Sunday, January 27, 2013

(Jan 27) Snap, Crackle, Pop

Came out today to show the property to the girls. The girls started to set up camp while Kim and I were walking a proposed drive way extension connecting to the little road in the middle of the property. We had been there a couple of hours when Kim fell and broke her right elbow as she tried to brace herself. We have been very conscious to bring the first aid kit and have some preparedness for emergencies. This was the reason. Got a sling out of the kit, an ice pack, and ibuprofen. Took us about 10 min to get everything packed back up and get on the road. She said it stopped hurting so bad once the ice pack was on it for a bit and the medicine kicked in so we decided to make the 90 mile trip back to Arlington for treatment. We took the girls to the house and drove to MCA hospital which is only about 10 min from the house. Spent the next couple of hours there. They x-rayed her elbow, put her in a soft wrap cast instead of a hard one, and set her up with an appointment to see an orthopedist the next day.  Finally, off we went with prescriptions for pain killers and such. It hurt worse the next couple of days but the Vicodin helped numb it a bit. At least then she didn't care about the pain so much.  Guess we won't be entering the 2 person lumberjack events this winter!

Kim with the chiminea, before the fall

Saturday, January 19, 2013

(Jan 19) Here kitty, kitty

Kim and I came out for the day. We wanted to mark the property lines so we knew where we were while exploring. We brought out a 100' tape and marked the front 90' width. As I was walking the front property line I met one of the neighbors. He and his wife had bought the 4 acre corner that was cut out of the original 16 as an investment. They lived across the street. When they divorced, she moved into the 4 acres and he stayed on the old property. They must get along OK since he was heading over there to get his dog that she was watching overnight for him. He told me of how his German Shepherd had been killed on our property about 5 years ago by what they suspected was a mountain lion. Said there were claw marks down the dog's side that were as wide as a man's hand. They haven't seen anything since but said there were several reports of giant cats in the area. I haven't seen any tracks or signs as of yet but will be sure to watch for them after the rains. Kim and I got to the task of finding the edges of the property. We placed survey stakes along the west and north boundaries. I'm still pretty good with a compass. We ran stakes back the entire 1000' along the north property line and we were only 3" off when we got to the back fence.  We also scouted several building sites. We will really need to spend some time here and get to know the land. How it acts when it rains. Where the winds blow through. Those kind of things. Right now we're thinking of west of the little road we found running through the middle of the property. This is west of the creek and to the north of the little road. Afterwards, we set up the chiminea and started our first fire. We took the rest of the day off and fed the fire for about 3 hours. It's amazing how hot it gets. It's not like a camp fire. The opening creates a forced draft and the chimney effect pulls in large volumes of air. After it was warmed up and going, there was never a bit of smoke. It burned very clean - much like a rocket stove. Need to remember the marshmallows next time!

Our first day with the chiminea. I am really going to like this. Well worth the investment!

Monday, January 14, 2013

(Jan 14) The work begins

I came out and spent the day on the property, clearing the driveway from the road all the way back to the big stump. I brought the little hibachi and lunch to cook - hamburgers and beans. It's so peaceful here. Still really quiet. Not a lot of wildlife moving around yet. Temp was pretty cool, stayed between 35° and 39° today. I layered my clothes but soon found that I only needed a T-Shirt as I was working. Feels like I got a lot accomplished. I got all of the driveway cleared of brush and Mesquite trees. Hate those things! I also dug out the water meter. Confirmed it was never used. Just a small reading for the water they washed through it. Otherwise still new. It was completely buried in mud. Disturbed a frog that had been wintering in the housing. I'm sure he will find shelter somewhere. I can't wait to see this place when it's in full bloom. I'm thrilled with it in the dead of winter. It will be very exciting to see all of this come to life in the

Front Driveway
There's something special about cooking and eating outdoors. It always tastes great!

Water meter. Won't be starting a golf course here with a 5/8" pipe! :) 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

(Jan 10) CLOSED!

It's done! All of the paperwork approved and signed. Title insurance. Bank loan. Release of Lien. It's ours now. My parents and my sister Missy were up her for the funeral of dad's first wife, Julie. She will be truly missed! They decided to spend the day with me. I'm sure the title company was impressed when the 5 of us showed up to sign paperwork! :) Kim met us at lunchtime and went back to work. We continued on to the property afterwards. It all had a very special feel today. The trees looked a little taller. The dirt a little more fertile. The pride of ownership! It's my baby now. Mom and dad loved the property. We walked to the back and dad kept saying, "wow, I didn't realize 12 acres was so big! This is a lot of land." We spent a couple of hours just walking around and examining trees and the creek. Got a really big rain over the last couple of days, about 4 inches. I was really excited to see that there were only a couple of places where water was standing. The creek was full but hadn't overflowed. Plans are to dam up the creek, one level at a time as this will be the main source to fill our cisterns with irrigation water. We could probably pull 10,000 plus gallons from a rain like we had this week. That would go a long ways in helping water the trees during July and August. Dad was kicking around in the dirt by the front driveway and found a water meter! WOW! A water meter! We were told there were no utilities on the property. Guess the previous owner didn't know either. Didn't look like he ever spent any time here. It was just an investment for him. Thanks dad! Just saved us $1,200 and the embarrassment of having 2 water meters! LOL

My parents and my sister, Missy
Creek after big rain
Like money just laying there in the leaves! Was sure glad to see this.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

(Jan 2) We now have an address

Yes, maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit but I wanted some progress! I called the Council of Governments office today to file for an address. They are the governing body that assigns such things so there is no confusion at the local county level. Very nice lady! Worked with me on where the exact location of the land was and how to assign a street address. She and I pulled up Google Maps to make sure we looked at the same thing. She then pulled up a 911 map to overlay. She eventually picked an address based on the other addresses around us. This will be submitted to the 911 database for Rains County. We are official. I really wanted this completed before we started working on the land in case someone is hurt and we have to call emergency services. Feels like progress even if we can't stay on the land yet!

(Jan 2) Loan papers

All of the title work has made it's way to the bank. They are now ordering loan documents. They have to work up a proposed mortgage with payment schedule and title work. Then it all has to be sent to a lawyer for approval. Then we need signatures from seller and we can finally close. Proposed date is set for Jan 10. Nothing like letting it slide to the last possible day. I think we would all spontaneously explode if we had to push the close date again.