Monday, December 28, 2009

more progress pics

view of the living room. . . nice and open. . . roll up garage door on the opposite side

Sunday, December 27, 2009

progress pics

Since we posted the blog link in the Christmas letter, figured we better post some progress pics . . .

Framing first floor

first second floor wall on an eerie foggy morn

"its going to be tall!"

buttoned up

More pics tomorrow, I promise

Thursday, September 10, 2009

non noblis solum

non noblis solum = not for us alone

We've tried to design a house that is open and functional, creative and can handle lots of people because we believe that it is "not for us alone."

But what is it going to look like? If you've seen some of the other pics, you've probably been wondering if its not just a big box. Yep, that's what it is. Our goal all along has been to build as much square footage for as cheap as we can. Our architect, Jen Martin of Elements Design has clearly helped us achieve that.

Here's a fun rendering of what the outside is going to look like. . . .

  • a big modern barn was the goal
  • straight lines to keep building costs down
  • two stories, 10 foot ceilings on the bottom, 9 foot on the top
  • lots of windows, combination of storefront and aluminum
  • corugated metal siding, with cedar siding
  • 2 big roll-up garage doors, one in the living room and one in the school room

I'll try and upload the floor plan as soon as I can. . . . T.

status update, 09.10.09

We've been so busy vacationing, starting school and trying desperately to stay ahead of the decision curve, that its been difficult to find time to blog.

Here's where we're at. . .
  • Foundation was formed in early August

  • Radiant floor tubing and plumbing was installed and the foundation was poured while we were on vacation August 10 - 20. Septic also installed.

  • Slab "cured" for 3 weeks to prepare for grinding. Well system and electric trenching and piping happened during this time.

  • First week of September my brother chad and his crew (I helped a bit) ground and then polished the downstairs floor to 80% completion. Downstairs polished concrete floors are going to be distinct and amazing. Couldn't have happened without Chad.
  • Windows and doors were ordered this week from Atascadero Glass. Roger Grant has been amazing.

  • Framing started on Tuesday. First floor walls went up today. Breathtaking! General Contractor Kevin Hunstad has been a joy throughout. Open, flexible, creative and budget concious.

Lots more pics have been added to the slideshow in the right margin. Click it to go to Picasa.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Here's a couple of grading pics from today. . . .the property looked pretty different by the end of the day. . . .

things are moving forward

haven't blogged in quite some time, but things are moving forward with our house dream at the WHR. Here's a quick recap of events.

• was approved for our loan in late spring
• selected Kevin Hunstad as our contractor
• firmed up design and plans with our friend, Jen Martin from Elements Design (will post soon)
• drilled the well and found more than enough water in mid-June
• permit was approved in record time, about 3 weeks total, picked it up yesterday
• grading started today!

now the fun, fear and decision-making really start. . . .

not much give in the budget, so we are praying for a smooth, no-surprises building process.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

that stinky brown pond

We're excited about some cousins joining us for the later half of Easter week. I've got my list and I've been trying to use the company as an excuse to get few things done. Tonight after dinner, I decided to quickly bail out the pond. It filled up naturally this winter, but was an ugly brown. The frogs didn't seem to mind, but we started to. After a few consultations with friends, we figured it was the pine needles that had blown into it that were the cause of the brown water. The fix was to empty the pond, clean it out and clean the bottom and fill it back up with water. So I waded in this evening, between downpours, saved a few tadpoles for the new water and started bailing. Before I knew it, I had two helpers, in their boots, too. So it turned into man-time in the pond . . .

It's clean. We'll let it dry for a day, if it doesn't rain tomorrow, then see about adding some clear water, some goldfish, a little aeration and those tadpoles.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Sage turned twelve back in January. Her desire was to have her party out at the ranch, so that's what we did. This was before we even moved here at the end of February. It was a great day . . . .

shooting guns and bows . . .

crafting . . .

riding . . .

enjoying . . . .

and celebrating!

Great group of girls and one very special girl. Can't believe she's 12 already!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Thanks, Gib!

My motorhead friend, Andy Gibson, was kind enough to come out and see if he could get the quad running again.

