We’ve Moved!

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Hey everyone, just in case you have missed the announcement- homestead redhead has moved to a new site.

Unless you sign up at the new homesteadredhead.com you won’t get our latest adventures! So head on over to the new site and look around, subscribe and place an entry in our giveaway. Prize includes some awesome homesteading books, goat milk soap and a $25 Amazon gift card.

Don’t miss all the exciting adventures we have coming up-including sweet little homestead born goat kids coming in the spring.

Thank you all so much for the continued support, we love y’all being a part of our homestead and hope you continue on this journey with us.

http://www.homesteadredhead.com

Until next time…

Presenting…Kenai

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We have a new stud muffin on the homestead and I am in love! We added a Pygmy buck to our little herd and are looking forward to babies in the spring. He came from a great herd and the family who raised him follows our beliefs that natural animal care is best.

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He is only 5 months old, but the second he saw Daisy (our doe) he began strutting his stuff.  Goats are super romantic and their courting rituals are oh so pleasant.  In the goat world, the smellier the better, so when a buck is ready to mate or smells a doe that is, he takes makes himself as smelly as possible.

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Goat bucks begin peeing everywhere for their lady, including their own legs, faces and even into their own mouths.  The mustier they make themselves the more likely the doe will respond to their advances.  Our little buck didn’t waste any time, and began performing these romantic rituals.  However, Daisy wasn’t super impressed and had some first date jitters.  She has never been around a buck, but with a little time I am sure her instincts will kick in.

Now that Neil and I are finally settled in our forever homestead, we are full of ideas for future homestead projects. On our agenda for this week is to build a kayak stand and a goat milking stand.  Hopefully in a few days, this (expensive) pile of wood will be transformed into a functional kayak holder and a stand for goat milking and maintenance.

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Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

Makings of a Dream Homestead

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Our homestead is transforming into the homestead of our dreams and Neil and I are having such a good time making it our own.

These little 6 acres mean more to me than I could ever explain. Sharing this little piece of earth with all these critters and the man I will spend forever with is such an amazing experience.

We have been working hard on clearing land, building goat playgrounds and planning for the future.

My parents gave us a staircase they didn’t need after their farmhouse was built.  We put it to great use.  We removed the banister and turned it into a chicken roost and added the stairs to our ever growing goat playground.

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We are adding a new member to our goat heard tomorrow and we are super excited for y’all to meet him.  Neil and I spent tonight building a new house for him.  It is so nice to have  a garage and an organized workspace to get all the homestead projects done.

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We also have some awesome new chickens arriving to the homestead in the near future.

Neil and I finally had an opportunity to explore our wooded acres this week. I am so pleased with the property. The goats and Oliver joined us on our little expedition.

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We are super excited about all the projects and new members joining our homestead, we are so glad you are on this path with us.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

And Then it Was Fall

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It seems as though we went from the middle of summer to the middle of fall in 24 hours here on the homestead in North Carolina.

This summer has been brutal, with temperatures in the high 90’s, humidity so thick you could swim your way through it and very little rain.  I am grateful we didn’t have time to plant a garden this year-there is no way I could have kept up with the watering.

Today, with the tropical storm making it’s way to shore from the ocean, the air is cool and the wind is whipping through the trees with intermittent rain storms.  We all wished the summer would leave and it looks like our wish has been granted.

For the first time since we moved into the new homestead, Neil and I got to enjoy some time on our beautiful back porch watching the rain fall.

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We finished the last of our unpacking this week and I don’t EVER want to move again.  All of our rooms are organized and decorated, with the exception of Neil’s gigantic man cave upstairs.  Hopefully, in the coming months we can afford to get it set up nicely.

I have found myself in an unfamiliar limbo these last few weeks.  When I left my emergency room position at my home hospital in town, I was so excited for a different path in my nursing career.  In three short weeks, 18 days to be exact as Neil frequently reminds me, that dream abruptly ended when my orientation group was switched-without us having a say at all-to a whole different job which was awful.

I resigned from that position quickly after the switch, with the intention to take a travel assignment once again.  Thinking of having to travel was absolutely daunting, but I knew we could benefit from the income.  I was submitted for several different local positions and for one reason or another, none of them worked out.

