I hope the start of the new year is treating each of you well. Despite the cold temps outside, projects around here are already heating up. Can’t wait to share some of the projects we are tackling this year. Some projects we need to, some projects we want to. I’ll share all that in a later post. Today I wanted to look back at 2017 at Duke Manor Farm.
Our biggest projects in 2017
The biggest project since we built our home 15 years ago….and the most exciting was putting in a pool. Although it took a big longer then expected to complete and we went a bit over budget, we couldn’t be happier with the decision to install one. You can read about our pool build here. Even thought the pool isn’t seeing much action during the winter months, the hot tub that we installed at the same time is. During these cold days we are getting daily use of it.
Speaking of pools, how gorgeous is my sisters pool in Florida. The first picture in this post is looking out at her pastures in her backyard that I took one morning last month when we were in S.Florida.
This project was on the honey do-list since 2016 so I was all too thrilled to cross it off the list when we finished. Having the water feature in the backyard is so pretty and tranquil. With all the freezing temps lately, it froze over and the kids are using it as a skating rink. Catch up on the build and the water feature and reveal in these posts.
This was my favorite room for 2017. After living in our home for 15 years it was about time we got our first screened in porch. If you are familiar with the mammoth sized mosquitoes in Georgia during our summer months, I honestly don’t know how we survived without one. Catch up on all the details on how we built it here and the reveal here.
Around the farm
A new Mare
In February 2017 we welcomed a new family member to the farm, Manny is a retired show horse that my niece use to ride and we are so happy to have her here. Due to an injury she can no longer ride. Manny wasted no time getting along with the dogs, the donkey and all the other critters. She is just the sweetest and has really helped me learn more about large Equine animals. In 2018 we hope to open up the farm to other horses and begin boarding at Duke Manor Farm. To read about her homecoming click here.
We also said goodbye to some of the animals around here. Most recent was Quackers and Waddles and about 6 of our chickens. We believe a pack of coyotes attacked them which unfortunately is not uncommon out in the country. You can read about the day we brought the ducks home here.
Not gonna lie, 2017 was not my most favorite year although we were blessed beyond measure. My husband started a new job in January after being unexpectedly let go in late 2016. The entire experience was scary and challenging but we persevered and became stronger as a result of it both financially and in our marriage. For a man who has only had 3 jobs in his entire career ( and a few years shy of 60) , change is not always easy but he couldn’t be happier and more successful in his first year with the company that he is at.
We traveled to Florida for the holidays to be with my family, particularly with my mom. Sadly she is battling recurrent lung cancer. All during the month she is having chemo and radiation concurrently. The best gift for me was seeing her love on my children. My mom is a fighter and she loves the lord and hopefully this will not be the last Christmas spent with her. I will keep you posted on her progress. If you are the praying type, please keep her in your prayers.
Looking forward to a new year with a new perspective, and chasing some of our dreams. May this year give you the opportunity to follow your dreams as well. Love like there is no tomorrow, be kind regardless of the circumstances and smile unconditionally. My wish is that the new year is the best one yet for all of us!
Happy New Year hugs to you,
for my mom