New Things!

Well I think it’s officially winter!  After an inordinately beautiful fall, the snow finally fell and stayed as of last night.  It was a bit nerve wracking at it was accompanied by some crazy wind and the smoke in the chimney was pushed back into the house when the fat wet flakes started to fall.  This caused the CO2 detector to go off around midnight.  It was not a restful sleep waiting to see if it would go off again (and periodically waiting for Sam to scratch or move around so we could hear if he had succumbed to gas poisoning.  He did not).  The wind also picked up most of our Quonset pieces and blew them around the yard so we went to the Peavey Mart (aka my new favorite store, they have anything you could ever want!  Dog food?  Check!  Horse tack?  Check!  Sump pumps?  Check!  BBQ sauce?  Check and check!) and we got some tied owns so nothing should be moving now.  We also got our 911 address this week!  We are like a real house now…or at least they’ll be able to find our smoldering ruins more easily.

2Cabinz

One week difference. Ugh.

I’ve been keeping busy riding and still helping a neighbor building a barn (though most days I feel like he is just teaching my farm skills and then waiting while I practice them on his stuff).  Mike has been going through some transitional work stuff so we’ll have to see how that all shakes out too.  Now that we are using the wood stove regularly Sam spends his days stretched out on his mat (from Peavey Mart!) and occasionally rolling over.

IMG_0163

Doing what he does best.

In other “we are becoming farm people” news: We ordered 1/4 of a cow from one of our neighbors.  I think it will last a whole year for sure!

beef

Look at that hopeful tail.

I think the house is now done as much as it’s going to be until next spring.  Next week counter tops should show up and we can finally stop washing dishes in the tub.  It’s super gross having a bath and a piece of spinach is floating around you.

In other new developments this will be the last post on this blog…because we are starting a new website!  I say we but its mostly Mike.  In addition to blogs we plan to have more posts per week with content we found interesting and that adheres to our “live deliberately” idea.  We are also doing mini interviews with people who have chosen a different path and what their experiences are like.

This is the new website…go to it!

Our New Site!!!

(apparently that link doesn’t wanna work.  Serves me right for getting fancy.  its http://www.alchemy-farms.net)

So I will see you there!  Mom add it to your bookmarks 😉
Speaking of mom…I am giving a shout out to all the ladies at the City of Calgary who might be reading!

And now a smattering of pictures left over from the last few weeks:

IMG440

Address.  Woo!

Erin & Sam’s Trail ride!

IMG_0233

Just a pretty shot of the house.

Moving from camper to house!

20151115_122316

A roast from our beef pile.

20151105_212808

Well that’s just a clever name!  For a kind of gross beer…

 

So… Now What?

Erin’s let me take over the blog for this week. I think partly because it’s a lot of work and I typically contribute 0% but mostly because my last day at work was Friday so I have a lot more time for the next week or so, but we’ll get to that.

I dug out my old camera and messed around with filters a little for this one.  Only a little however because Iris (who more or less taught me how to take decent pictures) says I use them too much.  Hopefully this amount is acceptable.

I dug out my old camera and messed around with filters a little for this one. Only a little however because Iris (who more or less taught me how to take decent pictures) says I use them too much. Hopefully this amount is acceptable.

First, the anniversary! On October 24th, we went to Canmore to celebrate six years since I managed to convince my lovely wife that it was a good idea to marry me. Great move on my part. I am pretty sure she could have done better, but she doesn’t seem to think so. God bless her for slumming a little. We spent the day and night in Canmore and discovered Geo-Caching. Basically it’s a community of people who hide small containers of trinkets (think Kinder Surprise caliber treasures) and leave either written directions or GPS co-ordinates to their locations. It was actually pretty fun although Erin is convinced my secret motivation was to trick her into hiking.

The following week was Halloween. Not much to report on that front. We got to decorate the house and picked up a box of candy in case any trick-or-treaters wandered out our way. They didn’t and we learned that chocolate bars and vodka, while delicious at the time, is really more of a special occasion dinner.

20151031_173243

Maury the Zombie.  Thanks to my sister and her husband for our most impressive Halloween decoration.

Maury the Zombie. Thanks to my sister and her husband for our most impressive Halloween decoration.

I was trying to go for crazy eyes, but I think it just turned out to be suggestive eyebrows.  Do NOT let somebody with this expression buy you a drink.

