Friday, January 13, 2012

# 174 - Cabin in the Woods and My Spiral

An important part of the last trip to our acreage was to scope out the prospective home-site, workshop site and the ideal area for our road into the residential area of our property.

The area in which we camp is not going to be the area where we will build. The home-site is on the other side of the property --- where the land is higher, drier, more solid and less sandy.

On a hike, I take the spiral notepad and pen and we go mark it off on foot. Kneeling, I get busy with my notes and do not think about Deputy Dave taking downward photos that will highlight streaks of white/gray in my unruly morning hair.

 I am trying to figure out the direction of the house --- the position of the sun --- the potential views from each window of the cabin, the distance from the cabin to the workshop and the layout of the new road to the back of these structures. We gauge the distance from the water line we had ran to the very front, corner of the property and it seems workable so that we won't have to dig a well for the house.

Since Deputy Dave already has experience with installing a septic system due to helping a friend in need, he will probably rent the backhoe and dig the hole and install our septic system himself. The workshop and house will have to be in close enough proximity to each other to share a septic system.

Our cabin in the woods will give us beautiful views of towering trees and hills with livestock. The creek will be nearby and the lake within a good walking distance. And as I kneel down and focus on my notes, Howdy is curious and wondering if there is something wrong and he closely searches my face for any signs of trouble. He makes me laugh. He's an inquisitive creature.

It pains me that it will be necessary for some trees to be removed. Of course, now that I'm learning to use fallen trees for other purposes, it will be a bit less painful. The trees will not fall in vain.

Deputy Dave is needing blueprints of my cabin design so that he can get started with his own preparations for the build. I've drawn out my floorplan in detail, but I really need to take it to an architect and get going with cementing the plans.

And with our greater purpose for the trip wrapped up, we have to get back on the road for the two hour trip back to the house on the Southside of Houston. It's sad to leave the land. I feel as if I could live out there in a tent right now. It is so incredibly beautiful on our is there...waiting...calling to us and we are nearly able to live there full-time. 

 Our land has so many saplings growing all over the's beautiful, but a tad out of control. It will be nice to live out there and be able to spend our weekends cultivating the land so that we may enjoy a large vegetable garden, beautiful ornate gardens and outdoor areas for a few livestock.

Packing up is so sad. It will be wonderful to no longer have to haul this equipment back and forth from the city to the country.

 Deputy Dave is always well prepared for our trips to our acreage. But, I am sure that loading and unloading all of these tools and large equipment is tedious. However, he seems to enjoy everything that goes with our travels to the country.

We had wanted to go to our land again this weekend, but we've had so much rain lately (very needed) that we have not been able to consider it...we don't want to show up to only be forced to sit around because the heavy equipment will sink into the raw earth that is layered with composted material.

At one time I had been in contact with an architect in Livingston who I admired. He was a para-pelagic and known for being very talented at his job. My mother was a semi-hemi-pelagic, so I am drawn to a person with such disabilities because they are usually more fine-detailed and in-tuned because their senses are more keenly adjusted.

My mom doing what she loved best...teaching for Houston Independent
School District. She taught children in an inner-city school, behavior problem
students and she was very good at it. The students loved her as well.

And that's my personal opinion from growing up with a person who had such a "disability." Less physical abilities usually equates more mental abilities.

My mom with my brother-in-law, Mark.
As for me, I'm not yet doing crossword puzzles, but I had a serious spine injury when my neck collapsed onto my spinal cord in 2009 and created the need for cervical spine reconstruction. I now am able to walk around, thank God, and to better feel my hands and feet...but my spine is full of metal plating and screws and bolts and cadaver bone. Yes, it's strange, but HERE I AM!!

I get to walk around on my land, yet I know how profoundly different things might be if I'd not been able to go through with that surgery and survive it intact. It sure was a time of finding my "backbone" --- so to speak.

Recovery was horrendous; I cannot lessen the experience for the benefit of others. It was particularly grueling because this reconstruction involved going through a double-surgery; they went through the front of my neck to put in plates and then flipped me mid-surgery to go through the back of my neck to finish the job.

