Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Mama arrived Sat night and has taken a number of good pictures. They are not all on the computer yet, but these are from Sunday. Frank and I were finishing the holes with the bobcat for our fence and barn, mama and the kids took pictures of that as well as our little farm and woods. These are, of course, YardGuard.
Mr. Kitten Britches, that name has stuck though Frank says No Self-Respecting man ever had a cat (male cat no less) named Mr Kitten Britches. Frank calls him Diablo.
Tad and me watching the auger, I cleaned the frozen mud and large rocks off of the bit pretty regular. We have to go 4 ft, and the first 2 are dirt followed by rocks ranging from quite small to the size of my head.
Cleaning the bit. My hands get pretty cold, but after a few times I dont feel any more. I use gloves, but they are not water or cold proof. It isnt very cold here, I think at this time it was 34 degrees. Weather.com said that it was "warm and sunny" but it was gray and drizzling rain.
Sometimes the huge rocks fall back off of the bit into the hole. They make it hard to keep digging, so if it isnt too deep yet I can often reach the huge rocks.
Watching from a stump. Each hole takes quite a few minutes what with the cleaning off and rock hauling.
Nathalie not doing any work except for looking cute.
Mama and Tad, this picture is a little off as Nathalie isnt great at centering her photos yet but its a good one anyway. Tad has the warmest blood of us all, often he sheds the jacket and wears just a t shirt and worn out jeans in 30 deg weather. Mama came sans coat on purpose, easier to travel with less and we have extra coats and boots.
Tad took this one, they went on a walk-about through our woods, and probably the neighbors woods as well. None of it is fenced.
They not only saw moose (too far, and in between trees so no pics this time) but they found evidence of moose. Tad says, several day old evidence. Only my mother would photograph moose poop.
Mom laughing from the stump as Frank dropped the kids down into the holes to retrieve more rocks.
Frank telling Nathalie how all of these controls work.
Nathalie using the lesson wisely, she didnt even run into anything. That has never happened. She has driven a barbie car (into a garage wall), a lawnmower, with me on it and thus we evaded the trees and fence but otherwise...lord help us, and a dirt bike. The dirt bike-she revved up and drove straight for a neighbors garage yelling HELP ME ERIC and didnt let up on the gas for a second! Eric ran down the bike, and using his weight and strength-this included sitting down while lifting/holding back the bike, stopped her from death. ok fine she wouldnt have died... I calmly watched from the sidelines thinking-yeah she will never get a license. However, she drove this beast just fine.
You want me to make the front end do what again?
But you didnt tell me to stop!!!
Tad politely listening to the lesson while thinking, daddy I can drive a truck and a tractor. Both manual. This piece of work is an automatic, I cannot go wrong.
Sure enough, no problems. He can drive pretty much anything, though we all agree bobcats are better in tracked vs wheeled when the ground is still wet. It did some damage to our pitiful yard.
Baby goats, these girls are not named. Nor am I attached to them for some reason, maybe I attach best to my milkers because I spend realistic time with them. I try to spend time with these girls, but they were not "my" baby goats, not born to my girls, and not my babies when they were born. Their horns bother me, I didnt know they had horns when I agreed to buy them. This was my mistake. We will keep and breed them, their mothers were very nicely built with great udders so I can sell these girls in milk, as well as sell/eat their offspring. We will be looking for de-horned milkers as soon as mama has gone home. I dont want to be milking while she is here visiting because we want to go on some weekend trips.
Another picture of a baby goat, these are sweet girls and the kids enjoy playing with them. They missed having goats.
View from our driveway end, and Nathalie playing in the road naturally.
Another view, there are mountains everywhere you look here. They are truly breathtaking!
Today mom is resting, she threw out her back yesterday, same day of the week and same way I did exactly one wk before. I was a little better by day 3 so she is resting today, hoping for a better tomorrow. If not, we will find a chiropractor. I hate for her visit to have such misery! The kids are finishing their class, I am sewing and doing laundry and the day is lovely (about 45 and sunny...for once!) so Tad and I will likely get the T posts put in for the garden fence. It is just 6 ft mesh, nothing to hold out much but it will be a secondary deterrent for moose, goats and geese. These will all eat up my garden if given the chance.
On our to do list is a clothes line, a temporary goose house (I need my greenhouse back-we will make a single cattle panel barn covered with 6 mil plastic for their home tonight), fencing for the garden, re-covering the greenhouse, and getting the poles set for the barn. Once the poles are set we do the skirting, stringers, siding, roof framing and roof. Then we can do the immediate barn fence (this will be within the complete yard fence) and move the goats, rabbits and geese to the barn. We will buy a couple of milkers and continue to work on the barn dividing it for chickens, rabbits and goats. The chickens will have a wired off area so they can be "in" the barn but not in the goats area because this would allow them to escape to the barnyard. Instead they will have a large fenced in covered yard to go to from their barn section, we cannot lose them to predators. The goats will have the whole rest of the barn save the corner where the raised rabbit hutches will be.
The chickens will stay in roving coops (we are building a 3rd so that the 10 pullets will be divided. No more than 6 chickens fit comfortably in a 4x8 roving coop) until it is cold. I think free range is healthier, but I cannot keep them safe even in a fenced yard with clipped wings. Things from above will pick them off during the day, and anything will pick them off at night as much can jump a fence. During the cold months they will have an insulated barn room and a covered yard that is open day time only. It is cold enough here that if we let them wander out at will, they can freeze at night. We plan on finishing the inside of the barn, insulating the walls and ceiling and possibly putting in a small wood burning stove. Even if it burns out on the colder nights by 3 a.m., it will remain warmer than the outside. I know there are people here who do not heat their barns, but if we have baby rabbits being born, baby chicks at any time (its cold here SO much we are likely to have goslings, chicks, baby rabbits or young goats)
Because we are building a pole barn, we are spending less time and money up front but we want a real floor, insulation as previously described (yes under the floor too or its nearly useless to insulate walls/roof) both for a more habitable barn and better resale. We will also build a loft, we are doing a gambrel roof so that we will have maximum loft. It will be aprox 7 ft high (I think) allowing pretty much any normal human to stand. It will be the back 2/3rds of the barn allowing for a stairway. We can just build a heavy duty rail or half wall, and store hay and other farm stuff up there. So, the construction will be quick and usable at first, and have plenty of work to do further for our dream barn to be complete. We wont stay here more than a few years, so we are hoping to do this work quickly in order to enjoy it for the whole time we are here. I want it to be insulated and floored by this winter, with a warm milking room in place. I do enjoy winter, but do not enjoy being uncomfortable. This is our first opportunity to build something how we want it, how we see it as most useful and useable for both us and our animals.