Saturday May 20, 2017
I started this leg of the journey nearly 12 hours ago. I woke up later than I anticipated. Yep, I actually slept in. 🙂 I gave Rosie raw meat for breakfast, and I just had coffee. It wasn't difficult to break camp. I hadn't set much out. I just stowed the plants in the shower and put away the drinking water jar. When I drove to a cell reception area I noticed I could sit up straight again. What a relief! I called Ron and found out that he was having trouble with the irrigation system. It had broken in a couple of places. Water everywhere. He'd have to fix it before he could leave to accompany us to look at the property. I told him I'd call when I stopped for gas so he'd know we were in the area. I had a 2 hr drive ahead of me for the first leg.
Our trip down the mountain was uneventful. No spraying. Nice huh? I know I appreciated it. Ron was still running late when I called from the gas station, but said he'd meet me at the rest stop on the highway as soon as he could. Rosie and I went there and tried to find a spot where there was some shade. There wasn't much, but we did alright. It was still early enough that it was fairly cool. Ron wanted to meet there so he could change the oil and filters in my generator. We can't do it at home because its too toxic there. The pesticide gets into the RV even when its as sealed as I can get it. So this is the spot we picked. More cows in this area than crops. He did most of the maintenance, only he needed to take my generator's old air filter to a store to get the proper replacement. I decided I didn't want to hang out at the rest stop until he got back. It was hot by that time and I couldn't open any windows. I wanted to head for the next mountain location right away, and Ron could follow when he got the part and cleaned up from changing the oil. I drive my RV slower than normal "speed limits" because our area has a lot of gusty wind. I figured even with his errands he'd catch up. And if he didn't, I'd rather wait in the mountains, out of the pesticide zone. He didn't look real pleased about my decision, but Rosie and I headed out. When we got to the area where the property is I realized there were a few short cuts I could amend in the directions for Ron. I normally meet Roger at his church, so I know the directions from there. Those were the ones I gave Ron. I also drove across town and filled up at the mom and pop gas station that will run my card over the phone. I would be using the usual directions, but Ron wouldn't need to do either of those. He could cut out all of that part and wouldn't even need to go into town. As I drove t'ward town I recognized a road sign. I left Ron a voice mail with the shorter route. Then I headed out of town, climbing up into the mountains on dusty gravel roads. In the directions I'd given Ron I had a couple of roads that I didn't know the names of and Ron does not like "incomplete" directions. I called and left him messages with the updated info for those as I came to them. At the very last turn there was no road sign so I pulled over there to wait for Ron. It was gorgeous, sunny and 70°F. We were in deep timber. I opened the windows and Rosie and I luxuriated in the fresh clean air. That was about 3:00 p.m.. Ron called us when he got out of the mountain pass (no cell service). He joined us 40 minutes later. I let him go up the road first in case there were spots he didn't think the RV would make it through. Not much chance of that really. Him thinking that, I mean. He used to fight forest fire in these woods. He's driven a forest fire water tanker truck, at break neck speeds, over roads worse than this. I'm much more cautious. I thought there were a couple of tight spots for my RV on the last mile of the trip, but we got through it. Ron had the gate open when we got here. The track into the property was wide enough for the RV. Ron went in only as far as the track was firm and dry. We don't want to tear up their property by getting the RV stuck. He stopped this side of the huge mud puddle and got out to examine places where I might park. There was an older track that showed where someone else had parked. It was dry and solid. I pulled off there onto a level spot. I parked in an open groove of pine trees carpeted with grass.
