Sunday, August 31, 2008


So, here's the barn... so far. Back filled, carpenter started... and that's it. Just like this all day, no barn building activity. It was quiet, strangely quiet. It's like I have anxiety if I don't constantly hear beeping from construction crew trucks backing up and driving around our little barn plot. So, we focused on fencing. The top rail is up. That's big news. Tomorrow we will hopefully have the rest of the fencing up on the top field. It's pretty cool to be transforming our old place back to farm/agriculture/type land. Java is ready to mow down some of the vegetation like a mower deck on the John Deere 2305.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Good surprises...

True story: I planned on taking a nice photo of the back filled barn site bright and early - AND - the carpenter showed up before I had breakfast this morning!!! I greeted him by announcing that he was my new best friend, and since he stayed almost all day, I even made lunch for him. A carpenter on a Saturday of a holiday weekend - I hope this building process goes fast. Java was glad to hear of the progress here. I might be able to ride her over again tomorrow. If so, that's worth a photo if I can tear my husband away from fencing progress.

Fencing installation is so exciting, but exhausting at the same time. We are ultra diligent to follow the instructions well, when this fence is up, it will all be worth it.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Lumber delivery PLUS back filling at the same time. It looks so placid in the photos, but it's like truck mania at our house.
The Caterpillar is back filling like crazy, there are pick up trucks everywhere, and the lumber delivery is being carefully placed in a location that will hopefully make the carpenter happy. News flash - hey Mr. Carpenter man, I actually don't care whether you are happy or not. Start building. If you want anything, be nice and I will deliver it on a silver platter (excavators can back me up on that, Gatorade in sterling silver ice bucket), otherwise, sweat it out and whine all you want but I will be listening for a certain number of hammer and nail noises per minute, and if it slacks off at all, Java will come over here herself and make the situation clear.
Build. Now. Thank you very much.
By the way, photos of beautifully back filled site to come bright and early, the excavator did a beautiful job, I'm thrilled, what an awesome job they did. No threats necessary, I am floored, they have been fabulous.

Dirt, trucks, action!

Pouring the foundation wall. I watch gleefully.

Done pouring.

Next is back filling the dirt and the lumber delivery...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

photo coming soon

No photo, just lots going on:
Moved Java, successfully
Java freaking out, thoroughly
Concrete poured - twice
Foundation poured - wow
lumber arrives Friday - hope we have room
back filling (excavator speak) - Friday
rode Java to the house to see what she thought - absolute insanity. she could not decide between eating grass and freaking out.
And, ALL the line posts for the top fence are auger-ed.
After work I'll set the posts with Jeremy who hopefully will not have more poison ivy. I spent $60 (what!!!) at Walgreen's for scrubs, etc to spare him the torture of poison ivy since he just about looks at it and gets it. And, the top field is like a poison ivy treasure trove.
Photos tomorrow... I promise. Heaps O' Photos.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

found it

Found my glove that I lost when transplanting the Japanese Maple (if you forgot, it's in an earlier post) :)

Agenda - revised...

Agenda for tomorrow:

go to work

leave work early

move Java to temporary home

auger more fence post holes

pour corner fence post sono tubes

watch crew pour foundation footing for barn

pray for fast progress.

If you were really reading the above, you might have stopped around the line that says move Java to temporary home. This is actually funny. The boarding barn where Java lives (until Wednesday) knew that I was building a barn.

All the photos of Java you have seen are from other barns. I had a photo posted earlier but took it down, Java told me this morning that there was no need to scare everyone.

I kept the barn owner informed of all the boring details along the past year as reassurance that I would give her TONS of notice of when we would be leaving so she could fill the stall. She apparently got tired of waiting and kicked us out of the barn. September 1st was the deadline. Of course I could not snap my fingers and get a barn built (I've tried anyway, so far it's almost working). So Java will stay with some very nice people until the barn is finished here. I will say, it's OK we got kicked out, it's serious motivation to get this barn finally done. If all goes well, by the end of the day on Wednesday, Java will be somewhere bright, cozy and safe. I'll take a good picture because I know you all are worried. Me too. I'm glad we're moving. It's one step closer to Java's Barn!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tractor Pull at the Chester Fair

We went to the Chester Fair on Saturday. It was awesome. Tons of good food, not too crowded, good weather. And........ there was a tractor pull!!! It is for antique tractors, and they essentially each take turns pulling weight until there is a winner (the weight increases, and the tractors are in different classes). To see these old tractors, and so many of them lined up is very cool. There were plenty of John Deere tractors, varying models, some very old, and a few Farmalls. The only disappointment were my photos. We actually see a lot of these neat old tractors going up and down our road (probably on their way to another tractor pull), so I'll take some good photos of one of these old tractors someday!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

fencing progress

So, this seems painfully slow... and painful it is. Slow too, but not too bad. I just wish the muscles I am using would be good for something, like if I were to look better in jeans after toning these fence post installation muscles. I don't think so.

It may not look like much, but we're getting there. These are the corners, and gate openings.

The John Deere fruit snacks are on order for us...

Our house guest for the weekend, and our new friend Caterpillar. We love Caterpillar.

The operator was so nice to stay late the other day that I gave him some John Deere fruit snacks. His reaction was enthusiastic enough to remind me to go to the store and get more. Well, they are still sold out. The store has ordered more. As I put my order in to qualify for the rain check for the awesome sale price, the customer service clerk reassured me that I did not have to commit to an entire case, that they certainly would not go to waste around here! Thursday they will be in. I'll be sure to share with all diggers and builders. Today is all about fence posts. You will see a nice fence post photo later today.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gator work

Gator, working hard like the 2305. We're still working on the fence posts. Java's barn is all about machinery lately, the work horses are making a nice barn possible for a non work horse.

kids in a candy store

These are the guys who want rocks. They love rocks, and are hand picking the ones they want and loading as many as they can into one of his trucks. His Ford F350 is full and will be coming back for a lot more (the 550 is busted). The Caterpillar operator picked up each one carefully like fragile eggs and loaded them as this guy eagerly watched and directed. He is bringing them to a clients house to be incorporated into a water feature/water fall landscape. He was like a kid in a candy store picking them out and loading as many as he could right now. I'm so glad that our rocks have found a good loving home.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's a beautiful day to backhoe

We are working the John Deere 2305 overtime to get some fencing in. We used the auger to make some holes. We broke it, only once so far. Good thing the hardware store opens at 8:00 am. Anyway, we had to use the backhoe for the post holes that were too rocky to drill out and force those darn rocks our of our way, which took all day to do only half!!!

We warmly greeted our new friend Caterpillar. I seriously offered the Caterpillar operator, Dan, John Deere fruit snacks to him for staying late to dig the foundation out today. And yes, he was thrilled. How lucky are we? Rocks are like little ants to this machine.

Permits, check! Excavation, check! Fence, working-on-it check! Oh, brace yourself for this one: person driving down from New Hampshire to take away rocks for free to go into some foo foo patio area in Darien, check! All the hiccups have been reasonable so far: incomplete deliveries, breaking auger, cutting through power line with backhoe, permanent poison ivy, writing-so-many-checks-that-I-had-to-order-more-checks-and-thank-god-they-arrived-in-time-to-write-more-checks. It's still awesome.This is what that nice huge machine can get done in a couple of hours. In person, this hole and trenches look enormous. Tomorrow morning will be some more cool photos...


We went up to the Tractor Supply Company and we have more supplies at our house now. Yes, this is where we get most of our John Deere goodies from. Not the actual John Deere 2305 nor the Gator TS, but attachments, gloves, hats, socks, mugs, and more John Deere stuff than you probably want to know about can be found here. Yes, we love this place. Oh, you know I looked for them, the one thing they did not have were the John Deere fruit snacks!

We picked up a rather large load of 6 inch round posts to complete the collection from Tractor Supply Company. I was freaking out with worry that the fork lift might tip over, drop the load, or the back of our pick up truck was going to break off as we were driving home. We made is just fine, quite comfortably actually.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

say what???????????

Hi Dana, this is town hall, your permits are all set, you can pick them up this afternoon. Say what???
Mackie is stunned and his face stuck like that with one lip up.
YES, I GOT THE PERMITS!!!!!!!!!!!! And, how about this for luck, the excavator is coming tomorrow morning with "the big machine". Photos to come. NO WAY, I GOT THE PERMITS!!!!!
What's funny is that after you see tomorrow morning's post with all the fencing supplies, the permits seem like no big deal. This is huge, mackie is still baffled by how I can get permits that fast. We all saw the photos of the dining room table. A W E S O M E.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

wondering....about permits and John Deere fruit snacks...

Several things to think about this morning... when are the permits going to be approved? And, is everyone going to believe me when I tell them that the John Deere fruit snacks are ALL GONE AT THE STORE. All the other shapes are there, my little pony, strawberry shortcake, shark bites, and the exact area on the shelf where the John Deere fruit snacks were neatly lined up is stripped bare of those wonderful boxes of fun. I have one box left. They were on sale. I'll be going back.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

tree moving day

Before... a simple patch of boring scrubbyness near the driveway:

Before, a nice happy tree. BUT it's where Java's barn is going. So it's moving day.

The John Deere 2305 is escorting the tree over to it's new location.

After! That was easy, right?! Stepped back congratulating ourselves, proud as can be, and then noticed that I had only one glove on. We think it is with the tree underground now.

That went so well, let's do it again! It's the middle of the day in August, we're not exhausted yet!


During: Oops. the hole we dug is too small. We had to hoist the tree up, and dig more. Tried again, and the hole was still not right, by then, the tree is laying on the driveway, branches dragged everywhere, and the backhoe is on its roots. But we're so exhausted I just want to get this done with. We keep asking about the tree, "think it's going to make it?" we keep saying things like, I hope so, and well, we can prune it waaaay back. I'll eventually put a photo up of what it looks like, when it looks better than it does now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bocce Bye Bye

This property used to host weekly regional bocce games. No kidding - about 30 cars would appear at the house, including the lawn, some driving all the way to the back to gather and play. It apparently was an organized group, all men, with dues and all. Well, we bought this place, and Java is a girl and would not have been allowed into their club. And, we don't play Bocce, or at least not enough to justify that much space and land-trashing-with-cars-driving-over-the-lawn to happily host that group. SO, we promptly ripped up a very nice bocce court. Beautifully installed and really hard to rip out. Our friend Tom insisted he wanted the ties to install a bocce court at his house. We seriously thought of 20 other things to do with these beams/wood, but held back on other things and fended off our own desires and other's ideas to keep them for Tom. Here they are, stacked all neatly, ready to go. And, well, they're still here. I hope he comes soon. Actually, he has no choice, he's getting a bocce court, nothing says 'happy Labor Day to you' like the timbers for a pre-cut bocce court.

Fed Ex and Alabama update

Confusing, odd and funny: Around 8:00 Saturday night I hear a truck actually put-putting (making that noise) down the street. I kid you not, I knew it had to be the rest of our fencing stuff from Alabama. I jump up from the dining room table, run to the door, turn on the outside lights and an attractive young woman walks this box to us. Her hair is all gussied up, make up on, tan like she's been on vacation for a year. As she hands us the box, she says, "it's not mine"... how odd is that!? We hoped she did not mean the box, and figured she meant the really loud truck barely idling. We were like: well the truck does say fed ex on it, and you are in a fed ex uniform. She said, it's fed ex's, not mine. Didn't know anyone else owned fed ex trucks but fed ex. It was like a special random order from the putt putt truck from 'Bama. The box even had a sticker the nice fencing folks put on it that said thank you for your order.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Rocks. Java plus rocks could mean random injuries. Heck, we've got our own backhoe attachment for the John Deere, and my husband, Jeremy, is enjoying refining his backhoe-ing skills, so this all equals a win for Java. We tell ourselves several times a day "it's all for Java". This is the burial of a couple of substantial rocks on the top field that Jeremy is nice enough to put underground for Java. Close up photo, Mackie supervision photo, and the tidy end result. Java's comment on the event could be, she is a Selle Francais after all, voilĂ . Or, her American princess response would probably be "whatever" and leave the scene and go look for food.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Javas fencing materials

