Cows sorted and back to office

Sunday was the most productive day of the weekend! It is always good to have one day where you feel like a lot was accomplished. Mr Flow came out and worked on the lavender garden and the berry patch. He got he grass cleaned out around all of the berries and all of the lavender. I was pretty surprised when I went over to check on him and could smell the lavender plants! There are not any blooms on the plants but the plants have a definite odor. We are super stoked about the lavender and the clover we have coming in on the front hillside. We are going to get a bee hive this year. We have been talking about it for years and have finally decided to do it. The hive components are here, I just need to assemble them now. Annmarie and I watched a video this weekend so I think I can do it now. We are hoping to get 40-50# of honey this year. If we can figure out how to get the honey out of the combs, one thing at a time.

Mr Tex and I worked the cows this morning. We needed to sort off the 6 month old calves and also sort off the bull. This means we have to use three pastures and the bull needs to be two fences away from any female cow. The cows came through the gate down at the lower end and went right up to the top of the hill but as we started to push them back toward the house they started running down the hill. I ran 1/4 mile in my rubber boots to keep them from turning downhill, by the time we got done sorting cows I needed some better fitting boots. Sorting the cows went pretty smoothly. We have seven cows to sell. Our old bull 13 years old, a young bull about 8 months old, 2 heifers and 3 steers. We are going to buy a new polled Dexter bull that is 2.5 years old. We need the genetic infusion and we found two cows today out of nine that appeared to not be pregnant. So I will be advertising him and the little bull soon. Due to the price of hay skyrocketing we will have to increase our beef price accordingly.

The weather app on our phone said it was going to storm but the weather was pretty good today until about 1630 and then it was horrible. 1/4” of rain in about 25 minutes with pea sized hail intermixed in it. I had gone out to the old house and just waited out there for the hail to pass. The new office area was fairly quite but the new freezer room was incredibly loud. I am hoping we have enough insulation to get all of the walls sealed up. My mother thinks she may have some insulation in the garage so I will need to take a look as we will still need to insulate the attic. We need to install a new roof top vent and I want to install an attic fan that automatically turns on when it gets above 105 degrees F in the attic, that temperature may even be lowered to 95 degrees. Since we have the vent we might as well use it. In the last two days we have had one inch of rain and the total for the month of May is 2.6” of rain to date.

Mr Professional got up on the roof and spent about three hours sealing the roof and putting in new screws that had pulled out or were missing their gaskets. The roof was installed over 30 years ago. We need to pull up the entire ridge cap and reinstall the vent foam to keep the insects out of the attic. Mr Tex vacuumed the ceiling floor and attic walls. I sealed up the attic cracks from inside the attic, it did not take long for the attic to heat way up. Once we finished in the attic Mr Tex and myself insulated two walls in the office and installed three California corners so we could install the wall boards. We also ran the wire for the heat pump. Now, all of the wire is run and I could even start to wire the electrical box and get the breakers in place. I am going to add that to my after work job opportunities. I will need a large flashlight and a board so I can sit in front of the panel and wire everything in place. Once the new breaker box is wired then I can decide when to move the power into the box. I am going to have to wait until the new freezer room is completed. Right before we left for the day we installed a handle on the pocket door! I dug around in the shop until I found an old handle from something that will work.

Office Project continues

Friday I had to go and buy more 2×4 boards. We ran out and more were needed for the California corners and the rough door frame that needs to be installed for the new outside door. They are running about $1/foot. The price is so high compared to a couple of years ago. I had to go in to town to pickup the three cut and wrapped cows. I delivered 2.5 of them and we got the last half. This took a few hours and finished off the day. Mr Flow and Mr Professional came out for a few hours. Mr Flow worked on the lavender patch weeding and the berry patch. They needed a lot of grass removed and some weeds. Mr Professional and I got started in on the production area wall. I had installed most of the insulation first thing in the morning. We thought we had enough four foot tongue and groove boards to get the walls done. The juniper for the ceiling is in the wood dryer and will hopefully be done this week.

The sheep are looking much better now that we have wormed them. They will need it again in a couple of weeks. We had let it go a little long and the sheep were kinda skinny. We have decided to start worming in the fall and early spring whether we think it is needed or not. The sheep have still not rubbed off all of their loose hair yet. They will look much better when they have their smooth coat. We have been moving the sheep around to let the pastures rest. We are going to let them back up onto the hillside to graze. The grass is very tall there.

