Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 58...Baby Cows, Catfish, And More Property

Off Grid...Chapter 58

What a crazy week for weather. The beginning of the week we had freezing temps and it was too cold to work. Now we are in the 80's and it is too hot by midday. This year it seems like we have had 2 seasons instead of 4. We have summer and winter.


This morning we have to meet the surveyor at a small piece of property we are buying from Jimmy that is on the main highway. This property will serve purposes. One it needs to be filled in and we have plenty of knolls that need to be cut out on our land to make more flat and usable land. And 2 hopefully it will be a good investment. It is only 1/4 mile from us which is fantastic. We will use the dirt from out property and fill in the new piece at the same time.

Mike and I meet with the surveyor to stake off the land. We like to be present so that we can walk off the property lines with the surveyor to add extras stakes with ribbons. This way we know "exactly" what the property lines are and there are no problems with neighbors.

This is the land.

Here is Mike at the top staking it off.

After we finish with that we head back home and on the way we see the three baby cows.

It's not looking too nice out. We are supposed to have a snow/rain mix tonight. All I can say is Yuk!!

Before the really nasty weather arrives we decide to go over to our other property and hang the For Sale signs. On our way we stop at the building supply to pick up plywood to hang the banners on.

Wow, when we get to the other property we are amazed at how high the grass has grown. We knew we had to mow soon but we got so used to the cows doing all the mowing for us at home. We will have to get back here on a dry day and do some serious mowing and weed eating. It's too high for me to use the push mower so it looks like I will have to weed eat for hours and Mike will have to do a double cut. Oh well. Life is all about choices and it was more important for us to work on our fence to keep the cows out.

So now we pick the trees we want to hang the signs on. We screw the 4x4 banners to the plywood and I hand the sign up to Mike to hang on the tree. It is so windy here. It almost feels like tornado winds. Not exactly the best time for Mike to be on a ladder with a big piece of plywood.

We get both signs up and then we hang the box and all the fliers I made to sell the property at the front gate.

When we get back home we try to plug the tire that I got a flat on. Mike takes out his plug kit that he's had since he was a mechanic and we try to fix it. Unfortunately the tire has a large slit instead of a hole and we can't plug it. We'll need to get another tire.

We had an appointment to meet the surveyor in town to pick up the new survey and to pay him. It is still cold out so today we do paperwork.

Finally it's starting to warm up. Woo hoo. Mike has an appointment in town. I dropped him off and then I drove around to talk to people and hang For Sale fliers. I talked to everyone I met, lol. And to think I used to be shy.

We've had a day of heat and dry weather so it's time to tackle the mowing and weed eating at the other property. It is 86 degrees today so it is a hot one. Thankfully it isn't humid. Usually it takes us 2-2 1/2 hours to maintain this property. Today it took 5 hours. Mike was on the riding mower the whole time and I was weed eating. I have to do all the weed eating because Mike can't do it since his hernia operation. Can I tell you how much I hate weed eating? Mike says I'm really good at it because I have a good rhythm. Yeah right, he's just happy he doesn't have to do it, lol.

Here I am with my weed eating attire. I think I am the only person in the world who has to wear a piece of plastic and 2 old socks on my right arm. I get bad burns from the weed eater. It must be the way I hold it.

Needless to say we got most of it done and it was a rough day. After about 2 hours my arms started shaking. I also took a break and laid back in the shed and my back froze up and I got stuck. Mike had to pull me back up. Ya gotta love getting older, lol. Mike also had trouble with the lawn mower overheating but we are good until next week. Yeah.

Here is a picture of the fish and a white catfish in our pond. I know Hawk J will enjoy this.

Once we got back home and unloaded we took a break. Later on Mike mowed our grass by the house. What a difference. Not much grass here.

Wow it's another hot day. We have a little more fencing that needs to be done and then we will be finished. Woo hoo. We only have 3 poles to dig in and do the cross bracing. Unfortunately they turn out to be our hardest poles and we are depleted of energy after yesterday.

Here are the next 2 poles and cross bracing.

