Thursday, January 1, 2009

Aug. 19 2008

Jeremy suggested that I start documenting the process of talking about (fighting about?) searching for, falling-in-love-with, and hopefully, ultimately, purchasing some land upon which we will eventually build our dream home, and populate with livestock that will inevitably make us rich. But I digress.

To begin with, I write this as a mildly violent rainstorm pelts the house and yard making me anxious for the well-being of our little chickens in the backyard. All evidence points to their lack of any intelligence so I imagine they won’t seek shelter, and I feel guilty for the millionth time about not providing them with a proper barn-like coop. Hence the initial search for land. It all began with those damn chickens, you see…..

Growing up in rural Georgetown, TX it wasn’t odd at all to live “downtown” but also have a feed store just around the corner. As such, we had easy access to baby chicks, rabbits, hay, tack, equine wormer, etc and all the other farm implements you’d expect. We had a double lot with an old shed in the back and my big city-bred mother yearned to raise some livestock right there in the city. After all we were in TX and after all there WAS a nifty feed store around the corner so why the heck not. I’d always demonstrated more of an affinity for getting my hands dirty as compared to my more squeamish sister, and was naturally excited to tag along when Mom decided that we’d raise a few chickens in the backyard. Was that what planted this little seed within me? The chickens I hand raised as a girl? Or was it the goats and sheep that soon followed? Maybe it was the horse-back riding lessons I took through middle school that led me to love the smell of leather, sweat, and old livestock poop. I don’t know which came first, the chicken or the …. egg (sorry). Regardless, I know that there’s never been a time when I haven’t preferred the country and all that it entails.

So when Jeremy mentioned self-sustainability and the need to live off our meager land (suburban backyard) I jumped at the opportunity to once again pick out a few peeping baby chicks and carry them home in my little cardboard box. Oh! The joy of little peeping balls of fluff on uncertain feet! Oh! The happiness when they first peck food from your hand! Oh! Etc, etc, etc. Needless to say, our initial chicken “project” of 3 to 4 chicks grew to an unstoppable obsession bolstered by www.backyardchickens.com and fed by my need to avoid graduate school final exams. We currently have 9 hens installed in the backyard (on the wood pile, in the trees, on top of the coop) and our poor dogs have lost their playground to my new pet chickens.

So, I have my chickens. And my less than prolific garden. The next logical step? Land! (obviously). Before venturing further into this highly addictive story of two people’s overly ambitious foray into country living, I should explain the chronology of events.

• Age 5: First livestock experience via feed-store purchased chickens.
• Age 28.5, Spring 2008: buy a few (ok, many) chicks (this represents my 2nd substantial encounter with livestock b/c I guess driving past the Lubbock stockyards doesn’t count).
• May 2008: Jeremy and Jenna lay out a very level-headed “5 Year Plan,” already doomed by Jenna’s secret, late night google searches for property.
• June 2008: Jenna is in summer school, which correlates to high intensity google searching and low intensity summer schooling. Again, all performed in secrecy.
• July 2008: Land search hits fever pitch and the “5 Year Plan” is completely ignored by one of the two aforementioned individuals. Hints are dropped that perhaps the “5 Year Plan” is completely ludicrous and stupid and anyone who would wait that long to buy land is a pansy.
• End of July 2008: A leisurely Sunday afternoon drive accidentally leads the lovely couple to a lot conveniently close to Austin and conveniently close to soccer fields. Can a compromise be reached?

2 comments:

ruralaspirations said...

I have just found your blog by accident while searching for something else, and I'm so excited b/c I was trying to find such a blog recently with no luck (the mysteries and joys of Google!). Anyways, I've started here at your first post and will be reading through it over the next little while. You see WE are two city slickers who are looking for land right now and I could use all the advice I can get! :) I'm also blogging about it...

jennakl said...

I'm glad you found us! It has been quite an adventure and we've hardly even started. Good luck with the search. We'll be sure to keep up with your progress on your own blog!