Wednesday, February 16, 2011


We bought our first house during the great housing boom. We were on a house hunting trip in Connecticut, paid for by Caterpillar, and we had exactly three days to find a house. It got kind of stressful.

After the first day, we threw away our list of what we definitely needed to have in a house. On the second day, we had a lot fewer houses to look at, because some houses from the day before already had offers. By noon, I found a house I wanted. Our realtor called and ... someone had put an offer on it that morning. I couldn't believe it. So, we bought the next house we saw that we sort of liked.

So, even though I've watched our parents build their own homes, I haven't ever been in on the building process of anything. Buying in desperation a house you pick because it has a cool address number (it was '1'! Who doesn't love that?!) doesn't count.

So Kris is planning this calf barn. There's so much that goes into it. He has to consider which direction to put it in, to account for which way the wind blows, so it's well-ventilated. He looks at what rafters to put in, to lessen the number of birds that roost in it. He looks at what materials the gates and panels should be. And the design - two-row or four-row calf pens? Where should the cement be? How will it be cleaned out? He's been busy touring tons of other barns, researching, and getting lots of opinions. And this is all before we've even started building it ... which is better than deciding this after it's built.

It's certainly different than picking whatever house happens to be left. More work, but more exciting too.

Also, the barn doesn't have an address yet. I'm pulling for '1'.

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