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Two Barn Farm http://www.twobarnfarm.com Commited to everlasting energy and life in Iowa. Mon, 15 Oct 2012 20:06:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Vacation Musings http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/10/15/vacation-musings/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/10/15/vacation-musings/#respond Mon, 15 Oct 2012 20:06:05 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=511 If you hadn’t figured it out, we take a yearly trip to Disney World. Time for a re-cap.

This time, we went all out. During our last trip, I managed to sneak away and check into the numbers for DVC. A few weeks later, I closed the deal through the mail. Without spilling all the beans; monthly, it is cheaper then the car payment we had just gotten rid of. Reagan loves puzzles, so for Christmas, she got a scroll that contained a date, latitude/longitude, and the number 7. She quickly figured out that on that date, we would be at that location for 7 nights. Then off to the computer to track it. The point landed at the hub in the Magic Kingdom. The jumping up and down and screaming started followed by a double or nothing challenge….Want to figure out where we are staying, solve this. I gave her a handmade book of hidden Mickeys to locate. She loves these things. She buys the books to find all the hidden Mickey Heads and walks around checking them off. This one stumped her, she didn’t know where they were. Hehe. A search of ‘hidden mickey elevator door’ brought here right to Bay Lake Tower, but that left her stumped….why would we going there? So, as I got her to confirm this as her final guess, she won a copy of the artwork they have in the room.

Fast forward to Sept 29th. We became mouse hostages. We don’t go off property or get rental cars. We use the Magical Express service where they find your bags off the plane, stick you on a bus, and deliver the luggage directly to your room all for free. We check in in the lobby, and were told we were on the third floor, I was dreaming of 10 floors higher. Nothing else available that night, so we checked it out. I will say, this was even better then hoped for. The castle is small, it is not as tall as it looks. When you watch Wishes from the 15th or 16th floor roofs, you actually have to look for it. On the third floor, we actually had a direct view of it, in the correct perspective. It looked awesome. I’m actually betting 2-5th floors would have the best views. In fact, the only flaw of our view I could say, is that you could not see the surface of the Seven Seas Lagoon, just the resort buildings around it. WIN.
The room, huge. 803 sq feet. Our house has a 832sqft footprint. Since the room had 2 bathrooms and a garbage disposal, Reagan proclaimed that this was better then home and wanted to move here. Walking in, we had a full bath, closet, another closet with washer and dryer, a full kitchen, bar, dinning area, and a huge living room that was solid glass with Space Mountain, Cinderella’s Castle, the monorail beam, and the Contemporary in view. Off to the side was a master bedroom with king bed, a wall that opened to a huge garden Jacuzzi tub, and then a water closet with a huge walk in shower with multiple heads. The bedroom also had a balcony, which made for great fireworks viewing. The living room had a chair that pulled into a twin and a couch that opened to a queen. Both could be out without any problems. Mason opted for the twin, up against the glass, aimed at the castle.

Highlights. Epcot’s 30th Anniversary. I booked the trip without planning this, but we were there for the 1 night celebration. Besides some special merchandise, the only celebration was a extra segment past Illuminations, which seemed like was finale grade explosions, until they got to the blinding, deafening finale! WOW!

Not too much to report from the parks. The new Fantasyland expansion is huge and amazing from what we could see. Test Track was still closed. The early Main St. Electrical Parade was rained out on Wed. I had just hit Main Street when the announcement came. The crowd let out a moan and proceded to exit. The park was empty until Wishes, where we camped out on the railing near Tom Sawyer Island, and I met up with an old friend and our families nearly made up the entire crowd in front of Splash Mountain when the 2nd parade went by.

Food: Le Celier. Why there is anything besides Poutine, Cheese soup, and the mushroom/truffle filet on the menu is beyond me. This is a perfect meal. Marakesh was also a great, and large, meal.

Mickey’s not so scary Halloween Party. The MOST fun we have ever had at Disney. Reagan and Rich dressed as Phineas and Isabella, and Mason went as Dr Horrible. The entire park was filled with theme music, fog, extra lighting, and candy. Yes, candy. You would end up in lines, and receive handfuls of candy, all over the park. Some rides were closed, but the ones that were open had no lines. Not as many people in costume as I’d expect. Quite a few kids did not dress up, most parents did not and those who did mostly went over the top.
Hallo-wishes was the best fireworks show we ever saw. Great story, great effects and shaped fireworks, and wrap around the park finale. Later, the Halloween parade was led by the headless horseman, which was very cool. Long parade, all the villains, lot’s of normally unseen performers and floats. Very fun.

