Workshop Update

>> Sunday, December 26, 2010

It has been several weeks since I last updated everyone on my woodworking shop.  That has mainly been because not much new has been accomplished.  I have worked a few hours in the last few weeks and have a start on putting tongue and groove boards on the interior walls.  The biggest, or at least, the most visual addition has been the porch.  Yes, a porch on a workshop.

It sort of evolved.  I needed some sort of step at the doors and I thought of trying to move my table saw in and out and decided some type of floor extending out from the shop would be helpful.  And, a little roof or awning over the doors would be nice on a rainy day.  We had an old porch glider that came off of the house porch when we got our porch swing.  Connie suggested the porch be large enough to have a place to put the glider.  So, here is a photo of the result.  I have yet to finish the flashing where the roof meets the wall of the shop.



From My Email

>> Friday, December 24, 2010

I received this quite some time ago and keep thinking I need to share, so, here it is.




>> Monday, December 20, 2010

When I first got goats, way back in the early 70’s, I read all of the dairy goat magazines I could find.  I subscribed to Dairy Goat Journal and Dairy Goat Guide.  One thing that all of the articles seemed to agree on was that to get good milk production the goats needed good alfalfa hay.  That was no problem then.  I was living in Southern California and the only hay I could find to purchase was alfalfa hay.  It was grown where it was irrigated and where they were able to get it baled without danger of rain.  All of the hay was baled to be shipped and was in 3-wire tied bales, averaging 125# per bale.  One got only 16 bales per ton.

When I moved to Illinois I could get alfalfa hay occasionally.  I fed some clover hay and some other poorer hay from time to time.  But, moving here to South-Central Kentucky I didn’t find much alfalfa hay being produced in the immediate area.  I was able to get some orchard grass hay which seemed to be pretty good but not quite to the degree good alfalfa would be.  The last couple of years we have been able to bale enough hay here on Cedar Ridge Farm to feed Darryl’s cows and my goats, but it was just mixed grass hay.  This year, due to the dryness, we were able to only get two cuttings of hay.  Consequently there doesn’t appear to be quite enough to feed all of the animals all winter.  Darryl found some grass hay, which will do fine for the cows, at a fairly good price.

I wanted to look around a bit and see if I could find some hay of a bit better quality.  Darryl saw the ad first and drew my attention to it.  A man was advertising some alfalfa-orchard grass hay.  I made contact and Darryl and I made the approximate 50 mile trip two weeks ago to buy 50 bales of this hay.  Even though it is getting toward the end of this lactation the goats have actually increased their milk production a bit.  So, the better hay seems to be doing what it is supposed to do, and the goats seem to like it.



Four Letter Word

>> Monday, December 13, 2010

We got SNOW, that four letter word often associated with winter.  Our forecast was for maybe a half inch to an inch of snow.  We received rain on Saturday (almost an inch) and it turned to snow Sunday morning.  It snowed off and on most of the day with about what the forecast had called for, but it forgot to stop.  It snowed Sunday evening and throughout the night.  This morning (Monday) we had quite a bit more around than the half inch to a inch.

You can’t tell how much snow is on the van from this photo but I went out and stuck a 12 inch ruler into that on top of the van.

If you look closely you can see the green ruler stuck into the snow.  It is near the center of the picture.

In this close-up you can see that there was 8 inches on the van.  I measured several other places and the measurement was from 8 to 9 inches.  I believe this is the largest snowfall we have experienced since moving here in 2004.



>> Saturday, December 11, 2010

A couple of evenings ago as I was leaving the barn after finishing the milking I noticed movement near the goat’s feed pan.  I stopped to watch

and it was a mouse, no, make that several mice.  They were not bothered by my standing and watching them eating the leftovers.  I decided then and there I’d needed to declare war on the little beasties.  Yesterday morning I drove into town and purchased some new mouse traps and some cheap brand of peanut butter to use as bait. 

By evening I had caught 3 and I reset my traps.  This morning I had another 5.  But, the one thing that is a puzzle is that one trap was totally missing, carried away by a very powerful little mouse I assume.  It may have been the one eating Nolan’s cheese.


We Now Have Power!

>> Sunday, November 7, 2010

I had a bit of time last week and was able to get electric power run to my woodworking shop.  On Tuesday Connie and I went to the nearest “big” town to do some shopping and I went by the electrical supply house and purchased 85 feet of electric cable that I could bury between the house and the shop.  On Wednesday we had light rain about all day and Darryl and I didn’t work on his house so I was able to get my small 70 amp breaker box mounted and wired up in the shop.

