Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 65...Patio and Front Yard

Off Grid...Chapter 65

Hello everyone. I have to split some of these chapters up because Mike and I have been doing a lot of different things. Tonight I am starting off where we left off last week. The concrete crew is gone. Woo hoo.

Thursday 5-28
This morning we woke up in the motorhome at 6:00am. We sneaked back down to the house to have our coffee. After yesterday's ordeal with the concrete crew and the stress of the last week we are really dragging today.

We did a couple of small jobs today and that was all we could handle. Mike took the plastic off of the patio so it could cure. After that we ran back and forth from the house to the motorhome and settled back into the house.

Friday 5-29
Jim showed up this morning to take off the form boards and also take out the wood stakes. The form boards are off.

Yeah, everyone is gone. Mike and I are back to the way we like it. Just the two of us and peace and tranquility in the Mike and Lisa world. Our life is so much less stressful, actually there is no stress, when it is just Mike and I.

We have to start the grading so we can put our front yard back together again. We are done with any contractors and heavy equipment in the front yard. Yeah, now we will have a clean front yard, as soon as the grass grows in, lol. After that we have to re install the downspouts on the gutter so we don't end up with a huge mud mess in the yard.

This is the mess that was left behind.

Mike starts working on the downspout first. He re hooks it to the gutter and then we bolt it to the house. Next we have to re attach the downspout to the drain pipe that goes away from the house. There is also a tee that connects the drainage pipe that runs around the house and out the front. When Mike tries to connect it to the pipe they put into the concrete wall it doesn't fit. Uh, oh! It's off to David's to see if he has a connector. Thankfully he has what we need and we can finish this job.

After that is done we bring up some boards to make a temporary walkway. This way we won't drag too much mud into the house.

Mie works on the downspouts next.

Now any water that drains toward the back of the house will run through the drain pipe or end up in our gutters and through our drain pipe in the front yard.

Saturday 5-30
Today Mike promised to take me to the new Farmer's Market and to the local flea market. It's nice to get out once in awhile. We rarely do anything that isn't work related. Wow I feel human today. We are both showered and dressed in "non" work clothes, lol. Even if it's only for a couple of hours it still feels nice.

The Farmer's Market didn't have many vendors but it was their first day. There was a vendor there from a local farm. I spoke with the woman for a little while and I found out they also have U-Pick fruits and vegetables at their farm. Cool I can't wait. Now I have a local place to pick strawberries and blueberries.

Ok "dress up" is over. We are back home and it's time to work. First we have breakfast and we change back into our work clothes. Oh well it was fun while it lasted, lol.

We have a lot of dirt that has to be brought down and filled up to the patio. Mike brings down about 15 tractor buckets full of dirt.

Uh oh. Mike is getting a little optimistic. He brought down half of our new trees. We are trying "Emerald Green Arborvitae"

Now that we have enough enough dirt, hopefully, we can start the hand grading. We start on the left side of the house so that we can work our way out to the driveway. First we have to dig the drainage ditch a little farther and add a connecting pipe to it so it drains farther from the house. Then we have to grade the yard, rake it, and pick up any of the rocks and debris. Last we will seed and straw it. Mike and I love doing this kind of work. It's the best because you actually get to see some accomplishment by the end of the day.

Here I am do some grading while the "princess" poses, lol.

We get finished with the first side and Mike says "let's plant the trees." How can I resist, lol? Planting the first batch of trees.

Next we fill in the dirt up to the patio.

As we work and complete the raking on each section Mike goes back and seeds it. Then I put the straw down. We do this until we get to the right side of the house by the driveway. Now we have to dig out and add the extension to the drainage pipe on this side. Then we cover it up. We rake, seed, and put out straw up to the new wall. Then we plant 4 more trees.

Here is the front of the house. It is going to be so nice when all the grass grows in.

The whole front yard is raked, seeded, and strawed.

We had a very full day today. I thought this job including planting the trees would have taken us 2 days to complete. Wow I am so excited to get rid of the mud around the house.

This is what we accomplished today.

Sunday 5-31
Well it seems like we overdid it yesterday. Our minds say "go go go" but the next day our bodies say "what have you done to me, lol". It's rough getting older. On the bright side it is raining out so it is a really good thing we kicked butt yesterday. If we didn't push yesterday we would have a big muddy mess out front.

Monday 6-1
Wow it's June 1st. It's hard to believe. The time seems to be going by so fast but Mike keeps reminding me that we didn't even start working on the house this time last year. We built the house and Mike completed our solar system and we moved in by October. When you look at it that way we have plenty of time to get things done.

Did you ever have one of those days where nothing goes as planned? Well that was our day today. We loaded up the trailer to go over to the other property to mow. On our way over we ran into a problem that we had to take care of and it changed the whole day. Then we saw our old neighbor next to us at a red light. She started saying out her window "did the Sheriff call you?" Oh that is never good. The light turned green before we could find out what happened. So we drove to the Sheriff's department to find out. There was a motorcycles accident in front of our property and they ran into our barbed wire fence. Ouch. Anyway there was a report because there was some property damage. So now Mike and I head over to the property to check it out. The fence is a little twisted but nothing that can't be easily fixed. After hitting the barbed wire I bet that driver learned his lesson about going too fast on that curve. I'm sure he will be much more careful next time.

Finally Mike and I get back home and he decides to repaint the roof on the gray building. This week we are going to try and move our solar system. The panels are going on top of the gray building and Mike wants to make sure it is perfect.

Mike painting the top of the gray building.

He is finished with that roof.

After he finishes the gray building he has a little of the roof coating left so he uses that on top of the green building.

Well I guess today worked out for a reason. It ended up being very hot out. Mowing and weed eating in that kind of heat would have been brutal. Now it is early evening and we decide to try it again. We load up the trailer and off to mow.

The ground over here is saturated. There has been so much rain this year. When we get there I check on all the nests. The Geese and their eggs are gone from the island and there is one broken egg. Then I go and check on the Killdeer and their eggs. Gone they are all gone. That usually means something got them. I hope it wasn't the dog next door.

We now have ducks all over. Their is one family with their babies but I didn't have the camera when I saw them. Here are 2 ducks by the pond.

Time to work. While I am weed eating I look up and see Mike talking with our other neighbor. He and his wife are interested in buying our front piece of property with the pond. It looks like it might be possible that we sell both of our properties this month. Very cool. No more mowing, lol. Does anyone need a zero turn mower, lol?

I finished up first so Mike and I swapped. He needs to spray the weeds on the driveway. Here I am mowing away.

Tuesday 6-2
Jim showed up to grind the rough patches of concrete.

To be the next installment. I am stopping here because the next part of our story is about moving and redoing our solar system. Mike thinks he has perfected it.

I hope you all enjoyed another glimpse into the Mike and Lisa world.