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!


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.


Land Clearing – On the Other Side

Today I was scheduled to meet with the man who is going to use the big equipment to clear out the brush on my new property.   He cancelled because it was supposed to be rainy.

Rather than cancel my scheduled day off, I decided to keep it.  It has been a long time since I’ve had a vacation day.

Since it was cloudy and sprinkley, I decided it was a perfect day to be outside since the relentless sun was taking a break.   I loaded up my car and headed out there.

My fist stop was at the County offices where I asked again to make sure that I correctly understood that there were no building codes or permits required to build a house except for a driveway permit and a septic tank permit.  I already had the driveway permit so they gave me the paperwork for the septic.  This is good!

I headed out to the property where I was able to park on the driveway entrance since it now exists.  First time parking off the street!

I first trimmed a few bushes right at the fence entrance area to make it more open.  Nice!

My mission today was to use my brush cutter blade on the weed-eater to smooth down all the tiny tree trunks to avoid tire damage and allow me to use a mower to keep the weeds at bay.

I doused myself liberally with bug spray to ward off the little Red-bug beasts.  These no-see-um’s will get your ankles and waist area and itch for two weeks or more.  They are much like mosquito bites.  Perhaps worse.  Want to avoid that.

Fortunately, the hot summer sun had baked the weeds to death so they hadn’t grown much since my last visit.  I walked around and had at all the stumps that I could find until the ground was smooth and tire-safe.   I used my regular weed-eater with a heavy duty tip to cut down the rest of the weeds in the area.

Snake!!!  I cut off his head with the machine.  First snake!  Scary!  Need to be careful!   Sorry Snakey but, No Snakes!   I’ll have to put up a sign.

After a few hours of work I was satisfied with the smoothness of the shave so I brought my car all the way in.  YAY!  Not having driven on this dirt before I was worried about sinking in and getting stuck but it wasn’t a problem even with the moisture.  It wasn’t muddy per se.  The dirt is a bit sandy so I don’t think “Mud” will ever be an issue.  Once it packs down it will be even more drive-able.

I’m satisfied for now.  We are rescheduled for next week for the guy to come clear the rest.


Driveway Culvert Done!!

It was a cloudy Sunday morning so I decided I would try to beat the sun and get some work done.  I hit the road and headed out to my property to see if I could get some of the gravel spread over the new culvert pipe that was delivered yesterday.  Even though the sun was threatening to come out from behind the thinning clouds I set to work.

I probably spent about an hour shoveling and raking while taking a lot of breaks.  The humidity was 88% so your sweat really doesn’t evaporate.  I kept stopping to towel off and drink some cold ice tea.   I got quite a bit done before I admitted defeat for the day.  I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

Before leaving I decided to walk into the property and rest under a shady oak tree.  I took off all my clothes and hung my sweat-soaked underwear on a tree limb to dry a bit while appreciating the breeze.  After a few minutes I heard some heavy equipment coming down the street.  I had a good feeling so I got dressed and headed out to the road.

A neighbor ad seen me toiling and came to my rescue.  Alfred, my next-door neighbor who owns 15 acres, made short work of smoothing out the pile with his Kubota tractor.

Alfred is a really nice guy.  We talked for a little while before he had to go pick up his wife from Church.  I gave him some money because he saved me so much time and work.  It was really nice to meet him.  The people I’ve met out here are the best people ever.  I feel more and more like I belong here and have been totally out of place living in the city for 50 years.  I knew this but was not in any position to do anything about it until now.

The culvert and driveway entrance are now done.  I can cross that off my list and stop thinking bout it.  Now I can at least drive onto the property.  It’s a relief to finally get it taken care of.

My next step will be to have someone come in and clear the rest of the land.  I found a guy who will do it for around $1400.  All the saplings will be shredded and I won’t even have to gather and burn them.  I think I will have that done next month.  I’m already impressed with what I’ve gotten accomplished.  I wish I had more time and cooler weather.  Stupid sun!