Category Archives: Compost Area

Cats On The Move (12/10/2016)

Well, it was finally time!  Time to move the cats to the ranch.  Sheralee and I left early morning Saturday after swooping up some cats for our 3 hour journey.

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All in all, it was a good trip, and somehow they arrived alive…whew.  Being at the property is a first for all of them.

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They were a little anxious at first, and still run for cover under the container or shed, but for the most part one….Theo…is very adventurous and loves to just take off.  The other two, not so much.
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Theo on the prowl…and he does chase birds…very unsuccessfully, but we won’t tell him that.  Of course this much ‘outdoor’ activity leads to some serious down times.

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The days of Saturday and Sunday were spent charging batteries, which are in poor shape overall, and I am sure we have lost some longevity with them, but the charger is working and working hard.

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Right now I have two separate battery banks and two inverters.  I am not using the old battery bank right now, just trying to get them all maxed out, which is taking some serious charge/reconditioning time.  To Sheralee’s angst, I ran the generator pretty much all weekend.  Still more charging time ahead, but it is a good thing.

I also did some more work on the cat house, and am close to building the front door and finishing it off.  We are at a quandary with with windows right now as the ones I purchased aren’t even close to what we want…so looking at other options, which slows us down.

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I did get the cat door installed, as you can see in the two pictures above.  So funny, Theo was in and out of that thing, and actually snuck out of it before I realized what had happened.  Solved that for now.  Bad kitty!

I will try hard to finalize that thing this weekend, at least enough for the grand opening.  Once we have windows in there we think the cats will love to hang out in there and scope things out.  Well, we hope anyways.

Another thing I did on Monday was to take a couple more drone pictures.  This is helping us plan out our pasture area.  We also did a measurement of the outside fence and it is just under 1500 feet.  We believe we have the fencing planned out and are excited for that phase.

Here is the small drone picture, linked to the larger one.

I think that is it for now.  We have some crazy travel times to and from the ranch in the next few weeks, but then we are on to a new year and animals…of all kinds joining the ranch.  Very exciting things ahead.

Oh yeah, one other thing I almost forgot about.  So, some of you know we have two compost bins on site, and one we filled up early this year, and the other we have been using since then.  Well, both were full…and it was time to add another one, a project I wasn’t ready to proceed with yet.  So, my lovely wife had a great idea.  The one that has been sitting for almost a year, why not move the compost out and use that one, so she did.

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She moved the compost out, covered it with a tarp, and it will stay there until we have things to plan next spring.  Very exciting!  I know…kinda ‘crappy’ to some, but hey…we are excited!

 

Pasture Area & Headboard (10/21/2016)

Hello All!  Another update from this past weekend.  Since Sheralee was in the ‘big city’ last weekend, this was my first trip up to our property.  This past week we started having some acreage cleared for our future farm animals.  It is very very exciting to see the transformation.

Let me post a couple pictures, and describe what has happened so far.
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The above picture is looking just SW and West.  You can see our little shed and then follow our driveway road to the West and then heading South.  Where the curve in the road is, just last week that was full of trees.  Amazing.

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Our Saturday morning walk of the new pasture.  At this point we were two days in of ‘dozer’ work.  As I write this, day three is in process, and probably about 2+ full acres to go.  Just a note…looking at 4 acres cleared, is pretty daunting and a lot larger than I imagined. Ha.

Our other projects for the weekend were stabilizing and fortifying one of our compost bins.  You can see in the below pictures, the bin was starting to slide to one side, mainly due to no support on the two front posts.
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I have a long term idea on that, but for the interim, I added some stability on the inside, and also braced against the other bin there.
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This will definitely work for a while, but I am thinking some metal fence posts pounded into the ground at each front post, tying the posts to that metal post.  That should do it.

After this was done, Sheralee and I turned to building our new headboard.  We are using 2×6’s left over from the left.  It will be boarded on the side towards the bed, but open on the other side for shelving into the closet/office area.
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* not sure why the blurry pictures….but you get itl  We had to lay out the design first to get our bearings on how the install would go.

