Thursday, June 15, 2017

Working on Changes, Graduation, Baby, Flowers, Shrooms, & More (Lot's of pictures)



Who doesn’t dream about having an amazing laundry room with enough room to move around, a sink to wash things by hand, a large table or cabinet to fold clothes on, and finally, an area where clothes can be hung when coming out of the dryer?  

This house we purchased doesn’t have any of the items I dreamed of in the laundry room.  Wait…..let me take that back, I did get the washer and dryer I wanted…you know; the ones with the big drums so you can wash all kinds of stuff……like a king size comforter and more than one throw rug.  Slowly, I will create my ideal laundry room…..even if that means I don’t get a large sink or more physical room. 


I purchased two wall hanging racks that retract when not being used for hanging clothes coming out of the dryer.  These racks come in handy when I want to have a shirt dry naturally.  Granted, we have a handmade clothes line outside for this reason as well; however, when it’s extremely hot outside, you really don’t want your good clothes to fade from the sun and heat.  


I am taking advantage of every bit of space in my laundry/mud room area. All the inside house tools were propped against the wall, I purchased a hanging rack to get the tools up and out of my way.  
 

In time, I will have Bulldog Man make me a table hinged to the wall next to the dryer.  This table will fold down when I have laundry to fold, and when not being used, it will fold back against the wall, out of my way.

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A goal we have living out here on this property, is to level out and raise some of the land around our home, and install several French drains, to move water away from our home and into one of our ponds.  Here’s the start of this process--one trench dug 75 feet, and another, close to the house, dug approximately 22 feet.  We had to initially pull the gutter we just installed on this side of the house in order to dig the trench against the house.  When we replace the gutter, it will run on the side of the house, and down into the ground, directly to the French drain, pulling the water directly away from the house.  Bulldog Man will be picking up the pipes this evening.  Tomorrow morning, I will be going into town with the truck, to pick up a load of gravel from the gravel yard.  Our goal is to have the French drain completely finished by the end of the weekend.  



We have another goal, to install two additional French drains on our driveway to prevent washout when storms come through.  As we all know, projects are set up on a goal list, and priorities take precedence.   

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The original faucet in our kitchen reminded me of a faucet you would see back in high school, in the lab of the science department.  Water wouldn’t flow through the faucet properly, and the pressure was terrible.  Bulldog Man had me buy a new kitchen faucet (I used a gift card we received from the phone company, when we switched carriers) and found a commercial type faucet.  Bulldog Man installed the faucet for me, after we had to go back into town and purchase hose extensions.  I love this new faucet, water flows with pressure and direction.  
 
Old Faucet
 
New Faucet

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In between projects, life continues on…….

Our Grand Daughter, Megan, graduated high school; we went down to Texas for her graduation.  We’re so proud of her, now she’s setup to start college in the fall.  Her goal is to become a radiology technician.  



While down in Texas, we found out our oldest son, and his wife, are expecting their first child together.  Bulldog Man and I are so excited, and can’t wait for our 6th grand baby to be born in January 2018.  It will be spoil alert time by grandparents.  This child will have 4 sets of grandparents…..LOL!!!!

While down in Texas for the graduation, we stayed with my sister and had a great visit with her.  Of course we had to go eat some amazing Thai food before returning home.  There’s an amazing restaurant in the small town where my sister lives; you just can’t get good food like this up where we live.  

My sister knows how much I love orchids, and sent me home with an amazing Phalaenopsis orchid from Matsui Nursery on their 50th anniversary. 



She also had an eagle, a piece of art made from steel, for my husband and me.  She had been holding on to it, because it would have been expensive to send through the mail.   I’m still trying to figure out where to hang the eagle in our home.


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I came across some more wild flowers and mushrooms from our property I wanted to share with you.









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A friend of mine asked me how many ponds we have on our 20 acres.  Well……we have 2 ponds and one lagoon.  The large pond sitting not too far from our home is the largest; approximately 1 acre in size, and 30 feet deep.  It’s stocked with fish, has a couple of turtles, and a few water moccasins (minus 2 I shot after coming at me aggressively).  The second pond is 8 to 10 feet in size, called the critter pond; because it’s natural and is fed by a spring, has cat tails, and we put a salt lick next to it.  Then there’s the lagoon (oxidation pond) which is part of our septic system.  Lagoons are commonly found in this part of Oklahoma, when living out in the countryside.  

Large Pond With Fish (need to weed)
Wildlife Pond Left Natural
Lagoon (need to weed)
 
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Another year has snuck up on me, I turned the big 55 on June 13th and boy do I feel it…..LOL

In closing, here are a few pictures of the area and what it looks like living out on the prairie.





























Thursday, June 1, 2017

Peppermint Oil



Living out in the country, you have to take precautions to prevent critters (mice, spiders, bugs, and scorpions) from coming inside your home, crawl space, and garage/workshop; especially when it’s extremely hot outside, cold (snowy), or wet (from rain).   Let me introduce one of the essential oils I use to help in the prevention of critter entry into my home.  Granted, this is just a small part of what needs doing to keep pests out.

Because we have 4 legged fur balls in our home, I personally use essential oils to prevent harming my animals whenever possible.  Let me introduce to you pure peppermint essential oil. Twice a month (unless of course it rains, then I’ll do it more often), I take pure peppermint oil and pour it across the thresholds of every door.  Then I gently use a paper towel and spread it across the entire threshold and let it dry naturally.  The scent is very appealing to my family in and around my home, as for the 4 legged fur balls, they put their noses up in the air (as if to say REALLY?)…..and that’s fine. 

To date, I haven’t had an issue with critters coming into my home through or under any of my doors or openings/cracks in our country home. 
Please note: this is just a small part of what needs doing in your home to prevent unwanted critters.  I also recommend making sure every hole, gap, and crack, is filled in with some sort of filler (such as Great Stuff, steel wool, wood putty, or Flex Seal).  Get rid of any food source around the outside of your home, and any piled up brush. 

Have you used essential oils to deter unwanted critters?  If so, please share your story.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rain, Wildflowers, Snakes, Tractor, & Food



The rain has been coming down continuously here.  We never thought it would stop.  Here are a few videos of some of the water we received from the past several days.  






We’ve pretty much decided to maintain 3 acres out of 20; meaning we will cut, weed whack and groom those 3 acres, the rest will remain ALA natural, with pathways throughout created by water, wildlife, and humans. Bulldog Man and I routinely walk the entire property at various times to make sure all is okay, check for anything unusual, and to make sure we don’t have any uninvited squatters.  Our plans are also to invest in a nice quality drone to help with the monitoring of our property.

I thought I would share with you some of the wildflowers I found while cutting the grass.













Since the rain has stopped, and the sun is out, I decided to cut the grass.  When cutting the grass on our dam, there are areas where a push mower is needed; like next to the water of our fish pond.  While cutting next to the pond, a Water Moccasin snake became aggressive and started to swim toward me, and then decided he/she was going to attempt to come at me on the shoreline of the dam.  Big mistake…..see if the snake would have continued on he/she would still be treading water.  However, since he/she decided to lunge toward me……Mama’s 9MM (Say hello to my little friend!!!), came un-holstered and he/she became fish bait.  That wasn’t my first encounter of snakes for the day.  I came in contact with 3 other snakes; a rattle snake, a green garden snake, and another water moccasin.  The one thing I totally can’t stand is snakes.  If they leave me alone, I will leave them alone.  If they get in my way or attempt to lunge at me, that’s it; I’m done with them.
Picture from  news.aces.edu



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Several weeks ago, I hung 4 humming bird feeders out on our front porch.  There have been 3 hummingbirds that’ve made it a point to hang around and enjoy the sweet nectar provided; along with a hundred or so bees off and on each day.  The birds don’t seem to mind the bees too much; they seem to be willing to share their food.  I’m not sure where these bees are coming from, whether they’re from a wild nest or a local hand raised hive.  I wish we were ready to raise bees; I would make an attempt to capture them.  Since we’re not ready, we’ll just leave them alone, and give them space to come and go as they please.  











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Tractor shopping has been pretty interesting.  We’ve narrowed our choice down to Kubota.  Now it’s just figuring out which one to buy, and when (timing is always in consideration).  Here’s a picture of Bulldog Man test driving one at the Kubota dealership.
  







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I came across a recipe for pineapple fried rice and decided to share it with you.  If you like pineapple and fried rice, you’ll love this recipe.  The recipe is from Damn Delicious, click here to find the recipe.   
Everyone in my house gives this recipe a 4 paw rating!!!  It’s Damned Delicious!!!


 

Plenty of things to talk about, but for now, I need to get back to work.  Catch y’all soon!