Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Exciting Updates!

Okay, so I started off very faithful in my posting, but have dropped off a little. I'm sorry for that, but when I don't have anything good to report I find it harder to motivate myself to post. Fortunately I have lots of wonderful updates to share!

First off, on Sunday I had an interview at Pizza Hut and I got the job! It might not be the most exciting job in the world, but I will finally be making some money again. It's so exciting to know that I will be able to begin saving up for all my wonderful homesteading projects! Second off, I might be trading that old, slightly damaged kennel for some awesome Barnevelder chicks. I can't wait to see if I'm going to be able to get them! My mother is going to give me a small chicken coop. It's not huge, but I'll be able to house about 3-4 hens to produce enough eggs for my husband and myself. We really don't need more than that right now, especially since we really don't have tons of space and we really only need enough for ourselves. I can worry about having a surplus to sell later.

That's not all the great news I have! Ever since we moved to this property I've been wanting to fence in at least part of it for the dogs. Well, hopefully by the end of July I will have 130 ft of chainlink fence in my backyard for my dogs to have a nice space to be loose to run and play. Another thing I've been wanting for a while is a new computer. By the end of July I should be able to get that too! There's just been so much good news for us lately that I've gotten a lot more optimistic about, well, everything.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Long Weekend

I had a long and wonderful weekend! Friday I left for my mother's house and came back Sunday evening. While I was there I attended my little sister's graduation pool party. The food was amazing and many of my cousins' babies were there. I got to hold all of the babies and they were positively delightful. I love babies and can't wait to have one of my own. Hopefully in the next couple years I'll be blessed with my own bundle of joy to dote upon.

Aside from the party, I did a lot of homesteading chores. Re-planting, staking, watering gardens, plus feeding and watching poultry and hunting for the eggs. One day we found fifteen eggs, the next we found thirteen. Not bad at all, considering two chickens were broody and their eggs couldn't be collected. It was a lot of fun to go out and get my hands dirty and do real work. I miss life like that. Although I don't miss being attacked by roosters. Most of the roosters just get happy when you bring their feed rations or an extra treat from the kitchen, but one little banty insisted on jumping at my legs. A soft nudge with the egg basket and a harsh word sent him scuttling off a few feet, but we watched each other closely from then on.

Now that I'm home I needed a little time to recoup, but I'm feeling very refreshed. I spent the last two days with hubby, watching movies and hanging out to spend some quality time together on his vacation, so I didn't have time to post or even think about posting. There wasn't much very interesting going on to report anyway. Oh, other than I've been looking into local properties, but haven't found anything quite right for us. I've also been doing research on livestock, mainly sheep, and livestock guardians, mainly dogs. Hopefully I'll one day have the land and fencing to keep my own flock of hair sheep, I'm really wanting St. Croix. They seem completely delightful!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My first rabbit!

Well it's not a meat rabbit, but I finally got my first rabbit. My husband let me go pick up my first bunny this morning. I'll be using this one for practicing with caring for rabbits before I get breeding rabbits for meat. The person I got him from told me he was a Mini Rex, but he looks like a Tortoise Dutch x Mini Rex to a rabbit breeder I showed pictures to. His fur is unbelievably soft, but not exactly like the fur of the Rex. His pattern also resembles the Dutch rabbits. Also, he is definitely a boy, I checked. I've got myself a handsome young buck on my hands. I'd place him at around 6-8 months of age. Without further ado, let me introduce Kizzy!

Sorry about the picture quality!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Today I made myself wonder something. Do I want too much? Do I spend so much time and energy wanting that I don't appreciate what I do have? The better part of today was spent pining over properties in my area. Twenty or more acres each, and I wanted them so badly I could taste it, but alas, I am broke and we just can't afford to buy a nice property with acreage right now. It would be so nice, because with the 1/4 acre of workable space I have I can't keep lambs and goats, both of which I would like to get into someday. Should not having 20+ acres make me unhappy or discourage me from pursuing my dreams? After I started really thinking about it I felt like such an ungrateful, shallow brat.

It's true that I don't have the land for a flock of sheep or a herd of goats, but I have plenty of room to start raising rabbits and even some poultry. If I work hard and really budget myself, I could save up money for a down payment on a nice piece of property in ten years. That's the time I said that I wanted to accomplish my goal. What could possibly keep me from accomplishing this? Absolutely nothing other than myself. I'm the only thing that can hold me back, and unless I change some of my old attitudes, I will hold myself back.

Right now I'm going to promise myself something. By the time my 34th birthday rolls around, I will buy myself 20+ acres of land. I don't have to have it perfectly cultivated. I don't have to have a fully-functioning, off the grid homestead on it. I will, however, purchase it. Making it into a homestead can happen gradually after that, but I will have it by then. Until then, I'm going to do everything that I can to make this small property I have now into my own little homestead. It won't be a huge homestead, it won't be perfect, but now and later, they will be my homesteads and I will love them just as I make them, with any and all their "imperfections".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

At least it was something.

