If you take the time to add me as a friend at Google+, you can take a photo journey from my page… to see our story up to this point in time.
We bought this place in East Tennessee. Moved in on November 1, 2008. Among all the funny moments – crazy moments – moments of… ‘ huh?’ – and everything else, you’ll find those ‘Before – and – After’ shots of all the things we’ve done around this place since we moved in. Looking back, myself – it’s been quite a bit of an accomplishment for 2 people with their own full-time jobs.
And yes. I have a full-time job. In fact – it’s a job that holds a multitude of side-jobs that never end. My job is at home – wearing many hats – including Vegetable Gardener, Harvest Preservationist (like that one? Lol) – Sewer – Needle Arts Enthusiast – occasional Quilter – Baker – the Cook – The Laundry Maid – The House Cleaner – The Rug Shampooer – The Dog Groomer – The Accountant – The Grocery Shopper – The Errand Gofer – and I can’t remember all the others right now. LOL!! But you get the picture. Many women get up and hold the same job as me – including raising the kids! Been there. Done that, already!
My husband has a full-time job that he’s held for over 20 years with the same company. He commutes a couple counties over to work a really crazy job schedule. He works four 12-hour shifts… followed by 4 days off. BUT…. That schedule rolls on the calendar – meaning he never has the same days off each week. Nor does he have weekends off. The icing on that muffin… They throw in 3-4 months of Graveyard Shift every year.
And THEN we decide to utilize our 10 acres… by raising Irish Dexter Cattle. My own Cartoon Imagination sees it as this vision of still changing cloth diapers on full-grown children. Stop the imagination there.
“Yes, Morey… we eat our children!” NOT. But… well… in a way… I guess we do! We eat our 4-legged children. There! Feet back on the ground!
We brought our very first Herd Sire and his Steer Buddy home to live with us on April 19, 2012. By then – Dwayne had torn down the dilapidated backside of the Tobacco Barn and refurbished the remaining portion to provide 2 stalls and a tack room below the hay loft. The front side of the barn houses our Baler and provides a shelter for the single paddock we managed to construct before bringing Artist and Bruce home.
Buy cows. Fence more paddocks. Bring ‘em home. Babies. More fence. Butcher. Buy a freezer. Pregnant cows. More fence. Wean the babies. More fence. Mean cow. Butcher! Where’s the Hay! It never ends!
But I have a feeling things will slow down quite a bit for all the construction by the end of next year. We’ve hit the final goal of having 5 cows for Artist, as of October 18, 2014. We get to stop there – for the time being – while we focus on preparations for dividing our Hay field into rotational grazing areas for everyone.
After that – we get to begin focusing on projects around the inside and outside of our home – preparing it for selling.
I’ve had to update this page, as of October 30, 2014. Life takes twists and turns, like a river. And when we live with trusting in God – we follow, wherever He guides us.
Yep. We’re going to sell. This was supposed to be our Dream Home. Our Retirement Home. Sadly – the location and a few other factors restrict us from being able to expand. We need more land. I need less house!
As it is – I take care of keeping up with the barn – as well as handling the cattle 90 percent of the time. Dwayne takes care of stripping the floors of the barn during days off – when he’s not working on something else around here – or – cutting / raking / baling / loading / storing hay. During Graveyards shifts – he helps me feed cattle after he gets home from work. He makes sure I have plenty of hay bales and feed stocked in the tack room. We feed morning and evenings – dividing measured rations to our cattle. We feel it helps develop even structure on their carcasses. And we’ve been very pleased with the rewards! And Dwayne helps me feed at both times during his days off – unless – he’s in the middle of building something – fixing something – or dealing with harvesting Hay.
So for me – it’s like taking care of 2 houses. I need less house! And then we, both, want barns and facilities that are set up more efficiently and appropriately for our cattle. At the same time – Dwayne is due for retirement. And we’re not feeling too secure about the company he works for remaining in this area beyond 2020.
Raising these cattle has been our choice for life after Retirement. And considering the toll that this venture has taken on the 2 of us – I’ve laid my foot 3 feet deep into the ground. Help - that will inherit when we’re gone – will be moving with us!