Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
We got matching towels for Christmas too!A duck stamp tin sign, with a duck stamp from our first year in the house and duck feathers from the first duck RNH shot! I have a really neat picture of him holding two ducks up, but I have to get it printed!And the lab puppy accessories that go with our camo-theme, and the lab puppy shower curtain that we'll eventually use! TOO cute!Yes, these are Redhead bath accessories!!!Classy Camo- if there even is such a thing!!! Now this is Redneck!!!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
This is last year's garden. Small and manageable. I had to hand-plow all of what you see. That is not easy. Back-breaking work. I did very well with weeding and keeping track of harvesting. The garden went very well, despite the fact that I was getting married. The month that I was supposed to plant, was the same month that I was getting married and going on a honeymoon. I had to wait a whole month later to plant. That meant that I was behind. Far behind. Even though that was a problem, everything went well except for the pumpkins and cantaloupe. They failed. I'm not even going to attempt them this year. Everything I am growing should be pretty self-reliant. The tomatoes I might have to keep a real good eye on. We'll see!
Gaaaah, can't we get this winter over with already!??!?!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Anyways, the seller is asking $3150 an acre, but he said he's willing to work with us if we purchase the entire acreage. Well that is exactly what we want to do. We inquired back in October and realized that we would only be able to afford a counter offer of $2600. That is pretty low-balling and we decided to just wait.
In just a short amount of time, RNH and I have really kicked the savings into high-gear. Not for a down payment, but for a personal family cushion. In the next 9 months, we will have a wonderful cushion to sit on, and RNH will have his credit card completely paid off. No debt. Zero. Except for the mortgage. We are thinking that come September, we will be ready to put in our low-ball offer.
I'm sure the seller will counter-offer, but hopefully with the mid-range and it that will be something we can comfortably afford. I am also thinking that in the next few months, we should begin paying ourselves what our new mortgage would be to make sure we don't mind living that type of lifestyle.
We are dying to have this land. We feel that God has blessed us tremendously with what he has given us already, and if its in His Will, the land purchase will work out! Pray for us please!!!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
We purchased the Yard Machine 208 cc Rear Tine Tiller that has 12" long tines and 18" tilling width!
Yes, it was $650, but totally worth it. Why am I not renting one instead? Here is the dealio: I'm going to be tilling the land up at least 4 times a year. Once in February to prime the soil, put fertilizer down, compost, etc to get the garden ready for Spring. Then again in spring to loosen it up for planting. I will then till under the spent vegetables, unless I've placed them in my compost pile, and more than likely plant a small winter garden, or rye or wheat grass to put nutrients back into the soil for the next growing season. I will also use the tiller to expand the rose bed and gardenia bed that I have surrounding the deck.
RNH wants to use the tiller in the woods to start a food plot for turkey. He also plans to grow some millet around the pond to attract wild ducks. He is ultimately planning on re-seeding the entire front lawn to make it look nice. Right now we have a "country" yard, meaning we don't do a dang thing to it. RNH wants at least a nice front yard, with a country yard in the back. Kinda like a mullet- business in the front, party in the back!
Anyways- I think we'll get a lot of use out of it. As soon as we brought it home I was out there trying to till up the garden. It had been raining for quite some time, so of course it was just a huge sloppy mess and I couldn't really till anything. There was a few feet of drier soil where I could see what the tiller will do- it is gonna be awesome!!! I'm just praying that the rain stops for a little bit so it will dry out and I can use this new machine. Currently as I'm typing- its raining. Grrr!
The best thing about finally owning a tiller- not having to wait for my drunk neighbor to sober up and come over with the tractor!!! I'm planting ON TIME this year!!!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Gardening is all I talk about. I even went so far as to start a gardening journal. I think it will really help my endeavors. I started off by listing each vegetable that I would like to grow, how much I paid for seeds last year, what date it was planted, how fruitful the yield was, etc. Keeping track of this will allow me to maximize my production in the garden.
I also googled "home gardening, North Carolina" and ended up with boat-loads of information from my Alma mater, NC State University. Duh- why didn't I ever think of that! The college has a very vast horticultural program and is basically known for farming. I found a ton of on-line articles about tons of vegetables and information on growing them specifically in NC. Even so far as to what region of NC I am in. Pretty neat. And of course I recorded all of these tips and tidbits of info in my handy-dandy journal!
I got pretty excited about everything and decided to mark off my garden space. This year it will be 24 x 48 feet. Yes, that is over 1,000 square feet. YIKES!!! I found an NCSU article that planned out at garden, complete with diagram of where each vegetable should be planted according to the cardinal directions. It was a 1,000 square foot garden and the note underneath the diagram stated that "a garden of this size will take approximately 30 minutes of work a day." Ha- we'll see about that!
I am also going to attempt to grow everything by seed (except tomatoes) and start them indoors. I've got my south-facing window ready with trays and seed-starting medium. All of this material is just staring at me as I'm typing. Beckoning me to get dirt under my finger nails!!!
February I begin to sow the eggplant and onions indoors. Only a few weeks away- YES!
I am also hoping to plant smart this year. For example, instead of planting all of my rows of corn at the same time, plant them 2 weeks apart so the yield is steadily flowing in. Hopefully that will work!
I'm still working on my compost, which is full of chicken poo. Yum! I tested our soil and we've got a great 6.0 pH, which is perfect for veggie growing!
To add to all of the excitement, RNH and I purchased a tiller!!! That big purchase deserves a post of its own!!! I love that baby!
Today I dug up these bulbs that I had planted right outside the deck last year. I think they are gladiolas? I hate them. They were a beautiful white flower, but as soon as they bloomed, they fell over. I'm sorry but if you're not producing anything I can eat, you better be able to handle yourself on your own. I'm not going to be spending my time pinning you back and helping you stand up straight. So I dug these suckers up and tossed them. I needed the space for the herb garden I'm also planning on having. It is a small 2 by 4 foot space that will be right outside the kitchen for maximum accessibility!
Here is a list of what I'm growing this year!
Silver Queen Sweet Corn
Clemson Spineless Okra
Green Goliath Broccoli
Marketmore 76 Cucumber
Burpee Hybrid II Cucumber
Black Beauty Zucchini
Black Beauty Eggplant
Kentucky Blue Pole Beans
Bush Blue Lake 156 Beans
Aztec Gold Sunflowers
Better Boy Tomatoes
Flat Leaf Parsley
Who's coming over to eat?!?!
I also tried my hand at making an ice cream cake. Ice cream cakes are RNH's favorite. I used 2 9" pans and made a Chocolate Devils Food cake. In between the two layers I lathered on Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and then frosted the entire thing over with cool whip and sprinkled crushed peanut butter cups on the top.
As you can see, the color of red does not exactly match the paint. Unfortunately, it is the closest I have been able to find. Then, the major problem is that the curtains are too short!!! These curtains are 63 inches. The 84 inch curtains would be way too long. I thought about going that route and pinning them up, but since these are on clearance, the 84" weren't there.
And too short at the bottom. From further away, it doesn't look as bad, but this is something that I would probably look at every time I see the curtains. Ugh.
The semi-solution: Since RNH and I love to look out the windows and into the backyard, we would usually have the curtains put up. I just drape them onto each other and get them out of the way. The only time the curtains would be down is when we are out of town (so I won't be around to judge them every time I walk by!) Or on summer mornings when the eastern sun is just too hot.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
This time we're going to the KOA in Wilmington. I mean, come on... you can't beat $30 a night! They even have a doggie park with a big agility course set up. I'm dying to take Drake on it! The beach is doggie friendly right now during the off season, and there won't be a flood of tourists in the area. We're really excited.
After Wilmington, we're heading to the land of the pines, RNH's hometown. We haven't had our Christmas with his side of the family yet, so we're going to do that. We're also taking his mom to Cypress Bend Winery in Wagram, NC. I'm actually really excited about seeing his grandma and "talking chickens" with her!!! Can't wait for our winter beach excursion!
(We've also already booked our week-long trip to the beach in May. We're heading to the same place we went 2 years ago in Cherry Grove. Can't WAIT!!!)
Friday, January 1, 2010
It also helped that this place was dog-friendly and let us walk Drake in the few rows of vines that they had. Drake loved his first winery!
After the winery we decided, instead of getting back on I-85 south, we'd hang out in the small town of Salisbury. RNH's dad finished up his college there and RNH wanted to eat the hot dog stand he and his dad ate at when he was a kid. We tried, but it turns out "Al's Nighthawk," was now a laundry mat. Instead we ate at a hot dog counter, "Happs." One of the best hot dogs I've ever had because of the chili- really, REALLY good chili!!! There isn't any sitting room so we had to eat outside. We also had to wait in line, and they were sold out of hamburgers! I highly suggest this place to anyone that is stopping through the small town!
The other great thing: Happs' had diet Cheerwine... in a bottle. I'm sure everyone would agree, sodas taste so much better out of a bottle! And Cheerwine was actually born in Salisbury, NC! It was a perfect combination- hot dogs and Cheerwine!
For those of you that aren't from the Carolinas, more than likely, you've never had Cheerwine and may have never even heard of it. It is a cherry drink, somewhat like Dr. Pepper, only more cherry-ish and much more carbonated than other sodas. It is DELISH!!!Cheerwine was founded in 1917 by Carolina Beverage Coporation!!!