What have I done?

zdbrgThere are always those moments after you do something big and bold when you ask yourself, “Oh God.  What have I done?”

I was out at my new property Saturday after mowing all day.  I built a small campfire before spending the night in my RV.   I sat in a folding lawn chair as I listened to the din of a million crickets and looked up at the stars.  I stared at the fire and thought to myself, “What have I done?”

I’ve bitten off the biggest chunk a person can bite off.  Or one of the biggest, I think, next to marriage.  I bought land in the country and started building a house all by myself.  I’m throwing away 50 years of lifebuilding to start a whole new life.  All by myself.  There’s something about sitting in total darkness in an empty field with nothing but a small fire to keep you company to make you feel alone.

Loneliness is not something new to me.  I’ve spent at least 30 of my 50 years in dire loneliness.  Most of it at crippling levels. Before that I was a child so being lonely is pretty much all I’ve ever known.  Never had a close friend.  Never had a girlfriend.  Just me.  Only me.  Ok.  I’ve had two cats and some fish over the years.  I don’t think that counts.

Of course, moving out to the country won’t make me more or less lonely.  I was lonely in the city, I’ll be lonely in the country.  No point worrying about that being different.

My concern may be that doing something as major as this all by yourself is an exercise in craziness.  It’s not like I have any options though.  My life goal has been to live in the country.  I almost died of heart disease a few years ago without reaching that goal.  I had best get my ass in gear if I expect it to ever happen.

I don’t really feel like what I am doing is wrong.  Perhaps it is just the fact that it is so radical.  Change is always a scary thing.  People move all the time.  20 years in the same house is certainly long enough, right?  I’m not doing anything that people haven’t been doing since the dawn of time.

Maybe the scariest part is quitting my job.  I have to quit if I’m going to have time to build a house.  There’s no way a person can work full time and still have any to spare in order to build a house.  I have to concentrate on it with all my attention in order to get at least the framing and exterior complete by the summer meltdown.

Financially, I don’t need to work full time anymore.  My savings afford me a life of basic leisure which I may just take advantage of.  I do have that strange feeling that, even though I hate working with a purple passion, work defines you.  It’s a stupid notion that may either be a standard due to the way life works or maybe some kind of government mind control caused by fluoride in the water.  I know it is stupid but there it is.  Some people retire and shortly thereafter, die of boredom.  Boredom has never been an issue for me.  I can always find something awesome to do.

I still have at least 10 years of work-life in me since most people don’t actually retire until they are like 63.  Still, that doesn’t sound right to me either.  The thought of working for 13 more years is more like a death sentence.

I think that maybe after 1-2 years of building and resting, I may want to re-enter the job market.  Part time.  20 hours a week would be more than adequate for some extra spending money without monopolizing my remaining life.  I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for an amazing guy who can do anything.  Something fun and non-stressful.

I might try working for myself as a Country Computer Doctor.  I’ll make house calls.  Get me an old doctor bag and a stethoscope. (You really can use that on a computer to listen for strange sounds from the hard drive or fans.)

I would enjoy being an electricians helper.  An electrician usually works alone but an electrician’s helper will always have an electrician to keep him company.  I like that.

My first job was in an office supply store.  I still have dreams about it.  I could go back to that.  Work in the computer repair area or the print shop.  They have part time positions.

I might like to work in a small computer repair shop.  Always thought that would be neat.

Maybe the local golf course needs a groundskeeper.

The possibilities are endless.  I shouldn’t worry about that.  Later.  It will take me plenty of time to get my house and land in order.  I might do something different every year.

I might finally have the time to meet someone.  It would be wonderful to have someone to visit me at my new place.  Someone to hot tub with on a cold night.  Someone to cook with, watch movies and go traveling.  Who knows.  Perhaps the primary reason I’ve chosen a solitary life is to be able to afford an early retirement in a self-built house out in the country.  Now that that is actually happening, maybe I can look into what I’ve missed out on.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  I’m hoping that people who live in small towns are more friendly than those in the big city.  Maybe I won’t be invisible anymore.  Maybe someone will be able to see me and say, “Wow. Check out that single guy over there!”

Let’s not over do it.  Invisibility is a powerful thing.  I sure hope the spell will be broken.  The witch who cursed me when I was a child didn’t say if there was a way to break it.  We’ll see.

So.  I feel better now.   It was good to get it all out again.  Much of this may be a repeat but the mind is repetitive.  It’s good to dump it out once in a while to keep it from overflowing.

 

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Mowing 3.5 acres

My plan for this Saturday was to rent a trencher from Home Depot so I could make a 2 foot deep trench from the power pole to the foundation of my new house.

Unfortunately that did’t work out.  Oh, they had the trencher available but the guy said he wasn’t allowed to hook it up to a bumper trailer hitch.  I had no idea it mattered.  I guess that explains why people have receiver hitches on their trucks.  Bumper hitches are for very light loads apparently.

So that didn’t work out.  I ordered a receiver hitch from Amazon that should be in sometime this week.  $93.00  I’ll have to try again another weekend soon.

The Saturday wan’t totally shot though.  I had loaded up my Yardbug mower into the truck so I could try mowing.  The weeds have started to grow rather high now that Texas has gotten quite a bit of rain.  Over the summer, we were in drought and there was little growth which suited me just fine.  Now… Booooom!

I wasn’t sure if my Yardbug would be up to the task but you have to use what you’ve got.  At least I have it and not just a push mower.

I got myself some of that green slime for the tires to seal them if they get punctured.  I expected that to happen immediately because when they shredded the Mesquite treelings there are a lot of bits of thorny branches lying around.  You can easily get one up through the bottom of your shoe.   Either the slime works or there were no serious punctures because the wheels surprisingly stayed inflated.

The mower is definitely undersized for this task but it held together through high weeds and all the sticks that constantly got caught up in the blade.    I mowed for probably six hours stopping for rest breaks in my RV.   The main problems I had were that the discharge chute kept getting clogged up and I had to bend over and clean it out with a stick.  The other problem was the dying battery.  Once I stopped, it didn’t want to start.  Fortunately I had some small gauge wire with me and was able to give it a slight charge off the truck battery to get me going again.  I’m a total McGyver.

After six hours of mowing, I was able to have completed 2/3 of the land.  It looks awesome.  My back, though, didn’t fare as well.  All the bumping around and bending over to clean the discharge chute did a number on me.  I’m sore and worn out.  My poor butt is worn down to a nub.  I’m going to have to use my office desk in standing mode tomorrow.

In conclusion,  I’m gong to need a bigger mower.  Maybe if I don’t let it get so high, the mowing won’t be so bad.  Still, I’m going to keep my eyes open for a better solution.

After I gave up, I gather some of those sticks and had a small campfire before going back into the RV and going to bed.  I didn’t feel that I slept well.  I wasn’t really thinking too much about stuff.  I just couldn’t drift off.  I’m going to bed early tonight.

Electrical Service Installed

powerpoleI Got The Power!! Bomp..bomp bomp bomp.

I headed out to my country property to finish spraying the re-emerging Mesquite trees and looked over to see that the power company had installed the new service!

I have a nice new pole with a shiny new transformer.  As I was hoping, they installed the meter and a main 200 Amp circuit breaker.  That’s all I need!

I’m ready to dig the trench and install the conduit and service cable to the house area.   I’ll put in a 30 amp plug to hook up my RV and a regular outlet for construction equipment like my air compressor.

I’m well on the way now.  Shit is happening!

Mmmmm.  That new power pole smell.

 

House Layout Test

It was a nice Saturday evening so I decided I would head out to my property and spray some weed killer on the re-emerging mesquite trees.  I had the land cleared of all the growth but Mesquite is evil and comes back quickly.

I ordered some Remedy from Amazon at $77.00 a gallon.  Sounds expensive and it is but if you buy it locally, it will cost you $90.00 a gallon.  I poured 19 ounces in a two gallon gas can and hit the road with my new backpack sprayer.  I stopped to buy a gallon of Diesel which is mixed with the Remedy to keep it on the leaves.  I figured a gallon would be enough to do the driveway area which needed it most.

I got there about 7:30 and started spraying.  A gallon didn’t go as far as I expected but it was a good test.  I got about a third done.  I’ll go back later this week and do some more.  By that time I might see if it has worked on what I did get sprayed.

