Saturday, December 31, 2011


This has been a year of closure with the death of Richards' father , he will be greatly missed. It was important for Richard to spend that time to care for his father and closing his affairs. So not alot was accomplished on the ranch this year and last.

We found these great cast iron signs on e-bay at for about $20.00 each, they work well for the rustic look we have going on.
The 31 chickens are loving the winter rye grass and laying about 22 eggs a day between them. I know there are about 3 older hens (4 years old:not laying) that I can not tell a difference from the younger layers (less than a year) . That was when I failed to mark the older hens from the younger ones with plastic rings.
Richards cousin gave us a few dozen fish and the aquatic plants to really dress up the pond. With the powerful filtering system it is really staying clear.
The bath house awaits the next step.... raising of the walls.
We are grateful it has started raining again and hope this is a ongoing trend.
I started placing the insulation in the green house, a very dusty job dealing with recycled fiberglass insulation, I wear a face mask and rubber gloves.
The garden is sleeping . It has been a very warm winter and we have not had a deep freeze. This is the time I get caught up on weeding and plan for the next planting season.

Our son found this little heater for our outside shower . We hooked it up with the hose using adapters to convert the hoses from outside plumbing to house plumbing so the shower head would work. We have it in the chicken coop that shares a wall with the shower.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bath house door frames

The door frames are ready for installation. We calculated the dimensions by measuring the doors and allowing 1/2" more for adjustments. We then placed temporary boards nailed to the frame as to hold them to plumb and square.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On to the Bathhouse.....

The windows are done and finished with cross boards to make sure they stay plum and square. We marked the top and inside of each frame.
We have been collecting the other materials for the bathhouse project as well: 7 yards of masonry sand, 15 bags of masonry cement, 15 bags of portland cement, 10 sticks of #3 rebar and Perlite for insulation to pour into the blocks. In my research I found out that this is the only material that can be used because loose fill fiber will absorb moisture .
Here Richard is using a square to make sure the corner remains square as he secures it with a screw. We are using treated 2X8 lumber for the windows.
We are using the shop slab that was poured 2 years ago for our work space, this is really coming in handy as it is level and cleaner than the dirt!

Here are my sketches that I drew up for the door and window openings. These have to be built before the first brick is laid for the building. I calculated the width of the door plus 1/2 inch for leaway . We decited to not have jams on these doors because of the final look. If you are planning on jams , you would add another inch and 1/2. The windows are the actual width plus 1/2 inch in all directions. It is important to note that the top piece rests on the side pieces for stuctual integraty .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

YEP!, the Carport.......

This is the exciting part when all the forms are removed and the final finish coat is applied to the side walls. They used a cement and sand mix to smooth out the rough surface. The weld plates and anchor bolts are placed in the cement when it is hard enough to walk on yet still soft enough to get them in place.