Hurricane Ian September 28, 2022 from my Homestead

I write this post to let everyone know that my homestead is not in the path of Hurricane Ian. I have a very good friend Mary who lives to the northwest of Fort Myers. Fort Meyers area is the predicted landfall path of this monster hurricane. My most positive thoughts and prayers are with her and her family, as well as all the people affected by this dangerous historic hurricane.

My homestead is northwest of the green tag shown on map, I live at the extreme northwest area of Florida very close to the Alabama border. My friend’s homestead is near the red tag shown which is near Tampa.

Tuesday September 27, 2022 Homestead Update

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying good weather and wonderful health! I’m doing well on my homestead but my thoughts are for my friends and family in the path of Hurricane Ian. I live in extreme northwest Florida and we are not in the path up here. If you read this Mary, my good friend, then you know how you are seeing my videos, it’s my blog post. Be safe and I will be sending my most earnest well wishes for safety and wellness.

This video was made last weekend. I moved the rest of the branches from last week that were in very front area of property. The video is embedded below from my YouTube channel. Then following the video I inserted some pictures of Laura on Garden Answers to show the natural drying rack she made. You will hear me talk about this in the video; I say how I plan to make some from the cut branches.

Below are the pictures I mentioned above.

Stay tuned for more.

Homestead Update September 21, 2022

Hello everyone, here is a video I made this morning for quick update from my homestead.

You may notice the bushes on neighbor’s property don’t line up with my fence. I had removed the survey stakes in the section where the bushes veer away from property line because I have been cutting the grass over to the bushes because when I cut only to my line the neighbor never cut behind their bushes because it was too narrow for their mower or maybe they can’t see it from their house so they don’t care but I didn’t like seeing it over grown with weeds so I cut it. Now that I’m putting up the fence I hope with winter coming on that the grass and weeds won’t get really high there and look unsightly. I’m hoping their azalea bushes with fill out and grow to the fence line eventually.

Stay tuned for more.

Update September 15, 2022 Jay Homestead

It’s been a while since I posted on my blog, I’ve been super busy. I will embed some recent videos that show what’s been going on.

Check out the Faux Brick Floor I painted over plywood subfloor.
Short walk about on the Jay Homestead Sept 2022

Stay tuned for more and if you like to watch YouTube and want to know when I post a video like and subscribe on YouTube — It’s FREE.

June 7, 2022 Cooking Lunch

I wanted to post a quick update for some videos I took the time to make on Tuesday June 7, 2022 when I did my first harvest of sweet potato vines then did a stir fry in my WOK. I’ve had my WOK for several years, I used to cook on my butane burner on the back porch deck when I lived in Milton back when my sweet Zoie and Terra were still running around happy and lively before old age caught up to them. I sure do miss my fur babies.

Here is the three videos of me making lunch yesterday 6-7-22

I hope you enjoy and maybe get some ideas for your own garden or kitchen.

Life on the New Homestead 2022

This post will be short and maybe not so sweet. I did get moved to new homestead in Jay Florida. I have many plans for this place that I may have mentioned before, I bought it as an investment and to have a place to live and to store my things that I kept from old homestead in Milton. I have plans to develop the property into something that I may end up selling in the future but for now it is my homestead and I will take my time and do things as I can while trying to stay debt-free.

Last year was a hard year for me both physically and emotionally. Many things happened besides closing on the sale of my homestead in Milton and having to move belongings. That homestead had been my home since 1993 when I first bought it. I buried several pets there including my sister’s two cats Joe-Joe and Zada, as well as my sweet old Bozie boy, a hound mix that I raised form a pup, he was 10 years old when he passed away. I raised my sweet Zoie and Terra, my Labrador puppies, that were both born of the same litter in December 2005. Both passed away in 2021 in the midst of my upheaval from my longtime home. I am still grieving the loss of my sweet fur babies Zoie and Terra. Tango is still with me, for those who don’t know he was born 2009 and was my son’s family dog but he stayed with me a lot and they left him with me to stay with me in 2017, he turned 12 years old last September.

I promise to write a post soon to update everyone who cares to follow along on my journey.

Below are some recent videos that I made at my new homestead.

