Monday, December 26, 2011

December Blooming Oak Tree

Taken December 24, 2011

What a perplexing tree! I discovered the new leaves on the tree and I got to work examining this tree and the two trees closest to it. I could not find another blooming tree on the property. The two trees next to it are dormant. The tree to the south still has dead leaves on it. The tree to the north has dropped all the dead leaves.  I was perplexed about the out of season bloom so I did a search for reputable articles about out of season blooming and discovered that the most likely culprit is the drought this summer. I did have a few trees go dormant during the drought, although this particular tree did not. We had a rather wet mid to late fall so the tree was “tricked” into an out of season bloom. I am going to keep an eye on this tree for the next few seasons and see exactly what will happen. I have heard some predictions by family members about what might happen to it some have said it is going to die; some have said it will always bloom out of season now. My prediction in its internal clock will reset itself at some point in the near future and it will have a lovely spring bloom and be just fine.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tell All, catch up June- December!

So Much to tell!

The well house is almost completely finished and it is functioning! We build a well house that I believe would appraise at $3,000 without considering the $2,000 worth of equipment that lives there! It is beautiful! Green with grey trim was the colors I ended up going with. Outside it also has two small windows, two window flower boxes, a cupola with a rooster wind vane installed, a composition roof, and exterior walls are hardy board (cement board) a great fire proof weather durable option (after all this is Oklahoma!)!.  Inside it now has the pump sunk the pressure tank installed, the water opener installed, a wireless temperature monitoring system, electricity (of course) and had enough room left for a refrigerator and a deep freeze! There are a few things that I would like to be completed. Not all the walls were insulated with the interior walls put in. We just ran out of time and money. As time has gone on I have purchased these things and slowly being put together. We did hit a snag. We had bought a used pump and pressure tank. While the pressure tank worked great the pump did not. I had to buy a brand new one. The waterlines that were previously in use with the burn out trailer were no longer viable. We had to lay all new lines. We had them dug at the same time we had the new septic lines and the electric lines dug. We also had a frost free yard spout installed at the same time. By far the well house has been the most work out of all of the projects we have had for the new place!
The Well house to date

Waterline dig

Finding the house for the property was also a difficult task. Originally I had wanted to buy a used mobile home for the property. One that I could pay cash for. I stopped by a sale lot and was talked into a new one. Well in the end it did not work out. But that is ok. The day I got my down payment back a post on Stillwater Craig’s list led me to the mobile home I ended up purchasing in cash! It was smaller than what I needed by two bedrooms and closets. So additions are in the near future. I had it moved onto the property in August and was living here full time by late September. The work we did on it before we moved in was mostly cosmetic. I painted the ceilings and walls. The hot water tank needed to be converted for the all electric needs we have out here in the sticks. The main hold up was getting electric lines dug and installed, as well as the water difficulties we were having. I would like to paint the outside of the home however I am conflicted about waiting till the additions are done and the new siding is installed or just doing it right now so it’s prettier.

Moving took two whole months! Why? Well the mobile home is smaller than the Piedmont house in bedroom size only so my outbuildings had to be moved. And that takes big money! In August my Piedmont property was hit by a microburst and we had a lot of damage, including the destruction of one of my outbuildings, my garden shed! As you can imagine I was devastated! Not to mention all the patio bricks and ect that were moved in what seems like a million loads! Over 500 1x1’s alone! Everything was moved by Halloween!

The Piedmont "microburst" that hit my old house
yes it looks like a tornado, felt like one too!
final load!

Fall Foliage pics of the property! Simply beautiful out here!
a small clearing in the woodlot

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Plans for the future

Gardening In the Future

We will start gardening slow. I have some main house additions that must take priority. The soil quality is less desirable in the area so just to make it easier in the long run we are going to raise beds. I do have some plans already for a large essential herb garden and have started the process of planning the short and long turn fruit and vegetable garden. More about those plans in the future. I will need a few gardening buildings as well. I want a small drying room for the herb garden, a garden shed for gardening supplies and a green house for obvious reasons.  Sounds ambitious I know but I own this property and could be gardening here for the rest of my life and as it is the cornerstone of my self sufficiency plan for my family. Here is a look at my compleeted plans for Essential Herbs:

herb name first aide garden cold and flue garden tea garden kitchen garden
sage     x x
pepermint   x x x
spearmint   x x x
oregano       x
Marjoram       x
terragon       x
Lemon balm     x x
rosemary   x x x
chives       x
upright thyme       x
lemon thyme       x
burnet       x
french thyme       x
thyme   x    
garlic cloves   x    
cayanne pepper   x    
yarrow x x    
echinacea   x    
anise hyssop     x  
basil     x x
calendula x   x  
cat nip     x  
chamomile     x  
lavendar     x  
lemon gem marigolds     x  
orange gem marigolds     x  
lemon verbena     x  
monarda     x  
pinapple sage     x  
sented geraniums     x  
chick weed x      
plantain x      
aloe x      

