Goodnight 2016

2016. What a year. 
To quote Jimmy Buffet, “some of it’s tragic, some of it’s magic, but I had a good life all the way.” 
I had a massive stroke and almost died. Found out I’m having seizures. Lost most of my memory. Was turned down for disability. Emily was diagnosed with narcolepsy and has had a bad time of it. She has been so sick and still fighting migraines and such. We’ve sold off most of the animals on the farm including our milk cow and are barely hanging on to the rest.  We didn’t have any help with the garden after my stroke so we were not able to do any canning or preserving this year. We’ve went through sickness and surgery with the kids. Went through several weeks with no vehicle. Have been as broke as I’ve ever been in my entire life. Now it’s winter and we can’t yet afford to buy firewood to heat the house. 

But…

The good sooo outweighs the bad. 
I’m still here and still kickin’, I might not be the man I was but I’m able to walk, talk and I thank God every day for my blessings. Emily will be able to afford her medicine soon and she has gotten some of her freedom back with her wonderful service dog. She is able to get out a bit now and looks so much happier. The kids are all doing well now and happy. I have a beautiful new grand baby. We have found we have some of the greatest friends who have helped us while I was down. We sold most of the critters but we still have my favorites, the Kune Kune pigs, and Emily has some of the best stock runner ducks and Sebastopol geese in the state. We are broke and in debt right now, but she has her hedgehogs and I have my rodent business that is growing weekly and will soon be paying off hopefully. We’ve got a roof over our heads and three squares on the board. We’ve got a vehicle and although it needs work, it’s paid for and it’s ours. Last week, with my wife’s urging, I sold my first bit of writing in over 25 years. 

But best of all? We are so happy. We might get stressed sometimes but we are a happy family. We are in love and we love our lives. I know it sounds crazy, but I really feel like we are right where we need to be. 

2017 is going to be our year. I’m going into it optimistic and am going to work my butt off to make it our year. I’m going to put family first. Collect memories. Love more, laugh more, eat dessert first, think positive, let the kids be loud, plant more flowers, write more, read more, eat new foods, spend time educating folks when they ask, pray more, tell my wife how much she means to me, work hard, rest often, judge less and accept more. And every day I’m going to thank God for all my many blessings. 

Happy new year!

May 2017 be a blessing to us all!

Blessed 

I haven’t written in my blog for months now I guess. Just so much going on and haven’t been in the mood for writing. 

But this morning I got a message from a friend with a little story about prayer and although I’d read it before, today it really touched me. 

I’m human. Sometimes I get worried, stressed, moody and yes, sometimes I even get to feeling sorry for myself. But not today. Today I choose to be thankful for what I do have and believe that it will get better. 

Lily, our seven year old went back to school today for the first time in about a week because she had strep throats and an ear infection. The two boys both have a cold and are miserable with coughs and runny noses. Poor babies are sick and crabby. My wife has narcolepsy and our insurance won’t cover her meds and she’s having a tough time with the passing out and hurting herself falling. Then last night she starts running a fever. I guess she’s getting the crud everyone else has had. 

Me? I’m still about the same. Weak and pretty much useless, but I guess I’ve recovered as much as I’m ever going to from the stroke. I can walk ok, able to do a little, but I don’t guess I’ll ever be able to work a real job again. My disability was turned down, and although I appealed it, who knows if I’ll ever get any help. 

So basically we’ve had no income for six months now. I’ve had friends and family help us what they could and Em has constantly been finding things to sell to help out. But there hasn’t been a time in six months we’ve had over ten bucks between us in cash. 

But the thing is….

We are still here. God has had his hand over us. We might be dang tired of what we have to eat, but we haven’t missed a meal. The kids have enjoyed having both Mom and Dad home for once. We have a little Christmas tree and by next week we will have enough presents for the kids to have a nice Christmas. Emily and I are closer and more in love than we have ever been. We have a decent car that actually runs now. It might not have a heater or defroster and it might need a little work but it’s ours and it’s paid for. We have a little project we are working on that if we can get it going good will eventually give us a way to get out of debt. We have a roof over our heads and we are blessed and we know it. 

