Last weekend I bought my first chainsaw and used it a good bit, but still have a lot of use left to go. It's hard to think at 37 years old I'd be doing stuff like this for the first time. I've had to step out of my comfort zone to get where I want to be.

With this new farm I have had a lot of learning experiences already. I've bought things I never thought I'd own. I've done things I didn't think I'd do on my own. However, the list of what's left to do to get this farm going is really weighing heavy. Luckily, I've got a support group that helps to keep me focused and somewhat sane.

The level of stress my plans has brought on is something different that I'm still learning to deal with. It's causing me to lose focus in other areas, to where I just don't know what task to complete next. It's hard to overcome sometimes.

Today I was reminded that stress builds for everyone. I also learned that one of the biggest helps is to know that you're appreciated and admired for what you do and the work ethic you do it with. That's what your support system is for, to point out how important you are. To reignite that fire inside you that makes you continue to push forward. They show you so much support that whatever is overwhelming you begins to look smaller and more manageable to conquer.

So just a thanks to my biggest supporters for doing what you do best. It's much appreciated and I hope I'm half of the help in return.

Until next time….

Moving to our farm…..

Well we closed this week on the new farm. After signing the papers on Thursday, a whirlwind of a weekend began. I feel like that moment was the start of a race and I'm just now slowing down. We quickly moved enough stuff late on Thursday to meet our goal of staying the night on the farm.

I took Friday off to use as 'Moving Day' and to get the majority of our belongings out of storage and to the new house. That doesn't mean they are in their rightful place, just on site. Each item will slowly find its place over time. Luckily, I had pretty good help, my 14-year old son and his best friend, for the heavy lifting. They worked all day long and never complained about a thing. By 6:00 pm we had everything unloaded and the boys still had daylight left to explore the new property.

Saturday wasn't much different, except it began to see needed items find their place in the house. The main item to find its place was our dog, Pepper. She had stayed with at parent's farm since we moved out of the old house, but was now had her own farm to reside at.

Today has been a day of discovery. We discovered a few things that will need repaired before they are used. We discovered that this farm holds a lot of work and surprises for us, but also holds a lot of beauty and potential. At the end of the long day, there's a certain peace of sitting on your own porch, watching a passing rain shower and knowing you are home.

Until next time….

Happy Independence Day….

It’s been a while since the last post and a lot of changes have happened. Regardless of those changes, today is and will always be a day to celebrate the fact we live in the greatest country on the planet. A place where every single one of us strive to live ‘The American Dream’ and be successful in whatever we decide to pursue. 
At this moment, I seem to be off the path of acquiring said dream. I currently do not own a home, only renting a house from a family friend. I currently live out of a suitcase and boxes, struggling each morning to find clothes that I know are here somewhere. There aren’t dishes in the cabinets and no standard services like TV or internet. Heck, I don’t even have my dog here with me. I just seem to be making my way through each day, trying to keep my focus on the end goal, owning a successful farm that will provide for my family.
See all that stuff has become regular life since we officially moved out of our house of 14 years last week. We moved most of the final things without any emotional breakdowns or moments of regret, which will come I’m sure. The toughest part of the move was relocating our 7 year old Great Pyrenees/Lab mix to my parents farm. All that said, the move out was a lot of work, but can be considered a success.

As we look ahead, we can see things about to get better. Since our offer was accepted, all the necessary things like inspections, surveys, and appraisals have all been completed successfully. This just leaves the lawyers a couple of weeks to finish their documentation and titles before closing. So we will go from this temporary detour back in line to our dream within a few weeks.
That’s how living in this country seems to work. One minute things look bleak and like a dead end, but in a moments notice, we have the another option that gives us hope and the possibility of becoming something great. That’s what has happened for us so far through this journey.  So even in small town, USA, ‘The American Dream’ of being successful is still alive. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Until next time….

Hurry up and wait….

This entire process is just a lot of hurry up and wait with what we need to do to keep moving forward. Once an offer was made on the house, we had to hurry and sign the contract and then wait on the next step in the selling process. While we wait, we have to hurry a little more to find the place we want to try to purchase. It’s just an endless, cruel process. 

While we are relieved that the house is being sold, it takes a toll on you mentally. Over the last two weeks we have made mad dashes home from work to make sure everything was in order before inspectors or appraisers arrived. Unfortunately, we are currently waiting on those reports to come back to set a closing date. 

The buying process is a lot of the same. We’ve covered five towns in our county just trying to locate something that fits our liking. However, no matter what we’ve seen, all four of us think one specific property is the best. So at the end of last week we made our first offer on an older home that is centered in 40 acres. The weekend was a few quick offers and counter-offers until we held up the process to make sure we weren’t out kicking our coverage financially.

