Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Four Years at Wyvern Oaks

Last week marked the four year anniversary of us owning Wyvern Oaks, and the four year anniversary of this blog. Today, the Wyvern Oaks blog is mostly about horses, with a few home improvement posts thrown in. But four years ago, this blog was all about plumbing, electrical work, and the never-ending project that is farm ownership.

The early days - learning how not to electrocute yourself.

We bought Wyvern Oaks because we could keep our horses at home, and because it's so close to Austin (we are literally five miles from the Capitol building). We hadn't really planned on purchasing a property at the time, and we definitely hadn't planned to get a place that was such a fixer-upper. To give you some idea, the house had a hole in the roof when we bought it, the fence was barbed wire, and there was no barn. I can't list all the things we've done in the last four years, but here are some of the highlights:

I SO do not miss this classy pink thing. Looks like someone barfed up a bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

We enclosed the outdoor kitchen and turned it into hubby's workshop.
He has to have some place to store all the tools we've needed over the years!

We tore down the second carport (in one night).
Seriously. 6 hours and this sucker was gone. We had to remove it in order to have new electrical service run to the house... which we found out the day before the electrician was due to start.

We had a bull show up one morning, met our resident rat snake, and had a neighbor's horse appear for breakfast. Seriously, it's never dull around here.

I learned how to hot-wire a tractor.
Apparently a green soft brush is required for said hot-wiring procedure. Who knew?

We added a wall to create a third bedroom.
Fledgling wall. 

Hubby models the almost finished product.

We got a new roof on the house, which included fixing the hole in the roof.
Not an hour after they finished, the sky opened up and it POURED. Good timing for once!

We rode the horses to the farmer's market to do our weekly shopping.
Naturally, we always bought carrots for the boys.

We tore down the cisterns, the well house, and the storage shed.
The well house and storage shed. This is where the barn stands now.

I joked that only paint was holding the sheds up, and I was partially right. We pulled off the corrugated metal siding, and the left side of the shed just collapsed.

The cisterns. Damn these were ugly.

Seriously, watch the video. BEST USE OF A TRUCK EVAR!

We built the barn. I love our barn, I really do!
The barn! Not the fanciest thing ever, but SO practical and functional.

We bought almost 600 bales of hay from Canada to get us through the 2011 drought.
Barn aisle optional. Hay more important.

We created the Taj Mahal of tack rooms.
You know you want a tack room like this one. (Note to self: why is it not this clean any more?)

Cash and Saga enjoyed their bromance. I think Cash still misses him, and it's been almost a year since we lost Saga.
Joined at the hip. This is one of my favorite pictures of them.

We created a garden space, and did a quick weekend remodel of the kitchen.
Before. Hard to imagine we lived with this nasty floor for two years before we finally got sick of it and did something about it!

New tile floor, new paint on the walls. Not too bad for a weekend and less than $300!

We replaced the floors in the den and repainted everything. Which apparently I never took pictures of and never posted about. Oops.

We replaced the front gate - in the dark, by truck headlight. I apparently ALSO never posted about this either, but I have pictures somewhere.

We did a lot of fox hunting. It continues to be one of our favorite equestrian activities.
I may also have the cutest foxhunter EVAR. Just sayin'. 

What does the next year hold for us? Here's my list:

  • We get rid of the damn shed. Seriously, I'm tired of looking at it.
Don't worry, the crazy leaning telephone poles are long gone. BUT OMG THE SHED IS STILL THERE.
  • We get the house painted. 
  • We put up shutters and solar screens.
  • We replace the nasty carpet in the bedroom with tile.
  • We start replacing the fencing. Maybe we finish replacing it too?
I'm semi-confident that we might actually get most of this done, with the exception of the fencing. Well, I think we'll at least get the front fence done, but the rest of it might have to wait until after we do the addition so that we don't have to tear down fencing to let construction equipment through. When will that happen, you ask? Probably in 2-3 years, after the kids get out of college.

After the addition is complete, I plan on hiring a lawn care service, horse care service, and maid, then lounging in the hot tub every morning with a cup of tea and reveling in our perfect property.

Yeah right. Then I'll get bored and decide to change the paint color in the dining room or something. It's a never-ending project, for sure, but I don't think we'd have it any other way!

Many, many thanks to all the people who have helped make Wyvern Oaks what it is today, and what it will be in the future. We could not have done it without each and every one of you!

** Note the new blog header! Thanks to SheMovedToTexas for putting together a new one in honor of four years of Wyvern Oaks.


  1. So........what are you coming down to start working? HAHAHHAA!

    Wow, what an eventful four years. I think I will be lucky if I haven't declared bankruptcy in four years. And OMG, I would have killed to have sheds already there. At least most of it has good fence.

    1. Eventer79, I'll be there as soon as we get everything done here. ;)

      RE already having sheds, in theory it's nice but in reality, it wasn't so great. The ones up by the cistern were so rickety as to be dangerous to go into. The yellow one that we still have was used for hay and stuff storage for a little while, but it's got holes in the flooring and the overhangs are pretty unsafe. Plus it's So. Ugly. Really, it can't be gone fast enough!

  2. What an action packed for years! I missed that stuff. Thanks for the rundown.

    1. Val, lots has happened for sure. You're welcome for the recap!

  3. Wow! You guys have been busy!
    And I have to agree. . .cutest foxhunter ever!

    1. RE cutest foxhunter ever, you might be biased. But I'm OK with that, really! ;)

  4. It's definitely been an amazing and work packed 4 years. Luckily there's been lots of fun packed in there as well!
    I love the new header!

    1. SheMovedToTexas did make a pretty nice header, didn't she?

  5. I remember reading about the dreaded pink bathroom!
    And the cistern demo....gold.

    1. The cistern demo is like the best thing evar. The pink bathroom, not so much. I'm glad they are both gone!

  6. WOW what a tack room! Sounds like a great (and productive) 4 years!

    1. I only wish the tackroom was still that clean! I have no idea how that happened... I'll have to talk to the management or something.

  7. Wow. And incredible 4 years! Love the header, too!

    1. It's funny how much I feel like there is still left to do, even after everything that we've already done. Sigh. Maybe in another 4 years we'll be done-done?

  8. Replies
    1. It's important to have a trade that you can fall back on if your real job doesn't work out. Thanks to this place, both hubby and I have a variety of mad skills!

  9. Congrats on a truly staggering number of projects completed in four years! Great recap :)

    1. Remember the days when we were trading remodeling secrets? LOL!

  10. Wonderful post! My dream is to live somewhere we I can have a horse or two. Two haffies maybe? Happy Anniversary and many more to come!

    1. Thanks, WIHAH! I hope your dream will come true... especially the part about the two haffies. :)