We had an extremely mild January. This allowed us to go from piles of lumber to an almost fully put together structure in less than two-and-a-half weeks. November's weather was so cold that we were very concerned about how any progress was going to get made on the house. But three mild weeks has made a big difference.
Framing the Basement
First Floor Framing
Rafters Going Up
Sheeting Going On the House
Windows & Doors Going In
Many of the windows going into the house have been in storage for over ten years. The house itself is something we have been working toward for around twelve years, and I will admit that there is something very rewarding about finally watching it take shape. It is also exciting to take the next steps forward as we move into plumbing, electrical. HVAC, siding, and roofing.
Outside of the house, not a lot of activity has been going on around the farm. I continue to put two large round bales out every four to five days. I had to invest in two new hay rings as the old one was worn out. They certainly are not cheap, ouch.
Cattle Eating Hay out of Two New Hay Rings
The tractor hydraulic system has been giving us fits ever since the new clutch went into the tractor. It started with the control valve block on the back hoe started leaving all over. Unfortunately, that part is crazy expensive, so it is not getting fixed any time soon. It is possible to just unhook the backhoe from they hydraulic system, so it really is a manageable problem. However, recently the auxiliary hydraulic pump started to fail. Since that pump controls the loader (needed for hay moving, and gravel and dirt smoothing and moving), it needs to be fixed. Fortunately, it appear to be about a fifth as expensive as the valve block to fix. It was already been an expensive end to 2014, and having this problem already is not a great thing for early 2015.
Leaky Control Valve Block
Leaky Auxiliary Hydraulic Pump
I did make some progress finally getting power hooked up to our fences. There is still many more connections to make and two more gates to dig under, but it is a start.
Energizer is Running Now
Burying Insulated Power Line Under a Gate
The kids continue to get bigger with each passing week. We celebrated Christmas as a family together with my Sister's family, my Father, and my Grandmother. It was not the same without my Mom there. It has been almost a year since she passed, but her presence was always a big part of Christmas and the holiday just is not the same without her.
Bringing a Gift for Grandma
If it has Wheels, He is Onboard
Playing at the awesome New Ames Library
Showing off Designs She Just Made on Her Chef's Hat & Apron
I think that is it for now. Will the tractor get fixed, the house get steel shingles, and there be more pictures of the kids? Stay tuned to find out.