I was trying to go for crazy eyes, but I think it just turned out to be suggestive eyebrows. Do NOT let somebody with this expression buy you a drink.

Hedwig.  Because what else would you name him?

Hedwig. Because what else would you name him?

Wait-  Do most people not name their Halloween decorations?  Is that weird?

Wait- Do most people not name their Halloween decorations? Is that weird?

20151026_185355 20151026_185251

I am 31 years old and as a grown-ass man, I still turn this picture around when I go to bed because it is terrifying.

I am 31 years old and as a grown-ass man, I still turn this picture around when I go to bed because it is terrifying.

Motorized bat chandelier hanging over the kitchen table.  Sam does not love it.

Motorized bat chandelier hanging over the kitchen table. Sam does not love it.

20151026_185133

As far as house improvements, we only really made minor changes the last few weeks. Knobs on the cupboards, finally got a towel rack, picked up a kitchen sink. It’s nice in the sense that it’s an indication our $500 plus trips to Home Depot will be dropping off, but it also presents a new challenge;

We have spent the past two years planning, designing and building this place and it’s basically finished. So what the hell do we do now?

As I mentioned earlier, I left the job I’d been working with PCS in Calgary. It was a great experience and you couldn’t ask for better people to work with but the commute was getting to be a killer and when it boils down to it, we didn’t build a farm near Nanton to drive to Calgary every day and work construction. So I found a new gig in town that starts November 16th, leaving this coming week to put some final touches on the house that we’d been able to ignore to this point because from the couch, we can’t actually see any of them and the house looks complete.

We won’t be able to get into any of the more “farm-ey” projects we wanted to start because winter will be here soon (and honestly I think I heard my debit card let out a little sob the last time I used it, so it’s probably a good idea to let the old bank account cool off a bit) so we were again faced with the question of what to focus our energy towards.

Well after racking our brains about it pretty steadily for the past two weeks, I think we have the bones of a really good winter project. Once we flesh out the details, we’ll be promoting it shamelessly on here and on Facebook so for the five or six people who read these posts and don’t skip right to the pictures, get ready to… I guess, become people who skip right to the pictures.

The face all of you will make after the 737th time reading about our new idea.

The face all of you will make after the 737th time reading about our new idea.

That’s all for now. Hope you are living your lives happily, peacefully and deliberately. I wish you all the best until the next time Erin tells me it’s my turn to write the blog!

Productivity Slow Down

The addition of a couch into our lives has definitely reduced what we get done in a week! The fact that the house is SO close to done makes little finishing things seem much less important when you aren’t living in a construction site.

We did get some things done though….we’ve ordered our counter tops (yay!) and they’ll get here in 4 weeks (boo!) and we picked up a few boxes from Mike’s grand parents house and started moving our “stuff” into the cupboards.

Mike pouring himself a stiff drink to get through the unpacking process.

Mike pouring himself a stiff drink to get through the unpacking process.

Weirdly now that we have started really moving in (as opposed to just moving the things from the camper into the house) I’m starting to get anxious when it gets stormy out. Last weekend the wind was crazy and I was laying in bed thinking about how the roof was going to come off where as previously this place was just a big wooden box and not really “home” so if something happened we’d just rebuild.

Like a massive bird invasion!

Like a massive bird invasion!

This week I stumbled onto my 16-year-old-Erin dream job riding horses for a lady across the road so that has been fun yet guilt inducing as Mike has started leaving for work at 6am to work 9 hour days. At least he gets to see nice sun rises? I’m still on the hunt for a new job and have a few prospects but things of course are moving pretty slowly with the recession etc.

Aww a sunrise...makes getting up in the dark worth it...right?

Aww a sunrise…makes getting up in the dark worth it…right?

The company we bought our cabin from contacted us this week to see if we’d be interested in being on some tiny house TV show. That’s pretty cool! Who knows if anything will come of it but its flattering to be asked.

Sam will be featured I'm sure.  Shown here not helping mom with cardboard.

Sam will be featured I’m sure. Shown here not helping mom with cardboard.

...In fact taking the cardboard and spreading it all over the lawn.

…In fact taking the cardboard and spreading it all over the lawn.

