01.05.2015 Update on house construction

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On the left is Ronnie, our contractor, supervising the plumbing work yesterday morning! It passed inspection in the afternoon!!
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A little free advertising for Dan Wrinkles Plumbing!

a plumb in and rg b plumb dirt We purchased all the kitchen appliances yesterday, all matching Frigidaire, to be delivered when the time is right! That will be a happy day! The storage shed parts will be delivered tomorrow and as always Roy is terribly prepared for this project. Yesterday we bought 12 concrete blocks and 8 -4×4 treated posts for the foundation and frame. Roy was up bright and early digging, measuring, leveling and getting it all in place. b roy shed frame b shed from hillIt’s almost 300 feet from the road to the back of our property where the culverts are. When Roy came home with almost 900 pounds in cement bags I thought he and I would be hauling it back there but smarty Roy put two bags at a time on the top of our lawnmower to make the deliveries. Finding out that wasn’t enough cement, he went back for another load. a roy cement lawnmowerWhen he wasn’t doing ten other things Roy tackled clearing the multitudes of small trees, bushes, and vines from both sides of the fence line between our property and the neighbors. He was quite meticulous in getting it all and his hard work really paid off. He jumped the fence and piled it all up on our side then drug it to the burn pile. a fence beforea cleared fence The cows came come right up to the fence and visit properly now! Roy says he knows I”m going to start naming them now, we’ll see! If ya’ll have any good cow names, please share!! a cowsUpdate on the culvert draining issue: Roy worked diligently for days making the ditch deeper, putting the two parts of the culvert together, securing it to the ground and putting bags of cement around the entrance to create a path for the water to flow directly through the path instead of anywhere it wanted to go to! Here’s some before, during and after pictures.

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The entryway to the ditch from the neighbor’s property before Roy worked on it.
a beginning of culvert during rain
The heavy rainfall rushing through – and around – the culvert before Roy stopped that.
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One of the two straps (this one is in the middle and the other at the entrance to the culvert.

The water is finally being directed now into a full secured culvert and not going anywhere else!! We may be getting the dirt tomorrow to cover the culvert and finish off a beautiful path to the back of our property. The finishing touch will be rocks of various sizes in the bottom of the ditch between the exit of the culvert and the pond. Can’t wait to relax back there with a tall glass of sweet tea and some music playing!

I continued clearing out the bushes and vines around the pine trees and in the pictures below you can see my progress. The trees on the left are cleared out and those on the right still have a lot of bushes and vines. Since it’s my favorite view on the property I included one of the pond and pines from atop the hill. a half and halfa view of pond from hill I haven’t posted a picture of our permanent RV electric pedestal/temporary house construction pedestal. This thing lived in our RV with us for three weeks taking up much of the walkway in Dora. We are so happy that it is installed.

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Notice, we’ve used 3 Kilowatts!!

a meter whole to do list practice kindnessWe’ve enjoyed being back to normal, having water and electricity for the last few days. Clean bodies + clean clothes + heat = two happy Chauvins! Ya’ll have a great week! I’ll post another update in a few days. Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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12.27.14 Uh oh, all is not well in paradise!

Just when you thought you might not see Dora and the Explorers showing up in your email box or on Facebook for a couple of days, the big rains came and our new home is anywhere but in paradise right now!!

The two pictures below show the view from the side of the pond looking back to where we just installed two huge culverts.  You can’t see the culverts in these pictures and it does look so pretty seeing the rushing water pour into the pond and the pond is filling up nicely from the rain.

wpid-20141227_123553.jpg wpid-20141227_123602.jpgAt the other end of the culverts a massive problem was occurring before Roy came to save the day and worked very hard out in the rain to stop one or both of the culverts from washing out into the pond.  His legs almost got sucked into the culvert at one point.  The water is only suppose to be going through the culvert not swooshing by on both sides, under and through eroding all the ground around it. wpid-20141227_123803.jpgwpid-20141227_132840.jpgRoy purchased the items (see picture above) to strap the culvert down at Lowe’s this morning but when he left to get it the large and small culverts were connected and so much dirt hadn’t washed away.  Now we need another set of those items to secure the second culvert.  We’re looking at options for how to best hold these culverts in place permanently.  It’s suppose to storm again tonight and tomorrow so we’ll have to wait for that to be over to do more securing and just pray it stays in place till it dries out some

Here’s a video I took while Roy was working on strapping down the culvert.  This one shows the water rushing everywhere it’s not suppose to!

 

We want that area to be really pretty when finished, but obviously that will take a while, so when we get past this ugly stage we’ll share pics!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!!

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12.26.14 Christmas Day Campfire, trench digging and applying for electricity!!!!

1382905_10200781371392712_575524259_nOn Christmas day, for the first time in a while, we didn’t have to go anywhere. Roy got up early to set the post and put our new mailbox together for Dora.   I wanted a pretty mailbox and he wanted one big enough to hold packages he seems to always be receiving!  Roy found just the right one on the internet and we ordered two of them, one for Dora and one for the house.  We have 911 addresses for both.  Come to find out you can get a 911 street address for just about anything – barns, wells, culverts, radio and television transmitting towers and even billboards. Weird, right?  So Dora getting her own address was no big deal!

mailbox

The house address will be 60122 Rohner Road, Amite, LA 70422 and Dora’s address is 60124 Rohner Road.  If you have any left over picture Christmas cards we’d love to get one!  The only mail box that is up now is Dora’s at 60124 Rohner Road.

With a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup cooking, Roy and I set out to conquer more bushes, trees and burn them up!  Roy burned the current pile for at least 6 hours.  I cut down more bushes and weeds from around the pond and added them to the burn pile.

pond from hill by trees

Some of the small pines that I’ve been clearing out the brush between and around them. Hopefully all our pines along the pond will be cleared out before long.

Once it got dark we enjoyed an amazing evening sitting by the fire (more like a campfire by that time) watching the 1424399_10151966484838724_84949639_nstars we see so clearly out here, and best of all listening to the waterfall sounds of the water running through the ditch leading into the pond. We haven’t figured out where the water originates but it has been flowing steadily for three days since the heavy rains on Tuesday.

I don’t have adequate words to describe the calming influence the sound of water flowing, starry night sky and a campfire has on us.  We sat there for hours talking about how happy we are that God lead us to this beautiful land!  We are going to put in a campfire pit soon so if you ever get a yearning to enjoy all this with us give us a holler and we’ll light up the campfire!

Today, Friday, Mark Lee came out to dig trenches for the plumbing and electrical wires.  While they did that and helped Roy install our electrical pedestal (permanent power for the RV and temporary for building the house), I drove to Franklinton to set up an account with Washington St Tammany Electric Co-op.  A very nice lady, Sandra, helped me and didn’t kick me out of the office even though I’m sure I didn’t smell or look the best on day three without a shower.  This boon docking is not for the faint of heart.   An engineer has to come out to check the work so far and then they’ll do whatever is next so we can have power which in turn will give us water!  I asked Sandra to pass along to the engineer that we are in “dire need”!  Oh what a happy day that will be.  I hope I never take running water and electricity for granted.

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Mark is also going to dig the trench for where we will put the culvert out by the pond (where the water is flowing) which will reduce Roy’s physical work back there.  We’ll still hear the water flowing sound as it falls out of the culvert into the pond.  I’m going down there now to supervise and make sure they get it right!

Wow what a big thing that was getting the two culverts to go together and stay together!  I didn’t lift a finger except to click the pictures.  Roy, Mark and the backhoe driver worked and worked until it finally stayed together, went in the hole and was covered up as much as could be with the dirt available.

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My darling husband Roy is outside still trying to wire up the electrical panel before it gets dark and the rains start again.  I don’t think anyone else is coming out to work until next week so that’ll wrap up this week of construction documenting.

If ya’ll think I’m writing much more about this than you’d care to read, I probably am.  This detail documentation is mostly for our record keeping but if you want to see all the fun we’re having out here, keep following us!

I haven’t reported on RVillage lately, here’s their new member total, 12,688!

 

Ya’ll take care, and come back now ya’ hear!

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12.16.14 Staking and digging and forming!

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Dora’s home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – Jellystone Yogi Bear Campground

So much has happened that we’ve been too busy for me to write regularly.

Early last week we met Todd and Ronnie at our property where they staked out the location of the house and our RV pad. It was neat to see how everything will lay out on what is now just empty land.  We plan to park Dora about 20 feet off the fence line so we can create a pretty patio area there for our flowers and chairs. The side where our awning is will be facing away from the house and will give us privacy. It rained enough in Amite on Monday night that our dirt man Todd couldn’t get dirt from the pitt (wherever that is)!

Todd suggested that we not cut down the back part of our property until the spring time because the grass roots there now are holding the dirt in place.  Cutting off the grass will expose the dirt to the winter rains and would erode before spring.  We agreed,  though I am looking forward to when that can be done since it will take off some of the hill we need to climb from the pond to the house.  Aging folks don’t climb hills real well, as I’ve learned this past week from hauling limbs that Roy cut down, up the hill to the burn pile multiple times!

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Running the string from front to back of the property.
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Stakes showing where the RV pad will be located. Very uneven now but not when Todd’s finished with it!
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Staking out where the house will be located!

On Wednesday Roy went to Amite to meet Ronnie and Todd the dirt man. He wanted me involved in some of the decisions that needed to be made so he went back to Robert, picked me up and we headed back to Amite. We spent the whole afternoon and early evening there while the well man, Lloyd Stilley, installed the well pump and cover. We also met with three parish employees (health department for sewage, roads and bridges for a ditch) and the AT&T man.

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Because of the way the land is laid out it’s taking some figuring out how to run the line for the septic tank and whether or not we need ditches and if so where. Looks like we will have the added expense of purchasing a lift station to carry our precious cargo (poop) to the tank. The joys of country living! We had nowhere to stay inside, so we sat outside the whole time. Good thing the weather was great!

With the well successfully 99 percent completed, we left Amite and went to Chip’s house to pick up mail and eat dinner, as well as having fun time with all the children and Kim and Chip. We left having totally recharged our grandparent selves with lots of love and fun!  Can’t wait for our family Christmas get together Friday night at Chip’s house! After three more stops we were home with Yogi Bear at Jellystone Park.

Knowing that the parish folks (one department or the others) and the mechanical treatment company will be coming back Thursday or Friday and hopefully the forms will go down Saturday we decided to move back to Amite and tackle boon docking again. This time a little better prepared. I have lots of disposable things that don’t need to be washed: bottled water, aluminum trays for cooking, Styrofoam cups with lids for coffee, plastic forks, plastic cups and paper bowls and plates. I also put together three spray bottles of water for cleaning counters, and three jugs of water for making coffee and for back up if we run out. I am hopeful that doing these things will make more water available for bathing!

Roy placed the order for the Onan Generator Auto Start Control thingy.  It arrived yesterday and    I am hoping that he will write a blog post soon about that since I think it would help other RVers to know more about that.

We  moved back to Amite on Thursday and our RV, Dora, is now parked in what will be her home in Louisiana any time we come back to visit. It is suppose to rain this evening and all day tomorrow so we got here now to avoid driving in the rain. We’d also like to see how the land handles the rain before the final dirt grading is done.

One of the parish employees is a wonderful man by the name of George Peltier. He happens to be the brother of an attorney, Gary Peltier, we used in Hammond to do several pieces of legal work for us. George looks just like his brother Gary and is every bit as nice. I feel like he’s gone out of his way to help us. I hugged him today to let him know how much we appreciate this personal service he’s given us. He pulled up here right after we arrived at the property. John Pevey with ABC Well and Septic met him here. They met with Roy and I and decided the best location for the mechanical treatment tank to avoid a lot of problems that other locations would cause. Seems we have an unusually sloped lot in several ways but finally those great minds came up with the right place.   Never knew it could take so much and so many people to decided on something. If it all works correctly then we’ll be really glad they spent the time figuring it out.

Roy cut down more trees with the small chainsaw we bought at Lowe’s. Again something we had and sold all of them to go on the road. We may need to have a mini garage sale when we get ready to get back on the road to sell all the stuff we’re acquiring!

Saturday morning the slab forming guys came and built the forms for the house and for the patio outside our RV.

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Monday we went back to Hammond and picked out our light fixtures, bathroom things, kitchen faucet, appliances, vinyl siding, columns and railing for the front porch.  Nice to have that behind us.  Still have a few more things to pick out, doors, windows, roof shingles and some other minor things.

We ordered three culverts, one for the front and two for the rear  where the water drains into the pond. They were all delivered on Monday and sticker shock was definitely happening today when I found out how much those simple tubes cost.

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I’ll share our family Christmas, our visit to One Night in Bethlehem and Madisyn’s Christmas play at River Rock Church in Loranger in our next post.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear.

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