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HomeSurvival Handbook

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My name is Jan and about 10 years ago my husband – David – and I moved from Houston with a population of  over 2,000,000 people to a small town in East Texas with a population under 1,000 people. 

Besides the obvious differences between living in a city and living in the country – shopping malls, doctors and hospitals, grocery stores, movie theatres, etc.  –   there have been a lot of unexpected experiences such as loosing the power when we have a big storm,  finding a skunk in the flower bed,  learning that moles will eat any flower bulb regardless of the bulb’s cost, and deer can eat leaves off a peach tree while on their hind legs. 







We have made  a home for ourselves literally ‘in the middle of a hay field’ – and have loved every minute of it.  The ‘Joy of Country Living’ will share some of the things we have accomplished – most of them we did ourselves – on a budget and through recycling.



Neighbors aren’t close so we’ve learn to plan ahead – groceries are especially important and David turned 1 room into a pantry for me.   It is lined on 2 walls with shelves for storage, 1 wall has nail strips where I can hang utensils, strainers, measuring cups, barbeque tools, or whatever else will fit.  This is also where I keep a house full of Snoopy figures.  I’ve been collecting Snoopy since I was 10 and still find he can bring a smile to my face.



paintroomBesides the obvious country pastime of gardening, I enjoy oil painting.  And since our home here is much smaller than our city house – David has built on a ‘studio’ room for me.  It is quite quaint (just like I wanted it ) and decorated with lots of rough wood and all my favorite things.  My easel  is set up in the corner so as to take advantage of the north light.   I keep all my extra canvases in the antique potato bin against the wall and use old sewing machine drawers to hold my paints.

We’ve had lots of company since moving to the country and always welcome the opportunity to stop and sit a spell – be it the kids, cousins or neighbors.