Off Grid...Chapter 56
It's another beautiful day in the TN mountains. It's hard to believe we are getting snow tomorrow so we better get working.
It's another day of fencing. We are going to work on the back line that is behind the motor home. To get started we have to take down the old barbed wire. Then we dug a hole and installed the first pole.
Mike is measuring for the cross braces.
Next we need to take the T-posts out in this section and turn them around. The nubs should have been on the outside.
Here I am taking a T-post out.
And Mike is banging one in.
We reattach the 3 strands of barbed wire and add one new strand.
Here I am unrolling the roll of barbed wire.
The new post and cross bracing is done. Only 7 more to go.
Now that the cross bracing is on we can tighten the wire and clip it to the T-posts.
Mike clips the barbed wire to the T-posts.
Another section of fence is done all nice and neat.
Next we go over and work on the pole for the "other" side of the gate. We had to skip a section because we can't get the tractor behind the building.
Mike starts out by undoing the barbed wire.
We get the new pole in and install the cross brace for the gate pole.
Then Mike drills the holes so I can put the eye bolts in.
Mike is temporarily re hooking the wires. We can't tighten this side until we do the corner post in front of the house.
Our gate with bracing is now much stronger.
Niki is back to supervising. We are all happy to be outside and working. Woo hoo.
Next we check on the concrete piers that we made. Although they aren't fully cured we need the forms to make more piers. Mike is unscrewing one of the forms.
The unveiling of our piers.
Oh Yuk!! Snow is coming in and it is very windy and cold. One of the other cows had her baby. The poor little thing couldn't have been born at a worse time. We now have 2 calves although we haven't gotten close to the second one yet.
Mike and I drove into town just to get out of the house because we will most likely be stuck for a couple of days. On our way home we stopped in at Jimmy's to kill some time.
We made it back just in time. As soon as we got back in the house the snow really started coming down.
Looks like another day of hibernation. Winters are never this long here. This must be our welcome back to TN, lol. We had a bad winter the first time we were here back in '96.
Here is a picture of the snow coming down. Almost a whiteout.
Well the sun is finally back and we have blue skies.
We took a ride down to check on the cows and their calves. One calf was in the open corral just lying there. I told Mike to get out and make sure he was ok. We had the Jeep parked between the mother who was eating hay and the baby. I figured if she made a move Mike would have time to get back in the Jeep. Anyway the little guy wasn't moving but I did see his ear twitch.
Mike was able to get really close. I think this is really unusual for a 2 day old calf.
The newest calf.
Mike getting closer.
Mike petting him.
How cool is that. I didn't want to spook the little guy so I stayed in the car and took pictures but I was really upset that I didn't get to pet him.
Thursday 4-9 It's much better outside today. We went to David's and picked up more concrete. When we got home we had to move the first 2 piers out of the way.
We slid them onto the tractor bucket to move them. They are just too heavy for Mike and I to try and move by hand. This is how we moved them.
Next we mixed up 320 pounds of concrete and poured it into the forms with rebar. Now we have 4 piers done and we are waiting for them to cure.
That evening Howard and Ivalee stopped by to feed the cows. We went down and talked for awhile. It looks like one of the cows is missing. We looked for her but Howard and Ivalee had to go.
This morning Howard and Eric showed up to look for the missing cow. They started looking down by the barn and in the woods. While they were doing that I went down the side hill by the house to get a can that blew down to the bottom. When I got down there I started to walk the fence line looking for the cow. I found a dead calf instead that something already started to eat. I came up to tell Mike and he told me Howard and Eric found the other cow with a new calf. She must have had twins and one didn't make it. Life is so sad. Eric said he would bury it but we just moved it so some other animal could eat it and Mike could see if we had any wild dogs.
As soon as we got done with that it started to pour. Another day of no work. We drove into town and stopped at the Jeep dealership to check on our hard top that we ordered. They now changed the arrival date from April to May. Mike was not happy and he was about to cancel it when Jeep gave us an additional 15% off. That we can live with.
It was supposed to be a nice day instead it was rainy and very cool. Mike has been watching down the hill to see what animals show up for the calf. So far there have been crows. We also got to see a red fox. He was really cool but too far away for a picture. Nature is all about survival of the fittest and when one animal dies another can survive.
Yeah. We have beautiful blue skies but I will have to save this for next week.
I hope you all enjoyed our story. Once we are done with the fencing we will move onto something else. There is so much for Mike and I to do.