Me, the County and The Universe
It was another cool Florida overcast winter day as I headed out to the property today. And the promise is that it will warm a little and the sun will come out. So my multi-layered self whistled as I drove (much to Gracie, the Yorkie’s confusion since whistling is normally only used when I am calling her to me LOL).
I arrived and headed straight to the garden area since I wanted to check not only the rainwater collection tank but now, I also wanted to check our new little Seminole Pumpkin patch! The rainwater collection tank is continuing to stay full it seems. This past week I contacted the manufacturer (KMJetNIvy) about size of tubing for the faucet and outlet valves, since it seems no US hoses fit the valves. They responded with photos of specs of sizes and a link to tubing sold on Amazon that they said would fit. The tubing looked good … non BPA, non toxic, food grade and heavy duty braided tubing. Not trusting it completely I just got a small 10′ tube. It did fit although not as tightly as I would have wanted. I will need to order a washer for the values and a few hose clamps to get it tight enough to run over an extended period of time when I add longer lengths of tubing to it. It did work for the immediate need however.
I also ordered 3 non-BPA, food grade 5 gallon buckets with screw on airtight lids but they didn’t arrive in time. So I brought a small plastic water can with me that I filled and walked over to water the pumpkin patch with. The little patch looked OK except for a few branches that we had outlined it with. I walked around and found more substantial wood pieces to replace the smaller ones. I checked the ground it was not completely dry as it had rained. I watered it and stood back to admire it. It will take a while before we see any activity above ground but I pictured lots of things beginning below ground LOL.
Next I was off to the home area to park the jeep and begin my trash clearing work again. If you have been following along you will know that I have, by now, removed over 15 large 55 gallon contractor bags of trash from the property. I have gotten the West side (limestone road) cleaned inside the fence and, what I think is, most all of the interior land cleaned up. What I am work on now is the South side area inside the fence. This side is the side where there is an asphalt road. Most of this trash has been what appears to be thrown from moving cars that have driven by over the years. The West side and interior was out and out dumping car loads of trash and people who had wandered onto property to hang out, drive through it somehow, etc.
So with my pole trimmer to cut prickly vines and my collection bags I set out, gloves on my hands. As usual this entails, spotting glass or metal shining in the light and then cutting my way through the tons of Laurel and Common Greenbrier vines to get to each object and grab it. The Greenbrier is covered with thick thorns so it makes it a little slow going so I don’t rip myself up. I must admit that I love cutting it down as it grows in thickets and grows up and around the trees and tree branches … always seeming to me like it is suffocating the trees. I think of it as freeing the trees. LOL
I happily walked along collecting a can and bottle and bag at a time. The sun did come out and I continued to take off layers and tie them around my waist as I worked. The array of old cans and bottles is pretty amazing. They seem to have all been there for quite some time. Seems the favorites of the trash throwers are Pepsi, beer and Smirnoff. Just to note, the Smirnoff bottles, seem to be popular in pint and half pint sizes in both plastic and glass … I suppose it makes for easier travel with them LOL.
I manged to fill two more 55 gallon bags before I needed to wrap things up and get back to the jeep. I was probably about 100 feet short of finishing the fence line. It will be easy-peasy to get that done on my next visit. I was really proud of myself to have gotten so much done.
Along the way I had moments of complete surprise and giddiness as I happened upon little nature oasis spots. One of those moments was as I worked near the fence and suddenly there was this beautiful young Ashe Juniper tree. It was just standing by itself, perfectly formed, bright green and shinning in the sun. I had not seen any junipers on the property this entire time. It was so beautiful. I had to just put my things down and admire her in all her magnificence and be with her for a few moments. I will be back to visit and have my eyes open to see if I now find any of her family other places on the property now that I am aware of her.
My other moment of stepping into a space of alternative nature was as I was clearing my way through brush to grab what looked like a piece of glass shining in the distance. Suddenly I was in a little opening in front of a group of Sand Pine trees. Again, in the front was this amazing bright green, young pine. Around it was several older taller pines, as if they were there to protect her. She greeted me joyfully as the bigger “family” smiled on. The sun was shining right on the young one but the area was cooler and shaded by the bigger pines. Pine needles covered the ground and the smell of pine filled the air. It was like a little pine bubble in the middle of all the Turkey and Southern Live Oaks around them.
I am going to take a moment to rant now. In my videos I have been referring to being in Permit Hell. It is an odd place to be. Here is my experience so far. You follow all the instructions from the county about submitting permits to prepare all the various documents, forms and drawings. You submit them. Weeks later, something is flagged so you fix that thing, wait weeks and then something else is flagged. This is a rinse and repeat process that has been going on for 3 months now. Each time pushing out the timeline and costing more (because with each thing there is more costs involved to resolve the item to new specs and to have architect to do drawings, etc. Some of these changes we handled, submitted a different permit for only to have them reverse back to putting it on original permit as we did at beginning.
Two weeks ago we were told that a form that we needed to resubmit was the last item. I allowed myself to get excited even though all evidence prior told me not to do that until I had a final approval. Sure enough, here we were two weeks later and they came back with yet another change to requirements for the shipping container home. It seems NOW they are requiring that it have “residential characteristics”. What the hell is that? Very simply, the county now doesn’t want anything that looks industrial, it need to “look” like a “regular home”! This means I would need to add siding and possibly some new kind of roofing!$?#!
NOTE: I have no interest in something that “looks” like a “regular home. It is why I love the shipping container homes. To further add insult my bhome is situated in the very back NE corner of 10 acres of land. The whole rest of the property is tree filled … meaning NO ONE can even see my container from any road so WHY must it look residential exactly???? Oh, I get they don’t want to devalue the other properties … I get many things. But meanwhile I now need to wrap my head around thousands of dollars of siding (coz I sure am not going to play cheap looking siding) that I don’t want on the outside of my beautiful container which is painted and timmed in perfect wood exactly the way I wanted and ordered it.
Thanks for letting me vent. I am just beyond crazy about how much you are NOT free to do on your own rural, undeveloped land in Florida. I am not good (never have ben) at asking permission and now I am having to ask permission for EVERY little things I want to do only to have Mommy & Daddy County shut it down. I will let it do and do what is required but I am being a warning for others who may attempt this to know whay you will be facing into as the counties and states continue to figure out how to handle shipping containers becoming more and more popular.
I posted videos, on the Freedom Acres YouTube Channel, of the rainwater collection tank weekly update again, the Seminole Pumpkin patch update, trash clean up, the beautiful trees and even a special video about my Florida Wood Roach friends. LOL Of course, there is a Gracie video of her roaming around in her Security hoodie and a short exciting end of the day report. Feel free check it all out by clicking HERE. Also, feel free to subscribe and you can get notified when new videos go up! 🙂
We are now entering into February. We’ll see if there is any movement on the permits as I agree to comply and redo the drawings. Looks like being on Freedom Acres for Valentine’s Day isn’t possible and March seems more probable now. I will be back at the property in two weeks and hopefully we have some great updates by then! I am definitely continuing my spiritual growth through learning patience and inner peace. And … as always I am sending Love, Joy and Freedom to you all til I come back in two weeks!