Friday, February 22, 2013

Chapter 70...Landscaping and Other Stuff

Off Grid...Chapter 70

Now that the Motorhome is gone from the top of our property the goal is to have a back yard with a lawn. This morning we started doing some easy stuff first. Mike started working on the front garden and I went out to help. We started digging out the grass so that we can get it ready for plants.

Digging out the grass.

Then we put all the grass in buckets and take it away. Right now we are dumping it behind the front walls. I will miss the open walls once they get filled, lol.

Now the garden area is finished being cleaned out.

Next we get all my extra stuff from my garden beds and throw it in. We use my leftover vermiculite, cow manure, and peat moss. we figure it's better to use it know and not keep it all year for next spring. Now we just have to find some plants.

Today turned out to be a beautiful day and it is so nice having the new patio and our walkway. We are dragging less dirt inside the house which I am very happy about. Now I can open up the doors and do some Spring cleaning. It might even stay clean for a bit, lol. While I an cleaning Mike takes the tractor down to the barn to clean up the mess we left from the motorhome move. I hear Howard and Eric pull in so I know Mike will be down there for awhile.

After I finish cleaning up I go outside to do a couple of small jobs. Mike wanted me to paint our samples of paint in larger swatches so we could really see the colors. I paint the 3 previous color and add one more to the choice. Here are our samples.

We picked the 3rd one on the right. It is called Pine Forest by Olympic. I didn't realize how blue some of the dark green paint chips would look on the house. Once the house is backfilled we can move onto painting the house, again, lol.

Mike comes back up top and he tells me they were teasing him because we have a dent in our front gate. Yup Mike rolled into the other day. Oh well "life happens".

He is going to do more work in the building so I am going to put the tar on the house. Before the wall is backfilled Mike wants to seal it in case there were any chips(possible leaks) from the concrete crew. We want to make sure the house is completely sealed before it is backfilled. I change into my worst work clothes for this job because it's going to be a nasty one. This is the last time we will be working behind the wall. Mike gets the ladder in place for me and I climb up. Then he hands me the paint brush and the gallon container of the tar stuff. Yuk.

Here I am painting it on and trying no to get it on myself.

While I am doing that Mike decides to finish cutting off the old pink insulation that was put on the house walls originally. We just want them cut down enough so that when our grass and gardens are in you won't see pink. He gets that done and we re use it by sticking it onto the tarred walls.

Of course I tried to stay clean but that is just not possible for me. I am like a mess magnet when it comes to painting anything. I had to use the paint thinner to get this stuff off me. It actually came off easier than an oil based paint which surprised me. I did get some on my clothes so I have to be careful inside the house. Mike said I should just throw the stuff out. I can't throw out my weed eating pants and the shirt I can re use. I am going to cut it up and use it to stake my tomato plants. He says I am the worst with work clothes and I never get rid of them. Why would I? Who knows what kind of nasty jobs we might end up doing, lol.

I am glad that job is over. Now we are ready for it to be backfilled. if we could just get enough dry days in a row we will be ready.

We are slowly working on the lawn. here is Mike doing some more seeding.

After that we got cleaned up and ran some errands. We went to the library because I ordered some books on gardening and canning and they are in. Then we went to David's to pick up more seed for the back yard.

On a very cool note. Now that Mike has moved our solar system to the gray building and each set of 6 panels have their own charge controller and their own set of batteries we are now "fully charged" on both. Before we never had both charge controllers fully charged at the same time. Woo hoo. That means everything Mike did this time is an improvement. I think he got it right.

The rain is back.

Today I made a small attempt of cleaning the gravel off the side of our road going down to the house. We still have to rake and seed it with clover. First we have to get the gravel out of the ruts, rake it back, and then fill it with dirt to be seeded.

The gravel in the ruts. 

Starting to rake it back. Unfortunately I'm really not into this job today so this is all I do.

And right behind me the front grass is starting to come in.

At this point we aren't worried about weeds. We just want to get everything green and then we can work on the weeds.

I get another big section is raked, seeded, and strawed.

I can't do any more because I am out of straw.

I go over to see what Mike is doing. He is working on installing another vent in the building. First he painted it black, then he cut out the square hole, and then installed it.

Here he is using his favorite tool, the cut off wheel, to cut out the hole.

The new vent is in.

After that I help Mike putting in the sealed nuts and bolts in the building. When we screwed the solar panels down we didn't seal them. So I help Mike re do them. I am inside the building with the ratchet and he is on top unscrewing the old screws. He then puts silicone in the hole and sends the bolt through. I add the washer and the nut and screw it tight. Just another small job that had to be done.

Later on we go to the other property to mow. We also grab the chainsaw because we know the other part of the tree on our Island split and fell into the pond.

Here is our fallen tree.

And the split.

Mike cutting the tree.

Then we pull everything out of the water and pile it on the Island.

We will have to come back when the trailer is empty to load everything up.

Well it was a short story today but we are moving forward with our work. We take it one job at a time. I hope you all enjoyed. 


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