Pelican Brief

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I am always amazed of the variety of wildlife we see on our farm. Yesterday we had over 500 Pelicans stop by our pond on their southern migration. They only stayed and rested one day and where gone this morning.

 

Posted in Ramblings | 6 Comments

Cows Gone Wild

This is a picture of our neighbors cow who has been loose all summer.

This is a picture of our neighbors cow who has been loose all summer. She looks to be an Black Angus cow.

Actually its just one cow who has gone wild. Earlier this spring we came home and this black cow was in our yard and as soon as we pulled up she jumped back over the fence to our neighbors pasture where she belongs. I have never seen a cow so athletic as her. Since then we have seen her here many times on our 40 acres. The neighbor has tried to round her up several times using ATV’s and horses but she keeps  eluding them. When this first started she would only go back to her pasture when she felt like visiting the other cows and now she hardly goes back at all. She thinks she is a deer and only comes out to feed where we can see her in the evening.

I hope I don’t mistake her for a deer when deer season rolls around next month:)

 

 

Posted in Tree tubes | 6 Comments

Passed Rough in Electric Inspection

This is our 200 amp main service panel that I completed

This is our 200 amp main service panel that I completed

I am happy to say we passed our rough-in electrical inspection and have the go ahead to finish up the insulation in our home. I did the electrical myself but wasn’t supposed to. In the state of Iowa you have to be a licensed electrician to do new construction.  If it had been an existing home I could have done it after getting a permit.

In this picture you can see how far we had to run our main service wire from that pole in the center of this picture.

In this picture you can see how far we had to run our main service wire from that pole in the center of this picture. 120 ft of wiring.

I didn’t find this out until my heating and air conditioning guy came after I had done all the work and told me I wasn’t supposed to do that. Earlier, when I called the county they told me the only permit they required was septic but they failed to mention the state requires a permit for electrical. Anyway it all turned out well, I called the state Fire Marshal and he told me to get a licensed electrician to pull a permit then they would come and inspect it.

Laundry Room

Laundry Room

The first thing I had to do after we passed inspection was to put in our washer and dryer. The wife was really getting tired of going to town to do our laundry.

We now have heating and air conditioning.

We now have heating and air conditioning.

My wife has also started on the insulation and is doing a great job. The plan is to be done with the insulation by Labor Day weekend and have the drywall crew come in on that Tuesday to start the drywall. I hate doing drywall and not very good at it so we are hiring a company to do that for us.

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Insulation started with baffles in the ceiling so the attic can still draw outside air from the soffit and flow out the ridge vent to help keep the attic cooler in the summer.

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We also got our 1000 gal lp tank delivered last week. It cost 70 dollars a year to rent the tank and we went with a 1000 gal tank because we plan to have it filled every summer when lp prices are low and companies offer a summer fill up rate. We hope to get by on about 800 gallons of lp a year, but will have to see how it goes. Utilities are much higher here than in the city including electric and most people around here go with mostly electric appliances. That’s because most people usually get a 500 gal lp tank and need to fill up again in the middle of winter when lp prices are at their highest. We hope it will be cheaper doing it this way.

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While waiting for the electrical inspection I was able to start on our deck railing and I really love how it is turning out. When done this will have 4 different wildlife scenes.

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My wife and I also was able to pour our front door stoop. It took exactly 1 yard of concrete to do this.  The plan is to have a pea gravel sidewalk leading from our barn and driveway to the house.

That’s it for now, stayed tuned for more updates as they happen.

Posted in Buildng our home. | 18 Comments

Dog Days Of Summer

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Another view of our home

I haven’t posted in a while so I thought I would get you all an update. The weather here has been very hot almost all summer with the temperature being in the 90s with high humidity. We have been only working about half a day each day this past month because of the heat, so work has slowed down.

I am happy to say I have all the plumbing done. It was a lot more of a job than I first realized and the main reason is because we went with copper instead of Pex. Pex would have been a lot faster but my wife can taste the plastic in Pex and so that’s the reason we went with copper.DSC00108DSC00106

 

The drain and vent piping was probably the easiest of the plumbing. We now have the water turned on and everything tested with no leaks and everything drains as it should.

Our waste line that leads to our septic tank.

Our waste line that leads to our septic tank.

We had a company put in our septic and and I found the whole thing pretty interesting.

Our 1200 gal three chamber septic tank being delivered.

Our 1200 gal three chamber septic tank being delivered.

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Our waste goes into the first chamber and then bacteria start to brake down the waste and as it rises in the tank the solids stay towards the bottom and the grey water rises and goes to the second tank. Again even smaller particles of solids are broken down by more bacteria and then the gray water rises and goes into the 3rd tank. From there it is almost all water and from there that goes to our sand filter pit.

This is our sand filter pit.

This is our sand filter pit.

The gray water is slowly leached into the sand filter pit and is cleansed by the sand and earth.DSC00127

Then it is picked back up by this pipe and discharged to daylight. When the water comes out it is cleaner than the treated water that comes out of your tap at home. At least that’s what they say, I won’t be tasting it to see if its true.