The weather is so screwy, we had a thunderstorm roll in on Saturday while Mr Professional and I were working on the production area walls. It rained about 3/4” in under an hour. The rain just poured out of the sky. The back creek doubled in size in under thirty minutes and then three hours later was still muddy but back down to almost pre-storm level.

The hay is looking great! We went up to field 1 and it is six inches above my knee. We are going to need to start haying very soon, probably in under ten days. For the haying venture to be successful we need a few dry days on a regular basis. A couple of the lower fields have a lot of cheat grass and were not in the fields we replanted. We are going to bale them and sell them as weedy seconds for cheap. It will pay for themselves.

Office project discovered Pocket Window!

Well no one came out this morning. I keep forgetting it’s Mother’s day, but really does that mean the spouse doesn’t have to do any work? This again shot down my plan to finish running all of the wire for power. I need to get this done so I can insulate and close up the walls but it is not really feasible to do alone, someone needs to be in the attic and someone on the ground floor to get the wire where it needs to go.

Instead I went out and started in on the freezer room. Since I had cleared out the leftover wood pieces yesterday I started by installing extra wood in the corners to nail the wall boards up on. this turns out to be three 2×4 for every corner to get the wood out far enough to be able to really use it. After I did the corners I really took a look at the window. I wanted to cover up the window but the longer I played with it and looked at it, I suddenly realized that it was a pocket window! It was designed to be pushed back into the wall to create an opening. It was just missing a couple of stabilizer points. I went and ripped up a 2×4 to get a 1” wide piece and used that to set the track. I predrilled everything so the narrow pieces would not split. I think I need to hit the window area with some clear caulk but I am going to have to be careful to not just splooge it everywhere. The window worked great after I was done and it can still be removed if needed for repairs and touch up paint.

I kept installing more wall dividers and supports and it really firmed up the outer wall. I didn’t realize how flimsy it felt until I was about halfway done and noticed that the outside wall would no longer move. This took a lot more 2x4s than I had counted on, by the time I was done I only had 8 left out of 30 and I still need to reframe the front door (approx 8 boards) and do three more corners, I will need to get at least 12 more 2×4 to get the job done. Once I had all the new wood in place I marked off the outlet spots and installed the boxes. I got all of the holes drilled for the wires to be inserted through. Mr Professional came out for two hours this afternoon and we got all of the wires installed! The only thing left is the 240V service for the heat pump but I need the California corners installed on one corner so I can drill through it to run the wire. While he was up in the attic waiting for me to label and run the wire into boxes he plugged up two more bird size holes in the attic. We are looking to stop the birds and bugs from getting into the attic this year. We pulled all of the extra insulation we had left over from our main house attic. Looking at it spread all around the room I don’t believe we have enough to do all of the walls. I was hoping I would not have to buy any insulation. Time will tell after we start putting it in the walls.

We have gotten 1.36” of rain this month, so for the first week of May. It is a crazy amount for us locally to see in such a short time frame.

Lone wolfing new office project

Friday I had to go to town for errands so I took the pickup so I could buy a bunch more stuff for the new office. We needed more 2x4s, we had already used 40 so I bought another 30 thinking that would do what was necessary. I also bought 8 pressure treated 4x4x8’ posts so we could build the little cross fence in the yard on the side of the house. I cannot let the sheep in the yard without the cross fence and with all the rain we are getting the front lawn has been impossible to mow. Mr Flow used a weed eater on Friday to ”mow” the lawn. The grass is getting so tall that I am going to have to confine the sheep in for a week if I want to get any control over the growth of the lawn. Mr Professional and Mr Flow worked on Thursday, Mr Professional got the floor supports roughed in on the old bathroom floor and Mr Flow tore out the inside walls of the soon to be freezer room.

When I got back Friday around noon we staged all of the 2x4s in the house and tossed the 4×4 over on the far side of the house where they will be used. Lumber prices are amazing in a bad way. A 4×4 post used to be $10, it is now $28/ea. We went down to the old chicken coop and drug out the needed subfloor and floor sheets that would be needed to complete the old bathroom and new freezer. We staged those on the porch of the old house so that they would be ready to go on Saturday. It started to pour down rain so we called it quits and we actually had company coming for dinner.

