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Click TOOLS OF THE TRADE to see some of the tools and equipment we used.


Today proved to be the beginning of an exciting weekend. A lot of visible change swept the property. An earth mover (or "pan") began stripping the topsoil off the driveway and around the house area. CICERO RANZENBACH EXCAVATING, INC. handled this part of the landscaping.

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Tom and his son were on site right at 8am. The dozer started pushing the fill into the driveway trench and the pan scoured more of the driveway, then started on the house area. Julie and some helpers finished cataloging the rest of the logs and Paul took charge of burning brush in the old pond basin.

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Our driveway culvert pipe was laid today and we expect one load of crushed stone tomorrow to cover the pipe.



The stone arrived a couple of days ago. This is the first load that used just to backfill the pipe and allow light traffic to cross the ditch. The final load won't arrive until the concrete wing walls are laid on each end to direct the flow. This is also the day that Jillena and Paul brought Jillena's horse, Darcy, home. Jeff continued to work on washing and spraying logs this weekend.

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Paul ran the dozer and worked the grade near the road with the topsoil to smooth out the top of the driveway. We also started setting the concrete wing walls and had help burning more brush.

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Paul and John spent most of the day digging out more concrete slabs from some piles of road demolition we had out in the cow pasture. Jeff continues to work on the logs. It's a slow process that often gets frustrating. To try to speed things up, he's been working at night using halogen work lights and a generator.

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John acquired a 1,250-gallon water tank previously used to deliver domestic water to local households with pools and bad wells. Our 300-gallon tank that we had to take to town to fill got moved to a more permanent location on the ground. The large tank can fill the smaller tank in about 5 minutes. This should help us get the rest of the logs washed faster.



John and Paul worked on the wing walls of the culvert pipe again today. We want to get them ready for when the concrete arrives for the foundation. We plan on using some leftover concrete to finish off the shape of the wings. Jeff still continues to work on the logs. He's starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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We expect the foundation to get put in next week, so Paul and John set all the stakes for the house with offsets using nothing more than a tape measure and our site map. The weather seems to have turned quickly this month. Due to the cold evening temperatures, Jeff has not been able to work on the logs at night for fear of ruining the pressure washer.

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