Update on the 1939 House in Jay Florida and Maggie’s Homestead Plans

This post is me sharing an update of my journey to moving from my old homestead property in Milton, Florida, the place I’ve called home for over 28 years, north to Jay, Florida where I bought an acre of beautiful property and a house that was built in 1939. If you haven’t read the previous posts then stop reading this and scroll down to catch up on the 1939 house and see the pictures. Much has happened since I closed on that purchase on June 11, 2021. Many things have not gone as I had planned but I try to adapt and be flexible changing my plan as need be. I had wanted to build a large garage on a concrete slab but the lead-time was about 5 months before they would start building. I checked with many builders and the shortest start date was at least 8 weeks. I found many businesses that had portable buildings on display wouldn’t sell the displays and wait time for those was just as long. I finally found Back Yard Barns in Pace Florida had good selection on the lot that could be delivered within days not weeks and so I chose a 12′ x 24′ garage and a 12′ x 32′ cabin. We had a few hiccups when it came to delivery and set up due to weather and to my discovery of a buried propane tank at the property I purchased which was hidden under a large shrub that I had to remove in order to have access to my property behind my 1939 house. I will tell more about that in another post and more about the buildings but I am going to include a few pictures in this post, see below.

The large shrubbery that blocked access to my backyard.

This is buried propane tank that was hidden under the large shrubbery. This tank could be 500 gallons buried under the ground. I am having a difficult time getting any of the propane companies to come out to check it to see if it is empty with no pressure. This is an ongoing problem for me but thankfully the guy who delivers the buildings came out and looked at it to be sure he could go over the top of it with enough clearance and that its what he did, he moved the portable buildings over the top of the tank and cleared the valves that you see in this picture above.

The garage building I purchased will house most of my yard and shop tools. I am in process of building a ramp so I can drive the riding mower inside the garage. I intend to put up some pole barn type sheds later for some of the gardening stuff. The cabin will be space for most of my belongings that I use often and the 1939 house will hold many of the things I will be using to repair, restore, and renovate it with. I have a lot of work to do on the 1939 house but most work will come later after I am totally moved from my old homestead in Milton which will be complete by the end of the year 2021.

Here is the 12′ x 32′ cabin almost leveled out and set up in it’s new home behind the 1939 house in Jay, Florida. You can see the brick shed in the background that is also in the backyard and is about the same age as the 1939 house, it may be salvageable but only time will tell that story.

A view from the back door of the 1939 house in Jay, Florida, you can see the cabin on right and part of the garage on the left side.

A view from the back yard looking toward the 1939 house in Jay, Florida, you can see the cabin on left and garage on the right side.
Garage front view with roll up door open
A view closeup of the cabin porch area.

I have found out that going back and forth from old homestead property in Milton and new homestead property in Jay takes time and expense that could be better spent and that is why when I came across a good deal on a camper I decided to purchase it because it will enable me to be up there longer periods of time because I can have Zoie with me while I’m working of the new homestead. Zoie has to stay in air conditioning due to a medical condition or she can die if overheated. I can’t leave her home alone for more than a few hours at a time so it has been slow going trying to do things in Jay at the property and take care of her. The camper will allow me to bring her with me and she can stay in camper while I work of stuff around the Jay property such as putting up some fences so that I can bring Tango up there too. He can be outside and he loves to run around so I need some fencing up so that he can run around and enjoy the new property too. The camper will enable me to have a home immediately instead of trying to fix the 1939 house because the camper gives me a kitchen, bathroom, dinning room and a place to sleep! Below are some pictures of the camper. I plan to modify the inside to accommodate Zoie and myself.

2008 Jayco JayFlight 22FB
Inside the Jayco looking toward back of the trailer you can see kitchen and dinning and back bathroom.
View from dinning area looking toward front of the camper, you can see there is a futon to the left and behind it is the bedroom with over sized pillow top mattress that I plan to rehome to someone who needs a like new mattress because I plan to remove the bed and the wall between the kitchen and bedroom. I plan to remove the futon from the camper and reupholster it then maybe later reinstall in different location or use it in the cabin. By modifying the camper with those items removed it will open that space up to make about a 8′ x 10′ living area so that I can then have room for Zoie to have an area where she can be safe and comfortable and give me room for my stuff too.

