And there it goes... another week. Week 30 is coming really soon and that makes it seem like we've been doing this for a long time, which I guess we have. I think we're coming into the hardest part of the marathon - we can see the home stretch but we're not quite there yet.
Let's just say my husband is AMAZING... he's work so hard this week and it's only 9 weeks after getting the tendon in his ankle reconstructed!
The week started with making small squares of hay, which means those small bales have to make their way into the hay mow, and although we have a nifty little hay elevator, someone still has to load them on to it and then get them stacked up correctly in the hay mow. I was a little nervous about Dan doing this so soon after surgery as there's not always sure footing and he typically can do this very fast & efficiently, but doing it too fast now might do some harm to that tendon! Thankfully he took his time and got the job done. Monday done.
Tuesday we had a grandparent birthday party for our daughter so by the time Dan laid down for his nap I had to wake him up half way through to head up to the barn to check out how the bird net hanging was going. Birds in a barn are not only annoying they can spread unwanted germs & destroy things like insulation, so we had our builders hang netting on the underside of our trusses to help keep the birds from making their home there. Then Dan spent some time leveling sand piles down in the barn to make way for the concrete that arrives this week! Tuesday done.
Wednesday through Saturday Dan's parent's headed to World Dairy Expo which meant he was doing it all at the farm plus keeping things going at the building site. Thankfully our amazing neighbor came to help him finish milking at night, meaning he got home by 9pm instead of 10 or 11pm, after waking up at 3:50am, with minimal naps each day!! Thursday I asked Dan to do a little extra and he picked up Vance to help him for a few hours while I had some friends & their kids at my place for a bible study. Having a little helper doesn't make a person work faster! The kids & I helped some with calf chores both Thursday & Friday night. We help a little but the biggest advantage is just getting to be with daddy while he works. Wednesday done. Thursday done. Friday done. Saturday done. My husband's amazing!
Thankfully Sunday Dan got more than a 3 hour nap, which he'll need going into this week... concrete in the barn here we come!
In the barn this week things got ready up above for the concrete to go in down below. The south side bird netting is up as are 3 HUGE fans... they have a 20 foot diameter. Funny thing is they don't even look that big in the barn....
This week a lot of plumbing & HVAC went up with the start of electric in the guest house! We even have water now, not that it's hooked up to go anywhere in particular but it's running into the barn! We gotta keep things moving so we can move in before winter!
Yesterday we invited folks to come out and play in our big "sand box" that will hopefully be covered with some concrete by the end of the week . Our kids love playing in it and we wanted to share the love. Unfortunately life is busy these days and it didn't work for many to come out and play (it was a bit chilly!) but we still had fun!
Hopefully there are some big changes in that floor this week! See you then!
Unfortunately I can't say that I'm surprised by all the work that was or should I say wasn't done this week, but at least we kept moving forward. I know this is often how building goes, especially since it's a domino effect and it's hard to "catch up" when you lose a few days here and there.
The biggest change is that we're very close to having electricity! We have all our boxes in and our local electric company came and did their part and we should finish it up this week.
The guest house got a couple more showers installed and I got the electric outlets, lights, etc all specked out with the electrician so we're ready on that front.
The manure handling system continues to progress as well with the pump being installed in the reception holding area and fill around the larger area.
With such a windy and rainy week the builders did some odd but important jobs like installing the chimney vents in the roof, putting up some more poly board in the milk room, getting steel siding on the barn side of the Guest House, as well as getting some steel and insulation up on the roof too.
Dan and his Dad continued to help with chopping corn silage for our cows until Wednesday and then are planning to finish up today after some rain last week. They took a few fun pictures while working hard!
While Dan was around the farm again more this week after being away for almost 2 months and took some pictures of the current farm I wanted to share.
Last week the local Clarksville Star had an article about the new dairy farm. You can find a short excerpt here.
And finally a beautiful picture that Dan's mom took this beautiful September morning... what a blessing to get to see this in the morning.
Considering that it was a short work week we made progress this week, although it doesn't seem quite as dramatic as some weeks, but still a lot of important things were done and most importantly things kept moving forward, even if not always as fast as we want them too - typical in building!
The barn builders got all but the last end truss set, even working Saturday morning to finish things off - hats off to them! That means even more dramatic changes will soon start occurring in the barn.
