Today, August 5, 2019 is Fire In The Hole day at the farm. A group of us went to the farm to clean out a pit used for trash in the back of the property. We cleaned out a bunch of junk--old broken TVs, bikes, doll strollers, a loveseat and matching recliner, and so much more. I don't think there was ever any type of trash pickup or maybe it was the neighborhood trash pile. There seemed to be no bottom to this pit.
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David grew up in the country. He understands that it is hot and dry here in Texas in August and that there may be burn bans. Before starting the fire, he called the local sheriff's office, explained the situation, and was given permission to burn. We did get a lot of not so nice comments yesterday on social media about the "evils" of burning things.
The pit was fenced in but the fire in the hole kept jumping out of the fence (LOL!) so we had to stand by with shovels, ready to throw sand onto the fire to keep it from spreading.
After a few hours of clearing it out, the decision was made to burn the pit. It burned very well and then it just kept on burning. We shoveled a lot of sand on it and wet it down. Nothing was working very well because the fire had gone down deep into the pit. We stayed there for many hours. Then two of our contractor friends came and buried the flames. We put in more than a 12 hour day fighting the fire in the hole and cleaning up the land.
Six of us arrived at the farm before 7am so I got to shoot the sunrise there, my first.
I got up at 5am so we could leave our house by 6am to get to see this just moments after we arrived. David bought a little John Deere riding lawn mower with attachments and he got to use it today to mow close to the back fence. It looks sharp now.
Mowing down all of the waist high weeds exposed a brand new fence at the back of the property and allowed us to clearly see the only tree we have on the farm.
I would like to state that on this first day of driving the new riding lawn mower, I got a turn, too!
The portable potty was drained and cleaned by the owner. (He comes once a week.) The dumpster was filled and hopefully, was taken off the property after we left for the day.
Nothing was done by the transport people to start the road or the driveway or the pad for the manufactured home. It does not look like we will be able to move in on time. In less than three weeks, we are closing on our house and we have no where to live. We contacted the manufactured home company and they do not have answers for us at this time.
David is going to start building a small shed that we will have to live in until everything is done. Once we move out of it, it will become the David's Garden Seeds® store. We want to get that moved out to the farm so it will feel more like a country seed store.
No buildings can be placed on the first 30 feet inside the fence by the road per the land deed so at least we will have some room for customer parking. As the store aka temporary housing goes up, I will keep you posted.
No roadwork or driveway work has been today so we are going ahead with plans to quickly build a shed for us to live in until everything is done and the house arrives. Again, even though they tell you that they are moving quickly, everything takes a lot longer than you think it will so it is wise to always have a backup plan.
We are meeting a contractor at the farm at 5pm and David has been working on plans for the store we want to build there. For now we think we will have to live in it.
By the way, the fire in the hole is still smoldering.
Today, we did a lot of running around down by the farm. We got the okay from the water company to fill out the paperwork and pay $1900.00 to get our water turned on. We should have water in six to eight weeks. A month ago, we had to pay $100.00 to have a required water test and we have been waiting for them to say it came back okay.
We bought a 2500 gallon water tank to use until we get water. It will be delivered on Friday, August 9.
Then we went to the local post office, and got added to the route. Last week, we had to drive to the TXDot office in Hondo with our new mailbox so they could put it up for us. It still has not been put up.
In the mail, we received the application to get electricity. We need to complete it, pay $2410.00, and then wait from 15 to 17 weeks to have electricity. We will turn it in tomorrow.
This morning, we got to the farm around 6:45am to start building a shed for us to live in and then to use as a store. The stakes that were put in the ground were not squared. We pulled them all up.
The fire in the hole is still smoldering.
After some discussion, we decided to go buy a ready made shed. We drove to Hondo and found a 10 foot by 16 foot shed with a small four foot porch. We bought it. It will be delivered in eight days. We will place it behind the spot where our new home will sit. After we move into the home, we will use it as a shed in our backyard.
The shed has three windows and is unfinished and not insulated. It has not been wired for electricity.
