layouts and design

Our planning meeting is next week. Meanwhile, Dave has been working hard behind the scenes, getting information on the roads, fire insurance, natural gas, and other details. I'm waiting for a call back from the "friend" I made (amazingly nice man who works at the county, seems to know everything!) in regards to details on deforestation and property taxes. Dave is also working on potential plans (location, placement, size) for a guest house right next to my house. Regulations and frugality place it just 20 feet away. Of course, I love this idea. Having that option for my mom if she chooses, or for my kids to rent between jobs/moves/etc. through the years, would be such a wonderful resource!

Budgeting and Meal Planning 9/28

This week's meal plan: Sunday: shaved steak sandwiches, fruit salad, sliced raw cucumbers and peppers. Monday: sheet pan dinner w/sausages and roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. Tuesday: baked lemon halibut, baked potatoes, green salad Wednesday: homemade chicken and rice soup, homemade bread Friday: beef, carrot and potato stew Saturday: leftovers/fend + Breakfasts = pumpkin bagels, cereal, toast, eggs. + Lunches = leftovers, sausage/cabbage, sandwiches. LAST week's meal plan: I failed my plan Monday due to a late-afternoon trip to visit a farm with baby goats. Which, was so worth the plan fail- I really want to get goats at my new little farm so this was such a fun outing! M

Line of Sight

When exiting the property, you drive down the long gravel easement and then stop in front of the main road. You have the choice to turn right or left. Looking to the right, you see the road gradually climbs uphill, and in about 350 feet it crests- you can't see any further. The newer laws have determined that you need 500 feet before that happens, not 350. I was talking to my brother about it, and we were thinking maybe it would prohibit development. I considered stacking up my library books on decorating, gardening and goats, and returning them. A sad morning, indeed. However, I'm learning to step back and be more patient while waiting for information. Because Dave took his friend out to th

Knutson Grove

Dave was debating about what to name the subdivision today. He knew he wanted to use Knutson, and after tossing a few endings around together via text, he thought "Knutson Grove" was the best sounding combination. I love it! And I think Poppy would have liked it, too.

Budgeting and Meal Planning 9/21

This week's meal plan: Saturday: fend/leftovers Sunday: grilled cheese sandwiches and apples Monday: rice, roasted veggies and sliced chicken sausage Tuesday: slow-cooker pork roast, mashed potatoes, salad Wednesday: beef burrito bar Thursday: halibut, baked potatoes, cooked broccoli Friday: eating out (Tyler's birthday) + Breakfasts = breakfast cookies, cream of wheat, cereal, fruit, toast. + Lunches = leftovers, sandwiches, mac and cheese, soup, veggies/fruit. LAST week's meal plan: I stuck to the plan and made every meal. When I do stick to my meal plans, my week is easier overall, and I definitely spend less. This week's grocery spending notes (Sept 20-27): Again, very little meat was ne

Looking for the railroad

Early Saturday morning, my brother and I set out to hike the property. It was cool and wet, thanks to the recent rains. We had to push our way through the edge of the property, which for about 300 feet is pretty dense, filled with scraggly, thin trees and all sorts of growth on the floor. Remnants of a small farm orchard are there. I found a pear tree, two types of apple trees, and a cherry tree. They're all leggy from trying to reach up through the canopy to get sun, most of the fruit was at the top. After pushing our way through those dense, scraggly areas, we headed into the forest. Dave went first, pushing a path through for both of us, whacking all the huge spider webs away, breaking b

Happy Birthday

Every one of us would love to play a game of checkers with you today. Miss you so much!

The Corningware Lady

Years ago, Poppy purchased the property from a woman known as the "Corningware Lady". We don't know much about her, other than her nickname. She owned the land, and sold it to Poppy about 40 years ago. The Corningware Lady! I wish I could ask Poppy about her. However, yesterday when my brother was at the property, a man walked over to say hello. Mr. Martin lives adjacent to our land. He is 82 years old, and has lived on his property for 60 years. My brother and Mr. Martin spent two hours talking. Mr. Martin knows everything about the area. He's hiked all around, and confirmed there are abandoned railway tracks (see previous post). He knew Poppy, he has seen cougars out there- Dave suspected

Planning meeting scheduled!

We have a meeting with a planner at the "County Planning and Zoning Division" scheduled! Our meeting, via Zoom, is on October 7th, at 2:30pm. This will give us a lot more information about the wetlands, and possibly a timeframe regarding when we could (hopefully) break ground.

gravel road

While I'm (somewhat impatiently) waiting for our planning meeting to take place, Dave is busy behind the scenes. One thing he's currently researching is the cost to put a road into the development. There are two options for the finish- gravel and pavement. We are leaning towards gravel. I looked online to find information about both. Gravel Driveways Pros: Easy on your budget. Gravel is one of the most affordable surface material options available. Easy to maintain. Diverse style and quick installation Cons: Ruts and sinkholes may form. It can be dirty, particularly in summer. Concrete Driveways Pros: Flexible in extreme climate conditions (very strong). Long lifespan. Clean surface. Cons: C

brothers

As far as brothers go, I certainly lucked out! He's the force behind this operation. Photo taken a few years ago:

Dahlias

I really liked having zinnias this year, for cutting. I have this dream that I'll have a garden at the new house. As much as I think or wish I want to have a vegetable garden, I really don't. Maybe some pumpkins for decoration, or some zucchini (so easy)- but not a full vegetable garden. However, I would like to try a flower garden. I love having fresh flowers in the house, yet I hesitate ever buying them. The zinnias in my garden boxes (thanks Dave) have been so fun this summer! Other than my garden boxes, I don't have a lot of space for flowers- we have a lot of shade, and a very small yard (which has a basketball court). Plus, for most of our time here, many children have ran, jumped and

fishing

I didn't go fishing with Poppy often, but occasionally he would take us on a "kid-friendly" fishing trip (think 4th of July with a picnic, and Gram's chocolate cake, at a trout farm). It was always fun. A guaranteed catch, with Poppy helping bait our hooks and reminding us how to cast. Or how NOT to cast. Waiting impatiently to show him we could cast all by ourselves and hear him say, "Good one!". I can just hear his voice saying that! This photo is of my grandparents, my brother (who now actually enjoys fishing, despite this contradicting picture), and myself. I don't remember the events of this particular day, but I look happy so I'm assuming it was a great one, despite my desperate nee

Budgeting and meal planning

Every week I read Brandy's posts at the blog The Prudent Homemaker. I really don't like to miss a week, and if I do, I always go back and catch up. I love her photography, but I really love her tips on saving money. And all the comments each week are really fun to read. I love finding ways to save money. I have a detailed, planned budget- and I do stick to it. Garage sales and thrift stores are so fun- I love the thrill finding a good deal. Last week at Goodwill, I found a singular butter knife to add to our silverware drawer. I'm picky and I rarely find my favorite brand (Reed and Barton) and my knife was .49c. Online, you can buy that knife for about $20. Thrifting has become a hobby, but

Finding water and well estimates

Dave sent over information about wells, with a note saying, "Variables, risk and time - you may hit water at 85', you may hit water at 230’.  No guarantees!" Based on the findings by the drill company, there could be shared wells, or each house could need their own. Wells won't be drilled until the development is subdivided. Estimate #1, based on an 85' deep well, using property to the north as a source for the estimate, was approximately $7,000. Estimate #2, using property to the southeast as a source for the estimate, was approximately $19,000. Conclusion = water is expensive.

Fire update

The Beachie Creek fire (more than 186,000 acres) and the Riverside Fire (130,000) have NOT merged yet, according to a news report at 10:15 am, Friday, 9/11/2020. The article also said "crew are looking forward to the weather improving Friday and the weaker winds. The weather conditions are generally expected to improve firefighting conditions and allow crews to make more progress". The air quality is poor all over the state due to smoke, which for the green Pacific NW, is of course unusual. In fact I read it's the worst in the world right now. The property is in the evacuation zone. So many people are evacuated in that area. And so many emergency people working so hard. I'll put a screensh

fires

In just a day, the fires have went from 300,000 acres to over 1 million. Right now, we are watching the Riverside and Beachie fires grow closer to each other and the firefighters say they are expected to combine. The reports are saying this is historic, that the firefighters don't know what to expect. Dave's house is in level 2 (get ready). Many people are evacuating, the roads are full leaving Oregon City and the outlying areas. Today: Yesterday at 8:30 am and again at 8:30pm:

Property tax codes and old growth

Today I talked to an incredibly helpful man (thank you Tony!) who works for the city. He was able to explain our property zoning and how it will be taxed- and he was able to get fairly specific and detailed. We have the huge blessing of being able to leave much of the property untouched, and in this zone, as old-growth forest, we will able to be care for and protect much of it. Which in turn, lowers our property taxes, taxed less on the protected acres (and plenty on our developed acreage, haha). But preserving the old growth and the wildlife is important, and makes our homesite that much more appealing in my mind.

Willamette Valley Southern Railway

While researching maps online for hours (a rather glassy-eyed endeavor) I saw something on the county plot I hadn't noticed before. Curious, I scrambled to compare the map to the topography maps and the arial maps. Dozens of tabs were open on my computer by evening, and the battery was almost drained. But I had learned a lot about the area, and more specifically about a railway I didn't even know existed. Willamette Valley Southern Railway, which in the early 1900's was an active (and new) railway system, traveled right along the edge of the property. If I was standing on the land 100 years ago, I could have seen it chugging by each day, en route to Oregon City, carrying products and deliver

Property Taxes

I'm doing some legwork (some very minimal, on-my-own-time legwork) to determine estimated property taxes of our lots, using the projected value of the homes to be built. Our county has over 350 property tax codes. I've been digging into the coded areas surrounding the property, both in and outside of the urban growth boundary, which is less than one mile away from the property. I'm waiting for a phone call from the assessor's office today, to see how the nearby properties are coded, and how the codes impact the process of evaluating the land for the taxes.

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