Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sharing Our Nightmare, DE +

It’s been about 8 weeks since placing a post on my blog. 
I’m back, and wanted to give you a head’s up.  I’m starting this post with a change. Since we’ve purchased a home, we’re no longer considered “Transients”. Therefore, I’m changing the name of my blog to 

Oklahoma Dreams

And you’ll still be able to access my blog through the same HTTP address.
Okay, now let’s get to the post…warning: this post may be long, with too many pictures.


The French drain has finally been finished.  We picked up 2 more tons of gravel and 2 large bucket loads of a soil and peat mixture.  The gravel was gently placed on top and around the pipe, and we proceeded to cover the entire ditch with the soil, peat, and clay mixture.  Now we have a functioning French drain to pull water away from the back yard and direct it into the pond.  The true test was several days after completing the drain, it actually rained.  There was no longer any puddling/flooding in the back yard (a very successful project!!!). 


We have several ladders of various sizes stashed inside our carport, and needed to get them up and out of our way. Bulldog Man and I went to one of the large box hardware stores to pickup oversized ladder hooks.   These hooks worked really well, they allow us to hang ladders and car ramps out of the way, in order to make room to park the tractor under the carport. 

A neighbor (approximately 3miles away on the old state highway) owns a farm with several dozen chickens and plenty of cows.  Her chickens produce all kinds of eggs, too many for her to use.  She sells her eggs at a decent price, and we all know nothing beats a fresh farm grown egg.  I’ve started purchasing eggs from our neighbor, that is, until we start raising our own chickens in the near future. 

Peach season is pretty much over.  I decided to use the last of our peaches in a tart.  I had some Phyllo or Filo dough in my freezer. 
I cleaned and sliced each peach, mixed a little cinnamon and sugar together, layered the peaches on the Phyllo dough, sprinkled the cinnamon sugar mixture on top, and baked until brown (350 temperature).
Once cooled, I mixed 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk, and a teaspoon of vanilla.  Then drizzled it over the top of each tart. 
The tarts came out really good, Bulldog Man gave it 4 paws up!!!

Carpenter Ant Issues
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is a great source for killing off Carpenter ants (or any ant).  It’s all natural and won’t hurt other wild animals roaming your property.  We have several large Carpenter ant hills close to our lagoon.  I did some research to find a way to kill off / deter the ants and came across “FOOD GRADE” Diatomaceous Earth.

Basically you just pour the Diatomaceous Earth into and around each ant hill.  The ants will eat the Diatomaceous Earth, and it will pretty much dehydrate their insides (which dries them out, and kills them). 
Diatomaceous Earth can be found at your local health food store and it’s not too expensive.

Okay, you ask why I haven’t been around in a while.  Well here’s the reason why.  A bad thing happened on our homestead, a total nightmare!  Just recently, our laminate flooring throughout the home started to buckle. We weren’t sure what was going on and hired a contract inspector to go down into our crawl space to see if we needed to purchase and install a dehumidifier because of all the strange weather we’ve been having. 

After the inspection, the inspector advised the problem actually wasn’t related to the strange weather we’ve been experiencing.  It was because of a PVC pipe (plumbing) that came apart.  It didn’t break; it just came apart and water leaked on the ground under the crawl space.  This water created condensation (more water) which in turn caused mold to grow.  



We immediately contacted our insurance company and a mold remediation company to help us out.  
The end result, we had to move almost everything out of our home.  Removal of contaminated materials (floor), they contained affected areas, placed applications of disinfectants and antimicrobials, used HVAC to vacuum up and clean contents, sanitized, used water extractors, dehumidifiers, and air movers to remove excess water. 

Then our sub floors and primary floors were totally replaced.  We ordered the final flooring (wood) and are waiting for this to arrive from Georgia.   

When this floor arrives, it needs to be unwrapped, and it needs to acclimate to the temperature within our home, before permanently installing it. 
We’re also waiting on our insurance company to go through our contractor’s findings to start and finish the flooring in our 2 bathrooms.  

I have all kinds of pictures.  I think you understand what went on to rectify the problem.
This has been a true nightmare!  I’m talking about the problem, not the remediation company.  This company we’re using is Paul Davis Emergency Services.  They’re known all over the United States, and their work is amazing.  I would highly recommend them if you ever have a similar type issue (please note, I’m not getting paid to promote/recommend this company).  


Here are just a few random pictures I took around our place I wanted to share with you.

I'm over all the construction noise!!!

Key found when working out on the property.

Just a pretty shot!

Farmer flying over our home after checking his pasture.

Skies of Central OK.
Hanging Pod.

It’s good to be back on the computer :-)



  1. Congrats on the successful drainage problem/solution. I'm sure you're quite tired of the flooring issue, and can't wait to get back into the house. What a pain! I'm glad the company you found was able to make everything right again.

    1. Rev. Paul,

      We're so happy the drain is totally done. We maybe starting another down the driveway soon. Very tired of the floor issue. Almost done with the entire house (all floors and sub floors). Right now were looking at water alarms since the crawl space is real low.

  2. I absolutely LOVE the new name and header! Love it! I'm so sorry that you had to deal with mold - it is the WORST! What a mess! At least you know that, when it's all over, you will have a pristine new floor and that you will be able to breath easier. Such a beautiful place you've found - the pictures are wonderful! xoxo

    1. Susan,

      Thank you!!! We wanted to use something indicating were here until we pass away. Yes, mold is the terrible and we won't have this happen again!!! We're thankful we found the issue....just wish it was the day it happened so we wouldn't have all the construction. What can I say, we learn as we go.

  3. Congrats on the new home, and sorry for the problems you've had. I can't wait to see your transformation into a prepper, or is that proper?, homestead. We'll be taking notes and learning from your blog. Thanks for all you do!

    1. K,

      Prepper is proper :-)
      Thank you, we love this place and the property. All kinds of wildlife out here. You're a dear friend, hugs to your family.

  4. Save yourself some money. You can get a 50 lb bag of food grade DE at the feed store for less than you paid for the dinky bag you got at the health food store.

    For places not prone to intrusion by pets or other animals, use non-food grade DE to control your bugs. For the bugs, walking on this stuff is like walking across a field of broken glass. It scrapes away the waxy protective coatings on their bodies, causing dehydration and death. FYI; this stuff is CRYPTONITE for bedbugs!

    ...Water intrusion and mold truly SUCK... Godspeed to you...

    1. PeteForester1,

      We know we could of had a great deal on a larger bag of DE. Right now, we just needed something small and the space to store it. Everything in our home is out of place (due to the mold issue) and we're just trying to find a place to walk. DE is great, love the stuff.

      Water intrusion and mold are issues I don't wish on anyone. Thank you so much for stopping by :-)

  5. Oh Sandy, I'm so sorry! That's great that you caught it though, even though there was more damage, just imagine if it had just gone on for another year or two? Yikes.

    And lucky that insurance covers your mold. In Texas, no policy anywhere covers mold. They would cover the water damage of course but not the mold remediation. And speaking of remediation, Paul Davis is here in Houston too and they are a great company.

    Question about the diatomaceous earth, does it work on fire ants? And I'm assuming it would be safe around vegetables and fruit trees?

    1. 1st Man,

      We caught it after several weeks went by, and that wasn't enough. The mold already spread to the underside of the house (sub floor and floor). Mold spreads within 24 to 48 hours.

      Mold generally isn't covered on insurance, and if it is the coverage is minimal. Paul Davis Emergency Services came to our rescue. They've done an amazing job!!!

      About DE, we picked it up for the carpenter ants. I haven't tried it on the fire ants. You could try it and let us know. I only purchase the organic food grade DE, and this one is very safe around veggies and fruit trees. People actually use DE to help clean their system (not me). I don't know enough about DE to consume it. One good thing for fire ants is orange oil. I use an orange oil soap called CitraSolv and pour it directly on fire ant hills. I also use it to clean house with, it makes your house smell like a orange orchid. Ants don't like orange oil. Another good thing to use is tobacco. Soak tobacco in water over night (make a tea). Strain the tobacco out of the water (tea) and pour it directly on the ant hill.

      I hope this helps!!

  6. Oh, my, the leak/mold/floor issue was a nightmare indeed! Good grief, if you hadn't caught it you might have ended up falling through the floor! So glad you were able to find good help to resolve the problem.

    I love your new blog name - so appropriate! Really nice photos too. Your rusty found "key" looks like an old tractor pin.

    Good job on the French drain and drainage project!

    I've never tried DE on ants, so that's good to know. Like 1st Man, our biggest problems are with fire ants. DE works in the garden for slugs, I've used it for that. Just have to be careful not to inhale the stuff.

    Glad to have you back!!!

    1. Leigh,
      Yes, the mold issue was a major nightmare. I just wish we had caught it earlier.

      Thank you! Bulldog Man and I figured it was time to change the name. We're no longer temporary residents, more like permanent with the purchase of this home and property.

      Thank you for the compliment on the French drain project. We figured this was a learning lesson for the next drain to be built down the driveway.

      I only use organic food grade DE and it's great in the garden. I haven't used the DE on fire ants, just carpenter. If you use it on the fire ants, let me know how it worked. I would use orange oil directly on the fire ants, this will kill them. Another great choice would be a homemade tobacco tea.

      It's good to be back :-)

  7. I've been wondering why you weren't posting, but I assumed it was because of all the work you and your husband are doing out there. I'm really sorry to hear about the mold issue. We fight mold and mildew here all the time in summer, because the air is constantly saturated with water.

    You still seem to be keeping the positive attitude you have always had,and that's a blessing. I'm glad your insurance is going to cover all the work.

    1. Harry,

      We've been doing a lot of work, getting the place exactly the way we want it. Then we ran into a wall finding out we had a pipe come apart, and mold growing from the moisture.

      I don't wish mold on anyone. It's a proven fact mold is around every where outside when there's moisture around. We live in a world of mold!!

      Keeping a positive attitude is the only way to go because whatever happens is going to happen, it's the way one handles the situation/problem that counts. Besides, why worry or be negative.....that will only make a person aggravated or sick. What's that saying.....the good Lord only gives you what he thinks you can handle.