Talk about being uncomfortable after a surgery...incisions on both sides of your neck with staples and a hard-shell neckbrace pressing on everything doesn't give you any choices for finding a comfortable position. The swelling in my neck was extremely much that I often would choke on my own saliva...there was not enough room for it to go down. More loveliness. Truth can be harsh.

That's me. The view closest is the same on the
other side of my neck.
As for my mother and her Polio inflicted body...I think about her often as I walk around our land with my body that is again fully responsive to my brain's automatic commands. I am thankful that my mother had been able to come several times to our land before she passed away from breast cancer in 2006; she loved having picnics with us.

My mom, Deputy Dave, my dad and my brother-in-law, Kevin.
Well, she loved it out there in the country; she was part country-girl herself. However, she never got to see the backside of our property, the side with the lake...she was mostly in an electric wheelchair and we had no means to get her across the creek so that she could see the lake.

My dad at the lake's edge with all of his grandkids and more!
It saddens me, but I can't think about it too deeply or I'll fall into that pit of mourning that most of us discover in life. 

My mom in a rehab hospital after being hit by a truck and having
to have her one "good" arm surgically repaired due to the accident.
This made her, for a time, to be charted as a "quadra-pelagic."
It's not a good hair day when you can't use your arms.
One thing is for sure...I plan to name a peaceful spot out there on the land in honor of my mother.

My mom holding my sister, the week we left for Scotland.
As for my list of "things to do" to get us moved, I hope I can find that architect in Livingston. Maybe he's still drawing up plans for people wanting to build their own homes. Next week, that will be my find him. 


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Hi. Nice to meetcha. I saw you'd just signed on as a new follower on my blog, so I figured I'd come pay yours a visit. Wow, you and your hubby are doing what a lot of us would love to do, but are too (you fill in the blank) to follow through on it. My husband retired more than ten years ago, and last year, we flirted briefly with the idea of moving, but after taking one look at all the "stuff" we'd accumulated after forty years in this house, decided we like it here just fine. So, I'll follow your blog and make the move vicariously. (Much easier on the back that way!) said...

Susan --- Glad to have you over as well! My husband and I have been trying to get moved to the country for years and now it is finally happening. The process is in motion. It is wonderful, but will take a lot of work. As for your settling in where you are...there's a beauty in stability and enjoying everything in the home that has a rich history.

As for me, I'm driven to move to the country, as if my soul is directing me to get outta here. So, I hope we'll be moved there pretty fast.




Loved reading your blog. COuldn't download all the pics as my computer is slow today. I had both back and front cervical spine surgery. Two weeks apart. Front done first. Back surgery was worst. I too have metal and screws and bone etc. Still suffer from a stiff neck and sore muscles but a small pice to pay. Xrays showed that bone was pressing on the spine and that's reason for surgery. Hope you continue to recover and feel great.
Sounds like the land is lovely. Good luck with your move.
I'll check on you to see how you're doing.

farmland investment said...

I truly am sympathetic about the back surgery. I have suffered for years from bad back pain, sometimes so horrible that I can barely stand. The doctors have never been able to find out something concrete that is a problem, which is quite frustrating. Going to try a cortizone shot soon!

Dreaming said...

Your mother surely was an inspiration to many. The children whose lives she touched were fortunate.
It is so much fun to read your blog and to dream along with you as you plan your homestead. Hubby and I did that with our NC property before we moved west. Our property still awaits our cute little cottage. That may be our next phase!
Have a great weekend. I hope you find your architect.

LindaG said...

I hope you find your architect, Lana.
I know how you feel going home again. But you'll be there before you know it! :)

A Primitive Homestead said...

Lana your lake is beautiful. I think you need a row boat & some ducks. I love the scene in the movie Notebook. The area you name after your dear Mother you could plant a memory garden there. There was one planted in honor of my Gram after here passing at her church. In my own garden I planted stargazer lilies in here memory for some years. Just an idea. Good luck with the house drawings. You are much like me when it comes to planning positions of a structure. Lighting views placement of furniture inside. I may be a tad over board. I moved light switches & outlets during the new walls remodel. I have to tell you the house you are selling is awesome. Your new home will be so different. I would have never guessed you would go for the country & a cabin. It has been fun getting to know you. Blessings!
Lara said...

Barb Whittington --- Thanks for reading, I enjoyed yours too. As for the back surgery, I agree about the backside being the worst. The front of the neck was simple-pie compared to the back. They installed a halo onto my head/scalp so they could turn me mid-surgery. They rarely do these two-sided surgeries at the same time, but my neck was so badly broken and unstable that they didn't have a choice; I had a pin-sized flow of spinal fluid getting through due to the spine collapsing onto the spinal cord. I was choking due to function for breathing/swallowing messages not getting through properly, not able to really walk and could not control my hands/fingers. It was en emergency surgery and they didn't think the spinal cord damage could be reversed, but I did have a miracle and the recovery of much function. I do have a huge lesion on my spinal cord at C2 from the damage of the collapse, but I do the best I can, day by day. Isn't it amazing what our bodies can go through? My surgeon is indeed a miracle worker and I'm always thankful to him.

Farmland Investment - I'm hoping the injections will help. My husband has those regularly and they make a huge difference in his physical ability and pain level. Give it a try.

Dreaming --- Thank you for the sweet words; my mom was indeed an inspiration for years and years as a teacher on different levels. She always believed in her students. I'd love to know about that cute little cottage vision.

Linda --- I hope I find him too. Last time I spoke with him, it was about 8 years ago. And it won't be long before we're moved to the country and my challenges become completely new. I've been feeling like crude today, so I didn't get to start painting the downstairs ceiling as I had planned. It frustrates me when I can't get through a full day of staying busy, especially when there's so much to do. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a full strength kind of day! And it's nice to have you as a blog buddy cause we are just trying to get to our land...trying to take steps to make it work.

We hope to be moved by April.

Lana said...

Lara --- We did have a little rowboat out there at one time, but we will definitely get another. And "The Notebook" is something that definitely tugged at my heart because I've kept journals my entire life and I could imagine Deputy Dave doing that for me if I were to have memory blips --- we'd want to be together until the end. Augh...heart breaking. Your suggestion of a memory garden is a beautiful idea. I know I'll probably plant some Magnolia trees in her honor and maybe I can also do a garden area --- she loved wild-flowers, especially Bluebonnets, so I know I'll plant those along our frontage every year, just for her. As for my planning, as a former Real Estate Broker, houses was my business. I've seen so many different kinds of houses and layouts, etc., that I realize how important all of those aspects are to building. Since we will have control over everything --- not have to deal with a developer and mass builder, we will be considering as many details as we can. So much of it can't be changed once it is built...I want to prepare as best as I can for all of the "little" things. As for my current house, I do love it and I never thought I'd be in love with a future country cabin on this level, but it is a reflection of my changed life and changed dreams. It's been fun getting to know you too...I always enjoy visiting you and reading the latest.


Michelle said...

I love your land. My husband and I hope to one day have our own piece of land in the woods. That is a big dream for us. I can't even imagine what you went thru. I hurt my back a few years ago. If you even tried to move me I was screaming it hurt that bad. It took along while till I could walk or sit (any length of time.) with out it hurting. I am so glad you are ok now. said...

Michelle --- Thank you for the compliment on the land, not everyone loves raw acreage, but we adore it. And since you've had a back injury, you know of the pain it creates when your back is out of commission. It's not something to take lightly. I had NEVER had back issues until my neck broke, it was a rude awakening for me in the harshest sense. I've seen people barely able to hobble along due to severe back pain and I truly feel for them in the deepest manner. I am glad you made it thru your trial as well. I think this is a huge part of why I love the land so much. I appreciate the raw things of this world so much more since I've had health issues. It opened my eyes in a new way. I'm glad for it.