Thursday morning I dug a shallow trench from the shop to the corner of the house in which to bury the cable.

After running the cable to the house and covering it with dirt I ran the cable I had fed under the house across to the area where I needed to connect it to the power in the house.  I drilled up into the wall and fished the cable up to the line, got it connected and then turned on the breaker to send power to the shop, all before lunch.  Then, it was down to help Darryl put siding on his house.


What Have I Been Doing?

>> Tuesday, November 2, 2010

They say time goes by rapidly when you are having fun.  I seem to have been having lots of fun since time has gone by quite rapidly since I last posted.  Well, what have I been doing?  Here is a brief recap of the last several weeks and months.

In early June Connie and I made a trip to Wisconsin to attend our grandson, Cory’s, high school graduation.  Our granddaughter from Illinois Tana, came back with us to spend several weeks. The last Sunday in June we made a trip to Illinois to attend a family reunion, returning on Monday.  My high school graduation class held its 50th year reunion the following weekend.  I couldn’t make it for all weekend but did drive up on Sunday, July 4th.  I was able to ride the class “float” in the annual 4th of July parade and attend an afternoon meal and visitation with a number of the classmates.

Our oldest son came the 9th of July and spent a few days before taking his daughter, Tana, back home.  Our granddaughter, Beth, from Wisconsin drove to his home in Illinois and caught a ride down with him.  We enjoyed having both of them here for a few days.

Later in the month of July we celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary.  We just took a couple of days and spent them visiting antique shops, thrift stores and eating a couple of meals out. All in all it was an enjoyable couple of days.

The last part of September we went to the Lake of the Ozarks and spent about 10 days celebrating a religious festival with a group of about 450 people.  One of the highlights was meeting and getting to know a lady whose blog we read regularly.

As I have been reporting I have been working off and on building a small woodworking shop.  I haven’t done much on it for the last several weeks.  Priority has been on getting my son, Darryl’s, house closed in before bad weather.  We are making great headway.  For an up-to-date report you can read his blog, Cedar Ridge Farm.


The summer has been hot and dry.  Our garden didn’t do real well but we had plenty of tomatoes to eat but few to can.  As a matter of fact, I picked some tomatoes yesterday morning.  I don’t remember ever picking tomatoes this late in the year.  We have had a light frost but it didn’t seem to hit the garden.  I’m afraid that will change this weekend.

Anyway, that is some of what I have been doing.  I’ll try to do better at blogging.


A Bit More Progress On Woodworking Shop

>> Thursday, September 16, 2010

How can over a month passed since I last posted?  I guess time goes by fast when you are having fun, huh?  I’ve been helping Darryl on his house several days a week and attempting to keep up with the other things needing to be done has kept my progress on my workshop at a pretty slow pace, but there is a bit more progress to report.

I installed a door to the storage loft, using weights in the wall to assist in opening and closing it.  I wanted a door to help keep dust from the shop from going up and getting on the stored items.

Here is a view of the door as you start up the stairs.


This view is from inside the loft looking at the door in the open position.  You can see the green rope that goes over a pulley and down into the wall of the first floor.  Old window weights are attached to the end of the rope.

Pictured here is a small closet that I built to hang winter clothing in the summer and summer clothing in the winter.

I built shelves along one wall and, as you can see, quite a number of items have already been placed on the shelves.

On the outside of the workshop I have put on some of the corner and window trim.  Unable to be seen here is the trim that is also around the double doors.  The other side has yet to be finished.


I have most of the outlets wired and the boxes up for the lights.  I still have to run wire from the main breaker box in the house to a small box in the shop.

You can keep up with the progress being made on Darryl’s house and some of the work I’ve been helping with by clicking here.


The Siding Is On!

>> Saturday, August 14, 2010

I’ve only worked on my workshop a couple of days in the last two weeks or so.  I’ve been helping Darryl on his house plus doing some of the other things that need done.  We have been hot, humid and mostly dry here in South-Central Kentucky.  Although there has been a brief shower every few days they have not amounted to much.  Our little garden up here on the ridge is just burned up.  Thankfully, we didn’t have a need to preserve a great lot this summer.  And, we have had quite a number of things to eat fresh from the garden.

Here are a few photos of the workshop taken since the last post.

This side finished.
The metal on the backside of the shop.

Weatherboard, that I had left after the other 3 sides, installed at the very top.  Now, I have yet to put on some trim and work on the interior, as time permits.  I’m sure that much of my time will be spent helping Darryl.  It you would like to see the progress that is being made on his house check out his blog,


A Bit More Siding Has Been Put On

>> Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I haven’t been able to work many days on my workshop in the last 2-3 weeks due to a number of other activities but I have managed to get a bit more of the siding put on.