I get grief sometimes for my faith. That’s ok. If you don’t believe in God or prayer that’s ok too. I’ll still be your friend and I’m still going to have my faith. Because I know God is real and prayer does work. 

I’m not a real religious feller. I don’t go to church like I should. I lived an evil life when I was young and stupid. I made mistakes. I wronged people and did a lot of crap I wish I could undo. But as I grew older I began to realize that the only possible way I’m still alive is because God wasn’t finished with me. 

I don’t know what my purpose in life is. I’m not anyone special. I am just a simple country boy that gets up every single morning and does the best he can that day. Some days I do better than others. 

I am blessed. Blessed with life. With wonderful kids, grandkids and a wonderful wife. Friends who pray for us and care about us. The ability to know and understand how blessed I am after the stroke. And blessed to have my faith to keep me sane when things aren’t so great. 

But about prayer. 

Prayers being answered is when our lights are turned off and I go into the woods and pray and my wife calls and tells me a friend just paid the bill. 

It’s being one day from being turned off and I’m in the bedroom on my knees praying and I hear a knock on the door and a few minutes later my wife comes in and tells me a fellow auctioneer I haven’t even talked to in years heard I had a stroke and came by and paid the bill. 

It’s being down to the skimpy in the cabinets and out of the blue a family member I don’t even get along with shows up at the door with several boxes of groceries. 

It’s being months behind on payments and so far nothing has been repossesed even though it should have been. 

It’s laying in a hospital bed paralyzed and unable to talk and hearing the doctors say I might never get better then a few days later walking out of there on my own two legs. (Ok, with a cane, but walking nonetheless)

It’s living long enough to finally be able to understand the love and sacrifices my Mom made for me when I was a worthless punk kid and being able to tell her how much I love her. 

God is good. Life is good. I am blessed. 

Today I am going to be thankful for all my blessings and I’m going to think of ways I can pay the blessings I’ve received forward. 

And tonight when I get ready for bed and I pray? I’m not going to ask for anything. 
I’m going to just thank the Lord for everything I have. 

Self Sufficient Goals

I’m sitting here this morning thinking about what self sufficiency means to me and realizing it’s probably different than what most folks think of when they hear those words. It’s a conversation I’ve had so many times over the years. 


Going from the conversations I’ve had over the years I’m guessing to most people it means living in a primitive one room cabin in the middle of nowhere, alone, dirty, hungry and living as a hermit. Eating rice, bugs and weeds and drinking out of ditches. Wearing nasty, unwashed clothes and no modern conveniences. Usually when I ask someone “wouldn’t it be great to live totally self sufficient?” Their first response is “I’m not living without all my stuff! I have to have the modern conveniences and I love being comfortable.”

Which has nothing at all to do with what I was thinking. 

The true definition of self sufficiency is to produce every single thing you use. The actual dictionary definition is;

To me self sufficient means to produce, as far as it is feasible, every single thing I use or need to be happy, healthy and comfortable. From my own land, using my own labor and what is available to me there. Since I can’t realistically produce everything I need, self sufficiency also encompasses the ability to produce extra of those things I can produce to sell or barter and offset the expense of the stuff I can’t produce. 

Basically to me it would mean I would need no outside means of support. 


To most people that would be an impossible feat. But not to me. Growing up we were very close to that. Up until a few years ago I was close. We grew all our own fruits and vegetables except for the tiny amount we couldn’t produce in this climate. We provided all of our meat except seafood which we rarely ate. We produced or made our own soap, seeds, eggs, butter, milk, lumber, and animal feed. We produced much of our tools, bedclothes, furniture, heating wood and housing. We recycled, reused, repurposed and made so many things. We sold extras to help pay taxes, utilities and such and to buy what little we had to buy. 


Other things I’ve never been able to do, but could if I had the money and knowledge to set it up. Although I’ve always had a well or cistern for water, electricity is something I’ve never had the means to produce. Solar is getting cheaper by the year though and if I had someone to help me set it up with the proper skills and experience I know I could do it. 

