Monday, July 10, 2017


July should be the beginning of the thinning of the pines in Alabama. It also means they will be completely clearing the 40 acres we recently purchased as well. It will be cleared almost entirely. Only a few of the largest trees will be left, and only the healthy ones of those.

In preparation for the following months, when the remnants will be burned and the new trees will be planted we went ahead and made a purchase of just over 40 trees that will also be planted out at the same time. Most trees go dormant in the fall and young trees even more so. Once they go dormant we will be planting them in several sections of the entire acreage. These plants are meant to not only feed us, but also help keep the feed bill down for the deer, hogs, and turkey we feed year round.

A few of these specimens will find their way into the orchard, but the vast majority will be planted around the perimeter of the larger fields. We managed to get a great deal and we purchased the following:
8 keiffer pear
3 gala apple
5 crabapple
3 Fuji apple
3 Arkansas Black Apple
3 Fuyu Persimmon
3 American Persimmons
2 chinese chestnut
3 Chicksaw plum
2 Paw Paws
and also 4 white oaks, and 4 saw tooth oaks, for the 40 acres to spread out the acorn availability.

So I have my work cut out. Now I have to figure out what varieties are being planted where and how many I can pull up to the orchard to protect them, and try to actually get a decent crop for us as well.

We have been up twice in the last few weeks to prepare for the heavy equipment that will be coming through the homestead. We need to make sure we keep our roadway system as intact as possible and that the crew don't damage things that we think are essential.

Next trip I will get some before pictures, and then in fall I will post after pictures. It will be sad to see the trees grow, but as the new growth takes place it will be lovely to see the changes that happen to the land then.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017


June is always a busy month. What with the rainy season looming if not already in full force, the garden production at full tilt, but not for much longer...the kids getting out for summer and of course figuring out what to do with the kids, where they will be who they will see. There are Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and others that want to see them and visits to the farm, coordinating everything with work. *SHEW*

This June has been busy just like any other, only more so. This June is competing for the busiest on record. Our first born graduated High School and we took him on a trip to celebrate. Cue the massive picture dump...

So proud of my boy.

He even graduated with Honors. As soon as he actually takes his English class he will have a year of college under his belt as well. A great start to life as an adult.

Don't mind the sour face on girl child #2. She's just jealous. She wants to go on the celebration trip, too. Sorry girly.

So to kick off life as an adult we took the boy to the Bahamas. This has always been one of our favorite places to travel to. The clear aqua waters makes for superb fishing and snorkeling.

Turtles, turtles everywhere. We swam with them, fed them, pet them. So awesome

 And did I mention that we also swam with PIGS? Too cool. These are domestic pigs. Dropped off on a tiny uninhabited  island. Just perfect for people to pet, feed and the locals to harvest annually.

Did I mention that it is spectacularly beautiful?
Seriously. Addictive.

We were not on the main island(s) we were on an out island. No touristy things to do. Actually it was hard to even find a souvenir, but at the local watering hole there were a few items available.

The weather was idyllic the first day, after that we had a lot of storms and cloudy/rainy weather. That's OK. We are form Florida and while the sun shines every day it also rains most days.

The cloud coverage helped with keeping the sun of our faces and the rain was much needed for the area. This particular island utilizes almost entirely rain water catchment. The main method of travel is golf cart, or (non motorized) bikes. There was not a siren to be heard, no arguments, none of it. Serenity at it's best.

So an incredibly busy month. in 2 weeks we will head back up to the farm and we are hoping, praying, and doing the NO RAIN dance so that we can finally get a sump pump into that basement and try to fix the water issues. Once. and. for. all. Wish us luck!


Monday, May 15, 2017

And then Some.

Some dry weather we've had here lately. Typically, I don't write about dry weather. But not because I don't like dry weather necessarily. Because it just doesn't happen often. I live in a swamp. Well, technically I live across the street from a swamp. But one thing about swamps is, they really don't like to be dry. 

Because it's been a good 6 weeks or more without any measurable rain the bogs are all dry. The most amazing thing happens when you dry a bog. It's flammable. Seriously. 

So the past 2 weeks my home has been surrounded by wildfires. We spent an entire week packed and ready for mandatory evacuations. Luckily that never happened to us, but across the street it did.

It's truly unnerving to look out your widow to see this sight. I could actually see the flames for 2 nights, and I didn't sleep much either. Now we wake up to the smell of fire every morning and as the morning warms and the breezes kick in the haze lifts. It's not so scary any more but we all know it wouldn't take much for this to happen again.

I am so thankful for my wonderful life, for my home and children. Believe it or not thousands of acres burned and no homes were lost. A few outbuildings, but no homes, and all humans remain safe as well.

Hope you are all safe.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Shutting off Vs. Shutting down.

I thought I would shut this space down. I thought by now it would be gone. But, I was wrong.

It's been well over a year since my last post and by some insane twist of fate my blog appeared on my screen today. I started typing something and hit enter, without even looking at the screen. Next thing I knew I was staring at a picture of the cabin in Alabama. I found myself wondering why I never post any more, and then looking back at the last few posts.

I know why I stopped posting. I was caught up in the devastation of how many hours, days, months, years - how many thousands of dollars and how much hope I had for this next adventure in my life. I knew it would cost sweat, tears and yes even blood. I didn't expect the emotional toll that it would take.

That beautiful cabin is still unfinished. The contractor fell very ill. (Passed away in February) He was unable to finish the job and his son stepped up to try to complete our project. Instead he left us worse off. We are yet to finish the basement out. It floods every other time it rains.  We have plans to beat this, but we have planned before. Each time I think will be the last, and then it rains, and floods again.

Because we are spending so much time and effort on the basement, things like painting the interior and finishing the trim work, all are falling to the wayside. I haven't gardened properly since this all started and now my garden is so far gone. I will be starting over. A new plan is under way to make the space usable again, but like all our projects it's second fiddle to the cabin.

So my day to day life grinds on with all of the normal ups and downs. Life is busy, work is busy, kids are busy, but it's just an excuse I used to turn it off.

So - here I am again. I need a new outlook, and I am hopeful to continue in this space once more. I think my first few posts will be updates. It hasn't all been bad after all. There has been plenty to share, I was just not thinking that way.