Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hello, blog!

It's me again! Did you forget about me? I didn't forget about you. I am still Doing Stuff like mad. I actually made a "still to be done and requires no more $$$" list today - it's big, but not as big as I feared. It's easy to get distracted by shit like the bathroom vanity, which was made for midgets, but we're not spending $$$ on anything else. Just $$ stuff for now.

Inside stuff: I still need to finish the trim in the den. I've got most of it caulked and part of the walls repainted. I might re caulk the nail holes tonight. Should've gotten non-shrinking nail filler putty but I hate that stuff.

The window from the kitchen to the den needs trim, but that's a Big Project so I'm just not worrying about it. It's tiled on one side, so I'll need a table saw or at the very least a sander to thin down the trim to make it fit over the tile. I don't feel like spending the money on a table saw, so it'll wait. And the crown molding needs to go up, but I've got everything I need for that - it's just a matter of doing it on a weekend. Hopefully THIS weekend, but I won't beat myself up if it doesn't happen.

I'm going to replace the nappy trim in the bedroom too, but again, I need a weekend to get it done. I have a few pictures of the den, but I keep taking them at night and the inside lights don't agree with the camera. I will remember to open the drapes and take pictures while it's light out one day.

Outside stuff: I need to build a chicken nest box, which is about $30 in materials if I have to buy all the plywood, less if I can use some plywood from my barn. I need to build a slow feeder - I am shamelessly stealing DP's design. I have those L-shaped wire racks with 1.5" holes, and I think they'll work perfectly. About $20 in materials there.

I need a plug for the junk bathtub, which I'll use as a water trough til I find one on CL for cheap. I need a locking gate latch for the side gate to the backyard.* I need to finish filling in the borders of the run-in with sand (but my wheelbarrow tire died tonight!) And I need to finish pulling junk out of the pasture and put up the pasture fence.

I worked on the Wire Problem for a while tonight, then I pounded my first two t-posts. The Wire Problem is this strange area between the old chicken coop and the side of the run-in where the previous owners made a 3-d maze of rusted wire, wired VERY FIRMLY together into a malignant mass. Then the sagebrush grew through it.

See how the run-in is divided into three stalls? I'm calling the one on the left the goat pen, the middle one the horse area, and the one barely visible on the right is the chicken coop. Note the freakin' woven wire fence dividing the goat pen from the horse pen. What you can't really see is how the bottom of that fence is wired to some more 2x4" woven wire fence laid on the ground - it has to be some weird mud control system.


The stupid fence turns a corner at the white post and runs directly in front of the antique chicken coop.


There was a FENCE in front of the DOOR to the old coop. See? And there was a loose pile of rusted chicken wire to the right of the coop in this pic - wired to the perimeter fence and a fence post and nailed to a pile of junk boards that used to be a door.


What you can't see is that those huge mature sagebrush bushes were growing THROUGH the fence on the ground. I had to hack and break off four sagebushes, then cut enough of the wire to rip the wire from around the bushes. I tried digging one up, but sagebrush has roots like kuzdu. Unpleasant discovery, but not really a surprise from a hardy desert perennial. Anyway, all the fence is now piled where I was standing when I took those pictures. I will have to drag it out to my truck and do something with it - will scrap metal places buy fence? I guess if not, it goes to the dump.

It took two days to get the chain link down, then two more days to get most of the sagebrush whacked back and wire cut loose from the ground. I've got one more piece on the ground, but it's so covered in sagebrush that I didn't even know it was there so I kinda accidentally buried it with the wire I've been ripping out. Sigh.


Once I realized I had buried the last piece of wire under the other hundred pounds of wire, I got discouraged and switched projects. From the Wire Problem to Fence Hell!

I pounded a 6' t-post, just to see how hard it was, then realized I was doing it backwards. Got out my 100' tape and mason's string and sited the corner post - I'm going with 20' off the east side and 15' off the north side, because it works out with the well. Then I pounded a 7' t-post as the corner post, rrrrrgh that was hard, and tied off the mason's line. The 6 footer is like four feet off the line, so it really has to come out.

