Viewing MollyMc's Garden Diary: A New Life
Sunday, July 6, 2008
2 Years LaterI haven't updated here in quite some time. Looks like I have 3 summers and 2 winters to catch up on.
I've read through these diaries, looked at the pictures and am amazed at the changes that happened while I was wallowing in the sand, sun and cold.
I took almost 2 years off work when I came up here and eventually ran out of funds so was forced back into the real world to make a living.
I tried veggie gardening and had more failures than successes. I am still in process of deliberating the wisdom of continuing this effort, although I do love my fresh spinach, tomatoes and squash.
Today I am posting pictures of additional structures, new growth, wildflowers and whatever I can't edit out of the pictures.
Thanks for letting me share this adventure with you.
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Finally Finished (almost)Pump house is finally nearing completion. We got the siding on, some paint on and today we are working on the soffits. They should be finished tomorrow and I can get the finally coat of paint applied. Then I start the paint on the main trailer to match.
Friday, February 3, 2006
Almost ThereWe are now insulated and dry. The last thing to be done is put the siding and soffits on and paint it.
We have seedlings that get moved in and out of the pumphouse when freezing temps are predicted. It stays about 15-20 degrees warmer in there at night than outside. When the siding and soffits are finished it will be warmer yet.
After things are tidier inside I will post a picture of what we have done in there.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Inside PumphouseIt's still under construction, but the walls are up inside and the door and window openings are clearly defined.
Monday, January 9, 2006
The Pump HouseWhen the inspector from the building department came to do the final inspection on the house and utilities we discussed what other things I would need to pull permits for.
He stated I could do a pump house without a permit. When I questioned him about the size of the pumphouse, he said it could be 10 x 12 or so, just so long it wasn't big enough to drive a car into.
We ended up with 10.5 X 12.5. This has got to be the best pump house within miles. Most people will build a tiny little wood cover for the pipes and pressure gauges and throw a blanket over the tank.
I was a little concerned that if attention was brought to our little project, the building dept might balk. It so happens one of my neighbors called the inspector out to look at his house and he glanced up and saw my project. No one was home at the time, and luckily, it was "Don", my final inspection man. He came over and looked over the progress on the building and evidently thought all was well. He didn't leave a violation notice and we haven't heard a peep out of anyone from town. So we forged ahead.
The plan is for insulation, plywood walls inside, storage shelving, a workbench, tool rack, lighting, space for a small chest freezer, an attic space for storage and outside, hardiboard siding and a painted metal roof.
Friday, December 30, 2005
The Pump & WellAlthough the electric was turned on by noon of 12/22, we still didn't have water. The pump failed to engage when we turned it on.
The man from Cannon Well came right over the next morning and replaced the pressure gauge. We ran brown and orange water out of the tank and well for the next 24 hours. When the temps were predicted to be freezing, we opened faucets in various places to get the water flowing so it wouldn't freeze.
The next project is to get the well pump and tank housed. Darius made the plans, we bought lumber and jumped right in there with hammer and nails.
Friday, December 23, 2005
A Little Sweater for SnowyPoor Snowy, she was born and raised in S Florida. She has very short hair and no fat to warm her skinny self. I gave her a thermal shirt that I wore several years ago when I was an extra small.
It was a perfect fit and took the chill off her when she had to go out.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Electricity is Coming!!!We woke up to 24 degrees. The night before we had put cardboard in the windows, blankets up to the doorways to the living room and all of us camped on the floor in there with one little heater running on that tired old generator.
I don't have a photo of the generator, it's not pretty to look at. You could run a tank of gas for about 14 hours, but it needed to be checked every 12 hours for oil since that safety feature was inoperable. When it runs out of gas at 5am, it doesn't take long for the trailer to get cold. Jeremy was the brave soldier who got kicked out of bed to re-oil and fuel the machine. Until we discovered it needed a new spark plug, if you let her sit in rainy weather (even covered) when she was off, you couldn't crank her up until things dried out.
We are city folk who have been used to city water, sewer, electric, garbage service and landlords to call to fix anything and everything. As for engines, the mechanics were there to do repairs. Out here, we have had to learn to do many things.
Darius was out on the porch about 9am and she calls to me to "come see who's here!"
The power company with 3 trucks, 4 poles and a bunch of guys. Yippeeeeee!!!!!!!
There is frost on the Mustang windshield, a sight I wasn't prepared for.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Getting warm by the fireDarius came to live with us and little did she know that this was to be our better "heat source" for a couple weeks.