So far, everyone wants to do the same exact trip again.

All kinds of pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/holeyhippiegeek/sets/72157631670311303/

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Looking good…. http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/09/09/looking-good/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/09/09/looking-good/#respond Mon, 10 Sep 2012 02:30:05 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=509 For a rubble pile that is!

Actually, I have been salvaging the barn during the last few weeks. I’ve needed some interesting wood for other projects and the barn pile has beeb the source. We’ve already re-used: 50 pieces of siding, all of the crib wall planks, numerous pieces of 1×12, 2 2×12 joists, a 14′ 4×6, and 2 large pieces of the laminated curved roof rafters.
Besides this shopping list, I’ve had 3 chances where the truck was 1/2 full, and needed to go to the dump. I topped it off by picking up all the rotted, cracked, and cut off bits that have been down there. Add the fact that I’ve mowed out a section near the barn, I can almost say that the only thing left next to the barn, is it’s side wall, and it is nearly uncovered.

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Cleaned and yummy http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/07/30/cleaned-and-yummy/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/07/30/cleaned-and-yummy/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2012 03:27:23 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=507 Went down to do a good trimming around the buildings and to mow anything that needed it. I think I’ve only mowed 3-4 times this year. Even with the drought, what was growing in the garden looked good, as did a few trees transplanted there this spring. In fact, I found a zucchini and a summer squash there that I brought home, sliced and shared with the family, as-is.

Not much to report. Everything looks good, and I love it when the grass is mowed and the buildings are trimmed perfectly in the golden light of sunset.

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Another Life! http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/06/11/another-life/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/06/11/another-life/#respond Mon, 11 Jun 2012 15:03:38 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=504 The lack of rain making the farm look like August already, and it’s only mid June. From my untrained eye, the soybean farmers are having a rough start this year.

Anyhow, we found another new life for the fallen barn. You may remember that a few parts made it to Camp Coyote a few miles away, and that I’ve been using reclaimed joists over in the corn crib for remodeling. We just made a trip to find some new material to serve as a wainscoting. A found it we did. We still had the 4 original doors from the corncrib, but since one was on the ground it was rather rotten. It was the same beadboard-like profile as the original barn siding.

We pushed the doors out into the open using the plow on the tractor, and then pulled out a few random pieces before finding a stack of cleaned/reclaimed boards I had stashed inside the barn’s remaning corner. There should be more then enough to give character to a new place coming soon. hint hint wink wink.

So the highlight, was that I had Reagan start and move the newer tractor (bigger, faster, and had power steering). She went to move it, then took off. Then she was back, then gone again. She went back and forth 3 times and then did a huge lap of the place. She had the biggest, goofiest smile on her face. I later asked her if driving the tractor was fun. “OH YEAH!!!”

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Transplants and Strawberries http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/05/27/transplants-and-strawberries/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/05/27/transplants-and-strawberries/#comments Mon, 28 May 2012 03:07:21 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=502 I got another 2 trees from the ReLeaf program this year, and found at least a dozen more small pine trees growing in my dad’s various garden beds. They range from 3.5′ down to 8″ We gathered all these and filled in some spots along the windbreak….which may be useful in another 15 years….and a few good looking spots.
I also found a slew of strawberries ripe. Af days ahead of schedule for June-bearing, but WOWm were they tasty.

During planting day, the helper I’ve been hiring named Karter, and I also salvaged out another 5 beams from the barn. I’m still not getting any work done at the farm, as I’ve been spending all my time on another project.

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Garden Time! http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/04/26/garden-time/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/04/26/garden-time/#respond Thu, 26 Apr 2012 15:37:38 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=499 I don’t know if you paid attention, but over the ‘off-season’ I replaced the trusty Deere 300 with a 318 that was 15 years newer. Why? It wasn’t as trusty. Nothing major, just little things that kept it from running when it was needed most. Old wires breaking off, carb problems, etc. I choose the 318 because it was still a 300 series, meaning I could keep my existing blade and snowblower. Huge cost savings. However, the rear end was different and I lost the roto-tiller.
To solve this, I added on an aftermarket (you can’t find the factory ones) 3 point hitch. I also got a drawbar/suitcase weight rack with a 2″ receiver for other uses. I finally found an old Sears suburban bottom plow.

