Tornado

On Thursday, April 3rd, I went outside to check the mail and I saw this in the sky…

…The South West View

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…The North View

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As soon as I came back inside, my phone beeped and alerted me that we had switched from a tornado watch to a tornado warning. There had been a tornado spotted on the ground 30 miles away and the storm was heading in our direction.

We live in a double wide and I have a healthy respect for storms, so we followed our emergency tornado plan. I yelled for the kids to put shoes on and get in the van. One of the kids opened the gate at the end of our driveway. I grabbed our backpack with emergency supplies that I keep in the laundry room and we headed to our neighbors brick house to ride out the storm.

It was pretty intense for awhile. The power went off. Hail was pounding the roof. Lightning lit up the sky like a strobe light at a night club.

After the storm had passed, we thanked our neighbors profusely, came back home and went to bed. The power came back on around 3am.

In the daylight, I was able to see the damage. I lost about $200 worth of seeds that I had planted in my garden the week before, a few tree limbs had broken, and our lawn furniture blew across the property. We had no other damage. For a few days, I thought that I had overreacted by running to my neighbors.

On Saturday morning, I drove to town to buy the seeds I needed in order to replant my garden. I was about a mile away from my house when I saw first hand that I had not overreacted in the storm.

Electric poles had fallen…

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Homes were demolished…

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And there was debris everywhere…

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The county paper came out with a tiny little article a few days later stating that we had a EF1 tornado, going about 200 mph, on the ground for over 11 miles.

I’m so grateful and thankful that we had a storm plan in place and that the kids all knew what it was. I had no arguments from them, they just did exactly what they were supposed to do. If the neighbors had been out of town, we had a back up plan in place as well.

We had to call the fire department a month ago, there was a fire in the woods off of our county road. My husband just happened to notice it on his way home from work. It could have easily spread to our property. That day, I sat down with the kids and explained our emergency plan. I also spent a few minutes tossing things that could be helpful to us in a emergency bag. It took me less than 20 minutes.

It was 20 minutes well spent.

Springing

It’s been a month since I posted an update, and I’m honestly not sure where to start.

Family life – My son (15 years old) with the torn ACL has surgery on Friday to reconstruct it. I’m going to be very glad to be on the other side of surgery so we can start working on recovery. He also starts Driver’s Ed next week (with his twin brother). I’m not ready to have twin teen drivers in the house. I’m scared to see what my insurance will jump to once they get their licenses.

Pet life – Samson, our Great Pyrenees, was neutered last week. We also adopted an indoor kitty, Bella. Bella had been in the shelter for 6 weeks before she picked us. The first night here, she killed two mice. She is already worth her weight in gold. She going to get spayed next week.

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Garden Life – We fenced our garden. I planted seeds in half of it so far, but a few days after I planted seeds, we ended up with 1.5″ of rain and I’m afraid that my seeds might have rotted. I’m going to replant everything this weekend if I don’t see more things popping up. We are cheating a little. We haven’t been able to property work the soil, so after we plant seeds, we are covering the seeds with compost. We are also spraying a compost tea once a week. I hope that it helps our yields this first year.

The orchard is doing well, all of the trees we planted last fall have new growth on them. We also planted 10 grape vines and 12 berry bushes. I have plenty of room to plant more, but that should get us started.

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Livestock Life – We lost a chicken. I went out in the morning to do our animal chores and it was just.. dead. That brings our chicken count down to 23 hens and 1 rooster. When Samson was getting neutered, we had a feral dog try to attack a hen. The rooster step in front of the hen, and the dog got the rooster. The Rooster lived, but he is now missing all of his tail feathers. The cat thinks they make great kitty toys.

We still haven’t had any baby rabbits this year. I’m giving our buck two more months, but we might have to replace him. I really want the rabbits to work out. Not only do they grow fast and eat very little, but they also provide excellent meat and soft pelts.

We ordered our package bees and they should be here in two weeks. Dh wants to take over the beekeeping. He picked a spot for the hives on the other side of the property. (The bees are going to be more than 1/4 of a mile from the house.) It’s nice and shady there, and they will have great access to water.

My composting worms all died. It got too cold for them this winter. I’m on the fence about ordering more.

Kitchen Life – We are getting 14-18 eggs a day. I wish I could say that was plenty and we have a kitchen full of eggs, but fresh eggs are an item that always seems to have demand exceed supply. I’m going to have to start hoarding them so I can make and freeze egg noodles to have when production drops back down.

I bought 125lbs of tomatoes and turned them into 92 pints of Salsa. Last time I made this much salsa, it lasted us about 4 months. I hope it lasts until we can start canning our own tomatoes.

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Homesteading Life – The kids went through their closets and brought out all of the clothes that are too small. I took out all of the holy jeans and I’m using them to make a scrap rag quilt. It’s my first quilting project, so I’m antsy to get it finished. I love it so far. It’s nice and warm. I’m backing it with a worn out flannel sheet.

My Hubby ended up hiring a guy with a backhoe to dig out the space we are using for a storm shelter/root cellar. After the backhoe made it down about 10 feet, it ended up hitting something that made the hole fill with water. We’ve since figured out that it was a large trash pile that had filled with rainwater run off. Craziness. Apparently, at some point, someone dug a giant hole and buried a small house here. There are layers of wood and metal about 8 feet under the earth. Out of 71 acres, what are the odds that that we pick that exact spot to dig a hole? I wish I knew more about the history of this property.

We’ve been doing some projects with all of the fill dirt that we have. Some of it is going to bulk up our shooting/archery range. We are using some of it for grading around the house. I’d also like to use some of it to create a cobb oven and cobb seating area.

Too many projects and not enough time.