I don’t mean to do without. I only mean to live simple. Big difference. 


I would love to plant a small orchard of fruits, nuts and berries. All organic and work it selectively with the geese and sheep to keep it clean and to keep the grass trimmed naturally. 

Have enough pasture to be able to do intensive rotational grazing for all our hoof stock and be able to follow them with the poultry and Kune Kune pigs. To build the land up naturally instead of drowning it in poisons and chemicals. 


To have a large garden including a greenhouse and possibly a long high hoop house to extend the season. To raise enough vegetables and root crops along with common and specialty greens for my family, neighbors and to be able to sell at the local markets. 


To have a couple of acres I could plant in row crops for things that aren’t feasible in a garden setting. Ideally worked by hand and with a mule or Jenny to be as petroleum free as possible. It’s not an impossible dream, we did it growing up after all. 


It would be nice to have a nice spring, a creek or a couple of ponds. That would make for happy ducks and an occasional fish dinner plus a place to cool off in the hot summer months. 

If I had enough land I would like to leave a percentage in its natural state too. Maybe a few paths, but leave a place for the birds and critters to live and a place to go sit when I just need to feel close to nature. 

It’s not there yet, but we are working on it. Someday we will get there. I have so many other things that I have to do for now to keep my family afloat and pay the bills, but everyone needs a dream. 

And my dream is someday to live a quiet, simple, self sufficient life in harmony with the seasons, the land and my fellow man. 


The Good Life


Here it is the first of September and I can’t figure out where the year has went. I woke up this morning to a wonderful 72 degrees with sunny skies and a light breeze. An absolutely beautiful day! The coolest day we’ve had since early last spring. 

Em has a migraine this morning, so I let her rest and I got the kids dressed and fed, fixed myself a cup of coffee and we headed outside to enjoy the day. 


As I sit here under the old fence row oaks in my “thinking spot” and think back over the past few years, I’m amazed at all the things we have lived through. Sickness, loss of my job and income, the stroke, Em’s hospitalizations and near death, Lily’s surgery, the terrible year we had with our farm, failures and defeat at every turn. And somehow I feel it’s finally going to get better. 

We have the best kids a couple could ever ask for and they are all healthy, happy and growing. We’ve got a home, a roof over our heads, food to eat and most of all a dream of better things to come. I’m recovering well from the stroke and ready to figure out where I can go from here to make a living. I’ve quit smoking, started eating healthier and am working on being a better person. Heck, Em is even trying to get me housebroken (I’m taking my shoes off before I go in the house). It’s been a journey, but life is good. 


Last Saturday a friend from Alabama came over and brought a bunch of folks with him to help us clean up around the farm. I owe him a debt of gratitude and am blessed to know such people. It is so nice to have things caught up enough to where I feel I can take back over running the farm myself. For several years it had been going downhill because I just wasn’t here or able to keep up with it all. A few hours of people pulling together got it well on its way though. 

Which leads me full circle back to thoughts and ideas I’ve had since I was a teen. Community. People helping others and truly living instead of just being alive. Being contented. Being fulfilled. Being happy. Belonging. 


I guess at times it sounds like I want more. But really I want less. I want less stress, less sickness, less bills, less worries, less hurry and bustle. All I have ever wanted is to live simple. It’s time. 

I grew up simple. Our family was poor, but we took care of our own and we raised most everything we needed. And we were happy. We were controlled by the weather and the seasons, but not so much by money, jobs or schedules. As I get older I see that the simple life I tried to get away from was the only life that really mattered. 


I’m not sure what will be next. I don’t have all the answers. But I do know I want to simplify my life, I want to teach or at least share with others the skills I learned as a kid growing up on a small homestead. I want to get away from the negative and surround myself with those who also value honesty, truth and community. I want to walk lightly upon the land and leave it better than I found it. I want my kids to grow up free and aware of what is important. I want to take care of my family and still be able to help others too. 

Life is good. There are always days that make things hard, but I have to remind myself that those things are fleeting and that it’s going to get better. Life always finds a way. 

Enjoy today. 

Spend time with those you love. 

