Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gidget's Garden moves to Elgin

It's official. We are now residents of the great county of Bastrop, next to an adorable little town called Elgin 30 miles east of Austin, Texas. We loved the home and property as soon as we saw it. It's 8 acres and has about 80 pecan trees, a few pears, some figs and more.

This is Sammy, a very friendly neighbor dog who greeted us every time we went to see the property before it was officially ours. Unfortunately Sierra's grumpy behavior keeps his visits limited now.
"Howdy Folks!"
The house is a two bedroom, two and a half bathroom that's 30 years old and in really decent shape. It was a bit of a cosmetic nightmare for our tastes but the floor plan is incredible! We did end up living here through a minor remodel but we made it through with surprisingly little conflict or issues and it's basically all done now. We just need to finish unpacking.

We had a lot of plumbing things to do, we added a french drain on the side of the house, we removed the acoustic ceiling with glitter, painted  the wood paneling, insulated the attic, added a propane tank, fixed the septic tank and some other random things. We also replaced all of the carpeting with tile or laminate, except for the garage, we just pulled out the carpet in there.

This is the first carpeted kitchen I have ever seen in my life. The bathrooms were also carpeted.

New tile in kitchen
Old living and dining room
New dining room
New living room
The property has a nice deep water well, water spigots all over, a previous garden bed, all the trees, a barn, etc. I could go on and on but I'm about to take you on a photographic tour anyway. I have no concrete plans as of yet because I am still taking it all in and discovering new things about the place every day. 

Our first night was spent on a mattress on the concrete floor while in awe of the most incredible thunderstorm I have ever personally witnessed. I was so exhilarated, I didn't have enough sense to be scared. All it brought was pea sized hail but after the tornadoes in Oklahoma and the flooding nearby here in Texas I am grateful all that crazy weather has been passing us by. We've had beautiful hot sticky days with just a little rain since that first night.

A wall of water coming off our house during the thunderstorm. 
We did discover that we have the perfect set up to harvest rainwater for the garden so we can conserve our well water as much as possible. There are so many projects like this one. Now is the time to step back, make a list and prioritize. 

We made Gidget stay inside for a full 2 weeks before we let her outside. 

"What do you mean I can't go look at my garden? This is ridiculous!"
We have barn swallows nesting under our back patio so you can imagine the windows facing that way were Gidget's favorites. There are all kinds of other critters running around everywhere so Gidget was getting really impatient.

Baby barn swallows (I did not know that until someone on Facebook told me)

I decided to pick this guy up and he promptly peed on me.
When I finally let Gidget out she went right across the back yard to this monster plant to do some exploring. The red cardinals seem to love it and I have been asked if it's a honeysuckle but I don't know. I haven't had enough time to figure that out yet. Whatever it is, it's getting a major haircut soon.

Possible honeysuckle where red cardinals live.

Gidget is taking her time and cautiously exploring more and more of her garden everyday but 8 acres is a lot for one cat to manage. There are copperhead snakes, rats, mice, and vermin of all sorts that Gidget is not accustomed to dealing with. She's had the luxury of living indoors and receiving high quality kitty tuna at her beck and call for too long. She'll never make a really good mouser so we went ahead and hired 3 garage cats to help her out.

Cats in the cupboard
Gidget likes the idea of living in the house eating tuna whilst her minions live in the garage and eat vermin. There are 2 boys and a girl that Farmer D named Harry, Ron and Hermoine. Harry is in the back of the cupboard and I'm hoping most people will pick up on Ron being the redheaded one. 

Gidget says "Enough about them! Let's go conquer my garden."

This fence separates our back yard on right from our pasture on left.
This is the west side of our house looking at the pecan trees that line our driveway in the distance.
The old garden bed. You can see a few of our earthboxes off to the left. That's all for our garden right now.

Gidget's favorite tree. This week anyway.

It's a mulberry. Yummy!

East side of house

The pole barn out yonder

Looking at the yard from inside the pole barn. There's a large pasture on the right.

A big old pecan tree in the back of the property

Looks like we have hogs in the way back.

The abandoned train cars at the rear edge of our property. Way out yonder.

Lots and lots of wood on the property. Makes me worry about snakes.
These are the neighbor's gorgeous horses. They like to watch me drink my coffee in the morning.
We're planning on using this shed as our chicken coop. We also have 2 garages and multiple other storage areas so we don't need a shed. It's close to the house without being too close and it backs up to our pasture.

A priority project; turn this into the best little hen house in Texas!
Well that's all for now. We'll keep you updated and bring you more later.

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