Fences and Toasty Tootsies

I’m a little late on my posts as I intended to post this Saturday or Sunday.

Where I left off.  We had finished the one field fencing that took us 3 weeks.  But at least it is done. Now we have to work on the electric fence around that same middle pasture.  Remember Lynn was having a hard time trying to keep it working which prompted fixing at least that one side of the pasture so the horse couldn’t escape to the neighbors and possibly the highway? Well we are back to trying to get the electric fence running. I had a guy that helped me out when I needed the painting done on the trim of the little house we were selling.  He does odd jobs on his days off and after work sometimes. He came by and used his tester on the fence so we know that it is working to a point, so at least we have a point to start at.  Lynn will be running some new wire tomorrow and if he doesn’t finish it when I get home, I will.  Then maybe we can put the horse in the back pasture and start working on the front fence. The broken one in the paddock. That has to be fixed as that is April’s winter home.

Speaking of the front fence, we bought the lumber this weekend so at least that is done.  That worried me because it meant we had to take the flatbed trailer and go to Home Depot and get the lumber, 20 miles away. And I have never driven a trailer and I didn’t really want to learn. The problem with doing this was getting Lynn in the frame of mind to hook up the trailer; get the tail lights to work; unload the lumber (scraps) he can’t bring himself to part with; drive it to Walla Walla; then buy the lumber and load it on the trailer. We succeeded and I memorialized it in photos.  Which I will post shortly. That means that maybe next weekend we can, maybe, put the horse in the middle pasture, and begin fixing the damaged fence.  More pictures will come when we start doing that. I’m thrilled. Lynn not so much. He always looks forward to Monday’s when I have to go back to work and leave him in peace.

Oops!! I have the lumber pictures in my phone and don’t know how to get them downloaded.  Sent them to my email, but they haven’t arrived yet. Where is a teenager when you need them.  I will post those later. I will load what I have from my camera.

My handyman Martin, is going to change out the Chandelier in our entry.  We bought it years ago, (maybe 10-15 years) when we were buying things we liked to eventually put them in the house. Well through the years, our (my), tastes have changed and after the Chandelier was installed at great risk to the electrician. It was 20 feet in the air and the railing on the stairs wasn’t put in yet so they used scaffolding and ladders. I didn’t watch and I am so glad I didn’t as I would have had heart failure. But they took pictures and showed me later. Risky is all I could say, they were really brave. So how could I say, um, I hate that Chandelier, take it down and risk life and limb to put up another one, when I didn’t even have another one? So my dilemma, buy another Chandelier, which I immediately did.  One that really fits my current tastes. And it is now almost 3 years later. My handyman Martin is an electrician and he just looked at the job and we have a plan to get up there and change it out. Then that will be another job I can cross off the never ending list. I am excited that that will get done before winter gets here.

Now for the other thing that we got accomplished this past week was the tanks and stove was installed.

I am thrilled with the stove.  It is a Lopi which I purchased from Blue Mountain Stoves out of Milton Freewater OR. It is gorgeous and the installation was done in one day. (I could really get used to things getting done quickly). I recommend them highly, as the owner, Jerry, did everything that he promised.  They installed the stove and then the tanks were installed by Morrow County Grain Growers out of Pendleton OR. Then Jerry came back and lit the stove and made sure that it was running good. I couldn’t be happier. Bow Sewell of Cowboy Enterprises did the carpentry which took a little bit of work to vent the stove.  His work was great. He really paid attention to the little details. I recommend them both for a job well done. No more cold feet for me.  Yeah 🙂

They did an absolute awesome job. I am still learning how to set the thermostat but I want to tell you the heat is wonderful. It is a propane stove as we decided that we were getting too old to haul and chop wood, and pellets were heavy also. Since it isn’t our primary source of heat, it just makes it more comfortable in the living room. I will let you know how it works at the end of winter when we have had a good chance to put it to the test.

Last year we had a rough winter.  It didn’t get below zero much but consistently stayed in the single digits long enough for pipes to break and for me to think I would never get warm again. The heat pump bills were so high I thought I would have to take out another mortgage to stay warm. I am prepared this year.

This has been a busy summer and a lot of things have gotten done. Still there is more to do. Stay tuned.

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Liking my new stove, fits just right in the corner.
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Our new stove. We get propane tanks on Tuesday. Looking forward to firing it up.

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Cozy fire
My beautiful view out my office window. I will be able to mark the seasons from these windows.

The wind was actually blowing through that big cottonwood tree. So peaceful. A river runs about 100 feet past the tree.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Annie, Getting it done.

 

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“Never Give a Hillbilly a Paint Brush!” Markeeta Littlewolf

I remember Markeeta Littlewolf coming in to our hardware store to buy some paint one summer with her husband Mike. Lynn asked her if she was going to put Mike to work painting and the response was “You never give a hillbilly a paint brush.” Absolutely love her quick come backs. But I had the feeling she was being a little truthful. Anyway, I thought of this infamous quote when I pulled out the paint brush and roller today.

A new weekend and some progress from last weekend. First and foremost, I got some pictures uploaded from the camera. Yeah.

Here are photos from my paint job today:

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Before my painting today. I stopped painting 2 or 3 years ago. Don’t remember why I didn’t finish, but I probably ran out of time before winter. The white is the primer. Boy did it hold up good.
After the paint
After my painting today
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What NOT to do. Leave blue painters tape on the outside for 2 or 3 years.
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Next year, I promise I will finish this. Got to caulk, prime and paint.
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Assessing my paint job from the pasture.

Now for some photos from last week. As you may remember from my last post, we basically finished the one fence in the pasture. Had the top wire to put on and hog ring to the fence so, hopefully, April won’t be able to bend it down.

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This is what we completed last weekend
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Looking down the fence line.
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Putting up the electric fence insulators (aka thingies)
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Not very clear, but this is a hog ring, for all those city folks that read my blog.
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A roll of top wire for the fence. Lynn has been doing a little bit on finishing the fence.

Now for the stove and the skies. Yep, I’m going to be ready for winter this year. Blue Mountain Stoves and Cowboy Enterprises did a fabulous job on installing the stove. That will be one more thing I can check off the list.

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Liking my new stove, fits just right in the corner.
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Our new stove. We get propane tanks on Tuesday. Looking forward to firing it up.
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Glad it didn’t rain while I was painting.
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Winter’s Come’n

Okay, well that just about brings us up to date. The nights are coming quicker and the days are getting cooler. I have to be ready for completing my inside project and hunkering down while waiting on spring.

What I like about winter: I can spend more time writing; get indoor stuff done; read more; curl up under a warm blanket when it’s bedtime; and loving the green of my lawn with the rye grass. Yep, my yard looks terrible in the summer but is green in the winter. Go figure. A sprinkling system and landscaping was on my list for this year, but it didn’t happen. So it has moved to next year. Stay tuned.

Annie, a hillbilly with a paint brush.

Suspenders and The Next Project

Saturday
Well, Lynn and I put up the wire field fencing today. He still has to put up the top wire and use “hog rings” to fasten the fence. It literally took all day. Why is everything so hard? I guess that is why they call it work. If it was easy, they might call it fun. I am so glad that part is done. Not what I really wanted as I wanted a different kind of fence and maybe the one between the house and the pasture will be the one I want. But that will not happen this year. Maybe, next year.

One of the things I noticed in doing this fence and the bending over and the kneeling down, is that I need suspenders. Really, a belt doesn’t do it. I understand “plumber’s butt” but really it happens to fence installers too. It is embarrassing. Maybe I will get some fancy ones from Duluth Trading Company and really make a fashion statement. Or maybe some bibbed overalls.

On to other things. This week we had a new stove installed in our living room and I am so excited. It is a Lopi Stove and we bought it from Blue Mountain Stoves and they installed it on Thursday. We have to have our propane tanks installed and that will be in early October. Then I plan on being warm this winter without taking out a second mortgage on the house to do that. Here are some photos of the corner before and the new beautiful stove, though you will have to wait until October to actually see the fire. (Later) and the pictures 

Other projects on my list to get started/done this weekend is I need to finish painting some of the back part of the house where the tanks are going to sit. It will be impossible to paint it after they have been set. I will take before and after photos of that too. Didn’t happen this weekend.

