Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a family of rednecks. They roamed from place to place, always hoping to find the perfect place. Of course, no such place exists but they found a beautiful chunk of land in southeastern Oklahoma…
23.35 acres, mostly wooded, on the side of a hill. It came with a crappy, holey trailer and neighbors straight out of “Deliverance”. We loved it! It was rough, had no running water or septic/sewage, and we had to start from scratch. The Oklahoma Archives chronicle our bursts of progress throughout our nearly eight years in there. We worked to tame portions of the land for raising our gardens and hogs, sheep, goats, and chickens. We worked on building a new house of concrete and steel, all with our own hands, bit by bit. We had four kids when we moved there and two more were born — one in the crappy trailer and one in the new house.
On it went until the economy fell through the toilet. The rural economy down there had never been great but it finally bottomed out completely. We struggled. A lot. Then, in February 2010, Steve was horribly hurt while doing a bit of work for the local feed mill. Long story short, that was The End for us in Oklahoma. Thanks to a lot of help from a lot of friends & family, we made it through and were able to move to northeastern Missouri in the fall of 2010.
We now have five (flat!) acres with real, live grass on it. It came with a house already built but, of course, we can never leave well enough alone. There’s an entire unfinished basement for us to fiddle with, along with setting up outbuildings & pens for animals, gardens to make, and endless tweaks to everything.
But who are we? We are: Steve (who works a bazillion hours each week in addition to working miracles here at home), Diane (I’m the one who spews all over this blog), Cody (’93), Isaac (’96), Charlie (’00), Duke (’02), Nellie (’05), and Josie (’09). The kids are all homeschooled and participate in far too many extracurricular activities these days (Boy Scouts, basketball, 4-H, homeschool group co-op classes, bowling league, and so on). Kong (Great Pyranees) and Rocko (Boston Terrier), and three cats named Jerry, Tiger, and Blackberry add to the fun, along with a few dozen chickens and a couple of bee hives… so far.