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Homesteading: Calling all experienced homesteaders - input needed!

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Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 13, 2009
11:58 PM

Post #6943779

Okay, this will be a bit lengthy, but I really need insight from people who are actually *doing* this daily. I've dabbled, armchair read about it, applied some of it, but I'm now facing the big Kahuna - making the dreams and desires come true. Some of you here are more like family than my family, and I value and treasure your advice.

Background:
Nearing 50, homesteading alone. Currently in the "locating the homestead" phase; loan approved.
Working 12 hour night shifts, sometimes 60+ hours a week.
No hands on experience with cows, goats or chickens (except from childhood)
Three grown children, who drift in and out, sometimes visiting, some talking about coming to stay (doubt it!) and family that likes to visit.
Two Great Pyrenees and a Jack Russell terrier.
I'm a slow but steady worker.

Goals: Chickens (for meat and eggs), a few goats (for milk and meat), eventually maybe, maybe, a mini-dairy cow to breed and use for milk and meat (the calf). Four season garden. Soft fruit garden. Herb garden - medicinal and spices.

Tools owned: (note: I don't know how to work all of these things yet, I just own them...LOL!)
Rear tine tiller (it's purty)
Push mower
Weedeater
Rakes, hoes, shovels, loppers, and a wide array of small hand gardening tools

Challenge # 1:
Choosing the homestead site

Always I wanted a water source on property, but, in my budgetary realm that hasn't been something I'm able to realize AND have the high speedDSL/Cable connection required to work from home (satellite not okay with work), AND try to close before 12/01/09 to be eligible for the tax credit. Currently I'm settling on properties that have a well.

I wanted some kind of barn/shed structure, but not something that will require ginormous amounts of repair or upkeep right away.

Fencing - needed to keep dogs in right away, plus will need for future animals. I'm not planning on any animals initially, until I get a feel for what I need to do to just care for the land. I have no idea how much hot wire or any other fencing costs, or what it would cost to have it installed.

Concentrated area of search: Middle to Northwest Tennessee, Southern Kentucky (but really don't want a state income tax) Would love Washington state but it's too far for me to personally walk the land without exhausting my resources with travel expenses. And I only have so much time off from work :)

How much land can I manage within reason?

My loan limits me to 10 acres or less, and they prefer around 5-7 acres.
My current properties of interest are between 1.7 acres and 10 acres.

I have very little time to get out and work on a property - maybe two hours in the morning, and an hour before sunset and work starts. Sundays and every other Monday, but in order to keep my sleep schedule intact I normally maintain my up-all-night-sleeping-in-the day routine even on days off. This could change if my hours ever shift back to days, but that doesn't look to be any time in the near future.
I know that if the land is partially wooded, maintenance will be reduced somewhat. I also know I will have to purchase a riding mower, or sheep :) Sure, I'd love to scythe it, but...I have to sleep sometime too.

Most successful people that I read about on blogs, forums and whatnot - DO NOT WORK ANOTHER JOB! This presents a challenge in and of itself. In a two-person set up, there seems to be more flexibility, which I won't have. I have to be realistic, so that I don't end up hating what I am doing, or getting overwhelmed and sitting down and crying.

What are you successfully managing and how much time does it take you?

Challenge #2: The home itself - older homes are my preference as I like character. However, they also present certain financial challenges if things fall apart. I'm thinking renovated older home with all the tough stuff recently tackled. Paint and stuff I can fix on the interior.

I preserve and cook a lot. I need a big kitchen, and I have lots of kitchen "stuff" - pots, pans, blenders, processors, meat grinders, etc. I don't like it all to be sitting out everywhere...although it usually is!

I need room for an office, and to have house guests comfortably. I'll need room for a caretaker possibly in the future if I get sick or injured or lose my mind (most likely!!!) I've settled on a minimum of 1200 square feet and 3 bedrooms with this in mind.

Would you buy bigger for future long-term child returns, or aging parents? I like lots of room, but have little furniture and realize that I'll be solely responsible for cleaning it all :) Will it impact future sales if my kids have to sell the house and put me in a home or something?

Please weigh in on your housing experiences and point out any flaws you might see in my thinking.

Challenge # 3: Nearness to larger cities with Home Depot, Grocery stores when needed, etc.

Most places I've found are at least within 25 miles of a decent town, and two hours from a major large city. I'm not a go-to-town person except when I have to, and average 1-2 times a month hitting the big city, about 2 times a month for the nearby smaller town for shopping and gas. Is this distance reasonable?

Okay, so that's it for the beginning :) I really do value all of your input and anything you think I might have overlooked.

Thanks for reading and responding!






Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 14, 2009
12:28 AM

Post #6943849

It does sound like you've done a lot of useful thinking. =0) Definitely waiting on the addition of animals is a good idea. And when you're ready, make sure you've got good enclosures before you've got the animals (voice of experience).

For the dogs, what we did was build a fenced yard rather than fence the whole property or large part of it to keep the dogs in. It's a lot easier, quicker, and cheaper up front, and later you can fence bigger (we're getting ready to dog fence 4 acres now; we've been here 7 years). But that way you've got a safe place for your dogs and they're not being a nuisance to your new neighbors.

The distances you describe sound very similar to what I work with... you may find yourself going into town more often, because once you start doing for yourself with little homestead projects, it always seems like there's one essential part, piece, nail, screw, do-hickey that you absolutely need to have to move forward. When I'm real organized, I can manage to only go into town once a week--there is a building supply/hardware store in the nearby town--and work up a more complete list for big new projects to make the big city (Home Depot) run.

You didn't say what kind of vehicle you have... something approximating a truck is real handy. If you don't have a small truck, then consider a hitch and small trailer for hauling lumber, hay, fencing, stove wood.

Once you get your place, and start to get to know the community, you may find that you don't need animals (it's a nice idea, but they take time, energy, money) but instead can trade or go in on things... just you won't be able to eat a whole cow in a couple of years, so you might find another solo and go in together on meat from a local 4H animal, a nice way to support the kids of your community.

We've found neighbors with goats, chickens, cows... and everyone's been happy to swap or their prices have been fair, reasonable and always accompanied by a nice neighborly visit. =0)

Remember, animals are 24/7/365... it's hard to find someone you trust to care for your animals if you want or need to go somewhere. It's tough enough with dogs, just wait til you try and find someone who can milk your goat in the dead of winter. It's all we can do to find someone just to throw hay to our donkeys.

And trading leaves me more time for the garden! Now I find my organic growing skills are becoming appreciated by some of the local old timers, because I've spent the time getting to know them, listened to how they raise cows and grumble about the guv'ment, and asked who had fresh eggs this year. So my knowledge and small experience is beginning to parley into "value added" trades.

In looking at land with a garden in mind, check sun, shade, drainage, slope and wind exposure. Think summer and winter if you want 4 season growing. Put a shovel in the ground and see what the dirt is like.

I'm excited for you! Can't wait to hear about your new place... =0)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 15, 2009
6:19 PM

Post #6949846

here are some links that helped me on my decisions
http://www.themodernhomestead.us/
http://www.backwoodshome.com/index.html
http://www.footstepsfarm.com/
hope it helps
i am finding that i need more help than i thought with my garden . I choose organic but am learning hard its more labor intensive than i really thought . By the time i get weeds under control and bugs along with blight and chasing deer away i m back to where i started ?
I agree with Jay on the animals . I know many people who hate cows LOL . I do enjoy them . Start with chickens first and work your way up .
i do enjoy the bartering system , i do alot of that .
We sublease our extra acres to a guy who has hay . Extra income, not a lot but ,,, it helps.
Find a CAUV program or other programs in your extension office to see if you qualify for tax breaks.
Fencing can be a simple hog pannel fence with some metal posts.
if you have lots of area of brush and grass you will need a riding mower for sure or a small tractor with a bush hog.
We got a used old 55 Ford tractor for a steal came with attachments too. Look in Tractor traders and or Farm Traders. Get them at feed stores and TSC ( tractor supply company )
weed whackers are not my fav to hard to handle IMHO :)
anything over 5 acres is alot of work (up to 20 hrs a week ) whether it is woods or crop area. Don't be fooled. Woods need TLC also. Poison ivy control and grape vine are havoc in woods. I spend alot of hrs in the early spring cutting and spraying PI and cutting grape vines. Then yanking them out with my small tractor. I hate to see them things dangle off a tree.
also rememeber when you have woods you have predators too. Deer eat gardens and foxes eat livestock. I m sure you know all this so i hope you don't think i m insulting your intelligence. :) cuz that is not my intention.
so i hope that helps
we just boght land and built a house so i know from start what are things i over looked and wish i had done better or different.
wishing you well
please keep us updated !
we love to see how thigns are going
taynors
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 15, 2009
6:59 PM

Post #6949940

An alternative to a riding mower or tractor is a walk behind tractor... the nice thing about them is they have several different attachments... tiller, cultivator, sickle mower, itty bitty balers, snow blowers, chippers... one motor, several attachments. Here's one manufacturer...
http://www.bcs-america.com/
just to give you a picture in your head. There are others out there, and there was someone on this board who's DH restored older ones...

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 15, 2009
10:14 PM

Post #6950480

you could also use a quad they come with farm attachments. Less money and easy to use and drive
i didn't know about them Jay . Good to know .
lots of stuff to look into on your quest Hineni
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 15, 2009
10:33 PM

Post #6950536

Yeah, I think the ATVs would be my next choice... a little tough to run in the garden, but probably better for the pasture aspect...

I think it's funny that Ferrari also makes a walk behind tractor... I want me a Ferrari!!! A little red number...
http://www.ferrari-tractors.com/products/walking.htm

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 15, 2009
10:45 PM

Post #6950582

yeah that is right forgot that aspect of the garden. Hmmm that is a nice Ferrari LOL would like one of them too.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 16, 2009
2:16 AM

Post #6951360

Egads Sue, 20 hours a week? My property will have to be more self-sufficient than that, by golly :)

Jay - I have an AWD sissy SUV, I got it for a good deal. It's hauled dogs, hay, straw, furniture, garbage, tillers, plants , has a heavy duty towing package and still looks purty :) I'd like to eventually get a broken down farm truck for the poop carrying and what not. I have my trowel packed and some baggies probably to do some home soil samples from places that I like. Notebook so I can note orientation of the house and prospective garden areas. Camera for the sometimers that I get occasionally so I can recall things.

I've compiled a list of properties from a half acre (probably won't work but...) to 10 acres. I head out tomorrow morning on the driving tour. Wheeee! I have about 12 properties to look at over the two day time period. I'm excited but dreading the drive, get out, look, take notes, repeat process...lol! I was supposed to leave early in the morning but work asked me to pull another shift tonight so I won't get to leave until later in the morning. Besides, most realtors don't like showing property at 6:30 in the morning...teehee!

Hopefully by Tuesday I'll know what, if any, I'll make an offer on. Then the REAL fun will begin...haha! Thanks to both of you for the encouragement and the reminder that I'm heading in the right direction at least, and thinking about most of the right questions. I'm hoping that I'll get out at someplace and just go 'this feels like home.' (okay, so I'm a dreamer...the cat's out of the bag...!!!)


Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 16, 2009
4:17 PM

Post #6953040

Ooo, this is exciting! You'll have to give a run down on what your days adventure brought...
=0)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 16, 2009
7:47 PM

Post #6953622

so we get pics ?? to see the propertys ?
good luck and best wishes.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 17, 2009
4:00 AM

Post #6955281

Hmmm... late to this party with reservations about responding as I am not a total homesteader in most of y'alls style. My homestead aspirations have been diminished over the years by reality. But I won't find fault with where I've ended up, my life has suited me. We are self employed. It has paid for what I've wanted but 50+ hours a week DOES negate some of the desire to work too hard at home. Nearing 60 and DH has health issues so my homestead efforts are limited. We have been on our 14 acres for 20 years now.

At any rate, one of the primary concerns on land purchased is a durable water source. Does it have a well, how deep, what quality, how dependable during the droughts that some of the southeast area of the country has endured over the past years. The quality of water is important too. Water with sulphur, sodium or chemical contamination which is common in farming country will make it unpalatable. Seek out well drillers in the areas you are looking at and ask about the depth of water, the quality of water, in needed, the cost of drilling. Surface water is all right but not always dependable. Additionally, in the areas you are looking, consider harvesting rainwater. Also, ask the welldriller if he maintains pumps. When a pump needs service it can be a pain. Perhaps you will find access to a rural water supply. We don't and do not care to due to the chemicals used.

What type of heat are you planning to provide? If you will be depending on wood heat, look for property with a good woodlot. In this woodlot, make sure it is primarily hardwoods as pine makes crappy firewood. We heat with wood and will cut hardwood a year ahead to dry it to prevent chimney fires.

Tools required... Chainsaw, axe, maul, wedge, safety glasses! Recommended chainsaw would be one with the easy start feature and the easy chain adjuster. I also keep a spare replacement chain. For this and the other tools, purchase gas cans. The chainsaw requires mixed gas/oil. The mower takes gas, the tractor diesel. For all fuel storage, add Staybil or Seafoam for a fuel storage stabilizer. For my use, I prefer smaller containers which require less effort to lift.

Looking at the soil quality is a good consideration but soil can be improved with effort. Raised bed gardening and lasagna layering can work even on poor soil. Time and effort might be a rare commodity if you continue to work. That has been my deterrent. As a result, I have focused on the things I enjoy and am capable of handling. I no longer have large gardens but purchase or barter for locally grown produce to can and freeze. A small garden satisfies my urge to dig in the dirt.

Tools used... Small rear tine tiller, many, many gardening tools... a favorite of mine is a potato or turning fork... pressure cooker... water bath canner... jars and plenty of lids. I also have a freezer for food storage.

On the land purchase, look into property taxes on the prospective properties. Also ask about homestead exemptions. Don't depend of the real estate agent but inquire at the tax assessor or tax appraisal offices. Also... and I would consider this of primary concern, meet thy neighbors. Rely on your instincts. I can not count how many folks I know that are unhappy with their land due to neighbors. We were blessed to be quite remote and the nearest neighbors are honest, quiet and responsible.

For livestock, I opted for chickens as layers and for meat. Buying chicken feed might be a luxury a true homesteader might care to avoid by growing the grains. Again, not an effort I cared to exert. Having small stock makes fencing less of an effort.

On fencing, I can easily install cattle panels and drive metal T posts. It is difficult for me to stretch wire alone but I can master the cattle panels. A problem with these panels is smaller stock can go thru.

Recommended tools... post driver, hog ring pliers, leather gloves, fencing pliers. Incidently here I have also used zip ties. They work well but deteriorate in this climate and need replacing periodically. A trailer is necessary to carry the cattle panels from the store to the house. Perhaps for a fee, some feed stores might deliver.

For a female, working alone can be a bit difficult to handle heavy things. A invaluable tool IMO is a small wagon. I started with a used Radio Flyer and now have added a flat bed garden center wagon. The wagons help me move large bags of feed, soil, tools as well as providing a perch to rest on when taking a breather.

I do use a small diesel tractor which I love. I have a 4' bushhog, a blade and a posthole digger attachment. I can not justifiy the cost of a tiller for it. It is easy to work on, I can change the oil, fuel filters, have replaced fuel lines, water hoses, battery cables, belts and have removed tires to carry for repair. All of this requires a variety of hand tools but I can not justify paying someone to do what I am capable of doing.

Tools! Don't know if you are mechanically inclined but tools are a large part of my everyday life in the woods. Screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, vise grips... difficult to list everything as it has been a lifetime accumulation.

Sorry to be lengthy but these are a few thoughts and I feel certain more will surface. Like everyone, I am curious to hear what you find and perhaps help you sort thru the selections. Please keep us posted.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 17, 2009
5:53 PM

Post #6957175

Wow! Great post podster! Thanks.

I really do think homesteading is more attitude than anything, especially as we get older. Doing what we can towards self-sufficiency changes as we change.

I was reading an editorial about WHY we do what we do... in so many ways it doesn't make sense. From a man who was originally drawn by the beautiful tools and virtuosity of the 'well-seasoned' elders as a young man and now finds himself an aging man...

"Now I am in my 60's with beautiful tools of my own and some significant level of virtuosity and I realize there is more. I might finally get it. Yes, these tools and skills are amongst the rewards of a life fully lived. But I had two important things on my side: my 'owned' heartbeat and a working honor of craftsmanship. It's not about what we've gathered. It's not about what we do or how we do it. It's about WHY we do what we do. I have done most of my work because I followed my heartbeat, I've done what I love. And I have always felt moved to honor the craftsmanship of those chosen pursuits. I didn't do it to amass tools and feel puffed up over my accomplishments. I did it because a trust had been handed to me by all those who came before. And I did it because the work made me feel whole." Lynn Miller

I would only say... I did it because it was a manifestation of the wholeness within me.

But we are crafting our lives, we are craftswomen and craftsmen. In a world of plastic and speed-dating, we have chosen to devote our lives to our strength and our skill... the original sense of craft.


podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 18, 2009
12:45 AM

Post #6958755

A correction on my post above... we have been on our homestead for 30 years not 20 years. Sometimers disease? Naw ~ time flies when you have fun! I'm still having trouble moving into the 21st century.

Nice thoughts on tools Jayryunyen. I love the quality of well built tools and older tools but must admit to acquiring my share of "cheap" import tools. We have an acquaintance that peddles out of his van. He handles lots of new, imported tools. Many are a good value and my wallet appreciates that. After all, it seems frugal and homestead are synonymous.

At the risk of ruffling feathers, I am going to add one more tool suggestion. A firearm of some sort as well as adequate ammunition. It should be what the owner is comfortable with and capable of maintaining and using. It can be used to feed, entertain or defend yourself. My MIL hated to wring or chop the necks of chickens to process them. She chose to shoot their heads off. Was darned good at it too. FIL put a stop to it when she ran out of 22 shells and started on his 30/30 ammo. LOL

I feel homesteading is a state of mind. I've known more dedicated homesteaders that lived in a third floor apartment in a large metro area. Anyone with the proper mindset can participate.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 18, 2009
12:59 AM

Post #6958829

Oh my... a 30/30 seems a little like overkill. LOL

I agree with the firearm, more from a varmint point of view. I had a .22 with a scope for stray, nuisance dogs and skunks, it was all I ever needed. Take a gun safety course, keep the thing locked up when you aren't using it, and don't brag about it.

I was raised to never think of a gun for self-defense. That's what your wits and your neighbors are for... and if you can't trust your neighbors then you've got real trouble. But then, that was before the lessons of Hurricane Katrina.

I now think there are circumstances wherein I would think of the gun for self-defense, too.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 18, 2009
11:36 PM

Post #6962365

Back home, due at work in 20 minutes. Found place, working on an offer, will update later tonight!!!

Thanks Pod for your valuable input as well!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 19, 2009
12:04 AM

Post #6962487

Wooo-Hooo! Can't wait to hear about it!
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 19, 2009
9:49 AM

Post #6963761

First off, I have revised and downgraded my "Oh I can do that" list to a more responsible and reasonable viewpoint. Yes, I am putting off some dream things after actually walking and looking at properties this week. My top favorites had contracts on them before I ever saw them. Poo-poo it is a buyer's market, it is a SELLER's market now with this tax credit thing going on and things are hopping.

So, I found a house on an acre, with potential land to buy behind the house in the future. House had everything I needed and lots of things that I wanted. House is in tip-top shape, no major repairs or what not needed.
Basement root cellar - Check
Fruit trees - Check
Garden area with good soil in good sun - Check
Back deck and front porch - Check
More than one bathroom - Check
Well water - Check
BIG kitchen-Check
Excellent friendly older neighbors who garden-Check
Fencing - check
Chickens and goats allowed - Check
Existing animal housing - Check
Garage/Storage - Check

I was all excited and had to run the property by my mortgage guy before making an offer. And, that's when it hit the skids. Now all of a sudden if I can't find comps *just* like this house in the area (small town, under 1500 people), the underwriter won't write the loan. Gyahhhh! The house has a metal roof and has cedar shake shingles as it's siding. It isn't 'normal' for the area (mostly older farmhouse types) so the underwriter is giving it a 'hard' look. Say what? Since when did all houses have to look the same? I like unique because I am not a cookie-cutter person! It's not like bizarrely unique, but I also didn't see any other homes like it. I am so frustrated, and don't know if I can do another two-day/12 house marathon to locate a more acceptable property for these underwriters. It also may have an encroachment issue, which I am trying to clarify by an existing survey.

I'm immensely frustrated. Most of the other places either needed major repairs, or were too far out for me to consider as a single person and feel comfortable. Some were too small or needed so much updating that it was just more than I wanted to take on. One was less than 100 feet from a railroad track. It was a hard and tiring activity.

But, on the fun side, here are pictures of the place I like and hope to make an offer on.

http://www.unitedcountry.com/search06/ViewPicturePreview.asp?SID=73684681&Office=41087&Listing=10252

It's been a few years since I bought a house, and I had forgotten how tiring it is to look, look, and that was when I was CLOSE to where I was buying...sigh.

Anyway, that's where I am at. Deflated I think is my feeling right now :/ But I will persevere!



lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 19, 2009
10:09 AM

Post #6963783

Hineni Ö you mentioned all those electrical gizmos. I donít believe anyone has mentioned power.

My DW and I are approaching golden age quickly. Our view on homesteading is more along the lines of an Y2K happening. Social unrest and instability sort of thing. Hope Iím wrong but I work with the dregs of society and am starting to see things that are truly worrisome.

First, you canít do it by yourself. Any history of homesteading points out that the old timers had there proverbially 40 acres and a mule. They also point out that they had a dozen or more kids to help. The boys married and brought the wife to the parents homestead and started a family. There were usually many hands to help. An example would be my daddy. At age six his job (s) were to feed the small live stock, make sure there was kindling and fire wood at the cook stove each morning, when a rain came he switched the gutters off the house and barn to the cistern, and he and his seven year old cousin ran a two man, or kid, buck saw. They were too small to move the logs on the buck and split but they were responsible for cutting the logs to length. I do have pictures of them working at the saw.

Since itís just the two of us we have opted to go small. As for meat, if I canít pick it up and walk off with it itís too big to mess with. Chickens and rabbits are small, lightweight, breed readily, donít need elaborate fencing and can be butchered and eaten all in the same day. Easiest way to keep meat fresh is to keep it alive till needed. Plus chickens lay eggs.

A garden no bigger than you can take care of is a must. You can grow a lot of stuff in a very small area if itís managed properly. It should produce enough to eat fresh, can and barter with. Remember that if there is no fuel you will be doing it all by manual labor. Yours.

Everything else we will have to barter for and hope for the best. We proved it can be done after surviving 20 something days with no power or fuel after hurricane Rita. I know that 20 days isnít that long but we were just getting into the groove when the lights came back on.

Oh, one thing Rita did teach us is that we donít have enough water for drinking or irrigation. With Jays input we are working on solving that little problem. May even have a fish or two as a bonus.

Guns are going to be a must. Not only for self-defense but also to stop someone from taking what you have. 30/30 would be good, backed up with a 12 ga. and a pistol of some sort. Save the 22 for the four-legged varmints.

Nearest town with a China Mart is 12 miles away. Everything else is 35 plus.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 19, 2009
10:48 AM

Post #6963827

Hi lizard! I appreciate your input.

(scratching head...electrical gizmos...?) I might just be too tired since my shift is almost ending...haha! I'm not sure what you're referencing there.

Yep, I concluded that even six acres was too much for me by myself, and working a job. Especially with a home that needed work along with caring for that six acres.

I plan to stock up on the little propane canisters for alternate cooking and water boiling options, but I really haven't examined a SHTF scenario for myself yet. Hard enough to find a place I can afford AND that someone will finance :)
I agree, firearms will be a must...eventually.

Some days it feels like there is so much to think about that I understand why people bury their heads. I get worn out thinking of all the possible scenarios :/

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 19, 2009
11:35 AM

Post #6963929

[quote] it is a SELLER's market now with this tax credit thing going on and things are hopping. [/quote] Actually, I think what you are encountering is the property profiles you are interested in are drawing interest from many just like us that are rethinking their futures. Not a sellers market in the HOAs and cookie cutters...

Your house choice sounds wonderful. Be persistent. Don't let frustration get in the way and please don't let us overwhelm you. Work at it... one challenge at a time. It will be worth it in the final result. Off to tour the photos... pod
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 19, 2009
12:10 PM

Post #6964012

Blenders and processors and such. Donít feel bad, I just finished one shift and now have to do another. Iím too old for this.

Podís right, just take it one step at a time. Shelter first. Get a house fixed up and comfy then tackle something else.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 19, 2009
12:25 PM

Post #6964054

Duh, got it. LOL! Gotta stay awake long enough to talk to the mortgage dude in another time zone before I hit the sack. Oh, and track down the realtor too.

I wanna sleep for a month! These 12 hour night shifts are killin' me.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 19, 2009
7:12 PM

Post #6965443

Sounds like a very do-able set-up, Hi. Right sized, as they say. I sure hope you get things sorted out with the underwriting... do you have an alternative for the underwriter? Can you get a second opinion?

Be cussedly persistent...
=0)
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 20, 2009
12:58 AM

Post #6966582

Well, I think I've got the 'cussed' part down today...LOL! Also found out that the existing encroachment (shared wall barn with neighboring property) will not be accepted by the lender.

I did get a recent survey - but nothing is spotted on it so I suspect it will have to be re-done.
I cashed in a savings instrument which used to be two weeks to get, now they are saying 45 days...!

And...our power and internet went out here today during storms and I was late to work!
But I'm still smilin'... :)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 20, 2009
12:42 PM

Post #6967942

Shared wall? Are you serious? That'd take out a lot of properties around here, where they've backed the barns right up to the property line. How stupid. Can you find another lender?

Cussingly cussed...
=0)
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

August 20, 2009
5:22 PM

Post #6968851

Hineni, the pictures of your home choice are gorgeous! I can't believe that if the lender saw the pictures, they'd turn you down. I know that up here in nothern Arizona, that metal roof would get you many points because it would cut down on danger from forest fires. We lost 500,000 acres of ponderosa pines and many homes a few years ago and now everybody wants metal roofs.

Keep working on it -- you deserve to get that place! Can you just hire somebody with a dozer to remove the barn if that is the holdup?



Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 20, 2009
10:54 PM

Post #6969961

Thank you AZ - it's a little more frou-frou (especially that one bathroom...lol!) than I really wanted, as I am a 'farmhouse' kind of person. But the layout for my home office, the BIG kitchen and workspaces, plus the basement and stuff, really make it the most practical thing I found for most of my needs and a lot of my wants.

The loan officer and the Realtor talked, and they talked to the RD underwriter, so I'm approved to offer a contract. Now I'm nervous!!! I really hoped the RD underwriter would be my excuse to separate the barns and establish a fence. While I like the guy that is there now (I met all the neighbors while I was there), he rents, so who knows what the next tenant may be like. Plus, they cage their chickens and I don't want disease to spread via the back to back barn arrangement either.
Good fences make good neighbors, isn't that the saying? LOL!

So...I'm reviewing the offer paperwork tonight. I've prayed about it, so if it works out, it works out. If not, well, that means there is somewhere else I am supposed to be!

THANK YOU all for your encouragement!! I'll keep ya updated :)
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 20, 2009
10:55 PM

Post #6969967

Here's another link to the interior photos - I couldn't get that link up above to work.

http://www.unitedcountry.com/search06/seemorepictures.asp?SID=73706871&Office=41087
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 20, 2009
11:08 PM

Post #6970007

Hey, I found your future cow...
http://www.rgbexotics.com/AboutMiniZebu.htm

These look even smaller than a Dexter.

Of course, you'd have to build a pretty hefty milking stand... or dig a hole to sit in. LOL And judging from these pictures, I'd say it's a high fat cow... =0)
MMMmmmm, lots of cream.

Ah, a shared barn... that's a little different. So that's just your first construction project... a nice sturdy wall and then you half moves away. LOL

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2009
12:12 AM

Post #6970199

hineni i hear you on the comparable comps, that is such a pain. We have a log home and we refinanced and the first guy was an idiot . So we went back to our original guy and he did an excellent job. But it was stressful. I know the pain.
i agree what crazy on the shared wall ??
yes good strong fences make wonderful neighbors. It will spare everyone grief. Do they have dogs ? we have neighbors with dogs that run wild and if they get in my hens well... . ?
LOL great cow Jay :)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2009
12:13 AM

Post #6970201

what would you do with a cow that small ? LOL
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2009
12:30 AM

Post #6970257

Well, I'm not sure, but it wouldn't give a lot of milk, that's for sure!
One probably costs thousands of dollars, but hey... what else are you gonna do with your money?
Pay bills? How dull...
LOL

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2009
12:35 AM

Post #6970270

ROFLLLL
half pints ! LOL
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2009
12:38 AM

Post #6970285

It just doesn't look like an Ol' Bessy, though...
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 21, 2009
1:39 AM

Post #6970486

Half-pints...hahahaha! Zebu's are cool, I had just recently found out about them. I'm still thinking, if I get the extra land behind the house later, that goats will be my first venture. Although a happy cow is less intent on getting OUT of where it is supposed to be!

Working on the offer tonight. Geeze I'm nervous. You'd think it was a date or something!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2009
1:48 AM

Post #6970528

More like marriage!
Do you suppose a zebu moos with an accent?
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 21, 2009
11:36 PM

Post #6973926

Hineni, how have you been? We lost track of each other since your move from Atlanta. My most immediate thought is, having started on ten acres and moved to seventeen, beware the "available" surrounding land. Despite the fact that we bought our original acreage in a depressed market, and tried to pick up more land two years down the line, all the surrounding land holders wanted to stick it to us. Of four boundaries, we could only deal with one landholder. Bordering property owners were even threatening to build rental cabins if we did not buy (one did).

The house and property you are looking at sounds great. I'd go pretty rustic to acquire more land. I had no heat (fireplace and cube heaters), running water (hauling from spring), or mechanical yard equipment. I've never owned a firearm though I've had to face off folks on the property with arms. That's me though.

First year's garden was made from a 4x15 foot gravel road bed. PicMatic and what I used to have as a back and neck. Here's the kitchen garden now. I'm on my way to bury compost. BTW, I don't understand why a woman would have difficulty running a tiller. I turned sixty in June and run a Troybuilt pony every Spring. You can do it!

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2009
11:57 PM

Post #6973999

Beautiful Garden, Maypop!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 22, 2009
12:51 AM

Post #6974243

Thanks Jay. The kitchen garden looking at the house.

We've had ducks, rabbits, and horses as well. I think animals should be part of the final plan as they are not necessary for sustenance. I'd opt for chickens first and then dwarf goats like Nubians for milk and meat. Poultry is hard to keep in the country if you can't protect them at night. Preventing predator damage, even when penned, can be a job. That's what happened to our ducks and rabbits. The raccoons and possums chewed through fences. The rabbits were penned as well and killed by neighboring dogs left to roam. The fences were unbelievably secure. It's easier, and cheaper, to keep vegetarian animals (deer) out of the vegetables than to keep carnivorous animals away from the livestock.

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 22, 2009
12:59 AM

Post #6974287

Yep, I've had my share of troubles with protecting livestock. That's why for someone who doesn't have a lot of time or experience, I usually rec'd they don't get into it. There are so many other folks raising small livestock that can be supported... I trade tomatoes for fresh eggs right now, I am the tomato queen here in our mountain valley. =0) Other people raise goats for meat and milk and I've found it's a lot cheaper to buy the finished product than to build and protect and feed. And it weaves the community web when we find ways to complement each others talents and skills that way. =0)
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 22, 2009
1:20 AM

Post #6974376

The chicken predators we deal with here are snakes and skunks! It is a constant battle. We have a fenced acre yard with two dogs in it and that combination has deterred the neighboring canine visitors.

MaypopLaurel ~ your garden photos make me wish I could step into them and admire your plantings. Particularly the hillside garden. It is very pretty.

We initially bought 5 acres, acquired an adjoining 9 and tried for 3 more on the other side. That three was not to be. I wanted it for a buffer, both privacy and security. A friend that is an independent timber consultant appraised it so we would have a grasp of the timber value. The land owner considered it far more valuable. Timber is his business. He said he would clear cut it and sell the land far cheaper. That would defeat the purpose. DH decided to let it pass. Quite a few years later, the timber hasn't been cut and the land hasn't been sold. I still lust after it... lol and I still have nightmares of rental cabins or trailer parks or... worse.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 22, 2009
3:17 AM

Post #6974752

Wow Laurel, you have done SO much with that place, it is just beautiful. You should enter it on the Brag Board :) How did the chimney restoration go after the storms? I take long absences from the forums, but now I'm working nights and have time to read and post during the loooooooong overnight 12 hour shifts.

I still have the 6 acre property on my secondary list, but...I just have to admit I'm a wuss. I'm scared to live out there alone, even with dogs and firearms. My thoughts run more along getting hurt and being a mile from the nearest neighbor and dying in my field under a lawn tractor...more so than two-legged varmint problems although I have to consider those as well. Plus, should I lose my current job, how close would I be to a place large enough to find employment? So many things to consider...

I found out the basement leaks in heavy rains on the property that I posted above...not sure if that will be a deal killer or not. I still have the purchase offer here on my desk and I'm stepping back for a day or two to think before working on the write up with the attorney. And then there is still the issue with the shared wall barn thingy. Nothing worth having ever seems simple eh? :D

Thanks again everyone for the feedback!



Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 22, 2009
3:26 AM

Post #6974770

"My thoughts run more along getting hurt and being a mile from the nearest neighbor and dying in my field under a lawn tractor..."

Probably the more likely, and a very reasonable concern. I was helping friends buck firewood yesterday, and I noticed I'm the only one with all the helmet, chaps, boots and gloves rec'd for operating a chainsaw safely. I just shake my head sometimes at what folks will do... one of the other chainsaw operators was wearing shorts, tennies, and no hearing protection. {{sigh}} So they think I'm a wuss... at least I'll still have two legs to dance with and hearing to hear the birds.

