Posted in Farmgirl Money (saving it!)

Funding and Getting the Life You Want

What is your dream life?  To live in a high rise apartment with a balcony of plants?  To live in a suburb surrounded by like-minded families?  To live in the country?  Life is really short.  Scarily so.  And in these fleeting moments, where do you want to wake up and spend your moments?  Where can you breathe?

What is your dream job?  A sleek 9-5 with all the perks?  Teaching or nursing?  Are you happy in the job you are in?  Perhaps you are retired or a housewife and you have money coming into the household.  There are always ways to make money.  May as well do something you love in order to make it.

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Change can be scary when we can’t see a clear path, but it always leads somewhere, and when following a dream, it tends to lead straight to that dream!  You don’t need a lot of money to follow a dream.  If it is meant to be, any money needed will show up just in the nick of time.

Now, how are we going to spend our money?  I have told you the story of our fancy living.  Our expensive mortgage, two car payments, upstanding jobs (where we were easily replaced….no job should take up so much space in your life) and our seemingly upscale lifestyle.  Cruises, expensive dinners, really bored kids.

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When we left it all, we were hanging on to an idea, a dream, and it played out before our eyes.  The house coming up for rent, the shop coming up for rent, the farmer’s markets being fantastic.  But that is just house and finances (granted, while helping people along the way).  How do we want to spend our money?  How do we want to live our life?

We go on more little trips and mini-vacations than anyone we know.  We have this split personality where we want to be homebodies and farm and live a simple life….while traveling.  Actually, we don’t want to travel all the time, but we have found solace and renewal in overnight or two stays throughout the year.

We barter for stays at a Bed and Breakfast in Boulder Canyon.  We go to the hot springs for the day in Idaho Springs.  We go to holiday festivals.  We stay a few days in Colorado Springs (45 minutes away).  We play hard, we work hard, we rest hard.  How do we pay for it?

We don’t have smart phones, Iphones, tremendously fast internet (Not that we could out here anyway!), a ton of cable channels, or data on our phones.  Our phones are cheap, off Ebay, and do the trick.  They call out and usually accept calls coming in.  (Now, of course, if it were up to me, we’d have even less….compromise is important in a marriage though.)  With the money that almost everyone we know uses on these seemingly necessary objects, we visit new places.

You can live big on just a little by deciding what is important and what is not.  We don’t buy a lot of new clothes and if we do they are Walmart specials, thrift store, or on sale.  We have over 500,000 miles between our two cars.  (I should probably start budgeting for a new truck.)  We don’t have car payments.  We live in a community where my rent seems like a lot, but it is nearly half of what we were paying in the suburbs.  We provide our own health insurance in the form of herbal medicines.

When we eat out, it is at the nicest restaurants.  We go to bed and breakfasts.  We play.  We have a modest emergency fund, clothes, a roof over our heads, a lot of food preserved for winter, and lots of memories.

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We took Bret, Emily and little Maryjane up to Manitou Springs overnight Monday.  It was their second anniversary.  We stayed at a very old, and beautiful bed and breakfast.  We took Maryjane to meet Santa at the North Pole.  We treated the kids to fondue at a restaurant voted the most romantic.  We made memories as a family.  We made our bond that much stronger and had a nice 24 hour rest.

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Last weekend we took our daughters Shyanne and Emily as well as Bret and Maryjane to the pumpkin festival we attend each year.  We missed our son who was not able to attend for the first time, but we continued to make some memories, build a scarecrow, and had a few breakdowns as well as triumphs, just like when they were little.

In a few weeks we will be in California visiting our friends, staying in their home, cooking fresh meals, enjoying real seafood, and touring wineries.  Cheap airfare, generous friends sharing their home, and saving a little extra instead of spending it on other things will provide a five day memory making trip.

How do you want to live?  Where?  Doing what?  With whom?  Now is the time to take action and make your dreams come true.  Live how you want!

(Our journey has not come to a stand still.  Our shop has closed, our classes have picked up, we want that larger farm where we have no town restrictions and can homestead how we want!  We are still working and dreaming towards that…)

Posted in Homestead

Leaps of Faith and Pumpkin Patches

Leaps of faith are frightening.  To jump completely uninhibited into the wide expanse of time and fate and faith not knowing if you will fall on your face, live in a cardboard box, or fly high and live your perfect life is…ahem…concerning.  And sometimes it is not so much a leap of faith but that final nudge to get you out of the spot you’re in and into the next phase of your life.  A door slamming, rent going up, obvious signs that force your hand and your jump into that void of uncertainty with only prayer and your glass of wine.

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If you have been reading my posts for long, you see that we had such ordeals this year.  Some uprooting changes, and some things stayed the same.  It took the shop rent to go up for us to finally realize that the past year on a dead main street wasn’t doing us any favors.  It took searching and praying for a new house to rent with less bills to realize that we are really good right where we are.  It took working our tails off from pre-dawn to past dusk to establish new clientele that had never heard of us before to get us back on track.  It took moving the shop to our house to see that business really is a personal and community affair.  And it took rototilling the entire yard to see just how much food we can grow (and that you can find happiness in a pumpkin patch)!

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Leaps of faith so seldom end up poorly if following your heart.  I am living exactly how I envisioned.  In the future we will have our larger farm, but for now with the kids and Maryjane nearby, I wanted to teach classes out of my home.  Be able to prepare someone’s medicine on the spot by going out to the Apothecary garden and picking what herbs I need.  I wanted to spend more time with Doug.  To read in my garden.  To have open doors for folks to stop by, grab a few veggies, a refill of Herbal Antibiotic, and a cup of tea.

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The evenings here at Pumpkin Hollow Farm are lovely.  Our garden watering time takes two of us by hand.  Doug will start on one side of the quarter acre farm and I on the other and we meet at the pumpkin patch.  We sip our micro beers in our frosted mugs and enjoy the cooler air while letting our minds rest.  Customers and friends stop by throughout the evening to get what they need, to chat, and to tour the mini-farm.  It feels like old time country.  Visitors coming by to see how the crops are faring, and to catch up.  Business run out of our home.  Bartering.  More time.  More freedom.  Homesteading freedom. (So, go dig up the front yard and take a risk to follow a dream.  You won’t regret it!)

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