He did learn how to "dog" this week and experimented sticking his head out the car window...instead on just sitting in the exact center of the back seat looking straight ahead.

He did learn how to “dog” this week and experimented sticking his head out the car window…instead on just sitting in the exact center of the back seat looking straight ahead.

He also got invited to Thanksgiving and spend some quality time with his cousin Gus "Murder Train" Pettipas.

He also got invited to Thanksgiving and spend some quality time with his cousin Gus “Murder Train” Pettipas.

Our neighbors have started selling their beef so our next purchase will be a new freezer for 200 pounds of chopped up cow. We also have to figure out what cuts and things we want so that will be a learning process as my current knowledge consists of “ground beef” or “not ground beef”.

"Excuse me sir, how many cubic feet of hamburger are you?"

“Excuse me sir, how many cubic feet of hamburger are you?”

Its starting to get pretty cold at night now so I think we have to officially winterize the camper. I had been still doing our dishes out there until this point but the water is starting to freeze faster than I can wash with it so we’ll have to do bathtub dishes until the counters come in! I think Sam might need a dog sweater (Mike strongly disagrees!) Speaking of Sam (and Mike) the three of us were invited to go out on a trail ride to the hills tomorrow. We will see how the boys do! (One of whom is a little nervous to ride horses and the other of whom has no conception of horses and the fact they will walk on him if he gets underfoot. I just hope he doesn’t chase cows!)

Pictured:  The grossest slurpee ever.

Pictured: The grossest slurpee ever.

In celebration of getting a new oven I made cookies for ALL the neighbors this week. It’s a good way to introduce yourself and everyone we have met has been so nice! Still have a few neighbors left but each visit usually finds us invited in for coffee and dessert so we only get 1 visit done per evening. Country people are so nice!

Mike's grand dad had cow horns for us.  Its the first and only decoration we have put up.

Mike’s grand dad had cow horns for us. Its the first and only decoration we have put up.

Speaking of neighbours I got to harrow someone's field with this bad boy.  Which was cool but after 4 hours really jiggles the elasticity right out of your sports bra...

Speaking of neighbours I got to harrow someone’s field with this bad boy. Which was cool but after 4 hours really jiggles the elasticity right out of your sports bra…

Ok that’s it for now…

Must Be Official…

…Because I have moved the coffee pot into the house!

Its been a busy few weeks (like always!) but we are finally really living here! Mike took the past 1.5 weeks off and we got down to some serious house business including (but not limited to): Finishing the flooring, installing some railings, finished window sills, got all plumbing DONE, crawling around under the house to finish closing up the last bits, picking up all our appliances and furniture and clothes and moving them down here, not one, not two, but THREE trips to Ikea, building Ikea furniture (and remaining married) and installing kitchen cabinets…phewf. I think there was more but its been a whirlwind. Lets see some progress pictures…

Installing our new chimney...boy is it ugly!

Installing our new chimney…boy is it ugly!

Siding is finally done!  So its not just a cabin on stilts anymore...

Siding is finally done! So its not just a cabin on stilts anymore…

Some custom cabinetry!

Some custom cabinetry!

Mike installing the upper cabinets.

Mike installing the upper cabinets.

Sam found a chunk of wood to run around with.

Sam found a chunk of wood to run around with.

The cows were curious.

The cows were curious.

Tada!  An almost finished kitchen!  Now we just need some counter tops.

Tada! An almost finished kitchen! Now we just need some counter tops.

Still married.  Suck it Ikea!

Still married. Suck it Ikea!

Bedroom with a new bed that is not just 2 mattresses stacked together.

Bedroom with a new bed that is not just 2 mattresses stacked together.

Fire place and couch!  we can have a guest over now!

Fire place and couch! we can have a guest over now!

Utility room.  OK I think that's enough additions in there...

Utility room. OK I think that’s enough additions in there…

We did have time for a few non-house related activities.  Our neighbor Dave was nice enough to take me for a couple of rides in the hills to organize some cows.  Hopefully Mike will get to come along one of these days for a ride.

This is my steed Marsha.

This is my mighty steed Marsha.

Firefly got a new little buddy for the winter.  They are getting along great.

Firefly got a new little buddy for the winter. They are getting along great.