Jeremy had started a burn pit when I brought him up here after Thanksgiving. He spent his days raking and shoveling the debris that the bulldozing had plowed down, trying to clear the immediate yard area. It has turned into quite a crater by now.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Showers and flushing waterDarius took her to her Aunts house in High Springs for a shower. They were kind enough to provide us with about 75 gallons of hose water we could use for washing dishes and flushing.
We were all in great spirits on the day of "The Showers".
Monday, December 19, 2005
Clearing the path for PowerI bought Jeremy an axe and asked him to take down as many trees as he could to clear the way for the power company. They wanted a total of 20 trees removed for a 10 foot easement on my side of the fence, 2 of the 20 had to come down on the other side of the fence.
He did about 17 with the axe. The last 2 were brought down with a chain saw and the help of David Courtney. We now own the chain saw and have since bought a back up chain.
Jeremy has been working on the biggest pines, cutting me stepping stones for the yard. We will seal them up with Thompson's wood sealer, hopefully to extend the life of the wood.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Jeremy Taking a BreakJeremy, my son, has worked very hard over the months. Something he has not been accustomed to in his life. His help has been invaluable!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
My GirlsSnowy & Baby, confined to a "Cable Run". They have been accustomed to free reign in a fenced in back yard. This is new to them. They continually get wrapped around the trees and caught on protruding root balls on the ground. Snowy, much as I love her, is not the brightest penny. She gets the cable over one leg and has no idea how to lift her leg to free it.
Eventually they get used to it, but are looking forward to their own fenced in domain one day.
Friday, December 16, 2005
New Patio AreaAt this date, we still do not have electricity. We have my brother's generator we borrowed after Hurricane Wilma in Lauderdale. This provides us with a light, TV (satellite was installed on 12/2/05) and a small space heater. Last week the temps were threatening to be freezing. We took all the animals to the local sleeze motel (they would take cash only), stayed for one night since they had heat, then went and bought our own little space heater.
The home is all electric so we do our cooking on the grill and side burner out doors. If it's not too cold, we sit at the table for meals.
There is no running water since the well and pump require electricity so we buy bottled water for consumption and flushing. We also buy ice for the food and beverage coolers.
Things look pretty dismal here and at the time seemed that way. I had trouble getting inspections completed so we could get the power company out to set poles and string wires.
We tried to get through each day as civilized as we could. Sponge bathing was the only option and hair washing was out of the question. One day I went to town totally depressed, found a "Hair Cuttery". It lifted my spirits to just get my hair washed and blown dry.
Saturday, November 5, 2005
The House is inIt's a 16 x 80 foot 3 bedroom 2 bath trailer. 1200 square feet of living space. It seems like plenty of room since I moved from a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house.
Little did I know that this space gets used up quite quickly when you have no outbuildings to store your gardening gear in. But there is plenty of ground space to put things on.
Notice, the black jack oaks still look okay with leaves on them and the land is cleared but not barren as shown in later pictures.
I am a self-employed house painter so making plans for this move was not just packing and unpacking. I solicited as much work in Lauderdale from my old customers as I could fit into the schedule. It will be a while before I am able to get my business up and running in the new area.
I have a couple jobs scheduled for early 2006 back down south and we will have to travel and stay in the customers guest areas. After that work is done, I will have to work on marketing our skills in Gainesville.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
A Blank SlateI should have started this when the move was imminent, but my life was in such an upheaval, my thoughts and energies were elsewhere.
I bought 5 acreas of land in Levy County Fl. in 2004 when my boyfriend and I split up. I planned to wait a couple years and move up, build a house and settle in. I rented a house in Lauderdale and by 9/05 the landlord announced he was selling the house. My plans had to be put into fast forward.
After buying a mobile home, having it moved to the property, septic and well put in, we moved here on 12/1/05. We stayed here waiting for final electric hook-up, final inspections for occupancy which all fell into place by 12/22. We discovered the night temperatures can get down in the 20's. A big difference from Ft Lauderdale's very mild 40's.
Over a period of months prior to the final move, I brought van loads of plants up and left them on the property in pots. I did some research and tried to bring plants hardy in this zone and could survive a long period in pots with no attention.
I'm writing this diary in February 2006 making a record of things up to date. Coming from Zone 10b, I am only accustomed to year round growing and greenery. I will hold off on updating my journal since most of my plants went dormant and are mostly not identifiable at this point in the season.
From the beginning, this is the property looking up the land after the low growth was bulldozed. The trailer will be put on the clearing about 350 feet up the driveway. This was early October 2005.
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