Monthly Archives: October 2007

Garage Construction, part 2

This weekend’s garage-building did not go quite as well as planned.  Terry came to help in the morning, and together we worked a bit on side sheathing and we built the ladders for the gable-end overhangs.  About the time that my neighbors Daniel, Hannah, and Elizabeth showed up, though, he had to leave.  The four of us then started putting up the 16 trusses that will hold up the garage roof.  This is where our troubles began.  We weren’t sure (and still aren’t sure) of how to anchor the end trusses.  So we spent our time working on the common trusses that occupy the center of the garage.  We worked out a system of swing them skyward and nailing them in place using the anchors provided with the kit, but what we didn’t do, that we should have done, was to verify that each truss was standing vertical before we started nailing.  All of the trusses have a lean to the South.  We didn’t recognize the problem until we tried loading the first sheet of OSB on to the roof.  When I realized the extent of the problem, I threw in the towel for the night (it was 9:00 and I was quite tired), even though I would be losing the help of Daniel.

On Sunday, we did church at home in the morning, I did a little work on the garage, but it was quite windy, so we drove to Lincoln in the afternoon to order Gina’s kitchen (it was the last day to get in on a special deal).  During the little bit of time that I worked on the garage, I managed to straighten one of the trusses and nail the sheet of OSB onto it.  So I think there are now three trusses that are standing close to vertical, at least in the bottom 4 feet.  I really need someone to help me by either straightening the trusses while I nail or by nailing as I straighten the trusses.  I also need another ladder because I can’t stand dragging the ladder back and forth, especially since the ladder doesn’t fit through the door of the garage.

This isn’t what I had planned for my 100th post (I had nothing in particular planned, but I certainly didn’t plan on whining).  As my Mom always said:  “This too shall pass.”

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Garage Construction

One of the activities we have been doing in our spare time has been to build a garage.  I had been doing the framing whenever I got a few hours of daylight and it wasn’t raining.  I had been working 6am – 6pm Monday through Friday, so there weren’t many daylight hours.  Then, we got something like 16 inches of rain in October, leaving few days when things were dry.  But last Saturday, we had some help graciously come by to help me stand up the walls we had built.  Our help included our wonderful neighbors to the South:  Robert, Lesa, Daniel, Hannah, Jacob, Caleb, and Samuel.  We were also helped quite a bit by Gina’s Uncle Rob and her cousin’s husband, Terry, and Terry’s son, Tate.



We hope to continue the work started last Saturday by putting up the trusses today, starting at 9:00 am.  Although I must confess, I am not quite ready for the help to arrive.  So I better get out there and start working.

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Chicken relocation


As I mentioned earlier, we had been keeping our chickens in the basement of our house. They were quickly growing, starting to really stink, and creating a ton of dust for us. They were also getting quite crowded.


So for their three-week birthday, we gave them a new house. They have been sucessfully moved out into their own home (coop).  In moving them out, we attempted to plug most of the holes in the building (except for the cat door).  We replaced all of the sash windows.  We laid out some straw for bedding material.  We hung their warming lights, food, and water from the rafters, and we began setting up roosts.  They seem to be happy so far, although it is a bit cold outside still.  They should get hardier as time goes by.  The following picture shows the cat area behind the chicks.


Checking on them is a bit harder now, but they have somewhere between 3.5 square feet per bird now, much better than the 1/3 sq ft they had in my basement.

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House for Sale

There is a house for sale down the street.  It is a nice-looking place, with 5.89 acres and many outbuildings.  The owner is asking $125,000.  Following are some pictures.


This picture shows the garage, which is an over-sized two-car just a few steps from the back door.


Following we have a large barn.  The windmill in front of it was turning when we took this picture, but I don’t know if it was connected to anything.


Next up is another picture of the front of the house, showing some buildings behind the house.


The building at right in this picture is the same as the barn in the earlier picture, then there are the other two sheds.


There are several more buildings behind the house.  Notice the beautiful lawn this guy kept.


Finally, off to the north there are a few older buildings and a beautiful rolling pasture.  It didn’t look like this was part of the property, but it did look like some pretty scenery.


Come join us in southeast Nebraska!  We would love to have some more like-minded neighbors.

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Unleashing the Church resources

This morning I was doing some web-browsing and came across these resources on Unleashing the Church.  I would encourage anyone to check some of the links out.  I have been doing some reading and I feel like I am in agreement with what I have read so far.

I desire to be part of a home church, but I don’t feel equipped to start one and I haven’t been introduced to one yet.  I have been encouraged by one future neighbor.  I have been and will continue to be in prayer about this.

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I Thessalonians 4:11-12

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

One commentator has boiled this passage down into three commands:

  1. Don’t seek after the limelight. Be content to be “little and unknown, loved and prized by Christ alone.”
  2. Mind your own business instead of butting into other people’s affairs.
  3. Be self-supporting. Don’t be a parasite or a “moocher”, sponging off others.

That is my goal: to be “little and unknown.” I think of my friends at Homestead Heritage and how their lives seem to follow these three rules. Much to think about today.

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I’m a Farmer Now

I have been having a hard time telling folks around here that we own a farm, because they invariably ask what my crop is.  So I had taken to telling folks that I am a farmer without a crop and with no livestock.  Well, all that change about a week-and-a-half ago.  On a Thursday morning, my wife and kids went down to the post office and picked up our very first livestock:  78 chicks.  We ordered 25 brown-egg layers, 25 rainbow-egg layers, and 25 heavy breed males from Murray McMurray and they have finally arrived.  Initially we put them all in a 2×6 foot trough, but they quickly outgrew that and are now living in two troughs.


They are growing quickly and are starting to stink up my basement. Following are two pictures of them from that first day:



I will try to post some two-week-old shots later this week.

So the next project for the chickens is to get them out of my house and into their own house.  One of the quaint old structures on our place, they I never figured I would use, is a chicken coop, which came complete with busted out old windows and windows that had been boarded up.  Most recently, the denizens of our coop were a pride of cats that seems to have largely disappeared.  As I said, the chicks have got to move out of my house and into their own house.  More to follow on this one:



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