Monday, October 7, 2013

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Don't feel bad if you missed Kill Bill Volume 1. So did we. We found someone claiming to be a mobile goat butcher on Craigslist. She responded to this ad in the "gigs offered" section:

I bought a goat a few weeks ago, and he is really starting to smell. I can't even open my windows any more. Speaking of windows, I think it is only a matter of time before he breaks through them. He scares my children and tries to rub his disgusting urine crusted face all over us anytime we are outside. I don't know anything about goats, clearly. Maybe you do? I prefer butchery, but if by chance there is a mobile goat castrator reading this, please do respond. You must be mobile because there is no way I am letting him in my car. Payment is negotiable. Now if the castration turns into butchery, I am not paying for both. Serious inquiries only. 

We planned our whole Sunday around it including trading off the kids with my parents to go to different Masses to be sure we didn't miss her 10am scheduled arrival. Turns out she was lying the whole time and never planned to come. What kind of person does that? A person with the phone number 479-never mind I won't do that. It felt like middle school all over again. Let this be a lesson, folks. When you start a homestead and get in over your head, and try to hire a mobile goat butcher/castrator on Craigslist, bad people will try to exploit your vulnerability for their own sick pleasure. I could see this being a country song or YouTube video.

So then began Kill Bill Volume 2. We posted a free goat ad:

Special offer today only. Good brush goat, tether-broke, no horns, great pet or great dinner. Pick up today only. Will not hold because I am tired of Craigslist flakes. 

The Perez family did not disappoint. God bless the Perez family. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ten Things I Learned About Goats...

1.)  The terms “billy goat” and “nanny goat” are now considered offensive. Buck and Doe, minus the word “goat” are now the politically correct terms. This makes it hard for someone like me to buy a goat on Craiglist. I kept thinking, “Why are so many people trying to sell deer? Is no one selling goats?”
2.)  Goat hooves need to be trimmed (despite what the Craigslist seller tells you).
3.)  Horse Farriers (people who trim horse hooves for a living) are offended when you ask them to trim a goat’s hooves. Apparently goats are at the absolute bottom of the farm animal pecking order. Who knew? Certainly not me.
4.)  Bucks intentionally try to urinate all over their faces. Why? Because Lady Goats, excuse, me, "Does" really dig it. You probably don’t need to be told this, but it is very gross and smells horrible. 
5.)  Watching a goat eat through your brush is more entertaining than television for at least 10 minutes. Then the wind changes direction, and you all have to go inside.
6.)  After you realize that you never should have bought a Buck and seriously need to castrate him, Google searches only bring results that tell you how to do it yourself. Yes, Google tells me to do this myself. Google has obviously never met me. I can't even trim the thing's hooves. The last thing I need to be trimming know. 
7.)  When we got married back on October 11th, 2008, I had no idea one day we would be discussing who should be the one that holds the goat and who should be the one who does the castration. And more importantly, which of these two should be holding the gun, or as we like to call it, “back up anesthesia.”
8.)  It probably is not a good idea to buy a goat on Craigslist. It is probably an even worse idea to find a mobile goat castrator on Craigslist. 
      UPDATE: It is impossible to find any sort of goat castrator on Craigslist. I just had to put this out there in case you were thinking of trying. Don’t waste your time. Endless searching on Craigslist through multiple states = no goat castrator.
9.)  Once you own a Buck, all the literary references you know where a woman calls a man an “old goat” really start to come into context. No details here. Just trust me.
10.)  When looking up alternatives to do-it-yourself goat castration, you can find some enticing goat taco recipes.

So now we have plan A: amateur goat castration. Plan B: Goat tacos. Personally, I am much more confident about the tacos. We will keep you up to date.

Here is Bill in the mean time:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Pear Storm

Now that we are mostly unpacked, we are really starting to make progress on the homestead front. We have at least 4 pear trees that we have found so far. They are pretty big and have produced a lot of fruit. From what I have learned through Googling, you are supposed to pick them before they are ripe, when they pull easily from the tree. Then you let them sit a week in a cool place. Then they are ready for eating.

I was pretty sure we were wasting our time picking them and bringing them into the house because they were so hard, the tree had not been watered, thinned, or cared for in any way, and I seriously doubt my abilities to preserve such a large amount of food. Despite my timidness, we had a fun time harvesting them. It was great to work together as a family. Here are the kids just before heading out:

We figured out that with only one tall person, it is better to have the tall person shake the branches while the two short people pick them up off the ground. We also learned that spinning in circles under the tree and shouting, "It's raining pears! It's raining pears!" while the pears fell all around us, though a wonderful experience initially, is a really bad idea. A better idea would have been to watch from the shed and shout, "Wow! We are so glad to watch this pear storm from a safe 20 feet away and under the protection of a metal roof!" I somehow did not think to question why Richard put on a hard hat while we were dancing beneath him in straw hats. Instead I thought, "Why does Richard have his hard hat on? It is so hot out here." I guess everyone but me knows that fruit falling from trees is painful. Now I know.
These are what they look like in my laundry basket right now.

They were very hard when we picked them. I don't know exactly how much we got, but it was about a laundry basket full. There were lots more, but it was really hot, and we just didn't feel like picking any more. And I only have 2 laundry baskets. Now it has been almost a week, and I am quite surprised that they are indeed getting softer, though they are still very firm. They may be a canning pear variety in which case they won't ever really be good for eating. I tried a sliver of one today. I couldn't swallow it. It was just too dry and grainy. I am going to give them another week. Then I will try to make pear sauce (like apple sauce) and try to can it.

If it doesn't come out right, I will make wine out of it. If the wine doesn't come out right, well... we can still find a use for it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Why Did You Move HERE?

Why Did You Move Here?

It is never good when this is your greeting from locals. Truly though, it is what everyone has said to us. This question tends to get asked of us after Mass, and I struggle to answer in the 3-second window that would be polite in such circumstances. I usually say something like, “Well, we can live anywhere.” That only causes more bewilderment and more awkwardness. So here is the truth, and from now on I will just direct people to my blog. Surely that will go over more smoothly.

The primary reason we bought this house in this location is the affordability. When we lived in California and Little Rock, prices were high and particularly burdensome for a single-income family. It isn’t that we could not afford it, and it isn’t that we were struggling, but it did create an uneasy level of stress about maintaining our income. If we had family in the area, I would have considered the prices worth it, but we didn’t. We decided to quit renting (in Little Rock) and buy a home because with our growing family, rent was getting ridiculously high.

We didn’t go the normal route that HGTV showcases. On HGTV, you go to a mortgage broker, find out how big of a mortgage you qualify for, then look for houses in that range. Inevitably you end up liking the most expensive one because that is how desire works. You make an offer for slightly less than the asking price because of course you want a good deal, but you don’t want to offend or appear unreasonable. Then the seller counters with a higher offer. Then your realtor tells you to make your best and final offer. Then you commit yourselves to pay the max you can afford for 30 years.

Our approach was different. Instead of looking to advice from people whose pay was directly tied to how much money we spent (real estate agents and mortgage brokers), we talked to each other about what we really wanted and what was really important. We decided that more than anything, we wanted freedom. We wanted freedom to work and live as we please and enjoy life. We did not want a mortgage that enslaves us to a high-paying job for 30 years. I think we are finally learning that wealth is not what you make; it is what you don’t spend.

So we started at the bottom. We found the cheapest areas that were reasonable for work that were safe. Beauty of the land was also important to us. Once we narrowed it down to a general area, we drove all over it together. We went to parks, grocery stores, and restaurants. We talked to strangers.  We tried to get a feel for the community. After considering all these things, we narrowed it down to a county.

Once we had a county, we started looking at the bottom again -- at the cheapest houses available. We didn’t use an agent because our price range was the absolute lowest, and we didn’t feel right asking someone to invest a lot of time in us. Also, we liked the freedom of just driving to see a house when it was convenient for us. If we really liked a house, we would call to have the selling agent show it to us. So many agents tried to tell us we needed an agent, and it was sometimes obvious our unusual approach made them uncomfortable. 

