Sunday, December 5, 2010

A - DOOR- able

This past week, we've had a slave...er....VOLUNTEER helping us on the farm to get a few things done before winter and other upcoming things. The biggest thing was getting some of the line fence done around the farm. We have had most of the POSTS in for about 2 1/2 years, but the neighbor's cows didn't have to fight wire to come on our place....

Ryan (the slave) actually volunteered to come up from his home in Central Missouri to lend a hand. No questions asked, now payment request - just good old-fashioned help.
He pulled into our driveway at about noon on Tuesday, and departed at 4:15 Saturday afternoon.

In between, we got a lot done (him doing most of the hard work....).

We put in 13 corner braces, about 1100' of woven wire, then three strands of barb above that. The first thing he did was to dig four big post holes by hand (since we couldn't get the tractor in there), then pounded in a few steel posts, just to get warmed up. Here it was, 28°, a northwest wind blowing at around 20 mph - and Ryan was down to his shirt sleeves because he was sweating too much! Of course, we were down in a "hole", surrounded by trees, so the wind wasn't bad there.

The worst thing was having to lug those 4 heavy Hedge posts across the ditch and up the other side...Those things are NOT light. We (he) finished just in time to go milk the cow (ok, I milked the cow, but he got in there and got a squirt, or two out of her, too).

By Friday afternoon, we had all the fence wire done, except for the 4 ditch crossings that we'll need to do in the spring.

Fencing being done, we headed to the next project - cutting some Cedar trees down around a brush pile, so I can burn it when there is snow on the ground. I can't crawl around on the ground very much any more, so Ryan ran the saw, and I pointed out which tree to cut next.

I could get used to this kind of work....

We got enough down to clear a big area around the pile, then headed into the house to plan what to do next.

This is where things got "dicey".....

The plan was, to open the garage door on the barn (since it was stuck half way), get my Farmall F-20 inside, then close the door. Things were working great, until it came time to close the door. It stopped half way down (again), so Ryan climbed into it to see if his body weight could bring it down.

Well - it brought it down alright - right down on top of us! Luckily, it was just the top two sections that came out of the track and "folded" down right over us - we both escaped without a scratch..

I had actually been planning for months to replace the door, so I knew how I wanted it done, but I didn't think I'd be replacing it THIS week! I had materials to build the doors, but no HINGES to hang them on!

Anyhoo - we just unhooked the rest of the door, slung a chain around it, hooked it up to the loader, and drug the whole thing outta there. About a minute later, we were pulling out pieces of wood, the saw, and bolts, and getting ready to build a new one.

It got dark before we got too far along, but we at least had a plan of action for Saturday morning. The FIRST thing we needed to do was go to town and buy hinges....

Saturday dawned cold and windy but - luckily - the wind was from the north, so the barn blocked it. It was actually fairly warm out there, especially with the bright sunshine. The doors went together well (and amazingly QUICK), and we even had time to do a few other small things before Ryan had to leave. Here is what we ended up with:

New Barn Door - Outside

There are actually 4 doors. I wanted to be able to open the top two in the summer so light could get in, and be able to leave the bottom doors closed so a cow or goat couldn't get out if they were in the barn.

New Barn Door - Open

At least I SHOULDN'T have to worry about these falling on my head....

....and they add to the "hillbilly" decor of the barn....

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