Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Bruce

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We are in Mt. Pleasant now and took most of the items we brought from California to the property to store them in the barn.
I didn't realize yout TX place was in Mt. Pleasant. So sad that Joe died, 1) because he was such a character and nice guy and 2) his place was in Mt. Pleasant. You would have had a BYH buddy RIGHT nearby.
 

Ridgetop

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Baymule and I were just saying that. In fact, he passed away the year we came back to Texas and met Bay, BJ, and Devonviolet. We were hoping to meet him too and it was a shock to read that he had died. :( Our place is actually in Yantis which is closer to Sulphur Springs and about 30 miles from Mt. Pleasant. But 3o miles is nothing!

We took DS1 over to see the property and discuss how to fence for the sheep. We looked at the "tack room" in the barn and went to Lowes, Tractor Supply and Walmart to outfit ourselves for the chore of cleaning it out.

Armed with a rake, snow shovel (better for picking up debris), contractor trash bags, trash can to hold said bags while filling them, gloves, and drywall masks, we returned the next day to empty the 10 x 10 room. Nope, we discovered that the hornets and wasps had made nests in the room and the surrounding barn! We shoved the tools and trash can inside and went back to Lowes for some heavy duty wasp killer with plans to return today. While DS1 and I were looking for boots in Tractor Supply DH was chatting to a fellow who told him about a dump in Yantis. :weee

This morning, armed with the map and address, we located another dump in Quitman as well. Since none of the dumps were open on Sunday or Monday, we went on a road trip to find them so we would know where they were on Tuesday. The one in Yantis is only about 5 miles from the house! :) Armed with the knowledge that we could dispose of the garbage we were about to encounter we headed for the ranch and the tack room. First DS1 went around the barn spraying all the wasp nests. DH got our folding chairs out of the truck and set them up in the barn. We put on our special drywall masks and hauled out the tools, garbage can, boxes we had brought from California, and the heavy duty shelving pieces. Then DS1 started raking and shoveling.. We filled fourteen 50 gallon contractor bags with debris and dirt shoveled off the floor. We also kept pulling trash wood (none of which was salvageable) out of the room, 5 old window frames, 3 large window screens, miscellaneous junk, canning jars that had been packed in cartons that had disintegrated, rusted parts of toys, an old countertop, bits and pieces of barbed wire, and what seemed to be parts of a disk or plow for a tractor - hard to tell. I can't believe the amount of stuff that was in the room! There was also a really old top loading dish washer of some sort which we left in the shed until next time since it was really heavy. We salvaged 4 wire calf bottle holders, and a small wagon wrench. LOL We may have to make 2 trips to the dump with all the junk. I have pix but am not sure if they will send tomy computer. Sometimes they do, sometimesthey don't.

After sweeping the empty room out, DS1 set up the heavy duty shelf unit and we put our boxes on it. Then we came back to the trailer for showers and supper! Tomorrow the dump it closed so we are going to go to the Priefert outlet that sells "scratch and dent seconds". It is here in Mt. Pleasant and we are hoping to find some cow panels or gates to close off the barn. I haven't received my Texas ag number yet - it is probably waiting for me in California but if we can find some good deals then we will pick up some panels.

We found out that the amount of junk had pressed against the walls to the point that the bottom of the walls had pulled out from the supports! We will have to remove the wood and galvanized panels, clean out the debris there, and replace the walls when we come back. We are also missing a piece of roofing tin on the north side of the barn which will have to be replaced and one board on the west fascia looks like it might be damaged. Otherwise, the barn seemed to be pretty sound. We will have to rent a tractor or Bobcat to clean out the years of cow manure, but that won't be too hard to do. We can dump all the manure in the garden area. We discussed how to use the barn, where to put the jugs, where to store hay, etc. DS1 had some good ideas about fencing.

Speaking about fencing the NCRS fellow from Quitman got back to me and we have an appointment on 9/26 to meet and tour the property to put in a request for a fencing grant. Apparently, you can put in more than one request, so we can do the fencing in stages. He will discuss our options when we meet.

DS2, DDIL2, and baby Robert will be arriving here around the 21st or 22nd from San Antonio where they are visiting DDIL2's uncle and family. They plan to see the Alamo, the Riverwalk, then are going to Fort Worth on the 20th to meet Kris. We told them to go to the "longhorn drive" to show Robert the longhorns. They are flying home on the 25th so we are going to try to have lunch with our great niece in Lindale on the 24th. Of course we will take them to see the ranch.

My tenant called tonight to say that their AC is not working. We are planning to replace the entire HVAC system so I gave him the name to call to get the man out tomorrow. I will call in the am to find out if he has an appointment and maybe we will run over there to meet with the HVAC guy. We might as well have it replaced now. His mother-in-law lives with them and has taken a turn for the worse. The hospice nurse comes every day for her but of course poor Vikki is under a lot of strain with her mom, so I want to make sure that the house is livable for them. Larry is very worried about her trying to take care of her mother 24/7. The temps had dropped to a pleasant temperature for 2 days, but today the temps went up and it got humid as well. I will check tomorrow with them to make sure the HVAC guy will come out. The tenant was very apologetic, but I assured him that if we couldn't get it working or replaced that we would go to Lowes and get him a couple window AC units until we could get it replaced. We can always use the window units in outbuildings later.

