Big Wheels Keep on Rolling

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These past two weeks have been so busy.  This month I am in Virginia quite a bit.  Currently I am on a 9 day stent up here.

With all of this time away from my home, the farm, my family and friends, I have started to reconsider this traveling adventure.  It has been so hard on me to be away from home, especially missing out on the day to day of the farm project.  I have an interview for another ER back home next week, so I am praying that if that is where I am supposed to be, that door will open up.  

Lilly has done a wonderful job of being my travel companion.  She rides easily in the car and has a blast in the hotel.  It is definitely nice to see a friendly face coming home from a long 12 hour shift.  Hotel life is very hard on her as you can see…

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Back at home, my hard working Daddy has been busy putting out daily fires in regards to the barn construction.  It has definitely not been an easy road, but take a look at the progress.  I have never seen a more beautiful barn!

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Seeing it only once every week, each week brings so much more progress than the last.

Due to how shallow the pond is, my Daddy is having to drain the pond so we can dig it out deeper.  Each turn definitely brings a new set of challenges, but my Daddy is doing an awesome job figuring it all out.

Peanut and Oliver have been doing great back home thanks to my awesome fella.  He has been making sure the boys are taken care of getting nightly snuggles.  Oliver sends his love to everyone!

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I am getting serious about my farm house plans as well and will be meeting with the county’s planning dept to hopefully get the ok for the plan I have in mind.  If all goes well, I will share my future plans soon!

I hope all is well with you and yours.  Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

A Little Addition to the Homestead

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The last two weeks have brought so much progress to the farm.  We have been battling afternoon rains, but even with the weather, the barn is coming along beautifully.

Take a look…

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This week the cement floor was also put in.

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And the latest picture!

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I also adopted a tiny, furry travel buddy this week, her name is Lilly Ann.  She will be taking her maiden voyage to Virginia this week with me so let’s hope she settles in.

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This week I will be leaving for the longest stay in Virginia so far.  I am a bit anxious to be gone from home so long, but luckily my boyfriend will be staying at the house to keep Peanut and Oliver company.

My Carolina Country article came out this month, if you missed it, check it out HERE.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

A Much Needed Marshy Walk

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It was a long week in Virginia.  This was the first week I had a day off in my stent up there and I had big plans of seeing the town.  After getting some sleep, I headed down to start my car, however my car had a much different plan.  Sitting in Virginia, hours away from the people you would normally call to come get you and being very low on funds, is not a good feeling.  After a few hours of phone calls, two car parts shops, scaring a poor car parts store man with my near breakdown into hysterical laughter (because laughing is better than crying right?) and $200 later, my car was back in working order.  Lucky for me, my parents and boyfriend are awesome enough to throw me a life preserver from 400 miles away.

This situation made me appreciate how fortunate I am to have people to call to help me when I need it.  As the afternoon gave way to evening, I was not in the best of moods.  I was feeling like quite a failure and my day of exploring the town had gone to waste.  I was in need of some peace and perspective.

This led me to a local marsh near a large river that has been turned into a nature preserve.  Walking trails follow the river and many of the local folks go there to run and walk their dogs.

I pulled in and immediately took a deep breath.  The sun was sinking in the sky and the air was quiet.  I followed the trails and looked onto lilly pads full of frogs.  I saw lovely marshy grasses where blue herons spoke in low grunts to each other.  With each step deeper into the trails I let go of the very bad day and long week I was having.

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After a few miles, I felt like a new woman.  I had a much better attitude and perspective on the day.  I walked out of the trails with a grateful heart and a smile on my face.

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Until next time…

 FINALSIGNOFF

 

Beach fishin’ and Barn buildin’

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I hope ya’ll had a great weekend.  I am headed out soon for another long week in Virginia, but wanted to post an update before hitting the road.

The barn is coming along so well.  They put siding up this week and each day brings so much progress.

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I have loved pulling up to the farm and seeing my handsome daddy working so hard out there along side the builders.  He has already done so much work, I am one proud girl!

