Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sleeping with the Critters

Electric pole and pump house
If I had a dime for every spider I swept up, vacuumed up or stepped on last night...I'd be rich man! Biggest chore of the evening (after lugging the window A/C unit from the barn to the house) was sweeping and vacuuming the farm house. Cobwebs in every corner, tons of critters (both living and dead), and so much dust that I don't think I'll be able to USE my nose for about a week. I even found a dead lizard in the house.

I went to bed around 1am and woke up about an hour later. It's always difficult to sleep comfortably in a new place. I decided to warm up some leftover KFC chicken that Aunt D brought by last night (you gotta love family!). Found out the microwave does NOT work. I was only slightly disappointed though because truth be told, I'm kinda diggin' the old school stuff out here.

I went outside to check the breaker box and see if a breaker had been left off from the previous day's plumbing adventure. I'll post that separately. First line of business upon arrival here was to help the ONE plumber in town assess the plumbing problems here at the farm house. But I digress...

So, I go outside to check the breaker box. It is "country dark" as I'll call it but there is a soft glow from one overhead telephone pole light which is used to bring electricity wires from the street to the farm house. The sky greeted me with a million diamonds and for a moment, I just stood there in awe.

Shoveling sand to find valve
As I headed around the corner to visit the breaker box, I glanced over at the pump house. I had spent a good half hour digging out sand there yesterday to help Mr. Plumber find the water valve to feed the house.  Apparently, it is the sole duty of some critter...or group of FILL this in-ground pump house with sand.  And I mean FILL it to the top. I had to shovel down a good four feet to find the red Folgers coffee can that marked where the turn valve was to be found.  I'll be working on a solution for that FOR SURE.

It was just about when I got to the breaker box that I caught something in my periphery. Still attempting to night-focus my pupils, I was able to make out a small figure. Once into focus, I realized that I had a new friend checking out my pump house. Mr. Raccoon was quite pudgy, I'd say. Of course, he probably was thinking the same thing about me. He scurried up the light pole and perched himself at the very top. With his headed tilted to one side  he seemed to be saying "Yup, I'm staying up here until you leave." Until I figure out whether he's friend or foe, I'll leave him be. Something tells me there's a dark side to Mr. Raccoon that I am blissfully unaware of.

All fuses were in their correct places. I guess the old microwave just isn't working anymore. No big. I ate some cold chicken and went back to sleeping with the critters. I awoke to do a spider check a few more times throughout the night. Found one by my head and took care of  him. In a last ditch effort to afford myself some peace of mind, I concocted a ring-o-Raid around my bed as if the moat of pesticide would be the inpenetrable barrier wall around my bed.  Stop least I got some sleep.

Munsey 2 burner + Ramen!
This morning I put some water to boil on an old Munsey two burner stove and made two Maruchan instant noodles. I know, zero nutritional value but oh so easy to make! I can dream about fetching fresh eggs from the coop outside and cooking up some delicious scrambled eggs with melted cheddar cheese and sea salt all I want. Until I get some chickens, it ain't happening folks. Maruchan to the rescue!

I'm already having to readjust my thinking parameters out here. For example, yesterday I had to complete a pre-employment drug screen for my new job. I put $30 in the Orange Jeep (which held up like a CHAMP on the drive out here, I might add) and headed down the country roads following my droid cell phone GPS. I successfully find, complete and head back to the farm from the drug screening. Astonished, before I even REACHED the old farm road, my gas light came on!

Running ONE simple errand burned $30 in gas. Oh no, this isn't going to fly. Starting right now, there is NO running to town for ONE thing. Everything will be grouped together and I'll be posting a "to-do" list on the refrigerator. Groceries, gas ups, knick knacks will all be bought on ONE trip from now on.  Sure, I'll forget stuff. I'm new at this. But I have to start somewhere right? So I'm starting a Rules of the Farm List.

Rules added to the Rules of the Farm List:

--If you find the gate CLOSED, make sure it is CLOSED when you leave. If animals get out onto the road because you left it open, you will be one VERY unpopular person.

--Keep a list of errands. Try NOT to make a single run for one item. It wastes gas. You're not in the city anymore and Circle K is not right next door.

--Don't ask anyone that has lived in the country to pick you up some bug spray on their way to visit you. They'll just laugh and say "You've got big feet. Just use your shoes!"

Back Home Report

Wifey text me this morning to inform me of what she woke up to an "almost dead bird in the dogs' water bucket"

Not enough room to spread wings and fly out?

I told her she was already experiencing homesteading skills! She was NOT amused. Everyone is still holding together in Arizona. Definitely can't wait until we are all back together again. 15 years with her by my side, I'm half a man without her. Well...maybe 3/4 ;-)

Sis finished both sessions of summer school. Her final exam in English timed-out on her in the middle of taking it last night. Either that, or the high volume of traffic at the last hour crashed the site. We're waiting to hear from the teacher about what happens next. Wifey and Sis emailed the teacher about the issue. I'm sure she'll be fine. She's doing Primavera Online High School. It is free to use and the teachers stay in constant contact with Sis. She knocked out English and Chemistry this summer.

Time to go find me a second window A/C unit in the barn.


Next: Mr Plumber (who had open heart surgery one month ago) and I install a water a billion degrees with 1000% humidity. Welcome to Oklahoma.


  1. We live an hour's drive from the nearest store. I have found after living here a couple of years, that lists are IMPORTANT. But I had a tendency to forget said list at home on day of trips to town. So I found a great solution: I bought a grease board for the kitchen. Any time anyone says anything about needing an errand or something from town, I say "put it on the board". Then the last thing I do before leaving the house on town days is to take a picture of the board with my cell phone camera. I take it everywhere with me so I don't leave or lose my list. I have forgotten to do that one time and had my daughter send me a picture of the list via text message. Also makes it easy for my husband to pick stuff up if he is in town and I am not. Just text him the list.

  2. TC - best idea of the day! Thanks!

  3. Once you get used to country life, you will never go back to the city.

  4. As a "newbie" to your site,I am SO enjoying reading it. Thanks for sharing - you have a great style. I'm glad you arrived safely and am praying for you and your family while you're apart. It looks like you're going to be a busy man for a spell. Jenny

    1. Thanks Jenny. I actually still haven't told many friends or family about this blog yet. Kinda liked the anonymity of it all. But now that I put the URL on the side of my trailer (and it sits right in front of the farm house) I don't think I'll be able to keep it a secret much longer.

  5. We found a dead sparrow sitting behind the wood stove in our new-to-us country home when we walked through with the realtor for the first time. Lightning struck the well and blew up the pump controller on our first full day in the house. Oh, and we love it here :)

    1. I can handle the dead birds... it's the stinky dead rats/mice that turn my stomach. Haven't had that yet out here. Just Lots of spiders.

  6. Good thing you came ahead of the rest of the family ...if stinky dead rats/mice and a hoard of spiders is giving YOU the heebie-geebies, imagine what it would be like with the wifey and girls all there, squealing in the background. : )

  7. At least the bird was only almost dead. We find dead birds, squirrels, mice, and chipmunks in our goats' water buckets from time to time.

    Looks like things are really shaping up for you all!

  8. You don't realize this, but Wifey is also the name of a porn actress. If I was u, I'd use another name to refer to my wife. Someone could get the wrong idea...


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