DS3 called last night and asked if we wanted to take Skittles back. Apparently, he is working almost permanently out of Salinas which is 150 miles north of Nipomo where he lives. He is living up there in his trailer and only coming home on weekends. My poor DDIL1 is in Nipomo on her own with the 2 boys. Having DS3 gone all week is difficult for her. Her sister was renting a trailer on their property, but she moved to Oregon and DDIL1 feels very alone and is very depressed. It didn't help that 2 of their 4 horses got colic several weeks apart! Skittles is the TWH that we bred out of DH's TWH mare. She is a lovely little jet black mare, and of course we said we would come get her when we get back to Los Angeles. I also said I would take Sage who is a little grulla mustang I originally adopted through the mustang program. DDIL1 wanted him so I gave him to her, and she did all the groundwork and then had him trained. She had sold him to a lady, but the lady brought him back because he was pining for Skittles (they have been together since they were both yearlings) and the lady's other horse was beating him up. He is small - about 14 hands - so I can probably get on him. :gig Anyway, we will bring both horses back home and eventually bring them to Texas along with Josie the Mule who is about 2 years older. They were friends before so will be glad to see each other again.

Off to bed before another big day of ranch stuff tomorrow.
 

Baymule

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Yay! Clean up the barn! It’s a start, lot more to do, but that is one real nice, big barn! Glad DS1 likes the farm. Boo on the wasps, spray them!
I hope the HVAC guy comes out and gets the AC going again. Or you could replace it now and charge it off to your rent house!
 

Ridgetop

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Worried about the tenant's poor MIL in the heat all night so called the HVAC person first thing this am and left a message. Then called tenant and spoke to him. He said that they left the AC off all night, and it started up this am. Thought it was probably frozen up and would last for another month now. In the middle of our conversation the HVAC man called me, so I talked to him and had him go check the C to make sure it stayed on. I also asked him to call me back to arrange a meeting about replacing the entire system. The tenant said that the heat does not work in the back 2 bedrooms anyway, so the entire system needs to be replaced.

Today we are going to Walmart (return), Prieferts (checking the scratch and dent outlet), and doing laundry here. I would like to see the Dairy Museum in Sulphur Springs too. Each time we tried to go before it was closed. It is closed on the weekends, go figure. We have to check on renting some equipment to scrape out the years of manure in the barn and dump it in the garden space. Looking forward to growing a great garden eventually. Also have to plant fruit trees this winter. Have to look up what varieties do well here in Texas. Want to plant apricots, plums, nectarines (don't like the fuzz on peaches), apples, cherries, pears, and whatever else will grow well. Need to be varieties that take winter chill. Maybe also some grapes and berries although those take a lot of pruning. Of course, all fruit trees need proper pruning since some fruit on new growth branches while other varieties fruit on 2nd year branches. Prune the wrong way and you don't get any fruit. I also need to learn what plants and flowers grow well in Texas since I am second generation southern Californian and only know those plants. For instance, some perennial plants and flowers in so Cal are annuals in cold winters. Learning curve coming up. LOL

This am we are watching the royal funeral while we have breakfast. Major change in the world order. Hope Charles can hold things together. Maybe assuming the throne will be formative for him. He already commanded William and Harry to behave and reconcile. Had to laugh when I read that "Uncle Joe" was relegated to a seat behind Poland, in front of Czechoslovakia, and across from Korea. DS1 says "So much for our special relationship" :lol: The grandchildren and great grandchildren of QE11 are really grieving. She had a close private relationship with them and having to appear in public while mourning her passing has to be hard for them, particularly the younger ones. Very sad to realize that they have lost a well-loved mother and grandmother, while the people of England have lost the focal point of patriotism. No wonder the Brits dislike Meghan and Harry for causing her so much distress in her last years. They wouldn't bring their children to see her either. Such a pity. The pomp surrounding the funeral and interment is magnificent to see. So sad to see the end of an era. I hope that it will not be

Anyway, so glad that DS1 likes the property and is thinking of how to set up the rotational grazing fencing as well as the jugs in the barn. We only drove around in the truck and he wants to walk the property. Here are some photos of the junk we removed from the 10 x 10 room. If they will load.
 

Ridgetop

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Each picture is taking about 20 minutes to load! SLOOOOW internet here!
First 2 pictures are of the 10 x 10 room halfway through the emptying process. Yeah, incredible that half of the garbage is already gone and it still looks like that! LOL
IMG_7261.JPGIMG_7262.JPG

Next picture is of big lumber pile including some of the window frames that we removed from room. Fourth picture shows the little room that was bud as a "tack room" in the barn, with DH standing in front of it, and 14 bags of garbage in front of him. Incredible that it all fit in that 10 x 10 space! There is still more to remove - including a decaying door up on the rafters. LOL
IMG_7263 (1).JPG IMG_7264 (1).JPG More boxes of trash are to the left of the bags. There is a large pile of metal (tractor parts?) behind the post to the left of the room.

