Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fencing the Homestead 2

What a week! Even with three days of doing other things, we got the homestead fence done (except for the last two sections, but that will take maybe 20 minutes). Friends Nick and Judy came to help, and really galvanized the whole crew--we got SO much done! We're thrilled with the space, and are hoping it will be roomy but not too much to maintain.

Two of our "non-working" days were taken up with the task of bringing the trailer back down the hill to get registered with the DMV. It was stressful, since the roads here are narrow and winding. However we combined that trip with our warrenty work, which included fixing the pop-out slide. We are VERY happy with the result. The other non-working day was the weekly grocery shopping trip. Since we live 40 minutes away from any major grocery store, it is a once a week event, usually combined with several other errands. My mom and I go together, since we do most of our meals together. Lots of planning goes into this! I like it because it forces us to have a plan, and it is also a nice day for Mark to take a bit of a breather with the girls.

I did have some not-so-good news this week. Our local school district is having big financial troubles due to declining enrollment. They are moving to an all day kindergarten to save on bussing, which are significant costs up here in the hills. So there goes part of my precious time with the girls. Seriously, I think it will be a much bigger deal to me than to them, but I'm disappointed. I'm just hoping my sister Gail, currently a teacher's aide with the kindergarten and third grade classes, will have her job next fall.

Finishing up with a couple pictures from the job site...Mark and I moving fencposts with the tractor (I got to drive!), and the girls with Nick and Judy enjoying a little picnic up at the homestead. Next week...trenching for power lines!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fencing the Homestead

We've made good progress putting the fence around our home site. First Mark used his new builder's level to sight the lines of the property and stake out the home site. This included us coming out and sighting the North Star in the evening. Here's Mark with his beloved new tool. And yes, that is a llama in the background. Our neighbors have two!

Here are my mom and Mark putting up corral board.

My dad has been digging postholes with the tractor. I clean out the postholes with the posthole digger (and take pictures), and...wait...WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN???!!!

OK, here they are, on what will be our front porch, with the back fence starting to go in. We fenced off a bit less than an acre to maintain. The rest will be open to the rest of my folks' property, so we'll often have cattle outside the fence. Someday I'd like to get a couple of horses. And maybe some llamas!

Our site is very open...not a lot of trees, although there are beautiful trees on the rest of the property. We chose the spot because we like the views the best, figuring we could plant trees later (yeah...we're gonna be here a loooonnnnnggg time). Also, all that sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. :-)

Here's one of our nicest views, from our front porch.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fence Fixing

Actually, I should say "gate building". Mark has fenced off a small turn-off, then he hung the gate across the GIGANTIC road. Here is the end product.

And here is a rare picture capturing Mark reading directions. It took three of us puzzling over the directions to get the automatic gate opener to work, but we finally beat it into submission!

All this was important for our next project, marking out the house site and the fence around it. We need the cattle out of the way for the marking and the fence building. Here are the little darlings now...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

End of the Road: Tollhouse, CA

Our wonderful road trip has come to an end. The trailer is in place in Burrough Valley, behind my folks' house. We have been settling in, and laying out our priorities for the next few months. The setting is beautiful...the rains have left the hills lush and green.

The week we arrived, we got very good news. The gift deed process is finally complete. My parents' three year effort to gift 5 acre parcels to my sister Gail and I has finally come to an end. Just in time to get busy building!

Our first task is to put a gate in across the new road. The road was a requirement for the gift deed, which the county treated as a "subdivision". The road to our two properties was required to be larger than the main road itself! But it is a beautiful road, even if it is quite large! Here are some pics of us getting ready to dig holes for the fenceposts. We've also ordered materials for building a fence around the house site, to keep the cattle from falling in holes, messing with the construction, etc.

Mark is in hog heaven, finally getting to put on his tool bags, do some hands-on projects, and learning how to drive the tractor. And I'm in hog heaven too, spending tons of time with the girls, cooking with my mom, and actually reading for pleasure. AAAHHHHHHH.