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.

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