Monday, May 14, 2018

Feeling Blessed

Monday, May 14, 2018

1:26 p.m.
It is a lovely day today and one of those days when things just seem to go right. 😍 I took my cordless electric chainsaw into the woods and cut up four trees. They were 3-6inches in diameter. Most of their length was around the 3-4" size. When I pooped out after 3.5 hrs there was still half a battery left. Then to make it even better, the persnickety LP generator started up on the 3rd try. The battery recharged in just an hour. I'm having a lovely day! I'm currently sitting out in the shade looking over the meadow. In between loads of laundry, I mended my shoe. 

This past weekend was pretty good too. When I drove down to the dump station I got to see just how much of a road improvement the contractor my neighbor hired to put in his driveway had made. It was lovely! He completely rocked, leveled and compressed both mudholes! My road is fixed! Oh there are a few other places that need improvement, but they're not bad like those two were. I called and left him a message that I appreciated his work. 

Ron was supposed to arrive Friday, again, but couldn't get away until Saturday morning. We still got the NW corner jack in Saturday afternoon. Three 4x4 posts, 6 horizontal 2x6x8 boards and 2 2x6x10 diagonal braces. Sunday we set out for the peak on the 80 via that old skid road that runs along the east fence line in the Ute. We had one post, 3 horizontal boards and one diagonal brace, 60 lbs of concrete, 2.5 gal. of water, the shovel, postholer, level, cordless drill, bits, screws, tape measure, my "no trespassing" signs, nails and hammer, along with loppers, cordless electric chainsaw, polesaw, and cordless recip saw all loaded into the Ute. We only got the Ute up to the place I made it to on foot before. About 1/2 way. Then we hade to haul all that stuff (not the chainsaw, lopers, recip, and polesaw, those were for clearing a path for the Ute) up the steepest, brushiest part on foot. Ron did the lumber and concrete. I did most of the tools and water. There was an old jack up there already, so we only had to do one leg. It was hard climbing up that mountain so many times. The only one Ron had trouble with was the 60 lb bag of concrete. That was the first time I'd been up there. I now know where Raspberry Breath (the bear) is getting the raspberries. The whole top is covered with them. There were green ones already set on. The bushes came up to my shoulders. 

Since I'd added geranium essential oil I hadn't picked up any new ticks. Though last night I discovered one had made its way into my bed and found its way up my pajama leg😑. I hadn't been spraying my jammies... It must have been in the RV for some time. 

Anyway, after we finished with the jack we hauled all the tools back to the Ute and came back in for brunch. I made Ron and Rosie bacon and eggs. Ron is really enjoying his new camper. The kids were supposed to come for mother's day, but apparently got the dates mixed up and scheduled their nursery duty for church for this weekend. So they'll be coming next weekend.

After breakfast we went to the center, 1/4 monument on the S line and set one post. Thats all the concrete we had left. We picked it as we could drive to it and we were both still beat. Since we still had some time, be took the cordless chainsaw over to the west line and Ron showed me how to use it. I cut up a tree, then drove the Ute to the big meadow on that line,while he took the chainsaw and walked the line, clearing the few downed trees that were left. There were a couple of the T posts that he wanted to reset now that that corner jack was in.

We got back to camp and sat quietly for a bit. Ron fell asleep. I just let him. He works hard all week, then just as hard here. Eventually he woke himself up. He left to go home and mow, only Justin ( SIL) called him to say he had a tasty recipe in the bar-b-q and a place set for Ron. I missed my Mother's day call from our son, Ryan, because we were loading and unloading stuff for Ron to leave. My daughter hadn't called, so after the kid's bedtime I called her. Apparently it had been a wild day there. Justin had a go round with the auto repair guys over overcharging, and Joey and Toby decided to put a tube of sunscreen on all their toys and their bouncy house so they (the toys) wouldn't get sunburned. Ron came through the door at the moment that Justin discovered the deed. 😳 Poppa supervised the boys cleaning up their mess. Our daughter said she wasn't even going to look at it until today. LOL probably a good idea. I told her at least now she won't have to apply sunscreen, just send them to the bouncy house and roll them around a bit.πŸ˜†

The whole week before the weekend was cold and rainy. Not much happened. I cut sticks into kindling and listened to the contractor working on the neighbor's road. When I could I took a load of fence sticks out and wove them into the fence. We had some coyotes lurking and howling out of sight in the shrubbery. They were worrying Rosie, but I smacked a few big sticks on the ground to break them off and they didn't come any closer. Once I determined it was coyotes I wasn't worried. I ran out of sticks before I finished that section, even with the scrounging the really long ones. Only 6-8 more needed. Once I find them I'll have to wait until the contractor isn't working. One of his drivers is female and wears a whole lot of fragrance! I was having respiratory issues and couldn't figure it out until I realized that it had got on my clothes when I went down the front fence line too soon after they quit for the day. Washed those yesterday afternoon. 
That's about all there is to report from this past week.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

That Was a Hard, Hard Day

Saturday, April 28, 2018

And it feels so good to have worked that hard, even if I'm so sore I can barely move! 

