The Hopeful Homesteader

The Hopeful Homesteader

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a week!! (part 3)

So Friday Kevin had a doctor's visit for his back. That's always an all day venture because we have to drive so far for them so we knew ahead of time that the day would be shot.

We left the house before 8am. We had to go over to his mother's house because Kevin wanted to take the new car to see how it did. His mother's truck has been out of commission for awhile and she's hasn't had a way of going for about a month so I decided to let her borrow the new car until she can get her's fixed.

After we get the car we had to go by the school to take my daughter her purse, she had left it the night before when we went to the fair. When we stopped at the school she said that her brother had forgotten his bus pass (he was supposed to be spending the night with a friend) so we had to call the elementary school and give permission for him to ride the bus with his friend. And all this before 9 am!

To make a long story short we made it to the doctor's office in time but of course had to sit and wait. We didn't make it back home until after 5 pm.

So yesterday, we just took the day to completely chill out. We all sat around the house like vegetables all day and did absolutely nothing!

Thankfully, that was the end to this crazy week.

What a week!! (part 2)

Kevin's van has been acting up severely for awhile now. There is an awful popping and grinding noise any time the wheel is turned and a mechanic told us that at some point in the near future we're going to have to replace an axle. Also there is something on it that just beeps all the time. He thinks it might be related to the keyless entry part but we're not sure.

Due to having several months without any income my car was reposessed and this was our only way of going. So we had decided that we would get me a vehicle as long as we could get something for less than $3000.

We went and test drove several on Wednesday. There was a 2001 Toyota Camry that we test drove. It was nice but they wanted a bit more than I would have given for it since it had over 200,000 miles on it. I also test drove a 2001 Chevrolet Lumina but again had nearly 200,000 miles and they wanted too much for it. The third vehicle we test drove was a GMC Sierra truck that Kevin fell in love with but yet again they were asking too much.

I finally decided that we weren't going to find anything that day and we gave up but not before telling the guy on the lot what we were looking for and what our price range was. We left with his promise that if he came across anything he'd keep us in mind.

Well the fair was in town and we had promised to take the kids and Kevin's mother so we headed over to her house because the kids were supposed to be getting off the bus any time now.

Just before we left to go to the fair we got a call from the guy on the lot. He said, "Boy have I got a deal for you!" He said that a guy had just brought in a 1999 car that had 98,000 miles on it and it was within our price range but that the man had someone else coming to look at it in an hour and wanted to know if we could come test drive it.

Well we put off going to the fair for a bit to go see what he had found. We arrived on the lot to find a 1999 Cadillac Catera in excellent shape. We test drove it and looked under the hood and everything was in order. Kevin said that as long as it was in our price range it would be a good car to get.

We got back to the lot and asked the guy how much he was wanting for it and sure enough it was well within our price range. So Thurday, I became the owner of a Cadillac! I never in my life would have imagined I would own such a nice car.

Stay tuned for part 3 of this crazy week.

What a week!!! (part 1)

Well this week has been a whirlwind. So much has happened and I've not been able to post it all so I'm going to try to catch everything up now.

We finally got the settlement disbursement on Tuesday. Our real estate agent had told us that as soon as we got the money we would be able to go to the escrow lawyer and give them the money and we'd be able to sign the papers and close on our place.

Evidently this is not the case. When we showed up at the escrow lawyer's office they had no clue what we were talking about and said that the title and deed search wasn't even finished and we'd have to wait. They gave an estimate of Thursday to be able to close. They said they would call our real estate agent and she would call us to let us know.

Yet again, more waiting. Come Thursday, our real estate agent called and said the receptionist at the escrow lawyer's office had not completed the title search yet due to having to take time off for a family funeral.

Kevin summed it up aptly. He said, "It feels like we've been sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office for over a month. When the heck are they gonna call us back?"

Today, the owner of the property, which we found out after we had already made the deal is Kevin's great uncle, called his mother wanting to know if we had backed out of the deal! According to him, he has had no contact from his real estate agent at all and he had no idea what was going on. Today is the last day on the contract before we have to file an extension so now I have no idea what's going to happen. The uncle swears he wont sell it to anyone else though so I don't think we'll lose it. I'm just not sure when we're going to be able to take possession.

And this on only part one of this week. Stay tuned for part two.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

We found a good used dishwasher on craigslist and went to pick it up today. When we got there the lady was cleaning out her carport and had some beautiful lamps and a wicker shelf she was going to throw away.

Since we're in the middle of packing everything to move into our new place I really shouldn't be bringing new stuff in I guess but I just couldn't pass these up and hey, at least the price was right!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One step closer...