The room is empty now except for 2 shelving units and the few items we brought out in our trailer. But it is ready for more shelves and more items we will gradually bring out. Once we get into the house, we will have to do another emptying job on the 12 x 20 storage building in the back yard of the house. We assumed that the tenant was using the building for storage but he said that only the few bits of fishing equipment in the front belongs to him. Everything else in the building was left by the previous owner. He says it is packed with junk! DH looked through the windows and says it is full of old paint cans, small aerosol cans of stuff (WD40 type stuff) that will need to go to the hazardous waste dump. we will enquire as to where that is when we take the lumber and garbage to the dump Tuesday am.

Luckily, unlike a lot of the places we looked at, the pastures are pretty free of junk other than some goat weed. Cody said they sprayed for it but missed some spots which is where the weed is coming up. He said they will be back next week to cut some weeds and burn some of the brush they already removed. He said to just throw our stuff on the pile, but we will just take it to the dump and check out the place since we will be removing stuff from the house later too for replacement.

Check out the huge garden spider that is living on the face of the barn. Her body was about 1.5" across. With her legs she would be about 4-5"! She has a giant egg sac too. These spiders eat wasps as well as other insects. We were careful to let her alone to encourage more wasp eating. LOL Keep up the good work girl!
IMG_7258.JPG
 

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Baymule

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It's so nice that your DS1 is there to help, he will be so valuable in cleaning up the place and running the sheep farm. Y'all have a lot of work to do, it's smart to get a head start on it. At least the dump is close by.
 

Ridgetop

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So yesterday since we did not have anything else to clean out and the dump was closed, we went to the Priefert outlet. We priced gates and panels in the "seconds" yard and then scored in the "thirds" yard that had 2 panels and a 6' gate with wire on it. DS1 immediately wanted the small gate for the property in California to replace a chain link gate. If had a BIG dent in the top arch (no wire on that) and we called it an "Art Gate". I told the salesman that it would be a "statement piece". :lol: One 12' panel was pretty damaged, one 10' panel did not look damaged at all, and we got all 3 pieces for $65. The seconds - 16' gates with wire were $210 each and they looked just as good as any you would find at Tractor Supply. Like DS1 said, after coming home in the truck, being unloaded, and a couple months use on the ranch they ALL look like "seconds"! :gig

Really glad about the dump being only about 10-15 minutes away! We went early and loaded up a load and went to the dump. 3 trucks ahead of us and the guy said that if we had a lot of wood to dump we might have to wait until next week since it had been really busy that morning already! We dumped the garbage and went back for the wood and metal. (Metal dumps for free in another spot of the dump.) We quickly loaded the wood and metal and another bag of garbage and got back to the dump. As we were dumping the last of the junk and wood 3 more trucks and a trailer pulled in to dump.
shed.jpg Here is the clean tack room. :celebrate

You can see the opening in the corners where the walls have pulled apart at the bottom. The area at the bottom of the walls needs to be cleaned out and the walls reattached to the floor. Not a hard job once we are there.

DS2, DDIL2 and Robert are having a good time visiting places in Texas. They bought tickets for the rodeo Saturday night in Fort Worth for all of us. On Friday we will drive to Lindale to the all-you-can-eat Eastern Buffet. :drool They fly home on Sunday. DS1 will stay here with us and travel home by car with us. DS2 asked where Baymule lived and when he found out she was down near Houston said he wished he had known he would have gone to meet her. DS1 said that would be hard since she was my imaginary friend then laughed uproariously. Bad DS1, no biscuit!

Still didn't get the laundry done today. Went to Walmart and grocery shopped. Will have to find another grocery store once we are living here since Walmart is expensive. We will check out Aldi for produce, and a couple of bargain grocery outlets. Also will put in a large vegetable garden and can a lot of the veggies. I have 2 pressure canners, 2 hot water bath canners, and boxes and boxes of canning jars in our shed which will be coming with us. I really would like to try the new electric pressure canners. I saw one in Washington State but the store closed up during Covid. I will check on line and also check the reviews but being able to set it and have it keep the pressure without always adjusting the heat would make canning lots of jars a lot easier.

Got an appointment tomorrow with the Legacy Land Bank which does farm and ranch loans to discuss interest rates and possible loans. We need to put up a large carport to protect our trailer and vehicles from hail, also a storage tank for the well since we will be using the well to water the sheep and garden. And possibly a tractor loan eventually. Just a discussion so we know what is available and doable. Next week we meet with the NCRS fellow for Wood County.

Our tenant, Larry, wants lamb and said he usually gets about 4 deer each year. He will trade venison for lamb. He also gets a lot of hogs. He said young gilts cook up beautifully in the pressure cooker with a recipe he uses to make pulled pork. Yum!

Really have to do laundry tomorrow!
 

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