Sticking an arm down the throat of a bear is regarded by some as an effective last-ditch tactic for fending off an attack. There are few animals in North America as frightening as an adult grizzly, and if one of these massive animals get it in their heads to attack you, your day just suddenly […]
Archers are very specific about the bow they use, the sites they mount and the release they settle on, but often overlooked is the actual bow string. They are as vital to your performance as that of the arrow or even the bow itself. But the question is, how do you select your bowstrings? And […]
Article by Phil Bourjaily Our tests at a high-tech ballistic research laboratory may change the way you buy loads and guns…and even how you hunt. Shotgun columnist Bob Brister spent six months shooting at 16-foot-long homemade targets mounted on a trailer hitched to a station wagon that his wife drove past. Brister conducted this novel […]
So turkey season is upon us and though we don’t have wild turkey up in the Wawang region, this delectable bird is the start of the hunting season ahead and a fantastic reward for a difficult hunt!
- Scout first. Before you can shoot a turkey you have to find one. Before hunt season, drive the back-country roads just after dawn and listen for turkey gobbling. Become aware of creeks, trails, fences and pastures, so that during the hunt, you will know where you are going.
- Wear camouflage, as turkeys have very keen eyesight. Suits, caps, facemasks and gloves are essentials, and don’t forget to wear dark socks. Try to match your colors to the plant life around you.
- Pattern your shotgun. Make a target that looks like a turkey’s head and neck. Practice firing from 25, 40 and 45 yards using different choke and ammunition. You’ll know what to expect…
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I came to a realization of sorts today. Well maybe not just today. It has kind of been a slow awakening. Anyway, it does not really matter when. What I have come to understand is that there are a lot of people out there who have no idea what it means to be a hunter. I know, NEWS FLASH, right? There are a LOT of people who do not in any way, shape, or form know anything about what hunters do, how they hunt, or what it means to be a hunter to, well, hunters!
Please do not misunderstand me, I have ran into my share of people who think they know what My Handy Man and I do. There have been those that ask me how I could kill Bambi or even Bambi’s mother. (I promise that I have never shot an arrow or a bullet at a fawn nor any other cartoon deer for that matter!)
There have been some that have accused me of being heartless. One lady told me that she thought I was a terrible person to kill those poor innocent woodland creatures after I had already explained to her that in my house we hunt for our food. And this was while she was at the very same moment eating a CHICKEN sandwich! I wanted to ask her if she planned to become a vegetarian right then or would she wait until after she finished her lunch!
So I thought I might clear a few things up. I thought maybe a bit of hunting insight would be in order. We follow a certain set of rules or ideals as hunters. In general, most of the hunters that I have had the pleasure to meet abide by a certain creed. Now I am the first to admit that there are some people out there who ignore any sense of ecological balance or hunting etiquette. But here is an idea of how things around my hunting property work.
#1 We work our lease ouselves and do our best to provide quality food for the wildlife living on our property. Some people may call this “baiting” deer, however we hunt in dry, south Texas. Providing quality food plots, protein sources, or ample water is important for wildlife health.
#2 Low fences equal fair chase. I will not say anything against high fence places as I have never hunted a high fence. However, I will say that a hunter that I know and respect, who has hunted high-fence multiple times, has told me that the places he goes to happen to have hundreds to thousands of acres that in effect make them fair chase places to hunt. There are great debates about low fence versus high fence and I will not go there. I can only speak to my experience, and my experience is that the deer on our property are free to come and go as they please.
#3 We employ a wildlife biologist who comes out every year. Through aerial views, trail cameras, and spotting, he tells us the proper ratio of bucks to does that we should harvest from our property to maintain our wildlife in the healthiest manner. Not only does he let us know how many deer to take, but also the amount of turkey, quail, and predators to maintain a good balance.
#4 We do not always take “trophy” bucks. Some years, we cull out our herd so to speak. Some deer have something wrong with them genetically, such as no brow tines, or eye guards if you prefer. These things are important since they use them for protection. When we see these deer, we take them so they have less of a chance to pass those genetic deficits on to their offspring. And guess what? Those deer taste the exact same as a “trophy” buck!
