Week of August 22, 2020

in #homelast month

This week was busy, but I think we've handled it well. Lots of stresses and lots of stuff going on has prompted a post and a new project or two. Or more than that.

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A few small pecan trees in the middle swale!

The big event was a water leak under our home that we found but don't know how long it was leaking. It's caused a fair bit of damage, not counting the quoted $7,800 job of replacing the original (now illegal) galvanized plumbing. We don't know yet if that 1200 square feet (110m²) of home needs a new pier and beam foundation, but at very least it'll need new plumbing, subflooring, and flooring. Which likely means new kitchen cabinets and island as well. Two and a half bedrooms, two bathrooms, the kitchen, dining room, and hallway all need the floor rebuilt. So that'll be fun. If insurance doesn't pull through for us, I'll be doing it myself. I should be less excited about that but I'm not. It'll be big fun. Contractors estimate we'll be out of the house for a month while the job gets done.

On Tuesday or Wednesday I got some news that'll shake our family up a bit. Without disclosing any personal details, my nephew's girlfriend is pregnant. They're both in high school. I won't post thoughts on it now, but it's prompted me to start writing things down in a nice notebook. There's ideas, customs, and traditions that have been cast aside as society has become it's great and marvelous modern self, and I'm going to be writing down some thoughts. Some of them will make it here to the blog of course, but I'd like to have a physical copy so I don't have to flip through a million blog posts and reblogs. The thoughts will likely revolve around family structure, choosing a spouse, and some ideas that could help to actually make life better for folks that would listen. It'll include some stories as examples, and will draw on those stories for morals and life lessons. For now it'll be a journal, but it may prove useful enough to pass it on and around to some people.

Work this week was very work-like. It went well, and I'm getting the hang of it. I came to the realization a few weeks ago that work is analogous to a bad trip. Any fighting it will be useless, as it'll just roll me over and crush me without regard. When not at work, I'll continue my feralization and my process of building a better mrally and traditionally based life that won't need an industrial job. Right now I do need it. Without that money, I'd lose a lot of the opportunities I have at the moment. The idea has been tossed around between Melissa and I of selling our property here and buying a bigger plot (8-20 acres) with a few friends and establishing a geographical community. That'd be a big step, but we need the plumbing and floor fixed first. One thing at a time.

I don't know how, but something awesome popped up in my recommended YouTube feed this week. Spoon carving videos. So I started trying that out just today. I'll be saving up for a set of knives specifically for it, but until then I've been using my axes and pocket knives. I'll post pics later, but here's the first one I ruined:

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I guess oak isn't a good wood for spoons. Or maybe I need more practice.

I guess it may have been recommended because of all the axe stuff I've been looking up. Sharpening, throwing, chopping, building primitive structures, and so on.

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Good hit!

The purpley-red handled mouse hawk (small tomahawks are called mouse Hawks for their size) got stained this week as a fun tester project. Both axes need new handles, and we decided to start testing some things. That handle got stained with poke berries, an abundant source of purple-red dye, medicine, and early season greens. I'd like to get to know pokeweed a little better.

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Call us the purple-handed berry stainers

With all the drama of the house and the family, I've got a renewed fire to get the apartment livable and rentable. I'd love to offer it as an inexpensive living situation for a like minded young person or young married couple to live in while we all work on this property together. I think we could really get a good thing going if we had more folks living together and working together on cool things. It won't be five families on twenty acres, but another set or two of hands on the homestead would be a small step in that direction, and if it'd cover just a few hundred bucks a month towards our mortgage, that would make a big difference in our finances.

Anyways. I'm rambling and it's late. I have to hit the dairy tomorrow before working the camera at both church services, so I'm gonna cut this one off for the night and revisit things later.

Love from Texas

Nate 💚

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Bummer about the leak!

We found a water leak under the cellar last year when they went to dig the new cellar. No idea how long it had been there, but at least 9 months... Fortunately, no structural damage (we hope) and $5000 out of pocket to replace the water line to the road.

All that repair work sound VERY intense... Flooring can get really expensive, as we have found out just building...

Oh no! I know you talked about a lot of things, but the water leak kind of stands out as the biggest news item. What a project! Our life here is ruled by water, and I spend a lot of time trying (and failing) to outsmart it. Good luck with the repairs. I hope the insurance will cover it.

I look forward to seeing your spoon collection when you master the art. Homemade wooden spoons would be so cool!

"get the apartment livable and rentable" - did not quite understand that? You have an apartment in a building nearby? How does that work with the text below, about having more people on the "homestead"? Wait, the homestead is your current home, right? Sorry, got a bit confused there...

Lol we have an outbuilding on our property that has my shop and a small apartment. Until now, the apartment needs some work. New carpet, ceiling, and a bathroom remodel, so we've just been using it for seasonal storage. I want to get it to a condition where we could rent it cheaply (half of market value) to someone that thinks like me. If we could do that, we could do a small scale trial of a communal living situation. It'd help with gardening and a little bit of the bills, while giving a like minded person access to inexpensive rent and a place they'd be more than welcome to garden in. They could practice gardening, we could all save some money, and we could trial a community living situation.

Just an idea I've been tossing around, because I'd like to get 20 families living together on 100 acres but that's not entirely possible yet. Another way to try things on a small scale before going all-out.