Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Fixing the footbridge

The mild weather is giving me a chance to do a bunch of smaller projects that I had not gotten to earlier. One of them was fixing the footbridge.

The footbridge was in bad shape. It needed fixin'.

The drainage ditch behind the garage is just deep enough that if try and wheel barrow over it you get stuck.... except for a few places. Previously we had a working footbridge that solved this problem. But for whatever reason we took it up and then never put it back. It was really bothering me. So I finally did something about it.

"Footbridge" is kind of a big word for some 2 x 10's whacked together over top of two 4x4's. But it works so that is fine with us. The cost of goods on this was very low. I think I got the original 2 x 10's from the cull lumber bin at the Home Depot. They probably cost about $1 each and were already cut to 4 feet. The final total cost of goods for this project was $0 plus materials available. I didn't have to buy anything to get this done.

The first step was moving the bridge into position. It hadn't been moved for a while but I was able to drag it over there. I might have sustained an injury doing this - but I was victorious.

Next I had to dig into the dirt a bit to level the top of the bridge and also make it easy to trolley a wheelbarrow up there. The digging was the easy part. The hard part was that all the chickens wanted to help. They are not as helpful as they think they are... so I finally had to give them some corn so they would leave me alone. It worked.

The digging was the most time consuming part of this task. But I got the footbridge level.

There were some rotten pieces of wood that had to go.

Next, I had to take up some of the bad pieces of wood. Technically the top of the footbridge is 2 x10's and 2 x 8's.... honestly I just used whatever I had. I left one of the pieces that was a little sketchy but that's OK. I figured that I would be better off replacing any wood in the spring if I needed to do that. At some point winter is going to catch up with us.

You can see how I anchored the 4x's. And the replacement cross pieces.

A little more leveling then I just needed to affix the new cross pieces. I dug around in the garage and over by the Turkey House for the final cross pieces. I ended up having just what I needed.

The gravel at both ends. Also, unhelpful chickens.

Finally I just had to put some gravel at both ends. This provides a smooth and easy way to roll the trolley or wheelbarrow over the bridge.

As silly as it sounds, having to take one less step down into the drainage ditch and then one more step back up onto the hill makes a huge difference. Sometimes very small, annoying projects are worth the effort.

The gravel makes a little ramp up onto the bridge.

Now, I'm sure there are a few "you're not doing it right!'s" out there who have developed a twitch in their eye over my shabby workmanship. That is just fine. My point here is that sometimes "good enough" is good enough. If this gets us thru the winter then it is still a victory. Yes, I could have taken a lot more time and put in a lot more effort to make this "perfect." But I don't struggle with perfectionism At all.

Sometimes you just have to make a little progress. That little progress feels like success. Success leads to more success... which leads to confidence.... which allows you to go and do projects that you'd never thought of doing before.

I have always had Negative Nancys around me telling everything that I can't do. The best way to defeat that is to get up and just do it. I never thought I could paint a bedroom by myself.. let alone use tools to build stuff. Then I was told my building projects would never last. But they did.

Sometimes you are your own Negative Nancy and you come up with a hundred reasons why you can't do a project. Wanting everything to be perfect is one of those reasons. But if you can scratch that off your list all you really are left with is excuses. So get up! Go and get your projects done. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Happy Monday everyone! Are you still enjoying the mild winter!?


collieguy said...

Nice work! Negative Nancys typically don't appreciate raw functionality and quirkiness in anything that's not either by the book or like they would'a dunnit. Their loss.

Absolutely agree about step down, step up. Especially in the dark. Especially when carrying stuff. And don't even factor in rain, ice, snow and bears.

Suspiciously shiny paint inside that barrow.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks CollieGuy! and yep. sometimes just solving the problem is the victory - even if it's not beautiful. and ha! that's my new-new wheelbarrow. I drove the old one into the ground and it begged me for a merciful death. now i have this fabulous new one.

PJ said...

Good job! I think it looks great.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

thanks PJ! great to see you - hope you are having a great holiday season.

Vera said...

We have gotten a bit lazy after a year of having a builder here getting the downstairs of the house fixed up, but this is his last week so we shall be back to doing it ourselves again. It will be nice having the place to ourselves but Lester will miss his help, but our bank balance will be healthier.
But well done OFG for your bridge making efforts. I don't suppose you would like to make another bridge exactly the same, then ship it over to France by post, because we also have a ditch which could do with me not slipping and sliding down into it and up the other side when I need to get into the field. Just asking.........!x

David said...

Looks great! solid....

Kris said...

Nice job! Simple, expedient, functional. That sturdy footbridge it's going to make your life so much easier. Things are like that here this yeaer - this extended mild weather has given me a chance to go the extra distance when it comes to shrubs, trimming, cleanup, repairs. Beginning to wonder if tuning up the snow-blower was worth it though. *heh* Merry Christmas. :-D

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