I missed it. Fed Ex was out of here so fast, I missed the whole fence-unloading-photo shoot opportunity. The fencing does not look like much all wrapped up, I expected a heap of stuff blocking the driveway and causing local commotion. But it is super heavy, and almost tipped the John Deere 2305 on its front while moving it from it's original unloading spot. Oh, of course it's not all here. Those folks from Alabama forgot to include the whole order with this shipment, but I'm sure by the time we get that auger cranking next week it will be here. The whole kit n' kaboodle (don't really like that phrase, but I bet the Alabama fence people use that phrase).

And... you're asking... what kind of fence is that?! Isn't the fence going to be all wood and nails?? NO. Java+wood+nails=boo boos. This is Java style fencing: good looking, clean look, and won't hurt if she runs into it, shoves her head through it or rolls half way under it and gets all goofed up with it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Mackie is up in the top paddock, mostly cleared. This paddock still needs to be raked, mowed and those few poison ivy tress taken away. The fencing arrives tomorrow. Seriously, via FED EX, from ALABAMA (It's fun to say it with a southern accent Al uh ba muh). I've been known to make a little fun of Alabama, but if this fencing is as good as we think it will be, I'll never make fun of Alabama again. And, the fact that the fencing is from Alabama, installation should be real simple, oops, I think I just made fun of Alabama again. Either way the installation should be worth a few photos. That will be later next week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm not the only one...they make John Deere fruit snacks!

Good news, I'm not the only one that likes their John Deere stuff. Yes, someone out there knows their market! I went to the store after work, and some gravitational pull brought me to the snack aisle. And there they were. No kidding!!! John Deere fruit snacks. OK, I love fruit snacks (whatever, I'm OK with your opinion about this), and tractor fruit snacks!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bought 3 boxes. Already ate two packages (ahem, not the boxes, the packets inside the boxes, 2 of those).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The plans are here!

They're here! The barn plans. I ran out of work tore open the envelope, and they are a little wrong, but good enough. I scurried to town hall and filed for the permit! Finally. Would you believe the "wet" guy did not fax town hall with the green light? Of course I called and left a friendly reminder, but come on!!!!
Excavators, start your engines, we're going to dig soon! (oh, you ask the logical question, why do you need to dig for a barn??--- because fancy barns have foundations, and up here in the hinterland it gets cold, so the foundation has to go 42 inches below, it's a frost wall or something). I figure it will be that much more cozy for Java. And, no, that is not our lot our mailbox is in. That's across the street, but that probably is poison ivy growing up the post. No, we're not going to mow the lot across the street with the John Deere 2305. Think of it as bucolic.

remote control stump grinder and expected quote from the wet guy

The remote control stump grinder (no it's not another attachment for our beloved John Deere 2305). After I took this photo, a thunder storm came rolling in, no I did not go out in the lightning to get a photo of it in action, but yes, it was cool.

So, where do we stand with the "wet" checker from the district? Well, he comes by today and pours some water in the ground and watches it go away, which I am confident it will. duh. Then he calls my town hall and says, "guess what y'all, that land up there where they are building a barn for Java drains real good, and they have plenty of space for a few horses." Thanks, good to know. Then I peel out of work, dukes of hazard style in the station wagon to town hall to file (please god) finally! Then I can start to book more contractors. Hey, it's a team effort, and java is worth it. You will see why when I finally get to talking about her (photos too).

Monday, August 11, 2008

tree work


After... (notice the evergreens are missing)

Got wood chips? We do!! These smell so good! We'll use the John Deere 2305 to spread them on the rest of the path that will go around the property to ride on. Java will appreciate the soft chips, and fresh smell.

There are actually 4 more tress (on the top field) that will go to tree heaven that Mike will take care of for us, because they are like poison ivy works of art, and I'm tired of itching. I am so glad we found Affordable Tree Experts, Mike and his crew are a huge help. Use who you want, but you may be disappointed. I don't know many people up here yet, but a good tree service is a good start to add to the rolodex.