Missouri or Bust
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We found our dream home. Now I will fill you all in on learning to own a farm and all our little projects.

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Oct 21   ::  NOW WE WAIT
Waiting is deadly. I have some work to do but Danny has nothing to do but watch TV and spend money. Everything is in the trailer and there is no point unpacking anthing until we get in, so we are learning what we really miss.

Nov 2   ::  KILLING TIME
Since we didn't know we were going to bid on the property when we looked at it, we had only looked at a small part of the property. So, we asked if we could come and walk the property. The property is 80 acres, which is 1/2 mile by 1/4 mile. I have found that acreage can be really deceptive. It looks much larger when it is rolling, like this property, than when it is flat. From the far corners, you cannot see the house. We spent an hour wandering around and still didn't cover it all. It currently has two ponds, one small shallow one next to the barn and one down the draw. We are still trying to find out if it has fish in it.

The day we were there, the Jordans were packing up. Two of the neighbor women were helping pack so we got to meet them too. We also looked at the equipment that Donnie had for sale. The old tractor he has for sale is pretty old and beat-up and needs a head gasket. The flat tire indicates it hasn't moved for awhile. The other tractor is too small for what we need and although it would be nice for the garden, it is too expensive and old. We did purchased a hole auger, brush hog and welder though. Most of the stuff he didn't sell is still here. We may end up inheriting it if he can't find a buyer. While we were there, I told the Jordans to feel free to leave anything they didn't want to deal with.

The barn is full of junk and there are piles of rusty metal and an old truck on the ridge. I figured there would be treasures amidst the junk. Plus I plan to use the metal to make some sculptures. First I need to learn how to weld.

Nov 7   ::  MOVING IN
We closed on November 7 (Danny's Birthday) and began moving in on Thursday. It has taken some time. This house is smaller than I had thought. I am discovering this house has no storage. No built-ins, no broom closet, not much of a linen closet, and the clothes closets are really small. Fortunately we have the full basement which is rapidly filling up. We have emptied the trailer except for shop stuff. There are still a lot of boxes in the basement, and the spare bedroom is full of stuff. Now I wish I had gotten rid of more stuff before we left. For now, most of the knick-knacks will stay packed until we remodel.

While we were moving boxes, there were hordes of Ladybugs everywhere. They would come in everytime we opened the doors. Danny would turn on the vacuum every few minutes to suck up another one. Most of them just died but we have found large groups of them keeping warm under stuff in the barn.

We are about 6 miles north of the town of New Cambria, population 221. The town consists of one gas station, one church, a funeral parlor and a bar & grill. It also hosts the cattle auction barn on Thursday nights. It is on highway 36, about 18 miles from Macon and 20 miles from Brookfield which have the closest WalMarts. The biggest city, Columbia is about an hour-and-a-half away.

The house has three bedrooms and one bath. It is about 1200 sq. ft. I really liked that it was older without being remuddled. It was built in the 50's but has older elements that remind me of my 20's bungalow. I don't know what style it is. It's not a bungalow {there aren't alot of them in the country, but there is actuallya nice one right next door) and it isn't quite a ranch. It is surprising small and we are already planning a remodel. First we will have to build a shop so we have a place to work. Although there is a large barn, it has a dirt floor and no insulation.

We are not sure what we will do with the land. Currently, the neighbor has leased the land to run her cattle on until the end of the year. We could ultimately get our own cattle, keep leasing it, let it grow and sell the hay, or even put it in CRP.

When we first saw the land, we invisioned putting in a large pond closer to the house. The government will actually pay 75% of the costs including engineering, if they feel it would allievate erosion. Of course, they decide where it should go and how big it should be. If we want something different, the additional costs will be on us. Hopefully they will have close to the same vision that we have.

The former owners left us their cat. She is an older black & white shorthair. She has been shy around the dogs and pretty much disappears except for mealtime. I pet her when I see her but she is pretty elusive. She hangs around in the barn a lot and will come to me when I call her out there. Hopefully things will get better with time. Neither dog has much experience with cats. Aiko is pretty mellow but Sammy has been in the habit of chasing cats when she sees them outside. Danny has been doing a good job of breaking her of that.

Nov 12   ::  A NEW ADDITION
While we were shopping, there was a kitten running around in front of WalMart. When I came out, some people were holding her and talking about how she had been abandoned there but that they couldn't take her home. I didn't intend to get another pet so soon but she was so cute and sweet and needed a home, that I took her. At first we thought she had been declawed, but actually someone had clipped her nails. I have no idea how old she is, but she is pretty tiny and bony. She is a short-hair tortoiseshell. She has a good outgoing personality and has become pretty comfortable around us and is teaching the dogs how to behave around cats.

Nov 13   ::  BACK ONLINE
I was forced to get satellite internet here. The guy came out and spent most of the day putting it up. I'm finally back online although I still have bugs to work out getting the office back together.

Nov 17   ::  SETTLING IN
We had our first visitors. Jean and Randy came to inspect the place. While we were showing the barn, I pointed out a suitcase that I was dying to open. We were going to save cleaning the barn until after we had gotten more pressing matters addressed. But Randy pulled it out and we opened it. We were all so surprised to find an accordion in pristine shape.

Nov 21   ::  SNOW FOR THANKSGIVING
I gave Danny a weather station for his birthday and he put it up just in time. We got our first snow today. It was really just a dusting but there are still traces on the ground. The weather has been cold for a couple weeks at least. Teens in the morning, up to maybe 40 during the day. It's really not so bad unless the wind is blowing. One day from the South, the next from the North. Why doesn't it just make up its mind!

Nov 24   ::  THE FUN PARTS
We have been cleaning the barn for the past few days. There are a lot of other things that need doing, but Danny says they are rainy day projects, and we were both dying to see what else we could find. So far, we have found a lot of garbage. I don't think any of the former owners ever threw anything away. We burned a couple piles of rotten wood. We now have a table of useful stuff, a pile of old metal, a pile of recyclables, and a pile of garbage. We did find a few old farm implements (what they call primitives around here) to hang on the walls and a cool old bicycle. We still have three-quarters of a barn to go.

Nov 26   ::  BACK TO REAL LIFE
Danny has an interview today for a job in Macon, driving CO2 trucks. He has applied for a couple other places but this would be nice since it is so close. I have actually been doing some freelance work at home, but not since we have been moving in. I just hope it keeps up. I am looking for any graphic design, website design and AutoCad drafting projects. Hint, hint.
Also check out my portfolio website: I Like It Design.com.

CHAPTER 3

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