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Penny Lane

This is the road we had put in to lead up to the middle of our homestead, where we will live. My husband calls this road "Penny Lane".
Clearing This is a picture taken of the clearing in the middle of the homestead. All in all, we cleared about 1.5 acres.
Another Clearing Pic This is another picture of part of the clearing.
Home I took this picture just after our home was delivered. We now have well and septic, and the view of it has changed a bit. I'll take more and post them later.
back hoe This is the back hoe we bought very inexpensively on ebay. We'll need it to dig in our rocky terrain. It will come in handy as we build a root cellar and tackle the hundreds of other projects on our list!
preseed June 3, 2006 - We went out to the homestead to seed and straw today. This is the "before" picture of the drainage area for our septic. No, that's not a road in front of it, it's our back yard - but it's being used as a super highway for all the construction equipment.
finishedseeding Finished! This is the after picture of the drainage field.My husband insists I stop calling it a septic system and refer to it as a "sewage treatment plant" If you saw this baby, you'd understand. It's an "alternative drip" system and it's huge. That's him in the pic, wrapping up for the day. Unfortunately, you really can't tell in this picture that we spent 5 hours picking up rocks and sticks, seeding and laying straw.
wastetreatment I decided to include a picture of the "waste treatment system". It's all that stuff poking up in the center of the picture. This is from the back of the house. The drainage area we seeded today is to the left in this picture.
trench This is the picture of the rediculously huge trench they dug from the well up to the house, where the tank and pump will be. I swear, it's so deep I expected water to be seeping out of it.
viewwithtrench This is a picture of the homestead as it is today - with 2 huge mountains of earth where the well trench is. This is from the same view as a previous picture, so you can see why we really can't wait for them to finish with all this construction stuff. The good news is we now have electric, septic, an almost completed well, and 2 mountains in the front yard.
welltrenchpipe 6/22/06 - We were out of town last weekend, so didn't get much done out on the property. But we took Monday off and went out. This picture shows the pipe and wiring that runs up to the tank and pump they finally installed. Woo hoo! We actually turned the water on and now we have cool, clear water! We even flushed the toilets. Of course, now we need to have the water tested and approved by the county, but we plan to get that going this weekend. Bernie's also going to use his big freaking yellow back hoe to fill that hole in. I'll be sure to post some pictures. OH - and all that grass seed we threw around on the drainfield actually sprouted. Amazing the effect those 3 whole drops of rain we got this month had.
grassondrainfield Here is a picture of the drainfield with grass actually growing! The area with no grass growing is directly behind the house. That got seeded this weekend - we'll see if our rain dance works and we get enough to sprout some grass there too......
fillingtrench Our well water passed the test with flying colors! Bernie used his back hoe to finally fill in the big well trench. There was so much shale in that stuff that we were beginning to believe there was no way everything that came out of that huge trench would go back in. It took a great deal of work, but we did it.
fillingbyhand The back hoe did a really good job - but there was a fair amount of manual labor as well. Between Bernie and the shovel, and me with the ground rake, we managed to get it taken care of.
finishedfront This is what it looks like today (7/9/06). We didn't seed and straw over the well trench yet - we want to make sure we get through final inspection. It's on our never-ending-to-do-list..... right along with getting rid of that rediculously huge amount of rocks you can see in this picture.
housefrontview 7/23/06 - Well, we finally got the rocks up from the well trench, and got it seeded and spread some straw. It was a LOT of work, but well (no pun intended) worth it. You know you can click the picture to make it bigger, right? Lordy, it looks a million times nicer.
rockpile This probably doesn't look as big to you as it does to us, but this is the pile of rocks we picked up from the well trench before we seeded.
newseedarea This is a picture from the front of the house, looking out on the area we seeded. We're watering in this picture. You have got to admit, it looks WAY better than it did before we cleared all the rocks and seeded. I'll get another picture once that grass starts to pop up. Do a little rain dance for us, ok?
backtofront You can't tell in this picture, but it was actually raining right along with the sun shining - it was really pretty. But I thought I'd share it anyway, because it shows off the many hours of labor we spent getting grass to grow. Still a few bald spots, but we worked a little on that today.
berries This is a picture of the berries I managed to get before the animals did. Doesn't look like much, but I felt quite clever that I outsmarted the deer, bear, birds, etc. out of this cache of blackberries and blueberries. I put them in the pancakes I made for breakfast. Yum!

clearin1

clearingafter1

7/30/06 - We just got back from the homestead. We spent all day yesterday clearing out an area of the woods behind the house that we hope to reclaim. Talk about some hard work! It was really rewarding though, as I hope you can see by these pictures. This first picture is a "before" and the next is the "after" of the same area. Amazing, huh?

clearing2

clearingafter2

The above pics were before and after of the area we cleared from a side view. This is a view of before and after from the front of it.

clearing3

This is another before and after of the front view. We gathered some oak we cut up and stacked it by the tree where we typically grill. And we rewarded ourselves with a couple of very nice oak smoked steaks we grilled when we finished clearing the area. Very nice!
clearingafter4 This is just another picture of the area we cleared that I really like. We still have a little bit of work to do, but we got the lion's share of it this weekend.
clearingafter5 Another picture of the cleared area from a different angle. We did a lot of work on it this weekend. We still have a few more areas we're going to clear. Lots of work to be done, but it sure is satisfying to look back at all we accomplished in a day.

before1

after1

08/06/06 - We spent another weekend clearing out from under the trees in the backyard. Didn't finish as much as we had hoped, but you can tell by these before/after pics, we got a great deal accomplished. We'll attack it again next weekend. Bernie's pretty stove-up from leaning over chainsawing all day.

before2

after2

Here's another area we cleaned up. Thank the Lord for the shredder/chipper. Saved us a lot of hauling to the brush pile and we got a couple of nice mulch piles out of it.
rockpile Well, no time working on the property is complete without a picture of a giant rockpile we cleared that day. Here's another. We have enough to build the walls of Jerico at this point. Not sure what we'll do with all of it, but we've got it when we need it.
woodpile Here's the wood we got from all the stuff we cleared this weekend. Nice little pile that will come in handy for evening fires.
101706 - With the change of weather, the whole look of the homestead is starting to change. If you click on this picture and look closely on the far left, you can see Bernie riding his lawn mower. He's thinking (hoping) this is the last weekend he'll be mowing this year.
I didn't realize it until I posted this picture, but you can see Bernie in this one too - to the left of the tree in the middle.
Here's a picture of the house - look at that cute puff of smoke coming out of the chimney! It was chilly and we kept a nice fire going all weekend.
This was taken from the top of the clearing looking down. The change of season really changes the look of the place.
Here he is! You can tell it's been a little dry by the big cloud of dust his lawn mower kicks up. I heard it's supposed to be a wet winter and I hope that translates into more grass in the spring.
Here's the fire we got going in the fire place. It was roaring at times, but I thought this was a nice picture. And it makes me feel warm just thinking about it.

dirty1

backhoe_clean1

11/05/06 - When we bought Bernie's backhoe off of EBay, we knew it was a used backhoe and it was used for working! The cab was really filthy, and when we first laid eyes on it, and in a moment of total weakness, I blurted out "I'll clean up the cab for you." Well, unlike the millions of other things I've stated during our marriage that he completely forgot about, he remembered this one. So I finally completed cleaning the inside of his backhoe, and here are the pics. The first is the "before", the second is the "after".

dirty2

clean2

As you can see, this was no small challenge. That thing was really filthy!

dirty3

clean3

I swear it sparkles now! And Bernie is happy as a clam. I'm not sure if the fact that it is clean brings him such joy, or the fact that he remembered to hold me to my promise!
airplaneabove The same weekend I cleaned up Bernie's backhoe, Garrett took him up in his airplane. You can't tell from the picture I'm sure, but this is a REALLY cool plane. It's a 1946 Luscombe that Garrett had restored. I've had the priviledge of riding in it before and not only is it gorgeous, it's fun! I took this from the ground as they flew overhead.
airplane1 The following are pictures Bernie took as they flew over the property. The leaves are pretty much finished turning in this picture, but it's still very prety. You can see our little house pretty clearly!
airplane2 Here's the house from another view.
airplane3 This one is up a little further, and although you can't see the total cleared area, you can see more of it.
airplane4 This one is taken from pretty far up. If you click on the picture to make it larger, you can see our house woods - closer to the left of the wooded area. .
trailwagon1 11/12/06 - Here's a picture of the Trail Wagon I talked about in my recent blog entry. It really is functional - with the 2 inch receivers on the front and the back. Plus, it really is just a lot of fun!
trailwagon2 Here's a closer picture of the Trail Wagon - complete with Bernie driving the 3 little tow headed neighbors around the property.
trailwagon3 I didn't get a shot of it from the side, but it has a little bed for hauling. It also has 4 wheel drive, which will come in handy.
trailwagon4 The ride comes to an end. Our little neighbors really enjoyed it - and after learning how to whistle out of an acorn and being full of bologna sandwiches and chips, Bernie drove them home in the Trail Wagon.
bear1 11/19/06 - Remember those little bird feeders we made out of a soda bottle for the "Kids Korner" page? They were hanging from this tree, remember?
bear2 Well, it appears we had a visitor last night. While we were sleeping, a bear apparently had a snack of bird seed. Based on what he left us, it looks like he really enjoyed it too. These are the claw marks in the bark that he left. Notice the piece of string we used to hang one of the feeders. The branch right behind it held the other, and if you click the pictrue to make it bigger, you can see the claw marks on the top of that branch.
bear3 This is what's left of the one that had the mix of bird seed. He really seemed to like this one. He did quite a number of the bottle, and if you look closely, you can see where his teeth bit into the bottle.
bear4 This is what's left of the one that had thistle seed for Goldfinches. You can see teeth marks in this one too. He didn't seem as fond of this one as he did the other.
bear5 The tree the feeders were hung in is the front of this picture on the left. He left one of the feeders to the right of that tree and up towards the well head. You can see it if you click the picture and make it bigger. The other one he left in the woods, behind that tree with the ring around it on the right on the wood line.
bear6 I'm holding them up here and you can see the damage. I always knew bears are attracted to bird feeders, and although we've seen signs of bear here, we've never actually seen a bear on this property and they've never bothered anything. Well, I guess we can't say THAT anymore! The little buggers. I wrote about them in my blog.

 

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