We often found that we were more familiar with the low end of housing than the agents were. We mostly used Zillow and Craigslist to get an idea of pricing and to see what was available. We would find a few houses and drive out to see the outside of them and more importantly the neighborhood. We did this for over a year. We put in a few low-ball offers; they didn’t pan out. That didn’t matter to us. We didn’t fall in love with a house. We were not searching for “the one.”  We were just searching for something that would work for us and not against us. Eventually we found it, and it happened to be in this town. That is why we moved here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Moving In and Moving On

We are now living in the house, and the FEMA trailer is gone. We are still unpacking, but hoping to get started on our pathetic attempt at homesteading soon. Here is where we stand right now:

1.        I read Square Foot Gardening on the recommendation of a friend, and I am pretty optimistic about it. I hope to get started soon.

2.       Our bees left us. We are still sad about this, but we have made a new priest friend at the local monastery that used to manage 400 hives. He says he can hook us up.

3.       There is way too much lawn mowing required on four acres. Getting a goat has been moved to the top of the list of homesteading tasks to accomplish.

4.       I took a winemaking class, bought the supplies, and plan to start that next month so that I can have wine in time for the holidays. Guess what we will be giving out for Christmas. We will probably require signing of a legal waiver. I want to print labels for it that say “Casa DeLuca” or whatever is Latin for “Not Responsible for Blindess”. I will have to look that up.

That is about it as far as homesteading goes. For now the main focus is unpacking, figuring out how to arrange furniture, and relishing the small victories like getting dinner on the table, getting the kids to bed, and actually sweeping the floor. Every time I move, I swear I will never do it again. This time actually looks pretty hopeful. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

FEMA Trailer Life

Well, the end of June has come and gone some time ago. With August fast approaching, we are going on our fifth week of living in a FEMA trailer. No, contrary to rumor, we have not been the victim of any natural disaster, just the victim of optimism. We actually bought the FEMA trailer as soon as we bought the house from a local dealer who buys them from auction. We intended it to be guest quarters since the house is fairly small, but now that we have been living in it ourselves, we are not sure it will fit the bill.

The primary problem with it is that FEMA trailers have seen way more hard living than your average 7-year-old private family-owned trailer. So the couch, booth seats, and table are way more unlevel, uncomfortable, and warped than any I have experienced. Whereas a similarly aged trailer would have been used a few weekends a year, this one has been used non-stop for several years.

Second, in an effort to make them very quickly and very cheaply, and knowing the government was the buyer, and knowing the person receiving them was incredibly desperate with very little avenue for complaint, they were made with very little storage. I have been in many different travel trailers; I know where the cabinets and drawers are supposed to be. Honestly, I would say at least 50% of them were never installed in FEMA trailers, and I understand why. There are no cabinets above the bed, no drawers underneath the closet, no cabinet above the toilet, no cabinets above the couch, no cabinet to hold your television, etc.

For example, here is a picture of the kitchen cabinetry:

Notice that the frame was clearly intended to hold more doors and drawers, yet a recessed flat piece was put in many places to cover otherwise useful, now empty space. I imagine this saved GulfStream a lot of money and the government a lot of time. I somehow missed this when I bought it.

Another cost saving measure: I have exactly one linear foot of counter space. So not cool since I live here. Also, there are not near enough electrical outlets. There are four, and two of them are located so that your cords have to be over a sink.

All that being said, there are 2 really awesome things about FEMA trailers. First, they have full-size, real refrigerators with freezers. For a family who actually cooks most meals in their trailer, this is indispensable for us. Second, it has a real full-size porcelain toilet. Most travel trailers have small plastic "toilets" that are really somewhere between an outhouse and chamber pot in terms of civility.

Anyway there is my answer is someone asks me if they should buy a FEMA trailer. If it is like $1000 I say go for it, but here they are selling in the 4K range, so I think I overpaid. Live and learn, but it has given us a place to live for a while. Speaking of which, the contractor is saying the house will be done by August 1st. We will see.

Oh, and the bees left us. I have no idea why. They seemed happy at first and then every day there were less and less of them. At least they are not dead. Or at least we can't find the bodies.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Demolition Begins

Today was the first day of ripping down falling ceilings, peeling wallpaper from paneling, removing soffits, removing brick "fireplaces," and removing ceiling fans. Several things were discovered:

1. Most of the paneling is not salvageable due to the wallpaper removal not going very well. I consider this great news. Sheetrock here we come.

2. A meth head got into the attic and removed all the wiring. I am pretty sure they were on drugs while removing it because there was no copper in the wiring. They left the expensive whole house fan unit. They ripped the socket for the stove right out of the wall. We have to re-do the electrical anyway, so this isn't the huge loss it would be other wise.

3. Two of the bedrooms do have the original wood ceiling under the tiles that we ripped down. We plan to just re-paint the wood in there and in the living room.

4. The coolest discovery is that we found an old, original stone fireplace behind the yellow brick facade that was behind the 1960s electric heater in the living room. It looks really awesome. We will have it inspected to see if it needs repair, but regardless we are keeping it for looks if for nothing else. It is surrounded by a raw wood wall made of flat horizontal pieces. We are considering keeping this as the wall in the living room, but frankly I am a little scared to do this. I am afraid it will look too rough and that kids will get splinters...but I can't decide.

5. The bees are alive! And Richard successfully fed them without getting stung. And without a bee suit! I am so proud of him.

The contractor still thinks he can have all the work done by the end of June. I still have major doubts, but we did get a travel trailer on the property already, so we may just have to live in there a while.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bee Happy

Well, we are real beekeepers now. And by "real beekeepers" I mean there is a really irate hive slowly dying and plotting against us in a box on our property. To get the beekeeping homesteading badge, I have to keep them alive long enough to actually get some honey. The professional we hired to move them from the master bedroom to the far edge of the property said they had about a 50% chance of success. However, he never met me or read this blog before giving that outlook to Richard, so honestly I'm putting it more in the 5%-10% range.

Though we have always wanted to keep bees, it definitely was not the homesteading project we planned to tackle first. We wanted to start with mowing the lawn and maybe growing some zucchini, then advance to chickens, and in 10 years get brave enough to keep bees, but God had different plans. I am not kidding that having a gigantic bee hive in the master bedroom was a big selling point to Richard. Who am I to rain on his bee parade? Okay, let's keep bees, I say. We will see how it goes.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Floorplan Finalizing

After viewing the house a second time on Wednesday to get a formal quote from the contractor, I am feeling much better about it. The first time I saw it, it seemed very funky and that it would take so much to actually like it. Slowly I am becoming charmed by it, and we decided not to change a lot of the things we had planned on changing originally.

The floorplan will change very little. The place that is supposed to be the dining nook is too small. Some people would be trapped until others were done eating, so we will knock down the wall that separates it from the living room. Doing this will also give us more flexibility with furniture placement so that the table does not absolutely have to go in that corner.

With the kitchen we will take out a few feet of wall between it and the living room. We would like to totally take out the wall to create an island, but that would mean losing too much cabinet space. We will remove one overhead cabinet above the bar that partially separates the kitchen from the former dining nook. It will make it seem less closed off, and the cabinet was just a big box, no shelves, and was really too high for me to reach any way.

Above all the cabinets is a sloped soffit covered in 1970s paneling. Why sloped? Why paneling? Why did they do this at all? I don't know. The answers (in order) are probably: We thought it looked cool. Everyone else was doing it. Then I won't have to dust up there any more. I totally get the last answer, but right now it feels like the ceiling is trying to come to a point right above your head. Also, any time you can take a sledgehammer to paneling is a good time. Plus, it will give me storage space above my cabinets.

We are putting a door between one of the bedrooms and living room. Right now, you can only get to the second bedroom by passing through the first bedroom. I see this a lot in old houses, and I cannot figure out the reason. Was it to keep a better eye on your kids? I guess before the rampant moral decay of our culture, being sure you knew where your kids were at all times was a very noble duty. I actually really like that the two bedrooms are connected by a door. It fits our family's values. It makes it more like one big family bedroom.

One big change is adding a half bath in what is currently a corner in the living room. Right now the one bathroom is only accessible by going through a third bedroom or by going through our bedroom plus a laundry room. Though originally we were going to add a full bath, we decided against it because 1.) We don't want to lose that much space in the living room, 2.) You can't run two showers at the same time anyway, 3.) it will save money, and 4.) any future buyers who find 1.5 bathrooms a deal breaker probably won't look at a 1300 square foot home anyway.

I will try to post some actual pictures next time. I only got a couple pictures because I started getting attacked by bees and running around like a crazy person and screaming "I don't like bees! I don't like bees!" Richard was outside with the kids at the time, so I am not sure who I was talking to, but it felt good to express myself.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Excitement Builds

We are getting pretty excited about having four acres for our “homestead.” I cannot even say that out loud without laughing at myself. Yes, there will be some major plant massacres on that property when I get my hands on it. I eventually want to try to raise livestock, but I will put it off for a while. I don’t want this blog getting too macabre too quickly. I can see it now: And here’s another photo of another dead goat. Maybe they are supposed to be watered like plants? Oh well, live and learn. I mean, I will be living and learning, not the goats…or chickens…or cows…

How does one even bury a cow? (shudder) I hope I never have to write a post with that title. Okay, it has already gotten too macabre.

Moving on to something more positive, I am actually becoming optimistic and even a bit excited about raising a growing family in 1295 square feet. Only in modern times would that amount of space be considered a sacrifice for a family of four. According to the US census bureau, in 1950 the average new home being built was 983 square feet. In 1983 (the year I was born) it was up to 1725. In 2010 it was 2392. That’s down from the high of 2519 in 2008.

I am looking forward to the challenge of being creative with space and being forced to keep clutter to a minimum. That is something Richard and I agree on: we both hate clutter. Neither of us are the type of people that like to amass things. Our biggest problem is probably toys, so that will be a fun conversation to have with the grandparents. After 2.5 years and 2 children, I believe we have bought exactly 4 toys. And yet our children have a full toy chest and a full closet of toys. I actually told some people not to buy anything for Violet’s first birthday party, cruel mother that I am. That went over like a lead balloon. It didn’t work, and I looked like a jerk. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

How Does My Garden Grow?

It doesn’t, frankly, at least not for very long. In January I ordered some heirloom seeds online because that is what homesteaders do, right? I was really nervous about all the details since I have no idea what I am doing, and seed packets have only one or two sentences of explanation. I kept reading each seed packet over and over again to try to come up with a plan. I felt lost. The fifth time I started reading each pack I thought, “What am I doing?” I don’t think most people try to memorize seed packets and close their eyes to see if they remember how soon after last frost to put them in the ground. But that’s what I was doing. Then I decided to just paraphrase what the packet said in my own words and write the summary on the front of each packet. I don’t know why; I guess because I have a strange compulsion to make things very complicated. Then I went through each packet and put them in order of when they should be sown based on my summaries. Then I reread all my summaries and figured out that January 24th would be my first date of sowing. 

Of course I did nothing on that day. But eventually I did start some red bell pepper plants in a couple containers in my living room that I planned to transplant outside. The packet said to surface sow. I guessed that meant to sort of just drop them in or barely cover…I wasn’t sure which. So I just gave a handful of seeds to my 2-year-old and had her drop them in. Then we sort of rolled our hands around in the soil. I figured out of the 20 or so we dropped in, certainly 1 or 2 would be the right depth. I put the two pots in front of a window and moved on with my life. 

A few weeks later I planted some broccoli and cauliflower in big pots in the garage with the intention of moving them outside once the weather warmed up. I kind of forgot about them. One grew really leggy, and the other never germinated. I moved them both outside regardless, and nothing is really happening on that front. Big surprise.

I also planted some spinach in a little round flower bed in our back yard, which is not fun to do when it is 40 degrees outside with a toddler, and your infant is inside sleeping which he usually only does for no more than 15 minutes at a time. I majorly rushed through the whole thing, not even reading the seed packet while doing it. Despite that, a few weeks later the spinach was actually doing okay, I think. There were several different things growing in there, and I am confident at least one of them was spinach. Add "distinguishing between weeds and what you actually want to grow" to the list of skills I should acquire.

A few weeks ago while my parents were visiting, I had my dad help transplant the peppers to our front door flower bed since I had no idea how to do it. He asked me how my other stuff was doing. I mentioned to him that the spinach out back was the only thing that might actually have a chance. His face totally fell.

“That round little bed by the swing set?”


“I’m sorry.”

He looked the way you would expect a good father to look as he is delivering the news that he has crushed his baby girl’s dreams beyond all repair. 

“Violet kept wanting me to jump up and down in it, so we did. I didn't realize you had planted anything there. Sorry. Whatever was there is definitely gone now. I’m really sorry.”

See, I have a 2-year-old, and she is very bossy. My parents are very easy-going and loving people, so they do exactly as she commands them with no complaint and no regard for reason. 

I pretty much just gave up after that. My dad felt really guilty, but I thought it was a more glorious death for the spinach than what was otherwise in store for it. To make it up to me, he brought me up some well grown, robust tomato plants from his garden. He actually has gardening skills. They are still alive, but not producing or growing. They only look a little sad. I watered them today for the first time since he brought them a couple weeks ago. His at home which are the exact same age are producing little green tomatoes right now. Not mine. What a shocker. I am starting to think that watering may be my problem, like maybe I should do it every day or something. Currently I water once every couple weeks at most, or after they are dead, or more commonly never. That plan just has not been working for me.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Buying Our Homestead

We are now officially in escrow on a 4-acre property. We expect to close before the end of the month. We are absolutely in love with the land -- the house, not so much. I wish it were a cute old farm house, but it just is not. It was built in 1938, which is just barely out of the range of housing eras I like. It is 3 bedrooms and 1 bath with 1,295 square feet. It needs major work. We hope to knock out the repairs and be moved in by June 30th, since that is when our lease is up here. There is no character, no beautiful wood trim, no old windows, no vintage plumbing fixtures, no front porch, no wood floors, none of the things you would hope for in an old farm house. The ceiling is falling down. It needs a new roof. The bathroom needs to be completely gutted. We will add a bathroom and change the floor plan, since it is very funky. We are meeting with a contractor out there in a few days, so I will take plenty of pictures then and over time give a nauseating amount of details.

The land is absolutely gorgeous. It is square in shape with rolling mounds of wildflowers that work up to a ridge about halfway through the property, somewhat parallel to the road. It has a pond out back that is surrounded by trees. It has several outbuildings some of which I am tempted to call a barn, but I don’t really know what makes a building a barn, so I won’t. I mean, I would put animals in them; I am not sure if a professional homesteader would. It is rural with no residential neighbors in view. It is on a paved road and is only 5 minutes from town, a small county seat with just a few thousand people. This will be the second home we own. This is actually our third real estate deal in Arkansas. The other two did not work out. Originally we were the back-up offer on a meth house. Apparently meth houses are in high demand because we didn't get it. This is probably the 50th house we have looked at since moving here from California 2 years ago. We have made offers on 4 properties. If this one doesn’t work out, we are probably going to sell everything we own and move into a camper. That is no joke. Then I could change the name of this blog to The Portable Homestead Train Wreck.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

All Aboard

Hi. I want to write a blog about all the awesome things I grow and the animals I raise. I want to inspire you with my stories about making dandelion wine and lavender tea. I want to post about the goat cheese I make from my own goat milk. Oh, and about how I cloth diaper with the cotton I grow myself (organic, of course) and then spin it into cloth and then sew it into diapers. And, naturally, I have my own sheep herd from which I get my Angora covers. But I can’t do any of that. And yet in spite of, or maybe because of this (I do love a challenge) I want desperately to be a homesteader. 

I want to eat my own foods that I’ve grown, make tea from my awesome herb garden, milk a cow in the morning, spin my own yarn, let some milk sit on the counter for too long and call it yogurt. (I see people online do this all the time; their milk actually becomes yogurt, I swear.) Sometimes my toddler’s sippy cup sits in our 95 degree bedroom for 36 hours and it looks just like cottage cheese, but smells much worse. Next time I should just take a bunch of pictures and post it as a recipe on Pinterest.
I am used to succeeding in life. I have a college degree, a great family, and I landed my absolute dream job at age 25. That’s when I left the dreary world of drugstore management and became a real housewife of Lake County. Now I am a mother of two and living in Little Rock proper.

We currently rent a 1970s split level in a residential setting on about ¼ acre. We dream of having acres in the country, but for now this is our home. 

I am horrible at the following: gardening, preserving, sewing, knitting, all things animal related, handiwork, and generally making any sort of sacrifice in the name of quality over convenience. I stress out way too easily and also have a big procrastination problem (i.e. “I’ll water the tomatoes next week”). Oh, and I am also the poster woman for over confidence. I have absolutely no doubt in myself, which makes me very dangerous to plants and animals. 

I rationally know that me + homesteading = very bad idea, but I just can’t help myself. I cannot stand not to attempt to accomplish my dreams, though I believe them to be a futile endeavor.