And the job angle is important too...

Depending on why the basement is leaking, it might be fixable... a french drain or guttering to channel the roof rain away from the house. Do you have time to consult with someone about that? Figure out why and what it would take to fix the problem?
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 22, 2009
1:04 PM

Post #6975451

I understand the apprehension of working alone but I have a different perspective. I feel that when my time is up, I can not change it. That is not to say I will tempt fate by becoming complacent. When working with equipment, the possibilty is as great in the kitchen with a sharp knife as it is with a chainsaw in hand.

I guess my perspective comes from being closer to 60 than 59. LOL I have seen folks in the best of hospitals that should have walked out but didn't. Conversely, some who weren't expected to survive that walked out on their own power. Following that logic, I don't even feel the need to have a major hospital nearby. Seems I can't get rural enough these days...

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 22, 2009
5:26 PM

Post #6976184

Hineni i was thinking of the basement and you the other day
i know when we built i was told about sump pumps . make sure there is a good one ! and it works :) in the new house.
looks like things are coming along for you
I learn alot from my FIL who is an old farm kid, he teaches me everything about safety .
we are 18-25 miles from any Hosp and the closest childrens is even farther sooo with that said ... i still don't worry cuz if i do i will drive myself crazy of worry.
Amazing what home remedies will work
stock up and get lots of raw honey use it for cuts ,scraps, poison ivy and other nasty stuff and maybe plant a comfrey plant or two. Those help with wound wrappings.
carry a good size stick when walking around the yards or gardens .(whack it if it moves ) LOL
hope it helps :)

Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 22, 2009
6:45 PM

Post #6976379

If it's your husband and it doesn't move... whack it.
=0)

If it has black and white stripes and you whack it... don't come running to me.
LOL
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 22, 2009
9:46 PM

Post #6976925

LOL @ Jay -the dogs got skunked again last night, I think this is the fourth time since we've been out here in the boonies that they've tangled with skunks. Doesn't really bother me much. It might make them less adoptable though...shuckey darns.

Pod: I feel that way regarding being rural, but I also have to admit that I need to work through my capabilities. I'm real brave here when I'm on my own for a week or two, and don't feel like there is a problem at all. But I know the differences in a week or two and the rest of my life alone. It's possible that I underestimate myself, but I also don't want to get somewhere and find I overestimated and then be a whining, crying, cowering mess. I guess I'm trying to be realistic rather than idealistic (which has gotten me into problems historically...haha). My work hours are also an issue, leaving me far less time to upkeep property than what I have had in the past. Seems like it all involves trade-offs of some sort :)

Sue- I don't think that there is a sump pump in the basement, but since the house has been standing since '49 and there isn't standing water or mold there, I feel the basement is really a non-issue and could be repaired if needed. I'll work on the wording with the attorney about the barn issue, and I will ask that the barn be torn down prior to possession to eliminate any future issues. I figure I'll offer all the wood and the existing chicken coop to the neighbor that will lose his lean-to in that activity to try to soothe over any ruffled feathers. I don't want to start off on the wrong foot in the neighboorhood. All they can do is say no, ya know?
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2009
12:36 AM

Post #6977413

Hineni, I'm here too. :>) The chimney and roof took many months of last summer until November. Lost the flue for the Pilgrim woodstove and had to rebuild that as well. Maypop is an A-frame cottage, on a south-facing mountainside, with a boathouse-type basement. The house and gardens are all stepped while there is some level pasture area below. Water is all spring fed via a Diviner's gifts. The pond is the spillway from the house springs.

I'm firm about land ownership. It's not necessary to micromanage all of a property with lawns and gardens, only what you need to be sustainable. Be a custodial keeper and use what what is needed. I asked DH's opinion on this and he agrees. We should have bought everyone around us out. Extra land is a future investment. We have over fifteen acres in hardwood and way more comes down each year than we can burn to heat. I'm building a solar tub/shower. The solar part is in, but I'm needing to address realities like yellow jackets that like to share my outdoor moment.

Podster, thanks. The garden is all on hillside steps. I must be part goat. lol. I've been known to go over the edge with the tiller on more than one occasion. I now realize it's safer, though more time consuming to hand dig the edges. The hillside, up to the woods, has perennials and herbs. The main kitchen garden is the flat space. More perennials and herbs on the next embankment. The next level has fruit trees...pears, apples, figs and iris and the part merging into the woods has blueberries and ramps. I really wanted a flatland farm with ten acres and some water. There were other plans for me though.

I've lived out here for months over the past twenty years with (and without three kids) before the advent of cell phones and the internet. Often with no car. Our roads, in and off the property, are over a third of a mile. Hauled water from the cistern, fired the stove all day and every night at 4 a.m. and cooked with cast iron for days in the fireplace when there were outages. Took care of animals (horses, dogs, cats, rabbits and ducks). I was often without power as I'm at the end of a line and it took a call in to let the power company know. There was not the technology to inform them unless we called in...but how? The phones would be dead too. DH would go back to the city while I was busy with my homesteading experiment. I'm not so complacent as to say my end time is predetermined. I'm just determined to have a meaningful experience. How sixties is that? So here's a pic from last year when cabbages and zinnias were accommodating.
Laurel

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 23, 2009
12:53 AM

Post #6977453

[quote] How sixties is that? [/quote] LOL ~ how many here fit in that category?

Maypop is lovely with out a doubt and the design is charming. I love the spring and the idea of terrace "steps" of garden. How long have you been working at it?

Hineni ~ how many of your doggies are you adopting out? Taking any with you?
lizards_keep
Colmesneil, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 23, 2009
3:02 AM

Post #6977875

Present Ö with Houses of the Holy playing as we speak.

Not looking for the end either but donít want to tempt fate either. I try to take it one day at a time and enjoy the moment.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 23, 2009
4:19 AM

Post #6978120

I've added two more places to the investigate 'list' in case the offer isn't accepted on this place next week. They may or may not pass underwriting, as they are both ten acres, but that is a common property size out in the areas they are located which may help. I was cautioned to stay under ten actually, more around 5-6 acres. The RD underwriters don't like farmettes or ranches is the LO consensus, so since these two both have outbuildings and livestock areas that might kick 'em out too, I don't know yet. The difference in these two as opposed to the 6 acres is that a) they have neighbors and b) neither home appears to need any major work like the 6 acre property does. Both are more wooded than open and as such would require less upkeep.

Laurel: If I didn't have to work and require dependable electric and high-speed internet to do so, many many more options might open up for me. But alas, since I'm the one that will be paying the bills, I have to set my sights on affordability, required amenities for work, and relative safety. Coupling that with the loan restrictions and 12 hour work days and no one else to help out, I have had to scale back my 'wants' and focus on what I need. Then add 'must close by 12/01/09 to get tax credit' to that list...LOL!

I'm really trying to walk a fine line; locate a sustainable property that fits my budget, the realities of one person management, meets loan guidelines and will close by 12/01/09. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to accomplish the impossible on such short turn time. Heck, up until a few weeks ago I didn't even dream that owning another home was a possibility for me and I was scrambling to figure out where I could rent!

I dunno if I fall into the sixties category - although my favorite music is from that time period. I'm at the end of the boomer range (born in '62). I'm pretty free spirited and anti-establishment in many cases though, although I think it's a family trait...haha! I find a lot of us here in the Homesteading forum have the same outlook and are relatively close in age, so maybe it is a sixties bleed over :D

Pod: I'll for sure be keeping the older house dog. It depends on the property as to whether I'll get to keep the Great Pyrs or not. They require wandering room and neighbors who don't mind the booming barks that they love to express around 3 a.m. :D :D

I really appreciate everyone weighing in and helping out with ideas and suggestions!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 23, 2009
12:52 PM

Post #6978695

You probably don't want to get rid of your friends ~ the Pyrs but they should be easy to place and easier not to have to provide feed for?

I admire your inspiration. Too many would find a comfortable rut and stay in it. They would live with pipe dreams from now on. You are on the right track and I will encourage you to pursue your dreams. You go girl!

A leftover friend from the early 70s says we are the only one he knows that has done what we said we would do and fulfilled our dreams. Probably because we were only on the hippie fringe, everyone else has burned out. LOL

porkpal
Richmond, TX

August 23, 2009
3:09 PM

Post #6979126

There is no substitute for land. I suggest more land and less house, if required to fit the budget. It is not necessary to maintain land at all if you don't need it for anything. It will be there waiting when you do.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 23, 2009
4:25 PM

Post #6979401

Our houses tend to be waaay too big these days. It's really something to visit old homesteads and see the size of house that whole families used to live in. Way too much paper accumulation in our paperless age... if you took all the paper out of my house, there'd be a lot more room in here. Dang, but I've got to get rid of some books... =0)
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 24, 2009
1:26 AM

Post #6981102

I'm in the same column as porkpal. There's no substitute for land ownership. Manage what you can sustain. In reality, it's a small slice. You know how you always need a few more drawers, wish you had that walk in closet, weren't so close to the road? That's what the extra land will do for you. We have seventeen acres and manage less than two. The rest has provided us with firewood from downed trees, riding and hiking trails, great photo ops of wild flowers and peace from knowing we are custodial caretakers of land that will not be commercially ravaged. Granted there are our neighboring poachers (folks nearby need to eat), our ramps and ginseng are taken and we have to bust up an occasional entrepreneurial still making use of our hydro sources.

I need to, and work too. Did live in a tent, on a farm and a commune in the sixties. Don't know what "a leftover from the seventies" or a "fringe hippie" is. I feel like a failed parent here and sometimes wonder whether you younger folks get it. Less is definitely better.
Laurel

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 24, 2009
1:31 AM

Post #6981117

ok hineni good to know on the sump pump. i guess some areas don't need them ? OH we sure do but ours is a elevated basement.
Well it sounds like you have alot to work out . I think your doing a great job so keep up the good work. :) something will come along soon and will just inspire you. Keep them dogs out of skunk juice ok LOL
We built a log home and did a small one. More land less house. I still wish it was a ranch style and a bit smaller but ... can't complain. I guess the stairs will keep my tushy strong ?

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 24, 2009
1:34 AM

Post #6981129

simple is better too :)
i agree with less is more theory
less to worry about
less to pay for
less to manage
less to loss
but more in so many ways
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 24, 2009
12:33 PM

Post #6982281

Let me try to define "hippie fringe". We lived in those times with many friends that were hippies. We would give them rides, DH would give them a job if they wanted, carried a few to the hospital, dried some out, put some up and fed many. Every holiday, I would cook for a houseful. We enjoyed their music, appreciated their ideals and had many a thought provoking discussion but we never dropped out. We always both worked, never lived on the road, always had goals. I guess that is why I considered us on the fringe. Our goal was ~ a small piece of land (14 acres ) with a small home (1,200 sq ft ) in wooded country and all paid for. That is what we worked toward and why that friend of ours said we are the only ones he knew that attained our dream.

As far as quantity of land, I feel a buffer is imperative. We have a 3 acre plot cleared in the middle of our 14. The balance of our woods is for the wildlife. That said, I feel the young lady that started this thread needs to look for a suitable property for herself that she (working alone) can realistically pay for in her lifetime without being a slave to her work forever. I really have an aversion to paying interest. When we pay interest, we are supporting lending institutions far better that we are living as well as paying for their bad debtors and losses. If one didn't have to pay interest, one could purchase more land.