We didn't exactly get a lot done today, but we did go to the grocery store and then to the dollar general. I now have new curtains in my bedroom! They're red to match the bed sheets and I simply love them. The old ones were just brown and came with our place.They were also really thin and let in a lot of light, but the new ones keep the room much darker, which was something we really wanted because a street light shines in our bedroom window at night and makes it difficult to sleep at times.

There are so many summer projects I want to work on! There's the privacy fence and we want to put a culvert into a drainage ditch by our house so we can cover it up and the yard will look nicer. I just wish we had the money to get started. Hopefully I'll get a job offer soon and we can get the money saved up to get cracking on all the work that needs done around here!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Not a productive day

Nothing was really accomplished today. It's been storming on and off all day, but we did have a nice family get-together at my husband's grandpa's house. The food was fabulous, and I got to chat with some of his cousins, who are really nice. Mason and Dexter got to go too, and they had a ball playing with the other dogs there. In total there ended up being five dogs and one cat at his grandpa's house today, only the cat actually lives there. I think I might have overate a little and I've been very sleepy since the meal.

While we didn't get much in the way of physical things accomplished, my husband and I did get to talk a lot about the ideas we had for our home in the future. We've agreed that the first thing we want to work on is getting a fence put up around our back yard. With three dogs it will come in handy to have a fence to let them run around in without having to be held back by being leashed all the time they're outdoors. I'm really wanting to go with a privacy fence. I know that chain-link would be cheaper, but if we find a good buy on the privacy fence it wouldn't be too much more expensive than the chain and it will look much nicer and probably last much longer. The chain-link kennel I bought for Missy sure didn't last more than a few days with her chewing her way out, anyway.

After that there's getting me a new computer, my husband a new computer desk, a bookshelf, a dining set, and a dresser set for the master bedroom. Maybe not the most exciting things, or the most relevant to a homestead, but taking care of our home and property is all steps into my goals, and into my husband's goals, which will be important to get him on board with my homesteading desires and to keep him willing to compromise. If he sees progress that we can both appreciate then we'll both be happier and the transitioning will go smoother, I think.

I hope to post every day, but hopefully there will be more interesting things to post about soon!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Some photos of my "homestead"

I wanted to post some pictures of my home as it is now, and I'll keep updating with pictures of my homestead's progress. Here's a flower bed I had planted last year. This year it's very dead.

This kennel was for my beagle mix, Miss, but she chewed her way out. I'm wanting to repair it and find a good use to put it to. You can't see the damage in this picture.

Here's the back of my house. We live in a cozy doublewide. My yard is fairly barren, most of that green is weed, plus my lonely little young pine tree. I forget what kind it is.

Here's a shot of our backyard. It's not much right now is it?

Here's a shot of front yard. It's not much at the moment, but it'll be really nice when I'm done with it.

This is my front yard, the picture is taken from my threadbare front porch.

Another picture of the damaged dog kennel. I'm wondering what I could put in there once I've patched the holes Miss put into the bottom of the fencing in two places. That ugly thing in the picture is her current dog box. It isn't much to look at but that roof is actually waterproof and she stays cozy in the winter with straw.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Going Back to the Land

What does that phrase even mean? Ask twenty people and I bet you'd have twenty answers. What does going back to the land and homesteading mean to me? I want to know and appreciate where my food comes from. Giving up convenience for better quality seems like a small sacrifice. Working hard to support your family, and coming away from a long day feeling satisfaction and pride in what you've done. Helping to preserve the Earth's resources by making what you can and shopping locally for the rest so that your children and grandchildren will have a better future. These are all things that mean a great deal to me now that I've done a bit of soul-searching. I didn't come to my decision to go into homesteading lightly and it won't happen overnight, but to me it is a dream worth reaching for.

What does going back to the land mean to you? Are those values that you also hold dear? Have you ever wished that you could wake up every morning to the sounds of the barnyard? Perhaps hearing an old rooster crow to greet the day. Even if you live on only a small patch of ground, you can have your own small homestead, and I'm going to prove it by sharing my own journey with you all. Maybe I will inspire some of you to go out and do a little extra work in your garden, or even to strive for small things to do a touch of your own homesteading. Even if I don't, I'm glad to have you with me.

The Beginning

Welcome to Mountain Home, my brand new blog about my journey into the life of a homesteader. I'm starting from scratch, smack dab in West Virginia suburbia, on half an acre. If you think it's impossible, think again. Beginning today, I am going to work towards my goal of homesteading. I'd love ten acres in rural West Virginia, but that's not what I have, and I'm not going to wait until I do. If you're going to do something, the only thing you can really do is dive in and either sink or swim. I, my friends, am an excellent swimmer.

Right now I'm unemployed, which really hampers any plans to house, purchase, or feed any livestock, so I'll just have to wait a bit on that and start simpler. My first order of business will be to find a job so that I can begin to save money to buy my first livestock. I'm wanting to breed duel purpose meat and fur rabbits for a start to my homestead. Rabbit meat is lean, packed with protein, and better for you than turkey and chicken, believe it or not. I've already selected my breed, which will be Silver Fox. They're not cheap and the closest breeder is five hours away.

From this moment, my journey begins. Wish me luck!