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The pond has been having some serious evaporation issues.  We knew it was fairly shallow, but with the 100 degree summer heat and little rain, it has dried up to almost half its size.  We have plans to dredge it out further so it will be deeper and stock it with more fish for future fishing.  Of course the day before we had a guy out to give us an estimate it rained 4 inches and filled it back up-what can you do!

The huge burn piles are almost gone. Unfortunately, they created a smoky mess and we felt terrible for smoking out our surrounding neighbors.  Thankfully we have one more to go and will be sure it is a very still day before setting the last one off.  The county would have charged us thousands and thousands of dollars to haul it away, so burning was the only good option.

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Me and my fella (I have yet to formally introduce him to ya’ll, but promise I will soon!) went beach fishin’ this weekend.  No make-up, a bikini and comfy clothes-what would be better?

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Although our catches weren’t anything wall worthy, we had a ton of fun and learned quite a bit from talking with some old fishermen on the pier.  Next year, we are going to get a year beach pass so we can make it a regular trip to go four wheeling on the sand and surf fishing.

If you get Carolina Country magazine, I will have an article in the August edition, so keep a look out for me.  Hope ya’ll have a wonderful week.  Can’t wait to get back home to my critters and my farm!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

The Construction Continues

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It is hard to believe that it is coming up on the end of July.  This summer has definitely been slammed pack.  It has been such a fun past few months.

My camping trip to the New River was great.  It was nice to break away and recharge.  There is an unexplainable peace about cooking outside and sitting by a campfire watching the flames dance before crawling into a tent and sleeping under the stars.

Our trip was filled with very unsuccessful fishing (not even a nibble in three days), tubing, canoeing and quiet conversations.  We even saw a Bald Eagle flying along the river, which was incredible.  Once we got home, I left the very next day for my first travel assignment.

I have to say that leaving was tougher than I expected.  It is challenging to be hours away from all the people you love.  It is definitely a different experience to come home to a quiet hotel room after a long shift.  I am so grateful that the staff in the ER I am working in are so welcoming and friendly, without that and the support of an awesome group of friends and family-I am not sure I would have had the courage to do this.

Even though this is a sacrifice now, I know that one day when I am sitting on my farm house deck looking at the pond and listening to my animals graze as the sun goes down, all this hard work will be completely worth it.

Coming home was a great feeling.  I spent an evening with my dear friend who I have been friends with since the second grade.  We went out to the barn where she keeps her horse and soaked up the fabulous weather as we talked and laughed, grooming and bathing her sweet Arabian gelding.

The next day I met a few of my home ER girls for kayaking.  I haven’t ever been kayaking, but I fell in love with it.  Being that close with the water and connecting to it with each stroke was intoxicating.  I instantly felt a sense of calm as I glided quietly among the river.  It was so nice to be back among familiar, laughing faces.

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The barn construction is going extremely well. Each day brings more progress and excitement.

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We are hoping for continued dry weather and anticipate the barn will be done very soon.  It is such an adventure to watch our dreams slowly unfold into reality.  I am thankful each and every day for all of my many, many blessings.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

A New Adventure Begins

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Hey ya’ll!  Welcome back to the homestead and welcome to the followers who are just now joining us.  I am so blessed to have you all on this journey with me-I appreciate your support and comments more than you know.

This week we celebrated Oliver’s first birthday.  Although we didn’t do anything super special-I mean he is pretty much spoiled rotten every day of the year anyway-he got plenty of piggy snuggles and treats.

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I can’t believe a whole year has gone by with him.  What a wild year it has been!  Here is a look into his usual piggy craziness…

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I took an amazing trip to a romantic little coastal town this week; Southport, NC.  I instantly fell in love with this little ocean town.  If you have ever seen the movie Safe Haven-Southport is where it was filmed.  I went surf fishing for my first time ever and caught a shark-although this is not typically what you are aiming for when surf fishing-I was thrilled anyway!

