Office is finally moving forward

Today Mr Tex came out and we focused on getting the wiring done. We pulled the wires and I labeled both ends very well so I could install all of the outlets and switches correctly. I will also have to install all of the breakers and label them once I am done. I needed to install one triple switch and one quad switch but it has been years since I did it. I thought I knew but ran into the house and got my cheater book to make sure I did it right!! Luckily, we had 12/2, 14/2 and 14/3 wire so I was able to use what was necessary to get all the switches correct. I even went into the house attic and pulled down the leftover roll of 500” 12/2 hoping it would be enough, but it was not. Mr Tex got a list of stuff to do, fix the old bathroom ceiling and plug the window off and the bathroom hole. While he did that I ran to Pendleton and bought another 500’ of 12/2. I had not wired any of the freezers yet. We got wires ran to two freezer outlets. We needed to get my room cleaned out so we could move all of the remodel equipment out of the freezer room. Three of the walls in the freezer room need to be torn out so we can seal the walls and install more outlet boxes, then insulate the walls.

We got everything pulled that we had time for, I have four more cable runs to pull and we will be done with the entire house. I even remembered to add two porch outlets and a back porch light! I think our holdup is going to be the windows that we ordered. No telling when those will come.

Mr Professional came out for a couple of hours and we worked on emptying the second room. We need to be able to stage all of the purchased supplies and get the new freezer room cleaned out so the walls can be stripped out. I need the walls out so we can install power, seal the walls then install insulation.

I keep changing my mind on what to do with the walls and ceiling. I was going to just paint the ceiling and do the walls in pine. I have some 1×6” and 1×10” boards and I was just going to butt them up to each other. This won’t look amazing but would work. I am not going to do that. I am getting tongue and groove juniper for the ceiling and tongue and groove blue pine for the walls. I want it to look pretty! I am even going to install it on a diagonal. It will hit more boards that way but will look prettier also. I will use the plain stuff to sheath the new freezer room walls. We are going to do that room at this stage but it doesn’t need to be fancy. I am even thinking about leaving the original window in the room. I think I will for now and then this summer decide if I need to install a thermostatically controlled vent fan to make sure the room doesn’t get too hot. I am hoping that if I insulate the room well I can keep some of the extreme heat out.

Today, Monday we have had 0.43” of rain in the last day. The wheat looks amazing. Our upper fields are looking amazing in places, last years grass is skyrocketing. We need some warmer weather to really cause the seed we planted in the fall to shoot up. Its about 4” tall now. Last year’s grass is over 18” tall already. Next week we are going to have to stop and focus on getting the sickle bar mower attached and ready and get the baler repaired and ready to go.

New office started

Today we decided to tackle the new office remodel in the old house. It is too cold to be outside! We are predicted to get snow in the next two days but the wind off of the snow covered mountains is brutal. This is perfect weather for ripping out the interior walls. You could even take your coat off and keep the long sleeve wear on as long as you kept working. If you stopped it got cold again, this is good incentive to stay busy. Mr Professional offered the suggestion to tear out the walls in what used to be the old bathroom. I liked the idea and since we needed to tear down the inside walls anyways we did it. It is pretty easy to reverse and hard to see without actually doing it. I liked it. I went inside and had Annmarie come out and give her blessing. She wants to use the little room for the 3D printer and the laser engraver. This will actually work well and let the main room be used for an office and sitting area. She wants to put in a couple of chairs/loveseat with a coffee table so she can use it when privacy is needed. It will work out very nice. We took measurements for two new windows and we are going to remove the window in the equipment nook to maximize storage space.

