Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015, Realities of Living in The Great North Woods and Farm Diaries

So, the new year is upon us again.
No resolutions here. I have too much damn stuff on my MUST DO list to indulge myself in the mental masturbation of "should dos" and "want to dos" in the coming year.
I MUST put up more fencing. I MUST have a decent garden. I MUST get my milking section of the barn completed before the new kids arrive. I MUST build a chicken house/yard. I MUST get more chickens. I MUST get in a better heating system before next winter. I MUST, I MUST I MUST!
The entire list is way too long to set down here, but, trust me, there is no room for the pipe dreams of resolutions.
Our water heater bit the big one.
This is bad.
One of my few joys here is taking a long HOT soak in the tub. It is cold here. VERY cold. We weren't able to get a pellet stove yet (expense), so, our heating is just a baseboard electric heater in the upstairs living room. Even with that, it is currently only about 45 or 50 in the living room. Some mornings, even lower to the point I can see my breath. Right now, I am running the clothes dryer to boost the temperature a teeny bit.
I am wearing 2 pairs of socks, thermal underwear, jeans, a t-shirt, sweater and a sweat shirt. This is inside. And I have a blanket over my lap and legs.
This is the reality of living in The Great North Woods here in the NorthEast US. It gets cold here. Damn cold.
You learn to adapt. To live with it.
Or you get the hell out.
We are staying.
So, we will have to get a new water heater, which we can ill afford right now.
Until we get one, I am heating water on the stove to wash dishes and myself. If need be, we can go over to a neighbors for quick showers.
Should be getting the water heater on Friday.
I plan on starting a farm diary on the 1st. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and many Colonial farmers kept farm diaries. That way I can flip through the pages and see what worked, what didn't.
I'll be doing it on actual paper, not online.
I suggest everyone keep a farm diary. Even if it's only a line or two a day, it can help you keep track of your efforts.
Hope everyone has a terrific new year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Farming Is Not For Sissies

The loss of Alice's little cria hit me hard, and, yes, I shed some tears over it.
But, farming is like that.
You have gains...and you have losses.
It ain't for sissies.
I try so hard to look at gains and losses objectively, but it is hard to do. I get attached to my animals.
The alpacas (barring a complete collapse of the country) are not meant for the table. Neither are my goats.
The chickens and ducks....well, maybe.
I plan on ordering chicks and maybe ducklings the first week in January. I will be ordering some meant just for the table, but I will order them in February.
The ones I order first will be for the *core* of my laying hens.
I am looking at several different breeds to find the best *mix*.
I know everyone seems to adore Buff Orphingtons, but I have had nothing but bad experiences with them.
So, don't suggest them!
As far as meat chickens, I am still "up in the air" about breeds.
I am maybe considering dual purpose.
Anyone want to make suggestions for chicken breeds, please chime in! Realize it gets cold up here!
As for ducklings to raise for the table, I am considering I LOVE roast duck.
I am going through the different breeds but have yet to decide on that, either.
I have at least a month to decide, so, looking through web sites, catalogs, etc.
I also have to set up a proper brood area for them. I think I have that figured out, just have to put the work in. Once I have it done, but before I order the chicks/ducklings, I'll post some pictures and get suggestions on how to improve it. (There is ALWAYS room for improvement!)
Hope everyone's holiday plans are going well!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bad Morning

This morning I went out with Older Son to feed the livestock.
To our dismay, Alice the alpaca had delivered a cria during the night and the wee thing was dead.
It was a female, chocolate brown, just like Alice. Her eyes were open, she was probably born alive, but between Alberto stomping around trying to mate with Alice (we presume) and the cold, the little one died.
Alice wasn't due for another 3 to 4 weeks.
Maybe the move or the change in climate caused premature labor/delivery. I don't know.
I was so upset and disappointed.
The only consolation is Alice still has her yearling, Angus, by her side, so that should comfort her a bit.
I have also resolved not to allow Alberto access to the females unless it is time to mate.
So, a paddock just for Alberto will be on the agenda in the spring.
Another thing on the never-ending list.
I have been going through my Bakers Creek seed catalog and encountered a problem.
So, now...onto paring down to what we actually NEED.
Then I will have to pare down to what we can actually AFFORD.
I am sure most of you have the same problem.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Catalogs Arriving!

My catalogs have started arriving!
Chicken and seed catalogs!

Now, if you'll excuse me...I have some catalogs to peruse, obsess and drool over!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Few Things Happening Here...

I have had one monster of a head cold.
Hot tea, hot baths, elderberry, Vicks vapo-rub...all the usual remedies are being employed.
I will beat this darn cold into submission!
All the animals are doing fine, even in the cold.
Okay, Baby, our terrier mix has been a grumpy little thing, but she'll get over it.
Have gotten 2 chicken catalogs, but still no seed catalogs!
Getting annoyed about that.
Thinking about writing a book. Have the whole thing in my head, just have to write it down.
I'll let you know when/if I get started on that.
Other than that, no new news to report.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Don't Mind Me....

I am just rearranging and redoing my blog some. It will probably be a day or two until I am happy with it.

I think I am happy with this as my Yuletide theme.
What 'cha think?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Education Sunday

To the end.
Pay attention.
Become proactive.

Another one:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beatrix Pics!

Just showing ff the new 'paca baby!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Meet Beatrix!

Anna the alpaca gave birth this morning. A wee girl, and we named her Beatrix.
She is lovely!

We have separated Anna and Beatrix into their own section of the barn and they have a couple of stalls made comfy with a layers of straw or three. Yeah, I wanted to make it extra fluffy and warm for them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Empty Mailboxes Are Sad....

I have ordered seed catalogs. Chicken catalogs. Farm supply catalogs.
Now I wait. And wait. And wait....
Anyone else going through the agonizing wait for their catalogs.
Every time I peer in the mailbox and there is no catalog, I get a little sadder...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Opinionated Me....

I get questions once in a while from folks that want my opinion on current events, politics, etc.
I figured I would give my opinion on a few things, even though this is primarily a farming/homesteader blog. no particular order, here are my opinions, for whatever they are worth.
1) Ebola: Not much of an issue. Unless you are in one of five countries in West Africa or you are medical staff caring for ebola patients or you have a family member with ebola or you handle the bodies of deceased ebola patients, you don't have anything to worry about. Quit stressing.

2) The recent mid-term elections. Yes, I vote. I tend to vote for the person, not the party. In politics, I guess you'd call me a libertarian. Still, the election basically showed that people in this country are pissed off at the current administration. Good or bad, we'll all have to live with it.

3) ISIS, IS, Islamic Caliphate...whatever the hell they are being called this week. They are savages and not quite able to be considered *civilized* in any sense of the word. Then again, I feel that way about ALL Muslims.
Before anyone gets in a snit and calls me a bigot/racist/Islamaphobe/whatever, here is my reason:
If you are a Muslim, have a "live and let live" opinion of Islam, support Islam in ANY way, shape or form,
you condone or approve/support  pedophilia and child molestation. No way around it. Even the fabled "moderate" Muslims (that are more elusive to find than unicorns) approve of pedophilia.
Here's why: One of Mohammed's wives was (by Muslims accounts and the Koran) either as young as 6 or as old as 12 when he took her as his wife. He was 50. She was a CHILD. He had SEX with her.
If that doesn't disgust you, nothing will. I do not care if Mohammed was a *prophet*, performed miracles, helped Santa, gave birth to the Great Pumpkin or whatever is claimed by his followers, HE WAS A PEDOPHILE.For me, that negates any positive thing anyone could say about him. And makes the entire Koran a bogus *sacred* writing.
If you still feel Islam is okay, take your daughter or granddaughter, niece or whatever young girl you care for that is no older than 12 nor younger than 6 and give that child to a 50 year old man to sexually molest. Still feel good about Islam?
Remember, any politician that *makes nice* with Muslims or praises them supports pedophilia.
That is my opinion and it will never change.

4) Kim Kardasian's *break the internet* nude pics. Why anyone asked about this, I don't have a freakin' clue. Also *Mama June* dating a sex offender that went to jail for molesting her older daughter.
Reality t.v.? Really? REALLY?
My opinion is these people should: Just. Go. Away. They are classless and clueless. Never watched this garbage. Never will. Wait...I saw part of one Honey Boo Boo episode where they were making *'sketti*.

As for Kim K., I honestly think her mother should have been arrested for pandering/pimping when those girls were younger. She pimped them out to rap stars and the NBA as sex partners. Disgusting woman.

5) Gay marriage. Why is this a problem? Two consenting adults that love each other want to get married. Let them. Crap, the government should not be in the marriage business, anyway. When did the government get in the marriage business, anyhow? Gonna have to do some research on that. Betcha' it has something to do with taxes or fees charged. Anyway, what two consenting adults do in their bedrooms and private lives doesn't affect me and mine. I do have gay/lesbian people in my family and friends. None of them are attracted to children (most pedophiles self-identify as straight, anyway, even if their preferred victim is of the same gender), none of them want to force their views on anyone. So, if you don't like gay/lesbian marriage, don't marry one. Problem solved.

To round up and bring it to a close so I can go feed the animals and run to town to get a few things...
GMO foods are bad for you, the environment, etc. Support GMO labeling. Ban GMOs where you can.
Marijuana should be legalized and taxed. Cultivation of hemp should be encouraged. The products made from hemp (rope, fabric, biodiesel, etc.) are myriad.
Immigration should have better controls. Protect our borders. (I know, this goes against the libertarian view, but, crap, nobody is perfect)
Abortion is murder. (Again, against libertarian viewpoint) After having 7 kids, I simply can't understand how any woman can have a growing separate life ripped from her body. "Woman's right to choose", blah, blah, blah and all that. What about the father's rights? The baby's rights? People seem to forget there are more people in the equation than just the woman.

Now that I have pissed off more than a few people (I suspect), I'm off to do chores.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Walking In A Winter Wonderland.....

The other day, I woke up to THIS:

It looked magical!
Not a lot of snow, but more than we were used to in El Paso. And, I swear, it sparkled ! Faerie snow!
The alpacas loved it. The goats were not happy, particularly the ones that had never seen snow! The ducks were first they tried to run around and catch the snowflakes, lol! I think they thought it was popcorn or something.
I am currently awaiting my seed catalogs and planning the gardens and such. Also looking for a buck to breed the does so we will have spring kids and milk!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

So.....Now What?

