Entry #2: Land Development In Action

It’s certainly been a whirlwind of a month around here!

It seems like just yesterday we were all starry-eyed and looking at property. Now we have two weeks to finish building a house on the land we purchased. Can you believe it?!

We purchased the 43-acre piece of land we fell in love with and were blessed enough to be able to put quite a bit down on it, so our loan is very small. The downside is that the land hasn’t been touched in over four years. Meaning it’s covered in every prickly, thorny, unpleasant thing that grows in Missouri. Yikes! So we immediately set to cutting down small locust trees and clearing a fence line to get our goats out there.

The day we closed on the land, the house we are living in got under contract. WHAT?! Definitely NOT the plan. Haha. So we had 30 days from closing to build ourselves a house out on our new land to move in to. Dirt guys were called, concrete guys were scheduled, it looked like we could at least have something livable done in time.

Then it rained.

Two weeks later, the dirt work still isn’t done. So the only way to get back there is in a truck since they haven’t finished the road either. Ugh! Every morning the girls and I wake up early, scarf down breakfast, and pile into daddy’s truck with him and spend the next 4 hours out there riding around on the four-wheeler and playing under the trees till dad takes a break for lunch and we head home for naps and food.

Once it cools off in the evening, back we go until it’s too dark to work anymore. . . The girl’s schedules have been so thrown off by everything going on. But I keep telling myself it’s just for a couple of weeks. Once we have a house they can sleep in, I can get them back on 8 pm bedtimes.

Building Progress

But even though we are a week behind schedule, we have a driveway. A leveled pad where the house will go. A mowed backyard for the girls and me to play in. A MASSIVE dirt pile to run up and down (which will go towards filling our raised beds once they are in). A leveled garden pad. And the shell of the barn up. Not too bad all things considered! Especially since the heat indexes have been 100+!

This week I will be ordering the water collection tanks (etc) so we have water once we move out there. The footings will be dug for the house and greenhouse, and then the slab will get poured. And (hopefully) the dirt guys finish up the drive and road. Once that’s done, I’ll call and get gravel brought out. Maybe then I’ll finally be able to drive my car out there!

Next week we’ll build the shell, insulate the garage and put up plywood walls, paint the walls, and move. Gulp. Don’t tell Benjamin I said this, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m betting on us having to camp a couple of days at least, if not a week or two. But who knows – maybe I’m wrong.

The Garden

While the building project has been a stressful disaster, the garden has been our solace. We’ve harvested our first batch of onions and set them to dry on our back deck.

Our tomatoes have started ripening, though Lillian eats them faster than I can pick them. Haha. Thankfully, it’s just the cherry tomatoes so far. I’m praying I can get our beefsteaks to ripen without worms or splitting. Does anyone know how to keep worms out of tomatoes?? Cause I’m all ears!

And speaking of worms, we had some sort of grub eat our zucchini stalks from the inside out. It wasn’t squash bugs! It was some sort of worm. I’ve never seen anything like it. One day we have a big healthy zucchini plant, the next it’s wilted and dead. It’s the craziest thing. We got two zucchini out of it, but that’s about all I think we’re going to get this year.

The spinach finally ran its course so we cleaned the bed out. Normally I’d plant another crop in their stead, but since we’ll be moving in a couple of weeks… Not going to happen. My garden is looking a little bare now that we’ve taken out the spinach, beets, onions, and peas. But our massive asparagus plants make up for it! Haha.

The chickens definitely loved the “garden clean out” day! They’ve been eating so well the past couple of days. Now every morning when I step onto the deck I hear, “quaaack quack quack” as the ducks have come to believe that I’m coming out to give them more goodies. They sure are noisy little things!

The Family

It’s been a stressful week. There’s just no getting around that. But despite that, it’s actually been a really good week with the girls. I almost feel like our property has magical qualities about it. All-day the girls could be fighting over petty little things, but the minute we get out there they will be the best of friends.

We’ve found some really neat old hedge trees that create a sort of natural hiding fort and the girls are having a blast climbing, pretending, and creating. It does my heart good seeing them out there.

There have been times when I’ve felt like we jumped into a fast moving current by buying this land though. Everything has been moving so quickly, I feel like I haven’t been able to get my bearings! Decisions have to be made on the spot. No time to sit and ponder and search Pinterest (only half kidding), the bulldozer needs to know how big the garden is. Or where the house is going to sit. And they aren’t going to wait around for me to walk the property a couple times and envision where the best spot might be.

I just pray I’ve made the right call so far.

Well, time to get breakfast going so we can get back out there! It’s going to be another scorcher of a day and I’d like to finish putting tin on the barn before the sun gets too high in the sky. Wish me luck!

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