Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Old Barn

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Up around 4 AM and watched the temperature drop very quickly to around 10°.

I tried a southern type cornbread from the new book and must admit I like mine better! DH liked it very much.

I decided to make the leftovers of dinner into a warm mash for the chickens. I have to thank Granny for reminding me about mash. DH reports they went crazy for it. I will make some today just using their commercial egg pellet feed.

I spent most of the afternoon reading the three new cookbooks and only the points of interest in the new gardening book.

The temperature really dropped during the night and was 6° when I got up at 3:45 AM and will drop to around zero by sunrise.

No pipes frozen in the house. We always leave the water dripping when it gets down to 10° or lower.

I have been thinking a lot about this old barn. It is ready for some serious repairs which we cannot do. I refuse to allow it to fall into fatal disrepair like our neighbor did with their barn built during the same era! I hope to hire Amish barn repairers to do the work. They are very expensive but worth it.
I know the barn's history because the people we bought the farm from built it during WWII. They lived here for fifty years before they sold most of the farm to us back in December of 1991. The farm adjoins our other farm (40 acres on it) and I used to look across at these fields when I was brush hogging in our hay field (old farm) and think how wonderful it would be to have this one! Some dreams do come true!

But back to the barn....they built the lower stone and block part themselves, mixing all the cement by hand and laying the stones. I know the 12 inch wide boards the doors were built with came from an old barn in Arkansas and still had some faded red paint on it. The doors are made of double layers and weigh a ton!
When they had the bottom half almost finished he was drafted and sent to train in California. She went out as soon as she could, but when he was shipped out to the Philippines, she came back to the farm. He told us some horrific stories of what he saw there and how his best friend was killed standing right next to him because he wouldn't wear his helmet half the time. Lee had just warned him!

His wife, Lydia, who is still our beloved neighbor, lived in this house while he was gone. I have seen pictures of it then, no paint at all. Her furniture was old crates for cabinets. She grew out the Guernsey heifers that would be their milking herd when he got home.

He did and they hired the Amish to build the huge loft part of the barn. The roofing is aluminum rather than iron and never rusts. They milked in the way of the times, with the cows locked into stanchions and them squatting beside them milking into buckets and then dumping into milk cans. Their only child, a daughter was born during this time and Lydia would carry her to the barn and put her in a card board box in a safe corner while she milked. Later they built the concrete Milk Parlor where we did out dairying. I love the history of the barn and even though it has outlived its usefulness now I don't want it torn down or falling down.

The barn is fully wired. It used to have water lines but those were not working when we moved in. As you can see the front repairs will be the two openings (left and right) that no longer have doors. All the framing has to be replaced before doors can be hung. The wind whistles inside on me when I milk!

The hay loft door needs work as well as the part missing siding (storm damage).

The tornado drove something into the spot on the roof that is curled up and letting rain in. I don't want the upstairs flooring rotted out.

This picture shows the roof,
and this is the west side door that needs redoing.
Nothing much needs to be done on the east side.

I milk in that pen on the left hand side of the barn (with no door). That pen is about 12x12.
I used to raise all the baby Holstein calves inside this barn. We made individual pens down each side. I usually had all the pens filled.

The north side also has a door that is in good repair.

The first step will be to check with a neighbor who just had a huge barn re-roofed using an Amish crew. Then get a bid. That will be the scariest part. Might just have to get it done part at a time.

I am making doughnuts....DH just plaintively said "you never make doughnuts anymore". I have the willpower of a flea!


  1. I love that old barn picture. I hope you can get it repaired without too much cost. You might be able to get small repairs done one at a time when the Amish are between big jobs.

    I'm glad the warm mash is working out. There's nothing like the taste of a fresh egg.

  2. What a beautiful old barn. Just think of all the milking that's been done in those stalls. When there is so much history to a building, it's heartbreaking to let it go down. Mom's house at Lead Hill needs so much work, but we will never live there. Breaks my heart, very hard to go and check on it. The will power of a flea...that's priceless! Wish you could send some doughnuts my way....

  3. Buildings are very sentimental to me. So much history, and they stand like sentinals on guard to an unknown enemy.
    Thank you, Glenda for the recipe.
    Thank you Ilene for your recipe. I am going to try it this weekend.
    Have a great week all.

  4. I love that old barn and do hope you can have it restored without running the bank dry.

    Old barns are a beautiful part of this country's history.

    Thanks for sharing your barn with us.


  5. What would we be without the history of our places connecting us to those who were here before us?

    Loved the story about how she carried on till he got home from the war. They say war makes men out of boys. I don't want to wonder why.

    Stay warm and safe! Hugs

  6. Glenda, its' too bad that we bloggers can't come and do the repairs your barn needs!! Making doughnuts?!?!? Do you ever sit down and do nothing?...:)JP

  7. Glad you are planning to redo your barn. We see so many that aren't used anymore and need repairs. It bothers my DH but I tell him that if it isn't being used it is very expensive to do repairs and so many don't have the money. Good luck. I chuckled out loud at your flea remark!