Another thing I need to do is hang some pictures over the reading area at the top of the steps. I bought this 3 piece set consisting of a chair; loveseat; and rocker at a flea market. It was old but in fair condition. Some of the dowels broke on the loveseat and I know this amazing attorney that dabbles in woodworking projects in his spare time. He took the loveseat and took the end apart that was having the problem and did a wonderful job of fixing it so that both he and I sat on it and it didn’t break. That’s a job well done. Oh, and he is a skinny guy and that is all I have to say about it!! Pictures forthcoming on that also. (Maybe in October )

Somewhere on Sunday, I have to fit in grocery shopping , laundry, and then the weekend will be gone and it will be back to my paying job. I will finish this tomorrow so you know I haven’t been just wasting my time being a princess.
Sunday

You know when you have one of those days when you shouldn’t be near anything electronic, well I am having one of those days. I’m going to post this update but I’m afraid there won’t be any pictures as I am having problem downloading them from the camera and I can’t find my users manual.

I took the pictures I just can’t shake them out of the camera.
Didn’t get much accomplished today except grocery shopping, trimming back some of my iris’ and baked some apple dumplings. Oh boy were they yummy. So I did something right at least.

I promised Preston some photos of the loveseat he fixed for me but, I didn’t get the pictures hung, so that didn’t happen. Besides if I had taken them, they would still be safe in the camera. Ugh.

I just wanted a simple camera. Point and take a picture. I don’t need all the bells and whistles. Darn things are so complicated. It worked automatically the last time I used it. Must have hit the wrong button, again!

Anyway, stay tuned for photos next week.

Annie, The Apple Dumpling Maker.

September 2017 (AKA) Fix the Fence Month

The weather has cooled off a bunch. Perfect weather to try and finish the fence repairs. Finish is not quite the right word as our fences are an ongoing project. Well not exactly what I had planned, but that is the way life goes.

This summer, I had all these plans of finishing the painting on the house. Well that didn’t happen. We went from a rainy spring to a hot-hot summer. My plans had been to paint up as high as I could with an 8 foot ladder then rent a lift and finish it off. I didn’t even finish one 8X8 foot wall. I’m actually trying to figure out how I wasted that time. Can’t remember but I’m sure it was productive.

Anyway what got out attention as I said in a previous post was that April our 20 year-old mare decided she liked what was on the other side of the fence. She had been bending over the field fencing regularly until she got to where with a little effort, she could jump it. Thankfully, my neighbor was outside and got her to stay until we could get her. That was last year.

Lynn assured me that he could put an electric fence wire around it and that would keep her in. It didn’t work and after 3 or 4 more tries, it still didn’t work. Well I know nothing about an electric fence nor do I want to know, other than if it is working it can bite you. After watching her through the windows as she is racing up to the fence and putting on the breaks still touching the fence, I decided that that was just too much stress for me and we needed to move that up on the priorty list of things to do before winter.

Well I told Lynn that she needed to stay in the front pasture where we had a somewhat more secure fence (but not much more).

Then one day when I came home from work and I was driving up the driveway, I saw what looked like a lot of vegetation in the horse’s paddock and I didn’t see the horse. Upon further inspection, a limb broke off the big big tree next to the paddock and April was blocked in the paddock and couldn’t get out.

Well it was easy to see what I was going to be doing before supper that day. After I gather Lynn up from his easy chair watching Gunsmoke, we proceed to try and shore up the other paddock and get her out so she could run in the pasture and get to her water. He wasn’t happy as he wasn’t even aware the limb had broken. A couple hours later we had her out and I was just thrilled that she hadn’t gotten hurt. Though I’m sure she had one heck of a scare.

Now we have to fix the fence in the pasture where it is supposed to be electrified so we can put her in it so someone with a chain saw can cut up the limb and we can begin to repair the paddock where two additional fences were broken. This has to be done before cold weather because that is where April spends her winter in the paddock and front pasture where she can have a little shelter.

My daughter and son-in-law came to visit in July and they repaired the roof on the stable which is attached to the paddock, which was a job we had planned for this summer. I am so thankful that they did that because at the speed we work we may have gotten it done in 2020.