Well we're one step closer. The settlement has finally been disbursed and we're just waiting for our closing date now.  The escrow lawyer is still waiting on the title search to come back and says hopefully Thursday.

We spent today running around trying to get thing caught up that have had to be let go while we were waiting, repaying people who were kind enough to help us through this rough patch, you  know who you are and we thank you from the bottom of our heart.

Finally home and boy are we tired.

Tomorrow we go pick up a used dishwasher we found on craigslist.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Frustration is mounting

Well spoke with the lawyer today and the check for the settlement cleared but we still can't get our money. Aparently she has to be in the office in order for us to get it and she's going to be in court all week.

If we don't get the money by the end of the week we might lose the property. I knew I shouldn't have said anything yet. Something always jinxes me.

Keep us in your prayers that everything works out and we can still get this property.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We have Pecan Trees!

The last time we went out to the property I was more interested in seeing what needed fixing NOW rather than later and trying to get a priority list started so that we can begin to get materials together than in looking around the yard to identify the resident plantlife.

My mother-in-law went with us and while Kevin and I were checking out the stuff that needed to be fixed inside she was keeping the kids occupied looking around outside. They had a great time checking out the pool (thats gonna be a mess to get cleaned up. Can you say mosquito haven? Ughh.) and the two outbuildings.

She said she noticed TWO pecan trees!!! I'm so excited I wanted pecan trees but as they take so long to mature and begin producing I had resigned myself to the fact that we wouldn't be able to have them. I am so happy! I just keep imagining all the fresh hot pecan pies, divinity, and other baked goodies I will be able to make.

Shhh, don't remind me about all the work it's going to take to shell them. I will be worth it though!

Do you have a great pecan recipe? I would LOVE to hear 'em.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Do you believe in old sayings and wives tales?

I'm not a very superstitious person. I mean I have a few quirks but for the most part no. However, my mother always firmly belived in one and I have to say that in my experience it has been accurate about 85-90% of the time.

I'm talking about the old saying about if your left hand/right hand itching.

For those  not familiar with this the saying is that if your left hand itches you're going to receive money and if your right hand itches you're going to spend money.

 My mother paid very close attention to this one and swore by it. I have to say that I have followed suit. Of course Mama always added a second part to that which I haven't heard many other people use. She always added, "Scratch it on your a$$ and it will come to pass." My mother was a very colorful person.

Well last night my left hand started itching so bad it was almost burning! I really hope this means that we'll be getting the money come Monday and the waiting will finally be over.  I just don't think I can take much more waiting.

Do you believe in old sayings like this? Perhaps if a broom falls or your nose itches you're going to have company? What are some old sayings that you all know and/or swear by?

Please leave comments, I'd love to hear 'em.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Choosing the Right Breed of Goats

I’ve been thinking a lot about what type of goats we want to have. I know I want one that is a good milk producer because the main reason I want goats is to be able to make cheeses. My family eats A LOT of cheese and I would love to be able to make it fresh for not only health reasons but economical ones as well.  I don’t know if I would like goat meat or not, I’ve heard it has a ‘gamey’ taste to it but I’m not opposed to trying it.
I’ve read dozens and dozens of sites and asked a few people I know what breed they suggest and why.  While many people can give me a favorite breed few could actually give me a really good reason as to why that is the right breed.
I finally found the answer to my question here. They give a great breakdown of what each breed is best for and what’s more they give the characteristics of the breed that make them right for each category. It looks like what I’m interested in would be a Nubian dairy goat.
Hooray! I know what kind of goats we want.  Yet another reason the waiting is dragging on. Ugggh.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Search for the Perfect Bird

We’ve decided that we want chickens on our homestead so the search for the perfect bird is on.

The first thing we have to decide is what we want these birds to do for us. Of course we want eggs, who wouldn’t want fresh eggs every day? So egg production is a high priority. Second, I would like to be able to butcher a few for meat as well. Over the years I’ve had yard chickens and usually they are tough and not fit to eat so I really want to know which kinds will make for meat good enough to use for fried chicken. That is, after all, the best kind of chicken there is of course! And last, I want a bird that is easy going and will be easy for the children to help care for as well.

It seems that there’s more to consider with egg production than just how many eggs a hen will lay. What will you be doing with these eggs? Eating only? Raising a few to replace those you butcher? If you decide that you do want to raise some of them then you have to consider how you will raise them. Will you use an incubator or do you want your hens to ‘go broody’ and raise them for you?

