This week was full of "stuff", partly getting into a new rhythm of living in a partly-retired state. One of the highlights of this week was attending an aquaponics class at Fort Valley State University. I got to the class to find out the fee for the class had been waived. In this week's post I am adding pictures of what is possible in even small tanks. The FVSU program grows using aquarium size up to small pool size grow tanks and they have raised all kinds of food through the loop aquaponics systems. Off and on rainy weather has been the forecast for many of the days! I have great neighbors also. I returned home on one day to find a solar shower, blue barrel, canopy, tiki torch fuel and a gas can with fuel! This week also brought 4 great and hard working visitors to the farm for a weekend stay. We accomplished tree stump digging and flower box planting. One of my younger helpers helped build a planter box and we sifted soil preparing it for seeds. I also was taught by the 4 year old how to properly make smores and we sat up til late at night enjoying the rewards of sweet treats and a full moon on the emerging courtyard! With the planter boxes dry we were able to add them to the new cabin. The decks are still an ongoing task and chainsaw maintenance is too. It was great having visitors over the weekend and Tuesday became my rest day...almost. I had some brushed bronze rustoleum paint so the wind chimes got a new coat of paint. Enjoy the pictures...for some reason they uploaded in reverse order....oh well!
A new week of adventures in full time living on the farm!
7/11/13...I stayed in town so I did not have a long drive to work. I though I was only going in to print a few documents but I ended up staying 5 hours to upload some files. I didn't do much but it took that long for he files to upload. A perk was the firm bought the staff pizza and salad for lunch. Great pizza! After work I got the wood tarp-covered and lounged with a friend before heading home for bird feeding and rest. I did bring home the air mattress, yard stake, and cable box that were at a friend's house on his trip. Upon my arrival home the pecked rooster had died. I am burying to many of my birds. The cages must be reworked. On a positive note a cage buyer paid and picked up the breeder cage. Money just in time.
7/12/13...I seem to be making lots of trips to Atlanta. I made another early morning trip after morning chores. I returned my borrowed clothes and picked up cage money. I picked up m daughter and escorted her to her appointment. While she was at her appointment I was able to go across town in Cartersville and return the cable equipment. I dropped her off and had time to stop by my old residence and do a final walk through with the manager and check the mailbox. I was able to see there were newly germinated plants in planters I left behind. then i was home for an evening of relaxation after a stop at Kroger and tractor supply for pine shavings. I watched a movie and ate popcorn on the porch as lightening flickered in the sky. I was thankful ha he wind and storm waited until I was tucked into bed. Another thankful day.
7/13/13...I wok up with the intention of a slow paced weekend. this was the first weekend where I was not in the hustle and bustle of moving so the plan was to have a leisurely time and enjoy it. the on and off rain helps slow down the pace a lot. Even with a slow pace planned I was up early. I was anticipating he deliver of the second cabin by 10 am. So I started about 7 am with a pep talk about not waiting for the driver to call before getting up to finish the work. So I rolled out of bed and started work of marking the location corners for the building and removing stumps that were in the way. I was able to free 3 stumps from the ground. One stump survived and will be under the new cabin. I dug down 18" cutting all the roots along the way but was still not to the bottom of the stump. My chainsaw is disassembled, broken and buried under some move-in things so instead of cutting off the top portion of the stump I packed the dirt back around and over it and decided it will be... the cabin and Corey and Bo the deliver guys arrived at 9.30 am and I gave moral support and location guidance. the were great guys and again the amazed me at how quickly the could drop and level a building. I am glad I added the third window and the french doors! It makes such a visual difference. I decided o move into he new cabin. I set up the closet/toilet area using some curtains and an Ikea rod suspended from the ceiling. I moved over he water, battery and lighting. I also decided to do a full inside bug treatment so I ran to town for bug spray. I received a refund check in the mail from my former employer for my equipment deposit so I used that for bug spray and lunch in town. Huddle House is tasty but i gave me a migraine...
Mental note...reconsider another Huddle House stop over!
Sleeping in an uncluttered space...so valuable to my mental well being. I like organized spaces and the second cabin allows that. I also decided to turn the other cabin into the guest house - bunk style I think. I can comfortably put two sets of low bunk beds in and have room for visitors or woofers in the future. It was a good day with a leisurely spent afternoon and I finished my weekly stash of movies.
7/14/13...I anticipated company coming so I put on a few more clothes today! After eggs and pancakes I continued work on the deck. I got all bur the front end boards done before company came by. I was nice to have a pace of life where I could sit a spell and share my vision of the DC with them. I took them on a walk through my circle grove and down the road into the interior of the property but the rain came...and we went back to shelter. My work for the day was done so after my visitors left I showered and went to town for dinner and coffee and of course to gather this week's stash of movies. With that mission accomplished I headed home thrilled at the progress of the weekend. I now had 2 cabins on site and a courtyard. The front deck of Cabin #1 is almost done.
7/15/13...It was an offsite work day but I got up slowly. I finished watching a movie from last night so had to rush to get ready and leave on time for my late morning appointment. I only had to go into Macon today and I was done by mid afternoon. I stopped at GCSU library on the way home to upload a few files and then headed home. My afternoon chores included putting the last boards onto the deck. One board is not screwed down because I ran out of screws. Screws are a ridiculously expensive part of any deck project. I have the ends of the rest of the boards down but will need to go back and add screws to the middles. After my work was done I ran to Sandersville to make a bank deposit and grocery run. I went to Harvey's for the first time. I am not so impressed. I don't like grocery stores where the fresh produce is prepackaged. I didn't get much; just bread and cheese and a few vegetables. I came home and watched half a movie but was tired so I turned in extra early. Another day and small steps towards progress.
7/16/13...I was up working early not because I had to but because I wanted to be up -- which is a great feeling. I did more work on the stumps and then leveled the first half of the deck on the new cabin. The left 12' section was leveled then boards were pulled from the pile and nails pulled to prep the boards. I then blocked and leveled the 4x12' deck that will connect both cabin decks and form the 3rd side of the courtyard. I eyeballed the boards when I got them and I'm finding some just inches shy of 12' so I will cut boards to 8' for the cabin deck and 6' for the connector deck. It was good progress and with the decks in place the space is taking form. I went into town and stopped at the library to use the WiFi to disappointingly find out my laptop T and Y keys no longer work. So my fix for now is to copy and paste those two letters every time I need to use either the T or Y (it sucks and I guess it's time for a new laptop especially before going back to school). I went into Macon for the group historical interview in the evening with my boss. The event went well and I learned how they once washed clothes on rub boards and boiling pots. I came back home after a long and productive day. Part of a movie and bed topped it off.
7/17/13...Tree stumps is the mission of the week. It's hard work but one by one they are coming up. I worked hard and then lounged a bit and left home about noon to head to Macon to do work research. After work I came back to Milledgeville to fill up water containers and get more screws and shower parts. All missions accomplished effortlessly. My regular helper Merrill at the Lowe's was helpful as usual in helping me figure out just which $.57 parts I needed . While driving home I saw a hilarious site. In Milledgeville a very large tractor was for sale at the pawn shop. It was an "only in the country" sight. I went back to see how much it was but the shop was closed. Nail polish was my final mission and I made it home only minutes before a torrential storm that thundered the ground all around me. Movie and bed is becoming my regular routine and today it was accompanied by the glorious storm pounding rain on a tin roof.
Note to self: Figure out how to have the windows open during the rain but keep the water out.
Week 2 recap:
7/4/13...Independence day is the perfect day to declare freedom from the old paradigm. I spend the morning traveling to the farm for the 1st time as a full time resident/occupant. With my car loaded to the roof I cruised into the Deepstep Collective. I added shelves to he storage case and began o unpack. I killed one snake and less than an hour later had to kill a second snake who was constricting on the already headless dead snake. The first one was captured as it entered the quail pen. One of the Japanese quail looks morbidly ill. I sheltered her and prayed that she will recover. I'll watch her closely. the drenching rain doesn't help. After a rainy day unpacking I realized I want an option for inside cooking in the summer so I went to town and got both groceries and a 2 burner camp stove that was small and safe enough to use inside. I picked up those items and a free Redbox movie. After dinner I settled in for a movie and hot popcorn as a treat before turning in. Note to self: life gives you a new day to embark on a new adventure. P.S. I also saw a deer and three turkeys on my way to and from town!
7/5/13...My morning was full! I tended to the quail and collected eggs. The sick quail is still morbidly ill but hanging on. The three quail roosters are fighting and need separation. I am planning to rework the pen I panted the brackets for the flower boxes and then hung both window boxes. I planted the 2 pineapple plants that I had been rooting before the move. I replanted the wandering green plants into the window boxes. As a treat I soaked my feet and gave myself a mini-pedicure using the collected rainwater. By noon I was ready for both a shower and breakfast and had both. I took a mid day run into town and found an antique shop in Tennille and bough what is going to be my new mailbox. I also got some clearance plants at Walmart for the patio and window box, soil and refilled my 6 gallon water jugs. By the time I arrived home the rain was passing. I got pictures of a lone turtle crossing Durden road and coming into my property. I snacked and then finished transplanting and added flowers to the window boxes and 2 pots for the patio. I added a third pot with the wandering green plant. I also transplanted mint and took a few cuttings to root. I'm looking forward to morning chocolate mint tea! I took apart the wooden box that will be my mailbox and prepped it for painting. By mid evening the sick quail had succumbed and was given a proper burial. I also headed into town to get paint for the mailbox. What else but "gardener's green". One sample size 1/2 pint will be plenty. I also stopped by Starbucks for a few hours to update the blog/website. Popcorn, a video and bed. Another long, productive and fabulous day and 2 possible new visitors coming to the farm! Oh and 1 of the dead snakes was identified as a King snake, non venomous...but still dead!
Reminder to self #1 Do not leave 1/2 dozen blue bags stacked on the bed. #2 Do not bury cords for the power inverter under blue bags. #3 Do not leave home at night without a lantern or flashlight. #4 Consider being home before dark!
7/6/13...With paint onsite in Gardner's Green I spent a leisurely morning sanding and painting the mailbox with 2 coats of paint. I tweaked the design and added 2 support rails and then mounted it t the road to realize visually that the boxes were very small. This project was outside of the norm for me. I usually thoroughly research and this time I did not even check to see if there was a minimum mailbox size before launching this project. By mid afternoon I was ready for a hot solar heated shower. No special system just gallon plastic jugs on the porch and voila hot shower. I headed to Blackbird Coffee Shop and wi-fied up to realize hat there is a minimum box size so the new plan is o buy a standard box and get it up before Monday. I had a rain-free day until an hour before leaving the coffee shop and it poured. But my mission was accomplished. I downloaded a half dozen videos in preparation for my Sunday or rest (maybe). On the trip I was diligent to have brought my lantern just in case it was dark when I returned home. Another great day! P.S. I scheduled to take a college tour of GCSU on Monday! Yay!
7/7/13...I woke up needing the mailbox. I couldn't afford for mail to be returned because I had an undersized box up. So I started the morning early with a trip to the garbage spot to dump non recyclable, compostable or burnable trash then Walmart and the Dollar Tree. Mailbox success! I also realized my power outlet fuse in the car was blown so I replaced it with a spare fuse I keep on hand. Then I took a ride. I had no intended destination. I just drove towards Irwinton and Writesville. I found the Washington County Ac Center bud did not find the FSA office that was listed as being on Smith street in Tennille. It was a relaxing ride. I returned home after deciding not to stop at the Huddle House and lounged the day away watching movies. Lounge day ti was and a hot one. but the thrill of work finally called me. I finished nail removal and trimmed and permanently affixed 11 of the 17 boards needed for the right side of the deck. The small steps of progress is so rewarding. I didn't nail down the last because they were too short. I will pull replacement boards out of the pile tomorrow and finish that side of the deck. The last task will be to trim the outside edge straight. Soon...then I will pull boards for the left side. I can start to permanently decorate the porch. Yay! Lesson to self: small steps are easy and they lead to great rewards!
7/8/13...It was morning and I had a legal size mailbox. So I got up with the sun and had it installed in 10 minutes. The little box was cute while it lasted. I got dressed and headed first to Deepstep to check out the Library. I met Dorinda Smith who is the city clerk and librarian who tole me I could buy a library card for $1. I will return another time and do just that. My next stop was the Local Yolcal cafe where I met the husband and wife owners Cliff and his wife who have moved from Savannah to run the newly opened (3/13) cafe. Breakfast was great and I was thrilled to know they open at 6am for breakfast. They are open for breakfast, brunch and lunch and serve eggs all day. It was a treat and they offered coffee in a to go cup! I took in a tour of the GCSU campus where I will be attending beginning next month working on a Master's in history. I was impressed with the campus! A quick ride to Macon and back and I used the college internet to send a few files and then left for home. At home I did more work of adding wood slats to the other half of the front deck. I decided to move the temporary deck so there would be room to place the new guest cabin. I worked in the rain but it was a warm rain. Lesson to self: Take time to enjoy life daily!
7/9/13...Today's mission was simple. I planned to move the remaining boards to the deck, go into town to send some work file and relax. And that was what I did. All of the bards are now moved and I have a 24' deck on the front of the cabin. Not all of it is yet nailed down but it is progress. After that task I got dressed and spent the morning in the GCSU library and then after grabbing lunch I spend the afternoon at Starbucks. I accepted an impromptu dinner date but first rushed to Lowe's for shower parts and then had a great dinner and chatted about solar panels and building tech before going home for the night. Lesson to self: Complete what you purpose to do and then sit back and celebrate the accomplishment.
7/10/13...It was an early start and departure from the farm. It was an intown work day as an historian. On my way out I checked my mailbox to find my first mail! And my first mail was a refund check from Georgia Power! Goodbye and thanks for the change (I mean refund)! I glided into a day of productive work at NSA. After work I pickup up Tin and the yellow truck and met up with Shemeah, a new friend, to gather reclaimed USB boards. The pickup was easy. The hard part is the unload at the end of a long day in the heat when you're tired. I started cutting boards down to car size but my cuts got more and more crooked so I gave up. I had a tantrum and then Tina and I loaded them into her non-working truck for storage. I was glad for the help and the suggested fix. The day was long and the hour was late so I stayed over the night in Atlanta. Reminder to self: Count the cost of the job of getting the free stuff. It's not free!
Week 1 recap: