Cold today.  We went shopping this morning and got the new battery for Norman’s tractor so right now he is running around doing all kinds of odd jobs where he can use his tractor.  I got some good buys so need to get busy and make some banana bread and apple pie or maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow- see how the story goes first.   I left off when we moved in and spent one summer (2007) here.  Not much happens here in the winter.  So we go to Florida and have Christmas with the family.  Then we are back to Spencer by March 1 to plant and get the place cleaned up.  The summer of 2008 we put in a few bushes which were nothing but a stick about 1 foot tall but we had hope.  I had two forsythia plants, two red bud trees, one crape myrtle and a rubarb root.  The raspberries that were left tried to grow and three of them made it and even rooted themselves into the grown and made three more roots, now there were six plants but no berries yet.  The blueberries struggled but lived and the grapes did well.  We began clearing the woods near the house.  We cut small trees and underbrush.  The bigges problem was the big briars and the poison oak.  We cut out the one and poisoned the other.  We found that this area was once a grape vinyard or at least many grape vines were here that had over grown.  We cut those all back and put up small arbors for them to climb on.  When the builders were finished they had two big fires to get rid of all the trees and scrap material.  Just before they finished up they bull dozed all the stuff that had not burned into one big pile just off the cleared area in the woods.  I said I would plant bushes in front of it to hide it but it was so big we decided to clean it up some first.  We pulled out all that could be burned and burned that in the burn barrel, then we pulled out the things that could not be burned such as strapping from the shingles and plaster and grouting.  Those we took to the land fill and was then left with a few big roots that would not burn.  These we burried.  When the former owners bull dozed out the clearing they just pushed all the top soil and felled trees into a long pile on one side of the area.  By now this was pretty well rotted and the soil was beautiful so we brought that up by the wagon loads and covered the stumps just enough to plant flowers on. We also planted the two bed buds and the crape myrtle in front of the pile hoping they would grow and help hide it.  The flowers grew well and we put a small water fall in the front.  I planted flowers all over it even in the back but they didn’t do very well as they got very little sun.   Norman got a tractor and kept that in his work room in the cellar but with all the gardening tools and wood working tools the room in cellar was getting so crowed there was no room left to work so when he finished putting in the Pergo floors he began building a tool shed.  That came out great and was so handy he added a wood shed and a green house on either side of the tool shed.  That took much of the pressure off his work shop in the cellar.  You can see the tool shed in the right side of this picture, the wood shed on the left but you can’t see the green house that is on the right hand side.  you can see how much we cleared.  We did not have a wood stove so all the wood from trees cut down were either burned to stacked for who knew what.  On the left you will note the end of the turn around we had put in.  The paving of all our roads is just crushed lime stone.  This whole area is limestone so you can get truck loads of it at a very reasonable price.  When the tomatoes came into the farmer’s market we got canning tomatoes for 8 to 12 dollars a 20 pound box and we canned tomatoes and speghetti sauce for ourselves and Patty.  My strwberries grew and spread and I got some strawberry jam made from that.  This is the front of the kitchen / laundry room in the cellar.  Norman built the two counters against the wall. The window lets in a lot of light so it is a very pleasent place to work and I do all the canning down here.  He also built shelves to put my canned good on and shelves to put my dishes on and books etc.  Here are the canned goods on the chelves at the foot of the cellar stairs.  This is the other side of the kitchen in the cellar.  We have two freezers also so we could put up all the great vegetable that we grew or bought at the farmer’s market.   Must leave you now, I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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