According to it seems the best egg layers are not the best brooders. Okay, then how do you raise those eggs for the best producers if they won’t raise them and you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) go to the expense of an incubator? It seems that a hen that will go broody will sit on not only her own eggs but any eggs you put under them. So you may want to consider having a few that are good producers and a few that are good brooders.

When it comes to meat production, everything I can find seems to be pretty subjective so on that front it’s gonna be a trial and error process I guess. 

Mother Earth News  has polled their users and has come up with a few that they suggest as the best for all purposes which includes Rhode Island Whites, Plymouth Rocks, Orpingtons, Australorps and New Hampshires which all produce brown eggs and acceptable meat.

So it looks like our first flock will be made up of a few of these breeds and we’ll see how it goes from there.


I've been going through and trying to get everything packed and ready for our move to our new place. How can four people accumulate so much stuff?!

Just two months ago we went through and got rid of a ton of stuff. We had a yard sale and had the local thrift store pick up what was left and I swear we have twice as much that needs to go again.

I've gotten the master bathroom, part of the master bedroom, most of the kitchen and most of the living room all taken down and packed and it still looks like I haven't even started yet.

I'm trying to go through and weed out all the clutter as I go so its taking a bit extra to get each room packed up and ready to go but hopefully it will be worth it once we go to unpack.

At least it gives my mind something to do instead of just sitting and waiting all the time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Plans

We've been thinking alot about what kinds of things we want on our homestead. We know we want a large garden.

We've already checked to make sure there are no restrictions on animals or anything so we're good to go there. As far as livestock goes we know we want chickens.  Kevin has decided he wants some rabbits as well. I want either a couple of goats or a diary cow. I'm thinking due to space restrictions we'll go with goats.

There is already an outbuilding on the property that can easily be converted to a chicken coop and a fenced in area that can easily be converted for goats as well.

It really just seems that this place was made for us.

Okay back to the waiting.

Our Place

After scouring the real estate ads and speaking with several agents we finally found the perfect one.
Camille has been an angel going above and beyond what anyone would expect a real estate agent to do.
She knew we had a limited budget and took the time to listen and figure out exactly the kind of place we were looking for.

After a few weeks of looking through different properties she found us the perfect place, within budget and has lots of potential.

We went and looked at it and immediately fell in love with the land. There is an old singlewide mobile home on the property that needs work but the land is exactly what we are looking for.

We went to her office and put in an offer on the property on August 10 and the waiting began.

We waited ...
and waited ...
and waited ...

finally they got back to us and counter offered.

We discussed whether we could accept the counter offer and came up with a counter of our own.

Again we waited...
After about two weeks going back and forth we finallly settled on a number that was satisfactory to all.

We're getting the money for this place through a settlement that is due to Kevin from an injury and as soon as the check clears the place is ours.

But still we're waiting. Ugh. I hate waiting.

In the mean time I'll post a few picture of our place.

This is the view from the driveway. Its alot more overgrown than this shows. As soon as I can I'll post some updated picures.

A shot from the backside of the mobile home.

You can't see if from these pictures but there is about another half acre on the front side of the mobile home that will be ours as well.

Here's an aerial shot.

Now a few interior shots...
Yeah I know, the blue has got to go! I'm thinking of doing a rich creamy yellowish color with a subtle green trim color.

And the living room...
Where you see the front door there is a small built on room that we'll have to tear down. We plan on building onto the mobile home later.

There are 3 bedrooms and 2 baths but I don't have pictures of those yet.

I'm so excited. I can't wait until everything goes through.
Now back to waiting...

Welcome to The Hopeful Homesteader

First I should probably tell you a little bit about myself and what has driven me to blogging in the first place.

I'm a 35 year old mother of two. I have a beautiful daughter, Hannah, who is 14 and already begging to drive, and an adorable red headed son, Devin, who is 11. I married my high school sweetheart, Kevin, and after 15 years we're still in love as much, if not more, than we were back then.  Ever since my husband and I got married we both wanted to find some land and start our own small homestead but one thing or another always put it out of our reach. Kevin comes from a family that always had a garden and raised a pig or two now and again so he has a bit of experience with it. I, however, do not.

When I was a kid I can remember Mama having a garden as often as she could and canning things but I was too little to be in the kitchen. She passed away when I was 15 and had been sick and unable to do much since the time I was about 8 so I wasn't able to glean the knowledge from her.

Within the last year the possibility of us getting our own place has started to become a reality and I have been searching the internet for any and all information homestead related I can find and I thought I would attempt to pass on the information I've found as well as my own experiences as I experience them for anyone else out there trying to figure it all out.

I hope you will join me through the joy and tears that I know is sure to come.