We closed on the property; we'd been working on the house plans through January. Now we’re waiting for the builder to pull the permits and start. (We had to wait for the final drawings first, and they’re not completely done yet, but we have some plans.) The builder has to get our new address too. On February 9 the builder told us to put a stake where we wanted the right front corner of the house, so we went to the property and put the stake in and measured the perimeter. Because we're building in the middle of five acres, we don't have to worry about setbacks. Our decision is easier because the pond is in front, and there are big oaks we have to consider; we certainly want to keep them. We make sure that we're far enough from the pond and the side and back oaks. Hammering the stake into the ground makes us feel that we're making progress. By the way, stakes come in handy for roping off any area you want protected. The builder of my mother's house really restricted the construction workers. There was a lot less ground to be leveled afterwards.
The horses were still there. (We thought they were gone.) The white horse with speckles met us at the gate. The two brown horses galloped towards us and sniffed at the stakes; they were very curious. I had dropped some stakes (I brought extras just in case) and a hammer on the ground while we were thinking about the site, and one of the horses picked the hammer up. I said sharply--Drop that! And they all scattered. (Years of yelling at dogs pays off.) When we went back a couple days later to see if the stake was still up (stop scratching yourself on that stake, Horse!), there were four stakes. The builder had been there!
From Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook, which is still # 6 on this Barnes &Noble list: Barnes & Noble.com: Books / Home & Garden / House & Home / Home - Do-It-Yourself / Architecture, Domestic->Amateurs' manuals