In the beginning there was a middle-aged, first-time homeowner, four acres of rocks, weeds and hidden caches of old, burned garbage. Four years later, there are rocks, slightly fewer weeds, and - I'm sure - still-earthed burned garbage waiting to see the light of day. There are also two hoop houses, housing four Icelandic sheep and a llama; assorted poultry buildings housing one bourbon red Tom named Georgie; four ducks; and way too many chickens. The little green house contains Bernie and Scrappy, my faithful, funny rescue dogs; and Tippet and Cookie, mousers extraordinaire. (You were the best, Woody, r.i.p.) And me, a 50-something homesteading late-bloomer.
In honor of the upcoming fourth anniversary of my venture into homesteading (and at the urging of family and friends who think my life is hilarious) I agreed to start writing about the strange and sometimes wonderful things that happen to me on a daily basis.
Let me start out by saying that starting on a path to self-sufficiency at my age was probably not the wisest move I ever made. But, then again, it couldn't be helped. I HAD to do it. Four years ago, with the keys to my first house in my hand, there was nothing I couldn't accomplish if I put my mind to it. I must have been totally delusional. While visions of painted white fences on buccoli rolling fields danced in my head, the realities are more like the Beverly Hillbillies meet Apalachia on mind-altering drugs. Still, I persevere because I love walking out in the morning to hear the blatting of the sheep and assorted other sounds. Juno, last spring's lamb, follows me like a dog and likes to have her ears scratched. Birds sing in the many trees surrounding me, the sun comes up over the mountains behind me. Hoosier, the llama, searches my pockets for graham crackers. These sights and sounds help me make it through the end -to-end blizzards that dump enough heavy snow to collapse my hoop house, warp my laundry tree, drag down my fences. Well, to be honest, I completely forget all the lovely moments when that happens.
The next installment will introduce you to all of my furred and feathered charges, and I will catch you up on the 'high' points of the last four years - while launching into the daily maelstrom that is my present. Cheers!