The best laid plans of mice and men . . . often have leaks in them. Ok, so that's not how the saying goes but it fits the situation and stays within the spirit.
When we moved up here in 2002 we were fleeing like refugees (read the story here) and were able to get not only enough land to insulate ourselves with (55+ acres) but a house we didn't have to build and a storage building that was obviously once used as a 2 room house which, now that it's acquiring livestock and asssorted acoutraments, I'm dubbing the 'barn'. On one end of that building is a very nice large shelter that looks like it could have been made for keeping livestock; that's going to be Aeolae and Samwise's run-in shelter. What's really nice is that there is a door from it into the 'barn' which will make it easy to keep feed, tack etc. nearby but out of their reach. The plan is for it to also hold as much hay as possible but right now it's stuffed with stuff which has to get condensed and hopefully a lot of it moved into the loft which I still need to build. Fortunately that's nothing more than putting boards on the rafters but the braces come down at wierd angles. Arrgghh.
God knows how old the building is but at least it's still sound with a good floor. That is except for about 5 leaks in the roof that I've found so far which is kind of depressing. That's not counting Aeolae's and Samwise's shelter which we didn't really pay much attention to before; there's only 1 really troublesome leak there though. There's still some old tar paper rolls around here that we repaired the roof with a few years ago but they don't seem to have held up real well since there's leaks now in some of the old spots. It's a miracle things have held up as well as they have though with the winters we have and how much the building has been ignored.
Now to figure out what to do about those leaks since enough boxes of stuff have been ruined already in the 'barn' by being leaked upon. Having stuff in the loft will keep the hay dry but is hardly satisfactory. Having it re-roofed is out of the question this late in the season and dealing with the set up expenses of the horses. If we had 6 mo it would be do-able but I doubt God will see fit to cancel winter this year. If any of the tar paper is still good and if my dad can come up (Mark and I don't do heights) we'll probably do that again to get us through this winter; if not . . . well, improvise, adapt and overcome. Thank goodness for rolls of heavy plastic we picked up for some reason years ago and various tarps. Believe me, when you're moving in a panic, tarps are your friend since they do something to keep the elements off your stuff. We probably have enough large ones to cover the roof and have friends to help get them up there but the process is liable to be interesting and I have no idea how well the plastic/tarps will hold up although the snow will probably slide off quite marvelously. If it's too much of a hassle we could just put the hay outside on pallets and under tarps, a fairly common practice around here, but I'd really like it to have more protection and to not have 300 bales of hay cluttering up my yard. The work involved in clearing the 'barn' though is daunting especially in a time crunch - the sooner we can get the horses moved the better. Too much to do and not enough time.