Only 1.5 years since last blog post. That's what I call progress!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by NinjaAssassin posted 01-10-2020 08:50 PM 1128 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, my last blog post was three and a half years from the one before it. This one is only one and a half years later. My only excuse for such great lengths of time between sharing with you e-people whom are my greatest fans in all the world is, my life is a circus.

Since purchasing our old farmhouse on a bit of land, we’ve been working on turning it into a hobby farm. We’ve got nearly a dozen chickens (every time we’ve added to the flock, some amount turned out to be roosters. The first time, 7 of the 11 straight run chicks were roosters. The second time, 2 of the 6 SEXED PULLETS were roosters…), half a dozen pet ducks that belong to my wife (the work belongs to me…), and 4 kunekune pigs. Our first summer here (2018) I put in a veggie garden that didn’t do so well (I was trying something). In 2019, I was more organized and had a better plan and we were way more successful – probably our best garden we’ve ever had. We added raspberries and blueberries which all seem to be doing well, too. There’s been plenty of work to do around here, cleaning up old farm stuffs, clearing out areas that were once pasture, etc. All in all, the farm stuffs are going really well.

We also have 3 kids who are now at ages where they’re realllly into various things. My oldest son has gotten into programming, electronics, and robotics. My youngest son has become interested in every sport available, and his twin sister has been in gymnastics for a few years and made the competition team this past year. All those things tend to eat into the budget more than expected (especially gymnastics – holy rich people, is that a costly endeavor!). But they’re all doing really well in their own developing adventures and enjoying themselves which, to me, is the whole point. Fortunately, I’ve found a job that allows me to work from home so no more 3 hour round trip commutes for me!

As you most certainly remember from my last blog post (because I’m sure you’ve all ready it dozens of times now, waiting for an update), the property only had a small outbuilding that was once a smoke house. It’s a 12×12 block building that is the only outdoor storage we have (there’s no garage or any other structures aside from the house and this building). So the majority of my woodworking tools have lived out in this shed, crammed into a corner along with all the rest of the outdoor things that you’d expect to find there. I haven’t done any woodworking since moving here and some of my tools have developed some…character due to the lack of any climate control.

A garage has been a recurring topic of conversation since we moved but whenever I start planning out the uses it must fulfill now and in the future, it grows from a somewhat expensive project to a really expensive project. Now, we all know I’m the greatest (see my contributions to the site in the projects section if you were previously unaware of this fact – it’s the only project that really matters here) but even the greatest has his shortcomings. Mainly, I’m not a wizard who can usurp economic realities. So, for the time being, a garage isn’t in the cards. Fortunately, a solution (of sorts) has been found. I’ll be building a little 10×16 shed that will be my temporary shop until either we have the funds to build a giant garage or I figure out where I want my stand alone shop to be (and can finance that adventure). The last time I had a dedicated shop space was a 12×16 shed so limited space isn’t new to me. I’ve acquired a few more space-occupying tools since then, but 10×16 will do the job quite comfortably for my plans right now…and a small shop is better than no shop at all!

So there you have it. Another excerpt from the Book of Billy.

-- Billy

13 comments so far

View splintergroup's profile


4714 posts in 2237 days

#1 posted 01-10-2020 09:40 PM

Welcome back, we expected great things from you in the past and you came through, now we expect even greater!

View duckmilk's profile


4456 posts in 2339 days

#2 posted 01-10-2020 11:08 PM

Ninja who? Oh, I remember now, you started workbench smackdown. Go with 16×16. It won’t cost that much more and you will be able to walk around in it, until it fills up with stuff. Mine is just double that size and one whole end of it is crammed.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17241 posts in 3633 days

#3 posted 01-11-2020 06:40 AM

good to hear from you again! lots of options, all their unique challenges sounds like. keep us informed!!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View clieb91's profile


4215 posts in 4950 days

#4 posted 01-11-2020 12:13 PM

Life always seems to get in the way of hobby time :) Sounds like you are doing well and managing it though, it is amazing how kids programs and hobbies can become such huge things, I only have one daughter and she isn’t even into sports and there always seems to be something going on.

Good Luck hope to see another chapter soon.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Andre's profile


4308 posts in 2821 days

#5 posted 01-11-2020 05:16 PM

My plan was 24’x30’, then (building code) 24’x26’, then (blocked the wife’s view?) ended up 24’x24’ :( sure wish I had the 24’x30’now only a few years later! And the second storey loft was scratched because of code restrictions so make sure you find out what you are even allowed to build?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View theoldfart's profile


12467 posts in 3466 days

#6 posted 01-11-2020 10:31 PM

Billy, welcome back. Sounds like the family and farm are progressing well. The shop will appear at some point.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View NinjaAssassin's profile


656 posts in 2739 days

#7 posted 01-11-2020 11:01 PM

Thanks everyone.

Yeah, bigger would be better even for a temporary shop. But between costs, location, and its intended use after I move into a different space, 10×16 is the plan that makes sense long term right now. No concerns about code restrictions. I’m zoned rural agricultural on ~12 acres, so the only permitting concerns are around square footage. Since the shed is under 256 sq ft, I’ve got no obligations from the state/county.

Yep, family and farm are progressing well. It’s always something between those two things. Skipping the big veggie garden this year due to time constraints imposed by the kids, animals, and this shed/shop thing but I’m not complaining.

-- Billy

View summerfi's profile


4383 posts in 2702 days

#8 posted 01-12-2020 02:27 AM

Enjoyed reading about your adventures, Billy. Keep working on those chickens and soon you’ll be selling enough eggs to afford a BIG shop. You might think about a milk cow too. Butter ‘n eggs—everybody needs ‘em.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

View NinjaAssassin's profile


656 posts in 2739 days

#9 posted 01-21-2020 05:58 PM

Thanks Bob. A milk cow is in the plan at some point but lots of fencing and pasture rehab needs to be done first. All in due time.

-- Billy

View sansoo22's profile


1415 posts in 669 days

#10 posted 01-21-2020 06:25 PM

I grew up on an 80 acre farm. We had hogs, lots and lots of hogs, and leased most the pasture land to another local farmer to graze his cattle. Not to mention the chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats for milk and some pygmies just cuz my mom wanted them, and of course no small farm is complete without a couple pet raccoons. We traded a couple baby raccoons to a local zoo for the pygmy goats.

We farrowed all year long using the old dairy barn that was heated. I had my first job when i was 7 cleaning that thing out every day after school. I often find myself longing to return to farm life but then I remember the cold winter chore days, staying up all night to monitor the gilts, and the times the pigs got loose in the middle of the night.

If i move back out to a rural area i think it will be for the quiet and the relaxed building codes. Good luck on the hobby farm…its never a dull moment.

View NinjaAssassin's profile


656 posts in 2739 days

#11 posted 01-21-2020 06:33 PM

Having not grown up like that, it sounds like a pretty awesome childhood to me!

We had a couple pigs get out early on but I found where they were getting out and fixed that. I’m raising Kunekune pigs and they’re just awesome. When they got out, I’d just get a scoop of feed and they followed me back to the pen. Slowly but surely, I’m working on getting the infrastructure in place that I need to grow this little herd. Three gilts that will eventually be bred (later this year) but I want/need to get a small pole barn up so there’s a separate place for them to farrow. Started on clearing an area for that last summer but the holidays and frozen weather came, so it’s on hold until things warm up a bit. We’ll see how I feel about them after the gilts are bred and start popping out piglets in the middle of a winter night.

The quiet, though…man that’s just the best. I’m not a fan of cities. They always stress me out, but here it’s just so relaxing and quiet. I love it.

Thanks for sharing!

-- Billy

View sansoo22's profile


1415 posts in 669 days

#12 posted 01-21-2020 07:11 PM

On top of the quiet you can walk out the front door and pee in the yard if you want! Used to do that back on the farm just because i could some days.

View NinjaAssassin's profile


656 posts in 2739 days

#13 posted 01-21-2020 07:17 PM

Ha, yep! I’ve done that a time or 37.

-- Billy

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics