Forever Friday 13/42

Yes, I am committed to seeing this through and will be doing the Forever Friday theme for another 29 days! On the plus side I am making progress on the farm and it is starting to show. I have high hopes for getting the fence in the orchard fixed in the next ten days. That is one of the four essential tasks that needed to happen during this rest and relaxation period.

Tuesday was my errand day. I went to town and took care of a bunch of stuff. The best part of the day was after I came home and took a two hour nap! It was the first nap during my 12 days off. It felt great and I was still able to go to sleep on time and wake up the next morning just before my alarm.

We have company, dear friends, coming on Friday so this morning was spent cleaning up around the house. Mr Professional came out to help and will be here tomorrow also. We cleaned up all the bags and trash from the lavender area, installed edging along the lavender field, put away all the tools and I killed more thistles. We then moved more trash out of the yard, cleaned off the front porch, and even cut the hole in the top of the bathroom vanity. We moved the vanity to the breeze porch where I will be giving it a heavy coat of butcher block oil/bees wax treatment. As soon as I can get every field replanted this fall we are hitting the upstairs bathroom hard to get it finished. We need two bathrooms!!

Mr Professional and I got the second bridge footing installed today! The first one has all the rebar it needs and the second one has about 50% of the rebar installed. We will start pouring cement first thing in the morning!! I kept telling him that this side was a lot easier to dig. We never had to use the breaker bar or pull out a single big rock or break a rock in half with the breaker bar. It was easy digging. Tomorrow we should be able to get all the concrete poured and the rest of the wall on the barn side finished. We will just wait for a few days before trying to install the bridge. Once the bridge is in place I will put the auger on the tractor and we start drilling fence holes!!

There was a slight delay today when I noticed the bull out eating on the hay pile with the alpaca. He had jumped down into the spring ditch and pushed his way through the fence crossing. We will now have to install some cable across the railroad ties to keep him from lifting the panels. He is way too smart. Unfortunately for him, he likes apples and by the time I figured out what he had done he was walking toward me and the apple tree. I picked a couple of apples, gave him one when he came into the pasture and when he went through the gate gave him another then locked him out of the crossing until we can get it fixed.

Before headed in for the night I went out and checked our packages the UPS driver dropped off. My punch pins had arrived so I went over to the manure spreader and punched out the gear pin! Unfortunately, now I need a gear puller…

Forever Friday 7/42

Well the body parts brothers came out for a second helping of work. It’s always a crap shoot after the first day on whether they will return. Mr Nose looked pretty worn out upon arrival and was contemplating whether he should even exit the vehicle. I was dragging a little after digging so much in the barn and still had to finish breakfast, eggs and an English muffin with a side of extra coffee. So I had the boys start digging up thistles and weeds in the yard and on the front hillside. Annmarie wanted all the weeds gone so it was a win for all of us.

I had to let the dogs out the front door and spotted Mr Nose sleeping on the bridge, not digging weeds. The odd part is Mr Ears was just ignoring him and chopping weeds. This is what makes working siblings so hard, you never know how they will interact until you work with them. When Mr Nose heard the front door open he jumped up off of the bridge but it was too late, gig was up. I finished my coffee and then went outside. They both were working on the front hillside when I approached. I opened the dialogue with Mr Nose by saying that he was sleeping. A few excuses were started but I just cut him off saying none were relevant. Before I had a chance to dock his pay for the first hour he offered up the no pay solution on his own. I did tell him I was not his mother and if he wanted to sleep or take a nap he just needed to tell me so the pay clock could stop and he could have his beauty rest. I agreed to the dock in pay and then had him work on mowing the yard, and taking trash from chicken coop, yard, lavender area out to the dumpster I had delivered. It is time to get the fall cleanup accomplished and that usually requires a few dumpsters worth of stuff to go away. When he was done with that it was back to more weed chopping. I checked on him several times to keep him going. Next week he will need to finish picking up the trash as his teenage vision seems to be impaired. Not really a big deal as the entire dumpster was already full, it got emptied on Friday so it is ready for a refill. I will say he was a champ when it came time to mow the lawn.

Mr Ears and I went down to the front spring in the barn lot to lay in some blocks. I want to line the bottom of the waterway with the newly acquired solid blocks and then rebuild the stair step sides so that the animals can always get to clean water. This required a lot of raking and digging out the hidden rocks in the spring bed. I worked on the entrance V while Mr Ears worked on the stream bed floor. I stacked the blocks and drove rebar down through them. I probably should have filled with concrete but that is a lot of work, added expense and if I do this right and back fill with rocks it should hold even if the water flows over the top of them.

Just before lunch Mr Ears informed me that I had a praying mantis on my hat. I ignored him and kept working, if he had not said anything I would never have known about the praying mantis. This disturbed him to no end, he mentioned it three more times! When the mantis tried to come over the brim of the hat and I could spot it, I reached up and helped it down to the ground. He seemed relieved that I no longer had a crawling insect on my person. We managed to get the “V” completed prior to lunch then the boys went to sit in the yard and eat their lunches.

After lunch Mr Ears and I went back out to and started back in on the block wall. I did the right hand side (completed wall side) and Ears did the other. He rebuilt the two levels he did at least four times. We had to discuss level and compacting and how he kept overdigging. I finally went with the mantra “put more gravel then you think is necessary” line in an attempt to get him to get the correct block height. This helped when the 20 yards of gravel I ordered were delivered! I made three trips to get loose gravel and bring it down to where we were working. We started to run out of block as I wanted to carry the steps all the way under the bridge. I am also going to make rectangle concrete footings for the bridge. They won’t wash away in a flood and I can just drop the bridge back in place after it floats away. I will need about another 160 blocks, some 40 bags of Sakrete, some rebar and I may even use a level. In an effort to see where we were and how many more blocks were needed we finished lining the stream bed. We will need a hole dug at the end of the block so we can scoop water off the bridge in the winter when watering the momma/babies, Mr ears started in on the watering hole.

There was a slight issue at the end of the day when we calculated the pay and handed out cash. Mr Nose was not sure I was doing the math correctly. He was less than impressed to learn that he did not get paid for lunch time and then he did not get paid for his hour of sleeping. He seemed mollified once it was explained.

I have them scheduled to return on Monday. My plan is to buy supplies and get the rest of the hay this weekend. We will see how they do on Monday.