Thursday, May 8, 2014

the new little barn

The past ten days have been a bit of a blur, due to a combination of two very different things: four appointments that meant hours spent driving and sitting in waiting rooms, and trying to get ready for the builder coming to put up my new little goat barn.

Last week, the builder said, “It'll be Tuesday or Wednesday, and I'll call the night before.” I got cracking and found that tackling big tasks one day with frequent rest breaks, then doing multiple smaller chores the next day, also with lots of rest breaks, was getting the job/s done. (And I would like to take a moment right here to thank whoever invented electric heating pads. I am so, so grateful!)

Monday night I was stumbling-tired, so I was relieved when I did not get a call from the builder. That meant the crew would be here Wednesday. Tuesday could be spent puttering through the last of the smaller tasks in the morning, before facing the final, major project of taking down the last half-a-bungalow in the afternoon. Everything would be done and dusted well before the Wednesday morning arrival of the builder.


So, early Tuesday morning I was lounging around with a nice breakfast glass of banana mango kefir, wondering how long the residual achiness of the prior day would last, when the phone rang. At 6:30 AM.

It was the builder.
His plans had changed, he said. He would be at my place at around 9 AM.
“Great!” I said. “See you then!”

Ten minutes later, I had done some pretty zippy muscle-stretching routines, and was out in the paddock. The goats worked on their breakfast buckets while I gathered up tools, then I gated them out of the upper paddock so I could take down some of the fence for temporary access. And I got cracking on the bungalow removal. I never stopped moving til the builders arrived at 9:30, but by golly that paddock was ready for them!

I had planned to just get out of the way once the work had commenced, but after the third time I got called over for a decision, I stuck around and worked on tasks within easy hailing distance. I didn't build a barn, but I sure got a few other things done that day.  Never any shortage of tasks around here!

The doors were built beforehand, which saves site-time.
The dutch/stable doors would be hung in one piece, then cut;

The construction went quickly, so between noon and 1 PM, I took some snaps.
I think you can click to embiggen all of these.

The spots on some of these pictures are from raindrops.
There were several brief, light showers.
It's been like that all week, really,
and it's been pleasant.
A little soft cool rain in the middle of tearing something down
or building something up
can be quite refreshing.

The above picture shows about half the space,
with a Quinn-comparable human for scale.
Although it may look big in some pictures, at 10 x 20 feet, this is a tiny barn.
Or a good-sized shed.
Not sure what to call it, really. Suggestions welcome!
Any ideas?

In the above picture,
with my soon-to-be-reclaimed(!) 10 x 12' workshop on the right,
you can see the building emerging as a whole.

My design was simple: like a run-in shed.
But with a doors. And a floor.
And with openings cut for big windows, which I will add.
And with dutch doors all across the front, for maximum flexibility:
for temporarily fencing off interior areas, with separate entrances;
or reducing access of rain or flies by just opening the bottom doors;
or keeping snow out but letting fresh air in, by just opening the tops.

Oh, and there's a single, ordinary door on the west gable wall.
That's the Staff Entrance.

When we first discussed the design back in January,
the builder was dubious about putting
four, four-foot-wide, dutch doors on a 20' wall.
He thought I did not understand that all four doors could not be opened
all the way, at the same time.

But I did understand that.
And I agree that it is not ideal, but it is also not a problem.
I'm all about The Flexibility.

For example, here are two doors open, one door closed, one half open:

And a lawn chair inside, for scale.
(Am I overly concerned about the scale?
Wide-angle shooting can be useful, but also very misleading.
If you ever visit, I don't want you to be disappointed!)

As unbelievable as it seems,
especially considering the crew didn't arrive until 9:30 AM,
the job was done by evening and we all shook hands and said
thank you very much and
let's all do this again sometime real soon.

The heavy equipment rumbled away and I dragged myself back to the paddock 
to drive fenceposts and wire three stock panels securely into place
and pick up every piece of goat-mouth-sized construction detritus I could find in the paddock.
Then I called to the four girls and they all came up to the gate.

And finally, I opened the gate and stood back.

I really didn't need to stand back.
It wasn't exactly a stampede.
There was just enough light to take a couple of shots of the initial encounter:

Seriously, now. Where is my Bungalow?

Not sure if I ever mentioned this, but goats do not like Change.
Even good change
Is Not Good.

I have several small projects ahead, including
building benches along some of the inside walls,
adding useful door hardware,
and putting in screens and windows...
but nothing pressing.
This is the fun stuff.

And the goats are slowly warming up to the new monster that ate their bungalows.
This morning after breakfast, I saw Lily and Tsuga sleeping under it.
That's a start!