I have been testing all the systems and getting familiar with the camper while it is parked at the old Milton homestead where I have it parked temporarily. I got it registered with a tag and insurance over past few days. I need to fill the propane tanks, fill the fresh water tanks, and empty the holding tanks. Fresh water will be important in Jay because I have the water off at the meter because I need to work on the lines to the house. I have the camper plugged into a 20 amp circuit breaker by using an adapter at the old homestead garage but it needs a 30 amp breaker for longer term use; I am still working on installing a 30 amp RV service box at the new homestead. As for the holding tanks, I need to find a dump station convenient to the Jay homestead until I can figure out the septic tank. I have found the tank but I haven’t dug around it yet to find the inlet from house and I need to dig around to find the outlet so I will know where my drain field is located. Once I find the inlet then I can test the tank to see if it is still good. I want to install a cleanout at the inlet to also be used for the camper to hookup sewer connection so I don’t have to be taking it to a dump station.

If you have been following my journey then you know that when I sold my Milton homestead the deal I made was land only and I have until the end of the year 2021 to relocate any and all of the buildings if I so choose but whatever is not moved by the end of the year will belong to the guy who bought the place from me and he likely will be bulldozing everything because he will be rezoning the property to commercial.

I will have more to share about my journey in the next post so stay tuned and check back.

Keys and Deed to my 1939 House in Jay Florida !

I got the keys and the deed early afternoon on Friday June 11, 2021. I did a lot of talking on the phone once I received my deed by email from my Title Company Agent, and the keys were dropped off at my place in Milton along with the survey. I talked on the phone with utility departments up in Jay, and with the help of the people at those places my power and water are on! They took my information over phone and so I was able to have electric and water service Friday afternoon! I am gonna love living in this small town USA! I think the population is around 800 people or less according to what I read online for the last census.

Friday afternoon before I left the house in Milton I was torn if I should wake Zoie and take her with me or let her stay home on her bed in the air conditioning. My biggest concern was her waking and having another episode of the GI track issues that I won’t elaborate on in this post. I was worried about leaving Zoie but she was sleeping and I counted on her and my guardian angels to look after her while I was gone! I had to go if I wanted utilities this weekend because the power company simply turns on the smart meter on from their office and I was not sure if breakers to the house were on or off so I had to go up there and go to the office for them to copy my drivers license and deed to property which could have been done over the internet but since I didn’t know if main breakers were off in the house I had to go up to look and turn them off because until I get my home inspector out there to do a whole house inspection I am too much of a worrier to leave any power turned on at the 1939 house in Jay while I am not there. I’m so pleased that the electric company is a member owned cooperative and now I am a member!

Once I left the power company I went to the house and figured out the keys to front door and got in the house. I opened the back and front doors, there was a wonderful breeze going through the house that made me mindful of how much I want an attic fan! I grew up with an attic fan in our house in Baton Rouge when I was a kid and I have always wanted one again. I hope I can have one installed in this house. While at the house I looked at the power panel inside the house and found the main breakers and turned them off. I actually turned off all the breakers in the panel just for safety sake. At the road I didn’t look at the water meter because they said they would be sure it was unlocked but not on so that way I can turn it on when I get ready to do the home inspection with my home inspector. I hope everything has been capped off properly in the house because the kitchen and bath are gutted and I do not see any type of pipes inside. I could have missed them because there is so much stuff sitting around everywhere in the house and so I could have missed the pipes. There is an outside water faucet and that is what I want to be able to use when I am up there working until I can figure out the plumbing. I can see the old sewer vent on side house and so I know about where the septic tank is installed. I plan to hire a septic service to pump and inspect the existing tank. Once that is done then I will know if I need to put in a new system or if I can use the existing one.

I took loads of pictures and hope they all fit well in this post. As I mentioned previously, the house still has lots of stuff left in it, some things look interesting to me, like the old doors that are reclining against the walls in the back room just outside of the room that used to be the bathroom. I love old doors, they have character; I always imagine the tales an old door or window could tell. There is also an old chifferobe that is not complete but it’s still a neat old piece of furniture that I am sure I can repurpose for something. The only thing that may cause me some problems is the old carpet rolled up and stacked in the very back porch room of the house. I hope I can give it to someone to haul off and don’t end up having to pay to have it hauled off because no way will I torture my back trying to move that on my own and I don’t like carpet in my house. I want hardwood board flooring or real linoleum.

