Working the Fat of the Land for Bees and Monarchs

Just fired off an email to my local Natural Resources Conservationist.

You can find yours here: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?type=mobile

I was made aware that there are programs in place to help you out financially if you create monarch butterfly and honey bee habitat. Seeing as Katie and I are looking to reclaim 6 acres of gravel pit back to fields this seems like the perfect opportunity to try and leech from the government which is the ultimate rich man/poor man move.

For more info on this program visit :

http://nrcs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=8c9b052d51214cc3b6742a4ddf0a98cc

Superior State of Mind : Well, I’m Done Pond-ering.

If you want back story read the post them watch the video.

I had originally intended on digging out a pond / swimming hole because I’ve just always wanted to have one. I have this weird phobia about swimming in water that I can’t see the bottom of and if I dig a hole in the ground the odds of something you’d see on river monsters biting off my toes are close to 0%. For the time being I am giving up on that dream. I am unsure as to what the hell if any permits I am going to have to deal with to dig this thing out. I’d rather not have the DNR or DEQ or ATF or any of nem ner big gubmint agencies out on muh property(Side Note: If you haven’t checked out the sovereign citizen movement I suggest you do. I love watching these guys try to talk in some crazy moon language to try and legal-ese their way out of not having a license and registration. It almost always ends in them getting pulled through a broken window or having the K9 unit ripping a guys arm apart. HILARIOUS!). I’ve found that avoiding fines has been crucial to my ability to pay back my massive amounts of tax debt.

The second reason that I wanted the pond was as a water source for reclaiming the gravel pit and trying to establish plants and a root base.(We want to plant monarch butterfly and honeybee habitat plants. (I’m turning into a hippy.)) At the time I thought my only option would be to use a DC submersible pump running off a solar setup to force the water out of the pond and into water storage of some kind. That was dumb.

What’s one way to get water without digging? Pounding a pole into the ground! I ran to the local hardware store grabbed a sand point, connecting collar, 10′ of 1 1/4″ galvanized pipe, a check valve, and a 1 1/4″ to 3/4″ garden hose adapter. I very safely stood on the boxside of my truck with wet feet to pound the mother down, down into the ground. Thankfully I didn’t hit any major obstructions and just used a pipe wrench to turn the pipe if it stopped making progress. I probably could’ve just pounded the sand point down and pulled water, but pipe is cheap, and Katie has really been encouraging me to take risks now that I have a life insurance policy.

I soon realized that I had forgotten to grab a generator for the AC pump. SMOOTH!! I did the next smartest thing I could by connecting everything including a garden hose. I have been know to puff tuff in my time and began to pull a vacuum with my lungs. Much to my surprise it actually worked really well and I was able to get potentially contaminated water in my mouth as a reward. (Remember how Katie has been encouraging me to take risks?)

Cut to: My wife coordinating with family members buying me some solar panels for my birthday. She was very disappointed when they arrived with the words SOLAR PANELS written across the packaging in giant letters when I got home before her. I was pretty ecstatic about this as it let me order everything I needed to get a test run done in with them.

AND THAT’S WHERE THE VIDEO PICKS UP!

WHAT HAS OCCURRED SINCE THIS VIDEO WAS SHOT?!?!?!

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Water Barrels Acquired. 6 @ 55 gallons @ $8 a pop! Now, I’m no math major but that’s at least 200 gallons of water I can store for only $160! The plan is to put them at the highest point in the pit to create water pressure so we can run sprinklers. I plan on connecting them all by using the bung plugs on top with a series of 2″ PVC pipe and burying them upside down so that we can draw and fill easily with everything protected from the elements. For a rough idea of what I am thinking of check out this guy’s setup without the need for a diverter as I am planning on making some kind of a waterfall out of anything excess that runs out a hole on the top.

Superior State of Mind : Where we’re going we won’t need window trimmings.

You may have noticed that there hasn’t been much action on our plans to build a new home. No, this isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually spectacular.

