The farm house

The farm house

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Merry Christmas From The Rickety Ladder Farm

A couple of days ago, well before the snow but before a rain, I decided to repair a small "indoor waterfall" in the barn. You see, the barn was not used for keeping livestock by the last few owners. Consequently, a few rodents and such have destroyed a few areas, in particular a section where the roofs meet and the water now comes in. It drips and also slides down a wall making everything wet, rotting and turns icy. Not a great environment for livestock. It's also the escape route for the barn-cat :also access for a predator grrr...
Here are a few photos of what the barn looked like before I decided I could do something with it. Also known as BC-before critters.

Above the window in this last photo to the left(blocked by the tree) is where the problem is. Now, what I thought I could do to repair this was use some spray insulation foam. It works well in cracks and crevices because it expands to fill the spaces. I read the label. Very flammable and explosive- good thing I don't smoke but nobody should smoke in a barn anyway. I inspected the area and decided I needed to get a ladder sigh..Off I go, get the ladder and prop it up and realize that the drainage ditch is more elevated at the wall than the rest of the floor making for a yet another wonky ladder episode and of course nobody's around. This is of course taking place inside the barn with sheep watching and a few stray chickens that go out from next door ogling, to them, what seems like a bunch of perches neatly put together upon which I am climbing.

Protective clothing and goggles were also recommended on the label. Well, I had my chore coat on and a pair of gloves, my glasses to see what the what. I make the rickety climb and started spraying. It works very well in the small places. So far so good. Now, there's a huge gap and I can see the metal from the roof. I start to spray. As the foam expands, it gets heavy. It does not have anything to support it from underneath so it starts to drop. Crud. Once I am done with the can, I scoop up what has fallen and it is still expanding.I decide to put it into an empty feed bag as I suspect no animal should be eating that!

So, nowhere on the label does it say that when wet, this substance becomes on of the world's best adhesives!!! While trying to put the fallen foam into the feed bag, the gloves are coated with this yellow goop. Also the cuff and bottom part of the sleeve is coated and it is not coming off....I take feed bag to garbage can. See the yongest is walking down the laneway from the school bus. He nods. I then go to utility sink in the house and scrub this stuff off. By now my hands are coated and slick and my fingers are sticking together. Not cool. I have knitting to do, baking, laundry etc...Oh my! This stuff is horrid. I yell at youngest "google how to removespay foam insulation". Apparently, nothing works. Well, a recommendation was acetone which I had on hand in the form of nail polish remover. Further down in the suggested solvents were paint thinner and a few other stinky things but they were not successful according to other victims.

I can tolerate the smell of the nail polish remover. I quickly run upstairs to the bathroom and use it right away. Youngest creeps up to see how I'm making out, trying to stifle a chuckle or two. What the acetone did was slough away a bit and made it less sticky. For days,I've been picking the stuff off my fingers very much the same way we did as youngsters peeling off the white Lepage's glue that we would put on finger tips and pull off looking at our fingerprints. This "stuff" however is more diligent and I still have some on a few fingers.

End result is the leak has slowed but not to where I want it to be. Plan B- whatever that is short of redoing a section of roof....

So such a long post to say, "Don't do what I did and why".

Have a Merry Christmas folks. Hopefully I will be back after the holiday to write about something much less dramatic!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All Christmas and caked out...

Yesterday was my husband's Birthday. I managed to bake a Boston Cream Pie from scratch with the meager supplies on hand. You see, I am housebound. No, not ill but 1 vehicle in good working condition certainly curbes the ability to dash out and shop. Consequently saving money except that there is none. Christmas has come at a really bad time, again. We recently replaced 2 car tires(less than a year old) 4 truck tires, new shocks and afew other parts on the truck and it's still not operating well. Two licence renewal stickers and a licence renewed....all in December. To cap it all off, I am only working 3,25 hours/week which is not considered employed and hubby will be off work from Friday to the day after New Year's day...So gifts this year are whatever I have knit. Rainchecks for everyone as you see, it has been raining. The sounds of Christmas here are the sound of the sump-pump coming on and a truck scraping and spreading salt on the road.

Oh it did snow.. a looks someone with the biggest sifter ever, sifted icing sugar all over the lawn. I can live with that but I dread freezing rain and driving in the freezing rain. The weather has been mild and I am not complaining but it certainly seems to alter breeding schedules for certain animals. It also confuses some birds to not migrate. And then it gets really cold and they starve or eggs are laid and frozen etc...I do admit if I didn't have to heat a home for almost 6 months, oh the money I would save!!

Now back to Christmas...My youngest son turns 17 on the 22nd. We get caked out in December. He's a little peeved that the world is supposed to end the day before his birthday- yeah right. Not sure about that, I'm still getting invoices . No company seems to be mindful of that little nugget of doom. Now, I may be a little more sensitive to the whole commercialisation of Christmas this year, but enough alread. Emails everyday reminding me about how much time is left to buy x... order now.., don't be caught without...Which incidentally has nothing to do with the celebration of the birth of Christ in any way, shape or form. So next year, I am decreeing in my own household, that if you thik you should receive a gift, then it's because I want to share and am able to give not because a bloody date on a calendar equals gifts in the eyes of retailers.

Enough said. We will have a family gathering and our regular feast but I am also sensitive in that area as I've lost a few relatives ina short while I will most certainly miss the visits that usually occur at this time of year. Part of life, part og growing up,partof becoming ingrained on my perception of what I believe Christmas should be....

Oh yeah, hubby celebrates Christmas on the 6th of January. More cake anyone?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Last night, I was awakened by a wet nose, nudging me out of bed. It would seem that I fell asleep without putting the dog out. Apparently, that is one of those skills that only I possess such as refilling the milk jug and taking out overflowing garbage bags. Important things indeed ,but not enough to put on my resume.
 So off we go into the cold night, braving the icy driveway. Meanwhile, I look up into the sky and I am momentarily paralyzed. There were so many many. The more I looked, the more they seemed to appear. No photo could ever describe what I saw. I stared and stared all the while the dog is waiting. I looked into the night until my neck started to hurt, thanks to the car accident and the reason I could not kiss the Blarney Stone despite my climb up those bloody steep, slippery steps...

For that brief moment, I had no worries, no cares, no concerns. What an awesome feeling! Is it that easy? To just be distracted in order to forget the harsh reality of my everyday existence? One thought that did keep me thinking is that I am only a small part of this universe and yet, as small as my part may be, I matter.

Now, the realist in me buggers it all up. That wonderful view of stars twinkling , well a lot of them are probably dead as it takes many lifetimes for their light to reach our planet... Sadly, they are almost like ghosts. This is the kind of ghost you don't mind having around. However, it's this kind of thinking that gets me into trouble. Yet at that time of night, I don't think the dog cared too much about the stars, my thoughts, my questioning of the universe and my role in it.