Another November day..

ImageWe finished getting leaves and straw through out the garden. Michael’s new job with a landscaping company helps us out with the free leaves and straw for sure!! We covered all the beds and will continue layering with leaves newspaper and cardboard through this month. Not only am I hoping for less weeds this Spring from lasagna layering in the garden, but some serious fertile material as well. I read that the freezing and thawing cycles over winter actually help break down and aerate from the water/air that expands and contracts over and over again. If we can help it I would like the initial tilling we did at the beginning of this year would be the only mechanical till. We added amendments and broke them into the hard clay, but every time I pull weeds, especially that stupid grass, it ’tills’ that whole spot!

The chickens love the new additions of leaves in the garden and the floor of their coop. They are like children playing in the Fall leaves, just scratching away. I cannot keep them cooped all day (Althea just paces) so I leave them in til around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, so their damage time is limited. I have been sketching up plans for them a new coop area. I really hope we are back in Georgia to build it, though. Every day that passes, I feel more sure of my decision to try and go back. To make my home near my family. With Michael’s two boys here, we are just torn..

But the mortgage payment is about to wear us thin. Knowing now like we do, we could build our own tiny home, decked, with what we pay here a year. A 30 year mortgage actually hit me the other day.. I was thinking about if we stayed here another year.. where would that put us on owing towards the house.. $900 a month, between 11 and 12 thousand dollars. Okay that’s a good chunk of change, how much do we still owe. He bought the house for $125,000 less than 2 years ago. 12 grand doesn’t even make a dent, holy shit. We’ve got to get out of here. I can’t have my soul on loan at Wells Fargo the next 28 years. Hell, that’s how long I’ve been alive!! Where has the Tiny House Movement been?? People don’t have to do this, but yet gladly step up to sign leases on houses and cars. I just want my cottage, my garden and my bike.

We are going in less than 3 weeks for Thanksgiving and this will be the big moment of looking at the land with my step-dad and asking.. Asking for a chance. We’ll work off the land any way we can. Michael can get a job, until we get everything in place. I really hope I can make them see how important this is to me. It’s not some dumb project where UI want to go all hippie and live in the woods, well maybe it’s along those lines, but it’s not dumb. To not have a car payment… House payment.. Grow your own fruits and vegetables, so that they don’t come from Chile, unripened and full of chemicals.. Spend more quality time with my family letting Nature and our own unhinged curiosity lead the way to learn and discover.. To encourage our children to not conform, to always dance to their own beat, no matter how funky 😉 Who’s the crazy ones here, I’m really starting to wonder. All over the world people have turned to the simplicity of life, may be the oldest, time tested way to be happy. Do what your heart wants and live a life that allows it.

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This is my American dream…

Image I mean think about it. Wake up with the sun, crawl into your custom breakfast nook to enjoy the kiss of sunrise. Think to yourself.. What do I want to do today. Get rid of the have to. We don’t have to grind away at a corporation setting to have things, nice things. We just have to change our perception.

Remember in school, where they ask you to take out a sheet of paper and write where you want to be in five years.. ten years.. Every year it changed, so why was it so important to push specific goals? For me to realize later, I failed them all in some way or another. I remember my 8th grade ten year was to be married to Buck Cargile, well that didn’t happen. Neither did I become a veterinarian, nurse, astronaut and I’m pretty sure the first female President floated around through elementary school. What’s the point? What if our teachers didn’t ask for specific goals, just directions. Maybe write out our favorite hobbies over a few years span, collect them and let us explore the options that have appealed to us best.

I think its more important to lean towards behavior rather than strict goals. If focus is put towards good behavior and open direction, we could have several places we could end up and that would be perfectly fine. I want to look more into ‘unschooling’. When we get our place, I would like to unschool Sydni. Let Nature be her guide. Giving her questions and answers at the same time. I picture us going through out our day making observations and talking about it. Going to the library to look further into things we had questions about. Just this time together, outside of four walls, will be beneficial to us both. Working in the garden together, talking about the principles of things without it seeming like a drill, working out the details of the house. Letting her see that we built our house, we own it, not the bank. We are free to do as we please with our time due to the simple way we live and that is true riches.

Phone free? Are we ready??

ImageI went on a trip this past weekend phone free. Partly an experiment, mostly because I didn’t pay the bill on time and was mad at myself. Who needs a stupid cell phone anyway, right? I had actually thought about not going because I wouldn’t have a phone on the road. How stupid.. I don’t remember the road trips of my youth involving my mom on her phone half the trip with my aunt Susan checking us all in on Facebook every stop we made. I will make this trip an adventure. So the night before I Google the directions from the invitation, checked them twice and printed them out.

Check mark there.. What else did I need..? I had been thinking through all of my younger trips, mostly to Florida with us practically living on the Ga/Fla line.There were all these call boxes on the side of the interstate in case you broke down and needed help. I remembered seeing the same signs for the roadside service throughout South Carolina. Allright! Feeling better about not having the phone. I had directions, call boxes for the time I would be in SC and Michael reminded me to find a payphone if I needed it. I was smart enough to write down important numbers because I didn’t know them by heart anymore :c

Here we go!! I noticed right off I paid better attention to all of my surroundings.. Other cars, road signs, my own car.. No navigation means I didn’t know how many feet until my next turn. And you know, it really did feel good not knowing, telling Sydni we will be there when we get there. I knew about how long each leg of the trip was, so I took comfort in just driving.

First bad sign of not having a cellphone… The call ‘boxes’ I remembered from Florida weren’t in South Carolina. I knew I had seen the entering/leaving SC-DOT assistance zone or whatever it said, but I didn’t remember the boxes. Well, it’s because they are not there. The sign directs you to dial *HP from your cellphone. Not getting bad discouraged(thankfully I wasn’t in need at the time), but I thought, wow, how inconvenient for people who didn’t have a cell phone in their hand for whatever reason. Say they have the best coverage plan in the world, but if they have a dead battery and a dead car, they won’t be dialing *HP either.

So on trucking we go, following our Google directions to Milledgeville. This is where we ‘arrive’ in the middle of 441. Definitely not my aunt’s house. Not good. Still not panicking, this is an adventure, remember? I decide to head back towards down town to try and located a pay phone or directions. My aunt lives really close to a power station. If someone could point me there, I would know where I was.

Two major things different from my younger trips when we would occasionally get lost and needed a little help. There are no payphones left in that part of Georgia and most stores you stop at.. if they speak English enough to understand, very rarely can you get good directions.

The third store we stop at, I get the nerve up to ask a lady leaving the inside of the store to pump her gas. Between her and the man parked next to her, they proceeded to tell me where to go. The guy even wrote it all down on a napkin. Trucking again with our napkin and a bucket load of hope, we follow our directions til TA-DA we see the smoke stack of the power station within 10 minutes. At this point I know where I am and get right to my aunt’s with no problem!

The way home wasn’t bad at all. Sydni and I talked most of the way. She told me stories, we made up some together and just laughed. I wasn’t endangering anyone with talking or trying to text while driving which is always a plus! Though the concern of breaking down with no communication won, with us turning my phone back on when I got home, it really got me wondering, even if we were ready to go back to no cell phones.. Has the world changed so much that things would be that different? Is it really more dangerous to travel without a phone these days? Things are different. No pay phones at every store with a friendly clerk who could point you in the right direction.

I dunno.. Food for thought…

Michael has an interview!!

ImageHe took his cover letter and resume to GOP last week and the manager called yesterday to set up an interview for this afternoon at 3:00. We are so excited. It would be awesome for him to get this job part time. Great access to information, supplies, crazy outdoor stories, people to go biking or camping!! I’ve prayed to all who will listen and if it’s to be, it will. This could be one step closer for us, plus we could use to extra income right now.

They said they are looking for people who use the things they sale and Micheal is all over that. Due to a 10 year terrible marriage, he started biking hard core and kayak fishing. He actually bought his first kayak from this store and won 1st place in a tourney that same year. I hope they just eat him up. Plus with child support always looming, we need a job for him on paper so they can determine a proper amount.

So please wish him luck for all of us 😉 I’m going to feed the chickens

I’m usually not the aggresive type…

Image I’m a carpe diem kinda girl, so when the neighbor approached us about the front of the neighborhood, he mentioned a tree he wanted down. More than half dead, Leland cypress, that was half eyesore/half serious traffic blocker. We do not own a chainsaw and after I finished with the flower beds, I rode my bike to where Michael had started on the tree with a hand saw, removing some of the lower branches..

PMS fueled, I see a hatchet he has brought with him. I guess he sees I need to whack at this tree for a bit and doesn’t say a word.. Smart man. So I started wailing on this torched looking tree on the side of the road on Saturday morning. I could feel the eyes of passersby, probably thinking what an idiot! It didn’t stop me one bit. Wood chips a flying, sweat running down my face and you know what?? To quote one of my favorite bands..”In my mind, I was a child and it felt good.”

Then I got a blister. Gamechanger.

All in all it was still great, the tree was down, the beds are prepped, we have $100 in our pocket and that’s just the beginning of a beautiful relationship.. I know these people will like what I can do plant wise with those two beds. I wasn’t raised with a southern mama with a backyard full of plants for them not to 😉 As we move to find more sources of small income and cut down on what we have to pay out.. hey, we might just be all right. We started cutting our next-door neighbors grass every 2 weeks for 40 bucks a pop. A yard sale last Saturday fetched us $100 as well(not to mention helped our purge). A trip to the metal recycling brought us 50 dollars richer.

We talked about going ahead and putting our house on the market. Talked about where we want to go next if and when we get a buyer. I hope to find a young couple who feels the same way we do about urban farming. Someone who will love all the berry patches and native plants. Someone who will run their hands through the soil we brought back to life and thank us. Ha, he tells me to keep dreaming. The next big thing to get out from under is this house. It will also give us no choice on moving forward with our plans. We already have two place we could build for free. With the house on the market and the possibility of it being sold will put us on our toes. Help us along in deciding where we really want to go.. Try for one of the places offered or go on a whole new adventure.

I’m going to start checking building codes and weather patterns for here in NC and Mississippi, we definitely want to go with cob, cob/hybrid and it seems a little tougher the further south you go. Wow.. I’m really excited. Chopping down (Michael finished, not me) a tree with our hands led to us to stating the project of putting our house on the market!! Wish us luck.. I’m ready to start really living 😉

If you continue to live beyond your means, you’ll more often than not finding yourself coming up short.

Today I made the decision to give my car back..

An item that meant, still means, so much to me. But do I really want to sell anymore of my time to pay for the brand new car I thought I had to have two years ago. God, there were a lot of things I thought I had to have two years ago. Slowly letting go of my material things was, is harder than I thought. And today, vacuuming it out, making it the beautiful car she is, I almost broke. I almost broke. The not fairs came in. Then I found between the seats a code correction pad I used at my last job, a call center I loathed with a capital L. The thought that registered next was that one of the main reasons I worked there was to pay for that car, insure that car, pick my daughter up from after school care. I couldn’t even pay my rent…

I moved to North Carolina after that in hopes of something different. A new job, better pay!! Not finding work at first, I turned to research. Research on living with less, making what you need, not taking what you don’t. Okay, this is great in theory! Yes, the answer to my problems. I don’t need this stuff. I mean, I can’t pay for it anyways. I don’t want to sell my time somewhere I hate to pay for things I really don’t need to be happy. So why then did I sit down mid vacuum and feel like a failure. Why am I on the verge of an emotional meltdown because I’m about to do something I know needs to happen. Why do I suddenly feel like crying? Maybe that’s why I decided to start this.

I thought I knew what I wanted.. I do know what I want. I’ve changed so much in the past year. I’ve redefined my meaning of happiness and it’s not attached to materialism. Our backyard is on the verge of a true micro-farm. A suburb experiment before we head to the hills, if you will 😉 I want this sustainable lifestyle. I am already on my path, my choices are clear. I guess I just need reminding. And above all, an outlet. So this will be my story.

Today is the day I give back my car.