Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tennessee County Fair: Sheep


they were so sweet! They loved the attention
When the county fair came to our area September of this year, we went on a Friday on one of the hottest days ever (or so it felt like it was the hottest day ever... I dislike the humidity here very much.) and stood in line waiting to get tickets, when we did we hurried through the gate and the whole crowd walked to the left where all the food, rides and concerts were taking place and only a very small handful of people (including us) walked to the right...

 As we turned right you can smell that familiar smell that only a farm would smell like, dust particles were flying everywhere and instead of grass there was a thick layer of hay and dirt one had to wear boots to walk on, then you heard it... "Baaaaahhhhh.... Baaaahhhhhhh"  

 Ah, yes. The best part of the fair was right here, the sheep judging was about to commence and we arrived right on time.

 The smell of wool is the most amazing scent to me, seeing bags of raw wool on display as they were being judged made my fingers itchy to touch and spin them into something amazing, hearing the judges muttering what they thought about each fleece was intriguing and watching the judging while both young and old showed off their best in hopes they will leave with that coveted blue ribbon.

 I watched intently the judging to learn something, anything, as I want to show like they are showing to produce the best sheep so they may produce the best fleece! 

 I looked around the stands and besides my husband and myself there were only 10 people in the stands. I wanted to run to where the rides and concerts were taking place and speak in the Mic. " Do you not know what you are missing????" But I forget, not everyone is as passionate about wool as I am. Ah, well. Their loss!

 I watched everything and asked questions and at the same time I was knitting up a cabled hat for a friend with my own hand spun yarn, a fitting place to knit wool yarn don't you think?  

 One day I will be up there not just in our local county fair(s), but in many state fairs and I will learn and improve and we will provide the best quality wool because we will raise happy and healthy sheep.

  ... One day.   



Home is where the heart is

Thank you for joining us in our adventure like no other!
It has been almost 3 months since my last post concerning knitting or anything fiber related and 6 months since anything about our land we were waiting to move on, so I wonder what kind of post this will be?

 We are finally Home!!!!

 Do you not know how long we have been waiting for this? We purchased our property back in April but it was bare of any home, electricity, sewage or running water. It was just used to keep cattle on and the last time there was a home on it was maybe back in the late 40's if I remember correctly.

 We have been waiting because my parents were also going to move onto the land and their house needed to be built in order for us to move our fifth wheel trailer there to connect certain utilities up to. We purchased our '93 Jayco on Craigslist for $2,000 and we have been living in it for about a month.  
husband took off some of the wall in the slideout and replace it

 When we first purchased the trailer it was dirty in the inside and some of the siding came off and there was minimal water damage and some old mold here and there. After chatting with Dustin about it I said, "Well, we want to save money and you want to homestead. This could be our first project fixing it up!", after consulting with my dad who (along with my mom) went with us to check it out and found that it was actually very sturdy and sound (just needed some lovin'), we decided to make this Saved By the Bell era trailer our temporary home until we build our permanent dream home!

Let me go back and reminisce all that has happened when we first moved to our Home...

a break after cleaning rented house
 Packing up the rental house we stayed in for the past, almost, 2 years was quite easy as we didn't have much anyways but the cleaning... phew! That was a different story. We wanted to be a blessing to our amazing landlord who has shown us so much grace and mercy the very first 2 months moving in...

 When we first moved to Tennessee, Dustin worked in his new job merely a month and a half when he was let go to our shock. We were very nervous and somewhat afraid because we barely knew our surroundings, we had zero family in the area and we were just getting to know new people, so we were somewhat alone when this happened. We were afraid we would have to already move out of our home, so Dustin talked to the landlord feeling helpless and embarrassed that we just moved in and now we were about to move out on a year lease.   
My hottie loading a uhaul truck

 Our landlord was very compassionate and empathetic with what we were going through he said, "I will lower the rent $100 until you get back on your feet. Just let me know when you have a permanent job and we can raise it back to what was agreed upon."  The relief was so stupendous I broke down crying in deep gratitude. 

When Dustin found a better job than he did when we first moved here (he is still there today and they are so good to him!) we immediately told our landlord and before we even called we were so excited to raise our rent back to the original price! 

We were so happy we couldn't wait to raise the rent on ourselves. HeeHee!

Another blessing to have such a wonderful landlord was when my parents decided to leave California and make Tennessee home they were wondering where they would live. We asked our landlord if they may stay until we found a permanent home and he, AGAIN, was so understanding he agreed.

 When we cleaned that house we didn't just clean... we SCRUBBED and made it glisten and so clean you can drag your tongue across the floor of that house without getting a lick of dirt! We also had Sadie Girl (our large labrador) and you wouldn't even know we had a dog in that house.... Another blessing was when we first  looked at the house we didn't know he didn't want pets, so when he met with us the very first time we had sadie in the car. He was a little hesitant but after meeting Sadie girl for the first time, he fell head over heels in love with her (that pup knows how to make any person love her) and immediately took the "NO PETS" off the lease and there was no fee for her!

