Friday, July 26, 2013

Slight Change of Plans

Change is one of the few things guaranteed in this life.
When Wifey and I originally talked out our plan of moving to the country, we pretty much agreed that it would take about two months of me living in Oklahoma to set things in motion before I could move everyone else out there with me from Arizona. Easier said than done.

Staying as positive as I could, and I'm a pretty optimistic person, I slowly began inching that deadline shorter and shorter. The more days I was away from my family, the more I missed them and wanted to go pick them up sooner. I made it a goal to go back and get them within one month's time.

In retrospect I can see that this caused me more stress than I was already under. Every time I thought I had a homesteading plan in place (doublewide, rental house in town, etc) and it would slip away for one reason or another, I would become increasingly frustrated until one day my optimism turned into pessimism and I posted a negative blog post.

Boy did I get the wrath of the readers that day. I was a little shocked at all the "tough love" I was receiving...until...
A reader suggested that I go take a look at the blog of Mystic Mud. Some of you are fully aware of MM's trials and tribulations but I was blissfully unaware. Then I read her blog from the beginning. OMG. I guess I AM being a bit soft.  Due to sudden hardships (of which I'm still not quite certain as to what exactly happened) she, her husband and TEN KIDS all had to leave their home. They relocated to the country on four acres and started over with a 600 sq ft cabin. 600 SQUARE FOOT CABIN!

That is the size of the farm house I am staying in right now. Yes, we could all fit (of course, my family of eight seems small compared to her 12) but it sure wouldn't be easy. Nonetheless, MM proves it CAN be done and she even blogs about random happiness during the whole thing. Now I've only read the first couple of months of her ordeal, and she has been at it now for about 18 months it looks like, but things are coming together for her and her family. They've added a trailer house to their livable buildings and have a large outdoor garden growing.

So I shared this blog with Wifey and it renewed our faith. With family together, anything is possible. I can't get a home loan for a doublewide trailer without $10,000 down. But I am now working on a deal to get a "bumper pull" trailer that will sleep all eight of us for $3,000 down. We figure we can pull it up next to the farm house and utilize both structures for six months to a year until we save enough money for a down payment on something we want to live in forever. Call me soft for these plans if you want but I'm sure MM would have taken this option had it been available to her at the time.

So thanks to everyone who comments and reads this blog because you are an integral part in helping us figure things out along the way on this crazy journey. After a few requests for a Donation button, I finally put one up to see what would happen. To our surprise, someone made a generous donation that will help us get down the road a little further. We'll just call him Saint Paul. When I offered to repay he simply said "Pay it forward."

I shared with Wifey that it will take me a few more weeks to come get them and it was obvious we were both disappointed. In her own loving way, she responded "Well, at least I have a few more weeks to pack up our stuff." We both shared a laugh and began recanting what all we were thankful for in our lives.

God Bless you All,



New Farm Rules

22) if you are buying a replacement part because something broke, buy more than one...because it probably will break again! (thanks to the commenter on my How to Replace a Sediment Bowl video who said "You did buy more than one, right?" My response: "Doh!")


Back Home Report

School has started back in Arizona and some of our girls had shoes with holes in them. Wifey took them to Ross and picked out some affordable but cute shoes.


  1. Glad to hear you are going to be staying out on the farm. It won't be easy and biggest consideration is going to be if your wife buys into it. For the kids it will be like a going to camp for awhile. It won't be entirely easy but you will be saving all that rent money. You can probably even save the grey water from mobile to water your garden if need be. Good luck, glad you finding a way to make it work.

    1. Hi Tombstone. I'm still not 100% approved on everything. Wifey and kids are going by the trailer dealership tomorrow to see what they think of the trailer. Loan approval results should be in tomorrow (which is now today). Fingers crossed...

  2. You were right about that blog (Mystic Mud). Lovin' it and I just started reading it from her start. We have retirement land in the Arkansas Ozark mountains way back in the woods which we will be moving to and building in about 3 years. We only have a small cabin (no electric nor running water) for now when we visit twice a year but we love it!! Can't wait to start our adventure too. Enjoy these times (bad and good), your blog not only makes a great read but will be something you can look back on from years from now and remember all the great times!!!

  3. Glad to hear that you are going to be living on the farm. While it will be tough, keeping your cost of living low will pay great dividends. Hopefully, you'll be able to find a solution were debt isn't part of the equation. Take care, I've got a lot of reading to do at MM. Keep Right On Prepping!

  4. Ever thought of building an extension on the existing farmhouse? You may not need a building permit for an extension and every thing else is easy to do and very cheap.
    Use 4x6" treated posts for your foundation, packed in dry concrete on 8' centers, 3' deep. 2x8"floor joists set above the ground, 10'2x4" wall suds and a gambrel roof will allow a second story. A 14x18' building would give 3 bedrooms with closets. Total cost would be less than the 10 grand the trailer down is. Make it pretty over time. U Tube will give all the construction advice if you're carpentry challenged.
    I did exactly this on my retreat last year, except I didn't have the farmhouse to start with - or the well, or the septic, or the electricity, or family and friends to help and I'm old.

  5. Sorry if I was too harsh - it's one of my many character faults :-)

    Sounds like you're on the right path. I'm sure things will be hard at first as you all adjust to a new way of life. Good luck!

  6. I am so glad that your spirits have improved. Like George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, you ARE a very rich man in the riches that truly matter. To have a beautiful wife who loves you and stands by you and to have 6 beautiful healthy daughters is a treasure that no amount of money could ever buy.

    I think that so much has happened in your life so QUICKLY that you have been unable to just think and plan things out. As you are finding out, there are other options out there to stay on the farm. What you need to do is calm down, clear your mind, and think. Talk to other people and your family for ideas. Your family in the area knows people, see if someone has an old trailer that you could get cheap that would work temporarily. You said you guys were members of the LDS church, see if the local OK church has anyone that can help.

    Remember that no one can make it in this world without help and God will send people to help you---you'll see. As the scriptre says in Phillipians 2:4 "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."

  7. The most important thing for a family right now is to stay out of debt. You will be thankful for it before this slow decline is over.

  8. I still say look at some used and cheep mobile homes to get you guys over the hump until you can build or buy a better option. But that's just me and I am, admittedly, very cheep. :)

    I didn't realize you were LDS until the picture of you and the family in front of the Mesa Temple. Have you been touch with your new Bishop?

    Cactus Dave in Arizona

  9. I have read every Mystic Mud post and she inspires me. We- only three of us moved to a semi derelict property almost three years ago and its not been easy at times. you could live in a caravan/trailer/mobile with property in store and you would be together. /its a matter of what is important to you. you will have to lower your expectations but living simpler is not bad. I'm not in USA but understand craigslist have bargains-save on rent and camp for a while!

  10. I agree w/Pioneer Prepper. Debt is the big chain around your neck. Sit down and figure up what you've spent on interest in your entire life and see what you could have bought with that. Wouldn't it make more sense to save up enough to pay cash for a 2nd hand trailer or M/H than to have more payments to deal with? If you can come up with 3K, then see what that will buy w/ no payments. Debt is your enemy.

  11. Isn't MM wonderful? We talk on the phone every once and a while and she is truly a gift.

    BTW - there was no cabin in their beginning on the mountain - it was a single wide with no running water or bathroom facilities. I admire her greatly and know if she can do it anyone can.

    Bless you and your lovely family. I can just tell you are going to do this too. I look forward to updates. You're on my blogroll [after I leave here to put you there.] And thank you for such a kind comment today on Wallene's Fair entries. It really meant a lot to our little girl.

    Take care. You're in our prayers.

  12. PS - I forgot to say how cute the kids shoes are. [Hey, I'm a girl!] Nicely done. I must take our kids too. Thanks!

  13. I'm so tickeled that you decided to live on the farm, and please keep the donation button going. I did not realize you are LDS until I saw the "Families Are Forever". I, too am LDS and I'm sure you know of the resources you can call upon through your Bishop. I built basically a "barn" with plywood, tin and 8 inches of insulation in which to live. It's fantastic! I spend most of my time outdoors anyway with my four legged children. I asked young people to help build who wanted to learn the skills from a friend whom I paid and had construction experience. Missionaries, too, love to do this kind of stuff...Just saying...Mesquite

  14. Think about a smaller camping trailer maybe for the Alpha Girls to sleep in and then get a bunk bed for the Beta's, one that is a double bed on the bottom and single on top and put it in the farmhouse. You don't necessarily need a big mobile home for all of you, just spill over sleeping arrangements. I agree with everyone else, stay out of debt if you can.

  15. Hey OJD,

    Firstly glad to hear that things are rollin' and you're feeling better. Secondly if you do go with the used camper trailor option that Tombstone mentioned I recomend checking out the book Dirt Cheep Survival Retreat by MD Creekmore. He has great instructions on how to build a skirt and insulate against the cold, as well as other good info. Keep on Keepin' on and we got you on a Bead (Rosary, hope that's ok, we're Catholic).

    EMT Tina

  16. OJD,

    I had a lot of respect for you and your family and now that you guys are willing to sacrifice much in order to obtain your goals, my respect for you guys has gone up a few notches.

    I sacrificed much and I was in the military and lived in horrid conditions.

    I think what you will do will build stronger bonds in your family and as I said before, your kids will talk of this adventure often when they are adults many, many years from now. I'm sure the stories will be told to your grandkids and great grandkids like we talk about our grandparents and great grandparents during the Great Depression.


    You don't know it yet, but your starting a legacy that will far out live you.

    Tex Texan.

  17. Hi Orange Jeep Dad,

    Thanks for the mention and I'm glad to hear that at some point our story renewed some faith for you and your wife.

    I've got to say though that I agree with your other readers about going the debt free route. We would not have financed a trailer or any other kind of house. Our goal in moving to our mountaintop was to start living within our means, something that we had never done before, but that we decided was an important step to take towards being truly happy, free from the system and self-sustaining. Your 600 sq ft "farm house" looks pretty comfy to me compared to the tin turd that we started off in, not to mention it looks like it has fulll utilities.

    Anyway, best of luck to you and your family!!

    1. My phone's on the fritz, looks like I missed all these comments. As someone mentioned above, thing are happening fast and thing keep changing. I may not get to use the farm house now. I am attending a family meeting this Sunday (first one for me) and I should find out exactly what I am allowed to do on the farm. That by itself will be a big relief. No more guessing or he saud/she said.

      New phone arrived yesterday but is defective. Have to wait til Tues now for a replacement. That's the primary way I get notifications of blog comments so bare with me.

      Mm, Wifey is dying to know what your life was like before you left the city house. Did you write about that somewhere? Was there an old blog?

      Thanks for stopping by and the inspiration!

  18. Just wanted to say I love the Families are Forever photo. Temples are nice, that way.

  19. This is one of the great things about blogging. We can share our highs and our lows, our problems and our discoveries, our questions and our answers, and always find an encouraging ear out there.

  20. Overall, I think your Plan B is a good plan.
    Is the bumper pull trailer a single wide mobile home? or an RV similar to a 5th-wheeler?
    You may want to spray & kill the grass/weeds in the area where u park it, b/4 parking it, to reduce the grasshoppers/insects.
    With prayers & Best wishes!


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