Lytha, if I remember correctly, you and Your Man pounded a LOT of t-posts for Baasha's pasture. Any technique tips? I have a t-post pounder, which takes the job from "completely insurmountable" to "a lot of work." I figure if I pound 3 a night I'll have it done in a week or so. I am using 6' posts for the lines and 7' for the corners. I don't think it matters for hotwire, but I'm putting the nubby bits on the insides anyway. Is that right?

I am using a t-post corner brace kit for the two back corners, and existing buildings for the two front corners. When I upgrade to welded wire one day, I'll upgrade the back two t-posts, but it's both cheaper and DIY-friendly to use braced t-posts for now. Half of yall are gonna think I'm just a masochist, but half of yall probably know how incredibly satisfying it is to look out there and say "I did that." Right now I'm on track to do it all except for the 4x6 gate post, but if I have to I can dig ONE posthole.

*Dude, this house has so many entrance/exits. There's the front door, the laundry room door which leads to the garage which has a people door and a car door, and two patio doors off the den. Once you stumble upon the backyard, there are FIVE gates leading out of the pool area - I have locks on four of them, and I need one more lockable gate latch and one more lock. Then the barage has a big car door and a little people door. It's absurd.

Life is super busy, but it's SO good.

Yall please let me know if you think I'm doing something wrong, or if you have suggestions!


  1. Oh! I wouldnt dream of offering sany advice here!......You seem to have it sorted.xx Good luck! I`ll just watch and learn about Sagebrush!

  2. Fencing is so much fun, not!! Only thing we'd do different is the welded wire. One kick, paw, dig under from a horse & all the welds come apart. Ask me how I know. That's part of what we are replacing right now. We had 1 horse run through it like it wasn't even there. Good luck, & yes if you get high enough in elevation there is real grass, the horse were in horse heaven!

  3. oops, i somehow missed this post!

    we stood on a ladder and pounded the posts in like that with a big heavy rubber hammer.

    one of us had to hold the post and the other had to hammer.

    the one holding the post also had to try to support the unsteady ladder.

    it was hard work and it took us months to pound a few hundred in. months! sometimes we'd only do a few in a day, because the ground had dried up and it was rock hard. my man was so persnickety, he had a measuring tool to be sure each post was pounded in the same distance into the earth. i was constantly saying "good enough" and he said "5 more hits"

    i have no idea how much easier a tpost driver makes the task. our tposts are the super long ones - 177 cm i think it was. (when i hold one next to me on the ground, it towers over my head.)

    the most important thing in the process was getting the timing right - if i hadn't rained in a while, we could barely get them in. after rain, they go in so nicely!

    we use the corner braces too, they are spiffy and really hold the corners (both inside and outside corners) upright. we knocked off the little spears on the tposts that we used for this because i worried about baasha cutting himself on them.

    let us know how it goes, take pics!


  4. oh you asked! you said if there was something you were doing wrong, to say so.

    well, i don't know about wrong, but i have this weird pet peeve about bathtubs used for water troughs. do you know how many bathtubs i uncovered on our property, formerly used as troughs for cows? 3! they're still there, unfortunately, but you cannot see them because they're just outside the fenceline and covered by brush. i figured if i built my fence on the outside of the bathtubs, they aren't technically "ours" (but that's nonsense!).

    thankfully the previous owner left us a large rubber round masonry tub (for mixing concrete, but never used), so that is our trough.

    i hope you enjoy that sage like i do - i used to keep a bag in my closet for the smell, and crumble it into my carpet and then vaccuum so that vaccumming always smelled great.

    i have never seen a kudzu (ok maybe without knowing on my new orleans trip) but i sure would love to. i've heard so much about them.

    isn't it great, fixing up your own place!! i love it!



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