Stop by & offer a few pointers, or point & laugh, as a few old farts figure out the fine art of living... Life on a Few Acres

Saturday, September 27, 2014

More pieces of the homesteading puzzle in place!

I'm not certain which is the biggest achievement:  snagging 6 I.B.C. totes, or biting the bullet & taking our maiden voyage with craig's list in order to do so.  

Don't have all the numbers penciled out, but figure we can put two  on house for orchard, & the rest on the barn above the garden, to supply both the garden & the critters.  Putting animals above a water source screams all kinda warnings, but I'm hoping we'll find a system that works for the location.  

Either way, I'm pretty tickled to have made a start in the goal of  partial water self sufficiency.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Eight Months In *or* Where I've been

Reaching the bottom of the pile of today's do-dues meant I found the calendar... & realized we ole farts have been farm owners for *8* months!  I guess it's fair to say we're right on track with this project, but only because we have no time table or track laid out.  A technical distinction, but if it gives us a gold
star in the progressing right on schedule column, I will make it.

Though no project is fully checked off, there has been some movement towards completions.
  • Septic field is in, paid for, & wearing the county's seal of approval.  None of that was strictly necessary, I suppose, as we're the one's who instigated the inspections and upgrades, but I wanted to invest now and get ahead of any EPA power grabs.  This project remains on the incomplete list as we're still in process of draining and filling in the old lagoon.
  • Had the H vac fella out to toy with the furnace & A.C. systems (yes plural, 2 of each).  He seems to think it best to wait to replace them, so he did the routine maintenance, we filled the propane tank, chose our favorite wood stove, & put a tentative check  beside the heating & cooling column.  He still needs to come back with his software and calculate loads and such, but I feel that with propane, wood, electric & kerosene options, I can feel good about getting through the winter.   One nice discovery is that the house stayed cool enough without the AC on.  Thanks, Trees!  
  • Craft  & guest rooms had the craptastic paneling & ancient carpet removed, surfaces repaired, painted, & trim bulked up. 

    These during & during photos are of the craft room.  I fully intended to create a modern, bright room with purple lines,  modern flowers and yet some how soft colors showed up on the walls & antique roses bloomed on the fabrics.  Weird ;).
  • The living room's north wall was torn out, the chimney caulked, insulation beefed up, and a new wall put up.  
  • The master was originally too big.  (bet that is first. time. ever. anyone said that!) So we walled off an area 16x10 for the  office.  That's been built, insulated, wired, ceiling patched, dry walled, primed & painted.
  • The bedrooms have been patched, primed, painted & borders applied.  
  • Baseboards are up in all rooms we're replacing  floors in.
  • Floors are  chosen, and we're awaiting installation.
  • Wood stove & installers chosen & project initiated.  Should be wrapped up by spring LOL.
  • Canning Jars all found a home in an existing  closet under the stairs.  Inventory taken and actually up to date!
  • Painting  basement in process.
  • Caught & overcame the EV-D68 once or twice per person, as well as a stray infection here and there.
Gosh, I'm glad I wrote that down, it makes it look like something has really  been finished.
I'm sure I've forgotten odds & ends, like meeting, falling for, & bringing red Betty home with us, but it'll keep.

Hope every ANY one else reading this had a truly productive season! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Are zebras ruminants?

The Small Ruminant Toolbox / Topic Rooms / Learning Center / SARE Nationwide - SARE


I don't know if they are or not,  but since many are turning toward raising sheep & goats in the small / sustainable farm venues, I thought the info in this *toolbox* might be worth a gander.

(And no, gander are definitely not ruminants )


Monday, February 10, 2014

The first 30 days.

It seemed a good time to take a look at the lessons & achievements of the first thirty days.

Probably the main reason I write is that blogging seems to be the 21st century's answer to yesteryear's home movies & vacation slides.  An added bonus is that we don't have to tidy the parlor or prepare scrumptious goodies before boring you. :).

I also write because there are so many people with similar dreams. Many are poking around cyber space looking for information, inspiration & encouragement.  Now that I have my toe in the water, I want to assure folks that if it can happen for we ole fools farts, anything is possible.

So, the first month in review: 

  • Closed!  One of the OF's works nights, and took out a loan for the property.  They used quicken loans and the process seemed smooth as butter.  We've all read the horror stories, so this seemed worth noting.
  • 1800sf of carpeting & accouterments removed.
  • Two bedrooms ready for the first coat of mudd.
Still working towards the septic update.  Like much of the country we've received extra feet of snow so little progress made.  We knew it was a crap shoot (pun intended <G>), so we're just shrugging off the delay .


  • Got to buy propane during the great propane-shortage-snow storm of '14.  Part of  this was we didn't know how many  gallons we'd likely burn.  Next time we'll pay more attention to that detail. 
  • What's going in across the  road?  You don't know?  Neither do I lol.  I thought i did my due diligence.  I snooped around the parcel info of our neighbors, looking for notorious family names and land usages.  The neighbors on 3 sides have 100s plus acres each, so I felt confident I'd have a nice cushion of space.  Much of that fourth side is also part of a large acreage, presumably used for hay or livestock.  For whatever reason the small parcel with the drive way didn't garner a red flag for me, but after closing, notice that there's a permit for a large ag building.  Time will  tell, and it's no big  deal, probably.  Just one of those lil details you might wish  to  work out prior  to  purchasing your own piece of the dream.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Still on track to close this Friday

Goodness. When I admit I'm not at all ready, I don't mean that I've not finished packing. ( I haven't even begun lol ). It's more that I don't have a hook into the property. The earth contact home was easy. It was nestled in the middle of rolling prairies, settled by an english dr. named baghoot, who could trace his linage back to the 13th century. It was so quintessentially middle-earth shire that we could almost catch sight of the mushroom stealing hobbit in the back field.