Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Monday, June 30, 2008

Home Coming

You may have picked up on a distinct decline in my postings about life on the ranch. Frankly that's because not a lot of interest happens any more. There was a time when we said - I don't mind the obstacles that get thrown in our path, but please can the day come when we start seeing obstacles that we've seen before and know how to handle? Well, I guess we can say that day really has come. Life on the ranch has settled into routine. It's still a lot of work but just work isn't entertaining. It's the unexpected element that has subsided. I think Murphy thought we were getting complacent.

Dave and I got home Friday evening from our UK trip. Wanting to stay up until a decent hour (according to the local time zone) to go to bed, Kelsey, Sara, Ginger and we went out for pizza. We had a pleasant evening, exchanging stories of our trip and what happened back on the ranch. The Chamber of Commerce summer party was being held in our barn on Saturday, in the form of a hoe-down. So we talked about what we still needed to do the next day to prepare for that. We headed home about 9 and Dave and I were looking forward to climbing into bed. We dropped Ginger off at the horses because they still needed to be brought in from pasture, while Kelsey and Sara went to put the kennel dogs to bed. We were still fiddling with installing our window-mounted AC unit (because the weather got HOT while we were gone!!) and Ginger came up and annouced that the barn was flooded.

Welcome Home!

Seems the hose with a nozzle on it was left on, and it split some time that afternoon after the campers and staff cleared out. Did it spray conveniently into the wash stall where there is a drain? Oh no, it sprayed directly into the aisle in front of and into the tack room.

Fighting the urge to leave it until morning, we went down to survey the damage. Wow, it was impressive. About 30 feet of the main aisle was flooded with 1" and more of water, and the tackroom had the same. A third of the dirt floor in our indoor 'arena' space was standing puddles -- including the corner where the stage and dance floor were to go the next day. UG.

A big reason the water wasn't draining was becase the stall mats in the wash room raise that floor nearly an inch, so we yanked one of those aside and got the water flowing. But it wasn't enough. So we started squeegeeing water around.

Fortunately, and I can't quite believe I'm about to say this, but fortunately we've had a history of trouble with water in the tack room because the exterior wall isn't water tight. Every time it rains while it's blowing from the north, the floor gets wet. Of course all the tack is hanging, but the shelving units are set up on 2x4s, the feed is all in plastic bins and a lot of odds and ends were piled into buckets. We did have half a dozen or so cardboard boxes of little-used equipment, but if anything was runined it's doubtful it was anything of value. The 'camp fire circle' of hay bales in the aisle, where campers gather for group meetings, all got soaked of course, so once most of the standing water was dissipated we turned those on their sides. There just wasn't anything we could do about the dirt floor right then, so we left it to soak in over night.

The next day all the standing water had gone -- but thankfully we had done what we did the night before because there was no way it would have evaporated on its own. The tack room was still a bit swampy, yuck. So we set about pulling everything out of the door-end of the room, sweeping and cleaning up. Swapped out the pallet in there for a dry one. Removed the soaked hay bales into the sun to dry out, and generally did a very thorough job of scrubbing the barn! I guess our lemonaid is that the barn hasn't been this clean since we moved in.

(you can still see some soaked concrete here.)

Parker dragged the arena floor with the tractor - both to try and flatten it out some, and to mix up the wet and dry areas. It was still pretty soggy in places, but at least the stage legs didn't sink into the quagmire.

By the time folks showed up to set up for the party, there were few traces of the flood left and they were all amazed to hear our tale. We set up the stage and dining tables.

Then Nancy arrived with a bunch of sheets of masonite that the school uses (she sits on the school board and the chamber as well) to protect their school floors. After researching the cost of renting dance floors and discovering they only had a budget to cover about a 9' x 9' floor - the planning group agreed to go with the masonite! Laid that out, taped it together, and it worked just fine. Best part is that she said she wasn't interested in having to pick it up, so we're going to keep it and have our own dance floor for future use.

The party was a lot of fun. Phyllis was coming up to pick up Kelsey and Sara, so they all stayed for dinner and dancing.

Actually the girls were still on the clock as they had to go let the dogs out after dinner. One of our other employees also stayed - because we had an astonishing 34 dogs boarded with us over the weekend! It turned out to be a popular diversion for our guests to go over and watch the group at play (thank goodness it really was a very well behaved group of dogs), but best of all is that we finally got to give our primary dog-vet a tour of the kennel. We'd invited him out several times, but you know how that goes. He was very complimentary of our set up, and it felt really good to let him see how we operate since until now all he really gets to see of us is when we have an injured dog.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was our first 24 hours at home. ;-)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok hon, just saying it because it begs to be said..."When it rains....;)"

So glad you are home safe and sound. Looking forwards to seeing all of your piccies and hearing about your trip in great, gossipy detail.


6/30/08, 9:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home