Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Clearing the land.....Part 2

It is nice to have a brother in law that has access to machinery. He borrowed a small excavator from his boss to help clear the back "jungle".

This is what it looked like before we started in the back:

I was standing on the back deck. All sorts of vines and trees that had fallen during a wind storm in January. All this came right up to the house. There was maybe a two foot space, but that was slowly being taken over.

Another view of the over grown backyard jungle. Hidden in all this mess is three or so large dog crates, what looks like a chicken coop and other random crap. Our neighbor told us that the people who were here before had a puppy mill going on.

Backside view. Our house is to the left in the picture. So many thorny vines and forsythia. I hate forsythia. It takes over if you don't take care of it.

Let the games begin! Brother in law was scraping away all the vines and other jungle stuff. Hubby was cutting up the tree that fell down so his brother could move it with the excavator.

This was the spot that we were thinking the access door to the septic tank was at. He had to dig it out. The darn thing had not been emptied in almost 10 years! We called a septic company to come the next day and take care of it.

The hubby spent the day cutting down trees and cutting them up into manageable pieces. We gave the wood to a friend of ours. Nothing went to waste. All the brush and vines and crap we brought to our neighbor across the street. He has a huge fire every Friday night, so he was okay with us adding to it.

It's getting there! The trees to the right are covered in poison ivy vines. A neighbor down the street said he will cut them down for us in exchange for the wood. He has beef cows, so I asked him for some manure as well. Works for me. He gets wood to sell and I get poop to make the bad soil here better.

This was 8 hours of work. We still had little saplings and vines to remove, but the big stuff was gone. Well, in that huge pile in the upper middle of the picture. Look, you can even see the septic door too! So sad when that has me excited.

We have so much more work to do. Removing all this jungle revealed a ton of broken glass, beer cans and shotgun shells. Our neighbor said that the people before us would sit out back drinking beer and when they finished, they would toss the bottle in the air and shoot it. Now we have the joy of cleaning up after them.

It's funny seeing everything getting green now. I figured that nothing would grow where we cleared, but we have a bunch of wild violets and strawberries growing there. The plan is to make this cleared spot (and more of what we didn't get to) our garden. It won't be this year, so hoping it will be next year. I miss playing in and planning my garden.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Clearing the land...Part 1

We bought our new place at the end of February. We had a bunch of snow on the ground, so we really couldn't do much of anything. Although, Mother Nature was in a odd mood one day and it was in the 70's. That's when we started clearing the land in the front of the house.

This is what it looked like before we started the front of the house:

This is the tree line behind our rock wall, which needs to be fixed as well. If you look close, you can see little saplings between all the big trees. I didn't want them there.

There was also lots of thorny vines and poison ivy on one tree. I found out the hard way that poison ivy is still active even if it is dead or dormant. I had it on my pant line and my lower back. I had forgotten to take my gloves off and I pulled my pants up. Yup, that sucked!

This is the end of the tree line, near our nice neighbors. You can see an apple tree right in the middle. The hubby was trimming this tree over the summer, fell and broke his knee. He was out of work for like 4 months during the busy time, so paying bills sucked.

Oh, we are friends with one of the sisters that was selling our place. Matt was mowing the lawn for them and Steve was asked to help trim up some trees.

This tree fell down during a wind storm before we bought the place. Thank the Lord, it didn't hit the house! It landed in that pine tree and a lilac bush. It was our neighbors tree, so he felt really bad. It took out the phone line, but honestly, who uses landlines? We may be out in the country, but we only have cell phones.

Now that you see all the work that we had to do, here is what it looked like during the clearing:

Steve got a new Stihl chain saw, so before the hard tree removal, he decided to cur down a maple that was leaning over the driveway. I hated to see a maple getting cut, but we have a bunch more.

Steve got his revenge with the apple tree. It was in a bad spot in the yard, so it had to go. We have two or three very overgrown apple trees out back. We are thinking of planting Mac and Cortland trees anyway. We aren't sure what the tree are out back either. I did save most of the logs from this tree. I want to use the wood in my smoker. Yum, apple wood smoked meat!

Matt cleaning up the mess from the apple tree coming down, It landed on one of the benches for our picnic table, so that broke. He thought it was funny watching Steve take this thing down.

This is the tree that fell being cut up. You can see the pole that our electric meter is attached to. The tree also took down the cable line, but the cable guy just put up a new one instead. You can see the phone line that stretched across.

Still cutting up the tree. We gave all this wood to a friend of ours, who happened to be our realtor. She will use it next year to heat her house. Nothing went to waste while cleaning up this yard.

Here is part of the front tree line cleared of little saplings and vines. I will be raking up all the leaves and put them into a compost pile. Lots of them are starting to break down big time. The dirt under the leaves is very nice dark dirt. The rest of the yard is sandy, ugly brown soil.

Next post will be the before of the back yard. Lots of changes happened there.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Let the adventure begin!

This summer, the hubby and I started a new chapter in our life. For the past 8 years, we have lived and homesteaded in a mobile home park. We had a decent sized plot where we had a good sized garden. But we wanted more. We decided to look for a property with land and move. I didn't want to move. Mostly because we have so much crap and it would be up to me to pack it all. Our house went up for sale in September and we finally passed papers on it the beginning of February this year. Lots of issues with both the title on our place (which of course were never caught when we bought it and were never caught when the person we bought it from bought it) and title issues with the place we did move to. All issues have been taken care of and we finally passed papers yesterday! We were able to move into the place we are buying and rent it till we pass papers, which is awesome!

We moved 10 minutes away from where we were in a smaller town than we were in before. It has the same zipcode as the town we moved from, so that makes it easy to remember. Plus Matt is able to stay in the same school system. He is still homeschooled, he just attends a local tech school to learn welding and auto mechanics. We are still in a mobile home, but that's okay. We moved here for the land and the opportunities is has. We now have 5 acres of very overgrown land. Good thing we have family who are just as itchy to clear it out as we are. The hubby's older brother is coming over with a machine with start scraping and clearing a bunch of stuff. It's in fact where everyone has told me to put my garden. I can't wait to get started. Well, I get to watch. I hardly doubt the brother in law will let me try the excavator. These pictures are of where my garden will be. Lots of overgrown trees, vines and whatnot.

There is a ton of deer sign every where. The hubby's younger brother already has a deer stand and some trail cams out. It will be nice to have the hubby just walk out to our own yard to hunt. We also have a ton of wild turkey (I almost hit them the other day driving down my street). According to one of our new neighbors, there are also moose, coyote and a big cat. The moose will be nice to see, but the coyote and big cat freak me out. I plan on having chickens and goats. I will just have to be a little proactive to protect them from the predators. Let the fun start!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A little update on our year

Follow my blog with Bloglovin This past year has been a very busy time for my family. So, of course, my blog got left behind. My plan is to start up blogging again, move my blog and rename it.

One of my most exciting moments this year was when my first grand baby was born. He is 7 months old right now and starting to be a handful. I watch him often for my daughter so she can work. I don't ever remember my kids wearing me out like he does. When he takes his naps, I take one with him. He sleeps for 2 hours during one nap and an hour or so during the other two for me. I take advantage of the others to do the dishes or laundry or just picking up.

Jax was 3 1/2 months here

Christmas Eve 2016

He was licking his moms dirty feet LOL

The garden went nuts like usual. I lost most of my strawberry plants over the winter from some rodent enjoying the whole plant for dinner. We grew some beautiful popcorn. I had 18 tomato plants which turned into 22 gallon bags of chopped tomatoes. I am slowly turning them into sauce.

Isn't the popcorn beautiful! It's called Glass Gem.

I've been crocheting up a ton. Working on baby items, stockings for people and fur babies, ornaments, popcorn garland, tree skirt, and blankets. My favorite blanket is my Sophie's Universe. I stopped it in June because the weather got too hot. The blanket it huge and still going to get bigger. It is also very heavy. Perfect blanket for our bed in the winter time.

This was taken on my garden fence after I finished part 9.

I've been working on my Usborne Books & More business a bit more since September of this year. I have been a consultant for 1 1/2 years, but have been focusing on it more recently. You can check out my shop here: Usborne Books & More.

I have just recently became a Thirty One Gifts consultant after my husband said I should become one. I love that it is a faith based company. You can check out my shop here: Thirty-One Gifts.

My health has been pretty good. My RA is under control for the most part. My blood work is great. My fibromyalgia pain on the other hand has been bad. Getting that pain under control is a work in progress. I am on two different medications for pain right now. One of them can still be raised to a higher dose should I need it, which I will probably ask for at my next appointment.

Well, that has been the highlights of my year. I hope next year brings me much more fun as this year has.

Monday, February 22, 2016

It's that time of year again

It's that time of year when I order any seeds and plants I need for the next year. Abby just had to help me while I was going through all the seeds I have.

Like I have the past few years, I will be ordering the Super Sauce Tomato plants from Burpee. I ordered 12 plants last year and am thinking of getting 18 plants this year. I'm going to get my green pepper plants at a local farm this year however.

I believe the only seeds I need this year are herbs. I need more Oregano and Spearmint. For some reason my Spearmint never survives through the winter. That's okay, seeds are cheap.

I already bought some more Butter Bush Squash seeds. Hubby loves butternut squash and this seed makes the perfect sized plant for small spaces. I've had good luck with it the past few years.

I also went through my garden journal binder and printed up some new pages and took out all of last years notes. I still keep the past years notes just in case I need to look up something like the weather patterns or germination and harvest yields.

Now I just need the garden to thaw out and the temperatures go up a little more.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Looking back at 2015

As I was looking back on posts from 2015, it made me remember how much of a crazy trying year we had. Between issues with tons of weeds in the garden, having a hard time homeschooling and trying to keep on top of the harvests and preserving, it is a year we will learn from.

We didn't get to do anything on our homesteading to do list last year, so that list is still on for this year. We need to add a new furnace to the list now though. Ours is not running correctly, even though we had it looked at already. We were told that the furnace will last for a few more years. At this rate, we might as well just buy a new mobile home because it will knock out a few things on our list at once. We would just have to deal with a mortgage then. Something we haven't had in over 6 years. I like not having a mortgage and owning our home out right.

We have been talking about ways to help prevent so many weeds. I want to lay down some plastic mulch, red for the tomatoes and peppers and black for the rest of the garden. This is after we till up the garden in the early spring. I want to make sure all the big bits and as many small bits of the weeds and what not are not left in the garden.

We are now unschooling Matt. So much less pressure to do things he does not like or doesn't really need to do. I just have a requirement of math and reading. He wants to go to our local tech high school for welding and auto mechanics, so he needs to finish algebra and start geometry in order to meet the prerequisites for welding. He spends his days watching videos, reading online and playing this "game" online where he builds a vehicle from scratch. Every little thing going into the vehicle is made. He has learned so much about engine building from this "game". He has still been fixing up lawn mowers and weed whackers to learn more hands on stuff.

We are still part of our homeschool co-op, so we still have to deal with him there. High school age kids do not have a choice of class to pick from like the younger kids do. He has to take English comp and he hates it. He hates to write. Although, he did pick a topic he is passionate about for a thesis paper for the class. It's about how the Toyota Prius is not an eco friendly car, all because of the battery.

Now that the seed catalogs are slowly trickling in, it is time to start to plan this years garden. I love this time of year! Just hate the cold hehe.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours!
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