The old barn across the street from us is getting re-roofed. I’m not sure when this barn was built, but I think sometime in the early 1900’s, as part of the Cedargreen (then, “Cedergren”) family homestead. I believe their original late 1800’s homestead had a different wood barn, so I think this brick-bottomed, fancy one came later.

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Some of my ewelambs didn’t grow well last fall and winter. I’m not sure why, maybe it was high selenium, maybe I’ve had better hay in the past, maybe their parasite load was higher this year. All the variables make each year pose different challenges. Moderate growth in ewes isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve often contemplated that, in our race to breed faster-growing lambs for market, we are probably doing a disservice to our long-lived production ewes. When I think of my dog friends with giant breeds, and how careful they are to manage growth on those pups to prevent joint and bone problems later; sometimes I wonder if that logic applies- or should apply- to breeding meat sheep bred for incredibly fast maturity. But, since I breed my ewelambs, I’m also not thrilled to have them still-petite by yearling age when they become mothers. And yet, here we are; things don’t always go as planned. I have a few tiny ewes I wish weren’t pregnant, but they are.

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I’ve been building sheep pens in the barn the last couple of weekends. These were my goals:

  1. “Hospital” stalls to house sick sheep that are too ill to be treated in the pasture, or that need to be quarantined
  2. A place for bummer lambs so they don’t need to be in the kitchen Smile
  3. A few jugs in case I wanted to pen up ewes and lambs that are having trouble (though my intention is not to jug as a standard practice)
  4. A place I could stick the whole herd if we had some really insane weather (but believe me, they won’t be getting this luxury on ordinary days)
  5. A chute system where I can weigh, treat, and sort sheep into two groups; all indoors, for my comfort, as well as to protect electronic equipment and other gear
  6. A place where sold sheep can hang out waiting to be picked up, so that it’s easy for people to pull up and load them
  7. Not fixed, so I can take the whole thing down and stack it when it’s not in use, or take panels outside to make temporary pens there

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ExteriorOnly_RedOnlyOur county building permit system has a convenient method for calling in inspection requests by phone. You punch in your permit number, and a code for which inspection you want done, and an inspector is usually dispatched the next day.

The permit paper prints out with all of the expected categories that need to be approved for your type of project: 110 for footings, 115 for framing, 305 for underslab plumbing, 325 for mechanical rough-in, 315 for plumbing rough-in, 345 for water service, 160 for insulation, etc., etc. As inspectors come and go, they sign in the little boxes next to the codes (or write you friendly correction notices instead, as the case may be). Slowly, you fill up the piece of paper with new milestones completed.

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And the pinnacle is 199: The Final. We have earned a fancy dinner out to celebrate that last signature. Cheers to completion!

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We have continued to be pretty swamped with finishing the electrical work in our barn. The rough-in was signed off with no correction list-yay for us! As was the bathroom insulation job. We’ll have the fanciest, most cozy barn bathroom ever, with R15 insulation, a solid core door, and an exhaust fan. Gotta meet residential code, ya know?

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The last “big” stage of our barn construction was to wire in lights and outlets. We had originally budgeted for hiring an electrician; but had a contingency that we’d do it ourselves if we had unexpected expenses. Our budget actually went pretty well overall, but bringing in power was more than we thought, and we’d like to reserve some money for other improvements, so we went ahead and tackled the wiring ourselves.

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One of the big things left to do on our barn is get power installed and finish all the wiring. We have been waiting a long time for the power company to bring in power. I initiated plans with them in December. They are none too speedy. And it is costing a lot of money to bring power from the street back to our barn. A lot.

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