Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Strawbales and Sun

I am going to take a small break 
from my "finding the house, and fixing it up" story 
... to tell you that TODAY we had a break from the rain!

So I walked down the hill into Alton, proper, this morning
to pay Mills Feed Store an important visit.

I had been anxious and excited about this quest for several days.

I wanted straw ... lots of it.

And they have it ... lots of it!

I purchased twenty bales of straw ...
thankful they will deliver to me for no extra charge!

Mr. Mills delivered the bales himself ... he is a very nice man,
and he stacked the bales neatly right where I wanted them
without me even having to show him where.

Mr. Mills sure did make "lifting those things" look easy ...
I thought I'd be able to, but I couldn't do it.

I had to call my assistant for help.

She's got her favorite tool, a tape measure, handy ...
and she is ready to go!

We have lots of work ahead of us ... hubba-hubba, chop-chop!

To be continued ...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

rain Rain AND MORE RAIN ... part two

Yes, it is still raining here ... lots and lots of rain.

So much rain that the school canceled yesterday (Monday)
and is cancelling today, Tuesday, too.

But, back to the continuation of ... 

Going "to" hell was the first part of the ordeal, and being away from my children.

Going "through" hell was the second part of the ordeal, and being away 
from my children even longer than originally planned.

So here is the second part .. the "going through" part.

On February 12th, I rented another U-Haul and made several trips
to place our belongings into storage.

I had one week until the girls were supposed to come to me, 
and I didn't even have a home for them.

Nor did I have a car, or a job.

Remember, the whole premise of this move in the first place
was that we were going to have a roof over our head, and transportation.

Oh! something I failed to mention in the previous post
was that I was also going to go back to school to get my
Masters in Theology ... and, so, I didn't need to worry about a job, either.

I was planning to substitute at the local schools
every once in a while
for extra money, that's it.

(The school where I want to get my Masters is out of North Carolina, 
and is closer to the Virginia caretaker opportunity, but I had already 
discussed arrangements to complete my coursework online ... so 
living in Missouri was not going to be a problem.)

Anyway, so, no home no car no job ... and my girls were coming in one week.

Talk about hell.

My family back home in TEXAS knew of the situation,
and we all agreed to postpone the girls coming until Spring Break ...
that gave me a little time to figure out what in the hell
I was going to do, and how I was going to do it.

(sorry for all the hell words ... but it is applicable.)

My middle miracle didn't mind the set-back at all ... 
it gave her more time with her friends.

To say she really didn't want to make this move
would be a gross understatement ...
imagine you being 15, and leaving the only life 
you have ever known, and hmmm, yeah.
Enough said.

So I got an immediate job as a waitress at the Redneck Cafe 
... in Alton, Missouri ...
which is another story, in and of itself, but
not one I am sure I am going to tell.

We'll see about that.

Yeah, I'll tell it ... be patient though, for I already have sooo much to tell.


For real ... I found myself "at home" tending to people, and 
it was also a great way to meet people ... 
seeing how I, literally, didn't know a single soul there.

On my time off from the Redneck Cafe, I found myself
looking and looking and looking
for a home 
for my children 
which is difficult to do in a small town.

The few homes that were available were not acceptable to me, at all, but
I really wasn't in a position to be picky, either.

Still I held on, and kept looking ... having faith that 
the PERFECT one would eventually present itself.

And it did "present itself" alright ... mhmm ...
did it finally present itself, and it
 was a filthy mess.

But, filth and all, it was perfect.

It needed a lot of work, and still does, but I immediately set out
to work on it ... elbow grease, and paint, were my first weapons of choice.

It needs a lot of work ... a lot of work ... but its location is perfect ...
on the outskirts of town, just inside the city limits, and it sits on top of a hill.

The lot is big, the neighbors are nice, and the view is beautiful.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

Time to explain my absence the past three months, but first
let me say it pains me to hear about my beloved state, TEXAS, being burned ...
I have wished often that I could send some of this Ozark rain to them.

This past week, here, has been nothing BUT rain ... and a few
healthy storms, too ... with continued rain through Wednesday.

I think I've heard we've already received eight inches,
and there are flood warnings.

