Most of the the job would be managed by Geoff and William. They logged in countless evening and weekend hours. Geoff designed it as they went, and William learned all about carpentry, power tools, framing, leveling... all of it! They are a good team. They were both focused and excited about how it was coming together.
Sometimes, they got a little extra help from the rest of the resident Birds, Natalie, Alex, Max, Maria, Suki, and Paul, and Eli pitched in, too. Nothing brings great storms and extra rainfall like an outdoor building project, and so a lot of weekends were lost, and sometimes progress was slow.
Still, it got the point when we had to choose paint, and put up a roof! By the time the siding was on, and the roof in place, we were anticipating at least one barn sleep-over, before the chickens moved in, and certainly a barn-warming party! We did have a party, and it was pure happiness, and backyard bliss... something I attribute to the friends who came, more than just our little barn.
Which came first, the barn or the goats? Well, we know the answer to that! And even before it was complete, the barn became a shelter for our wee goat kids, Ada and Tasha. Though, I have to say, they are far less "wee", and quite a bit bigger and boisterous, but still loads of fun.
The barn has been in the practically complete phase for almost a month, and has already inspired another family to build one, too. We would share the plans, but they are not written down. Geoff is happy to answer questions, and the measurements are fairly straightforward. We did not want to hassle with our city over permits, so it is built specifically as tall, wide and long as we could make it without permits... not too inspiring, but Geoff made it work.
Actually, he more than made it work. It is dear and charming. We know it from the ground up, and I love William and Geoff's hand in it, the parts that everyone had a hand in. We adore our barn. The jacaranda tree burst into bloom, like a benediction of blossoms on our little barn and farm. Alex and I painted the floor... and that same night we were struck with a whole new vision...
Outside, safe and happy, we have...
Alex and I could not imagine chicken blogs all over our freshly painted, chocolate brown floor! We could not imagine goats, wild and rambling, kicking the barn walls.
What we could, all of us, imagine was a cozy retreat, a summer house, a winter cabin. We had this spare bed, and other dear odds and ends, a small table, some hooks, our camping gear, the cot, the lantern...
The amoire was my one splurge... a 100$ find from the second hand store. In it we are storing our tents, camp stove, blankets, and linens, odds and ends. The barn has become a place of pure escapist whimsy... a napping nook, and sleep-out cabin, but we like to think of it in practical terms as well. We will make it our emergency preparedness kit: it will be stocked and ready for whatever earth shaking, calamitous crisis may come.
When Maria and I try her idea, CandleLight, we will be living in the barn, wearing clothes we make, eating what we grow, bartering for what we need, showering outdoors. Indoor bathroom is one of our concessions, and Maria says, "We can make our rules what we want them to be." Thank goodness.
The barn is ready to be wired... just have to choose a lamp. Maybe. Maybe we'll stick to our battery lantern for a bit longer. It's soothing to step away from most conveniences and modern devices, even if we are only a hundred feet away from civilization.
Bunny, this is Puff. Puff is a chicken, in case you cannot tell.