Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vacation is killing me!

I love vacation! I can set my own pace, do what I want to do, well sorta..... Vacation is actully wonderful! Due to 'techincal difficulties' at home, I've had to resort to waiting and posting the blog after I was back at work. I had a very productive vacation and got alot of 'winterizing' done around the place. Its really hard to come back to work though! The bitterness runs deep, but my co-workers are all praying hard for me. ;-) (I think they are also laughing at me as well---)

Day one was spent mostly working on Boone's House. This was a small shed that I orignally built when I was awaiting the arrival of my first two shetlands. It was to shelter them and be their isolation pen. The shed itself is suppose to be around 6 x 6 ft interior, but due to twisted posts and faulty builder (me), it isn't exactly square. Anyway, the shed has served its purpose over the last few years, several times as an isolation unit or sick unit for the sheep. It is now a deluxe dog house after Boone appeared on the scene last winter. Unfortunately because Boone won't not chase the cats he doesn't get free run of the fenced yard. Maybe someday.... In the meantime he has a largish fenced area (to be expanded but I ran out of vacation time) and this shed. Since he arrived at the tail end of last winter and spent the first 5 - 6 weeks in the garage/pen, I just put in a pallet and bedded the shed deeply with straw, plus put two straw bales stacked on each other across the front to keep out the wind and he did fine. This year, I knew I wouldn't rest easy until I got some kind of floor in there to cut down on the dampness. I have had some rough cut/raw cedar boards 'curing' (fancy word for not getting around to using them) in the breezeway for a couple of years. I decided these would do for the flooring and would be a start towards semi-enclosing the open end of the building.

First I had to level and lay out the treated floor joists that I bought. That was probably one of the hardest things to get right. I am no carpenter, so 'close enough' is good enough for me. After that I had to notch and lay the corner floorboard, which went pretty good! Then it was a matter of measuring each board and cutting it to fit. I didn't nail anything down as I wanted to make sure it all lay correctly first. That took almost all the first day (besides the fiasco sorting out the sheepies).

The next day I was able to finish out the floor and notch the other end boards, and then nail it all down. It fit so exact it was awesome! I didn't have to 'split' any boards or anything. Then I moved on to enclosing the end. First though there was this metal fence post that was right next to the building and had to be removed before nailing on the outside boards. I'm not sure what was holding that thing in, but I like to have never got it out! I spent two days (off and on) working on it--digging around it, prying, soaking etc. etc. Finally it popped out and I could go on with the 'constructing' work. (after I filled in the enormous hole left from the post excavation). In the meantime I had went to the local Amish bulk food store which is also a cedar mill and picked up some more boards. These were 'more expensive' but they were also 12 " instead of 6 "--will work great for the end. I have the end now enclosed a little over half, and now need to add more boards to the top so that there will be a nice big dog sized opening. I ran out of time so didn't get it finished--but I have the boards so hopefully will get it done soon. Boone seems to really like his new 'digs'. The shed has a window in it so its fairly well lit, plus I plan to run a cord out for a ceiling light (the cord will be well out of reach for a certain dogue). I think I will look into a rubber stall or kennel matt to protect the floor plus add extra cushioning and insulation for the big guy. I also bought him a large round doggie pillow--which he is banned from using until it dries up a little and I get the doorway finished. Very deluxe! :-)

No comments: