Friday, March 31, 2017

Eleven Years.

(Warning - Picture-heavy)

Eleven years ago on this date, I was closing on my first house.  My only house.  My Little Lucky Farm.  It was a beautiful Spring day (the polar - using the term literally - opposite of today).  There were a few hiccups (I was financing through FHA and something was missing) but I had a great team - my much-missed coworker/lawyer, the woman who authorized my mortgage amount, and my real estate agent.  I was totally out of my element, having been an apartment dweller almost all of my life, and I was terrified that something would go wrong.  The missing info was retrieved because one of my team worked closely with the FHA and a quick call got it settled. 

I met my parents at the house, having my front door key in a death grip, and we moved in my furniture:  double mattress/box springs on metal frame (donated by said parents), rocking chair, set of cheapo deck furniture that served as dining room table and chair.  The rest of my worldly possessions were safely ensconced in a small rental storage space and it took two trips in my Focus wagon to move it all.  The rest of the furniture came to me from friends, family and strangers - I had put a new lockset that I didn't need on Freecycle and the local woman who came to pick it up took one look at my sparse furnishings and asked if I needed furniture.  Why, yes, I did.  I then followed her to her house where she opened a garage door which revealed furniture stacked cheek to jowl.  She had two houses of furniture from her late mother and mother-in-law stored in the garage/barn.  I made many trips and got two dressers, two nightstands, a maple dining room table, a mirror, and curtains!  I still have the table, nightstands and one dresser.

Over the next eleven years, I raised (in no particular order):

Pigs (Guinea Forest Hogs)
Guinea Hens







Added a Jersey and a calf
down the road

I have shared the house with:


The Pepperoni
OMG I almost forgot Bertie!

Scrappy Doo, Dog of
My Heart




Skills I have developed (to varying degrees of success):

Pumpkin carving

Home repair




Hay stacking

High fashion

Veterinary skills - it's amazing
what a little Super Glue can do

Weaving - using the
term as loosely as possible
Carpentry (see above)

The creative use of duct

Fleece processing

I have made some wonderful, wonderful friends:

Melanie (far right) who is
my anchor

My Maggie

Marianne - best road trip
partner ever

Rosie, Human Sunshine.
Beautiful Jane (and Joe)

Sylvie, who
deserted me for South Portland
(kidding....but miss her tons)
My twin sister from
another mother.

My dearest Kay, who I
loved and lost
Lisa, who I want to be
when I grow up.
Linda, daughter of my
second set of parents.

A certain Chicken
Mama of the North

It has been a wild and wonderful adventure.  I am ready for another thirty years....


Sue said...

Marvelous photos! And what an interesting and full and wonderful life you've had since moving there. Personally, I'm wishing you another SIXTY years. But wow--you'd definitely be old. LOL!

Toni said...

It's wonderful that you are loving and living your life! Nothing like a farm life for fashion statements!

Rain said...

Oh Susan that was such a pleasure to read!!!'ve had a lot of animals! I'm so inspired by you. I love your snow shoveling picture, that's about how things look around here in February lol...just the minimum will do! I'm so glad yo posted the photos and the story...I LOVE your boots!!! :)))

Mama Pea said...

What a truly wonderful post! (This gal does NOT sit around on her tush, people.) I know I can speak for Chicken Mama when I say she and I are both blessed and honored to be a small part of the past eleven years.

Susan said...

Holey crap, Sue! I'd be putting a walker on my wheelchair at that age.

Susan said...

Toni - I'm afraid my fashion statements have definitely changed over the years. These days I'm thrilled if I can get out of the house with shoes on.

Susan said...

Yes, the animals have been an interesting experiment. I tend to farm by the "do as I say, not as I do" method. I try not to do more harm than good, but sometimes being rash makes it pretty close. Learning to say "no" is one of the most important things there is to farming, IMHO.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Holy moly, you've packed a lot into 11 years! Congrats on building yourself a successful life and home!

Susan said...

Sistah! The feeling is SO mutual! If I could have done one teensy thing differently, it would have been to start 20 years earlier and have kept an eye on my rotator cuffs.

Susan said...

Debra - I was making up for wasted time. Nothing like a sense of urgency to get you going. How's Manitoba?

thecrazysheeplady said...

Nice job :-D

Susan said...

Thanks Sara! I'm reading your blog but can't comment! :(

kymber said...

wow! what an inspiring post about what you can do when you set your mind to it! you certainly are an inspiration to us...and your posts and comments always feel like you are encouraging us! thank you Susan...from the bottom of our hearts! you are a TRUE LADY in every sense of the word!

sending much love, as always! your friend,

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

What a great retrospective!!!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

you know...really? what a wonderful life! one to be very proud of!

Florida Farm Girl said...

Ah, joy to behold and remember. Good on you and I hope you DO have another 30 years.

DFW said...

Wow ... 11 years! Seems like it is less when reading from my side of the yard. Isn't it amazing to see all of the animal family that has come (& gone) in JUST 11 years. Remember when 11 took so long to get through & now it just passes by with the blink of an eye.

Kristina said...

Wow. You have done a lot on 11 years. Hubby refuses to allow me to raise guineas and pigs (so far). You've learned many skills too. So wonderful! So happy for you too.

Saundra said...

I love the visual history you've created to share. I think good friends & learning new things is (besides our families) what keeps 'alive.' Sandy
PS: Lily loves the shawl!

BWBandy said...

Congratulations! Great post!

Theresa Y said...

nice, very nice. when you put it all together you can see how full of love your life has been. Here's to another 30, or 40, or 50 years;-)

Michelle said...

You've crammed a lot of living and loving in 11 years, woman! You are an inspiration!

Yarrow said...

What a lovely post and so many wonderful animals and memories :D

Chicken Mama said...

My friend. I haven't checked ANYONE's blog in MONTHS, but fate brought me here tonight . . . and I'm so glad it did! You are AMAZING. Just being you and all the wonders and trials of the past 11 years. I tell a certain fellow about you not un-frequently! xoxoxoxoxo Chicken Mama