Once we had it figured out, we started with the side that would be mounted to the wall studs.
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There is a gap in the shelving, so we can look North from our bed through the window that will be there.

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So far, it is turning out great.  We now have to add the base cover on the back side, and create the rest of the shelves.  Currently, our stock of 2×6’s are all slight warped, which makes for a lousy ‘flat’ shelf. ha.  We also have to run some 120V and 12V for two outlets and some cool ambient led lighting in the headboard/shelving.

Doing that, I also had to finish some electrical panel additions, and wiring one side of the bedroom container.

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Electrical is truly fun, as I told Sheralee.  It is fun, until you get shocked, which (knocking on wood) hasn’t happened yet.  For the bedroom I still have to wire in the headboard outlets, 12V led lighting, and two ceiling lights.  Gonna be great.

I think that is it for this entry.  We will have more acreage pictures soon. Very exciting times!

Bathroom Work Ahead (4/20/2016)

I went up on Wednesday this past week to get a little extra time working on some projects we are trying to wrap up.  Low and behold, my week ended up with talking to company HR departments and some interviews over the phone.  So, all in all, very productive end to the week.

The project I started with was sealing off the bathroom ceiling where we originally had our loft stairs when this was just our entry way.

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This was the opening where we climbed the loft stairs.  We had removed the stairs some time back and now working on finishing up, as much as possible without plumbing, the bathroom.  So, I had to add some joists, across this span, and add the sheathing in the loft, which will one day be an open deck.

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All in all, ok.  I had forgotten the joist hangers I was going to add, but have them on hand and will add  them in next week.  It is already sturdy enough, but I like the ‘overkill’ approach to things.

Next was adding some roof flashing and panels to our new material shed.  After I had gotten as far as the materials let me, because plans never go as we think, I went into town and got some water to top off our compost water tank, which I cleaned and moved for future rain catchment off this new shed roof.
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During the weekend, Sherlaee came up and added the finishing deck paint to our new ‘fudge factory’ shed!
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I will add the final roof panels and gutter this weekend, then work on getting that water added to our tank with any rainfall.

I wanted to add some stability to our rain shed, so I added some 4×4 posts and corner bracing.  This picture doesn’t show the final bracing, but it all turned out pretty good.  Eventually, when we find some free wood slats, we are going to connecting the posts with boards, leaving gaps for the wind to get through.  Should work out great.
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I believe one of the last things I did was finish the framing in the bathroom.  We decided to go with 2×2’s in one wall to give us a little more room.

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I did clean up the light switch thing, and it is much better now, once the framing was done.

Saturday we got started on finishing the bathroom floor.  We went with our plan of 1/2″ foam insulation and 1/2″ plywood, stained with our preferred floor color.

While Sheralee worked on the actual staining and polyurethane layers, I added the plastic and insulation.  The corner that doesn’t have anything will be our shower basin.
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On Sunday, after some final layers of polyurethane, we were able to get the floor put in and things back in place. These pictures kinda give you an idea of how it will look eventually.
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On Sunday, I was also able to finish one bedroom wall framing, and framed out our door way, which we will be installing a barn door this weekend.

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The space above the door header will be the pathway for our pex plumbing in the bathroom.

Since we are going to be dispatching a lot of Junipers this year…I wanted to have a place to store the larger pieces for use this winter.
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I wanted somewhere under some cover.  We had some old pallets laying around and I used those with some back and side walls.  It will work just fine this year.

That was it.  Sheralee really took into cutting down some major trees with her new bow saw, while our chainsaw continues to struggle.  I found out that the cover might have been taken off without the brake fully released….hence not fitting and working as it should.  I will take another look at that this weekend.  We also have more recoil starter issues with our generator, but I think we have another solution…using a drill bit and drill….we can start it without the pull cord…can’t wait to try that this weekend.  The biggest thing this weekend is finishing up the material shed and building our barn door for the bathroom.  That will be awesome!

Until next time!