Roads & Concrete & Water

The forecast was similar to my last trip to the property and with a 0% chance of rain predicted and temperatures up to the low eighties for this Sunday.  We are definitely into our Summer months now even though the rest of the northern states are calling it Spring. I once again packed all the normal Florida heat gear:  the sunscreen, two hats and tons of water for Gracie and I. Last week was my First-Sunday-of-the-Month-Day-Off week and I had missed going there.  Lots of things were happening in the 2 weeks since my last visit and I couldn’t wait to see it in person.

When I approached the gate I could already see new sights.  There was gravel all the way to the gate now. Last time I saw the property there was a little gravel down and a big truckload of gravel dumped right on the path across the property. Gracie and I, in the Jeep, bounced differently along the gravel than we had on the sandy, cleared path.  Kinda interesting … not as smooth and a crunchy sound was happening. LOL.  I could see bright white gravel, in the morning sun, all the way down the path towards the home area.

I really didn’t know what I would find again. So, before I go any further let me tell you the highlights of the last two weeks.  The first week I was away was spent pricing gravel, etc. and finding a way to get the gravel spread and compacted so we could get the concrete trucks on the property.  We settled all of that and moved forward with letting the concrete guy handle all of that his way. The first week I was away he just got started with a few loads of gravel.

This past week the concrete guy was going to finish that job and had multiple truckloads of gravel dumped and then was suppose to spread it and compact it so the concrete trucks could get in the property.  I got the thumbs up that this part happened.  Then it was time to get the concrete trucks there to pour the concrete for the foundations for the two shipping containers: a slab for the storage container and piers for the residential shipping container. This is where things got off track.

I got a call at 6:45 AM Thursday morning.  It was the concrete guy who was massively upset.  He was screaming about water and his trucks and damage and … well … he was upset, I was half asleep and decided I just needed to listen and not react for a few minutes. Seems he discovered there was no water on the property. Now, just to be clear:  he never asked and I, knowing nothing about concrete, did not know to mention it.  I knew there was no water on the property, just didn’t know that was a critical factor.

That was one of my dilemmas … I had to get the foundations in place and have the county inspect it before the shipping containers could be placed on them. Once the shipping containers were in place then I would be able to get the plumbing and electricity connected.  Note that my well water pump is electric so would not work without electricity.  Once all that work was done I needed to get the county to inspect it all and when I passed that inspection I could then give Duke electric the inspection information and then … and only then … they would turn on my electricity.  So then and only then would the well pump work. Notice the order of things I described, and where we were in the process, means NO I did not have running water on the property yet.  LOL. 

So it seems the concrete guys job was stopped because he needed water. Who knew? I would think when working on a rural property with nothing on it that it would be a question that would get asked but I think he saw the well pump and must have THOUGHT it worked.  Nevertheless, he was stuck, some of his hoses where stuck and he was afraid he might be at risk for thousands of dollars damage to the concrete truck.

We got off the phone with him off screaming and to figure out what to do.  I checked back later and he had managed to lose only one hose in the process (which I was told costs $2000) but it was not the extensive damage he was afraid would have happened.  To make a very very long and dramatic story short … he said, on Friday AM, that if I could get the electrician to put  temporary wiring on the well pump then he could use his generator to turn the pump on and get water because, “I doesn’t bring water to the property”.  So, I called the electrician and he can do that and will get back to me with cost and schedule but he is slammed. So we will pause this part of the story here and get back to Sunday LOL

First stop on Sunday was into the garden area.  There was gravel leading up to the storage shipping container area. And at the top of the slightly raised part of the land was a beautiful slab, completely finished, that the storage shipping container would sit on.  WhoooooooooooooooHooooooooooo! A victory!!!

Once I saw that I started looking around and there were a few other things to note about the area. First, It looked like the concrete guys tried to use the water in my rainwater collection tank.  It was empty, collapsed and filled with concrete dust.  My bucket was also filled with concrete dust and the water tubing was everywhere.  I assume the water helped them some so I will just need to clean it all out and reset it later after they are all through and contractors are gone.  I must admit I was a little sad that she had held for so long and was now in a start over  point.  Poor baby. 

Second, the gravel was not a nice neat tight road to the west side of the shipping container slab. It was a really big area that had been graveled haphazardly. As a matter of a fact, it took over a big chunk of the whole cleared garden area. UGH!  OK, so that means a ton of work on my part to rake and remove gravel and spread it myself onto other parts of the road in order to have my garden area back again.  Okie Dokie, so I took a few deep breaths and got back to being grateful that that slab was done and the storage shipping container could be delivered once the slab was approved.

I got back in the Jeep and Gracie and I navigated the new gravel road all the way up to the home area.  The ground wasn’t leveled ahead of time, the spreading was really sloppy and it was hard to tell that anything at all had been compacted.  Big groves were already in it from the concrete trucks. Now, I know I am a recovering perfectionist so I just kept breathing as we drove along.  I reminded myself that the point was to enable the trucks to drive safely through with their heavy loads. That mission had been accomplished.

I got to the home area and hopped out to see what had happened with the piers for the residential shipping container.  He had told me that they had gotten the part of the piers that was 2′ below the ground poured for the foundation of the residential shipping container but could not finish the 2′ blocks above the ground or the piers for the porch.  Yep, that is what I found.  Once again my perfectionist cray-cray set in.  They had literally poured the concrete into the dirt holes, no framing to make them pretty. Just sloppy pouring with concrete leaked everywhere. Let it go, Kym.  Hopefully the blocks above ground will be formed so they are all neat and tidy looking.

So, progress had been made and now I am in the next stage of the waiting game.  You don’t know what you don’t know and every place I haven’t known something has cost me a chunk more money and time.  This was just another example of that.  All I can do is keep moving forward and I intend to do that coz that’s what I do in life … I move forward!

The rest of my Sunday was spent hauling big heavy storage containers I had over by the home area to the garden area where they will be emptied into the storage shipping container once it is delivered, cleaned, painted and ready. I dealt with buggies (that had camouflaged themselves under the tarp to match the tan color of the leaves) and bending and lifting and carting things for the next 4 hours until I was done.  I must admit that my cute green Gorilla cart was amazing and really made the job up and down the gravel road much easier that it would have been without it.

The whole day I was so present to it being Mother’s day.  Mom is always with me but I really missed her physical presence today.  I giggled as I thought about how she would be responding to this whole adventure with her proper Southern debutante attitude. Mostly I just wish I could physically see the twinkle in her eyes as she laughed at me and called me a freak …. knowing now that she is actually proud of me no matter what I do. It took us a lifetime together and an odd moment at the end, after she got Alzheimer’s, for her to let me know that. Now she sends me the messages all the time.

Meanwhile, back to where I am staying now until I can live on the property … I have been planting!  I received 6 sweet potato slips that I ordered, from Southern Exposure, earlier in the year when I thought I’d be on the property by now.  I also was given an Everglades Tomato plant and a Swiss Chard by my friend Heather and an Ice Cream Banana plant by my friend Anita.  I planted all of them in 10 gallon grown bags so I could pick them up by the handles and take them with me when I moved.  I also got some Mexican Mint Marigold plants and placed them in each of the bags to hopefully help repel bugs until I can get everyone in a final place at Freedom Acres.  They all are growing well with new leaves and lots of green happening.

I posted videos, on the Freedom Acres YouTube Channel, of the crashed rainwater collection tank, the graveled garden area and road, the finished slab foundation and the partially finished pier foundations. Also just for giggles I included a video of the camouflaged buggies and Gracie trying to navigate the new gravel.  Finally there is a Mother’s Day video and and a short exciting end of the day report.  Feel free check it all out by clicking HEREAlso, feel free to subscribe and you can get notified when new videos go up! 🙂

We are now moving into mid May and things are happening and not happening as fast as they can.  LOL. The new things I have to handle this week is to find out when the electrician can come to the property so we can finish the piers and get all the concrete work finished and inspected.

The residential shipping container was supposed to be delivered the past Sunday but was waiting on a trucking permit from Louisiana.  The truck will be coming from Texas to Florida so I assume that permit was necessary to travel through Louisiana. Perhaps that permit will come through this week and we can get that shipping container delivered onto the property to be able to lift it up on the piers after they are inspected.

The Game is now to be living on the property by June!! I keep moving it a month at a time  Ultimately, I still know it will happen when it does. I absolutely will keep praying, chatting with and trusting the Universe.  Time will keep rolling and I will be back next week ready to play again and do whatever needs to be done!

As always, I send you LOVE and FREEDOM until then!


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