As the days went on without any prospects, I began to get a little nervous about future mortgage payments.  I applied to a few different positions and got offers from them, but none of them were a good fit for our family.  One day, I found myself applying to a home health company that I knew very little about.  After a lot of research and two interviews, I was offered a great position with them.

I have never done home health, but am really excited to try something different and be in a position where I will have one on one time to spend with patients and their families. Let’s hope this company doesn’t pull a bait and switch like the last one did!

We lost several chickens the other week, 3 of my favorites, to some unknown predator while they were out free ranging.  In all the years I have had chickens, I have never lost a single one to a predator before now.  I came mighty close one year when I heard my Silkie chicken scream and ran outside just in time to see a hawk scoop her up.  I yelled as loud as I could and it dropped the chicken unharmed.

We are gradually moving Oliver and the goats backwards into the woods and utilizing their grazing as free grading work.  We have several acres of woods behind the house, that eventually will be cleared for our big barn and horses.

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When spring comes back around, hopefully we can add more goats and delve into breeding them.

I am sitting here in my beautiful new office listening to the rain come down all around me. With life seemingly picking up more speed with every passing day, I am trying hard to hold on to quiet moments like this.  My pups are sleeping peacefully at my feet, my farm critters are all tucked up safely in their barns and the man I share my entire heart with is bravely keeping the streets of our city safe, while his family is warm and cozy awaiting his return to the homestead.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

Restoration

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A few weeks ago, I was greatly anticipating getting settled into a routine and less frantic pace of life.  How many of my fabulous readers can guess how well that is working out?

The first week of my new job was wonderful.  I was able to stay on top of housework, homestead chores and truly felt this was the next step in my career.

The second week I flew to another state for training and once there, everything completely changed.  In the spirit of remaining professional, let’s just say that things were quite different than originally explained in the job description.

The trip itself was a bit of a disaster, but even in the most disastrous of situations, light can be found.  I met some wonderful folks along my journey.

On the first day, I instantly clicked with two other women and we shared many meals and conversations together during the week.  They were the absolute highlight of the entire trip.

I also became the Uber Queen, since I had no car, and met the most interesting characters.

On my first Uber ride, I met a fellow who was an engineer by trade, but left to follow his passion for film making and was working for Uber to help supplement his income.  My new friends and I also met a crazy ex-taxi driver, who was full of vulgar jokes and more non-PC comments than we could count.  On my last ride, I met a woman who had a heart for people and used the time in the car to connect with them and offer encouragement.  She even helped a young girl who was stripping get out of that business and into nursing school.

Throughout all of the disappointment surrounding the new job, I couldn’t help but question fate’s plan.  What was the purpose of this adventure, why was all of this preparation and new hopes necessary if this wasn’t the path I was supposed to be on?

I am beginning to wonder what my place is in the nursing world.  Years of working too much and having to take care of spitting, snarling people has left more than a few cracks in my spirit.  I have found myself struggling more significantly after I was punched in the face by a patient a few years ago.

While the dust settles from the necessary actions regarding my job situation, I am actively seeking restoration. This is a word that has been forefront in my mind over the last year.

If my path is to be at the bedside in a dirty, busy ER than I need to accept that fully-even if I don’t particularly want to.  In order to give great care, I need to heal and be whole myself again.  I am working on much better nutrition and paying more attention to my emotional and spiritual needs.

Perhaps my path is never destined to be one that is settled and ordinary. Maybe that is the very purpose of my journey; to find peace and contentment in a life where continual change is swarming all around me.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

All the Family in One Place

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We finally have all the critters at the Dream Homestead.

Moving them was NO easy task.  Neil and I both decided that if we ever have to move again, the farm animals will just have to stay behind…only kidding of course.

We started with putting the goats in a huge dog crate in the back of the truck.  We decided I would ride in the back with Oliver to help keep him calm.

Our plan was to lift Oliver into the truck.  The once able to sit in my lap Oliver is now a 300 pound pig.  Teacup pig my redheaded booty!

As I am watching Neil and Oliver wrestling, with Oliver screaming and Neil struggling to lift the 300 pound kicking and screaming pig up into the back of truck, I was full of giggles.  To think that pig used to sleep in the bed with me!

