When RancherMan & I moved to our NE Texas Homestead we outfitted our home to suit our new lifestyle. We were now empty nesters so our needs only included one guest bedroom for the occasional overnight guest.
But we were basing our probability of overnight guests on the number of overnight guests we typically entertained when we lived in the city.
Back then there were only sporadic overnight visits during the holidays and maybe an occasional weekend. For the most part our family lives very close to each other. Although we get together often it’s seldom necessary to spend the night.
Several years ago RancherMan bought a martin house as a gift for me, knowing how much I loved birds. He also knew what a challenge it was for me to get any trees to grow in our backyard.
We put that martin house on a heavy reinforced triangular telescoping pole. Then we attached it securely to a line post on the fence to our yard. For years I’ve enjoyed watching nests being built and young being raised. And I love the robotic R2-D2 sounds the martins make as they swoop around the yard.
I’ve tried & tried to plant fruit trees around my garden or in our yard. But for some reason they simply will not grow in those locations. Recently I decided I wanted to try a pear tree since back in ‘the day’ all homesteads in this area had pear trees, as they were very easy to grow & could produce lots of fruit for the household. I decided not to plant it in my yard – both for my poor backyard soil issue as well as fallen fruit messes.
Instead I planted it a short distance from our yard. But this area is accessible to the cows. You know how cattle are – they love to rub on trees. This little sapling didn’t stand a chance if left unprotected. I needed a way to keep the cows away from it long enough to give it a fighting chance. But I like to repurpose what we’ve already got to serve a need whenever possible. So I put on my thinking cap & started looking around the homestead for supplies.
Recently I wrote about framing a very large mirrorwith wood removed from our 1880’s barn during it’s exterior renovations. The mirror included embellishment using our Elwood barbed wire dating back to 1882. We enjoy using items from our ranch’s past and bring them close to us in our home.
To save our 1880’s barn we hired a contractor come shore up the exterior. We originally asked them to remove the the old ragged exterior boards and replace them onto the barn after the repairs were made.
But after removing these old boards and sorting through the ones too far gone for the barn, it was apparent there would be nowhere near enough wood to replace the entire surface. So we had them use new similarly-styled wood planks. We allowed the new wood to age for one year and then we sealed it for protection from the elements. They did an awesome job and our old barn has maintained it’s beautiful old look. (If you’d like a virtual tour of this beautiful old barn you can see it here.)