And plow it did. It took some setup and adjustment, and some practice, but I was able to get the garden ready this year in about an hour. Once dialed in, It is way faster then the rototiller attachment. Anyhow, Mason got to pick seeds and helped raked the beds smooth and helped plant summer squash, zucchini, butternut, sunflowers, banana peppers, and peas. We have some cucumbers that we should start inside.

Why no Spring posts yet telling of construction? Well……doing construction elsewhere. I should probably document more of that. Stay tuned, I’ll post some hints and photos here soon.

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1st mow http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/04/02/1st-mow/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/04/02/1st-mow/#respond Tue, 03 Apr 2012 02:58:26 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=497 I decided to get my butt in gear this week. Not only did I have a few other project in motion, I thought it was time to get the tractor back to the farm, get the gardens ready, and get mowing. It has been a warm, early Spring here and things are growing.
I managed to move the tractor down to the farm over lunch and got the 1-bottom plow hooked up to the 3 point hitch. I left at 6pm and made a few passes with it. It’s actually very cool and did nice work. The downfall was that my toplink was too long, and my replacement was lost in shipping. I tried to settle with a flat bar I had found. It worked for several passes, but I got too comfortable. With a little more speed, or going deep under established grass, the flat bar finally bent and knocked things out of alignment.

I then switched out to the mower deck and started. I know I mowed a few times with the newer 318, compared to the 300 we had for years. It’s faster, and has a wider deck. Still, I mowed everything existing and was greedy, pushing back tall grass in slow passes, then making 2nd passes to smooth it out. The tractor works well, as the solid stream of green leaving the deck is impressive. I got everything done, with a lot more ‘reclaimed’ and it was only 7:30. WHAT?!

7:30? I left the house at 6:00, used the plow, pulled off the plow and snow blade, hooked up the deck and mowed more area then ever before. Guessing an hour at most for just mowing, that’s still 30 minutes faster then ever before. Holy COW! Well, the cows were out up the street. I had enough time to lazily walk around the property for a while before the sun finally went down. ┬áLove those zen moments.

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Spring Thaw http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/03/14/spring-thaw/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/03/14/spring-thaw/#respond Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:25:03 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=495 Thaw…not sure we ever froze this last winter. Still, I always pack up for the winter and don’t get anything done. I haven’t even had a chance to make sure things were still standing after a few of the storms we did have. I remember listening to wind one night and seeing on the news that gusts were breaking 60mph in the area.
I’ve finally made a few trips that way. Nothing wrong this winter. Everything in one piece, not even a limb down. The new roof on the shed worked, as the dirt is nice and dry. There is a little more to be done, but I’m getting dang quick at it. I’d love to pour some footings and replace the sliding doors with garage doors someday.
I did get rid of the tractor and tiller I had, and replaced that 300 with a 318. I found a single bottom plow and am testing fitting that now. We’ll see how well this works!

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5 year review http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/01/03/5-year-review/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2012/01/03/5-year-review/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 17:02:27 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=493 This marks the start of a new year, and 5 years of owning an acreage.

What are the biggest points for a review:
-Bought farm, then moved to Jefferson the next fall.
-Poured a new foundation under the crib, replaced slat walls with sheathing, insulation, and siding.
-Got electrical service
-Door and windows on South, East, and west walls
-Staircase to 2nd floor, half of 2nd floor has subfloor
-Most of the bin work has been removed.
-Found shed to be in good shape, and most of the roof has been replaced.

-Camped here many nights
-Grew lots of food, the best crops to remember:
Tomatoes the first few years, huge pumpkins the first year, a row of potatoes, Established strawberry patch, always lots of peas, tons of onions.

RAGBRAI came to town with tornado that took out the matching barn.

Started Greene Bean Coffee

What’s up next:
Replace some brome grass with clover for…
BEES!
More tomatoes, onions, potatoes, cucumbers.
front half of shed roof
Install windows on 2nd floor of crib, add the 2nd floor interior.
Plant trees, bushes, ornamental plants around crib and shed.
Would like to replace large shed doors with garage doors and pour footing across openings. Then fill shed with crushed rock.