We got to experience the first big windstorm this weekend as well.  The house stayed upright and the roof remained attached so I think it was a success.  I’m sure there will be things here and there that will need repairs and fixing as we get settled up and get all the systems running but at least we have a livable house.  We’ll have to get the camper winterized as soon as we don’t need it for cooking/dishes.  Then it will become storage for our extra stuff over winter until we get the Quonset put up in the spring.

OK, I think that’s it for now.  I’m almost positive I’m missing something else but that’s what I get for being so infrequent with my posts!

Highs and Lows

Its been a few weeks of highs and lows. I thought about making a pun there about “Highs and Lowes” but we go to Home Depot so it wouldn’t have worked. 🙂

Mike was away the week before last and we had a weekend in Invermere for Mike’s mom’s birthday so last week and weekend were big weeks for house stuff.

We were pooped from eating so much cake.

We were pooped from eating so much cake.

I picked up a hearth pad for the fireplace install happening next week…I’m a bit worried that its too small but I guess we’ll find out when the guys come out to put the fireplace in! We got some siding delivered to skirt the bottom of the house but it turned out to be a hideous, Halloween decoration style plastic disaster so we opted to just use vinyl and have someone else install it for us. Snow is just around the corner so time is getting to be a factor now!

Guess who picked out this tape?  And yes that IS a hint of purple and teal leopard print duct tape  you see!

Guess who picked out this tape? And yes that IS a hint of purple and teal leopard print duct tape you see!

I was very disappointed in this siding.

I was very disappointed in this siding.

Mike thought it was spoooooooooky!

Mike thought it was spoooooooooky!

The neighbors harvesting their wheat in the mist!

The neighbors harvesting their wheat in the mist!

Our haul from our garden.  An onion and a cantaloupe.  Don't eat it all at once.

Our haul from our garden. An onion and a cantaloupe. Don’t eat it all at once.

We also decided to get the gutters done instead of doing them ourselves for the same reason. They look pretty good and they were able to install snow breaks too!

Sweet eaves-troughs yo!

Sweet eaves-troughs yo!

We got the rest of the pine delivered so I have finally closed up all the ceiling and completed most of the floor (thanks Allana!)! The loft might be livable as soon as this weekend! Which will be nice with the nights getting colder.

So pretty!

So pretty!

Almost there!

Almost there!

Sean popped by on the weekend and he and Mike put up the banisters. Took them a while but they look great! We’ll have to buy a bed and move it up there before we put the rest up!

Should we start paying Sean?

Should we start paying Sean?

We did have some “dramaz” this week with our plumber. Unfortunately he got a bit too busy with other jobs and wasn’t able to give us a date he could finish our house. So we got a new one and he was able to put in all our fancy new filters and hopefully this week will have the last of things installed…maybe by this time next week we could be showering in our house! Instead of going to the campground for the $2/5 minute special. Plus I imagine the campground will be closing soon! I have not had a shower at my own house in almost 6 months…that’s kind of crazy!

Newest filter on the left...getting crowded in here!  When we thought we'd have kids we were going to also put them in here.  HAH!

Newest filter on the left…getting crowded in here! When we thought we’d have kids we were going to also put them in here. HAH!

We got our new neighbors this week also! The cows have come to stay in the field next door for the winter. So far I don’t think Sam has noticed them, though they see him alright.

"Have you large rocks seen my stick?"

“Have you large rocks seen my stick?”

I got a neat surprise in the mail from gramma this week…the account of my great grandparents and their own homesteading experiences.  It’s crazy how much work it was and how they could do it all on their own.  I would be lost if I couldn’t “call a guy” when things got difficult or use a YouTube video to learn a new skill!  I also couldn’t imagine doing it with 10 kids in a house smaller than ours.  Craziness!

Ok that’s it for now!

A Tale of Smoke and Light

Now doesn’t that sound like a Game of Thrones sequel?

I’m going to stop opening with “sorry for the delay…” as it seems like my posts are getting further and further apart! But for good reasons at least! We’ve been going crazy on the house, its looking like an actual home and not a construction site anymore!

The electricians came by this week and installed all our plugs and light fixtures and the plumber did the last of his stuff until our filtration stuff comes in. Unfortunately our well water isn’t great out here so we had to shock our well. We will see if that did the trick once we have our filters in place and start using the water a bit more regularly.

Light!  Not pictured:  Mike and the plumber drinking in the back yard.  He is over so much its like he is part of the family.

Light! Not pictured: Mike and the plumber drinking in the back yard. He is over so much its like he is part of the family.

Everything finished except the roof and the windowsill.

Everything finished except the roof and the windowsill.

We got our fence this week! Good and bad. Good because now I can just fill this place with critters but bad because critter accessories are expensive. Hoping to think about critters next year once we are a bit more established. In the mean time the neighbors are letting me work with one of their horses, Raz, to get my pony fix. He is a sweetie so far but has a bit of a bucking habit…we will see how far I get! The young girl who lives with my neighbors has been helping me with him and is quite a sweetie, we even went on an ice cream date this week!

Dave and his dogs putting up the fence.  Sam was probably helping.

Dave and his dogs putting up the fence. Sam was probably helping.

The smoke down here has been nuts all week. It cleared up a bit this morning but not for long. I think the weather is changing and the nice wind free days of the summer are gone. The afternoons are starting to get gusty!

Life on Mars.

Life on Mars.

Visitors don’t seem to mind it.

Visitors don’t seem to mind it.

I should start carrying around a real camera instead of these lousy cell phone pics!

I should start carrying around a real camera instead of these lousy cell phone pics!

We explored a bit of our town this week and finally went to the Lancaster Museum. It was the 70th anniversary so they brought it outside and started it up and even taxied forward a bit.

The old gal still draws a crowd.

The old gal still draws a crowd.

This is actually my plane.

This is actually my plane.

The place they restore the planes.

The place they restore the planes.

We also stopped at the museum of miniatures!

We also stopped at the museum of miniatures!

Mini deer just cant get along!

Mini deer just cant get along!

We started putting in flooring today! Mike is much more confident than I am but its looking good! We have about 5 feet done so far. Not sure if we will put it all in ASAP but we needed at least that much done so the fireplace installers could come back and put in our stove. Almost winter ready!

What a pro!

What a pro!

I’m still working a few hours a week at a neighbors house doing unsafe things with tractors. It’s fun and I’m actually learning how to do a lot!

He was literally saying something about most home accidents occurring on farms at this exact moment.  Cant imagine why...

He was literally saying something about most home accidents occurring on farms at this exact moment. Cant imagine why…

After we got this wood apart my weasel friend helped me take out the nails.

After we got this wood apart my weasel friend helped me take out the nails.

Mike got a new toy last week so he has put like 40 hours on it already. The yard is finally looking good though and Sam is loving the fact that mice scatter from the mower for easy snacking. I have officially lost count of his death toll. Who’s my little Murder Train? You are! Yes, you are! In other Sam antics (because that is the only reason my mom reads this blog…hi mom!):

This is where we sit now.  Only peasant dogs would lay on the dirt.

This is where we sit now. Only peasant dogs would lay on the dirt.

Sleeping exactly NOT on the dog part of the couch.

Sleeping exactly NOT on the dog part of the couch.

Mike says his eyes are screaming when I hug him so he took this picture as proof.  I don’t see it.

Mike says his eyes are screaming when I hug him so he took this picture as proof. I don’t see it.

Got a lot more awesome veggies this week so Sam is modeling their hugeness!

Got a lot more awesome veggies this week so Sam is modeling their hugeness!

He'd drive it to work if he could I’m sure.

He’d drive it to work if he could I’m sure.

I also attended my first roping event the other day…and somehow ended up operating the chute cows come out of! It was a bit stressful but I think I did alright (in that no one yelled directly at me ha ha.

A terrible picture, but I was too rushed to get another closer one!

A terrible picture, but I was too rushed to get another closer one!

Alright that was a huge update so I’ll leave it there for now!

Flush!

Sorry for the big delay…been a crazy few weeks but most importantly…WE HAVE A TOILET!

*Pause for wild applause*

Our darling plumber was able to get out this week and hook everything up. You don’t realize how much you miss indoor plumbing till you don’t have it!

It's so beautiful!

It’s so beautiful!

Once we have a good filter in place for our well we can start using our hot water heater. (That little silver box on the wall!)

Once we have a good filter in place for our well we can start using our hot water heater. (That little silver box on the wall!)

