Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Water Heater

Got the electric water heater last night at Home Depot and dropped it off at the new place. The sunsets here are spectacular and last night was no exception. Tom took the opportunity to mow the grass, and the poison ivy, too! I think I have a fresh batch on my ankles, again.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cowboy Swimming Hole

This is my feet in the muck bucket! We are sitting in our 'woods,' 14 trees, mostly maples planted on the north side of the house. A shady oasis on such a hot, hot, hot, day the end of June. High noon and its blazing hot.

The Fence is DONE!

Worked our butts off this weekend - so hot, too, just brutal. Felt like Texas. We got the fence done, mostly. We now need two gates, one corner post and an 8X8, install all of the face plates, (whew) then it will be done. The latches arrived on Thursday, mail order. We'll get a run-in shed later in July, but have to give White Fences Farm notice (30 days) when we pay the board for July. This week we will be moving some furniture over - the little chaise in the front room, the Chinese cabinet that is by the front door, the roll-top desk, some bookcases, etc., what we can put in the Keifer, plus the boxes - I bought 25 boxes from the local storage place. Books are tied up in string. We'll be out of here in a couple weeks, I think. Tom also put in an electrical outlet in the dining room (there was only one) so I can put my desk in the corner and plug a lamp and my laptop in.

When we started, in earnest, on the fence during our vacation, I gave Tom a pair of gloves that I got last fall, never used, still had the tags on them. He resisted wearing them, it being so hot, but finally got used to having them on. My gloves were worn, but in excellent shape. We have to throw these gloves away!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solistice

Once again we are chasing daylight, continues to be bloody, blazing hot, too. Installed more fence boards in the Dry Paddock area. Another beautiful sunset. The sky is like Hawaii, can't get over how wonderful the colors are, night after night.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Farming is Not For Sissies!

Been a tough, hot week. Tom took the week off, canceling our long-planned vacation next week to Pennsylvania. We really couldn't take the time away from installing the fence. And the week was a dry one, with a smattering of rain on Tuesday. The rest of the time it was hot, hot, hot.

We had a few set backs, like SIXTEEN POST HOLES had to be Jack Hammered! Boy, was that fun! By Friday we could no longer use the post hole digger tool. If you aren't familiar with it, it is closely related to chop sticks. Chop sticks are great for eating sticky rice or sushi, but not so good with broth or sugar. Likewise with the post hole digger. The dirt was so dry it was like face powder and the tool was completely ineffective. We used the wet-vac instead.

Because we had the generator going anyway for the wet vac we plugged a fan into it, too. It was brutal out there, really. But we got 140 posts installed and some 16 foot oak boards in, too. The oak boards are actually easy to install, especially after a week like we just had. Did I mention the poison oak, ivy and sumac? We've got it all here!

We need to find the time to pick up a water heater. Priorities, right? Need two gates, a round corner post, a 'square' post and another set of latch hardware. Moving right along...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fantastic Progress!!

After returning the Jack Hammer, we put in posts, lots of posts! Finished the 'downhill' run, installed the corner post at the bottom and then went to the opposing corner and started working our way in. There are now 10 more holes to be 're-dug' using the auger with the new drill bit. If these holes prove resistant, we'll have to revisit Jack Hammer.

But we made incredible progress, installed 32 post holes today! YEAH!

Maybe on Saturday we'll go to Sears to get the new water heater! O boy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Seventeen Post Day!

Installed seventeen fence posts today, but the water heater is cooked. No hot water! This is a place that just keeps on giving. Returned the Jack Hammer this morning. Couldn't face another day with that thing! We need to use it again, but wanted to do something else to abuse my body, not a consecutive day with the Hammer.

The hot, dry weather trend continues. Good for doing what we are planning on doing, but the heat is oppressive. The longest daylight days are here, and trying to take advantage of them, but working all these hours in the sun is cooking us. I'm sun burnt! Crisp. This is not the best way to get Vitamin D, really.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Jack Hammer: one of those days; just looking at what was done Monday night and what was done by Tuesday night it appears that nothing has changed. We happened to find a LARGE vein of Limestone, AKA Blue Stone. This stuff is hard as a rock! No wonder they make gravel out of it!

The post holes are supposed to be 30 inches deep. Twenty-eight inches are solid limestone. This stuff is tough! The holes in a row, the sisters, gave us fits, and there are 16 holes that have a good portion of limestone in them, solid.