Its beautiful. The air is so clean! I was a bit worried because my refrigerator hadn't been run since 7:00 a.m.. I'd left it closed to conserve cold since I didn't want to use the generator without the air filter. It had been bugging me all day and I'd even figured my milk would have gone bad. So the first thing I did after we stopped was to check the ice packs in the freezer even before Rosie and I got out. They were still frozen! I didn't think they'd last that long. I was pretty impressed. Since they didn't need to be taken care of Ron, Rosie and I went out and hiked through the woods. The walking was easy. There were mostly rolling hills, not steep inclines. We followed a cow track through meadows, to a cattail surrounded pond, and then through some dense timber with lots of underbrush. We hiked to the east fence, then back to the center. We followed a road that led up to the highest point on the the property. We thought it would take us to the back property boundary but we never did get to a fence. This was the steepest area. We climbed up two hills or knobs. There was a lot more underbrush in this area. Much of it was berry patches, huckleberries and gooseberries. I can tell where I'd most likely have problems with bears! It was quite a hike for me since I haven't gotten out much at all since last fall. After a couple of hours we arrived back to were we'd parked. I think we'd both have liked to sit down but we still had to do the supplies. They didn't take long. While Ron put the new air filter in the generator, Rosie and I wandered out to the meadow. In the woods on the far side we could hear the turkeys calling. Its absolutely beautiful. When Ron finished we went out and looked at the ponds in the meadow. Roger called. Yep, we even get cell here. He came out to get the waiver of liability statement we'd signed. He warned us about ticks. Apparently they're having a heavy season. Roger and Ron talked a bit. This is the first time they've met. Right after Roger left, Ron left too. I went in, with Rosie, and shut down windows and vents, then started the generator and colded up the refrigerator. The ice packs in the freezer were still frozen! The frost had melted though, making a big water mess in the fridge. Heh, heh.
The next thing I did was to check for ticks. I didn't find any. I cooked Rosie's dinner and some gruel custard for me. Then when I was typing this I felt something in my hair at the base of my neck. Sure enough, a tick. I knocked it out of my hair and dropped it in the sink. I sprayed it with some mint spray. It didn't immediately go into a death scene like Mrs. Howell from Gilligan's Isle, so I scooped it into a small jar of water and stuck it in the microwave. Next time I fire up the generator I'm going to radiate that sucker. Needless to say, I took a break from journaling and groomed and clipped Rosie. It took me 3 hours. I figured I wouldn't sleep until I got it done anyway. I didn't find any on her. Its now 11:44 p.m.. And my scalp's still crawling like it does when anyone mentions lice.😄
Sunday, May 21, 2017
I'm sitting outside in a camp chair! I haven't done that in years. And I don't have to worry about anyone coming! Its glorious! Rosie and I headed out for an exploratory ramble around 7:00 this morning I remembered to tuck my long pants into my socks to keep the ticks out, and spray us down with essential oils really good). We went north to look at the base of a hill. I was checking for ground saturation, for possible house sites. It kind of morphed into following the water course. I discovered the ponds in the meadow emptied into little streams that wound their way from small pond to small pond all the way to the back of the property. We followed it and found the back fence. There were copses of trees and beautiful meadows of wild flowers. Lupine, Indian paint brush, wild strawberry, snow drops, camas and violets. The trees are mostly fir t'ward the back of the property, Pine in the center, low lying areas. As we approached the back the ground drew together into a small depression with the water gurgling over rocky cascades and passing onto the adjacent property, and down a draw. The fence marched away, uphill in both directions, east and west, through the timber. To the east it cut across the steep side of the back of the second hill top. The timber and underbrush was extremely dense. Hmmm, ticks... I turned to the west and followed the fence line to the NW corner, as the brush was a lot less dense. Cell reception rose to 5 bars as we climbed the hill on that side. I was very out of breath, even though there was only one steep part. When I reached the west fence I turned south and walked that side. That fence was in much better condition. There was some tagging along that fence line that indicated it was forest service or state forest property on the other side of the fence. When we came to the marshy meadow part of the fence I saw the mosquitoes fly away from us as fast as they could go! They parted for us like the Red Sea. Man that essential oil spray must be working. Long before I ever came down off the hill my out of shape legs were screaming in protest. I wasn't able to take more than baby steps. Think of it! I baby stepped my way through 1/2 mile of forest. I kept plodding along and made it to the front, southwest corner. I turned and made my way along that fence line, eastward, through the dense undergrowth and firs. There were more gooseberry bushes. There's a ton of arnica. I could wild craft it, if we bought this property. Hmmm... Eventually I made it to the front gate. I'd had enough for today and tottered up the driveway behind Rosie, and to my camp chair.
