This is the story of a homeschooling city girl, trading in her Saks 5th life of luxury for farm tack and homesteading! My family, new farm critters and I will share our successes, failures and crazy stories during this new chapter of life!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Chickens are Free!

Our chickens are happy to be free!
I clipped their wings today, and released them into the goat yard.  I propped their coop door open, so they can come and go as they wish, until we close them up for safety at night.  The goats jsut ignore the chickens.  Although, the goats went immediately to check out the chicken coop, while the chickens sprinted into the goat house to investigate their digs!

General Tsao likes to be the King, watch the barnyard from above...

The chickens are infiltrating the goat house here...

Although the goats are fine with the chickens roaming around with them, they still threaten Mosby on a daily basis.  They can stand like this for an hour.  I still hear the Western gun standoff music in my head when I see this picture...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We are loving our goats.  What sweet, fun creatures!  Lucy is so protective of her little clan, even though they are her siblings and not her babies!  If Mosby (our black lab) comes near, she headbutts the fence, or rams her siblings to keep them away from Mosby.  She is the "herd queen," and you must address the herd queen first, or they start to misbehave.
Here are some picture of the goats.
The large white one is Lucy.  Ms. Macready is beside her-
This is Narnia...
This is Aslan...

New Animals!

We finally found someone within driving distance that had a variety of baby pygmy goats for sale!  I had talked to the owner (Haynes) multiple times on the phone before we finally worked out a time for me and the kids to come view (and possibly buy) some goats!

Well, we THOUGHT it wasn't very far.  But it took us an HOUR to get there.  That was a little further than I had hoped.  Especially because I planned to buy some pygmy goats there, and allow my 4 kids to HOLD them on the way home... In my SUV.

But, on the trip, we decided to enjoy the scenery!  Old town Marietta is quaint and beautiful!!!

OK... this falls under the neither quaint not beautiful category... but more the "disturbing" category.  I can't decide if the motorcycle is really teeny, or if the guy is more... er... "biggie sized."  Possibly a combination of both?
Anyway... FINALLY, we arrived at the goat seller's house!  His house was BEAUTIFUL!  It made me think of Tara in Gone With the Wind.  This picture really doesn't do it justice.  It had a wing on either side of it, a garage in the back, and a pool in the front.  The 4 columns were HUGE and had amazing detail!  By the front door was a plaque that read, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  I LOVED THESE PEOPLE!!

Well, we picked out 4 goats (2 are pregnant, and 2 are babies!), and we laughed the entire way home!  They were bleating constantly, and we had the windows cracked!  You should have seen the looks we got at stop signs!!  It was definitely the most memorable car trip my kids and I have ever taken!  It was too bad Dan couldn't come along, but he was at home getting quotes on some bush hogging work.
Here are some pictures of the kids holding the goats on the car ride home!
Avery was holding one of the babies.
Alex is cracking up here, because this pregnant female was trying to head butt him.
We love our new goats!  The large pregnant one's name was already Lucy, so we rolled with it, and named the rest of the goats based on other characters from The Chronicals of Narnia.  So now we have Lucy, Narnia, Aslan, and Ms. Macready.  If one of the pregnant females has a boy, he will be Tumnus.

Still Clearing!

This past Saturday, we spend a lot of time clearing branches off buildings, cleaning up the dead trees off the property, and getting rid of them.  I rented a wood chipper from Home Depot for 24 hours, and we blew the chips into the soon-to-be goat pen!

I couldn't wait to get the job finished, because we would be one step closer to having more animals!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cute find!

My son caught this little guy while we were looking for a lost bolt in our driveway.  How precious is he???

Friday, September 17, 2010


Our priority lately has been preparing the goat pen and field for some pygmy goats we plan to buy tomorrow!  Alex is finally spreading the pine chips today after about 48 hours of fence repair, hanging doors, patching and replacing rotten wood in the pen, and hanging feeders!

We did manage a break this past week to have a jam session by the fireplace in the backyard!  This is me and Kyle (the previous owner's husband).  He is a talented guitar player, and I was finally able to do some singing again!  It was SO much fun!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Work, work, shopping, and more work!
I bought the kids some cute boots that are OK to get dirty!
Dan took Alex and Courtney shooting out back...
We rented a dumpster to help us declutter from the negative 2,000 square feet house change...
And Stoney came to love wheel barrow rides as we moved things between the out buildings!