Ron stayed over that Friday night and right after breakfast we advanced on the fencing project with guns blazing! Well, cordless screwdrivers, a circular saw, the sawzall and just about every other tool we could think we might need. We had the flat bed trailer full of lumber, T posts and barbed wire. For all that hoo-ha, we didn't get to stringing wire. We did build a fantastic corner fence jack, complete with posts set in concrete. Ron dug the holes while I went back to the trailer for loads and supplies. Rosie's getting more comfortable with riding in the UTV. She's not loving it.

I worked as hard as I could to help out. I'm sure my poor husband feels like he has to do everything by himself, enough. And I hate being helpless! With my new e UTV, I don't have to be left out anymore. So I made myself useful. I handed him tools, held boards, tamped concrete and cleaned up the work site, loading all the stuff we were done with and taking it back to the trailer. I even loaded up 15 bundles of 6ft T posts across the bed of the Ute (UTV) and unloaded them all and spread out 10 of those bundles so Ron didn't have to. He'd already spread out 5 by the time I got back with the next load. He drove them all with the post pounder. I'm betting he's gonna be sore tomorrow too! Well, that was 1/3 of the posts we needed set. It was the whole west line of the 80. A 1/4 mile. Next time we'll run wire.πŸ˜€ As for now, the couch is looking pretty darn good! Just need to trowel on some more arnica. I missed a few spots! 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

5:22 p.m.
Both Rosie and I took a recovery day. We sat on the couch under blankets all morning.  I ended up doing shots. Then I got out the zapper and drilled all the respiratory and thoracic points. That helped. I noticed I'm running low on arnica balm. I looked up the manufacturer and ordered a whole case. I have a feeling I'm going to need it. 

The temperatures took a dive. Friday it was 82°F for a high, today, the mid 50°Fs.When it was at its warmest we went out and wandered about a little. I cut higher limbs with the pole saw Ron brought. Not too many. Still sore. Rosie looked for deer and elk poo (snacks).

I fed Rosie the last of the turkey and vegetables with her burger and fat. Its some I'd had in the freezer. She really loves it. Its the one thing she really cleans her dish for. I saved most of the broth for me. When I run the generator this evening I'll heat it up. See if I can get any down. If not, Rosie scores a bonus!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

3:16 p.m.
I've spent the last two days using the pole saw to clear a path for the RV and Ron's new trailer through the Piney woods. I picked a higher spot, that had trees wide enough apart to drive through to do my turning around. Drier soil. Hopefully no mud holes. I removed the dead branches 12 feet up. I'm hoping not to repeat last Fridays performance. Ugh! Then I continued on clearing a path for Ron to get his trailer into a lovely clearing downwind of us. It will be a good set up for when my daughter, son-in-law and there kids come. Its a nice sized spot. Room for the tip out, too. 

Its still cold. πŸ˜’


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

6:02 p.m.
Rosie and I began the day clearing the west fence line on the 80 of branches, logs and brush. I'm in hopes that Ron won't have to use the gas chainsaw. It took us until almost 2:00 p.m.. It was a very lovely, sunny day. When we got back we did our tick check. Rosie had one.  We rested awhile, then I cleaned floors and took out some really dirty rugs for airing. I sat in the sunshine and soaked up the peace and warmth. After a while I tidied up the rest of the leveling blocks from my mudhole adventures and put them all away. There was plenty of delicious daylight left, so I trimmed a few more branches with the pole saw.  Its nice to be warm again.


Friday, May 4, 2018

3:58 p.m.
I just got out of a lovely shower. It feels great to be clean again. We're parked on the drive waiting for Ron to tell us when to meet him at the dump station. 

I've been watching the sky and the ground in the area I cleared for turn around. It threatened rain, so I drove out early. The ground was harder than I expected. Other than juking around, no problems. 

Yesterday was another one of "those days." Oiy! I started out finishing off a few branches on Ron's trailer's site. Then I snapped the kindling size twigs and branches off several of the ones in the pile. It was a very warm day. I'm just not used to the heat yet. Too quick a change. I got the bright idea that it would be cooler in the forest. I decided to load up a bunch of fence sticks into the wagon and work on the front fence some more. It had to be the wagon. The Ute's too big to go on the trails to the front fence.

I'm way out of shape!! I even picked the easiest path! I was overheated and sweaty before I even got to the fence. It wasn't cooler. It was humid! I had to stop short too. Two good sized trees had come down over the winter and blocked me from dragging the wagon any further. What spot was I working? The first draw. At the deepest part of the draw, up near the fence, is a spot where (apparently) some carnivores like to gnaw the bones of their kill. I call it the Bone Pit. Its open, with lots of bushes. Every time I pass through the bones are spread out there. I gather them up and toss them into a depression created by a tree root ball long gone. You know, like I used to pick up the kid's toys. Next time I come through, they are scattered out again, a little more gnawed. Wolf or coyotes, I don't know. I didn't check the teeth marks.

Anyway I started weaving sticks into the fence on the east slope of the draw and worked my way westward. I had to go back and forth between the fence and wagon, to get the sticks. Eventually I was buried in a tree, collecting forest bits down my shirt, clinging to the steep side of the draw when I heard a truck coming. I left the stick hanging and scrambled back down the hill out of the fumes reach. He went by. Didn't even notice us. Rosie and I climbed back up the hill. I fought my way back in under the shedding fir, red faced, sweaty and crusted with salt, and had just finished getting the stick in the fence when I heard him coming back, and driving fast. I baled out from under that tree and ran down the steep hill. Part way down I tripped. So steep was the incline and so fast was I moving that I flew out over the draw! My perverse sense of humor supplied an image of a Muppet me flying through the air, pausing at the apex then plummeting down. I landed. Hard. WUMP!!! Right in the Bone Pit! Dust and forest bits clouded the air. But I couldn't just lay there in pain like I wanted to. The truck was still coming and we were below the road. The fumes would sink and get me. I struggled upright, clawed my way to my feet and managed a few steps further away before the truck shot through the opening above us. I didn't look back to see if he noticed. I staggered to a shady spot a safe distance away and gasped in air. I took inventory of my injuries: a badly bruised knee, 2 sprained wrists, and a sore neck, whiplash. I finished the last of the load of sticks quite a bit more slowly. We headed back to the RV and a major tick check. The right thing to do after rolling around in the dirt and bushes were carnivores hang out. Surprisingly, I didn't have any! The force of the impact must have disoriented them long enough for me to get away clean! 

I washed up as good as I could in the sink. But I truly enjoyed the shower today!


Sunday, May 5, 2018

2:58 p.m.
Ron stayed over an extra day. He didn't get here until late Friday night. Work things that some how "must be done before he can leave." Ron's boss always manages to find several. Anyway, we got back up to Grandma Mountain from the dump station after dark. We didn't do much set up. Ron parked on the main drive way. I just drove to my spot but didn't do the rest.

In the morning we got Ron's trailer to his spot. Not the one I'd planned. His trailer was a lot bigger than I'd imagined. I'd had to move from my spot so he could make the corner.
That took a little while. We got a late start on fencing.

So, yesterday we started at the corner jack we'd built and worked the fence line eastward. Ron had set the control stakes last time. This time we pulled the line with bailing twine and a 250' survey tape and Ron pounded the T-posts. It was hard work. This part of our property is filled with rocks and boulders. Some as big as a dining room table! My job was to get the T-posts to the line, spread them out at 20 ft intervals and either tie, untie or pull the tape forward. I had a lot of trouble finding a way through all those big rocks. We finished a 1/4 section of line by 2:00 p.m., even though Ron had to drive some of those posts 4 times to find a spot deep enough to hold. I managed to pick up 3 ticks.

After lunch Ron said he wanted to continue to drive posts on the next section. The concern is that if we put it off the clay soil will dry out and be as hard as concrete. Both of us were tired and sore. But we went back out there and began the next section. Keep in mind that Ron's over 60, and I'm pushing it. SMH Two old grandparents out in the mountains building fence. I don't know many 20 year olds that even do this stuff anymore. This next section of fence has very few rocks. Yay! Its also the steepest, most densely wooded section of the ranch. There was once fence there. We kept finding wads of rusty barbed wire and rotting bits of post. Somebody else was as crazy as us, long ago.πŸ˜† 

We labored over that till dusk. Ron shot in control points, and drug a line. Rosie and I tried to get T-posts to the line. That wasn't so good. I got as high as I could, but the incline was so steep I almost rolled us turning around when we ran out of passable vegetation. We ended up porting in 20 posts on foot from that point. That was the number that would be needed to get as far as Ron had set control on. He'd fought through all that dense timber and underbrush to just short of the peak. He'd pounded T-posts as control every 100-150 ft. 5 of the 20. The distance varied because sometimes the vegetation was too dense to get a reading. A good part of the time he was setting control I sat in the precariously perched Ute, minding the brake, slapping mosquitoes. To be honest, I was so sore and tired I could barely move. When we hobbled back into camp both of us looked every bit of our age, plus a bit more decrepit thrown in for good measure. 

This morning, after doing supplies, when I asked him what he wanted to do before it was time for him to go, he said he still wanted to drive the rest of the posts I'd ported in there. So that's where we headed. This time, I refused to drive up that high. I told him I'd walk in. Seriously, I still hurt so bad I didn't think I was going to be much help. But I did what I could. We began by porting the 15 posts up the line to the next control point. For every two I could carry up the steep incline, Ron took five. I either moved the tape forward through the dense brush on the line, or remained behind to tie or untie it. Which ever end I was on, I spread out the posts. After each control point, we had to port less. πŸ™‚ I think It took us 2.5 hrs to do those 15 posts. It was hard climbing. We were 1/2 way through that last quarter section when we got those done. Only an 1/8 of a mile left. 

When we got down off that side of the peak I told Ron, 'there had to be a better way to get the next bunch of posts up there. I'd been on some skid trails earlier in my stay that had been pretty close to the top of the peak. How about we check them out.' So we drove in as far as we could on a couple, and checked them out. When we couldn't get the Ute past fallen trees, we hiked. The second one we were on (hiking) had petered out to a game trail but broke through onto an old rode that Ron said ran from the NE corner of the 80 to the SE corner, then along the back of the property to the top of the peak. We turned onto the road and hiked up there. I had to stop before getting to the top. If I didn't, Ron would have had to carry me out. I didn't think that would be fair to him after having pounded all those posts. So I waited while he went up the last super steep incline. I figured with a little work on the road, I could get the Ute to the place where I was, but after that, it was too steep. The Ute has too high a center of gravity. However an ATV could most likely make it up there. So when Ron got back we discussed logistics, the gas powered chainsaw and the gas powered ATV. There are several trees down across the skid roads. They're too big for my electric chainsaw. He'll have to take his saw in on an ATV by himself"

Ron was a bit worried about me, since we had a long way to go to get back to the Ute, but I'd rested and got my wind back. Its hard to climb with asthma. And I told him, "Downhill's much easier than uphill." I made it back to the Ute under my own steam. I think he was relieved.

As we got back to camp the sky started clouding up and promising rain. We unloaded the Ute at Ron's truck, then we unloaded the rest of the lumber and fencing materials from the flatbed trailer. Ron had to do the spools of bailing wire himself. They were to awkward for two people to carry. I helped with the two front gates. They were heavy enough. Ron said the barbed wire spools were heavier. Ugh!

While Ron tidied up his camper, I unloaded my stuff from the Ute into my rear basement bins and tidied up the camp. He's excited that our daughter and her family are coming up camping next weekend for Mother's day. Our daughter's excited because he's letting her pick out all the bedding, and decorations, etc, for the new camper and we're paying for it. LOL Its very nice inside. I peaked in a coup,e of times but its still too smelly for me to get in. 

Ron made a few final repairs to my gear, then he had to go. I was going to clean me up (forest bits and sweaty!), change into clean clothes and do laundry, (I have laundry water again!) but a 4 hour thunder storm rolled in. Laundry postponed. So I did floors instead, after getting cleaned up. I also mixed up more insecticide repellent. The mosquitos on the peak are voracious and some of them kept acting like they thought my herbal repellent was sauce! I've never encountered mosquitos not put off by mint before. I'd ordered more essential oils last week. Ron brought them. I'd picked out a new one for ticks - geranium oil. Hopefully it will put off the ticks and the mosquitos! 

I see some blue sky on the horizon. Looks like laundry may be back on the agenda.

Friday, April 27, 2018

When Wolve's Voices Become Recognizable

Wednesday April 25, 2018

6:43 a.m.
That storyline of wolves howling in the moonlight, never seen it. My lupine neighbors howl when its pitch black out. So I've never seen them, even when they were right next to the RV last fall.

Last night or early this morning, whichever, they visited again. I was having a sleepless night (medical issues). The dark was thick and weighty. No bird or animal sounds. I could feel the distant vibrations of traffic through the air. Then approximately 75ft behind my head, out in the ebony forest, the deep bass voice of the wolf that comforted me the night after my father died warbled up in sudden wild, beautiful, spine tingling song. It was both eerie, and breathtaking. I was startled at first. It started so abruptly, close and loud. It was a haunting and at the same time an almost spiritual melody. From the southern end of the big meadow the tenor wolf, Rosie's suitor, joined in. For several measures their voices blended. Counter point, not harmony, twining together like an audible vine. Two unknown voices tentatively added their contributions from the far side of the meadow. The back up singers? I cannot describe it adequately. It was quite incredibly beautiful. It lasted for only 10 minutes. Then they were silent. It was not the hunting howl, nor the song of grief and comfort. Neither was it the sweet crooning of a hormone besotted suitor. I don't know how to interpret it. 

If I were to name it, perhaps it was a welcoming back song. I hesitate to do that because it seems so implausible. But, no more so than when the bass voiced wolf sang me the saddest howling song I'd ever heard the night after my dad died. It took me awhile to come to accept that was what it was as well. A gift. Regardless of the intent, it was a comfort to me. 

Do not mistake my thoughts on these matters for foolish romanticizing. I'm well aware that these are apex predators with no fear of humans. I, or Rosie, could just as easily be dinner, if I don't watch out for us. There is a balance that must be kept. 

None the less, it was incredibly, breath takingly beautiful. It was another gift to this lonely desolate soul.


8:03 p.m.
Rosie and I were both jumpy today. We weren't sure if the wolves had moved on. We spent the day doing the same things as Monday and yesterday: cutting deadwood off trees and laundry. In between the more strenuous bits I rested and soaked up the sun. It got up to 70°F, I was down to a tank top and one long sleeved T, and I decided to clip Rosie. She looked too hot. We wandered down to the meadow afterward. We found one very large wolf track, and several elk tracks. The meadow was still too wet. 


Friday, April, 27, 2018

9:18 p.m.
It was one of THOSE days... I woke up at 7:00 a.m.. The LP generator wouldn't start. So gave up and changed the plug to the onboard generator. Coffee, check. Started breaking camp. Ron was taking the day off work and bringing fencing materials. He said he was starting early. Next mechanical issue. No cell service. I guesstimate he'll be at the station around 9:00 a.m. Not too far behind schedule, I start backing out of my spot around 8:20 a.m.. I'll be a little late, but not too badly. I keep checking, still no cell. I back into a turn around spot, I hit the soft spot I was trying to miss dead on. I'm stuck. That's 3. Well, "No problem! I say to myself as I hitch up my big mountain girl panties. I end up digging us out, and using the leveling blocks to get us out, after I buried us to the rims. Sigh. But free, now to get moving, and I'm only an hour late. As a backed up again to get turned, I hit an even softer hole. After diligently working on it, including more digging and hiking almost a quarter mile and dragging back a tarp full of rocks, I've now broke 2 leveling blocks, buried 2 more never to be seen again, and buried us to the axle on the passenger side, rear. Curse those duallies. No traction! I retreated to my camp chair to mull. Things started to look up. Cell service returned. Then I was worried because Ron wasn't answering. Eventually he called me back. Things were not going as planned at home and he hadn't even left yet. 

He got here around 5:00p.m.. His first response upon seeing my handiwork was, "There's no way I can pull you out of there." Oh, yeah, I neglected to mention I was 8 foot from a pine tree. I'd thoughtfully limbed it and cleared the ground on the other side so Ron could get his truck in there. I outlined my plan. His look was a little more than skeptical. I did get approval on my dig out technic and my rock placement. Unfortunately, Ron's truck wasn't able to get enough traction on the muddy ground to even budge us. He was contemplating calling a tow truck. I suggested pulling my RV backwards, and then filling the hole with rocks and just driving out over them. I got another one of those looks, but this time there was a glimmer of an idea. He started digging and I fetched more rocks. When the stage was set began a series of rocking the RV back, and holding the break down hard, while Ron shoved rocks in the hole, and then forward, where he again shoved rocks in the hole. Slowly we climbed the RV up enough that she was no longer laying on her axle. Then we were able to get a few more inches back, or forward. Each time I'd stop when Ron signaled and stand on the break, like Ron's life depended on it. It did. He was shoving those rocks under the inside duallies, too. It took us hours, but eventually I drove out of the soft spot. I wanted to take a picture of the huge hole but Ron was a bit touchy about it, so I let it go. It was huge, though! Both of us were beat. 

None the less, we unloaded the new eUTV off the trailer and took it for a moonlight drive around the ranch. Rosie wasn't thrilled. She sat on the floor between my feet and kept hiding her eyes under my arm.
The UTV should make getting around the ranch a lot easier.πŸ˜€

O' and while I was sitting there mulling over ideas of how to get myself out of that hole, I suddenly saw a few elk wander down to the fence line on the west. More joined them. Most of the heard either jumped the fence, crawled under it, or through it. They came to graze in our meadow. Rosie and I were having a very pleasant time watching them. I was tickled when the yearlings started playing in the pond. They were leaping and kicking and splashing just for the fun of it. At one point there were 4 yearlings and a cow all splashing around in there. It looked like teenagers at a pool party. Rosie got excited during that part and wanted to go join in. She kept inching forward and whining excitedly. All together, they visited us for about an hour. They didn't even seem to mine Rosie's and my noise.

Well, that's enough fun on the mountain for today...

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Trials of Turkey Hunting Trespassers

Thursday, April 19, 2018

9:08 a.m.
Turkey Season started last weekend. I spent a lot of time monitoring for trespassers. You know, the guys who've been hunting here for years... Anyway, just when I let my guard down, wouldn't you know it, thats when they did it. 

Since it was so cold, I run the generator one last time and then button her up as the sun is setting. Monday evening, thats what I did. Shades drawn, window blankets in place. I was sitting in the galley, under the blankets. Both Rosie and I were. It was snowing hard. Then I realize I could hear an engine idling. I peaked out and hiding behind a large shrub there's a maroon 4 door pick up. He's right out there almost in front of the RV. I watch to see what he's doing. You know, he could be making a cellphone call, or something. Then suddenly, I see a dark figure, carrying a gun, racing across my field south of the road. I jumped up, threw open the door and started up a hissy fit in the loudest bat crap crazy person voice I can muster! I yelled,

" Get off my land you @#!€&@!! I've called the cops! I have your license number! They'll take your guns, your vehicle, and you'll lose your hunting license!" Followed by another explicative.

Of course the armed trespasser had hopped the fence and was back in the truck by the time I completed the first sentence. They sped away as I screamed after them. Then I went back in and called 911. When the deputy called me back, he actually laughed when I told him what I did, and that I was trying to make them think I was freaking crazy so they wouldn't come back. He said it would probably work. I also told him about the swearing. I only swore because when I worked construction I'd learned that certain guys only thought you were serious if you droped several "F-bombs." The deputy laughed and said, "That's true." He thought it was the best response he'd ever heard.

The next ones were yesterday morning. I came out of the RV to work on fence and heard their car doors close. They'd been parked in the drive over by the entrance to the 80. There are trees blocking that line of sight from here. Thats how I got stuck in the mud last week when I moved to this spot. I was trying to put the RV in a position where I wasn't blocked by trees. Anyway, this time the pickup was "gun metal" with a canopy on the back. I started hollering, "No Trespassing!" I didn't start swearing because I hadn't seen any actual trespassing. They were driving away, and I followed, continuing to yell, "No trespassing!" They stopped and got out of the pick up! I bristled. The driver insisted they hadn't been trespassing. I responded that I'd been running off trespassers since the season opened and relayed a bit about the the guys that did it right in front of me. They said they could understand my response. They were polite and respectful. They were hesitent to give their names. I had to ask them twice, and only gave first names, "Christian, and Luke." Hmmm. They said they were a little confused on where they could hunt. They weren't sure where the timber company's land was. I pointed to the field due east of me across the fence. "Hunt there all you like. Just not on my land." Then I told them that the property on both sides of the fence just past the timber company's western gate, was privately owned up to this point. There's no shooting from the road or the right of way so they shouldn't even be looking at a turkey between there and this piece (I pointed to the east of me). Every thing south of the road to the property corner across from the next timber company gate is mine too. And south of me is also privately owned. No hunting. I noticed they already knew about all the timber company's gates etc. slick liars. They were just hoping they could maybe wrangle a little something else, like permission? They drove back to the timber company's first gate. I saw their truck parked there later when I did a fence walk to my SW corner on our 160. Five more weeks of Turkey Season to go.


Monday, April 23, 2018

7:58 a.m.
We've moved back to the very first spot we camped on last year. The Piney Woods spot. The ground dried out enough I could drive the RV out to dump black and grey and take on fresh water and fuel. And the main driveway had dried up enough that we could get in. I'm safer here. Far enough away from the road that I won't have to be on the watch for rigs/exhaust. 

Not all of the ground is dried up. I'd checked out the spot Saturday, and mapped out the driest route. So I got the RV in without a problem. Ron found a soft spot with his truck. He got stuck. I gently joked if he wanted me to pull him out.πŸ™ƒ After taking care of our chores, which included gathering the LP generator, tanks and water jugs from the other site, and taking on supplies we headed over to the 80 to work on the fence line in the time Ron had left.

Of course, fetching the generator meant Rosie and I hiked the 3/8s mile over to that campsite, to help lift it into the back of Ron's truck, and then back to off load it. Ron's truck is too toxic for me to ride in.
Then when we set out to work on the 80, Ron drove and Rosie and I hoofed it. Once we got to the 80 we hiked the 1/4 mile to the SW corner pin, stopping to post some signs where unknown ATVs had been coming in since the last rain. Then Rosie and I hiked 1/4 mile east to the center 1/4 pin, where the road with the heaviest ATV tracks went through. I posted both sides of the road there and painfully drug a fallen fir tree across the road. I had to put my butt into it. The biggest part of me. I used my weight to haul it along. Ron wasn't able to get the truck through the soft spots on the road into the 80 so he hauled all of his survey gear in on foot and then staked the first 1/2 of the south most east-west line. I fully expected him to have already surveyed through by the time I'd staggered to that center pin. I'm way out of shape! But apparently he was having trouble getting a read through the heavy brush. I thought he might laugh at me for putting the tree in the road but he went and found another one, picked it up, carried it to the line and tossed it on the barricade. Hmmm... Me struggling for all I was worth to drag that stupid tree over there compared with the ease with which he added a tree of the same size. Humbling. He also flagged it and added the same flagging to the post marking the 1/4 pin. 

His time was up. We started the trek back to the truck, then Rosie and I back to the Piney Woods. Ron had to round up his equipment, so he made a couple of trips. For me it was just doggedly putting one foot ahead of the other. I'd already reached "exhausted" by the time I was back on the 160 piece. Even Rosie was dragging. We pushed on. Its not like Ron could give us a lift. Staggering and baby steps. We made it back. Ron made sure the generator started, then he was on his way. His folks were at our daughter's. They were having a big dinner. He didn't want to be late. Rosie and I waited out the hour colding up the refrigerator, and running the heat. I also heated water and enjoyed a warm sink bath. I did a thorough tick check. About the end of the hour I realized I'd missed one. It was in my hair, clear to the scalp. That spurred me to new energy as I unbraided, combed and sprayed that sucker down with essential oils, and Dr Bronner's mint oil soap solution. I'd just about get ahold of him and he'd wiggle away. By the time I finally wrestled him out of my hair my scalp was drenched and he was gasping for air. I saw one leg weakly wiggle. I cut him in half. My skin's still crawling. Anyway, with the last vestiges of strength I possessed I went out and turned off the generator. By mutual consent, Rosie and I went directly to bed. It was 7:00 p.m.. We could barely get ourselves in bed. I didn't get Rosie's blanket picked up before she laid down on it. You should have seen the look of reproach she gave when I asked her to stand up so I could retrieve it to cover her! 

Anyway, before I close I wanted to relay the third trespasser encounter I had last week. It was on Saturday. An old, weathered blue with grey side panels truck slowly growled down the road. They pulled into the drive heading into the 80. The two doors flew open and two men with shotguns hopped out, giving that odd hitch that men do to adjust their junk. The racked shells into their chambers and started for the gate.

"Thats private property. You're trespassing!" I shouted out.

"I knows it is! I gots permission. I knows the owner." The small grey haired, white goatee'd, old man called back, having spun around instantly at the sound of my voice.

"That would be me." I shot back. There was a moments pause on his part while he absorbed my statement.

"When did you buy it?" He demanded.

"Last year." I returned bluntly.

He became very apologetic, and promised to leave right away, but would it be o.k. If he just showed his boy the pond? I said "no." I was already having breathing difficulty from our long range encounter as it was. I didn't elaborate. The old man took the "No" well. The boy was huge but after I observed his behavior, he appeared to be 13-14 years old. I had time to observe because when they climbed back in their pickup, it wouldn't start. They climbed out again, threw open the hood and started tinkering. The old man again came to the fence and called out to me. He wanted to know if I had jumper cables? I said "No." Then he asked if he could borrow my phone. I said "No." But I offered to call the sheriff for him. He got upset saying he wasn't doing anything illegal. Technically he was, he was already on my property, with guns, but I assured him I wasn't calling the sheriff on him, but to help him. Since he didn't like that idea I asked if he knew if the local gas station ran a tow truck? He did not. He asked if I would call his girlfriend. I instantly had a mental image of me being the phone go between on that conversation... I said no again, but suggested he try walking out to a spot in front of the meadow on the road and seeing if he could get cell reception there. He did, it worked. I retreated into my RV, coughing and hacking so bad it felt like when I'd had pneumonia. Don't know what was on these guys or their truck. It was surely hurting me badly.  He argued on the phone for 30 minutes. Glad I'd said no. Another kid in a big white mudding truck showed up an hour later. He had them jumped in less than 2 minutes, and took off. The old man and the boy followed more slowly. Driving gingerly, perhaps to keep the truck from coming apart. 