(He also helped with a Tundra oil change. He insists synthetic is the only way to go and has all these other witch doctor tweaks to improve performance. . . .and they work!)

It needs a carb overhaul, but with a little fiddling and a new battery, its working great for now. Kids are having a blast puttering around the perimeter of WHR . . . .and Henry seemed to like it, too. But Andy seems to have biggest smile of all!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Got Poison Oak?

This is not a picture of the stuff at WHR, but I'm pretty sure it's out there. I was told by an experienced friend back in January that he didn't think there was any poison oak on the property. I'm pretty sure he was wrong.

Virtually certain I got it here on the property as I was clearing some trees and brush. Wasn't thinking about it. Had my shirt off and was just going for it. Came on strong, took me down and laid me low. I'm feeling better finally, but still itchy. You bet I'll be pretty careful from here on out. None of the kids have gotten it yet, so its not everywhere and you've got to work hard to get it.

Here's what my elbow looked like for a while . . .

Happier posts to come. . . I promise. So many great pics and things to share, as time allows.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

tree swing

The kids have been talking about a tree swing at the Wild Hair Ranch for months. I promised that I'd make it happen. It's so easy to promise and then just sort of put it off. I want to keep my promises.

So this weekend it happened. We picked the oak best suited for a tree swing and then I drilled through a six inch limb to insert a big eye bolt. We then had to get the right rope and use splices to attach it to the eye bolt. A friend gave us a fun round disk to sit on. We also had to move the 200+ log wood pile that happened to be located under the selected oak. The kids were a great help and so excited to finally swing. Its built to last and built for fun. I predict the tree swing will see a ton of use.

So here are pictures of the older three. . . . and I've posted a bunch more at the picasa site. . . .

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


One of the surprises of the WHR is the backyard frogs. There is a little concrete pond and apparently lots and lots of frogs. They sing every night. Loudly!

Haaken likes to go out to "see the frogs" with a flashlight.

Wondering about the mosquitos in the pond in the future . . .

Monday, February 23, 2009


my closet . . . just a little crammed!

the feild - the hay bale is the shooting range!

the bench

these are not the most high quality pics, but they will do - they are taken from a phone!

Friday, February 20, 2009


We've been moving into the 1100 sq ft house at WHR this week. It's a tight squeeze, but we're making it work. Though we were living just a half a block from the beach in Shell Beach, our hearts were here. We couldn't move out here initially for 1031 exchange tax reasons, but after trying to rent the place in late fall, our tax guy gave us the go-ahead to move in after the new year with no tax penalty. So we decided to go for it. Our second move in 6 months.

We began last weekend, and should finish up tomorrow. Then we've got to clean up Shell Beach before handing back the keys Thursday. We'll post some pictures of the squeeze a bit later.

It's been good to sleep here since Monday night . . . It will be good to not be stretched between two places like we have been since August.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ranch or Farm?

Is it "Wild Hair Farm" or "Wild Hair Ranch"? I like "farm" . . . as in "micro farm" . . . as in "organic farm" . . . as in small, lots of animals and lots of green things. . . .

But in the end, I was I out-voted by the rest of the family who prefers "ranch" . . . .5 against 1. . . So "Wild Hair Ranch" it is.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eden and I planted 7 weeping willows along one of the property lines of our Wild Hair Ranch on a rainy Saturday in late January 2009. Just sticks when we planted them, but already, just a few weeks later, all 7 are leafing out very very nicely. It was our first planting on the property. Great soil out there. It will be fun to see them grow.

Eden loves the dirt and our time together. . . even more. I will always remember planting those first trees with my Eden.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome to Wild Hair Ranch

You know what a "wild hair" is? Its a crazy, whacky, outlandish, unexpected idea. Last Spring, our family decided we wanted a little more room to roam, so we sold our beautiful home in San Luis Obispo and began to hunt for some small acreage where we might possibly build a family home.

Well, we found a cute little 2 1/2 acre property in East Arroyo Grande, not too far from our life in SLO and quite near several families we know. Currently there is a small 1100 square foot home on the property. Our dream is to leave this house as a granny unit and rental and also build a new home on the site.

Wild Hair Ranch is the unfolding adventure of our dream. . . . a wild hair . . . . thanks for coming along.