And finally…
Just breathe. 

35 Days

It’s been 35 days today since the stroke. 

I woke up this morning with a clear head for the first time since that day. I’m weak as water, still stumbling like a drunk and my croahn’s is flaring up this morning, but I’m clear headed. It’s time to make some hard choices. 

I was told yesterday that I’m the reason our kids are doing without. The reason we are losing everything we own and the reason life has basically came to a stand still. And it’s true. 

It hurt me. It bruised my ego, it hurt my feelings, it pissed me off. But it’s true. I’m the husband. The father. The provider for this family and right now I’m just not doing my job as any of that. 

So I’ve been thinking. 

A friend suggested I get back into raising the little stuff for now and has even offered to help us get some small cage birds and such to get started. I can still walk with a cane and still talk with a bit of hesitation. So that’s one idea. I can raise little pet type critters and sell them to help make ends meet until I can do better. It won’t make a living, but it might at least keep rice and beans on the table. 

The time has came to let the big stuff go though. I can’t take care of the cow, the pigs or the stuff like that right now and there is no one else to do it for me for the months or years it might take for me to get my health back. I’ll have to talk to Em and Pat, but I think it’s time to butcher the hogs and sell the piglets and the cow. We can always get more later when things are better. We already had some other dreams we had to let go, so this is no different I guess. It will break my heart, but it breaks my heart now to know they aren’t being taken care of the way they need to be and I have just got to face reality and the reality is I’m not able physically or financially to take care of them right now. 

The kids start school next week and we haven’t got the funds to buy them any of their school stuff, thinning down the farm will give us the funds to do that and possibly even pay a bill or two. 

The garden is half done. I’ll see if I can get someone to finish it and get what we can out of it for this year and just hope next spring I’ll be in better shape with my health and maybe able to afford the tiller and such I’ll need to do it properly. For now we will just have to make do. 

This week is a nightmare of Drs appointments, physical therapy, running to get the kids registered for school and such. The van is shot so….

But I’m still alive and there is still hope. I’m sad but I’m trying. 

A few people have asked why I never post in my blog any more. The reason is simple. I hate not having happy, positive stuff to post. I like posting my little projects, cute pictures of the farm, the kids and the critters. I like to inspire, not depress. 

And lately there just hasn’t been much to post that has been happy.  

Pray for my family. 

The Stroke

On the morning of June 20th I had a massive stroke. 

I remember feeling a bit “off” that day. I was driving the van down the road headed to a job and I remember my coworker asking if I needed him to drive. Then I remember being in a hospital emergency room hallway and my wife was there. I was in and out of consciousness and couldn’t move or talk. Then I was in a helicopter, then another hospital. It was there I finally came to enough to understand what was happening to me. 

Latter I found out I had pulled the van over onto a side road and opened the door and when I went to get out I just collapsed and passed out. I was having trouble breathing and couldn’t move. My coworker called 911 and several city and county police arrived along with members of the fire department and they worked on me until the paramedics and the ambulance got there. I was rushed to Magnolia hospital on life support in Corinth Mississippi where my wife, my Mom and my best friend Jason rushed to be there as soon as they heard. 

I came to once when a doctor was telling my wife that they needed to give me a shot to save my life. The shot could kill me though and I could bleed out so they would have to fly me to Memphis if they gave it to me. She was upset and crying but I couldn’t move or speak to tell her it was ok.  I think I sorta remember seeing my Mom at some point too… They loaded me on the helicopter and headed to Memphis and my Mom went home and watched the kids while Jason rushed Em to Memphis to be by my side. 

Next I came to myself on a helicopter, scared, on oxygen and having trouble breathing. I came two a total of three times on the flight, each time for only seconds. 

At the Babtist Memorial hospital at Memphis I was rushed into ICU and had several tests done, most I only vaguely remember. I do remember going into a tube thing and the neurologist showing me a chart of my brain and pointing out two areas and saying I would have had zero chance of surviving the flight if I hadn’t had the shot. 

They said anything I recovered, speech, movement and such, I would recover in six hours after the shot. 

Six hours passed. 

