Since purchasing the property last year, I have longed for raised garden beds in front of our barn bursting with fresh vegetables, organically grown on our little piece of land. In order for us to have a prosperous garden this Spring, work on the farm starts early, as early as January.
As soon as a long weekend hit and my cowboy was available, we started on the raised garden beds. When we were battling water draining under the house and thought it was a bright idea to create a berm with railroad trusses, my cowboy used his railroad connections to snag a large collection of trusses from the local rail yard. We realized the trusses weren’t going to work for our drainage issues and decided we could repurpose them for raised garden beds, stacking them 2 high.
With the help of our neighbor’s tractor, Andrew picked up the trusses and I helped direct their landing spot. It took us a full morning to finish the job and I’m pretty happy with the final product.
These beds are plenty big enough for carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, snap beans, peas, you name it. The next phase is the soil mix which we are still working on at the moment. We have plenty of manure compost in the barn to nourish the plants but we will need top soil and garden soil added to these beds first before anything else. We had every intention of being finished with this project over a week ago but Mother Nature had a different plan. Cue the thunder and lightening please.
The sky opened up and poured down on us for what seemed like an eternity. PTSD from The Great Flood of 2016 began to set in and I wasn’t even home the first day of deluge. Even at work, my stomach was in knots after receiving flash flood updates from Andrew.
We do live in a Special Flood Zone and water does accumulate in low areas around the property but the rain hasn’t let up since we entered this new year. We started the first weekend of the year with torrential downpours and our property flooded every day of the New Year’s weekend. Now, halfway through the first month of this new year, we are experiencing terrible flooding again. It begins to wear on you, especially when you have animals dealing with it firsthand.
The horses have access to the barn 24/7 and usually spend their time under cover during heavy rain but on this particular morning, they decided to venture out anyway. They get tired of the barn and want to explore I assume.
We have some issues with runoff from neighboring properties and improper road drainage but hopefully changes will be made in the future which will improve our situation at the farm. For starters, the ditches need to be bigger to accommodate the massive amount of runoff from the higher properties across the street. The road floods and water comes our way, flooding our pasture because we are a low lying area. Obviously if there’s enough rain, our property would flood regardless but there are provisions that could be made to prevent this happening in some instances. In addition, we have considered digging a ditch through our property draining to the bayou but that would be a huge and expensive project, requiring land clearing and proper sloping of our pasture. Not sure we are ready to take on such a task at the moment. This is just what we deal with when we have a major flash flood.
The rains may have pushed back some of the outdoor projects but it didn’t stop me indoors. Fasten your seat belt, I’m going to take you on a little decorating detour for a minute.
We are 10 months in and I am just now finding my groove. When we first looked at the house, one of the things we loved the most was the extensive use of wood (before we knew we had termites) – wood floors, wood trim, solid wood doors, reclaimed pine cabinetry, wood countertops, cypress bead board ceilings and wanes, beautiful reclaimed pine built-ins and ceiling in the living room. After moving in, I struggled with bringing light to the living room, even with all the windows. My first impulse move was chalk painting the bead board back splash of the built-ins and the mantle with Annie Sloan Old White. That was some dark wood and it took 3 coats of chalk paint. My wrists and hands were killing me by the end of that afternoon.
That helped out a lot. I finally decided to not paint the shelves because I liked the dimension it brought to the entire wall, creating a border. My next endeavor was finding a rug. I’m usually really good with color and have no problem finding a rug that blends well and fits in each space perfectly. Well, not this time. I struggled with the dark furniture, didn’t have a good idea of what I wanted for the space and failed to take into account the shedding factor with certain rugs and 3 dogs. After everything was said and done, I went through 4 rugs in the living room and settled on the 5th one. I know, crazy.
The first rug was too brown for the floors and generally too dark for the room. I ended up selling that on Let Go. The second rug (source) went beautifully with the stunning World Market ottoman but shed horribly. It was tufted wool and drove me NUTS! It ended up looking beautiful upstairs in the guest bedroom so I wasn’t upset about moving it out. By the time I purchased the third rug (source), Andrew started asking questions. He thought I had lost my mind. I went with a natural jute weave and although I loved the natural color, it shed way too much too. I learned my lesson (after 2 failures) – no more natural fibers in the living room. They don’t agree with the circus animals I have as pets, my dogs. I moved the jute rug to the master bedroom which doesn’t receive as much traffic and I absolutely adore it in there. For some reason, for the fourth rug, I went in a total different direction than the natural color I loved so much and chose a bright bohemian print (source). I purchased extra pillows to try and tie it into the room but after a few months, I realized it wasn’t working for me at all.
All of sudden, I started visually seeing it in our kitchen with the distressed teal cabinets. I could see it in my mind and I knew it would gel. And boy, was I right on point.
This was the kitchen before the rug.
What a difference that made! One more time to blow your mind, here’s the after shot.
Sorry about the terrible lighting in these photos. I really need to update to a professional camera. Since that rug obviously was going to stay, I was on the search for a 5th rug. I found one on Overstock and after digging a little further, found it slightly cheaper on Amazon. I went with a neutral color palette to mesh with the wood and tan curtains and something to give the room a little something extra but not too loud. I chose an ivory shag rug with a tan trellis pattern. The shag gives the room the added texture it needed to compliment the rustic component of all the wood.
I had previously rearranged the furniture and added a Carlisle slipcover couch from Pottery Barn. You can see why I need a slipcover – the dogs think the couch is their dog bed. I even added a cover over the slipcover. I’m slightly protective of the PB couch.
But seriously, how much do you love this rug in this room?! I think I’ve finally found my match. It warms up the room so much. Fresh and furry pillows are my next mission and hopefully I get them right the first time.
After non-stop rain, the sun finally decided to show it’s face and bless us with a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Thank you Jesus!
I always remind myself that even on the dreariest of days, there’s always a chance the sun will come out and surprise you. Plus, enjoying a view like this is what we always dreamed about when we prayed for a farm. I can’t complain because the Lord certainly answered our prayers and then some.
We took a decorating detour today and next week, the blog will take a travel detour to last year’s trip to Santa Fe, NM.