Lets see…   Some noticed that I reduced the font size from enlarged to normal.  Leave me a comment if you care one way or another. 

Last week didn’t end on Thursday.  I had a friend from work swing by to scope the place out for turkey hunting.  He came Friday and spent the night.  I pulled out two packages of Filet Mignon’s and cooked those on the grill for dinner.  They were from the steer we slaughtered last year and were absolutely delicious.  Fortunately Steve liked his like mine:  medium rare.  So we had filets for dinner, and filets and eggs for breakfast.  He left late morning, after visiting the cows (this post’s picture).  Unfortunately, he didn’t hear any turkey, but I think he had a good time.  I discovered that with a bit of salt, the filets were almost as good cold, right from the fridge.  That was lunch and dinner!  Grass fed, grass finished, wonderful!

Sunday had a social visit from my MDC private land conservationist, and more work on the fishing dock.  Weather has been weird – pretty chilly in the mornings (mid 40s F) warming up to a pleasant 65F-70F about 3pm.  I’ve been doing most of the dock work from around 3pm until 7:30pm-8pm.

Sunday night rained and things were pretty messy down at the dock, so I did a few “rainy day” chores, like fixing my tank sprayer and making a parts shopping list.  Went into town mid-morning and bought what I needed for my next trip, and headed home to do our taxes…  Evia and I set a new record doing the taxes on Tuesday – only 6 hours (plus the 1 or so I did much earlier).  I had donated most of my salt water aquarium stuff in 2014 to the Wonders of Wildlife zoo in Springfield Mo.  I knew I’d need an appraisal (30 years of hobby ending in a 5000 gallon tank resulted in a lot of stuff, and related aquarium stock) and a detailed receipt from the zoo – which I had.  I didn’t know that I would need them both to sign a common document (for 8283 if I recall).  E-mails went out on the 14th, and fortunately both replied the next day, coordinating to get me a mutually signed document.  Off the to post-office we went!.  Discovered that post offices don’t stay open late on tax day anymore, or at least most of them don’t.  Apparently there was ONE in downtown St. Louis and ONE in downtown Kansas City.  Wednesday was syncing up with a repair guy to see how the rental house we have been working on since January was coming along.  Ended up needing a couple more days, but was really close.  Bad rental time, good sales time – and prices were finally back to a bit over what we paid – so called my realtor and started the process of getting it listed.  Friday morning was signing off on that listing contract and heading back to the farm. 

How does all that tie into “Life on Carpenter Farm”?  We realized a few years ago that we would not continue my aquarium hobby on the farm – it just wasn’t a fit.  Once we made that conclusion, it just became a question of when to shut it down, not if.  I made that call last spring – left a message with one of my profession friends (New England area), he dropped a note to a professional list (which I have hosted for him for a decade or so), and within hours we had takers.  So one “city life” aspect shutdown.  Likewise for the rental home.  We have six around the St. Louis area (3 in Wentzille, 2 in Ofallon, 1 in Florissant).  Our ex next door neighbor of a decade ago was a real estate agent, and she talked me into taking a home equity loan out against my primary house and using it to buy smaller rental homes.  She made money, we have lost over $40k since we started the business 8 years ago.  It has to go if we are going to move to the farm full time.  Alas, we got in at exactly the wrong time – just before the housing crash.  Things are just now coming back for some of the homes.  Once we sell them, then my debt drops, the home equity loan gets paid off, and we will be in much better shape financially to come out here.

Anyhow, Friday late morning, everything was done in town, and I headed back out to the farm.  Of course, our dog wouldn’t let me out of the house unless I brought her as well.  She has great aspirations out here, but her age and body condition is catching up with her.

Today had me fixing the water feed line to the summer water trough, and working on the dock until sunset.  Managed to remove some temporary guide lumber and installed the first 20′ 2×12 deck support – and sink one more 12′ post (after having to post hole dig it clear of course).  Evia and the kids are expected soon – perhaps with a cat (or two?).  Think I’ll go wait for them out by the front gate.