Well… just when you have resigned yourself to believe that things are going one way… they change. And they have changed BIG for us.
The backstory: Keith got out of the Army in April of 2011. We had a plan. The plan fell through. When I mean that it fell through, I mean that it took a deep dive down a dark hole and we hadn’t seen it since… until almost two weeks ago. But the news seemed too good to be true, so I was being very careful about putting too much hope into it. That only lasted like two days. Then I got really excited and my hopes have been up ever since. We were waiting for a few things to work out though.
You know when you spend all your time and effort to make something happen and it is just like every force is working against you, then you stop trying and it all just kind of falls into place? That is what has happened to us. It fell into place.
Keith’s family is from northern Minnesota in a small town called Bemidji. Don’t tchya know, eh? Almost Canadian, but still technically American. (On a side note, as a born and raised southerner, I committed borderline blasphemy when I married a yankee, but I think that this may be a hanging offense.) His family has some land up there and they have graciously given us several acres. That happened awhile back, but we weren’t exactly a hop, skip, and a jump from the land so that we could actively work on building a house on it… I don’t mind the whole tent living short term… but not with six kids. Then, one day, all of a sudden we get a call saying that a house was for sale, did we want it, and that it was a good price, and could be moved onto the land with a little work. We said “yes” almost immediately, and so far… so good. How often does a house fall into your lap? Literally, that is what my prayer has been these past 18 months or so now while we have been trying to figure out what to do. My prayer was that the opportunity was to be SO OBVIOUS that I knew where we needed to go. It was in that moment that everything changed.
Bottom line is that we are moving to Minnesota and starting a small farm. It’s six acres. Still not big by any means, but much larger than our third acre. We have a plan sketched out on graph paper (which I would scan and show you, but someone colored it with crayon… cough cough… Bella) and our plan is to start with a few goats and sheep. We would also continue with the chickens, but have some too for meat, and I get a rooster! Hallelujah! Turkeys, guineas, ducks, etc. Keith still said no peacocks. I am working on it. And honey bees! In the future, we may consider a cow and pig to raise for meat. We have almost an entire acre set aside just for vegetable gardening. I want a pumpkin patch… dang it. And we would grow grains. Autumn would have more space than she knew what to do with for growing herbs. We have another acre set aside just to keep in its natural state so that I can allow medicinal herbs to grow wild. There is another spot set aside for a small apple orchard (I figured 100 trees would fit in a little over 1/4 acre. On another 1/4 acre, we will plant about 150 blueberry bushes. And everything else is still open for suggestions.
The kids are really sad that we have to leave our goats here, but I told them when we get to Minnesota, that we can go goat shopping. They were okay with that... as long as we name our new goats Carrie, Casey, and Cadie. I said that was okay. And I told them we could finally get that puppy. They liked that, too.
When we finally realized that this was actually going to work, we started packing immediately. Everything here is up for sale. But the biggest thing we are working on right now is getting the house packed up. I am currently 27 week pregnant (third trimester is next week! EEK!), so we decided that we would not leave here until after baby is born. It’s a little late in the game to be finding a new midwife and figure out a whole homebirth thing with a house half unpacked. So, we are staying here for sure until right after Christmas. Baby is due around the 17ish of December, but who knows when New Dude will actually MAKE his appearance. (yes, it is a boy. We found out accidently, but I am okay with that) Besides, we need to get the majority of the house packed up now so that we can minimize what is here to make it easier to sell and have ready to put on the market. We have almost 8 people living here, it is a little tight. Keith will probably take a moving truck up there soon while I stay here and hold down the fort. And we will just be living with minimal stuff until then. Our living room is already full of packed up boxes.
So… phew. It is B-U-S-Y! But this is a good thing. And this will be good for us. And we are really excited.
My theme song this week is “She’s gone country, just look at them boots. She’s gone country, back to her roots. She’s gone country.”
Why yes, yes we have.