Sunday, October 25, 2009

Heavy lifting

I thought yesterday was hard. Today made that look easy! We had 20 6 x 6s and 14 4 x 4s to get into the ground. The 4 x 4s weren't hard. Spencer and I could pick those up, carry them to the holes and plunk them down into them. The 6 x 6s were another matter. And it is probably best we don't have any video of that. Why, you ask? Because it was quite a little stunt to get them moved. Spencer made up a harness that wrapped around the posts. Then we both worn the harness and pulled the posts over to the holes. It is good we don't have neighbors who can see us - they would surely have thought we were insane.

The shorter 6 x 6s for the outside barn walls are about 14 feet long. For those, we both worked together and lifted them up and then they fell into the hole. Spencer did more of the lifting than I did - but I did my best!

The 6 x 6s that run down the barn aisle were another matter. Those things are about 20 feet long and they're HEAVY. We tried to lift one into the hole and almost killed ourselves. I knew I could pull better than I could hold up the pole or push, so Spencer ended up attaching our little harness to the pole. He pushed and I pulled (although I didn't wear the harness!) and we got the poles into the ground.

Every muscle in my body aches! I think a glass of wine is in order. And then maybe a soak in the jacuzzi tub that we never use... but thank goodness all the poles are in the ground! AND our corner poles are even cemented into the ground.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What a long day!

We got started on barn building today. We should have gotten started last week, but my mom died and we had to go to Kansas City. Some people told me to take a break and just hang out at home, but I wanted to get started on building the barn. I need to keep busy for a while, and this will certainly keep me busy.

The first step was to stake out where the barn would be. We had selected our site and cleared everything off of it weeks ago. We had done some rough staking out, but today we had to do a good job. So we started with the corner we knew we wanted and went from there. After the corners were square, we measured and staked out where each 6 x 6 support would go. There are 20 of those. Then we staked where the 4 x 4s would go. There are 14 of those.

Once we had the site staked with string lines, we put the post hole digger together. We don't have a tractor, so we rented a post hole digger that theoretically can be run by one person. We quickly learned that that was not so! Spencer could hold the digger and drill the holes, but it took both of us to pull it out of the hole. And we're digging in semi-wet clay, which made the job hard. We got our first three holes done without many problems. Then we got the digger stuck and really had to haul on it. We did a few more holes and then stuck the post-hole digger deep. We had to dig it out. What a pain. And apparently we didn't learn on that hole because we got it even more stuck the next time and had to take an hour to dig the auger out.

So we finally learned that we could dig a few feet, then needed to pull the auger out and remove all the clay. Then we could dig another foot or so and had to pull it out. We got it stuck a few more times, but it wasn't stuck deeply. But it was hard and heavy work and by the end of the day, we were exhausted. However, we dug all 34 holes. We took several breaks and about collapsed more than once. But we survived! Tomorrow we have to start putting the posts in the holes. That's going to be a hard chore with just the two of us.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The first load of lumber arrives

I'm in Kansas City this week visiting my mom, but Spencer just called to tell me that our first load of lumber finally arrived. He was heading home when the guy from McCoy's called to tell him he was almost at our house. They were supposed to call and set up a time to deliver the lumber, but McCoy's hasn't done anything right so far.

So now we have the 6 x 6s for supports, 4 x 4s for additional supports, and the 2 x 6s and 2 x 10s that will tie the boards in together up top. We also have about 70 bags of concrete. Spencer goes to get the post hole digger tomorrow and we start work on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hurry up and wait

We had intended to actually have something done by now. But that wasn't to be.

Our upright supports for the barn are going to be 6 x 6s. No one in town had the length we needed, so we had to order lumber. The place in town that was least expensive would have taken 5-6 weeks to get the lumber, so we went with McCoys. They told us it would take one week. So we made the order, paid a lot of money, and were ready for the lumber to arrive so we could start on Sept. 26-27. But we heard nothing from McCoys. My DH called them, and they did not return his call. We were not happy.

So, we had no lumber that weekend and made plans to start Oct. 3. And he kept calling McCoy's. On Thursday they told him we wouldn't have lumber for another week. THen the manager called and said it would be delivered the following day. So we waited and waited on Friday. And finally we called to ask them where the heck they were. They told us they actually hadn't placed the order, so the lumber wouldn't get here for yet another week. At this point, I'm beyond disgusted with the service at McCoy's in Waco. Our barn building is now on hold until October 17 since we'll be gone this weekend.

Barn building is frustrating - and we haven't even started yet!