Fowl Play & a Lesson in Preparedness

Now that I’m home more I’m going to be doing more back-posts on the latest progress on the farm.

Friday, December 2, 2016

It was crunch time. We either needed to get the pad poured or risk not having our greenhouse up in time. Nebraska weather is incredibly unpredictable and the fact that it was still relatively decent and December at the same time was short of a miracle. Rj spent the week prepping and working on other things on the farm while I was at work. The concrete was scheduled to come that Saturday morning at 9:00.

By 4:30pm on Friday, our area looked like this: 20161202_171143Not much but a frame and some drains.

(It didn’t look like much, but I know it took Rj hours to get this far. The grading was terrible to get level, and he had to move a lot of dirt in raise the east side up to match the west.)

I helped them finish leveling the area before my father had to leave as it got dark- and much colder. After a trip to Lincoln to get needed supplies, Rj and I continued to lay a vapor barrier, foil-lined styrofoam, and mesh for the new heated floor.

Prepping for pouring a heated concrete pad - vapor barrier
Rj putting a vapor barrier down
Prepping for heated concrete - styrofoam
Chucky Ducky and Boo helping hold the styrofoam down

By 11:45pm it was below freezing and we still had to lay all the pipe that would run the hot water to warm the pad. We were afraid we might crack the pex pipes by bending them at that temperature, and so we decided to go in and rest, then wake up in the early morning to finish before the concrete truck came and the rolls of pipe could warm up in the house.

Needless to say, it didn’t happen as planned.

Rj’s alarm didn’t go off, and the cement truck was coming at 9:00am… the pipe wasn’t done, and it started snowing, a lot. (By noon we had a couple of inches!)

Our plan had to change…

The guys ended up pouring the center slab of concrete in what we refer to as our “Tractor Shed” – which Rj calls my “Pinterest Barn” now. (Where I’ll be hosting crafting get aways soon!) It wasn’t quite what we needed at the moment, but it was better than nothing with a full concrete truck waiting impatiently in our driveway.

chuckyduckyThey got the pad poured with little issue… and then Chucky Ducky happened.

Chucky Ducky is currently the only web-footed member of the farm, and quite possibly thinks he is a cat.

Within minutes of screeding the concrete. He decided to go jaywalking – no running, across the pad.

If it was up to my father, Chucky would have become supper that night… I won’t repeat exactly what he said.

Luckily, the concrete was still very fresh, so they were able to screed out the footprints, but after they fixed it and locked our little fowl away, we woke up the next morning to see that our dog, Boo, went for a little stroll that night as well. There are also little tiny kitten prints along one wall. Sigh. This pad is obviously meant to have a little bit of character, so we’re going to make the most of those. Look forward to a post on exactly what we decide to do this summer!


Lessons Learned:

  1. Don’t order concrete until you’re completely ready.
  2. Securely fence off your pad or lock up your animals when you pour.
  3. Don’t count on the forecast. Ever. Mother Nature enjoys making a liar out of the weather man, especially in Nebraska.
  4. We are way too old for all-nighters.

Have a great week!

— Nicole

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