Here are some more photos showing the progress that has been made.


Just a small amount more and the 3rd side will be done.  I have one small problem—I’m running out of weatherboard so the 4th side will have to be sided with metal roofing material.  It should work just fine.


More Workshop Photos

>> Thursday, July 8, 2010

There have been a number of interruptions the past two weeks but I have continued to make progress on my woodworking shop. Here are a few photos.

The purlins have been put on as well as the facia boards.

A start has been made putting the roofing metal on.

One side of building has metal roofing completely installed.

The other side of the building has most of the metal roofing on.

The roofing metal is all on, the ridge cap has been installed, and the windows have been put in. The windows are from an old mobile home that was being torn down.

The double doors have been hung and a start has been made on putting on the weatherboard siding.


Further Progress On My Workshop

>> Saturday, June 26, 2010

Although I spent some time helping Darryl, picking blackberries and doing other necessary activities I got quite a bit more accomplished on my woodworking shop this past week.  Here are a few photos.

The loft flooring is all down.  Toby is checking it out!

The two end stud walls were built and set up.

The two side stud walls have been built and erected.

Here is another view with all of the loft stud walls in place.

I got the rafters cut and put up Friday afternoon.  Hopefully, next week I can get the purlins and the roofing metal put on.  We’ll keep you updated.


I Observed Something Unusual

>> Friday, June 18, 2010




I went over on the neighboring property this morning to pick wild blackberries (they are just beginning to ripen).  I was in the middle of a patch of blackberry plants when I heard something coming through the brush and weeds from the woods to my right.  I looked up to see a coyote come running into the grass of the pasture where I was.  It was headed across to the woods on the other side of the field, off to my left.  Immediately behind the coyote, about 30-40 feet came a deer.   The coyote ran on across the field, a distance of only a few hundred feet, with the deer right behind it.  The coyote went through the fence and on into the woods, the deer jumped over the fence, and it was obvious neither saw me standing to their side, maybe 40-50 feet away.  I was amazed to see a deer quite obviously chasing a coyote.

Some time later, as I had worked my way around the field picking berries, I was startled to have a small fawn jump up from a few feet in front of me.  It ran into the woods which was only a few feet from where it had been laying.  This spot was probably only 75-100 feet from where the coyote and deer had come out of the woods.  The picture became clear to me, the mother deer was chasing the coyote which was a danger to her baby. 


Workshop Progress

>> Thursday, June 17, 2010

Here is a photo essay of the work that has been done on my woodworking shop over the last two weeks.

IMG_2332 The sills and the floor joists completed.

IMG_2342 About one half of the flooring has been put down.

IMG_2348 Here is the flooring totally installed.

IMG_2351 The back stud wall has been built and raised into place.

IMG_2356 One side and the front stud walls have been built and set into place.

IMG_2369The last stud wall in place, ceiling joists beginning to be set and the stairway to the loft area built.

IMG_2373  All of the ceiling joists are in place.

IMG_2374 Salvaged rough sawn boards formerly used as purlins being put down for the loft floor.

IMG_2382 This is a side view taken after all my tools were put away this evening.


I Have Begun Building My Woodworking Shop

>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Last Fall I decided that I would like to have a small woodworking shop and knew I couldn’t afford to build one without coming up with some used material.  I posted about getting an old house to tear down.  (You can read about it here.) I finally finished that aspect of the project and Darryl took his trailer up and helped me bring the last of the lumber home. 


I have a back yard stacked with boards, rocks and metal roofing.


I have decided to build the workshop on block piers rather than  a full foundation.  This last week I got the blocks set and filled them with concrete.


This picture was taken before the blocks were filled with concrete.  You can see that my back yard isn’t very level!  The building will be 14’ wide and 16’ long.  I plan to put a loft in it for storage.  In the background in this photo you can see my barn and the woodshed.


Sadly I Have To Report The Passing Of Annie

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

goats 013A
Annie came to us June 6th, 2005.  She belonged to a lady Darryl had gotten to know before we moved here.  Annie was an orphan, losing not only her mother but her three siblings at her birth in 1999.  She was raised for some period of time in the kitchen and became a real “people” goat.  When the lady was preparing to move from her small farm in the summer of 2005 she was seeking good homes for her animals and asked if we would like to have Annie.  We were thrilled to get her.  Although she had already raised several kids she was not a new mother when she came to Cedar Ridge.