I verified Friday night that my help would be coming tomorrow. On Saturday morning, both my helpers bailed for other things. I was going to fly solo all day long, which shot down my plans to pull wire and finish rough wiring the house. Instead, I focused on getting the old bathroom floor in. The floor must be level for Annmarie’s laser cutter and plastic 3D printer. So I bought a four foot level on Friday and used it to shim the framework until I had it level. Once it was level and screwed back down to the floor, I cut and fit insulation until the entire floor was insulated. I went and cut out the 3/4” oak plywood pieces. I fit both pieces down before screwing any of them in place. I drew out 1’x1’ grids on the floor and then predrilled holes though the plywood. I put a long 3” screw through each intersection so they would show a pattern on the floor as the screw heads will be visible.

I still had more time left so I went into the freezer room and finished cutting out all the boards in the corners of the room and decided to start caulking. I bought more caulking and managed to make one tube last through 1/2 of a stud to stud section. I kept after it filling all of the seams from the outside boards. I did not want to paint the walls and the caulk did a great job of stopping the weather and wind out of the main room that I figured I would go with a thread.

I came inside and fed the dogs, as soon as Mouse was done eating he walked over and peed on Gizmo’s food and Gizmo! He did this right in the kitchen in front of Annmarie, he got kicked outside. Since Zeke died they are trying to see who is going to be king. Annmarie got sent pictures of the newborn puppies yesterday when they were born. We have first pick and want to wait until their personalities come out before choosing. Now we have to work on a girl puppy name, so far a lot of choices but not one that really stands out.

Office is finally moving forward

Today Mr Tex came out and we focused on getting the wiring done. We pulled the wires and I labeled both ends very well so I could install all of the outlets and switches correctly. I will also have to install all of the breakers and label them once I am done. I needed to install one triple switch and one quad switch but it has been years since I did it. I thought I knew but ran into the house and got my cheater book to make sure I did it right!! Luckily, we had 12/2, 14/2 and 14/3 wire so I was able to use what was necessary to get all the switches correct. I even went into the house attic and pulled down the leftover roll of 500” 12/2 hoping it would be enough, but it was not. Mr Tex got a list of stuff to do, fix the old bathroom ceiling and plug the window off and the bathroom hole. While he did that I ran to Pendleton and bought another 500’ of 12/2. I had not wired any of the freezers yet. We got wires ran to two freezer outlets. We needed to get my room cleaned out so we could move all of the remodel equipment out of the freezer room. Three of the walls in the freezer room need to be torn out so we can seal the walls and install more outlet boxes, then insulate the walls.

We got everything pulled that we had time for, I have four more cable runs to pull and we will be done with the entire house. I even remembered to add two porch outlets and a back porch light! I think our holdup is going to be the windows that we ordered. No telling when those will come.

Mr Professional came out for a couple of hours and we worked on emptying the second room. We need to be able to stage all of the purchased supplies and get the new freezer room cleaned out so the walls can be stripped out. I need the walls out so we can install power, seal the walls then install insulation.

I keep changing my mind on what to do with the walls and ceiling. I was going to just paint the ceiling and do the walls in pine. I have some 1×6” and 1×10” boards and I was just going to butt them up to each other. This won’t look amazing but would work. I am not going to do that. I am getting tongue and groove juniper for the ceiling and tongue and groove blue pine for the walls. I want it to look pretty! I am even going to install it on a diagonal. It will hit more boards that way but will look prettier also. I will use the plain stuff to sheath the new freezer room walls. We are going to do that room at this stage but it doesn’t need to be fancy. I am even thinking about leaving the original window in the room. I think I will for now and then this summer decide if I need to install a thermostatically controlled vent fan to make sure the room doesn’t get too hot. I am hoping that if I insulate the room well I can keep some of the extreme heat out.

Today, Monday we have had 0.43” of rain in the last day. The wheat looks amazing. Our upper fields are looking amazing in places, last years grass is skyrocketing. We need some warmer weather to really cause the seed we planted in the fall to shoot up. Its about 4” tall now. Last year’s grass is over 18” tall already. Next week we are going to have to stop and focus on getting the sickle bar mower attached and ready and get the baler repaired and ready to go.