Well the Staycation is going well. I am getting stuff done but as always it seems to take forever. This is why men don’t like to finish stuff. The last 10% of a job takes up about 30% of the total time so it feels like you are just not getting stuff done! Take the door stripping for instance. I had to set up a work area where it is a temperature controlled environment. I had to then apply the first coat of stripper, wait about 16 hours then scrape it clean. I then had to reapply the stripper, wait for another 18 hours and then scrape it off, scrape all of the paint off with plastic scraper, brass brush and pickup all the goop off of the door. A pocket knife was required to clean the rounded edges and corners. I also had poor removal on the edges of the door so a pocket knife was utilized liberally to clean it up. I then used paper towels to get all of the gunk off the door then used mineral spirits to do the final cleanup on the door, wait another day for door to dry out. Now it is ready for some light stain and a coat of sealant. I have been staring at the door frame which of course has paint on it also. I am thinking about just taping and plastic and rags on ground then applying paint stripper. I have a paste so it should hold well but it is going to smell and be messy. Using the breeze porch I have windows open and we have the upstairs bathroom fan on for any little smell that gets inside the house. If I do the doorway it is going to smell, I do use the citrus based stuff and that has the least offensive smell. This requires a plan consult with the wife to see what she wants to do and what she will tolerate to get it. All of this takes time, I bet we have about $50 in supplies and about 7 hours into it. The problem is the doors are original to the farm so they are not getting replaced and they are solid wood five panel doors, with the current price of wood, building materials and old style door knobs I would bet all of it combined would cost about $1k/door. So I will be taking down each door one at a time and stripping them. I am not buying six new doors. Those doors will have no character! Annmarie will be making a plaque of the weird instructions that were written on the back of the door. We still don’t know what they are for or the exact location. I think it is for the septic tank location but the directions are pretty convoluted for something that is just off the front porch. Once I have the door reinstalled we will mount the handwritten instructions that she burns onto a wood plaque in the same location they were prior to the door reclamation.
I have been looking at the stuff that needs done outside but it just keeps raining every 2-3 days. We have had 42/100” of rain the last seven days and have had 1.2” for the month of March so far. So it never quite dries out enough to do anything. I did manage to drag the driveway yesterday for about 90 minutes. I was looking at it today, after multiple cars have driven on it and I will need to drag it again for about 120 minutes and I need to tear up the first 2-3” of it to really work the pot holes out and to get it so it will be smooth. What I really need is a roller! I laugh every time I say that, there is always something I don’t have but honestly, I have exactly what is minimally necessary to do everything I could want on the farm, the rest would be extraneous but helpful. The last big purchase was the snow plow. I realize it may seem extravagant but getting trapped in by the snow is no fun. Using the blade I could just make a run up and down the driveway 1-3 times during the storm and would not have to mess with huge mounds of snow at the end of the storm.
We have been working on a plan to find a home for the chest I bought. I violated the ”must have a spot first” rule we have on furniture buying. So we decided on moving out the TV stand/cabinet that we never really use except for the horizontal surface. To do that we needed a high shelf to put the router/wireless transmitter on. We decided that higher was better to increase our wireless signal inside the house. I have been working on a live edge shelf for that for two days. I am using the maple we have and of course it has a bow in the wood and it’s maple. I would rather work with black walnut. I of course do not have a planer set up and now I am going to convert the shop area into an office and not a wood shop so I have a 240V 16” planer and 8” 240V edger for sale. Neither of which have ever been ran because I never wired up a 240V plug. But that is a longer story and ends with ”I needed it”, all wives will understand. This caused me to use a hand sander, for a long time. I would have used my big hand belt sander but alas, I could not find it. I should probably add clean up the old house to my list of chores while on staycation but I need to get things done inside the house first. Again, anything is possible with 40 grit sandpaper and lots of time. I got so tired of sanding I actually removed the rust from a large hand planer and sharped the blade on a stone and used it to cut down some of the material. It was faster than the sander. The sanding took me about 4-5 hours to make one small shelf and my hand grip was so shot that I had a hard time holding a pen afterwards. Again, I am on staycation so time is an easy commodity to spend and fairly cheap at this point. Once the old TV stand is moved out to the old house, which really needs cleaned out now, then there will be a spot for the new trunk I just bought!!
I have yet to take a nap. I do feel that at least one nap is necessary for this to truly be called a staycation but I have not figured out how to squeeze it in yet. The dogs are annoying me as they keep running around the side of the house and eating the cat food. I need that fence installed in the side yard to stop them. But since the area is not yet finished I need to install a six foot gate so I can still drive the tractor through. The faucet near the tree we cut down has a leak so that means digging a 3×4 foot hole four feet deep and it will make a mess. I am waiting on warmer weather for that endeavor. I have seen some nice hammocks for sale on the internet and they do look very appealing. In five years you will be able to tie onto the power pole and the tree in our front yard, although as I type that out it doesn’t sound like that great of an idea.
We are down to 28 chickens, I just counted yesterday. I have had a few die so I do a recount every few months to make sure I can enter the correct numbers into my chicken spreadsheet. I will be doing the 2021 numbers soon. I need them for tax purposes. I am still selling eggs for $4/doz but the price of feed has not jumped yet. Once it jumps I will have to go to $5/doz to cover feed expenses. If I actually wanted to make any real money other than free eggs I would need to sell them for about $8/dozen, at that price I might make $1000/year.
I have been doing a few things, I mowed the lawn with the sheep! Our old alpaca got in on the action also, he wanted out a couple of hours later. The bunny is back or most likely is now active enough I can see him almost every day. So far the owls have not managed to eat it. We have a bald eagle that now flies by the house every few days. I have seen it repeatedly, it is no longer a one off. We get them occasionally as they are passing through but this one is staying somewhere. I have even started seeing the rock chucks out on the hillside. They have not been consistent enough to start trying to shoot them yet but as it warms up they will start spending more time outside. They are tearing up my rock cribs by digging underneath them so they need to go. The quail will hopefully multiply, they are running around everywhere and I think we managed to get at least 80 though the winter so hopefully that means we can have a few hundred this fall!