Monday, November 1, 2010


This is a first for us. We purchased a 1988, one-owner, 32' Airstream travel trailer. This trailer will be our home while we owner-build our permanent home. The enclosed shell of our new home will be built by the same contractor (Matt Kroll of Kroll Contracting) who built our pole barn.  We will do all the plumbing, wiring, and interior with the exception of finishing the drywall.

Doug spent a lot of time searching for a good used Airstream - one that we could afford and was, hopefully,  somewhere in the Grand Traverse region. He is very good about conducting these searches and found exactly what we were looking for. The first pic. below is the trailer, still on the lot, and only about 13 miles from our property. It was a one-owner and only used by the older couple when they summered in northern Michigan.


It is now in our pole barn for the winter.  We will move it outside when we arrive this coming spring.

Living room  couch - opens to form a double bed - is to the left. Kitchen is to the right.  Each end of the couch has a fold up table - you can see one of these attached to the wall under the window. 
Since Doug got stuck in MI for 4 additional days due to weather he set the trailer up and stayed in it.  The only thing he didn't hook up was the water. It would have taken tools and too much work to drain it for the winter. He had the time but no tools.  Instead, he hauled water from our well to cook and bathe.

A 3/4 bathroom:
Toilet and sink
Bathroom sink w/shower to the right.

The roll-top behind the stove is a spice cabinet.  Fold up table to left of stove for additional counter space.

Frig. across from sink.  Dinette in lower right corner.

Dining Room :D
Hall leads to bathroom and bedroom. Lots of closet and drawer space (I hope:).
Bedroom - back of trailer. Doug said the beds are a tad hard.  We'll buy a couple of foam mattress pads to help soften the beds a bit.

Another view of the hall. Microwave.
Pic. taken from the bedroom - bathroom to the left.

Taken from the hall looking toward the front of trailer.
Living room - front of trailer.
The meter is running :D

The trailer is fully carpeted including the kitchen and bathroom. This is not a good thing as we will be moving into it during mud season with two dogs and two cats. We will buy some of those plastic runners such as are used to protect floors from rolling chairs to help protect the carpet.  Doug says the curtains are in bad shape and the color is blah so I will spend some time making new curtains - colorful, cheery ones.  It has both AC and heat - the latter can be either electric or propane. There is a 41 gallon water tank and a propane hot water heater.  I have not as yet seen it but it looks as though it will be quite comfy for a few months. I calculate there is only 296 sq. ft. inside which should be motivation enough to get the house finished ASAP.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Big Move continues . . .

On Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Doug and I packed the rental truck with Load #1 for the first trip back to Michigan. This load is now stored in our new pole barn on our new property.

On the road - as Doug drove north the colors of Autumn became more beautiful and more pronounced.

Arrived at our property on Clara Lane Friday, October 22, 2010. This is Clara Lane - our property is at the very end - about 1/4 mile.  Trees this far north have lost most of their leaves.  Our land is located just a few minutes (as in latitude) south of the 45th parallel.  To be more precise: 44.75°N,  85.62°W

Our property - the house will be approximately where the little pile of dirt - center right - sits.  The pole barn is to the left of the picture, out of camera range.  The pines - center back - mark our east property line. There is a hay field beyond.

Now to get the truck unloaded and pile all this stuff in the pole barn. Fortunately the well drillers were there when Doug arrived and they helped him unload the two largest and heaviest items that were in the very back of the truck.

This is the "faucet" where we will get our water until the house is built and plumbed.  We will be able to hook this water into our new-to-us used Airstream (another post).

Beginning the unloading process into the pole barn.

Doug turned the empty truck in at a rental facility in Traverse City.  He then took a cab to the airport where he rented a car for the remainder of his stay. That stay turned out to be longer - 4 days longer - than originally planned as an incoming storm forced flight cancellations.

Our neighbors to the south came to say, "Hi" or perhaps they are saying, "Hey".  :D  One horse is obviously more curious than the other.  We don't know their names yet.  We wonder how Molly and Daisy will react?  They know the horses around our house in Eagle Roost but only from a distance and only when we are with them.

 Sorry, fella, no apples and no carrots - next time. :D

The next post will feature our 1988 new-to-us used Airstream. This trailer will be our temporary home here on our land while we are building our permanent home.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On the Road Again . . .

The pole barn is finished, our well is in so we have water, electricity is in, and phone/DSL lines are run to the property. The time has come to move Load #1.

A 26' Budget rental truck, automatic diesel . Doug would have preferred a manual transmission but they just don't come that way. 

Doug and I worked from 5:00a.m. until about 7:00p.m. on Tuesday, October 19, 2011 loading this box. There were times I wondered what possessed us to keep so much stuff.  And this is only the first load. The house still looks full and now that so many shelves (books) and drawers are gone there is stuff just laying around in piles which must be dealt with.  In this picture the truck is about 1/2 full.  I never got a picture of the truck filled and ready to go. By 7:00p.m. I was so sore, tired, and hungry I wasn't thinking about pictures.

This is only a small amount of what was still left to put in the truck. It was these tail end items that seemed to take the longest. Perhaps because we were so tired we were moving more slowly? Perhaps because it really mattered how these final items were loaded - they needed to be secured and that took extra time. Perhaps because Doug knew there were still two large, heavy items that needed to go in last and he had to plan for them?

Doug pulled out about 5:30a.m. today, Wednesday, October 20 headed for Lake Ann, MI - 2250 miles east - and our new-to-us property.  This load will be stored in our newly completed pole barn (thanks to Matt Kroll and Kroll Contracting:).  In the meantime the house needs to be painted inside as well as all outside trim. Yard work needs to be done and everything needs a good cleaning. It will be a little easier with so much of our stuff gone. However, what is still left  is going to take another full truck load.  This probably won't happen until near the end of March 2011.

On my FB page I wrote: "I am a newly retired elementary school teacher working on a new set of life goals."

Moving onto land where we can grow our food, raise a few animals, live in the country with four distinct seasons, good water, and green: grass, trees, forests has been a long time goal for both of us. The time has finally come to begin to realize this dream.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Pole Barn is Completed

October 13, 2010 - the pole barn is complete. The lines for electricity, phone and DSL have been run to the property. The well was scheduled to have been dug today.  

There is electricity into the pole barn - let there be light :D

This is the front of the pole barn facing east.  It is a 40' X 40' structure from which Doug will eventually run his business, Barnes Aero. In the meantime this space will house our worldly possessions while we build the house and garage.  When we find our travel trailer to live in during construction it will be parked on the apron in front of the pole barn. 

Interior of PB littered with falling leaves from our woods.  Electric box is on the rear left corner of the back (west) wall. Back door is to the right. This picture is looking west.

North side - back door and small pad.

South side looking north. Our woods are in the background. When the house is built it will be to the right of the PB and out of the picture.

Clara Lane in the lower right corner. This is the back - west side -  of the pole barn - looking east. 

Clara Lane looking west toward Maple City Hwy.  Cathy, our only other neighbor on Clara Lane, lives in the house in the background (house built by Kroll Contracting). She is about 1/4 mile west of us at the very beginning of Clara Lane where the lane meets the highway.

Fall, 2010. Changing colors in our woods.

The brilliant orange is the same tree as above but about 2 weeks later. Matt (Kroll Contracting), our contractor and neighbor out on Maple City Hwy. is standing where our well will be drilled.  If the house was built Matt would be standing behind the house.  This picture is looking north toward our woods.  I believe this tree is a Maple but not being there I can't identify it for sure.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Pole Barn continued. . .

We have more pictures of our pole barn. This is being built according to my husband, Doug's,  plans - we have not seen it yet.  This is an interesting concept; to have a building built for you when you are not there and won't be there until sometime after it is finished.  

Doug will be taking a load in mid - to late October - he will be renting a 24' Budget truck to haul the first load of "stuff". I cannot help but wonder why we feel we need so much stuff? We have already gotten rid of a lot and will get of even more before that final move. In the meantime we are spending a few thousand  dollars moving what we feel we cannot part with. While he is gone the Arizona house will be at least 1/2 empty and I will begin giving the inside of the house a fresh coat of paint.

Work aside - here are the pictures of the pole barn. Since these pics. were taken our contractor has begun to put the siding on the building. 

Facing north towards our woods. The house will be to the right of this picture.

Facing east. If the house was built it would be seen from this direction and slightly to the right. The woods are to the left of the picture.

This picture was taken facing northwest and the big door entrance to the pole barn.  The "man" door is to the left of the big door. There will be another "man" door" on the northwest end of the pole barn.  Our woods are to the right.

The floor has been poured.

Siding - ready to go on last.

Light green siding - the dark green trim can be seen just to the left of the siding.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Street Address and Electricity

Lot #2 now has a bonafide street address. Cherryland Electric called a few days ago. They needed information so they can begin sending us a bill for electricity. The electricity has been run from Maple City Highway to our property and the meter will be put on the pole barn as soon as the siding is on.

One step at a time.