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How Cold Was It?

8 January 2017 – Sunny and 37° – Woot Woot!

We are basking in sunshine today.  It feels like summertime after the bitter cold week we had.  I even went running today for the first time this year!  Last week was ridiculously cold. (HOW COLD WAS IT?) It was so cold that …

          I chipped a tooth on my soup.

          Even the gangsters had to pull up their pants.

          We had to crawl inside the freezer to warm up.

          Hitchhikers were holding up pictures of thumbs.

          We had to chisel the dog off the fire hydrant.

          The polar bears all put on their long underwear.

          A can of tuna fish in the camper cupboard actually froze solid. (no joke, this is for real!)

          The antifreeze rated to -50 actually froze solid!

I’m inviting comments here.  If anyone has a good answer to the HOW COLD WAS IT? joke then please respond.  We could use the laughs!

Other unfortunate events include the failure of the refrigerator in the camper. Fortunately, we have hooked up our real fridge in the house so we just have to run back and forth when we get hungry. It’s the perfect diet for the New Year; exercise required to eat!   We are killing that poor camper one piece at a time.  The jack, the frozen water pump, the drains, and now the fridge.  Knock on wood, the heater still works like a champ.

Despite the cold and fridge busting we are really happy this weekend!  The hearth has been completed for the wood stove and it looks awesome!

Quite a few of the interior doors have been hung and we like them too!door1

The kitchen and bathroom countertops are in and a lot of the flooring has been put down.  The kitchen sink is in and we love it.


Move in is getting closer….it’s got to be getting closer, right?   

Meanwhile we will enjoy the next couple days of THAW and try to stay out of trouble.  As my Mom said, “Only three more full moons until Spring!”   


Hello 2017!

Monday, 2 January 2017 – Snow, high of 15°

Anyone notice how this winter just keeps piling on? It has become routine to hear the locals say things like, “We haven’t had a winter like this since we moved here 15 years ago!”  Or “It never snows like this, at least not this early in the season.”  And the ever popular “Normally it snows and then melts the next day.  This is the banana belt you know!”  The local news station reported that this December was the 3rd coldest on record EVER for Rapid City.  Gotta love our timing as we hear from everyone we meet, “Last winter was so mild, this is really unusual!”

We really don’t mind the snow and cold as long as things keep working.  The camper is warm and the house is really warm.  There has been some progress since our last post. 

Yesterday Dave and I dug out the slate we had harvested from the National Forest.  Foolishly, we just left it in a pile on the side of the driveway and didn’t put a tarp over it.  That was before it snowed and drifted so we had to once again go digging for the slate in about 2 feet of drifted snow.  Once we found it, we cleaned it as best we could and brought it into the house to warm up.  We spent this morning trying to align the pieces on a 4×4 piece of cardboard to mimic the hearth for the wood stove.  Todd gave us some good direction on how to lay it out and this is what we have come up with.slatelayout1

We had a great New Year’s Day.  We went to visit our neighbors down the road at Rock Ridge Ranch and had some coffee and good conversation.  Later that evening we went to Cowboy Dave and Linda’s for appetizers and some football.  We are pretty spoiled out here since everyone always hosts us and we cannot really reciprocate by having people over for dinner in the camper.  Once we move in, the dinner parties will commence! 

Tons of Progress…and Snow Drifts

29 December – Sunny and High of 25°F

We were able to dig our way out of the snow, large thanks to Cowboy Dave for clearing the roads on his tractor Monday afternoon. Once more, the winds really picked up so by Wednesday the roads were completely drifted over again.  Pilot Dave used the builder’s Bobcat to clear multiple times to ensure that Jeremiah the tile guy, the cabinet delivery team, Mike the painter, the construction crew, and the Lowe’s Delivery Truck could make it to the house.  This morning, Pilot Dave is out there again because the winds blew like crazy again last night and all of the snow in Wyoming is now on Stagecoach Springs Road! It is becoming very apparent that in the near future we will need a tractor or an ATV with a blade on it.


Any of you readers that grew up in a cold and snowy climate must remember what it was like playing in the snow as children. I remember in Iowa that it seemed like the snow was always at least up to my waist.  In retrospect, the snow must have seemed so high because I was a little kid.  Well, we have entered into big-kid snow drift territory.  Dave and I walked up the road before he and Cowboy had a chance to clear it, and we were high-stepping all the way.  There were some drifts that I really didn’t know if I would make it across. We walked all the way to the mailboxes and back…. what a workout!  Cross-fit be damned! If you really want to break a sweat spend some time hiking around in the snow drifts and shoveling driveways.  No wonder people in colder climates live longer.


We are extremely pleased with the house progress. Yesterday it was a beehive of activity as cabinets were delivered, Mike the painter finished up, Jeremiah the tile-guy began working on the shower, and the appliances were delivered.

It was such a huge relief to see the cabinets in the freshly painted house. It has been difficult for us to pick things from samples and envision what they will look like in actuality.  Dave and I agree that the cabinets look amazing with the beams and the paint.  We really like the hardware we picked for the drawer pulls and cabinets too! It looks similar to barbed wire but there are no barbs.  (Although barbed wire on the pantry cabinet handles and especially the cookie jar sounds like a good way to diet!)


We also were quite happy with the way the counter tops turned out. They were another big commitment item that we hoped would look good and we love them.  We can’t wait to see them with the floor and the lighting.

This is the last post for 2016. We had an incredible year and are sure that 2017 will be equally as exciting and educational. Thanks, everyone, for reading and we hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve.  We will likely be in bed by 9PM but up early to watch the sunrise and welcome the New Year.


Don’t forget to have fun…and a Happy New Year!

A Christmas Blizzard

26 December 2016 – Snow, wind, more wind, and high of 25°F

We had a lovely Christmas Eve. It was 40° and sunny!  We went to our sweet neighbors’ for a ham dinner and had a really nice evening.  Christmas morning the fun began.

Blowing Snow and Reduced Visibility


We have an all-out blizzard going on right now. It is windy and blowing snow.  Yesterday, we shoveled the driveway but it was a waste of time and effort because the snow has just drifted right on over all of our work.

Shoveling the Old Fashioned Way


While we are warm and safe in the camper, and able to hang out in the house some, we are kind of disappointed because this was supposed to be the mega-productive week. We were expecting the paint to be finished today, but there is no way the painter can make it down our road or up our driveway.  He has done a great job so far!

Paint in the Basement



First Coat in the Kitchen


Incidentally, the painting has not been drama free. Dave and I went back and forth multiple times about the color to paint.  We wanted the house to be one color, something sort of off white and bright and cheery.  We settled on Valspar “Churchill Hotel Ivory”. Picking a paint color is not a lifelong decision, but still, we didn’t want to have to paint again if we didn’t like it. We even had the dry wall team paint up a sample and held it up to the beams, the floor sample, the countertop sample etc.  The first day the painter primed and put a coat of it on (every room by the way), we weren’t quite sure we liked it.  The first coat was a lot more yellow than we anticipated.  It kind of looked like we were living inside a tennis ball!  We had a few moments of despair because we certainly didn’t want him to start over.  We decided to give it some time and fortunately it mellowed quite a bit after drying.  We decided we not only like it, but we love it. Todd gave us some reassurance as well, that the dark floors really need a bright color to balance it out.  We can’t wait to see what it looks like when all the pieces and parts are put together.

We are hoping that we can shovel out by at least Wednesday because our cabinets and appliances are supposed to be delivered, and Todd wants to start installing the cabinets right away so he can do the flooring after that.

I guess by the time anyone reads this blog post, we will have shoveled out because I can’t post it from here on the Holler due to the limited internet. So, if you don’t get this post by New Year’s Eve, send the Saint Bernards!  But wait, that doesn’t make sense, how could you know if you don’t get this post?  Sorry, my brain is half frozen! Please disregard any crazy rambling….it should clear up by spring.

Let it Snow….

16 December 2016 – Snow, more snow, and a high of 11°F

And 17 December 2016 – Sunny, high of 0°, low was negative 17 last night – Brrrr

Winter has truly arrived, and it seems to be about a week early. The snow started in the wee hours of this Friday morning, and has been going all day. It is beautiful!christmascard

We are bracing for the bitter cold this evening, but we are so completely happy to have a functioning bathroom in the house now! This is a huge improvement and morale boost as we have been without running water in the camper for 2 weeks.

It is not fancy yet, and Reef will have to pull the toilet when the texture and paint guys come this weekend, but it was really nice to take a hot shower and it is super nice to not sit on a port-a-potty in the freezing cold. Thank you, Todd, and Martin for making this happen!