Land, check.
House, check.
Livestock, check...sorta. Need more chickens! And a cow. Maybe a sheep. A couple pigs.
Now what?
I have everything a budding homesteader could need (well, seed catalogs are in the mail!), now what do I do with it all?
Now, the Darlin' Man and I could just live our lives, prep, garden, etc., just for ourselves. And our kids. (Between the two of us, we have 10 offspring!)
So...discussion, discussion, discussion betwixt the two of us since he arrived.
Both of us have volunteered for non-profits before, and/or did charity work. I started a non-profit when I lived in Asheville, NC.
Neither one of us want to delve into the red tape rigamarole required by federal/state/local governments to start/run a non-profit entity.
But....we both want to combine our love of homesteading and prepping with something that will benefit others unable to have a homestead.
Took a lot of thought....some research...okay, a lot of research....and some more thought...and talking to folks in the area, but we think we finally have an idea!
Here we go:
We have a large elderly population in our area, also many veterans. Also, a fair share of disabled (both veteran and civilian).
We would like to put in some handicapped accessible greenhouses (walipinis, really) and/or hoop houses and redo our downstairs kitchen as a *communal cottage kitchen* for large scale canning, cheese making, etc.
I could give classes on cheese making and canning for minimal fees, and we could allow disabled/elderly/veteran folks from the area use of one or two of the greenhouses/hoop houses. There are private grants out there that could help with this and/or we could attempt to crowd source funds.
There is currently nothing like this in our area...or in the entire state, as far as we could find out. Yes, we looked at insurance regulations and they are doable.
I plan on putting in a shop downstairs, so participants could sell produce, craft items, etc. that they raised or made themselves.
We are still *fleshing out* the idea and finding out the details of the cottage laws in New Hampshire, etc.
Still....we like the idea.
Thoughts? Ideas? 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Very Good News and Ugly Wallpaper ...

First, to the wallpaper issue. It will be next Spring before we can tackle the cosmetic issues here, but I thought some of you would get a giggle (or a nightmare) from the plethora of wallpaper patterns on the walls here.
This is on ONE SIDE of the kitchen

One of the bedrooms


Another bedroom

The OTHER SIDE of the kitchen!

Dining room. Even the switchplates are covered with this!

Living room. Yes, THREE wallpapers. Or two with a border in between.

I warned you, didn't I? Yes, they are hideous, each one a horrible mistake of design and color all by it's self...but together? YEESH!                                                                                                                 
Now...on to the Very Good News:
The Darlin' Man is here. He is finally and totally H.O.M.E.
He had been working for the railroad and staying in Indiana, but after many conversations and some applied mathematics, we came to the conclusion that maintaining two residences (even if his was a rented room) was costing us more than if he came home and didn't have a job. So, he came home. And promptly got a job locally. 
He had never been here. I was the one that picked out the property and the house, that figured out which town we wanted to be close to, etc.
He loves it here!
I am so glad he does, too! 
We are joining the Grange, he already has a library card, we went to a Town Hall meeting, he has met the neighbors, gone downtown and checked out the stores (we only have a dozen or so) and checked out the surrounding countryside. He can't believe there are still small towns like this. He says "It is how living is supposed to be!"
He is right. 
So what if the internet is slow and some parts of the county are so remote rumor says they have to pipe in sunshine?! People wave, they stop by just to talk about the weather and who got the best hay crop this year and do you think the river will flood next spring.....the big news in the paper is the chili cook off, a 5k run and a local parade. The police report in the paper says one person got a speeding ticket and a couple got in an argument on the other side of town and the cops were called. (That was for a whole week!)
We both love it here and we both are happy. 
I'll try to post more often, now that the internet is running semi-okay.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Update...and a Rant About Craigslist

Okay...need heat of some sort for the house this winter.
Wanted a pellet stove.
Went to Craigslist to find one.
FIRST OF ALL....If you are selling a used item on Craigslist, do NOT price it as high as a brand new one! I am looking for DISCOUNTS, people!
SECOND....don't advertise an item, talk to me on the phone about it and then when I get to your home AFTER DRIVING ALL THE HELL OVER HALF OF NEW ENGLAND tell me, "Oh, sold that an hour ago." AND THEN TRY TO SELL ME A MORE EXPENSIVE STOVE THAT YOU "JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE"!!!
THIRD...and perhaps most importantly, do NOT post a pic of a lovely stove and then when I get there show me a stove that looks liked it was dragged over 40 miles of bad road! You have obviously snagged the pic from a manufacturers site and posted it as a representative photo of your own stove and it is NOT!
Yeah. Annoyed I am.
Getting a wood furnace for the basement tomorrow, as well as a propane gas fireplace for upstairs. I have seen these and KNOW that they work AND have someone who is installing them for free.
Screw you Craigslist, you have disappointed me for the last time!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Internet is Working! (Uhmmmm...Sorta, Anyway)

After repeated calls to my internet and phone provider, they FINALLY sent me a repairman with some common sense. He actually looked at the line coming into the house (unlike the previous three guys) and said "Screw it. Let's just replace that old line and see if it helps."
Twenty minutes late, I had internet. And my phone worked, too!
So, lets see if I can get this blog rolling again!
Moose Crossing Sign. Everywhere here!