Then twelve. 

Damn. 

I still couldn’t talk. Couldn’t move my left side at all. 

Then the next night about dark I was laying in bed and the tv was on. I wasn’t watching it really, just something on for a noise, and Em said it was too loud. And I said “turn it down”.

And about a full minute later we both looked at each other and started smiling! I had said it out loud! Weak, but I spoke! Then I couldn’t speak again. But it slowly started coming back over the next few days. I still have trouble, but it’s getting there. Against everything the experts said. 

I laid in that hospital bed and watched my wife sleep in the floor of my room because there were no places for her in there and she wouldn’t leave my side. For two days she wouldn’t even leave the room to get anything to eat or drink because she wouldn’t leave my side. For two days I laid there watching her cry and hearing her tell my sister and whoever she was talking to on her phone how much she loved me and how she would give anything to hear me tell her I loved her one more time or to feel my arms around her one more time. I knew I was going to be a vegetable. I prayed to die. 

But I didn’t die. And I started learning to talk again. Then I got some tiny bit of feeling in my left side, enough so that today I can walk with difficulty if I’m very careful and use my old fart cane she bought me. 


I don’t know what our future holds. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to work again. I don’t know how we will pay our bills. I don’t know how I’ll support my family. I don’t know how I will get my beautiful wife to calm down and stop stressing and crying and stop worrying about everything. But I do know God wouldn’t bring me through all of this and not make a way for us to survive. 

We have had to make some hard choices. We have gotten rid of a lot of the farm animals, cut back on others, had to ask for help from family and friends to get the garden in and the stuff done around the house. Neighbors have brought feed and hay, the kids are pitching in and doing so much to help. Em’s family came all the way from North Carolina to stay a week and help with the kids, give Em a break and get the yard work done. I’m blessed. We are blessed. 


We are behind on every bill we owe, but they will get paid. The first round of bills from the stroke came in yesterday and already, after self-pay discounts I owe over $53,000.00 including $40,000.00 for a helicopter ride. I’m expecting well over $100,000.00 by the time it’s all said and done. It’ll take a while but they will get it a little each week I guess. 

And with all that? If I didn’t think I’d go to hell for doing it and wasting the money I’d take the first few hundred bucks I could scrape up and buy my wife a pair of jeans that didn’t have the ass out of them, buy both of us a pair of shoes that didn’t have holes in the soles, and go take her somewhere nice to eat and spend a night or so somewhere quiet and romantic and let her know how much this dumb old farmer loves her and how proud he is to have a wife that loves him as much as she has proved she loves me. 

I’m bent, but I’m not broken. 

I’m down, but I’m not out. 

I’m weak in body, but strong in spirit. 

And I’m blessed beyond measure. 
God is good. Life is good. Let those you love know you love them ’cause life is short. 

Broken

Broken seems like an apt title for tonight’s post. I’m sitting here waiting to hear from my wife who is in the hospital getting exrays to see how bad she broke her ankle. She was moving chicks from the brooder to the coop and slipped in the doorway of the barn. It looks awful. Of course she wouldn’t listen to me and go straight to the emergency room, she had to call our friend Pat to be sure it was broken. I guess I would trust a nurse’s opinion over a dirt farmers on medical stuff too, but still… When your damn leg looks like a Z and has a knot the size of a goose egg it’s friggin broken. Anyway, Pat and I got her loaded in the car and they headed to the emergency room and I stayed here to take care of the kids, feed and water the stock and cook supper. Worried. Wish she was home already. 


I was on the porch talking to my friend Jason and heard Lily screaming “mommy fell, daddy! Mommy fell, come quick”. My first thought was she had another seizure so I hung up and ran like hell. She was hurting bad by the time I got there which was probably less than a minute after she fell. She’s tough. As soon as she saw Lily getting upset she had to “cowboy up” and pretend she was fine do she wouldn’t scare her. I sure wish she would call. I’m not good at waiting. 