I had a lot of spare time so I walked around a bit.   I just bought a measuring wheel and used it to measure the distance from the electrical pole to the house.  160 Ft.  I’ll need that to install the underground cable for the electrical service.

I stopped at the location for my house that I had marked the corners of with metal rebar stakes.  I thought it sure would be nice to get a better idea if I could only see the walls.  There were plenty of sticks laying around.  Remnants of the clearing process.  I scavenged them up and laid them out to represent the walls using the measuring wheel.  (As seen in the picture above.)

That worked out nicely.  It was getting dark quickly but I decided to keep going so I found enough sticks in the area to represent the garage. (Not shown).  It was almost completely dark now but using the light on my phone, I was able to get more to represent the inner walls of the house.  For the first time I was able to experience a full-scale representation of the whole house.  I was able to imagine the location of everything and really get a feeling for the spaces.   I liked it.   Everything felt perfect.  I am satisfied with my design.  It’s good.

It was now pitch black and I was glad I had my phone flashlight.  I could just make out the gleam of my car’s license plate maybe 250 feet away.

I took a moment to appreciate the darkness.  You don’t get to experience darkness outside in the city.  Even in the middle of the night, you can easily see without a flashlight due to the light pollution in the sky.  I really wanted to see the stars but I was too worn out to sit around much longer.  I went back to the car and drove the 50 miles home.

Totally worth the trip!!

 

Fell off the roof again.

Great. I didn’t need that.

Not totally unexpected, I was working on the siding and was standing on the Roof covering the front porch And fell off into the bushes. It sucks because I was almost done.

I haven’t made a blog entry for awhile because typing is difficult. I’m using the Dictation function in windows. Please forgive any Type or or grammatical errors.

When I fell I hurt my back And broke My wrist. I’m wearing a splint And should be back to normal in at least 6 weeks. My back is not too bad. I don’t think it’s major. I felt worse.  It’s getting better day by day and I think my stretches and exercises will really help.

If there is a good time to break your wrist in Texas then it is in the summer. It’s too hot to be outside doing anything anyway so I might as well take the time and rest. The temperatures are over 100 right now Everyday.

I took a few days off of work while my back was Really bad but went to work on Wednesday. My job is sitting at a computer all day and typing is difficult but I’m managing. Can’t do anything else I might as well go to work.

Tomorrow morning I’m meeting with the electric company out at my property to have them install new service. Things are moving along well with that. The sale of my the other part of my land Is still in progress. I should get the check for $64,000 soon. My next step after electricity will probably be Getting the foundation Done. Once the foundation is in Then my plan will be in progress.  If I’m healed well enough then I can start framing this winter in leave my job in December or January. Soon I may be a free man with a plan.

Extra land sold in just a few days!

intmnyWooooooo!  My land sold for a lot more than I bought it for!

I originally bought 8 acres of land in the country at $11,000 an acre.  I didn’t need that much but it is hard to find small acreage.   I divided it in two parts, kept what I wanted and listed the other part just the other day.  The real estate agent just called me and said it sold for full asking price!!!  Should have asked more.

I knew it would sell quickly because of its scarcity plus it has a nice pond on it.   We listed it for $16,200.  A nice profit of $5200 an acre.  That means my total cost after the 6% fee to the realtor is only $5211 per acre or $18,000 total.  Shit yeah!  That will pay for the water, septic and electricity installation and still have some left over.  Free money!

I love it when a plan comes together… plus a bonus!

 

Land Cleared! DONE!

IMG_0413

The people I hired came out to use the big machine to clear out all my land.  I met them there at 8:00 Wednesday morning and they set to work.  It was HOT!!!  A 100 degree day.  Fortunately for him the cab is air conditioned because he worked a straight 9 hours to get half of it done.  I spent most of the time sitting in the shade but at the end of the day I felt like I did a ton of work.  Sweating must take a lot of energy.

They came back the next day to the the rest of my keep lot and most of the lot I have to sell.  That will make it easier for the buyer to see it and it should sell quickly.  I’m hoping to get $15,000 an acre.

It seems like slow progress but it has only been a month or so.  Nice.