Monthly Archives: October 2013

To Buy Or To Build?

A simple life….. that is what we are reaching for. In the past couple of weeks, My Handy Man and I have been kicking around the idea of building a small, plain apartment/house on this property where we have the opportunity to start our homesteading adventure. We will spend the next 4-5 years on this land before we are ready to buy our own place. Any improvements to be made here will stay behind, but it will get us started and actually be a help to the landowners anyway.  farm

In looking to buy a used mobile home, we have figured it to cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000-$20,000 once we add in the delivery and set up fees. Then, we will need an electrician to sign off and an air conditioning guy for AC along with a plumber to hook up septic to add to that cost. Then after all that, we have to hope that there is no major damage to the used home either before it is moved, during the time it is being transported, or while it is being set up. That is the risk one runs when buying something used with no warranty.

On the flip side of this is the idea that we can build a small dwelling for approximately the same amount of money. We are thinking of an industrial style building with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. Nothing particularly fancy, maybe an open concept living and kitchen area with only the bedrooms and bathroom being closed off for privacy. We may even use R-panel for siding along with other up-cycled things to help us out. My Handy Man is a whiz at finding such things and I am a quick study if need be. kitchen

A lot of the work that goes into building houses can be done by my husband, with me as his trusty sidekick of course. He can do pretty much anything except wire the house for electricity. This is how he earned the loving moniker “My Handy Man.”

Ours has never been a marriage where we call people in to repair things in our home. That job has always fallen to my amazing spouse, lucky man that he is! What is more, he has never failed me in getting whatever needed doing done.

My Handy Man is in the medical field now, but for years he ran his own construction/remodeling company. He knows how to do things. And best of all, he is good at doing them. Not average good, but a true artist at taking a pile of wood and screws, or whatever medium he happens to be working with and turning it into a beautiful, functional creation. So, I have no doubt that he can build us a nice little place completely suited to our needs. He also happens to have many friends and family with the skills to help us should we decide to go this route. carpenter

So, the idea of building instead of buying really has some pull with us. The landowners are fine with whichever route we take, so it just comes down to us making a decision on what we want to do. In later posts, after we decide which course to take I will lay out the plan in more detail. I just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on the idea?

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Back Again

It has been a while since I posted anything. We had a wonderful time and I will be writing a few blog posts about what happened on our vacation soon. I just wanted to plug back in here and get going with my blog again.

We got back home from our eleven day hunting trip on Monday night. I went back to work Tuesday and have been plagued by sinus problems since. So, all week it has been take medicine, work, take medicine, sleep, take medicine. This cycle keeps repeating itself, but this morning I am feeling much better. My Handy Man left Wednesday for San Antonio on business and he will be back today. I miss his face and cannot wait to see him. I think this week is proof that I need to live in the middle of Nowhere Texas with My Handy Man where we can just hunt, grow our own food, and forget about this concrete jungle. City

If anything, this week has been hectic and has shown me how much I enjoy being out at the ranch. Our trip consisted of getting up every morning at 0500 and going out to hunt until 1000, then coming back to the ranch house to make breakfast from scratch. YUM! Then we would go do some work, take a nap (me), and get ready for the evening hunt. We would head out again at about 1530, stay out until 30 minutes after sunset, and come back to the house where we’d make dinner from scratch again. Finally, we would be snuggled in bed by 2200 on most evenings.

The next morning we would get up and do it all over again. I guess people establish a routine whether they are in the corporate world or living simply. The only difference being that my soul has peace when we are in nature. Simple things like washing dishes, cooking our food, or riding around the ranch make feel like I can breathe. There is no need for television or even a radio. We talked to each other or were silent together. There was no rushing around to try and get things done, so that we could just make it to the next day of rushing around and trying to get things done. Ranch Road

I know that there is always a sense of needing to get things done in life. Whether one lives on a self-sufficient homestead or not, there will always be things that need to be taken care of. It could be that the chicken coops need cleaning, the barn needs a new roof, or the tomatoes are all ripe at the same time and need canning. The contrast to that of course would be the suburban lawn needing mowed, sitting in rush hour traffic, or meeting a deadline at work. The trick is finding out what makes your heart content.

My Handy Man and I always experience a huge culture shock when we come back from The Ranch. Out there it is so dark at night that I literally cannot see my hand in front of my face if it is held out farther than a foot in front of my eyes. My husband laughs because I am a grown woman who requires a nightlight. Hey, it is serious business being in the dark when there are spiders, snakes, and scorpions to deal with! However, while it is so dark and there is not another soul for 5 miles in either direction, the stars are so brilliantly visible that it feels like there are so many more out there than in town. I know that is not the case and there are the same number of stars in the universe no matter where one happens to be, but in town there are too many lights to appreciate the beauty of the night sky.

The sound of the ranch is unique as well. It is not quiet in the middle of Nowhere Texas like one might expect. The sounds are not those of honking horns, sirens, television, music blaring, or continual chatter. The noise of The Ranch is muted but constant. The buzzing of insects, coyotes yipping, hogs squealing, wind whispering, cows grazing, turkeys gobbling, or even deer squawking make hauntingly beautiful music if one will be still and quiet enough to listen for it. Mesquite

The scenes at the ranch are vastly different also. This is not a big shocker to anyone, I am sure. There are miles of emptiness full of the wonder of God’s world. It is not an abyss but it is also not filled up with the creation of man. Everywhere you look there is something to see whether it is a blooming cactus, rabbits scurrying to and fro, rock pathways laid by nature, or the heart pounding beauty of a buck skirting a tree line. One can drive for miles and miles without passing another vehicle. There seems to be an invisible line that we cross when we come back to “civilization”. Suddenly, things just move faster. Concrete rises up into buildings and freeways, billboards flash every 20 feet, thousands of cars zoom in and out of traffic like their motto really is objects in the mirror are losing, and my eyes go into graphic overload. Once that unseen line is crossed, it feels like I have just stepped forward in time about 50 years and I do not like it. I cannot wait to go back to the place where I find my peace, tranquility, and rest.

Does anyone else have a refuge of breathing space? Where is your sanctuary?

 

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