Monday, November 26, 2012

Barn Building Dreams

Winter is time for dreaming and planning. It may seem like I am always thinking about "what's next" before even the current projects are complete. And, I am. While mindful of what must be completed today, I always have an eye on the horizon for the next thing to tackle. After all, if we don't know where we are headed, how will we know when we arrive? And, building the way we do, one piece at a time, requires an endless evaluation of "Okay, what is next?" For example, to put in next year's garden, we need to plan what to buy for seeds, where the garden will grow best, when we'll need to build the raised beds now, etc. (GARDEN PLANS 2013 updated with graph) If we wait until it is time to actually do the planting to consider these things, we'll already be months behind. Or, if we want goat's milk for cheese and soaps in the spring, we need to plan out breeding dates through the late fall and winter months.

As is par for this course, Sean and I made the most of our 4 days off of work together to get some more things accomplished around here. I had ambitiously hoped that we would be able to build and install 5 doors for the barn. We did not. We DID install 2 doors; one for the milk room and one for the tack room. And, the girls and I loaded, moved, and leveled 4 more wagon loads full of dirt for the lower part of the driveway. (That is looking really good. Kristen had to relearn how to work the new lawn mower, but had it running in no time. Sean figures that we will be completely finished with the driveway in another 4-5 loads.) I designed a hay feeder and Sean accommodated me by building it for me despite the cost of a bloodied nail bed on his hand. Sean finished the roof to the duck/goose house, which some of the younger chickens have taken to using each night. And, Sean replaced the useful, but ugly metal fencing between Jasmine and the does' stall with more appealing 2x6 rough cut wooden rails. (I love how it looks!) The remaining 3 doors are designed and living in my head, but remain, as yet, unconstructed.

As I rewatched the movie, I realize that by stabilizing the footage, it makes the captioning go all wonky. Sorry, folks. I will try to fix that as soon as I can. ♥

It was not all work. Kristen and Meaghan spent a night at their Dad's and another at my sister's house. And, they had a sleep over here with friends. Our eldest daughter, Caitlin and her husband, Justin and our friends, the Rivers, visited on Thursday night for lasagna and games. Later in the week, we hosted our friends, the Knights, for dinner and more games. And, Sean and I stole a little time to grab a movie date at the cheap seats.

With the girl's school vacation coming to a close and our regular scheduled work-week to begin, I feel good about where we are. I will feel much better when the barn is completely finished- for as long as it takes to dream up some other project that needs doing. Such is life.

The dimensions to my drawing are not spot on, but they are sufficient to give the gist of what the barn will look like next year. This is the latest revision of it. As the barn sits now, only the lower part has been framed and sheathed. It has one window installed, where the 2 lower ones are shown. I tried to live with that, since Sean had already framed out this window twice, but I... just... CAN'T. I re-designed the barn with 4 windows between the doors, which balanced the look of the barn, but meant purchasing two additional matching windows to compliment the ones gifted us by Ryan and Kimmy. Then, Sean and I reached a compromise; he is willing to re-frame the wall (for the 3rd time) to fit the 2 windows pictured and I am willing to appreciate him and love it. Both these glass doors were installed this weekend. The new windows will wait until spring, but we have all the ones pictured. I have not yet planned the other 3 sides of the barn, but once I do and draft it, I will post them, also.

For now, I leave you with some pictures of our week. Thanks for stopping by. We're glad you came.

Sean & Sonja ♥
Charles (formerly Diana) started crowing this weekend. Though he is lovely and sweet,
his days at the farm are numbered. He'll need a new home and a flock of hens of his own.

I laugh every time I see the goats hop onto my stool. It was Sapphira's turn today.

Sebastian is looking lovely and in good form these days. His tail feathers have
not yet returned from his most recent molt, but they will.

The youngsters liked using the unfinished duck/goose house for a perch- until Sean
put the roof on it. They use the other perches designed for this purpose now.

Brighid did not appreciate being brought back into the house
to winter over, but manages to console herself by lounging in the sun.

My faithful consort and companion. It looks like she was talking to me
when I snapped this shot. In fact, she was begging for more carrot tops.
She usually gains more treats than the others, but who could resist that face?
 This post shared with: Tilly's Nest Blog Hop Check it out for links for recipes, gardening, diy projects, and farm projects.


  1. Cute photos! Sebastian is looking so good. Sorry about Charles! Too bad he wasn't Diana after all.

    The barn image looks great! So cute and absolutely perfect for your farm :)

  2. Thanks, Tammy!

    I was a little distressed to find another rooster in the bunch, but c'est la vie. I will hope to find him a good home on another farm. It would be a shame for him not to have a flock of his own. Also, with those green feets, I am fairly certain that he could pass on the blue-egg gene to his offspring. I am sure that someone will want an "Easter Egger Rooster" in these parts.

  3. I enjoyed that. I love the barn pic. You must have a sign made, or make one yourself that is awesome! Are you sure the goats won't try to jump on the glass doors? I would hate for one of them to get injured. I guess they normally won't be near them huh? Brighid has the most beautiful eye winkers! I am sure Charles will find a loving home close by.

    1. We have thistles growing EVERYWHERE on this land and as I am of Scot's descent, it seems appropriate to use in our farm logo. I am going to be painting up some signs for the barn, garden, and various pens over the winter- if I can get these bones motivated to do it! I am thinking it will happen on a bright, snow day home.

  4. Love the pics - especially the goats! They're my favorites.

    Checking in from Tilly's Nest - glad I did!

  5. Love you guys! :) Thank you sooo much for having us over, we had such a great time! I have enjoyed reading your blog and catching up on the amazing things you are doing. You have a a really nice farm. You will have to come and visit our little neck of the woods soon! WISH we lived closer to you...I would totally volunteer to be an extra farm hand! :) Maybe someday....