Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Picking Money Off the Money Tree

For the middle/end of March in the northwoods, it stayed remarkably warm last night. The low temp overnight was in the low 50s. Unheard of for this time of year, I say, unheard of!

Last night a bit after 9 o'clock, we decided to grab our sweatshirts and go sit out on the deck and gaze up at the stars. There were about fourteen billion (I counted 'em) up there, one or two planets visible and I think we saw a couple of satellites moving across the sky.

Anyway, we got to talking about how fortunate we are to live where we do and what a little oasis we have. Then we started fantasizing about what we would do if we had an unlimited supply of money to work with. Oh, boy.

Actually I think it was my brain that was on overdrive and I kept coming up with different ideas and suggestions. Papa Pea was right with me though and made plenty of comments and chimed in with a lot of " . . . and then we could . . . "

What did we discuss? Well . . .

- A new expanded deck. Ours is literally falling apart and we have to do something this summer to provide a stop-gap, for safety's sake if nothing else. I've always dreamed of extending the deck out to the south (the yard slopes gently away from the house and present deck) with another deck area two or three steps down. Maybe screen in the present existing deck so we could sit or sleep out there on muggy nights without fear of being sucked dry by our Minnesota mosquitoes that are the size of pileated woodpeckers.

- A huge storage shed in the back for all of the "stuff" we need to keep under cover and protected.

- Vehicle storage. Probably a four-bay, three-sided pole building would do the trick. We have room for one vehicle in the garage, but that means that area has to be kept clear of any of the myriad of projects that are usually going on in there. As a result, ALL of the vehicles sit outside unprotected.

- Another wood shed. I know, we already have two big ones but that's not enough. For example, this year we used very little wood because of the mild winter. One of our sheds hasn't been touched and the other one is still a good three-quarters full. (Not a bad problem to have, huh?) We have a huge stack of wood in the back yard (a HUGE stack) which we want to get processed this summer. If we had a third shed to fill, we would be about two years ahead on dry, seasoned wood even if we next had a couple of severe winters in a row. As it is, we're going to have to cut, split and stack the wood on the ground and try to cover it with tarps . . . no simple task.

- A garden shed for all my tools and equipment down in the garden area. I spend too much time walking back and forth when I'm working in the garden. Besides, I'd design it as a rustic, but lovely, little building that would add to the garden landscape.

- A new, slightly bigger chicken house. The one we built when we moved here sixteen years ago looks pretty tough. We designed it purposely small so our few chickens could keep it warm with their body heat. It's butt-ugly and, for convenience sake, needs some design modifications.

- A barn. The chicken house issue would be solved if we could build the barn we've always wanted. The chickens would be incorporated into the barn. Plus, then we could get goats again. We have a perfect area for a goat pasture . . .

- Which would have to be fenced in with 7' high deer fencing and strands of electric wire to provide protection for the goats from the wolf population which seems to be ever-growing in our area.

- A guest apartment. We have a storage area on our second floor that could be remodeled for this purpose. We have only one bedroom and one bathroom in our house and nowhere to put up guests. These guest quarters would have a small cooking stove, refrigerator and bathroom. Beds, too, of course. It could be designed so it would have its own outside stairway entrance.

Ah, yes, dream on. I think that's a pretty realistic list of what we would actually do if we could harvest ample amounts of money off the money tree. (Well, except for helping a certain daughter of ours, but it kinda hurts to even think about that because it's not possible in reality.)

Okay. Now what would YOU do if there was no limit of cash available? If you would take off on an extended vacation across country, that's fine. Your list should be something that would bring you joy, contentment and make you do a happy dance every day. Anybody?


judy said...


Tami said...

Ooo...The Money Tree game or winning the Lotto that I never play.

We had this conversation a few days ago as SM is heading to Vegas (Baby) in 2 weeks. I told him he had to go pull the big handle slots. (*I had a patient once(sweet young thing) that won (I assume) millons.) So if she can do it so can SM!!!