 

Limb off a very big tree. April was on the other side of the limb.
Two parts of the fence is broken, not counting the front where April had been scratching and broke it before the tree did.
This is where April broke the front of the paddock. She broke the RR Tie by scratching on it.
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These are the fence posts ready for the wire to be installed. Maybe this week.

Back to the field fencing. Yesterday I finished putting in the fence poles, I watered them to compact the soil then used the level to make sure they were straight all around. Now we are ready to put the field fencing up when Lynn goes and get the truck with the field fencing and drives back into the pasture and somehow manages to run over some of the old field fencing I hadn’t picked up. I didn’t know it until he started backing up and I heard the awful noise. Then I saw it. I had him stop and pulled out a big hunk of wire. Thinking that was all, he proceeded to pull forward and back up a little closer. Then I realized there was more fencing under the truck. That wasn’t good.

I spent the next hour-and-a-half crawling under the truck where there was puncture vine and thistle. I don’t know the parts on the under-belly of a truck but this long thing that still had a tag on it said “drive-shaft” and there was this other thing that looked just like what I hear men call a “U-joint,” not sure if that was what it was, but the wire was all wrapped around those two things. Well the wire cutters Lynn gave me were not designed to work in confined spaces so that made it twice as hard. I came out looking like I was on the loosing end of a cat fight.

I believed I created a whole new dirty word vocabulary before I was finished. Then with just a little energy left we muscled the fencing out on the ground and I began unrolling it. I was now into about 4 hours in the dry dusty back pasture and I had to call it quits. I’m too old for this crap.

I gathered up all the tools and decided that before I took a shower, I would hose the front of the house because that, of course, was one of the things on my list to get done this weekend.  I had to accomplish something I had planned.

As for Sunday, we had to go grocery shopping because we were almost out of ice-cream. So when we finally made it home, Lynn was too tired to finish the fence, so I decided to wash down the back of the house. We have the installers coming to put in the propane fire stove in the living room and I didn’t want them to have to battle the spiders that decided to cover our house. I don’t know what it is about these hot dry summers but the spiders have all these little webs all over the exterior of the house and you have to hose it down to get rid of them.  If someone out there knows some way to keep them from nesting, I would sure like to know. Painting with chemical bug repellant doesn’t work.

The front porch hosed off.
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April swishing her tail. She has a knot in it I have to get out.
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April standing behind the not so secure fence. On the list of things to finish before winter.
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April sporting her fly mask

Now I’m ready for the stove installers, but not ready for April to move to the back pasture just yet. Maybe next week.

Stay tuned.

Annie, the House Washer

 

Week 3, Day Two – Fencing

Back to working on the fence.

I believe I will be spending every weekend doing something around the yard since winter’s coming.

Lynn took out the big guns, his Father’s Day Present, a John Deere Tractor. He kept telling me he wanted a loader on a tractor, but I said what for? I had to eat those words, he’s used the loader more than any other attachment except the brush cutter.

He used it today to try to smooth out the fence line and for hauling away old fence posts and brush. He loves that tractor, and I’m glad because he actually gets out there and helps. Granted I have to load the posts in the bucket along with the brush, but hey it’s getting cleaned up, and that makes me happy.

We went out there this morning, ready with the marking paint to mark out every 8 feet for the posts to go back in. First we (I) strung a line from one end to the other end and pulled it straight. The supervisor sitting on the John Deere said it was too high! Well, it stayed where it was.

Measured the first 8 feet and tried to used the handy-dandy marking paint and it didn’t work. It was probably the way I was holding it or not holding it, but in the end I got paint on my pants, on my boots and on my gloves, but none on the ground.

Alrighty then, I would be putting the posts in and that would mark the spots. Just skipped a step.  Works for me. The handy-dandy fence post driver was heavy. I had done this before, but that was at least 25 years ago. I don’t remember it being so heavy. I just had to Google to see just how much that puppy weighed. It said 27 pounds for big bertha. That sounds about right, though it felt heavier toward the end. But I figured out a system, and the ground was loose so they went in easy. Now I need to compact the dirt around the posts and that will take a little watering.

