New Years resolution, finish the office

We are trying to get ready for lambing season, it should start this month. We sorted off four weathers into Alcatraz and sorted the ram off of the ewes. He was starting to get fat and pushy. He wanted to sneak up on you and try and ram you. I had come to an understanding with him but the few times Annmarie went out in the evening to feed he kept trying to sneak up on her and head butt her. This is both annoying and dangerous. If he knocks you to the ground you can get stepped on if the sheep panic and start to bolt. They do not care what is in their way, they just jump over or on it as they run away. So we are hoping that a few months isolated in Alcatraz with a few like minded folks will mellow him out. We still have all the rest of the feeder lambs down with the three bulls. They all share the alfalfa bales.

The weather is all screwy, on Saturday the temperature got to 50F. Since it was a holiday weekend I ran to town to get more insulation and a belt sander. They did not have the precut insulation so I got two full rolls. We can cut our own sections. While I was there I priced CDX 1/2” plywood, it was $30/sheet, not cheap but the second room only needs 20 sheets to redo all the walls. This will be the fastest way to finish off the room and economical. This room is going to be a reloading and jewelry making room for me. I am going to use the old outer door from the new office to be my inner door to the old freezer room. I will still need a new back door but I want one with a window in it to let in more natural light. I still need to stiffen the outer wall in that room before a new door gets installed. I did buy a new 18” belt sander, it was cheap! I was amazed at the price on corded power tools, most were under $100. Everyone wants battery operated tools nowadays. I know I do but after looking at the prices I went with a corded belt sander as I am only doing one room.

I came home and started working on installing the overhead lights, this did not go well for me. I want to preface this discussion by saying I have never installed track lighting before. There are definitely a few learning curve points. I had to tear off the decorative cover three times and keep adjusting the power supply connector to the track. It was off center and this was stopping the decorative cover from sitting flush. I also installed 12 feet of track. Holding up an eight foot section while on a ladder from one end is not a realistic prospect. Luckily, the track comes in a cardboard tube. I cut it shorter and then jammed it under the track at one end and the floor and used it as a third hand to hold the track up while I adjusted and screwed in the opposite end. After many tries I got the track installed and lights on the track. One of the lights is missing a bulb so I ordered spares on Amazon. I then went to the center light. This also did not go smoothly. The light is heavy, the box is retracted about a half an inch up into the ceiling. I was trying to wire the light and hold it up at the same time. I finally just wired in the ground wire and hung the light from the ground while I tried to get the other wires together. This was not easy and in the end I ripped out the grounding wire. I fought with it some more, and gave up. Today I added extenders to make the holder sit lower and got the light installed. Now that I had two lights installed I went out and flipped the breaker to see how the lights looked! Nope, I forgot that I had daisy chained the power to all three lights and the beginning of the chain was the light I had not yet installed. So I flipped the breaker back off and went and installed the last section of track lighting. This time I only had to remove the cover one time to get everything in alignment. I went and flipped the breaker to see if the lights work and viola, two of three work! Big surprise the main one in the middle of the room does not work. I also had to adjust two of the track lights to get them to fit into the track correctly. The track lighting is dimmer than I expected. So Annmarie ordered a new light and I will get it installed this week.

Saturday, Annmarie wanted me to burn the boxes and Christmas wrapping paper, she was tired of it living in the hallway. This was valid and the wind was no longer blowing so I moved it all out onto the front porch and grabbed the only fire stick I could find. Mind you, I only needed to make two trips out of the yard to take all the boxes out to burn. The smart move was to latch the gate as soon as I went through but that would require me to unlatch the gate again. I thought I could just fake it and make the gate appear to be closed therefore fooling the puppy, Chance to not run out and play with the animals. She ran along the fence away from the gate, I kept trying to light the damn fire stick! It would not make a flame, after about 75 tries I hear chickens squawking. I look up from my failed task and the border collie puppy is running after chickens! She is having a great time and feathers are flying everywhere. I run over screaming and throw the failed fire stick in her direction, it misses and she then spots the lone sheep in the field and makes a bee line for it. I have now given up on screaming or running after her and just start heading toward the barn. She has the sheep all balled up outside the barn then pushes them all into the barn before I can get up to the barn. When I enter the barn she has them all balled up against one wall and is laying in the hay trying to decide if she should move them some more. I chased the sheep out of the barn and shut the door. Eventually, I manage to catch the puppy, there was a lead rope on the wall so I attach that to her and we go out and actually work the sheep for five minutes on the run. She did manage to realize that “easy” did not mean hit the end of the lead rope at a dead run. It took a bit but she is teachable. She was glad to go back in the yard and did not look abashed at all.

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