Local public library. Great place!

Next to library parking lot.

Window box loveliness at library.

Was out and about last week and took a few (pretty bad) pictures. The Moose Crossing signs are on every road here. And for good reason! When you hit a moose with a car...a truck, heck, even a semi!, there's a good chance you will be severely injured (if not outright killed) and your vehicle totaled. About a week and a half ago a lady in the next town over hit a moose...the moose staggered into the other road lane and was hit again by a different lady. Both cars totaled, but fortunately, both drivers survived. One is still in the hospital.
The moose? Staggered over to the edge of the road and sat down. It had to be destroyed because it's injuries were severe enough it wouldn't have survived long in the wild. New Hampshire law mandates that if a moose or deer or bear has to be destroyed by law enforcement, or has been recently killed by a vehicle, local law enforcement should have the animal immediately transported to a place it can be butchered out and the meat saved. The meat is then donated to facilities that can use it. Schools, prisons, group homes, etc.
I have seen a moose on the property here! Also wild turkeys galore. And deer...lots and lots of deer.
There is so much wildlife here! I had to chase an eagle away from the ducks pen!
It is starting to get chilly at night, and we still don't have a heating system. Tomorrow I go to look at a couple of pellet stoves. They are cheaper than an oil furnace and the fuel is cheaper, too.
Until then, I cuddle down at night with lots of blankets....and a couple of the dogs!

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Great North Woods

That's the semi-official name for where I live. Also, The North East Kingdom.
Whatever you call it, it's gorgeous. Everyone reminds me of the cold, sometimes brutally cold and snowy winters. I've lived in Montana, people. Trust me, been there, done that.
We are already scavenging up warm clothes, blankets, quilts, etc. for the cold to come. Boots are high on my agenda, too. And warm socks. CUTE warm socks for me. Yeah, I have something of a sock addiction.
Pictures...if I can get this computer to cooperate and keep the internet connected (Damn you, Fairpoint Communications. You are not fair, do not communicate and there seems to be no damn point to your service...which rarely works!)
First...the basement. NOT a good thing. The place looks like a weekend retreat for serial killers!

 Yeah. That's going to take a LOT of work. After getting the plumbing fixed, we are basically out of money BUT we still need a furnace to survive this winter. So...trying some creative financing (i.e., selling a gun or maybe two or possibly getting a home improvement loan)

Sunrise the other morning. The pics aren't very good...sorry! But the sky was awash with such lovely shades of pink, blue and lavender.

 I love looking at the sky here. The stars at night are simply blazingly bright as there are very few lights way out here in the country.

And here's Charlie. The goats and alpacas are delighted with the grass...although a bit confused by it at first!

 Tin ceilings. Yes, I have them! Have been doing a lot of research on the care and maintenance of them.Some idiot in the past covered several ceilings here with that gawdawful looking Styrofoam type ceiling tile. YUCK!  And the wallpaper in some of the rooms is so U-G-L-Y.

 So, yeah...cosmetic issues, we haz them.
It's a lot of work ahead of us...we know that. It will take time. I know I can't accomplish everything overnight. I would LOVE to be able to, but unless I win the lottery tomorrow, it is not gonna happen.
Still, it's an old house with a few wonky floors and ugly wallpaper, but it is of very solid construction.
It's over 100 years old and has stood strong through all those winters and spring storms and autumn winds.
I love it.
As most everyone has heard, SciFiChick over at the Bacon and Eggs blog passed away from a heart attack. I was shocked and saddened by her death. Sci always came across as so vital and enthusiastic, even when she was having a rough time. She was such a good writer and her blog taught me a lot. I never met her in person, but we did exchange a lot of comments back and forth over the past few years. I met her on a forum and she inspired me and encouraged me to start this blog. I will miss her.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Took me a couple of weeks to get internet set up, sorry about that!
But we are here.
No plumbing for the first week, so I had to rent a port a potty. Had to put up a corral for the animals and the rooster and his hens are still in temporary quarters in the garage.
But at night, I hear the river chuckling and dancing over the rocks and that lulls me to sleep.
The air is cooler here (thank goodness!) and more humidity, so I feel better.
The house is definitely a fixer upper. We got enough of the plumbing fixed up to live on the second floor for the time being.
So many projects, so little money, lol!
But little by little, we will get it done!
I should be able to post pics on my next post.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Last Night in El Paso!!!

Everything that could be packed is packed. A friend and my son are driving it up to NH.
My other son is flying up with me. All of us leave at 6 am.
So...posts will be a little sparse for a bit.
Follow me on twitter or if we are friends on facebook, look for my posts there.
My next great adventure starts now!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Times, They Are A-Changing....

You'll notice a different look to my blog.
That is where I am moving to. Well, not right on the waterfall in the picture, but a scant 2 miles away.
Yeah. I saw the falls while I was there.
Beautiful, n'cest pas?
Now you know why I am so eager to get there!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tedious Unending Waiting!

