There is an underlying theme to about half of these blog posts and it goes something like this. Sweetspots: 0, Winter:7 Once again we are finding ourselves with winter kicking our butts, as it is undeniably difficult to work outside in the freezing cold. I had such ambitious plans for completion of the shed… but the weather got the best of us… again.
It’s very hard not to feel frustrated, as it seems like every time we have good weather we don’t have time (we travel a lot for work during the summer) and every time we have time, the weather is harsh and unforgiving. It’s easy to let the little things bog you down, so I’m writing this to focus on the big picture instead.
March marks an anniversary of us acquiring our land. While the deal was struck in February, the paperwork wasn’t completed until March- so we’ve officially had our parcel for a year. In March of 2017 the parcel consisted of 2 adjoining 5 acre plots of land with absolutely nothing on them, but some trees, thorny brambles and some mud- it was March after all.
We have since accomplished the following:
- Put in a mailbox and established an address. Had mailbox taken down by the snow plow. The plow driver felt so bad he replaced our mailbox with a new one, on a post of his own design, which bounces when hit by a plow rather than breaking.
- Installed a three car parking spot. With a bank run gravel bars and crushed gravel finish. Learned what bank run gravel is… Mr. Sweetspot defeated a mountain of rocks single-handed, over 3 very intense days of hard, physical labor in the rain.
- We gutted and transformed a tired 5th wheel RV into a tiny home.We had it transported to the land, leveled it (another weather driven project that took three days of Mr. SS laying on his belly in freezing temps, rather than two hours). We moved into the RV in May, so while not directly connected to the land, we cleaned, downsized, packed and vacated our apartment. This took up most of March and April.
- We had water installed on the land. This involved sooo many phone calls through various municipal contacts, trying to track down the right person to talk to. Finally, we found out that in our state, water has to be installed by a licensed plumber. After another round of calls to plumbers in the area, many of which were not returned, we found a plumber and got our water. The plumber left us with a hole in the road he was supposed to fill, but that never happened.
- Filled a hole in the road left by the plumber. This involved repurposing some of that left over bank run gravel and topping with many, many, bags of cold patch asphalt.
- We had electricity put in on the land. In our state, we can do our own electric as long as it’s signed off on by a third-party electrician, which was obviously a great learning experience and a good money saver. However, working with a major corporation was a nightmare and the process took over 7 months from first call to completion. A few people quit or got new jobs within the company during our process.
- We planted our first garden. Since we were gone most of the summer, we planted mid- July. Most of it failed, but tomatoes (from a purchased sprout), mint and basil were going strong into the fall.
- We had a friend shoot a scene of his adventure series on our land. While not exactly an accomplishment, as artists ourselves, it’s cool to see our land contributing to local art and film production.
- We obtained a building permit for a shed and began work on building it. We are hoping to have it completed by end of May. We did a good bit before winter got too harsh and have made some more recent progress over our snowy Spring Break…the weather has to get nice eventually… right?
- We winterized the RV, skirting around the bottom, covering all but 3 southward facing windows (passive solar for the win!) and plugging the vents. This made a big difference, especially prior to us getting electricity. (Another post on this to come)
- We cut a looped walking paths around the perimeter of the front 2 acres and started clearing trails reaching into the wooded back 8. Spotting few places for future projects as we progressed. This made for fine hiking in the Summer and Fall and great snowshoeing during this LONG winter.
- We also created two fire rings on the property, and frequent fires under the stars really make this endeavor worth it.
So while we continue to battle winter and weather, we also continue to march along. Moments of reflection can be really helpful on the overall journey, to realize that progress is being made. One mishap is not enough to stop the wave of achievement. Looking back, I feel like we’ve given our land quite a lot to celebrate on this one year anniversary. As winter begins to tease us with early spring, I gaze out our windows on to our rows of birches, and I feel happy and at peace. Our track record makes me feel like we will get things accomplished, and I can’t wait to reflect back after our two year anniversary.
Let us know if you’re tackling a giant project, land based or otherwise, and how reflection is helping you along the journey.