Sometimes it seems like these projects take forever, but looking back we have done a lot since this is a spare time/spare money project.

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Fall panic(s) http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2011/11/09/fall-panics/ http://www.twobarnfarm.com/2011/11/09/fall-panics/#respond Thu, 10 Nov 2011 04:08:32 +0000 http://www.twobarnfarm.com/?p=484 You probably caught it the last few years, that I get into a mad panic mode of “get stuff done before winter” This year was no different. What took most of the time was getting a new roof on the shed. Last year I used old shingles to patch holes. Come spring the patches were there, but twice as many new holes had opened up. And I was out of spare shingles. To keep our possessions dry, and the shed from rotting, it was time to fix the roof. This involved stripping 756 sq feet of cedar shakes off the rook, hammering in the little nails, adding new plywood decking, then finally shingling.
I didn’t get it all done at once. In fact I had it 2/3rds stripped when some fall rains started the week before vacation. I quickly got a layer of tar paper up just to keep it a bit dry while we were gone. There were a few rips, but nothing too drastic. Thinking ahead, I had laid a bunch of spare 2×6’s out on top of it. After vacation, I found that the tar paper would rip if you tried to traverse it. So, it was time to shingle what was completed, then finish prepping off the remaining 1/3 at the top. I might have looked odd, but it was far safer and allowed me to work in blocks.
Rick was back on the scene after being laid up most of the summer. He helped clean things up and started opening up the remaining bin walls. It was really starting to look cool. Luckily, the grass stopped growing and I got a John Deere 318 to replace the 300 I have been using.
Yes, the new tractor is 20 years old. However, it is still 15 years newer then previous one. It is in very nice shape, runs strong and can use all the previous implements except the rear tiller. I might sell the old one, as I don’t know if I really need a spare. In fact, I just bolted on a 3 point hitch to the 318 tonight.
The second panic this fall. Well, I should say that I have always heard a squeak in high winds at the farm. Never found it, and I spent a good deal of time staring at the inside of roofs, and at the metal roofing and trim of the crib. I figured it was a loose nail on the metal roofing someplace up high. Just before vacation we were in the crib and it was really blowing and we were amazed how solid the place felt.
Until two weeks ago….
Reagan and I stopped by to pick up something and kinda waste time down there. As soon as we walked up the stairs, there was big squeaking and a worse noise. As we looked up, the entire couple was rocking from side to side, almost 2″ I bet. This was new.
In a panic, we got to work. I’ll explain that the couple is a 6′ by 8′ box that sits above the roof line. The corner supports are 2×6’s that do run down to the top of the bin walls. That’s it, and those were toe-nailed in to the top of another board. Well, sometime in the past 80 years, the middle of the crib settled about 3/4 of a inch from the weight of the full bins of corn. The outside walls did not. The roof never moved, but the floor did. The nails that held these supports were barely touching anymore. I have added a few nailer blocks and toe-nailed a few extra screws into these supports, but never really reinforced them, as that was an area we would be working on later, and that we hadn’t sen any movement there before. Opps.
The first act was to grab any scrap plywood we could find, and nail in large gussets to reconnect and stabilize these 4 supports. Right away, that seemed to make a difference. The north and south copula walls have the corner 2×6’s then just a pair of 2×4 studs in the middle. Both of the 2×4’s were cracked across the entire nail area that held then down. The 2nd phase was to fill the stud bays with blocks running both ways to reinforce this area on both walls. Then connect all 4 studs with a new 2×6. The north side was ok, but only had 1 original nail each. That would lead to flexing too! Now that there was a secure frame around the copula, and a lot more nails, we were feeling ok. I quickly added some scraps to tie the East and West walls down to the joists and one last piece of plywood up on the North wall.
Fast forward a week after a good storm.
Everything was OK! I got some XPS foam insulation and started filling all the stud bays of the copula. From there, both the North and South sides (the axis the flex was on) got sealed in solid plywood. No chance of flex now. We only got 1/3 of the east wall sealed, so I’d like to get a bit more done before Winter really hits. Might as well finish this.

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