12 posts later and we are almost half way there. Ran out of posts. The supervisor will be hunting up some more tomorrow. He thinks he has a few in some of the sheds. Usually we are tripping over them, but when you need them you can’t find them.

That plumb wore me out. It took us about 3 hours to get that done and I was running on about 4 hours of sleep last night. Wasn’t a fun night. That’s it for the outdoor work this weekend. Tomorrow it’s back to work and I’m meeting with the propane guy tomorrow to see when we can get the tanks put in and then comes the stove/fire place. I will be warm this winter.

Of course I will take pictures to show you, and it will actually be someone else installing that. Thank Goodness. Did I mention I want out of the do-it-yourself business? Maybe some day I can sit on that porch and drink ice-tea. Maybe next year, got too much to do this year.

The supervisor will be hooking up the chain saw and cutting a thick branch off the elderberry tree that is actually right in the way of the fence.

Now for some pictures. As soon as I find that picture thingy, again. 😦

That’s Big Blue Bertha, and you see my straight line. That’s the back of the house. Still need to finish the painting.
About as straight as the Tennessee mountain roads. What the hay, the horse doesn’t care.
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Some of the remnants of the old fence. Gone now 🙂
The back of the house. Still need to finish painting it. That was going to be this year, but stuff happens. A detour.
That’s the weedy fence behind the house. I want to put board fence there, but I don’t know if I have the time or money this year.
This is the branch the supervisor will be cutting down this week, if I can keep him on task.
This is what’s left of the debris and old field fencing. Waiting for next week.

Well that’s all folks. See you next weekend.

Annie, Pounding them posts, taming Bertha.

Update – Still Working Away

Thought I would spend a little time on my blog as I haven’t really wrote any posts in a long time.  Maybe a couple of years. So I have a lot of ground to cover, but won’t do it all at one time.

We moved into our dream home in March of 2015, so we have been in a little over 2 1/2 years. It wasn’t completely done, but as much as we could afford.  Many of the finishing touches were going to be done as we actually lived in the house.

It’s comfortable and big.  I really always wanted a big house so I could have family and friends over.

How are those finishing touches going, well not as fast as I expected. As usual I was side-tracked.  We had to fix up the little house that we lived in to sell. So that eat up the second half of 2016. The nightmare came in Nov & Dec of 2016 when all the pipes in the house froze. With the help of a very nice old-school plumber from White’s Plumbing out of Dayton WA, se managed to get it done. More about that later.

What I have been doing for the last 3 weeks is removing a 160 foot section of field fencing which was buried in 2 foot of flood from 1996. Yep, that was a long time ago. Well our sweet geriatric horse (20+ years) decided she wanted to jump the fence she has been squashing down over the years, cause you know the grass on the other side is sweeter.

So that was a project I had been researching and hoping I could fit in my budget to have done. Hmm, that didn’t work out quite like I planned. Instead, Lynn and I have been trying to get it done. I will post some of the photos that I took today. It’s a much tougher job than I anticipated, but you’d think I would get it by now, everything is tougher than I think. With the high temperatures we have been delayed. So we have been getting it done in 2 hour increments, which isn’t much time, but considering our age and Lynn’s health, that is about all we are capable of. Now for some pictures.

Having issues trying to post the pictures. A little rusty at this blogging thing at the moment.

Looking out my office window
From my office window
Another image from my office. Winter’s coming and it will green up some.
Weedy fence stuck in the mud.
Elderberry bushes beside the fencing we need to remove
What a mess
Walking toward the fence area. Neighbors house.
This is the fence-puller-outer we are going to use.

This is just one side of the pasture, 160 feet. There are 3 more sides to this pasture and it is the smallest pasture, but the one we rotate April (the horse) in-and-out of through the summer.  Unfortunately, she decided to get frisky and challenge the fence. So I guess I will blame it on April. That is also why it hasn’t been watered because we had to keep her in the front pasture. Oh, and there’s a whole other story on that pasture. Stay tuned for that.

I’m really going to be looking forward to winter. And anyone that knows me knows that I hate winter. Stay tuned for more updates more frequently in the next couple of months. Still working on stairs; and painting; and we are getting a propane heating stove being installed in a few weeks.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Annie – fence destroyer and future fence builder.