Broke. Because I had a slow week at work and have several bills I have to pay that won’t wait. The past few weeks I’ve been gone all week, but not making any money. I’m not downing the job, it’s just the way it is, some weeks are great and some weeks suck. This was just a bad week. Sorta expected it this time of year though. But the bills still have to get paid. I guess we will have to sell some stuff, but that’s ok too. At least we have stuff to sell. 


 I have to get this farm going somehow but with no money to buy supplies, materials and such I don’t know how I’ll get it done. But I will. Because it’s who I am. And with all my faults I’m damn sure not a quitter. 

Broken. Because of me. The stroke. This week was so tough. For those who don’t know I had a stroke a couple of years ago in Florida. It seems I got lucky and had no lasting physical damage but I lost large chunks of my memory. I can remember some stuff, but other events, months, years…they are just… Gone. This week sucked because it seemed all week long people were talking about stuff I don’t remember and also, I ran into an old friend from years ago that mentioned people I don’t even know. I nod and smile, but inside I’m panicking thinking “what do I say? Why don’t I remember?” Sometimes I feel there is a memory just beyond my grasp and it is so frustrating. 

On the good side, the nightmares stopped after the stroke, so I guess I lost some of the bad memories too. Now I read over the stories of my childhood and my teens and twenties and it’s just stories. 

But life goes on. 


We turned our black Giants and the rose comb reds out today to free range. We’ve got orloffs and more giants still in the outdoor brooder. Em has a few of her show ducks hatched out and our first pheasants of the year are in the brooder. I wanted to plant more in the garden today but couldn’t find a tiller to borrow. Maybe tomorrow. 

Now I’m going to get the kids ready for bed and straighten up the house a bit and pray everything turns out ok. 

Mother’s Day Gift To My Wife

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When you wake in the morning babe, it will be Mother’s day. That special day set aside to honor all Mothers, and God knows you deserve my honor and respect.

You are a great Mom and a wonderful wife. You get up at dawn, feed and change the baby, help get the girls off to school, go out and milk the cow, bring the milk in and strain it. You clean and sterilize all the equipment then get Con up, change him and get him dressed and then cook breakfast. You cook our supper and be sure and take care of all of us in the evenings and somehow find time during the day to feed all the critters, take care of the kids, clean the house, do laundry, list and sell all our farm products and a hundred other things you think no one ever notices.

Hon?

I notice.

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I want to get you the things you deserve. I really do Babe. You deserve nice things. But we are poor. I work hard, but this weeks check won’t even cover half the bills that are due. So no fancy candy, no beautiful cards, no nice meal at a sit down restaurant, and none of the other things I want so bad to be able to do for you.

All I can give you is the things I have.

 

I give you these hands. Rough, scarred, knotted and usually dirty. But they work hard for you. Every day. And will work for you and the kids as long as I can draw a breath.

I give you these knees. The first area to wear out on my old jeans. Whether kneeling in prayer or crawling down the rows in the garden weeding, these knees are yours.

This old gray head. Constantly thinking ahead, trying to figure out ways to make our life better.

These shoulders. Here to lean on no matter what life throws at us. A place to lay your head every night and wide enough to carry the burdens I try to save you from.

These arms that hold you when you need a hug, that wrap around you and protect you from harm.

This back that gets up when someone threatens our family and that is strong enough to keep fighting when it’s against the wall.

This heart of mine. It’s been broken and its been hurt, but you have healed it and it’s yours. It’s full of love for you and always will be.

I can’t give you much Babe.

All I can give you is me.

Happy Mother’s day my love.

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Another Day

So many things going on in my head tonight. Em has been pretty sick and I was here all day trying to take care of her and the kiddos and haven’t felt great myself. Lots of time to think on things, but no closer to any answers. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do. 

We had a new baby goat born this week. Em sold it even though it was a nanny because it’s crossed and I want to stay with pygmies for now. Cute lil cuss though, and going to a great home. I never fail to be humbled at the miracle of new life. It gets me every time. 

  

We also had the calf arrive finally. The good news is the cow and calf both are doing good and the cow is already milking great. Yesterday we got about six gallons of milk but today we only got around four. Her bag is still tight though, so she hasn’t completely dropped her milk yet. She’s going to be a good family milk cow.  The bad news is she has very short teats in the back, so a bit tough to hand milk. Also the calf is a darn lil bull. 