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It was one of my most favorite trips I have ever taken.  Full of adventure, laughs and quiet moments with only the sounds of the waves rolling in.

Next weekend I am going camping at the New River, which is actually one of the oldest rivers in North America.  This will be my first camping trip of the season and I can’t wait.  There is nothing better than sleeping under a dark sky full of bright, twinkling stars.

Today is the beginning of  a new month and a new journey.  This month I will be leaving the hospital I pretty much called home for the last four and a half years, and am embarking on a new adventure; travel nursing.  My first contract is in a cute little town in Virginia.  While I will only be gone several days a week and home the other days, this is a big step outside my comfort zone.  I am pursuing this new journey to better financially prepare for building my farm house in the coming year.

Speaking of the farm, guess what is getting delivered today? Our barn!!  We are all so excited to finally get the materials on the property and build our dream barn.  I will of course keep ya’ll posted every step of the way.

We also welcomed a sweet, velvety rabbit I named Rosie to the homestead family.  I think every creature needs a companion and Raffi seems to adore her.  She is still getting settled, but is very social and seems to enjoy Raffi’s company as well.

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I have a feeling the next few months will fly by.  With all of these new beginnings swirling around me, I am perfectly content.  Each day I wake up is a new opportunity to embrace and experience all of the wonders this crazy world has to offer, and I don’t want to miss a single thing.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

Real life with a real pig

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Life with a pig in the house is never dull.  I am frequently asked question after question about what it is like to be a piggy mama.

The most common question I am asked is “how big will he get?”  I don’t quite understand this constant fascination with the size of miniature pigs, but I blame it mostly on the fact of dishonest breeders who advertise their very young piglets as “teacup” sized and state they will remain that way.  In reality, pigs grow until they are 3-5 years old and are heavily diet dependent.  The more you feed them, the larger they will get.

Most “miniature pigs” are in fact pot bellied or Juliana pigs who have been bred down for several generations.  I would say the average size of most of these miniatures is around 30-50 pounds.  I personally have not seen one smaller than 30 pounds full grown.

Oliver is literally like taking care of a child, it is very time intensive, but it is also very rewarding.  There is nothing better than piggy snuggles.

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He is always, always on the prowl for food.  He could have just eaten his weight in grain and still act just as hungry as if he had not eaten in days.  This has been an obstacle in teaching him more tricks.  He gets so frenzied about the treats, he cannot concentrate enough to learn what he is supposed to be learning!  The saying “eat like a pig” is something you truly appreciate when you are a piggy mama.

Pigs are emotional creatures.  They remember how you treated them a few days ago, they remember that you haven’t been home very much this week and they remember that you pushed them off your lap on the couch because their lip smacking was driving you crazy.  The more time I spend with Oliver, the more well behaved and sweet he is.  He lets me know when I am working too much!

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Adopting a pig is not a decision one should make on a whim.  Particularly not because of how irresistably cute piglets are when they are very young-making a choice based on their cuteness will not end well.  Adopting a pig is a 15-20 year committment.  Spaying and neutering is also a must.  Pigs are much harder to handle when they are intact.  If you want to know more info about adopting a pig into your family, click HERE.

I got lucky with Oliver, I can list on one hand the things in the house he has destroyed.  A bored pig is a destructive pig, so I make sure he has plenty of interactive toys and things to keep his attention.

Pigs are full of funny quirks.  One of my favorite ones is what happens when you “fork” a pig.  And no, this does not include BBQ sauce!  If you gently poke a pig with a fork they get so relaxed they fall over and go to sleep.  Take a look…

 Forking a Pig

Although they may be smaller than their not so distant relatives the farm hog, house pigs are just as much work.  Pigs definitely bring a unique adventure into your life.  Oliver may drive me crazy sometimes, with his constant search for food, his very loud conversation skills and his unbreakable desire to chew various pieces of my dirty laundry, but I wouldn’t trade his cute little piggy self for anything in the world.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF