I went into this with the highest hopes. I mean, I had written my plan on paper and had this whole thing down to the dime. What could go wrong?? Everything…everything is going wrong.
I purposely have hesitated to write another entry in my blog because honestly, how can I call myself The Humorous Homesteader and then write a tragic tale of a woman who was clearly out of touch with reality and whose dreams were just too big to come true. I’ll be honest; I was born some kind of a crazy dreamer. I have never been one to acknowledge my own limitations and have always reached for the stars. As a young girl I decided that I wanted to run hurdles in track. I mean I couldn’t run and my short fat legs certainly couldn’t jump…but that didn’t stop me. My short fat legs have never stopped me.
I have never actually grabbed any of those stars, but it never kept me from reaching. While I have never been what you call successful in achieving my dreams, I wouldn’t call myself a failure either. You see, I set big goals, unachievable goals, but generally along the way I change to different unachievable goals. It seems that I am always in pursuit…never achieving. A failure quits trying…I just change my game plan. I knew this about myself when I dreamed this crazy, homesteading dream. To be honest, this is about 14 dreams all wrapped up in one giant, crazy package.
I wanted horses-CHECK
I wanted to live in the country-CHECK
I wanted a piece of land to call my own- CHECK
I wanted to live within my means and do all of the other dreams debt free- CH… Well, we do have a small note on the land that will be paid off in 5 years. Other than that, we are for all intents and purposes…debt free!
You see, it is that last one that is causing me the most problems. In order for us to do this debt free, that means that I have to have the cash to put in the septic, drill the well, run the power and turn the barn into a house. Seems easy enough, right? After all, as a Real Estate Agent, I make big money! I mean movie star big money! You’ve seen Million Dollar Listing, right? Yup, I make that kind of money! Oh wait, this is Spokane, WA not Malibu…I am just this side of those $15/hour-can-I-take-your-order people. Just slightly better off. I mean, if every contract I write goes through to close, and then maybe I could be close to those guys on Million Dollar Listing. Unfortunately, in real estate, it ain’t over till the closer calls with recording numbers! And there have been a lot of deals this year who never received recording numbers.
I knew that this was going to be a big undertaking from the get go, and I was ready for the challenge! I was ready to haul water, and minimize my power usage to the few minutes per day that the generator was running, to try and “hold it” till I got to town so that I wouldn’t fill up the sump in our 5th wheel too quickly. I was prepared for those things…completely.
There were some things that I was not prepared for…let’s call them the “Ugly”. I wasn’t prepared to be robbed before we even moved in to the place. They took our generator so there went my few minutes of electricity every day. I wasn’t prepared for the problems we had with setting up our solar power. $600 worth of solar equipment later and I get about 15 minutes to charge my phone before the batteries are drained too low. I was not prepared for the batteries in the 5th wheel to need replacing and the huge expense that came with those little suckers. I was not prepared to learn that with no power you have no fridge…the propane fridge uses an electric ignitor when it needs to cool and without electricity you do not have a cold fridge. I was not prepared for the number of things that have broken since we started this journey…most recently, our trusty camp stove that Todd and I bought on our first camp trip 17 years ago (I suppose I should have realized it wouldn’t last forever, but the timing brought me to tears). I wasn’t prepared to build a really neat outdoor shower only to use it once before the wind destroyed it. I wasn’t prepared for Keno to turn into a total ass to Cash and Mocha and need to be isolated from the herd. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of screaming that Todd and I seem to be doing toward each other. Finally, I wasn’t expecting for this whole process to be so darn stressful.
The “bad” side of homesteading is that you simply cannot run out of water. I have 3 horses, 8 chickens, 2 dogs, and 4 people who depend on water and running out is not an option. If that means we are hauling water as the sun is going down, so be it. Fortunately, we have not run out, but we have had to make a couple evening water runs. We are still definitely getting the hang of, do everything you need to do while you are in town because once you get home; you are there for the night. It has been a learning curve for sure and I have had a couple days where the trek to town occurred more than once. Our septic guy stood us up and because he was giving us a “friends and family” deal we are stuck until he can get his hind end out here! So, we ordered a Port O Crapper so that we don’t fill the sump in the camper. The level indicator is stuck on full, so it is definitely not something we can mess around with or we will be in deep shit…literally. The dust…oh the dust! I keep telling myself that one day we will pave our driveway…someday, but for now, it is everywhere! Thank goodness the main road is paved! The last bad is not having internet. Verizon is going to love me because I used like 20g of data last month trying to run my business and stay current on Facebook!
I wanted to end with the good. I think that in 10 years when we look at this place that we will own free and clear and our beautiful home will be finished, Todd will have his shop and I a barn, and this will be a laughable memory. I pray that I remember way more good than bad and hopefully the ugly will not even be a memory! I wake up every morning to beautiful sunrises, horses sleeping in the early morning sun. A soft nicker “good morning” makes my heart happy. Our chickens are finally providing us with delicious eggs! While we do have neighbors, we feel very private. Not, walk around your property naked private, but rather, have a screaming match with your husband over the placement of the water troughs without the neighbors watching from their front porch private. Kodee is loving being out here, she plays with her pony and rides her bike and dotes on her chickens…she is a happy farm kid. My oldest son has even been hanging around and helping out. All in all, this crazy life I have chosen is paying off…little by little.
While I did have a rough day and ended up locking myself in the port o crapper to cry for a little while, I am really enjoying this place. I have learned that this is a huge undertaking and I am going to get overwhelmed, but I can enjoy the spectacular sunsets, love on my ponies, pet the chickens, snuggle the dogs or cry in the crapper…what every it takes for me to stop wallowing and get back to work making my big scary dream come true!
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