Monday, September 12, 2011


Facts about the drought in Texas:
  • This is the worst one-year drought on record
  • This summer was the hottest of any state's record going back to 1895
  • August was the hottest month in Texas history
  • Only 7.47 inches of rain has fallen this year
(taken from

Here's what it looks like at our place:

Yes, that is a 12-inch deep crack in the ground.

I will admit that I absolutely LOVE the sun.  I love warm weather and I don't mind hot weather.  The other day I found myself being thankful for a sunny day.  And then I realized I should actually be praying for rain.  I like thunderstorms (or at least I used to before our dog became deathly afraid of them) and I like rain showers.  I do not like day after day after day of gray skies and rainy weather.  That is why I live in Texas and not the Pacific Northwest!  HOWEVER, at this point I am willing to endure all of that to get some relief from the terrible drought we are having.  It is predicted that 10% of all the trees in the DFW area will die from the drought conditions within the next 2 years.  So we are watering, watering, watering all of our big oaks in hopes of saving them.

The ONE positive to having such dry conditions right now is that there is work that can be done!  On the back corner of our property, we have a creek.  Well, it used to be a creek.  Right now it is a ditch with some pools of pretty nasty water here and there.  Being optimistic that it will soon rain, we are in the process of getting all the debris cleaned out of the creek bed and thinning out the trees around it.

Yes, those are TIRES that the previous owners dumped in the creek.  We will also get to pay to have this large concrete chunk removed....

We look forward to the day when the creek is running again.  In the meantime, the work is progressing and we are praying for rain (as soon as the creek bed is cleared out!)

This week I'm off to the Planning and Zoning board to get the property properly zoned for building. (say that 3 times fast!)  For some reason it doesn't matter that there is already a house there... because it was zoned agriculture and not residential we can't build a new house on it until the zoning is changed.  EIGHT WEEKS??? I about fell out of my chair when the guy said it could take that long. What are the chances that about the time we can break ground the heavens open and we are inundated with rain? 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Random things, old and new

Things are progressing at the property slowly but surely.  We've been spending a lot of time pouring over the house plans making sure everything is in order.  Thankfully, Jim has a good eye for where all the plugs and light switches need to go.  I have barn brain.  It's basically mush for brains from trying over and over to figure out how to use an existing structure and cover it up with a new one to create a great home for Tia and a new pal.  We need the garage space AND horse space and I just need someone to put the plans in front of me without it costing a(nother) small fortune.

Other goings on: 

Old electric wires on the house

 We're having all the old electric poles (3 of them) taken down and the electric lines buried. 

Hello new electric box.  We hoped you would be
 underground, too.  Try not to get in the way too
much, okay?
We've found some "mystery mounds" around the property.  Here's one:

Upon further exploration we pulled out an old rotted
wood pallet and a smashed plastic paint bucket. 
We don't know if there is just more garbage or if it
might be an old well.  That and the other "mystery
mounds" are going to be excavated this week.

Some other old things:

 The old well.  Very scary.  This will have to be permanently capped or filled in.  I'm old enough to remember when a toddler got trapped in a well like this for 36 hours in the 1980's. 
In residence right now... EWW.

Another resident that will have to go:

Poison Ivy.  Bain of tree trimmers, Jim and Joe, so far.
Old things I want to find homes for:  The cow light switch in the old living room.  Joe's friend McKenzie wants it!  The living room light fixtures... love them.  Do 1960's light fixtures work in new homes?

So, the almost 5 acres of grass got mowed today.  The interior trees are trimmed.  The electricity is going down and under.  The tree guys will be back at work this week... I said to Jim, "shouldn't we get the tree guys to come and clean out the creek bed while it is still dry?  What if it rains and then we can't get all the junk out?"  He had already called them and set it up.  He is on top of more than just light switches and plugs, let me tell you!  I could never keep up with all of it.  My job is to work on getting the property rezoned so we can get our building permit... I think I'll just go draw up another barn idea first ....