Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chapter Six: Rolling with the Punches

It is already fall here.  Where did summer go?  Summer lasted like all of three days.  And let me tell you something…  I was sucking for those three days without air conditioning.  People in Minnesota, apparently do not use a lot of AC.  Which makes you kind of wonder, how DID people survive before freon!  It was 90 degrees inside our house on those days.  But it lasted only three days or so.  That may be a bit of an exaggeration.   It may have been a week.  I have heard some people complaining of the short summer and as far as I am concerned- GOOD RIDDANCE!  After having spent the majority of my life in an ALMOST perpetual summer-like state that exists without real fall, winter, or spring…  I was not sorry that it did not stop for supper.  Ask me my opinion next year.  Although, I am not sure it will change.

The farm is going well I suppose.  We’ve taken a lot of hits for our first year.  What first year doesn’t?  First there were the financial hits.  We need a job to supplement while we work on trying to get things up and running here.  The job though…  it’s not really coming along like I would prefer for it to.  It makes me kind of wonder if I am not reading the signs correctly.  Maybe the severe lack of good jobs is a way for us to understand that we need to learn how to make it on our own without it?  I have wondered that.  We are making it, just not as well or as secure as I would like to without a regular flow of income coming through the back door.  For now, that is not as big of an issue as it could be.  I did start selling Scentsy warmers and wax to try and help make ends meet.  If you are interested, you can find my Scentsy website here

The other major hurdle we have encountered thus far, is our neighbor, who my children affectionately refer to now as the “crazy neighbor.”  For good reason.  He’s nuts.  I was blowing up the farm Facebook page with updates there for a while.  The first time we ever met him face to face, the sheriff’s department was called.  Yes, because it went that well.  Now there are restraining orders on him, he has assault charges, and oh- he wants to steal our land.  I walked away from the first confrontation thinking “Well, that went nice.  I am going to invite them over for tea and cupcakes next Tuesday.”  Yeah, no that’s not what I thought at all.  Keith and I kind of fell into a slump.  He has vowed to drag us through the dirt over this land, and so far he has kept his word.  We filed restraining order against him the very next day because it was necessary.  Then the next week, his wife (who we’d never met and wasn’t even there) accused us of breaking into their home, threatening their lives, etc, etc…  Apparently, I was requiring the husband to see a special doctor for emotional distress.  Dude, don’t try to steal our land and it won’t stress you out!  Anyways, we’ve been to court twice.  All charges against us were dropped.  They were baseless first of all, and second, if you are going to go to court and make up a massive fib about people, at least get the story straight first.  It was almost comical if it hadn’t been so serious.  Our next hearing is the end of October.  Who knows what they will pull out of their magic hats then.  At this point in time, we are expecting the unexpected.  And bless their hearts, got to admire the determination.  We aren’t the first people they’ve done this to, we are just the latest victims.

Keith threw out his back pretty early in the season.  For two weeks, he was in the prone position.  I did a lot of things by myself on top of managing the house.  I got apple trees planted.  Less than a month later, the goats got out and have snapped most of them in half.  I am going to take up the surviving trees and replant them in a better location.  The goats getting out has been remedied.  They have moved a playground of trees for them to nibble on until their hearts’ content.  We put fence around a heavily wooded area, and put the goats in.  In less than a week, they’d cleared all the underbrush and are working on taking down the trees.  So, right now- me and goats have a love/hate relationship.  I think they’ve gotten the “mama isn’t happy with you” vibes. 

The barn started going in today.  That is good news!  Keith and I got a few posts and beams in.  The spot has been essentially cleared with a few larger stumps that are a work in progress.  We let one smolder today the whole time we were out there working, and Keith started pulling the trailer through to get out some of the rocks and smaller tree stumps.  He also taught me how to drive Grandpa’s tractor, for which I am very grateful.  I feel like a new woman being up on that tractor!  Such a good feeling.  And as it turns out, I like digging in the dirt with heavy and loud machines.  (It’s the redneck in me)
We are planning a barn raising.  That is planned for the first Saturday in October.  Should be a lot of fun!  Prior to the actual day we are hoping to get all the posts in and beams attached so that it is just walls, doors, windows, roof, loft that has to be done.  But that is still a lot of work.  I’ve been advertising it at the farmers’ market, and I guess we will see what kind of attention it garnished on the fifth. 
Speaking of market, I have been going almost every week this past spring.  We have gotten a lot of positive attention and that feels really good.  The goal for next spring is to have a large enough garden so that our family can preserve two years’ worth of produce for us and then have extra to take to the market.  Once I get that two years’ worth saved up, the next years’ markets, we can take more produce.  But first, I want to make sure we are stocked up.  How I planned for that will be on another blog VERY soon! 
I have been slacking in the blog area since we got here.  We just haven’t had internet.  We got cell phones (a big step for me!) but the signal out here just isn’t strong enough to get on too much online.  Especially not strong enough to get a blog updated.  We got internet last night though!  At first, I didn’t think it was working, and then BOOM! all of a sudden this morning it was doing just fine and trucking along.  We will see how it fares the rest of the day.

There we are.  Still here, and still moving along.  Maybe not as fast and as effectively as I would like to, but still moving nonetheless.  This whole starting a farm business is…  exhausting work.  Absolutely exhausting.  Someday, I hope Keith and I can look back at how we lived life and how we raised our kids and think- we would never have had it any other way.


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Chapter Five: Home Again
Chapter Four: The LONG Winter

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are becoming a real Yankee. As much as I have hated this hot summer here in FL I don't think I could do winter in MN. Hope the barn raising is a big success.