Hoten Holler!



Winter to Summer

8 May 2017 – highs in upper 70’s

This picture is from 10 days ago.

Dave using the tractor to plow out

This picture is today!

Spring Calf!

Our weather has changed a little bit and we are enjoying the warm temps. We have been doing a lot of work around the Holler.

We finally had warm enough weather to stain the decks.

We have been finishing up the mobile chicken coop. It has become the project from Hades. We decided to put left-over siding from the house on the coop to make it look nice. Dave is pretty particular about cutting the angles and ensuring everything lines up and is level and square. I definitely appreciate his perfectionist attitude, although I keep reminding him the hens probably won’t complain. If those chickens crab about a gap in the siding, we will send them straight to the stew-pot! Seriously, I think taking the extra time was worth it and the coop looks great.

And of course, there are always fences to mend.

A herd of elk took out this portion of the fence on one of the northern pastures and Cowboy Dave and Pilot Dave fixed it up with some old barbed wire.

Hercules and Arrow supervised.

There are three new baby calves across the road. They were all born this week. All girls! And everyone seemed to have an easy time of it; even the heifers (which means they had not calved before) didn’t require any assistance. And all three new moms are being good and diligent mothers, which is not always the case. They must know Mother’s Day is coming up. (I didn’t get a picture of Rose and her calf Daisy…apparently they weren’t feeling very photogenic when I had my camera.)

Muzzle and calf named Black Cherry
Honey and calf named Honey-Bee

The next big project is putting up ¼ mile barbed wire fence on the southern property line. If anyone would like to come visit Hoten Holler and attend a free fencing clinic, now would be a great time. Just bring some working gloves and some sunblock and we’ll provide the tools and the Keystone Light.

Siding, Plumbing and Wiring….Oh My!

26 October 2016, Sunny and high of 69°F

It has been awhile since we posted anything, again, lack of internet makes it difficult to communicate from the bunker!  We are still in the camper but we are seeing some good progress on the house.

Here are some pictures of the siding.  It is called LP Smartside in Canyon. We had a tough time picking out the color, as we had boxes of samples to look at.  We spent some time driving around and looking at houses, holding the little sample up from a distance and trying to determine what color we liked and what it would look like on a large structure.  One day in Custer, we drove by a beautiful house and Dave and I both loved it immediately.  We thought, “What the heck?”  and went to the door and said, “Excuse us, but would you mind telling us what type/color is the siding on your house?”  The lady there was very accommodating and proud of her beautiful home and gave us the name of the company where she had bought the siding.  We called them and told them her address and got the specs on the type, color, etc.

The west facing deck timber frames are up, as well as the front porch.

GENPRO came out and wired the house for electricity.  Martin the plumber came and put in the pipes for the water.

Dave and I finally painted the cistern.  The hardest part was climbing down in the hole, but once inside it wasn’t too claustrophobia inducing.  The fumes were not bad and we got two coats of sealant on in two days. 

We cleared the rubble around the area where the outbuilding will go.  Dave and I started to do it with shovels and realized it would probably take us until 2017.  We decided the skid steer was the way to go.

We have also been limbing trees and dragging slash.  By cutting the limbs on the bottom of the Ponderosa Pine trees, you ensure they can grow taller and stay healthier.  We have quite a few trees that have never been pruned so Dave went to work with his chainsaw and I went to work dragging the limbs into piles.  We will eventually haul all the piles to one area and burn the slash.  The rule in our county is that you cannot burn big slash piles until you have four inches of snow on the ground for four days or longer.  I’m hoping that will be after we get into the house!

We are having a spectacular autumn as far as weather goes.  For all of you Floridians, it was warmer here  than in Milton yesterday morning!! Ha ha….I need to get my digs in about the weather while I can.

We’re closer to Pringle than Custer….and warmer than Milton, Mount Airy, and Eagan!!  Ha ha!


Unlimited Menu Options

14 October 2016, Partly Cloudy and 77 degrees

Things are changing rapidly here.  On Tuesday we woke up with a little over an inch of snow on the ground and solar panels.  It got down to 22° that evening, but today, 3 days later, it is going to be 77°.  They are expecting 85° in Rapid City, which is really crazy for this time of year.  We will take it, as long as we are camper living the warmer weather makes everything quite a bit easier.  Fortunately, the 24th of this month we are having our outbuilding put up and we will then park the camper inside of it.  That should help with the colder weather which is inevitably right around the corner.

The house is really coming along as well.  Todd and crew have been diligently putting up soffit, fascia, and timber frames on the western deck.  Once the deck is done, the ceiling can be dried in. 

We also have doors and windows!

Yesterday, the electrician came for the walk through.  Dave and I thought we had a decent plan about outlets and lights, but we were woefully unprepared for all of his questions.  It is difficult trying to make decisions about where all the outlets will go, the light fixtures, ceiling fans, the phone and cable jacks, etc.  Especially since we don’t have furniture (we sold most) and don’t know where it will sit. For example, “Where would you like your floor fixtures in the living room? You should place them near where your lamps on your end tables would go.” Or, “Do you want a lamp over the dining room table?  And where will that be placed?” Dave and I look blankly at each other, both knowing we don’t even know where the sofa will go, never mind we don’t have a sofa yet!  I told Todd I felt like we showed up to class without our homework complete.  He assured us there really is no good way to prepare for this.  So three hours later, walk through complete, we have a good idea of where light switches and everything else will be located.  They started wiring immediately after the walk through, so I hope we chose wisely!

Speaking of unlimited options, we also had to pick out faucets for all the water fixtures this week.  Shower heads, bathroom and kitchen sink faucets, drain caps, bath inserts, and the list goes on and on.  Up next, pick out the toilets…..seriously if anyone has any suggestions on how to pick out a good toilet, please let us know!

Referring to the title of this post, “Unlimited Menu Options”, you should see the number of deer and rabbit we have around here!  This morning I felt like Snow White, surrounded by wild life.  We also herd elk bugling so we hiked up the hill north of the build site and we could see elk off in the distance in the National Forest.  We didn’t see any bulls, but there were several cows and there was lots of bugling.  An elk bugle is not what you would expect it to be.  I would have thought they would sound something like a cow, but they have a high pitch nasally call that really sounds like someone playing an instrument.  It is loud too!  Click the link to listen to what it sounds like:

Elk Bugling

There have been several other cow chasing adventures and great neighborhood events since the last post.  Our neighbor, Kathleen, invited the ‘hood (3 families on Stagecoach Springs) to her house for supper last Saturday night.  She made awesome fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, green beans and pumpkin cupcakes.  We also drank some pumpkin ale.  When we arrived at her house, Cowboy Dave’s herd was lined up at her back fence waiting for some cake.  We had planned to move them across the street to our property the next morning, but since they were all there and hungry, Cowboy Dave and Pilot Dave grabbed a bucket of cake and walked them across the road.  We have cows on the northern property again, yeah!!

We also helped Cowboy separate some more cows to send to market.  Frosty is the boss cow and while the other two easily came through the gate and down the fence line, she again knew something was up.  If you recall from a past post, Frosty is the 1600 cow that jumped the fence to avoid being herded with the rest of the group.  Well, she was just as feisty this time, and Cowboy Dave, Pilot Dave, Linda, and I ran all over hell’s half acre trying to get that girl to go where she was supposed to go.  Finally, we just let a whole bunch of cows through the gate and separated them closer to the corral.


Frosty’s name is due to the fact that she was born on a very cold winter day.  Her previous owner didn’t know she had been born and by the time he found her, her ears had been frostbitten.  Note her pointy little ears.

Well, that is about it on this front.  Stay tuned for more adventures from the Holler.  We are doing what we can to keep posting.  Thanks for reading!  An option for our Deck

The south side of our house will have a large deck that will be accessible from the master bedroom and kitchen.  Due to the lack of humidity we are looking at different sources for the decking material.  We can’t use pressure treated wooddue to the lack of humidity so we are lking at alternatives for our deck

Source:  Your direct source for Ipe Decking

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