Hopes and Goals for 2014

It’s never to early to plan the future, right?! Especially after a hard lesson learned. It is just nice to have something to work towards. A dream, a goal, a wish… Whatever it may be, the future brings hope and hope brings happiness. That is the primary reason I like to set goals for myself; goals provide a self-set path that leads to my ultimate dream life.

Goals for 2014

1. Own a home
Within the next year and a half, our main goal is to be able to purchase our very own house on land. I think that is a very basic goal for most of us DIY’ers and homestead dreamers and is also one of the hardest to accomplish. For the last seven years or so, we have operated on cash-only to help keep us out of debt and away from those tricky credit cards. Of course, the down side of this, is that until last year, we had no credit. Ick.

So our only purpose in life this past year has been to build credit, through financing various small items, to the point that we can qualify for a home loan. We are almost there and hope to be at the ideal credit score sometime in 2014. I think we can do it. Fingers crossed! Knock on wood! Salt over the shoulder! … Whatever it takes.

2. Build a gawrsh darn greenhouse
Right?! Now that we are closer to our first goal of moving somewhere permanent, we also need to make sure that any greenhouse we build this autumn can be reasonably disassembled. I think Bepa’s Garden‘s 6’x8′ greenhouse plans can easily be modified to disassemble into four wall pieces and two roof pieces. Either way, we need a greenhouse somethin’ fierce!

3. Dairy animals
We are pretty set on getting dairy goats, but we are always up for a new idea. This aspect of our life will have to wait until we have our own land, but it sure is fun to plan! Goats would be our first choice as they are smaller and more marketable to smaller homesteads. With any dairy animal, we will need to breed them –even on a small level– if we are to get any milk.

Goats do have their downsides, like: they are hard to contain, are notoriously mischievous, and are whiners. But would you have them any other way? Our second choice would be a mini dairy cow, but I don’t think that would be as much fun. Only time will tell.

4. Donkey!
Or as Trevor likes to say, ‘ba-donk-a-donk’. I don’t know. We have been discussing an appropriate livestock guardian for our future dairy animals. Raising a standard-size donkey is actually the first thing we have ever agreed on! Go figure. The horse stables around the corner boards two miniature donkeys that all three of us have absolutely fallen in love with. Since the horse stable does board donkeys, we could purchase one now, but we both feel that we should have our first goal of buying a house within our grasp first so that we aren’t paying for board for too long. We wouldn’t mind paying for board for an animal for a short time if an end was in sight, such as moving to a permanent home. Another thing we agree on! Amazing.

For you Facebook’ers who have been sending me advice on this, I am so thankful. This is going to happen. I’m just not sure when. It could be six months… or a year and six months. Either way, I am so excited that this is such a possibility. Our future donkey will be a dual-purpose longear which will (ideally) guard our dairy animals against predators as well as be trained to drive a cart! Fun stuff ahead folks. I visited our local bookstore and bought a book on guard donkeys and another on basic donkey care (which also includes driving).

5. Expand the Rabbitry
I think raising rabbits has really been my strong suit in all of this homesteading business. It is certainly my most successful venture. I’m not talking about money here… although it is nice to pass along an animal that I am proud of and bred myself. I am talking about being successful in raising rabbits throughout the whole life cycle. My rabbits have been flourishing on fodder since I started feeding it, my litters are healthier and bigger, I am confident in processing rabbits myself, and I am lucky enough to have found my favorite breed right out the gate. I can’t imagine raising any other type of rabbit. It just wouldn’t be as joyful for me.

Our Rabbitry is also to the point where I do not have any physical room to expand, but I would like to expand the meat aspect of our farm’s production. This last month with no home-raised meat in the freezer has been a bit depressing. But we can only do what we can, right?! And right now I am happy with the quality of life I can provide, which means not expanding until we have more physical room to do so. Which probably won’t happen until … you’ve guessed it! … we move to our own land.

Most of our goals for the future are waiting on the one event of moving to our own land. But considering how much we have done with a rented quarter-acre lot, I’m okay with it. I can wait. I generally like to dive in head first, but I have been known to be patient when it’s needed.

Trevor says that he has no doubt that we can accomplish all these goals because I always seem to get what I want. He doesn’t mean it in a demeaning way, but he has witnessed the fact that everything I set my mind to, I accomplish. The power of thought is an amazing thing. Say what you want about that documentary “The Secret”, but I have utilized that way of thought my entire life, without even knowing it, and I have always ended up where I wanted to be.

