A Time to Build

Well…my blogging has not been done in the timely manner I wanted.  Yes, there were many unavoidable delays:  snow, freezing weather,snow, rain, more freezing weather, not to mention the holidays. I just haven’t kept up with my blog dates.  But our awesome builder was working as often as he could and really kicked it into gear when the weather cleared up.

Red clay was hauled from our back pasture for create the pad for the foundation after the topsoil was removed. About 15 dump truck loads worth of clay!!

Cinderblock walls will support the built up base.

All smoothed out.

Tubing for radiant heat installed. Everyone thought Randy was crazy for wanting this feature…then we had the snow, freeze, snow, etc. Who’s crazy now?

Pouring the slab. And all this equipment plus eight cement trucks slip sliding in our muddy yard. Quite the achievement.

Framing starts. Now it is looking like a house!

Framing continues including the porch joists.

I will try to be more regular with these updates, but I have to say the weather is perfect for gardening and fishing, so….

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

 

The holidays have come and gone and were wonderful. We had all three kids with us for the Christmas weekend and we joined all the Wood clan relations at Mom’s house on Christmas Day. What a group!!!

We joined an equally exuberant neighbor family for a lively New Years’ Eve party.  Fun for all.  And everyone still asks how we are liking it here, as if there is any question.

 

Those two busy days highlighted a rather quiet holiday time. We had April here almost 3 weeks and Andrew for 1, and Emily for only 2 days.  Most of the time was spent playing games, watching movies, and enjoying each other’s company and good food.

 

Hope everyone had a joyous holiday season and best wishes for a great New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Wonderland

Pictures by Randy

Randy went out and shot a few pics. I thought y’all may enjoy them.

                                                                                 

Sneaux Day

The snow pretty much ended yesterday, but not before blanketing almost everything.

 

 

 

We haven’t found out what the official tally was, but it was at least 4 ½”

A little bit of the “wonder” wore off when the power went out. Even more so when you consider that without power…we had no running water since the well pump is electric also.  But, that was ok. We had water stockpiled from hurricane prep and the little house contains a wonderful stand-alone propane heater.  We three were nice and cozy in the great room and spent an evening by candlelight. I even managed to write out some Christmas cards and marveled that not long ago everyone worked by this kind of light at night.

Power was restored this afternoon and it was nice to be able to do dishes and take a shower-ahhh, the small pleasures.  We survived and still remain totally gratefully for our new place.

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

 

Well, there is not much work being done today on the house-LOL.

Mom is visiting and we woke up to a winter wonderland this morning.  We are at 2 inches,  it is still snowing and forecast to go until noon!

Project Green Acres

or… Pimp My Farm.

Randy and I are trying to take pictures daily to show progress and I will attempt to get them into this blog in a timely manner.

Currently our new home is a large slab of red clay being set up for the foundation lay and pour.  Since the rain has started and things may move slow, I thought I would show y’all how we got to this point.  As we approached the new construction date we were sad that our only option seemed to be to bulldoze the old house to make way for the new one. Then a neighbor expressed interest and Yeah!! In the course of just a few weeks he had removed the porches and cut down the roofs in preparation for the move. Then the movers came and moved it right down the road.  It was an incredible event. (note: if you ever want to make ALL the traffic on your street slow WAY down all the time, tell them you are going to move your house. )

Original house

Original house without porches and roofs being cut down  for actual moving.

House going

House gone

Prepping the lot

Blessed advent to all

 

 

A Fine Dam Job

 

A Fine Dam Job!

In the beginning, Mr Keith (our Herring propane filler upper) mentioned that, “those trees need to come off the dam”, we researched it and sure enough, he was right.

 

 

Over the spring and summer, Randy worked really hard to get every last tree, bush, rootstock and trunk off the dam face and backside.

 

 

 

He employed a variety of tools and vehicles including his truck, tractor, chainsaw, loppers, shovel, and occasionally his winch and his wench (HA!)

 

 

He shaved a bit off the top to make it driveable and mowable and improved the spillway.

 

 

 

 

He got the tractor stuck a few times and only ran it into the pond once! He went swimming a few times(country boy style) and stirred up a few wasps nests and ant hills along the way.

 

 

 

Smoothed it out, graded it, seeded  it, watered it and we had a dam that is good to go.

 

 

 

All in all it was remarkable effort and makes for quite a view.

The rehab of the dam is done and isn’t it a FINE job!!  All that’s left is for the grass to grow more in the spring.

 

Another Point of View

Same view, different porch.  We have officially moved fully into the “little house”.  Randy moved the hot water heater, washer, dryer, stove and refrigerator over here from the big house—not to mention reworking the water pipes and electric service since it all worked off the big house system. The big house has moved down the road (literally less than a mile down the road) and the builder has started grading for the new construction. The red dirt in the small section to the right of the “new view” is clay moved from a section down by the big pond to get a good foundation.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving

 

 

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

 

Just a quick update… Hopefully to motivate me to blog more:

–as of Tuesday morning, it’s just rain, rain and more rain. Not tons of it, just steady.

–Hoping to miss the worst of the storm and praying for Houston and now Louisiana.

–Plans for the new house are pretty much done.  We have decided on a builder and will soon be moving on to the next steps of getting financing and signing a contract.

–Randy has done a ton of work on the dam and it is just about ready to reseed for grass.

 

 

–I started classes in the LSU Ag Center Master Gardener Program. It’s a volunteer program to help out in the community while learning a lot of what it takes to grow things here in the state. So far it’s been fun.

Love to all and keep looking for the rainbow…

 

Wildlife

Wildlife

Well we knew the property had wildlife.  We had heard stories of hunting deer and turkey. We see squirrels all over. The birds are incredible: cardinals, robins, blue jays are among the most colorful.

While our actual sightings to date of the bigger game are somewhat rare (maybe something to do with a couple of active dogs), some of them have been spectacular.

We had seen deer in the pasture, but April got an eyeful when Marble’s growling (in bed with her) woke her up and she looked out the picture window to see an deer walk through the back yard!! She was awake enough to let us know it didn’t have antlers and as such was a girl deer.

At the end of the second turkey season, we started to hear turkey calls in the woods across the pond. We saw one in the pasture, then a few days later as Randy, Mom and I were sitting on the porch, a huge one came swooping through the yard just ten feet off Randy’s right shoulder. So cool…

Not so cool were some coyotes we saw walk through the pasture near the house.  They are considered outlaw quadrupeds here and we can’t wait until we can get our hunting licenses and be able to take them.

Also not so cool-being surprised by a copperhead crawling out of my garden from where I was sitting a few minutes before. Two days later I surprised one of them while mowing.  I am seriously considering armed gardening!

 

 

 

We are looking forward to seeing more wildlife now that all of the hunting seasons have closed for the year.

One of the more curious sightings occurred on Hwy 62 about 3 miles from the house.  My brother and I were driving and came across a peacock crossing the road!! It brought to mind driving Soledad Canyon road and seeing elephants in the wash.  Turns out there are at least 4 in that area. Two blue, one green and one white.  We have seen them on various trips to town but don’t know the story behind them.  Just fascinating and glad they are 3 miles away!