Cuba was fun. We just stayed at an all inclusive and it was so nice to just not think about the house for a week. It was smoking hot and he beaches were gorgeous. We got a seat sale and managed to get a first class flight down there…so now we are of course ruined for all future airline travel ha ha. “No champagne? What kind of a second rate flight is this!?”

Me on the beach.

Me on the beach.

Me and a goat who did NOT want pets.

Me and a goat who did NOT want pets.

We seem to have missed all the crazy weather that Calgary had a week ago and its been nothing but blue skies here. Would be nice to get a little more rain but I shouldn’t complain based on the hail and tornado pictures I have been seeing people post on Facebook!

Mike's drive home last week.

Mike’s drive home last week.

We have a melon! Something keeps eating my grape plant so still no wine.

We have a melon! Something keeps eating my grape plant so still no wine.

The dog plant is coming along nicely.

The dog plant is coming along nicely.

Bambi came for a visit. He might have been looking for Flower. Which is too bad as Flower got run over by the hay guy and is now stinking up the north side of our land. Sam is thrilled.

Bambi came for a visit. He might have been looking for Flower. Which is too bad as Flower got run over by the hay guy and is now stinking up the north side of our land. Sam is thrilled.

Our lawn is cut and baled!

Our lawn is cut and baled!

This week I rented some scaffolding and we finally got the roof completely pine-ed!

Mike setting things up.

Mike setting things up.

Cutting boards.

Cutting boards.

Getting the insulation into the peak.

Getting the insulation into the peak.

Almost done!

Almost done!

Spiderman-ing to get those pieces in!

Spiderman-ing to get those pieces in!

The very last piece!

The very last piece!

We also finally got around to designing our kitchen an ordering some cabinets this week! Should take them a few weeks to get here still which is kind of nice because we’ll have some time to finish up some carpentry and hopefully get the last of our electrician stuff done.

Our virtual kitchen!

Our virtual kitchen!

Sorry for such a brief update after so much time away…I’m sure I have forgotten something but life is moving so fast lately it’s hard to keep up!

Work Week(s)

It feels like its been forever since my last update but actually its only been ten days, its just been a busy ten days! I went up to Airdrie last week for a 3 day work stint and then this week Mike took off so we could really concentrate on house stuff before we leave on holidays. Let’s see what we have for pictures this week:

I was missed while I was away at work, the dog was allowed ON THE BED!

I was missed while I was away at work, the dog was allowed ON THE BED!

Jac and Riggs came for a visit last Saturday and all productivity came to a stop.  If you look closely you can see a pup in this picture!

Jac and Riggs came for a visit last Saturday and all productivity came to a stop. If you look closely you can see a pup in this picture!

Getting the vapor barrier in behind the pressure tank is tricky, sometimes you have to improvise!  (and then your husband takes a picture of your bum...)

Getting the vapor barrier in behind the pressure tank is tricky, sometimes you have to improvise! (and then your husband takes a picture of your bum…)

The bathroom is DONE (pretty well!)  Sean came over and finished things for us and we laid the floor.  Now Ryan the plumber will put in the hot water tank and toilet while we are away and we will have a functional bathroom!

The bathroom is DONE (pretty well!) Sean came over and finished things for us and we laid the floor. Now Ryan the plumber will put in the hot water tank and toilet while we are away and we will have a functional bathroom!

Crazy weather this week!

Crazy weather this week!

Nothing like a tornado warning to remind you that you live in a trailer!

Nothing like a tornado warning to remind you that you live in a trailer!

Lots of rainbows out here this week!  This is looking at our neighbors' farm, the Midway Ranch.

Lots of rainbows out here this week! This is looking at our neighbors’ farm, the Midway Ranch.

The Quonset arrives.  This is a huge truck!

The Quonset arrives. This is a huge truck!

See?  Huge!  Also a day behind schedule to arrive.  The driver was nice enough though...until we realized he was the most racist person I have ever met in real life.

See? Huge! Also a day behind schedule to arrive. The driver was nice enough though…until we realized he was the most racist person I have ever met in real life.

Quonset pieces.  Actually smaller than I had expected!

Quonset pieces. Actually smaller than I had expected!

We finally got hayed!

We finally got hayed!

Looks like our lawn got a bad haircut though...

