I am loving this concept of a forever Friday, maybe this is what retirement feels like? I am sure it is not retirement as I would have different concerns and not as many deadlines. However due to the nature of Covid crisis I am home all the time with my lovely bride. We don’t quite have the same vision for my Forever Fridays. This has caused me to consider doing a count down until I return to work. I know have much more sympathy with people who have had their spouses and children home with them for months on end. On the plus side I have decided that 42 days is enough to grow my beard back! Since I am not at work I can have the beard!! So it is coming in quite nicely although it appears to be grayer than the last time I had one in January.
On Sunday I spent four hours on the tractor digging out the barn. I even started to push some out the far end so I can go around with the tractor and pick it up easily. I have spent a total of 10 hours digging out the barn with the new manure forks and I am making great progress. I was spending 40 hours paying someone and another 40 to pickup the piles that were outside the barn. Using just the bucket the piles I could move were pretty small. I am only 12% of the way there and have about 60% of the barn dug out already. So the $250 spent for the manure forks was pure genius and something I should have done years ago. This means that the pallet forks for my tractor are coming very soon!! I can get a fork/hay spike combo attachment for my bucket for around $700. The bucket comes off and this platform attaches via the quick attachment points.
After I dug out the hay I decided to work on the manure spreader. I cannot get that one frozen bearing loose. I have tried multiple things and am now focused on pulling the bearing off and replacing it. I tried to punch out the gear pin and broke two pin punches. I got the pin about 1/3 of the way out but it is being mighty stubborn. I have filled the pin hole with lubricant/penetrant and ordered more pin punches. I am going to use a bigger hammer next time! Some nice strong determined blows with the appropriate verbal coaching should do the trick. I will swing by every day and use penetrant until my pin punches show up.
See there is a floor underneath all of that straw and manure, it just takes some effort to get there. On Monday (4/42), I decided to finally fix the front gate. It can no longer latch as the pressure treated 4×4 has decided to crack open right where the hinges are located causing the hinges bolts to sag. This has been a problem for about two months and since I now have a welder Annmarie has decided that there is very little that cannot be fixed on the farm. Unbeknownst to Annmarie I need some metal to make things and I need some small indoor storage space for metal. I have started to collect all the dug up scrap I am finding and keeping it in one place so I can dig through the scraps and find usable pieces. I dug a piece of angle iron out of the ground and drilled three holes and ground it off and ground in a V-shape to stabilize the bottom hinge bolt and then bolted it in place. Our front gate now actually swings and latches again.
I spent another four hours digging sheep poop out of the barn for a total of 14 hours so far. I have the entire feeding area cleaned up and I think I can can be done in four more hours with some help. I have two new raw recruits coming on Wednesday morning at 0700 to help with the barn. I want to get the barn totally done and get the fence area all cleaned up in the barn lot so we can start rebuilding it.