Finally we get the last 2 poles in, do the bracing, and screw on the bird house.

We are done with the poles. Yeah. Tomorrow we will work on the wire.

While I start the laundry Mike goes up to cut the tops off some of the T-posts. We had 5 posts that hit solid rock and we couldn't pound them in too far. Mike wants the posts nice and even so he cuts the tops.

Next he starts to spray paint the poles. We hate that the T-posts are gray with red tips. It looks ugly and unnatural. Here he is spraying the T-posts green.

Next we finish up the wire for the fence. First we have to take all the old wire off and add more wire to make it longer then we can stretch it tight and re hook the wire to the T-posts. Here is Mike adding more wire.

Yippee. It's time for a big happy dance. No more fencing and just in time. Our post hole diggers broke, lol.

Mike and I also re-adjust the main gate. It was a little high on one side. Now it is nice and straight.

It is extremely hot out. Today is 86 with a "real feel" of 90. I said to Mike let's go inside our cave and cool down, lol. The house so far stays at 68without any air conditioning. We have a new summer routine. First thing in the morning we open up the front doors and let cool air in. As soon as the sun gets close to the front of the house we close the doors and the blinds. This seems to keep the house very cool. After dinner we open up again to get some more fresh air through the house.

Later on, after it cools down a little we head out to do more work. I am determined to get the hill along our yard and walkway seeded and curlexed. First I have to rake it out which is no easy task. I slipped a couple of times and almost ended up in the barbed wire fence. Not good. My pants are all torn up.

Here I am raking.

While I am raking the hill Mike checks on the motor home and does a little maintenance on it. He started the engine and poor Niki got all excited. I think she misses living in the motor home. We all do a little.

Mike waters it down before we add the seed.

Now the hill is even more slippery and I have to get down there to staple the curlex

We bought 2 kinds of seed at David's on Saturday. We don't want to have to weed eat this hill. David recommended a mixture of Red Creeping Fescue and White Dutch Clover. This is all new to Mike and I so I hope it works.

We spread the seed and Mike helps me roll out the curlex. He staples the top to the bank and I staple the bottom.

Aah, the hill looks so much nicer.

After we finish that we put everything away. It's 8:30 and time to go in.

Well that is our story for the week. I hope you all enjoyed spending time with us. This next week is shaping up to be a very busy week. The sun is out and it's time for Mike and I to bust our butts, lol.



  1. Should have brought the cows over to the old property. They like the green grass. :)

    1. They would have loved that grass.

  2. That's a whole lot of fencing! I grew up on a farm, and harbor a special hatred in my heart for rusty #9 wire, and barbed wire! our equipment was old and worn, stretching fence was always a nightmare... :-) And staples?? UUGGHH! They never wanted to stay straight for me!

    1. We have really old fencing on the border of our property. It has been repaired and broken so many times. It's a nightmare to work with. All crooked, broken, rusted wire..ugh!!

  3. Just a suggestion for your weedeater issues. Getting a shoulder strap will help your arms and back immensely. Also, the reason you are getting the burns on your arm is because you are holding it to far forward and high, the back of the engine should be behind the bend and below your elbow by a couple of inches. The strap will help with this because you won't have to keep your right arm all tensed up to hold it, the weight is taken on your shoulders. If you put a strap on it the weedeater should be almost balanced when you aren't touching it, you want just a little extra weight towards the back so that the front will come up on it's own when you let go with your hands. This way you don't hold the cutter head up as much as down so it's less likely to dig in. I did this for about 8 years solid going through college and high school and having it properly strapped and balanced makes a huge difference.


    1. That is great advice. I tried the strap when we first got this weedeater but it wasn't comfortable. I may have to dig out the strap and try it again. Thank you.

    2. You may have to look for a longer one. I gather from your posts that your a little taller than average and the straps they give I swear are made for people under 5' tall. I ended up using a piece of an old rifle sling to extend mine so I could get it down to a reasonable height.

    3. A longer one might work. I'm sure we can find something to use:)