Looks like our lawn got a bad haircut though…

So we are looking pretty good I think! The bathroom is 90% complete and all the pine-ing on the main floor is done. Once we get back from holidays we’ll pine the roof, give another coat of stain on the outside and then we’ll only have the “finishing carpentry” like window sills and door frames left. Oh and the kitchen. But honestly its less of a priority since the camper kitchen works so well. Thinking maybe we should stop by Great Falls, MO to see what they have for kitchen cabinets since that seems to be the place all our neighbors get theirs. OK I think that’s it for now!

Keeping Busy

We have tiles!

Well…like half the total tiles we need to have but the amazing Sean once again came over and the bathroom is looking pretty darned awesome!

Getting started...

Getting started…

What would we do without this guy?

What would we do without this guy?

Mike's dad stopped by to check things out.

Mike’s dad stopped by to check things out.

Looking pretty pro!

Looking pretty pro!

Mike and I have been nervous to finish the job since the first half looks so good. After tiling we hit our first Nanton Nite Rodeo and had an awesome time watching roping and “cow riding” while it poured.

I took exactly one picture of the Nite Rodeo.  This is it.

I took exactly one picture of the Nite Rodeo. This is it.

This week Mike worked a full 5 days (madness! He is also working everyday this week too!) so I had a lot of time to finish up pine-ing. I have 2 more walls and then we are ready to start on the roof! We got internet this week (woohoo!) and the propane tanks were fixed. (They weren’t level or installed on concrete pads as Mike had wanted.) The fireplace guys also came out and stubbed the chimney through the roof, so I have yet ANOTHER hole in my house!

"Internet eh?  Maude eh?"

“Internet eh? Maude eh?”

The hole making begins!

The hole making begins!

...and chimney!

…and chimney!

Made it out to the hotel for music this Thursday for the first time in about a month. We didn’t know anyone to sit with when we first got there so we actually had time to listen to the guys play (instead of just chatting while they played in the background) and they are pretty darned good ha ha.

Roxy went home this week. I think Sam misses her terribly as he keeps jumping into the cars and refusing to move. I think he wants to go where ever she went! Speaking of animals and cars, I got the oil changed on the truck and apparently some little mice were building a house in the air box. I told the guy I’d be back with the caliber so he could find out what was living in that one…we never did find that weasel ha ha.

A fight to the DEATH!

A fight to the DEATH!

Mouse hunting in the wood pile.

Mouse hunting in the wood pile.

Everyone here is bad at selfies.

Everyone here is bad at selfies.

We got our ditch mowed on Thursday for the first time in its life. Hopefully this week our field gets hayed so it wont look so jungle-y out there! I have dreams of laying out the garden and chicken areas before the end of the summer as well as fixing up and painting the fence that runs along the road now that we will be able to see the ground…but we’ll see how far we get!

After this week Mike is taking 10 days off so we can really focus on the house. The bathroom is SO close to being done that its starting to get painful to shower at the campground or empty the septic tank since the dream of running water is in sight! The bathroom will be the first priority for sure, but I think after that it will really come together quickly. We still have no further ideas what the heck we are doing in the kitchen but I don’t mind cooking in the camper until we get it sorted out. I’m working this week as well in Airdrie so I think we will both be really ready to jump into house construction this weekend! Our Quonset will also be showing up sometime next week…anyone know how to set up one of those? Learn by doing right? Ha ha.

Well I think that’s it! A short update because I’m done writing before the wash cycle is even finished (as usual I am writing while sitting at the laundromat). Usually I’m still typing halfway into drying!

We had a special visitor this week!

We had a special visitor this week!  He also doesn’t know how to set up a Quonset…

Roxy

We had a special house guest this week, the large and floofy Roxy! I picked her up after work on Friday and the two of us (and her cage, and her accessories, and a 2 month supply of dog food AND a tile saw) crammed into the Caliber and off we went…and she has been awesome! Her mom and dad were a bit worried she’d be upset to not have her family around and that she might run away and/or quit eating but she has been an ideal pup and I actually haven’t even had to tie her up, she just hangs out near us all day and doesn’t even get too riled up when random neighbors drop in for a visit! I think she is enjoying her vacation as well!

"What do you mean this is a 'people' pool?"

“What do you mean this is a ‘people’ pool?”

Running!

Running!

Playing with the greatest toy known to dogs...a cardboard tube.

Playing with the greatest toy known to dogs…a cardboard tube.

Since we already had a dog this week, Sam decided he would be a bee instead and spent all his time wandering around spreading pollen though all the flowers.

Since we already had a dog this week, Sam decided he would be a bee instead and spent all his time wandering around spreading pollen though all the flowers.

They are terrible at harmonies.

They are terrible at harmonies.

Brushing my new pony.

Brushing my new pony.

Saturday was another adventure in “let’s throw these city slickers into strange situations with cows” as Dave called us in the morning and asked if we were around to help him “sort some calves”. He showed up with his trailer and two horses about 30 minutes later and we found out that calf sorting means rounding the cows and calves up (Dave and I on horseback, Mike piloting the mighty Trucky through the fields…Trucky is NOT a four-wheel drive I should mention) and then herding them all into a smaller pen so we could cut out the mother and baby pairs. You do this one at a time by roping a calf, pulling him out of the crowd and the whichever worried mother follows it is most likely his. Mike manned the gate while this was happening and did admirably as one particular red cow was NOT thrilled by his presence. Once the mom and baby are separated from the herd then you separate the baby so you can put in his ear tags and if its a little boy “band” him. (“Banding” is basically putting a band around his boy bits and as he grows up it tightens and they fall off.) Once he is all set he goes in another pen as he will be loaded into the trailer and moved (with his mom) up into the hills. The mom goes back in the herd and then once all the babies are banded and herded into the trailer (they have their own section so the don’t get pushed in with the big cows) the moms are cut out again and then THEY go into the trailer as well. Dave is the picture of patience and was so nice and showed us how to do most things (and was super laid back about our complete ineptitude!) I think we didn’t do too badly…but I’m sure that “real” cowboys could have done it in half the time. Was fun though!

After his adventure we had Trucky inspected by the world's worst mechanic.

After his adventure we had Trucky inspected by the world’s worst mechanic.

This week we got our first (and second) veggie deliveries from Lance and Toby’s CSA. So far lots of greens which has been nice since its been SO hot that really the only thing you want to eat is a nice cold salad. We met Mike’s folks in Okotoks to drop off their half of the veggies and we finally gave in and bought a lawn mower. Mike made us a wonderful lawn space and even managed to figure out how the awning on the trailer works! Makes it seems a little more “homey” now.

Hard work!

Hard work!

Getting there!

Getting there!

A front yard!

A front yard!

We were supposed to get internet this week but that didn’t happen. The tech drove out, looked at the roof and said “it’s too steep” and left. Which was a bit annoying as we had previously told them that…but oh well…next week maybe? I figured out how to make my phone a hotspot so internet-ing is less painful lately anyhow.

Oh, I forgot to mention I did NOT get murdered by that dude I was meeting to do odd jobs for. Turns out he is very nice (and non-homicidal so far) and just needs someone to help him with farm upkeep. I have mowed a lot of miles on the John Deere this week! But it’s a nice gig so I guess two days a week I basically have a summer job.

I also met our neighbor a few fields over who owns a big arena and I think I’ll work there casually this summer as well. She was pretty happy to have someone mature and with common sense who she could call on, she even took me on a little pony ride around her property.

House progress has been a bit slow this week. It’s been insanely hot so neither of us really did any hard work in there until the last 2 days or so. This weekend Sean is back for tiling so the bathroom will be looking pretty complete! We stopped by Ikea to try and muscle though designing a kitchen and getting some cabinets organized. I think we were there for at least two hours (Mike says it was more “like a year”) but we got a basic plan in place. Unfortunately its hard to know exactly what you are actually buying as not everything in the show room is in this computer program. We finally left and got beers because we got IKEA related PTSD. I’m not sure what we will do eventually there…probably give in and buy the stupid stuff but Ikea is just the WORST.

Today was a fabulous day as we slept in and then the 4 of us went down to Willow Creek Park and played in the river. Then we left the pups here and popped over to Gord and Mavis’ for a swim and some dinner. We really won the lottery neighbor wise! I have not felt all the way cool in WEEKS!

Getting ready for a dip.

Getting ready for a dip.

It's not so bad!

It’s not so bad!

Swimming practice...

Swimming practice…

Sam is considerably less graceful with his technique...

Sam is considerably less graceful with his technique…

Puppy crazies!

Puppy crazies!

I'm pooped.

I’m pooped.