Courtney and Ashi tried their hands at biscuit making, and they were DELICIOUS!!

The kids and I went and bought two rabbits!
Meet Max...

And Ruby...

Dan finished organizing the garage building...

And Avery became a Chicken Whisperer!  This is General Tsao she's holding.

And this is General Tsao standing on Avery's head!!!

This is a picture of Avery and her wheels in the pasture...


I must prioritize. 
My schedule is always insane, and if I don't, then my life gets chaotic!

One of my first priorities was to get introduced to "The Yellow Pages."  My friend Rose said these guys are her expert panel.  THey go to their favorite restaurant each weekday morning, and eat breakfast together.  THEY. ARE. PRECIOUS!!!!!  I met them the first week we moved in, and I will be back for many more breakfasts with them!  Rose is the blonde on the right with her sweet baby on her lap!

Among this group, you will find an Airborne Vet, a chicken farmer, a man with an incredible vegetable garden, a horse boarder, and a llama rescuer, just for starters.

We then went to buy Alex a cowboy hat.  He is too cute in it.

I wanted to muck the chicken coop, because I knew that, despite the fact that we were living out of boxes, I wouldn't be able to resist the urge to buy chickens for long!

I went to buy some chickens with the kids!  This guy was super cool.  He let the kids hold the chickens, taught them lots of things about chickens, and told us about his hens and roosters have won multiple prizes within the state!

Dan's priority was to clean up some of the buildings on the property.  This is a picture of he and Alex clipping some of the brush on top of the garage building.

Then, Dan attached the chicken boxes for egg laying.

We bought Dan a cool mower for the acreage! 

Even Alex loved it!

There's a lot to do, but we're loving every minute of the work!

Move In!

So, when the time came, we began the packing and moving process!
WHEW!!  What a process!
Especially when I believed the kids were packing, but they came down the stairs like this...

... Actually, their sense of humor always keeps me going!

We had to pick the pumpkin that was randomly growing beside the driveway of our previous house!  We have no idea how it got there... but we had watched it for months!

We went dumpster diving to snag boxes from local liquor stores!  I think we snagged every available box from here to the Mason Dixon line.

Then, we MOVED!  Don't ask me why Stonewall Jackson made the move in a Santa Clause suit.  I still don't know.  It was a very confusing time for all of us, I suppose.

U unpacked for days.  Actually, who am I kidding?  I'm STILL unpacking, a full 3 weeks after move-in!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


When we told the kids that we got the farmhouse, this was their reaction...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Waiting Game

Next came the offer.

We kept our golf course home for sale, but also offered it on the internet for lease. 
We wrote an offer on the farm house at full asking price, and Rose accepted.  We celebrated.  But, we discovered that this house was likely built in 1930.  We were doing VA financing, because my husband is an 82nd Airborne Vet.  We knew exactly what we would be facing in the coming month, and I was super nervous.  My husband was my rock, telling me "It is all going to work out," every single day.  VA is very picky when it comes to appraisals, inspections, conditions, EVERYTHING. 

We went through step by step, and we waited and waited. The appraisal alone almost took a week to come back, and I nearly lost my mind.  There I was, sitting in my big house full of stuff, unable to start packing, because I didn't know how the appraisal or inspection would come back.

FINALLY, the appraisal, inspections and conditions came back.  We would be able to work it all out!  Then, a renter called, interested in the golf course house!  We were super excited!  But there was only ONE problem.  The renter wanted to be in the house within 5 days.  FIVE DAYS.

I packed like a crazy all the next day.  There were boxes everywhere.

That night, I texted my mom in Tennessee.  I simply said, "SO... would you guys like to come visit... NOW??"  She instantly called me, and I explained our situation. She didn't have too terribly many questions, and wasn't really in shock.  She's quite used to random and abnormal news from me!

She and my dad came down to GA, and the process began!  We packed, packed, and packed some more.  We ran out of packing tape, made trips to groceries begging for more boxes, bought others at packing stores, and even got so low as to dumpster dive behind liquor stores for more boxes when it seemed we had acquired all the ones in our county!

