First Nature Notes
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Dear Friends of First Nature Foundation,
Since our last newsletter, a lot has happened.
First, and saddest, my husband passed away in early July, suddenly and unexpectedly. It has been a time of mourning and adjustment for everyone, including the horses. Dave spent a lot of time at the ranch and was beloved by the volunteers, guests, and especially the horses. He is missed terribly, and I’m grateful for all the support, prayers, and assistance of family, friends, and neighbors. We were married for over 28 years. Rest in peace, my dearest. An obituary for Dave is at https://baldwincremation.com/obituaries/david-leeman/
Dave’s passing has meant that we’ve added some people to our human herd at the ranch to help out with maintaining the facility and horses. Our steadfast, dependable, cherished Orlando has been joined by Jordan, Shanel, and Haley, who are all wonderful additions. We welcome them and are grateful for their service, which we are likely to need more of as the facility readies for programs.
Speaking of which, we received our Certificate of Completion near the end of July, a big milestone! In the last newsletter, we included photos of the flooring and tile materials. I’m delighted to report that all the flooring and all the tile work (in the kitchen and bathroom), is now complete.
To get our Certificate of Completion, the stairs to the second floor and a large deck had to be built, as well as a balcony off the other end of the second floor. Here’s what the deck and stairs look like, as well as a video showing the pastures and much of the property. Looking forward to having coffee/tea (or wine) up there with you Friends of the Foundation!
Electricity, including air conditioning, is fully operational, a huge step forward! Our new well is now providing water to the barn and shed, so we are no longer entirely dependent on a noisy gas transfer pump, another amazing and long-anticipated development. The interlocking stall mats for the exterior stalls, which were sitting in front of the barn for the last several months, have finally been installed.
Our refrigerator and microwave are in place, and the bathroom and kitchen are now fully operational. We even made our first cup of coffee last week. Another significant step is that finishing of the interior walls has begun. They are “stained” white (50/50 paint and water, painted then rubbed) so the wood grain is still prominent. They will be sealed after about 30 days of curing. Here’s what it looks like so far; you can see the difference between the “stain” and the raw wood by looking at the top trim, which was completed later.
You may have noticed that the pad around the barn is still dirt/sand, and that’s because we are waiting for gutters to be installed, which will happen in a few weeks. After that we will spread seed and hay so the area will be grassy (more mowing!!). A dear neighbor with decades of garden experience will be making some designs for the garden to be planted in front of the barn, a place for respite and quiet. I look forward to sharing photos with you as the garden comes together.
Interested in seeing all of this in person? We are now scheduling private, individual, socially distanced tours. Realizing we are still very much in the grip of the pandemic, we are probably a couple of months from scheduling programs, but I wanted to invite you out, all the same, to see what the facility has to offer, in case there is any collaboration potential. Or perhaps you know any groups or experts who might want to run a program or two there and we can get a head start. Please contact me at kerul@firstnaturefoundation or instant message me on Facebook to set up a time.
Take care and stay healthy!
Kerul and crew