Mr Professional and I had a long discussion about what to do about the knot holes and leaking joints on the outside of the house. We are not going to re-side the outside for at least 3 years so it needs to last for a while. We found some nontoxic plastic paint/roofing material we can paint onto the inside walls to keep the moisture away. We looked at spray in foam insulation but that was going to cost $1300 for 900 sq feet of spray. I can get a five gallon container of plastic elastic paint for $240. So we are going to go with the paint on ourself option. It is looking like a couple of windows and two doors are going to cost over $2k. The real expense is going to be if I have to buy more wire to wire the building. I have about 2/3 of a large roll of 12/2 with ground and I am going to use every leftover outlet and switch from every job I have ever done, so I believe there is some gray, brown, taupe, and white colored accessories. The heating/cooling system is going to be around $4k. I am hoping to get the entire thing done for around $12k. We spent a combined 13 hours working on it today. I am going to try and keep track of all the time we spend on it. We also figured out how to move the power box into the attic so it is not visible on the room side and it still meets code by having the front cleared space! Huge win for everyone.

Mouse is totally got the nighttime chores down. I just let him out and walk down to the end of the ram pasture and he is already out and circling the sheep in field #4 and pushing them back into the barn lot. He is liking working the sheep. One of the cows we pushed into the corral on Friday caught him on the left side of his face with their rear foot and scalped a streak of hair off the middle of his head. So he was a reverse mohawk. I took pity on him and cleaned the mud/poop hoof shape off of his face. He is a trooper and is not letting it slow him down.

It needs to be easier

Saturday was supposed to be sunny and dry but I opted to do some inside work. I am getting tired of getting up in the middle of the night and having to walk down the stairs to get to the bathroom. The second toilet is gaining traction and prioritization. I was talking to Tex as we were getting started in again and I realized that I forgot to order enough floor tile to go up the walls 4 inches. So now I need to call and order another two cases of tile. I will just cut the 8 inch tiles in half with the wet saw.

I had Tex cutting wood while I installed it. This meant he had to recut some pieces because of me measuring wrong or him cutting wrong. By lunch time he was rubbing his right eye nonstop. He had gotten sawdust in it earlier but I noticed it after he started to wear the eye protection I had out in the old house. I keep gloves, dust masks, goggles, eye glasses and ear plugs out in the old house.

Annmarie wanted him to go to the ER but Tex reminded her that his mother was on duty and he was not going to do that. So I had to call his mother then torture Tex by turning his eyelid inside out and wiping it for dust and splinters. I did not find anything. I also irrigated it and still didn’t see anything. I was less than gentle but did get the job done. He ended up going to see his mom and she sent him to the walk in clinic, he had a scratch on his cornea, got some antibiotics and it will heal. I suspect he will be more cognizant of safety gear. If not, Annmarie told me I have to start making him use it!

The goal is to get insulation all around the heat pipes and the exhaust pipes to trap the heat and cut down on the noise. I went out to finish cutting up the plywood but the saw battery died. By the time I got all the tools and wood cleaned up and put away it was time to get cleaned up for a wedding. I had to give Gizmo a shower as he had gotten out of the yard again and his beard was covered with fresh sheep shit. Zeke has not gotten out since we cleaned up the yard but the little dog is still climbing the fence.

We are going to sort the sheep when we get back from Annmarie’s seminary graduation next week. We are going to pull all the lambs off of their mothers and put them in the orchard. We will swap them with the ram and number one ewe. She is no longer limping and he can go hang out with the ewes as they should all be pregnant. We will give the lambs about 4-6 weeks on the orchard then sell them as a group. We have five more sold for slaughter this fall. I still have one cow to sell for slaughter this fall.

Annmarie looked great for the wedding, the hat is an old Pendleton Wool hat she picked up at an estate sale. She says it looks better on her which I cannot deny.

It rained over half an inch at the end of the week and we are under a flood warning for the next two days. This is definitely putting a crimp on my spraying and haying progress. As soon as my neighbors start cutting hay I will!

Fence till it rains

Every year I think I am going to get the lawn mowed before it gets out of control. Every year in the spring I get distracted fencing and then it rains repeatedly and the grass gets out of control.  I keep thinking the mower will magically be able to slice through 12 inches of wet heavy grass and it won’t.  So every year I come to the same conclusion, use Mother Nature and I turn the sheep loose in the front yard.  The only real drawback to this is going to the cars is like walking through a poop minefield.  It takes two weekends to get the entire yard eaten down.  During the week we cannot let the sheep in the yard unsupervised as the dogs would have a hay day.  

