Monday, December 23, 2013

Going Country Update...Clearin' Land

Tonight was a night where we got the kids fed, bathed, pjs on, and to bed by 7:20 p.m. and there were no arguments. Why? Because our kids were "dog tired". (WE are "dog tired".) It's been a long day. We have been land clearin'!
(Norah didn't like the sound Daddy's chainsaw made.)
While we've owned this property (debt-free) for about 8 months now, we haven't done anything to it. Why, you ask? Well, we've been saving for land clearing and after getting estimates for it, although extremely low in cost, we decided to still do it ourselves. Yep. We bought a chainsaw and pull-cart and all day Saturday and today, we've been a-choppin' wood.
Here's our "camp site" from the first day. I wanted our blanket (and children) far enough away from Rob as he was felling trees. Safety was key and although I was nervous at first, the kids have understood the rules of standing WAY back when Daddy was about to fell a tree and loved watching. They were quite the helpers!

Riley and Ranger came the first day, but Riley is getting so old that we think the day was too much for her, hence Ranger was the only tag-along today and did great.

The goal right now is to protect our nest egg of savings and do what we can ourselves. We met with another builder this morning and while his home was beautiful, I don't think he understood us when we said we wanted a "cheap" pole barn home, trying to talk us out of it saying that the city codes department wouldn't approve what we wanted. We're getting a lot of that, but we're pressing on in hope. We've been looking into MANY options as far as homes are concerned, trying to weigh out the pros, cons and of coarse, financial cost.

(Ranger... down for the count.)
Our other goal, physically, is to clear a path large enough for the camper to fit and be parked on the property (allowing us to stay the entire weekend, getting more done without having to drive ALL THE WAY home). Those stumps will be cut very low and possibly ground up or burned down with a small fire. The stumps under the foundation of the house (only) will be cut down allowing for a few feet of stump to remain, then pulled out so that the entire root system will come with it. If we were to allow the roots to remain, they could decay and eventually give in causing the foundation of the house to crack. We'll go in with a roller after the stumps are removed in full and press it firmly before foundation is laid.

Here's our "camp" on day two. Things we brought were:
-plenty of water
-snacks, lunch
-Rob's chainsaw and lots of tools
-pull-cart/wheelbarrow for hauling wood back and forth
-my ERGO baby carrier (how I was able to get things done!)
-water jug and bowl for Ranger
-plenty of gas and oil for the chainsaw
-batteries for our small, pole chainsaw
-diaper bag
-big blanket
-"Moving Folder" and notebook
-bug spray
-changes of clothing
*I keep this list written down so that each trip to the property, I can remember what needs to be brought.
One thing that we didn't think about was a potty and with small children and being far from a public restroom, you'd think this mama would thought of that! We have introduced ourselves to our neighbors, but we're not on that level just yet of knocking on their door and asking to use the facilities. The next trip up, this frontier gal has a few ideas for a self-made port-a-potty that involve a 5 gallon bucket, a plywood seat, a clothesline, and 4 blankets for privacy. We shall see what I cook up! {smile}
Our brush pile is getting quite large as well as our firewood pile. The smell of Oak and Pine is so sweet! We've left some larger logs out to create garden beds with (Oak as Pine would rot too quickly). Nice, long trees. We haven't seen any Live Oaks on the property as of yet though. They're so majestic-looking (and illegal to cut down).

Avonlea was so sweet to wear Titus (almost 8 months...I can't believe it...sigh). She walked him around and he observed it all, the sounds and the smells. He was so good, napping even in the ERGO on my back for almost an hour.

Some would say we're crazy venturing up with five children, cutting trees and doing hard work. We LOVE it. There was talk of Rob going up alone to get things done, but at the end of this week, we couldn't imagine NOT taking them because of how extremely helpful they were. Lincoln especially. He was in his element. No, we didn't let him use Daddy's chainsaw, but the tools that we did allow him to use and the work we set out for him, he was more than happy to do. It's nice having a six-year-old who weighs 85 lbs. and can haul just about anything he sets his mind to. I couldn't believe the size logs he was lifting. I would reach for a heavy one and he'd jump in front, insisting that he do it.

Isaac brought his box of marbles to play with and was also a help with the small brush. Mostly, he was found playing cars next to the wood pile.

Norah liked to get the little logs that were "just her size" she would say. {grin}

As I reflect on the past 9 months, the one thing I would definitely change would be that we weren't up there doing this sooner. We were saving up to pay someone else to do it for us. Instead, we should have bit the bullet and just bought the chainsaw to start.
Our goals in the beginning were:
 1. To get electricity onto the property (which now, we're thinking about just getting a generator for the RV until we're 100% sure where the house will be placed).
2. Dig a well and put up fencing. Our builder this morning said to just bring up drinking water and fill our RV tanks (for showers and the sinks) and wait on the well. For fencing, he said to do that last and not to worry about people using the property to ride their horses on (which they do). We don't mind, since we're not using the property for building just yet. I think once we start building, they'll back off. We met a new neighbor today who has horses and goats. Sweet highschool girl who uses our property to ride as well as shortcut her way home from school. I told her we didn't mind. {wink}
Our goals NOW are:
The house is the main priority as far as savings. We can clear the land ourselves (so Molly has to eat hay a little longer while we wait for grass to begin peaking itself up, no biggie). We can use our lumber for fencing, a pole barn with stalls, chicken coops, amongst other things, but the main savings are for housing. That is the priority as far as finances go.
Praying that we would remain focused on how the Lord wants us to use His earthly money,
 every penny.

No comments: