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Slowly Making Progress …

• CATEGORIES: Features

View looking up the main driveway.

As I mentioned late last week, updates will be predictable for at least the next week. Other than videos and a few jeeps, the story line will be updates the challenges and successes of getting the “eWilly HQ” up and running.

We are making progress, slowly. Our hope was to fully move in by May 1, but life keeps throwing obstacles in our path. For example, on Wednesday Ann tripped on a sidewalk lip at the local mall (an issue that had already been reported to mall maintenance, but not yet fixed) and fell into a light pole. She was hurt bad enough (partly body pain and partly just pissed that it happened), that she asked me to come get her. That laid her up for two days.

Additionally, the sellers were delayed getting out, limiting us on what we could do this past week. They were finally out Wednesday, so we began moving stuff in the truck and jeep into the shop and house garage. These frequent trips coincided with various chores (like alternating the pasture watering).

Before we beginning to move stuff inside the house, we wanted to bug/flea bomb it as a precaution for our dogs, then began cleaning. Once we began cleaning, we learned just how dirty the place still was. For example, we have a commercial quality floor shampooer that was bringing up lumps of dog hair out of the master bedroom carpet. This extra deep cleaning will delay us, as we are going to have to hire someone to professionally clean most of the house as we have our hands full with other issues.

Being spring, the lawn, the pasture grass, and the weeds are growing rapidly (seller didn’t get a chance to spray anything before moving). We wished we could have moved-in last month, as that would have given us a lead time to get moved-in, then deal with how best to manage the property. But, the water’s under the bridge on that. Once we get the tools and resources we need, managing the property will be much easier.

On the plus side, we now understand how the house irrigation and the pasture irrigation systems work (with nothing broken as promised). So, everything is getting watered and growing well, though a little too well, as this means we need to buy a better mower (for about 1.5 acres of lawn) OR get a tractor with a mowing attachment.

In addition, we are finding all kinds of treasures amongst the network of small buildings and lean-tos. For example, I was looking for a cart to help move stuff and thought I might need to buy one, but, while looking around yesterday, I discovered we have a shopping cart (based on the color, probably a missing Walmart cart). That worked great for moving stuff!

Here’s some pics of the shop and the outbuildings. The building we call “the shop” consists of a front shop that is 35′ wide by about 40′ deep. The remainder of the building contains a 15’x20′ back shop with its own garage door, a 15’x20′ apartment, and the upstairs storage’. Pictured is the front shop:



Next to the shop is this lean-top that is partially built atop a former garage (that also has an interior room) moved to this location and placed atop a cement slab by the original owner of the property. This architectural wonder has a bunch of salvageable material, but needs rebuilding. It is a future project.


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With all our hustle and bustle, on Thursday evening as the sun set, Ann and I decided a break for us was important. So, we halted  our work. Without dogs or the M-I-L, we sat down on the back porch and enjoyed the setting sun. The leaves danced in a soft breeze, distant neighbor cows mooed the dropping sun, nearby chickens clucked, and the sounds of the pasture sprinklers added their own summer sounds to the scene. It was wonderful and provided a reminder that, while the next six months will be plenty of work, it will be worth it.

Here’s the setting sun from that evening:




14 Comments on “Slowly Making Progress …

  1. SteveK

    Maybe get a pull behind lawnmower deck and put Paterson to work, and get to drive it too? Beautiful scene there, and the sky as well. Quite an undertaking, but also quite a reward in the near future. Good Luck!

  2. Craig/Vermont

    Is it safe to drive your jeep over the irrigation system ?? …AND, the price of building materials has gone nuts…You have ‘gold mine’ in those older sheds…Congrats on your new place !!

  3. Flea Bailey

    hello , i’m a personal injury lawyer , sounds like you need help ? — welcome to ranch life , theres not enough time in the day to do what needs to be done …i know ..

  4. Allan J. Knepper

    “Sat on the porch and enjoyed the setting sun”…….priceless ! Hope that you both have many more evenings just like that.

    A FOUR POST LIFT……!!! If I had something that snazzy, my CJ3B would already have a new master cylinder… brake lines……..and my transfer case would have all it’s oil leaks fixed. You rock !

  5. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks all … I have no doubt it will take a couple years at least to get the property how we want it, but its upside potential is part of the charm and the work is a value-ad we can bring, making it an excellent investment vehicle for us.

    The shop itself will be a project to organize, but that is likely a few weeks away yet.

    I learned today the backstory is the sellers didn’t want to move, but were forced to due to a change in their finances. So, I feel bad for them in that regard, but that is life sometimes.

    Allan: Regarding the four-post lift, I wasn’t looking for a lift, but the seller made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. The thing is like brand new.

    Craig: My thoughts were the same about the shed materials. The steel and wood are in good enough shape to reuse.

    SteveK: I don’t think there is a small enough mower built that Patterson could pull.

    MikeP: Yes, after three years of looking, it’s the perfect place at the perfect time. I know the place will kick my butt in terms of the work it will require (been better to get this at 40 rather than 55), but I’m been imagining something like this for a long time.

  6. CraigInPA

    I see a riding mower in the shop. I regularly mow about an acre with a 30 year old 38″ cut John Deere run by a 12.5hp Kohler engine (much smaller than what is presently installed on even the smallest John Deere rider today). I look at my time on the mower as time to think, and to do the “Zen and the art of cutting grass” thing. I always feel better when I get the mower back in the garage after the 45 minutes of cutting the grass.

  7. David Eilers Post author

    Mark & Craig: Yes, that’s a Craftsman Riding Lawnmower with a vacuum system. We picked it up from the owner for $500 (which seemed like a good price). We plan to upgrade to a Zero-Turn, mostly to speed up the mowing. Our goal is to invest in the right tools to make this place more easily managed, especially as we get older. Then, I’d have the ZT can focus on 95% of the flat, level grass, while the Craftsman can tackle the remainder, such as tight areas that are a little rough (call it our brush-hog-lite).

    For a mower, I’m looking at a Cub Cadet or Toro or John Deere (I’m leaning towards this due to a mulching review of the JD) with a 48′-54′ deck, mostly because I believe those brands will be the easiest to service where we are. Mulching quality, ease of maintenance, and dependability are guiding factors, along with availability.

    For a tractor, I’m leaning towards a Kubota L2501 with a loader and brush hog. The seller didn’t do much to the pasture this year, so we are behind in terms of managing it. Since I don’t have time to research the issue like I would normally, I leaned on Ann’s cousin, who highly recommend the L2501.

    I’m not super sure on either decision, so we’ll see what the dealers think based on our needs.

    – Dave

  8. colin peabody

    Progress is being made and new decisions of what it will take to manage the new property will occur daily as you decide what will work and what won’t. My grandson in Maryland has his own successful landscaping business and I can ask him what ZT he has and what good sized lawn tractor/mower he has had success with.
    Envious of your new shop and all the future uses of the shop and outbuildings!

    Good Luck!

  9. David Eilers Post author

    Colin, we enemies up doing a package deal with Kubota LX series tractor and a Koehler powered Walker mower. We may get them as early as Friday.

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