The rest of the Guest House was finished framing and it's exciting to see it come together, although once again pictures don't really do it justice! Now we just have to wait for all the insides to get done - plumbing lines, HVAC ducts, and and electric wires... apparently it can take awhile :( although we're hopefully it can get done in as timely as a manner as possible to get us moved in soon!
We got GREAT news to start out the week at Dan's appointment with Dr. Lantz (who we love and would totally recommend!). Dan's free to start working again, slowly and he's not suppose to over do it, and although he hasn't gone back to milking or calf chores yet, he's been working ever since because....
our busiest week of the year, typically, on the farm started on Thursday. We started chopping corn silage, which once again probably needs it's own post but that will have to come later I guess. Since we're increasing the number of cows we'll have to feed we need to harvest and chop up even more this year than ever before, which also means more work!
So even though Dan is out of his boot, I'm still doing calf chores and since Dan is working helping to chop silage the kids come with me. So far we've mostly had fun but it's a wee-bit more challenging to say the least! When I'm finally done with this round of almost continuous calf chores I'll be doing a post on my reflections on caring for calves - be watching!
Here's to hoping that I'm surprised at how much gets done this week! See ya!
Since it's Labor Day weekend and no one worked at the site today I feel like I'm still getting last weeks review in before the next week begins. Even more so because Dan & I got away to the Iowa State Cyclone football game on Saturday and stayed over in Ames into Sunday, making it an extra special and long weekend! On a side note I made some great connections with some other farm women who are also blogging about their farm life - so be looking for me to mention them from time to time to broaden your perspective (I know mine was just talking with them about their farms - Turkeys, Hogs, Sweet Peas, and more!).
On the barn side of things almost all the trusses on the north side are now set! Hopefully by the end of the week both north & south will be up!
More poly board went up on the walls & ceiling the beginning of the week in the milk house as well as the beginning of plumbing. As soon an electrical piece arrives we've have both electricity & water!
The Guest House began to literally take shape - into rooms! We're two days into framing and you can really begin to get a feel for it. Pictures have a hard time really doing it justice but it's super fun!
We have some amazing views & pictures of the barn this week too! Dan's dad Dave climbed the silo to get it ready for harvest & filling it with corn silage for the cows to eat. While at the top he took pictures all around including reaching around the silo for a view of New Day Dairy....
And then on Sunday evening during chores God gave us rainbow right over the barn. A similar thing happened a few years ago and I've been using the picture I took then as my header picture on Facebook and the website but now I've replaced it with a picture that includes the barn! Both Dave & I took pictures of the rainbow from different perspectives.
And today we got to have lots of family visit - Dan's grandparents, both of Dave's sisters and three of Dan's cousins & their families. We love getting to share with anyone but especially family as we know we're only able to do what we're doing because so many have worked so hard before us and we're building on the strong foundation they worked hard to build. Although we are the only set of cousins that have chosen dairy farming as a career and lifestyle we love that our family is supportive and cheering us on and love to share what we can with them!
Another week down... I'm counting down until I can stop writing Building Updates and can start giving you more farm updates (not that life will be any less crazy but at least we'll have reached our goal!).
This week windows and doors went up as well as the wrap and beginnings of steel siding. Spray foam for the roof & truss wall areas is coming mid-week, which means we can start framing up walls inside next week! And our building crew will be able to get back to building the rest of the barn. The header on the outside that you see if for a porch area that will hopefully be poured this week as well! We had some family visit again on Saturday to check on progress.
The other big event of the week was trenching in the main electric underground to the barn transformer area. That means within 2 weeks we should start to have power inside! Remember you can click on pictures to make them bigger!
I should've mentioned it last week but if you visited the Iowa State Fair last week you may have run into us, well, at least our picture. Our picture was used in one of the promotional banners that was displayed and we had a lot of friends tag us on Facebook or text us that they "saw" us there!
And a BIG thank you goes out to Dan's brother James and his family who came to the farm this weekend to help milk the cows to give both our neighbor who has been milking for Dan, Pam & Dave, and me a little break. He said milking cows was like riding a bike and he got right back into it!
Dan got to start some physical therapy this week too, which will continue for the next few weeks until we visit the doctor again to find out his next steps. He's been doing a good job getting his exercises done each day - he's anxious to get back on both of his feet!
Hope you have a good last week of August... can you believe it? I can't!
Growing up a city-girl, after marrying my dairy farmer husband and spending a few years abroad, we came home to expand the family dairy farm and want to share our journey & farm life with you!