We’re Finally Here!

Our homestead is no longer our “future homestead” – it is now home!

You see; dear hubby retired on December 31 (♫♫ wahoo ♫♫), which meant we could finally move up to our future homestead in the mountains.  Since it was mid-winter and we had plenty of time (I did not want to live in our travel trailer during the winter), I decided to put our valley home on the market myself – just to test the waters – using Zillow.  Well, lo and behold, a couple toured the house, loved it and put in a offer.  A full price offer!  We couldn’t say no, but we really didn’t expect to sell so soon!

A picture of the ship we took our Mexican Riviera Cruise upon.

A picture of the ship we took our Mexican Riviera Cruise upon.  We had a wonderful time!

In the meantimem we just HAD to go on a Mexican Riviera cruise that our sons bought us as a gift for my husband’s retirement!  Yes…  they are awesome sons!  It was our first cruise and we had the time of our lives.

Meanwhile, back at the house, after all the inspections the sale of our home was “full speed ahead” and when we got back from our cruise we had only ten days to vacate our home.

Ten days!  Ugh.  We had lived in that home for 25 years.  Do you know how much “stuff” gets accumulated in 25 years?  Oh my goodness, I was finding stuff stashed away that I thought I had lost years ago.  I also found a lot of things that I couldn’t remember why I was saving! 😉

The family room where I raised my three boys.  We spent a lot of time there - 25 years!  I miss my home, but I am sure our new home will be just as loved!

The family room where I raised my three boys. We spent a lot of time there – 25 years! I miss my home, but I am sure our new home will be just as loved!  This was one of the pictures I put on Zillow to sell the house.

So, we packed boxes, gave away some of the “good” stuff, took a few truckloads to Goodwill, a few more truckloads to the local landfill, had a “garage sale” and sold a lot of our furniture to a local used furniture dealer.  The rest of our possessions were stuffed into the cargo container on our future  homestead.

Our new laundry room.  It also houses our freezer and quite a few boxes of household "stuff".

Our new laundry room. It also houses our freezer and quite a few boxes of household “stuff”.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough room even in the cargo container!  So, we went to the local “box store” and bought an 8 x 10 metal shed.  It took us four days to get the shed built (a few swear words may or may not have been involved), and in the meantime a lot of boxes and pieces of furniture were stored under tarps.  Good thing we used lots of tarps, because before we could secure all the stuff that was under tarps into the new shed, this happened…..

A beautiful snowy day - full of potential disaster! This is a picture of the lane leading into our property.

A beautiful snowy day – full of potential disaster! This is a picture of the lane leading into our property.

Yes, the snow was absolutely gorgeous!  Unfortunately, just two days before this snow we had erected our screened gazebo – our temporary “family room” of sorts – and the snow was so heavy that the gazebo collapsed.  We got the gazebo propped up with old fence boards and 2 x 4’s, cleared the snow from the roof of the travel trailer (our temporary home) and the new metal shed, made sure water wasn’t getting in under the tarps, and fretted about our poor mandarin and lemon trees, along with the baby fruit on our cherry, almond, plum and peach trees!  The snow finally stopped at about 2:30 in the afternoon, and it looked like the worst was over.  We went inside the trailer to get warm, and just as soon as my fingers and toes were no longer tingling, we looked back outside only to see that it was snowing again!  I cried.  By dusk the snowfall had mercifully stopped.  We were not expecting this snow – at all!  We live in California, are in the middle of a severe drought, and this snowstorm dumped more snow in the mountains than had fallen in all of January and February!

When the snow melted (it took a couple of days) we were pleasantly surprised to see that the fruit on our trees still looked viable and the gazebo was fixable!

Inside our screened gazebo - the new "family room".

Inside our screened gazebo – the new “family room”.

So, it was time to get back to the business of setting up our temporary living quarters while we build our new home.  Once the new metal shed was completed, we stuffed the back with boxes and then put our new freezer in, along with the electric washing machine from our home in the valley.  I am happy to let the sun dry my clothes because they smell so good and fresh when line dried, however this next winter that won’t be an option.  Of note – line dried jeans literally stand by themselves!  So, dear hubby found an almost new propane dryer on Craigslist for $100. I will still hang most everything out to dry on our solar dryer, but knowing we have an alternative when we really need it is reassuring. This shed is now called our utility room.

By this time weeks had flown by.  We finally had all of our possessions under one roof or another and we were getting settled into our new surroundsings.  We were happy but absolutely exhausted!

It was time to get back to our most important task, and that is to get our house plans drawn and submitted to the county building department for approval! The plans I had been working on over the past four years were on my desktop computer, and it was time to get the computer out of storage (in the car), set it up and finalize the plans I wanted to send to the architect.

Yeah – right.

My desktop wouldn’t boot up completely.  Every time we tried to get the computer running, it would shut itself down.  We took the hard drive to Geek Squad and they gave us the bad news – the motherboard was fried!  Ugh!

So, here I am typing this blog post on my new laptop.  An expense we didn’t expect to have at this time, but it is what it is.

I am learning how to be more flexible and to just “let it go”. 😉

My next project is getting a vegetable garden going.  I have a lot of seeds left over from the garden I planted two years ago, and I am hoping they are still viable.  Dear hubby built four raised beds in the orchard last year I only grew tomatoes and peppers last year, but this year I want to grow green beans, zucchini squash and pattypan squash, more tomatoes and peppers, garlic, onions, sunflowers and maybe even some melon.  Before we left our house in the valley, I was able to get a few cuttings from my oregano and rosemary plants, along with some star jasmine.  I put them in rooting hormone and it looks like they may just “take”.  We will see.

The energy guide label of our new 5.1 cubic foot freezer - very energy efficient!

The energy guide label of our new 5.1 cubic foot freezer – very energy efficient!

Hubby is also working toward installing a new 400 watt solar system that will keep our new little chest freezer running.  Once that is set up, we will be able to store more foods in the freezer and won’t have to completely rely on canned meats and vegetables.  Of course, once the vegetable garden starts producing, it will be nice to have a place to store the excess.  I doubt that I will have enough produce to can this year, but we will see.

Another project we will be working on within the next couple of weeks will be our water tower.  We have a 500 gallon water storage tank that will be set upon a tower that we are building with 20’ long 6 x 8 foot posts.  This will give us better water pressure in our trailer.  Right now, even though we have hot showers, the water pressure is miserable and all we get is a trickle shower. Posts on this project will come soon.

Finally, another project of ours is getting a honeybee hive established.  Our hope is that with a hive in our orchard and another one next year in the permanent raised bed vegetable garden, we will be able to eventually harvest honey and beeswax, ensure pollination of our fruits and vegetables, and help the general honeybee population thrive. Since I will be growing organically, using only heirloom seeds when possible, our garden should be a safe haven for the bees.

So, there you have it.  That’s why I have been absent for so long!  Now that I am back on the blog, I can’t wait to share with you all the things we are doing to continue establishing this wonderful homestead of ours!

I love comments – please leave one below!

I am sharing this blog post at some of these parties:

Monday:  Meet Up MondayThank Goodness It’s MondayClever Chicks Blog Hop; Grand Social; Mix It Up Monday; Create, Link, Inspire;  Amaze Me MondayMotivation Monday; Inspiration Monday; Made By You Monday; Homemaking Mondays; Mum-bo Monday

Tuesday:   Show & Share Tuesday; The Gathering Spot; Tuesday Garden Party; Brag About ItTuesdays with a Twist; The Scoop; Two Cup Tuesday; Tweak It Tuesday; Inspire Me Tuesdays; Tuesdays at Our Home;  Pinterest Foodie; Lou Lou GirlsInspire Us Tuesday; Party In Your PJ’s

Wednesday: Make, Bake and CreateDown Home Blog HopWildcrafting Wednesday;  Wicked Awesome Wednesday; Whatever goes Wednesday; Show and Share Wednesday; Wined Down Wednesday; What We Accomplished;  Project ParadeWake Up Wednesday; Fluster’s Creative Muster; Hump Day Happenings; Homestead Blog Hop; The Blogger’s Digest; Wow Us Wednesday; Turn To Shine

Thursday:   The HomeAcre Hop; Share Your Cup Thursday;  Home and Garden Thursday;  The Handmade HangoutCreate it Thursday;  Think Tank Thursday; Green Thumb Thursday; Homemaking Party; Treasure Hunt Thursday; All Things Thursday Inspire Us Thursday; Inspire or be Inspired; Project Parade; Inspiration Gallery; Pure Blog Love; Favorite Things

Friday:  Freedom Fridays; Friendship Friday; From The Farm Blog Hop; Eat, Create, PartyPinworthy Projects Party; Farmgirl Friday;  Friday Flash Blog Party; Weekend re-Treat; Family Fun Friday; Friday’s Five Features; Real Food Fridays; Friday FavoritesOld Fashioned Friday; Fridays Unfolded; Inspired Weekend; Show Off Friday; Craft Frenzy FridayFront Porch Friday; No Rules Weekend Party; Friday Favorites; Giggles Galore

Saturday:  Say G’Day SaturdaySuper Saturday; Simply Natural Saturdays;  Saturday Sparks;  Show and Tell Saturday;  My Favorite Things;  Dare to Share; Scraptastic Saturday

Sunday:  Frugal Crafty Home; That DIY Party; Nifty Thrifty Sunday; DIY Sunday Showcase; Snickerdoodle Sunday;  Simple Life Sunday; Think Pink Sunday; Sunday Showcase

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

29 thoughts on “We’re Finally Here!

