It was just too hot yesterday to get much done on the barn. It was 95º and the only flat place to cut the metal siding was in the full sun. In the interest of preserving my  husband from heat stroke. I made him quit.

Starting the Siding

He did get several pieces of the siding on. I washed them last night after it cooled down a bit.

Most of this building is being constructed from leftover materials from our other two big metal pole barns. Some of the metal pieces are pretty icky since they have been lying around for nearly 10 years. A little soap, water, and a broom took care of most of it.

The window was purchased from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and originally intended for the Milker Barn. The construction guys neglected to tell me that because the window frame shared the same support beam as the door jamb, I needed tempered glass for that window to pass inspection. Hence the boy’s lovely window.

If you are considering a building project, the Re-Store can be a good place to find items. Remember to take your exact measurements and a tape measure with you. Get all of the specifications for the materials you will need, as they don’t take returns.

Monday morning Cody had stopped by work and picked up the couple of boards we were missing for the end caps. That guy is going to need to get a pick-up truck one of these days!

Unofficial HD Delivery Vehicle

The crew was caffeinated and blueberry muffinated by the time I left for work.

The Smell of Sawdust in the Morning

As I was leaving they were cutting the spanner pieces for the roof framing. They had also decided to take hints from the construction of the big barn on how the ends and edges have been finished.

Raise the Roof!

When I returned home from work this is what I saw. The roof was on. The door had been built and hung. The window was framed in, and they were just putting on the door handle. Kind of.

They really wanted to use the shed antler we found in the woods, but thought they had better get final approval before they did.

It’s a buck hut. How could I say no?

Door Handle

The construction day started a little later on Sunday and it was interrupted by a few rain delays. An unused water tank works great as a compressor rain hat.

Rain Delay

After the first one it became humid and we lost the breeze for a while. Ugh. At least we managed to stay productive during the time outs. During the first one, the guys fished out the lumber from the rafters of the milker barn for the roof. During the second, we had lunch. By the end of the day they had gotten the walls framed in and the rafters up on the beams. Moving on to the Roof

There was some serious discussion about the length of the over-hang on both the front & back of the roof. With a 3 foot over hang on the short side it will protect the blueberry bushes from most of the snow shed when it slides off. Any shorter, and they would have been direct targets.  In turn, that kept us from having to put bracing poles under the other side.

Once the framing was up, we started looking at the floor. The ground was pretty uneven and now that the walls were started, the tractor wouldn’t fit in to scrape it level.

A Little More Dirt

Bring in the sand! There is a big bank of sandy dirt part way down the road out to the woods. It’s naturally occurring, not something some one purchased or dumped. It works great as barn flooring. The milkers and kids have been using it for a few years and the drainage is great. Better yet, it’s free! The guys ran down and scooped a few loads while I finished supper. It certainly filled in the low spots and made the floor much easier to navigate.

Spreading It Around

While I was up in Port Angeles running a verification test for Lucky Star Farm, this was going on at home.

Digging In

Em & Dad made the run to the lumber store for the framing timbers and other essentials this morning. Cody had the day off and came over in the afternoon to lend Dad a hand digging holes and setting posts.

Beam Me Up!

Apparently some of the holes had to be re-dug because of some plumbing pipes. Thankfully none of the pipes were cracked/broken to create a new lawn irrigation system during the digging!

I am impressed with the string system to keep everything close to square. (Well, as square as it can be with a LaMancha wether plucking at it.)

Men At Work

The guys were setting in the last post about the time I got home. This building will be closer to square and plumb than anything else we have built ourselves so far.

I heard rumors that the work crew will be back tomorrow afternoon for the next stage of construction.

In order to give us some room to build the new buck fortress palace, we needed to move a few fence lines around. The boys needed to stay secure at the same time, since we didn’t want to spend the better part of the day chasing them back home.

Fence Line Shifting

We had an old chain link kennel that we used if we needed to keep one of the animals separate for a few minutes. We expanded it and are using it as part of a temporary fence and the entrance gate. Once we had the front fenced off, the Anatolian wasn’t too sure about the new pen. It was a lot smaller than he liked and it made him a bit nervous. He pretty much gave in once the back part of the old fence came down and he had access to about three times the amount of space.

Rotten Fence Post

This is one of the corner posts we put in 10 years ago. It was just part of a fir tree that we cut into logs to use as fence posts. The fence panels were only things that were holding it up! The chickens are having a field day picking the rotten log apart and snacking on the grubs!

Construction Area Clear

Here it is all ready for the next phase. I think Eric will bring in the tractor and try to level out the ground as much as possible. There are some pretty good ruts along the former fence lines. I’m thinking about ways to mitigate that problem for next fall. I am looking at installing some of that weed block type fabric and then covering it with gravel around the areas that will get the most traffic. It looks like it does a pretty good job around the high traffic areas in horse stables. I’m all for avoiding large mud holes if I can.

Otis, King of the Spool

While we still have plenty of work to do, Otis is enjoying the new pasture space and a new spool. You can see the line in the grass in front of the spool where the old fence came out.

The two Old Girls get a spacious shed and pasture. The Milkers get the new barn with a nice-sized pasture and access to the woods. What do the Boys get?

Buck Shanty

A run down shack tucked under a fir tree. And that has been pretty much torn apart by a horned meat goat who was a previous inhabitant. Actually, that stupid goat did more damage to buildings and fences in his year here than all of the rest of the boys combined have done in 11 years. He was a stupid animal. He stood and whacked his head on the fence pole for hours day after day.

Anyhow, I digress.

It is time to bring the boys up to the standard of living that they would like to become accustomed to. First things first. Enlarge their pasture to the back perimeter fence, nearly tripling the size. Upgrade the separating fence to cattle panels to keep them on their side. (Very important during breeding season!)

Beginning of Buck Fencing

This is the progress we made for the day. Eric got the poles dug and set. We installed the new fence panels.

The deconstruction of the current isolation/boarding/holding pen is underway. It will be rebuilt with slightly different dimensions once the new buck barn is built. We did manage to get all of the 2×4 kennel mesh fence down and out of there tonight. Somebody put A LOT of wire twists on there to keep it securely affixed to the other fencing.

Tomorrow is more fence fiddling for the continued containment of the boys and dog during this adventure. I’ll keep you posted!

We have several pastures for our animals. The “Old Goats” pasture was one of the first ones we built. It has two goats in it and they could not keep up with the grass growth. It got so tall I couldn’t see them.

I really didn’t want to waste all of that grass and just mow it down. We have found that if we keep it trimmed back, it doesn’t go dormant as quickly since it still thinks it needs to make seeds.

Grass Girls

So I called in some reinforcements. Meet the Pasture Management Crew on loan from my friend in Puyallup. Jaws, Coconut, and A Ewe To Be Named Later are here to eat, and they are doing a fine job.

They are ewenion workers of course.

Picante is the herd referee. Each animal seems to have a job in our herd. Hers is to settle arguments. Sometimes she’s calm about it, other times, I think she trained with some mafia types.

Picante + Sidewalk Chalk

She is a softie for scratches, especially from the little kids. We had the sidewalk chalk out and all of us kids were drawing on the rubber stall mats in the barn. Apparently large chalk sticks have excellent scratching surfaces. She could not have cared less that she was starting to look like a giant Easter egg. Someone was rubbing her face and neck in all of the itchy spots, and it felt sooo good. The color stayed on for several days. Our grandson wanted to “Go color number 2 goat again, please” on his next visit.

I’m pretty sure that none of the other goats gave her any grief over her unusual coloring for those few days. Not that they didn’t think it was odd, but it wasn’t worth a fight to make fun of her.

I did!

Owl Pincushion

This adorable owl flew into our nest today! She came all the way from Sandy’s house in Missouri.

Needlekeep Owl

She holds a pair of scissors, a seam ripper, and a needle threader. All of which you can never have too many of! The inside of her wings are made of felt, and will work as needle keeps. For travel, her wings fold over the items and are held secure with a hair elastic and two buttons. She also holds a spool of thread in her elastic talons. (I wonder if Sandy’s granddaughters are missing any of their ponytail holders?)

Such a lovely gift from such a thoughtful person! (Sandy is the one that mailed me some replacement marbles when mine went missing.)

First you deduce that since she signs up for give-a-ways on the KitchenAid site every time a stand mixer comes up that she might want one. You somehow work a conversation around to them while at a “Girls Weekend”. You then discover that while she would like to have one someday, they are on her “List of Things to Get When I Win the Lottery.” Unless, of course, she wins one somewhere.

kitchenaid-artisan-stand-mixer

Then you shop until you find The Best Deal Ever, and you buy her one for her birthday. AND because you are so excited, you drive it out to her house to give it to her two weeks early.

This is an excellent way to make your sister happy.

One of the first items to take a test spin in the mixer was peanut butter cookie dough.

Inaugural Batch

I had help squishing them out before baking.

Baker's Helper

Not only has this made me happy, but since I have to try out all of the recipes to see if they work up any different and if they fit in that 5 quart bowl. It has made my family, and several other recipients of baked goods happy as well.

Thanks Sis! I’m loving it!

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