Monday, June 14, 2010


We had long planned to take next week off for vacation, going to Cook Forest. We canceled that sometime ago, got our refund back. We don't have the time, money, etc., and the boys are not in any shape to go 4-6 hours of riding a day (me either). So, Tom is taking this week off instead and we are pushing to put the rest of the fence up. It is a triangular shape and the back side is giving us fits!

Today we marked off the third leg, and finished drilling the post holes (the tractor did this). We now plan on renting a jack hammer to finish the back side; some of the holes have rocks that they make gravel from and they prove to be too hard to crack with anything we have on hand. If the Honda Generator doesn't run the jack hammer we are going to be in trouble. It is too far from the house to run extension cords. I finished painting color in the hallway today. Going to be one of those weeks and hope we get done everything we have planned. We have to get out of our house and rent it right away.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekend Warriors & The Little Dog, Too!

Blazing hot this weekend, high humidity. Not a good combination for manual labor. The back side of this pasture has rocks close to the surface, while the front side had almost no rocks at all. This is back-breaking labor-intensive work. Tuesday we plan on renting a jackhammer, really. Time is of the essence; we have to get the boys out of White Fences Farm and in this pasture as soon as we can.

April and Irene had a huge break-through this weekend, too. Irene is coming into her own and April is really enjoying a new animated play toy! Today Irene killed a moth and two spiders. I was so proud of her! She's a natural-born killer.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Finished painting the kitchen, and the end-caps look great! I promised, right?

Tom worked like a dog, mowed the grass first, then putting in the second run of post holes. I know the tractor does the heavy work, but it was in the 90's and humid! And then it rained. Cooled things off and was a much needed break for him. During the downpour he skimmed the stairwell. He is always busy, focused.

I also taped the living room and painted as much as I had taped. I ran out of tape, three rolls! I probably need another three to finish the rest of the house. Irene slept most of the day, as did April. They are really getting to be pals; Irene is coming into her own and April is learning boundaries. It's like Wild Kingdom!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Second Thursday in June

I put the second coat of KILZ in the kitchen and Tom put in the corner post at the bottom of the pasture and measured off 16-foot segments with stakes and the wire string. He got almost half way across the back stretch! Chasing daylight is a terrible thing, but the days are longest now, so he did work until he ran out of wire string (500 ft) so tonight we should get to the third corner. I'll put color on the kitchen, too. Coming along, slowly.

Got new tires for the RAV4. Needed them badly, too. Tom ordered a rolling magnet. The RAV4 had a flat tire, TWO SHEET METAL SCREWS! The parking lot has so many nails, screws, nuts, washers, bolts, roofing nails, Corona Beer caps, miscellaneous metal debris, etc., and we can't find them all. That tire found two! We can't make a habit of this, so the big magnet should be coming in Monday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

320 Feet Down, 735 To Go!

Sounds like a drinking song, right? Getting this fence in is imperative to continuing our current 'lifestyle' and making sure we don't run out of money! The prep work seemed to take more time than the actual installation, honestly! Sort of like prepping the kitchen for painting. Finished the first coat of KILZ last night, putting a second one on, maybe tonight? Beautiful day, might spend it putting in post holes for the second leg of the fencing project.

The first pasture will be fenced in triangularly, with one of the 'angles' being rounded. The lot shape is odd, and there is some topographical changes; we want to take advantage of that, fencing off the steepest part of the hill. On the steep hill there are some 'volunteer' saplings that are really nice trees. Pin and Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Beech, Poplar: trees we would want to plant anyway. It will be good to have that slope in hardwood and glad we didn't have to buy them!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Second Tuesday in June

Cooler today, easier to work hard outside. We also took Irene with us. She knows her name. Finished putting the face boards on the fence - next we have to put in the 'curved' fence line and bring that around to the next straight line, coming back up the hill to the barn site. It looks fantastic, too, very professional.

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Weekend in June

And we got the cat - Tom likes the cat, but of course can't admit it. The cat likes him, too. April is tired, we all are, really.

Got so much done today -
the prep work takes so much time, like TWO HOURS to tape off the kitchen for painting. Got 40 posts and all the boards (4 boards) up. whew! A quarter of the way for that one pasture - about 3 1/2 acres.