The closing process on the house is in full swing and what it mostly entails is..................waiting.
Only 2 or 3 more weeks and we'll be done and can move up.
Still....the waiting is the hardest part! (and how many of you sang that, lol!?)
So packing and waiting, waiting and packing...
A few random thoughts while I wait.....
TV has gone down hill. More and more commercials. Most of them for cars, insurance and shoes.
Why the shoes? I dunno. They show these closets big enough to be a decent sized bedroom FILLED with shelves and shelves of shoes! Who needs that many pair? Why do they have damn near skyscraper height heels?
My shoes: 1 pair Crocs, neon orange, 1 pair tennis shoes--light blue & gray, 1 pair hiking boots--brown, 1 pair dressy flats---black.
All I need. I will get some good winter boots and *muck* boots once I get up North, but other than that, I'm set.
The absolutely RIDICULOUS shoes they show in the commercials I couldn't wear to win a bet!
Yet they hammer away with those commercials, trying to convince each and every female out there that unless she has DOZENS of pairs of shoes she can't really be complete.
I guess if females want to believe that, they deserve all the corns and bunions they get. Also the back-aches and leg cramps.
Political correctness is running wild in this country.
People...get a grip.
I would like to introduce a brand new concept: Common Sense.
Pop Tarts are NOT guns, even if a kid is nibbling on one and it ends up very vaguely resembling one.
Hobby Lobby is not waging war on their female employees and their insurance pays for 16 forms of birth control still. What they did not want to pay for were abortficants, i.e., drugs that cause an abortion of an already existing pregnancy. Big difference.
The only reason liberals are screaming about Hobby Lobby is because they didn't want to pay for abortions and they are a Christian owned company. If it was a Muslim owned company, those idiot liberals would have applauded the decision.
I have come to the conclusion that if someone is a Liberal, they are suffering from a severe mental illness and are to be pitied. And need treatment. Lots and LOTS of treatment.
Especially Liberal women. They are the most strident and the most deluded of all..

My politics? I'm a Libertarian. I advocate freedom and...oh-my-say-it-ain't-so...self responsibility.
Other things annoying me this week...
I got a *smart* phone.
Mainly at the Darlin' Man's insistence.
Took me 2 days to figure out how to actually answer the darn thing.
I was able to download a game. Mah Jong. 
And I can take pictures and video with it. I have figured out how to take pictures. Videos, not so much.
So...back to waiting....

Monday, June 23, 2014

House Update

Okay, here it is.
We got the house! And at over 13 thousand UNDER list price!
I finally called my real estate agent and told her: "Here is my final offer. This is IT. No more negotiations.Not a dime more. If the bank chooses to accept my offer, they better do it fast, because I will withdraw this offer next Tuesday at 5pm, New Hampshire time. Then I will look elsewhere"
I also sent her an email saying the same thing.
I did that last Thursday.
I got a call back Friday around noon.unnel.

My realtor had printed out the email and put it in front of the banker, telling him, "My client is serious. If you think you will get a better price, you are kidding yourself."

The bank agreed.
Closing will take about 30 days. Which means another gawdawful hot July here in El Paso. But at least I can see a blazing light at the end of this tunnel.
So happy!
We are packing carefully. I am going through boxes that the Darlin' Man hasn't unpacked in EIGHT years!
A LOT is going in the trash.
I am going to have a yard sale. There is an amazing amount of stuff I am not going to take.
We are minimizing what we are taking with us. And what we are leaving unpacked until the last minute.
One plate, spoon, knife and fork for each of us. One bowl for each. One glass for each. One saucepan, one frying pan and the big pan that we make tea in. The tea pitcher. A couple of big spoons and pancake turners for cooking. The rest of the kitchen is almost packed.
Most of our clothes are packed. We are each keeping out enough clothes for one week and then washing the clothes we keep out every six days. One towel for each.
I need more boxes for the books...we have sooooo many. And movies. And CDs.
Well, at least I have a month to pack!

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Well, we are in a bit of a bidding war for the house we want in New Hampshire.
No one has even LOOKED at this house for a year. A YEAR!
The same week I looked at it, someone else did.
And the banker making the decision is apparently, very casual about getting back to my real estate agent.
So...we had to *up* our bid.
And, hopefully, we will hear something Monday.
If the bank guy doesn't take another long weekend.
In other news...
I finally caved and got a *smart* phone. I got one of the *no contract* ones,
I think the darn thing is way smarter than I am!
I am getting used to all the functions, etc., but invariably, I push the wrong icon at the wrong time and I end up suddenly with a screen I don't understand doing a function that I didn't want it to do.
But I did download a free game and I can happily kill time playing mah-jong.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I'm In Love.......

....with New Hampshire!

I got back from my one week house hunting trip last Thursday. I spent a week in Vermont with day trips to New Hampshire.

It. Was. Amazing.

I cried. Seriously, I cried as my host drove me to his lovely home in Jericho Vermont.
It was cool. And green. OH SO GREEN!
Not flat either. Hills and mountains and lakes and streams, rivers and waterfalls....everything I love!
Spring and early summer flowers EVERYWHERE!
No sand...except at the park where we went to play volleyball. (Okay, they played volleyball. I watched.)

