Change Is Underway

What’s the most disgusting sensation you’ve ever experienced? Lots of things may come to mind, but near the top of my list is wet manure on my bare feet.  Why would I be barefoot near manure?  Well, the manure was on the bathroom rug and it was 5 am…yes, the bathroom in our house…

You see, until this week, the only bathroom in our house was also the only bathroom at the farm.  Sure, we had a “take your boots off past the coffee pot” rule, but let’s face it, that never worked unless I was watching.  However, last week the long-awaited bathroom behind the milk barn became operational!!  I, for one, am ecstatic!

Milk Barn BathroomSure, it’s nothing glamorous, but it makes a world of difference for the privacy and cleanliness of our home, and it’s more convenient for the guys.  Yesterday, I put the first coat of paint on the walls, and it should only need one more.  It’s one of many recent improvements we’ve made around the milk barn.

You might notice in the picture that there is also a washing machine in the bathroom.  It is the in the middle of the room, but only because I had just finished painting behind it.  No, I’m not making David do all of his laundry behind the milk barn.  We had been using paper towels to clean off the cows’ teats before putting on the milking machines.  David had been talking about changing this for quite some time, and about two weeks ago we finally started using microfiber towels for this task.  Paper towels were costly and took up a lot of storage space.  The microfiber towels clean better and are reuseable.  Over time they should save us some money, and now we’re producing a lot less trash.

Another major change came at the beginning of January.  In addition to the only bathroom, our house had been home to the only coffee pot.  It was right inside the door, but to get water to make coffee, one had to trek most of the way across the kitchen to the sink. As you can imagine, on muddy days in particular, this created quite a mess.  Coffee breaks are much more frequent than bathroom breaks, so it also really impacted our privacy.  Back at the beginning of January, David installed a stainless steel shelf in the tank room to hold the farm coffee pot and the time clock for our milkers.  Really, this was the catalyst for many of these other improvements.

He made room for the shelf by moving things we had stored near the front (including AI supplies) to the back of the room, behind the tank.  It was a huge improvement, but the back of the room was dark.  The ceiling is low and most of the natural light is blocked by the bulk tank.  We wanted more light back there, but didn’t want to install another electrical box.  We had hoped to find a fixture with multiple bulbs, but it was difficult because of the low ceiling.  We ended up with some basic track lighting, and now have three lights from one electrical connection.  It’s amazing how much difference better lighting makes.  And (to come full circle…) the bare bulb that used to occupy that spot has found a home in the new bathroom, a smaller space where it is much more effective.

Tank Room Lights

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