Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Power or powerless?

So, we were told last month that we have to have everything moved by next summer for them to break ground.  Ok.  So, in the midst of trying to still farm, we have to move the farm homes and farm yard.  Ok, we got this.  Or do we?

As we have been getting all of our quotes lately, we are finding it is taking a lot of our time.  Seeding should have been done last week, but we had to take time to find companies and schedule times to bring them out, show them the buildings, houses, and new sites.  Depending on who they are and what they will be doing depends on how long it takes to show them what we need.  For instance, today we had the company come out for sewer and water.  They are the company that is contracted with the municipality to do the water lines.  So, they were out here and it took about two hours for them to look at the lines that are here, where lines have to be ran, and where the new septic tanks have to go.  But, we arent too far behind seeding, we hope.  So there is that little fun tidy bit we are dealing with.

However, the real issue that came up this week is the power.  Granted, our home we were looking at doing as much solar power and wind power as possible.  Being tide to the grid as a back up for the deep winter months.  We also will have a natural gas generator that will back up in the power goes out.  She (Mom) will have a natural gas generator to replace her power and have the power as just a back up.  Why are we glad we made these choices?  Cause we were told today that the power company couldnt put in the two new poles to run power to our new sites for 6 months from the time we schedule them!  IF we schduled them now and prayed that we had funding before it was done, that puts not getting power til end of November.  We are into -40 easily by then.  So, do we go ahead with the move and hope that the system that we are putting in will be enough electricity to hold us out til the power lines are put in?  A system that we have never used and just learning about?  Then again, we have power outages every winter, anywhere from two to three days to a week at a time.  So is it that bad that we may be a bit short on power?  So, we are told by Dept of Transportation to be moved next summer.  Yet we cant get power til winter.  What do you do?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The True Beginning

As some of you may know, the hwy in front of our house is widening.  When the "old house" was built the road in front of the house was a dead end dirt road.  It was built by our great grandparents back in the 1950's.  It was their second home, one they hoped to live out their lives in and they did, great grandpa passing in the 1970's and great grandma in 1993.  Their first home they built in 1920's when they homesteaded this property.  It still exists here on the farm as well, just not within the new road allowance and set backs.  A lot has changed in this area since the 1950's.  The road was widened to be two lane.  Then it was paved.  Now it is widening again.  We were told that it will eventually be a four lane hwy.  So, it is very evident that the road will continue to widen.  Great grandma and grandpa had one child.  A girl.  Our Grandma Inger.  She married Grandpa Ray.  Grandpa worked in the oil patch as the head geologist and lived with Grandma Inger in Calgary.  Their two children now live on the farm that has been ran by the family since it was homesteaded.  Mom (who wishes to not be named) lives in the "old house" that was built by our great grandparents.  Her brother (who will be left unnamed) moved a mobile home onto the property 2000.

Now, the by-laws of our area say that only two homes can be on each quarter, So, with Mom having the "old house" and her brother having his trailer, there are two homes.  Our home was built as an attachment to the "old house".  Our home is attached by a porch, according to the by-laws that makes it one home.  So, there are now three homes and three families living here.  The road widening affects all of us in different ways.  Mom's brother's house is not in the way, but will have to have new electrical and new water ran to it, everything else stays the same for them.  Our home has to be moved as does the old house.  Since the by-laws changed this year, we can now have three homes per quarter, we are not putting the homes back together.  Instead, we will all be moved to our own sites.  We are moving to the west side, he (Mom's brother) stays on the east side, and Mom moves to the south side.  This will give each family unit the ability to have their own families while still being part of the bigger picture.  What does this mean exactly?  Well, it means that we have to get utilities to each new location.  Also septic systems, driveways, barns, chicken houses, etc.

Two years ago now the farm land was inherited jointly by Dan (Mom's son) and Mom.  Dan and Tera ("us" or "we") run the farm and Dan inherited all the farm equipment to run it with.  We already had our livestock that we bought and pay for separate from the farm land under our business.  Since we run the farm now we are in charge of planting the crops, harvesting, paying the bills for the farm etc.  So, the barns and chicken house will need to be moved to our new site, cause going to the other side of the quarter in -40 weather to care for animals is not feasible.

Now, I have to say, the people hired by Dept. of Transportation are at least trying to work with us.  They came back with their first offer and as they looked over it, agreed that it is not a realistic amount and to get appraisals and quotes and we will go from there.  They are even willing to bring an engineer from the Dept of Transport out to see the layout of the quarter so that they understand that there is little flat land here to built on or move a home to.  Given the harsh winters, things have to be close and usable.  All we can do is wait and see how this goes.  We know what we need to do and where we need to move to and why, we just have to get them to see it.  So far they are willing to work with us on it and can only hope it stays that way.

We plan to keep a blog of things on a weekly basis.  We have so much we have to do and things that will change.

And here we thought that our journey began a couple years ago when we came together and decided what we wanted our future to look like.  Now our true beginning starts!
Our new site!