Finally breaking ground!

I know I’ve been quiet for a while now, but we are finally on the move again. Construction loan closed on. Contractor and subs all lined up. Materials ordered.  So, on August 29th, the build site was scraped and on August 30th – ground broken!


September 1st – footings poured.


That’s going to be one large deck – can’t wait! Forms for the basement walls are supposed to start this week, then fingers crossed that our trusses get here quickly.

On our way home from Fargo, we saw this over our property – how awesome is that? (no filters and yes – it’s through the windshield, but pretty awesome anyway!)

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Expect more updates soon! (and on the note of expecting…. second grand-baby on its way!)


Almost done with the hoop jumping!

Haven’t written in awhile because of the slow pace I’m experiencing right now; but, since movement is happening…

Final plans complete

Appraisal ordered

All engineering sign offs complete

Building permit ready to pickup

Cabinets, countertops, flooring, trim, doors, etc…all chosen

General and subs lined out

Movement has started after the uphill push, should be easier now, right? So, while I was in between hoops that needed jumping through, I went to the lake, enjoyed time with the family,and found a great burger joint that’s perfect for an afternoon bike ride… Later.


Rain, rain, go away

Yesterday and today have been cold dreary days (by AR standards – high 50’s and drizzle/sprinkling). Since it is a bit difficult to dig through buildings that have no electricity on days with no natural light, I’ve been trying to prepare for Scott’s arrival at Sam & Gene’s house.


I’ve taken over their basement 🙂 and they are gracious enough to allow me the flexibility to do so.  The basement now contains a queen sized bed with a nightstand and lamp – and an office space to make sure we can keep the money flowing, as well as a dog lounge!



So, not a lot of exciting stuff – still waiting for the final bid to come in – but trying to keep the ball rolling (even if it is at a snail’s pace!). Until later…

American Pickers?

Not sure if any of you watch American Pickers, but yesterday I was channeling Mike Wolfe as I tried to convince myself that I was not merely cleaning up over 50 years of mouse droppings; I in fact was a picker.  The illusion held out until I finished the first level of cleaning in our smallest out building, and then I was ready to get out of there!  Weather ended up being nasty and we lost electricity – so the upload of goodies had to wait until today.  Here are the nuggets of history found in the shed.

We’ll start with the broad array of random tins/cans/bottles.

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Then on to the glass soda bottles and canning jars (oh and one scotch glass)

Then I ran across some tools (handsaw miter – not sure of its real name – wood sled, and a creeper)

Then there was the neat pile of newspapers and magazines – a few samples here.

an old Essex Motors sign


Old furnace


“L.R. Hamilton, Inc”, Grower & Packer, Reedley, California, Lark Brand wooden crate box front only

Funnel, oil cans, Kirby vacuum, and an old window

And the best part – a shed that we can actually walk around in and not trip over everything!  Next layer of cleaning will come when Scott is here so he can go through what is “trash”.


And, of course, I can’t leave a post without a picture of my little helper!


Back from Vacation :)

Well – I headed South to visit my honey, and celebrate his mom and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary – such a great family!  Enjoyed seeing friends, and having some much needed time with Scott – the time/distance away is not fun.  Anyway… when I got back, had to take care of random items, vet trip/certification of elevation documentation/last minute changes on plans.  Now I’m trying to get back into a schedule.

The tree removal is complete – yeah! And the finished product still needs some clean up, but is much improved.

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Can’t believe that I did not get a picture of this immediately before the work was done near the Hobby House – all the stumps and sucker trees that were in this area made the area look really nasty!

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Now, I know that some of you are saying, “Oh my gosh! Why did they get rid of all those trees???”  Well, most of the ones that were taken down (over 90%) were either dead or dying; and, the other 10% were directly in the way of our new build.  So, they needed to go.

And we have a ton of wood to cut/split for firewood!


Now we are waiting on the final plans (added some items) and final bid from contractor – then off to the bank!  Waiting is the hardest part – so today’s plans are to start my part of the clean up.  Digging through all the rubble/trash in the out buildings in search of treasure – fingers crossed for some great finds and the energy to get it done!

Trees…the clean-up continues

I’ve been going to do a before and after; but, I don’t have the after yet. So, I’m doing a before and in progress.

Main driveway



Right of main driveway towards Hwy 39



Left of the main driveway



And for any of you astute enough to notice the half tree to the right of the driveway… she’s the reason it’s still standing.

Dove nest


Between the South driveway and the main lot


Still much to do, and quite a mess, but progress is encouraging.


BFE – not what you think ;)

So, I learned a new acronym today – BFE… Base Flood Elevation.  This is the point where the base of your house must be for the 1st level of living space.  Engineers showed up today and marked our BFE.



If you can see the line on the stake in the ground – that’s where the the floor has to be for us to build.  So we are going to have 5+feet of concrete above the ground to ensure that our living quarters will not flood.  That’s 5 feet in the ground and 5 feet above ground – 10 feet of poured concrete wall foundation… lots of concrete.  Working with the contractor to see how we can ‘beautify’ the mandated concrete.  Will update when we get it all figured out.

In the meantime, we had tree cleanup still in progress –

Looks a mess, and it is, but it is being slowly being cleaned up.  Is it sad that I’m excited that we can now see our ditch?


And… on the small victory side, Eugene got the 4 wheeler running today!  that will definitely help with the clean up! Kira cheering her dad on as he got it running. 😉


So, no engineer yesterday, and no removal of big equipment… oh well.  So after Heifer work (in the am) I headed to a local auction, got to visit with most of the residents I had met from Perley, and enjoy some competitive bidding on things I didn’t need to buy!  So much fun, forgot how much I love an auction.  After that, decided to try and catch up on some of the things I needed to get done – you know the monotonous things like, “put batteries in lawn mowers so I can mow” stuff.

Engineer isn’t coming until Thursday morning, and not sure when the equipment is leaving, but the tree crew that is coming to clean up the dead trees will start today.  So expect some more pictures later today.

Demo done

Today the last bit of the debris was removed and our demo guy was paid – so glad to have found him and that we were lucky enough to hit the perfect time between jobs for him.




So tomorrow the big equipment will be gone and I will meet up with an engineer to shoot the mark of our ground level – making sure it is aligned with the MN flood ordinance requirements.  (Joy of living in a flood plain!)

Then it will be back to work on clean up of the property – clearing brush and hopefully some dead/dying trees – and all the trash that has been dumped/left here over the years. Can’t wait to get it in tip top shape and see our home come together as we have dreamed it.

Until tomorrow – 🙂

Continued clean up

Slower day today. Actually had to work.😀 Debris clean up still happening, so I chose to catch up on some quality time with Sam, Gene, and Kira. Mostly Kira, Sam and Gene were both working. So we took a ride to the demo site and walked around, discussing our future playdate on the property and how each section could be an adventure.


Needless to say,when we got home she was exhausted. Down for a nap she went, and G’ma wasn’t far behind her! Sam’s couch is great for napping!