After much struggle, we (ok, mostly Neil) got him into the truck and I climbed in beside him.  Neil took to the driver’s seat and I said a quick prayer that all would go smoothly on the 45 minute ride to the Dream Homestead.

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As Neil started up the truck I called to him through the open back glass, “we have a weird life.” He totally agreed.

So down the road we went, with Neil driving a truck full of goats, a chubby pig and a sweaty redhead.  Oliver began to get nervous as we picked up speed and clambered into my lap.  You should have seen the looks we got driving down the road as I sat in the back of a truck with a large pig sitting in my lap.

Once Oliver settled into my lap, I took a deep breath and relaxed a bit.

As we drove down the road we passed a dairy farm that has a very strong odor of manure.  Oliver threw his snout into the air, took in a deep breath and FREAKED.  He started thrashing around in the back of the truck, desperately trying to get away from whatever it was he thought was going to happen to him.  Meanwhile I am holding onto him with one hand and the truck bed with the other, for fear his thrashing would throw us both out of the moving truck.

As I am hollering for Neil, who never even turned around, I tried my best to settle Oliver down.  He eventually squeezed himself in between the side of the truck bed and the goat crate and settled down a bit.  I brought bribery snacks along with us and once he settled down enough, fed him tiny bits of granola bar to keep him distracted until we pulled into home.  I had piggy hoof print bruises on my thighs all week.

We eventually got the goats and Oliver settled into their new pen.  We built them an awesome little shelter and treehouse.

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We still have a storage unit full of stuff left to move, but I am so happy to have my little family all in one place; Neil, Denali, Peanut, Lilly, Mya (the white kitty), Freyja (the hedgehog), Daisy & Sawyer (the goats), Oliver (the pig) and the chickens.

Life finally feels complete.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

Moving In & Moving On

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It has been a whirlwind of activity around these parts over the last two weeks, but we are finally living on our dream homestead.

As you all know, the team that helped us acquire this homestead was awful to work with.  After everything we went through, we showed up to closing with the amount we were told to bring.  When we arrived at the attorney’s office, we were told that there had been a mistake in the closing disclosure (I had already caught $2000 worth of mistakes prior to closing) and we now needed to pay another $700.

That whole situation was a nightmare from start to finish, but after begrudgingly going to get another certified check for $700, we handed it over and were finally given the keys to the rest of our lives.

From the moment I walked onto this property, it felt like home, and walking into the empty house for the first time, I was immediately content.  It was like I could finally take a deep breath from all the stress of the many failed homestead plans over the years and we were finally home.

This week has been nonstop moving boxes, nonstop sweating in this ridiculous North Carolina heat, and nonstop wandering around the house just talking to each other about how much we love it here.  We are so grateful to the friends who helped us move furniture, build awesome TV mounts and were a source of support to us during the whole process.

Next week we plan on building the pens for the goats, chickens and Oliver so everyone can finally be in the same place once again.  We currently have stuff (and creatures) at our apartment, a storage unit, our new house and my family’s farm.  All of which are in different cities!

We also managed to find time to put up an awesome barn wood ceiling in our bedroom.  We are so pleased with how it turned out.  All the wood is from old barns and buildings and I love just laying in bed looking at all the unique pieces and imagining the stories they must hold.

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We also inherited a lovely little kitty that came with the homestead.  We named her Maya, and she is super sweet and a great watch-cat.  All the dogs are terrified of her, it is hilarious to watch.

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On another note, after a few incidents at the current hospital I work in, I have decided to leave that ER full time, I will still be working at my part-time ER position, and begin a new journey as a nurse.

I interviewed for a position with a great insurance company this week and was offered the job the same day.  I am getting a raise, able to work full time from my new office at the Dream Homestead and will be working normal hours.  I will no longer have to put up with being physically and verbally assaulted at work or being told to cover my tattoos or put up my hair.

The company is also sending me to Florida for training in August.  I am ecstatic about this new opportunity and step in my career.  I will miss my coworkers greatly, but have an awesome homestead ya’ll can come visit anytime!

Stay tuned, there are plenty of new adventures to come as we get settled into the Dream Homestead!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF