Category Archives: Country time

Updates to our plans

Surely someone in this wide world of ours has some pithy quote about making plans only to have them change constantly. The past couple months have been a period of intense work for Andrew and lots of waiting for me. He’s had a ton of work for our IT company, and hasn’t had much time or brainpower to direct to the farm projects. Now, however, we are emerging from that phase ready to tackle the next projects on the farm.

We have four things we need to accomplish in order to move our fifth wheel out.
-Grade dirt, for the driveway, for water retention, and for the barn
-Lay gravel for the driveway from the gate to the containers, and for a parking lot north of the container building
-The foundation for the barn, which encompasses getting more helical piers installed, laying plumbing, and hiring a company to do the forms, rebar, and pouring the concrete
-Build a septic system

We’ve learned a LOT! Today, for instance, we learned that we thought we could build the septic system and then tie the barn plumbing into it. But it should be done the other way around; the plumbing for the barn and RV should be at least roughly in place before the septic goes in so that the flow goes properly.

We decided to hire a septic company to do the septic system. We thought we could do it ourselves, but we just don’t know all we need to know about dirt and effluent and plumbing. Plus, Andrew’s time is far more valuable to us when he’s applying it to his business.

This week we intended to get the dirt work started. Instead we got 2+ inches of rain. Next week looks much drier, though, and we are excited about tearing up some dirt in order to get the gravel put in place!

Fun weekend at the farm

I work most weekends at our church, but I had this last weekend off and we spent the whole time playing at the farm. Except at night. We originally wanted to go camping on the land, but it frosted both Friday and Saturday night, so we chickened out.

Andrew found a new place to hang his hammock.

My sister Rachael came out to the farm and was swinging Ellie in the hammock. Ellie said “You know sometimes you’re so happy you start crying?” Rachael asked, “Is that how you’re feeling right now?” Ellie answered “Yeah.” I absolutely loved that – it makes me so thrilled that our girls are loving our farm as much as we are.

We cooked hamburgers over the fire ring for dinner. I’m really getting the hang of open fire cooking. Having the right tools helps! I love this cast iron griddle. It’s ridged on one side and flat on the other. I’d definitely advise against leaving it in the rain. Not that I would do that. *whistles innocently* Andrew’s sister Laura came out for dinner, too, and it was such fun to have her and Rachael out with us!

On Sunday, Andrew and the girls worked on wiring up more lights and we all helped move boxes from our storage container into the container building.

At first we tried to keep the girls out of our way while we moved boxes, but they kept asking to help, and we finally got the hint and let them. Everything is so much better with adorable helpers!

I have a whole shelf for my canning/preserving gear! I am so excited to start filling these jars with produce from our land.

At one point during moving boxes I noticed something small hopping around. I’ve seen these tiny frogs around the pond but this little one was far away from a water source. After showing the girls, I took it to the pond and let it hop into the mud.

Soon after that, we had the most awesome thing happen! Brad, the Bobcat owner-operator who did our driveway, has struck up a friendship with Andrew. The two of them talk about country and construction stuff together. I am friends with his wife Janelle because we were in small group together through church. They are planning to buy some land in the country as well, and happened to be looking at a property near our farm Sunday. Brad suggested that the family go have a look at our farm, so without calling us to see if we were there, they just drove by – and we did happen to be there! They have two boys who are perfect ages to play with our two girls, and we all had a BLAST for the rest of the afternoon and evening. The kids went on adventures together, digging in mud with sticks and climbing in and out of the creek bed and throwing rocks into the pond. We all got to enjoy some campfire food and some excellent company. And THAT is why we bought the land – to make a place for people to enjoy the outdoors. It was definitely the highlight of our weekend. Thanks for coming out, Brad and Janelle!

A chilly, wet day

Last Thursday, before we got to the farm, a thunderstorm blew through and thoroughly soaked our land.


This battered portion in the middle of the container building instantly turned into a sticky mess.

So we spent some time inside! Emily told me “I’m taking good care of Great-Great.”

Ellie took care of baking Oliver in the toy kitchen.

In the afternoon the sun came out, and though it was still muddy all over, Ellie and I went on an adventure into the creek. She picked me a tiny bouquet.

I made a little rock tower.

I think she was having fun! I know I was!

And we completed our adventure with a ride on the tire swing.

Even though it was far too cold for ice cream, we went and got shakes at Sonic anyway! Andrew is covered in paint because he finished painting the inside of our container, and we are starting to move our stuff into our container (and take the opportunity to purge things too).

A chill(y) day at the farm

This week, farm day was a pretty chill day. Primarily because it was pretty chilly. Aren’t I hilarious?

My first task of the day is usually building a fire. Ellie was very cold and wanted to stay in the truck, so Emily was my adorable helper.

At 10 am I realized I had 1) a roaring fire 2) roasting sticks and 3) half a bag of marshmallows. Sooooo…there was no good reason to NOT toast a marshmallow!

One of the next things I want to do is make a flower garden for the girls down by their clubhouse. I saw a great place for it – it’s in the left side of this photo, right in the center.

Above it’s on the right hand side. I wanted a border, but I didn’t want to work hard for a border or have to pay a lot of money. Well guess what – we have PLENTY of fallen limbs around the property to border a little flower garden! I dragged several into place- below are the after pics (taken much later in the evening)

I’m really looking forward to planting this flower bed! It’s going to be total chaos and I love the idea.

Andrew and I and the girls and my mother in law and little Oliver then took a walk together. Some of us did more walking than others!

We took a break for tire swing fun 🙂

I didn’t get good pictures of this, but Andrew and his dad finished all the underground conduit work for water and electricity. We now have running water all the way to the barn site! Next week we’re having a whole lotta dirt delivered and I get to start planting in my hugelkultur beds!

Getting electricity

Step one: ESID. Got that. 

Step two: no idea, really. The service providers and the people who do the equipment installation are two totally different entities. Also we may or may not need a third party to come out to the property and advise us on what all needs to be done. Do we need a transformer? Where does the meter go? How about a circuit box?

Today I spent half an hour on the phone with the company that provides electric service. They are supposed to initiate the request for the equipment provider (Oncor) to go out to the property and install the equipment. This is supposed to happen on Monday. I don’t think that will actually happen, but hey, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and we will have electricity out there by Monday night!