#5 We are discriminating in what we do harvest. We do not go out and blast away at everything we see. We try to make sure and take mature bucks and mature does. Unless they happen to be one of the previously mentioned deer that we choose to cull. As a matter of fact, we do not take anything less than 5 years old, if we can help it. Obviously deer don’t carry around their birth certificates, but there are aging techniques that we employ to make sure that we properly “age” the deer before we shoot.
#6 Close is not good enough. We practice, A LOT, both during the off-season and during hunting season. Especially bow hunters, but I suspect that rifle hunters practice a lot, too. We do not want to injure a deer or anything else. We want every shot to be the most ethical shot we can make. I am not saying that bad shots do not take place, but it is in our best interest and the animal’s best interest to take the most ethical shot we can make. The thought of injuring an animal makes most hunters sick and they will continue to track their kill for as long as it takes.
#7 This is the last one I will address right now, but it is really just a drop in the bucket of things hunters do for wildlife. We love what we hunt. I mean we love the wildlife and we want to preserve it for eternity. I do not duck hunt, not because I don’t want to, just because I have not had the opportunity. However, I purchase federal duck stamps every year. Why? Because the money I spend to purchase them, goes back into preserving them. In my book, that makes it money well spent. I will continue to support the preservation of wildlife and use my money and my voice to defend the animals as well as the way of life that I love.
I was talking to My Handy Man one night in January. We were headed back from The Ranch and he was mentally preparing himself for the long run of surgeries that were spread out in front of him. As our conversations tend to do, we covered a wide variety of topics.
Where did we want to hunt this year? The same place versus a new place. What did we want to eat and where did we want to stop? Wherever and whatever you want, my love. (I can tell you that over 50% of any arguments we have are over restaurants. Maybe 75%. Trust me, it is better to just pick a place!) What are our plans for the future/his career/my career? Heavy and life-changing choices. Why did we think God was doing these things in our life right now?
As far as my career, I will always want to be at home taking care of my family. I cannot help or change that. It is the way God made me. I love being at home, cooking, cleaning, and looking to my family’s needs. I was completely born in the wrong decade! My admiration goes to those career-minded women who enjoy being out in the world and climbing a corporate ladder. I do not, have not, nor
will I ever enjoy working outside my home.
That being said, during this time that we find ourselves in, I am both thankful to have a degree and happy to go out and make a living to help our family. I am glad I went to school because God knew that this time in our lives was coming and we needed to be prepared for it. However, I am not okay with the situation where I am currently employed and will possibly have to change it. More on that in a later post.
My Handy Man is a different story. He loves working and providing for his family. I love that he does so enjoy it. He also loves to serve the Lord and he has the true heart of a servant. What he hates, though, is to be stuck in the house for any extended period of time. He does okay for a day, barely, but past that he gets fidgety, unsettled, and downright irritable. The trouble with this is that he will not be released to do his current career, probably ever. We think we have come up with an alternative that will make him happy. We will see.
As far as our future goes, only God knows what will happen. I know that His plan is to use both of us. In what capacity, I do not know yet. I do know one thing for certain though, neither of us wants to be like Jonah. We do not want to run from whatever God wants us to do. I told My Handy Man that I think we should take this time of surgery and recovery to evaluate our lives and see if we are doing what God wants from us. We may find ourselves right on track or way off base.
However we need to be prepared for our lives to change. He may call us to stay and serve right where we are. Then again, He may call us to pick up and go elsewhere. We have to be prepared and okay with leaving our home, work, the large family close by, and the comfort of serving in a church that we love. It sounds scary right now, but we know that with God all things are possible, profitable to us, and probable. He will ask us to choose Him first, no matter what that entails.
All the time!
Today is my first day back at work since My Handy Man’s latest surgery. I was exhausted this morning. We both are. He hurts and neither one of us has been sleeping well. We are both just out of sorts and our schedule is messed up. I should be very ready for bed when I get home tonight!
I imagine I will look something like this, but less angelic and with more drooling!
Right off the bat, and of course after I had already left the house, I realized that I didn’t bring anything to have for lunch or breakfast. Not a good thing when one is trying to eat healthy and get in shape for the next hunting season. Time is running out. Spring Turkey Season is right around the corner, but I am pretty sure we will have to sit that one out, since it will be hard for My Handy Man to go hunting on crutches. Spring Turkey Season aside, there is exactly 194 days until Fall Bow Season! (Yes, I realize I capitalized that like it is a proper holiday, but it is just that important! Deal with it!)
Anyway back to this morning’s tragedy, no breakfast and no lunch! Nothing healthy to eat. My lovely coworkers hung Happy Birthday signs up on every door because they were not able to be with me yesterday.
And then I walk into the break room to find this…..
Temptation right off the bat! Not even clocked in and already there are scrumptious donuts mocking me! And not the regular kind, these suckers came from Krispy Kreme! The real deal chock-full of yummy goodness! The ladies that I work with have a notorious sweet tooth.
Well, I clocked in as fast as possible and booked it for my office! I tapped out a hasty email thanking them for remembering my special day and then scrambled through my desk and cabinet searching for anything even remotely healthy!
These are all I could find! There were exactly two Meal Replacement bars. They are okay in a low-calorie sort of way. However, as far as healthy goes… it is iffy because they are too high in sugar and things that I cannot pronounce to be really considered healthy. Regardless, I am stuck with them because I want to meet the goals that I have set for my self.
One of those goals is to eat food that is equal parts real and healthy for my body. The other goal is to be in great shape for Fall hunting because I really want to stalk and shoot something. I already bow hunt, and besides spearing something, stalking seems like the ultimate challenge in harvesting meat. That is just my thinking on the matter, but there it is anyway. So for the love of hunting, I am now sitting in my office, alone, munching on a protein meal replacement bar….. Note to self: I really need to come up with some recipes for convenience whole or whole-ish foods to keep in the freezer at work!
What are some of the ways you get ready for hunting season?
There is a saying that goes something like this…. “We plan and God laughs.” Well, I do not know who said it or if that is exactly what was said, but that is the gist. And, that is about as true a statement as any I have ever heard. Today is my birthday and just like any other birthday, I am looking back and considering my life. Where did I go wrong? What did I do right? How do I want to see my life next year? In five years? In ten years?
This is a hard post to write. However, it has been a long time coming. I have been in a funk, so to speak, for the last year. Almost in mourning, but not quite. You see, I have too many blessings in my life to allow myself to fall into full-fledged outright depression-filled mourning. I am too much of a look-on-the-bright-side-every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining sort of girl.
Have I lost anyone special to me? No. How is the job situation? Still have one. Where is my life headed? Ah, there it is….. I just don’t know.
In January 2014, My Handy Man had back surgery and by June we knew it had failed. January 2015, he had shoulder surgery to fix a torn rotator cuff. As I am typing this, he is asleep on the couch and recovering from knee reconstruction surgery. No, he was not in some major car accident nor does he have some tragic disease that is affecting his joints. He was hurt in the military, then hurt some more when the military doctors did his first surgery, and is now having to be rebuilt. He has at least two more surgeries to look forward to, one on his ankle and another on his back. He hates it, I hate it for him, however that is the situation that we find ourselves in. On a bright side kind of note, he will be the bionic man once he is finished.
He is the sort of man who takes the good with the bad, does not complain too much, and in everything he does his very best. He will survive this and prosper, because that is who he is. And, failure is not an option for him. He was, is, and always will be my hero.
I have spent this year kind of lost and trying to survive as well. I detest seeing him in pain. I am a planner and I hate when plans do not come together like I had envisioned. I took a job that I thought was a dream job, one that would help us through this rough patch, and be good for us. I was wrong. Not on everything…. it does pay the bills and has helped us get by. However, that is about it. I am more stressed than I have ever been, I do not enjoy it at all, and I need to find another place for me. I will continue to be thankful for having the work though.
The funk or the mourning that I find myself in, is one of my own making. Well mostly, since neither one of us could have predicted that My Handy Man would have to have five surgeries over two and a half years. But I digress, the mourning comes as a result of plans or dreams not being fulfilled. By having an idea of where our life was headed and the reality of being on the cusp of seeing our dreams come true, and then having the rug pulled out from under us.
A lot of good things have happened to us over the past year and also a lot of not so good things. I know that if there was a room full of people and we all threw our problems into a pile in the center of the room, then I would more than likely reach back in to take my own problems out, rather than trade with anyone else for theirs. We have been to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. And right now, we are tired.
By this time, I thought we would have a growing homestead. Instead, we have a house in a subdivision. I am not complaining, because it is a beautiful house that keeps the rain off our heads. Still, it is not the dream place we had envisioned. I also thought our life would be simpler with less stress and less bills. Alternatively, we have more stress and bigger bills. Even so, we have managed to pay some nonsense debt off. My Handy Man was supposed to have a great job in the hospital where he makes good money and both of us would have plenty of free time to share with the other and build our homestead. According to his surgeon, he will not be released to go to work in the hospital ever. And still, awesome man that he is, My Handy Man started up his own business that he can do as he is able and he makes great money when he is able to work. And I know that the situation that we find ourselves in is not a permanent one, those dreams still may come true in time, but I also need to make peace with the fact that they may not. We may never be able to be full-time homesteaders, and I need to accept that and be okay with it. That does not mean that I will give up on that dream, I will just continue to live my life and putting one step in front of the other toward that goal. In the meantime though, I need to find myself moving toward other things that I long for and can achieve right now.
I have struggled where to go with this blog. In the beginning, I had envisioned a blog that would chronicle the passage from corporate world to homestead. And maybe it can still be that, in a big picture sort of way. I do not have to have the answer right away, I will figure out where I want to go with this thing. We still have many simple things that we love to do, besides the owning of an actual homestead, that I can blog about.
We are hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. We enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, and exploring. The thought of and the actual act of providing meat for our table stokes us. And, then there is the preparing of said meat. We can also support our local farmers through farmers markets and such. And too, we can document the movement from convenience foods to homemade whole foods. And as always, there is a lot to discuss about the preparation for another exciting hunting season. There are many aspects to being self-sufficient and the excursion toward a simpler existence that need to be documented. One day we may find ourselves on that homestead, but for right now it is the journey that counts for us. So I am changing the point of my blog because I cannot continue to mourn for what we have not yet achieved. Instead, I choose to focus on what is happening at this moment in time. I still have plenty of worthwhile things to say……
I love this idea! Especially, for a Christmas fund. We hunt from September through January, so that puts a bit of a stretch on the finances as far as Christmas shopping goes. This would be a perfect way to put up so money for that!
I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us. -Dave Ramsey
I’ve been contacted by quite a few of you asking for a copy of the 52 Week Money Challenge, which shows me that I am not the only one looking to save money. While you won’t save a MAJOR windfall doing this challenge, you will gain financial discipline. It’s harder than you think to get in the habit of saving but once up pick up the skill, it’s well worth the effort. If you are new to She Makes Cents, I am happy to report that I paid off my credit card doing this challenge as additional payments over the minimum. I am now adding this extra money to my wedding savings account after I see how much I have left from doing a zero based budget…aka, my saving…
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You get what you pay for. That’s an adage we generally believe in. But does it hold up with respect to ammunition? We set out to answer that question by testing the accuracy of a variety of value-priced .308 hunting ammo against more costly stuff.
Using three .308 rifles in the test—one hunting rig and two precision rifles that we knew would be ringers.
We put a number of budget and premium loads through all three rifles over the course of one day, ensuring the results wouldn’t be influenced by different environmental conditions. We also used a standard 5-shot-group protocol, and shot two groups with each load at 100 yards. As a control to establish a baseline level of accuracy for each rifle, we also shot 5-shot groups using Federal’s Gold Medal load with 175-grain Sierra BTHPs.
Using the baseline match load to calculate a ratio for each hunting load by dividing the size of the hunting-load…
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Very good information, just thought I’d share it.
We mostly bow hunt, but I thought this was good information!!!
With all the talk of such freezing temperatures, it is no wonder most of us are a lot less eager to suit up and get out hunting. Here is a great article written by By Ken Bailey on how to prepare for a comfortable, cold day hunt!
In late-November whitetail hunt many years back, I stumbled upon a dream buck lying out in a hayfield. Perhaps he was tired from chasing does, but since I pegged him at about 180 Boone & Crockett points, it wasn’t the time to question my good fortune. I laid my rifl e across a fencepost, found the sweet spot in the scope and squeezed the trigger. You wouldn’t believe how loud an unexpected click sounds in the still, frozen air. Unsure of what had just happened, I ejected the cartridge, pushed in another and squeezed again. Another loud click. At that, the buck jumped…
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“Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…. The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness.”- M. Scott Peck
Ever since I was around eleven or twelve, I have had this aspiration of living in the boondocks. I remember clearly exactly when that dream sparked to life. I grew up in the Four Corners of New Mexico. My childhood was filled with wide open spaces, big blue skies, and fresh clean air. I could go just about anywhere and do just about anything I wanted. There was always the threat of snakes, mountain lions, and other wild things, but that never held me back. I was essentially unafraid and completely able to spread my wings.
Anyway back to the dream, my grandparents had purchased quite a bit of land in Colorado. We used to go there to get firewood and while the adults were cutting logs, the children were free to play and explore as long as we did not wander off too far and we paid attention to our surroundings. Of course, we would go farther than we were supposed to and we did not pay any attention to the thought of said snakes, mountain lions, elk, or even bears. Even though we had seen firsthand when they happened to wander into town. Fear never crossed my mind, oh but freedom did! I did not recognize as a child that what I was feeling was freedom in its purest state, however that is exactly what it was.
On the Colorado property, we found this old mill and it had been abandoned for a very long time. It was dilapidated and falling completely apart. From the sagging roof of the millhouse to the wheel so tilted that it looked as if it could topple from the slightest breeze, I thought it was beautiful! Of course, I HAD to go inside and explore it. My mother would have killed me if she only knew, but I absolutely could not stop myself. The floors were rotted through in places, so I picked my steps carefully. Dirt and leaves were everywhere, along with probably all manner of slithering, slinking things. I had no idea what it was once used to mill. All I knew was that this place was special as it had the power to fill me with wonder and make me hauntingly sad at the same time. To this day, whenever I pass an abandoned house or a falling down barn, I am instantly filled with the same sense of wonder and sadness. And, I always have to fight the urge to go inside and explore it!
At one point around about when I was eleven or twelve years old, my parents entertained the notion of moving up to the Colorado property. They even went so far as to ask us children what we thought about it. We would be living quite an isolated life and may even be unable to reach town once the roads become impassable in winter. We would have to become more self-sufficient. We would have to work. Hard. We would have to make sure we had enough food, firewood, and supplies necessary to survive a snowed in winter. To me, it sounded like the closest thing to Heaven on Earth!
For some reason or another, we did not get to move to the Colorado property. We moved to Texas instead just a few years later. And while we live in the “country”, we are still pretty close to town. No room for exploring or spreading my wings here, we are very conveniently located close to anything and everything. Moving to the Colorado property just never happened, but that burning desire of living a self-sustainable life never left me.
