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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Decisions, decisions

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone too quickly!  Sure enjoyed seeing family members we hardly ever get to see.  And enjoyed the four days off.  Didn't get to spend as much time at our homestead as we would have liked.   Everyone was supposed to come see it on Saturday, but it rained pretty good - not that ANYONE is going to complain about that!   So my wonderful hubby and I went to Academy and bought some rubber boots and went trudging around in our mud.  tee hee hee

We discovered that we finally have some oats coming up in heres and theres.

We also discovered that we have some water in our little tank!

It's been very interesting and educational to see how the water flows on our land after the rains.  In fact, as a result of really studying it, we may have completely changed our minds about where we want to put our house.  Now we're looking at locating it a little further back on our property.  It's actually the highest point and has no drainage issues.  Because of the way the land falls away from there, the house wouldn't be completely exposed to the road either...and we do value our privacy.  It does put us on the back side of the neighbors farm infrastructure - barns, animals pens, etc.  However, we think if we orient the house a little towards the Southeast 1) our view from our front porch will be of the nothing but the pecan orchard across the road, 2) we'll be lined up to see beautiful sunrises from the front porch and sunsets from the back porch, 3) we can build on a carport and garage/shop at the west end of the house that will provide further screening for us and our neighbors and 4) we could feel a noticeable difference in the amount (much less) of the cold north winds that hit us in that location because of the solid line of trees at the back of our property.  We will need to plant some clusters of trees near the fence that will create shade for the west side of the house so that it's not constantly exposed to the hot Texas afternoon summer sun.  A covered back porch will help shade the back side of the house also.  Planting large trees along the fence will provide valuable shading while also keeping a defensible space between us and the trees in a wildfire event.  In adding the carport and garage and porches, we will have a covered space to get all the way from the cars to the house without being exposed to any weather. 

We also think this new location will allow us to someday locate the garden, greenhouses, barn and chicken coop where they are convenient to the house, away from the power lines, out of areas that may have drainage issues, but not right up next to the house.  Well, that's the plan anyway...  J

And...if we really want to move out there when our lease is up, we have got to get. on. the. ball.    We really only have about four more months to get everything lined up and in place and functioning to make that happen.  Yowza!!

As we tromped around the perimeter of the property, we stop and talk to the pecan trees.  We ask them how they're doing and thank them for letting us share their land...for they have been there MUCH longer than we ever will be.  Some may find that odd.  We don't care.  We feel so peaceful and at home there.  We truly value the land and have vowed to be excellent stewards of it.

I think my brain and eyes function as a camera view finder sometimes, because I always see my surroundings framed in potential pictures.  Our camera is dead, so hubby took this one with his phone, but I really would love to see what I could capture with a camera.  I love the colors and textures that all combine here with the fall leaves on the ground in yellow, brown and green and the new grass springing up.

Well, we're supposed to get more rain this weekend.  Yee Haw!!  We'll take it.  Don't know if we'll be able to get much done out on our little slice of heaven.  We'll probably start trying to measure out and stake our future dwellings.  And if nothing else, we probably need to crack the whip on ourselves to get busy on our Christmas gifts.  With Thanksgiving just a memory now, we've only got three more full weeks to get everything accomplished.  YIKES!

Until next time, bees rock and worms still rule.

Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 21, 2011

If home is where your heart is...

...then we know exactly where our home is for the holidays!  We so enjoy our time on our little homestead.  This weekend, we even decorated the front gate for Christmas.   It looks awesome.  I would love to find some solar powered Christmas lights to add to it.

We've been cutting up the trees we've felled for firewood that needs to find a home.  But several of the last trees we took down had such beautiful wood inside, my wonderful hubby is now rethinking how we cut up some of the rest of them.  We may cut them into chunks that would make good boards for wood projects.  I knew immediately, of course, that he's going to need a planer added to our tool collection.  :)

We had another little sprinkle of rain last week and the rye grass we planted sure perked up.  We only wish all the bare spots looked like this:

Saturday's work day was pretty tough.  It was in the 80s again and the humidity felt about the same.  I had to keep sitting down with ice packs because my face was beet red and I was getting overheated.  I didn't feel bad, but we've learned that when I start looking like that, if I don't cool back down, I'll be sick the rest of the weekend. 

Here's a picture of me with two our neighbor's horses. 

We gave them some carrots again Saturday - we're gonna be their best friends if we keep that up.  The one in the photo with me is quite the spoiled girl...she'll only eat the bottom third of the carrot (the skinny tender end).  Any other portion she just spits out!  Her "mom" was mortified when we told her.   It was so funny.  Our neighbors, Sarah and Vernon, are just the nicest, kindest people!!  We can't wait to live out there.  It's that kind of kinship and the gracious spirit of folks that appreciate country living that we are looking forward to...folks that understand why you clean your fence lines, learn to grow things, learn to fix things and learn to do for yourself.  They will undoubtedly be a valuable source of info as we get closer to moving out there since they've just done it all over the last five years.

Well, it's Thanksgiving week, and we have so much to be thankful for.  It's been a really tough year for us, but we still have many, many blessings.  Most of all, my wonderful hubby and I have each other, and crazy furry kids.  And our worms.  :)  We positively love our little piece of Texas soil we've been able to purchase and look forward the the many lessons and rewards we will receive through it.

Until next time, wishing your and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving - please take the time to think of all the people and critters that make your lives rich and full...the rest of it is just stuff.

Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last harvest

Well, the Little Garden That Could is pretty well done for the season.  Will be interesting to see what the lettuce and beets do, but without warning, we hit 36 degrees on Friday, November 4th.  That was enough to do in all the plants.  The leaves on the tomato plants that are leaning up against the brick wall of the house are still alive, and the tomato plants are still full of green tomatoes.  It will be interesting to see what, if anything they can do now that the temps are mild and relatively warm again.  We got such a late start, and despite keeping it watered every day, the oppressive heat this year just made everything shut down until the 100+ temperatures finally broke.

Here's a picture of our last harvest...this is actually only about half of it.  Makes a pretty picture though - and HEY the sink isn't full of dishes for a change!  J

Still doing plenty of dead tree clearing on the homestead.  Almost have them all down in our home site location...now to cut into logs and clear the brush/branch debris. 

Had a run in with the neighbor's bull and "his girl"...they were looking for a room - ON OUR PROPERTY!  He only had one thing on his mind and he crashed through the gap in the fence and charged us.  We had to go to some lengths to encourage him to go back from whence he came...ask us about it some time and will tell you our story.  Let's just say you should always be prepared and ready to handle anything that can come your way out in the "wild".  Our little neighbor dog Natty...well she was with us of course and she was a fierce defender twice while dealing with that bull and cow!  Such loyalty from a dog that's not even ours, but boy was she willing to help defend us and our property.

There's a section of fence along that back corner that hasn't been kept up in probably about 50 years.  Needless to say, repairing that section has moved way up on the priority list.  In the meantime, we blockaded the gap with some downed tree trunks and several stray pieces of barbed wire that were lying around (why would you leave barbed wire laying all over the ground for humans and wildlife to get caught on??!!).  So that little improv repair served several purposes.

Seriously, HAVE to turn off the darn boob tube and computers over the coming weeks and get serious about getting Christmas gifts made.  Only have one finished - the loom knitted scarf for one of my nieces.  (I never did get a picture of that on here...)  Need to get the other one done.  Again, not professional knitting.  But the one that's finished is cute even though it curls...kind of makes it look dainty and feminine...at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  It was made with much love...that counts for a lot, doesn't it? J

Well, until next time, worms and bees rule! (And so does Natty for taking our side!!)

Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.