Tag Archives: network

Friday Facts: Introduction

I am going to start this series, and this new formulated long-term goal accountability, with a brief introduction of what the heck we’re doing and why.  Feel free to leave feedback in the comments.

I have our plan through to April 2022.  I know where we currently stand financially.  I believe we are generously blessed with intelligence and entrepreneurial spirits.  I know we as humans were never meant to go through life alone.  I know that more change is ahead and that my plans can be derailed at any time.  I also know to trust in God because every step off the course I foresee is actually a step on the path He’s laying out for us.

The Short Version – Housing

We now have three properties.  All three properties need some serious work.

The plan is to sell the smallest property as soon as possible (re:  flip it) because it needs the least amount of work and there’s no debt attached to it.

Then we plan to use the proceeds to do the necessary work on the house at the farm we inherited from the BHE’s father; it isn’t a farm yet but a very old house in desperate need of renovations sitting on a big ol’ chunk of beautifully wooded land.

Once that is complete, we will move our little family and our pared down possessions into the farm house so we can begin the serious work on the big house where we currently live.  So much is already complete but there’s still much to be done and much to be redone (think:  serious repainting).

Once the big house is sold and the remaining debt on it paid off, the equity, the cash in our pocket so to speak, will go back into the farm to build up our dream, to complete the house, to finish the barns, to create the pastures and paddocks, to purchase our first chickens, cattle, and goats, or whatever we plan between now and then.

Recap:
Small house– fast work on the windows, gutters, carpet, and yard- on market ASAP- sold by August 2017– proceeds to Farm house
Farm house– quality necessary renovations like gut of kitchen and upstairs, redo of wiring, addition of outdoor wood burner and a water filtration system- ready for move in April 2018, on the BHE’s birthday- completely empty the Big house
Big house– complete all major renovations like the foyer and stairwell, repaint each room, refinish downstairs wood floors, update the curb appeal- on market by June 2018– sold by the time the Angel starts kindergarten

The Short Version – Farm

My husband’s father bequeathed to him a renovated 1800s schoolhouse on an acre of yard surrounded by almost 35 acres of woods.  From before I was ever a figure in his life, the BHE had grand plans for this house and property.  All through our relationship, he has discussed ideas and dreams for what he’d do with all of it if it were to become his.  A very serious conversation over 7 years ago between my husband, his father, and his sister about estate planning included the discussion and eventual documentation of my husband becoming the heir to the property.

Now we have it. 

It needs a ton of work.  The house, the yard, the woods, everything needs some serious TLC.  Or slash-and-burn, depending on if you’re asking me or him.  But the dream, folks:  the dream is a farm.

“Deich Mile Feirme” is our name for the farm that is ten miles in any direction to the nearest anything, our home in the country, our dreams coming true.  Here we will raise our children and our livestock, plant our roots and our vegetables, and grow in our faith, love, independence, and dirt.  This farm will hopefully be off-the-grid and organic, self-sustaining and supportive of our lifestyle as well as our families and communities.  This is where we will create and cultivate.

Planning and blogging and blogging about planning


The Short Version – Career

The BHE has never wanted to work for The Man.  He is fiercely independent, and he wants to work with his mind and his own two hands to build something to honor God and family, the earth and the community, free of someone else’s yoke.

I have always looked forward to entering a workplace each day, prepared to use my considerable brain and strong initiative to make changes for the better but with the assurance of first-world niceties like bi-weekly paychecks, business attire, one hour lunches, paid time off, and the like.  I would feel much more confident in my parenting skills if I knew my children were being provided with health insurance and regular dental check-ups.  Plus, I like getting out and about, interacting with people, trying new things, and getting feedback from peers, customers, community members, and friends.

Now that the BHE has left the workforce (for good), he can focus on his “career” of Christian, husband, father, farmer, and maybe even house-flipper.

Now that I am returning to the workforce, I can focus on honing my skills and developing a broader network, or a network of networks, to help us reach our major goals regarding a village to support ourselves and our children and a financial cushion that will enable us to live free of debt, to give and give some more, to leave a legacy for our children’s futures and our church, to never again worry about making it to the next paycheck or if we can afford the necessities or even our reasonable wants.

I don’t know – can’t know – what will happen with my current job.  I can see how it is potentially a long-lasting career or even the doorway into a long term career with the Church.  I can also see how my work could one day be “done” and there be another employer on my path between comfortable income and benefits to confidently independent farmer.  I will always have a passion for libraries, I will always have a passion for the Church, I will always have a passion to do better and help others more. 

I will always be looking forward.

A Challenge for You

I feel I’ve hit a block.  Runners get to it.  Writers get to it.  Apparently, minimalists get to it.

Am I A Minimalist?

It is hard to define where I am on the path to Less Equals More.  I know what I want.  I can see with my mind’s eye the ideal I am striving for.

But I can see with my real eyes what my house looks like right now.  I wouldn’t say it is a mess.  In fact, the load on my shoulders feels much lighter, knowing what I have accomplished.

However, you wouldn’t be able to tell I have done anything.  There’s a reason I’m not bothering with before-and-after pictures on the blog.  To the casual visitor, my house doesn’t look changed at all.  Only if you’ve seen me (or the BHE) loading the rear of our SUV multiple times a week for drop-offs at the Trinity Mission or the recycling center would you know I’ve been doing anything different.

I want to reduce.  I want to have less Stuff.  I want less weighing on my mind and filling up my to-do list.  I want more time to invest in my children and my other passions, like visiting and hosting friends, writing for my blog and that fiction novel I’ve been talking about for years, going to parks and volunteering at the library.

I know I can DO more if I HAVE less to take up my time.

But I’m at a Standstill

Between the crawling infant and the rambunctious toddler, between being a friend and a wife as well as working on the renovations in our large old house, between the needs of my family and the need for rest, I feel I’ve come to a standstill in my decluttering work.

I know there is much more to do.  I cringe when my eyes land on the attic door, knowing full well what lies behind it.  Every time I leave the house, there is something in the back of the car that needs to be donated or recycled.

So I know I’m still making progress, but it just doesn’t feel like I’m progressing as fast or as steady as I was.

What’s that line from the tortoise?

It will all happen as it is meant to, through our brain and brawn.  We will keep working towards our ideal.  It may not be a big project that shows amazing results within hours or days.  It may be lots of little projects that will never be seen by the casual eye.

But it will get done.  My shoulders can relax as I know I am making progress each day.

Each day, I look to my List of Sevens to do another little something to move us forward.  Each day, I paw through at least one box from the attic.  Each day, I fill a trash bag or recycling bin with Things we don’t need or are truly trash.  Each day, I remember that getting rid of Stuff will not take as long as it did to acquire it all, now that I’ve seen and felt the goodness that comes with becoming unstuffed.  Each day, I am grateful for God’s grace, life’s blessings, and how I am physically and mentally able to remove the Stuff to make room for more grace and blessings of a less tangible kind.

Maybe I Need to Spice It Up

Join me.  Check out this challenge and think on the reality of it:  are you ready to get rid of the excess?  Are you emotionally and mentally ready to shed the extra Stuff weighing you down?

If so, send me a message or comment below.  We’ll go at it together.  We’ll share photos of our successes.  We’ll virtually back-pat as more gets taken out of our homes.  We’ll give encouragement and challenge each other to take one more step, remove one more Thing, and make one more change that leads us down a cleaner, greener, healthier, happier path through life.

We will WIN this challenge together!

Are you ready to take that step?