We had originally planned on purchasing a 2.5 acre lot on an extremely desirable piece of property. When that never materialized we began looking at alternative options like purchasing another home on the cheap like I did with our current one and remodeling it.

The problem with remodeling, especially when you are residing in it while doing the work is that it just plain sucks. Everything you own is constantly in the way and always at risk of getting covered in dust, debris, paint, etc. If you need to poop, good luck! The shitter’s back ordered so here’s the bucket! I was kind and bought the cutout lid for it so the thin walls of the bucket don’t dig into your haunches while you squat.

I refuse to do that again. In fact, I have been the procrastination king on our current house because I am just burned the eff out on doing crap on this house. The punch list for the house includes :

  • Finish Trim : Floor trim, room transitions
  • Paint Trim
  • Small amount of soffit & fascia work
  • Finish vinyl siding around the front porch (only been 5 years since I started)
  • Fix the foundation on the southwest corner(needs a new footing dug in in the crawlspace)
  • Move the dog kennel away from the road and driveway
  • Repaint the backyard deck
  • Put burlap curtains up around the front porch for times we want privacy

I want out. I am going nuts in this place because I want what’s next. I’ve lived here for over 8 years and am getting the itch to move into a place with a G D garage and some room to stretch my legs!

Enter : Katie’s Find.

35 acres. 35 acres of land in the most convenient damn place it could be. It’s closer to the shop where we run our business (I could bike to work in 20 minutes), it’s closer to Katie’s job, and it’s 35 damn acres! 35 acres at under $1500¬†an acre! Unheard of. An absolute steal.

Pics or it didn’t happen though, right?

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The closing date is July 12th. It can’t get here soon enough!

 

Superior State of Mind : Property Lines Agreed Upon

Well, we reached an agreement with my brother in law / Katie’s brother to purchase a 2.5 acre parcel from him. 2.5 acres is the minimum lot size for the rural residential district that we’re in. The blue rectangle isn’t where the house will be located, but just a scale for the size of the home and garage.

Superior State of Mind : Our New Home Build Blog

Decided to record a video for the announcement of us starting a blog specific to building our new house. We’ll be covering everything from buying the property up until we finish the dang thing. Hope you enjoy watching us from the start!

 

Arsenic and Asbestos / Meth Den to Mansion archives posted

I bought my first house in 2011. We’re still currently residing here as we plan the new house but I figured I’d share the archives here since I have long since abandoned that blog. On these old posts you’ll find the writings of a much younger and much singler Joe as I document the process of taking my $17k house and making it into a nice shoe box.

Where ya at?

This is what the house looks like from the outside as of right now. At first I wanted just a small entry deck, but then decided to just go hog wild and ordered up some trusses for a nice covered front porch. As you can see, the dump trailer is full of shit, and this is where it came from!

The very first thing I do when I enter my house is thrash off all my clothes and shit, so this new room should work out well for me.

I found a very interesting thing when I took the old tub up off of the ground.

Just another reason I am glad I got rid of all the pine trees!
Apparently, a friendly neighborhood squirrel had been nabbing up all the black walnuts off of my neighbors tree and stashing them in the house while it was unoccupied for five years. There were a lot of these things. I shoveled up 3/4 of a 50 gal garbage can with them. I had to give the guy credit though… that is a lot of nuts.

Here is the interior of the house as it is now. I went a week without having a toilet…. and holy cow does it suck planning your day around a “when can I shit” schedule. As of today, still no hot water, but I have access to a shower so it is not the end of the world.




The shower unit is a Sterling by Kohler, and I have to say that I am really impressed with it over your traditional fiberglass remodeler units. Going to also shove a 4 foot vanity in there too.

I have been up to other things since I last updated. I visited an abandoned open pit iron mine. I’m just going to link my Google+ Album, because uploading to imgur takes effort. https://plus.google.com/photos/1165…224747620921521

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