Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Already ?!?

The AdventureFamily is home once again, following a cold, rainy, WINDY weekend on Nine Trees, followed by a putrid drive home over the pass in a downpour and severe wind hauling a horse trailer full of hay.  The up side?  This is likely the VERY LAST load of hay that we will have to haul from one side of the state to the other!  Why?  Because this weekend, AdventureDad  set the last few fence posts needed to enclose the horse pasture.  Next weekend we will stretch a little more horse wire (temporary fix until we can move our horse pen from here to there), hang a few gates, and the farm will be horse worthy.  Yay!  Considering that we have had record rainfalls this month on the "wet side", it will be a blessing indeed to be able to move the horses out of their current quagmire into a nice green pasture. 
Speaking of record rainfalls, the weather this month really has me down.  September and early October has historically been lovely on the farm... clear crisp mornings, the canyons full of reds, yellows, and oranges as the huge variety of trees and shrubs turn for the season, followed by sunny warm afternoons with just enough breeze to make the leaves dance.  This year it has been chilly, rainy, and windy.  It feels like the end of October, not the end of September.  The construction site is already a mud fest... not what we were hoping for at all!  We have been unable to work on the outside of the house until they were done with the siding (which has now been accomplished!) due to the materials stacked around, and simply being in the way.  That means we have a lot of dirt work left to do... finish grading, drainage, and septic systems, not to mention the parking pad, front and back porches, and sidewalk.  The last thing we need is mud!  We are all crossing our fingers that this current spate of rotten weather blows through and the October that we all know and love will return.
Well, enough ranting about the weather.  That is certainly one factor that is out of our control, and we just have to deal with whatever comes, just like so many other factors in this endeavor.  Take, for instance, the giant leak that developed at our well head.  We arrived Fri night to a saturated building site, complete with a stream of water running down the hill.  Obviously a downpour had just occurred.  We went to bed, but when we got up the next morning, the stream was still running. I became concerned when I found that the origin of the stream was our well head, and my fears were confirmed when turning off the well pump dried up the stream.  Sigh.  Luckily our dirt work guy (who also hooked up the water) was already aware of the problem and showed up the same day to dig up the water line and fix the broken pipe.  Hopefully that is the last of those problems for awhile!  Now we just need the lakes of water to dry out of the excavation holes so that they can be filled in.
Back to the construction... so what was I doing while AdventureDad was fencing?  Cleaning up of course!  We had to move piles of construction materials out of the garage in preparation for the cement floor to go in, as well as cleaning up siding and lumber scraps from the yard so that they won't be in the way of the painters.  Yes, the painters are coming!!!  The wall board is up and plastered on the interior of the house, the texture people are doing their thing today, and the painters should show up on Wednesday to do both the interior and exterior.  Pictures coming soon!   This current spate of progress also means that we had to order our appliances so that they will be ready when needed.  Very exciting!  It is killing us to see it so close to done, yet knowing that it is still over 6 weeks before we can move in.  Of course then I think about having only 6 weeks (read 6 weekends) to move our household and farm (horse sheds, chickens coops, etc.) and it is suddenly overwhelming from the opposite perspective.  One weekend at a time :-).
The last bit of family "adventure" is of course AdventureDad's back.  He did end up having back surgery to remove fragments of disc out of his spinal canal.  He is recovering from the surgery well, his back pain has improved dramatically, but both he and the surgeon are frustrated that his leg pain and weakness have not improved more.  Another MRI is coming today, he will see the surgeon again in a couple weeks, and we will go from there.
Siding is going on...

Interior in progress... insulated interior walls to add a little peace and quiet to our lives :-)

Siding is Done!

M in her latest "design" sporting her first lost tooth

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Slow Spot

Well, the rush of progress on the house has slowed a little bit as we wait for the inspectors to catch up with where we are at.  Currently, the roof has shingles, the exterior walls are mostly covered in Tyvek (house wrap), and the plumbing and wiring are roughed in.  The siding should be going up this week, and the insulation should also be going in.  Once the siding is on, AdventureDad and I can start working on the outside, getting the patios put in, the finish grading done in the yard, and even start landscaping, etc.  Even bigger, once the exterior of the house is done, the septic system can go in... our last big piece of dirt work  remaining.   This last weekend we finished the vast majority of the fencing as well.  We just have a few more bits and pieces to complete, and the horse pasture will hold horses.  Lovely!
The rainy season has returned here on the "wet side".  It only took a few days of heavy down-pour to completely revive the muck in the horse pen.  I am so anxious to move the horses to a place that has been designed for them, where we can do what we need to for drainage and mud control so that they no longer have to live (and I no longer have to work!) in a mud pit.  The rain did force me to be inside, which revived my desire to learn more about wine making.  As a result, I now have a small batch of plum wine and a small batch of blackberry wine in the works.  We'll find out how this experiment turns out sometime near Christmas! 
Catching up with the family, my Aunt, Uncle, and Grandma (the girl's Great-Grandma) came for quick but enjoyable visit.  Hopefully once the construction/moving craziness is over we will have more time for that sort of thing.  We have so many close friends and family members to catch up with!  In addition M started First Grade today.  She is officially a "grader", as she called them last year, and she couldn't be more thrilled.  A couple of her close friends ended up in class with her, and her teacher seems wonderful.  Of course all of this will come to an end when we move in a couple months, but it is a nice way for her to start, and I know she will settle right in at her new school when the time comes.  Last but not least in the family category, sadly we just got confirmation that AdventureDad herniated a disc in his back.  Not good!  He is in a lot of pain and can't walk more than a few steps at the moment.  He will have a surgical consult soon, and we will know more about what his options are, and what the near future will hold, but obviously we will have to take things slow around the construction site and farm until he heals. Hopefully things go more expeditiously than they typically do with military health care and he will be on the road to recovery soon!

A Lightening-Strike wild fire a few ridges over... kept a close eye on this for awhile!

First-Day Greeting with Mrs. Jensen

Sheathing is on

Now Shingles and Tyvek

A Forest of Studs
Let There Be Fence

Hello First-Grader!