Monday, June 13, 2011

From the Canadian Valley to the Cimarron Valley

Ever wanted to live outside of city limits have little or NO neighbors? Well I had my chance and I took it! I found a steal of a property near Stillwater. Yes the property needed lots of work, hard work, but so far it has been worth it! I found this property by accident, I had been looking in Western Oklahoma for acreage and found one that was a bit pricy but it was in the area I was wanting. But someone bought it as I was a week or two from putting in an offer. I was so sad I went to look at another property this time in Logan County and it was way too pricy for any of the tracks they were selling but the same people had one property that was a stand-alone not split up like the pricy ones. I looked at it WOW was it a mess. A well house that was falling down a barn that had fell down trash everywhere and even worse a half burned down mobile home. All the cross fencing was in disrepair but the well was good even though there was no pump and tank and there is a septic system, also to my surprise a small pond that was  running dry that closer resembled a puddle. I called the sellers and worked out a deal, I got the property cheap in February.  Here are a few pictures of the mess we bought. We spent spring break cleaning up and we paid someone to take the burn out.
 Here is a warning sign we made in true redneck fashion warning people to keep out!

 This is a good example of trash we found here and there around the place, as of now all cleaned up!

 This picture does not do it justice there is stuff all over the outside of the mobile like tv's...

 Here is a pictue of a trash pile near the old well house, you can see the well house in the background it is the grey shack of a building standing...

Here is an overall view of the propety from google maps taken before clean up!
We were cutting down about 7 ceader trees a weekend till it got warm enough for critters to be out. Ceader trees are prarie bombs, if there is a fire ceader trees explode and the drink tons of water, so they have to go!  We have stopped ceader detail and started the well house.  It has taken a lot of work to build. The ground is so uneven where the well house needs to be so we had to do dirt work and rebuild a nice structure built to last.  It is built like a pole barn the siding is made of cement board, cement floor (from blocks), and hopefully there is going to be a cupola on the roof as well. I can’t wait to paint and trim it. Some future projects include french drains and other proper drainage controls.  I also can’t wait to actually put a home out there and move there one day….. someday………..
The roof has been framed on the well house as soon as it is done I will share more pictures!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What? No Garden?

That’s right! This year is a no garden year for me. I am so sad not to be digging in the dirt! I am in-between my two properties this year so until I get moved into my acreage I will not be gardening. I am still getting some residuals off of last years garden including strawberries and Brussels. I thought I would walk down memory lane gardens of the past…….

One of my favorite pictures of my broken leg garden, it's early so not so overgrown with veggies you can see the paths of the garden well. This is the west 1/3 of the garden
The broken leg garden was my best year in this garden. We had so much fresh produce and I had to do little of the work, mostly just fingerpointing and telling others what to do!
All in a day's harvest. Again the broken leg garden a day's harvest. In the bucket is cowpeas, the yellow pumpkin shape are spagetti squash, a favorite of the household. The round bottoms are butternut squash a yummie desert, you can see okra and tomato's too.
The west side of the house has a small herb harden. This garden even has cat nip growning in it! Love those fresh herbs!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coupons!!!! CVS 6/8/11

What a week! Tonight I went to CVS and did really well. Here is what I got:
2 Crest Mouthwash ($4.50-2.00 coupon-2.50ECB earned credits)=free
2 gallons of milk($3.19-1.00ECB earned credits)=2.19
Total with tax was out of pocket ended up being 12.57
Total ECB credits earned $7.00
Overall transaction costs: $5.57
I did a second transaction to purchase diapers
Huggies Naturals for newborns (32) on sale for ($8.99-2.50 coupon-5.00 ECB used credits)=$1.49
Total with tax out of pocket was: $2.19
Total EBC credits earned: $2.00
Overall transaction cost $0.19
ECB Credits Left over for future purchases $4.00
Making  an overall costs of the trip ($5.57+$0.19)=$5.76