Winterizing still and office run

Mr Rainman came out today! He agreed to come out and help me get caught up on the office for a few days. He brought a helper who is willing to help finish winterizing the place. I have dubbed him Mr BeardMePlease! He needs a lot of work to get that beard to fill in. He dug right in and got the gooseneck hitch installed in the pickup and got the raspberries and blackberries trimmed and tied up for the winter. The pickup kept dying, but it has not really even been driven for almost two months. I need to rotate rigs driven to work on a more regular basis. Each vehicle should not go more than two weeks without getting driven.

Mr Rainman and I worked on the office. The plan was to get the East wall completed today. Unfortunately, this did not occur. We had a hard time getting the two top boards in place. There was much hammering and cussing. We ended up having to sand the board in place over the door opening. This took quite a bit of time. I worked on building a window box for the casing. My lack of attention to detail caused the pieces to be cut three different times and I had to tear the box apart once due to a piece going in wrong side out. I did finally manage to get the box constructed and installed. Once I had the frame in place and nailed in tight Mr Rainman decided that I needed to use squirt in foam around the window to get a good seal. We are out of optimum usage temperatures but I did it anyway. This meant it was going to take forever to dry. We ended up plugging in a heater and closing up the room.

The black walnut tree I went and picked up this summer got cut up into lumber today. Mr Rainman and I went over and picked it up. There was more wood there than I realized when we dropped off the tree. Unfortunately, there was not room in the old chicken coop for the wood to dry out there. We ended up putting it in the barn! This meant that we could not set it up so that we could band the boards together. We got it all snickered and laid out flat and tomorrow we will pull down some of the long boards stored in the barn and pile them on top of the walnut. I figure a few hundred pounds of weight on top of the pile should help keep everything straightened out. All of the boards are cut to 1.5” thick.

They took the pickup home with them and hopefully will come out tomorrow with an excavator. I want to get the new ditch in field #1 finished before the ground freezes hard. Mr BeardMePlease will be cutting up all of the fallen tree branches in our yard and cleaning up the yard. Once that is done then the back bridge to the wood shed can be cut up so it doesn’t get washed away in the spring rains. I will reinstall it after the spring runoff. Hopefully, we can get the East wall done in the office and the second window installed.

The puppy, Chance, looks cute but she can be a terror. We are still working on potty training her. She has not been easy.

Back at the office

I really need to finish finish reinforcing the berm and digging a secondary ditch in field #1. It has been cold and now the rain is coming again. Instead I am going to focus back on the office! We had company come for Thanksgiving. So our old office is back to being a bedroom until after the holidays now with people coming and going. This means if I want to get the office stuff out of our bedroom then I need to finish the office! Mind you the office was only supposed to take a couple of months so we didn’t really organize the old clean out of the in house space and just moved it all into our master bedroom. This was a mere six months ago, minuscule on the house remodeling time scale, but still annoying. So Doom helped me out in the office on Friday. I messed up big time when I started that wall. I am installing tongue and groove and you always want to start at the ceiling and work down! Do not violate this rule. I for some unknown now reason did violate the aforementioned rule. This meant I needed to cross the door in the middle of the room. I have not idea what I was thinking when I did it! I have managed to cuss myself out several times in an attempt to fix my blunder. You know it’s bad when you have to cuss the previous contractor/remodeler and its you. Nothing is level or square, the house is at least 120 years old and only this room sits on a rock wall foundation. I have to compensate all the time. I know this, I am still dumbfounded that I made this decision. Anyways, after cussing out the noob again, Doom and I decided that the only way we were going to get the thing corrected was to just split the wall in half over the door frame. By the time I trim out the door and trim out the ceiling there will only be about two inches of the wall visible and the trim will draw your eye away from my blunder. You have to look closely at the picture to tell what we did. Sometimes it is all about being able to cover up or handle the oddities that an old house presents. I was working on the trim near the machine work room I made and the wall is so crooked that I had to lean the board up, and just trace the angle. I used the table saw to just follow the line. Without a tape measure your eye really does not notice the one inch difference, because the line is straight. I have learned that if I can look at something, figure out how to accommodate it and after install step back and it looks good/normal then the technique I used to cover up the oddity worked. Since I am installing wood with color variations and defects that helps a ton also.

The feeder sheep have finally decided they may need to actually come in and eat some hay. They have been out free ranging on the hillsides and bottoms and have not wanted any supplemental feed. Even the three bulls will go out and free range during the day. I don’t worry too much about the sheep not being able to get to the feed. They always find a way.

I got another raccoon. It had been living in the barn but it has been mighty cagey. So the count for the year is Predators 15, Farm 6. The predators are winning. I got six adult chickens online. I think one is a rooster! It was not obvious when I brought it home but it was a fairly juvenile bird. I am going to give it another month. If its a rooster then I will keep it and kill my old rooster. He is not accepting the latest batch of chickens. He gets a fungus on his feet and makes them look all weird. Sarah looked it up and it is a delicacy in some countries. The coyotes can have him from the bone pile. We are only getting 1-2 eggs a day now. I thought it was the raccoon, then the lack of light, but now I am unsure why no one is laying in the henhouse. So I am looking for another dozen laying or soon to be laying chickens. We have just enough eggs for us, no one else.

We were watching a movie last night. Our daughter took this picture of me highly engrossed in the captivating film. Putting up Christmas decorations just tuckered me out.

Office window in one at a time

We were able to pick up the windows this evening! I carried them into the old house and decided that I could install one tonight. I had purchased this adhesive tape that was supposed to go over the wood then window to seal it tight but I have never used the stuff before. I really did actually read the directions before I used it! I didn’t want to get it wrong but at the same time after reading the directions I was unhappy with the level of water tightness and bug proofing they suggested.

So instead I installed tape on the bottom sill then along both sides and a strip at the top of the window opening. This will allow the water to run down and not get under any seams. The window was a little tight getting in after taping up the opening. I got it installed and roped off from inside and then went outside to caulk and crew in the window. I was not looking where I was stepping and stepped right on top of a nail with my right muck boot. Unfortunately, this caused two problems, first problem was there was a large nail in the bottom of my foot and it hurt. Second problem is now I have a hole in my muck boots so they are not watertight anymore. This is the bigger issue for me. I pulled my foot off of the nail and board combo and continued on. I caulked the whole outer aspect of the window then screwed it in place. I then cut four inch strips and put them over the window and the seal. The stuff vulcanizes to itself so it sealed everything totally up! It is truly amazing, not only will the water shed off the window but no bugs will get inside the office via the window! This is even cooler than it sounds if you have never lived in the country you will not truly appreciate it. All that is needed now is installing the wooden trim on the outside of the window. I saved all three pieces from the original window.

I am hopeful that I can get the other window installed tomorrow after work but who knows what will come up. The wind has been blowing for almost two days and its starting to dry everything out. We may be able to cut hay in 2-3 days. I also will need to find that hole in my muck boots and try and seal it with silicone so I don’t have to buy new boots.

Finish work before we are finished

The seamless gutters got installed around the front deck this week. They are amazing! I thought all the water on the front porch was from the wind, well it was the wind and the rain. Since adding the gutters our front porch is mostly dry all of the time now. Annmarie picked up some new outdoor furniture and she 3D printed a new plastic foot for a small side table we have. It’s metal and we don’t want it scratching up our new Trex decking.

Saturday it was time to start back in on the new office. I started out by cleaning some more while I waited for Mr Tex to show up. He apparently slept in. The place needed more cleaning anyways. When he showed up I had him hide all of the attic vent fan supplies and the laser cutter external fan pieces up into the attic. This was just to get everything out of the way as we won’t need these pieces until we are almost finished with everything else. We had about eight boxes worth of stuff.

Tex started installing more insulation in the west wall. While he was doing that I started working on the picture window frame. This was going to be a surprise for Annmarie but as soon as she saw it in the wall and she saw my order for a light from Amazon she correctly guessed that I was putting in a light box for a stained glass piece. The surprise will now be the stained glass piece as she has not seen it. It took me two tries to get the box correct. I needed a thicker piece up at the top to hide the electrical plugin but after I trimmed it for the glass I discovered I failed to take into account the cut down size. I had to redo the entire thing! Once I had it all cut I tried to insert the glass and unsurprisingly the glass piece is not perfectly square. So I had to trim a couple of pieces to account for the nonsquare window.

Once I had that glued and pin nailed in place Tex and I started in on the wall. He also managed to get some insulation into the attic while I was redoing the light box. We had to squirt in foam around the new door to seal it up before we could put up the siding. I was going to start from the ceiling and work down like I did on the other wall but Tex talked me into starting at the bottom. This was a bad idea that was not fully realized until we got above the door and realized we were going to have to work downwards on the other side. Which meant the entire piece had to be cut the whole length of the wall, with cutouts for the door and light box. I cut it and the door was off by 1/4”, so I just gave up! It was quitting time anyways and it’s never good to do wood work when you are frustrated. It tends to go wrong more often just to further frustrate you.

Mr Professional came out and dropped off six laying hens. We were leaving so I did not stick around. When I came back I had to go out and catch five chickens and feed the horse.

Sunday I opted for mowing the cheat grass! The stuff is taking off and growing everywhere. I had already cut around the machine shed and cars earlier so I did the entire barn lot, the ram pasture and all of field 4b. The field took quite a bit of time, when you are doing several acres a four foot wide swath takes a while to get anything done. I almost ran over a grey cat when I was clearing the road alongside the field. The cat crouched down and hid in the grass and I was within 12 inches of it when I went by. I was pretty impressed that the cat held still. I was super impressed with the new Kubota tractor. It is 29 hp and it would power down but it never overheated and if I slowed down the mower would just keep chewing though the tall wet grass. It was very impressive, it did burn a lot more diesel but now we have the big tank it is not near the hassle to fill up.

I did manage to get a look at the little triangle of triticale. It needs to get cut as soon as the rain stops and we can guarantee several days rain free so everything can dry out.

Cleanup day

Well, I really wanted to just make more progress and keep working on the new office. The real problem with this is we had a hard time finishing the ceiling because there was so much stuff in the way. It was fairly untenable if we wanted to keep working on the walls and windows. So Friday was clean up day, these feel like you are going no where when you do them. No actual progress occurs on the room but without the cleanup day then no other work can progress either. So most of the room got swept up and about 60% of the stuff/trash got moved out of the room.

There was still all the wires hanging out in the room so I decided to put in pass throughs into the new electrical box and fed all of the wires into the box. I cut two boards that would let me sit in the stairway and start to tighten all of the wires and actually start wiring the box. I expect it to take me about another three hours to get the box wired. I had to run to town because there was no grounding bar with the new box. This seems crazy to me that it is not included since you have to have one! Once I had that installed I started to wire up the new breakers. I got three done before I dropped my flat headed screwdriver for a second time. Next time I start to wire I am going to take a couple of flat head screwdrivers so I can drop one and not get off of my perch.

No wall progress was made. But we are going to get our windows by Tuesday. I keep calling the place we ordered our windows from and their voicemail was full. Annmarie emailed the website and email address and had a response in a couple of hours. We are scheduled to pick up the windows on Tuesday after work. This is the last big holdup to getting the room completed.

I would love to be cutting hay but it is raining again. It is supposed to rain all weekend and we are predicted to get more flood warnings.