Schmidt Homestead

Our new home in Woodburn, IL

Monday, April 23, 2007

Our septic system was installed last week. There was a problem with getting the electric hooked up, so now Steve has to get some parts to finish it up. It’ll probably be next week before he’ll have time to get that finished.

Monday, April 16, 2007

We’re making progress! We spent the night at the property Friday night. It started raining late Friday night and continued ALL DAY Saturday. It was 38 degrees and muddy – miserable. We worked as best we could, but there were some things that just weren’t possible in the weather. We have some serious drainage issues that need to be dealt with soon, but for now, we’re just dealing with them. The dogs were soaked all day. We have a curve in our driveway, and it looks like there should be a culvert under the driveway because there appears to be a ditch that goes nowhere on the upstream side. Saturday, Steve was walking by there while it was raining, and he noticed a place downstream of the ‘ditch to nowhere’ where water was bubbling up in a puddle. We spent some time digging around the bubbling water and downstream to give it a path to flow, and eventually we found a pipe. It’s only about 10” diameter, and it was buried by a good foot of dirt. The ditch on the other side of the driveway was still holding water, so the pipe was obviously plugged up. It’s about half-full with mud on the downstream end, and we prodded and dug at the upstream end but never found anything. At least we know there’s a pipe there now – we just have to find the other end and clean it out. When we finished ‘playing’ in the mud, we stole some insulation that was falling from the ceiling in the house and used it in the new wall that Steve put up for the electrical panel in the barn. We hooked up the electrical in the trailer, and we headed back to SL in time for dinner, showers and a warm bed.

We got up early Sunday morning and packed up a load of stuff in the trailer. The weather was much nicer, but the mud was still bad at the property. We got the water line hooked up and flushed out. With the high water table and so much rain, the water meter and shut-off were about 8” under water, so Steve had to use a bucket to empty some water before he could shut it off. He managed to cut the electrical wires to the house without frying himself – I got it on video just in case. We moved the breaker box from the house into the barn and the meter from the front of the house to the pole that we set a few weeks ago. Somehow, Steve lost one of the lug nuts from the meter. We spent a while looking for it, but eventually deemed it lost. Steve hooked up everything that he could without the lug nut, and we finally went home. It was after 10 by the time we got home, and I think I passed out almost immediately.

Steve got up early and came to work with me this morning. He picked up a replacement lug nut at the local hardware store, finished the job, and called the power company to have them come out and move the main wires from the house to the new pole. They’re scheduled to come out tomorrow morning. We should have working power and water by tomorrow afternoon. A septic tank is the last thing that we HAVE to have before we can live there. I talked to the installer last week, and he said that he can install our tank anytime. He can’t install the laterals until the ground dries out some. If he goes ahead and puts in the tank, we can at least have flush toilets. He recommended not using the showers or doing laundry because without laterals to outlet the water, once the tank fills up, it’s full. I told him to go ahead with the tank, and come back for the laterals as soon as he can.

The St. Louis house goes on the market this Sunday, the 22nd, so our focus this week is getting it ready. I’ll be home tomorrow, and Steve will probably take several half-days this week. Our to-do list is very long, and it seems to be getting longer, rather than shorter. Hopefully we’ll make a good dent in it by the end of the weekend. We’re both pretty stressed out right now. We have our fingers crossed that the SL house will sell quickly, so all of our attention can go to the property.

Friday, April 13, 2007

We’re staying at the property again this weekend. We packed up a trailer-load of garage stuff last night, and Steve is bringing it with him. It’s supposed to rain tonight and possibly turn into SNOW over night – in APRIL! Unbelievable. We’ve had freezing temps most nights for the past week or more. The plants are suffering. The tulips are wilted, the lilies have turned yellow, and the buds on the fruit trees are dying. They say that the fruit trees won’t produce much this year, so it doesn’t look good for our peaches and pears.

Saturday we want to get the trailer of garage stuff unloaded and the water hooked up. Sunday we plan to move the electrical panel & meter. We have to do the electrical work last, because we have to cut the lines to move everything, so we’ll be out of electricity until the power company comes out to reconnect us. We’ve also got to empty out the refrigerators and take everything back to SL, since there won’t be electricity for a few days.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

We met with a realtor on Tuesday about selling the SL house. We really liked her and what she had to say, so we’re getting together again next week to work out the details.

Steven and I are off work tomorrow, and Orion is coming up tonight. We’re renting a trencher tomorrow to install water and electric to the trailer. We’ll be spending most/all the long weekend working at the property, so hopefully we’ll get a lot done. It’s supposed to be pretty cold (highs in the 40’s, lows in the upper 20’s), and if Steve can get the electric hooked up tomorrow, we can turn on the heat in the trailer and be warm at night.

Monday, April 2, 2007

It finally seems like we’re making progress at the property. It’s looking and feeling more like a home. We spent most of the weekend there, and I feel good about what we got done. Steve fixed the plumbing in the old house that broke over the winter, so the bathroom is up and running again. I cleaned up the popup after being neglected all winter. We set a new power pole to run our new electric line. We bought the wire and pipe to run power and water to the trailer. I moved more lilies. We went back to SL on Saturday, and got there just in time to be off the road when a BIG storm hit. Sunday morning we loaded up the truck, 4 runner & trailer with a load of stuff and headed back out. We fixed the storm door on the trailer, because the latch didn’t line up. Steve ran temporary power out to the trailer, and I vacuumed and shampooed the carpets while Steve put the mower deck back on the tractor and mowed most of the yard. We’ve got several low spots that hold water, so we’ll have to work on getting them to drain properly. Steve got the tractor stuck in the ditch by the driveway, so I had to help him pull it out with the truck. The dogs spend almost the entire weekend wet and/or covered in mud. We gave them these nasty cow knee bones, and they chewed and chewed and chewed. It’s disgusting, but they love it. They’re still at the property – pooped and waiting for me to take them home tonight. I have sore muscles all over my body, bruised shins from moving stuff, and the first mosquito bits of the season are swelled up larger than quarters on the back of my leg.

We’re meeting with a realtor tomorrow night to talk about selling the SL house. We may still have a chance of getting it on the market this month.

We decided that we should stay here and work on the property this weekend – now that we’re on a roll. Steve is trying to line up a trencher to rent, so we can install the water and electric. Then all we’ll have to do is have the power company come and move our connection to the new pole. We’re thinking about moving our ‘camp’ into the trailer. Now that it has power, it’s no different than the popup, and it has lots more space.