Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary

October 17th, one year ago today, is the day I took possession of this rocky land and old house. I was a little frightened to come out here all by myself (no cats, no dogs, just me, the city girl), so I stayed at the bed and breakfast in Troy, NY two extra nights while I screwed up the courage to move out into the woods, alone.

I was full of plans and dreams of how I was going to start a business that rents out goats to eat weeds, called targeted grazing. I was going to transform my life from one where I spend my energy helping big corporations make more money into one where I help the environment and work outside. Never mind that neither this property nor the house have seen care in 20 years, the property can't support goats without a LOT of work, and you can count the times I've touched a goat in my life on one hand.

One year later, here I am, sans goats, sans outside work, and sans enthusiasm. I'm moving wood today and still struggling with something that should be simple - the raised beds. A year is a short time, and this feeling is likely temporary I know, but how does one start something like this so late in life, when the timescale for beginning is so long? Winter is coming on, and I'll spend the time making new friends and thinking about this again. My hopes and dreams haven't changed, and it's possible I'll be renewed with the spring. We'll see.


  1. It takes time to make your dreams come true. Unless you have a bunch of burly friends to help you do the grunt work it's going to be a slow process. You can do it and I'm looking forward to reading about it.

  2. NOTHING about homesteading is easy! And it all takes so much longer to do than you think it would/should. I suppose it would be different if you had that bunch of burly friends Sparkless spoke of . . . or had the money to hire a crew to do every little desired thing. But we're living in the real world here, and it's just gonna take time.

    But you have done a LOT in one year. You've gotten to know your land, your house, yourself. And you certainly haven't remained idle or static.

    Are there goats in your area? How 'bout getting a couple of does to start with to see how you like them? You don't have to keep a buck if there is one within easy driving distance in case you want to progress into milk production . . . and/or increasing your herd. After trying them out, you might find you're so enthusiastic about them that you'll gain all kinds of excitement and energy. Or you may find you don't want to follow that dream. That will be okay, too. Then your good brain and desire will bring something else into your plans.

    The first year is always kinda like testing the waters. I have a feeling lots of things are going to start changing for you really soon. You're in a good place and good things are going to start happening. I just know it!

  3. Abandon that old house and put a mobile home on your property! Super-insulated, warm and cozy, room for your stuff - heck you can use the house as a big shed if you don't have enough room.

    Sorry - I know this past year's been hard on you and it seems like if the house wasn't so much f*ing work, you might have a clearer view of what you want to do.

  4. Thanks guys! I use this blog as a journal, so sometimes the normal cycles of mood will show up here, and more so when winter comes on. Six months of winter- how cruel is that? Is it really angst? Who knows. Not me.

  5. Jordan, please don't lose heart...or hope. You had dreams when you looked and when you needed the country..don't be too discouraged. I have a husband and 4 kids..and an ex husband. Oldest in college and sort of estranged right now..youngest in 6th grade. While I love my life and I love my family to pieces, so much of my life is not my decisions are weighted so heavily on them and their lives right now. I have no idea what my dreams are. I'm not where I feel I should be..or want to be right now. I am stuggling at 47 to figure something out. One part thinks I should kick it in and find a $$ better job, instead of the part time ones I have right now, involving family...another part reads the homestead blogs and books and thinks I'm not cut out for corporate America...and I'm OK with that. I just need to find a niche somewhere. I think you've done awesome so far and I will encourage you whenever you need it. If you've decided you are really a city girl, well that's OK too. Which part is the most discouraging right now? Is it being cold in your house? Is it being away from things? Maybe the mobile home is the key, if that's a doable thing.But if you think you're going to restore the house to be your living place, it may take living in it to know what you need to do.

  6. Karen Sue - you ARE a good cheerleader! The hardest part right now is the alone part. How many homesteaders do you know that are doing it by themselves? I can think of one - Jenna Woginrich. All of the goat businesses I visited are joint ventures. I wanted to start on the dream anyway and hope that eventually someone would come along to share it with me. I recently thought that maybe I had found that someone, but it suddenly vaporized a few weeks ago. I'm re-adjusting my worldview back to where it was before, but now missing something I wasn't missing before, a partner. I firmly believe that the best thing I can do is be a happy, complete person first - as I WAS before, and I'm working on that. It sounds like you have so much LIFE in your house - that's great!