I was honored to receive an invitation from the horse rancher and the barn goddess to spend a day on Haven Lee Farm with the Kid and the jeep junkie. I had been at Cabin Carbone, just over an hour's drive away. That is if you don't get stuck behind things such as this, and a Missouri Highway Patrol car for about 25 miles. It took a bit longer and as I was in a "No Service" area most of the time, phoning to update my ETA was not an option.
Anyway, I arrived on Haven Lee Farm and was enthusiastically welcomed by all. Viola, Tom, Stephanie, her daughter Jaycee, Ed, James, Taylor and Big Jim Dunn, Ed's father in law. I was flattered.
Haven Lee Farm is home to a bevy of livestock. I asked the horse rancher how many horses he had? 'I dunno, 16, 17, 18'. I remember those days back on the first Haven Lee Farm.
They predominately raise minature horses, as I have posted before here, but also have a few steers, a couple dogs, I asked the name of one of them, Deogie. Okay, is that french or something? No, D-O-G was the response. A good chuckle was had by all present at my expense. It was a cheap and welcome expense.
They have these personalized plates on the big ole truck.
While Tom was showing me around the first building, I noticed this street sign attached to the rafters. This sign has been around a long long time. It was at the corner of Murdoch and Shrewsbury, just down the street from Granny and Man's house in Shrewsbury, Missouri. When the state took over jurisdiction of one of these streets, they put up MoDOT signs and a friend of my Dad's, Bob Wehner, Mayor of Shrewsbury at the time, got them for my Dad. They mostly just laid around, but for a time, rested behind my high school buddy, Mark Wissbaum's garage. His Mother was pissed off at us for stealing street signs. No matter how much we protested our innocence, she was having none of it. I am glad I got those signs back before she threw them out.
Of course, the horse rancher had to break out the old stage coach for Taylor, Jaycee and the Kid to ride in.
Not behind a strapping team of horses, but behind that golf cart.
the Kid was riding high.
Tom related a story to me about these ski poles. My Mom picked these up so when she walked on the sandy beaches down my way, she would use these to balance herself. Now it seems last weekend, there was a huge garage sale held at Haven Lee Farm to benefit Jaycee's cheerleading squad and one of the attendees asked 'How much for those cattle prods?' Gotta love it.
And we began the final transformation of that 850* truckster wannabe back into the luxury sedan the jeep junkie thinks it is. the jeep junkie and the horse rancher did not believe the front seats had to be removed in order for this table to be removed from that truckster wannabe. So they tried and tried to get it out.
Meanwhile, the Kid and I started removing the seats, as we had loaded this table up and knew it was impossible.
Finally, Big Jim, Stephanie and the horse rancher realized the error of their ways and sat back to watch this transformation set into action.
I did enlist the jeep junkies' assistance in the removal of the driver's seat as, with that motor, it is heavy and awkward to manuver.
And that table, like those truckster doors, reached its final resting place.
And the rear seats are upright in this "luxury sedan" once again.
Now I mentioned Haven Lee Farm raises minature horses. When the blonde bombshell saw this picture, she mentioned it was a nice jump rail. No, it is a hitching post for those minature horses.
Now, when I was a kid living on the farm in Halltown, whenever city kids would come to visit, my Dad would have a series of projects to get done while all that manpower, easily controlled and directed, was around. One of his favorite projects was a rock festival. We would hook up the hay wagon to that ole Farmall Super C and head to the fields to pick up rocks. Dad liked to comment we had "Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Black Widows, the Rolling Stones" and any other number of variations on a lot hard work relating to picking those rocks up to keep them out of the way of Dad's sickle bar.
A couple weeks ago, when I realized there was an opportunity for this day to happen, I mentioned to the Kid we would probably all be at Haven Lee Farm together, the Kid mentioned the horse rancher will probably have a project for us, last year we built a stall in the stables. I related the rock festival story to the Kid and mentioned that we are now the city kids going out to the farm.
And this year was no different.
The barn goddess wanted a coupe. Cool, I thought, I can work something car related into my visit to Haven Lee Farm. I soon realized I was mistaken.
In addition to all those horse, cats, dogs, cows, the barn goddess, due to the price of chickens and eggs, wants to get some chickens and needed a coop built.
Apparently, prior to my arrival, the horse farmer and the jeep junkie set this post, twice. Each of them blamed the other but I think they set it in the wrong place the first time was because they lacked proper supervision, mainly me.
After converting that truckster wannabe, we headed out to the barnyard to build that coop. Now, it would have been a breeze to build, relatively quickly, and just as durable, if we had used those pine 1"x12" 's resting in another building, but Noooo, we have to use rough sawn oak 2"x4" 's. While I did not nail in one nail all day, as I have had previous experience with this material, I could see it was difficult.
the barn goddess was pulling those timbers from the back of that big old pickup truck and the Kid would carry them over to their final resting place at that coop.
In the meantime, I settled back and kept track of the process of this group. In the shade of that beach umbrella and with that cold carbonated beverage cup full.
Finally, I realized, if we were going to complete this project today, an old, unemployed construction worker needed to get involved.
And things progressed quite nicely.
Here I am holding up the end of that crossmember, although it is nailed tightly into place.
In the meantime, the girls had gone to separate these stallions who were vying for the attention of the mare in heat in the next field.
As I mentioned, oak is tough to nail into. I wish I had kept track of the bent nails this day.
But, the jeep junkie was bound and determined to pull out every one of them.
There is the barn goddess, grinning from ear to ear at the progress of her new coop.
Uh Oh. the jeep junkie has a chain saw in his hands.
the horse rancher nailing the rafters up.
Another shot of the happy barn goddess.
Tom nailing down the pearlings. No matter how much I tried to get him off that roof and let the jeep junkie do that nailing, he would not get down. He not only looks like my Dad, but has a few of his personality traits also.
Ready for the tin roof.
the Kid and the jeep junkie cleaning up.
the Kid found this 2x4, pine and what we used for pearling, after we had cut and patched a bunch of smaller ones together to make it work. Oh well, save that for a future project.
Now, all day long, I had been asking the dimensions of the tin for the roof. Never really got an answer. Well, the 2x6 rafters were 8" longer than the tin panels. Break out that chain saw.
I noticed this bullet hole in the big ole truck. the horse rancher told me he was shooting at coyotes and accidentally got his truck.
Across the stallion's field, I monitored the completion. Note the beach umbrella in the Ozark Mountains. $5 at wally world but worth a million bucks in memories.
This is purely a staged picture, Stephanie cleaned that water bucket, not me.
A job well done.
Unbeknownst to me, the Kid and the jeep junkie conspired for this to happen.
And that is not Ormond Beach sand, on those tires, that is pure Ozarks horse crap.
the horse rancher and i kicked back and relaxing while the boys go shoot off the rifles.
When I first saw this level, I pulled a "MeMe". This is mine, I want it, You aren't supposed to have it. I left it at Mom and Dad's years ago and IT IS MINE and you cannot have it. I meant it as a joke, and it was recieved as such. I had actually bought a level like this one years ago and it got away from me. Later, I remembered I had enscribed my name in the aluminum edge, looked at this one and found it. JOHN LEE.
When we were putting the tools up at the end of the day, I grabbed that level from the back of that truck and handed to Viola and told her to put it in the barn. She said thank you and did it. I like the idea of having a little something, albeit very little, something at Haven Lee Farm.
Tom and Vi, thanks so much for a wonderful and memorable day. It is one I will never forget and hope the opportunity arises again for another occurence.