 I hear Texas is getting some rain right now 
... with a few storms of their own ...
and that has to be bringing a little bit of relief.

If you know me at all, or if you have been following my blog,
you know that I have a love for the homesteading life ...
and you also know that I have been knocking on all kinds of doors
with the prayer that God open the one that He wanted me to walk through.

I knocked upon Terlingua's door, the last of April 2010,
and it seemed promising, but it never fully opened, 
and since I am not one to kick a closed door down
... sigh ...

At least I got to see some of my good friends there:
including John Wells and, of course, Mr. Smith.

Does Nick still have a blog?

I knocked upon Elk City's door, in July 2010, 
and it was REAL promising 
... in fact, the door swung open after that interview ...
but, for some reason that we'll never know, 
it slammed shut in my face.


The rest of the summer I tried to maintain a good attitude,
and even began accepting the possibility 
that God didn't want me to go anywhere ... the possibility that
He must want me to stay right where I am at.

In late September/early October, I went on my "simple living adventure"
which has several postings ... and I soul-searched.

Came home, rested and restored, and began knocking on doors again.

I knocked everywhere ... Austin, Fort Worth, Tyler ... 
but not a single door budged.

I belong to a homesteading bulletin board, and have several friends there,
and found an opening for a caretaker's position on a large farm
in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

I was very excited, and hopeful, and ... just WOW about it.

The owner of the property had a cabin for himself at the back half of the property,
but didn't live there full-time ... and he needed a family to move into
the main farmhouse to "care-take" the home and land.
Rent Free.
A chance to learn the life I love.
Surrounded by beauty and good people.
I prayed and prayed, and wanted it BAD.

I felt very good about it, and the interview process felt promising ...
and I continued praying about it.

My only concern was that it was so far,
but the door was opening!

There was another similar opportunity that came up on the homesteading bulletin board
... which has a large Christian membership ...
and this one was in Missouri 
... much closer to home ...
and my interest in that location was fueled by the possibility 
that my oldest miracle might transfer to a Baptist Bible College in Springfield.

So I looked into it, as well, and knocked.

Similar situation ... house for me and the girls ... 
owner works out of town a lot, and would have premises built 
in the large barn at the back of the property for himself ...
homestead lifestyle, good community, 
friendly churches for my girls to get involved with, 
transportation provided, fully furnished house ... 
no need to bring major furniture, just our personal belongings and such.
Rent Free.

Chickens, cows 
... farm-fresh eggs, butter, cheese and raw milk ... 
all kinds of furry animals, and maybe even a horse
 ... oh, the joy ...
Nani would be THRILLED.

The door in Virginia never slammed in my face,
but the Missouri door swung wide open.

And, so, I began packing and made my move in mid-January
with support from my family.

Well, most of my family ... the oldest miracles weren't ecstatic, 
as you can imagine, but that is understandable.

I was stepping out on faith ... the door opened, and I was walking through it.

The plan was to go ahead of the girls so I could get settled before they came 
... four weeks tops ...
I didn't like it, but my middle miracle begged me to let her
finish basketball season, and the timing worked for all involved.

I knew this was going to be a tough move for her 
... and I was sensitive to her, and that fact ...
this was a huge move for us all.

Many will recall the snow storms in late January and early February ...
it was BAD up here in the Ozarks, and BAD in Texas too.

That was a bump in our plans ... and so was the slow realization,
about two weeks in, that I wasn't so sure my girls would
really be welcome out there ... and too many things 
were hindering the plans and process,
and, well, it just didn't feel right.

At all.

Many times I have felt I was lured here under very false pretenses,
but I kept reminding myself that I was HERE for a reason 
... God still opened THIS door ...
and, like it or not, THIS was the hinge upon which 
the door swung open.

Although I may not understand it, right now, I have faith
I will look back upon this situation someday
and see clearly the "what and why"
of being HERE.

So, anyway, one week before the girls were set to come 
begin their own adventure in Missouri,
I rented myself another U-Haul truck on February 12th
... a much smaller one ...
and made several trips to move our belongings 
into a storage unit in the closest "big town."

To Be Continued 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hell, and Back

I have been to, and through, HELL on earth.

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