Another Weekend in NC

Another Weekend in NC

Great time with J and the rest of the #pipelinesurveyer crew. Enjoyed amazing food, took a yoga class at one of my teacher’s studios – Durham Yoga Co., watched OSU game + Carrboro Music Festival yesterday. 2.5 days just isn’t enough time. Next time we come down the family will be together...
Sheds As Living Spaces

Sheds As Living Spaces

I am in love with the idea of turning a simple shed into a living space. It can serve so many purposes. I was out at the 18.96 yesterday with the dogs – first working, then relaxing. I walked the clearing several times trying to decide on the optimal layout. Last night J and I were talking and I told him about it, so he had me draw him a map. To my surprise he loved my thoughts! I really want a garden shed/cottage, which I believe will be functional in all stages of use. I found one built buy a local amish company called Yoder Buildings. It is 10 x 14 (or 16). For now it will serve truly as a shed housing our lawn mower, weed eater, wheel barrow and other tools. But eventually I’d love to turn it into a yoga space for individual clients. It could also serve as a guest house if done optimally with a sleeper sofa. Here are the garden-shed-turned-living-space ideas I’ve uncovered.   Sheds as Living Spaces   Oh my gosh! It’s all becoming so real and I am so...
And We Have a Lawn . . .

And We Have a Lawn . . .

for a season, anyway. J and I are big fans of GROWING GARDENS, NOT LAWNS, but our property was a mess when we took ownership. It was necessary to clear it out –  and clear it out we did. Now we know what we are dealing with. Yesterday it was a lawn party on the 18.96 . . . a lawn tractor, push-behind brush mower, weed eater, chain saw, another weed eater with blade attachment, rakes and more. It took most of the day, but we did it. My parents and J’s Uncle Byrd helped me get it all done. The tractor and “Billy Goat” did the heavy mowing while the other tools did the clean up. Now it’s up to me to keep it mowed for the remainder of the year until it frosts. J and I are in the process of planning the landscape . . . a garage, hen house and garden go in next (in that order.) It is so exciting to see it all take shape! If running a “Billy Goat” doesn’t make you feel powerful, I’m not sure what else will. LOL. From the looks of that burn pile, we have several bon fires in our near future too. Back left corner feels like the perfect place for a Hen House and fenced off area for our girls. More to come soon. Heading to the 18.96 to let the dogs sniff around and run!...
The Zen of Stacking Wood

The Zen of Stacking Wood

There is so much to do on the 18.96 that I often don’t know where to start. I met with my father-in-law yesterday, as he offered to cut up a lot of the downed trees and limbs that are laying throughout the property. My initial thought was to cut down the trunks laying across the path leading back to where the house will be, but when I got there he had started a small pile in the front section as he was waiting for me. (The pic to the left shows the beginning pile plus a row or two that I added.) The previous owners cleared about an acre in the front portion of the property, which is the only open space on the land; all of the rest is heavily wooded. The ‘cleared’ space is thick with brush, weeds, sticker bushes and logs. Cleared is in quotations for a reason – there is much to do to get it into a workable state. ‘Cleared’ simply means it is an open area, not wooded like the rest. This area is essentially where the farm will be. We started and ended there yesterday. There were so many logs down it took us over three hours to cut them up and stack the wood. Have you ever stacked wood? For three hours? Try it sometime. It’s fun. Really. Really fun. My father-in-law ran the chainsaw. I stacked the wood. Because the brush is so thick even in the ‘cleared’ space, stacking wood was much harder, however. Simply walking through grass is one thing. Carrying wood while picking up your feet so you don’t trip is another. THINK: ALL...
Living In Rhythm with Nature

Living In Rhythm with Nature

We had to leave the house extra early this morning to make it to an 8a appointment in Columbus. I was up at 5a and out the door by 6:15a. My normal mornings are a lot more leisurely and I typically spend some time with my animals and complete household chores. (For some reason chores don’t seem that bad at 6a, plus I get them out of the way for the day so I can focus on business and family.) This schedule change made me ponder living in rhythm with nature today. It’s not that I’ve never considered it. I have. But raising chickens has made me a lot more aware of the natural rhythm of life, particularly the seasons, sunrise and sunset. Chickens are really easy to care for but it’s important they get let out a little before sunrise and shut in to their hen house before or around dark. They definitely understand their cycles and will peck at the hen house window if no on is there to let them out in the morning. They also bed themselves in the evening, so all I have to do is shut the door so the varmints don’t get them. I used to be unaware of these natural rhythms, working in government and traveling over an hour each way to work. In fact, most people who work ‘normal jobs’ are likely unaware of them because their days are dictated by a specific employer-given schedule. I began to become more aware of nature’s rhythm when I started working for myself six years ago. I love having my life dictated by earth cycles and...