We took a step back from that farm and looked at some more we had on our list to see. Nothing measured up to that place, regardless of what the house or property offered. After a lot of thought and evaluation of budgets, we made a last ditch effort on the farm we all liked and the wait began.

One day passed.

Two days passed and we all had doubts.

The third day, we packed and purged our things to keep ourselves busy. Throughout the day both kids asked if we’d heard yet. Nothing to that point, but as we sat to take an afternoon break, I checked email. I see an email from the real estate agent I’m trying not to tip off anyone yet that I have news. I read it quietly and see she’s congratulating us on the offer being accepted. Finally.

Doing my best to play it cool, I make the announcement to the family. Everyone has the same reaction….’Really?!’ And after I confirm what I said they follow with a sigh of relief and smiles.

So with all that, we are doing exactly as the title reads. We hurry to complete a step in the process, but mainly we just wait. At this point, it looks like more hurrying is quickly approaching and I can gladly say our family is looking forward to that.

Until next time….

Things are starting to look up….

After a couple of weeks of nothing happening, things start to look up for us as an offer was made on our house this week. A couple who returned to look at the house for a second or third time decided to take the next step. It took some negotiating, but the end result came out to the good.
We received word early Wednesday that a meeting would take place that afternoon to write an official offer for our house. As we waited for word from our real estate agent, thoughts were scattered on what the offer would be. Once we finally heard, the offer actually came in a touch lower than we expected, but the agent came to the house and we discussed how we should proceed. We submitted a counter offer and would have to wait until the next day for a reply from the potential buyers.
The next morning went as usual, kids to school, us to work, but the tick of the clock seemed to be louder as each second ticked by. The anticipation of hearing from our real estate agent was heavy, but we finally got the text we were waiting on….they accepted our counter offer!
The reality set in quickly after that text. Now we have to be serious about finding a farm. No more lackadaisically looking at any house we might like. It’s now serious consideration of each potential property and revisiting the ones we have liked to this point. So we are now in a mad dash to find a farm, as the closing date on our house quickly approaches.
Until next time….


Webster’s Dictionary (2017) defines reject as “to refuse to believe, accept, or consider(something)”. We’ve all faced it, dealt with it, or even rejected something ourselves. It’s not easy to experience, especially when you’re on the side being rejected.  
Being rejected causes us to think about our stance and beliefs in regards to the what is unwanted. We begin with the obvious stuff that could be cause, like looks, size, cleanliness, etc. If that didn’t change anything, then we move on to the other variables until we convince ourselves that we have found the problem.

That process can drive you crazy and make you a mental mess. Unfortunately, I have been through that process over the last two weeks, all over selling our house. We’ve had people look and then tell us the house didn’t fit their family or what they were looking for. That’s just fine because I don’t expect our house to fit everyone. However, the past four days have sent things to a new level.
We’ve had two calls to view our home on short notice, to which we accepted. We set the viewing time just a few hours out to give us some time to do some quick cleaning. Both times, neither visit took place. To say I was “let down” or “upset” would be an understatement.
Between all the visitors we’ve had view our home, there seems to be very little serious interest. That makes me feel rejected in a sense. It makes me second guess the entire process. Some of it is my impatient personality, some of it is just wanting the process of selling our home to be over. Either way, it’s not a good feeling, and it makes it hard to be optimistic about moving forward. All those feelings of rejection over a house…..kind of silly isn’t it?
With all that being said, we still push forward, knowing that the house will sell, just not in the timeline we want it too.  Until it does sell, it pushes out our plans of buying a farm.
Until next time….

An Educational Adventure….

While the house is currently showing a couple times per week now, we are moving forward with small steps.  This weekend has been busy with some minor improvements to help our house sell.  Today’s adventure however, was the highlight of the weekend.

We left out around 7:30 this morning and drove 2 hours south where we were to tour a small farm.  The instructions from the owners, who we hadn’t met yet, were for me to call when I was close and they would give me specific directions to the farm, so I did just that.  By following the given directions, we went through a gate on a dead end street and drove a half mile into some unknown property to find the awaiting owners at the barn and excited to have us as visitors.

After exchanging the greetings and pleasantries, we all loaded up and started out to see the sights.  As I road shotgun in a early 90’s Jeep Wrangler, we made our way deep into the middle of 800 acres.  I quickly realized this wasn’t the small farm I was expecting.  We trekked over big hills and slick red clay trails until the land finally opened up to some beautiful rolling hills of pastureland.

The vast acreage of pastures held the reason we came so far, Scottish Highland cattle.  I’ve researched this breed and like what I’ve read, but I needed more insight into what I could expect.  I didn’t realize the next few hours would present me with so much information to think over.

The owner had no problem giving us any, and all, information that we wanted.  We heard all about successes, hardships, and even some funny stories of their beginnings as farmers.  They showed us all the facilities they used with the herd and told us the thought process behind the design of each. We left with a stack of brochures and our brains overflowing with information.  They even gave us some meat to sample, that was produced on their farm.