[quote] I feel like a failed parent here and sometimes wonder whether you younger folks get it. [/quote] Not sure who you are referring to here? LOL Please elaborate on the "you younger folks" phrase?
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 25, 2009
2:20 AM

Post #6985070

Well, just when you think it is all in the bag...something else comes along :)

I found a 10 acre farmette in Indiana for sale by owner. 3 acres to maintain, 7 in 10 year old woods with a 1/2 mile established path throughout. Still going to try to look at RD funding where I have my approval, but at least I know there is an optional funding opportunity that isn't extortive rates.

Comes fully furnished with:
Lawn tractor
(2) Freezers
Permanent electric fencing on 1 acre
All the fencing and charger for 6 moveable sections of electric fence
All appliances (including a wine/cheese fridge) Never had one of those...LOL! (reg. fridge, washer, dryer, stove, etc.)
Two barns, one finished as a work shop that will take a woodstove and all kinds of tools (including some I have no idea what they are)
The other set up for chickens, goats and hay storage.
Garden area, fully fenced and amended (plus barn cleanings to use for this fall)

House needs no work; they are having a brand new roof put on this weekend, and all new wood flooring put down.
It has a basement that isn't leaking.
It is smaller than the other house, bedroom and bath wise, but same on the square footage.
Neighbors are close, but not right on top of me, so I'm not desolate out there.

It's like someone took everything I needed, and everything I wanted (okay, so there's no spring, but it is well water, in the animal barn and out by the garden, as well as for the house) and wrapped it neatly in an affordable package for me. Best part is, they have a room for me to stay so I can drive out and look, work my shift, and return home. And oh yeah, high speed DSL plus back up wireless internet.
And a Mennonite dairy down the road...

What are the negatives you ask?
Well, -25 degrees for a low this past winter (coldest they've had in six years)
Close to absolutely no one I know on this planet...LOL! (must check DG and see who might be close by)
Shorter growing season and less fertile dirt than I have here currently; but they've done a great garden every year doing amendments (organic ones too!)

So...now I have more than one option. I can hardly work!!! LOL! So, you land proponents must have been praying for me, and if so, THANK YOU!

I'll send photos when I can.

(dancing off to run over the figures again and waiting impatiently to hear from the LO)

Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 25, 2009
6:00 AM

Post #6985574

Overhead photo as provided by the current homeowner. I'm on the road tomorrow...woohoo! I hope I don't wear out my truck before I'm finished paying for it :/

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 25, 2009
1:06 PM

Post #6986056

Good luck on this adventure. Cold country would not suit me but with your type of work at least you don't have to fight the winter weather. Just remember all those tools, bldgs, fences, etc. require much more maintenance effort. Do report back...

batflower

batflower
Murray River, PE
(Zone 5b)

August 25, 2009
7:12 PM

Post #6987234

that property is beautiful. Good luck!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2009
11:34 PM

Post #6988063

Hineni, best of luck. I hope it's everything you are looking for. -25 is a tad of a chill. I'd not recommend a milking barn. 5 a.m. forays could test limits. Honestly, this property sounds like it has a lot, thus will require more in the way of maintenance. Woods logged ten years ago, especially in that climate, will be important to evaluate. It means you probably won't have hardwood to burn.

Podster, I'm bent 'twixt sappy nostalgia and 'tween pomposity. Good for you that you have always had a direction. Not so with me. I had lots of questions. I went to work at a younger age than many and had goals too. I had the chance to explore other possibilities, while still pretty young, and carpe diemed. I'll be forthcoming here. I was not at Woodstock! BTW, this exchange is a bit tongue in cheek. Yes? I don't lol that readily.
L
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 27, 2009
1:13 AM

Post #6992361

Well, an exhausted road trip later, it turned out to be for naught as far as for buying. But it was a good, if tiring, exercise.

The farmhouse has been badly chopped up in renovation by the previous owners and there is a ton of lost and unusable space. The caliber of the work is, well, very sketchy (done by previous owners). It is all sub-flooring currently, and although they are planning on re-flooring before the sale, after seeing some of the other work they have done, I'd prefer a more experienced and thorough person do the work. They are replacing the roof (contracted work), but they aren't planning on removing the old roofing and putting down new vapor barrier and whatnot; again, something I'd prefer to be done professionally and correctly. One barn is in excellent shape, the one that functions as a workshop. The animal barn has been neglected even whilst being used, needs a lot of upper level structural work to be safely usable, and needs an intense and thorough cleaning along with a new half-roof. The cellar/basement doesn't get cool enough to use for vegetable and canning storage, and it's not very user-friendly even for storage type purpose. The porch close in project is still all plywood and needs to be finished properly.

The land lays well, is fast draining and the fencing is all good. Bush hogging would need to be done once just to hold back the encroaching baby forest. Not enough shrub/baby trees to use for firewood in any foreseeable future. Garden areas need a lot of amending due to high sand content, but that was a workable issue.

Overall,after talking to the LO and knowing that the owner thinks it's worth a lot more than I do as a buyer, and as the LO from a lending perspective he wasn't willing to even look at it with rehab funds anywhere near that price, so I'll have to take a pass.

I press onward!
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 27, 2009
3:37 PM

Post #6994245

Well, the offer is in on the smaller property ...we'll see how it goes! Time to crash and get some sleep.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 27, 2009
9:00 PM

Post #6995347

good luck hineni
we are sending good vibes your way. I sure hope you can find a place soon. I m sure your anxouis to get in a home and start moving in.
best of luck to you
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 28, 2009
1:31 AM

Post #6996129

Thanks Sue :) The current owners don't want to tear the shared wall barn down, so...unless we overcome that impasse, I may have to keep on looking. Ah well, you appreciate things you work hard for, right? (grin) I know it will all work out eventually.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 28, 2009
12:16 PM

Post #6997107

yea that shared barn wall is a kinda strange i have never heard of that ?
but when we were looking we had a house and 80 acres that we loved ! but he had a front area that he sold to the farmer next door . Well that was the front yard ! ? then he seperated the back woods with a barn and sold the front acres of it, so how would i get to the acres behind the barn i would have to cross someone elses land ??? yeah it was to weird for us so we passed on it :(
how are them dogs of yours ?
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2009
9:10 PM

Post #7005682

Pity about the second place...
Couldn't you tear down the shared wall barn after you bought? Or at least your half?

Well, as you say "The adventure continues!"
Muddle on!
=0)
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

August 31, 2009
5:18 AM

Post #7007316

Yeah, it's pretty weird. They rejected my initial offer, which required them to remove the barn before closing. They countered, but would not remove the barn. So I let it go. It seems to be a legal sticky wicket that I don't choose to have to wrestle with immediately upon possession.

I'll let you know if I find something else, but right now I'm out of state with my youngest daughter who is due to present me with my first grandchild on Wednesday. I'll be out of pocket from Tuesday night when they admit her, until probably late Thursday. House-hunting has to fall by the wayside temporarily :)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

August 31, 2009
1:09 PM

Post #7007922

Well, imagine that! You, a G'ma... how wonderful. =0)
It's a little hard to believe we've lived that long, isn't it? Can't wait to hear about the new G'baby... enjoy!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 31, 2009
6:56 PM

Post #7009169

How fun ~ a new baby. Congratulations are in order! All the more reason to find your special place in the country for the little one to enjoy and make good memories.



taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2009
12:25 PM

Post #7016605

have a great time Hineni T&P for you and new the arrival.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 3, 2009
3:17 PM

Post #7020932

Thanks all. Braedon Alexander arrived yesterday at 13:07 P.M. - he and mommy are doing wonderfully. It was an amazingly good birth and I feel so blessed to have been by her side to assist.

It has been a tough week; right after I left for my trip down here, my husband died at home. He was 40 and it was completely unexpected. I am told it will be months before the autopsy results are available as to cause of death.

Dealing with life and death in two short days has been incredibly surreal and exceptionally draining. I may be absent a while from the forums; or, I may need to talk a LOT. I don't know yet. My oldest daughter will accompany me on my return home to handle the arrangements and such once my daughter is released to go home after the birth.

I appreciate everyone's input so far.

~H

Larkie

Larkie
Camilla, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 3, 2009
5:41 PM

Post #7021481

So sorry for your loss.. Reading your post, which I have really enjoyed, I just assumed you were single... Shouldn't assume, huh.. Well, prayers for you and your family ..I love reading about others experiences.

Larkie

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 3, 2009
5:58 PM

Post #7021524

Hineni i m sorry to hear of your DH .Many T&P for you and your DD.
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

September 4, 2009
12:12 AM

Post #7022921

Sincere condolences, Hineni. =0( Such a roller coaster of feelings you must be on right now. Our hearts are with you during this time... what a blessing Braedon will be in these next months.

Hugs and prayers for you and yours...
Blessings...
Jay
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 4, 2009
11:50 AM

Post #7024519

Thanks all, your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Larkie, we were pursuing different paths for a while - he was returning to the city, and I was going to push forward in the countryside. I was going into it based on an unknown length of time there alone before we might be there together.

Heading back home today, with some stops to visit family along the way. My oldest daughter is going with me to help with the harder parts of the return home.

I've attached a photo of my little ray of sunshine that has illuminated the darkness of the last few days.

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ves522

ves522
Jim Falls, WI
(Zone 4a)

September 4, 2009
12:19 PM

Post #7024574

Hineni I lurked thru your other thread and found it fascinating and was hoping for the same thing this time.

So sorry to read about your husband. Sending prayers for you and the rest of the family. Thank goodness for that little ray of sunshine!

Larkie

Larkie
Camilla, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2009
2:31 PM

Post #7024999

And a beautiful ray of sunshine he is.. Prayers are with you today..

Larkie
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2009
11:54 PM

Post #7026694

Another of lifes' twists and turns... I am saddened by your loss and yet happy for your little treasure, Braedon. Thoughts and prayers for you all.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 5, 2009
12:15 AM

Post #7026770

oh i just want to pinch his little cheeks and give him smooches
oh babys are so much fun when they are not mine and i can return them LOLLL
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

September 5, 2009
1:14 PM

Post #7028035

Isn't he absolutely a little cutie!

My heart goes out to you for your loss. You have your faith in God, and the love and support of family and friends to help you through. (((Huggs)))




50glee
Huntersville, NC

September 5, 2009
10:50 PM

Post #7029771

my word - what a thread!
Hineni - Im a tad late in years but would LOVE to do what you are doing!
Born and raised in very inner city areas and am in one now - grrr

Have little to share except - prayers and words of encouragement.
the word is . . . 'Vicariously'. yes!
Reading this permitted me to live My Dream (that is also your dream) through your experience.

Thank you So Much for sharing.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 6, 2009
12:23 AM

Post #7030099

I've been away and am crushed to get this news. Please accept my hand of sympathy and help. Having met your sweet DH when he dropped by our home to pick up plants last year (but never having met you), I'm at a loss. He was a kind and special man.

The translation of Hineni, that I know is, "I am here". We used to yell that as kids. Like, "I'm hiding...no I'm here!". It wasn't really meant to be that, but we thought it worked at that moment. Indeed you are here.

Many congratulations are in order for the mitzvah of your new grandchild. Life has taken you in several directions since you left the Georgia forum. I'd like to suggest that you journal, in every way possible, your experience.
Laurel
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 9, 2009
6:00 AM

Post #7043182

Howdy folks,

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am back at home; my oldest daughter came home with me, but she flies back out tomorrow. Has to be back in college for tests this week. We had wonderful road trip and it gave my heart some time to prepare for the return home.