The house is moving along. The sheet rock and taping was completed this week.  They are going to put texture on the walls this weekend and the paint goes on Monday.  The cabinets and all appliances are coming on the 28th and the flooring will go in as well.  After that, there are a few projects, tile for the shower and slate for the wood-burning stove base, installation of the stove and chimney, vent in the kitchen, railing for the decks and loft, completion of the plumbing for the other bathrooms, door and window trim, light fixtures, etc. We have made most of the decisions already, however, we have to pick out lights still and I think that may be it? We really hope so.

Today we enjoyed the snow and went on a morning tromp up to the mail box to drop some letters. The snow was a few inches deep already, but it was really pretty and there was not a lot of wind. We were bundled up pretty good so we weren’t really cold except for the parts of our faces that were exposed.  About half way up the road we experienced some numbness in our cheeks and lips, we began to slur a little as it was almost too cold to fully pronounce even common syllables. By the time we reached the mail boxes our faces were both frozen with the same strange expressions.  Dave and I have named this phenomenon “South Dakota Botox.” It is when your winter hat is pushed way down on your forehead so your eyes are squinty, and your hoody is tied so tight that it pushes your cheeks up, enhancing the squinting even more.  Then your mouth freezes in a grimace because your nose is running continuously but you still need to breathe. You are forced to grit your teeth and try to breathe through a thin smile. It is like you have botox gone bad and your happy face is the same as your angry face, and your scared face and your sad face!   When you experience South Dakota Botox and you try to talk (or sing Christmas Carols as is my tradition when going to the mail box) you sound funny. “We wiss ew a mewwy kissmiss, and a haiyyeeew ewrw earrr!”

We defrosted when we got back to the camper and decided to brush the snow off the solar panels. By the time the snow was cleared off the panels, it was snowing even harder and they were covered with a thin dusting again. It was a good effort anyway, although it will have to be repeated when (if) it stops snowing.

After lunch, we called Cowboy and Linda to see if they needed any help prepping their ranch and animals for the frigid cold evening ahead. They said they were all good, but Cowboy inquired if we had signed up for our burn permit to burn the slash piles we had collected earlier this fall.  Pilot Dave had done so, and we were anticipating it might take a long while to burn the large piles so we thought it was too late in the day to start.  Cowboy said it wouldn’t take long at all and came over to hang out while we burned them.  The first pile, south of the house, would not stay lit. It was too green.  It’s strange how flammable Christmas trees are, but we could not get this giant pile of slash to light.  We went to the pile we had made north of the house and that one lit up like the biggest bonfire you’ve ever seen!

The heat coming off of that fire was wonderful, especially after such a cold day and we stood there and watched it burn for about 45 minutes. Cowboy and Linda invited us over for chili and if Linda is cooking, we aren’t saying “no.”  She made the most amazing chili and cornbread and we thoroughly enjoyed being in their warm house for supper.

We went home and hunkered down in the happy camper for the night. When we woke in the morning we were so happy to feel that the heat held in the camper, and even happier that we could take a hot shower in the house!  We did notice, however, that there is ice on the inside of our closets in the camper.  When you reach in for a fresh sweatshirt or pair of pants, you have to peel it off the sides of the closet and defrost it before you can wear it.  It is REALLY cold outside!

17 December 2016

Today we have been running around all morning. Pilot Dave tended the burnt slash pile and threw what debris was left in the ashes, then he tried again to light the southern pile but that baby will not burn!  I swept all the snow off the solar panels, and Dave changed the oil in the generator.  We both shoveled decks and walkways.  Then we went to Cowboy and Linda’s to see if they wanted help clearing Stagecoach Springs.  They were the first and only people here for a long time and Cowboy has always cleared this private road.  He had his tractor and plow going when we got there but had a problem with the snow blower.  Pilot Dave and he worked on it and got it running again, while Linda and I fed calves and cleaned frozen cow poop out of the shed and stalls.

It is currently 3 in the afternoon, and the temperature is hovering right around 0°, but the sun is shining and the wind is not blowing. The ponderosa pines are all covered in snow and the countryside looks exactly like a Christmas card.  The only thing missing is a horse with some bells on it….hint hint Santa Clause!  The solar panels and batteries are powering everything and we are warm sitting here in the little camper.  We are pretty tired from all the chores we did today.  Cold weather is hard work!

Nature’s Home Depot

14 December 2016 – Cold and Sunny – High of 15°

The last time we were in Rapid City (or just “Rapid” if you’re a local) Dave and I stopped by the National Forest Service Office and applied for a permit to harvest slate from the forest.  The permit is good for one calendar year, it is free, and you are allowed to remove one ton of slate.  They give you a list of places you can take it from, and ask you to be honest about the amount as no one actually weighs what you remove.

We are planning on using the slate for the base of our wood burning stove.  Obviously, we can’t just set the stove on the floor and we thought it would be cool to use something we retrieved ourselves instead of just going to the store and buying some tile. We can also use it for walkways and landscaping around the outside of the house.

We drove up north towards Hill City and then drove around for about 45 minutes looking for the Forest Service Road that we were allowed to remove slate from.  The Forest Service, while extremely helpful, has some useless maps. They also do not mark their roads very clearly, at least not the ones that are designated for slate removal.  As we were driving about we discussed how nice it was for them to allow us to harvest slate for free, but then again, maybe it was just a big joke to get people to go out and get lost on the unmarked roads! We eventually figured it out and got to the desired location.img_2315

We took a sledge hammer, an axe, and a shovel and hiked up the hill to find some pieces that we thought would be useful.  It was cold, in the 20’s, but we both lost our winter coats pretty quickly from all the hiking up the hill and carrying slate back to the truck.  I forgot to mention, they don’t allow you to use any equipment to gather the slate, so you’re stuck with hand tools and/or buckets.  We stacked what we gathered in the back of Truck Norris and headed out of the forest.  On the way out we saw the biggest, most beautiful bald eagle circling very near.  I reached for my phone to snap a picture and Dave said, “No, just enjoy it!”  and he was right.  I could never have gotten a picture to do that bird justice and it was just a brilliant end to a morning of hard work and fresh air.  We watched him fly away.

Then we thought we would treat ourselves and go to lunch in Hill City.  Appropriately, we ate at the Slate Creek Grille.  Tourist season is long gone and we were the only people in the place, but the food was good and it was nice to sit down in a restaurant, even though we both looked pretty rough in our snow pants and dirty sweatshirts.  The locals didn’t seem to mind, as is typical of most people around here they were very friendly and didn’t judge our ratty appearance!

We returned to the Holler to discover that the guys have nearly finished the decks, the sheet rock and taping is mostly done, and we had several samples of wall texture to pick from. Ahhh, ,more decisions!

Today we are heading into Hot Springs to do laundry and load up on propane.  We are supposed to get an arctic blast again, and this time it is supposed to be accompanied by several inches of snow.  You never know when you may get snowed in so we are prepping in case we are stuck out here for several days. Wish us luck!

That Sounds Like a Grand Idea!

7 December 2016  – Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary – God Bless the Vets of the Greatest Generation

-4°F this morning but warming up to 12°F – partly cloudy

The warm autumn is long gone and it seems to have taken all the double-digit temperatures with it.  It has been cold and it is forecast to be colder for the foreseeable future.img_2263

We are burning through some propane, but we have been pretty warm.  We keep the camper thermostat at a balmy 64° and the heater is running nearly continuously day and night.  Fingers crossed that it continues to work!  We haven’t had much snow so far, but it’s coming.  (I’m dreaming of a white Christmas!) 

Our water pump and fresh tank have frozen again, but it is inevitable with the wind-chills in the negative teens. Dave and I were discussing the best way to get a warm shower despite our plumbing issues and we recalled a conversation held long ago on a warm and sunny Florida day, long before embarking on this big adventure. It went something like this:

  • Dave:  “We should find a rental place near the build site so we can see the progress as the house goes up.”
  • Me:  “Or, we could just buy a little camper, live on site and not have to throw away rent money!”
  • Dave:  “That sounds like a grand idea!  But it might get cold in the camper if we’re still building in the winter.”
  • Me: “I’m up for it if you are.  How bad can it be?”
  • Dave: “I’m up for it, we can survive the cold for a few months. Besides, it’s the banana belt! Let’s do it!”

And here we are, 8 months into the big adventure. Image result for shining meme + cold

The good news is there has been some great progress on the house.  Sheet rock, taping and texturing is happening this week through next.  The dumb-waiter is being installed.  The ventilation is being prepared for the gas range.  The mini-splits are in!  We have made decisions on floors, carpet and sink countertops.  The house is coming together and it is looking spectacular.