We hired movers, rented a truck, and made about 5,386,312 trips back and forth before the entire house was empty.  We got it all to the new house, then went into complete shock.  WHERE were we going to put all this stuff?!?  We still don't know where a lot of it will end up- much of it is in our storage building.  But, we were in the new farmhouse.  Life would be different.  Life would be exciting.  It would be an adjustment.  But we could not wait!!!


It all started in August of 2010.

We were living in a large house in a golf community, doing whatever it is that suburbians do.

My husband decided to change jobs, and spent many hours trying to convince me that his new commute would not in fact bring him home even later than he was already getting home.  I was totally unconvinced after seeing where his new job was on a map.  His hours at the time were 6:30-9:30, and sometimes later.  As a homeschooling mom of 4 kiddos, it was tough beginning dinner at 9:30 or after each night, but I was always determined to eat dinner together as a family.

One day, when I was out showing properties to some buyer clients of mine, my husband started playing around on the GA MLS system, just out of curiosity.  He knew my desperate want for a larger backyard, but moving in a down economy, and selling a house that we put WAY too much money into upgrading, was just far fetched and unrealistic.

When I arrived back home from my showing appointments, he showed me some farm houses he had found in the area of his new job.  FARM HOUSES!  I was totally shocked.  He knew I would pack instantly and move in the next day if a farm house was within our reach.  But at this point, it was all just a fantasy.

I said, "we don't have anything else to do this afternoon- let's go take a look!"

Our kids had playdates over, but we gave them the notice that we were leaving, and off we all went!

While we were on our way, I called the first house on our list.  It was a vacant house on 10 acres.  I thought I'd better check in with the agent, just in case it was already under contract.  To my surprise, she answered and told me it was her OWN house, and that she was currently living in it!  She was kind enough to tell us to come on over and take a look, but informed us that if we were a family of 6, the fact that there was one bathroom might deter us from being interested.


We were currently enjoying 4,500 square feet of living space.  Moving into a small 2,000 square foot home with ONE BATHROOM was unfathomable.  But we had already driven 30 minutes towards the property, so we would look just for the sake of the trip.

When we pulled in the long gravel driveway, the sweet agent from the other end of the phone popped outside to greet us.  She was all smiles, and dressed in a comfy t-shirt and ball cap.  I remember thinking, "this is my kind of realtor!"  She took all kinds of time, showing us around the house.  The house was small, but for some reason, it didn't feel overly cramped.  This shocked me!  When we walked out to the back of the property, the view literally took my breath away!

There was a pasture, 4 outbuildings including a barn, storage, a chicken coop and what I would consider an absolutely adorable green house!

The agent Rose took us on a hike through the back end of the acreage.  It was gorgeous.  Absolutely breath taking.  It was as if you were on a mountain, away from everything, without a sign of civilization around.  Then, all of a sudden, you end up on a winding creek.  There was a tire swing, a zip line, and acre after acre of kid paradise.  I couldn't help but compare this to our current 1/3 of an acre, with a golf cart path in the back and a concrete cul-de-sac in the front.  Unbelievably, this tiny house was outshining our upgraded suburbian haven.  I shook the thought out of my head, knowing that as soon as I got back in the car with my husband, he would shoot down the thought, dismissing the house as too tiny for our big family.  We'd be back to the golf course within the hour, and I'd never see this adorable farm house again.

I spent the entire visit chatting with the agent/seller Rose, and grew to enjoy conversations with her.  She was real, genuine, and open.  She was quick to tell me about the negatives in the property, yet I could see the adoration on her face when she described all the details of the home and farm to us.  She had bought this home with a plan.  This was going to be her dream farm.  Life happened, things took a different course, and she ended up unable to pursue it further.  She had already invested a lot into the this property, but that was how it would stay.  She only hoped that the buyer would love it as much as she had.

We got in the car, thanked Rose for all of her time, and rode silently down the driveway.  I finally got the courage to look over at my husband.  I braced myself for his, "are you kidding me? There's no WAY we'd fit in that house!"  But, to my total surprise, he said, "the bathroom would be a problem, but we could always add on."

And so the dream began...