Thanks for the baby glee :) Braedon had his first pediatric visit today; gained 6 ozs and is now 21.5 inches long. My daughter is continuing to nurse him, which I am SO happy about. Hard enough to be a single teen mom, but I am proud of her for doing the best for her son.

I cannot thank all of you enough for your thoughts and prayers and kind words. Although I've only met a few of you face to face, it means an awful lot.

50glee: Please enjoy the vicarious activities :) It will probably be much easier on your body than mine...haha!

Laurel: Yes, hineni is what Moshe and Avraham answered when G-d called them and you have the meaning absolutely correct. I AM here, and my faith teaches me that it all means something, even loss. Baruch dayan emet. I have been journaling already, and may possibly turn to a blog format because it's getting kind of out of the range of Homesteading, although it will run parallel to that as well.

A few friends have offered me the opportunity to purchase acreage or a home and acreage on their properties. The support and love I have received has made each day very precious, and has taught me a lot. I still have so much to do in regards to his passing, and so much to do in regards to my future that it is sometimes pretty overwhelming. But I am doing what I can, and working, so that keeps my mind and hands busy.

One thing I would like to pass on, is please never hesitate to say something to someone who is grieving. Even just.."I'm sorry" is good; we don't have any expectations of what is right or wrong, because often it is our first close experience with death. Just having someone acknowledge the loss soothes me - and it also makes something that feels unreal more real.

Thank you again for everything :)






taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 11, 2009
12:26 AM

Post #7049339

Bless you Hineni
many many T&P for you and your DD. Im happy she is nursing too ! that is wonderful
hugs
taynors
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

September 11, 2009
11:58 PM

Post #7053040

I remember in your other thread when you moved. Your DH was working in the city and bringing you supplies as often as he could. Did you ever both live at that place?
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 16, 2009
4:22 AM

Post #7069296

Cajun: Yes, but very briefly, like two weeks. We moved here together in December of last year.

taynors: She's still keeping with it too, even though she is back to school now.

Update on life matters:

Made an offer on the house that hubby loved today. Six acres, two story w/basement, well, deck, covered front porch and small barn. Lots of trees, great garden space. I decided I need to get over my fears, as G-d can watch over me wherever I am, it's not like He doesn't do rural :) It was my favorite house and property, but I was just scared. If I get it, I'll learn to be stronger and less scaredy.

There is an incredible amount of paperwork related to dying. And you have to pay for it all. It's insane. I handled the bank, the mortuary, the courthouse all pretty well, but then I went grocery shopping. We did our shopping together normally, and it hit me hard. I stocked up so I don't have to go back any time soon :/ I'm sure people wondered what there was to cry over by the mac & cheese, but I don't care. Little things sneak up and smack ya, not the big things that you expect will hit you.

I'm talking to friends or family, or both, each day. Still prefer being here alone though; random grief outbursts are easier when no one is around.

Braedon is doing smashing, and I await new photos to share with you all.

Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers, they are appreciated.



Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2009
4:46 AM

Post #7073025

The offer was accepted! So, whew, now I have more paperwork...what was I thinking?!?!?

I am cautiously excited. I think the actions and work required to get moved and then make a homestead will give my heart some breathing room and my mind something else to focus on. I don't think it will stop the grieving, but it might give me some better outlets than I have right now.

Here's a peek at the place I'm buying:

http://www.navica2.net/displays/show_additionals.asp?n=355&mlsn=101821&ptype=R&status=A

Edited to say: Hmmm, the link works when I click on it on my pc, but not posted here. Shucks. Not sure why. It seems to be truncated in the posting and I'm not sure how to fix that. Any hints?

This message was edited Sep 17, 2009 12:50 AM
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2009
5:12 AM

Post #7073096

Well, here is a picture at least...

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

September 17, 2009
5:33 AM

Post #7073122

Really cute house. Looks like a good choice. Congratulations!
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2009
11:31 AM

Post #7073332

Meddling here... but I hope you are not letting your emotions rule your common sense [quote] the house that hubby loved [/quote]. That said, it is a comfortable looking home. If it is meant to be, it will work out for you. You will make it home by putting your mark on it. The setting looks like homes in the southern Missouri area.

When you said you were scared (?) was that because it was rural? I grew up in farmland ~ nearest neighbors were a mile or two away. Then, lived a few years in LARGE cities and when we moved back to the country, I was nervous bigtime. DH said I was safer there than I had ever been in town. What difference did neighbors make ~ I didn't even know our city neighbors. He was right and it just took me an adjustment period.

In general, country folk are more helpful but less meddlesome. An example... we fool with older cars. I was having trouble with my favorite dying on me so DH followed me to town and when it died, he had the hood up and was working on it. Ten cars came by. Nine (locals) stopped to help. The tenth one didn't but they just moved here from a large northern city.

When you get situated, do get out and sort thru the people in the community. You will be amazed at their generousity and goodness. Unfortunately, you will have to work at it. Your type of employment will keep you out of circulation socially.

Off to check your link.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2009
11:38 AM

Post #7073340

You are right ~ the link didn't deliver. This is the message I found...

" This emailed link appears to be invalid. Please contact your agent if this problem persists.
© 2009 Systems Engineering, Inc. - All Rights Reserved "

batflower

batflower
Murray River, PE
(Zone 5b)

September 17, 2009
12:08 PM

Post #7073410

I got the same message, but going by that picture, it looks lovely! Best of luck, and take it from someone who just made the same jump. (suburbs to very rural) It may seem a bit scary at first but the kindness of your neighbors will surprise you. The whole first week that I was here, I woke up to fresh eggs or veggies, or home baked goods on the door step with various welcome cards. all the people on my road (and even some from the next road over) had coordinated which days who would leave what on our doorstep so that our first week would bring us new gifts every day. A bunch of them offered to help with the renovations we are doing to and one offered to care for my fields until I could purchase a tractor. Where else would you get that kind of hospitality :-)

ves522

ves522
Jim Falls, WI
(Zone 4a)

September 17, 2009
12:14 PM

Post #7073427

I could open the link.

What a cute little place. Just right for you. But I did look at that BIG yard and think how much mowing you will have. LOL I am lucky and don't have to do mine. But he keeps expanding it so why should I !

Good luck!

ves522

ves522
Jim Falls, WI
(Zone 4a)

September 17, 2009
12:15 PM

Post #7073429

Not in my rural area!
greenwood46
Milwaukee, WI

September 17, 2009
1:01 PM

Post #7073541

Advice welcomed on my decision. I am a 60 yrs old single woman who currently lives outside a large city. About 10 years ago I had the opportunity to live on a 240 acre farm in WI for almost 15 years, and I loved it. My heart has always wanted to return to the country and live on a small acre homestead (10 acres or more) just to raise my own vegetables and have a large flower garden. Now my question: Would I be making a mistake to return to the country at this point in my life since I'm single? I'm in very good health and have been on my own for the past 15 years.

ves522

ves522
Jim Falls, WI
(Zone 4a)

September 17, 2009
1:06 PM

Post #7073550

Not if you don't go too big and have the time to take care of it. Working outside the home for your income can take up a big chunk of your time. I pretty much do all the gardens. DH does the yard and his other projects in his spare time. He does help with the corn patch as we'll sell a bit of it to pay for seeds the next year.

Here is his latest project with the bulldozer. It is very dry here and the top soil is just dust and that is a low area here.

Just thought you would like to hear from Wi. I pass some land for sale on the way! LOL It is not cheap anymore. No buildings just land.

Adding to say that DH is the workhorse in our family. He is finally learning to sit and rest once in awhile.

This message was edited Sep 17, 2009 8:07 AM

Thumbnail by ves522
Click the image for an enlarged view.

msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2009
3:41 PM

Post #7074040

Greenwood, I know of several older gals who live on their own out in the country. It's doable, but takes quite of bit of work. A lot depends on your health and whether you have to work for a paycheck and how many hours. You can take advantage of some ideas to cut down on the gardening chores, though. Hineni and I have talked a lot about how much she (or any single person) can reasonably handle alone. There are several threads asking for advice on this subject and a lot of the responses don't sound very encouraging, but it's important that if a person is going to make the move, that they be aware of what they're getting into.

Podster, we didn't have the same welcoming as Batflower, when we moved to our place. I don't know if our town is just so small (pop.870) and they really don't like outsiders or what. But after 7 years, we really haven't made any local friends. Do you have any suggestions on how to do that? I suggested to Hineni that she frequent the local coffee shop on a regular basis. I think it's important, particularly for a single person to have a couple of friends nearby.

Hineni, I am SOOOOO HAPPPPPPY for you!

MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2009
10:56 PM

Post #7075436

Greenwood, we are the same age. I could not manage our house, equipment, acres and garden alone. I drive the tractor, run the tiller, chain saw, plant, split wood, haul stone, do carpentry and tile work, can, etc. I used to take care of the ducks, rabbits and horses but retired from the animal business. :>) I would like to raise chickens. Since we are not here all the time, that is not possible.

Things are smoother with help. Our fantastic, never ending water supply, spring fouls several times a year in bad weather. I don't like climbing into the cistern to bail mud every time. Once a year is enough and then I glance in his direction. The water filters need to be changed, which requires crawling under the house. I can handle it on occasion. The hot water heater blew up a few months ago and flooded the crawl space portion of the basement. He re-wired the entire panel and installed a Bosch tankless heater he found on the internet. The drier died this week and he installed a new blower and thermostats. I was busy canning tomatoes, beans and okra, planting cabbage, collards, broccoli, fennel, leeks, arugula, dill, mustards and beets.

There are ways to partner with like-minded folks our age who want to live sustainably. It is a growing, if not tiny, movement. If I were alone I'd look for a community with independent housing and community gardens/land. There are also options for shared housing or independent housing with common (optional use) kitchen/dining and social facilities. If this idea interests you, check the internet for cohousing and ecohousing links.
Laurel
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 18, 2009
1:44 AM

Post #7075939

Greenwood ~ when you said [quote] Would I be making a mistake to return to the country at this point in my life since I'm single? [/quote] are you interested in remaining single? Are you content to live alone? To tackle projects alone, it would mean having no one to bounce ideas off of, no one for moral support, no one to give you an attagirl. When you enjoyed Wisconsin farm life, were you alone? What was the major pleasure for you in those days?

Dependent upon what you are asking or expecting of the balance of your life, I would say if you are inclined and physically able, by all means reach for it. If I can give a piece of advice, start small and keep your goals within reason. Small accomplishments are more confidence building than large failures. You will be far more content to try and fail than to have regretted never making the move.

Msrobin ~ our little community is larger than yours with 2,500 pop. I think the turning point here for me was going to work in town to meet people and let them measure my worth. Had I continued to work 50 miles from home or been a stay at home person they would have kept me at arms length. When we opened a small business, we were told it would fail as this community also rejects outsiders. Well, the majority of our business income comes from outside this area so the business has remained successful. We have supported select interests inside the community as school activities and other groups at the same time not forcing ourselves on the community. When our day is done, we go to the house and rarely socialize with locals. We patronize the local businesses regardless of their patronage with us. Granted that costs us more but it has also given us an empathy for the community as well as respect from the locals. I've seen others get wrapped up in the local Chambers, Rotaries and Lions clubs but we haven't. That seems to be more of a social status ladder and not our cup of tea. I know some that have broken the ice thru a local church of their choice also. I'm really not sure if there is a definitive answer but I think the first thing was to define what we wanted out of our community.