The neighbor on the west side of my property came over and said hello while I was there. We chatted and exchanged cellular phone numbers. I turned off the breaker panel for the electric while I was there. I am so happy I was able to get the power and water on Friday. I was worried about Zoie so I hurried through doing things like measuring the concrete slab in the backyard that turns out to be 16′ x 14′ and I took loads of pictures. I drove home and when I arrived I rushed inside; I was so thankful she was still sleeping. She woke and got up shortly after I came in. She went out in yard and then back inside. I gave her supper and then we had a fairly good night, she only got me up about 3 times from about midnight to 2am. I was able to get back to sleep and didn’t wake up until about 6am! Wow that was sleeping in for me!

Now that I have the electric and water on at the 1939 house in Jay I can schedule my home inspector to meet me there to do the whole house inspection. I wish I had a good dog sitter for Zoie because I could get a lot more done each day. I need to do so many things now that the place is mine I can move forward with inspections and getting estimates for work I hope to have done!

Here are the pictures I took Friday June11, 2021 – see below

Warmest Regards!

Stay Tuned for more!

New Home Base

I bought the place in Jay, Florida! We close on Friday and then it will be official and I will have the deed free and clear to my new home base! I have owned other property and homes in my lifetime but I always bought them together with a partner and had to finance the purchase but thanks to the sale of my current homestead this is the first property I ever bought all on my own and I paid cash for my new home base homestead and I will pay cash for the renovation and building garage-workshop and fencing the property too!

Here is a link to the realtor website of the pictures they had up when it was listed for sale. https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/3479-Highway-4_Jay_FL_32565_M99174-23972#photo0 it may be slow and take a while to load pictures but if you have a little time it will load and then click on the picture and it should open all the pictures in a larger browser window. Below are a few of the picture that are in that link. I will get lots of pictures and videos starting this weekend I hope!

The gutted kitchen

The backside of house.

The westside of the house

The backyard at new home base

I am supposed to get the key on Friday as well as the survey documents. I am so thrilled and excited to start working on the house! First thing I need to do is get the utilities on so that I can have my home inspector do an inspection so I can know what problems I need to tend to first. I am really excited at the prospect of designing and building out my kitchen and bath because if you see in the pictures those rooms are gutted and so I have a clean slate to do what ever I want to do!

This has been a long time coming for me and now it is here; I wake up every morning and think, is it real or was it a dream! I go look out the window and see the GMC Terrain SUV and now the little utility trailer that I bought so that I can move stuff myself a little at a time. Later I may need to get a pod and fill it and have it delivered up there but for now I plan to do a little at a time while I have the garage-workshop built and renovate the house. The SUV owners manual tells me that I can haul 1500 pounds with this vehicle and since the trailer weighs 550 pounds empty that means that I can haul up to 950 pounds on the trailer. The trailer is 5×8 so it’s big enough to haul a riding mower. I can also pickup supplies from Home Depot and Lowes with it as well as moving my stuff from Milton homestead. I have through the end of 2021 to move off the land and take what I want to take including all the buildings. After the end of the year the man who bought my property will start working on his plan for the property which I believe involves clearing everything on the property and having it rezoned commercial.

I hope Zoie will be able to enjoy our new home, I know Tango will once I get it fenced and make an area for him to run freely. I am sad my sweet old Terra isn’t with us anymore but maybe she is watching over us now as one of our Guardian Angels. I know my Guardian Angels have been working overtime helping me and keeping Zoie from passing over the rainbow bridge because I almost lost Zoie last Friday, I made emergency run to her doctor and it was rough all weekend but she is so much better now and on her way to full recovery from this particular emergency but of course she still has the heart tumor and other medical problems and being 15 years old we don’t know how much longer she will live but I’m trying to give her best care I can. I will write more about Zoie in another post, for now I will say stay tuned for more news on the move and renovations.