Friday, May 29, 2009

Barn Building 101 - Don't Try This at Home

And, yes, boys and girls: the quickest way to get yourself nominated for this year's Darwin Award is, in fact, to put the pregnant lady on the peak of the barn securing the trusses!!

So, we're building this barn (we being my dad, myself, Todd and an occasional brother conned into it whilst stopping for some totally unrelated subject). The barn will be magnificent when we're finished - it just seems like the never ending project. And, to tell you the truth, most days we'll get home from work and my dad's already been working on it most of the day.

The funniest part I think came while sitting atop the rafter peak. My dad and I were running 2x4s across the trusses in order to screw the metal to the roof and had sent Todd to the hardware store for more screws. So, as I was sitting there I was thinking to myself, "ya know when you read the stories about stupid people doing stupid things? And then you think to yourself 'what were they thinking? Like, what were they even doing there?'" Right. Stupid people.....
So, as I was perched with hands and legs spread between trusses, no safety gear to speak of (lanyard, harness, fall protection, etc.), holding myself up and looking directly down at the ground 20 feet in the air, all while wrangling the skill saw and cordless drill I couldn't help but think to myself what the rescue workers would be talking about at break time...
1. "Who put the pregnant lady on the roof?"
2. "What was she doing up there anyway?"
3. "Where was her husband?"
Then, jostling me from my daydream, was Todd looking up at me, "Honey, do you need more screws?"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's a Boy!!

Yep, you heard it here first!

It wasn't so much that I was convinced it was a girl, its just that everyone seemed to think it would be so I was going along with it. (Perhaps a little bit of me hoped for a girl..) People seemed to think that we would be tortured with what I consider my worst nightmare: a little girl who loves pink, wants ballet and tap lessons, hates horses and motorcycles and won't go outside - and that was why we would certainly have a girl. Since I was convinced it was in fact a girl I had the ultrasound tech double check: 99.9% sure of a boy. She does, after all, "do this all day, everyday.."

You can see from Pic #2 the definite confirmation that its a boy. I know, it looks strange to me too, but its a picture of his butt on the left and his two legs pointing off to the right with his junk all mashed up in the middle. This is, apparently, enough to determine boy/girl. This is also where I believe the inspiration for shows like X-files and The Twilight Zone come from. From looking at these pictures one could, without any doubt, be certain they were delivering some extraterrestrial alien.

We are very excited, of course, for the little guy's arrival sometime in mid-Sept. So, with Todd, Griz, Tux, the 3 steers and the bull I'd say this farm's a little stacked on the testosterone side!
Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to enter the naming contest!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The House - Before and After

In retrospect, when Todd and I bought our house this time last year we really, seriously, underestimated the amount of money, work, help, supplies, paint, labor and overall patience this place would need. I mean, how hard could it be? Massive internal sheet rock patching, new floors, new paint, new trim, new fixtures, new appliances, new septic system, weed eating, lawn mowing (we could have baled our lawn the first time we mowed it!), barn building, gardening, new wiring, new heating system, new plumbing, and, oh - the master bedroom/bathroom/walk in addition all seemed very do-able to new home owners!

However, looking back, the 2 months of renovations before we even moved in followed by the 2 more months of living in the spare bedroom without heat or hot water certainly was trying at times. Say, for instance, the time in late October when Todd, travelling on a business trip in South Carolina, called to ask how I was doing. Well, frankly, I was freezing (no heat will do that to you), watching TV from a lawn chair in the front room, hadn't showered in 2 days (no hot water will do that to you) and yet, somehow, was still really excited to hear Todd talk about yet another day of beach going, board walking and dining out. His hotel even had hot water!!! That phone call ended with me in tears, telling him he could pick me and the dog up at my parent's house when he got back to town - I wasn't staying there one more day! I packed a bag, put the dog in the car and went to where people do normal things - like shower and sit by the fire watching TV.

We sure have come a long way though. The house looks fantastic! Thank you to all the people who spent endless weekends as free laborers! I wanted to post some before and after pictures so everyone could see the progress. They don't do it justice, but enjoy none the less.
And, a couple of observations: 1. its always easier to build from the ground up rather than remodel from the outside in. 2. Always keep enough food and beer for the free help or they won't come back.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Welcome to Farm Life!

After a long and laborious fence building session that involved a tank-like hole drilling apparatus, the help of my entire family and long, long days...we finished fencing in the back 5 acres of our property. In an attempt to raise our own hormone/antibiotic free beef cattle Todd searched and searched for just the right set of cows to come check out the new digs. I didn't have the heart to tell them they won't be staying too long (they're slated for slaughter this fall), but that's another story....

Todd found an amazing set of 2 steers and 2 bull yearlings. They were delivered early last month. Our first order of business was to turn one bull into a steer. How does one do this you ask? Well, it started with us hitting the "elasterator" aisle of the local farm store. After our repeated questioning of, "Don't they come any bigger? I mean, these are almost full grown cows.. they're junk is, well, a lot bigger than that." we called the vet out. I missed the show, but apparently it went something like this:

Step 1: Place halter on bull in question

Step 2: Lead unsuspecting bull into temporary holding cell

Step 3: Distract long enough for vet to put not one, but TWO, surgical bands around a very sensitive area and then administer a tetanus shot.

Step 4: Release newly formed steer to the field, never to come close to humans again.

Right. I must say that night of practicing putting the halter really paid off, because when the vet arrived Todd already had #84 (we refuse to name them and only call them by their ear tag numbers) haltered and tied up waiting. He walked right in and with a little squirming did alright. He was hard to approach for a while (especially from behind - go figure) but I think has made a full recovery! My dad came to watch the festivities but was seriously let down by the lack of entertainment.

Note to self and others: buy them already made into steers. They cost the same and you don't end up with and elasterator you're too ashamed to return to the store because it "just wasn't big enough."

Welcome to Blogging 101!

Todd and Rikki make their debut on the blog!! Who would have ever thought the day would come. Mostly I think facets like facebook, blogging and the such are avenues for sexual predators and internet luring. However, with that we are with our very own blog!!

My intent is to be able to keep everyone updated with our ever-changing lifes!! We have, after all, in the last year acquired a sailboat, bought a house, completely remodled the house, fenced 5 acres of property, bought some beef cattle, acquired a horse, put in the garden, travelled a few times to the Caribbean, and - oh yeah - are about to have our first kid!!! Who says we're not busy!!

So, without further's the blog. Follow at your own risk.

- Todd and Rikki