the excitement is building

Things are starting to wrap up as we get closer to the signing date.  We are starting to work on some rough blue prints of the house.  it looks like we have settled on a 50 foot circle 20 feet deep.  When you factor in the tires, walls, etc, the house will be approximately 1500 square feet which is about where we wanted to be.  We are including a loft for our bedroom, two bedrooms for the kids (a girls room and a boys room), and possibly a guest room.  The 1500 sq feet doesn’t include the size of the loft.

We are also starting to budget for the excavation, the plumbing that has to go down next, and the concrete.  Once we get the paperwork signed I will start calling around for tires.  We are estimating we are going to need about 1000 tires.  That’s the part that is making me nervous.  We are going to need a lot of people working every Saturday for at least a month to finish these walls.  We are considering having a big bonfire on Saturday nights to entice people to help.  Build on our house and we will feed you and throw a party for you.  I think that sounds like fun!

Our garden is coming together too.  The brussel sprouts came up about 3 days before we anticipated, which meant we couldn’t get the grow lamps up in time.   It’s not a huge deal, it just means that they started off long and spindly, but they are recovering nicely.  Our cherokee tomatoes, romas, spinach, and tomatillos have also sprouted.  They will grow in their grow wells for about another two- four weeks, until they have at least 3 or more sets of leaves.  Then we are moving them to larger pots.  Those will be their final pots before we plant them.   They will also have better soil by then too. One of the first things we are going to do in the excavation process is start the garden and dig out a small greenhouse.  Last year we got our garden started way too late and didn’t have a great harvest.  This year will be so much better.  Also the running total we have on our garden so far is about $50.  I am keeping all the receipts from everything garden related we buy so we can compare the cost of homesteading to the cost of buying food.

Right now our main concern is getting this $3000 down payment together.  Currently we are about $250 off.  I am really confident that we will be able to make it.  It’s gonna come down to the wire, but if it didn’t it wouldn’t be fun!

My plan right now is to work my butt off.  I only need to sell about $550 with my business to be able to put in the $250.  I’m pretty excited about that.  i have a bunch of appointments coming up before the 1st and I think I can do it!  I know I can do it.

It’s still a bit surreal that all this is happening….

My disabled child is not a victim.

Disclaimer: This is one I those random posts I will have from time to time that has little or nothing to do with the project, but I feel it needs to be said.

My almost 5 year old son was born with a disability. Because of a brain injury at birth he now has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He has trouble eating, speaking, walking, keeping his balance, and performing most fine and gross motor skills. He needs a lot of help to do the things a normal 5 year old would do.

When he was born I felt very alone. I ostracized myself from my friends, I read blogs on how people who don’t have special needs children couldn’t possibly understand how hard it is. someone introduced me to a poem about holland (it’s a great poem and you should look it up if you don’t know it) which made me cry, so I read it over and over again to make myself cry. I read that poem at least once every day. I tried to write a book about my experience with his birth and what it was like to have a disabled child. At one point when he was about six months old I pulled my car over on the highway and cried. I cried for myself because of how hard it was for me to have my life flipped upside down. It would never be the same. That’s when I got myself a therapist, because it wasn’t about me.

I love my child. My son is the best person he can be and I do not want him to grow up thinking there is something wrong with him, or thinking that he is a burden on me or any of his other family, because he isn’t. Is it exhausting to feed him, dress him, brush his teeth, help to physically place him in the positions he wants to sit in, carry him to the bathroom when he needs to go, yes, heck yes it is, but I don’t let him see that. I take that to my therapist every 2 weeks and complain to her about how exhausting it is. I do this because on top of him knowing that he isn’t like other kids his age who can do these things I don’t want him to think he is a burden on me, because it’s not about me.

It’s about him and helping him to grow up to be the best person he can be. I watch other parents fight tooth and nail over every little injustice that is or could be done to their special needs child. They fight about non handicapped playgrounds, wheelchair ramps, handicapped accessible this and that, and while I think it’s important to fight for the things that matter I also know that the world doesn’t work to accommodate people. I fight the battles I think are important but I don’t want him to watch me fight any and all battle I come across because the world accommodates no one, disabled or not.