So Rosie and I are up and waiting for the world to warm up. I will get to start laundry today.πŸ˜€ Finally!



Friday, April 13, 2018

More Snow

Friday, April 13, 2018

11:43a.m.
Its been raining most of the week. It turned to snow and ice yesterday. Snow today. Its pouring, though mostly not sticking. 2 days ago we had a decent, less precipitating day. We did sticks. It was good to get outside. 

I'm on propane tanks and an external propane generator. Which means we go out to turn it on and off.😢 I'll probably run out of onboard water next week and will switch to using the 5 gal jugs Ron brought up. I still can't get the RV up the muddy soft hill. We're camping. 🌲🌨⛈πŸ’¨πŸ• 

I did finish the taxes last night. Yeah! A relief to get them done! And it was actually easier than last year since I bought a cellular data plan.

I haven't heard any activity from the neighbors to the south. I'm guessing their road contractor is refusing to come until the roads are better. 

Rosie has been going through some health issues. I found that large tumor 6-7 weeks ago. I've been feeding her a keto diet and it was shinking pretty good. Then she went off her feed. Wouldn't eat her eggs, raw meat or lamb fat. I was worried that there was more cancer inside. We've lost several bird dogs to cancer. Nothing tat the conventional vets can do. She started eating again yesterday and seems to be more of her old bouncy self. Hopefully we're getting those tumors beat back. Other than that, not much else happening beside Rosie and I focusing on staying warm.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Dreaming of My Tiny Woodstove

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

8:35a.m.

The overnight low was 19°F. The inside low was 36°F. I've been running the generator/heat this morning for 2 hrs, and only moved the thermometer up to 48°F. The sun is up and the weatherman predicted highs in the 50°F range. Hoping so. Wishing I'd found/ordered my stove a lot sooner. It wasn't for lack of trying. I'd asked over the phone if this company did, or could do, one without paint last summer, but they said they didn't do that. When I'd exhausted all other avenues I tried again, but for the second round I did it in writing, making it a formal Disability Accommodation Request. They agreed to do it but I wait on their next manufacturing "run"...

As cold as it may be, I've done this before. It was this cold at Coal Miner's camp. I just didn't have internet, so I couldn't check the outside temps. I also had better roads to go get gas, so I ran the heater longer. I'm being stingy with the fuel in case the roads are impassable and I can't get out on the scheduled day. We're forecasted to get a lot of rain this week. Heat is my #1 reason for running the generator. Fuel, water and septic are the reasons I have to take the RV to town. Looking forward to eliminating those needs this season.

I'm supposed to get my well drilled this spring. I'm really looking forward to that. The ground is still frozen, and I have to wait until its not muddy for them to be able to get their drilling rig in, too. Their drill rig weighs a lot more than my RV. A dear friend who's been worrying about me wanted to know if they'd started drilling yet. She had a hard time with my "excuses." Sigh, I have to force myself to be patient too. I'd like it to all be done, "snap!" But it doesn't work like that. There is an order, a progression, there are permits and other people's schedules involved. It takes time. Patience. Sigh. 

I'm hoping it does get warm enough that Rosie and I can get out and work on stuff today. I love days where I can do something. 😊

6:28 p.m.
I absolutely love feeling better! The wind was blowing at 15-17mph and I didn't think we were going to get out. It looked cold. With limited heat I have to be very careful about getting chilled. But, I felt so much better I was able to pace up and down the RV. I still had energy left so I dug round for some supplies and fixed my dinette cushion. It keeps sliding forward off the bench. I had grabbed some adhesive backed velcro when I was packing up the RV to leave the valley farm, intending to do something about the cabinets that fly open when I drive over the very rough roads. I used it to stick the cushion in place instead. Then I got out my designs for installing my woodstove and looked at the modifications I'll have to make. Measured and planned. Eventually I couldn't stand being cooped up any longer and decided to brave the wind. I began the tedious process of "dressing warm." That includes snow packs.πŸ™„ Me wrestling snow packs on in a tight space.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜… Anyway, it wasn't as exhausting as last time. I discovered it was warmer outside than I expected so I took another look at the door seals and made a few "duct tape modifications." Then Rosie and I picked up (and played with) sticks. Whenever I found a good fence sized one, I wove it in. When we finally came inside I was amazed, 3 hrs! I worked for 3 hrs! πŸ’– It was also warmer inside than I expected. The duct tape is helping.😁

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

7:25a.m.
I set my alarm for midnight to check the temperature, incase I needed to warm it up ahead of the coldest part of the night. I'd put the thermometer where I could see it from the bed (w/flashlight). It was 48°F, so I didn't get up. Rosie didn't complain either and we slept in until 6:00p.m. Our rising temp was 43°F, so we were good. Daylight revealed a light dusting of snow had fallen in the night. It was already melting off. Its supposed to rain most of the day. 

