I usually dive in to the weekends like I’m base-jumping off a cliff: with a healthy dose of panic and a ridiculously long to-do list that, with some luck, I may be able to fashion into a parachute before I hit the ground.
I almost always hit the ground first.
But last weekend I thought I’d try this new thing all the kids are doing called “setting realistic expectations.” Sounds crazy, right? I’m pretty sure people who set realistic expectations don’t end up living in a garage for eighteen months while building their own house, which is unfortunate for them because there’s really nothing like waking up with sawdust on your pillow and a mouse under the covers. For over a year.
So, fine, whatever, I’ll be realistic. Last weekend I picked two, just two things I wanted to accomplish before Monday hauled off with its big, fat fist (cleverly disguised as an alarm clock) and punched me in the face. Two things. 1.) get a good night’s sleep, and 2.) build a hay loft in the barn.
You might be thinking, “Oh, how hard can that be? Go to bed early, get up in the morning, work your ass off. Easy, right?” Right. Unless you live in a bat cave pretending to be an actual house. Then you will go to bed early, wake up two hours later to the sound of angry bat wings flapping around over your head, spend a not-insignificant amount of time attempting to catch said bat in a laundry basket, and then he’ll disappear in to your closet, never to be seen again.
As far as I know the little shit is still in there snuggled up with my sweaters.
So. That went well.
And I ended up doing this…
On three hours of sleep.
If we’re being honest, I should have gotten a hell of a lot more done this weekend, but sleep deprivation makes me prone to distraction. And epic sentence fragments.
It does not, however, stop me from playing with my tools.
I actually put the joists for the loft up last week, using the existing joist hangers…
So the bulk of the work was cutting and installing decking.
Similar to the way you’d attach decking to floor joists (more on that here) I used 5/8″ plywood, trimmed it to size, broke a blood vessel in my eyeball trying to heave it up on the rafters, and then fastened it down with deck screws.
Oh, and then moved ten bales of straw up on to it.
There are three things I need to say about this. One, yes, I’m building a railing onto the loft. Eventually. Two, I did some really horrible math when I was figuring out how many bales of hay I could store up here, and came up with 60. That’s a lie. I can probably comfortably fit 30. . Three, you may be wondering how the in the hell any number of bales of hay get from the ground up to the loft, and to that I answer… with the help of my mom, obviously.
While I was pondering the mysteries of loft decking, my mom was moving all of the remaining pallets of stone out of the barn, by hand.
Seriously. She out-badassed me times ten on this project, which I’m grateful for because the barn is cleared out, the straw is in the loft, and I even had a little time to start constructing a new barn door.
I’d show you what it looks like, but of course I didn’t take a picture of it. Because bats.
That’s basically my new reason for anything in life that I should have done, but didn’t. Like laundry. Want to know why my laundry isn’t done right now? Because bats.
Definitely, because bats.