Another fun activity for us has been monitoring the temperature in the house to make sure it is within the plus/minus limit that the sheetrock needs as it dries.  Fortunately, the house is super insulated and it holds its temperature extremely well.  It is usually around 55 degrees when the construction crew leaves. They have a little propane blast furnace inside they use while they work and there is a lot of passive solar heat from the south facing windows during the day.  As the sun sets (at around 4PM) the temperatures outside plummet but the house is usually still in the mid 50’s at 8PM.  The sheet rock has to be maintained above 55 and below 65 to dry properly.  Before we go to bed we pop into the house and crank the propane heater to get the temp inside to around 60.  Then we monitor it via remote sensor from the camper.  Dave has been getting up between 4 and 4:30 AM to crank the blast furnace again as the temp only then falls to the 55 degrees.  That is some pretty good insulation!  Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to do this much longer once the sheet rock and taping is completely cured. 

Blast furnace in the basement, used to keep house at temp while sheet rock dries.


I hope this post finds all of you out there warm and well.  Don’t worry about us, we are truly having a blast (an arctic blast)! It helps that we have both spent longer stretches of time in worse places, a Coast Guard Cutter in the Bering Sea, a tent in Saudi Arabia…etc. etc.  Life in the Holler, even in a camper, ain’t too bad. We remain happy, healthy, and optimistic and hope the same for all of you reading.



Morale Buster – Morale Booster

2 December 2016

High of 34° – Super Sunny

It seems our streak of super nice weather has come to an end.  The last week was tough as temps dipped into the teens each night and it hasn’t been above freezing except for today.  Also, it has been cloudy and crazy windy, leading to some problems with a camper running off of solar power and exposed to the elements.

We woke up Tuesday morning to find our water pump had frozen, despite the hay bales all around the camper.  We have to unhook the water hose to the camper from the hydrant each night, as the hose will freeze and the ice will move into the camper plumbing system and the hydrant causing all kinds of problems.  So, to have water available, we have a fresh water tank in the camper and a water pump that provides water to the hot water heater, the toilet and the faucets.  Well, Tuesday morning el pumpo no worko!  Frustration followed as we realized the hydrant was frozen as well so we had no access to running water.  The high on Tuesday was in the 20’s and it was cloudy and windy with no chance of thawing out and not a lot of excess power from the solar panels…..ugh….morale buster!

We went to Custer and bought some antifreeze and a space heater to stick under the camper.  We were both feeling pretty low, thinking we may have busted our camper and how it would be next to impossible to live out here without any running water.  We even contemplated winterizing the camper and getting a month to month rental in town…morale buster. Image result for winter memes

I talked to my parents on the phone that day. Dad told me how when he grew up they didn’t have running water or heat in their house.  He grew up in Iowa and the cold winters were not easy in that situation.  He said they would wake up and have to break ice off the top of the water bucket to get something to drink, then he and his siblings would run to the barn which was warm because that’s where the cows were!  Well, I guess we don’t have it that bad in our little propane heated camper.  Mom said, “things break and when it’s cold they break a lot.”  I’ll take these wise lessons from two seasoned farmers who lived in a time where cold and no water were the norm, not the exception. Thanks for the gut-check Mom and Dad….morale booster! 

Wednesday morning, Pilot Dave and I woke with a fresh perspective.  This is South Dakota and winter is here and we aren’t going to quit that easily.  Dave took my hair dryer to the water pump and I covered the hydrant with black plastic and his grill cover, hoping to get some warmth in there or at least protect the pipe from the wind.  Around 10 AM, the water pump defrosted and came back to life.  Morale Booster!  It really is the little things out here that make all the difference.

Since then, we have decided to run the pump off and on throughout the night to keep some water moving. This seems to be working – morale booster.  We also have discovered we have a leak somewhere, and the waste water pipe to the dump valve has frozen solid – morale buster.  The roller coaster continues. Today I am doing laundry in Hot Springs (which has the nicest laundromat I have ever seen in my life) and Dave is at Ace hardware picking up some heat tape and sealant for the pipes.  We are not yet defeated!  The forecast has two days next week with highs in the teens and it is supposed to drop below zero at night. An arctic blast!  Our plan of attack is to stock up on propane and keep that camper and underbelly as warm as possible.  We can also run the generator at night to keep the heat tape warm and put a light bulb under the camper body amongst the hay bales if necessary.  Wish us luck!

Other good news is the progress on the house.  The sheet rock guys (aka the Sheet Rockers….could be the name of a new rock band?) have been at it all week and are making tons of progress.  Todd and his crew have been doing a heap of work as well and it seems like things are accelerating.  The house is so insulated that even though the temps are in the teens at night it has remained 50 degrees or more!

