Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another storm rolls through

This storm rolled through fast but again it brought alot of hail.

Home away from Home

 In an effort to save on fuel and time we asked to borrow my Grandma's trailer to stay in. It does have a bathroom and beds. The bath really helps with the kids and  it is nice to not have to "go and dig" all the time.

And the rain came

The next night after we had poured the Footings we got on crazy storm. It spawned tornadoes, golf ball hail and massive rain.

This is on the road in front of our land (it's about 5:30 p.m.)

The Hail beat the crap out of my truck but there was no were to go. It sounded like a hammer was hitting the roof.

Sorry it's a bit blurry but you get the picture. It is about the size of a golf ball.

Another storm passes.

I was so worried after the storm to find that my footings were under water. I figured that they were ruined. However after some research I found that concrete after it has set (4-6 hours) will harden just as well under water as it will dry. The hardening is not caused by an air reaction it is a water reaction.

It took me two evenings to pump out all this water (about 2 feet).

Could this be God's promise to never flood my work site again?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pouring Footings

The night that we finished setting up the forms we decided to start mixing cement. Mainly to get the process down for the big day to come. With the help of A.J., Trace and the boys we got a good start and figured out what we were doing for the next day.

  340 bags x 60lb. each = a butt load of weight 

With Levi and Cody running the mixer and me shuttling cement it was going really well.

The first dump of the day.

My good friend A.J. moving cement.

The first load of cement

Getting the leveling process figured out.

This old piece of steel roofing made a great chute.

The end of the first night of pouring (we only had about an hour).

  The next morning we started early to try and get it all poured in one day. We were doing really well until we heard this loud "Bang" and the mixer went quiet. I went to the mixer and tried to start it and it pulled over way to easily. I knew we had lost the mixer. It turns out that we snapped the connecting rod. So Trace and I quickly tried to locate a large mixer that could be rented. We were lucky enough to find one in Mora (8 miles away). All said and done we were back in business but had lost about 2 hours of time. Now it was going to be close for time. The forecast was calling for a few days of rain and I needed the footings done. We had a long way to go and not really enough time to get there.

The Frost footing.

Filling the step footing.

The progress as of noon the next day. Note the new mixer. The old mixer decided to snap a connecting rod about half way through the pour.
I think I found the problem.

 This is the last picture I got of the pour before it got dark.
  Well it was after dark when we finished the pour so I didn't get any finished pictures. I was 3 bags short of finishing and it was to late to go to any store and get more (I tried). I would have had 3 bags extra but during one of the mixes the mixer dump arm released and dumped 6 bags onto the ground. Such is life. We put plastic over the fresh cement in the dark as it started to rain. That was really close.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Buliding Forms

The next step was to build the the forms for the footings. We started by placing the Batter Boards, streching stringlines and squaring it all up.

Once we had our corners marked and the footing height esstablished we went to building the forms. Three of the walls of the house will be burmed 6' however the front will be like a walkout so we had to build a step footing. The books say that you should have a max step of 2' but hey lets live life on the edge (my step is 61"). We had some extra challenge working down in the pit because the bottom was hardpan and it was not possible to drive stakes. So we ended up just burming the forms to keep them in possition. We got the forms built but the burming did not hold the forms well and I don't recomend doing it this way.

Levi screwing together the lower portion of the step form.

After we stacked and burmed all the footings we started to place the re bar.

The re bar seen sticking up is what will tie the dry stacked walls to the footing.

By adding two pieces of #5 re bar it raises the strength of the concrete from 12,000 lb. per sq. foot to 64,000 lb. per sq. foot.

Trace made this jig to place the re bar so that it would line up with the cores of the block (it worked every one lined up).

The First Delivery

It was exciting to get the first delivery of supplies. It meant that we would soon be actually building something and not just digging and playing in the mud. The first delivery consisted of 300 bags of premixed cement and 27 20' sticks of #5 (5/8) re bar. I ordered the materials through Menards and they delivered it on a single axle truck.

 I asked the driver when he arrived if there was some sort of mistake. "I have no way to unload you" I told him. He said not to worry and asked where I wanted the pallets. The plan was to place them on the road then Vern was going to fork the pallets with his Bobcat and take them to the building site. The ground here in May is just simply to wet to support a tired vehicle with any large amount of weight (Each pallet weighed about 3,000 lb). The driver dropped the trailer and pulled into the approach and began unloading the load. When I first saw this truck/ forklift I though "You have to be kidding", but I was amazed at how well it worked.

It's like a Transformer. Strange but it seems to work!

Next Vern took the pallets through the ditch and up the hill to the building site.

Arron and Cody watch as Vern picks up the first pallet. If it had not been for the tracks on the Bobcat it would not have made it to the site.
It was a successful plan, all the materials got to the site and no one got stuck. It is a good day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pumping pits?

When Vern was digging the frost footing trench we came to what should have been the end of the trench, but Vern kept digging and it looked as though he was digging to deep so I stopped him to see what was going on. He replied that he was digging a pump pit for the water that was sure to come. At the time I agreed it was a good idea however I severely under estimated how good an idea this was. Within one day both pits were full and in need of pumping. This water was just what was running out of the trench walls not from any rain.

 So again underestimating how much water there would be I dug up a bilge pump I had in the garage and a 12 volt battery and headed to the land to pump water. After 3 long hours of pumping and the 1st pit was still not empty I came to the bright conclusion that this was simply not going to work. I needed something bigger. So defeated I went home and searched to find a gas pump. What I found was a 22cc pump that was said to be barley used and in new condition for $100.

 The box for the pump claimed it could pump 1,950 gallons per hour and that sounded good to me. I took it to the land and started pumping and let me tell you that little pump works great. It was a good thing I decided to go with a bigger pump because the next day the rain came.

Thanks to the pits and the new pump all went well (but very muddy)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What is eating all the sweet corn?

Something has been eating all the sweet corn at night and we wanted to find out what was behind it. So we set up a sting operation. We planted a motion detecting camera to catch the thief. I was sure we would see some racoons, deer or Maybe some turkeys. But I never would have guessed what we actually caught!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My 4 children

Nathaniel is our oldest son. He is 12 and is a great kid, he is a little skeptical of moving to Ogilvie (he calls it Hobovie)  but he already has a friend there. He liked the idea of exploring the new land and the ability to ride the 3 wheeler. He keeps trying to take my hat, proving that I am still cool. LOL

Caleb is our second boy he is 6. This kid is full throtlle all the time. He loves to go to the land and help. He asks every day "Dad are we going up to the land tomorrow?". I am excited for him to be here, he will do well with some space to explore.
Madelyn is the third child and the only girl (so far, #5 is due in July) she is 4 and alot of fun. She loves to be at the land with her brother Caleb. Those 2 will be inseparable up here. She is so excited about having baby animals. 

Cole is the baby for now. He is 2 (but tells you he is 3). He is such a smiley kid. The other day he was hiding in the grass and I could not see him. This picture was taken after he stood up.

I look forward to the life these kids will have here. All the new experiences. I hope that I can become self employed or go to working part time soon so I can be a bigger part of there schooling and day to day life. They are my motivation to make this life style change. I don't think that kids really care how much money we have in the bank or what kind of car we drive. What they will remember is if I was there or not. My kids are only going to be little once and I feel like I am missing it. I need to stop this crazy cycle that we all seem to live and once I do I am going to teach others to do the same. I can change this. I will change this.