I’ve been writing mostly about the new place, when I do write (my blog has been neglected!), and it continues to both overwhelm and charm me. There is so much to do, and I’m making slow progress. I’ve got the roof replacement lined up; we’re just waiting on a forecast for two or three days of clear weather (it’s a tear off, with plywood replacement in some sections, as well as skylight replacement…and addition – as long as the roof is off, I figure it’s the perfect time to add another skylight, this one in my dark-ish bedroom). I was watching some YouTube videos tonight, trying to get a handle on fixing my very sticky back door. I actually got the door open today, with minimal effort, but closing it after a few hours (it was a beautiful warm day) was a job, and I almost thought I’d have to leave it partly open all night. I have some ideas on how to fix it after watching the YouTube bits. I’ll take a look at it tomorrow, in the daylight .
I purchased a small table for my dining area, and am looking forward to setting it up and being able to eat at a table again. I unpacked or moved four boxes I had stacked in that area – always a good feeling. I’ll set up the table tomorrow and see about dining chairs – I have a couple of misfits that will work for now. The office is still looking like a cyclone came through. I need to reorg my bookcase(s) and make room for the books still in boxes. I have a couple of writing assignments – one due tomorrow for a newsletter – and trying to write amidst this mess isn’t conducive to flow or clarity.
I’ve been reading a great book that has me fired up to get farming. It’s called Micro Eco-Farming, and is all about the idea of producing sustainable local food and farm products on small acreage and regenerating the Earth at the same time. I’ve been surfing the web looking at the kind of livestock I want (Shetland sheep, dairy goats, mini-cow?) and reading no less than three seed catalogs (medicinal herbs, culinary herbs, vegetables) to see what I might grow here – what will grow well in my conditions, and hopefully not be too attractive to the mama deer and her fawn.
I found the lower right (NW) corner marker of the property, which was exciting (to me), and followed the fence posts along the northern border up into the cottonwoods. Some of them are barely visible among the blackberry vines and general overgrowth of brush, but they’re there, and hopefully with a little bushwhacking, they’ll be useful again with my field fencing plans. Now if I can find the NE and SE corners I’ll be happy. I’m not exactly sure where the SW corner is, but the driveway is there, so I’m not fencing all the way to the edge of the property there or along the front. There’s a 25 foot right-of-way setback, and the front of the property (bordering the street) is a ~35-45 foot swath of mostly cedar woodland. A great buffer and good cover for wildlife, too.
I’ve been looking at ways to get through some of the blackberry and underbrush, as well as mowing the pasture and the grass around the house, too. The pasture grass is heavily populated with tall mannagrass, and the grass around the house is almost all couchgrass. Neither are “desirable” per se, but a good mowing will go a long way to sprucing things up. There’s a riding lawn mower in the garage that I need to figure out. I will probably rent a brush cutter – the Billy Goat Outback brush cutter looks like exactly what I need, but I don’t have $2K to spend on machinery right now. Plus, I only want to get it cut back a little once or twice then have the maintenence done by my own goats (probably won’t keep a billy though). And sheep. And maybe a burro or a llama for flock guardian.