Friday, June 22, 2012

big dogs won't jump

I ordered this contraption today in the hopes of being able to load up the monsters more smoothly than crawling in the passenger door of the truck and coercing them with promises of cookies and fun times.


It claims to hold 300+ pounds, so why don't they put a giant breed dog in the picture instead of a tiny lab/retriever? We'll see what happens when Clyde Dog puts it to the test. Barker will likely still need to be hoisted in because steps don't work for him anyway. Sometimes I wish I had a station wagon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

open houses are lame but we got through our first one unscathed

We had a broker open house this morning. I think it was somewhat successful. Three agents showed up, one of which brought his clients.

With the last house we sold up in Orygun, we had already moved back down to the SCM but wanted to hold on to it for a while, so it was rented out to some friends. When it came time to sell, our friends were on their way to new adventures and let us know so we could put it on the market, and we were able to show an empty house. (We actually did the entire transaction by fax [this was back in '02] because we didn't want to drive back up there at the time.) Let me tell you, this is about ten thousand times easier than living in a house while selling it. It's impossible to keep a house spotless and tidy and let's-get-this-fucker-sold!-ready at any given time, and it's just weird to have people looking at your shit and being all judgy judgy about it. in my mind anyway

Not that I could hear what they were saying because I was busy wrassling these two monsters on the narrow road up above our house where we were camping out while the open house progressed.

They were actually pretty good for me. Clyde Dog did better than I expected on the leash, considering I haven't taken him for walk since last summer. He's a very submissive dog, despite his size, and is fairly easy to control as long as I don't waiver in my dominance in the least. And when the nosy neighbor came over wondering what was going on, Clyde Dog was very well-behaved, except for maybe getting just a tad of dog hair/slobber on homeboy's black jeans. People always seem to wear black at our house, and I've given up trying to spare them the fur/slobber/love greeting that inevitably destroys their attire. People know what they're getting into when they come over to our place.

Barker was pretty content sitting in the back of the Pathy, but getting him in there is no easy task. Barker is so old that his joints don't really bend anymore. Clyde Dog is so big that he has a hard time figuring out how to actually jump in, resulting in him trying to crawl into the truck instead of just hopping up (in his defense, I suppose it is a lot of weight to move).

This is all a long way of saying that I was completely and wholly disgustingly filthy by the time the open house was over and was finally able to bring them back into the house.

Also, St. Bernards and redwood needles do not mix. He has about a thousand of them sprinkled throughout his tail right now, and removing them is like trying to dislodge gum from hair.

I tell you, this is going to be the last time we ever sell property. We're going to DIE at the holler. Happy and content because third time's a charm when it comes to home buying. Remember that.

p.s. Here's a screenshot of the listing on the MLS. It's trippy to see our house on there! Also, big houses are a nightmare to keep clean and I highly suggest never buying more than 1,200 square feet.

Oh yea, here's a few of my fantastic property images. I'm seriously thinking about offering real estate photography/virtual tour services out in Tennessee because I got that shit dialed, dawg! I made my house look way nicer than it actually is.



master bath


Thursday, June 14, 2012

future pig pasture panorama

What can I say, I love panoramas. It makes me happy to pull up a view of The Mountainstead from 2,500 miles away. It calms me. I find zen.

And then my peace is interrupted by the sound of chainsaws and leaf blowers in our 'hood (I actually enjoy the chainsaw sound) or the ménage à trois people across the street having a very loud and very personal spat in the middle of their driveway (usually provides some entertainment) or the neighbor's incredibly irritating drop-kick dog that sounds like it's being murdered by a pack of angry mountain lions (I don't enjoy this sound or find it the least bit entertaining, NO).

I don't know if it's because the dog is pissed that its owner is leaving for the day or what, but pretty much at the same time every morning, this shrill yapping slices through the air, muffling my favorite bird's song, that only intensifies as several moments drag on and then finally crescendos into the most wretched, ear-piercing YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI!-YI! that you ever done hear. These people are at least three doors down. I want to shoot them in the head something fierce.

Anyway, about those panoramas. I took 360 degree images at four different spots on the property. I already showed you the future main garden. Today's panorama is of the future pig pasture.

You can see our big-ass chestnut tree to the left of the barn, and then Jay thinks those two scraggly trees to the right of the corn crib are something good, too (can't remember what - some sort of nut, I think?), and then pretty much 180 degrees in the other direction are two old apple trees. I'm told that all this is excellent piggie fodder.

Immediately to the right of the chestnut tree is the water tank for the little cabin, which I should be able to tap for the piggies, and then you can just barely make Jay out mowing right in front of the storage shed (this was the time he decided that a t-shirt and sunscreen are very smart choices whilst mowing almost an acre with a gas push mower).

I should get on it with GIMP again and draw me some fat little piggies in there frolicking around, getting all nice and plump for our bacon/ham/bacon/porkchop/bacon reserves, but this will have to do for today.

p.s. house will be listed on the mls this weekend. we get to corral the dogs and transport them elsewhere at a moment's notice and then have strangers check all our shit out. won't that be fun! i love selling a house!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

swale/contour garden examples

Just a bit of inspiration:

I can only hope that my garden beds will turn out to be a fraction as tidy and beautiful as these ones.

Not a swale or contour bed, but this is a very similar orientation as our cabin.
Our westerly view is to into the hillside, which is nice on hot summer days.

I always find it funny when I see beds on contour on flat land. But I suppose they still work.

I dig the "toilet". I always thought peeing indoors was kinda gross.
Jay says he'll continue to use the indoor bathroom, thankyouverymuch.

I vow to accumulate enough beer bottles
for this. Watch out Heineken.

And that's all I have today, folks.

p.s. selling a house sucks!

Monday, June 4, 2012

See, this is what I was envisioning when I said that we're transporting our chickens out to the holler Beverly Hillbilly style. Except here we're actually just taking them down the road to their new home at our friend Lori-the-other-crazy-chicken-lady's place. Because we decided that transporting two chickens across the country is an absurd idea. The Motel 6 locations along our travel route say they'll take in our mangy mutts and sassy cat, but I don't think chickens would go over very well, and frankly, I don't relish the idea of being denied a good night's sleep after driving twelve hours a day for four days straight because I'm a crazy hippie that decided to haul two hens from California to Tennessee. So now Lori has an awesome new coop (built by yours truly out of old IKEA flooring because I'm way thrifty like that), and we don't have to worry about another animal to transport. Score one for the wannabe farmers!

Speaking of transportation, I booked our moving truck. A truck that we don't have to drive ourselves. Full-service moving companies are totally out of our price range and I would have a very hard time forking over that kind of money anyway, even if we had it to spare (which we don't), so we went back and forth between a self-service moving company where you load and they drive and driving a moving truck ourselves. The former option is still expensive. The latter option is... well, you have to drive a shitty moving truck 2,500 miles, and let's just say that we were not looking forward to that AT ALL THANKS.

Way back in 2001, we moved from Bend, Oregon back to the SCM, which is about 500 miles. I came down about a week before Jaybird packed in my Prelude with our two 100 lb. American Bulldogs and whatever else I could fit in there (which wasn't much, let me tell you).

Poor dogs were stuck in the car with me in 90 degree heat on I5 listening to reggae
for hours on end while I bombed through the armpit of California. At least my A/C still worked.

Jay drove the U-Haul (aka, U-Have-No-Brakes) with our two cats and everything else, while also towing the Old Toy on a car carrier (which was also packed to the brim).

The Old Toy on a mountain somewhere in Orygun.

I was so happy to see Jay when he finally rolled down our street on Monday, July 30, 2001 with the U-Haul barely making it up our street. We dropped that piece of garbage off that weekend and flipped U-Haul the bird for that rolling death trap they rented to us.

Jay later revealed to me that the cats almost didn't make it. First off, Trouble decided to take off on moving day. So Jay got to wait around the house with everything packed and ready to go ALL DAY LONG. I'm told that Trouble finally moseyed up the sidewalk around 5:00pm, at which point he was promptly thrown with probably some excess force in the cat carrier along with his brother Turbo (always the angel), and Bend was waved goodbye (or maybe also given the finger, not sure which). Cats do not usually make good travel companions, and they let Jay know they were not happy with with the moving experience during the entire 12-hour ride. This almost resulted in them being dropped off on the side of the road in the fine locale of Weed, CA. To this day, I am eternally grateful to the hub for making a very smart (and compassionate) if not terribly irritating decision for their benefit.

So yes, we really did not want to repeat the u-drive moving truck experience. I decided to list our "shipment", that being all our worldly belongings, on I ended up conversing with a very pleasant gentleman that offered to move all our crap for us using his 1-ton truck and 24' of enclosed trailer space for about the same price as driving a rental truck of equal capacity after taking fuel into account. Essentially a self-service moving service, but it's just a dude and his wife who apparently like to drive a lot so a bit easier on the wallet, and I feel good about supporting a little fish in the big sea of moving companies.'s terms of service make it pretty hard for either party to get screwed over, and he's got rave reviews from other people that actually used his services. This allows me to drive my Pathy and Jay drive the Taco in blissful comfort. And not drive a moving truck.

Sadly, we don't think that Mean Green (first picture above) will be able to finally realize her true calling as a farm truck at the holler. At $1,200 to ship her out there, we have a hard time justifying that expense. Since I already have a tow package on the Pathy, we might reinvest whatever money we get for her into a small utility trailer that can hold more of our stuff. Because, good grief, we have a lot of it.

Did I mention that we don't have to drive a moving truck?