When you live on a homestead with 7 goats, 7 cows, 4 dogs, 2 cats, 38 chickens, and 3 children, things don’t always go as planned.
Zip back in time to the start of this week. Sunday afternoon I planned out the week and was sure that by today, 6 days later, the barn would be completely framed out and maybe even have tin on it.
Monday morning started off promising, but then life happened. My little Shadow was recovering from double ear infections and was in no condition to happily spend time out at the barn. Preston and his little Side Kick had a long time talked about fishing trip to take. Much to my frustration, with Preston gone, I was unable to lift and secure the 12ft beams that lined the front of barn 8 ft high and without these I couldn’t start the rest of the frame work.
Wednesday, my little Shadow and I spent hours outside trying to figure out how to secure these two high beams. I am not a person that gives up easily or admits defeat without giving it my all. After several hours wasted, some loss of blood, a few more bruises added, some yelling, a little kicking, and a few tears, I had to admit that my muscle alone just couldn’t do this job. I was going to have to wait for Preston.
Thursday afternoon, Preston and I headed out to the barn. Much to my admiration, and a little disgust, he had the beams up in about 20 min.
Just for the record, he is my Hero.
With that done, we were ready for the next step, but as in any job, there are bound to be unforeseen problems. It was at this point that we realized the gate that swings up to the barn would no longer close once we tinned it in. This is a huge problem when you have to contain animals.
So, project Barn now became project Re-hang Gate. After some heehaw about what the best way to do this was and why, we were ready to start. We took turns digging the post holes to move the gate over about 6 ft.
At this point, yes, amazingly enough, it was time for dinner. Day 4, which is really day 1, has come to an end. Sigh.
Friday was the redeemer day.
Just for the record, I love Fridays. They are just great days. Not even for the typical “the work week is over” reason, (because, of course, on a homestead our work is never through and there are no weekends), but because subconsciously it means another 5 days are in the books and the next are coming fresh and pure.
Friday Rocked! Preston took the littles to his parents for the day. Which meant I was able to get a lot done without littles under foot. After a great morning of homeschooling with our oldest son, we hit the barn. We peeled and set the two new gate posts in concrete. Then we dug 4 holes for the door bracers, cut the 4×4’s and set them into the holes with concrete.
It’s always such a great feeling getting a good day in!
Here’s a note as to why we take the time and extra energy to peel the cedar posts we harvest off our land and use for fencing.
When a Juniper Cedar is alive, the bark protects and keeps it from dying. When you cut it down and harvest it for a post, the opposite is true. The bark actually causes the tree to decay faster. Bugs burrow in and eat the wood underneath and the bark holds in moisture, which causes decay.
We take the time to peel the log using a draw knife. (Sometimes we use a pressure washer, but it is very messy and wet that way.) After setting the log off the ground, you slide the knife at an angle until it slices of a chunk of bark, then you pull towards yourself, peeling the bark off in strips. It takes about 30-90 min to peel a log, depending on the size of the log and how strong you are.
Have I ever mentioned, when you live on a homestead there is no need for a gym membership?
Once you are done peeling the whole log, (and your deltoids are on fire), it’s time to coat the bottom in creosote. This keeps the moisture from rotting the part of the log that is buried in the ground.
Once all this is done, it’s time to set your post in the ground.
So, that marks week 1 of the barn. Thank God it is gorgeously warm and spring like in our crazy Texas winter right now! It’s been perfect weather to work in.
Hopefully week 2 will finish it up!