The last few days have been SO warm. We have been in the 50s F with full sun and just a slight breeze.
The kids have been playing outside almost non-stop, the animals are all lazing around in the warm sun, and we have had a chance to do some miscellaneous work around the farm. It has been wonderful! It definitely feels like spring weather – though there is a snow storm moving our way Friday.
The main outdoor project I worked on was the dog area. I have always hated having the dog(s) share a yard with the kids. I don’t ever want my kids to play where the dogs use the bathroom. I don’t want them to be dodging piles as they run and play (and yes, we do clean up the poop in the yard, but not daily, so it does build up some). So at every house we have lived at since we started having kids we have set up a “dog area” somewhere in the yard and trained the dogs to go there to do their business. It is sometimes just an area with gravel on the ground (as opposed to the rest of the yard where there is grass). Most of the time it has involved some sort of a fence to really define the area and help the dogs clearly know the boundaries.
When we moved into the new farm last fall, we were so busy building the barn and dealing with the farm aspects of everything before winter hit that there just wasn’t time to set up the dog area. And Tundra lived in the cow pen, so there wasn’t as much to deal with with just our indoor dog, Holly.
Today, while I was out in the sun with the kids, I looked around the yard and decided it was high time to deal with it. So, using some leftover fencing materials, I built a small area around the dog house. I want to eventually add gravel to the area because it is easier to clean, but for now it is at least fenced off. Now the training starts. She has been trained to do it before, so I am hoping it will only take a week or so until she figures it out. We shall see.
While I did that, my husband has been busy doing all sorts of small projects. We have three pine trees in the cow pen and the cows are chewing the bark off and killing the trees, so he put chicken wire around the trunks high enough that they can’t ruin them anymore. Then he finished spreading and smoothing what was left of the compost pile, and fixed the cats’ buried electric fence (the wire got cut accidentally when he was using the backhoe to move the compost pile). He also put roosts in the hens’ pen. I have wanted to do this since the coop and pen were built back in Sept, but we never got to it. They have roosts inside, but I thought they might like some outside to give them more vertical space to hang out and sun themselves. So far they haven’t jumped up on them yet, but I’m hoping they will decide that it looks like a nice place to be. He also fixed some small issues with fencing and with the barn.
The last thing he got done was fixing the wood stove. We recently got a new (to us, but actually very old) wood stove to replace the smaller on in our living room. We’ve been using it for about a month now to make sure we like it. We decided it is working great for that area, so now it needed to be painted (yes you can paint wood stoves with special high heat paint) and the door needed to be fixed. So my husband pulled it outside today and fixed the door and painted it. It is now back in place ready and waiting for the impending storm.
It feels so good to get all those things done! We also have continued to make progress on the winter to-do list.
Do a temporary fix on the shower so it is usable until we can afford a full overhaul
- Fix the plumbing leak from the washer that is running into the downstairs bathroom (there’s a bucket under it now that hubby ripped a hole in the ceiling) and replace the damaged ceiling
Finish the new coopand pen for the pullets
- Wire the bottom of the cow pen fence (to prevent predators from digging in to get to the pullets)
Finish wiring the bottom of the backyard fence (to keep rabbits and predators from the garden, small coop, and children at play)
- Terrace the hill for the garden
- Build and install garden boxes
- Fence and gate the garden
- Build the barn hay loft
- Finish up
the two younger children’s quiltsone quilt Make summer pantaloons for the girls Finish tiling the hearth
- Install the new stove top
I’m hoping it will all be done by May. That gives us quite a bit more time, but it is quite a lot of work too.