Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Barn is Taking Shape

Not only is my nephew Paul a great father and role model, he is also a talented and smart engineer. I have been tossing and turning over this corner post (or lack thereof) of my barn for almost five years and finally decided to just go after it. Paul volunteered to come and help but I did most of the helping and he did most of the figuring. By the end of the day, we had the post set squarely and firmly into place, but we also hung "beams" that secured several stringers that have been hanging in the wind for thirty years. Now I can get the chicken coop battened down against all the roaming predators.

Thank you Paul!

Paul (in the burgundy) helping his four year old construction dude use a jigsaw for the first time.

Seven year old Lydia is getting ready to haul some stuff. She spent time reading, riding her bike on the hills and eating pie with Aunt Ruth. She also found some time to haul stuff.

Here is Eli, the four year old construction dude with his tool belt, including helmet! I found some tools in the barn that belonged to his great-grandfather, and we added to his collection. I had a really cool, old ornate hand saw hanging on the barn wall, that was his great grandpa's, which I also gave to him. I wonder what he will cut first with it?

Barn Talk

First we set up a post with a jack underneath it, so we could elevate the existing post and then slide the new bad boy under.

Then we slid the new six by six underneath, released the jack and it was perfect! Hooray for brilliant engineers. (He is a Michigan Tech grad). We stood there grinning for a long time.

This was a dangerous beam being held up by a post that was bowing and getting ready to break. After the new corner post went in, Paul whacked it with one fell blow and it crashed down harmlessly. Yea for harmlessly!

You don't know how happy and relieved I am to be done with that corner post. I am now on Spring Break and have all of next week to get the coop ready for the chickens. They are arriving Monday or Tuesday. I will probably make a new post then to show off my little babies.

Life is good.


Peter said...

Wish I could have been there to help! I'm sure there's plenty more yet to do. ;)

Sandy said...

Hey looks like fun!!! Well kind of..

Great photos of the kids too...

I bet they love to visit there.


Don said...

Peter: Plenty O' Work left. Come on down. I'm ready to pour concrete!

Sandy: Paul's kids are great! I love having them around. I'm trying to talk them into a little chicken tractor and a few hens for their backyard. With four kids, Paul may need more than a few!

Anonymous said...

Indeed, life is good. Isn't if fulfilling to accomplish something on your own property with your own barn? I get such a good vibe when we do projects around here. It makes you feel so good going to bed after a day of work on your own place.

Don said...

Amy: You rock! I like all the things you do at your place. I hope you get lots of new visitors. We all need to see all of the things you are up to! You are the Twelve Acres blog?

Nancy & Nathan said...

This blog entry is epic.

Don said...

Nathan and Nancy: Hey you New Yorkers! Thanks for stopping by. Your brother is one smart man.

Don said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

I liked watching you and Paul work. It feels good having people who know what they're doing (or at least figure it out as they go along) do the work around here. I also loved playing, eating and reading with Lydia and Eli. It was a privilege.

lesleyanne said...

i wish i could have been there to help too! wait..i thought you were on spring break last week? but i'm glad it's THIS week when you get the new baby chicks!!
how great to see all these photos. it makes me feel like i was there. almost. i love your overalls dad. a true farmer.
congrats papa!!

Mrs. M. said...

1. I am INCREDIBLY jealous of our family so close by...

2. You should be envious of their presence in FL this upcoming weekend (Simon, Sachel, Paul, Manda, Clara) for various search and senior portraits for Emma and Matt.

3. Has Katy been out at all this year? I think she's possibly staying in MI for the summer....

4. I miss you and Ruth a lot. (That's not an aside, btw)

Anonymous said...

Yep, I write the "Twelve Acres" blog. I'll see if I can't change my display name to make it say that.

Kris said...

Can we invite ourselves over for barn-fixing and pie-eating and tractor-riding? We'll be in MI July 16-29.
The Alaska Clan

pablohart said...

I don't know if I know what I'm doing, but it sure feels good pretending. I said at one point it's good we don't do this for a living, otherwise I'm sure I'd have some pretty serious injuries. But the adventure is sure the best part!

I wish I was still there helping you finish out the walls today. Much better than sitting behind this computer. Have fun!

Ginnie said...

You guys are really rocking! I am so impressed. This part of the barn will NOT look at all the same the next time I take my camera to show it off! :) YAY for The Farm.

Peter said...

Nice overalls too!

Don said...

Ruth: You three had a nice day. The cherry pie you made was mighty tasty!

Lesleyanne: The coveralls are so nice to have. They are farm tough, and I look only a little dorky in them.

1. Move up here
2. Clara is college shopping already?
3. Katy threatened to come, but her plans changed. Busy college girl!
4. Fla is too far away. We miss you too. You need to come and join the clan.

Amy: I figured you were Twelve Acres, and I wanted everyone I know to visit you and see the good things you are up to.

Kris: We would love it if you could get over here! I'll get to work on the tractor right away! It needs a tuneup. BTW, you are a great photographer, it must be in the genes!

Pablohart: You forget that I saw the fireplace mantle you built in Holland. Also, it was nice that all of our work is in the barn and not the living room!

Ginnie: The barn will look a little differnt this year at Farm Day. I'll have raspberry jam ready by then!

Peter: Carhart is good!

Ruth said...

Remember when I saw Carhartt in a window in Paris? I took a picture. Very haute couture.

Don said...

You also saw the Univ of Mich sweatshirt in green and white! Go Spartans! (Michigan State University, our Alma Mater)

Stiggy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog..

..this blog is great - I love seeing how people do stuff in different countries!

That saw by the way looks similar to one of mine - it MAY be a Diston saw - at least the handle looks the same.

Best wishes.

Don said...

Hey Stiggy: I enjoy your blog. I really laughed at the video of you with your chickens following you.

The saw was made by the Superior Saw Company, and it in fact, called a Disston Saw! That is a nice little connection!

I found one on Ebay. Here is the link if you are interested:

Stiggy said...

Hi Don and thanks - the reason I knew it was a Disston saw... because when I was an apprentice Carpenter/joiner at 16, I was told to buy one as they were the best available, (the panel saw cost around £60.00 in 1988 if I remember correctly!) so I have a Panel saw and a tenon saw, both with almost the same handle...

...Disston was taken over by Sandvik as far as I know.

They are beautiful saws and wonderful to use - the sort that will be handed down to my own son.

Don said...

Stiggy: Please don't look at what I do in my barn as something American carpenters would do! I am not a carpenter, but I know enough to make sure it won't fall down.

I agree with you that there is nothing like having good tools.