I don't think much would change. Pay off the house, make some cosmetic upgrades to the house. Buy an RV and TRAVEL! It'd be nice to work at a job because I want to not because I have too, so hopefully go PT. Simply fast-track all our plans for the future and make them happen now.

Freedom Acres Farm said...

Pay off ALL of our debt, sell this place and start over back in the woods where nobody could find me owning EVERYTHING free and clear. I'm ready to be a hermit LOL I truly LOVE LOVE LOVE our farm and being off grid and our total lifestyle but my ultimate dream would be to bring hubby home full time and live off the land as much as possible. I'd do it in a heartbeat if I could sell this place for enough to get us out of debt AND buy a little parcel in a much more secluded spot! You said to dream..... LOL

dr momi said...

....a barn with running water!! (I despise hauling water in the winter.) :-) Not much of a list. :-0

Carolyn said...

My house finished (list waaay to long to put down here). Mule trained to ride & plow. A pond. Fenced pasture. Garage for Paul. Big barn for the critters. Outdoor kitchen. Ron Paul for president (technically, enough money COULD buy that).

Oh, and a helicopter! Don't know what I'd do with it, but man, wouldn't that be just the cat's pajamas?!

Amy Dingmann said...

I wouldn't even know where to start! (But that's because I just moved here and the list would be more than the computer would allow me to write) :) But if money was no object, I would make this entire place off grid. :)

Cat Eye Cottage said...

I would buy a historic farmhouse on acreage that is complete with fencing and a huge barn with electricity and running water. I would make everything off-grid, including the barn, and build my hubbie his dream workshop. But first, I would probably travel to Europe for an extended vacation. I'm sure if it really came down to it, I could think of some other things as well.

Sparkless said...

I'd pay off all our debts first. Then we'd look for a piece of property big enough to have some gardens, fruit trees and animals on. Not huge but manageable. Then we'd work on building a house totally off the grid.
If the money tree was not that generous we'd just move to a larger house and take the kids on a long vacation because we've never had a family vacation together.

Stephanie said...

I would buy my homestead in NC; set up a bank account for my parents, that they could draw off whenever they needed it; put money away for the kids and grandkids; donate to some charities that are close to my heart; give some money to my brothers; oh and it goes without saying: pay off all the bills for myself and my parents. I would also give my kid's dad some money, as well as his parents....who have always been nothing but loving to us even though we divorced many years ago.

Anonymous said...

I would donate the homestead to some deserving non-profit organization--but only on the condition that they do not exploit the land and use it to teach folks (especially youth) how to live simply, kindly and responsibly. Then I would downsize to very few possessions, return to Ireland and live there for awhile. If supportive community is found, maybe I'd actually make the permanent move to the "ole sod" and quietly live out my last days.-"M"

fiona@fionacampbell.ca said...

Oh, the money tree dream. We've had similar conversations too. I feel so blessed that if I was to win the lottery (I don't think it'll happen as my grandpa won the Irish sweepstakes back in the 40s... and we don't play the lottery anyway) I wouldn't go anywhere. I'm in the place I want to be. First off, I'd get out of debt, put money away for the kids and pay back my dad for the money that he's helped me with. Then I'd tackle our long "to fix" list -- the barn roof, the fencing, the driveshed (there's a second-floor space there that we could fix up into a wee apartment), the fencing, the barn, the fencing. Then I'd invest money in getting this place off grid. Oh, and I'd quit my job... one of them, at least. I'm so grateful for having work during these tough times, but it can be soul destroying. Then I'd tell hubbie to quit scrambling for contract work (also soul destroying) and devote himself to his bushcraft school. And with our fencing fixed, I could get a family cow!

Dirt Lover said...

Oh, let's see. I would pay off the house, get a reliable car, and take a small trip with hubby. Probably back east to see the leaves in the fall. Hire a contractor to fix and build things we need around here. Build a cabin and water system on a little piece of property we have up in the hills. I don't think I would quit my job. I enjoy it most of the time, and I really like the people I work with. Pretty cool.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I would hire a staff. House staff, handman(woman), gardener. But truthfully, I think with unlimited cash it would be easier to pick up and move to somewhere with no deep well drilling, away from this nuclear power plant, no pharmaceuticals in the water, away from these fields of GMO corn, Sigh. I guess I will be moving to the moon. With my staff.

Mama Pea said...

judy - Well, poo! We missed those northern lights!

As they say, dear lady, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?

Tami - I like the thought of "fast tracking" all your plans for the future and making them happen NOW! :o)

Freedom Acres Farm - You kinda brought me up short when you said you'd sell your lovely farm. And all the work you've put into it. Hmmm, seems a lot of us have the desire to "get away from it all" and live more privately?

dr momi - When the hoses of summer get put away, there aren't many of us who wouldn't wish for water to a barn!!

Carolyn Renee - Ron Paul for President?? Heck, I'd contribute a whole LOT of money from the money tree for that!!!

Mama Tea - Going off grid would be a huge, GREAT start, wouldn't it?

The Weekend Homesteader - A beautiful, set-up homestead and home balanced by an extended vacation to Europe . . . I like the way you think, Lady!

Sparkless - Another vote for going off grid! Very interesting.

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Yes, yes, your homestead in NC! You are also one VERY generous lady.

"M" - Another generous homesteader! Even though I'm not a traveler, yes, I can see the pull of Ireland. It has always had a sense of "calm and serenity" in my mind.

Fiona - What a wonderful thing that you would stay right where you are. But with a LOT of fencing needs taken care of! Your comment made me realize how we could/would all grow so much as individuals if we were able to do what would feed our souls.

Lori - With all the wealth in the world (and for those of us who don't have all the wealth in the world!), I don't think you're fantasizing for much. Lovely thoughts you've put down.

Jane - You are fortunate to have a lovely place unfortunately located in a not-so-good location. There are still places in the country that aren't plagued with as many disadvantages. If you ever move this way, please remember to bring your staff, too. 'Kay? They will be needed to erect several heated, year-round greenhouses.

Erin said...

Ooooh, guest "quarters", screened decks and pole buildings - you are right on line with my own dreams! No crazy homes in Arizona or anything for me, I'd move happily up north and do most of what you described with a summer "cabin" with running water and septic and electricity because that's what my parents would like - and another more remote cabin without all that stuff for my someday teenage/college age boys and their cousins to camp out at safely "away" with their friends and make fun memories! I would probably have an RV of some sort as well so we could travel to see family on our own terms LOL! Hey, my hubby's people are "cat people" and I'm allergic so staying there doesn't appeal to me much LOL

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I like the idea of a little RV. I dislike staying in motels and when you visit friends/relatives, it's nice to have alone time both for us and them!

mtnchild said...

Boy, all these comments made me chuckle. We are all homebodies! A little travel now and again, but basically almost all of want to fix what we have. I live in an OLD trailer house, so I would replace that and maybe my '96 Jeep. I would put in a greenhouse with water and a proper garage for 3 vehicles, including my truck and camper.
I would also take a trip to Denmark to see my Mom and brother. and ... and ... and ... I know there are lots of things, but I can't think of them all right now.

Mama Pea said...

Yvette - Hmmmm. I suspect a person who wasn't a "homebody" wouldn't choose to be a homestead-y type person!

Were you raised in Denmark?

mtnchild said...

I came to the States when I was 9, so I do remember a bit, but the majority of my growing up years was in the North Hollywood, CA area.

I guess if you weren't a homestead-y person, you wouldn't choose to read Mama Pea's blog either ... LOL

I love reading your blog and the comments from everyone; there are so many things to learn. I've learned that this year I'm in the minority with the weather - cold, snow, rain, barely any sun so far. It's got to change soon as I'm getting cabin fever!