This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Month: January 2015

The Barn – Update III – First Animal Stall

One of the purposes of having a barn was to have animal stalls in it, for keeping animals or for when they would need to be out of the weather. We really wanted to be able to have this shelter for the goats available this winter, and with some of the loft in place, and us having a pretty cold few days of weather, and us having some sick and/or shivering goats, I quickly formulated what I hoped would be a fairly inexpensive plan, got some materials, and started in on putting up our first animal stall!

I was originally going to use three rows of 2x6s, but in judging the costs, it was less expensive to use four rows of 2x4s, so that’s what I went with. I simply just screwed them into the loft posts. Here is the long-side wall:

Barn Animal Stall East Wall

And the short wall and gate. I just buried a landscape timber for the wall end:

Barn Animal Stall North Wall & Gate

Here it is with the gate closed:

Barn Animal Stall Gate Closed

And its hinges:

Barn Animal Stall Gate Hinges

And its latch:

Barn Animal Stall Gate Latch

And then open:

Barn Animal Stall Gate Open

I wanted to make sure their eating-hay was off the ground, so I took some left-over 2x6s from the braces we used to keep the porch posts from twisting, and some left-over plywood, made a couple of frames, with the back one a little higher, tied them together on the ends, et voila! Hay trough! I initially just set it up against the stall wall, but I wondered; and sure enough, soon after putting goats in the stall, they tipped it forward; so as a temporary solution, I stuck a cinder block underneath the front frame:

Barn Animal Stall Hay Trough

Here’s a view from inside the stall, with all of the hay on the floor too:

Barn Animal Stall from Inside

With the gated-wall being not too steady, I added a corner brace that you can see in the lower part of the picture:

Barn Animal Stall Wall Corner Bracing

And that was it! I put it all together basically in a little longer than a morning.

And we immediately had some customers!

Winnie, the white one, had been having non-eating spells every so often, and was particularly sensitive to the cold; and so, we brought her in, along with Annie to keep her company, and because Annie sometimes is last in a shed because she’s low goat in the “pecking” order. And of course, they had on their sweaters. If you look closely, in this and the final picture, you can see that we draped blankets over the lower rails to help prevent drafts from blowing on them while laying on the hay:

Cold Goats in Barn Animal Stall

Lucy had also been not eating much and shivering, so at one point we brought her in as well. She needed at least one blanket too, maybe more. So did Winnie at times:

Sick Goat in Barn Animal Stall Corner

And finally…Winnie being Winnie, and styling with the scarf, I must say! 🙂

Goat Climbed Up Barn Animal Stall Wall Looking Over

In the end, it seemed to really help them all through the cold and wet times. All the goats made it through their non-eating/sick times, thanks to the Lord; and they’re all still with the rest of the herd.

As always, we’re grateful to God for granting the provisions to provide this hideaway for the animals, the idea for its design, and that it seemed to all work pretty well!

— David

A House – Update XXX – External Siding – Update II

With the upper north siding of the house complete, in between other house projects, like the ceiling and wood-burning stove, I started working on the upper east side siding. Once again, I’m using cedar fence slats, which are relatively inexpensive, and ideally hearty, not requiring paint (although we’re putting wood protector on), fastening them with tan 2 1/2 inch deck screws.

Sue helped me put up the tar paper:

House Upper East Siding Tar Paper

And here are some of the window frames in place:

Upper East Window Frames

Our cat, William, scales the ladder at will, and often joins me on the porch roof:

William Our Cat on the Porch Roof

Here’s the siding about half way up:

Upper East Siding Half Way Done

And almost done:

Upper East Siding Mostly Done

And then complete!

Upper East Siding Complete

With the full view here, and the last of the caulking still fresh:

Full View of House Upper East Siding

We thank the Lord once again for providing the resources to keep working on the house! Upper south side is next, which if God wills, I hope to have done before spring rains.

— David

Goat-a Get a Move On

Back in November, breeding season had arrived, so it was time to put our various nanny goats with their appointed billies. Although we showed in a picture my brother helping me with the moving of the sheds back in the spring, this time, we thought we’d take you along for the entire ride with a video of the process of moving a couple of the sheds from one field to the other, getting one group a new hay bale, and then the actual moving of several of the goats and showing them all ready to go.

Moving the sheds is something of a task, and so the video’s a little long, although I double-time it in several places, but it gives some insight into one of the important chores we have around here twice a year. Thankfully, it’s only twice a year. 🙂

Just like in our “Goat Milk?” video, the background music came from fiddle champion Tony Ludiker’s free mp3s page. The recordings have Terry Ludiker and Darin Meeks on guitar.

If anything, you might watch the last third or so, where the goat moving and interaction takes place…that’s kinda fun, IMO. Be sure to look for the Rocky-cam! (Rocky’s one of our bucks):

We pray the Lord grants the increase with the herd, according to His will!

— David

A House – Update XXIX – Inside Ceiling Complete

With the wood-burning cook stove now in place, it was time to get the rest of the ceiling done!

Here, a couple of the fellows came by to help:

Fellowship Men Helping Put Up Corner Ceiling Panel

And we finished the rest of the ceiling! This is between the great room and bedroom/bathroom:

Great Room/Bathroom Final Ceiling Panels in Place

And the north west corner:

Great Room Final Panels Installed

And the north east corner:

More Great Room Final Panels Installed

We’re always very grateful to the Lord for granting continued provisions and progress on the house, to those who are helping fund that, and thanks to the guys for the help in finishing up the ceiling!

On to external wall insulation!…..

— David