We put him on a bottle and he’s doing ok. Em and the kids are getting attached already although they know he’s got to be ate or sold, we just don’t have room for a bull. Em wants me to cut him and train him to be a draft steer. 

  
I dunno though. I’m getting a little long in the tooth to be breaking a darn steer to pull a cart. Especially since I have no one to help me around here. On the other hand, a bottle bull calf is worth a few hundred at most and a good ox is worth at least fifteen hundred. Humm. 

We have got to get a milk refrigerator as soon as possible or we will be wasting a ton of milk. We also need a part for our hand powered mechanical Milker, a few dozen glass milk bottles with lids, bottle carriers, new filters and stainless milking buckets, teat dip, a new strip cup… Dang. Just a lot of stuff. 

Last night I had a cold glass of fresh milk from our own cow for the first time in three years. Words can’t describe how good it was. I was raised on raw milk and that store bought crap just tastes like a gallon of water with a few spoonfuls of milk added. Now I can have all the fresh pure milk I want.  And soon we will have fresh butter, buttermilk, yogurt and cheeses. And best of all fresh cream to spoon over my garden strawberries!

  
There are so many things I need to get done here. The farm is right on the cusp of making us a living. We’ve got milk, butter and soon cheeses, we have eggs and several good breeds of heritage poultry. We’ve got lots of pork, poultry and soon sheep and goats we can sell meat shares on. The garden will do great if I ever get time to get it all in the ground. Fruits, nuts and berries are all around the farm. Em is doing great selling all our products and we have still got all out farmers markets and the cottage crafts coming soon like baked goods, candies, soaps, canned goods and such. 

  
Somehow I’ve just got to get ahead enough to get a farm truck, the French drains installed, the fencing and shelters for the critters and all the million other things done. 

I guess I’ll just do it like I’ve done everything else in my life – bow my head and dig in with both feet, grit my teeth and keep swinging until something gives. 

I’ve got the best wife a man could ask for, great kids and friends that believe in me and give me moral support. I’m so blessed. And thankful. 

Most of all I’m thankful I am able to chase my dreams even if that dream is just to be a simple dirt farmer. 

Ready To Get To Building

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post here on my blog. Between work and life there just hasn’t been time. Today I am home sick so taking the time to write a bit. 

Fist off, yesterday was a weird day. I got sick yesterday evening so I came home early and happened to look at my phone and had a notification from WordPress that my blog was having the best day ever. Weird because I haven’t even logged in for a month. When I went to see what was going on it showed 53 views and 22 shares of my post from last year “throw away boy”. What’s even more confusing is I couldn’t see where any of my friends shared it and it was showing all the hits were from Facebook. While I’m proud people seem to like my blog, this was definitely an odd thing. Heck, I think only two people shared that post when I made it!

  
 In other news I’m stumped. Life here on the farm is great. We are so blessed. We have, as a family, accomplished so much in the past year. But I’m at a standstill at the moment. We have got to get the materials and equipment to continue growing and building. I’ve looked everywhere online and danged if I can find anyplace that makes small farm loans. Millions of dollars to mega farms sure, but not to real farmers working small family farms. Everything I am reading just says to borrow from family or friends. Lol, that’s funny. If my friends and family had any money I wouldn’t need a loan lol. 

  
We need stuff like hand tools, a garden tiller, fencing, lumber, field line for French drains, a farm truck, a mower and weedeater, soil amendments, a small chain saw, and the list goes on. 

(Not my truck…. But would be if I wasn’t broke lol!)  
The garden is started, Em is selling chicks and such as fast as we can hatch them and we’ve got folks waiting on milk, veggies, soaps, canned goods and many other things. I just wish I could get it all rolling again. It’s the first time I’ve had to start with none of the basic stuff. 

But..

What’s meant to be will be. I’ve got a good wife, great kids, wonderful friends and a will to succeed. I’ve got my faith and my hands. 

Life is good. And I’m a lucky fella.