I want to be able to not have to go down the stairs to pee in the middle of the night. This is becoming more and more of a priority for us. So the child came out yesterday and she shlepped clean water up and down the stairs while I squeezed grout between the tiles using a grout pastry bag. We used the same epoxy grout that was left over from the floors downstairs. It is 100% waterproof but incredibly hard to put down. I had some tips from the tile store and did smaller sections of floor and just kept cleaning and cleaning over and over again. It turned out better than when we did the downstairs floor. Eighty square feet took us 5 hours to get completed. I also recut the door threshold from the original to reuse. The entire floor was grouted on Saturday.
On Sunday we worked on getting the backsplash installed. Again it took almost four hours to get 19 tiles laid onto the wall. The copper coated tiles look great but they are incredibly painful to get to stick. I had to cut them apart to get them to fit around the plumbing then we just patched in 1 small, large or two small tiles to fill in the gaps wherever they would fit regardless of the pattern. Sarah and I figured no one else would be able to tell. We included a picture to see if anyone notices the differences. Sarah even managed to get a couple of action shots of me hard at work. I sandwiched the tiles together but I think that grout is going to be necessary. I have some no sand grout that will go over everything. I am also told that our wall finish wood is cut and ready for pickup. I ordered 1600 Lf of 1×6 blue pine. I need to get the wall behind the toilet area installed, then go over to the Tricities and pickup my bathroom vanity, granite top and sink as they are ready to go. Once that is done it is time for the plumber to install everything! The bathroom can be used while we finish installing the rest of the boards on the walls and ceiling.
I had another stupid chicken die. Some times I am amazed that they can even figure out how to breathe. I have lost two this month already. I think it is the normal spring virus the chickens get when the waterfowl move in. It’s so annoying, I plan on 4-6 dying every year.
We were supposed to be done with lambing, it’s just that not everyone got the message. Sarah went out this week and discovered a set of twins. They got put into the momma area under the stairs. The babies did well and today we went out and banded and tagged all the sheep in the momma/baby area, kicked them out with the main herd and moved the twins and their momma into the baby area. Now we no longer have to carry water to any sheep! This is one of our main goals in life. We could not get the three untagged lambs running with the main herd as they were still out on the back hillside running around with everyone else.
When you walk through the barn lot it looks like the testicle fairy has been busy. There are little fur bags with double bright orange rubber bands all over the barn lot.
Three days ago Annmarie opened up the back hillside to the sheep. Within 3 hours they had figured out how to get under the fence at the creek crossing. We just gave up and went out and opened up the hillside gate. I cannot lower the fence over the runoff creek as there is a ton of snow up in the mountains and it was 64 degrees F today. Once the runoff creek picks up the sheep will have a harder time crossing it. So far its just a skinny little thing that has been running for a couple of months now.
I finally took all the cardboard items I had been stashing in the dining room and burned the twig pile I had been creating in the orchard. We needed it burnt as this area is going to become our Lavender grow area. It still needs a new fence and an animal lane to get to the side gate so we can still move sheep and cows around the garden.
Well a new bathroom upstairs would be very nice and there is progress being made on said bathroom but it is not happening very fast. Last week we got the kick board tiles installed and now need to install the backsplash. I will try and squeeze in some time this week to run the grout cleaner between the installed tiles and vacuum the entire area so its ready for grout. I figured I really need to install the backsplash first but I am sure that will take me about three hours to get right. The problem with tiling is not that it’s hard it is just very tedious when done right. You have to constantly check yourself to ensure that you are still level or on the line. The tiles want to start to move when you get a bunch in a row and you have to leave space on the outside for movement. Negating your choice to just jam them in place until they are stuck. We are happy with the results so far.
I drove over to the Tricities ten days ago to pick out a granite top for our vanity. We are going to reuse the old wash basin that was stashed in one of the rooms of this house. It’s made out of solid wood. The real problem is it has a scalloped shaped top and I knew it would be hard to cut a top to match. We took the vanity and our hand hammered sink with us so we could match them from the scrap pile. I had also used a piece of clear plastic to mock up the granite top and took that also. It only took about 15 minutes to find a piece that went well with the sink. Since we live so far away they agreed to mock it up and just send me an email to authorize the CNC template. A computer cuts the granite to any shape!
The granite place sent us a completed picture after they finished. It is amazing! I love how it turned out. I had them not set the sink or glue the top down to make it easier for me to bring home. I will get it all put together when I get it home. I need to cut out the right half of the top drawer to make room for the drain and faucet. I am very happy with the amazing work they put into this solid vanity. We are not going to refinish or do anything to the wooden cabinet. It has some dents and dings and we want to leave those in place.
It has been an incredibly long lambing season, over three months of trickle babies the entire time. The ram was totally slacking this last time around and us not having everyone synced did not help matters. We have one last go around to do out in the barn. We still have about 8 babies in the momma/baby area that need to be tagged and banded. Once that is done we are absolutely done. I will go out and lock the cows out of the orchard this week and let it start growing back again so in 2-3 weeks we can sort off all the old ewes we are culling and all the female babies that we don’t want pregnant and they can live in the orchard away from the ram. He better be too busy to worry about those ewes once we turn him in with the main herd. Our last set of twins was incredibly tiny and they have spent a week in their own pen growing. They are now in with the momma/baby pen because we got tired of carrying water every day to them. Now we just open the gate and they go get their own water.
I was headed to work last week and spotted mouse down by the creek avidly staring at something. When he pays that much attention to something it is usually bad for the other thing. It turned out to be a little lamb that stuck its head through the fence to get to the green grass and then when the dog scared it, it stood and could not get its head out of the fence. Once all the dogs figured out the lamb was stuck, they all wanted to go over and lick its head which just freaked the lamb out more. Once I forced its butt down it slid right out of the hole.
We have one brown and white speckled baby that keeps making these weird sounds. I didn’t notice it (I never notice anything weird in the barn) but Annmarie said it was making these grunting sounds and trying to poop. So I was out in the barn getting ready to feed and while chasing everyone out heard this weird noise. I started looking around and spotted that baby ewe trying to poop. I could not get a hold of it before it ran outside. I have been paying attention to it ever since. It is a little girl and it has a sweet tooth! It keeps eating at the molasses licks in the barn and getting constipated from them. That is some dedication to your passion.
These are are final numbers for winter 2019. We actually did pretty good compared to the big farms. We only had a 16% lamb mortality. We almost had 150% productivity when you counted live lambs at a week and when you just counted births it was almost 180%! We are super stoked about those numbers and hope to keep up the average on the next go around. The best part was I did not have to pull a single lamb this lambing season.