I don’t want my life to become consumed and defined by my sons disability. His disability happened, we now have to find ways to adjust our lives to it and move on. It’s a thing in our lives but it’s not his life. He is bound for greater things than that and I want him to know that. I decided a long time ago that I was going to try as hard as I could to not separate myself from the world. To not be like the blogs I once read. I read them now and those people aren’t me. I don’t separate myself from my non special needs moms because ” they couldn’t possibly understand” or “they don’t know how to act around us” because I don’t see myself as different. I have different struggles than them but we all have struggles, ours are just more apparent. I do not want my son to watch me limit myself because if his disability because he will learn to do the same thing, and he is not a victim. We have to learn to adapt to our environment instead of exclude ourselves from it.

The most important lesson I want to teach my children is that God made them beautiful and He doesn’t make mistakes. It is our job not to make the world fit our circumstances but to see the world and ask “how can I figure this out”. If my son wants to do something I help him figure out a way he can do it given his circumstances and the kid usually finds a way to do it. It may take some temper tantrums and arguments and lot and lots of time but he does it. That’s how the world works, for all of us. My children are not victims and neither and I.

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Riding the Roller Coaster

We have 21 days until the down payment is due on the property.

This statement scares the poop out of me.

I know we can do it.  partially because we HAVE to do it, but it’s going to be a tight squeeze, a very tight squeeze.

It depends on me working my butt off, which I have been doing better than i have in a while, but its slow going.  Slower than I would like it to be.  It’s frustrating when you want something so bad, and you are trying to work towards it but you cant seem to make it happen.

I’m stressed, and frustrated.

It’s Februrary!!

Last Sunday I had just gotten home from church when C looked at me and says “it’s February, we should start thinking about planting”.  I turned to him and said “ok, we’ve got $30 to play with, lets head to lowes!”.  So we did.  We had some 72 well starter greenhouses left over from last year, so we bought more of those, some seeds to go with the ones we had saved, and starter soil.

garden 2 garden 1

That was the best feeling in the world.  Last year it took us until the end of march to be able to afford to start growing.  I know it made C feel good too.  I also realize it’s a bit early in the season to be planting, but last year we had such a hard time getting the seeds started we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time this year to work out all the kinks.  We planted 6 different kinds of peppers, 3 kinds of tomatoes, spinach, brussel sprouts, ad maybe some other stuff?  Our plan is that once it starts to get warmer and we are past the fear of frost we can start planting on the property.  We expect to have at least an acre garden this year.  We would like to have a yield that will take us through the year.

We have been talking about these plans for so long it’s so surreal….  This is going to be fantastic!

The challenge revised

I’m still not happy with the challenge. I think I could do better. Here is why I’m not happy with it: I think the grocery list I made as an example accurately shows how new homesteaders (as we are) would shop in the middle of winter when our own resources aren’t readily available.

This grocery list is going to change over the years based on our homesteading abilities. For example: we plan on buying a pig and a cow every year to grow and slaughter for our meat, chickens for the year, and a few deer as well. Until we actually do these things those budget costs can’t be put into out food budget but they also can’t be assessed by a weekly basis either.

I terms of growing our food we plan on having enough berries, honey, peppers, beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc to last us the year, or at least most of the year.

So really the only things that should be on a true homesteaders budget are things you can’t grow yourself. Things like exotic spices, oils, flour (unless you grow and mill it or trade with someone who does), Exotic cheeses, etc. when you think about it our food budget should actually look more like this:

Oatmeal (because I’m not sure I want to mill things yet)
Flour
Yeast
Cheese
Butter? (Depending on if we do get a milk cow)
Milk
Cream
Expeller pressed Safflour oil
Ev olive oil
Coconut oil
Nuts (if we don’t grow our own)
Wine
Baking soda
Baking powder
Spices
Vinegar
Seafood
Exotic fruits and veggies
Rice, quinoa (some sort of grain)

Really that’s about it. I would be surprised if we spend over $300 a month on these things. This is our goal. This is what we want to teach people to do for themselves.