We’ve moved in! A summary …

After many long months, we did it. On April 13, Friday the 13th, just to tempt fate we had the movers bring our things to our new house.
The past two weeks, we have been fighting boxes, wrapping/packing blankets, bags of shreds, bubble wrap and other assorted packing materials. All in all, most things survived the trip. GrandmaLa’s rocking chair was broken by the packers in San Antonio, one of the rockers broke off, punching a hole in Lauren’s crib’s mattress support. Both things are fixable. I found 3 items so far that were either broken entirely or a spot of glue could fix. Some of the finishes on the furniture have been worn. This will just make me do the refinishing sooner!

The 15th or the 16th, the final grading around the house was done, topsoil was delivered and spread, and the driveway put in last fall was extended to the “grandfathered in” western driveway. This way we can drive the 5er from under the lean-to without backing up, around the back side of the house and up to the road. So much fun. Also, on the south side of the house, where we have porches and more porches, we had the guys place small boulders (large rocks?) along two sides of the porch instead of steps. I love this more natural look.

The topsoil came from a small town in northern Arkansas, and it is pretty heavy. We got the front yard seeded and “strawed” before the rains came. Luckily, it was several days of an easy rain. Over a 3 day period, I think we only got about 1.5 inches. So, our seeds and topsoil didn’t flow away!

This past week, we’ve moved almost everything entirely from the 5er, opened more boxes and made the guest room livable. I even found and rewashed the sheets! The guest bathroom is almost operational – we just need to install the shower curtain and we are good to go. We moved the WeBoost from the 5er, too. It is temporarily installed upstairs, with the wire running from one end of the house where the internal antenna is all the way to the other end connecting to the external antenna, to catch what cellular signal there is outside, amplify it and project it down to us downstairs. I sometimes have a signal. Bryan always does. For those in the know – call me on the land-line. I never thought I’d have another one of those! But, it came cheap with the WIFI. So, there ya go.

Now to the fun stuff!

We woke up to a terrible thumbing and pounding. Seriously, it got us out of bed in the middle of the night, thinking someone was trying to steal the 5er! No one was there, and it quieted down. So we went back to bed. After we got up for the day, we heard it again, and the sound was upstairs! I ran upstairs and looked and looked. But I couldn’t see anything amiss. I was thinking, “Rat? Racoon? Possum? In the attic? How… I need to call the pest guy…”  Then the sound happened again – it was coming from the bathroom. Bryan found Morwyn in the guest bathroom cabinet. She can get in, but she cannot get out. Silly cat.

Bryan and I raked and hoed the backyard dirt to loosen it back up to plant grass seed tomorrow. After almost a weeks worth of light rain, it was pretty beat down. Bryan decided to get his DR trimmer out and do some minor mowing.  (Ha-Ha) Check it out…

Bryan mowing the path on the observatory knoll, south of the house. By the time I called him in, this path was 3x this wide!

While I was finishing up with the dirt work, he did this and more. I actually had to get him inside before hunger and heat stroke took him! I think he was lost in the zen of mowing.

I captured some more images of the assorted wildflowers and the amazing views. Enjoy!


Part Two

Where did we leave off?

October 2017

We have this beautiful barn. We have water, we have electricity, we have a driveable/parkable gravel driveway and parking area. We even have a small cess-pit (don’t freak out my city friends… its not illegal and perfectly bio-friendly) to dump our tanks. 

A few days before we were to move the trailer to our property, I woke up in a state in the middle of the night. I hadn’t checked the clearance of the lowest part of the lean-to. We have vents and A/C units and skylights up there. It’s not all flat with a rubber roof! Was the low point high enough to clear all the crap? Especially since we had one more bit of gravel spread out to even it all out.

We went out the next day and measured from the bottom of the barn: where the walls actually end because they assume that is where the level of the floor will be. It was not 12’6″. It was not 13′. It was not even 12′. it was 11’11”.

Yikes. 7″ too short to accommodate my trailer. Trying not to panic, we thought of our options. We could move gravel from the area under each of the gable ends. Yikes, that is a lot of work. We are in our 60s and in not perfect shape!  We could cut a notch in the first gable end and worry about the second end at a later date. Okay – that is a better option, cuz Bryan is a handy guy! EXCEPT… All of Bryan’s tools are in SA as well as all of our ladders. 

We called our builder to see if we could borrow a few tools and a ladder. He said sure! And we did. That Thursday Bryan cut out a notch in the north end so that we could drive in. 

Great! The next day, we left for a quick trip to SA to visit family and to get my Jeep.

When we returned on Tuesday to move the trailer through the now 13’4″ tall notch we were afraid for the steep gravel incline but excited to finally get onto the property. 

The gravel driveway was loose because we hadn’t had a lot of traffic on it yet. And it had just rained and was still muddy under the gravel. The previous night, our truck (F-350 Diesel) had a hard time dragging the bumper hitch trailer up the steep incline. We lost traction several times and it was very scary.  Bryan had been worried for weeks about this, because of the loose gravel and the loss of traction. Even though it is a 4 wheel drive! I countered each time that with a 5th wheel configuration, there will be more weight on the back axle so it shouldn’t be a problem. I didn’t have any evidence to back this claim up except common sense.  We asked around and the overall prevailing advice we got was “just don’t stop” once we started the way up. 

Armed with that, we headed out from the RV park. If you have never prepped a trailer you’ve been living in for travel – it takes a bit of time…. Before we were living in it for a longer period, we could break it down in about 30 minutes. But all the breakables (dishes, etc) needed to be stowed and foodstuffs stashed so as not to spill. 

We rounded the corner of 142 and EE, the nearest intersection to us and on the east side of our property to afford a better angle of entry. Both of our blood pressures went up. We stopped talking and just started breathing. He turned into our driveway.

Bryan didn’t stop. It was slow and steady. But we got up the drive!!! HOW? WHY?

Apparently, the one more day of dry weather tightened the dirt under the gravel a bit more and it was as I suspected. 10K lbs of weight on that rear axel helped keep the tires on the gravel. In truth, the bumper trailer with the Jeep actually lightened the load off the front wheels and caused them not to purchase good traction.

So, we were up. (I actually teared up for a moment!) 

And now to get it under the notch. The gravel guy was here and helped too. We lined it up… and pulled in….. to hear: SCCCRRRAAAAAPPPPPEEEEE! Oh no! Mistake #2.

and sure enough, we were not scraping the ac unit, but we were impacting the skylight over our shower. so. we. stopped.

We put down the legs and got hooked up. I contacted the barn company, and they will be coming back to take off the gable ends. But that won’t be for a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, we are moving rocks… Missouri GROWS rocks, putting up our mailbox – without a posthole digger (storage), and did I mention FedEx found us today?