I drove over to New Hampshire and I saw a moose with her calf. Doing moose stuff. Mama Moose was wading in a small lake eating water weeds and the baby was scampering about on the shore.
I also saw chipmunks, skunks, a porcupine, a couple of raccoons and lots of squirrels.(The dogs, who have never seen a squirrel---except Siona---are going to go NUTS!) And the trees...the lovely, lovely trees!

Yes, I am in love with New Hampshire!
I took loads of pictures, however, I can't figure out how to email them to myself. (Not a smart phone and obviously, not a smart owner, lol!) I will keep trying.

Coming back here was not good. It was 100 degrees when I got off the plane here. Miserable heat.

Tomorrow is the Boy's graduation. He will also be leaving to move to east Texas where his college of choice is and where some other family lives.
So, no post tomorrow...but I will be posting all about the house on Tuesday!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Onward and Upward....Within a Week!

Everything is in place...the LLC, the money, etc.
Within a week I will be up north looking at properties!
I plan on taking my camera, minimal other supplies and a few new(er) outfits so I will make a good impression on the realtor.
I am nervous, excited, scared by the enormity of my task and just plain anxious!

I have my checklist of what to look for in a property:
Ample living space and storage space.
Water. A well is best. If on city or county water, make sure a well can be (legally) dug.
Check the roof.
Check the gutters.
Look in the attic.
Look in the basement.
Check the foundation.
Check out plumbing and wiring.
If there are barns or outbuildings, check for structural integrity.
Make sure there is NO asbestos in any buildings.
Make sure land is well drained.
Look at vegetation (grass, etc) to see if it is healthy.
Look at dirt at various parts of land to ascertain soil health.

The realtor is gonna hate me!

Any other things I should put on my checklist?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Colliding Dreams...

My ideal homestead would be 20 to 40 acres with a decent barn and several sheds. An old Victorian house to fix up. A stream going through the property. A small orchard.
You know, EVERYBODY'S impossible dream!
The Darlin' Man's dream...a cabin with no running water or electricity a gazillion miles from the nearest town. An outhouse. No bedrooms, just a sleeping loft. Lot's of trees to cut down for building materials and firewood.
Somehow we have to find a compromise. I NEED  running water at this point in my life! And a bathroom, dammit! We are moving NORTH. It can get to -30 in New Hampshire and loads of snow...and he expects my 50+ year old butt to wander out in the middle of the night to an outhouse? And they have bears there!
So....yeah. We really, really need to find a compromise.
Or...he could just give in!  :)
I know we can't afford what I want, but I know we can afford more than what he wants.
So, we send pictures of listings back and forth in emails.
I still have to go up there and actually buy the we have it down to about 6 different properties. Unless our real estate agent pulls out a surprise listing at the last minute, we will get one of the six. I have my favorites and the Darlin' Man has his.
I think it will come down to price. But I will make sure the place has running water!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Blessed Coolness...

The weather, for the most part, has been unseasonably cool here. Very few days in the 90s (as is usual this time of year), mainly 80s and sometimes even failing to get past the 70s during the day. Heavenly for me, as I hate the heat! The nights get down in the 50s...wonderful *sleeping weather*!
The alpacas seem to be enjoying these cool days and nights, as do the goats.

The Darlin' Man graduated from railroad school and is now at his assigned Evansville, Illinois....where he will stay for his probationary period and continued on the job training. I won't see him until next March, unless we are able to financially afford for me to visit him in Evansville before then. We are viewing this the same way we viewed his deployments. His mission this time is to firmly establish his railroad career, my mission is to get the homestead moved north!

A lot of folks have asked why we wouldn't just move to Illinois and establish our homestead there.'s Illinois! Taxes are too high, we don't like the farming laws, the property prices, the gun laws, etc. Your mileage may vary, as they say. We actually looked in depth at many states and regions before deciding on the New England region. For the longest time, we thought we were going to move to Vermont, but then we looked at how they tax income, especially veterans/military retirement pay.That was what took Vermont out of the running!
It is vitally important to thoroughly investigate where you plan to settle. Read up on it, talk to people that live there, check out politics in the area, etc. The more you know, the better off you will be!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Last week was AWFUL!

Ever have "one of those days"? Well, last week was "one of those weeks".
Our beloved pet duck, Miss Daffy, died. I do not know what, exactly, caused her death. I went out to the duck pen...and there she was, laying still and quiet on her nest. I cried for over an hour.
Later in the week...both of the cars broke down. One was a quick fix, the other still sits at the shop. I called the Darlin' Man and he said to just sell the darn thing as it spends more time in the shop than on the road.
We had dust/wind storms off and on. Clothes put on the line ended up in various neighbors yards...heck, some are probably in the next county!
I finally tackled the Darlin' Man's closet.
So far, 3 duffle bags and 3 large rubbermaid totes filled with uniforms and military gear. And the closet is still not empty! Just looking at the work I did exhausts me. Looking at what I have left to do exhausts me.
Packing is wearing me out. We don't move until the end of June, but I still have so much to do!
The weather is cooler and that helps. When it heats up I feel like I can hardly move.
I guess I better get back to packing.
First I'll have a nice cup of tea and put my feet up for a bit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Open Concept" ? Bah! Humbug!

Since we plan to buy a modestly priced house that will be, in all likelihood, a *fixer-upper*, I have been watching quite a few remodeling and fix up type shows. Some are pretty good (Rehab Addict), some ...not so much( Flipping Boston) and some are downright funny (Flipping Vegas.Scott should just give up and let Amy have her way. It would save him a lot of stress!).
The ONE thing that annoys the crap outta me is absolutely EVERYONE extolling the virtues of the "open concept" main floor. They go into a perfectly nice Victorian house and immediately start ripping out walls so you can see everywhere on the main floor from the kitchen and vice versa. (ESPECIALLY on Flipping Boston)
Why in the world would you want that? Kitchens were enclosed from the rest of the house for a reason!
Ever boiled cabbage? Or fried fish? Do you seriously want guests to your home to be greeted with those smells when they walk in your front door?
Also, the heat produced by the kitchen, while providing welcome warmth in the winter, can make the rest of the house unbearable in the summer!
Remember Dutch Doors?
These were used for several purposes...they kept little ones in while Mom was cooking and kept dogs and other animals out AND opening the top would let cooking odors out, plus cool the kitchen.
Great idea, huh? Rarely used anymore....although I plan to have one in my kitchen!
Both my grandmothers had kitchens that had doors that shut. And doors to the outside so cooking smells and heat would not be trapped in the house. No dutch doors, sadly.But they had screen doors, so the dogs couldn't run in (and I couldn't run out!).Also, it always seemed a bit magical to me as a child, when, at holiday dinners or other special occasions, the kitchen door would swing open and out would come the turkey or ham or birthday cake in all it's splendor!

So, I am looking for a house that is decidedly NOT "Open Concept", or, if is, some place where I can put some walls back up!

Friday, April 11, 2014


Well, I did it.
I started our LLC.
I registered our LLC in New Hampshire...for a couple of reasons. #1, New Hampshire, like Texas, has no state income tax. #2, New Hampshire doesn't share LLC info (members of the LLC, etc) with the federal government.
And it doesn't hurt that we will be moving there!

Now, I could have filed in several different ways...I could have printed down the forms by myself, filled them out and sent them on their merry way to New Hampshire along with certified checks or money orders to pay the various fees....OR...I could have gone through one of a about a half dozen legal help sites (they advertise a lot on t.v.)....OR I could have gone through a lawyer in New Hampshire.

After mulling over my choices and doing hour upon hour of research online, I chose to contact one of the legal help sites.
I got down to a choice between LegalZoom and BizFilings.
First order of business, check out complaints against both businesses at the Better Business Bureau web site.
LegalZoom.....LOTS of complaints.
BizFilings...very few complaints.
Then cost...both were about the same.
Then I called both...LegalZoom did not pick up their phone....until my 6th call. BizFilings picked on the first ring, first call. I asked questions of both services. The LegalZoom rep that I finally got to talk to seemed uninterested and gave me minimal information. The BizFilings rep, Nikki, was informative, enthusiastic and very helpful.
I then checked out both web sites very carefully...reading all the fine print.
I was able to chat online with yet another BizFilings rep, Ryan, and he was as amazing as Nikki!
So, I made my decision and went with BizFilings.
I filled out the online form, paid by debit card was done. Two days later I had the paperwork to sign via FedEx, I signed it and BizFilings paid to return the paperwork to them via FedEx!
My LLC will be legal and up and running within 10 business days!
Onward and Upward!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Getting Stronger...Because I HAVE To!

My recovery is going well. I tire out MUCH faster, but I am pushing myself as hard as I can because there is way too much to get done!

The Darlin' Man left on the 23rd and I miss him so much. We stay in touch by email and phone, but it's not the same. Our new motto is *Onward and Upward*....both of us have things we have to do to get to our goals and we are both determined to get everything we need accomplished.

I have been down-sizing.
We are now down to:
4 chickens and 1 rooster
3 ducks
5 goats (Lilac, Champagne, Clarabelle, Charlie, Nip and Nora) Nikki has been sold (deposit on her with the rest to be paid when they pick up)
4 alapacas
That's it. I hope to sell Nip this week.
Our feed costs have gone way down. I had to buy hay this week and after a gazillion calls, I finally found someone that would sell me 10 bales. It will be around the middle of April before hay is available again at a decent price.

Packing starts this week. I plan on going room by room, packing up all non-essentials. Also, I am going to toss out all the accumulated *stuff* that no one has any need of. The trash man is gonna hate me!
Also...doing LOTS of laundry. I want to wash everything before packing it. Do you have any idea how many uniforms a guy can manage to store up in 23+ years of military service? ACCK!

