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In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!

May

May
May and I enjoying some sunshine
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Say Goodbye to Aught Nine!

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Thursday, December 31, 2009

As the year comes to a close I thought it might be nice to take a break from updating you on our home renovation projects to look back over the past twelve months.  Its been a whirlwind of a year and I still can't believe that its almost 2010.


2009 was welcomed in while we were living with my Mom up in Montgomery, Vermont.  We were in the process of trying to buy our house and the loan process was taking alot more time, effort, and money than we were anticipating.  By the end of February we closed and immediately set in to renovations.  Over the course of a few months I had my first business trip to Texas/Mexico, we got all the wiring in our house updated, and we bought our first major appliance: a refrigerator that would be more trouble than it was worth (which we later had replaced).



By June we had our first shipment of chicks that, by Thanksgiving, would turn into our layer hens.  June was another big month in that I married the man I had secretly been in love with for many years.  Kyle and I had been engaged for a year and our wedding was the perfect day shared with friends and family in the mountains of Vermont.



During our honeymoon-at-home we adopted our two cats, Elvis and Atticus (who, we decided last night, should have been named Laurel and Hardy), from the local humane society.  We'd gone to visit a goat farm in Plainfield where we would later pick up our two does, May and Chutney, and thus began working towards our own little home dairy.

In the fall we slaughtered our broiler chickens- something we found to be hard, but generally a positive experience because we cared for these animals ourselves and saw to their well-being.  Our stand against the commercial meat industry began.

Over the past year we've learned about sheetrocking, plumbing, and wiring.  We've got some serious experience in refinishing wood flooring and ripping down wallpaper.  I can patch just about anything with some spackle and a can of spray-foam but duct tape is still a good thing to have on hand, just in case.

In 2010, I hope to learn how to make cheese, work harder in my garden as another step in becoming self-sufficient and participate more in the butchering of our next installment of broilers.  I want to get out and enjoy more of the stuff Kyle and I used to do instead of spending all of our free time renovating the house:  kayaking, mountain biking, road biking, hiking, and playing frolf.  I'll start beekeeping with the hive my husband gave me for my birthday and hopefully we'll be able to generate some income between the sales of honey, eggs, raw milk, and free-range chickens and turkeys.

A decade ago I was in high school.  Today I run a home and a small farm.  I'm a wife.  Although this past year has been one of the most stressful years of my life so far, I can honestly say that I've never been happier.  Balance is important.  Without the darkness we would never appreciate the sun.

Life isn't perfect, and its never easy. I'm such a stress-case its amazing I can manage at all. My husband grounds me and still loves me even when I'm being a little crazy. I've learned alot over this past year- mostly that sometimes the best thing to do when faced with a problem is just tear into it so you can see what you're really dealing with, then carefully patch it all back together so it will hang in there for the long haul.

I hope you all have a happy and safe new years eve celebration tonight.  We'll be celebrating at home with a bonfire, some snack food and perhaps a margerita or two.  So goodbye 2009- its been a trip.

3 comments

  1. Donna Mae Says:
  2. and you have a Mom who is so very proud of you ..after reading this I need a tissue...:)
    Wishing You and Kyle the best and the happiest New Year you deserve it!!!

     
  3. Shawn Corrow Says:
  4. Love you blog - great writing, interesting takes on living and life! Have a blessed New Year!

     
  5. Melissa Says:
  6. Thanks, Mom! :D

    Shawn- thank you so much! I really appreciate that. :) I hope you and your family have a blessed year in 2010 as well!