putting the home in homesteading

Putting the Home into Homesteading

Ian and I have been living at The Knob for less than a week and we are already up to our eyeballs in projects. First off was the task of unloading every shiny new kitchen tool we received as wedding presents into an already amply stocked kitchen. The process of cleaning, organizing and stowing away everything that was already there took us a full day and allowed us time to full appreciate the idiocnycracys of our new living quarters. Shelves that aren’t quite level is the norm, and it’s almost expected that every couple cupboards will have a gaping hole cut into the bottom for reasons now unapparent to us. It’s very obvious that this home was built over decades by many different builders with varying skill levels, all with different intentions of how the space should look. At first I thought it would drive me crazy, but at least in the kitchen, the ability to fill the space with my belongings gave me a sense of attachment and also allowed me to appreciate the quirks as character rather than inconveniences. But maybe the novelty will wear off.

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Cleaning the kitchen made it look so much bigger!
Other adventures have included the long and tedious process of getting
ourselves to be legal Americorps volunteers. To ensure the FBI stays off our backs, we were requested to get fingerprinted in Michigan before moving to West Virginia, but upon arriving learned that those tests were invalid for the state and that we needed to get retested here ASAP. With limited wifi, finding a fingerprint location and booking appointments is a lot more difficult than back at home. No matter- Ian was a champ and got us 9am appointments in the next town over…meaning we had to leave our home at 7:20 am. After the 25 minute drive down the mountain and into the land of cell phone service, Ian punched the coordinates into his phone and we were on our way. Or we thought we were, until google told us we had arrived at our office destination when we were in fact on the side of a very narrow highway near the edge of an old coal mining site.Following the online instructions from the office itself proved to be equally unhelpful as we were directed to a road that didn’t appear to exist. Finally in frustration Ian pulled over to the nearest public building to search for phone service. To the left was a building that advertised drug and paternity testing, and on the window a sign about fingerprinting. By dumb luck we had actually found our place, and right on time too! Sadly our excitement about being on time soon dissipated when the opening employee showed up 15 minutes later than expected. To make a frustrating situation even worse, the credit card machine was down and we weren’t allowed to pay with cash so our only option was to drive five miles back to the nearest bank in order to buy two money orders at premium prices to pay for our tests. Suffice it to say I think Michigan and West Virginia should both realize that our fingerprints don’t change when we cross state borders and if we we haven’t been found guilty of a federal crime in Michigan, odds are good we will be clear in West Virginia too. But what do I know.
Onsite projects have been a lot more fun and rewarding. The first priority at our Knob house is to get the garden prepped for a new fence this fall and to get the chicken coop functional as soon as possible. Super exciting news, because anyone who knows me knows how much I love chickens!! 😀 I’m practically counting the days until they can come. Ian and I have had a lot of fun going through the old flower gardens and orchards, pulling up weeds and brambles and clearing spaces for light to filter through to the ground. Every task seems to reveal five more jobs that need to get done, but while the weather is gorgeous we aren’t complaining. Starting next Tuesday we will both be spending several days a week being aids in the local schools, so we are taking full advantage of our unscheduled outdoor time while we can.
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The poor chicken coop really needs some work done before it will be inhabitable
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Terry Noyes planted annuals in my butterfly garden this spring and they are doing great! Even better now that the weeds are removed.
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There are several pear trees on the property, and we are hoping that now that we have removed the choking vines from the trunk the pears will have a better chance of ripening.
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Ian spent a lot of time chopping brush off of where the garden fence will be and hauling it deeper into the woods.
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Ignoring my wrath, Ian started a massive brush fire in the middle of our yard.
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The afternoon was spent on a compost-gathering mission: we tried to find as much “brown material” as we could, like apples and horse manure.
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One of our compost benefactors.
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Yummmmmm future good soil!
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4 thoughts on “Putting the Home into Homesteading

  1. If it makes you feel better I had to go though finger printing in Ohio for the Master Gardner certification and it was just as difficult! I love the kitchen it looks super cute!

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