Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A project, in photos

Life at the farm is busy these days as winter is just around the corner - must hurry to get the old barn ready to house both birds and horses, aiiiiiiieeeeee!

That's what happens when you inherit decrepit old crap on your property... the renos take up all your time, suck your meager savings into a black hole and pepper your hair with sawdust, cobwebs and regrets.

Regrets that I didn't wear a face mask for the first two hours of demo today...

Thank goodness for ventolin inhaler pumps!

I snapped a few pics along the way with our old point-and-shoot so excuse photo quality, but I wasn't going to bring my new camera into a dust-choked hazardous demo area. Shaking hands and poor light also add to the mix but hey, it was what it was.

Quick recap of the project:

I bought some new (ok old, very old antique but they're new to us!) windows for the barn as what's there now, on four sides, is falling apart: old, cracked single panes on the outside, plastic on the inside, a graveyard of flies and other various bodies in the middle. In some places sheets of plywood cover holes where windows used to be.

Our neighbor is doing the job in a couple of weeks but I wanted to prep the areas as much as possible since I can do some of the work myself to save paid hours.

I actually like carpentry work - HGTV is real life, you know :-D

While toiling away I decided to see what was behind some rotting wall particle boards as we need to insulate as much as possible and fill in foundation/siding cracks - not that any of that will keep rodents away but it gets drafty in there, specially at floor level where the chickens will be, so that has to be sealed.
The walls on three sides of the barn look like this -
see the rotten, chewed, wet bottom bits
from a decade of horse pee and poop?

This is what you get when you pull it off the wall...
Yeah, not much for insulation eh?

That's like 30years' worth of vermin bedding and poop right there,
you bet your arse it's disgusting!

Now the area is ready for new pink insulation,
a new vapor barrier and new fitted plywood on top,
all cracks sealed:

It just kept going and going,
like some crazy Pandora's box:

The glass panes have, for the most part,
missing quarter-inch round and caulking -
I don't know why they haven't shattered yet!

Some bits made me gag, like this section here...
there was more rodent shit than insulation-

I managed to prep about half the work space today,
it took about 4 hours in all:

This one was the very worst of all,
I had no mask at this point and inhaled too much dust -
well not dust, more like disintegrated insulation
and mountains of moldy rat poo:

Here I am, exhausted and red eyes and all -
Notice the full wheelbarrows in the back
as I ran out of big trash bags...
I still have to empty all of that and haul it to the dump!

And that's how I spend my days, folks...

It sure beats being stuck in an office eight hours a day, plugging away at a soul-sucking job. The way I figure it, we either have to pay someone to do the renos and to get that money I have to get a job I hate, or I do it myself and we manage with what we have.

I've been selling a bunch of stuff around the house that we don't need or want anymore (yey for online classifieds!) so it helps offset the cost of building supplies and material.

I'm all about recycling :-)

And to think... I used to spend my days coordinating sales teams, planning events, building sales projection charts and entering business expenses, dealing with irate customers and designing marketing plans, not to mention the travel to trade shows, heels, painted nails and all that things that used to define my life.

*sits in awe*

/end of Time For A Hot Bubble Bath post/


prin said...

Seriously, always wear a mask. That junk has bad consequences, youuuu. *shakes fist*

*runs away to worry*

C said...

yeah i agree it prolly has asbestos in it... or worse.

your barn is huge... you sure do work hard mon amie... you will reap the benefits you sow when its all done... and the kiddies will thank you for it, erm, in their own way... lol

Vegas said...

I feel like there's some sort of gender reversal going on here :) Great job - it looks even more impressive in person.

*waves fist over mask*

Busy Bee Suz said...

Wow girlfriend, you are such a worker bee! That is a boatload of crap...I can't image the smell while working in there!
Your babies are going to be so cozy in there come winter!

Curly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curly said...

Vermin poop? I'll take my office job, thankyouverymuch :)

A blog by the "Farmer" said...

Now, don't take this the wrong way...BUT, I laughed my head off looking at the pictures! Oh my... It brought back hilarious and nightmarish (at the same time) adventures of my own...

YOU DID A GREAT JOB! I am so proud of you!

It is a lot of work now (and messy work, at that). However, there are two major results: a) you won't ever have to face that mess again, and b) you will have peace-of-mind when your horses and chooks are safely tucked away this winter. You will not regret your efforts!

Again, I am really proud of you (we must get you an arsenal of dust masks).


Debby@Just Breathe said...

Wow, I am very impressed. You work so hard. That is ugly crap. You must wear that mask!!!

JeanMarie said...

Two words: HANTA VIRUS!!!!!!
NEVER, NEVER work where there is rodent droppings without a mask!

*goes off to worry with Prin*

But, before I go, let me say: Great JOB!

Adventures In China said...

You are working so hard, I know it will feel so good to have it finished and know your own two hands accomplished so much. You are my idol! I want to subscribe to your magazine!