While we were buying the shed, the transport team arrived to make the driveway. They plowed our driveway through the place where our store will be built. We arrived back at the property and let the project manager know right away that he was not given the right plan for our driveway. He fixed it and was still working on building the road and driveway when we left. We are hoping it will look great when we return tomorrow morning to wait for the water tank delivery.
David found someone to fill the water tank. They will be out next Tuesday to fill it for about $700.00.
Meanwhile, we still cannot close on the new home simply because there are 60 closings to be done ahead of ours. We were told two weeks ago that we would close but this week we were told they have everything but we have to wait our turn. So in two weeks, we have to move into a shed because there is a line. Why don't they just hire more people to handle the closings instead of making us all wait?
By the way, there is still a fire
in the hole that we started on Monday. Yes, the fire in the hole is still smoldering! We put a bunch of dirt on it
again today so hopefully it will smother itself. I should say, we hired a contractor to take care of it for us but we had to leave before he was through putting out the fire in the hole.
Today, we did a lot of things. First, the smoldering is over and the fire in the hole is no more! The pit has been completely filled in. You can't even tell there was a pit or a fire in the hole. It looks amazing!
Shortly after we arrived on the property, the septic tank designer showed up. He did some measuring and then put in a lot of little pink stakes. He then told us he would have our permit for a septic tank in about a week. The transport company will put a contractor on that job once the permit comes back.
The biggest thing on my mind was turning in the electricity application that I did not understand how to complete. We drove to Pleasanton to the electricity company and spoke with one of the most helpful ladies I have ever met. She helped us with the application. Then she said we would need to go to the County Courthouse in Jourdanton and get some deed information so she could process the application. She said it would cost us $2.00. Then, she picked up the phone and called the Records Department. She told the person on the other end exactly what we needed. We thanked her and went to Jourdanton.
When we arrived at the Courthouse, we found that we had to go to the basement and wait our turn. When it was our turn, the lady there handed us the papers we needed without us having to ask. We paid our $2 in amazement and thanked her. She had the papers waiting for us!
After we picked ourselves up off of the ground, we drove back to Pleasanton, got in line at the electric company and were called up and helped. She did say that they are running four months behind so there is a good chance that we won't get electricity until November. But these ladies were just incredible. They know what real customer service is and were happy to provide it. You just don't get that kind of help in the big city!
The transport company sent a text saying our home would be delivered on Monday. As we drove by the manufactured home lot, we saw that our home had been separated and wrapped so it looks like they will be delivering it soon. Funny thing is that we have been trying to close on this home for two weeks but they are backlogged so they haven't had time to let us close. Yet, apparently, they are going to deliver the home to our property.
We have been wanting to dig a well on our property but the bids have all come back around $20,000.00. David heard of one who charges less so he called and made an appointment. Today, we met out at the property with the water well digger. He said that he spoke with some of our neighbors and their wells are about 275 feet deep. A well that deep would cost us about $9,000.00. He said some in our area could go down as much as 500 feet and that is why the bids are coming back around $20,000.00.
He also said that we should get a water witcher aka a dowser to see if he can locate shallow water on our property. He knows one who has been right on the money everytime he found a well for the well digger. This young man said he will contact the water witcher to see when he can come to the farm.
This got us wondering about dowsing. I looked on Amazon and found a large selection of dowsing rods. David told me it would be fun to order a set and see what we could find. The set will be here tomorrow so maybe we will get a chance on Monday morning to use them. We know that a lot of people don't believe in dowsing. When David's parents built their home on a 300 acre ranch about 48 years ago, they had a dowser come in and he found water.
We went to Tractor Supply and picked up some fencing supplies so we can get the front fence up next week. I saw some baby chicks there that I would love to get. However, we need to get moved in with a home and utilities first.
We also purchased a second shed for David's garden tools. It looks more like a barn so I really like it. It won't be delivered until sometime next week, just like the first shed.
Nothing was done on the farm today. We did not visit. The dowsing rods from Amazon were delivered.
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