Moving on to decking

My helpers finished getting in the last two tons of hay into the barn this week. We managed to get one ton of grass hay just off of the area around the school house. Even with help and me doing the driving I was done last weekend by the time we got the hay into the barn. Mr CrossFit ran the weed eater and cleaned up the berry area. The grass and weeds keep growing back. We are going to lay down some ground cloth and cover it up to keep the grass and weeds down, eventually. It’s on the list but not a super high priority. It was time to shift gears and move on to the next project.

The front deck needs to be finished and TREX deck applied. I had all the TREX laid out by the house and thought I was ready to go. Friday morning, Mr Rainman came over to help, he unloaded the pickup with my daughter and then we went to town to buy more stuff for the deck. Another $1000 and we had more lumber and concrete blocks. We unloaded everything onto the yard pile and started in on making the deck underlayment. The price of TREX and building supplies is really high. I know I keep reading about it but a project I planned two years ago was going to cost $6k in materials and now is costing $10k in materials. It is crazy, I have had to shift some money I was saving for the old house remodel to the deck project. This is making the old house project look mighty lean!

We started to install the support framework. This did not go fast and we kept having to stop and take more measurements. The corner beam had to be moved in an inch. We had to stop, make adjustments and keep the width the same every time we moved forward. This sounds easy but it is a constant battle. We did not get very far on Friday. One of the beams had about 20% dry rot and had to be dug out, we ended up cleaning it out and filling the holes with concrete.

Saturday was the day to get completed! Mr Rainman came out and we started in again. I had him doing the cutting, which involved carrying and delivering the cut wood to the job site. I stayed in one place and hollered out measurements. We set posts for the railing, this involved digging a hole, filling with some gravel, setting the 4×4 concrete footing block then centering the block. Once we had the block centered we sandwiched the 4×4 with 2×6 pieces to keep it from moving then I even filled in the other two sides with wood and shims to lock it all into place so that there is no way the posts can come loose!
It got hot on Saturday so Mr Rainman was in full force, we discussed the need to drink more water. Neither of us were drinking enough to pee every hour, but I was ahead. My wife was sticking her head out the front door and ensuring that my water consumption was sufficient. He was on his own.

That evening we went down and pushed the sheep up into the barn lot. The dogs did all the work, we just plodded along. Once we had the sheep into the barn we sorted off all of the babies. The youngest set of twins were not quite three months old. It actually went fairly smooth and we sorted off a nice big lamb for one of our customers. They took it home in a dog crate and Annmarie overhead the spouse telling their partner that “this one is food”. They now have two pet lambs from last year that are now no longer lambs. We pushed all the lambs over into the ram pasture but it is looking pretty eaten down, the sheep will need to be let up above into field #4 with the cows this week.

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