Rosie is having the time of her life off leash. This is the first time in years we've been able to do that, too.
I think its time for breakfast!
Last night I'd clipped Rosie down short except for the bottom half of her legs. Too tired. So after breakfast I finished her legs and feet. I draped a couple of pieces of (sink) laundry over a tree branch. Neither Rosie, nor I, are ready for another walk. So we're taking it easy during the warmest part of the day.
We went out again after 3:00 p.m.. My legs were stiffening up, so I thought it might help. My problem is that once I start, I get carried away. We ended up taking another road that led to the back of the property. It was on the opposite side of the creek that I followed this morning and up in the trees. There are a couple of skid trails that branch off of that, that I was tempted by. But I was trying really hard not to over do it. I made myself stay on the road both ways. I jumped some elk and took pictures of flowers. Here's one: the Northern Bog Violet . Those are lupine leaves at the bottom.
I'm not the only one who's worn out. Rosie is quite content to sleep away the rest of the afternoon. She's giving me dirty looks when I want to go outside. She doesn't even appear to want to come with me. Lol. I can report that at this time there have been no more ticks discovered. I also noticed I'm developing some color. I used to be brown. I have a bit of Native American blood, and looked Native American. I've been housebound for so long, and glutathione lightens skin tone, such that I was pretty pasty. Its nice to see a little color coming back.
When Ron called this evening, he said we need to get together with Roger to discuss making an offer! I was so excited I couldn't get to sleep!!! I hadn't pushed him. I wanted him to come to a decision on his own.🤔 Still leaving it in God's hands.
Monday, May 22, 2017
I tried drinking milk yesterday. I couldn't get it down yet. I was up most of the night regurgitating and coughing out lung cooties. I slept in. I didn't get out on today's walk until after 8:00 a.m.. It was already warm. I had decided I'd start at the gate and work my way east. It has dense undergrowth, and mostly fir trees. There are a lot of downed trees in this section that should be cleaned up. Looks like several people had hurled their beverage cans and other garbage over the fence. I hate litterbugs. We had to climb in and out of a couple of small steep draws. Rosie and I worked our way slowly through the underbrush. More gooseberries I think. We reached the corrals in the corner. There was a boggy area in that section too, but I don't think it lasts all year. There was evidence that it was already drying out. The corral and sorting chute looked in pretty good shape. We turned north and continued parallel to the east fence on a heavily used game trail. There was some sign from either a large dog or possibly a wolf. It was older. No tracks. I was a little nervous about being in the dense brush, with possible predators. I'd have felt better if I already had my livestock guardian dog. The property to the east had been logged and replanted a few years ago. Hopefully its past any need for spraying. They also had a very large, swampy drainage pond on their side, 1/2 a mile in. I could see it in the distance because they'd clear cut that section. Eventually we got back into heavy fir forest on both sides of the fence. We made it to the NE corner. There's 1 bar cell service there. For just a second I debated turning around and going back the way I came. I figured the march along the back fence would be the worst. I decided to give it a go anyway. It couldn't be worse than those brushy draws in the front. Well I was wrong. It wasn't that bad at all. It was even less brushy than the front. The other thing was that it wasn't all that far until we came to the creek. So I've now circumnavigated the entire property on this side of the county road. I came back by the skid road, which I've named "Violet Way" because of all the violets that grow there. I had breakfast: gruel custard.
Then just as I settled down to enjoy some cool breezes with the windows and vents open a silver SUV drove down the driveway. I slammed everything shut but got a small exposure anyway. I was not fast enough. I voice mailed Roger and reminded him to call the listing agent to tell him I'd really appreciate a heads up when someone is coming out. I texted the gist of the experience to Ron. The people didn't stay, or even get out. They just turned around and left. I called Roger again later, from outside, since I made my first call from inside the RV and they aren't always clear. I also told him that we'd like to get together to discuss making an offer when Ron has had a chance to review the documents. Roger asked if the gate was locked? I knew it was this morning, but I volunteered to go check it. After we did that Rosie and I wandered back up the driveway and examined more areas for a house location. We made that walk short and returned to the RV to rest.
Ron called me at about 2:00 p.m and let me know he'd emailed Roger requesting comps. This leaving it in God's hands, and trusting Him, while Ron does things his way, is tough! I want to charge in and get it all tied up right away! Sigh... I'm impulsive, Ron's methodical. We balance each other, if I'm patient enough. One of the Fruits of the Spirit that I struggle with is "Self Control." Reining in my impulsiveness.
I was a bit concerned about being caught out after that silver SUV showed up. I stayed around the RV the rest of the day. It got hot out, so I shut everything down and ran the a/c. After I got it cooled down in here. I shut down the generator and took a nap. I needed that after not getting much sleep last night. It stayed hot all afternoon with barely a breeze. Rosie and I went out to the meadow for a short walk before sun down. It was still hot. Rosie's feet must be sore. She ran and played, but not like she used to. I started feeling nauseous so we headed back to the RV. Just as we got to the door I heard a chainsaw fire up on the road out front. Ya' know, the wind was coming from that direction (I didn't smell anything though). Perhaps there was some trace chemical that caused my nausea. There was a tree that had fallen across the road that someone had cut out the part that blocked the road. They didn't cut a very big opening. It made me start to wonder if some property owners are getting ready for a camping weekend...? Hmmm, paranoid maybe? Its the "shell shock."
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
I'm up. Doing the coffee/Rosie breakfast thing. The dew is still heavy on the grass, so I'll wait to go out for a walk. I mixed up more essential oil insect repellant. I took Rosie out just to go potty, in my pajamas! With bed hair! Eeek! I haven't done that before, except in the middle of the night when she had diarrhea and vomiting a year ago winter. No one to see me here. My p.j.s won't get toxed. It was so relaxed and normal. I could have a sane life here. Oh how I hope!!! I'm trying so hard not to get my hopes up too high, in case it doesn't work out. The dissapointment would be horrible!!! But I do hope. Hope is growing! This is exactly the kind of property that would give me the best chance. So much about it is right. I know I can never fully prevent all pesticide application, but this is as good as it can get for me. I am hopeful. I realize I haven't had much hope for a very long time.
Rosie and I went out to play. I was getting ready, filling pockets. I couldn't find her lead. We'd had it yesterday. I realized I must have dropped it when we were playing. So we went out to the pond again, where we'd run and played. Thats right where it was. We spent a few minutes playing fetch and running. Not like I run very far, or fast, but Rosie makes up for it. She runs in wide sweeping circles. Then we hiked up to the front fence to see if whoever had run the chainsaw had cut the tree we thought they had. Nope. Maybe Ron will see where they worked when he comes this weekend?
We came back by a beautiful little holding pond in a tiny clearing in the woods. We continued on through the pine woods and went over to the cattail pond to look at those meadows and high ground for buildings. I think they'd be perfect for sheep. I want to keep my sheep pretty close to the house and barn. If I have predator trouble, it will be with sheep more than cattle. My more vulnerable critters: sheep, horses, llamas, will all get to stay in those interior fenced meadows. I'll include a few trees inside the fencing for shade. I'll let my cattle wander the rest of the property, except in winter. More likely than not they'll all be in the barn most days in winter. Ron did tell me the other night that I won't get to have my livestock up here this year, if we get this place. I knew that on a certain level. I need a barn and fencing first. Bummer though. I want to take back my farm chores from Ron, so he doesn't have to do them anymore. Dreaming of better times.☺️
After we looked at that area we hiked across t'ward "Cell Hill." Thats the NW corner where we got 5 bars. We didn't go all the way, just until we got two bars. I wanted to be there when Ron called. Except he didn't. Call when I expected him to. While I was waiting I looked down at Rosie, she was soaking wet! Like water dripping off her ears wet. Lol She couldn't have been wetter if she'd gone for a swim. It was the dew. She basically had a dew bath. lol I was soaked to the knees too. My boots were squishy. I decided I'd head back across the meadow and check out various locations for cell service as we went. I found a two bar location not too far from the RV and rounded up my chair and parked myself there for awhile. On our whole walk this morning Rosie and I played fetch with sticks, and tussled a bit, like she was a normal, carefree dog. She's led just as stressful, always on guard, life as I have. It would be so wonderful to live like normal people again. We sat and just soaked up the fresh air. We listened to the birdsong and the peace of the morning. Its was heavenly. Eventually I called Ron, in case I'd missed him while tramping around in the sheep pastures (no bars, just the phone pole). He was in town buying a hydraulic hose for the backhoe and selenium for the lambs. After our brief chat I realized I was famished. Rosie and I went in. I toweled her off and made my breakfast. I'd made Rosie's while I was drinking coffee, before our walk. My breakfast went in, and that feels so good! Ron called back while I was cooking. I told him my concerns about the people who own the property might want to spend memorial weekend camping up here, just so we didn't get my daughter and her family up here, with me trapped in the RV and not able to visit. Ron had told them that we both liked the place and it looked like we'd be making an offer. They were excited for me and want to see it. My daughter was so excited she started looking for jobs in this area! Wouldn't that be answers to prayer!!! If she got a job up here, and a house in this school district, I'd be able to be the daycare for my grandkids! Wow! That chokes me up and makes me want to cry with joy!
