rose said...

Flowers are gorgeous, cats are frisky & fun, the barn ... now that's work. TTFN ~Marydon

Heather said...

Love the cat photos - you can tell the fighting wasn't serious. You deserve a medal after cleaning that barn so well. Great ATCs and inchies. Hope the water saga will soon be over - the sub.pump sounds like a good idea. Hope it's not too expensive. Beautiful flower pics.

BT said...

Hello Mildred, Buster's side doesn't seem too bad. We're trying to ignore it so he doesn't lick it. I'm glad you like the flowers, the glads are wonderful when they all come out in their different colours. I've told Jim about the pump. We await a decision!! lol.

Hello Marydon, the cats really are frisky! The flowers bloom in spite of the rain! The barn is work indeed! But mostly done. Jim's going to put a door in next that we can lock.

HelenMHunt said...

Your cats are lovely. Bless them x

BT said...

Hello Heather, you must have sneaked in while I was writing my comment! I do wonder about the cats' fighting at times! Glad you liked the flowers. The water just went off again!! We daren't even flush the loo. Oh, the pump is quite expensive but I hope, would be worth it.

Thanks Helen.

Heckety said...

Golly but your barn looked something else- very hard work! The cat photos look really action packed- will they be giving private performances at the Dublin Fringe Festival?!

Andrea said...

Hello, BT! I enjoyed your post, and I continue to learn more of your Irish country life. It is amazing to me.

Your gardens are absolutely lovely! Your life is very, very busy! Full!

Thank you for the thoughts regarding my dear husband. And you are the first I can share the news with. We just heard from the dr., and there is NO cancer! Even the suspicious cells are gone!

We are very thankful, and giving God praise for this news!

I believe when all tests are done, Jeff is going to be fine and healthy except for some minor problems.

I do apologize for not responding to you sooner; however, we are out-of-town, spending time with my sweet son and his precious family in Missouri.

Do take care. So nice to have you as a friend!


BT said...

You are funny, Heckety! No doubt they'd go all shy and run off! Cats are like that. I'd really like to paint the barn white inside. Maybe that's a bit bonkers!

Andrea, great news. Phew! I have emailed you. I'm happy you are able to spend some stress free time with your son and family. I think as we age we all have some health issues. I'm smiling here!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a chocked full post this is BT. You have been so busy. It is fun seeing the cats at play. I hope you get your water issue taken care of before winter and all is settled in your house too. You will want to be all cozy and not having to worry about the pump going out.

Leatherdykeuk said...

If it makes life easier, it's worth the money!

KathyB. said...

The cats are beautiful and I fancy Sandy! I am sorry about your water woes...we have gone through a few of those ourselves and will be replacing our well house and pump this summer....hope yours all gets taken care of successfully very soon. Bet you do too!

BT said...

Thank you so much Lisa. It is a real pain! One of life's basics I feel.

My thoughts entirely Rachel.

It sounds as though you have a similar system KathyB! I hope you change over is successful too.

Sandy is very handsome, isn't he!!

Valerie said...

Busy, busy, busy... but it sounds as if you have a great life over there in beautiful Ireland. Enjoyed looking at your pictures and I'm glad Sandy's paw is better.

Stampmaiden said...

OH MY BT! You are one busy woman! Your Sandy looks just like my little guy over here. Long lost twins?! Love getting a glimpse of your daily life.

marianne said...

Love the kickboxer
Your animals live in paradise BT!!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I do love "before" and "after" shots BT - you can keep flicking from one to the other to tell yourself you've done a good job there.
You have some lovely flowers, including a look alike dahlia to the one I posted.
Do you fancy joining us next Wednesday for Inspiration Wednesday (seemy blog today for details) - do hope so, i would love to know who most inspires you (judging by that fantastic cheesy potatoes the other night (which, incidentally, inspired me to make it the next day) it may well be Jim!
Looking forward to getting your parcel - can't wait. As soon as I get stuck in the swaps will be winging their way to you.

BT said...

Hi Valerie, thanks for your kind thoughts. It is trying here at times but fun too.

Thanks for popping by Linda. Glad you enjoyed the post. Can Sandy and yours be related in the distant past? You never know!!

My kickboxer's great, isn't he Marianne. I think the animals are well and truly spoilt!

Weaver, I posted that dahlia just for you! It has several more flowers coming. The gladioli are amazing. So glad you made the cheesy potatoes. I love them. I'm popping over to yours now.

Teri C said...

I see it! I see it!!! It is so gorgeous!!! Thank you for thinking of me. And i had so much fun enjoying your Blog and all the activites. gosh, you live in such a beautiful area. My first husband was all Irish so I always think I have a little and someday I want to come to Ireland and see where his ancestors come from. Such a beautiful place Gina.

From the daisy girl.