Sunday, August 30, 2009

Barn roof progress

Here's the progress of the barn roof. We are using recycled tin from Tom's uncle's neighbor. In this photo we are about half way done:
Here's we are almost done:
Today we are taking a break and should finish up tomorrow. We are patching the holes that do not line up polyurethane roof sealer. We are really hoping the roof does not leak since we do not want to get up on it in the future- it's pretty steep!

INJURY UPDATE: no new injuries to report. My legs look "beat to hell" per Tom, and I get muscle spasms in places I have never had them before- even doing such strenuous activity as laundry. I do not ever remember being this wore out before- not even when we remodeled the house and took literally tons of trash out of here. I guess my 44 years is catching up to me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Barn roof rafter raising

So this has been an eventful week in the barn repair department. Tom and I have been working hard this week building rafters for the barn. We had help from our goat kids- this is PeeWee giving a hand (or a hoof):
Here's all the rafter's done in the rafter staging area (previously called the hay loft):
Here's Tom holding up a test rafter:
Here's our Sunday "crew" (cheap labor) putting up some of the rafters:
Here's the purlins going on:
Here's the barn after a long week:
Now let the roofing begin!

INJURY UPDATE: I had not done any updates because all there was to report is every muscle and joint in our bodies aching and random hammer-smushed fingers. Tom got shingles where his tool belt was rubbing (not sure if that counts as an injury or not). Then Thursday after working all night and then making rafters all day, I fell in the shower hard (again not sure if this is a barn related event). My leg swelled like nothing I have every experienced and I could not walk (much less make rafters) on Friday. By Saturday I was hobbling around again and now I just have a huge ugly bruise to show for it. The "crew" only experienced one bad smushed finger from a sledge hammer. So all and all no major damage done.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New sheep pages

So probably to avoid working on the barn I decided to take photos of my sheep flock. I realize that I am lacking current photos of some of my sheep- particularly the ones I do not breed. And usually when I think of they have been sheared or are otherwise non-photogenic. So anyway, after I took all the photos, I decided to post them on new web pages from oldest to youngest. So for your viewing and reading pleasure, these pages are at:
So I posted our ram lamb Shaun's photo above because I would like some input as to his color. He is out of a shaela ewe and a mioget ram. He was black when he was born with some white markings. Now he looks dark brown, and it appears to go down to his skin, but his face and legs still look black to me- compare them to the black lamb on the right in the photo. So what color is he- dark brown, black, modified black, sunbleached...? Any input would be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sheepy wedding

So I am going to divert from repetitive slow barn progress posts for a moment. Do not worry repetitive barn progress blog fans, I will be returning to barn posts this weekend, I am sure.

For those few of you who did not see this, here's a very sheepy wedding dress:
The full story and more photos are at:
Their wedding was way more sheepy than ours. We did not eat or wear sheep. We did recite "A passionate shepherd to his love" by Christopher Marlowe:

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle:

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold:

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

We also bottle fed Bobbitt and Monette at the wedding reception:
I guess our wedding was sheepy enough!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Even more barn progress

So we continue to make progress on our barn repair project. Here's the tenth pole up:
Here's some more joists up:
Here's the hay loft floor 5/6th of the way done:
Here's the twelfth and last pole up.
Here's the last of the goat prints in wet cement (it is interesting that the chickens, turkey and geese never leave foot prints in the wet cement and the goats and sheep always do):
Here's some new fencing we had to put up since our barn door is going to be larger (between the two poles):

Monday, August 10, 2009

More but slow barn progress

Another issue with construction around animals that I did not consider is the possibility of getting wet paint on your sheep's wool:

This is the seventh out of twelve poles going up, replacing our rotted poles.
I was not sure if these rabbits are cuddling or are terrified of the construction commotion.
The second section of plywood is up in the hay loft!
Another view of the hay loft progress above. And the ninth pole is now up (on the far right) and hopefully the cement is drying in the rain.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Barn and rabbit hutch progress

So yesterday while I was at work Tom was able to get the joists for the hay loft started and pulled down the old rotten center poles.
So this morning when I got home from work I started add more joist hangers in preparation for more joists. After I had screwed in 4 more I noticed that the screw box fine print said "not for structural use". Now when we were shopping we were going to buy the correct nails but the Home Depot sales guy convinced us that screws were better. Then Tom's dad called saying he was back at our house wanting to borrow the buffer and where were we? So we grabbed some screw of the correct dimensions, checked out and headed home. So longer story a little shorter, we bought deck screws. So now I had to remove about 64 of the screws and replace them with the nails we had wanted to buy in the first place. Of course we ran short of these nails (since there was a reason we wanted to buy more) so Tom had to go back to Home Depot to get the nails we originally wanted to buy. Now I can blame the sales guy, our carelessness, or my father-in-law for this extra work.

There are problems with trying to do construction amongst animals. They knock over ladders and tool boxes, they grab and nibble on things, and you really have to be careful with power tools. You also have to be careful to pick up every fallen nail or screw since they can eat it and die from it. Lastly, you have to be careful with wet cement. They like to leave their hoof prints there.
Finally, the first section of the hay loft is done! Tom got up the ladder first to be the first ever in the new loft.
Here's the view of some of our property from the loft.
Here's another view. Tom is talking about making an office for me on this area of the loft with a couch, fridge, microwave, couch (for lambing season). I am not sure it'll ever happen, but it's nice to dream. Of course, the hay loft will be enclosed, but we plan on putting in windows for light, ventilation and maybe even views.
This hen acts like she wants to help out.
While Tom was at the hardware store, after I did the animal chores I decided to finally fix up one of the 4 rabbit hutches I have been trying to find time for all summer. So I tore off the rotten wood, repaired the rusted out screen, paint it and added fiberglass roof panels. It looks 1000 times better and hopefully will last longer now.
INJURY REPORT: Tom's left knee is hurting from going up and down the ladder so much. He also has major blisters on his hands from wearing out all of his gloves. I managed to hit my fingernail with a hammer (I guess I am a menace with hammers). The nail is bruising up but not to the point where I have to perform a hematoma evacuation on myself (I have in the past). Finally, not sure if this counts as an injury, but I got white paint in my hair painting the hutch. I am desperately trying to get it out of my hair before work tomorrow morning.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

More blueberry and barn progress

So yesterday before it got too hot I picked more blueberries. Two days prior I had picked a third of the bush but some of this area already had ripened blueberries only two day later. So I spent time in the heat again picking blueberries. It's the everlasting blueberry bush. I filled our large sieve up this time.
Then yesterday and today Tom and I worked on the barn remodel. I finished taking down the tin and wood supports on the center section we are replacing while Tom dug holes with the auger and tractor, placed the poles, and cemented them in.
Here he is explaining how easily the last of the 4 poles went in, and you can also see all the tin finally gone. After this we headed to the hardware store for beams, hangers and more cement. Tomorrow hopefully we will get more poles planted and be able to remove the worthless center poles that have almost all rotted out at ground level.
INJURY REPORT: Much more minor- I tapped a finger with the hammer- it hurt briefly. And I was nettled again on the ankle. They say bee stings help with arthritis. So if nettle stings help with anything I am golden. I have definitely relearned to use eye protection, but I guess not ankle protection.

Shaun the Sheep "Off the Baa"

Shaun the Sheep clip "Save the Tree"