Monday, December 20, 2010

Our Hillbilly Home - What's a Farm, Without Animals

First babies

This story is about how we got started with our farm several years ago...I was chatting with a friend one day and talking about how we got our house, and she wanted to see some photos so I decided to write the story for my blog and share photos instead of trying to e-mail a bunch to her. If you missed the first part of this story, you can find the links to all the parts on my links page.

There were several reasons we wanted a farm...mostly because we wanted more wide open spaces around us, and not so many close neighbors. Growing up with those wide open spaces and privacy, made it hard to put up with the nosey neighbors we had in the small town we were living in. We wanted to see the beautiful scenery God made more, as well as hear nature's peaceful sounds, not look at other houses and hear the cars roaring down the street. We also wanted to be able to have animals eventually, if we got to where we didn't travel so much.

The first fall and winter in our new home was full of keeping up with the water we used. We had signed up for rural water, when we first got the house in 2003, but they were putting new lines in, and said we would have to wait for the new line.

They assured us we would get it come spring of 2004...then it was summer....then fall....before we knew it, it was the barrels we used to haul water from town started freezing, and we had to move the water inside as soon as we brought it home. We used a pump to fill the back of the toilet, so we didn't have to totally use the outhouse (which we still did save on water). My Dad made us a shower bucket, so we could heat water on the stove, and take a shower. (You can see the bucket in this photo here...hanging above the tub in the bathroom. There are more shots of the inside of our home, from shortly after our move in the Hillbilly Home set on flicker.)

When 2005 finally rolled around, and there was still no sign of water...or much news at all when we called to try to find out what was going on, except that others were getting water when we were told we would be one of the first, I finally got fed up (I HATE going to the laundry mat...and DH's knee still wasn't real good even after surgery, so this climbing in and out of the back of the truck for water, wasn't the best thing for him to be doing) and wrote a few letters to senators. It seemed to get results, because it got them moving and by Valentine's Day we had water!!! I'm not one to take my problems to other people like this usually...however when it comes to my DH and his health, I don't mind ticking a few people off now and then, if it helps him out...and not having to haul water was going to help him a lot.

Needless to say I was HAPPY to be able to use our washing machine again! I washed the rugs, that hadn't been washed since our move, since the laundry had signs all over it, saying you couldn't wash them there. I almost enjoyed doing laundry again at home....almost being the operative word. *giggle*

With DH's knee still not being well enough to climb ladders on a regular basis, we started slowing down on our warranty work...and cut down on expenses, so we could try to live on as little money as possible. We were pretty much through traveling by fall of when we went to my parents that fall, Dad sent us home with some chickens...our first farm "animal". LOL

Hillbilly Hill - Chickens Arrive

We weren't prepared for chickens, we didn't have the truck got the "pleasure" of smelling them all the way home. NOT my favorite smell in the world. *giggle* They were stuck in a small pen for a few days, while DH and a nephew worked on a quick chicken house. It didn't take them to long to get it up and livable for might not look real pretty since it was built with used materials DH had scrounged, but they didn't care. LOL

Hillbilly Hill - Chickens arrive!

I'm sure they were just happy to get out into a bigger place...and after a few days of being in there they got to roam around the farm. They gave us a LOT of eggs that first year, so many we had more than we could think about using. A few neighbors were happy to take them off our hands. :)

The next time we went to my parents was early the next year (2006)...we had the truck with us that time, but...didn't have stock racks on it. Little did we know, we would need them. Dad decided it was time we had some goats...and DH was more than happy to take them off his hands. The only trouble was, how to get them home without them jumping out of the back of the truck.

Hillbilly Stock Racks

That's when they came up with the idea for these Hillbilly Stock Racks. They worked wonderfully, and while we did get some strange looks, we managed to get the goats home safely! :)

Our first goats

Course not being prepared for the goats, we had to park them in the Tractor shed, while DH worked on a small barn and pasture for them. Being winter still, I don't think they minded not being able to get out and roam. They were also within a month of giving birth, so seemed happy to have hay brought to them. We had our first goat kids born on our farm in the early spring of 2006! (First photo in this post.)

New Scrounged barn

DH finally had the small pasture fenced in, and the barn done enough to hold them, by the first of May, even though it involved climbing ladders which was hard for him to do. When the day came to move the goats to the new barn, DH grabbed one of the goats by the horns, and I grabbed the other and we led them with their babies following, to the new barn...with them stopping and grabbing clumps of grass on the way. LOL The babies didn't know what to do with all the new room they had to play in...but they soon figured it out, while the Mom's got their fill of fresh new spring grass.

Over the next several years, we added to our barn and our goat herd...loosing some along the way...added more birds, and some cows. Who knows what we will get in the years ahead, DH loves his animals, so as long as we can afford to feed them, we will keep having them. They make life interesting, even if they do tie us down more. I'm a homebody anyway, so don't mind staying here on the farm, after all it's what we have worked towards for years, so why not enjoy it as much as we can.

I thank my Dad for turning this into a REAL farm (with animals) as quickly as it was. I was more inclined to try to get fencing and buildings done, before even thinking about getting animals...but as it turned out, this worked to and it's been so fun having them! :)

Stay tuned for some Final Thoughts... time on "Our Hillbilly Home".
More will come once I get the photos gathered, and words written...please forgive the fact that I'm clearly NOT a "writer" AND the time it could take for the next part to show up...a day, a week, a month or... God forbid... a year.
Next installment is here.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like ya'll are really good at jimmy-rigging things to work in a bind. :) ... Glad you were able to get your animals so quickly! (And that you finally got some water!)


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