In the nearly 5 years she was here she presented us with 13 goat babies.  On January 24, 2006 she had quads.  With a little help from us she managed to raise all four.  We still have one of her daughters from that kidding, Brownie.  The next year Annie had triplets on March 3rd, 2007.  The little buck was stillborn but we raised both of the little does.  We kept one and she is one of our current milking does, Zoe.

On March 28, 2008 Annie gave birth to two little does.  March 16th, 2009 she had twins again, a buck and a doe.  This year she again had twins, a buck and a doe.  We named them Abe and Abby.

Just exactly what was wrong we aren’t sure but Annie developed some intestinal difficulties and very quickly weakened and then died this last Sunday night.  Our immediate concern of course was for her month old babies.  With some effort they have both now, finally, begun to take a bottle.  Hopefully, we can find homes for them where they can be cared for.

Annie was quite special and will be missed by all of us here on the farm. You can read a couple of previous posts about Annie here  and here.


Boy, Do I Ever Have A Lot Of Catching Up To Do!

>> Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blogging hasn’t taken a high priority for the last few weeks. Upon our return from Oregon at the end of March we have been busy, busy, busy! I had put off doing any gardening or seed starting. That had to begin almost immediately after arriving back home. That went well and we have been having fresh radishes, greens, onions from the garden.

I did a couple of posts as reports on our trip and I have more to post. Bear with me, I’ll get it done.

Shortly after getting back to the farm we began getting baby goats. Zoe, the goat who refused to accept her kid last year, was the first to kid. She had a nice little doeling which we named Zaylee. A couple of days later Brownie also had a doeling. We named her Baylee. Not exactly twins but are half-sisters, from the same daddy. Their mothers are half-sisters also.

That is Zaylee on the left and Baylee on the right.

Annie waited a couple of weeks and presented us with twins, Abe and Abby. Annie is getting old and isn’t in as good a condition as in previous years. I’m not milking her, just letting her raise her babies.

I used rocks I hauled home from the old house I’ve been tearing down to level out Connie’s flower bed. (See my post on that here.) That took a few days.

When I built our deck in 2005 I used some “cull wood” from the sawmill as decking. Even though I have applied water seal a few times some of the boards were rotting. I replaced the deck floor with treated deck boards.

Here you can see some of the new boards that have been put into place. The blue/green in the lower left is one of my water tanks that are under the deck. These are used to hold some of the rain that runs off of the roof.

When we first arrived back home we were in a bit of a dry period here in South-Central Kentucky, running a deficit of about 8 inches. That has changed. Over about 4 days at the end of April we received over 3” of rain, which we really appreciated. However, the next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2 we got 11 and 1/10 inches! Living on top of a ridge we had no major problems, just a bit of erosion from the gardens, etc. But, our little community suffered some major flooding. Nothing like Nashville, TN but still several homes and businesses were flooded. The city lake almost washed out. The highway was closed and several folks were evacuated as it appeared that the dam was going to wash away. So much water was coming over the concrete spillway and the earth dam was eroding on both sides. Thankfully it didn’t go but there is alot of repair work to be done.

I have spent nearly everyday the past two weeks working to complete the project of tearing down the old house and hauling home salvaged material. I’m close to being done.

This pile of boards, all 14-16 feet long, have yet to be hauled home. Darryl will use his 16’ trailer to haul them. As you can see my little truck just won’t handle material of that length.

As I have mentioned before we heat with wood. The wood stove we have been using for the last couple of winters is a cook stove with a large fire box. When we quit having to have heat Connie hated to go back to cooking on our gas range. She said if I had told her 10 years ago that she would be cooking on a wood cook stove, and further, enjoying it she would have thought them crazy. With the big fire box it just isn’t practical to cook on our Bakers Choice in the warmer months. We discussed moving the stove onto the screened front porch for the summer but that is a pretty big job and still takes more wood to get the stove up to cooking temps. We decided to look for a smaller and less expensive wood cook stove that we could put on the porch. That would become in essence a summer kitchen.

After doing some searching on line I discovered on ebay what we were looking for. The individual/business had 3 different stoves available, all new. One was pretty plain, one just like it with chrome trim and the third one had a slightly larger fire box and a water reservoir. The third one was the one we bid on and bought. The stove is much lighter in weight, is not air-tight and isn’t the quality of the Bakers Choice but is a good little stove. We are enjoying it. Connie is learning how to use the oven as it doesn’t heat quite the same as the one we have in the kitchen.

Hopefully, this brings you somewhat up-to-date. I’ll try to stay a bit more current and I’ll strive to finish my reports on “our big adventure.”


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