A few weeks ago, I was greatly anticipating getting settled into a routine and less frantic pace of life.  How many of my fabulous readers can guess how well that is working out?

The first week of my new job was wonderful.  I was able to stay on top of housework, homestead chores and truly felt this was the next step in my career.

The second week I flew to another state for training and once there, everything completely changed.  In the spirit of remaining professional, let’s just say that things were quite different than originally explained in the job description.

The trip itself was a bit of a disaster, but even in the most disastrous of situations, light can be found.  I met some wonderful folks along my journey.

On the first day, I instantly clicked with two other women and we shared many meals and conversations together during the week.  They were the absolute highlight of the entire trip.

I also became the Uber Queen, since I had no car, and met the most interesting characters.

On my first Uber ride, I met a fellow who was an engineer by trade, but left to follow his passion for film making and was working for Uber to help supplement his income.  My new friends and I also met a crazy ex-taxi driver, who was full of vulgar jokes and more non-PC comments than we could count.  On my last ride, I met a woman who had a heart for people and used the time in the car to connect with them and offer encouragement.  She even helped a young girl who was stripping get out of that business and into nursing school.

Throughout all of the disappointment surrounding the new job, I couldn’t help but question fate’s plan.  What was the purpose of this adventure, why was all of this preparation and new hopes necessary if this wasn’t the path I was supposed to be on?

I am beginning to wonder what my place is in the nursing world.  Years of working too much and having to take care of spitting, snarling people has left more than a few cracks in my spirit.  I have found myself struggling more significantly after I was punched in the face by a patient a few years ago.

While the dust settles from the necessary actions regarding my job situation, I am actively seeking restoration. This is a word that has been forefront in my mind over the last year.

If my path is to be at the bedside in a dirty, busy ER than I need to accept that fully-even if I don’t particularly want to.  In order to give great care, I need to heal and be whole myself again.  I am working on much better nutrition and paying more attention to my emotional and spiritual needs.

Perhaps my path is never destined to be one that is settled and ordinary. Maybe that is the very purpose of my journey; to find peace and contentment in a life where continual change is swarming all around me.

Until next time…


All the Family in One Place

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We finally have all the critters at the Dream Homestead.

Moving them was NO easy task.  Neil and I both decided that if we ever have to move again, the farm animals will just have to stay behind…only kidding of course.

We started with putting the goats in a huge dog crate in the back of the truck.  We decided I would ride in the back with Oliver to help keep him calm.

Our plan was to lift Oliver into the truck.  The once able to sit in my lap Oliver is now a 300 pound pig.  Teacup pig my redheaded booty!

As I am watching Neil and Oliver wrestling, with Oliver screaming and Neil struggling to lift the 300 pound kicking and screaming pig up into the back of truck, I was full of giggles.  To think that pig used to sleep in the bed with me!

After much struggle, we (ok, mostly Neil) got him into the truck and I climbed in beside him.  Neil took to the driver’s seat and I said a quick prayer that all would go smoothly on the 45 minute ride to the Dream Homestead.


As Neil started up the truck I called to him through the open back glass, “we have a weird life.” He totally agreed.

So down the road we went, with Neil driving a truck full of goats, a chubby pig and a sweaty redhead.  Oliver began to get nervous as we picked up speed and clambered into my lap.  You should have seen the looks we got driving down the road as I sat in the back of a truck with a large pig sitting in my lap.

Once Oliver settled into my lap, I took a deep breath and relaxed a bit.

As we drove down the road we passed a dairy farm that has a very strong odor of manure.  Oliver threw his snout into the air, took in a deep breath and FREAKED.  He started thrashing around in the back of the truck, desperately trying to get away from whatever it was he thought was going to happen to him.  Meanwhile I am holding onto him with one hand and the truck bed with the other, for fear his thrashing would throw us both out of the moving truck.

As I am hollering for Neil, who never even turned around, I tried my best to settle Oliver down.  He eventually squeezed himself in between the side of the truck bed and the goat crate and settled down a bit.  I brought bribery snacks along with us and once he settled down enough, fed him tiny bits of granola bar to keep him distracted until we pulled into home.  I had piggy hoof print bruises on my thighs all week.

We eventually got the goats and Oliver settled into their new pen.  We built them an awesome little shelter and treehouse.



We still have a storage unit full of stuff left to move, but I am so happy to have my little family all in one place; Neil, Denali, Peanut, Lilly, Mya (the white kitty), Freyja (the hedgehog), Daisy & Sawyer (the goats), Oliver (the pig) and the chickens.

Life finally feels complete.

Until next time…


Moving In & Moving On


It has been a whirlwind of activity around these parts over the last two weeks, but we are finally living on our dream homestead.

As you all know, the team that helped us acquire this homestead was awful to work with.  After everything we went through, we showed up to closing with the amount we were told to bring.  When we arrived at the attorney’s office, we were told that there had been a mistake in the closing disclosure (I had already caught $2000 worth of mistakes prior to closing) and we now needed to pay another $700.

That whole situation was a nightmare from start to finish, but after begrudgingly going to get another certified check for $700, we handed it over and were finally given the keys to the rest of our lives.

From the moment I walked onto this property, it felt like home, and walking into the empty house for the first time, I was immediately content.  It was like I could finally take a deep breath from all the stress of the many failed homestead plans over the years and we were finally home.

This week has been nonstop moving boxes, nonstop sweating in this ridiculous North Carolina heat, and nonstop wandering around the house just talking to each other about how much we love it here.  We are so grateful to the friends who helped us move furniture, build awesome TV mounts and were a source of support to us during the whole process.

Next week we plan on building the pens for the goats, chickens and Oliver so everyone can finally be in the same place once again.  We currently have stuff (and creatures) at our apartment, a storage unit, our new house and my family’s farm.  All of which are in different cities!

We also managed to find time to put up an awesome barn wood ceiling in our bedroom.  We are so pleased with how it turned out.  All the wood is from old barns and buildings and I love just laying in bed looking at all the unique pieces and imagining the stories they must hold.


We also inherited a lovely little kitty that came with the homestead.  We named her Maya, and she is super sweet and a great watch-cat.  All the dogs are terrified of her, it is hilarious to watch.


On another note, after a few incidents at the current hospital I work in, I have decided to leave that ER full time, I will still be working at my part-time ER position, and begin a new journey as a nurse.

I interviewed for a position with a great insurance company this week and was offered the job the same day.  I am getting a raise, able to work full time from my new office at the Dream Homestead and will be working normal hours.  I will no longer have to put up with being physically and verbally assaulted at work or being told to cover my tattoos or put up my hair.

The company is also sending me to Florida for training in August.  I am ecstatic about this new opportunity and step in my career.  I will miss my coworkers greatly, but have an awesome homestead ya’ll can come visit anytime!

Stay tuned, there are plenty of new adventures to come as we get settled into the Dream Homestead!

Until next time…





Perhaps if you are Googling “symptoms of a nervous breakdown” all is not well…

This week, we were told we had the green light on closing on our Dream Homestead on time, which was a huge accomplishment and represented hours and hours of work.  Then we were told we needed to submit more documents for the underwriters.  Then we were told we had met all requirements and everything was in order to close on time.  Then we were told we had to submit a few more documents.  Then we were told everything was finally in order to close on time.

THEN on Friday afternoon at 3pm, I received a call from the bank and was told that if they don’t have the title from the attorney’s office in the next hour, we will not close on time. I had not heard even as much as a whisper about this from the realtor.  In fact, I was told, by the as opposite as humanly possible to fabulous realtor, we were all set to close.

I immediately called the attorney’s office and was indeed told that they were “working” on the title, despite having everything they needed to complete it in their posession for 17 days, despite telling our bank rep that they would have it done on Wednesday for sure and then falling off the face of the map for two days as she tried to follow up with them when she never received it and despite the fact we close in less than two weeks.

Our wonderful bank rep pulled some strings and we were given until Monday to turn in the title from the attorney’s office.  Our bank rep said that the attorney she always uses has a 2 day turn around time.  Can you guess who recommended the too busy to finish a title in 17 days closing attorney?

When we called the Opposite as Humanly Possible to Fabulous Realtor, she absent mindedly told us she would touch base about the title.  She then informed us that no one answered when she called-even though I called and the phone was picked up right away by a secretary.  As politely as my now fuming red hair would allow, I informed her she had until lunchtime Monday to get the situation handled, and did not appreciate being blindsided with a problem she didn’t even tell us about.

This entire process has been a complete nightmare.  From the ridiculous documents needed by the bank (however our rep has been amazing and we definitely couldn’t have survived this without her) to the completely unexplainable mistakes and misses by our realtor, and the endless hours of caring for indulgent, entitled, not emergently sick patients for 6 weeks with no break, I had all I could take by that evening.

And this leads me to the Googling of “symptoms of a nervous breakdown. ”  Spoiler alert-I had 4 of the 6…I guess things can always be worse!

Send some positive thoughts our way and we will be holding our breath that the title comes through today!!

Until next time…

Finish Line


The end is finally near.  One more week of “Hell Month” remains and at this point I can think of quite a few explanatory expletives to describe the last 5 weeks.

Note to self; don’t ever, EVER, do this again.  In the last 5 weeks, I have had about 5 days off total.  About 1 night off every 7 days, running from my full time ER position to my part-time ER position and back again.  To make things even more emotionally challenging, I am now taking care of “the regulars” at both facilities, since word has started to spread about the newer hospital.

Some days I am dragging my redheaded self towards the finish line, and some days I have become such a work-a-holic zombie, it doesn’t even matter how many days in a row I have been at work.

It has been insanely challenging, but I can finally see the finish line coming up on the horizon.  I have 5 more shifts left of “Hell Month” and then I will have 4 glorious days of not having to put on scrubs and run myself ragged for 12 hours.

On the plus side, with Neil working as much extra as he can too, we have managed to exceed our goal for our down payment on our Dream Homestead.  We should have enough to cover the down payment, closing costs, painting and even new furniture.  I think I will feel a little more excited about this when I am not so utterly numb from exhaustion.

Neil and I were talking the other night about how when we finally get the keys to the Dream Homestead, we are going to walk right in the house and lay down on the floor (since we have no furniture yet) let out a big sigh, and just enjoy the new space.

All of the inspections on the house are completed, our loan has one more approval process to go through, and closing is now 15 days away.

The pups have been acting out terribly with our long hours at work and we are all so ready to be in a space we can stretch our legs and not be surrounded by people and traffic.  Living in the apartment was a necessary step, but it has definitely become a chore.

Thank you all for the support over the last crazy year of figuring out where we will call home-we are thrilled to be sharing this adventure with you.

And now a picture of our self-heating two person jacuzzi tub and rainfall shower head shower, to provide a little more encouragement to get me through these last 5 shifts!


Until next time…





Thirty Days to Go


We are 2 weeks into our “Hell Month” and I am definitely feeling the strain. I have spent the last few years working a lot more than the average Joe, but the last 2 weeks have been intense.

In the last 2 weeks, I have had two nights off and there are still 4 weeks left to go.  I am grateful that I have jobs where I can work more when I need to, but it is kicking my tail.

Last week our less than stellar realtor set up the home inspection for the Dream Homestead.  Neil and I had both worked the night before and Neil stayed up to attend the morning appointment.  We arranged for our painter to come during the inspection to give us an estimate, and we were both super excited to see the house again.

We pull up to the house where the realtor, inspector and painter all stood gathered outside.  Suddenly the owner walks out on the front porch with a bewildered look on her face.  Turns our she had NO idea about the appointment.  Our realtor completely forgot to make the appointment with the owners of the home.  I was SO upset and disappointed.

Our realtor compensated us by paying for our brokerage fee, but I was seriously confused on how that even happened in the first place.  We had one day in the next four weeks we could reschedule (that we didn’t have to work the same day), but she wasn’t able to reschedule the inspection for that day.  Instead we are set for the home inspection Take Two tomorrow morning-we both have to work that night, so I am hoping that it goes smoothly and there are no surprises.

In true Homestead Redhead fashion, I have decided that as if life isn’t crazy enough I want to go back to school.  While part of me loves the ER, years of working 5 or more shifts a week has seriously taken a physical and emotional toll on me.

I have always felt holistic, natural care is the best way to provide medical care and I would love to find a path in nursing that reflects this.  With some help from fate, I discovered the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  Check it out below…

After a ton of research and discussion with Neil, I decided to enroll and will start towards the end of summer.

The program is a year long and after graduation I will be a certified Health Coach.  I can work for an insurance company, a wellness center or own my own business seeing clients. Health coaches guide clients as they discover their individualized path to wellness-physical and emotional health.  It will be awesome to work with a population of patients that actually want to get healthy and respect what guidance I can give them.

I am so excited to explore this new adventure and see where it leads me.

I hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start.

Until next time…


Finally Found a Homestead


Neil and I announced this week that after 2 years of research, disappointment, excitement and more Plan Bs than we can count, we finally found a plan that felt like right.

With the many challenges we faced with building a homestead, last month we decided to go in a different direction and purchase an existing home, for now.  After obsessively looking through house listings for weeks, we ventured out to a few showings.

We found a great house on 10 acres that had a pool, outdoor kitchen and a reasonably sized house for our family, but the asking price was extremely high.  After making the sellers a reasonable offer (but well below their asking price), we were quickly refused.

We then found a listing for a beautiful brick home in Alamance County on 5.62 acres and booked a showing.

As we followed the GPS, we were led through beautiful country side and turned onto a hidden driveway.  As we drove slowly up to the house, the driveway opened up to a picture perfect brick home and landscaped yard.  It was private and lovely and I instantly felt at home.


As Neil and I toured the home, every custom detail felt exactly like we had chosen it ourselves.  From the vaulted barn ceilings in the living room to the two person Jacuzzi in the master bath, Neil looked at each other and knew we were home.



We made on offer the next day, packed up the car and headed for Myrtle Beach.

The beach was wonderful and we enjoyed some much needed time away together. Denali loved the ocean and played fetch in the waves until he was so exhausted he could barely hold his head up.  We lounged in the resort’s lazy rivers, caught more fish than we ever had in one day and fell asleep listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach.



In the midst of our beach trip, we were fiercely negotiating for the house.  I felt like it was the right place for us, but we certainly didn’t want to pay over our top offer.  Finally, we came to a reasonable agreement and Neil and I toasted to our new homestead over a sushi dinner at the beach.

We are set to close June 30th and in the next 6 weeks so much is happening.  Since we were not expecting to find our dream home so soon, we are working a ton to make sure we have the funds to pay for everything involved with purchasing a home.

Since we sold almost all our furniture when we moved out of the Little Rock House, we will have to pay for all new furniture and get some of the rooms in the new house painted.

I am blessed to have jobs where I can pick up shifts when I need to and I took full advantage of this.  I have about 5 days off in the next 6 weeks and Neil is working as much as he possible can too.

It will be tough to get through this season, but we both know that at the end of all these exhausting shifts is a beautiful homestead Neil and I get to enjoy.

Let’s hope we survive!

Until next time…