Tell me how your summer went ~ did you particpate in the local harvest or farmers markets successfully?

There I go again. Too verbose ~ sorry... pod
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 18, 2009
3:45 AM

Post #7076298

Verbose is good Pod (as one afflicted with it myself...haha)!

Greenwood, people have posed some good responses already. If I were just starting at your age, I would seriously consider an intentional community. You would get all the experiences you seek, but have plenty of help and community. I'm a few years younger and I'm going to need local help I am sure from time to time myself. It also depends on if you are big on socialization, or not. While I like people, I tend to be pretty private, so an IC wouldn't work for me at this time. I crave solitude, and have for a couple of years lately. Of course, the solitude of two is a different animal than of one, and I may need to socialize more in the future, I don't know yet. I do firmly believe that if we really want something, and we seek prayerful guidance, we can do it. I wish you the best in your search, as I continue along on my new path.

Maypop: Crawlspaces terrify me, I am in awe of your abilities :)

MsRobin: Thank you ma'am. I am sure I'll need your help lady, once we're nearly neighbors!

Thanks again for the support and encouragement all :)

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

greenwood46
Milwaukee, WI

September 18, 2009
4:38 PM

Post #7077772

Thanks for all the replies. It's given me alot to think about. When I live in WI, I was with someone, so I never had to do most difficult "male" jobs. I did drive tractor, bale round bales of hay, stack 50-70 # square bales tho. I just want to be back in the country to enjoy the peace and quiet, to see the birds and animals as I gaze out my kitchen window.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

September 18, 2009
4:54 PM

Post #7077821

Hineni
Where is the new place?
GrannyLois
Elizabethton (Stoney, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 18, 2009
10:05 PM

Post #7078815

Greenwood: think about Tennessee - it's half way to Wisconsin, the scenery is pretty, and the weather is mild. Just a thought.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 19, 2009
8:24 PM

Post #7081810

nice house Hineni
sure is looking good
we are hear for you
yep paper work stinks , don't do much of it myself but since i got bills i got to do it. Just can never find the paper to work on LOL
happy trails to you
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 20, 2009
5:49 AM

Post #7083271

Cajun, it's in Paris, TN. I joke with my family that I am moving to Au Paris :)

Greenwood, I know of a place in TN that will rent for cheap if I close on that house above ;) I also know of another place around here, a 1 room cabin, sharing space on 7 acres, that rents for cheaper. Must have 4 wheel drive to access the second one I mentioned.

Thanks Sue. During this time, I've come to really value my friends. They have listened to me, held me, hugged me, fed me, and laughed with me. I feel really blessed.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 20, 2009
1:02 PM

Post #7083739

it looks like everthing is coming along . :)
aaaahhhh we we pari mon magnific
and i m sure i spelled that all wrong LOL
and we are so blessed to have you share with us your journey :)
bless you
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 23, 2009
1:18 AM

Post #7093901

Appraisal paid for today, and should occur either Thursday or Friday per the Realtor. Sent in the earnest money. Still trying to get homeowners insurance coverage and forgot to call the two local offices today - moved to tomorrow's to-do list.

Did get fridge cleaned, floors washed, dog washed and most of the laundry folded and put away, and a couple of dinners made and put up. Neighbor dropped by to visit but I wasn't feeling very chatty today.

Offered to let the owner of a skinny horse graze his horse on my terribly overgrown lawn; then remembered that the landlord's hay is undefended. He'll have to tether the horse if he takes me up on the offer. My yard IS a former hayfield, so it should help me out and that starving horse out as well.

Located the weedeater under three feet of grass and water (more grass than water). Couldn't get it to start, so I have to try to find the handbook. Brought it in out of the rain and will take a look at it tomorrow when my trusty friend MsRobin is here (aka WeedEater Queen).

And Sue...Oui, oui, paris tres bon magnifique! :) I think your spelling is more fun tho...teehee!

Still no new photos of Braedon :( My kids take pictures of everything else, why can't they take more of him!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 23, 2009
1:21 AM

Post #7093919

Wow, a real weed eater queen? Marry her! I can never get one to work more than minutes after the first run.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 23, 2009
2:32 AM

Post #7094188

Ha! I'm pretty sure MrRobin would look askance highly at anyone taking his wonderful Robin away from him! He graciously shares her with me though; she has been a real lifesaver over the last few weeks. I might not still be sane if not for her available listening skills (oh wait, I'm not sure I AM sane, but...) She is a valued friend.

I'll be happy if I can get the darn weedeater to START. At least you can start 'em...
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 24, 2009
7:49 AM

Post #7098655

New grandbaby pictures! This was field trip day to the back yard at great grandma's house, sponsored by his aunt :)

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

September 24, 2009
7:50 AM

Post #7098657

Snuggles with Mommy

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

September 24, 2009
2:43 PM

Post #7099289

He's so alert. Looking right at the camera! Such a clever little guy.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 25, 2009
1:00 AM

Post #7101410

LOL i new i would not spell any of that right on the french spelling sheesh.
what a cutie you got thar ! oh so cute i want to smooch his little cheeks and eat him up . I love babys as long as they aren't not mine LOL
souns like things are going smoothly for you Hineni
how are them dogs you got ? are they over the puppy stage yet ?

Larkie

Larkie
Camilla, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 27, 2009
11:46 AM

Post #7212949

Missing updates on your adventures..

Larkie
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 27, 2009
1:44 PM

Post #7213234

How you doing, Hi? Did you get the place? Are you getting moved in?
Yes, update us, please.
=0)
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

October 28, 2009
10:20 AM

Post #7216099

Quick update: Loan has not cleared approval committee yet, and they keep asking for more $$ for tests, inspections, appraisals, etc., etc.

My grandmother died last week, so I'm flying down for her service this weekend. Not a good year at all.

I'll let ya'll know if anything else develops, good or bad :)
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

October 28, 2009
3:35 PM

Post #7216754

Fingers crossed for the loan approval!!!
Condolences on your g'ma... gone to a better place, hard for the ones left behind, though. Hugs and hot chocolate to you.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 28, 2009
4:09 PM

Post #7216917

I just hate red tape and paperwork. Sure hope things get better for you soon. You are due.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

November 12, 2009
8:37 AM

Post #7266176

Quick update; loan package cleared the lender and is now with the USDA underwriters. I still haven't been given a closing date, so I don't know if it is premature to be excited or not...8/

But hope is still alive at least...

porkpal
Richmond, TX

November 12, 2009
2:48 PM

Post #7266715

Good luck!
Caliche
Hill Country, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2009
5:46 PM

Post #7267301

Hineni, first let me offer condolences for the loss of your Grandmother and your DH.
The blessing of a new grandchild is a true gift.

I just recently found the homestead thread, although I have subscribed to Daves Garden for a couple of years. What wonderful information and suggestions are found in this thread. I have read every entry, and have to offer a big pat on the back to this whole community of caring folks.

I hope the USDA gets their tail in gear so you can get started on your new adventure. Paris Tennessee is a wonderful place to be! I am a genealogist and DH's family are from the Big Sandy area, just SE of there. I used the Paris library when researching in that area. There will be many neighbors who will happily help you out. I am also a rather private person, who almost never joins any organized activities. I am very independent also, and try to do everything I can by myself.
Caliche
Hill Country, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2009
8:10 PM

Post #7267839

I bet you can do way more than you ever dreamed!

One suggestion, that may have been raised already. Goats work better for most small folks to handle. When we were feeding a large family, and DH off fighting some war or another, we decided on dairy goats instead of a cow, as they were much easier for me and the kids to handle. Our kids helped with all the milking, feeding, etc.

I am short...5'2" and although I am very strong for my 76 years I have my limitations. I can do hoof trimming easily on Nubian goats, but a Jersey cow is a whole other matter. Also we had a stanchion about a foot off the ground, and the goats readily got in milking position, as they were eagerly looking for their oats.
Its easy to sit and milk, and no cows tail switching in our faces. If you will stagger your Nubians freshening dates, you will have year round wonderful sweet milk. Properly cared for, the milk is as good as any that old Jersey had to offer.

Although I was born and raised in a farming community in SE Colorado, we have lived in Texas for over 40 years. DH was stationed at Ft. Hood, and we fell in love with Central Texas, and bought a 15 acre hillside of rock and caliche. We raised 5 husky, healthy kids, a daughter and four sons. DH is disabled and tethered to an oxygen line 24-7 so I am his go-fer and legs for us both. Since in his military career, he was often gone for extended periods of a year or more, I am used to doing things alone.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 13, 2009
5:40 AM

Post #7269309

I agree about the goats. I have 3 Pygmy goats, all nannies. They will be ready to breed soon for Spring babies. I will breed them each a month apart to extend my milking. I am looking forward to making cheese. We will eat some of the kids and sell others. A friend has a billy so we don't have to keep one of the stinkers. LOL

Here is my oldest nannie. I call her Marble because her coat looks like a marble counter top.

Thumbnail by CajuninKy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

November 24, 2009
5:58 AM

Post #7304993

Thanks porkpal. Nice to meet you Caliche, thank you for your condolences and as always, good to see ya Cajun :) I love Marble, she's cute! Maybe I can sneak up to you for some goats milk from time to time eh?

Yes, if this deal EVER goes through, goats will be my first choice along with chickens for entering the livestock and poultry world. I do love those mini versions of cattle though; they are just cute as buttons. But butter cannot be made from goats milk asI understand it, due to the naturally homogenized product as it comes out. I do know that there are some semi-organic cows run down in Dresden (across, down...not sure), so perhaps I can find a cow share somewhere along the line and make my butter in that manner. No matter what, I doubt I will tackle livestock my first year on the property, unless things go extremely well in garden prep and moving in. I think I'll have my hands full just unloading, unpacking, fixing, puttering and gardening. But you never know...

I am poised to go to closing on Monday, although the 'official' word has not come down to me. I still have to run out to Paris anyway, and get the electric set up and on as well as the internet. That way, when I DO get there, at least all of that will be taken care of. It has been nearly two months since the official offer was signed, so a word of warning...only the patient need apply for USDA assistance :D

I have weathered the passing of DH's birthday, he would have been 41 yesterday. Thanksgiving looms, but my landlord and her husband have invited me up the hill for an early dinner, as I have to work that night. I suspect the shift will be slow and I can get a good bit of packing done that night. My kids and family are all scattered doing other things, and I had to save my remaining time off for the closing and the move, so no travel down there this year.

I apologize for the spotty postings; most days I'm just not very communicative and heck, waiting for papers to move from someone's desk here XX to someone's desk over there ----------------------> doesn't leave much for chatting about.
Once the deal seals, THEN I will try to be consistent and regular in my postings like I was when I was at the farm in VA.

Thank you to all who have thought about me, prayed for me, and dropped me a note here and there; it's greatly appreciated.

~H
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 24, 2009
4:27 PM

Post #7305896

Hineni,
I sure hope things get going for you. You've had a rough few years. You'd sure be welcome to some goats milk. I may even be able to gift you with a couple of goats when you get ready for them. It's all in the timing. LOL My girls are not related and I will be using different billies for each one so the kids won't be related either. That way I can match up the kids as breeding pairs. I'm lucky I have several friends with billies.

I know what you mean about unpacking. We are still in the process. Have to empty the box trailer in the front yard to get it back to the friend who loaned it to us. Need to clean and organize in the cellar so I can put some boxes down there. Some of it will go into the front of the horse trailer.

