36 more days.

That’s the timeline. I will be making hash marks on the basement walls like I’m in prison to count down the days when we can officially start moving in to our HOME. Today, tomorrow, and the day after are all earmarked for rough-in inspections for electric (passed today – yay!), plumbing, and framing, respectively. Thursday, we’ll have the drywall crew in here and our new hardwood will be delivered to begin its pre-install acclimation. The new floor will be installed next week, then the cabinets, then painting, and before we know it, we’ll no longer be living like we’re in District 13 in the Hunger Games.

Well that was dramatic.

I had a bit of a rough weekend with our current living situation. It was just a little overwhelming, but we had some sweetness, too, as though God and the Universe were trying to calm down my fragile spirit with friends cooking dinner for us (and there was lots and lots of laughing – that will heal almost everything!), more friends helping build our new livestock pen, and a new neighbor bringing over some delicious banana bread (with chocolate chips – super awesome bonus), but I started the weekend off pretty resistant and set in feeling sorry for myself. After a restless night of sleep last night, Hank set up his camping hammock for a couple of hours in the shade for me and I took a little nap, swaying in the breeze, and I remembered feelings of freedom and space and why we decided to move here. I knew in starting our little farm that some days, we would navigate all of this more graciously than others, and now I move forward again.

On to our latest project. Little bro waited impatiently for Daddy & Holden to come home after a Jax Farm & Ranch Store run last week.

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You guys. Building a fence for livestock is NO JOKE.

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Hank picked up supplies to set the corner posts, as well as a swinging gate, a couple of days before friends came over to set them all. He and Holden worked out the geometry of the corner posts and we set those posts in concrete to prep the area for support posts and fence material.

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I love that Hank took some time to teach Holden how to use what he’s been learning in math over the past couple of years. Holden learned how to use a square to make sure that the posts would be at the right spots in the corners of the pen.

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Todd Helton the Cat holds a supervisory position nowadays.

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We set four posts in concrete and let them cure, then used baling twine to mark where the remaining posts would go. On Saturday, Hank rented a two-man auger and bribed some guys with coffee and donuts to come help run it and set the new posts and concrete them in.

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After the concrete sets a few days, we’ll unroll the fencing and stretch it around the posts. Our construction crews have been making a pile of old framing materials that they’ve pulled out of the house and can’t reuse; Hank will use a lot of that material to build the chicken coop and/or goat shed over the next couple of weeks. Our baby chicks are growing like mad and will need to be moved out of their brooder soon. Once we get those things built, we’ll have to look into the safety of our birds from predators like coyote, hawk, and perhaps raccoons or skunks (they like their eggs, especially). Some ideas we’re throwing around are hot wire, shade sails, wires across the top of the pens (to deter hawks from flying down into the pen), and digging the fence down into the ground a few inches. We don’t quite know what to prepare for yet, but as with everything – we’ll learn as we go!