Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October Again

I was looking back at my blog from last year on this day.  I laughed as I recalled our escapades through southern California -- discovering the camel farm -- checking out the "apple pie" capital, Julian, CA, (and sampling some of the pie) -- just enjoying the beautiful weather and a few hours off from work.

Joe and Judy in Southern CA, 10/10/10
Camel Farm in Southern, CA
Work.... hahahaha!   Back then I THOUGHT we'd been working ourselves silly with this old farmhouse.  Certainly, by October 2010 we had managed to get a few roads started, a few hundred feet of trenches started, the floor torn up and the old chimney removed from the old farmhouse....  We'd started the transformation of the job site trailer into my eBay operation. And we'd built a deck on the garage apartment, added windows and doors, both in the garage and in the apartment, and had erected three carports to shelter farm equipment etc. We'd had our first experiences with goats, and we'd planted a LOT of fruit trees.  We were definitely ready for a vacation and took advantage of a work assignment in southern CA, by extending our time there to visit family and friends.

Though we flew out to CA, we drove back, in a rented truck, loaded down with TONS of boxes, moving more of Joe's belongings three thousand miles across the country to their new home in Virginia.

Windmills at Sunrise from the Truck
Dramatic Skies from the Truck
And, with that journey, began a year of MORE work.

When I look back at what we have accomplished in a year, despite CHALLENGING weather and a shortage of workers who will actually show up to perform work they have contracted to do, I am amazed.  We have completely gutted the old farmhouse, and are well on the way to having the reconstruction complete, hopefully before the new year.

Judy Inspecting the New Master Bedroom Ceiling Rafters
We completed the eBay trailer, and it has served me very well, though my eBay operation is on auto-pilot these days. We have completed a labyrinth of trenches, buried underground water conduits, electric conduits, and drainage tubing, aimed to transform this property into more usable land.  We've continued building the roads around the property, to facilitate access to the different areas, have dug a couple of ponds, and built many hundreds of feet of fence.

eBay Operation
Acquiring More Fencing Materials
In the garage we have installed a wood stove, a laundry area, a living room area and a kitchenette with table. We can now choose to eat meals upstairs or down, and spend winter evenings enjoying the warmth of the wood fire while we play a game of scrabble, or play some music.  I continue to wonder if, when we finally FINISH the farm house renovation, we will actually move over there, and out of our now-comfortable, modest garage digs....
Playing Scrabble in the warmth of Linda's Wood Stove
Kitchenette and Laundry Facilities in Garage
We have begun the modification of the semi trailer we purchased in the summer of 2010, with the idea that it will eventually become both storage and office space.  So far we have installed an exterior front door in the side of the trailer and added decks in front of the back roll-up door and the newly installed front door. We still have several windows, a lot of shelving and some interior walls to install.

New Door in Semi Trailer

The farm was actually put to a test this spring and summer, and produced sufficient quantities of a variety of vegetables, that I will be able to cook all winter with bounty from the summer.  Our flowers did fabulously and our weeds did even better!  Next year's challenge will be to grow more of the desired plants and less of the undesired, but, some of those weeds had pretty flowers, so.....  hmmmm. We also added a dozen chickens to our farm and three new goats.....more fences...more structures... more work....

Two of the New Kids
Roadside Flower/Waterrmelon Garden
I'm sure I've forgotten something, but it's hard to keep up with everything.  And to think I routinely sit back and wonder if we will EVER make any progress!  I suppose I just need to look back at the thousands of photos we've taken, and the many blog posts I've written, to remind myself that we HAVE made an awful lot of progress. On the other hand, looking at all of those photos and reading about all we have done is making me tired.... I think we MUST be ready for another vacation.  I sincerely hope we will be able to take some time to get back out to CA this fall.

Beautiful California

Beautiful Mountains

Meanwhile... back at the farm.... the work continues... we have roads to complete, barns to build, trailers to repair....  It's a good thing we ENJOY this life!

Joe Building MORE Roads

Judy Visiting with "the girls"
Joe Tarps "Tool Trailer," Currently Under Repair