I wonder if that is the reason why now the only time I ever feel truly at peace is when we are hunting in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. Just My Handy Man, the kid, and me. When we are so far away from civilization that I can go for miles just seeing God’s creation and His creatures, I can breathe and relax. I can explore and be content again. I do not have to wear any makeup or spend time fixing my hair. I do not have to sit in endless, boring meetings or feel all closed up in a small office with one tiny little window. Nowhere, Texas is the only place that I can truly be myself. I can be me again!! I can be that girl who is unafraid to spread her wings and soar. That girl who feels freedom at its best. That girl who is completely at ease in her surroundings.
I am really writing this because I need to remind myself. I need to remember who I am inside. I am not this corporate world version of myself. I am the other girl. The no makeup, no hairspray, outside-loving girl who once lived inside of me. The girl who only makes an appearance during hunting season.
I am writing this because My Handy Man and I have faced many obstacles over the past few months. We are facing these problems now, head on, and this too shall pass. It is like Murphy’s Law has taken up residence in our front yard right now. However, it has not been completely horrible as we had an outstanding hunting season and our life is full of many blessings! My Handy Man will be having surgery in a couple of weeks and we will press on. I have had many negative comments lately on my dream of living a different life. Things like “Raising chickens is too hard”, “Planting a garden is a waste of time”, or my favorite so far “Trying to move out of a corporate world into a self-reliant life is almost impossible and for people who want to move backward in life instead of forward.”
I just need to remind myself of that girl who is still alive somewhere inside of me. The one who dreams of wide open spaces, of having unclipped wings, and a life of true freedom with My Handy Man next to me. I needed to remember the girl who believes in herself, even when others do not.
Thanks for listening!
Good information to have handy!
Beautiful. Saw this today and had to reblog!
“Obstacles are put in our way to see if we really want something, or just thought we did.” -Author Unknown.
It has been almost six weeks since I have posted anything. Our life in the past six weeks has been anything but simple. It is a strange thing, but it seems that once one sets their mind to do something, that is when all these things begin popping up to try and throw one off course. Well, we have held steady and kept our eyes on the goal toward a simpler path, but the blogging had to take a back burner for a bit so we could set our feet on some solid ground.
The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion for My Handy Man and myself. We have had to deal with a funeral, a wedding, some extended family who seem to want to have a Hatfield/McCoy feud over some stupid matter that should have been resolved with a quick “I’m sorry….Please forgive me…. I was wrong.” A hug and a kiss, and can’t we all just be friends. And as much as My Handy Man and I are bound and determined to stay out of it, it seems as if they are trying their hardest to get us to pick a side. We refuse, we are not becoming part of the problem, but a solution is definitely not clear to us at this point any way. We will just keep praying and hopefully they will listen to a Higher Power than us.
We have had another family member who tried to commit suicide and was placed in a mental hospital for a while. Thankfully, this family member was not successful in taking their life and is out now. I cannot imagine feeling that hopeless about a situation and I cannot say what this person was feeling or thinking at that time. I hope that this person realizes that suicide is not an option and if they reach out, they will always find my hand reaching back out to them. My prayer for this particular person is that they learn to face their problems head on. Life is not easy for anyone and it has not been so ever since the beginning of time.
My Handy Man has found out that he has gone from having a bulging disc to a ruptured disc in his back. He also has a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. He will definitely be requiring surgery and we are currently awaiting a call for a consult with a surgeon. My Handy Man, in all his stubbornness, says that he refuses to have surgery until after hunting season ends! I love that obstinate man, but my prayer for him is that he makes wise choices and that he makes it through whatever medical procedure is deemed necessary with as quick a recovery as possible.
On a good note, we have snuck in a few hunting trips and have had a pretty successful season thus far. I will write about those in some future posts. We have a much needed hunting trip planned for this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We need to get back out to the middle of nowhere and decompress. We need to be reminded of what we are struggling for and that it is really that important to us.
Better than that though, I have landed a job running my department at work. I have to say that God knows exactly what we need and His timing is impeccable. Just when things are looking impossible, He always provides a way. My prayer for this is that I can learn what I need to know quickly and do a good job for the people that have believed in me enough to give me this opportunity.
Great blog! I really enjoy learning the history of things I am passionate about!!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?