Saturday, May 18, 2013

Of Car Repairs and Culvert Dreams

I can hardly believe how time flies!

Where did the first part of this year go??

A little Land update, before the month's gone...

I had secretly hoped nothing would require funds by this point of the year, and that we would be in the thick of fencing the property.  We have two sets of end posts up, the perimeter has been cleared (yet needs widening, oops!), and some clearing has been done along the front ditch.

Long before now, the culvert was scheduled (in our flexible mental checklist) to be installed, which includes scraping more of the ditch, transporting equipment and the actual culvert itself, digging fill dirt from somewhere on the property (or ordering some shell from a nearby company) and getting it all positioned just right and filled over properly.  Initially, the estimates of all that came in looking much lower than they do now.  I'm not sure if it's because the prices have gone up or if we simply didn't tally the ACTUAL costs, all of them, before when doing our mental tally.  It turns out the long distance to and from rental sites to the Land do cost quite a bit in delivery.  We don't have vehicles and trailers to haul heavy equipment.  Other equipment that's not so heavy we still lack much of and are at the point of having to decide whether to purchase or rent...not an easy decision either way.

There is also the issue of overnight security for things parked on the Land.  We are not there to watch it overnight (yet) and as yet there is no fence and so on.  Opportunistic or just plain destructive individuals are known to take advantage of vacant sites out in the hinterlands, and it's just not wise to park equipment out there on trust alone.

None of this is a complaint, it's a reality.

Instead of hoping we get the whole fence perimeter done this summer, the first thing I really want done is the culvert and entry.  That, to me, will FEEL like progress!

On Thursday Jack and I were headed in the truck to run errands when the truck began behaving badly.  The AC was not cooling, then it jerked as if gasoline were not being delivered adequately when accelerating, and then I smelled a smell.  One look at the gauges showed the hot and cool gauge registering the hottest temp, so we pulled right over into a service station, at which point steam was billowing from under the front hood.  A hose had completely disconnected from something important (see? I'm a real mechanic! ha)  All I could see was dollar signs swimming before my eyes...

and so on.  After all was said and done...(until The Big Fix in a few days??)...a hose was routed temporarily to Something until this and that hoses and gadgets can be cleaned and replaced and such in a few days.  More dollar signs.

I swear, will we EVER stop having repairs in time to do something else important at the Land??

Add that to the necessary brake repairs already queued up to do.

I'm still at 2 workdays a week due to the knee.  In June I hope to add another day per week.  I am THANKFUL for any days I can work!!  I am restless to make forward progress and stop this backward slide.

Until we are situated on site on the Land, we have to use our vehicles for very long commutes, which means constant maintenance and repairs and means gasoline expense.  When we are on site for the long term, we HOPE this will mean we gain (or recover)... by losing the need for those expenses.  It seems illogical to us to try to maintain this hamster-wheel cycle, which is one reason to press forward in the timing of trying to be ON the Land as soon as possible.

This is our learning curve about transitions.  We've had some transitions and relocations in the past that were immediate and very hurried, even moving states away.  THIS transition has been over YEARS, if we count the two properties we owned for a few years but were never able to gain access to....until we sold them and bought this property that does have access and is closer at hand... and so many factors are different now, which is why it is more deliberate and much slower than we would like.  But it is what it is.

I bought a handful of seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed company as an act of optimism.  WHEN we get the culvert put in/ditch scraped/entry poles and gate area begun, I SHALL plant the road frontage near that entrance with reseeding types of annuals.  There's a magenta-red-leaved amaranth with red seed pods, a couple ounces of mixed giant zinnias, two types of red and orange cosmos, and some Tithonia/Mexican Torch sunflowers that should come back each year, or can be reseeded by saving old flowerheads.  I NEED to SEE some changes this year...I need to plant something and see something bloom!

What's growing where you are?  What changes do you hope to see this summer in your homeplace?

1 comment:

Practical Parsimony said...

I like putting in the flowers first. Can you buy the equipment and pay a neighbor a small bit to park them on their place? Hopefully, you will be on your Land soon.