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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Plumbing a homestead

Things are hopping at our little homestead (a.k.a. our little piece of heaven on earth)!  And what a productive weekend! 

Thanks to the help of our fabulous neighbors, who loaned us their truck so that we could pick up a rented trencher, we trenched approximately 500 feet of water line on Saturday.  We’re very grateful to have good soils – not too much sand, not too much clay, and no rocks whatsoever.  We started putting pipe together on Saturday. 

Then on Sunday, our fabulous neighbors came to our rescue again.  They came over and spent several hours helping us lay the rest of the pipe and covering the trenches back up.  There was heavy rain in the forecast for last night into this morning (boy was it!). They knew it was in our best interest to have that project done so that the rains didn’t fill our trenches back in before we got the pipes in, causing us to dig them out all over again.  On top of that they loaned us their tractor and shredder so we could get the grass that was two feet tall down to a manageable level in order to mark out the homesite for the house infrastructure crew that will coming out later in the week. (I do have to say, it hurt my feelings a little to cut down that beautiful grass – but the area directly under where the house is going will be wiped out anyway.) 

Here are a few pictures of the water line progress.



We took plenty of pictures and went through much discussion for these water lines.  We put a lot of thought in to their locations and want it all documented so that in the future, we’ll know exactly where everything is.  We put in shut off valves in strategic places so that if we ever do have problems, we can more easily isolate where they are occurring and make the necessary repairs (as opposed to digging up the entire water system!).  We also laid out the lines to allow for easier future expansion as we add structures and critters.

We did take an extra day off and also managed to install two spigots and fence in 450 square feet of garden space. We have stuff that needs to be transplanted and others to direct sow. But we had to get fencing up to keep the critters out, lest we just serve up and gourmet salad bar for them. J




Only about two weeks left before the house should be ready.  We are so excited about how close we getting to living on our homestead fulltime!  And added to that whirlwind of activity, our bees will be arriving April 14th.  Stay tuned, it’s gonna get crazy around here.  J
Until next time, worms rock and bees rule.

Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

We've all heard the old adage that good fences make good neighbors. Well, we can attest to that after last week. To make a long story short, we discovered the neighbor's cows on our property last week. When we let them know about it, we did not get the response we would have thought. Not only was the wife miffed that we were there to tell them about the trespassing, or want to be bothered to move them back (she actually asked if they could just stay so she didn't have to call her husband), they had known about the huge breach in the fence line for at least a week. I guess it's good to know what kind of folks you're dealing with for future reference. They are nothing like every other person we have met out there! And seems like no matter who you talk to, everyone has a "bad neighbor" story - and some of them are really bad. So if this is the worst of it, we'll be okay. Especially since we have met so many other people that are what you think of when you think of "country neighbors" - kind, generous, considerate.

At least we ended the evening by capturing this positively gorgeous sunset reflecting off the tank (pond)! And this is looking towards our super wonderful neighbors that I've mentioned previously. :)



So this past weekend, we changed directions and instead of trenching our water lines, we repaired the fence between our properties. May not win any prizes for pretty fence, but it's functional and will keep the neighbor's cows out, especially since he doesn't seem too concerned with keeping his (registered) cows in. It was a beautiful weekend, and we also managed to chop down hundreds (seemed like much more!) of thistle weeds just as they were starting to flower so that they will not have the chance to seed again (!), burn down the last two stumps in the home site area, and till our new garden space. All our seedlings are started back at the house.
Spring is here in central Texas! The trees are all leafing out. Even the ones close to the home site that we were so worried we may have lost in last year's severe drought. Hip hip hooray! We have grass over a foot tall in several places. The rye grass we planted last fall is going to seed and wild flowers are starting to pop up. Life in the country is just awesome!

Next weekend is definitely water line weekend. We have four weeks before the house arrives. Yikes! There's so much going on, the time is going to fly by. We are so excited about the life we are living - living with intention.

Until next time, worms rock and bees rule.


You can also find me at GRIT magazine:
http://www.grit.com/blogs/blog.aspx?blogid=4294967729



Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved.