Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's really ours! The 1st day

We closed on our property yesterday after work! We brought a change of clothes, trees, and about 20 gallons of water. Just before the closing, it started to rain. The rain was down to a sprinkle so we decided to head out there in hopes the rain was done. Josh had purchased a spray to use on the trees to keep animals from eating them and decided to put that on there, so the spray could dry on the way out there. Once he started spraying it one them, he realized it was pretty smelly. Turns out it was made with animal blood! We drove 30 minutes closed in the truck with 70 trees covered in animal blood spray. The stench was pretty bad. We couldn't keep the windows open due to the rain that had started back up. The kids and I tried some mints to cover the scent--it didn't work. I put some scented hand lotion on and kept my hands in front of my nose and mouth all the way there. The kids said it smelled like poop and Josh said it was "something like that'--we didn't tell them the gross truth!

We were glad to all have gloves to wear when touching the trees! The neighbors came over to say hello and introduce themselves. I think they were curious to find out what we planned to use the property for. They seemed like nice people.

As the neighbors left, the rain kicked up. (As it turned out, we didn't need to use all that water we brought--the rain saved us a lot of work!) We had the kids go sit in the truck and Josh and I finished planting the trees. We planted about 25 pine trees on the edges and 10 black cherry trees across the front of the property. We still have 25 white spruce and 10 black walnut trees left. We may get out tomorrow to plant some more.

By the time we left, we were completely soaked and quite muddy! It was good to get the trees in. The boys helped some before the rain really came down--Sweet Pea helped dad with the measuring tape and carrying things. Big Dog helped me plant the trees in the holes after dad dug them. All in all, it took about 1.5 hours and the whole family worked together!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lots of little trees!

This morning Josh bought 70 little trees! 50 white spruce for along the side boundaries and 10 black walnut and 10 black cherry trees for the front of the yard. We close on the property in 3 days. Our priority once we close is to get all those little trees planted and watered. It's going to take the whole family working together. At least we are due for rain most of next week. That will help!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Walked all of the property

Yesterday my family came to visit and we had the chance to walk all of the property. We hadn't actually been in the wooded portion and didn't know how much there was. I was quite amazed with how much wooded land we're going to have! I'm not certain of the acreage--maybe 4-5 acres is wooded. It was much deeper than we had expected. The children could get lost back there-especially once the trees leave out. The floor of the woods was deep with leaves and had a lot of dead fallen trees and limbs. I think it will look very different once everything starts growing again.

We are set to close 1 week from tomorrow. The sellers still have a lot of junk on the property--2-3 boats, a camper, couch, coolers, a large burn pile full of cans and glass, and 2 other large trash plies, as well as a shed filled with personal belongings. According to the contract, they are to have all of that off the land before closing. It looks like they've removed anything of value from the land and most of their belongings from the pole barn, in addition to the firewood pile. We've been in contact with the realtor about this and are considering requesting a "clean-up charge" based on the fees for renting a dumpster.

We also noticed a swarm of some type of wasp/bee buzzing around a ground nest. We didn't get too close since they were pretty active. We'll have to put that high on our list of things to take care of.

Then we drove around the corner to the creek. We saw numerous fish swimming upstream--possibly spawning? There were a couple of pretty large fish and a half dozen smaller ones. Someone else was parked by the creek as well. Last week when we drove by someone was camping there by the creek. I don't think that's permitted. I was hoping that few people would know about/use that public area. I won't be able to send the boys down there alone until they're teens if there are frequently strangers using the area.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Soap and anxious kids

I took a bar of my soap in to the chemistry teacher at work today. It's at a PH of 8, so it's getting close. She gave me a small bottle of some chemical to drop on it to test again in a week or so.

My youngest son is ready to own the property. A few weeks ago, I had to explain why we weren't planning on having horses and cows. A few days after that, he said, "I know we're not going to, but if we did ever get horses and I had one and it was a girl, I would name her Elise. Isn't that a good name?" I told him perhaps we'd get some chickens once we're living out there.

Today as he came in the door from school, he told me of his plan to play in the creek this summer and catch salamanders. He knows just what container to keep them in. I've never seen salamanders in the wild. Where in the creek area do you look? Are they under the mud at the edge?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We took a drive out by the property the other day. Here's a photograph of the treeline along the road. We'd like to restore that treeline to a more natural area, uisng native shrubs and smaller trees to form a border along the front of the property and remove the damaged fence.
Back at home in suburbia, I readied a small portion of the garden and planted some spring vegetables: spinach, lettuce, and green onions. I had prepared the area in the fall by placing layers of newspaper over the lawn and wetting it, then adding a thick covering of mulch. I wasn't sure if the grass would be dead or not. Fortunately, it was quite dead, and the newspaper was quite decomposed. So, I just raked up the mulch, dug up the soil and added some humus. Then I was ready to go!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Well, I cut the soap into bars on Monday. They are drying/curing and appear to be soap!

Property update: The closing date has been moved to April 28. I hope it all works out!