Category Archives: Housing

Tying up the Loose Ends

With the house built and our furniture and belongings in it, it was time to type up the loose ends on our homestead. The first major project for our new house was to build a porch across the front of the house and a small porch at the backdoor.

 

From the very beginning Charlie has had the desire to have porch along the front of the house along with extra wide steps for the kids to sit on when they come to visit. We have rockers, chairs, and a porch swing up there right now. We are in the waiting process of letting the wood season, or dry out, so we can stain or paint the porch. We’re still debating what to do. The porch at the backdoor is a smaller porch but larger than I planned. I was thinking of a more utilitarian porch but Charlie was determined that it should be bigger. It was a good choice. It’s large enough for several chairs along with my gardening things. Sometimes it is cooler back there in the mornings for our coffee since it faces away from the sun.

The next step was to have a road put in from the county road on our property up the house. The choice was to put in a limestone and caliche stone road. The road man was worried about the huge oak tree that the road was to run under.

 

Rather than having the road crew trim the tree’s lower branches, we decided that it was time to hire a trim a bona fide tree trimmer. Along with the oak tree needing to be trimmed, there was a tall dead tree at the entrance of the property along with a few stumps to grind.

While all of this work was going on, Charlie decided to work on the chicken coup. The property had a well-worn and well-used chicken coup on it.

Since I would really want chickens and fresh eggs, Charlie decided that it was sturdy enough to use but the exterior doors and wall on one side needed to be replaced. The reconstruction of the house has begun as well as the yard is being worked on to get it ready to be fenced. Once it’s finished, we’ll paint it and make it all pretty for the chickens.

It was finally time for the road crew to come in. The crew brought in 10 truckloads of rock to build the rock.

They leveled the path and added and smoothed out the rock. We now truly have The Wheeler’s Country Road.

There was one last thing we needed to do to finish cleaning up the homestead. The trash pile that was here when we bought the property and that we kept adding to was ready to be burned. Outside conditions were right and we were ready to get rid of the pile! After a steak dinner, Charlie and Jason prepared the burn pile and the bonfire began.

Danielle, Raya, and I stayed on the porch watching the flames. Raya decided that she needed to dance to the country music that was playing! It took several days for some of the large pieces of wood on the pile to finish burning and smoldering.

Charlie kept a close and careful watch until he knew everything was finished burning. Since then, Charlie has run his magnetic roller over the ashes to pick up any pieces of metal that were left behind. I spread some grass seed there also to hopefully get it growing and turn the area green soon.

Although it was late in the season, I wanted to put in a small garden. I planted a few tomato, jalapeno and green pepper plants along with seeds for cucumbers and okra. I also planted some watermelon and cantaloupe seeds using different varieties to see how they grow. I’ve never had the room to grow melons before so it will be interesting to see what happens. 0523181729dSo far, the vines with blossoms are growing very well. Only time will time how well they produce. In the meantime, we have eaten blueberries right off the bushes, sampled the pears from the trees, and are watching to see how well the pecan trees are producing fruit. We are in the midst of harvesting figs now that I will be making preserves out of this week.

Exciting news for the next blog posting:

We’re not just leasing out of property now and babysitting a herd. Charlie and I have purchased five of our very own beautiful black angus heifers.

 

 

 

Out with the Old, In with the New

2018 brought many changes for Charlie and I. Charlie retired at the end of January and we began our focus on our move to the Wheelers’ Country Road. We had chosen a home to build on our property and we prepared our ‘city house’ to sale. We had set up dates to put in our septic system, extend our water and electric lines, and to build our foundation. Unfortunately, we had a few delays because of the weather.The time finally came for the work to begin and Charlie spent the week working with all of the contractors. I stayed in the city getting the house there packed up and ready to sale. Imagine Charlie’s surprise when he came home at the end of the week and I told him we already had a top rate offer on our house! Our plan was completely in action!