So the saga continues…….despite what has been the low point in our adventure thus far we are still happy to be here.  We really have no complaints, we are healthy, happy, eating well, entertained by cows, and definitely appreciating the freedom we have out here.  We hope you will continue to read and I promise there will be less crabbing in the next blog, come hell or high water or snow drifts and no water.

The First Thanksgiving

27 November 2016

Partly Cloudy, High 47°F

We are wishing and hoping that all you Hoten-Holler Foller-ers had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and a relaxing four-day weekend.  Thanksgiving is such a wonderful American tradition: the whole premise of giving thanks, eating until you need to switch to sweat pants, the family, the football, and especially the time off.  This is an awesome time of year, and we have a ton to be thankful for here in South Dakota.

We were happy to see all the progress on the house the week of Thanksgiving.  Sheet rock arrived and was unloaded.  The tongue and groove ceiling in the entry way was completed.  The guys worked hard until sundown on Wednesday.  Thanks to Todd and crew!

Thanksgiving was cold. There really is no way for us to leave and travel to see family, as we are kind of stuck here making sure the camper doesn’t freeze and the batteries for the solar power don’t freeze.  We decided to make the most of it. We had a relaxing morning, then we went to work splitting and stacking wood.  Reef fired up the smoker and cooked up a frenched-pork roast and baked potatoes.  I made some spinach/artichoke dip and corn casserole.  We moved our patio table into the house and decided to have our first Thanksgiving inside.  It was about 49° in the house, but we ate in there anyway, and it was awesome!

The two things we really missed were family and pie.  We decided we will definitely have family here next year if we can get anyone to come.  Since we missed out on pie, we have given ourselves a pass to have pie any time the opportunity arises all year. “Well, I really shouldn’t have pie, but I didn’t get any at Thanksgiving, so serve it on up!”  We really strive to be quite logical, especially when pie is involved.

We spent the rest of the weekend completing several projects that were on our list. We finished staining the timber frames on the west side of the house.  Thanks to Todd, our builder, we were able to use the tele-hand to reach the high spots.  Dave and I had no desire to put a ladder up to the highest peak, as the ground is quite sloped and the peak is pretty high off the ground.   We pulled the tele-hand to the north side, extended the arm, and I climbed up in the basket and stained the high parts.  Dave didn’t slack off by any means; to complete the inside of the porch he had to stand on a ladder leaning out against the beams, and this was quite precarious.  We just took our time and we think the result is beautiful. Plus, neither of us fell and cracked open our melons, so again, something else to be thankful for!

The other big task we completed was pulling out the rickety old cattle guard that went over Stagecoach Springs Road.  That thing has become exceedingly hazardous because some of the welds in the bars have broken.  You really had to slow way down to cross, and  more than one person has complained about it.  Cowboy Dave even put up a sign saying, “Cross at your own Risk!”  While the daunting old thing caused great concern to all crossing drivers, it served no real purpose as the cows would transit it fearlessly.  We decided it was time for it to go!

Pilot Dave used the bobcat to haul up several loads of rock from our build site.  There is no shortage of rock around here!  Then Cowboy Dave brought up his tractor to join in.  The two Dave’s chained up the heavy old cattle guard and pulled it out of the ground.  Cowboy Dave used his tractor to remove the timbers that framed the box in which it had sat.  Pilot Dave picked up and dumped loads of rock into the hole in the ground.  Cowboy Dave used his tractor fill in dirt and gravel on top.  They make quite a team, the two Daves!


Then our neighbor Sheri and her son Allen showed up with a huge loader and a big load of dirt.  They filled the hole with the dirt and hooked up the cattle guard and hauled it away.  Team DaveX2 worked to smooth out the gravel and now instead of a dangerous and scary cattle guard we have a smooth road.  I bet the UPS guy will be really happy, he won’t even have to slow down!

Meanwhile, the days are clicking away out here on Hoten Holler.  Granted, we only have about 9.5 hours of daylight right now, but it seems like the time is flying.  There is always something to do and it is usually fun or at least rewarding.  We are surrounded by some really great people and entertained constantly by some really silly cows.  We say we are living RFD-TV in HD, on widescreen and in stereo. We are both healthy and getting our fair share of fresh air and exercise.  Every day we are watching our house go up and watching the sun go down, counting our blessings, and thanking God for the weather which has been so mild. We sincerely wish all of you a belated Happy Thanksgiving!   


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