Mowing the lawn!

Tex and I moved all the leftover metal panels down by the spring. I want to install a gate on top of the culvert and still allow animals access to water. So we gave them 16 feet of water frontage so they can go down to water. Every time we fence this we try and let them get to water as the spring never dries out and never freezes. We used the tractor to move the panels around. Hopefully, we can get the posts set for the gate today. The weather just needs to hold out.

Panels moved for new fenced area

 We managed to get the entire momma/baby area fence torn out and reinstalled. I brought the tractor in and we leveled the entire area, reset two posts, fixed a couple of H-braces and restrung the fence. It looks great and now the dry flower area is completely protected.

Momma baby area fence reworked

There is a black walnut tree in the corner of the flower bed. I am hoping it is still alive. It has survived for the last five years even though it gets eaten down to the ground every year. If its still alive then this is its year as nothing can get to it to nibble it down to the ground.

Dry flower area fenced in

I wanted to keep fencing and get that gate in but Mother Nature did not get the memo. By lunch time it was pouring down rain and we had to go inside. Tex and I had Tamales for lunch, they were good but I made salsa Fresca with Serrano Chile’s and it was smoking hot, almost too much. I should have stuck with Jalepenos but the Serranos were on sale!

Upstairs bathroom insulating ducts

We switched to installing insulation and attempting to finish up the framing in the bathroom. We have about five more boards to install so we can sandwich insulation around the horizontal duct. Once that last little bit of framing is done we will start getting the plywood up and cover all the insulation. My hope is that with this insulation we will get hotter air downstairs. This next winter will be the test. Annmarie and I are still trying to come to an agreement on what type of ceramic tile to put on the floor. She wants the same thing that we used downstairs. I want a tile no bigger than 8×8 inches. That size will be easier to install if the floor is not level, which I am sure it is not.

Floor finished

Well it took a week longer than I thought and Annmarie had to sleep at her mother’s house for an extra week but I got the stairs and spare room floor finished. There is still a little light spot on the stairs from the dogs going up and down the stairs but it is not super noticeable. I suspect I will have to do the stairs again in 10 years. I may even sand them smooth then. I just slopped stain over them as is until I was happy with the color then slopped Varethane over that. I may have a few dog hairs in the Varethane.

The barn owl is hanging out in the machine shed now. I went out to feed the cows and it just was not going to leave. I started up the tractor and it just peered down at me and gave me the “what for” look. I drove off and it never moved from its perch. I need to get in the room and clean some more. I want to wipe down the walls and ceiling another 2-3 times to make sure I have gotten all the sawdust off of the walls and wood trim. Once all that is done then I am going to stain the door trim in place. Its a pain to do but I opted to do it in stages as I wanted to get the floor done first. I don’t think I will need a bunch of coats of stain and varethane on the trim. I will probably only do one maybe two coats. Unfortunately, I am not going to put the furniture back in the room until I am all done cleaning. I can do the door staining with the furniture back in place. It turned out very nice. I think I am going to add 1-2 more shelves in the closet storage room also. I will be able to store stuff all the way to the ceiling that way. I am also going to add a shelf between the intake and output duct. This will gain me five feet of shelf 18 inches wide and 20 inches deep. That is a lot of space! This has spurred me to reconsider building another narrow shelf next to our refrigerator. We currently have all our reusable bags just stuffed into a 7 inch wide gap. To minimize space loss I should use 5/16 plywood. The trouble is I like the look of old doors but that will cause me to lose 3 inches which is too much. So I am still arguing with myself on what to put their that will not cause a loss in decor. I am considering a frame type shelving unit using the old floor kickboards. I found a bunch of them in the rafters of the old woodshed when I was installing the weather station. I just need to figure out how I am going to put them together. That project is going to preoccupy my mind for the near future.

I have determined which alpaca is the smartest. It is the not smallest black one. The trailer got moved and this is the only spot on the entire property with visible grass and he was all over it. I came back two hours later and eight alpaca were trying to lay in this spot! The trailer was moved in the night so they did not see the spot come open.