9:20a.m. 
Mended my jeans: A seam hole -great access point for ticks. Its that season. A pocket hole from carrying my gun there before I got a belt holster. And some loose belt loops. Now what?


Friday, April 6, 2018

7:18p.m.
It was a sunny day! After a week of snow and rain Rosie and I were thrilled. We left the RV early and hiked several skid trails on the 80 where I'd never been. No toxic cows at present. It was a beautiful day! We climbed to the peak through leafless brush patches and meandering snow banks. I took a couple of tumbles. Slippery rocks and sticks under the snow and dead leaves. Rosie stood guard over me as I struggled to get up. It was a lot like picking yourself up when you fall while skiing. The snow packs are as heavy and stiff as ski boots and skis. After we got down off the peak, we checked out sunny meadows where we could camp when the drillers come to put in the well. 

I discovered flagging on the SW corner that intimated a road, and additional staking and flagging that said property boundary. I called the neighbor, Don. He'd put out the pink flags as a suggestion for the other neighbor, Scott, for his road. The timber company staked and flagged the property line. The Scott is going to have his trees thinned. Rosie and I finally got back to the RV for breakfast at about 2:00 p.m..

Since it was such a warm day I opened up the windows and vents to air us out! Lovely! I shook out rugs, and swept the floors. In the late afternoon we went out and did some more picking up sticks. The frog chorus was in full song.  


Saturday, April 7, 2018

9:57 a.m.
We got up at 7:30 a.m. and went right out. It was quite pleasant. Rosie took care of her business while I puttered about picking up deadwood. It was partly cloudy.

Now its storming. Pouring rain and fierce gusts. Its gotten quite dark. The weather report says "thunderstorms." Lots colder, too.

We did see a 4 door, white pickup drive slowly up the road from the east, earlier. This was before the storm hit. Twenty minutes later he returned. It may have been Bob, the toxic cow guy. He has a pickup like that. There isn't enough spring growth yet to support cattle. Hopefully he won't bring them up yet.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Ron came up with supplies yesterday. It was still raining. I attempted to reposition the RV before he came, so I'd get more solar heat. Buried my dualies up to the rims. I knew I couldn't get up the hill, so I had Ron bring the generator and propane. Mud everywhere.

Today is sunny and breezy, so we're drying out again. The humidity was 88% this morning (wet dog, wet coats), and it was 36°F. Still dreaming about my tiny wood stove.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Glorious!

April 1, 2018

6:49 a.m.
Happy Resurrection Day! It is a glorious morning! I am filled with gentle peace in the knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ! I'm filled with gratitude that He paid the price for my sins, and joy in the knowledge that I will be with Him when He calls me home to heaven. 

I am once more home at Grandma Mountain. The closest to heaven I will get this side of eternity. That too fills me with joy, mixed with a heavy measure of relief. The air is clean, and I am finally able to breathe! Rosie and I were finally able to go outside and visit with Ron. We hike around together and tasted the freedom and sweet clean air! Glorious. I'd been hanging on these last 4 weeks by the sliver edge of my fingernails. 

Ron came over yesterday afternoon and checked to see if it was even possible for me to get to, and even on, the property. The roads were clear of snow, but running with water and deep with muddy ruts in some places. He was prepared to pull me out if I got stuck. I'm pleased to say, I did not. I can't get in the front gate, there's still snow and the ground's soft and muddy. I could get in by the corral. 😊 
I'm set up, restocked and feeling better! I slept clear through the night and didn't wake up until 5:30a.m.! Yesterday I woke up sick at 1:30a.m. and couldn't shake the pain and symptoms until we got up here. Such a relief! Once I was able to get out (without a mask) it was apparent how truly fetid the air inside the RV had become. We opened it up good and let it air out while we stocked up. Glorious! Ron left around 7:00 p.m. after making sure that everything is working. 

This morning I did have a serious coughing fit after I woke up. Hopefully clearing all the nasty stuff out of my lungs. Even though, I'm breathing better. It was pretty chilly in here. I didn't look at the temp. I was warm and toasty in my bed. Rosie is sporting a heavy winter coat so she didn't even move from her bed, until I woke up, either. I got up and ran the heater for a while, returning to bed,  before changing out of my pajamas. I made coffee while we waited for the sun. The ground was frosty and frozen hard this morning. 


As soon as it was daylight Rosie and I went out so she could taste the freedom of pottying without a leash. Rosie says, "🐢!!!πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©!!!" She was backed up big time. If she's on lead she holds it, and only goes once a week. Poor girl! While she took care of business I piled up dead wood. I noticed after Ron left last night that one of my rear wheels was in a hole so I fixed that. We'd also forgotten to put the windshield cover on (slows heat loss or gain). It was so wonderful being able to take care of myself again! I know, that probably sounds weird to most of you, but to me, its precious! 


Monday, April 2, 2018

10:08 a.m.
Yesrerday afternoons rain turned to snow, and its still snowing.


It was a much colder night so we slept on the couch in order to get up in the night and run the generator and heat. Its predicted to be colder tonight then warm back up for most of the week to the 50°s F daytime. Looking forward to that!

We're still feeling better and getting out more. We're "good."