Well, back to it, I guess...Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Feeling Better

Well, the most miserable part of my illness is past (or so I've been told).
Recovery will take a bit....3 to 6 months. Three months being MY estimate, six months being the medical folks estimate.
I have lost 40 pounds. I was chunky anyway, so I could easily afford the loss. My appetite is either non-existent, or *weird*. Weird as in I can only eat 10 grapes before I am full, a slice of toast suffices for dinner, eggs smell strange to me, as does rice, as does pasta, heck, just about every food smells weird or *feels* weird in my mouth or the flavor is all turned around.
I am weak and tire out very easily.
So, because of that, we are selling off some of the critters. This will also reduce feed costs and transportation to our new place.
So far, we have sold the turkeys, the geese, all the ducks except 3---and we are selling Drake and Daphne next week. Gabby the goat and Nola the goat and Lilac's boy, Lenny are leaving this weekend. Nikki has been sold, but we are holding her for her new owner until they have a pen built. Also, this weekend, we are selling the remainder of the male baby goats...except Charlie, who we have decided to keep. Charlie just never grew! He is just a teeny bit larger than when he was born.
This will leave us the alpacas, Lilac, Champagne, and the babies: Nora, Clover and Clarabelle. And Charlie, of course.
OH! We also sold all but five of the chickens (yes, we kept Cab the rooster). And we are planning on selling all the peafowl.
The Darlin' Man is leaving for railroad school on Sunday morning. The next time we see him, we'll be in a new place in New Hampshire.
I have to go pick out and buy our new place in May. Very scary for me to do all this on my own!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Short Hiatus Here

Hey guys, I am currently very ill. I have made it through the *crisis* period of this particular illness, but the docs tell me it can take me up to 2 months to recover fully.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Think I Am A Reasonable Person....

(Okay, stop laughing!)
Seriously, I AM reasonable about most things. I don't demand a lot from loved ones, I am polite to clerks and other folks in the stores, etc.
But right now, I am peeved.
You see, it is my intent to only *Buy American* when we get into a new house.
Fabrics and wallpaper...totally covered! SPOONFLOWER! that link. Awesome fabrics and wallpaper, made in America! Designers are independent artists that get a small percentage from each sale.
If you sew or quilt...I am so sorry (kinda) for giving you that'll be on there for hours!

I thought I had found my new dishes. Then I found out the company that made them had *outsourced* to China in around 1989.
So, now I have found this website American Made Kitchen Stuff
But sadly, no dinnerware that I really like.
No, I don;t like Corelle....YUCK! Dropped one of those plates and it shattered...found slivers of glass for months! Also...saw enough Corelle to last me a lifetime when I worked for World Kitchen!
I did find one pattern from one place on that website that was *okay* was pretty, made in America...and $247.00 for a set for four people! HOLY SMOKE! I can't afford that!
So...I guess the search for dinner wear will go on.
About the move....I get the feeling everything is going to lag for a bit longer...then fall into place and start gaining speed. That is what usually happens with me and will be nothing, nothing, nothing, then BAM! All of a sudden I've moved!
We are playing a bit of a waiting game here...three things have to happen before I go up to New Hampshire to buy a house....and knowing my luck, all three will happen on the same day, lol.
All the baby goats are doing fine. I think I have decided to keep Charlie as our farm *mascot*. The Darlin' Man might protest, but I think I can make a good case for keeping the little guy around.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Quick Update

Charlie is doing great! After 3 nights being a *house goat*, he was finally strong enough to reintroduce to his mama and siblings. Charlie dove right in and shoved Clyde out of the way (much to Clydes surprise!) and nursed to his hearts (and stomach's) content. He is keeping up with his siblings and has started eating hay as well!
I have a post that has been bouncing around in my head that I will post later.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Poor Little Charlie

The smallest of Champagnes quads is named Charlie.
He (and the rest of the kids) had been doing well, but then this icy cold wind hit.
Last night, all were well....but this morning I woke up out of a dead sleep by the sound of a kid wailing in distress.
I ran outside (barefoot...ouch!) and found little Charlie, away from his mam, crying his head off. I scooped him up, ran inside and wrapped him in a blanket. My son grabbed the other three of Champagnes brood after he fed the adult goats and brought them in. We warmed them all up and fed them bottles of warm milk replacer. As they warmed up, they got livelier and I made some more little warm coats for them to wear. We redid Champagnes pen so that the babies would be cozy and warm and tucked them all back in there.
Except Charlie.
He was the one that was the worst off. Hunched over, shivering and totally miserable.
So, poor little Charlie is still in the house with us.

Currently he is napping on the couch with my younger son, both of them wrapped up in warm blankets and quilts. Charlie seems to be quite content, knowing all he has to do is bleat a bit and I'll come running with a warm bottle!
I hope Charlie makes it and survives. He will probably stay indoors with us tonight.
So, goat baby-sitting tonight!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Another Goatapalooza Day!

Today was a day for all the mama goats and their kids to, Goatapoolza Day!
Nola kept Nora and Nip close

Gabby made sure she kept an eye on Gary and Gerry

Nikki was not thrilled with the wee ones "What the heck are those things?"

Lilac lets hers wander a bit.

Champagne was happy to get out and stretch her legs and see her gal-pals!

Nola supervises her wee ones exploring

Nikki stayed on her perch until the little ones went back to their pens
Another week or so and I'll be milking again. Just giving my girls time to bond a bit. I have to use some milk starter for Champagnes babies, but they have a good start.
Lilacs little guys are rough and tough. We banded (castrated) all the males except Lilac's little one, Lenny. All did okay, although Gary and Gerry, Gabby's kids, took it very personally and wailed their little heads off. Gabby got outraged and herded her boys to a corner of the pen and licked them and nuzzled them and nursed them until they calmed down.
I have already gotten calls from people wanting milk, cheese and cajeta. They will have to wait until we get our fill here!