Stayed in a hotel for 3 days until my parents home was ready

  When we moved our furniture we (meaning Dustin and I) had to do it all ourselves (except unloading, we had a friend help us do that). Let me say something about my man... he is a genius.

 He loaded the whole house so quickly (I helped with small items) with large furniture he was not just the hulk but he was also the Brain using ingenuity to move very heavy items from the house to the truck and played some "tetris" with every item packing everything snug to make room for more if needed.    
My Viking man fixing bottom of trailer

We moved a 3 bedroom/2 bath home into a 5x10 storage unit and into a 32' trailer. We really purged what was not needed and what could easily be replaced.

 I love living small. I love our tiny kitchen, tiny living area and small bedroom (our Queen mattress fits perfectly). I love the simplicity of our lives now. Don't get me wrong, I do want a nice size home (i'm still not sure if farmhouse or cabin style yet) but it's nice to remind ourselves that big doesn't always mean better. I feel more peace living in our tiny home than I did when we rented a large home! Crazy, isn't it?

 Before moving in, my husband has been working fortifying the trailer, sealing leaks, ripping out some of the interior walls to kill any small mold issues and adding insulation and re-paneling... When I moved in I cleaned whatever needed to be cleaned, and began putting items away playing my own kind of tetris, such as, where to put my spinning wheel and fiber goodies, ALL our clothing, and many other needed and desired items (i'm still in shock how much room this trailer has!), Dustin told me after we moved in, "Wow, what a woman's touch can do to a place. When I came everyday it was so dull and lonely in here. It just felt like I was coming to fix something that wasn't mine yet. It was cold and lifeless. Then you moved in and made your presence known with the way you fixed everything up and the way you decorated and just you here brought this trailer to life... It's no longer just a trailer, it's a home. And a home I can't wait to come back too after work." That absolutely made me teary and happy!
First breakfast in our little home!

We had our first Thanksgiving on our land there. My parents were on the road so it was just Dustin and Sadie girl and myself. But I wasn't going to let that small area and very tiny oven stop me from making that Thanksgiving a memorable one...

A man and his dog on his land
We went to Costco and got a 12 pound turkey ( perfect size to fit in the oven and fridge), I purchased stuffing package and all the trimmings to add into the stuffing, turkey and to make gravy from scratch. I also purchased what I needed to make pumpkin and apple bread.   

Night before Thanksgiving I cooked for over 3 hours prepping and dicing and cutting and stuffing and glazing. After I prepped the turkey I looked out our kitchen window and saw 16 wild turkeys pecking away near a large water bucket we put out there for the wild animals as our pond dried completely up as East Tennessee has had a horrible drought. For a second I thought, "Sorry about your couins, turkeys." He was delicious. Ha Ha!

For about a month I just could not STAND the design of the interior walls. It looked like Saved by the Bell had a party in there and the 90's stayed plastered on the walls. I needed a solid cottage color. after a week of contemplating what kind of color I wanted I researched the best kind of primer for the walls (Gripper brand just in case anyone was wondering) and went to home depot and purchased a Cottage color from Behr. I started my project, Dustin liked what I was doing, grabbed the brush from my hand and decided to complete it.

 Hey! I'm not going to argue, if he wants to paint, by all means go ahead! Heehee!    
Choosing a color for the walls

 Anyways, fast forward to now...

It's December which means it is the most wonderful time of the year... Christmas! 

Each year I love going to get a tree from an amazing family-oriented Christmas tree place called Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm that we enjoy going to now every year to either cut our own tree or pick up one already cut.  But this year I thought there would be no way we could pick a full size tree and place it inside our home. I was really sad because we don't know when we will build our dream home so that meant for a few Christmas's we wouldn't be able to put a tree in our tiny home.

 I was thinking of getting a table top tree but after some eyeing a certain area of the living area and measuring I thought, "I will make this happen... we will have a tree no matter what!"

Perfect size tree, perfect color for walls!
 We made sure to get a tree that was not taller than my husband and perfect height would be my height (i'm about 5'4) and skinny as possible.

 We went to the tree farm and guess what? We found the perfect tree! We decorated it with Christmas Jazz on the background and Sadie girl watching curiously as Dustin did the lights first (that is HIS job and I love that he is so uncompromising on that and that he delights in the simple things like Christmas time... our children will cherish that in a father.) and I made french toast with bacon and coffee in santa cups with marshmallows!    

 Our dreams is starting to become a reality but also we realized what we thought were big dreams are nothing but that the simple things we are working toward and we are living in now are what dreams are made of! We are blessed, we are safe, we are secure, we are full of joy, full of thanks and full of hope!

First night moving in Dustin was fixing a leak. Such a hard worker!

Fried apples for our first breakfast. Yummm!

First night at our home we drove half a mile to be with our community of fellow believers to worship around the campfire

Sadie girl and I enjoying a view of our land after or walk
Spinning from the lock in my little home!

We get our drinking water from a local park that has a nonstop flowing fountain of fresh spring water!

Merry Christmas from the Edberg Clan to you!