Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yeay! We finally installed our wood burning stove! So one of my city friends was so amused that we put in a wood burning stove. She called us pioneers! But on the flip side of that, I had a fellow Anza friend come over the other day and the first thing she said was, "ooo, what a beautiful stove!" HA. So out here, every house runs on propane for their heat. The big propane trucks come out and fill up our propane tanks when they are low. We don't have the gas company like in the city. So, in case you didn't know, propane is expensive! Nobody turns on their thermostat heater out here, because it will literally cost $450 / month just to heat the house moderately. And most of the houses that we looked at already had wood burning stoves in them. That's just what you do out here! So here is the process from start to finish:

You can't just put the stove on the carpet. It gets so hot, it will burn right through the floor. So you have to either buy a hearth (pronounced HARTH) pad, or make your own. Well, we did buy one, it is a non combustible pad thing, but it was corny looking. So we went through the process of making our own. So you beat together powder and water to make mortar.

Here is Nathan starting the hearth (and by the way, I did just as much of this work as he did. Except for when I stopped to take pics) we start with a cement board, then brick and mortar on top of that.

The next morning, you fill in the spaces with more mortar grout stuff. Seriously, its like Martha Stewart for men. Look at that oversized cake decorating bag!

This is the finished Hearth! Pretty hard core.

So, you have to wait for a nice sunny day to work on the actual installation. There is piping that goes from the top of the stove, through the ceiling and out the roof. So, literally, you cut a hole in the ceiling up through the roof. Har har har...such a dude.

Yeay! The hole in the roof! This picture is taken from the inside of the house, where the stove is. Nathan always smiles about things. That's one of the kabillion things that I love about him. He looks at everything as an adventure. Ha. I have a really bad habit of laughing at him when he actually does get in a bad mood. I'll just laugh because its just not him.

This is a bad picture and its sideways, but it shows how grimy and dirty my daddio was getting. Look at his hands.

And the final product!! Ahhh, so nice and cozy! By the way, these few pics do NOT give the whole project justice. It was hours on end of being up on the roof. And back down, going to the hardware store, calling people who actually know what they're doing, taking parts back that don't fit, buying and ordering the right parts....anyway, it was a great learning process. And NO there isn't an Anza handyman that just does stoves. Trust me, I checked, and everybody says its just kind of a Do It Yourself project!

So the wood doesn't just show up at our doorstep by the way. That's actually a service project that the guys do out here. Nathan traded his city truck in when we moved here, for a beefy 4 wheel drive. They 4X4 it up the mountain, spend a couple hours chainsawing wood, then bring it back down. You have to stack it neatly by the side of the house and make sure to put a tarp over it so it doesn't get rained on. Ha. SO PIONEER!

Monday, November 29, 2010

More Trailorific-ness

So I do find Trailorific things around here every once in a while. Here are a couple that really stick out.

1. Our laundry area is just off of the kitchen. Not quite in its own room, but in its own cozy little nook, out of the way of things. So when I'm in the kitchen and the washer is going, the spin cycle will literally make the kitchen floor rumble. Like a bit of an earthquake feeling! Yes, our floor shakes during our washer spin cycle. So, is that just a super powerful washer, or could it be...Trailorific!?

2. I can literally vacuum the whole house without changing where I plug the vacuum in. There's an outlet literally right in the middle of the place, so I have to use that one particular outlet. But! Vacuuming is a breeze around here without having to change where the plug goes every time I go too far. HA! So, because the place is big enough for us, without feeling cramped, I'm going to call this just pure....cozy....trailorific!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our family is growing!

So last weekend we went to Temecula with a big ole grocery shopping list. Out here, we go grocery shopping every 2 weeks. So the list is very calculated according to what dinners, snacks, lunches, breakfasts we will be having for the next two weeks. And I have my path through Winco that I go, so I itemize my list according to how I jet through the store.
Anyway, I had my list in hand, we were dropping Colt off at a friends' house, it was all set. But Nathan had a different plan. He was calling ranches in Temecula while I was working on my shopping list to pick up more animals.
So a whole afternoon later, and no Winco trip, we came back with 5 more hens, a rooster, and two goats. All in hubby's truck. In fact, we even went through a Mcdonald's drive through with the sweet little goat on my lap!
Can anybody else say they went into town for a grocery shop, but came back with livestock instead??.....You know you're a Redneck when....

So the new colorful Hens are really cool. They lay brown and green eggs. The Goats are Nubian goats. The black is female and the brown is male. We named them Peggy and Al. Girl goats cycle twice a year (that's when they most likely get pregnant if there's a dude around) and the rancher that we bought her from said she is most likely pregnant. Soooo....that means, after she has her baby, we get milk! And supposedly she has very silky udders. (A selling point? If you're goat shopping?)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our humble home

I've been holding out of pics of the house because we're not done yet. We've only primered the walls so we haven't put up any pictures or decorations. But here is what we're starting with. Notice our headboard made of pillows for our bed!
Also the entry way wall is the wrong yellow. But I'm showing off my cool homemade hat rack!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Okay, these are totally chesy pictures of Colt and Charley. They are just standing there posing for the camera. AND I have to defend myself with Colt's mummy costume. It looked much cooler in real life! He wore it for school on Friday, then for his schools trunk or treat that night. Then on saturday for a birthday/halloween party. Then for trick or treating. And each time, he would stand there while I would wrap him all up in different shreds of sheet. It was fun and he loved putting it on. And every time, he got a ton of compliments. So, anyway, the pics don't show you how cool and mummified he really looked.
Also, Charley's classic dracula costume: Nathans Grandma sewed it for him when he was 2!! So that costume was handmade 30 years ago. And some of you may remember Colt wearing it a couple Halloweens ago. Thanks Melody! That thing is like, such a huge hit!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Anza weather

Okay so I'm excited for the coolness up here. Although the weather has been SUPER unpredictable. For a couple days it will be stormy thundery and rainy (which I'm loving for the moment), then it will be beautiful and blue for a week. Anyway, the nights are always really cool. My husband makes fun of me for looking like I'm about to go skiing when I get dressed for bed!
So here are the boys playing in the ditch thingy like in the middle of our yard, after a big rainstorm a few weeks ago.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

coyote proofing

So far our chickens have been roaming around during the day. They usually stick together in the same areas. At night they go in their coupe. Have you heard that saying, "go home to roost" or something like that? Anyway, they do. As soon as it starts getting dark, the chickens all find their way back to their coupe and jump up on their roost. That's where they sleep at night. Its funny because their roost literally is like a 4" wide piece of wood. You can use anything like that for a roost. And if the chickens don't have a designated roost, they will hop up into a tree and sleep on the branch. That happened a couple times when their coupe door was closed so they couldn't get in when it was getting dark.
So I have been digging this trench, a square perimeter where we will put up a fence for the chickens. This will be their roaming yard. You have to dig into the ground, then put the fence into the trench so coyotes won't be able to dig under it at night. I know, its a confusing visual. Anyway, this is what I've been doing. And its not easy. Its really hard rocky ground. But then again, I'm Bad-A.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Okay, so it dawned on me that I know the life of our chickies, but other people probably don't. So here are some pics (And hey, does anybody know how to make it so I can put a description under each picture?)

They first started out as little tiny baby fuzzy chicks. Then they eventually grew into our big white clucking hens. Now, these chickens are Laying chickens. That means they don't need no man to lay an egg! But that also means that you wouldn't want to eat these chickens. If you are raising chickens for the meat you need to get meat chickens.

Anyway, here they are from tiny fuzzy chicks in an aquarium to now clucking around Anza...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Okay, so our neighbor has 6 horses. In fact, she's a really nice lady from England and she has a cool accent. She has show horses that she rode in the 1996 olympics! Isn't that cool? So we go up to the horses and feed them carrots... The black horse's name is Gus Gus, its Colt's fave.
That white lining around the fence is electric fence, so the horses don't jump the fences. I shocked myself on it of course. But it didn't really hurt because I'm so bad-A.

Our view from our front gate

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


So yes, we live in a double wide. And I'm loving it. I've coined a new term, 'trailorific'. So when something is just SO double wide and you gotta just laugh, you say, "TRAILOR-IFIC!". Here are a few pics...
*Decorating for Halloween in a double wide is so cool. Check out the awesome 99cent window stickers from Winco...trailorific!
*The other pic is a view from the street coming up to our house. Ha. The whole 10 acres is completely fenced in. Its so great to just let the boys, the dog and chickens run around wherever.

Getting our mail

Here is a picture of our row of mailboxes, about a mile down the road. This is a night picture, it doesn't look very good, but you can totally tell from this picture how DARK it gets here at night!

A different way of life

Okay, so out here as anyone can is a huge culture shock. First up, this is how we get into our property. This is our very own big huge gate. Most people have gates to their property because they have a few acres with animals and they need to be protected from coyotes... so when you drive down our dirt driveway, you have to stop, get out of the car, open the gate, get back in the car, then drive just outside of the gate, then get back out of the car and close the gate. Okay, just then as I was describing it, it sounded like a big ole pain in the butt...but its not, its kind of cool. And again, just a different way of life. AND I love our big huge iron gate.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

So Why Anza?

Really, the answer is simple...we were wondering. We are just a simple couple who kind of got the itch to wonder what it would be like to have land and animals. So we decided we'd better do it now while the kids are still young and resiliant. And while we're still dumb enough to make this kind of move, not knowing what we're getting into. So here's our adventures in Anza...