I rested all afternoon. I'm not used to this "heat." It was almost 80°F. I was just in the snow last week. I haven't acclimated yet. Ron said they had 97°F back home. Too hot!
He reviewed the comps and records and talked to Roger this evening. He still has a couple of questions. Hopefully he can take care of them first thing in the morning.
Rosie and I walked out Violet Way beside the creek again this evening. I heard grouse thrumming in the woods up on Huckleberry Hill.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The wind came up after sundown and I had to go out and put up the awnings. My concern was that they would get torn in the wind. The generator had been off for an hour, so I thought it should be safe. It was. As I rounded the back of the RV a tumultuous blast of wind swirled a tornado of gas and exhaust fumes from under the RV and right around me. I thought, "Oh shit! This is going to be bad!" Only it wasn't! It was only half as bad as I expected. I've been here 5 days and already I'm recovering. Ron said, "Imagine what it will be like at 10 days!" when I told him. 😊
Rosie and I went out for another leisurely walk and play time. My little old invalid legs are getting stronger!
We are making an offer today! As soon as Ron gets back to his office he can sign the paperwork and fax it to Roger. Roger will bring it to me to sign and write the ernest money deposit. I can hardly stand the wait! Patience. Faith.
I signed the offer at 3:00 p.m. Roger had written in some contingencies for us. One was that I could stay here until closing, if we make a deal. That would be terrific. So now we wait to see what they think of our offer...
If they don't like it and don't counter offer, there are still the three properties that I lined up appointments for, after the listing agent tried to play hardball and wanted me to sign an offer before I'd seen the property. It had made me so mad I contacted some other realtors, in other areas, and started the process of getting permission to camp on those properties. But because Roger has worked so hard for me, when he called to say an owner of the property got me permission to camp here, with just the waiver, I rescheduled the other property dates. I haven't voided those appointments yet. I'll wait until I know whether we have a deal with these people or not. Its that not counting chickens before they hatch thing.
I called my daughter to share my exciting news. I also confirmed they are coming Saturday. Then Joey wanted to talk to Grandma. I heard all about Yoshies with wings, his popsicle, his peanut butter sandwhich (which he calls "bread"), and his collection of rolly-pollies. Since his mommy is an entomologist, the fact that he has a terrarium with rolly-pollies, that he's keeping as pets, should not surprise you. It didn't me. I asked him what they eat and he told me "bread." I told him they don't eat bread, but he insisted. I heard Mommy in the background saying they don't eat bread as well. My daughter came over and talked about the lettuce, grapes, and carrot sticks they'd put in there. She said there were bite marks on the carrot sticks. I asked if they had names? "No. The turn over is pretty high." she said. Sounds like rolly-pollies are the perfect pets for a 4 year old. Joey was pretty pleased that he caught them in his own yard. Toby intermittently came by to holler "Hi Grandma." Mostly I think he was still eating.