Saturday, January 30, 2016

This Week at the Property...

Some of our chicks have arrived!  We seem to be jumping into property life with both feet!  Our milk cow needs to come home (from getting bred) soon, and chicks are already arriving.  Thankfully Crandon's parents are raising the chicks for us until we are ready for them, as the birds were part of a much larger order for a few different people.

This chick has green on it's head to label the breed.

Keeping warm with a heat lamp.

Crandon's sister came for a few days to help out by looking after the boys, so that I was free to do some packing and cleaning/moving prep.  I'm so excited to get fresh, pretty contact paper in the kitchen cabinets!

Crandon, working on the roof.  The insurance companies don't like to see moss growing on the roof, so he is brushing it off.  Probably brushing off a few years of life on the shingles too!  We also just realized that our chimney has no cap on it, so taking care of that just moved up near the top of the to-do list!

A side note: we are at a stage in life where scrubbing moss off of our roof, together, but with no toddlers, counts as a date. ;-)

This is a picture of hot, running water...ahhh, a luxury we take for granted, most of the time!

Crandon is removing all the old power lines, now that the new lines run underground.

Using my dad's handy water-pressure trenching tool to tunnel under the sidewalk for better drainage.

This may not look very exciting, but this was the first light to confirm that PG&E had switched over the old power lines to the new!

My big project this week has been dealing with some of our floors.  We have several different kinds of very old flooring that are badly worn and deteriorating, but we aren't ready to rip them out before knowing what our plans are for remodeling.  This room is the old kitchen.

Here's a patch of the current kitchen floor.  Yikes.

And some deco style flooring in the hallway.

I made an attempt at patching some of the worst holes with water putty.

And this is after the first coat of gray porch paint.  My goal is to make a cleaner and easier to clean surface, and hopefully look a little better too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Progress at the Property

Yes, that's dirt around his mouth.  I try, but it seems everything goes in the mouth...

A whole patch of these pretty 'Spring Snowflakes' are coming up down by our little creek.

Crandon gets some help from our electrician friend (my brothers' father-in-law--sort of family!)

Water and mud=many hours of entertainment for a two year old.

This happy little munchkin likes hanging with Mommy.

Boots: super practical with all the mud from all the rain we're getting here.

Trenches with conduit, almost ready to fill in.

Action shot!  Grandpa, Daddy and Little Guy all working to fill in the trenches.

We had a salvage company out to look at our chicken barns (eight!) but they said the barns don't have much wood worth salvaging, so we would basically be paying them to haul it all away.  Oh, well, it was worth a try!

Calculating wire quantities.

Lunch and naps.

Last week we had the house fumigated to rid it of powder post beetles.  The little pests have caused a fair bit of damage under the house.

It was tarped for about three days.

Aunt Naomi came over to help out with the boys so I could focus on packing.  I packed my first box just two weeks ago!

My mom came and helped me pack up almost my entire kitchen and china cabinet!  A big help, especially since I was struggling to know where to start on that project.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

This Week at the Property...

A. having fun with buckets and rain water!

Blue barrels from the selvage yard, which are going to become risers for the septic tank.

Crandon enlarging the opening on one side of the tank, to accommodate an aerator.  Aerators allow aerobic bacteria to assist in the digestion of waste and cleaning of the water before it enters the leach field.  We are hopeful of extending the life of this septic system, which probably is as old as the house.

The top of the septic tank, cleaned off and ready to attach the risers.  This project is almost finished, but I forgot to take a picture of the risers in place and filled in.

The well drilling company started on Monday.  They drilled for three days, down three hundred feet,  then installed the casing.  It is still awaiting the pump.

The size of the drilling rig was impressive!  It was loud, too.  The trailer to the right was recycling the water for drilling, removing most of the mud and spitting it out the back.  The PVC pipes to the right of the picture are the casing pieces.

I thought this was pretty interesting - samples of all the layers the drill went through.  The top left is the first layer.  After three layers and about the first eighty feet most of the rest is a smooth blue clay, with some veins of gravel through it.  The last samples of dark material are from the bedrock, where they got water and stopped drilling.  We won't know how much our new well produces until it's complete.  We have lots of blue clay running down part of our property after the drilling!

This was my (very small) accomplishment this week: cleaning half the kitchen counter.  It's not that I'm cleaning that thoroughly, but just that it's hard to focus on it when I have to be tending the little guys!

Crandon rented a trencher and got all the channels for the new electrical lines cut, in just a couple of hours.  It was fun to watch this machine work!

The old power lines are strung from the utility pole, low overhead, to the shop (in the background of this picture), and from the pole, across the top of a ready-to-collapse garage building to the corner of the house.  When the new lines go in, everything, including phone and cable, will be underground, nice and clean-looking and safe.

Crandon is hard-working and resourceful.  He accomplished a lot this week, even with wet weather, waiting on PG&E, and doing lots of reading and talking to people to figure out how best to tackle the projects at hand!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Our New House

We got the key to our new house yesterday!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Yard Projects

We have finally completed our boulevard strip!  It was the only part of our yard that really hadn't been worked on at all since we moved in here, other than an attempt at keeping the weeds beaten back.

A. is "helping".  Mostly he enjoyed driving his tractors in the dirt!

We opted to keep it simple and cleared the strip of weeds, and a little excess dirt, then placed a few flagstone stepping stones and filled in the rest with a thick layer of wood chips.

We mostly just tidied up the few plants that were already there, and ran some irrigation lines to them, so they don't like they they are about to die every summer!  We did plant a couple of 'carpet roses' on each side of the corner.  Here Crandon is sweeping the street, since our tax dollars apparently don't cover that, on our particular street. :-P

Fresh and finished!

Crandon also put in a little retaining wall to create a planter in a bare part of the yard that was too sloped to grow anything.  We have it planted with some flowering perennials now too, but I don't have any pictures yet.

Just because.  :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall in the Foothills

This week we took a couple days to visit Crandon's sister and family in the foothills area of California.  The cousins had fun together, and we all enjoyed some visiting and an outing to some apple farms in the area.

We didn't even have to leave the house for this event: the boys enjoyed watching the neighbor use a skid-steer.

A happy little munchkin gets a ride!

My boy seemed to be in perpetual motion when the camera came out...

Watching a cider press.

Sampling fresh, hot, apple cider doughnuts.  Yum!  They were so fresh and moist with a nice crunchy coating of sugar on the outside.

Yep, it's a tractor...


Out the barn doors was a view of trees changing colors, and a cloudy sky.  We had some cool drizzly weather, which seemed to go perfectly with a fall apple farm outing.

Picking our apple varieties.

Larson Apples

This farm had a really neat museum full of all kinds of old-fashioned farming implements and household items, dating to the early 20th century.

Also a large collection of old tractors.

Some of the boys.

The whole group.  All facing generally forward--a feat worth noting when five of the subjects are three and under and the camera is on a timer!

A very nice few days.  I focused on our apple outing, but we also spent lots of time at the house, playing, visiting, eating, and doing all the things that babies and toddlers need, no matter where you are!