The house was set on the foundation and, again Charlie stayed in the country to work with the contractors to finalize all of the finishing touches to the house and to go through the inspection. I wasn’t in the city this time packing – I was in New York City on a last-minute business trip! Charlie worked all week on the new house and then drove to Houston to pick me up from the airport and drive right back to the country. It was so exciting to spend that first night in our new home even if it did mean sleeping on an inflatable mattress! It was a little sad to head back to the city but we knew that there would just be a few more trips between the two.

The next weekend we moved practically all of our furniture to the new house. All we left in the city was a breakfast set, 2 office chairs, and 2 twin mattresses for the next two weeks. 18We loaded up the moving truck as 0325181311amuch as any truck could be loaded and headed up the next morning to Lovelady. This was going to be the last time to wave to the Sam Houston statue when we left Houston. Natalie, JT, Michelle, and Matt helped unload the truck. Well, not exactly. Charlie, JT, and Matt unloaded the furniture from the truck and us girls arranged the furniture on the inside of the house. We couldn’t have done this portion of the move without these four!0325181153

We were excited to have our furniture in the house and were able to host Benjamin’s birthday party. 0331181631We had lots of room inside to have lunch and birthday cake and open presents! FB_IMG_1522718544155The grandkids had fun playing outside driving the motorized vehicles. The horses were quite curious about the cars and the kids!

On Friday the 13th, we closed on our city house and packed up a second moving truck. We worked all day (and some of the night) packing, purging, and cleaning. We repeated the same process on Saturday until early afternoon. 0324181127aThen it was time to hit the road for one last trip from League City to Lovelady. Because of the construction on I-45, Charlie decided it would be better to take 59 and go through Livingston. 0324181137bSince he was driving the big moving truck, this was a great decision. It’s also a more scenic drive taking the backroads rather than the freeway! This load was mainly boxes (LOTS of boxes) so we didn’t think we needed help unloading them but we were very thankful that Natalie came over to help us. Charlie had set up a very efficient process of packing up the side by side with boxes, unloading them on the front porch, and heading back for more boxes. I would bring the boxes he dropped off into the house. Although it felt great being moved into our new home, it was discouraging to have switched from a clutter-free house with only furniture to a house stuffed with boxes. The challenge to unpack was on!

It’s taken us a while to get settled on our property. We finally have our white frame country farmhouse ready to begin our new adventure as cattle barons….well, ranchers anyway.

Coming soon – lots of new projects on the Wheeler homestead!

Coming Soon…

20180105_151120Charlie, Shadow and I made a trip to the country when we finally had a nice weather weekend. During the last year we’ve chosen a plot of land at the front of our property for our house and have been preparing it – a little here and a little there. Now it’s time to get to work! Even though it was cold, we were able to work on the landscape.
20180107_144002I was able to trim the roses, crepe myrtles and fig trees in the front area. Trim is probably an incorrect term. I trimmed and then I chopped and then Jason had to come help with the chain saw. There were very established vines that ran through the fig tree over to the oak tree. Some of those vines are the ones that the grand kids like to sit on! Jason and Charlie removed some of the “trash trees” and dead trees that needed to be removed for the driveway. It changes the landscape a bit but imagine looking through the two trees now and seeing the house. The photo on the left is the view from the road showing where the driveway will go between the trees. The photo on the right is the view from where the house will be and looking down the driveway.

We still have the trash pile in the line of sight but will be burning that with the help of the Austonio Volunteer Fire Department. The problem is that we keep finding things to add to the burn pile!

After working in the morning, we enjoyed dinner with Natalie and Audie and Jason, Danielle and Raya. We even built a fire in the fire pit to keep us warm.

Now on to the latest news on our property. Last week met with a contractor to give us an estimate on building a foundation for our new house. We made a decision about a new septic system and how to extend our existing water and electric lines to where the house is going to be. We have a decided on a white frame house with green shutters. We both like the “country house” charm. Our plan is to build a covered porch across the entire length of the front of the house. I can already envision sitting out there in rocking chairs drinking a glass of cold iced tea!

House