Thursday, June 25, 2015

Celebrating 5 months in Beautiful Tennessee

Our Garden and chicken yard area!

This blog is to celebrate our 5 month anniversary in our new home.  I will shortly review our recent story for new readers. We moved here from San Diego, CA, the middle of Jan.  We had moved to San Diego for a year to take care of my husband's father which did not work well.  So we deeply considered our next step because we were tired of moving.  A permanent place for us and our dreams where there was plenty of water and the living was affordable. I wanted a place in the country where there were less rules and regulations.  We believe in prayer and much prayer went into the next step in our path.

 My sister lived in Erin, TN so our research began.  This general area is one of the most affordable places in TN to live on a budget. The Clarksville area is considered now to be one of the best retirement areas in the nation.  There are plenty of houses with land and inexpensive rents and affordable houses. It is also in a weather area that receives very few tornadoes, which I wanted to avoid. Floods are another concern. I wanted mild winters. The Clarksville area was a 'yes !' for all the above reasons.  The steps to moving there in winter were complex with our pets and plants. We needed a place that allowed livestock, gardening, and where we could just put down roots. We needed some help so we prayed again.

About this same time, my sister's original house in Indian Mound, TN became vacant. A really wonderful older house with 17 acres, a basement, barns, well, and very few rules. No pet deposits and with so much room. No water bill or restrictions. They had decided not to sell it but did not want the up keep with the mowing ( 2 acres of it)  It was the answer to our prayers.

So the middle of Jan we packed up and moved here to Indian Mound, TN in the dead of winter.  The move was awful with record cold going through Kansas and Kentucky.  We brought 3 cats, a dog, and a 26 foot Penski packed with every inch.  Remember I had only been back here once when I was a kid and my husband had never seen Tennessee. So we moved here on faith and research.

Moving on Faith.........

So now looking back on our move, was it a good decision?

We can say with a full heart ....YES!  

Garden before we planted it. 

Tennessee is not perfect. It has abundant ticks, huge wasps, bees, and mosquitoes.  We have acquired two acres of mowing which is getting us in shape quickly. The grass seems to grow taller as you watch it. A lazy person would not cut it here...too much to do. Saying that, it is amazing in its beauty.

Everywhere is water and lush greenery and trees. I love the constant rain that falls here. The front porch is so wonderful. You can watch the rain pour and the birds in the trees, resting your mind and spirit. My mom lived on this property for a year before she died. The burning bush and iris she loved are growing all over the property, The cemetery she is buried in is a mile down the road.

Somehow I feel my mom's spirit here and know in my heart, she is pleased we are here.  The hummingbirds she so loved feed on the porch feeders. I remember how they hovered over her while watering in Julian, CA where she lived for years.  I know how that fed her soul and it feeds mine.  My husband loves it here too.  It feels like we have come home somehow. Strange, since both of us spent most of our life in CA.  We have
found our place in beautiful Tennessee.

Our finished garden and chicken area. Building on our new home has been rough work but rewarding! This got done despite a concussion and eye surgery between the two of us.  

The chicken coop has 3 parts: inside coop area (where they will lay eggs)  built within the old existing shed to lock them up at night; that opens up to an area that is still protected within the shed for shade; the chicken yard part is still protected but allows them pasture; last a protected open yard area within fencing to free-range most of the day. When we need to be gone, we can leave them in the outside protected area.  

The coop (366') is all hardwire except for the netting roof which will end up chicken wire when we get to it. We have all the predators here except bear and cougars.   

There are two additional joined sheds where they can run into for protection and shade.  We believe in protecting our livestock and giving them a quality life. Yes it was expensive but well worth it. We also have two rabbits in the second of 4 sheds. They will contribute manure to the garden and red worms we raise. 

There is an inner garden fence that keeps the chickens out of my comfrey and berry plants. There is an outside garden area for seasonal garden plants.  The comfrey plants are within the protected inner garden area. We have huge ground hogs here that will destroy your garden in no time.  

The past 5 months we have been knee deep in projects needed on the property such as a large fenced in yard for our old dog and the new aussie we acquired.  It had been twenty years since we pounded in fence posts on hilly ground. That was hard.

The next step was a garden area that had not been worked in 20 years. My brother-in-law broke the hard ground with his tractor  but we had days of rototilling to get done. A fence surrounding the garden area was put up to act as as living fence for my goji berries, black berry, aronia, and raspberry vines.  The fence encloses a protected pasture for the ducks and chickens.

The last step was planting the garden and finishing the chicken coop.   That was a priority with 17 baby chicks in our back room getting bigger with each day. I am sorry for the lack of blogs but there is only so much energy and time in a day.  These projects involved tremendous energy and time.  This may not seem like much but this was accomplished despite a concussion to the back of my head after falling on the ice. The effects of the concussion  affected my ability to do much for two months and retina eye surgery for my husband.

He could not see much for two months out of the 5 we have lived here. He did not lose the site in his right eye due to a great surgeon. It was torn in 4 places.  So we are thankful to have gotten this much done.

Concussions are to be Avoided ....I learned the hard way.

One of the reasons I have not written much is because of that fall.  Concussions really affect your ability to focus, think and write. Your memory is banged up either temporarily or permanently. Mine, thank God, was only for about 8 weeks. You try to make your mind work but it won't. Time is the main healer. Patience is really needed to allow healing to take place.  Healing is not on our time often, so when we want to be well yesterday, there is so much frustration involved. It is hard to deal with the frustration of your husband who can't see and do much, when you are not functioning either. It has given us lots of practice in learning more patience.

I learned valuable lessons in the proper boots needed for frozen ice, except it was after the fall, rather than before I fell. There is a time for spending money to get the better boot to prevent a dangerous fall.  I learned the hard way. Thank God for my hard German head or I would have ended up in the hospital. That is the hardest fall I have ever experienced and came with severe pain that riveted through my whole body. I also hit my ribs which popped a rib out. I lay there at the foot of our front porch, unable to get back up, it was so slick. I crawled back to the porch on all fours.  I then sat there trying to figure out if I should call emergency. My husband was at work. He had the car.  I did not go in. I did call and talk to an ER doctor on the phone. They ask me certain questions like did I have double vision or if I was bleeding. I was encouraged to come in and get an x-ray since not all the damage is realized right after the fall. I decided to wait and see how I felt over the next two days. It did not seem severe enough over the next few days to incur the cost of the emergency room such as double vision and head pain that did not go away after a day.  It was severe enough to affect my thinking and focus for 8 weeks.  I doubt they could have done much. The only reason I am telling you this, is because things got built even with some severe health glitches.

The future for this blog and some changes ahead.......

It is almost the end of June today.  Most of the critical projects are done. The garden is growing.  The chickens are free ranging on pasture now.  I am just so very thankful we are at this point in our new life.  I feel living here that I need to go back some to my original roots as an herbalist. This area is so full of native herbs such as plantain.  I feel the calling to relate more about the new adventures here and about living in TN.  I will be transitioning this blog into more on herbs and health...not only Moringa.   It has come to me, that in focusing mainly on Moringa, I have neglected all the training and experience I have as a herbalist.  I hope you will keep following the blog as it transitions.

All for Today!

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