After leaving Kansas City, Nux and I returned to the homestead with a new pickup truck (we named her 'Ol Sandy), chicken wire, a wheelbarrow, Nasturtium and Passionflower seeds, and a blueberry and raspberry plant.

Of course, heading back with all our purchases meant we could move forward on several projects. On top of that, Jacob was ready to move out when we returned, so we ended up with about ten projects on our hands and not enough time in the day to do them! We cleaned the camper thoroughly - THAT took a few days, a great amount of courage, some gloves, and several buckets of rainwater mixed with Dr. Bronner's.

But finally the camper was cozy, Mouse Free (Thank you, expanding sealant foam), and was filled up with our belongings, from linens and clothing to dishware and books. It feels a lot more welcoming now.

Cleaning the camper and having Jacob move out also meant there was more room in the Shed now - which called for another big cleaning project. Nux emptied out the entire shed. We laid down mulch (torrential storms had left the floor muddy) and cleaned our pantry shelves and counter space, reorganized a few things into less buckets, hung screws along one wall for all of our tools and for jackets and hats, and managed to leave the shed looking much more clean and spacious.

I also had to make us a Pooper, as Jacob took his with him (though he was neighborly enough to leave it behind until ours was done - don't worry, I cleaned it before I gave it back!). It was quite the challenge, but with a bit of ingenuity, some help from Nux, a good hefty screwdriver, and a lot of instructions from The Humanure Handbook (found the text online for free), I managed to pull it off. We now have a sturdy 4-legged, plywood-encased, hinge-top (for easy bucket removal) composting toilet.

We jumped ahead on the garden, too. I started waking up with the sunset (around 6am right now) to get some digging done while our eastern treeline still provided shade. As of two days ago our paths are completely dug out and mulched, three out of five beds are ready for planting, there's a row of soil on the western edge of the garden waiting to be seeded with sunflowers, and we have 9 Sweet Potato plants and 13 Squash plants in the ground! Woohoo!

In between all this work we spent about four days cooped up inside (my romps in the floodplain notwithstanding) due to Massive thunderstorms. The floodplain finally flooded (first time we'd seen it do That!), our garden flooded, the creek became impassable, the road had water 50 ft across and over 3 ft deep, and the views were Incredible. Needless to say, those days afforded us Plenty of time to catch up on reading. Recent books have included "Seed Sowing and Saving" "Building Green from the Ground Up" "Letters of a Woman Homesteader" and "Best of Covered Wagon Women"

Nux also got busy making progress with our rain barrels - Jacob sold us a couple of his extras, and Nux painted more up with spraypaint so they don't get moldy or algae-infested when the sun hits 'em. After extensive storms (and a nearby tornado!), we filled Seven barrels - we could have filled more, if only we had 'em.

We've also been gifted with a few dozen Trees! Friends Jacob and Alyson gave us a mix of White Pine and Norway Spruce, half a dozen White Oak, a handful of Hazelnuts, a Blackberry cane, five Red Mulberry, two Pawpaw, a Flowering Dogwood, and a Wild Plum. WOW! Of course we couldn't turn down Free Trees, but it took some figuring to decide where to put them on such short notice. They're now happily mulched into their respective spaces, making slow progress.

More pictures can be found at


Lord Obsidian said…
Please keep posting, Beth and I read your adventures with great interest! This is Tom, btw.
HennaLion said…
Hey, Tom! Glad to see you :) I will keep posting - I don't get Internet access but once every few weeks, though, hence the sparse messages lately. I'm in a city for a few days selling my fancy-dancy city car, so I'll post a bunch now!

How are you!? Send me your address if you want me to write you letters!