That’s it for this post, next post will be about electrical and heating and cooling.

Posted in Buildng our home. | 8 Comments

Halfway There.

Front view of our home

Things are going well with our home build and the results are better than what I had envisioned and I figure we are close to being halfway done. We have had a few bumps along the way but nothing that is more than normal.

Back side of our home

We have a few things to do to the outside like finish the back deck, put in some outdoor lighting and do the final grading but basically on the outside it’s done.

Our porch

As you can see by this photo, we also have to finish the ceiling on the porch and put up some railing. We love sitting on the porch that overlooks our pond.

Kitchen area.

This is the kitchen area, we framed the home using 2×6 studs instead of standard 2×4’s.

We love the open concept of our kitchen and living room.

We love the open concept of our kitchen and living room.

The entrance and roughed in staircase.

The entrance and roughed in staircase

Most of the interior framing is done and we have started doing the plumbing.

Most of the interior framing is done and we have started doing the plumbing.

The picture above will be the master bath that my wife wanted a pocket door in. She also has bought this old dresser that she plans on turning into her bathroom vanity.

This is the second bathroom and will be an on suite for the the second bedroom. This was a design change that happend when I realized we didn't have enough room off the hallway to put in a second door. There are no blue prints for this build, its all being done from drawings I designed.

This is the second bathroom and will be an en-suite for the the second bedroom. This was a design change that happened when I realized we didn’t have enough room off the hallway to put in a second door. There are no blue prints for this build, its all being done from drawings I designed.

The views from our back deck are even better now that we are about 8 feet off the ground,

The views from our back deck are even better now that we are about 8 feet off the ground,

That’s it for now, I will keep you up to date on our progress. One more thing, thanks to all that commented on our last post and I am sorry I have not responded to those. We are working 7 days a week and when the end of the day comes and after I shower and get a bite to eat I am just too tired to do much more then hit the bed. Please keep commenting, I promise to do a better job from here on out.

 

Posted in Buildng our home. | 33 Comments

Making Progress

Building our home

This is a picture that was taken about a week ago. We have been working 7 days a week and have been real tired  after we get done each day and have not been keeping you all up to date. All the pictures in this post are a week behind, I meant to send them last week. As you can see we are making progress.

Are windows and doors have also arrived. Pella windows are made in Iowa so they were an easy chose for us. We got a great deal on them and if others want good windows at an affordable price call John Mc Donald from.

Our windows and doors have also arrived. Pella windows are made in Iowa so they were an easy choice for us.

Post Protectors

I have been busy building our own columns using 3 2×6 treated boards

Once we get our house wrap on then we will start to put our windows and door in. We should get them in by the end of the week if the weather co-operates.

My nephew Roy Jr came two weeks ago to help his Uncle. It was real nice to spend some time with him, he is so much like his Dad, my brother.

One of my passengers that rode my train everyday stopped by the farm on her way back to Chicago from Kansas. It was great to see Tammy again she is a good friend and I do miss Friends we left behind.

One of my passengers that rode my train everyday stopped by the farm on her way back to Chicago from Kansas last weekend. It was great to see Tammy again she is a good friend and I do miss Friends we left behind.

Buying fish for our pond.

We stopped in Osceola Iowa to buy fish for our pond. Blyzo fish farm goes to all the towns in southern Iowa and if you call them and order your fish you can meet them at a town near you when they are scheduled to be there.

In this bag we have a hundred baby large mouth Bass. We also bought 100 channel cat fish and 3 grass carp.

In this bag we have a hundred baby large mouth Bass. We also bought 100 channel cat fish and 3 grass carp.

That’s it for now, I have added some more pictures below of the past week.

This is Jeremy Bellon who is doing the framing.

This is Jeremy Bellon who is doing the framing.

More up to date pictures will soon come.

Posted in Buildng our home. | 9 Comments

Weathering Storms

This is a storm front that moved over our farm Friday halting work on our house.

This is a storm front that moved over our farm Friday halting work on our house.

Well we have been getting lots of work done on our home even though we had two days where we got rain.  I am satisfied with our progress with only about 3 and a half days worked.

Storm front Milligan farm

I thought the storm clouds were pretty cool and ran and got my camera.

Building our home

As you can see by the picture above our home is coming along nicely. We have started on the second story and as you can see we have our roof trusses ready to go up once the second story walls are done.

We have been so tired at night once we are done for the day. Being 60 and not doing very hard physical work these last 17 years lets me know I am not nearly as strong and have the stamina as I once did. This type of work lets you know how out of shape you really are.  I think by the end of summer I should be in better shape. I am even starting to develop calluses on my hands and I wouldn’t change anything. I feel so alive here in the country and  am always amazed by the landscape and wildlife we see every day.

Thursday this snapping turtle stopped by to take a look at what was going on. He seemed surprised to find a big house blocking his way. He was trying to get to our pond from some where across the road. He stood there looking at us work for about an hour I finally had to pick him up and point him in the right direction on the other side of our house. After I set him down he looked around and finally went happily on his way.

That’s it for now.

Posted in Buildng our home. | 8 Comments