Here’s to the power of thought and the inspiration of some incredible goals!

6 thoughts on “Hopes and Goals for 2014

  1. I love that you are going to try to get more land! There is so much you can do & so many great techniques for all property sizes. So exciting!
    We sold(just before the real estate bubble burst) our 5 acre. It had it all: a 6 stall horse barn, grain shed, out builings, a lovely 104 yr old completely remod 4 bed, 3 bath, farm house surrounded by huge pecan trees… aahhh… We returned to our first home…just over an acre 4 bed, 1 bath- no buildings. See, our dream home came with a nightmare mortgage, our first home was run down from years of renters, but believe it or not, it was a relief to be able to quit my job & my husband doesn’t have to work 15+hrs a day to make the bills. With that said, I am happy that you and yours have your heads on straight from the get go. We clearly did not 🙂
    I am impressed with what you manage to do on your 1/4 acre. We have very little flat ground and most of our property is up a hill & only ‘fit for goats’- so you and I share a goal for next year- GOATS! We have decided on Nigerian Dwarf, but I also hear good things about Mini-Lamanchas too.
    Best wishes to you! I look forward to watching you expand your homestead!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! Kind words are always appreciated.

      Sorry to hear about your dream home. At least you had somewhere comforting to go when it was all said and done.

      I had no idea that La Manchas came in mini! What a revelation. Did you know that La Manchas were developed here in California? A friend of mine has Nigerian Dwarfs and they are awesome little goats. I also like the Kinders (which is a mix of Nubian and Pygmy) which are apparently great milkers with the highest buttermilk and protein percentage of any goat. It all depends on what you can find though.

      • It was a bummer to loose the land, but we made a little $, & that helped pay down much of of credit card debt we owed. The experience has given us a chance to rethink. I am so glad to see younger people (I am 41) who are doing what they love & who are wiser than we were. Keep on, keeping on!

        Back to the goats…. Yes, I heard that about the buttercream, I guess good things come in small pkgs?! 😉 We just visited an auction yesterday & were shocked by just how tiny nigerian dwarfs are and how cute! We were not shocked by how verbal the Pygmy was …wow! lol! We saw a standard LaMancha with the little ears (forget the name), and she seemed very docile & I can see why people like them. There is a goat justice league I have looked up online and the lady wrote a book called “City Goats” that I am going to buy. She has LaManchas in the city. Since our goats will be spending the winter off the back hill and in our 0.10 acre flat backyard along with the hens & hopefully, someday, a little rabbitry, I def need inspiration for more urban housing. I never thought of a mini donkey… Going to have to look those up!

      • Well, it all worked out then. I think sometimes we think we want to be somewhere, but it just isn’t “in the cards”. Two years ago we were ogling a house down the street, but didnt qualify. Thank goodness we didn’t because it was .22 acres and in a homeowners association! Phew!

        The mini donkeys are still fairly big (to me anyway). But nowhere near the size of a horse… More like 1/2 size? ish?

  2. I have to let you know that you are an inspiration to me! And I love the nod towards The Secret 🙂 I am determined to make a dream of mine come true and finding the patience to do so is based in believing I can do it in the first place. I admire your hard work and appreciate your guidance. I am starting off my adventure with 3 french angora rabbits with the hopes of one day owning a fiber farm 🙂 My rabbits have amazing cages, my first DIY project that I am proud of! Next up, fodder. I also want to thank you for the sourdough pancake recipe. My grandmother made them for us when we visited the ranch and I have been wanting to make them as I miss her 🙂 Sorry for the long post but I have been meaning to thank you for a while now. I look forward to having you “by my side” throughout my journey. Mushy mushy hugs n kisses!
    Keri
    PS: Yay Khaleesi! Lol

    • Wow. What an incredibly humbling comment. I am never quite sure how to respond when someone says that I “inspire” them, but I am incredibly thankful for your kindness. Thank you for giving me someone to write for!

      We all need a little inspiring and it is comments like yours that keep me farming and keep me blogging about it– through thick and thin. Thanks.

      As far as your dream of a fiber farm goes, with three rabbits, you’re already there! And good goin’ on picking the best angora breed there is. 😉 Not that I’m biased or anything. I have been thinking about starting a page here of recommended angora rabbit breeders, so when you get up and running, let me know and I’ll get your contact info up!

      Best of luck to you Keri and thank you so much for reading! I look forward to hearing more on your adventures.

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