Our patch of earth

Reice

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Still no grandbaby, she is decided to wait a bit longer. Due date is Christmas day, so we'll see. It would be funny if she decided to make her appearance on Christmas eve, since that's when her big brother decided to enter the world 3 years prior. :D

I gotta say after just looking at our first full month of living here's electric bill, I am impressed. Full electric other than an occasional use of a Mr. Buddy heater only in the early morning to take off the chill, and it has been a fairly cold month. Add to this single pane windows, skirting not up, space heaters, lots of weather stripping needed, and higher rural pricing on electric, I was expecting much worse. Was hoping to keep our power bill around $150 a month or lower. It is $185 this month. All things considered, still not bad. And definitely gives me something to work towards on getting it lower. I can't wait to see how it does in the summer months. :) A year ago our total electric former home was around the $300 or more range.

Hubby had a snafu with his truck, does the mechanic'ing never end for him? lol Driveshaft came off going down the road, a towing and hunting down the part later and he's rolling again. So very, very thankful to have had my new-to-me wheels going, we woulda been screwed otherwise.

Probably not a big deal to most, but a milestone to me, finally have a mailbox up. Woot!!! Took a while to get a created address with many emails back and forth and coordinates to hunt down and trips to the post office. The hubby decided to get fancy with the mailbox with stuff he found sitting around. His grandmother had a former big rural box that got prettied, an iron scroll-worked L-shaped metal bar for it's base got attached and was placed into wheel rim for weight and stability, all painted to match. 100% repurposed.

So far so good with the internet out here in the boonies in a hole. I've been pushing it a bit to see how she does after the 23gb hits and deprioritization starts. Have been streaming a lot so I'm sure I'm past it. So far so good. TV wise our antennae is iffy with it's 4 channels of OETA (like, you gotta hold the cord just right and stick a tongue out sideways and look to the left and maybe you can see the station clearly), so for entertainment we've been streaming. Mostly free stuff on Vudu (although their channel does have a severe buffering issue that is a pain) or with stepsons Hulu account which streams flawlessly. Even tried online gaming and it does better than our former wireless internet that I paid $66 a month for 3 years (only one available where we lived then). Yes, gamer here, I did miss my WoW.

For trash we've started some burn barrels. This is all new to me, being a former city girl. My whole life you took the stuff from the trash can and put it in a dumpster and just forgot about it. Now, having to actually burn stuff, you really get to realizing what happens to all that stuff. And how much comes in you have to physically burn yourself. Really makes you think!! Now I may have to start haunting the zero waste forums to help cut down on how much comes in cause it really just didn't connect before. Was always someone else's problem when I put it in the dumpster. Now it's our problem. Such waste!!! It's sickening. :(

On that note, one of hubby's side jobs is helping his aunt fix up her house. She lives next to his grandmother on this land, as well. She had an issue a few years back and was living with her mother, but wants to fix up her own house to live there again. Well, things didn't go great sitting there for that long, a roof leak and critters later, and she pretty much wants to almost gut the place. Which means getting rid of just about everything inside. That's where hubby comes in, helping with that. Hey, it's extra dough, right? And just down the road. But the amount to be thrown away, o m g! Just the gas to get to the dump back and forth and the fees would pretty much negate what he was going to be paid, so instead he decides to burn most of it. And since some things shouldn't go into the burn barrel he is going through all the bags. I cannot even begin to say how depressing it is to see how much total waste. Complete, total consumerism. I have gotten some items from it though, some candles, cleaning products, jewelry, a fairly decent rug that's on the living room floor, and a lot of loose change.

Next up to get done, let us see.. fencing for a small dog run and doggy door for the spoiled shih tzu, seeing if the metal round tub we found will work for a kitchen sink, figuring out if the 50 gallon water tank we got for $20 will fit in the hole we have or make it work from outside, complete the skirting, complete the plumbing, replacing a living room window with some plexiglass we found, weather stripping both doors, some plywood for the kitchen floor, removal of the bathroom toilet,.. wow, this list is long. And I'm already pannicking about spring being right around the corner and not having a set plot picked out for another garden attempt. :)

That's it for now, laters all. :D
 

Mini Horses

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Garden plot can wait a while. The skirting & window sealing are more of an issue, in reality. Some plastic of windows & curtains inside will make a difference. Trailers are notorious for drafty. My DD lives in an older one at rear of my farm. The water lines under there will freeze easily. So, insulate them...wrap around tubes at hardware store. And we use heat tapes inside them. Then if you can't skirt it all, at least the area where you have pressure tank (if one) in your system....drip faucets in hard winter. You will be glad you attended to these things later...trust me!! ...and electric bill down.

Glad you at least have good internet. I'd miss mine. Well, need it for work anyway but use it way more than a TV....and not for streaming LOL.

Things seem to be moving along for you. Good to hear!
 

Britesea

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Sounds like a nice looking mailbox! I hope you don't have the problem we had- kids liked to come tearing down the road hitting every mailbox with a baseball bat or something, to see if they could destroy it. Now we live on a dirt road and the post office would rather give us a free post office box rather than drive down that road.

We still have single pane windows (that's on the list this year) and using some of that shrink-plastic film on them does help a LOT. I take them down in the summer so I can open windows instead of using the air conditioner. Consider some inexpensive window awnings on the hot side of the house if you have windows there- it can help a lot. I made some using triangles of wood as frames and some shade cloth. Definitely insulate your pipes, even the black water ones (don't want THAT freezing up).

Maybe you could just plant a few things in pots this year? That would give you another year to add compost too.

Hubby and I played WoW for years; I finally broke my addiction when they changed the battle system YET again and I was going to have to totally relearn how to use my shaman-- decided I just didn't need it.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Agreed with others. Winterizing is your priority right now. I'm glad you are moving forward. Baby steps, one day at a time. You will be astounded when you look back a year from now: to see how far you've come!

Your garden will practically plant it'self. Topics to look at to make your garden a success for the first year:

Square foot gardening

Lasagna gardening

Hay or straw bale gardening

Ruth Stout: the early queen of permanent mulch, no till gardening

Paul Goetsche (I know I butchered his last name): Back to Eden gardening

Finally, if you have a likely spot picked out for a garden bed, start dumping all of your compostables there. You could even make a compost bin out of hay bales. The bales would contain the material, help hold heat for better composting, work to kill the weeds underneath them, and turn into mulch or compost to speed your gardening in the spring.
 

Britesea

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something we learned early on: You can pee in a bucket and dump that on the compostables to give them a quick start.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Or use it to inoculate your hay bales. Or repel the coons from the corn. Coffee grounds are black gold. High nitrogen source. I have one hen who loves to eat them. I figure that when I eat her eggs, I can bypass the coffee pot!
 

flowerbug

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living out in the country you may want to not put in an animal door. other creatures may find it and use it...
 

Britesea

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We've been in the country for 35 years and never had an animal come in through the dog door except the dog. Not saying it won't happen, but for us at least- it hasn't
 

Lazy Gardener

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I had a client who had coons and skunks come in to visit him. He had pics of them lounging in his living room. But, He openly invited them in. Left the door open, and fed them all the time. Not my cup'a'tea, for sure!
 

Britesea

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It may be that the difference is that we've usually had either 2 medium sized dogs or 1 very large dog...
 

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