  1. woohoo! Glad you are back, we missed you! I was talking about you the other day to hubby if your ears were burning 🙂 So glad you made it through all the emergencies!! I am so excited for you and wish you the best and a super easy time getting the house up and farm viable! M

    • Yes, my ears were burning! 😉 It’s funny – I was a bit concerned how life would be living and working with my husband 24/7, and I must tell you, we haven’t killed each other yet! It seems we are so busy that we don’t have enough time nor energy to argue! 😉 My blogging capabilities are a bit curtailed because of our internet data usage. Holy cow – it’s expensive! I hope to be able to post something once a week and visit my favorite sites also, but I won’t be able to do much partying – just one or two parties here and there. It’s good to be back, and I look forward to catching up on your posts, also!

    • Yes, very busy! We have a project list a mile long and I hope to bring you along on the journey! Thanks for being a loyal reader, I’m so glad to be back!

  2. I am so happy for you kiddo!!! Welcome to my life. I am sure that the two of you will enjoy your never ending working retirement as much as we do. You will wonder how you ever had time to work for someone else. LOL

    Same series..next book chapter 1. It has started………..
    My very best wishes to you both.

    • Thank you so much, Sunny! It’s amazing that we can work from sun up to sun down and yet our “to-do” list seems to get longer! I haven’t slept so well in years!

  3. Congratulations on being able to immerse yourselves on your land full time now that hubby has retired. I just retired myself in February & I’m so busy & totally enjoying this lifestyle.

    • Oh – Penny – I didn’t know you retired! Congratulations! Now you can come up and see us! Isn’t it funny that you are busier now than you were when you were working? Thanks for reading my blog and for your kind comments!

    • It has been quite a challenge so far, but so far we have been able to work as a team toward our goal. Two steps forward, one step back, and one day we should be able to finally live in our new home! Thanks for reading my blog – I can’t wait to catch up on yours! Unfortunately, with our limited data plan, I won’t be able to spend as much time blogging as before – which just may be a good thing! 😉

  4. What an ADVENTURE and at full throttle.
    We wish all the best in your dreams, little step by little step.
    Enjoy with all your heart 🙂

    A reminder to myself to start emptying our cupboards as we hope/wish to move soon too…the retirement era-retirement being a state of mind.

    Best wishes
    Alexa-asimplelife from Sydney, Australia

    • So good to hear from you Alexa! Yes, your description is right on – little step by little step. It feels like some days we actually take a few backward steps, but at least our overall progress is forward! Believe me, I thought I had an orderly house – until I had to clean out everything! In 10 days! I really feel I did my sons a favor, because is something should happen to my husband and I, at least they won’t have to deal with all of our junk! 🙂

    • I grew up with “putting the wash out on the line” and came to love the smell of fresh sun dried sheets and underwear! In fact, I remember hearing my mom yelling at Freckles, our dog, because he had jumped up and torn some towels off the line and got them all dirty! I must have been 5 or 6 years old. Ah – memories!

  5. http://myDIYOL.blog.de

    Hey Vickie,
    I am very pleased to re-read something great of you.
    Some of you have experienced a lot and made new experiences.
    Angelika and I have every respect for you, for you do it fine.
    We also try to be as sustainable and normal to leben.Es works well also.
    I am glad to read from you again.
    many Greetings
    Uwe

    • It’s nice to be able to communicate with my blogging friends again! Since I got my new computer and we worked out our internet connection, I should be able to write about our progress once a week. Thank you for your great comments!

  6. Congrats to you both for pulling the plug and going off the grid! You have done a lot of work to prepare for this event. I’m sure you are both looking forward to getting your permanent home started. Onward and upward!
    Regards,
    Ken & Penny
    (flat landers living on the grid)

    • Thanks, Ken! We are really looking forward to starting on the house – just waiting for the architect to get the plans done! He sent some preliminaries last week and, of course, I had to change things around (you know me). Unfortunately, it seems like we won’t get started for a few more months because that’s how long it takes our county to approve plans. My hope is that we can have the walls up and maybe even the roof on before winter. We’ll see!

  7. How exciting! Good luck with everything and thanks for taking us along for the ride. I am enjoying the journey and envying you just a little…okay, a lot! lol

  8. Thanks for the update! You’re certainly having a grand adventure. I’m looking forward to new updates and am glad everything is going well.

  9. Congratulations on living the dream! As a NoCal guy living in faraway Japan, it’s my dream too. Looking forward to reading your adventures (which are a treasure chest of ideas). Remember, the process is the goal. You’ve reached it.

    • “Everyone has a goal in life, whether it is large or small. When you achieve that goal, you have success!” I love that quote! We have had a lot of small successes so far. Thanks for such kind encouragement!

  10. How exciting to finally be on your homestead – troubles and all! You certainly have the fortitude to push ahead, and continue making this place your new special home, and I look forward to all the updates of your endeavors in your new home!

  11. Looking forward to seeing you both next month. Retirement has been wonderful & extremely busy & fun. We’ve had alot of various family time this summer. It will be interesting to see what retirement in the fall/winter will be like when the weather changes. I’m assuming more get togethers with friends. 🙂

    • Oh yes – get togethers with friends sounds lovely! Ray and I are looking forward to seeing you two again. I’m glad your retirement is going well for you! See you soon!

PLEASE LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS AND/OR QUESTIONS BY CLICKING HERE!!!