Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Not So Big Reveal

I'll admit that it hurt a little, temporarily giving up on the idea of a metal roof. We've been contemplating this decision for awhile now, and we really thought we could make it work. The man who came to give us our estimate was extremely cooperative on the pricing in return for having our blossoming homestead as a tour opportunity for eco-minded potential customers. Still, with the economy in the condition it's in, we were just sick at the thought of making such a big ticket purchase. We don't immediately need a roof (famous last words, right?), so it seemed most reasonable to postpone this project.

I'm a little disappointed, but there is plenty to keep me occupied. The gaps in our cold weather preparations are becoming glaring as our thermostat sits firmly at 65 degrees Farenheit. Time to channel the Spirit of Squirrel!

Blogging Break

I've come down with a dreadful sore throat and congestion, so I'm going to take some time off of blogging to heal. Hope you're all spinning through the change of seasons with health and happiness.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lazy Day

This picture of my grandmother's shawl haphazardly thrown on a dining chair in the shadowy, barely there light of an autumn afternoon is the perfect image for this day. Raspberry leaf infusion warmed my child-bearing belly first thing this nippy morning and was replaced with hot chocolate in the afternoon as I filed away bit of paperwork after bit of paperwork. If you could see our bedroom floor... But that's exactly why you haven't. :)

Because my attention is shifting more and more to the home part of the homestead as colder weather comes on, I decided to try my hand at researching previous owners of our house. Though I'm extremely interested in the people who lived here before us simply because they shared this bit of life with me, I'll admit that I'd almost rather not know anything about them beyond their names. My imagination is full of romantic notions about things that might have taken place in this cozy little house, and I'd rather like to keep it that way! I know, it's silly. But it's true.

I'm researching these past owners anyway in the hopes that I'll be able to track down a living descendant and perhaps convince them to find a couple old pictures taken in this house that they may have tucked away somewhere. I'm still not sure how I'll approach them if I ever do manage to track them down, but the worst thing they could do is say no, right? And if my endeavor gets me a little closer to actual restoration instead of random estimations of what might have been, then I'm willing to risk an odd look or two. I'm a sucker for history.

I won't mention the name of the woman who owned this house just before us because, as far as I can ascertain, she's still living. However, I did manage to find another owner just by looking through the details of our title. We have a shared drive with our neighbors (well, we did, but that's a whole other story), so the deed detailed the implementation of the drive, agreed upon by both the previous owners of our home and the previous owners of the home next door. It was 1976 that the drive was put in, and at that time, the owners of our little bungalow were William K. Hamor and Lucile H. Hamor. A quick internet search didn't turn up anything for either of them, but I checked for obituaries and found that both of them had passed.

Lucile died first at the age of 83 in 1992, and William didn't follow until 2003 when he was 94. Interestingly, they both had June 1909 birthdays. It seems they were still living somewhere in Marion when they died. I may have located William in the 1910 census in Northumberland, PA, but I'll need other information to verify that this is in fact my William K. Hamor. I also need to track down a marriage certificate so that I can discern Lucile's maiden name and get more information on her. I'll be looking up Hamors in the phonebook before you know it! ;)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


One of the things that has always stuck with me throughout life: the night my mom told me that, if everyone was like me, nothing revolutionary would ever happen in this world. I've always played it safe. Followed the rules. Compromised.

I really felt that homesteading fell into that category. You know, don't depend on others, take care of yourself. Do what's right for the earth. Isn't it trendy to be "green"? And then yesterday, as I showed a complete stranger around our "homestead" and told him my hopes and dreams for what it one day will be, a strange thing happened. "Wow!" he exclaimed. "This is really rather revolutionary."


Yeah, it is.

We don't have much. Our path to sustainability or evironmentally-friendly living or the simple life or whatever you want to call it has only just begun. It was apparent though, in my conversation with this gentleman, that he hadn't seen a vegetable garden in somebody's backyard since he was a little boy (and he was much older than I am, I might add!). I mentioned our rain barrel project for next year, and his eyes grew wide. "Rain barrels!? I haven't seen anyone set up rain barrels in... well, more than 20 years! What made you think of doing that? Why would you need to in Ohio?" And so, the meeting that should have lasted no more than 40 minutes took about 3 hours, and I realized that maybe-- just maybe-- I have a little of mom's revolutionary spirit in me after all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wish Me Luck...

I've been dealing with a feverish toddler all weekend, but she's showing marked improvement today. That's excellent, not just for the health of The Bean, but because tomorrow's a big day here. Tomorrow I have to sell the homestead.

No, not sell it as in the real estate market, but sell the idea of it to someone who may be able to contribute in small part to it. I don't want to spill the details just yet because it's quite possible that nothing at all will come from it. I am possibly the worst saleswoman in the world, and I'll be going it alone for this venture. I'm suddenly beset by the idea that we haven't done enough yet. We aren't really a homestead. We have so far to go! This is just the beginning of thing. We're not even close to sustainability, and we may never be...

You know how it goes. Do any of you ever have these doubts?

Send me some good vibes when you get the chance. I'll need them.