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

November 25, 2009
8:13 PM

Post #7309407

Hineni good to see you posting. So happy for you . I know its been a hard year for you. T&P for you .
i still have things in storage LOL and its been 2 yrs ? sheesh.
good luck and best wishes
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 26, 2009
12:27 AM

Post #7310067

Tay
We've done that after every move. Usually because we don't have room for it all. We still have some things in boxes from 7 years ago. You'd think we could do without it after all that time. I did go through the boxes before we moved here and got rid of some of it. It was like Christmas seeing all my things again. Like long lost friends. LOL
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

November 26, 2009
6:35 AM

Post #7310915

Yep, I'm "shopping" at home while packing; I didn't remember I had some of this cool stuff :) Great on the milk and the goats, that would be awesome! I appreciate it, and will look you up and haunt you over it Cajun...haha!!

Of course I'll have to spend the night when I come up there; I was closer to you when I was in VA than I will be then...teehee. Maybe I'll drag MsRobin with me too, so she can catch up on her goat appreciation. She had to get rid of hers when they went on the road a while back and she misses them.

Closing has been moved to Dec 7th. It HAS to close by then or the sellers payoff isn't any good and we all know what that means. I really wanted to go out there anyway this weekend, but good sense says stay home, keep packing and save the miles on the truck, the cash for gas and hotel, and avoid the holiday weekend road warriors. It wasn't an easy choice, but it is the more practical one 8/

Happy Turkey Day all!!

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

November 26, 2009
1:06 PM

Post #7311209

I think that is a good choice Hineni
i hate traveling during the holidays and i have been a road warrior during all of them and it sucks :(
many blessings
sue
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 26, 2009
3:47 PM

Post #7311554

You guys would be so welcome. It ain't the Hilton but I'll feed you and treat you right!

Good idea to saty off the road this weekend. Too much traffic and too little common sense out there.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. We do have so much to be thankful for.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

November 29, 2009
2:11 PM

Post #7318429

Yeah! A road trip with Henani AND get to meet Cajun! Not to worry about it not being the Hilton...we're tough "old broads"...lol!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2009
4:56 PM

Post #7322016

That would be great. It's really pretty around here. I'll let you know when I get the goats bred and when they are due.
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 4, 2009
12:12 AM

Post #7332804

Who you callin' old Robin? Pffft. LOL! If this darn closing doesn't happen I may be in a padded cell somewhere, rocking in a corner and talking to myself. Wait...I already do all of that, sans the padding (unless my hips count...)

Arghhhhhhhhhh. Please, please let this closing happen on Monday!!!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

December 4, 2009
1:54 AM

Post #7333178

That would be a great Chritmas gift!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

December 4, 2009
5:39 PM

Post #7334949

Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you, Hi!
Please, please, please let the closing happen... {squinting real hard}

batflower

batflower
Murray River, PE
(Zone 5b)

December 4, 2009
5:54 PM

Post #7334993

Keeping my fingers crossed for you too! good luck!!!!!
Caliche
Hill Country, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 4, 2009
6:23 PM

Post #7335076

Hineni, I keep checking this thread, hoping to see that your property closed. I know that you are so anxious to get started.
We have been here for over 35 years, but I can still remember handing over the earnest money as quick as they would take it. We bought it on a GI loan, and they take forever to get the paperwork done.
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

December 5, 2009
5:47 PM

Post #7338276

I'm adding my good wishes for your closing, too, Hineni.

When my late husband & I bought our "homestead", it was bare land, quick cash deal, and we trusted the seller. Don't know why, since we didn't know him at all, but we did! Luckily we didn't get burned.

DH & I put the first small double-wide on the property and my kids built a deck to sit on while admiring the view -- it was his last summer on earth so I am so thankful we got it done. Since then my sons & I have built it up such that it seems like a small paradise. We have learned alot along the way about solar electricity, water, winter weather, and growing things. In fact when DH & I bought the land, it was nearly impossible to think of living out here because solar electricity was in its infancy. How surprised and delighted he would be if he could see it now!

I do hope your deal goes through quickly! Living in the country is wonderful.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 7, 2009
2:07 AM

Post #7343178

Best wishes for your dreams to be realized while spending a day hauling wood and freezing our fannies off in the country. Never got above forty today, was mostly at or below freezing and we worked outside all day. Life is all about mixed blessings. Country life is that for sure. I know you'll be successful at whatever you choose to do.
Laurel
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 8, 2009
6:23 AM

Post #7347735

And today...

SUNFLOWER SOLACE FARM WAS BORN!

Closed today even though up to the last minute there were challenges and surprises. Keys in hand, I return to the rental house to finish up packing. Move-in date: 12/29/09.

Thank you ALL for thinking of me, encouraging me and praying along with me:) I promise to keep up on the 'adventures' part,as I am sure there will be a plenty.

Robin, Maypop and so many others here, you give me great hope that I can succeed at this.

So...let the packing and freaking out begin...I own a teensy-tiny farm! (ack, I cannot type this morning!)

~H

This message was edited Dec 8, 2009 1:45 AM

This message was edited Dec 8, 2009 2:28 AM

Thumbnail by Hineni
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Larkie

Larkie
Camilla, GA
(Zone 8a)

December 8, 2009
6:35 AM

Post #7347747

I would be in love...

Larkie
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 8, 2009
12:24 PM

Post #7347968

TA DA! It is yours and now, you will make it truly yours! Best wishes on this endeavor!

ves522

ves522
Jim Falls, WI
(Zone 4a)

December 8, 2009
1:18 PM

Post #7348073

What good news to wake up to this morning! Hope you have many happy years there. Can hardly wait to see pictures with the trees leaved out and flowers blooming!

batflower

batflower
Murray River, PE
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2009
1:46 PM

Post #7348130

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I'm sooo excited and happy for you! can't wait to see how all your projects work out.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

December 8, 2009
2:02 PM

Post #7348163

WhooHoo! Doing the happy dance!
Caliche
Hill Country, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 8, 2009
2:25 PM

Post #7348222

Congratulations! I am excited for you, and know that you will do well. You have had lots of troubles along the way, and now you can move on with a fresh start, and your dream.

Just think...spring will be here by the time you settle in, and it will be gloriously beautiful there. DH's ancestors come from that area, and I have done genealogy research there...just such a lovely area and nice folks!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2009
2:49 PM

Post #7348293

Woooo-HOOOOOO... way to GO Hi!
I love the name, too. Can't wait to read the Sunflower thread!
It's such a great adventure, getting going on one's very own homestead... we'll all learn so much from your trials, successes, and tribulations... It's as useful to know what doesn't work as what does (boy, do I know a lot about what doesn't work! LOL)

Sure wish I could come out with my truck and stock trailer and help you move!
Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!
porkpal
Richmond, TX

December 8, 2009
3:19 PM

Post #7348376

Well done! Way to go! Welcome to the joys of farm life.
AZgrammie
North of Heber, AZ
(Zone 6b)

December 8, 2009
3:44 PM

Post #7348443

Congratulations -- it is beautiful!
GrannyLois
Elizabethton (Stoney, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 8, 2009
5:29 PM

Post #7348767

wahoooooooooooooooooooooooooo
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

December 9, 2009
6:50 PM

Post #7352415

First rough draft and idea for driveway sign

This message was edited Dec 9, 2009 12:53 PM

Thumbnail by msrobin
Click the image for an enlarged view.

MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 9, 2009
7:04 PM

Post #7352459

Looks great. Maybe the "o"s could be painted like sunflowers too. That would give it a floral look all the way across.
msrobin
Caneyville, KY
(Zone 6b)

December 9, 2009
7:21 PM

Post #7352522

Thanks. I couldn't find my colored markers, so it's just a crayon drawing. I'll see what it looks like on the final draft using sunflowers for the o's. The letters will also be a bit fancier on the finished sign.

The sign I have in mind is three 1"x8"s, maybe 4' long, with 6" capital letters. The 2 posts will be behind those three boards. The sunflower plants will be cut out of plywood and attached to the front.

Anxious to see what Hineni thinks of it...:)

taynors

taynors
Urbana, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 9, 2009
7:22 PM

Post #7352524

congrats to you Hineni ! what a great feeling to finely get it all closed and done. THe real work starts now :)
but its fun work and good luck to you
best to you
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 10, 2009
2:31 PM

Post #7354983

Peers at sign through bleary eyes before hitting the sack...

Love the sunflowers! I trust your good judgement MsRobin; you are the artiste, not me :)

Thanks Sue :)

Shuffles off to bed, yawning.

CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

December 10, 2009
4:00 PM

Post #7355312

So looking forward to reading of your adventures. You have to keep us up to speed on all the happenings at your little slice of Heaven. So happy for you!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

December 14, 2009
9:56 PM

Post #7368686

I like the legibility of the sign as it is... making the 'o's into sunflowers might make it hard to read as someone drives by... not as striking as the bold cutout sunflowers.

My 2Ę worth anyways.

So how's the packing going? Is the weather cooperating with your plans?
Hineni
Paris, TN
(Zone 6b)

December 16, 2009
11:59 AM

Post #7373508

Packing is going well thanks. I haven't ventured out to the barn here to check on that stuff...too scaredy...haha! The weather has been rainy, or overcast, but not terribly cold. Good days for packing.

I think I'm going to narrow down my working 'stuff' and get more of it packed up. It's amazing how well I'm functioning in the house with most of it packed up already. Hmmmm, might be a lesson there for SOMEBODY (rolls eyes at self).

I'm just praying for good weather on the 29th, when our Beverly Hillbillies convey heads out for western air!
Jayryunen
Sapello, NM
(Zone 5b)

December 16, 2009
3:01 PM

Post #7373902

Yee-haw!
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

December 16, 2009
10:32 PM

Post #7375098

I am so happy for you. Be sure to take pics when the clan moves out.
secretlove2005
Brooklyn, NY

March 29, 2010
4:00 PM

Post #7665131

ok i know i am late on the thread but an idea i have would be to not always look at sq footage of a place,, they layout is all that really matters, storage space is easily dealt with, a crafty idea is to get a nice amoire i so didnt spell that right, but it has plenty of storage and it can house alot of your blenders and appliances as well as food that u canned,, if you go with a renovated place already, ur more then likely paying for work someone has done and not always done right, alot of flippers just makeing fast money have done that work,, i actually used to live in murray ky try looking for land thats between paris and puryer they have some gravel back roads out there and you will find alot of land and not for alot of money, and remember its not about how much space you have but what u can do with the space you do have
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

March 30, 2010
5:30 AM

Post #7666386

Flat ground is expensive here and hard to come by. You can buy a mountain for a pittance. You have to be creative. Goats do well here.
Gardening is a challenge. The soil is shallow and not good but horse poop and rotted sawdust covers a multitude of sins. That's why I brought my dirt with me when I moved.
EastOfMidnite
Cleveland, OH
(Zone 6a)

April 1, 2010
9:13 AM

Post #7671944

Cajun right on soil here in Mo.Quite thin to sparse,Its been abused in the past but w/ a little sweat equity and toil I`ll make it come back to life.Organically.Life=freedom,decent food,clean water,wind and solar.The ability to choose whats right for the human race and not have some- you know what- rammed down your throat I`ll hoe my own row thank you.Keep the faith.I`m quite certain thier is a place for good folk Somewhere beyond here.
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 2, 2010
1:53 PM

Post #7674835

If I had hope only in this world I would have no hope at all. I am only a stranger passing through this life on my way to me eternal home with God. That knowledge is why I don't get too down by the things I endure here. I know it is only for a season.

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