Friday, April 3, 2015

Completed Projects & Cuteness: Bridge, Backpack Purse & Card Wallet, Fruit and Chicks

We have actually completed a major project here at the farmstead, yay!

The bridge was in rough shape when we bought the place but after an unexpected couple of snow storms and some early bouts of rain the bridge deteriorated rather quickly.  If you missed the 'Bad Bridge' post you can read about it HERE.

If you've already read it then let me refresh your memory on what the bridge looked like...


We weren't really sure what we were up against or how we were going to fix it but there was only one way to find out.  So, CountryBoy started tearing it apart bit by bit, board by board, piece by piece until we had one beam left.

It was the best of the five 12x12 wood beams.  The others looked like this when he pulled them out...

Not good.

We were looking for some more 12x12 wood beams but were unable to locate any.  While trying to decide on other options to make a beam we ran across a place that sold steel I-beams cut to order.  While they were quite pricey we knew we needed something that could support the weight of the propane truck and that would last a long time.  So, we bit the bullet and ordered four beams, ouch, with the plan of using the best of the wood beams as a center support.

CountryBoy had four days to rebuild the side walls and bridge support before the beams would be delivered.

Lots of manual labor.

Lots of rocks and blocks found around the farm and concrete.

In between bouts of rain he managed to get it ready with time for the concrete to set.

Then, the big day arrived.  The fellow delivering the beams was kind enough to move the last wood beam to the center for us. 

Once the wood beam was moved then the four steel beams were unloaded off the truck.

The beams were not set exactly in place since CountryBoy needed to fix the foundation where the wood beam was sitting before spacing the beams out.

He painted the beams with Rustoleum paint to help protect them, finished the foundation then moved the beams in place.  

Now work could begin setting 4x6 posts across the steel beams.

We drilled holes through the wood and the steel and secured the two with galvanized carriage bolts; four per board plus one galvanized lag bolt in the center through the wood beam.

Then, running boards were added as well as end boards.

And here she is all done!

The bridge was complete at this point but there was still lots of physical labor necessary.

Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of rocks and gravel were hauled to fill in the low spots up to the bridge.

And now, the moment of truth...

Drum roll, please...

Yes!  It held, woohoo!

We are so thankful that we finished the bridge when we did.  It is our lifeline to and from the house. The evening we finished it started raining cats and dogs.  The creek flooded and was up to the bridge this morning.

The above photo was taken through an upstairs window.  That's the creek running through our front yard and flows under the bridge.

The bridge is holding but we may need to do some more ground work on the road.  We'll see what needs to be done once the rain is gone.

Meanwhile, I managed to carve out some time to do some playing, wink.

I got my sewing machines out and made a little card wallet and I finished up a backpack purse that I had started at the quilt retreat I went to last month.

Cute, huh?!

I bought the pattern at the Houston Quilt Festival last October and finally got up enough nerve to try and make one.  (Only because my prolific bag-making friend was making one as well so I knew she could help me, wink!)

The front has two pockets (the blue fabric) and a magnetic snap closure...

The back has a zippered pocket...

with a special little zipper pull...

and when you pull the purse straps from the sides it becomes a backpack...

Cool, huh?!

When my sister saw the pattern she immediately wanted one since she travels a lot.  Isn't this fabric perfect for an avid traveler?  So, this purse and matching card wallet is hers and will be traveling to who knows where!

With so much chaos at the farmstead it's nice to have a couple of projects done.

And, to top it all off, we have some cuteness at the farmstead...

The chicks learning to roost...

and their first venture outdoors...

They are growing rather quickly so our next project will be to convert an existing dog kennel/run into a chicken coop.

And, as if we don't have enough going on already, we bought some fruit trees and bushes...

CountryBoy says the truck's been sitting at the bridge so long that trees starting growing in it, ha!

We bought two each cross-pollinating apple and pear trees as well as some Concord grapes and raspberry bushes.

We will plant these straight away, especially the fruit trees, so they can, one day, bring us delicious fruit!

That's it for now.  The rain has slowed so it's time to get something done, wink!


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