This is SoCo.

Short for Southern Comfort because my identical cousin in Tennessee shipped him out to me 11 years ago and since then, he’s been a little part of my Southern home I get to keep with me wherever I go. He is the sweetest, most snuggly pony and has a heart that needs closeness.

When Tris (my horse of 18 years) passed away, I pulled back fast from any kind of connection—human, horse, or otherwise. And now, four years later, the love is still right where I left it, but I’ve got some big work to do on rebuilding our trust and partnership.

We’ve gone on a few, short rides but mostly, I’m focused in the round pen, on the lunge-line, and on taking naps together—communication and being a warm, happy, reliable presence in his life.

Picking up the pieces after painful losses can be almost as heartbreaking as the losses themselves. I’m still working through my guilt at how I all but deserted this precious pony when he’d just lost Tristan, too. And he’s clearly working through a fear of putting faith in me and being left in the cold again. It hurts but I can’t go back and change it. I can only start where we are now and go forward showing him I’ve grown, I’ve learned, and I’m back for good this time.

These naps and snuggles are some of my favorite moments and fill me with hope for where we’re heading. No matter what kind of relationship it is, love isn’t enough to sustain it, but love can sometimes hold you together while you work out the rest.

Mac n’ Cheese Manor: The Barn


Last weekend, we had some time to chat with one of our neighbors (two of our neighbors grew up in the house).  She told us about how many happy hours her father and brother spent in the barn working on projects.  Apparently, they were wood workers who loved fixing things up and general handiwork.  Prior to their living here, this barn and the small outbuilding attached were used for a dairy farm.  The milk was kept in the outbuilding where the milkman would come and pick it up to make his deliveries.  There was a different barn here in the 1800’s, but it was blown down by The Great New England Hurricane in 1938, after which, this  one was built.

The barn is huge.  And while the bottom level is a tidy shop with little to clean or organize, the top is a fantastic disaster.  I say fantastic because it is a veritable treasure trove of old, random china, wooden crates, vintage furniture, mirrors, a trunk, suitcases, piles of unused lumber, a stack of handmade shutters, screen doors, and so much more.  I say disaster because it is almost completely covered in guano and mouse poop, filled with mouse nests, and under a thick layer of dust.  Needless to say, before we can put any hay up there, we have quite a bit of cleaning to do!

Here are a couple photos of the upper level to give you an idea what we’re dealing with:



We are ordering respirator masks this week and hopefully getting started with some clean up shortly after they arrive.  Obviously, one of our biggest challenges is that we can only work on it one person at a time since our wee one is not allowed anywhere near this particular project until it is 100% complete!  That said, I am excited to get to it and hope to do at least as much salvaging as trashing.  I’m starting a sub-section to the Mac n’ Cheese Manor blog series which I call, “We Found it in the Barn.” where I will feature our favorite discoveries.

That’s all for now!  We are still in progress on quotes for the electrical in the house as well as a lengthy list of what we want/need to do and when we want/need to do it.  So, as I suspect I’ll be writing for years to come, stay tuned for the next installment of Mac n’ Cheese Manor! Coming soon . . .    : )


Mac n’ Cheese Manor: A Formal Introduction

As many of you know, we have just purchased our very first home, which I have lovingly dubbed, “Mac n’ Cheese Manor” for it’s . . . vivid shade of yellow.  The search for a home that met all of our needs was so exhausting that I eventually quit altogether and left my husband to the search on his own.  Never in my wildest imaginings would I have expected him to find something like this.

Mac n’ Cheese Manor includes about three acres of woods and five acres of cleared land, a giant barn full of God knows what, and a super creepy basement.  It is somewhere around two hundred years old (depending on which section) and we’re setting an appointment with the historical society to see if they can tell us anything about it’s origins and life before us.  The property backs up to wildlife preservation land (with trails that horses are allowed on) and a lovely, crystal clear creek.  There’s also a brewery/playground/organic meat and dairy products market exactly 1.1 miles down the road.

All of that said, we have our work cut out for us.  Not only is the outside chipping YELLOW (a color so loud it must be typed out in all caps), but the inside is painted crumbling pink and neon green unless it’s covered with peeling wallpaper or ancient wainscotting the color of a black hole.  The floors need to be redone and for some reason the door to one of the bathrooms is right next to where the refrigerator goes.  Ew.  There are no appliances and since the house was built it has only had two stoves for cooking–the first was a wood stove and the second was a propane stove so it does not currently have the 220 outlet required for a modern, electric stove.  The windows are single-paned and wood framed (in other words, whatever is happening outside temperature-wise is also happening inside) and the barn is full of treasures (read dust and guano covered probably junk) that we’ll have to clean up and clear out to make room for horses, tack, and hay.

How we will accomplish all of these things between just the two of us and a baby??? Follow along here where I will be posting a play by play of our home-revival projects and we can all find out together!  Wish us luck, we’re going to need it . . . : )