We absolutely love being out in the country again, this time on our own homestead! What a life! But it is not all roses. This week definitely ended much easier than it began. It started out with lots of pressure, stress, and discouraging things happening.
Last Sunday we got home from church to discover the chickens had invaded our fenced in living area by squeezing under the shed and had scratched out all of the “weeds” our oldest daughter had planted as fresh greens for her rabbits. They also left some “presents” lying around which had to be cleaned up.
That afternoon we hoped to rest after a very strenuous week. Wouldn’t you know, the neighbor on the next 20 acres decided to enjoy his favorite radio station loud enough for us to understand the announcer! Imagine, moving out to the country to enjoy the peace and quiet… Hopefully it was a rare occurrence.
Then we ran out of water in the built-in reservoir and had to switch to the aerator tank, but air got in the line and for the next five days we put up with spitting and splattering every time we turned on a spigot! The issue was finally resolved, so that part of life has greatly improved.
Our batteries for powering our small electronics when the generator wasn’t running were old ones with little life left. As a result we started having problems keeping phones charged and being able to do business online. Monday I used our Suburban’s battery so much doing blog posts on my laptop that it wore the battery down. Silver Oak had to jump-start it the next morning.
Along with other computer problems, our printer decided to “kick the bucket” right before we moved and we had no way to print invoices for Silver Oak’s landscaping business. That meant no way to get paid for work already done.
Most of these issues could have been resolved with a little cash, but there was none to be had. We were owed money, but had none to spend after the extra expenses getting ready to move. That in itself was depressing. We had a little silver left we had invested in last year, but silver prices plummeted right when we started needing cash, and we would have taken a loss. We almost had the trailer paid for, but no way to finish paying for it so we could bring it home.
The words “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden…” came to me numerous times, and I had to again commit things to the Lord. Monday night we cried out to God for financial help and for grace to face all the little things that seemed to be going wrong. We specifically asked for Him to bring us something encouraging.
The next morning after Silver Oak left to do landscaping (he was running about a week behind due to our move and everything at home) I fired up the generator so I could boot up his big desktop computer. With the move we hadn’t checked bank balances or updated the ledger for a week and knew we may be close to over drafting (another depressing thought).
Then I noticed our house and land bank balance was much greater than anticipated and realized we had received a direct deposit several days before from the IRS! It was much less than anticipated (we’re supposed to be receiving some adoption tax credit money and for some unknown reason they only sent a small part of it, so that is being investigated), but for the moment it was a huge answer to prayer and a great encouragement! Now I know that money is not our security and God could have chosen another way to bring encouragement, but at that moment money is what we needed and that is what He chose to give!
Immediately we were able to finish paying for the trailer and make arrangements for its delivery. We bought a little marine pump to more efficiently pump water from the truck tank to the storage tanks and fill them up rather than only partially as when depending on gravity. We purchased the much needed printer to print invoices, and we bought two brand new deep cycle golf cart batteries which immediately made a huge difference in our power supply! No more dead laptops, phones, or inability to pump water! Again, I know that joy in life is not dependent on these extras, but they sure are a boost in the middle of adjusting to new ways of doing things!
It was so exciting that our trailer was coming, scheduled for delivery Thursday afternoon! That meant we would have a washer to spin out our clothes after washing (more on that some other time), and we could start preparing to move into it. Thursday morning we suddenly realized that the hole that had been dug for the trailer wheels (to lower the trailer a few feet so it doesn’t sit so high) had never been finished due to mechanical problems with the tractor. The tractor had been returned and we were so busy with other things we had forgotten about the hole, and now the trailer was on its way!
Silver Oak, our oldest daughter and I got out there and began digging furiously for a few hours to get the job done on time! We had help from our five-year-old as well. :) I used muscles I’d forgotten about…quite a work-out. The hole needed to be 9’ x 9’ and 2’ deep. So much for Silver Oak getting a landscaping job done in town before the trailer arrived.
Then the trailer came!! We prayed it would go smoothly down our winding lane. The driver missed our lane and snagged the neighbor’s telephone line, pulling it down! What a start! Then he got hopelessly stuck on one of the first curves which is fairly sharp to avoid some tortoise burrows! After an hour of trying to get it unstuck, we decided to go ask neighbors with heavy equipment if we could hire help. As we exited our lane a huge John Deere tractor appeared and the driver wondered why the phone line was down. He was a neighbor we hadn’t met, and pulled the stuck truck right out of the sand! I asked if he was an angel because he came at the precise moment we needed him, when we were about to despair. He grinned and asked, “Do I look like one?” Later we realized the sagging phone line was a blessing that alerted him and brought us help!
The truck driver was glad to be unstuck but wanted us to cut down many trees before proceeding much farther. Finally we left the trailer parked about a third of the way down the lane and decided to rent a tractor later to carefully deliver it the rest of the way ourselves rather than remove large beautiful trees. So, we still don’t really have our trailer here, but it’s much closer!
The next day it rained all day so we couldn’t do laundry or plant strawberries as planned. I caught up on computer work and spent some relaxed time reading a blog about another family in VA who moved onto their land starting with nothing, similar to us. That was a great encouragement as well!
Saturday I planted the strawberries someone gave us because they had extras. We can’t make lasagna beds yet (raised beds) because there is very little space inside our fenced-in living area that the goats and chickens can’t reach. We must put up much more fencing around their pasture areas and put up the greenhouse before we can plant much. Before the fence and greenhouse can be done we must get the trailer and storage shed finished to move our belongings out from borrowed storage places in town before December. Before the trailer and shed can be done Silver Oak must get caught up with landscaping work… Sigh. The list goes on…
This is what they had done to our little trees and plants when they broke into the fence last Friday night while we were away. There are few leaves left! It will be so good when THEY are the ones fenced in instead of US!
I really wanted to do a little fall decorating but there was nothing in the budget for that, so we got creative. The girls went searching for wildflowers and brought home armloads of beautiful goldenrod and other not-yet-identified wildflowers. We had fun arranging them into several large bouquets. We set up our scarecrow (a garage sale find several years ago, see photo at the top of this post), and added some tiny pumpkins we found behind a produce market in town that allows us to get scraps for our animals.
Sunday we were actually able to host church at our “house!” Amazing that things were going smoothly enough after such a rough week! It was beautiful weather and we enjoyed great fellowship under our awning. Later in the afternoon the children had fun riding Tess, our 26-year-old but still spirited mare we had just brought out the night before from boarding at my parents’ place near town.
Last but not least, we took a little time to remember this very special day 20 years ago (October 30, 1991). It is the day that my “favoritest” person asked if I would be willing to spend the rest of my life with him, and I said, “Yes!” Little did I know the adventures I was in for! I am so happy to be living out these dreams with the godly man the Lord chose for me. I am blessed indeed!!
Thank you for making it this far reading my “book.” If you feel so inclined I would love a few encouraging comments. You never know what we may face this week.
PS. And don’t forget to check out our brand new eBook on Amazon: How to Prepare a Family Emergency Food Storage Plan!
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