Saturday, April 25, 2009

Return of the trencher

Here's Mark, admiring the trencher as it beautiful!

Needless to say, the love was there as the trencher returned to the site. Here he is with a sheepish grin--should he be having this much fun???? I'm feeling jealous.

Mark trenched from the well to the house, then from the power panel to the house. Still left is the trench from the propane tank, but the propane company will be doing that. We did hit a very rocky portion, which may be a foreshadowing of what we'll deal with when we start doing footings and grading. I hope it's not TOO rocky!

Meanwhile, the girls thoroughly enjoyed the trencher as well. What could be better than digging your bare feet into the warm, soft earth?

They also posed as two little wildflowers out in the field. Awwww!

On a final note, the inspector returned yesterday and signed off the inspection we had failed, plus the conduit to the house. Progress!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Finally...THE PERMIT

Yesterday was a day of celebration...we made it through a MAJOR milestone and received our building permit. Mark, not one to let moss grow, immediately scheduled an inspection on our electrical mount. The inspection occurred today, and...what? we DIDN'T PASS?????? Some question about how wires are secured in the electrical box, which will hopefully be resolved by tomorrow. Also, tomorrow we rent the trencher again. Will Mark still love it, or will his love be muted by the fear of the trench collapsing? Tune in next time! Early next week, Mark is taking a much needed break (well, we all just went on one, but he really could use another one), and going climbing next week. His buddy Mike is coming up, and they'll head to Yosemite for some man time. But by the end of next week, we should be BREAKING GROUND for footings!

In other news, we had kindergarten registration today. It was more extensive than I had anticipated, with stations to evaluate the children for listening, speaking, and physical skills. I think we passed, which means MY BABIES are cleared to go to school. And as much as it pains me to admit, they are totally ready to spread their wings, even despite my lack of creative entertainment. I do have to publicly note that my sister-in-law Tracey responded to my comment about my lack of creativity by sending some helpful books, which I'm anxious to dig into! Maybe I should start admitting to other weaknesses!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Small town events

One of the best things about these past few months is that I get to spend so much time with the girls. But I would have to say it's a challenge as well. Not being the most creative person, I sometimes struggle with "what to do next". One of the highlights of our current social life is to go to weekly story time at the local library. It's a 25 minute drive on these curvy roads, but it gives the girls a chance to interact and play with other kids. I think it says something for the size of the community that our kids showed up in the local paper two times this week, and my neice was on the front page for her science project!

Here we are on one of my more creative days, when I remembered that we have watercolor paints. Now, it quickly became apparent that my kids are not hampered with my lack of creativity. Of course, their work was spectacular (to me), but the funny thing was what happened next...

My daughter Mae is not constrained to the paper...she proudly expands her canvas to her arm.

What does this mean? Will she be a great artist? Will she have full body tatoos? I don't know, but I can tell you, she sure has a mind of her own!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Living with Cows and Bobwire

Am I the only one who used to think this was the name for the wire with the barbs? Guess I never made the connection! Mark has been putting up the "bobwire", and the girls came by to check it out.

And help Dad.

You may wonder why we need to put up barbed wire when we have such a nice sturdy fence. The answer is that cattle are pretty pushy. When things dry out, they may want to eat something inside the fence, so they'll push against our pretty corral board. We nailed the board on the inside of the fence because we thought it looked nicer from the inside that way, and we're going to be looking at it for a looonnnngggg time. So we want to discourage cattle leaning, and pushing, and nosing around. In fact, we're also going to run an electric wire. We're going to look like a compound!

The cattle are pretty funny. They are SO nosy and curious! Check this out. This is the SAME tractor that has been up there for weeks, but now there is a tarp on it. Obviously of great interest!

And we welcomed a new clean and white from a Mommy tongue bath!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

An Earthy Week

Last week, we rented a trencher to dig the trench to lay the power lines. It was the size of a small tractor, and Mark was REALLY enjoying using it. The trench had to be almost 3 feet deep, and at least 4 inches wide.

We were all up watching the trench work, when something scary happened...the trench caved in, and the machine lurched into the trench. Of course, you NEVER want to be on a tractor when it rolls. Mark jumped off, but it was still a real heart stopper. We had to pull the trencher out with our larger tractor. I think that incident kind of took the fun out of riding the trencher.

We got a bunch of sand to lay in the bottom of the trench. It was great (messy) fun for the girls!

Another big adventure that we had last week was getting a compost pile ready. I'm looking forward to having a garden (despite the odds of having it survive with cattle, wild pigs, and gophers aplenty). We've been saving kitchen scraps, but we had to go out and collect another key ingredient:

For anyone correctly identifying this as cow manure, YOU WIN (you might be a redneck if...)! The girls really enjoyed our mission to "collect poop", and had lots of fun directing me to the floppiest, wettest specimens. This was a big feat for me, because I have a pretty strong gag reflex, especially with smells. Maybe composting is not the smartest choice of hobbies!