I have not posted here in quite sometime, our daily lives have been taken up with our 'new' old house and all the resultant work.
Our original goal was to live in an apartment for a year and get used to the area - make sure we were in a place we liked, and and then buy a place we could pay cash for, live a semi - self sustainable life style and be prepared to welcome our kids and relatives if things got bad in other places. When we hit March and started actively looking for places to buy we got an education! Seems that there is a 'list' price on homes and then investors come in and start bidding wars and the selling price can be as much as double. This left us out in the cold, we couldn't get the place we had thought we wanted and needed. We began to look at smaller homes, with smaller lots, in towns, in the not as nice part of town, we kept praying though, and we kept praying for the home we thought we had needed. We had just decided to look at mobile home parks, thinking maybe God wanted us to be there, maybe we were being told to narrow our goals, I looked online and a home that had been on the HUD website before was back, it had issues, but we would go look at it, it certainly wouldn't be the first dead end or unproductive trip. Our real estate agent (a lovely LDS lady also a prepper, who knew what we were going for) met us at the house and we looked around, when we walked out onto the back porch we were hooked, none of us could believe that this house had not been snapped up, she called for sure - "no, its not eligible for a conventional loan, plumbing issues, roof issues, electrical issues, HUD is not offering a loan." So we made a cash offer of exactly the amount they were asking, 4 days later they accepted our offer and we had to wait the standard 45 days for HUD and then it was ours, we signed the paperwork on May 27th and got the keys on the 29th. After all of our looking and praying we got the house we wanted in the first place, 1/2 acre in a rural/residential area, 1600 sq. ft. (big enough to have extra people live with us), private well and septic, sheds and shops, large mature trees, garden space etc. Just one problem - we would have to fix our issues ourselves! We had a contractor fix the plumbing leak in the main line that required a backhoe and crawling under the house, but then the rest would have to be done ourselves as the money was available, we had enough cash to buy a refrigerator - after Hubby rewired most of the kitchen, we moved in on the 1st of July and had electricity, and walls and a leaky roof and the refrigerator! But we also knew this was the house the Lord had led us to. We still had a microwave and the pump was pouring out pure clear water, it was just outside and cold! I have had much reason to thank the Lord for my handy Hubby who spent years working with electrical machinery for aerospace, and who can figure things out in a mechanical sense, he has so many useful skills! He managed to finish the rewiring of the rest of the kitchen (the 220 part) and now we have a stove! Yippee! Amazing how my standards have gotten a little lower now on what makes me happy. Did I mention - no air conditioning? We are still taking 'bucket baths' (heat the water, mix with cold, lather up, rinse), and still boiling water for dish-washing, but the cold water now comes out of the taps, and as soon as we (not me of course) get the plumbing fixed to the water heater and purchase a new one we will have hot running water. I am anxiously awaiting my first hot shower in nearly a month! I may have some kind of celebration!
I have not been idle - while Hubby is working on his projects I have painted the entire inside a clean white on walls and ceilings, (I celebrated the last painting day by giving myself a manicure and picking the white paint out of my hair, my hair is not gray it is Clairol 6G!), I have nearly unpacked everything out of storage and apartment, and have begun to replace the curtains from another house that don't quite fit with curtains made for each window.
In the middle of all this moving in and roughing it (smile), the cherry tree on the back side of the house produced a beautiful bounty of "pie cherries" (sour) before I had the stove to can them on! Sooo 15 lbs. of cherries that had to be hand pitted (red streaks down my arms) and then frozen, at least until I can find the box with the canning jars, so I currently have a pound of chicken and 15lbs of cherries in my freezer! However I also have this wonderful view from the back porch, 11 tomatoes ripening on the vine, 8 or 9 cucumbers looking like small beans right now and several green pepper blooms in my "pot garden". Hubby and I go to bed tired and happy and alternating between pinching ourselves that we have the place we dreamed of (some assembly required) and laughing at ourselves for doubting - not God of course- but doubting our interpretation of his plan for us. We are so blessed and He is so good to us! I will try to get back to posting more recipes here pretty soon and if the new cherry pie filling recipe is any good - guinea pig husband will let us know - I will also post it - Kathy