Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 9 2011 House and Work Update

We have been pretty busy at work lately with a little bit of free time off and on. So I wanted rain
in hopes that we would get shut down for awhile. Well it rained, now we play around in the mud. It don't matter, the machines need to be there I guess. I unloaded the cat I was hauling and trying to get turned around, this is as far as I got. I'm stuck.

We always seem to haul something that can help with getting turned around, or up hills that you normally can't do with the truck alone. And it does happen at times. So I hooked the cat I just unloaded onto the trailer.

Then jump on the D6R Cat and simply drag the old girl around the corner.

This is how it all ened up. The jeep (small trailer between the truck and main trailer) wanted to kink towards the ditch more instead of follow along, but thats ok. We're turned around and ready to roll. I hate trucking in the mud anymore. Everything was nice and clean before this road. They call this the Teddy Lane. I think named for all the bear sightings. I have seen alot of blackbears on this road and one spring a few years ago I can remember watching a young grizzly bear rolling around on dead road killed moose right at the beginning of this road as you turn off the highway. Yip, right at the chain up area. Nice. They don't seem to drop all road kill there anymore, which is kinda nice. I have seen alot of black bears this spring so far. I think almost every day I'm out in the bush. No grizzly yet though.

I get alot of different looks from Traction at times. She's just about ready to retire from the swamping lifestyle after this day we had.

One evening while driving home from work, I noticed this old truck parked in a farmers field. I just had to turn around and snap a shot, as it brings back old memories, just like an old friend. I used to drive this truck for a previous employer. I have been into the United States one time in my life and this was the old friend that took me there. I was hauling 108 head of young bull buffalo from close to home to Gooding, Idaho. It was quite a journey. Permits, log books, heat, this old girl don't have air conditioning. The DOT shut me down in Shelby, Montana for two hours for being over houred in my log book. lol. If they only knew the whole story. By the time I arrived at my destination, I thought for sure that I would have had some dead livestock aboard, but when I opened the gate, they all ran off one right behind the other. They are a tough animal. They are quite different from cows. Cows would have trampled alot of the sleepers on a trip like that I think. I do plan on doing some more hauling across the line sometime in the future. I think it would be a great way to see the country.

One other funny thing I can remember about this truck. Most vehicles I have ever driven has a speedometer that is in both kilometers and miles. This is the only vehicle I have ever driven in my trucking career that only had it in kilometers and not miles. Just another minor obstacle while driving in a country that is in miles. I can also remember when this trucks odometer turned from 999,999 back to zero. There are actually alot of different trucks that I run across from time to time that bring back some memories, kinda like an old friend, and some maybe an old enemy.

Anyway, back to the acerage project. Once inawhile I do get a chance to start doing things on the house or the acerage before getting phoned to go to work. I managed to install a couple of deck headers on the front of the house. It's going to be a deck over a deck. In between the two ladders will be a sawed off door. I just gotta be different. I'll be taking about 1 foot off the door and will have to step over the knee wall to get out onto the deck. I like the idea myself. Awhile ago, Annie over at Edifice Rex kinda mentioned that it might not be a good idea to cut into the top plate for a door opening, and after thinking about that for awhile, I thought I would agree. So this is the solution I came up with.

I managed to get a few other odds and end done, and the house is pretty much insulated except the ceiling and just some odd pieces that would be in the way for other things. After being so busy at work for a few days at a time, I always seem to find it hard to get motivated again. I'm always thinking the phone is just going to ring anyway. It sounds like we may have another driver coming as we do have another truck now. I think I will find some extra time for building soon. I sure do hope so anyway. I hate the thought of quitting, or taking a bunch of time off, sometimes I just wish the boss would retire or something. Well, not really. I love the job, but I just find it hard to enjoy it at this time knowing that nothing's going on with the house. I don't plan on working like a dog for ever, it's just that it's easy pickings right now, and you just never know if it will come to a sudden halt again soon or not.

Another thing that kinda slowed down the building process was that when I did have time off work, I used about three days in total to cleanup the bush areas a bit, with some help from mom one day. After the forest fires in Slave Lake, Alberta, that destroyed a good sized chunck of the town of 7000 people, it made me a little paranoid. So I thought that I would prune the spruce and pine trees in the bush that come close to the house and garage. Well I don't know if pruning is the right word for it, as I just delimbed with a chainsaw. Probably not the correct way to go about it, but I had alot of trees to do. It is alot safer now, I think. If those trees ever did start on fire, I imagine it could take the house with it pretty easy. The way it was, the limbs so close to the ground and all that dead quack grass under the trees, a little harmless grass fire would have almost garanteed a major disaster. As it is now, it could still be bad, but there is a pretty good chance that a grass fire might not automatically ignite the trees so easily.

I raked all of tree broughs out of the bush and piled it all into one big pile in the middle of my land. It was a few loads for the old backhoe. I'll probably burn it in the winter. There is alot of extra things a mans gotta do when country living. One chore that I have, that really dos'nt make any sense what so ever, is mowing. Is'nt that what cows are for? I just don't have time to get rigged up for everything just yet. Eventually though, I would like to find two calves in the spring and let them graze the acerage all summer and sell them in the fall. That way they can keep the grass down in the hard to mow areas also. I need fence and the time to build it etc. I guess I could tether them or use solar electric fence, but I just don't have time for things like this right now. For now I'll just mow it. Just another thought, I could put a couple horses there instead, but then they will be burning hay all winter. I guess time will tell.


This is a personal blog, mainly for my own use. I am building a house with my own two hands, but I am learning alot of things as I go. I do not claim to know what I am doing, or if anything I do is even close to being done correctly or safely. So please, if you are planning on using any of my ideas or methods for your own use, please get professional advice before actually following through with your actions. I will not be held responsible for any injuries or damages of any kind caused by information or comments from this blog.


  1. Great post Mark! Looks like you are keeping busy. Glad to hear the bears haven't eaten you up yet. :)
    I vote you get the calves, as much as I love horses, you're right about the winter feed. :)

  2. Good post, you have been a busy guy. Until I 'retired' in 2009, I was always sitting at my desk on a beautiful day, wishing I was home doing something. Now, I'm home, and there's still not enough hours in the day.

  3. Thank you Jeanie. Nope, the bears hav'nt got me yet, knock on wood. I have been trying to get a good picture of some, but it is kinda tricky. I think you're right about the calves, unless I had a purpose for the horses, like generating power perhaps. Never know.

  4. Hey thanks Sharon. Ya, I know what you're saying about not enough hours in a day. The time is sure flying by again this summer too. I'm pretty sure that I will slow down with the working sometime soon. I'm just about ready for a change. Lowbedding (equipment hauling) is sometimes a crappy lifestyle anyway.

  5. Hello Hermit...long time no see. Glad you are finding time here and there fer the house. Its always something or other that hinders progress, same with me. Take care and good reading yer post. -Jen

  6. Hey Mark,
    When I first started reading the post about you getting your truck stuck I thought to myself, 'now, I bet he was hauling something that would get that truck unstuck!' ha!
    Now, that was just my first impression about cutting into that top plate but you know, I'm wrong about a lot of things. I'm sure the framing code would say what could or could not be done.
    Great story about the buffalo haul! Too bad that was the only time you've been to the States. We're not so bad down here! Heck, some of us are even downright friendly! lol!
    On, great pic of Traction too!! that face said it all.

  7. Hey Jenn, good to see you again. A little here and little there, I just may get it all done in the lifetime. It's pretty hard to devote all my time to the task at hand, but I'm sure it will get done sometime. Thanks Jen.

  8. Whaoa Annie, you're kinda psychic. lol.
    That top plate issue probably could have been dealt with, but I'm sure it would have taken some un-simple tasks to get it done, and we all know I like to keep things simple. Your right Annie, SOME of you are friendly. It seems to me though, that the first person I talked to while crossing the line would have shot me if I said "boo!". He wanted to fine me $2500.00 for not signing my manifest. Then the lady DOT 30 miles in was not looking for friends either. There were other issues also, but I will take your word for it Annie, I do have some fine American blogger friends. I'm sure I will do some travelling down there again sometime.

  9. Man...that's quite a mess of mud! Glad you had the cat there to help pull things right!

    Never enough time in the day, my friend! At least, that's what I think!

    The place is looking better all the time!

  10. Hey Jim, good to see you again. It was pretty slimy. I sure don't need to find any of that again anytime soon, but it is raining again, so I don't know. Thanks Jim.

  11. Ah, you really need to look into getting yourself some milk goats. Where else would you get milk and FUN all in one animal? :)) Although, I do love horses, and have had a few over the years, goats are just… cute. And think of all that cheese you could make (during those down times at work, of course). :) And, they love to eat anything with thorns! There's also alpacas. I've heard they don't take much in the way of feed, any more than a larger dog. With any animal, there's going to be some upkeep… but ohhhh the joys! :)

    Good luck with the muddin'. We've had more than our share of rain this year. The good news is the garden seeds are sprouting. The bad news: so are the weeds.

  12. A couple goats could work I guess. I could tether them pretty easy for now, but I'm not to sure about the milking part. Sounds like (work), I probably don't have the time for that at the moment. To busy working and building. And here I am on blogger. Coffee break. It was actually getting pretty dry up here, but the last couple of days have been pretty rainy again. I wonder what goats milk tastes like. Do you milk goats Lynnanne?

  13. I've had a few goats, but never milked (but would love to have my own now). I have friends who have a herd of milk goats, and I've had goat milk. It is WONDERFUL! I've had Toggenburg and Nubian goat milk….and was shocked at how good it is. Don't know about tethering, and they are natural-born escape artists = guaranteed fun. :) We had a Togg named Stanley. Great goat. We'd yell his name from the house and he'd run to the house-side of the fence and start baaaing back to us. And then, there was the Togg Nellie. She was sweet. And then, I bought a 4-pack of Nubians. They'd been allowed to run wild in this gal's woods forever. Not the wisest choice. If you get one, get one that's been bottle fed and loves its humans. Makes all the difference in the world.

  14. Seems there might be alot to learn about the goat. I think I'm going to find some goats milk somewhere just to give it a try, I'm kinda curious about it now. Thanks for the info.