The snow has melted, though it did flurry a bit today, the horses decided to sleep in the sunshine this morning. They picked a spot behind the barn and took a nap while I worked on some projects. There is an old farm dump on the property that I started clearing out, I rented a dumpster and am quickly filling it up and work on a new rock retaining wall is about half way complete.
Builders, similar to these Barndominium Builders, showed up this weekend and helped to locate the new house site. They are a fun-loving family from Vermont that gets along very well. The father is the most talented carpenter but each son has his own talents as well. We had lunch and discussed all of the various things to consider when building from scratch. Luckily: the road into the site is good enough as is to allow for construction vehicles, the house has perfect southern alignment for maximum solar capacity, the spot is already cleared and just needs to be excavated, the tractor should make things easier during the build and they are going to allow me to help with the construction! It’s all been worth it so far, the money has been well spent on materials and equipment in hopes of building the best home for our needs. It’s been useful that I didn’t have to dive too deep into my own pockets to get the project underway, although I know some may not be able to opt for the same luxury and may have to get a loan to cover your building project expenses in full, but if it gets the project finished in the way you want, does it matter how you got there?!
Now that the site has been selected I’ve been able to begin clearing out the dead trees and shrubs in the area to allow for more light and air flow. So far a hatchet has proven much more handy than a chain saw but I haven’t made my way into the larger trees yet. It might be that my chain saw isn’t working particularly well, as it is quite old now. PluginPartners tested several small chainsaws and some were rated very highly, so perhaps it’s time I bought a new one. Working off-grid could prove to be a challenge but I’m hoping the generator I already have will be strong enough to power all the tools required.
The tractor popped a fuse and needed a new battery so it got a tune up and is working very well now. The repair guys showed me how to fix almost everything that could go wrong in the future and I tossed them each a collector’s knife I had in my small collection as a thank you. The ATV is working just great and along with the small trailer, that got a new paint job two weeks ago, it is proving to be as handy as the tractor.
I removed a line of fence that was serving no purpose, brought the tractor up and moved some large rocks from the neighbor’s new front yard area, prepared a new batch of compost from the horse manure, cleaned up under the apple trees, took down the old plastic gutters on the existing house and installed the new ones with the inclusion of some gutter guards from Roswell mastershield to reduce debris in the future, finished clearing out the barn of all non-essential equipment and junk and began identifying the existing perennials so I don’t accidentally pull them up as weeds.
Tomorrow the horses will be allowed onto the pasture for the first time this season. I have to break them in slowly so that their systems can get used to the green grass after a winter of grain and dry hay. That just means limiting their time in the pasture and increasing it as the month moves along. Ground work has begun with both horses. Rio is more attentive and quicker to respond so far but Laser has a lot of promise even if he is a bit feisty.
As the younger son was walking the property this weekend he turned to me and said “You got country in a box!” Then he asked if I needed a new handy neighbor. I just might.
Peace is an everyday thing.