In which we finally have LIGHT: proof that Jim is a superhero

A light eminating from the stable?  It might be a miracle...
but December 25th is still far away.  So, maybe it's the work of:

I'm beginning to suspect that his secret superhero identity is

This weekend, he wired plugs for water tank heaters--hooray!
Now when the weather gets cold, I can plug in the tank, instead of spending 20 minutes each morning bashing holes in thick ice with a rock bar! 

Then, he re-fixed my ghetto repair of the Shakespearean roof monsters.

re-cut and fold back the part where the bird nested, and then...

...apply a tidy patch.  Lovely!
Next, he installed the wiring a plug for a temporary light (we can't yet afford the low-temperature fluorescent fixtures that we need;  apparently, our nighttime temps are often too low in winter for regular shop lights to actually function.  Yeah, who knew?) 

We've got a halogen light that we can move around the barn as needed--yes, it runs "hot" so it needs to be unplugged when not in use, but that's not a problem, b/c it doesn't have a switch.

To turn if off, you unplug it.  Instant safety.

Now that we can see inside the barn (even at night!) I took a few pictures to share.

The tack room, visible in the photo of Jim (above) and here:
The countertop at photo-right is mostly used for mixing up electrolytes or meds.  Sometimes I also hoist a dog up on it to be groomed.  The rubbermaid boxes hold all kinds of gear:  stuff for ridecamp, stuff for trail building, and assorted extra tack I haven't gotten around to selling.  Somehow, I always have an extra box or two of assorted tack, and I'm not sure why.

The tack room also houses a few saddle racks and a bunch of steel trash cans containing various kinds of feed.  I have learned the hard way that rats can eat right through rubbermaid trash cans.  Sigh.  I really do need a barn cat...

Hay storage.  It's a 12x12 open-bay stall.  We put tarps on everything. 
(Chicken Twelve often tries to nest in the hay storage, despite my attempts to encourage her to use a nice nesting box somewhere.  She is her own hen.)

The aisleway.  I usually drive my truck right through the barn,
and unload feed or gear directly into the hay storage or tack room...which can be REALLY handy in a wet climate.    Duana wanted to have her photo taken in the aisleway with the manure cart.  See?  Lots of room for stuff like that!

Of course, the stalls are the really important part of this barn.

Fiddle's stall, with a view of the pasture:
from stall door looking to paddock
This is the other side of the stall, looking from paddock door to interior of the barn.  The clear vinyl strips we used in the roof above the stalls do drip a little bit of water, but it's worth it for the extra light.
Fiddle's stall, looking to the interior of the barn
 I think we will be REALLY glad for the extra light in winter!

so much light in this barn--natural and otherwise!
 Now that the monsoonic weather has arrived
 we love our barn even more.
Life. Is. (dark, cold, wet) GOOD!


  1. Your barn is so awesome! It looks just perfect to me :) You will love your deicers so much!

    I have half (regular) fluorescents and half incandescents in my barn. It's a pain to change the incandescent bulbs, but it sure is nice having guaranteed light in subzero temps. :)

  2. i've never heard of low temp lights - we have water tight fluorescents - i certainly hope they can handle below zero temps.

    you didn't mention the wonderful rain gutters! they look great - so practical.

    i love the rubbermaid tubs. rubbermaid has not made it to germany - if i want storage boxes, the hardware store only has small, hard plastic types that look like they might last a couple months in a house, a few weeks in a barn.

    i'm thoroughly disgusted with the lack of large-enough, heavy duty containers. i have to conclude that not only is eveything smaller here, people don't have as much stuff. i have four rubbermaids like yours that i smuggled into the country on the plane in the horse box.

    i long for the day when rubbermaid manure carts (two wheels) make it here. but will they?

    i must admit i'm scared of deicers. electricity in water? scary..

    i like your bright, welcoming barn with skylights. i love that you can drive your truck right in. woo!

  3. Your barn rocks! You are totally ready for whatever winter decides to throw at you this year.

    I'm a little envious of your light and electricity, too. Last year some kind of ground dwelling creature decided it would be fun to chew through the underground electric cables leading up to our barn. We've just not had the money to get the electric fixed and I'm so worried about winter, too.
    Last winter we had 25 degree below zero temps for a week and all of my plastic water buckets froze solid and then cracked. I also made the fatal mistake of using the electric buckets and they cracked, too.....huge amount of money lost there. bah!

    We have a shop light in our barn and I can attest to the fact that they won't work once you get below 20 degrees. We had to use lanterns instead.

    I really hope we can get something rigged up before winter comes soon. I just heard the weather report and we're expecting snow here as soon as this weekend!!! gah!

    Enjoy that wonderful barn. I know you will! :)


  4. ps....the sight of #12's little nest spot with eggs tucked inside made me smile :)


  5. Looks GREAT! Seems everybody (including #12) is all settled in.
    Did Jim, in his wonderfulness, pre-wire boxes for the future lights? Then you can add one at a time as you can afford them. Check Farm Tec for lots of options--my main lights are your basic 2-bulb yard fixtures (I use fluorescent floods), but in my future wash stall/current shop/junk storage area I put in three of Farm Tec's wall-mounted, caged, water tight fixtures (;ft1_lighting_fixtures_bulbs-ft1_wet_location_fixtures;pg106806_106806.html) with the biggest CFLs Bi-Mart sells--they're great!

  6. Huzzah!

    I do not miss breaking ice...

  7. WOW - your barn is BEAUTIFUL. Congratulations! You shoudl throw a barn warming party.

    Brains and practical usefulness are a sexy trait. You roped a good 'un.

    Have you ever blogged about what you do with the manure? I'd love a practical post on that. :)

  8. I love your barn! I want one like that here in Georgia!

    As for the shop lights... Who knew? They were in my barn in Oregon, where it's also monsoonic. And they were in my garage, where one caught on fire when we moved in and we quit using them. We just never got around to replacing them and they were OLD. But I didn't realize they weren't right for the climate! Huh, learn something new every day!

    Here in GA, I have no power at my barn and oh, an entire driveway filled with concrete down to it, so no way of putting in power any time soon. It's dark and small and sometimes skeery late at night. It's also a LONG way from the house to the barn, so carrying water in snow and ice really bites! Maybe the next house... *sigh*

  9. If we ever needed proof Jim was a superhero, I think we have it! But um, you are too. And the kids. I mean, you guys BUILT the wonderful drive-thru barn!

    Skylights rock.

    Drive thru barns are the most excellent barns to have: perfect for bad weather, sure, but will make you extremely popular with outside horse (how the horses think) staff: farriers, vets, saddle fitters, you name it. They will luuuuuuv coming to a barn they can back into when it's raining!


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