While this little adventure impressed me, it also showed me that I need to plan a little more.  I need things I hadn’t thought of, some things I had assumed I’d need, but just overlooked.  So while I’m excited about this new knowledge gained, I’m also a little overwhelmed by what is still needed.  The challenge in front of me has become real, but it’s brought a new sense of belief that I can be successful at this.

Until next time….

Friendly Advice….Everyone has it.

So as word gets out that we are going to start a farm, everyone seems to have an opinion on how we should proceed.  Everything from ‘don’t jump in to quickly’, to ‘I don’t see you as the farming type’ to ‘that’s a great idea’.  Everyone seems to have an idea or an opinion they want to share.  However, as much as I like to socialize and talk through my thoughts, I’ve taken a slightly adjusted approach on educating myself on farming.

I have started reading about farming to get some ideas of how other people farm and what they have experienced.  While this is difficult to fit into an already busy schedule, I am currently into the early chapters of the second book.

The first book (Making Your Small Farm Profitable), I bought because I felt like it was a good foundation to build on.  Everyone wants to be successful when they start a new venture and I am no different.  The second book (Barnyard Confidential) was a gift from a friend who is always supportive of me.  While this book has some great information, it’s provided some needed comic relief, much like the friend that give it to me does on a regular basis.

So while everyone seems to have an opinion or idea, I’m opening the door to see what the blogging world suggests.  What books and sources have you found to be beneficial in the world of farming?  Where do you turn when you’re researching a breed of cattle or the type of crops to grow?  Leave me a comment or send me a message and let me know what helps you.

Until next time….

The hardest part is waiting….

     Waiting……it’s just not something I do well.  Waiting at work, waiting at home, waiting on a house to sell, regardless I just don’t like it.  When I make my mind up to do something, I want to plan it and do it, not wait on things to fall into place and then move forward.  That is probably one of my biggest downfalls.

     We have been looking for a farm to purchase and each place we visit gets extreme scrutiny from me and my family.  We each have our own ideas of what our farm needs.  My son wants woods and areas to enjoy the outdoors with his friends.  My wife wants it to be something that can be attractive to look at whether you are sitting on the front or back porches of the house.  My daughter wants it to be a home for all the pets she thinks she is going to get.  All that, and my desire to have a functional, low-cost farm are making it difficult to find, especially within our desired living location.  While we have a couple of front-runners on our list, no final decisions have been made concerning housing.

     Like I said I like to plan and starting this farm is getting my full attention.  I have been reading and studying about all the things that I want in a farm.  I have studied several breeds of cattle and am leaning towards raising Miniature Scottish Highlands.  I have read about crop rotation to get maximum growth and even went as far as scoping out any farms that have this certain type of cattle. Farms anywhere within a 100-mile radius of my current home so we can see the cattle with our own eyes and discuss the breed with the farmers.  We need to know the successes and hardships that each have had in their time raising these beautiful animals.  I can’t remember a time I’ve been so hungry for information on a topic.

     While we have been doing all this, we have had several people view our home, but we still haven’t had anyone make a decent offer.  We are anxious to sell our house, anxious to find that perfect farm for us, and anxious to see where this next venture takes us, but right now we continue to do what we have been doing……waiting.

     Until next time…..

What’s on the Horizon?

Sometime during the last year, it was decided that the time had come for our family to make a change.  Originally, our thoughts were to build a new house and begin farming on the remains of my grandparent’s farm.  As we realized the expense of building a new home, it became a little clearer that we may need to look at the possibility of buying an existing farm.  Instead of building a new home, we could buy a home and a decent amount of land.  The difficult part is trying to find something that will fit our family and farming needs.

With the plan of buying a farm, we decided it was important that we live on the land we would be farming.  To make that happen, our house must sell before we purchase something different.  Two and a half weeks ago, we took the necessary step and had our house listed on the local real estate market.  It is a little hard to see that little sign in the yard and knowing that we must keep the house clean, because someone may want to see the house any day of the week.

This house has been a home for our family for just under 14 years.  When we bought this house our son was 6 months old and we added a daughter about 6 years later.  Our family has experienced all kinds of feelings here.  This house has taught us to survive, to work, to enjoy each other, and most of all to love.  However, with all the memories we have from here, we can see change is on the horizon.

This farming expedition that we are looking to start isn’t going to be something we stop our current careers for, so it will basically be a hobby farm.  Being that we aren’t currently farmers and have little knowledge of what we are getting into, we are going to have to change the mindset of our family.  As this process begins, I wanted a way to document what we experience, whether it be good, bad, or otherwise.  That is where this blog is rooted and hopefully where it will stay.  This is just a way for us to remember what we have experienced through the process, and to hopefully help us not to make the same mistakes twice.

Until next time…..